Browsing Category

Nail Polish

Fashion Nail Polish Roundup

Favorite Summer Sandals + Polish Combinations

July 7, 2020

Best Summer Sandals + Nail Polish Colors to Try

With summer in full swing I thought I’d put together a summer sandal roundup with my favorite nail polish pairings. I’m all about flat sandals for comfort and love how easy they are to wear for a casual summer look. When it comes to shoes I tend to find a couple styles I like and buy them in multiple colors. The basic white, neutral, tan and black colors are the most versatile for me as they’ll go with pretty much any color for outfits.

I’ll make a note on sizing for each style I’ve tried below. I’m usually a 6.5 or 36.5 in most brands for sandals like Tory Burch, Splendid, Joie, Hermes, UGG, Cole Haan. For sneakers depending on brand I usually size up to a 7 in Nike, APL and Saucony. For all of these I either try to shop directly from the brand if I know my size or somewhere like Nordstrom that has an easy return/exchange policy in case the shoes do not fit.

___________

White Wide Strap Sandals + Bright Red Orange Polish

Sam Edelman Gala Sandal White

Sandals: Sam Edelman Gala Two Strap Slide ($59.95 at Nordstrom and Sam Edelman)

Sizing & Fit: Runs true to size (I wear a 6.5). These are comfortable with a slight cushion in the sole. I’ve worn these out for several hours at a time and love them. No break in period. Strap is comfortable and soft with an elastic cutout in the back strap so it can move with your foot. Also worn in my Miami Travel Diary (last year). They’ve held up really well over time!

Polish: Smith and Cult Poppy Papi* ($18 at Smith and Cult, Beautylish) – Smooth opaque coverage with two coats. It has a slight translucent feel as it is more like a jelly. Love how fast it dries and sets. Reminds me of a slightly more red version of Chanel Espadrilles (discontinued).

Other Details: ClareV Petite Sandy Tote and Rayban Phantos Sunglasses.

___________

White Lace Up Tie Sandals + Baby Blue Polish

Marc Fisher Marina Lace-Up Sandal White

Sandals: Marc Fisher Marina Lace-Up Sandals ($65.48 on sale at Nordstrom)

Sizing and Fit: True to size with a squared off toe, thin leather lace up style with a cushioned footbed. I normally don’t like square toe sandals but found these super cute! I’ve only had these for about a month now but I love how they feel. Super comfortable and chic! Also available in a few other similar styles Marg (two straps at the front, one buckled ankle strap) and Monty (no ankle straps).

Polish: Chanel Le Vernis in Bleu Pastel* ($28 at Chanel.com, left foot) is one of my favorite light blue polishes. It’s like a soft washed baby blue with a warm undertone. Reviewed and swatched on the hands in this post here.

Olive and June Honest and True* ($8 at Olive and June, right foot) is pretty close in color to the Chanel option, the Olive and June one is a bit deeper and more blue in undertone. Full coverage with two thin coats.

Other Details: Towel by Dusen Dusen (old style), Mita Visor is from Helen Kaminski, Black Sunglasses Celine

___________

White + Gold Splurge Sandals + Orange Polish

Gucci Leather T-Strap Sandal White

Sandals: Gucci GG T-Strap Sandals in White Leather ($520 at Nordstrom and Gucci)

Sizing and Fit: True to size, I wear a 6.5. These were quite the splurge and I had them on my wishlist for so long. I splurged on these for my birthday and love them. They have a couple grips on the sole so it prevents you from sliding around on slippery floors or tiles. I think they’re really well made and they aren’t painful on the feet. However there’s no cushion or padding so your mileage may vary on wear.

Polish: Chanel Le Vernis in Cruise ($28 at Chanel.com) is part of the Les Beiges 2020 Collection. So many of you loved how bright and summery this orange was. I think it goes best with white or tan sandals. It has full smooth coverage with two coats. It’s the closest match to the color of a real orange – super glossy and shiny in the finish too!

___________

Tory Burch Millers in Bleach + Classic Coral

Tory Burch Miller Sandals in White

Sandals: Tory Burch Miller Leather Sandal ($149 to $198 at Nordstrom and Tory Burch)

Sizing and Fit: The Millers fit true to size on me as well, but I can wear either a 6.5 or 7 – both are really close in fit. My right foot is a little bigger than my left foot and sometimes I will opt for a slightly larger sandal if the fit is really close. The Tory Burch Millers are my favorite sandals that I wear almost all the time. The large medallion helps it stay on the foot better than a traditional flip flop and the leather material makes it a little more dressy.

The Bleach color may be a bit hard to find in your size as it’s been marked down on a number of sites so it sold out really fast. The good news is there are multiple colors available (many also marked down) so if you’ve been eyeing these there’s a good chance you can find it on sale! I saw it restock a couple times – so you may want to check back on sites like Nordstrom or Tory Burch.

Some of you have asked whether the regular leather or patent is better. I’ve found the patent lasts longer and is more resistant to wear, however if you get caught in a rain storm (which happens frequently in Florida) they can get pretty slippery on the foot.

Polish: Dior Vernis in Diorcharm 675 on the toes ($28 at Dior) is a pretty bright red coral with a hint of shimmer. I used to be the biggest fan of Dior nail polishes and still think the formula is phenomenal. The new colors seem harder to find these days, most of the fun colors only launch at Dior.com (at least in the US). The formula is a one-coat wonder and I love the brush.

