Join the cult, Cult Nails that is

Nails are having a white-hot moment right now.

Need Proof?

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that sales of hand- and nail-care products in the U.S. totaled $707 million in 2010, an increase of 11.9% over 2009, according to Mintel, a consumer product market and research group that tracks the beauty industry.

So let me tell you about my latest nail obsession: Cult Nails, the indie-est of polish lines, which is less than a year old and making big waves in the industry.

I was inducted into The Cult by my in-the-know blogger pal Kisten, who writes about all things nails over at Polish Pauper. So by the time I met Cult creator Maria in person at Cosmoprof this summer, I was already a fan by association.

Then I tried the polish. Maria graciously gave me two colors to try out. In A Trance quickly became a favorite and an attention-grabber. People were constantly grabbing my hands, asking where I had gotten the deliciously golden-olive-tan color. I happily obliged and did my best to get them to join the Cult.

My favorite thing about Cult Nails (besides the crazy cool names like “My Kind of Cool Aid” “Devious Nature” and another shade affectionately called “Unicorn Puke” by polish devotees) is the magical combo of durability and absence of toxic baddies like touelene, formaldehyde, dibutyl, camphor and phthalate.

As someone who is chronically hard on manicures, I’m floored by how well this polish wears. Even after days of dishwashing, typing and tying shoes, there is little tip wear and chipping.

The Cult is picking up members quickly — the line was recently included in the gift bag for the most recent Lucky Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference and featured in Teen Vogue.

Cosmoprof: The snap wrap-up

Cosmoprof was pretty crazy for a variety of reasons. Much of this will be broken out into separate posts, but I can’t wait any longer to share a few details of the trip.

Almond croissant from Jean Philippe Patisserie at the Aria to start the day

Chatting with Deborah Lippmann, creator of the eponymous nail polish line

Who's a high roller on the Sex and the City penny slots? That'd be me.

Me with the Zoya of Zoya nail polish. She has an amazing, inspirational story!

PolishPauper trying on sparkly kicks at the Christian Louboutin store at Caeasar's Place Forum shops

Representatives of Jesse's Girl Cosmetics weren't kidding about that "world's biggest limo" claim

So much product (and so much shopping) means shipping home a 9.5 lb box

Muppets for OPI

I am a child of the ’80s with fond memories of The Muppets, so I was a bit incredulous when I ran into someone at Cosmoprof who had to be convinced that a Muppet collection of OPI Nail color was sure to be a monster hit. 

THe older gentleman just couldn’t wrap his head around why a woman would buy polish because it had anything to do with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo or Janice (my favorite). Soon, he was getting an earful from me, my pal Polish Pauper and OPI executive vice president and creative director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. 

The collection, set to debut in November is a sparkly celebration of all things Muppet, and will coincide with the release of The Muppet Movie starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. 

Kisten and I had a hard time controlling our gushing over the collection for a few reasons, including straight up nostalgia and sheer beauty. Warm And Fozzie, a metallic brown polish with gold flecks was particularly exciting. Suzi was so entranced by our enthusiasm (or perhaps a bit freaked out) she handed Kisten and I each a bottle of Warm and Fozzie.

Wocka Wocka! 

Viva Las Vegas: Cosmoprof Trade Show

In just a few short days, I’ll be taking my maiden voyage to Las Vegas. Let’s not dwell on the fact that I’ve never been (shhh!) and instead focus on the reason for my trip: lots and lots of beauty, skincare, cosmetics and hair products.

I tend to be attracted to bright, colorful shiny things like a moth to a flame and harbor a not-so-secret love of neon signs, but the real reason for my trip is work. I’ll be attending Cosmoprof North America, a cosmetics and beauty products trade show at Mandalay Bay.

My partner in crime will be the fabulous Polish Pauper, a dear friend and fellow blogger who was the driving force behind what looks to be one heck of a trip. Cosmoprof is so massive, it’s a little scary, even for this die-hard beauty product lover.

Check the stats for this event, which runs July 31-Aug. 2:

  • 182,986 square feet of exhibition space
  • 700 exhibitors from countries around the globe, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and many more.

Polish Pauper and I will be rolling 17-deep with a pack of fellow beauty bloggers (thoughtfully curated by Polish Galore) and we’ll be checking out emerging brands and trends for 2012.

A few exciting opportunities have come our way too — breakfast with Deborah Lippmann and dinner with Jesse’s Girl, a N.C. based cosmetics line.

I plan to post during the trip, but just in case I get swept up in the Vegas-ness of Vegas, follow along on Twitter: @iftheshoefits or by searching #cosmoprof.