Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chainmail Nails

Chainails? Yeah, that doesn't really work. This weekend my husband and I went to Las Vegas for a mini vacation. Last summer United delayed our flights to Thailand by a collective day and a half and I was able to complain my way into two $100 travel vouchers. Where can you go for $100 and a relatively low chance of getting your flights all screwed up again? Vegas! We decided to see the Tournament of Kings show at Excalibur so I did some festive chainmail nails to match.

For this look I started with two coats of OPI, 4 In The Morning. After waiting for it to dry I stamped with Bundle Monster plate BM-210 and Sally Hansen Chrome Nail Makeup in Pure Chrome. This is the vintage version of the new Color Foil polishes that Sally Hansen recently released. My old one is still awesome all these years later and works perfectly for stamping. If you're hesitant to buy the new Color Foils I'd say go for it. I picked up three of the new colors already and so far they seem very similar to the old formula. I'll have a full review up for those a bit later. This particular stamping image is not quite a full nail design, but it worked well enough to get the chainmail effect, plus I'm finally getting better at stamping. !! :)

Here's a shot of my nails in action. Dinner is delivered minus the silverware so I had a good time ripping apart the chicken with my armored nails.

We had front row seats and it was cool to see everything up close. I loved seeing how well the horses were trained and how the riders connected with them. The show was super cheesy (in a good way) and a lot of fun. Aside from the show we spent most of the weekend walking around the strip. My feet are so tired! I think I've seen enough to last me a few years, but just in case we go back later let me know what your favorite things are to do in Vegas.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Clinton Kelly Fashion Show - Part Two

As seen in yesterday's post I got to see a Clinton Kelly fashion show at Macy's. I also did some Clinton inspired nails so check those out if you missed them. Today I wanted to share some pictures and fashion advice from the event. Sorry, no nails this time, but I'll be back with more later this week. Also, same as yesterday I should mention that I'm being compensated by the Everywhere Society to blog about this event, but all opinions are my own.

The first thing I noticed about Clinton is that he's a very animated speaker. It was hard to photograph him because he never stands still and his hands are usually doing something. He's very charming and incredibly funny as well. He talked about butts and boobs a lot. I love that he's not worried about saying the "right" things. Nothing is sacred which lead to a lot of funny moments. Sadly we weren't allowed to get video, but he has a ton online if you're looking for a fun way to spend some time.

The first trend of the show was all white. Clinton says the key elements of an outfit are color, texture and shine so if you're going to take away the color be sure to add back lots of texture and shine. These outfits had lots of those elements in the form of lace, sheer panels, tailoring and metallic accents.

 More very animated talking.

The next tip was about adding easy upgrades to your wardrobe. Clinton says the three easiest things to add that will make the biggest impact to the way you look are dark jeans, jackets and ballet flats. By trading in faded jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts and tennis shoes for these items you'll automatically look more put together, plus they're usually very comfortable so why not make the switch?

Next up was pencil skirts. For each look Clinton explained how women of all different sizes and ages can wear current trends by choosing the right colors and cuts and accessorizing appropriately.

These cute little cropped pants are called stiletto pants. Of course I immediately thought hey, they stole that name from the nails (who cares if the shoes came first). I'll be honest, as a short girl I don't think I would ever wear these. Clinton's advice for women who want to wear pants like this but aren't super tall and skinny is to make up the proportion by choosing a pair with a high waist to make the legs seem longer.

My favorite part was the dresses. The one above has a super cute triangle cut out in the back and I like the mixture of patterns. Below Clinton showed a faux wrap dress perfect for curvier girls, a dress with inverted pleats that gives shape without too much fullness for a taller lady and a cute sun dress with edgy mesh panels in the back for the younger ladies.

 Clinton gave a talk at the end that made a lot of sense. He said if you went up to a friend and told her "I hate your hair/skin/body" etc it would probably ruin her day. So why do we say these things to ourselves? I know I do it all the time. It's so hard not to! We all have things we don't love, but we should try to take the h-word out of our internal dialogue. No one is perfect and tearing yourself down doesn't accomplish anything. He also says don't compare yourself to what you see on TV or in magazines. Most of it is photoshopped so much it's not real anyway and who knows.. those girls might be crazy. There might have been something else about inner beauty but I was laughing too much about Clinton's description of the stylist leaving at the end of the shoot with his bag full of fake hair leaving the crazy models behind to remember.

I also had a great time meeting some local bloggers. Their blogs aren't nail related, but if you're looking for some new reading material check them out.

Our Misadventures- Meg has been my friend for a while and I absolutely love her and her blog about digital scrapbooking as well as some fun personal tidbits here and there.

I met Jacqueline of Nerd Family just yesterday but you all know I'm on board with just about anything nerdy.

I also met Amanda who writes Fashion, Love and Martinis, a blog about plus size fashion. I love her style! So comfortable yet feminine at the same time.

