Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gray or blue? You decide.

Tonight's mani is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 350 Gray By Gray. It teeters between slate blue and slate gray, depending on the light, but to my eye it's closer to slate blue.

My photos are especially blurry tonight, sorry about that. But what a fascinating color. I strongly prefer slatey blues, by and large, and this one leapt out at me while I was waiting for prescriptions after my dental visit yesterday. Admittedly I was on Ativan, so not entirely of sound mind OR body, but anyway! I was all GIMME when I saw it.

I didn't manage any particularly good sunlight photos, but here's one sans much of a reflective bit.

And blur city --

And one up against faded blue jeans, to bring out the blue.

Fab color, I think. The brush shape was sorta weird, oval-ish, but the application was nice. Two coats, topped with Poshe.

Was asked by three different people today if my nails were real. Good grief. They don't even have any length on them yet!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My first real Pink Wednesday!

You would snicker if you knew how long it took me to figure out how to add the photo+link to my layout. OY!

Off work today to go have a root canal done (well, possibly, but probably). Not the most fun reason to be off, but hey. It is what it is.

Adjustment to new nail shape still -- adjusting. But overall pretty interesting. I was told by a colleague at work yesterday that this shape makes my fingers look "stubby." I'm not entirely sure I agree, but also not sure I entirely disagree, either. Let's see.

Today's polish: OPI Do You Think I'm Tex-y, because it's my only jelly and I LOOOOOVE jellies, I've decided, and also I AM a Texan, so!

For some reason I am shaking like a leaf this morning. Had breakfast, so not hungry, but very shaky nonetheless. Maybe impending dental visit? No idea. But I had a rough time doing this mani, and I fear it shows. Whatevs, right?

My left thumb is my favorite squoval nail.

Oh man, here's the right hand, but I did such a bad job both polishing AND photographing. I am NOT ambidextrous, and it shows. Sorry about that.

In any case, I AM interested to see how I like this nail shape once it grows out a bit. I think... I will like it better then. But variety is the spice, as they say, and this is DEFINITELY different for me. *g*

Now if the weather would cool off and my Kirk Hand would slim down a bit.

Have a wonderful Pink Wednesday!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deep breath.

OK, I've been told by friends on livejournal that I probably just need to get used to them. That they look fine.

::breathes into paper bag::

Maybe a fresh mani. This one is yesteday's, trimmed. Yes, I think so. Pink. Or possibly purple.

Nail freakout!

OK. I'm trying not to hyperventilate here. This is really ridiculous, but.

I squared my eternally-oval nails.

And they look HORRIBLE.

I hate the right hand more than the left -- ugh, the right looks SO BAD. I think it's because I was pretty oval, and I don't have square corners. It's rounded and then flat on top, like I BROKE them or something.

Oh good grief.

OMG, what do I DO?? I bet if they grow a little they'll look better; I can clip down to where there's no oval shaping left, and then it'll look less -- CRAPPY OMG.

I want to hide and cry. And they feel weird when I type. My right index finger looks AWFUL. How can I fix this??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New polish, blah blah.

Honestly? It is too darn hot to care much about anything. 111 today. I am listless. *shrug* Bleh.

Pretty polish, though. OPI Senorita Rosealita. My love of pink strikes again! I didn't do a particular good job on my mani, but the color is lovely -- a warm pink, lots of gold glimmer.

I did play with the stamping a tiny bit today, but I had trouble with too-fast drying again. I think I better hold off until I 1) get easier tools, and 2) have a little more humidity. I even had trouble getting a top coat on tonight; it dried in seconds.

I wish you all cool weather and comfort.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I sure have spent a lot of time reading nail blogs tonight. *g*

I thought I'd put a note on here, for the heck of it, with an actual product recommendation. I've been so busy exploring and trying new things that I haven't spent much time thinking about what I'd recommend to others, what have you, but I LOVE one product and heck, why not mention it.

