Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fancy feathers

From the Mert Otsamo runway show
Feathers are all the rage this season, and I'm very excited to see them appearing on nails...another little trick for my tool box! The above feathered nails don't rate highly as far as wearability, but who needs practicality when you have inspiration?!

Below is an example of feathered nails that are not only fabulous but are also wearable, the perfect combination! The design below is by Sarah Payne, a professional nail artist/manicurist in British Columbia. As with almost all of her designs, the design below is done with acrylic.

Blue Bird nails by Nail Designs by Sarah

Since my nails are natural, I attempted a variation of Sarah's process (explained below) using my go-to top coat for years, Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat, and it works! (See Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat reviewed at Luuux.com & totalbeauty.com, and by myself as a note at the end of this post.)

Here are Sarah's step-by-step instructions (written & visual) for how to do feathered nails using acrylic. 
Step 1: Like a fill file down acrylic to make it thin, prep & prime. If it's a full set, use forms and sculpt clear on all 5, then file thin and start.
Step 2: Apply the color you will use on all 5 fingers , you want the color to be dry before adding feathers.
Step 3: Apply thin wet coat of clear acrylic
Step 4: Apply feather and press down to make sure all feathers stick to the clear you placed down.
Step 5: Do to all 5 fingers leave bits of feather hanging off, you want nails dry before cutting feather.
Step 6: Cut excess feather ends off and pull off peices sticking up and off the side. do to all 5 fingers
Step 7: Apply your acrylic like you would on any nail fill pink then clear not to thick
Step 8: File, shape Buff wash and polish!

Below are my nails, adorned with feathers without any acrylic. I'm very pleased with them for a first try! Of course, I also have room for improvement.

My feathered nails using polish, done by me

This does take patience. If you want to try this with natural nails, this is the process I used (based on Sarah's) and some tips. Do your nails as you normally would. Apply the top coat and, while it's still wet, place the feather on your nail (I highly recommend using the Sally's one I used; it's strong and thick but you have to work quickly). If you're working with pieces of feathers as I did in some cases, it might be helpful to use tweezers to hold the feather while placing it. After placement, do not expect to be able to move the feather without disturbing the polish underneath; feather placement is a one-shot deal. I used the side of a toothpick (not the point!) to slightly hold parts of the feather against the nail polish if all of the feather didn't stick upon placement. For stubborn ends that didn't want to adhere to the polish, I used nail glue and then my toothpick to hold and secure the ends. After feather placement, I used one layer of top coat, let dry, and then trimmed the parts of the feathers that stuck off of my nails. It's important to trim your feathers slightly shorter than your nail so they do not catch on anything; I mean slightly--barely visible. Looking at your nails from the underside and slightly angling your scizzors when you trim can help you to get a closer cut. After this, I applied another layer of my top coat. I did this manicure 5 days ago (with two hair washes since then), and I have not had problems with the feathers lifting.

Whether on the catwalk or the sidewalk, feathers are one of the newest embellishment for nails; as far as I know, feathers are not even made for nails at this point. Experiment with this fun and be the one of the first to flaunt it on the streets. You won't be just one of the flock with these nails!

Note: As one review notes, occasionally when applying the Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat polish, it can slightly pick up the color from your nail; this might happen with 1/10 nails. It's never been enough of a problem for me to abandon the product. One user suggests using a base coat as a top coat first (or other top coat) and then finishing with the Sally Hansen. The Sally Hansen polish truly can't be beat as far as shine, hardness, preserving your manicure, bonding all layers of polish together, expediting drying time, and creating a glassy smooth surface, even with nail art designs that are uneven.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

I dont have a favorite color...

I created the set below as part of a Polyvore challenge for what to wear on Fashion's Night Out. Several top sets are chosen and featured on Vogue.com, and two winning sets will be chosen by Alexander Wang--yes, thee Alexander Wang! The final grand prize is a trip to NYC for a Vogue photo shoot and a tour of the Vogue fashion closet!

Here is a SugarSpiceStyle outfit, showcasing many Fall 2011 trends: jewel tones, animal print, plaid, and color-blocking in a collage-esque look. For one of my favorite compilations of shots from the runway that features some of these trends, check out the Trend Report at Style.com.

