Beauty · Quick Tips & Tutorials · Reviews

Review: imPRESS Press-on Manicure

imPRESS Press-on Manicure

 

I received these in the mail and it was a complete surprise!  It couldn’t have come at a better time because I removed the rest of my gel nail remnants and was just about to go to the salon.  I haven’t used press-on nails since I was 16 years old, so this kind of made me a nostalgic. lol

So, let’s get into it:

As you can see in the first picture, I received 2 different styles, one with a black lace pattern, and the other had a more oil slick look (Villains):

 

Villains

 

 

Villains

The “Villains” set had some inspirational characters on the side, I love that!

I decided to go with the Black Lace pattern:

Black Lace

First, the packaging is great!  They are shaped in a nail polish bottle and the cap twists off just like a polish.  It makes for great storage with the rest of my nail polishes on display in my studio.  They come with 12 nail sizes and a total of 24 nails which is great in case I need to replace one, or if I choose to do another full set later on.

The instructions are easy, pick your size for your nail, peel and stick!  The nails also came with a prep pad, which by the smell, seems to be an acetone type of remover to ensure a good clean bonding with the adhesive.

The sizes I chose fit my nails well, however my natural nails tend to curve down.  There is a little bit of space between the nail and the press-ons which kind of makes me concerned, however I will try them out for the week with normal wear and tear and see if they last.

I do believe these are a good alternative to painting or salon nails, taking less than 20 minutes to apply and perfectly shaped.

The pricing for these range from $8.99 to $10.99 for patterns and they are available at Walmart, Target, London Drugs, Loblaws, Jean Coutu, Katz and more.

Finish product

Here is the finished product…. so, on with the week and we’ll see how these nails can hold up with my hectic life! 🙂

#imPRESSmanicure

Thanks again to Influenster for sending these complimentary for testing purposes.

A Shared Journal · Beauty · Quick Tips & Tutorials · Reviews · Travel With Me

Makeup that will take me from Windy City and Austin heat

With the travel and all the projects we have planned for my upcoming trip to Chicago and Austin, I started to think.. Wait, what about my makeup?  Will it melt off my face in the heat and wind?  There’s nothing like looking fresh for the day, then I glance at the mirror, at the end of the day, and discover I look like a melted wax statue!  I don’t wear a lot of make up throughout the day as I work from home, however, I needed to find something that could protect my face and last.

I went to my local Shoppers Drug Mart and told the cosmetic salesperson what my dilemma was.  She suggested these:

IMG_0315

 

I’ve been using Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream for the past week to test and see if these products together would solve my makeup problem.

The primer is very light and it creates a really nice smooth finish, the BB Cream is very thick yet it glides on easily.  I used my finger tips to apply both products in small amounts (little goes a long way).  I wanted to see how the product would hold up should I need to quickly apply it between flights.

Result:  I LOVE IT!

When it’s on my face it feels light and non-cakey and it does last all day.

Now, as far as the price it is on the higher end side of makeup, for both products it totalled about $100 taxes in.  That may seem pretty expensive for some, but I wanted the quality.  I’ve spent years and money wasted on drugstore brands that were always a hit and miss, so I look at this as a small investment on a great product.  Like I said before, I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis, so for me, this is a perfect fit.

Chicago and Austin… Here I come!  🙂

SS

A Shared Journal · Gadgets · Reviews · Travel With Me

Travel organization for gadgets.

I’ve been knocking down through my “To Do” lists and so far I’ve gotten the things I need to redesign my studio.  I will be working on that this weekend as well as some special projects.

For now, I decided to get some equipment to prepare for my upcoming trips to the United States  My challenge is to fit as many of these items in one place.

tons of stuff

So.. here we have it:

2 External Hard Drives
1 camera
1 pair of headphones

PLUS:

accessories

4 memory cards (1 in camera)

1 emergency external battery charger
Hard Drive cords
Card readers and adapaters

This is what I ended up with:

IMG_0339

The top half is deep enough to comfortably hold my 2 hard drives side by side and has a divider between the two halves, with a velcro tab closure.

On the other half of the divider I placed the camera wall adapter, my camera and my microphone.

Going back to the top half of the camera case, I placed the accessories with my hard drives and secured it with the velcro tab.

