Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've posted my first video on YouTube! Have I lost my mind?

Holy CRAP, y'all... I've finally did it! I made the jump and I've made my first YouTube video. I have no idea how people do this so often. I was a total nervous WRECK!

But it's done, and it's up, and I just had to share with everyone! So, now you can see just how silly I am in RL, and just how much of a chatterbox I am. Oh, and I talk with my hands a lot. I didn't realize just how much til I saw this!

Be nice, y'all, and give me a thumbs up if you're so inclined. You know the rest, subscribe, comment, and don't forget to subscribe using the GFC stuff up there! Now... I've got to get some sleep. I've worn myself out with this!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A day in the life of Laynie...

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems everything you touch goes wrong, where everyone is grumpy and you just wish you could press fast forward and get the day over with? I've had all too many of those lately, but today was not one of them. In fact, it was the opposite!

It started with waking up to the alarm taking meds, then realizing that hey, I actually slept all night! Since I was still sleepy, I turned over, went back to sleep, and slept til 11am. Delicious! Considering I've been sleeping maybe an hour at a time if I'm lucky, maybe three times a night I considered this one of the most amazing, wonderful mornings I've had in a long time. I managed to snuggle with my husband almost enough!

He woke me around 11 because we needed to go get the kiddo's insulin. Long story there, but our son has type 1 diabetes and due to a weird insurance thing he was running out of insulin before we could refill it. Thankfully his general practitioner had sample bottles he could share with us, so we all hopped in the car and rode to the doctor's office, only to find that it was closed for lunch.

That was annoying! Didn't they know they were supposed to be there for us? *grin* To heck with lunch, you're totally supposed to be at my beck and call. But we decided that since it was such a gorgeous day we'd go to the nearby park and toss the frisbee around for a while. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, chilly and breezy, and perfect for just getting outside and feeling the sun a bit!

While my husband is pretty good with the frisbee, my son and I are... well... not. We spent more time chasing after it and yelling, "Oops, SORRY!!!" But no one got hit in the face, so I consider it a successful venture. I also observed a tiny spider for a while that seemed convinced he was going to be a tough guy and chase me off. He was no larger in diameter than my pink nail (including his outstretched legs), but he would lift those front two legs and look at me like, "C'mon, b**ch, whatcha got?" I managed to set my arachnophobia aside for a while to watch him wander and pose.

After an hour or so of frisbee we stopped back at the GP's office, picked up the insulin, then went to WalMart to pick up my meds. I know, I know, WalMart is evil. If I had more money I'd shop someplace else, but I really can't afford to. One day... one day. We also spent some time walking, and I made a quick run through cosmetics. My local WalMart now has the new Hard Candy display, although they didn't seem to have the tattoos out. Shame, those may be my favorite part. They're so cute...

Then we loaded into the car and headed for Baton Rouge, because while we were tossing the frisbee, it broke! Well, they were headed for Dick's Sporting Goods which just happens to be next door to Ulta! They were kind enough to drop me off there, so while they looked at all the sporting goods, I wandered through Ulta and found something I've been hunting for months- lime green opaque creme polish! I've got several lime green polishes, but not one actually looks opaque on the nail. But thanks to a Twitter friend, I got the suggestion to try Essence's Lime Up! OMG, y'all... it is SO PERFECT. One coat and it's creamy and opaque and smooth as can be. And not only is it the perfect lime green, it's only 99 cents!

I know. I couldn't pass it up. My husband fussed, but it was only a buck. And hey, it's my first Essence polish! (But definitely not my last!) He spoils me. We then spent the rest of the evening at the bookstore, where I read about blogging and fashion dolls and makeup and... yea. It was delicious, and now I'm about to curl up in bed with my best friend once again. Instead of wishing I could fast forward through the day, I wish I could press record so I could run through it again and again. This was one of those perfect fall days that I'll look back on when I'm old and grey, thinking what a wonderful life I've had.

