Friday, November 30, 2012

Check your balls!

I know, I know, not all of us have balls. Even though my mom swears by mine, sometimes. :-p

This post is to end Movember. The men's health awareness month, when moustaches pop up in the least suspecting faces (including my husband's!) and become an interesting competition of who's the thickest, the fullest, with most body, etc.

Even though Movember focuses specifically on prostate cancer and mental health, my focus here is on testicular cancer. 

First, because it's the most common cancer in males between the age of 15 and 34. Volunteering at Planned Parenthood and working at a university, that's the age group I deal with on a daily basis, specially 18 to 25.

Second, because there's a self exam, equivalent to the strongly advertised self breast exam: touch your balls! Look for lumps, firm masses, nodules. Look for a doctor, if you're in doubt!

Third, because if found early, it's almost a 100% curable! This information came from DreamLoveCure, and you can find tons of websites by googling "touch your balls" or "testicular cancer". 

After a full month of an uneven and sparse pair of "Mo's" and beard ("cause if I'm growing something, I'll grow it all!" hubby said), he was finally about to get rid of it. It was time to celebrate!

And I needed my own Mo' for the photo shoot!

Base was Snow Me White (Sinful Colors) and mo's were Black Expressionism (Finger Paints). I used a dotting tool for the branded one, and a brush for my husband's.

So, are your checking your balls? Are your loved ones checking theirs? ;-)



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AnOther Challenge(s) accepted!!

OK, OK, I know what you're thinking! "You could barely finish the other challenge, then disappear for a month, and now you wanna take on another challenge? Maybe even more??"

Well, Yeah! I loved the motivation to play around with techniques and designs. Stuff that otherwise I'd never had the guts, or the patience, to go through with.

Anyway, after taking a look at many of the challenges that are around for the holidays, I decided to 'accept' two of them. Interestingly enough, both are from Facebook groups that ended up joining because of the challenges.

The "Let It Snow!" Challenge, from The Nail Challenge Collaborative,  appealed to me because it's an at-my-own-pace kinda thing, and it goes on once a week throughout the Winter.

While the "Winter Holiday" Challenge, by Crumpet's Nail Tarts, was chosen for the themes and its twice a week posting, which I might be able to keep up with. However, as my anal self only posts on Tuesdays and Fridays, I'll post the Wednesday posts on Tuesday evenings. Which will already be the Wednesday in Australia (and even in the UK!) anyway... ;-)

There will be some cheating and double posting, as the "Winter Holiday" will use up all my posting days. But hopefully I'll make it worth it! :-p

Thanks for joining me for yet another(s) challenge(s)! :-)



Friday, November 23, 2012

French Dots

It felt like a teal day to me. But not just a teal day. More like a minty teal. Hippie Chic (Colorama) and Miss Minty (Gosh) alternated for the mixed look.

But a few days went by and I got bored. And decided to alternate a bit more by adding the French tip using the same colours.

Then, a couple of days later, I needed dots. Light dots repeating colour, dark dots adding metallic shades: Mermaid to Order (Sephora by O.P.I.) and Ocean (Revlon). That's when I realized how similar they were and Patty got a new polish. :-)

I was pretty happy with the colours and the additions I made throughout the week. Specially with the first successful French tip!!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Visit to Larinha!

Paulinha is one of my good Brazilian friends here in Canada. We worked together for quite a while, but we haven't seen each other that often lately. Life gets in the way, plus her new role in life takes up all her time!! :-)

Back in June we had Lara's baby shower, Paula's baby girl who was born late August. This mani was inspired by Larinha's room decor for the event. The violet base was Audrey (Impala). The lilac used for the flower, the rattle, and the light dots was It's Hippo to be Square (Sephora by O.P.I.). For the toes, and the darker purple details, the chosen one was Violeta Acinzentado (Risqué).

I made the flower with a small brush, maybe using some king of one-stroke technique? The rattle and dots were done mainly with a dotting tool.

