It’s weird to me how I can feel so old and so young simultaneously – I mean, I’m one of those entitled millennials that everyone hears about who enjoys double-brunch weekends and competes in a karaoke league. But I’m also a high-powered businesswoman type who works for a multinational corporation and could quite possibly climb the ladder and make something spectacular out of myself here one day. It’s all a contradiction.
Either way, I’m about to turn 25 and realized that…whoa, I’m certainly a grownup now. I’m in my mid-twenties. I can see 30 peeking over the horizon, and damn, I really should work on getting my life together in the meantime.
But that’s not the point. Right now, the point is to enjoy the fact that I’ve made it this far and that I’ve still got a hell of a road ahead of me, and it’ll be worth every step (I should have warned you that this would be one of those gushy introspective posts, huh).
So, sappiness aside, let’s talk about birthday nails! The traditional, I’ve heard, is the cupcake.
But there are so many other possibilities out there, my love of cupcakes notwithstanding. I mean, didn’t I just say I was going to try and be a little bit more of a grownup? I scoured the Internet for some more birthday nail tutorials.
Which provided some more pretty cool options, described here:
I might try an ombre again, although that’s never worked for me before, for the sold purpose of gathering some Birthday magic and hoping for the best. And of course, I’ll never say no to glitter. I’d probably use blue instead of pink though, because, come on, have you met me?
BALLOONS! Oh HELL yes. These could be fun. Again, I wouldn’t go for the pink, but the idea seems easy and effective!
Cupcakes again, but this one is a cupcake accent nail. The possibilities are endless.
So, ladies and gents, please watch the videos above and vote for whatever you’d like me to do to my birthday nails! I’ll go with whichever one you choose, although I’m probably going to put some blue in there whether you like it or not.
So, if my calculations are correct, we are exactly six weeks out from the new Star Wars movie. Apparently there has been an awakening. I have felt it.
Seriously though, I’m more excited about this movie than I’ve been for just about any movie in the past few years. Avengers who, amirite? (Unless you’re the Marvel Studios executives, who I’m sure are reading my little blog, in which case oh my god I love you I love you can I have a cameo in Infinity War???)
Anyway, because few things are as important to me as this movie, I obviously had no choice but to buy the entire Cover Girl line of Star Wars-inspired nail polish. It was a business expense, of course, and I’m sure I’ll file it that way on my tax returns (that was a lie). I’ll be posting a review of each of the six Star Wars shades every week until the week of December 18, a.k.a. the day we’ll be telling our grandchildren about when they watch Star Wars and we describe the hardships of having to actually, you know, drive all the way to the IMAX theater instead of having the movies beamed directly into our brains.
So, we begin, a long time ago (or last night) in a galaxy far far away (or at my kitchen table) with…
P.S. I found the coolest website in the world, the Star Wars Crawl Creator, which is how I made all of these kickass crawl pictures. Check it out sometime. Put it in your work presentations. Your bosses will thank you.
Let’s start by going over the Star Wars collection as a whole. It’s nice, I suppose. I mean, it’s fine. It’s CoverGirl nail polish, which typically isn’t my thing when I’d usually go for an OPI, Essie, Julep, or Indie of some sort.
But anyway, I had to get my hands on some of the collection, and that began with Speed of Light, a tan-ish, green-ish, grey-ish high gloss polish.
I only say green-ish because that’s how it looks in the pictures; it’s really more of the blandest grey you can imagine.
I can’t even think of good things to say about this color. I could definitely get away with wearing it to work, I guess? But really, my biggest problem is that the name is so misleading – absolutely nothing about this color reminds me of the speed of light. Even less about it reminds me of Star Wars, or does anything to increase my excitement for The Force Awakens.
Maybe it’s the color of the Millennium Falcon on a bad day, but even that’s pushing it.
There are also about 10,000,000 comments on the Cover Girl Website about how the bottles don’t have the Star Wars logo on them despite the website showing it in their pictures, but I would have forgiven that oversight if it were even a little bit more interesting of a color.
