Friday, June 6, 2014

OPI GelColor Taupe-less Beach and Comparison

Hello lovelies! I have a nail post today! I just started getting into doing my own soak-off gel (SOG) manis, so there may be a few posts like this in the future. I'm working on a post about the initial set-up in case you are interested in doing your own SOG manis, so look out for that post if you're interested.

I've decided to begin my SOG mani adventure with the OPI GelColor system. One of the colours I purchased was Taupe-less Beach from the recent Brazil collection. This colour is also available in the regular nail polish line, but as far as how close the regular and gel versions are, I cannot comment on that. I know sometimes gel polishes are not exact dupes for their regular counterparts, so keep that in mind.

OPI GelColor Taupe-less Beach (3 coats)


I was hoping this OPI would be a slightly warmer dupe for Essie Chinchilly (one of my all time favourite work-appropriate shades). However, due to my very yellow undertones, the OPI leans VERY mauve/purple on me compared to other swatches I've seen.

Comparison: Essie Chinchilly, OPI GelColor Taupe-less Beach, Orly Country Club Khaki (regular, not gel), SH CSM Fedora


In some lights, I am very pleased with this OPI colour. In others, I am very angry it is so mauve. I think this one is going into the purge box, unfortunately! Definitely a beautiful colour, but I know there are better shades out there for me!

Hope you guys have a good weekend! Orange is the New Black Season 2 is up on Netflix now, so I am pretty sure I know how my weekend is going to go. AWESOMELY.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Needle Felted Wedding Favours (picture heavy post)

I had a small wedding (about 35 guests), and decided to make personalized wedding favours with needle felting, a new hobby I picked up late last year. Half way through, I was seriously doubting my judgment in this decision, as these little guys take a lot longer to make than you might think!! Some were "quick", at around 2 hours, others took me maybe 8 hours spread over a weekend. Yikes! But when I was halfway through, I figured I might as well persevere and stab my way to the end.

I finished my last favour the weekend before my wedding, and I was working on my cake topper until 2 days before we flew out!

After I took these pictures, I tied tags with each guest's name and their table number, so they doubled as table escorts :) They were a big hit with our guests!


Kero-chan from Card Captor Sakura - one of my old college roommates loves Kero-chan, and I had made her an amigurumi version years ago (when that was my hobby du jour).


Mandora - friend above's SO is obsessed with a game with this as its main character. He was thrilled with it as well.


Doraemon - a friend's favourite childhood cartoon character. This friend actually had to cancel last minute, so I just popped this in the mail for her.


Daria - a friend's fave cartoon character


Mario with an overly long torso. Should've made him into Luigi!


Gromit also with an overly long torso.


Boo - one of my friends is obsessed w/ Boo the Dog. This is one of my favourites, so cute! She loved it so much!


Colossal Titan head (Attack on Titan) - this didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I think it still looks cool. It's for DH's youngest brother, who loves anime, and was most recently obsessed with AoT.


Pooh - DH's mom loves Winnie the Pooh!


Hawaiian Pig - inside joke w/ one of my childhood friends. This one took me quite a long time to make.


Brian - SIL's favourite cartoon character. I think this one turned out really well :D


Carlton the Bear (Leafs mascot) - a friend's SO's favourite hockey team... even though they didn't even make the playoffs this year!


TARDIS - for DH's friend's wife who recommended we hunker through the first few super corny episodes of Doctor Who (new series)


The Doctor in beaver form (goes with the TARDIS) - I had made an amigurumi beaver for DH's friend back in college (he hung it from his rearview mirror), and decided to make a miniature Doctor version :)


Totoros - for a couple of Ghibli studio fans amongst our guests. She told us that our photographer borrowed them to take our ring pictures! We haven't gotten our photos back yet, though, but am looking forward to seeing this picture!


Chibi Batman - a huge Batman lover - I couldn't make a realistic looking one, so I made this sorta "cute" version


Happy Feet penguins - They ended up in the guest's jacket pocket like a pocket square - SO CUTE.


Wolf that turned out better than expected, but still pretty awful - for one of our old college roommates whose last name is spelled something like Wolf


Starship Enterprise - My older brother's fave show (from what I can remember). This didn't turn out great, but I saw him playing with it at his table with his son, LOL.


Rubik's Cube - one of DH's friend is really into it.. competitions and what not) - this one took FOREVER for some reason. I'm really happy with it though! I used a template from online for a real solveable cube design. He said he could tell I made it solveable.


Brown lab - DH's cousin loves brown labs. She said this one was much better behaved than her dog, LOL.


