Monthly Archives: February 2013

DIY French Manicure

Although I love being able to paint my nails any color, sometimes I feel like I need a break.  Usually when I am not in the mood for bright nails I opt for some sort of pink nude shade . However, this time I opted for a french manicure.

First, I thought about going to the nail salon and getting it done, but you all know how I hate nail salons so I decided that I could probably do it myself. In CVS I had recently seen the Sally Hansen Salon Effect nail strips, which come in a variety of french manicure colors. But those things were like $12 or $13, and I had no idea whether or not it was going to turn out cute so back to the drawing board I went.

On one of my many midnight treks to Walmart (I am a vampire so I prefer to go to Walmart off the late night when most people are asleep) I found some french manicure guides for $1.87. I freakin’ love Walmart! So I went home and tried my hand at a DIY french manicure. Here are the results:

french mani

I think it turned out pretty good. The guides were pretty easy to use, but you have to make sure that they are aligned perfectly on the tip and pressed completely down on the nail. You also have to make sure that the nail polish is completely dry before peeling the guide off because you will have to do it completely over if the tip smears in any way. I had to do my entire right hand twice, but the second time was a charm.

Once I got the perfect french manicured tips down, I applied my Nailtek base coat. Once that was completely dry, I applied the Northern Lights top coat, which I am in love with. This top coat has tiny little sprinkles of glitter in it (look closely at the picture above) and it adds the perfect amount of shimmer to your nails without going overboard. Too bad I couldn’t capture it in the pictures. Finally, to speed up the drying process, I applied my favorite Out the Door top coat.

Products used:

  • Zoya’s Purtity
  • Nailene Perfect Tips: French Polish Guides
  • Northern Lights Top Coat
  • Nailtek Foundation II
  • Out The Door Top Coat

Have you ever done your own french manicure? If so, do you have any secret tips you’d like to share?

I hope you all enjoyed this post…Talk to you soon. xx, Kel

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Handbag Review: Alexander Wang Rocco

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I’ve been living with Alexander Wang, the bag that is, for about three months now and I finally feel like I can give an accurate review of this bag. Let me get straight to the point, it is well worth the money…Sometimes I feel like you really have to live with a bag before you can judge whether or not it works for you. A quick glance in a department store doesn’t always suffice so here are my thoughts on the Alexander Wang Rocco handbag:

Pros

  • It is simultaneously chic and edgy. The studs on the bottom of the handbag make it edgy and the quality of the leather makes it chic.
  • The bag is huge, therefore, you could carry an iPad, wallet, makeup bag, cell phone and a bunch of other things in this handbag. There are three pockets on the inside: one large one that zips and two smaller open pockets on the opposite side. These side pockets make it easy to locate your keys or cell phone so that those sorts of items don’t get lost inside the bag (hate when that happens). There are also two smaller pockets on the front of the bag (pictured above) that are great for hiding things from yourself.
  • The pebbled leather is to die for…
  • I love the matte black hardware on this handbag because it makes this Wang timeless. I’ve seen other metals on other Rocco bags and I feel like they are very trendy (i.e. the rose gold hardware), which may or may not be a trend that sticks around.
  • The handbag is black (obviously) so it practically goes with everything and can be worn all year around. And because the hardware is all black you don’t have to worry about mixing metals (I used to be very rigid about all the metals on my accessories matching perfectly so I understand if this a concern for someone).
  • You can carry this bag three ways: on your shoulder, across your body or on your forearm. I like to alternate.
  • It’s different. I have only actually seen one other person with this bag. Beats that Louis Vuitton Speedy that I wish would die and never come back (Seriously, I am so tired of seeing chicks with that bag!).

Cons

  • Just because you can fit a million and one things in this bag does not mean that you should! The studs on the bag are a little heavy and if you add a lot of things to your handbag you will have difficulty carrying it (especially if you are going some place like the mall or a museum, for instance, where you will be carrying it the entire time you are out).
  • The only other thing that I have noticed, and I don’t know if this is an issue with other Wang metals, is that the black hardware (and I’m referring to the studs on the bottom) can get scratched so be careful where you place your bag. I know that sounds ridiculous, and no one would notice this but you, however, I would feel bad if I didn’t tell you the entire truth.
  • The price tag…Lol…No explanation needed.

