Sunday, February 24, 2013

Barry M Indigo + Girly Bits Shift Happens

Hi everybody, long time no polish eh? How's everyone doing this weekend? I'm in a bit of a weird place right now but I thought I would muster enough focus to show you a NOTD I sported at the end of January. Miss Lesley, a good polish friend of mine sent me a package around the holidays as a sort of graduation/holiday gift and it took forever to reach me since it ended up in the next state over, returned to her, and eventually re-mailed. C'mon U.S. Postal System, get it together! Anyway, she's such a doll and sent me Barry M Indigo and biscuits for my dogs. And some amazing Ghirardelli chocolates. They were sooo tasty.

Here is two coats of Barry M Indigo, the formula was creamy and easy to apply, I had no issues during cleanup, and as a bonus it dries super shiny without any top coat. Oh, and no staining upon removal. You know I love me a blue creme, way to go Lesley!

For funsies I added a single coat of Girly Bits Shift Happens over Indigo for that "Unicorn Pee" look we all love. Gawk and enjoy!

These next two photos aren't the best IMO, one is washed out/over exposed and the other is faded out since I had to lighten it. I wanted to show you that hint of green shift that comes out at extreme angles from Shift Happens. I had planned to do some stamping over this design but unfortunately plans get derailed. In this case it was my breakup. More on that later.

So here's the deal ladies and gents, I'm having the worst time finding motivation to do anything more than get up for work in the morning. I thank my lucky stars that I have such an amazing and fulfilling job and stellar coworkers who have been nothing but the best kind of support. My friends, both in "real" life and here in the polish community have rallied around me in a way that I've never experienced before. I feel forever grateful and indebted to the people who have reached out.

I think its obvious that this life event has impacted me to a level I've never known possible. While I feel moments of happiness daily, at the end of each day when I come home I feel like a zombie. Or robotic, as if I'm only going through the motions. Sleep, work, shower, eat if possible, repeat. Sleep doesn't come easy and daylight comes too early each morning. I don't feel as if I am in a full blown state of depression but I am struggling to find happiness in all of the things that once put smiles on my face. Yes, I enjoy the things I do while I am doing them but it is so hard to do them in the first place. Like my nails.

The manicure I've shown in this post was what I was wearing when the course of my life changed. I almost just trashed these pictures rather than reliving that day through this post. Its funny, Friday night I almost stamped this manicure like I had been intending but opted to sit on the couch with my now ex giggling about funny animal photos on BuzzFeed. I figured I would get around to it some time Saturday afternoon. Instead, I spent my Saturday packing my belongings.

As of today I have managed three manicures since letting this one rot off, two of which I've managed to photograph. Only I don't have a photo setup anymore, or a place to do manicures at all. I mean to buy a lamp but don't find the motivation to schlep to Target and buy one. I'm still in various states of unpacking. I've binged on lots of polish as retail therapy. I think of this blog often but barely manage to function as its author. Emails have gone unreplied to, packages unsent. Every day I intend to be productive and fail. I'm being crippled by a bone deep sadness.

I know in my heart that there is a light at the end of the tunnel however, and I'm moving closer to reaching it each day but it is a slow and tiresome journey. I'm doing all in my power to embrace this change in a positive way and it is working bit by bit but again, it is a slow process and I am an impatient woman. Ultimately my point to all of this rambling is this: I love this blog and the people I've met and made friends with because of it and won't be abandoning OUaP any time soon. Even though my posting and responses may be sporadic or infrequent, I am only trying to recover.

So, until next time (which I hope will be sooner rather than later) please enjoy some more photos of my work in the field:

Snow fog... or are they just low lying clouds?  It was cold.

3 to 4 foot tall Buckhorn Cholla cactus... its a cactus jungle out there.

Hoards of Banana Yucca - these suckers are very pointy and my thigh has a scab to prove it.

Small mammal burrows, snake trails, and fox tracks in the sand.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

Hello lovelies, happy Sunday!

Today I've got an announcement to make, the winners of my giveaway have been chosen! Congratulations to  Maria, Lucie, and Christina! I've contacted them via email and they have 48 hours to respond, if I don't hear from any one of these lovely ladies I'll select another winner and make another announcement  Thank you so much everyone for following and entering my giveaway, it was a pleasure to see such an incredible response to these prizes and to read through everyone's feedback.

Honestly, the feedback was great and I'd like to address some of the topics in today's post! There was so much to read through but every comment and suggestion was positive so lets get started! These are in no particular order.

