Month: February 2014

Random Thursday: What I Love/Hate About Valentines Day

I’m totally in the “I love Valentines Day” camp. I don’t think it has to be only about romantic love–it’s a great day to celebrate love in all forms, between family, for friends, for your furry friends, for life. Love is an excellent thing to celebrate!

I love the excuse to eat rich food, especially chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t? I always see lots of rich desserts that I want to try for the holiday.

I love seeing flowers everywhere. I love flowers.

I love the excuse to get fancied up and go out. I spend way too much time sitting around at home in my sweats with no makeup on. Putting on some lipstick and high heels and going out to a nice restaurant is A-OK by me!

Secretly, I love that it marks the halfway point of February. This is just one of those months I dislike, though it’s not Feburary’s fault; it’s just so gloomy and grey and cold, and I feel stuck between proper winter and the promise of spring. So hitting the halfway point is a big deal!

The major thing I don’t like about this holiday is the same thing I dislike about all major holidays: the focus on consumerism. The pressure to buy gifts, to go on expensive dates, etc.–everyone feels pressured to spend enough and give enough, everyone ends up broke and unhappy. It’s dumb. Shouldn’t spending time with loved ones be enough?

Another thing I dislike: how mean people can be toward the singles on V-Day. It seems that no matter how accomplished you are in life, if you’re single on Valentines, you’re a loser. That’s so wrong. Why should you be defined by your relationship status?!

What do you love or hate about Valentines Day?

Hey, It’s Okay (on Wednesday again…)

Whee! Amber has a blog button now! This week I think it’s okay…

…to want dinner but not want to cook it. I just want to snap my fingers and have it appear.

…to consider hot beverages to be their own food group.

…to feel that bathing two cats counts as my daily workout.

…to enjoy the warmer temps but not the melting snow. Boo hiss.

What are you okay with this week?

Julep Feb’14 Maven swatches!

Happy Monday everyone! Here are the swatches from my February Julep Maven box.

I decided to use Roc Solid (a vintage army green creme) on my fingers with Kristen (teal with silver microshimmer) as an accent. I’m really not loving the formula on Roc Solid; it’s so thick as to be almost unmanageable, making for a splotchy manicure, and I had pretty noticeable tip wear after just one day of wear. I think it will just take a little patience to make it look decent for future manicures.

Kristen, on the other hand, is a dream. It’s not too thick or thin and is completely opaque in a single coat. Like most dark blues/greens, it does stain pretty badly. For this mani I did a coat of Julep Sienna (an antique gold) on my accent nail and topped it with a heavy coat of Love (gold/fuchsia microglitter).

Here’s a single coat of Love on bare nails. It’s very pretty but very sheer, so you can either use it solo for a subtle effect or layer it over a base. One of my friends sampled it over pink and purple with great results.

Judi is a deep purple creme. This is a perfect pedicure color and almost a one-coater. Here I’ve used Cameron (lilac matte glitter) as an accent on my big toes; this polish was a one-coater and dried very quickly, making it a great quickie mani-pedi color. (Excuse the catnip all over the scratching post–it was the best place to prop up my foot in the fading daylight!)

Here’s Judi again, this time with two coats. Obviously it’s much darker with that second coat, which is fine by me. It’s a very royal color and was not too thick or thin.

I really want to try Cameron as an accent with Zoya Marley, since the two seem to be the same shade of lilac. I’ve also got all of my new Zoyas to swatch this week, so hopefully I’ll have a nice big swatch post up later in the week!

Random Thursday: IMO the best online shop is…

 

To be honest, I don’t do a lot of online shopping. I tend to be leery of sizing, return policies and other issues, so I usually just hoof it to a brick-and-mortar store to make my purchases. There’s also the fact that lots of my favorite nooks don’t have an online presence, since they’re independent and not a chain. However, there are a few sites I really like.

I’d be lying if I didn’t include Amazon as one of my favorite places to find stuff online. I know that’s terribly generic, but where else can you find coffee, books, pillow slipcovers and a new handbag all in one place? Ditto for Etsy, site of all things magical and wonderful.

Even though most of the site is above my budget, I also really love browsing Piperlime, just for fashion inspiration. Ditto for Anthropologie, which is gorgeous but obviously won’t yield any real purchases any time soon! For more affordable stuff, I love Lulu’s and ASOS. People Tree, Fashion Conscience and One Mango Tree have great fair-trade and sustainable fashions at fairly affordable price points.

On the beauty front, Soap.com and White Rabbit Beauty are great ways to find the brands you wish were stocked at the local drugstore. White Rabbit sells only Leaping Bunny approved products, and helpfully sorts out items as vegan, fragrance free and gluten-free.

