Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Naked Nails & Update

I'm still here, still alive ... mostly.  I think.  I've been sick for several days, actually missed some work, and I've been so drained I couldn't even make good use of the time by getting some posting done, literally all I've done is sleep.

Anyway, excuses out of the way - I have an absolute crapload of pics to edit.  I still have one mani from 2011 I haven't posted yet.  I need to just sit down & edit & post but I don't know when I'll have time so here are some naked nails from the past month.  

At the beginning of the month I put some fresh patches on; when I changed them this past weekend I decided it was also past time for a chop.  A full centimeter is lovely, probably my preferred length, but difficult to deal with & all but impossible to fit gloves with in the winter.  So now they're down to about 5-6mm, which is as short as I think I can have them & still feel kind of normal LOL.  Still playing a bit with the white balance on the new camera (the top is auto, the bottom 2 are manual & I think reality is somewhere between the 2), so please excuse that & also the post-acetone dryness in the middle pics:

I feel like I've been asking for patience for a long time, but just a little more please =)  & I'll get caught up with nails, and books, and then maybe I can squeeze in a top 25 from last year.  IIRC it took me until the end of March last year LOL - hopefully I can do better than that this year.  But do know my absence here does not mean I've been neglecting my nails

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Zoya Fleck Effect Swatchapalooza!

I just kept thinking of more colors I'd like to see LOL - and now I've had a few requests to see these matte, so I'll probably do that over the weekend =)

Do you have a favorite combination?

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Zoya True & Fleck Effect Haul

I was sooo happy when these arrived on Saturday - the package tracking estimate had been Monday the last I looked so it was kind of a surprise.  I had to play with them of course, and the swatch vid will be coming soon - I actually thought of several more colors I wanted to try as soon as I finished recording, so I will probably do a few more swatches when I get home later & tack them onto the end of the vid.  But for now here's a look at the haul:

As a side note, if you're wondering why this post is so early in the morning - uploading takes freaking forever  & a half now that I'm doing HD.  I have to really plan ... or at least try to plan ... or at minimum roll with the punches LOL. In this case, I started the upload before I went to bed, got the blog post ready, then verified everything was ready to publish & made it live before I head off to work.

Most of the True collection - I wasn't too taken by the 2 neutrals so I skipped them:

Left to right:  Bevin, Skylar, Lotus, Tru.

Fleck Effect "Mylar Glazes" as the website refers to them:

Maisie, Opal, Chloe.

As a side note, I found out the Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub free 7 oz "sample" that I got sells for $18 direct from  Art of Beauty & isn't much cheaper on amazon.  Nicest freebie I've receive lately =)

And my couple of oddballs:

I can't wait to use the rhinestones I show in the vid too, although I don't think they need their own pics - I literally got an idea when I saw them & it wouldn't leave my head so I had to go back & purchase them.

I had a few people wanting to see the bottles for the acrylic paint:

This is Silver Bling & Gold Glitz.  They had lots more glittery & holographic colors, but I decided I should start slow ... no need to buy one of each yet.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Finger Paints Special Effects + Matte Magic

Couldn't resist, especially after I got so many requests:

It only took me 2+ weeks to edit it LOL.

Thanks for reading.


NOTD: Sephora Opalescent Blasted

I think I included this in my Pre-Christmas haul video, but forgot to include a bottle pic.  My friend Sam got it for me for Christmas, along with some loose glitter.  I used Finger Paints Black Expressionism for the base, and although I wish I'd done a little thicker coat to get thicker cracks from the Opalescent Blasted, overall I really liked the effect & I think it would be gorgeous over other dark colors too:

It looked a lot different with & without topcoat, but topcoat definitely brings out the shimmer:

Thanks for reading =)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit Unboxing & Review

While this is an "as seen on TV" product, I got mine at Sallys, and have spotted it at Target also.  I found out that the Salon Express kit is available on Amazon too.

