Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blonde Ambition

Color me bored, y'all.  Now that my hair has grown to a nice length, it's been getting harder and harder to wrap it up neatly under a scarf at night.  And that's a smoke signal to me that it's prolly time to change up my hairstyle.  I may start wearing it big and curly like I've done before, but trying to gain a restful sleep while donning hard, plastic rollers is no easy feat, let me tell ya.  Besides, I'm itching to do something else different to it... something like COLOR.  I've flirted with color before, both on the professional (highlights) and the home-based level (semi-permanent), but never went full blown like I always wanted to.  Soooo... I decided to hippity hop down to my local Sally's Beauty Supply store to see what they had to offer.

Giving in to distraction as soon as I set foot through the door, my eyes fixed on Sally's display of their home grown brand of single eyeshadows, Sally Girl.  I've heard good things about them and at around ninety-nine cents a pop I've been more than willing to "splurge" on one or two, but just haven't found a shade tempting enough to have me bite the bullet.

I've also heard some mild chatter about Palladio and was quite impressed by the array of products offered, including their nicely hued eyeshadow quads.  But, alas, I stuck to the main purpose of my visit and didn't even attempt to disturb anything on the shelves.

And so I came up on the roller/curler aisle and perused the brightly colored Curlformers rollers that they had available.  I've always wanted to try these, but after looking at the à la carte options where the curlers were sold in small quantities separate from the crochet-like tool needed to pull the hair through the roller, I knew this wasn't a viable deal for one with a massive amount of hair like myself.

And the big pack was quite an investment (around sixty some odd dollars) for someone who still needed convincing that sleeping on/in these would be any easier than the ol' school versions.  So, I moved on.

I checked out a color wheel Sally's had perched on one of the shelves just to gauge what kind of color I wanted and I've pretty much narrowed it down.  I don't want anything with even the slightest hint of red in it and would prefer a mix of the second swatch (L to R) and the fifth.

I even eyed some of the wefts of hair that they had hanging aloft and, again, was drawn to the last two of the four (L to R), the honey-brown and the blonde.

Now, I've mentioned before that my hair (like most people's) gets a little sun-bleached during the summer leaving me with faint, light brown streaks on the sides of my head.  And since I've been in the more sun-intense region of the south, my hair has even gotten somewhat lighter starting mid-strand to the ends.  But I want more!  I wanna go blonde/honey blonde!  I mean, I know that I have to be careful since I already have a chemical in my hair (relaxer) and will likely defer to a professional's expertise in order to safely get the shade I'm pursuing.  And once I find a stylist/salon that can get my locks rockin' in my desired hue without incurring any radical damage, I'll report back with the total scoop... blow-for-blow. 

Yep.  I'm on a mission, guys, and I'm calling that mission the Blonde Ambition Tour.  Big curls alone simply ain't gonna cut it.  I'm yearning for a change... a real change.  And I have decided to go the "full monty" and get me some COLOR!

Friday, July 25, 2014


OK, so I was at it again, guys.  I was due for a fresh, new mani and decided to dive back into the water... water marbling, that is.  I recruited all the usual suspects from my first marbling venture along with a new roster of nail polish colors, my current summer staple Eclectic heading up the crew.  So, if you don't mind me bending your ear for a few moments, I'd love to chit-chat and share with you the latest nail design I've concocted.

Once again, I had no problems with my polishes dispersing as the ring leader, Eclectic, started off my water collage.  However, unlike before, I was no longer concerned with perfecting my "bull's-eyes".  Unharnessed by precision and accuracy, I took pleasure in letting the lacquer land leisurely and freely at will.

And after dragging my improvised utensil (yes, I'm still using the bent up earring) through a few times, a pretty pattern appeared... ready to be adorned.

(Right hand)

(Left hand)

Now this go 'round, between my left and my right, I prefer my right hand's design.  The left hand ended up having a lot more white in it, which is cool, but I just love the way the colors on the right came together.

You know, I'm really having fun with water marbling (as if you couldn't tell!).  I mean, you get all the benefits of wearing an awesome nail design sans the expended energy and burnt brain cells from having to come up with one.  You don't have to be a master artist in order to create a masterpiece on your nails - a few drops here, a couple of drags there and you've created a masterful design!  And it's quick, too!

So, needless to say, there will prolly be a few more water works coming up in the near future.  I can't help it, y'all.  I'm enjoying all the creative randomness that this medium brings.  Water marbling is controlled randomness, if that makes any sense.  And I'm absolutely loving the process!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sparkly Orange - 51

This one goes out to all the orange lovers in the house or, at the very least, those who can appreciate bold standards of color.  Ohhh, yeah... I've got a saucy little number that's sure to kick your groove thermometer into high gear and send your orbitals into orbit!  Okay, I'm reaching a bit, but it's a pretty shadow nonetheless.  So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to another eye-catcher from Inglot: #51.

#51 is an orange of the sweet potato variety and is from Inglot's Freedom System lineup of individual eyeshadows.  It is a richly pigmented matte with silver shimmer strewn throughout; however, the sparkle/shimmer has a "barely there" presence after being applied to the eye and, therefore, does little in transforming or influencing a final look.  It is soft to the touch and performs well, retaining an all-day, crease-free finish when using a primer underneath.

Besides an orange lip, I really haven't been rockin' any orange on my eyes like I had planned on doing... at least not yet.  But I'm working on it and will conjure up something concerning the hue very soon, you just wait.  Until then, orange you glad I introduced you to this awesome shadow?  Okay, stop rolling your eyes, guys.  Hey, I couldn't help it - I had to throw that in!  Alright... I'll stop now.

Anywho, if your interest has been piqued and you're on the lookout for a cool, orange eyeshadow then I think you should check this one out for yourself.  It would be a wonderful addition to your collection and definitely warrants a look-see!

Inglot #51 is available at Inglot boutiques and select Macy's, and retails for $7 USD.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Shenanigans

This past week, amid all of my usual hustle and bustle, I found myself needing to make a trip to Walmart.   My hair's current length combined with its normal shedding during washing has made it a certifiable "drain clogger" and I was tired of playing goalie trying to keep my  cast off strands from reaching the shower drain with my feet.  So, I was on a mission to find something (anything) that would help relieve my struggle and knew that "Wally World" would definitely have what I was looking for at a good price.

But first I wanted to take a quickie down the makeup aisle.  You know, just to see if there was anything new poppin and guess who/what I saw?  I finally got to lay my peepers on Drew Barrymore's makeup line Flower!  I absolutely adore her as an actress and love her free-spiritedness so seeing this was a real treat for me.

From blush/bronzer duos to eyeshadow sticks to a large array of lippies, Flower has a full stable of products to fulfill just about every facet of your makeup routine.  And what I found to be most impressive was her range of face products, including BB creams and foundations, that proudly listed richer and darker hues amongst its pickings.

(Flower Cream Foundation)

(Flower Cream Eyeshadow)

I did mosey down the fabric aisle, too, just to see what they had in their selection.  I've always been into textiles and such (I even have a sewing machine!) and couldn't resist having a gander at their inventory.

And right when I was about to exit the department, my eyes fixed on the multiple rolls of burlap neatly ensconced on the bottom shelf.  Why, oh, why do I LOVE burlap?  I don't know, but I DO!  I love everything about it and would make an entire wardrobe out of it if I could... but I know that wouldn't be practical.

And so, finally, I got down to brass tacks and found my way down the bathroom/plumbing aisle to secure a solution to my drain dilemma.  Now I was going to settle on getting some type of mesh or wire cover for the drain and call it a day, so imagine my delight to find that they actually have products specifically designed to catch errant hairs from drifting into the drain!  Wow!  And there was quite a selection, too.  But which one to choose...

