Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mani Monday, Wednesday style.

hello,lovelies!! I'm back; did you miss me?
This week has been hit and miss for my manicures. I had so many big ideas for them and they just did not turn out how I had planned :(
First, there was the ill-fated matte/shiny french mani, inspired by Erika @ Chloe's Nails
I had such high hopes for this one. Idk what happened...maybe my topcoat is not shiny enough.

Then, I thought maybe a couple coats of Revlon Scandalous (Facets of Fuchsia), a dupe for Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance, would fix it. Boy, was I wrong.

Yikes. Idk how I lasted the day with that monstrosity on my fingertips.

Tonight, was my last-ditch effort at something unique (to me) before I said, "Screw it," and just slapped a color on there.
So, I decided to try my hand at a sponging, gradient manicure that I've been seeing everywhere on my dashboard. The ladies that are doing it are awesome, offering tutorials (Sarah @ Chalkboard Nails has amazing tutorials).
My maiden sponging voyage started with two coats of Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl, which is a peachy, pink creme. When I was ready to sponge, I found that we were out  of makeup sponges and I'm not allowed to buy any b/c I gave shopping for Lent. So, I improvised and used the sponge applicators from eyeshadow. 
For my first sponged layer, I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Shrimply Divine.  SD is a true bubblegum pink creme. And I got it for $.94! It was on clearance and I had a dollar off coupon.
The next layer was a polish I stumbled upon in my stash, looking for something else. It's Ulta Capri Coral, a coral-pink creme.
After sponging those two beauties on, I added some sparkle with Wet n Wild Hallucinate, an iridescent glitter that flashes green, aqua, and purple.

under a lamp
with flash
I'll definitely being doing this more often. Plus, I have big scotch tape mani plans, thanks to Jane @ Nailside.

And yeah, you read that right a little further up. I gave up shopping for Lent. I'm 8 days in and it's tough. It's all I want to do. PLEASE LET ME GO SHOPPING.
My "lacquer list" of colors I want grows everyday...only 32 more days.
Hopefully, I'll have some extra padding in my checking account after the 40 days are up.
My federal tax return came in, too. I'm waiting for NYS to send theirs so I can get my MacBook.
Your days are numbered, Dell!

Thanks for stopping by!
xo, ali

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mani Monday, etc

hello lovelies! hope you had a great weekend--mine was nice and relaxing.
Saturday, I hung out with some good friends and some sweet kitties.
Sunday I slept. Ha.
But, I *do* have a mani for tonight featuring the prize I won from The Polish Diary's giveaway (Essie Shine of the Times and Wet n Wild Back Alley Deals).
This is two coats of Borghese Stellare Notte, which I found by chance for 75% off at Rite Aid. $2 baby!! Then I taped off my half moons and used Shine of the Times.
I LOVE Stellare Notte. Love Love Love. It's a black duochrome that flashes purple and green
Flashes of green

Plus my Birchbox came this weekend and there was something a little different in it.
(photo courtesy of Birchbox)
When you buy a package you get two sheets of four designs each. Because I was off work today, I decided to try the double-winged design. I mean, I was just running errands with my mom (Wal-Mart, Target, the mall), so why not spice it up a lil bit?
They were pretty easy to put on and stayed put all day. All you have to do is fit them to your eye, trim off the excess, and if there are any gaps between the decal and your lashline, just fill it in with some pencil or liquid liner.
Usually, when I stick stuff to my face (lol), the oils in my skin usually have an effect on the adhesive and it comes off in a couple of hours.
I put it on around 1 pm
I loved how dramatic it looked. I didn't even need any eye shadow.
I couldn't stop looking in the mirror; I loved how it looked on me.

this is at around 645 pm. No smudging, no fading. And removal is SO EASY. All you do is peel them off! You can't ask for more than that.

What do your nails look like? Any beauty breakthroughs you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 16, 2012


hello, hello!! happy thursday! i'm so glad that it's finally the time of day to put on my sweats and curl up to watch tv. what better time to blog, huh?
so. as i said yesterday, i wanted to talk about the spring lines that are popping up in fashion mags around the world. 
Candy Colors (my sister, Ashley, over at Fatto Con L'Amore is excited for this one)
Sweet pastels were all over the runways for the S/S lines.
Jil Sander


The colors are just so pretty!!

Winged Creatures.
This trend is taking flight (I'm so clever).
Marc by Marc Jacobs
(i adore this dress, by the way. adore.)

