Saturday, June 30, 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge

I'm sure you have all heard about the 31 Day Nail Challenge.  Basically, you have an assigned manicure and you're supposed to create the look, painting your nails differently every day for the entire thirty-one days.  Well, I don't have time to paint my nails every day but I started this challenge back in May and I've been saving the pictures to share with you!  I'm about half way through but I figured I had enough back logged photos that I could still probably share one every day for thirty-one days straight.  I'll still be posting other stuff, but I thought this challenge would be really fun!  Sometimes my biggest problem when painting my nails is deciding what to do so this really has helped me a lot.  And it's been fun!  Tomorrow I will be posting the first manicure.  Below you will find a chart of all the assigned manicures!
NOTE: I did not create this idea.  I'm not sure exactly where it originated, but if you do, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Nails: Autism Awareness Mani

My neighbor came over the other day and we decided to paint our nails!  She was kind enough to agree to allow me to photograph and share her manicure with you, since it came out looking amazing!  She did it all on her own, I just gave her instructions!  I hope you enjoy her Autism Awareness manicure.
She started off with some glue on nails that she applied herself.  Next, she painted on two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On.  I would just like to add that her original nail set was a French manicure and White On applied very opaquely, masking the French underneath completely.
Next, she stamped over the white with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Brisk Blue.  She selected this puzzle-piece image from the new Bundle Monster plate set.  This image can be found on plate BM319.  Finally, she topped it all off with a coat of N.Y.C. Grand Central Station.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Makeup Packing for Vacation

Brian had an all expenses paid workshop this week in St. Pete Beach, Florida so we've had the chance to spend four days and three nights at a hotel on the beach.  I thought I would share with you the makeup that I packed for our short little vacation.
I used my Modella makeup bag that I bought last year at Walmart.  I like it because it's a good size and it zips all the way around to keep your makeup secure inside.  Also, on the lid it has a smaller zipped pouch that's perfect for smaller items like eyeliners.
- e.l.f. Eyelash curler
- Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner in Nude Eyes: Champagne shade
- Almay Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette
- Essence Longlasting Eyeliner in Almost Famous 
- Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner in Nude Eyes: Pewter shade
- e.l.f. Essentials Eyelid Primer (I use it undereye)
- mini Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Wet N Wild Megalash Clinical Mascara
- Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara in Glam Black
- Wet N Wild Eyeshadow in Brulee
- Wet N Wild Eyeshadow in Nutty
- e.l.f. Studio eyeshadow in Pebble
- NYX Eyeshadow in Sahara
- NYX Eyeshadow in Dark Brown

- N.Y.C. Bronzer in Sunny
- Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
- Cover Girl Clean Foundation in Ivory
- Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate
- Neutrogena Moisture Shine Lip Soother in Glow
- Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me
- Rimmel Lipstick in Airy Fairy
- Hard Candy Lip Gloss in Cake Walk
- Essence Lip Gloss in Sparkling Papaya
- Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer in Ivory
- mini Hard Candy Sheer Envy Face Primer
- Essence Legends of the Sky Powder Blush in No Better Way to Sky
- Milani Minerals Blush in Mai Tai
(NOTE: All lip products were actually stashed in my purse.  I didn't have to pack any because I hoard so many!)

Last, I also brought a few brushes and other tools in a separate bag.
This is a Caboodles brush case that came in a set I bought a few years ago.  It's nice because the lid has an area for brushes and there is also some storage space for other items.
- e.l.f. Professional shadow brush
- Studio 35 contour brush
- SOHO crease brush
- Studio Tools crease brush
- EcoTools crease brush
- Studio 35 stippling brush
- Mary Kay Mineral Foundation brush
- Microfiber rag (useful for wiping off excess makeup from brushes)
- Milani Nail Polish (see below for more info)
- mascara wand for separating lashes after applying mascara
- tissues
- pointed Q-tips
- Carmex lip balm
So this is a closer look at that Milani nail polish.  The shade is called Beach Front and I bought it here in St. Pete.  I've been wanting this color for a little while now and the CVS down the street had it in stock.  Too appropriate!  It's a light blue with silver shimmer although the hotel lighting doesn't really show the color very true to life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vacation Pedicure: Starfish!

