Cuticle Care & Tips from Skyy Hadley and Lauren B. Beauty!

Winter has arrived, and that means cooler weather, and drier hands. Luckily, you can keep your hands and nails in-tact and looking healthy with these tips from Skyy Hadley and products from Lauren B. Beauty!

Many people don’t realize, but taking care of your cuticles is the best way to keep your nails looking their best. Skyy Hadley, owner of As U Wish Nail Salon, is a firm believer in tending to your cuticles for strong and lustrous nails. Follow her tips below for the best results:

  • Always use a cuticle oil/cream. Having dry, scraggly cuticles is not a good look and may even make you want to pick them, which can lead to a bacterial infection. Using a cuticle oil can make your manicure last longer. Keeping the nail beds and areas around your nails moisturized will make the nail polish stay in place longer. A cuticle oil is a great way to make a two day old manicure look like you just walked out of the salon
  • If you don’t have cuticle oil or cream available, you can use anything from your kitchen! Olive oil, baby oil, or even Vaseline are quick go-to solutions
  • NEVER cut your cuticles, they should only be pushed back. Cuticles are designed to protect your fingers from infections, and bacteria. You should only cut the dry skin around the nail and not the actual cuticles themselves

To keep your hand and nails looking and feeling fabulous, these luxurious products from Lauren B. Beauty are the ultimate in nail care innovation

  • Lauren B. Beauty Cuticle Oil ($20)

  •  Lauren B. Beauty Nail & Cuticle Balm ($30)

  • Lauren B. Beauty Nourishing Hand Crème ($24)

Where to buy: laurenbbeauty.com

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IT’s the Season! IT Cosmetics Holiday Gifts are Here!

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We all agree that Holiday Gifts should look a little different, a better wrap? a good-looking set? sweet packing color? I know you want all of them. So do I. I recommend IT Cosmetics Holiday Collection which could satisfy all you want!

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IT Cosmetics Holiday 2016 Collection, the perfect assortment of gifts for every IT Girl in your life! From Secret Santa to stocking stuffers, give the gift of game-changing products this holiday season. Pink and silver package just bring the atmosphere of holidays. Of course there has good value of the holiday collection.

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IT BRUSHES FOR ULTA

All That Glitters Brush Set. Only at ULTA!it-cosmetics
Ideal to gift or to get, this limited-edition set includes 5 full-size, ultra-plush brushes for face and eyes to cover all your makeup needs – plus a coordinating cosmetics case that doubles as your night-out clutch. Featuring award-winning Heavenly Luxe cruelty-free hair, shimmery silver handles and custom-cut shapes, these must-have brushes add a touch of luxury to your everyday beauty routine as they do the work for you, giving you flawlessly airbrushed results and the experience of your most beautiful you every time!
A $130 value! You can get as $58 from Ulta.com

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City Chic Brush Set
A $150 value! You can get as $68 from Ulta.com

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Confidence In A Cream Holiday Ornament

Great skin starts with confidence! Perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive, Confidence in a Cream deeply hydrates, restores radiance and reduces the look of pores, uneven texture and discoloration. Proprietary Anti-Aging Armour Regenerative Concentrate is activated upon contact to immerse your skin in moisture for powerful results that you’ll see instantly, and more dramatic results over time.
Developed with plastic surgeons, the leading experts in skin rejuvenation, this revolutionary super cream is your quick-absorbing moisturizer that goes beyond hydration for results you can feel confident in. Paraben-free, hypoallergenic and non-irritating, Confidence in a Cream nourishes your skin with collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, antioxidants and colloidal oatmeal to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving the texture of your skin and delivering the ideal amount of moisture. $16 at Ulta.com

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Superhero Holiday Ornament

This decorative ornament contains the gift of Superhero lashes! Developed with plastic surgeons, the game-changing mascara formula is infused with proprietary Elastic Stretch Technology to stretch the look of your lashes wider and longer, and wrap each individual lash in a volume-boosting, lengthening, ultra-conditioning black cape of power and color for clinically shown results.
Powerful anti-aging ingredients and super black pigment combined with the Lash-Changing Power Brush work together to coat every lash from base to tips – lifting lashes while separating them to create a fuller lash line and ensure that no lash is left behind! The super-buildable formula literally takes your lashes to new heights and puts lash power at your fingertips; simply apply more coats for additional volume and length. You do IT all…now your mascara does, too! $12 at Ulta.com

