Spring 2011 Series | Nail Polish for Spring

As someone who has been reading this blog for a while already knows, I’m addicted to nail polish. (Usually expensive nail polish, unfortunately…my new favorites include Butter London and Illamasqua.) Nail polish trends fluctuate so frequently, it’s difficult to keep track of them. And honestly, there are few people who care enough to realize whether or not your nail polish is on-trend. However, there are undoubtedly some tried-and-true favorite shades that look great in the spring.

This year, spring fashion is both bold and neutral in color, with plenty of whites and nudes to balance out pops of bold pinks and oranges. Compliment bright colorblocking with muted, pastel shades for spring, or make a neutral outfit pop with fuchsia or aquamarine nails.

Some colors I’ve been craving this season: nude, light peach, lavender, muted gray, tiffany blue, jade, and bright pinks, oranges, and blues — all most definitely very sunny and chic shades that look great with spring’s clothing color palette.

  1. Model’s Own Nail Polish in “Sophie’s Pink,” $8, urbanoutfitters.com.
  2. Rescue Beauty Lounge in “Bikini Bottom,” $18, rescuebeauty.com.
  3. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Stagnate,” $14, sephora.com.
  4. Chanel Nail Colour in “Lilac Sky,” $25, chanel.com.
  5. POP Beauty Nail Glam Polish in “Brave,” $10, urbanoutfitters.com.
  6. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in “Primrose Hill Picnic,” $14, butterlondon.com.
  7. Rescue Beauty Lounge in “Lulu,” $18, rescuebeauty.com.
  8. Anna Sui Shimmer Nail Polish in “Turquoise,” $15, urbanoutfitters.com.
  9. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Gamma,” $14, sephora.com.
  10. Essie for J. Crew Nail Polish in “Milky Way,” $8, jcrew.com.
  11. Chanel Nail Colour in “Pêche Nacrée,” $25, chanel.com.
  12. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Milf,” $14, sephora.com.
  13. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in “Cream Tea,” $14, butterlondon.com.

What are going to be your go-to nail polish shades this spring?

{Sources: Nail polish photos via urbanoutfitters.com, rescuebeauty.com, butterlondon.com, sephora.com, jcrew.com, selfridges.com, be.com, vickyloves.wordpress.com, beautywoome.com. Collage background images via gardenpictures.com, susangage.com, thezippitybookshelf.wordpress.com (all accessed via Google Images).}

Beauty Review | Chanel Nail Lacquer in “Steel”

As anyone who has read this blog before would know, I have a steadily growing addiction to Chanel nail lacquer — especially after my irrational obsession with “Paradoxal.” Recently, I picked up a bottle of Chanel’s “Steel.” It’s not one of their limited-edition shades, but I liked the deep color with the sparkles in it.

I’m not usually a dark nail polish person, especially not black, and this is a great alternative — it’s not completely black on, more like a deep charcoal, and it shimmers when it catches the light. It is a little darker on than it looks in the bottle — I’ve found this to be the case with the other Chanel nail polishes I’ve tried. It’s still a very chic way to get your dark nail fix, though.

My one complaint with this was, incidentally, the quality. When I tried Paradoxal, I couldn’t stop raving about how it never chipped, but this one flaked quite a bit and required a lot of touch-ups. I’m hoping its just a bad batch, because I love the color!

Have you used Chanel’s “Steel” before? What was your opinion on the color and quality?

{Source: Photos by me, feel free to use, just leave a credit/link!}


Chanel Nail Colour #509 | Paradoxal

Finally, finally, I was able to get my hands on a bottle of Chanel’s Paradoxal — one of their new colors for fall. I’ve been ranting about it wherever I can, namely in this post. In fact, my obsession had become so great that I even requested that the lovely Erica from Classy and Delicious post a review on the highly-covetable lacquer. (Which was fantastic, thanks Erica!)

