Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Bitter and Sweet.

This year has been the hardest one I've ever lived...physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I've developed more than my share of grey hair at 28 in almost losing the closest thing I have to a parent, and then through blood, sweat, and tears (quite literally) learning how to care for her in her partially paralyzed state. I can't even remember who I was or what I was like before all of this happened.

But in this change, I've garnered some hard-won knowledge. If I can make it through a year like this, I'm pretty sure I can make it through anything. I'm a sort of semi-functional human superhero. Only instead of saving cities from the terror of evil scientists or super-villains, I save my family.

And it hasn't all been bad. I've compiled a list of a few things that helped me make it though the year, and I even have a couple accomplishments under my belt.

In 2014...

1. I finally figured out how to take my various medications daily and on time. Revolutionary, I know. But it's made life exponentially easier for me. I've been using the Mango Health App on my phone and it's amazing. It's 100% free and you can input your medications, the times you need to take them, how many, color, shape, pill or capsule, etc. Plus, you receive rewards for perfect days. You rack up points and earn stuff like Starbucks or Target gift cards, or donations to various charities (I use my points to donate to the ASPCA). 

2. I got sucked, through no fault of my own, into Once Upon a Time...

I began in in October of 2013 at the urging of my bestie, and at first I could not even believe why she would want me to watch it. I had little to no experience with non-canon type shows and movies, but oh ye gods, was I missing out. It's rocketed to the top of my favorite shows list, and vies for favorite show with Doctor Who. And that's saying something. Another non-canon fairy tale that became my favorite movie this year? Maleficent. Oh my god, I loved it. 

3. Three words: PINK.NAIL.POLISH. 

A Study in Polish I Do Post-Mortems

Essie Go Ginza (with O.P.I. Pirouette My Whistle on top)

Finger Paints Paint Me Happy

O.P.I. My Very First Knockwurst

O.P.I. Let's Do Anything We Want! over O.P.I. Let Them Eat Rice Cake

O.P.I. Steady as She Rose

Rimmel New Romantic

Zoya Rue
I wore more pink polish this year than I think I've worn in my lifetime. These are only the pink manicures I documented this year, there were a whole slew I didn't post either because of time restraints, chipping, or just plain laziness. I know pink is about as unappreciated as red in the polish world right now, but I want to scream it from the rooftops: I LOVE PINK NAIL POLISH!

4. One of my favorite music artists is Sia, and she put out a dynamite album this year that I played to DEATH.

It's got much more of a pop feel to it, especially when you compare it to her past work. My favorite Sia album is Healing is Difficult, which has a definite funk/jazz undertone, but 1000 Forms of Fear might be my new favorite. It's just beautiful. If you've never heard Sia, you owe it to yourself to listen to some of her work. She's a phenomenal singer and artist. 

5. In trying to keep up with the rest of the world, I caved and bought an iPhone. Granted, it's only an iPhone 4, but it's MY iPhone 4. 
wearing Essie Bikini So Teeny
6. I went whale-watching. Didn't get pictures of whales, but did get a hilarious sunburn. 

And saw these flop around. 
7. Had a few 'favorite manis': 

My birthday mani: O.P.I. My Favorite Ornament, Wonderous Star, & Emotions

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett

China Glaze Sea Spray & Essie Blanc

Cirque Coronation

Essie No More Film & Deborah Lippmann Diamonds and Pearls

Sephora Formula X Glitter Rocket

L'Oreal Reign of Studs

Nails Inc. Porchester Square

O.P.I. Got The Blues for Red
Orly Cheeky
Zoya Tomoko
8. I figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to teach. And I'm going back to school for a Masters in either Elementary Education or English Education.

Here's to 2015. I want to fill it with travelling. I want to go to fun places and take pictures with friends and start making memories. I want to get my masters and find a place teaching, and maybe even start researching different places to live in...England maybe. I sure as hell am not a California girl...the universe got that one pretty wrong. But whatever happens, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to a new year like never before. Good things must happen.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014: Polka Dot Gradient in Festive Colors!

