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Gemvara Blog » Jewelry Stories
8 May

Gemerous Nails

Take your mani to the next level with these three fun and oh-so-gemerous looks!

Caviar Cravings– the caviar mani has been extremely popular and differs from the typical manicure by adding texture. Unfortunately, the popular brand ciaté is constantly sold out. I don’t recommend DIYing this trend (check out the disastrous results from She Finds), so until the caviar nail kits get restocked, you can check out this video how-to (photo source).

Dipped in Glitter- I touched on this trend in my inaugural Gemvara post (How to: Create the Perfect, Long Lasting Manicure) and feel that it’s truly gemerous. For an update on the typical french manicure, why not dip your tips in glitter? It’s like the (sparkly) icing on the cake (photo source).

Sparkle Statement– I’m all about making a statement, which is why I love this look. Keep four nails neutral (in design, not necessarily in color!) and jazz up the fifth with glitter- it’s simply gemerous (photo source)!

Which gemerous nail trend will you try?

7 May

How to Wear it: High/Low Hems

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6.

High/low hems (sometimes called mullet hems) are a fun trend that can be worn in various ways. When executed correctly, a high/low hem can be worn at the office, on a date or in a casual setting.

At the Office: Pair a high/low top (like #4) with a high waisted pencil skirt or  pants, just make sure that your midriff isn’t showing. A high/low blouse is a great way to expose fun details on the top of your pants or skirt. Some other fun options are a high/low dress (like #2) or skirt (like #5), as long as the “low” part doesn’t expose too much leg. You can figure out how much skin is too much skin based on your office’s culture, what others wear and your own comfort level.  In most cases, I’d recommend keeping your hem at or below the knee.

For a Date: Opt for a fun colored dress (like #3) and pair it with some fabulous strappy sandals (for a fancy to-do) or a pair of flat, greek inspired sandals (for a more casual date). Experiment with different sized jewelry to create tons of different looks, and maybe throw on a light cardigan in case it gets cold.

For a Casual Look: Whether you’re spending the day drinking lemonade by the pool or running errands, you’ll want to be comfortable and cute. Find a lightweight high/low t-shirt (like #1) that can be paired with cropped pants or shorts. Looking for something super comfy? Pieces like #6 are the sweatpants of high/low skirts and look great with a colorful tank or t-shirt.

How will you try the high/low trend?

11 April

Dare to DIY: Fashionable Camera Accessories

Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply like taking pictures of your family and friends, there’s no reason to sacrifice fashion for function. Check out these stylish DIYs to add a little flair to your photo gear:

1. DIY Camera Purse/Bag– buying a fashionable camera bag can be tough, but this DIY turns your favorite purse into one in just a few steps!

2. Silk Scarf Strap– leave it to the amazingly creative people behind photo JoJo to come up with a tutorial for reworking a favorite accessory.

3. Ruched Camera Strap Slip Cover– because sometimes you can’t choose just one pattern, this project lets you create multiple removable covers for your camera strap.

4. Painted Camera Strap– this simple DIY is fast (45 minutes!) and requires minimal sewing-definitely a win in my book.

So go ahead, try one of these fabulous DIYs- we dare you!

6 April

The Push Present

I am four months pregnant with a baby girl and am in utter amazement of how much my pending motherhood has already changed my life. For one, I have always been on the thin side and am now settling into this new, rather voluptuous figure of mine. I am also slowly coming to the realization that all of the funds which were once allocated to Louboutins and Gucci bags are now going to be going straight towards Ralph Lauren Layette and Bugaboos. Funny how it doesn’t seem to bother me in the least because now it’s all about my daughter having nothing but the best and her Mommy is just fine with making do with what she already has. (Luckily I’ve been pretty good to myself over the years and my classic taste in clothing will pay off being that I will need to make it work until the little peanut is married off!)

In order to soften this blow, I have become rather fixated on the “Push Present”. For those of you that don’t know what this…and you need to know if you ever plan on becoming a Mommy so you won’t miss out…it’s the gift that your hubby buys you when the baby is born. Its meaning is to say “thank you” for carrying my child for nine long months, for enduring the morning sickness, sore boobs, headaches, insomnia, hemorrhoids, blow up like a balloon, THEN push something the size of a watermelon out of your hoo-ha! When you really think about it, this better be a darned good gift! Shall we say….jewelry?!

