Monday, June 30, 2014

Nail Kits

I can't remember if it was Christmas this year or last year, but my brother and his fiancee bought me these two fun nail kits.  I totally forgot about them, as they were tucked away on a bookshelf in my bedroom but I found them today and thought I would share them.

The first one is Glam Chick Glitter Polish Collection.  I swatched all of these colors on a nail wheel but all of them were pretty much just tinted clear polish with the same glitter.  It has large and small chunks of glitter.  There are nothing terribly special but the set is fun.

The second kit is Glam Chick Sugar Manicure Kit.  It comes with a nail file, two polishes in a teal and fuchsia tone.  They are opaque at two coats and are rather pretty on their own but they have this strange very strong smell.  I know all polish smells strong but these are particularly stinky and I noticed the same about the glitter polishes above.  Not sure what's up with that.  You also get three small tubs of "sugar".  They actually look to me to be colored salt but I'm not sure what they really are.  You are supposed to paint one coat of polish, wait for it to dry, then paint a second coat.  While the second coat is still wet, you are instructed to dip the nail into the pot of colored "sugar".  You have three shades, a pink, a green and a blue.  I haven't tried it yet but it seems fun!  I think I might try it for the texture challenge on my 31 day nail challenge I plan to do.  I probably won't do a whole manicure though.  Let's be honest.  If you touched anything with this sugar manicure on, the particles would make a colossal mess and get everywhere.  But I'll swatch it for fun!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Use It Up: Update 6/28

Last week, I decided to make an effort to finish off some makeup items that I've had for way too long.   I know that for me, photographing the progress helps keep me on track.  It's easier to keep going when you can see results.  Here's the update on how it's going.

Use Up Items:

1. Maybelline Shine Free Oil-Control Loose Powder in Light - This powder is so hard to photograph or even see if I've made progress because it has the non-removable sifter lid.  I think I've made good progress on this but it's really anyone's guess.

2. NYX Eyeshadow Single in True Taupe - I've made visible progress on this shadow.  I'm not surprised, as it's a really soft shadow and tends to get dusty when using it but that same softness also makes it a dream to apply and blend.  After taking this photo, I actually depotted it because it was getting hard to use.  I think it may end up being used up before my original estimated date.  I'm thinking maybe just a few more days or maybe a week left in this little guy.

3. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral - I finished this already, one day before I estimated that I would finish it.  I've been using my Mary Kay blush in Citrus Bloom a lot, but I'm not ready to choose another blush to start using up right now.  I want to keep my options open and not make any blush commitments at this time. ;)

4. Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio in Warm Nude Eyes, black shade - Umm, that's an absurdly long name so from now on let's just call it Physician's Formula black eyeliner, okay?  Okay.  This is another item that's sort of hard to tell just how much I've used because of the scale of the photos.  I think I've made some progress but I'm thinking that July 10th estimated finish date may be a bit too optimistic.  We'll see.

5. Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer in Light -I finished this guy quite a few days earlier than I thought.  Now I'm using a really similar Avon concealer and I'm liking it.  Every time I see that that Avon concealer is only $7, I'm just amazed because it is every bit as good as this Benefit one was.  Just for comparison, I might start rotating in my old Pixi Correction Concentrate to see which I like better.

Put A Dent In Items:

1. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Bronzer in Fair - I've used this guy every day and it looks exactly the same to me.  *Sigh*

2. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny - This is another item I don't see any change in.  I haven't used this one every day so I'm not too surprised but I am disappointed.

*Note: I did not include the Physician's Formula Powder Foundation because I haven't used it at all this week, since I'm using the loose powder.  Therefore, there is currently no change in it from last week.

So there it is!  Definitely some progress as I've used up two items already but I feel like I still have a long way to go.  But I've got to run now... I ordered the 2013 CYO nail plates from Bundle Monster off of Amazon and they just arrived!  I also ordered the 2013 Holiday nail plates from Bundle Monster but I don't think they will get here until next week.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Here are my empties from the past few months!
Hair products
Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray
Salon Graphix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo
Garnier Sleek & Shine Leave in Conditioner

These are all tried and true products that I already have replaced with the same items.  Good stuff.

