Category Archives: Nail Care

NAIL IT! Magazine

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I cannot tell you all how elated I was when I found out that there was a magazine all about nails. This is my first issue of Nail It Magazine and I am already infatuated. If you are into nails (like me), you will love this magazine. While it is overflowing with nail polish advertisements (many brands I didn’t even know existed), there is also a wealth of information. In this Summer Nail Trends issue there are articles about nail shaping, how to repair snagged nails, nail trends, how to shape your nails, etc. I am very curious to see what other topics they will cover in future issues.

Whoever thought of this is a freakin’ genius. I sure wish I had thought of this idea first! Lol…This magazine is prefect for professional manicurist, nail bloggers, and nail polish enthusiast alike. They have certainly caught my attention and I cannot wait to see more. Would you consider adding Nail It magazine to your magazine subscriptions?

I hope you all enjoyed this post. Talk to you soon…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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Mani Essentials: Nails 101

Nothing compliments a great outfit better than an amazing manicure. Ladies, we have to make sure that we take care of our nails! I am often asked what I use to care for my nails, so I thought I would give you all some tips and tricks that have been useful to me.

Here are what I deem to be Mani Essentials:

Mani Essentials…

10 Step at Home Manicure:

  1. Soak your hands in soapy water for five minutes or apply a cuticle remover to soften your cuticles. I would suggest Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover Gel because it is quick, and easy to use. I use it about once a week.
  2. Push your cuticles back. I normally use a metal tool to do this, but you can use your fingernails instead if you don’t have one.
  3. Exfoliate your hands with a scrub. I would recommend the One Minute Manicure in Classic Mint or any other exfoliant that is specifically for the hands and feet. Massage the exfoliant into your hands, and be sure to include your cuticles. You want to remove as much dead skin as possible. I do not recommend that you cut your cuticles, as their purpose is to protect you from infection.
  4. Moisturize your hands with a cream or cuticle butter. I use Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter (pictured above) every day, several times a day. Moisturized cuticles will make your manicure look more polished.
  5. Shape your nails. I use either a crystal or regular nail file when shaping my nails. When filing your nails, remember to file in one direction. Do not file back and forth, which can cause peeling.
  6. Apply a base coat to the nail. Base coats protect your nails from staining and also help your nail color to last longer. I would recommend Orly’s Bonder or CND’s Sticky Base Coat. If you need a nail strengthener, try OPI’s Nail Envy (which I am using at the moment) or Nailtek’s Foundation II.
  7. Apply your nail color. You should apply at least two coats of nail polish. Be sure that you paint the edges of your nails to avoid premature chipping.
  8. Apply a top coat. I recommend Seche Vite’s Fast Drying Top Coat (pictured above), Sally Hansen’s InstaDry, or INM’s Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat. In addition, OPI, and many other brands, have drying drops that can speed up the drying process.
  9. Clean up your cuticles. Be sure to clean any access nail polish that may have gotten on your cuticles with a corrector pen (pictured above) or precision Q-tips with nail polish remover on them.
  10. Finally, when removing your nail polish, be sure to use a nail polish remover that has some type of moisturizer in it so that you don’t dry out your cuticles. Do not use pure acetone! If you are going to use acetone, at least use the one that has wheat protein and/or vitamin E in it. I use the Beauty Secrets Acetone from Sally’s Beauty Supply (pictured above). I’ve also heard good things about Zoya’s Remove +.

I hope these tips help you to care for your nails at home! If you should have any questions about any of these tips, feel free to post them below. XX

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Julep Maven Program

I’ve been hearing mixed reviews regarding the Julep Maven program and was hesitant to join…but ultimately decided that I wanted to judge for myself. In case you don’t know what it is, the Julep Maven program is similar to Jewelmint, Shoemint, and Birchbox where you pay a monthly fee and receive nail polish and nail related products each month.

