nails

Mani Monday: Copy Cat Lauren Conrad Nails

Lauren Conrad Nail Inspo (via IG)

Lauren Conrad Nail Inspo (via IG)

Lauren Conrad posted this pretty up on her Instagram page and I was immediately smitten, the soft shades, the gorge trimmings and that nail!  A small pop of sparkly goodness that I HAD to recreate!  It looks like a white base shade with pink undertones and a glittered textured top coat like Essie LuxeEffects (which I’ve been known to rock).

Copy Cat:  Lauren Conrad Mani

Copy Cat: Lauren Conrad Mani

For my recreation I used Julep Dana as my base and Avon Dazzlers Top Coat in Disco Ball.  I think the outcome was definitely spot on!  I could of gone with Avon Dazzlers Top Coat in Show Stopper Copper to look a bit more like hers, but I liked the silver.  I have many Essie LuxeEffects and I have to say these Avon Dazzlers are giving them a run for their money… literally, considering these Avon polishes are only $6.

Julep Dana and Avon Dazzlers in Disco Ball

Julep Dana and Avon Dazzlers in Disco Ball

Creamy white mani with dazzling glitter topcoat!

Creamy white mani with dazzling glitter topcoat!

Huge fan of this one!  Definitely going to recreate this a few more times, plus it was super quick and easy with mega impact!  Bonus it’s the perfect soft shades mani to go with my current obsession (see here)!

Recreating Lauren Conrad's Nails with Julep and Avon

Recreating Lauren Conrad’s Nails with Julep and Avon

Pretty perfect for her Cinderella inspired collection for Kohl’s right!?  Check back for my “chic peek” from the Disney’s Cinderella collection by LC Lauren Conrad!

A Mani Fit For A Princess

A Mani Fit For A Princess

 

Nailed It: mark. Nailed It Mini Nail Lacquers in Firestarter & Hot Coal

The perfect gift to give and get is nail polish!  It can be a simple stocking stuffer or paired with a larger gift like leather gloves and/or a spa gift certificate.  Either way this time of the year there are tons of holiday-tastic options, my pick, the mark. Nailed It Duo ($7) in Firestarter and Hot Coal.

Nailed It:  Hot Coal with Firestarter Accent Nail

Nailed It: Hot Coal with Firestarter Accent Nail

Why I love this little duo is because for a super affordable price you get 2 trendy nail lacquers to mix and match all holiday season.  I love that it comes with a classic red (Firestarter) and a more trendy grey with an internal gold shimmer (Hot Coal).

DSC_0837

mark. Nailed It in Firestarter and Hot Coal

mark. Nailed It in Firestarter and Hot Coal

So basically one little set gives you endless options.  Here I wore Hot Coal with Firestarter as an accent.  But I’ve also worn Firestarter by itself with a super shiny topcoat and Hot Coal with a fun gold glitter diagonal tips!  Perfect manis for both Christmas and New Years Eve!

Red Lips, Red Nails, Red Cup

Red Lips, Red Nails, Red Cup

Hot Coal with Gold Glitter Tips

Hot Coal with Gold Glitter Tips

So if you’re looking for a little something to round out your holiday shopping or to round out your holiday looks pick up the mark. Nailed It Duo ($7) at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger.  Maybe match it to your lipstick like the Avon Ultra Color Lipstick in Matte Ruby (now $5.99!)

Matching Red Lips to Red Nails

Matching Red Lips to Red Nails

mark. Nailed It Duo in Firestarter and Hot Coal

mark. Nailed It Duo in Firestarter and Hot Coal

 

BONUS!  If you’re following our 10 days of deals get the Avon Lip Set FOR FREE with a $50 purchase!  Be sure to check back every day for the next 6 deals at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger

Pumpkin Spiced Mani

Pumpkin Spiced Mani

Pumpkin Spiced Mani

Because I’m a basic white girl and all things pumpkin and fall-tastic occupy my world lately, a pumpkin spiced mani seemed to be perfectly fitting!  I couldn’t decide what fall mani I wanted to do as I searched through my polish collection.  This Julep  polish in Brielle jumped out at me!  Since burnt orange isn’t really a color in Alicia’s favorites  (or even general likes) I’ve never used this shade.  But this time it called out to me, like “hey, I’m more pumpkin than ugly 70’s burnt orange, and I’m perfect for fall!”

