Posts Tagged ‘trends’

The Horrors of Gel Manicures!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

By Jenna

On one foggy October morning, I could hear the eerie sound of a faint rip in fabric. Upon looking down I realized… it was a chipped nail ripping my pillowcase! Did I mention that I got a gel manicure about 4 days before this incident? KILL. ME. NOW. I have been iffy on gel manicures since this point, but that just sent me over the edge. Isn’t the entire point of the gel manicure to stay intact for at least a week? Isn’t the entire point of putting your hands in and out of a UV machine so that you don’t have chips? This gel manicure trend has been replacing nail polish since 2009 and until this year, I’ve kept quiet about my indecisiveness for quite some time. By far, the cons of the gel manicure totally outweigh the benefits – if there ARE really any benefits. Here we go!

1. They say its ‘safe’ and not as damaging to your nails as acrylic. LIES! Manicurists still have to grind down your nail to get the right texture for the gel to stick better. Grinding down until your nail is raw— which doesn’t take much by a hand or electric file— can cause weak, brittle nails that will allow the chemicals to seep in and potentially cause nerve damage. What chemicals you say? Some of the gel nail polishes contain a chemical called methyl acrylate which doesn’t really get along with your skin. This chemical can cause contact dermatitis or an allergic skin reaction where a rash may develop along with annoying itching throughout the day. Because we are always touching our faces, this rash can spread to our eyelids or other places. Already spend $40 on that gel manicure? How about an extra $10 for some cortisone cream to go along with your sexy rash. One more thing on chemicals, remember that one linked to cancer called butylated hydroxyanisol or BHA? Yup, that one is found in some gel polishes too.

2.  The removal process is horrible. Since when have you ever had to soak wrap your nails in pure acetone and foil for 20 minutes with regular nail polish? To remove gel polish, the nail salon will help you soak your nails in acetone for a while or they can grind it off (most manicurists are not able to be so delicate to grind off only the gel part – chances are they will get your actual nail during this at least 6 times). Acetone is an extremely drying chemical on your nails, not to mention it can wreak havoc on your delicate skin. After repeated removal processes your nails can become very brittle and even start peeling. All it took was once for me and my nails have never been in a worse condition. If you’re not an acetone fan, you can always start peeling them off. Once you do that, take a look at the underside of the gel polish and see what you find. The top of your natural nails you say? OH that’s strange, I wonder how that happened. (See #1 for nail filing)

3. Because the removal process is horrendous and you can’t do it yourself unless you have access to pure acetone, you’re stuck with not only the color you picked but the grown out look on your digits for a few weeks. Need to change your polish color for an important event? (Shakes head up and down yes) March right on over to the same nail salon for another gel application where you can get even weaker nail beds. Acetone, 10 minutes later, file down a little more, feel the pain, another 10 minutes of UV light exposure on your hands and VOILA! You have a new nail color that you’re stuck with for another few weeks. By that way, that’ll be another $40 plus tip. Not to mention, they may chip if you aren’t careful.

I’m on to you gel polish….

From this moment forward, I’m saying no to gel manicures. I’m also re-uniting with my massive collection of nail polish and asking them for forgiveness while I nurse my poor nails back to health. I do hope for your sake though that I’m not the only one that sees through these deceptive manicures.

Telltale Signs of Plastic Surgery

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

By Jenna

A recent conversation between me and a co-worker prompted the question of: How can you tell if someone has had plastic surgery? Are there dead ringer signs of plastic surgery? I’m definitely convinced that going under the knife MUST lead to at least one scar or sign that you’ve been there. So out of all of the plastic surgery options available, we wanted to find the ones that are most noticeable and the ones you could virtually get away with. Aside from the bad plastic surgeries that have become notorious, (Ahem Cat Lady and Priscilla Presley) there are the ones that slide by unnoticed. Just when you thought your mother in law ‘looked different’ and thought her nose is actually shrinking, here are 5 ways to spot if someone has had plastic surgery.

