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Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps Powerful Acrylic Gel

Have you ever struggled with weak, flimsy or breaking nails? No matter how healthy I eat or how much calcium I have in my diet, it seems like my nails occasionally break or tear. I’ve tried various base and top coats and other strengthening nail polishes, but my nails aren't super strong.

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps Powerful Acrylic Gel is designed to protect and harden nails. The acrylic gel is supposed to provide a long-lasting seal for nails and leave a clear and shiny finish. It should be applied to clean dry nails and can be used under and/or over a colored polish. 

I’ve been wearing the gel for the past week and have observed a noticeable difference in the strength and hardness of my nails. I have been really happy with the way my nails look:

I’m still a little skeptical on this product because after I purchased it I looked at some reviews, many which said that gel chips, has a strange smell and discolors nails. I haven’t noticed a strange smell or that my nails have become discolored, but I’ve seen some minor chipping. I was wearing the product under another polish, so I’m now testing the product on its own to make sure it lives up to what I’ve seen so far. 

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps Powerful Acrylic Gel is available at Ulta for $5.99. 

What’s your favorite nail strengthener?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Latest Purchases That I'm Loving

4. LOFT Marisa Garden Lace Shorts with 4” Inseam - $24 (on major sale!)

These are my recent purchases that I am currently obsessing over. I think I've worn these Target sandals at least 10 times since I have bought them a few weeks ago. So many people have been asking where they are from and are shocked to hear that they are from Target! Such a great find that I know I will be wearing all summer. 

The CeraVe moisturizing lotion is amazing. I suffer from dry skin and nothing has seemed to do the trick until this moisturizer. It's fragrance free and my skin holds moisture really well with this product. I highly recommend trying it out! 

I picked up these shorts and pants at LOFT over this past weekend. They are currently taking an additional 50% off the sale prices and I couldn't pass them up! I can't wait to wear the mint shorts on my upcoming honeymoon! The pants are great for work and even a date night when paired with the correct top. 

What are some of your recent purchases that you've been loving lately? Any good deals out there?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm

Over the weekend I picked up two of CoverGirl’s new Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balms. I purchased the colors ballet twist (a soft muted pink) and coral twist (true coral). I am a big fan of the lip pencil trend and was excited to try these out. 

The pencils are twist-up (as the color names imply), so there’s no sharpening or mess. The product goes on smoothly and provides a hint of shine, though the shine doesn’t last for very long. I’d liken them to a more moisturizing form of a lip liner—the color can be quite saturated depending on how much you apply and it’s pretty long-lasting. One of the downsides of the pencils is that after initially applying, the product can become a little bit dry. 

All-in-all, I like these pencils but am not totally crazy about them. I think there are plenty of other jumbo lip pencils on the market that do a better job of providing even richer color and more moisturizing. (Tarte LipSurgence or Clinique pencils are great.)

The gloss balms are available in 16 colors for $8.99 each at Ulta. (I scored mine on a buy one get one 50% off discount.) Have you tried CoverGirl’s Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balms? Are you a fan of jumbo lip pencils? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Eat Healthy at Holiday Gatherings

We hope you all had a safe and fun Memorial Day yesterday! Jay and I had his family over for a barbeque to celebrate. It's no secret that the holidays are a time to get family and friends together to celebrate. Another thing that the holidays bring is a lot of delicious food. It can be easy to get off track on your healthy eating when there is so many tempting dishes around! I do believe that you can have everything in moderation and you should indulge to cravings (again, in moderation) so you don't binge later. Restricting too much isn't healthy either! Live a little :) Here are some tips that I have found that help me to not completely overdo it on the holidays.

1. Bring a healthy dish to share. Eating healthy can be hard at a party, especially when you're not hosting and you don't know what is being served. Offer to bring your favorite healthy dish to share. This will ensure that you will at least have something good to munch on and to share with others. Your hosts will apprecaite it too! 

2. Keep an eye on your portions. See your favorite side dish and dessert? Go for it! Just be mindful of how much you're putting on your plate. I've noticed that if I really want to indulge in something that I normally don't, a few bites is more than enough to satisfy that craving. 

3. Stay hydrated. When you're thirsty, your body usually mistakes that as hunger and you eat more than you should. Make sure to balance your alcoholic beverages with water so you stay hydrated throughout the day. 