When I started back giving a flying fart about my nails again, I grabbed an old bottle of clear base/top coat and went about using it. Worked -- meh, all right. It was elderly but still functional.

But my finishes were crap, and I was spending a lot of time buffing my nails because they had a bad case of the peelies. Sort of mangy after I removed polish. Quite frustrating.

I was watching a video on manicures on Youtube and saw a mention of Nail Tek Foundation II. Especially, the woman added, for nails that tend to the peelies.

Ordered some, used it -- bam. No more peelies. I so rarely need to buff my nails now, compared to before, it's crazy. It seems like a combination ridge filler and -- I don't even know, something positive, though, because it solved the finish problem, and the peelie problem.

(The top coat this person recommended was Seche Vite, new to me at the time, but after using both SV and Poshe, I'm going to finally weigh in preferring Poshe, at least so far. SV is just so gorram thick. I'm to the point where I can't deal. So. Not very scientific-method or anything, but there you go.)

But! The Nail Tek base coat is amazing. I haven't even been curious about anything else, I've been so happy with it.

So what am I missing out on, with my singlemindedness? Base coat? Top coat? I'm a tabula almost-rasa here; I'll try it all.

Nude, but --

-- oh my dear and fluffy Lord, my horrific cuticles. I've about decided it's impossible to maintain decent cuticles when it gets to 107 every day. (High today projected 109.) This is WITH hand lotion and shea butter. They just crack and stick out and ugh.

So please forgive the crispy closeups of the dry hands?

OPI Dulce de Leche. I bought this thinking only that it was a nude-ish color that might be closer to my skin tone. I tend to the pink/red end, and most nude polishes look yellow on me. I wasn't in love with the polish, per se, only the chance of a good match.

Erm. Now I'm kind of in love with the polish. It's much prettier on than I had anticipated.

Later I'll play with stamping a bit more. Now I'm going to go heat up a bowl of olive oil and see if I can resurrect my crispy hands. ::sob::

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh, TGIF in a biiig way.

End of the week hasn't been so kind to me -- fighting off some sort of generic virus at the same time that I found out I'd cracked a tooth and have to get a root canal next Wednesday. No new manis until this weekend.

But I did take a couple of faltering first steps with my stamping. Holy cow, only one out of five fingers even remotely resembled something presentable, and that was marginal. I'm not sure if it is the heat or the dryness (I suspect the latter, because, I mean, I do have AC), but several times even when I worked as fast as I could, the polish was dry on the plate before I could get the stamper over to pick up the image. Also, the plates I chose are probably not the best beginner plates. The designs are REALLY small and delicate, and I'm pretty hamfisted still, so meh.

However, I love the idea of it, and the one stamp that did transfer decently was so freaking cool, so I'll keep at it. Probably order some different plates (yay for payday). I am looking at some MASH plates on Amazon that have bigger designs and are slightly cheaper.

I figure I'll just need to practice quite a bit before it looks good. I'm glad I've seen other bloggers talking about having trouble at first; it makes me feel a little less inept. *g*

Well, it is 11:10pm and 97 degrees still outside. I was unaware of a transcontinental relocation to the Gobi; why was I not informed? Heads will roll.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New toys!

\o/ My Konad stuff arrived! Pardon the hilarious Indiana Jones reflection -- I'm not REALLY intending to stamp my nails with that particular image. However -- whee! I tried to be restrained. Only one bottle of polish, since I don't really know if there is a difference between THEIR polish and other polishes. Two plates with very modest designs on them. And the stamper set.

This, however, cracked me up: In part the directions on the stamper set state, "Make a scraper leaned over 45 degrees and scrape excessive polish off." It's excessive excess. So there. But I'm not making any scrapers; I have one right here.

Anyway! I am quite excited. It's been quite a nerve-wracking week otherwise, but this nail hobby has given me much pleasure; it's nice to have some new tools to play with. \o/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trim time. And pink!

