Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mani: Pink Glitter Safari


I got this manicure idea from a blog I follow called Hey, Nice Nails! and couldn't wait to try it.  I can't stop staring at it, it's so pretty!

To achieve this I did: 1 coat of basecoat (Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Basecoat,) 1 coat of Orly Rage, 2 Coats of Wet N' Wild Pink Montana (the bottle I'm holding in the picture,) then stamped with Konad m57 plate.  I used Konad's special black polish, then finished off with a top coat of Seche Vite.  They're all pink and glittery and make me so happy!


What do you think?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Butter London Wallis Mani and a History Lesson


This baby is part of my major haul from Ulta's BOGO sale on Butter London that I picked up last week.  Wallis is a tarnished, metallic olive gold, and absoutely gorgeous on.  A big color this fall is Army green, and this is an excellent metalic version! Butter London describes this color "as mysterious and regal as its namesake," so I decided to investigate.


Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson of course is the famous American divorcee that King Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne to be with.  Swoon... In 1936 he abdicated to marry the woman he loved.

Wallis' first marriage to US Naval officer Win Spencer, ended in divorce due to periods of separation, which is prevalent in military relationships.  While still married to her second husband, Ernest Simpson, she began seeing Edward, Prince of Wales and became his mistress.  Two years later, upon the death of his father, Edward was crowned King of England.  Wallis divorced Simpson and Edward proposed to her.  The rest is history!

This story is highlighted in The King's Speech with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. Guy Pearce plays Edward who abdicates the thrown to his brother George (Colin Firth.)  If you haven't seen this movie, YOU NEED TO.  It's fabulous!



So, this little history lesson made me love Butter London Wallis even more!



What do you think?


***Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!***

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Effort-less Hair Part II: Mini-Bun Technique


The Mini-Bun Technique
This technique by far produces the best curls.  Like born-with-curly-hair curls.   We all know the grass is always greener, and every curly haired girls wants straight hair, and straight-haired girls (like myself) want curly hair.  Well, here's the solution! (For going from straight to curly hair.) This makes my hair HUGE and GORGEOUS. 


See what I'm saying???

What you'll need:
-regular bobby pins

Instructions:
-Start off with clean, 80-90% dry hair, brushed out.
-Start off at the front of your head, with about a 1" section of hair.  Twist the piece continuously until it forms a bun, secure with two bobby pins in an "x" formation.  Depending on the thickness of your hair, you may need more bobby pins.  I did. 
-Note: While doing the front most pieces, around your face, contemplate what direction you'd like your hair to curl, the best way is probably away from your face.  Twist accordingly.
-Continue to do this until you've twisted your whole head of hair into little buns.  It should look like this:

(please forgive night-time no makeup pic!)

Here's a view of the back:



It doesn't have to be perfect, as evident by the back of my head.  Now here's the crappy part.  It's NOT comfortable to sleep on.  Hence the bags under my eyes the next morning:

The next morning, undo all the buns and let the hair fall down.  Like Medea's serpents.  Hmm..maybe an idea for a Halloween costume? Anyways... the next step is to just start pulling these apart.  I just ran my fingers through from the top like a comb, gradually.  And this is what I got:



Oh, and miraculously makeup appeared on my face! This seriously turned into a gorgeously thick lion's mane on my head.  And mainly stayed that was throughout the day.  Here's a picture around 4-5pm:



Oh what the heck, one more for good luck:



Like I said, it wasn't comfortable to sleep on, but I think the payoff is worth it, what do you think?


***Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!***

Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY: Peacock Necklace

As many of you know I'm obsessed with Pinterest.  If you don't know what that is, it's an online database of sorts to save pictures of your favorite things.  My friend Katie describes it best as (paraphrased) "you know how you'll see something online that you love and you tell yourself to remember where you saw it? Well Pinterest lets you save it in one place." If you're not on pinterest, you need to be NOW. Go here.  Don't let the fact that you need an invite scare you.  I clicked "request invite" and had one within 12 hours.  If you can't wait that long, let me know and I'll send you one instantly. 

Anyways, I saw this picture on there and saved it in my "beautiful things file:"



When I was visiting my mom in NJ, I went with her to Joanne Fabrics and saw these:



It's a 3-pack of peacock feathers for under $2.  I immediately knew what I was going to use these for! I bought 2 packs, planning on using the extra to make a pair of earrings. I've also seen these at Michael's in the section with boas and feathers. (Go figure!)

There's not much to this DIY really.  I bought a chain at Michael's for maybe $3, attached a bail to the loop/bail that came on the feather, and trimmed the feather to match the Pinterest photo.

What do you think?


***Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!***

Friday, September 23, 2011

Boost My Followers Amazing Giveaway

So in an effort to raise my followers, I am giving away a manicure bundle. Estimated value $60!!


