Someone Else’s Nails!

29 Apr

Hi friends, sorry I’ve been kinda flakey. I’ve been totally nuts planning a vegan, gluten-and-nut-free masquerade party this past Saturday! Luckily, I had a bunch of awesome friends who came to help me and it came together great! Though I have enough left over Ethiopian food to feed a medium sized army lol.

I had a fabulous idea to make a photo booth using my Macbook and I’m going to share some pics with you so you can see the kind of night we had:

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Me and my friend, Alastair (whose nails you can see here!) Yes, I am wearing a tiara. And yes my mask is FABULOUS

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Chelsea in her super elegant forest goddess handmade mask (see Chelsea’s nails below!)

Everyone-blog copie

Almost everyone in this pic is a practicing vegan!! And of course we all have the most fabulous masks

Mom-Mollie-Marilyn-blog

Me, my mom (see her nails below!) and my sister. Aren’t we adorable?

What a night! So glad we all had fun, but I’m sorry to have shirked my blogging duties!

Now I’m back but I don’t have any of my own nail art to show you! I’ve been far too busy to do anything spectacular or creative on my own nails, BUT I did sponsor a nail art contest at my work the past two weeks! Three of the girls I work with submitted nail art, and I’ll show them to you (and judge them) now 🙂

The first entry is from Chelsea, our day time graphic designer/all around copy shop person. (She’s the one posing in the second masquerade photo.) This manicure was made using all Wet N Wild polishes and done just before Easter:

chelsea

 

The second entry is from my mom, Linda (the person in the middle of the bottom picture from the masquerade), who is the co-owner of the copy shop where I do graphic design. My mom is probably the only person I know irl who is more obsessed with nail art and nail polish than I am! For this competition, she did some fabulous galaxy nail art using a combination of LA Colors, Wet N Wild and Diamond Costmetics:

linda

The third and final contestant for my nail art contest is Jenna aka my minion (yes, that’s what we call her, though my mom did try to promote her to “grasshopper”but that nickname never stuck). She did some nice patriotic nail art for us using Wet N Wild and E.L.F. polish:

jenna

Everyone had the opportunity to submit twice, but no one did, so those are our entries! I’m the judge, obviously, so I have to pick one and I picked……

Chelsea! Congratulations! (She doesn’t actually read this blog, so I’ll have to tell her when I see her at work today lol).  I love everyone’s art, but I had to pick just one and I loved the cute little bunny art work on Chelsea’s nails! The prize for my contest is 2 bottles of vegan friend polish, which I’ll probably be picking up today if I have some time haha. Maybe I’ll pick up some mini polishes as consolation prizes for our other submissions.

What do you all think, did I make a good choice? Let me know in the comments 😉

 

 

 

 

IDK what I’m even doing, but here’s a mid-week fab 5 I guess?

22 Apr

So today is Tuesday which means it’s tiot (ignoring that I actually do my tiot on Mondays) but also, as usual, my life is a mess and I’m crazy busy so I’m gonna get this week’s fab 5 and tiot all in one go. Yes, it’s the Fab Friday 5. On Tuesday.

  1. (MAJOR TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR: rape, rape culture, rape in the military, sexual assault, rape apologists, victim blaming) Amy Schumer is seriously ON POINT with this sketch about sexual assault in the armed forces (and how it is blatantly dismissed, ignored and blamed on the victim).
  2. LynBDesigns just released her new collection — Alice in Wonderland. Naked Without Polish swatched all of them, and I’m totally in love. I think Cheshire Grin is my favorite, but The White Queen is a close second! (Plus look at that logo! So cute, I’m impressed with myself haha)
  3. Let’s talk about the most recent Game of Thrones episode and wtf turning Jaime into a rapist?? (Trigger warnings: rape, incest, sexual violence) (also it should be noted that despite what this post says, Dany & Drogo’s relationship was totes not consensual)
  4.  I know it’s after Easter, but here’s a super cute multi-colored stamping mani (plus tutorial!) from Lacquer or Leave Her!
  5. In honor of my recent decision to take the LSATs and probably go to law school… this week’s favorite tumblr is #whatshouldwecallgradschool

