There's a lifetime of Freud in there somewhere.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Coach Contest!

My mother is a Coach FANATIC!  She named her dog Coach and he wears everything Coach.  So naturally, when I saw this, I had to do it.  I'd be the best daughter ever if I won this for her!

The blogger with the most reshares wins.  I probably have zero chance being a small blog with inconsistent posting frequency, but I'm going to try, so give it a share, everywhere!

Shatter Polish Love!

Okay, I have a selection of shatter/crackle polishes.  One of my last posts was with a crackle polish.  But in reality, I have not really liked these since day 1.  The first two I bought were actually Christmas presents for my 11 year old and I was not impressed.  Fun, but there's a lot more interesting things to do that I can control more.  But my birthday was this weekend, and one of the things we did was use deals I had for a lot of beauty places.  I had a $10 of $20 for Sally's so that was our first stop where I found the last few China Glaze Hunger Games polishes I didn't have and a bunch of CG Shatters all clearanced for $0.99!  Up until now, all my cracking polishes were creams and I've bypassed others I've come across since I hadn't been excited by them.  But these intrigued me.  I was curious how they would really come out, would you really be able to see the cracking?  I was wondering if I was just wasting my birthday deal on polishes I would hate though.

The next day, I was very short for time.  I only had enough time for a color change.  No time for art or even proper manicuring (hence my awful cuticles!), heck I didn't get to do any clean up until today, thank goodness the restaurant we went to was dark!  So I didn't have time for much, and I had just spent way too much time on my make-up.  I matched my outfit to my make-up and decided I wanted my nails to match too!  I had green eyes and pants and pink lips and shirt.

I went with Revlon Sassy (this one shows up a lot in my manis, I am a sucker for this kind of green) underneath and China Glaze Glam-More for the shatter coat.  Turns out it works really well!  AND it's a great thing for some interest when there's not enough time for actual art!  I love this way more than the cream crackles I have.  The only downer is that the glitter sucks up top coat like crazy, this is two thick coats of SV and it probably need 2 more. I have read about using a ridge filling base or Gelous between the glitter and top coat, I really need to remember to try that since Gelous is the base I use.  But otherwise, I was really happy with the glitter load, the shatter, and the sparkle!  YAY!!!  I wish I had been able to get a picture of my whole look, but I forgot.  Bummer.

Do you have a favorite quick "cheat" for nail art when you don't have time?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is It or Isn't It?

Here's a quick and simple mani, but the question is, is it a sponge gradient or a funky french?

This was done with a base coat of Gelous, two coats of Wet N Wild I Need a Refresh-mint, a coat of SV (I almost always seal nail art layers with SV so that I can rescue myself if my mistake isn't too big), the tips are Wet N Wild Bite the Bullet sponged on using a piece of a sponge roller, and then two coats of SV.  This is my first time sponging, and I'm pretty happy with 90% of the results.  That middle finger there looks a bit too solid of a line, but the other 9 fingers look great! 

Both of these polishes are in the Wet N Wild Megalast line and have "pro" brushes.  I'm not sure I really like them.  First, I had to trim a few strands on the I Need a Refresh-mint but that's probably more about the fact that it's a cheap brand than brush shape.  The bottle neck is too narrow, you have to be careful putting the brush in and there's no wiggle room for the plastic part, it seems like such an odd packaging method.  Also, I don't have a lot of experience with brushes shaped like this, so I may find them difficult just for that.  I find I press a lot harder with these so I am really bad about leaving gouges in my coats.  Total BLECH!

I'm really happy with the sponging method and I can't wait to try a true gradient now!  I used a tiny piece of sponge roller I tore off and I tapped a fairly dry brush to it.  I tried make-up sponges and picking up polish from a palette, but this is the only method that transferred polish for me or left me with a sponging and not a stamped looking mess.

Keep watching, my hair is currently up in pin curls I rolled using that new tool.  I'll be reviewing it soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Not Your Mama's Mani

I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and she mentioned that she's kind of in a rut.  She likes to do her nails sometimes, but she's not really into like I am, she's not a "girly-girl", and the only colors she really wears are red, black, and white.  So I figured I'd use her as some inspiration for some nail art.

2 coats of NK Really White
 A thicker coat of Sally Hansen Crackle Cherry Smash
And by accident (keep reading!) 2 coats of Wet N Wild Ebony Hates Chris
Topped by a thick coat of SV

My design process was that first that she's got two young boys and isn't into nails enough probably to spend much time on intricate art.  Plus since she's not too girly-girl AND has done a whole lot of kicking-butt and taking charge of the world, she needed something that was loud and demanding.  The crackle is quick and easy art, but it's getting tired these days so I added in some abstract shapes with the black, freehanded but no skill or too much time required.