I dont have a favorite color... on Polyvore by SugarSpiceStyle featuring color blocked heels at Asos

Lanvin printed top
€1.150 - colette.fr

Tripp skull pants
$31 - karmaloop.com

Asos shoes
$82 - asos.com

Kenneth cole bag
$248 - kennethcole.com

Crystal jewelry
$129 - farfetch.com

Juicy couture jewelry
$68 - juicycouture.com

Juicy couture jewelry
$58 - couture.zappos.com

Saturday, August 27, 2011

turn it up a notch

turn it up a notch

Alexander McQueen knit cardigan
£875 - harveynichols.com

All Saints skinny jeans
$120 - allsaints.com

Heel pumps
€199 - flannelsfashion.com

Irene Neuwirth 18k ring
$1,495 - ylang23.com

GALA Curios gold bangle
£199 - kabiri.co.uk

Kate spade earrings
$195 - katespade.com

This set takes a casual apparel ensemble and transforms it into a statement with bold accessories, taking advantage of unique color combinations (pink & red in the Alexander McQueen clutch) and the intense and rich colors of the gemstone earrings and ring. Geometric lines and patterns as well as gold throughout the look create coherence and the cut of the garments should yield an attractive silhouette.

As a side note, I absolutely love chrysoprase; this ring is designed by Irene Neuwirth, one of my favorite fine jewelry designers. Her pieces are truly exquisite!

Opening Ceremony pants

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For the woman who has everything

Juicy Couture diamond J pull/necklace; $1,000

This little gem is the outcome of a collaboration between big-time fine jewelry designer Martin Katz and the crown jewel of casual luxury wear, Juicy Couture. Martin Katz has adorned countless celebrities with his exquisite gemstone creations and has worked with Victoria's Secret to add major bling to their bras and panties for the Victoria's Secret runway show, leaving him with a pretty impressive resume. This is top notch jewelry and craftsmanship!

The above diamond signature J charm comes with an 18 kt white gold necklace but is designed to be interchangeable with the "J" zipper pull on Juicy's infamous tracksuits, taking your Juicy tracksuit to a whole new level. Made of white gold and encrusted with 13 diamonds totaling .32 karats, this charm is sure to be made with the finest diamonds and give tons of sparkle--and we can never get enough sparkle! This extravagant piece is a limited edition--and with only 100 made, it is definitely limited.

So, is this item a bit excessive? Yes. Is it unnecessary? Completely. Is it covetable? Definitely. At the same time, a diamond necklace is, well, nothing short of a girl's best friend--you can take it (i.e. wear it) anywhere. This is the perfect piece for the woman who has everything--especially a Juicy collection!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Indie-Urban essence at Threadsence

Threadsence offers a nice helping of Indie-Urban style at a price that won't empty your bank account. Aside from being a nice shopping stop, Threadsence also has a blog with giveaways, styled outfits, and DIY projects. I've picked out a few fun apparel items, but don't limit yourself to apparel; Threadsence also has accessories, jewelry, shoes, and apartment wares.

sequin shorts, $39

Glisten and sparkle as the life of the party in these hot, hot, hot pants! Making sure these shorts fit perfectly is going to be the key to their success--and success with these is going to turn a few heads! Although these shorts are only available in size large at this time, you can request here to be notified if Threadsence receives more sizes.

asymmetrical fringe top, $30
This top offers lots of interest and tons of texture. Clothing that's this color is sure to go with a variety of other pieces since it looks great with brights and other neutrals. While I'm a fan of this top, I think it would look better as part of a more dressy-casual look as opposed to dressed down; I'm also just not feeling these shorts. 

"pop tropica" skirt by Insight, $38

I picked this skirt for its pattern, color scheme, and sexxxy fit. Aside from the many different ways you could build an outfit around this skirt, it lends itself to adding a fun twist to an army/military-inspired ensemble. I'm not a huge fan of the elastic waist, so I'd recommend wearing it with a top that doesn't expose that part of the garment. Other than that, throw this puppy on and flaunt what you got!

