Nail Polish Tuesday: Ciate Flower Manicure Set

Hey folks! I am back on the manicure horse with a new nail look this week.

Nails of Literature isn’t gone, by the way. It just won’t be every week. 🙂

So, while I was out shopping in Sephora, I came across this Ciate kit. Now, I should have been wary of this kit, because the first one I tried led to such a fail (and it was the first nail look I shared on my Tumblr!)

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Good grief. Those were supposed to be polka dots. Yes, yes. That was the goal. Don’t rub it in! 🙂

But because I don’t know how to leave well enough alone the FIRST time it goes south, I decided to give it another go. This kit is called Flower Manicure, and it seemed simple enough. Nail polish, flowers, topcoat. File to fit. Ok. I can do this…right?

This comes in two colors, a blue base with red and dark blue flowers, or a pink base with blue and yellow flowers. The pink, blue, and yellow combo is one of my favorites to do with clothes, so I picked that kit. You get a small paint pot, large top coat, two sets of flowers in different colors, a file, and tweezers. Also an instruction book. Good.

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As I did the first time, I read the directions. Two coats of color, let dry. Put top coat, add flower(s) to nail, let dry (work one nail at a time, duly noted). File flowers off of the edges of the nail (if you do the overlapping look), add more top coat. Yeah, I can totally do this…I think. The pink shade, by the way, is called Candy Floss. The rhinestones didn’t come in the kit. I just always need a little sparkle in my life.

So, how did I do?

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Success! I would probably recommend doing this look on longer nails, so you can get better overlap, but I love it. I did the yellow and white flowers on eight nails, and I did blue flowers on both ring fingers. And because I love shiny things, I put a couple of green rhinestones on there too.

This actually was pretty easy. Work with one nail at a time, because the quick dry topcoat is no joke. It dries pretty quickly, and you will find yourself having to reapply coats if you don’t move with a purpose.

I am so glad I didn’t have to do another failed manicure post this week. 🙂

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Nail Adventures Reviews Uncategorized

Birthday Week: The Kickoff

Hello my lovelies!

I’m still doing some birthday preparations and being run ragged at work (what else is new), so have this song I’ve had on repeat this weekend:

Songs like this make me wish I had at least a corner of some rhythm. 😀 Anyway, enjoy, and I will be back tomorrow with a post of substance!

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Nourishing My Crowning Glory

I often get asked about what I put in my hair.

The answer to that question is as varied as this New York weather.

Seriously. Can you pick a season, Mother Nature? Please?

Ahem. Sorry.

Anyway.

Generally, what I put in my hair depends on the season and what style it happens to be in. Most of the time, I use Carol’s Daughter products (CD). I love the Black Vanilla line for my eternally thirsty hair, and the Rosemary Mint Shampoo (no link; it’s going away. 😦 )for my eternally flaky scalp.

Even though CD is available in Target these days, it’s still sometimes out of my way to go and pick it up. So, I like to mix it up and try other products when I need something new.

Ok, maybe it’s just because I love how many products are coming out for natural hair, and I want to try all of the things. Eh, tomato, tomahto.

A few faves:

Nene’s Secret: I found this randomly in a beauty supply store and fell in love with the CC (that’s Curly and Cute) Curl Creme. My hair was so soft and hydrated. Before I could try the whole line, it disappeared from the store. (Of course it did. -_-) I’ll probably have to order it online.

Optimum Care Amla Oil: I tried this after a coworker recommended it to me. I do love the hydration, but it doesn’t give me as much definition as Nene’s Secret does. Still, it smells lovely, and is normally available in your local drugstore.

As I Am: I am in LOVE with their DoubleButter Cream. I found this in the Walgreens when I went to get shampoo, and decided to give it a try. If you have desert dry hair, you are going to LOVE this.

