Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Review... The New Braiding Handbook by Abby Smith

ran a bunch of errands today... luckily, they were all fun ones :) we went to Tuesday Morning, Ulta, a pet store for dog food, and Dover Saddlery (horse tack store). plus, in between, we had lunch at an amazing Japanese steakhouse named Fuji! i have officially found my new favorite restaurant :D

today is the last day of my book miniseries! the final book is The New Braiding Handbook (60 Modern Twists on The  Classic Hairstyles) by Abby Smith (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). Abby Smith runs the blog TwistMePretty.com, be sure to check her out there! The New Braiding Handbook gives step-by-step instruction on how to create gorgeous, braided styles... and the best part is, there are step-by-step pictures to guide you along the way! i feel like reading instructions is one thing, but having a photograph makes everything so much easier to understand.

all of the following pictures are shown courtesy of Ulysses Press and Abby Smith!

here's a look at the cover! it's a paperback book, making it easily transportable.




not only does this book have a table of contents... it has a photo of every hairstyle so you can easily find exactly what you're looking for!




the very beginning has a written chapter about hair care, then we get into the basics... again with pictures to help along the way!




there are all sorts of different braids to try... starting with the ultra-basic French, and moving on to the more complex, such as the Alternative Braid. i do think the book would be just a touch easier to use if it were spiral bound, then it would lay flat so much more easily. it will lay open and not close itself, with its binding, but as you can see in the photo, it won't go completely flat. definitely not a deal breaker, and is something i've noticed with most instructional beauty books!




not only are there traditional braids, there are also loads of updo's! i absolutely love the messy chicness of the Waterfall Updo.



i was super excited to hairstyles using the Topsy Tail! this is something i loved doing when i was younger, i will definitely be sporting it again. Abby Smith shows you how to do the style with the Topsy Tail tool, and all the following styles can be achieved either with or without the tool!




The New Braiding Handbook by Abby Smith retails for $16.95. you can find it here on Amazon, currently it's $13.56 for the paperback edition. there is also a Kindle edition available for only $9.99!

i hope you've enjoyed my little miniseries of beauty books! big thanks to all the publishers that sent them to me, i loved checking them out :) are you going to be picking any of them up? which one stands out to you?

Happy Saturday! Ria :)


:: this book is a press sample provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review... 500 Nail Designs by Chelsea Franklin

today i'm so excited to share another book with you all... this one is 500 Nail Designs by Chelsea Franklin (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). 500 Nail Designs is chock full of photographs of nail designs created by Chelsea Franklin, founder of The Nail Network blog! all of the photos are high quality, really allowing you to see the intricacies of the designs.

500 Nail Designs is more an inspiration book rather than a how-to book, so you'll find loads of pictures, but no nail art instruction. i love looking through all the pictures, and will be using it as a coffee table book (and for nail art inspiration, of course!).

all of the following pictures are shown courtesy of Fair Winds Press 2014 :)

here's the cover!




Chelsea Franklin's introduction gives a great idea of what you'll find inside the book :)




the book is divided up into chapters, starting with the basics in Chapter 1: Prints & Patterns, all the way to the fun and abstract in Chapter 6: Movie- & Television-Inspired Designs!

here's a look at Spring from Chapter 2: The Seasons :)




the right page has a little symbol at the top telling which section you're in... this one is Fall!




i love that there are simple designs as well as really involved ones... these Valentine's Day designs look manageable most beginners! the next two photos are from Chapter 4: Holiday Designs.




how gorgeous is this water marble for Thanksgiving?! absolutely stunning.




and here's a peek at the Wedding section... there are designs for someone looking for something super simple and chic, on to things creative and a bit out of the box! these next three pages are from Chapter 5: Special Occasions.




another section is for Birthdays! how cute are those candles :)




this fun section is full of movie and TV inspired manis!




the very last part of the book is called The Perfect Manicure, which gives you step-by-step instructions on how to easily do your own nails!




