Nail Adventures and New Goodies, Part 3

I have a lot of nail products.

Stop side-eyeing me. I’m going somewhere with this! 🙂

Even though I have a lot of nail products, I always love to try out companies that are new to me. Especially when they have nail gadgets I’ve never tried before.

What nail gadget, you say? A stamper!

Now, I’ve seen other nail bloggers using nail plates and I’m all…what in the world is a nail plate? Naturally, I envisioned something made of artificial nails.

That is not what it is, of course. 😀 It’s one of these:

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This is by Essence. So, you put the polish onto the plate, transfer it to the stamp (usually a bit of rubber) and stamp it onto the nail. A bit advanced for me, but hey, it cost me $3. What do I have to lose? I also picked up some french manicure striping tape and some glitter (because I can NEVER have too much glitter.)

In addition to the nail goodies, I also got a new pineapple mask (great for giving a glow to dull skin), an excellent honey and oatmeal body scrub, Nyx eye pencil in Milk (great for bright eye looks), and a set of Real Techniques eye shadow brushes. Oh, yeah, and a lovely lip and cheek palette from Pop Beauty. Here’s the full haul:

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Before this week’s nail look…storytime!

So, I am currently writing up this post. My computer says it is 2:03am. The picture I am about to show you is the third attempt at this nail look, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t get the design right. It’s because the supplies were being ridiculous. So, for full disclosure, these are the original tools I had slated for this look:

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The idea I had was for a white pearl nail with black and pink accents. I picked up these beads (great for caviar nails) by Sally Hansen and I thought, why not use the beads as part of the accent? And with my basic design in mind, I got to work.

Once I laid down my base color, a pure white (Tini Beauty’s Cream) with a sheer pearl overlay (OPI’s Kyoto Pearl), I started to do my black french tips and hated it. The black tip on the icy white was too stark. So, I started over.

So then, I did a sheer grey base (OPI’s Skull and Glossbones) with a semi sheer pearlized silver (OPI’s Birthday Babe). Now the black french didn’t look harsh, but it stood out like I wanted. So, the next step was to take a screaming pink (Orly’s Hawaiian Punch), do a line underneath the black tip, and sprinkle pink beads on top. I also used my new nail plate, and laid a heart formed from a treble and base clef on each ring finger.

All of this worked perfectly! Yes, even the stamping!  The problem came in when I did the top coat.

Sigh.

When I laid the top coat over the beads, all of the color bled off onto the brush, and so streaked onto my pearly base color. And it bleached the color of the beads from vibrant to Pepto Bismol.

😦 *sad trombone*

This isn’t an issue I’ve had with other caviar manis in the past, but I had it tonight. I basically ruined a perfect mani in one fell swoop on ALL 10 FINGERS. This is because I was chatting with the bestie as I did my nails and he wrote his paper and I wasn’t paying attention and…

Dammit, man.

So, start over again.

This time I just did a coat of Birthday Babe, did the black french tip and did a line of a darker pink (OPI’s Flashbulb Fuschia) underneath. Ring fingers were tipped in Flashbulb Fuschia (shown in pic) and dunked into Essence’s Multieffects Glitter (in Call Me Galaxy). Then there was a black line of rhinestones underneath the glitter line. The result?

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Super simple, and super pretty. This is a case where third time’s the charm! And…the glitter didn’t bleed color everywhere (yay!) I would have done another stamp, but I felt like it would have been too much with the simplicity of this look. I promise to do it again and show y’all how it turns out!

Considering the time and the pop of sparkle, I’m calling this the Bright Shot In The Dark manicure.

And now, bed because I’m acting like I don’t have work later this morning.

Have a great weekend! 😀

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Nail Adventures Retail Therapy Reviews Stories

Quick Hit: New Nail Goodies=New Nail Look

So, yesterday’s post was part three of what should have been a three part series.

If y’all are wondering what in the world happened to part 2: it’s still in my drafts folder, waiting to be completed (and I edited the title of yesterday’s post to cut down on confusion!)

So! I mentioned I’d bought some goodies, and the nail post this week is part of my new goodies I bought.

You’ll get the full scope of that purchase tomorrow, but for now: here! Have a sneak peek at the tools I used for this week’s mani.

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That’s a nail stamper in the back there.

I’ve never used one before.

Are y’all ready for this?

See you Friday. 🙂

Nail Adventures Retail Therapy

New Goodies Part 2: April Glossybox

Now, I know. I need more makeup and skincare products like I need a hole in my head…but I have resisted the siren call of Glossybox long enough!

I couldn’t decide if I wanted it, and went back and forth over if it was worth it. I have quite an arsenal of products as it is from working so long in the industry (and being a beauty junkie as well, naturally!)

But hey, it never hurts to try out some new things, right?

So, I finally placed my order and waited anxiously for it to arrive. I hoped I would be happy.

First, let’s discuss how beautiful the packaging is. It’s like you’re getting a lovely gift!

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Fancy, right? So pretty! And the goodies:

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So, you get 5 goodies in your Glossybox, and most of them are full sized. I got a Ciate paint pot in Beach Hut, LaSplash Eye Shadow Primer, a Bellapierre lip gloss in Vanilla Kiss, a Caldrea body wash in Coconut Fig Leaf, and a body creme from Aqua Spa in Lavender Chamomile.

