Thursday, February 7, 2019

Zoya Normani

Keep it classy

Do you have a favorite nail polish?  I have many polishes that I love for various reasons.. mostly hinging around the color and the formula.  I'm sure it's happened more than once where I will forgive a polish its lackluster formula because the color makes up for it.  When we come across the gems, though.. those really stick with us, don't they?

I don't remember if it was four or five years ago, but Pinterest came into my life.  I got lost in a sea of beautiful nail swatch pictures.  I saw brands I'd never even heard of!  butter London?  Zoya?  They sounded so classy and honestly... sounded like they were out of the price range I was willing to spend.  I continued to ponder the selections available in the beauty aisles at the grocery store, including many a Sally Hansen hue.  I felt satisfied with these for a time, but then one day I decided to see if I could find any at our Ulta shop, just to SEE if they really were as pretty in person as on the many photos I'd perused.  I don't remember the day, and I might have even been looking for a different color, but settled for this one: Zoya Normani.  I didn't expect to like it so much just from looking at it in the bottle, but I wanted to try it since I saw "great formula" so many times when reading blogger reviews.  As soon as I applied the first coat I knew this was something special.. and here we are many paint jobs later!

Zoya Normani is described by Zoya as a full-coverage sable mauve cream.  I'm not the best with colors, but to me this is a medium brown with a smoky/grey undertone to soften it up.  It. Is. INCREDIBLE.

OK, maybe incredible is a bit much.  But, will you agree that it is very sophisticated?  Will you agree that it more-than-likely looks fabulous on any skin tone?  Will you agree that this shade can probably be worn anywhere in any season?!  Gah.  I think Zoya absolutely nailed it (no pun intended) with this color.  It is very well-balanced... not too brown, and not too grey.  It sits happily right in the middle and needs no other embellishments to give you a classy feel.  Trust me.. if you don't already have a favorite neutral polish, try Normani.  It is probably the one polish I've used the most, even more than my cherished Sally Hansen Pacific Blue original formula.  In fact, I've used it so much (and a few friends have borrowed it as well) that I can validate getting myself a replacement bottle.  This one is a must-have for me... kind of like a shelf staple.  She's never let me down.  Oh, and my swatch shows two coats plus a top coat, though Normani is pretty shiny on its own.

What do you think?  Do you have Normani?  If not, do you think you'll give it a try?


Monday, February 4, 2019

General Update

Hi!  I'm not real sure that anyone is actually keeping up with my (lack of) writing!  If you are, please drop a comment down below.

Going forward: My intent when I started this was to share my thoughts on any polishes, and originally it was on new polishes that are still available for you to purchase if you so desired.  I've cut WAY BACK on my purchases so that will not be happening very much at all.  I do, however, still own quite a bit and may share a manicure or two here and there.

Destash sale:  There are lots of polishes in my collection that I've only managed to use once or twice, some not at all!  This could be for various reasons, but mostly it is because I found the color didn't work well (to my eye) on my skin tone.  I have listed several polishes on a destash page on Instagram and I may also post here.  It is painful to get rid of them, but I don't have much space and these are just not being used as often as they deserve to be!  I am confident some of you out there would love them!  Please leave a comment down below if you want the name of my IG destash page, or just find my main page on IG @ace_vanessa and my destash page is linked there.

Other life stuffs: If you've read any of my past posts you know that I'm also a runner.  I haven't actually been running all that long.  I mainly did it when I was younger (junior high/high school/college) as a means to try to maintain my weight.  That actually didn't work too well then!  ha ha!  I tried running again around 2011 when a group of fine folks brought a half-marathon and marathon event to this town.  I figured it's basically in my backyard, so why not give it a shot.  Since then I have run thousands of miles and this time it actually did help me maintain weight (but I had already lost a bunch before I started).  In the beginning I was also doing some strength training and so I actually enjoyed for a bit having some tone to my body, which was vastly different from my growing-up years.  I felt pretty strong and I felt so much better about myself then I had in the past.  Then I quit my gym because I found I wasn't going as often as the running became my priority and main mode.  Needless to say, the running didn't help me keep any kind of tone, save for my lower legs!  It's time to get back into a routine with strength training and I'm going to try to get back a bit of my former strength.  I'll still keep running, but I've let the cross-training lapse for far too long and as with anything else, balance is key.  I may share my running experiences here as well.

Another thing I am really trying to do these days is READ MORE.  Mostly I read fiction books, but now and then I will try a history book because I feel it is very important to understand or to see how things were before in order to make sense of today's events, or to try to make better decisions overall.  All of this is VAGUE, really, as each person has to come to their own happy place.  This is all as it pertains to me.  I expect both agreements and disagreements, and that is totally OK!  So, anyway, going forward I may write about a book a read now and then.

Sorry no fun pictures for you today, but if you want to see any of my manicures please visit my page on Instagram @ace_vanessa.  I post much more often there than here.

Hope to see you again soon!!


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.


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!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

prototype polishes are great!


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:
IG: @creativenailchick
Facebook group: Polish 'M Fans

Until next time (hopefully not too long!)..