Shellac Polish on my Toes and Why it was the Worst Idea Ever…

I’m a sucker for sales and probably every marketers dream they say!

I went in for just a basic manicure and pedicure ($45) but ended up walking out with a $75 bill which included $30’s worth of up-selling lol *fail*

But my feet did look and feel great so that makes it O.K right? 🙂

So here I am today, sitting on my kitchen floor, with foil paper over my toes, in the spare 30mins I had before my gym class….


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Why, you may ask? It’s been a bit over three weeks and my toe nails have really started to grow out to the point they bother me when I’m wearing my runners. My schedule hasn’t allowed me to get out for another pedicure and the shellac is to thick to get a smooth cut through with a basic nail cutter 🙁

To top it off, can you see what’s wrong in the image below?

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Let me show you…

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Yup, the acetone decided it wanted to have a hidden leak today and corroded the paint in our BRAND NEW DINING TABLE… Anyone know how to hide it before my husband figures out what happened? LOL 🙁

But let’s be real: THERE IS NO NEED TO PUT SHELLAC ON YOUR TOE NAILS

Your hands endure your day-to-day activities…. getting washed 10x a day, opening cans, picking your teeth (whatever it may be). But your toes? Your toes just roam around comfortably in your socks, sandals, slippers (talk about living the good life). Nail polish on your toes always lasts longer than on your hands! *captain obvious here*

If you’re anything like me, worried about it wearing off because you’ll end up living with that chipped polish for more than a week or you cant sit still waiting for your nails to dry for more than 10mins (only to later find that something dug into a not completely dry part!) Seche vite makes the most amazing topcoat you’ll ever try!

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It dries your polish to-the-touch in just 2mins and creates a beautifully thick super high-gloss finish on your nails. I always pick mine up at Sally’s Beauty Supply for like $7 bucks and it lasts me a year because I rarely have the patience to do my nails at home!

xox Neelu

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One Product I Won’t be Wasting my Money on and Why you Shouldn’t Either…

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Bliss Fabulips Pout-o-matic Lip-Perfecting System Website Description:

“Super-charge your lipcare routine with our breakthrough fabulips ‘pout’-o-matic, the must-have beauty tool for women who must have beautiful lips. This pro-powered lip-perfecting device uses gentle rotation and a custom-designed head with massaging nubs to softly yet effectively stimulate and exfoliate your pair, buffing away flakiness and dryness. Used with our nourishing fabulips sugar lip scrub, ‘pout’-o-matic will instantly revitalize, rejuvenate and smooth. The result: soft, healthy, beautiful lips that will look even more amazing with your favorite lip color.”

The Kit comes with the pout-o-matic device, Fabulips sugar lip scrub and batteries included and sells for $69.00. Replacement heads need to later be purchased.

Are you kidding me? I feel sorry for the poor saps out there that actually go out and by this new “device” :/

How can you get a flake-free kissable pout at a fraction of a cost?

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Step One: Before bed, slather on a good amount of your favourite chapstick/lip treatment: I love Fresh Lip Treatment. It’s a bit thick but it really hydrates and leaves my lips so soft in the morning.

Step Two: When you’re brushing your teeth, lightly brush over your lips with your toothbrush! All the flaky bits will come off and the ones that wont, will come off when you do it again tomorrow. If you find that the toothbrush method is too harsh for your skin, you can also use a wash cloth to gently rub off dead skin from your lips.

Not only does this exfoliate your lips, it also increases blood circulation making your lips more plump naturally.

Step Three: Throw on some more chapstick/lip treatment until you’re ready to put on your lipstick. Heck, you might as well throw on a lip plumper if you’d like even fuller lips or make your own with cinnamon/cloves/cayenne pepper mixed with burts bees lip balm (let me know if you’d like a quick tutorial) When you’re lips are freshly exfoliated, it’ll soak in a lot better giving you more than your normal results!

There you go! Now go find something awesome to spend that $69.00 you just saved on and leave me some love below 😛 <3

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Fresh Inc… you’ve done a good good thing xox Sugar Lip Treatment

This winter has been wreaking havoc on my lips. I smile, they crack. I purposely smile to see how dry they really are – they crack and bleed. I tried blistex (the blue little container), the traditional white squeeze tube and the moisture melt… nothing was really repairing them.

