Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 17: Glitter

Glitter polishes are my favorite. I couldn't decide which glitter polish to feature, so I'm giving you three!

First is the very affordable L.A. Colors "Goddess."  This polish surprised me; when I first bought it, I just knew it would be stupidly sheer and take a million coats. Wrong! "Goddess" is actually an opaque glitter! It's gorgeous, and it only cost me $1.  This is two coats in the shade because the images I took in full sun didn't show the polish's true color.

"Goddess" is a great summer polish. It's a light golden color with different sized glitter. Just look at those big ol' honkin' silver hex shapes in the bottle!

Next is another inexpensive glitter: "Ants in My Pants" by Spoiled.  This is one of the CVS exclusive polishes, and I'm 99% sure it's a dupe of Wet 'n' Wild's "Behind Closed Doors" from the limited edition Halloween 2011 collection, which I'm 99% sure was a dupe of a fancy Deborah Lippmann polish.

I took these photos at my Mom's house after doing yard work, so you can see some tip wear. Overall, though, the polish held up really well. And it is gorgeous. This is one coat over black. The only problem with this Spoiled polish, and with the other Spoiled glitters I own, is that the formula is so chunky it's like painting your  nails with molasses.  Don't care, though, because my crappy photos do not do this polish justice. "Ants in My Pants" is a sheer black jelly that is jam-packed with red hex glitter. ME GUSTA.

Finally, I have an expensive polish to show you: "Ruby Slipper" (yes, just one) by Del Sol.  This is one of those color changing polishes, and of the several Del Sols I own, "Ruby Slipper" is by far the one that has the most dramatic color change.

Here are before and after pictures.  The "before" was taken in the shade, and the "after" was taken out in full sun.  

If you go to the Del Sol web site, the demo bottle of "Ruby Slipper" they have is silver glitter that turns red.  Mine, though, is gold glitter that turns red. I don't know if I got a dud or what, but I like the change from peachy gold to red.  I liked it so much I made a daggone video of it and put it on YouTube! See?

Oh, by the way... I mentioned the last time I posted a blog entry (about a month ago!) that if I hit 50 followers, I'll do a giveaway.  Well, despite the fact that I am the laziest blogger on the Internet, I have 51 followers! And I have prizes! I just need to get my junk organized. Stay tuned! ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 16: Tribal Print

I had a hard time coming up with a design for this challenge. Here are two attempts at a tribal design.

The above design was created using a grey base color and some cheap-o water decals I got at Dollar Tree. It wasn't really "tribal" enough for me, so here's what I tried next:

This design is more "tribally," but I still didn't like it. Anyway, the inspiration is from a YouTube video by an overly chipper young woman.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 15: Delicate Print

I am not a delicate person. These nails are not delicate, either. However, this is as close as I could get at the time. 

The color is really shitty in both of these photos, and I can't remember which polish I used.  My bad.

Day 14: Flowers

I hate both of these manicures, but I'm trying to get caught up, so here ya go.  Day 14 is supposed to be flowers. Here are two very lame attempts from mid-March.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Not Nail Polish: I got left behind.

I'm finishing up my penultimate semester in my MA program in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, so on Friday, I figured it was about time to get my fat ass to the library to do some much-needed reading for my final projects. I got to the library around 12:30 p.m. and went up to the 3rd floor of O'Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State University. My first thought was, "Huh, it's kinda dim up here." They must have switched to using motion sensors to save on electricity because the lights came back on all the way as I walked around. Anyway, I picked out a private study room and pulled out all my crap from my book bag... laptop, cables, mouse, two big ol' honkin' binders, snacks, etc.

Time flies when you're reading about MMORPGs, gaming, communities of practice, and forum posting, so around 4:30 p.m., I went out for a smokey treat and to stretch my legs. Then back to the study room I went, setting my iPhone's alarm for 7 p.m. That time comes and goes, so I set the alarm for one more hour; I figure that way I'll have time to check out the books I need and get to the shuttle parking lot and home before Rajiv gets home from work at a little after 9 p.m.

