Category Archives: Nails

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails

Review: MAYA wudu-friendly nail polish

June 24, 2016

By Munia IslamMaya Cosmetics

With the weather warming up and sandals in tow, summer is always the time when I pay a little extra attention to my nails. Admittedly, I’m really picky about my nail polishes, but once I was introduced to Maya Cosmetics, I knew I would be adding it to my collection of polishes fast. As part of the newest, popular crop of health-conscious polishes, these are breathable (read for my Muslim sisters: wudu/ablution-friendly!), free of harsh and harmful ingredients (no toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor), 100% halal/PETA-certified (no prohibited alcohol, animal derivatives or animal testing), and physician approved. What more could you want in a nail polish? Oh right…
Maya Cosmetics Nailpolish

Gorgeous colors. (From left to right above: Dahlia, Americana, Plumberry, Ruman, Pepto Pink, and Top-Coat Gloss)

As soon as I snapped a sneak peak of my freshly coated nails, there were immediately questions following, screenshots taken, and people asking about placing their orders. A common question I got was: how does it hold up against the other [halal] brands out there? Personally, I thought the quality was much richer, lasted quite longer, and had a better color payoff compared to another “breathable” brand that has been circulating in the U.S. for the past few years–and that I had been using regularly before getting a hold of these ones. Also, major bonus points to them for how quickly the polishes dry, which without is a deal breaker for someone like me who is always on the run. You can tell that the lacquer is high quality and has a gel-like finish, without any of the damage to my nails. Even without the top coat, it took a number of days, many dishes and many handwashes later to see any signs of chipping.
Maya Cosmetics Dahlia Nailpolish

Maya Cosmetics Pepto Pink Nailpolish

Maya Cosmetics Plumberry Nailpolish

Maya Cosmetics Ruman Nailpolish

Maya Cosmetics Top Gloss Coat
Overall, it is definitely a product that I will buy again and also strongly recommend, especially for women who want to wear nailpolish but has a preference for or needs the breathable kind–it’s healthier for your nails too. Next on my list: Early Grey, Black Seed, Seashell, and the Top Coat Matte. You can’t blame me for wanting the whole collection! And don’t forget to share which ones are on your wish list in the comments below.

To check them out yourself, visit their website: They even have a section of how to perform wudu/ablution when wearing their nail polish!)

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails - Spas and Salons

CND Shellac with Beauty Booked!

June 4, 2015

A friend in HR recently told me that she pays attention to how her employees present themselves at work. “I even notice if they have chipped nail polish — that never looks professional.” I was surprised that something so small doesn’t even get past her, but the message was clear: the details count.

CND Shellac in Romantique from Townhouse Spa

Regular manicures are pampering, but sometimes I get too antsy to sit around and wait the drying time – especially when they don’t always last a week. And if you’ve ever gotten acrylics, you know why they’re the worst. My nails got so brittle and weak the first time, I never went back. We’ve gotten so much further with nail tech, and I’ve certainly tried a good amount. The at-home nail gels (where you use a small UV lamp at home) are prone to shrinking and unless you’re comfortable doing nails yourself, it’s not the simplest system to use. Plus, I’ve found the result doesn’t last as long as salon versions. If I need something that’s heavy duty, but won’t damage my nails, it’s CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color all the way. It has given me magazine-ad quality shiny nails for weeks.

The pros : You don’t have to fuss with your nails for about two weeks, it sets to a beautiful shiny finish, it’s easy to remove and won’t damage your nails. But best of all, you’re in-and-out of the salon in 30-40 minutes without worrying about ruining your nails when you rummage through your purse after (or in my case, lugging my suitcase and bags around right after visiting Townhouse Spa in midtown). It’s a quick process too – just a Base Coat, Color Coat, and Top Coat (which all cure under a CND® LED Lamp at the salon in between coats). The formula is also 3-free — no formaldehyde, DBP, or toluene to speak of. As a tip, when you’re at the salon, make sure your technician uses CND® SHELLAC® products throughout every single step of your manicure. Some salons will mix CND® SHELLAC® with other brands and the result won’t be nearly as good.

