Save v. Spend. Nail Polish on the Cheap.

Save.
All Time Fav Save.
Rimmel London in French Rose.
If you know me by now, you know that I love nail polish. We can thank Nicole Jaclyn for that. And my inner-Kindergarten-self who would have bought stock in Lee-Press-Ons had she known what stock was. Not only do I love nail polish, but I love expensive nail polish. Or varnish. Or laquer. The good stuff. And while I maintain the truth in an $8-$15 buy, and while I can vouch for the validity of a $20 lacquer (it lasted 3 weeks with negligible touch-ups!!!), my thrifty self can’t help but ponder a niche for nail polish on the cheap.

Disclaimer: If you’re going to buy “cheap,” you must–must–still use quality base & top. If you decline, then not only did you waste $.99/$1.99/$4.99, but you also wasted the time you took in picking out and applying said varnish. Trust me. Buy the base. Buy the top. Reapply top liberally. (If you don’t, it will go bad. So go crazy.)
Inspiration: Why the sudden curiosity?? You see. My all-time favorite laquer is a shade enticingly titled French Rose and made by Rimmel London. I love it. I, in fact, cannot live with out it. This is the most versatile, most true, most easy-to-apply, most wearable, most subtle, most demure, most high-impact neutral I have EVER found. Dare I say: not even my Zoya Kennedy measures up.
Neutral & Nude.
Gel-like in Finish.
French Rose (#140) by Rimmel gives the appearance of a gel nail with the effort of a French Manicure (senza the tip … unless you add one) and the ease of a tapered brush. Said brush applies smoothly and, due to its width & taper, is extremely forgiving. I cannot get enough of this polish and always have it in-stock. Of its many uses:
Neutral Nail.
Accompanying Nail to an Accent.
Base Color to a Streaky Nail Polish.
Interview Nail.
Step-Up from a Clear Nail.
Let me be clear: Rimmel’s French Manicure PRO series is pretty good. (Some of the colors are streaky even after several coats). French Rose 140, on the other hand, might as well be the Chanel No. 5 of neutrals. It is that good.
Nail Polish on the Cheap: As noted in my first Save v. Spend on Nail Polish, I advised to save on polishes for 3 reasons: 1.) when buying trendy colors 2). when wearing only a few times 3). when sampling a color. In all of these scenarios, spare yourself the $8 & check out the $.99/ $1.99 options. Today, I opted for Wet ‘n’ Wild.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Shine.
Dreamy Poppy 429D.
This summery-spring like weather in dreary Rochester, NY had me thirsting for some pink-lemonade. After I bought 2 different varietals at Trader Joe’s (…we’re seriously sun deprived in the #Roc), I found a similar shade at CVS. I knew I had to blog about Wet ‘n’ Wild Shine in Dreamy Poppy 429D–just $.99!!–as soon as I swiped the first coat. Atop Seche Clear, it glided-on like a pro:
Thick but not Gloppy.
High Pigmentation.
Great Coverage & Not Streaky.
Seriously Simple Brush Strokes.
Similar to mascara, wand means everything. The wand on Wet ‘n’ Wild Shine is super long. Longer than any other brand I’ve seen and therefore affords far more control. The brush, though thin, coats evenly & smoothly. A Seche Vite top coat helps nails to dry quickly & seamlessly. Needless to say, I am seriously impressed. And about $7 richer.
Knock-It-Off: Another recent encounter I had with “cheap” polishes is Walmart’s response to Deborah Lippmann. This celebrity manicurist is known for her luxe Butter London line and recently emerged with the haute of nail couture: Staccato. With ice-cream-parlor-meets-street-smarts-appeal, flecks of sparkles add depth and texture to her pastel shades. It’s the varnish response to studded bracelets & heel-hardware as paired with Anthropologie fashions. And everyone is copying. Including Hard Candy, a sweetly packaged beauty brand sold exclusively by Walmart. I basically loathe the corporate giant, but when Nicole had already bought the polish, I could not resist.
Accent Pointer.
Hard Candy in Gummy Green.
Let’s talk compliments. The receptionist at Scott Miller, one of Rochester’s premier salons, complimented me. Numerous customers with whom I work daily complimented me. My co-worker complimented me. …And it was only one nail. I painted just one nail–the pointer–with Gummy Green from their Candy Sprinkles line & my pointer commanded more respect than Stick Stickly. (There’s a ’90’s throwback that I bet that I’m the 1st to reference.)
Gummy Green lasted a good 5 days before it began to chip. With premier base & top. Just about 1-2 days below average when you go with the spend-polishes. We will see how long my Wet ‘n’ Wild Shine endures…
Save  time
for the 
Follow-Up
Post!
 
xo.