And so this isn't a picture-free post, I'll share my poor pathetic manicure. Once again, I was doodling on my nails. I wound up with three fingers of each hand the same Sinful Colors blue (Love Nails), an unnamed Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear on my left ring finger and my right pinky finger that's almost identical to Love Nails, a sheer lime green Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear on my left pinky finger topped with a hot pink unnamed Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear with a scalloped edge, and a purple unnamed Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear on my right ring finger topped with that sheer green. My right ring finger was damn close to Zoya's Adina, btw... just a touch darker purple, with the same green flash from certain angles.

I used my decorative edged scissors to make nail stencils and had to test one, so I tested it over the green. Then I added some rhinestones in multiple sizes, just for the fun of it. I'll definitely end up making a tutorial for this technique, it's simple and fun!

I hope you've had a great day as well, and that your weekend is even better. I've got some surprises coming up soon, so come back soon. I can't wait to share the goodies I've got up my sleeve!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A sketch from last night...

Hi everyone! Good news, my doctor has been absolutely fabulous and given me 2 sample packets of sleeping medicine to help me both get to sleep and stay asleep. Last night I did... I wound up going to bed around 9:30 and sleeping through, mostly. I woke up twice, but was able to go back to sleep and that was such a wonderful experience. I woke up this morning feeling happier than I have in weeks, and managed to take my mom to the doctor and actually be useful there.

It was a very good day. To share this, I decided to post a quick sketch I drew the other night. This was a 3am, spur-of-the-moment sketch, and I am so, so content with it. I had no idea I could do this!

It's just pencil and blending stump, but I think this is the first time I've managed to draw a face with expression, a nose that looks like a nose. It feels good!

Also, have a fishie. She's cute and sweet. ♥

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One More Experimental Nail, A Halloween Treat!

Good news! I spoke with my doctor and I've got meds now that should help me sleep tonight. I love my doctor and her office staff. They get back to me in a reasonable amount of time, they work with me and they're always super nice. I got really lucky to get into this clinic.

So, one more sparse post and tomorrow may be a post-less day due to RL constraints. Then I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things with the blog. I've got some fabulous photos to share with everyone if only I can stay awake and focus long enough to prep & post them! Thanks for being patient with me!

I did this sample nail a few days ago while I was feeling in a halloween-y mood. I wanted something purple because... well, because I've been almost obsessed with purple lately, and the "blood" matched nicely. Because it was such a cute manicure I decided to name it something cute- My Bloody Eggplant! Sort of like My Bloody Valentine, only with eggplant!

Hey, I haven't slept in days. Cut me some slack already! =P

Because the flash photos sort of blocked the images, I wanted to take another set of photos to show the design that much more clearly. As you can see, the blood drips seem three dimensional, with a nice shadow underneath the edges. I absolutely love the way this nail has come out! I may need to do an entire set of nails in this style.

So what do you think? Would you wear them? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More experimental nails...

If you've been following me on Twitter, you know I've been fighting with insomnia. I still am, and so I'm going to make today's post short and sweet. Yay for experimental nails!

This is a very strong graphic print. I used black, white, and silver to keep the tone monochromatic. I like the look, it's sort of edgy with a 3d pop thanks to the studs and stars.

This one includes basic white polish from Fantasy Makers (woohoo for $0.49 clearance sales!), a black Art Deco striper ($1 at the Dollar Tree!), silver Sally Hansen Salon Pedal to the Metal, various silver glitter stripers (Art Deco Silver Glitter, KISS Rock Star), and a silver Art Deco striper. It also has iridescent white/pink cutout stars and black studs from Viva la Nail to add a bit of dimensional pop. It's all sealed and topped off with a couple of coats of China Glaze Fast Forward topcoat.

KISS Rock Star, white stars and black studs were provided by the manufacturers for evaluation.

This nail was an experiment using various stripers over a metallic base. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but it is fun. I did the animated gif so that you could see the entire nail. I think it has a grafitti feel to it, rather funky and fun.

