Tag Archives: pink

Zoya Lux

10 May

Hi friends, I’m so sorry it’s been ages since I updated — I got really busy at work and blogging just fell to the side. Luckily, most of that work is finished now, and today is my day off so here I am!

So I recently received a package of polish from Gini aka Sassypaints for Easter, and in it were a bunch of different polishes that I’ve been dying to try! Sadly, I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly had the chance! The other day, I finally got to try the first one — Zoya Lux.

2014-05-06 22.28.05

Disclaimer: Polish given to me by a fellow blogger. All opinions are my own.

I’ll be perfectly honest here — textured polish is not my thing, mainly because it’s a hassle to remove. That’s basically how I feel about glitter polish, too, and look at that — this polish is both! It’s a textured glitter polish. Very shiny. No absence of glitter here! That being said, it wasn’t actually so bad to remove — after a couple of days, my polish just popped right off! I’ve been having this trouble with almost all of my polishes lately, I have no idea why. For some reason, my nail beds are repelling the polish. Sometimes I look down and am missing a whole nail’s worth of polish and I have no idea how or why! While it helps make it easier for me to remove the polish — I wish it would stop, haha. If anyone has any recommendations (new base coat maybe? I’ve tried dozens), please advise me in the comments!

Anyway, I’ll definitely say this polish is unique. It’s very sparkly and eye catching, but at the same time the color is pretty muted — just a faint rosy silver. If it wasn’t so glittery, I doubt anyone would have noticed my nails. The texture was kind of funky — I’m easily distracted and I found the texture when I accidentally touched it to be very noticeable. My sister really liked it, though. She thought the texture was cool. I’ve still got two more of these textured glitter polishes to try, so I’ll probably warm up to them. One thing I do like a lot about textured polishes is that they dry super fast. And I love Zoya because it’s 5 free and vegan! It’s really a quality brand and I’m so thrilled and thankful to Gini for sending these to me!

I hope everyone has nice Mother’s Day plans tomorrow — if you haven’t gotten your mother something nice yet, a mani/pedi at your local salon is a foolproof gift 😉

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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.

2014-04-16 08.37.43

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:

2014-04-12 22.40.47

I did this mani using just a little striping tape.

And Kalver Straat with P.C. Hooft Straat:

2014-04-16 08.35.17

French tips done by hand using the brush provided.

Anddd Beethoven Straat with Kalver Straat:

2014-04-16 21.22.36

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 🙂

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!

 

Spectacular Sunday Six

9 Mar

Alright, I’m late posting the Fab Friday 5 due to a) laziness b) anger because 2 of my nails broke this week and c) super crazy busy at work and life. But I’m going to make it up by posting not a Fabulous Five but a Spectacular Six!

  1. This just in– SquareHue (the monthly nail polish subscription service) is VEGAN! I asked them about this agessss ago, but received no response. Finally, I decided to ask them in a public forum (we vegans will not be ignored!) and happily received this tweet response:
    Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 12.45.50 PM
  2. This bill, H.R. 4148, introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) could end animal testing for cosmetics! Contact your congressperson today and urge them to support this important bill.
  3. Here’s a type of nail art I would never have thought of — eyeliner nail art! Check out the tutorial on Nail It!
  4. Check out this super cute (but a little seasonally early) mani from my favorite blog, U Don’t Need a Man, U Need a Manicure
  5. Here’s a big step forward for legal rights for women (and people with uteruses and actually just everyone): the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that poking holes in condoms and otherwise tampering with birth control is sexual assault. From the article:

    ‘The Supreme Court agreed with the trial judge and the appeal court that while the woman consented to the “sexual activity in question,” her request for a condom was an “essential feature” of that consent.
    “When a woman agrees to have sexual intercourse with a condom, she is consenting to a particular sexual activity; it is a different sexual activity than sexual intercourse without a condom,” the judges wrote in their unanimous decision Friday. “The deliberate and undisclosed thwarting of her agreement as to how the intercourse is to take place turns the sexual activity into a non-consensual act, regardless of its consequences.”‘

  6. Anddd here’s a step back for legal rights for women: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that upskirt photos not illegal under state law. From the decision:

    ‘”We conclude that (the law), as written, as the defendant suggests, is concerned with proscribing Peeping Tom voyeurism of people who are completely or partially undressed and, in particular, such voyeurism enhanced by electronic devices. (The law) does not apply to photographing (or videotaping or electronically surveilling) persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of upskirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accomplish on the MBTA,”‘

—-

So as I mentioned, I had a pretty frustrating week of nail breaks, so I don’t have pretty enough nails to do a weekend manicure. I do however have a pic from a mani I did awhile ago and saved for just such an occasion:

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For this mani I used China Glaze Hang Ten Toes for a base color and a fine point Sharpie marker to make a couple of quick flower shapes. I love this China Glaze color because it dries matte and I don’t have many polishes that do that. I took this picture before I put on my top coat so you could see the matte effect. My top coat (Ellagee Glass) obviously made this mani shiny.

