“Bring it on Home”

Throughout my life I have had many, many manicures. Unlike most women,  I don’t doze off or get lost in my thoughts during this relaxing time. My eyes on glued to the manicurist’s hands, holding mine and using tools, polish and cream to make them beautiful. Although not a certified nail technician, because I spent so much time studying their techniques I have taught myself to recreate the perfect (or at least a really well done) manicure at home. I know all the steps from the prep to finish, with some extras like paraffin wax and oil thrown in occasionally. This is far from my first rodeo. Although I can recreate to the best of my abilities their manicure at home, sometimes it just can’t happen due to lack of resources (ie, I don’t have a gel UV lamp, I don’t know how to do acrylics or have a paraffin wax heater at my disposal). For the first time however, the gel look is becoming more of a reality than a salon-only habit.

Creative Nail Design (who make one of my all-time favorite lotions) is a leader in the gel arena and if you go to your local nail salon (specifically the New England chain Miniluxe) you will find it as one of your only choices for gel. The company also has the same colors offered in a gel-like polish that promises to last one week, without the use of a uv lamp. The line is called Vinylux and won’t cost you any more than your standard manicure at a salon. But here is the best part – now you can buy the polishes on your own! This means two coats of the Vinylux plus their special topcoat and you’re good for a solid week, with the same color as you can find in the gel line. You can’t purchase the line on their site, but you CAN purchase it at Ulta as well as other salons. As of this year, you can also purchase this line on Flash Sale sites like Rue La La for a discount ($7.99 versus Ulta’s $9.99). You will not be able to find all the shades that are available but if you find a color you like, its well worth it to scoop it up at a discount. I just scored Plum Paisley and love it!

If you’re just fine with doing your nails yourself, I strongly suggest checking out this line. For the same price as my beloved Essie and rival OPI, you will get more wear out of the polish and save your dollars for something else – say the pedicure you CAN’T do yourself 🙂


Happy Polishing!


“Two are better than one”

I love mascara. And I mean, I LOVEEE mascara. I take after my mother in this sense (as well as many others), and we are both have a thing for big, bold, doll-like lashes. I personally don’t feel complete until after I’ve applied it and if I only had to put one thing on before I left the house, it would be this. As you may have read in some of my other posts, I am always on the search for the newest, latest and greatest if it means I’m going to achieve fake-lash status (without wearing actual fake lashes). Two products I’m going to talk about in this post actually work really well together- even better!

I actually found the first one by asking two of my team members at work the same question – “What mascara are you wearing?”. I kid you not, I only asked the two of them, in the same email. To my surprise, they BOTH answered with the same mascara – Lancome’s Hypnose Drama. It has a nice dense black color with a curved wand to give a subtle curl. One of them suggested I also try out the primer from Lancome to really up the pow-factor (which I did, obviously). When I was out of the primer and mascara, I decided to re-purchase the mascara for sure, but wanted to try out the Loreal version of the primer. Good decision. The Loreal Paris Voluminous Primer I found to work just as well, if not better than the Lancome version for half the price! I don’t use this everyday but if I really want a dramatic effect, I put this on top and bottom first (it comes out white which actually helps as a guide for the black mascara to be applied to) and then apply two coats of the Hypnose Drama. I highly recommend both products if you like your mascara like me – big and bold – and don’t mind adding a second step.