IMG_0344

And voila! 🙂

Lowepro

Now, I know you’re probably wondering “what about my headphones?”  Well, I decided to just put them around my neck or throw them on top of my bag when the time arrives.  I usually listen to music between flight waits anyway.

tripod

Next, I purchased this tripod.  It is pretty easy to set up, packs perfectly in a suitcase and is really light weight.  It also came with a 5 year warranty which was a nice bonus.  I will be trying it out with all my equipment throughout the weekend so I hope to get some before and after shots of my renovated studio.

Until my next adventures…  Take care everyone!

SS

 

A Shared Journal · Travel With Me

Making things happen

Today marks a very important day for me, running arounds crossing my “t’s” and dotting my “i’s” have left me feeling like my mind is spinning… but in a GREAT way.

I will be finally ready to fly to my destinations by the end of this month, so I figured today would be a great day to start booking my flights.  With all the new sites and combo options available, I figured I’d go through my process in hopes it could help you.

I’ve been booking through Expedia.ca for a few years now and it has worked extremely well when booking flight and hotel stay.  I’ve also found great tickets through KAYAK etc.  However, now that my trip will be a multiple destination trip with 2 stops, I found that my Expedia quotation was rising really fast.

I decided to break up combos and search through the actual hotel and airlines individually.  It took a bit of work, but using the Expedia.ca recommendations I managed to save over $1900 of my travel budget.  Hmmm… these savings could definitely come in handy for my shopping budget!  😉

Hope this helps my fellow travellers!

SS

 

A Shared Journal · Beauty · Quick Tips & Tutorials · Reviews

How to: Nail care between salon appointments

Spring Perfect pink-tipped combo with OPI Nail Lacquer

This combo is what I came up with to cover up some of the regrowth from my gel nails to my natural nails.  The colours I used are O.P.I.’s “If You Moust You Moust”- from their Minnie Mouse line; and O.P.I.’s – “Princesses Rule!”.

My nail painting station.

Nail painting station

Here’s  what I have on my nail painting station:

a tall tumbler full of coffee 😉
regular nail polish remover
nail polish remover for natural nails
emery block with different finishes (a regular emery board is fine)
cotton pads with two textures
cotton balls
cosmetic scissors
cuticle trimmers
cosmetic cotton swabs with one flat and a point on each end
2 nail colours one light one dark
a natural nail base coat
a nail polish top coat

I place a couple sheets of paper towel over a hard surface, I normally use a hard covered notebook for painting my nails while watching a movie in bed.

Nail Prep

 

Nail preparations:

1) Saturate a cotton ball with the regular nail polish remover and hold it on your finger nail for 3-5 seconds while gently rubbing through the U.V. Gel top coat. When you notice that your nail has no more shine, repeat the steps for each other nail.

2) Use the coarse side of your emery board or emery block and start filing down the seam where the U.V. Gel meets your real nail. This won’t be hard to find because there usually is an awkward looking bump. Be patient and file down the nail evenly until it blends into your natural nail.

3) Shape your nail to fit your desired look. Mine were already filed into an almond shape at the salon, so I decided to shape them into a teardrop shape or a “stiletto” shape. The best way to keep things even is alternate shaping each side of your nail with the same pressure.

4) Once you’ve reached your desired shape, buff the entire nail with the finer side of your nail file for a smoother finish.

5) Next, using a textured cotton pad, wipe nails with the nail polish remover for natural nails this will help your nails to transition from your U.V. gels to your  natural nail while restoring your weakened nails. Most polish remover for natural nails usually contain Vitamin E which will promote healing and strengthening.

6) At this point, I clean up any hangnails or dry skin with the cuticle trimmers and cosmetic scissors where needed.

 

Time for the fun stuff!

 

Nail polish

1) Apply a base coat to each of your nails, most base coats don’t take long to dry so you can immediately start to paint.

2) Taking the darker of the 2 nail colours, in my case “If You Moust You Moust” by O.P.I. this colour is a solid pink with a slight blue undertone. I applied this colour to just the tips of my nails, it doesn’t have to be perfect as you will be layering the lighter colour over the entire nail which will hide imperfections. Try to get your tips a nice even solid colour.

If You Moust You Moust

3) Make sure the lighter colour is translucent. I chose “Princesses Rule!” by O.P.I. for it’s sparkles. 🙂 Apply the polish over the entire nail until you get the look you want.