Here are some more images of the satchel:

Wang 1

Overall, I think this handbag is well worth the investment. If you are considering buying one I have a handful of suggestions (and these suggestions can apply to any handbag purchase, really):

  1. Go see the handbag in person. Do not blindly buy it online unless you have already investigated it in person on a separate occasion. Considering the price (retails for $875) you need to get a feel for how the bag is going to look and feel when you are carrying it. Keep in mind that some bags look different on display as opposed to real life. The stuffing can really alter the shape of a bag.
  2. Make sure the bag matches your style. I know that sounds crazy but its true. You need to try the bag on, see if it looks like you. Live with the bag for a little bit.
  3. Don’t impusively purchase. Walk away from the bag, and if you find that you can’t stop thinking about it, and it meets all of your standards then buy it. Walking away from the bag initially will allow you some time to think about whether you REALLY want it. This will save you from buyer’s remorse. If you forget about it then its possible that you don’t really want or need it.
  4. Enjoy it! Buying and wearing accessories are meant to be fun! Adding another piece to your wardrobe, especially if it fits your look, should be exciting.

Okay, I know that was a lot but I hope you all got something out of this post. If you want more information on how to choose the right handbag for you, check out my post on that topic here.

xx, Kel

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Favorite Oscar Looks

Since  everyone is posting about Oscar looks, I had to make sure I posted my two senses. Lol…There were only three looks that I thought were worth mentioning. Halle Berry, Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts were definitely the best dressed women in the house Sunday night. Did you guys watch?

oscars final picI had to flip between the Oscars and a few other shows (Oprah’s Lifeclass and Lala’s Full Court Life), but during the red carpet portion (the best part of the entire show), I was glued to the television screen. Halle Berry floored me. That Versace dress is EVERYTHING!! Modern. Glam. Chic. Charlize Theron’s haircut (excuse me while I shout) rendered me speechless. I didn’t love her dress, but her hair really gave her look life. And last, but certainly not least, Naomi Watts and this amazing cut-out shoulder dress (is it selfish of me to envision myself in it?). I was drooling over this metallic number from Armani Prive because she looked absolutely divine…

If I had the face for a short haircut, I would have headed straight to the hair salon today and cut all my hair off…But since I have fat cheeks (courtesy of my Dad and paternal grandmother) I’ll have to stick with the longer tresses and play around with up-dos. Lol…

So what did you all think about the Oscar looks? Who was your favorite? Do you agree with my best dressed picks?

Talk to you soon! xx, Kel

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Spring Wishlist

I love making wishlists. They are almost like mini inspiration boards for me. This one definitely doesn’t have a specific theme but these are things that I am currently lusting after. I am thinking that my Spring style will be overflowing with positivity and progress, and bedazzled with lots of brights, neons, golds and gunmetals.

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  1. These Michael Kors sneakers are adorable…I’m finding that on the weekends, I want to be cute and comfortable. Who wants to be all fussy in heels and whatnot when you’re supposed to be relaxed?!
  2. Rebecca Minkoff can do no wrong in my book when it comes to handbags. I saw this crossbody bag in her runway show last season and I was instantly in love.
  3. I was watching Oprah’s Lifeclass last night, which featured Rich Warren, the genius behind The Purpose Driven Life, and I was thinking, “Why haven’t I read this book yet?” I love pretty things but I also love knowledge…I love to learn new things (especially about myself). Out of all the things on this wishlist, I am most excited about reading The Purpose Driven Life this Spring.
  4. DVF is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers. I love the shape of this handbag and that neon green flap is giving me life. This is THE perfect handbag for Spring.
  5. I don’t usually follow a lot of trends, but these dainty knuckle rings are adorable. This particular image is from Gal Vardi’s Esty page and are quite affordable .

What kinds of things are you all lusting after this Spring? Any wishlists or inspiration boards you’d like to share?

xx, KEL

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OPI: My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours

Okay, I know you guys are like, ‘Kel, enough with the nail swatches…Stop trying to make me buy nail polish…’ but I had to show you guys the last swatch I have for OPI’s Euro Centrale Collection.

Let me introduce you to My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours…With the first coat I was kind of feeling like, meh…same issue with all the creams in this collection: streaky, streaky, streaky. But honey, the second coat really made this color look amazing! I was expecting MPIHTY to be a bright red, but it is actually a bright orange-red. GORGE! Orange isn’t really a color that I particularly care for but I am in love once again. Here are the swatches:

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What do you guys think of this color? I will definitely be rocking this one whenever I am in the mood for some brightness!

xx…Kel

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OPI: Euroso Euro

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Here is another swatch I wanted to share with you all from the OPI Euro Centrale Collection. OPI…Euroso Euro is perhaps my second favorite color from this collection so I decided to talk about it today.