I had Gabby fix up my nails at Townhouse Spa – she’s so meticulous and adroit at applying polish (I went for CND®’s color in Romantique, a semi-sheer marshmallow-ey color that I thought would look good for the summer and professional at work). With over 90 colors, CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color pretty much has the rainbow covered so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the selection of regular manicures.

Ready to book? Check out the salons that offer CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color manicures in an easy, curated selection over at Just look for the CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color Verified Salon flag on the BeautyBooked website or app, select your appointment time and schedule online, 24/7.

Check out my manicure from CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color verified salon, Townhouse Spa:

Summer ready-nails

Have any of you gotten Shellac before? What did you think? What colors do you go for?

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Paintbox nail studio in Soho

October 13, 2014

Paintbox has been getting a lot of buzz lately. The manicure-only nail studio opened its doors in the SoHo just earlier this year in May, and sets itself apart simply by staying on top of it.

Paintbox in SoHo

Want a menu of trendy, curated colors and designs? They have it. A portfolio of different colors and formulas? Done. They’re not brand snobs either, rather they have careful and well-thought out colors so you step out with a gorgeous stand-out manicure. I was invited to check it out, and the design I ended up with was easily one of my favorites ever.

Paintbox reception area

I was greeted with apple tea and a lookbook of their Fall 2014 collection, a spread of different nail designs and color combos. My manicurist Elissa (who rocks, by the way — find her on Insta at @nailme.e) helped me narrow it down to their Hot Shot design — a canvas of glossy black topped with gold and green metallic foil.

A selection of Paintbox's Fall collection

Apple tea :)

Each station has charging docks for your phone (a lifesaver for me, I didn’t charge my phone the night before and it was already dying when I got there). Elissa carefully cleaned up my cuticles and applied two coats of Floss Gloss black, then (“the fun part” she said), slithers of glue which she then dabbed the foils on, and finished with a clear top coat. She moved me to their bar area for my nails to dry, added some quick-drying drops, and I was good to go. I was in and out in 45 minutes and my manicure held up beautifully.

Bar/drying area

Fall design in Hot Shot

I normally get so bored with nail polish that I rarely venture in nail designs, but I’m obsessed with this combo. It’s dark for Fall, but the foils keeps it from looking dull. I already got so many compliments on it. If you’re looking for an elegant salon that doubles as a relaxing oasis in the city, make a stop here. You can look at their current collections and even book ahead online at

Regular polish manicure, $35. Manicure with design, $55.

Salon Info:

17 Crosby St
Manhattan, NY 10013
btw Grand St & Howard St
(212) 219-2412

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China Glaze Ombre kits

June 17, 2014

I used to be all about spending time doing clever nail designs (mostly in middle school where I went to a school with a strict uniform and that was my way of rebelling, but I digress), so when I received a sample of China Glaze’s Ombre nail kits though I thought I’d give it a shot.


They include the sponge and four polishes to make a pretty gradient nail design, but the clean up is where I failed and it ended up looking like a fluorescent mess. My friend Mehak has a natural knack for these though (consider, her new IG account, @manidays where she posts her latest foray in nail designs), and when I gave her this kit in Wave Runner, this is what she came up with:

China Glaze Ombre Wave Runner design

K, so it looked a lot different than mine, and also suddenly makes me want to take a beach vacay. Anywho, Since it’s part of their collection from 2013, your best bet is picking them up from, where they have the kits for $14.

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Chrome Nails by Sally Hansen

May 29, 2014

I revel in the fact that I work in an office where painting your nails at your desk is not frowned upon (#winning). Today I played around with Sally Hansen’s new Color Foil Nail Makeup in Leaden Lilac. Just one coat is enough for an opaque, rich coat (perfect if you need a quick polish fix and don’t have a lot of time on your hands — no top or base coat needed).

Sally Hansen Color Foil Nail Makeup in Leaden Lilac

Love that it looks like metal on my nails. The collection will be available in 10 shades for $8 starting in June!

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Winter lovin: Motives nail polish in Venom

November 21, 2013

My friend Sabrina sent me a picture of a nail polish I had given her a while ago, saying it was ‘the perfect end of fall/beginning of winter’ shade. The nail polish, “Venom,” is a purple burgundy shade from Lala Anthony’s collection for Motives. What do you think?

Motives for Lala in Venom

Venom is available at for $6.95.

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