Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Thoughts of a Midwestern Girlie Girl is moving!!
I've officially registered www.thoughtsofamidwesterngirliegirl.com. While Blogspot has been kind to me, I decided it was time for a little more sophisticated design software, and a little more customization. While I'm still building, the site IS live now, and I'll be converting 100% in the next week or so. I appreciate your patience as I'm moving and posting a little less, but I'm really excited for the changes!
Please let me know if there are more topics you want to see!
Now, I will first say that my feet aren't nasty. I can go barefoot with minimal shame, and I can't find a nail tech who gives a better pedicure than me. That said...I spent winter wearing socks, and not really worrying about my feet. Toenails got a little stained, acquired a few callouses, skin a little dry. No biggie.
Sandal season, however, is upon us, so I am prepping my toes for display.
Considering the last time I got a pedicure, the woman pampering my feet was asking my advice, I felt like this is something I should share to the masses. I see way too many nasty cracked feet in the summer, and I feel like this post counts toward serving the community at large. So please, please share this link if you know one of those women (or men) who wear flip flops with gnarly feet.
I'm not showing my toes on the interwebs until my project is complete, but here is my process:
1. Soak your feet. This is the most crucial step. If you skip it, the rest will be useless. You can soak in the bath, or just soak your feet in the bath. I personally use my kitchen sink, since I can sit on the counter and reach my feet without actually being in the water. You can use a foot soak if you want. I personally use a mild soap like Johnson's Baby Wash or even my Black African Soap. I've also been putting about 1/3 cup of peroxide in the water, too, to help whiten and disinfect my toes. Soak about five to ten minutes, depending on how rough your skin is.
2. Scrub your feet. I've been using Qtica's Lemon Dream Sugar Scrub, since I've been spending WAY too much money on polish lately and they send it free with larger orders. I also posted a recipe for a great, but cheap and easy sugar scrub last summer. Here's the trick: Don't rinse it off yet.
3. Scrub your feet even more. I use a pumice sponge (softer and more foamy feeling than a pumice stone), but if you have a foot file or stiff brush, that will work, too. Scrubbing your already-scrubbed feet will make your skin that much smoother.
4. Rinse and brush. I use a nail brush to get the sugar scrub from between my toes, but a toothbrush or washcloth will work, too.
5. Dig up the dirt. Sounds gross, but stuff gets under your toenails when you're rocking sandals outside. Even lint from inside your socks get stuck in places, and if it doesn't get cleaned out, you can run the risk of infections, or just gross-looking feet. Orange sticks will work quite well. If needed, this a good time for cuticle remover.
6. Trim. Now that the nails are soft, trim them to desired length. Straight lines help prevent ingrown toenails, which I can assure you, are not fun.
7. File and buff. I use a regular nail file first to shape and smooth the edges of my toenails to prevent them from snagging on sheets and socks. Then, I use a buffing block to smooth the surface of my toenails. The smooth surface makes your polish look glassy, or if you go au natural, your toes just look nice and shiny and healthy.
8. Brush again. This time, just to get any filings off of your toenails.
9. Kill the germs. If you go to the gym, the pool or outside the sterile safety of your bathroom, you are in danger of getting athlete's foot or some other germy things. I de-germify my toes with Barielle Maximum Strength Fungus RX. Tea tree oil is also a natural anti-fungal agent. This step is optional, but not a bad idea.
10. Strengthen. I use Hard as Hoof to strengthen my nails, but if you prefer, a strengthening base coat like Julep Nail Therapy will work. Something to nourish your nails is the end goal.
11. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I got some great mineral foot cream from Ahava in a Birchbox a few months ago. I like that it's not quite as oily as some others. Any Body Butter from The Body Shop is a good choice, too. Again, the goal is to keep your newly soft feet feeling smooth.
12. Socks. If possible, cover your silky smooth feet to keep that moisture trapped on the feet. I do this overnight so can keep them all clean and shiny and the lotion will be fully absorbed before I have to wear shoes again.
