29 June 2012

OPI San Tan-tonio


Just a short, late-night post for you guys. Here is OPI San Tan-tonio. At first glance, this polish seems rather plain or boring, but it's a really pretty neutral and a great mannequin hands or underwear shade for your collection. It's a bit darker than my skin tone, but each time I paint my nails with this shade it's like painting my nails with "skin out"....like white out but in a skin tone shade. For reference, I'd say I'm like an NC 15 normally, probably NC 20 right now for reference, so if you fall in that range or darker I'd say this would be a great nude shade for you!

This is two coats. It definitely could have been one coat but my pressure was a little uneven, so the color was a little thin in spots.

closest to real life!

So that's San Tan-tonio! Do you have this polish? What's your favorite mannequin-hands shade?

Thanks for reading =]


28 June 2012

Some Sally Hansen HDs!

Hey everyone! This post is scheduled because I'm away for the day....hopefully it posts.

Anyway, here's something quick to show you. These Sally Hansen HD polishes were at Five Below, advertised as 2 for $3. So needless to say, I got six. I'll show you all six even though my pictures aren't the greatest.

This is Lite, a standard yellow shimmer. Rather sheer and very shimmery. This was four coats.

This is Digital, a coolish pink shimmer. This was is also pretty sheer but a nice color if you don't have anything like it. Shown is 3 coats.

Hi-Def, a light, yellow-green shimmer. This one is rather unique for this collection, but sheer. This is also 3 coats.

Up next is Cyber, a really striking deep purple shimmer. This one is a bit more opaque, needing 2-3 coats. I really liked this one as I don't have many purples.

Here's Pixel Pretty, which I only got because I needed a 6th polish. Your run-of-the-mill turquoise shimmer, related to OPI Austin-tatious Turquoise and $OPI Who Let the Dorks Out. It's pretty if you don't have anything like it I guess. 3 coats.

And finally, the most unique and prettiest of the collection if I do say so myself, BLU. And blue it is. It's a rich shimmery cobalt that was very opaque. 2-3 coats needed. Really worth getting if you like blue!

My camera is awful. Anyway, last time I was at Five Below, these were still there, so take a look if you're interested. Do you have any HD polishes? I feel like this line was sort of a bust...

Thanks for reading!


27 June 2012

Rainbow Glitter!

Hey everyone! This is a quick post because I'm going with my boyfriend's brother to his college orientation tomorrow! Here's one from the vault. The bright lime green polish is from Icing and since I'm not home, I don't have the name handy. (EDIT: It's Icing's Absinthe.) But you wouldn't want this polish anyway; it was streaky and sheer. It's topped with OPI Rainbow Connection though, so that makes it better.

That's all for now. Sorry for the short post! Thanks for reading!


26 June 2012

Rainbow Hair - Hair Chalking 101!

Hey everyone!

I'm so so excited to give you this post today. I can already tell it's going to be a little long-winded so bear with me as I ramble (or just scroll down and ignore me). And I'm gonna say this now so I don't have to repeat myself: All pictures are clickable, they're just little for the sake of saving space and my camera sucks and won't ever focus.

As you probably know, Pinterest (follow my personal account!) is a wonderful thing. One night several months ago, I was scrolling through and came across many pictures of hair with rainbow streaks. Anything multicolored really strikes me and I fell in love. Turned out that some of the pictures I was looking at weren't done with actual dye, but with CHALK! Soft chalk pastels, to be specific, and it's a really cute, temporary way to experiment with color, coordinate with an outfit, or try out a potential new color in your hair before you actually take the plunge (which is what I want to do...more in the P.S. at the end of the post!).

So here's what you need:

  • A box of pastels (these were lovingly stolen from my sister, but can be found at Michael's, any other craft store, or online) NOTE: products can be found online that are actually marketed as "hair chalk," but they are at least twice the price and I'm sure that these are basically the same thing! Don't be fooled.

