Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Nails - Candy Corn!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I present to you the third and final installment for this year's Halloween themed manicure - candy corns!

Candy Corn manicure

For this manicure I "free handed" the design. I applied each tier of nail polish in the same way that I would apply nail polish near my nail bed - only about half a centimeter from the previous color. The application is far from perfect, which is why I chose to apply opalescent flaky polish to help blur the lines of polish.

I started with white polish - Orly's White Out. I really could use a new bottle of white polish. This bottle is quite old and took three coats to get the streaks near the nail bed out. Next I applied my orange - Orly's Sol Cabana. This is a nice happy shade of orange, and while I don't wear orange polish regularly, when I do wear it, I should reach for this color more. My nail polish collection began in Sally Beauty Supply and so my polish collection includes Orly. Once I realized I didn't have to buy all my polishes from Sally, I pretty much stopped buying Orly as I found their polishes to be thick, goopey and streaky all at the same time. A good polish should be opaque in one coat, and maybe only need a second coat to achieve a completely even coverage. Orly's performance is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Now I only buy Orly when I will simply die without their unique colors. When Orly came out with their Cosmic FX Fall 2010 collection, I needed it. I knew I would probably have application issues, but that nail polish finish was so unique (at the time) that I happily plunked down my $40+ on the Sally checkout counter for the collection. Other than those rare occasions, I steer clear from Orly.

My final color was Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Sunflower. You know, this manicure made me realize that there are some serious gaps in my nail polish collection. I didn't realized that I had only ONE white and not a single, vibrant creme yellow polish. Zoya's Pippa has been on my need to get list for a while, but I'm not sure if I can stop at only that one. Though Sunflower was the closest shade of yellow I own, it has an opalescent finish to it which is why I opted to put a top coat of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Hidden Treasure to add the opalescence to the other colors on my nail.

Let's tally up the coats of polish, shall we? Three white, two orange, two yellow, two Hidden Treasure = 9 coats. I topped this all with a final thick coat of Seche Vite. It got my nails dry to the touch, that was certain. However, I fell asleep before my nails really hardened and some of the polish "moved." My middle finger was dented and nicked so badly that I just scraped the polish off the tip. Instead of trying to build up a new corner of yellow onto my nail, I took a black striper and turned the missing tip color into a bite mark. I know, candy corn are bite size and you really wouldn't bite into one, but you know what? Shut up. It was late last night, I realized my screwed up finger nail early this morning and didn't have time to fix it. This polish will be coming off tonight and I will be giving my UV free gel nail kit a go! I'm more excited for that than this candy corn mani, so sue me!

Just kidding! Love ya and thanks for reading!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Nails - Spiderwebs!

Look at me! Keeping my promises...go me!

Here is the nail I plan to rock until right before Halloween - Spiderweb nails!

Spiderweb nails

For this design I used Zoya's Dovima as my base color. I originally wanted a nude nail, but I wanted to minimize the layers of polish I had on my nail. And with a nude nail it always seems to take at the very least three coats to create opaque coverage. As I was gathering my polishes to start this nail design, I realized I have never worn my Zoya mattes before. I also knew I was going to use glitter in this design and I thought the matte would create a nifty contrast with the glitter on the nail.

Once I got my base color down (two coats) I dabbed some white nail polish (I believe the polish came from a Milani striper polish) and feathered out the polish with the tip of a cosmetic sponge to create almost a cloud of white in the corner of my nail (my left hand - not pictured - was done in a mirror image of my right hand). A word to the wise, if you are going to apply polish directly to the nail instead of on the cosmetic sponge, work quickly. If the wet polish sits on the base color too long it reactivates the polish underneath and creates a murky mess.

After I made my "cobweb" cloud, I repeated the above stippling process but this time with a silver glitter polish (I used a Milani glitter striper.) This step isn't necessary, and I think if you want a more realistic looking cobweb you can definitely skip the glitter. But what can I say - I love a little sparkle. And if I am going to take the time to do nail art in my mani at all - I want the full treatment!

