Sunday, February 27, 2011

Army Nails? (Essie Sew Psyched + ChG Cracked Concrete)

Here is my NOTD, and it really is the "TD" in I am only going to keep it on today because I went to the trouble of doing it, but I am not going to "suffer" through it longer than that. I'm redoing it tonight.

I was itching to try Essie Sew Psyched, but I just can't leave well enough alone with cremes so I decided to try for an army/camo kind of look to spice it up a little bit with some China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Cracked Concrete...which fell flat. The gray is just too light to really be noticed unless light is shining right on it and to make matters worse I did one hand completely at a time (usually I go paint all 10 fingers at a time) and then did all my fingers at once with the crackle.

The problem of course is that one hand was MUCH more dry than the other, that hand crackled perfectly but the less dry (it had Seche Vite on it so it was still somewhat dry) hand was just all crackled more chunky and thick(?) so it just didn't look right. Being as much of a spaz about that kind of thing as I am I just can't leave it with one weird hand, it'll just drive me crazy. I am trying not to pay too much attention to it, but overall I just have to redo my nails tonight.

The good news though is that I LOVE both polishes on their own and they both applied wonderfully and with minimal cleanup but they were my mistakes.

What do you think?:

Of course, this is the hand that came out correctly.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nail Polish Storage

I just found out that I still had these little organizers from Daiso around, so I got to work organizing my nail polish finally. Before it was just in one big basket with no organization and I still have the queue etc. on a small shelf in the living room and a basket with some random older polishes I don't really use but don't want to toss (mostly Sally Hansen) so I do have a bit more than what is pictured here. My collection IS still pretty small though...but I am working on fixing that!

These 2 organizers aren't large, we just have a weird deep and tall but very narrow cabinet in the bathroom.

Don't mind all the misc. makeup in the back that I don't use, and next to the nail polish are my peel off masks from Daiso, one for the nose and a charcoal one for the whole face.

Left (front - back): China Glaze, OPI, Orly
Right (front - back): $OPI, Essie, Revlon/Milani/Maybelline/Mini Orly/Pa (basically Misc.), Forever 21/Chameleon (basically Misc.)

Cuticle Cream

I got this Burt's Bees cuticle cream at Nordstrom Rack the other day after being recced it by Alissa. So far I've only used it for 2 days but it's pretty good! I like how it's not gooey/runny/greasy and that it's more solid and thus portable. It smells really nice and lemony too, refreshing and not overly stinky. Just how I like my scented things.

My Favorite Base & Top Coat

I want to talk a little bit about the base coat and top coat I use, since I really like them a lot! At first I was using a combo base/top coat from Sally Hansen but I heard that you have to use one of each, so I went out and did just that!

I'd heard a lot about Seche Vite from other nail bloggers so I had to pick it up when I saw it at CVS (I've seen it at Target too) and I am so glad that it's easy to find since I just know I am going to use this stuff like crazy, it's perfect! Of course if you've done like 5 coats you can't expect it to not dent but it still dries pretty nicely even then. I love it because before I'd get sheet marks in my nails because I almost always have to do it relatively soon before bed, but not with Seche Vite! This stuff is really amazing, I can put it on and be picking my son up or going to bed soon after with no issues.

On the other hand I hadn't heard anything about Orly Bonder but it sounded pretty good and I like Orly so I thought I might as well try it out and I am hooked. I love how it is a bit tacky and not smooth so that it grips your nail polish really well. I've been using it for a while now with no problems, I highly recommend it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Setup

Recently I decided that I needed to organize my cosmetics etc. Especially to help me with the lipgloss/purse situation!

Left to right: face/nails, eyes, lips, hair.
Front: toner, eyeshadow, moisturizer, eyebrow powder.
Back: nail polish remover, brushes/tools etc., some lip stuff, some eye stuff, some face stuff.

This is my queue and things I use often. The OPI DS polishes are part of the "use often" category even though they aren't a base coat/top coat/effect just because I love them so much. If this gets too packed I'll move them to storage though. Also pretend the Maybelline isn't there and Essie Sew Psyched + Zoya Crystal are in it's place and China Glaze Awakening is in front of the Hard Candy bottle!~

Happy Booster Blush in Natural

While I was perusing a somewhat off the beaten path Rite Aid (it's in a mostly abandoned shopping center, apart from the still open stores) I found that they had a pretty decent amount of Physician's Formula Happy Booster items left along with the blush in Rose for Alissa I also found that they had some of the Natural blush too, which I was curious to try since I already have Rose. I love Rose but sometimes it'd be nice to use something a little more understated and, well, natural!

This was also a good opportunity for me to get a shot of it still in the package, and also an unused shot of it opened:

Isn't it lovely? The natural has more nude colored hearts than the rose, but still plenty of red/pink/etc. Love LOVE the shimmer in this line, it's so pretty!

On a side note, I just can't get over how good the photos from my phone's camera come out...I'm really glad though, it's such a pain with the camera sometimes...especially when I'm at home because my son always wants to play with it and throws a fit if he sees it and doesn't get it. Also I can just email myself the pics rather than need my memory card. Very convenient :).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Favorite Candy - Peko Sweets Milky Candy

Hard enough for me to be able to suck on for a while but chewy enough for when I get impatient and just want to eat it, I love these little candies. It's no secret why these are apparently the best selling sweets in Japan.

Nice and creamy, I've also tried their milk tea flavor which was good too and actually tasted like tea with the other half of the candy being the normal milk flavor. They also have a salted one that I want to try, but I am also wary of ^^;;

I don't know if you get one in every pack but I got one of the huge ones yay! According to the packaging it's lucky XD.

Left to Right: Green wrapper, red wrapper, special big candy with special wrapper.

Some Improvement!

I think I made a huge jump in improvement with my nail polish application last night, also I used some cuticle gel and pushed back my cuticles which may have helped some. The skin around my nails still looks rough, but at least I got the cuticles fixed somewhat.

I also managed to get more control with the polish and not flood my cuticles and get it all over the skin around my nails, and actually only had to do minor cleanup that wasn't so bad at all. I am proud of myself :p. At least, I actually feel like I can show off my nails more (not that I didn't show them off before) since it looks a lot cleaner. I just have to practice getting a cleaner line around the cuticle and leaving an ever so slightly wider space.

Now on to the actual polish I used! I used Milani Holographic in Hi-Res for my accent finger and Milani Holographic in Cyberspace for the rest. Originally I used the pink/yellow Icing Mood Swing polish on the accent finger, but since my hand is warm it was yellow and didn't look so great with the blue of Cyberspace. Then I put a sticker on it, which warped (maybe I did something wrong...gotta figure that one out) so I just decided to scrap it and wiped the accent nail clean with a very saturated in remover Q-tip.

I also think that having a purple as the accent for blue is better this
time around, since last time I had blue as an accent to pink which was a pretty stark contrast. So this time it's still there but much more subdued, I like it. Still a little "wacky" but not as obviously so.

It's a bit tough to see the holo in this pic, since it's a scattered-type holo but it's there. I think it's more of a soft look with the scattered than the linear which is also nice. It's still rainbow just not as in your face about it. This picture doesn't really represent it well, but it's definitely true what people say about Hi-Res having a stronger holo effect. Cyberspace's is still pretty obvious but Hi-Res' is definitely stronger.

Don't mind the trash can and my sweatshirt sleeve :p.

Yes~! Got a good pic of the holo effect AND how it's stronger on the Hi-Res, all thanks to flash. Yay for iPhone 4 haha.

This about the best representation I can get of the holo effect right now, under my bathroom light.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Almost There...

Well my makeup bag is getting a bit better... believe it or not this IS actually better. I took out all the lip gloss I had as well as eyeshadow. I'll have to take a picture of how I organized all my makeup in the bathroom later, I didn't think to take a picture after I finished organizing it last night. I really want one of the makeup organizers that I saw at Target last night, but it was like $10 and it's not like I don't have anything (that I got cheaper at Daiso too) to organize with so I just couldn't justify it right now... At least I know where I can get something like that now :).

After organizing I realized I actually don't have all that many lip glosses, which is good in a way because I was feeling a bit guilty every time I get a new one because I already had a lot! Now if there is a lip gloss I want I don't feel like I am wasting money on it so much. Also with this new way of using my lip gloss (not hoarding them in my purse) I might actually use them all more often to even further justify getting more >:D

Anyways, I just couldn't part with all my lip treatments, so I put the bulk of them in my makeup least I actually use those things, unlike lip gloss which I really only need 1 of at a time.

Of course I still need several items readily available in the inside pocket of my purse, but ever so slightly less, and I've decided to take my Rosebud Salve off my desk and keep it in my purse instead since it's so good and I don't want to only be able to use it at work.

Cosmetic Cupcake's Big Birthday Giveaway!

