Gelish MINI Street Beat summer 2016 collection {review + swatches + giveaway}

Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring has barely sprung, yet here I am, dreaming of summer. Today I'm sharing the latest from Gelish MINI- their summer 2016 collection called Street Beat. This gorgeous collection features 6 bright, bold, eye-catching colors and are inspired by street art and hip hop. These are some vivid hues, and every shade is trendy from the runway to the streets. 

In true Gelish form, these luscious gel polishes apply like a dream and I had no streaking. However, I did find them to all be a bit translucent, so all colors needed an extra 1-2 coats (and even then, I had some visible nail lines showing after curing- especially the yellow and green). Let's take a closer look at them! 

Con-tour The Streets is a light, pinky-lilac creme with no shimmer. I wish it had more purple in it. It's more of a pale bubblegum pink to me. 

Give Me A Break-Dance is a pearlescent teal with a silvery finish. It's really pretty...I only wish it had better coverage. The picture below was with 4 coats of color. 

B-Girl Style is one of my favorites (you know I'm a sucker for a good pink!) It's a neon pink pearl with just the teeniest bit of shimmer. I love it! It's going to be a good one for summer toes, for sure!

Hip Hot Coral is a hot coral pearl with a warm, shimmery finish. This one reminds me of a tangerine, as it's a more orangey-coral. 

Street Cred-ible is a orange/yellow creme with no shimmer. This color didn't have great coverage and required 5 coats of color to get decent coverage. 

Tag, You're It is another one of my favorites from this collection. It's a fuchsia pink pearl with a frosty finish. So gorgeous! 

The Gelish MINI Street Beat collection will be available at Sally Beauty Supply for a limited time starting in May. You can also find the full-sized bottles on Amazon, which I've linked to individually above. 

One lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader is going to win 3 bottles of polish from this collection!

Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
Only the first entry is mandatory.
Never tried gel nails? I've got a ton of tutorials for you! My DIY Gel Nails post is a great place to start. I walk you through the entire process, step by step, and I include a lot of pictures and I'm a stickler for detail. It's a long one...but I promise: read the tutorial from start to finish and you'll end up with an amazing gel manicure. Once you've got that down you can move on to some of my other tutorials and you'll soon be a pro.

This post contains affiliate links. I was given these products free of charge from Gelish MINI for reviewing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Celebrate Mother's Day

Monday, April 25, 2016

Motherhood is hard, I think we can all agree. It's certainly the toughest job I've ever had. Moms need some help along the way while they navigate through their parenting journey. I have been blessed to know some great women who I look to for advice and to lend and ear to when I'm ready to throw in the towel after a hard day. Every mom needs supportive women in her life! You can't do it alone, and whether it's a friend of the family, aunt, cousin, grandmother, co-worker, neighbor, or friendly face at church, we all have an "other mother" who has impacted our lives in a positive way and has helped us through the highs and lows of motherhood. With Mother's Day just around the corner, I've teamed up with LovePop cards to help honor the other mother in your life. 

For me, my other mother is an obvious choice. My mother-in-law, Donna, has been not only a fabulous grandmother to my children, but she's also someone I'd consider a friend. I've known her for about 13 years now and she's always been there for me and my family. She's the first person to offer to help with the kids- whether I need to go out of town, or I'm sick, or there's some type of emergency, her first response is always "What do you need me to do?" I can call her when I'm at my wit's end and need another mom's advice, and she'll laugh with me and have a funny story about a similar experience she's had and tell me how to deal with it. When I had Harper, she dropped everything to come stay with us for a week while things were super hectic. She cleaned my house, took care of the big kids, did all of my laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, and even cooked dinner every night without even being asked. She raised two kids as a single mom, so she can definitely do it all. She's funny, sarcastic, incredibly generous, and she's definitely a blessing in my life. I can say anything to her- sometimes all it takes is a look and we both know what the other person is trying to say. I genuinely love spending time with this woman, and my kids adore her. 