Once my glitter cobweb was complete, I used a black Color Club striper to draw four long stripes beginning at the corner of the cobweb. Now comes the tricky part: take a well-wiped striper brush and make U-shaped swoops, connecting all the four diagonal lines on the spiderweb design. I did two tiers because I made my cobweb area too small for three tiers. I'll be honest - making the U-shaped swoops is difficult. The larger the U, the easier it is. But my smaller tier was basically straight lines connecting the diagonals. My other option was to use my Migi Nail Art pens, but it is difficult to control the flow of polish coming from the tip when you draw and I knew I would end up with a squiggly, goopy mess. If you have a better, steadier hand than me, by all means use nail art pens. Drawing a U is much easier than bending a striper brush.

I waited for my spiderwebs to dry and topped just the corner tip with a coat of Seche Vite. No need for a top coat for the Zoya matte polish - it dries super fast and should remain chip-free because the tips of the polish is protected with SV.

That is all for now! I picked up a what could could be awesome UV light-free gel nail polish system! I may have to wait until after Halloween to show you, but I am excited about the possibilities!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Nails!

Hello. To brief my readers from the last post. Yes, I kept the camera. Las Vegas was not too thrilling, but thoroughly exhausting. Our activities were...let's just say, not exactly my cup of tea.

Oh, and I still don't have a teaching job and am growing in my bitter disappointments each and every day. The OCCUPY movements and the I AM THE 99% movements are really speaking to me. However, this has my mind thinking about ways to earn other money. I am trying my darndest not to get a second job. I told myself I would be done with that crap after college.

But I also told myself I'd have a teaching job, so...

Onto the nails!

Mummy Nails!

For these nails I followed a tutorial by and used a base of Essie Sand Tropez, with Essie's Sew Psyched and Zoya's Dove stippled with a cosmetic sponged on top to give it a dusty and dirty appearance. Then I used my Color Club striper in black to outline the bandage wraps and made a thicker black strip towards the top. I used a larger dotting tool for the white eyes and an smaller dotting tool for the red pupils, paying attention to the direction the eyes would flash. After 30 minutes of dry time, I topped with Seche Vite (and still got freaking streaking) and voila! Mummy nails!

The plus side to this design is that people think the nails are so cute! (So cute that my boring ole' "only berry tones, please" Mom asked if I could do it on her nails for Halloween!) The downside to the design is that most people can't tell what they are supposed to be, but they do understand them to be creepy, which I guess is good.

Again, I am offering a lame apology to this blog and hope that this gets me out of my nail funk. I hope to try at least two more Halloween themed manicures before the season is over!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Guess Who Found Her Camera?

Gah, you're good! You should come with me to Las Vegas this afternoon! You can use one of my cameras.


Yep, when I was cleaning out my car for the trip to Vegas I found it. The camera had slid under the driver's seat. And I swear looked for it there too. It must have gotten caught under the rug. Hmmm. Now I have a decision to make. I can actually return the new camera I purchased. I have about 26 more days to think it over. I do like the camera and can see a difference in the picture quality between the two cameras. Like I said, I'll think it over.

In other news, here is my NOTD! Trying to get back into the swing of things.

Essie's Mesmerized

I swear, ever since Essie moved out of salons and into my drugstores, I feel like the formula has greatly improved! More daring and unique colors (because I love ballerina pink as much as the next girl, but come on - how many shaded of ballerina pink does one nail polish line need?)

That is it for now. As I mentioned, I am going to Las Vegas later today and the first stop on this list is The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace! YAY! I'm so excited! I can't wait to have my first experience with Inglot! I've got quite a chunk of money set aside for that!

I'll share it with you when I get back!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Guess Who Got a New Camera?

Good guess!

I got the camera I was whining about! I actually almost repurchased my lost/damaged camera because Best Buy was clearing them out (I guess they are discontinued now because they were sitting right next to the Flip cameras, also on super clearance.) The clearance price was $100 cheaper than the new camera I purchased, but due to the truly stellar salesmanship skills of the employee who helped me, I purchased the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300HS camera. I am indeed happy with this purchase. Over the duration of the past year I have learned that there is more to the the performance of a camera than the number of mega pixels. I am enjoying the wide angle lens quite a bit on this new camera, even though most of my point and shoot camera pictures are use with the macro setting. Like this picture:

China Glaze Crushed Candy (crackle) over Zoya's Kelley.

This is picture is not actually taken with the macro setting due to the heinous quality of my cuticles and manicure right now. It was late, I needed something on my nails, and this is the first paint that has been on my nails since the last time I posted a NOTD picture on this blog. Plus I wanted to prove to you that I had a new camera with this picture.

