Nails

Hawaii, By Way of NARS Shameless Red

Published in: Nails, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Shameless Red Swatch

Aloha, NARS Shameless Red!

Please give a warm aloha to NARS Shameless Red Nail Polish! — aka, the latest shade to join the ranks of hula dancing beauty products that masquerade as a tropical vacation in a bottle.

Whenever I wear this reddish pink, I feel like I have hibiscus petals affixed to my nails.

Part of the recently revamped 43-piece NARS Nail Polish line, Shameless Red ($20) arrives by catamaran (OK, not really) July 15 at NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com (and August 1 at Sephora stores and department store NARS counters).

NARS Shameless Red

I’m unashamed about my love for this color… One could say I’m shamelessly in love with it, haha.


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Do You Do Accent Nails?

Published in: Just For Fun, Nails

Essie Fashion Playground and In The Cab-ana (used as an “accent nail”)

Accent nails: yes or no?

(Where one of your nails is a different design or color.)

Quick! — don’t overthink it. Go with your gut.

For me, they’re a really cool resounding yes. I particularly like to have that extra pop of color tie into my pedicure.

For my BFF, though, they’re a strong “No.” We had an in-depth conversation about them the other day, and she was very firm on the matter. The idea of purposefully interrupting the uniformity of her manicures freaks her out.

How about you? Do you do accent nails?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

For a Chic Twist on a Neutral Look, Try Pairing Dark Blue Eyeshadow With Dark Blue Nails, and Use the Shadow as a Liner

Published in: Chanel, Dior, Eyes, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, NARS

Blue liner and nails with NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

Here I’m doing a Vulcan mind meld on myself… Kidding. I’m wearing Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove as a liner on my lash lines and Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage on my claws.

QUESTION: Why use a blue eyeshadow instead of a blue liner?

ANSWER: Why not?

Picture it: dark blue liner coupled with super deep, dark, almost black nails, only, instead of using a pencil, gel or liquid liner, you use a powder eyeshadow.

NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

Incidentally, that’s Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal on my lips.

Do you ever just get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re wearing nothing but brown and beige? Feel like trying something different but don’t want to go over the top?

I’m always looking for ways to keep things interesting for myself, especially when it comes to wearable makeup looks — ideally chic and wearable, but not totally snooze-worthy, if you catch my drift.

One day I decided to pair dark blue liner with dark blue claws, and the first thing I thought when I finished was, “Why haven’t I done this before?”

Seriously, though, why use a blue eyeshadow as a liner instead of an actual blue liner?

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove

Ciao, NARS Giove!

Using a dark blue eyeshadow as a liner, instead of a dark blue pencil, gel or liquid eyeliner, creates a more diffused edge, so the overall effect looks softer.

I’ve done it with lots of different liner styles, too, like spicy cat eye looks, and even soft washes of color, where the liner is smudged along my upper and lower lash lines.

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a blurred edge (and the accompanying less attention to detail).

Just for fun: add dark blue nails

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage, $27

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage, $27

I like seeing the flash of dark blue on my fingers whenever I tuck my bangs behind my ears or push my (nerdy Gamma Ray computer glasses) up.

And it think it sort of reinforces the blue liner, too. You know, more blue.

I also like how the softer liner contrasts with the harder edge of the dark blue nails, so you also have that contrasty thing going.

I call this liner look the Tabby T-1000 (after the liquid metal Terminator from T2)

NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

I’m wearing a blend of two Chanel Joues Contraste blushes — Innocence and Malice — on my cheeks, coupled with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun used as a bronzer, and Hourglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light used as a highlighter

For this cat liner look, I applied metallic dark blue NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove ($29) with an angled brush.

First, I applied it dry to create the shape of the cat eye and get that softer edge. Then I wet the brush head, dipped it back into the pan, and applied the shadow on my lash line close to the lashes, to sort of intensify the metallic finish and crete a subtle gradient.

You could definitely keep it simpler by picking one — just wet or just dry — but ya know. I’m just saying.

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove, $29

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Soiree and Quick Million: My Two Favorites From the New MAC Studio Nail Lacquer Collection

Published in: MAC Makeup, Nails

MAC Studio Nail Lacquers in Soiree (left) and Quick Million (right), $12 each

MAC Studio Nail Lacquers in Soiree (left) and Quick Million (right), $12 each

Angry kitty

Well, Tabs, when you put it that way…

You do understand that "No" is not an option, correct?

You do understand that “no” is not an option, correct?

So, this afternoon your nephew/my employer sent me the above threatening text (his anger evident by the lack of punctuation) in reference to my current mani-pedi situation, which is, at the moment, pretty tragic.

He suggested that I pick my two favorites from the new MAC Studio Nail Lacquer collection ($12 a bottle), and get them on my claws ASAP.

Soiree and Quick Million: My Two Favorites From the New MAC Studio Nail Lacquer Collection

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Soiree Swatch

Two coats of Soiree

Among the 36 shades in the launch, my favorites right now are warm golden bronze Soiree (a metallic copper with hints of rose gold) and glittery pale gold Quick Million (has hexagonal flecks of coppery rose gold glitter in it and a very Deborah Lippmann-esque vibe).

