Uh, can’t believe it’s already March. LA is finally having winter, which gets my seasons all turned around in my head…because body says winter, but my mind is on spring (and summer)! Today I’m bringing you an Essie Gel Couture review of longwearing, spring-ready, and transitional nail polish shades.
Nail polish collabs are my favorite because I’ve been doing my own nails every week ever since my mom allowed me to wear nail polish (age 6). I prefer painting my own nails because it’s fun, creative, and cathartic, so it’s always interesting when I get to try new products in the process. The new Essie Gel Couture Enchanted Collection, a line of sweet and charming shades, promises longwear with an easy two-step process.
I first tried the Essie Gel Couture for our pre-Valentine’s date night (February 13) and the polish lasted for 15 days (until February 28). Not bad, right? See pics below!
ESSIE GEL COUTURE ENCHANTED COLLECTION
Enchanted Collection shades: Good Knight, Princess Charming, Once Upon A Time, Spellbound, Daring Damsel, Matter of Fiction, Top Coat
Most of the colors of the Enchanted Collection are light and airy matches for most spring wardrobes. I immediately gravitated toward Spellbound, which is gray with a tint of shimmery green, and the pretty pink shade, Princess Charming.
I also loved the gold shade, Daring Damsel. It’s an incredibly bright and smooth metallic gold. Good Knight is a luscious, vampy shade of dark burgundy and a great complement to the rest of the breezy colors in the collection. I still have to try the rest!
Essie Daring Damsel. Love this gold shade and the fan-shaped brush.
STEP 1: TWO COATS OF ESSIE GEL COUTURE
I have had trouble with some Essie formulas in the past. They seemed to run a little thin in pigmentation, and no matter how many coats I slathered on, the color still appeared a bit sheer. Not so with the shades I have tried so far from the Enchanted Collection. The color goes on thick and smooth, and the fan-shaped brush makes it so easy to apply the polish in 2 to 3 strokes per nail.
The color is super rich and easy to apply. Two coats is all you need.
STEP 2: ESSIE GEL COUTURE TOP COAT
Even though I love doing my own nails at home, I still love how a professional gel manicure looks. It’s always so perfect and soooo shiny! I even bought a UV lamp to do gel manicures at home, but when I discovered how hard it was to remove gel polish (you have to soak in acetone for minutes…and scrape…), I decided to stick with the regular stuff.
You don’t need a UV lamp with the Essie Gel Couture polish, just gotta make sure you put on the top coat.
Don’t forget Step 2: The amazing top coat!
The Essie Gel Couture Top Coat is “platinum-grade,” which I’m assuming it means it’s tough stuff. It glides on super shiny, and one can’t help but hope that the shine will remain once it dries.
It pretty much does.
I’ll clean up the edges later. 😌
Gel manicures can last two weeks, compared to the usual one week that my “regular” polish lasts. The Essie Gel Couture resisted a lot of chipping and peeling, and I didn’t have to repaint until after 15 days.
Day 1. Spellbound x Princess Charming.
Day 15. Light chipping, peeling, and mostly grow-out with dry cuticles.
Also, the Essie Gel Couture was super easy to remove with normal acetone-based nail polish remover. Didn’t have to soak or scrub.
I’m pretty happy with this nail polish and I’m glad there are over 100 Essie Gel Couture shades to shop! Major thanks to Essie for sponsoring this post!
Do you do your own nails or get them done in the salon?
Hi! I’ve been obsessed with magnetic eyelashes lately and have gone nuts trying different brands and different ways to get the darn things on my eyes. I have the puniest natural lashes and I suck at applying fake lashes with glue. Eyelash extensions are way too expensive…so I really hoped that magnetic lashes would work for me. And they did. Now I wear magnetic eyelashes every day that I put on makeup, and it takes me no longer than 2 minutes to snap them on.
First, I’ll review some of the magnetic eyelash brands that I tried, and then I’ll talk about some tips and tricks that worked for me.
What I meant by puniest lashes. They’re almost nonexistent.
