Nearly Naked Nails

  There’s just something about summer that makes me crave a nude nail. It’s such a fresh, breezy look and just feels right this time of year. 

I’ve tried several nude polishes that looked chic in the bottle and tragic with my skin tone. Luckily, Zoya Professional Lacquer in Pandora is not one of them. This pink nude is lovely, ladylike and everything I want in a nude polish. Fair warning: it chips fairly easily, but it’s so subtle and easy to reapply that I’m still a big fan. 

If you’re looking for a nude with a bit more impact, I have to suggest Essie’s Tuck it in My Tux, a gorgeous ivory polish. I’ve been dying to get my hands on it ever since I spotted it on a coworker a couple of weeks ago. 

What’s your go-to nude?

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Pretty in Pink: Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish in Berkeley Street

  I like the look of gel manicures and the fact that they are so durable, but as a person who prefers to do most of my beauty treatments myself, I haven’t been all that jazzed about getting a gel manicure done at the salon. That’s why I love the gel effect trend, which allows you to paint on your own sleek-looking polish in the comfort of your own home. I’ve been drooling over the Nails Inc Gel Effect line for a while now, so I finally decided to give this hot pink polish a try. I love the color and I have to say I’m impressed with the quality of the polish. One coat, with no base or top coat, gave me even, opaque color. It smoothed out some imperfections in my nails and stayed chip-free for 4 days. It stayed glossy all week and came off easily when I was ready to remove it. I’ll be trying some of the other Nails Inc shades for sure!

New Year’s Eve Nails 

I’m not typically much of a glitter girl. Don’t get me wrong – I love girly glam just as much as the next beauty blogger – I just don’t often find that glitter necessarily “goes” with my everyday aesthetic. All that flies right out the window, though, as soon as holiday party season hits. And if ever a party called for glitz and glam, it would be New Year’s Eve. 

  
This year I’ll be sporting the ultra-flashy, über-gorgeous nail polish that is Ciate Tinsel Town.  Photos really don’t even do it justice; in person it looks like I’ve plated my nails in rose gold. I can’t think of a better polish to be wearing when the ball drops, can you?

Last-Minute Beauty Gift Guide

So Christmas is just a few short days away and you still haven’t finished shopping. Fear not! If you’re wondering what to get the beauty-obsessed on your list, I’m here to help!

If you’re looking to wow your most high-maintenance loved one, why not give the gift of great hair? Drybar’s Peace on Earth Good Hair to All! gift set is sure to make her year.

Great for beauty enthusiasts of all ages, Ciate Pick & Mix lets you create your own 3-piece nail polish set. Ciate is my favorite high-end nail color brand. I recommend adding one of the fun sparkly shades to your set to make it extra festive.

For the natural beauty on your list, you can’t go wrong with the Caudalie Winter Duo. She’ll stay soft and smooth all winter long in a natural, French-girl sort of way. Editors Note: this gift is actually on the top of my list, but it seems to be sold out online, so if you find it somewhere, let me know!

Of course, if you don’t have time to shop and/or need your gift to get there fast, you can’t go wrong with a Birchbox gift subscription or a gift card to Sephora or Ulta!

What beauty gift are you hoping Santa brings you this year?

Fall-ish Polish

I don’t paint my nails all that often – I’m just too hard on my nails and the maintenance usually feels like too much work. For some reason, though, the beginning of fall always makes me want to play with polish. Maybe it’s the return of rich, highly pigmented shades, or my appreciation for the way a well-manicured hand looks peeking out from the sleeve of a cozy fall sweater. Whatever it is, every year I become obsessed with a fall-ish polish and go a little manicure crazy.
Essie Dress to Kilt
This year, it all started when I spotted the new Olivia Palermo x Ciate London Nail Collection. That blue! That deliciously dark red! Right away I started jonesing for some wine-colored nails of my own, so I scanned my nail polish collection and was happy to find a perfect pick from last year’s fall lineup: Essie Dress to Kilt. It gave me the deep, glossy red I was after, at a much more reasonable price point. I managed to keep this manicure in tact for 5 days, during which time I received a ton of compliments. Apparently, I’m not the only one loving this dark red for fall.
Trust Fund Beauty Elegantly Wasted
I had no sooner removed that manicure when I received my September Ipsy bag in the mail. To my delight, it contained a fun new polish, Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted. This lilac purple shade looks surprisingly great with my skin tone. The polish dried super fast, and I’ve only had it on for a day and a half, but so far it has lasted beautifully through some intense housework and general carelessness (did I mention I’m hard on my nails?). It’s not the traditional plum that you normally see this time of year, but I’m kind of loving that.

