The Happy & Quickie Manicure

October 21, 2012 in Hair & Nails

D.I.Y. Manicure in half the time it takes to hit your local nail salon.

Manicure tips

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10-Step Guide to Perfect Makeup

September 2, 2012 in Featured, Makeup

10-step guide to perfect makeup

Even a basic, simple look requires 10 steps.



Moisturizing is the key to achieving a fresh-looking finished look, and is also a very important part of keeping skin healthy. Always begin with a lightweight eye cream to ensure that under-eye concealer goes on smoothly and evenly. Moisturizing before applying makeup creates the perfect base for makeup to apply smoothly. For normal skin, use a lightweight moisturizing lotion. For dry skin, use a rich hydrating cream or balm. For oily skin, use an oil-free formula that hydrates and helps control oil production. 

Step one. Corrector/Concealer

First, neutralize darkness with a pink- or peach- toned corrector. Using a brush, apply the chosen corrector color to the deepest or darkest are to prepare for concealer. (sometimes you can stop at corrector if you feel the coverage is enough. Next, choose a yellow-based shade of concealer and layer this over the corrector underneath the eyes. Using a concealer brush, apply underneath the eye up to the lash line and on the innermost corner of the eye. Blend by patting with your finger. Under-eye concealer should be one to two shades lighter than your skin tone. If the concealer looks ashy, it is too light. If it looks very yellow, it is too dark. Concealer used to conceal blemishes on other areas of the face should make your skin color exactly. Using a concealer that is too light or too dark will draw more attention to the blemish. Lastly, you want to apply a pale yellow or white powder with a brush or puff onto the lighter concealer under your eye to set the concealer in place. 

Step Two. Foundation 

To match your perfect foundation shade, swatch a couple shades on the side of your face by your jaw line and on your forehead , and check the colors in natural light. The shade the seems to disappear is the right one. Using a brush, sponge, or your fingers to apply foundation where the skin needs to be evened out – around the nose and mouth where there is often redness. For full, all-over coverage, use a brush, sponge or your fingers to apply and blend foundation to the outer edges of the face. Then using a concealer the same color as your skin, spot-apply the concealer onto your blemishes and pat with your finger to blend. 

Step Three. Powder

For crease-free, long wear, apply a loose powder in a pale yellow tone (or white, if you a very fair) over concealer using an eye blender brush or a mini powder puff. Then using a correct shade for you skin, apply powder to the rest of your face using a powder puff or powder brush. If skin feels dry, dust powder only around the nose and forehead. 

Step Four. Blush

Give yourself a smile and apply a natural shade of blush on the apples of your cheeks. Blend up toward the hairline, then downward to soften the color. For long-lasting results, layer a pop of brighter blush on top. And if you want a little extra glow, dust a shimmer powder on cheekbones with a face blender brush, or use a creamy formula applied with your fingers. To add a warm tint to the skin, use a bronzer on areas where the sun normally hits the face – cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. 

Step Five. Lipstick 

Start with clean, smooth and moisturized lips. Neutral lipstick shades and sheer formulas can be applied directly from the tube. Use a lip brush to apply darker colors, which require precise application. The most flattering shades will either match or be slightly darker than your lips. 

Step Six. Lip Liner 

To achieve natural-looking definition and to keep color from feathering, line lips with a lip liner after applying lip color. Use a lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges. 

Step Seven. Brows 

Define browns using a shadow or pencil in the color of your eyebrows and hair. To apply shadow, begin at the inner most corner of the brow, and follow its natural shape using light, feathery strokes. Set unruly brown in place with a brow shaper. Fill in sparse areas or holes in the brow with an eye pencil. For the most natural look, layer powder shadow on top. 

Step Eight. Eye Shadow

Sweep a light, skin colored shadow color from the lash line to the brow bone. Dust a medium eye shadow color on the lower lid, up to the crease. Apply contour color if needed to fleshly part of lid as a correction and to add depth to eye. 

Step Nine. Eyeliner 

Line the upper lash line with a dark shadow color. Apply damp or dry. After lining the upper lash line, look straight ahead to see if there are any gaps that need filling in. If you also line the lower lash line, make sure the top and bottom lines meet at the outer corner of the eye and that the lower line if softer. 

