mom who works

the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

Rounding out the pretties … mini-haul of Chanel Le Vernis May 27, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:00 am
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Boxes for Chanel Le Vernis Dragon, Rouge Fatal, ImperialI am quite late to the Chanel nail polish party. I’ve missed all many of the super-cool shades such as Jade, Cosmic Violine, Coco Blue and Blue Boy (all the Les Jeans Collection, actually). I started early this year at Paradoxal, and even there I was late (Paradoxal was a Fall 2010 release). I am working quite diligently to at least capture all the Chanels that are available now that I can’t do without.

I find that at first I was buying Chanel nail polish just because it was Chanel. However, there are some colors that I just don’t like on me (Attraction and Island, I’m talking to you!) so I either never purchased or I returned them. I also find that I really hate having close duplicates of colors. I don’t want to end up with 100s of polishes, and I would like each polish to be unique in my collection.

As I say that though, I find I am breaking my own “rule.” Dragon is very close in color to Pirate, which I already own. Main difference is that Dragon is a creme (which I love) and Pirate is a jelly (which I also really love). My reasoning justification is this: (1) Reds are really my favorite colors, and (2) Dragon is one of those very classic Chanel colors that you really just HAVE to have. Kind of like Black Satin and Vamp.Chanel Le Vernis Dragon, Rouge Fatal, Imperial

These 3 – Chanel Le Vernis Dragon 475 (classic true-red creme), Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Fatal 487 (deep burgundy red creme) and Imperial 469 (deep rich brown creme) – are the last that I am getting that are currently available. I hope to be swatching over the next several weeks, and even though they aren’t the newest/latest, I’ll still be posting my pics and reviews here.

Now I’m just anxiously awaiting the (hopeful) arrival of Diwali and Skyline, and possibly even (if the rumors are true) the re-release of Les Jeans in the US.


The eyeliner that doesn’t look like eyeliner May 25, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:00 am
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Tightline eyes:

Image from

I am a fairly no-fuss makeup kind of gal. I’ve always relied on an excellent base (Laura Mercier, natch), great mascara (all my faves always get discontinued, but L’Oreal makes excellent ones) and a standout lipcolor (big fan of Clinique lip colors for their great formulation and reasonable price). I’ve never really been into eye makeup. I just think that with a bold lip, a done-up eye looks, well overdone on me.

Recently, on my twice-a-year visit to Blush Beauty in Milwaukee I sat with the owner Sarah Brucker who was helping me select a new Laura Mercier foundation (change of seasons, change of skin tone … you know how it goes!). Quick PSA: Blush Beauty is an excellent local, independent, high-end beauty store – what I love about them (besides the fact that I love to support local businesses) is that they have great staff and these amazing, 15-foot high windows so you can try your makeup on in natural light. BIG difference from sitting in the florescent glow at a department store! At any rate, as Sarah was finishing my face she asked if I ever tried a “tightliner.” A whaa??

I know now that this has been around for awhile, but as I said earlier, I’m not an eye makeup kinda gal. Sarah explained that it’s an eyeliner you apply just under the lash line. It just sort of “beefs up” your lashline without looking as if it’s all done up. I was happy to give it a go. She dipped a flat, straight eyeliner brush (especially made for “tightlining”) into a cake liner (she chose Laura Mercier’s Blue Marine which is a beautiful deep navy) that had been moistened just a bit, and dabbing it ever so gently in between my lashes (but not straying into the white area that touches the eye), being careful not to move into the very corners where I don’t have any lashes. I tell you, I was shocked. It looked amazing! It didn’t look like I was wearing eye makeup, but my lashes and eyes just “popped.”

eHow has a tutorial on how to do this, there are also various how-to videos on YouTube. Even better if you have a great local beauty store like Blush in your town, set up an appointment for a demo!

Stay pretty out there!


Chanel Le Vernis Ballerina 167 nail polish May 24, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 9:54 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Ballerina 167 nail polishAhh … the refreshing pause that is a sheer pale pink nail color. I know that Chanel Le Vernis Ballerina 167 is a long-time, core nail polish but it’s one I had yet to try. I get seduced by the corals, fushias, greens, reds and the poor old trusty, dependable pale pink sheers just languish in the nail polish box.

Today though as I skate through the remainder of the week heading into the 3-day Memorial Day weekend here in the US, I thought that a no-fuss, quickly applied (note the dent on middle finger as I was rushing out the door this AM) sheer would do the trick.

I just love this color. This is what Essie Mademoiselle was SUPPOSED to be on me but isn’t, not ever. No streaks, no pulls, no annoying bare spots. Just beautifully flowing sheer pink jellyishousness.

This is 2 coats of Ballerina over Orly Ridgefiller base coat, topped with Seche Vite. The polish is a beautifully formulated sheer jelly that applied like a dream.

