beauty

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I love the animal print trend but am not quite brave enough to rock the look with clothing. The perfect baby step? Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips in leopard print!

This was my first run at applying these fancy nail polish strips. Overall it was pretty easy and definitely less time consuming than a regular at home mani. No dry time is a huge plus for me because I always manage to chip or scratch my mani’s no matter how hard I try.

The kit was $9.99 at Walgreens and comes with 16 decals. I only used five decals because I have short nails and there was enough material per decal to use on two nails. Essentially you’re paying ten bucks for three manicures, not bad right?

It comes with a handy dual nail file/buffer and a mini cuticle stick.

The directions are very straightforward – just peel off the backs, stick them on and file off loose ends. If leopards aren’t your thang they have other funky looks too – neon solids, glitter, even a lacy print. If you’re looking to try something different it’s a fun alternative to your everyday polish. I give Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Kitty, Kitty [ha] two paws up!

The box says it lasts up to 10 days. So far so good!

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Love is in the air and, given the barrage of red and pink that’s taken over your local drug store, it’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Some people take the jaded route and scoff at the day, writing it off as a cunning Hallmark scheme, but I’ve always had an unabashed love for the holiday. I love it for the obvious reasons: a sweet card [not always from Hallmark], beautiful flowers, and a romantic dinner with my main squeeze ~ but it doesn’t stop there. My parents always showered us with love on Valentine’s Day and gave us a little something to make the day special [usually a book and candy]. They taught us that it was a day to show your appreciation for the ones you love, be it your family, friends, or significant other. To me it’s a day to be happy and celebrate all the different kinds of love you have in your life.

These are some pretty things that have Valentine’s Day written all over them.

1. Steve Madden Partyy Pump in Fuchsia [$89.95] *helloo date night

2. Ark & Co Elegant Pearl Cocktail Dress [$58] *the pearl details and peak-a-boo back are exquisite

3. Lancôme Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss Set [$29.50] *the original lip gloss

4. Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Ruby Red Slippers [$18] *va~voom!

5. Michael Kors Watch in Rose Gold [$250] *exudes a strong + feminine air

6. Halston Heritage Deep V Cocktail Dress [$325] *effortless style

7. Schwartz Marshmallow Heart ~ Vanilla with Caramel Bottom [$67.50] *my cousin who lives in New York bought these once for my mom and dad – oh.my.gosh… although the price tag seems steep these are the most delicious, mouth-watering treats + are perfect for a special occasion. my mom got me a box last year for valentine’s day and i about died when i opened the box. {yummmm}

8. Prada Satin Wristlet [$360] *prada is pretty in pink

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Now that the fun parts of winter {family-filled Christmas + lively New Year’s parties} have passed us by at whirlwind speeds, we’re left with a resounding….

“Well now what?”

Let’s face it, when the temperature takes a nosedive it’s all-too-easy for your spirits to plummet right down with it. Although the winter can be downright demoralizing, I’ll admit that it can be kind of nice too. There’s just something to be said for a cozy winter night by a crackling fire, mug of hot cocoa in hand {extra marshmallows please}, with the falling snow and good conversation to keep you company.

We winterize our cars with snow tires and antifreeze, so why not winterize us? Here are a five ways to help you fend off the winter funk and keep you smiling ’til spring.

1. Walking around with a chapped mug is a buzz kill any time of year. Keep your lips moisturized with a balm that is light and has a heavenly scent, like this C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve [$5.50].  My aunt got me some just in time to replace the one I’d had for three years {as seen here}.

2. Dash through the snow in style this winter with some fancy footwear, like these haute Burberry Winter Boots [$295]

3. This one may seem like a no-brainer but exercise truly makes a difference in elevating your mood and revitalizing your spirits. In case you’re snowed in, keep a jump rope [$9.99] handy so you never have an excuse to miss a heart-pumping cardio session.

4. Adopt a low-maintenance skin care regimen that will keep your skin radiant all winter long. I really like Bio-Oil [$16], it’s a hot-seller overseas and just recently became available in the US. The Australian based product contains PurCellin Oil which improves the appearance of scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, aging and dehydrated skin. While we know there’s no such thing as a miracle in a bottle, this stuff is pretty close.

5. Manicures only last a week at the most, besides, why trudge out in this weather when you don’t have to? Cuticle oil, a nail buffer, and a shiny clear topcoat will make your DIY mani look {nearly} professional. I layered Urban Outfitters navy polish with glitter* to lighten things up, plus every time I glance down at my sparkly digits I can’t help but feel happy. Tip: if going for a dark polish, keep nails short and square to keep them neat & chic instead of goth-gone-bad.

*unfortunately neither of these polishes are available online. i purchased them as part of a 10-piece mini polish gift set for $20 from the urban outfitters at clark + diversey [chicago].


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[princess of pale]

{ clockwise from top: cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, ~h20+ seacurrents moisture boosting body balm, neutrogena original hand cream, eurcerin plus intensive repair body creme, aveda tourmaline charged radiance masque }

This weekend was a chilly reminder that winter is indeed on it’s way….[sigh]. The wintry preview prompted me to revamp my skincare routine to prep for the temperature drop on the horizon. Winter can wreak havoc on your skin, zapping it of essential moisture and leaving it feeling dry, dull, and oh-so-blah. This year I’m determined to keep my skin soft, smooth, and glowing, by starting [and sticking to] a skincare regimen for the winter and beyond. I’m trying several new products and I’ll let you know which ones I recommend for low-maintenance, luminous skin. After seeing the damage tanning can do to skin on people mere years older than me, I made the long overdue decision to nix tanning beds for good. I’ll miss having a tan but I’d rather be pale and naturally radiant than weathered and woefully wrinkly [... shudder].

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