Friday, 31 January 2014

GOT Polish - Dots

Hey y'all!

Yet again, I'm a day late on my Thursday challenge, but... reasons.  We've got DOTS up this week, and I don't really have much to say about it, so... pictures.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 15 - Chinese New Year

Hey y'all!

Today is a remarkable day for me.  It is the conclusion of my first ever nail art challenge!  Oddly, it isn't the first one I've ended, but it is the end of the first one I started.  Confused?  S'okay, no worries.  Today's theme is Chinese New Year, so here's my digits!  My fingers, not my phone number.  Sorry.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesday - Red on yellow, kill a fellow...

Hey y'all!

Today brings us to the end of my first month of Tri-Polish Tuesdays, and I knew I wanted to try something a little bit wacky for it.  Ever since January's colors were announced, I've had a rhyme from childhood bouncing around in my head and it wasn't going to stop until I put it on my nails, so I present to you my coral snake manicure!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Hey Swatch It! Quirk's Fantine

Hey y'all!

Today I just wanted to share a few pics of a gorgeous glitter topper I recently bought from the lovely Kerrie at Quirk Polish.  I actually purchased 2 glitter toppers, but as the second one is now discontinued I felt it would be wrong to tease you with it in a Swatch It post.

May I introduce you to the heartbreakingly lovely Fantine.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge - Skincare

Hey y'all!

The second theme of the #2014 Blogger Challenge is Skincare.

Admittedly, I have not, in the past, done a whole lot in terms of skincare beyond normal cleansing (like, when I shower) and putting on sunscreen if I was going to be continually exposed for more than an hour (because I have fair skin).  I never suffered the horrible acne that some of my friends experienced as a teen, and even through my 20s and early 30s a breakout was having 2 spots on my face, which always healed fairly quickly anyway.  I diligently removed any makeup I'd put on before I went to sleep, and I never really had any problems.

Friday, 24 January 2014

GOT Polish Challenge - I got the Blues

Hey y'all!

I'm still playing catch-up today, and so I have yesterday's GOT Polish look today in Blue.  I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this.  I only had one legitimate oldie blue polish in my stash, the same L'Oreal that I used in last week's Stripes look, so I set about working with that and another oldie in what all started as a saran wrap mani and morphed into... well, you be the judge.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 14 - Australia Day

Hey y'all!

Well, I'm a day late and a dollar short, and I apologize.  Yesterday a migraine took me out of commission and I couldn't stand to look at the computer screen, so posting was out of the question.  This of course means I'm backed up on 2 challenge posts, since I don't want to double-post to catch up, so yesterday's post is today, and today's post is tomorrow.  Make sense?  Nah, not for me either.  Anyway... Llama Nail's penultimate holiday challenge theme is Australia Day, which is celebrated on January 26.

via City of Greater Geraldton

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesday Week 3 - Team Gryffindor!

Hey y'all!

First off, let me say how amazed and honored I am to have gained over 300 Facebook subscribers overnight, thanks to the #sharethelove movement!  I hope you all like what you see!  Secondly, because of this increased attention I had to go back and revise today's Tri-Polish Challenge mani because the original one (done a couple days ago) had some crooked stamping and was not what I wanted all these new subscribers to see.  Over the weekend I was busy swatching out Belle Glamour's Harry Potter Collection, and I recognized a connection to this month's TPC colors.  Today I proudly present my Gryffindor nails!

It's like a little miniature Hogwarts castle.  All together now, "D'awwww."

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hey Swatch It! Belle Glamour's Harry Potter Collection Review & Swatches

Hey y'all!

Yesterday I teased the latest Belle Glamour collection, which I was so excited to get.  It's everybody's favorite boy wizard, Harry Potter!  Catriona has included six delicious shades in this collection, and a little birdie told me that she might consider doing some add-ons in the future.  Color me totally psyched!

Fair warning, this is going to be a huge, picture-heavy post.

From L-R: Bellatrix LeStrange, Golden Snitch, Ron, Hermione, Harry, Sirius Black
(because Bellatrix and Sirius should NEVER, EVER be put side-by-side!)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Tutorial time! How I cleanup shimmery cuticles

Hey y'all!

In my <sarcasm>copious amounts of free time</sarcasm>, I made a YouTube video after realizing that a lot of people have a very common problem - pesky shimmer and microglitter that won't budge out of the cuticle area.  After searching the interwebz and asking on Facebook, it was determined to be a relevant need for such a tutorial to exist, so...

Here's my not-so-revolutionary, but entirely effective method for cleaning the stubborn polishes out of my cuticles.  Hope you enjoy.

Friday, 17 January 2014

It's time I quit for good... but I need help.

Disclosure:  The product reviewed in this post was sent to me in exchange for my 100% honest review.  I do not receive any compensation for clicks or sales from the links contained in this post.

Hey y'all!

So today I'm taking a break from nail stuff to talk about something that a lot of people are trying to do this time of year - quit smoking.  It's been almost 20 years since I first lit a cigarette, and I never imagined that I would keep doing it this long.  We all know the reasons we should quit, but the pull of the temporary high draws us back time and time again.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

GOT Polish Challenge - Stripes: Optical illusion purple

Hey y'all!

