Monday, November 22, 2010

The return & 16 manicures!

Hello readers, if there are any of you still out there!

I disappeared for a few months here, and with good reason: I was writing my Master's thesis. I thought I might be able to keep up with my blogging, but with two jobs and various life-craziness-health-related things going on, it just wasn't possible. But: on Friday, I turned in my thesis, and now I'm trying to remember how to resume a normal life! I just turned 25 in October, and finishing my Master's degree is a big deal for me. I finished my Bachelor's in 3 years (I was already a year ahead in high school, too), and after that I sort of lost my way. I turned down a full scholarship to do grad work at Emory University (after driving all the way down there with my stuff, no less). I took some time off and went back to the University where I got my Bachelor's. I did 3 semesters of grad coursework and then... never wrote my thesis. The university gave me a lot of trouble, they kept "forgetting" to notify me about course sign up and advisement.... and I inadvertently took a (calender) year off. This made it harder to get the project going, as to do your thesis it's good to have a current relationship with a professor, so they can serve as your advisor. I seriously considered abandoning my grad work. I was 23, burnt out on school, and feeling drunk on freedom. But... in the end, I opted to go back and finish, and I'm so glad that I did. It was a huge accomplishment, and I graduate on December 5th (finally!). I've considered going back to do Ph.d work, but that will be for another time in my life, I think. My Master's is in English, my focus being American literature, specifically Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Over the months, I did manage to take a few pictures... My nails have been of varying length over this time, tending towards the nubbin side of things... they're still kind of finicky. I hauled a lot too: Burlesque, NARS vintage, RBL sale, ChG holiday, and lots of Old OPI's that I've been acquiring... But anyway... what I have to show you isn't representative of everything, to say the least, but it's something.

Random spam for the last few months:

OPI Wing It!

Barielle June Bug (wore this for 4th of July... that's how old this is!!)

OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous

Sephora OPI Midnight Mambo

China Glaze Foxy

OPI Diva of Geneva

China Glaze Midnight Mission

China Glaze GR8

Streetwear FX Flash (green) (awful pic, sorry... hard to capture)

Borghese Nero Magico (seriously gorgeous... underrated)

MAC Bad Fairy

OPI Show Bring on the Bling

NARS Midnight Express (I think this was day 2 or 3, looking a bit worn)

Color Club Pucci-licious

Orly Galaxy Girl

My Current Nails: China Glaze Zombie Zest (a bit late, I missed Halloween!)

The varying lengths are kind of amusing. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things here! Not sure I'm up to posting every day or anything, but I'd like to keep it up :-)

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I need your help!!

Hi everyone,

As you've noticed, I've been posting old NOTD's lately and complaining a LOT about my nails. Well, I'm still having a bit of trouble so I thought I'd turn to all you nail mavens for advice on this matter.

Here's my situation: for about a year, my nails were in what I call "perfect" condition. Sure they broke (my job is kinda rough on them), but they were generally long and strong and didn't peel. Anyway, without any warning, about two months ago they started to do this strange thing and I can only describe it as this: they started to grow out already broken.

This phenomenon occurs on the sides of the nails and it's like... they're just growing out already with splits and peels in them (on the sides only). It's truly bizarre. I don't have any pictures though, sorry, so I apologize if none of this makes sense.

Here's what my nail routine was: I take 5000mcg of Biotin daily. I have for a year. I use Barielle Natural Nail Growth Stimulator topped with Salon Sciences Instant Artificials as my basecoats and Seche Vite for my topcoat. I use Lush Lemony Flutter and Neutrogena Hand Cream. I don't drink a *ton* of water, but I do drink some. Anyway, the only thing in my routine that changed during this period is that I started using Gelous instead of Instant Artificials. But, keep in mind, this is my second base coat, it doesn't actually touch my nail. Anyway, after I noticed the weirdness, I switched back to Instant Artificials and nothing has changed :-( (I was really bummed to give up Gelous because I actually liked it better than Instant Artificials).

Anyway, that's my situation. For now, I'm trying to switch off my bottom base coat, and I've been using Sally Hansen Nail Quencher (dc'd, I know, hope I don't love it....), but I'm wondering if anyway can give me any insight to the root of this problem?? I've been revamping my diet lately but for the better, so I doubt that's the case. Could it be a reaction to Biotin? But a year later? Any advice?

Thanks you guys! Hope life is treating you well :-) I got a new job, so I am happy-happy! But I'll still be working my old one a little and writing my thesis, so I'll be a busy girl until December!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Summer Vacation: Haul & other things.

So I've been MIA yet again. It's the summer to blame for all this flakery here. And my lack of nails (still!!). And for some reason, blogspot was being wonky with comments and wouldn't let me reply to any of the ones from the last barrage of posts, but I love you all and want to oblige a few things.

