Monday, January 20, 2014

My Husband's Current Favorites

It's a common thing to see on YouTube; each month, we share our favorite products, whether it's makeup, toiletries, books, etc.  However, there is quite a void when it comes to men's products.  Men just aren't natural sharers when it comes to, well, anything, and they're certainly not going to go on the internet and announce to the world what their favorite soap is.  I think most men would like to pretend that they don't use any grooming products at all, that they shave with a straight-edged razor and shower in a glacial waterfall.

My darling husband, however, has absolutely no problem sharing his deepest, darkest secrets, at least as far as toiletries are concerned.  Well, as long as he doesn't have to go on YouTube to do it.  So, in the interests of educating husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, brothers and good friends everywhere, here is the list of what my husband uses and why.

Actually, before we get to the product part, I need to disclose what sort of skin Mr. Goldgirl has.  He has VERY oily skin, to the point that I wish he would use some sort of mattifying product (no luck there).  However, he rarely breaks out, and he has the sensitivity of a rhinoceros.  He is also completely wrinkle free at the ripe old age of almost 43. So he must be doing something right!

OK, here's the rundown:

In the shower, he starts off his routine by exfoliating his beard/shaving area with the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System.  He absolutely swears by this as the reason he hasn't broken out in months and for his extremely close shave (I can vouch for the smoothness of his face).  This product was actually sent to ME for review but he commandeered it and he's not giving it back.  He's already gone out and stocked up on the replacement pads.  It's a very similar device to the Clarisonic, in that it vibrates and doesn't spin, but it doesn't have a brush head.  Instead, the Neutrogena Microdermasion System uses flat, slightly rough discs that have some sort of cleansing agent with anti-aging properties built into them.  Neutrogena recommends using each disc only once but I know my husband uses one per week.  Even though the directions instruct use one to three times a week, my darling uses it every single day.

After he sloughs off the top layer of skin, it's time for shampoo and conditioner.  His oily skin also translates into oily hair, so he's a big fan of anything minty.  He's currently using American Crew Citrus Mint Shampoo and RenPure Solutions Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner.  Mr. Goldgirl believes that mint is somehow more effective against oil than other options.  Again, not sure if he's right, but his hair always looks great.

Still in the shower, he now reaches for a recent favorite-Boots No. 7 Men's Energizing Face Scrub.  However, instead of scrubbing his face (how much exfoliating can one person do?!), he uses it as a shaving cream.  He uses the Gilette Fusion Power Razor in the shower, and then touches up any spots he missed once he's out of the shower.

Now on to the "in front of the sink routine", as he calls it.  First, he towel dries his hair and then applies a small amount of the One n Only Argan Oil to his damp hair and combs it through using a detangling comb.  If he has any skin irritation, he uses Bump Patrol as an aftershave.  Then, he dries his hair using the Conair Infiniti 3-in-1 Styler.  It's an oddly shaped hair dryer that comes with various brush and comb attachments. He uses the brush attachment, and once dry, if his hair is a bit frizzy, he'll follow up with a bit more of the Argan Oil.

To make sure he doesn't stink during the day (which is something we can all appreciate), he uses Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance deodorant.  I just found out that it also comes in an antiperspirant, which he will find in his medicine cabinet tomorrow!  Then comes my favorite part-cologne!  Mr. Goldgirl has been using Royall Muske cologne since our dating days, and it is still my all time favorite scent for a guy.  It's just amazing.  I wish there was a women's version of it.

That's all he does as far as personal grooming goes (well, he does brush his teeth, but that's not too exciting).  He doesn't even wash his face at night.  I know this might seem like a lot for a guy, but considering who he shares the bathroom with, I think that he's using just the right amount of products.  Let me know what the guy in your life uses, and I'd love to hear if you've convinced any of them to give my guy's products a try!

Products mentioned: (click on the picture to take you to a new page where you can purchase these items, or at least see where they're sold.  You can scroll through to see them all.  And yes, they're affiliate links, which means I make a very small commission if you decide to use that link to buy them)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shall we...shellac?

