Drape + Dapper »


Our friend (and nail guru) Breann from Salon Aura gave us the low down on what’s happening in the world of nail color and nail art for spring.  She also gave us both a fab manicure and came up with some colorful creations for our digits (the gal has some serious talent!).  Fun colors and funky nail art aren’t all she’s here to tell us about.  There have been advancements in the staying power of polish with newer formulas like gel polish that actually cure under a light ( I can attest because I go at least 3 wk stretches with my polish).   She also gives us a few tips for at home practices to prolong that pretty mani.

nail collage 2

What colors are trending for spring right now?

Pastels are always on trend for spring. Pastels that have some sass, not your grandmothers twinset.

Colors I can’t get enough of right now include sky blue, lilac, salmon, aquamarine, taupe, magenta, rose, peach, blush, periwinkle, mint, toasted almond and sage.  Metallics pair well with all of these colors and can add a little edge to your manicure. Rose gold is having a major moment in jewelry right now so why not try it on your nails too?

Don’t be afraid of trying something new.  Remember, nail polish is not permanent.  You might surprise yourself and find a new favorite color.  Don’t limit yourself by thinking blues, purples, etc. don’t look good on me or that wearing fun bright colors isn’t age appropriate.  There a perfect  shade or tone of each color for everyone.  You just might have to experiment a little to find it and a nail tech  can certainly help you decide that as well.

metallics good

What is happening in nail art at the moment?

The sky is the limit with nail art.  You can be as creative or as conservative as you want.  This can be a super fun way to show another side of your personality and style.  Some of the most popular trends include  glitter, ombre, nail studs,nail tape and hand painted designs.  Negative space seems to be one of the biggest trends emerging right now.  Matte nails offer a satin finish and can transform colors you already have into something more sophisticated.  Hand painted geometric designs offer a modern take on nail art.  If you love a French manicure but want to freshen up your look try switching out the usual pink and white for an unexpected color combo. Instead of curving your line you can paint the tips at an angle.  However, if nail art just isn’t your thing you have nothing to worry about.  Painting all your fingers the same color is always in style and will be effortlessly classic!

Sky blue paired with silver glitter is edgy yet refined.  Doing one or two statement nails on each hand is a subtle way of playing with nail art trends.  The sky blue pastel color is having a major moment this spring and looks good on any skin tone.

Blush with rose gold ombre glitter.  This trend is feminine and flirty yet sophisticated enough because of the softness.  Blush and nude tones are everywhere this spring and the ombre glitter effect adds just a bit of freshness. 

Coral and gold is such a fab combo and we love the negative space of the natural nail color showing through.  This was a major trend on the runways and is a fun way to mix in with patterns (it also helps disguise out growth if applied at the base of nail).  Don’t be afraid to try different designs on all of the nails. 

White is a fun pop with a mod twist. Add a some nail art for something a bit funky. Nail tape is a great accent to keep the look clean for a minimal modern approach. 


What is gel polish?

Shellac / gel polishes are a longer lasting option which will usually stay put anywhere from ten days to three weeks.  It is applied in layers and cured under a UV or LED lamp.  The polish is dry when you are finished curing under the light so there is zero chance of smudging when you leave the salon!  This does require a little bit of a commitment by coming in to the salon to have it removed or reapplied.  It is still your natural nail so it is a great alternative to doing an acrylic nail.


Any tips for prolonging your gel manicure?

  1. Keep nails hydrated.  This is always important, but is especially crucial with gel because it will keep the polish flexible and less likely to chip.  I cannot get enough of the Beautifying Oil from Aveda (bonus: this wonder oil can be used from head to toe!)
  2. Be sure to keep fingers covered with gloves when cleaning and if nails will be submerged in water and harsh cleaners.  After all, what is an investment in a $2 pair of gloves when you just spent $40 on your manicure?
  3. DO NOT PICK YOUR SHELLAC OFF! I repeat, DO NOT pick it off!  This is the cardinal sin in nail maintenance and will make your nail tech shudder.  I know it is very tempting, but can be incredibly damaging.  Peeling will take off layers of your nail with the polish and leave the nails weak and thin.  You also don’t want to go to a salon that is using a drill to remove the polish – ouch!  This can often get too close to the skin under the nail and leave nails burning and in much pain.  If you can’t make it into the salon to have it removed follow these simple steps and it will be off in no time. Moisturize each nail with some oil.  Soak a cotton pad in remover and wrap a strip of aluminum foil around the nail to hold in place.  Allow it to sick for about ten minutes.  One nail at a time, remove the wrap and gently push the polish off with an orangewood stick.  Gently buff the surface of the nail to smooth.  For an added benefit finish with a strengthener like NailTek.  I swear by this product and have been using it for 10+ years!  You can also find it at Sally’s Beauty Supply.


What if I don’t want the commitment of gel polish?

CND Vinylux and OPI Infinite Shine Polish are great alternatives for someone who doesn’t want the commitment of a gel polish.  They last anywhere from 5-10 days, dry quickly (within 30 minutes are bone dry!) and stay shiny for days.  It is very important with both of these lines to use the complete system of cleansers, primers, polishes and topcoats to get the best and guaranteed results.


