OPI Glitter Off Natural Nail Base Coat

OPIGlitterOff1I started researching peelable base coats awhile back because even though I love glitter nail polishes, they’re really more trouble than they’re worth to get off your nails. The feeling of cotton balls catching on glitter bits while you try to scrub them off just makes my skin crawl. Ech. I shuddered just typing it.

Anyhow, Essence and OPI seemed to make the most noteworthy ones, and using Mark’s Amazon Prime, I ordered the OPI’s version. Why these things aren’t readily available in regular stores I just don’t know. Ugh.

Even though it looks white and goopy, it actually dries clear on the nail. ALSO – If you have spare nail polish bottles laying around, the main ingredients in this stuff is basically two parts Elmer’s glue and one part water. I haven’t personally tried that concoction but I’ve seen a few DIYs on the internet that show it works just as good as the ones made by actual nail polish companies. OPIGlitterOff2This was with one coat of the base coat. Make sure you let the base coat dry completely before you apply the nail polish. I waited a full day before trying to peel off the Zoya Pixie Dust polish (one of my least favorite to remove but a favorite to wear). I used a cuticle pusher toward the base of my nail bed and it started to peel up very easily. It still took some doing toward the end. You can see that it came off in bits instead of one really satisfying piece like I’d hoped. There were still a few glittery spots clinging to the edge of my nails that made for easy cleanup. As you can see, my nail is free of 99% of the polish but they do look dry. Rub some cuticle oil/cream or argan oil on and they’re just fine. OPIGlitterOff3This was with two layers of the base coat. I only waited a few hours before trying to remove it because I’m impatienttttt, so keep that in mind when comparing the results. It was much easier to get the nail polish off with two layers underneath. See how it’s all bunched up and gummy looking? It just balled up as I pushed instead of flipping up like a scale on the first try. I think the best way is just to do a very thick single layer of the base coat instead of two.

ETA: OKAY here’s a quick update. This base coat does not hold up well if your hands are spending a lot of time in warm water. The polish just slides off intact when I’m washing my hair or if I take a bath. So take that as you will. If you like to bathe/wash your hair, watch your nails. It’s weird, but I actually just put a thin base coat on and then put the intact polish back on. It was like putting on a fake nail. Nails are weird.

I worried that the removable quality of the base coat would make the polish itself not stay as well, but so far that hasn’t been the case. I’m really excited about the prospect of wearing my glitter polishes more without totally dreading the removal process the entire time. I’m gonna sparkle so hard.

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Winter Skin Solutions

According to about 90% of beauty blogs, magazines, etc., I’m not alone in suffering from flaky, dry, dull skin during the winter months. My dreams of looking like a baby vampire are never far from my mind, so my skin can be reigned in for the most part now that I treat it right. Things like cold winter air and unforgiving car heaters can throw a wrench in it though. This collection of products are what I’m using the combat my winter skin.


Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask // This isn’t my favorite mask of all time (I’ll explain why in a second), but when my skin needs hydrating, this calms and soothes while moisturizing. You apply a generous amount like a regular mask and then you’re supposed to let it absorb in for 10-15 minutes before wiping off the excess/rubbing it in. It starts with a thick, creamy consistency that has that fresh clary sage smell, but it’s the excess/rubbing in part that always gets me. I feel like it doesn’t come all the way off or absorb completely, and what’s leftover is more waxy than creamy. Sometimes I’ll apply a thinner layer 30 minutes before bed and just leave it on to sleep.

boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel // When my skin’s already dry, the last thing I want to do is use a cleanser that’s going to leave my face feeling tight and awful. This oil-gel cleanser smells like roses and can remove light makeup/everyday grime without stripping natural oils. I love how popular oils and oil cleansers have become because they really are wonderful, even for people with oily or combination skin.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil & Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil // Did I mention I love oils? Here, have some more oil love talk. I add three-four drops of the 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil to my regular Cetaphil in the morning to give myself a boost of moisturizing power during the day. I save the Creamy Oil for my evening routine. On top of being good for my skin, I’ve also been able to add them to my nail and hair regimen. I’m so happy I saved up the 500 Beauty Point things at Sephora and got the Josie Maran deluxe sample set.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask // Sleeping masks are great because you can just wake up looking great. This one is amazing because it helps seal in your nighttime moisturizer while adding its own benefits. It has hyaluronic acid macromolecule (one of my favorite acids!) for hydration and nine essential oils that smell amazing and promote a feeling of comfort and restfulness (or so they say).

