Tag Archives: Essie

The Nail Polish I’m Wearing the Rest of The Year

My fall nail wardrobe was so good, I’m extending it through the rest of the year. While every shade is in the same color family, we’ve got bright, soft, shiny and broody. Captures all of my moods.

It’s very LVX heavy — the brand is Latin for Lux and they’re based in Chicagoland. I love the formula and wear, and their color story for this season got me excited.

Their take on a certain generational pink grabbed my attention. Aptly called Millennial, LVX really nailed it. It’s creamy and balanced, not too opaque or chalky. I’m selective with my pale pinks. The clever naming convention was just a bonus.

I’m also really into Rouge. It has a constant Kira Kira app vibe, sparkling with any motion. It looks glittery but the texture is smooth. If you’re into ruby red around the holidays, this one is my pick.

For a shade that feels most unique is French Rose. I’ve never had good experiences with metal shades – they always streak – but this never showed brush strokes. Love the copper tones here. Best take on mauve I’ve seen.  My go to pedi shade has been Mulberry. This is a soft plum creme. I think it’s unique, has a grey undertone so it’s not too deep.  Mulberry has been seen by no one, except me in the bathtub. BUT, I am going to Miami for the holidays and will be giving myself a fresh application.

Another classic red I wanted to include was Essie’s With The Band. From a few falls ago, Essie’s I’m With The Band is a workhorse shade. It’s not particularly unique in the land of reds but it is a goodie and exactly what it looks like in the bottle.

There’s also OPI Kerry Blossom, from last fall’s DC collection. I love that one so much (remember We The Female red?!) but I can’t help get nostalgic for the time it came out, before November 8, 2016. Before the dangerous doofus in Chief became a reality. On top of that, we have the last season of Scandal with an unlikeable Olivia Pope. At least we have the Kerry Blossom, the color of Malbec.

Last, and similarly, I added Priti NYC’s Sympathie Rose after trying it from Credo Beauty’s Clean Makeup Kit. It looks really deep in the bottle but it looks more red on the nails. It’s unique in this mix of polish I pulled together.

You can catch up on all of my polish posts here.

All of the Nail Polish I’m Wearing This Summer

The thing about moving is that it sucks. No matter how much you prepare or get ahead of the packing, it is still a mad dash at the end. About 36 hours after our move, I went to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. During the move, all of my toe nail polish cracked away and at the last minute I had to find where I’d packed it to try and fix. Thankfully I found the polish but not the nail polish remover, so I just refreshed versus starting new. And then I returned from Mexico and the sand and constant soaking in a pool destroyed my color. So, naturally, I just put another coat on top. Currently rolling around town with about six coats of LVX Argonne on my toes. And you know what? It looks alright. Priorities right now.

This begs the question: At what point after a move is it no longer acceptable to be living out of boxes? We are still painting our walls so it all just feels so in-between still. I just want to paint my nails and watch Bravo with a glass of wine like any self-respecting 35 year old. It’s still summer and I’ve got beauty wardrobes to maximize. I extended my makeup wardrobe to my nails. It made instant sense to me to curate a palette for my fingers and toes. I have a lot of polish, much of it goes unused. I’ve set a similar goal with my seasonal nail wardrobe: use it, see if I love it and if not, reconsider the space it takes up in my home. Sometimes polishes go bad, apply unevenly or just aren’t a match. That’s apparent right away with nail polish, I find.

For my peachdrenched summer, I also applied the same color principles to polish. I abandoned the standard summer fare of bright corals and pinks and instead went for subdued peach variations and shades of green. For good measure I added a few nudes. Every season needs at least one.


Not a bright in sight. It made for an alternative July — while everyone else was trying to track down a bottle of Essie Clambake, I was opting for OPI Freedom of Peach. It has a muted quality that makes it interesting to me. This color was part of OPI’s Fall 2016 DC collection, a total standout for me. A lot of the colors I chose for summer are from that collection.

