Ever Since I Started Wearing These Milani Gold Label Nail Lacquers, Spring Fever Has Been Spreading From My Fingers to My Toes

Published in: Collections, Drugstore Beauty Finds, Milani, Nails

Milani Gold Label spring 2014

The new $4.69 Milani Gold Label spring 2014 nail polishes


  • I am wearing a tabby t-shirt covered in cat hair (without a sweater for the first time in months)
  • I have glitter all over my hands
  • My hair is up in a scrunchie
  • The windows are open, and there’s a nice breeze blowing through my office

There’s only one thing that could make this moment better… Oh, look at that! There it is. :) The 12 new Milani Gold Label nail polishes.

This all seems too good to be true…

Wait — maybe I’m dreaming. Karen, wake up! Get up, get up, get up!

Nope, I guess not. I guess this is real, and look — it’s even 70-something degrees outside.

Cat lady says what now?


It’s gotta be these new $4.69 Gold Label polishes (part of a new Milani line). The springy, cheerful colors — six creams and six glitters in playful pinks, purples, greens, blues and corals — must be contagious. Seeing them on my paws, I almost forget it’s still winter and that tomorrow isn’t the day of the big Easter egg hunt.

Like the polishes in Milani’s regular Nail Lacquer line, these new USA-made Gold Label lacquers are DBP-, toluene- and formaldehyde-free.

They also have a mightier brush, or rather, a flatter brush that I think makes them a little easier to use. Maybe that’s why they cost a tad more ($4.69 each versus $4.49).

I’m not sure yet about the formula — if it’s different than Milani’s regular polish formula — because I haven’t had enough time with them yet, but I’ll know more by tomorrow. I’ll let you know what I find out.

They definitely do seem thick (think Essie) and smooth, and the flat brush is great. Makes it easy to paint nice, crisp edges along the bottom of my nails.

I do notice that I have to be careful about unloading the brush before applying to make sure I don’t lay down too much polish. They are quite thick.

Here’s a quick look at the 12 shades coming next month. Oh! In each of these pics, I’m wearing two layers.

Milani Showy Sea-Green 01

Showy Sea-Green

Milani Popping Pink 02

Popping Pink

Milani Splendid Strawberry 03

Splendid Strawberry

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The New Four-Piece Essie Resort 2014 Collection Offers Languid, Beachside Luxury for $8.50 a Bottle

Published in: Collections, Essie, Nails

Essie Resort 2014

The new four-piece Essie Resort 2014 collection

I’ve been trying to put my finger (Get it? Ba-dum-tss!) on what it is I find so intriguing about the new Essie 2014 Resort collection.

I mean, it’s not the symphony of eye-catching brights Resort 2013 was. That one still makes my heart flutter (The mint green! The turquoise!), and yet I’m drawn to 2014 like a sailor to a mermaid’s song.

Yes, sweet siren, sweep me away…

Essie Resort 214 from the left: Resort Fling, Under the Twilight, Find Me an Oasis and Resort Fling

From the left: Resort Fling, Under the Twilight, Find Me an Oasis and Resort Fling

It’s gotta be something. Maybe it’s a combination of the way the mellow shades — the shimmery beige (It has silver sparkles swimming in it. SO CUTE!) and icy blue both contrast and coordinate with the brighter coral and deep plum.

The colors tell a tale of hills and dales, highs and lows, and I love that! This Resort is definitely not a one-note collection.

Essie Resort 2014 collection swatches from the left: Cocktails & Coconuts, Find Me An Oasis, Resort Fling and Under the Twilight

Swatches from the left: Cocktails & Coconuts, Find Me An Oasis, Resort Fling and Under the Twilight

Typing away today, reading that word over and over again — resort — I find it difficult to stay in the moment. My thoughts keep wandering to other places, never mind that I’m sitting in front of a keyboard consuming large quantities of coffee and gnawing on a hunk of day-old sourdough bread. And forget that I’m wearing a crumb-covered wrinkled pink t-shirt with a picture of a tabby cat wearing glasses.

Resort… :)

I’d much rather be sipping cocktails by candlelight at a Ritz Carlton or dipping a painted toe into the salt water lagoon at the Kauai Grand Hyatt (I’ve always wanted to stay there).

No, those images are much better than the real life picture of grubby Karen currently sitting at her computer…

OK, I think I’ve got it! — what makes me like this collection so much. These understated shades are just so true to that resort lifestyle. Their beachside elegance would look right at home peeking out from under a cashmere blanket around a fun bonfire, or with tiny diamond-studded earrings and a bikini next to the hotel pool.

