Sunday, March 27, 2011

Make Your Own Nude Nail Polish, courtesy of

I was talking to a friend of mine on Twitter tonight who was having problems with a nail polish she'd gotten. It was a lovely nude polish, but it was just too sheer for her. She wanted to know if she could somehow concentrate the polish pigment, or if that would even work.

Immediately I thought of a video I'd seen a while back. I quickly googled and found what I was looking for. In April of last year, Elissa from Pursebuzz did a fantastic video about making your own nude nail polish from mineral makeup! I've tried it since with eyeshadow and it worked like a charm. So hey... try it out, it can't hurt!

Something else to keep in mind- if your polish mix starts drying up or getting kind of lumpy, add a bit of nail polish thinner to it if you have some. this will loosen up the mixture again so that you can apply it nicely. I do this when I'm mixing custom colors for a single manicure but don't want a whole bottle of it.

Hope this helps someone! Also, if you're at all interested in cosmetics, fashion, DIY, or just plain fun then you'd probably enjoy Elissa's website, She's also got a Twitter account where she gives tips and tricks, tells you when her new videos or blog posts go up, and sometimes hosts fun little giveaways! And as if that's not enough, she's also got a Facebook page!

Most of all, she's not just a beauty guru, she's also a genuinely nice person. I'm not being compensated for this post, I just think she's one of those people everyone should know about. So go follow her, and tell her I sent you! :D

Til next time...
See for more information on fashion, makeup, and all sorts of goodies!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Zoya New Collections- modmattes LE, Sunshine and Summertime!

OMG, can I just tell you how excited I am about the new Zoya summer collections? Holy WOW they're gorgeous! I have been really feeling drawn to bright fun colors, and these collections have my name on them! What, you can't see it? Look closer, I SWEAR it's there! ;)

First let's look at their basic collections. These babies are intense!

First, there's Sunshine, a collection of six sparkling metallic colors that will have you longing for summer. The press release describes those colors like this:
* Reva (ZP546) - A cool toned strawberry red with glowing golden metallic sparkle. A very rich and luxurious looking gilded red.
* Kimmy (ZP547) - Gleaming metallic candy apple red brightened by gold sparkle. Not your usual red shimmer- this one has a fiery attitude.
* Apple (ZP548) - Luminous yellow-toned apple green packed with gold metallic sparkle. A dimensional green that's clean and bright.
* Tanzy (ZP549) - Light, bright tangerine orange with yellow gold metallic sparkle. A sunny orange that's easy to wear year-round.
* Rica (ZP550) - Warm light coral with pink and orange tones and heavy gold metallic sparkle. An alternative to flat corals for when you want to shine.
* Faye (ZP551) - A bronzed mauve with purple and brown undertones flooded with right gold sparkle. A unique gilded shade that will work in any season.
Aren't those delicious-looking? I'm particularly drawn to Tanzy and Apple. What can I say, I'm in love with greens! But next... ohhh, coming up next are the cremes...

I know. I'm not a big fan of cremes. I think I may have bought two creme polishes ever, and they were almost identical shades of red way back before I became polish-obsessed. But the Summertime collection? These cremes are calling my name, teasing me and tempting my with their saturated summer goodness!
* Sooki (ZP552) - Bright, clean, crisp cool cherry red cream with a subtle jelly finish. For an irresistible, attention-grabbing red nail.
* Tamsen (ZP553) - Medium warm brick red with strong orange tones with an opaque cream finish. A special red that is both enticing and mysterious
Areej (ZP554) - Pink with an opaque cream finish. A pink for when you want a bold pop of color but not something neon-bright.
* Kieko (ZP555) - Warm, red toned dusty light purple with berry tones with an opaque cream finish. A nice alternative to pure pink or berry, especially flattering on warm skin tones.
* Mira (ZP556) - Blue toned medium purple with dusty lavender tones and an opaque cream finish. For a muted yet colorful purple that isn't too dark
* Breezi (ZP557) - Soft, dusty, medium cerulean blue with an opaque cream finish. A super chic high-fashion denim look for nails.
I want Breezi so much!! Actually, scratch that- I want them ALL!! I can't even explain it. I'd love to have a house with accents in all these colors, surrounding me with lots of bright, happy, fun  colors and inspiring me. All that's missing is a lovely lime green!

And if that's not enough... there's also the limited edition modmattes.

There it is- the lime green I was missing! Is this beautiful or what? These three matte polishes are the absolute bees knees, and I am wanting these babies BAD! How does Zoya describe these?
  • Lolly- Bold, saturated medium magenta pink cream with a velvety matte finish. A very colorful new matte style for perfect stand-out Barbie pink nails.
  • Phoebe- Bright azure with fine electric blue and violet shimmer with a velvety matte finish. The matte finish amplifies the bright color; this is a matte that positively glows.
  • Mitzi- Funky murky light yellow-toned lime green cream with a velvety matte finish. A new edgy, fun, bright type of matte for a retro mod look.

