Maybelline Queen

{December 4, 2013}   Nail Application 101


Back when I was in high school my mom and I would go to the nail salon every two weeks for a mani, and once a month we’d include a pedi. It’s one of the luxurious I really miss. It was such a treat to always have freshly painted nails, but since I’ve been on my own I’ve fallen out of that routine for a number of reasons. The main one being that it’s kind of an expensive habit—something I’ve realized since moving away from home. Sure, it’s nice to have an hour of pampering, but I’m not willing to spend an extra $70+ a month just to have my nails done by a pro. And since I’m a self-proclaimed polish hoarder, I’ve got plenty of colors to work with. Practice obviously helps, but getting insider tips can really perfect your technique. Here, ill break down how to properly apply polish, even with your non-dominant hand!

Prep nails first

Before you do any colour, you always want to prep your nails. This step is usually overlooked, but there’s always a buildup of dead skin on your nail plate. You can get rid of it with a cuticle eraser or remover—it actually helps keep the polish on longer, as lacquer won’t stick well to that dead skin. File and remove any leftover debris on your nails with acetone, polish remover, or a nail-cleansing solution. After you’ve finished prepping, apply a base coat. This will act almost like double-sided tape, keeping your polish on your nails.

How to work with your non-dominant hand

Painting your nails using your non-dominant hand first. So if you’re right-handed, use the left hand to paint the right hand first. Why? Because if you go to use your non-dominant with freshly painted nails, you’re more likely to cause a smudge. Be sure to keep your forearm, wrist, and side of your hand firm on a flat surface; it’ll give you more control and a smaller chance of messing up.  

Application tips

For a neat application, the “three strokes method.“ First, dip and wipe one side of your polish brush off on the top of the bottle—too much polish on the brush may leak over your cuticles; too little, and it will come out streaky. Begin on one side of your nail, right above the cuticle, and push the side of the brush towards your cuticle without actually touching it. Bring the polish up your nail in one continuous stroke. Dip the brush back into the bottle and wipe any excess lacquer off the side, and repeat down the other side of the nail. To finish, re-dip the brush into the polish, and paint the center of the nail. Do this process for every nail, and repeat with a second coat—just be sure you wait a few seconds between each layer. Don’t forget to add a top coat! And if your nails are long (beyond the fingertip), swipe the tip edge too, to help prevent chipping.

Last-minute advice

To make your mani last for as long as it possibly can, applying top coat every other day, as well as cuticle oil daily. Oh, and practice, practice, practice!

Photo: Shatha Al-Emadi


Feeling blue? We’re not talking about your mood or the weather—it’s all about your nails! From Revlon’s new denim-inspired collection to the stunning navy polish at L.A.M.B’s spring/summer fashion show—this is the hue of season! There are a myriad of shades—light denim, moody blue-gray, icy aqua, and deep navy—but which do you choose? I spoke with celebrity manicurist for Red Carpet Manicure, Elle (Jennifer Lopez is a client!) and Deborah Lippmann (who has worked with Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon) to find out which moody blue suits your skin tone best.


If you’ve got fair skin like the stunning Amanda Seyfried, “stick with a lighter shade such as baby blue or aqua,” suggests Elle. “After you’ve applied polish, check the coloration of your skin near the cuticle,” adds Deborah. “If it looks reddish or gray, that shade isn’t the right one for you.” Fair skinned Beauties can also wear a navy polish, but the deep manicure looks better if there is still a hint of blue, as opposed to hues that veer closer to black.



A basic rule of thumb is to pick a polish that shares the same undertones as your skin color. “Women with a medium complexion should stick with blue shades that have warmer undertones” says Elle. “I love a blue with a purple undertone, as it tends to pick up the warmer highlights in girls with honey-toned skin—like Jennifer Lopez. A teal polish is also a great option.”


Let’s hear a cheer for navy nails! This popular color looks stunning on Beauties with darker skin tones, especially in polishes with a hint of sparkle. “Or, they can even try a very dark blue-gray—like my Stormy Weather—which looks ultra-sophisticated,” says Deborah. “Just make sure you stay away from lighter blues, which can make your skin look chalky,”adds Elle.

{October 8, 2013}   No More Broken Nails!


Don’t you hate it when you get a deep tear in just one nail? I’ve got an easy DIY trick to repair your cracked nail with a tea bag and super glue!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Paper tea bag
  • Super glue
  • Nail file
  • Top coat

Step 1


Empty out the contents of your tea bag and cut a rectangular strip large enough to fit over the broken area of your nail.

Step 2


Create a smooth surface to work by filing the damaged area smooth. Lightly buff the nail bed if it feels uneven or rough.

Step 3


Apply a thin layer of super glue then lay your tea bag paper on the torn area. Press down lightly with your finger to stick the tea bag to the nail, then layer a second coat of glue for extra hold. Wait for the super glue to dry, then apply a final a third thin layer of glue. Trim the excess tea bag paper with scissors.

Step 3


Continue filing the excess paper until your nail bed and edges are completely smooth. Take a cotton pad with nail polish remover and take off any excess super glue residue. Seal your damage disguise with a nourishing top coat.

{September 26, 2013}   Cuticle Tattoos!


