Guest Post: Ombre Nail Tutorial

My awesome book blogger buddy Ana @ BeachBumReads joined in on a new Monday meme (themed post) called Manicure Monday. Her ombre mani is gorgeous and I've always wanted to learn how to do it. Ana was kind enough to make us a video of how she did her gorgeous mani and even threw in some birds to complete the look.

Have you tried doing an ombre mani? I'll make sure to do a follow up post when I attempt it!

February 2013 Starlooks

I got my February Starlooks box today! There is a lot of pink in the box this month if you couldn't tell. The only thing that isn't pink is the lip gloss, which is purple-ish, but named Pink Oasis.

Curated by Lauren Clark
Gel Liner
HD Blush - This is INSANELY pigmented
Lip Gloss
Lip Pencil
L to R: HD Blush, Lip Pencil, Lip Gloss, Gel Liner
After trying to wash it off. I had to SCRUB the blush and gel liner off and both didn't fully remove. The crazy thing is I used a tiny drop of the HD blush

L'Oreal Paris Magic BB Cream

I was so excited to finally get to try a BB Cream. I received the L'Oreal Magic BB Cream from SheSpeaks for free in exchange for an honest review. The Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream comes in 4 different shades, Fair, Light, Medium and Deep. I originally requested Light, but it turned out that shade was slightly too dark for my skin tone. SheSpeaks sent me Fair and it matched beautifully.

Price: $10.95
Size: 1 fl oz
Shades: Fair, Light, Medium, Deep
Where to buy: Mass food and drug retailers nationwide

The BB Cream says it will give a sheer coverage that looks like a natural bare skin finish while delivering built-in skincare benefits. It is supposed to prime and smooth, hide flaws, hydrates all day and corrects/evens skin. The 24 hour moisturization comes from being infused with Panthenol, Vitamin E and Glycerin.

When first applying the BB Cream I was slightly worried, the color it comes out as is a white tinged gray color. Once you move it around a little bit with your fingers it quickly turns colors.

This is when first squeezed out of the tube. You only need a little bit to cover a lot of skin.
After smoothing it out fully you can barely see it on my skin.

I applied L'Oreal Magic BB Cream first thing in the morning and took a picture of it that night. It held up flawlessly. I highly suggest this if you're wanting to try out BB Cream.
Disclosure: I received this product free from SheSpeaks and L'Oreal in exchange for an honest review.

This review was first posted on

Sephora Eyelash Accessories

In December I tried applying false eyelashes with cheap glue and my fingers. It did not turn out well. So I ordered the tweezer-like unitasker specifically for eyelashes as well as the Duo adhesive (in dark). I'm managing my expectations because I'm almost certain I'm the problem, not the glue ;)

There was a clearance sale going on so I also grabbed a tube of lipstick in "chocolate" for something like $3.

And then on my way home from the airport last weekend I also found a pair of Ardell Accent lashes for under $3 on clearance at Target.

Here's the finished product, and my first real attempt at wearing false eyelashes for a night out:

They're not on perfectly but they look a hell of a lot better than my other attempts. I think its because these are half/accent lashes instead of full lashes. 

I'll definitely be using this look again as well as the unitasker and the Duo glue.

Anya's February Birchbox


Here's what was in my Birchbox this month:
  • Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel SQUARES
  • twistband™ Headband Collection
  • Juicy Couture Couture La La 3.4oz
  • Ojon volume advance™ Thickening Spray
  • Color Club Fiesta Collection

Obviously the first thing I "tried" was the Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel square. It was very good.

Given how much I like the twistband-type hair ties, I was thrilled to get a headband by the same brand. It's a very pretty color too. And goes well with my red hair. The headband is comfortable for hours.

I spritzed the Juicy Couture Couture La La on a stick at Sephora last week and wasn't a fan. But like most of the Juicy Couture, this goes on nicer. I'm sure I'll use up the sample although I doubt I'll buy any of it.

I haven't tried the Ojon spray. As usual, if its awesome, I'll post another entry about it. But I'm pleased with the size of this bottle.

As for the Color Club polish, it's a nice red. Goes on pretty well in one coat. I did one finger to photograph...and then forgot to photograph it. Sorry :/

Julep Cupid's Mystery Box


After the last Julep mystery box came with tons of products and some sweet polishes, it was a no-brainer to order the latest box -- Cupid's Mystery Box.

It claimed it would come with at least four Valentine's Day colors plus a mystery holographic or a gift code for the color of my choice. They said I might get a VISA gift card and maybe jewelry by Baublebar. All for $19.99.

What I got in the box was five colors and a product, "Lip Vernis" in a pale pink color called "Camellia" (one I'll never use).

As well as the following nails:

  • Emma (silvery glitter)
  • Evangeline (pumpkin holo)
  • Charlotte (lavender)
  • Maya (pearly shimmer)
  • Rose (red)

Swatches of these colors shown in order left to right and on the lovely wrapping paper I got from my favorite Welsh authors:

X&D Nail Foils

X&D Nail Foils
Price: $0.99 + Free Shipping
Where to buy: ebay (China)

The application process is the same as Sally Hansen, though the nail "foils" aka stickers are more sticker-like than polish strips. They are pretty, but I doubt they will last long on my nails. I'll update to tell how long they last.


Piper Polish - Flash Mob

I've always had my eyes on holographic nail polishes but never bought one. I finally took the plunge and decided to go with an Indie nail polish company on Etsy.

Piper Polish Co.
Color: Flash Mob
Price: $10.75 + $2.50 shipping
Size: 15ml

Needless to say, I'm in love with it.

Onto the pictures!

Without flash
With flash
Close up with flash

Julep February Box - Bombshell


For this month I switched up my style profile from my polish-heavy "It Girl" because I wanted this month's product. I also really wanted a holo so I picked "Bombshell"

Here's what came in my box:
  • Oxygen Nail Treatment
  • Ginger (beige holographic) 
  • Laura (olive creme)
  • EXTRA - Freedom Polymer Topcoat
  • EXTRA - Eye lash curler
  • EXTRA - Candy hearts ;)
A closer look at the products:

I pre-ordered the Freedom Top Coat back in December so I already had an open bottle. It's not bad. I don't think its worth the extra money beyond other salon-type top coats. It doesn't set particularly fast ( it suggests you wait 5 minutes). And it has chipped within days. Definitely not gel-like as it promises. But it does have a nice glossy finish.

I've yet to try the Oxygen treatment because it suggest you not use it with any other polish and I was too eager to try out the holographic polish. As always, if I find the oxygen treat is amazing, I'll dedicate an entire post to it :)

A closer look at the polishes:

A closer look at the lash curler:

To be honest I've never really understood this whole lash curling concept.

Here are a few shots of the polishes. I usually do at least a few nails with only 1 coat but I forgot this time around. The olive creme did well with only one coat. The holo needed at least two. The holo nails in the photo have three coats (two coats, polymer on top of it and then another coat of holo). 

The holographic effect on this polish isn't quite as noticeable as the Layla Hologram Effect polish I showed a few months back. That said, I like the color on this polish. It's a nice neutral, understated holographic that will be really nice in the warm summer months.

Here's a (poor) video of it: