Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Couple of St. Patrick's Day Looks

Last week got a little hectic with an impromptu visit from my dad, the cleaning that frantically came before, and some apartment projects (hello new bookcase and chair!).  My nails took a brutal beating, so I'm cut down to uneven shorties now (see 2nd photo), but so it goes.  In the chaos, I didn't get my St. Patrick's day looks up, so here's a quick post with both.

First up:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Color Club Holiday Splendor
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat Salon Perfect Champagne Toast
*1 coat Out the Door

I LOVE Holiday Splendor!  It's a bright green jelly packed with holo awesomeness and looks much more opaque on the nail--somehow nail lines appear out of thin air when I photograph!  It dries a bit gritty and totally comes to life under a top coat.  I'm a little concerned that I can't find an back up bottle online and I'll have to ration this one--I do NOT want run out!  I added an accent with a little gold glitter and yet another adorable RLR Creations decal--St. Patty's day cupcake!

This is what I actually wore today:

*1 coat Gelous Base
*2 coats Revlon Posh
*3 coats Color Club Gingerbread
*Zoya Severine
*1 coat Out the Door

Gingerbread was from the same holiday line as Holiday Splendor and is also gorgeous!  It's a chunky gold holo glitter in a clear base.  I added a 3rd coat to try for good opacity for photos, but it still looks much more sparse here than in real life--you can easily wear 2 coats and look opaque off camera. 
There was a commotion at my neighbor's last night just as I started polishing, so I had to change my plans and go for something simple and quick after spending about a half hour looking through my peep hole at our landing (yeah, I'm a total busybody).   I used Posh, a really beautiful jade green that looks a bit darker in real life, and dotted on gold with Severine.

So, there you have it--another holiday for 2015.  I hope it was a lucky one for you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

End Endo: Bloomin' Uterus love

This is a special post for me because it's a post for a special lady.

I work with Lisa. 
Lisa is a badass.
Lisa rides motorcycles and fights fires and makes me laugh like no other at work.
Lisa is brave and strong and incredibly open and vulnerable.
Lisa is fighting endometriosis.

She is incredibly candid and inspiring as she goes through life with her diagnosis, which unfortunately came much later than it should have.  She has a blog, Bloomin' Uterus, where she writes about life after surgery, the disease, how she copes, and life.  She has begun to build an inspiring community of people who are in this battle together, because she took the leap and spoke about her own experience.  I get chills when she tells me about the women she's meeting, online and in person, who all feel the same--they think they're the only ones.  They want to hear someone else understands.  They want community.  She is giving them that.

Lisa is a rockstar. 

One of the things she did, to remind women with a disease that attacks what's fundamentally female that they are still beautiful and feminine, was create the Bloomin' Uterus.

Isn't it adorable?!  It's a reminder that endometriosis doesn't break you.  It doesn't ruin you.  There's life and beauty after diagnosis and strength in numbers.  I'm so proud to carry my pin on my bag every day.  If you are interested in one for yourself (or a bunch for your friends) check out her GoFundMe page: End Endo.

So, since March is endometriosis awareness month and the awareness color is yellow, I'm going to do some yellow manis for Lisa and women like her.  Today's is obviously inspired by her brilliant Bloomin' Uterus:

*1 coat Gelous base
*3 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow
*1 coat Julep Tilda
*2 coats Out the Door

I used Mellow Yellow, a cream base, for my (duh!) yellow.  I used thin coats and it streaks a bit, so I went with 3 coats.  I added Tilda, a teal shimmer topper, for a little sparkle.  Then I added some rhinestone flowers, which I love, for my accents.  I really like how these turned out and like even more that they make me think of Lisa and her beautiful work every time I look down.

I would love it if you'd take a moment to check Lisa's pages out this month, especially if you or someone you love are dealing with endometriosis--there's strength in numbers!

Faded holo

I hit a bit of a "polishers block" last week.  I REALLY wanted to use one of these polishes, Fashion Addict, and was trying hard to find something creative to do with it.  Honestly, I really just wanted to wear it all on its own, but my polish and photo skills aren't up to par to be a swatcher.  After agonizing and finally settling on something much too late at night, I had to remind myself that my blog started as a way to remember looks and polishes I liked--not to impress anyone.  I might need to gently remind myself again, but next time I  really just want to enjoy a pretty polish, I am going to let myself be okay with that :)

So, here's how I enjoyed the beauty that is Fashion Addict:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Color Club Fashion Addict
*4 coats LynB Designs Defender of the Downtrodden
*1 coat Out the Door

Fashion Addict is a gorgeous dense scattered/linear-leaning lavender polish.  I used 2 coats to even out a couple of thin edges, but this one is actually a one-coat polish if you want.  I love the dusty shade of purple and the intense holo--can you blame me for itching to wear this one?

I bought Defender of the Downtrodden in one of LynB Designs' recent sales (which she generously has all the time--take advantage!).  This soft dove gray has scattered holo throughout.  I used 4 VERY thin coats that dried really fast.  It sounds like a lot, but really wasn't bad at all--the pale gray just needed some layers to cover my nail line, but would be perfect over another gray cream.  I added a little lavender rhinestone to the gray to tie them together and sealed it all up in top coat, which made the holo come alive!
For winter, I really liked this faded coloring and this was a look that I couldn't take my eyes off of in the sun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday 2015

A couple of years ago I visited a dear friend of mine in New Orleans and fell a little in love.  I know the city has plenty of problems, but my when you first fall, you only see the good things: wonderful hospitality, delicious food and drinks, gorgeous architecture, beautiful old neighborhoods nestled in sweeping trees, a joyful, resilient people, and a deep, in the moment, love of life.  I was smitten.