So, 8 o'clock rolls around, and I pack up all my junk again... laptop, binders, books on virtual communities....  As I leave the study room, again I think, "Man, it's really dim in here," but no worries. I head down to the 2nd floor to pick up a few papers from the printer queue, and then I realize, "Shit, it's not just dim. It's fucking DARK in here."

Apparently, I got left behind.

Come to find out, the goddamn library closes at 6 p.m. on Friday nights.

I'd been alone in the library for almost 3 hours.

The shuttles stop running at 9 p.m.


I did see a little movement on the first floor, but I don't think that cleaning lady saw me. I used the self checkout machine thingie to get my two books, and if anyone from O'Kelly is wondering how I managed to check out books at 8:54 p.m. on a Friday night it's because YOU MOTHERFUCKERS LEFT ME ALONE IN THE SCARY ASS LIBRARY ALL BY MYSELF FOR ALMOST 3 HOURS!

I could have died up there.

Then, to make matters worse, the stupid shuttle had already looped past the library stop, so I ended up calling the daggone campus police to come get me. See, the shuttle lot is Lot FF, which I realized Friday is code for FUCKING FAR (see map below). And WSSU has a serious problem with keeping the campus well lit (and they wonder why there's so much crime on campus), and there was no way in hell I was walking my admittedly fat ass about a mile up the road in the spooky dark carrying a full backpack. Uh uh.

So, a really nice lady answers the phone with campus police, and she sent a cop over to help me. Campus police was actually really good about helping me out Friday, so big ups to them.

And yes, I told the cop that I was left alone in the library, and that I was scared to walk across campus because it's too damn dark. He agreed with me.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't go to the library alone. Ever.

Fuck you, library. Fuuuuuuck youuuuuu.

According to Google maps, it's about 0.9 miles from the library (A) to shuttle lot FF (B). Zoom out to see the letters. Doesn't look too bad when you see it from satellite during the day, but at night, this shit is spooky dark. Like, setting for a horror movie dark. Seriously.

View Larger Map

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 13: Animal Print Nails

Hey, y'all. I'm back.

This is a manicure from the end of January for my Day 13: Animal Print Nails. I found these awesome Kiss Stick-On Nail Strips at Dollar General for just $3. They work infinitely better than those piece of shit Duracolour ones.


There are 18 stickers in each package. I think these are version 1.0 of the nail dress stickers that a bunch of bloggers got in their Voxbox from Influenster. I won a set of those, the version 2.0 ones, from Kiss's Facebook page. ;)  Those come in a plastic box package and have 28 stickers plus a little booklet of ideas.

Anyway, here are the pink zebra stripes on my nails. They only lasted a few days for me because I didn't use any top coat and because I kept picking at them. Since my nails are so short, it was hard to get the edges cut properly. I trimmed them with scissors before applying them, which helped some, but filing the ends down was tough.

The benefit of having short nails, though, is that I have enough of these stickers left for another manicure, and maybe even a pedicure. Wheee!

Have you seen this version 1.0 of the Kiss nail stickers? Have you tried these or the other version yet?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Not Nail Polish: Language & Smoking

I've been wanting to post something about my Dad and then get back to nail polish, but first, I want to say a few words about the language used in regards to smokers.

1. I have smoked off and on since I was a teenager; I'm 36 now, so I've smoked a lot. (At one job, e.g., we took so many smoke breaks that I have no idea how we got any work done.)

2. I've smoked unfiltered Luckies, Camel Lighrts, Salem Lights, Winstons, Marlboro Reds, Marlboro special blend, Newports, and off-brand cheap smokes, but I always come back to Camels. They don't burn out as fast, and they taste better to me. And I found out this weekend that my maternal grandfather used to smoke them; his wife smoked Luckies, and that's who I stole my first cigarette from. They also used to sharecrop tobacco, so I often joke that I'm just following in tradition and supporting the (failing) local economy.

3. People who don't want you to smoke don't really do anything about it because they don't want to offend anybody, which leads me to the following examples:

1. At the hospital in Danville, there are countless signs proclaiming the hospital campus as a no smoking zone. This makes sense since it's a hospital. However, I only had one encounter during the entire 8 days I was up there with Daddy where someone actually asked me to move off hospital property. It was raining and gross outside the first weekend we were there, so my Uncle Harold and Aunt Bertha and I would hang out near the door with a few other smokers, huddling under the entrance awning to stay out of the rain. Only one security guard had the balls to tell us to move, so even though she got on my nerves, kudos to the chunky black security guard lady for actually enforcing rules. Other people would exit the hospital (and this always happened during off hours, not during the middle of the day when patients were coming in) and then mutter under their breath or gesture about us smokers as they walked away. Not a single one of them stopped to say anything to us, despite my overly loud taunting of someone to say something to my face, and the occasionally muttering of "Feeling froggy, motherfucker? Then jump."

2. I'm in graduate school at Winston-Salem State University, which has a "no smoking within 100 feet of any campus building" rule. Like the hospital, though, no one enforces this rule. I've been outside smoking lots of times, but today is the first time anyone actually said anything to me. "You do know that you can't smoke within 100 feet of campus buildings, right?" she said. "Yes," I replied with a smile. Of course I know this. There are signs all over the place. But did she ask me to move? Nope. Did she ask me to put out the cigarette? Nope. She just said that I could get a ticket for smoking too close to the buildings. Big deal, thought I. Bring on your stupid useless tickets.

Moral of the story:

If you are a non-smoker or someone who is a stickler for rules, and you catch someone smoking where they shouldn't be smoking, don't be a pussy. Tell the smoker that they need to move. Don't just mitigate your speech by framing your anti-smoking comment as a question. Fuck your questions. If you want to change someone's behavior, try asking the smoker(s) nicely to move to another location. I was outside with my Saudi Arabian friend, and I told her that if the woman had actually asked me to move -- instead of being borderline passive-aggressive about it -- I would have gladly moved away from the building. Just asking me a rhetorical question isn't going to cut it, and I'm pretty sure other smokers agree with my way of thinking.

A rule is only a rule if you have the cajones to enforce it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Update that's not really an update

Why, hello there, Dear Reader. Fancy meeting you here. I know I've been away a while, so let me do some 'splainin...

1. My dad is dying of cancer. Big deal, you think, everybody's dying of something. Well, fuck you, this is MY dad I'm talking about, not some random homeless person. He's in Stage 4 of renal cell carcinoma, and after a decade of being in remission, the cancer came back hard core last fall and is pretty much kicking my dad's ass. My mom is out on FMLA leave, and we're down to counting the weeks, if not days, Daddy will still be with us. Needless to say, I haven't been very motivated to do anything, much less paint my nails, which is a bitch because I really, really want to make this blog successful. I've been spending the days in between my graduate classes at my parents' house, and I've brought nail polish with me, but when I get up there, I have to do so much caretaking that I just don't have time to paint my nails.

2. I have a shit ton of research to do this semester. I am determined to finish my TESOL master's program in May so I can finally get a job. I've been unemployed for more than three years now due to budget cuts (who needs a history teacher who can't coach?), and I'm about to go crazy with boredom and guilt that I'm not contributing financially and relying totally on my husband.

3. I seriously need to clean the apartment. We are living in the smallest place I've ever lived in, and I brought decades of accumulated crap into my marriage, crap that is threatening to take over our 950 square feet of living space -- and this is after some SERIOUS reduction in the amount of junk I own. I've gotten rid of 99% of my paper scrapbooking and crafty junk, as well as lots of old holiday decorations. I even donated more than half the books I used to own, but I've still got way too much shit. Part of me wants to throw it all away, but then another part is like, That's just stupid because the stuff you've got left is education-related junk you can use if you ever get another teaching job. Rajiv (my husband) says trash it and promises to buy new stuff if/when I need it, but it's hard to just get rid of hundreds of dollars worth of ancillary teaching materials, as well as materials I created during my seven years in the classroom.

So, those are the top three reasons my poor little blog is being neglected. I do have some new nail polish stuff to share with you (awesome eBay haul, Spoiled glitter swatches, nail strips that actually work), but they'll have to wait a few more days.

