Mani Monday: Stars & Stripes Forever

Happy Fourth of July!

 

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Mani Monday: Wet ‘n Wild Fresh White Creme & Fingerpaints Psychdelic Pop

 

Hello, friends! Did you have a happy Easter? I sure did. We went to church, dyed eggs, ate a delicious meal (ham, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, green salad, and ice cream with strawberries), watched a movie, and played games. I pretty much had the time of my life!

We watched the new Left Behind movie starring Nicolas Cage on Netflix. This movie got a lot of flack on my Facebook feed, but we liked it. It was entertaining, and ol’ Nic C. is always good. Also, my husband and I thought the special effects were great. Whether or not you believe in the rapture, it’s still a fun Sunday afternoon watch. (Personally, I think people should not be focused on the end times. The important thing is what we celebrate on Easter: Jesus’ death and resurrection, which pays for our sins.)

I had a fresh manicure to match my new-to-me Easter dress for church. It’s a hot pink gingham Lilly Pulitzer I found at Goodwill. I love to shop at thrift stores! Do you? I’m thinking about starting a series about my thrift store finds as I am trying to revitalize my wardrobe. Would you be interested in reading a series like that?

Anyway, back to my mani. The white is French White Creme by Wet ‘n Wild. This white usually wears for about three days. It takes three coats to become opaque, otherwise it is streaky. The pink dots are Psychedelic Pop by Fingerpaints. I really like this color. It is opaque and bright. It also has good wear time. I would definitely recommend it.

Have a happy Monday!

Mani Monday: Orly Green with Envy

Happy Pi Day, everyone! Did you eat any yummy pies? I had both grasshopper pie (mint chocolate chip) and razzleberry pie (mixed berry). Mmm…  😛 

Anyway, since both Easter and St. Patrick’s day coming up, I decided to do a pastel mani with a green base. The green color here is Orly Green with Envy. I thought it would be a creamy pastel, but it is actually a weird sheer green. It took four coats to get this opacity. I do not recommend this color not only because of its sheerness but also because of its short wear time. I dotted two other Orly colors onto my nails, Lollipop & Snowcone (lavendar and sky blue, respectively). They have an even worse wear time than Green with Envy, so I don’t recommend them either. I have tried them with both the Orly bonder base and an OPI base. There was no difference in wear time when I used the same brand’s basecoat with these polishes. It could just be the pastels though. These are the only Orly polishes I have ever tried. I also used two Colorstay polishes from Revlon. These polishes have a decent wear time for drugstore nail lacquer, but the brushes on all of the Colorstay polishes are cut unevenly (including ones I did not picture in this post). This makes creating a nice manicure nearly impossible. The colors I used are Provence & Coastal Surf (gray-lavendar and french blue). Have you ever tried these brands? Did you get the same results I did?

 

From L-R: Lollipop, Provence, Green with Envy, Coastal Surf, Snowcone

Well, I have some news for people who refuse to love math and celebrate Pi Day. Today is also White Day! No, white day is not a day where we celebrate white people. It is a holiday made up by confectioners in Asia to sell more candy. No, seriously, it is. I don’t know which countries celebrate it other than Korea and Japan. However, both countries make the girls give the boys they like candy on Valentine’s Day. A month later on White Day, the boys respond in turn. We don’t usually celebrate White Day at our house, but we decided to try it this year. My husband surprised me by taking the day off to do fun things with me all day! So far I have gotten two bouquets of flowers, seen a movie, gone shopping, and eaten pie. Pretty good day, right? What have you been up to today? Let me know in the comments!

Mani Monday with Hearts

Happy Monday everyone! Sorry that I didn’t post my V-Day mani last week. It was a hectic week. We had a really good Valentine’s Day though.

Last week I painted hearts on all of my nails like I did on my ring finger for this week. I guess you can’t see it that well in the pic. Sorry, I just take pictures on my phone, so they’re not exactly high quality.

