Holo Nails!

I was blogging about some rings over on my accessories blog, Bedeck, and I was asked about my nails. It seemed like the perfect subject to cover over here, too.

The base color is Zoya Song, which in itself is a beautiful blue color. The sparkle and dazzle, however, is from Orly. It’s called Be Brave, and it’s from their Pretty in Pink collection, which supports breast cancer research.

It’s a pink and blue holo bar glitter, but when light hits it, it’s all sorts of beautiful colors. It’s a little tougher to remove, but if you drench a cotton ball in remover and leave it on the nail for a minute or two, it comes off pretty easily. Plus, there’s very little tip wear; it will last a long time.

I’m really excited about the happenings over at Bedeck, so come visit me over at BedeckMe.Wordpress.com!

BOGO, Emphasis on the GO.

Once upon a time, I said that I would lay off talking about Zoya polish. We all know that’s not going to happen. I can’t stop. Now they have jellies, and frequently they have sales. And right now they’re having both. BOGO sale for those with an existing account! Here’s what’s on its way to Casa Freya:

More Zoya

The polishes are Ray, Song, Monica, Toni, Noot, Paloma, Katherine, Harley and Yara. Obviously fall and winter are on the way, based on my color choices.

My friends say I have an addiction. I guess there are worse addictions to have…

Brand Loyalty

Many years ago, my roommate was a Mary Kay lady. She had the parties, did the makeovers, and our answering machine often had orders for Satin Hands on it. Of course, her den mother (or whatever Mary Kay mentors are known as) wanted her to recruit others, and I was the first and obvious choice. Now, I love me some Satin Hands, and I took advantage of all the freebies that my roommate had, but I couldn’t be a Mary Kay lady. Not just because I suck at sales, but because I couldn’t, in good conscience, go out and tell women to buy things from one brand. The Mary Kay lady has to wear the product and claim that Mary Kay has the best EVERYTHING. I couldn’t give up my MAC eye shadow or my Clinique lipstick.

Yes, it smells like peaches.

I am not brand loyal. I choose what works for me on a case-by-case basis. The only exception, it seems is Zoya nail polish, where I feel like I am the brand ambassador. It is a great product overall, but I feel disloyal when I look at other nail polishes. Which is precisely why I can’t say I’ll use one product exclusively. It becomes too much of a moral dilemma to “cheat” on that product.

So…

Are you beauty brand loyal? If so, what brand? If not, do you have “go-to” brands where you look first?

(This is one of those posts where I really want you to comment! So please…TO THE COMMENTS!)

Funny Face

While in New York, I took a little trip to a big Sephora store in Union Square.

I think my favorite thing about this particular store was all the nail art stations. They had video tutorials and the tools and polishes for various looks, so you could try it out. I tried a matte topcoat (which wore off really quickly, but that could be because I put it over my regular shiny topcoat) and a dotting tool.

What I should have bought…Illamasqua Rare neon yellow.

The thing about Sephora is that you’re surrounded with all those mirrors, and you can see exactly how your makeup is wearing throughout the day. Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of not looking enough, and just taking it on faith that my face looks okay. This has led to crazy-smudgy-eye more than once. However, since the heat and humidity was pretty high during my entire trip, I had a sense that I probably wasn’t holding up like I’d like, and the Sephora mirrors confirmed it. My fashionable friend was showing off her NARS Heat Wave lipstick, and suggested I freshen up with something from the NARS range.

NARS Heat Wave

I decided on a fuchsia. I picked NARS Funny Face, and immediately put back what I was going to buy and bought the lipstick instead. It is a beautiful, wearable semi-matte lipstick. It is blue-based, but it looks warm and lovely on. It is the perfect summer bright if you’re a lipstick lover, like myself.

NARS Funny Face

It is not for the faint of heart, I will say, but it’s not costume-y either.

Here’s me wearing it outdoors (my porch is a mixture of sun and shade):

And indoors (I look a little vacuous here for some reason):

At $24, it’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it.

Anyone else have a favorite summer bright? Or a NARS lipstick they would endorse?

Kimono Three Ways

I obsess.

I find something I like and I want to listen to it, read it, or watch it over and over again. Right now I’m obsessed with these things:

Fun. Some Nights

Electric Guest This Head I Hold

Green Wing on Netflix

and Tamsin Greig (as Caroline Tod) in particular.

