Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today is my birthday...

That feels weird to say. I never hint at people, or ever expect anyone to get me anything. I've never had a surprise party (that's not to say I haven't had nice surprises on my birthday) and maybe it's because I'm never that squeaky wheel looking for grease. I only have one real friend (who is not a family member) and we live far away from each other now because we go to different colleges. Anyway, I thought I would tell you 11 readers that today is my birthday. I feel like someone should know.

Anyway, onto fun stuff. On a cooler note, my birthday falls on a Sunday manicure day! I'm looking at my collection and wondering what special birthday polish I'll choose...

...update later.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh my gaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.....

One of these colors will be going on my nails tonight.

Orly Cosmic FX

...and I got all day to chose which one.

I was able to snag these at Sally Beauty Supply. My local SBS either has snipers who are on some kind of calling list and come down the moment the new collections are put on display, or I just have bad luck. But as you can probably tell, there is one gem missing from the line-up shot, and that lil baby is Space Cadet.

I was a little torn whether or not to buy this collection. On the one hand, it's completely awesome. On the other hand, this "type" of nail polish is duplicated in almost every brand this season. Back on the first hand, Orly raised their prices for this collection (though I was able to get them for $7.99 a pop rather than the MSRP of $10), but that raised price is still cheaper than MAC's $13 for 0.34oz compared to Orly's generous 0.6oz.

And even though I kind of hate Orly's formula (it's always given me problems...without fail...I don't know if it's something that happens during shipping, at my SBS, if I apply with too much circulating air around me or what...all I know is that other people don't seem to have my problem with Orly. I probably need to start experimenting with thinners to solve this problem) getting almost double the product for a cheaper price is worth it to me. And because the big-time bloggers are generous enough to post cross-brand collection comparison pics, I know I am getting what I want.

On the nail growth front, I am almost completely done with my "grow out phase." I am sick of having short nails. I have nothing against short nails, but my process have been long. I get so jealous looking at my idol nail bloggers and their beautiful swatch pics with their long nails. Every week, I grab for my file, and shave off the weeks worth of growth, down to poor little nubbins. I think I am just at the point where I can let the growth come out and start working on getting the shape back to them.

And with all the new stresses of starting the student teaching I have fallen back into the bad habit of biting my cuticles. It's a habit that I fall into whenever I am stressed, and having short nails makes it easier for me to do it. Now that I will be able to have long nails again, and that I am getting adjusted to student teaching, I should be able to break the habit again.

Alright, that's enough of the blah blah blah. I'll try to post a new pic of my Orly
Cosmic FX maincure tonight.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tagging Back into the Swing of Things

I know I have been shamefully out of the blogging world. No time during the school year, no time during the summer, apparently. But here is a little something to get back into the blogosphere. I was tagged by aka KAREN to do this tag! (in my HS days they were called surveys and you didn't have to "tag" just assumed people were interested enough in you to want to read this stuff, ;-)

Here goes!

4 things found in my purse



-makeup bag


(Whoa, I am interesting)

4 things in my room

-my makeup desk

-my bed

-my TV

-my HELMER!!!

4 things I have always wanted to do

-go to school to become a cosmetologist (and finish)

-be skinny/lose my excess weight

-play professionally in an orchestra pit for musical theater

-persue singing and acting, on Broadway...or any other stage that will have me.

4 things I am currently into

-painting my nails and nail art

-teaching music


-getting better on my ukulele

4 things I bet you didn't know about me

-I am indifferent to getting married or having kids. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't and that's fine too. I very much identify with the character Katherine Watson from the movie Mona Lisa Smile: (on marriage) "yes, I suppose I will someday, I'm just not going to plan my life around it."

-I have secret aspirations to become a Youtube star.

-I would love to get a Ph. D. In something...

-I cry on a daily basis. I usually find something so beautiful, so sad, so moving, so tragic or so sweet happening each and every day, that a day in which I don't cry is rare. I'm not talking about bawling, but a tear or two is usually shed whether it's from a scene in a movie, a paragraph in a book, a child being kind to their parent (for a change) or a line praising God or His son in a hymn, something usually makes me cry.

4 songs I can't get out of my head

-Wig in a Box, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

-I Dreamed a Dream, Les Miserables

-Speechless, Lady GaGa, The Fame Monster

-Defying Gravity, Wicked, the Musical

4 people I tag





And because this is supposed to be a beauty/girl related blog, here is my NOTW: 8+ days of wear. Essie's Pretty Edgy, Nailtek Foundation base and Quicken top coat. Impressed with both the color and wear.

