mom who works

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

The quest for a manicure that lasts longer than 2 days – Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab September 23, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 10:39 am
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Deborah Lippmann Gel LabCall me one of the unlucky ones (okay, you’re unlucky). While some people can use any old base coat and top coat and have their manicures last 5-days plus, I’m one of those poor souls where it’s a GOOD day if I’m on day 2 of a manicure without chips or serious tipwear. I actually have a spreadsheet (a SPREADSHEET!) where I track the results of my base coat/top coat combination experiments. I have even color-coded the results (i.e. number of days before first chip) as red (1 day or less), yellow (1.5-2.5 days) and green (> 2.5 days). Very, very few greens on that sheet and lots and lots of yellow and red.

I do all the prep work that you’re supposed to, and I moisturize like crazy, and yada yada. Still, chiptastic after a day or 2.

I have done Shellac gel manicures in the past, and I am never again going to get on that application/removal roller coaster and the damage that can cause to your nails. Soaking them in pure acetone for 10+ minutes isn’t helping nail health, that’s for sure.

Lucky for me there are several new products on the market that have separated me from my hard earned cash and are dangling in front of me the promised land of week-long manicures. The first one up for review is Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab.

Promoted to give “gel like results” and “5+ days of wear” without the issues of gel manicure removal, I was excited to try Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab, even though it had a US $45 price tag. In order to make the test as “scientific” as possible (she said half-jokingly), I prepped my nails as I always do, and used a polish color that I’ve used before and had no issues with (Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo). I specifically chose a dark color so chips and tipwear would show right away.

And unfortunately, show right away they did. I had minor tipwear in about a half a day, and the first serious tipwear within a day. Chips started a’comin’ on day 2, and by the end of the second day, I ended up having to do a quick tip repair and repaint of the top coat as I didn’t have time to redo my whole mani. Less than a half day after the repair, the thumb started chipping again.

In addition, application was not pleasant. The base coat is very goopy, and made my color look a little lumpy. The top coat didn’t help much either. It’s about as thick as Seche Vite but without the self-leveling and shine you get with that best-in-class top coat.

In all, it was an epic, epic fail, and this set will be returned.

Next up, CND Vinylux. Maybe lady luck will cut me some slack.

 

A classic Chanel red – Chanel Le Vernis Coromandel 473 nail polish September 19, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 4:25 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Coromandel 473I’ve never met a  red Chanel nail polish that I didn’t like (or a vamp, or black, for that matter).

Chanel Le Vernis Coromandel 473, introduced as part of the Rouge Allure Laque collection in 2009, along with Dragon 475, Imperial 469 and Ming 471, is another Chanel red that I love.

It’s a true red, with a slightly warm, orangey back note to the color, but it certainly does not stray into coral territory. It’s really only noticeable in comparison with cooler, blue-based reds. It’s a very wearable color, done in the beautiful way that Chanel does. It’s a classic creme formula, no shimmers or glimmers, hidden or otherwise, that applied flawlessly in two coats. And even though I now have probably at least a half dozen or more Chanel reds, and another half dozen of OPI reds, I would never, ever give this one up.

Chanel Le Vernis Coromandel 473 is a limited edition color that is still available on Chanel.com for US $27 and at Chanel counters. But you know how Chanel LEs are – if you want it, and you should, pick it up while you still can!

 

A green I can love – Chanel Le Vernis Mysterious 601 September 9, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 11:16 am
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Chanel Le Vernis Mysterious 601I am not a big fan of green nail polish. And yes I have the obligatory Peridot, because no self-respecting Chanel collector would be without it, but it’s not like I reach for it with any regularity.

But Chanel Le Vernis Mysterious 601, introduced as part of the Fall 2013 Superstition de Chanel collection along with Alchemie 591, a beautiful mid-toned green metallic, and Elixir 589, a gorgeous dusty mid-toned pink, is a green nail polish I can truly love.

Mysterious 601 is a dark – super dark (nearly black) – olive green creme.  It’s so dark it operates as a neutral, which of course, I love. The green acts more as an undertone than as a “look at me I’m wearing green nail polish” kind of color, which in certain conservative environments (I’m looking at you, office of mine) can freak some people out. The formula was perfect – great, in fact, my notes read. This is two coats (one thin, one slightly thicker) over Revlon Colorstay Gel Coat Base Coat and Dior Gel Coat Top Coat.

Chanel Le Vernis Mysterious 601 is available at Chanel counters and on Chanel.com for US $27. If you love dark neutrals, be sure to pick this one up before they’re gone.