Entries from November 25th, 2011

November 25, 2011

pink friday

Instead of dealing with crowds of shoppers at midnight and the crack of dawn today, I’m heading to my sister-in-law’s spa for a massage and a manicure for Black Friday.

While I could get a festive holiday color, I’m planning to douse my nails in a pop of bubble gum pink — appropriately titled “Pink Friday” — from OPI’s soon-to-be-released Nicki Minaj collection.

nicki minaj OPI pink friday

{OPI sent me samples from the new Nicki Minaj collection, which hits stores in January. Photo Courtesy OPI}

The only thing crazier than Ms. Minaj (and Lady Gaga) is her super-bright nail polish line for 2012. The names of the polishes reflect some of her hit songs…as well as her eccentric sense of style.

OPI nicki minaj nail polish collection

{From left to right: Fly; Did It On Em; Metallic 4 Life; Pink Friday; Save Me; Super Bass Shatter. Photo Courtesy OPI}

I sent the teacher man home with Super Bass Shatter to give to one of his sisters, a Nicki Minaj fan. I’m excited to try the other three colors and two sparkly topcoats in the coming months; nothing beats a bright nail in the dead of winter!

What do you think of the collection? What colors do you like?

Check my Facebook page later today to see how my Pink Friday manicure turned out.

Happy shopping — or chilling, whatever you’re doing this Black Friday.

November 23, 2011

beauty scoop | eminence lip trio

I have a ridiculous addiction to lip balm. My purse has at least five different tubes in it all times (and in random compartments), and I have a huge bowl of balms on my bathroom shelf.

However, no matter how many balms I collect, there’s just never the perfect one to defeat the brutal damage that cold winter-esque winds and rapidly changing temperatures do on my lips. No matter how much I reapply my balms hour upon hour, I still end up with cracked and dry lips.

This season, I’m armed with a new lip trio that may help keep my lips smooth and moist throughout the crazy weather changes. Eminence sent me its lip trio to try for an upcoming magazine piece I put together on best lip balms. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it — it’s such a treat to exfoliate, mask and balm my lips. Kiss off, old man winter!

eminence lip trio

{Just as you give your face a good scrub, mask and lotion, you should do the same for your lips! The skin is more delicate and sensitive and could use a little extra TLC.}

The first step in the Eminence Lip Trio is a citrus enzyme lip exfoliator. It’s a tingly gel that helps slough away dead skin cells and reveal a more plump pout (at least for about an hour after you apply it). Just leave it on for 10 minutes and let it work its magic! Then dab it off with a damp cloth.

The second step in the Eminence Lip Trio is the lip comfort plumping masque. Made with shea butter and avocado oil, it’s a thicker mask that pumps lots of moisture and peptides into the lips, adding a bit more volume to the lips (again, temporary). Leave this step one for 10 minutes and then dab off with a damp cloth.

The third step in the Eminence Lip Trio is the citrus lip balm. Sunflower seed oil, shea butter and beeswax coat the lips in comforting hydration while a sprinkle of paprika — yes, that paprika — in the balm helps keep the lips looking Angelina-esque after every application.

So, for about 20 minutes on a Sunday and $60 out of your wallet, you can help protect your pout against the elements this winter. I’ve done this treatment twice and loved it both times. It’s the newest addition to my Sunday pampering ritual that I hope proves to be worth the effort as the thermostat continues to drop.

What do you do to keep your kisser calm? Is a lip treatment system a little crazy? What do my beauty addicts out there think? Leave me a comment in the comments section.

November 14, 2011

beauty scoop | h. gillerman organics clear mind tension remedy

I regularly fall victim to the afternoon slump. At about 3:00, I feel tired, achy and spent after going from meeting to meeting or after hammering out stories and edits at my desk all day.

To help tackle desk drain (in addition to grabbing a much-needed beer), I clear my mind and try to ease up the knots that develop in my shoulders by rubbing in some H. Gillerman Organics Clear Mind Tension Remedy. The peppermint tingle has a cooling effect on both my head and my body, and I like the relaxing calm I feel after inhaling the aromas.

hope gillerman organics clear mind tension remedy

{H. Gillerman Organics sent me this little bottle of magic to review. Photo Courtesy H. Gillerman Organics}

I like the portability of this little 8mL dropper bottle — but the price is a bit steep ($48!). However, it’s made with certified organic ingredients (lavenden super, a hybrid of lavender vera and spike lavender, and peppermint) and bears the USDA organic seal of approval.

