How To Get The Perfect Manicure


The Joy of a Perfect Manicure

It seems like a guilty pleasure, but I love having my nails done. With a nice manicure, I feel like I can take on anything. In fact, whenever my nails aren’t painted, I feel naked or as though something is missing. Although I am definitely a fan of going to the salon for a professional manicure from time to time, I actually find it quite therapeutic to do it myself. I give myself a manicure about once week. One of my pet peeves is having chipped nails, so I’ve figured out how to make my manicure last as long as possible.





Nail Heath

A long-lasting manicure starts with healthy nails. Broken, split or peeling nails almost always lead to prematurely chipped nail polish. One of the best products I’ve found for my nails is the Formula X Delete nail polish remover. In spite of the price point, I think it is worth it in the long run for keeping my nails healthier and stronger. Other drugstore brands of nail polish remover leave my nails feeling dried out and brittle, and I always feel the need to over condition them. The Formula X version has lavender, biotin and aloe, which help soothe and nourish my nails.


Cuticle Care

Aside from moisturizing cuticles regularly, it is also really important to clean them up properly. I do trim my cuticles. The key, in my opinion, is to be very intentional about how you go about this. I always start by gently pushing back my cuticle with a wooden cuticle stick, so it doesn’t creep too far up.


Next, I “erase” my cuticle with the end of a micron crystal nail file, like the one found in this kit. By using the flat, rounded end of one of these files in small circular rubbing motions (as you would use an eraser), you can safety and gently remove the majority of your cuticle. This can damage your nails a bit if you are too rough, so I only recommend doing this about once or twice a month.


Clipping and Filing

If needed, I clip my nails down a little bit, but most of the time, I just file them. For the most part, I only use the micron crystal file mentioned above. This really polishes out the tips and leaves the edges clean and smooth. Regular emory boards can leave nails split and jagged, even when the nail shape looks good. After using the crystal file, you should be able to run your nails along a delicate sweater or silk and not feel them snag at all.



Cuticle Cleanup

Lastly, after pushing back my cuticles and filing down my nails, I will either wash my hands with warm soapy water or soak them for few moments. The goal here is to soften the cuticles as much as possible. Then, I will take a cuticle nipper and clip off any remaining unsightly cuticle that is hanging or otherwise in the way. This process should most definitely not hurt and you should be very careful about cutting any skin.


The Base Coat

Always use a base coat. I have been using Nailtques ever since I was in high school to make my nails harder and less brittle. There was a period of time, when I also used to have a problem with dark nail polishes staining my nails. I used to love dark navys and dark burgundies, but even after I removed the polish they started to tinge my nails an unhealthy-looking color. It is so important to use a base coat, especially with the colder months approaching during which darker colors are popular. They key to a good manicure is to seal your nails with a base coat all the way from the nail bed to the tip. This means to make sure to swipe the polish along the very tip of your nail.




The Color

My all time favorite nail color is Eternal Optimist by Essie. Every single time I paint it on my nails, I love it.  Since it first came out a few years ago, it quickly became my very favorite Essie color. It’s soft, it’s not too sheer, it’s pink and it’s feminine. Plus, it acts as a neutral and goes with everything. I always do two coats. I seal the edge of my nail like I did in with the base coat. Then, for the second coat, I dab a bit in the center of the nail and spread it generously throughout. I’ve found that some colors look better with three coats, but they will take significantly longer to dry, so you are better off sticking with just two coats!





The Top Coat

Lastly, a good top coat is critical. I love my Essie Gel Setter top coat because it dries quickly and gives nails a really shiny and hardened look. The tip here is to wait about 10 minutes after applying color and before applying the topcoat to avoid smudging. Be generous with top coat application and make sure to seal the edge. Then, just sit tight for at least 20 minutes. I like to paint my nails right before I’m about to watch a movie or go for a drive. That way I won’t touch anything. The key to make a manicure really last is to be gentle with your nails for at least 24 hours after painting them so they can fully cure.



Product Details

Nail Polish Remover: Formula X Delete
Cuticle Stick: Trim
Nail File: Micron Crystal File 
Base Coat: Nailtiques Formula 2
Nail Color: Essie in Eternal Optimist
Top Coat: Essie Gel Setter

What are your tricks for a long lasting manicure?
xo -L

Fall Street Style in Beacon Hill


Fall Street Style

Fall in Boston is my favorite. The cooler, crisper temperatures allow more flexibility when selecting outfits, so you can let your personal street style truly shine. Layers are an easy way to add dimension to an outfit. Plus, with the fickle fall temperatures swinging between sunny and mild to crisp and windy, it is quite convenient to have a sweater to throw on and off throughout the day.

One of my favorite things about dresses is that they are so easy! All you need to do is to throw on that one piece, some shoes and accessories, and you are good to go! For a lunch date in the city, I went for my new cabi loose-fitting printed dress, which I love because it is versatile enough to either be dressed up or dressed down. For this crisp, gorgeous day, I opted for over-the-knee boots from Blondo. These are my favorite because they are stylish and comfy, but also waterproof, making them a very practical footwear option. For a more formal event, you might wear the dress with tights and pumps – its the perfect length for almost every occasion.

Lastly, I layered a long ribbed cardigan both for warmth, and to add a little more interest to this daytime look. Scroll to the bottom of the post for all my outfit details.