Skin care products
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Sunless Tanner, full size
Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Sunless Tanner, travel size
Avon Hand Lotion
Equate Eye Cream
Walgreens Brand Alpha Hydrox

I pretty much have identical products for all of these except the last two items, except from different brands.

Makeup products
e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral
Wet N Wild Shadow Single in Brulee
Benefit Boi-ing Concealer
Milani Liquid Eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Brown
Avon Lip Gloss Sample
Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Glam Black

I have items to replace all of these.  The eyeshadow and mascara I have exact replacements for.  Everything else, I have similar products.  So much makeup to use!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nail Polish Haul

Sally Hansen Triple Shine in Pearly Whites
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Coin Flip
Wet N Wild ATTEN-hut!
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Jazzy Jade
Broadway Nails in Ballet Flat

I actually got off my couch and went in to work today.  My new principal was having a meet and greet so I swung by to meet her.  While I was there, I was chatting with one of my friends who mentioned that she was swamped so being the awesome friend I am, I offered to help her out to check some things off her list.  I ended up spending about an hour filling out property forms on my iPad so that our old XP computers could be surplussed.  It was actually kind of fun hanging out in our media center with absolutely not another soul there, as I blared Adele, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift on my iPad as I wrote down property numbers.  I didn't mind at all.  And afterwards, I was rewarded with a free lunch!  Not a bad day at all.

After lunch and chit chat with some work friends, I headed home, as being at work for four hours when I'm supposed to be on vacation was about the limit of my charitable feelings.  Afterwards, I swung by Walgreens to pick up some Q-tips and couldn't resist checking out the nail polish aisle on my way.  I was looking for some of the new shades from the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line.  I found Coin Flip but the other new shades at my Walgreens were not impressing me.  However, I did fall in love with one of the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine polishes, Pearly Whites.  It's a flakie and I love me some flakie.  This one seemed more iridescent than many of the other ones I have and in the bottle seemed to have rough cut chunks in blue, white, yellow, and pink.  I'm not sure about that but it sure was pretty and I couldn't resist temptation.  And then in the clearance bin, I found a lovely shade of army green with gold shimmer.  The polish is from Wet N Wild and is called ATTEN-hut!  I bought it just because I have a weak spot for olive polishes and often have trouble finding one that applies nicely.  For $1.99, I figured it was worth a gamble.  Low and behold when I swatched it at home, I realized it was a texture polish, which I never really had ventured into.  When they were all the rage last year, I was in my "I don't need to buy more cosmetics" phase and also, I prefer a smooth polish to rough nails.  We'll see how I like it after I actually wear it but if nothing else, I love the color.

Finally, I stopped at Dollar General to look and see if they had any L.A. Colors nail polishes that looked interesting.  My DG was such a mess that it was just about impossible to find anything you were actually looking for.  None of the nail polishes were in the right place, half of them were either sold out or in the wrong brand section.  They did have a wide selection of L.A. Colors Flash Pop! polishes, but they just seemed too gimmicky for me to be willing to take the risk on them, even if they were cheap.  I did luck out with finding Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Jazzy Jade although after coming home and swatching it, I feel like I have something very similar in my collection already.  I also tried one polish from a brand I've never heard of before.  Broadway Nails, which I know makes press on nails that I've enjoyed before.  For $1, I tried out a light pink shade in Ballet Flat.  We'll see how it goes.  So there you have my haul!  The longest story ever about how I bought five nail polishes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Black & White Nails

A few days ago I came across several nail challenges on Pinterest that I thought would be fun to do during the summer.  I started this one from Crumpet's Nail Tarts but I'm not sure if I'm going to go the whole way through with it because yesterday I was talking to my friend and neighbor and she suggested that we do a nail challenge together!  Which sounds way more fun.  So if we decide that we want to do a different challenge, I'll just start over, no big deal.  For now, here is my creation for the black and white challenge.  I started with black and white but had to add in a little color because black and white is not really my forte.

