August 26th, 2013

Happy Monday all! I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the new week. But in case you are suffering from Monday moodiness, might I recommend treating yourself to a manicure. Or perhaps a new polish.

Because you can never have EVERY color you might need. 

                    

On my quest to find polish that almost never chips, I have become another step leap closer. It’s called SinfulShine from the SinfulColors collection, with gel tech(nology). Consider this your at home alternative to the Gelish manicure, minus mini UV ray machine.

The new SinfulShine collection lives up to its name. The polish is impeccably shiny - even without top coat. And it can be worn for about a week with minimal to no chippage. ! Depending on your preference, one coat is sufficient. If that makes you feel a little iffy, two works great as well.

For optimal results, make sure you take about 10 minutes in between coats. I advise not falling asleep with your hands under a pillow soon after drying. You will wake up with a textured mani. 

Rookie mistake. 

Does This: Leaves nails super shiny and chip-free
Is This: SinfulShine Gel Tech by SinfulColor Professionals
Get This: Your local Walgreens
Price: $2.99 (!!)

Image via Vogue Brazil

-Kristin

November 26th, 2012
Look what I did you guys … my very own gel manicure (also, a red pedicure, not shown)! This is my new jam. 
I used to get manicures sometimes 2x a week (?!). I look back at those days from my current time-for-nought, cheapskate vantage point and ask myself why I wasn’t the HAPPIEST PERSON ON EARTH during the years ~2004-2009.  One thing’s for sure: I had a lot of time on my hands - LIT’RALLY.
Anyway, those days are over.  I got pretty good at doing my own nails, but I still can’t always find the time.  I’ve splurged on gel manicures in the past but I don’t love the expense.
Enter these conveniently boxed items ->
                 
Sally Hansen is pretty much my gold standard when it comes to product innovation for nail, and I swear by their Salon Effects nail polish stickers, so I had a good feeling (that’s why I accepted this sponsored post, in case you wonder how I make these decisions).  Still, I was surprised that this was so mistake-proof, really turned out nice … and lasted.
Here’s how it goes down:
                 
First and foremost, READ THE DIRECTIONS!  There are lots of tips and they’re important.  Plug in the little lamp, file and clean your nails (with the enclosed wipe) and then apply the base coat.  Press the little button and wait 30 seconds - the lamp turns off by itself.
                 
Apply the color coat.  I used Shell We Dance - the kit came with a burgundy red but I wanted to tiptoe into this operation. Don’t hesitate to really wipe down your nail with the brush to ensure the color is thin.  It’s not like nail polish - it doesn’t gunk up when you swipe through it, but it goes on thick and it’s important to keep the layer on the light side.  Then cure again.  Repeat with a second coat, and cure.
Make sure to take the polish over the tip of the nail for BOTH COATS!  This felt kind of unnatural to me, but it’s essential for making the manicure last … otherwise it can peel up at the tip.  I kept a thin eyeliner brush (that I only use for nail stuff) and the included acetone at the ready - that way I could clean up any polish on my skin.
You’ll notice throughout the process that your nails feel tacky - this doesn’t mean they’re wet so don’t go crazy with the lamp.  Just follow the directions, like I said!
                 
Apply the top coat, cure again.  Then finally, wipe with the cleansing pad. It feels strange to swipe just-finished nails with a wet pad but this is an essential step and leaves your nails shiny.
I loved this manicure and repeated it on my toes with the burgundy red included in the kit.  I would never share a picture of my feet on the internet but this at-home pedicure thing is one of the better things that has happened to my life. 
If you’re terrified of removal based on your experience with salon gel manicures - don’t be.  The technique they recommend is super easy and fast, way better than soaking your fingers in a bowl of acetone and my nails looked fine afterwards, not parched.
I cosign this purchase for yourself or for a holiday gift for anyone in your life who can decently do their own nails.  You will LOVE it!  If not, write me.
Does this: Truly easy and awesome-looking gel manicure at homeIs this: Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Polish Starter KitGet this: Online at Target and at many other retail + drugstoresPrice: About $64.99
And now a word from our sponsor:
Sally Hansen’s Salon Gel Polish™is a professional at-home gel system that delivers the salon experience at a great value. Compared to regular nail polish, this gel polish gives you high-gloss, mirror shine color that lasts for up to 2 weeks without dry time, chipping and smudging. It’s never been so easy to get a salon manicure at home – saving you time and money! Get up to 10 gel manicures in a starter kit! Disclosure of compensation (at the bottom of your post):Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen.

