Nail Art 101 with Char Miller of Couture Lux Nails

During my mani last week, I asked my Nail Stylist to do something different with an accent nail and she went above and beyond my expectations! I was so impressed, that I recorded an impromptu video for the 2nd nail (so no judging any shakiness or background voices…please and thank you).

With no further ado, here are the tools you will need in case you want to recreate this nail art.

  1. Bowl
  2. Water
  3. 3 – 4 nail colors
  4. Polish remover
  5. Nail art-dotting tool
  6. Nailbrush

*Click here to see the Nail Art Video*

Directions:

Fill half of your bowl with water

Paint you accent nail with a sheer background color of your choice and let it dry completely

Let 1 droplet of polish drop in the water

Note: *if the droplet goes to the bottom, try it again* If it floats and spreads, add a 2nd droplet of another color and repeat until the droplets are full of rings of color to your liking

Take your nail art-dotting tool and gently swirl the polish to make a design and mix the colors

Take your face down and roll in into the polish quickly and pull the nail out of the polish

Use your nail art-dotting tool and finish the design on your nail

Use your nailbrush with polish remover to clean the excess around the nail

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And presto…just like that, you have gorgeous, beautiful, glam nail art!!! Thank you Char for allowing me to video your work!!!

 

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My Luxurious Mani Monday

Last week I gave you a sneak peek of a nail polish that I had been wearing for 6 days!!! Today, I am here to give you the details on my journey, reveal the name of the brand and give you my final grade!!!

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A few months ago I attended the Simply Stylist event in Chicago and I met the owners of a nail polish brand by the name of LVX. LVX is a luxury brand of polish that recognizes beauty with a fashion forward outlook. They have developed their polish line with a unique understanding of fashion trends, which can be seen on the runway…. I don’t know about you but I am intrigued!!!

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I spotted the brand from across the room and I introduced myself to one of the owners, who then introduced me to his business partner – his sister. When I explained how I review and rate products, it was obvious that this was a match made in beauty heaven!!! I was surprised when they offered me every color within the summer collection to try and I could not wait to get home to put this polish to the test!!!

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The following week I make an appointment with my awesome nail stylist Char for my mani and pedi. When I arrived, she was surprised to see that I had a new brand with such vibrant colors. I think she became more excited than I was to try the new brand…LOL.

Now that you have the background information, let me share my likes!!! The polish has a long lasting, chip-free, non-streak formula that is free of toxins and harsh chemicals. The products are free of formaldehyde, resins and camphor which can be harmful to the nails and skin. More importantly, LVX is vegan, socially responsible, cruelty- free and all products are made in the USA!!! I loved the opaque colors and longevity of the polish (after the 4th try…see the details in the dislikes).

Now this sounds like a winner but I would not be sincere if I did not share my total story of my journey with LVX polish. As I stated earlier…I tried this polish 4 times because I did have some issues with it on trails 1-3. The first time the polish lasted 1.5 days before it started to chip and peel. So I tried it a 2nd time and it lasted 2.5 days :-(. So I tried it a 3rd time because I figured the 3rd time has got to be a charm…right??? I am sure you may be wondering why I gave this a 3rd try??? Well, I am glad that you asked me that question. I tried it 3 times because every review I read was great and I didn’t understand why the polish did not work on me. Plus, the claims and the quality had me sold and I wanted it to work. After the 3rd time, I noticed that the polish lasted up to 4 days so, I knew that it was not the product that was not working, it was my nails that didn’t work with the polish.

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After the 3rd try, I saw one of the owners again and I explained my issue. She was surprised and concerned. She wanted to make sure that I had the best experience because she stood behind her brand and gave me the 3-in-1 coat to try. Impressed with her customer service and concern, I had to try it again!!!

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Okay, stop…let me rewind and explain before you give me the side eye…LOL. I have been wearing gel polish for most of the winter 2012 and spring 2013 without letting my nails breathe. I also picked the polish off instead of going in and letting my nail stylist remove it properly, which led to soft, brittle nails with ridges and that made to the polish peel as well as chip. BTW…the same thing happened with other brands as well so I know it was me and not the polish. So after the 4th try, I had success and the LVX polish lasted a total of 8 days!!! I was so excited that I shared day 6 with you, as well as with the owner as she was very excited to hear the great news!!!

