February 2014 Favorites

Better late than never!

True Blue Spa – Yogurt Shower Smoothie in Pineapple Papaya

I have actually been using this stuff for about a year now, but I took a break over the fall & the first part of the winter in favor of more seasonally-appropriate scents (because I’m a nerd like that), but now I am back to using and loving it.  When I first picked it up, I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a cleanser or a scrub or an in-shower lotion or what…  Turns out it’s a bit of all three.  It’s a hydrating, gently exfoliating cleanser, however I don’t use it in place of shower gel or soap as was suggested to me by the ladies at Bath & Body Works.  I mostly use it on my arms and legs (concentrating it on my elbows & knees) after I have already washed with something else.  It’s not too scrubby like a true scrub would be, but there’s something about the creamy texture and the level of exfoliation that seems JUST right for my skin.  Also, the scent is incredible, especially if you love tropical scents.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle

I know this is kind of old news in the beauty blog world, but I got this lip butter earlier this year and have been wearing the crap out of it lately.  Pretty much anytime I wore lip color in February, it was this.  I love that it’s sheer, but still looks like I’m wearing something and the color just really suits my skin tone.  I feel like it’s a lot more pink in real life than is showing up in this picture.  The swatch above is a lot closer to what I see than the picture of the tube itself.  It’s just a really pretty brownish pink.  I have the same product in the shade Juicy Papaya, which is a bright coral color, and it’s just all wrong for me.  So sad because I SO want to like brighter lip colors, but I feel like most just make me look clownish.  So I’ll stick with the more neutral-to-dark shades like Pink Truffle.

Nine West Show Stopper Medium Tote

As I mentioned previously, I spent a few days in early February in Boston visiting family & friends.  Unfortunately the one and only handbag I brought with me broke (the strap came off) while I was exiting the plane at the very beginning of the trip!  So, part of my first day was spent hunting down a replacement.  I was in the market for a new purse anyways, and stumbled across this one at Macy’s.  It was love at first sight…the shape, the colors, the pattern, the “freebie” wristlet that came with it.  I HAD to have it.  So far so good.  It’s the perfect size, I love all the organizational elements, and I have gotten a ton of compliments.

Manicure of the Month

I have a surprising favorite manicure this month.  I had read somewhere that suggested traveling with neutral nail polish, and the conventional wisdom in that is fairly obvious when you think about it; neutral colors go with everything, small chips and imperfections are usually less apparent, etc.  However, I tend to find neutral nail polish (for me personally) kind of boring.  For my trip to Boston, I decided to give it a try but do it with a twist, and I was shocked how much I loved it!  I used Sonia Kashuk’s Mauving On Up and topped it with OPI’s Pirouette My Whistle, which is a glitter topcoat with silver microglitter and large round silver glitter pieces.  Since Valentine’s Day was coming up, I added a stamping accent nail with silver hearts using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri’s Silver Sweep.  The super sparkly topcoat really brought so much life to the neutral pink polish, and in the end I totally fell in love with this combo.   See what other fun manicures I have been trying over on my nail blog, Sunshine And Some Polish.

Candles of the Month

No candle favorites this month, as we kept on burning the same two candles we burned last month, Yankee Candle’s Boston Strong and Bath & Body Works’ Gelato.  I placed a large candle order a couple weeks ago, and we are already burning some new scents in March, so expect something new to share in this category at the end of this month.

January 2014 Favorites

Love & Toast Hand Creme in Honey Coconut

Was shopping at Ulta after work one day and got sucked in by this brand’s completely adorable packaging.  Who doesn’t want cute little birdies on their tube of hand cream?  Luckily, and more importantly, the product is awesome.  The honey coconut scent is not overly sweet or heavy.  I really want to try more from this brand, particularly their sugar grapefruit scent.

Dior Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream For Nails

Confession: This cuticle cream is my first ever Dior product.  But it has been around since 1963 and women everywhere have sworn by it for decades, so I think I picked a good product to start with.  I have been using it every night as I go to bed.  I use the tiniest bit and massage into the cuticle/nail area.  It’s very goopy and takes awhile to sink in, but it works wonders on my nails.  I actually forgot to use it a few nights in a row last week, and I could definitely tell the difference when I stopped.  Peely, dry hangnail city!  Ugh.  A couple nights later, after remembering to use the product faithfully, everything was back on track again.  Oh, and it smells great!  So as long as you can get past the goopy, sticky texture (which is why it is recommended to use it right before bed), then you will love it as much as I do.

