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Friday, February 28, 2014

It's Time To Announce the Two Lucky SPRING GIVEAWAY Winners

It is time to announce the Two lucky Winners for our Spring Giveaway valued at over $250.00 of An Arbonne Make-Over by Me (Jennifer Matthie) Independent Arbonne Consultant, A Photo shoot from Mariah Gallacher Photographer & Owner of Sunshine Photography, A Personalized Arbonne Pamper Package AND 20-30 High Quality Edit Images on a USB stick are... 

Quinn Bell 

Kristen Knapp 

Thank You SO very much to everyone who took the time to qualify 
& shared links to our Blogs, your continued support means a lot to both Mariah and Myself♥

 Keep Your Eyes peeled for Future Giveaways♥

Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Black Gloss on Matte French Manicure

High gloss nails will always be absolute perfection in my eyes but I have really been wanting to try out the Matte look! l recommend a Matte Top Coat (I used Quo By Orly Matte Topcoat) as apposed to investing in a collection of Matte finish colours - You can still achieve a plain flat Matte nail if you want OR you can get creative, mix it up & do a unique design 
using both the Gloss & Matte finishes
- the possibilities are absolutely endless!

What You Will Need:

  • Black Nail-polish (Gloss finish)
  • Quo Matte Topcoat

Step #1. Apply two thin coats of black nail-polish!

Be sure to allow nails to dry COMPLETELY 
between steps/layers of polish
Step #2. Apply Matte Top Coat (apply one thin coat following the "Three Stripe Rule" explained in my previous blog - to ensure the finish will dry properly without any streaks/brush marks.)
Step #3. Re-Apply your Black Nail-polish on the tips of your nails to complete the French Manicure Look. 

If you lack a naturally steady hand like me - A trick is to brace the side of your hand on the table as you paint to help keep your hand from shaking & the line straight.
If you don't feel comfortable free-hand painting the tips - you can always use nail tape, masking tape, or those hole reinforcement stickers (for a rounded tip)!

Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

Monday, February 24, 2014

20 Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Perfect DIY Manicured Nails

Below I have shared some of my best and person favourite tips and tricks for achieving the Perfect DIY Manicured Nails!! 
Keep an eye out for the second portion of this post where I will be sharing even MORE Hacks and Cheats on how to create your own Professional Manicure from home for a fraction of the cost - including directions on how to make your own DIY Nail Stickers & so much more!

#1. Start with a clean blank slate! It doesn't matter how perfectly you apply your polish - If your nails aren't clean and bare you'll be left with a mess! Always remove ALL excess nail polish left on the nails. Wash your hands with soap and water, making sure to clean under your nails, and if necessary buff the tops to get rid of any deep ridges or splitting edges!

#2. The 3 stripe rule for a professional finish.
I found this picture that explains it much more poetically than I can.
inforgraphic on properly painting ones nails, starting with a clean nail , then with base coat, then with a small drop of colored polish, then a stripe up the middleinfographic on nail polish application, showing the progression of polish application over five different nails.

#3. I'm often asked how I get my manicures to last without chipping - Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Colour in Clear! I absolutely swear by this as my go to top coat!! You can even use it on top of your lower quality polishes (I have a few that I just LOVED the colour but absolutely hate the finish) and always end up with a perfect finish that will LAST!

#4. After applying your top coat the same way as you did your polish *as explained above in #1* swipe across the tip/end of your nail! This will seal your polish as well as making it much more resistant to chips and peeling! 

#5. Instead of going out and buying all new matte finish polishes, Invest in a good matte top coat and turn all of your favourite gloss polishes into matte polishes! This also allows you to try different looks & mix it up! 
I recently got a matte top coat by Quo and I will be sharing tutorials using this VERY soon! 

#6.If you have pale or dry hands you may find that they become stained after you remove your polish! Fix this by applying a good hand cream before the polish to protect and provide a barrier on your skin! My absolute favourite is FC5 Ultra-Hydrating Hand Creme by Arbonne!!
#7. How to remove nail polish, glitter, and shellac, easily with NO mess!
A lot of you have asked about how I remove all of the glitter and sparkles I use on my nails, or have said you love the look of glitter but can't stand the mess of a removing it! I use acetone (This can also be used to remove fake nails but that is a bit more extensive so I will be posting a tutorial explaining this process in the near future) which can be found at most if not ALL nail salons, as well as Target & various other departments stores!
Step1. Using a cotton ball soaked in acetone press down on your nail firmly and hold for 10-30seconds do this one each nail allowing the acetone to penetrate the layers!
Step 2. Using a fresh acetone soaked cotton ball go back, starting with the nail you started with and wipe off the polish with ease!