So that’s it for today — if my nails improve, I will try to post something next week before the Friday Five. I’m also game to write a blog post that doesn’t involve me showing off my ugly nails — anyone have a topic they’d like covered? I could do nail care, veganism, feminism… it’s all good for me. Suggest in the topics or tweet me @thesecretvegan (or if you want to be anonymous — email me at thesecretvegan@gmail.com).

Have a great week everyone!

Fabulous Friday Five plus Chevron Nails and a New Top Coat

21 Feb

Hey friends, sorry I skipped out on this week’s mish mash challenge which was, sadly, the last mish mash of the 2013 season 😦 I wanted to do it but as you know, my work often interferes with my ability to create nail art. My project is nowhere near done, and I have tons I could be doing but I’m going update this anyway haha. Here’s this week’s fabulous Friday five:

  1. This week’s Mish Mash Challenge theme was seasons, and I fell in love with 2 of my fellow bloggers’ seasonal designs, so I’m going to feature two for this! I love what Small Budget Beauty did because she let her husband free-hand paint each of nails for a different season! Talk about trust! and it came out great.

    And shoutout to my fellow vegan The Bookish Manicurist who did some great freehand flower art!
  2. The 2014 Winter Olympics are going on (at least I think they’re still going…) and even though I haven’t watched even a single event, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate some sweet nail art.
  3. Speaking of the Olympics, check out one of the (many) abandoned stadiums from previous Olympics. This one is Sarajevo, where they held the 1984 Olympics.
  4. In case you haven’t heard, there’s something happening in Venezuela and Ukraine.

    Venezuela

    Ukraine

  5. Hooray for debunking bad nail advice — also read the comments in this article. Very interesting and you might learn something!

Okay so last night I did have a little time to do my nails for my weekend mani (mostly because I decided not to bring any work home with me even though I should have –oops). I like to sometimes ask one of my really good friends what I should do with my nails and he suggested “pink with black details of some kind,” so that’s what I did!

2014-02-21 10.32.55 copyThe overall manicure turned out nicely, but it was hellish to put together.

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

You might wonder why I put a disclaimer there since I don’t usually review polishes during my fab Fridays but, well, I’m about to say some not too nice things about putting this manicure together and that might be considered a review. So here we go!

For this I used Wet N Wild How I Met Your Magenta for the base color (I love this color but I hate the formula for this polish — it’s too tacky and weirdly thick. I like most Wet N Wild polishes but their Fastdry stuff sucks) and used my Art Club black striping brush to create the chevron tips free hand (this was the easiest and quickest part of the whole mani). The top coat is where things got complicated. I recently purchased, on the advice of a fellow beauty blogger, a set of polishes/nail art tools from the brand Essence which is apparently very popular where she lives in the EU but can only be purchased from Ulta here in the States. I purchased some nail art pens, a stamping set and their “Gel-Look” top  coat. I decided to test out my new top coat for this mani and boy do I regret it. You all probably know by now that Ellagee Glass is my go-to top coat, and I’m sticking by my conclusion that it is the best and only top coat I will ever need after this experience. Essence Gel-Look top coat is super thin and difficult to work with, plus it takes 100 years to dry (small exaggeration). 0/10 would not recommend. I ended up topping my top coat with Ellagee Glass just to get this manicure to dry. Ugh. I’ve still got hope for the stamping set and nail art pens I bought from Ulta, but this top coat in no way gets my recommendation. In the end, I still love the look of this mani and will probably recreate it in the future 🙂

No bonus today because I’m actually at work right now and should get back to that project of mine… Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Kimber’s Mish Mash Challenge — Black & White

12 Feb

Hey check me out! Posting the Mish Mash on time 🙂

So This week’s mish mash theme is black and white which is absolutely perfect because that’s my favorite color combination! Well, actually my favorite color combination is black, white and pink. I’ve based my entire apartment and wardrobe off this color scheme, so obviously I had to cheat and use pink for the mish mash.

2014-02-11 22.12.57Believe it or not, I did this mani entirely freehand, no tape. I went into this without a real plan, except I knew I wanted a white base, black tips and to sneak some pink in there. I started with a base coat of China Glaze White on White and used LA Colors Metallic Pink and a striping brush to make a clean line diagonally from one side of my nail to the tip. After that dried, I used my Art Club Black striping brush to make a clean line over the pink line and then filled in the top triangle. It was fantastically easy to create this look using just striping brushes.

That’s it for me, but I’ll see y’all on Friday! Don’t forget to check out the other gorgeous manicures from the other challenge ladies 🙂