Citrine Embers

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I couldn’t resist trying Sparitual “Citrine” Luminary Matte Top Effect over Julep “Padma”, even though I knew I’d be changing my polish tonight.

I got really good coverage on my thumb, but for some reason, it didn’t stick as well to my other nails. I think this type of polish would stick better if I didn’t already have a top coat on my nails. I seem to remember it mattifying more directly over the dark polish – remember the “Opaline”?


Ulta Success!


Any excuse to go to Ulta, right?

I went to a different Ulta yesterday in search of Zoya Remove+ – success! They had a dozen bottles…but I just got one.

I also capitalized on Ulta’s 21 Days of beauty special – Butter London 2 for $15. I picked up “The Black Knight” – black, pink, blue, and silver suspended in a black base – and “Tart with a Heart” – pale pink parade of glitter carries a dash of grey.

I also grabbed a Ms. Manicure Buffing Block from the kiosks by the checkout. I LOVE those kiosks – they’re dangerous to me!


Fuck Traffic, Go Shopping


Right as I was packing up to leave work, my husband called to tell me that the highway was backed up – huge wreck. Sigh. When the going gets tough, the tough say “fuck traffic” and go shopping.

My backdoor route to avoid the highway conveniently brought me right past my Ulta – imagine that! The main reason I wanted to drop by was to pick up a new Zoya Remove+, but of course they are still out. My second choice was Orly Bonder, suggested by Angie as an excellent base coat. We shall see…

Although the clearance section has dwindled, I still had to look. I was excited to find Sparitual “Citrine” Luminary Matte Top Effect for $2.97. I was even more excited when it rang up for $1.49, especially since I paid $12 for “Opaline” several months ago!

Finally, I decided to try eos lip balm in “Blueberry Acai”. Erin raved about eos the last time we had a traffic chat, so I figured now was the the time. I was skeptical of rubbing that huge knob all over my lips, but it felt SO GOOD. I thought I would end up smearing it all over my face like Steve Buscemi in Billy Madison, but it only went on my lips.

The $3.50 coupon is back – I hate those 20% one item coupons! I’ll probably hit another Ulta tomorrow to look for my Zoya Remove+, plus Butter London polishes are 2/$15 tomorrow!


Impossible Purple


It’s not black…it’s purple. Impossible to photograph – I tried every room in my house, outside and finally just gave up in my bathroom. Even if you can’t see the purple on the nail – you can see it on the bottle. Impossible PURPLE!

My BFF is obsessed with Julep “Padma” – she had her nails done with it and when we went to lunch on Monday, she handed it to me and said that I’ve got to try it. “Padma” is a true one coat polish. I cannot imagine how black it would seem with two or more coats. To avoid staining, I started with Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. “Padma” is shiny on her own, but I used Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat so I could go to bed without smudges. It’s one of the shiniest polishes I’ve ever used.

“Padma” is a Classic with a Twist from the September 2013 box – “The Cityscape Collection”. (I also have “Kristy”, “Tatiana”, “Candace” and “Reece” from that collection.) My BFF must have gotten it in a Mystery Box, because that was before we joined. I am going to have a hard time giving it back…


Book Review – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?


I’ve been signing up for Birchblogger giveaways for months and I was totally psyched when I found out that I was picked to receive a free copy of the Birchbox Book Club’s August Pick – Is Everyone hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Even though I don’t watch her new show, I LOVED her on The Office. Kelly Kapoor was one of my favorite characters on the show – mostly because she had zero shame and gave zero fucks. (Creed was also one of my favorites – for the same reason!)

Mindy Kaling’s book is styled as a series of essays covering her childhood, Ivy League education, her career getting off the ground and general obsession with her weight. I don’t know that any female celebrity could write a memoir (a truthful one, anyway) that doesn’t mention how much they miss eating food. I was disappointed that there was no “dirt”. No raunchy tales of previous boyfriends or badmouthing of co-stars. The closest she came to “dirt” was describing her time working on show with an unnamed “psychic” who I can only assume was John Edwards. She is utterly respectful of this “psychic’s” complete bullshit, saying that even though she didn’t believe, he really was helping people cope with the loss of their loved one. I’m guessing she signed something?

I can’t compare Mindy’s book to those of her peers (funny ladies, anyway) – Tiny Fey, Chelsea Handler, Margaret Cho, etc…because I haven’t read most of them. I have read The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman, but Mindy and Sarah have little in common, except of course demoralizing experiences writing for SNL. Although both ladies lay bare embarrassing tales from their childhood and how their cultural backgrounds differentiated them from their peers, Silverman’s underlying self-loathing is a essential to her self, whereas Mindy’s occasional self-loathing is used as a punchline. I get the idea that Kaling’s self-esteem isn’t quite as bad as she lets on, but she plays neurotic to get laughs.

Mindy is an exceptionally clean writer (well, maybe PG-13) for this day and age. (I guess if I’m comparing her to Sarah Silverman, she’s really G rated.) I don’t know that she intentionally targeted high school girls as an audience, but this would be a perfect gift for a high school girl struggling to find herself – Mindy even says so in the book! That being said, I still enjoyed the read…and as I’m in my mid late 30s, I’m officially as old as dirt.

Bring Mindy Kaling to SNL this season…I’d love to see her get a hosting gig.


From Scab to Fab


The scene of the crime was improved greatly by adding a coat of Julep “Kirby” on top of Julep “Mary Lee”. Instead of a boring pool of scabby blood, my nails now look like a shattered antique mirror…in a pool of scabby blood. Or maybe a shattered Disco Ball – Disco Bloodbath! I would totally watch a movie called Disco Bloodbath. Somebody make that happen…

Julep describes “Kirby” as silver jagged glitter top coat. There’s glitter, but also mirrored flakies. The flakies actually lie flat and don’t peel up from my nails like most other larger glitters. It’s almost a perfect top coat.

