A Mini-Mani…In 30…In the Car. Was It A Success Or Flop?

Found!  Yes, I have found the perfect place to perform a mini-mani…

The car!  Today I did a quick polish change in my car – in a half hour – and here’s why I think it’s the perfect place:

1.  The steering wheel makes the perfect mount to place my hand on while I polish.  I didn’t miss a single edge because I had such a great view of the nail.

2. 5 minutes with the AC blasting and my nails were dry!  Yep. 

3.  Keeps me out of the stores from spending more money that I don’t need to be spending.

So I left for lunch with a chipped-up yet shiny gray manicure and came back with some plastic-y red nails (more on that in a minute).  Some quick notes, though.  First, this wasnt a full-on manicure.  I just went for a manicure last week so my cuticles are in good shape and my nails didn’t need shaping/filing.  It really was just a color change.  Second, I didn’t use a top coat because this polish isn’t meant to have a top coat (again, more on that in a minute) so that could have helped.  However, the formula on this was thick and so 2 coats of this probably equals 2 thin coats and a layer of top coat.  Finally, bring non-acetone polish remover with you!  Granted this was a clean job – my beige pants and beige leather seats went unmarked (I know, I’m crazy).  But I did get a mark on my steering wheel.  Non-acetone remover took the spot away and didn’t stain my black steering wheel.

So what color did I use?  I picked up a bottle of Orly Plastix in Retro Red yesterday while I was in my local Sally Beauty Supply.  I swear I stopped in to browse, but when I saw the display I couldn’t resist.  I had been wanting this color since I first saw the previews on some of the other beauty blogs a few months back  but wasnt dying for it (unlike some of my other lusts, cough cough OPI Mad As A Hatter).  And being the impatient person I am, just couldnt wait to make the switch.  But my CEU’s (continuing education units – my personal training certification is almost up and I need to complete these so I don’t lose it) are keeping me from doing much in the evenings so lunch was my only option.

I know this color has been reviewed by many other sites but heres what I think.  The color is meant to have the finish of plastic.  Visually it is a smooth, eggshell finish.  To the touch it does feel a bit plastic-y!  I havent tried any matte polishes because it’s just not my ideal (nails are meant to be shiny) so I can’t compare this to a matte, but this has just enough sheen to not be dull.  The color isn’t really a true red to me.  In some lights in looks like a very bright coral and yet I wouldn’t call it that either.  Reminds me of something Betty Boop would wear for some reason.  The formula was really thick on this but wasnt unmanageable.  Not gloppy, but definitely thicker than a regular Orly.  I almost expect this to be a chipalooza but we shall see.  I have one dent in my thumb, but that’s because I was trying to dig through my bag for a q-tip to touch up the edges.  The one thing I will say, is that it does dry fairly quick and thanks to not needing top coat, made this a breeze in terms of drying time. 

Overall, I think this is a great polish just because its different.  Is it something to rave about?  Not really.  The color is nothing special but something about it is interesting.  I’m guessing its the plastic finish.  I just wish it were available in more colors.  I’m not a fan of oranges and blues, and the purple was just too Barney for me.  Reds are right up my alley.

And just as a quick mommy note, Orly has amazing rubberized handles on their brushes – my 10 month old has much fun teething on this (supervised of course) and will sit quiet for a good 15 minutes massaging his gums on them.  Go ahead, judge me, but when your kid is cutting 3 teeth at one time, anything helps.

And stay tuned!  I have some colors/brands to try that I dont beleive have been swatched/reviewed on any other blog!

Links:

http://orlybeauty.com/

http://www.sallybeauty.com/

Oh The Satisfaction

One of my first posts documented my crazed mission to obtain a bottle of OPI Mad As A Hatter.  I said I would post pictures, as well as pictures of the franken MAAH I attempted to make on my own.  I will owe you pictures (just have not had a chance to spend some quality time with my camera) but figured I’d at least give an update.

My bottle finally arrived on Thursday.  Yes, it did take a long time – 3 weeks – but I can’t blame the sender who had a family emergency.  The minute I pulled out the bottle up my eyes lit up – the bottle is pretty enough on its own to where I could just stare at it and daydream.  I immediately put a swipe on my nail (which prompted my husband to say “I hope you plan on doing your nails tonight”) and was not disappointed – so much glitter!  Two coats gave great opacity, but 3 coats left absolutely no visible nail.  I’ve never achieved this before with a glitter (as you will see with the franken polish which is two glitters mixed).  My nails sparkled, literally sparkled.  Blinged out would also be appropriate here. 

