Thursday, May 29, 2014

The TRUTH about Etsy...

Etsy is Fairy Tale Rent or a rosier version of La'Boheme: the people who started Etsy were idealistic artists who sold out just a tiny bit and got to live Affluently* Ever After instead of hungry, miserable, and/or dead.

*I make no claim to know if they are Happy

Yes, it's been a very long time since I last posted and even longer since I said anything about Etsy. I'm a blog rebel.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Nail Art No-Chip Manicure from Polish2Times

I had my first no-chip manicure for my friends' wedding in September. Thanks to a Lifebooker deal, I got nail art for $2 extra. I went to Polish2Times and Cheryl was fabulous--great human being, and we had lots of fun chatting while she made my nails absolutely gorgeous. I actually brought the dress I was going to wear to the wedding so we could come up with something that matched, and matched we did!
Dress from Anthropology:

Nails from Cheryl at Polish2Times (photo courtesy of Polish2Times with color Photoshop corrected by me)

And the wedding itself was fabulous. I saw my friends from College Attempt #1 and four of us shared a room the first night which was crazy but completely fun. It was so good spending quality time with some of my favorite people ever, and my nails stayed fabulous and chip-free.

Two weeks later, my nails finally chipped badly all over the place, and I discovered how difficult it is to remove a no-chip manicure. I spent literally hours with aluminum foil wrapped around 100% acetone-soaked cotton balls on my nails, then scraped and buffed like crazy until the crap finally came off. I almost made an emergency manicure appointment because I had a date and my nails were looking ridiculous and I was sick of fighting with them, but I finally triumphed, finding my real nails underneath it all. As a result, I don't think I'll get a no-chip again without scheduling a removal appointment (they tend to be like $5-$10 and definitely worth not having to do battle myself) but it was great while it lasted.

After the wedding no-chip, I pained my nails red with red sparkles on top and they looked great and I didn't get a picture. FAIL.

Now, for Halloween, my nails are a different kind of awesome, but I'll let that be its own post...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Business Card Woes

I'm trying to redo my business cards. I am failing miserably. I want business cards that reflect my push towards vintage and antique hardware in my shop, but the first background I tried using was too busy and the second turned out ugly. I may have to photograph something specifically for the business cards. Poop.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aquarium Manicure

I went to the Shedd Aquarium. Again. I love the aquarium. I've been a member for something like six years. This time, I got to see the new baby dolphin.

For the occasion of aquarium-going, I did my nails as waves. First I painted them OPI's "Teal the Cows Come Home" and let them dry overnight.

Then I cut out pieces of blue painter's tape with my wavy scissors. I covered all but the tips of each nail with the tape and painted the visible portion NYC's "Cashmere Creme" (I like using one top-of-the-line and one bottom-of-the-barrel polish just for poops and giggles).

When that dried and I removed the tape, voila! I had wavy awesome aquarium nails.
I then used a dotting tool in orange polish (Revlon's "Siren") to draw fish on my thumbs. I finished up with OPI top coat and cleaned up the edges and all the escaped polish on my fingers. Unfortunately, I still don't have a basic tripod (I know, they're not that expensive) so I couldn't get a shot of my thumbs. Stupidly, I didn't even get a picture of the final pretty manicure, so you'll just have to make do with the last sloppy one.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Painter's Tape Manicure

I've discovered something wonderful: painter's tape. The blue stuff is much more expensive than regular old Scotch tape, but it is a miracle product for manicures.

I was recently at Walgreens and picked up Wet n Wild's "Through the Grapevine," which is a fabulous cheap magenta. I love Wet n Wild's new fat brushes and their colors really pop. It was a great hue, but I was getting nail-art restless after a few days. I'd also recently found my zigzag scissors in my car (welcome to the disorganization of my life) and was itching to use them. When I bought "Through the Grapevine," it was sitting next to "I Need a Refersh-Mint"--a color I already owned and loved. I liked the combination (reminded me of the 80s), so I knew what I had to do.

I'd heard about painter's tape on a few nail blogs, but actually using the stuff was amazing. It cuts much more cleanly and easily than Scotch tape and makes cleaner lines. Here is a photo of my nails all taped up and the "I Need a Refersh-Mint" painted over them:

And when I took the tape off, voila! Gorgeousness! This manicure made me happy until it chipped and peeled a horrible death a few days later (I never got a chance to put on a topcoat and, after all, it was Wet n Wild).

Note: I touched up the areas around the cuticles a bit with Photoshop because they looked like crap when I took the picture and I didn't take another photo after I retouched my actual nails.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Patriotic Nail Art Using Scotch Tape

Right now, I absolutely love my nails. I actually photographed them in progress so I will tell you how I did them and perhaps you can duplicate my magic.

First! Two coats of OPI's "Teal the Cows Come Home" nail polish. 
I was going for blue, not so much turquoise, but my other flaggish blue is way too dark so I used this one. I'm still not sure I made the right choice for patriotism's sake, but for the final product looking good, I certainly did.

I let the teal dry over night. Then I used Scotch tape to cover all but just a triangle at the point of each nail. Before putting each piece of tape on my nail I stuck it on my hand a few times to decrease the stickiness so it wouldn't rip off the existing polish and it would leave a cleaner line. 

Once the tape was in place on all ten nails, I painted two coats of Ulta's "Snow White" over the tips where the triangle was showing. I let that dry some and then topped it off with Sephora by OPI's "Be-Claus I Said So." 

At this point everything looked like one hot mess. I also was getting worried about time because everything kept taking so long to dry in the 100+ degree humidity and I was supposed to be somewhere. Ideally, I would have waited until everything was completely dry, but after an hour I got impatient and took off the tape and voila! Nail art!

Not bad!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Jelly Belly Nail Polish Coincidence

I did not do this on purpose. My friend was the one who alerted me to the fact that my nails were plagiarizing Jelly Bellies.
That's the Strawberry Cheesecake flavor. Same friend who noticed the coincidence actually got me the red sparkle polish. It is Sephora by OPI's "Be-Claus I Said So." The pink underneath is Ulta's "Encore Pink." I'm quite pleased with these nails. They lasted almost a week without chipping and I think they're pretty swell. Now I have to devise something patriotic for the 4th of July in a few days.