What nail colors are you loving for fall?

Inside Influenster’s #SunshineVoxBox

voxbox-blogimageThis has been a lovely summer, filled with all the things that make this season so wonderful: weddings, barbecues, days at the beach, nights out with friends and lots of time spent outside, soaking up as much sun and beautiful scenery as I can before the summer comes to a close. The fun continued when I learned I was selected to receive Influenster’s summer-themed Sunshine VoxBox, filled with tasty treats and warm weather beauty essentials. I’ve spent the last few weeks tasting and testing to my heart’s content. Here’s the scoop:
SunshineVoxBox
Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Leave-in Smoothing Crème Enhanced with Avocado and Olive Oil (#Infusium23Smooth): This is definitely one of my favorite products in the Sunshine box, and it has quickly become a beach bag staple. This leave-in conditioner works best if you air dry your hair. It keeps frizz at bay and leaves your hair smelling amazing. I tried using it as part of my everyday styling routine and wasn’t blown away, but when I brought it with me for a day at my favorite swimming spot, everything changed. I applied it generously to my wet, gnarly strands and used my fingers to comb it through. My hair instantly looked and felt better, and within minutes it started to dry in the prettiest, beachiest waves – with no frizz to be found!

Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths (#SelfieReadySkin): I’m usually a big fan of cleansing cloths, and from what I can tell these were non-drying and did a fine job of removing makeup and oil without irritating my skin. However, I could barely stomach the smell of them. I’m not sure what it is, but it made me a little queasy. I was only able to use them a couple of times. If you’re sensitive to scents of any kind, I would avoid these.

Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds (#BlueDiamondAlmonds): I was worried that these spicy almonds might be too hot for me, but I was happily mistaken! The chili-garlic flavor combo is addictively delicious with just the right amount of kick. I’d recommend them as a tasty and healthy way to satisfy a chip craving.

barkTHINS (#breakupwithboring): The Sunshine box came with a coupon for a free bag of another tasty treat, barkTHINS snacking chocolate. I chose the dark chocolate, almond and sea salt variety, and thought it was really good. The bark was filled with crunchy almond bits and the chocolate was good and dark, not too sweet. My only complaint? I wish there was just a little more salt – I could barely taste it.

Beach bag beauty essentials from Influenster's #SunshineVoxBox

Beach bag beauty essentials from Influenster’s #SunshineVoxBox


SinfulColors Nail Polish (#ColorOutsideTheLines): I received a bottle of polish from the SinfulColors Silk collection, a sheer turquoise called Real Teal. Unfortunately, it was a real dud. The polish seemed cheap from the get-go; the brush deposited color unevenly, making the sheer shade almost imperceptible in some spots and dark and blobby in others. Also, the combination of it being a super sheer, matte blue polish left me looking less like I’d just given myself a manicure and more like I’d just been pulled from the deep freeze. The whole experience was a mess.

Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer (#VaselineSprays): I’ve been wanting to try one of these spray lotions for a while, and I was not disappointed when I did. This aloe spray is perfect for summer, leaving skin cool and refreshed, especially after a day spent in the sun. Plus, it allows you to moisturize your entire body in ten seconds – so convenient. It’s very lightweight, surprisingly hydrating, and smells fresh and clean. It’s a perfect daily lotion for summer.

I received these products free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Summer Pedicure Pick: OPI Cajun Shrimp 

  Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to bust out the sandals and with them, a fabulous pedicure. I love bright reds on my toes, and right now OPI’s Cajun Shrimp, a bright coral-red, feels spot on for the season. I’ll be rocking it at least through Independence Day. 

What’s your summer pedicure pick?