I read tons of reviews and most of the negative reviews were from ladies who complained that they could not apply the lashes correctly. Those who could do it loved the products. It sounds easy…you just place one piece/lash on top of your natural lashes, and then place the other lash under your natural lashes, so that your real lashes get sandwiched in by the fake lashes. And the sandwich gets held together by the tiny magnets. I was afraid I’d join the throngs of ladies who failed, but I had to try for myself and I’m so happy I did.
I started off by looking at inexpensive lashes on Amazon. There are so many magnetic eyelashes to choose from on Amazon. Some are super inexpensive with positive reviews ($5.99), and some are pricier with not so many great reviews. I picked the HotSan Dual Long Magnetic False Eyelashes because they had a lot of positive ratings by verified purchasers (a lot of sellers have fake reviews, so it’s helpful to filter for verified purchases only). The price seemed right, and the lashes looked very natural.
The perfect storage case for magnetic eyelashes.
These lashes have 2 magnets on each strip. The lashes as well as the strip are short and I think these are good for gals with petite eyes who want their lashes to look really, really natural.
Since these were the first magnetic lashes I ever tried, it took me over 30 minutes to get them on. The magnets would catch on to each other and snap on the wrong place on my lashes. It was so frustrating. I kept having to try, and then finally one of the magnets fell off.
I was going to return them, but I decided not to because I wanted to keep the case.
Missing a magnet on one lash.
How they looked when I sorta got them snapped on.
Final verdict: I wouldn’t purchase these again because a magnet fell off the first day I received them. They are short and look natural, but I can’t trust the quality.
One Two Lash Magnetic Eyelashes :: Full Coverage Enhanced Lash ($69.00)
My rating: 2/5
Next, I tried One Two Lash by One Two Cosmetics. These are like the Cadillac of magnetic lashes. They are super expensive, but I had to try them because I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for. I expected these to be awesome.
The packaging is terrific, but I’m guessing that’s part of what’s driving the cost of the product up. The lashes are definitely higher quality, but the price difference between these and the other brands I tried is just too significant.
These lashes also have 2 magnets on the top strip, but the bottom lash is broken up into 2 pieces. I was still a novice when I tried these, but I was able to snap them in place on my second or third try! I wondered whether A) these lashes are so expensive because they’re easier to put on, or B) having the bottom “sandwich bread” in separate pieces made them easier to put on.
The answer is B.
The One Two lashes are beautiful and I do like higher-quality products. But the strips were a little too long for my little Asian eyes. Since I couldn’t get the magnets to sandwich the tiny lashes at the corners of my eyes, I couldn’t get optimal application with these lashes.
Final verdict: I’ll never purchase these again because they’re too expensive for what you get and they don’t fit my eyes (and can’t be modified to fit either). They are gorgeous, and if my eyes and budget were larger, these might be my top pick.
Ardell Professional Magnetic Eyelashes :: Double 110 ($13.99)
My rating: 4.5/5
Finally, I tried the Ardell Double 110 lashes. This brand has a decent reputation with their glueable fake lashes, so I felt confident and optimistic about trying these. I chose their most natural style, though the more popular Demi Wispies are also available with magnets.
These lashes have 4 magnets per strip. It was so frustrating getting all 4 of them to align and click up at the roots of my lashes! It took at least 15 to 30 minutes for these too. I also felt the strips were too long for my little eyes because the magnets at the corners of my eyes didn’t really click on to my baby lashes, so the ends felt like they were dangling or just not sitting right.
But once I got them on in an okay position, they looked really natural. And after all the fiddling around with them, none of the magnets fell off.
But what a pain to put on. Keep reading to find out how cutting my Ardell lashes turned them into my favorite lashes that I can apply everyday with ease. I also made a video! 😇
Final verdict: I’ll continue to purchase these because the price is very reasonable and the quality is very good (I’ve reused them so many times and the magnet and lash fibers have stayed intact). I found a way to make them easy to apply. I just wish they weren’t so long, but a few easy cuts solved that problem.
