Sephora by OPI Gel Nail System Review

I have two pet peeves – unpolished and cracked polished nails. Normal nail polish cannot withstand my busy week schedules of typing, writing, driving, packing, stressing, etc. Therefore, I used to leave my nails unpolished most of the time until I discovered the Sephora by OPI gelshine System.

Sephora by OPI gelshine Kit

This kit comes with a portable LED Light, gelshine Base and Top Coat, Nail Pads, Removal Nail Wraps, Nail Cleanser, Buffing Block, Nail and Gel Color Remover, Brush-On Cuticle Oil, Gloves, and a Cuticle Pusher – an excellent set for a little over 100 dollars. The price has decreased dramatically since I purchased mine. I hope this is NOT a sign of discontinuation… so get yours quick! A wide range of Gel Colors are also available. I prefer not to use this formula. Instead, I use normal polish from my collection.

Follow these steps to achieve a long-lasting mani with gelshine using ordinary nail polish:

  1. Cuticles – Apply a bit of the Brush-On Cuticle Oil onto nails to add moisture then pull back your cuticles with the Cuticle Pusher.
  2. Buff – Use the Buffing Block to eliminate all nail impurities, to soften, and to shine.
  3. Prep – Once the nails are primed, use the Nail Cleanser to clean nails and prepare them for the gelshine Base Coat.
  4. Base Coat – Make sure the LED Light is plugged in before you apply your first coat. Brush on the Base Coat, making sure all parts of the nail are covered – especially the top and sides. Put nails under the LED Light for a minute (I believe this is two rounds of light).
  5. Color – Apply any desired nail polish formula next. Make sure coats are smooth. It is not necessary to cure the polish under the LED Light, but I like to anyways just to make sure the color is drying as quick as possible. The number of coats applied also depends on the polish used.
  6. Top Coat – This is the trickiest part since you have to make sure the gelshine Top Coat does not disrupt the polish underneath it and does not stray off the nail. I like to use the Cuticle Pusher to clean up the coat before placing my nails under the LED Light. I like to cure my nails a bit longer for this step … probably two minutes each (four rounds of light).
  7. Shine – There will be a sticky layer over the Top Coat once finished. Use the Nail Pads with a bit of the Nail Cleanser to take off. But BEWARE, if you do this step too early, the polish will smudge and likely pull right off. I usually give my nails a five minute breather before cleaning them up.

Surprisingly, I have no problem taking this polish off since it normally starts to peel after two weeks. After most of it falls off, buff out the left over polish then remove with the Gel Polish Remover.

Have you tried this Gel Nail System? What do you think of it?!

New All Time Favorite – YSL Lip Oil

Volupté Tint-In-Oil from Yves Saint Laurent is one of the BEST lip products I have tried this year. The oil is not too sticky, but rather a moisturizing sheen that seeps into your lips. The colors are also quite nice with shades in between orange and pink hues. Apply a few layers to increase color vibrancy. I got the shade Pink About Me 8. The wand is fabulous – the perfect shape for a quick application. The smell is PHENOMENAL! I never would of thought a lip oil would be so scrumptious, like Fruit Loops or some type of fruit punch! I highly recommend this lip oil to anyone who loves a moisturizing, non-sticky, easy to apply lip product!

2015 Foundation Routine – Combat Dryness

My skin has always been red, especially my cheeks. The redness comes in various blotches when dryness hits. Winter months are a killer in the Northeast since everything from your pinky finger to your lips become suddenly chapped. To combat this dryness, I decided to try a new foundation routine that would eliminate redness while adding medium coverage.