How was everyone's Holiday? Mine was infinitely better than last year. I put our tree up, and me, my grandmother, my aunt, and my boyfriend spent a couple days putting all our decorations on it. It's gorgeous...I want to keep it up until at least January 6th! This year's Christmas season has been such a period of comfort and happiness for me. I'm also sitting on quite a lot of cash and gift cards, so I foresee some very happy shopping days ahead of me. 

Anyway, here's what I wore for Christmas Day. I saw it on a Holiday Peachy Polish post, and knew I had to do it. I used the same O.P.I. Funny Bunny base that she did, but for my cascading dots I used O.P.I. L.A,M.B. for the gold, O.P.I. This Gown Needs a Crown for the silver, China Glaze Phat Santa for the red, and M.A.C. Screening Room for the green. I think it turned out really well...I'm still wearing it, in fact. I just can't bring myself to remove it. 

I spent the 25th watching old Christmas movies with my family, eating food (I grossly overestimated the amount of treats and snacks we could all eat, and as a result we are STILL munching our way through the various cookies, cakes, pie, fudge, crackers, and cheese that I loaded up on), and enjoying our tree. 

Now I have to figure out what to wear on New Years...

Probably my favorite tree we've ever done.

Gratuitous blurry shot, cause it looks awesome.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

China Glaze Pine-ing for Glitter

Finally some time to take some proper photographs! I've sort of forgotten how, but I did my best. Also, I apologize for my dry Zoya remover is running low so I've just been using straight acetone. Probably a bad idea in winter. 

I love this manicure so much, it reminds me of sparkly-frosted sugar cookies. Pine-ing for Glitter is different sizes of pine-green glitter in a clear base. It is also the most easily-spread glitter topper I've encountered. I did one coat over a Wet n Wild white creme and one coat of O.P.I. Funny Bunny (the Wet n Wild looked way too stark). 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The weather has been sketchy (which I looooove), but it's not really conducive as far as making color-accurate pictures. So here's what I've been wearing, Insta-style:

O.P.I. Baby Please Come Home. I feel confident saying that this Liquid Sand is, hands down, my favorite texture polish. The silvery-lavender color, the way the glitters catch the light...IT.IS.PERF.

Essie Tuck It In My Tux & Essie Rock at the Top. As far as I'm concerned, Rock at the Top can do no wrong. It is such a versatile glitter. Slap it over anything, and presto! Holiday manicure. Tuck It In My Tux is an off-white creme-jelly. Took me four coats before I was happy. Cute, but I'm sure there are better versions of this out there.

O.P.I. All I Want for Christmas (is O.P.I.). Yer darn tootin'. Gimme all the O.P.I.'s. I was hoping this would be my holy grail red. I'm looking for something that is bright, but deep. Like a maraschino cherry, but a shade or two darker. This wasn't quite it, but it's a very pretty red, and no one can do a red like O.P.I. 

O.P.I. Red Red Rhine & Maybelline Color Show Precious Pearl. Probably the most Christmassy one I've done so far. I've got 10 to 15 bottles of holiday polish on my bedside table and I have so much trouble picking out the next manicure that I get overwhelmed, and not do a manicure at all. However, it was obvious these two belonged together. Red Red Rhine is maybe a touch brighter that All I Want For Christmas, but really, you can't distinguish between the two in the bottle. I probably couldn't tell them apart side by side. But I actually like it more than All I want for Christmas because black label O.P.I.'s wear like iron on me. I'm going on day two of this manicure and no chips (day two is when chips happen for me; it's like a domino nail chips, and all the others follow suit). 

I would say I hope the weather clears up and I can get some sunshine to show off what's on my nails properly...but I'd be lying. I hope it stays cold and overcast and rainy forever. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Essie Recessionista & Rock at the Top

'Tis the season for all the silver and gold and red I can stand! I have been sitting on so many pretty holiday polishes and I wish I had 7 more hands so I could wear them all. 

Sorry for the tip wear on this one, I've had it on for a few days and only just found the time (and sunshine) to photograph them. 

