Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Efects- Halloween 2011

OMG, I am SO EXCITED!! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the new Halloween collections are starting to come out. I have to admit, this one has me giggling out loud in anticipation...

Sally Hansen has come out with a line of Salon Effects specifically for Halloween, and I am SO looking forward to them! I also love that they aren't all the traditional black and orange some companies go for. Just LOOK at the designs!!

Ghoulie Girl: Google-eyed
ghosts in orange and white
Hot Wired: Bad-girl barbed wire
over lime green backdrop

Numbskull: Spooky skull
and crossbones print
Spun For You: A scary
black spider’s web

Wishnets: Witchy black fishnet
print over bright fuchsia

The press release for them has all the details... just look:


THINK: Spooky style at your fingertips—just peel, apply, file, and go.

WHAT IT IS: No dry-time, nail polish strips for instant Halloween hands. This fall, make a chic seasonal statement with Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips in new Halloween-inspired prints. Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips offer DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde Free, no dry-time nail looks for style that lasts up to ten days. This easy and affordable at-home nail technology takes your Halloween costume to the next level.

Each Salon Effect Real Nail Polish Strips kit includes 16 nail polish strips, a cuticle stick, mini file/ buffer and instructions for easy at-home application. When you’re ready to change your nail strips, simply swipe nails with your favorite Sally Hansen polish remover for an instantly clean slate. Choose from five Halloween-inspired styles.

WHAT THEY COST: $9.99 each.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Sally Hansen products are available at chain drug stores, food stores and mass merchandisers nationally.

Are you excited about these? Leave me a comment telling me which one you like most!!

Til next time!
Images were provided by the manufacturer.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's official: Crazy Rumors is my favorite lip balm!

Specifically this lip balm... the Pink Grapefruit Juice flavor
is so yummy and emolient! *LOVE*
Wow. I have to share something with you, something that may not be a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but has made my life better regardless. I'm hoping you love it as much as I do!

Now, let me get this part out of the way, because I know some people wonder about it. Sometimes, I get products in the mail for evaluation. I don't mind this, and I'll give them an honest evaluation. But what you're reading is always what I honestly think about a product.

If I get a product that's just so-so, I'll explain what I don't like about it. If I get a product that sucks, I just won't write about it at all. I might also write about the problems I've had, asking if anyone else has had those issues, or if it's consistent across the brand.

However, I don't believe in writing a glowing review just because something was sent to me. If I say that I am absolutely over-the-moon in love with a product, that's because that product has impressed me, and no other reason.

Having said that? OMG, I absolutely ADORE the Pink Grapefruit Juice Lip Balm from Crazy Rumors. I live in South Louisiana, and it has been horribly hot this summer. We've had heat index of 110°-117° for weeks on end, which means it feels like 110°-117° outside. It's like stepping into a sauna, and it sucks. Because of this, I end up having chapped lips almost constantly.

Prior to trying this lip balm, I've been pretty loyal to one particular brand of balm, since it moisturized my lips without being too thick or too greasy. However, all it took was one try of Crazy Rumors balm and I was HOOKED!

Limeade and Pink Grapefruit Juice balms.
I didn't just use this once, though. I wanted to actually use it for a while, see how it lasts, see how often I have to apply it. I'm glad I did, because it's one more thing to like about it! Lots of balms actually seem to dry out your lips, causing you to need more and more balm. You end up running through a tube quickly, and having drier lips than ever.

This balm? I find I apply it two or three times a day and my lips stay incredibly soft without that greasy feeling I hate so much. It's really impressive, and I can't say enough about how much I love this stuff!

Then there's the ingredients: shea butter, jojoba oil, and extra virgin olive oil (all certified organic), stevia, vitamin E... I can feel good about putting this on my lips and into my body! And the flavors... OMG, the flavors! The Pink Grapefruit is delicious... I love it! The Limeade is kind of odd... it reminds me of kindergarten for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. It's not an unpleasant smell, though, and I still love how emollient it is.

