Sunday, June 29, 2014

Copper Shard Nails

It seems like most people are going for patriotic nails this week for the 4th of July.

I have a couple of ideas that I might do later this week, but this time I decided to do something else. 

I have been wanting to do this ever since I got the bottle of Nailtini Champagne in my Ipsy bag. It took a lot of work, but I think it turned out pretty cool.

I didn't want a sheer base this time. I started out with a coat of OPI Natural Nail Strengthener and then two coats of Pure Ice Pretty 'N Patriotic, a matte white polish that reminded me of painting my nails with white out in Jr. High. I had no idea this was a matte polish when I got it. There isn't anything on the bottle to signify that it's a matte, so be warned. It's really not very pretty by itself, I'm pretty sure I'll only be using this as a base for other things. Nothing against matte polishes, a lot of them are really cool, this one just doesn't do anything for me. 

After two coats of the white I thought I'd have a pretty good base for the coppery Nailtini 124 Champagne and I wasn't wrong. One coat over the white looked really weird, but the second coat gave me exactly the color I wanted. 

I finished up the design with two coats of OPI Gaining Mole-Mentum. I did the first coat in a daubing technique to distribute the shards the way I wanted them. Then I used the second coat to really fill it all in. This is such a fun polish. If you don't already have it in your collection you really need to go get it! GO!

I think it turned out pretty cool. This was one of the times that I started one day and finished later. I started out on Friday night painting the base and two coats of white, Saturday I spent hours doing the champagne and glitter, then I finished up with one coat of OPI Top Coat on Sunday morning. Whew! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A little SNAFU

I messed up.

I'm just figuring out the Google Pictures thing and how it relates to my new phone.

I thought I was just cleaning up my pictures, but it turns out I was deleting everything from my posts.

I had a minor freak out and had to delete a few posts with pictures that were completely irreplaceable.

I also had to recreate a TON of pictures.

This means that some of the links in my posts might lead to nowhere and there may be a couple of posts that don't have pictures at all any more. I'm still going through my old files and trying to find some pictures, so you may see some older posts still missing stuff. Please be patient with me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June Ipsy Bag

I've been so busy I nearly forgot to post about this month's Ipsy bag!

This month's haul was pretty great! I mean, a Rebecca Minkoff bag? Are you kidding me with this?! 

I am most excited about the Be A Bombshell Mascara and the NYX Butter Gloss. I needed new mascara so that was just perfect timing, and it's excellent! As for the gloss, it really does feel like butter! It's a nice pale color, and it doesn't get as sticky as some of the other glosses do. 

I'm also pretty happy about the OFRA Eyebrow Pencil. To be perfectly honest, my eyebrows are a little sad.  Let's just hope this gives them the help they need.

The bag also had some perfume, Realtree for Her. Thing is, I'm not really a perfume kind of girl. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with the sample yet, but it's probably going to find a home with somebody else. It smells good! I'm just more of a body splash person. I feel like all the other products I use already have so many scents that adding more on top is just overkill. I'd rather just smell clean. 

The last piece in this month's collection is a bottle of Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray. I gave this to Betty, for two reasons. First of all, she has gorgeous natural waves and I thought it would be a lot of fun for her to play up on that. 

Second, I chopped my hair off. 

Well, I went to a salon and had a stylist chop my hair off. 

Your guess is as good as mine as to why my lips are blue. I didn't edit this picture except to crop it, and my lips weren't blue when I took the picture. Weird.

I was really hating my other cut. There was nothing specifically wrong with it, it just didn't feel like ME. I felt like my hair was making a statement that I just didn't agree with. As if I was trying to be edgier than I actually am.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Racing Stripes and How I Do My Nails

I know it's been a while since I posted about my nails. Don't worry, I didn't lose interest! Losing interest is a serious problem with me, so I don't say this in jest!

Right after I did my Harry Potter inspired nails there was a bit of a catastrophe involving a crocheted afghan that I was trying to pull up and a 75 pound German Shepherd who laid down on it at just the wrong moment. The casualties were two nails on each hand that were bent backwards or ripped. It was brutal and quite painful!

Dramatic reenactment. 

It also wasn't pretty. I had to cut my nails super short and I've been waiting for them to grow a little before I did anything other than just keeping them protected.

Now that they're longer I decided to celebrate by treating myself to a new polish. It cost a whole $1.98 at Rite Aid!! Woo!