So, on this, their day, I celebrate a little Mardi Gras hundreds of miles away.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya Haven
*2 coats Zoya Logan
*1 coat Salon Perfect Champagne Toast
*Zoya Severine
*1 coat Out the Door

Haven is a beautiful, shimmery purple.  When I saw swatches online I knew this was one color I really didn't have and wanted for my collection and I am NOT disappointed!  Logan is a pretty dark green packed with gold shimmer.  There is no hint of nail line in real life, so I'm really surprised it's so pronounced here.  For swatching I guess you want 3 coats, but 2 is just fine for wear.  I added some gold holo micro glitter on top because you can't sparkle enough for Mardi Gras!

I added some gold polka dots and love them so much with Haven I kind of wish I had covered the whole nail.  My trusty Golden-I is M.I.A., so I used Severine, one of the Zoya mini mystery trio (totally disappointing, but it got me 3 other full-sized for $15, so I can't complain too much!).  The coverage was great, not much different from my other gold.  I preface this with the fact I am not a stamper, but it was easy and opaque and might be good for stamping too.

So there's my little love letter to NOLA, where the streets are now quiet.  Fun fact I learned: the only time bars are required to close in New Orleans is at midnight on Mardi Gras so that they can clear and clean out the French Quarter.  (I also learned that if you've made it to midnight on Mardi Gras you weren't doing it right, because most people begin "celebrating" very early in the day and are goners long before the stroke of 12)

A Couple of Late Valentines...

As I've focused on decorating my apartment (only about 6 months AFTER moving in) and trying my hand at a Pinterest craft or two, my posts got a little forgotten, but the manis didn't! 
Overall, I really enjoyed my Valentine's Day manis this year.  Here are the last 2 that I wore:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Cream Pink
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat China Glaze Make A Spectacle
*1 coat Out the Door

This one was inspired by this pin (if you know its origin, please let me know so I can credit the creator!)  Cream Pink was a bit brighter than I remembered, but just as pretty.  It's not a cream at all, but a gorgeous pink packed with golden shimmer.  I used Make A Spectacle, an iridescent multi-sized glitter, to add some sparkle to my white accent and added a heart sticker that I recently found while cleaning out my mani drawer.  I didn't love the sticker, but overall liked this bright look!

Then there was my actual Valentine mani:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*2 coats Zoya Gaia
*Zoya Kimber
*Zoya Rory
*1 coat Out the Door

This was a twist on a Christmas mani I did, inspired by The Swatching Sprite.  I'm not sure why, but I think I liked the first one better--maybe I sized the dots a little better.  This was still fun, though!  I used Gaia, a sheer "white" polish that is really more of a gold shimmer, over my base.  Then I used the amazing Kimber (magenta) and Rory (lavender-pink) from the Surf collection shimmers that I NEVER get tired of.  I was a bit down on this one at first, but it really grew on me.

So that's the end of Valentine's 2015 (although it's never the wrong time for a pretty pink mani)!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Young Love

Despite some coverage issues that killed me with this one, I'm sorta adoring it!
Here's the quick and dirty:

*1 coat Gelous base
*4 (and 5 on my ring finger) coats of OPI I Think In Pink
*1 coat Out the Door

This is SUCH a sheer pink--I always forget how many coats it takes to get mostly opaque.  I love the shade, though, so I get sucked back in...I had to add an extra coat on my middle finger because I smudged it and couldn't recover.  It didn't make much of a difference, though.

Coverage aside, I like the pink and red combo for Valentine's day.  The adorable stick figure decal is from RLR Creations and part of the same sheet I used on my last mani.  The kid-o drawing just makes me smile :)
I was tempted to add some shimmer or sparkle, but restrained myself (mostly) and added a red rhinestone to the cream finish and called it a night.  I'm glad I did--I was pleasantly surprised by this one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fairy Love

My love-hate-mostly-love relationship with Valentine's day is in full swing.  Bring on the pink!  Bring on the sparkles!  Bring on the hearts!  Bring on the love!  (Pretend to ignore my lonely singleness!)
Here's my first mani for the season.  I wanted to have some sparkling red on my nails, and went from there once I got some new decals in the mail that I ordered from RLR Creations.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya America
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*3 coats Butter London Fairy Cakes
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Out the Door

America is 2 easy coats for perfect red coverage.  Adding Fairy Cakes as a second accent was a last minute decision, but I'm glad I did it.  Sometimes too much red makes me feel...old.  I like breaking it up like this.
I used Snow Me white as a base for my red heart decal.  This comes in a really cute Valentine's set.  I was kind of off as I was finishing up this mani and left the first decal in the water WAY too long and it got folded as I slid it off.  This one lost a little bit of the red as I patted it on, which is really only noticeable up close.  I've never had this happen with these decals, so I'm assuming it was a fluke--we'll see with some of the others from this set that I can't wait to use!

I was having a rough day when I I painted this, so I figured a little more sparkle was in order.  I added a coat of Fairy Dust, the perfect micro holo glitter, and then shined it all up with a top coat. 
I've been doing a lot of cleaning/decorating/crafting lately, so I've gotten some chips on my right hand.  At first I was bummed because this was such a fun look, but now I'm a little happy because it gives me an excuse to move onto the next festive look!

Do you have any "love" looks you love?  Let me know!