Reviewing the Emjoi Micro-Nail, a natural nail polisher

I recently received this product called the Emjoi Micro-Nail, a battery-operated nail polisher that turns natural nails into shiny, gleaming, polish-less nails. It’s like those four-sided nail buffers you can get in a drugstore, but with batteries doing the work for you.聽In case you have never noticed in my photos, my nails are pretty much never ever polished. I have a bias against nail polish because they make my nails split and break, so the most I ever do to my nails is cut them (which, I know, is a big no-no, but whatever).

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My fun, easy, glam Halloween costume

This year, I was at a loss for what to be for Halloween. This happens to me every year, and I always pull something out last minute or go for something that doesn’t even look like a costume. I’m not a huge Halloween person, but I love to dress up!

Usually, my sisters and I do a group costumes and hit up the Halloween Parade in the city’s West Village. Last year we were flappers straight out of The Great Gatsby, with my blonde sister going as Daisy (and her husband as Gatsby) while I did my best Jordan Baker inspired-by-Baz-Luhrmann costume. We had a lot of fun getting ready!

This year, I wanted to do something similar, but I wasn’t having any brainwaves. Until I thought, “I kinda wanna be Kylie Jenner for Halloween.” It’s SUCH a distinctive look, considering all her wigs, her signature enhanced lips, and her selfie style. But I knew my sister, who’s blonde, loves Kylie even more than I do, so I figured, why not do a low-key, but definitely recognizable, group costume as the K/J clan?

Instead of Kylie, I’m going to do Kendall. She’s a style icon, so shopping is going to be so fun. I’m aiming to recreate her effortless street-style look with black skinnies and a leather jacket. But the best part for me will be the makeup.

I bought her聽gorgeous Estee Lauder lipstick last week, and I’m so excited to wear it. It’s such a beautiful matte orange/red, and I’m going to do her winged eye, looooong lashes, and simple straight hair parted down the middle. I’ve found inspiration in this Youtube tutorial by Chloe Morello (love her), and am planning on doing her whole look. She’s perhaps not as recognizable as Kylie, but with one sister doing Kylie and the other doing Kim, we’ll definitely be recognized.

So far, I’ve got her lipstick, some long false lashes, a new cropped leather jacket, and a gray sweater-type crop top that I’ve seen her wear off her shoulders. With black booties, I’ll be comfortable (ish), warm (ish), and stylish. 馃槈 Here’s the photo that was my inspiration:

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you’ll know I’m a true fan of the sisters. Leave the hate at the door, if you please. I like their personalities, their style, and their influence. So this costume isn’t meant to be disrespectful or to make fun of them; it’s just聽fun. Simple as that.

Hope everyone reading this has a happy Halloween, and please stay safe!

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Eyeliner Throwdown || ELF vs. MAKE UP FOR EVER

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In case you haven’t already noticed this about me, I am a hardcore fan and enthusiastic proponent of winged eyeliner. Since I was 14/15, I’ve been winging, and in that time, I’ve tried half a dozen products, both cheap and not-so-cheap, to help me achieve that coveted and perfect cat-eye.

First I used the eyeliner pen/marker thing, which was quickly replaced by a combination of thick eyeliner brush and one amazing product: Sephora brand $10 creme eyeliner, which I used loyally for years until it was,聽tragically, discontinued last year!

What to do? I wandered around my local Sephora, helpless to stem the waves of grief. I shopped around for alternatives, only to find that most of the products, which were each priced at least $20, were all far too little product to warrant the price. The product that provided the most amount of eyeliner for the price was the $23 Make Up For Ever brand cream eyeliner.

And it was amazing. Unlike the Sephora brand, it had a chalky yet smooth texture that was very, very deep black, did not smudge or budge, and as an added bonus, came off my eyeliner brush so cleanly that daily washing became redundant. Make Up For Ever was my friend.

Until my sister let me try her E.L.F. cream eyeliner, which she bought for a whopping $3. So, with my MFE eyeliner pot sadly dwindling, I decided to pit these two products against each other and see which one came out victorious.

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Price

First things first: the price difference between these products has got to be mentioned. At $23, the Make Up For Ever pot is more than twice what I have usually spent on eyeliner. On the other hand, the $3 ELF version is ridiculously cheap and comes with its own brush (which I tossed, because it’s crap). The low price of the ELF product is automatically a huge plus, even if it does turn out to fail spectacularly to the MFE. So…let’s see if the Make Up For Ever is worth that much!

Amount of product

ELF: 47 grams or .17 oz.

Make Up For Ever: .24 oz

So, the ELF product gives you about half the eyeliner that the Make Up For Ever product does. So an ELF pot the size of the Make Up For Ever pot would still only cost $6.

