Archive - Nails

Letters to Coco and Reflections on a Chanel Summer, Part 3: Bronze BFFs Forever! Mirage Illusion D’Ombre, Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ambre Dore, and Tutti Frutti Le Vernis Nail Colour

Published in: Chanel, Collections, Eyes, Makeup, Nails

Chanel Reflets D'Ete De Chanel

Wearing the new Chanel Reflets D’Ete De Chanel summer collection

Letters to Coco

What follows is the final installment of a three-part series of posts titled “Letters to Coco,” a series of letters written in the summer of 2014 from me to my best friend (in my head), Coco Chanel. In this third letter, which features summer collection standouts Mirage Illusion D’Ombre, Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ambre Dor and Le Vernis Nail Colour in Tutti Frutti, it’s the end of the summer, a few weeks after our trip. :)

My dearest Coco,

You know what they say. Tans fade, but friendships last forever. And you, my friend, are my girl for life.

4-LIFE!

I can’t believe the summer is almost over. It’s seems like just yesterday we were boarding the plane to the Maldives.

Ah, the Maldives…

I can’t even think about that trip without smiling!

The beach, the waves… Thank you for being such a good sport and getting up at the crack of dawn to go surfing with me. Oh, and uh, also thank you for not telling anybody that I lost my bikini top when I dropped in on that wave.

Whoops! Half-naked surfing. Everyone’s gotta do it at least once in their life, haha.

Geez, barely two weeks back from vacation, and I feel like I need another one. It’s been super stressful (but what else is new?). Tabs is already gearing up for fall — fall! — and I’ve been working cray-cray long hours, but whenever I’m about to lose my sh*t, I just close my eyes and pretend we’re back on the beach with our towels, digging our toes into the sand.

Chanel Mirage and Ambre Dore

Mirage and Ambre Dore

You’re probably going to laugh this, but I’m still wearing your summer collection. In August! I know!

By this time of year, I’m usually hitting up the Trader Joe’s in matte berry lips and full-on smokey eyes.

Chanel Mirage

Illusion D’Ombre Loong Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Mirage, a bronze ($36)

But I’m just not ready to say goodbye to summer yet.

NO! I still have a tan from our trip (tears!), so I’ve been wearing your bronze cream eyeshadow, Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Mirage; and your shimmery gold liner, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ambre Dore, in an attempt to cling to my memories of our best summer ever.

Chanel Ambre Dore

Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ambre Dore, a shimmery gold ($32)

Chanel Ambre Dore

Ambre Dore, a shimmery gold

You know, sometimes, Coco, I feel like you just get me. You get my makeup style. Especially with this cream eyeshadow.

My goodness! It’s like the most perfect shimmery bronze I’ve ever worn — or rather, the most perfect buttery bronze, because I think it’s different than a regular orangey bronze, and I love how it works with my caramel coloring.

Chanel Ambre Dore

Illusion D’Ombre in Mirage on my lids and Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner on my lower lash and water lines

And the finish? It’s off the hook, girl! Did you make it this way — so soft and satiny and scintillating — because of that time I complained about how frosty eyeshadows settle into my fine lines? Because the way this catches the light is absolutely perfect.

I’ve been wearing Mirage all over my lids with Ambre Dore Eyeliner on my lower lash and water lines. The warm, shimmery golden tones in Ambre Dore play off the bronze in Mirage really well — no clashing of metallics here!

Chanel Mirage and Ambre Dore

Mirage (left) and Ambre Dore (right)

I’d go so far as to call the Mirage + Ambre Dore combo the best metallic summer eye look of 2014. It’s easy, elegant and I swear to gawd, makes me look 10 years younger.

