September Chit Chat Plus 5 Products I've Been Loving (And More)

One of my favorite posts (and videos) to do would be these monthly Chit Chats, where I share my life from the past month. It's not always easy to blend together my life and beauty stuff, so these monthly videos are a way to do that. I hope you check out this one:
I was almost in tears over how this came out blurry, 
despite my many attempts to stay in focus. My apologies!

And you'll find out such interesting tidbits as my:
  • Mug of the Month
  • FAVE thing I did in September
  • FAVE post for the month
  • Results of the Finish 5 Before Fall tag (spoiler: I did all but 1)
  • All-time favorite surprise guest (ok, not really a surprise, there)


Lauren Conrad's Wedding Makeup, Hair, Nails (Using Drugstore Products!)

Hey you! How was your weekend? Mine was spent getting caught up with everything I put off because of my vacation. I think I'm still behind. ;) I also put together this tutorial for you--some of my most popular posts are my LC tutorials, so it only felt right to include this one! 

When Lauren Conrad announced her engagement, I couldn't wait for the wedding makeup, hair, and nail details as I've long admired her classic style. Luckily, all was shared in US Weekly. I knew I had to recreate it and challenged myself to use only drugstore products. Here's my interpretation (feel free to use your faves):

Elle Sees version of LC's look
 1--Lauren's makeup artist Amy Nadine used Kanebo by Sensai Foundation and Armani powder, giving a semi-matte effect. For my version, I used the Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation

2--I love how classic and low-key Lauren's makeup was. She kept her makeup and hair close to how she normally wears it, including her famous cat eye. While she used Mark's Get in Line liner (no longer available, but the waterproof What a Line is) I chose Jessie Girl's Waterproof Eyeliner. Be sure to gently pull the lid (pictured below) and draw the line using short strokes. I made mine a little thicker to match hers.

3--Lauren wore Maybelline Full 'N Soft mascara, which I didn't have, so I used Maybelline Big Eyes mascara instead. I'm guessing she used falsies, but I skipped them!

4--Make Up Forever HD Blush in Peachy Pink was used and I chose Jordana blush in Coral Radiance. This $2.49 blush is found online but not as easily in stores (I found mine at Kmart) so use any peachy pink blush. I also like Flower Beauty (Walmart), ELF, or Sonia Kashuk (Target) blushes.

5--Kanebo by Sensai liner in Sakura and Dior Addict Lip Polish adorned LC's lips. I didn't use liner but applied NYX Butter Gloss in Apple Strudel. I also tried this look with Nude Peach.

6--Hairstylist Kristin Ess curled Lauren's extensions using a 1 1/4 curling iron. I admit I cheated here because my 1 1/4 curling iron is a Hot Tools Marcel iron (not drugstore, but I got it at ULTA), but I was easily able to find a $13 version from Conair. Just use the barrel only, pointing the barrel down and wrapping 1 in section of hair around it, away from the face (see pic below). Hold for about 15 seconds (or until hair is hot). Release, allow to cool, and gently separate with fingers. Use your fave hairspray to set. I didn't have a 10 foot veil and headpiece handy, so I used a jeweled headband from ULTA. [edit: here's a video and post of this method using a smaller barrel]

7--I couldn't find any info on her specific nail color, but in pictures her nails looked nude. This nude polish from ELF is only $2!



pic & info via US Weekly

PS: Two giveaways to thank you for reading!
--$200 giveaway (ends tonight)
--$100 giveaway (ends 10-19)


This or That: L'Oreal Vs. Sally Hansen Gel Polishes

Hey you! Even though my mind may be in Florida (still in vacation mode--did you see this post?) it's time to get back into beauty blog mode. I'm ending this week with another comparison between two similar beauty products. For this week's This or That I'll be comparing the L'Oreal Extraordiniare Gel-Laque 1-2-3 vs. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.