After applying a base coat, I started by applying three coats of Wet N Wild Mega Last Nail Color in Break the Ice.  You can't really tell from this photo but it's a white with very fine shimmer.  But it takes foreveeeeeer to dry and I just really don't do well with polishes like that.  And even though I painted my nails in the afternoon, I somehow managed to make a dent in it at like 10:00 at night.

Next, I took the black pen from this kit and drew three black stripes across each nail, which went really well on my left hand (I'm right handed) and went... as well as you'd think on my right.  Next, I went in with my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Turquoise and made two stripes in between each black one.  Finally, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep to put a dot at the end of each black stripe using my Orly dotting tool.  Finally, I topped it all off with some NYC Top Coat.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Couple of Outfits

I found a couple of random outfit photos and thought I would put them together into a quick post.  The first one is what I wore to a workshop last week.  I wore my favorite olive chinos, black sandals, a white tee, taupe scarf, and my denim jacket.  The workshop classrooms were freeeeezing so I was glad I wore this jacket.  I absolutely love my denim jacket and wear this one all the time but after wearing it the whole day, I came to the conclusion that it was not exactly the best fit and was therefore becoming uncomfortable after wearing it all day.  I have really narrow shoulders and it was too big in that area.  Even sometimes petite size clothes are too wide at the shoulders on me, but when I found a petite size denim jacket the next day on sale at Kohl's, in my size and the wash I wanted, I jumped on it.  I'm already loving it and actually wore that denim jacket in the outfit below.

Sorry for the quality of this photo, as it was just a quick phone pic.  I wore my cobalt blue dress with cognac sandals and this awesome cognac belt from Amazon.  I threw the denim jacket on as an afterthought because we were going out to meet some friends for dinner and drinks.  In Florida during the summer, the air conditioning is often turned up really high and I get chilly so I wore this during dinner and then afterwards when it was raining too.  This one is way more comfortable and fits better in the shoulders, sleeves, and length.  Maybe sometime I'll do a comparison post.

My Skin Care Routine

Today I'm going to share with you my detailed skin care routine.  I've adapted this from The Regimen from  I've taken their tips (as well as one of their products) and turned it into something that worked for me.  ProActiv, Faux Active and a million other products didn't work for me but this has been the one thing that has given me the skin I really wanted.


1. I gently splash warm water on my face for about 5 or 10 seconds.  Apply a generous amount of gentle skin cleanser and spread all over face with a feather light touch.  Once your entire face is covered, gently rinse.
2. Using a makeup remover wipe, remove any leftover makeup from the day before.
3. Apply a fairly thick layer of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide.  Allow the cream to set for a few minutes before gently rubbing it in and blending it into your skin.
4. Apply eye cream under eyes.
5. Using a nickel size amount of sensitive skin SPF 15 moisturizer, blend 4-5 drops of jojoba oil in with the moisturizer.  Blend gently into the skin, avoiding the eye area.
6. Apply makeup as usual.


1. In the shower, use an Olay Daily Facial cloth to remove the day's makeup.
2. Using the same process from the morning, wash face using gentle skin cleanser.
3. After finishing in the shower, apply benzoyl peroxide again.  Allow it to dry and blend in any excess.
4. Apply eye cream under eyes.
5. Using a nickel size amount of moisturizing lotion, mixed with 4-5 drops of jojoba oil, blend gently into the skin, avoiding the eye area.

1. Always use your fingers to apply products to your face.  This allows you to control the amount of pressure you use.  You want to use the least amount of pressure possible, as being too rough on your face can irritate it and cause acne.
2. If you find that you are still having acne, use more benzoyl peroxide.  If your skin is gettting overly dry and peeling, try using less benzoyl peroxide.  Find an amount that works for you based on your skin and stick with it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Manicure Day 2

Yesterday I posted pictures of the manicure seen above.  (Click here if you missed the original post.)  I was itching to paint my nails again today, after finding lots of cool new techniques that seemed easy enough for even me to do.  However, I really liked the manicure I already had and it wasn't chipped or worn or anything so I thought instead of starting completely over, I would just add a little something to change it up.