After looking at my options, I decided on this Deluxe Hair Catcher from Peerless.  It has tiny, raised teeth around the perimeter and small slots in the bottom of its well as a backup, so I figured it would be sufficiently efficient at keeping hair clogs at bay.  And guess what?  It was!  I used it right after purchasing it and it worked like a charm, catching most of my strands in the teeth (the rest in the well) with not one escapee to speak of.  Success!

So that was the gist of all my goings on for last week.  Nothing terribly exciting.  It seems like time is really flying by (and it is!).  I have so much that I still need to tackle and set up, but I'm doing my best to not feel overwhelmed.  Everything is going to come together piece by piece, bit by bit, which is why I'm taking pleasure in even the small things that I accomplish.  This hair catcher thingy is just one more thing off my list of "To Do's".  It's a list that never goes blank; however, it is one that does get shorter and shorter as time goes by...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Adventures In Water Marbling

I was hanging out in my bathroom the other day - just me, a cup of water and a few nail polishes - when I casually decided to have another go at this whole water-marble-nail-art thing.  You know, the nail design where you drop some polish into some water and, if done successfully, it forms rings of color that you can manipulate into different marble-like patterns.  Well, if you read my previous post then you know that my first attempt fell horribly flat with my finger ending up with globs of polish on it.  But, lo and behold, this go 'round was a successful surprise, ending with a coherently gorgeous marbling... and on the first try, no less!

And so, with my confidence buoyed by this fantastic achievement, I cleared out the remnants from the first design and grabbed the items needed to carry the look onto the other hand: one cup of room temp water (I used bottled spring water); nail polish remover; nail polishes (I used four colors); a marbling tool like a toothpick or nail stick.  Having neither of the latter in my possession, I improvised by using an old earring (ghetto, yes, I know!).

I started off with Revlon's Seductive, which is a dark plum.  Holding the brush close to the water, the polish dropped to the middle and dispersed right on cue.  I continued on with the other colors, dropping them as "bulls-eyes" on top of each other.

At about the fourth or fifth drop, that's where things got a little sticky.  My colors weren't spreading freely like the previous ones, causing the previous ones to be more oblong than circular.  So, I shook the cup a little to get some more movement out of them.

I then started to marble the colors by dragging my tool through the dots/rings until I saw a desirable pattern emerge.  I worked as quickly as I could, but could already tell that even the inside polish drops had gotten a little stiffer than I had hoped due to the air drying it.  And that's when I had my light bulb moment: the ceiling fan was on in the room I was now working in, which was causing my polish to air dry quicker, which was preventing my bulls-eyes from spreading, which was making my final design a little tougher to pull off!  But pull it off, I did.  

And then I dove in, laying my nude fingernail directly on top of the design and then flexing my finger straight so that the entire nail was submerged in the water, catching as much of the design on my nail in the process.

After wiping away the excess, this was my final result.  It wasn't as ornate or color-complicated as my first design, but was still awesome... at least in my eyes.  The top of my nail was a little too bare for me, though, so I doctored it up a tad and gave it the ol' Dolce touch!

(Final Result: Left hand)

(Right hand)

Out of the two, I do prefer my first attempt, which is the design on my right hand.  But both are cool.  Also, I chose to do the patterns on top of a nude base because I like the look of "flesh patterns", but I'm open to using colors, too.  And I prolly will with my next attempts.  Well, I guess I shouldn't say "attempts" since I have pretty much conquered the task.  So let's say, "with my next editions".  Yeah, that sounds much better.

And so, with a pocketful of patience (and staying out of a room with a whirring ceiling fan) I have learned how to successfully water marble my nails.  A feat that I am kinda proud of and will, no doubt, quietly add to my list of "can-dos".  And I ain't ashamed to say that I'm kinda hooked on it, too!  I love the randomness of the outcome and even the process of marbling itself.  Yes, some more water nail art will definitely be making its way down my creative pipeline.  And I can't wait to share with you what I come up with!