Jun 20, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips Review

About a month ago, I tried out Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips. I just liked the idea of stickers made of nail polish, and while I'm not a tremendous fan of nail art, some of the options available were pretty appealing.

I opted for Glitz Blitz (top image), and I loved them. I got a lot of compliments and they lasted for a good two weeks without any hassle (much better than typical nail polish). I considered writing a glowing review of them back then, but decided to be fat and watch massive amounts of television while squirting ranch in my mouth, instead.

Around the same time, one of my coworkers tried out the same product in Laced Up (lower image) and she was not as pleased with them as I was. She said they chipped and came off really easily and felt like a huge rip-off. Since I had loved the ones I had tried, I chalked this up to what I supposed was my superior application skills. When I have a different experience from others, it's naturally because I'm better than them, right?

Then a few days ago, I tried Laced Up for myself.  The strips weren't nearly as flexible or as sticky as Glitz Blitz, and have not stayed on well at all. I have only three fingers where the stickers remain, and I'll probably pick those off by the end of the night, since they kind of look ridiculous with just the three (I know, I know, nail polish remover won't destroy my nails nearly as much, but I just love picking at things, okay? Allow me these simple pleasures.)

I don't know for sure, but my guess is that the more opaque styles (like Laced Up) are all worthless, while the more transparent ones (like Glitz Blitz) are fantastic. This will require further experimentation that you may or may not hear about, depending on how lazy I want to be about follow-up (guess: pretty dang lazy). Also, I'm probably already way over my nail-care budget for the month (usually $0 plus a hope to get some polish in my Christmas stocking once a year...I'm definitely not a regular manicures kind of girl), so it's actually probably best for me to hold off on the experimentation. So actually the verdict is: Glitz Blitz rules, Laced Up drools, and you can find out for yourself what you think about the others.

Application Note #1: It took a long time (at least compared to polish) to put these on, but it's worth it to do them perfectly or you'll want to pick them off immediately. However, still try to do everything within an hour of opening the package. Remember that these strips are made of nail polish. I found that the longer they were out of the package, the less sticky they got and were harder to apply.

Application Note #2: The instructions are not entirely clear about this, but you want to use both ends of each strip, or you will run out. There are two packages in each box, and they should be good for two separate applications. Cut the strips in half to use both ends; there should be plenty length for two nails. If there isn't, go cut your nails. Long nails are gross and tacky (I know a lot of people who don't feel this way, but they are wrong).

Jun 13, 2011

Summer Watching List

A lot of people are posting summer reading lists this time of year. I'm looking to put together a summer TV list. Because, let's be honest, I have developed myself a nice little addiction here. And while there are a few shows I'm interested in with new episodes starting this summer, most shows I love won't have new episodes until the fall. So we need to fill my need somewhere.

So I'm turning to the infinite wisdom and good taste that is you, dear readers, to help me find suitable programming. Let me know what current shows I'm missing out on or what old shows I never saw, but should have.

Here are all the shows I have seen every episode of (that I can think of) so you can know a) what not to recommend me because I've already seen all there is to see, and b) what my general taste is (note that there are no reality shows and a lot of comedies...). *'s indicate how much I like each show on a 1-3 scale.
  • 30 Rock***
  • Arrested Development***
  • Californication*
  • Community***
  • Dexter***
  • Entourage*
  • Gossip Girl**
  • Happy Endings**
  • Life on Mars**
  • Louie**
  • Mad Men***
  • Modern Family***
  • Parks and Recreation***
  • Party Down**
  • Pushing Daisies**
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip*
  • The X-Files***