I just entered Cosmetic Cupcake's Big Birthday Giveaway and you guys should too, why not? Also check out her blog while you're at it, she's very sweet and does some really cute manicures!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Help! I Hoard Makeup in My Purse!!

I am having a bit of a makeup crisis lately, by that I mean I always get more (especially things I am really weak for like lip gloss) and I always hoard it in my purse.

Beleive it or not, this is the contents of my makeup bag AFTER weeding out a ton of lip glosses. After some thinking, and going over it with friends I think I'll just leave the blush (which I apply after I get to work because I do the bare minimum at home), tweezers, mirror, lotion, blotting papers and brush/combs and rotate through lip glosses.

Here is my big issue, these are my "can't live without/use often" items, which I keep in a pocket in my purse to get to easily.

I feel like this is also a bit much but I like to have a bit of everything just in case, and I love them all it's so hard to choose! This is actually after weeding things out and putting them in the makeup bag...I moved the Fresh Sugar Plum and the Tarte 24.7. They would actually still be part of this group but it didn't fit in the pocket of my purse any more, and the other pocket was a little too big so they'd fall out.

At least with lip gloss I don't always feel like wearing it so it'd be a little easier to choose one per day, but sometimes I end up using all of these things at some point in the day (after another item wears off of course).

Help! My Fingers Are Dry!

Around my nails the skin is SOOOO dry and hard, and I don't know what to do to fix it! Anybody have some good tips? If it was just a little dry lotion would help but it's HARD too, and makes it extremely difficult to clean up after I polish my nails, because it's not a flat surface and is often split (thankfully it's very rarely painful)... I know I need to work on my cuticles but that's more a matter of doing it rather than it being an issue of I don't know what to do.

(As a side note I am really having trouble showing the Nubar 2010's effect on the Essie French just looks like clear flakes but it shines a really pretty reddish pink with a bit of green. At least you can see the lovely subtle shimmer of the Essie Coat Azure though!)

I use this Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail conditioning lotion almost every day and rub it in really well around my nails but it doesn't really do anything. I can't exactly have my hands in a tub of lotion all day, so I probably need something really heavy duty...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Retail Therapy Nail Haul

Aside from the eyeshadow palettes I also got 2 Mood Swing color changing nail polish and some nail stickers tonight.

I haven't tried the polish yet, but I used the stickers on my existing manicure since it fits really nicely with the color, Essie Coat Azure. The other fingers are Essie French Affair with Nubar 2010 on top. I have a hard time with Cremes on their own.

Sorry about the messy fingers. Cremes hate me. This is AFTER clean up >.>.

The stickers:

Mood Swing nail polishes:

My camera decided it didn't want to focus on the caps, oops...but you can see the left one is Romantic/Relaxed (peachy pink with gold shimmer when cool, light shimmery gold when warm) and Passionate/Shy (teal when cool, more green when warm?). Luckily I like teal but it seems like Romantic/Relaxed is the neater of the two.

I've only swatched these on a nail wheel, but they seem to dry quickly and matte as is par for the course with color changing polishes. Romantic/Relaxed was a little streaky but I think it might end up on my nails very soon...

Everything is getting so washed out with the pictures I took with my camera...maybe I'll stick to my cell phone pictures for now...

EDIT: Here is a cell phone pic I took after dipping it half way into hot water, the tips are the hot of course :). I still can't capture the greenish/teal but good enough for now...

Retail Therapy Eyeshadow Pallete Haul

So I was having kind of an off day today, it was a holiday here in the US (President's Day) and I had to work even though most people (who also work in offices anyway) had the day off. Of course that wasn't all, it was also freezing at work all day because the maintainance people were off for the holiday so we had to use space heaters...that wasn't the worst of it though, I also got my first ever ticket in my 7 years of driving T_T. At least it was just for being on the phone so I don't get any points against my license and all that but still I was in a pretty bad/depressed mood for the rest of the day.

So how do I remedy this you ask? Retail therapy of course. I didn't see any fancy makeup that interested me (and I looked all over Sephora) so I went to Icing instead to try out their stuff, and I think I made out pretty well considering it all ended up costing about as much as 1 thing from Sephora lol. I got 2 Flaunt eye palettes, a 30 color Icing brand eye palette, nail stickers (on sale) and 2 Mood Swing mood changing nail polishes.

These Flaunt palettes were buy one get one 1/2 off, well the whole Flaunt line was. I was in the mood for eye palettes since I was talking about them to Alissa this afternoon.