4. Slow down. When I have a lot of delicious food in front of me it's hard to be mindful of how much food I'm consuming and how full I actually feel. Make sure to hang out with your friends and family and slow down to enjoy your food. This is something I really need to work on -- I always eat too fast! 

5. Relax and have fun! The holidays are meant to be celebrated. Have a great time and don't beat yourself up if you've indulged more than you planned. Tomorrow is a new day and you can get right back on track in no time! The added stress from feeling guilty about it will only add pounds to your waistline. Enjoy it and have fun! 

Do you have any tips for eating healthy at holiday gatherings? Share them in the comments below! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!


Happy Memorial Day from Adrianne and Amanda from A Love Affair With Eyeliner! For all who have served, thank you! We hope you all have a happy, fun and safe holiday! We will be back tomorrow with our regular scheduled posts :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray

Last December I reviewed Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner. Click here to read that post. Today I’ll be reviewing another product from the Healthy Sexy Hair line – Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray.

I’m a big fan of the Healthy Sexy Hair line. Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray contains soy and cocoa to hydrate and protect hair, argan oil to nourish and control frizz and keratin proteins to strengthen dry or damaged hair. The product is also great for protecting against UV and heat from being outdoors.

The name of this product really says it all. Upon spraying it on my hair, I found that it held my hair in place without weighing it down or making it look and feel crunchy. Even after using it daily, I haven’t noticed any product build-up. As an added bonus, the hairspray has a nice sweet scent. 

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray is available for $17.95 at Target, Ulta and other retailers. The price is one downside of the product—though you can help this by keeping your eyes peeled for Ulta coupons.

Have you tried any Healthy Sexy Hair products?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fitness: Full Body 24 minute Bootcamp Workout

I've been beyond busy lately and between work and wedding planning, there hasn't been that much time left to workout. I feel so much better, awake, balanced, have reduced stress, etc. when I'm working out. I need to make it a priority, even if my time is limited. Lately I've been much more efficient with my workouts and get them in my day in 30 minutes or less.

I've done this quick and very effective workout twice now and it's left me a sweaty panting mess. It's only 24 minutes long and is a full body workout. I hope it kicks your butt as much as it does mine!

You'll do 3 sets of burpies and pushups with a minute of rest between each set. Then you'll move on to abs with plank twist and v-ups. Don't rest for more than a minute between each exercise. If you need form cues on any of these moves YouTube is an excellent resource! No matter how good in shape I am, burpies always kick my butt! 

What are your favorite full body exercises? Let us know if you try this in the comments below! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Creating More Free Time

People are so busy. Everyone has so many responsibilities—between family, pets, work, bills and maintaining a home, it’s no wonder that people constantly feel stressed and overworked.

It may seem like something small, but consider how much you use social media. Whether you’re leaving your social pages up in your browser all day at work or are constantly checking your phone, all that time accumulates. Five minutes here and there can turn into big chunks of time in your day when you be using that time more productively.

So, how can you cut down?
  • Track your time: The first step is actually looking at how much time you spend using social media. Track your time for a week and evaluate how much time you spend per day.
  • Set limits: Just like you block out an hour to hit the gym or half an hour to eat lunch, set a time limit on how much time you spend with social media each day. If you’re really hoping to cut down, start with 30 minutes per day and lessen that number each week.
  • Think about what else you could be doing—and do it: In order to provide motivation to stick to the limits you’ve set, think about all the things you could accomplish instead of spending your time on social media. Then, actually do those things. You’ll feel much better spending an hour finishing housework than you will spending that same time browsing Facebook.
  • Turn off notifications: When your phone is beeping to let you know someone sent you a message or posted on your Facebook wall, it’s hard to ignore. Get rid of the alerts and email notifications and you won’t be prompted to pick up your phone every time something new happens.
  • Step away: When you feel like social media is taking over your day, leave behind your laptop, tablet or phone and find another activity. Go outside for a walk, spend time with family/friends or hit the gym.
  • Hide your apps: On the home screen of your phone, it makes sense to place the apps that you use most. But, if you leave those apps off your home screen they won’t be top of mind every time you look at your phone.
  • Be in the moment: So many times people pause to snap a picture to share on Instagram or pause in the middle of dinner to share with their Twitter followers what they’re eating. Why? Sure, it’s great to snap pictures to be able to better hold onto memories, but often times people neglect the person or people they are with in favor of capturing a moment to share with people who aren’t there. Focus on who and what you are experiencing. Your social networks can wait.

