Monday, March 30, 2020

Nail & Cuticle Care

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good weekend, all things considered. We had rain most of the weekend so basically stayed in and finished binging Tiger King on Netflix. Have you watched it? It honestly was like watching a train wreck - we couldn't look away! We also started watching The Imagineering Story on Disney+ and it's super interesting to see how the Disney parks were created.

Anyway, a friend suggested an updated nail and cuticle care post with everything that's going on. All of the hand washing and hand sanitizer have understandably left many of us with dry hands and cuticles, not to mention all of the people who can't get to a salon right now! There are a few things you can do at home to keep your skin and nails in good shape.


1. First of all, it's a myth that your nails need to "breathe" or take a break between polishing. Nails get their oxygen from the blood stream, not the air. In fact, having bare nails can lead to more breakage. At the very least you're better off with a protective base coat.

2. If you're doing any cleaning around the house or washing dishes, wear rubber gloves! This will protect your manicure or your bare nails (plus you don't want those chemicals on your skin).

3. Push back your cuticles, but please do NOT cut them! Your cuticles are there to protect your nails, so cutting them can actually lead to infection and no one wants that! I love the Instant Cuticle Remover from Sally Hansen. About once a week I apply a small amount to the cuticle area, let it sit for 15 seconds, and then gently push back my cuticles with a manicure stick. I wash my hands right after to get rid of any excess product and then proceed with painting. If you don't have a cuticle removing product, try gently pushing back your cuticles after showering or soaking your nails in warm water to soften the cuticles.

4. CUTICLE OIL! If you can, try to get some sort of cuticle oil to reapply throughout the day. It's a cuticle saver after all of the hand washing. My current favorite is California Mango Cuticle Oil, but there are a ton of options out there. If you're in a pinch you can use olive oil, coconut oil, or even a lip balm!

5. Hand cream is also a good thing to reapply throughout the day. Spend an extra minute rubbing it into your cuticle area. A gentle cuticle massage increases circulation and can actually promote nail growth.


Nail care doesn't have to be a chore. I find peace in taking a few minutes several times a day to apply cuticle oil and hand cream. Plus I know it's good for my skin and nails!

I hope you can take some time for self-care this week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pastel Skittles Nails

Hey everyone! Hope you've been doing well since I last posted. My husband is still working from home and I've been doing a ton of baking, although now it's almost impossible to find flour. Apparently everyone decided to try their hand at baking during the quarantine!

At least I have lots of pretty nail polish to keep me occupied. I was trying to decide on an Essie color and ended up choosing 5 lol. But I do love the skittles trend, so that's fine. This is a pastel version of it using Go Ginza (on my thumb, which you can't see), Bikini So Teeny, Baguette Me Not, Blossom Dandy, and Hay There. The formula was great on all of them and I used two coats of each. I love skittles nails because the combinations are literally endless and they always look cute!




Stay safe and enjoy the weekend!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Friday, March 13, 2020

OPI Mural Mural on the Wall

Hey everyone! Hope your week hasn't been too crazy with coronavirus going on. I live in the NYC area so it's been pretty wild here. My husband worked from home today and then found out that he'll be home for the next two weeks. We called a nearby Trader Joe's this morning to find out how empty their shelves were and they said they had just restocked so I went over to grab some extra food since we'll both be home the next couple weeks. It was CRAZY. I got there early, but by the time I left there was a line out the door! I'll be steering clear of grocery stores for a little while.

Anyway, OPI recently came out with their Mexico City collection. The colors are beautiful and bright, but I felt I had comparable colors already in my stash except for one. Mural Mural on the Wall is a sheer coral with gold flakies and builds up really nicely in three coats. You could do less and have the polish be more sheer, which also looks beautiful. Either way you will likely still see some visible nail line so if that bugs you, you may not like this one. I think it looks great with my skin tone and will be so pretty for spring and summer. I also love that the finish is smooth despite the flakies.





I have to say it's awesome to see a mainstream brand experimenting with formula and I hope more brands start doing it. Hope you have a great weekend and stay safe!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Monday, March 9, 2020

Essie Blossom Dandy

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? The weather here was gorgeous yesterday so we took a long walk and found some Girl Scouts selling cookies, so that was a happy surprise. I wasn't even planning on getting cookies this year but I now a box of Samoas and Tagalongs that I'm super excited about.

