Greeting

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve Manicures

2011 is approaching, so I decided to do a manicure inspired by New Year's Eve night. I don't know why, but I decided the colors that would represent the last night of 2010 would be silver and blurple (blue-purple).

I had a bajillion designs that I tried out, but I eventually narrowed it down to two choices. But I just couldn't choose between the last two designs, so I did one design on each hand.

The first one, which is on my left hand, is inspired by the traditional ball drop at midnight on New Year's Eve, which brings in the New Year. This is actually my first frankenpolish :D! I combined a blackish blurple, representing the darkness of midnight, and a REALLY shimmery silver, representing the ball, confetti, and just celebration in general. The blurple and silver were generally combined in a 3:2 ratio.The blurple that I used was NYC In a New York Color Minute Chinatown, and the silver that I used was Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City. The application was pretty bad because of *technical difficulties*, which I will talk about later.


So here is the New Year's Eve Midnight manicure:

NYE Midnight, indoor, natural light

NYE Midnight, outdoor, shade

NYE Midnight, outdoor, shade

NYE Midnight, outdoor, partial shade

The first picture is the most accurate color-wise. I did two coats of Chinatown and then one coat of the frankenpolish. The franken, as you can tell from the pictures, turned out to be a silver-purple, with the purple sort of peeking out from the almost-overpowering silver. I think the franken turned out really well, almost exactly what I wanted.

What I love about both manicures I did was that they both *came alive* in the sun. Seriously, when I went outside and looked at my nails, I was like WHOA!! SPARKLY AWESOMENESS!!! It was awesome. The full awesomeness was hard to capture with my camera, so I tried my best:

NYE Midnight, outdoor, sun


NYE Midnight, outdoor, sun

NYE Midnight, outdoor, sun

You can't really tell from the pictures, but in the sun, the frankenpolish just EXPLODES with silver sparkles, it's SO awesome!

Like I said before, the application was difficult, but before I talk about the main *technical difficulty* I had with this manicure, I have to rant about Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polishes. To say it simply, they SUCK. SERIOUSLY. I have bought quite a few of them in the past because they have a lot of cool colors, but I seriously need to stop buying them! Half of the ones that I bought because thick, goopy, and gross after only one use! It's ridiculous!! I was SO pissed when I first found this out, and I am still disappointed in the quality of these polishes. It's wierd, because only the Xtreme Wear polishes do this, not my other Sally Hansen nail polishes. The Celeb City polish that I used was one of the Xtreme Wear polishes that became all gross after I barely used it; I only used it because I really wanted to use that super shimmery silver color. So that was part of the problem with the application. The other was the I made my frankenpolish in a disposable styrofoam bowl. Little did I know, nail polish somehow dissolves styrofoam. Something about heavy ketones, aromatic solvents, and polymer fibers, I don't know. So anyways while I was making the frankenpolish, I noticed the polish becoming really thick (I'm guessing because of the dissolved styrofoam?? Eww...) but at the time, I just thought it was the crappy Sally Hansen polish. Halfway through painting the nails on my left hand, I noticed the nail polish eating through the styrofoam and I TOTALLY freaked out! So I started painting my nails really fast, trying to finish before the nail polish ate a hole through the bowl and I guess my rushed painting plus the thickness of the polish equals a crappy manicure. Ehh I guess it's ok since the color turned out pretty good :)

So moving on...
The second design, which is on my right hand, was inspired by all of the partying happening on New Year's Eve. *Note: this was not a franken*. I used silver as a base color to represent celebration in general and then I used a dark blurple glitter over it to represent confetti and parties. I used Celeb City again for the silver (I know it was all gross, but I just REALLY wanted to use the color!) and then I used Fingerpaints Easel-y Entertained for the blurple glitter. The application was better for this manicure, as I did not have the same problems as the Midnight manicure.

So here is the New Year's Eve Party manicure:


NYE Party, indoor, natural light
\
NYE Party, indoor, natural light
I realize this second picture is really blurry, but this is the only picture where the color is almost accurate.


NYE Party, outdoor, shade

Again, this manicure also *comes alive* in the sun:


NYE Party, outdoor, sun

NYE Party, outdoor, sun

NYE Party, outdoor, sun

This one is SO sparkly and glittery and amazing in the sun! That's why I took so many pictures, haha :D!
Generally, though, the pictures made this manicure look brighter and more blue. It's actually darker and a little more purple. This design was less complicated than the Midnight manicure. Just two coats of Celeb City and then two coats of Easel-y Entertained.

