Lauren

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Hey beauties! September is almost here and besides dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes (ok- pumpkin everything) and fashion week, that means one thing: it’s time to go BACK TO SCHOOL! While it’s a no brainer that nails go side by side with your hair, makeup and outfit for that first day back, it can be tricky to nail down the perfect (Instagram-worthy) look.

To help you decide, I teamed up with Sally Hansen to create four, super easy nail looks! I used shades from their Miracle Gel line to ensure long-lasting, gel-like shine – easily removed with regular nail polish remover, which basically means less stress for you!  The zero-light Miracle Gel system takes only two easy steps to create super chip-resistant colour that can last up to two weeks! The brushes are amazing and align perfectly with your cuticle making any clean up virtually unnecessary. Also, did you know that Canada has over 70 shades of Miracle Gel? Trust me, you’ll never get bored – the nail art possibilities are endless!

In order to cater to everyone’s taste, there are two looks for those of you who don’t want to let summer go, and two looks for those of you who can’t wait for fall:

For the fall lover: PLAID NAILS

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You can never go wrong with plaid nails! It’s been a go-to of mine at this time of the year for as long as I can remember. Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Midnight Mod and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Using a striping brush apply two horizontal lines using Off With Her Red, let dry and repeat vertically on each nail creating your plaid design
3) Seal in for gel-like shine with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat making sure to cap the tips

For the fashionista: NEGATIVE SPACE NAILS

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Burgundy nails are always classy and when you add a negative space concept it becomes ultra vampy (+ it won’t stain your cuticles when removing)! Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Wine Stock, leaving a bare half-moon near your cuticles and let dry for 5 minutes – you can use a striping brush to achieve this as well
2) Seal in and cap the tips with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat 

To make this look really stand out, you can apply a coat of Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat for an ultrachic velvety smooth look (see below). Apply the Big Matte Top Coat over Miracle Gel Top Coat to ensure that your mani lasts up to 14 days

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For the girly-girl: GRADIENT NAILS

Miracle Gel x Sugar Rush Pinky Promise
For those of you who aren’t ready to let summer go, this soft gradient is a must. These Pantone inspired shades will make sure you stay stylish in 2016. Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Get Mod (while this is optional, a white base will always help a gradient look pop) and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Layer Sugar Fix and Pinky Promise on a makeup sponge side by side vertically and repeat until sponge is covered
3) Dab sponge onto your nail until fully covered with colour
4) Finally, seal in your gradient for long-lasting shine with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and cap the tips

For the minimalist: STRIPED NAILS

Miracle Gel x Prince CharMint Mauveolous
This look is so chic and easy, it’s sure to be foolproof for nail art beginners! Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of shade Prince Char-Mint (NEW from their Royal Splendor Collection) and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Using a striping brush, or toothpick, create a horizontal line above the cuticle on each nail using Mauve-olous, (also from the NEW Royal Splendor Collection)
3) For an ultra-plush finish, seal in with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, making sure to cap the tips

These are just some of my favourite back to school nail looks, I tried to keep them simple, well-rounded and easy to re-create. I know not everyone wants to paint rulers, school supplies or apples on their nails for back to school. If you prefer going with a solid colour, check out these shades from the Sally Hansen Plaid City Fall 2016 Collection:

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Shade names from L to R TOP to BOTTOM: Off With Her Red, Midnight Mod, Cream Of The Crop, Wine Stock

My tips? Make sure your nails are completely dry and bare before starting; I like to use a quick swipe of nail polish remover to help ensure this. If doing a gradient design, you can apply liquid-latex or tape to the area surrounding your nail so clean up will be easier.

I hope that these looks have helped inspire you guys! I know that this time of year is already stressful enough without worrying about how you’re going to style your nails.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polishes retail at $11.95 CAD at drug and mass retailers across Canada. Be sure to check out Sally Hansen Canada and @sallyhansenca for more information and endless nail inspiration.

What will your back to school nails look like? Let me know in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram (@laurenslist) I love to see your looks!

♡ Lauren

*Post kindly sponsored by SALLY HANSEN CANADA. All opinions are always my own*

Attention Canadian babes! If you’re an OPI fiend like me, then today is your lucky day. I’ve teamed up with OPI Canada to celebrate their 35th Anniversary by giving THREE lucky winners the chance to win an INCREDIBLE bundle of THIRTY FIVE iconic shades!!

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You will also receive one of these super cute tank tops (shown below) which, if you don’t win, will also be available as a gift with purchase at Hudson’s Bay stores with the purchase of any 2 OPI products at regular price from August 22nd to September 11th. Yes, at long last OPI products are finally available at Hudson’s Bay in store and thebay.com in Canada! The tank tops come in three different shade names; Mod About YouMy Chihuahua Bites and I’m Not Really A Waitress.