Look what I did you guys … my very own gel manicure (also, a red pedicure, not shown)! This is my new jam.

I used to get manicures sometimes 2x a week (?!). I look back at those days from my current time-for-nought, cheapskate vantage point and ask myself why I wasn’t the HAPPIEST PERSON ON EARTH during the years ~2004-2009.  One thing’s for sure: I had a lot of time on my hands - LIT’RALLY.

Anyway, those days are over.  I got pretty good at doing my own nails, but I still can’t always find the time.  I’ve splurged on gel manicures in the past but I don’t love the expense.

Enter these conveniently boxed items ->

                

Sally Hansen is pretty much my gold standard when it comes to product innovation for nail, and I swear by their Salon Effects nail polish stickers, so I had a good feeling (that’s why I accepted this sponsored post, in case you wonder how I make these decisions).  Still, I was surprised that this was so mistake-proof, really turned out nice … and lasted.

Here’s how it goes down:

                

First and foremost, READ THE DIRECTIONS!  There are lots of tips and they’re important.  Plug in the little lamp, file and clean your nails (with the enclosed wipe) and then apply the base coat.  Press the little button and wait 30 seconds - the lamp turns off by itself.

                

Apply the color coat.  I used Shell We Dance - the kit came with a burgundy red but I wanted to tiptoe into this operation. Don’t hesitate to really wipe down your nail with the brush to ensure the color is thin.  It’s not like nail polish - it doesn’t gunk up when you swipe through it, but it goes on thick and it’s important to keep the layer on the light side.  Then cure again.  Repeat with a second coat, and cure.

Make sure to take the polish over the tip of the nail for BOTH COATS!  This felt kind of unnatural to me, but it’s essential for making the manicure last … otherwise it can peel up at the tip.  I kept a thin eyeliner brush (that I only use for nail stuff) and the included acetone at the ready - that way I could clean up any polish on my skin.

You’ll notice throughout the process that your nails feel tacky - this doesn’t mean they’re wet so don’t go crazy with the lamp.  Just follow the directions, like I said!

                

Apply the top coat, cure again.  Then finally, wipe with the cleansing pad. It feels strange to swipe just-finished nails with a wet pad but this is an essential step and leaves your nails shiny.

I loved this manicure and repeated it on my toes with the burgundy red included in the kit.  I would never share a picture of my feet on the internet but this at-home pedicure thing is one of the better things that has happened to my life. 

If you’re terrified of removal based on your experience with salon gel manicures - don’t be.  The technique they recommend is super easy and fast, way better than soaking your fingers in a bowl of acetone and my nails looked fine afterwards, not parched.

I cosign this purchase for yourself or for a holiday gift for anyone in your life who can decently do their own nails.  You will LOVE it!  If not, write me.

Does this: Truly easy and awesome-looking gel manicure at home
Is this: Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Polish Starter Kit
Get this: Online at Target and at many other retail + drugstores
Price: About $64.99

And now a word from our sponsor:

Sally Hansen’s Salon Gel Polish™is a professional at-home gel system that delivers the salon experience at a great value. Compared to regular nail polish, this gel polish gives you high-gloss, mirror shine color that lasts for up to 2 weeks without dry time, chipping and smudging. It’s never been so easy to get a salon manicure at home – saving you time and money! Get up to 10 gel manicures in a starter kit! Disclosure of compensation (at the bottom of your post):

Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen.

November 1st, 2012

This is a fine, fine example of the power of packaging. Want them all.

Does this: Look good on your nails AND your dresser, also 3-free.
Is this: Michael Marcus Nail Polish
Get this: Above
Price: $15

June 5th, 2012
The other day I indulged in a manicure at tenoverten, and then came home and added this gold tip.  Sometimes it’s nice to have someone do the base so flawlessly - if you’re willing to take the risk of ruining it with your experimenting : )
RGB in Sea | Color Club Disco Nap <- currently my favorite gold

The other day I indulged in a manicure at tenoverten, and then came home and added this gold tip.  Sometimes it’s nice to have someone do the base so flawlessly - if you’re willing to take the risk of ruining it with your experimenting : )

RGB in Sea | Color Club Disco Nap <- currently my favorite gold

March 19th, 2012

I achieved nail polish nirvana this weekend and I have problems am so happy!

All my nail polish was in a train case, and it was kind of a hot mess because I couldn’t see in the darkness and would have to take everything out in order to find a color. 