Tips and Tricks
So, to get the Ardell lashes to work for me, I decided to cut off the fourth magnet so the strips would be shorter and could sandwich in my longer lashes better. It helped. Then I thought that maybe having the bottom bread in separate pieces like the One Two Lash might help too. So I decided to cut those too. And that helped big time.
Here’s a video showing how I cut the lashes. Music produced by Eddie. ♥️
Having the separate pieces makes applying the lashes so easy. I like to apply the outer corner piece first, then the inner piece, then the middle. You ladies with normal-sized eyes probably won’t need to cut off the fourth magnet, but that step helped me. Also, don’t throw those little pieces away. You can save them and use them as accents when you’re in a pinch.
One Two Lash comes with an applicator. It’s plastic tweezers with magnetic pads. You place the pieces of bread on each side and then clamp it on your lashes. It felt a little scary to me and it worked one time. I’m sure practice makes perfect, but I didn’t like using the tool.
I also purchased a pretty rose gold applicator on Amazon. I don’t like this tool because once you clamp the lashes on your eyes and pull the tweezers away, one side of the lashes sticks to the tweezers (because it’s metal). The instructions literally say to practice. One of the Amazon reviewers called it a “game changer” and had a little video showing how easy it is to use. That’s what sold me, but the applicator didn’t work for me.
I encourage you to try the applicators though because you’ll never know what works for you until you try.
Bottom Bread First Technique
This is a method that I heard works for a lot of people. To use this technique, place the bottom lash under your lashes and shut your eye to hold it in place. Then snap on the top lash.
I used this method before I cut my Ardells and it did work for me, but cutting was my game changer.
Apply Mascara First
I know fake lashes are supposed to eliminate the whole mascara step, but you really need a coat or two of mascara before applying the magnetic lashes. The mascara not only helps blend in your natural lashes with the luscious fakes ones, it helps make the false lashes stick or grip on to your natural lashes. A good grip makes application (and removal!) easier.
Hi. I haven’t blogged in forever, and haven’t blogged an OOTD in even longer than forever. It was nice to step out of the blogosphere for a bit, especially during the holiday season and the beginning part of the new year. But now it’s time to get back to business.
I know I’m coming back with a totally casual and not so blogworthy outfit. I wasn’t sure I was going to post this, but I’ve been living in this look these days, so I thought I’d post just to say hello and to update you on things. Also, the shoes are dope, so here you go:
I’ve been dressing super laidback lately, mostly because I’ve been working from home now. I’m a writer for a medical education company and working remotely, which means I’m usually working in jeans, t-shirt (or hoodie!), and sneakers. Can’t complain, though I miss wearing fancy shoes…but that’s what date nights are for.
I have a small collection of these grande-sized Starbucks cold cups. And these Baby G watches. So many fun colors. 🙂
One of our test shots.
Even though January flew by, it still feels like a very new year to me. This year Eddie and I are hoping to travel more and to get our creative projects going. We had a tough 2017 since he was fighting through his medical treatments, but now that he’s literally been given a second chance (currently cancer free!), we’re both trying to make the most out of life. I’m excited about the future and loving the present.
But no, we still have not thought about any wedding plans. He says he’s down for any type of wedding that I want. I want to elope!
My other plans for 2018: get back into a running regimen, blog more consistently, figure out how to make the Instagram algorithm work for me, write a movie, land some flip tricks, and nail some Street Fighter V combos. Haha.
Bought these Adidas Tubular kicks in boys size 4. I’m normally a 5.5 to 6 in women’s, and these fit perfectly. Cheaper too.
Not too much else going on over here. I hope your 2018 is off to a fantastic start. Thanks for visiting! Write me a comment and say hi. It’s been a while! ♥️
Hi! Just wanted to throw up a quick blog post about the Members Only jackets that I’ve been sharing on IG. These are my favorite sporty cool jackets and I already had them in awesome sold-out colors (blush, camo, and floral camo) before the company reached out to me for what seemed like a dream collaboration.
My favorite blush Members Only jacket! Sorry, sold out. ☹️
I received the Women’s Helix Iconic Racer Members Only Jacket in the color Canteen in size XS. Hooray for them having an XS option. I love this shimmery pale blue color. It sort of has that vintagey, old school, Stranger Things vibes but it’s totally fresh and new.
