cuticle oil

#OperationNailGrowth

I’m currently in the process of growing my nails out. Woof.

This time last year, I had some serious claws – and I miss them!!

Sometimes, I can't even believe that these were are mine!!
Sometimes, I can’t even believe that these were mine!! Loved the almond shape.

I go back and forth between wanting long nails & super short nails. I’ve had baby nails for a couple months now, so I’m currently longing for some growth. 🙂

Being cursed with thin & weak nails, the *only* way for me to see serious growth is via gel manicures. These manicures last me [a week, minimum] & do a great job at preventing nearly all splitting or breakage. SO, a gel mani was in order…

Current mani: Gelish "Garden Teal Party"
I opted for Gelish “Garden Teal Party”

QUICK SIDE NOTE: I tweeted a photo of my mani last the weekend & got some social media love from Gelish [so fun]! At least they think my nails look amazing. 😉

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Since I’m trying to make my manicures last  as long as possible during these growing pains, I’ve been using my little manicure-lasting trick…

I’ve been able to prove time & time again, that if I paint over my gel manicure with regular polish, the mani lasts at least twice as long.

I was really loving my Garden Teal Party and wanted to paint over it with a similar shade. I recently had these polishes delivered in my Julep Maven boxes…

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Julep – Tazeen & Lissa. LOVE!

The teal was exactly the color that I was looking for, but I was dying to use this amazing full coverage glitter as well – so I opted for an accent nail on my ring finger. Stupid me wasn’t paying close attention while I was painting my second hand and I painted right over my ring finger with the teal. SO, I compromised & made my index finger on my right hand the accent nail. I can’t say that the mis-match has been bothering much!

picstitch

Here’s to hoping this mani lasts me another week! Come onnnnnn long nailllllllsss!

In the meantime, I’ll continue to drench them in cuticle oil every hour. 🙂

Sally Hansen, of course - my all time favorite oil!
Sally Hansen, of course – my all time favorite oil!

What do you do to help grow your nails out?

Any tips?

 

 XOX

Phytophanere Hair & Nails Vitamins

I recently became super frustrated with my slow-growing nails & decided to try something new! During the warmer months my nails grow significantly faster & stronger. In the colder Fall/Winter months…not so much.

I tweeted something about my impatient-ness & got a super convincing reply!

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 11.59.22 AMSo what did I do? Ordered those suckers.

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Phytophanere Hair & Nails Vitamins – available at Sephora.

They run you about $60 for a 2 month supply. 120 pills per bottle – 2 pills/day.

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They look like oily coffee beans & have a hint of a chocolatey(?) smell to them. They go down easy – no overpowering odor or texture.

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I read dozens of reviews and they all seemed to be pretty amazing! Tons of reports of stronger, longer & thicker hair & nails. Some people claim it took as little as 1 week to see a noticeable difference, while others saw significant results after four months. Regardless, all reviews strongly recommend sticking with it & taking them daily.

I started taking these pills two weeks ago & can’t say that I have noticed a huge difference just yet, but I am hopeful. I didn’t exactly start with the shortest of nails or hair. (My apologies in advance for not taking better tracking photos).

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After 1 week taking Phytos. (I’m trying to get my nails back to square after another stint with the almond-shape)
After 2 weeks taking Phytos.
After 2 weeks taking Phytos. (I’m wearing Gelish “I’m No Stranger to Love” from the Under Her Spell Fall collection)
After 3 weeks of taking phytos. A tiny corner of one nail broke over the weekend so I had to file them down a bit :( but you can see the growth in the nail bed.
After 3 weeks of taking phytos. A tiny corner of one nail broke over the weekend so I had to file them down a bit 🙁 but you can see the growth in the nail bed. (Still wearing the same gelish polish as week two.)

I see some growth, but not an outstanding amount just yet.

And of course, I’ve been cuticle-oiling like crazy. Especially with the colder weather – my cuticles and hands get very dry.

My current favorites are my go-to Sally Hansen Vitamin E oil & Lush Lemony Flutter which I recently picked up (smells like PEZ! So good).
My current favorites are my go-to Sally Hansen Vitamin E oil & Lush’s Lemony Flutter which I recently picked up. It smells like PEZ candies is works wonders for dry hands!