Woo, feels funny typing -- I trimmed my nails about halfway, since they were kinda getting to the length I was starting to worry about breaking. Feels like I lost a full knuckle somewhere, you know? ::types with stubby fingers::

Tonight's mani is for tomorrow's pink Wednesday. I'm not signed up for it, but I'll take any excuse to haul out pink polish.

Essie Miami Nice in the sun.

Somehow that glassy Seche Vite shine doesn't show up tonight. I think I dulled it with cream for my crispy cuticles. Ugh.

I adore this color. So pretty.

My left hand is my "Kirk hand." I had lymph node surgery about 18 months ago, and the worst of the edema is gone, but by no means all of it. It's my Kirk hand thanks to the Star Trek reboot, and Kirk's monster hands when he had the allergic reaction. Hee.

I suppose this makes my right hand my Spock hand. Next time I'll make the live long and prosper hand for you. I know you can't wait.


Monday, June 20, 2011


No new mani tonight -- I have a supervisors' meeting tomorrow and Waitress is my baby. Tomorrow night, hopefully a trim. I'm getting a little clawlike, and I'm scared I'll break one on something.

So -- Nail shapes. I so rarely see nails as oval as my own. It didn't take long to see that this nail shape...she ain't so fashionable, evidently. I saw someone yesterday saying that "older women" appeared to prefer oval nails. It made me criiiiiiinge. OKAY OKAY, no, I'm not as garden fresh as I once was, but -- OLDER. ::criiinges more::

My nails really don't square. Not easily, at least, and it takes upkeep. I barely file them to keep a nice oval shape, but square is a lot of work. And -- I may possibly be exaggerating the impact here, but I think oval makes my fingers look longer. If I didn't have rather small hands and one permanently swollen with lymphedema, I might not need any assistance, but honestly, my left hand needs all the help it can get.

But. I COULD try clipping my nails tomorrow to a square/squoval shape. Try it out for a bit. I really do like the look.

I don't knooooooooow. Grrargh.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best polish ever.

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress.

Best red ever. I did a pretty crappy mani while also watching Falling Skies, and it annoys me when it takes longer to clean up a mani than to actually do one. Grrr.

It's nearly 10:00pm and it's still about 97 degrees outside.

Hrm, I'm pretty whiny. Time for bed soon, I guess. Niters.


I placed an order for a Konad stamper and some individual plates. \o/ From the voluminous reading I've been doing on various nail blogs, it appears it takes some practice, but the results are just so charming.

And it sort of makes me finally realize that nails are little...blank canvases, and all of this is a distinct and delightful flavor of art. Nail art!

I admit, though, that I'm considering buying small brushes and trying my hand at some freehand stuff. The only drawback there is that I'm strongly right-handed, so my left-handed efforts may be decidedly lacking.

But what fun, all told!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ahhh ha ha ha kittens.

Life with a kitten. Third coat of a very, very sheer albeit pretty new polish, and SURPRISE! lap kitten.

Hence, let us all (two of us) understand that's yes, a big honking booboo on two different nails, and since there ARE only two of us, we'll pretend there isn't. OK? Cool.

Tonight's very sheer but very pretty polish is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Sturdy Sapphire.

I am not sure what it means when a sapphire is sturdy. Doesn't melt in water? Will cut glass? Somewhere in between the two, I'd imagine.

I tend to shy away from more adventurous colors, so I'm attempting to break out of the monotony and broaden my nail horizons. This polish really does help. In spite of having to do three coats. It's really a very nice shade of cool blue, perfect for these hotter-than-the-hinges-of-Hell West Texas days we're having.

