As a beauty editor, I occasionally get treated to spa pedicures (I know—tough job, right?). And although it’s a total luxury, I can rarely find the time in my busy schedule to put everything on hold and just relax for a few hours, so sometimes I actually prefer a DIY pedi. It’s more convenient for me and with a set like Julep’s new Fit Feet Kit, it’s super easy to do at home. The kit includes everything you need to go from sneaker to sandal-ready feet:
- Billie Jean Polish: A purple fuchsia crème shade created exclusively for Fitness readers and inspired by legendary tennis player and women’s rights advocate Billie Jean King.
- Julep Instant Warming Foot Scrub: A cucumber mint-scented scrub that warms up on contact. It’s packed with natural pumice to exfoliate, chili pepper oil to stimulate circulation and vitamin E to nourish.
- The Best Pedi Prep Ever!: Super exfoliating AHA’s combine with chamomile extract to soften and prepare calluses for foot filing.
- Julep Foot File: It’ll smooth away calluses and soften rough skin (hello, heels).
- Toe Separators: For easy, foolproof painting.
You can snag it here (on sale!) for $29. Come on, happy feet await you!
With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, there’s no better time to get all romantic and wear the most classic color in the beauty world: red (obvi). From sheer cherry to true red to vampy oxblood, there’s a shade for everyone. Here, three sexy ways to wear it.
On your lips for day:
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Mightiest Maraschino ($16, clinique.com)
“After trying red after red, this one is now my favorite go-to red lipstick. The juicy cherry color—it’s the perfect combo of red and pink—pops against my ivory skin tone. The subtle shine makes it feel fresh and less severe than a matte lipstick. Plus, the hydrating formula keeps my lips feeling soft all day—very kissable!”
-Molly Ritterbeck, associate beauty editor
On your lips for night:
L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8hr Lip Gloss in Cherry Flash ($10, lorealparis.com)
“I usually stay away from red because it can be a little tricky to pull off, but this sheer gloss makes it so easy. It’s so long-lasting—perfect for long nights when re-applying is not always convenient. The vibrant color stays true and leaves my lips looking full and shiny.”
-Jessica Carter, beauty intern
On your nails:
Kevyn Aucoin The Nail Lacquer in Blood Roses ($26, Barney’s stores)
“I was never a huge fan of red nails until I swiped on this deep berry plum polish. It has a black base so it’s a little grungier than most red shades. I wear two coats of it on short, squoval nails and feel instantly chic.”
-Heather Muir, beauty director
Our Nutrition Editor, Juno DeMelo, loves the look of a shiny manicure but can never go more than a day without her polish chipping. While we were working on a nail story, she nabbed one of the new CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses in Toasted Almond ($5, drugstore.com) from the beauty department and hasn’t stopped raving about it since:
“This is day four!” DeMelo bragged. “Granted, I asked my husband to be on dish duty this week, but still: This is the longest a manicure has ever lasted for me, and that’s counting salon ones. It’s also the glossiest looking one I’ve ever had. All this and I didn’t even use a base coat!” she said.
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means companies are churning out beauty products that not only help you look good but do good, too. We’ve spent the past few weeks sifting through them. Here are our faves:
Ahava Hope Blossoms Mineral Bath Salts ($22 for 32oz., ahavaus.com). Sprinkle a capful of these white floral-scented salts into a warm bath to soothe achy muscles after a tough workout. Even better than the spa-like effect: Ahava will make a 10% donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in support of their mission to help fund research and promote education and early detection.
Nails Inc. Nail Lacquer in Pinkie Pink ($9.50, sephora.com). This is the perfect way to show your support—right down to your fingertips. Paint just one nail (like your pinky) with this metallic pink polish to add extra sparkle to your manicure. $1 from every sale will be donated to Breast Cancer Campaign.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick ($3, drugstores). Meet a great multi-tasker to toss in your gym bag. Use it as lip balm, body balm or rub a little between your fingertips to tame pesky flyaways. Palmer’s will donate 15% of sales of specially-marked Palmer’s products (with a minimum donation of $100,000) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
Stila Positively Pink Set ($18, stilacosmetics.com). The adorable pink ribbon blush adds just the right amount of pink to your cheeks to fake a post-workout flush. Top off your look with a swipe of shimmery lip glaze and you’re good to go. $1 from every purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
Clinique Great Skin, Great Cause Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($36, clinique.com). This cult classic facial moisturizer is not only super light and hydrating, but it comes with an adorable charm key ring. $10 from every sale of this limited-edition product will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® while supplies last.