#8. Apply Natural Oil or VapoRub around the nail bed before painting your nails for the absolute PERFECT manicure every time. I find this trick especially helpful for my right hand! This will allow you to easily flake off any excess polish around the nail!
I Use Aromassentials Awaken or Unwind (I absolutely love essential oils, if you have never heard or tried them - I suggest you do) 

#9. The first few coats of glitter polish should be DABBED on! This will give you MUCH more precision and control over where the sparkles/glitter fall!!

#10. Apply several thin coats of polish as apposed to one thick one! I realize obviously this takes more time but it will be a more durable, long-lasting finish!

#11. Create the perfect Polka-Dots using the round end of a Bobby pin! 

#12. Make your own nail 'detailer' by attaching/shoving a pin into the eraser at the end of a pencil to use when creating intricate designs!

#13. I loved the initial idea... But I actually hate the FAST?QUICK drying polishes. They almost seem to dry as I'm still applying them, and I'm never happy with how they turn out! Instead, soak your nails in ICE WATER to dry your nails perfectly without a smudge in just 3minutes!

#14. Apply a coat of white polish under sheer/thin or bright/neon colours to minimize the number of coats needed & really make the colour pop!

#15. Nail Polish Savior! Nail Thinner can be added to polishes that were left open or starting to loose their luster! Just slowly add to the bottle & shake as needed until you are happy with the consistency!

#16. You may not think it makes a difference but what nail file you use absolutely can make or BREAK your nails! I strongly suggest ditching the disposable files for good and investing in a glass or crystal nail file - they are easy to clean (rinse with water & let dry) and actually seal the keratin layers on the surface of the nail preventing splits, chips & breakage.

There are quite a few tips and tricks to whiten your nails & remove stains left behind after nail polish. A few of the ones I find most effective:

#17. Many people use tooth paste. The ingredient in it that is actually doing the whitening is Baking Soda - So I suggest just using a small amount of plain old-fashioned Baking Soda on a tooth brush for much better results.
*You'll also find much better results whitening your teeth with Baking Soda over a "whitening toothpaste" as well*

#18. You can also create a paste out of peroxide and baking soda for a very effective stain remover for nails *Apply to nails and let sit for 60seconds then scrub with a tooth brush.

#19. Denture Cleaner! It really doesn't matter what kind you use - they all contain various ingredients to effectively lift stains off of hard white surfaces! Dissolve the cleaner in a bowl of warm water and soak your nails!

#20. You can also use lemon juice which has a natural bleaching agent!
simply Dab onto nails and let sit for as long as desired to rinse away stains!

Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DIY 'Garb-Ollage‏'

Create your own unique and completely personalize-able(can that be a word) Garbage Pail using old flyers & catalogs in just Two Simple Steps!
We all have heaps of them... 
& often they are just thrown into the trash or recycling 
as quickly as they come! 
But why put them in the garbage...
When you can put them on the garbage?! 
The bright patches of colours and natural texture will remind you of a quilt!
Token loves the new Garb-Ollage too❤

What You Will Need: 

  • Mod-Podge /OR/ clear drying white craft glue
  • Paint brush
  • Paper Trimmer /OR/ scissors & ruler 
  • Garbage container
  • Recycled Flyers & Catalogues this is where you can really play with the design (I used last season's Arbonne catalogues & picked through to find various pages with pictures of flowers to create a floral patchwork design) You can create any variation of style depending on what pages you chose!

DIY Garb-Ollage

Step 1.  
Cut your pages into trips. roughly half an inch thick
Step 2. 
Starting at the top of the container descending down (as seen in the images below) Begin painting on your Mod-Podge Or white glue in a thin consistent coat - applying your strips of paper over lapping ever so slightly & painting over with more Mod-Podge to seal down any loose end or lifting pieces. 
Try to keep the direction of the paper strips as uniform as you can! 
Do not worry if they wrinkle, this will add to the quilted look!
Just keep on Mod-Podging(?) manageable sections of your container ( keeping in mind that Mod-Podge dries fairly quickly) and adding strips until you have covered the ENTIRE thing!! & You're DONE!
Optional Step 3. 
You can seal this using an Acrylic Sealer,(which will essentially protect and make your paper/collage project(s) water resistant - making it more durable and washable!) such as Mod Podge Clear Gloss Acrylic Sealer which can be found at just about any craft or department store!

Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I am very excited to announce that Mariah from Sunshine Photography & Myself have teamed up for A Spring Giveaway!! 

Mariah & I grew up together in the same tiny own (which we both adore to this day) & though we weren't in the same grade ( I was in her older Brother's grade & could seriously go on & on about how this girl, as well as her Amazing brother has inspire or influenced me over the years). - We went to school(s) together from Kindergarten to High school! We even ended up studying post secondary in the same city, where we met back up again (what will be almost two-years ago now ) to do a styled photo shoot together! 

We had been soo busy with life , school, work and running our own part-time businesses from home that we seemed to only ever have time to brainstorm or plan possible things to do together.. 
With the recent Launch of Both of our Blogs & we decided that now was the absolute perfect time to team up for this amazing Giveaway that is seriously way to good to miss out on!! 

Two Lucky Winners will be randomly selected to WIN An Arbonne Make-Over by Me (Jennifer Matthie) Independent Arbonne Consultant, As well as a Photo shoot from Mariah Photographer & Owner of Sunshine Photography .This will also Include A Personalized Arbonne Pamper Package As well as 20-30 High Quality Edit Images on a USB stick.

To Qualify

  • You must share separate links to both & ( this must be done as two individual - separate shares) This Giveaway is Open to Both Facebook & Instagram
  • On instagram you must be Following & tagg @JenieLeeMathie (on shares for Upcy) & @sunshinephotography18 (on shares for sunshine photography)
  • and #arbonnesunshinegiveaway
  • On Facebook You must LIKE both of the following pages: Sunshine Photography and Independent Consultant Jennie Matthie. Due to issues with the way facebook is run you MUST share and like both the links to this giveaway We have posted on those pages (THATS IT)!
  • This is how we will track your shares If you have a private account please message/comment to let us know you have completed the requirements
  • You Must be following Both Pages on whatever social networking site you are posting your share from. 
  • You MUST share BOTH Blogs for your entry to count 
  • You can share BOTH BLOGS as many times (for as many entries to this giveaway) as you want on both of these social networking sites

    Winners Will Be Announced on February 28th!!

    Upcy Facebook Page-

    Sunshine Photography Facebook Page-

    Upcy Instagram-@JennieLeeMatthie

    SunshinePhotography Instagram- @sunshinephotography18

    Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

    DIY Loose Glitter Ombre Nails

    DIY Loose Glitter Ombre Nails

    I have been meaning to try loose glitter on my nails for a while now, anyone who knows me (even slightly) knows how obsessed I am with glitter & sparkles♥ 
    I am also really loving Ombre nails right now so why not have my cake and eat it too!!

    What You Will Need:

    1. - Base colour ( I chose black)
    2. - Loose nail/cosmetic glitter ( I chose silver) you can find this in just about every cosmetic section
    3. - a small but loose bristle paint (or old cosmetic) brush
    4. - clear top coat ( I always use Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip)

    Keep Calm & Sparkle On

    Step 1. Begin by painting your nails your desired base colour!

    - remembering that several thin is better than one thick layer

    Step 2. When your final coat of coloured polish is applied BUT STILL WET gently bad glitter onto the tip of your nails using your brush.
    - You are more going to gently guide the glitter as it falls naturally onto your nail as apposed to actually pressing it into the paint as this will smudge the paint
    Step 3. Add a thin coat of clear polish & repeat Step 2.
    Step 4. Add a second thin coat of clear polish and gently tap the glitter filled brush over nails so the excess glitter falls freely onto your entire nail perfecting the gradient look!
    Step 5. Finish with a third and final thin coat of clear polish! 
    - All of these thin layers of clear & glitter is what gives you the gel manicure look 
    - Make sure you allow your nails to try COMPLETELY between each step or you will have a goopy' mess that never dries on your hands 

    Step 6. Remove excess polish from around nail bed & wash your hands 
    -this look is a lot more of a mess than most but i absolutely love the results!!!
    Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    'Sweethearts' Inspired DIY Manicure

    This Adorable Valentines Manicure idea is actually one that was given to me by my younger brother (thanks buddy!), It is SO simple to do & has a big impact – I wasn't sure whether or not I should post this Tutorial ( because it really is very simple & will be quite short) But so many people (both men & women) stopped to compliment or ask me about them when I was out today so I felt like I should share it with you guys!