Remember the days of plain–color manicures that chipped in less than a week? Yeah, neither do I. We’re now in an era when the term “nail art” is searched 2.5 million times a month on Google. The nail industry has come a long way since then—celebrities are embracing nail art and blogs, showcasing innovative designs that have popped up across the web. While celebs and bloggers and Instagram have all had a major impact on the growth of the industry, we can’t give them all the credit. Nail products themselves have also been improving, with brands releasing polishes in new formulas and every texture imaginable at a breakneck pace (some 50 brands now offer a version of gel polish, for instance).

It’s an exciting time for nails! But with that said, the nail art market has become a little crowded. So when something original comes across my desk, I take notice. One recent example: cuticle tattoos! Rad Nails, a popular online nail decal shop that has already partnered with Zooey Deschanel, recently released cuticle and nail “tattoos.”

Essentially, they’re temporary tattoos designed to fit your cuticles and nail beds. The effect is cool and eye-catching—if you have a polish color you really love, the tattoos are a good way to draw attention to it and show it off. There are four different shapes, each available in 20-packs that go for $6. Here we used “Your Point” (pointy nested triangles).

Rad Nails Beyond Cuticle with RGB Nail Polish in Pool

The tattoos are fairly easy to apply. After trimming them to fit and peeling off the plastic, you place the decal on your finger (paper side up), add a dab of water, press it into the cuticle area, and that’s it! The only tricky part is that the paper the decals come on is thick, so it can be difficult to see through and get them center-aligned perfectly. Still, after trying them on both the cuticles and inverted onto the nails, paired with some of our favorite nail colors of the moment, we’re on board! I love the final effect and think they’re a great option for changing up your mani in an unexpected way.

What do you think? Would you try cuticle tattoos?

{September 4, 2013}   Beauty YOU Need To Know About

We live in an exciting time, when we can do a lot with social tools and smartphones. The innovative founders of these four companies drew inspiration from existing technology and applied it to the stuff that really matters—beauty! (kidding, mostly.) Here are some fellow beauty tech companies worth checking out.

ModiFace |

What it is: Virtual makeover app

What they say: “Showing consumers what they would look like with a certain cosmetic product is only part of the story. Consumers also want advice, product recommendations, and more social engagement during their makeover. The new ModiFace does all of this with an elegant and carefully thought out user experience,” said Dr. Parham Aarabi, Founder and CEO of ModiFace.

How it works: Remember those Cosmo makeover programs from the ’90s? This is light years beyond those. Modiface lets you try on real-life shades from a bunch of brands (including Inglot and Stila), as well as “skin care changes,” like tanning and acne fixes. Wanna see what you’d look like with a brow lift? What about jaw reduction? They even have a patented foundation matching system that scans your Facebook photos for your true shade. Upload your picture and try not to waste the whole day playing.

BeautyWhim |

What it is: Appointment-booking service, San Francisco

What they say: “The idea for BeautyWhim came about when Laurel Berg, hair stylist/salon owner co-founder and CEO, had needed to get her nails done for a special occasion, and couldn’t for the life of her figure out why it was so hard to find the right salon at the right time. BeautyWhim is catering to the potential client and the nail salons that want to get found, filling seats that would otherwise sit empty. We all know that our neighborhood spots are a total long shot to get into on Saturday morning. We connect the two, so that fitting in a mani-pedi, where and when you want it, is easy.”

How it works: You can find and book appointments on the go, so you don’t have to call ahead or scramble for a last-minute sesh at your last choice. BeautyWhim is now accepting users in San Francisco for its invitation-only beta.

Beauteeze |

What it is: appointment-booking service, New York City

What they say: “I was born and raised in NYC so I have always had tons of options when it came to beauty maintenance,” says CEO and co-founder Abby Ziff. “After spending what seemed like hours on the phone scheduling appointments, never even knowing all of the opportunities in my neighborhood, I decided that there needed to be another way. I have used OpenTable and Seamless since their inception and knew the beauty industry could benefit from such a model.” Ziff also notes that the app frees staffers in salons and spas from being tied to the phone all day, so they can do what they do best.

How it works: Log on, pick your service, and book—all online; it’s the NYC sister to BeautyWhim.

What it’s like being a female leader in the male-dominated tech industry?: “It has definitely been an uphill battle. I think we came in at the best time possible. People are starting to see the benefits of female-run companies and we are glad to be here during this shift,” says Ziff.

Photo on right: Beauteeze founders, Abby Ziff and Adi Turgeman

TopCoat |

What it is: directory of nail artists, with a full gallery of looks

What they say: “Nail artists are innately social and tech-forward, says founder Ali Wiezbowski. “Name any social network out there (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, Google+)—every one of them has a large and active nail art community. And these communities have welcomed TopCoat with open arms.”

What it does: You can click through TopCoat’s nail design gallery for inspiration, and then book the artist who created something you like for an exact replica, or an original look.

Is it easy to convince people to get onboard with nail art?: “I’ve gotten connected to an amazing network of entrepreneurs in San Francisco, some in tech, others in the personal services business,” Wiezbowski says. “I’ve had so much positive reinforcement for what I’m doing. I do have to spend about five minutes in each pitch educating many in the room about the opportunity in nail services, nail polish, and specifically nail art, but once they learn about community engagement, they get really excited.”

et cetera