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my Phytos experiment! Check back soon!

Has anyone ever tried Phytos vitamins? What did you think? How were your results?

Favorite Summer Products

Living in New England, we have the luxury of experiencing four completely different seasons. While I’m definitely not one to smile at the thought of snow, I must admit – in some weird way, I do look forward to it every year. Each season means something different to me, and last year I began a few  traditions to fully embrace each one. However, my main rule is no jumping the gun! Meaning, it may finally be September, but if I’m still wearing sundresses & sandals – it’s too early for a pumpkin spice coffee & apple picking!

With that said, it is inevitable that Summer is slowly coming to an end, and I’ve begun cleaning out my closet, bedroom, and my makeup drawers to prepare for all of the amazingness that is Fall! In doing so, I’ve come across quite a few empty products that served me so well this season, and I wanted to share! So without further ado, here are some of my…

summer faves

airbrush
Airbrush Legs Makeup. I discovered these products over a year ago & still swear by them! They can be found in any drugstore, Walmart, Target, etc. and they range in price from about $10-$15. They give the best instant tan! Just make sure that you are applying in the bathroom to avoid any messes.
arbonne
Arbonne Made in the Shade Self-Tanner. My Aunt had purchased this and wasn’t much of a fan, so she gave it to me. I totally lucked out, because not only did I find this stuff to be amazing, this bottle usually retails for about $30! It’s not instant, but I would shower & exfoliate before bed and then apply, never failing to wake up in the morning with the best sun-kissed glow! I rarely spend so much on a product, but I nearly used this entire bottle and will SURELY be purchasing another one very soon!
cc scrub
Clean & Clear Deep Clean Action Exfoliating Scrub ($5-$6 in most drugstores). I fell in love with this face wash in college & have swapped it in and out of my beauty routines throughout the year. This Summer, it was my go-to! I definitely prefer face washes with some kind of scrub or exfoliant in them, I feel like it helps to clean out my pores of all makeup residue. This wash in particular leaves your face feeling cool & totally refreshed.
coil
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil (About $6 at any drugstore) By now you SHOULD know that I am a cuticle oil junkie. I stash bottles, pens, and balms at my desk, in my purse, by my bed and everywhere in-between. I love to keep this oil at work because it’s easiest applied when sitting. I’ll coat my nails every hour or so, and it helps to keep nails/cuticles super hydrated & strong. I went through 2 bottles this Summer!
jergens
Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer. (About $8-$10 at any drugstore). While I am not a huge Jergens fan, mainly because of that lingering odor, this firming lotion smells & works amazing! It has almost a birthday cake/vanilla icing scent to it. If I really wanted some deep color, I would apply it at night mixed with the Arbonne spray above.
lotion
Sally Hansen Nails & Cuticles Hand Creme ($5-$6 at any drugstore). I always have hand lotion on me – and this one is great to keep in toe. Anything that moisturizes & is beneficial for your nails is A-OK in my book.
masclotion
Maybelline Falsies Flared Volum’ Express Mascara ($6-$7 at any drugstore) AMAZING mascara! I have naturally long lashes & am usually not phased by any mascara, but this stuff is incredible! I’ve already picked up two more tubes. CVS Brand Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($8-$9) SPF in your lotion is key for the Summer. This lotion is a dupe of a Neutrogena product & works just as well. I have combo skin, and this balances it just perfectly. I recently picked up another bottle for Fall 🙂
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NYC Appleicious Glossy Lip Balm ($2-$4 at drugstore) these are my new favorite lip balms! Super moisturizing & add just enough color & shimmer. I just finished my second one. I tried the Chocolate Apple & Big Apple Red flavors.
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Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer – Aloe fresh ($6-$9 at drugstore) Saved the best for last! This is a quick, convenient, continuous-spray lotion that moisturizes deeply and absorbs instantly. Leaves your skin soft & not the least bit greasy. I could not swear by this product any more – so amazing for Summer when moisturizing is at an all time high. I literally took it with me everywhere!

Phew. That seemed like quite the list, but I was really impressed with each and every one of these products!