The base color is three coats of my new Sinful Colors 1106 Cinderella, a light blue with a bit of a pinkish hologram. I probably could have gotten away with two coats, but three looked better.

The racing stripe was done by taping it off with nail tape and painting on a dark blue from Alessandro International. The Alessandro was a gift from a friend and didn't come with any identification, so I'm not exactly sure what color it is. I couldn't find it on their site so it's probably from a past season. (This is the closest I could find on their website.) Update: I contacted Alessandro International and they looked it up for me! The color is 77-160 Blue Lagoon.)

I used my normal OPI Natural Nail Strengthener as my base coat and followed up with two coats of OPI Top Coat for protection.

Now I want to take a few minutes to talk about my technique. Step-by-step his is how I do my nails. (Your results may vary!)

  • First I remove the polish I already had on. Cheapo polish remover and cotton balls. If it's glitter polish I will press the cotton ball onto my nail and wrap it in tape. 
  • Then I file my nails and trim them if they need it. Usually at this point I use a buffer to lightly buff out the ridges I get. 
  • Once every couple of weeks I will apply cuticle oil, let it set for a few minutes, and then gently push back my cuticles.
  • I'll also take a minute and clean under my nails with one of those hook things that are attached to my nail clippers. 
  • Then I go and wash my hands and scrub my nails with a nail brush. I want to be sure my polish has a nice clean nail to stick to. This is also when I gather all the polish colors I plan to use. 
  • The first thing I apply is my base coat on all ten fingers. I've been using OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, but when I run out I'll probably try something new. Having a base coat really seems to help my polish last. I don't recommend you skip this step. 
  • Drying time. Luckily the base coat seems to dry quite fast.
  • Now I paint one coat of my base color on my fingers, but not my thumbs. I use my thumb nails to clear any over-paint from around my nail. If I paint my thumbs now the polish will just get smudged at the tips. 
  • Drying time. I make sure the polish doesn't feel tacky any more before I add any more polish. The way I tell is by touching two nails together. If they feel like they stick, they're still wet. 
  • If it's needed I add the second coat. I've found that the less expensive polishes need more coats. The expensive stuff is usually great with just two coats, the cheaper stuff might need three or more. I make sure they're dry between coats.
  • More Drying. This is the part that takes the longest. The more coats of polish the longer it takes to dry. Usually I do this at night, after the kids are in bed, when I know I have hours to watch television and surf Pinterest. Not doing my thumbs also makes it easier if I have to use the bathroom or scratch an itch! There are times where I go to bed before the next steps. If I do I always wash my hands again before I get started. Just in case there is anything that transferred to my nails in the meantime. 
  • This is when I do any artwork or decals. After my base coat is completely dry. Obviously this step is optional.
  • Now I do my thumbs, after all the rest of my nails are mostly finished. 
  • While my thumbs are drying from the base color coats I start doing the top coat on my other nails. Again, I've been using OPI Top Coat but will probably get something different when I run out. Just for the sake of experimenting. I do two coats because I have weak nails. First I paint the underside of my nails (when they're long enough to go past the edge of my finger) then I paint the tops. I let the first top coat dry fully before I add a second. When the polish is dry on my thumbs I do any matching nail art and finish up with the top coats. 

It does take a few hours for me to do my nails, but I usually do them on a evening when all I'm doing anyway is watching T.V. with my husband. Luckily he doesn't seem to mind the fumes! I'd say 90% of that is drying time. 

I think the process is worth it. There are a lot of steps, but doing it this way ensures that I get at least a week out of my polish. Sometimes more. I could just slap a couple coats of polish on in 5 minutes, but then I'd get bubbles and chips. Since I have to see my hands all day, every day... Well, I want to look at something pretty! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I was recently chatting with a good friend of mine who was having a rough time. She mentioned a person who went through similar problems but who chose to just roll over and give up.

In a moment of unusual brilliance I came up with an analogy that I want to share with the wider world.

Some people are cupcakes. Then they get a big hole punched in their lives. When this happens there are two things they can do. Either they can give up and live their lives as a squashed pastry or they can stand up, brush themselves off, raise their middle finger to the world and say,

  "Screw you all, I'm a donut now!!"

Normally I'm not one for vulgarity, but sometimes it's needed. This is one of those times. It's about taking back your power.

Things are going to happen. Good things and bad things. Nobody can change that. The only thing we can change is how we react. You aren't less because of what's happened to you, you're just different.

Picture source: