Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nail Art As Accessory

My beautiful French manicure with pearls

I love the look of beautifully manicured nails and I think it's very important that men and women keep their fingernails and toenails looking clean and well maintained, both for aesthetic and hygienic reasons.  I personally get a pedicure once a month and wish I had time for a weekly manicure, but I'm so busy I usually just file my nails myself and polish them if I have a big event.  I will sometimes even polish my nails while I'm getting my hair blown out to save time. So, when the nail salon where I have been getting my pedicures, W Nails, (which is the sister salon of where I get my hair done, Salon Wave) offered to give me a gel manicure with nail art I was thrilled! I had never had a gel manicure before and never had any nail art before and I was excited to try something new.

Nail art has become extremely popular the last few years and with all the painted designs, glitter, pearls, and jewels nails have become accessories just like rings or bracelets.  Some of the nail art I've seen is really amazing and intricate, and if I were in my teens or 20's I would probably have a different design on my nails every week, but because I go out to formal events and go to meetings and meet with clients I wanted something fun, yet classic that would be work appropriate.  I've always loved the look of French manicures so I decided a customized twist on that classic style would be amazing.  And, since I love Chanel, I thought giving my nails a Chanel look with pearls would be perfect.

W Nails has a lot of samples to look at and their designs are so pretty.  They also have a lot of embellishments and jewels and sparkles, all of which I loved, because I love anything that sparkles and glitters.  After looking at every sample at the salon and speaking with Maki, one of the owners, and Harumi, my nail artist, we decided that a line of pearls right below the white tips would look good.  I chose small white pearls.

The pearls used on my manicure

Harumi then prepared my nails for the gel manicure.  If you've never had a gel manicure, it's a little different than a regular manicure because the nails have to be prepared for the special gel polish that is longer lasting than regular polish.  

Harumi hard at work

After preparing my nails Harumi gave me a classic French manicure...

Classic French before adding the pearls

Then the fun part of adding the pearls.  I don't know how she got them to line up so perfectly!

The pearls are on!


I absolutely love the way my manicure turned out.  I think it looks very classy and it's fun, but also appropriate for my lifestyle.  So far it's holding up well and hasn't chipped and no pearls have fallen off.  That's a miracle because I'm always cleaning up after pets and have my hands and nails touching harsh chemicals all the time.  My regular manicures usually start chipping after a day or two, but I'm told the gel manicures should last a few weeks.   If that happens, I think I could get used to these gel manicures!  I am definitely going to do this again and I may try some jewels next time.

Here are a few of the many creative sample styles W Nails has on display:

Colorful butterflies

I love the animal print

I also love this big flower.

A selection of my favorites.  I think the pumpkin is adorable 
for Halloween and I'm tempted to try the jewels, 
because it's nail jewelry!

Adorable animals

W Nails is located at 1059 2nd Avenue between 55th & 56th Streets in Manhattan.  Their phone number is 212-355-3030.  In addition to gel manicures they also do regular manicures and pedicures and spa mani/pedis.  I highly recommend W Nails because, as is the Japanese tradition, the salon is very clean and there is a lot of attention to detail.  Each client gets a brand new disposable plastic insert that lines the foot tubs at the pedicure stations and if you're a germaphobe, like I am, you will totally appreciate that.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Joan Rivers Jewelry Continued

I thought fans of Joan Rivers might like to see more photos of some of the jewelry from her Classics Collection.  Many are vintage from her early years selling on QVC.  I read that with all of the products she sold on QVC during her 24 years appearing there, sales totaled 1 billion dollars!  She was certainly a great business woman and she knew what her customers wanted.  Enjoy!

Lorgnette necklace
Two enamel pins
Stackable rings and a sparkly ring with chain link band
Multi colored pastel pearl necklace

A selection of watches.  The large one is a favorite of mine.
Pearl necklace with interchangeable heart clasp
Interchangeable heart earrings
Pearl necklace with star clasp
Star pin and earrings
Blue enamel heart earrings
Pink polka dot flower pin.  One of my favorites.
Bangle bracelets in red, blue & green enamel
Puffed heart necklace and bracelet
Bracelet & necklace in shades of black, gray, gold and white
Large pearl drop earrings with bows
Honey bee pin. 
   Joan Rivers made these bee pins in many colors. 
The name Melissa means honey bee in Greek & Hebrew. 
Melissa is the name of Joan's daughter.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Tribute to Joan Rivers and her jewelry: The Classics Collection

I was shocked and saddened about the death of Joan Rivers last week, as many people around the world were.  I have been a fan of hers since I was a child.  When she would sub for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show my mother would watch and I would beg to stay up to watch, too.  Something about her just captivated me and I thought she was hilarious.  Years later when she started selling her costume jewelry line on QVC my mother got hooked and then got me hooked.  She bought me a couple of pieces and I loved them.  I was young and just starting my career and costume jewelry was in vogue. Joan Rivers' collection was relatively inexpensive so I would watch when she was on, both to see the jewelry and to enjoy her presentation and the jokes.  She was always joking and making people laugh and she was outrageous, which is what I loved about her.  She also had great style and was always put together and well accessorized.  She dressed for a woman her age and she dressed the way people expected of her: glamorous, sparkly and larger than life.

