Saturday, March 31, 2012

FOTD: March Empties Video

This quick and simple makeup look is what I was wearing in several of my recent videos, including my March Empties video.  To see what I'm wearing, just keep reading.
- e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (prime undereye)
- Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach
- Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
- e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral
- Jordana FabuBrow Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe
- e.l.f. Studio Eyeshadow Single in Pebble
- Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio in Nude Eyes
                - Champagne shade to line lower lashline
                - Black shade to line top lashes
- N.Y.C. Showtime Waterproof Mascara in Extreme Black
- Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Quiz Results: Nerd, Geek, or Dork? Test

I've always known I wasn't cool but yesterday's orthodontist appointment has reminded me of just how uncool I am.  And I am okay with that.  I've always embraced who I am (even in the difficult adolescent years) and if people didn't like me for that, well I just didn't really care. So today I got to thinking... I know I'm not cool but just what kind of not cool am I?  LOL  This quiz is long, over fifty questions, but I got a good laugh out of the questions and I had fun taking it.  Here are my results!  (Click HERE if you want to take the test yourself!)

Outcast Genius

91 % Nerd, 57% Geek, 57% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Insecure Me: Lisp

Today I got my bottom braces put on, after over a year of only having braces on the top.  To start with, I've had clear ceramic braces just on the top teeth.  It makes the braces much harder to detect.  Then today I had the bottoms placed on.  Because most people have a slight overbite of the top teeth over the bottom, ceramic can't be used on the bottom teeth.  Ceramic is more brittle than metal and on the bottom, ceramics are likely to break.  So these braces are much more obvious.  However, I've kind of gotten used to the idea of having the bottom braces on for awhile now so that wasn't that big of a deal.

The big deal came after the orthodontist and assistant finished up and asked me how my mouth felt.  I went to answer and realized that I have a freaking lisp.  My top teeth were hitting against the bottom center brackets, so they had to put in cushions on my front two bottom teeth.  Now the bottom braces are making it difficult for me to correctly pronounce S and SH sounds.  I had gotten used to dealing with looking like a geek but now sounding like one too makes me want to just put on my glasses, hike up my pants, and go all Urkel on the world.  If you can't feel like a cool kid, at least you can feel like a cool geek.  Sigh.  This is probably why I can relate to the guys of The Big Bang Theory so much.  I've always related much more to being a smart dorky girl than a pretty girl.

Good news though!  Bottom braces for me means that I am about halfway done with my treatment!  And more good news!  My left canine is almost completely in place.  We'll probably have to remove the bracket at my next appointment and replace it higher to pull it the rest of the way into place.  That's serious progress!  The other bit of good news is that my right canine (which I have affectionately dubbed "Leo" after the children's book Leo the Late Bloomer) is still moving into place!  The orthodontist was worried that it had stopped moving and I might have to have surgery again to remove more bone but the X-rays showed otherwise!  When I first started this process, Leo was 100% overlapping my right central incisor.  At the last X-ray, he had moved to just covering 100% of my lateral incisor.  And now, Leo is directly above the place where his home will eventually be!  He still has a long way to go, but I am so happy to know that he is still moving and with patience, he may just end up in his proper place.  And on that day, I will have a party!!

Then the bad news.  My orthodontist's assistant told me that next month will be my last adjustment with her and my current orthodontist!  I am sad because I really like them both and I swear they've done the impossible with my mouth.  Starting in May, I will have a new orthodontist and new assistants, who know nothing about me or my mouth.  The assistant assured me that she has previously worked with both the new orthodontist and the new assistants and they are really good.  I'm nervous about it but I guess the process will pretty much be the same no matter who my orthodontist is.

