Category Archives: Favorite Products

Mel’s Black Friday Haul

I hope everyone had a good Black Friday! Mine was seriously the least stressful BF I’ve had in the time I’ve been shopping. I suppose this is due to hitting them slightly after opening time, and going places such as ULTA, Ross, and Rite Aid. I picked up some goodies, none of which were really “on sale” but who cares!?

I picked up the Color Club Beyond The Mistletoe set at Ross for EIGHT DOLLARS. It comes with the 7 colors from the line, plus a bottle of clear polish. From left to right we have: Sugarplum Fairy, Beyond The Mistletoe, Holiday Splendor, Jingle Jangle, Candy Cane, Gingerbread, and Clear. I swatched a finger of each yesterday and boy are they sparkly! Thanks to Gina for the heads up! Also, they have the Color Club Foiled Collection, as well as the Boho Collection, also $8.

After listening to Jess wax poetic about Helping Hands, I went to pick some up. A few weeks ago, I tore my hand up opening a 2ltr bottle of coke. I took a huge hunk of skin out of my finger and gave myself a blood blister in that part where your index finger and thumb. I think this was a moisturizer problem. So I went and picked up HH, and gave the new products a sniff test. I also got a sample tub of Lemony Flutter so I can stop carrying around the large one. Hopefully Jess will do a review of her LUSH goodies soon!!

I finally got a full-sized bottle of Warm and Fozzie!!

Ulta had the Essie Luxeffects display out. The only one I REALLY WANTED was Pure Pearlfection. So I picked that one up. Shine of The Times is definitely AWESOME, but not something I would get a lot of use out of. I may pick up As Gold As It Gets at some point.

A few days ago, I was browsing my Google Reader feed and saw Essence’s Irreplaceable as the base for a really cute nail art. At $.99 a bottle, and .16fl oz, these are GREAT for travelling. They are easy to replace, and take up zero room. They also come in a nice assortment of normal colors and unique colors. I definitely think I’ll be picking up several of these colors for England and Antigua next year.

Ulta Is also running a 5 for $5. In addition to 2 face masks for Mud Mask Mondays, and a black eyeliner, I picked up a 4pk of emery boards and a bottle of Ulta Set the Nude. The emery boards are perfectly travel-sized (are you sensing a theme?). And one can never have too many nude color polishes!!

Were you successful this weekend?? What polishes did you pick up?

Topping It All Off: A What’s What of Top Coats (and where to buy!)

Since there are so many deals going on currently for top coats, and since I covered the importance of base coats last week, I thought I’d share a few reviews and tips based on ones in my collection in this “Beginner’s Series” post 🙂 Top coats aid in longevity, drying time and occasionally style of your mani; it’s the layer that ties it all together. As always, our lovely master tweeter Melissa shared a bunch of the sales coming up on our twitter this weekend. You can find us a @varnishclique to see them all, not just the few covered in this post 🙂 (she’s pretty on top of it every Saturday, so follow us to get the weekly play by play on polish sales!)

Below the cut I’ve included a variety of my favorites: Seche Vite (FAST drying and super glossy), Hard Candy – Matte-ly in Love (making a polish matte can totally change a color!), Sally Hansen – Complete Care (4 in 1: top coat, base coat, growth treatment and strengthener), Beauty Secrets – Top Coat (quick dry gloss coat) and Nail Life – Aromatherapy Drop On Speed Dry (not a top coat, but rather an oil that helps set your polish).

❤ Jess

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My Favorite Products: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover

I get two professional manicures a year. Not because I like them or anything (although the hand massage IS nice) but because trimming my own cuticles terrifies me. I’m always afraid I’m going to end up cutting myself and end up looking like a modern day version of Lady MacBeth. Its the only way i can justify the expense, since I change my polish daily, or eery other day. Well no more, my friends!! I picked Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover at Walmart over the weekend and haven’t turned back!! I will admit, my first go at my cuticles with this product wasn’t too successful. But once I went and got Sally Hansen’s double ended cuticle pusher and trimmer at Rite Aid, and figured out how to use it properly, it’s like a whole new world was opened up to me!! *hums Aladdin*

The gel has a dropper style applicator, so it’s easy peasy to apply to your cuticles and not your entire hand. Then let it sit for 15 seconds before pushing your cuticles back. Carefully trim them using the opposite end of your pusher and wahlah!! It’s amazing how easy it was, and how much difference that extra millimeter or two of nail makes in how long my nails look. I’m getting better at too, so the second attempt didn’t end in as much pain as the first attempt!!

