2017 Nail Trends

These days, I rarely get to the salon for for a primping, pampering manicure. So, I, typically, have to rely on a steady hand and a bottle of the latest and greatest from Essie or OPI or Sally Hansen or whatever brand and hue, I’m coveting and crushing on in that fleeting mani-moment in time. Or, more realistically, I’ll just grab whatever I happen to have on hand and get to work! I’ll put the kids to bed, throw on my jammies (how cute are my cozy polish pants?), cue up Netflix, make a cup of tea, and get my paint on! Sounds like an ideal evening to me.

Essie Penny Talk & Essie Good as Gold (on nails)

While I, generally, keep my nails nice and short and neutrally polished, I’ve been trying to branch out a bit. Pops of color, decorative designs, elegant embellishments, and major metallic are just a few fun ways I’m upping my DIY nail game this year. Here are six of the  biggest, coolest, and neatest nail trends you, too, should try in 2017.

(via Pinterest)

Majorly Metallic
Who needs jewelry? Dress up your nails in heavy metals: rose golds, shiny silvers, and cool coopers. Layer on or use your favorite metallic as a top coat over a more subdued neutral. Better yet, put a twist on the most iconic manicure, and paint a shiny line over a more matte polish—for a look that is most certainly not your Mama’s French.

(via New York Times)

Blindingly Bright
When it comes to color, this is the year to go big (and bold!) or go home. Bright and powerful pops of lemon yellows, tangerine oranges, and electric blues are all the rage. Don’t shy away from it—pick the punchiest of pigments. Up the ante by color blocking a few different shades, and embrace the rainbow!

(via The Fashion Spot)

Skin-toned Neutrals
Match your nail color to your skin tone and go for a very monochromatic, timeless, and chic look.

(via Instagram/Miss Pop Nail)

Geo Designs
Paint a black rectangle down the center of your nail or create a grid design over a simple shade or clear polish. It’s a simple way to jazz up a standard mani.

(via Vogue)

Color your Cuticles
This one takes a little more skill and a super-thin-tipped brush. Paint your nails a solid shade and outline your cuticle with a contrasting color—or, even cooler, try a glittery metallic.

This is not a sponsored post. It may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

 

 

 

 

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Pretty Organization Ideas

I feel like at the heart of everyone’s New Year’s resolutions is a desire to be more organized. Because I am such a product hoarder, I often forget about the ones I actually like to use. My Birchbox comes, then Ipsy comes, then I run to Sephora, and by the time the first of the month rolls around, I STILL haven’t used the samples I received from last month.

Maybe the answer is unsubscribing?

No. Part of my job is getting the in on the latest and greatest out there. So how do I de-clutter, organize, keep what I like, AND make it all look Pinterest worthy? One of the answers is doing the Marie Kondo style of purging where if it doesn’t really bring me any joy, pitch it. If I’ve used a lip liner only once and it’s not in my regular rotation, it might be time to say farewell. Or, if you only have bits of your compact left, let it go, girl. 

If there’s an eye shadow palette that I only use on special occasions, I tell myself I can hold on to it for at least a year. I know, I know. People across the board say that 3 to 6 months is as long as you should keep shadows, but if I’m only using it  to 5 times anyway, I’m not going to give it up after just two uses.

The other aspect about makeup organization is not totally putting product out of your eyesight. Even if you only use something on occasion, if you hide it away, you’ll 100% forget about it. Then what use is it? Keep it around so that you remember it, but maybe stash it in the back of your organizer like I did with some makeup wipes in this organizer here.

For the products that I use on the daily, I bought this pretty geometric tray that stays by my night stand. It’s impossible to clutter it since the sides are open and things would fall out. I keep my medicine and nightly beauty products close at hand. I also use a small trinket tray for the earrings I forgot to take out before bed. (Inevitable).

My last tip about staying organized is using little bags. Seriously. These babies will save you time and energy. One of the reasons I still subscribe to Ipsy is so I get my little bag each month. I designate a bag for specific things. One bag is for face stuff, one for lip stuff. Don’t stop there! Use them for cords, brushes, office supplies, you name it! Even if I’m not throwing them into my purse, they are super helpful organization tools for my home.

Happy new year, beauties! Stay organized!

This is not a sponsored post. It may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

 

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3 Easy Holiday Manicures

T’is the season to be totally festive. I’ve always loved nail art and firmly believe that even adding a little bit of an accent completely ups your outfit. The problems with nail art is that it’s expensive and/or time consuming. (My favorite nail place charges $68 for a designer manicure. That’s without tip!) What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be either of those things?