Sweater Weather  (mark. Chain Of Command Cardigan)

Sweater Weather (mark. Chain Of Command Cardigan)

To spice up the creamy pumpkin orange color in Julep Brielle I added a rose gold stripe on the sides in Essie Penny Talk.  The perfect pumpkin spice mani for a sweater weather kind of day.  I’m super excited to sport this October perfect mani for a trip to the pumpkin patch, or just sipping some pumpkin spiced chai (recipe to come!), either way it’s a winner.

Pumpkin Spiced Kind of Day

Pumpkin Spiced Kind of Day

Shop Julep here, Essie here and my sweater and rings here and my super cute mug is from Marshall’s!  Happy October!

Pumpkin Spiced Mani for Fall

Pumpkin Spiced Mani for Fall

Mani Monday – Easter Nails

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail!  Hippity hoppity, hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way!  Time to prepare your Sunday best in the ultimate of all things spring for your Easter outfit!  Regardless if your day involves a visit from the Easter Bunny, Easter service, Easter brunch or an Easter ham theres a spring look for you.  Let’s start small… with an Easter mani!  As I think about what I’m going to do here’s a few past mani’s for this Monday that would be perfect!

Mint and yellow color blocked nails with a silver stripe!  See the details here!

Colorblocked with mark. Nail This Look Set and All In Good Time Watch

Colorblocked with mark. Nail This Look Set and All In Good Time Watch

Yellow nails from the mark. Nail This Look Kit (Sunsation).  See details here!

Pop Of Yellow

Pop Of Yellow

Pantone’s color for spring, dazzling blue!  See the details here!

Dazzling Blue with Julep Monaco

Dazzling Blue with Julep Monaco

Spring floral design with the mark. Nail This Look Polish and Bracelet Set.  See the details here!

Abstract Floral Mani

Abstract Floral Mani

Peach with angled mint tips!  See the details here!

Spring Break Mani

Spring Break Mani

Sorbet nails!  See the details here!

mark. Nailed It in Cupcake and Creamsicle

mark. Nailed It in Cupcake and Creamsicle

Seawater shades with glittering Luxe Effect topcoat!  See details here!

Sea Water Nails

Sea Water Nails

Easter pastels!  Mint with a lilac accent nail!  See the details here!  Or Pastel pink with a grey accent nail!  See the details here!

Pastel Pallet Mani and Cross Your Fingers Ring

Pastel Pallet Mani and Cross Your Fingers Ring

Pink and Grey mani!

Pink and Grey mani!

Inspiration from a fellow nail enthusiast, Zooey Daschanel!  Nude (or in my case, peach) with pastel green tips!   See the details here!

Zooey Daschanel Copy Cat nails with Essie

Zooey Daschanel Copy Cat nails with Essie

Finally, a crackle polish over a pastel, which reminds me cracking egg shells!  See the details here!

Favorite Easter Mani Nail

Favorite Easter Mani Nail

I’ve definitely done quite a few looks suitable for the Easter holiday.  I love pastels in the spring, kind of surprised how little I’ve featured them.  Hopefully these got you inspired to create your perfect Easter mani.  If you need even more inspiration check out my Nailed It board on Pinterest!  Any thoughts on what I should do this Easter!?!  A lot depends on which Easter Dress I pick!  Be sure to check back for my next post on Easter dresses!