500 Nail Designs by Chelsea Franklin retails for $24.99. you can find it here on Amazon.com, currently priced at $16.66!

this book is perfect for anyone with a passion for nails... i love looking through all the pictures, even when i'm not planning a manicure! is this something you will be picking up or do you already have it? let me know! Ria :)


:: this book is a press sample provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review... Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann

it's book week! i have three books to share with you all this week, all in the beauty realm... of course! i love books and reading... so books about beauty are just about as good as it gets :)

today's book is Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). this book has all the info you'll need to make your own custom colors... even different finishes! the book is super easy to follow and the pictures also help to make everything clear and easy to understand.

here's the cover! all of the following photos are shown courtesy of Ulysses Press :)




the table of contents gives you a great idea of what's in the book... from everything you'll need to make the polish to what you can do with it once you've made it!




i love that she adds photos of things you'll need... it makes it so much easier to find things in stores when you have an idea of what exactly it will look like!




the step-by-step instructions are made even easier to understand by the pictures illustrating each step.




for specific colors, all the ingredients you'll need are listed, followed by detailed instructions!




her idea of harvesting glitter from existing polishes is brilliant! i love innovative ideas such as this... how awesome is it to be able to remove your dream glitter from a dud polish!? love it.




there are also ideas of ways to use the polish once you've made it... great for helping to get your creative juices flowing!





this has to be one of my fave extras... i've never thought of using gel pens on nails. what an amazing idea!




Homemade Nail by Allison Rose Spiekermann retails for $16.95. you can currently find it on Amazon.com here for $12.24 for hardcover and only $9.99 for the Kindle edition!

i hope you enjoyed this book review, be sure to keep checking back for the next two... one is on nail designs and the other hairstyles! both are super fun. 

Happy Tuesday! Ria :)


:: this book is a press sample provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::











Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pixi Color of the Month... Peony Pink

tonight my neighborhood is having a block party... it will be nice to actually meet some of our neighbors! where we live is the kind of place where you don't really see people outside, everyone pretty much gets out the car and scurries into the house... of course, the extreme heat and humidity around here probably factor into that :D

today's polish is Pixi Peony Pink... their Color of the Month for June (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review)! they will be releasing new colors each month... super excited to see what they will come up with. i'm hoping they will all have formulas like Peony Pink... it's amazing! i very rarely only use one coat of colored polish... but that is all this one needed. at one coat it has complete opacity and a nice, rich look. the polish itself is a deep berry pink creme... and what i'll be sporting at the block party tonight! it's shiny on it's own, i added topcoat to help speed along the drying... although it had dried somewhat by itself  :)

one coat Peony Pink, one coat Butter London Nail 999 Rescue Topcoat.




hese polishes retail for $8. you can find Pixi products at Target stores, www.Target.com, and www.PixiBeauty.com!! Peony Pink is a limited edition shade that will only be available at PixiBeauty.com while supplies last... so make sure to order soon if it's something you're interested in it :) this is the direct link to the Pixi Beauty Nail Colour page!

coming up next week i have some fun nail and hair book reviews! Happy Weekend! Ria :)


:: Pixi Peony Pink was provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Friday, June 20, 2014

Now At Ulta... Benefit Glamboree Gift Set With $40 Benefit Purchase!

i went to Ulta today to find some new skincare... and instead ended up getting my makeup done at the Benefit counter! Ulta is currently having a deal where you get a cute Glamboree gift set with four trial size products with any $40 Benefit purchase... and i found a couple things i just couldn't leave without :)

i originally stopped by the counter to check out the new They're Real! Push-Up Liner... gel eyeliner in pen form! it's pretty genius. it doesn't launch until next Friday, so i'm on the reservation list... this thing is just too cool to resist! the Benefit girls were absolutely amazing, which really made for an awesome experience. i was really hoping one of their foundations would work for me, but they all seem to pull too yellow on me... such a bummer.

here's a look at the Glamboree set packaging... and adorable cardboard bag!




they all come in cute little cardboard packages... except the Hoola bronzer, which comes in plastic.




and here's a look at the products themselves!




i bought the Dallas blush and Gimme Brow, both of which i've been interested in for awhile. i confess, the packaging on Dallas might just be a major factor ;)




and here they are!




Dallas is a bit less brown than it looks in the photo, and it actually pulls more pink on me than some people (or so i'm told :) ) the Gimme Brow is so cool... it's a tiny little spoolie and somehow the product makes your eyebrows look amazing... i've been losing a lost of brow hair and i was blown away by how easily it made my brows look full. as always, let me know if you'd like full reviews on anything!

i would go ahead and take advantage of this deal if you're interested, i can't find anywhere that says when it's over, just that it's 'while supplies last'. let me know if you pick it up! 