So there are a few recommendations from this online challenged shopper. Any sites you think I should know about?

February 2014 Julep Maven unboxing

(Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.)
 
 
Happy February everyone! I had enough Julep reward points sitting in my account to earn a free box, so I thought I would treat myself this month and get some new polish to make the gloomy winter weather a little less dreadful. February’s Maven theme was ‘The Dramatic Collection’, and it did not disappoint! The colors were definitely dramatic and there was a nice mix of gloss and sparkle inside. 
If you’re new to Julep, it’s a monthly nail polish subscription box that brings you $40+ worth of fashionable polish shades and new beauty products for $19.99. When you sign up you’ll take a style quiz that will match you to the box type that best suits you: Boho Glam, Bombshell, Classic With a Twist, It Girl or Modern Beauty. Each month you can preview the box selections and elect to try a different box style or skip the month altogether. If you decide to sign up, I’d be super-duper thrilled if you’d use my referral link
Now, on to the polish. This month I decided to go with the “Bombshell” box, which contained two gorgeous shades: “Judi”, an “English violet creme”, and “Kristen”, described as “deep sea teal with silver microshimmer”. Personally I think Kristen looks nothing like the Julep blog swatches in her bottle, but maybe once she’s swatched the teal will really show up.
 
 
 
I also chose two add-ons. “Roc Solid” is described as a “vintage military creme”, while “Cameron” is a “silver lilac stardust (matte glitter)”. I’m really into matte glitters (or any glitters, really) right now so this is right up my alley.
There were two extras in the box this month. The Eye Sheen Liquid Eyeshadow should be interesting–I got the shade “Warm Fig”. The “Love” polish is a mix of “gold, pearl and fuchsia microglitter” and I really can’t say whether it will be full coverage or not. (I hope so.)
Both my Julep box and my Zoya promo order arrived within two days of each other, so clearly I have a lot of swatching to do! If you’d like to check out even more nail polish, take a look at my new Zoyas over here. Hopefully I’ll have a ton of swatch spam up for you over the next couple of weeks!
 
 
(Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.)

Hey, It’s Okay…on a Wednesday

I’m linking up (albeit belatedly) with Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundey for Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday! Except that this week, it’s more like Hey, It’s Okay To Be Late And Posting On A Wednesday. Just the first of several things I’m okay with this week, including but certainly not limited to…

…drinking too much coffee this weekend. It’s cold out!

…gluing myself to the window like a plant to soak up some of this glorious sunshine. It’s freezing here, but I’m loving the sun–I can’t stand the gloom!

…being anti-social, because being social would require going outside, and it’s too cold for that nonsense.

…lying awake steaming because I feel that one movie is a rip-off of another. We just watched Moon on DVD and about fifteen minutes in, I started to get the uneasy feeling that I’d seen it before. You know why? Because the blockbuster Oblivion, which I saw and LOVED last spring, did a fine job of lifting the script. I’m pissed. It’s not a carbon copy and both movies are awesome in their own ways, but the plot twists were just so close that I feel really cheated for having liked Oblivion so much. Make sense? (I will give credit where credit is due and say that Oblivion had a better “What the bleep” reveal moment. Watch them both if you have time.)

What are you okay with this week?

My Zoya promo order arrived!

My Zoya order (from the 2014 Color Your World promo) finally arrived! I ended up ordering three extra polishes to get the free shipping, so I now have a total  of six lovely polishes waiting to be worn. Zoya is my favorite polish brand–the formula is great, the color selection is massive, and the polishes are all vegan–plus they release tons of trendy new fashion colors each season that you won’t find in the drugstore.

 

I tried to order with an eye toward the polishes I’ll want to wear this spring and summer, rather than snagging more glitters and “winter” polishes. To that end, I grabbed “Charisma”, a neon orchid shade, to fit with the Pantone color of the year: Radiant Orchid! I also picked up “Darcy”, a warm yellow, and “Destiny”, a coral PixieDust that I’ve been craving since last summer. I think both of these colors will make great pedicure colors once the weather warms up.

 

I also picked out three wild card colors. I don’t normally go for blues, but “Song” was too pretty to pass up. “Purity” is a solid white that should be great for nail art, while “Rue” is a blush nude from the spring “Natural” collection that was just recently released.

 

Here are some shots in cooler light. I think you can see the shimmers in Song a bit better. I’m wondering what Charisma will look like on the nails, because it’s insanely bright even in the bottle! I’ve heard it has a semi-matte finish, so I might have to use a high-gloss topcoat with this one.

 

 

Now the swatching begins… :D