Monday, July 27, 2015

OwlCrate Bookish Subscription Box -- Review of July's "Friendship" Box

You may have noticed that I reviewed the OwlCrate April & May box but skipped right on by the June one. Sadly, I had to skip the June box because Murphy kitty was sick and... well... I had a ginormous vet bill that took priority. EVERYTHING was put on hold in June. So yeah. You know how it goes. Life stuff. But hey, things are slowly getting back on track and now I have July's OwlCrate box to share with you. The theme is "Friendship" and this box is packed with super fun bookish and friendly finds! Shall we?

And yes, Joe wants to model the box once again...

Julep - India

So I had a rough few breathing days but now a good few so yay! back to posting!

Today's colour actually turned out to be stunning and I am so in love! Julep's "India"!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Zoya - Dillon

Wow, it's been a lax summer!
No polish posts because my nails have been totally bare. I've been struggling with a pretty fierce asthma flare up for the past few months. No idea why. It started shortly after Murphy kitty got sick and hasn't let up since. So breaking out the nail polish and polish remover isn't really high on my list of desired activities. Kinda saving it for "good days". I did this mani a few days ago but I'm posting it now. I did my nails again today but I'll post that one tomorrow. :p

I wanted something minty fresh so dug through my untried and came up with this!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Product Review: Amopé Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File

This product was sent to me free in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Chick Advisor.

So this is a step away from my usual manicure posts. A few weeks ago I received this interesting item in the mail from the lovely team at Chick Advisor to give an honest review. I have never used an electronic foot file before so I was somewhat intrigued -- though a little fearful. Would it hurt?? Would it burn? Tickle? Smoke? LOL! I've included pictures of my feet before and after so if you're weird about feet pictures (some people are), you might want to skip this post!

And apologies for the delay, I received this product for review a few weeks ago but I've been sicker than sick with severe asthma and have been non-stop coughing for weeks now. I'm pretty much stuck in the house sucking on 2 kinds of inhalers and keeping my fingers crossed that I can avoid trips to the hospital. NO idea why this is happening, first time it's been this bad in 15 years -- maybe from all the stress with my cat being sick?? I have no idea. Anyway... onto the product review!

More after the jump!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Picture Polish - Watermelon

So I'm finally starting to relax after the whole sick kitty situation. Murphy came home from the vet a few weeks ago after having spent 12 days in hospital. I have been watching him like a hawk and super paranoid he was going to reblock (didn't help that as we were literally walking out the door with him the vet said she wasn't confident and felt he would reblock again very soon -- WTF?! why did she say that?! Why was she letting me bring him home!? Argh!!!). Fortunately, it's been a few weeks and he hasn't reblocked and he's doing ok. We tried to give him the prescription food but he wants nothing to do with it. He did like *one* of the brands but then promptly started itching all over like he had fleas or something so I threw it away (plus the ingredients are CRAP -- full of by-products and fillers, ew). I went back to his old canned food (Wellness), adding water to it and NO dry food. He's pretty happy with that, though we're still working out a feeding schedule that makes him happy. 

We also tried one of those Feliway plug-in thingies to keep the kitty fights down. I had it plugged in for 3 weeks. This is where it gets weird. Around the same time we got it I developed a cough. I assumed the kitty stress and my not eating much resulted in me picking up a cold or something since it seemed like everyone was sick. I normally have a VERY strong immune system (after working as a nurse in critical care, I never get sick!) so I thought it was weird but whatever. I had no other symptoms, just this stupid tickle cough -- but sometimes it would be really, really bad and hard to breathe. It wasn't getting better over the 3 weeks and I was confused about why I couldn't seem to shake it. Then I realized, it is the stupid Feliway plug-in! I'm one of those people who are sensitive to EVERYTHING. So yeah, even though it's supposed to be 100% safe for people, we unplugged it and my cough is going away. :/ It's still there a bit though, I think I have to wash down the area around where it was plugged in with soapy water since it leaves this oily residue. 

Anyway, kitty is home and doing better and I'm slowly getting back to normal! I did my nails today for the first time in forever and was inspired by a recent indulgence in one of my fav summer foods -- watermelon!! <3

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Polish!

Oooh! This is a good one, I promise! ;)

But I'm going to hide it because it hasn't gotten around to all the ladies in our group yet!