The red color is my first bottle of OPI nail polish. It’s called The Thrill of Brazil. It has a wide opening on the top and has that noxious smell of nail polishes made before the 5-Free movement. The black and white confetti topcoat is called Yin and Yang. The brand, Poparazzi, is sold only at CVS. So far, I’ve found that the Poparazzi topcoats have good coverage but leave a chunky texture which needs a clear coat on top. The pink heart is Access 24/7 from Sephora by OPI. This pink is supposed to be darker than Techno Girl (used in my Grease-inspired mani), but are basically the same color when painted on my nails. This is odd since they came together in a pack of mini polishes. Here they are side-by-side:

 

So what did you do for Valentine’s Day? We take turns being in charge of Valentine’s Day. When we were dating, Jono told me how much pressure guys feel on Valentine’s Day to buy the perfect presents and plan the perfect day. As a former commitment-phobe, I had only thought of Valentine’s Day in terms of the copious amounts of chocolate I would get from my girl friends and the Galentine’s Day we would spend together (which was before the term “Galentine’s Day” was even coined!). I hadn’t realized that V-Day could be loaded with so much gender inequality (a serious term for something not really that serious). Anyway, I told him I would be in charge of our first Valentine’s Day, and ever since then we have taken turns planning our V-Days.

I decided to make this year’s V-Day low-key since we have been spectacularly busy lately. I spent all of Valentine’s weekend making Jono’s favorite things to eat for Sunday. We had to lead worship at church on Sunday morning, so I tried to make as much as possible ahead of time. I made a dinner of homemade beef, feta, and mushrooms pizza with key lime pie for dessert. I also made homemade soft pretzels with homemade mustard sauce as a snack. I made the mistake of taking Jono to the mall to pick out a video game. The mall was packed. We couldn’t believe how many people wanted to go shopping on Valentine’s Day. I honestly thought everyone would be out at dinner or the movies.

What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Did you eat pizza or go to the mall too? Did you at least paint adorable hearts on your toes? No one will see them there!

 

 

Mani Monday: Pink Ladies & T-birds

 


Did you guys watch Grease Live last night? I did, and I loved it so much that I decided to give myself a Grease-themed mani to prove it. I painted one hand pink for the Pink Ladies and the other hand black for the T-birds. I accidentally made my left hand pink, so I had to try and write the “T” with my left hand. That’s why it doesn’t look good (or as the T-birds would say, “cool”).


For my Pink Ladies hand I used these colors from above picture from left to right: Claire’s Paparazzi (Pink, white, and black sequin top coat on index finger), Wet n Wild Sparked (pink and silver glitter coat on ring finger), and OPI Techno Girl (pink base coat).


For my T-birds hand I used these colors from above picture from left to right: Sephora by OPI Are You Glistenin’? (silver glitter coat on thumb), Sally Hansen Black Out (black creme base), and Zoya Trixie (“T” on ring finger). I just now realized that used both of these silver colors in my last week’s Mani Monday.

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c/o of Fox.com

When I heard that Fox was going to do a live musical, I was excited because I am a big musical junkie. However, when I heard that they were going to do Grease, I assumed that they chose Grease because they could make simple sets and costumes. That assumption was incorrect. This show was extremely complicated. It was production coordinating genius. The way the scenes went from outside to inside must have been a nightmare to organize. The people at Fox really went all out. I didn’t like that they kept showing us the behind-the-scenes secrets because I felt like it took the audience out of the realm of the show. I wish they had shown all of that in a re-airing of the show or a separate after show. Yet I know how difficult this must have been for the cast and crew and understand why they wanted to show off a little.

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Twinsies, c/o CloserWeekly.com

Also, Julianne Hough looked so much like Sandy that it was almost scary. The only reason it wasn’t scary was because she looked so cute and innocent.

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c/o @MikeyDuffy_ on Twitter

All of the cast did a good job, but I really thought Elle McLemore really stole the show as Patty Simcox. She really stood out and stole all of her scenes in a good way! (Also, why are there no deets about her on the Grease Live cast listing? What a shame!)