I used one coat of Sally Hansen Color Quick Chrome Pen in Metallic Turquoise as a base, then topped that with one coat China Glaze Fast Forward just to protect it. Then I added stripes and dots using various stripers. Stripers were Art Deco in white, bright green, yellow, and pink and KISS Nail Art Nail Paint in pearl blue and red.

The Sally Hansen Color Quick Chrome Pen and the KISS Nail Art Nail Paints were provided by the companies for evaluation.

Finally, I did a nail I called the Golden Princess look. I wanted to play with the idea of using glitter pieces as a tile to cover sections of the nail for a glamorous, truly blingy look. I used a s

Unfortunately, once I got them to this point, I felt as if they weren't quite finished. I spoke with a friend who gave me an idea on how to finish it.

I simply added a spaced line of the glitter sequins down either side of the glitter stripe down the center of the nail and it emed to finish the nail. Unfortunately my camera didn't quite capture the color truly on the second photo, but you still get the idea.

Supplies used: Zoya Tiffany, Sally Hansen Salon Gilty Pleasure, KISS Gold Glitter, Viva La Nail gold sequins.

Zoya Tiffany, KISS Gold Glitter, & Viva La Nail gold sequins were provided for consideration.

So, the question now becomes do I create any of these as full sets... what do you think? :D

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tips & Tricks- How to Restore Your Seche Vite!

If you're a fan of nail polish blogs, chances are you've read rave reviews about Seche Vite, the super-amazing quick-dry topcoat that smooths out bumps, dries your nail polish in 5 minutes flat, and makes your polishes look super glassy. I'll be honest- I didn't think a topcoat could be worth $10 when I read the reviews. Once again, I thought polish was polish, and didn't see a reason to spend $10 when I could buy a topcoat from Love My Nails for $1.

Like I said in my last post, I'm frugal.

Then I worked on a set of nail tips that needed to be leveled out, so I splurged on a bottle. I figured hey, once I sell them I'll get the money back, so it's worth it. And I was amazed at just how different this top coat really is. Then I used it on my own nails as an experiment and was astonished. It really is that good!

Unfortunately, as I continued to use it, I found out what everyone else already knew: as you use it, it gets thicker. And thicker. And thicker. It gets so thick that eventually you can't use it, and it does it quickly. By the time I'd gotten halfway through my bottle, it was like trying to paint my nails with molasses!

I was absolutely disgusted. What's the point of spending $10 on a bottle of topcoat if it's going to be unusable halfway through! It's a total waste, I thought. I decided to use my nail polish thinner to try and salvage what was left in the bottle, and while it's usable, the magic is gone. It's no longer the amazing topcoat it was.

Then I learned something amazing. This morning I was chatting on twitter when @the_asian_girl told me her secret: Seche Restore. This isn't a solvent that thins polishes. Instead, it actually replaces the volatile chemicals that have evaporated from the bottle of Seche Vite, restoring it to its original magical state!

Do I even have to tell you how excited this made me? Seriously, I am absolutely giddy. This means I am once again willing to buy Seche Vite because I'm not going to be wasting half the bottle! I have no idea how I managed to miss this information, but I'm so glad I learned when I did!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Test Nail- Crystals and Mermaids and Dragons Oh My!

I'm absolutely exhausted tonight so I'll let the photos do most of the talking. I've had several sleepless nights in a row now, and I'm managing maybe an hour or two at a time before I'm awake and miserable again, so my brain is sort of melty at the moment. But the photos rock.

I was kicking around ideas in my head, and this is simply one of the ideas I've been toying with. I think I'm happy with it...

Taking photos inside didn't work that well. The color really didn't show, although you do get an idea of how it looks in low light.

So I took things outside and fastened the nail to my poor dirty car with poster putty. It was late afternoon and there was no direct sunlight, but you can still see the color much better.

So now I think I'll make a full set to put on Etsy. I love the way they catch the light. They make me think of shattered crystal shards, of mermaids, of dragons. The cool thing is that I can make them in multiple colors... I can see these in red, green, black...

