Cuticle Care

e.l.f. Essentials Nourishing Cuticle PenParents always bestow valuable advice more often than not on deaf ears. My mother told me time and time again that the neck and hands age the fastest and the signs are hardest to reverse. It took a quarter of a century of hearing the advice for me to start listening. Take a quick look at a passerby older than you. You can definitely tell a woman in her fifties from a woman in her twenties by looking at their hands, despite how good the face or figure.

Taking care of the neck is still much of a secret to me (where is that magical pillow that will prevent creases on my neck and face when I sleep?), but taking care of the hands has been proven to be an easier task. Lotion often, keep the digits warm, and take good care of your cuticles.MyOwnJudgeA recent run to the dollar store in Manhattan (Jack’s 99 cent store) brought me face to face with a plethora of e.l.f. jewels (and yes they were all a dollar). I had tried a lot of the products before, so I took a gander at the nail category. Say hello to the e.l.f. Essentials Nourishing Cuticle Pen!MyOwnJudgeI’m used to cuticle pens coming with a brush applicator where you click the product out, like a lip gloss. Once the brush is full, you can apply it to several nails at a time before it runs out (your cuticle area isn’t that big surface area wise). The more rigid pen applicator on this one allows for it to be a cuticle pusher as well. This is a cool trick to get the oils to all parts of the cuticle as well – when you push, it will seep in a bit under the nail.
I have found that moisturizing the cuticles is the most optimal way to keep your nails looking great, prolonging your manicure, and keeping hangnails at bay. Cuticle care also prevents the hidden sting of wiping antibacterial lotion or alcohol on your hands (or nail polish remover when a manicure change is necessary).

On a side note: Remember that keeping hands at one warm temperature is best because of many reasons. First, it keeps the skin soft and supple. The varying temperatures may cause skin to crack, or worse, the blood vessels underneath to overreact (think about when your hands are freezing and turn splotchy when washing with warm water when inside). Also, when dry (can be from no moisturizing, but also very probable with cold) skin can crack and cause bleeding (then you have start the bacteria and germ worries). Preventing the skin from going back and forth between different stages is what also prevents wrinkles and aging – and you want to keep ’em guessing, don’t ya?

Back to the cuticle pen. There are no vices to think of.
It costs a dollar.
-It’s great for travel and doesn’t take up much space otherwise (stick it in your pen cup so that you can soften up after writing!).
-It has four natural oils to keep the cuticles soft.
-The pen doubles as a cuticle pusher.
-The applicator pen versus brush allows for less mess opportunity.

The only question now is how long it lasts, and if the applicator dries up after a time.

When moisturizing cuticles, my favorite times to do so are before going to sleep – wash your face, remove makeup (and contact lenses if you’re a wearer like me!), apply lotions and creams, then right before you hit the pillow, brush on some cuticle magic. By the time you start thrashing around, it’ll seep in. Another good time? Before you start a self manicure (when you go to a salon, they should apply it all the time). Brush it on and give it five minutes or so to completely dry. If not dry, the oils may keep the polish from adhering all the way at the area by the cuticle.

Check out this video from e.l.f. about the pen:
What do you use for your cuticles?

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Traveling with an e.l.f.

It’s hard enough for people visiting New York to pack enough. Scratch that. Anyone traveling has a case of the Iforgots. I have it each and every single time I travel. When I went to Barbados? I had a checklist of all the things to bring and still missed some pretty important things. How could I have missed bringing shorts when I was venturing to the Caribbean? Similarly, when I flew to Florida, how could I really arrive without shampoo, lotion, or hairspray? Was I traveling to somewhere prehistoric? Was Jetblue chartering time machines!? The hardest thing is looking at yourself in the mirror and admitting that you indeed forgot an essential. It’s all your fault. Unless you have a butler. Most of us don’t. If only someone counted on us to be harebrained and forgetful.

As of March 1st (mmmhmmmm today), all travelers heading to NYC staying at an Affinia location are privy to a complimentary e.l.f. emergency beauty kit.

E.L.F. Emergency Kit at Affinia

The e.l.f. emergency beauty kit includes:

Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 in Pink Kiss, contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers aren’t rude (okay, not all of us), so you’d be a smart petunia to have gloss to decorate that smile of yours – and SPF? Way ahead of the pack!
Slanted Tweezers, because there is an obsessive compulsive plucker in all of us that escapes when traveling and without a tweezer. I can safely admit that I have tried to remove hairs with the strength of my nails in such situations. Don’t judge.
Regular and Waterproof Mascara Duo, a swipe or two of mascara makes a gal look awake. As you know, the Big Apple doesn’t sleep – so go on and fool everyone!
Nail Polish Remover Pads, when the beauty supply stores are creeping up on you and the Sephora stores are as plentiful as Starbucks you may feel the urge to change up your polish, or go bare from the variety.
Eye Makeup Remover Pads, because what goes on must come off. Also because when you are not at home, you can’t reach for olive oil as a miracle cure.
Clear Nail Polish, stops stockings from ripping. Makes bare nails look uber chic and taken care of. Keeps nails from cracking or breaking (don’t believe me? Compare wearing clear polish to no polish for a week!).
Travel Hand Sanitizer, because a lot of sleepless New Yorkers make for a lot of grime and dirt. Oh, and the possibilities to grab a bite to eat on the corner of A and B are endless!

