Monday, January 30, 2012

Glitter! So Much Glitter!

This is a blog post about nail polish. You have been warned.

I like nail polish. I used to like nail polish a lot when I was younger, but then somewhere between junior high and becoming socially aware, I convinced myself that fat girls weren't allowed to try and look pretty, because trying to look good would make them seem more desperate and needy than they already seemed, so it was easier and safer to be plain and blend in. So I stopped wearing colour on my face and nails and clothes.

And then sometime this past summer, for reasons still unknown to me, I decided "screw that!" and quickly immersed myself in all things beauty-related. Unlike clothing, makeup and nail polish and jewellery always fit. My most indulgent of beauty products (aside for mascaras and eyeliners), is nail polish. My entire collection has been amassed since August, and mostly since November.

You will notice that I have a particular attraction to glitter. I'm sorry. But you know what they say: you're never fully dressed without a holographic ring finger!

Also, I will pretty much paint anyone's nails any time using any polish. Sometimes I force people to get their nails done. So if you like any of these colours and need to try them on your nails, let me know and I will gleefully prance to your house to bedazzle your hands!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure: Midnight in NY; Angel Wings; Gray by Gray; & Back to the Fuchsia

I really like this particular Sally Hansen collection. The brush is wide and flat, which makes it easy to cover completely in two coats. I also like the formulation - not too thick or streaky. I'm a little disappointed in Midnight in NY; in the bottle it has little flecks of pink and blue sparkle that are supposed to look like the lights of the New York skyline, but they practically disappear on your nails. I love the other three, though, and I'll be getting more of this collection as the summer colours start coming in.

OPI: Gone Gonzo (Muppet Collection); Excuse Moi! (Muppet Collection); Rainbow Connection (Muppet Collection); Designer... de Better! (Muppet Collection); Russian Navy; Barefoot in Barcelona

I've only recently begun purchasing OPI polishes, and these are my favourite of all of my polishes. Not only do you get 15ml of product, but the quality is great. They chip a lot slower than other polishes and the colours are just great. I have a lot from the Muppet Collection because A) I love sparkle, B) they are limited edition, and C) I love the Muppets. Out of the ones I have, I think Gone Gonzo is my favourite, with a close second going to Excuse Moi!. I also love the last two, Russian Navy and Barefoot in Barcelona. Russian Navy has purple reflux which looks amazing when it catches the light, and BiB is my go-to colour when I don't know what else to wear. It's a perfect bit-darker-than-nude nude.

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle: Clear; Innocent Nude; Stunning Scarlet; Perfect Plum; Fearless Fog

I like this formula of Sally Hansen products as well. I don't think they actually promote nail growth, but they have the same brush as the Complete Salon Manicure collection, so they make manicures super easy. This collection has much more muted, less sparkle, and, I would say, has more sophisticated colours than other SH lines: much more work-appropriate. I love the last three and wear them frequently. This line does not chip very quickly and 2 coats gives you full coverage. I think Stunning Scarlet is the perfect red nail colour. Innocent Nude is a waste, though. After 3 coats there's almost no colour, and the colour that is there is not flattering at all, at least not on my skin tone. I thought this might be a good french manicure colour, but it's not quite pink enough.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Colour: Silver Sweep; Blue Streak; Pronto Purple; Clearly Quick

This it getting into the lower-quality end of SH polishes. I like these colours a lot, and I like that they dry quickly. These chip quite quickly, though - in less than 24 hours, in my experience. They also have quite a lot of shimmer, which leads to streaking that's hard to mask. I use these as bases for sparkle polishes and they work great in that context. They're super cheap, though, so it's easy to build a colourful collection without breaking the bank. Also, because they dry so fast, it's easy to remove and re-paint every couple of days.

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear: Strobe Light; Rockstar Pink; ICING: Party Hardy; Glamourous; Nicole by OPI: Orna-Ment for Each Other

SPARKLE!!! These are some of my favourite polishes. Rockstar Pink is absolutely amazing and, over a black or navy base coat, only needs one coat to be blind you with glitter. The two Icing polishes were an impulse purchase at the mall, but they have great colour payoff. Three coats: perfect coverage. I absolutely love the pink and the holographic glitter in Glamourous is the most mesmerizing polish in my collection. The red and gold sparkle is perfect for Christmas nails and looks amazing over the aforementioned Stunning Scarlet.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear: Going Green; The Real Teal; Flirt; L.A. Girl Disco Brites: Dance Studio

Again, same problems as the Insta-Dry in terms of the chipping and lower quality. These are also full of shimmer, which I like (naturally), and I think these are fun, bright colours. I also like the brush on the SH polishes: it's thin but easy to get good, even strokes. I haven't tried the L.A. Girl colour yet, but I really like it in the bottle and I'll be trying it under a sparkle polish soon.

