Today I discovered the mystical golden unicorn of the nail world. After almost 4 years of struggling to find a Cleveland based nail technician that can complete a pristine mani/pedi combo in under 2 hours without drawing blood, I found her. She actually exists! Her name is Sandy and she is spectacular.
All joking aside, a talented nail technician who you trust is high up there on the list of things every woman should have in her life… right behind an amazing hair stylist and a thorough and efficient (because no one wants to be on THAT table longer than necessary!) waxing specialist.
The modern woman’s glam squad.
Sandy managed to be speedy on application, yet meticulous in technique at the same time. In under 90 minutes I walked out of the nail salon with perfectly polished tips and toes and a new appreciation for quality handiwork. There was no aggressive cuticle hacking and no rough edges — only the most flattering spring-ready shades of taupe I would have never picked on my own.
Which brings us to today’s post… While unfortunately I can’t send Sandy directly to you, I CAN pass along some of her spring color selection wisdom as well as some of the other spring runway nail polish shades that are going to be your new favorites!
Did you notice PANTONE’s 2016 COLORS OF THE YEAR peeking through? You’ll be seeing a ton of Pink Quartz + Serenity Blue making their appearance in everything beauty, fashion and decor!
Sandy helped me pick really clean and easy neutrals for my own mani/pedi situation. We went with OPI Tiramisu for Two on my hands (#1) — I used the longer lasting gel formula. It’s a really pretty opaque, pinky beige, best described as the color of coffee with a lot of cream! On my toes, she recommended going slightly darker with, OPI A French Quarter For Your Thoughts (#9). I would describe it as a warm grey with purply, taupe undertones.
Do YOU have any favorite nail polish colors for spring?!
Every now and again, I get an e-mail or blog comment asking about my hair care routine and products. It’s always a good day when that happens because honestly, I stink at hair… and I’m lazy… but mostly I stink at hair.
Any good hair days can be attributed to a few key products, easy styling techniques picked up from You Tube tutorials (THIS ONE is my favorite for a textured lob like mine) and a great cut.
Today’s post is all about the hair care tools and products that I use on the reg… my go-tos.
•L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate Free Color-Care System — After years of going cheap on shampoo and conditioner, I discovered this really reasonably priced (like under $7 each!) product line from L’Oreal. Originally, I was looking for a sulfate-free formula that wouldn’t strip my hair of its natural oils — but hey, I’ll take some color protection! Take that, grey. My hair has never felt softer.
• Salon Care Alligator Clips — Great for sectioning while heat styling, or just throwing your hair back without those annoying creases or dents. One of those inexpensive beauty supply purchases that once you have, you can’t imagine going without!
• Chi Flat Iron — I’m not even going to divulge how long I’ve been using this iron. It’s the true OG. It still gives me the best and longest lasting waves.
• Davines This Is An Invisible No Gas Spray — One of the only hair sprays I’ve found that doesn’t leave my hair sticky, stiff or looking like a beauty pageant bouffant. The superfine mist gives even, light coverage with medium hold.
• Sachajuan Ocean Mist — When it comes to creating “lived in” texture on clean hair, nothing beats this spray. It’s the closest thing to beach hair I’ve been able to replicate and small, random fact… it’s a product used on J.Crew models both in print catalogs, as well as runway!
• Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream— This product gives me just the right amount of soft hold with the perfect halo of shine. This keeps my tousled lob from going too messy and gives a smooth blowout shiny bounce!
• Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Spray — With my workout schedule, I try to keep the hair washing to only 2-3x a week. In between washes, this dry shampoo spray works wonders, smells divine and leaves no white residue.
If you’ve used any of these goodies or decide to give them a try, I’d love to know what you think!
Like fashion, makeup is typically a seasonal type of thing. Summer months call for a sheer colors and a bronzed healthy glow, while the colder months generally incite deeper hues and cooler tones to match the mood of the season.
Santa arrived a bit early for me this year in a form of a lovely package from BORGHESE filled with products from their ECLISSARE product line. You might recall that this past summer I reviewed some of their SUMMER GLOW collection — and lived a bit of La Dolce Vita in the process. This time around, the luxury Italian makeup brand stayed true to the holiday season and sent me an assortment of products that would be a perfect fit for a classic holiday day or night.
