Nail Art: The Art of Dry Brushing.

I went to ceramics with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for about a year back when Sithboy was a baby. It was my one night to get out and I loved it. Ask me how many dragons I painted. Too many, and until recently I never thought I’d use the dry brush technique again. Who would have thought my ceramic classes would come in handy outside the class.

I was wrong.

CyberGothGrunge

CyberGoth Grunge

I call this design Cyber Goth Grunge. Done with three colours, it was probably the easiest first attempt of a nail art design I’ve done so far.

Application:

-clear basecoat

– 2 coats Essie’s Pretty Edgy

-let dry

 

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[l-r] Pretty Edgy, Blanc, 7th Inning Stretch

Here’s where the fun begins. Starting with Essie’s Blanc, I scraped off as much polish on the rim of the bottle as I could. Two or three scrapes at least. I dragged the brush across the polished nail from top to end until I was satisfied with the amount. For this design, think less is more. I then used OPI’s 7th Inning Stretch (which is a nice dark, blue shimmer) the same way as the white. The good thing about this, the two design colours will dry quickly so you don’t have to worry about one colour running into the other. Finish it off with a topcoat and you’re all set! This is by far the easiest nail art I’ve done so far. I did add some neon pink on one, but it changed the overall ambiance of the design so I kept to the three colours. I’ve seen some videos where they’ve used for or more and it still looks good.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Summer colours and shades.

It’s that time of year, folks. Time to pick out my colour palette for the summer. Now I’m IN LOVE with Kat von D products and I love her eye shadow quads and I’m finding I love quite a few of her products.

I wore the plum quad all spring with Kat von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick “Berlin” (a warm rose tone). I don’t go over-board like you see on some of those tutorials on YouTube. This is how I do it for work. I haven’t done anything for an evening out, probably a darker or more purple for the eyes and a more red lipstick.

‘SAGE’ – Kat von D eyeshadow quad.

I plan on using Kat’s SAGE for summer because I LOVE the green in this.

I’m unsure about a colour for my lips. I did some research and found the main seven (yes, seven) colours for summer 2017 are as follows:

 

-cherry red

-dusty pink

-deep plum (personally, I’d wear that in winter)

-fuchsia pink

-a punchy red (think tropical punch fruit drink)

-rosey pink

– bright orange (they’re calling it an ‘electric’ orange)

-wine

– and a clear gloss.

That’s a wide range of colour for just about any skin tone. Not too sure about the orange thought, at least not on me. I like reds, so I’m torn between a cherry and a punchy. I’ll have to compare the colours with the eye shadow pallet and see what I like. Sephora has an app that lets me ‘test’ the colours, but nothing is as good as putting it on.

50 Shades of Red Nail Polish: #15

VinyLuxPinkLeggingName: Pink Leggings by CNC VinyLux

Description:

I stepped away from my regular brands of polish for a while. I like to experiment and see how the others work for cover and possibly future nail art. The first colour I chose is PINK LEGGINGS by CNC VinyLux. I swear to the nail polish gods, this color is haunting me. This is a nice bright pink that reminds me of Revlon’s CHERRIES IN THE SNOW. It also reminds me of BACHELORETTE BASH by Essie. It’s bright like a neon in the sun, and goes quite dark with indoor lighting.

The formula is in between Essie and O.P.I. I found this colour a little gloopy and too thick for my liking.

Application Process:

Even with the gel nails, I have to use a base and top coat. I experimented with just the polish and wasn’t surprised to see that it started to wear off after a day. Also, as the gel nail grows out, the polish clings to the edge and I end up with an oval mark across the nailbed.

  1. -basecoat
  2. -two applications of polish
  3. -top coat

Wear and Tear:

With the extra protection to the polish, this lasts well over fourteen days with no chips or wear. Taking it off was another story. It. Took. Forever. At least five minutes for each finger and I used quite a bit of polish remover too. I’m not sure if it was because I used a base coat or maybe just the formula; I even wondered if I bought some shellac by accident. I’m not sure if I’ll use this colour or purchase this brand again.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Brows; the frames of the eyes.