Originally I had started with the white, added the black shapes, then the crackle coat. 
But the red crackle just didn't stand out enough and looked...ucky...yes, it didn't even earn a 'y'!  So I went back over the black again which is why it looks so thick.  If I did this same design  with these colors again, I would definitely put the crackle between the black and white to start, it would certainly be more pleasing if the black wasn't so thick on the nail. But if I were just doing the polishes together in a similar vein again, I would probably do white, red crackle, and then black funky french tips.  I'm definitely not totally satisfied with it as it ended up, but it wasn't designed with my tastes in mind, so we'll have to see what she thinks.

On a non-nail note, has anyone ever used one of these Curl Easy Pro Volumizing and Curling Tools??
I am a BIG fan of pin curls.  They're a fabulous way to get terrific curls, no hooks on the ends, avoid heat setting, and get a fabulous vintage look if that's your thing too.  My problem being that my hair is nearly to my waist and I got my Eastern European father's hair.  It's pretty thick and doing them the traditional way can take me a couple hours to roll up.  I had read about a Sculpture Pin Curler on a couple vintage hair blogs but I just can't pay $35 for a tool that I have zero experience with.  I just happened to be out at Sally's Beauty today and saw these, the pink one is the smallest, and it looks to be a tad larger than the Sculpture Pin Curler, but actually narrower than I manage to make my hand-rolled pin curls so I think it's a good start for testing the structure of the tool.  Stay tuned, I'll be posting my review of it soon!

*This post contains an affiliate link

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Very Important Issue

Today, I need to speak to you about a very important problem.  Frequent polish changes that chip.  Are you often on your way out the door and need to stop everything to re-do your manicure because of a chip?  Would you prefer just to polish and forget it?

Well Nail Polish Canada tells me they are going to rescue one person's manicures FOR LIFE!  They are giving away a lifetime supply of CND Shellac!  No worries, they're giving away the curing lamp and other necessary items also, so the lucky winner will be able to apply the Shellac and enjoy up to 14 days of chip-free manicures.

The contest is open to Canadian and US residents.  Click here to enter (click where it says on that page "click here +/-" despite the fact that it doesn't look like a link, at least in my browser. That confused me for several minutes) and tell them how CND Shellac will change your life!



“To be fair, it’s actually only a 25 year supply, so we can only hope the winner dies early to keep me an honest woman” - Nikki Smith, VP of Glitter, Nail Polish Canada.

CND Shellac is a cross between nail polish and gel which is cured under a UV lamp and lasts up to 14 days without chipping.

Chipped nails are an important issue that affect lives in many ways. “We’ve invented substantial research and the reason women slap or bite in a catfight is fear of chipping their nails. Hopefully, together, we can build a world where a
woman can throw a punch at the bitch who kissed her boyfriend without worrying about chips” said Ms. Smith

The prize will go to whomever can show that their life will be most impacted by winning Shellac for life. Be it better, or worse.

Maybe it stops your polish addiction long enough that you can save money, go to school, become a doctor, go to Africa and start saving lives. Did we say that this contest saves lives? Now we did.

Or maybe you’re just looking for a little understanding, “My husband will finally understand that other people take polish as seriously as me...” - Sarah P.”

Or perhaps the result won’t be as positive, “I’ll probably spend all my time painting my nails, not go to work, get fired, now I’m homeless, damn you NPC.” - Beth C”

If you or a loved one is still stuck in a world of chips, smudges and wasting countless hours re-doing nails we urge you to take a stand. Enter at

Grand prize will go to the best description of how winning a lifetime supply of Shellac will change their life. Winner selected August 7, 2012.

Prize Details & Entry

Grand Prize (Value $1266): 33 Bottles of CND Shellac + 36 Watt UV Lamp + 5 Topcoat + 5 Basecoat + Scrub Fresh.

How much Shellac do I need to last 25 years?
1300 (weeks in 25 years) / 2 (weeks application lasts) / 20 (applications per bottle) = 33 bottles of Shellac color

Open to Canadian and United States residents only.
Full rules and entry at:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oh Say Can You See

This post may be awfully written since I'm dying of a migraine and our air conditioning is out when it's 103* and rising, but it's time sensitive so it's got to get done.

