A Lovely You – Makeup Tips for Every Woman

Archive for the ‘Nails’ Category

I’ll admit, I’m pretty lax when it comes to my pedicures… a little trimming/filing if needed, a coat of polish and then I’m over it. However, it’s sandal season and I’d like to take more time with my pedicures than a quick paint and go. For that reason, I’ve found several must-have pedicure products that (hopefully) help whip my feet into shape!

1. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Foot Creme

This may be a little TMI, but my feet are seriously gross. I have calluses and they’re just overly rough and dry. I’ve only used this foot cream a couple of times, but I really have high hopes for it. My feet feel much softer the moment I smooth it on and with continued use I should see a dramatic improvement in the overall condition of my feet. I would definitely recommend it!

($4.39, Drugstore.com)

2. Foot File

I use a cheapo one I purchased at Ulta for $2 because I don’t feel the need to spend a lot on these types of tools. However, you can look around to find one that works for you. Any type of foot file, pumice stone, or something like the Ped-Egg will work. Just make sure to read the directions for whichever tool you buy – some require you to wet your feet, while others (like the Ped-Egg) are used on dry skin only.

3. Nail Clippers/File

This sounds self explanatory, but it’s absolutely essential to a good pedicure. Whether you prefer glass files or standard emery boards, find one you like and stick with it. A good pair of toenail clippers will come in handy as well. I prefer to use a separate clipper for my fingernails and my toenails, because regular fingernail clippers just don’t seem to work as well when I’m giving myself a pedicure. When clipping, just make sure to clip straight across and file to the desired shape.

4. Base Coat & Top Coat

I’ll admit, I tend to be lazy with this step when I’m doing my toenails. However, after an annoying staining incident I realize that I need to be using a base coat every time I paint my toes. You should also use a top coat as well to help protect the polish and give it a finished, glossy look. You can also reapply top coat every couple of days or so to help extend the life of your polish as well as perk it up when the polish has dulled but you don’t feel like a complete polish change.

The base/top coats I use: Zoya Anchor (base) and CND Super Shiny Top Coat.

These are my recommended pedicure essentials. I am sure a lot of people have a different list than I do (like a cuticle remover, cuticle oil, orange stick, etc,) but I just don’t see the reason for some of those tools when I am doing an at-home pedicure. What products do you find absolutely essential when doing an at-home pedi?


This is the 5th in a series of summer nail colors so far – to check out my previous posts, you can view them at their respective links below:

This week, I tracked down 5 blue nail lacquers I think are perfect for the summer season. We don’t often think of blue as a summer color, but these polishes are just too pretty to pass up.

1. Zoya “Robyn”

This is one of my favorites blues in my stash, and it’s the perfect bright, poppy color for summer – especially on toes. It’s a gorgeous, bright robin’s-egg blue and looks amazing on fair or tan skin.

($8, Zoya)

2. Misa “Pour Me Something Tall and Strong”

This was one of the first blue polishes in my collection, and I love the name – and the color too, of course! It’s not a neon, but it reminds me of a bright Crayola crayon. This is the perfect polish to wear when you’re sipping margaritas poolside.

($3.75, Head2ToeBeauty.com)

3. China Glaze “Blue Hawaiian”

I don’t own this polish yet, but upon realizing how few blue glitters I own I may be adding this pretty to my stash! It’s a medium blue glitter and, from what I can tell, it’s a jelly – so you’ll need a few coats for opaque coverage. However, I think glitter polish ROCKS for summer and would definitely recommend this pretty blue polish.

($6.50, The Beauty Clutch)

4. Essie “Smooth Sailing”

I really like this blue, and think it’s a unique shade that should be a must-have in any polish collection. I’d describe it as vibrant, shimmery blue that looks great on a variety of skin tones.

($8, Zappos)

5. Love & Beauty “Baby Blue”

I couldn’t make a list of blue nail polishes without including a baby blue version! While typically this color seems more “spring-like” than summer, I’ve never been one to follow trends – I make my own rules! I think this color would look great with tanned skin (faux tans, please – skin cancer isn’t hot.)

($2.80, Forever21)

Do you have any blue nail polishes you like to wear for summer?

Part 4 of a series. You can see my picks for pink nail polish here, orange polish here and yellow polish here. This week, it’s all about coral – and there are a lot of coral polishes that are perfect for summer. I’ve highlighted 5 of my favorites below.

1. Essie “Haute as Hello”

If you’re in the mood for a neon and love coral, then Essie’s “Haute as Hello” is your color. This gorgeous neon is bright on nails but changes color depending on the lighting you’re in. It doesn’t lean more towards pink or orange – in fact, it’s a hybrid of pink, orange and coral and it’s gorgeous. It even flatters my pale skin tone.

