Interview with Sarah Whiley: Writer, Blogger, Teacher, & Future Author #interview #nonfiction #amwriting #nonfiction


Welcome to another writer/blogger interview. Today I’m interviewing the wonderful, talented, and gorgeous Sarah Whiley who I have come to know through the prompt website MindLoveMisery`s Menagerie (MLMM). Sarah`s personal blog is called: By Sarah. You can also look for her to do the Saturday Mix prompt on MLMM. Here`s the link to last week`s prompt: Same Same but Different December 30.


Sarah Whiley Interview Pic 1
Credit: Sarah Whiley

1. Sarah, Please Tell Us About Yourself? What Are Your Writing and Blogging Goals? What Do You Hope to Accomplish by Writing? 


My name is Sarah Whiley and I live in north-east Victoria, in Australia. My blog is: ‘By Sarah. I’m a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students.

In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right. This is what I am hoping to accomplish by writing and blogging. I am so fortunate to live where I do. They don’t call Australia the “lucky country” for nothing!


2. Tell Us About Where You Live and What You Love About It?


I’m originally a city girl from Canberra, and later, Melbourne. I have enjoyed the spoils of both cities’ such as the cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants, nightlife, and their unique cultures.

When I met my husband and moved to the country! I love the wide- open spaces, the varying landscapes and the bush. I am now an avid bushwalker and spend most weekends out and about, communing with nature.


“I am a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students. In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right.” – By Sarah Whiley 


Sarah Whiley Pic 2
Sarah Whiley

 


3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does Writing Mean to You? 


My journey with blogging began five years ago, after a series of personal setbacks and issues. I commenced blogging primarily, as a cathartic experience to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. Once I no longer ‘needed’ my blog, I had a small break, however always felt something was ‘missing.’

After attending professional development for helping me teach writing, I realized, the hole that blogging and writing had left in my life!

I started my blog, ‘By Sarah,’ to explore my own creative writing, to explore myself, and my talent for writing. I have, particularly, enjoyed writing short stories and poetry. An unexpected bonus to continued blogging has been the great friendships I’ve gained in the WordPress community; I have established so many along the way.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue Writing and Blogging? Why Is It Vital for you to Keep on Writing? 


I have some seeds of ideas stashed away in my writer’s notebook. I tend to work on these pieces over a long period of time. For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it’s important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.

Moreover, as a teacher, it is easy to get stuck in a cycle of hyper-vigilance and not to give yourself enough ‘down time’. I find a variety of prompts extremely helpful for motivating and inspiring writing for myself and in my teaching.

As well, I have a schedule of sorts and I endeavor to write every day aside from Wednesdays (which is my ‘well-being-do-nothing’ night!


 

Sarah Whiley Group Pic 3
Credit: Sarah Wiley

 


“For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it is important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.” – Sarah Whiley


5. What Are Your Writing and Blogging Habits? Do You Prefer Writing a Certain Time of Day? 


I set aside time each day to write. Usually, I can be found on the couch with a dog or two keeping me company, along with some background noise from the TV (I am one of these people who can’t concentrate when it’s quiet). I enjoy writing poetry most. I have a knack for rhyme and rhythm and find it easy to whip up a poem.

As well, I have been challenging myself to explore other types of writing and short stories to extend my skills. I don’t write in the mornings as I am in a rush for time once I wake up. I rush out the door to teach school, but I write after dinner, sometime between 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at night. I find Tuesdays and Thursdays to be my busiest and most productive days.


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing or Blogging Projects? Do You Have Projects Outside of Your Blog Involving Writing? Do You Plan on Publishing Any Writing in the Future? 


Currently, I am undertaking Sammi Cox’s  ‘A Month of Mini Writing Challenges’ and have am the new host for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s ‘Saturday Mix’. Outside of my
blog, I keep a writer’s notebook and am busy maintaining a Class Dojo Story (similar to a blog) for my classroom.

I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.


Toa Hefitaba Sarah
Credit: Toa Hefitba via UnSplash

“I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.” – Sarah Whiley


7. Can you Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? What Do You Think Will Be Your Process of Self-Publishing Your Writing? 


Being a teacher, I find the writing process natural and not something I have to think too hard about. Storytelling and explaining my ideas is something I innately do. Upon analysis of my writing, though, I definitely follow six-traits in my writing process including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

After I am happy with a final piece, I often bounce it off my husband or my mum, seeking their feedback. They are a tremendous help to me and improve the end result of my stories and poems and their overall flow. When I self-publish at the end of the year, I am investigating the use of the ‘Blook-Up Service.‘ (As Sarah gave me these answers super-quick back at the end of August or September, please ask her about the progress of her book and her published poem!!).


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing and Reading Genres? And Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers and Bloggers Starting Out? 


Well, I’m definitely drawn to the dark, somewhat macabre styles of writing. My pieces often take a dark turn or have a twist at the end. I am not a fan of science-fiction or fantasy, at all, but I prefer supernatural, horror, thriller, crime, mystery, drama, historical, and biographical works.

My advice for new bloggers is:

  • Write what you know. Capturing a small moment in time can sometimes produce the best piece of writing! Also, go with the flow….literally! Don’t overthink it. Go with your ‘stream-of-consciousness’ and see where it leads.
  • Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.

Sarah Whiley Hiking 4
Credit: Sarah Whiley and Her Beautiful Photography!!

Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.” Sarah Whiley


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us About Writing Or Yourself? 


My experiences growing up in a large family and my relationships with my siblings have certainly shaped many of my ideas and stories! I am the eldest of six children (No, we are not Catholic!). My mum just wanted another son and kept trying until she got one! It’s ironic how she wanted four boys…she ended up with four girls! Despite the large age gaps between some of us, we are reasonably close and hang out together and, at times, travel together.

Also, I LOVE to travel. Whether it be exploring local gems, interstate expeditions or overseas adventures. I am curious and interested in the world around me. I soak up information and facts like a sponge (you never know when they’ll come in handy for a trivia night!) I enjoy nothing more than experiencing new things. I adore the outdoors and take every chance (money permitting of course!) to jump on a plane and go somewhere different.

As well, I love New Zealand and have holidayed there four times now – with plans to go back! I have also traveled to the US (including Hawaii), England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Indonesia. All of these factors have helped develop my writing.


10. Can You Briefly Tell Us About Some of Your Favorite Blogs? What Do You Like Most About Them? 


Gosh, it’s hard to name a few. There are a lot of my WordPress friends whose work I truly respect and enjoy. But, if I have to narrow it down, I would have to say:

  • Jane Dougherty Writes – Jane has a wonderful turn of phrase and is able to use colorful words to create great imagery in her poems and stories.
  • God’s Chair – Jael Sook is an engaging and diverse poet and writer and I thoroughly enjoy her work, anticipating each post she makes.
  • RedStuffDan – Dan is an incredibly artistic photographer. His subjects include Bordeaux vineyards, local village life, architecture, doors, mirrored
    images and digital photography as art.

11. Can You Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blogs:

TASI

By Sarah Whiley

*Inspired by “Whiskey In the Jar” Music Prompt

*****

 

Tasi Sarah
Credit: Sarah Whiley

 

*****

My summer holiday in Hobart, Tasmania had not begun quite as I had expected. A thunderstorm, a severely delayed flight, and an inaccessible hostel topped off with some bitterly cold weather that I had most definitely not packed for. Finding myself with a few hours to spare, I decided that a stroll around the CBD to orient myself was in order.