First of all! I just took a semi-impromptu trip to Tallahassee, Florida. A road trip, mind you, and I live in Upstate NY. My bestest friend in the whole world was finishing her MS in Art Therapy at Florida State University, and I went to see her graduate. This meant I drove almost 1400 miles in 2 days and wore the same polish for almost a week (OPI You Don't Know Jacques!). And I happened to wander into an Ulta for the first time while meandering in North Carolina. WHY! Why am I not blessed with one of these within 100 miles of me? Ridiculous. Anyway, I ended up buying an array of things, pictured below, along with some other stuff I've acquired in my weeks away.

OPI Diva of Geneva, OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, Milani Dress Maker. Diva of Geneva looks gorgeous, it's so glowy, it's got this golden shimmer to it. Lucerne (long annoying name again, OPI!) is way more gorgeous than this picture shows, I'll have NOTD pictures of it up tomorrow. And Dress Maker... making a splash as a so-called exact Chanel Jade dupe. I found it, luckily enough, at the first CVS I went to.

China Glaze Hey Doll, Foxy, Midnight Mission. Midnight Mission & Foxy were two of three Vintage Vixen colors I knew I had to have. Hey Doll was a last minute addition at Sally's, but it's really cool looking and pretty unique.

China Glaze Ingrid, Essie Sew Psyched, Essence Pool Party, Essence What Do U Think? I'm not sure I needed Ingrid, and that was the one from Vintage Vixen I was most excited about. The shimmer isn't as apparent as I wanted, but we'll see how it looks on the nail. Sew Psyched looks amazing! Score for Essie. It has hidden shimmer in it too. That blue Essence has a buttload of silver glitter in it, too, so we'll see. I wanted to want more of the Essence polishes, because they're only 99 cents, but these were the only two colors that jumped out at me.

LA Splash Crimson Tide, Sweet Violet, Golden Seahorse, Ocean Sprinkles. For some reason, I was really excited to try these. They've got more depth than they appear to in this picture.

Ulta Bombshell, Petites Color Fever Fairy Pink & Black Diamond. Ulta Bombshell looks amazing. Pure amazing. Not sure about the Petites yet, but they're both holo even though they don't look it in the bottle.

Kleancolor Starry Blue, Sparkle Purple, Melon Green & Holo Green. I found these at a dollar store, and you have no idea how excited I was!! They had a weird array of Kleancolors, but these were the ones I picked, and I tried to encompass a few finishes. They look awesome, especially Melon Green.

Revlon Galaxy, OPI Green-wich Green, OPI minis in Brisbane Bronze, Bogota Blackberry & Black Cherry Chutney. Full disclosure: I originally bought all four of the new Revlon glitters and returned all the others except this one. They're so sparse, and this one is the only one that's truly unique. And Green-wich is amazing. A perfect grass green creme. The OPI minis are from Ulta, they were free. I already have BCC, but not the other two so yay for being able to try.

OPI You Don't Know Jacques!, Wet 'N Wild Craze Buffy the Violet Slayer, The Wonder Yellows, Gray's Anatomy. I didn't have YDKJ! until recently. Not sure why. I got it at my local beauty supply with a coupon. And these Wet 'N Wilds... I have nothing to say except that I went to 4 Rite Aids and drove many miles for one reason: BUFFY THEMED POLISH. I would've driven to another state to find this. My Buffy love runs very, very deep. I don't care if the polish sucks. I needed this to be in my life.

How was everyone's summer? I'm getting ready to really haul on my thesis... I can't wait to finish grad school! I've got a bunch of NOTDs to share featuring my tiny, awful nubs coming soon. Thanks all! I appreciate you guys so much :-D

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle

I had an untried Rescue Beauty Lounge polish. Can you believe it? I almost can't. And for someone who has 20-some odd RBL polishes, I've only swatched one other for this blog. Geez. I'm failing here, guys! This is the last really old NOTD that I have saved here. I finally decided on an occasion to wear this gorgeous grey: a friend's wedding back in late June. This polish conforms to all the standards upheld by the RBL line: gorgeous opacity, formula, drying time. It's top notch. Sure, they're wicked expensive, but Ji has blessed us with a few sales (which is when I've bought all of mine). So patience is key with this brand.

Anyway, this is two coats of Concrete Jungle:

So, I have a semi-new one coming up next, and after that, who knows! Thanks for reading, and I'm so please to be back to regular posting! I appreciate you all so much :D

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

Another oldie today. Almost out of old ones, phew. But in the advent of all the new Nordstrom exclusive Lippmann glitters, here's the one that seemed to start it all: Ruby Red Slippers. I've worn this polish before, but never blogged about it, so I slapped it on for a few new pictures. I like to layer this over a coat of an opaque black. For these photos, I used KnockOut's Flatte Black, a matte polish. I like to use it for layering because it's opaque and dries super fast, due to its matte properties. I love the effect of this polish. Like crushed jewels. I got so many compliments when I wore this.

