I'm currently on nail polish purchasing rampage.  Ever since I discovered these amazing pinky nudes, I've been on a mission to collect every shade on my list.  My intention, this year, is to maintain the appearance of my nails as much as possible.

But, I gotta be honest, it's sometimes a hassle.  I paint my nails and, within days, I start seeing signs of chipping.  Since I'm not one of those girls who immediately addresses the issue, I end up walking around with raggedy nails.  That defeats the entire purpose.  I'm not opposed to redoing my nails, but just not every few days.

Determined to find a solution, I did a research by reaching out of a nail guru I follow on Instagram.  She revealed her secret to manicures that last several weeks.
Our conversation began when I asked her if she had any recommendations for a top coat that actually works.

Much to my surprise, her response was that the top coat wasn't going to save the day.  Instead, I needed to switch up my entire nail color application process.  Basically, I had been doing it all wrong.  Instead of applying polish and top coat.  Here's what I should have done:

The key to long-lasting nail color lies in prepping the nail adequately to receive the product.  My biggest mistake was in not removing any of the naturally occurring oil from the nail surface.  For this, we can wipe our nails with alcohol or use a nail dehydrator specifically designed to remove oils and moisture from the nail surface.

From there, we should apply a bonder.  A bonder is specially formulated to allow the nail color to stick to the nail bed. Bonders serve the primary purpose of ensuring a longer-lasting manicure.  They work by raising the pH of the natural nail.  This helps our polish to have better sticking power.   Bonders are similar to a basecoat so you don't really need to apply another layer of basecoat on top.

Why have I never heard of this product before?

Basically, the combination of removing any traces of oil and using a quality bonder will extend your polish much longer than what you're used to.  The beauty blogger I messaged boasted about enjoying beautifully polished nails for 3 weeks!!!!

I was shook.

Her favorite bonder is from Orly and people love this stuff.

May 14, 2016
Size: Bonder|Color: Orly Nail Bonder Nail Treatment-0.6 oz|Verified Purchase

August 10, 2017
Size: Bonder|Color: Orly Nail Bonder Nail Treatment-0.6 oz|Verified Purchase

Some other tips I picked up while researching was to try applying the nail color while the bonder is still a little tacky (not fully dry).  This could help the color and bonder to better adhere to each other.   Others use Orly's bonder as a base and top coat.   But, apparently, it works just as well on its own.

The moral of the story is that I've been living a lie. I had no idea this product existed and I've fooled myself into thinking that just using polish and topcoat would somehow make my polish magically stay on.

Now I know the truth and the truth cannot be stopped!!!

Seriously tho, I'm super excited to grab a bottle of Orly's bonder ASAP so I can enjoy life again.

We're getting into that time of year where we have to make shifts in our skin regimen.  Winter is all about hydrating with ultra-moisturizing products. But, as we transition to spring, we must be mindful of our skin's changing needs.

In staying true to the goal of replicating perfectly poreless skin by summer, I've decided to incorporate a product that can refine the skin & eliminate imperfections each and every single day.
If you don't have this product in your current line up, you might be truly missing out.  I've discussed the importance of exfoliating in the past.  Exfoliating, in my opinion, is just as important as cleansing.  We won't' go a full day without removing surface dirt and oil, but what about the dead skin clogging up your pores? 

Even though I'm the number one advocate for daily exfoliation, I didn't do it often as I should.  That all changed when I discovered acid based toners.  These toners have one job, to refine and perfect, by dissolving dead skin cells, with each and every use.  

The result is brighter, more even-toned skin that looks baby smooth and reflects light beautifully. When your skin naturally reflects light, it glows. 

For acne prone skin or if you're suffering from discoloration, acid-based lotions shouldn't be an option.....it's a must. If your current regimen doesn't include this miracle skin-refining tonic, here are a few options for you to consider.  