I hit a sale at Walgreen's and picked up several off-the-beaten-color-path polishes tonight. Also two sets of "nail art" polishes -- skinny brushes with various colors. Last night I tried two approaches to a gradient look, but for some reason they were unphotographable (their looks were laughable! actually no, they were interesting, sorta). I had on the pink glitter polish still, so I went lighter with the gradients -- it came out rather as if it had snowed on the tips of my fingers. Meh, we'll see, I'm just getting started here. *g*

Now I think I may go watch "How to Train Your Dragon" again. I thought about doing a black mani with light green eyes on two fingertips, in Toothless's honor. We'll see....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oh lordy, TGIF.

Today was so long I swear on the video of my life the subtitle for my day would be "AKA, The Never-Ending Day."

I did a very sloppy glitter-mani before work, and -- well. It's very sloppy. As are my pics, taken at the local health-food-and-organic-eatery while waiting for sandwiches to be made. (Two clubs and an avocado-and-cheese on sprouted bread -- nom nom.)

Glitter may be a stone bitch to take off, but it's so forgiving when I'm in a hurry, and it's so very pretty in the sun.

I have a plan to eventually make it Freaky Friday every week, and try a color I wouldn't normally wear, or something I've been too conservative to try. So I'll try later on to do something like that, but it might be next week before that happens.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

8% humidity will really get you down.

Did a mani and took it off again. My hands are dreadful. Along with 106-degree temps we have -- currently -- 8% humidity here, and I can't put enough moisture on my hands. There IS no "enough."

So I worked on my cuticles a bit and then bathed my hands in shea butter. Naked nail alert:

I bought the shea on Etsy, Soothing Suds Handmade Soap. Unscented, and by Jove it works.

One thing I really had to learn is that it isn't enough to have pretty nails. I grow pretty nails, have done so all my life. But I've been horrible to my cuticles since I was a kid, never outgrew it. The polish is the fun part. The caring for my cuticles and hands, well, that's medicinal as much as anything. Believe it or not, this is vastly improved over earlier this evening:

In any case! Back to polish tomorrow. In the meantime, LFMF, I suppose. Baby those cuticles!


Man, it's 106 degrees outside. Best to stay in and fiddle with fingernails, I do believe.

A couple of earlier manis, for posterity's sake. Heh.

Rimmel Violet Metal:

China Glaze Camisole:

OPI Do You Think I'm Tex-y:

And oh, my favorite polish of all so far, OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress:

Well, clearly both my polishing and my photography skills need some work. I find I'm slowly getting less shaky while applying polish, but I do tend to, hmm, hold my breath as I go, which creates certain issues. Hypoxia being one. Attempting to curtail that weird habit.

So those are my nails. And my poor, long-suffering but slowly improving cuticles. I want to try so many things! And our local Sally's is only a few blocks away.... Stay tuned.


I looooooooove fingernail polish. And I talk a great deal about it recently, so rather than bore folks who really didn't sign on for this, I decided to move it to a nail-centric kinda blog.

But first I have to confess. For years now I haven't really cared much about my nails. I pretty much let them grow, whatever, and when they got in the way I cut them off. Tra la, at least my typing improved.

And oh man, ripped my cuticles to shreds. There are no words. There was, however, occasionally blood. Yeah. Ouch.

So about six weeks? ago, I decided to polish my nails in an attempt to shame myself into leaving my cuticles alone to heal. And it worked! But....

Now I'm hopelessly (re)addicted to nail polish. Catching up with products that weren't around the last time I cared for my nails (that was back in the mid-90s). All around just kind of, well, enjoying the hell out of it.

So I'm playing with pretty colors, experimenting with colors I always shied away from, and hoping to learn some new styles/techniques/tricks. Also trying to get the hang of photographing my own fingernails -- not the easiest of things, I'm discovering. No fancy equipment, just a digital camera.

Warning: Naked nail alert/crappy iPhone photo alert:

This is pretty much where I started. Nails are fine; cuticles, not so much.

So I have pure shea oil for my poor fingers, and far, FAR too many bottles of polish already purchased. (And yet -- never enough!)

Next introductory post: some polishes I've tried lately.