Thursday, July 31, 2014

Color Opposites


I knew when I saw that today's nail challenge was color opposites that I wanted to do something with teal.  Apparently the opposite of teal (blue-green) is more like red-orange but I wasn't feeling that.  I figured on this color wheel that teal and pink were close enough to opposites for me!



After applying a base coat of Orly Bonder, I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Jazzy Jade.  This is a pretty and shimmery green leaning teal that applied really easily.  These swatch photos also have a top coat of NYC Grand Central Station for ultimate shininess.



Next, I used a makeup sponge wedge and sponged two coats of Sally Hansen Insta Dri Flashy Fuchsia onto the bottom half of my nails.  The first coat just came out looking purple, hence the need for a second coat and the reason why there is a purple line in the middle of the two shades.



Overall, I consider this mani a like but not a love.  Maybe I should have tried taping off the first color but I was too lazy to wait that long for my polish to dry.  Live and learn!



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Watercolor


I can't believe I'm already half way through the nail challenge!  This was the first time I've ever done a watercolor mani and it may be my last.  It just took a long time for results that I liked but didn't love.



I started out with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Wet Suit, with a layer of NYC Grand Central Station over it.  Wet Suit is a limited edition shade, out this summer.  It comes out darker on the nail than it looks in the bottle but it is a fabulous, creamy two coater.  This was a great formula and it was so photogenic, I had to include two swatch photos.  So shiny and pretty!



Then I used The Nailasaurus water color Nimbus tutorial but mine didn't come out nearly as pretty as hers do!  I still liked the final look I got though, especially the mix of blues and greens.  In order, I dabbed on: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Mint Sprint, and Sinful Colors Mint Apple.



I also added another layer of NYC Grand Central Station after I was done with all my Q-tip/acetone dabbing.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Stamping


Another nail challenge here, this time stamping!  The hardest part of this challenge for me was just picking the base and stamping colors and deciding which image I wanted to use.  I decided to go with another of my untried glitter polishes.



The last time I used one of my glitter polishes, it looked great but didn't end well.  Two fingers of glitter came off in single chunks while I was in the shower (gross) and third came off in one chunk in my mouth while I was flossing my teeth (double gross).  I was thinking maybe my DIY glue base coat had been watered down a bit too much so this time I tried my thicker tacky glue as a base coat.  I didn't water it down at all, but just squirted a bit onto aluminum foil and then used a small concealer brush to paint it right onto my nail.



After my glue was dry, I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Rockstar Pink, using the dabble method.  I really struggled to photograph this polish.  First of all, glitter every where on my fingers that no amount of acetone could remove... just moved to some where else.  Secondly, this polish is much prettier in real life than in the photos.  There are dark fuchsia glitters, red, blue and either silver or gold, I'm not sure.  I added a thick coat of Seche Vite but it was still pretty gritty.



After that was all dry, I stamped over Rockstar Pink with Bundle Monster plate BM315 and Essie Good As Gold.  I'm a little upset though because this manicure looked so much prettier in real life than in photographs.  Just trust me that it was beautiful!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sassy + Chic Nail Stickers


I bought these Sassy + Chic Embossed Nail Stickers at my Dollar Tree for $1.  They didn't appear to have a name on the packaging but the ones I got were purple with gold shatter design.  Being that they were $1, I didn't have high expectations but I was disappointed nonetheless.



I followed the directions on the packaging with only one deviation.  I did use a topcoat over them to protect the stickers but we'll get to that later.  First of all, I felt that the stickers were not well sized.  My pinky and thumb were easy enough to match but there were several sizes of thumb stickers but then I struggled to find matches for my index, middle, and ring fingers.  For my ring I actually had to use a sticker that was too large and just sort of stuff it into my cuticle, as I couldn't even seem to cut off the excess.  It was okay though and good enough for me.  Anyone who has fairly small nails might want to just be aware of that.



After applying each sticker, I had very little trouble getting rid of the bubbles.  I think I only had one nail that had a sort of bubble mountain where I couldn't get it smooth.  And just like reader Jessica said, these are definitely not like Sally Hansen's nail strips.  They are not made of polish and are more like a thick regular sticker.  I should have known that when the directions said you could peel them off like a sticker!



