Tag Archives: Ciate

We The Female

Hi ladies, welcome to …I don’t even know what to call this era yet. We may physically be living in the same place we were at this time last week but doesn’t it feel like a different world? I wanted to round up my favorite badass red polishes –inspired by OPI’s We The Female, my choice polish this week – but, as I sat to write, my head was swirling with fury over “alternative facts” and a demagogue posing as a leader.

This summer, pre-election, I got a comment from someone on this post that I should “stick to beauty” and avoid politics. I certainly understood where she was coming from. I laced my observation with a little bit of snark and she viewed it as contributing to all of the negative talk happening. That was pre-election…my how things change. It would be easy to be in a bubble and ignore the “negativity” out there but we no longer have the luxury to retreat into our own bubbles. This is real life. It’s more important than ever to advocate for your beliefs and to distinguish fact from fiction. Every one of us bears that responsibility.

It was deliberate that I reached for We The Female this week. It’s a special shade of empowering garnet, not unlike the color of Michelle Obama’s “farewell” dress from Friday. Like a bold lip, a bold nail can match your inner and outer fired up, ready to go mantra. It’s the polish I’m wearing to begin my 10 actions, 100 days.

Red is also a color that I like to resurrect in the smack dab of winter. It’s kinda like the nail version of a bright pink cream blush: it perks up your ensemble amid the dreary winter. I think the sun was out once this past week – perky is needed.

Here are my other fave-reds.

It’s a bit of an oldie, but I always go back to Essie Twin Sweater Set. It’s a beautiful crimson red that coats nails in a coat (but always do two for that crème finish). I think it was a limited color because I can’t find it anymore!

I just added LVX nails (a Chicago brand!) Brique to my nail polish collection. It’s not quite red, not quite pink. LVX shared with me the fall/winter collection and they all seem to have that muted quality – that’s a good thing.

Olivia Palermo designed one of my favorite polish collections with Ciate. Her “go to red” is a color called Hutch – it’s a classic red, much like her style. I love this on toes all year round. This is a mini bottle but it’s worth noting that the full-size comes in an exquisite box. Very impressive, Ciate.

I’ve been testing Orly’s Breathable polish line. I was immediately taken by the bright red ‘love my nails’ shade. I have mixed opinions on the formula. The polish is supposedly better for damaged nails and doesn’t need a top or base coat. I find that I can also peel it off easily (I know, bad vice) and I think it does chip a little faster. I went with the true spirit of it and didn’t top coat so that could make a difference on wear time.

I love the Dolce & Gabbana packaging! I’ll admit, these reds aren’t completely unique but I love them anyway. They make me feel fancy and feminine.  Fiamma is a sexy red  – reminds me of the bottom of a Louboutin – whereas Lover is a little moodier with a plum undertone.

Onward and upward, ladies! Have a great week.

Undone on Purpose


Short hair rules but so do ponytails! It has been months since I’ve been able to knot it up top. The myth about bobs – and anyone who’s had one can dispel this quick – is that they’re low maintenance. I’m so excited that I finally have enough length for a high pony. With less hair, it’s lighter and easier to manage. I’ve got some strays that fall onto my neck but they’re easy enough to pin up. I don’t mind the messiness of it all, either. When I had longer hair, wearing it up felt like a last ditch effort to get it all out of my face. No, this is undone on purpose.

EcoTools Fall 2015

That tool, that resembles a brush, is actually a brush. It’s the next-gen EcoTools Ultimate Air Dryer Brush and it weighs next to nothing. And it is only $10!  I’ve been using it to dry my hair lately…because you bob-ers know a little heat is the key to volume whether you plan on wearing it down or up. I can’t get past the giant hole in the middle – I’ve never seen anything like this. It cuts dry time by about 40% and is just as good to use on dry hair. I’m only slightly scarred from a particular experience with small prickly metal round brushes at a blowout bar. They left them in my hair, as many stylists do, and they straight up got stuck. Getting them out resulted in the frizziest mess (I don’t even have frizz on a rainy day!) and a few sacrificial clumps of hair. That only needs to happen once to give you PTSD.