I looked through my polishes and saw a couple of Essie shades I thought would pair nicely together for some floral nail art - Blossom Dandy and Hay There. Blossom Dandy is a minty blue creme with an excellent formula and is opaque in two coats. Hay There is a pale yellow creme from the fall 2019 collection that I absolutely fell love with, even though I'm usually not a huge fan of yellow nails. The formula on this one is also amazing and has the newer wide brush. I used my dotting tool to make some little daisies with white polish. The blue and yellow together are so happy and fun for spring!




Have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Friday, March 6, 2020

Louboutin Edgypopi

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great week. I was browsing on the Mercari app earlier this week, where there are sometimes good finds on nail polish, and came across a bottle of Louboutin Edgypopi in perfect condition! This polish has been on my wish list for over a year and I knew Mercari would be a good place to keep an eye out because I don't really want to pay the full $50 price tag. I also had a $5 off coupon and was able to snag it for $15! It arrived at my door a couple days later and I couldn't wait to put it on my nails.

Edgypopi is described as a bright orange-red and is the perfect shade for spring and especially summer. I have it on my toes now as well! The formula is on the thin side, so you'll want to be careful when you apply it not to flood your cuticles. Despite the thinner formula, I was able to achieve opacity with two easy coats. I know the price tag on these polishes is crazy, but I have to say the formula on each one I've tried has been excellent (plus the bottle is a piece of art all by itself).

For a fun accent I used another favorite formula, the Zoya holographic line in the shade Everly. It pairs so well with any bright red in your collection and gives your mani a little extra sparkle.






Have a great weekend!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kanpai OPI!

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good week so far. I'm getting excited about warmer weather and looking through my spring polishes.

Today I reached for two OPI colors - Kanpai OPI! and Let's Be Friends. Kanpai OPI! is a perfect transition shade from winter into spring. It's a grey periwinkle blue creme with a beautiful formula that's opaque in 2 coats. I also used Let's Be Friends from the Hello Kitty collection. I love this timeless pale pink creme that's also opaque in 2 coats. I used my small detail nail brush to make blue triangles on my accent nails. You could also use nail vinyls or tape to help you with this part, just make sure your base color is dry first!




Have a great rest of the week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Monday, February 24, 2020

Zoya Vesper

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. Today's post is going up a bit later than usual - my parents recently moved so I've been going out there a lot to help with the unpacking. My nails survived pretty well today despite all the boxes I opened!

I'm not quite ready for spring colors yet, though I've started to see a bunch of spring polish collections on social media. I'm trying to hold out just a little bit longer! Today I'm wearing Zoya Vesper, described as a grey-violet cream. I've said it before, but seriously Zoya's cream formula's are just exceptional. They're truly some of the best I've tried. I layered one coat of ILNP Rosewater over Vesper on two nails to add some lovely holo shimmer. Sometimes simple combos like these are my favorite, no nail art required!





Have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Live Love Polish Calico

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great long weekend. It was nice having the extra day to hang out and I took some time to do something fun on my nails.

I remember trying magnetic polish last year and loving it so I pulled out Calico from Live Love Polish. Calico is a magnetic multichrome polish that shifts pink, orange, gold and green. Any of these magnetic polishes from Live Love Polish would be gorgeous, plus they come with the magnetic wand.

To start this look I applied one coat of a black creme polish. You can use any black you have, just know the magnetic effect of the polish works much better over dark colors. To add some sparkle, I then applied one coat of ILNP Party Bus. I thought this black holo would be perfect underneath to add some depth. The last step was one coat of Calico and immediately holding the magnet above the nail for about 20-30 seconds. I did this one nail at a time. I love how these look!




Have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Monday, February 3, 2020

ILNP Cityscape & Interstellar

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? If you watched the Super Bowl, were you tuning in for the game, the commercials, the half time show, are all of the above? I'm not really into football, so I like to watch the commercials and the half time show. I thought Shakira and J. Lo were amazing! We also made some yummy snacks, with the highlight being delicious skillet nachos. I'll have to start brainstorming some snack ideas for the Oscars next week.