This is the pedicure that I've been sporting for about the past two weeks now.  I wanted something really fun and cute for my vacations in Pittsburgh and Saint Pete Beach so I went with one of my favorite shades for summer, coral!
The coral I chose was Essie in Cute As A Button.  It's sort of a light, tame coral that leans slightly more on the pink side than orange.  I wouldn't consider it a bright coral, but kind of muted.  I really like the shade and Essie lasts forever on my toes so I thought it would be great for my vacation pedi!
After two coats of Cute As A Button, I stamped with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On.  I used a plate from the Salon Express Kit I bought at Big Lots.  If you go to that post, the image I chose was the star on the fourth plate down.  Combined with the light coral polish, it came out looking like a starfish!  I stamped every toe, even though you could hardly see the image on the little toes but I really loved the way it turned out!  While I was in Pittsburgh, I had lots of family members comment on how cute my toes looked.  Even my dad noticed them!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Stuff

Now that I'm off of my makeup spending ban, I've been picking up new stuff like crazy.  This is how it starts!  LOL!  But I'm having fun playing with some new items to my collection.  A few I bought before we left for Pittsburgh, and a few I bought while I was there.  This morning, we leave for Saint Pete Beach and I plan on picking up some things while we are there too.  Brian has a four day, three night workshop there and his school is putting us up in a hotel on the beach for free!  Yay!  We just have to pay for food for me, gas, and any additional things we want to do.  It's too bad there is a lovely tropical storm here in Florida, which kind of spoils the weather but it should still be fun.  Our hotel does not have free Internet so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get these posts up.  I'm going to try to schedule them automatically, but I know that feature hasn't always worked for me in the past so we'll see.  Anyway, on to the stuff!
First, let's start with the stuff I bought here in Saint Augustine before we left for Pittsburgh.  At CVS, I picked up the Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light.  For Christmas, Brian had bought me a set that had this same powder in Translucent and I liked it a lot but it was too dark.  I got the lighter shade to try out instead.  While at CVS, I also picked up three shades from the new Wet N Wild Spoiled Nail Polish collection.  I bought Distant Memory, Cougar Attack, and Plenty of Fish in the Sea.  To be honest, I only bought Cougar Attack because I thought the name was funny!  But I was really disappointed because the Spoiled color I was really looking for, Shrimp on the Barbie, was sold out.  Bummer.

Then next, I went to Walmart to pick up a few things for our travels.  While I was there, I also bought two more L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows.  I have Bronzed Taupe and love it so I thought I would give these two shades a try.  Left is Amber Rush, a shimmery reddish bronze, and Iced Latte, a shimmery nude cream.  I also picked up a seven way nail buffer, which I use a lot when I do my nails.  My old one was in rough shape so it got replaced.
I happened to pass by one other CVS that day so I stopped in and they had Shrimp on the Barbie so I picked it up!  It's a light pink with tons of golden fleck shimmer.  It almost makes it look like a salmon color.  It's really pretty and different from anything I have so I added it to my polish collection.
Lastly, while we were in Pittsburgh, in addition to my Ulta haul, I also picked up these two nail polishes at Rite Aid, mostly because I can't get them back in Florida.  (No Rite Aids here, sad!)  The first is from a brand I've never seen or heard or before so I had to get something!  It's the brand Chameleon and the shade is called Corona.  The brand just seemed to be made up of several duochrome colors, including one that I think was called Heat Wave, which turned from bright orange to soft coral.  I picked out Corona because it seemed a little more unique to me.  In some lights, it looks pink (like above) but it can also turn to a soft rosey brown or even look a little green.  It seemed like more of a neutral than most of the other brighter, louder colors.  And finally, I picked up one of the JulieG Nail Polishes.  Again, I really don't have anything like this in my collection.  The shade is called 9 to 5 and it's a soft pastel peach.  Very pretty, but I have a feeling it will be a big pain to apply.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Manicure Monday: Hot Magenta

