After trying purple lipstick and cat eyeliner, I was feeling a little vampy. Maybe my quarter life crisis is bringing out a darker side in me? Who knows. What I do know is that I wanted to explore this edgier side of my adult self a little more.
After seeing images from New York Fashion Week (they must’ve lost my invite in the mail?), I knew exactly what trend I wanted to try next. From Rebecca Taylor to Charlotte Ronson, from Tess Giberson to Rebecca Minkoff, vamp nails were a dark and sexy standout from thepièce de résistance of the clothes.
Now while DIY nail art of any kind is a legitimate fear of mine, I decided to suck it up and attempt the vamp French manicure, seen above at Rebecca Minkoff.
Once I picked out my colors, OPI “Lost on Lombard” and NYC “Black Lace Crème,” panic sunk in as to how I was ever going to create this look and avoid my nails looking like a kindergarten art project. Then, I found this nifty (yes, I said nifty) trick on Pinterest using hole reinforcement labels and went for it.
I painted two coats of the OPI color and then waited for them to dry (fully!) before placing the reinforcement labels on to make the perfect French tip. I then applied one coat of the black tip color, pealed off the labels, and covered the whole look with OPI topcoat.
I absolutely love how this twist on the classic French manicure turned out—it’s dark, edgy, and totally different from your everyday mani.
Have a beauty trend you’d like to see me try? Tweet me @han_cran, #beautynewbie, with your suggestion!
Gifts that give back is pretty much a staple when it comes to my holiday gift guide; charity and giving back is such an important part of MY life, that I feel it’s super important to spread the word about how there are many companies that actually DO care. Here are a few of my favorite beauty products that give back, all of which would make for excellent gifts:
1. Clinique Happy Hearts Perfume: $10 from every purchase goes to the Happy Hearts Fund, a non-profit foundation dedicated to rebuilding schools and restoring hope in the lives of children after natural disasters. To date, Clinique has donated $250,000 to the Happy Hearts Fund and will continue to support programs provided by this wonderful organization.
2. MAC RuPaul The Original Viva Glam Lipstick: MAC’s Viva Glam has raised a mind-boggling $250 million for HIV/AIDS programs since 1994 and they’re bringing their original Viva Glam Girl back! RuPaul’s shade and every cent will go towards helping women, men, and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
3. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter: Available in Grapefruit or Coriander, by purchasing a jar of the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps whipped body butter, you can take a step to end childhood hunger in the United States — up to $100,000 from all net proceeds will benefit the No Kid Hungry cause, which provides additional meals to children in need. One jar provides 380 meals, and in addition to the amazing cause it benefits. Done deal.
5. OPI Sandy Hook Green Nail Polish: OPI bottled the rich, bright green of Sandy Hook Elementary’s school colors to support Sandy Hook Promise. All proceeds will aid the families of Newtown and promote an open dialogue about mental health, school safety, and gun safety.
Of course, leave it up to my loyal Facebook friends to alert me to the fact that my all-time idol, Miss Gwen Stefani, has officially announced that she has partnered with OPI nail polish to release seven new limited edition nail lacquers next year. Inspired by the 2013 Met Gala in New York City that featured the theme “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” the collection celebrates the role of music as a major influence in fashion.
“With her expertise as a singer, songwriter and designer, who better to collaborate with than Gwen Stefani? Known for her trademark red lips, bold eye makeup and nail art, Gwen uses beauty to accessorize her style” says OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.
Gwen Stefani by OPI includes seven limited edition nail lacquers: Hey Baby, I Sing in Color, Love.Angel.Music.Baby., 4 in the Morning, In True Stefani Fashion, Push and Shove and Over & Over A-Gwen. The latter color, Over & Over A-Gwen, was created to match Gwen’s signature red lipstick and is available in a boxed set that includes Swarovski crystals and studs to create inspiring nail art.
The collection will be available beginning January 2014 at professional salons, including Chatters, Dillard’s, Pure Beauty, Regis, Beauty First, Trade Secret, and ULTA.
Make sure to join me with New Beauty for a #TeaTimeBeauty chat about nails! I’ll be joining OPI, Custom Nails and Anna from New Beauty to discuss and three lucky winners will receive an OPI San Francisco Collection (see above for details).
With thousands upon thousands of nail products on the market, all claiming to solve ALL of your problems, it can definitely be confusing as to what you actually need to achieve your best nails possible. Here, I break down for you the four products that you should be using, no matter what. Trust me, use these four and you’re good to go!
1. All-In-One Treatment
When you’re crammed for time, it’s best (and easiest) to use a strengthening base and top coat in one. Hydrating panthenol will smooth and glaze nail beds, while also preventing your nails from chipping. Make sure to first apply this treatment to clean, dry nails as a base coat and let dry. Then brush on one to two coats of your favorite nail color and let dry. Finish with the Double Duty treatment as a shiny top coat.
I prefer a polish remover with a light, calming scent (like lavender), which will swiftly and effectively take off your darkest, most glittery polish just as fast as you applied it. Sure, in a pinch cheap or generic polish remover will do, but I really love the version from Zoya, which smells great and actually gets all of my nail polish off.
This calcium-enriched formula toughens nails, without altering the color of your polish! It’s recommended for use twice a week and will definitely help strengthen nail beds within a few weeks time. I can’t recommend this strengthener enough. The fact that you can actually apply it OVER your nail polish is truly amazing and I’ve definitely noticed a huge difference in the health of my nails.
Cuticles simmer down with just a drop of this cure-all product. Infused with sweet-almond, jojoba and vitamin E oils, your nails will never be softer. This is my secret weapon! For anyone who gets dry cuticles, this oil is your best bet.