This is one coat Flatte Black, and 2 coats of Ruby Red Slippers:

I mean, there's really not much more to say about this, is there? It's brilliant. It means I probably should've ordered the new polishes (but I didn't). Oh well, hopefully they'll be released separately later. Anyone order any of the new ones?? Bad Romance and Across the Universe are calling to me...! Thanks for reading :D

Thursday, July 22, 2010

American Apparel Berry

Another old NOTD today, playing catch up all week here! I've seen some people write that the name of this polish is "Berries" (I've also seen it written that way on the AA website), but mine says "Berry" on the bottom, so Berry it shall be called. Another stellar color from the original release, opaque in 2 coats, near perfect formula. Vampy yet understated.

I don't have much else to say, about this. You'll have to excuse the state of my nails: things have been insane in my life right now, very dramatic. I had some really tough decisions to make, and I gnawed a bit at my nails. So I chopped 'em down a smidge (I didn't really do any damage but nonetheless). This was pre-major-choppage though. Sigh.

Please excuse the tip-wear and general scuffiness of this manicure, I'd worn it for a day already when I took this photo (unusual for me). Another great one from the American Apparel line! As skeevy as they are over there, they have some great polish.
Thanks for reading :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Orly Royal Navy

Um, this polish is flipping gorgeous. I really have no words to describe the amazing vibrancy that is held within this bottle. This is yet another old NOTD. Royal Navy came out recently with a slew of other new and repromoted Orly polishes that recently became part of the permanent line. This is the perfect shade of blue--saturated, bright, deep. Gorgeous. It has blue microglitter that really reads as a shimmer. I didn't have any problems with the opacity of this polish, but some did. The base is kind of a jelly, but it's pretty opaque. Gah! It's so lovely. Another I seriously suggest getting your butt to Sally's to grab.

This is two coats, excellent formula and drying time, as I have come to expect from Orly. These pictures, unfortunately, fail to do this polish justice:

And that's all for today :-D Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OPI Funkey Dunkey

So, as we all know, when it comes to nail polish, I, like most junkies, am weak. I have China Glaze's Grape Pop, but yet I needed this polish. I can't explain why. Maybe it's because OPI wears amazingly on me. I'm not sure. And I love purple? And the name is weird? And yeah... I have no excuse. Again, this is from quite a while ago. This is two coats of this gorgeous royal purple, and I really have nothing else to say other than that. OPI really outdoes themselves with their creme polishes, in my opinion. I've never been disappointed.

This is Funkey Dunkey, from the Shrek collection:

I bought almost all of this collection, except Rumples Wiggin. I left that one because I have a bunch of pastel purples and I'm just not much into the color. These were all pretty awesome, I do have to say. Anyway, not much else to say with this one, but that's a good thing. More tomorrow! Thanks for reading :-D

Monday, July 19, 2010

OPI Jade Is The New Black

Back with yet another one from my archives here, and I'll begin with a question: Is it? Is Jade the new black? I dunno. This color doesn't scream jade to me, but it's not too far off the mark depending on what type of jade you're looking at. There are lots of things about this polish that rock my world: it's opaque, it has an amazing formula, and it wore very, very well. The other side of it? I was just not blown away with this color. Everybody seems to love it and I... I'm underwhelmed. I mean, it's pretty, but it pulls boring on my skintone.

What do you think of this color? Gosh, looking at these just makes me want to slap on some fakes... grow nubs, grow!!!! Anyway, more coming tomorrow! Thanks for reading :-D

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nina Ultra Pro Purple-Xing

Another real oldie here. Probably a month ago I wore this one. It's a shimmery gorgeous purple with multi-sized holographic glitter--and yes, this polish has been untried in my Helmer for over six months. I think my polish lover card needs to be revoked. Not only this, but it was flawless. The base was opaque in 2 coats, and it didn't swallow the glitter. It dried fast. It was freakin' magical. I only have a handful of Nina Ultra Pro polishes and I don't have a complaint about one of them (I've reviewed a few here before, see the Nina Ultra Pro tag on the right-hand column).

So here's two coats of Purple-xing (my take on the name: It's not Purple X-ing (like crossing) it's Purple-xing like perplexing, as in confusing, which I think makes more since because this polish is kind of busy and distracting):

If you do not own this, you must. I think these are $3-something USD at Sally's. Woo! And seriously? It's a must have. I can't believe I let this sit here for so long!!

Thanks for reading :D