I have a fun manicure to share today.  I just found out that starting July 1 and running the entire month of July, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polishes will be on sale at Walgreens for buy 2, get 1 free.  You probably already know that I love love LOVE the Xtreme Wear polishes and I am on a mission to collect them all.  I'll be stocking up for sure in July so today I have a great shade for summer to share with you.
The base color for this manicure is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Hot Magenta.  I used two coats for this look.  Hot magenta is a bright hot pink with a gorgeous shimmer, which you can really see on my index and middle fingers in the picture below.  I think it would look great on toes for summer too!
Then I used Sally Hansen Color Quick in Gold Chrome to stamp on this fun geometric design from Shany Image Plate SH01.  I tried to stamp so that each design was angled differently, but that didn't quite go as planned with my index and middle fingers.  That's okay, because I loved this manicure anyway!
I topped it all off with a coat of NYC In a New York Color minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Grand Central Station.  It isn't actually a top coat, but rather, it's a clear nail polish but it dries every bit as fast as my Seche Vite.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

FOTD: Trying New Products

I haven't been able to post a Face of the Day in ages and I was missing it, so I decided to share today's.  I used several new products that I've picked up recently so I thought it would be fun to just mark with an asterisk (*) all the things that are newly purchased or repurchased.  Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Debby has brought gloomy skies and rain to my neck of the woods today so the pictures are not the best, due to the crummy lighting. When you live in the Sunshine State, you become reliant on natural lighting for pictures!  So the colors are not the best as far as being true to life, but you still get the general feel of the makeup look.  Here's what I'm wearing!
- e.l.f. Essentials Eye Primer (prep undereye before concealer)
- Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate (undereye)
- Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light*
- Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer SPF 15 in Reserve Your Cabana*
- Essence Legends of the Sky Powder Blush in No Better Way to Sky*
- Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette
- e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow in Coppy Right*
- Cover Girl Eyeshadow Single in Tapestry Taupe
- Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio in Nude Eyes (Champagne shade on lower lashline)
- Wet N Wild Kohl Eyeliner in White (waterline)
- NYX Slide On Eyeliner in Brown Perfection (top lashes)*
- Wet N Wild MegaLash Clinical Mascara*
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Foiled

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nail Tutorial Model

Finger with nail already painted and stamped
For awhile now, I've been wanting a way to do nail tutorials.  I've currently been trying to glue little fake nails to an orange wood stick and that turned out to be a big pain, as I couldn't ever get the nails to glue down securely.  Then last week I was perusing the Sally Beauty Supply website and I found this creepy little finger "model".
Finger with no nail inserted
While it's totally odd looking and might make a great Halloween prop, it was only $1.39 with a Sally Beauty Club Card ($1.99 without card) and for that price I thought it would be a great tool for tutorials.  Sally's also has a full hand for practice manicures that's similar for $8.99 without card and $7.99 with card.  I thought for less than two bucks the creepy finger would be perfect!  The base has a self adhesive too so you could attach it to a table or desk if you wanted it to be secure but I find it works fine without being permanently attached to my dining room table.  Here is the link on the Sally website for the finger and the full hand if you would like more information about the specifics of each product.
The groove holds fake nails in place.
Here's how it works.  As you can see in the photo above, there is a groove cut into the plastic.  This is so you can insert fake nails into the finger to do the nail art on.  You are not supposed to paint right on the finger.  You can buy sets of glue on nails to use but I find that to be a waste of money because those sets of nails come in sizes 0-9 and I could only get sizes 4 and 5 to fit into the slot.  I've found a solution for me that works better.
Nails from nail wheels are perfect!
At Sally, you can also buy these nail wheels.  I already have a bag because I like to use them to swatch polishes or try out different nail looks before doing my whole hand.  You can buy a bag of these at Sally Beauty Supply for $5.39 with your beauty club card or $5.99 without a card.  They are available here.  In the bag, you get ten nail wheels with eighteen nails on each wheel.  So in all, you get 180 nails for around five dollars.  These nails are the perfect size to fit into the groove of the finger and for me, the length is perfect too.  Just be aware that once you put the nail into the finger, it isn't super long.  I like that though, because I tend to keep my nails on the shorter side and the length once in the finger is pretty similar to the length of my actual nails.  To put these nails into the finger, I just snap one off the wheel (it's easy to break them off) and insert the rounded end into the groove.  Don't glue it in, just slide it into the groove.
With nail, unpainted.  Front view
Then it looks like this from the front.  It's very similar in size to my index finger nail.
With nail, unpainted.  Side view
And it looks like this from the side.  See what I mean about the creepy factor?  I could totally see a long pointed lime green finger nail in there for an awesome Halloween decoration!