I decided to go a little funky and do black over my gradient pink and orange manicure.  I was trying to decide between distressed nails, floss picks, fan brush, or something else.  I decided to sort of copy the style of fan brush nails but with an eyebrow brush instead.  I don't use eyebrow brushes but they seem to come with every brush kit.  I think I have something like four or five so I figured this would at least give me a chance to use them.  I think it turned out pretty cool!

I particularly like the way the ring and pinky fingers came out.  And I think the black stripes gave the manicure just enough interest to keep it fun for another day.  I'll probably take it off tomorrow though.  I'm thinking I might start a nail challenge like I did back in the summer of 2012.  That was really fun and I wanted to do something similar but not exactly the same.  I found this awesome 31 day nail challenge on Pinterest and after some searching, I found that the original source of the challenge is posted here, from Crumpet's Nail Tarts.  I think it will challenge me to try some things I wouldn't try otherwise (texture polish!) and to learn some new techniques.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gradient Manicure

My husband and I are both on summer vacation right now, which you would think would mean we are doing tons of fun stuff but in reality, we are trying to save some money by staying at home and being bums.  It was awesome for the first two days and now I'm just kind of bored and don't know what to do with myself.  I'm really not used to having this much free time after this busy school year.

Fortunately, I already have a ton of nail polishes, stamping plates, and polish supplies (free entertainment!) so today I kept myself busy by doing a really fun gradient manicure.  It works out perfectly, since this evening we are actually going to get out of the house and go to dinner with some friends so now I'll have fancy nails for our leave the house day.  I actually really love painting my nails and the fun artistic outlet that goes with it, but during the school year I don't usually have time to paint them and if I do, it seems a bit pointless because teaching can be hard on polish.  Many hours spent typing, and picking up and pulling out and putting down textbooks, chapter books, and other random supplies leave my manicures chipped after one day.  But sitting at home perusing Pinterest all day is pretty gentle on the nails. ;)

You can see the shimmer if you enlarge this photo.
I decided to start back into the world of nail art by doing one of my favorite manicure techniques: gradient!  I love the fun and interesting effect this technique gives and it's pretty easy to do, although clean up can be a bit of a pain.  I decided to go with a fun summery look of bright pink and orange.

After applying a base coat, I used two thin coats of the pink shade seen here, which is Wet N Wild Fast Dry in How I Met Your Magenta.  It's a bright pink jelly with gold shimmer.  On it's own, I'm not too crazy about it.  The formula applies easily and it does dry quickly if you use thin coats but after three coats, you will still see visible nail line.  But it works great to do a gradient.  After it was dry, I used The Nailasaurus Gradient Tutorial method to gradually make my nails shift to orange at the tips.  The orange polish I used is Essie in Braziliant.  This is a pretty bright orange with pink shimmer and it's a lot more opaque than the pink shade, which is why I did it at the tips... because I hate visible nail line.

After I was happy with the sponging, I applied a topcoat.  Finally, to clean up the mess I made around my fingernails by using the sponge, I just dipped this brush in 100% pure acetone and it cuts through left over polish like a hot knife in butter.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Using Up Products

I have several products that I'm working on using up right now.  I thought the easiest way to track my progress would be to photograph and document it here on the blog.  Above are the products I'm working on.  I've organized them into two categories: products I plan to finish off in the coming weeks and some I'm just hoping to put a dent in.

Finish Off:
Maybelline Loose Powder
1. Maybelline Shine Free Oil-Control Loose Powder in Light - I've had this powder for ages.  I'm not a big fan of it.  It mattifies your face but doesn't last long and gives very little coverage.  Definitely will never repurchase this.  However, there isn't all that much left and it works well enough for these summer days when I'm mostly hanging out at home. I'm hoping to finish this powder before summer is over.  Estimated finish date: August 1st or later.

