The Seven Day Manicure

When it comes to manicures, I’ve tried them all. After a year of gel manicures and over a year of acrylics, I’m back to my own nails. Although it’s certainly freeing not to be tied down to a two-hour fill-in session, making a regular or home manicure last a week is an art in and of itself.  These tips will help keep your nails in tip-top shape.

lt nails

1. Pick a Light Color, But not Too Light: Picking a dark color or even a very light (white-based) color will make any imperfections, like chips, very obvious. Pick a natural color like a beige or a faint pink. My favorites are Essie’s Mademoiselle, Sugar Daddy, and Spaghetti Strap.

2. Keep them on the Shorter Side: Longer nails are prone to cracking and chipping, especially if your nails are on the weaker side. Keep them short and each of a similar length.

3. Clean with Gloves On: Nothing ruins a manicure faster than contact with cleaning fluids like bleach. Buy yourself a pair of heavy duty cleaning gloves and wear them whenever you clean or wash the dishes.

4.Keep Nails from Contact with Hand Sanitizer and Hand Creams: These are things we are prone to using every day, but avoiding the nail area when you apply them will help keep your manicure from breaking down.

5. Apply a Top Coat or Nail Strengthener  Every Other Day: Purchase a clear nail strengthening top coat from a beauty supply store or your local nail salon and apply it every other day.  Not only will it keep your nails looking shiny, but the product buildup during the week will keep your nails strong and less likely to break or chip.

top coat

Beauty Space-Saver: Tarte Bronzer/Blush Duo

I’ve been seriously pondering switching out my large purse for a sleek clutch, so I need all the help that I can get downsizing its contents. This bronzer/blush duo allows you to carry all of your contouring products in one sleek compact.

If you’ve been applying blusher without pairing it with a bronzer, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to contour your face. (Hello, cheekbones!)

The color selection Tarte offers (Dollface blush and Park Avenue Princess bronzer) makes for a natural but polished look and a healthy sun-kissed glow.

Beauty Space-Saver: Colorless Lip Liner

If your purse is anything like mine you have four or five lip liners strewn about, and when you go to reach for a pen you inevitably grab one of them thinking you can write with it.  Space is at a premium in my makeup bag, and I’m prone to more than one shade of lipstick. That’s why I think this colorless lip liner, called Borderline by Too Faced is brilliant.  It keeps lipstick from going outside the edge of your lip but matches with everything. And it’s both moisturizing and waterproof. I know, right?

Makeup Must-Have: Laura Mericer Primer

One of my favorite beauty bloggers, Divya of the Conscience Fund, got me thinking about primers.  This primer by Laura Mercier has been a staple in my makeup drawer for years.  It goes on before foundation, and acts as a moisturizer, while filling in fine lines.  If I fail to use this type of primer, I wind up using up way more foundation, as it seeps into my skin.  This primer acts as a sort of barrier keeping the foundation from getting sucked into my pores.  The effect is that foundation goes on more evenly and has a kind of air-brushed effect. It’s also very hydrating and packed with vitamins. You can order this primer by clicking through the picture.

Might as Well be Walking on the Sun

Though a little late in the game, I thought it’s still relevant enough to point out that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  Besides the fact that too much sun or UV exposure can actually put your life at risk, it can also make you look old, causing wrinkles and premature aging.  So, indulge in some sunless tanner, slather yourself in sunscreen, and put on one of those really chic sun hats. A sunless tanner will allow you to achieve that “sun kissed” glow, while sitting in the shade. Don’t forget to exfoliate before applying the self-tanner for an even color.

BB cream (light foundation) with a sunblock. What a concept!

Uber-sunscreen that’s sweet on the skin, too

Exfoliate! This one smells like a lemon ice.

Self-tanner with gloves, so your hands don’t turn out two shades darker!

Pow, Right in the Kisser: Tarte LipSurgance

I’m always looking to put a little color on my lip, but sometimes lipstick is too much fuss. This little number is like the perfect marriage of sheer lip tint and bit of gloss. I keep a few shades of pink in my bag for impromptu touch-ups. It’s light and fresh for the warmer months, and it comes in 10 sweet shades. You can click on the picture for an easy order.

Good bye, mascara. Hello, lashes!

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Let me preface this by saying: I’m a blinker, a flincher, a wincer, an eye-rubber, tear-er upper.  I only learned how to successfully apply eyeliner without stabbing myself in the pupils well into my thirties. For me, next day eye makeup was the worst. No matter how hard I tried to scrub it off before bedtime, I always woke up like Rocky Raccoon with eye makeup leftovers.

I had contemplated getting permanent eyelashes, but the idea of someone messing with my eyes for a couple of hours made me squeamish.  Enter, Deanna of Racine Spa and Salon in Islip, New York.  She let me stand in on a lash fill-in, and her customer (who was comfortably laying on a massage table in a private room) gushed about how much she loved her lashes.  “Sign me up,” I found myself saying.

It’s been well over two months now, and I can honestly say I’m hooked.  Waking up in the morning with no traces of make-up around my eyes, and never having to apply a lick of eye makeup is truly life changing.

There is nothing uncomfortable about lash application.  It takes a couple of hours and I fall asleep often. The maintenance appointments are every two to three weeks, depending on how full you want your lashes and how often your lashes shed (a natural occurrence and not caused by the falsies).

I get compliments on my lashes all of the time, and I have thrown out every tube of mascara I own.

If you’d like to try out permanent lashes, go to a reputable salon, like Racine in Islip, New York, and ask for Deanna, their eyelash expert.