15 Mar

Nail Review: SNS Gelous Collection

Hi loves!

Hope you are staying warm! New York is getting over a foot of snow, so I am staying nice and cozy indoors.

So.. for about a year now, I have been getting acrylic or gel extensions on my nails. I know there is this stigma behind acrylic that it ruins your nails, but I don’t find it any more damaging than a gel manicure. However, the other day when I went to the nail salon I decided to soak off my acrylics and give my nails a rest. The nail technician was trying to up-sell the hell out of me…and she won. I decided to try the Signature Nail System Gelous Color.

You might know SNS as the pink and white powder. It is a much healthier alternative for your nails because it requires no glue or UV light, and lasts two to three weeks.

The colors are in powder form, and in different little jars. Each color is a series of numbers instead of a name, so I went with a slate gray with a hint of glitter (SC15).

First, Amy applied the gel base coat on my bare nails.

Then she dipped my nail into the powder, and tapped off the excess.

After she went through all my nails once she repeated the process by adding more gel base coat and dipping the nail into the powder.

This was the finished result after three coats of powder. Not too pretty.

Amy then applied the sealant to lock in the powder, and started filing like a mad woman. The filing is the most important part to ensure everything is smooth and even.

Once Amy finished filing, she applied the gel top coat and I went to dry for about ten minutes.

Voila!

Overall, I would give the product a 3.5 out of 5. The main aspect of this product that I love is no glue or UV light, which makes this is a much healthier alternative than gels or acrylics. I also like that there are hundreds of color options.  Most new products have limited colors so I appreciated the selection. In general, the whole process was very different, so that kept me entertained during my manicure. Lastly, because this is a powder I am expecting this manicure to last a couple of weeks without chipping (I will update this post in two weeks to show how the product wore over time).

Now, what I don’t like about the product is the whole filing of the nails. I feel like if you get your nails done somewhere that the technician isn’t trained well, or used to doing the powder often, it could leave the finish product looking bumpy. Also, since the powder is layered my nails look a little thicker than I would normally like. To sum it up, I am a perfectionist and even though this is a much healthier alternative the neatness and symmetry of a regular manicure can not be beat.

I will probably try the SNS Gelous manicure one more time, just to see if the product grows on me. If you have tried SNS before, please comment below and let me know about your experience!

Thanks for reading!

Love you mean it!

Ashlie <3

**Disclaimer: This product review was done without coercion or payment from Signature Nail System. This post is my personal opinion and I have no affiliation with this company.**

07 Mar

STOP! What To Avoid At The Nail Salon

Hi there!

Sadly, I recently had a fall out with my favorite nail salon and now I am looking for a new salon to call home. Living in New York there are many options to get your nails done. From luxurious exclusive spas to the hole in the wall nail salon. However, I found that it doesn’t matter how much a nail salon charges, or how beautiful the decor is. If the salon is not clean or following health guidelines, take your money elsewhere! On my journey for the best nail salon, I have come across many horrific situations and I felt the need to write this post.

Check out this list of what to avoid when checking out a new nail salon.

Overall Cleanliness

Is the salon clean? Does it smell sanitary? Are there nail clippings on the floor? Is the trash overflowing? This is just a great rule of thumb, and an easy way to know if you should give the salon a chance. Check the bathroom too! If they don’t care about keeping the bathroom clean then they probably will not care about health hazards and best practices. Follow your instincts ladies!

Avoid Whirlpool Tubs

—NO—

—YES—

This is a hard one because most nail salons have jet tubs for pedicures. But, the problem is that dead skin cells are being pushed through the filters and into the water. Most salons don’t change the filters, so just imagine all of the germs in there! A way to get around this is to make sure the technician does NOT turn on the jets, which can help reduce the spread of bacteria. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the technician to clean the filter in front of you. However, if possible choose a nail salon with stand alone porcelain tubs (pictured above).