Quick Update -- Murphy

So everything in my life was kind of put on hold 11 days ago when my cat Murphy developed a urinary crystal blockage and I had to rush him to my vet. She managed to unblock him and I brought him home with prescription food and was told to push fluids (the usual stuff). Nope, he blocked again a few hours later. Back to the vet. I left him there last Thursday and... well... he's still there. They unblocked him and put in IV. Gave him time to pee. Nope. Sewed in a urinary catheter, left it in a few days, took it out, he blocked in less than 24 hours. She unblocked him and the next morning gave him anesthetic and sewed in catheter again. Yesterday night she took out the catheter. So far he's peeing ok but it's only been about 14 hours so we'll see. He stays there a few more days to make sure. If he blocks again then he gets the PU surgery (basically where they open up the urethra and make his boy parts look more like girl parts). So lots of wait and see. I've been in absolute agony this last week and a half. I've barely been able to eat. If it wasn't for my meds I wouldn't be able to sleep (& would likely have a migraine every single day). We've sold off a lot of stuff and I've applied for funding (& received it from the Farley Foundation). It's been an INSANE time. I've had to remember to do normal things like pay the other bills like electricity and phone and to eat and shower. Life is hard when stuff like this happens. I know to some people it's "just a cat" but not to me. I don't have kids, my cats ARE my kids! I'm very close to them. We have a strong bond. So does my boyfriend. They sleep with us at night. And with Murphy, he was a rescue cat with an abusive past and it has taken me the last 2 years to turn him from a scratching shivering mean cat into a sweet little love bug (seriously, he's the vet clinic sweetheart right now, when he leaves he will break a lot of hearts!). I can't wait to get him home but I don't want to rush things. I am also trying hard not to do the whole "counting chickens" things. I did that last week and it crushed me. He looked SO GOOD on Monday and I assumed he'd come home maybe Tuesday or Wednesday and I was all excited. Nope. Monday night I got a call he was totally blocked again and the nightmare was starting over from the beginning. My heart was broken. So I'm trying hard to just go day-by-day/moment-by-moment. Not looking ahead.

That being said, I DO have some blog posts to catch up on! My Sisterhood of the Traveling Polish (an absolute beauty!!!) and the May OwlCrate (awesome!!). In the meantime, here is my Murphy in his healthier days. He was helping me study (during finals in grad school) and I put a mousie on his head. He sat there all cute and let me take his picture. <3

Sunday, May 17, 2015

OwlCrate Bookish Subscription Box -- Review of April's "All The Feels" Box

Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with nail polish or beauty or anything like that. But it does have to do with my other true love in life, books. I pretty much read anything and everything I can get my hands on. I'm the kind of book nerd that needs a pile of books near me at all times or I have anxiety issues. I sleep with books in my bed. I'm weird like that. I also write (so far about 1-1/2 novels but that's a whole other blog post!). I considered doing a separate book blog/YouTube thing but whoa, lotsa work. Not that I'm opposed to work but I'm in a vortex of life choices right now. Too many roads. You know what I mean. But I digress.

Anyway, a short while ago I watched a YouTube unboxing video by BookNerd (I seriously love her! Go check out her blog & YouTube channel!) for this new book subscription box -- and I was like, WHAT?! MUST HAVE! March was the very first box and they were sold out for April. Noooo! I had to learn more! So began the adventure. Luckily, OwlCrate was able to offer up 20 more boxes for April right before shipping and even though the site crashed when they opened up those spots for a single minute (& let in about 200 subscriptions *oops!*), I was one of the lucky ones to get an April box. Yay!

What the heck is an OwlCrate?? Well, it's a subscription box for book lovers who like books and bookish bits. It was started back in March of this year by Korrina & Robert -- the most adorable couple EVER! -- in Vancouver, Canada. It kind of exploded in popularity and even though there has only been 2 boxes so far (March & April) they sell out *instantly* and the waitlist is full of impatient and excited book lovers from around the world. I am over-the-moon happy for Korrina & Robert because... well... they are cool & I'm all for Canadian small businesses. Plus it's a cool concept and since I've received a box I'm SUPER impressed by the care that has gone into these boxes. It's not just some crap thrown in a box, you can tell they took time to consider it and make it special. Even the box design itself is awesome! So yeah, go OwlCrate! :p

So it's a box with a book in it?? Yep. Each month has a theme. March was "Fantasy". April was "All The Feels". May is "Parallel Worlds". June is "Diversity". The book (& the bits) all relate to the theme. The book is usually YA but can sometimes be a more mature one (they let you know beforehand. The books are always published in the last 45 days so it's unlikely you've already read it (unless you're a super keener). It's not just a book though, there are other goodies!

