Figuring out how to stay warm and look cute has been an age old challenge for women in cold climates – thank goodness for fur coats and slim puffers! Sometimes in order to stay warm, you just have to go for the straight up bulky parka. I’m lucky to be in Northern California, but it still calls for wool from time to time…and layers are a must just in case the sun decides to come out and you get too warm.
There are so many fabulous low chemical, all-natural products out there that it’s easy to create a non-toxic beauty routine. I’m a huge fan of using these products, particularly products like lotion that I use all over (your skin covers a lot of surface area, so it absorbs a lot of nasties).
There are some mean chemicals in nail polish, which can filter into your body through your nail bed. Some are so terrible in the wrong doses, that the US Environmental Protection Agency has issues warnings about them. These toxic chemicals can cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive issues. If you want to know more, there is great info here.
If you’ve seen some of my fashion posts that I’m a big fan of a buffed, healthy looking natural nail. I think it’s one of the classiest styles, and I’m not a fan of nail polish removal and how quickly it chips. But what girl doesn’t love fun nail polish colors? The gel manicure was a fantastic invention for it’s staying power, but the UV lights used to cure it basically mini tanning beds that increase your risk for skin cancer (not to mention wrinkly, aged hands).
I’m going to be sticking with non-toxic nail polishes, but they must have staying power. So, I tested three brands to find out whether non-toxic nail polish actually lasts.
Enter 3, 4, and 5-free non-toxic nailpolishes polishes – this refers to brands who have removed the nastiest ingredients from their formulas including the following:
3-free non-toxic nail polish excludes:
- dibutyl phthalate
5-free non-toxic nail polish excludes the above, plus:
- formaldehyde resin
I compared a 3-free brand (Essie in Wicked) with two 5-free brands (Zoya in Dakota and Julep in Coco) brands on my left hand for a week to see which lasted the longest.
The Good News:
Surprisingly, the 5-free non-toxic nail polishes (Zoya and Julep) both lasted longer than the 3-free (Essie). This is very good news for someone like me who hates removing nail polish! I actually preferred the Zoya color to the Julep, and noticed that it lasted the best of all three. However, I do like that Julep donates a portion of it’s proceeds to organizations that support women.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover I actually own a hot pink Zoya nailpolish from a over 3 years ago and it’s still in perfect useable condition. Long last on your nails, in the bottle, and non-toxic – I’m in.
Other Common Low-Chemical Brands:
Common 5-free: Mineral fusion, Chanel, Estee-lauder, Revlon, L’Oreal
Common 3-free: Essie, OPI, CND, Deborah Lippman, Butter
There is a great, more comprehensive list here.
Sally Hansen, a 3-free brand has come out with Miracle Gel, which claims to achieve gel manicure staying power without the lamp, thanks to a photoinitiator ingredient that activates in daylight (versus the intense UV lamp light). I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I will soon and I’ll let you know how it goes!
What is your nail routine like? Any recommendations for a low maintenance, chemical free manicure?
By now, you can probably tell my fashion philosophy is centered around high quality, classic pieces that make a bold statement – with minimal planning on my part. I especially appreciate a brand made with the labor of love, so when I had the opportunity to work with NYC based brand Kora Rae and designer Rachel Turzer I was very excited.
About Kora Rae
Kora Rae is everything I look for in a great piece: the finest quality of fabric, intricate details inspired by Rachel’s travels (such as embroidery hand crafted by artisans in India), and intuitively clean, simple, feminine. I love that you can take one piece, like the “Gabriel” top I am wearing here, and pair it with a basic outfit for an instant glam transformation. It’s a effortless way to look chic fast; Kora Rae’s designs do the work for you.
Aside from stunning designs, I love the social responsibility aspect of this brand. Rachel adopted a tiger at the National Tiger Sanctuary in Missouri, who she named Kora. A portion of every Kora Rae sale is donated to supporting the sanctuary, an appropriate connection as a female tiger’s bold elegance is embodied by Rachel’s designs.
