Saturday, August 31, 2013

After Midnight Manicure

I looked at the calendar this morning and realized September begins tomorrow! Where did the time go?!?!?! Soon the weather will start to change, along with the leaves, the decorations we see in store windows, and the amount of free time I have... I start school back up in about a week so you can imagine I am pretty cranky about that. 

But I supposed it isn't all bad. We can also look forward to everything pumpkin flavored, chai lattes, apple picking, weekends in the country, and the scent of burning leaves in the air. Notice how I skipped over midterms and finals, the NY bitter cold, my 21 hours a week internship, my 25 hours a week job, and an obscene amount of school  reading : )

So no, it isn't all bad. That is, as long as we make the conscious choice to stay positive and remember the past with warm affection, while viewing the future as one with endless possibilities. So instead of worrying about how stressed I might be in the upcoming months, I have decided to instead, look forward to the pumpkin flavored and burnt leaf scented days ahead of me.

Yes, I know. I sound like a fortune cookie.

It's just, over the past few months I realized that everyone (myself included) tends to get caught up in everyday annoyances and stresses that in the scheme of things, don't matter that much. We become so stressed within the everyday that we fail to appreciate the little things like, the owner of your corner bodega making your breakfast before you arrive, because he already knows what you are going to order and is trying to save you some time. It could even be something as simple as the cute guy who smiled at you on the subway, the woman who let you cut her in line at the grocery store, or the kid who said excuse me, instead of rushing past you.

That being said, my new thing is to avoid stressing the little stuff. To remember the good things that happened during the week and remember that the bad things that happened, maybe weren't so bad. My new slogan: Let's remember the little things.

Of course, I am saying this now after a relaxing summer, but watch me begin complaining about life as soon as I get my first home work assignment. Sigh.

So now that I am done, being a fortune cookie, lets get into the fun stuff. Aside from chai and apple picking, one of the best things about the upcoming fall season, is my chance to use some of the gorgeous fall/winter colors I have picked up over the summer season. With that said I present you with Essie's Midnight Cami.

Absolutely adore this color. I got lucky and found it in an odd job type store for $3  which is pretty good considering Essie's usually start at around $8. Midnight Cami is a super rich, super dark navy blue shimmer that actually appears a tiny bit darker in these photos than in reality. Either way it is a gorgeous color, perfect for fall or winter. I used two coats to achieve the richness of color. I paired MC with Avon's textured polish, Platinum from their brushed metals collection. This textured polish is a silver polish with a slight blue hue to it, giving it an icy feel. Finally, I stamped the  partial designs using Sally Hansen's Celeb City. I think the silvers and navy blue look superb together.

After doing this mani, I tried to come up with a scenario for it and cheesy as it sounds, I thought of moonlight in winter. Think of stepping outside after dark, after a freshly fallen snow. Absolute silence. No tire marks, no dog prints, no human footsteps. When you look outside all you see is the light of a full winter moon hitting the tree branches, covered in little crystals of snow.

Essie - Midnight Cami
Sally Hansen - Celeb City (stamping)
Avon Brushed Metals -  Platinum
BM20 - leaf pattern

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fleur de French

Hey everyone! So I had a little more free time on my hands this week so I tried to make this post a little more thoughtful. Hope you enjoy! Oh and thanks to all my readers and my subscriber's because this past week I finally hit 1,000 page views! Yayyy! Thanks for everyone's support! If you haven't done so already, like my blog using the face book link at the left side of my page (towards the top) and help me get more likes and another thousand views!

So anyway, I have a reflective post for you today and a bit of history because I am somewhat of a dork.

So after flipping through my stamping plates, I decided to use the Fleur de Lis design because I had never used it before. Now according to Wikipedia and several internet sources, the Fleur de Lis (pronounced fleur day lee) is a stylized lily, which translates in French literally to "flower lily". While the origin of this symbol has been debated and is still unclear, it seems that the symbol (or something similar to) it has been found on Greek and Roman coins suggesting it is quite old. However, currently the symbol it is most known for being associated with French royalty.