Then I came across my empty tube of Fresh Inc Sugar Lip Treatment… for two days I took out whatever little bit was left with a qtip and slathered what I could all over my lips.

Hallelujah! *a halo glows*

I now remember every reason why I love this lip treatment SO FREAKIN MUCH and WHYY ITS WORTH EVERY PENNY <3 After just two days, my lips are almost completely back to normal!!

Fresh Inc… you’ve done a good good thing xox

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For a more detailed blog, check out my past post here: http://loveneelu.com/2013/01/11/chapped-lips-this-winter-fresh-sugar-lip-treatment-to-the-rescue/

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{Series: Part Two} “Must Have” Beauty Products for your Wedding Day!

So it’s your wedding day… you hire an artist, throw on your robe, grab your cup of tea and enjoy the next hour or two being pampered by your stylists, finally being able to catch a breath after all the planning and running around. This is your moment to enjoy the final moments and get all your thoughts together before walking down the aisle to marry the one that swept you off your feet from the moment you met  <3

For some of us, it’s not always that simple. What if you’re caught in the circumstance of not being able to take advantage of hiring an artist? Say, a destination wedding where you know you’d be happier with your own look if you’re doing it yourself than someone else working on you (ok- so I’m talking about myself here lol and few other girls that are travelling overseas this winter for their wedding)

In times where hiring an artist is not really an option, there’s a few products you’ll need to ensure your look stays flawless from morning to evening and picture perfect from every angle.

(On a side note: By the end of this post you’ll realize why it’s actually much more cost-effective to hire an artist for your wedding day than doing it yourself! Not only do you save yourself product cost and get the chance to relax/be pampered… a good artist also knows the importance of playing up certain features, blending and techniques to work with photography/lighting conditions to ensure you’re pictures are absolutely flattering <3)

 

Our last post we went over the basics… For those that missed it, you can start here: {Part One} THE ABSOLUTE BASICS. And now, let’s get into the actual makeup application side of things.

{Part Two} Your Face Base:

5. Setting Spray. My two absolute go to sprays are Urban Decay’s Deslick and Cinema Secrets Super Sealer. They both prevent your makeup from melting, replace the need for touch-up

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    Urban Decay’s Deslick you spray before and after your makeup application to stay oil-free all day and keep your makeup looking fresh. If oil control is not an issue for you, Urban Decay All-Nighter is your new best friend.

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    Cinema Secrets Super Sealer I use on every one of my brides! <3 Using it under and on top of your makeup the super sealer helps control moisture and humidity, prevent sweating, eliminate shine and prevent smudging. Not recommended for daily use as it can become a bit harsh on the skin over time

 

 

 6. PRIMER. You’ll need a primer to prep your face for your foundation and I can’t stress enough how crucial this is! A primer creates a smooth canvas for your foundation to sit on, filling in lines and pores. Have oily skin? Look for one with mattifying properties.  Some of my favourites: Laura Mercier, Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer

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7. Foundation. Make sure you know your skin type before purchasing a foundation so you know what you’re looking for. Choosing a foundation is A LOT like choosing your moisturizer so you have to know what you want from your foundation. For example, I’m combination with a bit of tzone oilyness and being a makeup artist I DO NOT want to be touching up makeup throughout the day. When it’s on – it’s on to stay and I like my coverage medium (with the ability to sheer it out if I need to or build it up for those more problematic days)

Some of my favourites: Smashbox 15hour wear – my current go to foundation <3 Makeup forever – Can NOT get this to last all day without touchups unless I’m following through with all the steps listed in {Part One} THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

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8. Powder.
You need to set your foundation to ensure it lasts all day. This helps absorb oils to keep you shine free, adjusts your foundation shade if it’s a tad bit too dark or too light and helps limit transfer. Even though you love the “dewy” look – for photo’s you don’t want that dewiness all over or you’ll just look like grease face.  Keep in mind (especially if the powder you’re using is not transparent) powder tends to darken your foundation a touch when it sets so you want to use one that is a wee bit lighter than your foundation to balance it out.