Did you watch Grease Live last night? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Mani Monday & Face Mask Monday

Mani Monday continues! I tried to use different lighting and filters to capture the sparkles on this manicure, but it was a cloudy day today. It was not good for my professional DSLR (aka my iPhone). The glitter topper I used is Sephora by OPI Spark-tacular! This glitter is pretty similar to Nails Inc.’s Soho Street that I wore last Monday. Sadly, this glitter is not full coverage. (Sidenote: I’ve already forewarned my husband that I will only be wearing bedazzled and sequined clothing when I am a senior citizen. I can’t wait to be old!)

The beautiful royal blue was a birthday gift from a good friend. (My friends know me well.) It’s OPI’s Right Off the Bat, which is from OPI’s MLB collection. Before I researched it, I wondered if it was part of a Batman collection. Obviously, I don’t think much of baseball. Ha! Anyway, this blue was very opaque after one coat, so I left it at that. However, if I was wearing it without the glitter topper, I would probably paint two. Part of my reason for only painting one coat was that the brush on this particular bottle was extremely wide. I had a hard time painting evenly next to my cuticles. I will say that this problem may be uncommon since I have small hands. (My wedding ring is a size 4.25 for reference.)

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50 Sheet Masks! (Minus the two that we used today and plus four from Etude House, so really 52 sheet masks!) My sheet mask collection makes me feel like the Uncle Scrooge of beauty.

Nail polish wasn’t the only thing I got for my birthday. I got so many nice presents from my friends and family. I also got money, which I promptly spent at Memebox on 50 sheet masks. (Memebox is a Korean beauty site that I am not getting paid to endorse. However, if you buy something after clicking on this link, I get points or something. So far, I have zero points. 😛 )

The sheet masks that we tried today are from a brand called Leaders Insolution. This is my first time trying this brand. I thought I read all the ingredients in the listing, but I missed the Witch Hazel Water. Normally, I wouldn’t mind an astringent in my mask, especially at so small a percentage. However, my skin still hasn’t recovered from my dry Arizona Thanksgiving trip since I have been sick so many times since. It stung a little bit after the initial application, but I’m sure my normally oily skin would’ve benefited from the Hamamelis Virginiana. Otherwise, I liked this sheet mask. My skin feels softer and more moisturized now.

I hope this review doesn’t scare you from using sheet masks. They are amazing. Let me tell you why. First of all, sheet masks are a total game changer. If you are not using them, then you are missing out on soft and glowing skin. They make me look human even though I have been sick for what feels like two decades. Second, they are really fun to put on with your husband. I have no photographic proof of this sorry. Third, they are really relaxing. Do you use sheet masks? If so, which ones are your favorites? Let me know in the comments so I can go buy them!

 

Mani Monday: New Year, New Nails

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that you are having a great start to 2016. Although my husband is sick and I am behind on pretty much everything (a small price to pay for an extra long Christmas vacay), we are loving 2016. 2015 was a good year for us, but we have some tricks up our sleeves to make 2016 even better. 😉

If you have read my blog before, then you know that I am glitter obsessed. I am sorry to show you a polish that is discontinued, but I had to wear it because it is pretty much a New Year’s party in a bottle. This is Soho Street by Nails Inc. I’ve never been to Soho (London), but I now have larger than life expectations of it due to this color. Soho street is not a full coverage glitter polish. However, if I did a couple more coats (shown above is two coats), it might get there.

(Side note: you may remember this beautiful full coverage green glitter polish also by Nails Inc. from my St. Paddy’s mani. Why are these colors discontinued, Nails Inc.? WHY?!)

What’s your New Year’s mani look like? Are you ready for 2016? (Full disclosure: some of my calendars haven’t even been shipped yet! Ahh!)

