Thursday, January 29, 2015

A New World: A Few Announcements And A Goodbye

Hello Gorgeous! I hope you're having a wonderful hair day :) Well hold on to your hairspray, I've got some news for you.

After 2.5 years here at Pinkies For A Penny, I needed something new. A new name, a new layout, and a new start. I got a push after I noticed that Blogger was deleting pics from my old posts. I discovered that you only get so much space with Blogger, and after that they start making changes )(without letting you know) to make room for new posts.

I couldn't let them to do that to you guys, or to me. So I reached out to a friend who provides hosting, and make a move over to Wordpress, self-hosting, and a 400gb storage limit.

With this move, I'm making changes to a lot of things. Okay, almost everything. I'll be using better lighting for my pics. Using different tools for my watermark. The layout of the blog will be different. There will be a jump, to show more posts per page.

Finally, I'm going to be posting twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays. For a while, Thursdays will be Throwback Thursdays where I redo the manis that got lost, or that I loved and want to try again. Mondays will be the usual type of posts, and once I start school, I may add another day where I let you know about what I learned.

I am a mixed ball of emotions about this. First, I'm excited to finally be away from something I no longer am. I've been planning this for a very long time. I'm scared that I'm going to fail, as I'm not familiar with Wordpress. I'm anxious, because I am not good with change. I literally had a breakdown and needed to take my "Xanax for beginners". I'm happy with my new look, and I am sad to say goodbye to Pinkies.

But it's time.

Goodbye, Pinkies For A Penny. It was a good long run.

Please click here to visit the new site.

Monday, January 26, 2015

An Extra Post: The Leibster Award.

Happy Monday Gorgeous! I hope you're taking it easy to day after a wonderful weekend :)

Today has been a really crazy day and it's only noon... I'm trying to gather everything to get my taxes done, but the notebook I spent an accumulated HOUR filling out when I was getting ready to donate stuff to goodwill has disappeared. So I've spent the morning cleaning my room and searching my parents' apartment for it. I can't find it and I'm almost in tears... anyways.

So I finally take a moment to eat and catch up on my online stuff when I was reading a comment on my blog that nearly brought me to tears: Mandie from The Tasteful Texan nominated me for a Leibster award.

In doing some research, I found that the Leibster Award is a long-standing tradition amongst bloggers, sort of a way to spread the love to new-er bloggers, and encourage them. There are a few rules, such as you can only nominate blogs with less than 200 followers, you must tag 10 other blogs, and you must answer 11 questions to accept the award.

These are the questions I was asked:
  • How long have you been a blogger?
  • If you could choose 1 post from your blog to brag about, which would it be? (Feel free to link it)
  • What is your favorite season, and why?
  • What influenced your decision to start blogging?
  • What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
  • Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
  • Have you ever won a trophy?
  • Do you have a favorite food?
  • If you could have any job/career, what would you choose?
  • Name something you're proud of. Why?
  • What is your favorite thing about your blog?
So here's my answers: 
  • How long have you been a blogger?
    • I started in September 2011, so... 2.5 years?
  • If you could choose 1 post from your blog to brag about, which would it be? (Feel free to link it)
  • What is your favorite season, and why? 
    • Spring. I looove all the green, seeing all the new things sprouting, the baby animals, and the lovely mild weather. 
  • What influenced your decision to start blogging?
    • That is actually kind of a bit of a long story, but I decided to start blogging at the same time I decided to do my nails. I basically spent a month reading Christina's blog, Let Them Have Polish. It inspired me to start my own journey.
  • What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
    • Usually it's "Oh great, how long has he been up?" Kiddo wakes up before I do, and when she's not home, my mom looks after him to let me sleep. I'm grateful, but I feel guilty too.
  • Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
    • Depends on the day. Sometimes, I'm just grateful it exists...
  • Have you ever won a trophy?
    • My Little League softball team won 3rd place when I was in 5th grade... I got a trophy for that.
  • Do you have a favorite food?
    • Papusas. They're a staple from El Salvador, and they're AMAZING. Seriously, try and find a papusas shop and eat one (or three...). It's so worth it.
  • If you could have any job/career, what would you choose?
    • Nail tech. I'm going to be going to school for it, soon. 
  • Name something you're proud of. Why?
    • Is it too cocky to say that I'm proud of myself? No one thought I could raise my son by myself, hold a job, and be able to just support myself and my son BY MYSELF. I proved them wrong for two years, then got laid off and decided to go to school. 
  • What is your favorite thing about your blog?
    • The motivation it gives me. I'm trying new things, updating on a weekly basis, and I work hard to do it. I've found my dream and passion through my blog, and I love it for that.
So there ya have it, my 11 answers. Now, I'm going to nominate 10 of my favorite blogs!
Sarah, from Upping The Ante
Manna, from Manna's Manis
Amber, from Budget Splurge Beauty
Shawna, from Mom, Mrs., and Me
Jessica, from My This And That 83
Michelle, from Lacquer or Leave Her
Traci, from Newsie Nails Novice
Tamara, from Dancer's Polished Life
Amy, from The Fancy Side

