Category: Nails

The Sephora Formula X #ColorCurators Edition Nail Polishes for 2016

Published in: Nails, Sephora

sephora formula x color curators

The Sephora Formula X #ColorCurators nail polish shades for January, February and March 2016 ($12.50 each)

How fun would it be to get a call from someone at MAC, Benefit, Urban Decay or Sephora today saying, “Hi, [insert your name here]! We love what you’ve been doing on your blog and YouTube channel, and we want, in the paraphrased words of Queen Madge, to help you express yo’self!”?

Beauty collaborations. Talk about fun! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to work with one of their fave brands to create their very own lipstick (Lipglass), quad or color?

Sephora’s new Formula X #ColorCurators program is Sephora’s latest beauty collaboration. Each month Sephora will release three limited edition nail polish shades either created or curated by a different mover/shaker in the online beauty, lifestyle or fashion space.

To get the program off to a good start are three people you may have heard of before — fashion blogger Aimee Song of Song of Style, beauty vlogger Patrick Starrr (I watch him on the ‘Tube, and all I have to say is “Slaaaaaaay!” LOL! Patrick cracks me up.) and blogger and author Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere.

Aimee’s shades just launched for January, Patrick’s colors arrive in February, and Emily’s shades debut in March.

sephora formula x nude for you

Nude For You, by Aimee Song of Song of Style

sephora formula x sephora formula x patrick she better werk

She Better Werk, by Patrick Starrr

sephora formula x girls best friend

Girl’s Best Friend, by Aimee Song of Song of Style

So, Formula X. Let’s talk about that. First, the line has been around a while and, if you’ve spent any time at Sephora in the recent past (which, I imagine you have, if you’re on MBB, LOL!), chances are their display of jaw-dropping nail colors and nail doodads has caught your eye. It may have also distracted you from buying dry shampoo, mascara or whatever else you originally intended to buy when you entered the store…

It’s OK. It happens to me too. 🙂

sephora formula x latte run

Latte Run, by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere

I’ve tried quite a few of these and other Formula X colors, and I like them, particularly their levels of pigment, their drying time (about 10-15 minutes, which is reasonably quick) and wear time, but that last one comes with a catch… I think you really have to pair them with the Formula X accoutrements, namely their base and top coats, to get the most wear time out of them.

sephora formula x peach tea

Peach Tea, by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere

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Essie Retro Revival 2016 Swatches & Quick (but Sleepy) Thoughts

Published in: Essie, Nails

essie retro revival 2016 collection

It’s a revival of the fittest over at Essie!

OK, I thought that was very clever at first…but now I see that it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Haha. I’m sorry, friend, but I barely got a wink of sleep last night. We had a scary storm with 45-mile-per-hour winds and nonstop rain, and it kept me up all night. I got through the day today, but now I’m passing out. Zzz…

I did, however, muster the energy to try on the new new Essie Retro Revival 2016 collection, which will go down in MBB history as “The Collection That Knocked Off My Red Dolce & Gabbana Christmas Mani of 2015 After About 2.5 Seconds.”


essie retro revival 2016 collection

The collection comes out next month with six $8.50 polishes, all of them throwbacks to colors that were previously released in limited edition Essie launches, so it’s sort of a glance back at the brand’s 35-year history.

In the comments, reader broantza left some dates for when these polishes first appeared in their respective limited edition launches (thank you, broantza!).

Cabana Boy – 2005; Birthday Suit – 1981; Bikini with a Martini – 2006; Sequin Sash – 2005; Life of the Party – 2002; Starry, Starry Night – 1997

It’s also limited edition, so if you see something you like, grab it (the collection’s on pre-sale now on the Essie website).

essie starry starry night swatch

Essie Starry Starry Night (two coats)

I’m excited about this one, especially Starry Starry Night, which is the dark glittery midnight blue, and Sequin Stash, the sheer glittery bronze with tiny flecks of glitter.