I’m very pale, but you probably knew that already. I’m dark haired, fair skinned and “blessed” with pink/cool undertones and freckles that have been with me since childhood. My day-to-day makeup routine is pretty minimalist and focused on great skin and a healthy glow.
The FANGO PURIFICANTE CLAY CLEANSER has been such a nice addition to my evening beauty routine. It goes on smoothly like a mask, then tingles (that’s the best way to describe it?!) as the product is activated to smooth and clear congested skin and minimize pores. My skin was left feeling soft, clean and with a true glow to it — kind of like after you get a good facial. I found that after using it, I used less coverup and BB cream and my natural skin was generally more smooth and even toned.
I could see this product not being a great fit for those with overly sensitive skin (try the FANGO DELICATO for that!), but for combination or oily skin this was perfect. As a bonus, you could also use the product as a spot treatment for the occasional breakout!
Now, onto the PRIMA VISO FACE PRIMER! I don’t think I would use a primer for regular daytime wear (remember, I’m a minimalist!), but for a night out or a special occasion, when I really want my makeup to last — this primer was super. When I applied the primer, it had a slightly sticky consistency, but blended out easily and really smoothed out my pores and winter parched skin. Other primers I’ve tried in the past made my skin feel flaky and dry, but PRIMA VISO kept my skin flawless and hydrated all day long. Love, love, love.
Now that we’ve talked skin care and primer, let’s get to the good stuff: color.
If you’re a fan of the URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE, I would say this is a close cousin. In my opinion, I prefer the texture of the Borghese shadows to the Urban Decay ones. They seem to apply more evenly with less messy flaking and definitely grip the lid better for a longer lasting finish.
As you can see by the swatches, the colors are all pretty neutral overall and can be easily blended together to create a range of looks. My personal favorites were: Afterglow + Pulse — both shimmery rose gold hues that would be so pretty with a festive bright lip! Out There would make for a great smokey taupe eye in a shade that I think is softer and more flattering than the traditional charcoal smokey eye colors.
(Below is a blend of Afterglow, Pulse + Out There — in case you were curious!)
The shades were all long lasting, easy to apply and didn’t flake or crease. Creasing is my makeup nemesis. They glided onto my lids smoothly and added a soft shimmer that didn’t fade. I’ll definitely be using this palette for many seasons to come, as I really think there’s a color combination in there for any complexion and any style of makeup you want to try. The built in mirror and double ended brush were a nice bonus!
When applying eye makeup, I’m not one to go heavy on liner. I prefer a tight line as close to my lash line as possible, filling in any spaces between lashes with eyeliner in order to create the illusion of thicker, fuller lashes. The ECLISSARE COLOREDGE LINER made this task relatively easy with its smooth, glide color. The liner stayed on until it was time to take it off, at which time a bit of eye makeup remover did the trick!
My final step for eyes included a few swipes of SUPERIORE STATE-OF-THE-ART MASCARA. If you’re looking for dramatically long and lush lashes, this is probably not the product for you. The SUPERIORE STATE-OF-THE-ART MASCARA was a great clump-free defining mascara, that with a few swipes gave me the density and natural looking length I like. Again, the color was intense and stayed where it belonged — on my lashes and not on my face! It will definitely be a great daily wear option that I’ll be using going forward.
I posted the image above on INSTAGRAM a few days ago when I was playing around with the Borghese products. What you see in the image is the B MOISTURE LIPCOLOR in Grappa. In the tube the lipstick almost looked like a dark magenta, but I found that when applied it takes on more of a cool, berry-hued red. I added a dab of the ECLISSARE COLORGLOSS LIPCOLOR in Spark to the center of my bottom lip for a bit of added shine.
While the lipstick was smooth, creamy and moisturizing, I found the lipgloss to be tackier than most. That being said, it was also one of the longest lasting lip glosses I’ve ever tried. I literally had to take a baby wipe and rub it off — and even then, some of the shimmer was left behind. One of the reasons I don’t use lipgloss is that it comes off so quickly, so for me the tackiness is something I could overlook in order to achieve a longer lasting application.