And if you've made it all the way to the end of this post, then have I got a treat for you! Zoya is running an amazing special that people all over have been prepping for. If you've got an account at Zoya, you can get polishes two for the price of one! You can read the official Zoya blog post about it. Not bad, eh?

So go on, go spend some cash at the Zoya sale. Then you can stop back by and tease me because I'm still on a no-buy! :D

Til next time...

Images were provided by the manufacturer.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, March 18, 2011

KISS & Broadway March Glamness Sweepstakes for the Month of March!

Wow, I wish I'd seen this sooner! You guys have probably figured out by now that I love KISS & Broadway products, yea? Well, this is one more reason to love them! Every day in March, they're giving away one of their products, and on March 31 they're giving away a giant package with everything they've given away for the rest of the month!

Pretty awesome, yes? The only catch is that you have to enter every day. It takes a whole minute or so to enter your information, though, and they're not bad to send you spam.

Entering is easy. Just go to the KISS & Broadway facebook page, become a fan (I don't know if it's necessary, but go ahead and do it, they're awesome!), then click the "Sweepstakes" tab. You'll be taken to the sweepstakes page, where you can click "Enter." Then just type in your information, and you're done! (Click the images for more details if you can't find it.)

So what are you waiting for? Scoot on over to the KISS & Broadway March Glamness Sweepstakes and enter!
Information and top image provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Green For St. Patrick's Day With Milani

Green with Envy
Milani Cosmetics gets gorgeously green for St. Paddy’s Day.

This St. Patrick’s Day, Milani Cosmetics is offering 25% off their classic green shades for eyes and nails! This is the deal that will have everyone green with envy!

Also, check out Milani Cosmetics DIY nail tip of the month to achieve sassy shamrock nails without breaking the budget at the salon!

Retail, $4.09 to $8.99, available for purchase at:

*Discount will be applied at checkout after entering promotional code.

Milani How-to Steps:

1.        Apply Smoothé Base Coat Specialty Nail Lacquer MST-01 to entire nail. Let it fully dry
2.        Apply French Manicure Nail Lacquer MFM-302 Angel Pink as a color base coat. Allow it to fully dry
3.        Use Nail Lacquer MNL-829 Dress Maker across the very tip of the nail, creating a French tip. Allow to fully dry
4.        Add 4 small “V’s” the arrangement of a four leaf clover using Nail Art Lacquer MNA - 709 Green Sketch
5.        Apply a tiny dot in the center with Nail Art Lacquer MNA – 701 Art of Gold. Allow to fully dry
6.        Apply Glossé Top Coat Specialty Nail Lacquer MST-02 over entire design

Blah blah was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

China Glaze Cracked Concrete and Couture Cupcakes: What I Did On My Saturday Night

Oh my dog, I had an absolutely wonderful Saturday night! First off, I finally seem to be reaching the end of my might-be-mono/glandular fever episode. This has made me absolutely euphoric. There just aren't enough words to describe how wonderful this is!

Then a couple of days ago I got a wonderful surprise in the mail- I got three China Glaze crackle polishes to review! This is wonderful, because as much as I wanted to experiment with these (and as excited as I've been about them) I've been on a no-buy with no end in sight. Getting these means I get to play with them and then share the finished results with you! I'm so happy with the three colors I received- Cracked Concrete (grey), Broken Hearted (pink), and Lightning Bolt (white). There's so much potential with these!!

For the look shown here, I first did a quick coat of Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen in Silver Chrome. I love silver, so I thought this would make a fab base for Cracked Concrete.

Applying the crackle polish was so much fun! I'm going to need to experiment with it a bit more, but it seems like the amount of polish you apply affect the type of crackling you get. Thinner coats seem to give more crackling with almost feathery-looking cracks, while thicker coats end up with big chunky cracks. At least, so it seemed with my brief experience!

And of course, being the magpie I am I wasn't able to leave this alone. I applied a coat of topcoat of course (China Glaze Fast Forward, how I love you!), but later on that day I added a coat of Love My Nails Dazzling. Unfortunately, while Dazzling did give a bit of sparkle to the look, it also seems to have made the crackle less obvious. Ah well, live and learn, yes?

Still, the best part of my evening came after my manicure. My husband decided to take me and our son out for a bit of adventure! (Ok, we were jeans shopping at the mall for our son, but I was out of the house for the first time in what feels like AGES... humor me here!) We parked in front of the bookstore at the local mall, and as we were walking to the mall my husband made a detour to the most adorable little cupcake shop!