1980 called me. They want their eyebrows back.

I started plucking my brows in high school. Back then, thin was in. I kept it up through the 90’s until I discovered waxing and then I waxed them thin, but sometime in the last ten years or so, my poor hair follicles said enough and stopped growing back. Great, except now I’m left with thin brows and quite frankly, I don’t like that style anymore.

*sigh*

I’ve immersed myself in make-up tutorials on YouTube. One might say I’m addicted to them. I can’t help it and watching all these tutorials with models that have beautifully shaped brows started to bug me, so I decided it was time to do something about my poor brows. I decided to buy a few items and re-shape them. It’s been a learning curve as the only time I ever used brow products was during the 90’s when I wanted to enhance my thin brow.

So, after doing some research, and by that I mean watching hours of YouTube videos, I headed into Sephora. $110 later, I came out with these AND how to use them.

brows

Over the Easter weekend, I locked myself away in the bathroom twice a day and try to duplicate what the young girl at Sephora showed me. At first I was all “WHAT THE HELL THAT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT!” and it took me thirty minutes to do both brows, but come Monday and my long work shift, I was ready in less than eight minutes for both.

Stencils are really neat. You basically just fill it in but determining what brow looks good on me is the tricky part. The package contains five and I followed the pictures on the back to determine where my brow should start, end and arch.

Using the pencil and the Promade to fill in was fun and they look a lot better, and just so you know, the other end is called a spoolie. I’m a lot happier with them now and I’ve noticed a few growing back in places so I think I’ll be able to reshape them gradually to something a little less thin.

Screw you 1980.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Spring Palette and brushes.

I did some serious splurging for spring, but I had too. I wanted to do purple eye-shadow for spring but the colours I had were way too dark, so off to Sephora I went. I wasn’t impressed with the silver/grey I got from their line of eye-shadow products. Too much sparkle and not enough matt. I have *very* large eyes and hooded eyelids. I need matts. Urban Decay didn’t have anything I liked either, but Kat von D did, so after doing some research, I picked up her PLUM palette. All I can say is holy shit. These are rich colours that are very pigmented and creamy, but there’s quite a bit of ‘fly away’. I’ve found patting the shadow on is the best way to apply and because it’s so pigmented you don’t need a lot. What’s really cool about this palette is that instead of colour names on the bottom of the container it has what you use the colour for. Very helpful. Also, the palette is in the shape of a coffin! Seriously adorable.

She has three others; SAGE, RUST, and SMOKE. I think each are perfect for the other seasons.

My second big splurge was on brushes. The eye-shadow applicator I normally use was rough so I got some new ones. I love E.L.F brushes. They’re so soft, and I now own a kabuki brush. Not sure what I do with it, but I like the fact I can tell people I own a kabuki brush.

The last brush I bought in my splurge was bloody expensive; a foundation brush. $41!

foundationFlatTip

It’s so worth it. I don’t use my fingers to apply foundation (well, not since the 80’s) and the sponges don’t seem to spread the foundation evenly and get dirty and mucky too quickly. Putting foundation on with the brush not only spreads it more even, but I use less with a brush. I now have three that are strictly face brushes; one for foundation, one for powder and a third for bronzer. I expect this to grow when I get some highlighter and blush, and you can’t have makeup brushes without makeup brush cleaner. Brushes are incredible to use, but you need to clean them. I used to do it once every few months; usually when I changed eye-shadows, but I found this little beauty cleaner and I’m going to do them once a week.

cleanerGeez I love playing with this stuff!

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Cleansers are not soap.

When I was in grade seven, my mother went away for a week and I spent the time with friends. I remember that week for two reasons; first, it was the first time I’d been away from her for so long, and second, being the age that I was, I had my first (and nasty) breakout of pimples. She bought me some over-the-counter medicated skin wipes and told me to wash my face every morning with hot water and soap and then use the wipes, the breakout would be over by the time she got back.