So that's my post for today/tonight. Hardly my usual, but I hope the photos make up for it. Now I get to sleep, and hopefully to stay asleep for more than an hour. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think: should I make a full set of these for Etsy? Should I make them in different colors? What color would you like to see?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do You Love Minx Nails? You'll Love These As Well!

Some of you may have noticed by now- I'm pretty frugal. I prefer the term frugal over cheap, because I like to think it's a positive thing. I mean, I'm disabled and don't have a job, so it's probably a good thing that I can make my money go far.

Unfortunately, this means when I see a trend like Minx, two things happen. First, I start thinking of how cool they are, and how much I want to have them myself. Then reality kicks in and I realize that 1- I have no where to wear them, and 2- even if I did, my nails are too short to look worth a darn with them, and 3- even if I had someplace to wear them and the nails to make them look good, I don't have the money to get them. Then I'm sad, because you know... no Minxy goodness!

You can imagine my excitement, then, when I found these Fashion Diva chrome nails from Broadway! Actually, when I first saw them I was a bit unsure... they seemed sort of cheesy to me, sort of fake. I assumed they would be silver all the way through and would look like you stuck plastic nails on your hands. I just wasn't really feeling them.

"Those are cute! Where can I buy those?"

Lots of places, actually! Major drugstores carry them- WalMart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, CVS, and the like carry Broadway nails. Just look in the cosmetics section where the other artificial nails are!

I decided I needed to try them for myself. Instead of using the pink glue that came with the kit, I used Kiss Mega Hold Press-On Tabs, which are so convenient! They're a glue alternative for full-coverage artificial nails that are much more gentle, and they don't require filing your nail bed before application! Removal is super-easy as well: simply soak your nails in warm water for a few minutes, then gently lift the nails off starting from one edge.

The down side is that they only last one day, but I'll definitely take that for the ability to wear gorgeous artificial nails without damaging my natural nails! I was really impressed by not only how easy they were to apply, but also at just how strong they are. I haven't yet tried to wear these all day, but I don't think I'd have much problem, other than trying to get used to suddenly having long nails. :D

Speaking of nails, let's get back to those, shall we?

These nails are freakin' hot, people. I had problems photographing them because of just how shiny and chromey they are, but believe me when I say these are like having mirrors on your fingers. There's no way you could get a polish that's this shiny, it's just not possible. They look like Minx, except that instead of spending $40 for a set that can only be worn once, you're spending around $6 for a set of nails you can wear over and over again!

"But Laynie," you ask, "sure they're gorgeous on top, but what about underneath? Won't they look silver and stupid and cheap, like kiddy nails?"

 Please, like I'd not tell you if that were the case. No, the people at Broadway thought of everything with these, and thankfully they're a nice natural-looking creamy off-white underneath, just like a natural nail would be. Now, obviously they won't pass for your own if someone takes your hand and studies your nails mere inches from their own nose, but truthfully? Who does that?

"But Laynie, they have square tips! What if I don't like square tips? Or what if they're too long? I can't handle nails that are too long!"

What do you do if your own nails are too long? You file them down into any shape you like, and you can do that with these nails too! Ovals, square, or even stiletto nails (although they'd be really short stilettos!), it's entirely up to you. Honestly, I can't even begin to explain how much I love these!

And because these are simply too gorgeous, and because I had such a hard time photographing these, I had to take more photos than usual to share with you. I know, this blog is photo-heavy compared to my normal ones, but can you blame me? Look at them!! They're almost hypnotizingly beautiful... I couldn't stop looking at my nails! It was like they were calling to me. "Laynie... look at us... looooook at usssss.... we're so shiiiiiny... we're so beauuuuuuuutiful!"

For approximately $6 you get a pack of 24 nails in 12 sizes and 2 patterns (plain chrome and zebra print) and a small container of pink nail glue. Kiss Mega Hold Press-On Tabs are approximately $2 for 48 tabs in multiple sizes. That's enough for 4 manicure applications, which means you can wear these nails 5 times for $8: four temporary wears for 1-3 days and one semi-permanent wear for up to 7 days! You can't do that with Minx!