Jun 11, 2011

So White

  1. It's that sunburn time of year again; the skin that has gotten nice and pasty all winter is suddenly being exposed to a lot of sunlight. I've had a hard time finding people who feel the same way as me about this, so maybe I'm weird, but I really don't like the feeling of sun on my skin. It always feels like it's hurting it. And I don't like sunburns. Or skin cancer. Or even tan skin. Tan skin is vastly overrated. Pale skin is totally prettier, in my opinion. So I will stay out of the sun when I can and wear lots of sunscreen. I should also take to wearing big-brimmed straw hats. Perhaps that will be the new addition to my summer style this year.
  2. I took a color code personality test the other day (if you care to, you can here). It's a fairly common personality assessment tool, so you may already know this, but here's a basic rundown: reds are motivated by power, blues are motivated by intimacy, whites are motivated by peace, yellows are motivated by fun. I was not surprised that I came out white, but I was surprised by how incredibly unbalanced my scores were:
    I feel like reds are the worst people, so I'm glad I've got next to nothing there, but I feel like blues are the best people, and I've got hardly anything there either. Oh well. At least everybody likes whites and yellows. And I'll just need to work on being more ambitious and more attached to other people. Balance myself out a little.

Jun 2, 2011

On Being Married, to my sister

My little sister got married a week ago. As someone who has been successfully married for 3.5 years, I'd like to address some advice to her.

When I say I'm successfully married, I mean I am still happy to be married to my husband and I believe he's still happy to be married to me. I do not mean that we have not had moments of meanness, disappointment, frustration, or bitterness. Dear sister, your marriage, like all human relationships, will never be perfect. But never fear, committing your life to someone you love will also bring your life more joy and fulfillment than anything else I'm aware of.

The culture of Mormonism that we grew up with has a very idealized version of marriage. While there is something to be said for shooting for an ideal, I know that in my experience and the experience of many others I know, this has led to a somewhat naive perception of what it is to be married. The hardest thing about my first couple years of marriage was addressing misconceptions I had about what it would be like. Keeping your eyes open early on will help you develop healthy ways of dealing with the inevitable struggles that come with matrimony.

Marriage is hard. Ask any married person to be completely honest with his or herself and they will all admit that they occasionally want out. This is 100% normal. You will not have the freedom you did when single or dating. All decisions you make will now effect a partner and not just you. All decisions he makes will effect you and not just him. You will not always agree on what decisions are best. You will fight. You will have to make sacrifices.

Make decisions now, early in marriage, about what you will sacrifice and what you won't for your husband and hold to them. Do not allow yourself to be lost to the unit. Having a partner in life will make everything more meaningful; the unit is a wonderful thing. But it is not the only thing. You are more than your husband's wife. Have goals and activities that are different from his. Encourage him to pursue goals and activities that are different from yours. Only you can allow yourself to feel tied down by your marriage. Having separate pursuits will also make you more interesting to each other, which helps keep the romance alive.

Being married does not mean that you or your spouse will magically stop being attracted to other people. Objectively, it makes total sense that this would be the case, but for so many people in their bubbles of we're-so-happy-we're-getting-married-and-the-rest-of-our-lives-will-be-perfect, this may hit you by surprise. It is better to be prepared for these feelings than caught-off-guard. Talk to your husband about what you're comfortable with and what you're not as far as interactions with other people of the opposite sex. This will help reduce risk of jealousy and/or infidelity.

Plan for time together. Just living together isn't going to cut it, as life has a way of keeping you busy even as you share an apartment and share a bed. Regular date nights are a terrific way to enjoy each other's company. You'd also be surprised how much things as simple as "we always watch this TV show together on Thursday nights" foster a feeling of togetherness.

Regularly address your relationship and what's going well and what can be improved. It's cliche, but it's because it's true: communication is the key to a successful relationship. If you're unhappy about anything in your relationship (this will happen more than you think...not to keep ringing the marriage-is-hard bell), learn to bring it up in a positive way and not as a personal attack on your husband. "We can get the bathroom cleaned faster if we do it together" will go much farther than "You never help clean the bathroom." When your husband brings up things he is unhappy with, try not to take it personally, but see it as an opportunity for relationship improvement (I'm terrible at this one, but it's still good advice).

Despite what much in American and particularly Mormon culture may tell you, marriage does not equal happily ever after. Rather than be disappointed, embrace this! You still have the majority of your life ahead of you. Do something meaningful with it, keeping your husband by your side.

Good luck. You've got this.