The gathering, dark clouds had other ideas.

I had no sooner ventured out onto the streets when the skies opened and a torrential downpour began. Cursing, I sought cover under the awnings of the few shops that had them.

And that’s when I saw it from across the street. ‘Lark Distillery’.

I have never been a whiskey drinker, but I could not resist the pull of the plume of smoke coming from the chimney, nor the cozy 1800’s building that housed it. I ran across to the front door and pushed it open.

Immediately, a warm, yeasty aroma hit me. Unsurprisingly, I was the only patron. The young man behind the ba took in my sodden, street-urchin appearance, and without a trace of disdain, offered me a tasting.

‘But I don’t really drink whisky,’ I protested. ‘Can I just stay in here until the rain passes?’

‘Sure,’ he replied. ‘But why not have a little taste, just to pass the time?’

He took a glass and bottle from the shelf behind him and sang a few lyrics of the Metallica song, ‘There’s whisky in the jar oh.’ He winked, and with that, I took a seat at the bar.  I felt somewhat lonely amongst the long row of empty bar stools. Clearly, they were used to a greater custom.

‘So what would you like to try?’ he asked.

‘I’m in your hands,’ I admitted. ‘What would you recommend?’

‘Let’s start with the single malt. It’s a classic,’ he advised.

He poured a sample into the glass. The glug-glug and almost syrupy quality of the liquid was mesmerising.

‘This whisky is double distilled in locally crafted copper-pot stills and aged in small, 100 litre oak casks. We store our spirits for 5-8 years in smaller barrels for faster maturation,’ he explained.

I took a sip and promptly spluttered. He laughed.

‘Try throwing it back in one go,’ he suggested.

So I did.

After the initial burning sensation and urge to cough, the most amazingly delicious warmth spread from my belly to my brow.

‘Mmmm,’ I approved. ‘Nice. Smooth.’

‘Well if you like that, you’ll love the cask strength. It’s got the same smoothness but is more full bodied due to a higher percentage of Tasmanian malt. It bursts across the palate with hints of maple syrup and sweet notes of highland peat.’

‘Right,’ I said, not having a clue what that meant. Irrespectively, I nudged my glass forward and said, ‘Hit me.’

And I threw that back too.

This bloke knows what he’s talking about, I thought. It was amazing. My palate was dancing and my whole body was alive. The rain outside had faded away, and I felt all toasty and warm and happy.

‘How much alcohol is in this?’ I demanded.

‘58%’ he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, as if he knew that I was feeling tipsy already. ‘How ’bout we mix it up a little? Wanna try some gin?’

‘Gin?’ I replied with enthusiasm. Now we were speaking my language! ‘Oh yes please! Definitely’.

Again, I pushed my glass forward.

‘Now, here at Lark, we do a gin each season,’ he explained, ‘that way we can capitalise on the unique flavours available at different times of the year. This one is our summer release.’ He poured a more than generous sample.

This time, before I drank, I lifted the glass to my nose. The aromas were incredible. Bold and beautifully sweet, I inhaled a balance of citrus and rosewater with undertones of juniper and coriander. It made me think of the warmth of the summer sun. It was almost as if I could feel it on my skin.

I drank and closed my eyes with satisfaction.

‘That was good.‘ I could hear my voice starting to lilt and slur with the effects of the high alcohol content. I sat with the gin in my hand and sipped from the glass again and again. As if wanting to savour it but devour it at the same time, until every drop was gone. I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

‘This is slainte,’ he declared. ‘This is very, very special. It was developed by one of our owners in response to the strong demand for a unique Australian whisky liqueur. Slainte is the marriage of our single malt whisky and a distilled spirit of herbs and spices. The two are carefully combined to give a complexity of character, spiciness and sweetness, while maintaining the overtones of the whisky.’

I could listen to this guy talk all day! I thought. Such passion for the product.

My head was swirling, and I though I still didn’t fully understand what this whisky was all about, I had decided I liked it. Very much. I slid my glass towards him.

‘Now, Tasi,’ he began, as he pulled out a new bottle from behind the counter, ‘Tasi is something different altogether.’

‘What is it?’ I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.

‘Tasi is a unique herbal liqueur derived from a single native Tasmanian berry.’

‘I know about the Tasi berry!’ I interjected, surprisingly myself. ‘It’s actually called a Myrtus berry isn’t it?’

‘Yes, that’s right. It’s unique to Tasmania. So this really is something you can’t find anywhere else,’ he was speaking almost reverently. ‘Pass me your glass.’

Unlike any of the other tastings, he first scooped up some ice cubes and placed then delicately in the bottom of my glass.  Intrigued, I leant forward as he carefully poured. Tasi was a glorious deep yellow in colour and looked like liquid gold, flowing over iridescent rocks.

I will never forget that first mouthful. It was as if the liqueur curled around every inch of my teeth and gums. It stuck to my tongue and was like treacle down my throat. That liquid gold coated every surface it touched within my body and I felt like royalty. I smacked my lips approvingly and even moaned out loud. I appreciated every last golden drop and licked the ice cubes once my glass was drained.

He smiled.

He knew.

It was THAT good.

I bought three bottles and thanked him for his time, his advice and his expertise. The bottles clinked as I pulled the door open and reentered the world outside.

I did not notice if it was still raining.

And I did not care.

****

Sarah 2017©


12. Here Are Some More of Sarah’s Link’s to Explore!

Some of her favorite Short pieces:

Some of Sarah’s Poetry:


Thank you so much to Sarah for filling out the interview questions and providing such honest and thoughtful answers. I’m so sorry it took so long to put the interview together. This last past year has been crazy. Make sure to check out Sarah’s Blog: By Sarah.


I should have another interview out in the next couple of weeks, with no promises. If you would like to be interviewed and are a writer or blogger or if you blog for a cause, please reach out to me through my Contact Page. If you’re a regular, you’ll notice I’m playing around with my blog to update my theme. The Contact Page info also needs to be updated eventually.

Have a fantastic week!


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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SPRING BEAUTY HAUL: MAY/JUNE 2017 – #amwriting #beauty #nonfiction


Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.


  1. MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal (Bright Blue Pink: Satin Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $27.00 CAN
File 2017-06-05, 11 47 48 AM
Credit: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Peony Petal

It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product


2. MAC Velvet Tease Thick Lip Pencil (Light Pink: Matte Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $15.00 CAN

To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have

MAC - Velvet Tease Lip Pencil Tease Me
MAC Cosmetics – Velvet Tease Lip Pencil (Tease Me) -$17.00 CAN

been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.

3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN

Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow Generose
Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow (Genrose) –

A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars. 


4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00  CAN

The hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no

Clarin's Eyebrow Pencil - Soft Blonde
Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde) – $27.00

longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five. 


5. The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew Highlighting Creamhttp://www.thebeautycrop.com- $16.00 CAN

 

Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream
The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew – Highlighting Cream – $15.00

I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter. 


6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.