See you soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nail Fail: Nailene Duracolour Nail Strips

My local Dollar Tree had several different styles of the Nailene Duracolour Nail Strips for sale back during the summer, so of course I stocked up. I'd been thinking about trying the Sally Hansen nail strips, but they are way too expensive. I figure this would be a cheap alternative, and even if they didn't work, I'd only be out a dollar. 

Here's a shot of the package and one of the strips on my left thumb:

Anyway, this is #77650, which is a lovely red color. The package contains 36 strips in 18 different sizes. However, when I applied these full-nail stickers to my nails, look what happened:

Apparently, my nails are shaped like marbles. I never noticed how round they are until I started putting these nail strips on. What a big ol' mess. 

Here's a shot of my right hand:

I only wore these a few hours but look at the damage. Maybe my nails are too short for these nail strips. Or maybe they have too much curve. Or maybe these Nailene strips are just crappy and "real" Sally Hansen ones would work better. No clue. All I know is that I have way too many packages of these nail strips, so I do believe I'll be hosting a giveaway soon to get rid of them. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 12: Stripes - Color Club: Cold Metal and Silver Icicles

A lot has happened in the past week.

My dad, who is in Stage 4 of renal cell carcinoma, has gotten a lot worse. I was at my parents' house last Saturday, planning to just hang out with my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Unfortunately, when the home health care nurse came to assess my dad, his blood pressure was WAY too low, and he had some other complications as well. We had to take him to the ER Saturday night, just a few hours after I painted my nails. The manicure is messier than normal because my two-year-old nephew just had to help his Aunt Tonya paint her nails. I actually let him try to paint my pinkie nail with the base coat, but I ended up with clear polish all over my finger. Then when we were at the hospital, I had to entertain my nephew, who kept whining about finding the damn basement at the hospital. I was like that tour guide from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure: "There's no basement at the Alamo!" Instead, we rode the elevators about a dozen times while my mom and the rest of the family helped get daddy registered in the ER.

Anyway, here is Color Club's "Cold Metal," a vibrant blue from the Foiled collection. This is just one coat.

Stupid me forgot to bring my nail polish remover with me to my parents' house, so I'm a little Smurfy around the cuticles.

Next, I used two silver polishes to create stripes, but I didn't want to do a traditional stripe design. Instead, I drew lines of different lengths to create the illusion of icicles. I used the brush from the Art Deco silver glitter dipped in Wet n Wild's "Silvivor" to draw the lines. Then I added a little of the silver glitter for a bit of added bling.

So, that's it for stripes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Valentine Kisses: The Valentine Kisses January 2012 Mega Giveaway! Win 65 Items!!!

At first I was like, "Valentine Kisses"? Seriously? But then I checked out her profile page, and her maiden name is Valentine, so I overcame the cuteness and took a look around. ;)

You've got to see this giveaway package to believe it. Over 65 items! Good luck.

Valentine Kisses: The Valentine Kisses January 2012 Mega Giveaway! Win 65 Items!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 11: Polka Dot Nails - Confetti: Belle of the Ball, Color Club: New Bohemian, NYC: French White Tip

I kept trying to think of what to do for my polka dot nails. Pink with black dots? Red with white dots? Hmm... Then I looked down at my feet:

DUH. These socks are amazing. They keep my feet warm and cozy without making my feet feel too hot or sweaty. Luckily, I had just received an eBay haul with the perfect purple color for the base: "Belle of the Ball" by Confetti. I used a dotting tool to apply "New Bohemian" by Color Club for the blueish-teal dots on all my nails, then added white dots to my ring fingers and thumbs for accents. 

Hey, look! That's my right hand! Here's another view of "Belle of the Ball" on its own, back in my left non-dominant hand:

And here's the finished product with the cute little polka dots:

I should have added a few more white dots on my ring finger. Oh, well. Here's another view of the dottiness:

The color is a bit better in this shot. Overall, I was very pleased with how well the polishes matched my socks. The colors were almost exact matches! And I received several compliments on the cuteness of these nails -- including from the cashier at a store I visited today! My friend Noura told the woman that I have a nail blog, and the cashier asked for the web address! I hope she (and you!) become an official follower using Google Friend Connect. I've got some new goodies I'm keeping for a 50 followers giveaway. Now I just need 50 followers! ;)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hauls: Two great deals from eBay

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to eBay.