The first set here is the Flaunt French Riviera palette, I love the colors here and I can see myself using them often, no they are not the brightest colors ever but I do not like super bright eyes so it's fine by me, and not bad for $7.50 considering you get 4 eye shadows, an applicator and a mirror in a cute packaging not unlike fancier brands.

The second one is Flaunt Parisian Plum, this one I really got because it was 1/2 off but it's pretty too and I think I'll use it regularly since the colors aren't too wacky.
Last but not least here is the 30 color palette and from what I can tell so far it's a decent deal at $12.50. There are a couple stand out colors from what I've seen (I haven't tried most of them though). They are the dark one on the bottom left of the top tray (the small ones) and the gold tinged green on the bottom left of the bottom tray (large ones). They are both really nice shimmery duotones that are pretty nicely pigmented for "cheapo" makeup. If the rest of the palette is as nice as those 2 are then I can definitely recommend this set. I am not sure if they have singles of those colors, but if not then this palette might be worth it just for them although they are pretty small, especially the top one.

I am not very good at taking pictures of myself (and please excuse my lack of face makeup, I don't wear it most of the time...I do have on my PF Happy Booster Rose blush on though) but here is my attempt to show off how nice those colors really are. I suck at properly applying eyeshadow so they are pretty blended, but the green is on the lid and I attempted to put the gray/black on the crease and on the outside corners of my eye. I was just itching to try it on so it's even sloppier than usual >.>

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Milani Holos Pt. 2

Last night I picked up a couple more Milani Holos, HD (silver) and Hi-Res (purple) and I think I am just going to get the other 2 today because why the heck not and I freaking love holos xD. I still like the linear holo effect better, but these are really pretty for being scattered, and cheaper than other holos with a similar effect so I figured I might as well get them all.

I managed to capture the holo effect pretty nicely using a lamp finally (been raining like crazy here lately). I'll try to get another pic of it in the sun at some point too. It's a little bit hard to see still in these pics, but they all have a decent rainbow/holo effect although it's not nearly as strong as a DS etc.

From left to right: Hi-Res, Digital, Cyberspace, HD.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Milani Holos Cyberspace + Digital

I haven't tried these on yet since I just got them. I saw them at CVS for buy one get one 1/2 price and had to pick up a couple to see if I like it. I'm going to swatch them on some fake nails tonight to see how it turns out since the sale is over tomorrow.

I got Cyberspace (blue) and Digital (pink) since I can't really go wrong with those colors, I love light blue and I love most non-bright/neon shades of pink. I was also eying HD (silver) and Hi-Res (purple) so if they look as pretty in person as they do in the swatches I've seen I'll get those 2.



EDIT: Swatches of Digital and Cyberspace in artificial light.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Orly Rage

Crummy late night manicure...between my deep nail beds and the glittery polish I had a heck of a time cleaning it up, so I am just going to leave it to clean itself up with hand washing etc.

Rage is a really pretty foil that is a rose gold. It's super pretty :). It has just the right amount of brightness that it's not super crazy but it's not muted either.

It wasn't too hard to apply, it was a little bit on the thin side and took 3 coats to not have streaks of nail showing but it wasn't too finicky.

I messed up on the index finger so I dunno how long I'll keep this on since I would rather just do my nails another color than fix it up (not to mention there are a bunch of new colors I've gotten recently that I am really itching to try).

Don't get me wrong, this is a really pretty color and if I am feeling like wearing a foil/metallic I'd probably use it for that...I just messed up a lot putting it on (getting it all over my fingers and messing up on a couple nails) so I am just not really in awe with my nails right now :P

OPI PotC Stranger Tides Collection

OPI is releasing a collection of nail polishes for the new Pirates of The Caribbean movie coming out in May, and while I am not so excited about the movie I am VERY excited about the nail polish collection!

At first I thought I'd like Mermaid Tears (sea-foam green), Sparrow Me The Drama (darkish bright pink) and Planks a Lot (purple) most but then I saw some swatches (@ The Beauty Bite) and realized they were a bit too bright for me but Steady as She Rose (light pink) is a really pretty pastel and Skull & Glossbones (A really light khaki) is also a nice light color that I don't have in my collection yet. I am still on the fence about Stranger Tides (kind of a mossy/murky green) because I have Essie Sew Psyched which is kind of an army/khaki green. I am just not sure how similar the two are, although Stranger Tides seems a bit greener/brighter from what I can tell.

