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Rise and Shine

A while ago I saw a swatch of Sinful Colors Rise and Shine on Siobhan’s Facebook page and immediately fell in love with the colour. It isn’t anywhere near my usual colour spectrum (read: PINK), but I really liked it and picked up a bottle when I spotted it in Clicks. I was in the mood for wearing something different and so this mani was born.

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous results. I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Rise on Shine on all my nails except my rings which I painted with two coats of Tip Top Armour Plate.  Once that had dried I used Armour Plate to stamp over the Rise and Shine with the top image of PUEEN 33. Thanks to Ordinary Misfit‘s fantastic Tuesday Stamping posts I knew that I could use Rise and Shine to stamp, so I used it to stamp the same image over the Armour Plate. I absolutely loved the Rise and Shine stamping over the Armour Plate. It is beautiful!

 

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Rise and Shine dries completely matte, but personally I prefer it glossy, so I top coat it with my regular top coat. It really is gorgeous. No buyer’s remorse here!

Dud Diagnosis

The doctor’s receptionist called yesterday with my results. I really hate that. When I started asking her questions, she clearly couldn’t answer me.

The good news, it isn’t arthritis. According to her the doctor said the might be gout. I should continue with the meds and if it gets worse, doesn’t clear I should come back for more tests. The meds do seem to be helping with the pain, this morning I felt absolutely horrible though. Dizzy, nauseous and no ability to concentrate. I was in the loo a few times waiting for something to happen. I considered making things happen myself, but then remembered how much I hate throwing up. I feel a lot better now.

 

I don’t think what I have is gout. For various reasons. Only 1 –  2 % of the western population are ever affected by gout. Of that 50 % of cases present in the big toe area. If left untreated an attack of gout should clear within 5 – 7 days. I’ve been suffering for over a month. The area is usually red and swollen. I don’t eat a lot of red meat. I barely drink and if I do I usually drink red wine. I don’t eat seafood.  I drink quite a bit of coffee and enjoy dairy products which apparently help with prevention. The only factor here that puts me at risk for gout is my weight. None of the other things make sense, so I really think this is not the correct diagnosis. At least I’ve ruled out arthritis and as far as I am concerned I’ve ruled out gout as well, but that leaves me back at square one.

 

So I’ll take the meds, I think I’ll skip the cortisone tomorrow and see if I don’t feel sick, or rather take them at night.  If it doesn’t get better I’ll go back and see. Not exactly what I wanted, but at least not bad news.

 

Thanks for the concern and kind messages x

Medical Madness

I have been back to the doctor yesterday. More medical issues.

 

For the past month or so I have been experiencing severe pain in my joints. Although I feel it in most joints every now and then, my wrists are the most sore and it has gotten to a point where they hurt every single day. My ankles, knees, elbows and hips hurt sometimes, but not all the time and not too badly. The pain has started to interfere with my every day life. I struggle to screw open jars and bottles. Sometimes it hurts to pick up Gabby. Dressing her is a nightmare. I eventually relented and decided to have it seen to.

 

I was none too pleased that the doctor asked me to pee on a stick.  I had done a pregnancy test around Valentine’s Day because I had a few symptoms, but these could also have been from the medication I was taking at the time for the bronchitis I had. I just wanted to be sure. Thank goodness the test was negative both times. We just really can’t do any more babies money wise.  He poked me a lot and managed to find the exact spot in my wrist where it hurts. He has prescribed me meds, but I’m not sure yet if they will work since the painkillers and anti-inflammatories I tried to take before gave me no relief.

 

He is running blood tests for gout, rheumatoid arthritis and infection. If the results come back clear I am considering having my Mirena removed. If you want to be scared out of your wits, Google Mirena side effects. A lot of women have reported similar side effects and are usually screened for rheumatoid arthritis/Lupus when they go to the doctor. Sometimes symptoms surface as late as 4 years after having the Mirena put in.  I discussed this briefly with the doctor and he said it was not impossible that my symptoms are caused by the Mirena and if the tests are clear I should discuss this with my gynae. I’m not sure if he will believe me, my gynae was quite positive about the Mirena having minimal side effects. Although it is a really convenient form of birth control, it isn’t worth being in pain every day. I do, however, want to rule out other causes first. I paid R2 000 out of my own pocket for the Mirena as it isn’t covered by the medical aid. Although I have gotten a year’s use out of it, it still has about 4 years left. By the time all these tests and doctor’s visits are done I’ll probably have used at least that much of the medical aid anyway.

 

We quickly discussed other birth control options in case I do have the Mirena removed. He mentioned the Nuvaring, but that is a estrogen and progesterone birth control method which could affect my milk supply while breastfeeding and may cut short our breastfeeding journey. I was very disappointed when he said I’ve breastfed Gabby for long enough and that 6 months is recommended. It really is sad when medical professionals are so ill informed. I did make mention of the fact that the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years of breastfeeding or until the child naturally weans. There are other birth control options, I’ll just have to suck it up. I will never get to breastfeed again in my life and the longer we continue to breastfeed, the more benefit both of us derive from it. Emotional and physical benefits. I could use the breastfeeding pill, but it much more unreliable than other birth control pills. I was warned with Elijah if I don’t take it at exactly the same time every single day I WILL get pregnant. I’m not so good with remembering to take meds, never mind at the same time every day! I’ll explore my options at a later stage if necessary.

