Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The post where I tell you to do your nails at home.

My little sister and I try out our own at-home nail art.

Ok so picture this: I’m on Poshmark gushing (side note: Did I just use the word ‘gushing’? Who am I?) over some dannijo jewelry when suddenly I come across a picture that stops me right in my tracks. I mean yeah, the ring is nice, but what really catches my attention are this woman’s nails. They look so thought out, yet at the same time, so effortless and DIY-able. All of a sudden, I have a zillion questions in my head? “Did she do those herself?”, “What a color combination?!”, and the classic, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

So, after some brief conversation thorough interrogation, I am happy to report I come bearing answers! This woman lives in New York City and works for Christian Louboutin! Doesn’t this story just keep getting better like leftover pizza for breakfast? Anyways, so she’s probably one of those “I ain’t got time for nonsense, but I still like cute nails” type of girls because she goes to this ultra-cool nail salon called Paintbox. They are a “modern manicure studio” and their whole premise from what I have seen is that they come out with a look book every season containing carefully curated color combinations and simple designs for clients to choose from. So, you can’t just request your own idea, you have to choose from the book. This is actually brilliant because the colors and designs they have chosen are universally flattering! They also have a nail photo booth, so you can take the perfect instagram and show off your fresh paws to the world!

Some examples of Paintbox designs via @paintboxnails on instagram

But back to reality, not all of us live in NYC, so some of us “do have time for nonsense AND still like cute nails”.

So, I basically looked through my nail polish collection and found color combinations, gems, and stickers that remind me of the paint box vibe. I showed the @paintboxnails instagram account to my mom and sisters for inspiration too and we created our own looks based off of the designs we saw. It’s so much fun to do them at home and with a few good tools, they look just as good as a salon manicure. I have included some pictures of our simple designs below.

Some examples of designs we created using simple tools and techniques.

Here is a video I made showing you some of the tools I use to create a long-lasting Paintbox inspired manicure:

At Home Nail Art Basics // The Desi Knot Blog:

P.S. In the video, I totally forgot to mention clear top coats. They are really important in ensuring your manicure will last and any glitter or gems you use don't fall off easily.

I hope you all have a great week! Until next time, take care!

xo Aneela

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

8 Inspiring Quotes for a Healthy Dose of Optimism

Hey everyone! Summer is officially over and we're all getting back into our normal routines and responsibilities. It can be hard to get back into the swing of things when you are uninspired or pessimistic, so I decided to share 8 of my favorite quotes with you in today's post. Next time you miss the warm sunshine or the parties, read these quotes for a healthy dose of optimism and keep on trekking on! You can do it!

Let me know if you found any of these quotes to be inspiring and share any that you live by. I would love to read them! Take care!

xo Aneela

1. "On the difficult days, when the world's on your shoulders, remember that diamonds are made under the weight of the mountains." -Beau Taplin

2. "Get out from your house from your cave, from your car. From the place you feel safe from the place that you are.Get out and go running go funning, go wild. Get out from your head and get growing, dear child." -Dallas Clayton

3. "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." -Michael Jordan

4. "Take a step back today. Look at all the beautiful things you have." -Unknown

5. "I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it  with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." -Roald Dahl

6. "And there it stood, a flower on a rock, where nothing else lived for a hundred miles in every direction. This flower was life, bold and true, standing proud to the sky, lapping up sunlight, digging his roots into the ground, he was living, no matter what the world told him he couldn't be, he just went on, chin up into the sun, and I realized, that life, by its very nature is brave." -Atticus

7. "It’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday. -Lester Burnham

8. "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it." -Harvey MacKay

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Natural Skincare Recipes for Clear + Radiant Skin

Do you suffer from dry or dull skin? Do chemical ridden skincare products from the store cause irritation for you? Or maybe you can't be bothered to fork over large sums of money for all natural skincare lotions and potions? 

If any of the above issues sound familiar, you've come to the right place! Today, I will share two all natural skincare products that you can easily (and inexpensively) make at home with ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen already. These are great for common skin issues, so pull up your sleeves and get ready to do it yourself!
Turmeric Mask // How to Make It:
Combine about two tablespoons of gram flour with a quarter teaspoon of turmeric. Add in a splash of olive oil and then whole milk until you reach mask consistency. Make sure to add milk slowly to ensure your mask doesn't become too runny. If that does happen, just add a bit more gram flour. Transfer the mask into a sealed container (such as a mason jar), refrigerate, and mask away!

Why Use It?
This mask is great for anyone wanting to work on acne scars, preventing blemishes, and getting a radiant inner glow. Gram flour is great for removing sun tan as well as cleaning out and tightening the pores. It also lightens the overall tone of the skin which is great for fading acne scars and other blemishes. The turmeric powder is great for gently healing blemishes and redness. Olive oil works as a good moisturizing agent in the mask and the whole milk will soothe and calm the skin.   

Coffee Scrub // How to Make It:
For this scrub, combine equal parts ground coffee, coconut oil, and brown sugar in a bowl. Transfer into a sealed container. Refrigerate for best results as coconut oil will solidify to create a better mask consistency. 

Why Use It?
This scrub is excellent for exfoliating the skin, removing dead skin cells, improving circulation, and smoothing out the skin. Now, I love a good cup of coffee for an energy boost, but did you know that the caffeine from coffee grounds provides many benefits when applied to the skin?! Caffeine helps to tighten the skin and reduce puffiness. If applied as a mask under the eyes, this mixture can also help reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles. And since caffeine is loaded with antioxidants, it helps fight premature wrinkles, sun spots, and fine lines. The brown sugar also acts as a gentle moisturizing exfoliant and the coconut oil is also a supreme moisturizing agent. And again, everything is completely natural! Bottom line, this scrub is a win-win all around!

I hope that you enjoyed these DIY skincare recipes! Let me know if you end up trying them out! 

xo Aneela