25 Oct

My Favorite Polish Shades For Fall

I love nail polish.  If I had unlimited beauty funds, I’d have an enormous arsenal of cool shades.  Instead, I’m forced to be picky and only buy the colors I have to have.  Here’s what I’m loving most for Fall:

I feel like this shade— Merino Cool by Essie— can be worn by women of all ages.  It’s sophisticated, yet edgy.

Regardless of the season, I think a sheer neutral is always a good choice.  Bubble Bath by OPI is gorgeous.

For a pop of color, try a dark turquoise like American Apparel’s Peacock shade.  (Did you know they made nail polish?!  So cool!)

And if you’re into super-dark shades (I so am!) try a dark grey or black that has a little shimmer in it.  (This one is Steel by Chanel.)

What do you think of these shades?  Do you have any favorite colors for Fall?  Do you follow polish “rules” and change up your colors each season, or do you wear whatever you feel like?

24 Aug

Holy Cow! It’s A Cosmetology Overload!!

I thought I was prepared for a whole bunch of loot when I entered the Cosmetology building today.  I even brought a big suitcase to help lug the stuff back home.  I was so, so wrong.  When I arrived, I was greeted by this:

I can’t even begin to capture the sheer magnitude of beauty supplies with this photo.  This kit includes every hair, makeup, skin, and nail supply anyone would ever need and (count it!) eleven mannequin heads.  ELEVEN.  I guess I’m going to be cutting, dying, and perming a lot of hair over the next 12 months.

I had the joy of lugging all this stuff up three flights of stairs to my apartment this afternoon.  And did I mention that it’s over 100 degrees today and for some reason I chose to wear tight, dark jeans?  Yeah…

Still, I’m thoroughly convinced that all the effort (and money— yikes!) will be well worth it in the end.  I’m so excited to start the program and blog about it from beginning to end.  I’m sure I’ll be able to share some cool tips from the pros along the way, and I’ll definitely be documenting my successes and failures as I navigate through the beauty industry for the first time.

Stay tuned!

Have you ever been in a work or school program where you were required to purchase an extreme number of supplies beforehand?  Ever thought about cosmetology or esthetics school?  What do you think you’d like best?  What would you hate about it?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

23 Jul

Beauty Review: Kiss Nail Artist Paint Made Me Look Like a Pro!

Let me start by saying that I am not visually artistic.  I have a startling inability to draw.  But as I shared with you recently, I have been in desperate need for a pedicure, and I was feeling very sad about my feet.

Unfortunately, with a wedding to plan and save for, paying someone to do my nails has fallen pretty low on the priority list.  I knew that I had to do something to perk up my feet!  Enter: Kiss Nail Artist Paint & Stencil Kit!

For $7, I got a three pack with the colors you see above.  The cool thing about this polish is that the brush is teeny tiny, so you can draw on your nails.  I wanted to start with a design that I could realistically do, so I searched online for a zebra stripe pattern, and when I realized that the lines don’t have to be straight, I knew it would be good for a first trial.

I painted my toes white and once they dried, I came in with the black nail art polish and drew my stripes!  The polish was nice and opaque, and the brush was extremely easy to manage, even for a non-artist like myself!  Here’s how it turned out:

Not to shabby for a first-timer, huh? (Please ignore my horrible sandal tan!)

I would definitely recommend Kiss Nail Artist Polish & Stencils for someone who’s looking to jazz up their at-home pedis on the cheap.  (Although, I tried the stencils that come in the box, and I have yet to get one to work… but it’s still worth it for the polish!)

What do you think of my zebra toes?  Have you ever tried an at-home design like this?  Interested in going for it now?  Tell me about it in the comments!

19 Jul

POLL: Do You Get Manicures/Pedicures For the Look or the Experience?

I spent a very relaxing weekend in a fancy-shmancy house in Calistoga, lounging by the pool and eating red velvet cupcakes for breakfast.  I’m not telling you this to brag (ok, maybe a little), but because throughout the course of said weekend, I was extremely distracted by my toes.  I think I said the words “I really need a pedicure” about seven hundred times.

photo courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

I know that I am perfectly capable of making my feet look nice.  I can paint my nails, exfoliate my heels, and I have even added my own little rhinestones in the past.  But there is something about a professional pedicure (or manicure) that always seems to turn out nicer than my DIY job.

Some people are of a different mindset.  They get mani/pedis for the experience: the hand and foot massage, the trashy celeb gossip, the champagne, or some variation of those.  Full disclosure: if I had the money to get mani/pedis on a regular basis, I’d probably fall into this category.  But for now, I only get my nails done when my toes and fingers have gotten out of hand (pun intended.)  What about you?

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How did you answer the poll?  Does anyone else need a pedicure as badly as I do?  Are there any readers who have never had their nails done professionally?  (Don’t be shy!)  Let’s talk nails in the comments!

12 Jul

Found: The Easiest Way Ever to Compare Polish Shades!

If you’re anything like me, you have a basket full of nail polish colors you rarely wear.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at the drugstore hunting for a shade that’s similar to one I saw online or in a magazine, only to realize later that it wasn’t even close to what I was looking for!  And, of course, I’ve never purchased nail polish online— there’s no way of knowing what it will actually look like when it comes out of the bottle.  Or is there?

I was so excited to stumble across a website designed to combat these problems! Introducing: NailGal.com!  Nail Gal hosts image after image of nail polish swatches, uploaded by readers and bloggers alike.  Here’s how it works:

This image was posted on the site to compare the following polish colors: OPI Chocolate Shake-speare, Don’t Melbourne the Toast, Kreme de la Kremlin, Orly Pink Chocolate.  (You can see that each nail is painted a slightly different shade.)  The author even notes the type of lighting used (indoor, with flash) and the number of coats painted on (two).

Instead of sitting in the drugstore, stealthily trying to paint a strip of each color onto your nails, you can reference images like this to compare!

If you’re not looking to compare shades, there are tons of images on the site with swatches that show off one specific nail polish brand/color.  All you have to do is type a shade into the search bar, and if they have it (I bet they do!), it will pop up.

Pretty nifty, huh?

Would you use a tool like NailGal to buy polish online?  Have you every had trouble finding similar, less expensive versions of brand name polishes?  Do you think a site like this is silly or super helpful?  Tell me all about it in the comments!