Nailed It: Super Easy Nail Art With mark. Nail This Look Nail Color and Ring Set

mark. Nail This Look Set

mark. Nail This Look Set

Mani Monday on a Tuesday, so what.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m never on time for anything.  But what they also know is I LOVE my nails.  And because I’m always late means I better know how to create some killer nail art in a super quick way!  Luckily for you I do, and its using this complete kit from mark., the Nail This Look Nail Color and Ring Set ($28).  Create a fun angled look for spring with little to no skills needed.

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

 

The How To:

Step 1:  Start with a base coat or on plain nails add 2 thin coats of Sunsation (yellow) with letting the first coat dry for at least 2 min before applying the 2nd.  Don’t worry about the mess we’ll fix that later.

mark. Sunsation from Nail This Look

mark. Sunsation from Nail This Look

 

Step Two:  Take Seafoam and paint an angled section starting about halfway down your nail upward toward the tip.  Because Seafoam is a bit more opaque in coloring you can do it in one coat.  You can get the idea with the video below:

Paint on an angled block with Seafoam

Pain on an angled block with Seafoam

 

Finish It Up:  Just clean up the sides and if you wish add a top coat.  Call it a day and have a super cute and super simple nail art look with just this one kit, just slip on the ring and you’re good to go!    I admit my work up close and personal is not perfect, but at the normal distance your hand are at, no one will notice the imperfections just the super springy fun nail art you did!

mark. Nail This Look Polish and Ring Set

mark. Nail This Look Polish and Ring Set

BONUS!!!  Say you want to go the extra mile do you!?  Then add a silver line of polish between the mint and yellow.  I used the mark. Nailed It in Tinsel (silver) from the holiday release.  Those mini brushes are perfect for doing such a thing.  Draw a thin stripe and you just upped your nail art game!

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

 

NOTES:  Not sure if you knew this but painting your nails in full on sun is never a good idea.  It makes the polish bubble and thicken up not allowing for the best application.  However I don’t care and still take any excuse to sit in the sun, which is why mine aren’t the best they could be.  Nothing a little topcoat can’t smooth out for the most part.  Either way I’ve been wearing these mint and yellow shades for the last month and I could not be more pleased with the mark. Nail This Look Set ($28).  They wear well and are the perfect fun shades to perk up your spring!  You can get the set at my eBoutique for $28.

This look was inspired by the mark. girl official tutorial using this pink from the other Nail This Look Polish and Bracelet Set.  Which is just another look you can create with the Sunsation and Seafoam set!  Try it out and let me know how it goes!

5 Must Haves To Update Your Wardrobe For Spring

As much as we want to go out and just buy all the new fashion for spring and have a whole new closet, that dream is not even close to reality.  However, with just a few pieces, you can breath new life into a tired closet stuck in the winter doldrums.

Must Have #1:  Chevron Skirt

mark. High Contrast Skirt

mark. High Contrast Skirt

I touched on a this in my last Wear and Share Wednesday post (see here).  Chevron is having  moment right and now and it can go with a boatload of things you already have in your closet.  Wear it casually with a t-shirt and a leather jacket or dress it up with a blouse and blazer.  Or take it super chic like Jackie did and wear a black sweater and long coat for an instantly classic look.  As the weather heats up this skirt will look equally chic with a tank and sandals.  Wear it now with a touch of neon to freshen up your look.

mark. High Contrast Skirt ($36 at my eBoutique)

Must Have #2:  Spring Scarf

Avon Playful Patterned Scarf

Avon Playful Patterned Scarf

Old man winter doesn’t want to go away quite yet so we have to silence him with still wearing a scarf.  Instead of wearing your chunky one you’ve been wearing all winter switch it out with one in a lighter fabric and design.  As the days get a little nicer you can wear just a scarf and loose the coat to ward of chilly mornings and nights.  Wear a spring scarf now with a sold top, t-shirt/sweater/blouse to instantly add some spring chic into your wardrobe.  If it gets too warm for it during the day tie it on to your bag and still show your spring style.

mark. Fawn Over Flora Scarf

mark. Fawn Over Flora Scarf

Avon Playful Pattern Scarf (9.99) and mark. Fawn Over Flora Scarf ($18) both available at the eBoutique.

