What's New in Beauty: Benefit Sun Beam, Leila Lou Eau de Parfum and The BEACHWAVER

Liquid sunshine? Sign me up for Benefit’s just-launched Sun Beam. They recommend pairing it with Hoola bronzer for a brilliant golden look.

Snooki without makeup is pretty amazing. She needs to do this more! [Refinery29]

It’s here….the Leila Lou Eau de Parfum. The fresh fragrance we all know and looove by Rosie Jane is now available in a lighter version of the Leila Lou scented oil. Look for familiar notes of pear, fresh cut grass and tangerine.

The BEACHWAVER by celebrity hair stylist Sarah Potempa is launching on QVC today in the 2pm est. and 9pm est. hours. We are very curious about this – the auto rotate feature and the ability to customize for the left and right sides of your hair. [QVC]

She puts foundation where? Get the dish on Nicki Minaj’s beauty secrets and favorite products. [Elle]

Kate Beckinsale stunned at the Underworld premiere earlier this week. Makeup artist Molly Stern created a radiant look for Kate using Laura Mercier. She used one of our new obsessions, the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer, to get the look.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects by Avril Lavigne, coming at you this April. [Women’s Wear Daily]

Just Another Mani Monday: My Manicure Must Haves

I use to be very erratic with my product selection when I did my nails at home, that is mainly because I didn’t care as much about my nails as I do now. My friend actually commented on this the other day “you’ve become quite a nail gal, haven’t you?” Well yes, I certainly have. Now that I am more serious about this, I have narrowed things down to a solid group of products that I cannot imagine my life without. Some of these I have received as samples but a few of these items I have picked up myself. With one of these items, I’m now on my 4th one!

  • Sally Hansen Nip ‘Em Neat – the core of this set is really the cuticle trimmer but it comes with a pusher that I use in place of an orange-wood stick. One end works great as a cuticle pusher and the other end I use to clean under my nails and clean up my edges with a bit of remover or clear polish. It is also great to free up ingrown toenails. For some reason, I’m very susceptible to that. The set retails for $14.99, which is a lot for just one tool, but if you’re more comfortable with a full size cuticle trimmer, it is well worth it.
  • Tweezerman Mini Cuticle & Hangnail Snipper – I picked this up as part of Tweezerman’s Mini Nail Rescue Kit and it’s probably one of the best $20 I’ve ever spent. I prefer this smaller version of a cuticle trimmer because it is much easier for me to work with. Because of its size, I keep it with me in a little makeup bag I have deemed my “nail bag”. At that size, this snipper is super convenient. I also find I go much easier on my nails with this tool compared to a full sized trimmer. If this set is not for you, try the Squeeze and Snip. It’s the same price but I suspect it is also a bit larger.
  • Orly Pusher & Remover – this tool has changed my life in the short amount of time I have had it. I received it in a gift bag from Orly at Cosmoprof after experiencing their Gel FX manicure. Unfortunately I have no idea what it costs or where you can find it, finding more information on this online has been tricky. It is part of the Gel FX line so if you have a beauty supply store near you that sells this, pick it up… you will not regret it. Not only is it great for removing soak off gel color from your nails (if you remove it yourself at home) but it is also fantastic for cleaning up the cuticle area because of its rounded tip, it’s the perfect shape for cleaning up your cuticles.
  • QTica Cuticle Repair Balm – When I remember to slather on a cuticle oil, my cuticles stay fairly neat but let’s face it, the problem is I don’t remember and then end up looking horrible, you’ve seen the proof. I thought CND’s Solar Oil was good but this balm blew my mind the first time I used it, this little jar of goodness can give your cuticles a complete transformation in a matter of hours. A small jar goes for $12 and it is WORTH it, a small dip into the jar gives you plenty of product to moisturize your cuticles with. This is INTENSIVE CARE for your cuticles. With all the digging into files and filling I do on a regular basis with the day job, my cuticles need it!
  • Orly Two Sided Buffer – Like the Pusher & Remover, this buffer is part of the Gel FX line up and I do not know its price. This buffer has a different type of grit on each side, neither of them hard on the nail. I use this buffer to smooth out the ridges in my nails in place of the rough side on the Revlon buffer. I find the size and thickness of this buffer makes it easier for me to work with. I also really like that this buffer is made of the same material from top to bottom, you’re not going to wear away at the grit and leave it looking ratty and useless.
  • Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer – I’ve professed my love for this nail buffer before, I simply cannot get better results from any other nail buffer. This is the product that I have now purchased for a 4th time, which at $4 its really a no brainer. Normally a squeaky noise would drive me crazy but with this nail buffer, the squeaks give me the craziest shine ever. If you were to look at my nails after I’m done using this, you’d swear I had a clear coat of polish on.