OPI We Seafood and Eat It* ($5.25 at Ulta) is a fun cream coral red color. I think OPI makes some of the best more budget-friendly colors and the formula lasts a long time on me.

___________

Light Beige Lace Up Sandals + Neutral Cream Sand

Marc Fisher Marina Sandals Nude

Sandals: Marc Fisher Marina Lace-Up in Light Leather Latte ($65.98 at Nordstrom)

Sizing and Fit: True to size, I wear a 6.5 in these! Details above listed under the white sandals – I had to buy in multiple colors.

Polish: OPI Samoan Sand ($5.25 at Ulta) – one of my most worn light beige nude cream polishes. Goes with everything! Swatched on the hands with my other favorite neutrals in my Top 5 Best Nude Nail Polishes post.

Other Details: Bag is the Tory Burch Perry Bombe Bag (color is Perfect Sand which was limited-edition, also have it in Black reviewed here showing what fits inside), Lip Gloss is Pat McGrath LUST Gloss in Faux Real* (swatches here), Visor is Helen Kaminski

___________

Tan Platform Slide Sandals + Bold Reds

Ugg Kari Sandals Tan Chloe Mini Marcie

Sandals: UGG Kari Sandals in Natural ($109.95 at Nordstrom)

Sizing and Fit: Runs True to Size, I wear a 6.5. These are in my Top 2 most comfortable sandals I have. I love them so much I bought a backup pair just in case they become discontinued. I’ve had these for over a year and have worn them almost to death but they’ve held up really well. They have a platform about 1 inch so it’s not too chunky or hard to walk in. The sole molds to the foot giving you support and making it easy to wear. Also shown in a few outfits in my Miami Travel Diary (from last year).

Polish: Smith and Cult Kundalini Hustle* on the toes ($18 at Smith and Cult) is a pure poppy red with a slight blue undertone. I love that it’s a bright red that doesn’t darken too much when it dries.

Chanel Le Vernis in Gitane* on the tips ($28 at Chanel.com) is a bold bright red. It’s a true neutral red so it’s not too warm and not too cool. When it comes to red polishes I think Chanel does it best!

Other Details: Chloe Mini Marcie (reviewed here also worn here) and Rayban Phantos Sunglasses

___________

Tan Medallion Sandals + Coral Pinks

Tory Burch Miller Sandals Tan Brown

Sandals: Tory Burch Miller in Vintage Vachetta ($198 at Tory Burch, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s)

Sizing and Fit: True to size, I usually wear a 6.5 in these. This color and style is the one I’ve worn the most. The quality is exceptional and I love how it goes with everything. I’ve worn these so much I have gone through several pairs already – with most people I do think they will last a lot longer. I’ve shortened the life span by wearing these pretty much everywhere – on trips, while moving, in the rain etc. I try to take better care of my other shoes to make them last longer.

Polish: Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium 562 on the toes ($28 at Chanel.com) is my most-worn coral nail polish. Anytime you see a peachy coral on my toes, it’s most likely this one. It has a hint of pink to so it’s not a pure peach/orange. (Also reviewed here.)

Chanel Le Vernis in Turban 524 on the tips is similar but has more pink. I think both of these are my perfect go-to’s for summer. (Turban also reviewed here.)

Other Details: Sunnies are Celine, Hat is Helen Kaminski, Beach towel is Tory Burch and Mini Bag is also Tory Burch

___________

Black Lace Up Sandals + Lilac/Lavender

Marc Fisher Strappy Marina Lace Up Sandals

Sandals: Marc Fisher Marina Lace-Up Sandals ($65.48 on sale at Nordstrom)

Sizing and Fit: True to size.

Polish: Essie U’V got me faded on the toes ($9 at Ulta) is part of the summer Sunny Business collection. It’s a pale lilac color with a white base so it’s pastel. On my fingers it looks paler than on my toes for some reason. If you want a deeper lilac with shimmer the Essie Spring in Your Step is slightly darker.

Olive and June Fierce and Loving* on the fingers ($8 at Olive and June) is a lavender color with a more pinkish tinge. Two coats covers the nail entirely. I love how fresh and pretty this one is!

___________

Black Miller Sandals + Hot Pinks

 

Tory Burch Black Leather Miller Sandals

Sandals: Tory Burch Miller in Black Leather (also available in patent black)

Sizing and Fit: True to size!

Polish: Chanel Le Vernis in Camelia* ($28 at Chanel.com) is my most-worn deep pink. It’s a classic go with everything color! I know a lot of you like brighter pinks versus deeper pinks. I think OPI Strawberry Margarita* is a few shades lighter and brighter for the perfect bright summer pink.

Other Details: Cult Gaia Mini Ark in Natural and Celine sunglasses (on the face here and here)

___________

Rockstud Black Sandals + Off-White Cream

Valentino Rockstud Slide Sandals Black

Sandals: Valentino Rockstud Slide Sandal ($675 at Nordstrom)

Sizing and Fit: Varies depending on style. I took these in a Size 6/36 because the straps fit better on my foot for this color combination and it fits my foot as well. These are the fanciest sandals I own and I was debating whether to buy the leather or patent jelly version (cheaper but slightly different style). I’ve only worn these out one time – I have been waiting for a more special occasion to wear these but we have been staying at home more so I haven’t really taken them out. Can’t wait to wear these more! I find they stay on the foot pretty well.

