Frugal guide to the best at home gel nail manicure

Thanks to my wonderful mom I've found the best product(s) for a gel nail manicure I can do at home that doesn't break the bank and isn't high maintenance!

I cannot say enough good things about Revlon's Colorstay Gel Envy products. I don't know if I should call it a kit necessarily, but there are really only two products you'll need. First, the nail polish color of your choice and second, their Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. I love the colors they have to offer, how quickly the nail polish and the top coat dry. I generally watch t.v. or a movie and have my nails done in less than 1.5 hours which I think isn't bad at all. Especially considering I only paid $16 total, $7.99 for the nail polish and $7.99 for the top coat, which I will get a lot of use of!

Here's how to get the best gel manicure at home in five steps (p.s. I don't even follow the first two steps overtime...I know shame on me.)

Step one: Prep your nails. Cut and file your nails. Here is a really inexpensive manicure set to get you started!

Step two: Push back your cuticles

Step three: Wash and dry your hands

Step four: Apply two light coats of the nail polish. I generally wait 20-30 minutes before I apply the second coat and then apply the...

Step five: Apply the diamond top coat and let it dry. That generally takes 20-30 minutes as well.

Here is a link to one of their kits if you're interested! I like this one because it costs less than buying the individual nail polish and the diamond top coat!

They have so many gorgeous colors! I have two go to's for winter/spring which are a dark grey and a cross between a blush and a nude tone (my husband loves this one so I use it the most!)

Scroll down to see all they have to offer! I hope you're able to enjoy having the best looking nails around...all from the comfort of your own home!

 

 

Our First Married Valentine's Day

Bryan and I's first married Valentine's Day was special and also low key which I really enjoyed- probably because I was starting to feel under the weather (at the time I didn't know I was coming down with the flu at 32 weeks pregnant!!) 

Bryan and I each had to work, but he got home earlier than expected. We ended up going to a really good Mexican restaurant in town and yes- he totallyyyy spoiled me. We've been in the habit of splitting a meal- which honestly has worked out really well lately. How!? Good question, its a miracle...kidding...since he's slimming down and I'm well, eating as much as Lily and I need it works! I digress, on Valentine's Day we each ended up getting our own meal and splitting a delicious dessert. I know, so spoiled.

IMG_1913-2.jpg

We got each other really cute cards. The dollar store has cards as low as .50 cents and cute bags for presents too! Bryan got me flowers and Lily the cutest onesie in Spanish, which translates to, "Little but fierce!" It's adorable, he snagged it at Target, the brand is Cat and Jack! Ummm....can you say, best children's brand ever!?

I got him, well, us this really swanky recipe journal which was a steal at my local TJ Maxx! I found it right after the new year began and decided to hold onto it for Valentine's Day. Luckily, with lots of effort I was able to hide it from him until then, phew, had a few close calls!

The official title of the recipe journal is: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary by Lily and Val. The photo below is linked to Amazon!

I love this diary because it has room for 150 recipes, little pockets for notes, and is well organized! It has six sections: starters, soups/salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts, and a miscellaneous section. It's beautifully illustrated and has a little section to write any memories associated with your fun dinner making activities. 

I think the funniest part about our first married Valentine's Day was technically speaking neither of us gave the other a present for just them which made us feel like we were getting old, haha. Oh well, we were both just really happy to go out just the two of us and chat about our first eight months of marriage and about how excited about our little adventure (baby Lily) coming in about 10 weeks!

We had a lovely Valentine's Day! Ohhh and my in-loves gave us tickets to an escape room activity to use before Lily comes, we can't way to go!

What did you and your loved one(s) do on Valentine's Day!?

Why I never pay full price at Loft (or their affiliated stores)

     I am a Loft Inc. gal at heart. I worked at a Loft store while in college and boy oh boy was it hard trying not to shop for myself especially when I received their wonderful 50 % off employee discount. There was always some piece or accessory I wanted, but I digress!

    Loft and their affiliated stores, Ann Taylor and Lou and Grey have absolutely wonderful sales! Unless its a fashion emergency, you've got the cash and you wanna treat yo' self would I ever recommend buying something at full price. They generally have 30- 40% off everything in the store and also have an amazing sales/final sale rack to keep you busy scouting for what you're looking for! I'm not one to sign up for e-mails but I genuinely feel theirs are the best to receive because of their continual in store and also, amazing online sales. 

