Saturday, March 31, 2012

Final Four!!

My 'Hawks are in the Final Four! We play late this evening and I'm already so beyond nervous. Tonight is going to be a tough game, but I believe in them.
We're all a superstitious bunch: we're watching the game at the same place we've watched all of the tourney games, we'll sit in the correct seats once there, and I, of course, had to paint my nails. I've done it every weekend since round 1! Hopefully I get to leave these on until forever (or, you know, Tuesday) and don't have to take it off tomorrow.... wish us luck!

I bought a couple striper brushes & some acrylics yesterday to do these. I am really bad at this stuff, so forgive me! But it was fun and I'm excited for people to notice them.
Base colors are SC Ruby Ruby, Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta, and Essie Mesmerize. I have my go-tos when it comes to KU colors. :) Yellow stripes & the Jayhawk are acrylic paint; the blue stripes/dots are Zoya Tallulah; the red stripes/dots are Zoya Kimmy.

I painted the base last night, and then my husband got sleepy early, so there are some sheet marks... Oops.

And another Jayhawk on my thumb!

I'm so excited, and so nervous, and so excited!!!
And don't forget: I'm having a giveaway in celebration!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Zoya Danii

Danii was one of the 2 polishes I got back in the January Zoya promo... It takes me so dang long to get to polishes! She's a beautiful purple with seriously amazing gold shimmer. Compared to the letdown that was Your Hut or Mine, I am super excited about this one!
2 coats, no top coat.

That's it for today! Short & sweet.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pink Wednesday: Essie Your Hut or Mine

I love Essie. They aren't the most exciting of nail polish brands, but I like their cute little bottles & I like their brush, and I think they have some really beautiful shimmers (see: smooth sailing, mochacino). I got Your Hut or Mine thinking that it's a beautiful pink with a great gold shimmer, and... it halfway delivered.

This picture isn't in focus at all, but I just wanted to say: this is how YHOM wants to photograph. This is so far from accurate it isn't even funny.

This is closer to reality, but it's still not quite that bright. The real color is closer to the next picture, though my skin looks totally dead:

I will definitely be reaching for this color again, because it's a pink that walks the fine line between old-lady-pink and bubblegum-pink. I have had a really hard time finding a pink that doesn't feel too young or too old, and I think this one is exactly were I wanted it to be. But do you see any shimmer in there? Because I don't. It makes me sad. :(
But it's still pretty, and if you're having a hard time finding the right mix between young-old-bright-pale pinks, I highly suggest this one!

Also, don't forget that I'm having a little giveaway with red & blue goodies over here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

KU Final Four giveaway!!

I said there would be a giveaway to celebrate KU getting to the Final Four, and here it is! It doesn't end until next Tuesday, giving you a week to enter and me time to add more goodies if we make it to the championship. Follow on GFC & leave your email; for bonus points, follow me on twitter, too!

Red & Blue! Red nails, blue eyeliner, red lips.

Also, and I hate to say this but I have to for monetary reasons: US residents only, please. :(

Monday, March 26, 2012

China Glaze Traffic Jam

This is a quick post today, because I am really unhappy with these pictures. China Glaze Traffic Jam is really lovely. It's a mid-tone berry; not light, not dark, just perfect. But these pictures are way too pink.

The sweater I'm wearing here is brick red, but my skin tone here is pretty much that pale, so I have no idea how to accurately edit this. Just... try to imagine the polish a little less pink and a full shade darker.

Bah. Displeased. Sorry these aren't better.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweet 16!

Yet another weekend of the NCAA tourney is upon us! KU plays in the Sweet 16 tonight, so hopefully I'm in for another weekend of red & blue nails!

I started by painting all of my nails solid colors.
Essie Russian Roulette
Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta
Zoya Tallulah

My thumb I painted like a ref's shirt.
 The red is more jelly than cream, so it took a couple coats. I used a really thick coat of Like Butta, and it evened itself out surprisingly well. And Tallulah is absolutely gorgeous in one perfect coat.
No clean up or top coat to be found anywhere here.
But of course I couldn't leave them that plain.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

China Glaze Stone Cold

I love the Hunger Games polishes. Have I said that enough yet? Because I do. They're amazing. Stone Cold is no exception!
Named for District 2, it definitely has a look of granite. And I love a good shimmery matte! Plus, 1 coat for opacity? I'm sold. The only tricky part of this polish is that it dries SO fast! I was rushing, so a couple fingers didn't level out correctly, and I got a little messy in a couple places. I left these with no clean up or photo editing so you can see what it actually looked like for me!