Step Ten. Mascara 

Choose your mascara formula based on your needs and desired effect. Thickening mascara gives individual lashes a denser look and is ideal if you have a sparse lash line. For lashes that are enhanced but still natural looking, choose defining and lengthening mascaras. Waterproof mascara is good choice if you want long-lasting look or if your mascara tends to smudge. When applying mascara, hold the mascara wand parallel to the floor and brush from the base of the lashes to the tips. Roll the wand as your go to separate lashes and avoid clumps. Always apply two to three coats. If you choose to curl lashes, do so before applying mascara. Doing so after can break and damage the hairs. 

Then Viola! Your perfect makeup look is achieved. This may seem like a long, and over done process. But as you get use to the technique your apply time will cut down and this technique should save you from touch ups through out the day. 

Cuticle Care: The Do’s & Don’ts of Keeping Them Tamed

September 1, 2012 in Hair & Nails

Doctors forbid it, but manicurists persist: Cutting the cuticles makes fingers and toes look well-groomed, is it really so bad?

Cuticle Care: The Do's & Don'ts of Keeping Them Tamed

Even the boldest polish can’t distract from jagged, ragged cuticles. But grooming them can be tricky. Push back the cuticles too forcefully or cut them, and you can cause damage to the nail, potentially making a white spot or divot appear a few weeks later. Aggressively snipping cuticles can also lead to a swollen, painful infection, says Richard K. Scher, professor emertius of dermatology at Columbia University. He Suggests soaking hands in warm water to soften cuticles, then pushing them back with a damp washcloth. As for any bits of skin that pole out around the nails and practically beg to be picked, doctors say you can trim them – carefully. “First, wash your hands with antibacterial soap,” Says Mary P. Lupo, Clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans. Using sterile clippers (wipe them with alcohol before each use), nip (don’t pull) at the base of the skin. And then stop before you go too far. Finally, dab on an antibiotic ointment.

Luster Busters – The Saboteur & The Savior for Shiny Healthy Hair

August 28, 2012 in Featured, Hair & Nails

A few seemingly harmless habits could be sucking the life – and all that brilliant light – from your hair.

Luster Buster - Shiny Healthy Hair

The Saboteur: Your Shower

Sediment from your showerhead is damaging. “Mineral deposits and rust in your pipes dull hair like nobody’s business,” says colorist Kyle White of the Oscar Blandi salon.

The Savior: Vinegar

Twice a week, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and pour it over your hair after shampooing and conditioning. Wait five minutes, then rinse. The citric acid “removes all the mineral buildup” says white. For a speedier, less smelly alternative, Frederic Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo gets out the gunk in a single step.

The Saboteur: Careless Conditioning

If you rinse off conditioner seconds after you apply, you may as well have skipped it altogether – the proteins and lipids need time to penetrate the tiny holes and fissures in the hair shaft, says Teca Lewellyn, a P&G beauty scientist.

The Savior: Patience

“your conditioner can be thick or light – none of them hydrates instantly,” says Lewellyn. Leave it on for “two whole minutes,” says Mara Roszak, a celebrity hairstylist for Starworks Artists. “It may seem like an eternity, but that’s how long it takes to hydrate hair, especially the ends.” For fine hair, try Sebation Professional Trilliance conditioner; for thick, L’Oreal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourishing Masque.

The Saboteur: Soggy Styling

“Steam coming off your head is never a good sign,” says hairstylist Jen Atkin. In fact, using hot styling tools on wet hair doesn’t just damage strands – it scorches them. “Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Lewellyn. “The heat from a blow dryer is around 250 degrees, and a flatiron produces a temperature nearly twice that amount.” The sizzle you hear when you clamp down on wet  – or even toweled dried – hair is actually the water inside the shaft bubbling and expanding. “Under a microscope, you can see the buldges and holes where the water evacuated.”

The Savior: Hair Armor.

Lightly mist on a heat-protecting spray, such as Nexxus Pro Mend Heat Protection Styling Spray rather than a lotion, which is heavier and takes longer to dry. Blow dry hair when it’s damp, not wet, and wait for it to be 100 percent dry before flatironing, says Lewellyn.

The Saboteur: Sun Exposure

“There’s nothing like sun to leave your hair sad, drab, and brassy,” says White. In fact, 100 hours of direct sunlight inflicts the same amount of damage as keeping bleach on your hair for 30 minutes, says Lewellyn.

The Savior: SPF

Wear a hat or spritz on a UV filter before heading outdoors. “Leave-in products that contain benzophenone-3 or -4, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, polyquaternium-59, or cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride are effective in protecting hair.” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. We like Kerastase Soleli Huile Celeste.