EcoTools Ultimate Air Dyer

I’ve also been using the Fromm 1907 dryer (as in…in the biz of hair for 108 years) on a lower heat setting and in combo with the brush, I think it’s really helping lessen heat damage.

Fall Looks EcoTools

Much like that giant hole in my brush is missing on purpose, so is the polish from my pony. The undone-ness is a key piece of my fall look. It’s early enough where I don’t have to wear a hat for warmth but blustery enough that I like the hair out of my face. While I fully support the scrunchie, I’ve been using beaded hair ties from Madewell.  I’ve been adding to the look with manicured soft pink nails – Sundays by Olivia Palermo for Ciate – and a sheer rosy lip. A few soft beauty touches balance the purposefully undone nature of everything else.

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions, thoughts and experiences are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.

One Note Nails

Fall Nail Polish

Life is unpredictable. My fall nail polish preferences are not. Like clockwork, I go through a pretty heavy month long wine-colored nail polish phase every year around this time. You may ring in sweater weather with pumpkin, but I choose vampy nails. I resurrect my old favs and because the world also loves this color for fall, always seem to find a few new bottles to add to the mix. I started the season with an oldie but a goodie – Chanel Taboo. It’s a shimmery burgundy in the bottle but flashes navy and purple depending on the light. I don’t think this color is even available anymore but Chanel Vamp is a fine distant cousin.

Bottega Organica Hand Regenerate

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Ruby Do is my jam!) has the best brush in all of nail polish – perfect at-home mani every time. Have you ever tried Sephora Formula X? The wear time is excellent and they happen to have a very glossy looking berry among the new fall colors. Essie created the perfect raspberry with Bahama Mama. I’m all about Ciate right now (because…) and this Napa Valley inspired shade looks spot on. Smith & Cult has simply the best packaging. I mean, come on with that curved gold cap! The polish is virtually chip-proof. They nailed fall with the vampy Lovers Creep.

Every color looks better on since I discovered the swankiest hand cream on the planet. I’m not kidding – it’s uber luxe. Between seasonal dryness and compulsive cuticle picking, I was in need of serious repair and Bottega Organica completely healed my hands. There’s olive oil, beeswax and tons of plants and vitamins but the real miracle here is prawn sage. There’s research that shows it helps to slow down aging in skin by helping to lengthen a segment of our DNA at the ends of chromosomes which shorten when we get older. I find this all very fascinating and I see it working on my hands in almost real time. I irrationally don’t care how much this costs – it works!

The Best Kept Secret in Makeup is Out

Ciate Olivia Palermo

Familiar with the nail polish from Ciate? See-ah-tay. Ya know, the one with the bows, from across the pond? Turns out they have a seriously incredible makeup line. Talk about flying under the radar! Or, have I been simply not paying attention? Either way, Ciate just blew my mind with their Olivia Palermo makeup line. This isn’t just some vanity line with a well-known name and Creative Director title attached – it’s beautifully crafted makeup. Makes sense that Olivia would create a killer makeup collection – girl has an enviable personal style and signature beauty look. Try and tell me you haven’t pinned at least one image of her to some #inspo board.

Olivia Palermo Ciate

Everything is based on the textures of fabrics and accessories. The compacts mimic leather, the eye shadows suede, the lipsticks satin. I am floored by the Gel Kohl eyeliners – encased in a sleek gold tube with an angled brush on one end that I would pay for separately! Oh, and the fact that it is a gel kohl eyeliner that does not transfer or smudge throughout the day. Tiny miracle. The Fig color is dreamy. The pièce de résistance is the Smokey Suedes Eye Palette. The shadows actually feel like suede and they layer well, like your favorite cardigan does over everything and anything. There’s something so awesome about a great makeup discovery to get you excited again! Guys, I’m excited!!