Stories for: Nails

Beauty, NailsSally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit


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.


Beauty, NailsSprinkle Some Pixie Dust

pixieI try so many different products, sometimes I can forget how fabulous it is when I find one that I really love. And then something like Zoya’s new PixieDust collection comes out and I find myself squeeing all over the place and texting all my friends to tell them they MUST buy it. This is why I love writing about products so much — because when you find one that’s so amazing you want to shout it from the rooftops, it’s just plain fun.

PixieDust is a collection of six new shades with a super cool finish – it’s textured, matte AND sparkling, all at the same time.  (I know it sounds hard to believe, but I’m wearing one right now and that pretty much perfectly describes it).  Here are the shades available right now:

  • Dahlia – A sparkling black
  • Chyna – A sparkling red
  • Godiva – A sparkling nude
  • Vespa – A sparkling green
  • Nyx – A sparkling blue
  • London – A sparkling grey

Every single one of these is gorgeous.  Every.  Single.  One.  I’m currently wearing Dahlia and I cannot stop looking at my hands.  The color is super, super sparkly and you can definitely tell that it’s textured, but not in a very chunky way that can get annoying.  And I love that they dry matte – it gives the shades an extra something special that other textured polishes don’t have. READ MORE

Beauty, NailsRock Solid


I’m pretty predictable when it comes to nail color, with my go-to brands typically being OPI, Essie and Chanel. But I thought I’d shake it up a bit recently! Los Angeles-based NCLA is a newer polish brand, launched in 2011, and are inspired by their home state. As a bonus, all of their polishes are 100% free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Camphor, nor are they tested on animals.

I’m in love with Rock Solid, which is a super dark grey creme with flecks of tiny silver metallic glitter. It glides on smoothly and evenly. The color is so even and thick that I think you could get away with using just one coat. It’s beautifully subtle in a professional setting, but with a bit of fun. The next color I’m trying is I’m with the Band (a bright coral creme), and I might even go outside of my comfort zone with Santa Monica Shore Thing (a bright minty hue – perfect for spring)!

NCLA polishes retail for $16 and can be found at

Beauty, Nailsbutter LONDON Stands Out

I think it’s kinda good that butter LONDON usually only puts out five new polish shades in each collection because I inevitably end up loving them all so much that I have to own every single one of them.  Which is fairly doable with only five shades, but would definitely be cost prohibitive if there were more.  So for the first time in, well… ever, I’m glad that a collection is a small size.  The Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection is really diverse – no two shades resemble each other at all – and they’re all unique and fun.

  • Lovely Jubby – A vibrant magenta flecked with red, blue and gold micro particles.  Love this one!  It’s so sparkly and eye-catching, the perfect pedicure shade when you know your feet are going to be the center of attention.
  • Trustafarian – A golden holographic sage green that almost glows.  Very different from the kind of shades I normally like, but very pretty.
  • Shag – A warm orange-burgundy metallic that’s perfect for the cooler weather as we transition into fall.  It actually makes me miss the east coast and the gorgeous orange shades on the trees as the leaves are changing.  I’ll think of them every time I wear it!
  • Dodgy Barnett – A holographic grey/silver.  Very fashion forward – and it pairs fabulously with a little black dress.
  • Gobsmacked – I saved the best for last with this charcoal grey glitter.  I love, love, love this one.  I’ve been really into super dark shades lately and this one is just absolutely gorgeous.  It looks as good on my fingers as it does on my toes.  An instant classic!

The collection is in stores now and you can also order it at

Beauty, NailsDesigner and Diva

Fall nail polishes are all over the place now and I for one could not be more excited about it.  I’m so ready for all of the darker colors and excited to see all the new shades. There’s really nothing more fun that new colors, is there?  Especially with nail polish because it tends to be cheaper than other products, so you can usually scoop up more colors than if you fell in love with, say, a pricy eyeshadow.  I recently got my hands on the new fall Zoya shades and they are so, so pretty.  They’re literally all worth scooping up – not a bad one in the bunch.  (And how often does that happen?!)  The Designer collection is made up of six cream shades that all just scream “Fall” to me.  READ MORE

Beauty, NailsThe Good Kind of Vertigo

I lust after Chanel so much that any day I can get my hands on a product of theirs is a good day.  Especially their nail colors, which are almost always unique and stunning and a must buy.  And now I can add their new for fall Vertigo shade to that list.

It’s such an interesting shade that I’m having a hard time trying to describe it.  Basically, it’s a mix of grey, black and purple, but that’s a very boring description for a very beautiful shade.  It also has these teeny tiny sparkly particles that only seem to come out at certain angles (and I think, in the sunlight).  So, so pretty.  And perfect to wear as we transition into fall shades from the pastels and brights of summer.  It’s always around this time of year that I get really sick of all my pinks and light blues, etc… and can’t wait to start wearing dark shades again, so Vertigo comes at the perfect time.  But like all Chanel polishes, it stands a good chance of selling out, so if you have your eye on this one, snatch it up quickly before your chance goes away.  Don’t let that happen!

