Monday, November 12, 2018

Essie Urban Jungle

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Ours was pretty chill, we mostly hung out at home and did a few errands. Definitely not ready for it to be so cold! In fact, our boiler wasn't even working at school today so we had NO heat and we were all freezing. Hoping it will be fixed soon.

For today's nails I put on one of my favorite Essie polishes in the shade Urban Jungle. This creamy off white color always looks so good. It also makes a great base for nail art or glitter. I went with glitter, using Cirque Colors Halcyon. How pretty is this combo?!

Have a great week and STAY WARM!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Nails

Hey everyone! It's Halloween week which means I can use my pumpkin stamping plate from Born Pretty Store. They sent this to me complimentary to review a few weeks ago and I was waiting for now to use it.

Now I wouldn't consider myself the greatest at stamping, but I've definitely had some stamping plates work better than others and this was one of them. My black polish stamped so nicely with this plate and the image came out perfect each time. Although I just used Essie Say It Ain't Soho a couple weeks ago, I knew it would make the perfect orange base for this mani. Btw, I only used one coat here to reach full opacity!

There are a ton of other great Halloween stamping plates on and, even though Halloween is this week, you can order something fun for next year! When you place an order with BPS make sure you use my discount code ASYW10 for 10% off!



Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided for my honest review by the Born Pretty Store. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fountain of Truth Beauty Review

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Yesterday we ran some errands and treated ourselves to all you can eat sushi (our favorite). Today I'm definitely planning on doing some Halloween nails and maybe getting some baking in.

Today I'm sharing my Fountain of Truth Voxbox that I recently received from Influenster. I'm always down to try some new skincare products as we head into colder weather so I was really excited to try these out. Influenster is an online community of consumers who give reviews on products and experiences. If you are active on the site, Influenster may invite you to participate in their VoxBox programs, where members receive complimentary products to review.

I had never heard of Fountain of Truth, so I did a little research into the brand and found out it was founded by Giuliana Rancic. It is a clean, anti-aging beauty line that is safe, effective, and luxurious. They have also made it a part of their mission to partner with FAB-U-WISH and The Pink Agenda in the fight against breast cancer. So far this brand sounds pretty awesome!

In my box I received the following products:

The Truth Insta Face-Lift Elixir
A light-weight treatment that can help your skin fight the visible signs of aging. Developed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this product claims to create a look of plumpness and volume. With continued use, skin's appearance will improve and take on more bounce and radiance.

How to use: Apply one pump over entire face and neck in both the morning & night.

The verdict: Love the twist up of the bottle cap - very cool and fun to use! The fragrance on this one was also a little strong for me. Kind of had a minty scent, which I'm not a big fan of. I haven't seen any immediate change in my skin, but will have to keep using to see if I notice anything.

Dream Cream Overnight Repair Mask
An overnight, transformative sleep cream that replenishes moisture and the appearance of fuller looking skin. Helps wake up your skin, making it appear smoother and brighter with a dreamy glow.

How to use: Massage a generous layer onto the face and neck. Leave overnight.

The verdict: Firstly, this stuff is THICK. It's difficult to blend into the skin because of how heavy it is. I honestly wouldn't recommend sleeping with it on because it will stick to everything. Maybe try it more as a wash of mask? I hate fragrances, so the herbal scent in this product was just a little much for me. I may give it another go in my dry areas during the winter.

Honey Glow Mask
This mask enhances and hydrates skin for a dewy, youthful appearance. The creamy, soft texture warms when massaged and will nourish and revitalize, for a glowing, smoother and softer appearance.

How to use: Apply a thick layer over the entire face. Massage for one to two minutes while it warms. Leave for 15-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

The verdict: It's no secret that I have sensitive skin, so when a product is "warming," it makes me a little nervous. For that reason, I made sure not to leave this on for the full 30 minutes. The texture is pretty thick upon application and has a pleasant, sweet honey scent. It smoothed out once I put it on and it was a little warming, but nothing irritating. My skin was super soft when I washed of the mask and felt hydrated. I plan on continuing to use this once a week.