One day in the late 90's when I was on my way to work and wearing a Joan Rivers Classics Collection matching necklace and bracelet a woman in my elevator who had gotten in after me, kept turning around and looking at me.  There were only the two of us in the elevator and it was starting to get a little odd when she finally asked me where I'd gotten my necklace.  I told her it was Joan Rivers and I had gotten it on QVC.  She stuck out her hand and said "hi, my name is Dorothy and I'm her manager."  She had recognized the necklace as part of the Joan Rivers Classics Collection!  As soon as she introduced herself I recognized her from seeing her on tv with Joan Rivers. Dorothy Melvin was her manager for many years.

I ran into Joan Rivers herself a few times over the years, most recently about a year and a half ago at a Christmas luncheon at a club in NY called Doubles.  I wanted to tell her how much I admired her, but was too shy.  I hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to speak with her, or even interview her for a blog post, but sadly that day will never come.  My love of accessories started as a child and it has been fueled and encouraged by smart, successful women like Joan Rivers, who made it fun to dress up and to generously adorn themselves with pretty baubles, just because it made them feel good.  I loved watching her many shows over the years including Fashion Police where she would critique what the stars are wearing on the red carpet.  When I got an assignment to start covering accessories people are wearing at social/charity events in NY for The New York Social Diary I was thrilled.

Last Thursday, my first column "Accessories On Display" appeared in The New York Social Diary. It was also the day Joan Rivers died.  I was devastated to hear the news and the irony was not lost on me.  The woman who had been such an inspiration and a trailblazer, who had paved the way for so many women and who had turned herself into a fashion entrepreneur and become my personal patron saint of accessories had passed the day my version of her famous "what are you wearing?" was published.

That night I had an event to attend and in honor of Joan Rivers I wore two pieces of her jewelry from my personal collection:  a pin and a bracelet.  As soon as I walked in two women commented on the pin and how pretty it was and I told them it was a Joan Rivers piece and then showed them how the stones are interchangeable.  They were enchanted, and for a moment I felt just like Joan Rivers on QVC.  Thank you Joan Rivers for making the world a more beautiful place.

Joan Rivers Classics Collection bracelet & pin

The pin has two sections with interchangeable parts 
to create all different color combinations

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Guest Blogging for the New York Social Diary

This summer I started guest blogging for the New York Social Diary ( about accessories.  I am very excited about this opportunity and having a lot of fun.  My first piece, a special feature about enamel bangle bracelets, ran on Tuesday ( and my first column on accessories worn on the New York social scene appears today (

I will post the links as my columns and features get posted, but please check out all the other great features on the NYSD as well.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Politics of Fashion With Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Joe Arpaio, also known as "America's Toughest Sheriff" is the sheriff of Maricopa Country, Arizona.  He is known nationally for his hard line stance on illegal border crossing and crime in general.  And, he is also famous for making the inmates in his county wear pink boxer shorts.  Pink is probably not the color of choice if you're a bad guy, especially in the underwear department, but it seems that pink boxers are the accessory of choice at the jail and if you don't like it, well...don't break the law.

What many people don't know about Sheriff Arpaio is that he's also tough on people who abuse animals and that he runs an animal shelter for animals that have been confiscated from their abusers and rescued by the Animal Crimes Investigations Unit.  The shelter, called MASH, is located in one of the jails no longer used for humans.   And, while the evil animal abusers sweat it out in the AZ heat in their pink panties, the innocent animals are housed in the air conditioned jail and tended to by some of the inmates.  The shelter is a no kill shelter and once the animals are taken away from their abusers MASH adopts them out to new homes.  You can read more about MASH and how to donate money to help care for the animals at

I think Sheriff Arpaio is a hero for helping the animals and I've long been a fan.  When I recently got a hold of his cel number and called him up and asked him to send a photo he was kind enough to oblige. 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio holding a pair of the infamous pink boxers
(photo courtesy of Brandon Jones)