Saturday, April 30, 2011

You Like Me! You Really Really Like Me!

Well, I'm so unprepared. I never expected this great honor. Thanks to the lovely Traci and Destany, I have received the Kreativ Blogger Award! How cool is that? Isn't it pretty? :)

Here are the rules:

Write 10 facts about yourself.
Pass the award to 10 bloggers and tell them about the award.

1. My favorite color is sky blue.

2. I was placed in the "gifted" program in first grade and the idea of having me skip a grade was considered but ultimately overruled.

3. I have two cats, Spencer and Sydney. Though they are both male, Sydney was actually named Sydney Bristow after Jennifer Garner's character on Alias.

4. I have been married to my husband, Brian, since 4-14-04. I wanted to be married on 4-4-04 but alas, it fell during Easter week that year and taking our honeymoon then would have been way too expensive.

5. My favorite number is 4. (Shocker, I know.) I should re-work my list so that this would be my fourth answer but I'm too lazy to do so.

6. My favorite actress is Jodie Foster. I admire her for many reasons, just one of which is her acting ability.

7. My favorite animals are manatees. I absolutely adore them.

8. Though I've never been diagnosed with OCD, I have some rather obsessive compulsive tendencies. For example, I organize my plastic closet hangers by color and I'm a bit ridiculous about alphabetizing things, especially my dvds and cds.

9. I've worn glasses since I was about 12 years old and I hate them. Alas, due to allergies (and just generally having issues with putting things in my eyes) I've been unsuccessful with contacts.

10. I suffer from clinical depression. It's something I've dealt with over the years using both medication and talk therapy, though currently, I'm utilizing neither due to lack of health insurance.

Now, time to tag. I know that some of these ladies have been tagged previously but I'm tagging them again, just because. ;)
Livin' in a Hick Town
A Tale of 8 Kitties
Brea Essex's Blog
Rainbows & Sparkles
Painting Rainbows
Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom
Let Them Have Polish
Ramblings of a Nail Polish Beginner
Vagablonde Bombchelle

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Cuticles Hate Me

Yes, this post is completely self-serving. My raggedy cuticles are the bane of my existence. (Well, one of many, but that is a story for another day.) So, I ask you, dear readers, what products/treatments/tools do YOU use to keep your cuticles tamed?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day...Go Green, Baby

Well hello, dear readers. Feast your eyes on the various stages of my current mani. Stage one starred the lovely Zoya Suvi and Zoya Akyra.

Being the skittle mani lover that I am, I decided to alternate the two colors. Suvi is on my index finger and ring finger (2 coats) and Akyra is on the middle and pinky (also two coats). I hope you can tell from the pic that Suvi is more of a deep emerald green while Akyra is more a teal. They are both shimmery and quite lovely, I think. However, after a day, I decided that I wanted to jazz things up a bit, which leads to stage two:

This shot is of my other hand (sorry about that. I'm also sorry about the hair in the shot. Between myself and my two cats, one of us is shedding on an almost constant basis.) I typically shoot pics of my left hand with my right (dominant) hand while in the midst of my manis because I'm impatient like that, hee hee. However, the first picture was of my right hand because I had already added the glitter to my left when I realized that I had forgotten to shoot the non-glittered mani. But I digress. Back on track, the second pic features Suvi topped with one coat of Zoya Ivanka (pinky and middle finger) and Akyra topped with one coat of Zoya Charla (ring finger and index finger). What I've learned is that while I still love shimmers, I'm a sucker for a good Zoya glitter. With all the colors I have to choose from, those are the ones I find myself reaching for most often. I ordered seven new Zoyas in their Earth Day polish exchange (which should be here on Monday, yay) and three of them are glitters. The other four are creams, which, to date, I only have one of in Zoya (Shawn). I'll definitely post some pics and swatches when they arrive (or sometime thereafter. You all know I'm not the best at posting regularly.)

I would LOVE to say that I chose all of these colors with the express purpose of being "green" for Earth Day but I have to be honest, that was just a happy coinci I've had a lot on my mind lately so I sort of forgot that today was Earth Day (bad Kari). Regardless, I hope that all of YOU did something green and wonderful for the planet today. I do try to contribute in a small way every day but I know that I can do more and I will make a concerted effort to do so.