Besides my stupid nerdy lisp, I am really happy about today's appointment.  I was originally given a 60% chance that my left canine (affectionately named Sharp Tooth) would move into place and it's already almost there.  I was given only a 40% chance that my right canine would move into place.  I'm the type of person who loves to be a miracle of modern science so I continue to be optimistic.  Therefore, lisp or no lisp, tooth or no tooth, I'll keep smiling.  :D

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Full Face Wearable Tutorial

My latest video is a tutorial for a full face wearable look.  Below you can see pictures of how the look turned out.  If you're interested in how I got this look, then watch the tutorial to learn how!  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Manicure Monday: Coral Reef Butterflies

Today was my first day back to work after a week off.  Waa!  I enjoyed my vacation and did not want to get up at 5:00 this morning at all.  At least this pretty manicure cheers me up!  It's not what I have on currently, but this color reminds me that summer is just around the corner!
I started off with one of the new shades from the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line: Coral Reef.  It's a two coater, like all the polishes from this line.  This shade is a coral but it's not as bright as a lot of corals... it almost seems to me to be a pinker more muted coral and I love it!  Easy breezy application too.
Next, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep to stamp on little butterflies using Bundle Monster Image Plate BM06.  It turned out really cute, even if most of my nails weren't big enough for the entire image to stamp.  That's okay though, it's still lovely.

Pedicure: Pink and Purple

I painted my toes about two weeks ago and now that I'm getting ready to change my pedicure, I thought I should probably get around to posting the pictures.  This one was an okay look, but as you'll see, it wasn't the sort of thing I would like to leave on for a month.
I started out with two easy coats of a polish that I received as a gift for Christmas from one of the students in my class.  It was in a set of five no name polishes from Markwins, which is a shame because these have really turned out to be some amazing polishes.  The bottle said NBLA, but so did one of the other bottles in the set that was a different shade.  Anyway, this color is a lovely frosty Barbie pink.  I took pictures before I stamped just so you could see how lovely and girly this shade is on its own.  This was opaque at one coat but I used two for good measure.
Next, I stamped over each toe using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Grape Escape and Bundle Monster plate BM205.  There was the mistake.  I should have known that the full nail design would not be large enough for my big toe but I wanted to try it out at least once to be sure.  Now I'm sure.  Stick to smaller (or not full nail) designs for the toe.  The plate left a big gap on the one side (see photo below).  I could have tried double stamping but I'm just not that talented with the stamp yet.  I didn't really mind too much because I've still been wearing closed toe shoes but now that it's in the mid-eighties here in Florida, it's definitely time to change up the pedicure to something I like better.  I'm feeling orange right now so we'll see what I come up with for orange toes!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Break Haul: Makeup, Hair and Clothes

For the last week, I have been on Spring Break and haven't had to work.  If you recall, I teach fifth grade at an elementary school and my husband teaches high school.  We have both been off of work and it has been so nice.  I really am looking forward to summer right now!  While I was off, I actually had the time and energy to do a bit of shopping.  I picked up just a few makeup items, along with some hair products and a few items of clothing.  We didn't travel anywhere for our vacation so most of these items are just from local stores that many people would have near their hometown.  Let's start with the makeup.
MAKEUP: I was really disappointed with the Sula cream eyeshadow that I had bought last week and I know by the time I get to Ulta to return it, my receipt will probably be expired.  But I still really wanted to try some of these awesome new cream shadows.  My local Kmart is going out of business and was having a big sale on all makeup so I took the opportunity to try out a L'Oreal Infallible Cream Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe and a Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe.  So far, I've only tried the Bronzed Taupe but I love it and it was exactly what I was looking for!  Haven't had a chance to try out the Tough as Taupe yet but I was really upset because when I peeled off the protective plastic wrapper, the lid was cracked!  And of course, because Kmart was going out of business, all sales are final and I can't return it.  :(  The good news is that it seems to have broken in just the perfect way to still close completely and keep the product from drying out as fast.
HAIR CARE: Next up, we have hair care items.  Over summer, I love to experiment with heat free ways to style my hair.  As a girl with straight hair, I'm always looking to find ways to style my hair that will give it extra body and volume.
I bought these Wrap Snap & Go heat free hair rollers at Walgreens.  I was hoping to get some pretty waves or curls overnight without having to heat style.  They definitely give curl to your hair, but after 4 or 5 different attempts, the curls just never come out looking the way I want them to.  What I will say is that these would be great to curl your hair if you needed added texture for an updo but for me, they just give a bit too much curl (poodle!) for my personal preference.  I do plan on keeping them for curly updos though, as they are much faster than trying to use a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch curling iron on your whole head.
Along with those rollers, I purchased this Herbal Essences Curl Define & Hold Creme.  I knew I would need some kind of product to help hold the curls and keep them from getting frizzy, as my hair loves to frizz up if I don't flat iron it.  I've only used this once but I wasn't impressed.  I'll give it a few more tries before I really know for sure.

