Monday, October 28, 2013

How Being Cruelty Free isn't possible in nail school, and other various rants

Arg. So I have completed my first week in school towards becoming a nail technician. I've done one manicure, observed part of a spa pedicure and been studying my brains out. It's weird how my school does it. Everyone starts at different times. I'm the only one who started this month, so I had to do the manicuring chapter and then 3 other chapters to be on the same page as the rest of the class. Everyone I know there will be gone by January some time. Two already have spots in salons, one, ironically, where I get my hair done.

I was informed Friday that I'm far behind on manicures and pedicures. I haven't learned pedicures yet. And everyone else is so far ahead of me that I have no one to practice on. They're all wearing gels and acrylics. And of course the obligatory mean girl I have to win over. Why is there always a mean girl? And how did I get so far behind? How far behind am I? I understand we accomplished nothing with me last week. I don't understand! I had no direction! I don't know what I'm doing!

They're big into nail art, most of them. I'm wearing nail art right now. I'd show it to you but I only know one color name, it's OPI and I didn't do it. I don't want anyone thinking I did this art when I really just sat there trying to watch the process.

Nail art is so not me.

I'm going to have to learn to do it, I will have to submit some as a part of my classwork, not me. I'm thinking of ideas and I ordered some cheapy stuff (beads, rhinestones and whatnot) to help me out and a good set of brushes. I hope they're good anyways. Not like I'm going to know the difference. They were very highly rated on Amazon and had a good amount of different brushes for me to play with and I got everything for less than $20. I did my first attempt which was black and purple horizontal stripes for a school fashion show Friday. They weren't very good. The brushes were very tiny and the purple was being uncooperative and I suck. Basically. It will never be my forte. I can probably offer to stick on some rhinestones and maybe learn to paint some stuff. Spa manis and pedis and standard wet manis and pedis are probably going to be my main thing. UV gel nails scare the crap out of me as does the drill thing. Who looked at a dremel tool and said "HEY! Let's use that on nails!"? But I will learn to do that, too. Just probably won't really, you know, offer it as a part of my services.

So here's the deal. EVERYTHING is OPI. Everything. Polish, tools, lotions, scrubs...all of it. OPI is supposedly cruelty free but their parent company definitely is not and I try not to support any kind of profit from animal testing which rules out a lot of companies with testing parent companies. Any Lauder company, though that's the one I slip on the most, Nars, Shisheido, just about anything at the drug store. Incidentally, if you didn't know, Sinful Colors was bought by Revlon. Good-by cruelty free status. My KIT will be OPI. It's a gigantor train station case thing on wheels with one of those telescoping handles like on a suitcase. It's really quite nice, I confess that openly. However, it has a  big old plate on it embossed with a big old OPI. The girls decorate these up with stickers and whatnot because there really is no way to tell them apart without that. Lots of hearts and butterflies. I have a ManGlaze sticker because...I'm me. If I can score something like pin-up girls or skulls I'm all over that shit. Because...I'm me. Something cutesy and sweet would feel like posing. As will carting around a big ass case from a company I don't support. Will I have to cave on OPI? Just to have a recognizable brand on my table? I sincerely hope not.

So...I can either drag my really expensive cool stuff in there to support my cruelty free choices and risk losing them when I can't afford to replace them let alone buy lunch, and still have to use school stuff to fill in what I don't have, or I can suck it up, get through the next 5 months and then pick up where I left off with companies I am willing to support, which...that's probably the answer. Finding a part time job has proven challenging. The schedule just doesn't work.

So apart from is OK. I don't know what I'm doing, which I hate, I am learning the routine, but today is another day of fumbling through as I don't know how theory classes work or even where they are. I think I know. Not sure. I've been kind of left to my own devices which means I observe some and study a lot. Our teacher is one of only a couple, possibly only two, left on the floor at night so she's gone a lot looking at hair styles and sometimes getting styled. I find this lack of structure very frustrating. I'd rather three or four of us would start at once and go through together, but I suppose that cuts into school profit as then there are weeks when no nail services can be offered to the public. Still. I don't like being the only newb though the other students are helpful and open for the most part.

Right now I feel weary. I have tests today as a part of theory and I don't know how that's going to go, though I can retake them if I flunk. I didn't sleep well at all. I'm trying to review now, but you can see how that's going. Not well!

I hope your talons are happy and you're hanging in there! Posts will likely be few and far between with school. It eats up an amazing amount of time, though I hope that will get better as I'm doing more practical work and less book learnin'.