First, you take a quick quiz so that they can determine your style type, and each month you will be sent the box that corresponds with that particular style. Based on the test I took, it was determined that I was a Bombshell, which is no surpise! Just kidding…Lol! So I went ahead and ordered my first Bombshell box in January (I only paid $5 for the first box based on a promotion they had going on at the time). Carrie is a nice baby pink (a little streaky with the first coat) and Megan is a beautifully understated turqouise blue with some shimmers in it:

Julep's Carrie and Megan Nail Polishes and Age Defying Hand Brightener

I didn’t like the Bombshell box for February so I opted for the Boho Glam box, which included a gorgeous blue (Marisa), and a “Oscar” gold glitter. The blue looks even more gorgeous in person, and I was excited about the glitter since I don’t own any gold glitter polishes:

Julep's Oscar and Marisa Nail Polishes and Cuticle Oil

I am only two months in, but I haven’t had any problems with Julep thus far. The boxes include $40 worth of product and your monthly subscription price is $19.99, which isn’t a bad deal if you are into nail polish. Keep in mind that the nail polish bottles are smaller than the average bottle of nail polish and can be a bit pricey. Their polishes normally retail for $14, but as a Maven you can get them for $11.20 with free shipping. Actually, all of their products will be 20% off if you join.

I haven’t use the products enough to tell you if they are worth it or not but I will definitely provide you all with an update once I’ve gotten around to trying a number of them. In the meantime, go to their site and just check it out…they have a wide range of colors available and each month you will get colors that haven’t been released yet. No pressure! Lol…but if you would like to sign up for the program, you can use my affiliate link here and use the referral code SHAREONFB to get your first box for $1).

Hope this was informative…and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!! XOXO

*Please Note: I’ll include swatches of these colors in my next nail polish haul…

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Daily Reads: Nail Blogs

I’m not sure when this phenomenon began, but nail blogs are absolutely amazing!! Only in the past couple of months have I discovered them and there is one in particular that I love. The only disadvantage is that it’s written in French! Lol…So don’t be alarmed if you click on PSHIIIT, and cannot understand a single word on the site. However, the photos are always on point! Anywhooo, here are the nail blogs I follow most frequently:

I get a lot of nail color and design ideas from looking at these sites. These ladies are amazing!! Enjoy! XOXO

*BTW, if you are interested in learning how Pshiiit designed her nails in the photo above, check out her Youtube video here:

Image Credits: http://www.pshiiit.wordpress.com

Massive Nail Polish Haul

Okay, I know, I know, this is a lot of nail polish to collect in a month and a half, but I couldn’t resist!! Between Ulta, http://www.head2toebeauty.com, Target, Walmart and Sally’s Beauty Supply I have collected WAY TOO MUCH POLISH, but I am loving and wearing them all!!

I have some swatches below that I know a lot of you guys (gals!) would be interested in so let’s get right into it. Click on the pictures to enlarge them so that you can see the colors up close:

Outside

Flash

Natural Light

I’ve taken pictures of these swatches in various lighting because, believe it or not, your polish looks different depending on the lighting. Here are the names and brands of each from left to right:

  1. Milani: Totally 80’s (Target)
  2. Wet’N’Wild: The Wonder Yellows (Walmart)
  3. Revlon: Minted (Target)
  4. Essie: Turquoise and Caicos (Ulta)
  5. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear: The Real Teal (Ulta)
  6. Sally Hansen HD: Blu (Target)
  7. Sinful Colors: Let’s Talk (Target)
  8. Color Club: Pure Energy (Head2toe)
  9. Color Club: Poptastic (Head2toe)
  10. Color Club: Revvvolution (holographic) (Head2toe)
  11. China Glaze Crackle Metal: Oxidized Aqua (The polish underneath is Frostbite by China Glaze) (Sally’s Beauty Supply)
  12. China Glaze Crackle Metal: Platinum Pieces (The polish underneath is Frostbite by China Glaze) (Sally’s Beauty Supply)