I mixed in some pastel for those moments I wanted to feel extra summery. Essie Peach Side Babe has a sheer quality to it but satisfied my craving for “bright.” Same with Jin Soon Vogue Rose – which has a pinkier vibe when on the nails. That latter is something exclusive to this 125th Anniversary Vogue Birchbox collab (a majorly good box!)


If you haven’t been putting olive green on your toes, you are missing out. I’ve always loved this color but had a mold complex in the context of my feet. It actually looks modern and pairs well with the cognac colored sandals I wear nonstop. LVX Argonne and OPI Suzi The First Lady of Nails are similar but distinct enough that I wanted to include both. Argonne has a creamier more sage hue while OPI is darker. The other green that I love is also from LVX Oasis. The color in the bottle is the color on nails – I really like that about LVX polishes. It’s a vivid hunter green. With other deeper greens I’ve tried in the past, they can almost look black or indistinguishable in indoor lighting.


I purposefully went for nudes that weren’t the color of my skin. OPI Pale to the Chief is much lighter whereas OPI Inside the Isabelletway is a caramel color. Through nail wardrobe-ing, I’ve realized that Pale to the Chief is probably going to go to a new home. The color just doesn’t do anything for my skin – it draws attention to cuticle imperfections and washed me out. Big fan of Inside the Isabelletway, though. I wore that color a lot last fall and can see myself carrying it over this year, too. Last, and this is a major keeper, is OPI Barefoot in Barcelona. This color has been in the OPI range for a long time and I can totally see why – it’s a pinky nude that has a chameleon quality. It looks good with everything on everyone, I’m convinced.

Of all these shades, only one did not work. I feel pretty satisfied with that conclusion and am going to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure soon with these colors. Because I still don’t know where my nail tools are.

It’s Not the Freakin Weekend Anymore

IT Cosmetics Mascara

Maybe I did too much this weekend because I feel like I did nothing. I accomplished very little around the house which always makes me feel stress-y come Monday morning. I really struggle with the balance of enjoying my weekend and catching up on life. If I don’t do the latter, I find I can’t relax and enjoy myself. Also giving me anxiety is The Good Wife (series, tear) finale. My sister said it best – I feel like a jilted lover. I had to chase it down with some Kardashians because I couldn’t just go to bed. That show has defined my Sunday nights for so long. For tradition sake, I poured myself of glass of wine (red, Alicia is very Olivia Pope in that way) and got out my nail polish. Went with Essie Urban Jungle this week; I’m still using some favs from the archives instead of buying anything new. Cannot stop thinking about the slap and have the image of Alicia tugging at her suit, gathering her composure. Too much.

I really did a ton this weekend but realized I spent it almost entirely in a sweatshirt. As soon as I got home Friday night, I put the Everlane crew neck (in grey) on and wore it for all but a few hours on Saturday night. It’s slouchy and oversized and looks awesome half-tucked into a pair of high-waisted denim. It’s the comfiest sweatshirt I have. It’s even a little tempting to wear it to work today. A lot, actually.

I started the weekend off on a fun note. The IT Cosmetics crew was in Chicago for a big event out in the burbs with Ulta on Saturday so we met up on Friday for a bit. I love their CC Cream and Brow Power and now I’m adding the Superhero Mascara to the list of IT must-haves. Like, holy cow, this so easily gives really long lashes. It doesn’t transfer or bleed, which is huge. It’s Laurie tears approved — I’m a cry laugher and I get emotional watching TV – so I know it’s a goodie.

Oh, and I made sure this weekend to snag the new Glossier Balm Dot Com trio! There’s a tinted Cherry and Rose plus a Mint version now! I can’t even wait. I have strong positive feelings about this product.

What did you do this weekend?

