mom who works

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

A cure for rainy days – Chanel Le Vernis Blue Boy 555 nail polish April 17, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 10:55 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Blue Boy

Introduced as part of the Les Jeans de Chanel collection for Fashion’s Night Out in 2011, along with the pale blue Coco Blue and darker Blue Rebel, this was my first opportunity to wear Chanel Le Vernis Blue Boy 555, and I have to admit I love the color. Which is surprising because I’m not generally a huge fan of blues.

Blue Boy is the perfect color for this cold and rainy spring weather. Not too dark, moving toward lighter spring colors, but yet still muted in tone and reflective of cloudy, rainy skies.

This is a very wearable blue polish, and in my opinion, can be office appropriate if you have the freedom to wear anything other than pale neutrals on your nails.

The formula on this is excellent. It’s a creme, but has a slight jelly consistency to it (the “crelly” that Chanel does so well) which prevents the color from sliding into chalkiness. Application was a breeze, and there was no streaking, pulling or bubbling, or any of the formula problems that sometimes plague unusual colors like blues and greens.

Blue Boy was a limited edition in 2011 and is no longer available in the US other than from eBay and other resellers, but is available as Blue Boy 555 in Canada, Europe and Asia as part of the regular collection. I was lucky in that I had a Canadian polish fairy who could feed my desire for the Les Jeans that I missed in 2011. If you can get your hands on it, do. It’s my favorite (so far) of the three in the collection.




Organization for the nail polish obsessed April 15, 2013

Never in a million years did I think I would own so many nail polishes. But once my collection got over 20, I realized I needed to find a way to keep track of what colors I had so I could avoid purchasing duplicates and just because I’m kind of an organized person anyway it just seemed like something I needed to do.


So I started first with a spreadsheet. I chose to include columns such as Brand, Color Name, Collection, Year, LE (Limited Edition), Color Family, Color Tone, Formula, Untried?, Swatch (link to a photo of my swatch on Google Drive), and Others in Collection I Don’t Have.

I save this out to my Google Drive, in a folder aptly titled “Nails” which includes the aforementioned photographs, as well as another spreadsheet I keep with my base coat/top coat experiment (that’s a different post altogether).

Nail Polish Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet works great for keeping lots of detail about polishes, and for quickly sorting by brand or by color. But it’s not great in terms of seeing at a glance what the colors are, or what colors go good with other colors in terms of mani-pedi combos, etc. So for that I turned to swatch spoons.


I love these clear plastic swatch spoons. You can find them in packs of 50 on Ebay from a number of different sellers for less than $10 a package. I purchased mine from sunwebhome, who I would recommend, although I don’t know that they always have these available. Price is good, communication is good, the only thing is these are shipped straight from China so it can take several weeks to receive them. You can search on words like “nail art tips stick polish” to see what’s out there.

swatch spoons pink red orangeswatch spoons green blue brown grey black

The first thing I do when I bring home a new polish is paint the swatch spoon. I always do two coats, and top it with one of my less preferred top coats for protection and to give the look that I would expect to see on the nail. I now have these organized on large, 2-inch binder rings by color family – whites and pinks, reds/oranges/vamps, blues and greens, purples/greys/blacks. It allows me to quickly flip through and “test” a color on my nail or as a mani-pedi combination.


Nail Polish App screenshotFinally, for the best of both worlds on the go, I recently downloaded the FREE Nail Polish Book app for iPhone.

This app is AWESOME. It allows you to sort quickly by brand, name, color or collection. You can “flip” though the photographs just like many of the carousel-like photo apps you’ll find for iPhone, and you can even search by name, brand or collection. This is invaluable when you’re at the store considering a purchase, and aren’t sure if you’ve purchased that color before or if you have a dupe already.

I actually just upload my swatch photos (the ones I keep in my Google Drive), rather than bottle shots, so I can see how it looks with my skintone. I tend to take the photo with my iPhone anyway, so it is a quick and easy step to just add the photo from my Photo library into the Nail Polish Book.

So those are some of the tools and tricks I use to try to keep organized with this fun hobby. How about you? What kinds of things do you do to keep organized?


Chanel Le Vernis Provocation from Fashion’s Night Out 2012 April 14, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 10:01 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis ProvocationChanel Le Vernis Provocation is the third of the Chanel nail polish introduced this past Fall as part of the Fashion Night Out “Les Twin-Sets de Chanel” collection, along with Le Vernis Delicatesse and Le Vernis Infidele. This is also due to be re-promoted (but with the addition of a number) in the upcoming Chanel Summer 2013 collection, Avant Premieres de Chanel.