If you're a regular viewer of my YouTube channel, or you read my previous blog post on my favorite Zoya nail polishes, then you know I have a thing for doing my nails.  I love changing my nail polish to suit my mood, my outfit, or to show my team spirit.  I'm also pretty rough on my nails/hands-I wash a lot of dishes, wipe down a lot of counters, and I'm a bit of a klutz.  This means that you can find me painting my nails at least one or two times a week, if not more.  While I enjoy the "me time", I found that no matter what I did, my nails wouldn't grow past a certain point, and that they still broke quite frequently, not to mention that they would chip more often than I'd like because I am always banging my hands into something.

Early last year I decided to give the gel nail, or "shellac' nails, a try.  I used to have acrylic nails for years, but I didn't like the time commitment involved (you HAVE to go every two weeks, and it's impossible to do them at home), the cost, how thick it looked on my nails or the fact that it totally destroys your natural nail.  Getting shellac on your nails is a time commitment and there is a cost involved, but it looks so much more natural and is quite a bit less damaging to your nails.  After going to the salon a few times to have it done, I realized that it isn't difficult to do at home, and after the initial expense of the light box and the basic products, it's not that expensive.

I'm not going to do a visual step by step process on how to do it, although I do discuss the steps in the video above.  Basically, if you know how to polish your own nails, then you can do shellac on your own.  It does take some practice to get down the technique, especially how close to get it to the edge of your nails and how thin to make the layers, but after a few times, it really doesn't take much time at all. 

The main reasons that I have chosen to continue to shellac my nails are these: I love how "strong" it makes my nails (at least while the shellac is on) and it allows whatever regular polish I put on top to stay put perfectly until I decide to take it off.  I use the shellac as more of an industrial strength base coat than for color.  I have an almost clear shellac polish, which I use as a base coat under my regular nail polish.  When I'm ready to change out the color, I just use a non-acetone based nail polish remover, and it doesn't affect the shellac underneath.  I can usually go at least two weeks before I need to do the shellac, sometimes even longer.

I will say that the one area that needs improvement is the UV light box.  I don't like the continual exposure to UV lights, even for that short amount of time.  All told, it's about 10 minutes of exposure every 2-3 weeks, but that's more than I want.  I do slather on sunscreen on my hands before I start my little manicure process, but I also hate just sitting still under the lamp.  There is an alternative-the LED light box.  Aside from it being safer to use than the UV lights, it's also tremendously faster.  Nails dry in 20 seconds instead of 2 minutes!  Up until recently the cost was prohibitive, but prices have come down and I think that a new purchase is in my future.  

I was able to buy everything I need to do my at home manicures at Sally's, but I have found there are also a lot of options online, especially on Amazon.  I'd love to hear from you as to where you get your supplies, and any tips you'd like to share on doing your nails at home!

Products mentioned:
ASP UV Light *
ASP Mini LED Curing Lamp *
Gelish Basix Kit *
Gelish Soak Off Gel Nail Polish *
Beauty Secrets Pure Acetone *
Blue Cross Cuticle Remover *
Zoya Remove Plus Polish Remover:
Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat *
Hands Down Soak-Off Gel Nail Wraps *
Gelish Wrap It Off Foil Wrap Removal System * (similar to CVS wraps)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Current Zoya Nail Polish Favorites

One of the most frequent requests I get is for a list of my favorite Zoya nail polishes.  So, just in time to help you with your shopping list for Zoya's annual "Color Your World" sale (where you get 3 nail polishes for $12, including shipping), here is a list of my current 32 favorites, along with my personal wish list of another 17 shades.

Before I get on with the list, I need to remind you that my personal preference for nail polish is a fully opaque, cream finish.  I'm also heavily into the more neutral colors like nude, silver, gold, grey, taupe, and girly colors in pink, purple, and pastel blues and greens.  I am not excellent at describing colors, finishes, or taking pictures, so I borrowed heavily from Zoya's website.  All pictures below were copied from After you read this post, I strongly urge you to visit their site.  If Zoya hasn't already won an award for the most informative and well-designed beauty related website, they should.  You'll find everything you need to know about their products there.  FYI-there are no affiliate links on this post and all polish names/descriptions are UNDER each picture.