To match it all, the outfit was a purple dress. It was summer after all! ;-)

Even though the baby shower is long gone, the 20th of November was the day I paid them a longer afternoon visit, and it was the first time I held Larinha! I know I looked clumsy, 'cause Paulinha was worried about her little girl's neck. :-p

Thinking of going again soon!



Friday, November 16, 2012

Failed plush nails...

Going through a bit of a failing phase here... :-(

I needed a quick mani, so I went to my go-to red: Fire (Revlon). A couple of days later, I decided to play around with the flocking powder I'd bought at Michaels a couple of weeks earlier. I didn't have red, so I chose the orange for this try-out.

OK, I know now that matching the powder colour to the nail polish is done for a reason... The powder doesn't cover it perfectly. In fact, it barely covered it at all, but then it's my inexperience's fault. :-p

The fell of the flocking powder was different. Interesting, but definitely not something I could stand for long. Even if I could, it'd be removed quickly by stroking anyway... ;-)



Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Yes, it's Brasil with 's', because that's how we write it in Portuguese! :-D

Remember Sarah? She organized an amazing Keystone event at work, appreciating staff and their cultures. I couldn't pass a Brazilian mani, could I? ;-)

For the 'costume', I wore a Brasil navy blue T-shirt, jeans skirt and Havaianas (Brazilian world-famous flip flops).

Havaianas required painted toes. One coat of Azulcrination (Risqué) over Midnight Affair (Revlon). Gorgeous combination! Revlon gives the opaque base, and Risqué makes it shine!

My goal was a green and yellow french mani, but I just couldn't get it right. I chose to alternate them instead. Both are New York Color: High Line Green and Lexington Yellow. Same colours were used for the free-handed piece of Brazilian flag, completed by Azul Biônico (Colorama).

Unfortunately I have no good pictures of the Havaianas, but Sarah took one during the event and even posted it on Facebook!



Friday, November 9, 2012

Choose Me!

Still in love with Essence, the one I picked next was Choose Me.

I didn't expect it to be a sheer glitter polish, so I got disappointed at first. I needed 2 or 3 coats (can't remember exactly) for opacity, and removal was a nightmare (as with any glitter polish). But the colour is gorgeous!!

It's probably better as a layering polish than as a stand alone. Haven't tried it yet, but I'll post it here when I do. :-)



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Failed Frankening...

I know, I know... I haven't posted in a while and now I'm backdating to keep up with my anal self... :p

Now that the This Is Halloween Challenge is over, I can go back to posting my manis in the order they were done.

I started with one coat (yeah, it's a really quick drying one-coater!) of Gleam In Blue (Essence), before playing around with some 'frankened' top coats. I bought some glitter samplers at my local Michaels, but had a not so pleasant surprise once I started mixing it with some of my sheer polishes.

First I wanted to prepare a "chocolate chip" like top coat, so I used dark small glitters in the sheer base. After a while, I noticed the glitter bled quite a bit, making the whole thing darker...

The second attempt wasn't successful either. I used a few drops of blue (Jeans - Colorama) mixed with the sheer polish, and threw in small blue, red, and silver glitters, and a bigger silver glitter as well.  Lots of bleeding again, making it purplish. Not bad, but not what I was aiming for...

I still have tons of sample glitter bags, and probably all have this bleeding problem. I'll keep playing with them for now, and maybe buy better supplies next time around.

At least I loved the Essence polish! Application was easy, drying time was super fast, and did I mention it's a one-coater?? ;-)



Friday, November 2, 2012

"This Is Halloween" - Trick or Treat!

After a spooky and adventurous month of October, the "This is Halloween" Nail Art Challenge comes to an end. I'm proud of taking on this challenge and fulfilling it to (almost) completion! Got lots of praises for the crazy designs! :-)

I would like to thank Bec from Lacquer Dreams for coming up with the prompts and for keeping us all connected throughout the challenge. Well done!!