Money, honey! How much is an OwlCrate? Well, that depends on where you live. The box itself is $29.99US at the moment. Shipping costs depend on where you live (they ship worldwide). I know people LOVE to bitch about shipping costs but come on people, we all know shipping isn't free and considering these guys are working out of their apartment it's not like they have a corporate account with FedEx. Shipping is expensive. And if they are losing money then what's the point, right? Do you work for free? Nope, didn't think so. Plus, they are likely losing money from the shipping costs, not making money. Give them a break! Anyway, I don't mind paying the shipping. It is what it is.
They do offer a discounted subscription price if you opt for prepaying 3 or 6 months at a time. All subscription offers renew whether you are doing month-to-month, 3-or-6-month plans. Billing is on the 1st of each month. You can also skip a month (but why would you want to?!). All told, I am in Canada and with present box cost, shipping, and US/Canada currency exchange it's about $52 a month. Pricey but honestly, I love the box so much, it's worth it to me. Plus, being Canadian, I like that my money is going to small local business. I also like that the bookish bits in the box are sourced from indie makers. I'm starting to pay attention to where my money goes and who ends up getting it. I want less of it going to large corporations and more of it staying local and going to small business, local artisans and crafty & creative people. It's becoming increasingly important to me.

Ok. So what's IN the box besides a book?? Well, since I only received one box so far (the April box), I can show you everything from the box to the book but I'll put it behind a link. I hate spoilers. I know everyone has their box already for April but still, one of those things. Plus, this is kinda long (& picture-heavy) so yeah....

Ruby Wing - Strawberry Shortcake

Holographic solar colour-changing gold glitter scented polish -- what?! Yep. :)

Even though the Queen's birthday isn't until the 24th, Canada decided to celebrate it on the 18th this year so I decided to bling out my nails because... well... the Queen... ALL Queens... <3 <3

This mani is making me think that I might have THE perfect idea for a daily mani challenge in June: 30 Days of Glitter! I definitely have more than enough glitter polishes to cover 30 days. Hmm...

Back to "Strawberry Shortcake" (yeah, she's scented!). Strangely, this is an untried from my stash. It always seemed like TOO much but today it seems too perfect so out it came. And honestly, now I want ALL THE RUBY WINGS!

Read on to see why you will too!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

China Glaze - Astro-Hot

It's been a while. Battling migraines. I started a new preventative med, fingers crossed it will work!
I've also been doing the decluttering project & I'm nearly done. But I learned early on that pretty manicures & decluttering do not go together! My nails kept breaking and peeling so I just left them bare while I was working. I'm 90% done now though so bring on the polish!

I miss my manis so much I'm thinking about doing a mani challenge for June! Last year I did a month of Julep. Maybe another one this year? Or a seasonal challenge like I did in October? I really enjoyed that one! Hmm. :)

Either way, today I selected an untried from my stash, a really beautiful light pink holo from China Glaze called "Astro-Hot".

Monday, April 27, 2015

March Empties (VERY belated!)

Ok, so I kept my March empties meaning to write a post but didn't. I think I felt guilty since my "no-buy" went out the window. Hoping to regain control of that. Most of what I bought in March/April was tea (that counts as food, right??) and books (brain food?). I also needed clothes since some of my favs were falling apart. So yeah, back to no-buy??

Anyway, here are the March empties!

  • Zantac. We use a lot of this. I have a very sensitive stomach and get acidy when I'm stressed or excited or eat pizza.
  • IcyHot. Another staple. I go through 1-2 tubes a month using it on my neck daily.
  • Toothpaste. Obvious!
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer. Deluxe sample. This is the only Kiehl's product that doesn't burn my skin off (I tried some of their other stuff and it took weeks for my skin to recover)
  • Hurraw! Night Treatment Balm. I use this every single night & have for a few years now. I love this brand!
  • Monteil Hydro Cell Pro Active Cleanser. Burned my skin. I hate it.
  • Nourish Organic Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion. WAY too light. Seriously, I put a lot on but it still wasn't moisturizing. WTF?
  • Neostrata Youth Factor GF Serum. Burned my skin. Not a fan.
  • Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap in Peach Bellini & Black Cherry Merlot. Both are favs, love the B&BW soaps!
  • Avène Thermal Spring Water spray. I go through tons of this stuff. I love it!
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream (Subtle Violet). I love this stuff! I go through a lot of it.
  • Quo Mini Eye Makeup Remover Pads. I liked the product (though it did burn a bit). Annoying that it refused to restick and the entire package dried out after I used 2 pads. *boo* Not repurchasing.
  • DavidsTea. Looks like a lot but most of these were refills for bigger tins. Always rebuy!
That's pretty much it. Nothing major. I've been saving up my April empties so I'll be back in a few days with that. :)