The other day I finally got around to giving myself a quick pedicure with my new nail polish (I tend to stick with more basic colors for manicures). Paradoxal is a dark purple/grey/mauve shade (depending on the lighting — if you’re indoors it will appear darker) with a kick — it has a slight sheen in it that gives it a whole new dimension. I’m going to spare you photographs of my feet (!), but if anything, I can definitely vouch for the quality of Chanel’s nail lacquer. This was my first time using it, and I found the polish to be very quick-drying and shiny without a top coat. I used one coat, and it was plenty to cover my nails, although Erica used two for her review. Whichever works for you!

Paradoxal is a quite a unique color, especially in that it shifts depending on the light. It’s much more sparkly in bright light or sun and darker and more matte inside and in low-light areas. However, if you’re not a big purple or grey nails fan, I would still strongly recommend Chanel polishes in general. The quality is superior to many others I have tried (including Dior), and all the colors are simply drool-worthy.

What do you think of this shade for fall? Have you tried Chanel nail colours before?

{ Source: Image from thejetsetgirls.blogspot.com }


fall 2010 series: beauty breakdown

Why do I love beauty trends? They’re the easiest to follow. Most looks can be re-created at home with supplies already on hand, or with a few inexpensive extras. (Of course, buying new makeup is always fun too!) But the point is: changing up your makeup is fun, easy, affordable, and if you mess it up or it doesn’t look good on you, you can wipe it off and try something new, consequence-free. The case is definitely not the same if you purchase that dress you’ve been lusting after on “Final Sale” only to find it doesn’t even fit when it arrives in the mail.

Here’s my quick list of some of Fall’s top beauty trends and how to achieve them.

Red Lips.

Red lips are HUGE for Fall this year, and I’m sure you’ve heard about this trend hundreds of times already. From Proenza Schouler to Givenchy to Chanel haute couture, bold lips graced the runways of my designers. I personally love this look — it’s classic and sexy, strong and feminine. But it has to be paired with a strong dose of confidence to pull it off correctly.

How-to: As with any bold makeup trend, it is essential that the rest of the face be neutral to avoid clashing (e.g., smokey eyes with nude lips and red lips with a fresh face). To get a matte red lip, first outline your lips with a nude lip pencil (some makeup artists also recommend applying concealer to your lips as well, to hold the color better) and then apply your chosen lipstick color, blot, and repeat until you achieve your desired shade. (To go glossy, simply apply a heavy gloss on top, starting at the center of your lower lip and then blending out with a lip brush.)

What to invest in: If you don’t have a great lipstick color or just want something new, a good lipstick is (obviously) the key to pulling off this trend (also a nude/clear lipliner to avoid the dreaded “ring” around the mouth). I’m not much of a lipstick guru, but I do like Benefit lipsticks — they go on very smooth when applied (try Benefit Full-Finish Lipstick in “Flirt Alert,” $18). Click here for a list of 11 lead-free lipsticks.

Grey Eyes.

Hazy soft grey eyes (seen at shows like Rodarte and Chanel) are a super chic twist on the neutral eye. As with red lips, be sure to pair them with a fairly neutral face — a bit of blush and nude or soft berry lipgloss/stain should do the trick.

How-to: Both makeup artists Kristin Gallegos and Sandra Ganzer emphasize that the key to making this look work is perfect blending. Start by blending a light grey shadow all over the lip and all the way up to the brow, as well as a little underneath the lower lash line. You can then add a darker or more metallic grey shadow closer to your lash line to define your eyes a little more. (Personally, I think a silver/pewter shadow makes eyes really pop!) You can then try winging the outer corners a bit with your shadow brush (or just use a liquid liner) and add mascara — whatever suits your look.

What to invest in: Good brushes are essential here for getting that perfectly blended look. Try the Sephora Collection Professionnel Angled Shadow Brush #20 ($16) and/or the All Over Shadow Brush #22 (#13). (See the full brush selection here.) Also, if you’re looking for a cool metallic liquid liner, nothing beats Urban Decay’s Liquid Liner in “Revolver,” $18.


The starting point for pulling off all of Fall’s beauty trends, a neutral face is key to pulling off red lips, grey eyes, and other bold trends. It’s also a great base for the classic smokey eye, so be sure to master this simple, fresh look. No one pulled off neutral better than Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs (the most natural faces on the runway this season!), but the look was also spotted at Alexander Wang and Ann Demeulemeester.