Overall my favorite product was the Honey Glow Mask. The fragrance in the other two were just a tad bit strong for me. The packaging on all of the products is beautiful and looks great sitting out in the bathroom. I'm going to continue using these products and see how they perform in the winter when my skin needs the most help.

Have a great week!


Disclosure: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Essie Fall for NYC

Hey everyone! How was your week? I came down with a cold so I'm actually home sick today trying to kick this thing.

I was able to get my hands on Essie Fall for NYC, part of their fall 2018 collection. I never thought I'd want a mustard yellow creme, but when I saw it on Instagram I knew I needed it. I have to say the new wider brushes on Essie polishes are great! The formula on this one was also super easy to work with and I reached opacity in two coats.

I used nail stencils for the leaves with Essie Say It Ain't Soho. The glitter accent is Julep Autumn.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Leaves Nails

Hi everyone! I feel like I haven't posted in forever. Things have felt kind of overwhelming with school and, even though I've been painting my nails, I just haven't had time to take photos/write about them! Since we have a 3 day weekend I promised myself I would make time.

We went apple picking yesterday at Ochs Orchard in Warwick, NY. They had a huge variety of apple trees and other fun things to pick as well! I actually brought my nail polish color in my purse to take pictures of my nails in front of an apple tree. I might have looked a little weird but the photos were so worth it!

For our apple picking day I wanted to do some fun nail art. I started with Zoya Tawny, a deep rose/red copper that is packed with shimmer. For my middle and ring fingers I started with a base of OPI Tickle My France-y and then went in with a leaves design from this stamping plate from Born Pretty Store. Here's how I did it: I used a dark red polish as my stamping color and got the image onto the stamper. I quickly took Zoya Tawny on a small detail brush and painted over the leaves, giving the design a more dimensional look. I really love how it came out!

How pretty are the mums in that last photo? I just love fall! 


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Essie Say It Ain't Soho

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? I loved how much cooler the weather was and enjoyed wearing some of my fall clothes (and shopping for a few more). I also picked up one color from the new Essie fall 2018 collection. The other color I want, Fall for NYC, wasn't available in the store so I'll have to keep looking for it.

The shade I grabbed is Say It Ain't Soho and I knew I wanted this color as soon as I saw it on Instagram. I would describe it as a metallic burnt orange - absolutely perfect for fall. It's so different from anything else I have and I know I'll be wearing it over and over. Did you pick up any colors from Essie's new fall collection?

Hope you have a great week!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Zoya Hera

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? We had a date night on Saturday, which included seeing Crazy Rich Asians and a delicious dinner at a new Cuban place in Jersey City. The movie was so good! I'm started reading the book last night because I loved it so much.

For my nails today I knew I wanted to use Zoya Hera, a dusty rose creme that is the perfect transition shade for summer into fall. I even painted my toes with it! For a little sparkle I went for a ruffian manicure, placing just a touch of Cirque Colors Halcyon around the base of my nails. If you're ever looking for an easy way to get chic nails, I highly suggest this kind of look. It works with pretty much any color combo.

I'm trying out some new positioning when I take my nail photos. What do you think?
Hope you have a great week!


Monday, September 3, 2018

Back to School Nails

Hey everyone! After a nice long weekend it's time to accept the end of summer :( Tomorrow we go back to school and I have a new group of 22 second graders. I'm excited and a little nervous as always, but I know it will be all good!

Every year since I started teaching I've done a back to school apple mani, and my fifth year is no different. This year I used Essie Gel Couture in the shade Flashed, which is an orange-leaning red that is super bright and glossy. You obviously use any red you have in your collection for this mani! I pulled out my sparkly Julep Stephanie for the apple and I think it came out so cute.

For all my fellow teachers I hope you have a great school year!



Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sephora Color Hit Scandalous Look

Hey everyone! So sorry it's been a few weeks. As you may already know, we were away in Italy for and then I came right back into getting ready for the school year. I finally have some time this weekend to sit down and write about my nails!

While we were in Italy I had to stop in a Sephora to see if it was different from our Sephora in the states. There were definitely some products I haven't seen here and most importantly, nail polish! A few years ago Sephora here discontinued their nail polish line, but I found them in Italy and apparently these Color Hit polishes are sold in other countries as well.

