Spotlight: Jonelle Maira Jewelry.

(All photos + descriptions taken from Jonelle Maira Jewelry website.)


Spotlights are a monthly to bi-monthly series of longer reviews that connect you directly to the artist/business, and to their works, which we love. Watch for Exclusives + Extras in every one!


Jonelle Maira, Rochester native, will be famous. And so will Jonelle Maira Jewelry. Geometric designs to adorn the pages of  Free People. Tribal inspired necklaces to grace the necks of celebrities. Raw and reclaimed, vintage and refurbished pieces to sell fashion magazines. Jonelle Maira Jewelry will be world renowned because…


Arrowhead Earrings 22

Arrowhead Earrings – $22
Vintage textured brass arrowhead, hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Urban Pioneer Collection

Tribal Arc Bracelet Multi - 45

Tribal Arc Bracelet Multi – $45
Vintage Belgian sequins are mixed with vintage solid brass cube beads
Color Tribes Collection

WHO Jonelle Maira. From Webster, NY. Now living in Rochester (East Irondequoit), NY.

WHAT Wearable Art: Handmade jewelry, inspired by natural elements, using vintage materials.

WHERE Online: Website, Etsy, Online Boutiques.

WHEN Since 2003. Used to be under the name Poison Apple NYC.

WHY Stories Through Jewelry: celebrating the past lives of jewelry by creating new life, and sharing it.

HOW Shhh, It’s a Secret. Jonelley tracks contacts (think NYC) to source one-of-a-kind, quality vintage materials and pieces.

PRICE Medium. $22-$100+ for larger, more intricate jewelry.

luckofthebrave 36

Luck of the Brave Necklace – $36
100% reclaimed vintage
brass chain
brass findings
brass charms
Luck & Talismans Collection

double_arrow_earrings 36

Double Arrow Earrings – $36
Turquoise gemstones
vintage brass sticks
hypoallergenic gold fill earwires
Color Tribes Collection

broken arrow earrings 28

Broken Arrow Earrings – $28
Hematite, brass, hypoallergenic gold fill earwires
Urban Pioneer Collection


{ EXCLUSIVE Jonelle would not share all of her trade-secretes. But, I have a haunch we might be seeing Jonelle Maira Jewelry, soon, in some of our local boutiques or bazaars. Ring-fingers crossed! }


Jonelle Maira has talent. Jonelle Maira has vision. Jonelle Maira creates cutting-edge Collections with quality craftsmanship and timelessly unique design. Jonelle Maira Jewelry is Wearable Art. (The unique engraving on the inside of my Infinite Arrowhead Ring? Only $5 when I bought it on-sale at Second Storie, this ring is reclaimed 1970’s Vintage Sarah Coventry! Find that anywhere else.) Starting at $22, no one can compete.


Balance Earrings – $50
Belgian sequins
vintage brass bullet charm and eagle
African heishi spacers
hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Color Tribes Collection

Speckled Quill Necklace - 65

Speckled Quill Necklace – $65
vintage brass chain
vintage brass tubes
dalmation jasper beads
porcupine quills
Northern Road Collection

Diamond Ladder Necklace - 110

Diamond Ladder Necklace – $110
Vintage brass curved bars
Hand wire-wrapped red obsidian jasper v-shaped beads
Lapis luzuli diamond shaped beads
Brass african trade beads
Repurposed vintage chain scraps
Northern Road Collection


Jonelle Maira (pronounced My-rah) grew up in Webster, NY. At 18, she left to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan where she lived, attended school, and worked for 8 years.

Wearing her handcrafted Hamsa Earrings (Northern Road Collection ) and poised at our tiny table for 2 inside the middle of Boulder Coffee on Park, Jonelle scanned the local paintings. That’s what I used to do, she said. That was my life. Jonelle pointed to the blue, exaggerated portrait of the man with a long face. (Frank Sinatra?) Art like this. FIT, a rigorous program–to say the least–might have dried-out Jonelle’s original passion. But it infused her creativity.