 

The doctor may call me with results this afternoon, latest tomorrow. I’m so conflicted I’m not even sure what to hope for. Every outcome here has its pros and cons. I’ll keep you posted.

Another Misfit Recreation

Ordinary Misfit does such awesome manis that sometimes I can’t resist copying her *exactly*. We both have a Revlon polish that has different names, but I’m sure they are the same if not very, very similar. I spoke about the polishes and my suspicions here. So when Michelle used her version for a studded mani (you can see it here), I immediately wanted to recreate it. Not only because it is a rocking mani, but because I wanted to see how similar our polishes are.

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I painted a coat on essence black is back on all my nails.  On my index and pinky I painted a second coat of black. On my middle, ring and thumb I painted two coats of Revlon Scandalous. I painted a clear top coat on my index and placed the 2mm round studs from Born Pretty Store starting at the cuticle and working my way up. I did the same on my pinky. I sealed everything with a top coat. The results:

 

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What do you think? It is a bit difficult to compare the polishes since we’ve taken photos in different lighting conditions, but I think the are very similar. Mine might also look a bit darker since I started off with a coat of black.

Syrup Mani a la Chalkboard Nails

I was talking to Ordinary Misfit about gradients using different polishes (i.e. glitter, creme and jelly) and she mentioned a syrup mani. When I googled it, the first result that caught my eye was a syrup mani by Chalkboard Nails. If you’re wondering what a syrup mani is, it is basically a gradient done with jelly polishes using the polish brush instead of a sponge. When I read the post I realized I had all the polishes necessary to recreate it. I loved it so much it moved to the top of my mani to do list.

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I then painted 3 coats of China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts on all of my nails. I waited a few minutes for that to dry a bit and then used China Glaze Are You Jelly? to paint 3/4 of my nails. I went in for another coat of Are You Jelly? on half of each nail and finally another coat on the tip of my nails. It looked crap. It wasn’t at all like a nice smooth sponged gradient. I decided to top coat to try and ‘blend’ the polishes. No luck. It still looked atrocious. I remembered that Chalkboard Nails had used the black and white glitter to disguise the fact that the gradient wasn’t as smooth as a sponged gradient, so I tried it on one nail. SUCCESS! It made the gradient look perfectly blended and rounded the look off nicely. I proceeded to paint my L’Oreal Top Coat Confetti onto all of my nails. My Top Coat Confetti dries matte, so I did another top coat to make it shiny. The result:

 

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I was totally in love with my nails for the entire time I wore this mani. They were so beautiful and distracting that I stopped midway through a sentence while staring at them and never got to finish what I was saying. I got compliments from everyone who spotted them. Even my hairdresser who is fully aware of my nail hobby, but never specifically comments on whichever mani I’m wearing when I go in, took the time to say how nice this one was. I didn’t want to take them off and even contemplated redoing the same mani when they chipped. I loved it THAT much. I will definitely be doing these again.

Wanna Be Your Sunshine and Tapuz Gradient

A short while ago I challenged Ordinary Misfit to design some Candy Crush nails. She did and in the process got addicted to Candy Crush. I sent her various screenshots as she had never played before, but ultimately she ended up downloading the game and playing herself. My work here is done! *evil laugh* She came back with a challenge for me and decided to choose one of my nail art nemesis, ombré nails! I’ve tried these before (here and here) and just didn’t like doing it. My first one didn’t turn out so well and although the second one wasn’t bad…I wasn’t too keen on doing it again. Cue the challenge. Since I wore my Chic Tapuz polish I thought it would look awesome as a gradient with yellow, so when Michelle asked me to do an ombré I already knew which colours I wanted to use.

 

I started with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I painted all my nails with two coats of essence wanna be your sunshine and top coated with Sally Hansen Insta Dri to quickly dry my nails so that I could continue. I cut a small piece off from a make up sponge, wet it and squeezed all the excess water out. I picked it up with a tweezer and painted both wanna be your sunshine and the Tapuz onto the sponge and started sponging onto my nails.  I did three coats of sponging. I decided not to do the ombré on my ring finger nails as I wanted to accent it with a rhinestone, so I painted an extra coat of wanna be your sunshine on my ring nails. I top coated all my nails to blend the ombré and quickly placed the rhinestone I bought from Born Pretty Store (buy here) close to the cuticle before the top coat dried.  The results:

 

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I was actually quite happy with how they turned out. I think the colours work well together and that they are blended decently. I actually found this rather easy to do, whereas I felt like I struggled before. Doing this mani has changed my view on ombré and I’m certain to do it again at some point. Thanks for the challenge Michelle!

 

What do you think?

 

 

Hoo Hoo!

