February

Highlights of this busy, busy month:

  • Went with my friend C for a Sephora makeover/makeup lesson. We had so much fun and I really learned a lot!
  • GG and I went to see Artie Lange do stand-up. The opening act was really good. Artie, not so impressive. Also, we saw him do literally all the same jokes later on a TV interview.
  • Watched the Superbowl with GG’s family at my BIL’s house – lots of food was had, and we stuck to our way of eating (I made buffalo chicken dip and there was also veggies and guacamole and some other things we could enjoy). So far no problems sticking to the plan!
  • We went to The Farmer’s Daughter for our Valentine’s dinner (and used a gift card GG had gotten for his birthday). We just had to make a couple substitutions to accommodate our new WOE :)
  • GG and I saw Split – we’re big M. Night Shyamalan fans so of course we loved it, but the end was awesomeeeeeee!! (No spoilers!) Also, we love trying to guess where in Philadelphia things are taking place. And the funniest part was that we were watching it in a town that was mentioned in the film! When they said it, everyone in the theater was like, “That’s where we are!”
  • On our day off for Presidents’ Day, my friends L, J, J’s sons, and I went to New York for the day. We visited the 9/11 memorial and museum (and I didn’t cry! Almost, but kept it together), then went to Brooklyn to eat at a Harry Potter themed pasta restaurant, then tried going to that restaurant that serves cookie dough in ice cream cones but they were closed, then went to the Nintendo store (child’s request), and then took the train back home. Oh also, L had come out the night before and spent the night, which is fun :)
  • GG and I went to see a live taping of Ask Me Another, which was fun and really interesting! I’d never been to a live taping of an NPR (or any other) show before. GG had been to a Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me taping a couple years ago, so he had already seen them do things like record pick-ups after the show.
  • We also went to see a high school production of Rent that one of my JA kids was in. Besides some technical issues with microphones and a couple tone-deaf singers, it was surprisingly good!
  • We went to a friend’s birthday party and stuck to our WOE! The friend who hosted it is a baker and made a beautiful peanut butter chocolate cake, which I knew would be amazing. So GG and I each tried exactly one bite and… meh. I mean, I’m sure it was an amazing cake. But we didn’t feel tempted to eat a whole slice! We stuck to veggies, the buffalo chicken dip I’d brought (that’s been my go-to party food), and hot dogs (without buns).

Beauty Reviews – Summer 2016

  • Lush “Brazilliant” Shampoo Bar: I’ve tried shopping at Lush before and I just can’t. We have one in our mall and I go in and the scents just overwhelm me and give me a headache. I wonder if they haven’t actually done something about their ventilation system, because when I went to check out the shampoo bars a couple weeks ago based on a friend’s recommendation, I felt for once like I could breathe in there. I spoke to the sales associate and asked her which shampoo bar she would recommend for my hair: fine and frizzy, so I need something to make it sleek, but not weigh it down too much. She had a couple recommendations, but I ended up with Brazilliant, which has clarifying citrus and sweet orange oil for smoothness. It also smells amazing. I still use my regular conditioner and stuff, but my hair has been so soft since I’ve been using it, with really full volume!
  • Posh Rubby Scrubby: I’ve been trying a couple Posh products lately since a friend started selling it. This is one of my favorites – it’s a minty foot scrub in a handy tube you can easily use in the shower. I am obsessed with foot scrubs… If you don’t have a Posh lady, let me know and I’ll hook you up with mine ;o)
  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder: A while ago my mom was raving about the IT Cosmetics eyebrow pencil and even gave me one. It’s ok, but not my favorite (I prefer a little bit softer pencil). That was my only experience with the brand until I was watching QVC one night and saw a demo of this “Bye Bye Pores Silk Finishing Powder.” The actual product I purchased is no longer online; it’s a loose powder, not pressed, and came paired with a nice fluffy brush. I am liking it, especially for summer. It really does give you a nice finish! The loose powder is very light and leaves a little cloud in the air, which I could do without, so I might try the pressed powder version next time. On the program, they said the brush was so popular, beauty bloggers were naming theirs? I don’t know about that, but it’s nice…
  • Baby Foot Exfoliating Peel: Remember how I said I was obsessed with foot scrubs? So why not try the ultimate foot softener that’s been making the rounds on social media? You’ll find lots of variations of these, but basically they’re all pre-filled plastic booties you wear for an hour or so to give an acid peel to your feet. After a few days of nothing happening, you’ll be treated to a few fun-filled days of peeling sheets of skin off your feet, followed by baby soft goodness. I feel like there are several stages to using one of these:
    1. The waiting period – After applying the peel, you wait around looking for any signs that your feet are starting to peel. This can last a couple days to a week.
    2. The bottom peeling period – You’re not supposed to pick at it, but once your feet do start peeling, you kind of have to pull the dead skin off or you’ll end up with flaps hanging off and leave a skin trail everywhere. You’re supposed to soak your feet daily to help encourage this process. My friend MB invited me to swim in her pool a few days after the treatment, and woah did that accelerate things! It’s gross and fun and you’ll end up collecting piles of skin as you idly pull it off your feet.
    3. The top peeling period – The bottoms of your feet are so smooth and you think you’re done, but then the tops start peeling! For me this was not as much fun as the bottom because it didn’t really come off in sheets, it just flaked and looked like I had a bad sunburn, which I hope is what most people thought as well, since you can’t really hide the tops of your feet as well as the bottoms. If I do this again, I will try to limit the amount of solution that gets on the tops of my feet, and just try to focus on the soles.
    4. The soft period – The peel won’t necessarily remove callouses but it will make them softer, so enjoy that time before everything gets gross again.