Color

IMG_1635MAKE UP FOR EVER on the top
ELF on the bottom

The Make Up For Ever is blacker than the ELF, but only slightly so. I did not notice a huge difference in the deepness of the eyeliner on my actual eyes, and it was only apparent when the lines are side by side like this. The Make Up For Ever line is just a teeny bit dry because the pot is old, so that’s why the color looks faded in this photo. However, it is聽blacker.

Lastingness

Forgive the fake vocabulary. To test “lastingness,” I rubbed off both of those lines with coconut oil, my preferred method of eye makeup removal. Here are the results:

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As you can see, the Make Up For Ever stayed on more through the removal process than the ELF. One day, I also did one eye with each product and kept it on for something like eight hours. Both products seemed to have held up the same way, so no difference there! (I don’t have pictures of that, sadly.)

Texture

I noticed with the ELF product that the color was less even, making it so that a more careful application was necessary to avoid streaks. However, the Make Up For Ever formula is slightly too thick, making application harder. The ELF formula is silky and smooth, and not too heavy. It streaks more, but it’s easier to apply, basically. The thinner ELF formula is also essential to create that thin, sharp wing I love so much.

Actual Wearability

The question here is, which would you actually buy? Based on price, I am definitely leaning toward the ELF product. The Make Up For Ever is superior, but only in small ways. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor am I even a beauty blogger or an authority. For my purposes, and for most women like me, the ELF product is great and for that price, downright聽amazing.聽

Winner: E.L.F.!聽

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Beauty Review | The easy alternative to false eyelashes or extensions

This week I got the chance to try this awesome new mascara, Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash Extension Kit. It’s a two-part mascara that lets you layer on mascara and all-natural fibers to create an instant false-eyelashes look, without having to fiddle with glue and buying packs of false eyelashes or spending hundreds of dollars on eyelash extensions. I’ve always wanted to try a product of this type, and I’m so glad I did. Check it out here:

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It’s basically a three-step process. First, apply the mascara and while it’s still wet, apply the fibers to elongate your lashes, and then re-apply the mascara to set the fibers. You can repeat these steps as many times as you want until you have the crazy falsies effect you want. It’s pretty cool.

Here are my eyes without any mascara:

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And here is the right eye with just one three-step application of the product:

File Jun 21, 11 24 20 PMThey were really long! The end result was so impressive! I hate false eyelashes and getting extensions are not worth the trouble for me, so having the option to really extend my lashes in an easy way is definitely a plus for me.

The pros of this product are: it’s much cheaper than falsies or extensions, and it washes off so the look isn’t permanent. It doesn’t clump at all which I thought was impressive considering you’re basically sticking fibers on your eyelashes. They’re just long and fluttery. Plus, the fibers are made with “cellulose, panthenol, botanical extracts, and vitamin E with natural colorants from artichoke and basil.” So, pretty natural. Physicians Formula is known for their all-natural formulas for all their cosmetics, so it’s great for people like me, who have sensitive skin and a tendency to break out on a massive scale. 

The cons of this product are: that the fibers tend to get everywhere on your face so definitely wait to do your face makeup until after your eyelashes are done; the formula is a little heavy, so that your lashes tend to fall a bit after a while; and that my lashes weren’t as full as I’d like: they’re more long than full.

Bottom line? I would definitely recommend this product! I’m really excited to keep using it and I think it’s an excellent alternative to get that striking falsie look. Get it at Walmart in the US or at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, the Physicians Formula website, or at any drugstore.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Physicians Formula and Her Campus Media. Written by me, all opinions are also my own.

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Fashion | Slip away across the universe

Happy May Day! Go dance around a maypole with a flower crown on.

This spring I’ve been gravitating toward muted colors鈥攂lush, cream, gold, taupe and gray are all on the agenda鈥攚hich is apparently why I just dyed a bunch of colors in my hair. Looks like I can’t get away from my color obsession. I love feeling like a mermaid. 馃槈

Here’s an outfit I styled with a dress from Marshalls and these amazing new Jeffrey Campbell sandals I scored on sale. Whenever spring comes around, I get so much more excited to put together dreamy, romantic outfits.

1 12 4 13 7 11 14 3聽dress from Marshalls, sandals from VillainsSF (Jeffrey Campbell ‘Urbane’), necklace from f21

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Smile Brilliant! Professional Teeth Whitening | Review & Coupon Code!