And then, top coat:

I liked it matte, but I loved it shiny!

As a matte polish, it read to me "gray & shimmery," but shiny it read to me "black with a crapton of shimmer." I'm not sure why it felt darker after the top coat, but it definitely did. And the shimmer is seriously gorgeous. This is definitely one of the HG polishes I highly suggest you pick up.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Riveting

I know there have been a million swatches of all the Hunger Games polishes, but I have to share this one. I've shared several others of the shades I really liked, and this one shares their formula. So easy to control that these pictures have absolutely zero cleanup; so shiny that I don't feel the need for topcoat; opaque in a coat or two (depending on how heavy-handed you are). But somehow either I wasn't paying attention, or none of the swatches were quite accurate, because I was completely surprised by how orange this polish is. Orange. ORANGE. Orangey orange orange orange. It doesn't look bad on me, and it's beautifully pigmented, and the shimmer is gorgeous, but orange is my least favorite color. Period. Done. I own absolutely zero orange clothing, there isn't a single thing in my house that's orange. I am absurdly, irrationally against the color in any form.
Basically, my high school rivalry is the oldest on this side of the Mississippi, and we HATE each other, and their school color is orange. This hatred goes back generations of my blood. Orange and I will never be reconciled.
But this polish, I might be able to tolerate... for a little while.

Just like I told you: ORANGE, incredibly shiny, flawless application, amazing gold shimmer, and so, so, so orange.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nail polish organization!!

I'm so excited for this post!!
Ryan and I went on an intense cleaning spree Sunday, and then the pile of my nail polish in the corner & all of my makeup on the windowsill (our bathroom has terrible light for makeup!) was just unbearable. We had looked into getting a helmer when he ordered a new desk from IKEA, but the shipping for a $40 set of drawers was $55!! Insane. So we went on a journey to Michael's & finally bought a Melmer!
Sidenote: Why does Michael's have their storage all over the store? 2 or 3 of them were in 3 or 4 different areas. We made a complete circle of the store before we finally found the right one!
I have to say: the melmer is AWESOME. I like that it's not as big as a helmer, I like that it's stackable/expandable, and I love that it feels really solid. From looking at posts about it, I was under the impression that it was thin metal, but it's wood with a really nice heft. I really love it!

So first, here's my polish before:

I have 140 polishes. There are about 120 here, and then another 20 (glitter topcoats, sinful colors, confetti) hiding in my closet. This is just hanging out on the floor next to one of our bookshelves in the dining room.

I'd run out of room in the boxes, so this little baggie had been getting more & more full over the last couple weeks.

These boxes hold whole collections -- OPI Muppets & CG Hunger Games -- and then the two smaller boxes have base/top coats.

Two tupperwares full of polish! Zoya, Essie, Orly, random stuff in the first; Milani, SH CSM, CH, & OPI in the second.

This is what I built! Ryan helped a little, but it was really not complicated at all.

Ta-da! All built! Polishes in the melmer, makeup in the pink shelves, polish remover, polishes for giveaway, and the complete collections are up top.

Here's the top shelf. At the very front are all of my base & top coats. A base coat for every brand, 3 quick dry (SV, poshe, & out the door), and a couple glittery top coats. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure & Sinful Colors live here. This drawer also has the random small groups like Pure Ice, Del Sol, NYC, & Confetti.

The second & third drawers I've organized very differently from normal. I really really really like it, but as you can see there isn't a whole lot of room to grow. That means at some point I'll have to go back to the normal, boring way, but for now...
I haven't decided which of these works better yet, so there's a picture of both set ups.  I ADORE being able to see all of the polish. Honestly, I'd almost rather have 2 Melmers set up like this than 1 Melmer set up the normal way. Although, if this is how I plan on storing all of my polishes, I could probably get a drawer set with shallower drawers? Something to consider in the future.
Clearly, this drawer holds mainly Zoya, Essie,  Orly. It also has a couple Hard Candy, since they're square bottles, and a few of the nicer polishes that I only own a couple of.