Oh yeah, you’ll want to keep reading. I’ve come up with three different ways you can achieve the perfect holiday manicure without breaking the bank. You’ll want to, and be able to, have fabulous nails all year long.

Original nail art:

I’m no artist, okay? My stick figures would scare David Cronenberg. But! I have found an unbelievably easy to way to create adorable designs on my manicures using a nail art pen. They come in oodles of colors and are very simple to use. I like the ones by Sally Hansen because the tips are fine an you can get as detailed as you wish. 

Decals:

You can use stickers if you’d like. But I prefer to make my own! Watch how I make custom decals made out of nail polish that last for days. Match them to your outfit, cut them out using scissors or punchers, and apply them easily with a top coat.

The fakers:

I was never a fan of fake nails because I always felt that they looked, well, fake. When I was introduced to imPRESS nails, it was love at first…nail? Because they are sooooo easy to use (like, a 5 minute application) and last for about a week, they have quickly become a beauty staple. If you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t know, would you?? This matte look is so trendy and the glitter accent makes it very merry. 


Hope you “nail” your holiday mani. Let us know which one you tried or if you have another favorite way to decorate your nails!

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Beauty CLEANSING OIL

Beauty CLEANSING OIL

Winter is here and it’s time to switch up the beauty routine. I’m swearing by the new beauty cleansing oil I found from Kiehls. It’s called the Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil.

Beauty Cleansing Oil

 

 

Putting oil on your face seems counterintuitive doesn’t it? But Kiehl’s new botanical product will have you rethinking what oil can do for your face. Your skin won’t feel greasy at all. I promise.

In the past year, I added a brightening facial oil to my skincare routine, making me think this cleanser might just for me.

Three Things I Love About Kiehl’s Cleansing Oil

1. The smell
2. It gets eye makeup off easily
3. It leaves your face feeling refreshed, not dry

You won’t get a big sudsy wash, as the cleanser emulsifies, it’ll get whiter and milky looking. I start with three pumps on dry skin. I blend the oil in my hands and then apply to my face. After a bit of cleansing, I wet my hands and add some water–things get a little sudsier then.

For my everyday eye makeup, this gets EVERYTHING off! When I did a dramatic evening eye (charcoal shadow and black liner), I did have to go back with an eye makeup remover to get the eye makeup off.

With the drier, colder air, switching to a gentler cleanser just makes sense for my beauty routine. Do you switch things up for winter? I am also on the hunt for a GREAT winter moisturizer to use after skiing. Any ideas? Any great moisturizing masks? Friends, I want to test them. Please let us know!

It definitely smells like a garden–there’s nothing harsh or chemically about the scent. I was happy to see evening primrose oil (which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids)–I’ve been hearing so much about primrose is face products. Plus it has my favorite essential oil, lavender, which just makes everything smell like the fields of France.  It’s also soap-free, sulfate-free, and mineral oil free. But it’s not free. Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is $32.  Shop for it here: Kiehls.com

For more great beauty gifts visit our 2016 Gift Guide here:

This is not a sponsored post.

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How to Pick the Perfect Brow Pencil

Ever since brows became “the” thing to highlight on your face, I have been on the constant hunt for the perfect brow pencil (marker, pen, powder, highlighter, whathaveyou). It’s not as easy as you think. I don’t ever want to look like I’m using a filler and prefer to keep my brows a little less pronounced than most. Though, I still want definition. Conundrum.

best-brow-pencil-perfect-eyebrowsI’ve tried a myriad of products—pencils, powders, brushes, and pens. Here’s what I’ve found to be the universal truth: nothing looks as good as your natural hair. But! I can tell you which ones I’ve found to be the best and all the reasons why.

The very first thing you should do before applying anything to your brows is prep them. Make sure all your little flyaways and randoms are taken care of. Then brush all your hairs up. Begin filling in underneath the hairs while they are pushed up so you can see the spots that need a little bit more TLC. Then you can brush them back into place. Try to use small thin strokes so that the color blends easier into your natural brows.
perfect-brows

My favorites:

The entire collection of Milk beauty products speaks to me. I love the look of the products and the actual makeup as well. Their gel eyebrow pencil is easy to use and the colors have cheeky names like Pilsner, Pale Ale, and Dark Brew.

