April 16 2014

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What We’re Wearing This Week: Polka White

-------’s resident nail polish guru (and photo editor), Nicola Kast, beats the Monday blues by hitting the bottle. Here, she shares the lacquer she’s loving this week.

This weekend’s warmer temps caused many to break their tanks and tees out of hibernation, so Kast did the manicure equivalent by wearing Jin Soon’s sheer, white glitter top coat without anything underneath. “I like to think of this like a lace top,” she said. “You could also layer it over an opaque base and let the color poke through.” After the winter we’ve just endured, we’re glad this snow-globe-like lacquer is the last blizzard we’ll be seeing for a while.

Jin Soon Nail Polish in Polka White, $18;

What We’re Wearing This Week: Buttoned Up

-------’s resident nail polish guru (and photo editor), Nicola Kast, beats the Monday blues by hitting the bottle. Here, she shares the lacquer she’s loving this week.

Eager to try out Treat, a polish collection born in Berlin (similar to Kast, who was raised in Germany), our resident manicure maven opted for a moody navy to match the still-chilly spring temps. “It’s not pastel weather just yet,” she quipped. This opaque hue—appropriately dubbed Buttoned Up—pairs perfectly with the sweaters and coats our photo editor still has in heavy rotation.

Treat Collection Nail Polish in Buttoned Up, $18;

Photo: George Chinsee

The (Mini) Drugstore Find We’re Buying ASAP


File this under Where Have You Been All My Life? Every woman can relate to the feeling of panic when faced with a spur-of-the-moment date night or day at the beach (or…like this morning, when I dared to bare my ankles in cropped pants) and you suddenly realize your lower limbs rival those of Sasquatch’s. Shaving your legs or underarms in the office ladies room is out of the question (unless you’re particularly gutsy and limber), but Gillette has developed a scaled-down solution specifically for these spontaneous, must-be-smooth moments: the Venus Snap. This pinkie-sized razor’s blades are surrounded by a moisture ribbon that’s ready to go after being run under the faucet or dunked in water (as seen in Erin Fetherston’s Fall 2014 concept film)—in other words, no shaving cream required. And its sleek travel compact can easily be slipped into your handbag, gym tote, or top desk drawer. With spring break in full swing, make sure you stock up so you’re prepared for life’s unexpected surprises (like an April day in New York City above 40 degrees).



The Odd Couple: Matte Skin and Shimmery Highlights


illamasquaFor Fall 2014, a glowy complexion was very much in, but the strategically placed shine that works brilliantly on the runway can also accentuate a slick T-zone. For those with combination or oily skin, one of the most effective ways to wear highlighter is to juxtapose it with a non-shimmery base. Or if you’re unconventional face painter Alex Box, you do the reverse: “I used a very light veil of matte white pigment over very luxurious, polished, newborn skin at Gareth Pugh—the matte pigment next to something so dewy only heightened the matte texture,” she explained. For those of us who dress (and do our makeup) in a slightly less conceptual manner, there’s Illamasqua’s Matte Veil, a new shine-controlling gel formula laced with humectants (like butyelene glycol and sodium hyaluronate) that help retain moisture. Patting this all over, or just onto areas prone to oil slicks, complements the shimmery pigments that help make the high planes of the face pop. As the saying goes, opposites really do attract.

Available April 3, $40;

What to Wear When the Gloves Come Off: Uka Butter



Beauty editors from New York to Tokyo rave about Uka cuticle oils for their nongreasy, aromatherapeutic benefits. Created by manicurist Kiho Watanabe, one of Japan’s most in-demand nail pros, these pinkie-sized vials not only soften with essential oils (like argan extract), but are laced with scents designed for different hours of the day. For example, the 13:00 option is lemon- and mint-infused for a post-lunch pick-me-up, while 24:45 (my personal favorite) is a soothing blend of lavender, orange, and vanilla meant to help you drift off to sleep.

The product that has mysteriously stayed out of the spotlight, however, is the brand’s Butter Hand & Nail Cream. It’s hard to get hyped up about hand lotion, but this non-slimy formula deserves a round of applause (with hydrated palms, of course). A pea-sized dollop of this ultrarich moisturizer—which boasts argan oil, shea butter, white lupin, and masterwort extracts—does the job from wrist to fingertips. Even better: It instantly absorbs, meaning sheets stay free of greasy smears if you apply before bed. And with the gloves finally coming off after a truly horrendous winter, I plan to double dip by layering this cream over my cuticle oil to soothe my winter-ravaged hands in time for spring (whenever it decides to show up) and the bevy of new polishes prime for the painting.

Uka Butter Hand & Nail Cream, $45;