Easel-y Entertained was a disappointment, actually. This was the first time that I used it, and the outcome was very different than what I expected. In the bottle, Easel-y Entertained looks like a concentrated black-blurple glitter. On the nail, Easel-y Entertained was actually a blue-tinted clear with blurple glitter. I thought it would look cooler than it actually is. Oh well, I still like it.

Here are the nail polishes that I used in my two New Year's Eve manicures:


From left: Finger Paints Easel-y Entertained, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City, NYC In a New York Color Minute Chinatown

Which New Year's Eve design did you like better? Do you have anything exciting planned for New Year's?

NYC In a New York Color Minute nail polishes are available for about $2 at drugstores.
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polishes are available for about $3 at drugstores.
Finger Paints nail polishes are available for about $5 at Sally Beauty Supply.


Also, a little shout out to one of my best friends whose birthday is today! Happy birthday LD!! Hope this year brings you great things! Love you! :D


Little thing to smile for today: 2011!!
<3 Ruthe

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

e.l.f. Haul

Ughh the holiday rush is over :( Now its back to gloomy cold weather and nothing to look forward to.

Wow that was depressing. Sorry.

So last week I received my order from e.l.f. It wasn't a big haul, mostly brushes:


Complete e.l.f. haul

I got the Total Face Brush, Bronzing Brush, and Brightening Eye Color from the Essentials collection; the Powder Brush, Angled Blush Brush, and Mineral Booster from the Mineral collection; and the Stipple Brush and Blush Brush from the Studio collection.

I only tried out the Total Face Brush and Bronzing Brush so far, which is why they aren't in their packaging.

Here are the individual items:


e.l.f. Total Face Brush (left) and Bronzing Brush (right)

e.l.f. Powder Brush (left) and Angled Blush Brush (right)

e.l.f. Stipple Brush (left) and Blush Brush (right)
I put the Studio brushes on a white background because they blended into the black background. Unfortunately, the white bristles of the Stipple Brush disappeared into the white background, so I took a closeup of the bristles on a black background. Sorry about the blurriness.

e.l.f. Stipple Brush bristles close up

Continuing on to the rest of the haul:


e.l.f. Mineral Booster with packaging

e.l.f. Brightening Eye Color

Other than the Brightening Eye Color (obviously), I have taken the products out of their packaging to look closer at them.

In the past I have only tried the Studio Brushes from e.l.f. (which I absolutely LOVE!! :D), so this time I decided to try the brushes from e.l.f.'s two other collections, as well as add a few more Studio brushes to my collection.

The Essentials brushes are HORRIBLE!! The bristles are scratchy, rough, and hard. The Bronzing Brush (which, on e.l.f.'s website, is actually called the Blushing, Bronzing, and Blending Brush, but on the actual brush it only says Bronzing Brush) did blend sort of well, but it was so rough I didn't want to use it again. The Total Face Brush was even worse than the Bronzing Brush. The website says:

Soft, caressing bristles allow for soothing application of facial and bronzing powder. Great for quick full-face touchups.

OK seriously? "Soft, caressing bristles"?? "Soothing application"?? I already talked about the bristles, but in addition, the Total Face Brush did not blend well, causing uneven powder application, and a lot of the product did not even transfer from the brush to my face. This might be because of the horrible bristles, which, again, were so scratchy and rough that it felt like I was using a cactus on my face!

I was sort of already expecting the bad quality of the Essentials brushes, as they are only $1. I am glad that I tried these out, though; the mixed reviews on e.l.f.'s website made me curious. Also, again, they're just a buck, so what's the harm?

The Mineral brushes are really soft, just like the Studio brushes. The Mineral brushes are 100% cruelty free and are made with recycled ferrules and natural bamboo handles, but I don't see the difference in quality that makes the Mineral brushes $2 more than the Studio brushes. Not that the price difference really matters, seeing as how the prices of all e.l.f. products are all SO low :D!! Maybe I'll be able to see a difference when I actually use the brushes.

Reviews to come!


Have you bought anything from e.l.f. lately? Do you like their brushes?

e.l.f. products are available online at elfcosmetics.com and at select Target stores.


Little thing to smile for today: e.l.f.'s great prices!
<3 Ruthe

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chopsticks variation

Absolutely amazing. Just pure awesomeness.

