True Blue Hues

quite the popular choice

Last spring, I feel in love with Essie's Lapis of Luxury. I finally got around to purchasing it a few weeks ago (and have received a myriad of compliments since brushing it onto my nails).

Over the summer, cool tones have been poking out of sandals at an increasing rate. In July, CS pal Morgan brought a bottle of Rimmel's Aqua Cool to the annual Charm School retreat on the west coast, direct from London. In minutes, every one of us had adorned our fingers and toes with this beautiful conrflower blue.

It would seem that these watery tones are going to continue into the fall, with the biggest trendsetter in nail color, Chanel, launching their line of blues--"Les Jeans de Chanel" at Fashion's Night Out on September 8th.

chanel-le jeans

Each of the Chanel colors is named with a distinct personality : Blue Rebel (deep and dark for the daring), Coco Blue ( feminine, pretty and light), and Blue Boy (slightly more masculine with a 'washed' denim feel). Alternating the three tints and tones will achieve one of the season's other hottest nail trends--the ombre effect. Dark to light or light to dark; either way, these colors are cool.

Moving forward, we can expect the blues to become more and more green-based--from turquoise to teal. My insider knowledge from the Beauty Committee at The Color Association of the United States's Spring/Summer 2013 forecast tells us that the blues and green will be sticking around for awhile. The story Oasis is:

"a direct reflection of water and the life that it breeds. The ocean, the sky, greenery – plants, flowers, birds – all that frame mass bodies of water were key inspirations for this trend. The vibrant extremes that nature produces in the chlorophyll-rich plants to the iridescent feathers of sea-birds, the palette is made up of cool blue, teal and green tones".

CAUS Launches The Beauty Committee

Adding its first new color committee in over 40 years, the Color Association of the United States (my place of employment!) is launching the Beauty Forecast for Spring Summer 2013.

Spearheaded by yours truly, the forecast offering goes beyond the basic color palette, incorporating custom designed fragrances, nail and lip colors to coincide with the stories for the four color trends. More to come on this later...

In the meantime, if you happen to be in the New York City area on May 17th, drop by to check it out! Hpnotiq will also be on location launching their brand new flavored drink, Harmonie - a lavender flavored alcohol that comes in a key color from the beauty palette, purple! Harmonie is still under lock and key (the official launch is set for June 1st) so come to our event to be on the inside track!

RAPIDRY to the Rescue!

There is one product that has really changed my life over the last few months...and by life I mean that in the least dramatic way. More of an enhancement in my nail care regimen really.The product in question was brought home by my roommate Kaitlin (who is a polish addict and changes her color at least twice/week). She had tested it out months before while visiting a friend (a classic Charm School move). Now, this may not be a new brand, or contain a revolutionary ingredient but the OPI RAPIDRY Top Coat is a miracle worker. Forgot to paint your nails just before bed? No problem. You can apply and hit the sheets in mere minutes - and wake up to glossy, crease-less digits! No more interesting textures or dented finishes.

Peace Keeper Eco-Easy Nail Polish Remover

As I continue to update my conventional beauty products with more naturally derived alternatives, I recently visited Whole Foods to find a replacement for one of the most highly toxic offenders: nail polish remover. Often loaded with acetone and other nasty chemicals I figured that eliminating it would be a big step in the right direction.

In the beauty section (which I must say is growing every day), I scanned the four or five brands or polish remover on the counter. There were a few brands that had pretty glass bottles or smelled really lovely but cost over $20. Considering that the chemical-filled versions cost no more than $3, I was hoping to find a replacement somewhere in that general price range.

I finally decided on the Peace Keeper Eco-Easy Nail Polish Remover because 1. It was under $10 and 2. It seemed like the most natural of the offering. Made from sugar beets, rosemary and spearmint (literally) I decided it couldn't be too harmful to my body.

The review: Contrary to my skepticism of the three ingredients getting the job done well, this stuff actually works. Granted, you do have to put in a bit of elbow grease to get off the really dark colors, it is surprisingly effective. As for the smell, a friend was over the other night while I was using it and said that the scent reminded her of the dentist. I think that must be the spearmint... Also, I have noticed that if you end up with a lot of it on your fingers for a prolonged period (say, if your fingers are pressing on the remover soaked cotton boll), they get a little prune-y feeling (as though you've been in the bath too long).

Other than that, no complaints. The spearmint oil is quite moisturizing and you can rest easy if you happen to reach for a handful of popcorn without washing your hands after using it.

Male Art

Last night a brigade of cabs dropped off a group of East Village dwelling Canadians at an abandoned building on Leroy street in the West Village. Inside was an impromptu art show, on view until the building is demolished. There were twisted foam creations (think Super Mario landscapes on acid), photographs, a wooden puzzle table and smoldering paintings burning a slow stream of smoke, set to a sound track played by a host of indie bands happily rocking the crowd. The lighting was dim, the floors dusty and wires and beams stuck out in all directions. In the midst of the chaos, two friendly artists, Kora and Nicole, took their creativity off the page, and onto nails. Completely untrained in the aesthetics field, they purchased an assortment of silver, white, dark toned and fluorescent colored polishes--a few with a tiny brush for intricate detailing. To them, it was an exercise (and experiment) on a live canvas.

The girls were the toast of the party--with women and men alike pushing each other out of the way to be next in line. Of course, the men needed a little more instruction on letting the polish dry for more then a couple of minutes. One unlucky guy hadn't listened carefully and went rushing off into the crowd, only to come back seconds later for a touch up on his silver lightening bolts.

Below are pictures of some of their fun and creative designs.

With Halloween weeks behind us, it would seem that the enthusiasm from the men is not something to be overlooked. I think it is safe to say that the notion of men venturing into polished tips is on the horizon. With well manicured and glass-finish buff jobs now common place for the urban male (at least in New York City), the leap to neutral varnish jobs only seems like a natural progression...

Gaga for Vegas

As one of our favourite charm school gals is in Vegas this week, I thought it timely to share this little bit of insider info. We hope Cath returns with her own waking up in Vegas stories! This summer, some of the charm school girls took an annual trip to Emily's summer house on Vancouver Island. In her big bag of tricks, Wynn packed the latest issue of Vanity Fair--with Lady Gaga on the cover. All weekend we swooned over the color of Lady G's nails.

When I returned to New York a couple of weeks later, Fashion Week was about to kick off. I ended up going to Barney's for Fashion's Night Out (for those who don't know, this is Anna Wintour-and many other fashion high society's night to encourage consumer spending in retail) and had my nails done at the Deborah Lippman nail bar.

While selecting my polish, I was chatting to the manicurist about fall color trends. I brought up the Gaga cover and asked if she had any idea what colour her nails had been. As coincidence would have it, the color was by Deborah Lippman, and it had been Deborah herself who had done the nails. Ms. Lippman came over and told me all about the experience, and most importantly, shared the color, "Waking up in Vegas". At the time, the color had been sold out for weeks, but they were expecting a fresh supply in the coming month. Guess I should go back and see what they've got.

Why google these things when apparently, you can go straight to the source!