If you are somewhat of a control freak like me or you love your hubby to death but his taste is questionable, then do yourself a giant favor and pick out your own push present well before your due date. Often Moms-to-be will opt for a piece that’s engraved with their baby’s name and/or contains their little one’s birthstone.

Here’s what’s on my wish list: ( Listed clockwise)

Skylight Disc Gem Pendant With Baby’s birthstone and engraved name!

Solo Ring With Baby’s birthstone and engraved name!

Heartbeat Band 14K White Gold Ring with Diamond

Margarita Earrings – Round Smoky Quartz 14K Yellow Gold Earrings with Diamond

By, Amy McLaughlin – Lifestyle Designer




2 April

Dare to DIY: Inspired by The Beauty Department

If you haven’t checked out The Beauty Department, you’re missing out on all sorts of fun! Created by Lauren Conrad, Kristin Ess (Lauren’s hair stylist) and Amy Nadine (Lauren’s makeup artist), it offers a wealth of beauty knowledge including makeup tips, hair how-tos and fun DIY tutorials.

Here are a few favorite tutorials I’m dying to try:

– Make your own dotting tool for polka dot manis.

– Create a glam DIY Hair Necklace– my friend and fellow blogger, Sarah of the Blonde in Boston, was recently wearing something similar and  I have to have it!

– Pin up a fabulous braided bun for a twist (ha!) on the trend.

–  Paint on a fabulous mix of prints for a beyond unique mixed print manicure.

So go ahead, get inspired! Try some of The Beauty Department’s DIYs…if you dare!

All images via The Beauty Department.

30 March

One Wedding Tradition That's Not to be Missed!

There are so many traditions surrounding weddings that, as a Bride-to-be, it is easy to loose track when there are countless other tasks at hand to be concerned with. It is said that, for good luck, you need something borrowed, something old, something new and, oh goodness, something blue! Your bridesmaids are the go-to gals for making sure your bases are covered in this department so don’t be shy about calling upon them to complete the list of necessities! There is one tradition, however, that can only fall in the hands of a certain very special person…your beloved groom!

Most often it is the bride and/or her family who take on the financial responsibility of the wedding itself. The many tiring months of planning your dream day are also likely to fall in your lap, with the exception of a few choice activities such as the cake testing, which is an appointment most guys conveniently find the time in their schedules to accompany you to! As a way of saying “thank you” for all of your hard work, the groom is expected to buy his blushing bride a very special wedding gift.

Please allow me to set the scene for you…Wedding Day: roughly 2 hours away from “show-time”. You are nestled in your bridal suite sipping champagne while being fussed over by your “glam squad” who are making sure that every eyelash is extended to it’s fullest and each curl is pinned in place just perfectly. There is a knock at the door and your Maid of Honor rushes to answer it, making sure to open the door just a crack as not to let just anyone see the guest of honor before she is camera ready! It is the Best Man who has come to deliver something special from the groom. The gift is promptly snatched out of his hands and the door is shut. The bridal party all gather around while you do the honors in opening what looks to be a jewelry box. Oh wait, first there is a note! (Who can blame a girl for almost missing the envelope when that jewelry box is staring her in the face!) The card reads; “Thank you for marrying me today. I will love you forever and ever.” ….or something along those lines but anything sweet will do when there’s a bauble to be opened! Wide eyes and ooohing and ahhing come from the group as you hold up your gorgeous necklace, bracelet, ring or pair of earrings! What a perfect start to a magical day! As you walk down the aisle, feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world,  you will proudly be wearing this new token from your hubby-to-be and your “thank you” to him will come in the form of a great big “I DO!”