    What You Will Need:
    • 5 different colours of polish (I chose pale blue, pale greeen, yellow, purple, and coral – all from the CRUSH line sold at Boathouse. Make sure that you are choosing colours with the same finish – Choosing all of your colours from the same line will insure this, but it absolutely not necessary)
    • A good top coat – Again I went with Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip in Clear.
    • A Red Polish (Fine tip if you have it)
    • If you do not have a fine tip Red you will also need a pin/needle.

    Lets Get Painting Sweethearts! 

    Step 1. Begin By Painting each nail a different colour as the base. 
    Remember that it is always better to do two or three thin coats rather than one thick one!

    Step 2. Once your base colours have all dried – Begin writing your cute sweet heart phrases! I was eating some at the time so i had lots of inspiration – if you aren't you can always Google them, Copy the ones I choose (xoxo, Be Mine, Kiss Me, I (heart) You, Love Bug) or get creative & make them up your self!

    If you have fine tip nail polishes GREAT! If not, you certainly don't have to go out and buy them! A Simple trick I use if I don't have the colour I want/NEED in a fine tip is to use a pin! 
    Simply Dab a small amount of the polish onto a surface you don’t mine being covered in Polish (i use the back of my journal) & then simple dip the tip of the pin into the Polish and proceed to draw/write as you normally would (as I have shown in the images below) I find it helps if I brace my arm on a table edge to keep my hand steady!

    Step 3. Again after this has dried completely you are going to finish with your clear top coat for Extra shine (this will also fix any small imperfections)!

    Never Be Afraid To Sparkle A Little Brighter

    Glitter Ombre Nails

    As requested I will be sharing some of my favourite Nail Hacks & Tutorials for the perfect DIY Manicure & Pedicures!!
    This look is one of my absolute favourites right now for every day, it is very simple to do & can easily be switched up to look extra Festive for any Holiday or Event!!

    What You Will Need:
    • A Base Colour/ Clear Coat
    • A small glitter polish
    • & large glitter/fleck polish
    • A clear Top coat – A good top coat can make or break the finished look of your nail art.
    I absolutely swear by Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Clear Top Coat (retails for about $5.00)! I have shopped around and tried A LOT of different brands (including some of the higher end - and therefor much more expensive ones) but nothing seems to be as strong ,or have as amazing of a 'wet' shine look as this one!

    Begin By Painting your entire nail with your Base colour/coat ( I went with just a classic white for mine).

    Whether or not you want your Ombre to be on the tip of your nails or the nail bed – the application process will be the same you will just start from the apposing side. I went with the nail bed.
    Once your base coat is completely dry - Starting with the smaller glitter polish start painting from the cuticle only going about half way down your nail ( allow the glitter to spread as it will for a nice gradual effect). If you want your tips to be Ombre than start at the end of your nail painting towards the cuticle

    Once this is also completely dry - Using the second and Larger glitter polish you will repeat the same process as you did with the smaller glitter stopping just before you had with that (this will give you a natural looking faded effect)

    Again waiting until after they are completely dry – Finish with your Clear Top Coat for added shine!

    Never Be Afraid To Sparkle A Little Brighter 

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Valentines Glitter Heart Wreath

    Valentines Glitter Heart Wreath

    What you'll need:

    • recycled newspapers/advertisements
    • scissors
    • tape (of any kind)
    • ribbon (tape can be used in place if you do not have ribbon it will just take a lot!)
    • white card stock (I used banana leaf paper I had gotten from a recent trip to Cuba you just need any thick paper that will hold its shape)
    • coloured/decorative paper
    • feathers
    • mod-modge (or clear drying liquid glue)
    • paint (i chose gold to go with my colour scheme this year)
    • glitter (i chose silver)
    • 3 straws
    • paint brushes (in a variety of sizes)
    • hot glue gun
    • glue-stick refills

    Creating your Heart-Shaped Wreath

    Step 1. Building your basic heart shape
    Using Recycled news papers/advertisements I create a long tube like shape that I bent in the middle and used tape and mold into a VERY rough heart-shape. As seen below!
    DO NOT stress if this is not a perfect (or even close to perfect) heart shape just yet!

    Step 2. Wrapping/Shaping your heart
    I used Ribbon to wrap the entire heart & I found this helped with shaping (and also made for less creases 
    when applying the glitter). You could use tape or sheets of paper, whatever you have on hand to help wrap and form your heart into a more uniform heart shape . Just keep playing around until you are happy with your shape!