File Mar 27, 12 04 26 PMRecently, I got the opportunity to try out a very useful product: at-home professional teeth whitening by “Smile Brilliant!” This system lets the customer create custom teeth trays for use with their teeth-whitening gel, using the same system that dentists use, but for much, much less money. The purchase of this product gives you all the tools you need to make your own dental impressions, plus three tubes of Teeth Whitening Gel and three tubes of Desensitizing Gel.

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Pros: This system definitely works, and fast. I noticed a difference after only three gel applications. Secondly, the trays don’t move at all, unlike many OTC whitestrips. You can talk normally, the gel doesn’t leak out, and it feels almost like you have just really smooth teeth. I kept running my tongue over my teeth cause it was just so smooth! Since the trays are made specifically for your teeth, they fit flawlessly. You could probably even wear them at work/school without anyone even noticing.

Using this system聽also means that you have the trays聽for life and can stop buying whitestrips and just keep buying Smile Brilliant gel (which I’m sure is part of the business model鈥攇uaranteed repeat customers because of the custom dental impressions). But really: it’s a great product to use.

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A huge plus for me was the addition of “Desensitizing Gel,” which significantly reduces tooth sensitivity and strengthens your teeth after whitening, which can sometimes soften the tooth. Having this additional way to protect my teeth and ward against sensitivity makes this product unique, and makes me second-guess any system that does not account for tooth damage.

Another plus is how hard the employees care about educating you about the proper process for teeth whitening and what you can expect from the complete process. Many people aren’t aware that there are different natural shades of people’s teeth. Some people’s natural teeth shade is beige, not white. Therefore, a full whitening system won’t turn these people’s teeth white. It’s important to know that, since many assume that their teeth will be blinding white even though that’s not always possible.

They also include a lot information about safe use and what you can expect. For example, there’s this handy chart included that tells you the different kinds of stains and how many applications it’ll take to remove them completely:

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And this side-by-side comparison of teeth whitening system that shows that we’re all just basically wasting our money on Crest Whitestrips, so go figure:

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In summary, Smile Brilliant takes teeth whitening seriously, and I trust this kit more than I trust OTC whitestrips now, after trying this process. They’re not kidding when they say they’re聽professional聽teeth whitening. But without the expensive cost. I’m excited to keep using it because I will never quit drinking coffee or red wine.

Cons: The process takes a long time. First you get the Tray Creation Kit and have to find time to make the dental impressions. Then you send them off. Then you wait longer to get the custom trays. THEN you have to read all the literature and instructions because this professional whitening system is a little more fussy than OTC versions. So, for those people who want a quick teeth-whitening for an event or vacation or whatnot, this is not for you. This is for people who want to whiten just to whiten.

You have to brush and floss thoroughly first, and can keep the trays on anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours鈥攊t just depends on your schedule and/or the sensitivity of your teeth. But聽that’s where the Desensitizing Gel comes in. Although the inclusion of the Desensitizing Gel means there’s another step, another half hour/hour when you have to keep the trays in. Many people just don’t have that kind of time.

Before and After:

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Conclusion: I’m going to keep using the product and I would recommend it to others. I can also offer my lovely readers 5% off their own Smile Brilliant Kit (which costs $120-$180 USD) when they use the code “THEMOSTHAPPY” when they purchase. This code expires on April 30, 2015.

Buy this product if you’re willing to commit to a high-quality, professional whitening system. Because otherwise, you may find this process too complicated. Personally, my opinion is that if you’re going to do something, do it right. That’s what Smile Brilliant is good for.

I want rainbow hair…

In high school, I would dye little strands of hair pink or blue, or put in little extensions that gave my hair a pop of color and something more interesting than my usual brown. I’ve since fallen out of the habit of adding color to my hair, perhaps thankfully, but I want to bring it back in a big way. I stumbled upon a picture of “rainbow ombre” hair online and seriously fell in love. So I think it’s time for a fun, quasi-permanent hair change that will hopefully look something like this:

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I never do anything even remotely interesting to my hair other than pin it back in a clip when it starts to bother me. I hardly do any hairstyles because I’m too lazy and because having my hair down and around my face is low-key and still looks good. So this new change is drastic but it’ll be fun! Afterward, or when the color begins to fade, I might just chop off the ombre and bob my hair, a la Bernice and Kendall Jenner.

What do you guys think?

images from Pinterest

Spring Vibes featuring Anjolee Jewelry

Have you ever heard of Anjolee? They’re fine jewelry makers with a website that allows you to fully customize a piece of fine jewelry. You can pick a collection and a piece of jewelry and change different aspects of the piece like the metal, diamond size, and all the other aspects of the piece you’d normally have to visit a jeweler to do, but with Anjolee, you can do it all online and聽you can see an HD preview of the whole piece before you order, plus an estimated cost. (They have a Youtube page with examples.) And you can even order a silver-and-cubic-zirconia “preview” of your customized piece to see in person before they make the real thing. Now, I’m not in the market for a diamond necklace聽or anything like that, but if I were, Anjolee would definitely be an option.