An interesting aside (well, to me anyway). I spent yesterday with a friend and her nephew at Universal Studios and she remarked to her nephew "Look! Kari has Hulk nails." I found that quite amusing. ;)

P.S. My friend Destany is itching to start her 50 follower giveaway but she needs some more followers to reach her goal. Please check out her blog and follow, should you be so inclined. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zoya Caitlin...and Some Randomness

Today's mani stars the lovely Zoya Caitlin. I've been wishing for this color for a while and was SO excited to learn that ULTA was featuring a great sale this week on Zoya and several other polish brands, buy two get one free. When I went to ULTA in search of Zoya last month, there was a sign indicating that they did, in fact, carry the brand, but they were completely out of stock. Major bummer. This time I did my legwork. I called the store on Sunday to ask if they had any Zoya in stock and the lady who answered the phone, I'm presuming a manager, said "I get my trucks on Monday, best to try back then." So, off I went for the half hour trip, gracious hubby in tow, early Monday afternoon. I was cautiously optimistic that they would have at least three colors in stock so that I could take part in the promotion. When I got there, the cupboard was bare (almost). All the store had was a tiny display of the Intimate Collection with lots of empty spaces. There was one bottle of Caitlin (SCORE), one bottle of Jules, about four bottles each of Dove, Marley and Gemma and, alas, NO Dannii (the other one from this collection that I had been wishing for). Hmm. One color I wanted, four that I didn't, what to do, what to do. Fortunately, my mother, bargain hunter extraordinaire, taught me well. After checking the store's return policy on polish (and of course scanning all shelves in the surrounding area for stray bottles that might have been misplaced) I decided that my best bet was to grab two random colors (Jules and Marley) and Caitlin, of course, then return to the store when they get their truck NEXT Monday to hopefully exchange Jules and Marley for colors I'd prefer (the manager said they're expecting a bigger Zoya shipment next week. Fingers and toes crossed for the Summertime Collection. I really want Breezi and Mira). This way, I still got the benefit of the sale. Go me! However, I digress. Back to the main topic which is Caitlin. I've got to say, though Zoya plates are tremendously helpful (in case you're not familiar with this great Zoya promotional gem, a plate is a plastic display of sorts featuring actual polish swatches from a particular collection. I received an Intimate Collection plate with a previous Zoya order so I could see what the colors looked like out of the bottle, live and in person). However, there is really nothing like having the actual bottle in your hand and sneakily dabbing a quick dot onto your finger to see what it will REALLY look like on you. Caitlin was a color I had heard great things about and seen in countless online swatches but having her (especially since it was the last bottle) in my hot little hands was a rush I had yet to experience since I had never, to that point in time, seen Zoya in any store.

This is how she looks on me after a base of my beloved Mystic Nails, two coats and a top coat of Mystic Nails. Though I was very anti-accent nail previously, I'm sort of warming up to the trend. (If, like me until recently, you are not familiar with that term, an accent nail is simply polishing one nail on each hand in a different way than the other fingers to "accent" your mani. This seems to be typically done on the ring finger.) I decided to attempt tape for the tip of China Glaze Light as Air then free-handed an additional stripe of Zoya Jo. While I think the colors look pretty together, as you can see, my nail art skills are clearly lacking. Oh well, if polish isn't fun, what's the point, right? Though one coat of Caitlin appeared really patchy and uneven, the second coat fixed that right up and I feel she's quite opaque after two coats. I'm really quite pleased with this color, though I have to say, the hubby was rather unimpressed. He never paid any attention to polish until my childhood/teenage obsession resurfaced a few months ago but now that I'm so into it, he finds himself noticing polish more and more. In fact, just the other day, he said, "It's funny how much I'm noticing the polish, or lack thereof, on other women. It's surprising how many women just don't bother with their nails at all." (That's actually not his exact quote but close enough, hee hee.) He tends to be much more impressed by sparkly colors, hence the fact that I have several more colors from Zoya's Sparkle Collection (I presently own two, Charla and Ivanka) on my wishlist. I have to admit, I am quite dazzled by them myself but the added bonus of knowing that Brian likes them makes me feel good, too. So, to sum up, I LOVE finding Zoya at ULTA, am awfully fond of Caitlin and feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa in anticipation of next Monday. What, besides polish, can make a 37 year old woman that giddy?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Holo at Ya Girls!