The other bloggers are also covering the Clinton even on their social media accounts so if you want more fashion tips and pictures be sure to browse through their Twitters and Instagrams too.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Clinton Kelley At Macy's- Fashion Show Event

I don't think I try very hard to hide that I'm not in love with my city. Fresno tends to make a lot of top ten lists... for things like being the most polluted, drunkest and having the most car theft. When I found out Clinton Kelly was coming into town for a fashion show event at Macy's I can say hands down this is probably the most awesome thing to ever happen here. At least in the last 10-15 years, to be fair to cool things that might have occurred before I moved here. 

I haven't had cable for much of my adult life, but when I did sign up a few years back the first thing I did was binge watch all the reruns of What Not To Wear. I loved watching Stacy and Clinton do makeovers because they always seemed to genuinely care about helping girls feel more confident and comfortable being the best version of themselves instead of cramming them into a cookie cutter idea of what's fashionable at the moment. It was sad when the show ended, but happily Clinton is still staying very busy. 

Disclaimer time: I recently became a member of the Everywhere Society and was offered compensation to blog about the the event. I was already planning to attend so I'm especially excited to get my first paying job for the blog. Of course, as always my very opinionated ramblings are my own. 

Now on to the good stuff. I've done some Clinton inspired nails in honor of the event.

Clinton Kelly at Macy's Fresno- Clinton Inspired Nails- Matte Argyle Half Moons

Clinton Kelly at Macy's Fresno- Clinton Inspired Nails- Matte Argyle Half Moons

Clinton Kelly at Macy's Fresno- Clinton Inspired Nails- Matte Argyle Half Moons

If you Google pictures of Clinton you'll find that he loves patterns- checkers, stripes, plaid and especially argyle. I took my inspiration from the picture above as well as some tips I gathered from past interviews and articles. Here are my favorites:

Nothing says "cheap whore" like long red acrylic claws. Nothing says “street urchin” like ragged, dirty nails (acceptable only if you are a farmer). I have a happy medium for you: neat, manicured fingernails, not too long and slightly squared. No time for polish? Ask for a buff manicure in which the technician rubs your nails with a special cloth until they are shiny, natural, and presentable. 
(Credit goes to Tips On Life & Love)

Look, when it comes to the fingernail thing, the women in my own family are, like, “Screw that.” Some women in my family like their French manicures and they’re going to continue to get French manicures. I think, however, that as soon as porno stars grab onto a trend and make it their own, that’s a time for respectable ladies to find a new trend. I honestly believe that: as soon as whores adopt a trend, move on. It’s dead.
(From an interview in The Frisky)

This was a lot of pressure for me! Would my nails be too long? Too busy or trashy. My original idea was going to paint a skittle manicure incorporating all the different patters. I'm so glad I decided to keep it simple instead. I think Clinton would approve. Don't worry- I'm still going to paint whatever crazy things pop into my head regardless of basic levels of taste. I think in a way Clinton would approve of that too. Most of all it seems he wants women to be happy with their fashion choices even if it's something he doesn't love himself.

Clinton Kelly at Macy's Fresno- Clinton Inspired Nails- Matte Argyle Half Moons

For this manicure I used paper hole reinforcements to tape off the half moons on all my fingers except the accent nail. I painted one thick coat of OPI's 4 In The Morning from the Gwen Stefani collection. It's a gorgeous matte charcoal polish, perfect to match the look of Clinton's suits. As I painted each nail I peeled off the stickers so the polish didn't dry too much and pull off as well. I used a small nail art brush to free hand the argyle pattern. The lavender I used is Sinful Colors, Candy Coated and the white is acrylic paint which I find is easier to use than polish for the really fine lines. I finished it off with NYC Matte Me Crazy top coat.

Clinton Kelly at Macy's Fresno- Clinton Inspired Nails- Matte Argyle Half Moons

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures from the event and some of my favorite style tips that Clinton gave during the fashion show.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fashion Inspired Floral Stamping

Graduation season is upon us. That means an excuse to dress up and paint fancy nails. As if every day isn't a perfectly good excuse for that already. I attended a graduation this weekend for the university I work at. This was a really sad one for me because three of the best employees I've ever had received their diplomas and are moving on. That also means with a set of brand new employees I missed a lot of the ceremony, but at least I got to see my graduates walk across the stage. Tears would have been shed if it weren't so darn busy.

Fashion Inspired Floral Stamping Bundle Monster BM-204

I'm very happy to say that I had an almost entirely successful stamping session (just don't ask to see the other hand). I haven't had very good luck with stamping in the past but that might be starting to change. I'd been having a ton of trouble with my new XL Squishy Stamper not picking up images very well. I finally looked up a tutorial on how to properly prime it and now it works great. Duh! I don't know what took me so long. 

Fashion Inspired Floral Stamping Bundle Monster BM-204

I started with two coats of LA Colors, Whipped and let that dry completely. For the stamping I used Bundle Monster plate BM-204 with Victoria's Secret, Game On. Some parts of the image are just a tiny bit patchy, but really not bad at all compared to past attempts. 

