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Best of 2013 – Hands, Nails & Tools – Priti NYC, Mineral Fusion, Julep, Badger, Love + Toast, IT Cosmetics & Tangle Teezer

This is kind of a random category, but I don’t really have a ton of anything in these areas, so I thought I would combine Hands, Nails & Miscellaneous Tools! I didn’t really have a favorite nail polish brand or any favorite colors this past year, but there are a few other products that I have really been blown away by in 2013. So, what were they? Keep reading to find out! J

I’m going to start with nail products. I alternated between two different “base” coats in 2013. The first one is technically not a base coat, but a nail strengthener. It is the Priti NYC Strong Nail Strengthener. I have tried a few different nail strengtheners and they all seem to peel right off my nails within a day or two. Not so with the Priti NYC Strengthener! Aside from keeping my nails healthier, it makes a great base coat too. It extends the wear-time of polish and keeps the nails healthy underneath so they are less inclined to peel or break! By far the best Nail Strengthener and an excellent base coat as well! J

For a more traditional base coat, I used the Mineral Fusion Base Coat. It is amazing stuff! Even when my nails are peeling, this stuff keeps my nails smooth and in better condition than they started. My polish doesn’t peel off, nor do my nails continue peeling with this Base Coat. It dries pretty quickly so that you can apply color almost as soon as you’ve finished painting both hands, and the polish sticks beautifully making for long-lasting beautiful nails! J

For an incredible top coat, you cannot beat Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat! This stuff is insane! It is quick-drying, has an incredible shine and is quite durable. It’s supposed to give you a gel-manicure kind of look, and I would say it pretty much does! To learn more about the Freedom Polymer Top Coat, check out my full review here.

Though I’m not too good at keeping my cuticles conditioned, I do try to use something on my cuticles as often as I remember. My favorite in 2013 was by far the Badger Cuticle Care. It’s a soft, but solid balm that literally melts into cuticles as you rub it in. It’s absolutely heavenly! It has a lovely lemony scent and the tin is so adorable that it deserves extra points just for that! JA little bit goes a long way, so the tin will last you for ages. I apply it at bedtime and it keeps my cuticles soft and hydrated. As with every Badger product I’ve tried, I absolutely lovethis stuff!

I was rather obsessed with hand cream in 2013, so it’s difficult to choose only one favorite. I think if I had to, it would be the Love + Toast Hand Crème. The box alone makes these worthy of an award! There was a lot of thought put into the design and packaging of these hand crèmes, but the product inside will not disappoint either! It’s a wonderfully hydrating crème that doesn’t leave hands sticky or greasy. They all smell so delicious that it’s nearly impossible to choose one at the store! J I am so in love with these hand crèmes!!! If you’d like to read my full review, you can do so here.

Moving into the tool section of my favorites, I feel I would be doing the world a disservice if I did not mention the Boutique Blush Brush from IT Cosmetics. Hands down, the bestblush brush ever made!!! J I adore this brush. It is so soft and the angle and density of the hairs is absolutely perfectfor applying blush. It places it in the proper place every time without over or under applying. I don’t quite know how it does it, but this brush will literally do the work of applying blush for you! You need this brush! J

Another absolute must have for me last year…and still…is the Tangle Teezer. If you suffer with knotty hair, or even just brush your hair while it’s wet, you need to check out the Tangle Teezer! I won’t go into more depth on my love affair with it, because you can read all about it here!

I could add more to this list, but these are my true standouts from 2013. I really love every single one of these products and don’t know what I would do without them! I hope this was helpful and I would love to know what some of your favorites were this past year! Stay tuned because the best Makeup from 2013 is still to come!!! J

Show Your Hands Some Love with Love & Toast Handcreme!!! The Perfect Daytime Hand Cream!

I seem to have an addiction to hand creams. I have tried so many, that I can’t keep count! Today, I have yet another hand cream review for you. It is the Love & Toast Handcremeand, let me tell you, they are divine!!! J

 

As I said in my overview of Love & Toast, the packaging alone is enough to make this product special! The Handcreme comes in a beautiful box with a different design for each scent. One side of the box boasts an embossed Love & Toast logo. Fancy! The top box flap also has an embossed Love & Toast loge that opens to reveal a heart cut-out on the first flap, a “+” on the tongue of the top flap, and then a cut-out of a piece of toast on the right flap. So, so cute and so insanely clever! Absolutely adore the Love & Toast packaging.