These were provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Love the Way Chrome Polishes Stamp!

I had a few extra dollars a few days back, so I decided to splurge on a stamping polish. Hee, I say splurge like it cost me $30 or something... I spent $2 on a Pure Ice polish from WalMart!

But let me tell you, these Pure Ice chromes stamp like nobody's business! I was actually really impressed when I saw the pigmentation of this one. This is definitely a one-coat dream!

I know, so what did I get? I got Pure Ice Pussy Cat, which is a very pale silvered blue chrome (or perhaps is should be a blued-silver? I don't know...). It's absolutely lovely for stamping, although it left little dried strings of polish on the edges of my nailbed.

 I chose to wear this stamped over a Wet n Wild polish I won from KittyPolishnBags. Deep Wine is just that, a gorgeous shimmery deep wine that just works beautifully with my skin tone. I could have worn this alone but I was really in the mood for some stamping. The fun thing about these colors together is how they interact together.

Although Pussy Cat is clearly blue in the bottle (and if you were to wear it alone), when stamped over Deep Wine it loses almost of the blue, becoming a very beautiful rich silver. I can't begin to explain how much I enjoyed this combination!

So, if you're looking for an affordable, gorgeous stamping polish, head for the Pure Ice display at your local WalMart. The chromes are fantastic!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CND Effects Have Stolen My Heart!

Some of you may have realized by now that I really, really enjoy layering polishes to experiment with them, change their attitude, their vibe. Layering can take a totally demure polish and turn it into a showstopper, it can tone down an overly loud polish, and can make magic happen.

That's why I've had my eye on CND's Colour & Effects polishes. With 50 creme shades and 15 effects polishes, you have an enormous range for combinations. The effects include subtle pearl effects, saucy shimmers, and standout sparkles that bathe your nails in glittery sparks of light!

Imagine my surprise when I came out and found CND's Oil Slick and Sapphire Sparkle in my mailbox! I was so giddy that I could barely wait to get inside to open them and try them on. I tore into that box like a mad woman, and simply held the bottles for a few minutes, watching the light play across the Sapphire Sparkle.

Oil Slick didn't really excite me too much at first. I thought it was a deep rich black. That's good, I need a good black polish. (I know, what kind of polish-obsessed chick am I?) Sapphire Sparkle totally held my interest, though. It was odd because I could see so many different colors flashing in it. Obviously there was sapphire blue (which my camera absolutely refused to capture in the bottle), but there was also a lovely violet and sometimes even a hint of green.

I know! Green? But I swear, it was there. This stuff shifts colors in the most curious way, and the entire time I had it on, I couldn't stop looking at my nails, shifting my hands one way, then another. Even my husband looked on, intrigued by the changing colors!

I apologize, y'all... I took about a billion photos of these just to try and show some of the beauty. Some sort of capture it, so many fell short. I picked the best to share... Back to the nails!

Once I started applying Oil Slick, I got a huge surprise- it's not black! It's actually a deep teal blue, so deep that once you've got two coats on it looks like a deep inky black with blue tones. It's absolutely gorgeous, and a nice switch from straight black. On its own, it's beautiful!

I applied two coats of Oil Slick, and found that it applied like an absolute dream. It's such a rich, creamy opaque color that if I were better at painting my nails, I'd have been able to do a single coat and call it done. As it is, two coats was perfect, and worth wearing on its own.

But obviously, I didn't. I didn't even get any photos of just the Oil Slick on. I was just too excited! As soon as I applied the Sapphire Sparkle, things lit up. Honestly, do you see the sparkle? It's like a blue fire, catching the light, shifting and changing as the colors fade from blue to purple to pink to green...

It's absolutely magical. I cannot say it enough. I also wore this for three days before I photo'd it, simply because I was being scatterbrained. Note the tipwear... not that it matters. There was no real chipping or flaking, and I made the mistake of not wearing a base coat with this! I was only planning to swatch it, then only planning to wear it for a day. It wore well for that!