Do Not Shave

I used to get embarrassed if I had a little stubble on my legs during a pedicure. But, it is OK! Shaving right before a pedicure is a horrible idea. When we shave we leave tiny cuts, and our skin is raw which can make it easy to catch an infection.

Look for Licenses

When you walk into the salon there should be a license for the salon and  all technicians visible right by the door. If you do not see one, ask the receptionist to show you their current licenses. If you get any push back this is a salon that does not deserve your business.

STERILIZATION!

Proper sterilization technique are of utmost importance to me. Sterilization is mandatory and if any nail tech gives you an attitude about it, just leave. All disposable tools should be individual packaged. Metal tools should be sanitized in UV sterilizers or Barbicide for at least 10 minutes to kill bacteria and viruses. To ensure my own peace of mind, I invested in my own nail kit. I bring my own nail file, buffer, nail clippers, and cuticle file so I won’t have to worry about it.

Beware Of The Callus Remover

That ancient foot shaver is not even an option during your pedicure. Any tool that removes skin and can cause you to bleed is a red flag. So, if you see this tool being used in your salon think twice about returning in the future. They clearly do not care about client safety. A disposable pumice stone or callus remover solution will get the job done with out the risk of infection.

Don’t Cut Cuticles

This is the easiest way to get cut at the salon. I personally have had technicians cut my cuticles so low that it burned and it made me think..is this really necessary? Invest in a cuticle dissolving solution and just have the technician push them back. Your mani or pedi will come out the same and you will have peace of mind knowing you didn’t get cut.

This check list is all common sense stuff, but its up to us to speak up! Don’t let a few eye rolls from the staff deter you from keeping your self safe. You can catch MRSA, Hepatitis, Staphylococcus, fungus and other serious diseases from a dirty salon.

Trust your gut and I hope this list helps you find the best nail salon out there!

Love you mean it!

Ashlie <3

14 Feb

The Perfect Red Lip & Nail!

Hi loves!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Red is the color of love, the color that makes you feel sexy and stands out in a crowd. When you find the perfect red lip stick or nail polish you feel great! But, all red’s are NOT created equal and I felt it necessary to figure out which ones are the best. In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out my list of the perfect red lip stick’s and nail polishes!

Big Apple Red by OPI $10

This is old faithful for me, I own this color in regular and gel polish. With my skin tone, I love bright colors in general and this red polish definitely hits the spot.

Smith and Cult in Kundalini Hustle $18

This is a great cherry red and looks even better on fair skin tones.

Zoya in Livingston $10

Zoya is my favorite nail line bar none. This color has cool undertones, and is very opaque. Very opaque like.. you can get away with only one coat!

Motives in Red Stiletto $8

If you like a deeper red, Red Stiletto is for you . This polish is also special because my good friend Jasmine Yan, unfranchise owner of Motives Cosmetics and Shop.com put me on!

Essie  in Russian Roulette $8

This classic red is more on the orange-y side and looks best on darker/tan skin tones.

Nars in Chinatown $20

Chinatown is great for the fall and winter due to its purple undertones. If you feel like classic red is too loud for you, this is  a great alternative.

———————————————–

The perfect red lip is harder to find then the perfect polish. Lipstick is determined by skin tone, and you must know what tones work best for you to find the perfect shade.

Fair/ Light complexion –  the brightest of reds , raspberry and cranberry colors, with blue undertones work best.

Medium/ Dark complexion – orange based reds, burgundy and oxblood colors work best on darker tones.

MAC in Ruby Woo $17 

Let’s start with the most “basic” of the red’s. Every girl needs to own this, you will always find a moment where Ruby Woo works with your look. My only issue that it makes my lips very dry, so make sure you moisturize and exfoliate well beforehand.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in Goddess 202 $30

I love the satin finish of this lipstick. Nothing is worse than having to reapply your lipstick every hour, well don’t worry because this color lasts for 10 hours straight!