So, of course, this would not be one of my trademark rambling letters without a nail update. Well, I’ve been wearing Tutti Fruitt Le Vernis Nail Colour, also from your summer collection, to go with my shimmery bronze and gold eyes.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Tutti Frutti, a soft coral ($27)

Le Vernis Nail Colour in Tutti Frutti, a soft coral ($27)

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Letters to Coco and Reflections on a Chanel Summer, Part 2: Packing Pearls, Pink Tonic Le Vernis Nail Colour and Happy Glossimer

Published in: Chanel, Collections, Lips, Nails

Chanel Summer 2014

Wearing the new Chanel Reflets D’Ete De Chanel Summer collection on my lips and tips

Letters to Coco

This is part two of a three-part series of posts titled “Letters to Coco,” a series of letters written in the summer of 2014 from me to my best friend (in my head), Coco Chanel. In this second letter, which features summer collection standouts Pink Tonic Nail Polish and Happy Glossimer, we’re just about to leave on our summer trip. :)

My dearest Coco,

Hey, babe! Can I just say that I’m excited!? OMG, Maldives! T-minus 24 hours and counting. Seriously, you do not even know how badly I need this trip. Tabs has been working me to the bone. I am literally — literally — counting down the seconds till I can unchain myself from my desk, LOL!

Oh, and excellent call on choosing the Maldives. I’ve never been before. So stoked!

I’m doing some last-minute packing tonight, so let me know if you need me to bring anything for you. I know that you’re very busy, and I actually have a little bit of room left in my carryon bag, haha!

Of course I’m bringing the essentials — sunscreen, hat (uh…I keep thinking that the only person who should be wearing a straw fedora is Justin Timberlake, but I can’t help myself), swimsuit, sunglasses, pearls and my trusty bottle of No. 19, aka “your best summery scent ever,” IMHO.

Oh! — I’m also bringing one of the five polishes in your Reflets D’Ete De Chanel Summer collection, the fuschia shade, Pink Tonic Le Vernis Nail Colour, ’cause, you know, I like to be prepared.

Chanel Happy Glossimer (a sheer coral jelly, $29.50) and Pink Tonic Le Vernis Nail Colour (a fuchsia, $27)

Happy Glossimer (a sheer coral jelly, $29.50) and Pink Tonic Le Vernis Nail Colour (a fuchsia, $27)

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The New Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground Collection: This Fashion Playground Looks Good Outside, Like It Was Inspired by Mother Nature

Published in: Collections, Essie, Nails

Essie Spring 2014

The new six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection

A Fashion Playground?

Nay, I say it’s an equinox-icating spring feast for the eyes! Like spring distilled into nail polish bottles, except without the — AHCHOO! — allergies.

Pass the Zyrtec and Kleenex, please, because I do not want to sneeze all over these beautiful bottles.

Like butterflies, the six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection flitted onto counters earlier this month, and I treated my paws to ‘em this morning (SKITTLES MANI!) before going for a walk…

It’s crazy just how springy these six shades seem, like the bright blue sky and the two blue shades, or the mint green and the budding leaves on the oak trees outside. There’s also a big cherry tree down the street, and the blossoms are spitting images of the peach and pink pastels. And then there’s the fire bougainvillea bush, which could have been painted by the bright red.

These colors totally say, “Hey, y’all, spring is in full effect!” to me. :)

Officially, fashion runways were supposed to have inspired this release, like vintage denim and oversized prints — that kind of thing — but my crazy makeup mind sees more Mother Nature’s influence than Michael Kors’. Like Team Essie sat down with Mother Nature and brainstormed over a few cups of really strong Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in a caffeine-fueled frenzy, then BOOM! — someone in the art department mixed some acrylics at the table to come up with azure Hide & Go Chic, light denim Truth or Flare, pistachio Fashion Playground, peachy nude Spin the Bottle, crimson Style Hunter and pale tea rose Romper Room.

What to watch

Essie is well-known for their delicate nudes and pastels, and chances are good that if you walk into any nail salon that carries the brand, you’ll see pale pinks, peaches and beiges FOR DAYS.

OK, those are fairly great, but I always look forward to their blues and greens (see: Mojito Madness, Pretty Edgy, Naughty Nautical and Under the Twilight).

Over the past few years, Essie’s released quite a few jazzy blue and green shades I can remember, which is kind of funny considering that for years I thought of the line as specializing in dainty bridal nails — primarily pinks and nudes.

This time around, I think the blues and greens are again the colors to watch out for (at least for me).