My husband always falls asleep before I do, so I wait until I hear him snoring, and then, BAM! I open up the eBay app on my iPhone and start shopping! This is probably not a good habit, since I already have too many nail polishes and other random crap, but I can't help it. I haven't gotten to the point of needing an intervention or an episode of "Hoarders" yet, so I think I'm doing OK.

Anyway, I have two hauls to share with you today from my late-night eBay sessions. Basically, I don't bid on nail polish unless (1) it's extremely cheap or (2) contains one of my long-time lemmings. In November, I found a deal by eBay seller "sexytrxy" for a damaged lot of Wet n Wild polishes. From the pictures and my communication with her, the polishes worked fine; they just had polish on them from other bottles. I bid on them, and won the auction for just $1.04. Shipping was $4.99, so I ended up with 10 Wet n Wild polishes for just $6.03!

This auction lot included "Limitless," "Flirty Rose Creme," "Femme Fatale," "Deep Wine," "Nail Fortifier," "Heart's Desire," "Inferno," and "Jade," as well as two unnamed polishes. I didn't have any of these colors, so I was happy to get them for about 60 cents a bottle.

More recently, I found an eBay deal for a collection of 12 polishes from different brands. At first, I was like, "Meh, I don't really need these," but I noticed a little gem in the picture from eBay seller "eskimooz":

Yup! Tucked in between a $1 Art Deco polish and a mid-price CG polish was "Ruby Slippers" by Essie! This is one of my top lemming polishes, so I just HAD to bid on this auction! Luckily for me, I was able to get this auction lot for just $7.99 plus $5 shipping. That means I got my "Ruby Slippers" and 11 other nail polishes, including 2 Sally Hansen Xtreme Wears, for just $12.63. Again, I got a dozen polishes for about a buck each! Woohoo!

Here's what I got in this second eBay haul:

I received two Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes in "Going Green" and "Twisted Pink;" L.A. Colors' "Rainbow Glitter;" Cover Girl Continuous Color "Copper-cino;" my first Confetti polish in "Belle of the Ball;" my first LaRosa polish, a crackle in "Hot Orange;" L.A. Colors Art Deco striping polish in "Bright Orange;" two more N.Y.C. polishes in "French White Tip" and "Empire State Blue;" my first two Shades of the Seasons polishes in "Black" and "Yellow;" and my first Essie polish, the fantabulous "Ruby Slippers." AWESOMESAUCE!

I've got another eBay haul coming from an auction I won this morning, and I think I can finally say that I don't need to stalk eBay for rare OPIs... I can't wait to share the results from that haul with you! If you've read my other blog posts, you should be able to guess which VHTF OPI I've finally acquired! Wooohooo!

Can't wait for the mail to come! ;)

Day 10: Gradient - Color Club "Shabby Drab" and "Rad Nomad"

My inspiration for this gradient manicure is an ornamental cabbage that my parents have. It looked like this back at Thanksgiving:

Now that it's January, though, the purple has faded deeper into the green, so the plant is almost totally purple even though there is still a hint of green. When I tried to recreate this gradient on my nails, though, I couldn't get the shading right. Here's what the first attempt looked like:

This photo was taken at dusk with a flash, but you can still see how pretty the purple leaves of the cabbage look. I started with a layer of Color Club's "Rad Nomad," a dark lavender from the Back to Boho collection, and then sponged on some OPI "Green-wich Village" at the base of my nails. I then sponged on some Color Club "Shabby Drab," a lighter lavender from the Back to Boho collection, and then more of the "Rad Nomad" at the tips. I wasn't happy with how the gradient looked, so I stippled on some no-name glitter mixture from that Pretty Woman set I got for Christmas. 