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My final grade for LVX polish is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! LVX is an awesome brand worth trying and the customer service is great too!!! If you are interested in trying the new fall colors, you can purchase a bottle for $16 at shoplvx.com. Happy polishing!!!

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6 Days and Counting

OMG!!! I have been wearing this nail polish for 6 days and I only have a chip because my nail broke. Can you guess the brand???

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Here are a few hints:

  1. It’s not a gel polish
  2. It is a high fashion luxury brand
  3. Chip resistant, non-streak and free of toxic and harsh chemicals
  4. A vegan-friendly socially responsible brand
  5. Only available online and specialty spas and boutiques
  6. The brand releases about 6 colors per season

So what do you think??? Who is the brand??? I will do the big reveal as soon as it starts to chip :-). Stay tuned…MUAH

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BEAUTY DEAL ALERT!!!

Hey Beauty Scholars…BEAUTY DEAL ALERT!!! Right now, Beauty School ScArlet and eSalon has a special 50% off deal for new customers: Get your first custom color kit delivered to your door for just $9.95 (plus s&h) with a full money back guarantee.
Go here to give it a try: www.eSalon.com

 

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Customized Hair Color… Does it Really Work???

About a month ago I was reading a something on TMZ about a celebrity (okay, don’t judge me; it’s not like you haven’t done the same thing) and I came across an ad for a website named esalon.com so, of course, I had to check it out because it was beauty related and after all, I love all things beauty!!!
As I clicked the link, I could not contain my excitement of what was in store for me. Were my eyes deceiving me??? Did I read this right??? A custom hair color site made for me, you and yes her too!!! Now I was more intrigued than ever to find out how this really worked.
Esalon.com was created by a group of stylist who wanted to bring the salon to the client without the sometimes insane prices of the salon and the DIY boxed color in the store that has been sitting on the shelf for weeks or maybe months and is a one size fits all. Each product is customized according to your needs, wants and hair texture. Hmm, something that is all about me…sign me up!!!
So, I did…I signed up and the process started with a series of questions for my hair profile.
1.     What is your natural hair color profile?
2.     What’s the percentage of your gray hair?
3.     Have you used any color treatments in the last 6 months?
4.     Have you had any chemical treatments in the last 6 months?
5.     What is the color of your eyes?
6.     What is your ethnicity?
7.     How long ago have you colored your hair?
You are then asked to pick a model that has your skin-tone and you can choose from different nationalities. You are also able to pick the color of hair that you currently have from the color swatches and they change on the model… how cool is that??? Now, I know you are like man this is amazing but wait it gets better!!! They ask more questions because they want to make sure they get it right!!!
8.     How well does your hair take color?
9.     How often would you like to color your hair?
10.What is the length of your hair and how do you style it?
Now, you are back to the screen with the model and they ask you what is your desired hair color and you can pick from the color swatches, which change on the model. It will then tell you if the color is available in demi-permanent, permanent or both. You will then chose permanent or demi. The next screen shows you 3 different models with your natural color, dyed color and desired color as well as an overview of your profile.
After I finished my profile, I thought I was done but no…. they asked me if I wanted to add a photo of myself for my colorist to review because it would help them to see my natural color and match my color a little more. OMG…how freaking impressive is that???
The last screen shows me the next steps of the process:
1.     A professional colorist will review my order and contact me if they have any questions.
2.     They will custom blend a color just for me…that’s right me with personalized instructions!!!
3.     You can pick if you want a single order or auto-delivery and how often you want it. If I have any questions, I can contact them.
Wow, I was so excited and I could not wait for my package!!! I must say I was a little nervous when I got the package because it was so professional looking and I was not expecting that. I have colored my hair before but it was the box stuff in the store. This is a detailed and well put together kit with gloves, protective cream, sample packets of sulfate free shampoo and conditioner as well as a color remover pad. You also have the option of purchasing more items like a cape, mixing bowl color brush for application and color enhancing shampoo.
I love this concept!!!  And here is what I liked about the product: it is easy to apply but a little messy for me because I am not a professional, I am a beauty blogger…LOL. The color lasted for 12 weeks before I started to see some gray returning (no comments from the peanut gallery please) J. The color is not drying and it looks amazing (I did a great if I must say so myself…LOL). The color that I ordered is the color I look I was wanting…FTW!!!
However, there is some room for improvement but it is not with the product, it is the website models. I think more nationalities should be represented with lighter and darker skin-tones as well as the hair texture and length should change with the model according to what you choose so you can see someone that truly represents you to get the full idea of what the color can look like.
My final grade for esalon.com hair color is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! Esalon.com I only ask that you consider my suggestion about the models so all women can see a truer representation of themselves. Happy Coloring!!!