Downton Abbey

I love everything about this show.  Acting, writing, story, sets, costumes, characters, everything.  Similar to Mad Men, this show does an amazing job with weaving tidbits of real, factual history throughout the story; from the sinking of the Titanic, to WW1, to the fads and fashions of the Roaring Twenties, to the introduction of various inventions and conveniences to the house (electric lights, sewing machines, refrigeration, the telephone, etc).  My favorite character in the whole show, hands down, is Carson, the overly stuffy but loveable head butler.  His utter disgust at anything being out of order, or any kind of change at Downton, just cracks me up.  Second would be Violet, the Dowager Countess, who is the perfect mix of “prim and proper elderly noblewoman stuck in her Victorian ways” and “feisty, witty, and wise grandmother who tells it like it is”.  It helps that Violet is played by the incredible Maggie Smith.

New episodes of Downton Abbey air on PBS on Sunday nights, but you can stream prior episodes via Amazon Prime Instant Video.  And if you haven’t, I suggest that you do.  Even Tadd loves this show!

Manicure of the Month

My favorite manicure combo of January was this navy & gold striped look achieved with Butter London’s Big Smoke (navy) and Orly’s Luxe (gold).  Love both of these polishes, and together they are gorgeous!  Lately I have been loving all things nautical, and I felt like this was a good representation of that look without being too in your face about it.  I had intended to have small gold anchors stamped on my thumbs, but the image plate I have just wasn’t working well.  I have more nautical-themed image plates on the way from MoYou London!  If you want to keep up with my nail stamping adventures, follow me over at Sunshine And Some Polish!

Candles of the Month

This month we have been burning Yankee Candle’s limited edition Boston Strong candle (which is no longer available, but I believe is the same or similar scent as their Home Sweet Home candles) and a Bath & Body Works’ 3-wick in the scent Gelato.  We usually have 2 candles to choose from at any given time, and after finishing our post-holiday candles (Vanilla Snowflake and Champagne Toast), I wanted to switch to some fragrances that kind of bridged the gap between winter and spring.  Winter doesn’t last very long here in Florida, and I tend to like my scents to follow the weather and/or season.  Boston Strong is spicy with a bit of a tea backnote, which I think is a perfect cozy scent for cooler weather.  Gelato smells like berries & cream, which is perfect when we are in the mood for something a little lighter and more spring-like.

What have you been into this month?

December 2013 Favorites

Trying something new here… I have been thinking that at the end of each month I am going to share some things that I have been loving.  Here’s my list for December:

Lush Snowcake Soap

This is one of Lush‘s seasonal items (and it is currently BOGO!).  It’s definitely a favorite of mine this time of year.  It’s a super creamy soap, so it tends to melt really fast, but the smell is ahhhhhmazing!  It smells like sweet almond fabulousness.  It’s super moisturizing and the scent lingers on your skin.  My bar is sadly already gone, which is why I was so glad I got this for Christmas:

Lush Snowcake Perfume

Every once in awhile Lush will release limited edition perfumes based on some of their most popular products, and this time one of the perfumes they released is Snowcake Perfume!  I was so excited to have been able to get one of these before they sold out.  Now I can smell like my favorite soap anytime I want.

EOS Lip Balm in Lemon Drop

I know I am late to the party and these things have been trendy for awhile now, but I picked one up at Ulta the other day and have kept it at my desk at work and with this drier air, my lips have quickly become addicted.  I also love the fun spherical shape and the lemon flavor.  I think I need a few more to leave around…One for the car and one for the house would be nice.

Nail stamping

For awhile now, I have been fascinated with nail stamping.  It started with YouTube videos like this one:

So, inspired by this, I asked for some nail stamping supplies for Christmas.  I ended up with a stamping tool, scraper, and 76 different image plates!  I also got a ton of new nail polishes.  After some trial and error, I discovered that it’s really important, especially when you are first learning, to have the correct type of nail polish for stamping.  The consistency needs to be slightly thicker than standard nail polish so that it is easily visible with one thin coat, and it can’t dry too quickly on the image plate so that the image transfers to the stamping tool properly.  I have ordered some stamping polishes in white and black and I am currently waiting for them to arrive.  In the meantime, some metallics can work well, so that is what I have been experimenting with.  Below was my first try.  Base color is Germanicure by OPI and I stamped the fish scale pattern with Luxe by Orly.

Definitely far from perfect, but I need to practice more.  Not too awful for a first try though.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles for December

I am always burning Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles.  I tend to rotate between two different scents at any given time.  In December I cycled through one set before Christmas and one set after Christmas.

Before Christmas, it was Fresh Balsam (Tadd’s favorite) and Twisted Peppermint:

“With the first big snowfall of the season comes the delightful scent of balsam and fir trees, layered with notes of fresh eucalyptus”

“Merry and bright peppermint celebrates the season with notes of vanilla and sugary musk in this cheer-filled scent”

After Christmas, it was Champagne Toast and Vanilla Snowflake:

“Pop, clink and sparkle with an effervescent blend of Champagne, juicy nectarine and blackcurrant”

“A delectable blend of creamy vanilla, winter mint, and a touch of coconut.”