Finally, I have to show this last picture. You can see the purple and the pink that seem to show up in lower light from odd angles. Have I mentioned yet that I'm absolutely in love with how this polish changes color depending on the angle you view it from?

I know, I know. I'm being repetitive. I can't help it! I am absolutely smitten with this color! Instead of getting put away in the box of colors I've worn, this set got put aside in the favorites section. I'll be wearing it again!

First photo courtesy of
CND Oil Slick and Sapphire Sparkle were provided by CND for evaluation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Nail Art- It's Pirate Time!

Oh my goodness, y'all. I saw this video and immediately had to play with it. I absolutely love love love the look of it. Also, if you haven't subscribed to IHaveACupcake on YouTube, what are you waiting for? She does kickass tutorials, and this is a fabulous example of the videos she makes!

Well, as soon as I saw this, I knew I had to do my version of it. First I gave it a thumbs up and added it to my nail art playlist. Then I pulled out my nail art box and got to work doodling in my sketchbook. I decided that I needed a pirate cupcake as well! What do you think?

They obviously aren't as cute as IHaveACupcake's, but I'm pretty happy with them! Now, if only my nails would grow enough to do something like this on them! Grow nails, GROW!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Layering Experiment- Adding Sparkle to Mme Moriarty!

What can I say, I am a layering addict. There's something fun and exciting about taking a beautiful color and giving it a different feel. It's almost like changing a look with accessories. I love it!

I'm not sure what made me reach for BPAL's Mme Moriarty, but I was really in the mood for a deep red. You don't get much better red than this if you're wanting blood red! But even though this is the ultimate blood red for me, I wanted a bit of sparkle as well.

I reached for the Revlon Glimmer Gloss. Honestly, winning kittypolishnbag's first giveaway gave me so many fun options for layering, and the glimmer glosses have quickly become some of my favorite polishes! They can take a polish from WOW to HOLY COW!!

They haven't failed me yet, and this was no exception! Instead of turning Mme Moriarty into an all out glitterbomb, Grapefruit Glimmer instead added a subtle hint of ... well, glimmer! In most angles there was just a deep, rich glossy red that absolutely worked well with my skin tone. But then I'd move and the light would catch the glimmer particles just right, and suddenly you realize that there's more to this than you thought...

It's understated, almost like having a secret. I know that sounds strange... how can you have a secret on your nails when everyone can see them! But this is a bit of a reward for those who take the time to pay a bit more attention to things. The world is filled with things that seem simple and straightforward at first glance. It's not until you take the time to slow down and actually examine them more closely that they yield their secrets, their interesting little uniquenesses.

So, consider this my reminder that we spend too much time taking the world for granted. Consider this a call to action- take a moment today to slow down and look at what's around you. You may find that something you've never noticed before is fascinating, and all you had to do was pay attention to it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dressing Up GOSH Black Passion: Layering

Oops, looks like Kim Kardashian's boobs sort of postponed my information about changing up GOSH's Black Passion! Who knew they were so influential? Crazy!

Ah well, back to the polishes, shall we? I decided to try one of the Revlon Glimmer Glosses over the top of Black Passion to see what it would look like. Since I'm a sparkle addict, I went for Grapefruit Glimmer.

As you can see, the pale pink turned into an almost-lavender shimmer that is absolutely beautiful! The depth on this polish is something you have to see to believe... I was speechless!

This closeup gives a hint of the depth. It's worth enlarging to see the sparkle, in my opinion. The charcoal and silver of the Black Passion peeks through the pink Grapefruit Glimmer, creating this lovely play of shimmer that is captivating!

(I'm sure you can't tell at all how wonderfully interesting I found this polish. I've been told for years that I need to work on opening up, on letting my inner feelings show through. [/sarcasm])

This last photo was taken using available light instead of flash. Can you see how fun this is? I loved this combination so much! I had no idea a sheer topcoat could be so much fun!

So tell me, what do you think of this combination? Is this a shade you would wear? Does it need something more- more interesting, more intense, more... whatever? Leave me a comment telling me what you think of it!