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Sephora News Flash…411 Beauty Alert

Hey Beauty Scholars!!! Can you believe it??? Sephora is at it again!!! Just when you think it can’t get any better, they go and trial some new projects in select stores, yes I said projects with an “s” (you have scored and gotten the double daily today)!!! And yes, yours truly just so happened to get all the juicy details to share with you J
So, as you know Sephora is rolling out the Skin IQ system where you can do a Q&A about your skin on the computer and it pulls up the best product according to your concerns as well as skin type (but that’s old news). So let’s move on…shall we!!!
A few weeks ago I told you about the new Color IQ system that Sephora is testing in select stores. This is where the Beauty Specialist uses a special tool to find an accurate foundation match for your skin and you receive an email of all the foundations, powders and tinted moisturizers that match your skin tone. Yep, that’s right…100% accurate!!! In case you missed it, check out the link below of the post in its entirety (trust me…you will enjoy it) teehee 

And if this was not enough to send you over the edge…don’t forget the new polish they are launching called Sephora X. It is supposed to be the best of the best that will last forever (well, not forever but longer than the norm…you get my drift). See the details using the link below J
Okay, okay…. I know you are waiting with bated breath to find out the beauty 411…so here you go J (Drum roll please)… Sephora is currently testing Express Styling at the beauty studio!!! What is that you ask???  Well let me tell you…this is where the Cast Members (Beauty Advisors) will do a quick touch up on your hair or give you a consultation. Wait…before you get too happy, slow down and read the rest…LOL. This is by NO MEANS complete styling where any flat irons or blow dryers will be used. This is just a quick touch up with a shine mist or something of the sort. I don’t know about you, but I am down for a little hair refresher or consult while I enjoy my shopping experience!!! IJS

 

But wait…there’s more (in my infomercial voice)!!! Just in case you did not know, Sephora has their own collection of products and I must say, they give some of the bigger brands a run for their money (not only that, they are cheaper…but ssshh, that is just between us) LOL!!! Why am I am telling you this you ask??? Well, if you must know, rumor has it that Sephora will be launching a bath and bodyline that smells and feels delicious!!! Just in case you don’t believe me, go and check out the following link.
So there you have it Beauty Scholars, the beauty 411 on what’s to come at our favorite store. So what do you think??? Are these new upcoming launches something that will get you ready, set to go over and shop until you drop??? Share your thoughts because my inquiring mind wants to know J MUAH!!!

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Recent Purchase from Ulta

Hey Beauty Scholars!!! This is my recent purchase from Ulta. It is the Super Sleek Hair Straightening System by Ojon. I can’t wait to use it today and review it soon!!!

I am very excited about trying this product but extremely disappointed about the lack of knowledge from the Ulta Beauty Advisor 🙁 Let’s just say, she was so in the dark on how to use this straightening system and if I did not seek out information on my own…my hair would be on the floor!!! IJS…

More details to come on my review in a few weeks or maybe a P.O.V. on the service and knowledge in the beauty department and speciality stores!!! Either way…stay tuned!!! MUAH

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Just My P.O.V. – Celebrity Blowout Bars