Have you tried any of my Summer Faves? What products were you loving this year? Let me know! 🙂

Holiday Manicures

‘Tis the season for some holiday manicures! While there are fabulous polish colors all around, I have narrowed it down and selected my top 8:

HolidayPolishes

1: Nicole by OPI –  Marooned in Paradise

2: Orly – Wandering Vine

3: Color Club – Platinum Record

4: Essie – Good As Gold

5: Essie – Too Too Hot

6: Sephora – Only Gold For Me

7: Zoya – Raven

8: China Glaze – White On White

Now before you get to painting, I have a few tips on how to make your holiday manicures not only look great, but last all season long!

1) Keep your nails short: Between all of the shopping, wrapping, baking & decorating, your nails are likely to take a hit. By by keeping them short & filed with a rounded or squoval shape, you’re less likely to suffer any splitting, cracks or breakage.

Shortnails

2) Moisturize:  As you know, I am a HUGE fan of cuticle oil – especially in the winter!

applying manicure, moisturizing and nutrition

The cold weather tends to make our nails more brittle, and our cuticles more dry. Use an oil or balm on your nails & beds regularly as well as a hand lotion. Take advantage of the yummy holiday scents!

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3) Consider Gel: I usually always have a Gelish gel manicure, but if you don’t typically get them, consider splurging during the holidays! It will hold strong for all of your Christmas festivities and right through New Years!

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What is your all time favorite polish color to wear during the holiday season?

Exclusive Interview with Gelish!

I am very excited about this post, and if you are a Gelish fanatic like me, you will be to! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to connect with the lovely Irene Chao, a seasoned beauty industry expert working in the PR department at Hand & Nail Harmony (ahh-such a dream job)! She was truly the sweetest woman; so friendly, and excited to talk with me.  I asked if she’d be interested in answering some questions for my blog and she was more than willing to participate. Check out the brief interview below!
1) Can you give us a brief introduction about who you are, how long you’ve been working at Gelish, and a little bit about your job? 
  My name is Irene and I’ve been at Gelish for a little over a month now, but my background is in the beauty industry. I previously spent 6 years working in the PR department at another beauty manufacturer in southern California.

2) I know why I love Gelish products, but what do you think sets the line apart from competing gel polish brands (ex: Shellac, OPI Axxium, etc.)?
A lot of people might not know this, but Gelish is the first brush-in bottle gel polish ever invented! The US and International patent-pending formulation proves that fact. Gelish offers up many unique colors including glitters and neons. We currently have 106 Gelish colors in total! This is the most offered by any gel-polish company out there.
So many gorgeous colors! (Credit)

3) What is the most popular Gelish product? What is the most popular Gelish color?
Some of our most popular colors include Gelish Sheek White, which is great on its own; but it’s also perfect for nail art .
I love Gelish’s Sleek White for my french manicures! 🙂
Gelish Good Gossip is also very popular, because really…who can say no to glittery-red gel polish?
Good Gossip
Gelish Gossip Girl is a fun, bright pink that is also very popular. The most popular Gelish product is actually Gelish NOURISH, which is a cuticle oil that rehydrates and restores essential oils in cuticles and skin surrounding the nail. It smells amazing and works like a charm!

4) Is Gelish going to be releasing any new polishes in the near future? Maybe a Fall collection? If so, what can we expect?
Yes…There will be a new collection for Fall, so be on the lookout for that!  There will be 8, brand new fall-inspired colors that will compliment any wardrobe!
Hopefully we see some some darker warm and cool colors (deep browns, purples, blues, reds, greens!) I’m already a huge fan of their Bella’s Vampire!

5) I work in PR, and it would be my dream to work for a major nail polish company one day. What is it like working for Gelish? Do you enjoy daily, desk-side manicures? 😉
Unfortunately there’s not much time for desk-side manicures, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing company. The people here are wonderful and I truly believe in the product. It doesn’t get any better than this!
(Credit)

I learned so much about Gelish from Irene! I didn’t realize that they were the first brush-in-bottle polish, or that they even sold a cuticle oil (you all know how much I love my cuticle oil); Irene offered to send me a bottle and I honestly cannot wait to try it! I’m also dying to see this Fall collection!

It must be so fun working with nail polish behind the scenes-what an amazing job! Sending major thanks to Irene for talking with me- it was a pleasure!

Have you tried any of the Gelish polishes or products? Let me know your favorites! 🙂

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