From 2003 – 2011, Jonelle worked under DBA Poison Apple NYC, same jewelry line as Jonelle Maira Jewelry. While creating her line, Maira also worked for NYC jewelry designers. … We’re talking Alexia Crawford and Laila Rowe. Ironically, Maira mainly worked from a marketing perspective: photography, lookbooks, catalogs, web content. Conveniently, Maira infuses all of these skills into her own incredibly sleek website, complete with its own Lookbook. Since 2003, with jewelry in online boutiques such as Shop Lately and of course Etsy, Maira has undoubtedly established her jewelry.

Now, Jonelle Maira seeks to establish her name in the Rochester, NY scene. I found Jonelle through Second Storie Indie Market, the weekend long fair of artisans and crafts that happens ever November in Rochester, NY. I cannot wait to see more Jonelle Maira Jewelry around town and in our #shoplocal scene!


From sourcing materials to making trips. From selling online to updating web content. From organizing materials to making jewelry: Jonelle does it all, and Maira’s favorite piece is the design. There’s never much time for it, Maira explains. Most time gets allocated to photography and jewelry descriptions. (… Sign me up!)

The making of Jonelle Maira Jewelry fascinates me. With her pieces so beautiful, it’s hard to believe each stems from an actual, strategic, organized, process. From a production line. First, Maira creates an original sample. (Potentially those of which you see in JM Exclusives.) Next, she decides upon the steps. Finally, Maira divvies up the materials. She makes batches of each piece in stock piles large enough to fill wholesale and individual orders. The average time? About 30 minutes to 2 hours per jewelry item. Again: each earring, ring, necklace, bracelet you see are handmade by Maira, herself. This includes individual pieces. The curved arch in these earrings? Hand manipulated brass, each and every one.


chevron_feather_bracelet 42

Chevron Feather Bracelet – $42
vintage brass feather and arrowhead
gold plated chain
gold plated lobster clasp closure
Urban Pioneer Collection

black_pyramid__ring 28

Black Pyramid Ring – $28
Rare & limited antique French jet glass
Superpowered modern rings
Mimicking both the allure of Eqypt and the Gothic Arch in Medieval architecture
Complex Geometry Collection

lapis_arc earrings - 79

Lapis Arc Earrings – $79
vintage brass bars
genuine lapis luzuli beads
porcupine quills
brass trade beads
hypoallergenic gold fill ear wires
Northern Road Collection



Luck & Talismans.

Complex Geometry.

Color Tribes.

Urban Pioneer.

Northern Road.

These artful, almost spiritual, Collections realize a beautifully magical quality that intricately unites all of them while still maintaining distinct identities. Of course Maira doesn’t aim for this divinity. It just kind of happened, Maira explains of her organic process. Inspired by the natural materials she reclaims and the lives of the old she recycles, Maira creates so organically that all Jonelle Maira Jewelry breathes new life into each piece. The fragmented and discarded raw pieces Maira finds to the storybook of unified images she creates, is art. Each individual collection and The Collections as a whole speak their own stories.

{ EXTRA Follow Jonelle Maira’s DIY Blog, Design Thrift, for step-by-step instruction + detailed pics on how to make your favorite jewelry. From the hands of 1 designer to yours. }


The stories that Jonelle Maira Jewelry tells speaks for themselves. All you have to do is shop. And remember, when Jonelle Maira Jewelry is famous someday, you read it here first…






Week Wrap-Up: Go To Pieces.

Week Wrap-Up.

The Goal: Post Weekly.

Why: To show you how integral Shop Local is to our daily fashion. Sure, #shoplocal can be special occasion. < I hope it is! > But #shoplocal is also everyday wear for every occasion.

Go To Pieces: This past week shows some repeating pieces I wear all of the time! They are my classics. My staples. My goes-with-everything. My work to weekend. My favorites.

Repeating Pieces.

Blazer. From Treasure Trove Vintage on Park + Meigs. 1960’s vintage and only $30!!! It is soft. It fits perfectly. I’d wear it in my sleep if I could.