I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me

ELF Matte nude and brown Eyeshadow palette
e.l.f. Matte Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (nude/brown colors) – $10.00 U.S.

@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds ) – http://www.elfcosmetics.com – $4.00 U.S.

ELF Bake highlighter in Pink Diamonds
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds) – $4.00 U.S.

My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.


8. Model Co. B.B. Cream: Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light) – http://www.modelcocosmetics.com – $24.00 AUSTRALIAN

This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in

ModelCo BB Cream in Light (True Pic)
Model Co. B.B. Cream Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum and SPF 30, Light)

my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizer these B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interior Design: Florida or Coastal Style Decor #interiordesign #homedecor #coastal #Floridastyle



Coastal style interior design can be defined diversely depending on where a person lives in the world. The Tropical coastal style emerged from “Hawaii, Polynesia, and many places near the Pacific” Ocean. It is decor style that is popular in homes across the world. Tropical coastal style, also known as ‘Island style,’ usually “reflects the customs, colors, and beliefs of a place’s native peoples” such as in the Hawaiian islands. “Bright, tropical patterns, natural elements such as teak and other woods, and cultural and nautical decor,” define this coastal style.

Moreover, Mediterranean Coastal style, in particular, is a home decor style with history going back for centuries. It has been used and adapted all the world but especially is found where it originated in Greece, as well as coastal towns in Spain and Italy. Mediaterrian coastal style includes a great deal of natural light, brilliant “sunbaked colors” with “terra cotta, heavy woods, black iron or metals, and carved detailing.”

American coastal style or Florida style (which I am discussing in this post) is about “relaxation and comfort,” at it’s core. It is currently, “one of the most popular decorating styles” in the U.S and in Canada and is also “quickly growing and branching” out into “sub-styles such as ‘Cottage Coastal style,’ and ‘Contemporary Coastal style.'” American coastal style as a whole may include aspects from these branches. 

Florida style incorporates clean lines and materials that are natural with simple textures. A neutral background including smooth steel, wood, and woven materials are also key to achieving this look. Textiles and surface materials used in coastal style are durable and include colors such as “clear blues, sea greens, creamy whites, beiges,” other tints and shades of white and even soft gray. While coastal style homes are usually warm and relaxed some people do prefer a cooler color pallet. 

My preference for both paint colors and major living room furniture, especially pieces such as couches or large comfy chairs, would be to choose neutral colors in durable fabrics as a background for more colorful decor. Neutral furniture works well for indoor or outdoor living areas as brighter colours can always be added through decorative pillows, nautical or sea themed objects, (etc).

As well, paint colors could be a warm antique white or a clearer nautical white. Subtle tints of blue, sea green, and coral would also work well for paint colors that provide a soothing feeling as if you were in an elegant but comfortable cottage. 


Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com – Havan All Weather Wicker
Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com – Cloud Modular Couch with Clean Lines
Flordai Style - White Chair
Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com – Cloud Modular Chair – Clean Lines


I have always found shades of light blue, turquoise, and soft green to be luxurious and peaceful so it is not surprising that these colors are especially found in coastal design. Despite the lakeside or seaside cottage ambience, this style is also uncluttered and decorative pieces and textures should be chosen carefully. As well, if colors of the sea in light blues and greens against neutrals are not your cup of tea, coral shades and tints can create an interesting Florida design style with a more brightness.

As well, coastal style often includes prints stripes and patterns that can be bold and large, based around navel and seaside themes as well as items synonymous with Florida, and other cottage decor. As in any living room or seating area, a chair or two that contrasts against neutral colors is key outside or inside. As well, decorative pillows in a range of the color pallet can provide a room with more vivacity, texture, and key focal points. A blue or gray rug on the floor can also add subtle color and pattern. Rugs in sand shades with a beachy texture like a beach mat or some a courser material are wonderful too. 


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http://www.pier1one.com – Coco Cove Distressed Light Blue Armchair

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Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Nautical Patterned Accent Chair
Florida Style Livia Mist Blue Tweed Armchair
Credit: http://www.pier1.com – Livia Mist Blue Tweed Armchair
 

Florida Stlye Seashell Accent Share
Credit: http://www.pier1.com – Corrine Blue Seashell Chair
Florida Style _ Pier1 Dining Chair
Credit: http://www.pier1.com – Blooming Dining Chair or Extra Seating Chair
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Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Area Rug  (Also available in blue).

 

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Credit: http://www.pier1.com – Decorative Pillow
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Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Decorative and Textured Pillows
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Credit: http://www.bouclair.com – Nacy Decorative Pillow
 

Florida Style - Aqua Chenille Throw
Credit; http://www.pier1.com – Aqua Chenille Throw

My own preference for larger pieces of furniture in the Florida style that aren’t coaches or chairs but actual wooden furniture, leans towards restored furniture or furniture that has the appearance of being restored. Colorful light blue and turquoise mid-century furniture made out of natural wood can pop against neutral walls and couches. 

If you prefer, beach-like drift wood furniture works well and as does worn looking dark wood. Considering the flooring of a coastal home would also be important to determine what kind of larger cabinets, tables, (etc)., a person would choose. A darker stained wood floor for contrast with neutral walls would be anchoring. But a lighter floor that is more like a ‘sea worn’ wood would keep your home more peaceful. I enjoy painted wood furniture that has been repurposed or has that appearance myself, with darker wood floors. 


Credit: http://www.pinterest.com -unknown

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
Floriday Stlye - Cabinet Wayfair
Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Durgan Consol Cabinet
 

Florida Stlye - Durgan Accent Cabinet
Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Durgan Accent Cabinet
Credit: http://www.wayfair.com –  China Cabinet

Moreover, focal points or places that draw the eye to them can be created with statement art, special furniture pieces, and carefully chosen decorative ornaments. As well, nautical and beach accents such as shells, coral, sea creatures, and sea or cottage themed paintings or artwork, brighten up the laid back coastal style. I’ll note again that an uncluttered appearance is key to the style so no hoarding ornaments or decorative items and placing them everywhere. A refined cottage style retaining a tranquil and relaxing environment with an elegant sense of design is the vital. Pops of color here and there are important; however, because they help to avoid manotomy and to provide visual appeal. 


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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
Florida Style Sand Dollar Pottey Barn
Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com – Oversized Sand Dollar
Credit: http://www.bouclair.com
Credit: http://www.bouclair.com
wwww.bouclair.com
Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

Credit: http://www.potterybarb.com – Anchor Sentiment Print
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Unknown
 

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – unknown
Florida Style - Cobalt Horizons
Credit: http://www.pier1.com – Cobalt Horizon’s Abstract Art


 

Light through large windows is also significant in the contemporary coastal look because we want to keep a house bright and airy so if you are designing a home or looking for a home to decorate in the Florida style, large windows would be a wise investment. Not to mention, new windows will save you money on your power and heating bills in places where the weather becomes colder. 

As well, sufficient indoor lighting is beneficial to creating the perfect ambiance. A mix of elegant metal and nautical inspired chandeliers over the dining table and in various rooms, contrast with the laid back Florida or coastal style. Table lamps for lights near chairs to read as well as to provide more lighting at night are also essential.