Essie: Aruba Blue; Cocktail Bling; Bangle Jangle

My first Essie polish purchase was Aruba Blue, and I vowed I would never buy another Essie polish. While the colour is absolutely amazing and the quality is quite good (no chipping for 4 days!), it stained all my fingers and my nails when I removed it. However, I saw the two other colours the other day, and I was smitten instantly, and I am so glad I bought them. Their formula is amazing and goes on smooth and opaque with two coats. Cocktail Bling is my current favourite polish that I own. It is such a sophisticated colour, a gray blue, and I like that it's a creme base, as I don't own many of that polish formulation. I have my eye on many more Essie colours, particularly Jelly Apple.

Gosh: Golden Dragon; Matte Top Coat; NYX Matte: Taupe; Lavender

I saw Golden Dragon in Shoppers one day and I had to have it. It's a green/blue iridescent base with a gold shimmer built in. It looks super cool on, but I'm not a fan of the brush because the wide shape of the cap makes it hard to hold. Same goes for the NYX polishes. They are matte, which I was particularly fascinated with for a while, and look interesting. They dry pretty much instantly, and it's definitely a unique look. They also last for days. I like the matte top coat, too, because it works really well to prevent chips and makes shimmer polishes look really cool.

Revlon: Calcium Gel Nail Hardener; Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: No Chip Top Coat; Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat: Ink Splatter

I use the Revlon nail hardener as a base coat. I also wear it when I'm not wearing any other polish. My nails flake and break and rip, and I find that this helps them regain a bit more strength. I really like the SH Insta-Dri top coat because it dries in less than a minute and works quite well. I bought the crackle stuff on a whim this summer, and I think I've worn it like, twice, or something. It looks cool sometimes, but I think I might be over that crackle phase.

So that's my collection! I don't often pre-plan what colours I'm going to purchase, but I'm quite excited about China Glaze's release of it's Hunger Games collection in early March! (I'm going to get Agro, Smoke & Ashes, Riveting, and Luxe & Lush).

Maybe someday I'll post my makeup collection, if you're good, fair readers.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back To The Books

It's Sunday night. I am watching the Golden Globes because it is, let's be honest, the best of the awards shows. I thought I would write a blog explaining what I'm doing in life right now, since people seem to ask frequently and my responses vary in their clarity and succinctness.

I'm back at MUN full-time this semester. I'm taking three undergraduate courses and auditing one. Some of you may ask: "Jillian! Why are you back at MUN when you already have a degree?" My answer would be this: I have decided that my MA at UBC wasn't really the right career path, so I am applying for Masters programs, all in Ontario, in the area of Communications. I haven't actually taken any classes in Communications, though, so I thought I would go and get some undergraduate experience. You now may ask: "Well, Jillian, that's all well and good, but what do you plan to do with that?" And to that I say: I have a goal of working with the CBC as a researcher and writer, and this is, supposedly, a good way to make it into journalism and PR.

As for the courses I'm taking, they are as follows: American Film, Communications 2001 and Communications 4000, and I am auditing German Film since 1945. My film classes require watching black and white films, silent films, classics and ones I've never heard of. I'm actually not really a film fan, but I'm hoping that these classes will change that. My communications classes are sort of bland right now, but I'm hoping that they will pick up as the semester progresses.

I'm also back working at the Writing Centre and the Computer Support Desk at MUN. It's kind of weird to go back, especially since I already said my goodbyes and thought I was done. But it's also great to be back, because I like my coworkers and I like the work and I feel like I belong. It's sort of like coming home.

I must promote my sister Kayla's new blog! She's never been much into writing but she has recently decided to give it a try, and her first post is great! If you follow my blog, you should follow hers too - why not?


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Tip of the Tongue

My friend Courtney is the kind of person who is unintentionally profound and who speaks wisdom when I am least expecting it. She is strong and opinionated and doesn't just believe God loves her - she knows it. She has exposed truth in Scripture to me often without realizing how much it rattles and surprises me. I love her a lot.

We were talking about the power of words, as I have discussed on this blog a few times (see here and here), and I was rambling on and on, as I am prone to do, about the power of the written word. I was thinking about my book collection and the essays I've read, and how they have affected me and how I want them to resonate with others, too. Courtney agreed, appeasing me as she is so apt to do, and added sort of nonchalantly: "I always forget how powerful the spoken word is, you know. I mean, God created the earth by speaking it into existence, you know? So maybe our words have the power to be devine, too, you know?"

(Courtney says "you know" a lot.)

I thought about that, and when my Communications Studies prof assigned us to read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as homework, I started pondering it again. About how what I say to and about and around and on behalf of other people is powerful. Or, rather, has the potential to be powerful. And then I think about how carelessly I treat what I say, and I am ashamed. I am frequently embarrassed and frustrated by my mouth and what comes out of it, and I don't think that is what God intended when he gave us the power to speak.

The Book of James says that "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." (James 3: 9-10) Every so often I am struck by the enormity of what living life as a Christian should look like, and how I'm not always doing so hot, and this passage reminds me that when I am slanderous and rude, I am hurting other people. When I pass on a tidbit of information I overheard, my tongue is poison. It is not kind, it is not empowering, and it is not living a life of love.

Friends, please hold me accountable when my mouth causes pain to others. I want desperately to tame my tongue and use my words for encouragement, wisdom, teaching, and loving others.