Nail Art: Minimalist Valentine’s Day

I’m not entirely sure this qualifies as nail art but I’m going to count it anyway. I saw something similar to this look in an article about the nails of NY Fashion Week and decided to give it a go. The look is basically an asymmetrical black french manicure which leaves all but the tip of the nail au naturale. The asymmetrical edge makes the look more interesting (and makes it clear it’s nail art as opposed to dirt stuck under your nails). This being Valentine’s Day, I decided to sneak a simple little red heart on an accent nail, which amounts to the sum total of effort I put into celebrating this year.

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I ended up really liking how this turned out. It’s creative without being crazy and Valentine’s themed without being sickly. I think the black would look cool layered over colored polish too, something like Marc Jacob’s Gatsby would up the cool factor while keeping it girly.

P.s. I almost called this look “Edgy Valentine’s Day” because of the black tips which are just SO crazy alternative and badass.

…Can you tell I was a nerd in high school?

PRODUCTS USED

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen (black) – the felt-tip end on this little number made creating the tips much easier. The water-based formula is considerably thinner than your standard nail polish; however, so it will seep into any rough edges or tears along the tip of your nail. This could potentially become a non-issue if you seal the edges of your nail with a base coat beforehand.

*update. This formula doesn’t have the best staying power, even with a top coat, about 50% of the black had worn away after three days.

Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen – I was disappointed by this product. The white, highlighter-esque tip of the pen immediately gets stained and did more to thin and spread errant polish than clean it up. I ended up switching to a detail brush dipped in remover.

Essie Size Matters – I used this shade to create the accent hearts. This is just an ultimate red polish: classic, vibrant, and sexy.

Seche Vite – This top coat needs no introduction. A cult favorite among beauty fans for its thick formula, high shine finish, and super fast dry time.

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Product Review: L’Oreal Color Riche Nail Lingerie

Please believe me when I say I had no idea these were called “Nail Lingerie” until I sat down to write this review. The actual design name is no better – “Bling Addict.” Who knew nails could be such tarts?

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Anyway, I’ve never tried nail stickers like these before. I was always afraid they’d either be too difficult to apply or tacky looking. Plus, most of the designs I’ve seen weren’t really my taste. Apparently my nails were feeling saucy last week, however, because I finally decided to pick up a set to test. I went with Bling Addict because the design was fairly subtle, and one that would layer interestingly over colored polish. I ended up going for OPI’s “Moon Over Mumbai,” a soft dove gray that kept the look feminine without being too girly.

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The set comes with 18 stickers, increasing gradually in size so that most people should be able to find the right size sticker for each nail. Application was surprisingly easy, the hardest bit was actually getting the sticker off the plastic in the first place. You simply peel it off, center it over your nail and press down firmly, smoothing it down until you hit the end of your nail. The directions tell you to then fold it down over the tip of your nail and file away the excess. Having tried it, however, I can say that a nail file is a remarkably ineffective tool against a sticker. I found the best thing to do was trim along the edge of the nail using nail clippers or scissors to create a clean line.

I’ll admit that while I did spend an inordinate of time staring at my nails over the next couple days, I ultimately wasn’t a fan. The ends of my nails were slightly sticky and would catch on my hair when I ran my fingers through it. They also got slightly dirty looking and started to peel around the tips. Perhaps using a top coat would help alleviate the issue but it was driving me so crazy that I peeled them off while waiting for the subway after barely two days. I’d potentially use them again for a party or a costume but they’d only be on for one evening. Ain’t nobody got time for sticky nails.

$8.95/18 stickers

Image Credit: Walgreens.com, Full Coverage Beauty

Product Review: Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer

Damn you Marc Jacobs for being such an overachiever. As if being one of the most celebrated minds in fashion wasn’t enough, now you’ve gone and invaded the beauty scene.

He’s launched a huge line of products in drool-worthy packaging that makes even the most focused of shoppers just have to investigate. The combination of trendy colors, sleek package design, and rave reviews gets right past a girl’s financial firewalls. I’ve never been one to pay for high end nail polish, the fanciest I usually get is Essie. When you can buy perfectly good nail polish in the drugstore, I’ve never been tempted to load up on bottles of high end stuff. But I broke my rule and splurged on a new varnish from Marc Jacobs. To justify the $18 I knew I had to pick a color I hadn’t seen before and ended up torn between Petra (a bronzey, chocolatey brown with gold and silver shimmer) and Gatsby (a metallic champagne pink with a kick-ass name). My decision was made for me when I saw Gatsby was totally sold out. Petra it is!

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First impressions? Holy pigmentation, Batman. This is a seriously one coat polish. It was the same with Gatsby. Two coats honestly isn’t necessary, it’s the perfect polish for days when you have about 3 mins to get your nails painted and be out the door. The formula is smooth, easy to work with, and dries quickly. The staying power is decent, it lasted 3/4 days with a top coat before it started to show wear around the tips of my nails. As promised, it packs a great shine even without a top coat and about three different people have already asked what nail color I was wearing – Petra for the win. The color range is awesome (24 shades already!) It’s an amazing mix of classic, super trendy, and totally unique.

Bravo, Marc. Something tells me I’ll be sneaking a couple more of these beauties into my collection in the near future.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of a treat, definitely check these out! Or if you find yourself in need of a sneaky manicure and are close to a Sephora…one coat polish is all I’m sayin’.

$18 at Sephora

Image Credit: Sephora.com