Polish: Essie Talk to the Sand ($9 at Ulta) is a pale cream with a slight peach/pink tinge. I looked up swatches online and I think it’s so interesting how this looks different on everyone depending on your skin tone and undertone. On me it looks more peach on the fingers, on the toes is almost looks like a pink-white, on some others it looks more peach or beige. It has a lot of contrast with my tan skin tone so if you’re fair it will most likely look less white against your fingers/toes.

Other Details: Purse is the Gucci Supermini.

___________

Comfortable Everyday Wear-Around-The-House Slides

APL Techloom Slides

Sandals: APL Techloom Slides ($100 at APL)

Sizing and Fit: These are the most comfortable sandals I’ve ever worn – but they’re more of a casual sport slide rather than an everyday sandal. I have these in multiple colors (like I do with all my shoes) and wear these in a Size 6. They only have these in whole sizes and since I have fairly narrow feet the next size up was too wide for me. In their sneakers I wear a 7 for APL and Nike because I like extra room for movement, socks and swelling with activity. I also bought these for Andrew and he wears a 12 in APL sneakers and the slides – so for him they were True to Size (he’s usually a 12 or 12.5 in most brands).

I’d recommend reading the sizing reviews on their website if you’re a half size. They’re so comfortable I’ve been able to walk long distances in them without any issues. To clean them you can put them in the washing machine or hand scrub the sole if they get super dirty. Just make sure you air dry (don’t put in the dryer).

Polish: Olive and June Honest and True on the left, Chanel Resplendissant on the right

___________

Favorite Summer Sandals + Polishes to Try

I hope you enjoyed this sandal review and polish swatch roundup! A lot of you have asked for DIY pedicure tips – unfortunately I haven’t found anything that I’ve loved. All my mani/pedis these days are DIY. While I have my hand care routine down, I don’t have a good pedicure routine. I’ll link my tools, top and base coat below. But for scrubs and pumice stones I haven’t found any really good ones yet.

What is your favorite polish color to wear for summer? I think I need to try more purples and perhaps a yellow.

Shoes and Accessories:

 

Polish Colors:

 

Press samples have a * next to them. Other shades purchased by me.

Nail Polish

Spring Polish Colors to Brighten the Mood

April 9, 2020

Best Spring Nail Polishes

acrylic display stand from Muji

Doing something as simple as painting my nails these days has some kind of calming effect on me. I’ve been painting my own nails for several years now and since we’re all stuck at home this might a good time to try and improve your own technique! I’m rounding up my favorite spring polish colors to brighten the mood. I’m kinda into softer shades and pastels at the moment. If you have any ones you love let me know in the comments!

First, if you want tips and info on a DIY mani, you can check out my hand and nail care routine roundup.

Chanel

Color-wise, my favorite colors right now are the Chanel Fleur do Pecher and Petale from the La Fleur Et L’Eau Collection. However many of you asked me for more budget-friendly recommendations so I’m sharing some colors I’ve hauled recently from Essie, OPI, Olive and June below.

Chanel Le Vernis Fleur de Pecher and Petale swatch_______________

Essie

Essie is a favorite among many of you. Color-wise I think there are some really nice shades. Formula-wise it’s not my favorite simply because I find other brands last longer/better on my fingers. They recently launched a new quick-dry formula called Expressie and it really does dry faster! I picked up 3 colors to give a whirl and love all of them. I can get full opaque coverage with 2 thin coats.

Buns Up is a neutral beige cream, similar to OPI Samoan Sand, but the Essie is not as yellow and also has more opaque coverage.

Essie Expressie Buns Up

_______________

Crop Top and Roll is a nice everyday neutral pink beige cream, I can get full smooth coverage with 2 coats as well.

Essie Crop Top and Roll

_______________

In the Time Zone is a blue-based cream pink, but isn’t too blue on my golden skin tone.

Essie Expressie In the Time Zone

_______________

For the spring color launch I think all the colors are really fun and fresh. I limited myself to 2 of them including Kissed by Mist, a light blue-based pink with tiny violet sparkles.

Essie Nail Polish Kissed by Mist

_______________

Spring in Your Step is one of the prettiest smooth pearl lavender colors I’ve seen. It flashes a very subtle hint of pink in the shimmer.

Essie Spring In Your Step

_______________

OPI

OPI is my favorite affordable nail polish brand. I think they have the best color selection and lasting power. I’ve used a number of their base and top coats in the past and love them to extend wear. My most-worn neutrals are Samoan Sand, Machu Peach-u and Tiramisu for Two. In case you missed the swatches, check out my Top 5 Best Nude Nail Polishes post. They recently launched a Neo-Pearl Collection and since everything is online only these days I relied on YouTube swatches to pick a couple colors. I normally prefer the regular formula, but it appears the Infinite Shine 2 options for this launch are better and less streaky. I ordered these from Ulta but it looks like they are sold out right now. You might have to do a bit of searching to find these.

I’m a Natural is the perfect pale pink polish color. It’s a soft pink that flashes a slight hint of blue. I think it’s perfect! This one is best with at least 2 coats. In online swatches and photos I’ve seen it flash more purple/blue. I guess it depends on the angle and lighting!

OPI Infinite Shine 2 I'm a Natural

_______________

You’re Full of Abalone is a pale ivory white that has a flashes a tiny bit of blue/violet. It’s sheer so I like it best with 3 coats. It’s a nice clean white that isn’t too stark or sharp on my skin.

