by Christina

Ami Vega-  El Salonsito

Ami Vega- El Salonsito


These days I'm beyond picky when it comes to nail polish and color, in addition to designs I'm willing to try on my nails! The main reason being for starters, is that nail polish companies generally make some rather unhealthy options for polish formulas and products- that for me is a bit less-desired! When it comes to the designs themselves, many might feel the way I do: sure- they look fantastic on some and perhaps they are able to get them applied by a professional...

BUT there are probably quite a few of us out there [myself included!] who might not have the extra cash laying around for constant nail salon trips. I have tried to follow along with videos and how-to's on creating your own awesome nail looks and art at-home, but those often seem to fail me: they are difficult to follow or don't work out the way that they do on the model. I've happily found the perfect solution though ;) Check out my review below and you too can easily have designer nails just in time for back-to-school, special occasion, or every-day fun!

Ami Vega-  El Salonsito 

Ami Vega- El Salonsito 



The author of Designer Nails Ami Vega, is also the creative mind of the unique nail art business & blog called El Salonsito [] and currently resides in New York City. Ami has worked with a lot of awesome beauty companies like Revlon, Essie, and Maybelline! She even has a monthly showcase column in Scratch magazine in the U.K. She is regularly called upon to provide her creative nail art and designs for high-end fashion shoots with her also making designs for super models and celebrities: the granddaughter of Pablo Picasso- Diana Picasso, Monika Chiang, Donna Karen, Demi Lovato, and Chado Rucci! 

Lipstick Welcome Box





by Ami Vega (Perigee; August 4, 2015)

Nails are like tiny canvases to me. I love decorating them with all kinds of intricate designs and details—something I don’t do when creating art on a larger scale. I hope this book inspires and encourages your inner artist, too. The designs and techniques featured here will show you how easy it is to create something personal and special—whether it’s an intricate design for your wedding day or an homage to someone loved and lost. Think of your nail art as another form of self-expression: it’s body art that can be as intricate as a tattoo, but infinitely more changeable.

I love geometric patterns and textile design. The artist Keith Haring’s use of smooth, repetitive lines has been a huge influence on my work, as has the fashion design of Alexander McQueen—in fact, one of my most popular nail designs (Spray Paint, described on page 000) was inspired by the McQueen exhibit Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another source of ideas is the public library. I often go there to read books on art and fashion, sketching out my ideas in notebooks and then executing them on false nails that fill my portfolio.

Knowing how your nails work and how to care for them is like preparing a canvas for painting—you want the best surface on which to create your amazing art. So before you turn to the nail art tutorials, be sure to study the basic manicure section of this book first. Most of my clients prefer gel manicures, so that their designs will last for weeks on end. But even if you’re a beginner, once you understand the art behind the polishing of a nail and learn proper nail care, your manicures can last more than a week, too.

Great nail art starts with a good manicure, but it’s also the result of practice—before I was able to create the designs you see on these pages, I went through a lot of trial and error and you will, too. But your efforts will result in beautiful designs—I promise!

Start with the basic designs and practice, practice, practice. Then move to the more intricate patterns without fear; after all, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to nail art. Consider these designs an open platform for your own self-expression—I encourage you to change the colors, combine different elements, and take them even further to express your own style.*

*From DESIGNER NAILS by Ami Vega with photos by Jason Setiawan, published August 4 by Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2015, Ami Vega.


I have been so excited to share this book with all of you and I absolutely couldn't wait! It's a very unique book and it doesn't take but a second to figure that out. There are 50 colorful and fun designs that are beyond easy to actually accomplish on your own, with many different unique and different approaches that make that book and excellent find! I wanted to try every single one in the book to be honest [lol!], but I admit as a full-time mother, worker, and student- it will take me a bit before I can accomplish all 50! I will however do my best at attempting all of them and I will make sure to share them as I go.

Here are my top 5 picks in order from most FAV: "Pastel Waves"- 3 bands of wavy and vertical stripes in pretty pastel colors [pages 24-25]; "Deco Lines"- a pretty gold and olive green combo of art deco that is just beyond cool [pages 50-53]; "Monochrome Flowers"- a mix of white, grey, and pale blue polish with beautiful flowers that will dazzle [pages 70-73]; "Tumbling Tiles"- a dusty rose and dark burgundy color mix of funky shapes [pages 122-123]; and "Sound Waves"- peach polish utilizing pure black acrylic polish with a horizontal line design that is just cool! [pages 124-125].

