Mani Monday: OPI’s Black Cherry Chutney

nails, nail polish, nail lacquer, opi, mani monday, beauty, nailed it
Happy Mani Monday everyone!

I thought I would share with you my latest nail color because it’s so pretty! I got this OPI color on clearance and I love it! It’s called Black Cherry Chutney. There is a subtle red sparkle to this deep purple and when the sunlight hits it this color makes my heart leap. This is a great color for fall!

If you can get your mitts on a bottle of this gorgeous lacquer pick it up and add it to your collection. You will be so happy you did!

Make it a great week, friends!!
The Blushing Baker

Sparkly-Strong Nails!

nails, nail polish, glitter, green, Cult Cosmetics,

I recently rediscovered OPI’s Nail Envy. It has saved my nails! For the longest time my nails were peeling and breaking and I was miserable. I love painting my nails and I couldn’t. I just wouldn’t last. My nails would peel away and the polish would obviously go with it. I tried vitamins, strengtheners of all brands, nail masks – everything! And none of it was working. And then I decided I would try Nail Envy again. It’s pricey – but here’s the thing: it works! It took some time (about three weeks of treatment) but I finally started to see results. Most of my nails stopped peeling after the first full week and they were growing really fast!

Nail Envy, OPI, Nail Strengthener, Nails, before and afterThe final result was posted on my Instagram feed a week or so ago, but I am posting it again. Look at these beauties! Amazing before and after, if I do say so myself!

My new manicure routine is as follows:

1) OPI BondAid
2) OPI Nail Envy
3) Gelish Base Coat by American Classic Treatments
4) Two-coats Polish (whichever color/brand is tickling my fancy at the moment)
5) Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat
6) OPI Drip Dry
7) Pacifica’s Indian Coconut Nectar Body Cream (I’ve been using this all summer! It smells ahhhhmazing!!)

For the sparkly mani pictured above, I chose Cult Cosmetic in Runyon for a sage-green base (it’s a lovely summer-to-fall transition color) and then topped it off with Carnival by Essie for some pretty glitter. I love how sparkly it is!! It would be a good clear coat glitter topper for galaxy nails. I’m working on those for a coming post as well. Stay tuned!!

Until Next Time…
The Blushing Baker

Nails of the Day: Dry-Brushed Neons

Nails, mani, manicure, dry brushing, neons, summer

Oh goodness. It’s been a month since my last post!! How shameful of me. We’ll never fear, I’ve got some #NOTD for you…Dry-Brushed Neon nailsies!!

I used Orly’s Pool Part as my base neon color. This orangey hue is so much fun. I keep coming back to it every summer! Then to give the manicure a pop of texture I just dry brushed on El Porto by Cult Cosmetics. I also use American Classic Nail Treatments for base coats – Growth Spurt and Gelish is my favorite combo. The top coat I use is Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat.

You should definitely give this method a try. It’s so easy!! And I’ve gotten so many compliments on this mani already!

Until next time…

The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰

Dots!

Nails, nail art, doticure, mani

It’s #manimonday and once again I’m bringing the dots!! This week it’s a play on neutrals and brights with Essie polishes in Neo Whimsical and Stones N’ Roses. All you need for this look is a dotting tool or a toothpick and some polishes.

I’m also trying out some great new products from American Classics nail treatments: Growth Spurt and Nail Quench. I always use Gelous base coat and wanted to try their other products. I’ll keep you posted on the treatments… πŸ™‚

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Enjoy your evening everyone!!

Until next time…

The Blushing Baker πŸ™‚

Mani Monday: Peaches and Cream

Cult cosmetics, nails, Polished , manicure,

Check out my fresh #manimonday!! I’m calling this one Peaches and Cream (Yum!) I love these Cult Cosmetics polishes. They are so glorious! I created this look using Avalon (creamy-peachy-orange) and El Porto (white). All you need to recreate this is a dotting tool and some polish. It’s so simple to create a doticure.

(Please pardon my cuticles! The weather here in the Chicago area has been so unpredictable and my poor cuticle are falling apart. I’m trying a new cream…details to come, so stay tuned!)

If you haven’t yet, goΒ check out Cult Cosmetics polishes. They are so amazing! And no, they don’t pay me to say that.

Happy Mani Monday, friends!!

Until next time…

The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰

The Double Cleanse


I am just going to admit it. I’m just going to come clean right here, right now. I am a skincare junkie. I cannot walk past a Sephora without going and buying something. I have a hard time staying with the same products because I am yearning (yes, I yearn) to try the newest/latest/greatest. I think it started after my first trip to the Macy’s (then Marshall Field’s) cosmetics department after I started my first full-time job after college. I stood there in wonder at all the potions and lotions, cleansers and creams. Oh, the sheer wonder and beauty of it all! This girl could not contain herself (and almost didn’t make rent). Ever since that moment I crave to try out new products with the latest ingredients.