Tatte Bakery

For our lunch date, we headed straight for my favorite little cafe in Boston, Tatte in Beacon Hill! Everything is beyond delicious, and I’ve never known anyone to be disappointed. The pistachio croissant (filled with a pistachio and honey mixture), is hands down my favorite (albeit, definitely not low-cal) pastry. We also got the avocado toast (with eggs, arugula, and radishes….so amazing!!) and a cherry tomato tartine. This might seem like a lot of food, but you better believe we gobbled this up in a matter of minutes.


Tatte also has the most delicious almond milk lattes. Personally, I’ve been trying to stay away from milk lately, so almond milk is my favorite substitute. Sometimes, almond milk lattes just taste very flat and earthy, but Tatte does it right – extra, hot and foamy. It’s the best way to get that much needed dose of caffeine!



Outfit Details

Dress: cabi (c/o) | Sweater: cabi (c/o)| Boots: Blondo | Sunglasses: Chanel | Bag: Louise et Cie

What’s in your street style wardrobe this fall?
xo -L

Healthy Hair Care


The Importance of Healthy Hair

Your hair is one of your most important accessories, because you always have it with you! It is so crucial to take care of it. I know that when my hair feels good, I feel good!

I’ve had long has for as far back as I can remember. Actually a couple of weeks ago, it was even longer! I just had three inches cut off to refresh it! Having long hair comes with the responsibility to take care of it. I’ve tried almost everything to get soft and smooth hair, from washing only with baking soda and apple cider vinegar to all the homemade avocado and egg yolk hair masks recipes I could find online. Finally, I’ve found a routine that doesn’t take too much effort and has been leaving my hair feeling healthy and strong.

Today, I’m sharing what has been working best for me! Just as a little disclaimer, I have very fine, fairly straight hair. It also takes quite a bit of damage, as I get balayage color treatments to add a little bit of lightness and I use heat tools on my hair several times a week. I aim to use gentle, yet nourishing products to combat damage.



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My Routine

After everything I’ve tried over the years, the one thing I’ve found that has the biggest impact on the quality of my hair is to spread out my washes. I aim to wash my hair about three times per week, but I think every other day is totally fine. The longer you can go between washes, the better (dry cleaners are your best friend – my favorites are listed below)! Shampoo strips hair of natural oils that are so necessary to keep hair healthy. Although we rely on conditioner to replace those oils, it is better to let your hair do its natural thing for a day or two if you can in between washes. I found my hair to actually be the healthiest when I only washed it with baking soda and vinegar for a few months. I know this sounds crazy, and I don’t necessarily recommend it, but doing that did help my learn a lot about my hair in the long run.

We all know to switch up our products from time to time, so I actually aim to wash my hair three times per week with three different shampoos. I make sure to use a deep conditioner once a week and a coconut oil treatment every other week. Keep scrolling for all the details.

Product Details

1x per week:
Clarifying shampoo: Bb Sunday Shampoo
Deep conditioner: Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment
For those of us that use lots of hairspray, dry shampoo and other products throughout the week, a clarifying shampoo is critical. Hair feels lighter, cleaner and fresh after use. I love the Bumble and Bumble option because it is effective, yet gentle. After clarifying, a deep conditioner is good to use for nourishment. I just comb the Living Proof option through my hair in the shower and leave it in for about 5-10 minutes.

1x per week:
Sulfate-free color protecting shampoo: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo
Sulfate-free color protecting conditioner: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Conditioner
This shampoo + conditioner duo is the best. My hair has never felt softer after using these products. I love how gentle Shu Uemura products are. Plus, they add a little extra volume. This is the shampoo I like to use when I’m aiming for a little extra oomph.

1x per week:
Sulfate free purple shampoo: L’Oréal EverPure Blonde Shampoo
Sulfate free purple conditioner: L’Oréal EverPure Blonde Conditioner
As a blonde, I use a purple shampoo once a week as well. Since I get my hair lightened a bit with a balayage treatment, I need to make sure to keep the color bright and avoid brassiness. This L’Oréal option does the trick, is affordable, and can be found at the drugstore.

Blow dry/air dry spray:
Shu Uemura Wonder Worker
Always use protection before blow drying to maintain healthy hair! I love the Wonder Worker because it adds extra moisture, but doesn’t leave hair feeling funky if you decide to just let it air dry. I spray this on my hair after every shower. Just be careful – it’s easy to go overboard with this one. You only need about 4 spritzes.

Dry shampoo: 
Shu Uemura Dry Cleaner
Verb Dry Shampoo
The Shu dry cleaner is my faaaavorite! It does a great job absorbing oil, but there is actually NO residue. The one thing I dislike the most about dry shampoo is the fact that running my fingers through my hair afterward leaves a not-so-pleasant residue on my hands – gross! The Verb shampoo is an actual powder, so it does leave a bit of a residue. However, it does the job really well if you are going multiple days in between washes.

1x every other week:
Coconut oil hair mask
I coat my hair with coconut oil and comb it through really well. I also make sure to massage my scalp with it. After about an hour, I will wash it out. Sometimes, 2 washes are necessary to get all the oil out. The Bb Sunday shampoo mentioned above comes in handy for this.

Tangle Teezer
This brush has made a huge difference in my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true! It is so gentle for detangling snarls, and it is the only brush I’ve been using these days because it is great for wet or dry hair. Brush your scalp with this as well – it feels amazing and stimulates hair follicles for healthy hair growth.

What are your healthy hair care secrets?
xo L