Section: Nails

What I’ve Been Using to Rehabilitate My Nails After Quitting Gel Manicures

Published in: Guest Post, Nails

help nails gel manicures

Clockwise from the top: Lauren B Beauty Polishing Handscrub ($20, 2 oz.), SpaNature Hand and Body Lotion ($11.55, 28 oz.), Ciate London Mini Nail Treatment in Knight in Shining Armour and Nail Gym ($10.50, 0.17 oz.), and Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner ($6.50, 0.25 oz.)

As some of you might remember, not too long ago, I wrote a short piece about trying to quit gel manicures. Well, shortly after, I did it! I took them off myself at home…and it was terrible, and I don’t mean terrible in terms of how my nails were feeling before I took them off. I mean terrible in terms of “My nails actually hurt for several days afterward, and it has taken over a month for them to show any visible signs of improvement.”

To recap, here’s a (rather bad, admittedly) photo of what my nails looked like immediately after I removed my gels about a month ago.

Be warned, it isn’t pretty.

help nails gel manicures

A picture from the same night I removed my gel nails; I was left with brittle, paper thin, aching nails.

Since that fateful night, I’ve tried to take good care of my nails to help them recover. I was in Sally Beauty Supply just after removing the gels and asked an employee to recommend a product to rehab nails after removing gels, and she recommended Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner.

She told me to use it for two full weeks with nothing else on my nails, and then after that to keep using it as a base coat, which I’ve done.

After the initial two weeks, my nails weren’t feeling all that much better, so I also added some other products to my gel manicure repair arsenal, including these mini treatments from Ciate London below…

help nails gel manicure

Ciate London Knight in Shining Armour (left), Ciate London Nail Gym (right), and Nail Magic Hardener and Conditioner (top)

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Play It Tropicool and Go Back to the Fuchsia With Salon Perfect Neon Pop! Summer 2016

Published in: Guest Post, Nails

Salon Perfect Neon POP!

Cool toned neons are my jam. (Left to Right): Honeydew Honey Don’t, Mer-Made of Money, Purple Pop!, Violets Are Blue

Do you remember when I used to paint my nails all the time?

Yeah, me neither. I miss it. I miss having the free time to sit down, manicure, buff, base, color and top coat my nails on the regular.

There just isn’t enough time, and that’s okay. I embrace the people and things that have taken the place of those at-home manicures, and it just means that the opportunities I do have to actually polish my nails are that much more special.

Queue the Salon Perfect Summer 2016 Neon Pop! Collection. These 12 sweet and sour shades (eight shown below) will get you ready for your next afternoon by the pool. At only $3.98 a Pop! (see what I did there?), you can collect ’em all. The challenge will be deciding which one you want to wear first. (Or maybe that’s just me, because I’m like “YAS! Finally, free time to paint my nails!”)

Salon Perfect Neon POP!

Ready for Summer? Paint your nails neon with Salon Perfect Neon POP!

Salon Perfect Neon POP!

(L-R): Salon Perfect Crystal Clear and Sugar Cube

I love the Neon Pop! line’s versatility. A lot of the neon polishes I’ve tried are streaky and consistently dry down to a matte finish that doesn’t last long. They’re also usually only available in warm tones. But Salon Perfect seems to have all that sorted out.

Here are pics of eight Neon Pop! shades alongside their trusty companions — a bottle of Crystal Clear top coat and a white shade called Sugar Cube. To really make the neon-ness of these Pop! shades jump off your nails, apply them atop a white polish, in lieu of a traditional base coat (same idea works for colorful eyeshadows), and then to keep them from chipping too soon or from drying down matte, add a sturdy top coat.

My personal favorite neons (and nail polishes in general) are cool toned, which is why I like the Neon Pop! greens, blues and purples. I’ve been all about calypso teal Mer-Made of Money, which goes five full days for me with a base and top coat before chipping. That’s unheard of for a neon!

Salon Perfect Neon POP!

(L-R): Mer-Made of Money, Honeydew Honey Don’t, Violets Are Blue, Purple Pop!

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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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