Take care, everyone! 'Til next time!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Illamasqua Venous, some Halloween glitter and a GRRRRR

I haven't blogged in awhile, not seriously. If you read me, you already know this and maybe you are cursing my name, or thanking me, depending on how you feel about my posts and their general silliness. Today, in the midst of my unemployment (I had a brief moment of wishing I hadn't done it and then I thought about the job. That was all that took. POOF. It was begone.) I thought...I need to post something. Anything. So editing photos was not something I had done in awhile, either. Yeahhhh. Picasa editing has been done away with, you now must edit in google+. Not a fan. And I can't add TEXT. So...I can't help protect my photo work from unscrupulous evilbayers who steal your photos to sell their shit. Not. Amused. I've been looking for another way. If any of my fellow bloggers are out here and reading, please comment and let me know what you do. I don't want to hog up valuable hard drive space with ridiculous amounts of photos for the blog...what do you all do? Help! A different hard drive? I can maybe do that. A different website? That would be great. Any and all help is appreciated.

So here are my very theft available photos of Venous on it's own that I took months ago as well as my current Venous fun mani with Glow in the Dark pumpkin polish! (very likely not cruelty free, which I hate.)

Pretty green cream, this is a lot lighter than in real life, but it does have that dusty quality to the color. Wow, never mind the nubbin!

2 coats of lovely goodness, but still lighter than in real life. I think some of my photos from today turned out truer. I have a different phone, because I'm that serious of a blogger I use my phone for swatching, and it is much nicer.

And the box label. How much do I love these? A lot. Like...mondo a lot. Like I want to kiss the genius at Illamasqua who decided to put a color reference on the name dots. Not only is Illamasqua one of my favorite brands for about anything, but they are so stinking smart. Love love love.

I like Venous, it's a pretty, very rich and deep green. Not forest green or pine, but just deep velvety green. Much more so than my swatches show. I'm so frustrated I didn't even go back and try to adjust them. GRRRRR.

I mean, come on Google. Don't you know that photo theft is rampant??


So I finally actually decided to wear this for real the other day and it's wearing well. This was partly brought about by the release of all things Halloween, including the nail polishes! I'm on a pretty strict no-buy, having no money does that to you, but when I see the Halloween polishes I splurge a little. These are only $3 and I can never resist. I'm pretty sure they are not cruelty free but I'm trying to find out. I'm a bad cruelty free person. I try. I think I've mentioned that's all I can do, right?

OK. Look what a little digging produces: Pumpkin Polishes,
and a little more digging found one list that lists them as cruelty free. Do with that what you will.

It's the spooky eyes side! These two make a pretty good match. The pumpkin polish is really very sheer. Like...clear level of sheer, I could detect no color. So I immediately took it off, redid the base coats and found Venous as a good match for the base, though really anything would have worked.

The happy eyes picture! The bottles are two faced little Jacks. It's so fun. Halloween polishes are the best. If you want definite for sure cruelty free status, the coffin polishes are made by Wet-n-Wild. I have a couple fun Halloween ideas for those, so hopefully I fix this photo issue and can show you!

OK, here we go. This is a very color true photo of Venous, even with the top coat sparkling things up. This really did turn out pretty. The glitter from the pumpkin is really tiny, though not micro, and it's amazingly smooth. The polish was a tad goopy to apply, but I have to say, I was impressed with the finish. The sparkly spread evenly and with very little trouble and the thing with a goopier polish is it freakin stays where you put it. I kinda like that. A little thinner wouldn't have hurt things, though.

And those pencils are awesome. They're mechanical pencils that look like pencils and they're small for us teeny handed people. Look for them today at your local Evil Empire outlet. That's where I got mine and I'm hooked.

But little black and white puppies steal and chew them. Be forewarned.

Last shot coming up!

Whoa, little blurry. Sorry. If I could have edited these I would have known that! GOOGLE! Haven't you ever heard if it's not broke don't fix it?? Learn it! However, it's very color true so I'm leaving it. blog will be deleted for something like "Excessive rage" or something.

And yes, the glow in the dark really works! I just don't have a photo of that.

This was a fun combination for any time, I recommend you try these little pumpkins if you see them. This one will work equally well over anything, it's so sheer. On a lighter polish you might see more of the blue in it but I can't see it being any kind of problem.

What do you think? Love it? I do!

Happy Talons!