Other nail polish enthusiasts out there may recognize this scenario.  It's getting late and you want to do your nails.  You start in, but have no idea where you're going.  You add this and that, maybe turn around and go another direction until you've finally got something you sort of like?  That's what happened with today's Stripes challenge look.  I knew I wanted to work with a french tip, and I had lots of striping options on my MoYou London Pro Plate-01, but that was about as much planning as I had done.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 13 - Martin Luther King Day

Hey y'all!

Today's is just going to be a quick post to put up my challenge mani for this week's theme: MLK Day.  Normally I would talk about the significance of the holiday, but frankly I'm running short on time to get the books I'm editing finished, so uhm... Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights pioneer who was cut down far too early, and his activism towards racial equality still stands as a testament to what the power of love can do when it flourishes instead of hatred.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesdays - Red, Orange, and Yellow week 2: Firefly/Serenity!

Hey y'all!

So it occurred to me last week during a FB conversation that with January's Tri-Polish challenge theme being red, orange, and yellow, I would be completely remiss not to include a manicure I've been thinking about for a very long time: a tribute to Firefly/Serenity, a la Jayne's hat.  I actually had to exit mid-conversation to work on them.  Sorry, Evin!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

GOT Polish Challenge - Pinks: Swampy Hearts

Hey y'all!

Today marks the beginning of ANOTHER challenge put forth by the lovely ladies of Crumpet's Nail Tarts.  Debbie's idea was simple:  start using up all those unloved polishes at the back of our stash drawers.  Thus was created the Golden Oldies Thursday (GOT) Polish Challenge.

The rules are simple:

  • the polish you use should be at least one year old
  • if you haven't been a polishaholic that long, you can use the oldest polishes you have
  • the polish should be previously used, but if you're stuck, you could free a yearling from Mount Untried
  • you can use more than 1 polish as long as it fits the theme and the rules

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 12 - Child's Day

Hey y'all!

Today's theme for the Llama Nails challenge was pretty vague - Child's Day.  I tried looking up the term on the interwebz and got hella confused because usually it's celebrated in June or November, depending on what part of the world you're located.  In any event, rather than having another Christmas Toys fail on my nails, I decided I would take a slightly easier free-handed paint session, and decided to go with the UNICEF flag.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesdays: Red, Orange, and Yellow week 1

Hey y'all!

So today begins another new Facebook group challenge, one of two that I'll be participating in courtesy of Crumpet's Nail Tarts.  The Tri-Polish Challenge has apparently been around for a while, but I didn't want to jump in last year as I was still getting my bearings.  However, a new year brings new opportunities for me to stretch my nail art skills, and this challenge is right in that vein.

The challenge rules are pretty simple - Three colours will be chosen for each month and you post up to four manis using those three colours, plus the allowed extra colours of black, white, silver, gold and glitter toppers.  At least one mani must contain all three colours, while the others must contain as least two of the chosen colours.

For the month of January, the colors are red, orange, and yellow. I've chosen Sinful Colors Sugar Sugar and Courtney Orange, and elf Yellow.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Mani Monday: Gradient dragonfly stamping

Hey y'all!

I wanted to share a really pretty mani that I created after swatching Belle Glamour's Vampire's Kiss this weekend.  I just fell in love with the color and knew that I wanted to put it into some nail art.  I also really want to work more on my stamping techniques, so this was a perfect way to practice.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Hey Swatch It! Belle Glamour part deux

Hey y'all!

A few weeks ago, I brought you a sneak peek at a new UK indie line, Belle Glamour.  Today I've got four more pretty shades to show you from that line, which is launching on January 24, but pre-orders are available on the website now!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge - New Year's Inspiration

Hey y'all!

So today begins the first of the 2014 Blogger Challenge posts, hosted by Gaby of Another Girly Blog.  Over 400 bloggers are taking part, where twice a month Gaby sends us a topic and we all post our blogs during the first and third weeks of the month.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 11 - New Year's Day Tabula Rasa

Hey y'all!

First off, let me wish one and all a happy new year.  2014 came in with a distinctly "whomp whomp" in the Faff house last night.  We opened a bottle of bubbly, but between the two of us didn't manage to drink it all.  The remaining glass wound up going into the slowcooker with my black-eyed peas (called black-eyed beans in the UK).

Typical new year food in most southern states should include black-eyed peas (symbolizing wealth because they look a bit like coins to some people, and prosperity because they swell when cooked), collard greens or another green vegetable (symbolizing money), cornbread (symbolizing gold), and a pork product (because pigs are meant to symbolizing progress and embracing challenges because they root forwards in the dirt).  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any cornmeal here in my part of the UK, so there won't be any cornbread on my plate this year but I reckon that's okay because making cornbread from scratch is a bit of a pain anyway.  I'll have to remember to buy some packets of cornbread mix next time I visit home and squirrel them away in the cupboard for January 1, 2015.  Anyway... followers on my Instagram may have already seen I've got my black-eyed peas in the slowcooker today with bacon lardons, onions, and chopped tomatoes, and I'll have some steamed broccoli on my plate as well since I never really liked collard greens (or any other of the "greens" for that matter).  Mr. Faff thinks my dinner stinks.  He just doesn't know good southern food, and he's a picker eater anyway.

For today's manicure theme, I did something a little bit different.  I originally intended this manicure to be a New Year's Eve mani rather than a New Year's Day, but after getting into the look, I decided it actually made more sense as a Jan 1 manicure.  I made a geometric pattern on all of my nails and my accent nail is a tabula rasa.  For me, this represents maintaining beauty and sparkle throughout the year while keeping a blank slate for writing my own destiny.