What can I say? Glitter — it moves me.

essie life of the party swatch

Essie Life of the Party (two coats)

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This Is a Christmas Mani (not a 49ers Mani)

Published in: Dolce & Gabbana, Nails

Dolce & Gabbana Dora 627

I like to do red and gold Christmas manis, and I’ve done them a few times over the years. I’ve also been asked a few times, usually by grunting, manly dudes, if I’m wearing 49ers colors on my nails, to which I say, “NO! This is red and gold. It’s a Christmas mani.”

For the longest time I thought this was a weird thing that only happened to me, but I was at the Kaiser lab a few weeks ago to take this really long, intensive glucose test that took three hours, and it was just me and all of the nice lab ladies kicking it old school. Well, Lacey, one of the gals who works there (hi, Lacey!), was wearing a similar manicure with red and gold glitter, and as she was drawing my blood for what seemed like the umpteenth time that day (at this point, we were already BFFs), we got to talking about her mani.

I was like, “I like your Christmas mani,” and she looked at me in complete surprise! Apparently, I’d been the only person to NOT assume she was wearing a San Francisco 49ers mani. She said that everyone, including her husband, all said (and we both said this at the same time), “You’re wearing 49ers colors!”

We had a good laugh.


So, I’m trying again this year, and I’m thinking about making this my latest Christmas mani, primarily because I love this red. It’s Dolce & Gabbana Dora 627 (it’s $27), and it’s from their holiday collection.

The gold on my accent nail is Smith & Cult Shattered Souls (and those Smith & Cult nail polishes sure have amaze-balls wear time).
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December Is Mini Mani Month With the $59 Ciaté London Mini Mani Month Set: Hoarders, Watch Out!

Published in: Ciaté London, Nails

ciate mini mani month open 1

The 24-piece Ciaté London Mini Mani Month Set ($59; a $199 value)

There are so many pretty, pint-sized bottles of nail polish in the utterly adorable Ciaté London Mani Mini Month set, and they’re all leading me to completely fail at my attempt to NOT hoard things.

ciate mini mani month

From the left: Raspberry Collins,Rom Com Rouge, Mini File and Purple Rain-Bow

ciate mini mani month 2

From the left: Hutch, Pom Pom, Double Bubblegum and Heirloom

There’s a long-running joke among my Filipino friends and I that Filipinos are hoarders, and, well…at least in my family, it’s totally true. Seriously, my folks never get rid of anything! On a trip home a few months ago, I found this one cheesy poster that hung in my room when I was a teenager. Came to find that it had been living in my parents’ garage for more than 20 years!

I tend to hold on to things a long time, too, but I’ve been working on it. I recently read Marie Kondon’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which has a lot of great tips, but it’s hard to resist the urge to hoard everything under the sun.

Especially when faced with something as hoard-worthy as this 24-piece set…

ciate mini mani month

Knight in Shining Armour, Cutie Pie, Miracle on 24th and Bloom Bloost

ciate mini mani month

A List, Chalet Chic, Cookies & Cream and Birthday Blue

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The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Smith & Cult

smith cult holiday trio 2

The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter ($54, available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online)

I can haz Smith & Cult paw polishes…? Because I’d like a wall of shelves filled with them.

It’s the bottles, man! I could spend hours starting at the bottles…

It’s as if whoever designed the bottle plumbed the depths of my makeup-loving soul for things that make my heart flutter, like the cursive typography, the hefty glass, the oval curves and the Dali-like cap (it looks like it’s melting!).

I love it when beauty products are actually, like, beautiful…and I friggin’ LOVE these bottles.

smith cult shattered sould

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Shattered Souls

These three fun shades are part of the new $54 Smith & Cult Red and Glitter Holiday Trio available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online. The trio comes with three full-size bottles of Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer from the brand’s permanent line in poppy red Kundalini Hustle, creamy eggplant Dark Like Me and golden glittery Shattered Souls.

Kundalini Hustle and Dark Like Me are both fully opaque, while Shattered Souls is glitter in a clear base.

As far as bargains go…this isn’t one of those sets. Smith & Cult nail polishes usually sell for $18 each, so $54 for three doesn’t constitute a price break, but I still think you get a nice combination of complementary colors (there’s also another trio available with pastels).

Smith Cult Kundalini Hustle

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Kundalini Hustle

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