Verdict: Speed of Light might as well be bantha fodder.
Tune in next week for more reviews, and may the Force be with you.
Wow, what a month. I’ve officially survived the sleepless nights, hard deadlines, and crazy stress that came with my first product launch at work, and I hopefully escaped with some of my sanity intact. But, for obvious reasons, I haven’t had the time I would have liked to devote to this blog. For that, dear readers, I apologize.
Anyway, I’ve had a minor obsession with the song “Cherry Bomb” ever since I saw the Great Planning Montage in Guardians of the Galaxy, which remains one of the best movies I’ve seen in many years. I don’t like to brag, but I can recite every single line of dialogue that Groot says through the whole film.
And of course I’ve loved Joan Jett ever since I was a little girl and my dad let me listen to his Hit Ladies of the 1980s cassette tape whenever we were in the car. That tape introduced me to some of my favorite music of all time, including hits from the Bangles, the Go Gos, Tina Turner, and even Pat Benatar, whose songs I continue to sing on the karaoke stage to this day (no, seriously, I won my matchup in competitive karaoke when I sang “Heartbreaker” as Miss Piggy lamenting the end of her relationship with Kermit. Don’t you mess around with moi). So hearing some of Joan Jett’s earlier work in the form of a Runaways track, during a superhero movie no less, was a particularly wonderful moment for me.
Now that the weather is getting colder, I’ve decided to shelve my bright nail polish colors for…a certain amount of time. I can’t promise it’ll be all fall and winter, because come on, I’ve got neons and I’m not afraid to use them, but for now, let’s see what I can do with the earth tones, jewel tones, and deeper colors that always accompany this particular change of seasons.
I follow OPI on YouTube, to the surprise of no one, and I recently came across a tutorial for some deeply vampy nails that I couldn’t help but fall (season pun?) in love with. I even bought these three particular colors (not a wise move, but I’ve recently been told that I can call it a business investment due to the blog, and I’m completely ok with that) so that I could try and replicate the tutorial exactly. Here’s the instruction video, for reference:
Oh, and I forgot to mention: the style in question is called CHERRY BOMB. How unbelievably perfect.
If you’re too lazy to watch the video, the colors in question are:
Side Note: How does OPI even come up with these names? I get that they’re Venice-inspired (let’s pause for a moment while this Italian-on-her-mom’s-side girl swoons a little bit), but the names don’t seem to have much to do with the colors. Oh well. The colors are gorgeous anyway.
I began, as instructed, with two thin coats of Amore at the Grand Canal. I couldn’t help but compare it to Julep Ellen and Julep January, which are usually my go-to reds. I also couldn’t help but lament the fact that I was painting my nails red. I hate it when I do that. I’ll post funny pictures of my red-stained nails when it’s time to take this off.
Then I pulled out my makeup sponges. I’ve had…less than stellar luck with makeup sponges in nail art before, but that’s because I’ve always used them to do gradients and I can’t seem to get the hang of it (dear readers: if anyone here can do a decent gradient, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS). I started as they suggested by slowly dabbing My Gondola or Yours about halfway up my nail, and then I finished with the purple.
Yes, if you were paying attention, I did it BACKWARDS. I blame how tired I am, because…wow. It did not look good, and I took it off before I took any pictures because I was too upset with the final results. Since the polish was still half wet when I attacked it with my cotton balls, and since Amore at the Grand Canal is such a deep red, and since red stains like no other, I looked like I had just returned from committing a bloody murder.
I stomped my feet in frustration and then tried again the next day.
As instructed, I began with two coats of Amore at the Grand Canal, and desperately prayed it would behave itself this time.
Then, I used my sponge and dabbed on two layers of O Suzi Mio, the purple, and I did it before the black color. Freaking finally.
And I finished with a little bit of My Gondola or Yours?
Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with it until I put on a shiny top coat, but then I found that it looks PHENOMENAL if you do it right (and please note that I did it passably, not right!). My roommate Liz said that the mix-up wasn’t even that bad in a Halloween sense, but wow, this is the first ombre I’ve ever done, and I feel like I’ve gone through a Nail Artist’s Rite of Passage. Now I just need to, oh, I don’t know, figure out my perfect nude, work out how on earth to use stamping plates, and get over my fear of the striping tape that’s been gathering dust in my collection for months now.
Oy. That’s a trend I’ve never gotten behind on Instagram. Nobody particularly wants to see pictures of me with my glasses and braces in the early days of high school, followed by a picture of how gorgeous I look now (that was sarcasm). I would like to reassert that I’m still a dork. Or a geek, if you prefer to call me that, and/or if you’d like to talk about Star Wars with me.
I do look cute in this picture though, so I’ll throw it in. If you’ve seen my face elsewhere on the blog, you can use it for comparison. But that’s not the point.
The actual point is that, because I’m an addict who can’t help herself, I jumped on the Julep promotional train and ordered a few extra not-in-the-monthly-box colors just so that I could take advantage of the free Metamorphic Trio. There’s a pink (Tyra), a green (Tilda), and a blue (Bjork) transforming top coat, and I was determined to try all three of them.
These top coats could create about a billion looks, but I decided if I was going to do a true Transformation Tuesday, I’d have to really transform – I needed to start out with a color that I wear only rarely, a color that’s the opposite of my oh-so-beloved blue, a color that invites the fashion doll comparisons that I so desperately avoid…
Yeah, it’s pink. I decided to try out Tyra.
To start, I’m still not sure if these colors look better over similar shades (Bjork over blue, for example), or different shades (Tilda over blue or purple, for example). The promo email suggested that the top coats should be used over bases that were at least in the same color family…
…so, okay Julep, I defer to your expertise.
While I’ve still got some summer sun going outside, I decided to bring back an earlier favorite from my China Glaze Electric Nights collection: Glow with the Flow. It’s the brightest pink I own, and since I’ve recently gone through a total reorganization of my nail polish (more on that later) it was easy to pick out from the pastels.
Here’s what Glow with the Flow looks like on its own. I used three coats for maximum brightness.
And then…the pièce de résistance…the mighty morphing (coughPowerRangerscough) Tyra Top Coat!
I…I guess it made it shinier? And it added a vague light pink shimmer? Overall, I’m not impressed. Maybe I should have gone with a darker red or magenta instead of a bright pink in order to truly transform the color – I think my choices were a little too similar here. I’ll post some other transformations (should I put air quotes around that?) on some other days and let you know whether I think the Metamorphic Top Coat Trio is really worth it or if it’s something I’m glad I got as a free gift.
In the meantime, I guess I’m wearing fluorescent pink nails at work today, so that should be pretty funny if nothing else.
What can I even begin to say about Star Wars? These movies have been some of my favorites for as long as I can remember – some of my fondest childhood memories are watching the first halves of all three Original Trilogy movies before I fell asleep. Actually, I’m not entirely sure if I ever saw the end of a Star Wars movie until I was about six or seven and old enough to stay awake through the whole thing.
I remember having male friends in kindergarten, despite the fact that boys had cooties, simply because they needed a female to play Princess Leia on the playground and I was more than happy to step into that role. My first “boyfriend” played Han Solo as we chased each other over the jungle gym shooting imaginary blasters at our enemies. In the late 90s and early 2000s, I eagerly queued up in front of the movie theater with my dad in order to see and be disappointed by the Star Wars prequels. In fact, a discussion I had with a very terrifying 8th Grade English teacher about the pros and cons of Revenge of the Sith was the first time I realized that scary teachers didn’t have to be so scary.
This brings me to a few years later, and an episode of How I Met Your Mother:
Apparently my friend Helena (yep, she’s the one who writes the kickass newsletter that I wrote about before) lived them. She lived the Star Wars.
We’ve been having this conversation for about the last ten years we’ve known each other. We’ve known each other for eleven years. And I’ve always thought it woefully sad that my best friend, who I always consider so up to date on pop culture (again, read the newsletter), has never seen what I think is one of the most genre-defining epics in cinema.
