Filed In: Nails

16 Beautiful Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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As the saying goes: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Here’s what I’ll be stuffing my (and my husband’s) stockings with this year. Which beauty product picks will you add to your list?

korres masks

Korres

Korres Beauty Shots, $36

Four mini facial masks with active fruit ingredients will get your skin glowing. The nectarine version moisturizes while the watermelon cools, grapefruit brightens and cranberry firms and lifts.

Kiehl's Hand Salve and Lip Balm #1

Kiehl’s

Kiehl’s Soothing Essentials Duo, $18

Perfect for you, or your other half, this duo contains two of my all-time favorite products from Kiehl’s. The Lip Balm #1 and the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

by terry baume du rose

By Terry

By Terry Baume de Rose Colour Collection, $89

I pretty much love everything from By Terry. I’m a sucker for anything infused with rose. So this ready-to-gift set of five tinted baumes is a must-have.  (more…)

Halloween Nail Art From the Pros: It’s Not Too Late to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

If you’re looking for a last minute way to join in on tomorrow’s festivities without wearing a full-blown costume, I say Halloween-inspired nail art is absolutely the way to go. (If I wasn’t still recovering from a gross stomach virus that has wiped out my whole family, I’d be wearing one of them already.) Here’s how to get the looks step-by-step from the nail pros who created them:

halloween nail art bloody manicure

Bloody Manicure by Jin Soon Choi

Prep: Apply a coat of JINsoon Power Coat

Step 1: Coat each nail in JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Kookie White.

Step 2: Using JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Coquette, wipe off all of the nail polish from the brush on the neck of the bottle and with varying short strokes, apply polish over the white you just swiped on. You’ll get a more realistic effect if you vary the strokes and even dab or blot the color on in a few places. (more…)

NYFW Runway vs. My Way: Silver Mirage Manicure

creatures of the wind new york fashion week silver nails

Today’s New York Fashion Week (Spring/Summer 2015) beauty look is inspired by the Creatures of the Wind show. Butter London Global Colour Ambassador, Katie Jane Hughes, created this insanely-simple-to-replicate silver nail that was inspired by a mirage. It’s essentially a deconstructed manicure. Fantastic in all of its imperfections. She did that intentionally to prevent the sparkly silver nail color from looking “too costume-y”. I recreated it because it’s pretty much the ideal style of manicure or nail art for my busy lifestyle. I did this look in about three minutes. No joke. Here’s how to get the look: (more…)

The 3 Nail Polish Shades You Need Now

The blazing heat hasn’t prevented me from coating my toes in darker nail polish hues (I’m currently wearing OPI My Private Jet, $9) and getting excited for sweater season. I wish it would arrive already. I’m a cool-weather girl. 

I’m also a big fan of adding at least two or three new shades of nail polish to my collection each season. The ones I highly recommend investing in after scoping the Fall 2014 runway shows, beauty editor friends’ nails and my favorite brands’ latest collections are:

dress-to-kilt-essie-nail-polish Essie Nail Polish in Dress to Kilt, $8.50 — a stunning and ultra chic deep red shade. I just removed this from my nails and can’t wait to wear it again. A classic was born when this shade was created. 

jinsoon nocturne

 

JINsoon Nail Polish in Nocturne, $18 — I first saw this deep metallic gunmetal hue backstage at the Tess Giberson show at New York Fashion Week in February. It was nameless at the time. I immediately fell in love.

 

butter london alabaster glaze

 

Butter London Alabaster Glaze Nail Lacquer, $15 — A contradiction to typical fall nail colors, nude and lighter, sheer hues are also hitting a high note this season. When this particular shade was used at the Lela Rose show, it was swiped diagonally on half the nail. I think it’s a great hue to use to create low-key nail art. 

Which nail color hue will you wear this season?

The Beauty Problem Solver of This Week is …

cutex spa formula nail polish remover

Cutex Spa Formula Nail Polish Remover, $3.98

Why: I was absolutely skeptical this formula would deliver what it actually claimed to do — make it possible to remove stubborn glitter polishes, gel manicures and other hard-to-remove lacquers. But, it totally does. Normally glitter polishes have to practically be scraped off with a knife, but when I used this spa remover, it actually swiped off with much, much less effort. Still not equally as easy to remove as a typical polish, but it came pretty close. The remover was really put to the test when I removed the CND Vinylux I sported a couple weeks ago. It easily removed that long-lasting polish from my fingernails. And, when I hit up a salon for a pedicure, the remover used by the manicurist was far inferior at removing the Vinylux polish from my toes. Proof that this stuff really is something different. Not just clever marketing. Though it is pretty clever to capitalize on the glitter and gel trend. Nice work, Cutex!