So these are all the tools I use before I do my nails, when I do them at home and I use them in this order before any color goes on my nails. Now that I’ve shown you my must haves, what are yours? Let me know in the comments.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Hello fellow product girls!  My name is Jennette and I am a self confessed beauty junkie, loving all products, high and low end.  This is my first post on Product Girl and I am so excited to be joining the team!

I am always on a quest for a manicure that helps me not to pick at my nails. I always hesitated in the past to paint my nails due to my nail biting and polish picking problem. For me, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips are a welcome and pick-free change of pace. The effect is similar to the Shellac and gel manicures everyone is getting these days (while wearing these I had someone ask if that is what was on my nails!), but for a fraction of the time and price. These little babies are $8.50 at my local drugstore and come in a vast variety of shades and patterns. In the package you get 16 polish strips, mini nail file(great for the purse) and mini orange stick along with the instructions.

It takes a little longer to apply than the standard nail polish, I have seen reviews saying it can take up to 1 1/2 hrs to do it! Yipes! I think, on average it takes me about 20-30 minutes, start to finish. You don’t need a top or base coat and the look lasts about 7 days. The packaging states up to 10 days, but I am very hard on a manicure and have found 7 is about my limit. The instructions included are very thorough and walk you through application and removal step by step. Basically, you clean your nails with polish remover, and take the back and front covering off the strip, apply it to one side of your nail, smoothing as you go and holding it to the nail for a few seconds, stretching a LITTLE to get a perfect fit. You can use the orange stick to even it out and work out any bubbles. The nail file can be used on any overhang to clean up the end.

I have found that if my hands and the environment are very cold, these do not adhere as well and can take a long time.  Just make sure your hands are not freezing cold when you apply these strips. I can cut the strips in half and get 2 full manis out if it, if you are a short nail girl, give that a try to get the most bang for your buck.

All in all, I like these for special occasions and every once in a while for a fun and lasting weekday look. It does take some practice and patience to apply them, but they offer some really great patterns and finishes, and no chipping! Much cheaper than a gel mani and easier to do at home! Go forth and conquer the nail strips, it’s like crafting for your nails!

DIY Manicure Must-Haves

Nine times out of 10, any manicure you see in Just Another Mani Monday is a DIY-er. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my nails done but I usually just do it myself. I’ve gotten into a Sunday ritual of pampering — hair mask, face mask and manicure. It’s really my favorite time of the week and helps me mentally prepare for the work week ahead. And I’ve come to rely on certain products to give me the spa feeling at home.

While Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish lives in my shower, I take it out on Sundays to give my hands a good scrub. There’s nothing better, as far as I’m concerned. It sloughs off all of the dead skin and contains tons of moisturizing oils. I love how it leaves my hands so soft.

I began using Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover about a year ago, and now I can’t remember what I ever did without it. I squeeze it around my entire nail cuticle, and it does the work on its own. For good measure, I use a cuticle pusher to do some tidying and then rinse. This needs to be in every woman’s bathroom cabinet!