Ballerina 167 is a core color that is available at Chanel counters and also on Free shipping in the continental US through May 31 with code LOVE2012. Gotta LOVE me some Chanel!


Chanel Le Vernis Holiday 617 nail polish review and pic May 21, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:57 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Holiday 617 nail polishI’m trying to get through some of my untried polishes, and while I’ve been wearing Chanel Holiday on my toes for the last 2 weeks, I hadn’t yet tried it on my tips. It is a beautiful, PERFECT summer orange. It’s not neon, which I can appreciate as I need to stick with *relatively* office appropriate colors, but it’s a great, bright, saturated jelly orange. Delicious!

Chanel Le Vernis Holiday 617 is part of the Summer 2012 collection, and is available at most Chanel counters and on There is free shipping in the US through May 31 with code LOVE2012.


Quick dry top coat has changed my life May 18, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 6:56 pm
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I have always loved a manicured nail, but my busy working mom life has often relegated this wish to the back of the line, for obvious reasons. TheSeche Vite quick dry top coatn something snapped about 4 months ago. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I stumbled upon a post about Chanel Le Vernis Paradoxal by nail blogger Michelle Mismas at All Lacquered Up that got me craving that unique and chic color. So off I went to the Chanel counter. Then, obsession beginning in earnest and much internet reviewing later, after seeing references on Michelle’s blog several times about the MUA nail board I started digging around there too. And that’s when I discovered this product called Seche Vite and its brethren – the quick dry top coats.

Now the last time I really had the time or desire to be regular about manicures was way back in my college days, which was a very, very long time ago. I am blessed with naturally long nail beds, so my nails look pretty good even when kept fairly short (as I prefer). Back then in the way olden times, there weren’t many choices by way of top coat, and basically you needed to dedicate a good 1-2 hours to letting your mani dry. In my college days, what else was there to do but sit around and read some Simone de Beauvoir while your mani dried?

Flash forward to real life today as a wife, mom and busy worker bee. No where on EARTH do I have 1-2 hours of leisure time just sitting around to let my nails dry. Hence my pitiful stash of all of 8 nail polishes, consisting of about 5 red OPIs I bought at salons after pedicures with the same color, and a few mostly failed pink sheers for manicures that were office appropriate. Let’s just say the painting of nails was something done very rarely in my house.

Talk about convergence. The explosion (and resultant acceptance) of essentially any color on nails in popular culture (the popularization of black polish in the early 2000s, moving rapidly to greys, blues, greens and everything in between) and the entree into the market of these miracle products called quick dry top coats, which literally dry a traditional mani TO THE TOUCH in about 5 minutes, and solidify within 20 minutes, and you are looking at a born-again mani freak. It’s like a door flew wide open and I just stepped right in.

I now have nail color representatives from virtually every color in the rainbow, and other than crazy nail art or ridiculous glitter, I have no qualms about wearing nearly any creme or shimmer polish color to the office. I often change my color 1 or 2 times per week, unfortunately due to the fact that I have yet to find the base coat and top coat combo that will give me a chip-free mani for more than 2 days, but because of Seche Vite, Poshe, Out the Door and other quick dry top coats (QDTC), it’s no biggie to literally change my mani color 30 minutes before bed or in the morning before I head out the door. I was on a Shellac kick last summer, and the biggest reason was because I could get on with my life within 10 minutes of getting my nails done. QDTC now lets me do the same, but I’m not stuck with a color for 2 weeks or a super drying removal process, like I was with Shellac.

What about you – have you been bitten by the QDTC bug?


Chanel Le Vernis Beige 565 Nail Color Review and Photo

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:26 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Beige 565 Nail ColorOver the last 4 months or so I’ve become a nail polish addict. I went from owning about 8 nail polishes (either red or sheer pink) to over 40 in a matter of months, and the bulk of those are my new sub-addiction, Chanel nail polish. Ooh la la.

At any rate, I’m on Chanel’s mailing list of course, and got the email about a new “exclusive” shade to be released on May 16. I signed up, everyone was all “what’s the new shade going to be…” and then the announcement came out, and the color was … Beige. Yeah. They’re French, maybe they were trying to be ironic. BUT … I love Chanel polishes, and I don’t have a nude or beige shade because all most of them make me look jaundiced, so I placed the order on anyway.

Well let me just say, regardless of all the hype letdown, this shade is beautiful! It’s my mannequin hands. It has the very classic Chanel subtle shimmer in hot pink – visible in the bottle but barely perceptible on the nail. I think it’s just enough of a cool undertone to make this work with my skintone.

The formula is typical Chanel, which for me is great. It’s a jelly that will require at least 2-3 coats to get opacity (I have 2 coats over Orly Ridgefiller base here), but goes on smoothly and with no streaking. I am by no means expert at nail polish application and it went on very easily for me.

In all, it fits a hole in my collection and I think is classic enough to wear beautifully to office, events and everywhere in between.