To end this post, I’ll leave you with this little tip 🙂 …

(and don’t forget to subscribe so you can be notified when {Series: Part Three} “Must Have” Beauty Products for your Wedding Day! is posted 🙂 We’ll be going over everything to do with EYES <3

Rather than dusting it everywhere, take a powder puff and really press it into your skin. This is going to help set your base, absorb oils/sweat and help keep you looking fresh. 

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“Must Have” Beauty Products for your Wedding Day! {Series: Part One} & WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

So it’s your wedding day… you hire an artist, throw on your robe, grab your cup of tea and enjoy the next hour or two being pampered by your stylists, finally being able to catch a breath after all the planning and running around. This is your moment to enjoy the final moments and get all your thoughts together before walking down the aisle to marry the one that swept you off your feet from the moment you met  <3

For some of us, it’s not always that simple. What if you’re caught in the circumstance of not being able to take advantage of hiring an artist? Say, a destination wedding where you know you’d be happier with your own look if you’re doing it yourself than someone else working on you (ok- so I’m talking about myself here lol and few other girls that are travelling overseas this winter for their wedding)

In times where hiring an artist is not really an option, there’s a few products you’ll need to ensure your look stays flawless from morning to evening and picture perfect from every angle.

(On a side note: By the end of this post you’ll realize why it’s actually much more cost-effective to hire an artist for your wedding day than doing it yourself! Not only do you save yourself product cost and get the chance to relax/be pampered… a good artist also knows the importance of playing up certain features, blending and techniques to work with photography/lighting conditions to ensure you’re pictures are absolutely flattering <3)

{Part One} THE ABSOLUTE BASICS:

 No matter how great you’re makeup is… it’ll only be as great as your skin! It’s absolutely crucial that you know your skin and what products will help counteract any concerns.

1. Exfoliate! Avoid clumpy makeup by getting rid of all the dead skin. This will make sure you skin is softer and smoother leaving a perfect base for the rest of your makeup. Don’t forget to exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush which will peel off any dead skin, increase circulation and plump them up for a fuller pout 🙂

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My skin isn’t super sensitive or thin so I can get away with using St Ives Apricot Scrub. (phewww! Cause it’s super inexpensive on sale too!) A lot of people avoid this because the irregular granular can scratch your skin if you’re not careful. If that’s the case, look for something with more rounded exfoliates in it.

2. Moisturize! Well hydrated skin is the key to beautiful skin and I cannot stress that enough. Using the right moisturizer will prevent wrinkles, delay aging and help with skin concerns (as long as you’re using the right moisturizer for you). Look for something with SPF in it that addresses your skin concerns. Oily skin? Look for something with mattifying properties. Aging skin? Look for a moisturizer that has immediate firming effects for instant anti-ageing before your makeup.

My skin is pretty much combination and I’m always looking for ways to get a brighter clearer complexion with a few marks I do have from breakouts…

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My current favourite is Claudalie… No parabens, environmentally friendly, no animal testing, no synthetic colouring, certified organic and ingredients 62x more effective than Vitamin C – there’s no looking back <3 It’s pretty expensive but Sephora had a starter kit that I use to get on a monthly basis ($30) with all three products in it… sadly, it’s no longer carried. I got SUPER lucky, not to mention screamed in joy at the counter, when they included these as their 500 point perk! <3 Luckily I’ve been saving my points and picked up two!!

When I have the time: For the super special occasions when I have more time to get ready (new years, my birthday) I realllllyy take my time to get ready 😛 I start off exfoliating my skin and slapping on a good hydrating mask (I have an oily t-zone but dry/normal everywhere else so just make sure if you’re the same you really have a good mattifing primer for those oily areas) and throw some cold green/black tea bags over my eyes to reduce puffiness.

 3. Good ol’ H20. More hydration… more radiant skin and toxins flushed out of your body.

4. EXERCISE. Not only will your body feel firmer, your skin will feel brighter, you’ll have more confidence, you’ll sleep better (Helllooooo – easy fix for preventing dark circles and puffy eyes) you’ll drink more water = more hydrated and radiant skin, reduce anxiety and naturally detox <3

That concludes the first part of “Must Have” Beauty Products for your Wedding Day! {Series: Part Two} Will go over your base (foundations, powders, etc).

