Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Empties & No-Buy

So I decided that 2015 would be a "no buy" year for me. Not buying any non-essential items. Goal is to use what I have. The ONLY thing excluded from this is my monthly Julep box -- but NO Secret Store or outside Maven box purchases, period. I'm keeping the empty containers from what I use each month and posting my empties.

So here is what I used up in January:

The list:
  • Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam candle. My favourite! There is a bit left in the bottom but it won't burn anymore (the wick is toast). I have a large one in my stash. I'll use it up before buying a new one.
  • Julep's Bare Face Cleansing Oil. It's 75% full but totally rancid so it goes. This is the problem with too many products, things don't get used up before they go bad!
  • Philosophy Sweet Creamy Frosting Body Lotion. I loved that one, even cut it open!
  • Korres Guava Body Butter. Another goodie I cut into!
  • Icy Hot Cream. I need this stuff for my neck so this is a routine purchase. I go through a LOT of it (1-2 tubes a month at least)
  • Dove deluxe sample of Oxygen Moisture shampoo. I liked this, want more!
  • Dove deluxe sample of Oxygen Moisture conditioner. Again, I want more!
  • KBShimmer Pink Sugar cuticle oil. I loved it at first but it went rancid fast (2 months I think). Or maybe I didn't use it up fast enough? I have so many I try to rotate through.
  • Julep's Mighty Cuticle Serum (this is the little one that comes with their blue base coat in the Nail 911 kit). I had a backup so I'm good. I love this stuff. Using up the backup before I repurchase.
  • Julep's Rock Star hand cream mini. I go through this stuff like crazy. I *almost* used up a full size this month but there's a few uses still in it so I guess that will be in my February post! I have a backup.
  • NUME Hair Mask. I got this in one of my subscription boxes (can't remember which one, maybe Topbox). Sat on bathtub ledge forever (so much clutter!). I finally used it and I LOVELOVELOVE it! I would totally buy a full-size one. Maybe once my no-buy is over. :)
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Foaming Face Cleanser. This is the only cleanser I have used consistently over the years that my skin will tolerate. I've had to stop using it for periods though because I have very temperamental skin that likes something one day then breaks out in a rash to the same product the next day. But out of everything I've ever used, this one is in top rotation. :)
That's it! I'll start gathering for February and even though it's a short month, I'm hoping to top the number I used up in January!

As for the no-buy, I really haven't bought anything. I did use some Jules (Julep reward points) and a referral code to get some products (which required a few extra dollars, but less than $5 total). I did buy some tea but to me, tea is food so it doesn't count. And my boyfriend (who lives with me) drinks it too so we kinda take turns buying it. Nothing excessive or crazy! I did buy something on Etsy but it's a gift for boyfriend for Valentine's Day (if it gets here on time, if not it will be Anniversary gift in March!). I did not buy polish (outside my Maven box) or makeup or books or anything not required (I did pay rent, bills, buy food, etc). It's definitely been hard and I've really wanted a lot of things but I've been good. :)

28 Days of Red?? The Anti-50 Shades Of Grey Mani Challenge!

Ok. So I haven't done a polish challenge in a while so I was thinking about what I could do for February since it starts tomorrow. All I'm seeing around these days is 50 Shades of Grey-themed collections (understandably since the film is coming out). I loathe the books and could care less about the stupid movie, so the last thing I want is 28 Days of Grey (though to be fair I love grey polish!). I decided instead to do 28 Days of Red! I love red polish (it's my fav). Valentine's Day is mid-month. I have more than 28 red polishes. I've never done a single-colour challenge (has anyone?). So yeah, I'm doing it!

And yes, I KNOW that "28 Days Of Red" sounds like a menstrual cycle gone awry, it can't be helped. LOL

Here's the challenge list (even though it's the same colour, gotta have a list!)

- ONLY red polish
- I will only use/post polishes I haven't previously posted on my blog/Instagram
- I will post on blog/IG daily
- Stamping is ok but the base colour must be red and the dominant colour in the mani
- I will use the tag #28DaysOfRed on Instagram

I'm hoping I don't get bored! February is a short month so I think it will be ok. :)
Since this is a unique challenge and probably NOT most people's cup of tea, I am expecting this to be a solo challenge (which is totally cool!). But if you're up for it, let me know!

Yay! I'm excited!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) - Champagne Blush

Even though it's still crazy cold winter, I'm feeling like I was to wear warmer/lighter colours. I'm still growing out my nails (but they grow fast) and I'm getting back into the "routine" of frequent polish changes. I just feel better with a fresh manicure!

Today I selected I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) "Champagne Blush" -- oddly an untried for me but I'm so in love!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Nail Polish Collection (to date)

So FOREVER I had been storing my polishes in decorative boxes found at HomeSense. I had them arranged alphabetically but as my collection grew it was becoming increasingly impractical. Pretty boxes though! I think near the end I had about 10 of these large boxes in piles in my office room.

Then in the summer I won the Nail Polish Canada Great Polish Giveaway 2014 prize -- 200 more polishes showed up at my doorstep at the end of September (unboxing post here!). I had NO room at all. I needed a plan!