Creme of Nature Argan Oil Line: So, this was the shampoo I purchased on the aforementioned Walgreens run. I tend to be wary of argan oil products, because of how unscented (as in, raw, 100% natural) argan oil smells. It smells like…feet. Yeah. I know. If you’re using argan oil that smells delicious, it ain’t 100% natural. Just an FYI. Now this has enough fragrance in it to keep me from thinking “ew” but not so much the benefits of the oil are drowned out. I have the Moisture and Shine Shampoo and picked up a packet of the Intensive Treatment (amazing!)

As far as care? I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter.  I have dry hair and flaky scalp, and washing it all the time would make it worse. I use sulfate free shampoos when possible (not doing so makes my hair that much drier.) I always deep condition my hair, and do a leave in conditioner afterwards to keep it strong.

I braid or twist my hair up before bed (usually just 5-6 big braids) and tie up with a satin scarf.

I always use a leave in conditioning spray (try the Black Vanilla one from CD; for my DIY mavens, put leave in conditioner and water in an old spray bottle and shake. Works just as well.) before I comb it out. I put a moisturizing cream on the ends, and oil at the scalp. Rub through and pick it out. It seems like a lot, but it helps with detangling so you don’t lose as much hair when you comb.

All of this work leads me to some good hair days. Look! I have my hair completely out!

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I’m still trying to push my limits. I’m considering wearing my hair free for my birthday dinner next week. What do y’all think? I’m taking style suggestions and product recommendations!

Hair Reviews Shopping Uncategorized

Nails of Literature: Goldfinger

Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you.

Yes, I know Goldfinger is a movie. It’s my favorite James Bond film and the first I ever saw.

But James Bond was a literary character before he became the super spy we know on film. And I finally had the opportunity to read the novel.

I love it as much as I do the film, and this rarely ever happens.

The first time I encountered Goldfinger, I was but a peanut. My mom and grandma were watching a movie, and I wandered into the room. Of course, things exploding attracted me to the tv.

“What are you watching?”

“Bond, James Bond,” my mother replied.

Confused by that introduction, I sat down to watch. Mesmerized, I fell in love with that suave character.

As I got older, I watched almost all of the Bond films, and of course debate with people about who is the best actor. Hands down, it’s Sean Connery (Daniel Craig second, Pierce Brosnan third.) But it could be because he was the first Bond I knew.

One day I happened to actually be paying attention to the credits and noticed in the small print: “based on characters by Ian Fleming.”

Does what now? It’s a BOOK?

I kept telling myself that I would take the time to find the novels and read them, and it was something I kept putting on the backburner. And then I saw this miniseries on BBC America.

Ok. That does it. I will read these novels!

And naturally, I didn’t get around to it until a couple of days ago. But I am so glad I did.

It’s as well paced as the movie, and just as interesting. Bond is a bit more introspective in the novel than he is in the movie, but that is to be expected. I am looking forward to having a Bond marathon this weekend, starting with Goldfinger, and anticipating seeing the movie through new eyes.

With this in mind, I present to you She Loves Only Gold:

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I have no shame in admitting I took the name from the title song of the movie. 🙂

The gold base is a combination of two colors: OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie (pictured) layered over Julep’s Kennedy. I did some golden rhinestones at the base of my nails, and tuxedoed the ring fingers on each hand with Essie’s Licorice. Right hand has no bowtie, as I would end up knocking it off doing orders at work.

Now, I’m off to have martini (shaken, not stirred), and listen to this amazing movie opening.

Have a novel you’d love to see in manicure form? Email me!

Nail Adventures Stories Uncategorized

The Evolution Begins

I had blending in down to an art. I was the smart kid, pretty quiet but caustic when pushed too hard.

I was remembered before the big exam and forgotten shortly thereafter.

In middle school, I wore a uniform, and on rare occasions we were allowed to wear dressy clothes to school.

I was reminded, with an accompanying eye roll, that “dressing up” did not equal pants. I wasn’t really a dress or skirt kind of girl, outside of church. But, I complied, if only to fit in for a day.

First day of high school, I was proud of myself. I’d had a babysitting job all summer, and I could buy all of the clothes I wanted. My big purchase was a pair of Nikes. They looked like they had swirls all over them in a gradated blue that made me immensely happy.