I bought Instant Cuticle Remover for $4.39 at Walmart. I bought the cuticle pusher at Rite Aid on sale for $2.39. I have no idea WHAT the sale was since it wasn’t advertised in store or in the ad. Regular retail is $4.79.

My Favorite Product: China Glaze- Ridge Filler

Last August, I was in my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. As a bridesmaid, I was required to get a french manicure, and made the mistake of getting acrylics put on. While I like the looks of fake nails most of the time, they make my fingers hurt, and I find them hard to function with. I went to the salon the next morning and had them taken off. A little over a year later, I’m still in the process of repairing the damage done to them. The initial ridges and divots are grown out, but I find that ridges and stuff occasionally pop up. And while you can’t really see them with the typical polish, stuff with a metallic, shimmer, or glitter finish make ridges and divots painfully obvious. So I initially got the ridge filler to use with those types of polishes.

The point of the ridge filler is to create a smooth surface to apply polish to. Having had such an easy time with this product, I tend to use it with all my polishes. As you can see from the photo, my nails are smooth and even. No ridges or divots to be seen! For the purposes of swatching, I used two coats of this, but I typically only use one coat. The only issue that I have with the ridge filler is that it’s formula leads to it sometimes pooling in the crevices of your nails. So make sure you do a round of cleanup before applying your color.

Please excuse my yellow nails. I usually give my nails a day off here and there and I hadn’t in a reeeeeeeeeeeeeally long time when I swatched this.

Oh My Melmer!!


As I tweeted yesterday, I went to Michael’s to pick up a melmer because my nail polish drawer was getting out. of. con. trol. Now, this setup is normally $39.99. However, it was tagged wrong ($29.99) AND 40% off, so it ended up being $20 including tax. Not too shabby if you ask me. The drawers are the perfect height for bottles of polish, including Nicole by OPI which I think are a wee bit taller than most. The size is 14.25in W x 14.5in D x 14.25in H. Like every other polish site that’s reviewed Melmers, you will definitely needs to put a non-slip drawer liner so the bottle dont clank and clash. You can get drawer liner at the dollar store. I opened and closed the drawers several times and my polishes did not move. The best part about finally giving in and buying a melmer is that I’ve finally freed up a ton of room in the trundle drawer in my bathroom vanity!!!

Click the jump to see the contents of my melmer and a sneak peek at my entire polish collection!

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My Favorite Product – Burt’s Bees

For the past month I’ve been doing my phlebotomy externship and while I’m enjoying myself  (I know, creepy to say that about sticking people with sharp instruments, but I swear I’m not a psychopath!) it’s been a little harsh on my hands. The gloves, the powder from the gloves, washing my hands all the time, cleaning with Clorox wipes more times a day than I can count, changing my nail polish nightly…. oh wait, that last one is by choice haha. But you get the picture.

Since my hands are getting up close and personal with people while I go all medical vampire on them, I like to have them looking nice. Changing my nail polish and avoiding chips is part of it, but no one cares if you color is pretty if your fingers are jacked up with hangnails, cracks, and general grossness.

Currently, my favorite products are Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme and Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme. I found this and a couple other Burt’s Bees hand products that I use at Walmart, so they weren’t that ridiculous price wise (if I remember correctly, I bought it as a kit that came with foot stuff too!) Despite their small size, they’ve lasted me a while so that’s a plus. I love that the cuticle creme isn’t oily, it’s more like a wax while in the container that melts as you rub it in. And it smells delectable (if you’ve ever smelled lemon balm, the plant, that’s very similar).  It feels more immediately quenching than some of the oils I’ve used and I feel like it stays on the skin longer so at least my mind thinks it’s doing its job superbly haha. As for the hand creme, I’m not gonna lie, 90% of the reason I use it is for the smell, but it also soaks in nicely and keeps my hands soft, so yay for happy hands and nose!

I have a couple other products I use on a regular basis, so I’ll probably do post on them in the future too 🙂

Happy Pampering!!

❤ Jess