Color Club - Cold Metal

Wow! It's been so long! April has been kind of crazy for me. Writing for Camp NaNoWriMo, keeping up with some nail-biting hockey games, and getting some reading done. The weather this last week has been crazy so I've had several migraine days. I'm also tackling a massive decluttering effort which has been consuming days on end (more on this in a future post!).
I've been painting my nails but not doing full blog posts, you can see the ones I did on my Instagram.

Today I decided to paint and do a blog post. I asked my boyfriend what colour to do today. "Blue". Uh, ok. So I gave him a few to choose from and he picked this one. An untried for me. "Cold Metal" by Color Club. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rimmel "Rapid Ruby" with Enchanted Polish "Djinn In A Bottle"

Today I desperately needed to redo my mani and asked boyfriend what colour I should do. "Red". Umm, ok. Not a problem. Red is my fav polish colour and the Ottawa Senators (hockey) are playing tonight (team colour is red). That works. But an "untried" red? Tricky, tricky. This polish isn't untried but I haven't done a blog post about it. I also decided to step it up and make it holo. Why? Why not?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nina Ultra Pro - Bittersweet (possibly my Breakfast Club lemming?!)

As some of you may already know, my ultimate lemming polish is the one worn by Molly Ringwald in the movie, "The Breakfast Club".

I must have about 15 "almost right" shades, but I'm still searching! This shade by Nina Ultra Pro comes very close -- either way, it's really pretty!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Picture Polish "Swagger"

Digging through my stash, I came across a particularly intriguing shade of blue that I hadn't used before -- piCture pOlish's "Swagger"! This colour screams spring to me. :)

Julep LuLu & Harmony

I recently received my March box (The Pop! Collection) from Julep. I was drawn in by the pastel shades this month (I'm an 80's teen!). It was hard to decide what to wear but settled on "LuLu" with the glitter topper "Harmony" to finish.

Friday, March 06, 2015

February Empties!

So as I continue on this delightfully un-fun no-buy this year I must say, it's kind of cool to use up products and see what I go through on a regular basis. :)

Here is the February goodies!

Feeling Springy! Lilypad Lacquer "Apple Crisps"

It's still really cold here but the sun is out and next week it will be above 0C -- predictions that Wednesday will be a high of 9C and sunny! I am so eager for spring -- I want to see green things! Sick of the snow, ice, wind, 800 layers of clothes, etc. Who isn't?! I love winter but by March I'm always a bit antsy for the warmer days of spring -- you know those days when the air feels soft and you can wear a t-shirt outside and feel the breeze on your bare arms -- awesome!

Anyway, since I'm feeling oh-so-springy, I selected an untried polish from my stash -- Lilypad Lacquer's "Apple Crisps". A gorgeous scattered holo brighter-than-mint green (if that makes any sense!).

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Dollish Polish - Expecto Patronum

A Harry Potter polish to die for. :)
This has been a long-time lemming for me so I was REALLY happy when Dollish Polish restocked! I stumbled on it by accident while looking up a polish for someone else. Technically I'm on a no-buy but March 5th is my 3-year anniversary with my boyfriend and he bought it for me. Not in a "buy this for me now" way but in the way that anything related to Severus Snape, Lily, Petronus charms, and "Always" turns me into a puddle of tears because there is nothing more sad! Plus, my boyfriend and I have a majorly complicated 20-year history and almost didn't end up together.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Julep "Joanna" with Emily de Molly "Bellissima"

Hello lovlies! Staying warm, I hope? Windchill in Toronto at the moment is -26C. But at least the sun is out! And the days are longer as we head into spring. :)

Today's mani is Julep's "Joanna" with a glitter accent of Emily de Molly's "Bellissima". I've been wearing dark shades for months and felt like something lighter. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Essie "For The Twill Of It"

I decided to pull out an untried polish from the back of my stash for today's mani. A mini bottle of Essie's "For The Twill Of It".

Update! Part 2 :)

So what happened to make me stop the 28 Days of Red mani challenge? I threw my back out and couldn't sit up for about a week. I was in a lot of pain (I can't take strong pain meds because of allergies). So it was lying flat with my knees up on a heating pad for days. No way could I do manicures like that! Either way, I'm absolutely 100% ok now. I debated whether to pick up where I left off in the mani challenge but I think it wouldn't really be a successful challenge because I missed so many days. That being said, I will be back to mani posts today (stay tuned!).