Jewelry. I honestly wear all of these pieces all of the time. The past few days, I’ve really grivtated toward Jonelle Maira. She works with reclaimed, vintage items. And they are art. Truly. Coolest detail?? If you look closely at the inside of my arrowhead ring, it’s engraved w the name “Sarah.” Hey! Extra character?? I’ll take it!

Sometime Last Week: Work.


Blouse + Blazer: Treasure Trove Vintage.
Ring: Erica Bello.
Earrings: Manic Metals c/o Brainery Bazaar. (I lost one of these today! Can’t wait to buy more!!)

Friday: Casual.


Leather Motorcycle Jacket: Mom
Leather Lace-Up Boots: Antiques, Heirlooms, + Furniture (Canandaigua)
Tank: I FORGET. It’s c/o Second Storie. (Gold Leaf Screen Print in pattern of rib cage. If anyone knows, please tell me!!)
Earrings: The Knotty Owl
Ring + Necklace: Jonelle Maira
Purse: Etienne Agnier thrifted c/o Mom

Monday (today): After Work Outing.


Blazer: Treasure Trove Vintage
Lace Blouse + Polka Dot Button-Down: Friend! (Thanks Sam!)
Levi’s Jeans: Thrifted c/o A Step Apart on Park
Bracelet: Claire Flair (Etsy + now in Peppermint!)
Necklace + Ring: Jonelle Maira

Boutiques + Designers.

A Step Apart

Brainery Bazaar

Claire Flair

Erica Bello

Jonelle Maira

Manic Metals


Second Storie

The Knotty Owl

Treasure Trove Vintage





Shop Local. Julie Rodda + Blue Honey Jewelry.

Julie Rodda is a #ShopLocalivore with a seriously stylish twist. Creator of Blue Honey Jewelry + Candles, Rodda sells her wares in various shops, mostly throughout Rochester and Webster—she also hosts an Etsy account–and buys mostly made in the USA materials. Oh and weeknights, you can find Rodda serving at Bacco’s Ristorante, a unique, cozy, and authentic local eatery on Park Ave in the heart of a burgeoning #ShopLocal district. This born + raised Webster native embodies #ShopLocal.

I first met Julie in the throes of Park Ave Fest. Her steam punk designed glass bottle necklace caught a glint in my eye, and when I found out she’d designed and crafted it locally, I knew I had to know more. Artfully made with a distinct style that hooks-up funk + chic, Rodda vends her jewelry in a myriad of local shops, including Chartreuse Studios right across from Bacco’s. Chartreuse, an art studio and salon that has garnered respectful media coverage, sits conveniently close to Magnolia’s on Park near the Oxford-Park intersection. When I met with Julie a second time, a few weekends ago at Spot, she clued me into her other hot spots + local tastes. Here’s the run down:


Blue Honey Jewelry and Candles has class. Julie brought me gifts. {Unnecessary. So appreciated.} And packaged them adorably adoringly. Classic Julie Rodda.

Where Julie’s Been – From FIT to Crafter

With a flare for fashion, Julie was originally headed toward the Fashion Institute of Technology. During high school, she partook in the Fashion Merchandizing/Modeling program at BOCES and gained hands-on experience by meeting with designers in New York City. As Rodda evolved, she channeled this creative energy into crafting. A passion that has, quite literally, saved Julie’s life.

What Julie Does – ShopLocalivore

I call Julie a #ShopLocalivore because, truly, she is a full consumer of the #ShopLocal #BuyLocal … #CraftLocal movement! As frequently as she can, Rodda supports other local markets and artists throughout her daily life. From flowers and produce at the Public Market, to working for 3 different local employers (!) Rodda explains that she loves to keep her money local. Aside from shopping, working, and selling in the city, Rodda also extends #ShopLocal to her local town of Webster.

