Spring has officially sprung. However, the cold, dreary, rainy has left much to be desired. Thankfully, I can dress up my nails to make me feel like spring is here.

Today, I chose to have the color of the year, Radiant Orchid be my inspiration.

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I realized that I had Essie Play Date sitting in my nail polish stash forever. I also recently received some limited edition Maybelline Color Show Sequin colors. I chose Lavender Sparks.

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The Essie Polish goes on a little thin, compared to other brands I’ve used. Yet, 2 coats did a perfect job. I placed one coat under the glitter polish for the accent nail. Yet, the glitter is actually full coverage, so I doubt I actually needed it. On the second accent nail, I drew a hand painted flower. I mixed Essie Play Date with Essie Blanc to get the lighter purple tone.
I love this manicure. It’s elegant, feminine, and a foreshadowing of happier days to come. Now, if the weather would just cooperate.

Trinidad Carnival is soon approaching. I have the privilege of “Playing Mas” (wearing a costume) this year with TRIBE Carnival. Looking at these beautiful costumes have inspired me to create nail art to match. I actually created these samples for my Nail Tech school art competition months ago, and won. I decided to wait until the appropriate time to display them. The time is now. Firstly, let me give credit to carnivaltribe.com, for designing such exquisite designs. All of the pictures are from their website.

The first one is called Spirit Seeker

Next up is Hawkeye

Here is Comanche Sunset

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I used a mixture of different techniques here. For some, I inlaid feathers with the glue I use for silk wrap. In another, I inlaid glitter in the acrylic. The rest is just hand paint, and lots of nail glue. You don’t want to lose those precious stones. The polishes are various colors from China Glaze , Essie, and Julep.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This look was created using Essie Waltz, 2 layers of China Glaze Love Marilyn, and a few speckles of OPI Minnie Style. I also added some heart shaped stones from Cina Pro. I used brush on nail glue, so they are NOT moving.

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Happy New Year beauties. I really wanted my first post of the year to be one of reflection on the past year’s lessons learned and accomplishments. But, let’s be honest. I’m a nail polish addict and I found a sale. So, let’s get right to it.

Zoya is having a sale. 3 polishes are free, just pay $12 shipping. The usual cost is $9 per bottle, so this is huuuuuuge! The hardest thing is picking 3 polishes. It starts on the 7th. Head to Zoya.com right now, to choose your favorites.

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Yesterday, I received Julep’s Color Caddy, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I started putting my polishes in there, then quickly realized that I will need another one. Yes, I am a Julep Junkie and I own more that 48 polishes, and still have more coming. I admit it.

Today, I got this email.

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So, for today only, you can get the Caddy plus 5 nail polishes. The caddy alone is $30. So, you are getting 5 gorgeous shades for free. I had a tough time picking, because I already have so many. Yet, I was able to find a few pretty gems that I didn’t have before.

Needless to say, it’s on the way. I will do a post in the future showing how I organize all of them.

I just bought some nail polish at Ulta. 2 Butter London polishes are $18, and you get a 3 piece set for free with a Butter London purchase of $50. The Free gift includes nail lacquer in Chancer and Fizzy Pop, as well as a pink pencil case.
You also can have your choice of the following gift bags with a $40 purchase.

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So, what are you waiting for????

Secondly, while I was shopping at Ulta, I received an email from Urban Decay. The NAKED 3 Palette is back in stock.

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Personally, I am waiting for it to be in Sephora. This way my purchase can earn me rewards points as well. I like to make my card swipe work for me, you know what I mean??? But that doesn’t stop you from rushing over to UrbanDecay.com to get it. No need to thank me. Just bat your rosy-glow eyelashes once you put it on.

Buying beauty products is an exciting pastime. But, nothing excites me more than getting beauty products on SALE. And I’m a serious stalker.

After, I received my glorious foundation and concealers for highlighting and contouring, I realized that I left Sephora without a proper brush. Dang it!!!! A friend of mine recommended what she calls the “Skunk Brush” from MAC.

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But, after spending over $100 in makeup, I just didn’t have it in me to shell out $42 for a brush. I still need to eat, and NYC is an expensive place to live.

So, the next day, I walk into Duane Reade on Broadway and 42nd St. for vitamins, and look at what I found!!!

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I said why not? Let’s give it a try.

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With a price point of $14.99, I saved $27. KACHING!!!! Enough for a top shelf Martini, and a nice tip for the hot Bartender.

Ok, so back to my mission.
I passed the hair products section, and found that all of the Shea Moisture products were on sale. Shea Moisture is my tried and true product line for luscious hair that is healthy, shiny, and not sticky. I have been using it since it was first introduced in Target years ago. It is organic, and the Coconut Hibiscus flavor smells like you have emerged out of a tropical heaven. However, the price has went up from $9.99 to a range from $11.99 to $13.99. It is now available in Ricky’s and Sally Beauty as well. So, when I see a sale for it, I go crazy. I bought the Shampoo and Moisture Mist (leave in conditioner i.e. Day 2-3 curl fluffer).

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Being the obsessed beauty junkie that I am, I walked 3 blocks to another Duane Reade, but there was no Shea Moisture on sale. The nerve!!!! Didn’t they get the memo? I didn’t feel like arguing for a discount, so I went home.

The next day, I went back to the original Duane Reade, and found these goodies!

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This is the 1 product I cannot live without. I apply it to my curls while they are wet, and they hold their shape once dry, without feeling greasy or sticky. I actually bought all that they had on the shelf, which was only 2. KACHING !!! I saved $12. Enough for lunch.