I’m a sucker for an eyebrow pencil that has a brush and/or a sharpener. Cue the Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil. I love the tiny point because it gives ultra fine color that looks like your hair. The universal light brown shade works well with my auburn hair and again, the brush is clutch.

A good highlighter helps–and a little goes a long way. Try a swipe above your brow line and then again right below it. Becca’s pressed gold powder and Make Up Forever’s Highlighter add beautiful color and last a lifetime.

My absolute go to: 

benefit-anastasia-brow-pencil-gel-makeup-beauty-review

Benefit: Precisely, My Brow Pencil

Benefit has had my heart for ages, but this pencil takes the cake! It comes in a “universal” color and you can easily apply more to achieve your desired look. And even if I don’t have time to do much to my brows, this clear gel by Anastasia Beverly Hills is a must. It keeps all the hairs in place like little eyebrow hairspray without any sticky residue. Because it’s clear, you don’t have to stress about matching your hair color. You get defined, perfect brows every time.

For more beauty tips and tricks please subscribe to our YouTube Channel! And for fabulous holiday gift ideas for the beauty lovers in your life, check out our holiday gift guide!

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#BrighterDifference Closet Clean Out

This post is sponsored by Neutrogena Naturals®. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s “FTC” guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I received complementary products to facilitate my review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Closet Clean Out

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to think about making “Brighter Difference.” For me that means giving to those in need with a big Closet Clean Out. Twice a year I clean out my closet and donate the gently worn items to charity. Welcome to my closet, let’s get to it!

What You Need for a Closet Clean Out

1. Rolling Rack: To take EVERYTHING out of the closet and make sorting easier
2. Storage Bins: I like the big clear plastic tubs for storing off-season clothing and accessories
3. Donation Bags: Nothing beats a great ikea tote for sorting and organizing your donation.

organized-closet

As you can see, I’m pretty ruthless with my purging. I want to only hang onto what I love. Everything else has the capacity to make someone else happy–so off it goes.

While I can’t donate makeup and opened skincare, I also sort through everything on my vanity. I only want products that really work and make me feel my best. If I can find a multi-tasking beauty product like Neutrogena® Naturals Daily Brightening Moisturizer SPF 25 I’m ready to embrace the new.

neutragena-naturals

I don’t want to be bogged down by my stuff or my skincare. This lightweight formula with 94% naturally derived ingredients provides moisture and a skin-brightening lemon peel. Friends, if there’s one thing my skin can use in the winter it’s a boost of evenness. During the winter, I feel like the little imperfections are much more noticeable. Neutrogena® Naturals uses an effective bionutrient to work with your skin to even skin tone in just 4 weeks.

There are no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes, or phthalates. They keep it as clean and organized as my closet.

Find out more about this product and ways you can make a #BrighterDifference at www.neutrogena.com

Win it!

You can try your own mini makeover with four products from Neutrogena® Naturals. We’ve got five prizes to give away.

5 winners will each receive the below products:
(1) Neutrogena® Naturals Brightening Daily Moisturizer
(1) Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub
(1) Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser
(1) Neutrogena® Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thirty Seven Weeks Pregnant – Maternity Maven

Recently, I have been running around after my four and six year old with a 37 week pregnant belly in a New York City November that seems more like September.  These circumstances make it truly difficult to focus on maternity fashion.  But I am trying!!  The third trimester of pregnancy gets more and more uncomfortable by the second.  And I know that I will have even less time to myself once this new baby comes though.  So, I am trying to be present for my kids at as many school events as possible, as well as even find a little time to get out with my husband.  Not to mention that work has been crazy with multiple events per week.  So, I have been on the search for comfortable, expanding, and fashionable maternity clothing.

Isabella Oliver third trimester style

Thank goodness I found Isabella Oliver!  The London-based brand is absolutely gorgeous. The Arlington Off the Shoulder Top in stretch jersey is so soft and comfortable that it almost feels like pajamas.  With the off the shoulder feature, I actually feel slightly stylish. (Even as I am starting to get the “Is it twins?” question on a daily basis!)

maternity top

The brand’s signature ruching frames the pregnant belly from the time it is a teeny baby bump all the way through month nine.

maternity style

I paired the top with the Zadie Stretch Maternity Skinny Jeans.  These jeans are so incredible that numerous friends have questioned whether they are actually part of a maternity line!  I have to say that I definitely plan to wear this outfit post-baby!

maternity jeans

Isabella Oliver also has some fantastic dresses.  My husband turned forty last week and we threw him a surprise birthday party.  I needed something to wear and was thrilled to find the Brunswick Maternity Dress in Caviar Black.

little black dress

The stretch jersey grows with the belly and the unique shoulder detail is as fun as it is comfortable.

maternity dress

This beautiful brand also makes leggings, skirts, sweaters, and a whole line of maternity and nursing wear.  I have really enjoyed being able to feel trendy even as I have moved from counting in weeks to counting in days until we meet our new baby.

pregnant

This is not a sponsored post. We did receive samples.