There are a few other China Glaze Crackle Metals that I want but Sally’s only had the two I mentioned above and Broken Medallion (which I didn’t want). I need Tarnished Gold, and Haute Metal (and maybe Latticed Lilac)…We shall see if I can get my hands on them! Here’s a link to the video demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diYAChyhqBg&feature=player_embedded

BONUS: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I’ve seen advertisements for these in several magazines and I’ve been wanting to try them for a long time. I was debating because $8-$9 is a lot to spend on nail strips for one-time only use. I am excited to report that I am very pleased with them. Kitty, Kitty is definitely my favorite out of all of the designs. I tried Frock Star, but I couldn’t get with all that glitter! Here is the swatch for Kitty, Kitty:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects: Kitty, Kitty

Stayed tuned for more tips and recommendations on nail polish and nail care…Smooches!! XOXO

Nails for the Day: Totally 80’s by Milani

I am absolutely loving neon nails! Normally, I go for bright pinks and blues (as I’ve stated a million times), but I had to try this color, which is a cross between a lime green and a neon yellow. It’s actually more subtle than you might think in normal lighting…the pictures actually don’t do this color the justice it deserves but you get the idea…Check it out below:

I put on two coats here, and used a Seche Vite top coat to make it shine…but the color reflected really depends on the lighting. Here’s another one:

There are some comparable colors to this one so if you’re interested you can try these:

  • Essie’s Funky Lime Light
  • Color Club’s Get Your Lem-On
  • China Glaze’s Celtic Sun

Happy nail painting!!

MARCH BEAUTY HAUL!!

You can simply click on the image to enlarge it.

I thought it would be nice to do a haul of some of the beauty products I’ve purchased over the past couple of weeks. I am always watching tutorials and beauty hauls on Youtube and I find some of them quite useful. It’s interesting to see what products people are enjoying. Here are some of my most recent purchases:

  • Pond’s Cold Cream – I use the Pond’s Cold Cream as a cleanser for my face and follow-up with Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes. Both are good for cleansing as well as make-up removal. I also use Pond’s Dry Skin Cream to moisturize my face. ($9 for 9.5 Oz. in CVS)
  • Nail Polishes – As some of you may have noticed, nail polish is my newest obsession! I’ve purchased just a few that I’d like to tell you about.
  1. Re-Fresh Mint by China Glaze – This color makes me want to go get a cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream! It’s a cream color with a very light green tint. If you are looking for an even cheaper version of this color, Sallie Hansen has it in Mint Sorbet. ($5, Sally’s Beauty Supply)
  2. Gunmetal (310) by Sally Hansen (Xtreme Wear) – This color is a frosty dark grey that makes me feel a little dark and edgy and yet feminine and sophisticated. ($2, Target)
  3. Blue Me Away (04) by Sally Hansen (Xtreme Wear) – This color reminds me of blue tropical skittles! It’s comparable to Sephora’s “Slushied” from the Glee Collection, but much cheaper. ($2, Target)
  4. Zulu by NARS – This color is a very dark (almost black) green. It makes me think of dirty money! I’ve never seen a green quite like this, which is why I paid so much for it. ($16, Lord & Taylor)
  5. Sticky Base Coat by Creative Nail Design – As mentioned in one of my previous posts, this base coat is supposed to prevent peeling and chipping. The verdict is still out on this one, but I will definitely let you guys know how I like it and if it actually works! ($9, Ulta)
  • Mac Mineralized Skinfinish in Deep Dark – Because I don’t particularly care for foundation and I don’t need a lot of coverage on my face, this mineralized powder makes my skin appear even without looking too caky or too made up. Loves it! ($27, Mac Cosmetics)
  • Framboise Attraction 3 Blush by Sephora – This is the first blush I’ve ever tried and I am loving it! It is a very subtle pink blush that adds just enough color to my face without looking overdone. ($12, Sephora)
  • The Falsies Volum’ Express by Maybelline – While I love expensive mascaras, the fact remains that drug store mascaras are just as good if not better! I love Falsies, Million Lashes and Voluminous Mascaras so I rotate all three. ($5, Target)
  • Lipsticks – I just recently started wearing lipstick. I am normally a gloss girl, but since I discovered that Mac has a “Back to MAC program,” I’ve been returning my six empty Mac containers in exchange for free lipsticks. Here are my two newest ones:
  1. Girl About Town Lipstick from Mac – Very pretty fuchsia color.  (Free with 6 empty containers, Mac Cosmetics)
  2. Myth Lipstick from Mac – Myth is somewhat of a pale beige that is perfect for a nude lip. ($14.50, Mac Cosmetics)
  • Mac Select Cover-Up Concealer – I have a few dark spots on my face that I like to “conceal” prior to putting my Mineralized Skinfinish powder on so I use this concealer to do so. ($16.50, Mac Cosmetics)
  • Mac Dazzleglass Lip Gloss – Since I’ve already dedicated an entire post to dazzleglass, I won’t go into too many details about it here. I will just tell you which ones I purchased recently: Boy Bait, Like Venus and Date Night. ($19 each, Mac Cosmetics)

