10 steps to the perfect Gel Manicure

 

I love going to the nail spa as much as the next girl but going every 2 weeks can get pricey and time consuming. A few months ago I decided to start doing my own Gel Manicures and I absolutely love it But, if you are new to gel polish you may encounter a few problems and think gel polish just isn’t for you. Gel polish application and removal can be a bit tricky, but I promise that the art of a gel polish manicure CAN be mastered. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you in any mishaps you may have.

 

 

  1. Clean Your Nails. You must have clean, dry nails in order for gel polish to adhere correctly. After buffing your nail, use a lint free wipe soaked with 91% alcohol to cleanse your nails of any extra debris. Clean all the way to the cuticle and around the sides. If there is any debris on your nail, the gel polish will stick to it instead of sticking to your nail. :-/ That’s a recipe for disaster. Well, a recipe for a shorter lasting manicure, anyway.
  2. Shake Gel Polish. Gel polish has a unique formula that really needs to be shaken before each use. If you shake your gel polish before you use it, you will have an easier and more even application. You don’t need to shake the base coat or top coat, just the colors.
  3. Apply Aquaphor or Lotion Around Cuticles. Use a q-tip to apply aquaphor to your cuticles before you do a gel polish manicure. Don’t get any on your nail, but cover the cuticle and sides of your nail. That way, if you accidentally get some gel polish on your cuticle, it will actually be on the aquaphor and you can wipe it right off when you are done with your gel polish manicure. Score! You can also apply aquaphor or lotion to your cuticles during gel polish removal so that the acetone doesn’t dry out your cuticles as much.
  4. Use Short Strokes. When painting on the gel polish, use short strokes, especially around the cuticle and edge of your nail. Short strokes are easier to control so it will help you get nice even lines around the edge. You have to be extra careful on the first coat of color, but once that’s down, it’s much easier to keep your other coats in those nice lines.
  5. Use Thin Layers. Gel polish has a slightly different consistency than most nail polish which can definitely throw you off if you are new to gel polish. You don’t need as much gel polish on your brush as you would with regular nail polish. If you get too much gel polish on your brush, the gel polish will pool and get thick around your cuticles and nail edge. Bleh. But, if you use thin coats, you will completely avoid this problem. Yeah! Just remember, it’s better to do 3-4 thin coats, than to do 2 thick coats.
  6. Cap the Free Edge. When using gel polish, it’s important to cap the free edge. This means to paint the end of the nail after you have painted the actual nail part of the nail. When you cap the free edge it will prevent the gel polish from lifting which means you’ll have a great, long-lasting manicure. You should cap the free edge on every coat, but it’s especially important for the base coat and top coat.
  7. Remove Extra Gel Polish BEFORE Curing. Gel polish cures hard when you cure it in your UV or LED lamp. That means, if you accidentally get some on your skin and cure it, it’s not coming off. I’ve made this mistake a few times, but the good news is, it’s very easy to remove as long as you do it BEFORE curing. Gel polish wipes away much more easily than regular nail polish, so don’t be afraid to wipe off any excess polish that may have gotten on your skin. You can also use a small brush dipped in acetone to wipe off the nail polish.
  8. Cure in the Right Size Lamp. If you have a 4-finger lamp, don’t try to cure all 5 fingers from one hand because it will not cure properly. Just cure 4 fingers from one hand, 4 fingers from the other hand, then both thumbs together.
  9. Completely Cover Color With Top Coat. When you are applying top coat, make sure that you completely cover the color with the top coat. You still need to avoid the cuticles and nail edges, but do cover all of the color. If you don’t, the color will look matte and can be rubbed off throughout regular wear and tear. As long as it’s covered by the top coat, you are good to go.
  10. 10. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. This is basically my mantra when it comes to gel polish. Anyone who has had damage from wearing gel polish probably got it from improper removal or from dry cuticles and nails. As long as you remove gel polish correctly and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, your nails will be as strong as ever.