Overall, Borghese hit a home run with this color/product collection. When I’m looking for a more dramatic makeup look, these are the products I want to have on hand. As you can see – this collection offers options for anyone whether they are a lipstick lover, eyeshadow lover… or both. Hello, holiday gift!? I’m quite impressed with the quality and packaging of the products themselves and I look forward to trying out more from the line.
Have you tried anything from Borghese?
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(Disclaimer:I was sent these products as a gift from Borghese. Any reviews, comments, etc. with regard to these products are my own, unbiased and honest. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Heart’s Delight possible!)
Isn’t it funny how people’s interpretation of beauty and style ebbs and flows with time?
For the past few years now, beauty has been all about the brow: thick, dark and groomed but in a non-precise way. CARA DELEVIGNE just might be the eyebrow poster child of 2015. She has brows that incite envy… yet, about 10-15 years ago those same brows would have been labeled unruly and overpowering.
Once thing we can all agree on is that a well-groomed and full brow is a sign of youthfulness and health.
#BrowsOnFleek — Wait, can I even say that!? Wow. That was slightly awkward for this old lady. What does fleek even mean?!
Kids these days…
No one likes those over plucked, sparse and drawn-on-with-a-pencil excuses for eyebrows. I’m far from a beauty expert, but I’ve dabbled in eyebrow grooming and I know what works, what looks good and what I like.
So today, I’m breaking the bold brow down step-by-step and hopefully these products, tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way will work for you too!
1. Fill Your Brows Before Plucking
This might sound weird and slightly backward, but trust me, it works. If you fill in your brow prior to breaking out the almighty TWEEZERMAN, you’ll be less likely to over pluck. Filling the brow allows he shape of your natural brow to look more defined, which luckily for us, will prevent us from going a little too crazy with the tweezers or wax.
A few brow filler favorites:
2. Brush Your Brows
Just like brushing your hair or teeth, brushing your brows should become a daily habit. By brushing all of those little hair upwards you not only soften any pencil/powder/gel lines you created (see step #1), you also further define your natural brow shape and prevent an over-plucking fiasco. Brushing will also allow you to take note of any unruly, extra-long hairs that stick out. Carefully trim those suckers to keep your eyebrows from looking like unruly caterpillars. Set your lovely newly-filled, brushed, trimmed and defined brows with a specialized gel, wax or even clear mascara.
Ok, I just learned about a new soon-to-be cult product that I need to share. Has anyone tried BOY BROWfrom GLOSSIER? I just ordered a tube based on the rave review I read HERE). I have pretty high expectations, especially because this seems like a small and self-contained 3-in-1 product. My kind of beauty product!
Other brow gels/waxes I like:
3. Tweezing Time
For this portion of our brow grooming, take your time and make sure you are set up in a well lit area — natural light is best!. A SLANTED TIP tweezer is highly recommended for grabbing those fine little hairs and make sure you pull quickly in the direction of growth. You should only be plucking below the brow and only those sparse hairs not in the areas you just filled, brushed and set (see steps #1 & #2).
Here are some great tools of the trade to make your tweezing as painless as possible:
It’s been quite a while since we talked nails. A quick look at my own reminded me that I’m probably due for some professional manicure love myself!
How awesome are all of the new formulas and colors lately? I feel like since the invention of gel light curing methods, nail care products have exploded. If you’re like me and the gel soaking removal process is a bit too much effort for you, how about those UV light and acetone soak-free weekly polishes that promise the shine and durability of a gel without the extra application and removal hassle? CND VINYLUX Weekly Polish (especially the TOPCOAT) is my favorite, by the way. You can read all about it HERE.
But back to the core of this post — the best nail colors for fall!
I’m definitely a “Fall/Winter” when it comes to nail colors. Give me some rich wines and deep burgundies; the darker the better! If I’m feeling a little “crazy” I might even go neutral taupe in my selection. I’m totally the annoying girl who takes 20 minutes to select a color in the nail salon. To keep you from joining my ranks, I’ve put together some of the absolute best nail colors for this season that will make your next mani/pedi color decisions a breeze.
