Mani Monday (Tuesday? Whoops): Christmas Edition

Christmas Mani

I’m a day late for Mani Monday because I was hanging out at my parents’ place with Hilde and the Plooper (and my parents too!), but I do want to share my Christmas manicure with you guys before the year ends (like, holy crap, where did the rest of December go exactly?).

Like last christmas, I went rather simple this year – mainly due to time constraints. Christmas Eve is always a hectic day for me, because in addition to prepping all my presents for others and packing a bag for my parent’s house for the next few days, I also have to prep myself for work (I sing at a church for the midnight service). That of course means dressing up, and doing my hair, and putting on makeup, and just generally all those girly things that I am horribly bad and slow at. My nails always end up taking a backseat in the rush. This year I went with just a bright red, with glitter gradients on ring finger and thumb as accents. Specifically I used Deborah Lippmann It’s Raining Men as the base, and Funky Fingers Fra-Gee-Lay for the accents.

Christmas mani polishes

It’s Raining Men is a SUPER pigmented cherry apple red which applies like a dream. Smooth, full coverage in one coat (although I used two just because) and dries fairly quickly. I just seriously love Deborah Lippmann polishes – they’re just so on point in terms of formula.

Funky Fingers Fra-Gee-Lay is a Christmas themed glitter from the Christmas Story collection they put out last year, filled with red, white, and green glitters of all sizes. It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be for a hex glitter – decent coverage, but not the best choice for a glitter gradient because of the larger size of the glitter. So application for this mani was a little bit finicky, but I really like the result, soooooo… worth it.

A+ for both polishes.

And just because, I’ll leave you with what I woke up to sharing the twin bed with me at my parents’ house Christmas morning*. A little more crowded than I’m used to, for sure – but I’m sure not complaining!

Dogs on bed

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday (or regular day, or whatever)!

*(Pardon the weird edges – I tried to blur the background in photoshop so as not to reveal the mess my dresser became over the holiday, and, well, I’m not skilled at photoshop.)

Star Wars Mani Monday

Star Wars Mani full

So, we went to see Star Wars Saturday.

I won’t be posting a review or anything here, because a) I can’t really talk specifically because of possible spoilers, and b) I’m not really cut out for the movie critic thing – I either like movies and want to watch them again and again and again, or I don’t. I don’t really have much more complicated thoughts than that. But if you’re interested in that kind of review/recap (and have either seen the flick already or don’t mind spoilers), Reenie over at The Fangirl’s Dilemma did a great one here.

What I will say is that I was so happy about so much that I legitimately cried. Like big, sniffley fangirl tears. Starting as soon as the Star Wars logo appeared. Jim will probably not let me live it down basically for the rest of our lives, but screw it – IT FELT LIKE STAR WARS AGAIN. And that’s SO SO SO IMPORTANT. Particularly after the disasters that were the prequels.

But anyway, instead of talking about the movie today, I’m going to restart the Mani Monday feature with the manicure I did for the occasion. For this mani I used Orly – Frenemy as the base color and Revlon – Holographic Pearls for the accent nails (ring finger and thumb). I wanted something “spacey,” but didn’t have the time, energy, or materials to try my hand at galaxy nails, and frankly this combo ended up doing the trick nicely.

Orly Frenemy is a light black jelly base with all sorts of glittery goodness in it. The pictures of it on the nail do not do it justice. Because of the jelly base, the first coat is pretty see-through, but it builds quickly. Pictured here is three coats – but honestly I would have been fine with two, I just needed the third because I dented up the second coat chasing Olive the Cat out from under my bed. It does dry a little matte – you def need some top-coat to smooth things out and help the dimensional glitter pop in dim light (I used my go-to, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Clearly Quick). Overall A-.

Star Wars Mani

Revlon Holographic Pearls ended up being a little more opaque than I expected, particularly since it was marketed as a transforming top coat. I had originally meant to use it as a topcoat on all my nails but when it almost completely covered up the base color in one coat, I decided to just use it as accents. Pictured here (purposefully slightly blurry to show off the holo) are two coats of Holographic Pearls over Orly Frenemy. The holo on this is intense and the formula is great, and so even though it’s not quite what I expected, it still gets an A+ from me.

Did you see Star Wars yet? If so, what’d you think? (NO SPOILERS PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS)

Happy (Very Belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday! Ours was busy, but joy (and dog*) filled – and even though I’m still working through my 30 days of Gratitude and Reflection Challenge (I will finish it eventually – I will just probably start sprinkling in regular posts in between now that November is over and we’re on the lead-up to Christmas and New Years…) I really felt like the active effort I’ve been making to be present and grateful made a significant difference in my outlook.

Plooper

I was able to meet the demands of my “hell weeks” – the weeks before and after Thanksgiving when all my papers and assignments start coming in to be graded – with an energy I haven’t had since probably my first or second year doing this. Usually “hell week” is the week where I find myself sinking into a little bit of a depression over the state of my life and career – you know, the whole 28, working 3 jobs, and only bringing in barely enough to live thing. What happens is that usually, as I’m buried under the mountains of work, my exhaustion begins to interfere with me remembering why I do this in the first place. Why I really, truly love my job.

Heidi

I didn’t forget that this year. While I may have let blogging slide, I didn’t find myself sinking into that emotional trap. I didn’t lose sight of the joy and the gratitude. And that made all the difference in the world.

This year has been rough in terms of finding balance – and I must admit I’m still struggling to do so. But I’m really feeling better, and I’m hoping that by next year I can get back on the consistent blogging horse in earnest.

So thanks for hanging in there with me.

Hildeface

*Quite literally the only photos I have from the day of Thanksgiving are of Rusalka, Hilde, and my Aunt’s dog, Heidi. I guess I was in a dog > food mindset that day. Oh well, there are worse things.