Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just what the Doctor Ordered

This week my mom started back to school. She is an amazing teacher and wrangles third graders five days a week. She puts everything into her classroom and kids, and I wanted to do something fun in her honor. Well, I wanted to spend a lot of money, but I improvised instead.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails base
*2 coats Sally Hansen Blew Me Away
*2 coats Spoiled Shuffle the Deck
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Out The Door top coat

What I really wanted to splurge on was Whimsical Ideas by Pam's Seuss.  It's all over the blogs and a brilliant take on childhood.  It's a bright blue base with awesome red and white hex glitters.  Oh, and did I mention the cutest bottle ever?  I wish that I had the money to buy far too many of her polishes, but alas, I am but a poor girl...

(This is a little closer to the real colors, without the flash)

So, I tried my hand at recreating her beauty.  I used Blew Me Away as my base, a reasonable match to hers.  This is a beautiful bright blue cream that actually is a bit darker than the picture shows.  It's a clean, afternoon-sky blue. 
I then added Shuffle the Deck on top, which is a mix of red, silver and black hex glitters in a clear base.  I have a love-dislike relationship with Spoiled glitters.  I do not hate them, even at their worst, but they can be a bit annoying.  The base is thick and the glitter can be sparse, so it makes for some work.  But, at $1.99 (or less!) with the combos they have, I can't complain too much.  I did 2 coats and each time I put the brush in, I swirled it around before pulling it back out.  This seemed to help get more glitter onto the brush. 
I had just snatched up Fairy dust, and my glitter looked a bit sparse, so I did a thin coat of this micro holo over the top.  The silver look of it fit well with Shuffle the Deck.  I dried and shined it all up with Out the Door, which is becoming my go-to quick dry.

So, it's not quite the same as Pam's (which I would NEVER object to swapping for receiving as a gift), but it was not too bad.  I would work a little harder to get the glitter dispersed more evenly next time, but it was bright and happy and reminded me of my mom all week, so I guess it could have been a whole lot worse!

Giveaway Alerts!

Here are a few new giveaways to check out and thank these ladies for!

*OhThreeOhFour: Don't you just love it when people give us presents for their birthday?  It is totally not necessary and un-selfish and awesome!  I would love to add to my Finger Paints collection or get some adorable glitter, wouldn't you?  So head over and wish her a Happy Happy and enter while you're there!
This is open internationally and ends TOMORROW!

*A Polish Addict:  There are three VERY generous prizes offered here.  For a chance to win some Shimmer polishes, and I dare you not to get lost in her swatches afterward!  Enjoy and leave some love while you're there.
This ends on September 12th and is open internationally.

*The Crumpet: Yet another generous birthday giveaway!  You have to check out all the amazing polishes that she is offering (I would LOVE the Model's Own collection).  I am new to her blog, but can't get enough!  I love her writing and am sure you will too.  Give her some birthday love and enter while you're there.
This ends on September 4th and is open internationally.

Thank you ladies, for all of your generosity and talent!  You have put some amazing polishes up in these giveaways and now just need to pick me :)

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Blues

Blogger is buggin' lately. Have any of you had issues with it? I cannot upload photos to my post without an error message unless I am in HTML mode. This does not bode well...

I needed to let go and take off my UPS mani. I needed something new and full of life. So, I tried out a couple of new polishes this weekend, mostly for an excuse to see if my Aengland baby would be all that I hoped.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails base
*3 coats Zoya Skylar (all nails but accent, which has 2)
*1 coat Aengland Tristam on accent nails
*1 coat Out the Door fast-dry top coat

LOVE! I was a bit disappointed with Skylar, though. My experience with Zoya had been amazing up until this point, and it didn't sour me on them, but I was surprised. I bought Skylar because I was torn between OPI's I Don't Give A Rotterdam and I Have A Herring Problem, so I went Zoya. This was the first Zoya where I really needed 3 coats for full coverage. The polish was quite thin. It was still easy to work with and a pretty, shimmery, dusty blue. Even though it's a blue polish, it's very soft and gorgeous in the sunlight. Speaking of sunlight...

Then I added a coat of Tristam as an accent, just to try it out. Oh. My. Sparkle! I love this! It was easy to use and such a rich, strong dark blue with amazing holo shimmer. I don't know how it is on its own, as far as coverage, but it looked perfectly true to its bottle after I put it over Skylar. I expected to be let down by this polish, which I got in her recent sale, and unimpressed. I fell in love and canNOT wait to get my hands on more of these!

Just look at that glitter and shimmer!  sigh.  Well, work chipped my tips quickly, so this is gone and I need some new inspiration.  I have gotten very comfortable with an accent nail (which felt weird at first) and now need to work on venturing into some art!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giveaway Alerts!

I've been meaning to give some love to these lovelies who are being so generous!  Take a minute to enter these generous giveaways, and then make sure that you have plenty of time to look through their amazing work!

*The Nail Network is offering a gorgeous collection of OPI for Sephora polishes.  She has such awesome pictures and polish work, and has had some issues lately with uncredited use of her wonderful work, so leave a little love while you're there! 
This is open internationally and you still have 4 more days to enter.