This picture is from one of my favorite memories with Donna. It was from the summer of 2012, and the kids and I spent a weekend with her and my sister-in-law at this gorgeous house on the river in Idaho. My husband had to stay home and work for most of our Idaho trip, but he surprised us by joining us for 2 glorious summer days together with the whole family. It was so much fun. I was lounging on the dock reading a book while the kids explored, and I caught this sweet moment where my husband and his mom were deep in conversation, watching the kids play. I remember thinking it was the perfect day! 

Honor the #OtherMother in your life

Nominate the special woman you consider your other mother here and she'll get a FREE Mother's Day card from LovePop! LovePop cards are intricate 3D paper sculptures that are made with cutting-edge software designed by naval engineers. These aren't just any old card- each card is hand-assembled in the Asian art from of sliceform kirigami. If you want something truly special, send her a LovePop card!

Not only will every #OtherMother submission receive a FREE LovePop card for Mother's Day, but LovePop will select three winners to receive a LovePop gift basket as well!

I love the cards I selected from LovePop. The Floral Bouquet ones are gorgeous and the cuts are so intricate- look at the flowers and the teeny, tiny hummingbirds! I thought it was so pretty that I got it in both colors.

I also chose this Cat Mom card. I love how the mama kitty is smiling while carrying her naughty kitten! I know a few moms who would love this card for Mother's Day. 

LovePop cards make the perfect gift for Mother's Day, so make sure to grab a couple for the special moms in your life. Nominate your #OtherMother and she'll receive a FREE card from LovePop! This is an awesome deal, so take advantage of it! 

Gender reveal + 20 week update + bump style

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Woo hoo! I just hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy with baby number four. I figured it was time for a little pregnancy update! If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you've probably seen me gripe about being plagued with morning sickness still in my second trimester. It's been rough, to say the least, especially with a busy toddler and 2 big kids who need my attention. The house has been a mess, which is so not like me, but I haven't even had the energy to care. I started feeling a little better the last few weeks, and then BAM! It hit me again. I've been getting horribly painful headaches every single day and I can't seem to figure out how to get them to subside. And now the morning sickness is back to about half the days out of the week, which is leaving me feeling miserable yet again. Fingers crossed I'm not one of those poor women who are sick for the full nine months- I can't imagine this going on for another 20 weeks!

I do, however, have some exciting news- we just found out the gender and did a fun (hilarious) gender reveal for the kids. (If you follow me on social media you've probably already heard the news, but here are the full details). You might recall our last gender reveal we did when I was pregnant with Harper. Ayden and Lily were so excited to find out if they were getting a brother or sister, and I decided to record their reactions when I handed them a pink sucker, letting them know it was a girl. Long story short, Lily was ecstatic and Ayden was devastated, and it made for a very entertaining gender reveal video. Watch it here! 

Anyway, we found out on Monday that we are having a BOY! Seriously, I was shocked. I mean, deep down I knew, I just knew it was a boy this time. This pregnancy has been so different from the last one- I just knew it wasn't going to be a girl. But I wanted another girl pretty badly. I just thought it would be so cute to have another one close in age to Harper. I kept all of her baby clothes and they could grow up being the best of friends- adorable, right? Well, it's definitely not a girl, as you can see on the ultrasound picture. That was the first thing I spotted when the ultrasound tech placed the little wand thingy on my stomach. I actually shouted "Oh my God! It's a boy! That's a wee wee!" I mean, there was just no denying it!

I had to think of a fun way to tell the kids, but I'm really not all that creative with stuff like that, and I wanted something that took minimal effort (I'm lazy). I had told the kids that I was probably just going to give them a pink or blue sucker again and they both agreed that would be fun. They both wanted it to be a blue sucker this time, but where would the fun be in me just giving them what they wanted? I had to crush them a little before making them super happy, right? (joking). I decided to do the sucker thing, but to do a little fake-out first. I bought a bag of suckers, found 2 blue ones and traded the wrappers for pink ones, making it look like I'd be telling them it was a girl. I figured they'd be disappointed and then reveal the blue sucker when they opened it and freak out with excitement. It would be perfect! What ended up happening though was not quite what I expected...