What's included you ask?
1.) Martha Stewart 24 pack Glitter Glue I LOVE this stuff for manicure decorating and highlighting! Great for crafting too!



2.) Zoya Charisma- One of InStyle's 2011 Best Beauty Buys
3.) Finger Paints Basecoat
4.) Sally Hansen Instant Dry Topcoat- rare and an essential when using Zoya nail polish!



5.) 5 Elf Nail Polishes: (From left) Coral, White, Clear, Nude, and Champagne.



To Enter..
1.) You MUST be a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect.  To join, click Join This Site or Sign In if you're already a member. (One Entry)
2.) Leave a comment on this post telling me you're following
3.) Like At the Pink of Perfection on facebook and leave a comment below (one additional entry)
4.) Follow At the Pink of Perfection on Twitter and leave a comment below (one additional entry)
5.) Share the link to this blog post on Twitter or Facebook (one additional entry per share per day)

*Enter between now and Friday, September 30th.  The winner will be announced Monday, October 3rd!*

Creamy Chicken Taquitos


These are so good I've made them twice this week already. YUM.

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Ingredients:
1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 garlic cloves minced
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated mexican cheese
about 12 small corn or flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and cheese and combine well.

(You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.)

The corn tortillas are harder to roll without cracking. For the corn tortillas: work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel step.

Place 2-3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges then roll it up as tight as you can.  Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 12 taquitos.

Serve with sour cream and salsa.
-------------------------------------------------------
Notes:
-I'm not a huge cilantro fan, so the second time I made them I sprinkled some dried cilantro rather than 3T of fresh.
-I used cheddar cheese, shredding it myself. I can't stand pre-shredded cheese.
-It's SO much easier to use the flour tortillas, I used corn the first time, but gave in and used flour the second time. 
-I scooped 2 tablespoons onto the tortilla and I got 10, with about 1T left for the hubs to snack on. I don't know how they got 12 with 3T each...
-There was one bottle of green salsa at the supermarket, but I'm sure if you can't find it, you could use regular tomato salsa. 
-We mixed some salsa, sour cream, and fresh salsa together to dip in. OMG. Heaven.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Liquid Vinyl Mani

I have seen this manicure a couple of places recently, and even have a picture of it saved to just look at.  Those of you on Pinterest may recognize it... I actually bought the Essie Matte About You topcoat a month ago, but couldn't bring myself to paint my nails black whilst I still had bright summer colors to wear! It took me a few weeks to actually wrap my head around matte nail polish.  I kept telling myself it's supposed to be shiny...but it's so cool looking matte.  Take my word for it! Well, last night I went out to dinner with the hubs and my in-laws, wearing fall-like clothes, so decided it was time. And I am SO happy I did.  This is one of my most favorite mani's of all time.


This picture screams that I need to use a ridge filler! There's an in-depth nails post coming, so I'll explain that to you soon if you're unfamiliar. Please forgive the sub-par cuticle clean up job...

This is 2 coats of Orly Liquid Vinyl, followed by a top coat of Essie Matte About You.  After allowing this to dry, I painted the tips with Orly Liquid Vinyl again.  The next time I do this I'll use the french manicure stickers, but I was in a hurry and didn't have enough time to allow the undercoats to dry sufficiently.  So, I eyeballed it.  Not too shabby though, right? I decided I wanted the tips to be a little shinier though, so I then went over them with Seche Vite top coat.


So, whilst thinking of a creative way to portray this manicure, I kept singing Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On,' maybe due to the fact that black matte nail polish looks like records?? I guess the np's name 'Liquid Vinyl' may have played a part in that..

Three little birds, sat on my window
And they told me I don't need to worry
Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete

Maybe sometimes, we got it wrong, but it's alright
And nothing seems to change, and it all will stay the same
Ohh, don't you hesitate

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down...

I thought this song also fit as we're starting to say goodbye to summer...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Effort-less Hair Part I: Curls Without Heat

A big trend for fall fashion is effortless hair.  It's funny though, when you see the pictures of celebrities with "effortless hair", you can tell it took 3 hairstylists hours to create the effortless look.  And that includes curling the whole head with a curling iron and then proceeding to brush it out!

The 4 styles I'm going to show you guys over the span of 4 parts are effort-less (than what they look like.) That make sense? They look like they took hours, but took considerable LESS time.  First up? A re-post of Curls Without Heat.

Curls Without Heat
What you need:
-Elastic head band like this or this.  I bought a 3 pack at Target, Goody brand I believe.  I bought the no-slip ones, the ones that have rubber on the underside so they don't slide.  Which is total BS, cause they always slide on my hair.  My sister said they slide on her too, so I don't feel so bad.  That being said, I like that mine is tight.  The tutorial I saw showed it with a loose fitting one.  I prefer the tight, I don't want my hair falling out.

