An SNS/Dip Powder Nails Review

Monday, September 25, 2017

Painting my nails or having them done has always been a fun pastime for me. It’s a stress-reliever, and not to mention it’s an excuse to express myself with whatever color I see fit on my hands.

But, a few months back, I decided to try something new: the SNS/Dip Powder manicure.

It all started when I was talking to one of my friends, and she had a particularly fabulous manicure. I asked her if they were gel and how she liked them. Imagine my surprise when one, they were not gel, and two, they were SNS (a brand of dip powder) nails that hadn’t damaged her nails at all. In fact, they’d only made them stronger.

Then, more ladies - both women and girls from high school to adulthood - had lauded the joys of the dip powder manicure, and they encouraged me to try it as well.

It took a few weeks, but I eventually decided to go for it.

And, y’all…it’s worth it.

What’s a Dip Powder Manicure?

A dip powder manicure involves your nails being coated with powder as opposed to just a polish or acrylic bonding. There is a bonding agent, but it’s more akin to a base coat than a sealant (with the exception of the top coat).

There is always a “base coat” between layers. The color is applied in two layers, and it feels like dipping your fingers in powdered sugar. Then, finally, there’s a clear layer, and then two layers of top coat that only takes four minutes to dry, and you’re totally set.

Occasionally, depending on where you go, there is a drill used, but it’s more of a buffer. It does not - and should not - hurt. If it does, please go elsewhere.

How long does it last?

Three, up to four weeks without chips. If that doesn’t draw you in, I’m not sure what will.

Here’s a dip powder manicure the day I went to the salon:

And here it is three weeks later:

I’ve had it last up to four before, but my nails generally grow a hair slower, so please keep that in mind.

How much does it cost?

Depending on where you go, a dip powder manicure can cost $45-$60. It’s generally ten dollars more than a gel manicure. 

But when you’re looking for a place to go, please make sure that there’s a general positive client review base. You don’t want to leave with cut-up cuticles (which has happened to me before, and it’s never a fun time). A great salon will give you a great manicure for a reasonable amount.

Who is this for?

Go for the dip powder manicure if:
  • You do a lot of labor-intensive work (such as farming, retail, etc.), or have a job that requires you to have a professional appearance (business, secretary, etc.)
  • You, to be honest, don’t have time to do your nails weekly.
  • You’re traveling (No need to bring nail polish with you on a trip! Save that space in your liquids bag or checked luggage and avoid spilled nail polish.)
  • You’re getting married! (No need to worry about chipped nails on your wedding day)
  • You’re in a wedding! (I did dip powder nails for the first time for one of my best friends’ weddings to cut their cake. I’m so glad I did.)
  • You’re going to prom! Or some other special occasion.
  • You’re sick and tired of removing glitter polish by hand (SNS glitter colors are some of my favorite manicures ever - see above)
  • You’re sick and tired of your nails being so brittle (My nails have not broken since I’ve been getting dip powder nails)
  • You want to!

Have you ever gotten an SNS/Dip Powder manicure before? Would you want to get one? Let’s talk in the comments! :)

What's in my Daily Makeup Bag | Fall 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The last time I did one of these posts was…November 2015?

Yep. Time for an update.

The last makeup post I did was on “Makeup to Fly Out the Door With.” A lot of those products (or, at least, the types of products) are actually ones I still use and love. My makeup routine these days is quite simple, with an emphasis on natural tones, simple graphic eyeliner, and (sometimes) an accent lip depending on the day.

By “makeup bag,” I mean the bag I keep on my vanity that I reach for every single day I go out. Some days I use all the products; other days I just use a few if I need to get somewhere fast.

Onto the products!



  • Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush Wardrobe - This is an awesome blush palette! I usually wear the shades “Baby Love” and “How Deep is Your Love?” (The full palette was Limited Edition, but you can buy individual shades here.)

  • Lipsense! (I’m not a distributor, but Lipsense is by far the best long-wearing liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. Would you guys want me to post a full post on lipsense? Please comment and let me know!)

Anyways, that’s my daily makeup bag. What makeup are you guys loving lately? Any tried-and-true products? Let’s chat in the comments!

Quick disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of the above websites I've linked. I just want to share my makeup with you guys. :)

Wonderland Reads: Recent Reads #1

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hey hey! :)

I’ve read a couple of books lately in an effort to get out of a particularly janky (read: 4-month-long) reading slump. I did find a couple of good ones, and I want to share those with you.

