Nothing can ruin a manicure faster than using a bad nail file.  I know you’re trying really hard not to roll your eyes at me right now.  At the very least you’re saying (in a sarcastic tone), “All right, Jess, tell me the difference between a bad nail file and a good one.”  Well, I’m glad you asked.

A long, long time ago, in a far away land A couple years ago, when I still lived in beautiful Portland, Oregon, one of my dear friends, who happened to own a very posh Pearl District salon, and I were having drinks with some of her staff, one of them happening to be the manicurist.  She started explaining that some nail files fray the edges of the nails because of their course grain and the motion of moving the file one way across the nail and then the other.  Kind of joking with her, I asked what grit sand paper was best, and without missing a beat (or realizing my sarcasm), she said the only way to go was a crystal nail file.

A what?!

I had never heard of them.

About a week later, she gave me a crystal nail file and I have been fanatical about it ever since.  I will even take my crystal nail file with me when I go get a manicure and ask the nail tech to use my file instead.  Not only are my nails smoother, but they stay smooth.  I never get rips or tears in my nails and my nails are stronger and less brittle.  I’ve had this file for at least 5 years now, and it’s in just as perfect condition today as it was when I received it.

Have you ever noticed that your emery boards stop being as functional after a few uses?  And metal nail files seem to file quickly, but your nails always seem to need to be filed and never feel beautifully smooth?  It’s because the grit on an emery board goes away with use and a metal nail file, while still grit-tastic, it taking off chunks of nail at a time without smoothing.  A crystal nail file is different.  The best are made out of tempered Czech glass that comes together because of the heating process.  They help prevent brittle nails and have a hypoallergenic quality that is unheard of in other nail files.

I know you’re going to run out and grab one immediately, so let me give you a word of warning: Not all crystal nail files are created equal.  Some are actually glass nail files and have been known to break during use and because of lesser manufacturing standards, these glass nail files can be just as harmful to your nails as the more traditional nail files.  Make sure you are investing in a Czech made crystal nail file.  You can find a huge selection of crystal nail files from design-glassware.com that are all Czech made and come in lots of different sizes and designs.

Check them out today & tell them the RealBeautyReporter sent you!

I’m a sucker for anything Chevron printed.  It reminds me of outfits and leotards I had as a little girl.  I’m probably more excited than I should be (for a girl who was around the last time the Chevron print was cool) that the Chevron print is back with abundance.  I’m over the moon for Chevron printed headboards, Chevron printed foot stools, Chevron printed throw blankets…you name it, I’m OBSESSED!  And now the Chevron Nail Polish?!  Shut The Front Door!  You know I’m going to be hitting up the Hobby Lobby to get a pair of scrapbooking scissors to make this beautiful bit of Chevron-ness my own (“Chevron-ness” – hey look!  I made up a new word!).  Check out this DIY guide to achieving the Chevron nail at home:

Beauty.com

Buh-bye BB—CC cream is the new skincare savior that offers even more benefits.

Last season, the must-have product on every beauty editor’s desk was BB cream— a high-octane tinted moisturizer with primer and anti-aging serum as part of its formula. Now, we’ve gotten word that CC Cream (a.k.a. color or complexion correction cream), is the latest beauty wonderkid, with brands like Chanel and Olay releasing their own versions of the product. Like its predecessor, CC cream was popularized in Asia and is an all-in-one makeup and skincare formula packed with SPF, moisturizer, and anti-aging properties.

We sent two of our most intrepid reporters—err, my mom and a friend on vacation—to Hong Kong and Seoul to get the lowdown. But after visiting Chanel counters and beauty boutiques, both were told that CC creams are still an elusive find. That’s why we went straight to the source. We asked two skincare pros with insider access in Asia to tell us what makes CC cream so special. Continue reading…

***Article Courtesy of Birchbox.com***


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I love it when people rock the ponytail without looking like they’re on their way to the gym. It has a curious combination of effortlessness and glam that I just adore. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever tried to get the ponytail that looks effortless and glam at the same time, my guess is you end up looking like you put a LOT of effort into it…or (if you’re anything like me), you get frustrated and pull it into the “I’m going to the gym” ponytail – which does look effortless, but in a bag lady sort of way.

I came across this video and LOVE how simple it actually is to get this awesome look! Check it out and go try it yourself!!!

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One of my most favorite makeup looks is the cat-eye eyeliner. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to do as just swiping eyeliner along the last line. I’ve had far too many experiences where my choice was either going out looking like Amy Winehouse (minus the bouffant and drugs) or washing my face and starting over. Guess which one I chose. Yup, washing my face and starting over. I HATE having to do that! Which is exactly why I love this tutorial! A natural cat-eye that is stunning day or night…and doesn’t take a professional makeup artist to create! Brilliant! Thank you Birchbox!

Apothica LLC

Straight off the runways of London’s Fashion Week, Stila’s celebrity makeup artist shows us how to get a new, bold matte eye look for fall. Perfectly compliments all skin tones (and those amazeballs new boots you just bought!)

Free shipping on orders $25 or more at Beauty.com!

I love bangs. Love, love, love them…but it is a hassle to keep them up. Most hairstylists offer free bang trims, but a girls life is so busy, who has time to schedule bang trims and add them into our over-full schedules?! Until now, I was not daring enough to try trimming my own, but this tutorial help the average girl keep her bangs looking remarkable without another salon appointment.

