tips to nail your holiday manicure

how to nail your holiday manicure

the holidays call for manicures galore and since i like to change things up fairly often, i’ve taken to doing my nails myself more often than sitting down at the salon. here are a few things making my diy manicure routine a little easier this season:

squeaky clean nail beds: in order to make my at-home-polish last through the shuffle, i have learned to start with extra clean nail beds. instead of using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, i take one of my simple eye make-up remover pads and run it over all ten tips. each wipe is oil free with skin conditioners, so polish sticks but my nails don’t get dry and brittle.

metallic polish: we all know the pain of trying to remove sparkle-licious lacquers. (seriously, who has time for that nonsense?) select a metallic polish that will give you all the glamour of the season without committing you to a lifetime of glitter. from left to right: clinique indie rock ($12.50, ester lauder brushed gold ($20), butter london petrol ($15), rgb copper ($18).

maximize your mileage: i found this tip in january’s instyle and think it’s kind of genius. when, inevitably, your nails start to fade, dip the tip of a bobby pin into gold polish and neatly dot it on. if you love the look of bordeaux, navy, hunter, or black nails but can’t stand when they go drab, this is the perfect trick to keep them looking sharp.

keep it pretty: you can also file this one under “pretty gifty.” anthropologie’s adorable nidus nail care case ($38) holds four polishes perfectly in place. with coated canvas and spill-safe lining, you can tote your favorite lacquers in style. plus, can you imagine gifting this cutie to your best one (packed with a polish or two, naturally)? such a cute concept!

polish favorites for fall

fall polish favorites


my nails have easily become my favorite accessory and it’s definitely the place where i love to play with color the most. i find that a fresh manicure (even if i diy) can change my whole mood and since i tend to talk with my hands a lot my paint jobs are always one of the first things people notice and comment on. i’m loving many a gorgeous polish tone for fall, here are just a handful of my current go-to’s:

mischo beauty empire state of mind, $18
this stunning line was started by a sweet dc local. her formulas are
gorgeous and the shades are selling out fast, so don’t delay!

essie parka perfect, $8.50
i’m drawn to pale blue grays and i love the slight shimmer in essie’s version,
which goes on like silk and wears like iron (as essie herself once told me).

marc jacobs petra, $18
a multi-toned metallic bronze is festive enough for a holiday party but neutral
enough for daytime. marc’s formula brings high pigment with lots of shine.

tom ford african violet, $32
i know, this one is a splurge, but can you really put a price on gorgeous
plum perfection that will keep your nails chic for seasons to come?

zoya dahlia, $9
if you haven’t tried zoya’s pixiedust you are missing out. the formula is virtually
chip-free and easily removes without the usual struggle. loving this black beauty!

butter london leccy
what’s prettier than an opal flecked overcoat? possibly nothing. if you buy
one polish for the season, make it this one because it transforms all others.

butter london color favorites

butter london cheeky lippy

i have fallen pretty hard for the butter london color cosmetics collection. i was fully introduced to the line at the ny now market in august and was shocked then to find myself drawn towards blue eyelashes, electric green eyeliner, and balmy black cherry lips. now that i’ve had the time to really play with some things, i have honed in on two clear favorites that i’ve been reaching for daily: cheeky cream blush in pistol pink and lippy tinted lip balm in black cherry. the vibes of these two products could not be more different, but i’ve found that they work beautifully together.

cheeky cream blush ($20) is silky and sheer, easily buildable, and pistol pink is a serious fuchsia  that can go from subtle to fierce with the swipe of your fingertips. i’ve taken to applying it with this duo fiber buffer from morphe because the size is perfect for picking blush up out of the pan and it creates the perfect cheek effortlessly with just a few stipples. (also, you can’t beat the price!) now, the color is bold but i love a pop of hot pink on my cheeks!

for lips, lippy tinted lip balm ($20) is your new best friend. these formulas are light and sheer, feeling really nice once they’re on, and wearing a surprisingly long time for a tinted lip. the black cherry shade is a fall must, a wine red with just a touch of edge. i’m the first one to shy away from a vampy lip (i think it looks mean!) but this color has stolen my heart and i like the way that it adds a little attitude to my oft-understated makeup look.

have you tried the butter london color cosmetics yet?
think you’ll give either of these beauties a go?

and ps : can we just give a small round of applause for
amazon’s new luxury beauty department?
they never cease to amaze.

butter london x libertine

butter LONDON + Libertine

katie hughes, global colour ambassador for butter london, created a crazy cool fantasy nail look for last night’s libertine show. starting with union jack black and layering in several colors of holographic foil, crystals, studs, and even teeny tiny red pom poms on accent nails resulted in a 3d nail art effect that i am still dreaming about.

while this might not be one that i’m rushing to recreate anytime soon, it is a gorgeous reminder of the cutting edge creativity that comes out of new york fashion week. i mean, hello, is that crystal finger art that i see dancing down her middle fingers? so freaking cool.

i hope you have a glorious tuesday, beauties!