I know that only a few days ago I was touting the feeling of fall just around the corner (you can check it out, HERE!), but in reality this is what will actually happen:
1) You’ll start planning out all of your cute fall outfits.
2) August and September will be total scorchers.
3) We’ll all sweat our butts off while pumpkin spice everything takes over our social media feeds.
“So where does summer skin fit into all of this?!” you might be asking…
Well, skin care is obviously important year round but especially so, during the summer when your skin is exposed more frequently to the outdoor elements and slathered in sunscreen (or at least should be), sweat, makeup and the occasional, grime. With at least another 8 weeks of summer in the books, it’s not too late to make your skin care a priority.
A few weeks ago, JURLIQUE surprised me with a package of some of their summer skin care essentials and as they say, timing is everything. I was finishing up some of my beauty/skincare staples and I was ready to mix it up a little. Although JURLIQUE provided me with these products to try, I’ve actually used Jurlique’s skin care line in the past and was truly excited to try out the Aussie brand again.
Have you guys used JURLIQUE before? I was initially attracted to the brand based on their long history (since 1985!) of using the healing properties of nature to create their skin care products. Their goal is to create the “purest most effective skin care on Earth” and clearly, I’m all over that.
Since I never promote any products or services that I wouldn’t use myself, I put JURLIQUE to the test and used the lotions and potions for a total of 3-weeks to get the full experience and results.
In the morning, I would apply the HERBAL RECOVERY ADVANCED SERUM to a clean face and let it sink in for a few minutes while brushing my teeth.The serum has a gel like texture and feels a little cool to the touch. Only a tiny pea size amount is really needed, so I can see a full size bottle going a long way! I’m not sure there was any anti-aging action going on, but I really liked the way the product made my skin feel – a little tighter and definitely refreshed. The product also had a light floral/herbaceous smell, which I personally like. I would say the only drawback, is the slight tacky nature of the serum, which personally didn’t bother me, but I thought I should throw it out there.
Next, I would give my face a spritz (or 3!) of the ROSEWATER BALANCING MIST and use my hands to press the cool spray into the skin. Now, THIS stuff is fantastic! The rose scent was so delicate and lovely and the fine mist again felt cool against my skin and left me feeling really awake. My combination skin just felt really hydrated without looking like an oil slick.
When motivated, I would gently dab a little of the HERBAL RECOVERY EYE CREAM onto the skin around the eyes. Again, it felt nice and smelled almost identical to the serum, although I’m not sure how much anti-aging it managed to accomplish on my mid-30’s fine lines.
I rounded out the morning routine with a bit of my regular day cream/moisturizer with SPF.
Typing this out, I know it seems like a whole process — it’s definitely not. I’m all for multitasking and quick and easy beauty routines and all in, this took me 3 minutes. Right up my alley.
In the evening before bed, I would cleanse my face, then repeat the morning process. Once a week, I took the plunge and applied the PURELY AGE DEFYING FIRMING TREATMENT MASK(it’s currently out of stock on the Jurlique website, but you can find itHERE).
Here’s the deal: if you live alone, you’re all good. However, if you have a significant other, spouse or small children, you may want to wait until you have a few minutes (10-15 is recommended) of “alone time” because you will flat out look like Hannibal Lecter (a.k.a scary) with this mask on your face. I may have permanently scarred my husband. I’m a skin mask novice, although these bad boys seem to be all the beauty rage these days. After smoothing out the pre-treated mask onto the skin of my face and neck, I understood why.
1) It absolutely feels weird, yet divine. There was a little bit of tingling as the treatment settled into my skin, but overall, it was a really pleasant, soothing feeling.
2) When I removed the mask, my skin felt tight, hydrated and absolutely glowing. It reminded me of how my skin looks and feels after a good facial.
3) The next morning, my undereye bags were slightly less puffy and I had a bit more au naturale radiance.
The final word on the PURELY AGE DEFYING TREATMENT MASK is that I would 100% use this again as a weekly treat. Each mask is packaged individually so they’d be easy to travel with as well.
When I think of summer beauty, the words easy, effortless and natural come to mind.
You know, those girls with that sun-kissed glow that appear well-rested and fresh off a Mediterranean luxury vacation aboard their billionaire beau’s yacht?! Since we can’t all can’t vacation like the Italian socialite girlfriend of a Russian oil tycoon, we can at least get glowing in the privacy of our own homes. So when Borghese sent me some of their luxury makeup to try out, I jumped at the chance to start living la dolce vita!
If you’re not familiar with BORGHESE cosmetics and skincare, it’s a beauty brand rooted in a heritage dating back to the 14th century when people used to seek out the healing waters of the Tuscan earth for their health, beauty and skincare needs. They fuse modern technology with organic and botanical ingredients for the ultimate in anti-aging skincare and luxurious color cosmetics.
In layman’s, non-marketing terms, BORGHESE‘s goal is not to make you look like someone else, just a better version of you. THIS I can get on board with… and if by small chance I start to resemble a young Sophia Loren, I would not be upset by that. AT ALL.
The folks at Borghese sent me an assortment of products from their SUMMER GLOW line including:
As you know, I’m partial to makeup that doesn’t look or feel like makeup once applied and these products really came through… or more accurately, let my skin come through. The PERFETTA RADIANTE PERFECTING MAKEUP foundation was light, creamy and provided the perfect sheer level of coverage that buffed out any imperfections and gave me a soft, diffused look. It also held up well after an afternoon photo shoot and night out with the girls. No creasing, so smearing onto clothing, no melting… it was really, really good, guys!
The ECLISSARE COLORRISE BLUSH in stunner was the ideal bronzer-blush hybrid. Almost like a multi-dimentional, glowing, caramel color with tiny flecks of gold that reflect the light. I used a large oversized blush brush and applied a veil of color onto my cheekbones and around the perimeter of my face. The blush gave me that perfect, summer skin without the sun damage or the faux orange glow of some bronzers and self-tanners.
Lastly, I believe I may have discovered the perfect nude lip. I love a good nude lip, but hate it when the lipstick is too chalky and flat and gives you corpse lips… because, you know, I definitely DON’T want to look dead. The ECLISSARE COLORSTRUCK LIPSTICK glides on flawlessly and contrary to most sheer/moisturizing lipsticks, actually stays on! Even after 2 rounds of cocktails and dinner, there was no need to reapply. I found that when I applied a base of Swoon, followed by a layer of Edge I achieved the perfect peachy/bronze nude lip — VICTORY!
How’s that for shimmer + radiance and all that good stuff?!
Overall, even as a makeup minimalist I’m definitely going to be keeping these products in my rotation. It’s always nice to switch up your day-to-day look for a bit more drama and the BORGHESE SUMMER GLOW product range provided just that without many extra steps, or complicated You Tube makeup tutorials. The sheer, golden-tinged coverage was the ideal solution to my “just back from my Mediterranean holiday” needs!
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How do YOU get your summer glow?
Disclaimer: While Borghese was generous enough to provide me with the products described, all opinions and experiences are solely my own. Many thanks to Borghese for supporting The Heart’s Delight!
Occasionally, special events in life call for a bit more than the basics which leads to mild panic. So, what does one do when questioning anything in life? Go online and promptly Google it. Luckily for me, I stumbled across what I thought was one of the best and easiest to follow/replicate tutorials on the ubiquitous smokey eye.
The smokey eye look is just one of those things that appears super simple in theory, but one wrong move and you end up looking like a rabid raccoon. In full disclosure, even after I followed the makeup tutorial mentioned above, I had to ask my kids’ babysitter for a quick, last-minute check to make sure my eye-makeup looked even. Thanks, Leah.
While the makeup artist in the tutorial has product recommendations of her own, I also wanted to share the tools and products I used to recreate the finished look.
Sure there are bargains to be had, but overall, to live comfortably in the city you need to be prepared to spend an ungodly amount of money. However costly city living is, one little luxury has remained consistently inexpensive and adored by many: the professional mani/pedi!
For $35 you can walk into practically any nail salon and walk out an hour or so later with perfectly polished hands and toes. Until I moved to Cleveland, I never realized what a crazy bargain I was getting. Like most things, if it sounds like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Have you guys read the NEW YORK TIMES EXPOSÉ on nail salons? Well, after that read the cheap $35 charge makes plenty of sense and makes me feel pretty terrible.