 

Florida Stlye Anadora Chandelier PB
Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com – Anadora Crystal Chandelier
Credit: http://www.arhaus.com – Taza Large Pendant
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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Unknown
Credit:www.potterybarn.com – Eva Colored Glass Table Lamps
Credit:www.potterybarn.com – Pierce Table Lamp Vase

When designing a coastal themed kitchen it is important to keep things light and airy, carrying in color schemes from other rooms in the house. The kitchen should feel open while maintaining a coastal themed color pallet such as light blue, coral, ocean-like colors, or nautical themed hues.

White or off-white is a great choice for cupboards perhaps some with some glass in the cupboard doors. Also kitchen paint colors in light tints of blue, green, coral, in sand, and white or off-white keep a room neutral in the background. 

As well, having a kitchen bar enhances the refined cottage look providing a casual place eat, but also to incorporate bright pops of color on the bar stools or on the bar top. A backsplash is also a vital place to play around with brighter shades of light blue, turquoise, navy, or coral. Perhaps only certain tiles could be vivid acting as accents in the kitchen or in a bathroom. 

As well, curtains or shades in the kitchen and everywhere in the house, can contribute to having a light airy feeling through out. Curtains should not be too heavy or dark but in lighter shades or tints of the colour scheme. Sheer curtains, cotton-like, or fabrics reminiscent of nautical sails and or other nautical materials, all contribute to the coastal style. 

Also, a similar design in the kitchen can be followed in places such as the bathroom and laundry room, incorporating coastal colors, textures, and tones while keeping most of the space neutral. Remembers pops of color or accents are essential in neutral spaces but should not be overdone.


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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Florida Style Kitchen

Floriday Style Kitchchen colored tiles
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Florida Style Kitchen
Credit: www. pier1.com – Ocean Melamine Dinnerware
 

Florida Style - Laundry Room
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Florida Style Laundry Room
Florida Style Washroom
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Florida Style Washroom

Florida or coastal themed bedrooms share similarities with the other rooms in the house creating more continuity of style. The key if you are decorating your entire home in coastal style is to keep the flow from room to room without overdoing the trend. Oceanlike, comfortable, and calm surrounding are essential to recreating the effect of the luxury or a refined cottage theme for the Florida style in your own home. Bedrooms in particular should be cozy, comfortable, yet stylish. 

All in all the coastal or Florida style throughout a home should keep a color palette in mind, think about flow, and how certain Colorado and hues blend with each other and neutral walls and bigger pieces of furniture. As a whole coastal style seeks to be a place people can return home to and feel at rest as if they can relax and forget about their day in their own place of a seaside haven. 

Whether you prefer coastal decor or the the use of tropical vibrant colors, you can find inspiration by checking out Florida real estate for more ideas of how to bring an outdoor feeling into your home.


Credit: www. pinterest.com 
Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Dresser

 

Credit: http://www.wayfair.com – Blue/Grey Wardrobe
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com – Another Coastal Themed Bedroom

© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Sources:

— Cottage Home Furniture. “Beach House & Coastal Furniture.”  Www. cottagehomefurniture.com. 2017. Web 2 May 2017.

— Lee, Tonya. “Types of Coastal Decorating.”Www.thespruce.com. The Spruce., 04 April. 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.


 

 

 

Tale Weavers: Crossing the Veil #amwriting #taleweavers #fiction


Thanks to Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s prompt: A tale which takes place beyond the veiled mist. 

——

Credit: Adventures In The Wild

——

Kyria had been warned since she was a small child, beyond the veil was dangerous. Her older siblings had told her monsters lived there, that there were witches waiting to eat a young child. 

What the adults said wasn’t much better. Her Grandma Iris said she’d lose her soul if she was caught in the veil beyond. She talked about shape shifters and immortal creatures of the dark such as vampires and werewolves.

One day hanging the laundry on the line at her grandmothers, Kyria gazed at the veil nearby. She hadn’t thought of it for a long time and she wasn’t sure why it called to her now. She’d never admit she could hear the whispers of the creatures which lived their. They were tempting her and she knew it.

 Did everyone in the village see the veil as she did? Kyria believed they had no idea where it physically was, that to them it was was only folklore for children and not a real thing; it was extremely real to Kyria and she knew for her grandmother as well. 

Kyria was twenty-four and long past the age of adulthood. Her parents lived together and her siblings with their families. She hadn’t found a suitable man to marry so her father decided she should move in with her ailing Grandmother and care for her. He thought she needed to be of use somewhere since she hadn’t married quickly as her sisters did. 

The more Kyria thought about the veil and the mist shrouding it, the more she thought about how she’d never put herself out there in life. She’d always done what she was told and when others failed she was the one who took their place, who filled in so everything went smoothly. 

It was how she made up for her so-called “selfishness,” still being single and not having children for her family and village. She wondered why she had never pushed her boundaries and was tired of being ruled by her father’s and her grandmother’s whims.

Kyria loved her Grandma Iris the most because she understood Kyria better than anyone. But her grandma still cautioned her to never cross the veil daily. But grandma was inside sleeping and Kyria heard the whispers from veil more and more these days. They were a sirens call to her. 

She ignored all she had been told by her grandma, her family, and her friends as a child. She decided today she would cross the shrouded veil into the other world. Dropping the laundry Kyria walked towards the veil and into the mist surrounding it. The veil shimmered as she came closer and sonorous voice could be heard singing on the other side. 

When she reached the line where the spiritual and natural worlds met Kyria stopped for a moment and stood. She smiled and with both hands raised in front of her she was able to feel the mystical energy she was about to pass through. 

She stepped into the shimmering fog and breathed deeply. Her long blond hair flew out behind her and it was the last thing her grandmother saw as she watched her granddaughter cross into the other world. 

Grandma Iris sighed in frustration but she knew as it had been with her, the veil had been too much of a temptation for Kyria. She knew that adventure and discovery awaited her sheltered granddaughter. As it had been with Iris, the veil and it’s magic was in Kyria’s blood. Grandma Iris was the only one besides Kyria who actually could see the veil, she had made herself guardian of the gateway and hoped Kyria would take over for her one day. 

But as the last of Kyria’s blond hair slipped through veil and disappeared, Iris couldn’t help being thrilled for her granddaughter. What awaited Kyria would shape and change her. It would motivate and hurt her, it would be an experience far beyond the scope anyone in the village would ever experience. 

Iris blew a kiss towards the veil and whispered a blessing for Kyria. The feelings of excitement in Iris were so intense it was as if it were fifty-years-ago and she herself was crossing the veil. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Beauty: A Dream Vanity Area



If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.

I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.

While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. 

Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborate grooming rituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King  Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court. 

One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.

In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popular skyscrapers with luxurious penthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”

These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.


Considering my dream vanity and how I would design it and the area around my vanity,  I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.

There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what style of vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.

I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed. There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.

Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.


 

Credit: Home Decorating Trends – Homedit -www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.createinspireme.blogspot.com

 

Credit: http://www.danisvintagedesign.com

Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.

A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmer drawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.


 

Credit: http://www.facebook.com via http://www.pinterest.com

 

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.missmustardseed.com

Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.

Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.


 

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Credit:  Unknown – Google Search

 

Credit: Source Unknown -Google Search

 

Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.

A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.

As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.


 

Credit: http://www.decor-zone.net

 

Credit: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.

There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.

In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending a lot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.