Social media is a great way to stay connected with the people and things you care about, but it can turn into a huge time suck that distracts you from daily tasks and prevents you from doing things that are productive. And then there’s the whole notion of FOMO, or fear of missing out. People often become attached to social media because they’re afraid they are missing something great or not being included in important conversations happening online. Once you wean yourself from social media, you’ll see that FOMO is really all in your head. If a truly important conversation is happening online and you need to be included, people will get in touch with you. They might even—gasp—call you.

Do you limit your social media time? How do you do it?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Health & Nutrition: Non Fruit Smoothie Recipe

I've been on a major smoothie kick lately. I think it has something to do with the nice weather that we're finally getting in Chicago. Also, my parents generously gave Jay and I a Vitamix for our recent wedding shower and I've been obsessed with using it. You wouldn't believe how much of a difference it makes. It's worth every single penny!

I was previously putting a lot of fruit (way too much actually) in my smoothies. I decided to not put any in one day to see if it would taste okay without it. To my surprise, I loved the taste and didn't miss the fruit at all.

I've been having these for breakfasts lately and am surprised on how full they make me. Usually I'm hungry again in just a few short hours, but these keep me full until I can take a break at work.

What you'll need:
One generous handful of almonds or another nut of your choice
One scoop protein powder (I use vanilla egg white protein)
A generous handful of spinach or another green of your choice (I promise you won't taste it!)
1 cup of almond milk or another liquid of choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
4 ice cubes
A few dashes of cinnamon

What to do:
1. Put all contents into your mixer and blend for a minute or two.
2. Put in a large cup and enjoy!
Super quick, easy and so good for you! I hope I keep up with these through the summer.

Do you have any smoothie recipes you're loving lately? Share them below in the comments!

Monday, May 20, 2013

What to Keep in Your Beach Bag

One of my favorite beaches--Crandon Park

The weather in Chicago has been beautiful lately—sunny and over 80 degrees. The hot temperatures have got me thinking about heading to the beach and I can’t wait to do so!

If you’re planning a beach day, here’s a list of must-haves to keep yourself cool and comfortable throughout the day:
  • Blanket and towel: My pet peeve is using a sandy towel to dry off. Save yourself some hassle by packing a large picnic blanket to lay on the sand.
  • Sunglasses: I just can’t be out in the sun or do much of anything outside without a pair of shades. Keep them on as much as possible to protect your eyes.
  • Leave-in conditioner, wide-tooth comb and clip: Hair is most susceptible to breakage when it’s wet. After you get out of the water, spritz your hair with a leave-in conditioner and use a wide-tooth comb to work out the tangles. Use a clip instead of a hair tie to secure your hair.
  • Hydrating mist: Sitting out in the sun can leave your skin feeling like it’s baking. Occasionally pull out a hydrating mist and spray it on your skin for instant relief.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF: If you don’t use sunscreen before heading out in the sun, what are you thinking? It’s a must to cover your body with sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. And don’t forget your lips
  • Wipes: Take along some baby wipes. It seems like an odd item to bring, but there are several uses at the beach—use them to wipe your face before reapplying sunscreen, clean off your sunglasses or even wipe down your arms, and legs if they become sweaty or sandy.
  • Beach dress or cover-all: If you need to get up to find the nearest bathroom, have dress or cover-all handy to throw on. (Unless you’re totally comfortable strutting in your swimsuit!)
  • Water and snacks: Try to avoid pop and salty snacks—those will just make you feel dehydrated.
  • Makeup bag: If you’re planning to go anywhere but home after the beach, pack a bag with some basic toiletries like deodorant, body spray and toothbrush/toothpaste. Go easy on the makeup and let your sun-kissed skin shine through—a little tinted moisturizer, cheek color and mascara is all you need.
  • Entertainment: After about half an hour just lying in the sun, I get antsy. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside taking in the gorgeous weather, but I always need something to keep me occupied. For me, there’s nothing like reading a mindless novel. It always feels really indulgent!
  • Plastic bags: I always keep a few plastic bags with me—they’re a must for holding a wet towel or swimsuit if you plan to change before heading home.
  • Small empty spray bottle: If you’re lucky enough to be near an ocean, take advantage of one of mother nature’s best hair care products: salt water. Fill up a spray bottle with some ocean water to take home—it’s much better than any sea salt spray.