I love painting my nails (especially for the weekends!) but I don’t have the time or the patience to wait for them to dry. I would love to leisurely relax post-manicure while my polish dries, but instead, I instantly feel the urge to use my hands to do something and end up with a smudged mess. That was until I got my freshly-mani’ed hands on Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, ($6, drugstores). This anti-chip topcoat dries in seconds, seriously, and gives your nails mirror-like shine for days. I even started bringing it to the salon with me and asking the manicurist to use it as my topcoat so I can walk right out and get on with my day.
When Senior Editor Bethany Gumper came by our desk showing off her DIY nail art, we had to share: The dual-toned mint green and purple manicure is perfect for late spring/early summer, and looks intricate but is super-easy to do. She modified these simple instructions from Julie Kandalec, a celebrity manicurist in New York City in our May 2012 “Nail It!” feature:
- Paint on two coats of a base color, like mint green, and let your nails dry.
- Using an accent color, such as lilac, swipe two more coats over half of your nail.
- Finish with a topcoat for shine and staying power.
Our May “Nail It!” feature (starting on page 43) is packed with the hottest new lacquer hues, a yummy three-step at-home manicure, special effects you can do yourself, and four superquick ways to make nails look polished on the go. Here, a three more genius tricks for keeping your tips and toes in top shape from Jane Park, founder of eco-friendly nail care brand Julep.
- Seal the deal. Swipe the tips of your nails with polish to seal the edges, which minimizes peeling and cracking.
- Beat the heat. Avoid steamy activities like hot yoga, washing dishes, and warm showers or baths for four hours after a manicure or pedicure— heat can soften the polish, making it prone to dents.
- Ice down. Once your manicure is dry, wash your hands with cold water to set it and prevent smudging.
Black lipstick, crimped hair, false lashes, the Snooki “pouf”: Most of us are guilty of taking beauty experimentation a little too far. We asked FITNESS staffers to spill the craziest trend or treatment they’ve tried:
“One of the DIY hair masks recommended in a beauty magazine that involved mashed banana and honey. The instructions didn’t mention that you had to mash the banana into a liquid, and I ended up with small pieces of banana in my hair. I had to shower and rinse about five times before it all came out—surely stripping away any of the conditioning power the mask was supposed to have!” —Karla Walsh, editorial assistant
“I’ve tried it all (lash extensions, neon eyeliner, nail patterns, a four-handed massage– you name it!), but recently I’ve been obsessed with tinting my brows. Giving extra definition to your brows by temporarily darkening them really makes a difference and helps to frame your face. I go to the Boom Boom Brow Bar or the Benefit Cosmetics Boutique in NYC.” — Eleanor Langston, beauty director
“A fish pedicure! My cousin’s spa offered the pedicures where you dip your feet in a tank with tiny garra rufa fish. It was ticklish and weird at first, but after a few minutes you got used to feeling the light bites. I think I’ll stick to regular pedicures, though.” —Marianne Magno, associate web editor
“Putting toothpaste on a pimple overnight as you sleep, and it’s supposed to disappear by morning! I have tried this and it actually worked. Unless it was just a fluke!” —Jenna Autuori-Dedić, fitness editor
“Bright, Jersey Shore-esque, press-on acrylic nails. They aren’t something I’d typically wear, but they’re fun for that week that they last.” —Grace Murney, photo intern
“Back in middle school, during the time when funky makeup brands like Urban Decay and Hard Candy had just launched, I thought it was a good idea to wear almost-black lipstick. Every single day. Definitely not the most flattering look on a 13-year-old— or anyone!” —April Franzino, associate beauty editor
Tell us: What’s the craziest beauty trend you’ve tried?
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
Manicures are my guilty little pleasure– they never fail to make me feel clean and polished (pun intended)! To celebrate the season and spice up my nails, I chose OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red for my most recent mani. I love pairing the polish with a vibrant red lipstick because it adds a little extra holiday cheer to my style. The classic crimson will last you through the season’s parties and is a chic way to punctuate your look all year long.
Tell us: What’s your favorite nail color for the holidays?
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
Last week, I was lucky enough to get to mix my very own shade of nail polish with lacquer queen Deborah Lippmann herself, who’s famous for her stunning, outside-the-box shades and chunky glitter finishes. She and her talented staff very patiently guided me as I blended tiny drops of saturated yellow-red, black, yellow, white, and ruby pigments in a lacquer base to create a dusty lilac hue. Here’s a peek at my workstation (before and after!):
Below, the finished product, which I named Tough Love, since it took so much time and effort to get just right. I now have a profound appreciation for the skill it takes to create something as deceivingly simple-sounding as a nail polish!