Tag Archives: Nail Polish

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.

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.

Fall Polish Refresh

OPI Inside the Isabelletway

Without question, OPI Fall collections are always the best. The colors stand the test of time and always give me wanderlust. Cases in point: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark spawned a dark polish revolution (and a move to Chicago for me four years later!) in the Fall of 2005 only to be upped by the multi-faceted Russian Navy in 2007. These two are forever favs. Along with the highlight of the Fall 2008 France collection: Tickle My France-y.

And, now, we have Washington DC. I absolutely love this entire collection — there is a reason the displays at Ulta are always ravaged! Kerry Washington served as Creative Ambassador and co-designed this line. If only it coincided with the return of Scandal (we have to wait until January?!) I’ll settle for Grey’s Anatomy with a Notorious chaser and pretty polishes like Kerry Blossom and Liv in the Gray while I’m in wait.

The names are spectacular — OPI at its best: Squeaker of the House; Pale to the Chief; Yank My Doodle.  And they did every shade justice. I know sometimes I think, how many plums, berries or greys can one see each season before they all look the same? This felt like a fresh take on the colors I want to be wearing right now but also what I’ll turn to in seasons to come. I’m really excited for my Sunday night manis again! Especially because Madam Secretary returned. That was a summer binge for me and now I have to be patient and watch it in real time again. There had to be something that took the slot of The Good Wife in my heart, ya know?

OPI Washington DC

My favorites here are shades that I don’t really have already. Freedom of Peach is a muted orange that screams autumn. Squeaker of the House is described a mix of chocolate brown with a hint of purple. It’s a total chameleon shade. Yank my Doodle is a tawny copper — everyone needs to run to Ulta and get this polish! It’s made for the month of October. I snapped the picture above on day six of wearing Inside the ISABELLEtway. It’s a really yummy looking caramel. On my toes right now I have Stay Off The Lawn!! It’s a lush green that actually shows up as green and not black.

What do you guys think of OPI’s take on DC? Also, any fall shows that you are loving? You know some good telly and a bottle of nail polish are a perfect pair.



I’ve been a little absent lately. Not my intention. I’ve written so many blog posts in my head! I guilted myself for being so radio silent but quickly decided that was silly. We can be so hard on ourselves. Everyone is their own biggest critic, of this I’m certain. If you’re not, who are you and what is your secret.

Honestly, this past month just hasn’t been the easiest. I’ve been somewhat of an emotional yo-yo and struggling with feeling overwhelmed. I’m sure the latter elevated the former and sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I just shut down. It’s like I’m forced into focus. I think a little bit of that is healthy. In the middle of all that, I decided to go on Whole 30. You know, the elimination “don’t call it a diet” that removes sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, legumes and alcohol from your diet for, yup, 30 days. I think it saved me from really crashing and burning. It was a strain on my time – so much grocery shopping, dishes and cooking – but I loved it even when I didn’t. I’ll spare you the full recap – believe me, my boyfriend and coworkers were subjected to frequent updates – but I do plan to keep it up. Normally at this time of year, I would be on allergy medication and I’m hardly sneezing. My skin is brighter, I’m not breaking out from cheese benders and I’m excited to eat veggies and cook. It was hard to give up alcohol at first but I might be a mental drinker. I thought I needed the glass of wine after a hard day but a Passionfruit LaCroix hit the spot just fine.  I needed to strike a balance there.

Some sunshine did me good this weekend and I’m looking forward to embracing the coming week. Here’s what has me excited.

Gwenyth’s new cookbook! It’s All Easy is all gooooood.  If Whole 30 taught me one thing, it’s that I don’t have hours to spend in a kitchen every night. There are some delicious dinner recipes, beautiful goop-y photos and a really convincing case for making cashew cream.

I started using the baked Lune + Aster Bronzer in the winter and love how subtle it is. I’m still pale as can be and the ‘necker island’ color is just right still. Oh, p.s., Lune + Aster is the makeup line by the founder of Bluemercury!

I think the Everlane Street Ankle Boots may be the coolest thing I own.

I wear the Chantecaille Cheek Gelee every day. I picked it up after watching this video from Ingrid and can’t stop wearing it.

I loathe aerosol air fresheners and artificial scents but love making my home smell beautiful. Enter Fig + Yarrow Atmosphere Mist in Rosewood Vetiver. It’s lovely in all rooms and soothes me in stress moments.

I decided to resurrect a Essie Chillato from last year’s summer collection rather than buying any new polish. I have way too many and find I don’t use them enough. This pistachio-ish color is perfect. Go find it now if you still can!

I take all of the texture I can get and spritz Aveda Thickening Tonic on wet hair whether I air or blow dry. It works as you’d expect by thickening each strand of hair. I notice a big difference when I forget to use or if I’m traveling without it.