April 21st, 2014  |  Comment   

Get Your Feet Ready for a Spring/Summer Pedicure

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for flip flops, open-toe sandals and bare feet! I simply cannot wait for the warmer weather where my toes will finally get some much-needed air and TLC. In the spring and summer, I treat myself to a pedicure every two weeks. It’s my personal beauty fix and I look forward to my standing appointments more than I can even express!

Since my feet have been in boots, fuzzy slippers, and sneakers throughout the fall and winter months, I have to get my feet ready. I’ve been doing this pre-pedicure routine for years and the prep really makes a big difference.

1) Soak your feet in epsom salt
I’ll sit in front of the TV, grab a large bowl and add hot water and epsom salt. It is so relaxing! Plus if you happen to have Athlete’s Foot or toenail fungus it can help relieve some symptoms.

2) Exfoliate
My grandmother has been telling me to do this for years and years—she always exfoliated her feet every spring. She would tell me, “I’m getting my feet pretty!” I love scrubbing my feet (especially the bottoms) at home in the shower or bath. I’m on my feet all day long, so it helps to give them a little something-something.

3) Moisturize with Vaseline
Once a week right before I go to bed, I’ll rub good old Vaseline jelly all over my feet and then put on cotton socks to sleep in. It’s not the sexiest thing in the world but your feet will be super soft in the morning. (Use a cloth to remove the extra Vaseline in the morning if you need to.)

4) Clip away
This isn’t the prettiest thing to do, but it needs to be done! Make sure you are consistently clip your nails to keep them at a practical length, no matter what the season. When I was pregnant last spring my nail technician called all of us ladies out on this and now I never skip it.

April 14th, 2014  |  4 Comments   

5 Must-Try Nail Polish Colors for Spring and Summer

Spring is HERE!

Ring the bell! Shout it from the rooftops! It’s finally that time of year.

I start getting my nails (fingers and toes!) done every 2 weeks right about now. It’s time for flip flops, open-toe sandals and adorable gladiator heels, which means… I have to have pretty toes. :)

I’m usually “boring” when it comes to my nail color–I go with staple colors–nude tones for my fingernails and black for my toes. I never experiment. I never go “out-of-the-box” so to speak.

Well, I think it’s time to change things up a bit. There are some gorgeous color trends for spring/summer 2014 and I’m excited to have some fun with the colors! Since the spring and summer to me are always happy and bright and vibrant months because of the warm sun, I feel like it’s time my nail colors reflect that, too.

Here are my 5 Must-Try Spring Nail Colors:

1) Mint/Turquoise – My favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip, so my sons will get a kick out of seeing my nails in some “mint” tones. I love the soothing and relaxed look of the mints and turquoise shades, but I also think they’re bright and exciting, too.

2) Coffee/Glitter – This is probably the best alternative to my standard “black” color on my toes. I love the glitter and shimmer in these shades–gorgeous and luxurious colors to try out!

3) Shades of Blue – With four sons, I will love rocking the different shades of blue this summer – especially near the pool and the beach! I love, love, love the crazy and cool shades of blue that are popular this Spring and Summer. Absolutely stunning and perfectly versatile with so many different outfits!

4) Hello PINK – Oh, yes! We can’t forget the PINK… and not just a soft whisper of a PINK, no… we’re talking a HELLO I’M HERE! I think it’s sensational and this is the most delightful color for the warm months! Also, this is the kind of color you could easily match your hands and toes together with at your mani and pedi!

5) Peach – Peach, peach, peach. Such a beautiful color. I think this is my ultimate favorite color. This screams SPRING and SUMMER to me more than anything. I will be wearing this beautiful shade first this Spring!

March 21st, 2014  |  Comment   

Tinted Love: OPI’s New Sheer Tint Top Coats

Shades: Don’t Violet Me Down / I Can Teal You Like Me / I’m Never Amberrassed / Be Magentale with Me

Sure you’ve got a stockpile of glitter polishes and you’re all over the graffiti nails trend but what about changing up your top coat? New to the OPI lineup this month are the brand’s first ever tinted top coats. Since these are designed to be worn both alone or layered over other polish colors you can choose the color statement you want to make. For intense color, layer them over white polish. Or, for a sophisticated, minimalist look, try them on their own.

I love how easy these polishes are to swipe on and go. When you don’t have an hour to give yourself a full manicure these allow you to add a hint of color and the high-gloss finish makes nails look “done” while covering dreaded white spots.