Once you have the nail in there, it's pretty secure, as long as you make sure it's not tilted to one side.  Then you can paint it, stamp it, and do all sorts of nail art.  Or you could use it to do tutorials.  I'm really excited to do some different tutorials with my new little model!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects: Attempt #1

Awhile back, I had purchased a few packs of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.  In all, I bought three packs (all on clearance), thinking they would be great to wear while I was on vacation.  That way I wouldn't have to haul around a bunch of nail products but I could still have great manicures that would hopefully last.  Oh how disappointed I am.  I've only tried one pack (saving the other two for my vacation next week) but I have no desire to ever use them again.  I had heard that there was quite a bit of a learning curve but I just could not get these to look good at all.  The pictures speak for themselves.
If you click the pictures to enlarge them, you can really see how terrible these look.  The instructions were harder to follow than I thought and I ended up totally messing up my pinky because I forgot to peel off the plastic cover before starting.  I got the instructions right for the rest of the fingers but I just had a heck of a time getting the strip right where I wanted it on the cuticle so the cuticle looks awful.  Then there were issues with bubbles and I couldn't always find a perfect fit.
The only thing about these pictures that was good was the lighting.  For some reason, the natural sunlight was coming into the windows at my mom's house perfectly so you can really see just how awful they look.  Too bad I can't get the same lighting at my house for all the good manicures I photograph!  Arrgh.
Once on the nail, the color of these particular strips turned out a neon orange cream that looked awful with everything I wore.  In the package, they looked much more muted to me and much less loud.  I followed up the application with a top coat but these still lasted less than twenty-four hours before they started chipping really badly.  And I even made sure to coat the tips.  Also, the strip began to peel away from the cuticle so every time I ran my fingers through my hair, my hair got caught in the gap between the strip and my cuticle.
I finally couldn't resist and started really picking at them after about twenty-four hours.  After picking away half of the strip, I tried taking them off with non-acetone polish remover and the whole thing just turned into a white gooey mess that was a total pain to remove.  I hated everything about these and I really don't want to try them again.  My first impression is that they are awful, horrible crap and I could paint my nails and easily make it look better than this, take less time, and last longer.  But just for my lovely followers, I am going to force myself to try the other two sets I bought to try to see if it was just a bad set or that I needed to learn how to apply them or what.  I'll keep you posted next week when I try again.

Has anyone tried these with success?  Am I doing something wrong?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ulta Haul!

While out and about today, Brian was a wonderful husband and took me to Ulta.  Our Ulta back home seems to pretty much always be sold out of everything.  (Rant: How is that even possible?  Drives me nuts!  Grr!)  But by some miracle, this Ulta had lots of items in stock that I've been trying to get my hands on for months.  Additionally, I had a coupon for $3.50 off of a $10 purchase.  Also, NYX was on sale for buy one item, get one item 50% off.  And there was a clearance sale on a bunch of Essence products.  Needless to say, I picked up a few items!  Here's what I got and the current prices.
* NYX Slide On, Glide On, Stay On & Definitely a Turn On Waterproof Extreme Shine Eyeliner in Brown Perfection, $7.99
* NYX Megashine Lipgloss in Nude Peach, $5.49
* NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Glow, $6.99
* NYX 2-in-1 Pencil Sharpener, $4.49