Must Have #3 A Spring Handbag

mark. Classic Hit Handbag and Fawn Over Flora Scarf

mark. Classic Hit Handbag and Fawn Over Flora Scarf

Lighten up your purse!  A bag in a classic shape but in a spring color will transition with your winter items into spring.  Updating your most impactful and daily accessory is the easiest way to breath new life into your wardrobe.  I’ve already sung my praises on switching to a white handbag here and here with the mark. Classic Hit Handbag.  Another great option isn the mark. Properly Chic Satchel, with its color blocking and lady like shape you’ll instantly be on trend for spring.

mark. Properly Chic Satchel (with some dazzlers!)

mark. Properly Chic Satchel (with some dazzlers!)

mark. Classi Hit Handbag ($60) and Properly Chic Satchel ($50) both available at the eBoutique.

Must Have #4 Pantone Color Of Spring:  Dazzling Blue

mark. Royal Pretty Dress and Major Mix Necklace

mark. Royal Pretty Dress and Major Mix Necklace

For spring Pantone release its color of the season, Dazzling Blue.  Get a statement piece in this color to work it into your spring wardrobe like the mark. Major Mix Necklace and/or Royal Pretty Dress.  Blend in springs brilliant shades of blue, yellow and glistening stones in a statement necklace that you can add to your existing outfits to make a bit more springy.  Still wearing your boots and sweaters?  Just add this statement necklace and your instantly on trend for spring.  Too cold to wear a spring dress?  Pair it with a black blazer and black tights.  (and the white handbag above, Classic Hit Handbag).  Dazzling Blue pairs perfectly with black white and a pop of yellow (like in the Major Mix Necklace).

mark. Major Mix Necklace

mark. Major Mix Necklace

mark. Major Mix Necklace ($38) and Royal Pretty Dress ($42) both available at the eBoutique

Must Have #5 The Cool Girl “IT” Nail Color

mark. Nail This Look Set

mark. Nail This Look Set

A big real life trend is turquoise nails.  Lately its been all over celebs, like on Lucy Hale on set of Pretty Little Liars (check it here) and Beth Behrs on set of Kelly and Michael (check it here).  It looks really chic when wearing black and navy as well as looking really fresh against white and pastels.  A stand out color will add that extra punch needed to your tips and put you in a the perfect spring mindset.  Get the color in the mark. Nail This Look It Kit along with a punchy yellow and a Michael-Kors-esq enamel ring all in one set!

mark. Nail This Look ($28 at the eBoutique)

Word of Alicia:  With 5 (or so) items you can completely update your look for spring.  Mix and match with what you already have to breath new life into your look.  Total investment $162-184!  Shop it here!

PS:  Coming up in the next week I’ll be showing each of these must haves pulled together in a whole total look, how you can wear the trends to update your look for spring!

Nailed It – Black and White Nails

Black and White Nails

Black and White Nails

Easy black and white nails for this late winter!  I used 2 coats of Essie White Out for the white base on all my nails except my ring where I used mark. Tuxedo.  I then used mark. Tuxedo to draw a thin line and dots.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  I wore these nails with my black and white look I shared last week!  (check it out here).  I said it before and I’ll say it again Black and White is always a classic, especially perfect for this time of year!

Graphic B&W Nails (after some wear)

Graphic B&W Nails (after some wear)

You can get this mark. Ring Me In Double ring and the black shade at my eBoutique!  To see more black and white beauties I love follow my B&W Pinterest Board.

S.O.S. Save My Nails 4 Weeks to Restore My Nails – Results!

If you recall, I had some serious nail issues this summer, so I decided to give them the attention they need.  So I put together a little plan (see the plan here) with what I thought would help.  After week one I definitely saw my pitfalls, being consistent!   After the 4 weeks and now 6 weeks later I have to say the results are pretty much what I wanted.