There are more designs that I could even pick perhaps, that were very close to making on it my top 5 picks and I admit that the decision was much harder than originally thought! Another great aspect of Designer Nails, is that there are a few other awesome tid-bits of info that Ami Shares before you even get started. The book starts out with a nice and touching dedication to her daughter and follows up with a great, two-page contents that covers each nail design and gives each page that it begins on.

There is even a small thumbnail of each nail art design that corresponds with it's own name and page number! This is then followed by a nice 4-page introduction from the author herself :) Next, there's a Getting Started section of 2 pages that goes over great tips for how to apply things like primer and quick-dry solutions to nail art tools like Aluminum foil or a disposable mascara brush! Ami's tip for using the disposable mascara brush?! Use this to remove stubborn nail polish from off of your skin and under you nails by soaking it in a little polish remover!

But Ami isn't done yet- there's a section on what kind of polish palette you should have and her basic manicure steps as well. The remainder of the book is composed of the nail art pages and wonderful and colorful close-ups with detailed, step-by-step how-to's that give you the tools to achieve these great looks all on your own at home :) I've really never found a book quite like it and it's something that a girl of any age would LOVE. Designer Nails makes a great gift for yourself or someone special in your life. It's affordable too- you can score the book at for only $7.99 on Kindle BUT the paperback is beautiful and worth the almost $1 more at $8.89 with a Prime membership at Amazon. 

Bold with Color Welcome Box




Karina Dresses

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by Christina


This is a battle I have been fighting for many years and I suppose that it's been something that's had its ups and downs- yet as I get older, I have seen an increase in cystic acne and blemishes. I really didn't have all that many issues with acne and breakouts- even in my teen years, only the typical acne we usually get around that age. With new challenges, I've started to do my research to see what I could do to change it ;)

One of the first things I did was to adjust daily supplemental intake, in addition to changing my diet a bit too! This will greatly aid in reducing breakouts and overall skin issues by taking those easy steps. Next, I chose to tackle what I was utilizing to fight breakouts on the home-front: my facial skincare routine.

That means that I've definitely searched far and wide to find the perfect acne skincare system to help make my life easier and banish those breakouts for good; in the process- I've uncovered quite a few systems out there that make a LOT of promises AND quite a few of them fell short :/ There are some good products out there though, you just have to do a little searching...OR you can use other great assets you have available- like ME ;)


Their name is actually Obagi Medical Products and they are a specialty pharmaceutical company that is a worldwide producer of skincare products created by skincare experts, that was founded in 1988. They are now a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, with their products being made in the US. In regards to their products, Obagi does advise that certain products do have limited distribution and that is a possibility that it may not be available to you in your area.

This basically means that you will need to pick up the products from an authorized retailer online or your nearest spa and Dermatologist office. You can use their tool at Obagi's site at and search by your location! Obagi Medical also offers a very wide variety of collections to fit about any skincare need, issue, or type and have in-office procedure products too. 

August Birthstone Welcome Box



OBAGI Medical CLENZIderm M.D.


I was really thrilled when I got the opportunity to give this set a try and couldn't wait for it to arrive! Right away I noticed that it was an easy system to use and little complication and that's something that I like when it comes to many things ;) The first step in the kit is the 2% Salicylic Acid Acne treatment which is a foaming cleanser with a mild formula that still fights acne with a punch! It also doesn't have an unpleasant odor and will get up a nice foam with ease- you don't need much to accomplish this either which means you won't have to waste the product either.

The cleanser rinses off nicely and will leave your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and soft :) After cleansing, I like to utilize the Pore Therapy product in the kit and this is my FAV part of the entire collection! As a 2% Salicylic Acid treatment, it has a super unique application method that I just LOVE: the bottle has a flip-top cap that snaps securely in place and with about 2-4 quick little pushes on the clear nob pushing up underneath the cap, you can easily get the right amount of product on a cotton ball/pad. This really did make application a cinch and I just had fun using it too ;)

 You can then follow with the CLENZIderm M.D. Therapeutic Lotion which contains a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide acne treatment that does well at clearing up breakouts- while providing good moisturization at the same time. I apply a thin layer of the lotion to the affected areas and breakout-prone places and then let it dry in about 2 minutes. Using all of these 3 products combined, I saw a significant improvement and difference in my breakouts, acne, and skin health- it's gotten better with every day of usage! This is a great kit I would recommend to anyone with chronic acne and breakout issues and it's good for most skin types too.

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