Sequin overlay top, $38

This top is entirely fabulous! It's also entirely polyester, which can be a risky fabric to buy online without knowing how it feels. But never fear, if you're not fully satisfied, Threadsence has a return policy that allows returns within 30 days on most items. So, what makes this top worth it? 1.) champagne color  2.) sequins  3.) crop style  4.) overlay  5.) negative spaces = unique pattern and interesting detail!

Last, but not least, I'd like to note that Threadsence's S&H charges are second best to free; every order under $50 ships for only $5, and over $50 ships for $7.

Monday, August 22, 2011

These shoes were made for flaunting!

After doing my daily round on some of my favorite sites, I couldn't resist posting on Bloomingdale's knockout shoe sale! My selections below are only a few of dozens of shoes in this sale that I'd love to own; I've picked these just to wet your appetite. In this sale, you'll find this summer's hottest shoes that you've been eyeing and seen everywhere but haven't splurged on, for example, Tory Burch's sky-high espadrille platform heel with ankle strap or Ash's military-inspired wedge that's adorned with canvas and enough hardware for an army! Unfortunately, sizes are limited, so don't delay your visit! For each shoe below, I've composed a very brief rundown highlighting my reasons for selecting each shoe and why it's a great wardrobe piece!
Joan & David, blush woven leather heeled sandal $124
It has a tassel!!! Really, nothing more needs to be said about this shoe, but since it's so fab, I can't neglect the woven leather, asymmetry, perfect proportion, or angle of the heel (see alternate picture on the site). The color of this shoe is magnificent and would easily transition to fall. This shoe is also versatile as far as what you can wear with it (jeans, skirt, dress, suit) or where you can wear it (office, lunch, date, night out). It should be durable, considering the wooden platform, and the only part you'd want to be careful with is the covered heel. Did I mention the triangle formed by where the straps meet? I could go on and on about this shoe!
Steve Madden, fabric espadrille platforms $45.50
This is adorable! I could easily see this shoe as an easy weekend go-to, perfect for skinny jeans or a denim pencil skirt. Of course, you could style this shoe many ways, I just feel like it was born to be worn with denim or a little linen skirt. This is one of those shoes I think you'd live in and would have an extremely low cost-per-wear, especially with a price of about $45.00.

Pour La Victoire, raspberry oxford lace-up pump $137
I love this raspberry shade, and it is all the rage this coming fall. Killer heel, open-toe, lace-up detail, piping, texture, platform...you name it, this shoe's got it! Although this might not be an everyday shoe (covered platform, covered heel--might take a bit of a beating), it is truly perfection for a night out-lunch-dinner shoe and very versatile due to its design and color. The best part of this shoe? It's one hell of a power heel! Here's to feeling like a million bucks for $137!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Always in Style

image: etiquettedaily.com
Emily Post

"Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality--the outward manifestation of one's innate character and attitude toward life" --Emily Post, quote at bartleby.com. I will add that the capacity to learn manners is highly dependent on one's ability to self-regulate, which means being aware of and having control over one's own thoughts and behavior.

I was taught manners and propriety as I grew up. By the time I was 6 or 7 years old, I knew the name Emily Post. I was recently inspired to get my hands on her book and see what fabulous rules of civility had earned her household recognition through a couple of generations. After an online search, I found emilypost.com and learned that Emily Post's great-grandaughter in-law, Peggy Post, continues the campaign for etiquette and civility. Originally written by Emily Post in 1922 with the title Ettiquette in Society, in Business, and at Home, the book has been revised and edited by Peggy Post and is now in its 17th edition, most recently published in 2004 as Emily Post's Etiquette. The newest edition tackles dealing with situations and ettiquette that is relevant in the new millenium.

Peggy Post recognizes the value of self-regulation, which is a term most frequently used in the field of psychology. Manners, civility, our ability to self-regulate, and capacity for judgement, which originates in the frontal lobe of your brain's cerebral cortex, is the predominate difference that distinguishes humans from other animals--even other primates. It all comes full circle when you consider that we are the only species with civilizations and cultures, which requires getting along with others and developing complex rules, official (i.e. laws) and unofficial (i.e. waiting in line and not jumping to the front). Acting with civility, manners, a sense of propriety, and doing what's right despite temptations is the height of humanity and reflective of our cognitive and self-regulatory abilities. There is no excuse for "acting like an animal." Having class and being cultured is the interpersonal behavioral consummation of being human.