    It really does work and my feet are super soft, especially considering it’s the middle of summer and I’ve been living in sandals and no socks for months. I definitely recommend doing this just before sandal season starts, so your peeling feet are hidden. Also, they say it won’t affect nail polish but the one I used at least did wear a couple spots in mine (I just added another coat on top) so beware if you’re about to get a pedicure or something. And I think it did something to actually make the color soak into my nails more, because when I removed it a couple weeks later, all my toenails were stained (which has not happened before). Maybe just do the peel when your toenails are naked.

FabFitFun Fall 2015 Box

Once again, FabFitFun has put together a really nice box! This is probably my favorite one yet, with the most items that I will really use! Even the box itself was cute and fun, with a pretty purple raindrop design by illustrator Kelsey Oseid.

  • Gold Radiance Luxury Facial Mask with Collagen and Rose Oil by Passport to Beauty: This is a gold full-face mask treatment that actually looks terrifying, based on the photos on the box… $65 value
  • FabFitFun x Tappan Collective Umbrella: Cute umbrella that says “rain rain go away” in a pattern of raindrops. Mine is white text on a black umbrella, which will be really fun for rainy days. $32 value
  • Lucky Lip Stain by Manna Kadar Cosmetics: As has seemed to be the case with the lip products in these things, I wasn’t super impressed by the color or other special properties it was supposed to have (primer, gloss, and stain in one). Nice texture though, and left my lips feeling moisturized. $24 value
  • 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System by Crest: Despite the photo of the full-size product in the booklet that came in the box, this is just a single use sample pack. I’m kind of nervous about tooth whiteners, so may or may not try this one. (“Sponsored,” aka free)
  • Flawless Skin Fluid by Doctor D. Schwab: I was excited to try this lightweight moisturizer. It’s supposed to even and brighten skin tone – a full-size tube! It definitely is light, and has almost a pearly finish to it. I guess if you’re not going to wear makeup on top of it, that will give you the “brightening” effect. $39 value
  • Purple Purse Charm by Allstate Foundation Purple Purse: I really liked this one. It’s a nice purple leather tassel with a little metal charm, sponsored by the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to support Domestic Violence Awareness month.
  • HISY Battery Pack: A portable battery charger. Looks like there were a few colors available, mine is a light mint green. It’s small and sleek, and charged my phone 20-some percent pretty quickly, even while I was using it. I will have to see how well it holds a charge. $24.99 value
  • Strength Tubing Ankle & Total Body Tone with Tubing: Lower Body & Core DVD by Merrithew: This is a lower body workout DVD with some kind of resistance band thing. I’ve been wanting to try something like this, so excited to check it out! $33 value
  • Glass Crystal Bead Bracelet by Tribe Alive: Delicate little bracelet with light blue crystal beads and gold chain. I have a similar bracelet but half of it is adjustable cord, so this one is a little different. These little bracelets are great for layering with other pieces or wearing casually, and Tribe Alive apparently works with impoverished women to give them jobs and fair wages. These were created by women in Honduras. $49 value
  • Gift Card by Jeweler’s Wife: This is a $15 gift card to a site that sells jewelry from popular designers like Pandora and Alex and Ani, which of course I can’t wear ;o) May be a gift to someone…
  • Gift Card by Picture It On Canvas: I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall and maybe include some photos printed on canvas, so I could give this service a try. They do other things besides canvas, too (like posters, phone cases, etc.). $75 value