There was only one way to fix this, and that involved Trilling It Up (a.k.a. watching the entire Original Trilogy in one sitting with plenty of snacks). I ordered the DVDs especially for the occasion, and also because there was no way I was going to live the rest of my life without owning these DVDs in case other such emergencies should arise.
This also fit well into my 2015 Summer Challenge – I was required to spend an entire day watching old movies, and by “old” I count anything that was released in cinemas before I was born. I know, I know, I’m young. Or at least that’s what the people at work keep telling me.
The manicure I did for the occasion wasn’t particularly complex, and definitely didn’t involve trying to draw the symbol of the Rebel Alliance (I’m good, but I’m not that good). Instead, I went with some basic Space Nails (that’s Sinful Colors’ Black on Black with my China Glaze Fairy Dust and some Hard Candy Black Tie Optional on top to make the stars) on my index and little fingers…
And then a bright blue (Julep Alyssa) and a bright green (Julep Sam) on the ring and middle fingers for some Jedi lightsaber action. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think that, should my Force powers ever awaken (yes, that was a reference to the new movie that’s coming out in December OH MY GOD OH MY GOD – I’ll definitely do a different Star Wars manicure when the time comes!), I would almost definitely have to have a blue lightsaber. It’s not even a question.
My thumbs received a coat of red, Julep Ellen, because there are two sides to the Force, and the Sith had to be represented here somehow. I mean, they’re the main villains and all. And of course they had to be red; if you’ve read previous posts, you know how much I hate red nail polish and wish it didn’t stain my fingers every time. And it smudged too. That’s just typical for those pesky Sith Lords.
And now, a review from the great Helena about what she thought of her first foray into a Galaxy Far Far Away:
Luke Skywalker has the hots for his sister.
But on a more serious note, I really liked Star Wars and I’m glad that I no longer just have a vague understanding of it.
Wow, there is something about Mondays and M-named manicures that I just can’t resist. Maybe it’s that M is my favorite letter, for obvious reasons.
This post features something entirely new: The Roommate’s nails! This past Saturday, The Roommate came over to me while I was sitting on the couch and watching the recently-added-to-Netflix season of Doctor Who, placed her hand on the coffee table in front of me, and said “Hey, do my nails.”
(I think she was actually a little nicer about it, but the story’s funnier this way.)
I inquired as to the occasion for the nails, and she informed me that she had been invited to a friend’s going-away party, which was themed as, you guessed it, a Macabre Masquerade. I know, The Roommate has awesome friends.
First, she made sure to dress accordingly…
And then I asked her to pick out the colors of nail polish that she’d like me to use on her. She ransacked my collection and returned to me with Julep Lilian and Julep Ellen. When I asked what she wanted me to do with them, she looked me straight in the eyes and said one thing:
I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so if it’s blood she wants, it’s blood she’ll get. I did the base coat of Lilian, and then got out my trusty dotting tools – seriously, is there anything they can’t do? Both The Roommate and I were over the moon (you can interpret that in a werewolf way, if you’d like) with the final results:
Once Lilian had dried enough, I painted a VERY THICK french tip in Ellen on the ends of The Roommate’s nails. Using my dotting tools, I made two or three or four little red dots at various points further down the nail – the more uneven the better.
Then, using a thinner dotting tool, I dragged some of the wet polish from the french tip down to meet the individual dots, creating this dripping blood effect. I had no idea how it would turn out, and I was kind of blown away when it was all said and done. Let’s hear it for experimental gory nails!
I would definitely use this manicure again for a Halloween party, a season premiere of Game of Thrones (you know you can’t argue with me on this one), or any other somewhat-spooky event. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing what The Roommate did, which was forget to take her nail polish off before a fancy dinner with her boss. Oops.