So that’s the fab 5, and now here’s my tiot:

(Disclaimer: Polish purchased by me. All Opinions are my own)

Presentation2(I apologize for the extremely poor quality of this photo — I watermarked it using Microsoft Publisher because I’m at work lol)

So this week I decided to try out China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise, which I totally loved. I have 2 sets of polish from China Glaze, and I basically love all of them because they have a matte finish! The color is extremely vibrant and the polish is well pigmented (2 thin coats seen above). Sadly, as with almost all China Glaze polishes I own, it has massive chipping issues. It’s beautiful to look at without a top coat because something about matte finishes really appeals to me visually, but it doesn’t last long. After an hour of wearing this and watching it chip away, I broke down and added a top coat of Ellagee Glass which of course dramatically changed the look and texture of the polish, such a shame.

LIFE NEWS: This weekend I’ve planned a super fun and exciting (vegan, gluten-and-nut-free) masquerade! Follow me on IG (@thesecretvegan) to see how totally awesome it’s going to be! (plus pics of my nail art and my totally cute apartment) AND I’m hosted a nail art competition at my work so I’ll be posting about that soon too 🙂 You’ll get to see my mom’s nails haha.

As always, thanks all for putting up with me! xoxo

 

Try it on T’Wednesday: Square Hue Passport Collection – Amsterdam

17 Apr

(Better late than never, right?)

So last week, I received my eagerly-anticipated nail polish subscription box from Square Hue! I wanted to try Square Hue the moment I heard of it (because I have a subscription addiction), but I didn’t make the commitment because I couldn’t find any official proof that their polishes were vegan. After a quick twitter exchange, however, I confirmed the vegan-ness of their polishes and off we go!

Disclaimer: Polish purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Each month Square Hue puts together a collection of 3 polish colors and sends them out. April’s colors are part of the “Passport Collection” and were inspired by Amsterdam.

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From left to right: beethoven straat, kalver straat, p.c. hooft straat

This collection included 2 high gloss cremes (Beethoven Straat and Kalverstraat) and 1 duochrome (P.C. Hooft Straat). All of the names basically mean nothing to me (other than Beethoven), but the colors are definitely worth talking about. I’ll admit readily that I opened this box and was like… what did I get myself into? Because the green is basically lime and I couldn’t imagine how that would work out in my favor, haha. Turns out, though, this box is in the top 10 best investments of my polish career.

So here’s the run down:

  • Beethoven Straat: A super bright, lime green with a high gloss finish. I was hesitant about this polish most of all because, well, what really was it going to match with? But then I ended up really liking the color because the consistency of the polish is totally perf (2 thin coats for full coverage) and the color really pops. The only thing I really didn’t like is that it will definitely stain your nails. Luckily, I used like 3 base coats under it and escaped with minimal staining.
  • Kalver Straat: The image above does not do this color justice. It’s basically like a fluorescent pink-orange. Very vibrant, definitely something everyone will notice. Formula is great for this polish, one coat is basically all you need. Don’t stare too long, though, because it’s so bright, it might permanently damage your eyes.
  • P.C. Hooft Straat: Ah, here we are, the absolute gem in this collection. It’s not as densely pigmented as the other and has a definite sheerness at one coat, but two or three layers in and you’ve got a really brilliant color. The duochrome really gives this an extra dimension and makes it stand out. It definitely holds its own in this trio.

So with this collection, I put together three nail art designs using 2 polishes at a time.

Here’s P.C. Hooft Straat and Beethoven Straat:

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I did this mani using just a little striping tape.

And Kalver Straat with P.C. Hooft Straat:

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French tips done by hand using the brush provided.

Anddd Beethoven Straat with Kalver Straat:

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Design made using Scotch tape and striping tape.

Overall, I ended up really liking all of these colors — though I think in the future, I’ll keep the Beethoven Straat and Kalver Straat for “accent” use only. The formula for these polishes does great coverage and the colors certainly make a statement!

I’m out for probably rest of the week for studying, but I’ll try to put together a fab f’Saturday or Sunday for y’all. Thanks for reading 🙂

A Fabulous… Sunday?