  • More stamping: Done. I love stamping and since I'm finally equipped and organized I'm all over this suggestion.
  • TUTORIALS: I've always admired bloggers who have the time and photography skills to do tutorials. I will do my best to attempt a tutorial in the future but my camera set up atm isn't conducive.
  • Comparison posts of similar colors, different brands, dupes, and high end polishes: I love doing this but haven't in a while mostly due to time constraints. Also, designer brands are expensive.
  • More freehand nail art: I haz no skillz. Freehand nail art takes lots of practice and my perfectionist side has a hard time dealing with the fails. And messing up perfectly good manicures. :)
  • Bloopers: I should do these if only because I usually just get so angry at my fails that I remove it immediately without taking any photos. 
  • Drugstore reviews: Can do, I love the thrill of the drugstore hunt! 
  • New collection reviews: I don't currently receive press samples so cost is a factor here in swatching and reviewing new collections. Cost restrictions mean I only purchase the colors I like or want.
  • Swatching in artificial v. natural lighting: I like this too and try to do it when possible, it makes a huge difference in color representation I think.
  • More indie brands: Here's a secret about me - I prefer creme finished or subtle shimmers and mostly dislike glitter toppers. Since indie brands have been putting out more finishes I prefer I have purchased gobs. They'll be shown more frequently!
  • More Creme polishes: Umm, yes please! Creme finish is my favorite so don't you worry, you'll always be seeing those.
  • Nail and hand care advice: I've been wanting to do a general nail and hand care products and routine post for quite some time. This is something that people ask me regularly in real life and I'm happy to share my successful routine. Everyone is different though, what works for me might not work for everyone.
  • Topcoat/basecoat reviews, advice, and tips: I am a serious creature of habit and have been using the same basecoat and topcoat routine since before I started blogging. I've tried various other brands once or twice but always return to my standard. I will do a post on this in the future!
  • Swatches!: Like, swatch spam or collection swatching? I love swatches and swatch marathons but haven't had the time recently. Spring collections are coming out so I'll be getting on that as soon as I go on a polish binge.
  • More Orly: When they put out more interesting shades... There have only been a bottle or two I've been interested in from several of their recent releases. C'mon Orly, step up the game!
  • More Zoya: You got it! I'm just waiting for another promo. :)
  • More colors: Of nail polish? I admit, I tend to wear greens, blues, and purples mostly with a smattering of browns and uglies thrown in every once in a while. I find pink boring, red unoriginal, and yellow does horrible things to my complexion. I should try more reds though.
  • More color on blog: I prefer simplistic design and am happy to work on improving my blog design bit by bit, but you just won't find a hot pink background around these parts. Ever. Plus I think that the clean white background lets colorful nail photos really pop and not distort the perception of the polish's color.
  • More active on instagram and facebook: Agreed. I need to improve on this front. I'm mostly active on Twitter.
  • Wear time on polishes: I try to address this in my NOTD and NOTW posts. To be frank, I usually wear a full manicure for the duration of a week and sometimes longer when my schedule is full. Swatch marathons don't allow for wear time testing.
  • "Where to purchase" info: I don't officially endorse any sellers or online retail websites, nor do I post affiliate links that provide me with kickbacks. What I do do is mention where I purchase indie brands since they are only available at specific sites. Also, if I happen to post on a product that is a LE or if I got the early scoop I definitely mention where I purchased that item so fellow drugstore hunters can start the search.
  • Haul posts: I'm thinking I can work this in but on a monthly basis. I was on a "no-buy" for a while but recently took part in some serious retail therapy that will most definitely be showcased on this blog.
  • "Best of..." and/or Top 10 posts: I hope to get my act together this year and be able to participate in this sort of yearly roundup. I always enjoy seeing these posts from the blogs I subscribe to.
  • Brush shots: This is a neat idea and I've only really seen one blog do brush shots regularly and not just when complaining about a particular brand (like I tend to do). 
  • Nail challenges and themed weeks or months: Ahh... the nail challenge. These are hard and I had to bail on the last one I got involved in due to the semester from hell. Nail challenges are a possibility for the future and themed weeks are also a definite possibility. 
  • "Week in Photos" or Sunday Review posts: I like these posts and will see what sort of "Week in Review" ideas I can come up with - I'm thinking it would end up more like a monthly review. 

Wow, so that was a lot! I hope you didn't go cross eyed from all that text. I haven't posted these last two weeks (I didn't even give myself a manicure) due to a personal issue but hope to get back into the swing of things soon. Until then, enjoy this jackrabbit I stumbled across last week at work. 


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