The FabFitFun Fall 2015 box contains over $357 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! If you have an extra few bucks a quarter that you were probably going to end up spending at Target anyway, why not treat yourself to a fun surprise? ;o)
Photo borrowed from Subscription Box Ramblings – check out her post for tons more pictures!

FabFitFun Summer 2015 Box

I will start off by saying, I purchased the Spring box after finding out what was in it and deciding I wanted it, and ended up disappointed with about 1/3 of it. Once I was in, I saw that I would be getting the Summer one automatically and decided to just go with it anyway, sight unseen. I love everything in this box! I’m so glad I kept the subscription! If you find this post helpful and choose to join, I’d be honored if you used my referral code for $10 off!

  • Wren 14Kt Gold and Black Sapphire Necklace: I received a small rose gold heart with a tiny black sapphire embedded in it. I didn’t know what this was going to be, but it’s so cute! Even though I’m selling my own necklaces and wear them 101% of the time, I had to wear this one to work the very next day! (Bonus – it would look great layered.) Love it, as I’m kind of obsessed with rose gold right now :o)
  • The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun: I haven’t tried using this yet, but mine is hot pink. You can either plug in your audio source, or pair it wirelessly with your phone (it also has a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone). It has an FM radio, and a carabiner clip so you can hang it from your beach umbrella or wherever…
  • Inkling Scents Sultry Roll-On Oil Perfume: When I first opened my box, something smelled really good. Turns out it was this perfume, which wasn’t very tightly sealed (and I see other people’s bottles leaked all over their boxes). It smells nice, and the small roller bottle would be great for travel, I’m just not sure the scent lasts that long…
  • Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray: Very excited for this spray, which claims to be a leave-in conditioner that offers heat protection, among other things. It has a really nice lemon/coconut scent, that dissipates pretty quickly. I sprayed a few squirts into my hands, and then ran them through my hair, to make sure it got where I wanted. So far, so good!
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss: I think FFF released a preview of this and I was looking forward to it, but honestly this was probably one of my least favorite things in the box. I just do not like the texture of this gloss. It claims to have “plumping” properties, but I didn’t really notice any change there, either.
  • FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope: This hot pink rubber jump rope has really nice, cushy handles, and if I had ever in my life been able to successfully jump rope, I would have been very excited to get it. However, I’m just not that coordinated, so I gave it to GG – the pink color will inspire him to man up and work out.
  • Scratch Nail Wraps: You know I’ve been trying all kind of nail wraps lately!! Per the package, “Scratch is an LA based company that works with artists to create unique nail wrap designs.” These are a white nail wrap with different patterns of pink triangles on them – kind of ’80s retro, and perfect for summer. There are eight different sizes, and like the Sally Hansen wraps, they come in a sealed package and must be used within one month of opening. A small orange stick and nail file were also included. I will report back on these!
  • Headspace 3-Month Subscription: Probably won’t use this, but it’s a card to redeem for three free months of an app called Headspace that guides you through a series of meditations. Gwyneth Paltrow uses it, sooo…
  • Hello Konjac Cleansing Sponge: This is a little white half-sphere sponge. You run it under water to soften it, then use it to wash your face, with or without cleanser. There was no other information on the package, and the card from FFF doesn’t really have much info either, so I’m not sure if the benefit is exfoliation, or if the konjac vegetable fibers it’s made from impart some type of nutrients to your skin or something, just that it’s “an all-natural way to restore the skin and balance your face’s pH level.” (I also just got a Clarisonic, so who knows what’s going on with my face right now. It’s not a very controlled experiment.)
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer: Call me boring, but I’d been thinking of trying this lotion and was so excited to see it in the box – a full-size can, too! It has a nice cool cucumber scent, and the light spray just stays where you put it until you rub it in, no running down your legs or anything. It’s certainly plenty moisturizing for summer.

