Nail Adventures Preview: First Gel Manicure

This was supposed to be a finished look by now, but I got caught up working on some Important Things for y’all (get excited, it’s awesome!) So, have a preview of the tools I’m using for the look coming on Friday:

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I’ve never done a gel manicure, and I wonder if I can get the same fancy looks in half the time of using standard polish. I know most folks focus on wear time when it comes to gel manicures, but since I do my nails so often, that’s not so much my focus as it is time. I’d probably do more designs if the polish dried faster.

What about quick dry polish, you say? The problem with that is it isn’t for a design. It’s meant to make you look polished (heh) quickly. But if I can do layers and dry them, then adding on designs wouldn’t be so bad. Basically, it’s time for an experiment! Hopefully I don’t mess this up. See the results tomorrow!

Glossybox Double Review

I have some shiny, pretty things to share with y’all today! I have to say, I love getting Glossybox because it feels like a little treat to myself every month. Even if I can’t use everything in the box, there’s always at least one thing that I fall in love with.

So, let’s jump in.

First up is the Stars and Stripes box:

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I got a C wonder gift card, two body butters, nail polish (:D), an eyeshadow stick, and some Rusk hair spray.

The nail polishes are super pretty. Even though I have similar colors, I can’t wait to see how the formula wears. These are from StrangeBeautiful.

Body lotions/butters: I love the smell of one, not to fond of the other. The first, in the clear and gold bottle, smells like refreshing grapefruit and grass (not lemongrass, as it states on the bottle). It’s lovely and super moisurizing. It’s by Camille Beckman. Now the other one, in the jar, has an…earthy smell. Jasmine and rosemary. Not a fan of either of those scents, but the hydration makes up for it. I’m using it on my feet. This is by Ayres.

C Wonder gift card: okay, I had to look up what C Wonder was. I admit it. But once I did I was happy. Their accessories are awesome! The problem: I couldn’t figure out how to look up the card’s value online, even when I followed directions. No worries. Once I find a store, they’ll tell me. Hopefully it’s a good amount!

Eyeshadow: now I need more makeup like I need a hole in my head, but this is makeup made simple and pretty. This is by Sumita Beauty, and it’s in champagne. It’s a sparkly neutral that I could use for day or night:

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And finally: the Rusk hair spray. I haven’t used hairspray since I transitioned my hair, and don’t really need it. I’m gonna pass this on to one of the girls at work and see how they love it. Bonus: it doesn’t smell like lighter fluid, so it’s got to be some good!

Next up: August Glossybox:

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The majority of this box is skincare, and I love trying new skincare. I received a serum, mask, body cream, lip balm, and hair detangler.

First up: body cream. This one is from Mitchell and Peach. It smells lovely, very fresh and very nourishing. My hands are constantly dry, so I’m always keeping hand cream in my bag. This one’s a keeper.

Lip Balm: it’s from Malin +Goetz and it’s a Mojito Lip Balm. It’s refreshing, minty, moisturizing, and most importantly, glossy (I see what you did there, Glossybox!) Bonus: it tastes yummy. A couple of swipes lasted me til lunch. That’s huge, considering my job is talking to people all day. My lips didn’t feel dry or cracked once!

Serum: this is from a new to me company called Skin Inc. My informative card insert tells me that they do custom blended serums for various skin concerns. They read my mind and sent me the brightening serum. My skin can get a little dull, despite its constant shine, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this does over time. Immediate results were moisturizing without grease (and that’s amazing considering this serum is NOT oil-free), and hopefully I’ll have a glowier complexion in a month. We shall see! Also, it’s pretty:

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Mask: this is from a not new to me company called GlamGlow. Now, I have heard some wonderful things about GlamGlow, and I can’t wait til I have some downtime to give myself a proper facial and use this product. It has clay, green tea, and chamomile in it (among other things), and my insert tells me that it exfoliates, tightens pores, absorbs impurities, and smooths texture. All that in a 10 minute mask, huh? Ok then, game on!

And finally, the hair detangler: this one is from Philip B, and it’s the PH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist. Now, unlike the hair spray above, I can ALWAYS use a detangler. Lord knows my hair can knot up in a matter of seconds when I’m picking it out. It smells like the apple cider vinegar it contains, but that’s not so bad. As I’m doing my weekly wash, I’ll be adding this in to see how it stands up to this natural hair.

And there you have it! Two months worth of Glossybox goodness, and only one product I can’t really use. Not bad at all!

Tomorrow: a new Nail Adventure…and I’m going into uncharted territory. Are you ready?

A Letter to Linda Kelsey

Dear Linda Kelsey,

I read the article you wrote for the Daily MailYou raised several questions within it, and as a young, fat, and unashamed woman, I’d like to help you gain some clarity.

I knew at a young age I was fat.

Around that same age I learned that fat was bad, and I should beat it as best I could.

I spent a lot of time hating my belly. Hating my thighs. Hating my arms. I wasn’t completely happy with myself because no one else (in my mind) seemed to be. I still dressed well, despite starting my teen years as a glam tomboy. Somehow, I felt like an impostor, though.

