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Nailed It! The Secret Weapon to a Better At-Home Manicure

Best Drugstore Gel Nail Polish: The Key to a Perfect At-Home Manicure

There are a few things I no longer have patience for. Like waiting a long time for a restaurant table, drivers who go 15 miles under the speed limit, and 90-minute appointments for a full set of artificial nails.

We’re talking an hour and a half of being chained to a small table…no reading, no eating, no watching This Is Us. This pricey time suck also leads to the inevitable practice of picking off said nails a week later, when they start driving me crazy at the computer keyboard.

Until recently, the only other option was a traditional manicure that lasted—in my always-at-the-keyboard world— about three days. This breaks down to roughly $7 a day, and unless I’m expected at Vogue’s Met Ball Gala, it’s a deal breaker.

So imagine my glee when I found the best drugstore gel nail polish ever, Essie Gel Setter Top Coat , a $10 bottle of clear nail polish that dries into the kind of hard, plump, power-shine finish previously reserved only for faux manicures. Even better, it lasts a solid week without chipping, peeling, or infringing on This Is Us viewings.

I now bring it along to my manicure appointments and ask them to use it in lieu of their own chippy top coat. I’m guessing Essie and I are the only ones smiling about this.

—Hillary Quinn

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different types of tea

Tea Is Aging Boldly!

Back in the day, tea was simply the stuff with the Lipton label on it. Good, basic, but no surprises. Then, over the years, in swept the herbal varieties (Red Zinger, anyone?), the green, health-boosting versions, the rooibos (still struggling to pronounce that one …) kind, and more. We longtime and recent tea lovers rejoiced!

Now, in most cities and towns across America, there are many, many more types of tea. And some of the newest ones are worth discovering this summer. Bubble teas or boba teas are found in cafes and mall shops, offering concoctions that hail from Taiwan. They’re usually served icy cold, in tall glasses with wide straws, because along with the tea, milk, and flavorings are tapioca pearls or other jelly-like beads that add a fun, offbeat texture (at least to U.S. palates) to the drink. 

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Sweet Fun

These drinks are a fun indulgence instead of ice cream as the temperatures tick up—and when we say indulgence, that’s code for calorific. They are often blended with sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk, bringing the calories into the 300 to 600 range! (You can ask to swap in different milks to bring it in line.) Now that we’ve shared the buzzkill details, let’s focus on the fun. Often brightly colored, these teas come in all kinds of enticing flavors. At Boba Tea KC in Kansas City, Missouri, you can sample honeydew, lychee, mango, or taro, the latter being a root vegetable.

different types of tea

Fruit tea is refreshing. YiFang offers several flavors. Image: Little Foodie/Instagram

Another kind of tea to try: Fruit tea. One chain, Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea, serves up tea with different levels of sweetness and ice, and you pick the fresh fruit that gets chopped up and added to your drink. Pineapple, passion fruit, winter melon, green plum, apples, and oranges are among the options. And if you want to go all in, you can get fruit tea with the boba/bubbles in it. Regardless of what variety you try, it’s a fun way to cool off this season and a perfect way to break out of the afternoon “Want to get an iced coffee?” rut. — Janet Siroto

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How Old Is Madonna? 60! Happy Birthday to the Material Girl | NextTribe

Happy Birthday to the Material Girl

Look who’s turning 60! Madonna, the world’s best-selling female recording artist and the culture-changer we all grew up with. You may not like her fake British accent but let’s recognize that not only is she showing she can pack a stadium at this life stage, but she’s also a pioneer in a million and one ways.

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