Here's drawer #3! OPI & CG. Isn't it just way more beautiful this way? Even if it does hold less than half as many as normal...

So here's what it looks like as you pull the drawers out:

Really beautiful. And really easy to decide on a mani color! Or at least, easier. Sometimes I'm just really indecisive...

And now, onto the makeup! I know I haven't blogged makeup here, and that's for a good reason: I'm not really into it. A lot of the time, I'm too lazy to wear any!! But you ladies are influencing me, so I've been trying to do it more often, and to step out of my comfort zone a little. Ryan has even commented a several times in the last few weeks on how good he thinks I look, so apparently it's working!

 I bought this at Target my freshman year of college. They also had them in blue & clear. I'm sure they're still around, especially late summer/early fall when college kids are moving.

The top drawer. I love Everyday Minerals -- I actually just got new foundation & concealer, as well as some samples, if anyone is interested in a review? -- so that's a lot of this! Original Glo foundation, concealer, and a  few of their mini eyeshadows. Sephora brand eyeshadow primer. A few eyeshadow palettes -- I love the shit out of this Revlon palette for an easy natural eye; the Hip duo is a really pretty shimmery nude + a great dark purple, and the 8-pan WnW palette is seriously my favorite and I really want to buy the others.

2nd drawer is tools -- tweezer, brushes, etc -- plus eyeliner & mascara.

3rd drawer is odds & ends. Safety pins & a brooch; the aforementioned EM samples, some Aveda perfumes, a couple lip sticks, a mini CND solar oil, & some argan oil.
As far as makeup goes, I'm seriously low-key. No blush, only one eyeliner & mascara, lipsticks I rarely wear... But it's good to have, and I love that it's all in one place. I also have a kit full of bits & pieces in the bathroom that I will probably switch in and out, but this is my base zero for now.

Yay! Organization! Makeup & polish all in one place, both looking pretty and being clean!

Let me know if there's anything in here you want to see!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NCAA Tournament Nails, take 1!

This past weekend was the beginning of the NCAA tournament! As I've talked about before, I'm a HUGE Kansas fan. My husband and I watched both rounds with his boss, who is a descendent of Phog Allen, and if you know who he is, let's be friends! :) So here are the nails I rocked for the whole weekend.
Yes, that means I didn't do St. Pats nails. Basketball is WAY more important to me!!

I started with 2 coats of Essie Waltz.

Waltz is a really pretty sheer. I also have Allure & Marshmallow. Allure is a super sheer wash of barely-color; Waltz is more opaque; Marshmallow is practically-opaque white. They cover all 3 of the levels of coverage I could want really nicely.

Then I reached for some blue & red glitter! A lot of people weren't super pleased with the Muppets glitter, because they weren't opaque, but that's my favorite kind of glitter. I love to layer & sponge & play with glitter, and the clear-based glitters are really great for that!

I used Gone Gonzo & Gettin' Miss Piggy With It for this. GG was actually significantly denser than GMPWI, which I found interesting... but I'm not sure if that's true or if I just shook it up a little more vigorously and got the glitters re-suspended better.

This isn't a sponge gradient; with glitter, I find it much easier to just put a large dollop at the tip, spread it across (kind of like a french!) and, after wiping all the excess off the brush, use short strokes to spread it down the nail a bit.

We played on Friday & Sunday, so I wore Waltz by itself on Thursday & with the glitter for 3 days, and when I took it off Monday morning it was still flawless. These nails made it through two games, one of which was a freaking nail biter (though thankfully, not literally! I think I've really truly broken the habit!), AND building a Melmer (pictures of that coming soon!), which I find so impressive. I really really loved how this looked. It was exciting but still very lady-like, and my nails looked incredible.

And here are a couple pictures from my dslr; I tend not to take pictures of my nails with my dslr, as I don't have a macro lens, and my point & shoot is really high quality, but for some reason I actually did take a couple this time!

Are you rooting for a specific team this tourney? And do you do your nails to show your support?