I’ve spoken about Ciate products before, and I love their kits. This polish is a pretty, shimmery orange. It’s pretty sheer, but glossy (see what I did there? ;D ) This swatch is three coats of color, no top coat:

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Lovely for summer (It’s spring, but I don’t know that the weather is aware as yet…)

The body wash and body creme smells so good! OMG! That is a long weekend kind of body wash; one where you linger in the shower for a while and enjoy the aroma wafting about. The body creme is one where you relax and massage it in (as opposed to slapping it on quickly ’cause you’re about to be late. Not that I know anything about that.)

I haven’t used the shadow primer, but I notice that, in putting a bit on my hand, that it’s sticky. The info card says it’s good for glitter, so I’ll have to remember that when I’m doing a glitter heavy eye look.

The lip gloss I wore in last week’s Update post:

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It’s a lovely neutral, not too glossy, but still moisturizing. Very good with bright eye looks that even a too pink gloss could detract from. It looks a bit similar to Kitten from Stila on me, but Kitten is way more gold (That’s what I wore for my birthday look.)

I have to admit, Glossybox was worth it. Can’t wait to see what May brings!

Makeup Looks Reviews

New Goodies: April Curlbox Review

So, I have been expanding the different subscription boxes that I get. I’ve told y’all how much I love Julep before, and I thought…why not hair stuff? There’s got to be a box for that, right?

A quick Google search lead me to CurlBox. They didn’t have any subscriptions available at the time, but I joined their mailing list.

And the wait begun. Every time new subscriptions were up for grabs, I was at work and couldn’t take advantage (it normally opened at 3pm on Saturday…and would be gone in less than two hours.)

Finally, the scheduling gods intervened and I was able to sign up for my box!

And when I got my first box, I was not disappointed.

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What you see here is a box full of full sized Pantene products. The companies switch by month (I missed the Carol’s Daughter one by a month!), so you get to experience a wide range of products.

Here’s what’s in there: Argan Oil shine serum, Curls Mousse, Heat Protection Spray, KeraGloss Oil Mist, 2 Minute Moisture Mask, and Define My Curls Custard.

So far, I have tried all but the mousse and the heat protection spray, and I love them. The Define My Curls Custard really does give each curl definition and shine, and it doesn’t dry crunchy. The shine serum gave my afro puff shine, and the oil mist was very moisturizing. I left the 2 minute moisture mask on for longer than 2 minutes, and it was very nourishing. You could totally get away with 2 minutes for a wash and go.

In fact, I used all of the Pantene products for my birthday updo.

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All in all, totally worth the wait for the box and the $25 (includes shipping!) that I paid for it.

Can’t wait for the next one!

Hair Reviews

Fatshion Friday: The Birthday Outfit!

Last Wednesday, I celebrated my 29th birthday. Since the weather was less than ideal that day (yay pouring rain!), I postponed my dinner to this week so we wouldn’t need a rowboat to get around.

I’m glad I did.

We went to City Island for dinner, to a really nice hibachi restaurant where I ate all of the seafood and gyoza I could hold.

Mmm. 🙂

And of course, I did it quite fashionably.

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Dress2

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I went with the Floral Print Scuba Dress from Eloquii. Now, I normally don’t do bodycon dresses, as I am still self conscious about my belly. But I decided to let that go. At the end of the day, my belly is there no matter what, so I’m gonna wear what makes me happy! 🙂 It’s very comfortable, and if you decide to do a shaper (I have a Spanx on here), you aren’t able to see it through the dress.

My shoes are from JustFab. They’re called Kacie, and can we talk about how sexy this shoe is? Cause, really. 4 1/2 inches, and they only started to get uncomfortable for me towards the end of the evening (I have a bad ankle, and me and spiked heels often don’t play nice…but I had to have this pair!)

And I still ended up carrying the Darby Smart clutch I made, because it’s so cute. It worked with the outfit after all! The cuff was overkill, though, so that will have to be for the next outfit.

My coat is from Old Navy. I didn’t really need it, as it wasn’t too cold, but it was a bit breezy so I’m glad I had it.

My hair is in a high puff with a few curls on the side…simple and quick, because I kept going round and round on what to do with it. Fun fact: if you manage to break your elastic, an old knee high stocking does the trick as well. My makeup is neutral since everything else was so colorful. I used the Stila Dare to Bare palette here, and Kitten lip glaze.

And there you have it! Still continuing to step outside this box of mine and fully enjoy the world of style out there.

Have a lovely weekend, y’all!

Hair Positivity Shoes Shopping

Taking Up Space

Author’s Note: With all the talk of going bold this week, I figured I’d share this piece from my idea journal. NSFW language in here.

I’ve made it a point to shrink. I don’t want to take up space.

Being fat will do that to you.

I don’t want to draw attention.

My love of bright color is tempered during the week. An all black wardrobe doesn’t turn heads; a neutral eye and lip color palette doesn’t raise an eyebrow.