NYX True Taupe Eyeshadow
2. NYX Eyeshadow Single in True Taupe - I absolutely love this eyeshadow.  It's a great natural shadow that just adds a little definition to my lid.  I've actually been trying not to use this lately because I didn't have a replacement for it.  I finally bit the bullet and purchased a new version of this shadow.  More on that story later, as this particular shade was discontinued.  Anyway, now that I have a backup shadow, I'm trying to finish this shadow.  It might be hard to tell from the photo but there is just a little shadow left around the edges.  I imagine this will take me several weeks to finish off.  Estimated finish date: July 15th or later.

e.l.f. blush in Candid Coral
3. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral - As you can see, I've already depotted this blush into a small pill container.  I think I'll be finishing it up in the next few days.  It's a nice blush but I won't be repurchasing it just because I have so many other blushes and I didn't really love it, just liked it.  Estimated finish date: June 21st.

Physician's Formula Eyeliner
4. Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio in Warm Nude Eyes, black shade - This is a good smudge and water resistant eye liner.  I love these trio liners from Physician's Formula.  This particular shade just has a lot more shimmer than what I prefer so I'm using it up over the summer.  It can handle Florida's heat and humidity without melting off but I have other liners that I prefer so I won't be repurchasing it.  I think this will take me several weeks to use up.  Estimated finish date: July 10th.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer

5. Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer in Light - This was a good, heavy duty under eye concealer.  I won't be repurchasing it just because I have a very similar Avon concealer that I need to use up, along with several other concealers.  For anyone interested, the Avon concealer is extremely similar in coverage to the Boi-ing, at a fraction of the cost.  This concealer is almost gone, but there is still some along the edges.  I think this will be gone in about a week.  Estimated finish date: June 26th.

Put A Dent In It:

Physician's Formula Bronzer

1. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Bronzer in Fair - I've had this guy for so long.  This product was discontinued awhile ago but I really just don't go through bronzer that fast.  I generally don't wear it on a regular basis but the Maybelline loose powder I'm using right now is a bit too light for me right now so I'm just sweeping on some of this over it to even things out a bit.  Hopefully in the process, the dip in the pan will at least grow a bit.

NYC Bronzer in Sunny
2. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny - Awhile ago I heard that this product was being discontinued so I purchased a backup.  Of course, it was not discontinued and now I have two of a product I only use occasionally.  It's a good contour for fair skin, as it is matte and not that dark.  I've been working on using this guy up for ages now and I never seem to get any closer to finishing it.  Again, I'm just hoping to see an increase in the dip in the pan.

Physician's Formula Powder Foundation
3. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light - This is another product that was discontinued, much to my chagrin, as this was my favorite powder and foundation for quite some time.  This is my last compact of it and I feel like it's time to use it up and move on.  I plan to use this after I finish the crummy Maybelline powder but I also use it on days when my skin needs a bit more coverage or when I'm in a hurry, as this is quicker to apply than the messy loose powder.  I think this will go pretty fast after I use up the Maybelline powder but who knows when that will be.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Classroom Decor Crafts

I've been rather busy lately!  My parents and sister made a last minute decision to come visit us this past week.  They came on Friday, which was my first day of summer break and they left yesterday.  We were pretty busy while they were here, as I had to work two days of workshops and Brian was working and also interviewing for some potential new teaching positions!  No official word yet but we are hopeful.  Also, my principal was hired for a new position which means as of July 1st, I will have a new boss, whom I have yet to meet.  And while my parents were here, my mom helped me with several arts and crafts projects for my classroom next year.  Now that you're caught up on all the excitement of my fascinating life, here's some of what I've been up to.

Above, you see a bucket of flowers that I turned into pens.  You just cut the flowers off a few inches from the stem and use floral tape to adhere them to pens.  I use these in my classroom.  They will sit in the bucket next to where my students sign out to use the hall pass.  This way, they always have something to write with.  Also, they make a lovely decoration and I find that these flower pens are less likely to grow legs and walk away than when I used to provide regular pens.  And really, aren't they just so pretty?