Poor Ayden did not take too kindly to another pink sucker!

Let me follow this up by saying that in both videos he recovered really quickly. Seriously, within about 60 seconds of me stopping the video, he was already over it and excited about the news. He laughed at himself when we watched the video together, and it was his idea to post them online, before I even asked him if it was OK (because if he would have been embarrassed or upset I wouldn't have shared them). He was like "Mom- you have to put that on YouTube!"

One of my best friends, Jodi, was pregnant with me last time, and we ended up having our babies one day apart. She has two little boys, ages 4 and almost 2, and as soon as I texted her that it was a boy she was calling me and telling me to come over and take all of her boy stuff. Harper and I came over the next day for a little play date and I was shocked at what she gave me for the new baby- a gorgeous bassinet (one of the few things on my list of baby needs) and five huge totes filled to the brim with baby clothes. Nice, clean, stain-free baby clothes in awesome condition! I seriously do not need to buy anything for this little guy to wear for the first two years at least. She gave me tons of onesies, pajamas, pants, shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jeans, hats, bibs, and shoes ranging in sizes from newborn to 2T. I went through and sorted everything by size and type just to make a little inventory, and there's so much of everything. Looking at all of these adorable outfits got me so excited to have another boy! I mean, look at his shoe collection already! Soooooo cute. What an amazing friend, huh? Yeah, I love her.

I have to admit, knowing the gender of the baby has really made a difference for me. You might recall this post I wrote a while back about feeling just overall "blah" about everything and feeling more stressed than excited about being pregnant again. Well, it's gotten better. I can picture it now- our family, with our new baby boy. I couldn't before. It scared me and stressed me out...I was having a really hard time with it and feeling really guilty about having those kinds of feelings. These last few days though, with the sonogram picture to look at, putting together the bassinet, and going through all of the baby changed something. Something clicked. Something is different. I feel more relaxed and excited! I'm going to have two girls and two boys- it's perfect. Our family will be complete. I'm so blessed, and I've got nothing to stress or complain about. 

Maxi skirts and dresses have been my jam for this pregnancy and my last one. It's been getting warm here in Washington and pants are just out of the question. Skirts and dresses are so much more comfortable at this point and they keep me feeling cooler and less restricted with my growing bump. I love pairing them with a denim vest or jacket too! I got the jacket and yellow dress from Old Navy and the vest was on clearance at Target last fall (Score- $10!) 

Don't forget to enter this giveaway I have running right now.

Gelish UNO first thoughts + review {and giveaway!}

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gel polish lovers, you'll want to pay attention to this blog post! Today I'm sharing my first thoughts with some swatches and a review for the latest gel polish collection from Gelish MINI. The brand new Gelish MINI UNO line is a one-step gel polish! Intrigued? Read on to learn more.

A one step gel polish, you say? I've tried a few before and wasn't impressed, but I had high hopes for this one because, well, it's Gelish! My favorite brand I'm always raving about. My normal Gelish manicure is always gorgeous and lasts for around 2 weeks, sometimes more. 

Gelish MINI UNO is a one step gel polish that requires no base or top coat and doesn't require any cleansing after curing (no sticky residue). It cures with an LED or UV lamp and boasts 7-10 days of wear- which is not as long as a traditional gel polish, but longer than regular polish. 


I prepped my nails like I normally would for gels (more info on that here), and I applied Gelish cleanser and pH bond to my nails right before applying Gelish MINI UNO. The application process is virtually the same, but you just skip the base and top coat. The consistency of the UNO polish was slightly thicker than their other gel polishes, but it still flowed nicely and self-leveled on the nail bed before curing. I I payed special attention to seal the free edge really well (a major key in giving your gel mani staying power). I ended up doing 4 coats of polish to get the coverage and thickness I wanted. I suggest doing an extra coat or two for added strength. Normally, I'd do a base coat and 2 top coats, so I'm losing 3 layers of thickness with the Gelish MINI UNO system and I still wanted my nails to feel protected and strong. 4 coats felt thick enough! After curing the final coat I was amazed that there was in fact no sticky residue and no need to cleanse the gel at all. They were just done with no need for a top coat!