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Quick Million Swatch

Quick Million (two coats)

Both shout “SUMMER!” to me and should go great with a tan, so they’re going on my tips and toes this week.

They also remind me of these Kate Spade watches I’m currently lusting over…

Kate Spade Watch Lust

I’m thinking about getting one with my Nordstrom birthday gift card — you know, ’cause I’m all about being on time…

HAHAHA! She has jokes today. :)

The MAC Studio Nail Lacquer Collection: The Formula, Finishes and Wear Time

Last weekend I tested creamy Rebel, a dark reddish plum shade, for wear time and durability, starting with a layer of MAC Underlacquer base coat, upon which I added two layers of Rebel on top.

At the time, I felt like I didn’t need a top coat because of how shiny, and almost gel-like, it looked, but I think I’ll use one next time I reach for one of the creams.

Because it needed it.

While these don’t seem to chip as easily or quickly as MAC’s O.G. nail polishes did, which would normally chip within a day or two for me, with Rebel, at least, I still saw chipping on day three.

Poo.

I applied it on Thursday evening, and by Sunday night, there were tiny cracks at the tips of all my fingers.

Next time I wear one of these, I’m adding a topcoat, just in case, and I’ll let you know if the formula fares any better.

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What a Difference a Brush Makes! The Recently Reformulated MAC Studio Nail Lacquers: Part 1

Published in: Collections, MAC Makeup, Nails

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer

Time to paint those paws!

I love many, many things about MAC, but I have to say — I haven’t always been the biggest fan of their nail polishes.

That’s mostly been because of the brush — it’s the old-fashioned style, where the bristles often spread out, which makes applying the polishes kind of a chore.

I dunno… I just prefer the flatter-style of brushes from brands like OPI, where it’s easy to get that nice crisp edge I like. I’ve always found those kinds of brushes easier to use.

And then there’s the MAC formula. Some of the shades just seem to chip sooner than I’d like, and I don’t think I’m the only person who notices it. Whenever I mention a MAC polish to my girlfriends, they’re like, “Yeah. MAC? Nope. The chipping.”

The New MAC Studio Nail Lacquers: Reformulated and Redesigned With a Brand New Brush

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer

Creams, frosts, pearls and glitters, oh my!

Fast forward to now. :)

The brand reworked their entire nail line. The new Studio Nail Lacquer line ($12 each) now includes 36 shades spread out among four finishes in cream, frost, pearl and glitter.

They also introduced new base and top coats called Underlacquer and Matte Overlacquer, respectively.

Joining the Studio Nail Lacquer line is a new family of six top coats called the Nail Transformations (also $12 each), designed to change the look and feel of nail polishes worn with them.

Deets on those soon, as I’m still testing, but if you can’t wait, they’re available now online…

With the reformulation, MAC added conditioning ingredients like Vitamins C, E and B5 to the formula, along with a bunch of new colors (although they did carry over many of the O.G. ones too), and then there’s the aforementioned new brush…

Now it has the flat shape! :) Aaaah! [THE CLOUDS PART]

With it, I notice that I can cover a lot more surface area per swipe, and it’s easier to create nice sharp edges.

So, Where Are They?

They’re almost here! They’re en route, you could say. The Studio Nail Lacquers arrive July 3 on the MAC website (in stores July 10, 2014), and are headed for the permanent line.

The Nail Transformations, however, are available online now, and coming to stores July 3 (also to the permanent line).

Swatches, Yo! Part 1

This first batch features some of the summery colors (corals, peaches, pinks), reds and darker creams, for those already in fall mode.

So far, so good, in terms of application. Most of the shades I’ve tried go on smoothly and appear pigmented on my nails. In some cases, I’m even able to get away with a single coat.

I’m still testing these for wear time. Will they last longer than the O.G. MAC lacquers before chipping? Stay tuned. Only time will tell…

Let me know which of these catches your eye. Check back a little later for the glitters, frosts and more of the darker shades.

Peaches, Warm Pinks and Corals

MAC Studio Nail Lacquers in Erogenous, Only in Florida, Impassioned and Instant Crush

From the left: Erogenous, Only in Florida, Impassioned and Instant Crush

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Only in Florida Swatch

Only in Florida, a mid-tone orange coral cream

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Erogenous Swatch

Erogenous, a light milky peach cream (two coats)

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Instant Crush Swatch

Instant Crush, a bright coral cream (two coats)

MAC Nail Lacquer in Impassioned Swatch

Impassioned, a bright warm pink (two coats, but I could’ve used one)

Reds and Plums

MAC Shirelle, Flaming Rose, Sour Cherry and Rebel

From the left: Shirelle, Flaming Rose, Sour Cherry and Rebel

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Shirelle Swatch

Shirelle, a classic bright red cream (two coats, but one would’ve been fine)

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