Beauty Quickie: Great Nails to Go

Who: KISS

What: imPRESS Press-on Manicure One-Step Gel

When: For a special event or anytime you want to feel like you have your act together.

Where: I picked up a package that included 36 nails (six were accent nails) at Walgreens.

Why: I really like the look of gel manicures but I don’t like to spend a lot of time or money on my nails. For less than $10 and about as many minutes, I was able to give myself a fun, glossy manicure that didn’t require any drying time and that stayed put for five full days (my friend’s lasted seven, but I was particularly hard on my hands when I had them on). Pro tip: I find most press on nails to be too long and square for my taste – I prefer a shorter and more rounded tip for a more natural look. After I applied the nails I used a regular nail trimmer to cut and shape the nails – the file that came with the kit didn’t work for me. I received tons of compliments on my manicure and people were surprised to learn they were fake. I’ll definitely buy these again.

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Color Me Impressed: NCLA Nail Lacquer

In theory, I’d love to be a person who always has her nails done. Nothing makes me feel more, well, polished. But in reality, getting regular salon manicures can be expensive and finding the time to do it at home can be nearly impossible, especially when you take into consideration all the touch ups you’ll likely have to do to keep your nails looking halfway decent.

This is why, on those rare occasions when I find that I won’t need to use my hands for anything for a while and decide to paint my nails, I prefer a nail color that delivers a lot of pigment and shine in one coat. Enter NCLA Nail Lacquer. I received a GORGEOUS bottle of Call My Agent in my January Allure Beauty Box and I couldn’t wait to put it on. I hastily painted on one coat – no base or top coat – and let it dry. I cleaned up my cuticles with a remover-soaked cotton swab (the lacquer brush is just a little bigger than I’d prefer, so clean up was definitely necessary) and went on my way.

The results? I love the color. It goes on true to what you see in the bottle and stays shiny until you take it off. And I cannot say enough how impressed I am with this product’s staying power. I painted my nails Monday evening and the polish didn’t chip at all until Friday morning. I received compliments all week on both the color and quality of my manicure. With a single coat lasting this long, NCLA lacquer makes regular manicures seem possible and worth the effort. Even for a lazy nail painter like me.

The best part? NCLA products are 7-free (meaning they don’t contain formaldehyde and all the other toxins commonly found in nail polishes), vegan and cruelty-free. NCLA also has gels and wraps for nails, and beautiful lipsticks, all in fun and lovely packaging. And as of right now, they are doing a buy one get one free sale on all lipsticks. I just took advantage of the deal. Click here to check it out for yourself. You’ll want to grab yourself a nail lacquer too.

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?

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?