Because it’s made with potent, pure essential oils designed to calm your senses yet stimulate your nerves, it doesn’t take much — a couple drops for your shoulders — to get the full effect and maximize your bottle of sanity. I’ve been sharing this bottle of goodness with my fellow editors, and it seems to be a hit. Just be aware that our section of the office does get a bit minty at this time of day!

How do you get through the 3:00 slump? Are beer and beauty products involved? Tell me how you deal with it in the comments section.

November 9, 2011

let it snow | color blocking with china glaze holiday 2011 nail polish collection

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not endorsing the name of China Glaze’s holiday 2011 nail polish campaign. I’m getting whiny about 40-degree highs and rain, so you don’t want to know what I think about “letting it snow.”

china glaze holiday 2011 let it snow nail polish

{China Glaze sent me its new holiday 2011 collection to test as part of my freelance beauty editing gig. Photo Courtesy China Glaze}

However, I do think very nice things about China Glaze’s holiday 2011 “Let it Snow” nail polish collection, and while I’m still making my way through testing all the new colors, I’ve found that the most-efficient way to see these pretty, sparkly hues on my fingertips is to color block my nails.

On Monday, Kristina over at beancakes posted a sweet DIY nail polish color-blocking tutorial that got me excited to maximize my nail polish-testing efficiency. Be sure to click on over to beancakes to get the full how-to and dig through some of Kristina’s creative blog posts.

I chose to use China Glaze’s “Champagne Bubbles,” a gold, lightly glittered polish, as my base on which to block. I added a modest block of China Glaze “Holly Day,” a pine-green shade, to my ring fingers for a Green Bay Packers-esque look — with a bit of fabulous, of course.

My take on color-blocking was a bit more lazy relaxed, as I only blocked my ring fingers because I was unsure of how I’d like the look on my own nails.

china glaze let it snow champagne bubbles holly-day

{I should have made my color block a bit thicker to differentiate it from being a colored-French mani, but I'll get it right next time.}

Well, I’m adding some more color blocks to the other nails, so I definitely love this funky look. You can find updated pictures on my Facebook page later today.

What do you think of the color-blocking trend? Does it translate well to nails? More importantly, who wants to come over and have a mani/pedi party with me?

November 7, 2011

britney-inspired fingernails

Thanks to a freelance beauty editing project, I’ve been collecting lots of nail polishes lately. Of the new polishes I have, the first test run I’ve done on my fingertips was inspired by the one and only (former?) pop goddess, Miss Britney Spears.

As risque as it was, Brit’s glitter body suit from the “Toxic” video secretly made me wish I were a pop star. Nothing like a few strategically placed sparkles and a lion growl, eh?

britney spears glitter body suit toxic video

{Photo Courtesy Jive Records}

To wear this look without getting fired, I decided to pair Zoya’s “Minka,” a milky-beige polish, with butter London’s “Tart with a Heart” to achieve the Britney-esque skin-tone sparkle that every little girl and boy from the late 90s and early 00s dreams about every night.

zoya minka and butter london tart with a heart

{Milky beige and shell pink sparkles make the perfect pair to channel your inner Britney.}

I first applied a base coat followed by two thin coats of Zoya’s Minka to my nails. The color is a creamy, metallic finish polish, so you have to be wary of streaking. I rarely do my own fingernails because I’m just not as skilled of a painter as I could be, so my results aren’t optimal. See your local manicurist for a better turnout.

zoya minka

{I like that this polish is a solid match with my olive skin tone, but I wish I had a slower hand to apply it perfectly. Next time my manicurist will be doing this for me.}

Anyone can get naked nails, but to really Brit it up, your best bet is to add a layer of a legit Brit — butter London from England — to your nails. “Tart with a Heart” is from butter London’s holiday 2011 collection and boasts a massive, fine-grain sparkle.

butter london tart with a heart fairy lights the black knight holiday 2011 collection

{From left, Tart with a Heart; Fairy Lights; and The Black Knight}

I started off coating just my ring finger (party nail!), but decided to go ahead and transform all 10 into dancing Britney tips for eye-catching, nontoxic nails (Zoya and butter London are big-three free — toxins toluene, formaldehyde and DBP).

party nail

{The party started on my ring fingers, but quickly spread to the other eight after assessing the situation.}

What big three-free nail polishes do you love? What are your favorite colors this fall and holiday season? Who or what inspires your weekly manicures? Any requests for “inspired by” nails? Leave me a comment in the comments section!

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