Shop Local. B is for Birthdays. B is for BarbaraEllen. B is for 28th Birthday Weekend.

Brought to you by The Nicole Jaclyn.
Look at these jewels.
This post is more for me than it is for you. Only because I love making lists, & I feel overwhelmingly compelled to recap/relive/record this 28th Birthday Weekend. Also, everyone should be sick by now of hearing about my Birthday Weekend. Ergo, one final 28th Birthday Gift to me: my own blog post on my own blog. Class.

 

LocalVore Birthday.
Term coined by my mama in a preparatory email she sent to plan these grand shenanigans. Her pitch: Eat Local. Shop Local. Roc-It-Up. Here are the highlights:

FRIDAY
March 8, 2013 – Day of my Birth.

Homemade Tiramisu.
Thanks  Momsly!





Homemade Cookie Cake.
The Rooms. Best I have ever.

















First thing I opened.
Last thing I took off.































28 feels extra special. Something about becoming more adult & still being in my 20’s.

Vanessa Virginia blouse from Anthropologie. Showers of office wishes & Facebook feeds. Pedis with my Mama {I am embarrassingly ticklish}. Homemade Italian din with the fam. Amazingly thoughtful gifts from the girls. Cheshire cocktails & Lux love with the friends.

SATURDAY
March 9, 2013 – 28 & 2 days old.

Geometric Flats.
Shop Peppermint. Also 15% off on Birthdays!!
ShopPeppermint.
Left
Geometric Cranes & Sheer.
Right: Black Lace & Tea.







Thread.
Front & Back. Time for Spring.
















OPI Moneypenny Magnetic Mani.
With Miss Moneypenny!


























Big Spoon.
Little Spoon.























Saturdays are meant to be celebrated. LocalVore theme made it #Roc.
Yoga at Tru. Shopping at ShopPeppermint & Thread. Lunch on Park Ave. The Little Bleu Cheese Shop in the South Wedge. Selfie Manis. Cuddling with the Pups. Freakishly exhausted because I am now 28.

SUNDAY
March 10, 2013 – Sundays in the Sun.

Clockwise from Left: Alex and Ani initials bangles.
Alex and Ani Philosophy {eco-friendly, positive energy}.
Homemade hand lettering card {Nicole} & Chakras {Shan}.
















Just drinking some Limeade on Park Ave.
(Ignore the snow. It was warm.)

























Truly, Sundays are a day of rest. 
Absurd breakfast {Tiramisu, herb-butter grilled cheese & tomato on rye–thank you Da’ Moe!–grape leaf, Coca-Cola, potato chips}. Indulgent facial, Scott Miller. Fabulous, most fabulous, day with my Lady Loves {Anj, Nicole, Shannon} which includes, but is not limited to, loitering on steps, lil’ bit a bridal, stalking an actor, Alex and Ani’s {most positive store everrr}, Sushi, & some seriously large laughs.

Goodnight.
Best
Birthday
Weekend
Ever.
♥ .

Shop Local. Made in America: Anthropologie Birthday Horray!

I am almost 30. Which would be a lot more accurate if we were dawning upon the eve of my 30th Birthday. Which we are not. Instead, I say the official foray into my late-20’s is close enough. Not that I view 30 as enemy territory. In fact, I view 30 & all things leading up as an excuse to act more adult. Which means using my 15% off Birthday gift to Express Ship expensive blouses from Anthropologie warehouse to my doorstep, before 28 years of celebration ensues, completely guilt-free. Post Script: Express Shipping is just $10 more. #worthit
Free Membership. 15% off. Free Standard Shopping.
Happy Birthday.