The bottle I am holding is MiO Liquid Water Enhancer in Fruit Punch. Having this stuff on hand makes water consumption a breeze! I love this stuff. I have tried all the flavors and I think Fruit Punch is my favorite flavor tasting the least artificial. These are zero calorie so they have some artificial sweeteners in the (but some natural ones too) that I usually try to stay away from. But while I am trying to lose weight, this is a little excitement in an otherwise calm diet.

Speaking of the diet, erm...I wish I hasn't mentioned it now, LOL! On Sunday morning I was ONE POUND away from a total 20 lost. However, after yesterday's birthday party (my sister is turning 21) that number is closer to 4.3 pounds away from 20. :-( I have about 4 days to reverse that number to make my goal for Las Vegas. I'm going to the gym this afternoon for a hard core workout. Today is my sister's actual birthday, so the family is going out for drinks at a local Mexican restaurant for Margarita Monday. Maybe I will limit myself to one...hopefully.

On a somewhat happier note, I did a littler retail damage at Lane Bryant. I was able to buy two pairs of jeans in a smaller size! Yay!. But I didn't buy any smaller tops yet. If I am going to go down one jean size, I need some forgiveness with the shirts. If you have ever suffered from a muffin top, you'll understand what I mean. Anyway, everything I bought was on sale or clearance, plus I have $50 to spend in free money AND $25 off a $75 purchase. I bought lots of lovely things! The best score was a pair of Seven7 Cropped Jeans originally $70, on clearance for $20! I tell you the best time to hit Lane Bryant is in the changing of the seasons collections. All the new stuff comes in and all the old (like 2-3 months old) stuff goes on super sale to clear it out of there. So the next time you get a catalog in the mail with the new collections (for any store) go shopping ASAP to swoop in on last season's collection!

Lastly, I will leave you with long overdue FO pictures of some socks I knitted.


These are Monkey by the well known sock pattern writter, Cookie A. Super easy, and very rewarding pattern for such an uncomplicated pattern. This is Cherry Tree Hill Super Sock SemiSolids in Mango. Although when I started knitting with this yarn it reminded me more of Muenster cheese rather than mangoes. The second picture is more color accurate.

And here is a picture of my newest sock:


The pattern is called Nine-to-Five (Ravelry Link) with a nifty faux cable stitch. Though the stitch isn't easy to maneuver, though the Signature Needle Arts DPNS make it infinitely easier, it is still way easier than making a traditional cable. These socks are for my Oma, the only one who wears my knitted socks. So far she's received a self-striping stockinette pair, a gansey patterned pair, and now for Christmas she will receive a cabled pair. Last on the list will be lace, but something tells me she won't go in for the lace. Too much of a chance for wearing through.

The yarn is Madeline Tosh Sock (my current FAVORITE yarn) in the colorway Calligraphy. At first look it seems like a greige (gray/beige) color, Oma's favorite, but once knitted it has subtle shadow pooling, showing tones of lavendars, washed out gunmetals, and sweet peachy pinks. That is the beauty of Madeline Tosh, the colorways are so complex, but in the most sophisticated ways. No clown barf colorways to be found. And with names like Earl Grey, Malachite, and Fjord, the company takes luxury knitting to a new level!

Ta-ta for now!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Have an Addictive Personality

I know I do. Thank God I have always been too scared to try any drugs (save for alcohol...and though I indulge occasionally, it puts me to sleep more than gives me a high) or else I would probably be on the streets doing...never mind.

The reason why I felt compelled to comment on this is because I am close, so close, to losing a total of 20 pounds. The last time I lost this much weight was in high school, preparing for prom, trying to squeeze down into a smaller dress size. And even then I am not sure I made it to 20 pounds.

I have been exercising (at least twice a week...I wish it was more) and I have been really limiting my calories. I have become addicted to watching the numbers on the scale drop. And I know there are things I am doing that are not healthiest (I've taken up smoking....just kidding!) like skipping breakfast and just having a couple cups of black coffee in it's place (I've always had the black coffee, I just used to eat some buttered toast, or croissants, or breakfast burrito too.) I know that is bad for my metabolism, but I figure there are other things I am doing to help my metabolism, like the exercising and strength training.