Fashion Inspired Floral Stamping Bundle Monster BM-204

I didn't have quite the right shade to match the periwinkle blue of the dress so I whipped up a custom shade in one of the mini bottles I just ordered from TKB Trading. They're really reasonably priced and got to me in about 2 days. Lucky me, we're both in California. I love being able to franken whenever inspiration strikes. 

I started out filling the bottle about half way with Sinful Colors, Candy Coated (a pastel purple) and added in just a bit of Wet n Wild, Listening to Blue Reed. I added in a little white as well to tone down the blue which was a little too bright at first. It's still a bit brighter than the shade of the dress but I decided to leave well enough alone before I did something to ruin it. I used a small paint brush to dot it on to the edges of my nails in random spots like flower petals.

Fashion Inspired Floral Stamping Bundle Monster BM-204 Franken Polish

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sargento Ultra Thin VoxBox: Fun With Cheese

If you didn't catch my post from earlier this week, I did some cute dot nails to match the lunch bag I got in the Sargento Ultra Thin VoxBox. Also included in my box was a coupon for a pack of Ultra Thin cheese slices. I was only able to find the Swiss variety after checking two different stores so I had to get creative and find some new recipes that use Swiss cheese. The nice thing about Sargento cheese is that it's a healthier alternative to the cheese product slices like American that isn't so much real cheese. These Swiss slices do look like they were cut from a large block rather than being poured into a cheese shaped mold and sealed up in plastic. The thin cut also means fewer calories per slice if you're counting.

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

Ok, so grilled cheese isn't exactly creative but it sounded good. I used my Ultra Thin slices and grilled up some sandwiches. The flavor of the Swiss is pretty mild and it was tasty in the sandwiches. I'm still lamenting the fact I had no tomato soup to dip it in.

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

My second recipe was a little more adventurous. I did a google search for swiss cheese recipes and picked one that sounded the best. My winner was Creamy Swiss Chicken. This recipe uses white wine and cream of chicken soup to make a sauce that you bake the chicken in. Cream of chicken soup looks almost exactly like banana pudding. That's not a mistake I'd ever like to make. Also, I dislike white wine so already this recipe is looking and smelling disgusting to me. Sorry Swiss slices, you deserve better.

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

I've got my sauce all mixed up. The next step is placing the Swiss slices on top of the chicken. So cute, look at the holes. Also, I'm sorry the lighting in my kitchen is so horrible.

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

Here it is just out of the oven. The recipes was for four chicken breasts, but there's just two of us so I made two instead. There's a lot of extra sauce which my husband loved. He likes each bite to be extra coated so it worked out well.

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment

Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices VoxBox Influenster Recipe Experiment
A cross section of the final product
My final opinion: Swiss = meh. It's just not my favorite cheese. I would have chosen a different variety if it were available. That said, the quality of the cheese was great. I love Sargento products in general and these slices would be especially nice if you had to make a bunch of lunches in a hurry. The packaging is resealable which is very convenient and the cheese tasted fresh each time. My husband loves Swiss and he really enjoyed both recipes. I'm sure I'm going to catch him eating the rest of the slices directly from the bag before the end of the week. 

Thanks Influenster for the opportunity to test another great product! If you'd like to review some products yourself head over to to set up a profile. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

(More) Nails Inspired By Cheese- Sargento Ultra Thin Influenster VoxBox

Who would have thought there was so much inspiration to be taken from cheese? In my case it's not literally cheese, but if you were curious what that would look like check out this super cheesy (and awesome) manicure from Fairly Charming

No, my cheespiration is a slightly different kind. I was lucky enough to get selected for another Sargento VoxBox from Influenster. Last time I got to try out some cheese snacks which were delicious so I was excited to be chosen to try the new ultra thin cheese slices. My VoxBox came with this bright and fun lunch bag which was the inspiration for these nails. Awesome job on creating cute cheese accessories Sargento! Just when I thought nothing could top the cheese koozi. I'm actually excited about taking my lunch to work now.

Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices Influenster VoxBox Dot Nails

Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices Influenster VoxBox Dot Nails

Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices Influenster VoxBox Dot Nails

To create this look I started with two coats of LA Colors, Circuits. Once that was dry I used the end of an eye shadow brush as a dotting tool to make these large dots. I dotted them in white first and then went back over each white dot with my colors so they'd pop more against the black. For the colors I used: 
Wet n Wild- Listening to Blue Reed 
Spoiled- Permission to Proceed 
OPI- Hey Baby (Gwen Stefani Collection)
Unnamed orange creme

Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices Influenster VoxBox Dot Nails

Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices Influenster VoxBox Dot Nails

The Sargento Ultra Thin slices come in three flavors, Cheddar-Jack, Baby Swiss and Longhorn Colby. My normal grocery store isn't carrying these yet and Wal-Mart only had the Swiss variety so Baby Swiss it was. Check out my next post later this week to see more nails/cheese in action and find out what I made with my Sargento cheese.