OPI Infinite Shine 2 You're Full of Abalone

_______________

Olive and June

The Olive and June nail salon in LA is one of the cutest places I’ve ever been to. I’ve only been there once and it was the most expensive nail treatment I splurged on with a friend. We both still remember it! They launched their own line of polish and nail care products and I think they’re super cute. You can see a previous review of their Tool Box here. A few of their polishes are now available at Target, but the vast majority of their products are online at their website Olive and June.

GH is a pale pink that’s almost white on my skin. The formula is buildable so don’t be shocked if the first coat looks streaky. Just apply 1 thin coat, let it dry completely. The 2nd coat will smooth out to smooth coverage.

Olive and June Nail Polish GH

_______________

TT is a pale lilac, also almost off -white on my skin, but looks clean and fresh!

Olive and June TT

_______________

SE is a baby blue-based pink, best with 2 thin coats. You may need a third on this color.

Olive and June SE

_______________

BI is a perfect peach cream. The formula on this one was difficult for me to work with, but if you have patience to apply slowly and let each coat dry completely, I think the end result is pretty!

Olive and June BI

_______________

Favorite hand cream of the moment is Chanel La Creme Main in Le Lift or the La Mer Rejuvinating Hand Serum. Favorite cuticle moisturizer is Olive and June’s Cuticle Serum and Dior’s Huile Abricot. More recommendations here.

Colors shown in bottom photo:

Acrylic Mini Bottle Stand from Muji (measures 6.9″ wide x 2.6 ” deep x 9.1 inches tall)

Top Row: Essie Buns Up, Crop Top and Roll, In The Time Zone, Kissed By Mist, Spring In Your Step

Middle Row: ChanelPetale, Fleur de Pecher, OPI I’m a Natural, You’re Full of Abalone

Bottom Row: OPI Natural Base Coat, Olive and June GH, TT, SE and BI

Spring Nail Polish Favorites

Swatch comparisons for you!

Nail Polish Swatches Neutrals

What are some of your favorite nail polishes for spring? Have you been trying any DIY at home manicures recently or are you already a pro/expert?

Chanel Petale, Fleur de Pecher, Olive and June SE and BI provided for review. Others purchased by me.

Chanel Nail Polish

Best Chanel Le Vernis Neutrals + Soft Shades for Spring

January 23, 2020

Best Chanel Le Vernis Neutrals

By popular request I’m rounding up my favorite Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Polish neutrals! This has been one of my favorite nail polish formulas as long as I can remember. I’ve been a fan through several reformulations and love the colors they launch. I’ve also added a few other softer mauves and purples I think are nice for spring with swatch comparisons.

Most of these you can still find now at Chanel.com and most retailers, although some colors are limited-edition and are harder to find (like Afterglow and Chicness). Organdi is the one I wear the most and also the shade I get the most compliments on. A lot of you wanted swatch comparisons to see the different undertones and depth.

Below left to right is: Blanc White 548, Afterglow 703, Organdi 504, Bleached Mauve 646, Daydream 735, Chicness 612 (discontinued, from cruise 2018), Purple Ray 709 and Mirage 739

Best Chanel Nail Polish Neutrals via The Beauty Look Book

Chanel Le Vernis Swatches

Swatches and comparisons on the nails, each swatch has 2 coats except Blanc White has 3 coats. All still available at Chanel.com.

Chanel Blanc White, Organdi, Bleached Mauve and Daydream

Chanel Nail Polish Blanc White, Organdi, Bleached Mauve and Daydream

Below swatch set 2, all available at Chanel.com still except Chicness (discontinued) and Afterglow (but still available at Saks right now):

Chanel Le Vernis New Dawn, Afterglow, Purple Ray, Chicness and Mirage

My top three favorites right now include Organdi (probably my most-worn neutral), Daydream (new for spring-summer 2020) and Afterglow (from cruise 2019).

I like to use these with the Chanel Le Gel Top Coat for extra shine and lasting power. If you apply properly you will find these last a long time. If you’re getting tip wear or chipping, it’s likely you’re not coating the tip enough with polish or the top coat. Just like any paint, when it dries, the product shrinks so make sure you paint all the way around to the tops. Also note that not all top coats are compatible. For example Seche Vite is a great brand for quick dry top coats, but it runs on the thick side and always shrinks on me no matter what brand of polish I use. As it shrinks it pulls the polish around the edges and causes early tip wear.

A few other nail articles I’ve written and resources you may find helpful!

Top 10 Chanel Le Vernis Shades + Matching Lip Colors
Top 5 Best Nude Nail Polishes
Hand + Nail Care Routine + Tips

You can find Blanc White 548, Organdi 504, Bleached Mauve 646, Daydream 735, Purple Ray 709 and Mirage 739 available at Chanel.com and all Chanel counters. Afterglow is currently still available at Saks.

Have you tried any of these colors yet? What did you think?

 

Nail Polish

Favorite Essie Polishes Right Now

September 13, 2019

Favorite Essie Polishes Sabrina The Beauty Look Book

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week. So many of you have loved the recent nail polish posts (especially my top 5 neutrals) I thought I’d do another roundup of some Essie shades I’ve hauled recently. I’ve actually been more of an OPI kind of girl when it comes to nail polishes for lasting power and color range, but I’ve been exploring more from Essie outside of my go-to Topless and Barefoot and found quite a few nice neutrals that aren’t nude. Ever since trying out the Speed Setter Top Coat I’ve now been able to make Essie polish last on my nails. I still want to try out the Gel Couture Top Coat but haven’t yet.