Sephora Haul Foundation Routine

On a frigid day in NYC, I went to a Sephora in Union Square. Here I met a lovely sales associate (can I just say – her skin was BEAUTIFUL). She tested my skin using the Skincare IQ system. This device takes pictures and measurements from your skin in three places – neck, cheek, and forehead. The recommendations were on point ranging from Benefit’s Hello Flawless to Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer. I tried on these foundations but did not enjoy the coloring and coverage. Here were my final picks after looking at countless medium coverage routines:

  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation – I am Beige 3 in this product – it matches my skin perfectly! I am worried about wearing medium coverage foundations due to the threat of a “cake face.” This foundation actually looks like skin while covering all blemishes!
  • smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – One thing I learned from the Sephora sales associate – primer is a necessity. I went for the Color Correcting Adjust Primer from smashbox because the green pigment reduces all redness while smoothing the skin. I really like the feel of this product … it acts like a skin drink by immediately reducing redness and hydrating skin before the foundation. This primer is also great on its own.
  • Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner – How often do you clean makeup brushes? If you are like me, probably once a month (bad habit)! A brush should be cleaned after every use and then deep cleaned every two weeks. Since purchasing this brush cleaner, I have been cleaning my brushes daily with a paper towel. Unlike a dirty brush, a clean one allows for a smooth application without any loose pigments floating around.
  • Sephora Brush #55 – Before this purchase, I normally applied all foundation with a sponge. I decided to go for a brush that created a true airbrush finish. Brush #55 from the Sephora collection is perfect. The size is just right because it can reach areas of all sizes on the face while creating a flawless look through the buffing motion – take the brush and apply the foundation to your hand to warm it up, then buff gently on the face in circular motions.

P.S. – here is a sneak peak at my skin using this routine! I was not using this picture for the blog… but thought my skin looked great! What is your foundation routine? Share below!

Skin Routine

France Haul – Sephora & Pharmacie

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I normally do not post non-LUSH hauls. But this one is appropriate since most of these products are from France and awesome!

  • Formula X in Glitter Rocket – Surprisingly, the Sephora’s in France do not have the full Formula X range. They just have a few selected style and colors. This champagne, light purple color caught my eye.
  • Sephora Eyeshadow in Flirting Game #46 – I was on the look out for a darker, smokier color. Extravagant eyes are not my forte. I enjoy a natural eye look with a bit of shimmer and full lashes.
  • Nail Buffer Block – I have always wanted to purchase a nail buffer block from Sephora. I decided while in France, finally purchase the darn block! I love it! My nails never felt so smooth and healthy.
  • Essie in Lilacism – My friend is obsessed with this Essie color… and I always complement her on it! It was time for me to purchase my own. I love the light purple. In fact, this was the color I wore the entire time in France!
  • Bioderma – While strolling through the Pharmacie in Paris, I spotted the Bioderma section and immediately knew I had to try it! Beauty bloggers have been raving about this product for months and years now.
  • Nail Varnish Remover Pads – The entire packaging is in French. I love how these pads are not alcohol based but rather oil based. It feels moisturizing, healthy, clean, and not chemically.

F.Y.I – have you checked out the LUSH sun protection range from the LUSH Kitchen?! I am dying to get my hands on some for the summer sun! They have quite a few products:

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Formula X for Sephora Review

For all my nail polish followers, here is a post just for you! Recently, at least over the past six months, Sephora has come out with their new nail polish line called Formula X. This collection is composed of many different mini collections. They have translucents, top coats, sparklers, superwatts, classics, shifters, brilliants, neutrals and so much more! Both of my polishes are from the Lusters collection:

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  • Super Charged – this is the gray color. It is a black base with many many silver glitter specks in it. I really like this color. It is dark but light at the same time. I also am a huge glitter fan so this is perfect!
  • Mr. Positivity – this is the emerald green shade . It looks turquoise in the pictures but it is more of a dark green than electric blue! The polish is a dark green with many emerald glitter specks in it. Just like Super Charged. It is an awesome unique color that you probably do not have in your collection.

Overall, I am a fan of the Formula X. They have so many different shades with various effects. The packaging is pretty unique. It reminds me a lot of Butter London because it has the black top you take off to the brush. Have you tried Formula X yet?!