Category: Nails

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection Will Get Your Fingers and Toes Ready for Summer!

Published in: Essie, Guest Post, Nails

Essie Resort 2016 Collection

All four shades from the collection on my nails… New trend? No.

I feel the need to talk about some nail polish today, so let’s talk about this cute collection, Essie Resort 2016.

If you knew me a couple of years ago, you probably would have known about my ridiculous polish addiction. Like, the addiction was real. I had a shelf covered with hundreds — yes, hundreds — of bottles.

I’ve since downsized to my current nail polish collection, but those were the days… I would paint my nails a different color almost every day of the week, not even kidding. I even got really good at design, but alas, babies came and time got short, and sleep became more important.

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection

I am so, so ashamed to admit that I’ve only painted my nails maybe once over the last six months (!). That is just ree-dic and so unlike me, so when my best friend texted me the other day to go get my nails done with her, I jumped at the chance.

I also did something really different — I got acrylics! — and had them do the almond shape. I’ve always admired almond shaped nails but never thought to try them myself. Turns out, I LOVE them! There’s just something so feminine about long nails, although I am having the hardest time typing this post. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

In honor of my new nails, I’m wearing the new Essie Resort Collection for 2016.

All of these colors are so up my alley. I’ve never, ever been one to shy away from bright colors. In fact, they’re what I gravitate toward, and these are gorgeous! And actually pretty unique!

Normally when I get new nail polish colors the ones I decide to get aren’t too special compared to the polishes I already have, but some of these are unique and unlike anything I own.

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection

From left to right: Taj-Ma-Haul, Dehli Dance, Going Guru, Nama-Stay The Night

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Graduation Day Done Right: Hair, Makeup and Nail Tips for a Long-Lasting, Camera Ready Look to Take You From the Ceremony, to Your Post-Grad Family Fetes, to the Big Festivities at Night #sponsored

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, Sponsored Post

graduation-day-done-right-1

This post was sponsored by imPRESS Gel Manicures. Designed for every mood, every moment. Check out imPRESSmanicure.com for more colors and designs!

Aren’t graduations the best? They’re one of my favorite milestone events, because not only do they commemorate a major life success, but they also herald the start of a new adventure.

I dunno… I just love that feeling of endless possibilities. It’s like, “the future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.” (Extra big ups if you actually get that reference.)

If you’re graduating this year, first, congrats, babe! Second, when you get to the end of the ceremony and everybody is throwing their caps up into the air, please throw yours as high as you can! — because I never got to do it at my graduation ceremonies (don’t know why, but it wasn’t allowed). And this way I can live vicariously through you.

Third, we gotta talk pre-grad hair, makeup and nails (of course), because graduation days, in my experience, tend to be looong.

There are the pre-parties (more on these in a sec), then the actual ceremony, then the post-ceremony celebrations, and then, if you’re a champ, the post-post-celebration parties at night.

That all adds up to a long day and a long night, and seeing as how everyone’s a photographer these days (hello, camera phones!), it doesn’t hurt to be camera ready for all of it.

First, let’s start with your makeup. 🙂

Makeup

One word: primer. Before you paint that face, prime that skin.

Two of my go-to primers by Make Up For Ever and NARS

Two of my go-to primers by Make Up For Ever and NARS

Makeup primers work a little like paint primer…except they’re for your skin and not the walls. They fill in uneven areas so that any products you apply on top of them — like your concealer, your foundation, etc. — look smoother and last longer.

I’ve taken roughly 10 gajillion pictures for le blog (give or take), and I think primer makes a HUGE difference, especially when it comes to face products like foundation and concealer.

Primers also help your makeup apply more evenly, so you don’t get any of those funky patches where your blush or your eyeshadow look darker in some spots than others.

But the main reason I suggest wearing primer on graduation day is longevity. That’s primer’s superhero power — the ability to grab makeup and not let go — so if you’re having a long day, which then goes into a long night, your makeup stays intact longer and doesn’t fade as quickly.

I’d do a face primer, and then also an additional eye primer for your lids. For face primers, I love the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primers ($37), because a little goes a long way, so I don’t have to use very much (which means that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing an extra layer of spackle), and they help my makeup last a good 12-14 hours.

I use the Smoothing Primer For Large Pores & Fine Lines on my combination skin, but if you have oily skin, try their Mattifying Primer.

For eye primer, NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof ($26) is the best one out there in my opinion. It will hold onto your eye makeup like Tabs clutches his Chanel purse filled with cat treats! — and it won’t let go until you wash it off.