Anjolee offered me these stud earrings to customize, and I chose a citrine gemstone. Obviously, they didn’t send me diamonds but rather a sparkly gemstone “preview.” The earrings came in a beautiful package: a wooden box with a light on top that made it look like the earrings were under a spotlight. It was cute.

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These earrings are beautiful and dainty, and excellent quality. They make me feel like Princess Diana or something. 馃檪 Could you tell I had a fun time photographing them?

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I actually got inspired to create an outfit around these earrings, with jewel tones. Here’s a preview:

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earrings c/o Anjolee

Talking about tights…because it's winter and freezing

Plus the nude tights question: answered!

Tonight in New York it’s -4 degrees. With March less than a week away, the freezing temperatures are starting to get ridiculous, and this is coming from someone who loves winter. So let’s talk about one of my favorite accessories and a must-have this winter if you want to wear dresses, and let’s face it, of course you do. Men in the back there, I’m also talking to you. They’re mad comfortable, and I know you’ve always been curious. 馃槈 Anyway: here’s how to wear all the myriad categories of tights and my favorite looks, co-opted from Pinterest.

Simple black

These are my most-worn kinds of tights, obviously. In the past I’ve only really worn opaque tights, but I like the look of very聽sheer tights better this year. Black tights go with everything, case dismissed, except maybe bright colors and browns, but it’s got to be your call.

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Patterned tights

I love patterned tights, again, in black. I especially love the knitted tights that look like fishnets (but that aren’t聽fishnet stockings, ironically). Like these:

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These are my聽second most-worn kind of tights, and I usually wear them with simple, solid dresses and booties. I would also throw some knee socks over them for a little something extra.

Colored tights

I have a long history with colored tights! During my early聽college years, I聽loved them. Did not leave the house without color on my legs. I had a favorite pair that were a muted purple, almost heather gray. I also wore burgundy (which I still wear because the color matches so flawlessly with my wardrobe), forest green, and mustard (again, which I still wear). Colored tights can definitely be a hit-or-miss; they’re so fussy. I’ve seen such amazing color combinations on some bloggers that I know I could never pull off, so I always go with neutral everything else and then slap on the tights鈥攊n jewel tones, if anything鈥攁s a pop of color. But I love these looks, too:

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Nude tights

Nude tights are truthfully a little tacky to me, but honestly, I don’t care much about that when I’m faced with 1 degree temperatures. One way I like to make nude tights a little more interesting is to wear ones that don’t look like you’re not supposed to see them. So I wear nude tights with either a pattern or a texture on them, like these tattoo tights I got from Etsy a few years ago. They’re definitely nude tights, but they serve another purpose other than warmth, and the pattern takes away from that tacky look nude tights so often have.

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Knee socks

I’m big on knee聽socks this year. I love ones that are neutral tones, like the cream and black pairs I wear often. Knee聽socks make me feel really elegant and also girlish, a strange combination. I also have a burgundy pair that again, just goes so well with a lot of the pieces I own, so they sort of act like a neutral for me. Those are my staple colors for knee聽socks, so if you’re looking for the right colors, choose neutrals first and then pick a color that is easily mixed into your wardrobe. I love wearing knee聽socks with either over-the-knee boots or booties.

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Also: I have never divined the difference between stockings and tights.

Lulu*s Style Studio, a NY Fashion Blogger Party

On February 13th I had the pleasure of attending the Lulu*s Style Studio,聽a big New York fashion blogger party thrown by Lulus.com. I felt honored to be invited to this event, especially since this blog is so far from being exclusively fashion. I was lucky to be in the company of amazing New York fashion bloggers who do this stuff way better than I do.

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The actual event itself was such a treat! On the bottom floor were stations where you could get your nails painted, your hair braided, and even your makeup done. Sponsors like Shea Moisture and NYX set up booths along the back wall and gave away lipsticks, balms, lotions, eyeliner, and all kinds of fun products. Upstairs, you could get a free cocktail courtesy of Hpnotiq and mingle with other bloggers. They had a photobooth with fun props (I gave myself a lush goatee) and at 7:30, Lulus let bloggers pick one item from their collection. That part was a little crazy: imagine 100 fashion bloggers being unleashed on free clothes. But I ended up with a couple of great pieces, courtesy of Lulu*s and White Crow clothing:

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I also met fellow fashion blogger Katie Miller, of Freedom of Wardrobe. Definitely check her out!