These are Some of Julie’s Favorite #ShopLocal Spots:


Shop Peppermint



Public Market


Chocolate & Vines


Webster Gourmet

Berry’s Irish Old School Pub



F. Oliver’s

 Blue Honey Jewelry + Candles – #ShopLocal

Julie’s crafting began 5 years ago when her unique jewelry style garnered outside attention. First she began filling random orders, which then blossomed into local crafts shows in Webster. Currently, Julie sells Blue Honey in several venues. {See Below.} Julie describes her jewelry as having a distinct tone and, from youngerstyles to older, having something for everyone. While I cannot begin to do justice to Julie’s Blue Honey Jewelry with words, I will attempt to explain some of the unique features that adds allure to Blue Honey’s charm.


Steam Punk – This is why Julie + I met. The miniature cogs + bobs in an equally as miniature glass jar that lent femininity and character to an industrial edge. As you may recall, I love this necklace so much that my brother’s girlfriend loved it more and so I gave it to her. With gracious generosity, Julie custom created me a brand new one just for our meeting.

Sugar Skull – That is what these are called! The Day of the Dead inspired, Mexican themed skulls with roses that come in a rainbow of colors. Rodda truly embodies mixed media with pieces like these that cross cultures and decades. A feather to a skull barrette hits not only perfectly with the 1920’s fashions steaming rolling through, but also with a nod to that old and the new to fit every custom style. (Eeeee! Check this one out.)

Vintage – If anything, Blue Honey Jewelry can be described a vintage. Using as many vintage pieces as possible, like in her signature button bracelets which often have pin-up girl flare, Rodda modernizes the most classic of mediums and themes.


Vintage bracelet + Custom packaging. Julie had a gift to drop off for a custom order.


Soy Candles – The penultimate in chic and environmentally friendly. And ’tis the season. At this time, around fall + certainly right before Christmas, Rodda embarks upon the oft arduous task of creating delicious scented soy candles. Self-taught {she explained some of the process, and believe me it is complicated!}, Julie has sought out the premier vendors so she can obtain the same scents distributed by the likes of Yankee Candle and Bath + Body Works. I cannot wait for these soy creations to emerge. And when they do, you will probably know. But do not wait for me! Keep an eye out for yourselves!!


Julie gifted me soy candles!!! Also, just note how pretty everything is.


Where You Can Find Julie + Blue Honey

Etsy – Online

Chartreuse Studios – Rochester

First Friday – Citywide Gallery

Funky Flea Market – Dinosaur BBQ

Various other shops around Webster

Julie’s Ultimate Goal??

To have her work, her art, support her so that she can further support her local shops.

From Julie, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned what it means to eat, breathe, + sleep #ShopLocal and to do it artfully. Julie loves what she does, and she makes it work in the most meaningful of ways. I want to do this. I want to be a #ShopLocalivore so that my art fuels me.

Thanks for the #ShopLocal love Julie!! Cannot wait to find your wares around Rochester.


Shop Local. Park Ave Summer Art Fest in the ROC.

#ShopLocal Park Ave Summer Art Fest:


Crowds. Coffee. Live Music. Park Ave Summer Art Fest.

Delicious. Talented. Unique. With an innumerable variety of vendors up and down the thoroughfares of Park Avenue, it’s impossible to catalog every satiating stand. This year, I’m focusing on the old + the new + the lesser known that must become familiar to you. Older Traditions include VonBrake Spices, mixing it up for 15 years, and Thelma’s Mastectomy Boutique, which has supported women for over 30. Newer include Vegetabowls, from Buffalo, Chartreuse Studios, which sells Blue Honey Jewelry + Candles, and Treasure Trove Vintage, which rounds off a burgeoning Fashion District at the corner of Park + Meigs in its neighbor’s {Peppermint} old digs. #ShopOld #ShopNew #ShopLocal #ShoptheAvenue


Jenn with an array of gourmet spices + spice boxes, made by and which benefit School of the Holy Childhood.

VonBrake Spices.

