Full disclosure: I am not on the gel manicure bandwagon. But before you summon the lynch mob, hear me out: It’s not that I’m not enticed by the prospect of a hard-as-nails, two-week mani—believe me, I am. I’m simply irked by tinfoil-wrapped nails, the obligatory soak to remove the polish and the $30-a-pop price tag.
However, as someone who nearly always has her nails painted and is a regular user of base coats, top coats and the like, an at-home mani that lasted longer than five days without chipping continued to elude me despite my best efforts. That is, until my lovely mother, a reformed salon devotee, gifted me Sephora’s Formula X System for Christmas, a set she swore rivaled any salon manicure. Turns out, she was irrefutably correct; when you use the polishes altogether, you get a super-affordable and long-lasting alternative to pricey gel versions. Call me a convert.
These polishes are a game changer.
Looks pretty good, right? | Photo by Shutterstock.
After all that holiday shopping, it’s time to do a little indulging for yourself. Here, five luxurious holiday beauty treatments that pack in all the scents of the season, from chocolate and peppermint to frankincense and sweet orange. Bonus: They all ring in under $100, so if there’s someone on your gift list that’s leaving you stumped, buy them a gift card for one of these sweet services.
To read about all five services, click here.
Female inmates create “fakeup.” | Orange Is The New Black.
An interesting story popped up over on Refinery29 the other day. It was a piece that originally appeared on The Marshall Project, a newly launched nonprofit news site that focuses on the American criminal justice system, and it detailed the crazily resourceful ways female inmates create makeup products (or “fakeup”) behind bars.
According to The Marshall Project, federal jails offer products like liquid eyeliner, bronzer and lip gloss (who knew prisons were like mini Sephoras?), but most state and county prisons only dole out things like mascara and eyeliner. So women get crafty, melting down Jolly Ranchers to use as hair gel, crushing up colored pencils for eye shadow and even mixing coffee and face cream for foundation.
More tricks ahead.
- The padded bra is officially a relic. Now you can get a saline injection that temporarily gives you a fuller chest (one doc calls them “vacation boobs”); breasts deflate in about 24 hours as your body absorbs the saline. [Shape]
- And now washing your face with plain old tap water isn’t good enough. People are swearing off the sink and only washing up with micellar water—a special blend of oil and water. Are they on to something? [Total Beauty]
Up next: How to layer, keep tights from tearing, and get longer hair.
Last week, I posed this question on our in-office messaging system, Slack: “What’s your favorite hand cream?” I thought the ladies of the office would chime in instantly, and from the male editors, I’d get crickets. Shocker: The guys here are serious when it comes to hand cream. (Almost as serious as they are about their beard oil.)
Here are the best salves, ointments, butters, balms, lotions and creams, as recommended by Philly Mag’s discerning editors. And proof that real men use hand moisturizer.
Click for more.
Foliage not included.
Following Starbuck’s announcement of the Chestnut Praline latte, its first new holiday beverage since 2009, some seasonal beverage devotees found themselves clutching their PSL’s for dear life. Luckily, the beauty benefits of pumpkin and its autumnal cohort are infinitely better than its sugary beverage counterpart. And even better? You scan score these fun get-you-glowing-from-within beauty treatments right here in Philly and the ‘burbs. New fall tradition, anyone?
Click here for all the deets.
Makeup goes all Lichtenstein. | Screenshot via YouTube.
Confession: I find makeup tutorial videos extremely mesmerizing. On numerous occasions, I’ve fallen down a black hole watching YouTube videos of Madison, a five-year-old girl who makes the most adorable makeup videos ever. (If you ever need to cheer yourself up, watch this. Or this. Or, oh my god, THIS. Just scroll to the 7:20 mark and you will explode from all of the cuteness.)
But it’s not just tiny, precocious beauty gurus that delight me. Watching anyone transform themselves with makeup is fascinating, especially when they venture into the grotesque or fantastical. Don’t believe me? Watch these videos for your best Halloween makeup ever. (Warning: It’s a black hole and some are more than a little creepy.)
Click here for the crazy.
Rescue Spa turns 10 today! And that means a lot of celebrating, in the way the poshest of spas do: Champagne, complimentary trials and consultations, goody bags and VIP discounts.
Click here for a special discount code.
We’re loving these easy hairstyles to try out this fall | Images via Salon Vanity
I like to think I have a pretty good eye for determining what’s attainable with my minimal hairstyling skill level (milkmaid braids, yes; faux-bobs, heck no), but no amount of hair intuition can replace step-by-step directions. Even better if these directions come from a total hair master. Enter: Edmondo Blando, owner of Salon Vanity at 1701 Walnut Street. He gave us the low-down on how to create some of his most-requested styles—and guys, they actually seem do-able, even easy. Grasshoppers, time to learn from the master.
Hairstyle how-tos ahead.
Whenever something particularly jarring in the lifestyle realm is unveiled, it’s a sure bet that our email inboxes will fill up with various mentions of the story from friends and colleagues. (See: “Apparently Philly is a Hotspot for Vagina Beauty Treatments.”) This week’s news? Baby spas. In particular, massage and water therapy for babies. According to Daily Mail, about a year ago, Kristi Ison opened a baby-centric spa in her home in Houston, Texas, that allowed babies to float around in inflatable donuts and then indulge in a massage.
But the thing is, the spa is successful.
Are you surprised?