I keep my nails a pretty short length, so if needed, I use a nail clipper to trim and then use Trim’s 7-Way Buffer. I actually hoard these and keep them at work and home. They’re just a few dollars, and one of the most useful beauty tools I own. I love side 4 “even out” as a final step in filing because it helps ride of any jagged edges that inevitably wreak havoc mid-polish.

The key to a lasting manicure is less about the actual polish but all of the other protectants, base, topcoat, etc. I have many random favorites in this area, CND Stickey Base and Seche Vite to name a few, but Zoya’s Color Lock System is a really good all-in-one kit. I use the Armor Top Coat as a refresher a few times during the week to protect my mani. And there’s also a polish rejuvenator which is a life-saver for bringing polishes back to life.

After I scrub and before I polish, I always lather up my hands with lotion. And nothing feels more salon-like than using salon lotion. I love Qtica’s Smart Spa Lotion in Papaya Star. Not many salons near me use Zoya products, so I’m happy to use it at home.

What are your DIY mani-must haves? Any tips to share?

Ten or Less: Sally Hansen Color Quick Chrome Pens

I picked up some of these new Sally Hansen Color Quick Chrome Pens recently and this week I have been playing around with 4 of the shades. I’m not one for changing my nail polish more than once a week but I’m getting into the holiday spirit and making my nails look like ornaments. 😉

These new Color Quick pens  have a chrome finish and come in 8 shades, I’ve been partial to Gold Chrome, Silver Chrome, Green Chrome and Red Chrome myself. One thing about this product that you should know is that is not going to give you long lasting wear, I experienced slight chipping a little more than a day after application. Its saving grace is that it’s convenient and easy to use. Drying time is minimal so it’s easy to switching things up often and have some with the color on your nails… which is exactly what I’m doing.

p.s. they are on sale at Ulta (buy one get one 50% off) and Walmart ($6 each) right now!

Splurge vs. Steal: Dior Creme Abricot & Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage

My cuticles are a constant source of annoyance. I really have to be diligent about cuticle care or my hands end up looking rough and ragged. One easy way to keep cuticles soft is to use a cuticle cream. I’m partial to Dior’s Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream For Nails. It’s got a light apricot smell and it really works wonders on hangnails. I slather this around my nail bed at night and it works its magic by morning. It’s definitely a splurge though at $23.

A more wallet-friendly alternative at $5 is Sally Hansen’s Cuticle Massage Cream. It also contains apricot oil and does a decent job at conditioning cuticles. The formula isn’t as luxe and for me it takes longer to absorb, but it is a worthy steal.

How do you take care of your cuticles – any miracle creams to share? Let us know!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Commander in Chic

Sally Hansen recently released a new line of polish – the Complete Salon Manicure Line. It boasts a new tapered brush and a wide color selection. I’m wearing it in the shade Commander in Chic which I think bears a strong resemblance to another shade I love, Sephora by OPI in Metro Chic!

If you see these on sale at CVS, I recommend giving them a try!

Five Drugstore Beauty Buys You Need

The Product-Girl mantra is that there is no such thing as too many beauty products.  And those are words I live by! To all of my fellow product-lovin’ gals out there, I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Laurie, as the latest contributor to Product Girl and share a few products that have been rocking my world lately.


These five products have become essential to my beauty routine. And the best part about them? They can all be found at the drugstore.

I love rocking a dark lip when the temperatures start to drop, and Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Va Va Violet is perfection.  Revlon released six new shades of this lipstick recently as part of the Passion Fusion Collection, which is appearing in stores now.

Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri nail polish is a fast favorite over here – literally. This stuff glides on smoothly and dries in a flash. I love Uptempo Plum, a gorgeous dark purple with pink sparkles.

I am a gel-eyeliner junkie and Loreal’s Pencil Perfect Self-Advancing Eyeliner is essentially that, in pencil form. I can’t be without the Espresso shade!

