Stories for: Nails

NailsJulep Oxygen Nail Treatment

julep_oxygen_nail_treatment“Natural-but-better” has always been my personal beauty jam, as evidenced by my penchant for BB Creams, tinted lip balms, and the only direction I gave my makeup artist on my wedding day. I also employ that philosophy when it comes to manicures. Although I love a dark dramatic polish as much as the next beauty enthusiast, in between trying to squeeze in salon appointments and at-home-late-night polish changes, I dare to rock a bare nail. Or rather, better-than-bare, thanks to my discovery of Julep’s Oxygen Nail Treatment. Equal parts tinted “nail makeup” and rejuvenating “treatment for thin, weak nails prone to breakage and peeling,” this product strengthens and protects nails while giving it a pretty, natural-but-better glossy blush tint. The treatment is designed to be used on its own without a base or top coat once or twice a week. The texture is a bit thinner than your average polish and smooths onto nails easily with the brush applicator leaving a high-shine finish that covers up surface imperfections. Apply one coat for a super sheer finish or two for a more opaque pink. My favorite part is that the treatment leaves behind the look of a professional manicure while taking all of three seconds per finger. The fact that it’s also good for my nails is just icing on the cake.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment retails for $18 at Sephora.com and Nordstrom.com.

Beauty, Fragrance, Makeup, NailsCrazy Paris Glamour

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I’m absolutely ecstatic to be escaping to my beloved Paris for a few days this week! It’s been a year since I was last there, and when I’ve been away for a while I start to feel a yearning tickle under my skin for the charming streets, delicate pastries, and of course the effortless-chic fashion. I love Paris in all seasons, but autumn is my favorite time to go when the big tourist rush is over and the crisp chill is in the air making it perfect for tea and croissants in the afternoon. Before I take off, I always have to go over my wardrobe with a discerning eye (often leading to a frenzy), when I try to find that outfit that’s been waiting for the right moment to be taken out. Just in time for my trip, I have fallen for the only thing that could make me even more excited for the hop over to France: Guerlain’s Crazy Paris Holiday Collection. Each exquisite creation in the collection speaks to the glamour of Paris, inspired by the bright lights that illuminate the city at night. Guerlain is celebrating its reopening of its flagship boutique in Paris at 68 Champs Elysees, hence the “68” theme for the beautiful packaging of each piece. READ MORE

Beauty, NailsThe Zenith of Holiday Nail Collections

Zoya Zenith Collection

As much as I love reds and golds, I am SO sick of them being all over every holiday collection.  I have way too many of them already!  So I was super happy when Zoya’s Winter Collection Zenith came in the mail and there wasn’t a red or gold to be found.  Genius!  It’s a smaller collection for them – only six shades – but it’s all icy blues, silvers and purples.  Exactly what I was craving for the holidays this year!  Here’s what you’ll find in the set:

  • Mosheen – a astro ice blue topper, perfect for layering over other shades to change up the way they look.
  • Dream – a deep space blue with holographic glitter (my favorite one!)
  • Payton – a galactic cranberry with holographic glitter (so unique and pretty – definitely the only one in my stash like it)
  • Belinda – a cosmic purple metallic
  • Cassedy – a celestial pewter metallic
  • Seraphina – a Polaris silver metallic

The whole collection is just really, really pretty.  There’s not a dud in the bunch, which doesn’t always happen.  And since it’s not made up of “holiday” colors, I know I’ll be able to wear it year round and enjoy it long past December.  So far, I’m really batting a thousand on the holiday releases.  Let’s keep it up, people!

Beauty, NailsFall for PixieDust

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You guys, there are new PixieDust colors for fall! I can’t even tell you all how happy this makes me – as someone who loves glitter polish far, far more than anyone who isn’t thirteen and into One Direction should, I can never get enough of the sparkly goodness that is the PixieDust formula.  It’s so fun and festive and it just makes me smile whenever I’m wearing it.  How can anyone resist a polish like that?  Here are the new shades that you’ll be rushing out to buy:

  • Tomoko – a champagne silver with a matte, textured sparkling metal finish
  • Chita – a forest green in a matte, textured, sparkling finish
  • Sunshine – a “Van Gogh” navy blue in a matte, textured, sparkling finish
  • Carter – a royal purple in a matte, textured, sparkling metal finish
  • Arabella – a rich fuchsia pink in a matte, textured, sparkling finish
  • Dhara – a fiery orange copper with a matte, textured, sparkling metal finish

These are all super pretty, but if I had to pick favorites, I’d have to go with Tomoko, Chita and Sunshine.  Tomoko is such a beautiful metallic shade–it’s definitely a “look at me” shade, but in the best way.  Though I’m not normally a huge fan of green or blue polishes, I also love Chita and Sunshine, a green and a blue that are just absolutely gorgeous–unique and eye-catching–everything you want in a polish when you’re in the mood for something out of the ordinary.

You can check out all the shades on www.zoya.com,  Grab them before they’re gone!

Beauty, NailsGet a Pinterest Worthy Fall Manicure From Jin Soon

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Even if you’re not quite ready to put down the coral lipstick and start embracing fall makeup just yet, we’re pretty sure this manicure from Jin Soon x Tibi’s fall polish collection will have you rethinking your nail colors at least. The manicure is deceptively easy to do, but will definitely turn heads because it just looks so freakin’ cool. Simply pick your favorite Jin Soon color (illustrated is Jasper, a shimmering burgundy) and layer her new matte top coat (Matte Maker) on the tips to add a sophisticated tone-on-tone dimension. Or, you can flip it around and paint a glossy tip over a matte nail bed. The great thing about Matte Maker is that when you apply a glossy coat over it, the nail will take the texture of the top-most coat.