But recently I’ve noticed that my just isn’t looking as great as it could. I have combination/oily skin with a (serious) tendency for breakouts and the breakouts? They were becoming a recent addition to my face. I was thinking about what I was doing wrong or different and I had a light bulb moment. I needed to go back to basics (must like The Barefoot Contessa did on her show).

I went back to esthetics school (in my mind) and reviewed the steps of a basic facial. And the first step was a double cleanse. Why was I skipping that step in my nightly routine?! In school we used Dermalogica and they have a lovely product called Precleanse. It was basically an oil that emulsified the oils and dirt on the face and prepared skin for a proper cleansing. Duh! Why wasn’t I doing this at home every night?! However, I didn’t want to go out and purchase Precleanse (You can! It’s a great product, but I don’t have the dough, man!) So instead, I decided to use Makeup Removing Wipes by Neutrogena. They are perfect for a precleanse, because the rid your skin of the first layer of ick (makeup and dirt) and allow your cleanser to really get to work on your skin.

I can tell you that adding this step has made a huge difference in the clarity of my skin. It may seem simple, but it works. It is worth the extra minute or two to really get my skin clean. You can usually get two packs of the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes at Target for around $10.00 and they will last for about month and half. If you wanted to go with the Dermalogica Precleanse you can find it online or at Ulta at it will put you back about $40.00. Either way you go they are made for all skin types and will greatly increase the effectiveness of your cleanser.

Happy cleansing!!

Until next time..
The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰

Feeling Blue

Mani, manicure, nails, nail art, cult cosmetics, nailsies

We had spring here in Chicago last week and now we’re back to winter. That’s just how it goes here in the Midwest!! So I figure this mani hits both seasons and helps me to make a seamless transition.

I used my Cult Cosmetics haul to create this look. Catalina is the most beautiful blue (1 coat!) and Melrose Place tops off the tips in a perfect chrome-like silver. Loving this look AND these polishes!

Keep on thinking spring, my friends…it will be here soon!

Until next time…

The Blushing Baker πŸ™‚

Cult Cosmetics Haul

Nails, nail polish, nail art, cult cosmetics

Check out this amazing haul from Cult Cosmetics!! I took advantage of their BOGO deal on nail art kits and I am so excited to try out each and every shade! From left to right Laguna, Stay Gold, El Porto, Avalon, Melrose Place and Catalina. There are also some chevron stickers and some amazing brushes to do some nail art with!

I am looking forward to swatching all of the shades for you!

Until Next Time,

The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰

Lady Bird in Paris

Nails, butter London, Paris

It may be obvious that I am not throwing my mani in the air in Paris. This photo is from a calendar a few years ago and I tore it out and put it up in cubicle as inspiration. Inspiration that I will in fact that be going there someday. It will happen!

In the meantime I will look at this photo and dream that of that day. Also, I will likely be wearing my fave Butter London shade, Lady Bird. This bright orangey-red is the perfect spring/summer red and pretty much looks amazing on any skin tone. If you haven’t tried Butter London before you really should. They are a 5 Free company and the polishes are consistent and beautiful.

Enjoy this spring weather, mes amours!!

Jusqua’Γ  la prochaine fois,

The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰

Curling an Asymmetrical Bob

About three months ago give or take a week or two, I cut 8″ off of my hair. I decided to have it cut into a stacked bob (or asymmetrical bob). I do this from time to time. Grow my hair long and then cut it into this style. It’s fun and easy to do and my hair falls nicely into the cut.

After my latest refresh of the layers I asked my stylist for tips on how to curl hair this short; I was growing bored of the sleek, straight look. I’ll pass on her tips and advice to you!!

I started by washing and conditioning my hair with OGX’s new B5 shampoo and conditioner (it’s amazing!!). Because I have fine but naturally curly hair, I used L’Oreal Professionnel Smooth Essence on the ends and Big Sexy Hair Root Pump on the roots and then blew it dry with a vent brush.

Her first piece of advice was to use a curling iron with a barrel no larger than 1 1/2″. Otherwise your curls will fall too quickly. Next nugget of wisdom? Alternate the direction of your curls. So basically you’ll curl one section toward your face and the next section away from your face. The pieces framing your face should be curled away from your face, in my humble opinion.

This is what my head of curls looked like before I finger combed them…

Curls, curling iron, hair, styling tools, hair style

See how they alternate? See?! πŸ™‚ Side note: If you have trouble getting your curls to stay all day, use a curl setting spray like Redken’s Hot Sets spray. I didn’t use it today, but it does help a lot.

And here’s what it looks like all combed out and tussled…

Curling iron, curls

And the other side…

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Happy curling!

Until next time…

The Blushing Baker πŸ˜‰