I was watching a Youtube favorites video the other day when the girl held up a bottle of Glossier's new multi-acid acne exfoliator.  She said something that immediately made me want to purchase. "Since using this solution, I've been able to go without any foundation." She then went on to explain that she appeared foundationless in the video.  Because she did her brows, lips and wore mascara, I assumed that her skin had some coverage as well.  Once I learned the truth, I hopped on over to Glossier's website and purchased.  Another reason why I was so eager to buy was because of some before & after pics of people who made incredible improvements to their skin, thanks to Solution.   The product description promises to transform your skin in 4 weeks with the help of several acids including glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid.   I can't wait to try and share my first impressions. 

Ever since I learned that Pixi Glow Tonic was a staple in Jourdan Dunn's skin regimen, I wanted it. Jourdan, when speaking about Pixi Tonic, said that it "exfoliates very well" and the acid refiner was "really doing its job."  Before Glossier Solution came along, Pixi Glow Tonic was everyone's favorite.  It's also got a great supporting cast of ingredients including witch hazel, ginseng, glycerin, and castor oil.  If your skin isn't acne prone, but you're looking for something to exfoliate lightly on a daily basis, Pixi Glow certainly fits the bill.
Ordinary is a newcomer on the scene. This brand is blowing up because of its high quality, low-cost lineup.  They offer a 7% glycolic acid toner in a full 8 oz size at an affordable price.  That's if you can get your hands on it because they frequently run out of stock.  Their toning solution is definitely worth a try because at, this price you can afford to use it on your neck, chest, and anywhere else that you want to promote even-toned healthy looking skin. 

Of the three, I decided to start my collection with Glossier's Solution.  Part of the reason was because I also picked up their Boy Brow since a lot of people I follow were raving about it.  It's already starting to warm up where I live and I've seen some signs that my skin wanted to freak out.  My skin was acne free all winter, out of nowhere, a pimple shows up.  No thanks.  I'm getting proactive and detoxing my skin's outer layer so, as my oil production increases with warmer weather, I don't suffer from breakouts as a consequence.   Acid toners kill the bacteria that feeds acne and help with the healing process.  One facialist even hinted that acids help prevent deep scaring because of how they aid in healing.

I didn't even mention how acids can also lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Even toned, smoother skin is possible simply by swiping your face with a little acid toner on a routine basis. Not to mention that acids prep the skin so that everything else you use afterwards becomes more effective.  Who wouldn't want that!? There just are too many benefits to pass up.  

A while back, this image showed up on my Pinterest feed. After reading the enthusiasm contained in the caption, I decided to file the image away for later.  I thought to myself that if I ever came across the item at Marshall's, I may give it a shot.

Fast forward a few months and I just so happened to be rummaging through the aisles at a random Marshall's.  There, staring back at me was a bottle of Pearl Essence Rose Water.  "Cool, I thought.....but I wonder if they have the cucumber version?"  Sure enough, they did!  After grabbing both bottles, I made my purchase which added to my facial mist collection.  

Little did I know that this facial spray would be one of my current favorites. 
What really drew me to this product was that cucumber water was high on the ingredient list.  Cucumber water is amazing for the skin.  It's loaded with nutrients such as vitamins A, B, & C, potassium, and magnesium. 

More importantly, they contain silica and sulfur, which are beauty minerals.  I don't come across many skin products with cucumber water as a top ingredient so I jumped at the chance. 

Once home, I immediately tested my green tinted mist to formulate a first impression.  Instantly, I fell in love with the scent.  It's very spa-like and invigorating.  Whenever I test out a new mist, I always touch my face afterward to determine if the liquid is simply wetting my face or if it's actually hydrating/moisturizing it.  

Once my skin soaked in the liquid, it left behind the nicest hint of moisture.  This is probably because of the glycerin and aloe.  Oh, did I also mention that the cucumber mist also contains witch hazel?  As we now know, witch hazel is a major beauty secret for dealing with acne breakouts.  A short time later, I peeked at the mirror again only to realize that the cucumber left my skin with the most amazing, natural looking flow.  I wasn't expecting that at all.  This sealed it for me. I was in love.

Not only does it contain quality ingredients, but you get a lot of product for the price (a full 8 ounces).  So when I posted a pic of the mist on Instagram, it was no surprise that a few of you came in the comments praising the goodness of this beauty essential.  If you have a Marshall's/TJMaxx or something similar in your town, stop in and grab a bottle.  Even if you aren't lucky enough to score one for under $10.00, you can find them online.  