Save 30% on Winter Fashions at ShopManhattanite.com. Designer shirts, pants, jewelry, accessories & more! Use code SNOWFLAKE30 at checkout. Shop Now!

I’ve been an Urban Decay eyeshadow devotee for years.  The shadows are silky, the pigments are deep and vibrant, and they blend with the utmost ease (my favorite is the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette.  I highly recommend investing in this comprehensive palette of colors that is perfect for office to evening and everything in between) .  The only thing I can think of that doesn’t make Urban Decay the bestest eyeshadow in the entire world is the price.  While not wildly expensive, it’s definitely not in the same realm as grabbing a cheap eyeshadow at the drug store to try a new look.

My sister-in-law and I were talking about this very thing over wine one night, you know, in between discussing social and economic issues facing the world today.  Ok, yeah, that’s a lie.  Pretty much our entire conversation was about makeup and other shallow topics.  We have an advanced degree in shallow topics.  Anyway, she was telling me about Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Sticks.  I’d seen them in the store and obviously seen the commercials, but I’ve always been a little resistant to creme to powder type makeup – it seems hard to blend, hard to layer, etc – but my SIL told me she’d been using them for ages and they were super easy and fast!

The next time I was in CVS to get my favorite cheap lipstick (that’s another post), I decided to pick up a Smoky Color Stick and see what she was fussing about.  Um, it really is amazing.  I love the highlight color and my SIL was right, it’s super fast to swipe the highlighter over the entire lid, all the way up to the brow bone, and then quickly swipe the darker color into the crease, blend (before the shadow turns from cream to powder), and run out the door.  I love it!  Next time you’re at your local drug store and are looking for some little pick me up to spruce up your look, grab one of these great shadow sticks and fall in love!

Hello my dear chickadees!

I was reading the Salon Red Blog and I came across a great article about why you should wax instead of shaving or using creams.  Since I couldn’t say it any better myself (and it was written by an actual esthetician), I thought reposting it for all my loyal readers would be the best way to get the information out there.

Oh!  And there’s a discount mentioned in the article, so if you live in the Atlanta metro area, and in need of a great salon/spa, check out Christina at Salon Red in Candler Park!  Read on, my darlings…Read on…

Did you know that your hair grows in 3 different phases? Some hairs are actively growing while others are resting or transitioning between the two. Waxing causes the growth phases to synchronize in 3-4 sessions. After a few waxing sessions, your hair will take longer to grow back. It will also be finer and more sparse.

When you shave, your skin is never really smooth. You’re really just cutting off the hair above the skin. Since its growth phases can’t be synchronized by shaving, your hair grows back faster and may seem thicker because of it.

Creams can be harsh because they remove hair using chemicals. They can cause breakouts, allergic reactions, and even have a burning effect on your skin. Creams often leave behind stubborn hairs that still need to be shaved off.

“A lot of people worry that waxing will hurt, but it really only hurts for a second. Then it goes away,” says our newest esthetician, Christina Smith, who works at the Candler Park location on weekends. When asked for advice about how to get the most out of waxing, she shares, “whatever you do, don’t shave in between sessions. It messes up the growth phases. If you shave, you won’t get the results you are looking for from waxing. If you can keep your hands off that razor, you will soon see the effects – less hair and smoother, softer skin.”

If you want to try waxing out (or already love it), come in and see Christina on weekends. Here’s a perk: she’s the only esthetician who works on Sundays. She’s offering 25% off to any new client who mentions this post (first session only.)

***article courtesy of Salon Red Blog***

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“A woman doesn’t sweat, she glistens.” Hmmm… I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard that line so many times, and I’ve called bullsh*t on it each and every time. The truth is the exact opposite. Women don’t glisten, they sweat… But we want to keep that secret to ourselves, right?

We buy clinical strength antiperspirants to make sure we can raise our arms in 110-degree heat. We wear “mattifying” makeup, keep blotting papers in our handbags, purposefully don’t wear certain outfits, no matter how cute they are or how perfect they might be for that special night out, when the mercury rises.

Learning how to deal with sweat was one of those unforeseen problems with moving down south that I had never really considered before. Until the other week, I thought I had done all I could. After all, it’s just a way of life down here, kind of like barbeque and fried chicken. That’s when a girlfriend of mine sent me a text telling me about Neat 3B Face Saver Gel, which (get this!) is an antiperspirant gel designed specifically for your face!

Of course! Why had I never heard of this stuff before?! I have been wasting my time and money on face primers and mattifying foundations and powders that don’t keep the shine off my face. If you start with an antiperspirant, you aren’t going to get shiny! Hallelujah!

The moment I started using this magic gel, my world changed. It’s a light, clear gel you apply before your face lotion. My makeup stayed put, my face stayed dry (even at the end of a seriously intense Zumba class!), and I look flawless.

I wonder if this is what all those girls who never seem to sweat are using… Oh wait! I’m one of those girls now! Get yourself a tube of Neat 3B Face Saver Gel and you can be one too.

And for other embarrassing sweat glistening problems, try DERMAdoctor MED e TATE sweat control towelettes. These miracle towelettes are designed to stop sweat in even the most embarrassing places, like your face, underarms, palms, soles, areas under the breast, cleavage and groin areas. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret.

DERMAdoctor Specialist Skincare