I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capiz shells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.

Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass and wrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).

I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide more natural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glowOne lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus,  here and here.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.

I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.

Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifying mirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.


dream-magnifying-mirror-light
5X Magnifying Mirror with LED Light(www.bedbathandbeyond.ca)

Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemesHome Sense is another excellent place for this.

A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.

Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.


 

Credit: http://www.homedepot.ca

 

Credit: Unknown – http://www.pinterest.com

 

http://www.bedbathbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.overstock.com

 

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Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well.  I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.


 

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http://www.stylecaster.com

 

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http://www.totalbeauty.com

For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.

It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products. 


 

Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.hautandhealthyliving.com

The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.

It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keepingAmazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.

Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board.  I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases. 

I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.

For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.walmart.com

It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them.  Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.


 

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Credit: Mandibelle16 – Amanda Eifert

 

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Credit: TiffanyUssery – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: theArtForYou – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: LA Scandal – http://www.etsy.com

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Credit: Maria Ahrens – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: Cheri Miller Art – http://www.etsy.com

I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.

I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.

For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interview With Jackelyn Santana


Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recently married. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11 Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”


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Jackelyn Santana

1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family.  I was married on November 11, 2016 and  I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.

This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.

Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.

As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.

The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.


” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more  people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana


2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?

I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.

This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write. I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.

They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored.  I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.

Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.

These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms. Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.

By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.

God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.

Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want to help others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection. 


“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana


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Jackelyn Santana

4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?

There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.

There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.


5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?

I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.


“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”


6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.

When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?

Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.

WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.  


8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?

I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.


9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:

Slogging Through The Tears

By Jackelyn Santana

*****

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of  highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs  the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder

 *****

I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.

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I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.

For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.

My sensitive nature is misunderstood.

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Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?

One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15

broken-heartIn my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.

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I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.

It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.

I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.

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The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.

I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.

When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?

People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.

As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem!  I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.

It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.

  “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten

Slog

*****


Here Are More of Jackelyn’s Posts:


Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s BlogFaith Walking Hebrews 11:1


Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter 2016/2017 Beauty Haul: Part One


Good Afternoon everyone. I’m back with some of my favourite beauty products I’ve tried since my Fall Beauty Haul. I hope you like the products and find some you can incorporate into your own beauty routine.


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Benefit Cosmetics: Browvo Conditioning Primer (www.sephora.ca) – $36.00 CAN

1.Benefit Cosmetics: Browvo! Conditioning Primer – Nutrient Rich Primer for Fuller-Looking Brows –  (1.0 mL) – http://www.sephora.ca – $36.00 CAN

This wasn’t a product I went out and bought, but I received the full-sized product with a coupon code from Sephora. Its a product part of Benefit’s recently revamped brow line since brows have become a big deal these past two-years where makeup is concerned.

I haven’t used this product long, only a week, but I wanted to include it in the Beauty Haul. So far I enjoy the product and it makes my brows feel soft. You don’t have to wear other brow products on top of it. If you want, you can wear Browvo alone. Basically, Browvo’s a pen and you squeeze some of the conditioning product out. There is a soft rubber comb you can use to brush it on your eyebrows.

The biggest feature I think of this is product, is that it is conditioning so if you have sparse brows, this makes them appear “fuller, thicker, and healthier.” Browvo is a “nutrient rich” conditioning formula with “keratin” and “soy proteins.” These ingredients are known to help brows appear fuller.

For women who have either over-plucked their own brows or gone to places to have their brows waxed and had them waxed and shaped too thin for a long time, Browvo is fantastic product for you to try out. Also if you find the pencil or gel you are filling in your brows with doesn’t last, Browvo is a brow primer and will aid you in keeping your brow makeup in place.

My brows have always been on the fuller side so even though my brows feel nice when I put Browvo on, it’s not a product I would purchase because I don’t think its a product marketed to me but to women who have sparser brows. If I needed primer on my brows I would use my usual face primer which is POREfessional primer from Benefit.


2. Benefit Cosmetics: ka-Brow- Cream Gel Eyebrow Colour with Brush (1.0 g) -www.sephora.ca – $30.00 CAN

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Benefit Cosmetics: ka-Brow Cream Gel Brown Colour with Brush -www.spehora.ca – $30.00 CAN

On a different makeup order, I received a full-sized sample of Benefit’s of ka-Brow. I’ve been using it a few weeks and its a great product actually. Ka-Brow is a cream gel product you use to fill in your eyebrows, instead of a pencil or other brow products. I’ve never used a gel product on my eyebrows, so I was eager to try  ka-Brow out.

The lid comes of this product and you pull off the brush as well, to dip it into the brow gel container which is on the bottom of the product as you can see. It can be difficult to tell at first, how much of the gel you need to use to fill in your eyebrows. I found a little ka-Brow goes a long way. The brush is tiny and it’s easy to fill in your brow more naturally, with tiny strokes. Or to make your brows look more defined by using thicker swipes of ka-Brow on your eye brows.

The product promises to “fill,” “sculpt,” and “define brows.” You can build it from a “natural” look to a more “dramatic” one quite easily with ka-Brow as I mentioned. Ka-brow is also Waterproof and lasts 24 Hours.

I had never considered using a gel product such as ka-Brow to fill in my brows.I am quite happy to use a brow pencil which is soft but not too soft. I find  despite using ka- Brow, I require Benefit’s blond brow gel over top to set the product.

I’m undecided about using ka-Brow over a pencil such as an Anastasia Brow Pencil I’d been using before trying this product. Ka-Brow can accidentally be put on quite too thick and I don’t know how long it lasts compared to a brow pencil. A good brow pencil such as one from Anastasia, lasts me three-months. So I’ll see if this product lasts another couple of months.

There is nothing wrong with ka-Brow. It works well, and I chose the shade o1 Platinum for blonds and the colour is perfect; however, it’s up to you what products you prefer to use on your eyebrows and how much you can afford to spend on a brow product for how long it lasts.  I haven’t decided if I like this product enough to buy it again.


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L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly INTENZA Waterproof Mascara -(www.ulta.com) – $8.99 US or at Shoppers Drug Mart $8.99 CAN on Sale.

3. L’Oreal Butterfly INTENZA Waterproof Mascara – Blackest Black 381 – (2.0 mL) – http://www.ulta.com – $8.99 US ( Also bought at Shopper’s Drug Mart for $8.99 CAN)

I admit, I’m a mascara junky. Out of all the products I use, mascara is the one I change the most often. My last one from Make Up Forever, I ended up loving in the end, except that the brush which covered every tiny lash, made mascara go all over my eye area and the mascara didn’t appear to have such a volumizing effect as I was hoping for. So for over top, I bought this L’Oreal mascara from Shoppers Drug Mart and it worked extremely well to use over top the Make Up Forever Mascara and fill out my eyelashes.

I find myself consistently going back to L’Oreal mascaras because they reliably, time and again, have well priced mascaras which do the same job as most mascaras in the $30.oo to $40.00 range.

For L’Oreal you are only paying around $10 CAN for their mascara. It’s a shame when you buy an expensive mascara and hate it. But if you don’t like a cheaper mascara it isn’t such a big deal if it doesn’t work out. The only difference I can say between say L’Oreal mascaras and expensive mascaras such as Dior, is that mascaras such as Dior, have fantastic black or brown colour pigment.