Finally, there's the company itself! Their website describes how the company is Edie and Brian Himmel, a couple who love lip balm and wanted to make a stand-out product. There's a Crazy Rumors Twitter and a Crazy Rumors Facebook page, and both share tips, contests and special deals all the time! Why not pop over and follow them?

So, next time you need lip balm? Try Crazy Rumors... it really is amazing!

Til next time!
Lip balm was provided for consideration and evaluation.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fall 2011- Polishes from NYC and OPI's The Muppets

Wow... Fall is shaping up to be pretty gorgeous, judging by the polishes I'm hearing about. This is a quick post just to show a couple of upcoming collections. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a tease!

First, let me show you these gorgeous polishes by NYC. These limited edition colors really give off a steampunk vibe to me somehow, rich and lush and slightly muted. They make me think of the turning leaves, the grey bark on the trees, and a pop of color by late-blooming flowers. There's a hint of shimmer in these too, which makes me really excited, although I'm not sure why. I'm really looking forward to these, because they inspire such a feeling of peace for me.

First off is Scenestealer Grey, a deep grey that reminds me of wet concrete, tree bark, and steel. The hint of shimmer makes me think it will be even more reminiscent of steel in person. I'm excited for this one!

Backstage Brown, on the other hand, is a rather golden brown that reminds me of suede and fall leaves, of roaring fires and toasted marshmallows. This seems to be a beautiful neutral that will be perfect for fall!

Finally there's Underground Purple, which may be my favorite of the bunch. Although this is a fall polish, it reminds me of the glorious splash of color when azaleas are in bloom. They're my favorite flower, so it's no surprise that I'm drawn to this polish. I imagine the hint of shimmer will make it that much prettier!

Overall, I think this collection will be quite a fun addition to the other polishes being released for Fall 2011.

This brings me to the other collection in this post, one that made me squeal with glee when I saw it: OPI's The Muppets! First off, I absolutely adore the Muppets. I spent so many hours watching the show as a kid, and I remember having this amazing hardback book about the Muppet Show. It basically had several episodes in storybook form, with lyrics to songs, amazing photographs and illustrations, and transcriptions of the skits from the show. I can remember carrying that book around with me, reading it, using it as a lap desk, using it as inspiration when I wanted to draw, or sing, or act out scenes from the show.

Yea, I've always been creative. It's a bit of a curse. :D

So these polishes had me excited, but also a bit wary- if these polishes were going to live up to the name, they needed to be something special. Thankfully, I think they just might fit the bill...

I'll share the polish descriptions from the press release, since it's now 5am and I've been working on these photos and blog post since about 2am. (Yes, I made the teaser photos!)


This line features six shimmery reds and neutrals, as well as six glitter-packed shades, including:

This wild bright red cannot be tamed!

Missing out on this fuchsia would make you weep, weep, weep!

Wocka Wocka!
The popular deep berry makes everything fun and merry!

Pepe’s Purple Passion
This deep, decadent shade is the best purple ever, okay!

Designer, de Better!
And this light metallic bronze is ready for the runway.

Warm & Fozzie
A feel-good shade of metallic copper.

Rainbow Connection
The rainbow glitter of your dreams.

Excuse Moi!
Ahem! This pink glitter has something to say!

Gone Gonzo!
The aqua-blue glitter is taking over the world!

Fresh Frog of Bel Air
A glitter that prefers the greener things in life.

Divine Swine
The finest, most fabulous magenta glitter ever.

Gettin’ Miss Piggy With It!
Red glittery fun for everyone!

What can I say, I'm really looking forward to these as well! And to leave this on an appropriately-Muppety note, I'll close this post with a great new video by OK Go and the Muppets!

Til next time!
Information was provided for press purposes.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some Days Suck... and then there's Fibro.

It hurts your family, it hurts your friends, and it hurts your mindset.

I apologize in advance for the brief whine coming, but it's my blog, you know? Sometimes, ya just have to whine.
Some of you know bits of this, some know more, some know less. I try not to talk about it all the time, just because it gets depressing. But the bottom line is that recently, I spent over 6 weeks sick. First, the kiddo came home from camp, and brought home a lovely chest cold. This chest cold turned into bronchitis for me, and I spent almost 5 weeks fighting it off and on before giving up and going to the doctor.