It can get a little overwhelming with all the options – so I’ve picked a small handful. Some look really similar in the bottles (almost identical) but there are variations in undertones so there’s a lot to pick from.

Essie nail polish favorites

Lighten The Mood is one I bought over the summer. It’s a really pretty off-white pale pink cream. Finish is not the most opaque so I need three coats.

Essie Lighten the Mood

Come Out To Clay is part of their Rocky Rose Collection for fall which is the perfect light peachy cream. I can get away with 2 coats, but sometimes apply 3.

Essie Come Out To Clay

Princess Charming is a Gel Couture formula with a wide brush and excellent coverage. It’s a medium neutral rose cream.

Essie Princess Charming

Into The A-Bliss is also from the Fall 2019 collection, it’s a medium cool-rose pink cream with mauve undertones. This applies more like a pink but dries down to a mauve.

Essie Into The A-Bliss

Eternal Optimist is also a pick I hauled earlier in the summer, it’s a pretty medium-neutral rose pink.

Essie Eternal Optimist

Stitch by Stitch is a soft baby pink that isn’t too pale or too blue in undertone. I think it’s a fun color to wear that isn’t too bubble-gum like if you’re looking for a more neutral pink.

Essie Stitch by Stitch

Essie Pink and Mauve Favorites

Essie Swatches Pink Neutral Mauves

In case you missed it, you can check out my tips and favorites in my Hand and Nail Care Routine post that I posted recently. It’s an updated list of my go-to products for a DIY manicure.

 

What are some of your favorite Essie nail polishes? Do you recommend any of their base or top coats? What should I try next?

Nail Polish Skincare

Hand + Nail Care Routine Tips and Favorites

August 27, 2019

Best Nail Care Products | The Beauty Look Book

I get so many questions about my hand and nail care routine I thought it was time for an updated post. Readers ask me on a weekly basis whether or not my nail polish is done at the salon or at home on my own. I do most of my nail polish and hand care on my own and I have for a couple years now. Most as in practically all – the last time I was at a salon was at least a couple years ago! When I lived in San Diego I had my go-to salons that I went to almost weekly. It was the best way for me to relax, unwind and unplug! However since moving to Florida I’ve never really found anything that comes close and with the frequency that I change my polish it is just easier, more affordable and saves time for me to care for them them on my own.

I did a complete roundup and tutorial a couple years ago. Most of my go-to staples are still the same although there have been a few changes as formulas become discontinued and brands change. I used to never be able to wear Essie polish without getting horrendous tip wear within 1 hour, but I finally found a way to make it work. This goes for most brands of polish, some take different steps and combinations of base/top to make it last.

I have a full list of what I use, some good runner ups and tips on how I maintain my hands and nails. I will say that it will all get better with practice. I used to not be able to paint my right hand well because my left hand was clumsy and shaky. It’s still not perfect but it does get better with time!

Cuticle Care

Cuticle Care Essentials Deborah Lippmann Tweezerman Revlon

Cuticles can be a pain to keep healthy, especially if they’re dry or peeling. I think keeping hands well moisturized is key. If you’re cuticles aren’t in the best shape and you don’t know how to trim them I would suggest going to the salon to have them trimmed professionally. Observe their methods and steps until you’re comfortable doing it yourself at home. Key products I use:

  • The Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is my holy grail cuticle softener/remover of all time. I’ve tried a number of highly raved about brands but this is the best. This loosens and softens dead skin around the cuticle making it easier to push back to trim. For me this is essential.
  • Tweezerman Pushy and Nail Cleaner is also my holy grail (flat sided tip) for pushing back cuticles. Some prefer a rounded version but for me the flat tip gives more control. Often times the rounded end ones are too big for my fingers too. There’s a nail cleaner tip on the other end which is rounded (versus sharp) so it’s super gentle.
  • Revlon Cuticle Clippers have been a go-to for years, they have sharp tips to precisely cut away dead cuticles once they’re pushed back. They will cut well all the way so there’s no pulling the skin from partial trimming. These were actually my second choice because I needed a pair but couldn’t find my favorite Tweezerman Cuticle Nippers. The drugstore I went to only had ones from Revlon so I decided to give the a try. Both brands are really good.
  • Not shown but to cut and trip the tips I use a Revlon Deluxe Nail Clipper. I also like Tweezerman tools as well.

You can see a full step by step tutorial in this post here but I’ve reposted some of the steps below. Depending on how dry your hands are or how long it’s been since your last manicure you may want to soak, clean and moisturize your hands first.

Cuticle Care Steps Trimming Tutorial

_________________

Nail Polish Remover and Filing Tools

Best Nail Polish Remover Zoya

Finding a good gentle remover is essential, especially if you have sensitive nails or fingers. You don’t want to dry out the hands or use something too harsh. Unfortunately the best ones aren’t always easily accessible for me so I’m always ordering online.

  • Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove Nail Polish Remover is one of my top two holy grails. It comes in a few different sizes and this one has a pump dispenser which is super handy. It’s gentle and effective and works on all polish brands that I use. It removes polish, preps and conditions the nails.
  • Deborah Lippmann The Stripper (not shown) is the other in my top two. She often has bundles available which makes it more affordable. This is also an excellent non-drying version (if I had to pick one this would be my top pick). She also has these in packet forms called Stripper To Go. They’re packaged in a very small packet but the pads are well soaked and the are really convenient for travel or if you need to change polish on-the-go, there’s no need to worry about a bottle leaking or exploding. One individual packet has enough to remove polish for all my fingers.
    • With these 2 removers I find I don’t need to use a nail cleaner to clean the residue/oils off.
  • For filing, buffing and cleaning excess paint I’ve always used what I could find at the grocery or drug store. Olive and June launched a line of polish and nail care products that are super convenient and well made. They sent some of their products to try and I am completely obsessed with The Tool Box. I use it to store most of my nail care tools and basics in one place. I think you can find alternatives for less at Ulta or Target, but for me I really like the Buffer Cube and Clean Up Brush. You can buy the Clean Up Brush individually and for me it’s perfect to clean the edges where polish may have transferred or look a little messy.

_________________

My Favorite Base and Top Coats

Best Base and Top Coats Essie, Smoth Cult, Chanel and OPI

My favorite base and top coats often rotate as I use things up or formulas become discontinued. What I have in rotation right now is listed below (for regular nail polish, I don’t use gel):

  • OPI Natural Nail Base Coat is a good gentle but effective base coat that works with all of my polish formulas. It works well to prevent nails from yellowing from polish.
  • Smith and Cult Basis of Everything is another favorite for Base Coats and Above it All is an amazing top coat to make tips ultra shiny and manicures last.
  • Chanel Le Gel Coat is not really a gel coat, but it is a long-wear top coat that will give the nails an ultra glossy gel-like shine and effect. This works best with Chanel polishes and I’ve gone through many bottles.
  • Essie Speed Setter is the best fast-setting top coat that won’t cause major shrinkage.
  • Others I’ve tried and liked are Nails Inc (but my favorites have been discontinued), CND Sticky Base, CND Super Shiny Top Coats. The Christian Louboutin Loubi Kit is probably the best one I’ve tried and it’s been on my list to repurchase.
    • With the Chanel, Essie or Smith and Cult Top Coats I usually get at least a week of wear without chipping or tip wear. At the day 2 or 3 mark I recommend reapplying a layer of top coat to help protect the color and extend wear.

_________________

Hand Creams and Moisturizers

Best Hand and Cuticle Treatments

I’m the biggest hand cream junkie! I’ve tried so many and have a lot in rotation at any given moment. I did a massive purge right before our move in June and gifted a lot of my products away. These are the ones I have in rotation right now. I apply hand cream daily, I use a scrub once a week, cuticle oils are used as needed.

  • Chanel La Creme Main is the best lightweight hand cream with a velvety soft dry down. I like this because it doesn’t leave any sticky residue. If you have ultra dry hands this is not the one for you though in which case I’d recommend you try La Creme Main Texture Riche or Le Lift (new). Both are better for dry skin and I love the packaging! I keep at least one of these in my purse. The new Le Lift does the best job at smoothing the skin. I’ve only used it for about a week now but I’m completely in love.
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is the best unscented option for ultra dry hands. I like this in the winter or when my hands are super dry. The fact that it’s unscented is a huge plus, especially if you work in an environment that needs to be fragrance or perfume free. Or if you’re just sensitive to added fragrance. (Comes in different sizes.)
  • La Mer Rejuvenating Hand Serum is one of the most expensive hand splurges I’ve tried. It’s also one of the most luxurious treatments I’ve owned. It is heavily fragranced with the signature La Mer scent but is really soothing and does indeed work to smooth and soften the hands. I’m still not over the sticker shock but I think it is quite amazing.
  • For cuticle oils I’ve tried so many. There are a lot of great options out there whether you want a thick cream, shea butter, oil, etc. I prefer oils because they absorb easily and aren’t goopy. My two favorites are the Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive System and L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil. They come with a brush tip applicator so it’s less messy than the dropper or bottle/brush style packaging. For the dropper style the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil was the best one I tried.
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter One-Minute Hand Scrub is amazing. This is my second tube and it makes such a huge difference in the texture and smoothness of your hands. I often neglect exfoliation on the hands but getting rid of the dead skin cells with a gentle scrub makes a world of difference. This is hydrating without having any residue and it’s very very gentle.
  • Other loves include Molton Brown, the Kiehl’s Scented Hand Creams, Aesop, L’Occitane Hand Creams (for winter). For one with SPF the Supergoop! Hand Cream is amazing (I’m all out, I often run out of this one). Moroccanoil is also great.

_________________

Application Tips

Nail Polish Application Tips from Sabrina The Beauty Look Book

For application I will say practice makes perfect. I think the biggest mistake people make with application is getting the brush too close to the cuticles. Wet lacquer will move a little when it’s wet, so to prevent bleeding leave a tiny little gap between the brush and cuticle. For me I start a little farther from the cuticle than I think I should and it prevents the polish from moving/bleeding into the nail beds. Sometimes it is impossible to not get excess polish on the skin so I clean it up with a brush or my thumb nail in which case sometimes it’s best to paint the thumbs the last. Different formulas have different textures, some are ultra fluid, while others are thicker so your mileage may vary with application.

I recommend applying thin coats. Sometimes I’ll have to apply 3 depending on how sheer the formula is. As long as your coats are thin and even it should still dry relatively fast. I let mine air dry and try to do them before I think I’ll be typing for a long time or hands free while watching TV.