However, I do tend to receive many beauty samples, especially in mascara. I will try out a new mascaras a sample from a more expensive brand, and put the L’Oreal over top to set a non-waterproof mascara (because it runs under my eyes) and to add a little extra volume if needed. I completely recommend this L’Oreal mascara and many  other kinds of L’Oreal mascara,  as long as the mascara is waterproolipf.


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Make Up Forever: Artist Plexi-Gloss in 209 Fuchsia – Pink -www.sephora.ca – $24.00 CAN

4. Make Up Forever: Artist Plexi Gloss – 209 Fuschsia Pink (Opaque) – (7 mL) – http://www.sephora.ca – $24.00 CAN

Lately, I find myself becoming more interested in lip products.For most of my twenties, lip gloss or lipstick in a light pink was fine for going out or during the  day. Now I find I enjoy wearing a bit of colour on my lips because you can wear a bold lip and wear hardly any other makeup than a bit of mascara, eyeliner, and concealer.

Usually, I like to wear makeup but every once and a while, if I’m just running quick errands and than going home, I don’t feel like putting all the effort into doing my full makeup routine. My pet peeve about lipsticks and glosses is in a way, the same way  I feel about mascaras: I hate when I buy a more expensive lipstick or gloss and it comes off right away, the first time you have a glass of water. Also, I hate that many lip glosses can be sticky.

This is not the case with Make Up Forever’s Artist Plexi-Gloss. It’s super amazing stuff and you can buy it many colours in a high shine finish or in a shimmer finish. The colour I bought was a Fuchsia Pink and it’s amazing. I’m not huge on bright red lipstick as you know, but this is my trade off. I love wearing this bright shade some days, and it stays on incredibly well through drinking, eating, and whatever else you’re doing. I’m so pleased by how long the colour lasts.

Besides the brilliant colours this Artist Plexi-Gloss has an artist designed foam applicator (a”superflex” tip) which is amazing for applying the gloss and having “precision and control,” while doing it. As well, I enjoy that the Plexi-Gloss is shiny but not super shiny such as many sticky lip glosses or moisturizing lipsticks. Plexi-Gloss is more akin to lipstick with shine, the colour is so intense. I highly recommend this lip product; it is most certainly worth the $24.00 CAN.


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Laneige: Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask – For All Skin – http://www.sephora.ca – $33.00 CAN

5. LANEIGE: Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask(2.7 Oz) – http://www.sephora.ca – $33.00 CAN

I’ve hardly ever had a problem with dry skin in my entire life. My problem has always been oily skin. Being a couple of years into my thirties, I find my skin is changing a bit. It  has become more dry. The chilly -25 degrees Celsius weather we are experiencing in Alberta, Canada isn’t helping my dry skin either.

Having had troubles with many skin products in the past, I’m always hesitant about different face masks and other brands of skincare. But I’ve been so pleased with a newer brand to Sephora called Laneige. I’ve tried a couple small one or two day samples of their  products. But also with my Sephora points, bought a large sample of Laneige’s Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask.

It smells wonderful, a bit as yogurt of course, but also as strawberries. The sample I received which was (0.6 fl.oz), lasted two-months and I’ve been used this moisturizing mask every two-days as directed. This Yogurt Repairing Mask is put it on after using your toner. You leave the mask on for five to ten minutes and then gently rinse it off your face with lukewarm water. After you can apply any other creams or your moisturizers you use to your face.

I wake the next morning after using this Yogurt Repairing Mask and my skin feels soft and hydrated. It’s not dry as my skin has often been feeling lately. I did go and purchase this from Sephora, it was highly worth it.

Laneige’s Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask delivers “nutrition” and “antioxidants” deep into skin. It is formulated to “remove dead skin” from the surface of your face. Its unique “fermented yogurt” formula provides “anti-irritation” benefits to the skin. Not to mention, I’ve never once broken out after using this mask the next day or any days after. I’m excited to maybe try other products from Laneige’s skin care line. I most definitively recommend this mask and I think for how long the product lasts, the price is reasonable.


Please stay tuned for Part Two of my Winter 2016/2017 Beauty Haul!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fall Beauty Haul 2016 Part Two


Welcome to Part Two of my Fall Beauty Haul 2016. These are all products I have tried since the spring. I apologize as I meant to have Part Two out closer to Part One but life has been busy and I’ve been quite exhausted lately due to health issues. Anyway’s here’s my  Beauty Haul Part Two:


1.Make Up Forever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara: Dramatic Impact and Graphic Precision – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

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Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN
I’m most definitely a huge Make Up For Ever Fan. Their products are always awesome quality at a reasonable price. For this mascara, I was able to try a sample-size in the non-waterproof version first. I loved the cone shaped brush and was so excited to try the mascara in the waterproof full-sized version. However, the problem with the waterproof version is becoming used to using the cone shaped brush which is larger than in the sample-sized mascara I first tried. The mascara wand brush is an excellent size in the sample version but too big at the end of the cone brush in the full-sized version.

I don’t find I gain much volume in my lashes from this mascara either, which is odd because I did gain volume with sample-sized version? I’ve become used to utilizing this waterproof mascara and it is alright. I’m not sure it’s worth $30.00 CAN. My biggest issue is that the mascara wand too easily leaves mascara all around your eyes, especially underneath them. I always have to take a Q-tip and clean up around my eye a lot. So if you are going to use this mascara, put it on before your eye shadow, as you don’t want to ruin your eye shadow with the Make Up For Ever waterproof mascara.

I’m becoming better at using the cone brush but I find I need to use another mascara on top of this mascara to get a  volumized appearance, and I have thick lashes. I went and bought a L’Oreal Butterfly Effect Mascara in waterproof. I layer this drugstore product over the Make Up For Ever mascara; the drugstore mascara cost me $8.99 CAN. It helps the Make Up For Ever waterproof mascara look a lot fuller. This a three-star mascara, you can buy better ones. I do like the concept of the brush, but I think the mascara wand cone brush is too big in the full-sized waterproof version.


2. Smash Box Oil Free Photo Finish Foundation Primer  – Pore Minimizing –

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Smash Box Photo Finish Foundation Primer Oil Free – Pore Minimizing (1 0z.) – (www.sephora.ca) – $50.00 CAN
(www.sephora.ca) – $50.00 CAN (1 0z).

I have tried some Smash Box products and been happy. I like there eye shadow as it is highly pigmented and there lip products are wonderful as well. My favourite nude lip gloss is from Smash Box. 

Smash Box was pretty much the first brand to come out with primers for skin. I remember buying their original primer eight or nine-years-ago. Their primers last a long time, even in the sample-size I have been using.

Nonetheless, I have found even if their primers say oil free or pore minimizing, they still make me break-out every single time. It doesn’t matter what primer of Smash Box’s I use. I think if you have drier skin, this might be an okay product for you to use. But personally, the only place I use it after a couple-weeks trying it, is underneath my eyes, so I don’t end up with mascara or eye shadow giving me raccoon eyes later in the day.