Old Navy (all three)

Chiffon, everywhere.
Floaty. Sweet. Romantic.
shirts, skirts, scarves, dresses.
it's THE fabric for spring.
Forever 21 loves it!!
this also taps into the boho vibe that is still going strong

both of these pieces are from Forever 21 and under $25!

and finally, in no certain category
Alice + Olivia, Spring 2012 RTW
Please, be in my closet when I wake up tomorrow morning. Please.

that's all i got!! have a great night and stay pretty.
xo, ali

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


hello, lovelies!!
happy mani...wednesday?
Uh, yeah. I'm a little late this week, which is an improvement over last week when I didnt post at all.
Plus, you'll be getting a double post today because there is SO much I want to share with you for spring fashion. I just got my March issue of Elle and there's nearly 500 pages of fashion inspiration. I'm expecting February's Birchbox this week, too, so there is LOTS going on.
OH!! And I won The Polish Diary's first giveaway!! I can't wait to get my prize in the mail because it will include Essie's Shine of the Times. I've picked it up and almost bought it so many times lol.

On to the mani, eh?
I found a new base coat that is a ridge filler and also has Biotin and Spirulina, which is supposed to help strengthen your nails. I'll try anything!
So, this week's mani, or for the first half of the week, is one coat of Sally Hansen Salon Perfect Base Coat, two coats of Wet n' Wild  Megalast in Disturbia (which I was able to cross off my list!), and one coat of Essie No Chips ahead.
I just love this color. However, I was disappointed in the way the shimmer translated from bottle to nail. You really had to look for it on the nail but in the bottle, it was amazing! Wear-wise, it has fared pretty well. I have a few chips because I type all day and just a little tipwear. I found this on a display at my local Rite Aid and it was only $1.99. I would definitely try it out.
with flashy flash
flashy flash...sorry about my messy cuticles :(
under a lamp and on top of Buffalo Memorial  Auditorium, affectionately known in its heyday to Buffalonians as the Aud. This is where I saw my first Buffalo Sabres game, my first Disney on Ice, and my first circus. It was a legend. The Aud was torn down last year and for past 10 years or so, our Sabres have played at the First Niagara Center (formerly HSBC Arena). And there's your Buffalo, NY history lesson :)

Have a great afternoon and we'll chat later about the candy colors popping up everywhere this spring :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

These are a few of my favorite songs...

hello lovelies!!
Sorry I've been slacking so much. I have felt so sluggish this week and honestly didnt feel like doing anything at all. It was a struggle to get out and walk 4 days this week. Last night, I was in bed by 10pm and slept through half of American Idol and a new favorite, The Finder.

oh, hello, fox, you.

So, if my subject line didn't give it away, I'm going to be talking music, today. Specifically, the songs I can't stop listening to.
iTunes has this function where you can rate your songs with stars and I actively do this. The max is five stars, but every once in a while, I'll hear a song that I want to give a five-star rating to, only to find that it already has five stars. So, I created a playlist simply called,"10 stars." These are songs I wish I could give a higher rating to. And boy, do they run the gamut from country to dance to punk.

"Blue Carolina"-Alkaline Trio
"Blue Carolina" is from their Good Mourning CD that came out when I was attending community college. The whole CD is on my "have on a desert island list."  I could listen to it over and over again. It's such a great song about wanting someone so bad. And it has some really great lyrics like, "I am nervous and anxious,  it really counts this time./You know, all my favorite singers have stolen all my best lines/well I can hardly wait til I feel the sun and your lips both pressing on my skin/Well, I can hardly wait til I can feel the thrill in my heart that starts inside your eyes/and the song in my head that burns so good in my head."
Love, love, love. While the trio is really good at writing songs that can be gory and gross in nature, they  are really good at writing love songs.

"If You Don't, Don't"-Jimmy Eat World
This song is from Bleed American, which came out in 2001. Shortly after 9/11, the title of the album was changed to Jimmy Eat World for obvious reasons.
This song...this whole album, in fact, is right up there with Good Mourning. It's just amazing, start to finish. But this song is one of my favorites. It's so lovely to sing along with and I love the lead singer's voice on it--so earnest. It's about not having any certainty in a relationship. Does she/he feel the same way I do? Is this going anywhere? If not, I wish they'd just say so!! If you don't, don't! It's a place I've been too many times.

"Your Love"-Midtown
This is from Gabe Saporta's band before Cobra Starship and off of Punk Goes '80s. You guys already know how much I love Gabe Saporta (in case you missed it...). And this is not the first time that I've mentioned this song. I absolutely love it love it love it. I love Gabe's voice and how it has electronic, dancey elements to it and that the electronic elements hint at what Gabe would be capable of with Cobra Starsip.

"Marry You"-Bruno Mars
From Doo-Wops and Hooligans, this song has been an obsession! Ever since it was used in the second season of Glee, I've loved it. It has such an old school vibe to it and I just love Mars' reasoning for getting married..."It's a beautiful night/We're looking for something dumb to do/hey baby, I think I wanna marry you." What better reason?
Oh, I also love it because he calls alcohol "Dancing juice." Yup.