                

before

I picked up 2x acrylic cases from Muji and organized the tools and accoutrements in the bottom, and the colors by family in the top drawers.  I put my large nail polish remover in the bathroom and kept a travel size in the box; decant as necessary.

                

after

I highly recommend this.  It’s also great for makeup, obviously, but the drawers are a little shallow for foundation-type products.

Does this: Satisfies OCD tendencies and organizes your stuff so you can make better use of the products you have
Is this: Muji Acrylic Case - 3 Drawer
Get this: Above
Price: $24.75 each

Thank you to my brand friends for the gifted product in this box including Zoya, Essie, and Butter London

February 14th, 2012

Oscar revealed his new Essential Luxuries Collection of polishes out this fall. You can see the partial lineup over here

Nails by Yuna Park

Images - The Greyest Ghost for CofP

February 11th, 2012

More to come on this but Le Métier de Beauté totally hooked it up for my giveaway winner and her friend backstage at Ainsley!  They both got the makeup look plus amazing braids from Kayley Pak for John Barrett (oh and goody bags full of products and $100 gift cards for the collection - which actually literally made me jealous!) …

Seeing their happy faces (also, stunningly BEAUTIFUL) was the high point of my fashion week.  Doing giveaways is such an important part of this blog for me because it lets me actually reach people off of the internet - I love it!

January 9th, 2012
Deep blue and gold is one of my favorite color combinations - it&#8217;s sort of an ancient Egyptian vibe, no?  This manicure was super easy and I am LOVING it.
Here are the steps:
                  
1. Apply a base coat.  I use Orly Bonder ($7.49).
2. Apply 2 coats of a deep blue.  I discovered this amazing cult nail brand Rococo Nail Apparel at Space NK. This color is Me Me Me ($16.50).  The color is so dark and saturated that you have to clean up messes immediately or it will stain &#8230; So have some Beauty Fixation Nail Polish Touch-Up Applicators ($5.00) on hand.
3. Spray with a nail polish dryer spray, if you like.
4. Grab your nail art with tweezers.  I used this half moon shape from the Sephora OPI Nail Embellishments Metallic Gold Flower set ($5.00).  I&#8217;d advise you to buy 2 packs because there are only 10 of these pieces and it&#8217;s good to have back up. I used these super pointy Revlon tweezers ($8.99).  Lay them on and press down with the tweezer tip.
5. Apply a top coat.  I used Orly Won&#8217;t Chip ($7.50).
That&#8217;s it.  Takes a second to get used to holding the tweezer in your opposite hand but otherwise a piece of cake.
** One quick note &#8230; I am on the longlist for the Marie Claire Best Beauty Blog award!!  If you have a spare second, please VOTE FOR CULT OF PRETTY! Thanks so much! ** 

Deep blue and gold is one of my favorite color combinations - it’s sort of an ancient Egyptian vibe, no?  This manicure was super easy and I am LOVING it.

Here are the steps:

                 

1. Apply a base coat.  I use Orly Bonder ($7.49).

2. Apply 2 coats of a deep blue.  I discovered this amazing cult nail brand Rococo Nail Apparel at Space NK. This color is Me Me Me ($16.50).  The color is so dark and saturated that you have to clean up messes immediately or it will stain … So have some Beauty Fixation Nail Polish Touch-Up Applicators ($5.00) on hand.

3. Spray with a nail polish dryer spray, if you like.

4. Grab your nail art with tweezers.  I used this half moon shape from the Sephora OPI Nail Embellishments Metallic Gold Flower set ($5.00).  I’d advise you to buy 2 packs because there are only 10 of these pieces and it’s good to have back up. I used these super pointy Revlon tweezers ($8.99).  Lay them on and press down with the tweezer tip.

5. Apply a top coat.  I used Orly Won’t Chip ($7.50).

That’s it.  Takes a second to get used to holding the tweezer in your opposite hand but otherwise a piece of cake.