If you want an excellent primer that is better for your skin, pore-minimizing and great for all skin types, I recommend the Benefit POREfessional Face Primer for $50.00 for (1.5 0z), a much more reliable buy. It’s also nicer on your skin if you break-out at all. I can wear the Benefit Primer every day and I hardly ever have issues such as I have with Smash Box Primers.


3. BENEFIT cosmetics GIMME Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel (Color 01 Light) – (0.1 oz.) – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

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Benefit Cosmetics GIMME Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel (0.1 oz) – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN
It’s always frightening when a makeup brand updates or changes one of your favourite products. Often, I find I don’t like the new product as much. However, I don’t believe this Benefit Cosmetic’s Gimme Brow Gel has changed much with the exception of the outside packaging.

Gimme Brow Gel is my go-to brow gel and lasts me about three-months a container. There are three shades you can choose from besides the one I bought, also medium 02 and Deep 03. It’s amazing product and worth the $30.00 CAN to get a finished looking brow which isn’t too perfect. The product doesn’t cause your eyebrows to appear extremely ‘made-up’ with this Volumizing gel. It gives your eyebrows polish and fills them in.

You can apply Gimme Brow Gel either before or after you fill in your brow with an eyebrow pencil. Unfortunately, I am not happy with the change in the Benefit eyebrow pencils as you know from Part One. But Gimme Brow Gel is a superior product with a brow pencil or without, depending on how much filling in your eyebrows need. Five stars!


4. Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Eye Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – (o.5 oz.) – (www.sephora.ca) – $58.00 CAN

I’ve tried a few Origins samples (for one or two days) of their face creams and have generally,

origins-plantscription-anti-aging-power-eye-cream
Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Eye Cream (0.5 fl oz.) – (www.sephora.ca) –  $58.00 CAN
liked them. This is the first time I had a product of theirs large enough to try over several weeks. I received a larger-size sample of this eye cream and I love it.

I’ve only started to notice my eyes are not as smooth as they used to be. The Origins Anti-Aging Power Eye Cream is gentle on the skin around and over my eyes. It doesn’t burn as some eye creams I’ve tried in the past have. Plus, I wake up feeling my eyes are less puffy and my skin is smoother in my eye area. The eye cream has chamomile and algae in it and is a natural product.

I like it a great deal as well as the fact that it lasts such a long time for a small tube. I think a full-sized product would last months and months. I would consider buying this in the future. I’m impressed by how gentle the eye cream is on sensitive eye skin. And I would agree with the Sephora claim,. after two-weeks or less, you notice a difference in the appearance of skin around your eyes. A well-made product to pick-up if you’re searching for a great eye cream.


5. Dove Dry  Spray Soothing Chamomile 48 Hour Odor Protection – Antiperspirant – (www. well.ca or in store at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada) – (1.7 g) – $8.99

dove-dry-spray-soothing-chamomile-48-hr-odour-protection
Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant in Soothing Chamomile 48 HR Odor Protection – (www.well.ca or Your Local Drugstore) – $8.99 CAN
I received a full-sized sample of this to try in one of my last Luxebox’s. As you can tell, since I’m writing about it, I liked the product a lot. I don’t like Dove Hair Care but their body washes and deodorant type products are always wonderful. They leave your skin feeling baby soft and they work well throughout the day.

I guess typically, I apply antiperspirant about two or three times a day, depending on what I’m doing that day. But this antiperspirant by Dove lasts long so I think if you wanted you could apply it less.

The Chamomile scent is refreshing and light. Dove has other scents you can choose from. I love that it’s a spray on antiperspirant which makes it easy to apply. Also, unlike stick deodorant, the dry spray truly doesn’t end up on your clothes.

Dove includes their 1/4 moisturizing cream in this product along with Vitamins E and F to sooth underarm skin. Its a wonderful product and I’m sure at your local drugstore, it will even go on sale as it a common drugstore brand.


6. ST. TROPEZ Gradual Self- Tanning Lotion and Body Moisturizer In Light-Medium (6.7 fl.oz)  (www.beautyboutique.ca or Shoppers Drug Mart) – $38.00 CAN

I had heard great things about St. Tropez self-tanning products and I was excited to

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St. Tropez Every Day Body Lotion Gradual Tan Classic (Light -Medium) (6.7 fl. oz.) – $38.00 CAN
try their products having collected about $80.00 worth of Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Reward points in the summer. I purchased two bottles  hoping the lotion would be better than Vaseline or Jergans (for instance) self-tanning lotions because its a more high-end brand.

I am truly pale skinned and fair and with this product (as with other self-tanning products) had to be careful I only applied it every three-days or I looked orange or had orange streaks all over my legs (etc). Honestly, with self-tanning lotions, you cannot avoid the streaks. I even put on regular lotion after the tanning lotion, so my skin is less orange. Especially over areas where tanning lotions seem to stick like your ankles and knees.

The moisturizing quality of the St. Tropez Gradual Self-Tan is superior to drugstore brand moisturizers. It’s an awesome lotion which helped with dry skin in the summer. I would say this product is about a four out of five stars. It works well, but it is a bit pricey for what it actually does. But, I’m happy I bought both tubes.

I looked at other St. Tropez products and they are a bit pricier. I wanted to try the foam for instance (with a glove) and it was around $60.00 for a set or for a large-size of the St. Tropez instant tanning foam alone.

So, this one is up to you, and if you want to put all that work into a tan for summer or vacation. Even if St. Tropez self-tan products are pricier, they are by far more worth it than burning your skin to get a tan and inviting skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer (so I’ve read).


Thanks for reading! Hopefully, see you with more beauty product reviews before Christmas!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Beauty: Tartelette in Bloom Palette – Two Looks.


Tartelette in Bloom Palette (Amanda Eifert)

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I have a love/hate relationship with eyeshadow palettes. I’m particularly, careful when I buy one because I need to be able to wear and look good in all or most of the colours in the palette for it to be worth it for me to buy. My longtime favorite has been Urban Decay Naked Basics for pretty brown/skin tone coloured shadow that works everyday and can be taken from day to night by adding definition in your eye crease or the outside corner of your crease with a darker shade. It is a wonderful matte palette from a dependable eyeshadow brand.

But, I have been searching for a palette with a bit more variety in it after using up my last Urban Decay Basic’s palette. I have  

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Open Tartelette in Bloom Palette. (Amanda Eifert)
 
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wanted a palette with some shimmer or sparkle in it, not all shades, but some. Also, I have wanted a palette that has a few more choices in the family of brown shades with at least three lighter colours. I have found this palette! It is the Tartelette in Bloom Palette by Tarte. I have other Tarte eyeshadow and blush and I adore that Tarte has natural Amazonian Clay based products with excellent pigment. The palette is $54.00 at Sephora but if you sign up for Tarte online you can often buy their products from five to thirty percent off your purchase on certain occasions.

Also, I would like to note that Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes mascara is awesome too. I have a sample from Tarte I’m currently using. It can also be found at Sephora for $25.00. It is great at coating every lash in mascara without missing lashes as some mascaras do. It can be bought in a waterproof formula ( Lights, Cameras, Splashes) which I think I’m going to have to try. But, I have the regular version, so I am going over it with a second coat of cheap waterproof mascara, so Tarte’s mascara doesn’t end up under my eyes. 