So, what does French royalty have to do with me, you ask? Well, sad to say I am not French royalty (though as a kid I always thought my grandmother would some day reveal that I was a princess, just like Mia Thermopolis in the Princess Diaries - major props to those of you who know what I'm talking about). However, my last name is French and translates to pretty heart.

As a kid, my last name was always something of a bother. During roll call in school, my teachers would always attempt to say my last name, as if it presented a unique challenge for them to overcome. So after Mary Brown and Susan Diaz, my teachers would attempt to say, Cassandra Jolicoeur (actual pronunciation: sho-lee-ker). Long story short, for several years my teachers would either fumble through my name or say, "Do you know that your name is French? It means happy heart".

To me, this was always the equivalent of someone whose misfortune it was to be named Marco...when you first meet Marco, you immediately have to shout out Polo... it almost seems unethical not to do so...but then somewhere in the back of Marco's mind you know he's thinking, "Right, like I haven't heard that one before".

So yes, over the years I learned from several teachers that my last name, Jolicoeur, translates to pretty heart. As I got older, I grew to like my last name and it's uniqueness (despite the fact that I am actually Haitian, and not French). And for this manicure, I decided to do something Frenchy to acknowledge my last name.

And yes, that was a ridiculously long explanation. So, finally I present to you my French, but not really French nails....

For this design I used a gradient technique layering white, grey and a darker grey (white on, hazy, black star) going from the bed of my nail to the tip and stamped the fleur de lis design using Konad's red polish. At first I wasn't too sure if I liked this manicure but after a few hours it grew on me. I like that the white makes it stand out so it sort of looks like it might be a nail sticker. My favorite part of this manicure is definitely the fact that the red fleur de lis's stand out so much in red. When I did my top coat over them, they started to bleed a little bit which at first annoyed me, but over all, I think the affect sort of added to my manicure. The entire nail design seems reminiscent of old wall paper and has a "vintagey" look to it.

Sally Hansen - White On
Revlon - Hazy (speed dry collection)
Revlon - Black Star (speed dry collection)
Konad Red
Mash 35 - fleur de lis

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Floral French

Hi all!. So today I have a little something special to show you! At least I think it's pretty cool. A few months ago I read about various water nail tattoos and decided to order some to see what they were like.  These little beauties have been sitting in my closet for about 3 months and I am so glad I finally got around to using therm!

On the package these  nail tattoos are labeled as, "Nail Water Slide Nail Tattoo Sticker Water Transfer Nail Art Decal". Basically they function the same way a tattoo would. What I love about these is they come pre-shaped to fit your nail so there is no cutting or clipping to get to the right size and you get 14 tattoos in case you mess up once or twice. 

So in order to use these, you need to have bare, clean nails or painted, dry nails. First,  you cut out the nail sticker that best fits your nails, remove the protective plastic on top of the design, and stick the design in warm water for about 30 seconds or so. Then you wet your own nail, and literally slide the design off of the paper and onto your nail. You can use your finger or tweezers to do this. 

For the first 15 seconds or so, the design will still be wet so you can easily slide it around your nail until you get it into a position you like. Then, as the tattoo begins to dry, it becomes a little harder to move. The thing you have to be most careful with is not to let the design, once wet and removed from the paper, fold over onto itself (like saran wrap does sometimes). If this happens, the tattoo will stick to itself. If you try to peel it off of itself, it will tear and become unusable. This happened to me like 4 times, super annoying.

So after I placed the tattoos on my nails, and each dried, I had a little over hang at the edge of my nails. I tried to file these pieces of, like you would with the Sally Hansen or Incoco nails stickers, but the tattoo moved around and became dislodged (these tattoos do not automatically stick to your nail because there is no glue). Therefore I found it best to apply the nail tattoo, let it dry, and paint with a clear topcoat. Then when the topcoat dried, I was able to file down my tips without the tattoo moving. After I filed off the extra tattoo at my tips, I sealed them with another layer of topcoat, and voila!