Recessionista is a pretty berry color that can transform into a very red-based purple in sunlight. Not a groundbreaking shade, but I love it. I found Rock at the Top all by its lonely self in an Essie display, but I'd never heard of it before so I'm assuming they've put out more Luxeffects. It sounds basic on paper-neutral gold hexes with smaller and then tinier glitters peppered throughout, but the effect is gorgeous. Over a dark color like Recessionista it really pops and looks like nail art. I did one coat, and I tried not to pay too much attention to the glitter placement-I'm usually hyper-focused on making sure each nail has the same amount of glitter, and that it's spaced out nicely. Not this time; some nails have more, some have less, and I love it. 

Both were delights to work with. Recessionista went on like butter, and Rock at the Top's base was the perfect consistency; not too viscous, not too runny. It'll be hard to take this one off. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Birthday Mani 2.0: O.P.I. Emotions, My Favorite Ornament, & Wonderous Star

This is, without a doubt, the most decadent manicure I've ever done. I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while, and what better day to wear it than yesterday/today? Tonight I will be frolicking around at the Grove wearing a gold headband and a black beaded sweater. Winged eyeliner will be featured. I'm super excited...28 is going to be a much better year than 27 was. 

And so I celebrate with one of my favorite color just don't get much more luxe than black and gold glitter. I used Emotions (black texture), My Favorite Ornament (champagne glitter), and Wonderous Star (champagne glitter with black glitter hexes), and tied everything together with some black rhinestones. I kept pausing while I was doing this manicure, thinking to myself, is this too much? Am I going overboard with this? 

Naaaaaaah. Gotta celebrate yourself, you know? It's a hard lesson to learn, but nothing is more important than celebrating and loving yourself.

I did 3 coats of My Favorite Ornament and Wonderous Star, and 2 coats of Emotions. I've got to express just how beautiful Emotions is. It's faceted, like marcasite, and catches the light so beautifully. I was waiting and waiting for O.P.I. to do a pure black Liquid Sand, and they did not disappoint. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birthday Mani: Maybelline Neutral Statement & O.P.I. My Favorite Ornament

Sorry about the lighting in these pictures. Sadly it will only keep getting worse, so I have no idea how I will do any of my holiday manicures justice. 

I'm 28 today!! Since I didn't even acknowledge my birthday last year, I'm making up for it this year. I'm going to spend the day with my family today, have an amazing dinner tonight, and tomorrow night I'm off to downtown L.A. with my boyfriend, bestie, and her husband. We'll eat at Canter's, squeal over Christmas decorations at the Farmer's Market, and more than likely I will buy bon bon's from See's and possibly a very expensive pair of shoes. I will also wear a freaking amazing bow in my hair. 

I also worked up the courage to try a ruffian accent nail, which I think I nailed (heh). If I'd known how easy they are to do, I'd have been wearing them constantly. I used a base of Maybelline Neutral Statement, which looks better in real life than it does in the pictures-the sun sort of warmed up the color too much-there's less beige and more pink-white in it. There's also some sparse deep coppery-gold sparkle that you can detect close up, but fades into the background at arms' length. 

My Favorite Ornament is one of my favorite pale gold glitters. Expect to see it over and over in the next month. 

The formula on Neutral Statement wasn't the greatest-a more patient painter could have gotten away with 3 coats, but I did four to even out the streaks. My Favorite Ornament was flawless (no surprise there) at 2 thin coats. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reswatch: Illamasqua Raindrops

Not sure why my pictures have this weird glow, I think the lens on my phone needs to be cleaned. 

It's been rainy and overcast for the last week or so, which made me remember the only Illamasqua I own (insert sad face). I've been wearing this in-between the fall Essie collection (I caved and bought the red...I have NO control over myself). 

Pretty grey jelly with a slight blue undertone and filled with silvery flakies. YUM. I wore it well over a year ago, and thought an updated post on it was needed. 

This was 3 thin coats, European Secrets Rock Top Coat. I've since mattified it, and I literally have no words for how pretty it is matte.