And as for what I have been up to, beautywise, I have been trying to grow out the entire length of my nail. As soon as a week pops up, I file them back down to nubbins. I will try to take an update pic when this polish comes off. I have some shots of the nail prior to this. My nails will be MUCH better, once all the damage is gone. I have been taking Biotin with the advice from (I tag her too!!!) Biotin is what she said she takes to help her nails, and I have to tell you I think it helps. I did my research before taking this vitamin and I think my nails grow faster. As for stronger, well, I will have to do an in-depth review when my nails are all better.

Thanks for reading! I will try to be back sooner than last time!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Swap!!!

Twice in one day? Boy are YOU lucky...

Here are pictures of my very first swap! I have never successfully completed a swap before. I have only ever been in preliminary talks about swapping. And in both instances, I was never able to get back in contact with the people who initiated the swap. Oh well. This swap with worked out! I present my new Tokodoki Diamante Cromatico Palette:

Tokidoki Diamante Cromatico Palette Packaging
Super cute outside packaging - clear lucite with an animated graphic on top

Tokidoki Diamante Cromatico Palette Charm
The angry little charm inside of the cube, under the palette

Tokidoki Diamante Cromatico Palette Swatches and Inside
The 4 palette colors and swatches: Diamante, light frosty neutral with chunky glitter; Rubino, a frosty taupe; Romeo, a deep burgandy frost; Nancy Rocks, a frosty medium purple.

Tokidoki Diamante Cromatico Palette Swatches Blended Out
Swatches blended out.

These shadows seem quite comparable in formula to Urban Decay Shadows. I am pretty excited to try them out. I am very curious about Romeo. The crease color possibilities are intriguing to me as I don't usually use a color like this (I'm not even sure if I have a similar color in my collection.)

When I complete an eye look with this, I will post pictures.

Thanks for the swap Thu!

I think I've Moved On Enough to Post This...

Dutch Manicure

This was my FIFA World Cup manicure. Orange to represent the Huis van Oranje and the red, white, and blue for the flag of the Netherlands. Oh, what could have been. True, both teams had never won the cup before, but why couldn't it have been the Netherlands. They are a teeny, tiny country with a little over 16.5 million people inhabiting an area only slightly larger than Maryland, so to make it as far as they did is awesome. And the game was well matched (and both goalies PHENOMINAL)...but...but...why couldn't it have been us? Third time was not the charm.

C'est la vie...or whatever the Dutch equivalent is.

Anyhow, the manicure was awesome. I used Zoya's Sienna for my orange, Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail Color in Red Carpet, Orly's White Out, and Sally Hansen HD Nail Polish in Laser.

I needed to breakaway from my tribute to the red, white and blue (first for July 4th, and then for the Netherlands) so I decided to test out my grabs from the L'oreal Passport to Paradise Collect. I did Ocean Breeze for my manicure and found myself with a HUGE FAIL:

Loreal Ocean Breeze indoor light
Indoor Lighting

Loreal Ocrean Breeze outdoor sunlight
Outdoor Sunlight

Look at the fail that is this polish. Boy, was I bummed. This was some lovely color in the bottle (and lovely swatches on other nail blogs) but a disaster on the nails. This was a heinous polish to work with - it was runny and goopey all at the same time and dried with bumps, lumps and ripples. Ugh...I took this off the very next day. I don't know about this. I was so disgruntled that I am reluctant to even try and save this with a little polish thinner. Maybe I got a rogue bad bottle. I picked up another bottle from this collection, so maybe the next one will be better (though with my past experience, I am reluctant to use the next bottle.) I have one other L'oreal polish from their regular line...a purple and the name escapes me. I swatched it on ONE nail when I first got it (for swatching purposes only) and it seemed OK and I do plan on wearing it in the future. I feel I owe it to the bottle to give it another shot. When I run across my polish thinner, I will give this bottle another go.

One last bit...I am going to cut my nails. (LOL, I love how this is "news worthy" to me. I am convince that the reason my nails look so bad is because of the salon manicure I had at the end of May. The picture I posted in my Seche Fail post is still pretty accurate of how the nails look. I have stopped using Seche Recondition (I can only take so much insult to injury) and started using Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails Hard as Wraps Powerful Acrylic Gel (does anyone else find SH names to be obnoxiously long?) to strengthen my nails because they are peeling and shredded in certain areas. Though the condition is pretty bad, the nails hold up fairly well with polish on them. But enough is enough. I am starting fresh (well, as fresh as I can...I think I would need to let more nail grow out to completely start fresh.) But maybe I will keep them short until all the damaged nail grows out. I don't know why I opted for the salon manicure - I almost never do. I guess because I was wrapped up in the "special occasionness" of graduating and thought "what the hell." I don't know why I am surprised. My toenails look that bad too without polish on them, and I get pedicures far more often than I get manicures (and then I don't even get pedicures too much. Do you realize that you can buy 3-5 bottles of polish for the cost of one salon pedicure+tip?) Ugh... I must start my quest for healthier nails. When I was using Nailtek I had very happy results. Maybe it's time to dig that stuff out again.