Countdown to V~DAY: Day 2 Bomb af Eyeshadow

<<Plz ignore my dollar store foundation and scary eyebrow>>
Today, I’m sharing a makeup look (yes omg I know) that I created for Valentines day. Even though I’ll be stuck at work all day, I’m still going to be rocking my V day Lula Roe’s and this bomb look.  (REAL QUICK– Go follow my blog Instagram @itsme.amieg tysm!♥)

I created this look using the Ulta Rose Gold Palette (You can get it here http://bit.ly/2ida9s0 for $20). ||Obvi, you don’t have to use this exact palette||


So I pretty much used every shade in the palette *oops* but you’re more than welcome to customize it and make it your own!♥
Any whoo, I started out by priming my eyelids with Trust Fund Beauty’s primer just to give my shadow something t stick to. First I used a fluffy blending brush and the shade “Prosecco” and applied that all over my lid. Then I used a smaller blending brush and applied the shade “Breathless” to my crease and outer corner. With this shade, you can’t really add too much so you don’t have to be as precise. Next, I used my crease brush and mixed the shades “Dessert”, “Luxe”, and “Orchid” and applied everywhere I applied “Breathless”. **The pic says Sweetheart but I meant Orchid oopss** Lastly, I took a flat angled brush and the shade “Dahlia” and applied a small amount to my outer corner and absolute inside of my outer portion of my crease. Be sure to go easy with this shade since it’s so dark.

After that, I applied my Ulta liquid liner and then went back in with “Dahlia” on the smallest brush I own to smoke out my lower lash line.

Lastly, I applied my Model Co mascara and used my Sinkdinavia Setting Spray to finish off the look!

That is pretty much the look! I just did basic foundation, contour, and highlight (a list of products I used for everything else will be at the bottom of the post).

 

Other products I used:

  • elf foundation stick in “Nude”
  • JS Skin Frost in “SO Fu**ing Gold”
  • Nyx Contour Stick
  • Ulta Beauty’s Nude Face Primer
  • elf brow kit in “Light/Medium”
  • it Cosmetics Brow Pencil
  • inspir Concealer stick

 

Thank you for reading this far down!! If you’re reading this, comment “Nice Spuds” below!!♥♥♥♥♥♥

Ways 2 Save; A new series??

Okay so I was thinking about starting ANOTHER blog for all the tips and tricks I’ve learned about saving money BUT I decided to just try out making it a series on here since I’ve only been blogging for a month (YES, it will be a month tomorrow omg I know!!!!!). I’ve still got a long way to go to build up this blog so I don’t think I have the time to build up another  one at the same time SO without further-a-do here’s my new (potential) blog series!

Okay so today I’m going to share a few of my ways to save money in everyday life!

  1. COUPON- this is probably one of the most popular way to save. I’m starting to dabble in coupon-ing and I’ve actually saved a pretty penny so far! (Tell me in the comments below if you’d like a post all about coupon-ing and how to!)
  2. SHOP AT A DISCOUNT/CLUB STORE – I’ve recently started doing majority of my shopping at Sams Club and Aldi (no, you cannot coupon there): ) and I’ve cut my weekly grocery bill down from $130 to about $70.
  3. STOP EATING OUT- This was so hard for me; I literally only eat 2 meals a day and I went from BOTH being fast food to BOTH being a meal I cooked and preped the Sunday before. I used to spend around $600 a MONTH on food now I spend less than $300. 

Sorry it’s so short but I wanted to get it up today instead of tomorrow! Tell me what you think in the comments and if I should make this a real thing! 
Also follow my new Instagram accounts @itsme.amieg and @mua.amie 

Dupe Day Tuesday #2

YALL. This week Dupe Day is actually going to be posted!! Omg what?!?
Anyways, I found some amazing dupe pics to share!!
I have the JS and I’ve swatched the ABH so I know those are the exact same! The others look like they are!! 

I personally do not use MAC products so I wouldn’t know about that one^^ 

Huda and CP are 2 amazing brands!! I love the Huda palettes and CP has some of my all time fave lippies 😍

But these Dupes are to DIE for 😍😭💕 

Adulting 101: Grocery Shopping

This week’s Adulting 101 is all about one of my fave things, FOOD♥!

Moving out and having decent meals at the same time can be quite difficult. Especially when you’re on a tight budget and only allow yourself $75 a week so you can pay off the hella expensive couch you fell in love with.

So here’s my tips and what I did to stay UNDER my budget and still have enough food for my constant snacking.