Hide & Go Chic

Essie Hide & Go Chic

Hide & Go Chic (two coats)

If you get a chance, let your paws play with Hide & Go Chic, the dark creamy blue.

I mean, look at it! It’s so rich… So deep… And a single layer works just fine (even though I went with two to be consistent with the other shades).

I also think this is the one that’ll sing on the widest range of skin tones. It’s the people’s blue!

Truth or Flare

Essie Truth or Flare

Truth or Flare (two coats)

True or Flare, the lighter, vintage denim blue, definitely benefits from a second coat. On my NC42 skin, I feel like the color doesn’t reach out and grab you by the eyeballs as readily as Hide & Go Chic. I like it, but I have a feeling it’ll like lighter lasses best.

Fashion Playground

Essie Fashion Playground

Fashion Playground (two coats)

And then there’s the green… Fashion Playground. Described as a pistachio shimmer, it certainly sounds delicious to me. :) But I get more of a straight-up mint cream, as the tiny flecks of silver glitter swimming in the formula are very hard to see.

At first glance, it resembles Essie’s Candy Apple, but upon closer inspection I think it’s sightly deeper and darker.

One may have to play with Fashion Playground a bit (Ha! Sorry, bad pun). Two thick coats deliver fully opaque coverage, but they have to be thick… With thinner coats, it can look a little streaky and require 3-4 layers.

The remaining colors — the bright red and two creamy pale shades — strike me as rather typical of Essie (I feel like I’ve seen shades like them before), which is neither good nor bad, but they don’t really light my fire like the blues and greens.

Style Hunter

Essie Style Hunter

Style Hunter (two coats)

Crimson Style Hunter leans, ever so slightly, toward magenta. This one should be a blast on toes, methinks. :) One coat or two works well.

Romper Room

Essie Romper Room

Romper Room (two coats)

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Tom Ford Beauty African Violet Nail Lacquer

Published in: Nails, Tom Ford Beauty, Unsung Heroes

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in African Violet ($32)

African violetPurple eyeshadows; purple liners; purple lipsticks; flowers; candy; sweaters; one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eaters! PURPLE EVERYTHING!

And purple paw polish, too. :)

Of the millions (well, hundreds) of promising purple paw polishes in the universe, the one that electrifies me like a Tesla coil from the tips of my ears down to the tips of my toes has to be Tom Ford’s bright creamy Nail Lacquer in African Violet.

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Purse by Reed Krakoff; bracelet by Na Hoku

It borrows its name from one of Mother Nature’s most perfect purple creations, in my opinion, the Saintpaulia ionantha plant, or African violet, which, coincidentally, happens to be cat-friendly, according to the good folks over at VCA Animal Hospitals.

Speaking of cats (’cause we alway circle back to the kittehs around here), this particular African Violet has never elicited any complaints from my favorite fashionable feline.

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Ring by Wings Hawaii; bracelet and earrings from Nordstrom

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Cleanse, Prime and Shine Your Claws With Sephora’s Formula X “The System”

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Sephora

Sephora Formula X The System

Sephora Formula X The System

I usually lack the wherewithal for multi-step manis involving a base and top coat when I’m painting my paws (read: I’m too lazy, yo), even though my rational mind fully recognizes the prudence of taking the extra time to extend the life of my polish.

But ever since I started using Sephora’s Formula X “The System” $32 nail kit, I don’t mind going the extra mile at all.

Sephora Formula X the System Nail Cleanser

Nail Cleanser

This is partly due to thinking that the bottles in the kit look kind of sci-fi and cool, like they belong in an Apple store beside the latest iMacs, and also because they just plain work.

Sephora Formula X The System Base Coat

Base Coat

The kit gets high marks from reviewers on sephora.com, and I can see why. I used the Nail Cleanser (a brush-on liquid that helps remove residue from your nails so the products you layer on top bind better), Base Coat and Top Coat with Tom Ford’s Viper Nail Lacquer this week, and my nails have definitely handled the hell I regularly put them through better.

Sephora Formula X The System Top Coat

Top Coat

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