I started researching the different storage options. I considered IKEA's Helmer, Michael's Melmer (faux Hemler), IKEA Alex (the short and tall ones), etc. I didn't want racks for a few reasons: (1) The walls in this condo are either drywall or drywall over concrete. I do not want to risk hanging racks on the plain drywall sides and I'm not comfortable digging into the concrete on the other walls since we don't own this place. (2) DUST! I hate dust. And kitty furs. Anything "on display" would need frequent dusting and I can't think of anything more annoying! (3) Clutter. I hate it. Which is why I used the boxes before. I don't want to see it, it just looks messy to me. I don't like it. I like things neatly tucked away.

I also had to consider the size of my collection -- today I'm sitting at 1165 polishes (I have a spreadsheet). Yep. Some of that is from contests/giveaways, some I bought (I never pay full price though), some are minis. By December my polishes were in shambles as was this room. I also have a thing for books and there were stacks everywhere. It was a pain in the ass to even try finding a polish. My 200 polishes from Nail Polish Canada were sitting in the cardboard box they came in on the floor. It was depressing! As I mentioned, I don't like clutter! It was really stressing me out.

After a lot of thought I decided to go with IKEA stuff. I ordered a Hemnes bookcase since I already own 3 of them and some other Hemnes furniture (though they totally redesigned it and it doesn't match the others *grrr*), 2 tall 9-drawer Alex units (sadly, they only come in white), and a red Helmer for my makeup (another disaster, another story for another day!). I paid for shipping since we don't drive ($100). It took a week to show up which I thought was excessive but whatever. Also, the delivery guys got lost (no idea how, we're in a very easy to find place), showed up an hour and a half late, then gave us a hard time when they did get here. Plus the new concierge was being a total dick and making us book the elevator complete with a $250 deposit cheque. More bitching from the delivery guys (no word of a lie, while Phil went downstairs to deal with concierge they called up to the apartment SIX times. Like it's my fault they were late. 

Anyway, once everything was up here Phil got to work building it all (I hate building IKEA stuff so I let him play macho man and get it done). I am SO GLAD I got the Alex units for my polish! The Helmer is a flimsy annoying piece of crap. I'm using it for my makeup but no way would I feel comfy putting my polishes in there! Yes, the drawers on the tall Alex units only pull out 3/4 but it's not like you can't get to things "back there", they're just not as visible as the rest of the stuff. 

Here's the Hemnes bookcase and Alex units in my messy office!

I kept some of the boxes to hold the odds & ends (backups, mani stuff, nail art stuff, etc.). I LOVELOVELOVE the Alex units!! They are seriously perfect. I don't have a pic of the Helmer (it's in the bedroom next to my makeup table) but to compare, I'd need about 5 Helmers to equal these 2 Alex units -- and the quality is WAY different. These units are wood/particle board/whatever but they are solid and more furniture-like. The Helmer is flimsy sheet metal, the drawers stick and are tricky to get in/out, the drawers can easily pull out all the way and fall to the floor, it squeaks when you open it. I just really don't like the Helmer, if you can't tell! Cheaper, yes, but not nearly as nice.

Anyway, I made a video (as per request) of my polish collection as it is set up in the Alex units if you want to see. I speak softly (sorry!), I always feel like I'm yelling. LOL. I didn't line the drawers, I'm not really about anything flying around in there. I've seen people decorate the outside, I don't think I'm going to do that. I'm not putting drawer pulls or handles on the drawers either. I like things clean.

Let me know if you have any questions! Oh and these units all purchased from IKEA Canada (prices in Canadian dollars, not including tax) by ME. Hemnes bookcase ($180), Alex 9-drawer $149 each, Helmer $40. I have NO affiliation whatsoever with IKEA!

Edit: OK, I need drawer-liners! LOL. They DO slide around a lot even if you open the drawer slowly!

China Glaze - X

Wow! It's been way longer than I intended! I've been busy writing (novel & script) and recent IKEA shopping to get proper storage for my collection (I'll do a separate post with collection video!). I've been missing nail blogging though. I think I got burned out with all the daily challenges last year. Then NaNoWriMo & holiday stuffs. By beginning of January I was exhausted!

Anyway, having my polish collection properly organized means I've been finding some hidden gems. Today I selected China Glaze's "X" -- partly because it's GORGEOUS and partly because the script I'm working on is my idea for an X-Files 3 movie. I know they've been talking lately about revamping the show -- but I swear I have the most PERFECT idea for a final film that would wrap up everything beautifully and tie up all those loose mythology and shipper strings. But I digress!

More after the jump!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Cirque Color's "Arcane Fire"

Wow! It feels like forever since I blogged! I had planned on doing a mani challenge for January but I think December took a lot out of me and I didn't have much steam left for much of anything come January 1st. But I did do some manis over the holidays, you can see them on my Instagram. I also spent a day with henna packed onto my hair (I used Lush's Caca Rouge). Debating whether to do a blog post about that or not. It was an experience! (I had never used henna before).

Anyway, I decided to do a post about today's mani, using Cirque's "Arcane Fire" -- a stunner that doesn't get enough love! And yes, I had some odd nail breaks over the holidays and opted to cut my nails SUPER short (at least this is super short to me!). I'm gradually getting some length back. It was fun to have really short nails though, I kinda liked it. ;) I do think longer nails are more flattering on me, however.