Nail polish can mean so many things to me. It’s how I de-stress when I’ve had a long day, and I’ve even read about the meditative effects of stopping everything in your life and focusing on the one task of polishing your nails perfectly when you need an extra boost of relaxation or creativity. It’s how I get to show off my fun side when I have to dress in pencil skirts more often than I don’t have to dress in pencil skirts. And, lately, it’s how I’ve been connecting to friends and family old and new both through this blog and through my various other nail-polish related social media.
So anyway, about the Mercury Bubbles. Sailor Moon, and more importantly Sailor Mercury, and I have had a long and complicated relationship in the past, and by that I mean I adored the show in the fourth and fifth grades, promptly forgot about it until college, and then remembered its hilarious combination of awfulness and wonderfulness when I used it to bond with my hallmates in my dorm.
If you’ve read anything on this blog (and if you have, which means you’re one of my dozen or so readers, I can’t thank you enough!) you’ll know that my favorite color is blue. Additionally, I always found myself relating more to the brainy or nerdy characters in my favorite TV shows, mostly because growing up a geek sort of leads to that inevitable conclusion. So when the hallway-wide Pajamas-and-Sailor-Moon parties began, I immediately declared that my favorite character was Ami Mizuno, better known as Sailor Mercury.
In fact, it even got to the point where my one friend gave me a poorly (sorry, Lynda) photoshopped picture of some of us as the Sailor Scouts for my birthday that year.
And even to this day, Sailor Moon is bringing old and new friends together. I’m still in touch with all the girls in the pictures above, and I’ll be a bridesmaid in Sailor Moon’s wedding this fall (sorry, it’s not Sailor Scout-themed). More importantly, I’ve connected more with my cousin over Facebook and through this blog, and she was kind enough to send me some pretty spectacular nail polish when she figured out my love of Sailor Mercury.
The color is a Mercury-inspired silvery-blue called “Icy Rhapsody,” probably because of Mercury’s Freeze attack (which I accomplished in elementary school games of dress-up by throwing blue beanbags at my opponents). You can find the color on Etsy at this link. The shop is called Yume Lacquer, and I’m so excited to mention them here as they’re my first official Indie polishes! Yep, I’m a full-blown lacquerista now. Or at least I’ll pretend I am.
Here’s how the color looks on me. I’m absolutely in love with it.
I think it’s a great color both for lying by the pool in August and for making my nails sparkle in January, and I can’t thank my cousin enough (she also got me a Final Fantasy color from Yume Lacquer and some Doctor Who-themed perfumes from Fresh&Geeky, which I’ve been wearing daily because, come on, one of them is called Petrichor). It’s a great way to show my Mercury love, and to represent how Sailor Moon has helped me bond with so many amazing people.
Hello, dear readers. I’m terrible at updating with any consistency – who would’ve thought a high-powered corporate job involved so much neutral nail polish? That’s definitely not worth posting about!
Either way, I do get some breaks from corporate life, and I took a trip a few weeks ago that was just what the doctor ordered in terms of relaxation with good food and fun friends. I joined a group of my college gals this past Saturday in order to spend an afternoon at Lake Anna, which I had heard about but never visited in person.
When you don’t have enough time in your schedule for one of those week-long beach trips to the Outer Banks or something that you see popping up on your Facebook news feed, a day trip will definitely do the trick in a pinch, especially with amazing people to back it up. The Roommate, who is pictured above although she would rather me not specify exactly which one she is, even took an impromptu photo shoot of me in my odd-looking one-piece bathing suit (cut outs and crazy tan lines FOR THE WIN), which I’ll share if only for the hilarity factor. I mean, Lifestyle bloggers do these kind of shoots all the time, right?
Note: This is why I don’t call myself a lifestyle blogger.
As for the manicure, I happen to have a fantastic polish that’s exactly the right color for this sort of thing. You can see in the picture that my nails were orange on Beach Day, but if I had to choose again, I would have worn Julep Libby, a beautiful teal that would have perfectly matched my wonky bathing suit.
That’s another item checked off of my Summer Bucket List, on which I’m admittedly very behind. Well, I’ve got 27 more days until the challenge is complete. Let’s see if I rise to it.