There were a lot of colors to choose from, but I limited myself to three. The one I'm sharing today is a purple shade called Scandalous Look. In the sunlight this almost had a duo chrome effect, shifting a bit blue. It's super pretty! While the tiny egg shaped bottle is adorable, I did find the brush a little tricky to use. Despite this, the formula was easy to work with and I reached opacity in two coats.

I'm sure the other two colors I bought will make an appearance soon. Have a great long weekend!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Gradient Dotticure

Hey everyone! Hope you've been having a good week. It's super hot here so I've kind of been staying inside and getting ready for Italy.

I decided to do one more fun mani before we go away. I knew I wanted to use Julep Francine, a seagrass iridescent chrome packed with shimmer. I started grabbing other polishes with a similar finish to create a gradient dotticure. I chose Alex, Aphrodite, and Pepper.

Doing a gradient dotticure is super easy as long as you have some sort of dotting tool. You don't even need a fancy nail one! You can just use the end of a bobby pin. The next step is creating various sizes of dots, focusing on going from larger to smaller. You can start your design at the tip of the nail like I did, or you can go in the other direction starting at the cuticle.

I love this look and I already have ideas for other colors I want to try it with! I won't be posting again for about two weeks while I'm away, but you can see some of our Italy experiences on my personal Instagram account: @brookessunshine



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Nails Inc. Holler-Graphic

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? We spent a long weekend in Montauk with the husband's family and enjoyed our time out in the sun and of course eating lots of good seafood. I'm going to be super busy this week doing laundry from the beach and then preparing for our big Italy trip! We'll be gone for two weeks, so I'll probably only post one more time before we go.

I was placing a Sephora order last week and noticed that the Nails Inc. Holler-Graphic collection was discounted and decided to order the shade Get Out of My Space. It's described as a full-coverage lilac purple holographic glitter with a 3D rainbow effect. I have to say that I love seeing mainstream companies putting out holo polishes. Here I applied two coats to reach full opacity.

Not bad Nails Inc! I would say that some of my indie polishes blow me away more with their holo effect, but I do think this color is super pretty. Have a great week!



Monday, July 30, 2018

Essie Gel Couture Touch Up

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? We celebrated the husband's birthday with our families at a great pizza place called Blue Eye's in Hoboken. Everyone came back to our apartment after dinner for cake, which I made myself. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my creation, but if not here it is!

I had a couple of bad nail breaks recently that are still not fully grown out, but I wanted to try some new polish so I painted them anyway. We're going to Italy in TWO WEEKS for our honeymoon! And I've been stumped on what I'm going to do with my nails because we'll be away for 12 days. I've heard great things about Essie's Gel Couture line in terms of formula and lasting power, so I picked up two shades and the top coat. If all goes well, both colors will come with me on the trip.

Today I tried the shade Touch Up, which is a pretty soft mauve creme. This color looked beautiful in the bottle but even more so on the nails. Let's talk first about the formula/brush. I absolutely LOVE the brush on this gel couture line! It's a wider brush than in their regular polish and almost covers my whole nail in one stroke. The formula for this color was perfect - not too thick or thin and I achieved opacity in two easy coats.

Since this is going to be a tip wear test, but I wanted to do some nail art, I used ILNP Pink Mimosa on the lower half of my nails. I think the two colors go together beautifully. Finally I topped off the look with the Gel Couture top coat. We'll see how it holds up this week and then I'll report back!

What polishes have you used while traveling? Hoping this will be the one!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Mini Chevron Nails

Hey everyone! How was your week? I've been getting out to the pool more now that it's not disgustingly hot. I'm also getting some final details worked out for our big honeymoon trip to Italy in August. We're so excited! Wish me luck with packing, though.

I was looking back at some old photos for inspiration and came across this cute mini chevron look I did two years ago with Julep Lillian and Kris.

I decided to recreate with a different color combination. This time I used Butter London Molly Coddled, a bright orchid creme, and ILNP Paige for the chevrons. Isn't that pretty?! I can think of so many fun color combos I want to try this with.

Have a great weekend!