Until I regrow my length, here is the last shot of my long nails, wearing Essie's Lapis of Luxury - tipwear, crusty cuticles and all!

IMG_0564[1]Essie Lapis of Luxury florescent lighting

Fear not! I will still post nail pics. I will use this opportunity to test out more loud and vampy shades that some would consider obnoxious on longer nails (not me though...nope...I don't discriminate based on nail length.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July Manicure

I have to say, I am pretty proud of this one:


I created this manicure with Sally Hansen HD Nail Color in Laser, Orly White Out, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail Color in Red Carpet. I also used Sinful Color Nail Art stripers in their red and blue colors as well as a Migi Nail Art pen in white.

This manicure was very intimidating to is probably the most intricate nail art I have ever attempted. I first saw this kind of art in a video by Julieg713 on Youtube. Her nail designs always look so effortless. The nail design was very hard once it got going, but once I started on my right hand, I couldn't stop shaking!

And just to prove I DID do it on my left hand...


I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July. Getting started on my next NOTD right now.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That's Money Honey! me some GaGa.

But anyway, here is a US currency inspired manicure I just completed. I don't know if it can hold up until the fourth, but I'll do my best to baby it.



I used Seche Recondition for a base (hey, I'm trying to finish up the bottle before I never use it again), Color Club in Wild and Willing (copper), What a Drag (silver), Seche Vite topcoat, and Migi Nail art pen for $ sign (the green from the silver collection.)

Pretty easy. The formula on these Color Club polishes was great. Really opaque in 2 coats (but I did three just to be safe) and they dried very quickly before the top coat was applied. Sometimes with glitter polishes the formula can be pretty goopy as you apply more and more layers, but I was really pleased with this application. I used my janky homemade french tip guide stickers. With this nail polish, I found that they peeled off better/cleaner when the polish was still wet (otherwise it pulled at the very end of the inside of the tip.) Very pleased with this mani. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seche FAIL

So remember how I obtained a bottle of Seche Recondition from Sally Beauty Supply as a gift with purchase and I said I would give this a shot and see what it could do for my nails?


Sorry if I just made you lose your lunch. I'll give fair warning next time.

I'll post something lovely a little later to make up for this.

Monday, June 28, 2010

NOTD...a week late.

Hey there! Last week threw me for a loop, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things. This is the manicure I wore all last week:

Blue and White Polka Dots

For this manicure I used Essie's Looking for Love as the base (which looks like a lilac in the bottle, but as blue a lilac as you can get before turning into an actual blue), Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Brisk Blue for the french tip, and Orly's White Out for the polka dots!

I enjoyed wearing this manicure so much this past week. I have tons of colors to swatch coming up and will try to post once a day for the rest of this week. I am already backlogged terribly and don't want to fall any further behind! I can't start swatching tonight for the sun has gone down and I really want nice pictures of these swatches, but tonight I will paint my nails Mr. Wrong from Hard Candy. It's one of my newest bottles and I am very excited to acquire this lemming.

In unrelated news, my financial aid came through today and Igot my student teaching assignment! No high school (which is a major bummer because that is the grade level at which I wish to teach) but I got paired with some really good teachers.

That's it for now, I will be back tomorrow with some awesome bottle shots (at the very least) of the newest bottles I have purchased!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

China Glaze Poolside Collection NOTD

Don't these colors just make you happy? China Glaze's Poolside Collection in Sun Worshiper and Towel Boy Toy. Though these are not marketed as neons, they are pretty darn near close. Like any addict, I wanted to swatch both right away but only had time for one polish change. So what does any ingenuity polish addict do?

Do a combination of both! I love polka dot manicures! And this one is super bright and fun for the "poolside" during the summertime. My biggest trouble was deciding whether to do blue on orange or orange on blue. I am very happy with the results. I used a dotting tool to make the polka dots. The biggest lesson I learned in doing this type of manicure is to pick a polish that is opaque in 1 coat so the dots show up. In this photo, which is very color accurate, the dots look more uniformly opaque than they really are. And then in this pic they are obviously not all uniformly opaque. Uniform dots or not, I still love, love, LOVE this manicure.