Enjoy :)




Link:


Smile for amazing musicians!
<3 Ruthe

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Hope your day went well! :D

Here's two awesome covers/interpretations of Mariah Carey's classic "All I Want for Christmas is You." Hope you guys like them :)

Sam Tsui:



My Chemical Romance:



Links to the Youtube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8rjrPIGZ5U



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Little thing to smile for today: Christmas spirit!! :D
<3 Ruthe

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quick post - New nail polishes

It's Christmas Eve!! :D Excited for Santa's visit tonight?

Well. Let's ignore the awkwardness of that question.

Anyways a few day ago I picked up two more nail polishes, but I got lazy and forgot to post about them. So now I'm making up for it. Sort of.

Observe the prettiness:

Finger Paints Artistic Azure (left) and Easel-y Entertained


Finger Paints Artistic Azure and Easel-y Entertained close up

Aahhhhh blue sparkliness!!

I absolutely love both polishes, they're both sooooo pretty!! These two called out to me the moment I stopped in front of the Finger Paints display: *Buuuyyyy uuuuusss, BUUUUYYYY UUUUSSSS!!!* So of course, I obeyed,

I really love the name of Easel-y Entertained. It's not only an artsy pun, but it totally describes me in relation to this nail polish. As mentioned before, I love staring at sparkles/glitter in the sun. Therefore, I am easily entertained by Easel-y Entertained!!

You know, this stuff always sounds better in my head. When I type it, it just looks stupid. Anyways.
Just wanted to show you guys the new pretty nail polishes! :D

Do you like Finger Paints nail polishes? Are you entranced by sparkly polishes too?

Finger Paints nail polishes are available for $4.99 at Sally Beauty Supply.


Little thing to smile for today: Santa's visit!
<3 Ruthe

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Claws

Hehe...do you like the punny name? :P
Anyways.
So obviously Christmas is getting closer and OF COURSE I had to do a Christmas manicure! I probably did practice designs on paper for like an hour before I actually decided on a design.

And voila! Here are my Santa Claws:


Santa Claws, left hand, outdoor light

Santa Claws, left hand close up





Sorry that I didn't really clean up my cuticles and stuff :( This is actually the second time I did this manicure; I did it Monday night for the first time but then I went to sleep too early and messed them up :'( So obviously I did them again last night, waited long enough for them to dry, and then this morning I woke up with *unmessed-up* nails! I was so happy I went outside to take pictures...forgetting to fix my cuticles...anyways.

Wow so as you can tell from the pictures, it's been wet and rainy all week so my pictures have been gloomy and dark looking :( But NOW it's sunny. Sunny, I tell you.

Seriously?
SERIOUSLY?

Anyways here's some additional pictures. I'm right-handed so obviously the nails on my right hand are quite horrible, but I felt that I should include them. Also, I really liked how I did my left thumb, so I included a (blurry) picture of that.

Hmm. The sun just disappeared again. Bipolar weather. Anyways back to those pictures...

And again, ignore the gross cuticles :(


Santa Claws, both hands, outdoor light

Santa Claws, left thumb

I used L'oreal Caught Red-Handed for Santa's hat, NYC In a New York Color Minute Central Park for Santa's skin tone, L'oreal French Tip White for Santa's beard and the fur on his hat, 10 Professional Nail Lacquer The Little Black Dress for Santa's eyes, and Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamonds for the overall sparkle. As always, I also used a base coat and a top coat (Seche Vite, the holy grail of top coats!! :D).


What do you think of Santa Claws? Cute or not? Like or hate the name?

L'oreal nail polishes are available for about $5 at drugstores.
NYC In a New York Color Minute nail polishes are available for about $2 at drugstores.
10 Professional Nail Lacquer polishes are available for about $4 at CVS.
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes are available for about $5 at drugstores.


Little thing to smile for today: Christmas nail art!
<3 Ruthe

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polishes - Swatches/Comparisons

So in my last post I talked about the four Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes that I picked up at CVS on Saturday. I present to you, in this post, the swatches and comparisons. Behold.

Antique Bronze:

Sally Hansen Antique Bronze, natural light

Sally Hansen Antique Bronze, artificial light

Sally Hansen Antique Bronze is an awesome shimmery metallic bronze. I didn't get a chance to go outside to take pictures of this swatch, so I couldn't get a picture with accurate color. The actual color is darker than the first picture and less red than the second picture.