After watching The Housewives of NYC Reunion a couple of weeks ago, I have been increasingly aware of some people's inconsiderate, rude, and uncivil behavior--across a range of demographics. That being said, I am compelled to remind people that how you act is a reflection of you. Being rude, mean, inappropriate, disrespectful, entitled, or gross is NOT becoming, regardless of how much money or taste you have or how justified you think you are. There is an appropriate way to handle everything. I am not suggesting that you just sit there and smile when something really disturbs you. If the person or issue doesn't matter, ignore it and distract yourself. If the situation is important enough to address, be assertive; being assertive does not mean being disrespectful.

The responsibility to be civil and respectful falls to the individual adult. Although Emily Post might be almost a century in the past, the fundamentals of her teachings continue to be relevant. Please be mindful of your behavior and set the standard for class. Noone cares how awesome your shoes are if you don't know how to act.

Monday, August 15, 2011

3 piece roundup!

Here's a roundup of a few of my fave finds that flaunt of-the-moment style. They are sure to be good staples for your fall and winter wardrobe, making each a sound investment at under $250.00.

Kelsi Dagger at Victoria's Secret, two-toned leather heeled riding boots $249
Two-tone leather, straps, distressing, and the shape of the leather pieces on the shaft make this a standout boot that offers plenty of style for even the most demanding fashionista! This boot could go from being paired with jeans and a T for the movies to being paired with a sexy sweaterdress for a night out. With a hidden 5" heel, this riding boot offers a nice elongating effect that you don't get with many riding boots since most are flat. These boots will likely be durable and wear well--important for any wardrobe staple that's going to get a lot of use. VS has a promotion on now for $15 off/$100 spent, $30 off/$150 spent, or $75 off/$250 spent, etc with code FALL11. Although VS isn't offering it at this time, they usually have a promotion for free S&H with orders over $100, so this item might be eligible for that promotion when it comes back around.

Kate Spade, 18 kt gold & raw kunzite earrings $195

These studs are hand cut and hand set stones, ensuring each pair will have a uniquely irregular shape and finish. I love the feel of these earrings, especially the gemstones where you can see their natural layers and imperfections! Check out the other gemstones, including ruby (bright magenta), tourmaline, peridot, lapis (neon blue), emerald, amethyst, and aquamarine. Of course, if you want the rubies or emeralds, you're going to have to shell out $495/pair.

Asos, bright suede mini grab bag $60
Although this bag looks as if it would be limiting because of the colors, it would work well as an accent piece to many outfits you already have, making this an easy way to add bright jewel tones to your fall and winter wear. You have the flexibility of wearing this mini bag with the wristlet or detatching the wristlet and using it as a clutch, but I'm a fan of the wristlet! Take it easy on this little bag and treat the suede. Even though the suede has great texture, it won't wear as well as some other materials, so make sure you're careful when using it and store it properly (a pillow case works well if it doesn't come with a dust bag). Be sure to check out the other images of this mini bag at Asos and note the accordian detailing on the side of the bag with contrasting piping that adds even more interest and detail to this already knock-out bag. With an original shape, different jewel-tone color combo, and a very rich feel, this is the perfect accessory to rock with panache this fall!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"more Beautiful and more Comfortable" ~the Missoni way

For the past several days, I've been enjoying a little but much needed getaway, but have unfortunately not been able to keep up with posts! So, hopefully this post will make up for what I've missed; I admit I've been saving it for just the right time--yes, it's that fabulous!

Hotel Missoni

An increasing number of fashion houses are extending their realm of design to include hotels. Among the limited number of designers to undertake such a task is Missoni, and I must say that if their hotels are of the calibur of their website, I'd hands-down choose to take my trip to design paradise at Hotel Missoni. I cannot emphasize the extent to which I was thoroughly enthralled--practically entranced--by their presentation (website) and how fully they draw you into their world--visually, through music, and by sharing their philosophy. I find it to be nothing short of inspiring.