Not much else to say other than what I go over in the vid ... to summarize - I love the stamper, I hate the scraper, and the plates are actually pretty nice for the price, but not as high quality as real Konad.  If you'd like to see exactly why I hate the scraper, check out my full review vid:

It's also worth mentioning that today is my 3 year Blog-ivesary =)  I don't have anything special planned other than continuing to play catch-up (I'm almost done with 2011 stuff at least LOL), but I'm remembering on the correct date this year!  Which, if you're a new follower, is a first - the last 2 years I was anywhere from I think a few days to a full week late.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NOTD: Green & Gold Water Marble + Tutorial

These were my Christmas Day nails - yes, the last of my holiday looks LOL, only a couple weeks late =)  But there's no reason these colors can't work the rest of the year, it doesn't scream Christmas.  I got a lot of comments on the tutorial they were good Packers colors but as a Minnesotan I have to be anti-Packers even though I don't give a crap about football!

For my base color I used China Glaze Champagne Bubbles, marbling done with CB & China Glaze Holly-Day - both colors from the Let it Snow collection:

I guess I was so excited with Christmas, I didn't get many pics including no close ups of my favorite nails ... but of course I do still have a tutorial for your guys:

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NOTD: China Glaze Glittering Garland & Christmas Tree Stencils

I know, Christmas is over!  But I still wanted to show you guys - the plain version almost more than the nail art.  I wore China Glaze Glittering Garland on its own for a day:

Could be my favorite green of the year - except now I've posted it in 2012!  Ah, dilemma!  I usually go by blog posting date when I do my top manicures of the year LOL.

Anyway, after I wore it plain, I decided to Christmas-ify it a little more with some (homemade) stencils, sponged with Sally Hansen Silver Lining which is a miraculous silver that looks silver some times, blue others, and even purplish at the right angle:

My thumbs turned out particularly well - and the bit of green at the base of my left one made me wish I'd left a little "grass" on the other trees - or "snow" for the inverted ones:

Want to see how I cut out the stencils?  Along with a small chunk of my thumb LOL but that didn't make it on camera thankfully.  Here's the tutorial:

Thanks for reading =)


Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Eve Haul & Finger Paints Special Effects Swatches

I don't usually go out on Christmas Eve - but I'm glad that I did this year =)

I don't exactly know what's up with these absurd little nail files Orly's attached to the bottles ... and yet I still like having them LOL:

China Glaze:

I forgot to take a picgture of the Sparkle Topcoat, but here's the real treat - the Finger Paints Special Effects collection:

Black Expressionism, Asylum, Flashy, Flecked, Motley & Twisted.  They are completely & totally awesome =)  Don't believe me?  See for yourself:

Here are a few close-up shots of the swatches:

& now I learn - a bit late, because I'm so behind on reading other blogs - that Zoya is coming out with flakies!  & I only have like a week & a half to wait until I can order them!  *Drool*  Are you in love with flakies?  Have you picked up the Finger Paints and/or will you be picking up the Zoyas?

Thanks for reading.


NOTD: L'Oreal Amazon's Flash w/ Christmas Tree + Tutorial

Sooo ... obviously I did not meet my goal of catching up by the end of the year.  But one of my resolutions is to be better organized, so getting caught up is a good place to start with that =)

These nails are  from about a week before Christmas - I wasn't totally happy with them so they only lasted about a day (& that's also why there's not many pics), but still a fun & festive look.  Base color is L'Oreal Amazon's Flash, the tree is done with Ulta Salon Formula Envy, and the lights/ornaments are done with Nubar Fire Sparkle:

Here's the tutorial:

My next look also involves Christmas trees, but done with stencils rather than freehand =) 

Thanks for reading.


2011 Books: 11-25

Ah, books.  Yes, those wonderful things I not only used to have time to read, but posted on about once a month if not more often?  That vastly neglected hobby of mine that hasn't quite fallen by the wayside, but has definitely experienced a severe reduction in the amount of time I can devote to it?  Remember those?