  1. Bad Scars – It’s true that people heal differently and the same person with the same procedure may get worse scarring than the other. However, tummy tucks and breast lifts usually leave some pretty gnarly scars. Depending on your genetics, skin type and skill of the surgeon, a lot of plastic surgeries result in some scarring.  Oh and don’t forget, if you are a smoker it hinders your healing process can make scarring worse. Look for these at the waist line, under the armpit, in front of or behind the ears for facelifts or ear pinning’s and below the chin.
  2. New fat appears in different places. Hello liposuction! The myth about liposuction is that it will remove fat for good, so people flock to this procedure instead of hitting the gym or changing their lifestyle. The truth is that yes, if a plastic surgeon removes fat cells from your thighs, the cells aren’t reproduced in other areas of the body. However, if a person’s lifestyle stays unhealthy after getting lipo and gains 10 pounds, they’ll gain fat in a place they didn’t have fat before-it has to go somewhere. If Yolanda came in to work with a super flat stomach all of a sudden and 3 weeks later has gained chubber arms, there’s a good chance our friend lipo has been there.
  3. The ‘stink eye’ happens when you go to an inexperienced or distracted plastic surgeon for Botox. If a doctor injects into the wrong place in between or above your eyes, your eye tends to droop. Botox can cause the droopy eye or the Botox brow which unfortunately, both make you look a little angry. The good thing is that both of these are not permanent and should clear up in a few months.
  4. The trout pout is pretty common around southern California and if you can’t spot it you probably aren’t from ‘round these parts’. Usually, your bottom lip is about 50% larger than the upper one so most of the ladies out there with the fish lips have had silicone injections or a lip augmentation.
  5. Someone is filling out their jeans a lot better… and higher? Butt implants can totally make your booty beautiful, but sometimes the rest of the body just sags. Look for the butt that rides high all of a sudden, it takes a while for the implants to settle and drop naturally. While you can’t really see a scar unless you’re checking out their fanny close enough, this one can be a little more obvious than the rest.


Happy hunting friends! What signs have you seen?

Bright and Spunky Spring Makeup Trends

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I am completely OVER the cold weather and winter. It’s usually welcomed because Southern California gets hot, but this year has been a little colder than my spoiled tastes are accustomed to. How do I get over this? Subconsciously I’ve been incorporating a few spring colors in my makeup and nail routine as well as eyeing a bright new lipstick from YSL. Spring makeup is all about fun, flirty and playful colors that can be experimented with before the heat of the summer arrives. Once my nails go from a dark color to a freshly painted pastel, it means it’s time to visit our spring 2011 makeup trends and let the color trend planning begin.

Hot Pink LipsSpring makeup trend #1 Very juicy lip color

At a recent video shoot, our makeup artist Noel walked in with the most gorgeously sassy, hot pink lips and we all swooned. Weird to say it, but that color added a playful mood to the entire day and we’re still talking about how amazing it looked.  Tangerines, very orange-y corals and pinks are everything to go for in sparking up your makeup routine. Using a super neon or pastel pink (think Nikki Minaj) or a hot coral lipstick is an easy way to go from drab winter to spring chic. Dress it up with a side pinned braid or accessory to add instant style. I’ve been drooling over Yves Saint Laurent’s Gloss Volupte in Chilled Raspberry & Tangy Orange for weeks and can’t wait to test them out.

Spring makeup Trend #2 – Bright shimmery eyes

If you aren’t daring enough to try an electric orange on your lips, wearing a bright eyeshadow might be right up your alley.  Sticking to always appropriate spring makeup colors like violet, rose, oranges, and green, try a shade lighter than you usually would. If you want to be on top of color trends, wearing a solid bright yellow on your lids makes a bold statement and will complement any eye color. For extra credit, channel your inner 60’s chick and go with a bold cat-eye look using a liquid eyeliner and meow!