Hotel Missoni Edinburgh

Of course, Hotel Missoni does not limit its luxury to interior design, but extends its excellence to every aspect of the experience--from waitstaff service and eats to Wi-Fi and Missoni bathrobes and slippers. Not only does Hotel Missoni far exceed traditional standards, the Hotel is eco-conscientious, leading the way for luxury of a new millenium. Both Missoni Hotels, in Edinburgh and Kuwait City, are in prime locations. Feel like staying in or a drink to start the evening? Each Hotel also has a chic cocktail lounge; sure to be a fashion-lover's playground!

Hotel Missoni Kuwait

While Missoni plans to open several Hotels around the world, the next Hotel Missoni is set to open in Turkey in 2013. Hotelier Middle East reports that Hotel Missoni Belek in Turkey will have its own adjacent golf course, retail shops, country club, sports club, and residential villas along with serving as a hotel.

What does is cost to stay at Hotel Missoni? Although prices are sure to vary, one site offers a 9-night stay at the Edinburgh location for about $3,500. One of the perks of an upgraded room is refills for the mini bar at no charge...paradise and heaven! For your own complimentary slice of heaven, visit Hotel Missoni and select The Experience.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tie-dying your tips!

I've promised many people I would post with directions on how to tie-dye your nails...and here it finally is! I'm leaving for the beach so posts will have to wait for a few days!

Technically, this process is called water marbling, but it gives a tie-dye effect. The picture above is not mine. The pictures below are the results of my third and fourth efforts at this process.

My nails, third time tie-dying

My nails, fourth time tie-dying
(This is after a week and without a top coat; I'm embarassed to post this, but it gives an idea)

Before I get into the "Materials" and "Process" parts of this post, here's some background info. First, I experimented three times before significantly improving my technique to the point that I actually have results with which I'm pleased...okay, pretty freakin excited about!!! So 1.) This is possible! 2.) I've tried to offer tips that will make it as easy as possible--read them all because without them it can be very frustrating 3.) Try it a couple of times and don't give up--even if you stop after one hand. This is supposed to be fun, not aggravating. 4.) Have low expectations at first; it will make it less frustrating...think of the first times as practice rounds. 5.) Have 30 minutes to an hour to play around with it.

Below, I will list the materials and explain the process that's worked the best for me. First, I include the link to the directions that I used, but they are not very thorough and I highly recommend not solely using them; I recommend viewing the general directions at Fashionista for a quick overview before I get into the gritty details. Along the way, I include links to  video tutorials (which use slightly different methods, but are all valuable in some way, which I point out). To help make this more reader friendly, I've set it up in an outline format. Read the whole post first and then go back and follow it step by step. It seems more complicated than it is; hopefully the detail will make it easier in the long run!

Materials and Process

I. Fundamentals:
      A.  Here are the directions at Fashionista to give you a general idea of the steps.

      B.  Materials:
                - wax paper (1-2 ft)/newspaper                         - tape or Vaseline               
                - bowl (cereal-sized or larger) that you can get nail polish on or cup
                - orangewood stick/a couple of toothpicks       - paper towel
                - nail polish remover                                         - make-up remover pads (cotton balls
                - base coat and top coat                                                                    tend to lose fibers easier)
                - white nail polish                                             - water (purified or bottle is slightly better)
                - at least 2 different colored polishes                - wet paper towel
                - Q-tips

      C. Note re: materials
                 1. Water is best at room temperature.
                 2. I like to use wax paper because I'm messy and water doesn't leak through unlike if using newpaper. When a water-marble goes awry, you'll have dried nail polish covered in water, and smearing it on the wax paper is easy (a papertowel can work too).
                 3. I've only used Vaseline, but I'm going to start experimenting with tape because the Vaseline easily gets all over things (again, I'm messy).
                 4. You can use a cup or a bowl. I'll address this later.

II. Setup (assuming you've already taken all polish off, groomed your nails, and washed your hands)
      A. Gather all of your materials and set them up (water in bowl, etc). Have a paper towl wet with water and a cotton round with nail polish remover on it.

