Red Carpet Manicure: Gel Polish


Gel nail polish, by Red Carpet Manicure (RCM), is one of my favorite things right now. RCM provides a protective coat which helps natural nails grow longer without filing down or damaging the nail, unlike acrylics. Most importantly, the polish stays put (without chipping) and yields a gorgeous manicure for 2-3 weeks!

Although I am a professional Aesthetician, I’m by no means a professional manicurist. Because of this, I know you too will be able to tackle the RCM with ease. The directions are easy to follow and the manicure itself takes under 30 minutes to achieve– that includes dry time… well, there is virtually no dry time and the polish finishes nice and hard, as opposed to traditional nail lacquers; we’ve all meticulously painted our nails only to find the lacquer smudged, dented, or chipped as a result of mundane actions. Once the gel polish is cured, it really is set.

Here are a few tips (and pics) from my nail experience:

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1. I started with clean, dry nails. Before applying polish, RCM suggests shaping the nail, pushing back cuticles, and roughing up the nail itself.

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2. Roughing up the nail does not mean filing it down. Instead, you’re gently buffing away the nail’s natural shine in order for the polish to adhere more successfully (please pardon the soon to be tamed cuticles).

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3. The base coat takes 30 seconds to set and each layer of colored polish takes approximately 45 seconds to cure. Although the directions say the color takes 45 seconds, an RCM representative and I agree that 1 minute works best when using the RCM LED light–just to be safe. In addition, I like to leave nails under the light for 1 minute when curing top coat (Brilliance). The above color photographed a little darker than it is in actuality. However, RCM’s Oh So 90210¬†is quite comparable to OPI’s Strawberry Margarita.

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4. I like French nails and found this effect relatively easy to achieve with RCM. Upon fully completing the gel manicure in Tre Chic (this includes top coat application), I swiped Sally Hansen’s White Out across the nail tips and allowed the polish to dry for 15 minutes. Finally, I applied RCM’s Brilliance and cured for 1 minute to set my French nails.

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A trick that I recently learned from my manicurist, to prolong white tip longevity, is gently swiping acetone across the nail to remove dulling agents. This tip is only good for use on gel or acrylic nails and should be done in a swift, singular motion.

Enjoy ūüôā

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Good Read: Robert Jones’ MAKEUP MAKEOVERS


There are a lot of makeup books and tutorials out there, but none that I’ve seen can compare to the sage wisdom Robert Jones shares in Makeup Makeovers. For those who are unfamiliar with his work, Robert Jones is an amazing celebrity makeup artist; he’s worked with one of my personal favs, Cindy Crawford (remember what she taught me about eyebrows) and done makeup for all the major magazines.¬†For those who want to simply take my word for it, the man knows what he’s talkin’ about, Willis.

The book is divided into three parts and consists of a collective, twelve chapters. Part one is a bit of a vocabulary lesson and focuses on the meaning behind makeup terminology. What different cosmetics do and how to apply them– and what purpose the tools serve. Part two discusses the individual and is where the book really heats up. He neatly describes skin tone classifications and the contrast between warm versus cool tones. In addition, the book discusses face shape and contouring with simplified diagrams. During the third part, appropriately titled, “Putting it all together,” Jones discusses how the reader can take what they’ve read and apply it to their specific face.

The book is somewhat repetitive, but this angle works well for the purpose of a how-to. His consistency assures the cosmetic novice and inspires makeup savvy girls. Although Jones’ writing is clear and helpful, the greatest testament to his skill is in the before and after photos. Amazing. The women in the before photos could be Walmart, Publix, or Dollar General shoppers. The results, however, reflect a sophistication projected by women in the media. The faces depicted are “real” people. That proves how good “we” can look and showcases Jones’ skill. And, of course, he shows how gorgeous ridiculously, pretty women (models) are when all glammed-up.

I hungrily blew through Jones’ book in an evening and enjoyed his perspective. His take on natural beauty is refreshing–and so is his makeup style. Wether you’re a working Makeup Artist, like myself, or are newly curious about cosmetics, Jones’ methodic book offers a strong education.

Ombr√© Hair: The Hottest Recession Special.


I’ll probably catch a ton of heat for saying this, but I feel the ombr√©¬†trend, currently sweeping the nation, is utterly heinous. The only thing separating Khloe Kardashian’s hair from that of trailer trash is a flat iron and a keratin treatment. And, because Khloe is my favorite Kardashian, this is said in love.

However, despite the fact that I miss Khloe’s rich locks, they look way better than other ombr√©¬†supporters. Jessica Alba’s “womens’ correctional look”¬†is obviously influencing the hottest mugshots in the United States. Check out these other hot ombr√©¬†looks found through FL inmate searches and mugshots.com.

This woman speaks with her eyes, Just like Jessica, but her hair isn’t quite trashy enough. Jessica’s face framing tresses reflect the color of washing with untreated well-water. This woman is obviously just sporting recession hair–or is it ombr√©– and having an even harder time as she’s just been arrested.

Lake County, Florida’s Sarah Jessica Parker look-alike totally rocked her mugshot! Mascara? Check. Baywatch tank top? Check. It’s like she sat in her hairdresser’s chair, one Spring Break, and demanded a color that would last through hurricane season. 5 months of growth looks gorgeous– this ombr√©¬†look is a must-have if you want to look amazing while being booked.

This girl is so dedicated to trendy hair that she seductively whispers, “ombr√©” as the officer snaps her mugshot. The peek-a-boo brown strands, in conjunction with the bleach blonde, and ash roots makes this a classic ombr√©¬†look; one almost forgets they’re staring at a booking photo and believes they’re glancing at a designer perfume advertisement.

These¬†USO performers¬†are obviously hot, but blondie’s roots indicate only 7-12 weeks of hair growth, in comparison to Jessica’s 6 months. Nice try. However, the girls win bonus trashiness points due to the Lindsay Lohan resemblance. Nice try.

Seriously, though, my point is, I find it ridiculous that the new hair trend is to try and look trashy–when there are plenty of poor people in the world who would kill for a dye job to cover their whole head. Imagine a woman who is down on her luck and doesn’t even have the money for job interviewing attire (or clean clothes, period), let along to have her hair fixed. Don’t you think she probably wishes she had the cash to look good and project confidence? Choosing and paying to look unkempt seems a little wasteful and silly…

*If you live in the Orlando, FL area and would like to donate job interview attire to women in need, check out the Dress for Success webpage. Finding locations outside of Florida is easy as most states are in participation; US & international participants are listed here.

*If you live in the UK and also want to help those in need, otherwise, click here for several options & an informational article.

P.S. Ombré Honey Boo Boo Mom.