Spring makeup trend #3 – Brighter blush

Are you familiar with how your cheeks look when you’re a tad sunburned? That reddish-fuchsia color that graces your high cheeks under your eyes is exactly where that cream blush is going-minus the sunburn. Use a peach blush or a colorful fuchsia to perk up for a sun blown look. Instead of doing the usual up and out sweep with a brush, apply a cream blush (or a fan brush for powder) start at the edge of your nose and build up the color to achieve the fresh-faced look.

Please note: when trying out these spring makeup trends, don’t mix and match crazy colors on your eyes and face. Take it one step at a time and work one at a time. We don’t need to take anything to the extreme, subtle pops of color are always a good idea.

Spring 2011 Nail Trends

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

By Jenna

The holidays are done with and spring is going to hit sooner than you think. As a nail trends master, it’s time to switch things up with those digits. After much research and personally indulging a little in these nail polish trends, I can tell you this spring season brings back fun, flirty pastels that stand out. Now isn’t the time for your nails to be boring! Without further ado, here’s the breakdown for our favorite spring 2011 nail trends.

Tuxedo cream

Instead of traditional black and white or a French manicure, go for a manicure with black tips over a cream color base. Paint black polish up the sides of your nails, meeting both sides in the middle making a point which will make this look anything but boring. Using the brush, with two easy flicks, you’ll have this chic style down in a jiff.

Source: flickr user Ballekarina

Light and bright pastels

I’m getting really tired of the dark hues of winter and am in dire need of a pop of color. Spring 2011 trends take us to robin’s egg blues and very light lime greens, making your nails oh so exciting. When you’re searching for a color that’ll brighten up your day, try a juicy tangerine like OPI’s Y’all Come Back Ya Hear? Or a poppy pink like Diva-In-Training from Sephora by OPI goes Gleek Collection. By far the nail polish color that I’m most anxious to wear is Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda. It’s an icy-fabulous blue that will look amazing on any skin color.

Go tan instead of greige

Greige was my favorite go-to neutral color for fall and winter but spring merits something a little warmer. Buttery beige will have your nails looking refreshingly fashionable and sleek. We’ve seen these neutral colors as a nail polish trend for quite a few seasons, but for spring 2011, the warmer the better. One of my favorites is Butter London’s Yummy Mummy which is stunning on every skin color. If you’re unsure about what color to buy, this is the one for you.

The wildcards for spring 2011 nail trends are brighter colors which are borderline summer colors in my book and there’s no objection to that. Try a bright teal or something gorgeously two-toned like Sparitual’s Strawberry fields forever. You can also never go wrong with a classic red.

What nail polish trends are you going to try this spring season?

The Best Beauty Trends (and the worst!) of 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Flickr user limonlucikolata

flickr user chicagophotoshop

2010 was a pretty beautiful year, literally speaking. Aside from a few missteps and casualties (Bump-its anyone? Jersey Shore-esque tans? Anything from the Taylor Momsen makeup bag?), this past year has ushered in some gorgeous new looks and brought relevance to retro trends as well. Below is a list of some of the best beauty trends 2010 had to offer.

  • Ombre Hair- Good news for those who despise the monthly trips to the salon for touch-ups! Perfectly maintained hair is out and ombre hair is in!  Celebs like Nicole Richie and Rachel Bilson started bucking the beauty rule of root maintenance this summer.
  • Retro hair- Think beehives, a la Scarlet Johanson, and Veronica Lake waves made popular by beauties such as Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie.
  • Cat eye makeup and winged eyeliner- A favorite of everyone from Lauren Conrad to the make up artists at fashion week, this easy-to-achieve look dominated the beauty pages in 2010.  With a steady hand and an easy-to-use liquid eyeliner (I prefer Hourglass Cosmetics Calligraphy Liquid Eyeliner) anyone can perfect this subtle, yet sexy come-hither look. Again, please remember, you are going for subtle, not Little J!
  • Pixie cuts- For the past couple months, stars have been chopping off their long locks one-by-one to reveal a gamine and gorgeous, yet classic do. Celebrities such as Michelle Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Elisha Cuthbert and Rihanna have all made the cut, literally. Beware though; this hair trend is not for everyone.
  • Braids- The braided hair style is my personal favorite look from this year. The mixture of simplicity and versatility, mixed with my laziness and unruly mane, has turned the braid into my go-to hair style.