($8, Essie.com)

2. Dior “Bikini”

I don’t actually own this shade, but after seeing swatches online I wish I did. It’s beautiful! More of a peachy-coral, this shade looks like it’d be great for a summer mani or pedi. It doesn’t look like anything I already have in my stash either, although I find it difficult to shell out $23 for a polish. I know plenty of ladies love their high-end brands though!

($23, Sephora)

3. OPI “Cajun Shrimp”

Oddly enough, my polish stash is sorely lacking in OPI – but I think I may have to remedy that situation and pick up “Cajun Shrimp.” Not only do I love the name, but the orange-red coral shade is to die for. It’s a tiny bit hard to track down, but if you really love the shade it’s worth the extra effort to find it.

($6.03, Amazon)

4. China Glaze “High Hopes”

This particular shade looks more red in the bottle, but on fingers it’s a gorgeous pink-ish coral with flashes of red. It’s definitely bright, but not a neon. It is eye-catching, though.

($7, Ulta)

5. Essie “Tart Deco”

Another Essie polish! I know that “Haute as Hello” and “Tart Deco” are very similar in appearance, but they’re not actually dupes. I have both in my collection, and the differences are pretty apparent. Tart Deco is darker with more pink/red undertones while Haute as Hello  is a lighter coral. They’re both pretty and I am glad I own both!

($8, Essie)

Do you have a favorite coral nail polish? Don’t be shy – tell me your pick in the comments.

Part 3 of a summer polish series – you can check out my yellow polish recommendations here and my orange polish recommendations here. This week, I’ll be highlighting 5 pink nail polishes that make me think of summer… so get ready for some neons!

1. Color Club “Jackie Oh”

This HOT pink polish from Color Club is the perfect summer color for tips and toes. Plus, you gotta love the name. If you’ve seen this shade in swatches before and were less than impressed, be aware that neons are notoriously hard to photograph. This color shows up crazy bright in person!

($8, Color Club)

2. China Glaze “Flip Flop Fantasy”

This is one of my favorite polishes in my collection. It’s a coral/pink neon cream but it tends to look more orange in certain lighting. However, that doesn’t detract from how beautiful this polish is. It’s also a breeze to work with and an easy two-coater.

($7, Ulta)

3. Essie “Knockout Pout”

This is a pretty pink polish that, even though it’s definitely bright and technically a neon, doesn’t seem as “in your face” as other neon pink polishes. It’s more of a bubblegum pink neon if that makes any sense. In any case, it’s a gorgeous color and a definite must-have.

($8, Drugstores)

4. Milani Neon Nail Lacquer “Pink Rocks”

Budget-friendly and shockingly bright, Milani’s neon nail lacquers are available in a variety of eye-catching shades. There are actually two pinks in this collection – Pink Rocks and Pink Hottie – but Pink Rocks is likely to suit a variety of skin tones.

($3.97, Walmart)

5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “Fruity Petutie”

Silly names aside, this juicy-looking pink from Sally Hansen is on my wish list. It leans towards being a neon, but it’s more of a really vibrant hue than a true neon. However, the color looks CRAZY pretty in swatches.

($5.99, Drugstore.com)

Do you have a favorite pink polish you bring out during the summer months?

Since my yellow nail polish post seemed to be a hit, I’ve decided to make a “series” of polish posts highlighting different colors that I feel are perfect for summer. This week, I’ve chosen 5 orange nail polishes that are stunning. Some of these I have, others are on my wish list – either way, they’re guaranteed to put you in a summer state of mind!

1. Essie Nail Color in Orange, It’s Obvious!

One of my must-get shades, Orange, It’s Obvious! looks like it will be as stunning on nails as it is in the bottle based on swatches I’ve seen. I don’t have a lot of Essie polish, but I plan to grow my collection soon with the addition of this stunner.

($8, Ulta)

2. Zoya in Arizona

Part of their new summer collection, Arizona is a gorgeous vivid orange cream that as bright and soft. It’s not a neon, but it’s definitely eye catching on the nail. This will likely be my favorite polish this summer!

($8, Zoya)

3. Color Club in Wham! Pow!

This polish is one of my favorites in my collection. It’s a bright, intense neon orange with a cream finish and the color payoff is awesome. Coverage is great, too – I only need two coats until it’s opaque.

($6, The Beauty Clutch)

4. Milani Nail Lacquer inJust Juicy

I’m all for budget nail polish, and I’ve heard decent things about Milani’s line. Their Just Juicy shade looks almost good enough to eat. If it’s as bright on nails as it is in the bottle, you can bet I’ll be tracking this one down.