Starting:  Had to shorten all my nails due to breakage and peeling and tried to give them an almond shape to help combat the breaking corners.

mark. Get The Point Ring and mani to match!

mark. Get The Point Ring and mani to match!

Week 1:  The almond shape does look a bit better with slightly longer nails but the peeling still persisted.  Switching to a moisturizing soap definitely helped my skin!

Julep polish with the mark. Case Of Glam Clutch

Julep polish with the mark. Case Of Glam Clutch

Week 2:  Finally seeing some strength return!

Nautical Nails with Julep's August Maven Box

Nautical Nails with Julep’s August Maven Box

Week 3:  Cuticles and nails are improving, can’t ask for more!  BONUS!  They’re wearing fall’s hottest shade… check back to see the full details!

Wearing the IT SHADE for fall

Wearing the IT SHADE for fall

Week 4:  Feeling like the length is getting back to a point I’m familiar with, except for that darn middle and ring!  Cuticles are noticeably better!  (But disregard the messy polish around them haha)

Essie The Lace Is On with mark. Get To The Point Ring

Essie The Lace Is On with mark. Get To The Point Ring

BIRTHDAY NAILS!!!  As hoped, in time for my Birthday my nails were better looking, hands more moisturized and looked great with that mark. Case Of The Glam Clutch!

Party Nails For The Birthday Mani!!!

Party Nails For The Birthday Mani!!!

Successes:  I definitely have improved the strength and length of my nails.  My cuticles are much better and switching to a moisturizing soap was key!  I def didn’t experience the tight dryness I had before.

Failures:  I could not for the life of me stay consistent with taking my vitamins, applying lotion and cuticle oil.  I just did it sporadically when I thought of it.  I still have some peeling issues on my ring fingers and I was hoping for better skin appearance in my hands.

My Normal Nails in mark. Nailed It Duo

My Normal Nails in mark. Nailed It Duo

Now 6 weeks later, I’ve ditched the almond shape and went back to square or kinda squoval.  The almond shape just didn’t work on my middle and kind of my ring either.  My natural nail shape is not the best so I have to work with what I’m given.  My pointer and thumb loved it!  They naturally curl under so almond was great for them!  Catch the full details of my mani in last week’s Wear and Share Wednesday post!!!

Going Forward:  I think I’m def better at keeping the hands moisturized with intense cream and cuticle oil at night before bed.  Might not be every night but a couple of times a week isn’t bad.  Moisturizing hand soap is now a staple at my sink and vitamins too, even though I’m sure I’ll overlook them every time I’m washing my hands.  All in all, in 4 weeks I rescued my nails to a point I was pleased with!

S.O.S. Save My Nails – Week 1 Update!

Its been just a little over a week since I implemented my S.O.S. Save My Nails Plan and so far so good…

Week 1 Nails - and a mark. sneak peek!

Week 1 Nails – and a mark. sneak peek!

The Good:  I def have noticed a different in the dryness in my hands, they’re much much more moisturized.  My cuticles are also much better, I’m not so embarrassed of them, so win!  My nails definitely are a little bit longer than last week, but I wouldn’t say too much more than a normal week’s growth.  I’m kinda liking the new nail shape especially in a bright creme polish like this, Julep’s Natasha and Ginger (on ring finger).

The Bad:    I’m not really good at sticking to the plan, especially the internal part.  Considering in the last three days I’ve had Burger King, Taco Bell and McDonalds so that eating healthier thing isn’t quite working out so well.  Definitely not drinking more water like I need to, and I forget to take my vitamins.

Week 2 Hopefulls:  Actually stick to the plan!  More vegetables, more water, consistency in applying my hand cream/cuticle oil and actually take my vitamins every day!

PS:  mark. Sneak Peek!  Check back on Friday to see the full details on this new clutch, necklace and tank!  Yay!

