I'm Baaaaaa-ack!

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Please forgive me. I’ve disappeared before, but I really did it this time! This was not a planned hiatus.

Forgive me. Please?

Since I last wrote in early May, some major Life Events, capital L capital E, have happened. Let me fill you in...

I got a new job!

Although I sometimes wish beauty blogging were my full-time gig, the truth is that I am gainfully employed in a different field. I had been at my previous company for 2.5 years and it was so hard to leave! I count many of my coworkers amongst my closest friends. My requisite two weeks were bittersweet and filled with lots of bon voyage cocktails. And karaoke. And tears. ;_; (Don't those things always kind of go together?)

The new job has me firing on all eight cylinders. I forgot how exhausting being the NKotB can be! In addition to learning to the ropes, there are new faces, new names and new processes to memorize. It can be a little overwhelming to say the least.


I spent 10 glorious days in Italy!

Now THIS was awesome. My friend’s dad had a destination wedding. (!) At the Four Seasons. In Florence. Italy. It was MAGICAL. My 10 days in Italy were some of the best days of my entire life, no kidding.

I had always dreamt of going to Italy, so much so that I took two years of Italian in high school for the sole purpose of being able to order food and ask where the restroom was like a pro when I got to Italy, somehow, someday. You could say it was destiny.

My ensemble. It was a black silk floor-length dress with cobalt accents. I wore this ridiculous sequined, raven-like cape.

This is the gorgeous room where the reception was held. The room was lit only by candlelight. The good tasted as good as the room looked, if you can believe it.

Bonus points to anyone who recognizes my pal here.

Purrsonal Life Drama!

I will spare you the details — unless you buy me a drink, in which case you’ll get more of an earful than you bargained for. But there’s been lots of action and it's kept me busy. Not so busy that I haven't been painting my nails... just busy enough that I haven't had much time to write.

In Summary:

I miss you. I really have missed Polishment so. much.

I'm finally back in control and ready to focus on entertaining you once again with swatches captured while driving, the occasional tabby cat photobomb, unsolicited 80s music videos — and more. Much more.

My Goals:

I want to start giving more color advice around here. Whenever my family, friends and coworkers have questions about what kind of color they should get for their next mani-pedi OR, what color I’d suggest they wear to a special event (job interview, wedding, court appearance, etc.)... they come to me. And I want to extend my expertise to you.

Anytime you want an “expert” opinion, drop me a line in the Ask & Answer question, or email me at definepolishment@gmail.com. Send me the details of the event & a link to your outfit or a snapshot, and it will be my pleasure to recommend the perfect shade. :)

I will continue to post reviews of new colors & collections I come across, plus the occasional tutorial.

And if there’s ever any nail polish craziness (velvet manis! chalkboard manis! gold leaf! hex glitter!) you want me to try out on your behalf, I am happy to do it.

TL;DR: Love you, miss you, stay tuned for action because I am back. <3

xxo, Chess

Omgggg, so are you guys, like, loving that new JT album or whutttt. Let's go back to where it all began, shall we? My serenade to you:


Nail Art — It's Not for Everyone. And That's Okay.

Pshiiit, Nailside, and Chalkboard Nails are some of my favorite nail bloggers. Pshiiit's gift for photography and playful pairing of colours is truly magnifique. Nailside basically invented the tape manicure and she continues to come up with creative designs. And Chalkboard Nails is incredibly talented. She made a holiday mani with a string of Christmas lights... that glowed in the dark. Genius.

Such a fresh and pretty pink


Chalkboard Nails

If you guys are like me, after checking out such amazing nail art (and I do mean art) your first thought is, "What the... How did they do that?!" And your second thought is, "I'll never be able to achieve such wonder..." And then you stare sadly down at your poor, solid-colored nails.

And it may be true. Some people are gifted with steady hands. And for others, it's cause for celebration when we manage to paint our right hand half as well as we did our left. I totally get it! But there's no need to feel inadequate.

Nowadays, there are tons of options for those who want the nail art look, but don't have the painting chops to make it happen. There are appliqués, like Sally Hansen Salon Effects. There's Konad stamping. There's even Kleur Custom Nail Art if you live in the Los Angeles area.

And you know what else there is? The simple nail.

That's right. No nail art. No glitter. Just plain and simple, eye-catching color. It's always been my standby and still remains one of my favorite looks.

Sometimes a color's just so pretty, it needs no embellishment at all. Why gild the lily, amirite? Or perhaps you're going a bit daring with a neon or a nontraditional shade like green. Add some nail art or glitter and it can take a wild color into trashy-looking territory. But a pure, glossy finish can never be wrong.

Turns out I'm not alone in my love for simple color! Allure wrote a blurb on the return of the classic mani. Have a look-see.

allure_anti nailart

dowhatyouwannado, Francesca


CHANEL Limited-Edition Collection — Hong Kong de Chanel

chanel_hong kong collection_duo

Bonjour! Word of a new limited-edition collection from les artistes at CHANEL arrived in my inbox today. This time it's très chinoiserie.

Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque,” refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences.

It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer-like materials and decoration.

This is an eye-catching bright green cabinet painted a la chinoiserie.

"The uniquely modern elegance and glittering beauty of Hong Kong inspire a luminous colour collection. Exclusive creations for eyes and nails are infused with a metallic glow, evoking the lights of the city as they reflect in the waters of the China Sea.

