Thursday, August 30, 2018

Oh, where does the time go?

Hey, hey.. Anyone out there?  If so, please leave a comment!

I have no reason for such a long absence from writing and sharing my love for all things nail.  I have been keeping my nails polished or wrapped, but have simply not made the time to check in here!  I apologize!  I will try to set up a schedule for myself to resume the blog as it can be a therapeutic activity and I'm going to be painting my nails anyway....

So what is up?

Since my last post just a few on the more "exciting" side.  One is a trip I made to Washington, D.C. with my son.  We did that last summer and it was so much fun.  I was worried he was too young, but he seemed to really enjoy it!  On our first full day we took a bus tour around the most popular sights in town.  We made a grave mistake getting off at the Capitol building.  The building itself was fun to visit and see, but getting back on the tour bus was a challenge!  We finally got back on, but by then we were so hungry (let's say hangry).  I was determined to make it out to Arlington National Cemetery that day since it was included in the tour pass I purchased.  We were both so dehydrated and hungry, but luckily when we got off at the Lincoln Memorial there was a burger kiosk.  A burger never tasted so good!  ha ha! 

So, luckily, a good friend of mine lived not too far, and he agreed to meet us the next day.  That day was a LOT more walking as we didn't take any bus tour, but it was so incredible.  We didn't even scratch the surface at D.C., so will definitely be making another trip.

Have you been to Washington, D.C.?  If so, what did you think?  Would you go again?  Are there any places you recommend?  Next time I go I will be sure to visit the Cemetery again, the Lincoln & Jefferson Memorials, and will set aside a whole day to visit the museums.

All for now.. if you're there, thanks for sticking around!  Hopefully I'll have some pictures soon for you.

XOXO,
Vanessa

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jamberry Butterfly Bliss

Happy Hump Day!

Today I have another wear test on the Jamberry nail wraps for you.  Lately I just haven't really felt like polishing my nails, so I've turned to the nail wraps.  If I'm patient during application they will stay put for several days, so then I don't have to worry about changing my manicure.  Once I get back into a polishing mood I'll be back with more pretty lacquers!  :)

So, this is a mixed mani wrap.  I love these because then IF I want to mix and match I don't have to dig through my stash.. everything is on the one sheet.  Big plus!  This one is a satin finish wrap, which I really love.  It has a nice sheen to it, but not so shiny like the metallic wraps.  This wrap is currently available so if you are interested let me know!  I will put you in touch with a Jamberry consultant to get you going.

I know what you're thinking.. Why not just do this design with polish?  Well.. I don't because I don't have the right brushes to attempt this!  I guess I should look into some of the finer detail brushes.  So, you artists out there could do this easily I'm sure.  :)  I like the different colors on the wraps, but I do wish the orange-red was more on the red side than orange.  I do really like the index finger color.

So what have you been up to?  Do you remember when I told you about my back muscle strain?  It was rough getting back to running.  The first 2 times out I did more of a run/walk thing, and I could feel the muscle that had been hurt getting tired faster.  I added back in some more core work and some strength and mobility exercises.. I like to call them Jane Fonda moves, which is a little funny, but they are SO effective!  Anyway, the third run back I was able to do 3 miles non-stop.  I kept on at a slow pace and only increasing mileage if things felt fine.  I'm happy to tell you that last week I finished my first double digit run since the injury and since my half marathon in December!  I did have wonderful running company and I'm so thankful.  I am not sure I would have made it through all the way without her. I hope I continue to feel good!  Injuries are never any fun, but runners are especially more moody when they are sidelined.. am I right?  Any runners out there?
Oh how fun.. I had already been wearing my Jamberry nail wraps on that run!

So, this is what they look like today (day 7).  Would you just LOOK at my middle finger who betrayed me?!  I felt a little snag a couple of days ago so I decided to remove the wrap and check things out.  My nail was totally split on one side!  Gasp!  No good.. not sure how I did it, either.  Probably just using them as tools again!  ugh.. If it hadn't been for that nail all of them would have been intact.  I do have the tip wear, total tell-tale sign that I don't know how to be gentle with my fingers.  ha ha!

Not bad.  I made it through all of my hair washings without getting any hair caught, so I think this application was really good!

Not sure what will be next, folks.. polish?  I do have a really lovely hunter green that's just perfect for St. Patrick's Day.  I also have a really cute nail wrap (another mixed mani).. decisions, decisions.. Hope you all have a lovely day!

XO,
Vanessa


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

prototype polishes are great!

OK.

HOW is it already the LAST DAY of February?!  I don't know.  Time just slips away from me and I still think I am 25 years old. 

Anyway.. since it's still February and it's the month of Valentine's manis.. I have a cute berry/red polish to show you today.  This comes from Polish 'M.  It's a prototype polish, so she had been toying with the idea of releasing it as part of a collection.  It didn't make the cut for any number or reasons.. maybe the texture didn't match the others in the line up.. or maybe the color was just not quite right.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad she still offered these prototypes up for sale!  I picked out 4 and today I'm going to show you prototype 28.

Isn't it super cute?!  I don't like red on me very much at all, especially the primary color red tone.. but add a little coolness to it and I love it.  I love how this looks against my skin and the tiny glitters in contrasting colors really make the polish special!

Application notes, since you must be wondering: easy peasy.. 2 coats here, but it was fairly opaque in one.  No issues with application!  I cleaned up around the edges because I was a bit heavy handed with the top coat (I really wanted that glassy look!). 