(Top: Skull & Glossbones, Steady as She Rose, Planks a Lot.
Bottom: Sparrow Me The Drama, Stranger Tides, Mermaid Tears)

Of course my most anticipated one is the Silver Shatter, I already love Black Shatter as an easy way to spice up a manicure but a metallic is even better! To be honest I don't usually like dark nail colors, so once Silver Shatter comes out I'll probably use it even more (although probably before that I'll have the China Glaze crackles, so we'll see).

The wonderful thing about Silver Shatter is that silver goes with pretty much anything, so I think when it's released I'll have to get 2 bottles, I foresee myself using it a lot.
I also heard that OPI is going to release a White Shatter at some point, and if it's pretty opaque I might pick it up. I am just so obsessed with crackles right now, just because I don't usually have the time or patience to make pretty designs and I haven't picked up a Konad set yet (hopefully I will soon though) so when all you have to do is paint the crackle on as normal and voila you have an interesting design I am totally sold.

OPI Black Shatter + CG For Audrey

I am nearing the end of this manicure, even though it's only been a few days. I am just so flaky, I want to do another color almost immediately after doing my nails xD;;;

ANYWAY, I didn't have time last night (even with glorious Seche Vite) to completely redo my nails so I decided to just put some Black Shatter on top to spice it up until tonight when I will hopefully have time to do them.

The look turned out pretty cool, IMO. I might do it again at some point earlier on when I am not itching to change my nails so I can have it on longer.

Don't mind my hideous cuticles (and the polish peeling around them...)...some day I'll get around to fixing them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Physician's Formula Happy Booster

I am not usually one for face powder (actually I pretty much never use it), but when I found out about this stuff from Scrangie's blog it was just too cute not to try.

It's not only cute, but it's supposed to make you happier...scientifically! Apparently there are plant extracts in it that mimic Endorphins to make you happy. I've been using it every day so far but I can't really say if it actually does that. I don't think it'll lift you out of depression or something serious like that (although looking at it and smelling it certainly will lift your mood) but who knows, maybe after regular use I'll feel some effects. In the short term it will absolutely lift your mood though, with the violet scent (not overpowering) and cute pink-ness and hearts :).

Once I got one I was hooked...I started off with the translucent face powder and although it's very sheer I fell in love. It made me nice and shimmery! But I wanted more...I wanted it to show!

At first I just wanted to get the blush in Rose, but when I FINALLY found it at CVS (after 3 other CVS stores, an Ulta and 2 Targets) they were having a deal for buy one get one 1/2 off of Physician's Formula so I decided to get the beige face powder...I couldn't let such a good deal go and I didn't want to have to go to the trouble to find the face powder later on. And of course the deal was on top of the $3 off coupon on the packaging!!

I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage the face powder has, considering the brush doesn't take a ton of powder off of the compact. I don't feel like I need to use any other face product with this, unless I want to use something to cover up spots. The blush is also surprisingly pigmented but not overpowering at all and very fresh looking.

Altogether I found this makeup gave me a "doll" look that I think is really cute!

Of course, pictures! Sorry about the powder all over, I've used these a few times before taking the pictures...oops!

Top left - beige face powder, top right - rose blush, bottom middle - translucent face powder:
You can lift up the level with the powder to reveal the mirror and brush:
Close up of the brush:

Nubar 2010 + OPI DS Signature = Awesome

Hi everybody!

This is my first post, I've been wanting to start a nail blog for a while now, but haven't been able to take pictures with my good camera (I mstly take pictures with my phone) but today I finally did it, yay!

Here we go~

This manicure is a few days old at this point, so don't mind the wear on the tips, there is nothing wrong with anything I used :)

I was amazed with the formula for the OPI DS Signature, not just great at distributing the holo but also a great formula for any nail polish! I didn't really have to do any clean up at all, it was wonderful. Either that or I am getting better at doing my nails, I am kind of still a newbie right now, but I do my nails more than once a week so practice should make perfect...right?

As for Nubar 2010 I am super glad that I got it, I've been wanting a flakey for a while now. No complaints about the formula and for this manicure I only used one coat, the flakes seem to have distributed evenly on the first try, I didn't have to poke them into place or anything :).

As you'll be able to see in the pictures, when not in direct sun the Nubar 2010 gives a good effect that doesn't take away from the holo, but in direct sun it's almost impossible to see the flakeys through the holo.

On to the pictures~!

Outside, out of direct sun:

Outside in direct sun: