911 ManiCURE

Ok. I touched on this subject lightly with my skin post a little while ago. ..Don’t know if I made it clear but I hate winter. And winter hates my skin! Especially my nails. It seems like no matter how much I moisturize, my poor hands end up super dry with everlasting hangnails. No one wants to see raggly [yea, I said RAGGLY!] fingers or self mutilate with scratchy dead skin!

So what’s a girl to do?

No reason to spend time or money to sit in a nail salon. I could save both by not being lazy and giving myself a manicure in the comfort of my home. Here’s a quick and easy how:

Invest!

Buy a nail kit. They’re inexpensive and come in super handy [no pun intended.] I got mine at a local drugstore for less than $10 and it has everything I need. Even if you do hit up the salon on a regular, kits are great for maintenance between visits.

Sephora-Grip-Tide-Manicure-Set-Summer-2013

Kill the Dead Skin!

Soak your hands in warm water. This can be done while you take a bath or by placing your fingers in a shallow bowl for 10 minutes. This will soften the skin and make it easy to remove. You can add oil for some extra luxuriousness.

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If you have a manicure kit, use your cuticle clippers to chop off the annoying skin all around your nail. Angled nail clippers are just as effective. Be careful to cut just enough to where you’re only getting rid of the dead stuff. It shouldn’t hurt at all.

Using the flat/angled end of an orange stick, push back your cuticles. This shouldn’t be painful either. This will make your nail beds look longer and your polish, if applied, will have a nice, neat surface to be applied. What’s a nice paint job if the canvas looks like crap, right?

ORANGE_STICKS

Maintain the mani!

I use a sugar scrub to keep my hands soft between manicures. You can find scrubs online, at a number of drugstores or make your own with sugar and oil[s]. Using a scrub a couple times a week keeps dead skin from building up. Plus it feels amazing!

Moisturize!

In the winter, it’s especially important to keep your hands clean to ward off the germs that like to hang out in our warm bodies. So lotion your hands as often as you wash them to retain moisture and softness. I recommend a nice, thick cream-like a butter– that’ll really penetrate the layers.

vitamin-e-oil-45-000-iu

Nails need tlc too, so apply an oil, like vitamin E, directly to your nail beds and all around them. You can do this everyday or as often as needed. This helps keep them from splitting and breaking so easily. And say bubye to hangnails. If you’re nails are weak and/or prone to breakage, I’ve also noticed that a coat of clear polish makes them less likely to split.

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[^^^Just in case you’re wondering if my remedies work, here’s proof!] I hope this helped! I know it helps me get through my frustrations with winter and all the “loveliness” it brings. Plus it’s a little inexpensive treat to self that I can do on the fly right before I polish my nails.

Halloween Manis

I really wanted to go all out with some festive nails this season, but I just couldn’t get into the mood. There’s an abundance of inspirational Halloween designs and styles that don’t look like they take too much effort to create; my issue is they just look a little.. “youthful.” Like, I’m too old to rock certain looks. Or I’m just not into Halloween like that. So I went on the hunt to find the oxymoron that is sophisticated Halloween nail art:

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I adore this simple style. It can easily be created with a thin striping brush and a steady hand. Plus the tone of this particular orange puts a twist on the traditional orange and black combo.

black cat halloween nail decals by pinegalaxy. halloween nails for girls-t04635

 

With a classic black cat nail decal, you can use any base coat to make this Halloween nail design pop. Meowwww!!

halloween-glam-goth-stiletto-nails

 

Sooo not a fan of the creepy stiletto nail, but it gets a pass this time of year. Even in solid black, this shape makes a statement. Add some spiked gems to your ring finger and bamm! These would definitely complete a cat or witch costume too!

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Try a little spin on the traditional white French tip by using the heart-shaped style in black or orange. Super fun meets classy!

New-Halloween-Nail-Polish-Sets-2012

 

Black varnish always says gothic, dark, but at the same time, it’s timeless. Anyone can pull it off any time of the year, every season, but it works especially well for Halloween if you want to get into the spirit, but just a little. 

BlackFrench

 

Black tips are sexy and bold, and surely have some festive flavor. If you’re feeling a little  more spirited, try your favorite shade of orange as your main color, or use it as your tip color with a black base. This style can be created easily with striping tape. 

If you’re not into diy nails, a good aesthetician can create any of these simple nail art designs for you. But if you’re on a budget and/or feeling ambitious, take your time to try one out in the comfort of your own home [for free if you already have the tools you need.]  Sidenote: please make sure your cuticles aren’t scary; rough cuticles can really ruin an awesome paint job! 

What nail designs will you be dipping into?? Are you into more literal styles that scream Halloweeeeeen?! Happy painting, ladies!! Muah hahahaa!

 

Ho! Ho! Holiday Nails!

If you follow my blog, you’re awesome AND you know how much I love a pretty manicure. I’m not into Christmas as much as I used to be as a kid, but I do love the decorations, music, and festivities that come along with this season. And this is the only time of year you can get away with French tips that resemble candy canes-so why not take advantage??