This is a toughie. The creamy white, Eastern Light, is pretty basic. Since these bottles are running for $30 each (quelle horror!) I don't think you guys should feel tempted to drop that kind of cash on something so vanilla. Literally.

This exclusive, limited-edition nail colour evokes the modernity of Hong Kong with a bold shade of opaque white.

But Western Lights shows great promise. It's easy to pass over first; the shot of the complete collection did little to pique my interest. But when I went to the product page to get a closer look at the bottle, I read the description and got a better look at the shade's unique shimmer. I'd love to see this live! That said, a bit of an odd choice for springtime, eh? Could have been a great fall / winter release.

This exclusive, limited-edition creation makes a contemporary statement with a sophisticated shade of deep chocolate, burnished by a heart of pearly red.

To check out swatches and a fantastic post on this new CHANEL duo, head over to fellow nail blogger Ommorphia Beauty Bar's site. She's got some great dupe suggestions and really beautiful shots.

yearofthesssssnake, Francesca

P.S. Click here to read more about 2013, the Year of the Water Snake, aka Junior Dragon. My Chinese Zodiac sign is a Rat. ;_; Wish I'd been a Tiger or a Dragon. Any other Rats up in here?

An opportunist with an eye for a bargain, Rats tend to collect and hoard, but are unwilling to pay too much for anything.

Hahahahaha. Collecting? Hoarding? You don't say.

Nicole by OPI — Selena Gomez Collection, Part One

Baby cats! I'm sorry I've been away for so long. I wish I could tell you that my life consists only of swatching polishes, hanging with my cats and eating bon bons all day, but sadly that is not the case. Although I do eat a lot of bon bons. I got swamped with my Real Job recently, but I've come up with some good ideas to make sure I don't go dark for as long as I did, ever again!

There are nailz to paint. Collections to ewww and ahhh over. Let us begin!

InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globe Party

So, Selena Gomez. You may have heard of her. Bless her heart, she was one of those poor Disney girls and is slowly blossoming into a quite a nice young lady. Her songs are fun, she carries herself well and hasn't gone down La Lohan Lane, so she's a-okay in my book.

The full line up, and some mist-creature that looks a lot like Gomez. Unless... wait. Bwahahaha is that supposed to be Selena Gomez? What have they done to her??

In keeping with its younger demographic, Nicole by OPI teamed up with Selena to create 14 shades for her very own collection. Some celebrity nail polish partnerships make me scratch my head (note that I have never covered a Kardashian Kollection — and never will) but this one makes total sense. Selena experiments with nail color for events all the time.

Selena Montage

Her collection is, holistically, one of the prettiest ones I've seen; we've got glitter, we've got brights, we've got pastels... shimmers, creams... well done, Gomez, well done.

Selena Gomez Collection, row one.

Selena Gomez Collection, row two. Like a kid in a candy shop, isn't it?

selena gomez_complete color wheel

The two I had to try ASAP; Stars at Night and Heavenly Angel.

Check back tomorrow to read my review of Stars at Night and Heavenly Angel!

missedyou, Francesca

The Très Chic Upside-Down French Mani

Ooh La La, Lopez!

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If something as simple as Jennifer Lopez's manicure makes headlines, does that mean she's still relevant?

The answer is yes, evidently.

This mani was a Big Deal. Big.

To be fair, it's possible that J.Lo's upside-down French manicure (also called a "reverse French manicure") isn't getting press just because it's gracing the fingers of La Lopez. It's getting attention because it looks good. Period.

And guess what, guys! With the right colors, a steady hand and some patience, this look is yours.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

Upside-Down French Mani How-To

I used OPI Alpine Snow (my favorite white ever) and a color called Naked from Urban Decay's new NAKED Nail Set. This is the first color from that set I've tried, and this reverse French manicure was the perfect way to wear it. UD Naked is quite close to my skin tone, so having the sliver of white gave this look a pop of color and helped the manicure feel fresh and chic.

  1. I shaped my nails and buffed them.
  2. I painted two thin coats of OPI Alpine Snow and allowed them to dry for about 15 minutes. If the white base color is too wet, you'll mess things up and get some swirl action going on as you apply your top color.
  3. Next, I painted UD Naked on — by hand. The key was having just the right amount of polish at the end of the brush; not so much it's going to drip, but enough so that you see half-a-drop gathering. It's that drop that will spread evenly as you carefully press the brush to your nail, apply a little pressure, and let the bristles gently fan out so that they create a good, smooth crescent.
  4. Once you have the top of the crescent created, swipe the brush down toward the sides of your nails to continue the nice curve you created with the crescent. Make sure you keep consistent with the space you're leaving on each nail. Maybe a little less on your pinky, maybe a little more on your thumb.
  5. Apply a second coat (carefully!) of your top color, enforcing & perfecting the crescent-y curve.
  6. Top coat it and voila! C'est magnifique.

I had a lot of fun sporting the upside-down French and definitely plan on trying a new color combo soon. If white & nude is too safe for you, go wild! Creamy charcoal gray paired with hot pink would be awesome. What about blue on blue? The possibilities are endless; the only rule of thumb is making sure your top color can fully cover up your base color in two coats.

aurevior, Francesca

P.S. I leave you with (arguably) some of J.Lo's finest work.