Sally Hansen Gel Manicure: Part 2

Remember I told y’all that I would keep the manicure to test for wear?

I did my nails Thursday night. I worked Friday and had the weekend off. These are the pics I took Sunday morning:

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Yeah. And that’s my left hand, which doesn’t show as much wear as my right. The glitter nail on my right hand is already coming up. I will chalk that to the glitter layer being thick, but this chipping nonsense?

Basically, I got about the same wear time out of this gel manicure that I get out of my standard polish. It was pretty while it lasted, though!

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Nail Adventures Reviews

Nail Adventures: Sally Hansen Gel Manicure

Life has slowed down, at least a bit. So, after I had some delicious sushi, I decided to do my nails.

I managed to find the Sally Hansen Gel Manicure kit at a steep discount, so I thought, why not? I’ve never done a gel manicure, and this way I can try it out myself.

Why no gel? Gel manis focus on long wear. I get antsy about my nail polish after about two days and I want to change it. Gel manicures you have to soak and scrape off, and ugh.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But then, the application is quick. And for me, that’s the tedious part, particularly if I’m doing designs: waiting for the layers to dry. Gel manis? 30 second cure, move on to next layer.

And that is something I DO have time for.

So, I figured, why not give it a try?

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I decided this is a situation where less is more, since I’m navigating a whole new system with this manicure. I figured, maybe I’ll do an accent nail, use the nail guides, nothing too over the top.

And for what it’s worth, it is really easy to apply and really fast. I kept thinking that nothing was truly dry in between curing, but it was, so I was listening to music and having a delicious drink AND doing my nails without the fear of smudging. Win.

The bad part? Trying to design!

Ok. So the original plan for my accent nails was to lay down some of that silver there (name is Hi Ho Silver), lay down two of the chevron nail guides in a diamond shape, and cover in the red. Basically, I should have had a silver diamond outline on my nails.

That…did not happen, because I couldn’t get the damn nail guides to stick!

So, here’s the thing. While you do an at home gel mani, the polish feels sticky between layers even though it’s dry. So I’m thinking it shouldn’t be that difficult for the nail guide to stick. They stick on standard dry polish with no issues. Well, I was mighty wrong in that aspect. They slid and shifted as though my nail and the guides were covered in some type of oil. I thought maybe the adhesive on the guides wore off or something, but they stuck to my skin just fine. Color me confused.

I got them to lay long enough to put some glitter inside the little diamond shape. I was basically holding the nail guides taut on my skin to try and create some kind of shape at this point. It’s ok, I guess. I did just a solid glitter accent on the other hand which I liked better, but not by much:

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The red, by the way, is called Red My Lips.

Meh. I have never been so underwhelmed by a manicure in my life. I don’t know if it’s the color, the glitter, or what. I’m not impressed with this work. But I will say the shine on my nails is awesome, and it really is quick and easy. I was done in under 30 minutes, and that was with scrambling around looking for some glitter to put on. I think if I were one who prefers to keep just one color on my nails (or an undesigned accent nail) I would like it more.

For science, I’m keeping this on to get a feel for how this stands up to work, and let y’all know (it’s coming off next Wednesday, though.) Unless I just get too irritated with my hands and take it off tomorrow. We’ll see.

Hey, never a bad thing to try something new! I may keep playing around with it to see if there’s a look I like in gel, but I think I’ll stick to standard for now.

Happy weekend, y’all!

Nail Adventures Reviews

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?

Reviews

Fatshionista Vacation: I Got My Hair Done!

I am pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. Most of the time I’ll do a wash, deep condition, twist it up, pick it out.

I kept it in a high poof or a front poof, mostly because my hair was uneven.

Yep. Was. πŸ™‚

I actually had some time on Friday to treat myself to something nice, so I made an appointment at Mirror Salon.

I had no idea that Carol’s Daughter had a salon in the back of the store, but now I do, and I will be going back!

So, before you settle into your service, you have a chat with the stylist about your hair and what goals you have for it. Do you want it to grow longer? Do you wish it were thicker? What do you love about your hair?

For me, I’d love for it to grow out, but my focus was dead ends and unevenness. With me having two different curl patterns in my head, wearing it out made for a challenge. The front of my hair has tight, coily curls, and the back of my hair is all loose curls. Now, y’all have seen me with my hair picked out, but y’all couldn’t see the back of it. I have the Fro Mullet.

Fierce in the front, wtf in the back? Yeah. Not sexy.

I told this to my stylist, Sandy, and she grinned a bit at my description. I don’t think she realized how bad the struggle was until she washed it. She sat me up and got a good look, and she seemed genuinely puzzled.

“What is going on back here?”

*giggle* “Yep, told you I had another curl pattern going on back there!”

She told me she’d probably would have to give it a considerable trim to even it out. While the back is probably always going to be longer than the front, the way she would cut it would make it look the same length all around, even if I picked it out completely.