    Step 3. Mod-Podge and Glitter
    I strongly recommend laying down a garbage bag or crafting tarp before you begin this step (& remember to save the excess glitter that is left when you are finished for your next project!) 
    Using a large paint brush start anywhere by applying mod-podge (or glue) (it dries quite quiet so you don’t want to do to big of an area at once) Than start shaking on your glitter!!! It will will dry clear so there is nothing wrong with going back over a spot that seems it lacks glitter and add a little more mod-podge or glue and reapply glitter) Continue this process all the way around your wreath until you are happy with the results!
    Leave until completely dry and move on to making your arrow & decals! 

    Step 4. Creating Cupids Arrow/Unique Details 
    I have Included Instructions on How I Made my Details & Arrow below feel free to re-create them or use them as inspiration - but remember It's not about it being perfect its about creating your own unique piece of art, so have fun with your design & don’t be scared to let your creativity flow!

    Creating Cupid's Arrow & Feather Details

    Accordion Wheel.

    I made an accordion type wheel out of glittery pink paper with the #14 in the middle for Valentines Day on a piece of Banana Leaf Paper (you can use card-stock). If you would like to re-create one of these follow the directions Below:

    Step 1. Begin by cutting out three circles 
    ( sorry I forgot to take pictures of these steps during the original process so i re-created this template for you to follow ) Two larger out of what ever decorative paper you chose and one out of white card stock/banana leaf paper

    Step 2. Cut the two larger circles in half

    Step 3. Fold Accordion style
    Begin folding the corner of one back from the center about a cm in and continue this process folding back and forth for all 4 half circles. As shown in the images below:

    Step 4. Re-arrange your 4 half circles to make one as shown below:
    Using your hot glue gun attach the 4 pieces together making sure you are lining it up from the OUTSIDE!! Yes - this will leave a weird hole in the middle but we will cover it no stress!

    Step 5. Glue your white circle over the middle & paint/ decorate however you chose!
    I painted on the number 14 in gold & glitter for Valentines Day – another cute Idea could be your & your Valentines Initials?
    worst circle ever - sorry about the awful cutting job! I was in a rush to make this template!

    Gold Dipped Feathers

    To re-create this look is incredible easy – Pick out a few feathers and lay flat on the table using a small angled paint brush draw a diagonal line and begin painting up and outwards being careful not to tare or tangle the feather 'hairs'?
    (unfortunately I do not have a picture of this step individually please scroll down to “Cupids Arrow” to see an image of this process)

    Cupids Arrow

    Step 1. Creating Arrow Shaft 
     Tape three straws together end to end 
     (you could also use a piece of dowel if you have it but I didn't so I had to make do with paper straws)

    Step 2. Creating Arrow Head & Fletchings 
    Using the left over card-stock or banana leaf paper from your Accordion wheel draw out the shapes you would like for your Arrows Head & Fletchings (those cute little details on the end that allow the arrow fly) & cut everything out.

    Step 3. Paint & Assembly 
    Paint all of the pieces with whatever accent colour your like (I chose gold) as shown below. Leave to let dry completely and then assemble using a hot glue gun. 
    (sorry I don't have more images of these steps I will do my best to include more in future Tutorials)
    shown here are the painted feathers, & all the painted parts of the Arrow before being assembled.

    Wreath Assembly

    By This time your Glitter Heart should be completely dried and ready to go! 
    (& remember to shake of any excess glitter onto the bag or tarp and save it for your next project – you’ll be amazed how much would have been wasted)

         Using your Arrow and Decorations begin laying them out over the wreath until you are happy with the layout. (I used my accordion to cover a dent/glitter-less my cat made in mine when he decided to shove it off the table while still wet) Just remember to get Creative with it! Once you are happy with where you want all of your pieces to go begin attaching them with your hot glue gun – you will only have one shot at this as ripping it off and re-applying is not a recommended option)


         I loved the way my wreath looked at this stage and wanted to hang it exactly as it was – so i just added a piece of 3M 'Command Strips'! 
    (They are like Velcro that has an adhesive strip on the back to attach to just about anything and then press against the wall or door to hang & then just pull it off and the strips peal off the wall without chipping paint.) These are perfect for me as I am constantly changing up the decor in our home for every season and cant imagine the holes my walls would have accumulated if i had to use nails or screws for everything I hung!

    Another Option is to add a Length of Ribbon (and maybe a bow) to the top of your Wreath to hang!

    I hope you have enjoyed this Tutorial & If you have any questions or request for a future post feel free to share them below or contact me personally at!
    Never be afraid to sparkle a little brighter!