Yes, they're a bit higher in price, but when you compare to other facial mists, it's worth the investment. 

The last thing I need is another lip gloss.  I have dozens of them.  With that said......I'm going to pick up one more.

Why? Because this lip gloss keeps appearing in my life and I'm finally going to take the hint.  Everyone raves about this drugstore gloss and it's now time for me jump on the bandwagon.
It all began when Kendra Bailey released her full skin reggie video.  I've been on a few of her Instagram lives and people were always asking what product she uses on her lips which always appear so naturally hydrated. Imagine my surprise when she revealed that her holy grail lip balm was by a brand we all know and love.

Once the secret was revealed, I filed that piece of information away until later.  Shortly afterward, this image flashed across my Pinterest feed.
After poking around a little in the comments I was bombarded by a bunch of people who praised the wonders of this amazing gloss-balm.

This stuff is AMAZING! it seriously makes your lips feel so good. It has like this cooling effect and it smells so good and it makes my lips look so good. I recommend this 10/10
This stuff is the bomb and smells soooo good! Can be used as lip balm AND a gloss!

I have tried this and it’s definitely a great moisturizer for the lips 👄 through these cold months!
My favorite love it

I stand by this lip gloss its sooo good!

I tried it and I love it! Super moisturizing
Not only is this lip gloss "super moisturizing," it's also enriched with SPF.  Warmer days are ahead which means we'll be spending more time outside.   If you're like me, you might be making the fatal mistake of layering sunscreen on your face but leaving your lips to fend for themselves.  I have one lip balm enriched with SPF but it does a poor job of hydrating and I barely use it.  Neutrogena Moisture Shine seems like the ultimate solution to all of my woes.

I'm picking some up today.

The other day I was browsing a forum where one of the ladies wanted to share something that she noticed.  To help boost her immune system, and help fight a stubborn cold, she loaded up on her vitamin C intake.

Taking in all of that vitamin C was supposed to help her recover from her cold, but instead, it gave her incredible skin that she had to rave about.
Specifically, she noticed brighter skin that appeared smooth and poreless.  Her hypothesis was that these changes were brought about by her copious intake of vitamin C. Since she wasn't able to maintain her skin regimen while feeling sick, she believed the antioxidant intake make a huge impact on her skin.

Is she right?

We all know that using vitamin C infused serums could help brighten our skin. But what about taking it internally?

 Here's some information that sheds some light on the role of ingested vitamin C and the skin:

  • Both the dermis and the epidermis contain high levels of vitamin C.  The epidermis (outer most layer of the skin) has a higher vitamin C content.  
  • As we age, vitamin C levels on the skin will decline.  
  • Excessive sun exposure also depletes vitamin C stores. 
  • Taking vitamin C internally can help the skin combat photoaging (aging caused by the sun's rays).
  • Vitamin C deficiency results in a skin condition known as scurvy.
  • Scurvy is essentially the breaking down of collagen and results in skin issues, receding gums, changes in our hair and poor wound healing.
A study determined that higher intake of vitamin C resulted in the healthier, younger appearance of the skin.  This is the confirmation we need to support the woman's claim that increasing her vitamin C intake could have caused the transformation of her skin.  

Let's not forget how important the role of vitamin C plays in collagen formation. It basically helps increase the levels of Type I collagen in the skin.  It's used directly in the collagen-building process. So whenever new collagen is formed, our vitamin C levels deplete.  After helping to build collagen, vitamin C goes one step further to help protect it from attack by free-radicals. Basically, vitamin C preserves our bodies from breaking down. 

It appears that vitamin C is well received when placed topically on the skin so if you don't have a vitamin C serum, you need to get one, stat!  But we need to take it a step further and make sure we're eating a diet rich in vitamin C or supplementing at the very least.  For those us who are fans of collagen supplements, we need to take our vitamin C intake seriously.  

Let this woman's testimony be a source of inspiration for us to make vitamin C a priority.  Perhaps vitamin C can help take our skin to the next level. Not just during cold and flu season but all year round.  And if you need more motivation, let me remind you that vitamin C can also help you reach your healthy weight goals as well.