Happy Friday! Ria :)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... Stoked To Be Soaked

whew, it's really getting hot here in Maryland! it was 91F at the barn today... but the real killer is the humidity. i kind of forgot how completely i'm not used to these conditions and overdid it a little bit. the crazy thing is it's still going to get more hot! 100F and super humid is pretty normal for the summer... yikes. thank goodness for central air :D

Stoked To Be Soaked is the last polish i have to share with you all from the China Glaze Off Shore collection (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it's a orange with a subtle golden shimmer and red undertones... perfect for hot days like today! i was concerned it would be sheer simply owing to the color, but i needn't have worried... it's opaque in two coats. the shimmer is pretty hidden inside, but adds to the polish's depth... and outside it's full of subtle sparkle. this one will need a topcoat to really make it glossy and show off the shimmer!

two coats Stoked To Be Soaked, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat.






you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply!

i am so thankful for the opportunity to review these polishes! they're all lovely, but i would have to say that China Glaze Feel The Breeze is my especial favorite... what's yours? will you be picking any of these up? Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Monday, June 16, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... Sea's The Day

took our dog Jasper to another vet this morning to get his teeth checked out... he has a broken one in the back that has to be dealt with. since we have to put him under for the teeth, we're going to go ahead and get a little bump removed from his leg. makes me so nervous, but hopefully he will feel better after it's all done!

today's China Glaze Off Shore collection polish is Sea's The Day (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it's a deep berry creme that pulls quite red on me, especially indoors! i really love how this polish looks on my skin tone... i may usually go for more out of the box colors, but i have to admit that Sea's The Day is super flattering :) you can achieve full opacity in one coat, but i generally prefer how polishes look at two. it dries down to a glossy vinyl shine on its own, but i did need topcoat to help dry it completely!

two coats Sea's The Day, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (also provided for review!).




you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply!

tomorrow i will have the last polish from the Off Shore collection i have to share with you all... it's Stoked To Be Soaked, a gorgeous orange! Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Friday, June 13, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... I Sea The Point

took Mama Pawlish's car to get the emissions tested today... happily, her car talked to the machine with no problems and she passed! no big mess like with Mr. Pawlish's car :) we are going to visit Mr. Pawlish's family tomorrow, it will be a long day of driving... glad we live close enough to be able to visit our siblings, though!!

today's China Glaze Off Shore collection polish is I Sea The Point (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it's a medium blue creme with a bit of dustiness. the formula on this one was especially nice because it dries quickly and takes only two coats for full opacity. it will take topcoat to make it super shiny, though!

two coats I Sea The Point, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (also provided to me for review).



my fingers look a little wonky because i had to adjust the color... my camera photographed this one as being crazy bright!

you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply!

not sure if i will get a post up tomorrow, it will depend on what time we get home. what are your weekend plans? hope you all have fun! Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Salon Perfect Paint The Town Red, White & Blue Press Release

today i have the press release for Salon Perfect's new collection, Paint The Town Red, White & Blue! these look super fun, and the collection has all the ingredients for a perfect patriotic manicure. these should be in select Walmart stores now!





Happy Thursday! Ria :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... Feel The Breeze

had another doctor's appointment today because they didn't get everything done yesterday... i got an X-ray of my wrist, i'm hoping they will figure out what's wrong with it so i can do yoga again :) after that i had a lesson on Echo, it was scheduled for tomorrow but got moved up. it went well, found out my position is basically the complete opposite of what my new trainer wants. got a lot to work on!

today's polish is the third polish i have to share with you all from the China Glaze Off Shore collection, Feel The Breeze (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it's a bright salmon creme, a great warm pink for summer. it's bright but not neon, which makes it more wearable for everyday! the formula is good, a touch streaky on the first coat, but perfect opacity at two. it dries quite shiny on its own, but as usual i need topcoat to dry it. not sure why polishes don't want to dry on me!

two coats Feel The Breeze, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (also provided to me for review).




you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply!

tomorrow the doggies have to go to the vet, not sure if i'm going to go to the barn or not... it will depend on how long it takes at the vet! Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Monday, June 9, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... If In Doubt, Surf It Out

dragged Mama Pawlish to the barn with me today so she could put up a saddle rack and bridle hook i bought while i rode... isn't she the best?! had a great ride on Echo, too :) dreading the coming on of summer though... it was only 73F today but i was completely drenched in sweat from the humidity. really makes me miss Cali! it's supposed to be 90F tomorrow... but i don't think i'm heading to the barn because i have to go to the doctor >.<

today's polish is If In Doubt, Surf It Out from the China Glaze Off Shore collection (it's a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it's a peach creme with strong orange undertones... perfect for summer. the formula is typical China Glaze, easy to work with and perfectly opaque in two coats. it dries shiny on its own, but i need topcoat to help it dry!

two coats If In Doubt, Surf It Out, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (also provided to me for review).




you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply!

