NAILS | Cadillacquer Stygian and Spiders #CBBxManiMonday

 Cadillacquer Stygian and Spiders

Purchased by me

Last week was a rough one for me as in addition to worrying like crazy about the kitties, we have been preparing and then doing Inventory which has led to a few 14 hour days and my going to bed much earlier than usual! Luckily, it looks like the kitties are more tolerant of each other though we still separate them if we are not around to supervise as Huxley can get super intense and likes charging at Harper to play. I feel like I will still be playing catch up on things (if I ever do) for awhile. The motivation to blog and get out content has become increasingly less important since Hugo died and I have allowed myself to live in this blogging funk and just post what I have the energy for. Nails and skincare seem to be it and while I do miss my makeup posts, I can never bring myself to put in the hours of work for a makeup look that I used to.  

SKINCARE | Dermabeam Pro LED Light Therapy for the Skin

Dermabeam Pro LED Light Therapy for the Skin

This is a sponsored post.

Phototherapy has become more popular in skin and healthcare resulting in collagen production, acne treatment, reducing inflammation and even increasing brain function (Naeser et al, Oct 2022)! There was a time when I thought LED light therapy was only going to be available at a medispa or at an insanely expensive price point. For awhile, getting your hands on one those fancy LED light masks was pricey and from what I had read and even just by visual inspection, the masks looked heavy and uncomfortable.  While I love my skincare devices, I didn't want to invest in something that would be expensive and uncomfortable to use so getting the chance to try out the Dermabeam Pro was honestly something I was excited to experience and review!

NAILS | Jack O' Lanterns #CBBxManiMonday

Jack O' Lantern Nail Art
Press sample

We have had our new kitty Huxley for about a week now and it has been...a challenge getting him integrated into our home and not because he doesn't want to be part of it! He was rarin' to leave the bathroom and see the rest of our space within 48 hours, but our resident princess Harper has been less than pleased with this new young boy in her space. While I thought she was needing someone to play with, it seems she finds young Huxley a bit annoying so we have been trying to get them to play together. She seems to be hissing at him a little less now, but if he charges at her or gets too close, she hisses at him. She also hissed at him from super far away when he got really excited over a paper bag so I think she just hisses whenever she doesn't like noise or sudden movements. She does this with my husband's shoes too if they are too big. He once had MukMuk slippers and she found those terrifying! I am hoping things get better between the two of them as we only adopted Hux as a companion for Harper. We are still grieving Hugo though it helps a bit that Hux looks a lot like him. 

SHEET MASK | Toy Story Trio of Masks from Japan!

Toy Story Sheet Mask Review

Purchased by a friend

I have really great clients and the ones I have gotten to know really well over the years are well aware of my love of skincare and sheet masks. One of my clients had gone to Japan and brought me back a couple of Japanese skincare must-haves as well as these Toy Story sheet masks! She had mentioned that she bought them because the packaging was super cute and we hoped that the actual masks would be too! 

NAILS | Mustard Dots #CBBxManiMonday

Fall Nail Art

Press samples

This past weekend has been a bit of a blur as we picked up our kitty, Huxley, on Saturday morning! He is a very shy boy so he is still living in the bathroom (though he escaped to our bedroom briefly!). He has tried a few times to leave, but Harper is hissing at him which is freaking him out. She hissed at Hugo too, but he just ignored her. Unfortunately, Hux is far too docile so he just retreats back to his cat carrier when she hisses. He also meowed ALL NIGHT in the bathroom at the top of his lungs so we barely got any sleep. How can cat vocal chords not get tired?? I am glad I did my nails ahead of time because I had ZERO energy to do anything this weekend after the long drive to pick him up, making sure he was ok and then listening to him sing all night.

SHEET MASK | Dr. Althea Natural Brightening Velvet Mask

Dr. Althea Natural Brightening Velvet Mask

Purchased by me

The FaceTory subscription used to include sheet masks from all different brands which I loved. Now, FaceTory has eliminated all third party brands and their subscription solely focuses on their house brand which is quite nice, but the main reason I liked the subscription was to discover fantastic sheet mask brands like Dr. Althea! This brand has won me over with their packaging (whether it's square or rectangular), their unique ingredients and the way their masks fit.