My favorite shade is “Be Magentale with Me” which creates a soft pink glow on the nail. Add two more coats, moving out from the cuticle and painting small sections with each new application you can create an easy ombre effect. You can buy the shades, here!

One Coat

Three Coats

March 11th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

OPI Nail Polish Goes Mad for The Muppets

Kermit Me To Speak / Chillin’ Like a Villain / Gaining Mole-Mentum / Muppets World Tour
Shades: Miss Piggy’s Big Number / I Love Applause / Let’s Do Anything We Want / International Crime Caper

 The always-lovable Muppets are bringing their antics back to the big screen on March 21st and OPI is getting in on the action. This month, they’ll release the eight muppet-inspired, limited edition shades shown above. The ultimate glamour girl, Miss Piggy, is well represented in the collection in shades of pink, peach, pearlescent white, and a deep sapphire blue to match her gown in the movie. Our favorite of the bunch is “Let’s Do Anything We Want,” a unique, gorgeous mix of rose-gold glitter and white confetti.

The shades will be available at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, jcp Salons, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, ULTA and this month.

Try a little nail art with these new shades. See how to get this look below:

Image courtesy of Chalkboard Nails for OPI


1.            Stick a hole punch protector at the base of a clean & prepped nail

2.            Polish on two coats of “I Love Applause” leaving the cuticle bare

3.            Make an arc of 5 tiny dots about midway up your nail – you can use a nail art brush or a toothpick for this

4.            With a thin nail art brush, raw 2 lines up from your sticker guide to each dot, creating 5 triangular points

5.            Fill in your triangles

6.            Remove your sticker guide carefully

TIP: Gently pull from one side of your nail to the other, never pull directly up

7.            Finish with top coat

February 25th, 2014  |  2 Comments   

A Moody Manicure How-To From Miss Pop and Essie

There are certain names that when we see them pop up on our FashionWeek schedules, we know instantly that we’ll be RSVP’ing for a chance to head backstage and see their work. One such name is that of nail artist Simcha Whitehill aka Miss PopShe creates some of the most fabulous, intricate, and trend-starting nails at Fashion Week and this season was no different. When we spotted her dark, gold-accented Essie manicure at the fairy-tale-inspired Alice and Olivia presentation we knew we had to get the details on how to re-create the look.

Get the look:

1. Apply Essie’s first base base coat to clean, filed nails

2. Next, apply two layers of Essie’s “Licorice”

3. To apply the gold dots, dip a nail dotting tool in Essie’s “Good As Gold” and carefully apply a medium-sized dot at the center tip of the nail and two smaller dots on each side

4. At the base of the nail, dip the dotting tool in Essie’s “Good As Gold” and apply a medium-sized dot at the center edge of the nail and five smaller dots surrounding it

5. Finish with Essie’s “Good to Go” Top Coat

Tip: If you don’t have a nail dotting tool, use the end of a bobby pin! For the smaller dots Miss Pop recommends using a toothpick

See more of Miss Pop’s amazing nail art here!

February 10th, 2014  |  Comment   

Olympic Nail Inspiration

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have begun! I have been watching the last 3 nights with my family, enjoying every single second. There’s nothing like seeing the best athletes in the world on a winter stage, it’s beyond amazing.

Since I’m not competing in Sochi, or, for that matter, even in Sochi, the best I can do is root for everyone here stateside. I’ve really wanted to celebrate the Olympics and Team USA the best way I can. I’ve been wearing red, white, and blue, tweeting, and blogging about the upcoming events.

When I went to the nail salon on Friday, the manicurist said to me, “Why don’t you do some nail art for the Olympics?” I hadn’t thought about nail art! I loved the idea! I came home and started scouring Pinterest for some cute and clever ideas and I thought it would be fun to share my top 4 ideas!

Here are my 4 FAVE ideas from Pinterest:

Pinned from The Daily Varnish

Pinned from The Luxury Spot

Pinned from eBid

Pinned from Fashion Based

I just love all of these and can’t wait to have some beauty fun recreating at home!


January 7th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

The Monogram Mani by Nails Inc.

I’m not normally the type to go all in on nail art. In fact, aside from a few glitter manis here and there I’ve let the trend pass me by. My complete inability to let any sort of polish dry before I start cleaning/cooking/flipping channels/texting coupled with my propensity for chipping and picking at my polish keeps me from spending hours perfecting my polish. However, I was instantly game to try the Monogram Mani kit from Nails Inc. when it arrived at my desk.