This lovely pink is called Always a Bridesmaid

First thoughts

The application process for Gelish MINI UNO was easy and very similar to my usual gel polish application, except you skip the base and top coat. The consistency and coverage was good and I didn't have any problems with the gel shrinking up during curing. I did have a little bit of wrinkling, which occurs when you apply the gel too thick. I went a little too heavy-handed with the 2nd coat of polish and it wrinkled while curing, but I was able to correct it in the 3rd and 4th layer by using a smaller amount of gel and doing thin, even coats. This gel is thicker, so keep your layers thin! You can always add an extra coat, but don't glob it on. Applying Gelish MINI UNO was a little bit faster than the traditional gel polish without having to do a base and top coat (and base coat always takes me a long time because it's hard to see and I'm so meticulous about it- it was nice skipping it!) My nails felt strong and thick at the end and the polish was really shiny.

I wish my review could just stop there, but unfortunatly, Gelish MINI UNO didn't last as long as I was hoping. I made it 3 days before I started getting some chips and peeling, and I ended up picking them off the 3rd night. I had really high hopes for this polish, but I really think gel polish needs a good base and top coat in order to be long lasting. The idea that you can just slap a few coats of color on and go is lovely- but let's face it, we're hard on our nails, right? If you want a gel polish with staying power...I'm talking 14+ days...stick with your traditional gel polish. Spend the extra time and do it right. If you're looking for just a few days of wear, Gelish MINI UNO might be a good, quick option for you that will look beautiful for a weekend or so. 

Colors shown are: Charm Bracelet, Gold Rush, Violets Are Blue, Electric Kiss, Mermaid of Honor, and Always a Bridesmaid. 

So while Gelish MINI UNO might not be for me, I'm still going to try it again and be a little more meticulous with my application process and see if I can get get a few more days of wear out of it. If I could stretch it out to about 5 days I would be really happy! I know everyones body chemistry is different- that's something I've learned as a professional nail technician, so every product is going to work differently on other people. I've read some great reviews for Gelish MINI UNO online, so maybe I need to tweak my application a bit and give it another try! Or, I can just use these gorgeous colors like a regular gel polish sandwiched between a base and top coat and give them some staying power.

Now, for the gel polish fans, I'm giving you a chance to try out Gelish MINI UNO for yourself. One person will win 3 bottles of Gelish MINI UNO (colors will be chosen at random). Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Must be 18 or older to enter and open to US & Canadian residents only.
Void where prohibited.

I was given these products free of charge for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own :) This post contains affiliate links.

Recent Beauty Favorites

Monday, April 4, 2016

I hope spring has sprung wherever you're at! It certainly has here in Washington over the last couple of days, and I couldn't be happier. I love spring. I love spring cleaning! I love going through my old crap and purging all of the old junk I've held onto, and that even goes for beauty products. Did you beauty products have a shelf life? Well, they do, so if you're holding onto some old lipsticks and blushes from like 5 seasons ago you should probably toss them. I know, it's sad. But the good news is you get to go shopping and get new stuff. I just purged a ton of makeup and I've been steadily adding new, fun, warm colors to my spring collection. I figured I should probably just lump it into a Recent Beauty Favorites post since it's been a while anyway.

Before I get to the products, I wanted to let you know that this post is not sponsored in any way, but it does contain affiliate links. That means if you happen to purchase an item through certain links, I get compensation for it (a very small percentage). I've also included regular links to the brand websites too, but in cases where the item can be found cheaper somewhere else (like on Amazon) I let you know and linked you to the better deal (where I purchased it from). I'm just sharing a good deal when I see one!