Here’s an example of my shopping list for this week:

  • 1 box of apple oatmeal
  • 1 box of cheese grits
  • 1 bag of apples
  • 1 bundle of bananas
  • 1 bag of red potatoes
  • 1 box of cereal
  • 1 carton of eggs
  • 1 bottle of Ranch
  • 2 packs of Turkey Bacon
  • 1 bag of broccoli
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 2 cans of peas
  • 2 cans of pasta sauce
  • 2 lbs of pasta
  • 1 pack of hot dogs
  • 1 pack of ham
  • 1 jar of applesauce
  • 1 bag of Steam-able Fried Rice
  • 3 Yogurts
  • 3 cans of raviolis
  • 2 bags of salad mix
  • 1 bag of tomatoes
  • 1 bag of cheese
  • 1 box of turkey bacon
  • 2 bags of Quinoa and  brown rice

My total came to just under $64 and I have enough to last 2 weeks.

I planned my list out by making a “menu” filled with 3 meals a day as well as 2 snacks a day. Before, I was eating 2 small meals a day with snacking on the weekend so I planned out more food than I needed. ( I don’t suggest doing this).

My meals were chosen based on what is simple, cheap, and can be reheated.

enuHere’s an example of my menu for the week. (So far, I’ve probably skipped about half the meals on here.)

I made a list of what I’ll have leftovers of as well as snack alternative so I can change it up when I want to!

So here’s my tips for staying in budget and keeping it simple:

  • Check out my pinterest for easy “college dorm meals” These are super yummy and are so easy to make! (https://www.pinterest.com/itsmeamieg/ )
  • Shop at Aldis or a Trader Joe’s – You get the same quality but for 50% of the price!
  • Calculate the cost per ounce so you can get the most bang for your buck! (for example, would you rather pay $1 for a 2oz jar of PB+J or $4 for a 15oz jar?)
  • Be sure to make a list and STICK TO IT! As long as you stick to he list, you should be able to stay in budget.
  • Plan your budget based on your local Walmart’s prices and you’ll stay under if you shop at Aldis or Trader Joe’s.
  • You can sign up for Walmart’s Grocery program to get the prices of every food item at your local Walmart without leaving home

 

Next week’s shopping list is projected to be under $20 as of today. Since I’ve saved a good bit of money by staying under budget, I’m allowing myself 1 fast-food meal next weekend. ☺

 

 

 

 

 

Adulting 101: Apartment Hunting

Recently, my boyfriend and I decided that being independent is better than having cookout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so we’ve decided to stop eating out (yes, you read that right) and save up so we can move out this year. Even though moving out has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was 15, there’s still I haven’t learned about what to do (and not to do) when moving out for the first time. So, as I learn all the new and (not so) exciting things about “adulting”, I’m going to share them here so maybe it’ll be easier for you.
Today we started apartment hunting. My tip for this is to make a list of EVERY apartment complex that will fit in your budget along with their address, price, and any questions you have about the place. Also, it’ll help if you plan the order of where you’re going so you don’t have to do any unnecessary driving.
Here’s a few more useful tips and tricks I learned today:

Ask if the apartment you’re touring is a show apartment or a move-in apartment.

If it’s a move-in, make sure to check EVERYTHING. Try all the doorknobs, open all the cabinets, and try all the list switches. (Today, we were looking at a move-in apartment and a closet doorknob fell off as soon as we walked in.)

Be sure to ask what is included in the rent. I.e. utilities, maintenance, sewer, pest control, trash pickup, etc.

Make sure you understand what all the maintenance crew will fix and always ask if there’s an emergency maintenance crew.

If you have pets, as the leasing agent to go over all pet related fees and policies. ( Pet application fee, pet rent, breed restrictions, etc.)

Ask what kind of redecorating is allowed like painting and carpet installation.

Always ask what all comes with the apartment. Most of the apartments we’ve looked at includes a stove/oven, fridge, and a dishwasher.

Be sure to make note of the deposit and if your credit affects that.

I like to get a flyer from each place we visit and make notes on them so I can keep track of what I loved and what I hated about each place.
So that pretty much sums up what I learned today. We didn’t spend much time today since we were up late last night doing meal prep but we’re going out again Wednesday so stay tuned for a (potential) part 2!