I picked these beauties up at Sally Beauty Supply. And right now there is a special, when you buy 2 China Glaze polishes you can get a Seche Perfect Nail Product for free! I have never tried anything from the Perfect Nail line of Seche, only Seche Vite and Seche Base.

(My gift with purchase from Sally Beauty Supply)

Seche Base I never felt did much for my nails as a base coat, but I tried Seche Recondition (to add flexibility to fragile nails) as my base for this manicure. I figure, at a $7-$8 savings after getting this free with my CG purchase, I can't go too wrong by at least testing it out. One manicure probably won't make much of a difference, but I'll keep using it (along with Seche Vite as a top coat) and I'll let you know how it works out.

Thank you for reading, and as always, if you have any questions or requests, please leave them in a comment below!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The NOTD that went one day too long...

This manicure morphed over the course of a week:

Day 1: Nailtek Foundation II Base Coat, 3 coats of Sally Hansen HD Nail Color in DVD, 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Day 3: Reverse French Manicure with Sally Hansen HD Nail Color in Laser (3 coats), 1 coatof Seche Vite.

Day 5: Refreshed the reverse french manicure (touched up tipwear) and added 1 coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Shooting Star, 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Day 5, later on that day: Added several layers of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in In the Spotlight to tips of thumb and ring finger, 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Day 5, still later: Removed all polish with foil method. The weight of all that polish was too much for my fingertips, LOL.

I often employ techniques such as these to extend the life of a manicure. When I am busy during the semester and only have time for a polish change once a week, these are all things I havce done to extend the life of my manicure. I did go a little over thie top this time, but that is the beauty of nail polish: you can change it as often as you change your mind! (And for me, that could be a lot!)

Thanks for taking the time to read my little beauty musings. If you have any questions, comments or requests, please leave them below!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bet You Can't Swatch Just One! And NOTD!

Ok, so I may have a slight tendency towards hoarding. It's not a big deal. I have it under control.

While stopping off at my local pharmacy last night, I saw another Sally Hansen HD Nail Color that I had not seen on Tuesday.

Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definiton Nail Color in #16 Laser

I thought I would add this to my collection. I haven't been able to stop looking at my nails with the DVD on them. Since I couldn't bear to take it off, but NEEDED to swatch my newest color I came up with this:

Sally Hansen HD polish in DVD, tipped with Laser, topped with SecheVite.

I think I did OK for my first reverse french manicure with homemade janky nail guides. I'll give my DIY nail guides another shot. I have to find a better stencil to draw my guides before I cut them out. I need more of a moon or crescent shape to follow rather than the slight curve, which would be more appropriate for a regular french manicure.

It seems that I am on quite a Sally Hansen kick. While searching the SH section for the illusive Hidden Treasure polish, I had never realized that the Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear line was so affordable. At only $2.99 for an almost full sized product, I thought why the hell not. This is my first experience with the Xtreme line from SH and I can't wait to give it a go.

Shooting Star, In the Spotlight, Disco Ball, Going Green

I can't wait to test out the formula on these polishes. I am seldom disappointed with SH polishes and have found that their formula has only improved over the years. I did decide to get some "effects" polished over regular polishes. I had to throw one in there. I missed out on China Glaze's Four Leaf Clover. I hope this is a close dupe.

I'm happy to take swatch requests if there is one particular polish you would like to see first!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Beauty Related Blog Post!

(LOL, a font to choose for blogging is Webdings. Can anyone actually read Webdings? If you can, you're my hero!)

I finally have time to sit down and write a beauty related blog! That seems to be what always happens, I start a blog only to have it fall by the wayside because of life, jobs, school, etc. Anyway, this is not a complain post. This is a NAIL OF THE DAY POST!

As most other nail blogs have posted, the new Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color polishes are amazing. I have passed by these time and time again because of the eye-catching sparkly colors.

But each time I saw them I kept passing them up because of my first experience with Sally Hansen HD polish. I first bought SH HD when launched about 2 years ago. I picked up Hi-Def because it so closely resembled the polish that Elphaba from the musical Wicked wears in costume. (I will fill you in on my healthy obssesion with Wicked and the Wicked Witch of the West another time.) When I first applied this polish, I was not pleased. It took more than four coats for an even coverage. The polish was thick and difficult to work with. It ruined my manicure, even though the green nails would be the last thing people would be looking at on me. (Again, I will tell you about Wicked and myself another time.)