She was right.

It wasn’t until my thirties that face cleansers became popular, and I’ll admit, I was a skeptic at first. After all, why change something that’s working? Except it wasn’t, I just didn’t know it. As a teen, I’d faithfully wash my face with soap and hot water, but as I got older my skin changed and for the longest time I didn’t change products. It wasn’t until I read an article by a dermatologist that stated that bar soap should never be used on the face and neck, that I decided to change, and I’ve been washing my face with a proper cleanser ever since.

Taking care my skin is a full time job that can be broken down into three parts; environment, lifestyle and genetics. Two I can control, one I can’t. Using cleansers that are created for my skin type is the first step, and while bar soap may be more gentle than it was thirty years ago, keeping my skin healthy is all about what I leave behind.

There is a big difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. A good explanation is here. http://www.justaboutskin.com/dry-vs-dehydrated-skin/

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The one by Fresh is expensive, but I got a free sample once and fell in love. I love the smell and Husband noticed a change in my skin after a week. It’s very gentle with a soy base that smells like cucumbers. I use it in the mornings but I’m thinking about looking for something a little less pricey. I know the package says ‘makeup remover’, but it’s not that good at removing makeup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is my weekly exfoliate. It has ground apricot nuts as the exfoliant. Ground walnut shells is another good exfoliant, and avoid any product that contains ‘microbeads’. They’re not environmentally friendly and do more harm than good. The one thing I don’t like about this product is that I have to rinse a few times to make sure all the product is off my face. I always end up leaving some in my hair line. They say you should exfoliate once a day, but if you have any type of oily skin, a daily abrasion can make the skin produce more oil. I stopped using a buffer because of this. Oily and combination skin are always tricky to take care.

 

 

 

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The last two are used the most. The black one has a charcoal base and I use it in the shower. The hot mist opens my pores more and it cuts right through the oil and moisturizer/makeup build up from the day. It’s very deep cleaning but the charcoal does leave my skin a little tight. It’s great for blackheads.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Body Shop one I use outside of the shower. It’s a more soapy than the Fresh product so I can get a good lather going and scrub my face good.

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know, too many products but considering how important our skin is to our overall health, it’s something I don’t take lightly.

Nail Art: Metallic and Pinks

Now that I’ve found a way to keep my nails long without them braking (yay for gel nails) I’m going to try and have a new polish swatch/nail art each month. I realised I’m a month behind, so this month will feature two nail art; one that I had for the month of January and the other that I have for all of February.

First, January;

I saw this metallic polish on a YouTube channel I subscribe to. I thought it was the most incredible and so beautiful! I was hoping for an ice blue or some kind of blue shade for winter, but they had either the metallic green or silver, and you know me, can’t resist the dark shades.

Not as many compliments as the gold glitter, but not everyone is into the darker shades. This really stands out in natural lighting. You can distinguish the greens and purples more than inside lighting, and the faint hint of blue is more prominent too with natural light, or I thought so.

The base for this was green, which went neon after it set. The power my manicurist applied was dark and sparkly; like a fine glitter and he put it on with an application brush that would be the same as those disposable eyeshadow brushes, but a longer handle. The only drawback was; it began to peel a few days later. Not by much, but I noticed it. They were all still pretty good four weeks later, and I was pretty hard on my nails. Also, as you can see my nails are SO LONG! I couldn’t do anything with them. As much as I love long nails, there is a point where I have to cut them. I have no idea how those women with really long nails do anything with them.

For February I decided to go with a red, and wouldn’t you know it, this colour stood out.  I swear, I find this colour in everything and have two bottles of polish at home that is this same colour, but I figured fuchsia for Valentine’s Day. I got accent nails too; and my manicurist did this free hand. Can you believe this? I don’t think I could do this; not on myself. Nails are shorter too (such a relief).

 

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