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution $34

This is one of the only Charlotte Tilbury products I have tried and  I fell in love. This color works for pretty much anyone, and you can check it out by skin tone on their site too! A mix between a pinkish berry and deep red it really is beautifully flattering.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red $27

This creamy chubby pencil glides on effortlessly and dries matte. Even though you have that matte finish your lips are moisturized underneath, because this pencil is enriched with Vitamin E.

Mac in Diva $17

Diva looks fabulous on medium and dark skinned tones. It’s a no brainer, you need this lipstick and the matching lip liner in your makeup collection.  I consider Diva to be my “natural” red, and I find myself wearing it all the time. Also, unlike Ruby Woo this is ALOT creamier, yet offers that chic matte finish.

Motives Maven Matte in Scandalous $21

This is another great red lip color by Motives that my friend Jasmine Yan of Shop.com introduced me to. Scandalous is a high pigmented matte lip gloss, that wears amazingly. I know you have seen those lip kits everywhere, and this is one to try.

Smashbox in Infrared $20

If I want to achieve that classic red lip, this is my go to color. Infrared has a matte creamy finish and is last longing. I recently bought three of these during Black Friday to stock up, since I wear it so much!

Hope this helps you on your search for the perfect red lipstick or nail polish. Red is such a classic color, and every woman should know what looks best on them for those moments where only a sultry red is appropriate.

Happy Valentines Day and thanks for reading!

Love you mean it ! <3

Ashlie

 

05 Apr

What Beauty Subscription Box Should I Try?

Hi my loves!

Have you noticed that every where you turn there is a new subscription service? From dog treats, fresh food and hand picked outfits, every company seems to be coming out with a new service to join. Well..I have tried a bunch and I wish I did a little  more research before getting sucked in. Check out my reviews below of some subscription boxes you should try or pass on.

Birchbox

birchbox

Birchbox is one of my favorites . For only $10 a month I am always anticipating its arrival in the mail. The samples are a perfect size for you to decide if you want to buy a full version. You also get rewards for writing reviews and discounts on products. The only con I have is  when they allow you to “choose your sample” it’s always sold out, no matter how quick I am! Otherwise, this is one of the best value boxes I have tried.

Rocksbox

Forbes-RocksBox-Product

I used Rocksbox for about 7 months and I really did love the jewelry. This subscription service will mail you a custom set of jewelry (usually 3 pieces) for 19 bucks a month. Then you send the jewelry back or you can buy it at a cheaper price. The problem with this for me was I wanted to keep everything , and the jewelry ranged from $20 – $100 depending on the piece. I found my self spending way more than I planned to, because I just LOVED EVERYTHING! So, if you have self control and can return amazing jewelry then this is a great subscription service for you.

Julep Maven

maven1

Sorry to say this was my least favorite box. First off, 24.99 a month is a lot when you are doing multiple subscriptions and you don’t love the items you are receiving. I’m a huge nail polish lover but out of the 2 polishes each month, I only liked one. Now, if you are a fan of Julep polishes then this subscription is worth it since one bottle costs $14. But, I love too many brands to commit to this monthly. They also pair 2 polishes with a beauty item and I never liked the product that came in the box (you can opt for 3 polishes, instead of the beauty product). Overall, I would recommend this to someone who is trying to stock up on Julep nail polish and just loves the brand.

Ipsy

dprD9zNF

The Ipsy beauty bag is equal to Birchbox in my opinion. For $10 a month you get a makeup bag with 5 samples. This box is similar to Birchbox, they have some of the same samples and work with similar brands. I love that the Ipsy beauty bag is a reusable little makeup case. I also feel like I receive nail polish samples more with Ipsy. I recommend trying this service, but you don’t need to subscribe to both Birchbox and Ipsy.

Allure Beauty Box

october-allure-beauty-box

For $15 a month you get multiple “deluxe” sized samples from the beauty editors of Allure. I tried this box for a couple of months, and had no complaints. I find both Birchbox and Ipsy  have more unique and exclusive samples. Sometimes in the Allure beauty box you receive products that you can buy at the drug store. The Allure Beauty Box also comes with a beauty magazine with tips and reviews monthly.