Steps:
1.) Start with clean hair, about 80-90% dry.  It should be a little damp, but if it's too wet it won't dry, and you'll wake up with wet hair and no curls.  Brush it out. If you have a particular part you like, do it now.

2.) Wrap the headband around your head.  I do it Indian-squaw style, on my forehead. I've also seen it in your hair like a headband.  I tried that, but I have extremely thick hair, and it just pops off. 

3.) This step depends on how big of curls you want.  I'll teach you what I do, but the bigger the sections of hair you tuck, the bigger the curls.  Take about a 1-2" wide section of hair, and wrap it up and over the headband, tucking it in and back under.  You continue to do this until you reach the back.  I am so sorry I don't have step-by-step photos of this, but I will post a link to an easy-to-understand video further on.

4.)  Once you've tucked most of your hair in and have about a 2-3" wide section left at the back, wrap it once or twice around the headband, then ravel it around 2-3 fingers and tuck it into your hair wrap.  Finished product:


This is my gorgeous sister Lyn, who was the guinea pig the first time! Here's her hair the next morning:


This stays put throughout the day and into the next.  Here is a picture of my hair the next day, still gorgeous!


The most common question I get is regarding how comfortable it is to sleep on.  Well, of course it's not comfortable, but in all honesty, it's not that bad.  Granted my sister and I have a LOT of hair and our wraps are quite large, it's still not that bad.  I can't even tell you how happy I am in the morning knowing I will only have to devote 2-3 minutes of time to unwrap it and style it, and it will look incredible!

Here's the video that I watched.  It's a lot easier than reading the steps...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

At Home Version: Starbucks Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade

Yeah yeah, I know summer's almost over and we're dreaming and drooling over Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Hot Chocolate, Caramel Salted Lattes, oh my! But this stuff is so good.  Seriously, I have a gallon pitcher of it in my fridge.

So there are a few ways you can make this, based on your own preferences.  Once I made up my mind that I had to start making it at home (the day I bought 3 in one day...) I figured I'd just get the Tazo tea bags from either Starbucks or grocery stores or Target. Even better...while at Teej (TJMaxx,) I came across a box of Tazo Iced Passion Tea bags.  Yup, I immediately put 5 boxes in my cart.  A few isles later I realized I didn't need that many boxes, and put 3 back.  And yes, I put them in the photo frame isle... <*slaps hand!*>

Ok, so the Passion Tea part done.  Now for the lemonade.  The first time I tried this I used what I had on hand, Crystal Light Pink Lemonade mix for a bottle of water.  It worked, but it wasn't stellar.  It wasn't Starbucks.  It left that diet aftertaste.  So for the next 3 weeks I resigned that I'd never be able to make it on my own and went back to my daily fix.  Yes, I would agree to go to Lowe's with the hubs ONLY if we could go get my fix.

Then I realized it was getting a little insane. And expensive.  So when I went food shopping that week I bought Crystal Light Pure Lemonade.  No artificial sweeteners it says...but it's got Truvia or Stevia (one of them...) and that's not natural.  And it definitely doesn't taste natural.  It left an even worse artificial after taste.

Long story short? The solution? Good old fashion frozen concentrated lemonaade.  Yup, the 15% juice kind! Someday I will make this with real, squeezed lemonade, but this works for now.

Starbucks Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade

Ingredients
-Iced Passion Tea, 1 bag
-Frozen Lemonade Concentrated (I used Minute Maid, standard size, but Pink Lemonade would be tasty!)
-2/3 cup simple syrup*

Directions:
1.) Make the Passion Tea according to the directions on box.  If using regular Passion Tea bags, brew and refrigerate, or at least let come to room temperature.
2.) In seperate pitcher, make the lemonade according to the directions on packaging.
3.) Mix both together and add simple syrup and adjust to preference.
--------------------
Notes:
*Simple Syrup: equal parts sugar and water, warm over medium heat until sugar disolves and becomes a syrup.  I use a cup of each and store the sweetener in the fridge for other uses.  Iced coffee for one...
-I don't like very sweet drinks, so this is my preference of sweetener.  This makes a gallon of tea, so you may want to add more.  I would say add by 1/4 cup, tasting until it's how you like it.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

DIY: Hex Nut Bracelet

So all the rage right now on the fashion blogs is the 'Hex Nut Bracelet.' It's pretty freaking awesome if you ask me, and I couldn't wait to make it.  I considered buying a few from etsy, but why? It looked easy enough to do on my own.  And it was a cinch.