…Please tell me you know about the Anthropolgie Membership. It’s like a free $15 (min) every single year of the month you were born. (Clarification: I say $15 min b/c, let’s face it, we’re probably all spending 100+ even on a sale purchase from our fav designer-retailer.) On my birthday weekend, I normally brave the mall, head to Eastview, and purchase all Anthropolo-gifts  in-store. (It’s about maximizing the 15% off, though the discount does come with free Standard Shipping!) This year, I’m hoofing it local. We’re talking ShopPeppermint & VOA. Still, I could not resist the pull of my free Anthro-dollar-ies.
Everything about this look.
I knew I’d buy only the dress or top that whispered sweet-nothings to me. When I saw the Gemma Lace Button down in blue, with its Virginia Woolf inspired edge and sweet & sexy lace, and when I saw that it is USA made, I knew it must be true. I’d found my birthday blouse. The best part about this Vanessa Virginia design is its versatility and timelessness. Office-chic, going-out ready. Classic lines, sturdy lace. A mature investment for a young, though maturing, wardrobe.

“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.” -Virginia Woolf, “Orlando”

picture dark skinnies, black booties, rhinestones & chains; pink/red/coral lip (take your pick), same hair, sleek bag, and a half-finished tattoo poking through…
Happy Birthday
fellow
 ♥

Looks. Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.

Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.
(Inspired by this post from Fashion Style Advice.)
 
Alright fashionistas. It’s all about texture. Leather. Wool. Silk. Chains. And it’s all about shape. Boxy. Skinny. Structured. Sleek. So heat up some cider. Snuggle into that blanky. Pretend like it’s raining (unless it is). Visualize a few multi-colored pumpkins: coral, white, gray, & navy. (Why not.) And let’s fall into some fashion.

 
Fall Fashion Favorites.
Fall into the Mix.

Saturday Night.
Outfit from Fall Fashion Favorites selections.

 

Casual & cute.
Stretch cottons. Slimming stripes. Co-ed chic.
Back: Long-Sleeved Cream. Wool with Side Zipper. Sweat Shirt.
Front: Favorite Gray V. Pouf Sleeve. Breton. All Three.

Tips: 

1. Shop at Big-Lots?? And find a gray V-neck T that keeps it shapes after multiple wears. (Febreze.) … That Gray T? A Momsly find from Big Lots. (I know!) It is my most favorite, most chic, most versatile piece in my entire wardrobe. To work with a black pant. Fav bar with a high waisted black skirt. Brunch with some blue skinnies. …You get it. 
2. I even wore the red sweatshirt-like (AE) long-sleeved shirt to work on casual Friday. It required a sophisticated cropped black pant (see below) & some pearl earrings. But this sucker I’ve had since senior year of high school, so. That’s staying, power. 
 
Rolled cuffs. Skinny silhouette. Denim, blue, & grays.
Clockwise Left: Denim skinny, ankle length with roll.
Gray LOFT stretch,  tight skinny cropped. Blue HM denim, relaxed skinny cropped with roll. All three.
Tips: 
1. Jeans too long? Roll them.
2. Don’t be afraid of a skinny jean that fits tightly to the skin. (Coming from a gal who has cankles… .) The less material at the ankle, the better. Creates a lean, slimming line. 
3. Pick something with a good amount of stretch, & walk-it-out.
Work-it.
Patterns. Luxe. Structure. Lace & Plaid. Sheer. Classic.
Top:
Dresses with waists, ruffles, cut-outs, & florals.
Sweaters that are over-sized but offer structure
Middle: Blazers with stretch, elbow pads, & sleeves that roll.
Bottom: Blouses with accents, surprising lines, & monochrome.
Shells to lay gracefully over your skin, that can stand alone.
Tips: 
1. Try something new. (Like a cut-out dress… .) 
2. Work with bold patterns, especially when they’re color-blocked by a neutral. You’ll be surprised how much of a staple, season after season, a piece like the gray-paisley Anthropologie dress becomes. Especially because it holds the classic shape of a sheath dress.
3. Find a quality blazer. Now. (Bend your arms a few times when trying on to make sure shoulders feel comfortable. If they do not. Put it back. Move on.) You will wear it almost everyday & probably out at night, as well.
4. Plaid. Do it. Lace. Wear it.
5. Sheer blouses. Go go go. Even if you don’t wear it to work (or yet), you will wear it out. Also, find a blouse with a varied neckline. Move away from the collar and the plain ole’ V. Get inspired by vintage lines & looks.
6. Invest in shells. Tanks. What have you. Not just season after season, but year after year, you will use these in your wardrobe in infinitesimal ways.
Cropped hem. Trousered denim.
Clockwise from Left:
Cropped black stretch pant.
Cropped, cuffed tweed pant. Denim trouser-style flare pant.
Tips:
1. Try a cropped pant. Nothing’s sexier, & yet more demure, than a heel, an ankle peeking out, and a tweed that hits just above. (There’s a reason these ankle-things were banned from public viewings at one point.)
2. Buy the Banana Sloan in black. (Most amazing pair of pants that I own. Look good no matter how I’m feeling or if I’ve gained weight. They are magic. Black magic. I don’t care how much they cost. Buy!)