This Members Only jacket is currently on sale at Barney’s Warehouse here!
The other jacket that I’ve had on frequent rotation lately is the Women’s Washed Satin Boyfriend Members Only jacket in Burgundy. Also in size XS. This jacket is as classic as they come. They are so well-made and comfortably lined. I love the edginess of the bomber style, and the nylon is so satiny that it’s still got that feminine vibe. It’s a tad bit oversized (hence boyfriend style), but that’s what makes it comfortable and yet never frumpy.
Hi! As you can see I’m still obsessed with transforming my Dr. Martens boots. If you read Part 1 on how to dye leather boots (here), then you already know that I felt that my last boots project came out too dark. I dyed cherry red Docs using an oxblood-colored dye and the resulting color was gorgeous, but looked nearly black. So here I am at it again with Part 2 on how to paint leather boots. I’m painting some old gray boots. And I’m wanting that original cherry red back!
Before and After of my dyeing project from Part 1. The oxblood is so pretty but the OG red is just so cute and classic.
Painting vs Dyeing Leather
The main difference between painting and dyeing leather is that paint sits on the surface of the leather, while dye penetrates the leather. Whatever I’m painting will turn out to be that color. With dyeing, the color that I get will depend on the type of leather and the color of leather that I’m starting with. My cherry red Docs were already pretty pigmented to start with, which is probably why they turned out so dark. Plus, oxblood is just a dark, rich color in general.
Also, paint is definitely more forgiving. If I accidentally get a drop of paint on the wrong spot, I can wipe it off with a damp cloth. Any mistakes made with dye are pretty regrettable and irreversible!
Today I’ll show you how to paint leather boots. I’ll be transforming these scuffed up gray Docs into super cute red Docs:
Preparation for painting leather boots is the same as if you are dyeing them. I cleaned the boots with a shoe brush and a little bit of warm water. Once they were dry, I “stripped” the existing dye with rubbing alcohol. This step is really important for making the paint stick to the leather, so I really went at it.
Then I applied tape to the areas where I wanted to avoid painting. I used Opi Glitter Off Natural Peel Off Base Coat on the lace eyelets to protect them from being painted, but I’m not sure it worked.
Step 2. Paint the Boots
Painting the boots was really fun. I poured a little bit of paint into my red Solo cup and went at it with a sponge brush. Application was pretty smooth and not streaky, and the Angelus leather paint was super easy to work with.
I used a small brush to get the edges and details. Kind of impossible to avoid the eyelets. But I’m sure the paint won’t last too long on the metal.
The Autumn Red dye looks really bright and glossy here. But it will mellow out once it dries. Don’t worry.
I applied two coats, and made sure the paint was dry in between coats.
Step 3. Touch Up the Bad Spots
Once the second coat was dry, I carefully (so I thought) removed the tape. My tape actually pulled off some of the paint near the soles and I was alarmed by how easy it seemed to peel off. But again, don’t worry, I just used a small paint brush and touched up the spots with two coats.
Just FYI, Autumn Red is similar to the original cherry red color of Dr. Martens, except it is a bit redder and not as burgundy.
See how the paint color mellowed out.
Step 4. Finish and Polish the Boots
It’s recommended to apply an acrylic paint finisher, but I skipped this step. The finisher is supposed to protect the paint from scuffs and probably peeling, so it seems like a good idea especially if you are planning to wear the boots a lot. It also comes in matte or gloss. My Docs are not in my usual rotation of footwear, so I felt okay about skipping it.
The Angelus acrylic paint is fantastic for customizing sneakers, bags, belts, saddles, holsters, etc. While doing research for this blog post I saw so many inspiring pictures and videos of people who customize their Jordans and other Nikes. Here’s my humble sneaker modification start:
The Janoski on top has a bright pink Swoosh. I painted it red (bottom shoe).
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this post gave you a little bit of insight on how to paint leather shoes. Let me know if you decide to take on a leather dyeing or painting project!