The super plus for me is that no one claims these babies back from you. You’re safe to tote this kit around as your save me super team until everything runs out. Then you might just have to return to New York. 🙂

All Affinia-stayers have to do is simply call or visit the front desk for a kit, no questions asked.

Having a beauty kit available for you at Affinia courtesy of e.l.f.? Super awesome.
Being able to land in NYC and ask the front desk “you got the goods?Priceless!!!

Participating Affinia locations include: Affinia Manhattan, Affinia Dumont Hotel, Affinia 50 Hotel, Affinia Gardens Hotel and Affinia Shelburne.

Do you travel with e.l.f.?

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With the ELF’s help…

ELF ConcealerNot long ago I found out that Santa isn’t the only one with an elf in his life. Already familiar with E.L.F cosmetics and their efforts to keep up with the demands of a beauty on a budget, I was unsure of how great they were with face products. Matching powder or shadow to your desires? Pretty easy, even if a bit tedious. Finding a good concealer? Now we talking tomfoolery.

I often have to find something that matches my skin tone but also does a great job at making the dark spots lighter. I want to do this without having ghostly circles around my eyes. So how could three buckaroos keep me satisfied?
The corrective concealer comes with four cream concealer shades, for reducing redness, dark circles, etc. Pocketbook friendly, this is a bit bigger than a credit card and probably as wide as a cellphone. Part of the studio line, it comes in new snazzy all black packaging.

From the site:

Conceals under-eye darkness, blemishes and other skin imperfections with customized coverage. Brightens under-eye circles and neutralizes redness. Convenient size for on-the-go travel.

Use the nude and beige shades to conceal problematic areas. Use the green shade to neutralize redness like that of acne and the lilac shade to brighten yellow tones.

ELF Concealer ELF Concealer
The studio packaging looks a lot like NARS.
ELF Concealer ELF Concealer
Left swatch with flash, right without. Click on images to see larger image(s).
ELF Concealer

The lighting in this photo isn’t as great as the following after pictures, but it shows the point. The only area I used the corrective concealer was around the eyes. This is my problem area and I normally don’t use concealer/foundation anywhere else. You can see that I have darker pigmentation on the lids, below the eyes, and on the sides of the nose (from wearing glasses and lack of sleep).

ELF Concealer ELF Concealer
Tada! If you’re not amazed with how great this works. That’s okay. I am. It’s pretty smooth with application and doesn’t take too much product to get the job done.

The negatives? This corrective palette does not work for all skin tones. I used the darkest shade on the right as a spot concealer for a FOTD for a friend (photos to come) and it worked, but the rest made her skin look ashy. Also, the concealer palette comes with a brush but you most definitely do not need it. Application with the brush will make you think the product is streaky and poor in quality, when in fact it’s not.

Use your fingers to determine the correct amount of product and pressure when applying.

The verdict? If it matches your skin this is the only one you need (and it costs less than a $5 footlong!).

Have you tried the E.L.F corrective concealer? Anything from their studio line? Let me hear it!

Disclaimer: This palette was purchased by the author. All reviews on MOJ remain unbiased and unpaid. For more info, feel free to contact the author.

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Some sales need more attention

Some sales just need to be announced over a loudspeaker. Remember E.L.F. – our fave cheap but great quality makeup brand? Well they are having a blowout sale of their refill shadows, glosses, & powders along with the compacts. How much of a sale? %75 off! That means the refills that cost $1 are now $.25!

I’m placing my order pronto, and you should too. Just click on the link and use code “EH75CE“. They also have free gift wrap and free shipping after $75. So you can get all your makeup gift shopping done right now.

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Way Overdue Contest Result!

So Miss B from Clumps of Mascara (love the site!) ran a contest about childhood memories and I was a runner up. My goodie package came in the mail last week and I couldn’t have been more excited. The best part? It had Maybelline Stiletto Lash which I was THIS close to purchasing at CVS and finally exhibited some self restraint. Good thing too!

She wrote DO NOT LEAVE AT DOOR just like I asked! (I live on the first floor and my neighbors can be thieves!)

Maybelline Stiletto Lash Mascara
N.Y.C. Lip Gloss
Revlon Nails
ELF shadow applicators

She had the cutest note card and business card attached. Absolutely made my day.

Review to follow!