Friday, May 20, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Glaze is HOT.

I feel like I'm late to the Crackle/Shatter party here. Just because I haven't purchased or wrote about it doesn't mean I didn't desire the ever living heck out of it.
I've just had a lot on my plate.

Yesterday I took a bit of time for myself and went over to Sally Beauty after work. The one down the street from my salon is open until 9, which is totally awesome because I get off at 8.
I was gonna check out the new Finger Paints, but as soon as I walked in China Glaze was sitting right there in front beside the register!
Oh, let me tell you I wanted to buy every single one but I had a slow day at work and didn't have much in the way of tips to be spending. I started my collection with Cracked Concrete and Broken Hearted.

1 coat Broken Hearted over 2 coats OPI Who The Shrek Are You?
The premise behind these crackle and shatter nail polishes is pretty simple:
1. Put on a base if you like to (I didn't here)
2. Put on a coloured nail polish.
3. Wait for that coloured polish to completely dry. Not tacky dry. Not "yeah, this'll do" dry. TOTALLY dry.
4. QUICKLY brush on a coat of crackle. I doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's probably not going to be so I wouldn't try if I were you. Besides, it's gonna crack up undoing all the smooth beautiful work you just did.
5. Watch the cracks form! For this China Glaze, it started happening almost immediately. The tag on the bottle says 3-5 minutes but my first finger was already cracked when I moved on to my next.
6. The crackle polish dries with a matted finish and is bumpy, so finish up with a good thick top coat. I used 2 coats of OPI Rapid Dry, but only because that's what I had handy right there. I'm not sure that was the best for this polish.

I can say with absolute certainty that I LOVE crackle polishes. It's such an easy way to have interesting nail art that everyone will go bonkers for. I like that I was able to wear my two fave colours without looking like a kandyraver kid. Not that there's anything wrong with kandyravers, I just think I'm too old for that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong

Did I ever talk about the Milani One-Coat Glitters?
I got them on Christmas at the only open store that day: CVS.
I had to go for the whole collection because they were aaaahhhhh-MAZE-ing!!!

One of my favourites is Gold. Yes, just Gold. No clever names. Gold.
Ya know why? Cuz it's gold. Very very gold.

I wanted this one to last and BLING for days so I got:
1 coat Orly Bonder
2 coats Milani Gold (Honestly, none of them are "one-coat glitters")
1 coat OPI Gold Glitter Top Coat (part of the holiday collection a few years ago)
1 coat Out The Door
1 coat OPI Rapid Dry

It lasted through 3 days of work. A record!

I can't wait to put this back on. It reminds me of this album cover:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bundle Monster Contest!

A few weeks ago, I got my first Konad set. I loved it. LOVED it! So of course my broke ass went out and got the Bundle Monster set. It's way cheaper than Konad and works really awesome. Sure, it has some problems - the plates are un-backed and kinda sharp and the full-nail designs are too skinny for thumbs - but there is a whole new set coming out that addresses those issues!!

To celebrate, Bundle Monster is doing a contest where the winner gets the new set!
I'm sure all the established nail bloggers have this wrapped up, but even so I'm entering. I love doing the stamping plates so much and I get so many complements on my nails. Today, the lady at the bank was gaga over it!
I feel so pretty!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicago Bound?

Yes, yet another "I'm still alive" post.
After waiting 5 months to get my van back from Burd Ford (okay, first I towed it in to Paul Harvey Ford but when they went out of business it was towed to Burd Ford in December), it is now again dead on the side of the road. Burd Ford did not fix my van. When I called them after they inherited it, they said they'd fix it. When I called them Friday after picking it back up, they said it was fixed. When it kicked out in the exact way it originally kicked out, I realised it was not fixed.
Burd Ford can suck my toe.

Having my ability to get to and from work and school directly tied to having a vehicle doesn't work for me. I didn't have my driver's license until I was 19 (and then only had got it so I could drive to Milwaukee and get a tattoo before I turned 21) and didn't own my own car until I was 23 or 24.
Indianapolis, however, only has the choice of driving, walking a mile or so to the bus, driving, getting a ride from someone, driving, paying 40 bucks for a taxi, driving, or driving.
When it comes to getting to work, the only option is driving.
Seriously, an 8 mile taxi ride to work today is going to cost me about 40 bucks. 40 bucks!? I could get all the way to O'Hare from The Loop for 40 bucks!!