  • Water (pretty much everywhere, fo' free)
  • Gloves (optional...I didn't use them)
  • A sheet of paper (optional...I didn't use this either)
  • ...Hair? ...Hands? (Those are the easy ones)

Okay, so there are two techniques to applying these chalks to your hair.

Step 1: Grab a strand of hair, be it part of your bangs, a small piece underneath, or a large piece running the entire length of your hair. If you're brunette, soak this strand thoroughly. If you're blonde, I've read that you may not need to wet it to get color to appear, and that doing so can even stain the hair. However, I did a strand of my mom's blonde-from-a-box hair (sorry, mom) and I needed to wet it to get any color to show up. Experiment with this.

Step 2a: This is the first technique I learned. Grab said wet strand of hair and put it into your hand or down flat onto a piece of paper. Grab the pastel in the color of your choice and, going in ONE direction only, from the top of the strand going downward, color onto the hair. Going in two directions will mat the hair. Channel your inner 3 year old for this step.

Step 2b: This is a second technique that I used, and it is a bit more messy than the first (though whichever you choose, you will get your hands - or gloves - dirty). Wet the chalk pastel of your choice and color into your hand in a circle, creating a "pool" of the color. Using one finger, dip into the concentrated color and then onto the strand, transferring the pigment. NOTE: this created a much wetter piece of hair and will cause a longer dry time.

Making the pool...the top of the pastel
blends right into the pool
Dipping in the pool

Step 3: Continue with whatever pieces or colors you choose, rinsing your hands or changing your gloves from time to time as to not mix colors. When you're done, your hair will look something like this:

If it looks like a clumpy mess, you're doing it right.
Here, I used teal, red, orange, green-yellow, pink, and indigo pastels, to give some variety. The majority of the colors were done using technique 'a' while the indigo and the one tinyy strand of red that's showing up pink were done using 'b'.

I'm using a 1" Argan Heat One 'n' Only iron.
Also, white balance fail.
Step 4: Turn on your curling or flat iron. Wait until the strands have dried and then comb them through slightly using your fingers if they look like a hot mess, like most of mine did. Use your appliance on the hair to lock in the color and style as you wish! NOTE: The chalk will start to come off on your hands and appliance, but you can get it off easily. Adding hairspray may lock in the color better, but I haven't tried it yet.

Here's the finished product and I absolutely love it:

Gorgeous, right? Or do I look like a clown?

Here are some bonus pictures of my first attempt at this! I followed procedure 'a' exclusively and didn't use heat at all.


Wear time: I've done this twice to my hair now and both times, I slept with it in and the color lasted overnight, but then washed out in the shower. So this is just meant to be temporary.

Other notes, 'cause I just don't have enough:

  • It may stain things it comes in contact with, so don't blame me! It also comes off on your hands and appliances as I said.
  • After you wash this out, be sure to add extra conditioner to the spots you colored, since the chalk is drying.
  • I've read not to use actual sidewalk or chalkboard chalk because it's even more drying and less pigmented, in case anyone was curious. To repeat, these are 'soft chalk pastels' that you would use in an art class.

So that's about it. Let me know if my tutorial was clear and if not, I can try and clear some things up for you. There are a bunch of written and video tutorials on this technique throughout the interwebz so you should find your way just fine.

Please let me know if you try this! I'd love to see a picture or read any comments you have.

P.S. I'm really loving the look of this bright color and have been wanting to do something more permanent for a few months now. I'm thinking about bleaching the very tips of just some strands of hair throughout my head and using some brand of semipermanent color on them in a bright-but-not-neon pink, a light orange, a deep teal, and a very true purple, kind of creating the look of my first attempt but with a real purple (though I am really liking the rainbow...). Sort of dip-dying some strands. The problem is, I'm completely at a loss about what brand I should use! So if you have any recommendations, please let me know. I was leaning toward Special Effects, but now Manic Panic seems a little more appealing because it is more widely available. I was also unsure of whether or not I should bleach. I just want something that lasts!

Thank you guys so so much for reading! And special thanks to my sister who was my photographer and proofreader. Are you going to give hair chalking a try? Any feedback is appreciated.