Twinkle Twinkle

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Sweet Holiday Treats

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Deck The Halls

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Let It Snow

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Silver Bells

sparkly-holiday-nails holiday-nail

So if you want to spread a little holiday cheer and/or make your tips the topic of conversation, try out one of these designs-or all of them! If you’ve got a little time, a lot of patience and your creative juices are flowing, here’s a simple holiday sweater nail art tutorial -amongst many on YouTube.Some are much more intricate and take a bit longer to create than others, but it’ll be so so cute and so worth it in the end!

Fall in Love: Textured Talons

As you may know [if you know me in real life of follow my blog], I’m a nail/nail lacquer freak. I love clean, neat, creative, manicured nails. They can be great conversation pieces, extensions of your personality and accessories to your outfits. Textured nails are trending for fall but they can work in any season, unless you’re planning on trying it on your pedicure too, which, in that case, you’d wanna show them off and not ruin them with socks or enclosed shoes. This lovely Humpday, I’m featuring some of my favorite fresh looks for nails:

micro beads

I love the micro bead trend because it’s feminine and hard at the same time, which makes them sexy. They’re a less “beady” version of caviar nails.

red caviar

rainbow caviar

Caviar isn’t actual caviar [that’d be disgusting] but they’re tiny tiny beads that resemble caviar. They’re super fun and speak [loudly] for themselves. Many brands now sell complete kits to create this look or you can buy beads and a small funnel at a craft store. Here’s a quick DIY tutorial: http://youtu.be/klVSSoB90ZE

satin stripes

Just like ribbon on a pretty box, this design makes a beautiful presentation. It’s simple to do with a matte base color and shiny polish for the stripes, or criss-cross, polka dots or whatever design speaks to you.

matte/stealth

 

black stealth

Matte is also a super cool look for your tips. I think it’s so classy, even in lime green and neon pink. They look so smooth and soft.

green velvet

black lace

pink crush

Fabric-coated fingernails are also taking center-stage lately. I’m not a huge fan of the velvet for everyday, although it could be great for a photo shoot. But I love the lace. It can be created with a stencil or small cuts of actual lace.

burn rubber

The rubber finish will make it look like you have go-go gadget nails. Love it!

glitter

crackle/shattered

The crackled look is still in, and more and more brands are carrying a version of this finish. And glitter is always hot. Like I’ve mentioned, I love the look of metallic with pastels, especially textured metallic. And it works wonders in a variety of colors and can be very festive for the holidays.

http://www.makeuptalk.com/beautyblog/the-evolution-of-textured-nail-polish/

So, ladies, there is no excuse not to try one of these trends. Invite a steady-handed friend help you apply a funky fresh finish if you don’t trust yourself, or have a professional manicurist hook you up. Happy polishing!

 

 

 

 

The Best Accessory: Your 10 Digits

I think hands tell a lot about a person: age, style, hygiene [or lack of], personality. Like any make-up or clothing, hairstyle, perfume or accessories, your nails and how you upkeep them is a reflection of you.

so fresh & so clean

French tips are a classic go-to that any woman can rock at any age. I prefer natural white tips but acrylics that look natural can also work. They are a feminine, clean standard for the workplace or everyday. Adding a design or sparkle to a French tip brings a touch of glam for a special event. I used to do my own but I find that salons do a much better job and it tends to last longer.

red-y for the world

Red is also a classic. It’s effortlessly sexy, powerful and ultra-feminine. It should be in every woman’s lacquer stash.

think jordan almonds..

I love pastel polishes too. They’re sweet and soft and work with all skin tones. Pair them with some chunky metallic rings and you’ve got instant glam.

go bananas

And I adore unique designs and print techniques on well-groomed talons. They make a statement and are a great conversation piece. They may be a stark contrast to your ensemble, but I think that makes them stand out even more. So I encourage you to buy and try new colors and designs. What I love about a great manicure is that, even if you’re wearing the same color or idea as the next lady, it looks different on each individual.

Wednesday = DIY Mani + Pedi Day

If you’re like me, you’re kinda frugal and really don’t like to have to pay people to do something you can do well yourself. Now every once and a while, I do treat myself to both a manicure and a pedicure, but that could get costly. So instead of dishing out my money to a professional once a month for a pedicure and 2-4x a month for a manicure[which could add up to around $60-80 a month], I learned the simple techniques to do both on my own in the comfort of my home. That also means no waiting or strong chemical scents. Furthermore , I can try out a number of colors and designs [for free..if you already have a nice collection of polish and an artsy side] and remove it right there if I don’t like it. Sounds like a smart bargain to me.

http://youtu.be/w4Gz02Kn-O8 [Savvy Lizzy’s manicure tutorial]

http://youtu.be/xAIHrtT02TY [Sister Copey’s pedicure tutorial]

[Keep in mind that these are for natural nails, not acrylics or any kind of extensions]

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[festive Olympic nails featured on beautylish.com]

Your digits are the one accessory that you’re born with and can truly customize to your personality, occasion or mood.

So have fun with them and save your money!!