I felt like wearing some holographic nail polish today, so of course I went for ILNP, which makes some of my favorite holos. I also wanted to use my constellation stamping plate, so I thought Cityscape and Interstellar would be two great colors to go with that design. Cityscape is a holographic black and Interstellar shifts from navy to teal to purple with gorgeous holographic shimmer. I used a stamping plate from Born Pretty Store (can't find the link for the exact one but I'm sure they have similar designs) and white polish to stamp constellations and stars over Interstellar.




Hope you have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Monday, January 27, 2020

Leopard Nails

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good weekend. We ended up binge watching the entire first season of The Circle on Netflix. It was actually really entertaining!

Today I felt like doing leopard print nails. I started with two coats of Essie Angora Cardi on my thumb, index, and middle nails and then two coats of Essie Urban Jungle on my ring and pinky nails. Once my base color was dry, I went in with Angora Cardi on the two lighter nails and made random spots all over. These don't have to be perfect, because the last step is taking a black polish, I used Essie Licorice, to randomly make curved lines around your spots. You can fill in any blank areas with more imperfect black spots. Pretty easy, right? Plus you can do this with any color combo!





Hope you have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Friday, January 24, 2020

Zoya Sailor

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good week. Call me crazy, but I've really been wanting a big snow because we haven't had much snow yet this winter. I was deciding on a nail vinyl to use and came across my snowflake vinyls from PolishedVino. I'll get into more detail later on how I use them.

To start I used two coats of Zoya Sailor, a gorgeous dark navy creme with an amazing formula. I also used two coats of Zoya Dream on my middle nail. Whenever I'm doing nail art I like to work on top of a silicone mat, such as this one from Bliss Kiss. It makes clean up so much easier, plus you don't have to wait forever for your base nail color to dry. I've had way too many frustrating experiences of putting the vinyl on my nails before they were fully dry and totally ruined my base.

Here's how I created the snowflakes:
1. Peel the vinyl off and place on the silicone mat.
2. Use your color of choice (I used Zoya Trixie and then Lux) to paint over the negative space and immediately peel the vinyl, leaving your design on the mat.
3. Let the design dry and then put a layer of top coat over it. I like to do all of this before painting my nails so it has a chance to dry completely.
4. Once you've finished painting your nails and they've had some time to dry, use some sort of tool (I used tweezers) to peel the design off the mat and press it into the nail.
5. Seal your design with top coat.





Have a great weekend!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

ILNP Ava

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good week so far. It's freezing here so I've pretty much been staying inside and bundled up.

I'm slowly making my way through the 8 ILNP polishes my husband got me for my birthday, which has been so much fun! Today I reached for Ava, described as a vivid violet holographic polish with a rich and saturated finish. It has a jelly-leaning formula, which creates stunning depth and layers of red shimmer, glowing old, and holographic micro-flakes. It's truly gorgeous, and even more so in the right lighting.

I took these photos in natural light, but you'll see in the last photo how vibrant this color is when I turned the flash on my phone. I've actually been debating getting a little light box for taking photos, so I may have a look on Amazon to see what I can find.






Enjoy the rest of your week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Sprinkle Birthday Nails

Hey everyone! Hope your week is off to a good start. I'm just doing a super quick birthday nail post since I'm celebrating my 29th today.

I decided on a fun and colorful sprinkle design! I love how easy this look is and that it works with literally any colors. I started with three coats of Essie Marshmallow, a great base for nail art. The rest of the colors I used were also Essie: Roarrrange, Splash of Grenadine, Dye-Mentions, Bachelorette Bash, and hay there. I used a small detail brush to make the little lines randomly on each nail. I think it looks so cute!





Enjoy the rest of your week!

xoxo,
   Brooke

Monday, January 13, 2020

Zoya India

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the glorious weather. It was in the mid 60s here so we definitely made sure to get outside and take advantage of it! We also went out for dinner on Saturday with my family for an early birthday dinner - I'm turning 29 on Wednesday so I'll be back mid-week with some birthday nails.

Today I'm wearing a color I wanted for my collection for a few years and just finally got around to picking it up. The polish is Zoya India from their 2014 fall collection. The color can best be described as a deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer. It's absolutely stunning and I'm so happy to finally have it in my collection!





Have a great week!

xoxo,
   Brooke