Holiday Mani

I wanted to try something a bit different this week with my nails. I had seen a photo of a candy cane mani done by a local salon, and thought I’d give a go to a simpler version of it. For this mani, I used the other two polishes from the December 2014 SquareHue collection – Joulupukin Pajakyla and Sampokeskus.

Joulupukin Pajakyla is a cranberry red  microglitter with some magenta undertones in the glitter (at least to me.. it’s definitely not just a red). It’s a gorgeous color with depth, and I can see myself reaching for it often even outside the holidays. The formula was great, opaque in just 2 coats.

Sampokeskus is a light gold textured microglitter. I’m not a fan of the way it looks when it dries matte and textured, so I topped it with a glossy topcoat (Seche Vite). The formula is a bit thick, but it dries quickly and is opaque in just one coat.


This was my first time doing this kind of tape mani – I used striping tape for the candy cane accent nail. As someone who tends to just wear simple polish with perhaps a glitter accent every now and then, this was definitely outside my comfort zone. I may have to make some effort more often though, as I’ve loved looking at my nails even more this week than usual!

What is your nail style? Do you notice you stick with the same types of colors and styles, or are you a bit more adventurous? I’d love to hear your favorite nail looks for the holiday season!


SquareHue – Revontuli

Revontuli is from the SquareHue December 2014 Passport Collection – Rovaniemi (Finland). It is actually a matte finish deep evergreen, but I felt like the gorgeous deep green/gold shimmer stood out more with a glossy topcoat.


I thought this was a great color for the holidays, something still bold but different than the traditional red nail. What are some of your favorite polish colors right now?

November Product Reviews


Full Size:

Softsoap Exfoliating Body Wash, Sea Kissed – I didn’t find it to be exfoliating, but it had a fresh scent and lathered well.

Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Shampoo – my sister left this in my shower after she moved out, and it was nice enough to use here and there, but not one I would purchase myself. Smelled nice in the shower though, just like I remember!

Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo for dry and frizzy hair – this left my hair feeling kind of greasy, so I wouldn’t purchase it again.

L’Oreal EverStyle Volume Root Lifting Spray – though this product says it’s alcohol free, it really smelled like alcohol sometimes.. I have other similar products that I prefer, but this was a good enough gateway into root lifting sprays for me.

Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Bath and Shower Gel – smelled great, lathered great, but horrible packaging for the consistency of the product. It was difficult to get out because the bottle wasn’t squeezable but the gel is thick. I ended up watering it down so it would flow out more easily.

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer – great for when I’m running low on time in the AM!

e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish Remover Pads – these are horrible! Very thin, and the remover solution the pads are soaked in is not very good. They dried out fairly quickly as well, but I just used the pads with my own remover to finish them.

Deluxe Size:

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant – I really like this as a scrub. It has a fresh citrus scent, and is not too abrasive. It rinses well and it seems like the abrasive bits do melt away, so it’s not bad for the environment.

Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Anti-Breakage Serum – this was a nice serum, but I didn’t really notice any benefits from using it as far as breakage.

Alterna Bamboo Volume 48 Hour Sustainable Volume Spray – this is probably my 2nd or 3rd one of these, I just really love this product and just about everything else I’ve tried from this line. It gives my hair a nice amount of volume that lasts throughout the day, and leaves it so that I don’t need to do much as far as styling except contain the post-blowdry flyaways.

Dr. Brandt BB Matte with signature Shinerase SPF 30 – I really liked this BB cream, one of the few I’ve used that actually stays matte. I did find it to be a little difficult to apply because of the thickness, but I’d purchase this instead of my usual Smashbox next time.

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Japanese Cherry Blossom – one of a million of these that I have, will always repurchase in various scents just for the convenience.

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – great lightweight serum, I feel like my skin just looks refreshed after using this.

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel – I’ve tried this numerous times over the years, and never really notice any benefit from it. Definitely better spot treatments out there.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – this has just always been my go to eyeshadow base, so I collect a lot of them. I have found it to be less effective recently, not sure if they’ve reformulated it.

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer – this was old and if I didn’t finish it myself, it was completely dried out. One of my first primers, I also own a full size but I just stopped wearing anything besides SPF for a while.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil Lightweight Texture – this was a nice oil, but seemed to still weight my hair down. I also thought it was annoying to have to shake it before using it, but that might not seem like as big of a deal in the full size packaging.

Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum – wow, eye cream takes forever to use! This was the first eye cream I really made an effort to use at least once a day. I’m not sure I really noticed any benefits as far as dark circles go, but it kept wrinkles at bay.

TokyoMilk Dark Handcreme in Tainted Love – really liked the scent and texture of this handcreme.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox OIl – I didn’t really notice any benefits from using this, though it did soak in nicely.I didn’t like the scent of it at all though, it smelled like.. greenery?

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub – this smelled like the Suki exfoliating scrub to me, kind of lemony sweet. It had a creamier texture though, while the Suki is foaming. Overall, it was a nice scrub!

BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara – this was a tiny little sample that I’ve used a few times, so I’m counting it as done. Awful brush, I would never buy it. Can’t really comment on the formula but it didn’t seem to be smudgy.. if any even made it onto my lashes.

Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser – I didn’t really notice any effect on my pore size, but it was a nice simple cleanser.


Aveeno Nourish + Strengthen Shampoo and Conditioner – I got a lot of compliments the day I used this combination. I liked the way my hair felt, though I think it wasn’t quite nourishing enough for my bleached ends.

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Shampoo and Conditioner – left my hair feeling weighed down, but also moisturized.

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Reconstructing Butter – I used this with a tea tree shampoo I found to be drying, and it was a nice balance.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Total Care Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner – I received 7 of these shampoo/conditioner foil sets as a week long challenge to try the product. While it’s a nice product, my hair seems to feel greasy a lot earlier in the day than usual.

Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo – exactly what it says, a gentle shampoo. Nothing special.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner – definitely made my hair feel thicker, but also made it seem like it was more of an effort to style.

Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-minute Mask – Nice mask, I used this with the BB Gentle Shampoo and they worked well together.

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea See the Difference Serum – I didn’t really notice any difference in my skin while using this

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – I use as a toner or after another toner, depending on how my skin feels. I like the way my skin feels after using this, though sometimes I feel like it contributes to grease face later in the day.

BareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum – maybe I shouldn’t jump from serum to serum, because I find it really difficult to tell if there are any real benefits.. especially with the few days worth you get from foil samples.

Sheet Masks:

Pure Smile Placenta Essence Mask – one of the first sheet masks I’ve gotten and tried from Memebox, and I really like them. See my Memebox Special #38 My Mask Box post for more information.

Hanskin Hydro Sheet Mask – nice, calming mask, but felt like the essence was a bit stickier than others.

Shisheido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask – I was really excited to use this because Shisheido White Lucent products were my gateway to Sephora and higher end skincare. I could only keep the mask on for like 10 minutes though, my skin felt like it was on fire! I had to wash the essence off as well, my skin just kept getting redder and it’s not sensitive by any means.

insobeau Beauty Secret Step Up Bust Mask – See my Memebox Special #38 My Mask Box post for my review on this bust mask.

Tosowoong Help Me Neck Patch – See my Memebox Special #38 My Mask Box post for my review on this neck mask.


Origins Brighter by Nature SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer – the scent of this always threw me, and it wasn’t the best for my oily skin so I just used it in the winter. I pulled it out to use now that the weather is getting cold, and it had separated. Seems to be discontinued by Origins as well.

Biosilk Volumizing Therapy Texturizing Powder – I gave this a few tries, but just couldn’t get it to work without my hair just feeling either sticky or dirty.

Cailyn Gel Eyeliner in Iron – this was great in the beginning, but quickly dried out. I’m not sure why I still held on to it, but into the trash it goes!

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer – pulled this out to use it from a travel bag, and it had separated.

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer – this was a nice primer, but I just neglected it for too long and it’s over 5 years old at this point.

Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in Black Ice – I used this as my main mascara for a month, but just didn’t feel like it did anything for me. I have enough mascara samples to let it go.

Clinique Lip Palette – this is probably a decade old, and just needed to go. I don’t know why I still had it.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple – this wasn’t much of a balm, and extremely drying. I have so many better red lippies, and it just seemed to be too dry to keep using to bother holding on to longer.

Too Faced Lip Insurance – this deluxe sample is like 5 years old, and weirdly goopy now. Erring on the side of caution and throwing away.

I feel like November was a great month for empties after having a couple lackluster ones. Quite a few items that I had been using daily finally hit the can, and I cleared out quite a few trash items that had been laying around for far too long. I have a tendency to hoard (including empty packaging!) so throwing things away really is a big thing for me.