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Beauty Stop

What's inside your lacquer cabinet?

There's just something about freshly lacquered nails that makes everything better.

The same goes for slipping into a gorgeous bra and panties. Just try not feeling sexy with lingerie hiding under your favorite jeans.

And 15 minutes blow drying your locks before you turn in at night is a small time investment that serves up gorgeous bed-head hair first thing in the morning.

Being glamorous isn't about three-hour hair and makeup stints or expensive clothes; little things, like fresh manicures, can yield big glamor.

Glam duos

I recently read a survey claiming that 3 of 4 men couldn't care less if women have manicures, meaning a manicure doesn't make a woman more — or less — attractive to a man.

I believe that. And I think it proves what I've always advocated: feeling pretty is something you do for you, not for a man, or anyone else for that matter.

Like picking up one of Napoleon Perdis' new lip gloss and lacquer duos called Chandelier Shine; $15 at Zappos.com. The polishes pack high density color; such as the deep, dark VooDoo lacquer, a purplish-black, and its partner in glam, the sheer and shiny VooDoo lip gloss, above.

I also like the "Lust" duo, a just-right shade of red. I took exactly seven minutes out of my schedule to stop at the corner nail salon for a quickie polish change on my way to run errands the other morning. Afterward, I swiped on the gloss at a stoplight and bam! In just seven minutes, I got a glamorous jump on the day.

Addicted to crackle

I didn't expect to like the latest OPI Katy Perry collection. The polishes seemed too edgy for me.

And so I headed to my favorite spa and got a manicure with The One That Got Away, a shimmering raspberry from the collection, that was more my speed.

But the next day, I decided that, in the name of investigative journalism, I was obligated to apply Black Shatter, an ebony crackle, over my The One That Got Away manicure, just as OPI intended. I was expecting not to like it, and I didn't. I loved it.

The crackle top coat slicks on easily; it must be applied once the bottom color is completely dry and a thin coast yields the best results. Once dried, it's akin to an edgy "design" if you will, that looks smashing with the sparkling raspberry peeking out from underneath. I immediately began dreaming up color combinations, which, of course, led me to wonder if Black Shatter would work with other brands of polish beneath. Why, yes, it does. Apparently, I'm much more rocker glam than classic chic … or at least my nails now are. Pick up Black Shatter at local spas that carry OPI or get it online at OPI.com.

Manicure meets martini

Some say it's passé to match your nail polish to your clothing, but what could be the harm in matching your mani with your martini?

Enter Essie's Lady Godiva polish, a rich chocolate hue ultra-shiny lacquer. The color complements (without matching) outfits ranging from a little red dress to jeans and a tee. And the hue goes oh-so-well with a chocolate martini.

Some other favorite matchy-matchy manicure and martini combos to try include Orly's Green Apple lacquer and a caramel apple martini; Deborah Lippmann's Sarah Smile, created with Sarah Jessica Parker, and a cosmopolitan, of course.

The key to sipping a martini glamorously? Self control, of course. Limit martini consumption to just one but feel free to indulge your love of manicures without limit.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBay.PrettyCity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet Up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.

What's inside your lacquer cabinet? 02/17/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:02pm]

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