 

The crème itself is contained in a 1.25oz/35g aluminum (I think?) squeeze tube with a teeny tiny white cap. I’d prefer a flip top, but I must admit that Love & Toast has definitely picked more visually appealing packaging. The cap is a real pain to screw back on though. The tube is also decked out in a coordinating print to that of the box – the scents all have their own unique look so you can tell at a glance what scent you’re choosing no matter which product you’re after. The crème squeezes out with ease, but not too much ease! No one wants a massive blob of hand cream! JI must say, I think Love & Toast has some of the nicest looking packaging I have ever encountered!!! J

 

Now on to the reallygood stuff! The scents are insanely wonderful! I think there is probably a scent that would suit pretty much anyone. I have the Mandarin Tea, the Sugar Grapefruit and the Honey Coconutand I love them all! They smell pretty much as named and the scent is just about the right strength. It’s not overpowering or terribly strong, but you can smell it for a little while after applying it…maybe for 5-10 minutes. If nothing more, Love & Toast has definitely nailed the scent factor with their handcremes!!! J

 

As for the crème itself, they definitely got the formula right there too! Among the skin-loving ingredients are Shea Butter, Macadamia Nut & Olive Fruits, Avocado & Sunflower Oils, Cocoa Butter, & Aloe Leaf Juice. I would say the texture, or weight, of the crème is somewhere between that of a lotion and a cream. It makes for the perfect day hand cream! I tend to use the Badger Balm For Hardworking Hands at night, but find the Love & Toast Handcreme perfect whenever my hands feel dry throughout the day! It hydrates wonderfully, but is not sticky, greasy, or offensive in any manner. It absorbs quickly and does not leave any residue. My hands look happy, healthy and hydrated after applying the Love & Toast Handcreme! JI absolutely adore this hand cream and I am obsessed with the scents! I want them all! In fact, should you be so inclined, you can actually buy a set of all the scents on their website! So, so tempting. J

 

These hand creams are Paraben-free, not tested on animals, contain no animal ingredients (at least according to their claims – it does list Honey Extract in the ingredients, but I’m not quite sure what the “extract” portion means in terms of Vegan qualifications), and it does not contain artificial colors. In addition, a portion of every Love & Toast sale goes directly to the Regional Affiliates of Girls, Inc.

 

I absolutely lovethe Love & Toast Handcremes and would highly recommend them to anyone. They would make an excellent gift, especially for someone who is difficult to buy for, or someone you may not know very well. They’re also great to give your best girlfriends because they’re amazing!!! J
Love & Toast’s Handcreme is available in 6 different scents and retails for $9.00. It can be purchased from their website. I also found them at Whole Foods and have seen a few products at a local boutique. You can find a store locator on the Love & Toast site.

Love & Toast – Beautiful Boxes of Beautiful Products!

I found the most beautiful brand of body care products while wandering around Whole Foods the other day and had to share it with you! It is Love & Toast by Margot Elenea, the brains behind Tokyo Milk, a unique cult-favorite. I started out with a Love & Toast Lip Butter that I love, but have since discovered that Love & Toast makes an entire line of beautifully packaged products that I have to share! J If you need a gift for someone, definitely check out something in a Love and Toast box!!!

 

I could go on for days about Love & Toast’s packaging! It is beautifully designed and soclever! For instance, the boxes open up to reveal a heart cut-out on the first box flap, an embossed “+” on the top flap, and a toast cut-out on the second flap. How cute is that?!?!?! JThe beauty does not stop there. The inside has a beautiful print that coordinates with the exterior of the box and the product inside!

Of course, the exterior is stunning as well, complete with embossed type and adorable designs! Even the bar code is cute! They have created an adorable little cassette tape that encases a sku number! How freakin’ awesome is that?! J

Each scent has its own personalized design. For instance, the box of the Lip Balm in “Cherry Lemonade” is topped with a cherry, pink and white zig-zag top and the sides are surrounded by a bicycle, a cross stitched floral motif and some cherry lemonade. The Love & Toast logo is always embossed as well, for an unexpected tactile experience. Absolutely beautiful packaging that must cost a fortune to design and produce, but it makes it so wonderfully special that it’s worth every added cent!!!

 

If the packaging isn’t sufficient to suck you in, the products definitely should! I have tried the Lip Balms, the Lip Butters, the Lip Glaze, the Hand Crèmes and the Honey Coconut Perfume. I love them all! Plus, the scents and flavors are amazing and unusual – Coconut Lime anyone? JYum! And of course none of the products are tested on animals, contain no parabens and no artificial colors. They also do not use animal ingredients, but they do use animal by-products like beeswax and honey extract.

 

If you’re still not sold, their philosophy can’t help but get you! Love & Toast has a simple philosophy – “It is just as important to do good, as it is to look good.” They put their money where their mouth is too. A portion of every sale goes directly to a charity called Regional Affiliates of Girls Inc. They encourage girls everywhere to be “Strong, smart and bold.” At Love & Toast, “We believe there is more than just being a pretty face.” Words to live by! J

 

Love & Toast sells a variety of bath and body products including perfume, hand crème, shower crème, body lotion, sugar scrub (body), lip butter, lip balm, tinted lip glaze, body butter, shampoo and conditioner. Whew! All of the products are beautiful in design and packaging, and what I have tried is amazing! The prices range from around $3 for a Lip Butter to around $28 for a full-size perfume (3.5oz / 104mL). Totally reasonable!!! J
Check out their website for ordering information and store locations.
Absolutely love this brand!!! J

 

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