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Third Trimester Fashion – Maternity Maven

This fall in NYC and across much of the country has been unseasonably warm. The beautiful weather has been a godsend as both my belly expands and my walking pace slows down. However, finding the appropriate clothing to wear in this nontraditional fall warmth has been a different story. In preparation for cooler weather, I had purchased some maternity jeans and sweaters. I expected to pair them with boots and scarves and bundle my way through my third trimester. However with temperatures as high as the 80’s, I have barely worn them! And I have been on the lookout for some maternity wear that has a fall look but is also cool.

boob-purple-1

Thank goodness I was recently introduced to the brand Boob Design! Not only are the dresses comfortable, they are also sustainable. Boob Design is incredibly dedicated to sustainability and uses organic cotton, Lyocell, and recycled polyester. Right on the tag of each dress is the sweet message “When you are done with me, please hand me over to someone who needs me.”

boob-purple-2

All the movement in my belly continues to remind me that my due date is not too far away. Before I know it, I will no longer be searching for maternity clothing and instead I will need nursing wear. Boob has designed these dresses with the functionality to expand along the belly during pregnancy and then that same area that expands can eventually be lifted for nursing. With a price tag between $109-$119 and a lifetime that lasts from maternity through nursing, these dresses are a great investment. And the colors are fun for the transition from summer to fall (even when the weather still feels like we are at the beach).

boob2

boob1

The dresses are just part of Boob Design’s expansive collection. They also carry tanks, tops, sleepwear, swimwear, activewear, leggings, skirts, and accessories. What a relief that these staples of my current wardrobe will carry over to the days when the baby is no longer in my belly, but resting in my arms!

boob4

This is not a sponsored post. We did receive samples.

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How to Really Clean Your Makeup Brushes

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? I know I’m guilty of not doing it nearly often enough. But dirty makeup brushes not only just don’t apply makeup as effectively, but can also harbor and spread bacteria all over your face – yuck! I even just read a story about a women who got a staff infection from dirty makeup brushes! So I’ve made a commitment to washing my brushes more often – and found a new, easy way to ensure I’m really getting all the gunk out.

How to Really Clean Your Makeup Brushes

My go-to method used to be to put a squirt of a gentle cleanser into my hand and swirl my brush around, rinsing to remove the makeup. But here’s the thing – that method only really cleans the tips of the bristles. It doesn’t get the makeup gunk that is deep down into the bristles.

So this last month, I’ve been trying out these brush cleaners from MelodySusie. I like to think of them as a Clarisonic for your makeup brushes. You know how a Clarisonic cleans your face 6 times better than you can clean it with your hands? These MelodySusie brush cleaners let you clean your makeup brushes easier, faster and more effectively than just using your hand.

Clean your makeup brushes

There are three brush cleaner size options: the standard Beautiple, the compact Beautieg for travel, and the large Beautifly for makeup artists or true makeup lovers. While the Beautifly might seem a bit overkill for us non-makeup artists, it does have the added benefit of being hands-free. The mat has suction cups on the bottom that let you attach it to your sink making brush cleaning go super fast. If you’re coordinated enough, you could even clean a brush with each hand!

The brush cleaners have different patterns for different types of brushes, but I liked just mixing and matching to help wiggle out old makeup from all angles.

clean your makeup brushes

I admit that I was a little skeptical about these brush cleaners before trying them, but I have been really impressed for a number of reasons.

  • Faster – cleaning my makeup brushes took way less time since the silicone bristles helped to loosen and remove makeup quicker than my hand.
  • More effective – there’s no way my hand cleaning method was getting out the makeup stuck deep in the bristles.
  • Convenient – the cleaners are easy to use and sitting on my counter, are a good reminder to clean my brushes more often.
  • Affordable – these won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The large size is $10 while you can get a two-pack of the portable Beautieg for just $6.

Check out how clean that brush is!

how to clean your makeup brushes better

So do your face a favor – get your makeup brushes really clean.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were provided with a sample.

