Thursday, March 31, 2011

On My Nails: Milani Neon Pink Rocks

So I picked up this nail polish from Walgreens a few weeks ago and was looking forward to trying it.  Like blue nail polish, pink was another color I did not care for.  But since spring is here and my nail polish obsession has grown, I wanted to branch out.  Another reason I grabbed it, was because I had had my eyes on the Zoya Mod Matte polish in Lolly, but heard it was a bit of a disappoint in regards to formulation.

Now, I have several Milani nail polishes and have liked them all, but this one completely missed the mark!  I don't know if it is just this color or all of the Neon line of polishes from Milani, but so many things were wrong with this polish.

First, the color goes on extremely sheer.  It looked like I had colored my nails with a pink highlighter.  Then I completely lost track after the 3rd or 4th application of how many coats I had to apply before I could get somewhat decent coverage (which still wasn't great).  Lastly, the color is not what I expected.  As you will see in the pictures, the final result gave me more of a orange color with a FAINT hint of pink undertone.  The first coat looked like the bottle, by the millionth was something completely different.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed with this polish.  Maybe my hopes were too high:-(

*So the color redeems itself a little bit out in the sunlight and under fluorescent lighting, the first picture is the closets match.  It looks less orange and more pink outside. Just fyi. 

(from left to right)
1 coat, 2 coats, 3 coats

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Starting tomorrow (3/31), HauteLook will be having their Urban Decay Event starting 8am PST.  I'm excited to see what they will have available.  The promo video got me excited to try some of the new cream blushes.  So don't forget to register!

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The Story of an Army Girlfriend: Insecurities and Crazy Thoughts

In a week, my boyfriend graduates from AIT.  As excited as I want to be that the training part of his career is over, I can't help but reflect on the last 5 months.  Five months is more than enough time to let your thoughts get the best of you, and there were plenty of nights that they left me questioning my sanity and my decisions.

Deciding to date someone in the military is a very personal decision.  Because not every solider's story is the same and neither are the relationships that are played out during those stories.

Before Akeem and I became a couple, the decision was already made that he was going to the Army.  It was my decision if I could handle the bumpy ride.  For the 3 months leading up to his departure, I determined that this was something more than a short term fling.  In my attempts to give him piece of mind, I somehow convinced myself that this time apart would not be that bad.  That in the end, we would look back at this and laugh.  I wish I had remained that confident the entire 5 months.

My first moments of insecurity and craziness came within his first month of basic training.  For the first week, we were able to text each other, but after that Friday...........silence.  His mom had received 3 phone calls between the time I had last texted him and the first time I received letters (almost 3 weeks later).  She told me she had missed 2 of his calls.  I went into crazy mode.

"Why hadn't he tried to call me!?" 
"Why is she being so nonchalant about missing her son's phone calls!?"
"Does he not want to talk to me?!"
"Is this his way of dumping me?!"

Many thoughts along those lines clouded any sense of rational thinking.  I felt so forgotten.  In just a couple of weeks, I felt as though I had completely made up the importance of my relationship.  It is as if I had fooled myself into believing that we were really going to make it.  Then to top off my crazy, social networking became my enemy.  Since my internet wasn't working, I had to access Facebook through my phone.  The way Facebook is displayed on my phone, it looked as if he was able to access Facebook.  Though I found out later that I was way off the mark, I initially thought he was getting online and not even trying to communicate with me.

Eventually, I did receive my letters.  Turns out Akeem had locked his phone and didn't know my number by heart (I wasn't mad, cause I didn't know his by heart either).  Also, the mail was really slow.  But as good as I feel about my relationship now, I would be lying to say that moments of doubt and worry didn't frequently visit my thoughts.

I didn't really have anyone to talk to about my feelings.  Army wives have some security, their men are only getting out either by death or legal action.  As a girlfriend, your feelings are unique.  I didn't want to burden my single friends with my issues and my girlfriends who were in relationships couldn't relate.  So I felt so alone.

Before Akeem found out his duty station, fear dominated my late night thoughts.  We aren't married and we weren't even engaged.  Ex-boyfriends, girlfriends, and even my mom planted seeds of doubt in my mind. 

"Does he really want to get married now?"
"Can you do long distance?"
"What makes you think you can't be replaced?"
"What do you have to offer?"
"Are you ready to get married?"
"What are you gonna do if he gets deployed?"

I could write a short book of all the negative things people said to me.  As strong as, I believe, I have been overall, those things can eventually weigh down on a person.  Akeem and I had talked about marriage, but we had not made any plans.  I began to wonder if I was being strung along.  But the moment marriage became a serious discussion, new thoughts crossed my mind.

Soon my thoughts became more selfish.  I began to wonder if I could really be a military wife.  I wondered if I could really handle frequently moving, if I could have a career, and if I was even ready to be married.  Growing up, I always told myself I would never marry a man in the military. So it seems very amusing to me that this is where I am right now.

The worst thoughts came most recently: deployment.  I was watching a video on YouTube about Army wives and she brought up some interesting points.  One night, I had thoughts of Akeem deploying and was surprised that it brought me to tears.  I wondered how I would deal if *God forbid* he came back maimed.  I know that sounds awful and selfish, but it is a scary reality.  I, also, thought about him coming back mentally unhinged.  And of course the worst thought is of him not coming back at all.