After finding the right size, the directions said to file the extra edge off.  However, I found when I did this that they did not file nicely at all and I ended up with very jagged edges and one nail even ripped so that it looked like the "polish" was already chipped at the edge.  I tried my best to get the tiny bits hanging off the edge of my nail to go away but it wasn't working.  I almost think I should have cut them with cuticle scissors or something.  To try to remedy the problem with the edges, I added a thin layer of NYC Grand Central Station to seal everything in.  Well that just totally ruined it.  For some reason, the top coat caused the stickers to bubble all over (when they were smooth before).  That left my nails with little bits of sticker on the end that were catching in my hair, as well as little ridges on almost every nail that were catching on things as well.  Grrr!  After about three hours, I finally couldn't stand these catching on every thing and I literally just peeled them off like a sticker.



To sum it all up, here's what I think:
1. Personally, I would not use these for every day.  For me, it would be just as fast to throw on one or two coats of a quick dry polish and call it a day.  It would probably annoy me less too.
2. These would be nice for travel if you really want to have your nails done.  You don't need anything besides the stickers and a file to apply them and you don't need polish remover to take them off.  They would barely take up any space in a suitcase and wouldn't get confiscated because they are not a liquid.
3. These would be great for little girls!  Have a busy body daughter or niece that doesn't hold still while waiting for polish to try?  These might be a nice alternative, if she can resist the urge to peel them off.  Trust me, it's tempting to pick at them.
4. I wish they had these in more designs.  These purple and gold ones are nice but if they had holiday themed ones, I would totally be sold for my Christmas traveling.

For just one dollar, I might give these another try eventually (without topcoat) but for now I'll just stick to actual polish or hunting for Sally Hansen strips that are discounted.  Recently I've had luck finding them both at Dollar Tree and my local Bealls Outlet.  In the past I've also found them at Big Lots but it's kind of hit or miss.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Use It Up: Update 7/26

Another week and another use it up update!  I start back to work in nine days so needless to say, summer is pretty much over for me.  Monday will be the first day I am able to get into my classroom to start decorating and preparing so I will be scrambling to get my room ready in a much shorter time span that what I'm used to.  So I will no longer be updating about the items that I'm looking to put a dent into because I've pretty much met my goal with those and I just don't have time to use two different bronzers any more.  Most of this week and next will pretty much be concealer, powder, mascara and eyeliner only.  I have added two more products into the use it up section so I'll only be sharing the ones I'm trying to completely finish now.  Check out my progress: I'm pretty proud!

Use It Up:

1. Physician's Formula black eyeliner - This liner has been with me for ages!  You can definitely see I'm making progress though.  I think I'll be finishing it in the next two weeks or so.  It's really just a nubbin now!


2. Pixi Undereye Concealer - This was originally in my "Put A Dent In" section but I'm getting through it so quickly I figure just a few more weeks of use will empty it completely.  Might as well stick it out, right?


3. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light - After using up two of my loose powders, I've moved on to working on this pressed one.  In just a few days I've already put quite a dent in it and I think it will be gone in less than two weeks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Your Cheer Yourself Up Mani


Today's nail challenge is your cheer yourself up mani.  At first, I wasn't really sure where to go with this prompt because I'm pretty much always happy.  I got to thinking about what colors really make me happy to have on my nails and yellow is one of them.  Bright yellow nails just always feel sunny and happy to me.  Then I just looked through my nail plates until I found one that made me feel happy and I knew this I ♥ nails stamp was perfect!



After starting off with a coat of Orly Bonder, I applied three (ugh) coats of Essence Colour & Go Wanna Be Your Sunshine.  This was a bit streaky until the third coat but it applied easily and dried pretty quickly.  Even still, I applied a coat of NYC Grand Central Station before I stamped.



After my top coat was dry, I stamped on both ring fingers with Bundle Monster plate BM401 using Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Sonic Bloom.  My nails are a little on the small side for this image but it seemed to fit just perfectly, cutting off the I just the smallest bit.



If I was having a bad day, I'm pretty sure this mani would cheer me up.  It's just so happy!



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Outlet Haul

Yesterday hubby wanted to head over to the outlet mall next door and get out of the house for awhile.  This of course, is dangerous.  On the plus side, the outlet had some great deals!


