Do you have champagne and caviar tastes on a beer and chunk light tuna budget? Come with me.
This post will be a few parts DIY, a dash of We Try It, and a bit of Ways to Make Your Life Easier.
OPI James Bond 18 Karat Gold Top Coat DIY
I like pretty things. I like looking at them, fondly caressing them, carrying them around the store so I can pretend I am going to buy them, but then I remember I am cheap as hell and put them back. One of my very favorite things is nail polish. I have way too many, and I can get caught up in the polish aisle of any store for much too long. The other day, while browsing the local beauty supply, I came across this sexy bastard-
18 karat gold top coat that dries like gold fleck? Seriously, that shit is bananas. Even more ridiculous? It costs $30. Fuck. That. The lovely young woman at the store was trying to sell me on being, “One of the only people around with real gold on my nails!” Yeah, I don’t care. Still, I’m not going to lie to you all; I wanted that shit. Wanted it bad. But I pick my nail polish off regularly, so buying a $30 bottle of polish wasn’t going to happen. I knew I could figure out a way to fashion my own. Behold:
I had to head over to San Juan Bautista last weekend, a quaint little town with nothing much besides the Mission and some adorable little downtown shops. At the gem store – because all quaint little downtowns have a gem store – I bought one of those vials of gold flakes for $2.95. You can find them online here: Gold Flake Vials Lot of 2 Great for Crafting by LuxMeaChristus. I painted my toes, then added another layer of top coat. While it was still wet, I took little chunks of the flakes and carefully stuck them to the polish. You can use tweezers, but I found it easier to lick my finger, grab up a few flecks, then gently apply them. Another quick tip: turn off the ceiling fan before you do this or your pile of gold will strew itself about the living room. Not that anyone would be that dumb. Ahem.
I think one could probably dump the vial into a bottle of clear polish and get a similar effect, but I am waiting for back-up bottles of flecks before I waste the one I bought. Total savings: $27.05.
Glitter Polish Remover
Who out there loves glitter polish but refuses to use it because trying to get it off requires a sand blaster? No more, my friends, no more. Meet my new friend, the Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat:
But Kym, you may be wondering, how on earth does a quick dry top coat make it easier to get glitter polish off? By using it as a base coat, that’s how. I don’t know why, I’m sure the more science-minded among us could explain, but when used as a base coat, this polish makes peeling off nail polish a snap. No more wrestling with harsh remover and cotton pads. Simply peel it off. Like magic. It is also a great, fast drying top coat. One caveat: on occasion, you will find yourself with one nail completely bare because your shoes rubbed the nail just right and peeled the polish off for you in one sheet. That is a risk I am willing to take because I love glitter polish almost as much as I love my mother. You can purchase this online at head2toebeauty, though I will warn you in advance that you might end up with a cart full of cheap, awesome polish.
I had read about this new magical make-up product, BB Cream, a few months ago. It is a moisturizer, SPF, and lightly tinted foundation all in one. As you may know, I am super hairy, which means I have a bunch of very fine, very light hair on my face as well as the abundance on the rest of my body. As such, tinted moisturizers do nothing for me but stain the hairs on my face and give me a visible beard. It isn’t pretty. I have been hesitant to try anything similar since that realization, but I was at Target the other day and saw that Cover Girl has a BB Cream for $6.99. One of the things I despise about my skin is the little dry flakes it gets when I try to use foundation to even it out. Even if I super lotion up beforehand, I still get those little noticeable flakes of skin. Not anymore, my friends, not anymore. I am in love with my BB Cream. It provides a really light coverage that evens out your skin tone and doesn’t look at all “foundation-y.” Since I like my morning routine to be as quick and painless as possible, this stuff is the bee’s knees. It totally fulfills the cheap and lazy sides of my life.
Okay, bear with me here. This is going to sound insane to many people, but I swear, I love it. Eyelash tinting is amazing. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. You go to the salon and they dye your eyelashes just like they would dye your hair. I read quite a few fashion magazines and beauty blogs, and I see a number of quizzes where, when people are asked what the one item of make-up they don’t leave the house without wearing is, they respond “mascara.” I personally HATE mascara because I rub my eyes too much throughout the day and end up looking like a raccoon by mid-day. On the other hand, my eyelashes are many different colors, so they look sparse without a quick brush of the wand. With dyed eyelashes, you always have black lashes, whether it is 2 a.m. at the club or first thing in the morning, without the requisite smudges everywhere if you forget (or are too lazy) to wash your face the night before. It’s magical and awesome.
This does not fall into the “cheap” category, unfortunately. It is usually around $20-$25 per appointment, and the results last for about 2 months. If you have the funds, I would highly recommend it. The responses people have to recently dyed lashes are interesting. They know that something is different, but they can’t put their finger on it. It really does make your eyes pop. I know, I know, some people will think it is ridiculous that I would allow someone to put dye that close to my eyes all for the sake of vanity, but hey, I like the way it looks. We all run the risk of crazy fungal infections at manicure and pedicure places that don’t clean properly and my hairstylist could stab me in the eye while trimming my bangs. I just keep my eyes closed tight and hope for the best. It really does burn like a son of a gun if it gets in there, but I haven’t been blinded yet. Finger’s crossed.
What are your tips for expediting a morning routine? Do you do make-up, or prefer to go bare-faced? Is their one item of makeup you can’t live without? Who’s going to try the gold flake????