In total, the FabFitFun Summer 2015 box contains over $275 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! I think it’s definitely worth it, it was a fun treat and is packed with products that are perfect for summer. At first I was kind of wary of joining an automatic subscription service, but now I’m really excited to see what the Fall brings!

Photo borrowed from Hello Subscription – check out their post for more detailed photos of the products!

Early Adopter

Originally I had titled this post “Things I’ve been doing since before they were cool,” but that sounds like I’m such a hipster. Although there are lots of things that I’m late getting into (e.g. I didn’t have a smartphone until, like, forever), I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve been doing that have only recently become very popular.

Greek Yogurt: GG and I were talking the other night about how Greek yogurt has really taken over. At our regular supermarket, Greek yogurt probably fills about 2/3 of the yogurt case, and even the regular brands seem to have a Greek version. But I have been eating it for years! When I started eating Greek yogurt, you couldn’t even get it at the regular supermarket, they only had it at specialty stores like Trader Joe’s. And there was one flavor: Greek! Want honey in it? Add in your own honey! I like that there are so many options and it’s so easy to get now, but I’m sure the trend will die down eventually. (I hope Australian style is the next trend – that stuff is delicious!)

BB Cream: I used to read this makeup/beauty message board and years ago they were all going nuts over BB cream, this lotion/foundation/SPF combo coming out of Korea. It was huge in Korea and there were many brands to choose from, that you could order online. I picked a brand and purchased a sampler pack so I could try out six of their options. The differences were so minimal, I actually made myself a spreadsheet to track what each bottle said and what my impression of each was! Anyway, I ended up choosing a favorite and ordering a full-size bottle, and I’ve been using it ever since! Of course, now every mainstream makeup company has their own version of BB cream (and now there’s “CC cream” and other iterations).

Quinoa: This is another food that I discovered long ago at Trader Joe’s – thank you for helping me be ahead of the curve, TJ’s! I remember cooking quinoa back in college, circa 2003-2004. There are people today who have never heard of or tried quinoa, even though it seems to be in everything lately!

Edamame: I found this in high school (around 1999-2000?) from – guess where – Trader Joe’s! I used to get the bags of frozen edamame, cook it all up at once, and store it in a container in the fridge, to snack on with a little salt. I specifically remember one time I went to the movies with a friend and we sneaked in our own little containers of edamame in a backpack for a snack. I was just talking to someone recently who had never tried edamame (or quinoa)!

Etsy: Per Wikipedia, Etsy launched on June 18, 2005. Looking at my profile on the site, I joined on Dec. 15, 2005. I actually did a bit of selling back in the olden days – first little things that I had sewn, then I got into knitting adult and baby hats, and I also started sewing cloth pads. Someone asked me to knit a red and white Where’s Waldo had for a costume one year, and that led to my selling thirty-three more (I just counted) over the next couple Halloweens. I probably could still sell a bunch at Halloween time, just through people searching for them, but the site has changed a ton since it started. You used to be able to launch and promote your business solely through the site; now you really need to establish and market yourself outside Etsy, and just use the site as your shopping cart application. I still do shop there frequently for gifts and and for myself!

Nailipop Review 2!

I hope nobody thought my Nailipop review was really negative. Overall, it was pretty positive – they weren’t perfect, but also I kind of expected a lot.