Renegade by J. A. Souders

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.
I liked the premise of this one a lot. It reminded me of the “Bioshock” video game series with its setting, and, I'm not gonna lie, an underwater utopia-gone-wrong story was super appealing. 

Was it a tad teen-angsty and dramatic? Yes. But was it still a good YA read with a great thriller plot and a good cast of characters? Of course. This was a good book to get me reading again.

The only reason I’m not continuing this series is that I was not really crazy about the ending. Other than that, good story and setting.

Rating: Four elaborately-built underwater sanctuaries out of five.

Roar by Cora Carmack

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
Now, THIS one was a fun ride!

I love a story with a good, well-established magic system, and I love me a good, strong-willed female protagonist, and I really love a well-written romance. This one gets the triple crown from me. Yes, I will be continuing this series, too.

Rating: Five thunderstorms out of five.

What have you read recently?
Titles and synopses from Goodreads

Travel Essentials

Monday, September 11, 2017

I love travel. That’s absolutely no secret. I love sharing travel posts and how-to’s with you guys, and I also love prowling YouTube and Pinterest for various travel-related things.

One thing I keep seeing pop up on my YouTube feed has been guides for “travel essentials.” It got me thinking…if I could recommend only a few items as essential for any traveler - seasoned or casual - what would I suggest?

That’s what I’m aiming to do today. I’m going to share with you ten items I feel are essential for traveling anywhere and anytime, for any length of time. (And, of course, these essentials are goodies in addition to your necessities…pack everything you absolutely need first!)

1. Blue Jeans

No matter where you go (or when you go), one pair of blue jeans is so insanely versatile. Just pack one or two for a weekend getaway, and pack at least two for a longer trip (especially abroad.

2. Basic T-Shirt (or Two)

Like jeans, basic tees are versatile. Pack a white one for the ultimate classic staple, and add black and gray for variety (and more versatility…neutrals go with everything). Don’t be afraid to add color, too; solid brights and pastels are a lot of fun and are easy to layer with pieces. Speaking of layers...

3. A jacket or cardigan

Traveling in layers is always a good idea, no matter what time of year it is. Make sure you have at least one layer with you that you can easily access or take off. (At the very least, you can roll up that layer and use it as a pillow on your journey.)

4. Socks!

Whether you are on the road or on a plane, a pair of socks are necessary. At the very least, they keep your feet warm on cold planes or cars. Beyond that, they protect your feet from germs at security and other places you may need to remove your shoes. Keep an extra pair in your carry-on or personal item (or road trip bag).

5. Zip-loc bags

Y’all know I love packing cubes. But I do have to say that zip-loc bags do the exact same thing in a pinch. Carry a few extra for laundry, separating certain clothing items out, and toiletries. I would avoid wet clothes, though.

6. Scarves

Scarves are phenomenal. Roll a scarf up to use as a pillow in the car or on a plane, and - of course - wear that scarf on cold days.

7. One pair of amazing walking shoes

If you can only pack one pair of shoes, wear some that you could walk for miles in. Or, at least as much walking as you’re planning on doing on your trip (i.e. don’t wear heels to Disneyworld).

8. Headphones

Sometimes, all you need is great music. Or to sleep. Either way, headphones are a personal favorite essential of mine.

9. Cross-body bag or purse

Wearing something across your body is a great idea if you’re planning on going to any major metropolitan cities, or crowded areas in general. It’s better to keep your valuables safe (or, better yet, not bring anything extremely valuable with you that’s not a cell phone or currency) in case of pickpockets.

10. A copy of your itinerary (plus other necessities).

Finally, it’s best to make sure you keep a downloaded copy of your itinerary somewhere on your phone, or a paper copy in your bag. That way, you know exactly what you’re doing and where you’re going, and you can also let others know where you are. (Also, if you’re traveling a greater distance, bring copies of your driver’s license/passport.)

What are your travel essentials?

Friday Five | 9/8/17

Friday, September 8, 2017

Before we start, I’m going to leave this thought here: I turn 26 in one month from today. 

Happy Friday Five, everybody! :)

Barista Parlor, Once Again

I love their specialty coffee. I really really do. The coffee I had this week had notes of blackberry and grape jam.

Also, I tried their breakfast burrito (featuring sriracha sour cream!). It was pretty great.

“…Ready For It?”

Speaking of pretty great things, I love Taylor Swift’s newest song!


I have been on a mission to clean out my closet. It’s been going really really well! This organization kick was something I’ve needed, and it’s been a lot of fun.