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Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection

Discover your most beautiful you and make every angle your best angle with this anti-aging, all-in-one palette that delivers a skin-perfecting glow. Developed with plastic surgeons, the experts in contouring and aesthetics, Your Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection palette includes four must-have, talc-free powder formulas that instantly enhance and brighten your features: new Sunshine in a Compact Matte Bronzer, new Perfect Lighting Luminizer, new Bye Bye Pores Blush, and award-winning Bye Bye Pores Pressed Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder. Featuring proprietary Perfect Lighting Technology to flawlessly distribute light onto skin, this palette creates natural-looking real contour and dimension while providing a youthful glow and airbrushed finish! $42 at Ulta.com

 

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2016 Gift Guide for the Outdoor Guy

Christmas is less than 2 weeks away! It is really hard to find presents for people nowadays. Especially if the guy craves and experience more than ‘stuff’. With the convenience of Amazon and the ever changing trends, we found some ‘sure-win’ items that are timeless, useful and perfect for your ‘outdoorsy’ guy on your list!

  1. Canyon Tech Joggers:

Loaded with technical features but with style that takes the design to the streets, these joggers will be a pair to live in. With excellent stretch recovery, these quick dry, moisture wicking pants feature a drawstring waist and articulated knees to stay comfortable are resist slipping. Well-placed pockets and reflective tape make them a must for the commuter cyclist.

turbo2. ToughTested Charger:

 

The leader in mobile power and durable, rugged tech accessories, have applications for traveling, families, construction workers, truckers, teens, and college students. Anyone who is very rough on cables or other tech accessories will find comfort in the long-lasting benefits of ToughTested products. ToughTested Rugged battery pack – Thrown from a building and run over twice by an 18-wheeler, this battery pack will still work and can charge your device four to five times without charging the device itself. Also available in solar powered packs with 10,000 mAh and15,000 mAh. ToughTested Pro cables – Encased in a P.E.T polymer for abrasion and chemical resistance, ToughTested’s braided cables are strong enough to withstand nearly anything. Tested at 3-5 times the industry standard, these cables are long enough for an efficient charge and strong enough to last you a lifetime. All cables are MFI certified by Apple and the Micro-USB tips are reversible to prevent wear and tear between the device and the charging connection.

3. DerMend® Moisturizing Bruise Formula:

Tough guys get bruises! This is something they need to have in their bathroom. Even as much as they pretend that a fall didn’t hurt that much, the bruise will definitely need help helping. DerMend is a dermatologist recommended cream, helps restore and rejuvenate the skin’s natural barrier to improve the appearance of bruised skin through its set of ingredients. DerMend® Moisturizing Bruise Formula is filled with ceramides, retinol, arnica oil and glycolic acid to rejuvenate the skin’s barrier that may have been lost due to aging, sun exposure and certain medications.  Apply it onto the affected areas twice a day to improve the appearance of bruises and soften skin.

4. HERO CLEAN

Outdoorsy guys definitely need to do their laundry after their adventures in the great outdoors. Understanding that the laundry and cleaning aisles were exclusively full of products fragranced, packaged and marketed to women, Hero™ Clean was born from that void in the marketplace for the more than 100 million men buying cleaning products. Hero™ Clean’s household items currently include laundry detergent, all-purpose spray cleaner, liquid dish soap, and odor eliminating spray. 

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The best gift to give this season!

The gift of timeless art is extremely underrated. This holiday seasons give some one the world, with MOVA Minis! With new designs, there is sure to be a globe or work of art that matches any room in your home!