And then I woke up.  No, it wasnt a dream – I was just as fascinated by my nails Friday morning as I was Thursday night.  My only gripe is the chip fest that is this polish.  I was bummed because I touched up the nails what seemed like 3 times between Friday and Saturday before finally removing it on Saturday.  So you might be wondering if I was disappointed after all the work I went through, to be so initially happy with the product, just to be let down by it.  The answer?  Nope!  All worth it.  The polish itself is amazing.  I ordered a new bottle of sticky base coat and I’m hoping that will help keep it in place.  In the meantime, I do feel this is my next pedicure color! 

So yes, my dears, you are owed pictures.  PLUS!!  I have been using my whitening toothpaste for just under a week!  I can’t tell if I see a difference just from looking in the mirror, but I will be taking pictures of my teeth tonight for a ‘Day 6 Comparison’.  I will post all pictures at once to show the full progression.

Non-Reason vs. Realista…Who Wins?

This is when the fanatical nutcase in me comes out and I try to practice some self-control/practicality.  Who won the battle today?

Essie has put out a limited edition collection called ‘Morticia’s Nails’.  The 3 colors in the set are nothing new or unusual: Blood Curdling Red (a blood-red) Bone Chilling White (white – doesn’t really make sense for Morticia) and Midnight Tango (navy blue). 

Since this is limited edition (only 5,000 pieces were produced) the voice of non-reason in me screamed ‘grab it just because you’ll have it’ and the realista in me was saying ‘$30 for 3 bottles of nail polish is crazy’ (as it was being drowned out by the screaming of non-reason).  I wont lie – I went straight to the website, set up an account, and was just about ready to plop down my $30.  As I type this, the window is still open on my computer. 

But I started thinking (with no voices inside my head to help)…do I really need it?  After all, it is $30 for 3 bottles of not-so-fascinating nail colors (and I doubt I would ever wear the white – reminds me of having white out on my nails), is that really how I want to spend my money?  And I decided…

NOT SO MUCH!  Instead, I’m going to go browsing on my lunch over the next few days and I’m sure I can find a blood-red and navy color that will be a. satisfactory and b. way less than $30.  I’ll buy myself a frapuccino (or 2) with the leftovers…

But I know there are fanatics out there who will die over this collection, I’m sure.  If nothing else, the box is cute and collector-worthy.  After some thought, the set just wasnt doing anything for me.  However, now I’m on a mission for 2 new colors…I’ll update you when I have them!

Discuss!  Have you ever been on the brink of splurging and then your voice of reason kicks in?  How about buyers disappointment/regret if you went through with your ‘must have’ purchase?  The website I visited has an ‘all purchases are final’ rule and the thought of not being able to return this if I wasnt pleased turned me off.  Had it not been so final, maybe I would’ve pressed ‘complete order’.   

Related Links and where to purchase:

http://www.broadway.com/shows/the-addams-family/buzz/152986/bebe-neuwirth-to-unveil-the-addams-family-themed-nail-polish-with-proceeds-to-benefit-the-actors-fund/

http://www.theaddamsfamilymusicalstore.com/Morticias-nails.html

Holla for Holo!

It caught the corner of my eye and I was mesmerized by the bottle alone – absolutely beautiful.  So pretty, I’m tempted to leave it on my desk at work.  On Friday I picked up a bottle of Milani “Hi-Res” from their 3-D Holographic collection and have been dying to glam-up my nails ever since. 

First, I kept staring at my nails all morning thinking ‘I’ve seen this before, I’ve seen this before’ and then it hit me – if you took Mira Sorvino’s dress in the reunion scene of “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” and liquified it, this would be a purple version.  It’s a gorgeous, umm, holographic purple that comes to life when light hits.

It is a light violet with 2 coats and the micro-glitter/dust in it is a smooth finish even without topcoat.  There is no visible nail with 2 coats – this is pure color and sparkle.  The shade remains purple, but when light hits the nails at different angles the glitter comes to life – it reminds me of those stickers you used to get out of a machine for a quarter in the food store.  As for application, the color went on smooth and was not clumpy at all.

I was afraid it would be a bit child-like for work, but it’s very subtle considering all the glitter flecks (your nail really is covered).  I took pics both outside in the sun and inside under lights and just could not get the camera to catch the true beauty of this shade, but I’m also wondering if my top coat has something to do with it (I used Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat).  Although the polish dries shiny on its own, the top coat really amps up the shine/sparkle factor here (it also makes any drop of light super reflective).  I have two pics for you – one outside in the sunlight and one inside. 

Overall I am in love with this.  I find I keep looking down at my nails and wiggling them to see the glitter change color.  The smooth application and lack of grit (common in glitters) only add to my love. 

Let me know what you think!

I purchased my bottle of Milani Hi-Res at CVS.  You can also check out the Milani site for other goodies and where to purchase: http://www.milanicosmetics.com

              

        

Can you Take It Easy – I’m Trying to Tweeze, Apply, and Polish

Yesterday we piled into the car – me, my husband, baby, mom, dad – oh, and my makeup case – to head out to Pennsylvania for a BBQ at my aunt’s house.  I put my makeup on, plucked my eyebrows, and touched up my nail polish in the car (and no, I wasnt driving, my dear husband was). 