I'd wanted to visit Cupcake Couture ever since I'd noticed it was open, but it seems like every time we're there, the shop had already closed for the night. Saturday was perfect timing, though, because not only was the shop open but they were having buy two get one free special! How perfect is that- three of us, so one of us got a free cupcake!

I was absolutely amazed at the choices. I've seen all the special flavors you can get, but you're usually stuck with the usual same-old same-old here. But Cupcake Couture really did go above and beyond with their flavors. Although I have to admit- even with all the amazing choices, I still stuck with my favorite red velvet. I'm so uncreative!

Now, let me make this clear: cupcakes are a big deal to me. I absolutely love them, but I'm picky. I don't want your typical cupcake with a splodge of frosting smeared on top. To me, a cupcake should be an experience- it should be beautiful to look at (or cute, or adorable, or whatever... but special to look at), it should be moist and tasty. What's the point of going to a cupcake shop if I'm going to get the same old thing I can get from home? I want it to be special!

Honey, these cupcakes more than met my expectations! The shop was very sweet, with a gorgeous display of the various cupcakes. The design of the cupcakes was wonderful. I wish I'd gotten a shot of all the cakes with their little decorations. It truly was a visual feast. Unboxing the cupcakes made me giggle in excitement, and I couldn't wait to start nibbling.

Once I did, well... let's just say I was a happy girl. My cupcake was dense, extremely rich, with a creamy frosting that was crusted on the outside a bit. Absolutely perfect frosting, and while I'd prefer the cake to be a touch moister, they were end-of-the-day cupcakes that were on sale. I imagine that probably had a bit to do with it. Still, they were top-notch cupcakes that took me back to my childhood, or maybe back to the childhood I wish I'd had- you know, filled with awesome cupcakes!

They didn't last all that long. All too soon we were left with a scattering of crumbs and a few sad little wrappers. But let me tell you... the happy feelings lingered for quite some time!

If you're in the Baton Rouge area, I would absolutely recommend visiting Cupcake Couture. You can eat in the shop or you can step outside to eat in the open air at the tables outside Borders. If you do happen to stop by, tell them you read about them here!

Polishes were provided by the manufacturers for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Dog For Deeds- Let's Make This Happen!

Drawing by JC Little
The internet is a strange thing. It's grown from being education-related to porn central into something bigger, something greater than the sum of its parts. Now I find that I'm exposed to more people, more situations that I'd never have known about, and I can actually use this internet thing for good!

For example, this week I picked up a new Twitter follower called @LittleAnimation. I hopped online and went to look at her blog and found the most adorable illustrations I've seen in ages. Then I saw this one and I had to know more about it.

Turns out Deeds is an adorable little boy who just happens to have been diagnosed with Autism. I spent hours reading through his parents' blog, learning about what a sweet, wonderful little boy he is. I also learned that Deeds really needs an autism service dog.

See, Deeds has some issues that go with Autism. He loves to wander, but lacks that awareness of danger that most kids develop. He's not afraid to wander off alone, he sees heights as something new to jump off of, and has no fear of water. This terrifies his parents, obviously. Deeds also has seizures, probably because of his being born prematurely (if I'm not mistaken).On top of all this, he was recently burned and is having to go through lots of medical treatments and doctor visits for that. (That's why his lil face is all pink.)

The drawing on this photo was done by JC Little.
Isn't she wonderful?
A service dog would be a wonderful help for all of these. Service dogs are trained to gently guide autistic kids, interrupting their meltdowns and their repetitive gestures, keeping them away from dangerous places, and warning that a seizure is coming on so that parents can get the child into a safe space. Basically, a service dog would drastically improve life for Deeds and for his whole family.

So, I'm sure you're asking what they need to get this dog. I wish I could say it was the usual $100 to get a dog from the pound, but it's not that easy. Service dogs like Deeds needs are hard to get, and they don't come cheap. Overall they need not only the dog but training and learning how to interact with the new dog. It comes out to around $6,000, money that insurance won't pay.

The good news is that they're almost halfway there already! This is where we come in- it's gonna take a lot of work and a lot of people working together to help Deeds get his dog. I know the economy is rough right now. But when people pull together, miracles can happen. So here's what I'm thinking...

If we all work together, we can make this happen. If you have a few extra dollars to toss in the Dog4Deeds fund, great. If not, pass the information on. Do you have a blog? Awesome- write a post. Do you use Twitter? Follow @dog4deeds on twitter, and follow the #forDeeds hash tag. How about Facebook? Like A Dog 4 Deeds on Facebook, and pass the link on to friends. And let's not forget the Dog 4 Deeds website, where you can read all about Deeds and his family, and see just what a life-changing event getting this dog would be for him.