3. Slim silhouettes are in, yes. But if it’s denim, and it’s creased, think about a flare. Thank you ’40’s.

Is that a culot?
Clockwise from Left: Pleated, patterned skirt with belt.
Pleated, high waisted skirt with pockets. Black culot with high waist and pockets. All three.
Tips:
1. Patterns, pleats, & bobs. This Target skirt has it all, even pockets. (Even better.) In this pic, you can’t see the old-fashioned key pattern. And that’s good. When you have so many cutesy, fashion things going on, make sure that at least one of them is subtle.
2. Go school-girl. But make sure it’s quality shape & quality material. Look adult. Not cheap.
3. Buy a culot if it is on sale. Then wear it & notice how it does not rise up in between your thighs whenever you walk. So pair it with tights, get your ankle boot on. You don’t look like your Kindergarten teacher from the early ’90’s. You look hot. And sophisticated. And surprisingly comfortable.
Out-do yourself.
Boots. Bags & Pashs. Jackets. Jewels & Bobs.
Clockwise from Left: Riding boots. Ankle boots. Buckles & boots.
Leather bags. Vintage bags. Pashminas in neutrals. Trench coat & leather piece.
Turquoise, corals, chains, grandpa’ watches, pearls, & roses.

Tips:
1. Buckles on boots. Dark leather-like riding. If anything.
2. Vintage bags. Leather bags (investment). Pashminas will never ever go out of style. (Leopard counts as neutral!)
3. If you see a Kenneth Cole trench on-sale post-season, you will buy it even if you think it’s above your budget. Because it will be the biggest investment piece of your life. And then, you will save it for future generations to come so you can somehow, someday bequeath it to your daughter, & she can then blog about the genuine ’70’s leather jacket she now owns.
4. Go to church sales. Buy the old lady jewels. You look good.

Dark skinny. True jegging.
Clockwise from Left: Both jeans. Only 2 I wear out.
Express Zelda skinny. Aero black jegging. (So worth it.)

Tips:
1. If you’ve never, try Express jeans. (Work pants, too, while you’re at it!) They last forever. That pair on the left has seen some rough times & all it has to show for it? Tiny pin-hole in the knee like it’s a badge of honor.
2. Jegging. This post about the Fun. concert will show many of the same pieces here, arranged into outfits, & it will also define the varying types of jegging, if you will.

Keep cozy.

Cozy doesn’t have a time of day.
Top: Box ‘o’ socks for use with ‘jamas, & also quite chic atop a skinny to pad the riding boot.
Bottom: L.L. Bean wool slippers. Lifetime guarantee. I could sleep in these puppies. (Haven’t.  …Yet.)

 Tips:
1. Must-have knee-high socks. Trend started last year. Not going away this year. Or probably next. But goes beyond fashion. Also incredibly functional. Add sass to your step, yes, & warmth to your toes. Also easy transition into the pajama. I don’t hate that.
2. Buy these slippers. Ask for them for your birthday. Even if it’s in July. Your feet and your soul will thank you.

xo.