Thursday, November 28, 2013

Purple Skittles/Skittlettes....a decidedly non-Thanksgiving post on Thanksgiving Day

Here are the reasons I'm not posting a Thanksgiving mani on Thanksgiving Day:

 - I'm always behind on everything.  I'm a planner by nature, but only when it comes to real-life priority things.  Don't get me wrong, painting my nails is definitely a real-life priority for me, but photographing/uploading/editing and planning blog posts with those manis tends to take a backseat to all of the other obligations in my life (especially now as we work on transitioning to civilian life and relocate).

- I'm totally in a purple mood lately, as you'll soon see below...

- I currently live in FL, where seasonal colors aren't necessarily prompted by weather changes.  So while I've done a couple "fall" colored manis, for the most part I'm still jonesing on the brighter colors for my nails.

I'm sure there are more reasons, but my brain is more fried than usual so I'll just start posting the pics!

Let's start with what I'm wearing today, a mani inspired by polishes I recently picked up during our house-hunting trip, to a region of the country that has Rite Aid!!  The pretty matte silver, Layla Softouch 01, was obtained in the bargain bin at Ulta a few weeks back but the rest of the polishes are from Rite Aid:  Dark purple is Sinful Colors Mesmerize, the pale periwinkle is Sinful Colors Candy Coated, and that soooooo pretty glittery textured purple is JulieG Sugar Plum Fairy.  Other than it being a little thicker than I prefer, JulieG once again nailed the right way to do texture!

More pics of this mani and two others after the jump:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall(ish) Mani with Julie G, Milani & China Glaze

I'm originally from Ohio where the seasons are typically "hot as blazes with 90% humidity" for about 2-3 months, and then it's "grey dreary and dark" for the rest of the year.  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little, and to be fair it's been 15 years since I lived there so perhaps I'm just remembering incorrectly.  I love Ohio and I do enjoy getting back there often to see friends and family as often as possible.  But, I married a Marine and we've since lived in many wonderful places...NC (twice), MD, VA, CA and we currently live in FL though not for much stop DELAWARE!

Anyway, this is my wordy way of saying that living in FL, we don't really get traditional weather seasons.  Which means that I'm often a little conflicted about my polish FL self says "you still have the A/C running, put on some bright blue/aqua!!" while my OH-raised soul says "it's November, it's time for something dark and earthy and reminiscent of fall".  Don't worry, I'm Gemini, we often have these sorts of internal debates.  :)

Anyway AGAIN, here is a mani where the OH in me won out:

I'm not much for red, orange, yellow tones, so this was a more subtle version of what I'd consider fall colors.  The neutral taupe is Julie G Stiletto, the shimmery brown is Milani Chocolate Sprinkles and the silver foil accent is China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets.  The pattern itself?  I think I was originally going for trees, but my freehand skills aren't the best and I think it came out looking more like ferns...?

More pics after the jump....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Layla Ceramic Effect 39 - Southern Light

So recently Danielle over at Polish. Glitter. Rock & Roll. posted about Layla Ceramic Effect 39 and I remembered that I'd recently tried out that color as well, but hadn't gotten a chance to post about it.  What I love about Danielle's photos is that she was able to capture the purple awesomeness of the polish, a feat that I was completely unable to do with my photos.  For me, this polish totally reads dark grey with the occasional flash of purple, most often when out in the sun (not that you can see any purple AT ALL in these photos): 

What's great about Danielle's blog post is that she said she couldn't capture the grey-with-pink-shimmer nature of this polish, so I offered to post my photos and we'll link to each other.  Because again - I could NOT get the purple of the polish to show up at all!  Lol.  Seriously people, do YOU see any purple here?.... now go look at Danielle's pretty purrrrrple pics....

More of my (grey) photos after the jump:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Essie Smokin' Hot + Zoya Kristen & Hazel

Hi, and welcome to my most favoritest (hush, I know that's not a real word, but it should be) mani in ages:

I love this so much that I'm wearing it for an unprecedented 3rd day.  As someone who changes her nails every 1-2 days, this is high praise indeed. I think I'm actually going to be a little sad when it's time to remove this one.  Not a lot sad, because you's just polish....but it'll be a little bit of a bummer.  I may pick a different color combo and do just the freehand swipes (on my thumb) as a full mani....


More pics after the jump...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Summer Canadian

Life is about to ramp up here soon, gotta go north next week to find a new place to live and check out schools for the kiddo.  We literally have only 3 days to get these goals accomplished, so wish me luck!

A good way to de-stress is to think of my "happy place", which happens to be Lake Duborne in northern Ontario.  My family has had a cabin there since the '50s and a little over 10 years ago my Dad and stepmom built another cottage on the same lake.  The entire extended family tries to be there at the same time, and during the busiest week we probably cram 20-some people on the porch of the original cabin for dinner each evening.  This place is our family's version of heaven on earth and we all work hard the entire rest of the year in order to get our vacation up north, enjoying quality time with each other and our Canadian friends and nature.  My D&J usually get about 3-4 months at their cottage, and my son and I are fortunate to spend about 4 weeks there.  It's primarily about family time, but it's also about learning to respect and value nature, replenish the soul, and enjoy a quality of life that we don't get "back home".

Annnnd, as the pic above attests, there is the occasional (okay, more like often) enjoyment of Canadian beer.  Along with pretty nails!  :-)

The hubby can usually snag a week off work to come north as well, which involves a 2+ hour drive back to the States to pick him up at a regional airport, and I always try to stop in at various big box retailers (on the Canadian side of the border, gotta support their economy too!) that we don't have anywhere near the lake to stock up on supplies.  Which of course means a quick gander at nail polish displays...duh!  This past summer I lucked out and stumbled on the gorgeous Nicole by OPI "Cinna-man of My Dreams", one of the textured polishes from their Gumdrops line.