Mani Monday: Impressions of Spring

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In honor of the lovely spring weather we have been enjoying, I give you my own interpretation of blooming flowers. I was going to actually paint flowers on my nails but did not like the stark contrast of the white nail polish I had painted as the background color. I randomly decided to dot different hues of pinks, purples, and nudes on my nails and found that I enjoyed the results.

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It feels rather impressionistic, right? If only someone paid me to do my own nails. Then my life as a nail artist would be complete. <Insert dramatic sigh here.>

I have really been loving my new Butter London basecoat and topcoat. I believe I did these nails on Thursday, and I only have one chipped nail today. Usually, I would redo all of my nails when I get a bad chip, but this mani is easily fixable. I added more colors to the chipped nail, and now no one will be the wiser.

It is important to look my best tonight because we are going to a film screening, and I am hoping to meet the funny star. I’ll update you about it tomorrow.

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For now, I’ll leave you with this disturbing stuffed animal/goldfish bowl combo. It can hold your pets or your snacks! What an amazing invention.

Mani Monday: Four-Leaf Clovers on Butter

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Artsy, right?

It’s a very exciting time of year for makeup hoarders lovers of America. It’s Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Sale. For 21 glorious days, there are special flash sales on high-end products. Last Thursday, Butter London nail polish was reduced to a mere $9. I was in a panic all that day, worrying that my store (which is always out of everything) would run out before I got there. However, they had plenty of bottles left when I arrived.

I bought Hardwear PD Quick Topcoat, which is way too long of a name for a topcoat. I really needed it because I used up my CND Speedy Topcoat on my glitter nails from last week. Hardwear usually retails for $19, so I got it for more than half off. Plus, it is 0.1 ounce larger than Speedy, which sells for $8.50. I also decided to buy a mate for my topcoat, a basecoat called Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat.

Ivy League (L), Emerald City (R)

Ivy League (L), Emerald City (R)

I honestly wasn’t expecting much because I sometimes feel like topcoats are like shampoo. You can find one that you really love, but one day it just stops working for you. However, I am really loving this combo. After my Piccadilly Green manicure flaked off, I painted my nails with cheap $3 Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish in Ivy League. This color is shimmery and semi-sheer. I then painted four-leaf clovers on my thumbs in Emerald City.

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Making a four-leaf clover isn’t that hard. First, make sure that you have a minimal amount of paint on your brush. Then make four dots in a circle on your nail. Try to make the dots kind of uneven to make the leaves look more realistic like my first attempt.

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Jono’s attempt at being artsy at the mall. The lighting is too icky for good pics there. 

My left thumb was my first attempt. I made the dots too round and close together. It looks like a schoolkid painted it for art class. The right thumb’s dots are spaced farther apart and are more free-form. This makes the clover look more natural.

My new topcoat and basecoat have really made this manicure last. This Sally Hansen nail polish usually only lasts a couple days on me. I didn’t notice any chipping until after I cleaned the bathroom today, which is day four. Four days is double my usual wear time for these greens. So far I give Butter London two green thumbs-up.

Mani Monday: $20 Nail Polish???

Would you pay $20 for nail polish? That’s how much Deborah Lippmann glitter nail polish costs.
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s much as I obsess over nail polish, I couldn’t shell out 20 clams for half an ounce of finger paint. I almost didn’t buy this bottle that I found at T.J. Maxx because it was $6.99. However, curiosity got the best of me. I really wanted to know what made a $20 bottle of nail polish so special. Plus, this color is called “Flash Dance.”

Do you want to know what makes this bottle of nail polish so special? It’s special because the formula won’t even last a full 24 hours.
IMG_1317Isn’t that terrible? If a nail polish costs $20, it should at least last a full day’s worth of wear (and maybe wash your dishes for you).

Flash Dance has a lumpy formula and  a matte finish. It took three coats of topcoat to make it shiny enough to appreciate the different tones of glitter. This is disappointing because I really was excited for my hands to look like the 2015 New Year’s ball.
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Have you ever had a mani as bad as this one? Let me know in the comments!