I guess if I had the money to fix my car, rent something for the time that it's in the shop, and pay today's taxi, everything would be fine.
But Steve, my significant other, lost his job in January and still has no income. He has been denied unemployment benefits, refuses to sign up the various assistance programs available to the unemployed, and is no closer to getting a job than he was in January.
After several hits to my bank account, I'm simply out of money and likely won't be able to pay for whatever repair my vehicle needs. Or I could pay for the repair but the electricity would be shut off, I'd lose my phone, have nothing to eat and probably get evicted next month for non-payment.

Once I talk to my teachers and see if I can Skype in to class from Chicago (I'm only in 2 classes... Foundations and Printmaking), I'm likely putting my tail between my legs and slinking back to Chicago.
That means no more school. No more work toward getting to Ryerson University. No more dreams of working in a museum's archives. Just hair. Hair and makeup. Hair and makeup until I'm old, arthritic, and bitter from being alone every G. D. holiday.

With as much as I love Chicago, you'd think I'd be happy about this decision but I'm not. I'm f'in pissed that I have to make these kind of decisions out of desperation. I'm pissed that I have to, again, put my dreams on hold... probably forever.
I am happy though, that I made the decision 8 years ago that broadcast journalism wasn't for me and I learned how to do hair. It would be a lot harder to move around like this and work my way through school while trying to work at a radio station. With the way federal funding for public broadcasting is in peril, I'm pretty happy I'm working in a vanity industry during one of the most vain times in history. Go me. Or whatever.

So that's whats up. Maybe soon I'll have some great beauty shit to talk about but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back online!

The internet man came today and installed the tubes needed for our house.
Everything is well. We've gotten past the hard part, I think...
My man's still looking for a job and his unemployment insurance should pay out soon so we won't be in such a tough spot.

Even so, it's likely there won't new stuff posted for a while. I will be attending America's Beauty Show (the Chicago Midwest Beauty Show) in March so I hope to have a lot to say about what's seen there.
No fear, I have a huuuuuge backlog of groovy things and techniques to talk about.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

An idea perhaps?

Sorry for the lack of photos lately... Just haven't really had anything to photograph. Trust me, you do NOT want to see the chipped up blue glitter on my nails right now.

Which brings me on a tangent:
WTF with the new "One Coat Glitters"? Every time I've worn them, they chip the next day. Lame!

So anyway, I think I have an idea...
Today, we had our "Junk Swap" in my Foundations class. Foundations is where you begin to learn how to work with art supplies, try out some new stuff without too much a fear of failure, and really just let your creativity fly. My teacher does a LOT of mixed media work, so much of our work this semester will also be mixed media. We all brought in our various junk and leftover art supplies and traded with each other so we can maybe get inspired for other great stuff.

I took in 2 laundry baskets, a cardboard box, a shopping basket (which I totally admit I stole while I was a teenager), and a crockpot and came home with a laundry basket of other stuff. YAY! Things I don't have to pack back up!!

One of the things I picked up was a bottle of magnetic fingerprint powder. I almost hate mentioning this because someone with more knowledge and time than I is probably going to jump on this idea moments after I hit "post"... but I think I can use this stuff to make magnetic nail polish.

Now, I don't have any magnetic polishes of my own to even really know what on earth magnetic polish is but I've read a lot of blogs about it and I think I might be able to do this. I know it's highly prized and rather expensive. If I can successfully franken some, it will really open up so many colour options and finishes. How awesome would magnetic matte be?

Actually, probably not very. Meh, I'll try it anyway!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get references...

This is what bad extensions look like.

Poor girl probably paid much too much for strand-by-stand THEN let someone just hack into it.
If I were her, I would not have paid and demanded immediate removal.

There really is a right way and a wrong way to cut extensions. This isn't one of those subjective things. Yes, a lot of styling is up to the individual but extensions MUST be cut in a certain manner.

This is why you should get references and take a look at a stylists' portfolio before you spend the money for high-dollar services like extensions (even sew-ins) and colour corrections. In this case, I can only hope that the cost of the hair was not a non-refundable deposit as it is in my salon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Markwins wants you to have an awesome prom.

This just came across my facebook:
For many teens who dream of a magical prom, the reality can be disenchanting—low funding can lead to drab decor, dispiriting tunes and disagreeable munchies for a night destined to be remembered in shades of gray. But now Markwins’ wet n wild brand is out to add some color with wet n wild Cares, a nationwide charity program to support proms at 10 deserving high schools.