I know it's stupid. I wasn't sick with acute bronchitis the whole time. I was, however, sick the whole time. I would improve for a day or two, then spend 3 or 4 days sick in bed. Lather rinse repeat, until I was running fever and coughing my head off. The doctor lectured me, said I was damn lucky I didn't end up like Jim Henson. I spent 10 days on Bactrim, including what I thought was an allergic reaction and an ER visit with quite a few tests and resulting bruises.

Within days of finishing the first round of antibiotics (of course, there was more than one *sighs*) I wound up with what I assume was strep. I didn't go to the doctor this time because we're broke as hell (note me selling off nail polish? There's more to come, if I can just get the strength together to do it!) and also because due to a lovely accident I also had a prescription for antibiotics that work on strep and other throat infections. 

Big flarey lizard. RAWR.
For once, life worked out in my favor... mostly. Except that now, thanks to two rounds of powerful antibiotics, strep, and bronchitis, my fibro is flaring like one of those freaky lizards. (See left, for full view of flariness.)

This is a long way to say that guys, I'm still exhausted. The second round of antibiotics worked on my throat infection, but made me feel worse than the presumed strep did. For the record, strep makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck. I'm improving slowly, but this one has hit me really hard, so I'm having problems doing much of anything except trying hard to work through this.

The good news is that it will pass, and I will stop feeling like a burden on my family, a drag for my friends, and a waste of oxygen. I will stop hurting so much, so that I can sleep through the night (or at least, for more than 2 hours at a stretch). I will regain that cheery personality that I seem to be known for.

But right now? Right now it's hard to gather my thoughts together enough to write, hard to control my tremors enough to paint my nails (they've been bare for a week, and chipped for 2 before that). It's hard to get the strength to walk to the bathroom, much less do what needs to be done around here. So the blog is... still going, but maybe a bit quiet for a little while. Maybe I'll just entertain you all with my sparkling wit. ;)

And once I've gotten over this stretch a bit, there's some really cool stuff!! Giveaways, videos, reviews, tutorials... omg, I'm getting excited just thinking about it! So don't forget about me. Let me know what sort of thing you'd like to see in the next week or three! Just keep in mind it shouldn't need all that much physical exertion, because... you know, ow.

I love you all. You have no idea how much...

Til next time.

I'm not always depressed, I promise!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure- On eBay!

Hello my lovelies! Just a quick post to let you know I've got a bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Hidden Treasure on eBay for $6 as I write this right now. I was hoping to be able to post a video here as well, but I guess this is better than nothing.

I've also got some photos from my personal bottle up as well!  Check them out, and if you're interested in owning your own bottle of this gorgeous polish, head over to my listing.

When you apply Hidden Treasure over a dark polish like black,
navy blue, or hunter green, the flakes come alive, flashing shades
of red, orange, green, yellow, and more. It's magical!

Hidden Treasure over lighter colors tends to bring out softer shades
in the flakes, like pinks, icy blues, and golds.

Clearly, I absolutely adore Hidden Treasure over black. There are no words
to describe how happy I feel when I see these flakes on!
Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure is long gone from the stores, as it was a limited edition release last year. It's a dupe for Gosh Rainbow, and closely resembles the Nfu-Oh flake polishes, or so I've heard. This is definitely a special polish, so if you want to own it, you need to act fast. It's not always available!

Til next time!

This polish was NOT provided by the manufacturer for review.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hard Candy: Mischief- Another Clearance Find!

I'm so excited! I don't know if you happened to hear me talking last Halloween, but I was absolutely in LOVE with one particular color that came out in various forms. If I remember correctly, China Glaze came out with Ick-A-Bod-Y first, and then Hard Candy's Halloween collection hit the shelves with their very similar dupe Mischief.

I absolutely loved this color, and wanted it very much. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it in my area. That's one of the problems that comes with living in an area where people love nail polish! By the time I saw the Hard Candy Halloween colors, Mischief was gone.