Like ‘Can’t Find My Czechbook’, this one was streaky with the first coat. Gosh, that really annoys me, but as I said the other day, with the second coat everything is right in the world again. I find that a lot of cream polishes, despite the brand or the color, tend to be a bit streaky…Some more than others. Regardless though, I love this creamy, purple deliciousness. And I am normally not a fan of purple…

Depending on the lighting, this color sometimes shows up more blue than purple, but OPI…Euroso Euro is definitely a dark purple cream polish. When you see it in person,there will be no mistaking it. The other thing is that it dries to a matte finish, which will also suck for those of you who don’t wear topcoats (and assuming that you don’t like matte finishes).

In the swatches above I used two coats of the nail polish, and one coat of Out the Door topcoat. So far I am really loving the polishes I picked out of the collection…Hot stuff! Talk to you all soon! xx

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OPI: Can’t Find My Czechbook

OPI Can't Find My Czechbook

I was on Instagram the other day and someone had posted a picture of this gorgeous blue from OPI’s latest Euro Centrale Collection, which was just recently released. I went to Ulta with my Mom the other day and picked up three colors from the collection: Can’t Find My Czechbook, My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours, and OPI Euroso Euro.

Can’t Find My Czechbook is a light teal blue cream nail polish. It’s actually quite conservative despite how it may look in the bottle. This light blue is muted so it isn’t bright at all. I think it is absolutely gorge! However, what I do not like about it is that the polish kind of drags when you are painting the first coat. For some odd reason, it is very streaky and leaves your nails with bald spots. Its saving grace though is that with the second coat, the color is completely opaque, which makes it all better. Lol…I used two coats of Can’t Find My Czechbook and the Out the Door as the topcoat in the swatches above. I’ll be sure to post swatches of the other two colors from this collection later this week.

Here are some other swatches from the rest of the Euro Centrale collection:

OPI Swatches (Pinch Of Pretty.com)

BTW, have you all seen the new China Glaze Avant Garden Collection? It is now available on Head2toebeauty.com and I will definitely be ordering a few (I love all the greens and the blues from this collection…you know the drill!). You can check them out here…Anywhoo, I will talk to you all soon! xx

Second Image from www.pinchofpretty.com

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Celebrating My Black History: Emma Ray

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In the interest of celebrating Black History month, I thought that I would discuss one of my style muses…My grandmother. She died back in the early 90s so I didn’t have much time to enjoy her, but I always cherish the memories she has left behind.

Emma Ray was a firecracker…And her style was just as sassy as her personality. I love looking back at photographs of her and incorporating her style into my own…I suppose that it’s my way of paying homage.

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My granny really represented for us brown skin girls and she always had such a beautiful figure (sure wish I had her shape now! Lol). She was infamous for wearing long earrings and carrying big clutch purses. She loved to wear those sexy pantyhose that had the black seam going up the back of the leg.

And boy did she love her red nails…She always had long beautiful nails too. Even once she had gotten much older, she would ask me to paint her nails and toes red. Every time I think about that I chuckle to myself because now I know where my nail polish obsession came from.

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Those cheek bones…And how hot is her clutch sitting on the bar?!

Its so funny because I never thought my Mom looked like my grandmother until recently…She is just as beautiful and stylish as grandma. Do you ever look at the women in your family, or even outside of your family and think to yourself, “Wow, I want to be like that when I get older”?

If it wasn’t for women like this, we (as young black women) would not be as fortunate as we are today. Unfortunately, both of my grandmothers have passed on, but if yours is still alive, please appreciate her and value the time that you have with her. I really do miss mine….

Stay tuned, as I will probably do another post on my other grandmother (sometime this month) who was also a forced to be reckoned with back in her day. Lol…I hope you all enjoyed this post. Be blessed. xx

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Nail & Cuticle Care

How funny is this picture I found online?! LOL

How funny is this picture I found online?! LOL

Since I get a lot of questions about how I take care of my nails, I thought I would do a video to give you all some product suggestions as well as tips and tricks for beautiful at home manicures. Check out the video below:

Here are the products mentioned in the video:

Here is a picture of my natural nails. They have been growing like crazy recently (on both my left and right hands!) even though my index finger keeps breaking…Lol:

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I hope you all enjoyed this post but if you should have any follow up questions, feel free to ask! xx

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