It seemed to me that I didn't remember NYX being that expensive!  But I like their items and I'm on vacation, so I'll let it slide.  ;)

* Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Just in Case, $0.49
* Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Luxury Secret, $0.79
* Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Wanna Be Your Sunshine, $0.99
* Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Let's Get Lost, $0.99
* Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in Sparkling Papaya, $1.99
* Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow in Coppy Right, $2.99
* Essence Limited Edition Legends of the Sky Powder Blush in No Better Way to Sky, $2.49

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pedicure Problems

Whew!  Another busy week!  Two doctor's appointments, a workshop, and trying to get ready for Pittsburgh has not left me much free time this week.  But I finally have a minute to share a pedicure with you.
I started out with two coats of Essie's Meet Me at Sunset, a deep bright shiny orange.  The photo above is the most color accurate picture that I could get and it was taken without topcoat.  See that shine?  This is a great summer color and I think it might have been part of a collection that came out last summer.  The color was great, but things go downhill from here so be prepared.
Then I stamped on the nautilus image from Shany Image Plate SH04 using Essie's Blanc.  The little nautilus was so cute but I stink at stamping my toes!  Half the time I can't get the image centered and so it ends up in some wonky place!  And I always forget the trick of putting on a topcoat before you stamp because then if you mess up, the stamp comes off really easily with some polish remover and you can try again without redoing the whole pedicure.  So the stamps look really stupid but Blanc is not a very opaque white to stamp with so the bad stamping wasn't noticeable most of the time.  I have learned my lesson though and from now on, I will be topcoating those toes before I stamp them.  D'oh.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Small Haul

I made a trip to Target again and picked up a few more items.  Here's what I got!
Back Row: Up and Up brand oil absorbing sheets, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Pumped Up Pink, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Heat Wave, Suave Keratin Leave In Conditioner, Up and Up Nail Polish Remover Pads
Front Row: Up and Up Makeup Sponges, Q-tips Precision Tip (pointed at both ends)

The Heat Wave nail polish, makeup sponges, and Q tips are all for a nail tutorial I plan on doing soon.  ;)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Manicure Monday: Stamping Tutorial Part 2

WARNING: Picture Heavy!

Click HERE if you missed Part 1.

In the last post, I discussed materials you would need for stamping.  Now that you've gathered up all the items you need, let's get started stamping!

1. Paint your nails with a base coat to prevent staining and protect your nail.

2. After selecting your base color, paint one coat on your nails.
3. Once the first coat is dry, you can paint a second coat if you need to.  Continue this process using as many coats as needed to reach your desired opacity.  I needed two coats before this polish was opaque (not see through) on my nails.  Completely allow your nails to dry before moving on to the next step.  If your nails aren't completely dry, you will get dents in the polish from stamping.  Optional: If you want to speed up the drying process, you can apply a fast dry top coat before stamping and again after stamping.
4. Using your stamping polish, brush the polish over the nail plate design that you have selected.  Be sure there is enough polish to cover the entire image.
Image is covered.
5. Next, using the scraper or an old gift card, scrape the excess nail polish off of the plate.  I like to put a paper towel down to absorb any excess polish.  The reason I prefer a plastic gift card is that metal scrapers can often scratch your metal plates.
8. You should now see that the image is filled with your nail polish.
9. Next use the stamper to pick up the image.  Pick it up by pressing straight down with the stamper.

10. For the above picture, I switched to a different stamper so that you could see that the image is now on the bottom of the stamper.  (Pink on pink didn't show up.)
11. Press the stamper down onto the nail.  Roll from right to left so that the image applies across your entire rounded nail.
12. You should now see a lovely image stamped onto your nail!
13. Add a topcoat to seal in your design and add some shine!  Add topcoat in three strips, one down the middle, and one on each side.  Go quickly and do not go back over any areas.  If you would like to add more topcoat, wait until the first coat has dried.  If you don't wait, it will smudge your image like the bottom left corner of this:
And your done!  It's really easy and quick and beautiful!