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I’m going to start this off by letting you know that I’m an absolute Halloween fanatic. October 31st is, hands down, my favourite day of the year, and I usually start choosing my costume for next year as soon as the holiday has passed. This year, I’m finally being a mermaid, and completely DIYing my costume (I can share deets on this if anyone’s interested!). In the meantime, I wanted to share this subtle Candy Corn Manicure. I do realize that not everyone gets as worked up about Halloween as I do or prefer to take a more subtle approach to Halloween beauty; this easy nail art will give you a chance to get into the spirit without going overboard.

Oh, and did I mention it’s easy? Because it really is. My dad could probably pull this off.

Start off by prepping your nails with base coat to smooth (Formula X Color Corrector is perfect for this) and one-two coats of white polish (I used OPI Alpine Snow for this one). Prep your cuticles with a hydrating moisturizer or apply white glue or a cuticle guard to make clean up easier.

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Next, take a triangular cosmetics sponge (you can pick these up at the dollar store) and trim it to get a piece that’s similar in width to your nails. Starting from the top, apply a wide stripe of polish in white, followed by a soft yellow (I used OPI Infinite Shine in Bee Mine Forever) and finished with a stripe of a soft orange shade (Essie Gel Couture in Looks to Thrill), layering them like a neopolitan ice cream that will fit from base to tip of your nails. Dab on a piece of paper a couple of times to blend the colours together a little, then gently dab onto your nails to transfer the polish and create the candy corn look. Reapply the polish to the sponge as needed, and try to do a couple of coats to build the colour. Once finished, apply a top coat (Seche Vite dries quickly and locks in colour) to blend the polish even more and secure the look.

Will you be trying this Candy Corn Manicure or any Halloween nail art?

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Caffeine addict? Today marks national coffee day, and Sally Hansen’s Global Colour Ambassador Madeline Poole created the perfect mocha mani in honour of it, using Miracle Gel polishes. Take a look at the mani and learn how to get the look below!

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Start by applying 2 coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Birthday Suit to all the nails.

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Using a striping brush, outline a semi-circle shape on the pinky nail using the color Sally Hansen Miracle
Gel in Totem-ly Yours. The shape should resemble the shape of a coffee bean – oblong and round.

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Fill in this semi-circle and repeat this process in a flip-flopping manner down the nails. The feel should be
organic and random in placement.

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After painting the coffee bean outlines. Allow the nails to dry a few minutes and then apply one coat of
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

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The look is super chic, and can easily be worn well past National Coffee Day. The nude look is timeless, or you can try switching up the shades to create your own colour combination. What shades would you try?

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New years eve, 2015, happy new year, new year graphic, sparkly new year, new years eve sparkles

Happy New Year!  The big night’s tonight and I’m sure everyone’s starting to get ready for the evening’s celebrations.  Looking for a way to add a little more sparkle to your look?  Check out this super easy Sparkly NYE Mani and tutorial below – no skills needed!

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  1. Prep your nails for polish – apply lotion before hand to soften up your cuticles, file your tips to make sure everything looks good, clean any oil or leftover polish off your nails with remover and start with a base coat to get your nails ready (especially important when using dark polish!).
  2. Apply two coats of a black polish – I used Nicole by OPI Totally in the Dark since it has a hint of shimmer to it.
  3. Starting at the base of the nail, swipe a shimmery gold polish towards the tips, going about halfway.  This doesn’t need to look perfect – I think it’s better when it’s a little haphazard and it doesn’t end in a straight line.  I used OPI A Heart of Gold for this step.
  4. Add some more sparkle!  Follow up and brush a polish with loose glitter overtop of the gold from the previous step, ending around the same area, though it doesn’t hurt to bring a few sparkles a little further down!  I used Nicole by OPI Kissed At Midnight (appropriate, no?).
  5. Finish off by locking all of the colour in with a fast drying top coat!

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Voila – an unbelievably New Year’s Eve mani to give your look a dazzling finishing touch.  How will you be doing your nails for New Year’s Eve?

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Beach Hair Tutorial, how to make red hair last, red hair dye, red hair dye last longer, how to keep your hair red, how to stop red hair from fading

Since I was about 13 years old, I’ve been going through a hair evolution (which I’m sure will not end any time soon).  It started off with chunky highlights that were all the rage in the 90s (God help me), transitioned to more appropriate highlights, and from there turned into full colour changes.  I’ve been light brown, chestnut, blonde (I’m talking real blonde here)… I’ve even had pink and bleached sections thrown in there for good measure.  However, there’s just one colour that I keep going back to – red.  I’ve had different variations on red, ranging from cool with purple hues to those with a more warm, coppery feel to them; all I know is I love my red hair, and I have a feeling I’m finally going to be sticking to one shade for a little while.

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A few shades of red I’ve rocked.

I’m not going to lie, I get complimented on it all the time.  Most of these people make a comment that they wish they could go red but don’t think they could pull it off.  The way I see it, with the right shade, just about everyone can.  Being a faux ginger doesn’t mean you have to rock fire engine red – there are tons of different variations on it.  I also get asked how much care it takes.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, red hair can be a bit of a pain.  It fades more quickly than other shades and needs more upkeep.  As Alain Larivée, Canadian Creative Consultant for John Frieda, explains: “As red hair colour is made up almost entirely of red, blue & violet tones, which are all small pigments and the easiest to wash out of your hair, the red hair colour base is prone to rapid wash out from hair. This results in a rapid loss of tones from the hair,making the red colour quickly appear flat/dull, stripped of colour, and lacking depth.”  So yes, this colour range takes more work but hell, I’m going to say it’s absolutely worth it.  It’s fun, it’s bold, and it’s full of personality.  I love my red hair.  So I thought I would give those of you who have already gone red & those who are considering it a little bit of help by sharing my tips on how to make red hair last longer.  I’m not a magician.  Your hair is going to fade no matter what, but these tips will help to slow this down and will allow you to keep your colour bold and vibrant for longer!