How-to: To get flawless skin, start by applying a medium coverage foundation and then using a good concealer to hide any spots or redness. Set the look with a fine powder.  To get the grunge-y Alexander Wang look (a smudgy brown eye), use a medium to dark brown cream shadow and smudge with fingers or a brush. To get the sleeker Ann Demeulemeester look, use a black eyeliner pencil in the crease and smudge with a brush or q-tip (or just use a black eyeshadow in the crease). Or simply apply a fabulous, bright cheek stain or blush and leave it at that.

What to invest in: A good foundation and concealer is the most important part of this look. Clinique is a must-try for good, basic makeup and beauty needs. Lauria Mercier also offers a Flawless Face Kit, $65.

Bright Eyes.

Not the kind of look you would wear everyday, but still something fun to try for a more dressed-up event or a night out. Colorful eyes were found in abundance on the runways of Caroline Herrera, Oscar de la Renta (my personal favorite — tons of smoky metallics), and Dior haute couture.

How-to: Start by priming your lids with an eye shadow primer, which makes the colors appear brighter and helps your look last longer. Then simply apply whatever shade(s) you desire! Just remember to keep the rest of your look in check — a little blush and nude lips should do the trick. Topshop.com has several video tutorials on various bold eye color trends (as well as one on red lips), so definitely check those out for more specific tips on pulling off this trend. I especially love the “Sun Shower” look (à la Oscar de la Renta).

What to invest in: A good eyeshadow primer to hold the most color for the longest amount of time. Try Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in “Original,” $18.

Dark & Shiny Nails.

Nail polish trends are always my favorites for Fall and there are usually way more than one “it” shade. One common thread I’ve been noticing in Fall nail polish hues is that they are almost unfailingly dark, moody, shimmery, and mysterious. (Like Chanel’s Paradoxal“, $23 — by far the hottest nail polish for Fall.) A couple similar (and cheaper) shades: Sephora by OPI’s “Just a Little Dangerous,” $9 and Rescue Beauty Lounge’s “Scrangie,” $18. But purple isn’t the only option! Also look for deep, glittering navies and greens.

How-to: Make sure nails are clean to start. Then clip, shape with a nail file, moisture, buff, apply, and dry. Or go to a nail salon. You know the drill.

What to invest in: Chanel’s “Paradoxal.” Obviously.

What’s your take on the Fall 2010 beauty trends? (Not just the ones I listed here!) Will you be trying any of them out?





View the full Fall 2010 Series here.

{ Source: All runway images used in collage from style.com. Chanel nail color image from sasareport.co.uk. Thanks to urbanoutfitters.com for trend and application information. }


* P.S. If you’ve blogged about any of these trends or reviewed any of the products listed here, please let me know!

couture 2010: chanel

“Karl Lagerfeld is a genius.”

Sometimes I get sick of hearing it, but even when I have reached the peak of my annoyance I can’t help but admit it: it’s every bit true. This guy is absolutely brilliant. Besides being the face behind the creation of some of the most coveted clothing and accessories on the planet, he isn’t a bad photographer either — I loved his Fall 2010 campaign (with Abbey Lee and Frida, mmhmmm). Yet again, he has produced a gorgeous haute couture collection for Chanel — this time, its all about jeweled details and subtle elegance, with a darkly romantic fall color palette full of rich navy and crimson accented with plenty of shimmery metallics and sequins (and I have a certain, er, weakness for sequins).

Click to enlarge.

Wonderful structured winter coats and the plethora of sequins aside, the beauty from this show was quite possibly my favorite out of all the couture collections. Natural and elegant with bold red lips and that hair. Perfectly tousled and undone, yet still polished and playful. See more beauty details here!

If there’s one thing I don’t love about this collection, it’s the boots. The style is a little strange and awkwardly leg-shortening, somehow. But the colors are fabulous! Anyone agree/disagree?

{ Source: Images via Coutorture.com. Click here for the full collection. }