Get A Party-Ready Mani–Fast

I love scrolling the trendy nail art on Pinterest, but my taste generally veers toward the understated and elegant where nails are concerned, and my available time and patience level generally veers toward the nearly nonexistent.

That being said, party season is upon us, and while I normally relegate my nail maintenance to a little filing and buffing, on occasion I appreciate the extra dose of glamour a manicure affords.

The thing about the holiday season is that one generally has less time to get ready than at other times of the year.

So I bring you this approach confided to me by my friend Stephanie–who always appears to have just stepped out of the nail salon, but in reality does her own nails. As with most things in life, it relies heavily on the proper tools and setup.

With only three easy steps, after two practice sessions you’ll be cranking out salon-worthy nails in 10 minutes (seriously!) for all your holiday parties (or even a random Tuesday).

Typic(1)This seems like a lot of products, but the process will go very quickly if you have everything stored in one portable container.

  • Remove old polish: this little bottle helps you work so much faster.
  • Apply cuticle remover and push back cuticles with curved tool.
  • File nails to desired shape.
  • Wash hands and thoroughly rub in cuticle oil to keep nail beds moisturized (this will have the added benefit of helping your polish last longer, so don’t skip this step!). I prefer grapeseed or almond oil, available at your local health food store.




  • Apply base coat. I like Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails or CND’s Stickey.
  • Apply 2 coats of color. Use an orange stick to remove any extraneous polish from your cuticles and fingers (this will take a bit of finesse at first, but after 2 or 3 manis, you will have it down pat).
  • Seche Vite: this top coat will dry your nails in seconds and finishes to a high gloss shine–it’s indispensable!




Spend the rest of your party prep time working on your cat eye and dancing around the living room, then enjoy being the envy of all your friends.

Plan B: if 10 minutes is more than you’ve got (believe me, I’ve been there) give your nails some serious shine with this buffer. I keep one in my bag and one in the car for emergencies (or a random Tuesday afternoon).





Santa is Real

JB cuff

Some people just know how to wear a suit. James Bond being one of them. My friend Derek being another.

I recently received a visual reminder of this as I was perusing a book on a bench in a local shopping plaza after having a pedicure on a whim (a dire necessity now that I’ve reached the state of pregnancy in which I no longer have access to my feet).

I was wearing my best Sunday cleaning-the-house outfit, replete with paint-stained gym shorts from the 9th grade (even the style-obsessive have their moments of weakness), when what do I see walking toward me, but a megawatt smile topped by Derek’s eyes and adorned with his customary level of three-piece-suit splendor that elevates his level of refinement above the sea of Buckle denim and Ed Hardy t-shirts that can sometimes dominate the landscape.

Where was Derek headed on such a lovely Sunday afternoon, I ask (it was too early for dinner or drinks). “Off to the movies” with his lovely wife and children, and as he walked away, it occurred to me that there is no place this man would not look at home in a suit.

Perhaps you would like to be similarly gifted as Bond and Derek, or maybe you are a lady who has been fortunate enough to nab one of these Ed-Hardy-less wonders. Either way, you’ll want to block out some time on your calendar this week for the best thing to ever happen to you (apparently Santa heard your “Santa Baby” pleas made in the shower this morning and has recognized that indeed, you could be really good next year).

Sam Kirad’s shop, based out of Hong Kong and renowned worldwide for their bespoke suits, jackets, and coats for men and women (you can check them out in this Forbes article or simply Google them for tons of eye candy) is in the states (and specifically, Florida) this week.

Gents, how about giving your mother the best gift of her life this Christmas by showing up to dinner in a tailor-made suit instead of that ugly Christmas sweater you break out every year? Ladies, does your man really need another golf club/video game/pack of underwear? Let him get all those accoutrements with the gift cards he’ll receive from his family and treat him to something special that will bring him joy and confidence throughout the year and says, ”Thank you for not wearing that t-shirt with the holes and mustard stains out in public.” (Or perhaps, like me, you are long-waisted and bemoan the frustrating lack of menswear-inspired shirts that are long enough to remain tucked in for more than an hour).

Sam’s schedule and his team’s contact information is listed below. Something tells me that next December, some men in these cities are not going to be able to tell Santa about all the people they didn’t kiss.


Sam Kirad’s Florida Schedule, December 2014

Miami on Friday 5th & Saturday 6th December 2014 (all day on Friday onwards) at the Hampton Inn & Suites Miami/Brickell-Downtown, located at 50 SW 12th Street, Miami, FL 331300.

Naples on Sunday 7th & Monday 8th December 2014 (from 2pm on Sunday to 3pm on Monday) at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel Naples, located at 12200 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL 34110.

Tampa on Tuesday 9th December 2014 (all day on Tuesday) at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, located at 1001 N Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607.

Orlando on Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th December 2014 (from 3pm on Wednesday to 4pm on Thursday) at the Aloft Orlando Downtown, located at 500 South Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

Please book your one on one appointment with our fitter by emailing, or call Sam Kirad at (202) 579-6868.