After several failed attempts at no heat curls, I decided to stick with my old faithful curling iron.  Except that my $13.00 Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron sucks.  I believe I bought this about two years ago and I loved it then.  Now the spring has begun to wear out and it doesn't clamp and hold tightly anymore so it's a struggle to curl my hair now.  I decided it was time to upgrade so I went on my merry way to Sally Beauty Supply to get something better.  I researched online and the Helen of Troy Gold Series brand had many good reviews so I picked up my favorite size for big loose curls/waves (1 1/4").  The employee at Sally Beauty who was helping me also recommended it.  I tried it out today and it definitely worked way better than my old Conair.  The spring in the clip holds much more strongly.
While I was at Sally Beauty Supply, I figured I would ask for some advice on hair products too.  If you've read my blog or watched my videos for some time now then you probably know that I have naturally straight but very frizzy hair.  If I don't blow dry and flat iron it (or style it somehow) then I end up with incredibly frizzy hair.  Which makes me sad, because (minus the frizz) I love the way my hair looks naturally.  So I told the employee at Sally Beauty Supply about my frizz-woes and some of the products that I've tried (none of which have worked).  She recommended that I try some of the products from their One 'N Only Argan Oil line.  They had a shine spray but she spritzed it on my hand and it seemed just like the texture of the Tresemme No Frizz Shine Spray and Tresemme No Frizz Serum that I already have (neither works).  So I went for the Styling Cream instead. You can apply it to damp or dry hair but I haven't tried it yet.  She also told me that if I didn't like it, I could return it (but you can't use the whole bottle or anything).  I also picked up their moisture repair conditioner since I know frizzy hair comes from dry hair that collects excess moisture from the air.  I haven't used either one yet.
CLOTHING: A few days ago, I went clothes shopping with one of my friends and while we were at the outlet mall next to my house, we stopped into the Vanity Fair Outlet Store.  I couldn't pass up this adorable dark denim pencil skirt, especially since my old one is now way too big.  I love this skirt because I can wear it to work since it sits below the knee but it's still cute enough to wear for play too.
Now I know that I am not the first person to have this problem so let's just get it out in the open.  I am bigger on bottom than on top and have some decent thighs.  Therefore, when I wear a skirt, I get some serious chub rub.  This is basically when your thighs rub together and irritate the skin.  I've tried Band Aid Blister Block but in the Florida heat and humidity I sweat that stuff right off (gross, right?). The only thing I've found that really works is wearing a thin pair of shorts under my skirts and dresses.  The pair I currently have is made of sweat material and way too hot so I was looking for a lighter weight alternative.  Score!  The Body Central was having a buy one get one 50% off sale for all leggings so I picked up a pair of knee length white shorts to wear under skirts or dresses.  I thought this one with the lace at the bottom was super cute.
I picked up a black pair that are a little shorter as well.  I tend to wear longer length skirts because I am a teacher and people examine how you dress very closely even when you are not at work.  And also, remember my chafing thighs??  They don't look so great in short skirts!  LOL
And last but my favorite, I picked up this cute sheer navy blue floral shirt from Rue21.  (Click here to see Rue21's much more clear photograph.)  I've been looking for something exactly like this for several weeks and I finally found what I was looking for!  I like that it's versatile, so I could wear it to work with a fitted T-shirt underneath or I could wear it on the weekends with a tank.  Either way, I will be stylish and comfortable!  And for me, comfort is key in fashion!

To wrap things up, let me tell you quickly where I purchased each item and the approximate cost, in case you want to hunt these fun things down for yourself.