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The tank tops are available in sizes small and medium, I wear a size small and find that they are fitted but very comfortable and stretchy. 🙂

This amazing giveaway will take place on Instagram starting today (August 18, 2016) until Sunday (August 21, 2016) here are the rules:

  1. Make sure you’re following me and OPI Canada on Instagram and like this post
  2. Tag 2 friend in the comments of this post and let me know your favourite OPI shade
  3. Open to Canadian residents only, must be 18 years or older
  4. Contest ends August 21 at 11:59pm and winners will be announced the following morning

Good luck!! Feel free to use #OPI35xHBC to share your favourite shades and be sure to keep up with OPI Canada herehere and here.

♡ Lauren

Hi my OPI lovers! I finally got my hands on the OPI Fall/Winter 2016 Washington DC Collection for y’all. Excited? I know I am! As you may already know, this collection was designed with their new Creative Ambassador, Kerry Washington. It includes the usual 12 shades plus 3 Special Limited-Edition Kerry Washington shades; making it a grand total of 15!

 

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“The Washington DC palette delivers a dramatic, sophisticated spin on classic fall hues. From the authorative red of Madam President to the treasury-worthy deep olive of Suzi – The First Lady of Nails, OPI boldly casts its ballot for color pure and powerful. Fashion-forward lush green Stay Off the Lawn!! adds a jolt of power to fall looks, while (air) traffic-stopping yellow Never Dulles a Moment curries favour with movers and shakers. As a bonus, three limited-edition coors bear Kerry Washington’s stylish imprimatur.” OPI PR Press Release

Ok BRB gotta go binge-watch Scandal!

No but seriously, these shades just scream fall and with gorgeous, bold crème formulas I think you’re gonna love ’em.

Let’s get down to swatching shall we?

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Stay Off the Lawn!! Don’t trespass on this deep, lush green. Two super easy, super creamy coats for this beauty. She did need a top coat for extra shine but guess what? No staining upon removal!

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Never a Dulles MomentA curry yellow seen on airport and fashion week runways. Three thin coats to level out. Gorgeous mustard yellow… and we all know by now that I love a great yellow. Love!

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Yank My DoodleGet a tawny copper mani and call it macaroni. Ugh. Colour is gorgeous, but the formula is a bit too jelly for my liking. Three thicker coats for this one. Also, I don’t have any dupes for this shade in my collection.

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Squeaker of the HouseA chocolate brown so yummy, it crosses party lines. This is the exact type of fall shade that I love, a muted brown. Three easy coats. I could’ve stopped at two, I swear she was perfectly even and opaque but I just couldn’t resist plumping her up a bit more.

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Madam PresidentA commanding red with real Oval Office power. Hmm, to me this shade falls into the berry family and not red at all. Either way the formula is AMAZING and I am obsessed. One coater right here y’all! The only downside is that she’ll stain if you twist while removing.

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We the FemaleYou are hereby authorized to wear this empowering garnet. Now this is a true garnet shade. Gorgeous, creamy and opaque in ONE coat. No complaints. 🙂

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Suzi – The First Lady of NailsCommand the political scene in this chic olive. Semi-sheer with one coat, opaque with two.

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Pale to the ChiefSo nearly nude, it’s almost scandalous.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  There is very a very fine iridescence throughout this one- perfectly opaque with two easy coats. Obsessed.

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Freedom of PeachWearing this creamy peach is your fashion right. This is exactly how I would describe a peach shade made for fall; Peachy? Yes. Dusty? You bet. Two quick coats will leave you with this extremely creamy goodness.

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Shh…It’s Top Secret!A deep, deep brown so dark, it’s incognito. Again, I wouldn’t exactly call this brown but I’ll take it! Opaque in two coats.

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OPI By Popular Vote It’s a landslide victory! This cool apple red is a real winner. A real winner indeed! One coat of berry perfection.

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CIA = Color is AwesomeA smart, dusky blue for secret agent fashionistas. Ugh. Swoon! I absolutely adore shades like this! So pigmented and complete coverage in one coat. Yes, yes, yes!!

…and finally, the three Special Limited-Edition Kerry Washington shades:

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Kerry Blossom – Accomplished stateswoman love this plum with capital flair. By far my favourite in the collection. She is so, so, sooooo pretty!

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“Liv” in the Gray –  This edgy, sophisticated dark gray makes a strong federal case. Another gorgeous one coater right here! In love!

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Inside the ISABELLEtway – Washington’s movers-and-shakers vie for this caramel crème. Flawless with two coats.

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Overall, these formulas are ah-mazing and the shades are so spot on for fall! If you love crème polishes then this collection is definitely for you!

My picks? Kerry Blossom, “Liv” in the Gray and CIA = Color is Awesome.

My tips? Apply a ridge-filling base if your nails have bumps and grooves.