I’m exhausted, but I don’t want to take that seat. I don’t want to inconvenience those I have to sit next to. If I can’t estimate I can fit, I’ll stand for the whole 45 minute ride home.

And if I do sit, I squish into my seat, hoping I don’t encroach on someone else’s space. Arms folded, bag held against me or resting on my feet so that even my bag doesn’t take unnecessary room.

But I take up space, no matter what I do.

My hair, whether in a high puff, free, or pinned, takes up more space. If I am off and have on loud lipstick or bright shadow, even if I am in the most neutral of outfits, I am noticed. Sometimes people express their admiration with a smile; their dissension with a raised brow. I pat my hair self-consciously. It flattens, then springs back to life, reaching full height.

I still take up space. No matter what I do.

It’s something like springtime. It’s getting warmer; soon it will be hot. I set my arms free, full and squishy. I go to yoga class and stretch them skyward in Warrior 1. I spread them wide in Warrior 2. I notice the fat hanging. I fling them back in Warrior 3; take flight.

Easy to fly when you can’t see the “problem”, right?

I work hard to stay on my mat; keep my mind on my practice.

Taking up space. No matter what I do.

I can’t help taking up space. I’m done apologizing for it–whether it’s changing my outfit because “no one wants to see all that” to putting on all neutral makeup forever and ever amen because I don’t deserve color.

I don’t deserve to take up space. I don’t deserve to demand it.

I reject that shit.

I deserve space, I deserve to take it up, I deserve to adorn myself as I please and take up as much space as I need.

As much as I desire.

Don’t like it? Then move and create your own space elsewhere. Leave me to mine.

I’ll still be here. Taking up space.

Deal with it.

Dedicated to those who need an ego boost this week.

Positivity Stories

Going Bold

For work, I tend to stick to neutrals because when I get people in my chair, and it’s a blue eye shadow day, it scares my clients.

I get the quizzical eyebrow, and then…

“You’re not gonna make me look like…you, are you?”

It’s easy to get offended by this, but I get it. Most people want to blend in most of the time. I get that for day to day work looks, neutrals are the safest. I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s what it is. When I get people in my chair, it’s like they have this unwritten rule book about colors and looks that I’ve not been privy to. A snippet of these rules:

1. Colors are only for going out.

2. Oh, honey, that blue shadow looks great on you, but could never do such a thing.

3. Red lipstick makes me look like a streetwalker!

4. Smoky eyes are supposed to be black and silver, right? That’s what I’ve always seen.

5. I have dark skin, I can’t wear bright colors.

Sigh. None of these are true. I know that the way makeup is marketed will lead you to believe those things, but it really isn’t true. So, counterpoints:

1. Color is for whatever time of day you want to wear it. So pink eyeshadow is fine for daytime if you want it. Just put it on the lid only and blend with a neutral shade if you work in a conservative office.

2. You may not like the cerulean blue shadow I have on my eyes today, but I bet if you let me put some of this periwinkle on you’ll see your blue eyes pop! (purple is lovely with green, and greens are beautiful with brown.)

3. If you feel a bit…overdone, as it were, you just have on the wrong shade of red. Cherry red doesn’t go with all skin tones, y’all. But one could do a burgundy, or one with more blue (these look like they cast more pink). There are so many shades of red in the world, and if you have time to play around I bet you’ll find one that makes you feel and look fabulous.

4. Smoking an eye is a technique, so you can use any colors you want. Love green? Do it in three shades of green! Love colors in general? Use multiple colors. If you don’t know what works together, download a color wheel and pick three colors that sit next to each other. The more you play around, the more colors you’ll morph together (try pink, yellow, and orange!)

5. Nothing makes me sadder than to get folks in my store and decide that the world of color is not for them because they’re “too dark.” As black and brown folks, we can wear any color we want. We just have to look at the shade’s tones, not the shade itself. So, again, maybe cerulean isn’t your favorite look for yourself, but that deeper sapphire is amazing. Don’t throw the whole rainbow out because one beam doesn’t shine bright enough.

Honestly, I think the biggest rule of makeup is that there are no rules. Guidelines, sure (I think everyone should use primer, for example, and it isn’t just for eyes), but there is no set of set in stone rules for it. And there shouldn’t be. You have to be willing to be bold, really. Not too much more to it than that. Even though my customers are petrified of my bright colors for themselves, they LOVE it on me, and that’s because I don’t carry myself timidly when I have it on. I’ll do loud greens and yellows and pin up my ‘fro. I know I’m gonna get eyes on me, so I hold my head high and strut. That’s really what sells a look–not just the technique or color.

In honor of going bold this week (and every week), here’s a look I did with my Urban Decay Electric Palette:

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With this look, you have options! You can go with a nude lip, as I did in the first two pics (gloss is Kitten by Stila), or you can go bright with a pink. I know, typically bold eyes go with nude lips. Here’s why this works: I’m in the same color family. So you can do a pink or even a purple, but no red here. This pink is called Jilted, and it’s by Urban Decay.

Would y’all like a tutorial on the eye look? Let me know and I’ll post it next week!

Go bold and be brave. 🙂

 

 

Makeup Looks Positivity