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask // This is the one I’m on the fence about. I included it because I am currently using it because my lips suffer most during winter. It has great reviews and it does feel good when I apply it before bed (after exfoliating gently), but I just don’t feel like it’s the holy grail of lip masks I read about. A little goes a long way, but it’s way too expensive (I had a coupon and was desperate). I hope it comes back and surprises me. To be fair, my chapped mouth is 70% from biting and licking my lips subconsciously and less from chronic dryness, so any improvement is quickly chewed away.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil for Hair, Body & Face // I’m less a fan of this particular dry oil and more a proponent of any sprayable dry oil. My legs just absolutely kill and itch and burn after a shower in the winter even if I don’t shave (which is basically never at this point in my life – freedom!), but if I spray this on before I hop into the shower, my leg skin is less itchy and sad afterwards. I don’t really advocate this particular one for hair and face, but for a body oil, it smells good and doesn’t feel greasy. Works as a great moisture barrier to keep shower water from leeching any hydration from my legs!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater // My love! This isn’t just for winter, but since it’s a big part of my skin care year round now, it wouldn’t be fair to leave it out. When I first wake up, I spritz this on before applying my morning moisturizer. Skin is most receptive when it’s damp, so if I haven’t conveniently just stepped out of the shower, this is the best alternative. It smells lovely and feels so refreshing, plus it can be used to set or refresh makeup as well. Would recommend for everyone forever.

P.S. Today is my birthday! I’m actually writing this the day before my birthday, but it’ll publish when I’m hitting the insignificant 2-7. I really love my birthday (and birthdays in general) and I always try to keep with the idea that getting older isn’t something to be scared of, especially the notion that you need to be at a certain place in life by a certain time. Between older friends and family, I have so many fantastic examples of how age is not a limiter in any way, and it may seem silly to be thinking about it so much when I’m only 27, but I also know how terrifying it is for a lot of people my age (and younger!) to think about growing older. Sometimes when I’m eating boxed and cheese in my onesie cat pajamas, I can’t believe that I’m considered an adult at all. I don’t even know what I’m rambling about any more, but happy birthday to me and any other December babbies!

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Wedding Weekend Outfits

This past weekend Mark and I went to his sister’s wedding and man do I love weddings. I love getting dressed up, I love dancing, I love food, and I’m kind of a sap when it comes to romantic stuff. I have a hard time not tearing up during first dances and such. Because I have a deep love of outfit planning, I couldn’t miss the chance to put together a little collage of potential outfits (and by potential I mean pretty much what I wore for the weekend). RehearsalDinner

Casual Rehearsal Dinner Outfit:

Printed Blouse // High-Waisted Black Jeans // Gold Belt // Grey Bow Heels // Sparkly Nail Polish // Matte Pink Lipstick


Wedding Guest Outfit:

Floral Dress // Gold Belt // Gold Heels // Cream & Gold Clutch // Sparkly Nail Polish // Fuchsia Matte Lip Pencil

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Starting Over



I’m so bad about doing these kinds of posts (I’m sorry to anyone who’s ever nominated me for something like this and I didn’t do it), but I really like the idea of this one. Thank you for tagging me, Cruelty Free Me! The premise is that all of your makeup,cosmetics/skincare are gone and you have to start over with 16 items. It sounded like a big number at first, but once I started thinking about skincare and tools, I was very quickly running out of space in my theoretical make-up bag.

The last few years, I’ve tried to be much more discerning about how much clothing, makeup, etc. I buy. That doesn’t mean I’m an angel with total self control, but I’m better than I used to be! And I’ve thrown out or donated a ton of stuff in the quest to have only pieces and cosmetics that I consistently use.

That’s why this post idea was so appealing, because it made me think even more about which of my products I consider my all-time dream team.