      B.  Picking the right polishes:
Shake all of your nail polishes well. Some polishes do not work well for water marbling; they do not spread out across the water. The nail polish needs to spread out across the water! This video shows you what I mean: Water Marbling FAQ. Test each nail polish 1-3 times on a clean water surface   to see how it spreads; if it does not spread well, don't use it! Perform this test by simply taking the nail polish brush with nail polish on it and dripping a drop or two of polish into the water. If a polish doesn't spread well, you might have to sacrifice using a color you really want to use; I'm sorry. But don't shy away from testing any polish: glitter, metallic, matte, etc. I would shy away from using fast-dry polishes; it will be more difficult to draw the design in the polish. Once you've tested a polish and know that it works well for water marbling, put a sticker on it or mark it so you do not have to test it at another time. To start each "test" with a clean water surface, watch the first 45 seconds of Valentine's Day Water-Marble Nail Art Tutorial. As Colette shows in her video, filtered water is more conducive to spreading. To me, it seems that it's the nail polish that makes the biggest difference.

      C. Now it's time to prep your nails with the basecoat, followed by 1-2 coats of white polish. The base polish helps the white to absorb less into your nails, and the result is a brighter white. The white is critical for the tie-dying to have rich and saturated color on your nails. Let dry.

      D. Open all of your nail polish bottles, leaving the brush still in them.


III. Process 
      A. Dealing with your cuticles and skin
              1. Vaseline: If you're using Vaseline and Q-tips, it is very important that you do not get Vaseline on your nail; the polish will flake off. Use the Q-tip to cover the skin on the top 1/3 of your finger with Vaseline. The disadvantage to using Vaseline is that it's messy and if you need to pick up a bottle for some reason, the Vaseline is then on the bottles; I also think it sorta feels weird afterwards since it doesn't wash off entirely. I recommend doing all five fingers for your first hand at the same time. It's easy to forget if you only do one finger at a time.
             2. Tape: Watch this for how to tape your fingers.

      B. It's time to build your bulls-eye and get creative--this is where the magic happens! Now's a good time to watch a video showing the whole process. Take note that Colette uses a cup, builds many rings to her bulls-eye, suggests turning the cup/bowl to get a better angle, dips her finger into the cup, and then clears the excess polish on the water before lifting her finger out (go ahead and skip the first 45 seconds), Valentine's Day Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial.
         Notes!   * If there are times when your polish doesn't want to spread, adding an extra drop of polish can help.
                       * Work quickly! The more time that the polish has to dry on the water, the more difficult it is to draw your design. If you're having difficulty with the polish not moving or sticking to your orangewood stick or toothpick, try starting in the middle of the bullseye with your orangewood stick or toothpick and draw towards the outer edge of the bulls-eye. Sometimes you're going to have to scrap the bulls-eye you made because it didn't turn out right or you can't draw a design in the polish. Unfortunately, this happens and is probably the most frustrating part (for me at least).
                       *  In this video, Colette uses many many rings to make her bulls-eye; you do not need so many rings, but if you'd like to...go ahead. Of course, the thickness of the rings, the number of rings there are, and how you swirl the polish is going to affect your design. Play around with it! This is the fun part! And don't feel limited to drawing straight lines in the polish, try swirling the polish in a circle too for a spiral effect.
                       * When your orangewood stick or toothpick gets gooey, use the papertowel to wipe it off or use another one; you need a decent point to draw the design in the polish.
                       * Cup and dip: Colette dips her finger into the design; so, a cup works well for her. If you don't clean up the polish around your finger after you've "dipped" and just bring your finger out, the rest of the nail polish will cling to your nail and ruin the design and be lumpy. You must remember to clean up the excess polish before removing your finger/nail.
                          Bowl and slip under & up: I use a bowl; I like to bring my nail up through the water from underneath because I can see better which part of the design in the water is going to be on which part of my nail. If you're going to slip your nail into the clear water and bring it up through the polish design from underneath, make sure that the water where you're "entering" is clean and does not have any residue. Using a bowl will give you more space for clean water outside of your bulls-eye. Bringing your nail up from under the water can make getting a good angle more difficult.
                     * Bubbles are bad. You want to avoid bubbles in your bulls-eye. Occasionally you might get one on your nail; if you gently tap it with a toothpick it should break and not be very obvious.