This was my favorite color of the three introduced as part of the FNO launch. A deep, plummy purple, it’s a smooth creme that applies perfectly and goes well with fall, winter and early spring clothes.

Le Vernis Provocation is available for US $27 on and Chanel counters worldwide.


Chanel Le Vernis Infidele nail polish from Fashion’s Night Out 2012 April 13, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:51 am
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Oooh, I am behind on my posts! I had actually taken this photo not long after purchasing the Fashion Night Out nail colors from Chanel back in the Fall, and never got around to posting it.

Chanel Le Vernis Infidele is from the Fall 2012 Fashion’s Night Out collection “Les Twin-Sets de Chanel.” along with Le Vernis Delicatesse and Le Vernis Provocation. Chanel called it “Les Twin-Sets” because each of the three nail colors were introduced with a matching lip color.

This is a lovely berry color, slightly muted in tone, which is very appropriate for spring and fall. I am sure there are numerous dupes as while it is very pretty, it’s not a unique color by any stretch. It is a straight-ahead creme. No hidden shimmer, no sparkle. The formula, as I expect from Chanel, is excellent and applied beautifully.

Chanel Le Vernis Infidele is still vailable for US $27 as a limited edition polish on and at select Chanel boutiques. As it is a limited edition, once it’s gone, it’s gone, so be sure to pick it up now if you want it.



Black with a Twist – Chanel Le Vernis Western Light April 11, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:40 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Western LightI have never, ever met a dark Chanel nail polish that I didn’t like. Ever.

And much like black shoes, when it comes to black-ish nail colors, you can never have too many. And they all are just a teeny, tiny bit different – different enough that I must have them all.

Enter Chanel Le Vernis Western Light – a “special edition” limited nail color introduced last month along with Le Vernis Eastern Light – a pure white creme – as part of the Hong Kong de Chanel collection. They make an interesting pair, and I could easily see them used as a mani-pedi combo, in either configuration. Kind of like the yin-yang of nail polish.

The color is hard to describe. It’s a brownish, purplish black. Different from Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563, which is more of a cooler greyish black. This is a warmer black, with a very subtle undertone of hidden red shimmer that shows in the bottle but not on the nail.

I love the color, and the formula is more of a “crelly” than a straight creme. It applied beautifully, and could be a one-coater.

Chanel Le Vernis Western Light is a Special Edition, available for US $30 on and select Chanel boutiques. As it is a limited edition, once it’s gone, it’s gone, so fair warning to pick it up now if you want it.



Pretty neutral – Chanel Le Vernis Rose Cache 521 nail polish April 10, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 4:00 pm
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I’m always on the lookout for office-appropriate neutral nail color, and I’m thrilled to add Chanel Le Vernis Rose Cache 521 to my collection.

A beigey-pink, Rose Cache 521 has a foolproof formula. It applies beautifully, almost by itself. No pulling, streaking or pulling. As I would expect from a Chanel neutral.

While the color is nothing to write home about, and I am sure dupes abound, I always come back to the consistency in the formula of Chanel creme varnishes. I don’t want to have to WORK at my manicure. I just want it to be quick and easy to apply. And Rose Cache is a go-to color for those weeks when I’m too busy to mess with a dark vamp and just need something on my nails to look “finished.”

Introduced in 2011 as part of the Rouge Allure Velvet collection along with Le Vernis Pirate 08, Rose Cache 521 is still readily available for US $27 on and at Chanel counters worldwide.


Soon to be Spring – Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569 nail color April 9, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 4:15 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569I know it’s ACTUALLY spring in many areas of the world, but in my little corner, it’s about 40 degrees Farenheit and rainy. All the time.

To improve my mood slightly, and to deal with the lack of actual real sunlight (preventing me from yet applying the gorgeously shimmery new Chanel Le Vernis Taboo 583) I thought I would do as they did on the Chanel runway for Spring and apply Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569.

Part of the Printemps Precieux de Chanel collection for Spring 2013, along with Accessoire 573 and Fracas 571, Emprise was the media darling, having been featured on the models’ fingertips at Chanel’s spring show.

It’s a beautiful, peachy-pink color, but the formula leaves something to be desired. I found it to be slightly streaky, with a tendency to pull. This was a great disappointment, as I’ve grown to love the formula of many of the other pale Chanel Le Vernis colors, such as Ballerina, Frisson and Jade Rose – all of which apply beautifully as a Chanel nail polish should.

But formula challenges notwithstanding, I love, love, love the color. It’s an office-appropriate neutral but definitely not boring. Has just enough of a color to it to go beyond the typical pale pink neutral, and it coordinates great with late winter/early spring clothes like charcoal greys, navies and ivories.

Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569 is a limited edition color, available at and at Chanel counters worldwide.