  1. Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ // Even though foundations might give fuller coverage, I like the multi-tasking nature and skin care benefits of this BB Cream. It leaves my skin moisturized and dewy, can be built up depending on the need and it has SPF. It matches my skin tone very well and gives me a finished look without being cakey.
  2. NARS Copacabana Illuminator // All-time favorite illuminator. The pink, pearly color goes great with fair skin and can be used either to highlight or mixed into my base for an overall illuminating effect. Since my face is dry, the liquid medium melts into my skin without accentuating dry patches.
  3. NARS Blush in Orgasm // Number one blush. It gives me a great, natural looking flush that I can leave subtle or go a little heavier on (although I don’t because I want to look like a baby vampire). The fact that it’s peachy AND gold is the best because I loooove gold. Gold forever.
  4. Essie Nail Polish in Merino Cool // It’s no secret that I love grurples and greiges, and this is probably my favorite. It was a close tie between this one and Master Plan. I like that it’s a little darker while still coming off neutral. Nice and versatile.
  5. Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes // I hope this one isn’t cheating since it’s technically four brushes, but they all came together as a collection! I wish it had an eye brush, but I usually apply eyeshadow with my fingers anyway. Since I really want my base to look finished, the foundation brush, concealer brush, blush brush and buffer brush definitely make the cut. The quality is great and they can be used for so many different product applications.
  6. Sonia Kashuk Crease Brush // The only eye brush I’ll ever love. I got it at Target and it’s the best crease brush ever. Since I usually just put some color on my lid and a nude color to my browbone, blending out that crease is important. I don’t want a weird, blocky eyelid. The bristles are soft and doesn’t pull on my lid when I do the back and forth blending stroke.
  7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner // I don’t go for dramatic or elaborate eyeshadow. When it comes to eyes, the cat eye is my go to, and for that I need a fine-point, long-lasting liner. I have a pretty steady hand since I do cat eyeliner a lot, but the extra fine point makes it so much easier to get the thickness and control I want. Love love love.
  8. MAC Culturalized Eyeshadow Duo (Brule & Retrospeck) // Gold is my favorite color next to black. This duo has great texture and little fallout, not to mention that the two shades compliment each other very well. I just slap on the gold (Retrospeck) on my lid and blend out with the light beige (Brule). Retrospeck isn’t a brassy gold which is a plus. I use it for a highlight on the center of my bottom lip sometimes because I love it so much.
  9. Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara // What can I say? It gets my lashes long, thick and few to no clumps. It’s super black and the brush is great at getting right into the root some I get awesome coverage all the way through. Two coats of this and my eyelashes are brushing my eyebrows. For everyday I just wear one coat because it gets dramatic pretty quick.
  10. L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara // If I’m going swimming or I’m gonna be crying, this is my jam. My eyelashes look thick and amazing and they don’t don’t budge!
  11. bareMinerals READY Touch Up Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Translucent // For the most part, my skin is very dry, but my t-zone can get a little oily at the end of the day. This finishing powder is the best for touching-up, mattifying lipstick AND setting makeup. It doesn’t leave my skin powdery or strange looking.
  12. Cetaphil Moisturizer // No fancy moisturizer has been able to usurp my love of Cetaphil. When I first went to the dermatologist, this is what they recommended for my dry, flaking, red, sensitive skin. It was a mess. But after a week or so of gentle cleansing and this moisturizer, my skin is so manageable. It has no scent and is pretty thick. I usually buy the store brand tub of Cetaphil and then pipe it into a squeeze bottle so that I’m not dipping my grubby little hands into the moisturizer every day. Cuts down on germs and breakouts!
  13. Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser // I only wash my face at night because otherwise it dries out my skin to the point of irritation. Since my skin is so reactive and annoying, having a gentle cleanser that won’t strip my skin of oils is very important to me. Cetaphil makes a good one, but Yes to Cucumbers’s leaves my skin feeling less tight and uncomfortable. I buy it again and again.
  14. Nip + Fab Glycolic Peel Pads // Exfoliating with grainy scrubs tears my skin up, so when it’s time to get radiant, flake-free skin, I go the chemical exfoliation route. These pre-soaked glycolic acid pads are the easiest way to keep my complexion from getting dull and rough-looking. They also have hyaluronic acid which help moisturize as well!
  15. Nars Lipstick in Tolede // Man oh man the lipstick was hard. I would have a horrible time living with only one or two lipsticks. The first one I picked was Nars’s Tolede because it’s a beautiful rose color and I can wear it with anything. It’s very classic and just so nice. I wear it a lot and I never feel overdone.
  16. Revlon Lipstick in Really, Really Red // If I can only have a few things, I could never forget a red lipstick. Really, Really Red is really, really lovely and I always feel amazing when I wear it. Its matte finish makes it longer lasting, and I just happen to think that matte is a very sophisticated finish.

Whoof. As I was writing those I realized how hard it would be. I didn’t choose any brow products, concealer, perfume, face masks… so many things I love but couldn’t quite fit! Oh well.


OCC Black Dahlia Nail Polish


It doesn’t feel like fall will be here soon, but I figured painting my nails dark burgundy couldn’t hurt. It’ll help me forget that I live in Texas and it’s totally normal to have it still reaching 100 degrees in September.

Now, I love the color of this, but I will admit that the formula isn’t the greatest which is disappointing given that OCC is a little higher end. By the second day I had one or two chips, and it was easy enough to touch them up and reapply a top coat, but normally I don’t have to do that until day four or five. I needed two coats for it to be totally opaque, but that’s pretty standard. Overall it has average performance and needs a tough topcoat or regular touch-ups.




These pictures are from day four after touching up the tips, so they’re a little grown out. Thanks Biotin for making my nails grow weirdly fast. I feel like I apologize for my dry cuticles in every nail post, and I’m going to do it again. I’ve been using Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil and they look good after, but I haven’t been diligent about using it. One day I’ll have soft, barely there cuticles.

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