Just Another Mani Monday

I am a big fan of nail polish.  That being said, I am also a working mom, a sweaty runner (who must shower daily), and someone who does not own a dishwasher. You see where I’m going with this? Oh, and I’m also too busy to paint or touch up my nails Every. Single. Day.

When gel formulas came out, I thought it was the best thing next to sliced bread (**I’ve been trying to work that phrase in my blog for quite some time – hehehe).

I mean, what’s not to love about nail polish that sets hard as a rock and maintains a high gloss for 10 days? Oh, that’s right. The part that they don’t brag about is that the process of getting that high-gloss manicure that won’t chip for days takes about 45 minutes… and requires equipment (LED light). And one more thing worth mentioning — the process to remove the polish is almost as extreme. I mean who has time (or desire, for that matter) to walk around with remover-soaked cotton balls taped to their fingertips while the remover soaks the polish off? Not this girl.

I know I’m not the only one with these complaints because brands everywhere began to create gel-like formulas with simple base and top coats that produce a similar result for a fraction of the time and cost.

When I was asked to review Formula X System XCEL, I was stoked. If you’re familiar with Formula X, then you know that they have a TON of fun shades and effects. I received the color TGIF to sample, which is a salmon-y pink shade. It is perfect for the end of summer and will be great for spring.


The kit (retails for $32 at Sephora + you get to pick your shade). It comes with a cleanser, primer, color, and topcoat and takes only minutes to apply. The color is full coverage and I only needed 2 coats (though in a time pinch, one coat would suffice). It dries quickly and has that coveted gel-like shine.

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While my polish did not last the full 10 days without noticeable wear and diminished shine, I would say it lasted a good week and that is longer than most other polishes that I’ve tried.

The Delete All remover, which I was also lucky enough to sample, is uh-mazing. It has five finger holes in the soaked sponge and it seriously only took about 7 seconds per nail to remove every speck of polish.

My overall impression is that I will definitely be purchasing more shades from this brand (I am actually expecting one in the mail this Thursday along with the rest of my Sephora haul!)

What brands of gel polish have you tried? Do you think they are worth the extra money?

I received these products from Influenster in exchange for my honest review.  Links within this post are NOT affiliate links, but simply links to enable you to learn more about the product. All opinions are my own.

Until Next Time,
Meg

#1MillionMinutes – Final Week

To kick off the final week of the #SweatPink #1MillionMinutes campaign, I am participating in a fun ad-lib featuring PrAna, one of the sponsors of this challenge.

Let the Fun Begin!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve _1400___ [goal minutes of activity]. And I will shatter [verb] that goal by running  [verb] and lifting  [verb] my way to over 1500 [# of minutes].

The best part of this challenge for me was the online community support. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was running  with my trusty iPod [person]

I was stoked [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat running, yoga-ing, and more [type of activity]. Jamie King [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she posts such inspiring poses [verb] it!

I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting my first pair of PrAna running shorts [item from prAna] and going to post [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

Plus, I’ll need The Maison Knicker capris in Indigo_______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are To keep my mileage up in spite of the dark mornings

How many minutes have you been active this summer? I bet it’s more than you think once you write it all out!

Want to join the fun? Copy the below blank ad lib for your own blog!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve ______ [goal minutes of activity]. And I ________ [verb] that goal by ________ [verb] and ______ [verb] my way to ______ [# of minutes].

 The best part of this challenge for me was ________. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was _______ with _______ [person]

 I was ________ [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat ________ [type of activity]. _______ [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she ________ [verb] it!

 I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting ______ [item from prAna] and going to _____ [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

 Plus, I’ll need _______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are _________. And now I tag _____ [person] and_____ [person] and ______ [person] to join in on the fun!

Five Things Friday

I have a gazillion bottles of face wash, eye-shadows, have tried every foundation out there, and don’t get me started on shampoos! I subscribe to Birchbox, so you can imagine how many hair and makeup samples I’ve gone through! While I did not get these products from Birchbox, they are a few of my favorites (of the moment anyway!)

As you all know, I have struggled with acne nearly my entire life — including my entire adult life. From over-the-counter to prescriptions, I have tried about every product out their claiming to be the next best thing. I first sampled Murad Acne Clearing Solution when I received it through the StyleHunters program. It is, quite honestly, the best product that I’ve ever used. It works super well on my adult acne, which we all know is different than teen acne. It is not harsh on my skin, but it rapidly clears up any breakouts. I am not being compensated at all — this is my honest opinion. While it is a little pricey ($39) it lasts a long time because a tiny amount is effective.

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This J. Crew handbag is my very first purchase from The Fashion Project. This site created a platform to give back while offering gently used designer items at a discounted price to others. Donors choose their charity and when you purchase their item, a portion of the proceeds go towards that charity. What a novel idea! Plus, I got a super good deal on this genuine leather handbag!

I have sensitive skin — aka, acne prone skin, therefore I am always trying to find the best foundation. I like one that provides decent coverage (to cover my uneven skin tone and red marks), I need one that is not oily and doesn’t clog pores, goes on smooth and not cake-y. To say the least, I am kind of picky when it comes to foundation. I went through the Color IQ at Sephora a while back. If you’re not familiar with that, it is when they do a color check on your skin and then give you an ID number that will list a host of foundations in the color that works for you. It’s awesome for those of us that are hours from a Sephora and must order online. For my first order, I went for this Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation. At first glance, it seemed to be really runny and I was worried about the coverage. I have not be a bit disappointed — except to say that I am nearing the end of my bottle. It is a little pricey, but it happened to be cheaper than my previous favorite (Flawless by Laura Mercier). I will definitely be purchasing this again soon!

Another Urban Decay product is on my list of favorites. I love their eye shadow in Sin which is a shimmery champagne color. As you can see I am scraping out every. last. bit. of my little pot! I love how shimmery this is, but yet appropriate for me (in my 30s) to wear to my conservative office. The biggest drawback is that for one little pot of shadow, it is $18 – Yeouch! I think I’ll wait for a coupon and continue on my quest to match the color with a cheaper brand….

IMG_3560.JPGThe final product on my list, is this shampoo and conditioner combination that I received complimentary from Influenster for testing and review purposes. First of all, I am a huge fan of anything with Argan Oil in it. Especially hair products! This soap smells better than most Argan Oil products (it doesn’t smell manly in the least!). Also, and this is probably my favorite feature, with each purchase of these SoapBox products, they donate money to provide clean drinking water to those in need. Each bottle has a unique Hope Code on the back. When you go to the website and enter in the code, it tells you where the impact is being made for your purchase. It’s awesome!

Something else that’s awesome — the quirky way they write the description on the backs of the bottles. Example: “Directions: apply generously to wet hair, massage into a lather, sing your heart out and then rinse.”

I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these products or tell me about some of your favorites!

Until Next Time,
Meg

*I did receive the SoapBox products from Influenster complimentary for testing purposes, however all opinions are my own.