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The Arsenal

The Arsenal – EOS Everyday Hand Lotion

By on August 23, 2011
in The Arsenal with 20 Comments

eos-everyday-hand-lotion-evolution-of-smooth I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

A couple years ago I was introduced to the EOS, or Evolution of Smooth, brand when its Shave Cream launched. I received a bottle in a gift bag at an event and since you can never have enough shave cream or body wash in your life, I gave it a try. Two years later, my cabinet is stocked with EOS Shave Cream. I even have the boyfriend hooked on it. The Vanilla Bliss is my jam!

Then there was a frenzy when the EOS Lip Balm Spheres came out and I stalked my Walgreens to get a three piece set. I love those little buggers.

Well now I have a new EOS favorite in the Everyday Hand Lotion. This flat, pocket-sized tube of lotion comes in two scents (floral & cucumber), is paraben, phthalate & lanolin free and does a fantastic job of moisturizing my parched hands without leaving them greasy. I keep a tube next to my laptop and never have to think twice about grabbing my mouse or tapping on my keyboard. You won’t be leaving marks or residue behind.

What’s even better is the size. The TSA friendly 1.5oz size means I have finally found a hand lotion I love that I can carry in my purse without worry of it being confiscated. Don’t tell but, I’ve been smuggling a big tube of my beloved Aruba Aloe lotion in my purse for years and, thankfully, haven’t been caught. Considering its cost and lack of availability I shouldn’t have been taking a chance. And now I don’t have to. Now if only the Shave Cream came in a travel size.

EOS Everyday Hand Lotion is available online at EvolutionofSmooth.com and at mass retailers nationwide including Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart. The 1.5oz tube retails for $2.49/ea.

Disclosure: A hand lotion product sample was sent by reps for EOS. I purchased the lip balm spheres and continue to purchase the shave cream myself. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

The Arsenal – Nubar Foundation Base Coat

nubar-foundation-base-coat I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

The bare bones basics of any good manicure is base coat, top coat and color.  I’ve shared with you one of my all-time fave top coats but I’ve never dedicated a post to base coats.  Obviously this is long overdue!

I’ve been a fan of CND Stickey for forever and a day.  I even posted about the “Stickey Sandwich” method back when ALU was just a baby.  However Stickey has a major competitor for the “holy grail” crown in Nubar Foundation Base Coat.

I’ve had bottles of Foundation Base Coat floating around the polish room for years now but it wasn’t until I ran out of Stickey that I discovered its magical powers.  It doesn’t dry tacky like Stickey or Orly Bonder but Foundation Base Coat grips on like glue.  I get amazing wear every time I use it.  And although it’s not a ridge filler, it provides a smooth surface for the polish to glide along even in spite of my less than stellar nail beds. I told you it was magic.

Nubar Foundation Base Coat can be purchased online from ByNubar.com for $6.99.  The shipping is steep though so I suggest banding together with some friends to hit the $75 limit for free shipping.

The Arsenal – Graham HandsDown Ultra Cosmetic Pads

By on June 5, 2010
in The Arsenal with 44 Comments

graham-handsdown-ultra-pads I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

A cotton pad is a cotton pad, right?  Not in my world.  For years I went the cheapo route buying whatever bulk cotton pads or balls where the least expensive even though I continued to be frustrated by the little pieces of lint left behind, the polish stains on my fingers and how easily they disintegrated.  Enter Graham HandsDown Ultra Nail and Cosmetic Pads.  To my nails, they’re like the air I breathe, ESSENTIAL!

What’s so fab about them?  For one, the plastic barrier and easy grip tab on the back of each pad.  I can easily remove polish from just one nail without messing up the rest of my manicure.  I can easily swatch polish without messing up a brand I’m testing on my non-swatching hand.

What else?  Well they are lint-free which is a HUGE plus and they hold remover well so you use less product.  With cotton pads, my fingers would end up wet which is bad for your skin and a waste.  Thanks to the plastic backing, they are also very sturdy so you can remove polish from multiple nails without them falling apart.

Grahams HandsDown Ultra Pads can be purchased in a 60 ct package at Sally Beauty for $4.99 ($4.49 with Sally Card) or do what I do and order the big 240 ct bag from Head2ToeBeauty.com for $12.95.

Compared to drugstore brand cotton balls they are a bit pricey but considering you only need 1 or 2 per manicure, it’s worth the cost.

How many of you are HandsDown Ultra converts?  Do you agree that they’re worth the extra coin?  What’s your favorite nail polish remover pad?

The Arsenal – Olan Quick & Slick Top Coat

By on October 15, 2009
in Big 3 Free, The Arsenal with 21 Comments

I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

For as long as I can remember, Seche Vite and Poshe have been staples in my top coat collection. When it comes to quick dry, they are the gold standard BUT (and that’s a very big “but”) the major complaint has always been the thick, tricky-to-apply consistency that only gets thicker as you work your way down the bottle. Sure that’s what Seche Restore is for but what if there was a product that worked just as well without that issue? Fanatics, I’ve found it! Olan Labs Quick & Slick.

My uber-fab eyebrow waxer recommended this top coat to me a while back and I bought a bottle on the spot but let it sit in my to-be-tried box for way too long. I finally cracked it open a couple months ago when I was short on time, low on Seche Vite and not in the mood to add Seche Restore. Well color me impressed!

Quick & Slick is 3-Free, non-yellowing and quick drying. It leaves a high gloss shine and the thin, self-leveling formula applies like a dream I’m about halfway through my bottle and there’s not a sign of those telltale strings from thickening when I pull out the brush. In my opinion it’s pretty comparable to Lippmann Addicted to Speed except it’s less than HALF the price!

You can purchase Quick & Slick directly from the OlanLabs.com website for $7.95. There’s even a trial size for $2.95. I’m sure if you search online you’ll find other e-tailers but I purchased mine at John Robert’s Spa in Mayfield Heights. p.s. if you’re in Cleveland and looking for a waxer/esthetician see my girl Abby. She’s phenom!

Have any of you tried Quick & Slick before? What do you think of it?

The Arsenal – Zoya Remove+ Polish Remover

By on July 9, 2009
in The Arsenal, Zoya with 19 Comments

I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

If you were to take a peek at my polish room, one thing you’d notice is the numerous amount of polish remover bottles hanging out on just about every surface. I couldn’t swatch colors without them. And even though I try a bunch of different brands, my staple and nail life line is Zoya Remove+. I’m never without a bulk 32oz bottle on hand to refill my Big Flipper. If, like me, you go through a lot of remover due to constant polish changes you should seriously consider switching to Remove+.

What so fab about it, you ask. Well, the fact that it’s one of the only acetone based removers I’ve used that doesn’t dry out my nail beds like they’ve been living in the Sahara. That’s huge!! As you know, most fanatics prefer acetone because it quickly removes anything you throw at it. But acetone can be so drying and damaging. Thanks to the added Glycerine, my nails stay healthy through numerous swatching sessions.

When you’re testing polish as often as I am, you need the gentlest yet most effective remover you can find and for me, it’s Remove+. It has a pleasant lavender scent and a very simple ingredient list: 2-Propanone, Water, Glycerine, Fragrance, D&C Violet #2 (for color).

You can pick up Remove+ on the Zoya.com site. The Big Flipper retails for $9.99 and the 32oz refill bottle sells for $25.

Which nail polish remover is your favorite? Where are my fellow Remove+ fans?

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