Maybelline Dream Velvet soft-matte hydrating foundation | $9.49 on Amazon

I've been desperately searching for a new foundation forever with no success. I didn't like any of the expensive department store brand ones enough to justify spending the money on them, and the drugstore ones were one bad experience after the other. Finally, on a whim, I picked up this Maybelline Dream Velvet soft-matte foundation and I've been pretty happy with it so far. It feels really light but provides pretty good coverage at the same time. I tend to be on the oily side, but this matte formulation really stays matte for me and goes on without feeling greasy at all. I'm currently using the shade "Nude" and it's a perfect match for my skin tone. 

e.l.f. Cosmetics Nude Rose Gold palette | $10

I've been a little bit obsessed with these e.l.f. shadow palettes lately (I also got the Mad for Matte and Everyday Smoky ones). They're just so pretty and they're only $10! I was shopping online to restock some of my favorite tried & true e.l.f. products when I saw the Nude Rose Gold palette and just about died. I didn't even hesitate putting it in my cart! I love this palette- rose gold is very "in" right now, and these shimmery shadows are just beautiful. I've been wearing them just about every day!

Covergirl Oh Sugar! vitamin infused balm | $7.99

I'm a bit of a lip balm freak...I have to have something on my lips at all times, otherwise I feel dry and I start picking/biting my lips. These Oh Sugar! tinted lip balms are infused with grape seed oil, avocado butter, vitamin E & C, and they smell delicious. I love that they are just slightly tinted and give your lips just a teeny pop of sheer color while moisturizing my lips. Perfect to wear every day! I picked up the lightest shade, Cupcake, and it's just lovely. I will definitely get more of these in different colors.

Smashbox Photo Finish primer oil | $42

This was a random find in my Ipsy Glam Bag that I was dying to try. Here's the description from the website: Fall in love with your skin—before you put on makeup—with the first ever primer specially formulated in a lightweight, lustrous oil. This fast-absorbing hero blend of 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils penetrate instantly to moisturize your face for seamless foundation application with a dewy, youthful finish. In fact, you might think twice before you reach for your makeup. Just a few drops of the primer oil was enough for my entire face, and my foundation did seem to go on really smoothly. It has a light, pleasant scent with a hint of lavender, and I felt like it added a bit of a soft glow to my skin. 

Pixi Rose Gold beauty blush duo (with kabuki brush) | $18

Another Ipsy Glam Bag find! Just like the Nude Rose Gold eyeshadow palette above, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this other rose gold product! I have a Pixi bronzer (also from Ipsy!) and I love it, so I knew I'd love this one too. The rosy pink blush is gorgeous on the apples of the cheeks, and the golden highlighter gives a subtle pop of shimmer up on the cheekbones. I only wish the pink color was a tad darker- it seems like I have to apply a lot in order for it to show up. 

Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder | $33

I got this finishing powder a few months ago in my Ipsy bag and forgot to give it a try. Since it was a delux sample in my glam bag, it was the perfect little size for my recent trip to Kaua'i. The consistency reminded me a lot of my e.l.f. HD Powder- it's superfine and light. The Tarte finishing powder contains Amazonian Clay, so even in the higher humidity my face still stayed shine-free and my makeup never settled into any fine lines or wrinkles. I think this is my new favorite powder! 

NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick | $7

Can you guess where I found this one? Yep, Ipsy! OK, that's 4 new products I love enough to put on my favorites list. (If you're not already a member of Ipsy you should join me here! It's only $10 for 5 deluxe beauty samples and a super cute bag). Anyway, I'm a huge fan of NYX lip products, so I had high hopes for this one. I love the look of matte lips, but I generally can't stand the over-dryness of most matte lip products (be it a cream, lip stick, etc). This one is a cream lipstick- meaning, it looks like a gloss at first, but it goes on as a matte cream with the coverage of a lipstick. It's the best of both worlds, really! The color I got was Pink Lust, which is a bright, vibrant rose pink color. It's a bit bright, but I needed a new bold color for spring in my collection. I'd love to get more of these in other colors because I love the finish and the fact that it didn't feel cakey or thick.

Well, there you go- seven of my recent beauty favorites. Have you used or heard of any of these? Let me know in the comment section- I love hearing about new beauty products and why I need to be using them!

Don't forget to enter this giveaway too!

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