But wait, 'Trick or Treat!' is not the last day of the challenge! Yeah, I know. As noted before, I'm anal and will only publish on Tuesdays and Fridays. I'm already late enough with this prompt, it makes no sense posting Halloween stuff the second week of November. Plus, there's no better way of ending this challenge than with lots of sweets! ;-)

OK, enough babbling and onto the treats!

What a better way to start than with a blank canvas? Two coats of Pétala Branca (Colorama) prepped all my nails to the sugary work ahead! When I first started thinking about this challenge, two things came to mind: Candy Corn and Jawbreaker. But I didn't wanna do just that. I wanted to represent different Halloween candies, or even candies in general.

What do we give out when trick or treaters knock on our door? M&M's!! A dotting tool placed Orange (028 - Milano), Red (Sample Sale - Sephora by O.P.I.), Brown (Café - Colorama), Green (High Line Green - New York Color), Yellow (Lexington Yellow - NYC), and Blue (Water Street Blue - NYC) chocolate coated candies on my nail, and Snow Me White (Sinful Colors) branded them with their famous m! :-)

Taking it a step further, my all-time favourite M&M's are the Premium Mint Thrills. But they are quite hard to find, so I make do with the regular Mint ones, which are a bit easier to get my hands on, although they seem to be a limited edition. High Line Green (NYC) was once again used for the darker green, then mixed with Mint Dream (Pure Ice) for the lighter shade of green. Miss Minty (Gosh) mixed with Mint Dream (Pure Ice) achieved the minty candy coating.

One of Patty's favourite candies are Skittles, which used the same Orange, Red, Green, and Yellow polishes, plus a mix of Açaí and Eterno (both from Colorama) for the Purple candy. These were also branded with Snow Me White (Sinful Colors).

Another favourite candy of ours (both little sis', my mom's, and mine) is gum drops! For the white candy, I used Geada (Colorama) and mixed this polish with all other colours before dotting them to the nails. Purple candies were I Don't Bite (Sephora by O.P.I.) and the same Orange, Red, Yellow, and Green polishes were used. A coat of Morgan Le Fay (a england) was used over all gumdrops, giving that shimmery and sugary look.

Two coats of Jawbreaker (Pretty & Polished) conferred the perfect jawbreaker look on the thumb.

Sponging the Candy Corn was a nightmare!! I got the technique right on Patty, but after 4 failed attempts, I gave up and just free-handed a striped candy-corn-inspired nail. Polishes were the same Yellow and Orange as used before, and same White as the base colour.

As noted by the Mint M&M's, I LOVE anything minty! Therefore, my candy manicure couldn't miss starlight mints! I drew both red stripped and green stripped mints, using the same Red as before, and the same mixture of Green and Mint, with a higher percentage of mint this time around. Striped were made with a striping brush.

The Gummy Bear was inspired by those giant colourful ones, rather than the small one-coloured candies. I followed I Have a Cupcake's tutorial, using the same Orange, Red, Green, and Yellow polishes as before. We didn't have Gummy Bears growing up, so both my sister and I are making up for the lost time as adults! ;-)

Hubby couldn't be left out of this, could he? Although he's not a candy fan, one of his favourite candy bars are (frozen) Twix. He did ask me to draw a bitten Twix, showing the layers of chocolate, cookie, and caramel, but I didn't have a cookie or a caramel colour (see? I need more polish!! :-p). I recently received my old version of Holy Grail (a england) and the candy bar wrapping was the perfect opportunity to wear it! The chocolate itself was a bottom layer of Café (Colorama) as used before for the M&M's, topped by a layer of Cop an Attitude (Finger Paints), a magnetic polish. The magnet gave the wavy effect of the top of the candy bar. I was happy with the results!

This was probably the challenge I had the most fun with. Not only when doing the nails, but when taking the pictures, and eating the props!!

Thanks for joining me in this adventure! There might be another one soon, you never know! ;-)



PS: I know this is incredibly late, but I'm backdating the post to follow the original date it should've been posted. Remember, I'm anal! :-p