AND THE WINNER OF OUR “SHARE THE JOY” $50.00 MAC GIFTCARD AND MAKEUP FOREVER AQUA LIP/EYE COLLECTION VIA RANDOM NAME PICKER WEBTOOL ISSS………………………………… Drum roll pleaseeeeeee….

SONYA SINGH!!!

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Your gift card and goodies will be mailed out to you within the next two weeks 🙂

 

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*GIVE-AWAY ALERT* Share the Joy – It’s time to CELEBRATE!

So this year, I was selected to be on the La Senza Insider’s panel which basically means I complete survey’s and projects throughout the year in return for a ton of free goodies to make my lingerie stash that much bigger lol <3

The last assignment we received was to reflect on our summer and submit 10 pictures on our most memorable moments or highlight how we spent our summers. At first thought I was like “oh great *sarcastically* all I’ve been doing this summer is working nonnnnn-stoppp!” Then, I started jotting things down…

Usually I spend my summers at the cottage and the beach, skipping work and giving up all life’s responsibilities lol good freakin times! This year it was a bit more grown up but I felt more accomplished than I ever had before. I feel like I finally have perfect balance and grew into the person I was meant to be <3

I got engaged to a man so amazing I couldn’t even have ever dreamt it (and that’s saying a lot from this fairytale filled heart!), coordinated the biggest shoot of my career with 8 vendors on board, won the Wedding Industry Experts award for Best Makeup Artist, TV interview with RogersOne Central, The DMG Team was booked solid every single weekend and long weekend with a 4-9 bridal bookings each weekend, modeled in my first solo music video, acted in a short film by Shutter Images, still managed to spend some time at the beach, explore the underground streets downtown Toronto making the most of my fiancées rainy birthday, caught the bouquet at my friend’s wedding, went to my first concert (Bruno Mars is amazing , for real), zip-lined down Blue Mountain and had my first surprise birthday party ever <3

Sooooo since I’m soooo happy – I want to share the joy and make you all happy toooo! 🙂

All you have to do is share your TOP THREE MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF 2013 TO DATE with pictures and you’ll be entered to win a collection of Makeup Forever Aqua Lipliners, Makeup Forever Aqua Eyeliners AND $50.00 giftcard for MAC Cosmetics!  No shares, no likes required… It’s that simple <3

If you want to make someone else happy too – pass on the contest link 🙂 Sometimes we all need a bit of time to reflect in order to really appreciate how far we’ve come and how good things really are.

Comment below with your moments and the images can be a links to profile, photobucket, etc just be sure to check your privacy settings. The lucky winner will be randomly selected via online generator. Contest closes September 22nd 2013.

Are ya smiling yet? 🙂

<3 Neelu 

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If you only take in one piece of advice all summer it should be this: USE PROTECTION!

Sun protection that is!

Over two million people are diagnosed with skin cancer yearly. Sun damage, Sun spots and premature aging have become more common than ever and yet people still neglect the importance of daily suncare.

I don’t know about you but I still want to look good when I’m 50! The last thing I want is to end up with spotting, wrinkling, leather like skin and then think to myself “if I only used that sunscreen!”

If you catch me with a bare face this summer I can still almost (hey no one’s perfect ok) guarantee you that I’ll at least have on these two vital summer products:

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Ombrelle spf 60, ultra fluid lotion for face with broad-spectrum uva-uvb protection:

– broad spectrum protection is so important, you want to make sure your protected from the silent killing UVA rays that sink deeper into the skin
– absorbs into the skin with no residue and quick dry time so it’s perfect under makeup (no your makeup spf is NOT enough)
– I love the glow it gives my skin even on its on, no oilyness throughout the day
– bought for $20 at shoppers drug mart, expensive for a small 50ml bottle

Would I buy it again? 100% and wouldn’t even think to try anything else

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: I’ve done a review on this already (I’ll update the link here later or you can search in the meantime) and never have anything but good things to say about this. My absolute favorite lip product, love the smell, texture, hydration, everything but the price ($22) but it does last me a really long time if I don’t misplace it anywhere