My 11 questions for you guys are:
  • How long have you been blogging?
  • What is your favorite post?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What are your biggest challenges as a blogger, and how do you beat them?
  • What is your favorite place to eat?
  • If you could trade one talent for another, what would you gain and what would you lose?
  • You found a genie. What are your three wishes?
  • You are bitten by an animal that was radiated in a lab. What superpowers do you hope to gain?
  • What is one invention you're still waiting on?
  • If you could add/upgrade one item in your blogging equipment, what would it be?
  • Would you ever go to school to become a professional in your blog's field?
I hope you have a lovely rest of your week, and I will see you sometime on Thursday to finish out this month of stamping!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stamping Skittle in Black and White

Hello gorgeous! Sorry this post is so late, it's been a crazy week. Everyone has been sick in my house, myself included. But that doesn't mean my nails need to suffer, right? As a pick-me-up, I decided to use my new Mega (L) by ILNP, and to follow through with this month's theme of stamping, I did a stamping skittle.

I unfortunately didn't stop and think to get a macro of Mega (L), and I'm really kicking myself for it. Now that I have a very present sun, I really should get pics of the holo...

Speaking of pics, I only got one after final cleanup. Please forgive me, as I've been horribly ill... But I did get a few of the pics from before final cleanup (aka the pics I take before I realize I'm not quite done with cleanup yet...), and I'll share one of those as well. 

Pic (of my right hand) before final cleanup. Surprisingly not my favorite hand. Usually my left hand does a better job than my right (because I'm much more careful and tend to take my time), but I guess it was a bad day.

Pic (of my left hand) after final cleanup. Ah, much better!
To get this look, I laid down a base of Sinful Colors' Snow Me White, then did two layers of Mega (L) by ILNP. I then stamped using Black on Black and a few different stamping plates:
  • Gals' GA14 for the dots, 
  • GA21 for the thick lines on my thumb and right index finger.
  • Mash 46 for the thin stripes
  • Mash 38 for the checks
  • Bundle Monster's BM-201 for the chevron
I also used my new VAGA stamper. I'm unsure if the quality (or rather, the lack thereof) of the stamping is due to Black on Black or the stamper. Black on Black is not a stamping polish, and it leaves much to be desired. I REALLY need to get my hands on some stamping polishes! But just in case, I went and purchased another VAGA stamper as a part of a set, because I like the stamper itself, but it has a defect. I'll also be contacting the seller with my issue, which is that the stamper isn't smooth. It has a couple of indents and I'm pretty sure it's causing the stamper to be unable to grab everything from the plate. I'm going to keep playing with it though, and see if more conditioning and priming can help. But if all else fails, I have my backups.