So I gave Nailipop another shot (I had to, I had more stickers). This time, I took a little more care with application, trimming things that didn’t fit quite right (minimal effort), and being more careful about filing the edges. I also painted over everything with a clear top coat. The results were pretty amazing. I used Galaxy Party, and got more compliments on this than any crazy manicure thing I have ever done! Not just from friends and coworkers, but from the girl at the Target customer service desk, waitresses, and other random people. It is a gorgeous pattern, and really striking when it makes up your entire manicure!

I applied them on a Sunday night, and they had a pretty good run, lasting until Thursday, when I decided to switch them up for something else I’d been wanting to try. The background of the Handcrafted Roses stickers is the exact same shade of green as Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet.” I had a couple leftover stickers from my first attempt with Nailipop, so I cut them down to ring finger size and used them as accent nails! I love the way they turned out, and they really lasted well.

After a brief break, my most recent mani featured The Guardian, for the 4th of July, of course! I didn’t even go that many places over the holiday, but I got tons of compliments on them at a small party I went to Friday night, and at my band concert on the 4th. This design was definitely a hit!

So yes, I highly recommend Nailipop, the product is fantastic (I know they don’t make them, they source them from elsewhere), and customer service is really top notch. They are very responsive and active on social media, and love seeing customer pics, so share them if you’ve got them!

Boxy Lady

I blame my blog friend, Product Junkie in the City, with my new found interest in subscription boxes. I’m not signing up for a ton of them, but I love reading about her experiences! I did get a couple low-risk ones recently, though. If you’ve been considering joining one of these services, My Subscription Addiction is a great resource – they have boxes listed you never even knew existed, with useful reviews of each!

Target Beauty Box
I’ve gotten this one every year for the last several years. Of course, the Summer 2015 box is already out of stock, so when you hear that the next one is available, you have to grab yours quick! For $5, it’s always a great value!

  • Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream: I’ve tried this for a couple days, and it definitely does brighten your eyes, because there’s some kind of pearly material in the cream. However, after noticing pearly white smudges all over my face the first day, I’ve decided to just use this at nighttime. Otherwise, the texture is nice, and it is a very generous sample (.5 oz), considering it’s just an eye cream.
  • Revlon HD Lipstick: I got a very bright red color which actually looks pretty nice, but it doesn’t last on me at all, I’ll have to stick to my stains…
  • SinfulColors Professional Nail Color: Despite my enormous nail polish collection, I’ve actually never used this brand before! I had a bottle I got as a freebie from something else, but it’s bright yellow and I’ve never had occasion to use it. The color I got from Target is a really pretty periwinkle blue, and I am loving it! Great, fun summer color, and it goes on really nicely.
  • Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads: I was actually really excited to get these, because removing nail polish is a pain. The individually wrapped pads are convenient and would be especially good for traveling. It’s a thick cotton pad that holds together well and is soaked with just the right amount of remover to do both of my hands (it probably would have been a stretch to do all of my toes, too). It is a very strong remover – you might need to open a window – but it does the job quickly.
  • Fekkai Professional Hair Care: I was looking forward to getting the dry shampoo shown in the picture, but I actually received a little tube of “Brilliant Glossing Styling Cream.” It has a nice fresh, citrusy scent, and according to the package, “a little goes a long way,” so I applied a small amount to wet hair, instead of my usual leave-in conditioner. Now, I’m not sure if it was because of this stuff, or my new flat iron, but I was outside in 99% humidity tonight (before and especially after a giant rainstorm), and my hair looked surprisingly good, with minimal frizz. I’m sure the Fekkai stuff didn’t hurt, anyway.

FabFitFun Box
The main selling point for me getting this box was that you can order it after they reveal what’s in it. The Spring 2015 box had a few things I was excited to try, and seemed like a great value! I’ve already been billed for the Summer box and I’ve seen a couple sneak peeks of what’s coming in that, so it should be along shortly. If you’d like to try FabFitFun, I’d love it if you could use my referral link – you’ll also get $10 off your first box!