So, if you’re like me and want the look of the professional manicure without: 1) paying a ridiculous amount of money 2) supporting illegal and dangerous working environments and worker abuse then sit back, relax and let me walk you through the easy DIY steps to scoring a great coat of polish on your own!
1) Take the time to prep the nail bed.
However annoying this step is, suck it up and take the time to give your beds and cuticles a little love. I use a handy CUTICLE SOFTENER/REMOVER to get things going, a metal CUTICLE PUSHER and a good, sharp CUTICLE CUTTER for the occasional hang nail or rogue piece of skin. This step ensures that the nail bed is clean, free of any skin and ready for step 2.
2) Trim your nails.
Personally, I like my nails super short so this step is a MUST for me. I prefer to file vs. clip whenever possible, as I think it leaves you with a less ragged nail. When filing, rather than saw back and forth, it’s important to file only in one direction. In addition to giving you a smooth edge, this motion will prevent peeling of the nails at the tips and ultimately make your manicure last longer.
3) Use a prep treatment.
This is a relatively new addition to my DIY manicure and I believe that the extra minute it takes to wash my hands and apply a bonding agent like OPI BOND AID is so worth it. This layer of extra bonding helps your polish grip to your nail for a longer lasting, chip-free manicure.
4) Keep your coats of polish thin.
This is a case when more is not more. From base coat, to color, to top coat, try to keep each layer as thin and even as possible. The thin coats keep bubbles from forming, keep your manicure streak free and help speed up drying time.
5) Don’t color your cuticles.
When applying polish try to leave a sliver of space between your cuticles and polish. Easier said, than done… I know. Not only does it look more professional, but it will also prevent peeling of polish from the bottom of your nail bed over time. I like using a WOODEN CUTICLE STICK to clean up any “woops” that I make along the way. FYI- I make a lot of “woops.”
6) Take it slow.
Even with QUICK DRY TOP COATS and QUICK DRY OIL drops, only a bit of time and patience will ensure that you don’t smudge away all of your hard work. One 30 minute DVR’d episode of Younger later and I’m good to go!
With all of the money you’ll be saving on your weekly manicures, why not update your nail polish collection? I’ve rounded up some of my favorite polish hues and brands for the spring/summer… a little of this, a little of that and a whole lot of fun colors that you’re sure to love!
After reading that rather disturbing article, will YOU be doing your own nails? If so, send any tips or tricks this way!
One thing you’ve probably learned about me by now is that when it comes to skin care I’m pretty lazy. Ok, let me rephrase that a little… I like maximum results with minimal effort. Not sure if that made it sound any better, but let’s just pretend it did.
For as long as I can remember, as soon as the season turns cold my legs turn into a flaky, scaly, itchy, dry mess. No amount of moisturizing (when I remember to lube up) can keep the dreaded winter skin away. As with my face (if you’re interested, my full skincare/beauty routine is recapped HERE), this year I finally took some much needed action on my body as well. All it took was a simple exfoliating glove and 2-minutes in the shower.
Now, when I slip into my shower I lather up from head-to-toe using old-school DOVE BEAUTY BAR in circular strokes with my $3 drugstore EXFOLIATING GLOVE. I follow up with a generous application with rich, body lotion (my favorite is KIEHL’S CREME DE CORPS SOY MILK + HONEY WHIPPED BODY BUTTER) right out of the shower with my skin still warm. I won’t lie, it feels pretty fantastic. Better yet, the light exfoliation increases blood circulation to the area, sloughs off dead skin cells, encourages new collagen production and unclogs pores. After regularly using these products and technique, flaky, dry skin is a thing of my past and I’ve been left behind with softer, more supple younger looking skin. Who doesn’t like that!?
Now, I know none of this information is groundbreaking in anyway, but I just thought I would share to prove that sometimes small tweaks in our day-to-day routines can make a world of difference over time. Like I said earlier, minimal effort, maximum impact!
Do YOU have any simple beauty tips that you swear by? I would love to hear all about them!