Applying on a flat surface is the best way to apply polish. The Olive and June Tool Box comes with a handy coated thick sheet to protect your surface. I also just use paper towels at home. Anytime I think I can just do my polish on my desk, on the couch or on the floor I end up spilling product. I dropped a bottle on a concrete floor once and it was SUCH a mess to clean up as the entire bottle shattered.

How to Paint your Nails

_________________

Closer look at the Olive and June Tool Box (you can customize your picks online):

My own nail care selects, I use the box to store my tools:

Best Nail Care Products | The Beauty Look Book

I hope this updated roundup gives you some tips and ideas on how to do a DIY manicure at home! With things like cotton pads, nail files or buffer, I pretty much use what I can find at my local CVS or drugstore. I wish there was a complete one brand kit that I could find that has everything in a convenient box or pouch but I’ve found no single brand has everything I need. My top essentials for my routine include the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover, Tweezerman Pushy Stick and the Revlon or Tweezerman Cuticle Trimmers.

So many of you ask what my favorite polish brand is and I don’t have one. I love trying all kinds of brands! High and low. The three I wear the most these days are Chanel, OPI and Essie. I still really like Louboutin polishes but the packaging isn’t convenient so I find myself reaching for other brands more.

On storage, I used to have a lot of nail polish wall racks I found on Amazon where I stored my polishes. I got rid of them when we moved from San Diego to Tampa – we had to edit what we kept/tossed. These days I just keep them in drawers.

For the toes I also do them on my own, although I prefer salon treatments to get rid of callouses etc. I haven’t been to the salon in a while though – I broke a toe a year and a half ago and was so hesitant to let anyone touch my feet even after it healed. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have any hand/nail care holy grails! I’d love to hear about your favorites.

 

 

Olive and June Kit provided for review. All other products purchased and repurchased by me.

Chanel Lips Nail Polish

Top 10 Chanel Le Vernis Nail Shades + Lip Colors to Match

August 19, 2019

Best Chanel Nail Polishes Top 10 via The Beauty Look Book

I’ve been a long time fan of the Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colors through numerous reformulations and used to collect all the new colors religiously! They revamped the formula back in 2016 and while I was really sad so many great shades were discontinued I was really happy to find the formula was improved. I’ve reviewed many new colors / formula over the past few years. You can see the original posts here and here. A number of you have asked for an updated Chanel polish roundup so I have one today with my Top 10! Colors that you can still find today although a few of these are limited-edition. I’ve also included a fun twist and added my favorite matching Chanel lips to go with each of the 10 colors. I don’t always match nails and lips, but sometimes I think it’s fun to have coordinating colors!

I really love the formula of Chanel Le Vernis. They’re always smooth and glossy on my tips and toes and last a long time on my hands. I do think proper application is key – I recommend pairing it with a good base and top coat. If you’re finding it chips or you get tip wear I suspect it’s either the application or the top coat you’re using. As much as I love fast drying top coats, many of them shrink when drying and slowly pulls back the color underneath. Not all top coats are compatible with all nail polish formulas. This leads to early tip wear and chipping in my experience. I love the Chanel Le Gel Top Coat, but also find that the Essie Speed Setter or Smith and Cult Top Coat work well.

My top 10 favorite colors right now, all nail polish swatches have 2 coats:

Le Vernis in Organdi 504 + Rouge Coco Flash in Boy 54 (lip swatches here) + Le Rouge Double in Merry Rose

Chanel Le Vernis Organdi

Chanel Le Vernis Organdi and Rouge Coco Flash in Boy

Le Vernis in Bleached Mauve 646 + Rouge Coco Gloss in Caramel 716* (lip swatches here)

Chanel Le Vernis Bleached Mauve

Chanel Le Vernis Bleached Mauve Rouge Coco Gloss Caramel

Le Vernis Perle de Corail 695* + Rouge Coco Glosses in Subtil 744 and Physical 166*

Chanel Le Vernis Perle de Corail

Chanel Le Vernis Perle de Corail + Rouge Coco Gloss Subtil and Physical

Le Vernis in Joyau 699* + Rouge Coco Gloss in Tendresse 172 (lip swatches here)

Chanel Le Vernis Joyau and Rouge Coco Gloss Tendresse

Chanel Le Vernis Joyau and Rouge Coco Gloss Tendresse

Le Vernis in Camelia 506* + Rouge Allure Ink in Euphorie 170*

Chanel Le Vernis Camelia Rouge Allure Ink Euphorie

Chanel Le Vernis Camelia Rouge Allure Ink Euphorie swatches

Le Vernis in Coralium 564 + Rouge Coco Gloss True 782

Chanel Le Vernis Coralium and Rouge Coco Gloss True

Chanel Le Vernis Coralium and Rouge Coco Gloss True swatches

Le Vernis in Jaspe 693* + Rouge Allure Ink in Cornaline 198* (lip swatches here)

Chanel Le Vernis Jaspe and Rouge Allure Ink Cornaline

Chanel Le Vernis Jaspe and Rouge Allure Ink Cornaline

Le Vernis in Gitane 510* + Rouge Coco Gloss in Bitter Orange 752* (lip swatches here)

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Bitter Orange and Le Vernis Gitane

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Bitter Orange and Le Vernis Gitane

Le Vernis in Vamp 18 + Rouge Coco Blush in Burning Berry 420* (lip swatches here)

Chanel Le Vernis Vamp and Rouge Coco Blush in Burning Berry

Chanel Le Vernis Vamp and Rouge Coco Blush in Burning Berry

Le Vernis in Rouge Noir 18 + Rouge Coco Flash in Noir Moderne 102 or Temper 104

Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir and Rouge Coco Flash Noir Moderne

Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir and Rouge Coco Flash Noir Moderne

P.S. I am still really obsessed with their La Creme Main and La Creme Main Texture Riche. They just launched a new Le Lift La Creme Main which is more expensive than the other two formulas but has the Le Lift skincare ingredients to smooth the skin. If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught my sneak preview on stories over the weekend. I ordered it the day it launched and will have a review soon, but first impressions are that I really like it.