Any other general nail tips and advice?


  1. You no longer have to match fingers and toes.  It can be difficult to settle on one color so why not go with two?!  Have fun with your mani and pedi and mix it up by trying a few colors.  Since we’re on the subject, you also don’t need to match your nails to your outfit.  Of course if it is a special event you want your entire look to be cohesive and your nails should never compete with your outfit.  You want the manicure to compliment your look.
  2. Treat your nails as jewels not tools.  Don’t pick at them, use them to pry open jars, scrape off stickers, etc.  Keep a nail file in a handy location to smooth out snags before they become a problem.
  3. Ever want to know a womans true age?  Take a peek at her hands.  We spend boatloads of money of hair products, face serums, lotions and potions all promising to turn back time.  But we often forget about our hands.  Take a couple extra seconds after your nighttime skin routine and slather some extra serum and moisturizers on your hands to smooth rough skin and work on softening age spots. Some beauty companies are even coming out with products made specifically for your hands.  My clients and I have been raving about Aveda’s Night Renewal Serum!  Apply a small amount to tops of your hands and layer with a thick, moisturizing and replenishing lotion to seal in moisture at night.

b&w nails

 Breann working her magic 

*** LOCAL PEEPS –Book a mani with Breann at Salon Aura East and ask for the Drape + Dapper special.  She will do a statement nail of your choice with a fun design at no extra charge.




If keeping every single piece of jewelry since childhood makes me a hoarder, I guess I will accept the title.  Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of jewelry (and garbage) and have always struggled to keep it organized and accessible.  I have purged at times, like when I tried to sell my silver and brought in what felt like 10lbs and walked out with no more than 10 dollars.

If my jewelry doesn’t have monetary value, at least it has sentimental value.  Trash or treasure, we all need a place for our jewelry collection to collect dust!

There are so many cool options in the market right now, the theme seems to be not to hide it away – but rather, display away!  We’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite trinket dishes, catch-alls and hanging displays at the end of the post.   I think I may need to add a few to my collection.

Most of these trinket boxes and trays I collected over the years (some vintage, some new)  but having all my jewelry accessible and not in giant knotted ball is heaven for this hoarder.

Necklaces hang from a coat rack  (crate and barrel similar here)

willow trees local  here // mirrored tray // striped boxes + acrylic tray – home goods // mirror – vintage

giraffe trinket dish // gold box – vintage  // candle // hand

ring dish upper left – target // lipstick holder – home goods // heart dish upper right- hobby lobby

// an old frame re-purposed with metal mesh holds earrings (easy DIY here) //

There are so many fun ways to display jewelry, we’ve selected some of our favorites below.

1. Antler (on sale!) // 2. hand // 3. hearts // 4. dish // 5. branch // 6. rack + dish (on sale!) // 7. boxes// 8. ring stand // 9. zebra tray

Some of our faves from Anthropologie (left, middle, right).  Be sure to check out Urban Outfitters for great options as well.

Target, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods are also hot beds for inexpensive storage and display options.  Don’t forget, vintage dishes and trinket boxes are always a great find.

** AND we’ve collected  some DIY ideas on pinterest – follow us here.


I decided to share a few of my go-to beauty buys and some new products I’ve been wanting to try.  Let’s face it (no pun intended) – I’ve tested enough products to do make-up for cirque soleil.  Ironically, I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis – I work from home.  But I do enjoy getting ‘dolled’ up on occasion.  Thus, my obsession with beauty products.

Sephora (like Target) is a store that I can’t leave without spending too much and buying 10 extra things I don’t really need. Despite my best intentions, my self restraint walks out when I walk in.

Before my most-recent trip to China, I needed to stock up on a few staples.  Needless to say, a few additional goodies ended up in my basket.

I’m a big fan of Nars and also love the newer brand Bite for lip products (it stays put forever).  The Beautyblender make-up sponge is amaze (thanks to my college pals for the introduction).  If you’re not a Sephora beauty insider (BI), I suggest signing up.  I have more BI points than frequent flyer miles, but it’s fun to get the birthday freebies and deluxe sample sizes.   Most of the these products are also sold through other retailers.  Sephora is just a nice one-stop shop if you want the convenience… and if you want to test your willpower.

Don’t forget, you can shop our posts!  We link the products below and make it a little too easy for those impulse buys.

beauty pick sephora staples

STAPLES // Nars radiant creamy concealer (love – great for dry skin) // YSL babydoll mascara (great for volume, curl & lengthing) // Beauty Blender original // Kat Von D eyeliner (makes cat-eyes a cinch) // Sephora eyeshadow (my neutral go-to)

NEWBIES  // Living proof style extender (love) // Bite cashmere lip creme– sancere (love – also own other colors) // Sephora dry shampoo (liked but empty fast)

FREEBIES  // Dolce & Gabbana dolce perfume (smells yum – BI 100pts) // Nars lip duo ( BI b-day gift – I convinced the gal to give it to me early)



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