Do you have a favorite and trusty stamper? What are your favorite plates? Within my Month of Stamping, did you learn anything that will help you in the future?  Please remember to subscribe, and you can find me on IG as @pinkiesforapennyI hope you have a wonderful week, and I'll see you next Thursday! Ta-ta!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In Which The Nail Art Industry Brings Liquid Latex Out Of The Bedroom

Heya gorgeous! Hope your weekend is crammed with all the stuff you wanna do :) 

So I've decided that I'm going to spend January doing stamping. I have a lot of plates and I feel like I just don't use them enough :/ I plan on rectifying that this month, and using a lot of plates that I haven't used before, especially the plates that I specifically bought the sets for and then never used (I'm looking at you, paisley from Bundle Monster...)

So I'm looking to do new stamping techniques. Last week was double-stamping. This week, it's a part of the cleanup process, which I totally forgot to take pictures of...

Recently, a new cleanup method has come about called Liquid Palisade. It's basically purple liquid latex in a purple liquid eyeliner tube, according to some who tried it. It also retails for $22/bottle. 

Think about how long a tube of liquid eyeliner lasts. Now, imagine having to smear that all over your fingers instead of a thin line on your eyelid. It's not going to last for very long, and at $22 that feels like theft to this stingy mom. So, I went looking for a solution, and I found one, very easily. Liquid Latex. I went to a couple of smut shops in search of a small jar or tube, but found that it wasn't very popular and were pulled off of the shelves, and was encouraged to go online. I went to my favorite place, (where 5% of every purchase I make goes to St. Judes AND I get free shipping), and I found a sizeable tub of latex for more than half the price of the name brand. I chose white as my color, and two days later it was at my door.

So when I was deciding what to do for my mani, I decided it was time to bust out the latex. So I would need a messy and hard-to-clean mani... Gradient. Sponged gradient. Perfect. And then I closed my eyes, opened up a page in my new Pueen plates, and picked a design. It was fate. And as fate would have it, my nails are pretty awesome. 

So I get the gradient done using Sinful Colors' Enchanted and Zoya's Charisma and then decide to take a lesson from last week and add some glitter.  I'm not sure if you remember, it was a very long time ago, but I was having issues with the purple bleeding and nearly annihilating my stamp. In an attempt to prevent this, I decided to put a clear coat of something in between the stamp and my gradient. I still want to get to know Starrily's Eclipse a bit better, so I added a layer as a barrier between the purple gradient and the white Sinful Colors polish I was going to stamp with (Snow Me White), and it worked! I topcoated this with Parrot Polish's Glow Purple (still can't capture that elusive glow-in-the-dark effect on camera...) and there was no bleeding, yaaaay!!!

So that is the roller coaster of events that lead up to this mani. I do want to give some tips in the event that you decide to grab some liquid latex to try out for yourself, just real quick.

  • Put the latex into a smaller container with a brush for easier use. I poured some into a clean and empty nail polish bottle. Don't forget to lay down newspaper when you pour, and the little tiny funnels you sometimes get with glitter at walmart are completely ineffective. 
  • Only do one hand at a time. So, I wanted to play with it and got carried away and did both hands to start and MAN that was a messy mistake. One thing I did not know about liquid latex is that when it's dried, it has the consistency of really old waterballoons that sat in your garage or attic for a couple of summers too long. You know what I'm talking about... sticky and mushy and just really weird. When your fingers that are covered in latex touch each other, the latex kinda tries to meld together, making it hard for them to come apart. It causes lifting, and you'll have to redo the latex. When you have all 10 digits stuck together, this makes it really hard to try to do anything, especially nails. So keep it to one hand at a time, K?
  • Buy ammonia-free. I did, and it still has a slight hint of cat pee smell to it when it's wet. It's odorless when it's dry, but if this is what the ammonia-free one smells like, I shudder to think what the kinds with ammonia smell like.
  • Pull it away from the nail. In some videos, I've seen people just grab a corner and pull off and all of the polish came away. This was not the case for me. When I pulled it away, the polish kinda slid right off, like when you were a kid, you put polish on a balloon and... oh. Duh... Anyways. I'm wondering if the Liquid Palisade has anything special in it to prevent this, or if I shouldn't have waited until everything was dry. More experimentation is in my future, I predict! Anyways, I used a pair of tweezers and kinda cut it away from my cuticle and then pulled outwards, loosening the latex and making sure it took the polish with it, and THEN I was able to pull it away. It came in one piece, too, which was oddly, yet really satisfying.
  • Waste not, want not! Just kidding, apply this sh*t liberally. Get it all over your finger, and then some. Make it thick. It'll come off easier. Avoid any hair that might be on your knuckles, though. Hair and liquid latex do NOT mix. Get it as close to the cuticle as you dare, and as far down and away as you think you might get any polish. If you're watermarbling, probably go like half an inch further, just in case.
  • If you are allergic to latex, DO NOT USE THIS. I'm just being facetious here. If you're allergic to latex, you probably already know to avoid this stuff. I mean, it has the word "latex" right in the title... if you don't know if you're allergic or not, grab the nearest epipen or some benedryl,  and do a test patch on a hairless part of your hand. Always better to be safe than sorry!
I personally found this to be a better experience than taping my finger, and will definitely be continuing with this method. Keep an eye out in the tags for it in future posts! I'm really sorry about how wordy and long this post got. I generally do try to keep posts short-ish and sweet-er, but I got carried away. It happens to the best of us, right? 