The only color I had that was similar to this was Maybelline Express Finish Copper Glimmer. So I decided to compare it with Antique Bronze.

Antique Bronze (left) and Copper Glimmer (right)
As you can tell from the bottles, Copper Glimmer is lighter than Antique Bronze.

Copper Glimmer on index and middle, Antique Bronze on ring and pinky

Comparison with less reflection

The differences are even more clear on the nail. True to their names, Copper Glimmer is a light copper color and Antique Bronze is a darker bronze color. Both have the same reddish undertones, but Copper Glimmer is more orange while Antique Bronze is more penny-red. Both are really pretty and unique.

And sorry about the nicks and scratches and dents on my nails...


Next is Nude Shimmer:


Sally Hansen Nude Shimmer, outdoor light


Sally Hansen Nude Shimmer, outdoor light


Sally Hansen Nude Shimmer, outdoor light

Sally Hansen Nude Shimmer is a really pretty shimmery champagne with a pinky tan undertone. I think I have found my favorite nude nail polish! Usually I stay away from nude polishes because they tend to look bad on me, but this polish is PERFECT!! So light, so shimmery, so elegant, so pretty :D

I don't have any other colors similar to Nude Shimmer, so I couldn't do a comparison. :(


And last, but definitely not least, Royal Romance:

Sally Hansen Royal Romance, outdoor light

Sally Hansen Royal Romance, outdoor light

Sally Hansen Royal Romance, outdoor light
Sally Hansen Royal Romance is a warm medium-dark plum with a gold sheen. It looks different at every angle, making it hard to capture the real color. It's really pretty and, coincidentally, it's the exact color of my camera. Cool :)

Oh yeah, and sorry about the messy manicure :(

I compared Royal Romance to two other plum polishes I had: Confetti Purple Reigns and Revlon Color Illusion Plum Flip.

From left: Plum Flip, Royal Romance, Purple Reigns
I kind of don't know why I included Purple Reigns in the comparison since it is a creme and therefore doesn't have any shimmer...maybe because it's a plum color? It's not even the right plum color. Whatever.

Just a random comment, the Revlon nail polish is supposed to have a duochrome effect (see the *duochromeness* in the bottle?) but on the nail, it's just purple. Disappointing.

Plum Flip on index, Royal Romance on middle and pinky, Purple Reigns on ring

Comparison with less reflection

Comparison close up

If you look really closely, you can see that Purple Flip is brighter and more pink than Royal Romance. Also, Purple Flip doesn't have the gold sheen that Royal Romance does. The gold sheen makes Royal Romance look darker and more brown-undertoned. In general, though, Purple Flip is very similar to Royal Romance.

Ignoring the huge difference that Purple Reigns is a creme rather than shimmery, Purple Reigns is much darker and more of a true plum than Royal Romance. It is more vibrant than shown in the picture and really contrasts with Royal Romance. Once again, I don't know what I was thinking by including Purple Reigns in this comparison.


So I didn't swatch Flawless because I didn't think you needed to see a swatch of a clear polish, lol.


Doing these swatches has reminded me how much I love Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes. They apply smoothly, have pretty colors, and the brush is great. The only thing is that they can be quite streaky, but it's not a big problem.

All of the swatched polishes were opaque in two coats; three coats is optional but it might have made the color *pop* more. 

I definitely recommend Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes, especially when you can get them for a great price when they're on sale, like I did (score!). Even the normal price isn't bad at all, only about $5. Next time you're at the drugstore, go check them out :D


Have you tried Sally Hansen DS polishes? How do you like them?

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes are available at drugstores for about $5.


Little thing to smile for today: amazing Sally Hansen DS nail polish!
<3 Ruthe

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nail polish "mini-haul"

I don't really want to call this a haul because it isn't really a full-sized haul, so I guess its a mini one...?

Anyways so this mini-haul includes stuff I got on Saturday (12/18) and today.

On Saturday, I picked up eight Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Polishes at CVS. Maybe I should say four, because they were sold in pairs: one nail lacquer and one Diamond Shine base and top coat. They were $4.99 per pair AND all Sally Hansen nail products were "buy one, get one half off," so OF COURSE I couldn't resist getting a few.

I ended up getting Flawless, Nude Shimmer, Antique Bronze, Royal Romance, and four Diamond Shine base/top coats.