While trying to get caught up with polish pics, I remembered that I am even further behind with my book list.  I only managed one lonesome post over the course of the entire year - but I have still been reading.  Not so much as a few years ago - before I started the blog, I read 130 books in a year; I think that was 2008.  This year I didn't even quite manage to break 60, but I still want to share so I'll be posting up in chunks of about 15 books between my NOTD pics.  Maybe not as much commentary as I've had previously, but this will definitely be on my resolution list to do better with in 2012.

Rachel Caine
Weather Warden Book 1
Paranormal Romance

I'm kind of refreshing my own memory as I go back over these (I do keep a "master" list, separate from these blog posts).  This was a series that had been on my list for a long time, and once I got into it I wished I had gotten around to it sooner =)

Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Book 6
Paranormal Romance

Mercy is one of my favorite characters. I wondered if married life might slow her down but if the honeymoon is any indication, things will stay ... interesting.

Michelle Rowen

Patricia Briggs
Sianim Book 1

This is a reprint of one of Patricia's very first books, and as a writer myself I found it very interesting not only to read some of her older work, but to read the author's note with her own impressions of it around (IIRC) 20 years later

Patricia Briggs
Sianim Book 2

Karen Marie Moning
Fever Book 5

I was soooo looking forward to this one, and it was well, WELL worth the wait.  If you haven't read the Fever series yet, I highly recommend it.  So many paranormal series lately are set in a world where the vampires, werewolves, etc. have already "come out" to the world - and this series starts before that, lets you see how these characters deal with the magical world kind of being revealed right before their eyes as everything starts to go to hell.  I could not predict where this was going, I felt surprised right up until the very end, and it was very, very satisfying.  While this is the last book of the series, I'm glad to know the author will continue to write in this world.

Cat Adams
Blood Singer Book 1

This was a series I hadn't read much about before starting it, I picked it up mainly because I'd enjoyed the Sazi series so much.  And over the course of the series I grew to like it quite a bit - Celia is a smart character, which unfortunately sometimes seems a bit rare.  How often do you find yourself thinking to a character "No!  Don't do that you idiot!  Don't go there without telling someone!  Don't go in the dark basement with no flashlight!" etc.  I didn't experience that with her - things just get totally messed up despite her doing her best to prevent it.

Cat Adams
Blood Singer Book 2

Rachel Caine
Weather Warden Book 2
Paranormal Romance

Richard Castle
Heat Book 1

When I learned that there was some ghost writer creating the books from the TV show & writing as Richard Castle, that the actor went to book signings & no one knew who was actually putting pen to paper, I was fascinated.  When I picked it up & realized that it read just like the show watches, I was very pleased – and when I realized that unlike TV, Heat & Rook (Rook – Castle – get it?) actually get together, I was very very happy.  If you like the TV show, the books are a must IMO.

Rachel Caine
Weather Warden Book 3
Paranormal Romance

Steven Brust
Vlad Taltos Book 13

This series is scheduled to be 18 books long IIRC ... but with the time between publications, I hope it's finished before I'm like, 50 LOL.  I try to NOT anticipate the next book too much because I might end up waiting 2 or 3 years between them.

Cat Adams
Blood Singer Book 3
Paranormal Romance

Celia is just drowning in delicious men (thus my classification change from just paranormal to paranormal romance) but unfortunately also trouble ... and demons ... and vampires.

Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse Book 11
Paranormal Romance

An enjoyable read, but I guess I’m just not that impressed with Sookie overall compared to some of the other series that I’ve been reading.  With less time to read overall, I have to be more selective to a point, and while Sookie is still on my list & I love her - she's no where near the top.

Rachel Caine
Weather Warden Book 4
Paranormal Romance

So, that's installment #1 of me being caught up - there'll be 2 more to get me current & then I can actually move on to 2012 =)

Thanks for reading.


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