tutorial

Wintery Holiday Nail Look – Neutral and Frosty Glitter!

This is a great nail look for winter and the holidays. It’s neutral with a little frosty bling, so honestly, you could even wear it year round. I’ve been sporting this look quite a bit this winter season. It looks really impressive, gets a lot of compliments, and it’s surprisingly easy. Watch the video above to learn how to do it!

(I’m using CND Shellac Nail Polishes, which are a gel hybrid polish. This is a specialty nail polish that I don’t recommend unless you’re willing to put the time into learning how to properly apply it. It’s also more costly than regular nail polish (plus you have to use a UV light to cure each coat of polish), so you have to be willing to put down a little money in the beginning too. If you’re willing to put the time and money into it, then I DO recommend these polishes. 90% of the time, I’m wearing Shellac over normal nail polish. As much as I can be a girly girl, I’m pretty tough on my hands, so normal polish chips way too easily. With Shellac, I can rock a beautiful manicure without chipping for 2-3 weeks!)

  1. Apply a base coat.
  2. Apply two coats of neutral color polish.
  3. Let the second color coat try enough so that it’s not wet, but so it is a little tacky to the touch.
  4. Using a precise makeup brush or paint brush, apply loose glitter to the tips of each nail.
  5. Using your finger, wipe away any glitter from the skin, and press your finger onto the glittery tips of each nail to lift off any excess glitter (so we don’t gunk up our top coat polish brush with glitter!).
  6. Apply at least two coats of top coat (loose glitter has a tendency to poke through one layer of polish, so two will really seal it in and make the nails nice and smooth).

Here are the products I used, as well as some alternate polishes if you’re not using CND Shellac.

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  1. CND Shellac Base Coat – $13
  2. CND Shellac Bare Chemise Color Coat – $18
  3. CND Shellac Top Coat – $13
  4. Supernail Loose Glitter in Silver Rush – $5
  5. OPI Natural Nail Base Coat – $7
  6. OPI Barre My Soul Color Coat – $8
  7. OPI Top Coat – $9
  8. Tropical Shine Cushion Pink Nail File (Fine) – $1
  9. Beauty Secrets Coarse 100 Grit Black Nail File – $1
  10. Napoleon Perdis Small Eye Brush – $20
  11. Sephora Collection Cuticle Pusher – $14
  12. Revlon Cuticle Trimmer – $4
  13. Tweezerman Nail Clipper Set – $9
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At-Home Acid Peel – First Impression & How-To Apply

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My skin has been acting up a bit lately — random breakouts that keep popping up, some of which heal fine, but others have left a few marks on my skin. So I wanted to do something that would give my skin a refresh. I’d been hearing a lot about at-home chemical peels and wanted to give one a try.

If you’re not familiar, a chemical peel (also called an acid peel) uses a chemical solution (usually acid) to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers. Chemical peels are typically administered by a dermatologist or at a skincare spa — it’s a pretty serious skincare treatment. When you get a chemical peel, the outer few layers of your skin basically blister and peel off…it can look a bit gnarly (seriously, just google it).

Despite the zombie-like appearance, a chemical peel is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin. Sun exposure, acne, or just getting older can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted, or scarred. A chemical peel can help improve acne or acne scars, age and liver spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin and scaly patches, scars, and sun-damaged skin.

Chemical peels are not cheap, and right now, splurging on one just isn’t in the budget for me (plus, I’d have to hide out for like a day or two to avoid exposing people to the zombie-ness, which isn’t super convenient right now). So, I decided to check out some at-home alternatives. The Peter Thomas Roth 40% Triple Acid Peel has gotten great reviews, so I decided to grab a sample at Sephora. For this at-home peel, you apply it once a week for 12 weeks, for optimal results. You only need to leave the solution on your skin for 2 minutes — super quick!

Watch the video for my first impressions and what I thought!

How To Make Homemade Banana Ice Cream (Quick, Easy, & Delicious!)

As you guys know, I’m doing a 90-day fitness challenge right now, which means lots of healthy eating and lots of working out. And less trips to get ice cream and fro yo. BOO. But I’ve figured out a little trick to be able to have delicious homemade ice cream – and it’s HEALTHY.

Here’s what you do:

  • As far as service size, I use one banana per person.
  • Choose bananas that are on the riper side for the best flavor.
  • Cut the banana into uniform chunks.
  • Arrange the sliced chunks evenly on a freezer-safe plate.
  • Freeze the bananas for about 2-3 hours.
  • Put the frozen banana chunks into a food processor and chop until the consistency is nice and smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy!