Why the back spasms? Some of you know I was an RN in critical care/trauma and a few years ago a violent patient assaulted me at work. I have nerve/spinal damage in my neck & left shoulder (which is why I can't go back to nursing, unfortunately). Sometimes that manages to trigger muscle spasms down the length of my back. No idea why, just one of those things. It's rare (last time it happened was when I was in Paris in 2012!). Fingers crossed it stays a rare thing! Not fun!

I hope you enjoyed the 10 days I did manage to get done for the mani challenge this month. I know I had fun, red is my favourite polish colour! I might sneak in a few more reds this month just so I don't feel bad about dropping out so early. ;)

Unfortunately, I also cut my nails short again -- I prefer them really long but I've been doing a lot of writing/editing (I wrote a novel in November, starting another). It's just easier to type with short nails. It doesn't mean they have to be boring though! I still have a million untrieds and I can't wait to share them with you!


Friday, February 13, 2015


I currently have a personal situation that needs attention and will be unable to finish the 28 Days of Red mani challenge. I will also be taking a temporary break from the blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

28 Days of Red! Day 10: Dior "Star"

Today is kind of a crazy day for me. As many of you know, I used to be a critical care/trauma RN but nearly 3 years ago I was assaulted by a violent patient and ended up with a permanent disability. I LOVED my job but could no longer do patient care so I've been on disability. Last year I went to grad school (but took this year off on medical leave) in a totally different area (Masters of Information Science). In December I resigned from the College of Nurses of Ontario -- a heartbreaking decision but I needed to slowly cut the ties. Today I finally lopped off the final thread and resigned from the hospital I was working at (they had me still technically employed by them but I was on "medical leave"). Next month will be 3 years since my injury and it was time to let it go. It was SUCH a hard decision, you have no idea. But I think it was the right decision. So lots of emotion today -- hopefully onto something amazing! Here's to new beginnings and fresh starts!! *hopefully!*

Anyway, onto nail stuff! Today I selected a gorgeous polish -- Dior's "Star". Funny I'm listening to one of Madonna's new songs from Rebel Heart, "Iconic" and this polish matches the song. How perfect! In fact, a few of the songs match. <3

(Want to know more about my 28 Days of Red! mani challenge? Click here)

Monday, February 09, 2015

28 Days of Red! Day 9: Zoya's "Posh" -- but glossy!

Okay, so today's post is kinda cheating. The theme is "topcoated matte" -- but the only matte red I have is Zoya's "Posh" (yesterday's polish) so for today I just put on a thick layer of Seche Vite and there ya go. ;)

(Want to know more about my 28 Days of Red! mani challenge? Click here)

Sunday, February 08, 2015

28 Days of Red! Day 8: Zoya's "Posh"

Yay! Finally caught up! *happydance*

Ok, today's theme is "matte polish". I LOVE matte polishes so a red matte is perfect! I selected Zoya's "Posh" for today's mani.

(Want to know more about my 28 Days of Red! mani challenge? Click here)

Hello lover...

28 Days of Red! Day 7: Half Moons? Picture Polish "Frank-n-Furter" & "Columbia"

Still playing catch up but I'll post days 7 & 8 today and we'll be fully caught up. :)

Today's theme was "half moons" -- except when I tested the idea on one nail it looked terrible so I did a French mani instead. Looks better. I'm not sure skilled when it comes to nail art, unfortunately! For whatever reason I thought I could do the half-moons thing but it just wasn't working. Boo.

Anyway, for this mani I used 2 of the Rocky Horror Picture Show polishes by piCture pOlish -- "Frank-n-Furter" & "Columbia". It makes me want to watch the movie again even though I've seen it 600x!

(Want to know more about my 28 Days of Red! mani challenge? Click here)

Saturday, February 07, 2015

28 Days of Red! Day 6 - Julep's "Fazia"

Still playing catch up!

Today's theme was "metallic" but this one is more of a shimmer than a metallic red (I think I used all my metallic reds in previous posts!). I selected Julep's "Fazia". I LOVE it!

(Want to know more about my 28 Days of Red! mani challenge? Click here)

28 Days of Red! Day 5: OPI "Stay The Night"

SO SORRY for getting behind on these posts. My back went into spasm a few days ago and I've been lying flat on my back in bed in tears. I couldn't sit up so doing nails/blog posts was out of the question. So far I'm ok today. We'll see how it goes but I am hoping to get up-to-date today.

