Thursday, November 10, 2011

No More Nail Wails

Hive, I am here with a true success story. A testimonial if you will.

Way back in August, which is marked in my mind by the number of months away from my wedding (just under six months), I read a blog post. This blog post changed my world. I'm not exaggerating. Things changed after that moment.

Mrs. Macarons, then Miss Macarons, wrote a post about nails. She talked about having trouble growing her nails. I could relate to that post. It spoke to me.

As a nervous nail biter , a pianist, and and a scientist, my nails had always been short thanks to years of lab work , recitals, and nerve-inducing situations (med school interviews anyone?). I figured they would always be that way since fake acrylics weren't for me. But when I read her post, I knew there could be more for me.

I purchased the product from the website she mentioned the very next day. It was cheaper online that it is in CVS. I started using it as a base coat and top coat over my nail polish. Over the last few months, my approach has evolved, and I'm so pleased with the results, I simply have to share.

Personal photo: These were my nails in August. Tiny tiny nail beds with short short nails. No wedding bueno.
Personal photo: I started with Formula 2. It seemed the best geared toward getting my nails back healthy.
I must also mention another contributor to my short nails, they break. They weren't brittle, but I'm not the most easy-going on my hands. I would hit the edge of my nail on something hard and it would break. It happened too often. Even after I began using Nailtiques and the nails began to grow, this kept happening, so I needed an extra layer of protection. Enter Sally Hansen!

Personal photo: This acrylic gel went on my nails right over the Nailtiques but before I applied polish. It came off easily with nail polish remover, but added a great extra layer of strength, so no more hard surface breakage!

Personal photo: Keeping my nails healthy from the outset of growth became appealing as well, so I bought cuticle oil. I put it on my cuticles every day that I don't do my nails, so about 4-5 times a week.
Once my nails stopped breaking and were actually growing, I was so excited to share with the hive, but I waited. I wanted a more dramatic reveal. So here are the nails over the past few months.

Personal photo: September Nails

Personal photo: October nails

Personal photo: November nails
Another added bonus of the nails is that the fiance loves them. I mean he loves them. Neither of us knew he liked long nails, but he definitely does. And people keep asking me if my nails are fake, which I take as a huge compliment.

Just to drive the point home, here's a look again at my nails the day I bought Nailtiques and a picture I took right before sitting down to write this post:

Personal photo
I'm excited to see how long they will be come February. I'm glad I won't end up having to get fake nails since they're not my thing.

If your nails concern you and my testimonial has touched you, jump on the Nailtiques bandwagon. I don't know what it is with me and bandwagons, perhaps it's the idea that it's a bit like a parade, and I lurv parades.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kettle Chicks & Mary Kay

I've been trying to plan a party for my bridesmaids for quite some time. Because there are a bajillion of us, it's been hard to get a time that works for all of us. A friend of mine sells Mary Kay and she doesn't live in the city, so that was another person to coordinate times with.

But last night the stars (and our schedules) aligned and we were able to all get to my apartment at nearly the same time and have our party. We have chicken, pizza, salad, and screwdrivers. And we had music and good conversation.

But most important was the reason we were there. We were there to sample Mary Kay products. This event was all about skin care. We will get together next month and that will be all about makeup (I think) and then we will get together one more time.

The end result is that each girl will have a color palette for her makeup especially designed for her skin tone and the color of the bridesmaid dress. If you know someone who sells Mary Kay, by all means, host the bridal makeup party. It's like playing big girl dress up. And if you live in central Illinois or further north in the state, I can give you the hook-up on a great consultant.

Personal Photo: My consultant, and friend, setting up our skin care sample sets.
The Kettle ladies vary in their knowledge of makeup, so starting with the basics was a fantastic idea. We learned about skin care and how choosing the right foundation is actually an important part of skin care.

Personal Photo: That's MOH Sis holding her sample. There seems like quite a bit of steps to get great skin, but the end result is worth it. I use about 5 products myself daily.

Personal Photo: MOH Sis, BM Law, BM Milk BM Libra, BM ATL, and BM Shhh. Momma Kettle is there hiding in the back too.

Personal Photo: You can see BM Shhh's makeup, we liked how smooth it made her skin look. Me and Momma Kettle laughing about something.

Personal Photo: Testing out my foundation. I wasn't a huge fan, I think I'll stick with my tinted moisturizer and mineral powder.

Personal Photo: BM Law all tuckered out. She's the old lady in the group. Not in age, but in behavior. I should have juxtaposed this with a picture of Momma Kettle dancing to Michael Jackson music at that same moment.
The ladies really enjoyed the products and a couple of them bought some stuff. Yay for Mary Kay converts! Next month, we'll be playing with eye shadow and lip color. I can't wait!

Did you do anything to prepare your girls for their makeup for the day of the wedding? Do you have a skin car regimen?