Nail Tools 101

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When giving yourself an at-home manicure, deciding on what tools to use can be overwhelming. That said, I decided to put together a breakdown of several things I've seen/heard of. If you're curious as to what I use, see tools marked with an asterisk. 

1. Foot file: For those of you who are like me and frequently wear shoes that don't require socks (e.g., ballet flats), especially in the summer months, using one of these on the skin of your heels can help with the roughness. Other things that work for you feet: the Ped Egg, or a pumice stone.

2. Cuticle cutter*: This is probably my favorite way to cut away my cuticles. I recently started using this again, after my BFF, R, told me an honest statement about my cuticles (Haha!). Tip: for best results, use this tool after getting out of the shower, or after you have soaked your nails in warm water for 5+ minutes.

3. Toenail cutter*: Used to cut, well... toenails. I don't like owning too many pair of clippers, so I use these for my fingernails too.

4. Fingernail cutter: Smaller than toenail clippers, these are designed to cut fingernails.

5. Cuticle nipper: Used to remove cuticles and hangnails. Similar to #2, for best results, use this tool after your nails/cuticles have been exposed to warm water for 5+ minutes. Click here for a tutorial on how to use a cuticle nipper.

6. Metal nail file*: From experience, I've found that of all the types of nail files that are out there, this type works the best. Tip: when filing your nails, only file in one direction, as going back and fourth can make the tip of your nails thin and weak.

7. Orange stick: These also come in a metal form, and are used to push back your cuticles and/or to scrape away nail polish on the edges of your nails, while giving yourself a manicure. If you choose to push back your cuticles with this tool, use a cuticle nipper to cut off the excess skin.

8. Nail scrubber: This is used to clean the surface of your nails.

Not pictured: 4-way nail buffer block*: When you want that shine, but don't feel like painting your nails, use this tool. These blocks usually come with 4 sides: shape, smooth, buff, and shine. The process is simple, and takes no more than 5 minutes.

Fringe

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Fringe is something that can be an accent to a number of styles: rocker, boho, girly, and more. Due to its volatile nature, dozens of designers like as Ella Moss, and Steve Madden, have incorporated this detail into their most recent collections. Who would have guessed that a trend from the 60s would gain this much popularity once again?

2. Fringed Bar Necklace via Lord and Taylor $42
3. Stone Crotchet Fringe Top via Dorothy Perkins $44
4. Fringe Bikini via Miss Selfridge $46
5. Crotchet Fringe Eternity Scarf via Urban Outfitters $34

Win Big

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image via tumblr

The winner of the sneakpeeq giveaway is: Jamie! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who entered.

St. Patrick's Day Nails

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While wearing green began as an Irish tradition, it was the Americans, who created the concept of pinching people. Be pinch-proof this St. Patty's Day by sporting green in my favorite way: on your nails!

TOOLS: Green nail polish, gold glitter nail polish, and a black nail art polish. I used 'Mint Sorbet' by Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, 'Only Gold for Me' by SEPHORA by OPI, and 'Black' by Art Deco.

STEPS:
1. Paint your nails green, except for your ring finger.
2. On your ring finger, paint 2 coats of your favorite gold glitter polish. Wait for the polish to dry.
3. With a black nail art polish, paint 2 upside down Vs over the glitter, to make a chevron design.

Instant Happy

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top: J. Crew factory store $25 (w/ student discount!) //watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs //nail polish: 'Big Apple Red' via OPI

After experiencing a tough past 3 weeks at my internship, I found it necessary to do some self-care. The first thing that came to mind was to list out 10 things that made me happy. To no surprise, I instantly felt better.

1. Striped 3/4 sleeve shirts
2. My mom's high-heel oxfords
3. The song, 'Just Pretend' by Courtney O'Donnell
4. Going to Costco with my boyfriend, and scoping out the samples
5. My amazing friends and classmates
6. DIY projects
7. Taylor Swift's new hairstyle
8. Planning my imaginary wedding on Pinterest
9. Cheesecake
10. Random acts of kindness from strangers

oxford heels: Franco Sarto

Dainty Rings

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Something I've been eying lately is The Dainty Ring (TDR). Though it may not be the boldest accessory, TDR gives off an elegant and ladylike vibe, something I consider to be a refreshing change, perfect for springtime.

A few of my favorite styles have come from Catbird NYC, and Carla Caruso.

Dating Diaries: Studs vs. Duds

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image via here

Instead of paying attention in class today, I decided to think about relationships. More specifically, the reasons why some succeed, while others fail. Being in a successful relationship now, in addition to having encountered my fair share of duds, I've noticed one major difference: the relationship I'm in now had been built off of a good foundation, while the others... weren't. I used to have the tendency to ignore red flags (aka I lied to myself about the quality of a guy), which led to some major consequences and heartbreaks. That said, when searching for the right person, here are a few things you should ask yourself:
  • What was your first impression of them? Research shows that when you first meet someone, accurate impressions of the other person can be made in as little as 2 seconds. If the impression was bad, you may want to trust your gut, and run in the other direction.
  • Do they make time for you? Even though this concept is quite simple, it took me a while to realize that when a person really wants to hang out with you, he/she will make it happen. No matter what. If you are getting excuse after excuse, I would advise you to end things, as this can be a sign of avoidance.
  • Do they listen to what you have to say? I've met my share of cocky guys who flinch at the thought of talking about anything but themselves. Find a significant other who is interested in what you have to say, is curious (but not nosy), and genuinely wants to get to know you.
  • How much do the two of you have in common? As a psychology student, I have learned time and again, that opposites actually don't attract. Think about you and your best friend. The two of you get along so well because of all the similarities that exist. The same goes for a significant other. The more similar you are with the other person (and vice versa), the more chemistry there will be. True story.
  • Are they serious? As ashamed as I am, I'll admit to having led someone on. In high school, I had a crush on a younger guy (or so I thought). After several months of seeing each other, he brought up the subject of making the relationship official, something I had been avoiding. I couldn't get myself to end the fling, so I dragged it out for a few more months. At the time, I thought the reason for me being hesitant was that I wasn't ready for a relationship, when in reality, I didn't like the guy enough to be with him.

"Follow your heart, but take your brain with you." -Anonymous


Check out my first Dating Diaries post: What to Do/What Not to Do on a First Date

Nail Polish Storage

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Over the years, I've acquired a ridiculous amount of nail polish. After experimenting with several methods of storage, from makeup bags to dresser drawers, I've found the best way to be something I had  all along in my closet: a shoebox. The wide opening allows you to quickly fish out the bottle you are looking for without too much fuss.

A suggestion from my friend K: Wrap your shoebox in a recycled paper bag from the grocery store, flipped inside out. Finish the look with hot-gluing a pretty ribbon to the lid.