The worst? There were some doozies! The aforementioned Bump Its, Oompa-Loompa tans, raccoon eye makeup, also snuggies, neon makeup and scraggly extensions (again, bad year for Taylor Momsen) … but the absolute worst beauty trend of 2010? Vajazzling!

‘Tis the Season To Give Beauty!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

by Leanna Kelly

This holiday season, give the gift of beauty! Beautyfix by DermStore is launching a brand new gift giving feature just in time for the holidays. Available December first, you’ll be able to give Beautyfix to any of your loved ones. Perfect for everyone from your girlfriend to your mother-in-law, an excellent last minute gift, and sure to be the most coveted item at your holiday gift exchange, Beautyfix is a fuss-free present that will simplify and brighten your holiday.

Not yet familiar with Beautyfix? Here’s the rundown: is a unique and exclusive beauty club that helps introduce you to new beauty products without breaking the bank! Each season, a panel of beauty experts – including celebrity hair stylists, dermatologists, makeup artists, manicurists, estheticians, plastic surgeons, bloggers, and other beauty bigwigs – test hundreds of makeup, skin care, and hair care products. The panelists choose their favorites to create a collection of “best of” products, which are offered to each user in selection groups based on the customer’s profile.

The final kit includes eight products hand-chosen by the customer for a tailored kit that’s impossible to beat, and with a price that’s impossible to beat; $49.99 for a gift bag filled with products worth hundreds of dollars! No need to wrap this bad boy; your recipient’s products will arrive in a stylish travel bag that doubles as minimalistic and eco-friendly gift wrap.

On top of the wondrous beauty set that is Beautyfix, all users also have the opportunity to get a $25.00 gift card to After using two or more Beautyfix kit products, every customer is invited to log in and review them to earn a gift card.* Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Because the final eight products in each individual Beautyfix kit are tailored to fit the needs, loves, and taste of the user, Beautyfix is truly the best gift to give and receive. At $49.99 per season, Beautyfix is an affordable way to make someone’s holiday. If you feel like being more extravagant in your gift-giving, buy three seasons for $149.97 and get the fourth free!

So, let’s review: eight new, expert-reviewed products worth hundreds for only $49.99, an easy-to-earn $25 gift card, and the option of a new Beautyfix kit each season? Sounds like a great gift idea to me! For more information, including how to order, which beauty brands are considered for the kit, member benefits, and more, visit

*$50 minimum purchase required to redeem gift card.

Glam it up with Holiday Nail Color

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

By Jenna

It’s so exciting that another year has flown by and we’re at the time of year that we can stuff our faces, dress up and spread holiday cheer. This season, your best accessory for any holiday outfit will be your nails. This year’s winter/holiday nail polish trends are sexy, vivacious and festive. There’s nothing that could make my holiday season complete quite like dipping my digits in gorgeous holiday nail color.

There’s a treasure trove of new colors for the winter 2010 season made just for the occasions. There are a few things that we can take from last year’s nail polish trends. Jewel tones are still here, just a little darker this time. Glitter is always great for the holidays, but think chunkier and messier (big specks of actual glitter pieces on your nails) for a not-so-prim-and-proper look. Also, I’ve wanted to say this for a long time: I’m so bored with black nails! Instead of going boring black, spice it up with something saucy. These stand out nail trends for 2010 will glam up your hands perfectly for any holiday soiree.