Yep, that’s right, somehow I’ve manged to go the entire month of July without updating this blog. I wish I could say that I had better excuses than work, but I haven’t. I could say I’ve been busy, but I just haven’t been able to manage my time as well as I’d hoped recently, and for that I apologize.
…so obviously this show is very near and dear to my heart. More importantly, The Boyfriend has a pretty large role in the Sterling Playmakers’ version – he plays Marcellus, who sings the fabulous Shipoopi while wearing a plaid wool suit that I swear I’m going to acquire photographic evidence of before the show closes. For the record, I didn’t kiss him on the very first date, so I suppose I’m not usually a hussy.
And of course, I won’t leave you hanging about what I did with my nails for opening night. The band uniforms are always depicted as red and white in this show, so I thought it was appropriate to do some red and white stripes on the majority of my nails using Julep Ellen (which is far more of a red in real life than the “deep berry creme” described on its page) and the classic Julep Brigitte.
The black music note accents were done with Sinful Colors’ Black on Black and my trusty dotting tools – I used a larger dot for the two notes themselves, and then a very thin dotting tool to draw the staffs and the connecting bar. And I was SO MAD when the note smudged a little when I put on the Seche Vite top coat – seriously, isn’t that the exact opposite of what Seche Vite is going for?
Either way, if you’re in the Norther Virginia/DC area, I’d recommend stopping by Potomac Falls High School and seeing The Boyfriend in his ridiculous suit, as well as one of the happiest and most uplifting musicals of all time (and this is coming from someone who loves things like Les Mis and who can’t stop listening to Fun Home, so enjoying a happy musical is rare).
Wow, I’m so proud of myself for that alliterative title I can’t even tell you.
I’ll tell you this: starting a blog a few weeks before starting a new job is definitely not something I would recommend. I’ve been loving both of them, but it’s so hard to keep to a regular posting schedule when I could be called to the client site at any point and when I sometimes have to give presentations at top secret government facilities (and that last part is almost true!).
But anyway, you’re not here for apologies, and neither is Max Rockatansky. More importantly, neither is Imperator Furiosa, whose name I always picture as being said by Emma Watson (It’s Furi-oh-sa, not Furio-sah!).
Their movie, Mad Max: Fury Road, was the inspiration for today’s metallic manicure.
I started with the silver chrome, the pretty holographic Julep Angie, because what else does a War Boy do when he knows he’s about to enter Valhalla (hint: it involves silver spray paint)? These nails live, die, and live again indeed.
I followed it with a metallic gold, Julep Savoy, that I got this past winter in a Julep box. I want to say I’ve used it for a Christmas manicure before. Now, it reminds me of the metal on the cars, and in Furiosa’s prosthetic arm. I’m also loving the mixed-metal look, which I love to incorporate into my jewelry on an almost daily basis (more on that in a second).
The finishing touch was something I didn’t know would work, but I’m in love with the results. I dotted on a thin line of black polish, Julep Ledi, and then drew my brush across the dots to connect them in an uneven way. If Furiosa could unevenly brush motor oil over her head in order to make herself look a little more fierce, the last thing I wanted for this was a well-defined line. I’m willing to say my hands look almost as badass as Furiosa herself.
As for the movie? I loved it. It was basically one giant car chase, full of explosions and sandstorms and gender politics and emotions and pretty much everything else I adore in a movie. I’d love to go see it again, even though Jurassic World took priority this past weekend. I won’t go into much further detail, partly to avoid spoilers but mostly because everything that can be said about this movie has already been said by much better writers, and I encourage you to check out what they have to say.
I would also like to add one more piece of metal onto this post – I’ve started a subscription to Rocksbox, and it’s been a blast! My favorite new piece is this triangular gold necklace from my first box – I wore it when giving the aforementioned top secret presentation, and I definitely felt more put-together. And hey, let’s give it up for daily mixed metals: I wore it with a silver Tiffany’s bracelet that I wear daily and felt like I could conquer the world…or at least Immortan Joe’s citadel.