25 June 2012

China Glaze Surfin' For Boys + Mash m78

Hello there! How's your Monday going? I'm going to take a minute to brag by saying I love being a college student on summer break who slept in today. =] You love me.

So, today I have for you what I consider a staple manicure for all nailheads: the neon/animal print combo manicure. Now, if you know me in real life, you know I'm not one for animal print at all; maybe it's something I've subconsciously rejected since it's so insanely popular with girls my age. It's a little loud for my tastes. But today I was looking at my China Glaze Surfin' For Boys manicure that I did yesterday and was looking to spice it up, so I started digging through my plates and found Mash m78, featuring a leopard/zebra combo stamp.

This is something out of my comfort zone, so I thought, but I love how obnoxious it is and can't stop staring! Stamping polish is Design-a-Nail Voodoo. This is not the best stamping job of my life because 1) I'm super out of practice and 2) I was working with a new stamper and scraper (more on that in a future post). Anyway, check it out:

So I ask you, have you ever done a manicure that you thought would be totally out of your comfort zone but ended up being really awesome? I'll have to find my m57 plate so I can do full on zebra or leopard; hopefully it'll come out of hiding soon! What do you think about this manicure or animal print in general?

Thanks for reading!


24 June 2012

Some China Glaze Summer Neons!


Today I have for you just two of my picks from the new China Glaze Collection, Summer Neons! I seriously thought I was going to pass on this whole collection until I saw swatches that showed gorgeous shimmer! I love these =]

First I have for you Sun-Kissed, which is a lemon yellow neon with shimmer. The shimmer in this is really pronounced, borderline brushstroke-y, which made it really different from other neon yellows in my collection. The base color is also kind of unique too, since it's a little less green than, for example, Essie Funky Limelight. I've read rave reviews on the formula, but I still needed four coats of this polish to make it close to opaque. This might be because I do thinnish coats of polish, so I may be the exception to the rule. I liked this one well enough.

These pictures were all taken in indirect sun and they're very close to true color.

Now I have my favorite of these two, and possibly my favorite of the whole collection, which is a huge statement since I haven't even worn any of the other shades yet: Surfin' for Boys. This is a reddish coral neon with gorgeous pink shimmer. I don't think I have any other shades even close to this, so if you're looking for something unique, definitely give this one a try. I'm still wearing this one and am already contemplating a pedi with it in the near future, so maybe I should look into a backup bottle. This polish has already made my best of 2012 list is the reason I'm already starting a best of 2012 list! Oh, and I had significantly better luck with the formula; shown here is three coats but two would have been alright, just with some VNL (visible nail line).


These were taken in direct sun!

Overall, these were very fun to wear...not to mention, look how tan I look! Have you tried any of these? So far I've picked up Sun-Kissed, Surfin' for Boys, Pink Plumeria, I'm With the Lifeguard, and Love's a Beach. On my maybe list are Beach Cruise-r and Orange You Hot? Any comments? Which do you have?

Thanks for reading!


23 June 2012

Random Question for you!

Hey everyone!

I'm starting to get in a groove a tiny bit with my blog, so thanks again for bearing with me. I'll be sharing my pictures of my picks from the China Glaze Summer Neons collection shortly!

But first, I have a question for you: Have you ever done a volunteer project that put you totally out of your comfort zone?

Let me explain. I'm passionate about sea turtles and have donated to the Sea Turtle Conservatory to protect them, and I also follow a bunch of organizations on Twitter and Facebook. One in particular, called SEE Turtles, recently posted on Facebook about becoming a volunteer in Mexico or central/south american countries for anytime from 1 week to 2 months. It seems to cost a bit of money and seems like pretty hard work, but it would combine two of my passions, sea turtles and Spanish. I'm seriously considering this program!

So that's it for now. Have you ever made any decisions like this that were out of your comfort zone? Perhaps a volunteer project or job that took you away from home for some amount of time? How did it turn out? I'd love any feedback you can give!

Thanks for reading everyone!