Princesses Rule!

4) Paint a generous layer of top coat over your nails. If you want to add nail decorations, like gems or polymer clay art,  put them on and gently press them into the fresh layer of top coat where you would like your art to be, then add another layer of top coat over the nail and the gem(s) to seal the decorations in.

5) The best part is taking that tumbler, sitting down to relax and watch a movie while waiting until the painted finger tips are fully dry.

I hope you enjoyed my quick fix for the times when my schedule can’t allow a salon appointment, it’s important to give yourself the self-pampering session we all need.

If you try this out for yourself, please let me know how it went! I’d like to see what you created. You can also tag me in an Instagram pic at stilettosupermom so I can see what you’ve created.

Stay Sharp…and have fun!

SS

A Shared Journal · Gadgets · Reviews · Travel With Me

Ahhh..App Attack!

This morning I was looking through my phone amazed at all the Applications I have on my iPhone 5s. First, for a gadget, my iPhone has been the best gadget of the year for me, with my Canon Vixa Mini-X as a very close second.

Now, let’s get into just one portion of my apps, that are the Social Media Apps.

Here is what I currently have on my “Peeps n Shit” folder:

 

Peeps N' Shit

So here we have it…where I lose most of my day..BUT I’m connected! 😉

 

Vine App

The Vine app is where I go to laugh and watch creative 6 second videos. It’s amazing what some people can do in 6 seconds. If you have some free time try it out, you’ll have a blast! Setup is quick and easy.

 

Voxer App

The Voxer app. is a very diverse app.  You can message as well as leave voice messages like a walkie talkie. It also has an upgrade for business purposes where you can have group conversations. Another impressive feature for me is I can get a transcript of interviews (with mutual agreement of course) for more accuracy when reporting.  I could get a completely transcribed version of the interview session with the questions and answers available to add to my projects.

My mom is overseas and this has also kept us from ringing up our phone bills.

 

Viber App

The Viber app has messaging and phone calling capabilities which also saves on the phone bill. It has cute features like cartoon stickers to send to friends too, if you’re into that thing…guilty over here! 🙂

 

textPlus app

The textPlus app isn’t a perfect app, but it does provide you with a separate phone number you can text and call from which keeps your cell number private. *Note: if you’re in Canada this app will give you a phone number from the U.S. so I usually keep mine as a back up for texting and for outgoing calls only.

 

Skype and Skype WiFi apps

Skype app provides messaging, voice calling and video calling. I haven’t really had to use the Skype WiFi yet however it is used to find a WiFi hotspot. I use this predominantly for my radio show, but the last time I used it, the call dropped more than once…I’m working on a new plan to ensue that doesn’t happen again.

 

FaceBook Messenger app

FaceBook messenger has improved a lot over the years. I use it to connect with family, however I can see the possibilities to incorporate it for business as well.

 

kik app

The kik app is a

fun one to have. It has messaging, video messaging, built-in emojis (smiley faces). I’ve met really great people as well as some weirdos, but I’ll get to that later.

 

WhatsApp App

WhatsApp has messaging capabilities, I haven’t really had a chance to use this but when I did set this up the first time I used it, I loved personalizing it. My favourite feature is you can make up your own personal statuses which comes in handy for when I can’t check it as often.

Whew! Ok, before you get all app download crazy, know that these are best used with a good WiFi connection to prevent those extra charges on your cellphone bills. This is from personal experience… Now let’s address the reality of these social apps. Like most social settings, there’s the good and bad, as well as everything in between. Unwanted messages can get through, let’s face it there are weirdos in the world and they come in all forms, but the great part of each of these apps is the BLOCK button. Don’t let these unwanted weirdos scare you away from the fun and harmless meeting and connection between family, friends and colleagues. I’m happy to report I’ve only had a few bad “apples” but the problems were easily solved with a block, no harm done. 🙂

The apps are available at the App Store of your iPhone. I don’t have an Android, but I believe these are available in Android as well. If you do try these phone apps, I’d love to hear your thoughts or tips to get the most of these little gadget helpers.  Also, if you have any suggestions of some good apps, I’m willing to try the out!  If you can find me with one of these apps, I’d love to hear from you and enjoy a great conversation.

Time’s up… so back to the studio I go…

Stay Sharp 😉

SS