13 Apr

Good morning everyone, sorry I’ve been such a lazy toad and not updating at all last week. Truth is, I’ve been busy making important life decisions and… studying!

 

Soooo I’ve decided to take the LSAT. Idk if I’m going to pursue law any further than that, but it’s likely (if I can avoid a massive mountain of debt) that I will actually go to law school. No, I don’t know where I want to go (except that it will be an ABA accredited school). No, I don’t know exactly what I want to study (except that it will be a juris doctor degree and probably involve women’s rights, animals rights or environmental law). All I know for certain is that I plan at this moment to take the LSAT. Which basically means the next 5 or so months will be full of me studying and then studying some more. For this blog (and my nails), it basically means I’ll have less time to spend painting my nails and therefore as well less time to update the blog :/ I will try my best to keep up with it though!

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t updated in like 1.5 weeks. Moving on, here’s our fabulous 5:

  1. Easter is coming! Check out this super cute mani from Jen on Nailpolis:
  2. This comic is so accurate it’s painful
  3. This week’s fave tumblr is childfreehumor.tumblr.com

  4. Have you seen OPIs new nail tints? Personally I’m not that into them, but I love Lucy’s Stash‘s ideas for how to use them!
  5. My polish bff Sam at Incidental Twin has done it again — check out her fabulous new Star Trek line, swatched by Accio Lacquer. My absolute favorite is Squier of Trelaine, look how spacey it is! Love it. Too bad I’m on a no-buy and can’t snatch one up for myself 😦

*Bonus*

Six is for Sexism:  Unequal pay for women continues, and the GOP literally does not care.

I have a weekend mani, but I’m not going to post about it until later after I’ve had a chance to try and review the rest of the new SquareHue polishes I got. Check it out on my instagram in the meantime.

Have a great rest of your weekend and a good week everyone!

Fabulous Friday 5 + Cameo Lacquers Mazapan

4 Apr

Good morning everyone! I’m up early because I’m trying to get used to a 7am wake up time since my sister has decided we should start a “routine” of going to the gym. Every morning. At 7am. Lovely. Also I’ve started using the “dawn simulation” method of waking up (instead of a sound for an alarm, I have a light that slowly turns on like the sun rising) and it is shockingly effective. Anyway… let’s get started with this week’s fab 5!

  1. I totally meant to share this with you last week and have no idea why I didn’t! Nail It! did an awesome article on How to Fix Any Nail Problem Ever. (<—- note: this link as of 4-4-2014 at 8am EST was not working, but is supposed to be fixed soon!)
  2. This isn’t really new this week at all, but if you haven’t read This Common Secret you SERIOUSLY need to. I have a copy which I read this week (hence making it into my fab 5), and it is incredible. I will happily loan out my copy if anyone wants to read it! Just email me (check my About page for the address) and I’ll have it in the mail to you by Monday, promise. Here’s a video of her on the Rachel Maddow Show, the day after the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhuJbvMLum4
  3. Oh my god, kill me with cuteness, look at this cupcake mani from Nail Art Novice! I’m always impressed by her patience when it comes to manis (remember those ones she did where she used every polish of one color she owned? The time she used 40? Dedication, my friends), and this is no exception.
  4. Oh check this out! I love it when movies get analyzed via the Bechler test, and recently FiveThirtyEight looked at over 1,500 films and found that films that passed the Bechler test have a better return on investment (despite having smaller budgets overall) than films which fail the Bechler test. Hmm. Interesting. It’s almost like people like seeing women in films…
  5. Yum! Crazy easy vegan chevre! Check it out on Keepinitkind.com

    Image from Vegansaurus.com

So that’s this week’s five. I hope you liked it. It never really occurred to me until now that maybe people don’t care about my fab 5 — does anyone actually read this? Do you like these lists or no? Is there a particular topic you’d like to see more of in the 5? I know I jump around from nail polish to veganism to feminism a lot, and this is supposed to be a nail blog… maybe I should focus more on nails? Idk, let me know what you think in the comments.