  • Hello Fresh Gift Card: $40 Off First Week of Delivery: The aforementioned Product Junkie has subscribed to this, and it seems decent. I’ve been using some of Blue Apron’s recipes, but haven’t subscribed, so I’m excited to try this out! When I do, I will definitely post a new review.
  • Vow to Be Chic Gift Card: It’s a service where you can rent a bridesmaid dress or a white dress. I’ll most likely not be using this one…
  • Cosmos Creations Premium Puffed Corn: This stuff is amazing. I pretty much inhaled the whole bag.
  • OFRA Cosmetics Eyeshadow Brush Duo (#11 and #20): I was looking forward to this one because I’m always on the hunt for new makeup brushes. Well, #20 is humungous. This is for eyeshadow? You could cover your whole lid with one swipe! #11 is nice, I had another one of a similar size, but I prefer the bristles on this new one, so I’ve replaced it in my kit.
  • Sprout It App Card + Miracle Grow Gro-able Seed Pod: Guess what – I have a flower pot now! So I will be able to grow this little pod of tomato seeds! Check back for updates on my black thumb :o/
  • Rifle Paper Co. Cities Coasters Set: I guess I should have known from the name of the company, these are just cardboard coasters, like you would get at a restaurant. They are very cute, though. would make a great add-on with a gift like a bottle of wine!
  • ORLY Nail BB Creme & ORLY Nail Polish “Cake Pop”: I was excited for these, too! The BB Creme one should be great, I’ve used “almost” nail polishes like this before, where it’s something just a little more than a clear coat. Cake Pop is a very pale almost white pink, and I often have bad luck with shades like this looking streaky. This was looking pretty good after two coats, but was still just a little streaky, so I added a third. Plus, bonus: when you wear light colored nail polish, the rest of you looks more tan in comparison! [Edit: 6/16] I’ve now tried the BB Creme one, and even though it says on the bottle that it is “peach,” I see no color at all when it’s on my nails, it’s basically clear. Hopefully there’s at least good vitamins in it or something. [/Edit]
  • Merrithew 3 DVD Set “Intense Body Blast” + $25 Gift Card: I haven’t done the workout yet, but I’ll definitely use it some night where I just can’t even when I get home, and then by the time I’ve got my act together, the gym is already closed. The gift card is for the Merrithew web site, which I checked out, and they have cute yoga mats in the $30 range, so I think I’ll pick up a new one for myself! [Edit: 6/15] I ordered my mat, it was $3.99 after using my $25 gift card, but shipping is $11.13?!! Oh well, I guess I’m still paying only $15 total for what I hope will be a really nice yoga mat… [/Edit]
  • Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster and Restoration Serum: I haven’t tried this yet, but my sensitive combination skin has had some bad reactions to “serum” type products in the past. The nice glass bottle is a good size. I’ll update here if I have an overwhelmingly positive or negative experience.
  • Jules Smith Scarf in Watercolor or Modern Art Prints: I’m not sure which of the designs I got, but it’s the one with the larger patches of color, which I will assume is the “Modern Art” one. It’s not huge, but it’s a very pretty coral/turquoise/navy print on a lightweight cotton that will be great for summer!
  • Yasi Metallic Flash Tattoos: I’ve been seeing these all over since last summer. These are all different star shapes, and I bet with some creative placement you could make some cute designs. I’ll report back.

Nailipop Review

[Edit: 7/7] Jamberry ladies, I would love to know the context through which you’ve found this post. Someone shared it on Facebook? Leave me a comment! [/Edit]

If you know me either online or in real life, you probably have noticed that I do a lot of fancy nail art, usually thanks to my collection of stamping plates. I’ve never had much luck with Jamberry wraps, and I’ve successfully used Sally Hansen’s nail polish strips, but once you open the package, all the strips start to harden, so it seems kind of wasteful.

Iris has been talking about Nailipop for a little while, and encouraged me to give them a try. The web site does not have a ton of info, just a single set of photos showing how to apply the strips, and a note that they are based in California. I decided to go ahead and order a couple designs – I chose multi-colored patterns that I would not easily be able to achieve myself with stamps or dotting tools.

I didn’t get any shipping notification or anything, they just magically appeared in a regular, hand-addressed envelope four days after I placed my order, which was pretty good for CA to PA. I was a little disappointed to see that the nail stickers come in generic packaging, complete with broken English instructions on the back. In fact, Nailipop even replied to a photo I posted on Instagram, saying “we know, we got these nail wraps from different countries and we have no control over what’s on the package.”

