Shimmery Pool Blues

Happy Friday, everybody!

My apartment complex recently celebrated one of my favorite days of the year: the day the complex’s pool opens! I personally am going to spend plenty of time lounging in a deck chair in my swimsuit, covered in SPF 70 and reading my book of the week. Whenever I get too hot, I’ll do a couple of laps and call it a workout.

Pool-blue nails are always something I’ve wanted to try, and the premise seemed simple enough. I saw them on another nail art blog a few months ago, before I bought my tiny brushes and dotting tools, and figured that if saran wrap and a steady hand were all that was required, I was good to go.

First, I painted my base coat of Julep Moni, which unfortunately isn’t visible on the Julep site. You can find a similar color here. Honestly, I was tempted to keep these the way they are, maybe with a matte top coat, because light blue nails are one of my favorite things – they feel so breezy and sophisticated for someone like me whose personality can’t really pull off the pinks or the reds.

But then…the electric blue! I used Julep Annie for the top layer. It was at this point that I realized that I have waaaaaay too many Julep polishes, and/or I’ve been a Maven for too long, because it was sold out too (I don’t even have a single regret about this). Here’s another similar color. Or, if you want something that’s still on the shelves, you can once again use my beloved China Glaze DJ Blue My Mind.

You have to work fast, and you’ve got to have your acetone and Q-tips ready, because I got pretty messy while I was doing these. After the lighter blue dries, you paint a thick layer of the bright blue on top and dab it with the saran wrap enough to let the lower layer show through. The end result looks like this:

pool nails 2

pool nails 1

And boom. Pool nails for a quick dip on your relaxing weekend.

I’m going to get back to my book now.

Mary

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Summer 2015 Challenge

beach panorama

Hey guys,! It’s Sunday now, but as of Monday, it’ll be June 1! It’s Sum-mer-time, and the living is eeeeeeeeeaaaaassssyyyyyyy…

(We sang that song in choir last year. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.)

In case you hadn’t known, I love attempting challenges. I’ve tried the Whole30, various distances of running, book lovers’ challenges, 30-day post challenges back when my preferred platform was Tumblr, and about a million other things for no reason other than to see whether or not I could do them. Sometimes I finish them; sometimes I don’t, but I always like having a project.

Because of this, I’m going to try and complete 30 entries I’ve chosen from The Odyssey Online’s 2015 Summer Bucket List. I picked 30 that seem realistic yet fun (and often a little crazy), but I nixed four that The Odyssey recommends because they would make me miserable – for instance, I hate camping with a fiery passion (camp, fire, see what I did there?), and I haven’t been able to carve my name on a tree since I watched Fern Gully in the first grade.

I’ve made a checklist page on this blog so that you can follow my progress – click here for the link!

Rules are as follows:

  1. All entries must be completed between June 1, 2015, and August 31, 2015.
  2. All entries must be accompanied by a blog post about how the particular activity went. Pictures not mandatory; some of them (skinny dipping?!?!!?!) are not things that should be posted on the Internet.
  3. Themed manicures should be attempted for at least 20 of these challenges.
  4. The challenge is completed when all 30 items link back to a post about that particular activity.

I’m looking forward to trying so many new things with the people I love this summer, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to keep everyone in the loop!

Are you doing anything cool this summer? Leave your summer plans in the comments – hell, I’d love to feature you in a My Friends Do Cool Stuff post sometime soon!

And please, just to be on the safe side, wear your SPF!

Love,

Mary

 

Rocking Reds, Pretty Pinks, Electric Nights

Happy Friday, everyone!

I have a confession to make: I almost never wear red nail polish.

I know, right? It’s THE classic nail polish color. Someone who can rock bright red nails is someone who can rule a boardroom by day and be the belle of the ball by night. It’s a power color that matches the vibe of the powerful woman I’m trying (with mixed results) to be.

So why don’t I wear it? Because it’s such a pain to take off! I guess there’s something weird about my nails, because I can scrub and scrub them with acetone, but it takes up to a week before the red stain on my fingers is totally gone.

That’s why, when I decided I was going to do my next manicure with more colors from my new Electric Nights Baby Beats collection (what can I say? I’m obsessed!), I was a little hesitant to use Red-Y to Rave. I know it’s not quite the type of bright red that would stain my nails (it’s more of a neon orange), but even having the word “Red” in the title is off-putting.

I settled for a compromise based on a classy French-inspired manicure my coworker was rocking today, and decided to incorporate Red-Y to Rave into a French with a safer – but still electric! – base color: Glow with the Flow, a bright pink that’s so vibrant it practically screams. I’m not a girly girl by many standards, and I have a rule against wearing pink clothing because I’m a blonde who has suffered too many Barbie comparisons over the course of my life, but sometimes pink nails are a great, breezy way to let a little more brightness into my life.

AND BOY ARE THESE NAILS BRIGHT!

pink and orange overview

pink and orange closeup

I’m loving the edgier look that the reddish-orange tips give the pink base – the almost-blinding neon appeal of Electric Nights is all still there, but it’s more my style, and not quite as reminiscent of a certain fashion doll. And the colors definitely matche the temperatures we’ve been getting here in the DC area – earlier this week, my car thermometer was reading 93! It’s the perfect occasion for red hot party nails…or at least as close as I’m willing to get.

Stay cool,

Mary