1. L'Oreal Infallible Cream Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe - purchased at Kmart for 50% off. I paid less than $5.
2. Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe - purchased at Kmart for 40% off.  I paid less than $5.
3. Wrap Snap & Go Hair Rollers - purchased at Walgreens for $10.99 (also available at Sally Beauty Supply, but more expensive there)
4. Herbal Essences Curl Define & Hold Creme - purchased at Walgreens for $4.99
5. Helen of Troy Gold Series 1 1/4" Curling Iron - purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply, with Sally Card for $33.99 ($37.99 without card)
6. One 'N Only Argan Oil Styling Cream - purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $8.49 with Sally Card ($9.49 without card)
7. One 'N Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner (trial size) - purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $2.29 with Sally Card ($2.59 without card)
8. Wrangler Dark Denim Pencil Skirt - purchased at Vanity Fair Outlet for $14.99
9. White Lace Short Leggings - purchased at The Body Central for $4.90 (buy 1, get 1 50% off)
10. Black Short Leggings - purchased at The Body Central for $4.90 (buy 1, get 1 50% off)
11. Yune Ditzy Riding Shirt in navy blue floral - purchased at Rue21 for $19.99

Friday, March 23, 2012

FOTD: Everyday Matte Eyeshadow Look

If you were wondering about the face makeup, nail polish, or lip color I'm wearing in my Everyday Matte Eyeshadow Look video, it's all here for you!  And coming soon will be a post on the nail polish I'm wearing in the video.
- e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (prime undereye)
- Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach
- Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Ivory (blemishes)
- Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
- Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin 2-in-1 Bronzer and Blush in Light Bronzer/Soft Ginger (blush on cheekbones, bronzer in hollows of cheeks
- Jordana Incolor Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown
- NYX HD Eye Primer
- NYX Eyeshadow Single in True Taupe
- NYX Eyeshadow Single in Dark Brown
- Cover Girl Eyeshadow Single in Brown Smoulder
- Wet N Wild Eyeshadow Single in Brulee
- e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner in Coffee
- Wet N Wild Clinical Mascara
- Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me

- Pure Ice in Twinkle

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Olay ProX Face Brush

About me: I have combination skin, with very oily areas on the T-zone and normal skin on the cheeks.  My chin is very acne prone.  I had high hopes that this facial brush would help to cleanse my skin deeply and clear my acne.

Company Claims From the Company's Website:Professionally and clinically designed to cleanse 6 times better, the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System also sets your skin up for supersonic anti-aging moisturization.”

My Thoughts on Their Claims:  I really don’t know if it cleanses skin six times better or if I had supersonic moisture afterwards… what does that even mean??

Verdict: I found nothing good about this face brush for me.  I used this brush both morning and night for about eight weeks in November and December and I noticed that my skin progressively got worse as far as acne and redness were concerned.  I think the brush was just too harsh on my skin and it seemed to really irritate my skin.  I stopped using it and I got clearer within a week.  I definitely would not recommend this if you have acne prone skin, as it seems to me that it is too harsh for sensitive skin that tends to break out easily.  However, if your skin is dry or normal, you might have great results with this product.  I will mention that I used it in conjunction with my generic ProActiv facewash, not the cleanser that they sell to use with the brush.

I give this product 1 out of 5 stars.

Would I purchase again?  No way.  I feel like this product was a huge waste of about $30.00 of my money.  I was hoping it would clear my skin up, not make it worse than it already was.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Manicure: Lacey Lilac

I've actually been saving these pictures for months and finally decided to share them.  This lovely pastel is Lacey Lilac, one of the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes.  Like all of the polishes in this line, this one applied like a dream for me in two coats.
I then stamped over it with Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Black Creme using Konad stamping plate M2.  This was one of my first ever stamping experiments and I love the way it looks!  I might have to try it again now that spring is here!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FOTD: Haul Video

This is the makeup I'm wearing in my Haul Video.  I had some fun trying out some different techniques than what I usually do and I like the way it turned out.  Here's what I did.

