I used to spend money. A lot of money. It was money that I didn't have, and it went toward things that I didn't need.
I had a wake-up call, as many of us have during the last few years given the ECONOMIC CRISIS, and now I'm sticking to a budget. Mostly. I'm not going to tell you that it's easy, but so far it's been working for me. I've been tracking all of my bills, spending, and income with Google calendar. It's not the most advanced system, but I like being able to see everything laid out day-by-day, what I spend when and where, when bills will be withdrawn, and when I'm getting paid.
I will say of my prior spending: It was fun while it lasted. One of my favorite ways to indulge was to get a manicure and pedicure. It wouldn't be unusual for me to go once or twice a month. When it comes down to spending that money now, I've several better places for it to go. (Mostly it goes into my belly, and I'm very happy with that.) Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't not buy fancy groceries before, I just would do that AND get manicures. AND buy coffee out everyday. AND pick up a cute pair of flats because they were a good deal, I mean, it's only $25, right? Except that it all adds up.
That being said, it still feels really luxurious, like I'm living la bonne vie, when I'm well groomed. Two of the areas that I think make the biggest difference (besides general hygiene) are eyebrows and fingernails. These are also two of the things that GASP! I've started doing myself.
I'm certainly no professional, but with practice I've grown proficient in both areas. (I think.)
Here are some of the products I used in my last manicure, SpaRitual Instinctual Organic Moisturizing Lotion, butter LONDON Horse Power Nail Strengthener, butter LONDON All Hail the Queen enamel, butter LONDON Hardwear P.D. Quick Top Coat, and Sinful Colors Quick Dry. After removing old polish, I used a cuticle remover cream (be natural cuticle eliminator) and pushed back the cuticles. Then I washed my hands and dried them thoroughly before polishing with base coat, two coats of enamel, and top coat. I followed up with a swipe of Quick Dry. Once nails were dry, I used a ton of lotion and cuticle oil (Nail-Aid Cuticle Cure).
And, since Ulta is currently having a buy two get one free on butter LONDON nail polishes, I thought I'd show you my new favorite neutral.
Photos don't really do it justice (or at least my photos) as this taupe has a fine, holographic shimmer that makes it remarkable.
All Hail the Queen!
Methinks I should have gotten a picture before it started chipping? Although, after four days of wear, this isn't too bad.
It's only my first butter LONDON manicure, but so far I love the formula (thin, but good coverage in two coats), and the durability is on par with most polish in this price range.
That being said, I'll probably only buy it on sale, because that's the economically responsible thing to do.
(butter LONDON is a 3-Free/non-toxic English brand of polishes and nail treatments. More information available on their site here. Be sure to check out their dictionary for a fun explanation of polish names, lest you be confused and think the name 'Bluey' comes from the color being blue.)