That made me happy, because I would wear my hair out more if it didn’t look so odd in the back. So she got to work. I told her all about my upcoming Full Figured Fashion Week events, and to the Shop and Swap I would be attending Saturday.

“Ok, so I’ll do a rod set for you, and you’ll have definition throughout the weekend as you’re out doing your thing.”

Now, it was my turn to be skeptical. My hair never has done well with styles. Even when I relaxed, my hair would never hold a curl or do anything but hang there. As a natural girl, since my curl pattern varied so widely, I could really only do a couple of styles anyway.

“Don’t worry,” Sandy said. “I’ll show you how to keep it up.”

Ok then.

About an hour later, I had this:

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The part that I loved the most was that it looked as though I had baby dreads all over my head. The curls were all sproingy and happy, and I smelled so good! (Tui oil is the truth, y’all!) And Sandy gave me the good news that the Rosemary Mint Shampoo was coming back, and that just made my absolute day!

So, for upkeep I was to sleep in a satin bonnet and in the morning, take a wide toothed comb and lift the roots a bit. At my look of confusion, Sandy clarified: “Take the comb at the roots, but only comb about halfway through. This will give you lift at the crown, and still keep your definition on the ends.”

And as I sit and write this post up, my hair STILL looks amazing. I’ll probably pick it completely out tomorrow. She did an amazing job!

If you happen to be in NYC and want a great place to get your hair done, stop by! You’ll be glad you did!

Disclaimer: I paid for all services rendered, and was not compensated in any way for this review. They’re just so fabulous I had to share!

Hair Reviews

BeautyCon 2014 with Bonus Nail Adventure!

Hello my lovelies!

I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day weekend and that it was safe.

So, this past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending BeautyCon. For the uninitiated, think like Comic Con but for fashion, makeup, and You Tube celebs.

Pretty cool, right?

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So, I put on my game face and got going. I have on browns and greens (I used Stila’s Dare to Bare palette and BH Cosmetic’s 120 color palette) because I had on a coral skirt. I was all comfy and breezy, because I figured it would be hot.

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Outside Shot!

So, the event took place at Pier 36 on the lower east side. Long, long, LONG, train ride, but worth it. It was nice out, and the walk wasn’t bad. Shout out to the friendly FedEx driver who helped me navigate!

Once inside, it was…absolute pandemonium. Lines on lines on lines of people waiting to try out makeup, meet the latest You Tube sensation, or to buy clothing.

Now, I don’t do well in lines. At all. But I did stand in a couple (and by couple I mean exactly 2!) of lines to try out some new stuff. In the above pic, I have on nothing but your standard lip balm. StyleHaul and Maybelline were sponsoring a lip color try on booth. So I thought, hey,why not? I love lip color!

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Maybelline’s Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique

I have Color Elixir in a fuchsia shade, but it doesn’t show as well on me as this one does. The gloss on here is beautiful, and as the color fades, it goes into a matte stain that is lovely.

I also waited in line to try out some of the new Revlon products. They have colorful liquid liners! Also, they have a new mascara that claims to have the darkest black pigments ever. I am a mascara junkie, so I am looking forward to giving this a try.

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I even picked up a pencil liner in a dark green. I don’t normally do pencil liners, as I am clumsy and manage to poke myself in the eye EVERY TIME (grr!), but when has ability ever stopped me from trying something? Practice makes perfect. They were actually doing makeup at the Revlon booth, however, I was there with a fully done face. The artist was kind and let me pick out some goodies anyway.

Did I mention there was a dance floor?

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And bounce houses?

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I was so sad I had on a skirt and couldn’t go play in the bounce house. Seriously. 😦

There were also temporary tattoos!

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Won’t lie, I felt pretty fancy with my fake tat. πŸ˜€

There were also some seminars going on. I think, if I had to pick one beef with BeautyCon (besides there not being ATMs…cause really? How does this happen?!) was that the seminars were sectioned off from the main floor with only sheets and not, well, walls. Makeup is exciting. Adding a bunch of people talking about said makeup loudly only a few feet away makes it hard to hear what’s going on when you want to hear about how other bloggers and vloggers got started. I didn’t even make it through a whole one because it was just. too. noisy.

All in all, it was a great afternoon, and I got to network (Shout out to Dark Skinned Divas!) and try new products.

Oh, and my nails:

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You know my nails and my business card had to coordinate, right?

I didn’t do that on purpose, but it definitely made for an ice breaker in conversation! I have on Julep’s Karen and OPI’s I Reached My Gold.

Great Saturday, all in all. And now? I’m preparing for Full Figured Fashion Week! Excited!

 

Makeup Looks Nail Adventures Reviews

Nail Adventures and New Goodies, Part 3

I have a lot of nail products.

Stop side-eyeing me. I’m going somewhere with this! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€ 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! Β 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! πŸ˜€

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