Category: Guest Post

What I’ve Been Using to Rehabilitate My Nails After Quitting Gel Manicures

Published in: Guest Post, Nails

help nails gel manicures

Clockwise from the top: Lauren B Beauty Polishing Handscrub ($20, 2 oz.), SpaNature Hand and Body Lotion ($11.55, 28 oz.), Ciate London Mini Nail Treatment in Knight in Shining Armour and Nail Gym ($10.50, 0.17 oz.), and Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner ($6.50, 0.25 oz.)

As some of you might remember, not too long ago, I wrote a short piece about trying to quit gel manicures. Well, shortly after, I did it! I took them off myself at home…and it was terrible, and I don’t mean terrible in terms of how my nails were feeling before I took them off. I mean terrible in terms of “My nails actually hurt for several days afterward, and it has taken over a month for them to show any visible signs of improvement.”

To recap, here’s a (rather bad, admittedly) photo of what my nails looked like immediately after I removed my gels about a month ago.

Be warned, it isn’t pretty.

help nails gel manicures

A picture from the same night I removed my gel nails; I was left with brittle, paper thin, aching nails.

Since that fateful night, I’ve tried to take good care of my nails to help them recover. I was in Sally Beauty Supply just after removing the gels and asked an employee to recommend a product to rehab nails after removing gels, and she recommended Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner.

She told me to use it for two full weeks with nothing else on my nails, and then after that to keep using it as a base coat, which I’ve done.

After the initial two weeks, my nails weren’t feeling all that much better, so I also added some other products to my gel manicure repair arsenal, including these mini treatments from Ciate London below…

help nails gel manicure

Ciate London Knight in Shining Armour (left), Ciate London Nail Gym (right), and Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner (top)

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Which Too Faced La Matte Color Drenched Lipstick Is Right for You?

Published in: Guest Post, Lips, Makeup, Too Faced

too faced la matte lipsticks

Never shy of a great matte lip, I leaped on these new $22 Too Faced La Matte Color Drenched Lipsticks the first chance I got.

Too Faced recommends warming them up against your lips before applying them, and I positively agree with them on that. Amazingly enough, the initially dry texture, doesn’t actually dry your actual lips. In fact, my favorite thing about the formula is how little product actually sits on your lips. The texture’s very thin and comfortable.

Too Faced introduced 10 shades of La Matte Color Drenched Lipstick, and here are pics and swatches!

too faced la matte lipsticks

The new Too Faced La Matte Color Drenched Lipsticks: Swatches

too faced la matte when in doubt

When In Doubt

When In Doubt is described as a matte cool beige, and it has a lovely subtle pink tinge to it.

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Say “Bye Bye Pores” With It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakthroughs

Published in: Face, Guest Post, It Cosmetics, Makeup, Murad


Sometimes I just want to be a poreless alien babe… A couple weeks ago I was at a drag show, and a queen named Kylie Minono was passing shots of vodka to the people seated behind me. She apologized for reaching over me and told me that vodka can sink into your pores. “But wait, do you even have any? Girl, what do you use and where can I get it?”

Well, you can get it at Ulta! It’s a $29 pressed translucent powder aptly named Bye Bye Pores (which you’ve probably heard of by now) from It Cosmetics.


See? Exactly. You can’t because there’s nothing there. I’m wearing NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Terre Nueve as my base.

Let’s backtrack for a second.

I don’t have large pores, but they can get clogged pretty easily, so I try to let my skin breathe as much as I can. Luckily, I’m a workaholic who barely has time for breakfast, let alone fierce wings before work. I wish I did, but I also like sleep.

When I have dry patches, healing spots, or just want the smoothest finish possible, I reach for a silicone-based primer. If I’m getting ready during the day, I reach for Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. It stands out to me because it’s a primer with SPF 30. Since I can’t step outside without sun protection, it’s a godsend. While I wear it on light makeup days too, I usually wear it all on its own. I like that it offers protection without making me look shiny. I also love products that let you know exactly how much you have left, because running out of a staple without even knowing it was close to empty is not a great way to start the day.


Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 / PA+++ (1oz) $65

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Allow Me to Introduce Matt(e) Hughes! theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick

Published in: Guest Post, Lips, Makeup, theBalm

Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipstick

All the men lined up in a row

Meet Matt(e) Hughes.

He’s attractive, feels good on the lips, smells like Thin Mint cookies (LITERALLY, to the tee!), and sticks around even when you sloppily pound down a massive Big Mac and fries!

Let’s ignore the fact that I just made two food references in the first sentence of this post and get to know Matt(e) a little better…

The Balm has come out with these $17 Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick, and I’m a huge fan. They’re extremely comfortable and don’t feel drying at all, which is so rare when it comes to matte lip products. The formula actually reminds me a bit of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cremes.

When applied they’re quite liquid-y and can even bleed a little, so I would use them with a lip liner to prevent that.

Compared to matte liquid lipsticks from brands like Anastasia and Colourpop before, these are quite different. While those formulas remain full-on GLUED to your lips, which some people like, but some people also hate, these can be easily removed and don’t feel so…claustrophobic. In turn, that does mean that they aren’t quite as bulletproof of some of the other liquid lipsticks out there.

Once they dry down to their matte finish, though, they do stay put.

Here’s the kiss test…

meet matt(e) hughes liquid lipstick

Kiss test using “Adoring”

As you can see, they aren’t completely budge-proof, but they are long wearing! (Side note: Why couldn’t I make kiss marks that looked that cute and not like the squid tentacle prints I made when I was busy sending almost every boy in my 5th grade class a “Do you like me? Check yes or no” note?)

I love the color selection too. There’s mostly everything you need, aside from possibly a purple, but I don’t think a lot of people will really miss that though.

meet matt(e) hughes liquid lipstick


meet matt(e) hughes liquid lipstick


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Urban Decay Is Back in Wonderland With the 2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Collection

Published in: Collections, Guest Post, Makeup, Urban Decay

urban decay alice in wonderland palette

“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”
~ Lewis Carroll

looking-glass-manThose are some inspiring words, and they’re words that UD also uses to describe the new limited edition $60 Alice Through the Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette and $18 Lipsticks, sequels to Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows. With an emphasis on individuality and embracing the things that make us different, this collection is for the beauty risk-takers!

The Alice Through The Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette ($60)

urban decay alice in wonderland

The gorgeous, intricate box hides the slide-out eyeshadow palette

Even with the neon kaleidoscope eyeshadow colors, I didn’t find the palette difficult to wear. I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the shadow formula, and that’s open to interpretation, but I will say that the best-performing eyeshadows also happen to be the ones that matter the most. I think it says a lot about the palette’s wearability that I was able to come up with an Alice-themed look on my first try!

urban decay alice in wonderland

urban decay alice in wonderland

There are enough smokier neutrals, along with a trio of terrific matte blending shades, to bring harmony to the bright and quirky shades.


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