I want to put “Kirby” on top of every polish I own. You’ll definitely be seeing more of “Kirby”…



CSI: My Nails


Julep “Mary Lee” is the first Satin Finish polish that I’ve tried. Satin is somewhere between matte and shiny. To me, this polish looks like a pool of coagulating blood – like there is a skin dried on top – think a murder scene that is a few hours old. “Mary Lee” is a very sensitive polish…barely brushing my nails against the wall while drying my hands left scratches across the finish.

Julep describes the color as oxblood satin. I’ve never seen a bleeding ox, so I’ll have to take their word for it. My husband said it looks like raisinettes. I have to give it to him – that’s much more creative description than I came up with.

Even though I used Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, I got one or two bubbles. *SIGH* Julep – what’s with all the bubbles? On the positive side, the polish dried very quickly – even without a top coat. The polish also pulled away from the tips of my nails. It isn’t chipped – it is a uniform shrinking along the free edge.

I cannot stand the lack of shiny…I need GLITTER.



God Save the Queen


If I ever have a passing thought about canceling my Julep Maven subscription, polishes like Julep “Queen Anne” make me remember why I love Julep polishes so much. I’ve never encountered another microglitter like Julep’s. No other polish has the fine glitter texture that Julep has…

“Queen Anne” is Julep’s Third Anniversary polish. It was released as part of the August Collection, but was only available in 2 special boxes outside the main collection. I was sad in August, but happy when it popped up in September as an add-on! Julep describes it as lilac microglitter, but there are a few hints of the rainbow in there, too. Again, Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, but no top coat so I could feel the rough texture.

I wonder what it would look like with “Claudia”?


Allure Beauty Box – September 2014


The Allure Beauty Box is kind of a big deal. It’s not a subscription box, but a gigantor box of full size beauty products that’s sold once a quarter. It’s $44.95 (plus tax and $10 shipping) for over $250 of stuff. This is the first time I’ve tried to get one and I got lucky and managed to snag one…even though they sold out in less than an hour!

Get a load of what was in this box: Aloxxi Dry ShampooArm & Hammer Spinbrush Truly Radiant Battery Powered Toothbrush (I cracked this baby open this morning – it was AWESOME! It was like I just left the dentist. My husband and son use electric toothbrushes, but I had been resisting. I am now a firm believer.); Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste; BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths (weird); Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in “Hawaiian Smolder” (So lip crayons are the “in” thing right now? I used it today and it actually looks natural on me – not nauseatingly pink.); Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser; Clean & Clear Advantage Daily Soothing Acne Scrub; Curel Rough Skin Rescue Lotion; Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash (I’ll probably use this for shaving my legs); e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths; Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Oil Nourishing Styling Treatment (I used this after my shower – so soft!); Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer (This will probably be given away – I don’t need my ass to be browner or firmer); John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Color Protecting Shampoo (Brilliant Brunette is ALL I use!); John Frieda Frizz Ease Go Curlier Heat Activated Spray (I’ll break this out the next time I use curlers); John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Intense After-Color Conditioner (I just ran out of this); Make It Straight; Neutrogena Triple Repair Fortifying Leave-In Treatment; Organic Doctor Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask; Organic Doctor Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Restorative Treatment Conditioner; Organic Doctor Tea Tree Face Wash (I used this this morning – cooling and clean); Real Techniques Blush Brush; Redken Blonde Idol BBB Spray (I’m not blonde, but I’ll try it); Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Shock Wave” (SQUEE!); and TRESemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment.

Dang…my fingers are TIRED! I’m gonna go play with my new stuff!


Jamberry Chip Challenge


Although I excel at painting my nails, I’m not so confident when it comes to nail art. I have an art degree, yet I shy away from anything more detailed than globbing glitter on the ends of my fingernails. Jamberry Nail Wraps might be an interesting solution to that problem.

Nail Wraps have been around for quite awhile – they’re just stickers for your nails. I’ve gotten other brands, like Sally Hansen, as gifts, but I’ve never actually tried them. When my cousin, Kimberly, offered me a sample to try, I figured – why not?

The top pictures is my day one picture – a leopard Jamberry Nail Wrap on my pinky and 2 coats of China Glaze “Bat My Eyes” (with Revlon base and top coats). Notice that I had already chipped my index finger while trying to peal the plastic safety seal off of a new bottle of contact solution!


The bottom picture is my day three picture. Most of my painted nails look pretty good, but that index finger is looking pretty rough. The Jamberry finger looks exactly the same!

The sample I got was a little small for my nails – it was too small for my pinky even. I never considered myself to have large fingernails…but I AM 6’1, so maybe I do. A full pack comes with various sizes, so I don’t think that would be a problem for me.

It was easier than I expected to apply the wraps. I didn’t need any special heat lamps or tools – I was able to heat it with a hair dryer and and just press it on with my finger. I was able to get a fairly smooth edge using a regular emery board.

For what you’re getting, they aren’t overly expensive. $15 a sheet and you should be able to get 4 manicures per sheet. As much as I love to paint my nails, I cannot imagine committing to a single design for 2 weeks! I don’t foresee myself switching to wraps or even using them on a regular basis…but I can envision myself using them occasionally on an accent nail.

If you would like to find out more about Jamberry, visit Kimberly’s site – http://kimberlymoreno.jamberrynails.net/ .