** One quick note … I am on the longlist for the Marie Claire Best Beauty Blog award!!  If you have a spare second, please VOTE FOR CULT OF PRETTY! Thanks so much! ** 

December 30th, 2011
If you hear someone outside your building singing GOLD&#8212;-FINGA!!! at the top of their lungs around 3am on January 1, 2012 &#8230; don&#8217;t look at me. 
&#8230; Or my New Year&#8217;s Eve C-3PO style shiny-shiny gold nails courtesy of Nail Rock, who sponsored today&#8217;s massive #GIVEAWAY (10 sets of nail wraps, over $100 value)!
CONTEST OVER THANKS FOR PLAYING
                 
Nail Rock is a U.K.-based brand by celebrity manicurist Zoe Pocock.  Unlike the Sally Hansen/Incoco-type &#8220;real nail polish&#8221; stickers, these are nail wraps, which are more like actual stickers &#8230; which means you can achieve that super-shiny metallic robotic look. 
Couple of tips for these (in addition to the directions that come in the pack). Cut them to fit, but don&#8217;t cut down the tip yet. Apply the sticker to the base of your nail and then PULL &amp; STRETCH the sticker along the sides and over the tip of your nails - otherwise you will have ridges and bubbles.  Pull really hard - don&#8217;t worry, they won&#8217;t tear.  Then cut the tip down, leaving a little bit of edge to wrap over your own nail tip if your nails are long enough to do so &#8230; tuck it under then file.
Today&#8217;s prize is 10 packs of wraps (16 in each), in the following designs: pink + blue zebra, cheetah, black &amp; white mod stripe, dalmation, python (x2), silver metallic, gold metallic, gold metallic giraffe (x2).  The duplicate sets I decided to throw in should you want to practice, or share!
TO ENTER YOU MUST COMPLETE BOTH OF THESE STEPS &#8230;
1. Do ONE of the following&#8230;. reblog this post OR follow Cult of Pretty on Bloglovin&#8217; OR follow Cult of Pretty on tumblr OR subscribe via email.
2. Leave a DISQUS comment below and tell me WHICH DESIGN WOULD YOU ROCK FIRST?  Please  please SERIOUSLY make sure you either leave your email or that your  Disqus email is accurate - I&#8217;ve had several instances of not being able  to get in touch with winners&#160;: ( 
Contest ends next Friday January 6&#160;2012 at  11.59pm       Eastern. Winner is drawn by random number; multiple comments do not  increase your chances of winning. If  you subscribe or follow to enter,  you must  be  subscribed     or   following  at the time of the  drawing.  XO

If you hear someone outside your building singing GOLD—-FINGA!!! at the top of their lungs around 3am on January 1, 2012 … don’t look at me. 

… Or my New Year’s Eve C-3PO style shiny-shiny gold nails courtesy of Nail Rock, who sponsored today’s massive #GIVEAWAY (10 sets of nail wraps, over $100 value)!


CONTEST OVER THANKS FOR PLAYING

                

Nail Rock is a U.K.-based brand by celebrity manicurist Zoe Pocock.  Unlike the Sally Hansen/Incoco-type “real nail polish” stickers, these are nail wraps, which are more like actual stickers … which means you can achieve that super-shiny metallic robotic look. 

Couple of tips for these (in addition to the directions that come in the pack). Cut them to fit, but don’t cut down the tip yet. Apply the sticker to the base of your nail and then PULL & STRETCH the sticker along the sides and over the tip of your nails - otherwise you will have ridges and bubbles.  Pull really hard - don’t worry, they won’t tear.  Then cut the tip down, leaving a little bit of edge to wrap over your own nail tip if your nails are long enough to do so … tuck it under then file.

Today’s prize is 10 packs of wraps (16 in each), in the following designs: pink + blue zebra, cheetah, black & white mod stripe, dalmation, python (x2), silver metallic, gold metallic, gold metallic giraffe (x2).  The duplicate sets I decided to throw in should you want to practice, or share!

TO ENTER YOU MUST COMPLETE BOTH OF THESE STEPS …

1. Do ONE of the following…. reblog this post OR follow Cult of Pretty on Bloglovin’ OR follow Cult of Pretty on tumblr OR subscribe via email.

2. Leave a DISQUS comment below and tell me WHICH DESIGN WOULD YOU ROCK FIRST?  Please please SERIOUSLY make sure you either leave your email or that your Disqus email is accurate - I’ve had several instances of not being able to get in touch with winners : (

Contest ends next Friday January 6 2012 at 11.59pm Eastern. Winner is drawn by random number; multiple comments do not increase your chances of winning. If you subscribe or follow to enter, you must be subscribed or following at the time of the drawing.  XO

December 19th, 2011

You know how on Inside the Actors’ Studio he always asks “WHAT! talent would you MOST! like to possesssss?” … well, it’s this.

I think watercolors of beauty products are probably in my top 20 list of things in life that I love, right up there with hazelnut coffee, flea markets and such.

Who are some of your favorite illustrators?  I’d love to discover more.

These are Samantha Hahn.  Click on the image to see them bigger, then view more here.


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