It’s happened to all of us. No matter how pristine your manicure before you head home for the holidays, it’s as if you never even tried as soon as someone asks for your help in the kitchen. Gone is the shiny top coat, and then it’s only a matter of time before your mother points out the chipping. So what’s a helpful gal to do this time of year?
We know that sometimes the only times in your schedule to get a manicure are the off hours the salons aren’t open, so to replicate the strength and long-lasting effects of a gel mani at home, we’re reaching for Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab, a base and top coat that seals in shine and gives you the strength and durability your hardworking hands need.
No UV light needed, no weird remover required. And it works with whatever color you want.
Just one more thing to be thankful for.
Get Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab here.
Photographer: Justin Bridges
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist/Manicurist: Ashley Rebecca
Model: Ella Petrushko (Marilyn)
Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro
Location: Ammon Carver Studio
Smith & Cult founder Dineh Mohajer was behind your ’90s enamel dreams; she created Hard Candy in 1995, by accident, when she and her sister sought to custom-mix a baby blue shade to match her newest shoes. Suddenly, requests were flowing in and Hard Candy became an overnight sensation. The brand turned out to be only the beginning of Mohajer’s ability to parlay her beauty junkie personality into major entrepreneurial success.
Throwback to the Must-Have Nail Polish of Our Youth. Image via SuperflySparkle on flickr
Now she’s back with Smith & Cult which boasts bottles that just might be even cooler (and are definitely swankier) than those ’90s bottles adorned with plastic rings. The line features 30 colors which would comprise a comprehensive nail polish wardrobe, of sorts, if you were to buy them all. They range from nudes and neutrals to blues, purples and grays, pinks, reds, and corals, to glittery party shades (plus a base and top coat). Each shade has an extensive backstory, penned by Dineh, detailing the inspiration behind each hue.
I’m notoriously terrible at painting my nails but would gladly take the full collection, because the combination of the colors Mohajer has formulated, and the sleek design makes for pure beauty junkie art. They’ve just launched this month and are available on Net-a-Porter, at C.O. Bigelow, and a handful of high-end nail salons (if like me you lack painting skills.)
Here comes fashion week. Oh and freezing rain, and the streets have flooded with the resulting sludge… so in case you already didn’t feel there was enough to contend with (footwear, anyone?! and how many great coats can one gal have?) the usual concerns are still there. Like nail polish, and the fact that reaching into various tote bags and purses 19 thousand times per day doesn’t help a manicure to last and last. But at least Hunter boots don’t require buckles, am I right?
Considering there isn’t a minute to breathe when the shows commence, choosing a nail color that can get you through the week (and life, really, even if you’re not rushing from venue to venue) is of the utmost. Neutral is the way to go in case of chips (and for the most discreet of amateur touch ups), but boring is not. That’s why I did a little research on some of the best nude non-nudes (i.e. nudes with a little kick) to see us through.
Deborah Lippmann’s Diamonds and Pearls
Because diamonds (and pearls) are a girl’s best friend, and this so-shimmery-it’s-shiny clear polish with an orangey pick up is the shit. There it is above on Lupita Nyong’o with a mani by Ms. Lippmann herself.
Fluorescent Beige by Marc Jacobs
It veers toward mauve. It dries in nano seconds. It’s Marc Jacobs. You’ve never met a cooler nude (ish. Nude ish).
Clinique‘s nude nail polishes — pick a shade, any shade.
For any skin tone, Clinique has a milk-opaque nude to match. Or go off-color for something right on.
Makeup is fun. It’s a little like playing dress up. Sometimes whatever’s on tap calls for a little more sass than your normal could provide. In need of a shot of attitude? Cue Rococo’s new denim-inspired nail polish collection. Want diamonds on your neck, and diamonds on your grill? Maybe the next best thing comes in something as simple as a swipe of Flossy, an iridescent pearly pink that turns blue with the simple talk-to-the-hand gesture. Forget denim, they must have been listening to Kelis circa Bossy and taken Too $hort to heart when he said,
“Tell that man you’s a boss bitch
Make some noise, raise your hand if you’s a boss bitch
I don’t think he understands you’s a boss bitch
Get some help if you can ’cause he lost it
Ain’t no refunds, she spent the cash mayne
In your Benz with her friends in the fast lane
Flossin’, you say “How much it cost me?”
About a million dollars player, she’s bossy!”
It launches in February, so in the mean time, here’s something else to get you feeling bossy.
Look, I have a penis, but I read Jezebel, too, so I do keep up on the latest health and beauty fads that women subscribe to in between getting excited about Kate Middleton’s baby and learning about which senators think rape is A-OK. So when I read that gel manicures could possibly cause cancer, I was alarmed. Fingernail cancer? Is it seeping in through the polish? That is terrifying. But then I realized that it’s actually the UV light that dries the gel polish that could be a potential health risk, and that, somehow, seemed a bit less upsetting. There’s still a lot of controversy over whether even weekly manicures involving UV rays could cause cancer—that’s a tiny amount of exposure, even at a regular rate—but, I dunno, maybe put some sunscreen on your hands just in case. A cancer-free manicured hand is a cute manicured hand!
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If you’re scratching your head as to why HBO’s show Girls needs its own nail polish collection through Deborah Lippmann, at least now your nails can look cute doing it.
In the most recent issue of InStyle magazine, Lippmann announced a limited edition set of nail polishes "inspired" by each character on the show. You can see each color as it looks in the bottle at the link.
There’s "Hannah," a hunter green that looks "dirty" (?) and "cool," since Hannah is "independent and moody."
"Shoshanna" is a light violet, which is "eager," "sweet" and "playful."
"Marnie" is a "prim and proper pink."
And "Jessa" is a "bohemian burgandy" because her character is "hippy-dippy and sexual."
And there you have it: a weird little look into how makeup companies imbue so much meaning behind something as stupid as a color.
This isn’t Deborah Lippman’s first foray into co-branding her (expensive — $16!) nail polishes with TV shows: in August she debuted a whole makup collection, including polishes, in conjunction with True Blood. As silly as I think all this co-branding stuff is getting, though, I’m not going to pretend I won’t be buying a bottle of "Shoshanna."
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.