The charity effort will provide 10 high schools with $1,000 to make their prom dreams a reality. Starting Jan. 21, 2011, schools can enter online at or via email.In a letter, video or however they desire, schools will explain their need and why they deserve a prom sponsorship.

In addition, wet n wild will give the selected schools $1,000 worth of makeup, the company said.

Entries are due by March 4, 2011, and th winning schools will be announced on March 11. They will also be featured on wet n wild's website, which will display photos from the bashes.
I'm going to enter my local high school. Some of the kids are farm kids and alot of the gals I cut hair for are foster children. There's not a lot of money in that school system. I already plan on giving up a day of (really good) wages to volunteer for their "Cinderella" program. 
My prom was... meh... I've never really been a prom person. I went with my Jr. boyfriend my Soph. year and then went with my Sr. boyfriend (not the same dude) my Jr. year but didn't stay the whole time because the local Hooters was giving away Smashing Pumpkins tickets. I think I made the right choice. That boy turned out to be a liar and a cheat and got really ugly. Billy Corgan, on the other hand, still says hi to me when we pass on the street and is not too bad looking for an old, old man. Seriously, Corgan is ancient. He never needs powder on that bald head because it's already covered with a layer of dust. The reason he's been playing louder and harder is because he's too stubborn to buy a new hearing aid. He's so old that when God said, "Let there be light".... Okay, okay. But really, folks, Billy Corgan is deaf. 

Rippin' on Corgan aside, even if I didn't find prom to be worth the rhinestones on my shoes I know that it's the end all for many girls. I'd like to encourage all of you to support your local high schools by donating your unused makeup, giving away your old prom dresses, or by helping the girls get ready for their special day. Talk to the school's guidance councilor (do those even still exist) and he or she can probably help you get together a "Cinderella" program for your area.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why I have been gone...

Oh, the American Dream (tm)...
Work hard, give your life to a company, turn down several lucrative offers in the quest for stability....
And get laid off anyway.

The small hospital my man works for has been purchased by another, large corporation. The move was supposed to bail out the hospital from unfortunate financial problems. They're in a low-income area and cater toward older patients - people that really can't pay for care. It's a problem in our nation and that's as much discussion as this subject will get from me.

The really biting thing is that the corporation has decided that saving the hospital from ruin means closing down a majority of the facility and dismissing many of the staff... Including my guy who uses his wages to pay our rent and utilities while I'm in school full time.

Of course, this came right when we're up on our lease in our current apartment and have decided to move. We're looking at having a final paycheque coming on Tuesday but if it does not come in a timely fashion, his unemployment insurance payments will be coming too late to keep us off the street.

Soooooo..... haven't really had the time for taking pictures of nails and lips.
I have, however, been keeping up on the blogs and read one about the way the industry encourages us to buy products.

I've been thinking a lot about that.
The standard has changed. It used to be that companies would sell us - the professionals - on a product and then we would sell it to our clients. I think it's a great method. After all, we have the knowledge to assess our clients' needs. One thing I've learned is that most every woman thinks her hair is thin and thinks she needs more protein... When actually all they need is a few layers and a moisture treatment. When a client is left to their own devices, they'll grab products because they smell good, not have the results they desired, blame it on the company, and fall back to a particular drugstore brand that seems to be popular because it's so homogenized that each type works exactly the same for anyone's hair.

But now companies are cutting stylists out of the mix.
They're marketing directly to the consumer, assuming the average 18-24 year old women is educated about herself enough to make an informed choice.
There's been several times that I've seen a product launched in fashion magazine several months before their PR writeup in trade publications... And now they're getting product to bloggers before even brochures end up at the distributor.

Once was a day that I would have weekly sign-ups to get samples from the companies. Many of the products I swear by today just appeared on my doorstep without my even asking. I used to get at least one of everything Paul Mitchell introduced. You know what the result was? My salon completely sold out of Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three within a week of my discovering the cache in our back room. It's a great product. I know it's a great product. Because my fellow stylists never had the joy of experiencing it, my clients - who live in an area with a water hardness level of 25-40 - didn't know it was a great product.
Why isn't Paul Mitchell getting Shampoo Three in the hands of every stylist working in a hard water city?