Woohoo!  While writing that first sentence a friend came over and swooped my kids away to A/C so at least that's a load off my migraine.  Let's see how this goes.

For the last few weeks I have been really excited to do some sort of themed manicure for The 4th of July and have been thinking on it.  I had a lot of ideas, and in the end I decided my freehand still looks a bit too amateur a lot of the time, I'm short on SV to do a tape mani the way I'd like, and my stamping skills and polish selection aren't up to the task yet. So water marbling it was!

I've been asked a lot how to do this, so I'm hoping to do a tutorial to add to the plethora of water marble tutorials available next week when I do a request for friend, but for now, you're going to get a few process pics and the end result.

Please pardon the awful color, my main point was to show the design and my processing computer died yesterday, so I tried to fiddle with these in some freebie program on my media server. After spending most of the day working on this post, I decided showing you what designs I did was more important than getting the colors right.

 I really hate posing nails like this, but there aren't terrific options with water marbling where you really want to show off as much of all 10 nails with as few frames as possible.

Base Coat:  Gelous
Underwear:  Savvy French White White
Wet N Wild I Red a Good Book
Wet N Wild Blue Moon
Savvy Fre
nch White White
Glitter Coat:  Wet N Wild Hallucinate
Top Coat:  Seche Vite

On my right hand I tried to use the Hallucinate in the marble too, but it didn't work well.  Putting it as one of the first colors caused it to dry before I could marble and putting toward the end and my solid color drops weren't spreading so the glitter ended up mostly just being lumps under the polish.  I was bummed because I wanted streaks like my last marble instead of all over, but such is life!  The biggest difference it made though is you can see the colors on my right hand are more primary, on the left, for some reason the white interfered more with the red and blue and I ended up with more pastels.  But the right also made a bunch of purple, so in the end, nothing ended up being a BRIGHT red, white, and blue as I planned.

I also wanted to try out nail polish jewelry, making a ring that would match my manicure!

This was HARD to water marble.  I have some ideas for next time, which will be happening, because the polish and adhesive never set thanks to the A/C going out.  I managed to keep it on well enough until the end of the night, then I got home and it fell apart.  It'll be taking an acetone bath soon.

Some process pics for you:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NTotD: A Manicure's BFF

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This is a new series I really hope I can keep up for awhile.  Nail Tip of the Day/Tip of the Day!  Every once in awhile, I'll share one of my tips that has made a huge difference in health, ease, appearance, or method and made this whole journey worth my time and effort.

If there is anything that does more damage to nails than getting soaked and soft, I don't know what it is.  I know, I know, most of you would say a lot of things!  But here's how I see it, nothing else matters, if they get so soft regularly during housework like dishes, that they bend and split or peel or tear right off.  You can't poison them, dry them out, stain them, or anything if you don't have them!  So I ALWAYS! make sure to have gloves on hand.  

I keep a heavier pair of dish gloves and I never ever opt out of them.  I take the time to put them on for even one single dish to be washed.  It takes just a second and makes a huge difference in nail health.  The other ones I keep on hand are disposable nitrile gloves (I'm latex sensitive).  I throw these on anytime I'm doing anything that is a chemical or physical risk to my nails that I don't want to use my dish gloves for.  Scrubbing with chemicals I don't want to worry about transferring to our eating surfaces, check!  Digging all the crapola out of the cracks of the backseat of the car that two kids leave behind, check!  Yes, even just that.  All that digging puts stress on the nail and can tear them or lead to micro-splits that lead to easier breakage, I find that the gloves take some of that stress off of them.  If you look back at my first post and my most recent manicure, you can see the difference.  This is one of the two single biggest changes in protecting my nails since I started this journey about 7 weeks ago. (Please ignore the middle finger, that's the one that got chopped to the quick by my poor knife work when cooking)  

The other huge benefit is it prevents chipping and peeling of your manicure!  When your nails get wet, they bend and polish is a lacquer, it doesn't bend well and this allows it to peel off.  It also causes separations that allow it to chip easier.  Wearing them during dry but physically cumbersome tasks like the above car cleaning, protects the manicure from getting chips and scratches too.  

One experiment I'm curious about is using lotion in the disposable ones to moisturize while working similar to the cotton glove at night idea.  I can't try it myself though because with the length of my nails, they'd get too moist and become soft and easily breakable while going about my day.  I bet it would be great for someone who keeps their nails trimmed much closer to the finger tip.  What are your best nail tips?