Serenity Now

Is 2016 going to be the year of calm? For seemingly the first time, there’s a direct wellness bent to Pantone’s Color of the Year. The Pantone Institute, declarer of color trends, chose Rose Quartz and Serenity as its color(s) for 2016. In their explanation, they mention our need to “seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses” and how these colors join together to “demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”  I’m buying into this school of thought. I think these colors are soothing and noticed I have all sorts of RQ and Serenity around my home and in my beauty routine.

Pantone 2016

Chicago jewelry maker Michelle Starbuck designed this beautiful Picasso Jasper Necklace. I’ve seen it at her studio and everyone has slightly different color variances. To me it looks like the sky – I love the shape of the pendant!

I’m really into this rosy lipstick from nūdus. The color rocks but the formula is really what sets it apart. It’s like a juice for your lips – there’s organic cold pressed oils from pumpkin, kiwi, raspberry and pomegranate.

Ahhhh, serenity to a T: May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon. This blue balm is my special winter treat. Majorly moisturizing and made with blue tansy (from chamomile) to ease emotional anxiety.

Be so on top of those Color of the Years with these Rifle Paper Co watercolor thank you cards. One of my 2016 intentions: send more handwritten thanks.

Spritzing rosewater on your skin has tons of skin care benefits and is a ritual I enjoy, especially for a mid-day refresh. In addition to Bulgarian rose water, Aster & Bay’s mist also has honeysuckle extract, aloe and Himalayan pink salt…which you can get a little taste of if you lick your lips. It’s that same satisfaction I get when I eat/drink the salt off a margarita glass.

Another made in Chicago gem: La Bella Figura Crema Virtuosa. The secret ingredient here is a tree resin called Sangro de Drago. You can’t feel it or see it but it forms an “invisible” protective layer on skin and underneath, the resin goes to work in a time release manner. It’s crazy how effective this night time moisturizer is, especially when topped with a facial oil to seal it all in further.

One of my favorite ever Essie polishes, the so serene Lapiz of Luxury.

Cuyana’s motto is fewer, better. I love this wallet – the leather is buttery soft and meant to last.

Cheers to a year of calm!

Black & White


You know what goes really great with a bright lip or nail polish? Black and white. White jeans are awesome. Black dresses on repeat. It’s my favorite duo always but especially in the summer. After all, these two are responsible for grey, which dominates my closet more than it should. I mean…stop me if I buy another grey tee. This week’s dose of pretty is inspired by this statement palette.

This Madewell Tunic with these striped sandals are perfection. I’ll be checking them out at Sam’s Madewell shopping party coming up in June. // I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner…gel in pen form. Cool, right? // Essie Blanc = classic. // A few pinches of Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder teased into hair gives crazy easy volume. // I discovered the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser in the Birchbox FEED Box and find it to be really effective at getting all of the grit and makeup off my face. // I’m beyond curious to try the OCC Color Correcting Lip Balm Duo. The white side primes and slightly lightens your natural lip shade while the black defines (without adding color). // Yes, you do want to smell like an Olsen. MK and Ash’s foray into fragrance via the Elizabeth and James line is incredible. Nirvana Black and Nirvana White can be worn separately but are somehow better together. How very twin.

The List: February 2014


Congrats, we survived January. While February is just as wintery, I like it so much more. Related news: I will spend five days this month on a beach in Mexico. That tops my list this month! I’ve also got my eyes on pretty pink beauty and accessories and plan to update my bra wardrobe with everything Free People. Love the back straps on these two.

I’m down for positive reinforcements, especially when they are stamped onto one of my favorite Bobbi Brown products. The Antigua Illuminating Bronzing Powder has never looked so good.  I want everything in Illume’s new “Go Be Lovely” collection for spring. And, this iPhone case by The Everygirl is a must.

Making it my mission to finally master applying falsies this month. ESQIDO mink lashes are the lash extension alternative I’ve been looking for!

I can’t quite commit to shopping for warm weather clothing yet, but lighter versions of my winter staples…YES.  This J.Crew Silk Snood (with poms!) will be mine.

