October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

It's no secret to anybody that I am an absolute coffee FIEND. (I am a fiend for many things - it should really be on my resume.) This fact has very little to do with anything, but at the same time it has to do with EVERYTHING about this post. 

When I started at U of T, I hated coffee. Couldn't stand the stuff. I once went to Starbucks, ordered a Vanilla Latte thinking it would be like a Tim Horton's French Vanilla, took three sips, and then threw it out because it "tasted too much like coffee". Then, one day, everything changed:

My BFF (omg, can't believe I'm using that term again. kill me now), who despised coffee as I did, suggested that I try a gateway drug...I mean, Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

This happened:

And now, I can't get enough of the stuff. It was a steep and slippery slope leading from PSLs to my apparent coffee addiction today. Why am I telling you this?

  1. I am most likely enjoying a Venti PSL as you read this to help me take away the pain of the exam I just wrote
  2. This next colour I'm about to show you reminds me of my most beloved Starbucks favourite

Essence Colour & Go in Gorgeous Bling Bling is a burnt orange shade filled with gold flecks. It's a gorgeous colour that just screams, FALL!

The formula was flawless as always: could have gotten away with a single coat if applied more carefully. Also, is anyone else totally digging how even the cap has gold flecks in it? I think it's a great special touch to the packaging to have the lid match the colour on the inside, down to the gold flecks.

Personally, though, I think this shade leans a little bit too red/brown for it to be flattering to my warm skin tone. I think this would look amazing on somebody much paler or less...yellow. (Just keeping it real.) Nevertheless, it is a wonderful fall colour and even though it's not my cup of tea, it certainly is like a cup of PSL. :D

I'm really impressed by these little Essence polishes. They're affordable, they're cute, and the colour selection has been exquisite. I'm excited to see what shades they'll come up with next!

October 28, 2012

Cupcakes, Glitter, and Rhinestones, oh my!

At the beginning of the school year, I told myself that I wouldn't let myself get behind on anything: school work, social life, extracurriculars, and this blog. Sixty days later, and I'm 0 for 4 -- especially when it comes to posting on here. 

BUT today is my BIRTHDAY, so as a present to myself, I'm going to try and get caught up. (Or, at the very least, I'm going to post my birthday mani.) It's my last year of school, and it's only fitting that, after 4 consecutive years of birthday midterms, I should have one last birthday midterm to deal with before I get the heck outta here. 

The concept for my birthday mani flip flopped through a number of different concepts, many involving Halloween nail appliques, gold leaf, and glow in the dark nail polish. I tried to combine all the ideas in my head, but when I finally got down to painting in all the base colours, it looked so tacky I could have died...sort of like a skittles mani on acid. So I made an executive decision: to bring on the bling.

Lightbox (more colour accurate)


I used Nubar Violet Sparkle (3 coats) on the pinky, middle, and index fingers. Violet Sparkle is mixture of densely packed, finely milled glitter in a purple base. The purple leans more to the red side than to the blue, as seen in the lightbox pictures, which are more colour accurate. I do have to warn you, however, that this one is topcoat hungry. I used 2 coats of clear polish + 1 coat of Revlon Quick Dry, and it still feels gritty.

The cupcake was a last minute addition to this ensemble. I love cupcakes, I love to make them, so why wouldn't they be featured in my birthday mani? I painted a french tip on my ring finger with Essie's She's Picture Perfect and used a striping brush to paint on the stripes in Joe Fresh Iris. The icing was painted on using a large dotting tool, and the sprinkles with a small dotting tool.

And just in case there wasn't enough bling already:

I have never actually used rhinestones before, and when I bought these at Walmart I thought that they were simply rhinestone "stickers", so I waited for my 2 coats of Iris to dry before I even opened the package. Lesson learned.

Blurry shot to show off the SPARKLE
I ended up using a wooden cuticle stick dipped in clear polish to help me place the rhinestones, which worked well enough. The sheer number of rhinestones I used was just cray. The second "2" is a little wonky just because I didn't have enough space for it. :S

By the time I finished the "22" on my left thumb, I was in no mood to do it all over again on my right, so instead I stuck with a simpler (but by no means easier) heart design:

Right Thumb

Despite the fact that I didn't end up putting in my most extravagant ideas into my birthday manicure, I'm pretty pleased by how it turned out. It took forever to do, but I would say it was worth it if only just to have awesome nails on this gloomy, rainy day.

Back to work, I guess. :(  Happy Birthday to Me!