How to Nail the Look: DIY Nail Art for the Clumsy of Hand

For nail obsessives looking to take their talons to the next level, DIY nail art is the next frontier. When it comes to decking out your digits, there are no rules, but we’re particularly taken by the snowflake-inspired look we spotted on Refinery 29. Just imagine showing up at your next soiree, only to pull off your mittens to reveal these beauties. Jaws will drop.

Admittedly, turning your claws into mini-masterpieces is easier said than done. If it’s your first time, we recommend enlisting the aid of a steady-handed accomplice, or if you’re going it alone, get a snowflake tutorial here.

If you’ve neither the patience nor the motor skills to execute the look using paint, opt for a nail art pen, which come in a variety of shades and will take you back to the days when coloring inside the lines was your greatest challenge.

Easier still? Press-on nails, which have seen a serious comeback of late, particularly since Lady Gaga-inspired styles started popping up. We’re partial to the tribal zigzags and the hardware-encrusted black. Yes, they might inhibit daily activities like typing and handshaking, but we think that’s a small price to pay for style and shock value. Don’t you?

United Nude: From Work To Play In A Single Shoe

Known for their structurally-adventurous constructions, United Nude blends architecture and contemporary footwear design to make some seriously show-stopping heels. In the next two weeks of perpetual holiday parties, you’re going to need a solid pair of shoes to carry you from the office to the party, with none of those awkward subway shoe-swaps. The line’s classic pumps feature laser-cut leather and eye-catching patterns, and lucky for you, they’re on sale today.

Refinery 29’s Daily Deal offers 40% off on the laser pump, with enough variations in color that you won’t be caught wearing the same heels to any of your parties. Just go easy on the eggnog, okay?

Phillip Lim Shares His Fave Spots in LA

Known for designing classic pieces with street elegance, Phillip Lim’s collections are a go-to for fashion bloggers, editors, artists, and models. Although his designs exhibit expert tailoring, there’s always a touch of effortlessness, whether it be a slouchy fit or a simple color story. That relaxed attitude could very well derive from his LA roots, which Refinery 29 captured in their latest feature with the designer. Being an LA native myself, his list of favorite places warms my heart—especially because it’s filled with local treasures and a touch of classic LA.

I love that he chose Gold Bug and Ivanhoe Books, and that he stops by Silverlake Wine to pick up a nice bottle before a dinner party. His shout out to Griffith Park for hiking because “it’s less crowded than doing Runyon Canyon” gives him even more cred, too. Seeing that we virtually go to the same places, maybe I’ll start scouting each spot more frequently to catch a Lim sighting. No, not creepy at all.

Photo and artwork via Refinery 29.

Refinery 29 Relaunches Its Online Shop

The fashion aficionados at Refinery 29 are relaunching their online shop today, beefing up their retail section even further. Sponsored by American Express and in collaboration with Lucky Magazine, the revamp welcomes a new virtual shop with ‘featured boutiques’ (think labels like Steven Alan and In God We Trust, as well as rising stars Apart and Whit). These shops spotlight a selection of items handpicked by Refinery 29 and Lucky, for which a $20 one-time credit is offered if shoppers are Amex Zync card carriers. If you’re not a member of this particular plastic club, don’t fret: there’s a daily sale starting at Gilt Groupe-approved noon EST. Today’s deal is a JF & Son CK Beaded Blouse.

Meanwhile, a blog allows shoppers in need of a little extra expertise to post questions to ‘Lucky Alpha Shoppers.’ There’s no denying that Amex holders take priority here, but beyond that, the newly revamped e-commerce destination is another great example of the ways in which sponsorship, editorial, and advertorial are being mixed together to create a new kind of shopping experience. Gone are the days of straightforward online shopping. Welcome blogs, limited time discounts, and advertisers as your new norm.

Refinery 29 Goes the Groupon Route

The already well-populated local discount driven digital space (5 times fast!) is about to get more crowded thanks to Refinery 29 going the Groupon route. Now not only are there competitors like Gilt City, Living Social and Sugar Inc.’s recently acquired FreshGuide, now there is Refinery 29’s latest initiative. “Refinery29 is starting a new program launching next month called City Steals, offering readers special sales and deals,” says Nitrolicious. If you’ve been getting R29’s newsletters or checked out their blog in the past few months, then you’ve likely noticed the exclusive discounts attached every time they cover a particular clothing brand or business.

But, with City Steals, R29 is opening up entire sales solely to its readers. For its first event, the site is teaming up with the NYC-based brand (212). “For two days, tomorrow and Friday, you can shop bargain-bin prices at their chic NYC showroom. Nothing is over $100! Think sweaters for $60 (originally $169), silk dresses for $100 ($269), and vests for $50 ($135),” says R29 of the sale. Not only is the move interesting in its adding fuel to the local-shopping fire, but given R29’s reader base, it offers an incredible potential for exposure for young brands that are still relatively under-the-radar.

Plus-Size Is Becoming More Prolific

Plus-size models have been making waves on catwalks and in major fashion editorials alike in recent months, but just how far this crop of mannequins’ influence will carry has yet to be established. Crystal Renn, no doubt the default poster child for the plus-size movement, has been cast for Chanel’s Resort show by Karl Lagerfeld, not to mentioned graced pages in the likes of Italian Vogue and Glamour. But how much of an effect have Renn and her counterparts had? Actually, quite a bit it seems.

In fact, come the fall, Saks will become NYC’s first-ever department store to carry luxury garments in plus sizes. “Coming very soon to the department store’s super high-end third floor, fall and winter plus-sized pieces will be mixed right in with existing stock—most of which would formerly have only been available in sizes ranging to a 10,” says Racked NY. In addition to Chanel and YSL, Saks will stock Alexander McQueen, Fendi and D&G in sizes never before available.

Meanwhile, Refinery 29 is broadening its sartorial tune and offering its first-ever plus-size fashion shopping guide today. “We scoured the web for some of our favorite plus-size fashion finds that don’t compromise style for fit, and put together four looks with a little Refinery edge for all the curvy ladies amongst us,” the post reads. Both Saks’ new stock and Refinery’s wider approach to spotlighting the latest in trends just goes to show, times are a changing. And while the industry as a whole may still have a long way to go, this shift is by no means insignificant.