Photo Credit: The Charu Polish
More than ever, customizable bespoke items are taking center stage in beauty from hair color to nail polish.
British brands have taken nail couture up a notch (we’ve always loved Ciate) and now Nails Inc. presents a luxury nail must have in the form of its Couture range. It’s bespoke at its finest, just like the suits you’ll find at the British Saville Row. It’s also affordable.
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Basically the Couture by Nails Inc. allows you to pick your color, packaging, and label for a personalized presentation, all for $20!!. Just think of the possibilities in terms of shower gifts, hostess gifts, or holiday presents.
Photo Credit: Serendipity from nail Advent Calendar
“Nail art” could have been the beauty words of 2013 (the real word was “selfie”). This holiday season, the British brand Ciate is taking nail art to dizzying heights, setting the creativity bar extremely high and encouraging competition from other brands.
Photo Credit: Ciate
Ciate’s popular Mini Mani Month advent calendar of tiny nail polishes is true candy box for nails: 24 days of mini Paint Pots, glitter sprinkles, custom sequin blends, caviar pearls, and one full-size Paint Pot that will keep every manicurista busy. For only $58, your giftee will receive more paint pots than the number of shoes in her closet. The packaging, a fair-isle sweater print, is so wintry and cozy.
Photo Credit: sephora.com
Formula X is certainly a different kind of nail experience. First of all, it is a huge range. Walk into any Sephora and you will be overwhelmed with the choices of a rich rainbow of colors, cool textures, shimmery metallics, glow in the dark neons, over the top glitters, and wild eye-catching finishes. The extensive selection will set every nailaholics’ heart a flutter. For me, however, I was searching for my go to beige, creme, pearl, and shell tones. (I know…yawn). If you can’t decide on your favorite shade, Sephora has a clever tester set up on the display—you slip your fingers under a clear acetate sheet and polish over your nail to see how it would look against your skin tone.
When it comes to beauty services, I’m all about saving time. Between working on my collection of Apple electronics 24/7, carrying around a bag that weighs a ton, running from meeting to meeting, in and out of taxis, etc. my typical mani lasts 2-3 days tops and I usually break at least one nail. I tried one of the home gel kits but it was too complicated and messy for me to stick with. I don’t have a schedule that lets me go for professional gel manis—nor the patience—and I’m too ADD to sit still long enough to have it done anyway. Therefore, my nails really take a beating and it’s not pretty.
So the promise of lasting well (like a whole 7 days!!) without chips and without UV light exposure that can cause skin cancer, got my attention. The idea of being able to take off or change your polish without soaking or using a sharp instrument also appeals.
To get into the Formula X frame of mind, start with the System Kit ($32.00) that contains 4 key steps needed to deliver the whole Formula X experience. It includes a cleanser, base coat and top coat, plus the color of your choice (that is, if you can pick just one!). I was skeptical about why I really needed to use the Nail Cleanser instead of just washing my hands, but after trying it, I can see the benefits. It gets your nails and cuticles squeaky clean without oils, dirt, sweat, or residue, so they are ready to accept the polish. The Base Coat is supposedly designed to be an adhesive primer that forms a sticky layer, thereby helping the polish stay in place. Next step is the color of your choice. And the last step is to finish with their signature shiny Top Coat to protect your mani and voila—you’re done! It’s that fast, easy, and it looks like a pro did it.
I’m in LOVE with Formula X. In fact, I’m going back for more colors—and I might even venture out of my comfort zone this time (brights or metallics?). I especially love the Neutrals and the New Classics collections. I am very impressed with the long wear time and chip-free formula. And I’ve already bought the System Kit for two girlfirends for the holidays.
Ladies, this nail polish is a MUST try!
Look for Formula X on Sephora.com and in Sephora stores, prices range from $10.50-$12.50 depending on the polish.
Photo Credit: esteelauder.com
Metallic color for the cooler months? Yes, says Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director for Estée Lauder.
The new Pure Color collection from Estée Lauder raises the concept of molten metal up a notch. The Metallics collection is all about wearing the cool sheen of metal on your eyes, lips, and skin. The nail lacquers are light but thick; the liquid-like shadows have vinyl-like finishes. For the nails, the lacquers have hyper-chromatics that highlight and dazzle.
Photo Credit: EsteeLauder.com
Above: Pure Color Metallics Nail Lacquer Swatches
The trick is all in the reflective formulation, which brings sophistication and edge to multi-dimensional color. The collection includes: