I bet you didn’t know…

In a past life, I was a nail technician! A few years ago, I was toying with the idea of opening up my own nail spa, and decided to get my nail license. I worked for a lovely salon in Melrose for about a year and met many wonderful co-workers and clients. Although I don’t “do” nails anymore, I was asked to do a review of the Spring 2013 MiniLuxe nail polish collection, and I was happy to oblige!

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As a former nail tech, I look for four different qualities in a nail polish line: colors that clients are attracted to, ease-of-application, aesthetic when dry, and longevity/ease-of-removal. To make this easy, I will use a five-point rating scale to judge the last three qualities (five being great, and one being not great).

COLORS
The MiniLuxe Spring 2013 Collection has five different vibrant colors. I asked some of my girlfriends to be my manicure “guinea pigs,” and each of them was drawn to a different color. The most popular colors were Luxe Hingham (hot pink), Luxe Lolita (purple), and Luxe Lucky (teal). No one chose Luxe Corey or Luxe Jade. In general, this collection has some very attractive colors!

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EASE OF APPLICATION RATING: 5
These nail polishes were very easy to work with. They were a pleasure to apply. The brush was easy to control and the polish was not overly thin or thick; it had a good consistency.

AESTHETIC RATING: 3
I love the finished look of the MiniLuxe polishes when an OPI top coat was applied. Just beware that before applying a top coat, the MiniLuxe polish dries matte and doesn’t look very appealing. As soon as I applied the top coat, though, it turned out beautifully!

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LONGEVITY/EASE-OF-REMOVAL RATING: 4/5
My girlfriends and I were extremely pleased with the overall look of the polish, however two to three days after the manicures were done, the polish began to chip. This is fairly normal for all nail polishes I’ve used, so I can’t really fault the polish…we just loved the colors so much we didn’t want them to chip! The removal of the polish was easy; it came right off with regular, non-acetone polish remover.

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Overall, I loved these polishes and will continue using them on myself, and recommend them to friends. For more about MiniLuxe visit the website.

Happy manicuring!

Tara

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Be true to you

Hello lovelies,

After the tragic events of Monday at the Boston Marathon, I was afraid to post anything about fashion yesterday on Twitter or Facebook – afraid I was being disrespectful, afraid I would be judged. I’m glad I took a day off to just be a “spectator” in the social-media-realm. As I read through many of my friends’ posts, I realized something: true human emotion and feelings were shining through. I really liked reading posts from friends I have never heard talk about “God,” “hope” or “love.” These friends were spreading messages of peace and kindness to their fellow Bostonians in the wake of this catastrophic event.

It got me thinking this morning that if many of my friends’ “truths” came out on Facebook, how could I be true to myself today? How can I spread some joy?

A young lady at my gym was wearing a crown while working out on the elliptical this morning. I was INSPIRED by her! Was she just trying to be funny? Celebrate something? Maybe she had lost a bet? Whatever the case was, I normally would have just laughed, posted something on Facebook (which I did), and went on with my day. But today was different. I wanted to spread some joy and tell her she inspired me, so I did. It turns out this beautiful young woman was celebrating her 21st birthday! I wished her a very happy birthday and told her she inspired me to be true to myself today – for me this means laughing, loving, and expressing myself how I know best – through fashion.

So, I will leave you with this adorable dress from the Gap Outlet, and wish you a day of being true to yourself.

Peace and lots of love,
Tara

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Ideas to Freshen-Up Winter

Hello my little snow bunnies,

Yes, I know – it’s still winter, and we are still sloshing around and wondering “when do we get to see the sun again?” Don’t fret, spring is RIGHT around the corner! While we are waiting out another Mother-Nature-tantrum, I thought I would share some of the things I’ve recently done that have picked me up out of my winter duldrums.

I will start by saying how gorgeous Charlize Theron’s hair was at the Oscar’s. She looked so FRESH and BRIGHT.

Photo courtesy of JustJared.com

Photo courtesy of JustJared.com

My crazy brain actually thought “how would I look with short hair like Charlize,” and when I proposed the idea to my beautiful and talented stylist, Kim Burke at En Vogue Salon in Danvers, she just gave me the stare that only she can give me that says “no, Tara, I don’t think so.” So I told her to work her magic –  I wanted something short and “fresh” as I was feeling a little weighed down. And what a difference! Kim has been my hair stylist for years, and I have ALWAYS been happy. Thanks, Kim!

Before and afer hair

The next thing I did to freshen up my winter look is eye lash extensions. I’ve wanted to try these for about a year now, and I finally did it! Kim Bowen, Master Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and owner of To Make Beautiful in Stoneham, applied my lash extensions and I am AMAZED! They brighten up my face so much that all I really need is a swipe of black eyeliner, face powder and some lipstick. My winter makeup regimen usually consists of A LOT more than that, so I am thrilled.

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The lash extensions took about 2 hours for Kim to apply, but BONUS RELAXATION TIME, I fell asleep while Kim was applying them! The lashes last about 2-3 weeks, and then I will need a fill, which takes about an hour. Kim at To Make Beautiful also does bridal makeup, reiki, skincare and hair removal, and teaches spin classes on the side at Atlantis Sports Club & Spa in Danvers! Is there anything this woman can’t do? You rock, Kim!

One of my favorite things to do, no matter what time of year, is have my makeup done. I’ve had a few events over these past winter months and my go-to makeup artist/friend, Virginia Franklin, kicks butt! She works for MAC (my faaaaaavorite) at Nordstrom, North Shore Mall, but also has her own business Bridal Beauty and Event Makeup by Virginia Frankin. I am completely obsessed with the way she is able to “paint my face” (as Virginia likes to call it), and completely transform my skin and eyes from dull to radiant with some sweeps of her brush! I know I use the word “amazing” a lot, but she truly is!

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These are just a few things that made me feel like a girl this winter, and helped to really freshen me up and get me ready for SPRING!!!

Your in style & flattery,

Tara