Will you be giving this cleanup method a go, trying Liquid Palisade, or do you have your own tried-and-true method? Lemme know down in the comments, and please remember to subscribe for more fun with me!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Layered Double-Stamping

Hello gorgeous! I'm baaaaaack!!!

So today, I decided to do a layered mani! I've been seeing a LOT of double- and triple-stamped manis and I've been wanting to try one. So then I got this Pueen stamping set and thought today's the day! So I started planning a mani and gathering my stuff, to find that I didn't own the plate that I had based the entire plan on... It was one that I ordered in a group buy on Facebook that hasn't been shipped just yet... /Headdesk...

SO I decided to keep the colors I had originally grabbed, and change the plan. I grabbed some saran wrap, and my new Pueen plates and decided to go to town. I picked one plate, Pueen 77, and used two of the patterns on it. 

I also used my new stamper for this, and OH MY GODS there is a GIANT difference between my original stamper (an old, old, OLD one that came with the original Salon Express) and the marshmallow stamper. Just SUCH a drastic difference, and I may not use the Salon Express one again... (I'll keep it around, though... Just in case...)

I also took pics for you guys to show how I made this mani: 

Step one (after laying down a white base): Saran Wrap mani. I used Sally Hansen's Kiss Me Here.
I topcoated after this with my Diamond Claws to prepare for stamping.

Step two: First layer of stamping, using Finger Paints Pop Art Purple

Step Three: Stamping with Sinful Colors Black on Black.
Step four: Cleanup and topcoat!

You can kinda see what patterns I used to stamp. 

I actually like how my right hand turned out more than my left ROFLMAO
As you can probably see, I'm rocking nubbies right now :'( My nails were completely destroyed by the move. Both pinkies broke past the smile line and have been very painful, as has a couple of hangnails that got a wee bit infected. Holding the steering wheel for 1.7k miles was definitely a challenge :( They're feeling better now though!!

So in other news: I'M OFFICIALLY ENROLLED FOR SCHOOL!!!!!!!!! I start on February 3rd, and HOOOOOLY MOLY am I excited!!! Also, funny story, the admissions agent that enrolled me was a former coworker! We had a pleasant time catching up :) It was suuuper embarrassing though,  because I hadn't done my nails just yet... So I showed up to the school with broken, chipped, messy nails, after telling Kelly that I'd been blogging for a while and all of that. SO EMBARRASSING.
I had also gone on a date with nasty broken nails and spent the evening very super self-conscious of my hands >.< But now they're all pretty again!!! Yaaay!

I still kinda feel like these are incomplete.. Got any suggestions on what I should add? Maybe some rhinestones or glitter? Comment down below! Please also don't forget to subscribe, there are now TWO options to do so, through bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect! Have a wonderful rest of the week!