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2012 Fall Favorites

Fall is one of my favorite times of year…the colors, smells, food, and fashion- to die! Not so lucky for us on the East Coast, this Fall has been aggressively interrupted by Hurricane Sandy, and most recently this friendly little Nor’easter named Athena. While my state, and town are currently buried in fresh white snow, I wanted to bring it back and remember that regardless of what we may feel…winter is not here yet!

To help get back in the mind set, I picked out some of my absolute favorite things about Fall 2012 thus far- enjoy!

Fall nailpolish! This has been a favorite of mine this season: Essie Bordeaux
This manicure is two coats of Gelish “Sweet Chocolate” with two coats of Essie “Bordeaux” on top. I’m in love with the pairing!
Transitional season jackets! I love this black leather one that I picked up at Marshalls a couple of years ago!
Candles! I burn candles year round, but the Fall scents are my favorites. My go-to’s are Vanilla, Pecan Pie, Fresh Baked Cookies, and Pumpkin Spice πŸ™‚
My midnight snack: Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt. I am obsessed with their Blueberry Vanilla Graham flavor!
Halloween! This is one of my favorite days of the year! I usually like to get super creative, but kept it simple this year. Here’s the funny thing about our costumes: my boyfriend has to grow his hair out, one night we were playing around with it and he looked JUST like Danny Zuko! So we thought it’d be fun to dress up as Sandy & Danny for Halloween. Before you know it, we were about to get hit with Hurricane Sandy & everyone decided to dress the same in honor of the storm! I didn’t even really care for the costume, we did it all for his hair- which he barely ended up styling LOL. So you’ve heard it here: I did not dress up in honor of Hurricane Sandy, I dressed up to compliment my boyfriends locks!
Belts! I love adding a belt to a plain pair of slacks or around a simple sweater!
My Louis Vuitton πŸ™‚ I got this bag last year & it is so special for many reasons! I carried it right up until the beginning of Spring last year, and then packed it up until Fall- in my opinion it’s far too seasonal to carry throughout the summer! Ever since, I have been itching to take it out again. I think that sometime this week I’ll transfer everything & start carrying it again!
Bath & Body Works Paris Amour hand lotion, Gelish NOURISH cuticle oil, Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing “Fearless” Gloss, and a Revlon nail file. These three items are crucial, the lotion & oil I use at least a dozen times per day- my hands and nails get very dry once the weather starts to get chilly. I must have them on me (in my purse) at all times. πŸ˜‰
Seasonal phone wallpaper. It seems silly, but I always change my phone background with the seasons, holidays, etc. I had a colorful Fall scene for a while, but I just changed it to this gorgeous photo once the snow started coming down today! I know it’s borderline Winter, but I found it on Google a while ago & have been dying to use it. (I believe it was shot by Madeline Bea Photography– she has gorgeous work!)
Big, cozy sweaters! I bought this wrap from H & M in 2007 and still adore it πŸ™‚
Family dinners: Fall is all about cooking! I spent last weekend cooking a mini Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my Mama. Nothing I love more than spending time with my family πŸ™‚
Everything APPLE! My Apple Crisp pie is hands down my favorite Fall recipe (and always a crowd pleaser!) I’ve already baked two this season & plan on making at least a couple more. Let me know if I should post the recipe!
Half/Oval/Mini-Stiletto Nails: I decided to try a completely new nail shape. I attempted this look almost a year ago & hated it! I decided to give it another shot except this time around I used a different filing technique & am currently in love with these nails! As they slowly grow longer, the pointier I’m able to shape them πŸ™‚ (Polish = Gelish “Black Cherry Berry”)

Those are just a few of my favorite things this season! What are you loving about Fall this year? Let me know πŸ™‚

How-To: At Home Gel Manicures

I am a devout gel mani enthusiast and regularly do them at home. People are always asking me where I get my nails done and are surprised to learn that I do them myself. It is SO much easier than you’d think. Those contemplating buying a kit for home, I would highly suggest it. I wanted to share just how easy it is with my step by step tutorial:

(Just a heads up- I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. Gel manicures consist of a base coat, nail color, and top coat. Mixing products is not totally taboo)

(My friend Stephanie sent this to me! ^ I died when I saw it, I had to share :))

Okay, so here are my nails at the start. I had experimented with tips the week before so they were looking pretty rough to begin with…

1) Using a buffing cube and nail file- buff and shape your nails until they are smooth on top and have your desired shape/look.

2) There is a clear, liquid solution that is applied to your nails before you begin applying any polish- it helps dry out the nail so the gel will adhere (I apologize, I forgot to photograph it-nothing too exciting lol).

3) Base coat. This is a Gelish Mini Foundation base coat- apply a thin layer to all nails on your first hand without touching the surrounding skin or cuticles.

4) Cure nails in the UV light for about a minute.

*TIP* Don’t touch your nails with anything but the polish brushes throughout the manicure until they are completely done, beacuse they will be tacky each time they come out of the UV light.

5) Paint your first coat of color onto all five nails, again making sure to refrain from touching the edges of your nails or cuticles. I chose to use “Exhale” a Gelish Mini color.

6) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

7) Apply second coat of color.

8) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

9) Apply a thin layer of clear gel top coat. I use the OPI Axxium top coat.

10) Cure for 2 minutes.

11) Spray all 5 nails with the nail cleansing solution to help remove any tacky-sticky residue. I use the NAS-99 nail cleanser that comes with the OPI Axxium starter kit.

12) Rub each nail with a cotton ball to remove the solution and tackiness.

13) Repeat steps 1-12 on your second hand.

And there you have it! Your nails are 100% dry, super shiny, and should last for about 2 weeks!

If you have a steady hand and like to do your own manicures, I would highly suggest investing in your own gel manicure system, it is definitely affordable and worth every penny! πŸ™‚

Does anyone else do their own nails at home?

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post last Friday and waited a week to share so I would have an updated picture. Here are my nails this morning… 8 days later πŸ™‚

They are still flawless, but I’m so tempted to paint them a new color! Decisions, decisions πŸ™‚

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