Nail Polish: A History

It’s no secret to anyone that reads this site that I am a nail polish junkie.

I collect polish like most people collect shoes or handbags.

It’s a rare occasion when at least my toes don’t have some kind of glitter on them, and I feel naked when they are bare.

These days, it’s a hobby, but when I was younger, I did my nails even more frequently than I do now. Typically I’ll do a design once a week, and then maybe a polish change when it starts to chip. When I was in school? It was as often as I had time to do it. Even while I was rocking my tomboy glam, I had a manicure to match (typically it was a metallic blue.)

It gave me something to focus on when homework and school projects couldn’t distract me from feeling like an outcast. Is it a day where we can socialize in class? I only had one friend; she and I didn’t have class together, and a bunch of acquaintances I suspected dealt with me out of obligation rather than actually wanting to be around me (admittedly: this probably wasn’t true. But you couldn’t tell 14 year old me that.) So while everyone conversed, I would listen and smile where appropriate. My mind wasn’t there, though. I was thinking about if I’d saved up enough money for a new color for my hands.

It also helped to keep focus off of what I perceived as my flaws. Imperfect skin and teeth. I was fat. What I had going for me, in my mind, was that I was smart, and all of my insecurities added up to me being pretty obnoxious about it. Overcompensation, perhaps.

Folks were able to look past everything to ask how my nails were so perfect. In my mind, my nails were the only thing that could be perfect.

Perfection, like beauty, is a state of mind that manifests into the physical. If you say you are, then it’s true. 14 year old me was not aware of that revelation.

14 years later, I still love to do my nails. But these days, it’s all about perfecting a craft than it is pursuing this idea of perfection or trying to distract from perceived flaws. I could say I’m saving money by learning to do this myself, but let’s be real. With the way I buy nail polish, any savings are negated. But it relaxes me when work stresses me. It inspires me when I have writers block. It helps me break the ice when I’m around new people. And for that, I am profoundly grateful that something as simple as some nail polish came into my life.

This is only about 1/4th of the collection.

This is only about 1/8th of the collection.

Lord knows I don’t need any more polish; the three bottles I bought a few days ago notwithstanding. What I could use is a better organization system for all of them. Anyone have any ideas? 🙂

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Nail Adventures Stories

Fatshion Friday: Getting Crafty

I am someone who almost always has to alter her clothes. I’ll convert long sleeves into cap sleeves and raise or lower a hemline to make a piece work.

Last night, I actually took a piece from start to finish.

Darby Smart is a company that, like Birchbox or Ipsy, has a subscription service where you can create…well, anything really. Some of their past boxes included a light up sign and cupcake toppers.

I happened to browse their site a couple of weeks ago and picked up a couple of boxes (you can get boxes without the subscription) to try. One of them was for a clear clutch.

I’ve been seeing clear, sparkly clutches a lot, but they were either a) not my style or b) way too expensive. But, for $39, I could create my own.

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So, the kit came with the clutch, adhesive, a strap, Swarovski crystals, and a sponge applicator. I purchased the studs as an add-on, just because I wanted a combo of tough and glitter. Putting together my design was fun; like playing a combo of Bejeweled and Tetris. Here’s the result:

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This project was so much fun! I did all of the crystals on the front so as to minimize the risk of them catching on whatever fabric I was wearing, and did studs across the top and sides. I have to let this dry for 24 hours, so I have time to plan an outfit to wear this with.

I have one more box to craft, but I am already looking for yet another project to do. The wood burning kit is calling my name!

Crafting Reviews Shopping

Thrifty Thursday: Instagram Sales

Hello, my lovelies! I need to finish reorganizing my house, but I didn’t want to leave y’all hanging for another day with no post! So, I rounded up some great deals I found on my Instagram feed to share with you.

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First up is Lane Bryant. They have 50% off site wide with the code FLOWERSLB. You only have today to take advantage (I’ll have to catch next week’s deal instead.)

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Eloquii has 30% off your entire purchase plus free shipping with the code OURGIFT. I am loving the relaunch, and am hoping to snag one of their gorgeous dresses for my birthday dinner next month. Curious? It’s this one. So pretty!

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Because one should also deep clean their face as well as their houses, Julep is offering a free cleansing sponge with the purchase of their Bare Face cleansing oil. Use code DEEPCLEAN at checkout. Also, you can score 50% off of team duos and full priced nail colors using code MADNESS at checkout. Both deals expire March 31st.

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Since I wanted to get y’all covered top to bottom, JustFab has a code for you to save 30% off of wedges. Use code FBFANWEDGES30 at checkout. Bonus: if you earned FabCash earlier this month, you can use both of these promos together! I snagged 3 pairs of shoes for $52 using this combo. I am all about balling on a budget whenever possible!

Now, I’m off to finish the day’s housecleaning. Happy shopping!