However, several weeks ago I was out for my evening walk and found this one lone bottle hiding in a clearance bin. My local WalMart has been renovating their store, so lots of items that apparently got lost in the back have come out into the clearance area! I didn't know what this would cost, but since money's so tight I was going to price it.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this was $1! Honey, I grabbed my change purse and started counting my pennies!! Unfortunately, once I got it home it went into my box of untrieds, where it stayed because I've been sick. No FUN!

However, I was able to swatch it finally, and decided I wanted to see it both with topcoat and without. I didn't realize topcoat would make such a difference! It really does, though, as you can see in the photos!

I also decided to swatch these on false nails because my own have been broken so badly. Seriously, my swatching hand looks pathetic. But falsies look good, yes?

Without topcoat, Mischief is bumpy and somewhat gritty, and it's got a strange, matte-ish texture. That doesn't mean it's not gorgeous, it's just not the average for polish. I kinda like that about it, honestly!

However, adding topcoat to it changes the feel of it. Instead of a somewhat flat, gritty look with subdued sparkle, the topcoat fills in all the bumps and gaps, causing this baby to glow like crazy. It is absolutely stunning with topcoat, and I chose to use Seche Vite for it's amazing ability to smooth out the bumpiest of polishes.

I love this polish so much. It really does say fall to me in a way many polishes just can't do. The deep olive green jelly base is another reason I love it- without seeming slimy or gross, the green base somehow gives the orange glitter an earthier tone. I don't quite understand it, but I absolutely love it!

Do you have this polish, or its dupe? What do you think of it? Leave me a comment letting me know if this is a polish you'd love to find hiding in a clearance bin!

Til next time!
Oh, how I love a good sale!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ideas for Nail Art- your thoughts?

Ok guys, I have to apologize for the lack of fun posts this week, but I'm sick yet again, and am now dealing with strep. It's not fun, and it's seriously sapping my writing ability, not to mention my ability to do anything useful to my nails. I'm absolutely ashamed to show my nails at the moment!

However, while talking to a friend tonight on twitter, I was inspired. I sat down and went through my folder of old art pieces and realized something interesting... I could do this to nails, too!! So tell me... is this sort of thing something you'd wear as nail art?

I'm adding another image I worked up in photoshop as an idea. I can do these patterns in just about any color possible. For example, the third nail (the blue swirls): here's a mockup in a pretty rainbow!

Let me know what you think in the comments. Yes, these are all faux finishes I've made on other objects, meaning they're things I think I could do on artificial nails. :D

Til next time!

Sometimes my mind is a scary place!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Progress On My Art Doll

I've gotten several people asking how progress on the art doll is coming along. The good news is that she's coming along nicely! The bad news is that it's still going to be a while, since papier maché is by nature a slow process. Still... let's see how she's progressing!

Also, for the record? I doodled in a quick face to get an idea of what she was going to look like once her face was painted on. However, this is NOT what her face is going to look like once she's done. I promise, I'm not that strange!!

But look! She has a head!! Granted, it's not attached yet, but I can see how her proportions look once she's all together! I was really happy to see that her head did actually balance out the crazy cartoon figure she has. Once her head is on, she looks a lot more reasonable. Let's see what I've done...

I started her head with a small water balloon I filled with air. As you can see, it gave me a very strange egg-shaped base for the head. After I had several layers on and fully dried, I sketched out where the features would go and then started shaping.

I did the basic shape work by cutting out the back and sides of the head to give it more of a traditional skull shape. Then I built up some areas and shaved down others. I've been through four or five rounds of shaving and resurfacing, including the one that's drying right now. I can't wait to show it, her eyeballs are suspended in empty sockets without any lids or anything! It's CREEPY looking!!!

Anyway, once I got a basic shape down for the head, I added in a basic nose form and lips. So, at this point she's got basic cheekbones, a fairly nice nose, some slightly scary lips and an absolutely unremarkable forehead, aside from the various lumps and bumps that need smoothing. I decided I wanted to see where her features would be in better detail, so I started sketching with my gel pens. I think I may have gotten carried away, though...