21 June 2012

SpaRitual It's Raining Men


This morning, I returned from a two-day trip to New York City, where I met Christian Borle, who, if you aren't into Broadway, you may know from Smash. It was a great trip!

Today I'm showing you a polish that I bought with an Apothica giftcard that I won. I wanted a "different" polish that was unique to this brand, and I think I found that in SpaRitual's It's Raining Men. This is a sheer baby blue with a strong pink flash, and I can't really think of anything else like it. I did three coats and could have used a fourth but I wasn't minding the sheerness. I bet it'd be pretty layered too.

Blurry to show the flash!

That's all for now. And sorry for the nasty paper cut on my ring finger...it's actually from cardboard and was pretty painful, lol. See you soon for another update!

Thanks for reading,

13 June 2012

My Take on: The Ever-Popular Gradient!


How's everyone been? So since I was so behind on my blog-reading, I only-recently came across the wave of gradient manicures that swept the blogosphere, so I had to try it.

For this manicure, I started with a coat of Sally Hansen No Hard Feelings, a really pretty lilac that was opaque and actually vibrant enough for me without looking washed out or almost-white. On top of that, I took a regular kitchen sponge and painted one "strip" of OPI No Room for the Blues (blue), then under that a strip of No Hard Feelings (lilac), and finallly a strip of Zoya Whitney (pink) directly onto the sponge, so it differs slightly from the technique of painting the colors onto a piece of plastic and swirling (I originally tried that but my sponge wouldn't pick up the color from the plastic baggie!).

Then I went crazy on my nails, sponging onto each one with No Room for the Blues near the tip and Whitney nearest the cuticle. I made sure to move the sponge up and down to create a more gradual fade, and I ended up doing two coats of sponging. These are also topped with a coat of Cover Girl Night Lights to smooth/distract from the lines. Check it out!

For some reason, I could not get this to turn out normal. Don't judge.
 I really loved this manicure and kept getting a ton of compliments over Memorial Day Weekend. Someone even asked, "How do you ask them to do them like that?!" thinking I had them done at a salon, and my boyfriend grabbed my hands (without being provoked) and told me they looked really cool, which we know are like two of the best compliments ever.

Oh, and don't mind my amateur watermark. I like watermarks on pictures because as I'm reading through Google Reader, I can remember whose post is whose as I read. There's also the added benefit of actually getting credit for your photos, but whatever. Let me know if you have any suggestions for it! I just did it very quickly whilst playing around on Gimp.

So that's it for now. Are you tired of seeing gradient manis? I'm going to do my best to do more nail art for you all while I have time!

Thanks for reading!


05 June 2012

Zoya Trio Contest Reminder and Plea!

Hey everyone!

This is just a quick post to remind you or inform you that the Zoya Take Three Free! Pinterest Mini Trio contest is ending tonight at 11:59 PM! I repinned Myrta, Zuza, and Arizona! Look how gorgeous this combo would be!

Come on, now.
Not only do I looove these colors together, these are my top 3 picks from Zoya's summer collections, Beach and Surf. And luckily, Zuza and Myrta are currently in first and second places! Now, here comes the sad part...

Are people out of their minds?!

Kimber is BEATING Arizona! I know, I could hardly believe it myself. How could this gorgeous creamy orange goodness, you ask, come behind a been-there-done-that pink shimmer? I haven't the slightest idea.

But luckily, YOU, yes, YOU can help Arizona beat out Kimber for the trio! If you have a Pinterest account (and if you don't, WHY NOT?!), please pleaseeee log on and repin the picture of Arizona on Zoya's Pinterest page. HERE'S A LINK! There's also a picture with the contest details and information on how you could win this trio (of aqua, orange-red, and ORANGE) after it's created!

All in all, I think this was a pretty neat contest and I hope to see more in the future. Thanks for reading, and happy pinning!


PS. Pictures used in this post were copied and pasted from Zoya's Pinterest Page or my Nails pin board and edited at will. Credit goes to Zoya, of course!