Color Me  Monthly

Nail-Polish-Subscriptions

This nail polish subscription is $7 a month. Every month you receive a unique nail polish that is made in the USA and is 3 -free. This is a great box if you just want a new polish every month, and you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. The nail polish is great quality and this will help you build up your nail polish collection without doing any work.

*all of these boxes are great gifts too!

There is a subscription box for everyone out there. But, before you sign up just double check if you actually need the products on a monthly basis and it’s worth the cost. Take it from me… signing up for all these different things can add up quick!

Love you mean it!

Ashlie

04 Feb

10 Nail Artist’s I Love On Instagram!

Hi Loves!

 I have been doing tons of research on nail artist’s, trends and salons in the area for a little project I am working on, and I have been keeping an eye on a few particular Instagrammers. Instagram keeps me up to date with every celebrity, gives me style ideas, and most importantly introduces me to a world of amazing nail artists. In this post I want to share with you 10 of my favorite nail artists you MUST follow on Instagram. These ladies give me unique nail art ideas, bring me up to speed with the newest nail products and remind me of how beautifully intricate nail art can be.

@hannahroxit

With over 93,000 followers, Hannah Lee is no novice. She is all about simplicity with a twist. Hannah uses mainstream and high end polishes that you have probably seen in your local salon. I personally go to her for nail inspiration all the time, because her designs are my style.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.47.11 PM

 @chalkboardnails

Sarah of Chalkboard Nails is my nail soul sista! I have never seen a design of her’s that I did not like, or would not try on my own nails. Sarah uses mainstream polishes on natural nails and her designs are unique. And I especially love when she does nail art based off of an image or object. It really shows you how much of an artist she truly is.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.49.11 PM

@nails_by_millyp

I love that Milly is an emerging nail artist,and works with a ton of indie nail polish brands. But, this girl kills the free hand nail art. You won’t see her using any stamps, her attention to detail and her quirky designs always make you check out her feed.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.48.50 PM

@shellbeezy

This NYC based nail artist is always bringing something new to the table. Whether it is a perfect plain mani, super-detailed, or decals she delivers perfect work. I especially love that she still uses nail wraps. I have been loving nail wraps for years now and they started to dwindle away, but I love how she incorporates them into some of here manicures.

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@strawbrie

Brie has the best swatches, and some really fun designs. The reason why I love her Instagram is that her personality shines through her nail art. I like that she introduces me to new organic products and nail polishes that I am not familiar with. And can we just admire how perfect her nail beds are !?!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.55.23 PM@chelseaqueen

Nails that embody high fashion, well.. thats Chelsea. Her designs are modern, sleek and edgy. Which makes sense as to why she is one the hottest nail artists on the west coast. No matter what the occasion, or what you are wearing if you check out Chelsea’s page you can find a design to match your swag.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.56.12 PM

@ciaomanhattan2012

Mei is a Japanese nail artist who has made a name for her self in the big apple. Every nail design that Mei does is intricate and fun. Some of her designs are a little over the top for me, but I am jealous that I don’t have the guts to try some of her cool designs. But, if you are looking for that nail artist who can do crazy 3D nails to natural and girly.. Mei is your go to.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.56.31 PM

@banicured_

Bana has the best tutorials. I am nail obsessed and I try to teach my self new techniques all the time, and Bana’s instagram keeps me in the know. She also has the most beautifully shaped natural nails, and kills at free hand nail art.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.58.16 PM

@ohmygoshpolish

Out of all of the nail artists I follow, Tamara by far has the most content on her page. She posts a new manicure or tutorial EVERY SINGLE DAY! So, there are literally thousands of manicures to look through and you will never get bored of her designs.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.57.37 PM

@britneytokyo

Britney is the queen of the over the top nail, and she is killing the nail scene in Hollywood. If you are looking for nails that make a statement, with attention to details  then check out Britney’s Instagram account. She mainly does acrylics and gels, but the way this girl can pack a ton of detail on one finger nail is insane!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.47.59 PM

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Love you mean it!