 

My Nail Polish Prayers Have Been Answered

cnd vinylux bicycle yellow

If you haven’t tried CND Vinylux Weekly Polish and Weekly Top Coat, you simply must. It’s my new manicure/pedicure obsession. Here’s why:

No. 1: It’s the perfect hybrid of Shellac/gel and standard nail lacquer. It’s long lasting, but doesn’t require special curing, buffing or removal.

No. 2: There are 70 (yes, seven-zero) shades to choose from. Including the fantastic Bicycle Yellow pictured above. It was my color of choice.

No. 3: The finish is super shiny.

No. 4: My manicure lasted eight days before chipping. This is a small miracle. Considering that normal polish usually chips after three to four days on my hands, I was beyond impressed at this polish’s longevity. I continued to wash dishes sans gloves, dig through my bottomless pit of a bag for keys, my phone and everything else day after day and it still held strong.

No. 5: My pedicure is on day 17 and looks nearly flawless (minus some regrowth). While pedicures always last way longer than manicures, this is still noteworthy.

The only thing that would make this product even more amazing: zero drying time. Right now it dries in about the same time as a standard lacquer, but a girl can dream, right?!

One final warning: It does take a skilled manicurist to apply the product. Precision is key to getting a nice smooth finish that will last as long as possible. If you’ve tried this previously and didn’t have great results, you might want to try it again with someone who you’re confident is a nail polish application perfectionist.

 

Easter Egg-Inspired Manicure

Easter Nail Art

While I’ve already decided to sport a solid nail polish hue for my easter manicure (details coming soon), I love this multi-layered, tie-dyed easter egg-inspired nail art that the fabulous Jin Soon Choi cooked up. Here’s how she did it:

Step 1: File and shape your nails into a natural square or roundish shape.

Step 2: Apply a base coat. Try JINsoon Power Coat, $18

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Lazy Girl Nail Art

Jinsoon Polka Black

If you, like me, have less than five minutes to make your hands look presentable — and even, gasp, fantastic — do what I did. Grab a glittery or interesting-looking topcoat. I used the new Jinsoon Lacquer in Polka Black, $18. Slap on a clear basecoat and finish with the topcoat. Even without a colorful nail polish base, you’re left with a fun manicure that took very, very little effort. And even less drying time.

French Manicure Friday: The Only French You’ll Catch Me Wearing

Non Traditional French Manicure

My least favorite nail look ever has got to be the classic French manicure. Sure, I’m guilty of having worn the look in the early ’90s, but in my opinion, that decade is where it should have stayed. But, add some non traditional French manicure colors to the classic design and you get a look that’s totally fresh and so much more fun. To get this look I used Essie Nail Polish in After School Boy Blazer, $8.50 as the base and Flower Beauty in Thistle or That?, $4.98 on the tips. It’s by far garnered the most compliments of any nail look I’ve ever worn. Definitely worth a repeat.

The Green(ish) Nail Polish I’ll Be Wearing This St. Patty’s Day (And Many Other Days After That)

photo (22)

While I’d like to play it totally cool and ignore the fact that March 17th isn’t a festive day to celebrate, I simply can’t. I’m a total sucker for holidays. I’m all for any excuse to eat treats that come around only once a year or have a drink or two on a week night (green beer, anyone?). Holidays are meant to be a break from the normal routine, which is what I love about them. And people, in general, are just more upbeat on holidays like St. Patty’s day — do you agree? I wish we could bottle the positive vibe and bring it out on a typical (blah) Monday.

And, while you won’t find me wearing a headband embellished with glittery clover antennas next Monday, you will find me sporting this leafy-hued nail polish — OPI Nail Lacquer in AmazON … AmazOFF, $9 (part of the Brazil Collection). My sister Sam first wore a few weeks ago and I was crushing on it (and her fringe bag). It’s the perfect blend of blue and green — green enough not to get you pinched, but blue enough for you to keep your cool.