Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crystal File 003: Fall Nail Trend, Navy is still in!

Well, did we really think we had seen the last of navy when MAC brought us Naughty Nautical for summer '08? If you are under the impression that navy (along side its slightly brighter jewel-toned blue siblings) was no longer an "it" color for fall, you are sadly mistaken!

While there are a host of new navy, sapphire, and vampy teals being introduced for the upcoming fall season (Sally Hansen Salon Navy Baby and Navy Pumps, China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic, Misa A Sin Worth Committing, Orly Star of Bombay), there are also several gorgeous alternatives you may already have in your polish collection.

My favorite navy, the gorgeous Zoya Indigo. Shimmery, sultry, with a flash of holo glitter sprinkled throughout, it is simply fantastic!



Don't have Zoya Indigo? Need another alternative to save you some cash? Other polishes from the recent past that would also fit the navy trend include Orly Witch's Blue, Misa Blueberry Glaze, MAC Naughty Nautical, China Glaze Up All Night, and Sally Hansen Salon Navy Venom. Those are just a few of the likeliest suspects, just shop your polish stash and I'm sure you will come up with other fabulous alternatives!

And for those of you gals who "don't do blue", rest assured it is only one of the many beautiful hues you'll being seeing this Fall. Deep, velvety plums and purples will be gracing many fingers. Fiery metallics in shades of gold, copper, deep bronzes, and browns will be heating up the chilly days to come. And classic shades of burgundy, wine, and ruby will always be in style. Perhaps you're in the mood for gorgeous emerald green or darkest teal? No worries for you either, China Glaze and Misa will be meeting your requirements.

So be prepared for decadent jewel-toned tips this season, there will be no call to shy away from color! In the near future I'll be reviewing some new fall colors from Fingerpaints and Misa, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crystal File 002: Must Haves and Favorites

Now, lets get this party started right!

I won't show you the condition my teeny-tiny nubbins are in today, seeing as how i just returned from a week at the beach where i did zero nail/cuticle maintenance. Lets just say they're not up to my usual standards.

So how will i return them to their former healthy state? Here are the products i use, and a brief description of how/when i use them.

I care for my cuticles using two HG products daily, CND Cuticle Eraser (1-2 times a day) and Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (again 1-2 times per day, after my cuticle eraser has been absorbed). I also use Sally Hansen cuticle remover in the blue bottle (once every 3-4 weeks) and Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle and Nail Refiner (once every 2-3 weeks). I try not to cut my cuticles unless i absolutely have to. I use a Sand Turtle buffing board to smooth the ridges in my nails and remove yellowing once every couple of weeks. When i need to shorten and/or shape my nails i use a glass nail file. I also take a hair/skin/nail vitamin supplement containing 3mg's of Biotin 1-2 times a day.

And when i need a quick pick-me-up mani, a gorgeous color that i know will improve my mood, what color(s) do i turn to? The following are a few of my absolute favorites that i know will never let me down.....

Misa For the Woman With a Secret. Hands down on of my favorite pinks of all time. The base is a deep, cool pink that looks amazing with my skin tone (if i do say so myself) and the fabulous golden shimmer gives amazing depth.


Essie Strawberry Sorbet. Another of my favorite pinks, and a guaranteed pick-me-up! It is bright, incredibly glossy, and has the tiniest hint of shimmer which is really only visible in intense sun, but adds a lovely glow in softer lighting.


Misa Caravan Chic. A mid-toned, warm, shimmery purple. It is simply gorgeous. I love it more each time i wear it.


And one of my favorite additions to any neon mani, China Glaze Wireless Top Coat. Talk about knock your socks off!!!

Over Essie Mini Shorts (my favorite orange neon!)


Over China Glaze Turned up Turquoise (what a great combo!)


These colors are by no means ALL of my favorites. There are many more that i hope to share with you over time. So be sure to tune in for future installments!

What, you may ask, does a complete mani consist of once I've chosen the perfect color? My HG base, Seche Vite Ridge Filling base coat. My HG top coat, Seche Vite Fast Drying top coat. If i use Wireless top coat, i still apply SV over it for added shine and faster dry time. Seche Vite fast drying top coat is an absolute life saver, i can't imagine life without it! A few other items i always keep out and ready while doing my mani: Orangewood sticks, polish thinner, polish remover (usually a small amount in the bottle cap to dip q-tips or orange wood sticks in for clean-up), pointy q-tips, and felt squares for removal.

Well, i think that's it for this "File". Thank you all for reading, see you next time!

Crystal File 001: An Introduction

Hello all, and Welcome!

I decided my blogging premiere should tell you a bit about me and what i hope to accomplish on this page. I'm a stay-at-home-mom of a lovely (and betimes exhausting) two year old son. In the past I've been a fragrance addict, a lipstick-and-gloss addict, and always a devoted fan of all things NAIL POLISH!

I've found that being a SAHM often means taking very little time for oneself. I no longer wear much makeup, usually a bit of lip color and mascara (if I'm lucky!!). I simply don't have the time, and i don't feel the need for it. Likewise, my passion for fragrance has fallen by the wayside. I often go days without grabbing for a bottle of perfume, i find that I'm much more sensitive to scents than i was before the birth of my son.

So my life is very un-glamorous. How exciting! So why, you may ask, am i joining the leagues of beauty bloggers everywhere? The answer is simple: Every woman needs to feel beautiful. I find that giving myself a mani or pedi with a gorgeous color does a great deal to lift my self-esteem. While i may not have the time or inclination to put on make-up every morning, or carefully style my hair (i generally sport a ponytail), or spend a lot of time shopping for trendy clothes, i can ALWAYS find time to do my nails. And having beautiful, healthy nails gives me a great deal of confidence.

And what do i hope to accomplish with The Crystal Files? (I'm a huge X-Files fan, thus the name) I hope that by giving you my uncensored opinion on all things nail related, i may help you find new colors, products, and techniques that you'll love and find useful. So my goal is really very simple. I'm here to share my love of gorgeous nail color, and fabulous hand-and-nail care products. Hopefully you'll find some useful information mixed in there!

Thanks for reading, and i hope you enjoy my future files!