If you all decide to try any of the products mentioned above, please be sure to email me at clutchez@gmail.com and let me know how they work for you. Gracias!!! XOXO

New Year, New Nail Polish!

Let me begin by saying Happy New Year to everyone!! 2011 has had some minor twists and turns, but according to Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening, there are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths. I didn’t actively make any resolutions this year because I don’t believe in them anymore. If you want to do something, then just do it!!

I have, however, vowed to keep my shopping to a minimum. I’ve also vowed to keep my face beat and my nails painted at all times. Since I am on the verge of moving out on my own I have to find ways to look fashionable and fabulous on a budget! Your face and your nails are the first things people notice outside of your personal style. Nail polish especially can be used as another accessory that adds a little something to your outfit every day.

After getting rid of my acrylic tips and growing my nails naturally, I’ve found that keeping your nails painted helps them grow and prevents excessive breakage. Nail Tek has proven to be a great product to use when nursing your nails back to health. I use both the Nail Tek Protection Plus III and the Nail Tek Foundation II, which is a great base coat. Pictured below is Frostbite from the China Glaze Ski Collection. I don’t think it’s a new color, but this is one of my new favorite polishes that I rock on a regular basis. For some reason I am currently addicted to various shades of blue (and pink when I am feeling really girly). I love this color because it looks very pretty on both light and dark skin tones. Be sure to check it out…So fab!

For a top coat I’ve been using Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. It makes my polish look ultra shiney and it dries really quickly. However, my polish does not last for more than two days at a time. I tried the Seche Vite with both expensive (i.e. OPI and OPI for Sephora) and inexpensive polishes(i.e. Color Club and China Glaze) and I simply can never make it pass two days without my polish chipping. I don’t know if I can totally blame this on Seche Vite but until I find a better top coat, Seche Vite it is!!

TREND ALERT:

Be sure to check out China Glaze’s new Crackle Collection at: http://www.chinaglaze.com/products/index.php?coll=50. The Crackle nail polishes are used to create a “crackle” design on your nails and must be used on top of a base color (any nail color you choose). If you normally go to the nail salon and spend tons of money on nail art, this would be a great investment for you. This collection consists of 6 awesome colors: Lightening Bolt (White), Crackled Concrete (Grey), Black Mesh (Black), Crushed Candy (Pink), Broken Hearted (Light Blue), and Fault Line (Purple). The Crackle line is comparable to OPI’s Shatter nail polish, which is sold out everywhere. I am a big China Glaze fan so I ordered a few of the colors today on http://www.head2toebeauty.com/…I will keep you all posted as to how these polishes turn out!