S.O.S. Save My Nails! – 4 Week Plan To Restore My Nails

My nails have been in bad shape for quite sometime now.  They’re brittle, peel, break, snag and my cuticles… yuck!  I’ve always had nice strong healthy natural nails so I’m so over this.  I touched on it in Wednesday’s Wear and Share post but I’m going to take the next 4 weeks and really see if I can restore my nails back to what I know they can be.  Here is the Alicia plan of action to improve my nails in a month!

Strengthener:

Essie Grow Stronger

Essie Grow Stronger

Starting externally is the easiest for me.  So step one is to start with strengthening basecoat.  Essie brand polishes seem to work well for me so I decided to start with Essie’s Grow Stronger.

The Claim:  Get a fresh start. add strength, durability and superior protection against chipping. this fast drying, glossy finish formula helps put an end to breakage.  I liked this one because it said I could wear it as a basecoat under my normal polish.  Since there’s no way I’m going without polish I figured I’d give this one a go!

Cuticles and hand care:

Dawn Olay Complete

Dawn Olay Complete

I wash my hands a lot through out the day , do a lot of dishes and it’s summer so I swim like a mo fo making my hands and nails see a lot of wear and tear in addition to living in a hot and dry climate.  I need to restore the moisture and work at not loosing it in the first place, so I’m switching soap.  I’ve switched to a moisturizing hand soap (luckily we have this at work) and I’m trying out the Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty Dishwashing Soap Liquid. 

The Claim:  Get the cleaning power of Dawn combined with the hand-nurturing power of Olay Beauty. And in just 5 uses, your hands will feel even softer than before.  I’m already a fan of Dawn and Olay so we’ll see if this makes a difference and is still tough on grease, haha!

Nighttime Regimen:

To continue with the improvement of my cuticles and hands before bed each night I will be applying a killer hand cream and cuticle oil.  This will also help restore moisture after the day has taken its toll.  Moisturizers are best at night because your body temperature rises so the lotion really penetrates, plus you aren’t doing anything to wash it off, remove it.  I’m using Julep’s Rock Star hand cream.

The Claim:  Anti-aging, emollient blend of shea butter, glycerin, coconut oil, and vitamin E keeps hands hydrated, even after washing. This non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula will leave you cheering for an encore. Rock on.  Plus the scent is overwhelming as your laying there in bed and it definitely isn’t greasy!  For my cuticle oil I’m just using one that I got from a manicure a while ago.  Its just a basic mineral oil based product with vitamin e.

Internal:

Smart-Water

Nails are a great indicator of how things are functioning in the inside, so I guess that means not so well for me.  Not only am I going to try to eat better (good thing I LOVE veggies!) but I will also be taking my daily vitamins and a hair, nail and skin supplement.

The Claim:  Dietary Supplement. New improved formula with collagen/gelatin. 29 key ingredients including antioxidants C & E plus biotin 3000 mcg! Helps promote: healthy hair; vibrant skin; strong nails. Provides a combination of nutrients including vitamin C and biotin, that support the structural foundation of your hair, skin and nails. (These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)  With any dietary supplements you should consult your doctor first.  I also make no claims to actually  really know anything, these are just things, after doing some personal research, I have made the personal choice to try and review.

In addition to eating better and taking my vitamins I’m really really really trying to drink more water.  Its not that I don’t like water its that I don’t like that much liquid, like of anything.  I pretty much have my cup of tea (or 2!) in the morning and then I’m lucky if I drink anything else for the rest of the day.  Maybe a few sips of water with my meals but really I’m just not thirsty not do I like the feeling of that sloshy feeling from too much liquid!  My plan is to drink a full 20 ounces at work through out the day and another 20 after work before bed.

So there’s my plan, doesn’t seem too hard to follow.  Join me each week as I update and review (and post a new mani look!)  Let’s see if I can get these nails of mine back to working order in time to celebrate my day of birth!  Which you know I’m already pinning a ton of looks on my Nailed It board to do for such an occasion!