How about another nude and neon mani? How about we throw some texture and a decal in there? Yes! Yeah ok. I don’t know how to introduce these posts very well. I ordered decals from luckystarstyle a while ago while trying to get my hands on Superman decals for Elijah’s birthday.  One of the decals I ordered was an owl. They had them in different colours, but I decided to order the brown one because it was more…”realistic”. You know, like my shocking pink leopard print is “realistic”. Wah. I also recently acquired the L.A. Girl nude texture called Sandstorm. I thought I could pull off a ‘woodsy’ mani with the owl, the texture and a green. I only have a dark, glittery green and a neon green. The neon won.

 

I started with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I painted three coats of China Glaze Highlight of My Summer on my thumb, middle and ring nails. On my index and pinky I painted two coats of L.A. Girl Sandstorm. Once my nails were dry I added the owl decal on my middle nail and painted a top coat of Sally Hansen Insta Dri on my green nails. The results:

 

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Cute, right? I have complained in the past about the drying time of the L.A. Girl textures. I have  the gold Sands of Time texture and the green one called Green Sand. I have linked to the posts where I used those polishes. This one was completely different! It dried just as well as my China Glaze textures. I was very happy with that. When I spoke to Ordinary Misfit about this she agreed that her green and gold L.A. girl textures took longer to dry than the nude and purple (I have yet to try my purple). I’m not sure why that is, I’m just glad that this one dried better. I actually really adore this nude texture. The colour is superb and the texture is nice and rough. I can see myself wearing it as a full mani.

 

What do you think? Do you like these colours together?

Superman Nails!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted the Superman nails I did for Elijah’s birthday on the blog! I did post pictures of them on Instagram and Facebook, but didn’t even include them in Elijah’s birthday post! Tsk tsk. What is wrong with me?

 

Luckily I was on leave when I did these nails. It literally took me half the day to get them done. I struggled a bit trying to freehand the Superman logo. I had ordered decals from luckystarstyle, but I left it too late and had to try the Superman thing on my own. Ordinary Misfit found a Superman nails tutorial for me on Pinterest.

 

I started with my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I painted two coats of Rimmel Sweet ‘n’ Spicy on all my nails except my ring which I painted with two coats of Sinful Colors Aqua. I taped off the triangle as explained in the tutorial and painted a coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White and then immediately a coat of essence wanna be your sunshine and removed the tape. I used a short striping brush to and Sweet ‘n’ Spicy to paint the red border around the yellow and a dotting tool to make the S. I was going to keep the other nails plain red, but Misfit had a stroke of genius and suggested I do the tips blue. I was quite pleased with how they turned out, although they are far from perfect.

 

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What do you think?

Guest Post for Madness Nails

I have a guest post up over at Madness Nails. If you would like to read it, click here :)

 
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Chic Tapuz and Sinful Colors UFO

So we’re finally out of the Valentine’s manis and into regular stuff. For now. Easter is coming soon and I reckon I’ll probably do at least one Easter mani. Today I have a gift polish and a prize polish to show you. I received Sinful Colors UFO from my aunt, who had gotten it from someone else. Despite the bottle being about half empty, it was still in perfect condition. I had no idea what to pair it with until I received my Durban Polish Party prize from Ordinary Misfit containing Chic Tapuz.  Two oranges!

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of Chic Tapuz (yeah, I don’t know what is up with that name either) on all of my nails. I painted one coat of Sinful Colors UFO on my ring finger and added a luckystarstyle decal on my middle nail. The first picture I’m posting is a more accurate reflection of the color of Tapuz. The second picture shows you how beautiful the UFO really looks. I sealed everything in with my Seche Vite top coat.

 

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This mani was the straw that broke the camel’s back with my Seche Vite top coat. I love it and loathe it. Some of the problems I experience with my Seche Vite is shrinkage – not only along the tips, but at my cuticles and the sides of my nails as well. Seche Vite is quite commonly known for shrinkage issues at the tips of your nails, but you can wrap you polish to prevent that from happening. No way to prevent it from happening elsewhere on the nail though. My middle nail with the swallows shrank very badly. I had to clean it up some more which left a huge gap between the polish and the cuticle. This just looked horrible in my opinion. It looked like I didn’t bother to paint a 1/4 of my nail at the cuticle :\ I also have issues with it sometimes not drying smoothly, or wrinkling.  You can see this on my index nail in the pictures. This may be an application error. I haven’t seen anyone else complaining about it, so I’ll put that down to my own technique. This could also be happening because my Seche needs a bit of Restore. I am currently on my second bottle of Seche Vite. Once the first one came to about 1/4 left, it became unusable. I used Seche Restore to thin it, but no amount of restoring would fix it so I had to toss it.  I started looking for another top coat that dries as fast, because I really need something that dries fast badly. I have found something that does rival the drying time of Seche and doesn’t have shrinkage issues. I’ll do a comparison post soon, because it just isn’t that simple, is it?

 

I really love the way the UFO looked over the Tapuz. I really want to find a way to use it again, but not sure what other colours I would want to layer it over. Maybe a nude? What do you guys think?