Monthly Archives: September 2012

Racing Stripes

I’ve been attempting to create a green racing stripe on my nails for months now. This is the first time I’m willing to post any photos. They’re not perfect, but I am getting better.

I’ve been longing to create some perfect nail art. I know it’s not something that just happens,  but many hours are spent in practice. I’ve only been doing my nails regularly for 10 months, so I still have a lot to learn.

I used China Glaze Exotic Encounters from the Safari Collection as the green base. Sally Hansen Quick Color Nail Pen in black for the large stripe, and Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in White for the small stripe. I sealed it all with a coat of Seche Vite.

I’ll try it again, but I hope it turns out even better next time. I free-handed the stripes, maybe next  time I’ll tape them. I haven’t had success with tape manicures yet, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop trying.

This manicure reminds me of this car.

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StriVectin-SD Power Serum for Wrinkles and Buzz Agent

I’ll tell you first that I’m a Buzz Agent. I get products for free to review, and share samples and coupons with my friends or others I meet. I share my thought on what I got for free in the mail, and report back to Buzz agent about the people I talked to. It’s basically word of mouth advertising. I like it because I’m the sort of person who does that already. When I fall in love with something, I buy extras and send them to friends or family members. It could be a gift card to try my favorite new flavor of drink at Starbucks, or a copy of a new book I love.

The most recent Buzz Kit I received was filled with 12 foil sample packs of various StriVectin products to give to my friends, or others I talk to, and a 1.7 ounce bottle of StriVectin-SD Power Serum for Wrinkles for me. I was amazed! It was fantastic to get a full-sized and expensive product to try. Here’s the video I made about  my Buzz Kit.

I hope you enjoy it. I’ll check back in a few weeks with an update on how the StriVectin-SD serum is working or me.

P.S. the StriVectin Link above includes a free gift if you make an online purchase. I hope you’ll check it out.

Fall Foliage Inspired Nails

Orly – Buried Alive and Finger Paints – Flashy

Last week I had a friend ask about Fall colors for nails. She was looking for an orange that would evoke the color of Fall foliage. I only had one orange, and it was more creamsicle than Fall foliage. After her question, I couldn’t think about anything else than nails that looked like Fall leaves.

I didn’t want a literal translation in the nail art department, so I picked up this Orly color at Sally Beauty Supply along with the Finger Paint flake over the weekend during their 70% off sale. I paid $3.50 for both. I wasn’t intending the flake to go over the brown micro glitter, but on a whim, I put it on. I loved the way it caught the light and brought out the orange and yellow in the flake. Along with the gold micro glitter, it just had such a beautiful Fall feel to it.

I tweeted a picture to my friend and she loved it. I do too. I expect I’ll be wearing these two colors quite a bit over the next few months, either separate or together.

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I Didn’t Need More Nail Polish, But I Couldn’t Help Myself

I have a Sally Beauty Supply discount card. I receive emails with their weekly specials, and got one on Thursday saying that they would have a clearance on some of their China Glaze nail polish. I managed to swing by the store on Friday with my two girls.

Here’s what I got: Foie Gras – Hunger Games Collection Harvest Moon – Hunger Games Collection I also picked up six shades from the China Glaze Safari Collection: Man Hunt – Safari Collection, Jungle Queen – Safari Collection, Prey Tell – Safari Collection, Elephant Walk – Safari Collection, Exotic Encounters – Safari Collection, Adventure Red-y – Safari Collection

I was excited to find these colors available at such a reduced price. With my Sally’s card, they were $1.64 each.

I also couldn’t pass up these two Orly colors in Decoded (slate grey) and Buried Alive (gold and orange micro glitter in a brown base) They were also 50% off the red tag price. I had someone on twitter ask about a good fall burnt orange nail color, and it reminded me that I didn’t have any. So I picked up Orly Buried Alive, and China Glaze Harvest Moon. It might be time for some nail art.

I also picked up some California Mango products. The Mango Buff was on sale, and the Mango Mend wasn’t. I already have the California Mango cuticle oil and love it, so it was nice to pick up a few more products. My hands have been transformed. I highly recommend these products.