We can make this happen. Work with me, and let's give this little boy the freedom that a service dog can bring. Let's make his life a little brighter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A collection of designs that didn't make it into Nails Magazine

I was excited when I saw Nails Magazine make a call for submissions on their Facebook page. I left a link to my blog and got a response very quickly. Turns out they wanted a nail design using the spring colors I discussed last time. I could submit more than one if I wanted, but that was entirely up to me.

Of course, once I got started mixing I couldn't stop at just one nail. I made a few, and submitted three. Only one was selected, but I figure I may as well share the others as well, right? Even if they didn't turn out all that well...

First, let's start with the one I didn't send. I had all sorts of ideas for this one, but none of them actually seemed to work. I eventually spangled the heck out of it, but I still need to get photos of that one. This is a simple pieced design outlined in black. I like the poppy red on the right bottom corner of the photo, and I really like the peapod green. I'm just not sure about all these colors together on one nail like this! Still, it could be much worse... I've worn much worse!

Then there's this one, and I'm not even sure what to call it. A bizarre rethinking of French tips? I really like the butterscotch color, even if it doesn't seem to like me back. That poppy red again really works well with it, too, even if the peapod green sort of vibrates oddly between them.

It's not that I don't like this one... I do. I'm just not sure about it. It's not a style I do and then think, "WOW, I love this one!!"

However, this last one? Yea, I love this one. It's my favorite of the bunch, although it's pretty obvious why they didn't pick it for spring...

 A black base coat made those spring colors absolutely pop. What can I say... I love the way they look against that deep background. They almost reminded me of candy, somehow! Maybe black isn't a color one  traditionally associates with springtime, but I think this totally works!

So there we go... the other nails I did and submitted. What do you think... would you wear any of them? Leave a comment with your feedback, I'd love to know what you think!

Mixing colors is so much fun!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, March 4, 2011

So Excited! I've Been Published! :D

My husband came in this afternoon and totally made my day. He started by telling me, "I've got something that's going to make you REALLY happy!" I had no idea what he was talking about, but he can make me happy just with a hug. I smiled and told him, "Oh really... what's that?"

"This!" He handed me a large flat FedEx envelope, and I raised an eyebrow questioningly. I wasn't expecting anything in the mail, and I certainly wasn't expecting anything this size or shape. I turned it over and looked at the return address and saw that it was from Nails Magazine!

A while back, I'd tweeted that I was working on a project that hopefully I'd be able to share with you soon. Well, this is that project! I've been published!!

Ok, it's not like I wrote an article or anything. I didn't even get paid for it, but let me tell you, getting this copy in the mail complete with the page marked to my submission felt amazing! Seriously, I squealed in delight and immediately tore into the packaging (delicately, since I recycle packaging) to see what they chose!

I flipped to the page carefully marked with a post-it note, and there it was: my nail design on page 57, complete with my URL and everything! I'd actually submitted several nails using that color scheme, but they picked my favorite. There's something exciting about seeing my stuff in a magazine that people read!

So- since I sort of cropped the page and covered up most of it, I'll give you some background information. Basically, designers plan color schemes ahead of time, so that everyone from clothing and cosmetics designers to home interior manufacturers can plan out their lines and incorporate the same colors. This lets people be sure their items can coordinate.

This year, the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2011 has shown ten colors they think will be the basic palette for the season. Included in these colors are honeysuckle, a vibrant pinkish-red, coral rose, a sophisticated orange, beeswax, a warm, honeyed yellow, and peapod, a fresh yellow-green. Overall, the selection is pretty nice. You can see the full report at Pantone's web site.

I'm also sort of amused by my photo. I can tell you that while they photographed my nail tip themselves, they did not remove the bit of streaking that happened when I put my topcoat on. I was so annoyed by that! I was using Seche Vite and trying to float it on, so as not to disturb the dots. I even waited a day after painting the dots to make sure they were dry! It just goes to show that sometimes your art is going to streak no matter what you do. Accept it and move on- it's just nail polish!

The fun for this attempt came in trying to mix the colors to match the pantone values. First off, it's really hard to match paint to a computer screen! Then it was even odder trying to get that particular green or that particular orange. I went through several mixing cups, attempting to get exactly the color I wanted.

It was a great learning experience, though, and overall it was a lot of fun! It's a good reminder that if you don't have the exact color you want to wear, don't be afraid to mix and adjust your polishes until they're perfect! You might end up with that perfect shimmery army green like I did!

Hug someone special to you today. You probably need it as much as they do!
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