I picked up Boots No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion on a whim at Target earlier this year and use this stuff constantly! It’s a pearly pink shimmer lotion that works with my sensitive skin. I like to mix it with my primer, sunscreen or foundation – and it just gives a soft, natural glow every time.

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm is different than the Carmex we grew up with. It’s packaged in a sleek, silver tube and has a satin, gloss finish. It works great as a base for lipstick and on its own. This is three dollars well spent, trust me!

Now it’s your turn – any drugstore must-haves you want to share?

True Natural Beauty

When it comes to celebrity endorsed products, I am usually a skeptic. It seems like most of the time celebs just sell their faces and names to a licensing deal, and don’t have much of a say in the actual product.

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Powder Blush Sally Hansen Natural Beauty by Carmindy is very different. If you’re a fan of TLC’s makeover show What Not to Wear, you know beautiful blonde resident makeup artist, Carmindy. We’ve seen her perform the “5 Minute Face” on countless women in a fashion rut. Now, teaming up with Sally Hansen, Carmindy has her own line of products that reiterate her philosophy of easy and quick, natural looking, youthful makeup. A bonus to this product line is that they are made from natural ingredients that are derived from minerals, soy, bamboo, papaya, mango and are paraben free.

The Sheerest Cream Blush in Sunset is a generous size cream blush that I use a lot to obtain a natural-looking glow. I use 1 finger to “melt” the color and make it more pliable, then tap on my cheeks and blend well. A little goes a long way, but the color is perfectly natural and matte.

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Truly Translucent Loose Powder If you have ever read the any of Bobbi Brown’s beauty books, she is very adamant about neutralizing red tones of skin using a yellow powder. Lately, after I apply foundation, l have been using Truly Translucent Loose Powder in Neutral. It is almost colorless but has a yellow tint. This loose powder does not disappoint! The packaging is clever, it has a large sponge tip, but please don’t use the tip or it will leave your face with “spots” of powder. The sponge serves a great purpose of eliminating the messiness associated with carrying a loose powder. I use this Mac “skunk” brush to apply a light layer over my face and neutralize red, reduce oiliness, create an airbrushed look.

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Always Perfect Liquid Eyeliner I was a little disappointed in the Always Perfect Eye Liner. The tube is teeny tiny, with a brush tip, but it is short so application is pretty easy. I tried the liner in Black Onyx and it went on almost sheer, like a watercolor paint. It took a while to dry and even with several applications, the liner had a shiny sheer feel to it, so I ended up reapplying a different liquid liner and the difference in pigment was significant. I also noticed that the color bleeds onto lids, creating a dual black line in the middle of my eyes.

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Fast Fix Concealer Finally, my favorite piece in this collection was the Fast Fix Collection Concealer. What’s cool about this product is that it comes in an array of skintone-colors but also in Neutral and Brightener. I have been using Brightener, which similar to Benefit’s Eye Bright . It is a sheer, whitish pink and I love that its in a pot, not a crayon. It is very silky, and does not tug on delicate eye skin like a crayon version would. I usually apply with my finger or with a brush for a precise application. If you buy one piece of this collection, make this it.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I really wanted to love this one. Really. I have been so excited to try Sally Hansen’s Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen. I am always intrigued by new formulations of my favorite products. I haven’t felt this much anticipation since the release of Avon’s Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips.

Sally Hansen's Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen After shaking the pen and pumping the color into the tip, I applied Sheer Beige polish to my nails The color was beautiful and the consistency was nice, being a cross between sheer and opaque. Unfortunately, I had trouble with the design of the brush applicator. It is pretty short and dense which created a streaky, uneven application. I often hit the edge of the pen against my freshly painted nail, ruining the manicure. Upon my first stroke, hairs from the brush started falling out onto my nails, and I quickly had to fish them out before they dried.

Overall, this product did not produce the revolution in nail polish that I had expected. Instead it will be thrown at the back of my drawer at work, to be used for a last minute manicure but never as a replacement for the real thing.