I’ve wanted to color-code my clothes in my closet for awhile now, and the fact that I can do that now (and have done it) makes me giddy.

My current goals. (Insert heart-eyes emoji here.) Photo credit here.

NaNoWriMo Prep

I’m fully aware it’s not October yet (Preptober for all you National Novel Writing Month regulars), but I’ve been preparing for writing a novel this November still.

One way I’ve been doing that is reading Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. Chris Baty is the founder and creator of NaNoWriMo. My mom gave me this book as a surprise gift, and already, it’s helped me so much with the coming months of preparing for this huge (and really really exciting!) project. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (and gaming in general, really)

Finally, a gaming favorite! Gaming isn’t as massive of a hobby of mine as it used to be, but when I do play video games, I love it.

I finally picked up the latest Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U, and so far, I love it! Now, I’m not too far (I just made it past the first dungeon), but I’m really into the various smaller mechanics of the game (like cooking and the ability to use magnet magic to solve puzzles).

Also, I’m a firm believer in playing video games to help your writing. As such, story-based games with crazy-massive sprawling worlds like The Legend of Zelda (and also Xenoblade Chronicles X) have been my jam lately.

What have been your favorite things this week?

Bullet Journal Setup

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


I’ve started dabbling in bullet journaling again.

Reason why I say again is that I have in fact tried full-time bullet journaling before. However, I figured out that while bullet journaling isn’t for me full-time (I can’t scrap having a calendar to plan future events), I still really love the system and wanted to use it somewhere.

Quick intro before we go further: the Bullet Journal system was created by Ryder Carroll. It’s meant to simplify any lists, events, collections, whatever you want in one organized space. If you want more info on how the bullet journal system works and how it got started, check out the official website here.

Now, this is still in the very early stages, but I am so, so excited and happy with the way these pages and spreads are turning out, and I’m loving using this system already. I can definitely tell a difference in how productive I’ve been. Listing has worked really well for me in the past, so why not take it a step further?


Before we get into how I use my bullet journal, I figured it would be a good idea to tell y’all what I actually use to bullet journal (yes, I consider bullet journal both a noun and a verb).

So, how do I use my bullet journal?


I use a Leuchtturm 1917 grid notebook. I’ve dabbled with the dotted notebooks before, and I think either that style or this one works just fine.

That being said, I love the way that the Leuchtturm is laid out. I take full advantage of the Contents page and have been using it to create, well, a table of contents. This is a traditional bullet journaling element that I’ve stuck to.

The one thing that I've changed slightly is that I have the months color-coded and highlighted so I can find them easier.


One thing that I embellished a bit is the key page. I copied the key from the Bullet Journal app, and so far, it’s working well for me.


Now, we’re getting into the fun stuff. I’ve created collections and trackers: one collection for blog posts (which I don’t have pictured because spoilers), and trackers for the books I’ve read this year and what movies I’ve watched on Netflix.

Other trackers/collections I have not pictured here: travel in 2017 (still working on that one, and it has future stuff that I'm waiting to share here) and Monthly Favorites (which I used to write my August Favorites last month!).

Daily Log

Finally, here’s my Daily Log…so far.

“Hey, Sav? Where’s your Monthly or Future Log?” you may be asking me. Here’s the thing about the way I’m bullet journaling right now: I am using this in tandem with my Erin Condren planner. As such, I really don’t need a future or monthly log right now. Now, that could change, but this is what’s working for me at the moment.

As far as functionality goes, I LOVE this. I transfer my to-do lists from my Erin Condren planner to my bullet journal as I see fit, and I've been finding that I've been accomplishing so much more with it. Here's hoping that this continues! If so, I'll update you guys.

Have you ever tried bullet journaling? Let’s talk in the comments! :)

All-Time Favorite Bible Verses

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy September!

In lieu of a Friday Five this week (since I just did a Monthly Favorites and I feel like I’d just be rehashing some of those in a normal Friday Five), I decided to list five of my all-time favorite Bible verses, and give them to you in pastel-colored graphic form that you can save to your phone, pin to Pinterest, message to someone, whatever.

Why? Well, for a few reasons: one, I know that a lot of you readers have started school or know someone who’s started school; when I was in school, Bible verses helped me a whole lot. Two, it always helps me to have scripture handy in times of trouble, whether that’s for me or someone I love. And three, I just wanted to share some of my favorites with you. :)

What are your favorite verses?