With Akeem approaching the end of his training, a new obstacle awaits..........marriage.  But that is worthy of a post on its own.  Next week, he graduates then heads to Kentucky before he returns home.  I'm beyond ready for this phase to be over.

In a letter a he wrote to me during basic, he ended it with this:
"Do you think you made the right decision being with me in my military career?"
After all the insecurities and crazy thoughts have faded away, I can read that letter and smile to myself and say.......YES! :-)


Dupe List: Sephora by OPI's Metro Chic and Rimmel's Steel Grey

Long time ago, I saw a video about a dupe for the Sephora by OPI Metro Chic.  This was before I owned the polish, but I have since forgotten the video or the I guess it was pointless to mention that. HAHA!


While at Walmart, I noticed a nail polish that looked very similar to Metro Chic.  So for review purposes, I picked it up.  It was the Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro polish in Steel Grey (270).  It looked almost identical to Metro Chic so I had to compare.

I initially heard about Metro Chic last year on YouTube and it was like the "it" polish.  It took me forever to get it because there is no Sephora near me and it was always sold out online.  Eventually, I got my hands on it and I was kind of disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful color, but I didn't understand the hype.  The color is a grey color with a hint of purple undertone.  But the name is very befitting.  It reminds you of something a young, fashionable business woman would wear in the city.

In the end, I have grown to really love the color.  It is professional enough for the boardroom but girly enough for a night on the town with friends.

Metro Chic retails for $9.50 at Sephora.  While it is pretty, paying that much to replace it is not ideal.  Rimmel's Steel Grey is the perfect dupe.  Prices vary but it averages about $3.99 (less than half the price of Metro Chic).  Metro Chic has .5 oz of product, while Steel Grey has .45 oz.  The colors are almost the exact same.  Steel Grey may be a tad bit more grey but it's not obvious.  The Rimmel brush is wider too, which I prefer (less time to paint and better coverage).  They both dry about the same amount of time, which is fairly quick.  As far as staying power, Rimmel claims it should last 10 days but I have the worst luck with making my nail polish last.  So, that is something you would have to discover for yourself.  Overall, both are good nail polishes.  But if I can save some money and still achieve the look I want............then the winner is obvious:-)

Steel Grey (right) and Metro Chic (left)

Once Coat
Metro Chic (left) and Steel Grey (right)

Two Coats
Metro Chic (left) and Steel Grey (right)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hair Experiment: Garnier HerbaShine and Clairol Textures &Tones

So I've been wanting to do something dramatic with my hair for awhile.  I really wanted to cut it, but since I am not very trusting of anyone with scissors, I decided to dye my hair.

For months, I waited for my hair to be "healthy" before I did anything.  But then I realized I'd be waiting forever for "healthy" hair.  Now, of course I wanted to go to a professional to dye my hair.  However, other bills would not allow that to be an option.  So against my mother's many passionate objections, I dyed my hair myself. This is how it came out.

I had previously dyed my hair with a rinse and a semi-permanent (years ago for both).  But since my hair was so dark, I knew that I had to go with a permanent dye.  So I stumbled across Garnier HerbaShine in the color Copper Mahogany Brown (645).  I was suckered into the whole pitch about bamboo:
Introducing Garnier Herbashine, the only haircolor product with Bamboo extract. Herbashine improves the condition of hair by fortifying the hair cuticle while wrapping it in radiant, shiny color. Hair looks and feels stronger for radiant color that's truly shiny and luminous.
Designed like a beauty elixir, its luscious cream texture is both rich and silky. Easy to apply, it provides a sensation of intense care and comfort during coloring. Thanks to a perfect balance of the formula components, the results are quick - Herbashine works in just 10 minutes. The color is radiant and shiny and grays are covered naturally.
 Plus the box stated that it did not have ammonia.  Now,this may sound dumb, but I didn't know what that meant exactly only that it was bad for it to be present in the product.  For those of you like me, ammonia is bad in hair dye because it is corrosive to the hair shaft. 

So I applied the hair color and this is what happened:

So clearly not much really happened to my hair with the Garnier HerbaShine*.  With the exception of a small patch of hair (that my camera wouldn't pick up), my hair color looked very much the same.  So I decided to go with the Clairol Textures & Tones.  I had read a review on it and since it is coloring meant for women of color, I thought it would actually take to my hair.  It is harder to go from darker to light.

*The HerbaShine is not permanent, it supposedly washes out in 28 washes.

So the very next day I bought the Clairol Textures & Tones in CherryWood (4RC). I know you aren't supposed to dye your hair back to back, but I'm hard headed and impatient.  One thing I did really love about this box is that the gloves were the latex type as opposed to the loose plastic.  It included a conditioner, but unlike the Herbashine, it was not specifically for hair color.  It was the Pantene Intensive Conditioner for women of color.  Ever since I posted a video about Pantene, I've heard nothing but bad things. So I washed my hair with Carol's Daughter Rosemary Mint Shampoo and conditioned it with One n' Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner.  The HerbaShine only instructed me to condition, while the Clairol instructed me to shampoo and condition.

I also used a processing cap, while waiting to wash out the dye.  Here are my results:

If the light caught my hair the right way, you could see the color.  Overall, the color was not immediately obvious.  So against better judgment, I decided to dye it one more time: 3rd time's a charm.  This time I waited a week.

I would say, I'm relatively happy with the results.  My roommate said she liked it and she would be the first to tell me something looked wrong.  Now, time to prepare for some serious hot oil treatments

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