Next, I'm working on dyeing all my pocket charts black.  Pocket charts seem to only come in these terrible primary colors.  Mine were originally primary blue and primary red.  I hate those colors.  I have always hated those colors in my classroom.  I saw on Pinterest that someone had successfully dyed theirs black and I was thrilled to try to see if I could replicate the results and so far it's been successful!  My first try came out dark navy but the second one was black!  I haven't tried the red one yet and I also plan on trying to get that navy one to dye black but I still think it looks way better!

Finally, I had my super sweet hubby spray paint my plastic Sterilite drawers for me.  My students turn in homework, classwork, and signed papers in these drawers and they were just so sad looking before.  A few coats of Barbie pink later (this paint, actually) and they are gorgeous!  I still plan on adding some cute scrapbook labels but that's a project for another day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Vacation!

Here it is: the start of my summer vacation!  My classroom is shut down and awaiting a deep cleaning from our custodial staff.  Meanwhile, I've already begun some of the arts and crafts projects to snazzy up my class next school year.  First, I got to work on that pink bucket from yesterday's post.  I cut off the ugly, sad rope handles and attached some bows cut out of this ribbon.  I'm planning on my classroom color scheme next year being pink, lime, turquoise, and black so this bucket will fit right in and be functional.  I plan to use it to store notebooks and other paperwork on my desk.

I also have been working on making some cardstock robots.  I'm using my Cricut to make lots of cute little robots to decorate my room as well.  I love doing arts and crafts and haven't been able to do much crafting with this busy school year so I'm looking forward to lots of fun creating time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Almost Summer

I have been really busy the past few days, getting ready to finish up this school year and whatnot.  I've worn cute outfits but been in too much of a rush in the morning to think about photoing them.  While teaching, lesson plans, and instruction take a back seat the last few days, things like paperwork, cleaning up the room, and organizing the closet take higher priority.  I have a few more things to follow up with my in my classroom tomorrow on planning day and after that, I'm done.  It's almost summer for this teacher!

I've done a bit of shopping for some items for my classroom next year and I thought I would share my haul of stuff because you know I will be eventually posting pictures of my classroom at the end of summer and including photos of what I've done with all this fun stuff.

First, the large container is an oval pink bucket to hold items on my desk.  Right now it has ugly and shedding rope handles.  I plan on cutting them off and replacing them with ribbon bows.  More on that in a minute.  Inside the large pink basket there is brightly colored cardstock that I'm using to make decorations for my class.  Also in that basket there are two packs of tissue pom poms in lime, blue, and pink.  There is also a pack of green tissue paper and a pack of pink tissue paper in case I decide I want to make my own pom poms.  New bulletin border will be covering one of my boards.  I also picked up a new hot glue gun and glue sticks, as my current gun has seen better days and I need one for a couple of projects.  In the left handle of the pink bucket are pipe cleaners.  In the right handle are two Dollar Tree bouquets of silk flowers.

Next, let's move to the two little lime green buckets in the middle row.  In the left one, two packs of googly eyes dwell.  In the right one, floral tape and a pack of pens.  Next to the buckets, several rolls of ribbon wait to decorate and hang decorations.  At the end of the row is another pack of wiggle eyes.  Very important in making classroom decorations cute!

Last, in the front row we have a polka dot bulletin border and a cursive handwriting decoration.  The haul is finished with a pack of file folder labels and a pack of Command hooks to hang all the fun things I'll be making.

And in case anyone is interested, I've included links or a store listing to all the items I purchased.  I do not get paid or get a single penny for you clicking the links.  They are just there for you. :)  I know it seems like a lot of money, but I've been waiting for each of the items from Hobby Lobby to go on sale, and I also get a 15% discount on everything at Hobby Lobby because I am a teacher.  So I didn't pay full price for much.

pink bucket - Hobby Lobby (was on clearance $4.76 at my HL)
lime tissue paper - Target
pink tissue paper - Target
pink silk flowers - Dollar Tree
pink ribbon - Walmart
file folder labels - Winn Dixie