I never thought I would be worthy of anyone’s love but my parents, and yet deep down I felt they were ashamed of me because I was fat. So I poured my time and efforts into school, so they could have something to brag about. I was never going to be a beauty queen. I had glasses and crooked teeth, and my size didn’t help matters any. I did my best to blend in physically, at least as much as I could, so that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself.

I was known as the smart kid. For years, I felt that was all I had.

So, I did crash diets; tried to suppress my appetite. I figured if I hated my fat as much as everyone else did, it would go away.

Didn’t work. But I decided to give it one more try.

Shortly after graduating from high school, I went on the most successful diet. Two plates of food a day. Diet bread (*retch*). Daily walks.

By the time I made it to university, I’d shed about 20lbs. Lost a dress size.

And I anxiously waited for everything else to change. I’m smaller, right? I’m more accepted, now, right? I was ready to soak up those compliments like a thirsty plant soaks up water after a rainstorm.

Nope. Folks told me two things: 1. I’d gain it back because “Freshman 15″ and 2. “When are you gonna lose the rest?”

*record scratch*

So…I did what I was expected to do as a fat girl: lose weight. I even went along with the appropriate self loathing as I did so: knowing how many calories I was consuming, proudly turning down dessert, remembering to take only one plate of food at dinner even though I was extra hungry.

And that still wasn’t enough.

Revelation time: it was NEVER going to BE ENOUGH. No matter what I did.

Fast forward to now: I gained back that 20lbs. Probably more; I can’t be bothered to weigh myself. Doctor says I’m healthy, and even if I wasn’t, it still gives you no room to judge who I am. You don’t know me. You know what you see. You see fat and unhealthy. You also assume I’m blind and can’t see that I’m fat. You are incorrect. I have a mirror, thanks. I love looking at myself and seeing all of my fabulosity.

I wear what I want. Sometimes it’s what society thinks I should wear as a fat woman: something loose and comfy. Sometimes it’s a crop top and skirt–questionable to some. Most humans take fashion risks too.

I eat what I enjoy. It’s mostly healthy, but sometimes it isn’t. Like most humans.

I live my life. I always have that paranoia that folks are judging me negatively when they see me, even if they’re just thinking I have awesome hair or something.  Yet and still, I can’t live according to what other people want. This is MY life, and I do what I please.

“Why are today’s young women so unashamed of being fat?”

This young woman is unashamed of being fat because self loathing never made me skinny. Shame never made me skinny. Hating my fat didn’t make it disappear. It’s here, and whether folks like it or not, it has made me into the strong person I am. I have found courage that I never thought I’d have in life. Self esteem where there wasn’t any.

Call me fat. It won’t make me skinny.

I’ll just smile and say thank you. It’s an adjective. Not an insult.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for reading,

Char, the Evolving FATshionista

Nail Adventures: Half Moon Manicure

I have been playing around with the Sally Hansen nail decals lately, just trying out new things. And as I cleaned my mess of polish and such:

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I had a thought: why not use them to create nail looks faster?

This isn’t the first time I’ve used these nail decals as a creative jump point, but it is the first time I decided to play around with my nail guides and my nail decals at the same time.

This didn’t come without strife and mayhem, however. How could it not? This is me we’re talking about. :)

Once I sorted out that mess above, I set out my tools. I wasn’t interested in being up all night with this, so it’s pretty minimal:

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That’s a glass of ice water in the middle there. T’was mighty hot yesterday. So, for this look I have the Sally Hansen stickers in Sweet Marble Floret (another look I did with these is here), Julep’s Cameron (sparkly purple), and Essie’s Licorice. Plus base and top coat. The nail guides are by Kiss and come in different shapes to create different looks. I went with the tiny half moons, but if you’re a student and have those paper reinforcements–cut those in half and use them. Good budget option!

I did a base coat to help keep the stickers stuck (say that 5 times fast!) because sometimes nail guides will pull the stickers off of the nail. I also need this mani to last till Saturday because I won’t have time to redo them before then. So, lay down base coat, add stickers, put down nail guides at the base of the nail (you can add them wherever you like, though), place my colors, and go to remove the nail guides.

And here’s where disaster tried to strike. Despite the precautions taken, these nail guides did their best to pull the nail stickers free from my nails. And because it was warm, it was stretchy and extra sticky. Never fear! I was able to salvage my look, and if it happens to you, here’s what you do:

1. Don’t panic. Gently pull your nail guide from the opposite side VERY SLOWLY.

2. So, since you decided to panic anyway (and in so doing, making it worse), you’re gonna grab the orange stick from the Sally Hansen box (it’s in the packaging with the tiny file.) You’re gonna gently press the nail decal back onto the nail, and SLOWLY try pulling the nail guide off again. It should come free now.

3. Now, once you survey the situation, grab your base coat and dab a tiny bit under the nail decal (on the nail) and use that same orange stick to press the decal back onto your nail.