This isn’t the first time since becoming a mom that I have performed my makeup routine en route to an event.  Gone are the days when I could wake up and take my leisurely time to get ready.  Sitting in my shower is a tub of body scrub I bought a few weeks before my son was born and I think I’ve used twice since and I’m lucky if I can shave my legs and throw some lotion on (in steps LUSH King of Skin – great moisturizer, not greasy, sinks in well, and leaves me super soft in a fraction of th time it takes to cover myself in lotion).   Point is, getting ready just isn’t as easy as it was 10 months ago.  But I refuse to show up at a party looking like I just rolled out of bed.  So I prioritize.  I can’t blow dry and straighten my hair in the car, but I can do my makeup.  And while I wouldn’t recommend painting  your nails Viva Pink in a moving car while wearing white pants, I just couldn’t show up with my nails as chipped up as they were.  So with much effort and care, I looked a bit better and I managed to keep my white pants polish free. 

I wonder what measures other mothers go through to look great when pressed for time?  I also wonder if its moments like the ones above – flying down Rt 80 trying to not stab my eye out with tweezers – that make me a nut.  Wouldnt is just be easier to go au naturale?  It probably would’ve made the first half hour of the trip a lot more pleasant for me (and the rest of the clan considering they had to listen to me while I attempted all this).  But I can honestly say I wouldn’t have felt like myself.

Mad for Mad As A Hatter

O.P.I Mad As A Hatter.  If you’re a lacquer-saavy chick you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It is a highly coveted bottle of polish and one I have been dying to get my sparkle starved fingers on.  I was a bit late on this one (thanks to the craziness that was adjusting to life as a working mom) and have been searching high and low.  I’ve called salons – about 20 in my area, considered bidding on eBay, and almost purchased it for $17.99 on Amazon (and that didn’t include shipping).  But considering financial times are rough, there was just no justifying this.  And then, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before…

MakeupAlley.com – a beauty junkies best source.  I checked out their swap board and lo and behold a bunch of bottles up for swap.  I wasnt too hopeful, though, as I really don’t have anything I wanted to swap.  Let the insanity begin… 

I messaged a member who had a bottle up for grabs and offered to buy something of her choice to swap as long as it was comparable in price.  I know, I know – I went and purchased a brand new product for a used bottle of polish.  But this swapper had good reviews and had swapped polishes before so I was confident she meant it when she said she used it once.  So you would think I’d be the happiest camper – all I have to do is go out and buy the product, ship it, and I get my much coveted bottle of sparkle.

This is where the insanity goes from ‘Jen, your crazy’ to ‘are you flipping kidding me Jen’.  The item I needed to get was a MAC eyeshadow pan refill…seemingly easy.  Except they are only sold in MAC stores, not department stores with a MAC counter.  So the only mall near me with a MAC store is close to my home, not so close to work (see note below as to why this matters).  So I set out on my lunch yesterday and actually thought I could travel 20 miles to the mall, navigate through the mall to the store, and travel 20 miles back to work.  I was delusional – blinded by the glitter of Mad As A Hatter. 

Needless to say it took an hour and half, a lot of gas, and running a few tolls on the GSP to accomplish this mission.  I was exhausted when I got back to work and daydreamed of my pillow.  BUT!  I got the eyeshadow and will be going on my lunch today to the UPS store (luckily right down the road) to ship it out.  So hopefully in about a week I should have my bottle of glitter. 

I will update once I receive my bottle and will post some pics!  I’ll even include a shot of the Franken polish for comparison. 

And your probably wondering why I went through all this for one bottle of polish.  Well its simple.  I sit at a desk crunching numbers all day in my cube of 4 gray walls.  When I look down and see my pretty little lacquered fingers, it makes me feel better and puts a smile on my face.  When I’m driving in bumper to bumper traffic down Rt. 17 and the sun catches the sparkle or shimmer of my nails, it makes me smile.  And probably the best part – my son is fascinated by my shiny nails.  He can spend 10 minutes just looking at them and playing with my fingers (try getting a 9 month old to sit still for 10 minutes and you’ll see the real beauty).  Wait till he sees the sparkle of Mad As A Hatter…

Note – the reason proximity to my job matters is because I love my family and refuse to let my obsession keep me from them.  After I pick up my son from daycare I don’t want to drag him around looking for a bottle of polish or a certain blush color – it’s just not fair to him.  On nights when my husband is home (which isn’t many), I don’t want to spend my time running around like a nut – I’d rather be home with him and our son.  Therefore, unless it is completely impossible, I try to limit my insanity to my lunch hour.