Give Someone the World with MOVA Minis

On the quest for a one-of-a-kind gift? Nothing says “You mean the world to me” better than a stellar MOVA Mini by MOVA Creations. A technological and decorative marvel, the MOVA Mini collection is a mesmerizing gift packed with endless wonder. Choose from 7 gorgeous mini globes that range from Vincent Van Gogh’s legendary masterpiece “Starry Nights” to a red hot and ultra-romantic, heart themed globe.

MOVA® Minis use ambient light and the earth’s magnetic field to stimulate its perpetual movement. Each globe is a well-engineered masterpiece that requires the highest level of detail, precision and craftsmanship. Captivating and alluring, MOVA® Minis create a tranquil environment to incite peace of mind, relaxation, and serenity. MOVA® Minis are one of the world’s only globes that are assembled by hand!

 

  • Luxury home décor: accurate recreations of landscapes with 3D imaging and printing that add an upscale style to your home.
  • Whimsical movement and shape: globes rotate continuously on their own creating a peaceful and elegant atmosphere.
  • Truly one-of-a-kind: a variety of artists, such as fine-art painters and specialized globe artists have used their talent to create the masterpiece MOVA® Mini.
  • No batteries required: MOVA® Minis are powered by discreet high-tech solar panels and magnetic elements.

MOVA® Minis remain timeless with thoughtful aesthetics, precision technology, and upscale artistic design. Using only the finest materials with highest quality imagery and patented technology with eco-conscious design, MOVA® Minis are a unique addition to luxury and décor markets. Starting at $110, this is a beautiful way to bring valuable serenity into the home or office today.

 

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Google Home Review – Smart, Real Smart

As the world of home automation gets closer and closer to Disney Channels “Smart Home” (I may have given away my age a bit), we’re starting to see various products talk to each other more and more. From Smart Locks, all the way to changing colors on your Living Room, there seems to be no end to making your home interact in a highly modular setting. A lot of contenders have entered the scene, most notably Amazon’s line of Smart Home products (Alexa, Echo). But Google recently unveiled to the world why they are the king of A.I and are not to be taken lightly with the Google Home.

Design

The Google Home might look basic from a design stand point. But as noted from their flagship Smartphone (Pixel/XL) its trying to keep a minimalist approach, while fitting in within the walls of your home. I currently have two; one is located perfectly in the kitchen, while I have the other in my room. It isn’t anything too flashy, and I think that’s what drives the appeal to it. Of course, if you want to bring a bit more flair to it, they offer different colored bases (metal and fabric) for $20.

Blends very well with my kitchen!
Blends very well with my kitchen!

It has a slight slant on top to use the capacitive touch buttons to control the volume. On the back, you have a mute button, if in case you don’t want Google constantly picking up what you’re saying. Google Home does a great job at picking up what I say. The sound quality is great for an apartment, but if you are looking for a substitute for your main speakers, I would hold off on that. There is no distortion of sound at maximum volume, but in larger homes/apartments, they don’t fill up the place, but rather keep the volume to that room solely. Regardless, it still carries quite a bit of sound.

Back of Google Home.
Back of Google Home.

One of the main reasons that I was keen on playing with Google Home was for the Multiroom Functionality. Many companies have had something like this before. But Google would rather play nice then separate themselves from the competition. With big audio companies like Harmon Kardon and BOSE that will soon offer their hand in being ‘Cast-Friendly’, it will never be easier to set up an entire house with Wi-Fi enabled speakers. And for those who already have speakers and don’t want to get rid of them, Google has Chromecast Audio. Just plug it in an audio jack, and you now have a ‘Cast-Ready’ speaker without having to spend $150+ on new audio speakers.

Not only is the hardware compatibility great, but the various amount of Cast Ready Apps that are for available use. With Google apps like Youtube and Google Play Music, and the inclusion of a 6-Month Trial Free Program for Yotube Music, you have a huge library of music you can listen to. Couple with the fact that it also teams up with other Smart Homes (Samsung Smart Things, IFTTT), it won’t ever cause an issue on your ever growing Smart Home.

