Archive for the ‘Taste Tests’ Category

How to do soak off gel manicures at home
January 25, 2011

Vivien, a USC student, says she does gel manicures at home. Keep reading for the how to!

The Tastemakehers got our first fan mail! In her email, Vivien explains how you can do gel polish at home; she’s been doing it for almost six years! She had to invest in a few necessary items, but now she’s able to skip the salon and do gel manicures from home.

Vivien wrote:

Hello Danielle & Simone,

I found your blog and review for Eden on Yelp after first reading about the venue on Thrillist. I love the concept of your blog and everything you have covered so far!

I noticed you mentioned Gelish polishes. I’ve been using them for the last three months and they are nothing short of AMAZING. They really do last at least two weeks and stay super shiny. With weekly cuticle trimming and upkeep (my cuticles grow fast), I can usually make the polish last for around three weeks (as long as it’s a french so there’s no awkward grow out disparity).

I think the best part about Gelish is that it is extremely easy to do it yourself. Pretty much, if you can paint your own nails then you can do Gelish. I’ve been giving myself UV gel extensions a la the Japanese trend for the last six years or so and this is by far the simplest, fastest, and cheapest system I have used.

This website actually sells and provides extremely clear cut directions and video for the application of gelish. Yes, the product is pricey (about $15 a bottle and $90 for the UV lamp) and there are quite a few things to buy, but in the end it’s a pretty good investment considering gel manicures usually run for upwards of $30. So far, I’ve found the best prices for supplies on Amazon.

Things you’ll need for any Gelish manicure:

– Rubbing Alcohol (clean and sanitize nails prior to application and

wipe off tacky layer after top coat is applied and cured)

– Gelish Base/Foundation (acts as a primer/base)

– Gelish Polish Color

– Gelish Top Coat

– 36 watt UV light (I use the Thermal Spa Double Size so I can fit both hands in at the same time)

Thanks for the tips Vivien! FYI–“Gelish” is a brand of gel polish from Hand and Nail Harmony, OPI also makes their own gel polish called Axxium which is the kind we got done at Wynn Nail Spa. Creative Nail Designs has their own version as well, called Shellac.


Simone & Danielle

Don’t be “gelish”
January 20, 2011

Don’t be “gelish” of our long lasting manicure. Think acrylic nails without the damage. Our super shiny gel polish hasn’t so much as chipped, smudged or budged since the application (granted that was only last night but we’re hopeful).

The process takes a bit longer, but the polish dries instantly and is supposed to last two weeks. After cleaning up our cuticles, the manicurist applied a series of bondants before actually painting on the polish with a paint brush. Then we had to zap our nails in that UV light machine for a while to dry it completely. Even though it’s a new technology, there’s quite an array of gelish colors to choose from, including french. The whole process took a little over an hour but when you’re done it reallly is dried completely! You can pick up keys, wallets, men: whatever you want.

Gelish is a bit more of an investment. At Wynn Nail Spa on Wilshire, we paid $35 for a gel application and manicure. You can get gelish without the manicure for $25, but it is not recommended. Our nail techs were precise and very knowledgeable; with a new technology like this, it’s essential to get someone who knows what they’re doing. We def recommend Wynn Nail Spa, for a clean and accurate nail enhancement experience in the LA area.

Let’s review: more time and more money for a shinier, longer lasting manicure. Are you in?

Next Week in Tasteland
January 14, 2011

"It's beauty week y'all!!"

Next week is beauty week in Tasteland, and we’ve got lots of informative posts, taste tests and free tastes! You’ll look like these people when were done!!

Facials can be prescribed and covered by insurance

Were kicking off TMH Beauty Week with your own virtual facial. If you’ve never had one, or even if you have… listen up! You may need one for medical reasons. Yes, medical as in doctor. Facials are actually medical procedures that can be prescribed by a dermatologist! Not just a spa treatment for the high maintenance percentage of the population.

If you have oily skin you DEF need a facial once a month. Simone has oily skin and notices tangible improvement in the weeks following a facial. And because it’s prescribed, it’s covered by insurance in most cases.

We’re taking you to a legit facial inside the doctors office, as Simone discusses the ins and outs of skin care with her superb aesthetician Nina. Prepare to have your minds, and pores, opened!

Gelish soak-off nail long does it last?

We’re also investigating the new nail polish that claims to last for two weeks and Oprah’s solution for those nasty bikini bumps! And of course, we’ve got free tastes all week long.

What's Oprah's solution for bikini bumps?


D & S

Operation Kardashian Continued…
January 13, 2011

We took our precious home, uncorked another bottle of happiness and started the transformation: Operation Kardashian.

It was so on. The two of us entered a frontier of discovery and wonderment, as we fumbled around with the packaging and tried to make sense of the dirty little secret we just unearthed. It was a true learning process, trying to determine the best way to wrap the hair around the rollers. My fingers were so clumsy and awkward, so clearly unfamiliar with the ancient black magic of hot rollers. But soon I developed a system: start by grabbing the ends gingerly, twisting them around the cylinder carefully, and then rolling upward and pinning them to the head as close to perfectly as possible.

Danielle and I’s first attempt at Operation Kardashian…well, let’s just say we had never seen anything like it. Her hair was voluminous, yet not too curly and definitely not too straight.

Here’s what we used:

Con-Air Xtreme Instant Heat Hot Rollers $30

A blow dry treatment to soften the hair as you beat it into submission. I like Redken’s Velvet Whip.
A heat protecting product, to make your hair forget that you’re beating it into submission. I like Nexxus heat protectant spray.
A shine serum, to make your hair sparkle like diamond in the sky. I like Pureology’s Shinemax.
And of course some hairspray for hold!!

This stayed for about the next 20 minutes...then fell

Since that Saturday, Danielle continues to use her hot rollers and adores the final result they produce. I too, have been able to perfect the size and placement of each curl, but since my hair is so thick and heavy, it doesn’t hold for as long as I would like. Danielle’s hair however, is not as thick and tends to take better to hot rollers.

Hair by hot rollers

And, upon further investigation, the picture in Kardashian Konfidential demonstrated Velcro rollers, not hot rollers…sigh. I smell another taste test.


Simone & her hair model Danielle D