My Favorite Neutrals:

If there's one thing Zoya does better than anyone else, it's a nude nail polish.  They have perfected a shade for every skin tone on earth, from full-coverage to sheer and everything in between.  While it's hard to narrow down the field, I chose my most worn shades and threw in a few neutrals as well.
Taylor-a full coverage, opaque, light toffee cream nude

Jacqueline-a full coverage, opaque creamy beige nude
Shay-an opaque, light peach nude with a slight silver shimmer.  This is one of my most worn shades, perfect for any occasion.
Godiva-a Pixie Dust shade, the ultimate neutral soft nude with a matte sparkle finish and one of my top 5 favorites.
Tomoko-another Pixie Dust polish, but a bit brighter than Godiva with a champagne/silver matte sparkle finish
    Jules-a light taupe polish with a gold, silver and champagne metallic shimmer

Pasha-a taupe/beige opaque nude with silver frost and micro glitter.  One of my top 5 shades.

My Favorite Silver/Grey/White/Black Polishes:
I wasn't sure how to title this category.  I personally think these colors are quite neutral and go with everything.
    Purity-everyone needs one pure white cream polish, and this is the one you should own
Dove-a fully opaque, glossy finish light grey cream
    Raven-the most luscious, satiny black with an almost indiscernible silver shimmer. This is the most wearable black shade I've ever seen.
    Trixie-another one of my most worn shades, it is a fully opaque, light silver with a sparkling metallic foil finish.  A perfect party shade.
    London-a fog grey Pixie Dust with a matte sparkle finish

My Favorite Pinks/Purples:
These run the gamut from the palest of pinks to the deepest purples...
    Shelby-cherry blossom pink, with an opaque cream finish
    Petra-a dusky grey/purple cream, full coverage polish.  Another of my top picks.
    Monica-a blue-toned deep plum
    Stevie-light violet matte sparkle polish (Pixie Dust)
    Toni-oxblood, raisin/wine, full coverage cream polish
    Yana--a geranium pink, full coverage opaque cream
    Lara-a fully opaque, bright magenta/rose pink cream polish

    Charisma-a great summer shade (or on toes year round), a neon magenta/purple cream finish that dries to a matte finish but can be made glossy with a top coat.

    Jaime-a pale milky rose pink with lilac and pink pearl duo chrome

My Favorite Reds/Oranges:
Vanessa-a beautiful berry red, the first red I've truly loved and worn often
America-the perfect pin-up shade, a classic tomato red cream finish
    Thandie-a bright citrus orange full coverage cream

My Favorite Blues and Greens:
    Blu-a full coverage, opaque baby blue
    Neely-a full coverage, glossy opaque mint green
    Nyx-a periwinkle/grey matte sparkle (Pixie Dust)

    Rocky-almost Tiffany blue in person,a bright robin's egg blue cream
    Skylar-a medium steel blue with gold and silver shimmer
Sailor-a classic dark blue/navy cream polish    
Hunter-the perfect forest (or hunter) green, full coverage cream
Gemma-the shade that started off my obsession with Zoya.  It's an olive green polish with blue and violet duo chrome.  I've never seen another polish like it.

My Wish List:
You'll probably notice that there aren't many choices from the newer collections.  I love so many from those, but the ones I've chosen are "old friends" that I've worn many, many times.  Of course, even with the dozens of Zoya polishes I already have, there are still quite a few that are on my wish list.  I'm trying to expand my range of colors a bit, and also get a few shades that go "just right" with that perfect outfit.  I'm not going to get all seventeen, but here is my wish list (no descriptions this time):














So there you have it, my current favorites and a few hopeful new ones.  I'd love to hear from you-what are your top picks?  What do you think I've left out that is a must have?  Which shades are you going to order during the Color Your World sale?