I bought matching sweats and tees to wear with these sneakers, along with earrings and nail polish. Not totally tomboy, not totally girlie.

I loved it. Naturally, the first day of school I set off a bit of confusion for my classmates. “Why is she dressed like a boy?” “But if she’s trying to dress like a boy, why is she wearing earrings and nail polish?”

It was confusing for them, but not for me. I liked my style. I stood out a bit, but I was okay with it. I felt foxy. I could be fierce in my sweats and sneakers, honey! Couldn’t tell me nothing.

At least, that’s how I looked on the outside. I tried to keep my head high when the kids sneered at me. At my attitude, my supposed confidence. Daring to be happy.

And when I got “unruly”, you know, thinking I had some rights to live happily, I was reminded: “Yeah, you can dress, but you’re still fat.” “Don’t smile. Your teeth look a mess.” “Why you got so many bumps on your face?”

I did my best to keep my head high. My mother was a constant support, but it’s hard to hear a lone cheer amid a chorus of negativity.

And then, something happened to change my mindset…

To be continued.

Stories Uncategorized

Nail Adventures: Julep January Box

Hi Lovelies!

I know, I know. I need more nail polish like I need a hole in my head. But, I figure nail polish is a healthy addiction. It makes things pretty! And it makes me smile.

Ok, ok. I have a problem. But I’m not interested in fixing it. 🙂

This month’s box focuses on finishes:

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I have two colors, the Ta Da! Quick Drying Drops, and two buffing blocks. A close up of the colors:

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From left to right: Mona (grey creme, dries shiny), and Abigail (champagne pink shimmer, dries semi-matte). I am working on a look with these colors. I’m thinking rhinestones! (ok, when am I NOT thinking rhinestones? Sparkle makes my life!) I’m looking forward to trying the drying drops, as I’ve grown weary of using my oil sheen to dry my nails (seriously though, it’s an awesome option if one happens to have it on hand.)

Until next time, stay beautiful!

Nail Adventures Uncategorized

Vacation!

Hello lovelies!

I decided to take a mental break from things, so I went home to Texas to visit my mom and little bro. It was nice and relaxing, and it was great to see Stinky, the family dog, and to meet little bro’s girlfriend (who is an absolute sweetie.)

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That’s Stinky! We can’t quite figure out all of the breeds in her lineage, but her bark is way bigger than she is. Her squeaky toy, Bill, didn’t make it through the weekend. By the time I was packing up Saturday night, his head was detached and his stuffing was strewn about the floor. Maybe that means she loved it?

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OMG, Peach Crush! Ok, any Southerner reading this is all…why take a pic of this? Because I live in NY and I have the hardest time finding it. I can find it in Orange (of course) and Pineapple (my go to most of the time), but I hardly find it in Peach. I got to sip on that when I first came home. It was awesome.

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Where else but the South can you find a Kit Kat Cake for sale? I wouldn’t be able to eat it as I am allergic to chocolate (womp womp), but I’d sure have a good time making it! And yes, those are in fact M&M’s on the top of the cake.

Now, I’m sure y’all are wondering how the weather was. It’s Texas, so it was nice and warm, right?

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Yeah. About that. So, I left the frozen north to come to the frozen south. Worst part? That’s ice, not snow. Snow is at lot easier to deal with cause it’s fluffy. Ice is an absolute pain in the ass to deal with. By the time I left, there were giant branches all over from the weight of the ice breaking them. But even with the weather, I was happy I got to spend some time with the family.

And that’s it for the vacay pics! I did do my nails while I was there, and that post is coming Friday. I am going to show y’all my Julep haul tomorrow (also, NYers….there’s a Julep Pop Up Shop coming Friday!). Until then, stay beautiful!

Well, ok. Here’s one more pic of Stinky.

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She was after my dinner, so she put on her cute face to get me to share. Didn’t work. 🙂

 

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