Tuesday, July 31, 2012

good vibrations

good vibrations

Have you ever tried to read a sign that hurt your eyes? I'm talking about bright lettering on top of a bright background. In the design world, that's called a vibrating color combination. The two bright hues interfere with each other, making it hard for your eyes to process the words and letters. It's not a good thing.

But in the whimsical world of nail polish, there shouldn't be rules. Especially not about vibrating colors. All three of these color combinations are considered vibrating colors on paper — but let's forget about that for now. How can you wear these colors together?
  • beginners: wear one color on your fingernails and the other on your toenails.
  • intermediate: choose one color for nine of your 10 fingernails. Paint one fingernail the contrasting color.
  • advanced: try using one color as a base coat and the other color as a polka-dot accent.
Want all the deets about these cute colors? Keep clickin' for links and color information!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

curly hair 101

You know that feeling you get when you buy a hair product and it just doesn't deliver? I've felt that way... a lot. I have super curly hair, like, ringlet curls. It's tough to find products that deliver on their promises. You name it, I've probably tried it. Frizz tamers, smoothing heat treatments and shine serums. Truth is, many drugstore and high-end products fall flat.

Recently though, I feel like I've nailed my hair routine. I found the perfect combination of products that leave my hair feeling soft, smooth and manageable. At the same time, I feel like everything is staying in place. Here is the winning combo:

1. Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo
2. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Conditioner
3. Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream
4. Tresemme Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse

Keep on clickin' to see what my curls look like when they're tamed and under control!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

rose gold fever

Rose gold

Almost every item on my current jewelry wishlist is rose gold (like this, this... oh, and this). There's just something special about hard, metallic gold mixed with rich, creamy pink. It got me thinking about how perfect that color would translate to makeup. And whaddya know? It's already rearing its head in some of my favorite collections. Here are a few of the coolest rose gold products on the market:

Bobbi Brown Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick
This blush/bronzer/highlight combo is all you need to heat up your summer look. Use the colors individually or swipe your blush brush across all five shimmery shades.

LancĂ´me Star Bronzer Aqua Stick
Apply this slide-on bronzer to your cheekbones, temples and décolletage for a perfectly sun-kissed glow.

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Gold Digger
After applying a pink lipstick, dab this gloss on the center of your bottom lip for a instant boost. You lips will instantly look fuller!

NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Hula Hula
Try using the golden shade (right) as an all-over lid color; use the pink shade (left) in your crease to define your eyelid.

Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer
A shimmery liquid highlight, like this one, adds just a touch of light to your cheekbones.

Dolce Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick
This would be the ideal lipstick to use with the NARS gloss. It's the perfect blend of pink and nude, with just a hint of golden undertones.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

battle of the conditioners: triple moisture

I try to switch up my shampoo and conditioner every month (I'm paranoid that my curly hair develops an immunity to most products after that time). The other day, I realized my last two conditioners both promise the same thing: triple moisture/nutrition. I guess my hair is trying to tell me something. Is there a clear difference between these drugstore products? YES! Here's what I found:

Price: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition is less expensive at $3.99/bottle. Neutrogena Triple Moisture rings up at $6.99/bottle.

The "triple" ingredients: Both conditioners advertise three key ingredients that provide the moisture and nutrition. Garnier uses olive oil, avocado oil and shea oil. Neutrogena uses olive extract, meadowfoam seed and sweet almond.

Consistency: The Garnier conditioner is really watered down. For thick hair like mine, I ended up going through the bottle too quickly because I had to use more product. The Neutrogena conditioner is thick and creamy — you only need a quarter-sized dollop to do the job.

Results: Both conditioners work just fine to relieve my hair of tangles — but the Neutrogena conditioner left my locks feeling soft and nourished. Even after my hair dried, my curls didn't feel brittle in the summer heat. You can't beat that!

The winner: This one goes to Neutrogena, hands down! Though the price tag is steeper, it's well worth the extra $3. Plus, you'll go through the bottle slower.

What's your favorite conditioner? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

all-american mani

Finding an outfit for Fourth of July activities can be tough. You have to craft the perfect mix of red, white and blue that's fashionable and comfortable. After all, you'll inevitably end the night watching fireworks from a blanket in the grass. Comfort is key. 

And what's more comfortable (and classic) than a pair of worn-in blue jeans, a billowy white top and a cute red accessory? To add a kick to any Fourth of July ensemble, try this patriotic manicure. It's sure to command lots of compliments!

Keep reading this post for easy step-by-step instructions. A special thanks to my friend and coworker Megan for letting me borrow her nails!

1. Start with your base colors. We did three red nails, one white nail and one blue nail on each hand.
2. The white nail will get a thick coat of metallic polish. We used a silver polish to create an opaque color. Layering the white polish underneath helps bring out the color and shine of the silver.
3. Onto the polka dots! Pour a glob of white polish onto a piece of paper. Use a pen as your dotting tool — simply dip the tip into the white polish and dot it on your nails. When I started using this technique, I practiced dotting on the paper first.
4. To get even, well-proportioned dots, start by creating three dots down the middle of your nail. Next, add two dots to both sides of the middle line. 
5. Use a good top coat to help your mani last!