- e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (prime undereye)
- Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach
- Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Ivory (blemishes)
- Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
- Milani Baked Blush in Corallina
- Jordana Incolor Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown
- e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set (set makeup)
- NYX HD Eye Primer
- Sula Natural Creaseless Crème Shadow in Hard to Get (lid)
- Sally Girl Eyeshadow Single in Champagne (lid)
- NYX Eyeshadow Single in True Taupe (blending shade in crease)
- NYX Eyeshadow Single in Dark Brown (crease, lower lashline)
- Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner Pencil in Black (tightline)
- L’Oreal HIP Crème Liner in Black (top lashline, outer ½ of lower lashline)
- N.Y.C. Showtime Waterproof Mascara in Extreme Black
- Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me
- Hard Candy Tinted Lip Balm in Starfish

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Manicure

This is a quick post because it's been a busy Saint Patrick's Day for me!  I started this festive manicure with three coats of Sinful Colors in San Francisco.  It was pretty streaky but was fairly opaque by the third coat.  San Francisco is a pretty emerald green shimmer.
Next, I put on a layer of Sinful Colors in Green Ocean.  I've been lusting after Green Ocean since about October when I first saw it swatched but it's one of those shades that's only available at this time of year so when I saw it at Walgreens the other day, I grabbed it up.  Green Ocean is a flakie, with small chunks of green glitter and larger chunks of green, blue, and lavendar flakes, which look different depending on the lighting.
When all of that was dry, I stamped on a four leaf clover with Sally Hansen Color Quick in  Gold Chrome and Bundle Monster image plate BM03.  Finally, I covered it all with a coat of Seche Vite.
The next time I use Green Ocean, I think I will definitely add two coats of top coat because the larger chunks of glitter flakes are still rough and catching on things.  Lesson learned.
Blurry to show glitter
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day Manicure

By some miracle of the computer gods who also appreciate pi, I was able to get my computer to stay plugged in long enough to post this Pi Day Manicure celebration!  For those of you who are not huge geeks or geeky educators, today is the day that we celebrate the irrational number pi.  (Get it, 3.14 = March 14th?  *Snort*)  LOL!  As a super geek and educator, I am pretty much obligated to celebrate Pi Day.  In my class, we celebrated by dressing in clothes that included round items and by calculating the circumference and area of cookies (because they are still round but pies are far too messy).  I really got into it this year by having Brian help me to make a pi day manicure!  On the fingers, we wrote out the number 3.14 and on the thumb, we included the pi symbol.  The base color was two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Celeb City.  We then used a Kiss Nail Artist Fine Art Pen in Black to write.  In the picture above, you can see the thumb in the bottom right corner.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cool Stuff at CVS

You might already know how much I love these Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks so when I was at CVS a few days ago and saw several products with the same concept, I got pretty excited.
This are again pre-filled cotton swabs that you break open to release a product.  These are created by a brand I've never heard of, called Beauty Fixation.  They come with four different fillers, including makeup remover, tinted lip conditioner, nail polish remover, and cuticle conditioner.  I thought the makeup remover and nail polish remover would be the most useful.  I didn't see any price posted for these and didn't think to use the price checker.  Has anyone tried these products?  I haven't seen any reviews for these so far so I was a bit leery of trying them when I know I like the Almay Q-tips already.

Monday, March 12, 2012

FOTD: February Empties Video

Today I have for you the Face of the Day from my February Empties video.  I really like this look a lot, especially since it uses some matte shadows for a bit of a different texture.  I'm thinking of doing a tutorial on this look sometime soon.

- Hard Candy Sheer Envy Face Primer
- CoverGirl Ultimate Finish Liquid Powder Makeup in Ivory
- e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (prime undereye)
- Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer in Light
- Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Ivory (blemishes)
- Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
- ULTA Minerals Bronzer (as a blush)
- Jordana Incolor Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown
- e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set (set makeup)
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Single in Brulee (inner ¼ of lid, brow highlight)
- e.l.f. Studio Eyeshadow Single in Pebble (outer ¾ of lid, inner ½ of lower lashline)
- Cover Girl Eyeshadow Single in Brown Smoulder (outer V, outer ½ of lower lashline, over top of eyeliner on top lashes)
- Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Blue Eyes Eyeliner in Brown (top lashline)
- Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner Pencil in Black (tightline)
- Almay Get Up and Grow Waterproof Mascara in Black
- Hard Candy Tinted Lip Balm in Bridal Blush