Gold is still glamorous and versatile enough to go with many color scheme—and something copper-tinged is what you want this season. If you are going for the gold, Dior Vernis is the shade to check out—it’s gorgeous! It matches with just about every skin tone and looks fabulous with any outfit.

As for jewel and gem-toned nail polish colors, those are still in! This season, the best greens to go for are deep shades of emerald with a hint of metallic. And the ‘it’ purple has evolved into a dark plum.

As for the classic red, that will never go away. I’m actually hoping it will make a big comeback to reclaim its position as the nail color. Cranberry red, as well as sparkling, glittering crimsons are so perfect for this season I can’t even begin. My absolute favorite holiday red is SpaRitual’s Nail Lacquer in Spellbound. It’s a riveting shade reminiscent of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. It’s also a cute gift to give, because the festive color is sure to dazzle any holiday party.

Source: Flickr User @ly$ in wonderland

We can’t forget about glitter and winter whites. For the perfect pearly white, grab an iridescent shade and mix in a little pearly blue. On to the glitter: I don’t care who you are, glitter should be your guilty pleasure. Picture Frosty the Snowman, with his hat and carrot nose, nice and pleasant on a snowy day. Now take a leaf blower filled with festive glitter and chunky confetti and douse him in it. That’s what your nails should look like. Don’t try to be neat or discreet with glitter. Take a color that you love, like a frosty white or orange and use CND’s Silver and Gold Sparkling Effects silver AND gold over the color. This will give a festive finish to any of your favorite nail polish colors. You can also go the easy route and use OPI’s Show It & Glow It or Sparkle-icious for New Years. Have fun!

What color route will you take your nails this season?

Mix it up with Fall 2010 Makeup Trends

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

By Jenna

If you live on the West Coast like I do, then you know: summer has gotten off to a bit of a late start this year. So, now that they’re finally here, how can we keep these warm nights alive? Easy! Enter Fall 2010 makeup trends. This autumn, it’s all about taking the vibrant colors of summer—and the styles that ruled fall fashion shows—and turning them into brand-new looks that are wearable day and night. Don’t go shelving your bronzer just yet—but do have fun finding out which fall makeup trend you like best!

Fall Makeup Trend # 1: Go Grunge

Source: Flickr User Mait Juriado

That’s right—put away the liquid liner. Sure, a classic cat eye is timeless, but smudging it up using pencil eyeliner with a handy angled sponge will infuse your look with a bit of the grunge trend that’s everywhere right now. Hint: the goal here is an I-just-slept-in-my-smoky eye makeup-all-night look. (If you really have, then you get extra points.) To achieve it, reach for an intensely pigmented shade of black, then use the sponge at the end of the pencil and smudge away to get a sexy, edgy must have beauty look.

Fall Makeup Trend # 2: Berry Lips

Lips that scream “very berry” are a definite must to stand out this season. The trick to mastering this fall makeup trend: Don’t shy away from color! Choose a plum, aubergine or berry- red lipstick shade for luscious lips, and try a matte finish if you’re in search of the perfect stained look. Pair this fall makeup trend with fresh, flawless skin and you’re sure to get noticed.

Fall Makeup Trend # 3: Warm it Up

Evocative of gorgeous summertime sunsets, makeup palettes that incorporate glimmering golds and bronzy oranges are here to stay. To harness the inspiration behind bright summer makeup and translate it into a fresh look for fall, look to shimmering bronze eye makeup. How? Use a gold or bronze shadow and line the bottoms of your eyes, or take it a step further by circling both upper and lower lids.

Fall 2010 Nail Trends

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

By Jenna

Hard to believe, but fall is right around the corner. We know nail polish is always a great accessory, and by now you’re no novice when it comes to putting it on. Summer’s bright colors were chic and attention-grabbing, but fall’s nail trends are all about taking a turn for the dark side with a twist of texture. (Plus, OPI’s Swiss Collection is here! You’ve been waiting all summer—I know I have!)