Applying sunscreen:

You want to apply it half hour before exposing yourself to the sun so it has time to absorb, then again after swimming or sweating and again every few hours (ok let’s face it, we want protection but who really has time for that half way through the day application unless you’re on vacation! Easy solution listed below) Remember that your ears, neck, chest also need protection and are often overlooked. If you have the time, let it sink in for 20minutes, maybe do your hair and Then continue with the rest of your makeup routine and hopefully you were smart enough to choose a foundation with spf protection as well 🙂

Reapplying sunscreen every few hours once you have a full face of makeup:

A lot more simpler than it sounds. Many of us carry around a compact powder for touch-ups throughout the day. Switch to a compact/loose/translucent powder with an SPf of 30 and when you do your lunch-time and after-work touch ups, you’re multitasking and reapplying your sunscreen too!

Now go enjoy the first day of summer! 🙂

Ps. Men should also be using sunscreen daily! Men that are losing hair should especially be using it on their head as it’s always exposed

Double dipped wax strips? uhh eek – NOT at Red Carpet Glamour!

Double dipped wax strips? uhh eek - NOT at Red Carpet Glamour!

Why we love Perron Rigot?

It’s waxing system is a premier skin care service, a true beauty treatment.

Just the highest quality of hard and soft wax for all types of hair and skin. Exactly how it should be.

It’s not just about what we remove…
It’s about what we leave behind…
Healthy skin!

Nothing less for my clients from this beauty addict <3

xox Neelu

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Why Artist’s “Charge So Much”: The life of a MUA

People often wonder why makeup artists and hair stylists are “so expensive”

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Being a makeup artist or hair stylist is so much more than just showing up the day of with your team. When you book an artist, you’re definitely paying for their expertise/skills but there’s a lot more work that goes into prepping beforehand as well.

To give you an idea, here’s some of the things in our job description for a typical wedding booking:
(Keep in mind, we juggle numerous wedding bookings along with regular clients, shoots, events and shows all at once but you’ll never know because when you’re working with us we make sure that it’s all about you <3)

– Quote the client, answer questions via emails, meetings, phone calls, texts
– meet for a consultation or complete a bridal trial
– send out contract based on details
– in the time between the trial and wedding: change contract details, discuss new ideas, help locate wedding vendors, consult about skincare, bridesmaids styles, be a therapist and help assist to keep the bride sane 🙂 <3
– sometimes discuss special requests with bridal party members
– coordinate how payments will be handled, prep invoices
– create/research looks for bridal party based on wedding colours and brides vision
– schedule additional artists and stylists based on party size
– confirm details with bride the week of
– confirm times/locations with team members (and then text them once more a few hours prior to the booking 😛 )
– create folder with all correspondence, images that may have been emailed, trial notes, contract details, payment confirmations, new totals and chart to keep track of services on the day of
– Provide hair and makeup services on the day of the wedding 🙂
– collect any final payments
– confirm chart and issue payments to team members
– clean kit/wash brushes

Now, in no way am I complaining…

Truth is, I don’t work a day in my life because I absolutely love what I do and am blessed to be working alongside a team of really close friends <3 Our clients are absolutely phenomenal and feel like family after spending a few days so close with everyone. I am completely honoured to be booked to be a part of each and every one of my client’s big day and that they trust me for advice, suggestions and guidance <3

Pursing makeup is the best decision I could have ever made and each referral received I take as receiving a record of achievement, our repeat clientèle are like real life trophy’s and receiving pictures of our work is even more exciting than opening presents! <3 I just wanted to give everyone a bit of insight on what exactly it is that we do 🙂

Looking for an excuse to indulge in some chocolate?

Looking for an excuse to indulge in some chocolate?

Flavonols, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage.
Cocoa helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin, and fewer wrinkles.

So by eating dark chocolate I will have amped up my UV protection level, I will feel happier and stress-free with clearer, more glowing skin! 🙂

Snack happy!

(in moderation of course lol)

Ok – so I was craving some chocolate right about now and needed to make myself feel better about it :$