Also, it is important to ensure your eyeshadow lasts and stays put on your eyes by using an eye primer such as the one below by Urban Decay. However, I think if you use your regular face primer on your eyes, it will keep your eyeshadow lasting longer as well, and that’s one less product you need to buy — but it is up to you. 

Also, having the right tools helps when applying eyeshadow. I purchased these two eyeshadow brushes at Shoppers Drug Mart awhile ago and they are Shoppers Drug Mart’s own brand called Quo which you can find at Beauty Boutique online. Quo has a variety of makeup brushes. One Quo makeup brush line is cheaper and the other is more expensive; however, the more expensive line tends to last years (except their foundation brush). 

**Also, please remember to keep your brushes clean and bacteria free. Dish soap and shampoo ( tea-tree oil shampoo is ideal) are both superb ways to clean your brushes once a week or every two-weeks if that is all you can do. If you have a makeup brush that gets ‘wet’ such as your foundation brush, you definitely need to wash that one at least once a week to keep it clean.

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer -www.sephora.ca – (Amanda Eifert)

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Quo Eye Shadow Brushes – the fluffy one for ar applying eyeshadow all over an area and the smaller brush for your crease, brow, inner eyelids, and outer eye. (Amanda. Eifert)
 

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What I want to share with you today are two eyeshadow looks which can be achieved with this palette. One look comes with a small insert in the eyeshadow palette, and the other I came up with. 

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Tartelette in Bloom Palette Upclose (Amanda Eifert)

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Look 1: Sunflower Stare

1. Sweep the shade funny girl all over your your lid and upper eye area.

2. Add definition by blending rebel into your crease.

3. Apply firecracker to the outer corner of your crease and eye.

4. Highlight your brow bone with charmer and put flower child in the inner corner of your lid.

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Look 1: Tartelette in Bloom. (Amanda Eifert)

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A Second Look for Look 1: Tartelette in Bloom (Amanda Eifert)
 

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Look 2: Neutral Eye with Sparkle

1. Apply flower child all over your eyelid and upper eye area.

2. Sweep jetsetter across only your eyelid.

3. Use rocker to add definition in your crease and the corner of your eye.

4. Take charmer and highlight your brow bone and the inner corners of your eye.

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Look 2: Tartelette in Bloom (Amanda Eifert)

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Thanks for reading! 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Help Me My Fingernails are Destroyed: What to Do When You’ve Ruined Your Finger Nails from too Much Gel or Shellac Nail treatments.


Below is a picture of my nails in their current awful condition. I have had gel nail polish three times in the last three months and the gel polish and process of removing the polish has ruined my nails. It is going to take along time for them to recover. I did some research on the best way I can bring my nails back to life so hopefully you can learn from my mistake. I know some lady’s get their nails done monthly with shellac or gel polish but the effects are brutal on your real nails and I had beautiful nails before gel polish. I would save gel or shellac polish for a special occasion.

My Nails Destroyed (Amanda Eifert)

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1. If you do not want to pay $20.00 for a beauty salon to remove your gel shellac polish you can use acetone and either soak your nails in the acetone or soak cotton balls/rounds with the acetone and place them over your nails putting tinfoil over top the cotton balls/rounds. After twenty to thirty minutes, the shellac or gel polish should be easy for you to scrap off gently. It should come right off and be sticky. For me this method works for shellac but not gel nails. I soaked my Gel nails for fifty minutes altogether with the cotton balls and foils and the polish did not come off last time I had my nails done in December.

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Acetone Gel/Shellac Nail Polish Remover (www.nailpolishcanada.com)

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2. For Gel nails, the second option I researched and that was  recommended to me by an esthetician, was to buff the nail polish off using a nail file. This takes along time and can be extremely hard on your nails especially if they are already super thin and cracking due to Gel polish. It also hurts your finger nails and I was trying to be gentle. If your nails are thin and peeling this method is not the way to go. I was able to remove most of the Gel polish, but underneath my nails were paper thin. In some places, they started to bleed underneath the nail. I left the Gel polish right at my tips because it was too painful to buff off and will grow out soon. 

***If your nails are as bad as mine, it is worth it to go into the salon and get the Gel polish removed. They salon has a special drill/file and it does not remove extra layers of your nail that are already thin, as filing the polish off can make happen. If I had only went to the salon in the first place and paid $20.00 I would’ve had nails in a better condition. I paid $20.00 anyways for the nail strengthener I talk about later on. So consider this please.

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3. If your nails are thin, cracked, and peeling cut them as short as you can, so they can grow back stronger. Use a cream that is good for your hands and nails to moisturuze and help strengthen your nails and keep your hands soft. I recommend Vaseline Healthy Hand and Nail cream which you can find at any drugstore.

Vaseline. Healthy Hand and Nail Cream (Amanda Eifert)

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4. Use cuticle oil to shine your nails when you have gel or shellac nails. This also helps to moisturuze your nails so they do not become cracked and peeling. Use it after you have removed your gel/shellac polish to keep your nails especially strong and your cuticles soft. I received this in a gift a few years ago but cuticle oil is available in drug stores and olive oil works well if it is all you have at home.

  
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5. This next product, I read about from other people who found themselves in this nail situation. It is a Nail Strengthener by OPI, an excellent nail care brand. I ordered one from Nail Polish Canada. There were a few different OPI Nail Strengtheners to choose from and I bought the one for dry and brittle nails. The nail strengthener is from OPI’s Nail Envy line and costs about $20.00 Canadian for a bottle. The blogs I read, said to apply the strengthener to your nails at the beginning of the week. You can put a colour over it if you would like. Also, use it over top your coloured polish if you are applying a colour. Then mid-week, apply a coat of the nail strengthener again and also apply one last coat at the end of the week. Then start again the next week until your nails are strong. If you don’t want to invest in a strengthening polish at least put some kind of regular nail polish overtop as your nails grow more and will hold together better under a polish. Clear polish is fine and probably the best. But this Nail Envy works so well, it is worth ever penny.

 

OPI. Nail Envy , Nail Strengthener (www.nailpolishcanada.com)
 
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6. If you need to remove nail polish, do not use regular or acetone nail polish remover on your nails in their damaged state. Instead, use a natural nail polish remover. I received a great one in my Luxebox a couple boxes ago. It is called Sun Coat: All Natural Nail Polish Remover Gel made from Corn and Soy. It is $7.99 online or can be found at London Drugs with other Sun Coat products. You apply the gel to your nail (with regular polish on) and allow it sit for thirty seconds to a minute on your nails. You may have to reapply a bit if you missed an edge or a section of polish. But generally, within a minute your polish comes right off with a cotton round and your nails aren’t further ruined by chemicals or damaged more. Sun Coat’s Nail Polish Remover does not sting when you put it on or smell at all. It is the perfect polish remover to use and start again with applying the nail polish OPI strengthener to keep your nails from looking like mine currently do. 

If I can say one thing that is important it would be that if you are doing Gel or Shellac nails often, allow them to breathe for a couple weeks now and then. Also, pay the money and get the estheticisan to remove it with her special tool. It will save your nails. Inbetween, use the the OPI Nail strengthener on your nails. 

 

Sun Coat : Nail Polish Remover Gel made with Corn and Soy (Amanda Eifert)
 
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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.