This leather clutch in pink, though the mint and cornflower blue are equally tempting.

NARS Bimini looks like the perfect, wear with everything gloss.

I love every color in Essie’s Resort collection. The plummy Under the Twilight will be the perfect balance to all of these soft pinks!

The New Year’s Eve Beauty Guide


It’s about to be a wrap on 2013 – one more week to go! This last stretch of year is always a strange limbo. Remembering the highs and lows of the last 12 months and looking ahead to a brand new shiny year with endless potential. But first, New Year’s Eve and all of its glory. On tap for me? Date night with my man. I’ve already got my beauty itinerary all mapped out, thanks to the lovely team at Kohl’s. Whether you’re taking it easy or living it up, this agenda is one to follow.


First and foremost…it is bad luck to start your New Year off on a bad hair day (says me – and I believe it!) Treat yourself to a blowout or take your time to do your own at home. I’m convinced I can never have a bad hair day as long as I use Oscar Blandi Dry Teasing Dust. A few sprinkles and you’ve got that sexy bedhead look (which cannot actually be achieved by sleeping).

Longwearing makeup is key. This is the night you really burn the midnight oil. I am super into these long-wearing blush stains from theBalm. The soft pink ‘Argyle’ shade is my fav.


Choose your sparkle wisely. It’s practically a written rule that you wear some form of glitter on NYE. I’ll be sporting this Essie Luxeffects A Cut Above polish on my nails. It’s  girly and fun.

Make sure you smell good; chances are you’ll be leaning in for lots of kisses and hugs. I’ll be spritzing Viva La Juicy, which is a classic winter fragrance. The base notes of amber, vanilla, caramel and sandalwood are like a cozy blanket. But not just any old fleece, no, like a sexy fur (faux, of course) wrap.

I wish you all a very merry holiday! What do you have in store for next week on New Year’s Eve?

Note: This post is sponsored by SheKnows Experts Among Us  and Kohl’s Beauty. All opinions, tips and recommendations are my own.

Stuff that Stocking


The stuffing of the stocking is the best part of the whole holiday gift season, both in terms of giving and receiving. The more miscellaneous the mix, the better. I come from a very utilitarian family—you’ll find socks and underwear in our stockings among the fun stuff. It’s always the last gift opened and we take our time appreciating each treat. For this gift guide, I teamed with SheKnows.com and Kohl’s Beauty to share my top stocking stuffers.

When I was in Wisconsin a few weeks ago at the Kohl’s Beauty Trade-in event, the team showed me the most clever sleep mask from Earth Therapeutics. It looks like an eye bra, but that shape makes it so your lashes and eyes don’t get crushed.  I also picked up this Hello Kitty Headband for my nieces. It is seriously the cutest.

Nail polish is a stocking staple and the colors from Essie’s winter collection are perfect. My favorite is the pale blue Parka Perfect. I love this trio of lip products: the Sugar Lip Scrub that smells like cake, the moisturizing H2O Plus Lip Mender and Pur Minerals Lip Gloss Stick for a little hint of color. All three make for a lovely lip wardrobe.

I always try to gift others with my favorite things…channeling my inner Oprah and all. The Real Techniques makeup brushes are some of the best, especially the Stippling Brush which applies cream blush like a rock star. Everyone needs this brush!

There are also the stocking stuffers that you can’t help but treat yourself to in the process. I could not resist the LORAC Red Hot Lashes set. The studded lash curler did me in and it even comes with a full-sized mascara.

Note: This post is sponsored by SheKnows Experts Among Us  and Kohl’s Beauty. All opinions, tips and recommendations are my own.

