With a bit of practice and the right tools, you can easily save yourself $20-30 for a manicure at the nail salon.

What You Will Need

* Acetone-free nail polish remover
* Emery board
* Cuticle cream/oil
* Cuticle Nipper
* Orange stick
* Warm water in a bowl
* Base Coat
* Your favorite nail polish
* Top Coat

Basic How To

1. Start off by wiping any remaining traces of nail polish with an acetone-free nail polish remover.

2. File with an emery board so that edges are smooth and round. File towards the tip and only in one direction. Never file too deeply on the sides.

3. Apply a cuticle oil/cream to each nail.

4. Soak your fingertips in a bowl of warm water for five to ten minutes. You can also add in scented oils or salt. This will help soften the cuticles and remove any filing dust.

5. Gently scrub your nails with an old toothbrush and push back cuticles with an orange stick.

6. Using a cuticle nipper, gently remove all dead skin working around the nail.

7. Buff your nails to file the ridges and to add shine. Again, buff in one direction.

8. Apply a base coat to protect your nails from chemicals and help make your nail polish last longer. Do one stroke down the center of the nail then one on the right and one on the left.

9. Before you apply your nail polish, roll the bottle between your palms for a few seconds to warm it up for easier application. Paint the nail in three strokes – one down the center and two on the sides. Be careful not to paint the cuticle. Repeat with a second coat but make sure to let nails completely between coats.

10. Finish with a top coat and remember to cover the top edges of the nail to maximize protection. Let your nails dry for as long as you can. Follow up with a cuticle oil daily and touch up the edges and add an entire coat of top coat if the polish starts wearing off.

With the million different kinds of mascaras out there, it can be difficult to make a pick. So read on to find out more about what’s available and what they do.

* Thickening/Voluminizing formulas are great for those who have skimpy lashes. I adore L’oreal’s Voluminous and Maybelline’s Volum Express for maximum volume.

* Lengthening formulas are great for those with thick lashes but want a little length. Pick one with a “precision brush” for maximum length and definition. L’oreal’s Clean Definition Telescopic Mascara is my all-time favorite.

* Curling mascaras claim to lift your lashes and maintain the curl. Personally I find this a gimmick – all you need is a good eyelash curler.

* Color mascaras are fun if you want a different look. While some of them come in crazy colors to make your eyes pop, most come in muted colors meaning you can wear them during the day without screaming crazy lashes.

Navy blue – makes the whites of your eyes appear brighter
Burgundy – great for a natural look and makes green eyes pop
Brown – great for those who find black too “harsh”

* Clear mascaras are only good if you want a natural look. All they do is add a *little* definition – no volume or length. You can also use them to tame your unruly eyebrows.

* Waterproof formulas are great for those who:
1) have sensitive eyes
2) sweat a lot or live in humid places
3) will come into contact with water

I do not recommend wearing waterproof mascaras on a daily basis because I find them more drying than regular formulas and harder to remove.

So what mascara is the best? Personally I find that using different formulas together works a lot better than using one that claims to do everything (and yes that means wearing more than one mascara at the same time). For me, I like using Rimmel’s Lash Maxxx with L’oreal’s Voluminous on top for long, thick lashes. Color-wise, no matter what hair/eye color you have, I would suggest black. I know some people find it harsh but to me, nothing beats dark, fluttering lashes.

Read my mascara reviews to see what other mascaras I recommend.

Here is an awesome video tutorial on how to apply bronzer by smokin’ hot Canadian makeup artist, Beau Nelson. Beau has done makeup on a lot of celebs like Amanda Bynes, Sienna Miller and Iman. I *think* the two products he used in the video are a bronzer by Calvin Klein and NARS blush in Orgasm.





To see what bronzers I recommend, read my bronzer reviews.

Remember to also check out Beauté Cosmetics and my exclusive interview with Beau!

This summer we are seeing blue eyeshadow paired with pink lips everywhere.

#1 Tropical Look

Taken from The Body Shop 2007 Summer Tropics collection, this look screams hot and is great for those with a tan or darker skin – light skinned girls should steer clear of this to avoid looking drag-queeny.

Eyes
* Rim your entire upper and lower lash line with a navy kohl pencil. Next, smudge a shimmery teal eyeshadow all over your upper and lower eyelid. Apply several coats of mascara.

Cheeks
* Add an extra pop of color by sweeping a bright pink color on your apples.

Lips
* With color this bright, you definitely need to start out with moisturized lips. Next, whip out your lip liner for a little definition and apply a shimmery hot pink or magenta lip gloss onto your lips.

#2 Icy Look

For a more understated look, try Shiseido Maquillage’s 2007 Summer collection which is better suited to those with pale skin.

Eyes
* Sweep a baby blue or sky blue eyeshadow all over your upper and lower eyelid. Line your lower inner rim with a white pencil. Finish the look by curling your lashes and applying several coats of mascara.

Cheeks
* Define your cheekbones with just a hint of peachy blush.

Lips
* Slick on a medium pink lip gloss.