So I replied to the blog post with my thoughts:

Something that's really really been bugging me is the way that - in America anyway - companies are now releasing to the bloggers before the professionals.
In the past, the salon was where women went to get the latest scoop on what's new and hot. Now, we're not even getting samples for ourselves anymore.
This month, my salon got packettes of a Matrix Biolage Shampoo that's been out for over a year. We got them this month because Biolage is our special but (a) we should have gotten them in advance of the special deal so people could experience before coming back in to purchase and (b) most of my clients already have this in their shower, negating the need for sampling.
Even OPI pulled this crap, releasing Black Shatter information to bloggers almost a whole month before the promo materials hit the distributors (and 2 months before the product itself hit shelves).

Part of me almost blames the industry. If professionals took pride in their career and subscribed to the trade publications, checked out what their distributors had on a regular basis, and fostered relationships with the PR people, WE would still be the first line.
But most stylists - and even less nail techs - discuss retail with their clients whatsoever. I have clients who have been coming to my salon for years (I'm new there) that still use a drugstore shampoo/conditioner notorious for causing dulling buildup that can end up damaging the hair. Have their previous stylists never properly educated them on caring for their hair? How do I live in a VERY hard water area and less people know we offer clarifying treatments then when I lived in a soft water area?

It's a whole new world and I'm honestly not sure that I'm ready to work in it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kleancolor Military Green

After falling madly in love with Kleancolor's Holo Chrome, I decided to check out the rest of their offerings.

I find I really hate swatches on websites. When I saw China Glaze's holiday collection on their website, I was all "oh, ho ho ho-hum...." but once I saw that Scrangie's swatches I had to run out any buy it.
Unfortunately, Kleancolor's website suffers the same fault: bottle pics with photoshopped highlights. I will applaud them for having clear photos with a good amount of contrast and saturation - but we all know how things don't always look the same in the bottle.

Thankfully, that whole paragraph is completely negated by Kleancolor's flickr stream.

126 Pink Lady
You should be able to click this and go there. If not, there's a link on their site.

Boo yeah! It must be lovely where Kleancolor is headquartered because they have outside, sunny photos of each colour. It almost makes it worthless for any of us in the midwest to bother swatching Kleancolor until summer.

But I'm going to anyway.

I saw Military green at my LBS but wasn't sure if I wanted to buy it. After being really underwhelmed by Galaxy Girl, I just don't feel like spending money on polish I haven't yet seen (thank God for Zoya's 3 for free deal, huh?). After viewing it on Kleancolor's flickr, though, I was pretty sure I wanted it and purchased it during my last beauty supply splurge. All 15 bucks of splurge...

3 coats + Orly Matte Top
I originally put this on last night and then scuffed it all up doing the dishes. In an instant of laze, I just slapped another coat on top today. For a very military look, I added the matte top coat I happened to have closest. Orly Matte Top isn't as matte as some of my other faves. I actually can't recall if I used this after I bought it. I'd really like to deathmatch my matte coats. My LBS has Kleancolor's Madly Matte, so I'll be sure to pick that up.  I hope that it will be more matte than Orly.

Even with more of a satin look rather than flat primer, I think I got a good army green base for some fun nail art.
And I know a thing or two about a military look...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lip plumping without needles?

Step one:
Get 44oz of "good ice" from AM/PM.

Step two:
Allow the last bit of ice to harden into a baseball-sized clump.

Step three:

Please note: The Glitzkrieg does NOT endorse this method and, in fact, guesses that needles hurt a lot less.

Martha Stewart Manicure

I almost didn't want to post this because it didn't really go well...
...But I really love Martha Stewart and her signature motifs.
I used China Glaze For Audrey and and old Nubar Nail Art Pen. I had a lot of trouble over the control of the nail art pen. Kinda sad about that.

For Audrey is supposed to be a Tiffany Blue (cuz, you know, Breakfast at Tiffany's... Audrey Hepburn...). Martha Stewart Blue is more of a pastel blue shade and not as green as Tiffany Blue is.
A while ago, I made a Frankenpolish trying to get Tiffany Blue before I knew of For Audrey. Something was a little "off" about it and I added a dab of China Glaze Four Leaf Clover but I didn't get it green enough. That Franken is probably more of a Martha Blue.

I had the most problem with the M on the thumb. It's all bubbly and strange. Same with the wreath on the ring finger.
I'll probably practice it more. Maybe I'll even do it with Martha's glitters!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

Today is Day One of 2011.