Still, you can see the basic form her head is taking. She needs some ears, and those are going to be an utter nightmare to attach, I think. As I said, I've cut out her eye sockets and put beads in to form a nice eyeball shape to build lids over. Her lips aren't too bad, either. I'm looking forward to finishing her head, although the idea of her hair is kind of scaring me... but more on that in a bit.

Also, her head has been the most dangerous for me so far. I've stabbed myself in the finger once with my Xacto knife and sliced myself once. So remember, boys and girls... do what I say, and not what I do! You don't want to get stitches! (No, I didn't need stitches, but I came close...)

Next, I looked at her body to see where to go with it. I was actually very excited to see her body with the head on, because it gave me more of an idea of what her proportions would be like! As you can see, everything looks less bizarre with her head in place. You can also see a couple of patches here and there where I fixed lumpy spots. Color isn't important at this point, because I'm going to gesso her before I paint her, and none of this color will show through.

I realized at this point that I couldn't avoid it any longer... she needed feet. When I started the doll, I wasn't even sure if I was going to finish her, or what she was going to look like. Now I have more of an idea, and getting what's in my head out into the form of this doll is becoming quite the process!!

Take her legs, for example. See how they're all white at the bottom? I figured out how to do her feet thanks to several tutorials I read and sort of... melded in my mind. What I did doesn't bear any resemblance to what the tutorials did, but that's ok. I know what I'm doing now!

So... the feet. To support her feet, I wanted to embed some wire, since they were delicate and not formed at the same time as the rest of her. I was worried they would crack or break off. The wire will strengthen them and give them more stability, at least I hope so!

So, to do this, I needed to get into those lower legs. Those lower legs that were filled with tightly-twisted junk mail and masking tape... those legs that didn't have any room for wire. This was going to be interesting...

S'ok, though. I took a deep breath, drew on some registration lines and cut half her legs off. I wasn't sure if it would be clear which piece went with which leg, so I drew registration marks in two colors with different shapes. One leg got an X, the other got... a circle, I think? I don't even know, it just gave me something to match them up with. Then I cut through each side of the leg (like the red line) and cut through the top piece connecting them, letting me remove the outer 1/2 shell of each leg.

Then I got to pull out all the wadded up junk mail. That was interesting... I had no idea how easy it would be! Once I had it nicely cleared out, I smoothed on a layer of glue to help stabilize it from the inside, then looked to my wires. I folded a piece of napkin several times then saturated it with my glue mix. Once it was nicely saturated, I slipped it between the two ends of the wire and wrapped the wire in it, giving it a nice glued packing material. I wedged that inside the leg cavity, gave it another layer of glue on the napkin wadding and the cut edges of the leg, then stuck the piece I'd removed back into place. I gave it another coating of glue mix, a layer or three of paper to stabilize things, and voila... the wires were in place! (I kind of forgot to take photos of those steps.)

You can also see the ends which were left open once I reassembled the legs. Those open spots to me seemed perfect for wires to wobble and be unstable, so I put more glue mix inside the little holes, then stuffed bits of cotton in until the whole set was solid as could be. Once the glue-soaked cotton dries, it becomes carvable, sandable... it's crazy!

And with that, I reach the end of this set of photos. I've come a lot farther, but that will be for another day. What's in the future?

I've actually started thinking about how I want to style her, once she's finished. Hair is a big deal, and I'm really thinking of the hairstyle Madonna wore in her video for Human Nature. There's something over-the-top about it that I think would go well with this doll.

As for clothes, I have a pretty clear idea for now, although that idea could very well change. But I'm thinking of a black strapless corset, black knee boots, striped socks, and a giant tulle skirt. The ribbon at the top won't be there, though, I don't think. It's just not the style I'm looking for. :D

So, yea... she's come a long way in the last few weeks. I'm actually very eager to see how she ends up!! I promise, my next post won't be craft-related! :D

Til then, let me leave you with a glamour shot of my doll...

Til next time!

My husband laughed so hard when I couldn't find my doll's head...
See my disclosure statement for more information.