Monday, February 23, 2015

Pearls, on pearls, on gold

Nothing beats a fresh manicure to start off your week!

Classy girls wear pearls...sometimes even on their fingertips!  Today I combined two of my favorite things into one polished (pun intended!) mani: pearls and half moon nail art.  I used a soft gold polish with pearl nail studs on top; it's classic but fun at the same time.

Here's what you'll need:
  • base coat
  • top coat
  • nail color
  • nail studs--pearls
  • nail glue
  • tweezers

1.  You want to start with a clean slate.  Cut, file, and shape your nails, and then wash your hands to get any dust off.  (And I always double check for any nail breakage or cracking--you don't want your nails breaking after you just spent all that time making them look pretty--fix any of that before you start painting your nails.)

2.  Base coat.  I always use Sally Hansen's 'Miracle nail thickener'.  It gives your nails a nice layer of protection and I really believe it's helped strengthen my nails (they certainly don't break as easy as they used to and they don't feel brittle).  Wait a good five to ten minutes for the coat to dry.  I'm extremely cautious when I do any kind of nail art (you don't want to get impatient and then ruin your manicure).

3.  Stickers.  I use binder paper reinforcements (I got a pack of 200 from Staples for about $3).  One reinforcement at the bottom of each nail (at the cuticle end), and gently press to make sure there aren't any gaps (you want to avoid any nail color leaking under the sticker).  The way I place the stickers is with the top inside of the sticker just above the cuticle line.

4.  Color.  Two coats of whichever color you choose (I'm using Nicole by OPI 'On A Gilt Trip').  Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat.  Once both coats are completely dry, carefully remove the stickers.

5.  Pearls.  Right on the top of the half moon, place a dab of nail glue.  Then, using either a wax pencil or a pair of tweezers pick up the pearl (for this manicure I prefer the tweezers because the pearls are a bit slippery and the tweezers have a better grasp and make placement easier) and place directly on top of glue dot.  I waited a few seconds and then using the tweezers, gently press down on the pearl to make sure it stays firmly in place.

6.  Using the nail glue, I cover the pearl and it's sides for extra hold (did I mention I'm super cautious about my nail art? lol).  Immediately after, I apply my top coat.  This allows me to smooth the glue out so that it dries nice and neat (without any lumps or bumps).

7.  Let dry, and voila!  Subtle, yet classy half-moon manicure!  :)

Here are some of my past Manicure Monday manis:

What A Stud!!  //  Good As Gold  //  Star Studded  //  Tape It  //  Stellar Manicure  //  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

NYC Recap

Valentine's Day was celebrated by exploring the city this year with Richie.  It was super cold (...and we also missed our train, so we had to hang out at the station for an extra hour), but it was most definitely worth the trip!

Our first stop was a little touristy--Madame Tussaud's--but how fun is it to take selfies with celebrities?  Even if they are wax figures, it's still loads of fun!  Plus, there's so many great photo ops that make some pretty funny pictures (you can even get on a bike and snap a photo with E.T., just like in the movie)!
I'm a little sad I didn't get to take a picture with Kate Middleton and Prince William (they must've been at a different location), but Richie and I still got some pretty fun shots nonetheless!

Then we braved the icy cold and headed downtown for dinner.

For a while now, we have wanted to try the Sugar Factory (the NY location happened to be in the Meat Packing District).  While the name would make it seem like it's only a candy shop, it is so much more.  It's a bar and restaurant, with a little candy shop at the front (so if you don't get enough sugar during your meal, you can get some sweets to go).  You can get breakfast, lunch or dinner; or even just go for drinks which are certainly the main event!  There are a wide variety of candy inspired drinks, and even more popular, are the goblet drinks (60 oz!!), which I definitely recommend sharing with a friend, lol.

We tried the Energy Bear goblet, and oh my goodness it was delicious!  Between the watermelon vodka and the big gummy bears at the bottom it tasted exactly like a Jolly Rancher (plus, the Red Bull will keep you going for the rest of the night!).

Confession: I love bruschetta.  Fresh tomato, grated parmesan, balsamic vinaigrette and garlic; you just can't beat it!

Hands down, my favorite thing we ate were the fried macaroni and cheese pops.  Macaroni and cheese is great on it's own, but, fry it and pair it with a creamy tomato basil dipping sauce, and takes it to another level.  To me it was homey, it reminded me of grilled cheese and tomato soup, just like when I was a kid!

For the main course, we both got burgers (Richie got the house special, and I got the bleu cheese bacon).  You definitely won't leave this place hungry.  The burgers were humongous and delicious (plus, the mound of crispy fries will certainly hit the spot).

We got downtown early, so we did a bit of exploring before our dinner reservation. And to my excitement we actually stumbled across one of Warby Parker's locations!  I've done their in-home try-ons a few times, but I've never before been in one of their stores. I just had to go inside and try some frames on. The staff there were super nice. Even though I wasn't buying frames that day, they were still incredibly helpful (I actually have an in home try on on the way, so one guy explained how the whole ordering process worked).

As soon as we walked in I got excited.  I really need new glasses since my prescription got stronger, which means new frames are in order.  

Don't mind the faces--I was trying to discreetly take selfies in just about every frame I tried on, lol.

Laurel in Tea Rose Fade

Nash in Crystal

Hardy in Striped Pacific

Marshall in Rum Cherry

These Burke frames in Tennessee Whiskey are classically cool with the half tortoise, half clear frames.

These Daisy frames, in Aurelia Tortoise, are my top choice!

I've got my eye on the Daisy frames.  I'm in love with the Aurelia Tortoise color!  It's bold, but doesn't go overboard; plus, the colored tortoise reminds me of warmer weather, and it's uniqueness is fresh and fun!  :)

Richie was a good sport and modeled some glasses too! 

If you're ever in the area, definitely check out these places.  Sometimes touristy isn't bad, it's exciting to relax and just act like a kid.  And trying out new places is always an adventure (for me it feels like I'm crossing something off my bucket list when I try something new)!

What are some great spots in NYC that you've stumbled across?  :)