Vanity Fair Outlet

I found these great blouses at Vanity Fair Outlet for $9.  The front and back panel is a slubbed knit and the sides are a chiffon.  Very cool and airy for the summer.  I'm planning on spending tomorrow doing outfit photos to get some ideas for work outfits so check back later this week or early next week for teacher outfit posts! :)


Vanity Fair Outlet
Bealls Outlet
We stopped into Bealls Outlet and I didn't find any clothes I liked but I found another set of Sally Hansen Salon Effects Reverse French Nail Polish Strips.  These were marked at $2.99.  I picked up the set in Disk-O-Queen.  It's hard to tell from my photo but it's a half moon mani where the moons are a dark purple cream and the rest of the nail is gold glitter.  


Rue 21
Last, I needed some new casual flip flops.  The pair I normally wear around the house are pretty worn out but I don't like to pay a lot for shoes that I don't wear out of the house that often.  Luckily, Rue 21 was having a sale: buy one pair of flip flops and get another pair for $1.  These were $6.99 so I paid $7.99 total or about $4 per pair.  Not bad!  They didn't have much left in my size but I managed to find a cute pair in silver and also dark brown.



I think I am officially done shopping for right now!  But I definitely needed some work tops that would work for the warmer months so I filled a hole in my closet and I'm ready to start the new school year in style!  And I'm really excited for this year because my hubby got a job teaching at a new school!  It was built less than five years ago, is a great school and it's half the commute he used to have!  I'm so excited for him to start this amazing new adventure.  I'm ready to start this year! :D

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nail Mail


I actually had to work today, as I had a math workshop.  I checked the mail box after ward, and I was thrilled to find nail mail!  Several weeks ago, I ordered two nail plates from Cheeky Beauty off of Amazon.  (I paid for them with my own money.)  I ordered Jumbo Plate 4: Top of the Class and also Jumbo Plate 10: Happy Nails.  These took only 18 days to arrive here from China, which was several weeks before they had estimated the arrival.  As you can see above, they arrived in a secure bubble wrap lined envelope.  I got too excited though and ripped it open at the mailbox before taking pictures. It came to me sealed. 


Inside the envelope, they were sealed in more bubble wrap, as you can see.  The plates also had some kind of plastic corner protector which came off.  They also have a blue protective film to prevent scratches.  Mine arrived in perfect shape, with no bends, scratches, or damage at all.  Awesome!


The blue tint is from the protective film, which peeled right off.

After I got home tonight and we ate dinner, Brian wanted to swing by the outlet mall so needless to say I'll have another haul post coming up and I didn't have time to try out any of the images yet.

I included a few photos of some of my favorite images.  If you want to really examine the images, click the links at the very top to see the Amazon images.  The photo above is from the Top of the Class plate.  I love the calculator, owl, and the coffee cup!  Every teacher needs coffee nails! :D


From the same plate, I'm loving the full nail image of the owl, scissors, @ signs, beakers(!), and fun school utensils like a highlighter, protractor.


Can you tell I love this plate?  So many teacher images!  Here we have paper clips, check marks, and some adorable children playing/listening to music.


And last from this plate, I love the lined paper and more super cute kiddos!  I definitely think for the first day of school I'll be wearing some notebook nails with some of these fun images stamped on!  Can't wait!

Next, let's look at the Happy Nails plate, which is all full nail images.


I'm not really sure what the top image there is but I love it!  And the delicate flowers would be adorable on toes or fingers!


I love the imperfect geometric squares!  Combine it with singing birdies and double helixes and I'm geeking out over here.

I actually ended up ordering three more plates from Cheeky as well so I can't wait for them to come but that will be several more weeks.  Who doesn't love nail mail?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teacher School Clothes Haul

I have only two weeks left of summer vacation before I start back to work so that means it's time to start getting back to business.  I've been making decorations for my classroom and working on some presentations for the first few weeks of classes but I'm also getting my mind ready for wearing professional clothes again... because my yoga pants and boyfriend tee are not acceptable work wear unless you teach PE... which I don't.  I didn't really need any skirts but when I saw that Kohl's had skorts on sale, I couldn't resist buying two from my favorite line.