Your Guide To Fall 2010 Nail Trends

The vibe to go with this season when choosing your nail color? Definitely dark and provocative. Autumn’s nail polish trends include jewel tones, neutrals, chromes and even some brights. And the season’s glitter-infused multi-chromatic polishes will spark up your nails in a second. This nail trend is everywhere—in fact, Orly’s Fall 2010 Cosmic FX collection is dedicated to it, with each shade showcasing multiple colors and multi-dimensional levels. I also really like Zoya’s Edyta nail polish, from the line’s Wicked and Wonderful collection. This dramatic nail color is a mix of olive, gold, smoky grey and blue-green, all wrapped up with a sparkling metallic finish.

Source: Flickr user Andrew Starwarz

Jewel tones have been around before, but this season they’re getting a little deeper. To brighten up your week, try infusing your beauty routine with a saucy gem-inspired nail polish. These nail colors are not only fashion-forward, but will make for a smooth transition into fall if you’re still in a summer state of mind. OPI’s Swiss Collection for Fall 2010 offers brilliant jewel tones, of which my top picks are Ski Teal We Drop, From A to Z-urich, Cuckoo for this Color and William Tell Me About OPI.

Army neutrals, as well as peachy-toned beiges, are also hot this season—and they’re great choices if you’re looking for something a little more low-key than fall’s flashier nail polish trends. If uber-chic on the low is what you’re going for, greige is your go-to shade. Yup, greige! That’s a blend of grey and beige, a la Lady Gaga on the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Finally, the must have nail color for fall 2010 is a deep, gorgeous plum. On the runways, it was seen frequently on nails and as a key makeup color trend. A satin-finish makes this shade perfect for any special occasion. Plus, it complements nearly any skin tone. For the perfect plum nail this fall, go glamorous with Yves Saint Laurent’s limited edition Belle De Nuit.

Nail Trends: Gelish Gel Nail Polish

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
By Michelle Saunders
A recent cover of Vanity Fair. Nails by Michelle Saunders

A recent cover of Vanity Fair. Nails by Michelle Saunders

Nails! It’s all about nails in 2010, and everything goes! From green to gold, manicurists are applying all kinds of color, texture and art to nails. The best part? Aside from all the fun nail trends, there are now new innovative ways to keep that manicure looking its best. I was recently introduced to a new product hot off the nail market called Gelish. The name describes it – a gel that is a polish. It comes in every hip color you can imagine. It’s not the first gel nail product of its kind, but so far it’s the best I have used.

Using Gelish is a four-coat process similar to polishing nails. There is a base coat, two coats of color, and a top coat. All of which must be cured under a lamp – but it’s no ordinary lamp. Nail Harmony, the company that created Gelish, created an LCD lamp that cures the product in 30 seconds! Once applied, it dries instantly and can last up to 3 weeks. And if you want your manicure to look perfect always, all you have to do is visit your manicurist at least every other week to have a fill or a fresh coat applied. I predict a gel polish like this will replace old-fashioned acrylic nails and maybe even nail polish some day.

Recently on fashion editorials, the art directors have been asking for a longer, oval nail. The resurgence of oval shaped nails has required the use of nail tips again. Working with models and celebrities who request their nails stay in-tact, we as manicurists have had to come up with new, safe and innovative ways to extend nails. The new process is temporary, and it’s similar to Lee Press-On nails but so much better and a lot more current.

Twilight Eclipse stars with oval shaped nails.

Twilight Eclipse stars with oval shaped nails.


Michelle Saunders is a Los Angeles-based celebrity manicurist. Michelle is on the forefront of nail trends and innovations. Celeb clients include Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes, Zoe Saldana, Kate Beckinsale, Mila Kunis and Kim Cattrall. Her work regularly graces the covers of magazines including Life, Glamour, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Click here to see Michelle’s portfolio.