Essie Find Me an Oasis

Essie Find Me an Oasis (two coats)

I’m crushing hard on icy blue Find Me An Oasis. It reminds me of the opaque white manicures I was seeing all over the place last summer, only more refreshing and resort-y. I love how smooth it is, too. Zero streaking. I’m wearing two coats in this pic.

Essie Resort Fling

Resort Fling (three coats)

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It’s Naturel, With an “E”: In the Six-Piece Zoya Naturel Collection, the “E” Stands for Easy

Published in: Nails, Zoya

Zoya Naturel Collection

The Zoya Naturel Collection

Ballet SlippersI’ve always felt like pale, creamy nail polishes were Essie’s domain, but Zoya’s been staging a creamy coup. They’re quickly becoming my favorite line when it comes to colors in the same vein as Ballet Slippers.

Zoya’s famously potent pigments are totally MIA in Naturel, the brand’s new six-piece spring collection, as are the streaks that often accompany light, creamy polishes.

The Zoya Naturel Collection

It’s Naturel, with an “E”

Nudes, rosy tones (the “in thing” right now, as my mom would say) and cream finishes abound! — and not a speck o’ glitter in sight.

These shades are easy like Sunday morning…even on a Monday afternoon.

Zoya Chantal Swatch

Chantal (two coats)

Is it just me, or has the whole rose-toned trend sort of jumped the shark? Almost? Between this collection and Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette — I don’t know — I feel a little burned out on rose (file that under “Things I Never Expected To Say in Print”).

Not that I don’t like the shades in Naturel, because I do. I think they’re beautifully…subdued.

Zoya Taylor Swatch

Taylor (two coats)

In musical terms, I would not call Naturel a rock opera. The colors definitely do not remind me of Bohemian Rhapsody, and if you only like nail collections that hit extremely high and/or low notes, Naturel probably won’t make you hear and see thunderbolts and lightening (very, very frightening! — ungh! Galileo!).

Zoya Rue Swatch

Rue (two coats)

Instead, it’s like a pleasant mid-tempo pop song on the easy listening station. Sure, you can bob your head to it and hum along. Or, you can fall asleep… Totally your call. :)

Zoya Brigitte Swatch

Brigitte (two coats)

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And the Cherry On Top? Nicole by OPI Oil to Go Cuticle and Nail Moisturizer Takes Out Dry Cuticles

Published in: Nails, Nicole By OPI, Product Reviews

Nicole by OPI Oil to Go

The new Nicole by OPI Oil to Go, $7.99

Smells like cherry cough drops…

Weird, but cool.

Really, if you think about it, who says cuticle oil can’t smell like cherry cough drops (intentionally or not)? Is there a law that limits cuticle moisturizing fragrances to a list of pre-approved scents (lavender: approved; orange: approved; cherry cough drops: UNAPPROVED!)?

I don’t think so — which is great, because at least cherry cough drops are interesting.

Nicole by OPI Oil to Go cuticle and nail moisturizer ($7.99) has interesting packaging, too. Designed for on-the-go gals, it looks almost like a lipgloss in its tube.

Nicole by OPI Oil to Go


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The Two New Chanel Nuit Magique Le Vernis Nail Colours Will Cast Their Cosmic Magic Online Soon

Published in: Chanel, Nails

Chanel Cosmic Le Vernis Nail Colour

Chanel’s Cosmic Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27), one of two new online exclusive shades in the Nuit Magique collection

My last magical night was the final night of my trip to Kauai with El Hub last August. After dinner, we walked down to the beach by our hotel on Kalapaki Bay and took a long, leisurely stroll on the sand under the moonlight.

The moon was so full and round that night. I felt like it was just above my head, like I could reach right out grab it. We walked and talked from one end of the beach to the other while listening to a band playing somewhere in the distance. The music mixed with the sound of the waves gently lapping at our feet.

We talked about all kinds of things as we walked and watched the moonlight reflect on the water — the fun things we did on our trip, the other places we still hoped to travel, and where we saw our little family in the next few years.

It was a magical night, and I wished it would never end. I remember looking down at my feet at one point and watching the water wash over my toes…

Chanel Magic Le Vernis Nail Colour

Incidentally, I was wearing Chanel Taboo! :)

I love Taboo… It’s one of my all-time Chanel faves (right up there with Jade), but if I’m ever lucky enough to have a another magical night like that one, I hope I’m wearing one of the two Chanel nail polishes in the Nuit Magique collection (magical night, en Français) — ya know, to go with the whole magical theme of the night.

Chanel Magic and Cosmic

The two-piece limited edition collection of dark and moody colors goes on sale December 2, exclusive to

Both of them seem like perfect colors for a big night out. Or a big day (if you’re into deeper shades like I am).

Chanel Magic Swatch

Two coats of Magic

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