Nail Biter No More

March 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Yes, I admit it. I was a nail biter. My nails were never long to begin with, but after today’s *nail trip with my younger sister, I’ve reason to believe that I will never prey on my poor nails again. Gel polish is the new trend that I’ve fallen in love with. Not only are they better than acrylics, they look more natural. I can finally grow my nails without being tempted. The manicurist had some Minx designs on hand as well, which is another nail trend that has been making its way onto every celebrity’s cuticle bed. Minx is shrink wrapped onto the nail and just like the Gel polish it stays on for two weeks. Considering my notorious habit, the results were well worth the money. (“Marilyn Merlot” Gel polish & Cheetah Print Minx)

[ Minx Nails ]

 

If you live in the Central Valley, I highly recommend:

Four Seasons Nail Spa (Tracy, CA)

Major Brownie Points

March 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

The beautiful weather in the Valley yesterday made me want something sweet and decadent. I don’t remember the last time I had brownies so I decided that it would be the perfect treat. To amp it up I used Nutella as frosting and generously sprinkled some macadamia nuts on top. For Nutella addicts like me, the chocolate hazelnut spread makes the perfect alternative to chocolate frosting. It’s not too thick and has the right amount of sweetness (and if you go to Costco they offer it in JUMBO size!) The combination of different texture and sweet nuttiness was heaven. The baking pan may be cleaned out, but the intoxicating smell of chocolate and hazelnut that lingered in my kitchen this morning makes me want to make another batch. Yum!

[ pressed for time? store-bought brownie mix will do the trick ]

 

[ Nutella. Mmm. ]

 

[ Macadamia Nuts. I like to chop it up myself so I can keep some of the chunks for texture and crunch ]

 

[ Viola! Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies with Macadamia = Heaven in your Oven ]

Top 5 Fashion Hits (Oscars 2011)

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Academy Awards is my Super Bowl. So, you can imagine my disappointment when the much-hyped award show turned out to be quite dull. Luckily, the gorgeous ladies on my Top 5 Fashion Hits provided the extra glitz and glamour that this year’s Oscar’s lacked. For me, these are the five dresses that redeemed a lackluster night.

1. Hailee Steinfeld in a fabulous frock by Marchesa proved that you can look your age and still rock the red carpet. (Looks like an homage to Audrey Hepburn’s 1954 Oscar dress)

2. Mila Kunis looked drop-dead gorgeous in a lace and chiffon light lavender dress by Elie Saab. This was hands-down my favorite of the night.

3. Cate Blanchett’s fashion-forward pick by Givenchy Haute Couture has fashionistas divided. And I am all for it. There is something delightfully whimsical about the construction of the dress. I do believe that only she can make this dress look amazing.

4. Talk about an entrance! Jennifer Lawrence did red dresses right. I am so in love with the clean silhouette of this silk tank dress by Calvin Klein. I am on the lookout for a casual version!

5. My three favorites in one: Halle Berry, Marchesa and tulle! Need I say more?

Beach in a Bottle

February 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tousled and textured, beach hair is one of my favorite parts of summer. I love the relaxed look that is worthy of both comfy flip flops and killer heels. It looks good under a beanie, a fedora or by itself. It is the Heidi Klum of hairstyles – it works with just about everything. Since I am no surfer and do not go to the beach regularly, achieving the beach hair requires the perfect hair product that gives you the right amount of waves. I was on the verge of giving up after a few years (and hair product aisles) of flops and fizzles when I came across *Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist. Yes, it is a little pricey but a little goes a long way. The Swedish brand is relatively new but let the results speak for themselves. The waves last all day and it doesn’t leave an “icky” sticky feel that is common in beach sprays. Plus, the sea foam green hue is just too pretty to pass up

Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $28

 

I prefer to curl random sections of my hair using a 1 1/2” curling iron to give it more texture and bounce. Curling them around the barrel prevents clamp marks and looks more natural. Let the curls cool before spritzing the mist. Shake it out and/or tease the crown for a voluminous look.

 

*product can be used on wet/dry hair

Viva La(dy) Gaga

February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

MAC Cosmetics partnered once again with the glamorous Lady Gaga for their Viva Glam line. The collaboration produced a new and more versatile shade, Lady Gaga 2, which is described as a light neutral beige with amplified formula. It comes in Lipstick and Lipglass. The results are, in my opinion, better than last. The best part? 100% of the proceeds will go to the MAC AIDS Fund. If that is not enough of an incentive, then I do not know what is.

Viva Glam Gaga, $14.50

I love lipstick – they are like accessories for your face, and it is safe to say that this is my new go-to “lip-cessory”. Despite it being a lighter shade, the amplified formula allows it to go on smooth and creamy and is highly pigmented. I decided to skip on the Lipglass as I am more of a lipstick type of girl. I used MAC’s Lip Pencil in Soar to add some dimension. The neutral shade is ideal for that dewey fresh faced look. Needless to say I am going gaga for this lipstick.

 

It had me at Bolero

February 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lately, I find myself channeling my inner romantic by incorporating light pink hues, neutral tones and soft pastel colors into my wardrobe. So it was no surprise that during this week’s H&M stroll – a.k.a my lunch break – that I immediately fell for a beautiful chiffon bolero hanging on the mannequin’s cold plastic shoulders. It was love at first sight. There was something wonderfully romantic and quirky about the chiffon heart cutouts draped all over the bolero. I wanted it. I needed it. It was almost unbearable. Almost. My wallet is in no shape for such a purchase at the moment, and I walked away heartbroken. Of course, it’s only temporary. This weekend this bad boy is mine.

1. Bolero, $56, H&M

2. Nacci Black & Ecru Shorts, $63, Coggles

3. Lanvin Patent Wedge, $1,280,Kirna Zabete

4. The Elephant Sanctuary, $29, Fantasy Jewelry Box

5. Scoop Tank, $12, Topshop

6. Love Alive Sunglasses, $28, ModCloth

Scarf Phase

February 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

I have always been a sucker for scarves. They make the most practical fashion statement, and you can never have too many. With the onset of spring, now is the perfect time to flaunt your favorite neck wrap while still fighting winter’s remnants. Here in Northern California, it is warm enough to put away the UGG boots, but still too cold for summer dresses. Lucky for us, spring scarves are coming in fabulous colors and incorporating different textures and embroidery.

 

1. Peach Lace Trim Scarf, $32, Topshop

2. Embellished Corner Scarf, $80, Topshop

3. Mint to be Scarf, $18, ModCloth

4. Merona Solid Wrap, $13, Target

5. Sepia Circle Scarf, $19, Scarfology

xx