Under These Neon Lights

Summer is a time for bright colors, especially when it comes to nail polish. When else can you wear over the top colors without people looking at you like you’re 5-years-old? That’s why I wanted to take the time today to share my three favorite summer nail polish colors that are eye-catchingly bright and bold.

Up first is Essie’s Cute As A Button. This is by far my favorite pink for spring and summer. It’s bright, it’s fresh, and it’s girly without being over the top. Every time I wear it I get compliments, plus it rarely ever chips.

If you’re looking for something a bit more work-friendly, give OPI’s Pink Flamenco is a true barbie pink that’s sizzling hot.

And for the grand finale, here’s something truly NEON. China’s Glaze’s Pool Party is insanely bright. Like, so bright you can’t even handle it. My tips is to apply over a white base coat so that the color really pops, and then cover with a high-shine top coat like Essie’s since it has a tendency like all true neon polishes to dry matte.

Now go out and let me see those jazz hands!

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A Strong Foundation

If you’ve met me in person or spent a few minutes scrolling through my instagram feed you’ll realize I have a thing for nail polish. If you ever see me without a manicure, chances are something traumatic has happened recently. Part of my Sunday evening routine is to give myself a manicure – yes I do my own nails – while watching the latest episode of Outlander. (If you haven’t checked it out you really should, it’s amazing and the books are even better.)

Over the years I’ve come to realize that getting the perfect manicure that will last all week without chipping is something of a science. There are a few key ingredients, the most important of which is a good base coat.

The right base coat will keep your manicure intact all week long (and sometimes even longer) while protecting your nails from cracks, yellowing, and breakage. It is the key to growing long, strong, beautiful nails. I’ve used a base coat since high school, and I’ve never needed gel manicure, or acrylic nails to get a long and polished manicure. In fact, I can grow my nails out just as long as any acrylic nails I’ve ever seen, and they’ve never once cracked or broken (except for the time I slammed them in my car door, but that was my own fault.)

My all time favorite base coat is a pretty recent discovery. It’s Tenoverten’s The Foundation. With Horsetail Leaf Extract + Vitamin E this base coat has given me the best nails (and manicures) ever. It’s cruelty free, and 8-free – which means it’s formulated without dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, or triphenyl phosphate. Not only does it strengthen and protect nails, but it also prevents polish chipping, repairs peeling nails, and acts as a ridge filler so that your polish applies smoothly every time.

Oh, and did I mention the bottle itself is adorable?

April GlossyBox & May Giveaway

It’s a new month! Welcome to May everyone :). This month I’m going to be testing out a few new things around here. As you can see from the title of this post, two of those things include giveaways and subscription box reviews. I’m also going to be doing a bit of spring cleaning around my site in preparation for bringing you even better content, photography, and engagement opportunities. In order for this to happen though, I need your help.

That’s why, at the bottom of this post you’ll find a survey. In order to be entered into this month’s giveaway you’ll need to complete the survey, follow my blog (through WordPress, Bloglovin’, or via email…these options are available in the sidebar) and leave a comment on ANY post on this site – choose your favorite and go ham!

Now, on to the review – 4 of these products will be offered for the giveaway, so pay attention to see if you’re interested 🙂

Subscription boxes have been around for a while now. It seems like you can get them for anything and everything under the sun. When it comes to cosmetics there are quite a few that offer sample sizes, less than stellar brands, and frankly, contents that aren’t something you’d ever even want. GlossyBox is the exact opposite. They specialize in high-end brands, include primarily full-size items (occasionally they’ll throw in the deluxe sample size, but that’s usually for items over the $75 full size price mark), and involve an in depth survey so that you only get products you actually want. This was my first foray into the land of subscription boxes, and I have to say I’m quite pleased.

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My first box was the April box. It came in a delightfully pink box that’s now on display with my skincare products. It included 3 full-sized items, and 2 travel size. All of these items were from brands I never would have found myself, but instantly loved. Plus, they came with a card including product information and application tips. So, without further ado, here’s the rundown of what actually came in the box.

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Norell’s Norell New York Eau De Parfum. The Norell brand has mastered the art of bringing the French lifestyle and panache to America. A truly glamorous fragrance with pure, high quality ingredients Norell New York is a green floral evocative of movie premieres and A-list celebrities. Featuring mandarin, bergamot, jasmine, vanilla, and my ever-favorite sandallwood, this scent is sensual without being overtly sexy. Apply to pulse points for a long lasting fragrance experience. We’re talking Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Angelina Jolie here.
A travel size of this item is included in the giveaway.

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Studio | 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner. You’ve heard me wax on and on about power brows. While there are quite a few products you can use to achieve this look, there are a few things that make this particular pencil extra special. First thing is the brand. Studio | 10 is a cruelty-free brand that is dedicated to improving the lives of women suffering from cancer. Sales of this particular pencil benefit Look Good Feel Better. LGFB provides practical services for women, men and teenagers suffering from the visible side effects from cancer treatment. For example, when someone suffers hair loss due to chemotherapy, LGFB will help provide them with products, like this pencil, that can help improve their self esteem be providing them control over their appearance. This particular pencil is also special because it’s double sided. One side fills in your brows like traditional pencils, but the other side consists of a lighter pencil to highlight the brow bone. That’s a win-win situation.
This item is included in the giveaway.

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Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask. This particular mask is unfortunately not available in the U.S. (which is another reason why GlossyBox is the best at introducing you to new, never before seen luxury products.) It both hydrates and purifies, leaving your skin looking better than ever. It’s a clear gel, and while the texture is a bit slippery, it’s certainly an effective mask.

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Leighton Denny Expert Nails Nail Polish in Pillow Talk. I’m very particular about my nail polishes. This one happens to be a perfect combination of opacity, gel-like texture, and staying power. It was quick to dry, easy to apply, and lasted all week without chipping. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to track down outside of the U.K. but I managed to do just that. Which is why this item is included in the giveaway.