You can also add peanut butter, cocoa power, or cinnamon (or anything else really!) to the bananas while chopping them up to jazz up the flavor more. Once you’re done, you can top it with chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream – you name it!

(Another quick tidbit…potassium – there’s lots of it in bananas – is really good for sore muscles, so not only is this ice cream HEALTHY, but it’s good for your tired muscles! Another bonus!)

My 15 Minute Makeup Routine

I wanted to share my go-to 15-minute makeup routine. This isn’t my “barefaced minimalist” makeup or my “full-face going out” or “photoshoot” makeup, but it’s my go-to face when I have a lunch meeting, happy hour with friends, and most other activities.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start with a clean, moisturized face. I clean my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser using my Clarisonic Mia 2. I use Burt’s Bees Tomato Toner, and then I moisturize with Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15.
  2. For foundation, I mix together Tarte Amazonian clay BB tinted moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen (shade medium) with L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup (shade nude beige – W3) and apply it using a large stippling brush, like the Sigma F80 – Flat Kabuki brush.
  3. After applying foundation to my whole face and neck, I touch up any blemishes that are still visible by applying more True Match with my Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush. I then use my BeautyBlender to blend it in completely.
  4. Next I take care of my eyelashes, by first separating them with my fingernail and then curling them with my Revlon Cushion Grip Lash Curler. I really prefer eyelash curlers with springs as you have more control over the pressure you apply to your lashes while curling. It’s important to apply and loosen pressure when curling, rather than holding firm the whole time. “Pumping” the curler like this will prevent you from leaving a crease in your eyelashes.
  5. I stick with two main mascaras: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, Very Black and Benefit They’re Real Mascara. Unless I’m in a rush, or really want to wear minimal makeup, I do my mascara the same way…very messy! I get it EVERYWHERE to make sure I get each and every single eyelash from base to tip.
  6. Once I’ve made a mess with mascara, I clean it up using some Q-tips and Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly. (Super weird pro-tip: I swirl the Q-Tip in my mouth before getting vaseline on it to tame any fuzzies…trust me, it makes a difference! I only use vaseline on one end of the Q-Tip and then do another wipe after just with the wet end to clean up any excess vaseline.)
  7.  Next, I use my Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush to apply some foundation using my Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick under my eye and on my eyelids to brighten up my eyes.
  8. Now I use a large, soft powder brush, like Bare Escentuals Handy Buki Brush, to lightly apply Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder all over my face, neck, and chest.
  9. Next I do some basic contouring using an angled powder brush, like Sigma F40 – Large Angled Contour brush, and Hoola. I apply the Hoola in the hollows of my cheeks at a diagonal line extending to my hairline. I also apply some near my temples, under my chin and jawline, and on the sides of my nose.
  10. I blend the Hoola in with a soft powder brush, like the Sigma F50 Duo Fibre brush. Blend, blend, blend!
  11. Now I apply Benefit Cosmetics CORALista Blush in a diagonal line from the apples of my cheeks up to my hairline using the angled brushed I used to contour. I also put a touch of the blush on the tip of my nose and bottom of my chin.
  12. I have very thick, dark eyebrows, so I rarely do anything to them. On a typical day, I just brush them with some Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara for Brows and Lashes to make sure everything’s under control. I always wipe most of the gel off on the edge of the container before putting in my brows – a little goes a long way!
  13. For eyeshadow, I use my Bare Escentuals Full Tapered Shadow Brush to apply a light, neutral shadow to my lids. This is not the exact shadow I’m using, but it’s really similar: REVLON Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow Quad. Next I use Bare Escentuals Tapered Shadow Brush (a smaller brush than the one I just used) to apply Hoola to the crease of my eyes. Rather than wearing eyeliner, I apply a little Hoola to my lower lash line to warm up my eyes. I use a brush like this Sigma E65 – Small Angle brush.
  14. Now for some highlighting. I apply Maybelline New York Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer to my brow bones, underneath my eyes, down the center of my nose, above my cupid’s bow, and at the center of my chin. I blend with my concealer brush and then blend further with my BeautyBlender.
  15. I set my makeup with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder using the Laura Mercier Velour Puff. I apply the powder to any areas I want to highlight or any areas that might be prone to get oily, like under my eyes, my forehead, my nose, and my chin. It’s important to press the powder onto your face, not wipe it.
  16. And LAST step…I curl my eyelashes one last time and apply a second coat of mascara.

It seems like A TON of work, but once you get the process down, it really doesn’t take too long. Let me know if you have any questions!