7 Nail Polishes to Wear This Fall

Fall Nail Polish


Every season brings a new nail color palette and fall is always the best. The return of deep broody colors, rich hues, greys and pre-holiday glitz. I can’t get enough. I eased into the season with this red and my fav color of Essie’s fall collection, For the Twill of It, which is like three metallic nail colors in one. The teal shimmer that reflects from that polish is major. We’ve still got a lot of fall to enjoy so I’ve pulled together the rest of my top picks to inspire your next manicure!

After seeing Deborah Lippmann Rolling in the Deep on The Glossarie’s nails, I picked up a bottle. It’s the most incredible navy crème and I’m obsessed. In fact, before you get distracted with Deborah Lippmann holiday (who could blame you?!), check out the rest of her ‘Jewel Heist’ collection. The holographic Glitter and Be Gay is truly jewelry for your nails. I’ve been wearing it ombre style, like this.

Speaking of nail jewels, Marchesa designed a set of nail appliques for Revlon inspired by couture gowns. Each design is prettier than the next but the Gilded Mosaic pattern especially stands out. Another collection that caught my eye? Jin Soon’s collab with Tibi. I get lost in the glossy black Obsidian which has little bits of shimmer to give it the look of volcanic rock. Beyond cool.

It’s not fall without a deep purple and Chanel Taboo fits that bill. It looks burgundy in the bottle but on nails is a complex mix of plum and navy. When the sun hits your nails, it lights up. I bought this to get parking validation at Nordstrom a few months ago and am so glad I did! For a softer take on fall grey, I recommend NARS Galathee, a creamy lavender grey with cool undertones. It may be new, but I can already see this one being a classic staple.

What are you wearing on your nails this fall?

The List: September 2013


Welcome, September. While I’m already mourning the demise of summer Fridays, I am excited for the first signs of fall. Plus, football Saturdays are a fair trade-off. I think I might have had my last hurrah of summer over Labor Day weekend at a Brewer’s game sweating it out in the hot sun for three hours to near delirium. It was a good reminder that September can actually be one of the hotter summer months. With that in mind, my list for September is ‘fall light.’ I’m treading lightly with boots, resisting cozy knits and just starting to dip my manicured nails and pedicured toes into deeper colors. Consider ‘the list’ a favorites/wish list all wrapped in one. Here’s what September is all about for me!

Tassel necklaces. It started when I picked up this trio of tassels from Ann Taylor and has now expanded to several more from Bauble Bar (help, I can’t stop ordering!) The gemstone chain and blue pendant necklace is especially amazing with a white tee, blazer and skinny jeans. We’ll just call it the September uniform.

A classic red nail polish. Every fall needs one and Essie Twin Sweater Set is it. I gave myself a pedi with it over the weekend. It’s crimson perfection.

Neutral blush. I’m taking a seasonal break from my corals in favor of something softer. The new Benefit Rockateur is a shimmery rose gold that has just enough pink to still perk up your face. I’ve been layering it over bronzer these past few weeks with this big fluffy brush brush.

Off-black eyeliner. Fall means the return of the smoky eye! It just doesn’t feel as natural to do a heavy eye when it’s hot. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Mahogany and butter LONDON Wink Eye Pencil in Brown Sugar are two not-black options that I love for a softer take on the usually dramatic look.

Boyfriend jeans. These are hands-down the hardest pair of jeans to shop for. I want them to be baggy and loose but still be fitted where it counts. Who wants baggy butt, really? The GAP’s version has never fit me right, but they have a new ‘deconstructed’ fit that is looser and longer AND PERFECT. I love the dark rinse.

Matte lips. I’m not ready for full-on berry lips per the usual fall beauty looks, but am craving a matte finish. I’m wishing for the ILIA Lipstick Crayons in every color – especially the berry Dress Me Up and pinky coral Karma Chameleon. Aren’t they just the chicest lip pencil you’ve ever laid eyes on?

Cutout booties. These are the greatest idea for people (like me) who want to wear boots but know it is just too hot still. Compromise footwear at its best! This pair by Steve Madden is calling my name. The only question: taupe or black?