Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring is Here!( And an update)

For once, it's starting to feel like Spring here on the West Coast.  It's sunny outside and everything is turning green.  A few weeks ago, while testing out our new camera, I snapped a couple of pictures of these buds...

And not of nature, but of henna:
I've always wondered what getting henna would feel like.  Recently, at a school's diversity day, I got the chance to try it out.  When the henna is first applied, it is cool and in a paste-like consistency.  It smells kind of medicinal and herbal at first, but I gradually got used to it.  Over a period of a few hours to a day, it dries into a dark crust.  After the first hour, it felt itchy, but after leaving it on for a night, I barely noticed it.  I washed it off the next morning, and it left a medium red-brown stain left, which darkened over the next few days.  It lasted about 7 days for me, and started fading around the 4th or 5th day.  My artist was quite talented, and drew a lovely paisley leaf design on my hand.  Overall, I thought it was an interesting experience and a beautiful cultural tradition that I got to participate in.

And an update on the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips:  Well, they didn't quite last for the ten days they claim on the package.  I took it off the 6th night, because I am quite rough on my nails and it was beginning to chip, though it looked good from a distance.  However, I have been typing and painting all week, so someone who doesn't abuse their nails as much might have better results.  Also, I found that if you have leftover strips, even if you duct-tape the container, they will still dry out.  I found the dried out strips to be less flexible and not as adhesive, so I couldn't use them.  That would allow you only 2 manicure with one package of the nail polish strips.  $5 a manicure might be less of a deal for you, however, I found the product unique enough to make it worth it, especially as I can never have a nail polish look excellent for 6 days.

What do you think?  Is it worth the money, or is regular nail polish a better deal?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Whole Foods has a pretty good return policy for cosmetics apparently.  I (well, my mom) ended up returning the nail polish because the changing color just "wasn't working for me" (Guess the British TV reference!).  So yesterday, at Target, I went looking for the perfect coral nail polish.  Unfortunately, the cosmetics aisle was filled!  The nail polish rack was crowded with people.  In all the hullabaloo, I decided it wasn't the best time to ponder different coral polishes.  Besides, I could hardly find a single one!  All I could see were yellows and blues and reds, but not a single coral that wasn't red based.  And then I the new nail polish strips on the top shelf, and decided I might as well try them out.

Application:  The directions are relatively easy to follow.  I have short nails, so I cut each strip into two and rounded the edges.  I found that the directions tell you to file the excess down, however, I would recommend sticking it to the free edge of your nail before you do so, and wait a while, otherwise it will tear.

Sorry for the weird picture, my camera wouldn't focus correctly.

It did take me a while to apply these, but after a day, they are still looking gorgeous, so I can't complain  (and I was watching Doctor Who).  Though I think they would look better on longer nails, they look professional either way.  Tips:
  • Wait a while after you apply these before you shower/wash your nails, or it might peel off.  I put a coat of topcoat on, and it held on fine.
  • Add a clear topcoat over the patterns for extra wear time.
  •  To prevent the unused strips from drying out, I just put them back in the original container and duct-taped it.  Not the most efficient way, but hey.  It (might) work.
 Wear time:  They are supposed to last ten days.  I'll keep you posted!

Color:  The patterns look professional and don't stretch out, which is a plus.  The black areas of the hounds tooth have what look like air bubbles in them, but it could just be a manufacturing error.

Would I buy these again?  Definitely.  There are a lot of different patterns to choose from, like animal print, lace(which I'm leaning towards), and even solid neons.  Even though the price ($9.99, find at your local Target/drugstore) is pretty expensive, if you cut each strip into two, it can give you 3 manicures.  Pretty cool for something you can do at home!

Again:  not sponsored to review this product!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Miss Nail Polish Review

My camera is out of batteries, and apparently we don't have any left!  So you get this review with no pictures, boo.

No Miss Nail Polish is touted as a less toxic nail polish with no toluene or formaldehyde, and says it has UV inhibitors, a glossy finish, and all that good stuff.  The ingredients is short and sweet, with only the few essential ingredients and colorings.  But does it live up to its word?

(Not the exact product, but I couldn't find a single picture!  Image from

Application:  Almost a one-coater, which is good!  The color I got, Pinellas Peach (Which is really more of a vermilion) was too red for my tastes, so I tried to tone it down with (almost half a bottle of) Essie Limo-Scene.  Well, last time I try frankening with old polish.  Though the application before was great, after it became slightly thick, though still easy to apply.

Color:  Like I said, I tried adding a lighter pink (Essie) to tone down the almost-neon hue a bit.  Even though I added almost half a bottle, it didn't change the color a bit!  However, the polish, once I applied over a not-quite-dry basecoat, became darker.  Not evenly dark, but streaky dark, which is strange because it looks very light and even in the bottle.  It seemed to do this once it touched water, too.

Wear time:  Without a topcoat (which I don't want to add because of the streak issue), about a day before the edges show a bit of wear.  It's better than E.L.F., though, which lasted a day with topcoat until it drove me mad and I replaced it with No Miss.

Overall, I think it's better to use the No Miss base and top coat with this polish.  I don't know if it's the frankening or just the product, but it seemed to become darker sometimes when I applied it.  I like the range of colors, but the cost( about $7, and you can find it at your local Whole Foods) and the fact I can't find reliable swatches for the colors means that I'll only buy these if I'm looking for something more natural and if I don't mind a hit and miss.

What do you think?  It is worth a try?  And if you have any suggestions, I'm still on the lookout for a bright, summery coral nail polish!

If I was sponsored to write this post, I would not be broke.  I am (broke, that is).

Monday, April 4, 2011

No April Fool's Prank?

Hey everyone!  As I'm sure you have noticed, the web was buzzing with April Fool's jokes.  My and my blog, however, stayed quiet.  Well, apart from the lack of a working camera, I refrained from impromptu jokes because they almost never turn out well.  In my opinion, there are few necessary elements to a good prank:
  1. Setup.  Plan your prank a few weeks beforehand, rehearse it, prepare whatever you need to do to make sure it goes without a hitch.  Speaking of hitched, one of teachers and another teacher schemed to convince their students they were engaged.  The thing was, though, he wasn't prepared, so the joke had less impact (plus no one believed him).
  2. Tone.  Be serious, make it convincing!  Have all the props, and make sure no one bursts out laughing in the middle of the prank.  Going all out is more convincing than a halfhearted attempt.  Change your blog-header, buy a fake wedding ring.  Also, if you want to trick your friends even further, start preparing your joke the weeks beforehand.  If you want to trick your friends to think that you are getting married, hint at it weeks beforehand, to make it more believable.

   3.  Duration.  Pranks should end on April 1st, but to string out your victims out a little more, end it the day after.  Don't do this with very crucial matters however!  Don't keep up a joke about sensitive matters after April 1.

And if the prank-ees can't figure out that you are joking, tell them.  Take the engagement example:  That teacher's students still think she's getting married!