Beauty, NailsCheery Julep

Since my nail polish obsession seems to show no signs of slowing down, I’m loving all some of their summer colors that I’ve finally gotten a chance to play around with.  (Don’t even get me started on the fact that the fall ones are already out too.  That’s unacceptable!  It’s 104 degrees in Los Angeles as I’m typing this.  Way too early to think about fall!)  Julep is a brand that I discovered fairly recently and I’m loving all their new brights and fun pastels for the hot weather.  Here are a few of my favorites from their new collection.  READ MORE

Beauty, NailsNail Polish Pens of Awesomeness

A lack of steady hands precludes me from every being a surgeon or a DIY nail specialist. Simple strokes turn into blobby messes, straight lines become wobbly diagonals, and I wind up needing 6 inefficient coats of polish to color one nail. But Laqa’s nail polish pens are, as touted “pens of awesomeness.” With them, I’m suddenly the girl that can do nonchalant home manicures while sitting at home while watching Gilmore Girls reruns. These pens evenly dispense pigments like “Incestuous” (a pretty pastel purple), “Squid Ink” (an eye-catching teal blue) and “Nookie” (a bright fuchsia pink mix) with an easy click-top so that you can cover an entire nail in two to three brush strokes. The colors dry quickly so you can build color, and the wide brush tip makes it easy to do simple nail designs like polka dots. Laqa also supports independent artists who design their one-of-a-kind packaging, and a proceed of each product’s sale supports the artists. Click, click!

Beauty, NailsColor Yourself Unique

You know, the thing I really, really love about Deborah Lippman‘s polishes, even more than the great formula, is how unique the shades are.  I almost never pick up a bottle of her polish without thinking it and it always gets me super excited to see her new collections when they come out.  The new summer shades are no exception.  I haven’t gotten my hands on a ton of them yet and I’m planning a trip to my nearest Nordstrom soon to remedy to that, but in the meantime, here are the fabulous new shades I have had a chance to play around with.

  • Ray of Light – This is my absolute favorite shade I’ve tried in the past few months and since I’ve turned into somewhat of a nail polish collector this past couple of years, that’s really saying something.  It’s described as a 3D holographic electric indigo, but that doesn’t really do it justice.  It’s this amazing deep blue with glitter pieces in it that seem to change from gold to copper depending on what light I’m looking at them in.  It’s so, so pretty.  I actually squealed a little when I took it out of the box and saw it for the first time, it’s that gorgeous.
  • Mermaid’s Dream – Another shade that fascinates me because I have nothing else that even comes close to it in my polish collection.  It’s an ethereal seafoam shimmer that also has pieces of glitter in it to make it even more sparkly.  It’s such a pretty green (and I’m not normally a person who loves greens).  I also love that it’s both shimmery AND glittery.  Why have one when you can have both, right?

I also tried out the new Nails of Steel Magnetic Wave Design set.  Love this one!  It comes with two polishes and a magnet for making the waves (which I’ve gotten a lot better at doing, if I can just pat myself on the back a little here).  The shades in this set are Physical Attraction (a hazelnut wave) and Big Red Machine (a sherry wave).  They’re both much more subtle than Ray of Light and Mermaid’s Dream, but they’re equally pretty in their own way.  I especially love the shimmery neutral of Physical Attraction – it looks good both alone and with the use of the magnet to add a design to it.  You can check out all Deborah’s new shades and order some for yourself here.

Beauty, NailsSummer Neons

I’m normally more of a dark shade on my nails kinda person, although I do like playing around with fun colors on my toes a lot of the time, just because I think they’re easier to pull off.  But as we head into the hot summer months, I inevitably get the itch to wear funkier shades on my fingers too.  It just feels right to be sporting them when you’re running around in shorts and sandals.  That’s why China Glaze‘s new Summer Neons collection is so perfect.  It’s twelve shades of brights, perfect for when you know you want to go bold, but aren’t sure exactly which shade to choose.  Honestly, there isn’t a loser in the bunch (although of course I have some favorites!)  Here are the ones I’ll be using in heavy rotation this summer:

  • Love’s a Beach – This bright pink shimmer is just so fun and girly.  I love it on both my fingers and toes.
  • Splish Splash – A light blue shimmer that just screams “summer” to me.
  • Surfin’ for Boys – A neon coral shimmer, this one was my favorite at first glance and will definitely be my next pedicure shade.
  • Beach Cruise-r – A bright purple/violet shimmer that satisfies my new purple obsession.  So pretty!

I could probably go on and on about all of the other shades too, but then you wouldn’t want to go out and see them for yourself and you’d miss out on a great collection.  (I’m just thinking of you here!)  If you can’t wait another second though, you can check out all of the shades online at

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.


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