Availability? Select salons, The BayTrade Secretsnailpolishcanada.comulta.com …

The Kerry Washington DC Collection will be available in regular polish and GelColor starting August 2016. Don’t forget to check out OPI.com and @opi_products for more information and updates!

Now, you know I need to know- which shades are you most excited for!?

♡ Lauren

*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*

The essie neons are back and they are bolder and brighter than ever! Although you still have to use that darn white base to make them pop, I can’t really complain in comparison to last years “neon” collection.

I’m not usually a neon polish fan but they pair so perfectly with a tan in the summer that I can hardly resist (I usually opt for a neon pedi). Let’s check out the press release:

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‘the fuchsia of art’ rich, vivid magenta – What you see here, my friends, is three coats of colour PLUS two coats of ‘prime & pop’ as a base. Are the results pretty? Yes. Does the application process almost make it not worth the hassle? Yes. 🙁

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‘gallery gal’ vivacious coral pink – Okay, now this is what I’m talking about! So bright, so bold and completely opaque with one coat of colour (but don’t forget those two coats of ‘prime & pop’)! 😉 ‘gallery gal’ is the type of shade that I can’t stop staring at, and oh so perfect for a beach pedi! LOVE!

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‘off the wall’ bombshell shocking pink – The formula on this one was great as well… but how many coats is too many? Shown here is two coats of ‘prime & pop’ and two coats of ‘off the wall’. She’s REALLY pretty though.

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‘mark on miami’ vibrant ember orange – I don’t know why but I love a good orange (and yellow) neon, and ‘mark on miami’ is just that! Another one coater and soooo so gorgeous!!

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‘stencil me in’ edgy citrus lime – LOVE!! I just can’t get enough… Seriously, I may have to hoard a couple of bottles. ‘stencil me in’ is an easy one coater and such a gorgeous yellow-lime for essie. No fuss with this formula. I am completely obsessed!

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‘in it to wyn it’ electric turquoise blue – probably my least favourite formula of the bunch, this applied streaky even after 4 coats- and that’s not even including the white base!

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What did you guys think? All in all, if you love neon polish there are definitely a few must-haves in this collection. Yes, the white base is a pain and so unnecessary when you compare it to other neon formulas such as China Glaze, but some of these shades are so vibrant and GORG that it’s so worth it. The only two that I really had a hard time applying were the blue and the purple. Oh yeah, expect tons of nail art from me using this collection, ‘stencil me in’ is everything!!

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My picks? ‘stencil me in’, ‘gallery gal’ and ‘mark on miami’.

My tips? Just like Karen from Beauty Geeks I love using RCM White Hot soak off polish as a base (although I didn’t here as I wanted to show you guys how ‘prime & pop’ works).

The essie neon 2016 collection will be available as of August 2016. Will you be picking them up?

♡ Lauren

*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*

Kat Burki is a line that I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about. A favourite among Victoria’s Secret models, Kat Burki’s products were developed with bio-processing technology to create nutritionally based beauty products that would challenge the status-quo. The prices are a bit steep but with quality ingredients like these, it’s well worth the price for healthy, glowy skin that starts from the inside.

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The Kat Burki Vitamin C Nourishing Cleansing Balm has quickly become a staple in my skin care ritual. I like to use this at night on dry skin to ensure my skin is fully cleansed, as balms are pretty heavy-duty compared to regular cleansers. My skin feels instantly fresh, plump, and hydrated- it has 15% Vitamin C to ensure a bright, even skin tone and seven bio-processed oils; coconut, sunflower, jojoba, rose hip seed, olive, avocado and cranberry seed. It honestly smells so good and I just can’t get enough! The texture is creamy and rich but after massaging it into my face it’s easy to wipe of with a face towel or simply warm water. I love the feeling of my skin after using this.. it feels ultra cleansed but hydrated at the same time.

I like to use the Kat Burki Balancing Elixir after the Cleansing Balm as it helps refresh and ensure the skin is fully cleansed (sometimes cleansing balm can leave a little residue on your skin). It claims to support natural collagen production while brightening and tightening the skin. I’ve been using it for a few months now and have noticed my skin looking brighter and slightly more even-toned.

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Finally, the Kat Burki Complete B Vital Hydration Mask is by far my favourite – it’s like hydrating magic in a tube! It uses pro B vitamins to improve the skin’s elasticity and encourage natural emollient production. I have super dry, dehydrated skin so I love to apply this at night and let it soak in while I sleep. When I wake up my skin is plump and my fine lines appear to be blurred. As you may know, I’m currently in the process of planning my wedding (check out my something blue above) and this mask will definitely be my go-to on my big day.

Kat Burki products are available at katburki.com and Murale, have any of you tried their products? If so, what are some of your favourites?

♡ Lauren
<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”>*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*</span>