It was the first stand I saw and the first birthday present I knew I wanted to buy for Momsly. Perched  on the lawn of The Generosity Store, a local boutique whose proceeds benefit School of the Holy Childhood, sat VonBrake Spices. Vegetable sprays, neatly lined spices, spice boxeshandmade by students at School of the Holy Childhood–adorned the tent where smiling faces greeted my arrival. Jenn Brake, relation to creator and Executive Chef Dennis Brake, carefully explained eacspice. From classic to the exotic, she helped me to select the perfect match. What does your mom cook? Does she like savory or spicy? A kid in a candy shop, I skipped from jar to jar. Espresso, sweet yet earthy. Thai Spice, tangy and exotic. Roasting Spice, just like home. Artisan, gluten free, MSG-free, anti-caking agent, and preservative free: all varieties resound with a freshness attained only through quality ingredients and preparation characteristic to what we call the real deal. And, trust, VonBrake Spices is 100% real.

Garam Masala!? My mom shrieked as she peeled back the humble paper bag from whence Jenn packaged the Indian spice. Gracious eyes stared my way. It was the spiciest they had, I answered. I have always wanted to try Garam Masala, my mother responded. Spot-on. Jenn’s expert recommendation was spot-on: Go for the spice + go for something unique. Once I smelled the fragrant and balanced blend emanating from VonBrake’s sample jars, I knew I had to bring home this unique culinary concoction. (If not for Momsly’s cooking enjoyment, then at least for my eating pleasure!) At $7/jar, VonBrake Spices is a tasteful #ShopLocal purchase. Furthermore, buying VonBrake Spices through The Generosity Store, which sits just across from Parkleigh and next to Great Harvest Bread Company, means a gift that continues to give. Support your #ShopLocal. Support your local community. Support your spice pantry.



Thelma’s Mastectomy Boutique has been on Park Ave + has been making women beautiful for over 30 years!!

Thelma’s Mastectomy Boutique.

Brassieres hanging on the porch? I’mt here. Thelma’s is a beautiful anomaly. Perched front + center between Goodman St. and Park Ave, the quaint and quiet storefront can easily be mistaken for a well-kept house. Likewise, while whimsies + trinkets color the store pretty, Thelma’s real beauty lays in the love+ professionalism that opened her doors. Thelma, a corsetiere for over 28 years at a leading department store, and Sandy (still the owner), a registered nurse for over 45 years, began Thelma’s to support women who have had mastectomy or breast-related surgeries.

During Park Ave Fest, 3 lovely women filled me in on the history. Thelma’s, a 30 year mainstay in the Park Ave neighborhood, is not a lingerie shop, per say. Rather, a business that serves women who have or who have survived breast cancer by fitting them with prosthetics, bras, lingerie, and even wigs and headwear. Megan, the great niece of Thelma, explained that Thelma’s (original co-owner) welcomes & fits any women in need of breast prosthetics or lymphedema products.Thelma’s also sells sportswear, which boasts a shelf bra, and super cute/sexy camisoles. From hat pins to homemade chemo beanies: every potential necessity becomes a chic and classy, dignified and fun accessory. You must visit the website to fully understand what this Park Ave diamond offers. Better yet, head over to 251 Park Ave and look for yourself. I am so excited and incredibly proud to know that Thelma’s watches over our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters, and friends, and at a door closer than you think.


Fruit? Vegetables? How about Vegetabowls! Homemade clay eartenware molded + made right in Buffalo, NY.


Pretty sure I scared this guy. But the earthenware is that exciting! So exciting it’s worth scaring strangers with unbridled enthusiasm. First, look at that name. Vegetabowls. Now, say it aloud. Vegetabowls. …It’s adorable! If you think the name is something, wait until you lay eyes on the product. Earthenware bowls molded from actual fruit and vegetables + colored with the precision of Mother Nature herself. Or more precisely, molded from Mother Nature using clay molds and painted by creators and owners Melanie and Justin McKenney. #ShopLocal. Natural. Beautiful. Functional. Earthenware. I cannot get enough. If you need more convincing, let Vegetabowls’ Press do it for you. (We’re talking Martha Stewart American Made Awards, among others.) Not only are these handmade delectibowls and not only are they incredibly functional, but they are also unique and affordable art!!! I bought Momsly a tomato bud vase/candle holder for her birthday. The woman loves to grow tomatoes, she loves to cook sauce, and this handmade earthenware vase is only $8.