And right now, I’m kind of obsessed with Girls on HBO. I am not sure I actually LIKE any of the characters, but I find it compelling. So I have to watch.

A lot has been said about the fashion (or lack thereof) on Girls. (Check out Vulture’s Girls paper dolls!) I am kind of digging Jessa’s personal style, which tends to the Boho. I’m all about Boho this summer–I think it’s the maxi dresses that bring it out in me. In particular, Jessa’s kimono in the park outfit has stuck out. I wouldn’t ever wear a bathrobe out in public (which is essentially what she has going on–robe, tank top, Uggs), but I love the idea of a kimono, a topknot, and dark red lipstick.

She uses her employer’s lipstick without her permission, which seems so audacious and even upsetting, which is so part of her character. Bold lip, bold personality.

I came up with a “kimono 3 ways” set. An all-out costume-y kimono, a bathrobe-style kimono (like Jessa’s), and a wearable kimono-style dress (that you could even put a tank top under). Dangly chain earrings, hair up, MAC Russian Red lips, and you’re doing a passable Boho Jessa impression.

Kimono 3 Ways

My own personal bit of Boho today? (Aside from my maxi dress…) My vintage 1976 Egyptian scarab reproduction ring. It was sold at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the first tour of King Tut’s tomb in the USA. And it swivels. Awesomeness.

So…Boho? Kimono? Or just plain no? Also, any obsessions right now that you want to share?

Ava Gardner, Photoshop, and the Basic Black Swimsuit

I saw this picture today on Memory Lane.

I was blown away with Ava Gardner’s perfection. In a simple black bathing suit, waders, a captain’s hat and a blinding smile, she looks amazing. It got me thinking about the prevalent use of Photoshop these days. Ava Gardner is breathtaking without one bit of Photoshop. I look at this photo and wonder what would be done these days. Her arms would likely be thinned down, her hips and waist reduced, and the smile line on the right side of her mouth removed. Would she look any more beautiful? Doubtful. She looks happy and real, not perfectly Photoshopped.

Also note: her basic black bathing suit. She looks fantastic. It doesn’t have to be fancy, floral, brightly colored, skimpy, or revealing to be fantastic. Such is the power of the little black swimsuit. If going to the pool or the beach is stressful or scary because of body image issues, don’t worry about the two-pieces–get a basic black one-piece swimsuit. Better to wear things that are flattering on the body than to squeeze yourself into something that doesn’t work, but is super-fashionable.

Need some ideas? I happen to have rounded up some fantastic black suits.

Basic Black

I notice that quite a few of these have ruching around the midsection, which helps hide trouble spots. If you’re worried it will add bulk, don’t worry about it. It actually makes it more flattering.

Enjoy your Memorial Day and go out, sit the the pool, and feel good about yourself. Take some pictures that aren’t retouched.

Target, You Are My Weakness

Just got back from Target. I cannot make it out of that store without spending a ton of money. But it’s so good! Most of my bill today was because of these here:

It’s the Champion C9 Seamless Racerback Sports Bra. As of today, I own five of these. I think that qualifies as an obsession. They are soft, supportive, wick moisture away, and never chafe. I have a major rack, so I actually layer two of these bras to keep everything in check, and it does without any issues. The fabric is contoured to avoid major uniboob, too.

For ladies with a little less, I think their cami bras are super cute. Made from the same material as the racerback bra, they come in a variety of different colors.

These bras are on sale at Target right now.

Speaking of things on sale at Target, this is the first time I’ve been able to make it over to Target since they introduced The Shops at Target. Limited editions from small boutiques that are notable across the nation–sounds like a great idea! I was, unfortunately, less than impressed. The Shops products are already on sale, but I still didn’t want to buy it. I was especially wanting to check out goods from The Cos Bar in Aspen, CO. Cosmetics! But seeing the display left me wondering: did they think their line would be coming out at Halloween?

All the items are purple, orange, or acid green, and most are patterned with leopard. The makeup bags are plastic, and they look super cheap. With the black and white packaging, and the green cooling eye masks with flirty cartoon eyes on them, it looks extremely “Party City in October”. A disappointment all around. Although I did pick up a pair of orange leopard-print tweezers for $2.

Have you checked out The Shops at Target? Were you impressed, or disappointed?