Thursday, January 26, 2012

2011 Favorites: Beauty, Nail and Skin Care

Hello ladies,

Before we move too far into 2012, I wanted to revisit my favorite products of the past year. Below is a showcase of items for beauty, nail and skin care that have become essentials in my routine. You can click on the links below the photos to explore the full product reviews.

Hard Candy Fox in a Box

I use this Hard Candy blush and bronzer duo almost every day. Adding warmth and color to the skin year round, I love how this product helps to create subtle contouring on the cheeks and jaw line.  

Art Club Sealer

Art Club Sealer is my absolute favorite nail art topcoat. Replacing Konad special topcoat for protecting stamping designs, Art Club Sealer will prevent smearing and leaves a high gloss, bubble free shine. It also works beautifully to adhere rhinestones, fimo, dried flowers and other 3D nail art materials. 

Nubar: Freeze Dry

Nubar Freeze Dry is an amazing treatment. It dries polishes hard in minutes. If you are struggling with a pesky formula that refuses to cure, Freeze Dry is up to the task. I utilize Freeze Dry for pedicures as well. 

Neutrogena: Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

Neutrogena Hand Cream is an effective and affordable way to nourish and protect hands from winter dryness. It's a great drug store staple. 

The Skin Society: Miracle Lift

If you want your skin to look fresher and more youthful, apply Miracle Lift as a daytime treatment. 

Mario Badescu: Cellufirm Moisturizer

Mario Badescu Cellufirm Moisturizer provides deep hydration and adds a youthful fullness to the skin.  

Refinee: Nourishing Daily Cleanser

Nourishing Daily Cleanser from Refinee hydrates as it gently sweeps away makeup and impurities. I especially love this cleanser during the warmer weather. It does a thorough job of removing sunscreen without causing redness or irritation. Perfect for ladies with sensitive or aging skin!

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser is a joy to use. It's delectable citrus scent makes removing makeup in the evening much more pleasurable.

Burt's Bees: Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

Reviva Labs: Lindenflower Facial Spray 

Reviva Labs: High Potency Collagen Serum

Every year I seem to discover new favorites from Reviva Labs. My medicine cabinet houses 
an assortment since I use at least one of their products daily. Their Lindenflower Facial 
Spray is perfect after exercise to cleanse and freshen my face and neck. If your skin is dry, 
you may want to try their Rosewater Facial Spray

High Potency Collagen Serum assists in hydrating the skin and encouraging smoothness. I love 
the results of this serum when applied under an evening moisturizer. 

Have you ladies tried any of my 2012 favorites? What products have you discovered recently
 that have become indispensable to your routine? 

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. I love Burt's Bees Orange Face Wash!!

  2. I won the Rosewater Spray in a giveaway. I love it! Smells delicious. It's so great for setting makeup. I also used it before I put on my moisturizer. Adding the spray of Rosewater will add my moisture to my skin when I seal it in with my moisturizer. I've also used the Norwegian Formula Hand Creme. It's terrific stuff.

  3. I MUST try that Nubar freeze dry! I'm struggling with my fast dry top coats lately. :/

  4. Diana! I recently got some nail stamping supplies & have been have become a bit obsessed with polish the last few weeks! I've also quickly realized I need some drying drops - I've been trying to wait for each coat to fully dry before painting the next one and I swear it takes me 2 days to get through all of the layers (even with the help of a hair dryer!) This is not working.

    I was looking for more info & your blog popped up in the search results! My question is - can you use the drops before stamping? (and wash off any reside first, if needed) Otherwise it seems like I will still be waiting forever before I can apply the stamp & final topcoat?

    1. Hi Tiffany! Sorry I am late in replying. Try CND Air Dry topcoat before stamping. It will dry the polish hard in about five minutes. The 2.3 oz size has a much better brush. I don't recommend the smaller size. Don't wait for each coat to dry individually. Start with your base coat and then paint two coats of polish one right after the other and add CND Air Dry, then stamp. To seal the design, use the Art Club Sealer. The Art Club will dry fast on it's own. You can't unfortunately stamp over drying drops, but CND Air Dry will do the job. The drying drops are great for older polishes or ones that refuse to cure otherwise. Hope this helps! :)

  5. I ended up experimenting before I got your reply but will definitely check out those supplies in the future!

    I painted a few coats with the base color, giving it a minute or two between coats (basically just enough time to paint all of the nails & come back to the first ones). With a lot of polishes I find I can't do two right away or it's in that weird tacky phase that gets marred too easy, if that makes sense!

    Anyway, I topped that off with INM Out the Door (fast drying topcoat) and a few drops of Orly Flash Dry drops and then went to bed & let everything dry fully overnight. (That night the top was dry enough to avoid sheet lines but still wet enough underneath that it tried to bunch up on me. Easily smoothed back down, but I don't know how it would have dealt with the pressure from stamping?)

    The next day I washed my nails well with soap to remove any of the oil then stamped & used the topcoat on top with no problems! I'm still kind of slow at stamping, so the 2-day routine is nice, it keeps it from getting overwhelming. ;)

  6. That's exactly how I paint my nails before topcoat! You described the process better than I did! :)

    Some ladies have good luck with Out the Door. I haven't heard much about Flash Dry. Nubar Freeze Dry is the best of the best for me, but I also highly recommend OPI Drip Dry Drops. Your experience with the underlayers being soft isn't typical (except with some older polishes that don't cure well).

    I think it would be worth ordering CND Air Dry and use Out the Door for pedicures. I only use Freeze Dry drops when faced with a really difficult polish, so I have it on stand by, but I rarely need it. I'm coming back from hiatus in a couple days so I'll be much more on top of comments. :)

  7. So far I'm really liking the INM - the polish ends up much more durable than I'm used to. But I've also been using cheap-o crappy topcoats before this! I picked it because of all of the good reviews on Amazon.

    I picked the Flash Dry only because it was the *only* fash drying drops they had at Sally's Beauty Supply - so disappointing. I wanted OPI & they didn't have anything OPI (they did have China Glaze though).

    I'm definitely interested in the CND Air Dry! Do you know if Seche Vite also dries the undercoats?

    1. There are some real devotees for Out the Door. I'm glad you are having success with it!

      Despite it's acclaim, I would not recommend Seche Vite. It shrinks the polish and leaves a thin, white line of exposed nail at the tips. I'm particular and I can't bear doing so much work to have my polish look worn (when it really has just shrunk). Also, it needs to be thinned down regularly with polish thinner or it gets goopy. It's a really popular topcoat, but it's not for me. Too fussy of a product.

      I'm sure with experimenting, you'll find your favorites. There are so many inferior nail products out there! It's hard to weed through.

  8. Hello, nice to see you page and you nailarts designs.
    wah they're really really inspire me alot! :D
    i'm owning a nailarts blog too anyway, but i'm still a newby :p
    keep posting your pretty nails!
    cheers, from indonesia

    1. Thank you! I'll have some new nail art coming soon. I have new stamping plates on the way. I'm excited! :)

  9. Do you have a recommendation for a cuticle remover? I just found out about them. I've always just pushed mine back & used some angled clippers I have (which are nice, but I wouldn't mind trying another way!)

  10. I might have to try the freeze dry top polishes just don't seem to want to dry fast enough these days. :-/


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