Nail Adventures Retail Therapy Shoes Shopping

Pretty Like Barbie

I saw this picture on Facebook the other day:

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There were a few likes. The comments that followed were interesting to say the least. Most thought that having a fat Barbie would make kids aspire to grow up and be fat.

Let’s look at that.

I was a fat kid, fat teenager, and am now a fat adult. I grew up playing with my Barbies, making them go on adventures through the stars to the moon and being every occupation from a chef to a teacher to a rocket scientist.

I totally wanted to be Barbie: independent, adventurous, and brave.

I moved to a city with no family and only a couple of friends, learned to navigate it, and went through a trial that tested my courage. And I came through it with flying colors. I realized that dream.

I loved Barbie’s outfits; the fact she had enough clothes to take her through any situation. She had all types of prints and colors and sparkles and tutus. I had an organizer for the amount of shoes she had. I have an organizer for all of the shoes I have (and it’s too small), so I realized that dream.

What I didn’t aspire to was to look like her.

As I kid, I envisioned having Barbie’s persona. I never thought I would look like her.

Barbie isn’t real. So that was impossible.

But then, during the course of the discussion, my friend and fellow blogger Shecoul brought up a very good point:

How many of my female students thin or fat have self esteem issues? A good 90% of them because of things like this. And it starts with dolls and dress up at a young age in my opinion.

This is true. Kids tend to emulate what they see, as I did when I played with Barbies as a child. But in my opinion, my complex with my body didn’t come from the doll. It came from the peers who played with me and told me I wasn’t pretty like Barbie. Because I wasn’t pretty like Barbie, I couldn’t be an astronaut or rocket scientist. Until I looked like her, I was lacking.

And where did they get this idea? Likely from the adults that gave them the Barbie to begin with.

People have a habit of using characters and personas as a litmus test of how their lives should go. You can’t live a life based off of someone else’s experiences. But when you tell a child “Look at you! You’re pretty like Barbie!” then that child will measure his or her peers in the same manner.

And the next thing you know: the child who is fat is not pretty like Barbie. Now that child is ugly. Logically this child knows, as I did, that one can’t look like a piece of plastic. And yet, when I knew that this is what stood between me and acceptance I grasped for that goal like a thirsty person reaches for water.

Eventually I learned that goal was like the curse of Sisyphus: destined to fail from the beginning. Took me years to get there, though.

So what’s the answer? Making Barbie look normal? Now, that Barbie above is exaggerated to say the least. But who can say that isn’t someone else’s normal? Who is the arbiter of normal, anyway? Is there a council somewhere that decides these things?

There could be, in a perfect world. But until we get that perfect world, we have to make do with what we have. If we can’t get some diversity with Barbie’s body, then we need to get some diversity within our thought process. It begins with the adult that gives the child the doll. It begins at home.

May we all be like Barbie: adventurous, brave, and fabulous. That is an attainable goal in life.

Opinions Positivity Stories

Fatshion Friday: My Favorite Shirt

Last summer, I went to a couple of events for Full Figured Fashion Week. I went to a sample sale, and I browsed the tables and got to meet some of the designers. I happened to run by Nicole Grier’s table. She is super sweet, and she owns a line named Feminine Funk. Her designs are so cute! I had to pick up a shirt. And the one I purchased, I wear at least once a week. Either while lounging, going out for the day, running to the bodega…

And the saying on the front? Gold!

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If you got a problem with my hips, I feel bad for you son.

I got 99 problems but my curves ain’t one..

I always feel like a true badass in this shirt. I’ll be getting this one next.

What piece of clothing brings out your inner ferocity? Share them in the comments!

Positivity Retail Therapy Shopping

Cleaning Out My Closet

I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to clothes and shoes. Every piece in my closet has a story. My silver glittery shoes I wore to my first Valentine’s Day dinner with my ex. My favorite blue dress that makes me feel fierce no matter where I’m headed. My favorite jeans that hug my curves just right.

It always pains me to let these items go. Those silver shoes hurt my feet, because they’re too small. My favorite blue dress gets way more play in my wardrobe than the 2039 other dresses I have–it can rest for a while. I have a hole in those curve hugging jeans, but I look so good in them! I just can’t let them go!

What I wonder is if it is the clothes I can’t let go, or the thought that the memory attached to them will disappear when the clothes leave.

The memory will always be there, or course, but I always like to think of the reason I have a certain item whenever I wear it.

Now, if I wear it and all I can think is “damn, my feet hurt!”, I think that misses the point of the happy memory.

So, I cleaned all of the stuff I don’t wear/can’t fit/no longer love out of my closet and decided to replace it with some new items. Starting with those gorgeous silver shoes I got from Steve Madden.

I replaced them with these:

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Celestine, Millie, and Prowess from JustFab.

The rule I stick with is: if I buy one, I have to give away one. So now my friend will be able to make new memories with the silver shoes, and I’m looking forward to wearing these shoes with those jeans with a hole (still can’t let them go!)

If only the weather would cooperate.

Shoes Shopping Stories