*Shelly's Sassy Nails has a great giveaway because Shelly has hit more than 500 followers!  Congratulations!  She's got a couple of really cool Rainbow Honey polishes to give and perhaps the most awesome question to prompt your blog comment :)
This is open internationally and you have 18 more days to enter and show her some love!

*Set In Lacquer is VERY generously offering up the China Glaze Bohemian to TWO lucky winners!  This collection is amazing and I am dying to get it on my hands.  Have you tried them out?  Do you love them?  She has awesome swatches to drool over while you wait to win!
This is open to the US and Canada and ends in just 4 days.

*Enchanting Cosmetics has teamed up with a ton of others to give a huge giveaway!  I can't even do this generosity justice--just go look at all of the awesome stuff offered!
This is open to the continental US and closes in 20 days.

*The Do It Yourself Lady has a huge giveaway going because she has reached more than 1000 followers!  That is definitely something to celebrate, and she's going big!  There are a ton of stamping plates, nail decor and stones that she is offering--just what I am dying to add to my collection!
This is open internationally and ends on the 30th.

*Captivating Claws has hit a huge milestone: 1400 followers!  It's so nice to see that there are so many people recognizing the talent, passion and joy that these ladies have.  To celebrate, she has 4 amazing polishes from The Polish Bar to give--I'd love to call these my own!
This is open internationally and closes in 3 days.

So now you've got a bunch of giveaways to stalk!  No, actually, I think that you should definitely NOT enter these and add more competition.  Instead, go look at these blogs and enjoy the work that these ladies do and drop a big THANK YOU their way!

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

TRUly lovely

It's been a long, tough week. I'm happy for a couple of days of rest and wanted to give my nails some well-deserved loving. I took off my UPS mani, filed down my little brokens, and even put on a base coat. And then I slept.
I wanted to put up a new, current manicure, but instead will show one I did while my mom was in town last month that I did not post. I was inspired by this lovely combo that was posted over at Nail Loopy. It's one that makes so much sense, as soon as I saw it. Also, I adore her blog, so I'm excited to try my hand at what she does!

<Insert photo here, if blogger weren't being obnoxious!  Ugh!>

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails
*2 coats Zoya Tru
*1 coat Nubar 2010 on accent finger
*1 coat Out the Door

Blogger is killing me right now.  Totally.  But, I really wanted to give some credit for a great mani that I adored, and I don't know when it will let me get my pictures up, so this is it.
Tru is such a pretty, dusty purple shade.  It translated much darker on my nail than I thought it would, but I got over that.  The shimmer is absolutely gorgeous in it.  It is such a strong pink/red shimmer in the sun that it's hard not to just stare at my hands! 
Instead of Chole, which is on my wish list, I used Nubar 2010 as my accent because of the strong red shift in it.  This was the PERFECT color compliment to the shimmer in Tru.  It looks like it is made to pair with it.  It is great coverage in one coat, but sparse enough to let the color and shimmer of Tru show through.  I really was sad to see this combo go. 
Sorry that there is no visual for this one, but I guess you really aren't missing too much.  Head over to Nail Loopy to get the idea and fall in love with this combo!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Memoriam

This has been a rough year for my extended family.  2012 has been filled with too much loss.  We need a good end. 
Last Thursday we lost my uncle.  That sounds so absurd to say, like we misplaced him or can't figure out where he's hiding.  This comes less than three months after we lost my other uncle.  My dad has lost his brother-in-law and brother in the span of a single season.  We can't afford any more of this.  We need time to regroup and heal.  We need to be joyful again.  I know that this will take time, which is what we need as a family.  No more of this. 
My uncles were good men.  They knew the value of hard work, and honest effort.  Mike, who we lost in May, worked in paving, created with his hands.  Chuck, who left us last week, delivered for UPS for more than 3 decades.  He had a perfect driving record, a nearly impossible feat.  They loved their families deeply and fiercely.  They enjoyed simple pleasures: family meals, an afternoon in the sun, a quiet home town.
This week I painted my nails in honor of Chuck.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails
*2 coats China Glaze Mahogany Magic
*1 coat Essie As Gold As It Gets
*1 coat Out the Door top coat
I realized after the fact that I also dipped into my Hunger Games polishes for Mike's memorial (Smoke and Ashes).  That seems so grim, but I think it's that these men were strong, inspirations, and the books are comforting.  It is appropriate, I think. 
I realized that Mahogany Magic is almost a perfect UPS brown!  If I had been careful, I could have pretty much gotten away with one reasonably thick coat, but I was patchy in places and opted for two.  The polish is not quite as yellow as it looks here, but there are plenty of swatches out there to look at if you haven't already. 
I don't know that I'm wild about the glitter.  I should have taken a note from my uncle and been comfortable in the simple, known enough is enough.  But I wanted something more for his memory, something big and demanding notice.  So, I added Essie's As Gold As It Gets over the top.  This is so much easier to apply and more uniform than other flaky glitters I own.  It looks much better and natural over Mahogany Magic in the sun.

This is a hard time.  I am torn between staying in grief and moving on, remembering and thinking of other things.  No one knows how to do this well.  For the moment, at least, I look at my hands and feel pride in the man that I call "uncle," the man that my family loves, the man that we were blessed to know.  It reminds me of what it is to live a good, respectable life, to be a person puts family above all and see nothing undignified in hard work.  It reminds me of the kind of person I can only hope to be.