So, I was thinking life couldn’t get any sweeter, then I realized my face wash was running out. I decided to go to Rite-Aid in my neighborhood to see what I could find. Then, some other things ended up in my cart.

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Garnier Face wash. Buy 1, get 1 Half off. I decided to get facial wipes as well, because it is so essential when removing makeup.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle conditioner. 2 for $6. This is originally $5.49. Such an awesome deal. This is the best conditioner that I can use consistently to detangle my curls. It really does the job in 3 minutes. On days when I’m rushing to get ready, it is a relief not to have to spend 20 minutes trying to detangle your tresses.

Maybelline Makeup. Buy 1, get 1 half off. I bought the Mandarin Vivid lipstick for my mom, and got the Pink Color Tattoo Pigment for $3.49.

Ardell individual lash starter kit. $10.

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I tried these for Halloween, and fell in love. The lashes actually stayed on for 4 days with careful makeup removal daily. 1 or 2 fell out, but I easily stuck them back on. What I love is that the kit comes with different lengths, so you can make it as dramatic as you want. There is also a set of tweezers, glue, and removal solution included. The only thing missing is a steady hand.

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The great thing about this is, I received UP rewards that I can use towards my next purchase. $3.00 for the lashes, and $4.00 for the Maybelline cosmetics.

So, if I can quantify all of the savings, the total for rewards points alone is $40.86. Almost enough for the Skunk Brush that I didn’t buy. Adding the UP rewards brings my total to $47.86. Hmmmmmm is there a shoe sale anywhere???

I am still in love with my Sephora tote bag. From the minute I saw it in the Sephora email, I had to have it. What is most intriguing is the artwork by Gary Panter. It inspired me to do some artwork of my own.

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I dug into my nail polish collection to find just the right colors to match. OPI’s A Definite Moust Have, Chic from Ears to Tail, and Julep’s Morgan and Claire were just the right shades.

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My favorite thing about art is that it can be interpreted many ways on different mediums.

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Happy painting, Brooklyn!

This morning, I had the pleasure of going to the grand opening of Sephora in Brooklyn!!! Yaaaaaay. This store is located on the corner of Joralemon St and Court St.
When I got there at 7 am, the line was a block long and around the corner. Sephora gave out gift cards to the first 100 people in increments from $10 to $1,000. The dollar amount was a mystery until received.

Here is the line in front of me, along Court Street

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Here are the people behind me on Livingston Street.

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I took these pictures at 8am, as soon as the doors opened.

This art piece was in the window, designed especially for the occasion.

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I heard that the first person on line was there at 1am. I also heard that the recipient of the $1,000 gift card needed help with picking out what to buy. Of course! I would be overwhelmed too. The staff was very friendly and gave great beauty tips on the spot.

One great recommendation was the ColorIQ system. They use a high tech camera to analyze your skin tone, and you get a list of all the foundations that they carry that matches your skin perfectly. I received my skin analysis last week, and decided on Color FX pressed mineral powder foundation. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals, and synthetic dyes and fragrances.

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I had also previously purchased 2 concealers for highlighting and contouring, and a NARS blush to bring out the rosy in my cheeks.

During my beauty consultation last week, the makeup artist used NARS Eye paint as a base to set my eyeshadow. It was a hit with me, because the color was so rich. So, I had to go back and get 2 today.
I also bought Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion for staying power without creases.

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The colors are Ubanji (black with blue shimmer) and Tatar (black with purple shimmer).

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And because I spent at least $50, I received this lovely tote bag as a gift. Isn’t it cute?

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Overall, I had a fun experience and it was worth getting up at the crack of dawn. Although there were a lot of shoppers, and the lines were long, they moved pretty quickly. There was even a mobile POS system in place to help move the line along.

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It was less of a mad house than I thought it would be. People were very respectful and overall very happy and excited to be a part of this groundbreaking event.

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Brooklyn sometimes gets the bad rap of being rough and gruff. Not here. Everyone was happy, pretty, and smelled delicious. Wait…. are the cosmetics speaking????

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It all happens again tomorrow morning. So, if you want to get in line for a chance to win that $1,000 gift card, get there before the cocks crow in the morning.

I went to Ricky’s to get a Halloween costume, and as I was about to pay for my purchase……. lo and behold……there was a Mattésse Elite makeup sale bin. Woot woot! It’s final sale for Halloween, so hurry up and get it while you can makeup junkies. Here is what I bought.

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3 blushes – Penny, Peaches N Cream, Pretty in Pink
3 Star Dust powder pigments – Eggplant, Sherbert, Black Gold
2 Pure Color powder pigments – Pure Green, Pure Blue
2 Eyeshadows – Vanilla Ice, Snow White
3 Liquid Eyeliners – Hot Pink, Dark Green, Gray
1 Lip Gel – Give It Up
1 Lip Gloss – Pinkie

The sale price is 1 for $3, 3 for $7, and 5 for $10.
I got 15 pieces, so I got them for $2 each. I am floored. All of this for $30. This is bananas.

I also bought individual lashes, eyelash glue, and lash glue remover. These were regular price. However there was a sale on strip lashes 2 for $10. Perfect for accenting those Halloween costumes.

Speaking of which, here is mine. The lashes are perfect. I used about 10 of the longer Matésse Elite lashes on the outer half of my eyelid, and 6 of the shorter Ardell lashes on the inner half.

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I’m excited to try out my new colors. Is there anything you would like to see me use in particular? Let me know. Leave a comment.

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