Ashlie

Photos Courtesy Of Mentioned Instagram Accounts

15 Jun

10 Fashion & Nail Blogs You Must Follow!

Hi there!

So, today is June 15th.. and it’s my BIRTHDAY! Twenty-five was a year full of many ups and downs, but it was one of the best years of my life and I hope 26 is just as great!

One of my favorite things to do is just, chill with a cup of my favorite tea, and catch up on all my favorite blogs. I wouldn’t have taken a leap of faith into blogging, with out some insipiration. I want to share with you all a list of my favorite nail and fashion bloggers that inspire me daily.

Nailed It

Image from Nailed It

Image from Nailed It

Katy is extremly talented with free hand ! And she is always on point when keeping me up to date on all the new swatches of my favorite nail polish brands. But can we just talk about how amazing her nail art is. I love the super intricate hand designs she does. I wish I had the patience and steady hands to try half of her art work.

Chelsea Queen

Image from Chelsea Queen

Image from Chelsea Queen

Chelsea King is a nail artist from Southern California and she great at “inspired nails”. Meaning she can see anything and recreate it as nail art, and it’s simply amazing. She pays so much attention to detail and I am always so excited to see what she does next . Chelsea also keeps me up to date with indie brand polishes too.

Fashion Bomb Daily

Image from Clairesulmers.com

Image from Clairesulmers.com

I love everything about Fashion Bomb Daily! Claire Sulmers created this site to curate everything there is to know about celebrities and fashion. It’s like my TMZ of fashion, and I read it daily. I love getting the latest of what the celebrities are wearing and exactly where to buy it. This blog always has so much content , so there is always something to catch up on. And don’t worry this is not just a fashion blog, there is a section with latest on hair, beauty and men’s style.

All Lacquered Up

Image from All Lacquered Up

Image from All Lacquered Up

All Lacquered Up is my go to for swatches. I really consider this blog to be the swatch bible! Michelle doesn’t just review high end brands, no brand is off limits and that’s my favorite thing about this blog. I also learn a lot about unique indie nail brands I wouldn’t normally come across .

RacheletNicole

Image from RacheletNicole

Image from RacheletNicole

Rachel and Nicole are sisters with an eclectic, quirky, not-afraid-to-take-risks type of style. I love how their style is never predictable, yet always FUN! These New York based sisters give me the courage to take risks in my outfit choices.

Song of Style

Image from Song of Style

Image from Song of Style

You probably have heard of Aimee Song..  and if you haven’t now your going to be obsessed with her life. Aimee is a California based fashion blogger with a classic/ modern sense of style. To this day, I have never seen her in an outfit I wouldnt wear. Not only is she a brand ambassador for a number of huge brands. She is an avid traveler, and always documents her vacays. So, I stalk her instagram on a daily to keep up with her fabulousness.

Miss Ellarie

miss ellarie

Image from Miss Ellarie

Ellarie is a beauty blogger and makeup artist who gives the best tips and tricks through her makeup videos. I wish I was as good at doing my make up as Ellarie, and sometimes I even think I am, but I come out of the bathroom looking like a clown. But, HEY a  girl can dream LOL! Ellarie also reviews most of the new products from the popular brands, so I always check her blog out before trying something new because her reviews are dead on!

The Blonde Salad

Image from The Blonde Salad

Image from The Blonde Salad

Chiara Ferragani is just so fabulously fashionable, as she travels the world attending the most elite fashion events and modeling for prestigous brands. She also has her own shoe line, that is flirty and fun. She is another celebrity blogger that I just love to live vicariously through. She is an inspiration as to what kind of fashion blogger I  would love to be one day, and reading her blog definitley pushes me.

Chalkboard Nails

Image from Chalkboard Nails

Image from Chalkboard Nails

Chalkboard Nails is a blog for every nail addict out there. She has a seperate section just for nail tutorials that will keep you occupied for hours. If you are looking for a one stop shop to find out the latest on every single polish and trend out there, Chalkboard Nails is the place to go. Not only are her tutorials unique, there’s so much content on her site that it’s  organized into many different categories to find exactly what you are looking for.

