Reviews

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


Shades:
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 ulta.com 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

KERMIT’S KOLLAR (or FROGGY COLLARS)

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

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  |  1 Comment    

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,

Karen

April 26th, 2013  |  1 Comment    

10 Under $10: The Best Drugstore Gems

While there is merit to some beauty products that cost the earth (this gal has bought several replacement bottles of $150 Rodin Olio Lusso, for instance), the phrase “you get what you pay for” can be as incorrect semantically as it is grammatically. There are a bevy of fabulous beauty buys at your local drugstore that can be scored for under a Hamilton note. Here, my favorite inexpensive makeup, hair, skin care and body buys.


1. Revlon BB Cream: Revlon’s foundations have long impressed me, and the brand’s foray into the BB cream space is worthy of a parade. It yields light, smooth, even coverage with a hint of hydration ($9).


2. Avon Shine Attract Lipstick: Pigmented color, shine and hydration—all in a single tube. Keep one by your front door and one in your purse ($9).


3. Maybelline Clean Express Makeup Removing Lotion: My lids and lashes have become a “no-fly zone” for regular face washing since I started getting lash extensions at Courtney Akai Lash Boutique and recently became a convert to Browhaus’ brow resurrection service. This creamy lotion on a Q-tip removes all traces of even the most stubborn liner, shadow and mascara ($5).


4. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask: This is my go-to when I’m about eight months deep into a haircut. You and I both know highlighted, heat-styled ends are absolutely a Greek tragedy by that point. This creamy, lush masque whips them into shape without scissors ($6).


5. John Frieda Full Repair Perfect Ends Sheer Mist: Similarly, spritzing this stuff on ends before flat-ironing or curling can help me eke out another two months of wear on a haircut ($9.99).

6. Yes To Carrots Hydrating Shower Gel: Moisture, great cleansing, a crisp, refreshing scent and natural. Get involved ($7).

7. L’Oreal Paris Miss Pixie Nail Color: For six dollars, you can score the very same hue as talon titan Jin Soon Choi’s legendary Blue Iris Nail Lacquer, which beauty editors love. Note: You’ll need an extra coat or two; this one skews a bit more sheer ($6).


8. Hello Supermint Toothpaste: It’s natural, the packaging is beyond chic and the Supermint flavor transforms the brushing experience into a spa for your smile ($5).


9. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Daily Gel Wash: Cleans my acne-prone skin perfectly and without residue in the increasingly humid climes of summer in NYC ($7.50).


10. Olay Fresh Effects S’Wipe Out Refreshing Makeup Removal Cloths: Keep these by your bed for late nights out to ensure you won’t sleep in your makeup–the gravest of beauty sins ($6).

January 21st, 2013  |  Comment   

Spring’s Hottest Eyeshadow Colors

When it comes to my makeup, I’m a total eyeshadow girl. I love experimenting with different colors and creating different all from my eyeshadow.

My personal favorite look is creating a smokey eye with my shadows. Sometimes I use charcoals, sometimes I use browns, sometimes I use purples and blues, it just kind of depends how I’m feeling at the moment.  I’ve never been one to have fun with lip colors, but with eyeshadow — anything goes!

Just like with fashion, with each upcoming season, there are always new colors that are trending and emerging on the beauty front.  This Spring 2013, there are some gorgeous bold and beautiful eyeshadow colors that you don’t want to miss trying out.  This Spring it’s all about vibrant and statement colors for the eyes.  The colors are rich and luxurious and eye-catching (pun intended).

Here are 5 of Spring’s Hottest Eyeshadow Colors (and why I love them):

1) Guacamole from MAC 

Emerald has been named the “color of 2013,” also allowing all shades of green to come center stage.  I love the boldness to this Guacamole eyeshadow shade.  This is the kind of color you can easily wear as a light dusting or heavy.  I also love that if you have green or blue eyes, this will absolutely make your eyes pop. It’s soothing and bold at the same time. This is one of my personal faves for Spring 2013!

2) Maybelline Inked in Gold Rush Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow -

Hello Spring! You will shine and glitter in this shade. I love Gold Rush because it’s a happy color. I’ve had a lot of success layering over my charcoals for some added shine. I think it’s a beautiful color and totally brings on the brightness of Spring 2013!

3) L’Oreal Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads – Stacked Heels

Pretty in pinks and purples. I love these colors because they’re delicate, elegant and just beautiful. I love mixing pinks and purples together because you can create such a soft look for your lids. Not to mention, each color on their own stands out.

4) Persia by NARS -

You want bold for spring? This is your color. I love the pop of this color, it’s loud and beautiful. You can do a lot with this color, and I think it’s perfect for ladies with darker eyes. It’s a stunning color that you will get a ton of complements on!

5) Revlon ColorStay 16-Hour Eyeshadow – Adventurous

Teals and blues and greens and creams… perfect Spring combinations! Blue and teal are (2) colors that are trending like crazy this Spring in the fashion world, and I love seeing them brought over into beauty. These colors are relaxing, serene and BOLD.

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