Quickly, before I go, I want to show off my weekend mani for you:

Disclaimer: Polish purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

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So this polish is Cameo Lacquers Mazapan, and it’s a beautiful red-red. Very well pigmented with lots of little halo glitter. I don’t get to wear a lot of reds (due to companies deciding to put crushed beetles in their polishes 😦 and also eww), so I was thrilled to find this one (on sale too!). I didn’t use a top coat for this, either, the shine you see comes from the polish 🙂

You may notice the gap between my polish and cuticles is pretty wide — that’s because my cuticles are a little sensitive right now, I don’t know exactly why. Probably because I’ve been slacking on using my Pure Nail Oil for like 5 days and my cuticles are in bad shape. Hopefully by next week, everything with be back to normal!

Next week I’m also gonna give nail stamping another try — we’ll see how that goes haha.

Thanks for reading, and have a great, sunny weekend!

Try it on t’Monday – Lacquer Envy Naturally Pink Gel Polish

1 Apr

So I have something kind of exciting and different to share with you all today. After 3 frustrating weeks of nail breakage, I took my mother’s advice and decided to invest in a gel manicure set. Of course, that set me to the task of finding vegan-friendly, cruelty-free gel nail polish which wasn’t as easy as I would have liked it to be.

Here’s a list of the polish brands I was able to find out about:

  • Nubar — all their products are vegan friendly/cruelty-free, including their gel polishes
  • Fingerpaints — all nail polishes vegan and cruelty-free, gel polish included
  • Salon Manicure by Color Club — all Color Club nail polishes are vegan and cruelty-free, including gel polishes
  • Red Carpet Manicure — polishes are cruelty-free but they have not confirmed vegan-ness of their product (I messaged them on facebook and was told that they were looking into it for me, but I haven’t heard back again so I’d be weary of using any of their polishes, especially the reds)
  • Lacquer Envy — all products cruelty-free and vegan-friendly!
  • Lala Gel Polish — all products cruelty-free and vegan-friendly!

That’s everything I know at this moment, and I’l be hopefully updating my resource page soon to reflect my findings.

After all that research, I had to pick a brand so I decided to start with Lacquer Envy because they offered a complete starter kit with a lamp at a (reasonable-ish) price, plus they’re an Etsy company and you know how I love my Etsy.

Disclaimer: Polish purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

So here’s what came with my kit:

  • UV Lamp
  • 2 nail polish colors of my choice (I picked Naturally Pink and Night Tide)
  • base coat
  • top coat
  • Rubbing alcohol pads (like for first aid kits)
  • 4-sided nail buffer

And here’s the Naturally Pink gel polish:2014-03-30 18.10.45

I have to confess this was my third attempt at the polish, and it came out soooo much better than my first two times. Truth be told, I’m roughly 90% positive it worked so much better because I didn’t use the base coat… I know that’s a no-no, but the first two times I put the base coat on and cured my nails, the base coat shrank and had bubbles. You can imagine and understand my reluctance to try it again. The instructions suggest using the base coat, curing it, then two or three more coats of polish, curing again, and the top coat and more curing. It was a slow process. Removing the base coat cuts the time down, plus the finished look is smoother.

About the polish — I love it. Wow, what a difference in nail strength with this on! My nails are no longer flexible, and I’m not worried about them peeling. This color is pretty, a nice pale pink I could probably get away with wearing pretty much anytime. It’s supposed to last longer than regular polish, and I’m sure it will, but my mood is changeable and I suspect I’ll be using this pink as the base coat for my next manicure.

I know from my first two attempts with this polish that gel polish is tricky to remove. I tried the dip-your-nails-in-acetone method and found it very unpleasant — turns my fingers white and damages my nails, plus it takes approx 20 minute to 20 hours to accomplish anything. On my mother’s suggestion, I tried soaking my hands in a water + dish soap combo for 15 minutes, and that worked extremely well! I was kind of surprised. I used an orange stick and the polish slid right off my fingernails. I’ll probably use that method from now on though; my mom gives the best advice! (don’t tell her I said that haha).

Goodnight everyone, have a pleasant and warm week. I hope no one pranks you tomorrow for April Fools — good luck out in the world!