Penny Pincher

Trenchcoat1

Image from Penny Pincher Fashion

Kimberly is a fashion blogger who focuses on making affordable pieces look expensive. I love the idea of having  a blog that taylors to all types of people. Let’s be real, the majority of people don’t own a Celine Bag or Guiseppe heels so it’s great that she styles items from mainstream afforadable stores. I check out Penny Pincher for her outfit ideas most of the time, but you can find out about beauty products, travel and gift ideas too.

So, those are some of my favorite blogs I check out on the daily now a days. If you don’t have Blog Lovin, you should download it (and follow me too! ) . It is a great app and website to follow your favorite blogs in one place, and get notifications when new content is available. It just makes blog reading SO much easier.

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Love you mean it !

Ashlie

07 Apr

Nail Biters Anonymous

Hi loves!

I have been thinking for a while to write a blog post for my nail biters out there. This post is a little wordier than normal, so bare with me :). Nail biting has been an issue for me all of my life. I sucked my thumb as a kid, and once I moved on from that, nail biting was my thing. To this day, nail biting is still an issue for me, and I wanted to share my journey with all of you.

Nail biting for me is 60% anxiety related and 40% out of pure boredom.  It is tough to tell you guys what I have done to stop nail biting, because I am still working on this habit.  But, my main way of stopping my obsessive nail biting was and still is…. getting manicures FREQUENTLY! It is amazing how far I have come with my nail biting, but I have to chalk it up to the fact that I became obsessed with nail polish. The compliments I would get from people seeing my nails are alot more rewarding then people cringing at my bleeding cracked fingertips.

I personally have tried every thing on the market to stop biting my nails, and nothing has worked better then just getting a manicure weekly. But, there are a few tricks and tips I want to share with my fellow nail biters.

NAILS

Nail Treatments: I have mentioned in my previous posts REJUVACOTE by Duri is AMAZING! With all this wedding planning stress, I find my self picking and biting at my nails often and this has saved me. REJUVACOTE is a nail treatment that makes your nails grow longer, stronger and faster.

duri-nail-growth-system-rejuvacote

Anti- Nail Biting Polish: I personally have tried a ton of them! And if you want to bite your nails, you most likely will just deal with the nasty taste. But, this product I have used up completely, and if my nails aren’t going to be polished. I will put a coat of Rejuvacote on my nails, and then a coat of Orly No Bite polish to hold me over until my next mani.

$_12

Hair/Nail Pills: Any hair or nail vitamin that contains biotin or vitamin D makes your nails healthier from the inside out. I personally use Hairfinity and let me tell you, THIS STUFF WORKS! I have always been skeptical about hair pills, but I have tried a variety of different brands, and I see results! Who doesn’t want strong, long nails and hair?!

brock-beauty-2

Gum: Nail biting is an oral fixation issue too. In the beginning of me trying to stop biting my nails, I always ate peppermints or gum when I got that sensation to put my hands in my mouth. So, I recommend finding something to do when you get that urge to bite. A friend of mine would put a rubber band on her wrist, and popped it everytime she got the urge to bite. That didn’t work for me personally, but it might work for someone else out there!

Cleanliness: I don’t think I realized how disgusting it was to have my hands in my mouth until I toned down my nail biting. When I used to bite my nails frequently, I ALWAYS had a cold. But, I mean DUH! my dirty hands were in my mouth all day. Also, no one wants to shake your hand when you just drooled all over it LOL. So, overall its just a good idea to keep your hands out of your mouth.

Nail biting is a bad habit, but we all deserve beautiful nails! I hope I could shed some light on my journey through nail biting. It’s a work in progress, but I have come a LONG way and  if I can do it, I know you can too.

Thanks for checking out my post.

Love you mean it!

Ashlie