See the Kora Rae Spring/Summer 2015 collection here. I will be styling more of these gorgeous pieces on the blog soon.
The Kora Rae Gabriel Top
I love the cut out detailing in this silk top, which could take me from the office (under a blazer), to cocktails on the town. The peplum flare adds elegance and the neckline brings the eye to the neck and shoulders – no extra accessories needed.
Top – Kora Rae Gabriel
Jeans – J-brand
Booties – Nine West
Lip-color – MAC
Check out more of my pics on Instagram @jill_champagne.for.everyday !
Maybe it’s living next door to Napa Valley or that I’ve outgrown vodka-soda, but I knew I’d developed a taste for good champagne when I couldn’t bring myself to go near the cheap Barefoot Rose at a party recently!
I wanted to learn more about champagne (“bubbly”) and my new picky palate so I decided to interview the extremely knowledgeable Sommelier Shannon Silver, who is also my friend and a blogger in the making. It turns out that bubbly has a complicated history and creation process, but she broke down some surprising facts everyone should know. The result was my personal version of Champagne for Dummies! Continue reading
Loving the Lace
I’ve been super obsessed with lace for a long time, and it’s another trend that I’m happy to see exploding everywhere right now. I’m stocking up while it lasts! Lace can be romantic, or it can be a little bad-ass. This outfit plays up it’s girly side, with a romantic backless shift and some bright red lipstick. It’s perfect for a romantic Valentines Day date. PS. Yes, this is what winter looks like in California! Continue reading
Spiralizing has had more than 15 minutes of fame lately, and resulted in all kinds of dishes ending in the word “oodle”. It’s a low calorie alternative to pasta, super easy, and you can spiral yourself fit by eating spiralized veggies a zillion different ways. It took me a while to hop on the spiralizing bandwagon but like most things that I get into, I became completely obsessed. Last weekend, I decided it was necessary to take it next level and spiralize every meal for a day!
Spiralizing is a great way to make vegetables more interesting, even for someone like me who will happily eat them in raw chunks. I started off making zoodles (zucchini noodles) but since the sweetness in zucchini comes out when you cook it, I was positive that they’d taste like dirt. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised at their taste, and love that they take on the flavor of any dressing or sauce you top them with. Continue reading
I can barely contain my excitement at the super sunny, and warm weather we’ve been having in San Francisco lately, and it’s perfect for bringing out bright, fun dresses. What better excuse for that than for Valentines Day on February 14th? Whether you’re remembering to love yourself and going out with single friends or celebrating with a significant other, a fun bright dress is an unexpected color is a great way to spice up the mood and have a little fun. I love this hot little coral Rachel, by Rachel Roy dress for it’s mod neckline and cute bubble shape. The color is a vibrant alternative to traditional love-day red, and looks fantastic with funky accessories like these strappy sandals and a patent clutch. Continue reading
January is over, and hopefully everyone has made some post-holiday fitness gains! Abs are a main area of focus for many, and getting a tight core is all about a clean diet, cardio, and balanced ab training. The muscles running down the side of your abs are your obliques. They act like a natural corset by pulling in your middle, improving your posture and stabilize your back through every move you make.
When we think of abs, we usually picture the rectus abdominus, or the “6-pack muscle”, so people tend to just focus on working that one out (I talked about this a while back, when I wrote about my favorite, do-anywhere ab exercise). I totally get it, because it’s the main ab area you see in the mirror. But training the obliques helps to create a well balanced look and is essential to a super tight core. Since focusing more on my obliques and upper body, I’ve developed the illusion of an indent at the waist and I have less of a straight, boyish shape.
This workout will help you create nature’s corset and sculpt your waist with 4 effective oblique moves. I curated these moves because they pack a big burn for the effort and their form in easy to master. Plus all you need is a resistance band and a mat!