So with my past experience, I was weary. However, after reading other nail blogger's reviews and seeing their swatches, my willpower during my last trip to CVS was not strong enough. Being partial to the non-traditional nail polish colors, I had to pick up these beauties:

(Pictured from left to right: #13 Resolution, #14 Spectrum, #15 DVD)

These are so pretty, I didn't know which on to try first. I decided upon DVD because...I was wearing a purple shirt today, hee hee. I used Nail-Tek Foundation II as a base coat, 3 coats of polish (though are still some bald spots that can be seen in the pictures, 4 coats would have been best, but I did this manicure during my 30 minute lunch) and topped with Seche Vite. The polish applied fairly easily, a bit on the thicker side. A single coat of DVD could be used as a glitter top coat in layering. Maybe I will try that sometime. Drying time was pretty fast between coats. Lastly, the Sally Hansen website says that this polish acutally contains liquid cyrstal particles. That at least sounds cool.

Anyhow for your viewing pleasure and consideration, Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color in DVD:

Under florescent lighting

Florescent Lighting^
With Flash^
In bright sun

Yeah, I picked a great first polish to blog about. Purples are notoriously difficult to photograph in respects of color accuracy. All these pictures are acurate. The polish shines differently in different lights. The purple is cool toned, but photographs almost blue. When the polish is looked at on it's own, some might call it blue. But when set next to a true blue color, it is obviously purple. It even photographs as steely silver. So if you decide to buy this polish completely based upon my review, plan on getting a multi-dimensional purple. Another note: in some pictures, the polish appears to have a gritty or grainy finish. It does have a bit of grittiness to it, but under a thick top coat dries completely smooth. The grit is what adds to the dimension of the polish.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I swear...

...I will pay more attention to you once finals are over.

Give me one more week.

Two weeks TOPS.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey ya'll!

And by "ya'll" I guess I mean my one follower, LOL.

Anyhow, great news on the blogging front. I just replaced my broken camera! I had a Canon PowerShot SD990 IS camera that I purchased from Circuit City before it bit the big one in the world of retail. Big clearances for the store meant an excuse for me to spend, spend, spend! I reasoned that it was time for an upgrade in camera quality and this beauty had it all! 14.7 megapixels! That was a lot of MP to me as my previous point and shoot cameras only went up to 10ish MPs. And as I researched I saw that a lot of SLR cameras didn't necessarily have that many MPs either. (I have learned a lot about cameras since this point in my life, so I now know that a high MP is not everything.) Anyway, this baby was selling for $399.99. I just this camera up on google. Amazon has this camera going for $600+.

So with a stellar camera like the Canon SD990 IS why would I ever need another camera? Well, apparently Canon SD990 ISs are not soda proof. A trip to the movies without my camera in the case and a couple of smuggled in cans of Pepsi that got punctured in the process and...well, now I needed a new camera.

The camera actually still works, but the screen is all sticky and the gears are all jammed up with high fructose corn syrup. I used rubbing alcohol to try and remove a lot of the sugar, but this may or may not have made things worse. Bottom line is, I love the Macro setting on my camera. With a junked up LCD screen, I cannot see the fine details of the macro setting, rendering the camera almost useless to me. So this is the new camera on the block:

The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS. Coming in a close second with 14.1 MPs, this little one is roughly half the thickness of the SD990, smaller in length and width and is all around more streamlined than it's predecessor.

And double plus bonus points, this camera films in HD 720i quality. So when I finally lose 50 pounds and get up the nerve, I will have a perfect pocket-sized camera to film HD videos to jump start my YouTube career, LOL. More practically, the camera will be available for me to film myself student teacher (probably just as good a reason to still drop that 50 pounds!)

But more to the point of this blog entry, now that I have a functioning camera (the old one kicked the bucket sometime in late '09) I can take my pictures that I want to share with my readers, whether it's nail polish swatches, or yummy food (seems to be quite popular with bloggers) or flowers I've arranged, a smoking makeup look, my latest FO (finished object) fresh off the needles or ANYTHING. I'm so excited to get crackin' on this new frontier!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A little bit about myself:

My name is Ashley.
I am 24-years-old.
I have a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music.
I am currently working on a California teaching credential.
I love to write.
I love to share my knowledge about anything and everything with others. This probably leads to my somewhat unhealthy obsession with youtube. I love the fact that anyone and everyone has the platform to deliver whatever content they find interesting or creative to the world. I love Youtube. I sometimes have feminist tendencies, I enjoy being a girl. I enjoy make up, nail polish, looking pretty, knitting, crocheting, cooking, and most other things inherently girly.

This blog may chronicle all these about mentioned topics. We all will see.

Thank you for reading.