Happy Monday! Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Sunday, June 8, 2014

China Glaze Off Shore... Wait N' Sea

went to a Belmont Stakes party last night to watch California Chrome run... so disappointed he wasn't able to win and be the first Triple Crown winner since the seventies! such a beautiful horse. the party was lovely, it was hosted by a couple from the barn and attended by other barn people... it was awesome to get to meet everyone :)

today i have a polish from the China Glaze Off Shore collection, Wait N' Sea (this is a press sample, kindly provided to me for review!). it is a yummy teal creme with lots of blue undertones. the formula is great, it could even be a one coater, i just generally prefer how polish looks with two coats... but the opacity was there at one! it dries shiny on its own, but i need topcoat to help dry it... i thought drying polish was hard in California, but it's way worse here in all this humidity!

two coats Wait N' Sea, one coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (also provided for review).




it's a bit darker and more green toned than photo, but this sort of color absolutely blows my camera's mind!

you can find China Glaze products in salons and professional beauty stores... my favorite place to buy China Glaze is Sally Beauty Supply.

hope you all have had fabulous weekends, keep checking back to see more polishes from the Off Shore collection, i have five more to share! Ria :)


:: these products are press samples provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Swatch Naming Championship from Nail Polish Canada

i'm so excited to share 2014 Swatch Naming Championship with you all today! it is hosted by Nail Polish Canada and is a short quiz that tests your polish knowledge. i was lucky enough to be selected to donate a swatch, so will see my fingers in one picture :D

the 2014 Swatch Naming Championship will show you one swatch photo and give two possible polish names... you have to determine which name is the correct one for the polish! to make it more fun, you're timed, so you have to decide quickly... no time to cheat and check Google :)

take the quiz and see how your polish knowledge stands up under pressure!

Nail Polish Canada Swatch Challenge

don't feel badly if you don't do well... i only got 56% correct which landed me at Silver status!



i think that this is such a fun idea, let me know if you particpate and how you do!! and make sure to check out www.NailPolishCanada.com for all your polish needs. Ria :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pixi Oh So Orange

it has been a doozy of a day! both Mr. Pawlish and my cars got keyed last night... so i went to the police station thinking i could just tell them about it... but it turned out i had to file a report. so that was embarrassing... and it went to a whole other level when the officer had to follow me to the mechanic's Mr. Pawlish's car was at to take pictures of the damage! i can only imagine what the poor mechanic's were thinking when i rolled up with a police escort. we had dropped his car off early this morning to get the computer checked... turns out the mechanic close to me wasn't able to get it to talk either, so it's got to go to a dealer. i'm still just completely in shock that somebody keyed our cars... mine got it the worst, there is a really deep rut down both driver's side doors. makes me glad i bought a used car and not a brand new one! after all that i headed over to the barn since my lease on Echo started today... she spooked right after i got on and i promptly fell off. luckily i was totally fine and just embarrassed! today was a bummer, but i have a great ride after falling off, so it ended much better than it started :)

another great pick me up today is this gorgeous polish, Pixi Oh So Orange (kindly provided to me for review!). it's the last polish from their Summer releases i have to share with you all. it's a super bright (not quite neon but really close!) orange creme that just screams happy! i love brights, and this one is stunning. it has good coverage at two coats with just a tiny bit of VNL. i was happy with it, but ended up adding one more due to smudging my nails dealing with the dogs... and i have to say, i love it even more with three coats! it gets that thick, vinyl look that i love so much. a coat of topcoat to make it super shiny and it's perfection! if you're looking to get it even more bright, try it over white, you'll get more of a neon blaze that way :)

three coats Oh So Orange, one coat Butter London Nail 999 Rescue Topcoat.




these polishes retail for $8. you can find Pixi products at Target stores,www.Target.com, and www.PixiBeauty.com!!

hope you all have wonderful weeks! make sure to keeping checking back, i have some fun posts coming up. Ria :)


:: this polish was provided to me for review. these are my honest opinions. ::