I don't try to hold any illusions that somehow, magically, the passing of one day is going to make all the difference. "Oh let's shake off the dust of 2010"... Okay, but why not shake off the dust of Thursday on Friday or shake off the dust of November in December?

I do hope, however, to get myself back on track.

As I sit now, the road has been long with many a winding turn. And somewhere along the way, I forgot the declaration I made (and was then made fun of for) on my first day of beauty school 10 years ago:

"I want to specialise in vintage styles and work on movies about the past."

Yes, all the Jerseyliscious wannabes in my class laughed and scoffed that I would have such a specific desire... But I saw my desire as no more specific than "I want to work on Oprah's show" or "I want to own my own salon".
Of course, when it came time for fingerwaves and pincurls, I got laughed at even more because I didn't get it quickly. Once someone OVER the age of 30 taught me though, I got it and now I can fingerwave like a mo-fo.

So why, when I had such a dream for myself, am I now working in small town Indiana and praying daily that someone will want something more than "just a trim". How I hate those words!
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."
"Just a trim."

I have to remind myself that "just a trim" will put me right back to square one when I move again in 4 years. I know I won't be able to pay for rent in Toronto with trims, let alone the higher general costs that Americans associate with living abroad (someone from Toronto, please quash that belief!).

So as I come in to 2011, I'm feel like I've found the beginning of that trail I walked down for so long.

I am going to specialise in vintage hair.
2 nights ago, I had to cut my own hair because - after a year - I can't find anyone in this town that puts themselves out there as a vintage hairstylist. Goodness, I even got ahold of the Vintage Pattern Library which is based in Indianapolis for advice. Nobody.
So not only am I going to specialise in vintage hair, I am going to market myself as a vintage hair specialist.

Once I have such a reputation, I'm sure I can take my skills and portfolio to Toronto and not start at square one again. It will take work, but I can do work. In 2 years, I went from working at a front for Polish gangsters to teaching barbering to other stylists. It happened with work. I can do it again!

Revlon Fire and Ice 2010!

Finally I get around to purchasing the whole collection AND posting about it!
I feel like I'm always a little late to the game. I finished buying the rest of the colours on Christmas at CVS (the only place that was open) and then this week it's absent from the other CVS by my house. Is it already gone?

Anyway, Revlon's Fire and Ice is a redux of a classic 1952 collection. Joining the classic namesake shade is 3 other shade; Demure, Temptress, and Siren. Fire and Ice's companion nail polish is called All Fired Up. I keep feeling like everything is so very familiar, so the whole collection could just be a rebranding.

As you can see from Revlon's site, linked above, the collection includes the retro logo on both the lipstick and the nail polish. Even better, Fire and Ice lipstick was released in a special, "limited edition" (excuse me, could you roll those eyes back to me?) throwback tube. It really was a faithful reproduction of the ones my aunt had sitting on her dresser - except in plastic. I can't complain too much though... Even the throwback tube was the same price as the usual, inline products.

Onward to the colours!


Demure is a very soft, peachy, feminine shade. I haven't seen a single episode of Mad Men (I know, I know... I don't have cable.) but I'm a fan of the Barbie dolls and this seems to be a very Betty Draper colour.


This actually may be Demure, not Temptress... Will change pic and caption as soon as I pull my bottle out.
Temptress is the pink cousin to Demure. This was the only polish I had any coverage problems on. It is a little sheerer. One of the big reasons I use nail wheels for polish swatches instead of my own nails is because of the constant staining from ink, dye, and paint under my nails. You can really see it here.


Siren is a very bold coloured coral. It really doesn't have enough pink in it to call it a coral. It is orange. Siren is orange and it is chic as hell! Notice the nail polish bottle says "NEW COLOUR". Will Siren be available year-round now?

Fire and Ice

Somehow I ended up without a nail polish bottle pic of All Fired Up. What a glam red cream! I really don't have anything else to say about that.

The entire Fire and Ice collection really is an accurate recall to the vintage glam of the 50's. I'm sure it was released right before the holidays in antici...pation of ladies wearing this to all their parties. But do the parties stop on January 1? NO WAY!
If you can find this at your local stores (Meijer and CVS had really nice displays for it, but I didn't see it at all at Walgreens), snap up the entire collection. It really is timeless and very flattering.