I would have to say, these tips were pretty easy to apply and look really cool because of all the detail. Definitely worth the money, especially because they were only about $4 on amazon. Unfortunately, the design I am wearing they no longer have in stock, but they do have tons of other floral patterns that are really pretty. Definitely going to try these again. I think what I liked best about these was that unlike, Sally Hansen and Incoco nail stickers, these could be moved around your nail until you were happy with the positioning. One of the issues I have with Incoco stickers especially, is that if you do not place the nail sticker on your nail  perfectly the first time, when you try to peel the sticker off and reposition it, it either stretches out or rips. Often, I end up wasting the strips, or having crooked looking nail polish because I  can't fix the positioning of the sticker. That was definitely not an issue with these. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spotted Pedicure

Hey guys! Another pedicure for you today. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I hate wearing open toed shoes if my toes are not painted. It feels sort of like going outside without a bra on...I don't know, that's just me lol. Anyway for this look, I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Celeb City, which is that super sparkly silver. This silver is awesome because it looks like it is actually liquid silver. It has super fine silver sparkles in a silver base  and makes a really good stamping polish. For my middle toe I used China Glaze First Mate and for the pointer, Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots, Blue Marks the Spot.

I cannot tell you how much I love Blue Marks the Spot. This fabulous color contains fine matte black and white glitter, medium hexagon matte black glitter and, large hexagon matte black and white glitter all in a light blue base. In order to achieve the depth of color on my pointer toe, I had to do 5 coats of Blue Marks the Spot. Five coats might sound like a lot, but the polish is pretty thin so I had to do the multiple coats in order to really get the blue to show. Thankfully even with the multiple coats, the polish doesn't look chunky, just super awesome. Well, I think so anyway. What do you guys think? Would you wear Blue Marks the Spot?

China Glaze - First Mate
Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots- Blue Marks the Spot
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Celeb City

Friday, August 9, 2013

Girl's Night Mani

So my sister and I had a girls night a few nights ago. There was nail polish involved, cookie cupcakes, margaritas and lots of random dancing. Did I mention margaritas? What do you guys think of the results?

Revlon - Siren (orange)
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Copper Penny (sparkle)
Color Club - Neon Pink
Maybelline Color Show - Bold Gold
Mash 40 - Cheetah
KonadM59 - Bow with Polka Dots

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vegas Mani Pedi

Hey everyone! Pardon my laziness the past few weeks, but I am definitely back to blogging. My trip to Las Vegas was just way too much fun and I have to admit, being on vacation made me a tad bit lazy (if you couldn't tell). So what did I do in Vegas, you ask?


There were definitely a few drunken nights and tons of sight seeing. My friend and I stayed on the strip at the hotel Tropicana which ironically was right across the street from the hotel New York, New York. So basically, the view from our  hotel was the New York Skyline. Anyone think its ironic that I traveled over 2,000 miles to get out of New York, to come to Vegas and still have a view of New York? I give up, I can't escape the place.

Anyway, both my friend and I are Cirque Du Soleil fans so while in Vegas we saw One, the Michael Jackson show and Zumanity, both of which I HIGHLY recommend. What else? There was tons of eating, lots of buffets (definitely go to the Bacchanal at Caesar's Palace), lots of swimming, and shopping! I also want to mention I was lucky enough to miss the heatwave New York had a few weeks ago an enjoy the nice dry Las Vegas dry weather. I didn't sweat for a week!

All in all the trip was amazing and there was lots of silliness involved.

And because you are all tired of hearing about my amazing vacation, I thought I would share the  mani/pedi I wore for my trip. The super bright pink is from China Glaze  and is appropriately entitled, Shocking Pink. I love this color because it is super obnoxious, but in a totally good way. Life is too short to wear boring colors, right? And to spice the mani up (I was headed to Las Vegas after all) I added a cheetah print on my ring finger using a Mash stamping plate!

What do you guys think? Does this say Las Vegas or what?!

China Glaze - Shocking Pink
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Black Out
Maybelline Color Show - Bold Gold (stamping)
Mash 40 - Cheetah