At-home gel kits have been immensely popular the past couple of years, but these latest incarnations no longer require a lamp. But are they worth the hype (and money)? Let's find out in this week's This or That:

L'Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Laque 1-2-3

  • 3 step system--base, shade of your choosing, and then top coat
  • 21 shades
  • via site: 14 day color "provides rich, ultra glossy color and resilient shine while protecting nail color from dings, dents and scratches"
  • $7.99 for polish, $12.99 for kit (steps 1 & 3)
  • Drugstores/online

  • Easy to locate products
  • Polish (step 2) was on sale
  • Very, very glossy shine
  • Polishes dried quickly
  • I did 2 coats as recommended, but 1 coat would have worked well.
  • Products had been sitting there a while (I noticed this in 7 stores) and colors had settled (possible quality issue in product?)
  • 3 steps (could be a con for some, but it wasn't a big deal to me since I usually do a base, color, and top coat)
  • Chipped very fast--within hours on the first test and then within a day with additional wearings. One instance the polish popped off in one piece.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
  • 2 step system (color and then top coat)
  • 47 shades
  • "Up to 14 Days of Color & Shine & Easy Removal"
  • $9.99 per item
  • drugstores/online

  • Love the range of colors
  • Lasted much longer than the L'Oreal one
  • Two steps
  • Excellent info online for demonstrations (if needed)
  • Products were much harder to find (sold out online and took me having to visit several stores to find each product)
  • Hard to find ingredients info
  • Not as glossy--looked like regular polish with top coat. Not the "gel" look I was hoping for.
  • Definitely needed two coats
  • Brush was large and hard to work with (usually I like this but not with this shade)
  • Chipped on some nails after 3 days. I usually made it around 4 days but I wash my hands a lot being a nanny, so perhaps long wear time if greater care was taken?
This or That?
  • L'Oreal had the glossiest nails (like Seche Vite or Out the Door but without the fumes)
  • Sally Hansen lasted longer but didn't have that "gel" look.
  • Both were easy to remove.
    • You will definitely need to coat tips and underneath nails to help with chipping and color pulling away for both products.
      • I personally think they are both expensive for the results, which last around the same time as regular polish, so I would skip them both.
Hey you! Let's kick of this weekend in the right way! I've got 2 special giveaways as a way to thank you for reading!


My Sandestin Trip!

I'm back from the beach, and am sharing a few (ok, a LOT) of pics from my trip. Get comfortable and come along with my on my trip to Sandestin! My favorite time of year for the beach is in the fall. Always has been--think smaller crowds, 80s temps, and plenty of fun in the sun. This is going to be so hard to narrow down my pics!

Thanks to my recent trip, I'm rocking the salty beachy wavy hair and have a little sand still on my shoes to prove it. I was going to just share pics of the beach, but had such a great time doing other things that I had to share (almost) all of it. I got to stay at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in South Walton, FL, and it was spectacular. I want to go back riiiight now. You will too.

First off the beach: the water was gorgeous--several shades of sparkling blue--and the sand is the softest I've ever walked on--like powered sugar. The Florida Panhandle has the prettiest beaches in the US, hands-down. Love that Emerald Coast.


Getting To Know Me

Hey you! After seeing this lil tag on around 5 other blogs, I knew I had to join in on the fun. Enjoy learning a little more about me.


10 Fall DIYs

pic source

Hey you! Happy autumn! It's no secret that fall is my favorite season. It really makes me want to get in the kitchen and start making stuff--beauty DIYs that is. I'm sharing a roundup of past recipes that you might have missed. As always these are quick and easy to make. Just click the title of what you'd like to see!


What's In My Bag? $200 Giveaway

Hey you! How was your weekend? I'm still in summer mode because I'm on a working vacation. I am coming to you live from sunny Florida! Be sure to check my Instagram for plenty of beach pics. So while I'm away I'll have temporarily have captcha codes on (boo spammers) and I'll have plenty of new posts ready to go. Speaking of ready to go, I wanted to show you what's in my bag. I tend to keep my purse contents light at the beach--are you that way? Let's check out what's inside:


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
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