Hand Sands

On the hunt for the secret to making your manicure and pedicure last during the beach season? Neri Ortega, nail expert of Butterfly Studio Salon, recommends the following for a long lasting, perfect manicure without chipping:

1. Following a hand massage, it is vital to clean the nail bed twice with acetone or acetone free nail polish remover to make sure that there are no emollients left on the nail- a clean, oil free nail bed is the most important part of a lasting manicure, as it creates a clean surface to begin on.

2. Continue with a protein based base coat- this is key in keeping polish from chipping. A strengthening treatment like OPI’s Nail Envy, works wonderfully to keep nails strong, and polish from chipping.

3. Following the application of polish, a good basic top coat is needed. Neri recommends Essie, and prefers classic top coats over “quick dry” as she finds that quick dry top coats tend to peel faster.

4. Pushing back cuticles rather than cutting them will also help a manicure last longer. To keep nail polish looking shiny and new, and cuticles from looking dull and ashy, she recommends a good cuticle moisturizer like Solar Oil – the oil treatment will multi-task to keep your manicure going for extra days.

With tips this easy, the hardest part will be choosing your favorite color!

Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?

This past weekend, I attended a Memorial Day party. While chatting with my friend, Claire, she asked me how the blog was going – so I proceeded to tell her what I’ve been up to and about some surprises I have up my sleeves. At one point in the convo, she inquired about Spoiled Pretty’s demographics. I was pretty embarrassed that nine months have passed and I don’t know the first thing about the people I chat with every day.

So since I open up and share my life on a daily basis, it’s only fair that you help return the favor. I’ve created a survey to capture some visitor demographics. It is my hope that in learning more about all of you, I can better my blog and help spoil you prettier. Sounds good, right?

The poll is multiple-choice and only has six questions. So help a sista out and take the quiz. Merci beaucoup!

Image source: Getty Images

Update: The poll has reached its respondent limit (boo)…I tried to upgrade my account so that I could capture more data, but I’ve been having some technical difficulties. If I get it working again, I’ll let you know. Thanks to all who participated!

Bambi-Like Lashes

Over at Makeup Loves Me, my girl Marina extols the virtues of Cover Girl LashBlast Mascara. Her review made me realize how much I’ve been taking LashBlast for granted lately.

I used to think that it didn’t get any better (or bigger) than DiorShow mascara. But when I met LashBlast, I fell in love – hard and fast. Its phat brush and glossy ink color gives me Bambi-like lashes.

And, as if you needed more convincing – LashBlast is one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Alice Cosmetics Giveaway!

I don’t typically get excited about mineral makeup. Probably because, nowadays, it seems like everyone is introducing a mineral line. So when I say that I’m blown away by Alice Cosmetics, you know I’m telling the truth.

I’m not really a mineral makeup girl. And I’m a klutz. Something about jars of powder just seems too complicated and cumbersome for me. But what I love about Alice Cosmetics is that it’s a line of minerals made for people like me. The rich shades are comparable to colors you would find in a “traditional” line of makeup. Plus, Alice Cosmetics offers innovative brushes and accessories.

One of the standouts is the Mini Miracle Cloth, which cleans your face without soap! Made of millions of microfibers (each a tiny fraction of the size of a human hair), the Mini Miracle Cloth emulsifies the oil in the skin and then rinses it away along with your makeup. As an added bonus, it aids in the treatment of acne because you can wash using only water, with no added chemicals or irritants.

I am so wild about Alice Cosmetics that I’m partnering with them for a giveaway! Three winners will receive one Buff Palette, three eye shadows (winner’s choice), one foundation (winner’s choice), one Buffer/Veil (winner’s choice), and one eye shadow guard.

The Buff Palette is a more elegant way to load your brush with minerals. Make life easy for yourself and use this palette instead of your jar lid for swirling your brush full of foundation minerals. The palette allows the full brush head to be used and provides the perfect surface for mixing minerals to find your perfect match. Comes in a red velvet pouch with a small companion brush for sweeping excess minerals back into the jar through the “lip.”

All of Alice Cosmetics twenty eye shadows are appropriate for sheer to heavy coverage. And the powders can be used wet for more intense color. As my inner-arm illustrates, the colors are fab (from left to right: Gold Frost, Hunter, Bourbon, Amethyst Gem, and Tawny Star).

The twelve shades of foundation, the heart of the Alice Cosmetics line, are made to complement all complexions from the palest to the deepest – and can be mixed to create your perfect match.

Alice Cosmetics Buffers/Veils are translucent powders that give your makeup a perfect finish. These feather-light mineral powders set your foundation and blush…or use alone without foundation for a natural look.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Eye Shadow Guard. This handy tool helps to keep eye shadow from spilling down below the eye, particularly when applying in heavy layers. It also doubles perfectly as a mascara guard.

Each prize is worth over $80!

To enter, send an email to spoiledprettycontests@gmail.com. Be sure to include your full name. The subject line should read “Alice Cosmetics Giveaway.” The contest ends at midnight (EST) on Sunday, June 1st. Winners will be chosen at random from among the entrants. On Monday, June 2nd, I’ll announce the winners’ names. Please, only one entry per person; duplicate entries will not increase your chances of winning. Contest is open to U.S. & Canadian residents only.

Good luck!

Is Allure Magazine Losing Its Allure?

As I was straightening up my apartment today (fine way to spend a holiday – I know), I was rummaging through my collection of magazines…trying to decide which ones were past their prime and needed to go in the trash. That’s when I noticed the similarities between the May and June 2008 covers of Allure Magazine.

In reality, Hilary Duff and Jessica Alba look nothing alike. But thanks to their mirror poses, side-swept bangs, and rose-tinted lips, the two starlets are doppelgangers. And if you look back to March’s issue, you’ll notice that Kate Beckinsale’s cover shot is almost identical.

Allure is one of my favorite mags. And I recognize that options are somewhat limited when you’re taking headshots. But c’mon. What I love most about beauty is the limitless possibilities…it’s transformative power. If you peruse the pages of Allure, you’ll see some stunning hair and makeup – especially in the editorials. But then, the lackluster covers looks stand in complete opposition.

It’s true you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But in the world of magazines, the cover can have a huge impact on newsstand sales. And, in my opinion, magazine editors really need to wake up, smell the Chanel No. 5, and start giving us diverse, more alluring covers.

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