From Left: Flawless, Royal Romance, Nude Shimmer, Antique Bronze

You know, I just noticed Nude Shimmer doesn't have a little rhinestone thing. Hmm. That bugs me.


4 bottles of Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat


Today I picked up another nail polish from OPI's Burlesque collection. I got Simmer and Shimmer.


OPI Simmer and Shimmer

OPI Simmer and Shimmer close up

I already had Show It and Glow It! from the Burlesque Collection, so I decided to put it with Simmer and Shimmer:

OPI Simmer and Shimmer with OPI Show It and Glow It!
Oooohhh....sparkly OPI-Burlesque happiness...


OPI Simmer and Shimmer really reminded me of OPI Absolutely Alice from the Alice In Wonderland collection. Unfortunately, I never got Absolutely Alice, but now I guess I have something similar :)

So Absolutely Alice is overall more blue than Simmer and Shimmer. Absolutely Alice looks like it only has blue and gold glitter while Simmer and Shimmer has...well I want to say glitter of every color.
Here is a comparison:
http://happyberrynaiad.blogspot.com/2010/10/opi-simmer-shimmer-vs-opi-absolutely.html


Have you checked out the Burlesque by OPI collection? Are you lemming the whole collection like me?

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polishes are available for about $5 at drugstores.
Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat is available for about $7 at drugstores.
OPI nail polishes are available for about $8.50 at select stores and salons.


Swatches and reviews to come soon!


Smile for pretty nail polishes!
<3 Ruthe

Another thing to smile for today

Here's an AMAZING cover/interpretation of Nelly's "Just a Dream."

Thanks to LD for showing me the video. Enjoy :)




Here is the link to the Youtube video:


Have you seen any cool Youtube videos lately?


Smile for amazing singers!
<3 Ruthe

Old Zoya Manicure

So this post is about the nail polish that I have had on since last Tuesday (12/14). Zoya Indigo is a very pretty, very dark indigo blue (duh). This is the first Zoya polish that I have tried.

Here are some pictures. Again, I have had this on for 6 days, so expect tip wear and scratches...

Zoya Indigo, natural light, no flash


Zoya Indigo, natural light, flash



Zoya Indigo, artificial light

Zoya Indigo, artificial light, flash

Sorry about the crappy pictures. My camera is ridiculously difficult. And sorry about the crappy nails/cuticles/manicure overall. That's my fault :( I'll try harder next time :)

Zoya Indigo is pretty, but it isn't a very unique color. It is darker than the pictures make it look. The first and third pictures are pretty accurate (both bottle and nails). On the nail, Indigo is a very very dark almost-black blue. Actually if you don't look closely, it just looks black.

Application-wise, Indigo was very nice. Opaque in three coats, even though I only did two.

For six days, the wear on my nails was amazingly minimal. This is the best that any nail polish has ever lasted! Now you have to understand, I am very hard on my hands and nails. My nail polish starts to chip and show wear after the first day. The amazing wear might have been because of the formula of Zoya polishes (as mentioned, I've never tried any before) but it may have been because I actually wrapped my tips this time when I did my nails. Here is a great tutorial on how wrap your tips: 

I have one main problem with this nail polish: the glitter. See that pretty glitter in the bottle? Do you see the glitter on my nails? NO.

Zoya's website describes Indigo as:
  
A dark indigo blue shimmer with a pinch of holographic microglitter. A dramatic polish that resembles the night sky.

When my friend showed me Zoya Indigo while we were shopping (thanks NM!) the first thing I thought (after "OMG it's so pretty!) was that it looked like the night sky with a bunch of stars. Well, I got the night sky. Not the stars.

Overall, Zoya Indigo is a pretty good nail polish. Smooth application, amazing wear, and pretty color, but I was disappointed by the lack of glitter (*cry*). I would skip this and buy a better dark indigo with ACTUAL glitter.

Regardless of the disappointing "unglitteryness" of Zoya Indigo, it has been a good introduction to Zoya polishes and has sparked my newfound love for Zoya.


What do you think about Zoya nail polishes? Have you tried them? Does Zoya last long on your nails?

Zoya nail polishes are available online for $7 at zoya.com and in select stores.


Little thing to smile for today: Zoya's great formula
<3 Ruthe

(P.S. Another thing I forgot to mention about Zoya's polishes: they are all formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor free as well as vegan friendly. This just makes me love Zoya polishes even more.)