I re-did this design a couple of days later, but I think it looks worse than my first attempt:

I left off the green and the glitter and tried to fade the lighter "Shabby Drab" base into the darker "Rad Nomad" on the tips. Maybe I should have used different colors because I still don't like the end result.

What do you think? I had a hard time getting my gradient to "gradiate." Do you have this problem, too?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 9: Rainbow - Nyan Cat!

Since y'all don't know me in real life, you probably aren't aware that there are two things I really enjoy: random internet stuff and kitty cats. So when I happened upon Nyan Cat, it was a match made in heaven!

I knew I had to do a Nyan Cat design for the first rainbow challenge, but I had no idea it would be as difficult as it was. The final manicure ended up being a hot mess, which was a shame because I really wanted to wear this for a few days. Instead, the stupid thing ended up peeling off my nails the very next day.

Here's what I did. First, I used my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in white to dot out the areas for the rainbow to make sure I had enough room for all the colors. I also drew in an area for the cat, but instead of drawing him like Cute Polish or Professional DQ and others have, I turned the kitty on its head. ;)

Unfortunately, I kept messing up the Pop Tart so I ended up removing the outline. I moved on to the rainbows. I used the following colors:
  • Red ~ OPI: Color So Hot It Berns
  • Orange ~ Wet n Wild: Everybody Loves Redmond
  • Yellow ~ Fake OPI I got from an eBay seller
  • Green ~ Another fake OPI I got from that same crappy eBay seller
  • Blue ~ L.A. Colors Color Craze: Static Electricity
  • Purple ~ Ulta Mini no-name from a Halloween 2010 mini collection
  • I added two coats of Wet n Wild: Hallucinate for some sparkle.

I wish I would have had some acrylic paints instead of nail polish because the colors went on too thickly and messily. I got so mad working on this design that I had to take a smoke break! But then I thought, "Holy crap, my nails are still wet so how am I going to light a cigarette? My hands will explode!" Grrrr. Anyway, that's what my rainbow mess looked like. I should have used a different orange since the two colors look too similar, making the yellow and green too bright; the whole thing looks more Rasta than rainbow.

What a mess. Like I said, the whole thing made me mad. After I (messily) painted in the rainbow, I mixed up some colors for the Pop Tart and for the cat. Here's what the final version looked like:

I used my Kiss Nail Art Pen in black to outline Nyan Cat. I used dots instead of solid lines to give it the 8-bit appearance of the original online graphic.

Anyway, what do you think? I love the way the cat looks, and I'm ok with the Pop Tart, but the overall effect is just blech. Blech, blech, blech, blech, BLECH. Working on this design reminded me why I prefer nail art stickers and stamping to freehand designs. I suck at it. 

Day 8: Metallic - L.A. Colors: Copper

Day 8 brings with it a metallic nail polish. This one is from L.A. Colors, and like the name says, it's a "Copper" metallic polish.

I bought this L.A. Colors polish from the Dollar Tree. I've been on a hunt for more than a decade now for a dupe for OPI's "Down to My Last Penny," which was the first OPI polish I ever wore, but alas, this color is still not what I'm looking for. It is a nice metallic, and for only $1, I don't feel like I made a mistake in buying it.

I printed off the name of the polish and it's ID using my handy-dandy Dymo label printer since most of the L.A. Colors polishes (especially the Color Craze ones) don't have a name tag on the bottom of the bottle. Luckily, this one does. See?

"Copper" applied nicely and was opaque in just one coat, but I could still see where the tips of my nails peel so I put a second coat on. It still didn't cover up the problems I have with my tips, though. 

Here's another shot of L.A. Colors "Copper" outside on an overcast late December afternoon.

Finally, here's a photo I took inside using a flash so you can see the shimmer better. It's really a lovely polish for just a buck, even though this last picture makes the copper color look more orange than it is in real life.

So, dear readers, do you have this L.A. Colors polish, or do you have OPI's "Down to My Last Penny"? It's such a VHTF polish, but I can't help wanting it, just because it was the first OPI I'd ever worn. Also, do you have any suggestions for products I can use to stop my stupid nails from peeling? They've always done this, regardless of what basecoat or strengthener I use. =(


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