Denim skort, from Kohl's

I bought this denim skort from Kohl's.  I really love this skort.  It's the perfect length for my short legs so that it's knee length without having to be hemmed.  I used to have a denim pencil skirt that I loved but it's about two sizes too big now and I figured it was time to replace it.  This will be perfect for casual Fridays for the first month or two of school, while it's still too hot to wear jeans when taking the kids to recess.  It won't cool down in Florida until probably October.


Navy skort, from Kohl's

I also bought this navy blue skort from Kohl's.  I've been wanting a navy skirt for awhile now.  I have a navy polka dot skirt but I just don't really feel like it's "me" like this one is.  I also love that both of these skirts have real pockets and belt loops.  Those things come in handy when teaching!  Kohl's also has this same skort in olive for any one who loves an olive skirt as much as I love mine.

What I really did need were some short sleeved or sleeveless tops for teaching.  I really wanted some tops that were light, cool, and comfortable.  I tried on this one, this one, and this one when we were at Kohl's but I just didn't really love any of them.  Next we went to Ross and I found two tops that I really did like, at prices that I loved!  One of them will need some alterations but for the low price I paid, I'm willing to put in the extra work.


Floral chiffon and knit top, from Ross

First I picked up this gorgeous floral tee.  I know it looks like a high-low hem here, but it's just the way it's sitting on the hanger.  The sleeves and back are jersey knit fabric and the front floral panel is chiffon.  The fit is just a little big on me which makes it loose, flowy, and cool for summer.  I can see myself wearing this with either of the new skorts I bought, with black pants and a denim jacket and I really can't wait to wear it with my bright orange pencil skirt!  Normally I'm not a fan of florals like this but this shirt just spoke to me and I love it.


Coral crepe top, from Ross

This gorgeous coral crepe top was only $6.99 at Ross!  I don't love the high-low hem but I knew I was mostly going to wear it tucked in.  The only problem I have with this top is that it's a bit too wide for me and the box like shape doesn't really complement my figure.  However, for under ten dollars, I'm willing to slap it on the sewing machine and take in the sides just a bit to make it more flattering.  It should be an easy alteration because the shirt is sleeveless and if for some reason it doesn't turn out great, I'm only out a few bucks.

A few days later hubby and I headed over to Belk and I scored big time there.



Tribal print chiffon top, from Belk

I don't normally shop in the juniors department but Belk's petites department was just so depressing and matronly that I headed over the junior's clearance and I am so glad I did!  I tried on this shirt but it was just a little shorter and wider than I wanted and really not flattering.  Then I found this super cute tribal print chiffon top marked at $14.99 and then half off of that and I was thrilled!  I didn't realize until I got it home that it actually buttons up the back but that doesn't really make a difference to me.  I guess it just adds some interest.  Again, I don't normally like prints like this but I really wanted to try something different and I ended up really liking it.


Navy chiffon peasant top, from Belk

This top was marked as $19.99 and 50% off of that.  It's available online here and is currently $9.99 and comes in Atlas Ivory or Nitecap Navy, shown above.  I've been hoping to find a navy chiffon shirt for awhile now and this one fit the bill perfectly!  I love the detailing down the center that adds some interest.  I can see myself wearing this with khaki pants and I've already worn it with my olive skirt.


Coral cropped cardigan, from Belk

I've actually had my eye on these colored cropped cardigans since probably May but at $34, there was no way I was going to buy them.  However, when my size was clearanced at $14.99 and 50% off... yup!  For $7.49, I bought this one in Coral, as well as the one below in Peppermint.  The coral one would layer great over the navy tops above, as well as with several dresses that I already own.  Both shades are available at the price I paid here.


Peppermint cropped cardigan, from Belk

And here is the Peppermint shade.  This color would also go with the navy tops above, as well as dresses I already own.  I actually wanted these cardigans in the first place to pair with some of my dresses and I'm really glad I didn't spend a ton on them.  In all at Belk, I ended up saving $109.45 and I spent less than $35 on four pieces.  Win!


Nude and black camisoles, from Bealls Outlet

Last, I figured I'd better get some camisoles to wear underneath of all these chiffon-like sheer tops I bought.  I picked up this pack of two camis at Bealls Outlet.  There is a nude one and a black one.  I'll need to shorten the straps on both but that's pretty typical with me and any sort of tank top.  So I'm all set with my teacher school clothes.  Now I just to get my brain going and start creating some cute new outfits with these pieces.