#ShopLocal, friends. Based out of Buffalo, NY, Vegetabowls might not be made in your home city, but Vegetabowls can be found in a store near you and on Etsy. What’s more, Vegetabowls are a home-based operation worthy in dollar + design. Texture, color, price, function: ranging from the Salsa Set to the Artichoke Bud Leaf to the Watermelon Serving Bowl to the Watermelon Mini Bowl, Vegetabowls fit all wants + occasions. I cannot wait to give Vegetabowls as a gift for weddings, as a gift for thank yous, as a gift for housewarmings, as a gift for birthdays, and as a gift for myself. What can I say? Vegetabowls just bowl-me-over.


Julie of Blue Honey Jewelry & Candles holding her handmade trinket necklace. Chartreuse Studio TATTOO umbrella beneath.

Chartreuse Studios.

How many times have you rounded Oxford (or in my case, one of the Vicks)–maybe on your way to lunch at Magnolia’s or Hogan’s, or to a soothing retreat in the RMSC Herb Gardens, perhaps anauthentic dinner at Roam Café or Bacco’s—and you’ve walked directly past Chartreuse Studios?? Think about it. The quietly intriguing façade, tucked inside of a neighborhood home, so true to the architectural flare + personality of Park Ave. How many times? This is exactly what Julie C. Rodda, Designer + Mad Creator of Blue Honey Jewelry & Candles joked as she cashed me out on the lawn of Chartreuse Studios during Park Ave.

Pebbles in my mouth, I completely stumbled upon words before spitting them onto the ground. You ladies are from Rochester!? Vintage umbrella, handmade jewelry, nautical pottery: custom, one of a kind designs unfurled onto the lawn of Chartreuse and the sidewalk of Park Ave. If you’re from Rochester, and you’re located on Park Ave,and you’re not from The City … My eyes grew wide … I can shop here all of the time! And then it dawned on me. How could I, Barbara Ellen-#ShopLocal-RocOPhile, live directly around the corner and, every week, walk by?? Make no mistake, fellow boutique lovers: Chartreuse Studios is not just a hair salon and it is not just fine art. Like the color for which it is named, Chartreuse (which sells Blue Honey Jewelry & Candles), is class + it is sass. Chartreuse is #ShopLocal. My favorite find? Handmade Blue Honey charm necklace: a glass stopper filled with minuscule watch parts that you can replace with any trinket you desire! (But the cogs are so cool.) Even Brooklyn Charm, a jewelry shop that hipster’s gush for openly, would covet this piece. But we are not in Brooklyn. We are not in New York City. We are on Park Avenue. In Rochester, NY. And Chartreuse and Blue are our Rochester own. 


Smitten with Treasure Trove Vintage. (I bought the champagne colored one!)

Treasure Trove Vintage. 

I felt elated when the first piece of timeless, delicate, feminine clothing erected itself, seemingly overnight, in the former façade where Peppermint once stood. Elated that Treasure Trove Vintage, a classically hip, new store, did justice to this space. Similar to Chartreuse, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve not yet stepped foot into this fashion paradise. Moreover, I ’m stoked to say that I will. A lot. Work blouses? Yes. Special occasion dresses? You bet. Vintage jewelry pieces? Please. Gifts? Absolutely. More so, I am happy to report that the Power of Park Ave is ultimately what united me with this boutique.

Pick a decade: 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, earlier, later. Treasure Trove Vintage has a fabulous eye for vintage finds both timeless in style and in feel. The gleam of patterned blouses, one very reminiscent to an Anthropologie herring bone, flopped neatly in a box and caught my eye like doubloons in a chest. Gelato pinks and browns; red, white, and blue with bows: on-sale for just $15. I felt luxurious and silly all at once for buying just 1. Treasure Trove Vintage will revamp my entire work and social-wear wardrobes. Soft polyesters, resonant of a bygone era and still flirty for today: simply too splendid not to hunt-down. Let alone the timeless purses and classic accessories, which I must explore more. X marks the spot at Treasure Trove Vintage. Make sure you find this gem … and make sure to tell me all about it! 