     I'll keep it real ladies, there were (and still are) months where my budget for splurging on myself (for wanted) not needed clothing purchases was $25 and I could come out like a bandit with 2-3 amazing pieces!

IMG_1823.jpg

OG price: $69.50    Bev the bandit: $6.50

 

    I'd been wanting to buy something small for my mom and literally had $10.02 on a Loft gift card balance. In case you didn't know you can use that gift card at Ann Taylor and Lou and Grey stores and online-wahoo! One of my favorite bloggers posted about this super cute Lou and Grey Poncho Hoodie. I didn't run to snag one because I'm over trying and buying non-maternity pieces. I am so glad I stumbled across this because even though they didn't have it in my size they had it in another which I think will work for my mom. Sshhh don't tell her I just bought it for her for Valentine's Day. 

Here is a quick view of the poncho hoodie- last I checked it was available in size M/L, check out their size chart for more info. This could be a great early-on time gift for a loved one for Valentine's Day! My order is set to arrive to my mom by February 13th!

**P.s. I don't know what it is, but I've got all the feels (lovey dovey) feels after seeing my Lily girl's face this week at the anatomy scan. I am so overwhelmed with love for our little girl I haven't met yet. That got me thinking about how special mine and my mom's relationship is and it just made me want to do something special for my momma this Valentine's Day!**

I hope you're able to share the love to those babes closest to you this Valentine's Day! Do you have any fun and exciting plans in the works? I'd love to hear about them!

Clinique 8 minute make-up routine

IMG_1785.jpg

Hi there! I'm not a makeup guru by any means- I'm more of the 8 minute make-up face kind of gal. I pride myself in being able to get ready in less than eight minutes (especially when my foundation doesn't end up ruining my outfit). I love a soft and natural look (as does my husband, Bryan). Here is a quick look at my favorite products... which I use daily.

     Since I know many of you are busy mommas, college students, and young professionals the images posted are linked for an easy purchase from Amazon (our favorite place to shop- from the comfort of our cozy couch/bed, am I right!?)

I love Clinique products especially because of my sensitive and oily skin. It is the only product line I've tried that I have not broken out in hives to (yeah, its that intense). Below is my daily routine!


Generally after moisturizing with coconut oil (any organic and even generic brand is fine) since the air is so dry here in Utah. Then I start with Clinique's Even Better Foundation, I generally use the shade, Cream Chaios 04 during the fall/winter months and ask a consultant to match me with the right shade during the summer (I don't remember which shade I use in the summer). I prefer going to a Clinique shop within a mall's department store because I've experienced great customer service, generally end up being able to save due to their discounts, and because I can gain Clinique Smart Rewards points for every dollar I spend.


I'm not one to contour or use brushes (due to past allergic reactions) so I love using the Chubby Stick Cheek Color Balm in the shade, Roly Posy Rosy. I find it lasts me all day and I only touch up when I'm going out in the late evening for dinner or a special event. Last time I checked it was only $8.50 on Amazon prime. 


Oh my goodness, if I could beg you to try just two products, together, it would be the Even Better Foundation AND any of their Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes shades. My eye shadow looks the same at 11 o'clock at night as it did at 6:30 am when I applied it.

I cannot rave about their Shadow Tints enough. In the summer (well, almost all year round) I use their #07 shade, Pink and Plenty. 


Here are two of my favorites...

Lavish Lilac- It's actually a very light purple despite how it's photographed on amazon, you can visit Clinique's website to see the true color

 

 

 

Portly Plum- A dark purple. I love to mix this and Lavish Lilac for a beautiful smokey eye which I think looks great for brown eyed gals!

 

 


I love the Quickliner for Eyes (eye liner) in the Violet (purple) and I have the same feedback to share about it as I did with the shadow tint for eyes, stays all-day-long! 

 


    I haven't dabbled with their mascara samples because anything else I've tried makes my lashes "fall down" they just go back to their normal shape, straight (ugh!) but I'm sure their mascara option(s) are absolutely wonderful and I'll likely be trying that soon!

I would love to learn how to really master having amazing eye brows but I haven't put time into it yet, either!

I love, love, love Clinique make-up products and hope they work for you! If there's something you love that's not listed here feel free to comment here on the blog, Facebook or Instagram page. I'm always up for trying something new from Clinique!