Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five Finger Discount

Few things earn more compliments than well-polished hands and toes. It's hard to believe, but it's true. Chipped nails can ruin even the most beautifully put together outfits, while a gorgeous burgundy nail can really increase the value of a casual shirt and jeans combo.

I am a firm believer that a manicure/pedicure is one of the true pleasures that all girls should treat themselves to on a regular basis--but there are occasions when schedules and/or wallets do not permit spending an hour or $45 on your hands and feet. It is these instances that require an especially great at-home arsenal of tips and products to reproduce the effect of your favorite salon.

Full disclosure: I have not gone a day without some sort of toe-polish since age 11. I have no idea what my unpainted foot even looks like, and I think it's best to leave it that way. Here are some standout colors that are worth a purchase:

For a timeless red:
OPI-Oui Bit of Red
When you need a hot pink moment: OPI-You're a Pisa Work
Barely-there light pinky peach: Essie-Pop Art Pink
Bold baby pink: Essie-Fiji
Saucy deep purple: OPI-Marooned on the Magnificent Mile
Perfect clear topcoat: Sally Hansen-Mega Shine

Most polishes have a life-span of less than a year, so toss any bottles that have become gloppy and hard to use. These will only make you angry you didn't shell out the funds for a proper salon appointment. Who needs lunch this week anyway?

For smooth and beautiful feet and heels you might as well buy the Ped Egg (yes, the one from TV, it really does work) and a tube of Kerasal (clear repairing ointment).

As far as the at-home process is concerned, you know the drill. Remove all polish with a non-acetone remover and cotton balls (or a dryer sheet for dark colors). Trim nails to as equal a length as you have patience for and file in long sweeping motions. For painting: use less than you think for each nail starting with the center and finishing with two small strokes on the sides. When your color is dry-ish, brush each pretty tip with a nice clear top coat in hopes of replicating a salon-shiny finish. Even a clear topcoat on its own can make your hands look clean and loved. Perfect!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

HeadBand Wagon

Here's the skinny regarding headbands: they look good on e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e. Short hair, long hair, bangs, thin hair, curly hair, it matters not! Headbands are a loyal accessory that will be true to you and won't leave you hangin'. (Unless they create that pinching ache behind your ears, at which point you are on your own).

I've got a few tricks for two different headband-centric looks that will earn you some attention.

First: I suggest finding a really comfortable black or solid-colored headband that is medium-sized in width. Price doesn't matter here-if you find one that is $6 and it feels good, buy two! You want a bit of volume behind the headband-to do this you can either try a bit of backcombing for the experienced teaser OR flip your head over and hairspray your hair near the crown/hairline. Stay upside down for a minute and then flip back over and very lightly comb down anything that looks overtly messy. Now place headband where it feels and looks great. Poof!

Look No. 2 favors a more dressy headpiece. A jeweled or metallic headband is a surprising and fun go-to item for an evening outfit. Brides, are you listening? I am not suggesting anything vulgar or over the top. Something thin and shiny with a bit of sparkle is just enough. No tiaras here folks. Wear this for evening or even with a teased ponytail. Use a flat paddle brush and tease a bit of the underside of your ponytail to give it a bit of oomph. Just try it. Hint-this technique works especially well with dirty hair as previously discussed in the Powder Room installation.

P.S. Both headbands shown can be found at Nordstroms. L. Erickson makes the most beautiful and comfortable bands.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Please pass the 'Mints

Giving a compliment is almost as good as receiving one. It is important to stop and give someone a shout out if you spot them wearing a cute dress or a great pair of shoes. An honest compliment only takes a minute and can make someone's afternoon.

When giving a compliment it's best to keep it short, sweet and specific. If you love the red shoes the girl has on in line at the bank, say so. Anyway, sending yourself good compliMINT karma is never a bad thing.

In the spirit of all things good and stylish (karma-wise) I present this fabulous gift that will earn any special gal a wealth of compliMINTS. Trust me, someone would love to get this fun and beautiful bracelet from y-o-u.

Surely you know of someone with a birthday coming up, or maybe you feel like being proactive about your holiday list? Either way, this 22-karat gold charmer by Kenneth Jay Lane is sure to warrant your recipient some notice and earn you a lovely and heartfelt Thank-You note at the very least.