 * * *


Just Chalking Sidewalk Chalk Art! I die.








Vegetarian + Gluten Free Poutine by Le Petit Poutine!! Marty’s Meats Food Truck.

Live music. Garrulous crowds. Sidewalk chalk art. The entire festival is amazing. Park Avenue Summer Art Fest speaks volumes to the dynamic nature of Rochester, its communities, and to Park Ave itself. Support for #EatLocal, with food trucks like Le Petit Poutine & Marty’s Meats, enhance the patchwork while each tent, vendor, cart, bar and restaurant imbues meaning to the next.  My favorite fabric to this quilt? The #ShopLocal texture. Park Ave Summer Art Fest brings vitality to the stores, boutiques, and treats that–right in our own backyard–I never knew existed. What will you find?? Here’s to end of summer next year.



Park Ave Summer Art Fest.


Save v. Spend. Lacquer. Varnish. Nail Polish.

Lacquer. Varnish. Nail Polish.
Varnish. Lacquer. Nail Polish.
Fraction of @nicolejaclyn ‘s collection.
My friend Nicole is a nail polish goddess. This babe has all of your higher-end drug store varnishes, like OPI & Essie, plus couture lines, like Butter London, and Indielines (!), like NinjaPolish, in a smattering of mattes & sparkles, in every hue of every single shade possible. Cue: I-am-overwhelmed-smile.
She taught me SO much. And, yes, there is much to learn about nail polish. Especially because you have to spend & spend wisely.
Know what products to buy. Which ones to try. Where to buy. And … which ones to rent??
Yes. You will end up shelling between $6.50 and $9 per pop on the “less” expensive, though equally as lavish, brands. Simply put, brands like OPI, in comparison to those associated with drug store make-up lines, have more lacquer. More lacquer means truer hue & lasting finish. Think about it this way. Spend on the most expensive hair product, and you might be $40 in the hole for a humidity-defying spray. Spend on a worth-it varnish, and $6.50-$9 is a manageable expenditure. An investment? Absolutely. Not only did you skip the salon but, let’s be honest, when was the last time you ever used 1 entire bottle of lacquer? (…Never.) Chances are, you buy a bottle, & you only buy it once.
Only bottle Nicole’s bought more than once.
And it was because the previous bottle dried-up.
So, what are you saving on? The manicure. Truly, $10-30 savings depending upon the salon & you have the polish for touch-ups & do-agains. Also, distributor. As much as I adore salons & secretly wish Icould live inside of one, Nicole highlyrecommends not buying in-salon or drug store. On average, both amount to between $2-3 extra. Beauty supply stores like Beauty Plus Salon, CosmoProf, or Ulta, and sometimes even larger grocery chains, like Wegmans, have the fairest prices. Shop around & shop wisely.
The true key to spending (wisely) on nail polish? Know What Products to Buy Basics:
Base Coat: CND(sticky coat) or Orly (bonder)
Varnish: OPI, Essie, or your favorite mid-priced designer brand (i.e. Zoya, China Glaze)
Top Coat:Seche Vite (fast drying)
You need a sticky/bonding base & a fast drying top. Need.
You don’t need this many. But that would be awes.
Possibly as awesome as this rug beneath Nicole’s varnishes.
Keep in mind, couture lines do exist. Niche brands like Butter London or brand icons like Chanel & Dior run for much more than $7-9. While these shades glide-on like velvet over chocolate, they are super expensive. However, with emerging rent-&-try trends like Lacquerous, nail-onistas might grab the best of both Save v. Spend worlds.
Nicole’s Mini Series. (She knows them by name.)
Minis are great way to delve into designer & color.
Inevitably, the miser in all of us rears its head & wants to know if it is at all possible to save. Yes. Of course. For super trendy colors or hues for trendy nail art, go inexpensive. Wet ‘n’ Wild & Rimmel, while more prone to chipping, have tailored brushes for even coating. And, hey, buy 2 while you’re at it.
Go Team!
Base, 2 – 3 Varnish, Top.
From Left: Barbara, Nicole. Shannon.