south moon under 20th grand opening

i had so much fun hosting the south moon under 20th grand opening event last thursday! there’s nothing i love more than a good party and those south moon under girls know how to throw a real good party. this one was especially up my alley, complete with a beauty bar that featured makeup touchups by stila and gorgeous manicures by butter london.

before things got rolling, i plopped myself promptly into the makeup chair for a touch up – falling quickly in love with after glow lip color in vivid violet and countless color pigment in lyric for beautiful pink-orange cheeks.Slide1not surprisingly, the makeover stool was a popular spot and beauties lined up, waiting patiently for their turn. this sweet shopper had the most beautiful skin! i love the teal eyeliner and fuchsia lip combination here.


butter london manicures were also a hit and the accent nail was definitely a popular request. featured shades: kerfuffle (opaque pink creme), molly coddled (lavender creme), jaffa (bright orange), champers (rose gold shimmer), and bobby dazzler (silver chrome). the possibilities were endless and i loved seeing each unique combination.


while the beauty bar held my attention for most of the night, of course i found time to do some shopping! i walked away with the dress i’m wearing in the top photo and this awesome chevron midi ring which hasn’t left my finger.

SMU Midi RIng 2

(my own butter london manicure – jaffa and bobby dazzler accent nail – paired with sarita‘s gorgeous ombre mani, and matching midi rings)


thanks for such a fun evening, south moon! can’t wait to party with you all again soon.

fashion to beauty: royal blues

jessica alba

i love everything about jessica alba here (from 2011) – the orange lip, the playful braids, the simple diamond studs, and holy lashes! but it’s that royal blue dress that’s got me so inspired. i had to work it into my routine immediately and i think i might have squealed after laying eyes on butter london’s scouse, a royal blue glitter. i can’t wait to get a fresh coat of paint on to my nails and sport the shade all season long.

the new nail essentials from butter london

butter london manicure

(photo by kate headley)

here’s the thing about nails. just like skin, they behave completely differently in the winter than they do any other time of year. mine get hard and brittle withy dry, unruly cuticles. it ain’t pretty, people. i was having this conversation with the butter london girls in nyc and they loaded me up with products to combat my problems, along with a new nude from their spring ‘starkers’ collection. here’s the combination that’s been working wonders on my frozen fingertips:

melt away cuticle eliminator breaks down and softens the stray skin around my nails and makes removal a cinch. after two minutes, you can push them down with an orange stick or even a cuticle stone eraser to eliminate the need to cut them.

horse power nail fertilizer can be used as a stand-alone strengthener, as a base coat, and a top coat. this 3-in-one works overtime to repair damaged nails and the results are quite impressive. like your best repairing skin cream or hair treatment, horse power improves the look and feel of your nails, especially important in the harsh weather.

the girls prescribed shandy (a light, apricot creme) as my go-to nude. it showcases my skin tone in a soft, understated yet sophisticated way. (fun fact: it’s named after a beverage that’s equal parts beer and sprite…yum?)

finally, they tucked handbag holiday into my pocket. they urged me to apply it nightly and enjoy the hydrating, intensely nourishing benefits. i’ve also been using it over my finished manicure for extra shine and a little “slip” that means i can spend less time sitting and waiting for my nails to dry.

what do you think of these manicure miracles? think you’ll give any of them a try this winter? (or even this weekend for those of you trapped inside during this crazy northeast blizzard? stay safe, beauties!)

emerald nails

emerald nails

i know i’m not the only one seeing green.

ever since pantone named emerald the color of the year for 2013, greens have been everywhere from teals and kellies to jades and shamrocks. i love the way that kermit’s favorite color has been popping up in fashion, but working this hue into your beauty routine can be a bit trickier. polish is an obvious choice (the best, in my opinion!), so here are six ways to get your nails on trend:

forever 21 nail polish in teal, $2.80
sonia kashuk nail colour in emerald city, $4.79
revlon nail enamel in posh, $4.99
butter london 3 free nail lacquer in thames, $15
julep nail vernis in emilie, $14
essie nail polish in going incognito, $8

will your nails be going green this season? which shade is your fav?

show me your lip bomb, maggie

maggie lip bomb

name: maggie
internet home: right here on the glossarie!
she says: embarrassing to realize how many lip sticks/glosses/balms i’m carrying around – i’m traveling…is that an excuse for the number of products I have?? ;)
number of products: 7
the bomb: 

softlips marshmallow ghost, $3
mox botanicals lip butter in pomegranate & fig, $16
vs makeup color drama lipstick in exquisite, $14
rouge d’armani in rouge 400, $30 (remember this post?)
butter london lippy in queen vic, $18
chapstick classic lip balm in cherry, $1.59
maybelline color sensational high shine lip gloss in one shine day, $5.54

i love, love, love having maggie’s contributions here in the glossarie and i could not be more proud of her lip bomb’s breadth of brand (from chapstick to armani!) and depth of color. also, i think i need that mox botanicals lip balm…

keep sending your #lipbombs to!

show me your lip bomb, megan

lip bomb megan

name: megan
internet home: pretty in my pocket
she says: “the lip explosion in my purse :)”
number of products: 7
the bomb:

what a perfectly pretty explosion, if i do say so, miss megan! love your picks.
share your own #lipbomb with me at