Application was pretty easy. There are only seven different sizes of stickers, which on one hand I like, because having a billion different Jamberry ones is kind of overwhelming, but on the other hand, my nails are apparently a different size and shape than they’re supposed to be, because most of them didn’t fit me quite right. I did the best I could, but the overall look is kind of janky… (And I refuse to get out little scissors and trim things like this, because isn’t the point that it’s supposed to be quick and easy?) Also, you trim off the excess by running a vertical nail file along the edge, and no matter how well I tried to pull the sticker over the tip, they all came out looking torn and pre-chipped along the tip.

Day 1: I applied the stickers on a Sunday afternoon. If these were Jamberry wraps, they would be coming off right away due to the edges overlapping my skin, and the lumpiness at the tips from trying to pull and stretch as I applied them was annoying. Immediately after applying, I washed and chopped a bunch of vegetables, did laundry, and did some other cleaning, and they held on just fine.

Day 2: Based on past experiences with Jamberry, I was worried about those loose edges when I washed my hair, but there was no problem – the stickers never harden, they remain soft and flexible, so nothing got caught in my hair. The removal method is to soak your fingers in hot water, and I did notice after getting out of the shower that one of the edges was peeling up (which was reassuring, because I always get nervous about how well things will come off). I just pressed it back on. While at work, some of those edges started flaking off a couple of nails.

Day 3: Most of the loose edges around my cuticles have now kind of worn themselves off. However, the tips of a couple nails are also wearing pretty badly. I fear they may not be long for this world :o( One other thing I’ve noticed is that the finish feels kind of tacky on a couple nails. Painting a clear top coat over the stickers is an optional step that I didn’t take this time, but perhaps that would help with the wearing and give them a smoother finish.

I ended up removing them tonight, because by the end of the day, the tips were starting to chip and look bad. I probably could have gotten another day out of them, but I would have needed to repaint my nails after, and I’m not going to have time tomorrow, so I did it tonight. Removal was a breeze! I soaked my fingers in some hot water for just a minute, and then started peeling them off. For the most part, they all came right off in a single piece, and there’s no damage to my nails, which was my biggest concern. I’d use them again, just based on how well they stayed on yet how easy they were to remove.

[Edit: 7/5] I wrote a new review after trying them a few more times – you should check it out! [/Edit]

Beauty Reviews

A few things I’ve been using recently…

Jamberry_IndulgenceJamberry Indulgence Hand Care Set: If you read my nail blog, then you know that for all the funky manicures I do, I just cannot get Jamberry wraps to stay on my fingers. I don’t have the patience to wear the same design for two weeks, anyway! So I’ve given up on the wraps, but a number of my friends are selling Jamberry now and I want to support them, so I’m trying their hand and nail care products. This is a nice kit, with four different components:

  • You start by washing your hands with the biotin-enriched Cleanse soap. It has a nice scent, but it’s a teeny bottle. Also, it’s apparently a “bonus” item with this kit, so don’t expect to have it always.
  • Next comes my favorite part, the Buff exfoliating sugar scrub. A note on the web site told me that due to the cold temperatures during shipping, the coconut oil in it may solidify, and it can be revived by running under warm water. What they don’t say is that it requires a long soak in very hot water to be able to dispense it from the tube, and it will re-solidify every time. So now using this stuff requires some planning, as I need to get it to a point where I can get it out of the tube. That said, this is the best product in the box. If they tinker with the formula, so it doesn’t turn into a solid chunk every time, I would buy this by itself for sure. Probably the best hand scrub I’ve ever used.
  • The Nourish hand cream is used next, and meh – it’s a nice smelling lotion. I have other hand lotions I like. It’s fine, but nothing to write home about. Not greasy, which is a plus.
  • Finally, you apply the Quench cuticle cream. This stuff is great, and I’ve used it on its own without going through the rest of the routine. It helps to warm it up a little, too (you can just hold it in a pocket while you’re getting ready), but it goes on nicely and really hydrates your dry spots. Definitely the runner-up product in this set.