4. Voila! All fixed!

I opted for black (I know! I just happen to be in a classic kind of mood this week, I guess) on 8 nails and sparkle on my ring fingers. Here’s the result:

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Super simple and pretty. I definitely recommend a top coat to seal everything in because you have some layers working, and you need as much protection as you can get. I tried Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and I love how quickly it dries! Also has a nice shine to it as well.

Keep in mind, this look can go as far as your imagination takes you. You could do zebra print + red or tie-dye + pink, whatever makes you happy. This works best with very opaque colors, though. If you do too sheer, you’ll still be able to see the design shining from underneath (this may or may not have happened to me once.) Go crazy and experiment!

If you give this look a try, I’d love to see it! Hit me up on Twitter @fashion_amateur or on Instagram @evolvingfatshionista and let me know how it goes!

Nail Adventures: Lego Nails!

I live! :D

I was hoping to give you some video this week, but I didn’t get a chance to pick up the rest of my equipment till yesterday. Monday will be spent doing laundry filming, so…it’s coming!

And just so y’all can have some fun into the weekend, let me show you my nail look I did a couple of weeks ago!

I loved Lego as a peanut, and still do now. And since I had a meeting with the bosses (informal), I thought, why not do something fun? Lego nails it was!

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I have seen many methods on how to get this look. Most of the tutorials I have seen have you paint the rhinestones before you put them on your nails. I’m lazy and a rebel, so I did it differently.

Instead of painting the rhinestones first, I positioned them on my nails first, and then painted them. To keep the definition of the rhinestones, I used my stripers to paint them instead of the regular polish brush. Much easier for precision, honestly. My little frustrated Lego person there started as a solid yellow nail, and I drew the outline using a black striper. I made the face with my detailing brush and black polish (I used the end of my brush for the mouth.) I sealed everything in with top coat, and voila!

Everyone was tickled with my nails and I got a chance to blow off some steam creating them. It was a lot of fun!

What are you wearing on your nails this weekend?

Perfect Red Lips—A Tutorial

Hi Folks!

So, this picture tutorial is being done at the request of the lovely Shecoul. She sent me a picture that she saw on the front cover of her Mary Kay book:

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She wanted to know how to make her lips look so perfect: the definition and the fullness.

Now, my first response was going to be “Photoshop,” but then I thought about it. Ok, we can’t all have perfectly airbrushed lips, but we can definitely give beautiful definition to what we have already. It doesn’t take as long as you think, either.

These steps can apply to any shade of lippy you want to play with; I chose red because it showed up best in my pictures. Are you ready to see full closeup pics of my lips? Yes? Then, let’s get started!

Here’s what I used to create the look:

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I have a lip brush, concealer, lip liner, lip gloss (optional), and lipstick. Colors and brands: Studio Makeup lip liner in True Red,  Vera More Liquid Concealer in medium tan, and MAC lip glass and lipstick in Rihanna Red (Viva Glam). If you don’t have a lip brush, a q-tip will work just fine–no need to purchase new stuff unless you want to.

Start with clean, oil-free lips. If your lips are a bit flaky, mix brown sugar and olive oil together to make a nice scrub that’s tasty. Rub gently, rinse, and dry your lips. Baby smooth!

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Now, line your lips and fill with the same lip liner. Don’t worry about perfection, you’ll be able to fix it later. It should look something like this:

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Take your lippy and pretend you’re in kindergarten: stay inside your line! I apply directly from the tube; if you’re more comfortable using a lip brush, feel free.

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Normally, I’m done at this stage (and if you’re happy with the look, then go forth and be fierce!). If you want more definition, however, here’s how you do it. You’re going to take your concealer (it needs to match your skin tone, otherwise it will not look great) and line outside your lip line, right along the edge. If you decided on a q-tip for this, the ones with the pointy ends work the best for precision. This is how you create a crisp line. Here, I have outlined one side of my lips and not the other.

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Left side is lined with concealer, right side isn’t. Right side still looks good, but it isn’t a sharp and defined as the left. Here’s what my whole mouth looks like when it’s fully lined (left), next to when it isn’t (right):

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See how crisp the lines look now? If you ended up drawing outside the lines, this is when you’ll correct it. Now, if you don’t need your lips to look any fuller than this, stop here, and go be fierce. If you want them to look a bit plumper, you’re going to add a gloss on top. It can be the same color, clear, or another color if you’re into mixing shades like I am. Technique is key here: don’t swipe the gloss all over your lips. You’re going to dab it in the middle of both top and bottom lip and then rub together. You’ll get this:

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Left is with the gloss, right is without. Again, both beautiful, just depends on the look you’re going for. If you’re doing a lippy that’s blue or yellow, you can use a clear liner (Studio Makeup has one) and still get the same fabulous results.

And there you have it! How to get the perfect lip. I hope this tutorial is helpful. If you try this, let me know! Tag me on Twitter @fashion_amateur and let me see your look. :)

Next week, I hope to share the premiere of my YouTube channel with you all. The subject is eyebrows…I’m excited!

Lastly, I hope all of my US loves have a wonderful, fun, and safe Independence Day!

See you next week!