($3.29, Target)

5. Julep Nail Vernis in Natasha

Natasha is described as an “intense orange creme,” and I can attest to that fact. I like this color from Julep. It’s truly a one-coater for me, and it looks almost like a juicy sorbet on nails.

($14, Sephora)

Did I forget your favorite orange polish here? Don’t be shy – let me know what orange shade you’ll be wearing this summer.

Summer will be here before we know it, and what color is more sunny than yellow? I know that yellow polish isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t help but be drawn to this shade, especially when temperatures rise. In no particular order, here are 5 yellow nail polishes that are simply perfect for summer.

1. Zoya “Pippa”

Love, love, LOVE this lemon yellow cream. It’s sunny, bright and looks amazing against a tan (faux tan, ladies – skin cancer isn’t hot.) It isn’t a neon, but it’s still just as lovely and covers well in two coats.

($8, Zoya)

2. China Glaze “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”

This was from their Poolside collection a couple of years ago, but it’s still available if you wanted to get your hands on it. This yellow polish from China Glaze is THE bright, in-your-face neon color that a lot of women love and will definitely be very eye catching this season.

($7, Ulta)

3. Deborah Lippmann Nail Color “Yellow Brick Road”

This yellow polish has a jelly finish, so be prepared to swipe several coats on nails if you’re looking for opaque coverage. This “mellow yellow” was designed to be flattering on all skin tones, so if you don’t think you look good in yellow give this one a try.

($16, BeautyBar.com)

4. NARS Thakoon for NARS “Amchoor”

All of the colors from the NARS collaboration with fashion designer Thakoon are gorgeous, but Amchoor is the perfect yellow polish to adorn tips and toes this summer. This vibrant yellow is imbued with UV protection, so color stays bright and true for as long as you wear it.

($18, Sephora)

5. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color “Mellow Yellow”

If vibrant yellow isn’t for you, Sally Hansen’s “Mellow Yellow” is the perfect compromise. This soft, muted yellow hue looks lovely on fair skin and is a great shade for women who shy away from bright colors.

($2.82, Drugstore.com)

Do you have a favorite yellow polish not listed here? Don’t be shy – share them with me in the comments!

DISCLAIMER: I received Kiss Nail Dress for free via the Influenster program for testing and review purposes. My opinions are 100% my own, and are not affected by compensationmonetarily or otherwise.

Given my somewhat shabby results with previous no-dry polish strips, I was a little leery of Kiss Nail Dress. However, the pattern I received – leopard – was totally rocking, and I wanted to give them a shot.

First, here’s the official product information:

Introducing Kiss Nail Dress, ultimate nail fashion for tips and toes! Just peel, apply, and shape for a manicure that lasts up to 10 days. On in minutes, off in seconds without remover. Nail Dress is available in 18 different styles, many of them featuring 3-dimensional jeweled designs. Check out Peplum, a deep black with multi-colored gems for a pop of color, or Babydoll, for a golden and glamorous jeweled look. Skip the topcoat, Nail Dress has it built in.

 With 28 strips in each package, you can cut up your extras to create designs that can be used on top of polished or artificial nails. Nail Dress doesn’t dry out the way other polish strips can, so you can save them to use on your next DIY mani. A nail design booklet is included in each package, just in case you need a little inspiration.

 And don’t forget about your feet! Nail Dress looks awesome on toes, too – just use the square side of the sticker for a perfect fit.

First Impressions

When I took Kiss Nail Dress out of the package, I was getting ready for a battle – but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. They were a cinch to apply, and even a nail art novice like me could easily get 10 perfect nails in minutes. While the company recommends you use a nail file to file off any excess edges, I found using a pair of manicure scissors to cut off the excess, THEN filing for a smooth line, was the easiest way to do it.

Whatever you do, DO NOT tear off the edges unless you think you can be reallllly careful – it’s easy to accidentally tear too much and have to start over with a fresh applique.


Overall, I have to say I am very pleased with Kiss Nail Dress. I received so many compliments while wearing them, and everyone wanted to know where to buy their own. Removal was a breeze, too – use your regular nail polish remover and they slide right off. However, I use a pure 100% acetone based polish remover, so I am unsure how well non-acetone removers will work.

Considering that there’s NO dry time whatsoever, these are perfect when you want a gorgeous manicure in minutes. You can use them for special occasions or every day wear, which I really like. I haven’t tried them on my toes yet, but plan to – especially since I’m wearing flip flops almost exclusively now. I will definitely be purchasing these again!

Kiss Nail Dress retails for $6.99 and is available at drugstores and mass chains like Walmart. For more information, please visit KissNailDress.com.

Have you tried these? What are your thoughts?


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