Here are a few more grad day makeup tips…

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Palm Beach Awaits With the Essie Spring 2016 Collection

Published in: Essie, Guest Post, Nails

essie spring 2016

Ready for the beach with Essie’s spring nail polishes

The Palm Beach-themed nail polishes in the Essie Spring 2016 nail polish collection have all the right moves for a tropical vacation, and I’m loving every shade! When I think of springtime colors, pastel shades come to mind, so I like that there are some super-saturated, unexpected colors in this six-piece release.

essie spring 2016

Love the range of colors

High Class Affair, the peachy nude, is my favorite of the collection. I love that it’s neutral but has juuust enough blush to be interesting.

essie spring 2016

Essie High Class Affair

I really think bright pink Lounge Lover would also be beautiful as a blush or a lipstick (Essie, are you listening?).

essie spring 2016

Essie Lounge Lover

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:)

Gel Habits Die Hard: Quitting My Gel Manicure Habit

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun, Nails

gel nails, acrylics, nail polish

Baby’s first gel: a candy apple red (right) and my sister’s acrylics (left)

Last March, on a visit to see my sister, I asked if we could get a manicure together. Now, she gets gel acrylics, and while I’d only gotten a manicure maybe twice in my whole life, something made me really want one that day.

“Sure,” she responded, “I’m due for a fill!”

This began my obsession with gel manicures, which has continued to this day. Unfortunately, a year is all it has taken to potentially ruin my nails.

When I was around eleven, my mom was still getting acrylic nails. She loved going, and I loved how they looked. I also loved going with her and watching the whole process, seeing everything come off, and then watching the nail technician rebuild a perfect manicure right before my eyes. I felt the same sense of wonder when I started getting my own nails done as an adult.

A few years into acrylics, however, my mom got a horrible fungal infection under one nail, and she had to stop getting them altogether after that. That fact alone made me fear fake nails.

I got a regular manicure for a formal dance, acrylics for prom (which I promptly bit off a few days later) and, for some strange reason, decided that I needed gel acrylics in 2011. I got them filled twice before giving up on them, though, and it took my nails weeks to recover.

I was working in retail and wanted to have nice nails, but this was at the lawn and garden department of my local Walmart. It was hard to maintain them while I was literally playing around in the dirt.

My nails have always been thin and have a tendency to peel and crack. When they get even a little on the long side, they bend forward awkwardly, which leads me to believe I might be a victim of eggshell nails.

Over the past year, they’ve gotten better, as far as the peeling goes, due in part, I believe, to the fact that I quit smoking, started eating better, and I started taking collagen regularly. Nail problems can result from any number of things, like your diet (which, for me, despite my best attempts, isn’t always the best) or any medications you take.

Yet despite these problems, I’ve always loved doing my nails. As a kid, I had such an obsession with nail polish that I would paint my nails, but then take the polish off the next day to paint them a different color.

I can’t say this was exactly good for my nails…but it was fun. As an adult, I’ve been pickier. I’ve learned how to make my manicures last at least a week with gel top coats and by doing my best to preserve my hard work.

But the magic of real gel manicures hooked me. On my nails, they would often last almost a month, and it was worth the investment for something that wouldn’t chip or flake the moment I got my hands wet. For a while, they even seemed to make my nails stronger.

Some of my friends warned me against them and insisted that even though they were still my real nails, the gel process would cause problems (there are lots of arguments both for and against gel manicures).

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I actually started seeing, and feeling, the repercussions of “the lamp.”

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My Manicure Essentials

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails

manicure essentials

I love doing my nails. It’s relaxing, and I always feel proud of myself afterward for saving a few dollars (so I can spend it on more makeup, obvs).  

That being said, I usually don’t have a ton of time, so here are my essentials to get the job done as quickly and easily as possible.

Nail Clippers and File

Pretty obvious choice, but nothing ruins cute polish like ragged nails.  I’ve bought more expensive nail files, but I always go back to these cheap ones that come like a dozen to a box.  I like being able to stash these at work, in my purse and in my gym bag.  I also use the nail file to clean up the polish around the edges of my nails.

Cuticle Remover

I felt like such a pro the day I incorporated Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover into my manicure routine!  I never had the patience to soak my nails in water before pushing back my cuticles, so this product is perfect.  I squeeze it around my cuticles, lightly, push them back with my fingers, and then rinse it off.  It’s easy and really effective.  Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover is available at Target for $5.

Base Coat

I’m always looking for the best base coat, and lately I’ve been reaching for Orly Bonder.  I think it works well with different polishes, and I love that it dries quickly.  

It’s an extra step, but my nails won’t last more than a day without base coat.  Orly Bonder is available at Ulta for $10.

Nail Polish

I’m usually choosing between a neutral and a bold color, but I almost always end up going for the neutral.  I’m really hard on my nails, so I like to pick something that won’t show the chips.  When I sat down to do my nails the other day, I debated between Golden Sand and Cashmere, both by Mineral Fusion.  

I ended up choosing the nude, of course!  Golden Sand is a neutral tan with subtle silver shimmer.  It’s a unique and really pretty shade.  I like how it’s close enough to my skin tone to be subtle but doesn’t look muddy or boring.

mineral fusion polishes
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