This polish is currently still available in the shop, but I don't know how many, so if you like this, go now!  If you miss it, no worries.. there are some other polishes on SALE from the Holiday collection, including a few red/berry shades.  Also, just check the shop again later!  If you want to be the first to know about any restock events then I encourage you to join the Polish 'M group on Facebook.

Gosh, folks.. so sorry about the LONG break!  Work got the best of me I suppose and now that I have time I was a little ashamed to notice how long it had been since I wrote!  Gasp!

You can find Polish 'M here:
shop: http://www.polishm.com
IG: @creativenailchick
Facebook group: Polish 'M Fans

Until next time (hopefully not too long!)..
XO,
Vanessa

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Water marble

Easy nail art?

So.. I'm cheating a little bit.. I did this water marble over the weekend, but.. it's ok, right? First of all.. let me just say that I am far far from being really good at this technique.  I've been practicing and it's gotten easier, but it's still very intimidating, no matter how many tutorial videos I watch!  I am determined, though, to perfect my technique and get more consistent.

The water marble I'm showing you took a few tries to get to where I liked it.  First, I had to experiment with the polishes themselves.  I was dead set on using a particular cream color, but it just wasn't cooperating as well as the others.  It never really spread out well and that made my bullseye really small.. this makes it difficult to do any kind of dragging.  I changed out that polish for a white and that was the trick!  So.. then I was ready to try again.  Here is the outcome...  what do you think?


I had intended to do 2 fingers, but I didn't like how my pointer turned out, and then to make it worse, I accidentally bumped it when removing the latex barrier.  I do like how this turned out, though.. a skittle mani.  The polishes I used are all from Polish My Life.  Shown are: 50's Mint Fridge (thumb), Breakfast on Fifth (pointer and pinkie), Reject Club Pink (ring).  The water marble was done using those polishes plus Stripped.  Which one is your favorite color?  I really like Breakfast on Fifth!

I wasn't done yet.  Since I wanted to try a slightly different pattern, I put Cinderella to work.  This was pretty challenging because of the latex barrier!  I prepped pointer and middle, which meant I had to use my left hand to do the dropping (so nervous!!).  The ring and pinkie weren't too bad.  My nail beds are so much shorter on my pointer and middle, so she doesn't like to show off very often.  But.. I like how these turned out (especially the pinkie!).. what do you think?

If you are new to water marbling I highly recommend watching some tutorial videos!!  I really like the ones by Tiffany (Mrswhite8907 on YouTube) and Colette (My Simple Little Pleasures on YouTube).  The tool I use for creating my designs is a regular pointy toothpick, but you can get specialized tools or maybe use a small dotting tool.  To make clean up easier I do recommend protecting the skin with something like tape or a latex barrier.  I use Bliss Kiss Simply Peel.

Thanks for stopping by!
XO,
Vanessa

Friday, February 3, 2017

Jamberry sparkle nail wraps

Sparkles, you hate me!

Hey, all!  So, I did a little experiment/test for myself, but maybe this can help you, too, if you are considering Jamberry nail wraps. 

So, as I've said before, nail polish is definitely my first love.  But, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the choices!  Maybe that means it's time to cull my collection to limit my choices.  Or, maybe it is like anything else.. now and then you need a little vacation. 

When my nails get any bit of length on them I feel like I'm an accident waiting to happen.  That's why I like to always have either polish, a base coat, or nail wraps on.  No, that doesn't mean that it's fool-proof insurance against breaks, but it helps for sure!  I will always be in awe of longer nails because I just don't ever get past 2 or 3 weeks of growth.  Seriously, mad props to all you who can wear longer nails.. I just get them caught on ANYTHING and everything! 

Whenever I want or need a break from polishing I turn to my nail wraps.  Lately, though, I made a conscious choice to use only nail wraps so I could try to grow out the staining on my nails.  I found recently that applying a base coat underneath the wraps helped with my wear time (and no snagging whenever I did things like fold laundry).  I hadn't tried it with a full set of sparkle finish wraps yet, so now was a good a time as any!  My goal was to get through the work week, applying the wraps Sunday night and making it to Friday morning without major issues.  In the past I've applied sparkles on my bare nail and within 2 or 3 days I'd have some serious lifting at the cuticle line and/or the edges.  ugh!  Of course.. that could be due to my application process, or maybe my use of nail oils.  In any case.. it was a little frustrating because they are so cute and I actually wanted them to stay on.

For this manicure I made sure my cuticles were in decent shape (no extras or hidden ones) and that my nail was free of any oils (I do this anytime I apply wraps anyway).  For my test, I applied one coat of Zoya naked base and let that dry before applying my wraps.  My thumb isn't showing on these photos (but check my IG @ace_vanessa to see it!), so the names of these wraps are: Seaside sparkle (the fishtail braid pattern) and Fountain of Youth.

Application day (Sunday)

Friday morning

Hey, I made it!  You can see some tip wear, which I normally get no matter which finish I use.  I avoided nail oils for about 24 hours, but after that I went back to my normal use (usually 3-5 times a day).  I didn't get any lifting at my cuticle!!  YAY!  This is the worst.. that's the BEST place for my hair to get caught when washing or combing.  Didn't happen this time so I am really pleased!  There is a little bit of lifting on the edge/tips of the ring finger wrap, which I trimmed.  That may be due to my application or the fact that it's an older wrap (over a year old).  I just received the Seaside sparkle, so it seems like Jamberry may have improved the finish a tiny bit (more flexible?  thinner?).

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!
XO,
Vanessa