So would I buy the whole set again? Probably not. If Buff and maybe Quench were available separately, I would probably purchase them. I’d definitely get Buff if it were reformulated so it didn’t harden in the tube, or maybe if it were packaged in a jar so you could dig out a scoop and warm it up in your hands.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows and Pigments: I tried these based on the review of another blogger I follow, before I realized that they’d been popping up everywhere a few months earlier. I am totally hooked! They’re amazing. I am mostly sticking to the more neutral colors (Girl Crush is amazing, as are the other browns and grays I’ve tried), but I have a couple of the more colorful, sparkly ones (Rex is a gorgeous blue, and Lace is a beautiful, rich purple). The texture is fabulous, they last all day, and once you get the hang of applying with your finger, they’re easy to apply and blend. You can use a brush, too, though I would just use it to blend once it’s already on. I will say, the container is a little misleading – the actual pot of color fell out of one of mine, and it’s not even 1/4 the depth of the white container, so don’t be surprised when you reach the bottom. On the plus side, these are only supposed to last a year once opened, so I guess this will ensure that you keep them fresh.

ColourPop Lippie Stix and Pencils: I do not recommend these :o( The colors are great, and I’ve tried a few of them, but they are just a mess. I have Button (a nice nude), Lumiere (a neutral everyone raves about because it looks good on everybody, but somehow it really just ages my face), and Heart On (a gorgeous magenta that I continue to try to wear because I’m obsessed with it). They go on nicely and have a nice vanilla kind of scent. That’s where the positives end. They then smudge all over your face, slide off your lips, and look like a disaster. I have two of the matching pencils, thinking that would help keep the color in place, but I think they just make things worse. (Also, the pencils come in a plastic tube that you need to sharpen? They don’t just twist up…) My best tip is to apply a small amount in the center of your lip and then spread it with your finger.

February

Between snow and sickness, I was home a couple extra days each week this month. I actually never made it to the office for a full week (or my usual 3 days) all month! Some highlights:

  • More of a low-light, but I got food poisoning from wonton soup and/or egg rolls from our favorite Chinese restaurant, the night of the Super Bowl. I felt bad immediately after eating, and was up all night throwing up and whatnot. Then it continued for the next couple days. On the plus side, I lost 5 pounds!
  • Just when I got over this illness, I got a mega cold. Then GG got sick (and he is never sick)!
  • I finally got my shelves hung in my office! And then found the perfect desk (which is actually two kitchen tables from Ikea, but trust me, they look and work great). Now I just need to finish getting things organized, I really need a free weekend to work on this…
  • We went to see Birdman, just in time for the Oscars…
  • Went to what was actually a student music recital at Drexel, but GG knew the director/teacher of the group. Also discovered Zavino, which had great food, good prices, and the most generous cheese and charcuterie board we have ever had (seriously, we couldn’t finish all that meat).
  • Had a really neat opportunity to meet and have dinner with the founder of Ruby Ribbon, thanks to my Director from my side biz!
  • We celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early by going out to dinner Friday night at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. The food was good, but for those prices, I’d like to be spoiled a little more (e.g. Capital Grille). The whole meal and situation was kind of weird – for instance, they apparently cleared out the regular tables from one room and replaced them with rinky-dink folding tables for all the couples out celebrating, which looked really junky.
  • On Valentine’s Day, we went to see Thank You Scientist. I’d never even heard their music until the week before, but they are amazing. Really incredibly skillful musicians, and they put on a great show! Such a shame they were the opening act, but on the other hand, we left right after their set and got home nice and early! (Also, District N9ne is a great venue, I’d go to another show there, although it’s kind of in a weird location.)
  • Went to the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention (not my usual scene, but I knew someone working there) – no, I still do not like anything enough that I need it tattooed on my body forever.
  • I tried Colour Pop, and I am hooked! The eyeshadow is amazing – goes on creamy, blends nicely, and lasts really well all day without creasing. I can’t say the same for the lipsticks, which are a mess, but I have a couple of those, too.
  • I continued working my second side business and had an amazing month!