Also for those who’ve been asking and emailing me – nails are DIY, I do them on my own. How I keep them manicured in this post here. Will try to do an updated one soon as a few of my old staples have been discontinued.

You can find all the colors available now at Chanel.com. Also available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and all Chanel counters.

Do you have any favorite Chanel colors?

Press samples indicated with a *. All others purchased by me.

Beauty Favorites Nail Polish

Top 5 Best Nude Nail Polishes

February 15, 2019

Top 5 Best Nude Neutral Nail Polishes

By popular request I’m sharing my top five most worn neutral nail polishes. I’ve done a few rounds of my favorite neutrals in past years and these days I feel like it’s all I want to wear on my fingers. I’m constantly asked for neutral polish recommendations every single week! There are so many different definitions and variations of “nude” for polish. When someone asks me for a good everyday nude polish they can mean so many different things. Some think of a pale off white neutral, others a pink neutral, some envision a camel beige, neutral beige, pink beige, brown pink, mauve nude etc. What neutral looks like also depends on skin tone and how well the color matches or contrasts with your skin tone.

I like something that is lighter or a lot lighter than my skin tone. Something that matches exactly ends up looking like mannequin hands which is not a good look on me. These are my current top five nude nail polishes I wear the most and also always get compliments or questions on.

Top 5 Neutral Nail Polishes for Sabrina

Top Five Neutral Nail Polishes for Spring

____________________

Smith and Cult Peaceful Paranoia is a neutral creamy neutral cool beige-pink that flashes iridescent pink. It is one that matches my skin tone fairly close but has enough contrast to give a polished look. Marc Jacobs Flourescent Beige is similar but something about the mauve-grey base didn’t go well with my skintone. More swatches of Peaceful Paranoia here.

Smith and Cult Peaceful Paranoia swatch, neutral nail polish

____________________

OPI Machu Peach-U is the most perfect neutral nude peach ever made. I’m so sad it appears to be limited-edition. If you can locate it buy it immediately. It’s part of the Peru Collection and I think it should be made permanent! I was able to find some at my local Ulta even though it’s not online. You can still find it on Amazon.

OPI Machu Peach-U Peru Collection Swatch

____________________

OPI Tiramisu for Two has been a go-to neutral beige pink for years. I love that it has full smooth coverage and doesn’t turn or look yellowish on the hands. It has a tiny bit of pink/cool undertone to prevent it from looking too beige. It’s the perfect everyday neutral. OPI has so many great neutrals but a lot of them are sheer. This one is opaque which makes it a winner in my book.

OPI Tiramisu for Two best opaque neutral polish

____________________

OPI Samoan Sand is one of the sheer ones but it’s not as sheer as Bubble Bath. I still need 3 coats for full coverage but for a beige it’s really so perfect I don’t mind. Finding a good beige nude is hard because of the yellow undertone in so many. It ends up making my skin look sallow. This has enough peachy undertone to make for the perfect sheer beige nude.

OPI Samoan Sand Nail Polish swatch, best nude polish

____________________

Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi is the most complimented nail polish I own (as listed in this post here). It’s neutral and pink and just perfect for any season or occasion. It applies perfectly with just two coats. The Le Gel Top Coat is the best one to make Chanel polish last.

Chanel Organdi nail polish swatch, best nude pink polish color

____________________

I wanted to add one more swatch for you since so many of you sent me Direct Messages about the spring colors from Chanel. I was pretty let down by the offerings this season (and last season too) so I only bought 2 of the spring nail polishes. Neither made my heart sing even though I really tried to love them. This Instagram post I did about the Bleached Mauve Le Vernis was one of my most liked posts on Instagram this year though which means it might be right up your alley! It matches two of their Rouge Coco Glosses which I love in 714 and 716 so I thought it would be perfect, but I’m sad to report that it did not work for me. It’s too brown/warm but maybe my skintone isn’t the right shade to go well with this. I feel like OPI’s Dulce de Leche is close but has a tiny bit more pink to make it more wearable. I do think the new Pierres de Lumiere polish colors look absolutely stunning based on stock photos. The entire collection just launched online.

Chanel Bleached Mauve Le Vernis

Runner ups for color:

Other recommendations:

I’ve accumulated quite a few polishes over the years. My 2017 favorites linked here. I’ve since found myself wearing the same neutrals more often on the fingers. Recent pink polish colors have been from the OPI Tokyo Collection which I’ll review soon (Rice Rice Baby and Another Ramen-Tic Evening are perfect!). On the toes I often do nudes or bright corals. I don’t have any go-to rule about mixing or matching nails on tips and toes, I feel like you can really do anything your mood calls for!

Hope you found this helpful for my top 5 most-worn neutrals! Would love to hear about yours and what your definition of nude polish is!

 

Have a great weekend!

powered by chloédigital