Software

However, while the idea is cool, the simplicity is not. Downloading the Google Home App is perhaps the easiest part of it. When it comes to pairing the speakers, its not as easy as you would have hoped for. It’s a bit of a learning curve. First off, be mindful that that the  account that you connect Google Home to will be the account that will have music played from. So if for example your roommate is listening to a song on Google Home and you are also on the same app, it will stop one of you from listening to music. Also, depending how close your router is, you often will get a bit of delay within all your speakers. Often while playing music through my Smart Phone, I’ll hear one speaker drop but come back within a few seconds. However, casting is very simple and anyone can cast music as long as they are in the same WiFi.

A look into Google Home.
A look into Google Home.

The Google Assistant itself is far from perfect but it does a good job at just about anything you throw at her. I often asked Google Home to set an alarm, remind me of an event and it will do it with no problem. You will get instances where she doesn’t quite understand what you say. I asked for the Moana Soundtrack, and instead gave me another Album. You also have to be mindful with the music app that you wish to play from, especially when asking Google Home. Another BIG issue for me is that Google Home does not have any other language pack aside from English. However, when I asked to play a song in Spanish, it understood what I was saying (even if she repeated it back in a broken dialect).  I personally wish I could customize my greeting to Google Home, but I understand that Google wants to keep it all around.

At least someone thinks I'm cool.
At least someone thinks I’m cool.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to begin your journey into a Smart Home, I think this is a solid place to start. The Google Home is far from perfect, but it is a good start into something great. And with the current price of $129, it doesn’t hurt to pick one up for the Holidays.

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Google Pixel – Worth the wait, but just short of perfect.

The saying goes: big things come in small packages. And while we can’t say that for the Pixel XL, we can certainly give it credit for keeping it safe, in terms of design and finish but giving a new spin on the UI and Android OS.

At first glance, the Pixel doesn’t seem like much. This is Google’s first phone but the exterior gives it an iPhone look, without having the iPhone’s iconic middle button. I found myself trying to tap on an invisible button, but with enough uses, you will soon forget about it and start using its finger print sensor, located on the back of the phone. It has a good weight to it, which gives it more of a finished feel. Nowadays, it’s very hard to find a smart phone that doesn’t have the same metal/aluminum finish. The old rhetoric stays true for this design: if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And with the rectangular bezel, camera placement and overall body, it pays homage to what works currently in the smartphone world.

Google has done an incredible job at optimizing the battery life and speeds on the Pixel. I t is extraordinarily fast, with very few lag inputs. The battery life on the Pixel XL is just as impressive. While a 3,450mh battery may not mean much with bigger batteries like the S7 Edge, its held out on strenuous tasks that I’ve assigned it to do. I’ve never had to charge it more than once a day. I connected two Bluetooth devices (my smartwatch and headphones) and watch Netflix on it for about an hour. The result? It barely dropped down to 15%.

Something that Google has proudly boasted is the camera quality. Being a skeptic coming in, I couldn’t possibly believe that it could rival Samsung’s flagship phones in term of camera. Perhaps even against the iPhone 7, I would have expected to see major differences within it. But it did. Taking photos on the  Pixel XL in low-light is hands down, by far the best I have ever seen on any smart camera out on the market. It rivals virtually all smartphones that talk about its impressive aperture. Taking a few shots in comparison, you can see the difference this makes and how astounding it is.

Pixel XL Camera.
Pixel XL Camera.
S7 Edge Camera.
S7 Edge Camera.

However, when it comes to taking a photo in natural light, it doesn’t shine as bright as the Galaxy S7. In fact, the colors do not pop as much as one would have hoped. Regardless, it is all up to the photographers tastes and what they want. But these are note-worthy differences if you happen to be a fanatic of mobile photography.

Another great addition is Google Assistant. In essence it’s a Google Now v2.0: a more robust search function with more “smart” capabilities. Google Now assists with everything from Calendar appointments upto recent searches on your purchases. It takes it a step further with an AI, and can be a lot of fun when you set it up. But while it can make your life a bit easier and is more reliable, its still not “smart” enough. It recognizes my voice just fine. Its just not as personal and intuitive as I would have liked it to be.

I welcome the Google Pixel as a great contender between Samsung and Apple. It certainly has the potential to be greater (especially since it will always be the first one up in Android Updates.)

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