"As Fast As I Could"-Josh Turner
His Haywire album has a lot of good songs (and another one is gonna pop right up), but this is such a sweet and simple song and that is why I love it so. It's about he journey to The One. It WILL be played at my wedding, someday.
Basically, I want a man to sing Josh Turner songs to me all day. Starting with this one.

"Why Don't We Just Dance"-Josh Turner
This song, also on Haywire, was my ringtone for the longest time. Turner just seems like such a down-home guy. No messin' around with fancy stuff for him. He'll dance right in the middle of his "little bitty living room."
and the sing-alongability is sky high. It puts me in a good mood when I'm stuck in rush hour traffic.

"Don't Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl"-Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schu)
This is from Glee. And was my ringtone after "Why Don't We Just Dance." It's a definite earworm and was getting stuck in my head all. the. time. I love this mash-up. I can't put a finger on why I love it so much. I just do, okay?

"Triple Double"-Girl Talk
Girl Talk is a DJ. An amazing one that is aces at mash-ups. And not just mash-ups with two songs. No. He uses like 5 or 6 in one song.
"Triple Double" is from All Day and starts off with "How Low Can You Go" by Ludacris over some Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and then forges right onto "A Milli" by Lil Wayne over '80s favorite "Steppin Out" by Joe Jackson. And it doesn't stop there. It just keeps going and being awesome. The whole CD is like that.  You can catch me car dancing to this song, all day (see what I did there?).

"Hearing Damage"-Thom Yorke
This is from the New Moon soundtrack and my Twilight fans will recognize this song from the scene where they are tracking Victoria through the woods and Harry Clearwater has a heart attack. I love how grimy the bass line sounds in this song and it's very simply  put together. Also, it does not sound organic at all. It is unapologetically electronic. Yorke's voice takes on a very moody quality and sets the tone of the song.

"Borderline/Open Your Heart"-Lea Michele and Cory Monteith (Rachel and Finn)
This is also from Glee, first season, "The Power of Madonna" episode. One of my all-time favorite mash-ups from Glee. And they are such great love songs by Madonna; so fitting for Finchel to sing as a duet. Plus, I've got it REAL bad for Cory Monteith.

"Part-Time Lover"-Matt Giraud
This guy was on American Idol with Kris Allen and Danny season 8? I think.
This is another 80s tune (sensing a theme here...) about cheating. Yeah, cheating. Matt Giraud kept his cover close to the original, very bass heavy and the bass line reminds me of what they play on Seinfeld (twicka twicka bow bow or something like that). Plus, he has a solid voice. A little creepy-looking but I'm disappointed he didnt go far. He also did "You Found Me" by the Fray that season and that is worth a listen.

"Band of Gold"-Freda Payne
My copy of this song is from the Now & Then soundtrack, which is one of my favorite movies. Not much to say about this amazing song. It's from the 70s. It's very soul/rock/disco-y. And awesome.
Given, it is a song about a marriage that really didn't make past the reception but it's upbeat.
"Since you been gone, all that's leff is a band of gold. All that's left of the dreams I hold is a band of gold. And the dream of what love could be if you were still here with me." A break-up anthem if ever there was one.

Okay. Ke$ha is dirty. She's gross. I don't think she showers all that often and she uses the C-word.
That being said, she knows how to make a dance song. This song always gets me on the floor. ALWAYS. I turn in to JWoww at a Jersey club when this is on. I have to dance, and you can't stop me.
Plus, she says this: "Go insane, go insane. Throw some glitter, make it rain on 'em."
I will, Ke$ha. I will.

We're almost done, I promise. Two more songs to go.
"I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"-the Black Kids
This song has gotten a lot of exposure recently. It showed up on 2 Broke Girls and in the prom episode of Glee last season. I love this song. It is so unabashedly hipster-esque. You know that they are wearing skinny jeans, plaid shirts and Tom's shoes. Or the girls are like Max on 2BK.
Plus, I really like any song that involves counting and your backup singers sound like guests at your super-awesome party where you are all drinking PBR and singing along with the crappy band you hired. Except, in this case, the crappy band is actually awesome.

And I saved the best for last. My all-time favorite song.
"Dark Blue"-Jack's Mannequin
I honestly don't know what it is about Andrew McMahon that is so amazing.
This song. This SONG. THIS SONG. Oh my God, I can't say enough of it.  It's sonic perfection, from the piano to the lyrics to the voice. There have been days where all I'd listen to was this song. And the video! A 1950's dance-a-thon. It's like McMahon read my mind and made the perfect video to go along with the perfect song. The culmination of it is enough to make me want to explode.
"Slow down/this night's the perfect shade of /dark blue, dark blue/have you ever been alone in a crowded room/well, i'm here with you..."

So. There it is. My 15 favorite songs. What are yours?