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.

Looks. Laughs. Local. Friday ‘Fessional: Fashion Week of Rochester … And I’m Still a Vintage School Marm.

Boutique Crawl. I’ve no clue how I missed signing up for Thursday’s romp ’round Rochester to tons of our incredibly unique, fashionably fab, on-trend chic, luxuriously local boutiques … but I did. Yet, between 4:30pm, when I exited work, and 6:30pm, when I arrived in West Irondequoit for some volunteer work, I managed to sneak-a-peek at what will become one of my most favorite fashion boutiques ever.

Roc Biz at its Best.
Peppermint Grab Bag: Cute Bag. Tribal Bracelets. Subculture Mag.
Fresh woman’s apparel. Local artisans’/designers’ goods.

Off of Park. 
Literally down the street from me. 
Opened in April. 
Between the vintage dresses, artsy jewels, & funky twists on classic purses, alone, this shop is a sweeter staple than the refreshing candy for which it’s named. So Shop ya soon Peppermint … like every single Tuesday when Peppermint offers 15% — FIFTEEN PERCENT — off of all — ALL — merch, even if it’s on-sale. Did we register this??? Even if it’s on-sale. Like on Facebook. Follow on Instagram. …Who said Fashonista Fab breaks the bank?
* * *
And now. 
Why I’ve gathered you all here, today.

Forgive me fashionistas, for I have sinned. Not so much with the outfit–I did pretty good considering the below outlined constraints–but morally, with the attitude. As noted, on Thursday, I had to strake a balance between work-play-volunteer. Yes, technically I could have changed in between the 1st and 2nd innings, but where’s the fun in that?? When I have an outfit challenge, I like to face it head-on & find the perfect solution considering all constraints. Accordingly, Thursday’s ensemb had to meet the following criteria:

 Criteria                                                           Clothing                                                             Check

1. Comfort                          *                     Banana Sloan Crop in Black                    *                     
2. Chic                                 *                    Banana Sloan Crop in Black                     *                     
3. Professional                    *                    HM Beaded Cream Cardi                          *                     
4. Fun                                 *                    Gap Dark Denim Button-Up                       *                     


Funny thing is, while this ensemb certainly met all of the above criteria, and while I certainly felt professional & on-trend at work & chic & comfortable while volunteering, I felt, well … like a Vintage School Marm while Shopping Peppermint
Not the Confession.
Also not the Confession.
Vintage ’40’s Style Shorts on sale for $10!!

Confession is that, I let it get to me. For one, Nicole, who–if I’m #vintageschoolmarm (in all good senses of the term), she is #princess (in all better sense of the term)–in her tall, studded, brown suede boots, and luxe, leather, Coach looked incredibly casually trendy with perfect, glossy lips and even glossier, long black waves–(Am I being creepy-descriptive? Good.)–killed. For two, my pits felt sweaty, my once dark denim button-up was covered in fur from my then-demure cream cardigan, and I still donned the frames. It’s not that I looked bad. It’s that my outfit had turned stale. (Good thing Peppermints don’t go stale…)


Long story short, in my self-conscious, #vintageschoolmarm mind, the gorgeous, funky, chicly fashionista owner who checked-out our purchases, handed a discount scan card to Nicole & not to moi. Obv b/c Nicole looked way cuter and me, way 40. So. Standing up for myself, I asked for 1. Twice. As in, the 1st time I asked, both Nicole & the owner just kind of stared, an–Ah. It’s not the discount. It’s a scan code that brings you to our Facebook. Which you just said you already found.–mouth agape. The second time, when I repeated myself verbatim which is always the best way to clarify yourself…, the owner spelled it out for me. Nicely. No condescension. I got the point. Namely: Card is not the discount. Liking on Facebook is.

The Confession.
Sometimes (lots of the times), I am a self-conscious, awkward, weirdo. Who buys culottes. Which is the only good part of this. Forgive me, fellow shoppers, for I have been awk. 
* * *
I saw. I shopped
I liked. I blogged.