#NOTD / #ManiMonday – Autumn Dot Manicure

During one of my many September Julep shopping sprees, I decided to buy a gift set because it included Boris & Nicole – a color I had been dying to try. So last week, I decided to finally break it out and use it. But since I really can’t do a manicure without an “accent nail” (or at least one nail in a different color… yes I’m still semi-obsessed with that), I decided to try out SquareHue’s Via Sant’ Andrea. I just started subscribing to SquareHue because I was curious about their subscription program, and I wanted to see the differences between SquareHue and Julep. But that post will be for another day.

Boris & Nicole is an absolutely gorgeous polish. It was named after an absolutely gorgeous couple – Nicole Ari Parker-Kodjoe & Boris Kodjoe, so I’m really glad this polish did them justice. And Via Sant’ Andrea is actually a really pretty neutral color. I was a bit hesitant to use it at first, since it looks a bit blah in the bottle and I tend to go more for shimmery colors than plain, neutral cremes, but this color really grew on me. And it’ll be great for a plain manicure the next time someone important comes to the office (and I end up needing to wear more professional, office-appropriate nail colors).

Julep Boris & Nicole on every finger except the ring. Ring finger is Via Sant' Andrea. Picture taken in natural sunlight with my iPhone 4S. (I know, I need an upgrade.)

Julep Boris & Nicole on every finger except the ring. Ring finger is Via Sant’ Andrea. Picture taken in natural sunlight with my iPhone 4S. (I know, I need an upgrade.)

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Now Playing: Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away

I’m kind of actually really glad that Taylor Swift covered Vance Joy for her Live Lounge mystery cover… even if I wasn’t a fan of it. Because now more people are actually finding out about this crazy talented musician. (Never mind the fact that Riptide was the US iTunes’ Free Single of the Week over the summer, or that BBC Radio 1 has been playing Vance Joy for the longest time…)

Anyway, lately I’ve been listening to his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, a lot lately – I think it’s this weather. This album is basically the perfect non-depressing chill album. Most of my “relax/chill” albums are filled with somewhat depressing melodies, and this one is a bit more upbeat… and filled with adorable songs. James Keogh is a seriously talented singer/songwriter.

So here are my three favorite songs from the album: Continue reading

#NOTD / #ManiMonday – Pink + Red Lightning Bolts

So this was supposed to be posted on Monday… but as usual I’m posting late. Because I didn’t finish writing this Sunday night and fell asleep instead.

Anyway, after I learned about Elle & Ish from the Julep blog, I wanted to try all of her nail art tutorials! (Except maybe her newest Halloween gore one. That nail art is a bit too intense for me.) And after consulting with a friend, I decided to try the lightening bolt nail art design – since it looked easy enough. But it was definitely easier watched than done. As it turns out – I’m way more impatient than I thought I was, and I would apply (and remove) the tape before my nail polish was dry… causing me to use up a lot of remover and a lot of polish that weekend. Boo.

Instead of using the traditional black/gold/grey colors that Janelle used for her lightening bolts, I decided to go with pinks & a red since it’s October – National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Plus, it gave me a chance to play with all the pinks and reds I’ve started to collect. (But really – how did I end up having 123 different nail polish colors in two months?!) Continue reading

Now Playing: Barbra Streisand – Partners

So I meant to post this last week… but time got away from me.

Anyway, everybody that knows me knows that I LOVE Barbra. Like absolutely LOVE. So when her new album, Partners, came out – I knew I had to get it. To be honest – it’s not as amazing as her previous duet album, but it’s still an amazing album. Mainly because it’s a Barbra album and she is nothing short of perfection. (Is it obvious that I’m a total Barbra fangirl yet?) Anyway, here are my three of my favorite tracks from this album.

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#NOTD / #ManiMonday – Emerald Nails with Camo Accent

So I’ve been slacking when it comes to posts (and yoga challenges) which is probably why I’ll end up posting 3 times over the weekend (and have a million catch ups on my Instagram for my challenges). But a few weeks ago, I really wanted to try to do Janelle’s (from Elle & Ish) camo nail art as an accent nail (it was featured on the Julep blog) – only the first time I tried it, I really didn’t like my result.

So I tried again two weeks ago, with a traditional green color (I was in a green mood), and it turned out pretty good… on one hand. The nail other hand (my non-dominant one) I didn’t like so much. My top coat ended up smearing it… and then I tried re-doing it drunk – which was not my best idea.

Anyway, here’s what it ended up looking like:

Camo Accent Nail! Success.  (Finally)

Camo Accent Nail! Success. (Finally)

I used Wet n’Wild’s SaGreena the Teenage Witch as a base color – I actually really like Wet n’ Wild’s nail polishes. They’re inexpensive, 3-free and have a pretty long lasting power (as long as you use a good base & top coat – my favorites at the moment are Julep’s Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat & Sally Hansen’s Dries Instantly Top Coat).  Then, for the camouflage accent nail, I used Julep’s Winter, Hannah & Kendra. Next time I do this, I may try to use different colors – the grey from Winter looks too much like the green from Kendra, and it’s a bit hard to distinguish the two colors. These nails ended up lasting for five days with some minor tip wear – and I finally got a major chip on my Wet n’ Wild fingers on day six.

Overall, I really like this look. And I’m glad I work in an industry (and an office) where bright nails (like these) aren’t too out-of-the-ordinary. So now I’m trying to figure out what I should try next… anybody have any ideas?