Today's theme was "sand". I don't have many textured polishes because I cannot stand the feeling of texture (I'm hypersensitive). If I do wear them I just gloss over them with a lot of topcoat so they are smooth. This one isn't really red but it's the closest I have to red in a texture. OPI's "Stay The Night".

This post is picture-heavy because I show the same mani with and without polish in various lighting.

(Want to know more about the 28 Days of Red! Mani challenge? Click here)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

28 Days of Red! Day 4: Trind "Burgundy Red"

More snow today! Not crazy snow, just pretty snow. :)

Today's red theme is "crème" so I selected Trind's "Burgundy Red" (aka "CC176"). I love a good red crème and this one did not disappoint!

(Want to know more about this "28 Days of Red!" mani challenge? Click here)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

28 Days Of Red! Day 3: Julep's "Martina"

How has your year been going so far? Sticking to those resolutions or do you need a new plan? ;)
I didn't make any resolutions this year (aside from a 12-month no-buy! And so far, so good!). I figured that psychologically it would be better to start mini improvements each month of the year than trying to tackle one big list in January when the weather sucks and you're still recovering from holidays. Winter is tricky though, at least here. Blah weather makes you feel tired & less motivated. I don't suffer from seasonal mood swings (my depression doesn't have a seasonal preference!). Hard to shake it though.

Anyway, onto to today's red! The theme for today was a full-coverage glitter. This one kinda counts. I expected it to be mostly glitter in kind of a clear base but it was red glitter in a red jelly base. It was an untried for me so I wasn't sure. Either way, it is Julep's "Martina".

Monday, February 02, 2015

28 Days Of Red! Day 2: Picture Polish "Bridget"

Happy Groundhog Day! I am quite certain the groundhog is frozen solid under a massive pile of snow, so more winter is ahead. Obviously, we've been in a blizzard since yesterday and it's still going strong. Crazy snow!

(Want to know more about the 28 Days of Red mani challenge? Click here!)

But today's red theme is "holographic". I was going to go for a linear holo but I think I'll save that for later. Today's mani is piCture pOlish "Bridget", a gorgeous red scattered holo.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

28 Days Of Red! Day 1: Orly's "Rock It"

So yay! February 1st! Tomorrow is Groundhog Day which is hilarious to me. Gotta watch the movie for sure. :) This month is gonna fly by and then we'll be into March -- that much closer to spring! Last year winter dragged on & on here, it was awful. Don't get me wrong, I love winter and MUCH prefer it to summer, but after a while you get eager to see some green stuff.

Today's red "theme" is "shimmer". I selected Orly's "Rock It". I think I'm a bit rusty at the daily mani thing, need to step up my game! At least my nails are starting to grow out!

(want to know more about this 28 Days of Red mani challenge?? Click here!)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Empties & No-Buy

So I decided that 2015 would be a "no buy" year for me. Not buying any non-essential items. Goal is to use what I have. The ONLY thing excluded from this is my monthly Julep box -- but NO Secret Store or outside Maven box purchases, period. I'm keeping the empty containers from what I use each month and posting my empties.

So here is what I used up in January:

The list:
  • Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam candle. My favourite! There is a bit left in the bottom but it won't burn anymore (the wick is toast). I have a large one in my stash. I'll use it up before buying a new one.
  • Julep's Bare Face Cleansing Oil. It's 75% full but totally rancid so it goes. This is the problem with too many products, things don't get used up before they go bad!
  • Philosophy Sweet Creamy Frosting Body Lotion. I loved that one, even cut it open!
  • Korres Guava Body Butter. Another goodie I cut into!
  • Icy Hot Cream. I need this stuff for my neck so this is a routine purchase. I go through a LOT of it (1-2 tubes a month at least)
  • Dove deluxe sample of Oxygen Moisture shampoo. I liked this, want more!
  • Dove deluxe sample of Oxygen Moisture conditioner. Again, I want more!
  • KBShimmer Pink Sugar cuticle oil. I loved it at first but it went rancid fast (2 months I think). Or maybe I didn't use it up fast enough? I have so many I try to rotate through.
  • Julep's Mighty Cuticle Serum (this is the little one that comes with their blue base coat in the Nail 911 kit). I had a backup so I'm good. I love this stuff. Using up the backup before I repurchase.
  • Julep's Rock Star hand cream mini. I go through this stuff like crazy. I *almost* used up a full size this month but there's a few uses still in it so I guess that will be in my February post! I have a backup.
  • NUME Hair Mask. I got this in one of my subscription boxes (can't remember which one, maybe Topbox). Sat on bathtub ledge forever (so much clutter!). I finally used it and I LOVELOVELOVE it! I would totally buy a full-size one. Maybe once my no-buy is over. :)
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Foaming Face Cleanser. This is the only cleanser I have used consistently over the years that my skin will tolerate. I've had to stop using it for periods though because I have very temperamental skin that likes something one day then breaks out in a rash to the same product the next day. But out of everything I've ever used, this one is in top rotation. :)
That's it! I'll start gathering for February and even though it's a short month, I'm hoping to top the number I used up in January!