IV. Extras             
     A.  Trouble-shooting.
             1.  Sometimes you'll have a design on your nail that is lumpy or you just don't like. Use your cotton round with nail polish remover to wipe it off. Use the wet paper towel to wipe off any remaining polish remover that's on your nail that could interfere with adhesion. Do your base & white coats (I usually skip the base just because the whole process can get long) and re-do the make-the-magic-happen part.   

     B. Cleanup. If you've used Vaseline, cleanup will mean peeling off the nail polish around your cuticles and on on your fingers; I use my dried nails or an orangewood stick. Wipe off the excess Vaseline and then wash your hands. If you've used tape, take off the tape and use a make-up round with nail polish remover on it to wipe off polish on your fingers, and use a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover for any polish on your cuticles. If you can't get close enough to your nail to remove all the polish on your cuticles with the Q-tip, pull off some of the cotton and you should be able to get closer. Be very careful when holding anything with nail polish remover on it; you do not want to take off polish already on your nails!

     C. Securing your effort.
           1. After all this labor, for heaven's sake, make sure you let them dry!!!
           2. If there are any "blank areas" where there is white showing through the design or you want to have brighter color in a spot, use your nail polishes and carefully fill in/go over those areas. Make sure your fill-in work flows with the design already there; it shouldn't look as if it were drawn on your nail.
           3. Finish with a nice glossy top coat; it will hide any unevenness, add a glossy finish (which you don't really get with this process), and preserve your artsy digits! I'll do another post with recommendations for top coats.

Tie-dyed nails! Get ready for the compliments!

I know that was very long, but I'm hoping that it makes this process easier for you! If you have any feedback--successes, additional tips, suggestions for editing my directions, please let me know. Good luck with your tie-dye!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My lip gloss be poppin

Original Bombshell at Glam Girl Boutique, lip gloss in Strawberry Lip Candy $48
A couple of years ago my friend and I were out and showing off our lip glosses (don't worry, we were only showing them off to each other), each claiming she had the best. It was a toss-up: hers had a light and mirror; mine smelled fab, tasted delish, and had a split compartment for "sugar," the best metallic/shimmer powder to top off the gloss. It was clear we were both fabulous--err, our glosses were both fabulous, but I wanted to win! Yes, I know; I'm talking about lip gloss.

No more lip gloss wars if you're poppin this out of your purse; if you're rockin this gloss, there's just no contest as to who has the best--Swarovski crystals and yumminess always wins! This Bombshell gloss has a delish strawberry scent and flavor and leaves your lips glazed with a sheen and natural pretty pink color. But before you decide on Strawberry Lip Candy, you might want to consider GrapeOrange-vanilla, or Bubble Gum, each with its own Swarovski decoration.

Even though this post is supposed to be about lip gloss, I can't resist paying these "All Dolled Up" brushes some extra special attention! I need say nothing more; they speak for themselves!

Original Bombshell at Glam Girl Boutique, "All Dolled Up" brush $250

While you're at Glam Girl Boutique, check out the rest of their bath and body products, including more products from Original Bombshell and some from Jaqua...and always sparkle!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Atypical tips: finger&nail jewelry

Bijules at 80's Purple, disco nail ring $170

80's Purple is a no-fail shopping stop, with designers ranging from Stussy to Dolce Vita and including other super stylish but not as well-known brands, such as Industry. The above look is a tad Gaga-esque, even for a fashionista, but this design from Bijules deserves recongition for its originality. Sold individually, this ring is for the top third of your finger and comes with a disco-silver nail attached. I wouldn't wear just one, and I definitely wouldn't wear ten. Despite my belief that this look should be reserved for stage performances and Halloween, I endorse taking advantage of the other 2/3 of your fingers to spice things up a bit with some atypical decoration. However, we're going for an original edge with taste, not weird and tacky. So limit the top 2/3 decoration to one finger, make sure it works with the rest of your look, and keep it quality!