Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nail Obsession

Growing up, I was never allowed to grow my nails long as I was your typical Korean-American immigrant daughter and played the piano. And it was strictly forbidden for me to wear nail polish (how tacky and low class!).

Let's just say that once those piano lessons stopped, I started to grow my nails. Not really on purpose so much but because they just grew. Quickly. And in great, perfect condition.

Fast forward to living in NYC and working in fashion/beauty. My first manicure wasn't until I was well into my 20s; my first pedicure was even later. But I made up for lost time.

When I worked at In Style I pretty much exclusively went to Rescue Beauty Lounge on Centre Market Place to get pedicures and the occasional manicure. I didn't have the patience to get my nails done; I know that they really need to dry and it's close to impossible to get anything done when you have your hands in the air like a surgeon going into the O.R. But boy oh boy! When I did get a manicure, it was usually for some crazy nail art.

Ok. Don't get the wrong idea. I was not a nail art type of person. But I had these spectacular, evenly growth, long nails and everyone and their mother would comment on them. And that's when the PR person at Louis Vuitton, who had just launched their signature nail lacquer in an espresso brown and burnished gold, called me up and said she was taking me to Rescue Beauty Lounge to get some LV monogram mani-pedis!

My first taste of the LV monogram manicure and I was hooked! It was seriously ghetto fabulous; I felt like a cross between L'il Kim, Jenny on the Block and Eve.

It was impossible to not go back and get the LV monogram again. The amazing part of the nail art manicure was that Sondra at Rescue Beauty Lounge did it all free-style. No stencil. All by hand with a tiny brush. And it was so affordable considering the time that was spent creating the nail art. I think it was like $45 for the whole manicure.

This was all during the time of the now famous Vuitton Murakami colorful monogram. I thought, what if I use the brown base coat of the LV nail lacquer but then use the bright colors of the Murakami logos?

As you can see, the results were impeccable. I was totally in love with my nails! Wouldn't you be?

I had to model my nails in front of my LV Murakami makeup bag. That sweet little guy is so darn cute and the bag itself is amazing, with a full size mirror inside!

Even though the owner of Rescue Beauty Lounge, Ji Baek, absolutely hated my long nails (and was very direct in telling me every time she saw me!), I was a big fan of the salon and her nail lacquers. As I mentioned, I pretty much only went to her salon for my pedicures as they lasted for over a month! No chips, ever. The only reason I would need to get another pedicure was due to nail growth.

So when I opened the Troc, I told Ji I wanted to carry Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes as I thought they were seriously the best in the business.

Trocadero carried the Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes for a few years and gained a good following. But unfortunately Ji closed her salons and stopped wholesaling the nail polishes.

They're now available exclusively online and she just launched "The Fan Collection" which consists of 4 dream nail colors that were submitted by Rescue Beauty Lounge fans. It was a contest that took place over a year ago and the fans got to pick their top 4 favorites. I loved reading about the finalists here. Did you know that there are amazing nail polish blogs out in the blogosphere? I've never seen anything quite like it! Amazing color swatches of nail lacquers, comparisons, photos with flash/without flash, daytime/nighttime. It's the mother lode of consumer reporting for nail polish addicts. I can spend hours looking at these sites! Here are a few: All Lacquered Up, Scrangie, Nails and Noms and Also Known As.

My favorite of the 4 was fortunately NOT sold out! Halcyon, pictured above, is this amazing sage green with pink and orange shimmer, depending on the angle. I cannot wait to receive it! I love this photo of the color.

I also ended up ordering this color too. Mmmmm, pretty!

photo source of RBL polish

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