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Biossance The Nourisher, Precious Rose Face Oil. When it comes to face oils, I tend to be very cautious. One wrong step and my face will erupt like Mt Vesuvius. Thankfully, the primary oil in this little bottle is rose oil, which is known to be calming and excellent for all skin types. This product firms, improves radiance, and moisturizes. It combines powerful plant extracts and Vitamin C to give you the best skin of your life. The full size comes with a hefty price tag, but the travel size of this item is included in the giveaway.

So go ahead, subscribe to GlossyBox now and enjoy 5 products delivered to your door every month on the dot. It’s totally worth it.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’d love it if you’d enter the giveaway. Remember, all you have to do is complete the survey below, follow my blog, and leave a comment on ANY post on this site. The contest is open through the end of the week and the winner will be selected based on the quality of their responses. Happy posting! And THANK YOU!

L’Occitane En Provence

There is so much you can tell about a woman by her hands. You can tell if she’s stressed or relaxed or bored, if she grew up in ballet classes, or if she spends her free time writing in notebooks. Your hands tell the story of your life. Mine certainly do a lot of talking. There’s the scar on the top of my right hand from where I burned it on a iron getting ready for formal night on my first cruise. There’s the slightly crushed nail and bump on my middle finger from late nights journaling. There is even the fact that I hold my hands a certain way from years of ballet, and that I take the time to do my nails every week. All of these details tell a story about who I am.

There are a few things that your hands shouldn’t say. They shouldn’t disclose your age. They shouldn’t let people know that you spent your day slaving over laundry and dishes when you want to appear like you move through life effortlessly. They should explain only what you want them to show to the world. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly how to care for your hands.

The number one suggestion I can give about caring for your hands is to purchase and use a good hand cream. You should use it every time water or wind comes into contact with y our bare skin. My personal suggestion is L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream. It comes in a variety of sizes and scents and gives you silky smooth hands. I like to keep one in my bedroom, one in the bathroom, one in my purse, and one in my desk. That way I always have it on hand. So, what story do you want your hands to tell?

Pretty In Pink

Pink is an essential spring color, even more so when it’s on your nails. Pink nails add a classic pop of color that’s truly a joy to wear, and see. That’s why every woman should have at least one pink polish in the bathroom cabinet. If you don’t know where to start, here are my suggestions:

  • For a true Barbie pink, look no further than O.P.I.’s Pink Flamenco  (top left) it’s great for both spring and summer and will make your nails look picture perfect.
  • If you want something a little edgier, my pick would be China Glaze’s Heli-Yum (top right). It sits somewhere in between red and pink, works year round, and has some definite oomph.
  • Do you spend your spring decked out head to toe in Lilly Pulitzer? Essie’s Cute As A Button (center) is the ideal coral-pink to coordinate perfectly with your sundress and pearls.
  • Perhaps you’re sick of traditional pink tones. The prescription for this condition is O.P.I.’s Mod About You (bottom left). Side effects include difficulty paying attention to anything other than how cool your nails look painted in this opaque pastel pink.
  • If however, you’re more in the mood for a pink fit for a queen, the only pink for you is O.P.I.’s Princesses Rule! (bottom right). It’s pure decadence with an elegant, yet noticeable shimmer that will have you saying ooo la la.

So go ahead, wave goodbye to your nudes and reds – with perfectly pink manicured hands there’s no way you’ll be sticking around your apartment for long 😉

In the Nude

A good manicure can take your look from frumpy to polished. A good nude manicure can make all the difference between trying too hard and effortless elegance. That’s why today I’m sharing my three favorite nude nail polishes.

Up first is O.P.I.’s Isn’t It Romantic? (Pictured on the right.) It’s a pink-y nude with a slight shimmer that will take your basic nude manicure to “princess polished” perfect.

My other O.P.I. favorite is Pink-ing of You. (Center.) It’s a sheer matte nude that looks good alone, or as a base of a French manicure. It’s versatile and classic. In my opinion, it’s a must for every poised woman’s medicine cabinet.

And finally, no post on nude polish would be complete without the cult classic, Essie Ballet Slippers. (Left.) It’s a true nude, meaning a purplish tone on white. When I first tried it I wasn’t so keen on the shade, but after trying it out a few times it really grew on me. Now it’s my go to for job interviews, dinner parties, and family gatherings.

If all else fails, just swipe on a clear top coat. It will look polished, effortless, and much more low-maintenance than constantly having painted nails.

Paint the Town Red

There’s something iconic about a red manicure. It’s reminiscent of old Hollywood and slightly dangerous in its boldness. It is indisputably the sexiest nail polish color out there, so every girl should have at least one go to red in her arsenal. Here are my favorites:

Revlon Cherries in the Snow is my number one, mainly because of its history. My mother and grandmother both wore it regularly, and it reminds me of them. It’s a great blue-red for cooler skin tones and is definitely unique.

While that one takes the award for Best Red Polish In My Cabinet, there are a number of honorable mentions. Formula X’s X Loves Rouge is what I consider to be the runner up. Developed exclusively for Sephora’s VIB Rouge clients, it’s is a fantastic neutral red with intensely saturated color – you can get by with just one coat. Luckily for you there are people on Amazon who will sell this awesome color to non VIB Rouge members.

Another favorite of mine is OPI’s Red Hot Ayers Rock. It’s great with any skin tone and extremely chip resistant. If you’re an OPI fan but want a bit more sparkle, try out Crimson Carol- it’s especially in season around Christmas. For a deeper, darker, more dramatic red check out Royal Raja Ruby.

What’s your favorite red polish? Let me know in the comments!