For starters, I love the two shades that come with the kit–deep plum and cool grey. I also love the idea of a statement nail that isn’t fussy or outlandish. When I got the kit, I immediately broke out the box and slicked on two coats of the deep plum polish. Then, I used the 45-second caviar top coat for a quick-drying, glossy finish. To complete the look I used the wooden cuticle stick that comes with the kit to gently press on a “C” sticker (for my new last name) and my monogram mani was complete.

The look lasted for five days without chipping and I got plenty of compliments on the statement nail. The kit costs $25 at Sephora and comes with the top coat, two polishes, four sheets of monogram letters and characters, and the wooden stick applicator. Not only will I be using this quite a bit, I plan to gift it for upcoming birthdays–what a perfect personalized beauty treat!

January 1st, 2014  |  3 Comments   

Time To Shine With Sally Hansen’s Long-Lasting, Triple-Shine Nail Polish

Earlier this week I sat down to write my New Year’s resolutions for 2014, and among the many things I’d like to accomplish next year, I resolve to spend more time…

  1. Reading
  2. Walking
  3. Cooking healthy meals

And I resolve to spend less time…

  1. Vegetating on the couch
  2. Procrastinating
  3. Staring at chipped nails

Yup, I’ve been blogging about beauty products pretty much daily for the past seven years, and with all of that time spent contemplating critical things of great universal importance…like felt-tipped versus brush-tipped liquid liners (don’t even get me started on this, because we’d be here FOR DAYS!), you might assume that I’d never, ever dare leave the house with chipped polish.

But I do.

I absolutely do. Because my hands do work!

There’s all the typing, the filing, the dishwashing, and the opening of all those cans of cat food every night (what can I say? — I’m a cat lady). I put my hands through a lot.

And when I started wearing Sally Hansen’s recently released $5 Triple Shine Nail Polishes, I expected my regular routine — fresh, flawless polish for a day or two before waking up in chip city.

But that was not the case.

These high-gloss Triple Shines proved to be surprisingly sturdy. In fact, they’re probably the longest-wearing drugstore nail polishes I’ve ever worn.

After applying creamy greenish blue Dive In a few weeks ago as part of my initial testing, I didn’t see a single chip for seven full days.

Not one! — and that was without a base or top coat.

Reef-Raf (two coats)

Red Snapper (two coats)

Play Koi (two coats)

Vanity Flare (two coats)

Dive In (three coats — this one’s a little streaky)

Adding a base and top coat extends the wear time, of course. With both, I get about 9-10 days of chip-free color, which I think is pretty great, considering how much wear and tear I put my nails through.

And then there’s how easy these are to use. Applying is quick and easy thanks to the wide brush, which covers a lot of surface area, so each nail only takes me 2-3 strokes. Plus, the formula fully dries in about 30 minutes — which may not be as fast as quick dry polishes, but still, it’s pretty good.

With 29 glossy shades to choose from (some glitters, too), there’s also a lot of variety. My favorites so far are the five fun, creamy colors in these pics.

They’re perfect for spring (and for hoping spring comes early this year).

You can find the Triple Shines now at drugstores, grocery stores, Ulta stores and online for about $5 each.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


December 12th, 2013  |  Comment   

Holiday Ready Pairing: Red and Gold

Pair one: Deborah Lippmann “Stop and Stare” and Deborah Lippmann “Boom Boom Pow”
Pair two: Ilia “Crimson and Clover” Tinted Lip Conditioner and Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in “11 (Gold)”
Pair three: Urban Decay “El Dorado” 24/7 liquid eyeliner and NARS “Pop Life” Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

The holidays are here, and it’s time to get festive! While you’re looking for the perfect little dress (or an ugly Christmas sweater) to take you event hopping throughout the season, why not liven up your makeup and add a little sparkle? Red and gold are the perfect pairing to keep you merry and bright, and I put together a few ideas to get the party started.

December 3rd, 2013  |  1 Comment    

A Seriously Easy DIY Half Moon Mani

It’s safe to say that nail art isn’t going anywhere. One of my all-time fave looks is the half moon mani. We’ve seen variations on the look (glitter, studs etc.), which are all equally awesome. It looks so easy when a pro does it, but mastering the look yourself? Not so much. Or so I thought.

I asked Joey Chin a manicurist at the Townhouse Spa in New York for a quick tutorial. A piece of scotch tape turned what I thought to be a majorly daunting project into a super easy, professional nail art look. Here’s how it’s done:

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Half Moon Mani from Nykia Spradley on Vimeo.

A quick and easy DIY half moon manicure. Demonstrated by Joey Chin of Townhouse Spa in NYC.


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