Friday, April 15, 2011

Shellac v Axxium - Follow Up

Ok, so its been about six months since I first discovered Shellac and since my friend and I put Shellac and Axxium to the test.  How have they held up?   Allow me to show you my newly Shellac'ed nails in a lovely spring coral (and yes my cuticles are horrid - we'll get to why shortly):

As you can see I'm still happily Shellacing.  My friend on the other hand quit the Axxium product not too long after my original post.  She felt the process was too time consuming and was thinning out her nails pretty badly.

My biggest hurdle to get past was price.  While my salon was very reasonable with its prices, it was still about $50 each time after tax/tip.  That means $100 a month on my nails and that wasn't feasible long term.  So, luckily I had a birthday in December and asked for the whole Shellac shebang for a gift.  Awesomely enough I got it.  And I had actually tracked down a two-handed light which saved LOADS of time for do-it-yourselfers (otherwise not only did you have to do 2 mins per coat, per hand, you had to just sit and wait while one hand was under the light  "baking").   [NOTE! The light I got is NOT CND or Shellac approved.  However it works just damn fine thankyouverymuch.]    Here is my lovliness:

I did also get the appropriate level of alcohol (99%), the Shellac remover pads, and some Solar Oil (which I clearly have not been using - hello cuticles as mentioned).   So while I don't get the salon level results (as in there is usually polish on my fingers and at least one nail is filed at a wonky angle) its worth it to be able to keep up with a product I LOVE without having a second mortgage on our home.

Up next for me?  I want to try the new Shattered Polish by OPI but integrate it with my Shellac.  What I'm planning on doing is starting a normal Shellac French mani and then putting the Shattered just on the white tips.  After that I'll use the Shellac top coat as normal.  I'm hoping it works... we shall see!  But I think the possibilities are endless here and I'm excited to have the ability to keep at it!

Look for that Shattered post soon - just waiting for that little black bottle to show up on my doorstep.  (And no, I almost NEVER shop brick and mortar anymore thanks to Amazon Prime - but that's another post for another day!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Win Situation

My husband is a saint.  Seriously.  Those of you who have hung in there with me over the years would understand why!  I'm about to give you a shining, concrete example.

The other night as we were drifting off to sleep, I said aloud - without really giving it much thought - "you know I'm not sure I even have a proper suit anymore. I mean I have jackets and slacks but I doubt I have one suit set in my closet.  Humph".   I am lucky enough not to be required to wear suits daily at work and since I never see the inside of a courtroom any longer its just not high on my priority list.  When I go out in the evenings, a dress is my "go to".

Two days later as I am standing in my closet choosing what I might wear the next day, Hubby comes in and says "I've been thinking a lot about what you said - about not having a proper suit. It's really been bothering me.  When we get our tax returns, I want you to take $1000.00 of that and go on a shopping spree for clothes."  Ok, here is the point where any sane woman would jump up and down, squeal with glee, and throw herself at that wonderful man.  Any woman other than me.  You see, Hubby and I are trying to pay off ALL our debt.  ALL.  That means student loans, cars, mortgage, you name it.  We're attempting to set up and follow the ways of Dave Ramsey (a blog post for another day in and of itself).  So, I kindly told Hubby, "That is very sweet of you, but with us trying so hard to pay down debt, now is probably not a good time to go on a $1000 shopping spree."

At this point Hubby has GOT to be pretty confused.  I'm guessing that was not the reaction he was looking for.  (See instead: normal woman reaction).  So bless his heart he takes another tack.  He now says "Well I try really hard to keep my wardrobe current.  I buy at least one new piece each month.  I haven't seen you buy anything in months!  I want you to be able to stay up to date."   That is what he said.  What I heard was "My wardrobe is trendy and wonderful and yours is outdated and shabby.  So there."  Not good.

I may have gained some baby weight.  I have recently chopped off all my hair.  But by God the one thing I pride myself on is my fashion sense and wardrobe.  For me, its a source of PRIDE that I can cobble together anything out of my closet and make it look trendy.  I feel like I'm turning water into wine and all for the sake of my soon-to-be debt free family.  Sooooo Hubby's comments didn't sit well.  I did the only rational thing I could do: I burst into hysterical tears.  Poor Hubby just stood astonished and finally stammered out "I thought I was doing something good and yet you're crying!  I have no idea what I just did wrong!"

Little by little I was able to form complete coherent sentences and explain my thought process.  I think he finally "got it", but still didn't quite get it.    As for me, as much as I fantasize about that shopping spree I think I'll stick to my guns and work our savings plan instead.  Of course, the next time I want something - anything - I'm going to be reminding him at one point he offered me a $1000 shopping spree that I turned down.  Yeah.  He can't win.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Running on - Reebok?

I hate running.  Really.  I've tried in the past to love it but I never get that "runner's high".  Instead I get runners angst.  I end up cursing myself, my shoes, my legs, the pavement (or treadmill), the clock, etc etc etc.  However (you knew it was coming, right?) I've decided its the quickest, easiest, most portable cardio I can do.  I loved my Zumba classes but trying to get away from my desk at the same time each day is next to impossible.  So while I love the flexibility to work out during my work day classes weren't going to work long term.

Enter my friend Jenny.  You know the type - had her second child seven months ago and looks like she's never eaten a carb in her life?  Yeah.  Well she's a runner.  Each day I watch her go down and get her run in.  Each day I hear her mention how great she feels after.  This is about the time I'm eating a Mrs. Freshley's chocolate cupcake (heaven!).   So I've decided to join her.

The last pair of running shoes I have are about eight years old.  Really.  So its time for some new ones.  At least I can finagle some shopping out of this experiment in torture!  I decided, after much research, on a new pair of Reebok Runtones.  From all I can gather the "toning" part is iffy - but they rock as a running shoe.  I'll take that.  And our friends at Reebok allow you to customize EVERYTHING about the color palate of the shoe - down to the cross check and stitching!!  (Did you know the Rebook logo thingie was called a cross check - now ya do!)

Here are the ones I created - and here's hoping they make running fun palatable.
And just for fun, here are two that I created but didn't choose.  I think I could have a new career her folks.  Seriously.  Shoe-color-designer.  Catchy.