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Beyond Mascara: 4 Ways to Get Longer Lashes

Looking to get longer lashes? These days there are a lot more options beyond your mascara choice. Here are four different ways that you can get fuller, longer lashes.

4 Ways to Get Longer Lashes

I have three boys who were all blessed with gorgeous, long, dark lashes from my husband’s side of the family. Me? Well, I’m relying on these four “cheats” to getting long luscious lashes.

Plump Up With Primer

Get Longer Lashes with Primers

One of the easiest ways to plump up your lashes is with a lash primer. You apply it just like mascara, adding length and fullness to your lashes. Then you top with your favorite mascara. Just make sure you do actually top it with mascara – primers are often white and can make your lashes look pretty scary if you get interrupted mid-makeup application by kids! I am a big fan of L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara. This two-sided primer/mascara combo means you never have to spend time searching for two different products and it takes up less space in your makeup drawer. L’Oreal recently released their Voluminous Primer Mascara sold separately too if you have your own mascara you love. Or try out the best-selling Clinique Lash Building Primer or Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple volume plumping lash primer at Sephora. A simple and affordable way to boost your lashes.

Fake it With Fibers

Get Longer Lashes with Fibers

If you want even more umph, you can graduate from a lash primer to a fiber mascara. These often come with two products – a lash boosting mascara and a tube of fibers, tiny fine filaments made of silk or rayon that stick to your natural lashes and get locked on with the mascara. I feel like fiber mascara really jumped into the limelight with Younique’s 3D Moonstruck Mascara which claims to boost your lashes by 400%! I went the drugstore route and tried the Physicians Formula Eye Booster instant Lash Extension Kit. You apply one layer of mascara, a layer of fibers, and then another layer of mascara. I definitely found these trickier to use – I ended up with fibers all over my cheek once and in my eyes the next time. Plan on more of a learning curve with fibers than with a lash primer, but once you nail down the technique, you can get longer, fuller lashes. I’ve also heard good things about the Long & Luscious 3D Fiber Lash Mascara.

Newer fiber formulas have the fibers built-in to the mascara which makes them much easier to apply and eliminates the chance for a face-full of stray fibers. Try the Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara or the Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara which may or may not have made its way into my Sephora shopping cart….

Grow Actual Lashes with Latisse

latisse2

You know Latisse, right? You apply it to your lash line and your own lashes grow longer and fuller. I tried it and I’m hear to report….it does actually works! Latisse works within the lash growing cycle to boost your lashes own growth capabilities including improvements in length, thickness and darkness. But there are a few caveats to keep in mind with Latisse. First, while it is FDA-approved, this also means you need a prescription for it. Second, if you stop using it, your lashes will gradually return to their previous appearance. Third, I felt like my lash growth wasn’t exactly even. My lashes did get longer and fuller, but some got waaaay longer. Like freakishly long. Like your husband asks you, “Uh, what’s up with that lash?” over breakfast.

latisse3

But it does work and they are your own actual lashes. After nightly application, I noticed lash improvements within about 2 months. Theoretically, once your lashes are where you’d like them to be, you can cut back to using Latisse just a few nights a week for maintenance. I had to stop completely when I had LASIK eye surgery and my lashes went back to how they were pre-Latisse. So it does work, but you’ll have to keep it up.

Get “I Woke Up Like This” Lashes with Extensions

Get Longer Lashes with Extensions

Then there are lash extensions. During an initial 2-3 hour appointment with a lash professional, you’ll get synthetic, silk or mink lashes glued onto your individual lashes. Depending on what lash material and length you choose, you can create results as subtle or dramatic as you want them to be. I have a friend whose extensions look like she just always has two coats of good mascara on – simple, pretty and put together without the time in the morning to actually put on mascara or the time at night to remove it. I’ve also seen some women whose extensions are so large and dramatic they scream “I HAVE LASH EXTENSIONS ON!”

Some people worry that lash extensions can damage your natural lashes, and lashes that are extra heavy or applied by an inexperienced technician can do just that. But there are also stories of women who have had extensions for years without issue. They aren’t cheap though – plan on paying $250-$400 for an initial full set of lashes and touch-ups (to replace lashes lost) every 2-4 weeks costing $75-$150. But there is no mascara time in the morning, no midday flaking, no raccoon eyes after your workout, no makeup removal time at night. And you can really say, ” I just woke up like this.”

What’s your favorite way to get luscious lashes?

Momtrends was not paid for this post. It does contain affiliate links.

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