“The Fall/Winer 2013 Tibi Collection is all about texture–I did not want to offer only one type of finish,” says Choi. “I’ve always worked with high shine and working with a matte finish has added different dimensions to the line.” The matte coat goes on easily and dries down to a smooth, rich, velvety finish. With 5 new shades (a burgundy, a silver gray, a shimmery black, a sparkling midnight blude, and a holographic olive green) and the Matte Maker, fall manicure options are endless (at least until spring comes around again). You can’t blame us for getting an early start!

The Jin Soon x Tibi collection is currently available at SpaceNK.

Beauty, Makeup, Nails, ShoppingReturn of the Cult

On your mark, get set … buy! I am pleased to announce that I am now a delighted owner of Les Vernis Couleurs Culte de Chanel, five cult nail colors brought back from the past by Chanel for a limited time.

In line with its recent brand heritage films (perhaps my favorite bit of advertising this year), Chanel’s nostalgic turn means we get to experience Black Satin (true black), Beige (warm neutral), Rouge Noir (deep red), Particulière (taupe) and Pirate (true red) once again in all their glossy glory.

If you love these cult shades as much as I do, watch the hip little film above to get into the mani-pedi mood, then click your way over to Chanel.com and stock up before they sell out.

Oh, and while you’re there, check out Chanel International Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge’s tips on how to get their Summer 2013 Beauty look. It’s inspired by butterflies!

 

Beauty, NailsSummer PixieDust

zoyaNow this is exciting!  Remember that fabulous PixieDust collection that Zoya put out earlier this year? Well, it was so popular that they just released a set of six new Summer PixieDust shades and they’re every bit as gorgeous as the first collection, just in brighter, in more colorful shades perfect for the hot weather. Here are the six new shades you’ll be obsessed with:

  • Solange – A glittering pale yellow
  • Beatrix – A glittering light orange
  • Destiny – A glittering pink-orange (pictured)
  • Miranda – A glittering raspberry
  • Stevie – A glittering lavender
  • Liberty – A glittering dark aqua blue

READ MORE

Nails, Skincare, Spas & Salons, Washington DCCapital Spotlight: Haven Beauty Lounge

 

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“People underestimate DC!” exclaims spa founder and master esthetician Shae Jackson, when asked about introducing a fresh new concept in beauty treatments to the nation’s capital. We are sitting next to the zen waterfall in the outdoors of the newly-opened Haven Beauty Lounge. She is the expert that everyone is trying to book, and for good reason! Having traveled around the world researching beauty treatments, Jackson has formulated her own integrated approach to skin care and wellness, combining her vision with years of experience at the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Bliss, and Blue Mercury. Now, Jackson has branched out on her own and opened Haven, a members-only beauty lounge, where she has meticulously selected the best and most effective products for her signature custom facials, nail services and waxes. Membership starts at only $30 a month and instead of going through the hassle of setting up a pedicure every few weeks or monthly facial, you can have an ongoing appointment scheduled with credit card on file, so you can literally forget your wallet! READ MORE

NailsJin Soon For SpaceNK

jinsoonThere are few things in life that I’m worse at than the DIY manicure, but when I found myself hit with a bout of insomnia last night, I decided to try two new nail polishes that Jin Soon Choi had sent over anyway. Much to my surprise, not even ten minutes later, I had managed to achieve a glossy, even, streak-free manicure on both hands. The only explanation I can think of is that Jin Soon’s polish must be formulated with magic ingredients and a brush that knows how to paint by itself. To say that I was merely impressed by the polishes would be an understatement — I was immediately obsessed!

My fresh manicure is comprised of two polishes that Jin Soon recently launched exclusively with SpaceNK — Voile and Gossamer. In the bottle, Voile looks like a medium shade of purple that I probably wouldn’t have thought to pick out of a lineup — something about it made me feel as if it could look a little heavy or flat. On the nail, however, the polish transforms into a really  feminine lilac-royal purple hybrid that is almost multi-dimensional in how glossy and vibrant the color is. I could not stop staring at my nails. READ MORE

Beauty, NailsSally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit

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My mind goes to a terrible place during the dry phase of a manicure. Mostly to a place of boredom, slight neuroticism as I wonder idle thoughts like, “Why do I continue to hate-watch the Bachelor? I really hope he picks Catherine.” “Ugh, I could be doing my taxes instead of waiting for my nails to dry.” “I should really look harder to find a cheap Pilates center.” “I should really start calling my mom more.” So, any way I can cut down manicure drying time and get away from that terrible, idle place in my mind, is a huge plus.

Sally Hansen’s Gel Polish Starter Kit takes care of that in two forms: by delivering the gel experience in the comfort of your home and ensuring that the entire manicure process from start to finish, takes roughly 30 minutes. When Tracylee, Sally Hansen’s Nail Ambassador first quoted the 30 minute time to me, I was skeptical. “Yea, okay,” I thought. “Maybe for a master nail artist that is used to working on the high-flying tips of celebrities like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson.” But after begging my friend Dani to lend me her steady, although non-expert, hands in trying out the kit, I was pleasantly surprised. Tracylee wasn’t kidding–a quick 35 minutes later (5 minutes allotted for reading the instructions) and my nails were quickly ensconced in a glossy, deep-purple red. The kit contains multiple mini bottles of base coat, polish in one color, and top coat, along with a cuticle stick, file, buffer, acetone remover, and LED lamp. Its quick drying time is attributed to time under the LED lamp of roughly a minute for each coat. As far as its long-lasting appeal, it falls a tiny bit short of the typical 4-5 week lasting time for most gel. But it exceeds the longevity of most regular polish manicures by at least 1-2 weeks. And I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but taking off the polish is a surprisingly joyful experience (I say this with zero irony.) The Sally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit retails for $69.99.

 

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