Picking out paint swatches at your local hardware store is no longer your only option—there are so many alternatives, and many are small businesses you can support from the comfort of your couch. Sure, picking out paint without seeing it in person sounds kind of strange, but there are a ton of direct-to-consumer brands (including […]
Inspiration straight from designers. From House Beautiful
Draw lettering and illustrations that are personalized by, you, the artist.
Um, it's surprisingly flattering.
I look at pretty manicure photos the way some people look at pictures of their celebrity crushes: completely in awe and utterly obsessed. My Instagram feed is chock-full of nail-art inspiration, but I have to admit, no manicure has ever had me quite as mesmerized as the velvet nail trend. When I first spotted this design in action on LA-based manicurist Amy Le's account back in December, I didn't know what it was or how it was created, but I was immediately in love with it. A quick scroll through various hashtags and inspo accounts, and I found a slew of velvet nail looks, each just as beautiful as the next. At the time, I was convinced that velvet nails could only be achieved with the help of a professional, so I saved the image for the next time I made it to the nail salon. Fast forward a month later, and I was sitting on my couch painting my nails with the shade In a Gingersnap from the new Essie Winter 2020 collection when it hit me: I might have just found a DIY dupe for velvet nails. The finish of this nail polish looks fairly similar to the soft, crushed-velvet finish of the nails I was eyeing on Instagram. It has a slightly dull shimmer to it that catches the light beautifully without being too glitzy. Unlike most glitter nail polishes that have chunky pieces of glitter in the lacquer formula - which also make it really hard to remove - the Essie Winter nail polish color itself is shimmery. Is it just as good as the salon version? Not exactly, but when is a DIY manicure ever better than the work of a pro? Rarely. As far as at-home velvet manis go, this one looks pretty damn good.
Salvaged wood is gorgeous. Here's where to find it.
Ain't nobody got time for regular polish to dry.
This guy nailed a trick shot while jumping out his window
You’re having a low-key day with no big plans, no one to impress and no reason to think twice about the fact that last week’s manicure has seen better days...
The Vishine gel nail kit is perfect for beginners that are looking to create their own at-home nail salon.
This shade is universally flattering. From Good Housekeeping
We’re seeing this shade of acid green pop up everywhere.
Color has the ability to change our mood, and make us feel happy, sad, and everything in between. It's a brand new year, and although it may feel like not much has changed, we've got a bit more perspective, a bit more knowledge, and a bit more optimism this time around. This year, we're all about color. To give some context, this editor lives in a house that is almost exclusively decorated in neutral shades of white and tan, and who's own wardrobe can be narrowed down to black, white, and navy blue. So if I'm ready for color, I have a sense that you may be too. There are five big trends we're seeing for 2021, and many of them give off a sherbet-like vibe. They're not quite pastels, nor are they dark and moody. They're sophisticated and layered while still feeling whimsical and modern. This year, outfit your home, your wardrobe, and everything in between in these five shades. Just scrolling and shopping will put a little extra pep in your step. Related: The Uncertainty of the Next Few Months Is Encapsulated in Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Year
Add these to your routine.
If you want to protect and prolong your hair color, check out Amazon’s top shampoo for color-treated hair.