The Saboteur: Shine-spray Overdose

The molecules inside silicone and argan oil – two common shine boosters – are unlikely to penetrate hair and can sit on top of it instead. “Eventually, those molecules for thin, water-repellent layers,” says Andre Puleo, a senior project scientist at Unilever. In other words, they’re like a rain jacket – deflecting the moisture that causes frizz, but also every other source of hydration. “Too much of the stuff can totally dry out your hair,” says Dove celebrity stylist Mark Townsend.

The Savior: Portion Control

“I don’t care how long or thick your hair is, a dime-size amount of serum is all it takes to bolster shine,” says Townsend, who recommends almond and coconut oils as nondrying alternatives to argan oil. Those with fine hair should use a lightweight leave-in conditioner, such as Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake, instead of a glossing product, to boost shine without dragging hair down.

The Saboteur: Tepid Tools

Lowering the temperature on your iron may seem like a prudent – even praiseworthy – move. In truth, it’s not such a hot idea. “Low settings won’t get the job done in one pass,” says hairstylist Robert Vasquez of the Garren New York salon. “Ironing the same piece over and over is murder on hair.”

The Savior: Higher Heat

“The key is to find the right temperature for your hair type,” says Lewellyn. A 425-degree setting will straighten thick, coarse strands – and singe fine ones, which only needs 300 to 325 degrees. “Play with a few settings to figure out which is the lowest one you can get away with,” says Lewellyn.

Article curtosey of Allure Magazine September 2012

10 Wonderfully Weird Hair & Nail Secrets

July 14, 2012 in Hair & Nails

Lets face it, women want to look great all the time, but that does not mean we enjoy the continuous process of trying to look good. Most of us will take all the help we can get, which is exactly why when I came across the article “10 Weird but Wonderful Hair & Nail secrets” on I knew I had to share it on my blog.

When you’re in a jam and desperate for hair or nail help, the perfect fix can come from some highly unexpected places. Whether you tore a nail and can’t get to the salon, need a manicure to dry fast, or forgot your curling iron before a big event, there’s slightly bizarre but excellent assistance for you when you keep reading.

  1. Weak or chip-prone digits?Dump a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic in your       basecoat. It strengthens nails really well (some people claim it also helps them grow faster) for a fraction of the price of drugstore nail hardeners.
  2. Want curls, but forgot your iron and rollers? Put a paper bag on your head. Seriously. “Paper bag” curls work on the same principle as rag curls. You just tear a big paper grocery bag into strips, then roll your towel-dried or slightly dampened hair up in them. You can sleep on them or, for faster results, blow-dry and then spritz with hair spray.
  3. Use Pam to set your manicure. In the old days, salons used mink oil (yech) to set manicures and help dry them. Now they have fancy hand dryers, but oil is still a good way to keep your nails from smudging or getting divots.
  4. Got oily hair and there’s no shampoo or powder in sight? Grab a packet of (plain) dry oatmeal. It absorbs oil just as well as dry shampoo or powder, and it’s easy to brush out.
  5. Hair dry and brittle? Here’s a trick from the Greatest Generation: use mayo as a hair mask. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers did it, and look how shiny their hair was. All jokes aside, the egg and oil in mayo make it a good strengthener and hydrator.
  6. Don’t peel off a chipped nail. If you can’t get to a salon, grab some fake nail glue. Using something small, sharp, and unlikely to flake off (like an orange stick, a toothpick, or the tip of a pin), swipe a tiny bit of glue into the crack, let it dry, and then paint over it with a base coat and polish if you have it.
  7. Need more shine without the product? If shine spray weighs down your hair too much, or you just don’t have any available, rinse your hair with vinegar while you’re in the shower, leave it on for three to five minutes while you’re shaving, washing up, etc., and then rinse it out with cool water when you’re done.
  8. Another fast shine fix? Dip your hair in ice water. The cold seals your hair’s cuticle, making it look smoother and more reflective. Just don’t dip your scalp in and give yourself brain freeze.
  9. Static in the air got your hair looking like you just touched a Van der Graaf generator? Swipe a dryer sheet across the offending hairs to tamp down flyaways. It reduces static in your hair the same way it does in your towels.
  10. Dreaded nail fungus got you keeping your feet and hands hidden? Try putting Vicks VapoRub on your hands and feet before you go to bed, then wear gloves and socks over it. It should take about six to eight weeks to alleviate most of the effects of the fungus, although it may not kill it altogether.

  XOXO, Tati