**Ladies, I strongly encourage you to share this post with your fiances, as sometimes these messages are better received coming from an outside source ;)

The ideal wedding gift from your man needs to be something that will be able to be worn with your gown and not intrude on the overall “look” that you’ve got going on for your day when all eyes will be on YOU. He is best served seeking the help of someone close to you who knows, first-hand, exactly what you have planned for your wedding day look. Is the dress strapless, lending itself beautifully to a necklace or drop earrings? Or does it have a complicated neckline in which case he is safer to go with a earrings or a ring? Here are some of my favorite choices:

Groom to Bride Wedding Presents

(From left to right: The Gemvara Rosette Pendant, The Gemvara Naked Cushion Earrings, The Elliptical Circle Band)

Your treasured wedding gift from your husband will become an heirloom for you to pass down to your daughter someday, perhaps as her “something borrowed” when it’s her turn to walk down the aisle. This is one tradition not to be missed so make sure you clue your guy in on the importance of it! After all, his gift in return is marrying YOU!

– Amy McLaughlin | Lifestyle Designer |

17 March

St. Patrick's Day Scoop

Did you know that in Ireland St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a religious holiday, much like Christmas and Easter? Also — not to toot our own horn or anything — but the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually not in Ireland, but in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737! Here are some more St. Paddy’s Day tidbits to get you in the Irish spirit:

Images courtesy of Guiness

15 March

Oh, the Madness

Have you caught the fever? No, not spring fever… March Madness fever!

If you’ve never heard of March Madness it is an NCAA single-elimination college basketball tournament held each spring in the United States.

Before you roll your eyes, March Madness is actually a lot more fun than you may think. Picking teams for a March Madness bracket can be as much fun for the girly-girl as it is for the die-hard fan because it all boils down to luck. There are so many upsets during the series that you can win just as easily by creating a bracket based on team mascots than you can from analyzing every player on every team.

While we’re not saying that will actually work, we do suggest you follow along. Besides your alma mater might even be in the tournament!

Have a team you’re rooting for this year? What are your team’s colors? Figure it out and design some jewelry using our customization feature on After all—you may need some victory bling when your boys take it home April 2.

Need inspiration? Check out our boards on Pinterest and pin your own pieces using hashtag #MarchMadness.

13 March

How to: Effortlessly Incorporate Green into your Look

Sources (from top to bottom, by column): 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.

Whether you’re attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade, hitting the local pub or simply eating a green frosted doughnut in front of the TV, there are tons of ways to show your holiday spirit via your outfit. With options like mint, chartreuse, emerald and lime to choose from, you can create an outfit that fits your personality and style.

If your style is: Girly

Choose a pair of fitted mint colored jeans and pair with a lace embellished t-shirt. Add fun accents like jewel encrusted flats and sparkly drop earrings.

If your style is: Girl Next-door

Grab your favorite green cardigan and throw it over a fitted grey t-shirt. Throw on your most worn in boyfriend jeans, a pair of Toms and a fun statement necklace.

If your style is: Edgy

Embrace the oh-so-hot neon trend by mixing an electric green crop top with skinny jeans and heels. Choose a studded belt or bright bangles to finish off the look.

If your style is: Bohemian

Go for a printed maxi dress with a green theme and pair with sandals and a great pedicure. Add a chunky necklace and large earrings if you’re feeling extra bold.

If your style is: Glamorous

Go all out with an emerald colored cashmere sweater, cropped pants and large, sparkly studs. Really play up the sweater with emerald colored eyeliner and matching kitten heels.

What are you wearing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

5 March

Twist on the Trend: Monochromatic Color Block

This post is part of a guest blogger series featuring Alana Brooks of The Good Girl Gone Blog.

Color blocking seems to be the trend that will never end…and I’m ok with that. You worked it this winter in bright knit tights paired with pencil skirts, skinny belts and blouses, and you’ll be wearing it again this spring with peep toe heels, candy colored capris and fun colored tops. Designers are even talking about color blocking making its way into 2013!

An interesting take on the trend brings color blocking to the next level by adding a monochromatic twist. Instead of pairing uniquely colored pieces, stick to the same general color palette and experiment with varying shades. Here’s some inspiration I pulled from the latest J.Crew catalogue:

Notice how even though the looks above contain at least 2 key pieces in the same general color, they also add an additional hue an extra playful edge. The best way to achieve that edge is definitely with your accessories; wear a fun skinny belt, try a bold statement necklace or choose a bright pair of pumps to complete the look.

Extra credit: find one item that encompasses the monochromatic trend in itself, like these amethyst and rose quartz earrings!

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