Fabulous Friday Five

28 Mar

So I woke up this morning to find a fresh layer of snow across my town. It’s almost April and the weather forecast promised me warm weather today…

I’m sure spring is coming… some day….

Anyway, let’s get started on our Friday 5:

  1. I’ve been dying to share this with you guys. Over the Top Coat did an amazing mani featuring everyone’s favorite snowman! She made this (and a few other!) manis using Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer ‘s amazing new Storms of Arendelle Collection. I contacted Shirley Anne Nail Lacquer because, omg, yes, gimme! but is it vegan…? And the verdict is… yes! Cruelty-free and vegan friendly!!! Waiting until my next paycheck to go on a buying spree is gonna be crazy tough.
  2. It’s no secret that I’m anti-Moffat in all forms (especially Doctor Who) so you won’t be surprised when I share this blog post with you: Steven Moffat – A Case For The Prosecution by Jack Graham
  3. I know I mentioned AlloftheVeganFood.tumblr.com last week, but look at this amazing Ethiopian Food post they put together at my request!
    Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 2.08.30 PM
  4. My favorite within-driving-distance-without-planning-a-day-trip place to get nail polish is, hands down, TJ Maxx. You might infer from that statement that I live in a pretty small, not exciting town. Which is true — but TJ Maxx is actually a town over from mine, I don’t have any big stores near me (unless you count Rite Aid…), which is just fine because I don’t like to support corporations when I can suppose local business owners. That being said, no where sells nail polish near me except TJ Maxx (my Rite Aid’s collection of vegan-friendly polishes is so meager it’s a sham), so I’m always happy to see others benefiting from the joy of TJ Maxx’s polish bounty! Small Budget Beauty just got a great haul from TJ Maxx, Big Lots (which I also have near me and have snagged a couple of Sephora polishes at) and Ross (which I do not have near me 😦 or even I think in my state…). It’s inspiration to get some fabulous inexpensive polish after I get paid!
  5. One of the things that drives me crazy about the birth control access debate (other than the fact that such a topic is even being debated) is the focus on this crazy idea that “I shouldn’t have to pay for some woman to have all the sex she wants!” (which is such a cissist and slut-shaming argument to begin with that it’s fucking disgusting) because guess what else hormonal birth control is used for? HEALTH. (oh yeah and let’s stop pretending like people with uteri are using HBC to “avoid the consequences of sex” because oh yeah, there are fuckton of sex consequences beyond pregnancy, or have we recently eliminated all STDs???) Our Bodies, Our Blog just did a fabulous post about how contraception is a health issue for everyone, not just for women with an argument I hadn’t heard before — pregnancy planning for optimal mother-and-child health.
    From the article:
    “When a pregnancy is planned, women can start prenatal care, including increasing their intake of folic acid; work with their healthcare providers to address relevant medical conditions, as well as substance abuse; and take other steps that lead to healthier outcomes for both the mother and the infant. Pregnancies that are unplanned are more likely to be affected by delayed prenatal care, maternal depression, low birth weight, poorer childhood physical and mental health, and other complications. Breastfeeding rates are also lower after unintended pregnancies.”
    It’s a pretty interesting argument and definitely worth the read!

*BONUS*

6. The frustrations of being non-white in Hollywood:

I haven’t been doing much with my nails lately due to heavy work load and heavy snow fall —

What my mornings are like

but last night I did manage to muster up some ambition and I put together this manicure based on my friend’s art suggestion:

2014-03-27 23.15.29 copy

My friend’s original instructions for this mani was to use a bunch of different purples and make perpendicular black lines. I did actually make a manicure following those exact instructions, but I didn’t like it enough to justifying taking pics. Plus I wanted to do something a little more spring-feeling in hopes of inspiring my local weather forecast to improve… sadly no luck thusfar, but we”ll see!

For this mani, I used all Wet N Wild polishes. The base coat for all but my accent nail is I Need a Refresh Mint, the base coat on my accent nail is Candy-licious and the purple is On A Trip, all from their Mega Last collection and purchased for me by my mother for my birthday.

Alright, I gotta get some work done so I’m out — but I’ll try a new polish for you all on Monday! Have a great (snow-free) weekend!