As for the no-buy, I really haven't bought anything. I did use some Jules (Julep reward points) and a referral code to get some products (which required a few extra dollars, but less than $5 total). I did buy some tea but to me, tea is food so it doesn't count. And my boyfriend (who lives with me) drinks it too so we kinda take turns buying it. Nothing excessive or crazy! I did buy something on Etsy but it's a gift for boyfriend for Valentine's Day (if it gets here on time, if not it will be Anniversary gift in March!). I did not buy polish (outside my Maven box) or makeup or books or anything not required (I did pay rent, bills, buy food, etc). It's definitely been hard and I've really wanted a lot of things but I've been good. :)

28 Days of Red?? The Anti-50 Shades Of Grey Mani Challenge!

Ok. So I haven't done a polish challenge in a while so I was thinking about what I could do for February since it starts tomorrow. All I'm seeing around these days is 50 Shades of Grey-themed collections (understandably since the film is coming out). I loathe the books and could care less about the stupid movie, so the last thing I want is 28 Days of Grey (though to be fair I love grey polish!). I decided instead to do 28 Days of Red! I love red polish (it's my fav). Valentine's Day is mid-month. I have more than 28 red polishes. I've never done a single-colour challenge (has anyone?). So yeah, I'm doing it!

And yes, I KNOW that "28 Days Of Red" sounds like a menstrual cycle gone awry, it can't be helped. LOL

Here's the challenge list (even though it's the same colour, gotta have a list!)

- ONLY red polish
- I will only use/post polishes I haven't previously posted on my blog/Instagram
- I will post on blog/IG daily
- Stamping is ok but the base colour must be red and the dominant colour in the mani
- I will use the tag #28DaysOfRed on Instagram

I'm hoping I don't get bored! February is a short month so I think it will be ok. :)
Since this is a unique challenge and probably NOT most people's cup of tea, I am expecting this to be a solo challenge (which is totally cool!). But if you're up for it, let me know!

Yay! I'm excited!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) - Champagne Blush

Even though it's still crazy cold winter, I'm feeling like I was to wear warmer/lighter colours. I'm still growing out my nails (but they grow fast) and I'm getting back into the "routine" of frequent polish changes. I just feel better with a fresh manicure!

Today I selected I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) "Champagne Blush" -- oddly an untried for me but I'm so in love!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Nail Polish Collection (to date)

So FOREVER I had been storing my polishes in decorative boxes found at HomeSense. I had them arranged alphabetically but as my collection grew it was becoming increasingly impractical. Pretty boxes though! I think near the end I had about 10 of these large boxes in piles in my office room.

Then in the summer I won the Nail Polish Canada Great Polish Giveaway 2014 prize -- 200 more polishes showed up at my doorstep at the end of September (unboxing post here!). I had NO room at all. I needed a plan!

I started researching the different storage options. I considered IKEA's Helmer, Michael's Melmer (faux Hemler), IKEA Alex (the short and tall ones), etc. I didn't want racks for a few reasons: (1) The walls in this condo are either drywall or drywall over concrete. I do not want to risk hanging racks on the plain drywall sides and I'm not comfortable digging into the concrete on the other walls since we don't own this place. (2) DUST! I hate dust. And kitty furs. Anything "on display" would need frequent dusting and I can't think of anything more annoying! (3) Clutter. I hate it. Which is why I used the boxes before. I don't want to see it, it just looks messy to me. I don't like it. I like things neatly tucked away.