GAH!  I love this polish, so so so much!  In fact, now I'm gonna have to throw it into the gotta-wear-soon queue after editing these photos and being reminded of how pretty it is.  Though I do have to admit, my pics aren't that great since they were taken in full sun and at the worst possible time of day to do sun photos, so the colors aren't entirely accurate.  But take my word for it...this polish is gorgeous and unique and absolutely worth seeking out to add to your stash!

Couple more photos of nails, and maybe a few bonus lake pics, after the jump....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Purple Mani Inspired by Young Wild and Polished

A good friend of mine recently suggested that I check out Young Wild and Polished on Youtube and I was immediately drawn a mani she did called "Striping Tape and Flowers".  Being new to blogging, I hope I'm giving the proper credit here by linking to Nicole's tutorial.  Please kindly tell me if I should do things differently, because as a photography hobbyist, it's important to me to make sure I'm giving the proper credit to other artists!!

I was in a purple mood, so here is my resulting mani:

Please ignore the slight smearing that happened when I top-coated.  I thought I'd waited long enough, but clearly not.  :)  These dang macro pics show everything! 

The polishes I used:
lightest - Sinful Colors Sweet Tooth
medium - Pure Ice Jail Bait
darkest - Zoya Pinta

More pics after the jump, including a few from after I applied a matte top coat:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Folder Dump Saturday!

Confession time:  my memory sucks.  There's a comedienne, Kathleen Madigan I think (but don't hold me to that), who does a sketch about how there just isn't enough room in the brain to remember every little detail, particularly as we age.  I have found that to be extremely, positively true.  I can remember important stuff...for the most part....but details and everyday minutiae are just GONE unless I write it down somewhere.

Now, apply this concept to my 1+ year long nail polish hobby, where I've been taking photos of my manis and putting them into a computer folder, but only recently started this blog for documentation/sharing purposes....and you can imagine that I have a LOT of manis where I just cannot for the life of me remember what polishes I used.  I'm using a better system now, but there are tons of photos sitting on my computer that don't have notes, and they need a home on this blog.

Enter today's post, where I dump photos of the manis I've done, add notes if I remember anything about them, and call it a day.  Actually, I'm calling it "Folder Dump".  :)  Fair warning that the photos are sometimes crap quality (as are the manis themselves!) but hopefully you'll forgive that in favor of seeing fun and simple designs and/or random swatches:

(oooooo, boy....these are worse than I remembered....I'll keep the images small....eeeeek)

Christmas 2012...I think that base color was from the ELF mini pack from last year....loved this little tree, will definitely be doing that again this December.

More after the jump:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NOTD: "Dragon Hunter"

Hey y'all...two posts in two days.  Wooohoooo!  Making up for my frequent absences when I get the chance, I guess.  Have I mentioned that my family and I are kinda going through a huge life transition thing right now?  My husband decided to retire from the military and found a civilian job that is requiring us to move to northern Delaware and wrap up our life here in three months, with those three months falling during one of the busiest times of the year, and it's been pretty chaotic around these here parts.  So if I'm here one day and then gone for 2 weeks, now you know why.  I think I'll feel a bit more grounded once we've found a place to live and I've gotten my kiddo enrolled in a school, both of which I hope to have accomplished by the end of November. 

Okay, now I'm just babbling.  Back to nails....

Today's nail of the day is a mani I wore and loved a few weeks back.  I'd bought Zoya Hunter at Ulta one day and it was sitting there on the counter a few days later when I received a Llarowe order containing a England about a perfect polish match!  I have the sort of skin tone that has a hard time pulling off greens so you'll see some lobster hands here, but I've now reached the age where I don't care because green is a favorite color of mine and I'm gonna wear it even if I get the dreaded red fingers.  :)

Puuuuuurty, right?  a England Dragon is perfection in a bottle, which isn't a surprise to anyone who's used a England polishes.  I'm wearing it here on my middle two fingers, along with a freehand swipe on the index/pinky fingers that have a base of Zoya Hunter.  I personally prefer subtle holos and Dragon fits the bill perfectly, applying smoothly and nearly opaque in one coat (though I did two coats here).

More pics after the jump, if you're interested:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NOTD: Zoya Nimue & Trixie

Courtesy of Zoya's recent promos and a local beauty supply store shutting down one of their locations and selling everything at 40-50% off, I've recently amassed quite a collection of my favorite polish brand.  In fact, tomorrow's mail should bring another box of pretties since I took advantage of Zoya's Spirit Trios promo to get a few good basic colors that I hadn't purchased yet.  I seriously looooove Zoya, it's a problem.  :)  Not all of their colors/formulas have worked for me, but I'd say at least 90% of the ones I've tried have been awesome and I love how their line is 5-Free AND they're based in Cleveland.  I'm a born and raised Ohioan and got married in Cleveland, so I'm glad to support an Ohio company as often as I can.

Anyway, I recently decided to do a little simple nail art using two of my newer untried Zoya's...Nimue and Trixie:

Nimue is a lovely dusty purple with a strong silver shimmer and paired really well with Trixie, a silver foil that was super easy to use with one of my cut-down art brushes.  For a while, the only silver polish I had was Essie No Place Like Chrome, which is a great staple for any polish collector, but it always struck me as a little harsh as a full mani or accent nail (NPLC is a great stamping and/or detail polish, though).  Enter Trixie, which isn't as "smooth" in appearance as NPLC, courtesy of the foily-er (making up words is FUN!) particles that break up the finish just a little more.  Which probably makes no sense.  Both polishes are great in formula and I'm glad I have both, but Trixie's overall appearance on my nails is just more aesthetically pleasing to me.

More pics after the jump...