Just My P.O.V. – Celebrity Blowout Bars…The New Hair Craze!!!
Just in case you are sitting there scratching your head and wondering what the heck is a blowout bar, let me enlighten you and shed some light on the newest craze!!! A blowout bar is where you can go and get a quick blow dry style in 35-40 minutes or less starting at $35. I first heard about this concept on a local Chicago TV show called 190 North back in January. The show did an interview segment with the owner of Blowtique, Fiona McEntee. Fiona opened the first blowout bar in Chicago because she felt it was a needed luxury that did not exist in the US as it does in Europe. She found it strange that women in the US loved weekly beauty treatments like mani’s and massages but never got a weekly blowout so she opened Blowtique.
Check out the video segment online…
Now the concept seems to be catching on with celebrities taking notice and making investments. In February, Rachel Zoe opened her first Blowout Bar – DreamDry in New York. Her concept offers express services in 20 minutes starting at $40. In March, Gwyneth Paltrow and celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson teamed up to open a Blowout Bar in Brentwood, CA at Tarcy’s gym and to add fuel to the fire, celebrity hairstylist David Babaii and his team will be on staff to offer their services. Talk about a growing trend… I wonder which celebrity will jump on the bandwagon next??? (It’s like monkey see, monkey do…let’s see which celebrity can out do whom)!!! LOL… Check out the details in Marie Claire and Lucky Magazine online…
Blowout Bars seem to be a great and growing concept, I wish I had thought about it!!! It’s a quick in and out service with an affordable price attached and every beauty junkie needs to try it at least once. It seems like celebrities are taking over the beauty industry one product, one fragrance, one cosmetic line and now one strand of hair at a time!!!! Celebrity definitely has its privileges…don’t you agree???
While I am intrigued with the new concept of Blowout Bars, I can’t say that this is at the top of my list. I am more excited when a celebrity endorses or partners with a makeup or skincare brand like the upcoming makeup launch of Rihanna and MAC in May!!! Now Beauty Scholars that is at the top of my list, but that’s just My P.O.V. What about you??? Tell me what you think about the new celebrity Blowout Bar concept!!! What’s your P.O.V???

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Just My P.O.V. – Ombre Hair

Ombre hair is all the rage from light to dark and dark to light!!! I have seen it all from bright to burgundy and even rainbow effects (like skittles). LOL yes skittles!!! What’s this craze all about??? Will this trend last or is it just a fad???
As look at different pictures of all the celebs, I must say that I kind of like the ombre effect (on other people that is)…LOL.  I think in a lot of cases it brightens the face and enhances your best facial features unless you are going for a less subtle look of colors that don’t compliment your skin tone.
So I guess you are wondering why I am not running to my stylist to choose the colors I want and signing on the dotted line??? Well, to be quite honest, I think it works well for long hair and I am in the process of growing mine back. Sorry ladies with the sassy pixie cuts, I think you are going to have to sit this one out L. Don’t shoot the messenger; it’s just my P.O.V. J
But before you long haired kithen-ticians (at home beauticians) start your DIY ombre hair at home, may I suggest you go to the local beauty supply and try on an ombre wig… IJS. Find out what colors are best for you and where they should be placed, as there is science to application process. Or, you can go to a stylist and get a consultation to figure out what will look great on you!!! You will be happier in the end as you may not get it right the first time and you could damage your hair. Like the saying says, your hair is your crown and glory so don’t go around with a tarnished crown…LOL. Cinderella didn’t so why would you???
Ombre hair is in; if you don’t believe me, just go to http://ombrehair.org. Yep, that’s right…there is a whole website dedicated to ombre hair…who knew??? There is also a great article with before and after celeb pictures on http://www.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/hair-care/ombre-hair-color-trend-over#slide-1
Now that you have more information and My P.O.V., what are your thoughts??? What is your P.O.V.??? Are you in for the trend??? Comment below and let me know!!!

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Hair Care Tip…

Silicone coats the hair and does not penetrate the hair shaft; it can cause buildup and does not prevent breakage it disguises it. 

Silicone has similar properties to rubber and plastic…Do you know what happens to rubber and plastic when you heat them??? They burn!!! So when you continuously use products with silicone and apply heat, you can burn and damage the hair.

So, when you go to purchase your next hair product…check the label and make sure it is made without silicones!!!

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