Bull - DH's father is really into the stock market. I felted on a pair of bulls balls, and he got a kick out of that (it's not like I could leave them out, right?!).


Koala bear - one of my friend's said her and her SO's spirit animals were a koala bear and pig, but she wouldn't tell me whose was whose, lol


Pig 1 - to go w/ the koala bear


Mouse - my mom was born in the year of the mouse


Pig 2 - my dad was born in the year of the pig


Calico cat


Black cat - DH's aunt got a new black kitty! this is not a great representation of it, though. I didn't have the right colour of dark gray wool, unfortunately.


One of DH's aunt's cats - I am very happy with this one! The spots are all in the right places!


One of DH's grandma's cats - One of the first cats I made, so not looking great, but she loved it.


Big Ted - a friend's childhood bear. They christianed him "mini ted"


Bears - some extras for last minute guests



Narwhal for my 4 year old nephew (I posted this before the wedding). He kept bending the horn, but loved it, and asked me to make him a shark, a manta ray, and two Transformers (Bumblebee and Optimus Prime). I said "sure" and hope he forgets he asked me.


Finally, the last two I made were for our wedding cake topper! I asked my dress designer for some scraps of lace for the veil (even though I am not wearing a veil lol). I fixed the cat's feet a little bit after I took this picture (extended and flattened a bit) as well, but haven't taken an updated picture yet.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Soak-off Gel wear update!

Back from my wedding! It was very nice, but I'm happy to get back to "real life" again.

Today marks exactly 14 days since my first gel manicure (OPI GelColor in You're Such a Budapest), so I thought I would post a quick update on my experience with wear time.

I didn't get any chips until today (just a tiny one on my right index finger), otherwise no chips or lifting. There were some hairline cracks along the free edge of my longer nails (not visible in pics), but I experience that with regular nail polish as well (if I've been wearing it for about a week).

Here's what my left hand nails look like with 2 weeks of wear, including travel (my nails usually chip handling my luggage, so I am impressed these held up so well!) You can see the re-growth is very obvious, but the glossy finish has held up well (minus a few scuffs).


I just removed it, and it was quite an ordeal! I probably soaked my nails (using pure acetone & glycerin mix) using the foil method (and applying a microwave heat pack on the nails) and it took me about 2 hours (on and off) to get all the gel off!! I didn't even get all of the base coat off, but decided to just live with it. LOL. From what I've read online, it should only take 10-15 minutes to soak off. I'm going to try and get some of those silicone finger cots next time I need to remove a gel mani, though.

I guess there is a trade-off for the excellent wear time, huh?

Overall, I was very satisfied with the gel mani. And I'll even make an admission... I ordered the OPI GelColor LED light, base coat, top coat, and a few GelColors the other day >.> Since the mani cost me $40, I thought I might as well "invest" in the system so I can do it myself on future vacations. I'm going on a quick trip in August for a friend's wedding, then honeymoon is in September, then trip back to Canada over the Christmas holidays. So I figure by some time next year, I should "break even" (given the mani cost me $40 including tip at the salon). SO I SAY.

Here's a close-up of the needle felted Doraemon I'm holding in the pic (also a wedding favour):


Anyone else into Soak Off Gels? Am I totally late to the party (I think so, since my MIL told me she had Shellac done for the wedding, and it sounded like it was not her first time LOL)

I'm glad it's a long weekend here in the States! I plan to thoroughly enjoy NOT PLANNING MY WEDDING ANYMORE!!! :) :) Have a great one!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

OPI You're Such a Budapest (gel color)

Got my first professional manicure today :O!!

My wedding is next Saturday, and I figured it would just be easier to get a gel manicure now and not have to worry about painting my nails the night before (plus, now I don't have to bring all my manicure stuff with me to Napa!)

The colour selection was kind of dinky, but I settled on OPI You're Such a Budapest, even though it was on the nail wheel labeled "Gelish" (*side eye*). It's a hair more purple than Essence Forget Me Not:





Originally, I wanted to wear Essie Cocktail Bling, but this will do.

The right hand nails turned out well, but the left hand index finger has a big ol' bubble :/ The left hand pinky has two little bubbles too... oh well, it was quite humid today, so I'll give the nail tech the benefit of the doubt.

FYI, I'm holding a needle felted narwhal, since I don't have the bottle.

Here's the narwhal in all its glory (a wedding favour! I'll post all of them when I get back)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bronx Zoo

I try to get out to the Bronx Zoo once a year, because I loooove zoos.

San Diego zoo is probably my favourite though. Do you have a favourite zoo to recommend to me? :D

Here are a few pictures I took at Bronx Zoo today!

















And my favourite pic of the day, super adorable red panda ♥♥