I also had to consider the size of my collection -- today I'm sitting at 1165 polishes (I have a spreadsheet). Yep. Some of that is from contests/giveaways, some I bought (I never pay full price though), some are minis. By December my polishes were in shambles as was this room. I also have a thing for books and there were stacks everywhere. It was a pain in the ass to even try finding a polish. My 200 polishes from Nail Polish Canada were sitting in the cardboard box they came in on the floor. It was depressing! As I mentioned, I don't like clutter! It was really stressing me out.

After a lot of thought I decided to go with IKEA stuff. I ordered a Hemnes bookcase since I already own 3 of them and some other Hemnes furniture (though they totally redesigned it and it doesn't match the others *grrr*), 2 tall 9-drawer Alex units (sadly, they only come in white), and a red Helmer for my makeup (another disaster, another story for another day!). I paid for shipping since we don't drive ($100). It took a week to show up which I thought was excessive but whatever. Also, the delivery guys got lost (no idea how, we're in a very easy to find place), showed up an hour and a half late, then gave us a hard time when they did get here. Plus the new concierge was being a total dick and making us book the elevator complete with a $250 deposit cheque. More bitching from the delivery guys (no word of a lie, while Phil went downstairs to deal with concierge they called up to the apartment SIX times. Like it's my fault they were late. 

Anyway, once everything was up here Phil got to work building it all (I hate building IKEA stuff so I let him play macho man and get it done). I am SO GLAD I got the Alex units for my polish! The Helmer is a flimsy annoying piece of crap. I'm using it for my makeup but no way would I feel comfy putting my polishes in there! Yes, the drawers on the tall Alex units only pull out 3/4 but it's not like you can't get to things "back there", they're just not as visible as the rest of the stuff. 

Here's the Hemnes bookcase and Alex units in my messy office!

I kept some of the boxes to hold the odds & ends (backups, mani stuff, nail art stuff, etc.). I LOVELOVELOVE the Alex units!! They are seriously perfect. I don't have a pic of the Helmer (it's in the bedroom next to my makeup table) but to compare, I'd need about 5 Helmers to equal these 2 Alex units -- and the quality is WAY different. These units are wood/particle board/whatever but they are solid and more furniture-like. The Helmer is flimsy sheet metal, the drawers stick and are tricky to get in/out, the drawers can easily pull out all the way and fall to the floor, it squeaks when you open it. I just really don't like the Helmer, if you can't tell! Cheaper, yes, but not nearly as nice.

Anyway, I made a video (as per request) of my polish collection as it is set up in the Alex units if you want to see. I speak softly (sorry!), I always feel like I'm yelling. LOL. I didn't line the drawers, I'm not really about anything flying around in there. I've seen people decorate the outside, I don't think I'm going to do that. I'm not putting drawer pulls or handles on the drawers either. I like things clean.

Let me know if you have any questions! Oh and these units all purchased from IKEA Canada (prices in Canadian dollars, not including tax) by ME. Hemnes bookcase ($180), Alex 9-drawer $149 each, Helmer $40. I have NO affiliation whatsoever with IKEA!

Edit: OK, I need drawer-liners! LOL. They DO slide around a lot even if you open the drawer slowly!

China Glaze - X

Wow! It's been way longer than I intended! I've been busy writing (novel & script) and recent IKEA shopping to get proper storage for my collection (I'll do a separate post with collection video!). I've been missing nail blogging though. I think I got burned out with all the daily challenges last year. Then NaNoWriMo & holiday stuffs. By beginning of January I was exhausted!

Anyway, having my polish collection properly organized means I've been finding some hidden gems. Today I selected China Glaze's "X" -- partly because it's GORGEOUS and partly because the script I'm working on is my idea for an X-Files 3 movie. I know they've been talking lately about revamping the show -- but I swear I have the most PERFECT idea for a final film that would wrap up everything beautifully and tie up all those loose mythology and shipper strings. But I digress!

More after the jump!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Cirque Color's "Arcane Fire"

Wow! It feels like forever since I blogged! I had planned on doing a mani challenge for January but I think December took a lot out of me and I didn't have much steam left for much of anything come January 1st. But I did do some manis over the holidays, you can see them on my Instagram. I also spent a day with henna packed onto my hair (I used Lush's Caca Rouge). Debating whether to do a blog post about that or not. It was an experience! (I had never used henna before).

Anyway, I decided to do a post about today's mani, using Cirque's "Arcane Fire" -- a stunner that doesn't get enough love! And yes, I had some odd nail breaks over the holidays and opted to cut my nails SUPER short (at least this is super short to me!). I'm gradually getting some length back. It was fun to have really short nails though, I kinda liked it. ;) I do think longer nails are more flattering on me, however.