Nailed it.

Loyal readers!! I must first apologize for falling off the blog bandwagon this past month and letting you all go so long without a new post to read. My behavior has been unacceptable. There’s just no excuse.

My latest beauty obsession has been on manicures, as I periodically decide that I can, in fact, pull off painted nails. Really, it all boils down to whether or not I can be ladylike enough to not chip off my manicure within the same hour I complete it.

A couple of weeks ago one of my coworkers came in sporting an amazing orange shade on her nails. Inspired, I decided to try a color I have long admired – Essie’s Hard to Get. It’s a pastel pink that, turns out, looks a little princessy on me. I took my time, did a good job, painted on two even coats. The manicure, miraculously, lasted for 5 days before I saw a chip. At which point I naturally started furiously picking the polish away from each nail.

A couple of days later, I decided to paint a gorgeous red on my nails (OPI’s An Affair in Red Square) to wear to an evening wedding. I got many compliments on my pretty nails that night, but by the next day the chips were already apparent. Why the difference?

In my opinion, OPI and Essie are comparable in quality, though if pressed to pick one I’d vote for OPI as the slightly superior polish. I believe the secret to the longer lasting manicure lies in both technique and a great top coat. With my OPI painjob, I only applied one layer and no top coat. With my Essie manicure, I was very careful, took plenty of time between layers, and finished with a coat of Essie 3-Way Glaze. I usually use the clear polish by itself to give my nails some shine and strength, but used as a top coat, it really added life to my manicure.

I’m currently back to naked nails. I found the burden of having to maintain a manicure too stressful. But if you want to try to rock an awesome manicure this summer, do yourself a favor and buy some 3-Way Glaze. And be prepared to put in some effort.

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What’s in a Name?

A few years back a friend of mine pointed out that the majority of the makeup I buy comes with a cool name. She laughingly pointed this out one day while we were getting ready to go out for a night on the town. While she painted her nails a color named something like “brick” and dusted on eyeshadow in a shade called “desert brown,” I was happily painting my face with my all time favorite makeup palette, Too Faced’s “The Temptress.”

It got me thinking, particularly when it comes to makeup, what’s in a name? Obviously the chicest, most fun name can’t make a lousy product a good one, but, I have to admit, I’d rather apply a product whose name is dripping with sex appeal than one whose name conjures up images of vultures and a cactus.

I have collected a variety of sass-inducing beauty products over the years, and I will confess to using them to boost my mood and confidence in addition to whatever increase in beauty they can contribute. Here, a few of my favorite sexy products:

– I’ve mentioned it before but I have to bring it up again. Ladies, if you don’t own Nars Orgasm blush by now, do yourself a favor and buy some. Yes, it has a naughty name, but the truth is this sheer pink blush looks fantastic on every skin tone I’ve ever seen it on. It goes on light, and you can layer it on for a darker glow or keep it sheer for a subtle one. There’s a reason it’s been a cult classic for years. It’s the second best way to get that glow.

– Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lust. A metallic purple eyeliner might sound scary, but trust me, it’s not. This stay-put liner is one of my secret beauty weapons. Smudged lightly under the eyes it’s a subtle way to make my eyes pop. Or, when I’m feeling more bold, I use it to create a cat eye. Either way, who wouldn’t feel sexier after lining her eyes with lust?

– Too Faced Lock Down Ultimate Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in Bedroom Eyes. One of my more recent beauty finds, this cream shadow is made with Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance, a primer that keeps your eyeshadow from creasing and smudging all over your face. Bedroom Eyes is a shimmery golden brown that stays put, even in hot and humid weather. And every time I wear it someone tells me I have beautiful eyes. Sold.

– My last pick is brought to us by OPI, a brand that in my opinion has mastered the art of naming products. My current favorite is their Nail Lacquer in An Affair in Red Square, a vampy red that stays put and looks absolutely fantastic, the perfect blend of classy and sexy.

And really, isn’t that what we want from our makeup?