And as for my other meals, I am really trying to stick to vegetables. I am lucky to find inspiration everywhere these days. The Youtube vlogger, ShayCarl, has been doing weight loss vlogs on his Shayloss channel. has been doing healthy eating and weight loss updates on her TheThirdShift Youtube channel. In fact, I have fallen quite in love with her bean salad and always have it on hand as my "go to" food to eat whenever I get hungry. Aside from the olive oil in the dressing, it has no fat and tons of fiber.

Oh, and another thing too is that my best friend recently became a vegetarian (and an environmental nut, erm, advocate.) She makes me want to be a better person. I have no (NONE) intentions of becoming a vegetarian, but it did prompt me to add more veggies and beans to my diet.

Anyway, I know this kind of stuff is not originally what the blog started out regarding subject matter, but I did want to meet my goal of a post once a week. I intend to keep up the at least once a week posts, even if the subject matter goes a little off topic (because staying on top of weight control is definitely NOT one of the things I enjoy about being a girl.)

I think I am getting a salon (not DIY or DYM) pedicure this afternoon! Maybe I'll post a picture of that on Saturday because I think that is when I am getting my new camera! Talk about fate! I went into Best Buy to get the camera I was interested in. Because of some advertised pricing issues, I didn't end up getting the camera last Friday. Then I started to rethink my purchase entirely...maybe I didn't need another point and shoot. Maybe my DSLR would be good enough. But then my favorite vlogger ShayCarl posted a vlog in beautiful 1080i quality. He recently purchased a new camera (as a rule, he and his family films with Flip cameras) and was testing out the quality. It turned out beautiful, so he said he will be switching cameras. He didn't mention the brand or the kind of camera he purchased. I just kind of assumed it would be a traditional video camera. BUT, he filmed himself in a mirror and he was holding the camera close enough for me to read the make and model of his new camera. WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT!!!! It was the EXACT SAME CAMERA I was going to buy! I take signs like that very seriously. I am going on Saturday to BUY THAT CAMERA, PRICE BE DAMNED!


Friday, August 5, 2011


...about my horrible friggen track record with point and shoot digital cameras. I really cannot tell you how many I have owned. Far too many for me to keep track. I think my very first post (OK, the second) for this blog was regarding a new camera purchase to replace my old camera purchase. Well folks, it seems to be that time again.


If it isn't cracking the screen, or spilling a soda on it, or simply losing it, it's gotta be something!!!

This time it was a combination of numbers 1 and 3.

On the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS I'll admit, I was careless. I use my camera so much (yeah, I know you wouldn't know for the lack of pictures posted to this blog. I'll kindly thank you to shut your mouth.) I let it roll around my purse without it's case and I cracked the glass on the screen. However, I did not damage the working parts under the LCD screen and it still showed the pictures just fine. I carefully hand cut a piece of tape to fit over the crack in the glass (it was only on the lower right corner) and the camera was absolutely fine. In fact, I just used it to post pictures to my Flickr account with my newest finished objects for Ravlery.

I had to remove the SD card from the camera to put the SD card into my laptop's card reader. Fine, we're good. Then I remember taking the camera with me to take a picture of something at work - OF COURSE forgetting the SD card in my laptop. So I knew I wouldn't be taking any pictures that day. But I also didn't know that I would be losing the camera that day either. I remember shoving it into my jeans pocket and then...never seeing it again. Dang it if it didn't fall out of my pocket at some point.

Lame. Really lame.

So I have been on the hunt for a new point and shoot. I love Canon cameras (although, maybe there is a curse that comes with them...) and since Circuit City is extinct, my only in-store option these days is Best Buy (or maybe Sears.) I've read some positive reviews on this camera and think that this will be my next purchase. I love large LCDs, and the fact that it shoots 1080p HD quality videos. The HD video quality is important because one day I will make videos on Youtube and it will make me rich...

It's nuts: I have losing cameras...but I love buying new ones. I can't pinpoint why it gives me such a thrill.

I need to get my hands on this one within the next few weeks because my sister is having her 21st birthday party in a weekend trip to Las Vegas. And though I love my DSLR and probably will still take it with me, it is just not practical for those candid moments that I want to capture.

Well it's been just over a year, but I must presume you dead Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS even though your status is officially MIA. Out with the old, in with the new.

Who knows, maybe when I get a new camera the posts will even improve!