I'm sure life is the same frenzy of holiday shopping and party planning for everyone this time of year. No matter how many lists we make for gifts and such, every year seems to spin into the same ole "is it enough?" My husband and I started our Christmas shopping for the kids with the guidelines: "Something they want. Something they need. Something they wear. Something they read." Today while we were chatting on the phone he asked if I thought we had a good out-of-the-box-under-the-tree gift for each kid. And I knew we'd spiraled into chaos. Then the UPS man showed up. Good Lord, we need a bigger boat. When did Christmas become about the gifts? Don't get me wrong, I love a pressie as much as the next gal, but I just feel bad teaching the kids to expect a trove of new toys every year at this time. Maybe I'll have them go through the toys they already have and clean up the good ones and donate them to a charity. Anyone have any suggestions?
Enough about Christmas, let's get to the good stuff. This week's five favorite things. I should warn you that the middle two are from the same brand. I would normally try to avoid doing this, but I found myself blown away and reaching for both of those products repeatedly this week. I like to give an honest review, so they're both on the list.
1. Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat
I perpetually have a manicure on my nails. I try to do at least three different nail looks a week for the blog just to stay ahead of the mani-monday curve. I've tried top coats by Sally Hanson, by OPI, by Revlon ...you name it. Repeatedly in the forums I heard about the Seche Vite brand but never had an opportunity to try it. Until now. And let me tell you, it's the real deal. It dries to the touch within a minute. It completely dries and hardens within 15 to 30 minutes depending on the mani. I've read some reviews about polishes shrinking on the nail when you use Seche Vite, but have never experienced it myself. The glossy sheen is rich and saturated. And the most important part? This stuff holds up under pressure. I have three kids, a dog, two cats and a busy husband. I'm constantly doing dishes, or laundry or housework or playing in the snow or hiking on trails. And Seche Vite holds up from day to day to day (I apply a fresh coat every morning, just for full disclosure. I do this with any manicure I want to preserve, no matter what brand top coat I'm using.). I bought a bottle and a 4 oz. refill as a package on Amazon. And I'm glad I did.
Addendum: I wanted to amend this review. I've been using this top coat for a lot longer and have had some interesting experiences with it. With other top coats, I would put a fresh coat of top coat on my manicures every day in order to prevent chipping. Doing so never complicated the manicure in any way and I could keep a nice coat of polish on for five days or more. I can't do that with the Seche Vite. It will keep my nails from chipping for three to four days with only one coat. If I put a fresh coat on every day it will start to dry out and pull up the polish from the cuticle end of my nails. I'm wondering if this is what people are referring to when they say this stuff "shrinks their polish".
The good news is that this top coat only needs one coat to last for days. What I've found, is that if I need to add a top coat after that to maintain the look, I just use a different brand and don't have the polish pulling up problem. I'll try to get a picture of it if it happens again, it's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. But now that I know how to work around it, and what not to do, and what to expect ...not a big deal. And this top coat continues to be my favorite quick dry.
2. Guerlain Lingerie de Peau
Hands down the smoothest foundation I've ever applied. It goes on like silk, seamlessly, with a beautiful medium coverage. It makes my skin look healthy, vibrant and just a little dewy (not at all greasy looking). The first time I put some on I literally sighed. It was a revelation in foundations for me. The only downer? This foundation has very little lasting power. It's phenomenal if you have a date, or a meeting or a short party. But don't expect it to last all day. Having said that, I still love it. The formula is gorgeous and my skin tone was an easy match.
3. Jane Eye Primer
Samantha Schuerman did a review of the Jane Cosmetics line after it's relaunch and said so many good things about this primer that I had to try it. The reviews for it on Ulta.com were stellar as well, and I was fortunate to pick up a few pieces from their line during a 'Buy one, Get one 1/2 off' deal. I will hands down say that this is the best eye primer I've used to date. I like it even more than the Urban Decay Potion Primer. It goes on a little liquidy but sets up quickly into a clean tacky base. I have zero creasing with any shadows I've tried and the lasting power is phenomenal. I sent Sam a message on Facebook one day thanking her for the recommend, 16 hours after I'd applied my makeup. My eyeshadow? As bright and crisp as it was in the morning. A-mazing.
4. Jane Cream Eye Shadows
The Jane cream eyeshadows was another thing Sam said to absolutely buy. I looked at a few photos of swatches online and then went for it. I have the bronze, the silver, the copper and a sea green color. I've worn all three, and am blown away. These shadows are pigmented like crazy. You use the doe-foot applicator that comes with the shadow and pad on the cream. Give it a minute to set up and then spend the rest of the day being blown away every time you cross paths with a mirror. I wore the copper color yesterday (I have blue eyes) and caught my husband staring at me over and over again with the cutest expression. These creams are a win, plain and simple.
5. Julep Cuticle Oil/Sweet Almond Oil
In blow the winter winds and suddenly my cuticles are cracking. It's a side effect of being a hard-working momma. If you've ever had a cracked cuticle, you know how darned painful and debilitating they are. Now I keep my Julep cuticle oil beside my bed and every night I roll on the oils, rub them in, top it off with some hand lotion and go to sleep. Goodbye nasty dried winter fingers. In case you don't have any cuticle oil from Julep, I've heard that the best cuticle oil is actually simple Sweet Almond Oil. You can buy it in a myriad of places, including Amazon. While I haven't tried it yet myself I thought the price point difference between the two products warranted a mention for both.
That's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed, maybe found your next favorite thing or two and are enjoying this festive season. Stay safe, stay beYOUtiful and thank you for your time!
- Becky xoxox