What are your beach must-haves?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Makeup Look of the Day

Here’s a great smoky look that’s great for day or evening:

If you want to recreate the look, here’s what I used:
  • Face: Garnier B.B. Cream in Light/Medium; Benefit Erase Paste; Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in #3
  • Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion; Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Matte Black; Kat Von D True Love Palette (Lucifer and Missy); ELF Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette – Limited Edition (Gray); Fresh Supernova Mascara
  • Brows: CoverGirl Clear Mascara
  • Cheeks: Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Flush
  • Lips: Bare
Hope you guys are enjoying the weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Amanda's May Birchbox

I can't believe it's already the middle of May! Let's take a look at what I got in my Birchbox this month.

1. Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: The makeup experts at Sumita have created a versatile eyeliner that exceeds all our tough standards: sensational blending abilities, bold colors, and non-irritating formulas. The soft wax formula goes on smooth to create clean lines or can be smudged to smoky perfection. Plus, the long-lasting liner will hold up all day and night.

My Review: I really did not like this product. I loved the color (I got a sapphire blue one) but sadly this product fell short. Halfway through the workday it was running down my face -- not a good look. When I got home it was almost impossible to get off the rest with eye makeup remover. I figured it would be a piece of cake it get off since it had been running so much earlier but sadly it was not. I won't be using the rest of my sample.
2.  COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: This classic sunblock has everything we want in a daily SPF. The eco-friendly formula is made with 70 percent certified organic ingredients and protects from both UVA rays that lead to premature aging and UVB rays that cause painful burns. Plus, the refreshing cucumber scent gives us yet another reason to love the lightweight formula.

My review: I LOVED this sunscreen! I'm all about organic products (especially for my face and body) and was very excited to get this. I've been really taking extra care with my skin lately and as I've gotten older I now realize how important it is to protect my skin, especially my face. It's super light and non greasy. I easily can put this under my makeup and not notice the difference. I am seriously considering purchasing the full size when my sample runs out. 

3. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: We tend to gravitate toward products that have as many functions as Imelda Marcos has pairs of shoes. (Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration.) Beauty Protector’s leave-in mist is about as versatile as they come. It conditions, shields from heat and sun damage, and–of course–detangles, among other things. Plus, it’s 100% vegan and suitable for all hair types. 

My review: I wish the sample pump wasn't broken -- I couldn't give this a fair try because nothing would come out of the spray pump. It's really thick so it didn't work well to put some of the product in my hand. It made my hair too weighed down because of the amount of product that I put on it. Sadly I won't be trying the rest of my sample. 

4. Folle de Joie eau de parfum
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: There are two spots that feature prominently in our wanderlust-fueled daydreams: SoCal beaches and Parisian sidewalk cafés. Luckily, we can live vicariously through Joie’s refreshing new fragrance. Folle de Joie, which translates to “crazy with joy,” evokes both the relaxed and playful vibe of California and the seductiveness and refinement of the City of Light. 

My review: I really liked this perfume. The scent is amazing and it's not overpowering at all. I wish the full size was a little cheaper because I would seriously consider purchasing this!
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: Jot down all your brilliant ideas with these colorful hybrid ink pens. Featuring gorgeous colors, a retractable tip and a comfy contoured grip, they make writing fashionable again. Choose between assorted 3, 4, or 5 packs.

My review: I didn't mind the pen -- I got a pink one and I've been using it at work for my to-do list and special notes. I wish this was a bonus or extra item instead of replacing a beauty item entirely. I felt like they ran out of samples and threw this one in there. I was expecting a little more from Birchbox this month. 