Materials:
-Leather/Suede/Velvet Cord. I purchased mine at Michael's for $6.99, a 3 pack of Burgundy, Natural, and Black leather cord. I've seen velvet too, but I think it was suede and she just called it velvet.
-Hexagon Nuts.  I purchased mine with the help of the hubs at Lowe's for $.98 for a 48 pack.  I found them here online in a 24 pack for $.98. I used size 6, which the guy at Lowe's said was the smallest size.  Depending on the thickness of the cord you buy, pick whatever size you want. I picked silver/zinc finish to start with, but I plan on making another in the brass finish.  They're a little more expensive and come fewer in a pack.
-Scissors

The general concept of the bracelet is a braid.  Pure and simple enough, right? Once you get to the center of the bracelet, you add the hex nuts!

To start, divide the cord into 3 pieces.  The leather cord I bought was 9 feet long, making it easy to divide into 3 pieces.

Once you get to the center of the bracelet, or where the center would fall on your wrist, I recommend stopping braiding and adding multiple hex nuts onto the cord like so:


This is SO much easier than adding them one at a time WHILE braiding.  If you put them on ahead of time, it's easier to just slide them up. How many hex nuts you put on your bracelet is entirely up to you.  I put 8 on one side and 9 on the other...not even, but who cares?

Now comes the potentially harder part, the closure.  I have made 2 bracelets, and have used 2 different closures.  The first one, the burgundy one I just tied a knot on one end and a loop on the other.  And this works GREAT.  The black one I tied a slip knot in the middle, instructions here.  I figured it was just easier to direct you to her instructions as she includes cute pictures! This doesn't work so well with the leather though.  Once the knots are tied tight, it's difficult to get the leather to pass through.  So, needless to say I'm on the hunt for a better solution!

So what do you think?

Friday, September 16, 2011

How To: 5 Minute Mani!

Hey guys! Sorry I've been MIA... I had 2 amazing trips to see family, spending a week in VA Beach with my in-laws and the next week in NJ with my family.  I am excited to be back and have a list of some GREAT posts and guest bloggers coming up!

Without further adieu... the five minute manicure I talk about all the time!

The 5-Minute Mani

Recently I've had a lot of people ask me about my nails, or just make comments about how they wish they had the time to do their nails.  I've also had a few comments about how it's "obvious I don't have children" by the way my nails look.  Well yes...I don't have children, correct.  But that shouldn't stop women from taking pride in the appearance of their nails.  With a 5 minute manicure, there's no excuse for NOT painting your nails!

I started doing this manicure while I was working full time, and would paint my nails laying in bed at night, making it the last thing I did before going to sleep.  <*GASP!*> It's ok...with a few tips and tricks, you can too. And wake up in the morning with your nails still perfect and smooth.



Start off with clean, dry nails.



The products I am using today are:
-Base Coat: Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat available here.
-Nail Polish: Butter London 'All Hail the Queen' purchased at Ulta

-Top Coat: Seche Vite available CVS, Target, Ulta, Sally Beauty, etc.

Here is a brief tutorial on how I shape my nails.  Not included in the mani, but for an FYI.  I'll include more details about this in a more in-depth nails post in the future.

Start on left wall, move to right wall of nail, and finish off straight up and down on the tip. This is for SQUARE tips.
Base Coat: 1:02. (Please forgive the timer reading 31 secs- forgot to set it in the beginning, this is for one hand, multiply by 2...)

A base coat is IMPERATIVE.  This protects your nails from the chemicals in the polish, prevents staining from the polish, and most importantly allows for a smooth finish. I choose to use this base coat, but it is a tad expensive.  I paid $18 for it, but any Sally Hansen Base Coat will do.  I also use a base coat called Nail Magic that I bought at Sally Hansen which is good for splitting nails. I probably paid maybe $8 for it.
 
First Coat: 1:18

Sorry for poor quality photo..



Second Coat: 1:22.  Wait about 30 seconds, and apply Second Coat.




Top Coat: 1:48.  Again, wait about 30 seconds before applying Top Coat.



Tada! DONE. All told: 5 minutes, 50 seconds.  This was timed as you can see, but between adjusting the camera, lighting, setting the timer, and actually painting my nails, it may have added some time.  The secret to this ENTIRE manicure is the top coat.  This top coat is the most amazing product out there for nails, and I HIGHLY recommend you purchasing it.  Seche Vite dries your nails SO quickly and efficiently, with the most gorgeous shine, and allows you to go about your day.

You're technically done at this point, but if you're a little OCD, you can clean up the edges as seen in my photo.  Since this is meant to be a quick mani, I will save the technique for the in-depth nails post. Honestly though? Within 1-2 hand washings or a shower, this flakes off your skin easily anyways. 


What do you think? I am in LOVE with this color!
 


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