Now, it’s just time to swatch them all. Maybe it’s better to send you to one of my favorite nail polish blogs. The PolishAholic. She swatched them months ago before they were in stores/salons. I picked up every single color from the Safari Collection and Capitol Colors Collection that I didn’t already have and I wanted. It was nice to get them all for $1.64 each. It almost felt like stealing. Almost.

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Fall Nails

I’ve been addicted to polishing my nails. I can’t seem to stop. In the last month, I’ve picked up over a dozen new fall shades and I’m in nail polish heaven.

I know it’s still warm enough to wear summer shades, but I’ve been wearing dark colors. Blood red, vampy wine tones, navy blue, and army greens. I do have some new fall nudes, but I’m in the mood for dark polish. The darker, the better.

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This is one of my new favorites from Zoya. It’s called Evvie. It’s a smokey eucalyptus/army green shade. Beautiful. I love it. I picked it up at ULTA.

Happy fall, and embrace the darker nail colors. You’ll look smashing and chic.

P.S. I just clipped all the length off my nails because I keep accidentally scratching my children.  I’m sad to have short nails again, but it’s nice to know that I won’t poke an eye out trying to hug them.

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Favorite Lipsticks for Fall 2012 Video Review

I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I’ve talked about lipsticks. I feel like I’m betraying my name as The Lipstick Gal.

I decided to create a video of a few favorites that would work great for this fall. Some are new, and some are old. I hope you enjoy it.

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DIY Earring Organizer

I’ve had  my earring organizer up for weeks now, and have really loved using it, but I forgot to post pictures for you. Sorry. I know I’m not the only one who has a large jewelry collection. I used to keep my jewelry in a jewelry armoire, but I found that without being able to see the contents regularly, I wasn’t wearing them much. As I continue to add to my collection regularly, I like to see what I have. I also find that it’s pretty to look at.

Earring Organizer made for $10

For my 10th anniversary, my husband made a necklace frame and an earring frame/organizer that I could display all my jewelry on. I also put up a pretty mirror at face level so I can add on the jewelry last minute, and see what goes best with what I’m wearing.

This project was easy to make, and took about 30 minute total. The hardest part was cutting the hardware cloth.

  1. We picked up an old frame from Goodwill. You can get one from any thrift store, but I would recommend it be wood since you will be stapling something on to the back of it.
  2. Get some hardware cloth. My husband picked it up at Home Depot.
  3. We set aside some time to paint the frame brown. This is a similar type paint we used.
  4. Measure the back side of the frame, and using wire cutters, cut the hardware cloth.
  5. After the paint is dry, use a staple gun to attach the cut hardware cloth to the back of the frame.
  6. My husband removed the hanging wire from the back of the frame, and added a sawtooth hanger.

After hanging it up, I’ve been loading it up with all the french wire and lever back earrings I own. I still have lots more earrings, but they’re post earrings and won’t work well for this type of display. I’m still trying to find a better way of getting all of my jewelry out and visible so I can use it more, but so far, I’m happy.

This was a very thrifty project for us because my husband had everything except the frame and the paint. We had left over hardware cloth from a yard project, we had the wire cutters, staple gun and staples, and even the sawtooth picture hanger. The total we spent to bring the frame to life was less than $10. I love that I can see all my large earrings now. This frame hangs right next to my necklace frame and I use everything so much more. I’m glad that he made it for me.

P.S. With rare exception, the earrings you see here are ones I make myself. I LOVE handmade jewelry!

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Favorite “New” Cosmetic Items for September 2012

Well, it’s been a while since I uploaded a video to my blog. I thought it might be a good way to share some of my favorite cosmetic picks for September. I know that these aren’t new products, but they are new to me. I love coming across things I haven’t tried before and deciding if it’s good for me or not. These are just the ones that I’ve tried and have been loving!

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying your weekend!

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Midweek Manicure

I love staying up late painting my nails. I know it’s not always the perfect time of day to do it’s since it right before bed, but as the mom of two small kids, it’s the only uninterrupted time I have. I sit in bed, open my bedside drawer that is full of polish bottles and everything else I might need, and get to work.

Tonight I thought I’d start Wednesday off with a bang. I recently ordered 6 new polishes from Zoya during their BOGO back to school offer, and then I picked up another 4 more at my local Ulta. So I am now the proud owner of 10 new Zoya shades that are begging to be used.

I was really taken with the gold micro glitter polishes in their Diva collection. I already had Daul, and I had to have FeiFei.

Zoya – FeiFei

FeiFei is a steely grey blue with gold, blue and pink iridescent micro glitter. I’ve been sporting FeiFei on my toes for almost a week now, but wanted to see what would happen when I added a little something extra to it. Another polish I added to my cart during the BOGO was from the Gloss Collection called Frida.

Zoya – Frida

Frida is a sheer, buildable jelly polish with a vibrant teal tone. I love this color. So for my manicure tonight I used two coats of  FeiFei, and one of Frida. I still haven’t decided if I’ll top it with another coat of jelly, or just move on to top coat. Here’s what I have so far.

Two Coats of FeiFei

FeiFei and one coat of Frida

I really love how the jelly can change the tone of a polish. I think this means that I need more jeweled toned jellies in my collection. If you have any great suggestions, just let me know. Have a great rest of the week.

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To Hell and Back: How My Skin Has Changed

This past week has been a nightmare. I found myself in the emergency room twice and admitted into the hospital for a severe allergic reaction to a new medication I was taking for my chronic migraine. The rash I have covers my entire body. From my scalp, to the soles of my feet. Inside my eyelids and even down my throat. This post isn’t about the medical side of the rash, it’s about the beauty aspect of it.

These pictures were taken exactly a week apart.

What a difference a week makes

I normally wouldn’t post a picture of myself like this. I have never felt so unattractive, or truly ugly. There is not a single part of my body that isn’t red, bumpy and swollen.

I have been debating on whether to blog about this experience because it is so fresh in my mind, and still so raw on my skin. The reason I’m doing this is twofold. First, although I spend a lot of time and money on my appearance, that isn’t what makes me worthwhile or beautiful. We are more than our makeup! It has taken lots of people telling me this over the past week to really help it sink in. There have been times in the past that I’ve judged a person by their appearance. I hope I won’t ever do that again. It’s been hard to be in public, because there are lots of people staring and pointing. It’s been especially hard when I’ve caught them staring and they were trying to be discreet. Then we were both embarrassed.

The second part is beauty related. The doctors in the hospital told me that large sections of my skin might blister and slough off entirely. For my entire life I’ve had good skin. I didn’t break out during my teen years much, I have occasional outbreaks now, but overall I have been blessed with good skin. It makes me physically ill to think that could all be gone. There is also the chance that over the next 3-6 months this might reoccur.

Since I’ve been discharged from the hospital, I’ve been home resting. Thankfully my skin is still firmly attached, but slowly flaking off like a bad sunburn. I haven’t left the house much except for an excursion to my local department store. I walked right up the nearest cosmetic counter and asked someone to help me find the thickest, best coverage foundation they had in the store. I didn’t care who made it.

I was delighted to find that Estee Lauder makes a full coverage foundation that hides everything. Everything from my rash to tattoos. The Estee Lauder consultant helping me was amazing. She pulled in two other ladies from other counters to make sure their lines didn’t offer a fuller coverage foundation. Then they went to work. They all huddled around like a team trying to suggest the best ways to help me feel beautiful. By the time I was done there was no way to tell I had any discoloration on my skin. It was a Cinderella moment for me. Straight from the ashes, or should I say “the rashes”, to beautiful and confident.

Estee Lauder – Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body

I don’t plan on wearing it all day, but I will be wearing it when I need to make an outing. My skin still can’t take anything on it for long periods of time. Even fragrance free creams and lotions make my skin itch.

My favorite part about cosmetics has always been that they make me feel glamorous.  I love trying on new looks, falling in love with new colors as the new seasons come and go. Now, I’m glad to find one that makes me feel like me. To hell with the glamour! Here’s to feeling and looking like myself again.

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