- Sinful Colors in Cinderella

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Matte Pedicure

Before Mattely In Love
Last week, I posted about a pedicure I had done with a frosty pink base and subtle stamping.  I thought it looked okay but I wasn't crazy about it so this weekend I decided to take it off and try something I would like a little more.  Before I took it off, I was really curious to see what it would look like if I mattified it with my Hard Candy Mattely In Love Top Coat.  I wish I had tried this sooner!!  I love the way this looks!  In my opinion, it makes the stamping stand out more and makes the base color even more lovely.  I'll definitely have to try this top coat with more looks.
After Mattely In Love

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blessing in Disguise

This is not a beauty post, but rather a post about my restored faith in humanity and my example of a blessing in disguise.  After a long day of teaching, I went out to my car to head home.  However, my car wouldn't start.  I went back into the office and found a friend and some jumper cables so I could be on my merry way.  But when we popped the hood, I knew something was wrong.  The plastic covering on my battery terminal looked half melted and there was green fuzzy looking crap oozing out of every edge.  Upon opening the plastic cap, the entire covering was filled with green corrosion.  Not good!  We set up the jumper cables but no surprise, the car wouldn't jump with all that corrosion.  By this time, one of the people in our school's neighborhood had gone to the auto shop next door and fetched the mechanic for me.  I was thinking to myself that I was about to get totally ripped off by some mechanic who knew I don't know anything about cars.

I was ready to cry just thinking about how much it was going to cost me to get my car fixed, especially considering that just a few weeks ago I shelled out several hundred dollars to get new tires on my car.  While at the shop getting the tires fixed, the mechanic informed me that I needed new shocks and struts, which together would run about $1,000.  After all this, now I was going to have to pay to get my battery and who knows what else fixed.

The mechanic scraped off some of the corrosion and we were able to jump the car but he then told me I needed to drive it next door to his auto shop because the battery terminal was so corroded it would need to be completely replaced.  I heard dollar signs as I pulled in.

The mechanic fixed my car as I chatted with his wife for about fifteen minutes while he fixed my terminal.  While chatting with his wife, I asked her for a quote on the work for the shocks and struts, thinking maybe I could get a better deal here.  After the mechanic fixed my terminal, he looked the car over, asked me a few questions about how it ran and told me that I actually don't need new shocks or struts at all.  WHAT?!?!  Surely this mechanic was fibbing!  But no, according to him, the other company was trying to milk me for all I was worth and there was nothing wrong with either my shocks or my struts.

Now for my next shock.  They refused to charge me for the battery terminal or the work to replace it!  I tried my best to pay, just happy that they had saved me $1,000 worth of unneeded work on my car but they refused.  They just told me to come back when I needed an oil change or other work done on my car.  They even offered to do the work on my car while I was at work and said they would pick up my keys from the front office of the school where I work and have it done before 3:00.

What started out as a frustrating and costly experience ended up saving me $1,000 and helping me to find a mechanic that may just be more trustworthy than the place I had gone just a few weeks before.  It gave me hope that there are still some honest businessmen in the world and was certainly a blessing in disguise.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Manicure Monday: NYC Cashmere Creme

Even though I recently purchased this nail polish, it's already been discontinued.  Such is the way of cosmetics.  That's okay with me though, because given the option, I wouldn't purchase it again.  It's okay, but not a can't-live-without-it polish.
Two coats of N.Y.C. Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Cashmere Creme barely gave me opacity but the formula was as streaky and cheap looking as you would expect a $0.99 light blue frost to look.  Darn my love of blue polish!  However, once I stamped over it, it turned out looking alright.  I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Co-Bolt Blue and Bundle Monster plate BM11 (same image also found on BM16).  Finally, I had Brian fill in the center of the flowers with my white Kiss Nail Art Pen (pictured).  This was the biggest disappointment of this manicure.  You can't even see the white.  I know it would have shown up more on a dark background but the real issue is that these nail art pens (I have both black and white) are not very opaque.  The black is more of a sad dirty gray and the white is practically skim milk.  I had high hopes for those too.  Overall a slightly disappointing but still cute mani.