SHEET MASK | The Creme Shop Keroppi Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask

The Creme Shop Keroppi Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask
Purchased by me

I remember when I first saw these The Creme Shop x Sanrio sheet masks launch a few years ago and I bought every single one from The Creme Shop website because at the time they were limited edition. Fast forward to now when the Sanrio line is part of the normal collection and I needn't have rushed to purchase them like a crazy person. I am glad the masks are here to stay as they are among the cuter printed masks on the market! Keroppi is one of my favourite Sanrio characters and he "lives on the edge of Donut Pond, the largest and bluest pond around". When I was a teenager, Keroppi and Bad Badtz Maru were like my spirit animals so it feels nice to still have them around in some form as an almost 40 year old woman!

NAILS | Candy Corn Gradient 2022 Version #CBBxManiMonday

Candy Corn Nail Art
Press sample

I totally did not realize that today was actually Thanksgiving (it kind of crept up on us don't you think?) so I didn't think to do Turkey nails, but here we are with an updated version of candy corn nails instead! The last time I did candy corn nails was almost 10 years ago in 2013 the month of our wedding! I had done them as a tutorial post for another "supposedly bigger" blog which in retrospect was probably not the best decision as this was a time where I was"ok" with doing a ton of work for "exposure" instead of what I really should have asked for, which was MONEY. When I started receiving nail polish PR on my own, the person behind this blog (who was in PR themselves), accused me of using PR that was meant for their content for my own since they were the one who "passed my name along". I had emails to prove that these companies never had my name on their press lists until I emailed them myself. In the end, the relationship died out and I never heard from this person again nor did I ever see their name pop up in the PR world, so know your worth people!

SHEET MASK | Special Edition Mary Kay 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask

Special Edition Mary Kay 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask
Press sample

I am so glad sheet masks are still in because even though I have far too many for any human, my eyes still light up when I see a new mask being released! I was not expecting Mary Kay to create another sheet mask as their biocellulose one is QUITE nice, but I welcomed with open arms the new special edition 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask which is one of those "poppable" masks to ensure the freshest mask possible!

NAILS | Tiny Skeleton Bones #CBBxManiMonday

 Skeleton Nail Art

Press sample

After more than 10 years of doing Halloween nail art, I honestly feel like I am redoing things I have done before and that's ok since my skills 10 years ago are not the same as they are now! There are always some basic designs that I feel need to be done every year like the pumpkins, spiders and blood, but I am going to see if I can try some different things or improve upon older manicures. This year, I happen to have very looooong coffin-like nails so I wanted to take advantage of the length and when I found these tiny skeleton nails from @kuypernailart, I knew I was off to a good start! The bones were a bit intricate to draw, but I think it turned out really well!

SHEET MASK | Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Face Mask

Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Face Mask
Press sample

I talked about Skin Republic at the beginning of this year (my how time has flown) and have been sitting on the review of this Retinol Hydrogel Mask because the "incubation time" on the face is almost an hour! Though I leave on my sheet masks for longer than the usual 15-20 minutes, the recommended 40 minutes for this hydrogel mask seemed just a touch too long. 

NAILS | OPI Infinite Shine Don't Wait. Create. Swatch and Catch Up

OPI Infinite Shine Don't Wait. Create. Swatch
Press sample

I haven't been good about doing "Five on Friday" posts and maybe it's time to start again because I have allowed myself to let everything go since Hugo died almost 2 months ago. These last few days, things have started to feel fresh again and it has brought me back to those moments of aching sadness where I just cannot believe he is gone. Harper is lonely now, it is evident in the change in her behaviour so we have started poking around local shelters to see if there might be a suitable cat buddy for her. Preferably a younger male kitty who can keep her on her toes as she likes to play and chase. The search is something that makes me feel sad, but at the same time I feel like having a second cat in the house will help us move forward with our grief.