I’ll admit, even as a self-professed lover of DIY manicures, I’m a little lazy when it comes to nail prep. Choosing a shade? See you in ten minutes. Carefully sealing my finished work in a glossy top coat? Ensure no surface is unvarnished. It’s the pre-painting step that I tend to rush through — but, just as foreplay is key in any good hookup, a properly primed nail canvas is essential in any good manicure. This brings me right to Olive & June‘s newest launch: Nail Primer. Not to be mistaken for a base coat, this product is a pre-polish step that (much like a makeup primer) works to properly prep the nail plate for polish. Yeah, yeah, but is this a thing I *really* need? my inner monologue queried. In the name of beauty journalism and great nails everywhere, I put Olive & June’s new primer to the test IRL — below, behold my first-hand (!) findings. DashDividers_1_500x100 What does a nail primer do? “My goal in all of our products is that your mani lasts as long as you want it to last,” Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle told me via Zoom. “Our inspiration is to always give people a salon-perfect manicure [at home], and hopefully, a salon one would last longer than one you do yourself — but now you can get those same results at home.” Enter, Nail Primer: A dehydrating liquid that has existed in salons for years, but is an industry secret no longer. “This is really, mani insurance,” explains Gibson Tuttle, adding that the extra step has the power to boost wear time up to three days. Challenge accepted. DashDividers_1_500x100 How do you use a nail primer? Unlike a base coat, Nail Primer (which has bonders and ethyl acetate, found in many removers, as a star ingredient) dries out the nail surface to ensure that no oil is left behind — which can affect how the polish adheres (or doesn’t); it’s the same reason most manicurists will apply a polish remover to your nails before going in with color. Since O&J’s polish has a built-in base coat, Gibson Tuttle recommends using Nail Primer as an additional prep step (after using remover) to really stretch your manicure’s life span. However: IF you want to prevent any staining, then she recommends using one coat of sheer polish sandwiched between primer and your color of choice. DashDividers_1_500x100 How I applied Olive & June’s Nail Primer… Some people may be reluctant to add another step to their home manicure kit. I, personally, find doing my nails to be one of the most mentally soothing activities there is (second only to watching The Great British Baking Show) and don’t mind an extra step — especially if it’ll keep my nails looking cuter, for longer. O&J stans will notice that while the rose gold bottle bears a resemblance to the chrome topcoat, the brush itself is shorter and denser. This is on purpose: according to Gibson Tuttle, since Nail Primer has the consistency of alcohol, it can easily run or evaporate before it hits the nail. A smaller brush really made applying it onto my nails easier and quicker, and I appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into that. O&J: 1. I applied one coat of primer to my left hand (my right would be the experiment’s control), let it dry (which took all of 10 seconds), and went in with two coats of KMC (the darling pistachio hue pictured here). The nail primer didn’t noticeably affect how the polish applied, and I followed my usual steps of topcoat and Dry Drops as I watched The Bachelor. And then, I waited. DashDividers_1_500x100 The End Results… Sure enough, a few days later, I noticed a chip on my right ring finger. My left hand, on the other hand (heh) was flawless, my dear. “While we might sell fewer bottles of polish, we strive to create products that make your manicures last as long as possible,” Gibson Tuttle tells us. “That’s why we answer every DM, do masterclasses and [Instagram] Lives. We want to be a platform for a community where nails are making them feel good.” I imagine the 13.5mL bottle of Nail Primer will last me a very long time (or forever) since you only need a thin veil of it to do its job — AND since I don’t anticipate returning to the nail salon anytime soon. It’s certainly $10 well spent. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
The creative possibilities are endless when it comes to coloring your hair at home, and even when the finished look is exactly what you wanted, you’ll inevitably want a change. That’s exactly where our latest Hair Me Out subject, Sydney Weinberger, found herself with a pink DIY quarantine dye job, despite initially loving the way it came out. “I dyed my hair pink because I was growing out my blonde hair that I dyed last year,” Weinberger explained of the motivation. “I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and got a pink tube of dye.” While she was happy with the bright pink for a while, Weinberg said she’s now “tired of it looking like I had a mental breakdown in quarantine.” To treat her damaged hair and give her a healthy transformation, she turned to Beverly Hills-based hairstylist Kana Ishii. Ishii began by using Olaplex and Redken Bleach Recovery Oil to repair the damage to Weinberger’s hair and protect her ends. To give her hair some dimension, Ishii then used foil to add highlights and toned the roots between the foils. “I used semi-permanent color for that since she wants to go darker than her natural level,” Ishii explained. “It takes longer to deposit the pigment on healthy new regrowth, so I left it for 50 minutes first, then pulled the color through to the ends and left it for another 10 minutes because porous ends always grab the pigment right away.” After the highlights are set and Weinberger’s hair is rinsed, Ishii uses a toner to completely nix the pink dye. Ishii finished by trimming Weinberger’s dead ends and added layers to refresh her look while still maintaining her length. When she’s turned around in front of the mirror to see her hair transformation, Weinberger’s excitement is palpable. “I’m just so happy that the pink is gone and it feels so nice,” she said. “I’m excited to not have a huge routine or just throw my hair in a clip because I hate how it looks, because I love how it looks now.” Now she can embrace her brown shag haircut until she gets the urge to make another change. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
2020 data from IRI points to beauty's bright spots in the year ahead.