Friday, October 18, 2013

The Nail Files - Gel Mani Kit

As always, I'm linking with Jennie and the rest of the Nail Files Crew this week:

I’ve wanted to try my hand at “DIY” gel nails for some time now. The hold back has been the cost. Sensationail starts at $49.95 depending on where you shop. Sally Hansen is around the same for the polish kits or $29.99 for the strips kit. I was leaning towards the SH Strip Kits, but I just didn’t like the selection offered. I knew Sensationail had a better selection of colors, but just couldn’t bring myself to drop $50 after missing the $10 off coupon opportunity from their website. So I was just biding my time waiting for extra money or a really good deal/sale. Then along came Groupon with the save:  A start kit and two additional colors for about $5 less than the starter kit! SHUT UP and take my money!!!

Here’s what I got:

And here’s what I did:

Here’s my review (my own words/opinion/thoughts with no type of incentive from Sensationail or Groupon for my services).
Overall, I am thrilled with the process! It’s extremely simply and the directions are easy to follow. The colors included in my purchase are great for me and ones I see myself getting a lot of use from. My only problem was the lack of warning regarding the stickiness/tackiness of the base coat, polish, and top coat after curing before using the cleaning solution and wipes.
I’ve only ever had a gel manicure that was administered by one of the ladies at my local nail spot. So, obviously, I’m not touching my nails between polish coatings to see if they’re dry. I let the pros do their job and I sit and get pampered. I didn’t know that, just because your nail has “cured” in the LED box/dryer that the polish would not be “dry” (by most people’s standards). Think regular polish that has air dried for about 10 minutes but you can still easily put your finger/hair print in it if you touch them. 

The direction say (paraphrased):  base coat, 30 seconds curing, color, 60 seconds curing, 2nd coat of color, 60 second cure, top coat, cure 30 seconds, wipe with cloth and cleaning solution. My mind interpreted the curing for drying. So imagine my freak out when I lightly touch my nail and my finger sticks a little! Seriously freaked out panic on my part. I was on my first coat of color, still freaking out, when I decided to Google this issue. Thankfully I found a review on Amazon by a lady that brought up this issue and how it gets resolved….the cleansing wipe at the END of the process. Calm ensued and I was able to finish. The end is when I realized I’d skipped the second coat of color, but I’m okay with that. The grey is just thick enough with one coat that you can’t really tell two were needed.

So I’m two full days into the manicure and all is well. No chips or peeling corners that aren’t related to broken nails (cause I’ve done that already, no surprise there). But I haven’t been hard on my hands either – no kitchen duty lately, no boxing on Thursday like usual. I’ll keep you posted on how they do. I also want to test out the base and top coats on regular polish to see if that will add some variety to the color spectrum (and the possibility of doing designs and such). We shall see.

Happy Friday, dolls!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Life Updates...Long Overdue

As you may, or may not, have noticed, I've been a little MIA here lately. There's been a lot going on since I was let go in July. Actually, there's really only been two things going on, but they seem to be pretty time consuming.

First things first - I HAVE A NEW JOB!!!

As someone who has worked more than half her life, not having a job (even for a month and a half) was very emotionally draining on me. Granted, we could survive without my paycheck, but barely. And, again, there's that whole thing about me having a job for the better part of half my life. I started working for my dad when I was 13 making $3-5 an hour helping him with his deliveries as a route salesman in Alabama. When I was 15 I got a "real" job with a local dollar store where I worked through my senior year in high school. When I started community college I was in the work study program on the days I had class, and was working at K-Mart the days I didn't. When I moved out, I got a job in housekeeping at a beach hotel. I've even done a 2-month stint in the fast food industry. My last job I was at for a little over 10 years. All this work history doesn't include all the babysitting I did ages 10-18 for various families in town we live in.  (FYI...never let a 10 year old baby sit your child, unless they have younger brothers and sisters or they're parents are home with them or in close proximity. I had NO IDEA what I was doing!!) I have worked a lot in my life. If I had to put them in order of worst to best (based on what my experiences were) it would be:
1.  Food Service (AKA - Fast food)
2.  Housekeeping (Cleaning my own mess, no biggie; cleaning another's, DISGUSTING)
3.  Babysitting
4.  Retail, especially dollar-type stores
5.  Anything that requires travel (the scenery and perks are great, but the hassle of security and such, as well as being gone from my husband every other week finally took it's toll)
6.  Office work of any kind

I love office work! Which is what my new job is! I am the receptionist for the Temecula Office of California Baptist University Online and Professional Studies. The office I work out of is a half mile from the apartment, so I could walk to work if I wanted (which I have done a few times now - it takes 15 minutes). It's also located at the mall (which could be very detrimental to my wallet and healthy eating). Right now I am one of two full time workers at this location. The other is one of the admissions advisers who handles the area we're located in and down to San Diego for enrollments. We also have three student workers that rotate throughout the week. Because we are located at the mall, we keep mall hours:  1pm - 9pm. My hours are 12 pm to 9 pm. My coworker usually comes in earlier as she meets with students and prospects throughout the day. I close with a student worker.

I love that I have stayed in the Online Education industry as that's what I'm most familiar with (my previous job was with an online university). It's very different because of various things (accreditation, degrees offered, the campus and/or hybrid options, etc), but I am loving learning these new things. And I really enjoy that I'm not traveling anymore. It's nice to be home every week with my husband for a change.

The other new change in my life is I am officially a college student, again!

While I was unemployed I decided I would start back to school as I didn't know how long I'd have all that free time on my hands. So I started the process with American Military University (no, you don't have to be military or former military to enroll with them) to enroll in a Bachelors program for Marketing. I started my second class today, Intro to Business.

I am so excited about this new chapter in my life too! I mean, I work in the education industry and I don't have my degree yet? How stupid can I be?! But I'm glad I waited...had I gone through my last employer it would not have been an accredited degree. Nor would it have been something I wanted...BS in Psychology. I could have done Marketing with them, and I was going to...but then I got let go and I moved on quickly. (I wanted no ties after the way the treated me.)

So that is the latest in my life. I'm still doing Weight Watchers...and I'm still holding steady at the 15 pounds lost mark. I have started a boot camp class in the mornings, twice a week. I'm hoping that will help kick-start the plateau I seem to be at. I've been doing it for two weeks and there hasn't been much change, but I had a few other things happen this last week that may have derailed it. So this week is the week to see my move beyond 15 lost to 17 lost (or more). I'm ready to do this!

Thank you for your patience with me. Now that I'm officially on my new work schedule and my class has started, I'm hoping to get a regular schedule going so that I can get back to blogging more. Until then...

Cheers, dolls!