Overall I was disappointed in this month's box. Three products were major bummers and there was only one product this month that I would consider purchasing. Unless my June box is a major hit, I'm seriously considering canceling my subscription. We shall see! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Easy and Healthy Salmon Burger Recipe

My mom recently told me about these salmon burgers she made and I couldn't get them off of my mind. I called her last night for the recipe and I'm so glad that I did -- they were phenomenal! I knew I had to share it with all of you on the blog today. Not only are these salmon burgers delicious, they are extremely healthy and packed with protein. 

What you'll need:
1 can wild Alaskan pink salmon (I purchased mine at Trader Joe's)
1 tablespoon coconut flour 
2 eggs
1 tablespoon coconut oil

What to do:
1. Open your can of salmon and drain all of the liquid out.
2. Using a fork, flake the salmon into small pieces making sure there are not any bones and put the contents in a medium sized bowl. 
3. Add the eggs and coconut flour and stir until contents are fully mixed 
4. Heat your tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium sized frying pan until it's fully melted. 
5. Form medium sized patties with your hands and place them in the heated pan. Make sure to lightly press down on them with a spatula so they brown evenly.
5. After 4-5 minutes, flip your burgers and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. 
6. Enjoy! 

We enjoyed ours with some grilled zucchini - it was fantastic! 

Have you made salmon burgers before? What is your favorite thing to make in the summer?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adrianne's April Glossybox

April’s Glossybox featured a compilation of products to celebrate the change in seasons. From a rosy blush to moisturizing lip balm to beachy hair, this Glossybox says bye-bye to cold weather and hello to summer.

1. Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist

2. Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au thé Blanc Tea Bag for Bath

3. The Honest Company Honest Organic Lip Balm

4. Tigi Cosmetics Glow Blush

5.Wash With Joe Coffeemint Invigorating Body Wash

6. Le Métier De Beauté Replenishing Daily Solution

1. Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist: Because I have stick straight hair, I was excited to receive a hair product that could help give my hair some wave. This spray is meant to be applied to damp or dry hair, then worked through with your fingers to create a wavy loose look. I used this for a few days on damp hair. The spray has a nice fresh scent and didn’t make my hair feel hard or crispy, like some texturizing sprays can do. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that the spray helped my hair achieve any kind of wave. I noticed some more body and bounce, but as far as a beachy tousled look this product fell short. 

2. Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au thé Blanc Tea Bag for Bath: I’m not a huge fan of taking baths. I mostly do it out of necessity to shave my legs and that’s exactly what I did to test out this bath tea bag. When removing the tea bag from its container, I was immediately hit with an overpowering floral scent so I was a little nervous. After a shower, I filled the tub and dropped in the bag. It broke open and the powder contained within dissolved into the bath. Once it dissolved, the bath actually smelled nice and not too overpowering. I did feel like it softened my skin. Even after I drained the tub, the tea bag left a nice after scent in my bathroom.

3. The Honest Company Honest Organic Lip Balm: Have you ever eaten an orange dreamsicle? That’s exactly what this lip balm smells like. It’s made from organic jojoba and olive, sunflower and coconut oils. This balm is extremely moisturizing, smells great and is made from natural ingredients. I’m a big fan! I keep this lip balm on my coffee table so I can apply it throughout the night if I’m sitting and working or watching tv.

4. Tigi Cosmetics Glow Blush: This baked blush is designed with all skin tones in mind. The rosy color provides a nice shimmer to the skin and the color looks great. I found it easy to apply and long lasting. Here’s how it looks on me:

5. Wash With Joe Coffeemint Invigorating Body Wash: I don’t even know where to begin with this product. I was excited to try it because I like energizing scents like citrus or mint—especially if it’s going to help wake me up in the morning. I was a little put off when I poured some of the product into my hand—it’s a dark brown color with the consistency of blood. Weird, right? It didn’t lather up for me or go on my skin smoothly, so it was a little difficult to use. Not only that, I really didn’t enjoy the smell. I got hit with faint notes of coffee, then mint and then I was overwhelmed by a smell I really hate—black licorice. Yuck. I wouldn’t use this product again. 

6. Le Métier De Beauté Replenishing Daily Solution: This daily lotion is packed with ingredients to nourish, rejuvenate and detoxify skin. It was really rich and moisturizing. The Glossybox even came with a discount to purchase. The problem? The full size is $225. No, that’s not a typo. It was fun to try something out that is so expensive, but I know I won’t use it again!

Have you tried any of these products?