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First off, I just want to touch on products.  I’m a firm believer that products created for red hair are an absolute godsend, and they’re a must-have if you want to prolong the life of your colour.  Products created for colour-treated hair can help as well, but from my experience these perform better and give better results.  Red hair fades differently than other shades, and each colour has different needs.  These products were designed specifically to combat the way that red hair fades and help to maintain colour and vibrancy.  I’ve had the best experience so far with the Pureology Reviving Red line ($28.50-$36.75).  The Shamp’oil and Conditioner really help to keep my colour looking vibrant, while the Reviving Red Oil is perfect for sealing the cuticle and locking in colour; I like to massage it into damp ends after a shower.  The weekly colour enhancing treatments are another fantastic addition to the red hair care routine – these ampoules help to deposit the pigments that are washed out and give hair a real boost.  I know the Pureology line is a bit pricey, so the more price conscious redheads will be happy to hear that the John Frieda Radiant Red Line is also available in stores.  I have used this line as well, and although the effects aren’t as strong as those I’ve seen with Pureology’s line, they still provide great results for the price (about $10 each), and I find that adding in the Colour Refreshing Gloss as a weekly treatment is a big help as well.  Another great product is Aveda’s Madder Root conditioner ($19), which also helps to deposit colour back into the hair.  I was using this conditioner a few years ago and again had really good results with it – just be sure to wash your hands after applying it to the hair to avoid any staining.

So yes, choosing the right products is absolutely key!  Aside from this, however, there are definitely other things you can be doing to help prolong your red mane.  Here are my tips for how to make red hair last longer:

  • Minimize the length of time your hair is exposed to water.  I’m the first to admit that I love a nice, long shower once in a while, but this is a big no-no.  Longer exposure to water causes the hair shaft to swell, which leads to colour bleeding.  Speed up your washing and rinsing to help keep the colour in.  Also, try to use cooler water as hot water (as nice as it feels) is damaging.  The cooler temperature will also help to seal the cuticle, thus locking in colour.
  • Try to go longer between washes.  As I’m sure you can guess, this ties into the previous tip.  Less frequent washing is more gentle on the hair and will help to prevent fading.  Right now, I typically wash my hair every third or fourth day if I can get away with it.  Pick up some dry shampoo (I love Klorane’s versions and Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender) or use baby powder to soak up any oil that builds up around your roots and you can get away with a couple more days between washes than you normally will.
  • Make your own weekly colour-boosting treatment.  Grab your favourite conditioner and mix a little Manic Panic colour in with it.  Apply to your hair, let it sit for 5 minutes (make sure you wear gloves or thoroughly wash hands after) then rinse out.  It’s going to give your colour a nice bump so it looks as fresh as it did when you first dyed it.
  • Reduce sun exposure.  UV rays have a tendency to break down red quickly, so try to keep your hair safe the sun (um, hello, your face doesn’t need the sun exposure either… Win-win!) by staying in the shade, wearing a trés cute chapeau or by using products that contain UV protection.
  • Try to avoid heat styling.  I find that constantly using hot tools kills my colour way more quickly and try to minimize the time I spend using them or let my natural wave come out.  If you just can’t stay away from the curling and flat irons, make sure you pick up a product that protects against heat to minimize damage.
  • Avoid chlorine!  This is so major if you want to keep the colour looking vibrant.  Chlorine strips the colour which equals speedy fading, and no one wants that.  If you’re going to be in the pool, try tying your hair up to keep it out of the water.  And if you know you’re going to end up getting dunked, try applying a leave-in conditioner before and after you take a dip to help block the fading effects of the chlorine.

 

These tips have worked out pretty well for me.  Of course, most of these can apply to other hair colours as well.  If you’ve gone red/are red, do you have any other tips or product recommendations?  I would love to hear them!

 

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Summer is the perfect time to play around with colour and to have a little more fun with your look.  I personally really enjoy playing with my nail looks during this season since there are a whole whack of fun (and bright) new shades out thanks to the summer collections.  Today I wanted to show you my latest look – the watercolor mani.  It’s unbelievably easy to do yourself, and nearly impossible to screw up, so even those of you who aren’t super confident in your nail art skills won’t have a problem.

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What will you need for this mani?  5 polishes – one white toned for the base and 4 other shades (have a little fun and play with colours!  You can go any direction with this one; neons, brights, pastels… Go crazy!) – and a cosmetic sponge.  I decided to go with 5 polishes from the Essie Summer 2014 collection since they’re all such bold shades.

How to:

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1.  Start by applying two coats of a white polish to act as the base (I used Essie Urban Jungle).  Allow to dry completely.

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2. Apply your first shade (I used Essie Strut Your Stuff) to the corner of the cosmetic sponge.  Lightly sponge the polish onto a corner of the nail.  Repeat for the rest of your nails.  You will need to reapply polish to the sponge every few nails.

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3.  Repeat this step for the other 3 polishes (in my case: Essie Roarrrange, Haute in the Heat and Ruffles & Feathers).  Don’t worry about any overlapping of shades – it makes for a really neat look!

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4.  Clean off any polish that made its way onto your cuticles using a brush or q-tip dipped in nail polish remover.  Seal it in with a base coat (I used Seche Vite) to lock in your mani and blend the colours a little.

It’s that easy.  Just sponge on some polish and you’re left with a fun, watercolor mani to show off.  Will you be giving this a try? What shades would you use?

 

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