Yes, ladies. Kari is FINALLY dipping her toes into the world of holos. Though it's just a glittery, sparkly, smattering of holo, it has won me over. I am pleased to feature Wet n Wild Kaleidoscope both flying solo and layered over NYC New York Color Skin Tight Denim Creme.
Above is Kaleidoscope as it appears in the bottle and brushed (one coat) onto my color wheel. As you can see, you get a nice amount of silver glitter with larger, silver, holographic "dots" (for lack of a better word) mixed in. I wish I could have done a better job of capturing the beautiful prism of rainbow colors shining from the holo dots. Hopefully you can see them better in the shot below where it is layered over one coat of NYC New York Color Skin Tight Denim Creme.
Voila! I must say, I LOVE Skin Tight Denim Creme, too. It's not often that one can a nice level of opacity in just one coat but this NYC color definitely succeeds in that arena. I paid just $.69 (plus tax) for the Wet n Wild polish (Walgreens is featuring Wet n Wild makeup/polishes regularly priced at $.99 for just $.69 until, I believe, May 28th). I paid around $.94 (plus tax) for the NYC polish at Walmart. (I may be wrong about that but I know it was less than $1.00). I have to say, often in life you get what you pay for but in the cases of these two polishes, I think the quality far exceeds what you'd expect from a "cheap" polish. Color me happy!

Charla's Angel

Wah wah wah. Yeah, I kill me. Anyway, I would be THRILLED to be one of Charla's Angels, were such a group to exist. This, my lovelies, is the amazing Zoya Charla. When I placed my very first Zoya order back in January, one of the colors that folks seemed to rave about the most was this very one. Not being a HUGE fan of sparkles and glitter (or so I thought), I held off on ordering this one, despite the fact that it's the most stunning aqua/teal color. Fortunately, when I won several (actually, MANY) polishes from a friend's Youtube giveaway, I learned the error of my ways.

Though this is, in my opinion, a three-coater to achieve opacity (even though you can see a bit of vnl in my pic), it is beyond stunning. I've heard many bloggers and fans of this color liken it to mermaid scales and I couldn't agree more. It really is a showstopper that even my husband can't stop admiring. I must add, this polish does not give even the slightest hint of a rough or gritty feel to your nail, even without top coat, which I'm not wearing in this pic. (I got a little lazy. This is also a shot three days after I first applied the color.) Though Tallulah still has my heart as my favorite Zoya to date, Charla is definitely a VERY close second.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Swatch Madness!

Yes ladies (and gents, in the event that any ever decide to follow me), it's an all-out Swatchapalooza! I finally broke down two days ago and spent the whopping $5.00 (if you know me, you know that even $5.00 constitutes a "whopping" purchase, these days) on one year's membership to the Sally Beauty Club. If you're not familiar, for that $5.00 you receive a discount on everything Sally Beauty Supplies sells (off regular prices) AND (this was the kicker for me) you receive a $5.00 credit to spend starting the very next day after you join. So, basically, you reap the rewards of membership almost immediately. Theoretically, you could go in, plunk down your five spot, spend NOTHING else that day, return the next day, choose a $5.00 item, and get it for free. Then you also get the awesome benefit of discounted pricing for a WHOLE YEAR and if you spend $25.00 in a month, you'll receive a 15% off coupon to use the next month (if I'm not mistaken. I'm a Sally Club newbie so I think I've got this all right.)

Anywho, I decided recently that I wanted to purchase color wheels so I could swatch my entire polish stash. Since the wheels are $5.99 for a pack of 10 at Sally ($5.39 with the club card), I bought my membership on Monday, went back yesterday with my $5.00 credit and bought my wheels for a whopping $.42 (including tax). PAR-TAY! I swatched most of my collection last night and finished it off today. I actually posted on a polish Facebook page (Zoya, to be exact) asking for advice on how people generally organized their wheels (sorted by brand, color family, etc., how many coats, you know, the important stuff) and found that it's about a 50/50 split between those who sort by brand and those who sort by color family. At first I couldn't decide but I finally realized that, for me, it was best to sort by brand. This way, I can add more colors as I purchase them and my OCD tendencies won't kick in when, gasp, the colors go from light to dark and back again, lol. Now they're laid out simply by brand and it won't cause me heart palpitations when red is followed by green, then purple and maybe even back to red again. Whew! I'll post better shots of the wheels in small groups below. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Autism Awareness Month

To show my support for Autism Awareness month, I have chosen to unite with many other polish bloggers and paint my nails blue. Specifically, I used Essie's One Day Without Blues. TOMS Shoes, wishing to raise awareness for their "One Day Without Shoes" campaign, united with Essie to offer this polish to 5000 randomly selected fans, free of charge, and I was one of the lucky ones chosen. TOMS has a "One for One" project through which they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell. Every once in a while, the stars align in the right way and I think that my receiving this color, considering how much I ADORE blue, at this particular time to show my support for both of these wonderful causes, was perfect kismet. I applied two coats and couldn't be more pleased with this beautiful color, especially at such a meaningful time. A friend's son was recently diagnosed with autism and I have other friends with autistic children as well. Anything that brings more attention to this issue is fantastic with me. Thanks to TOMS and Essie for the lovely polish.