13. Lucky number 13 is my favorite: POLISH! Pick something pretty and bright and flaunt your newly fabulous feet!
There you have it, folks. My secrets have been revealed.
Stay tuned for the next episode: Trying to lighten your hair back to your natural (ish) color without spending hundreds for someone else to fry your hair.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I was tagged by the lovely Kristen at Glitter Gloss and Glaze in my very first tag post!
Here are the rules according to Kristen:
- Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
- Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
- You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
- Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.
- No tag backs.
- No stuff in the tagging section about 'you are tagged if you are reading this'. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.
I shall start with 11 things about me:
1. I hate "Everybody Loves Raymond." My family is way funnier than his, and no one pays to watch us. Yes, I'm a little bitter.
2. I'm kind of a news-junkie. I watch more news-related TV than fictional programming with plots and stuff.
3. I am physically incapable of not playing with my hair.
4. I'm a hands-on kind of girl. I like to decorate stuff, build things, cook, clean/fix my car and stuff like that. I don't like to sit still.
5. I like shoes. A lot. Especially colorful high heels. I have over 50 pairs in my closet. Yes, they still fit in my closet. Barely.
6. I love to read and write, and I fully intend to write a book someday. I don't know what it will be about, but it's going to happen.
7. I would not survive a day without music. Even if there's nothing actually playing, I'll probably be singing to myself. I have even learned to love some country music, mostly due to geographic location and my choice in friends.
8. Despite my frequent musings about winning the lottery, I very rarely buy tickets. Maybe that's why I'm not winning...
9. I work in tech support. I see every side of human stupidity and craziness.
10. I'm only about 5'6", but I have to buy jeans with a 34-35" inseam to wear them with heels (33" for flat shoes). I can't help but wonder if I'm really some kind of freak, or if the clothing industry needs to rethink the length of people's pants.
11.I am confessed cat lady. The Amazing Rando is spoiled rotten, but he's really handsome. Makes the boyfriend a little jealous.
And now, for Kristen's questions:
1. What is your favorite movie?
"The Princess Bride" is my all time favorite, though "Singin' In the Rain" and "Easy A" are right up there.
2. What is one beauty product you could not live without?
Moisturizer! My skin is dry, my lips are dry, my hair is dry. I would shrivel up or look like an alligator.
3. How much is *too much* for you to spend on a makeup item?
Anything over $50 causes me to raise my eyebrows. I'll drop a little cash on something awesome (Hello, Naked palette!), but I've made it this far on samples and reasonably priced items.
4. Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?;)
Reynolds. Green Spandex. Need I go on?
5. What is your go-to comfort food?
Ice cream. Ben & Jerry are my BFFs, though heavy stress stops me from eating almost entirely.
6. If you could only paint your nails one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
6. If you could only paint your nails one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pink. As much as I like to experiment, and neutrals may be more practical...A great hot pink is hard to beat.
7. Who is your hero?
My parents. Cliche, I suppose, but they've been married for a long time. Even in the face of adversity, they still show affection every day while maintaining some independence and individuality. I'm hoping to have that.
8. What was your favorite childhood cartoon?
Animaniacs! I was leaving my childhood by then, but I still think it's hilarious.
9. Do you have any scars on your body? (if so, where/from what?)
No major scars, but I have several little scratches from Rando. There's also a faint scar from when I got my training wheel caught on the curb and scraped my leg.
10. Can you drive a stick-shift car? (manual transmission)
My father would disown me if I couldn't drive a manual transmission. The men in my family are all car guys. I have never owned an automatic, and I really don't want to.
11. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Once I get home from work, my brain hurts. Blogging gives me an outlet for creativity and fulfills my need to write, but it also gives me an excuse to buy pretty things and practice my photography.
And now for the tagging!
This is the part I hate. I'm still fairly new in the blogging community, so I'm tagging people whose blogs I've read and liked over the last few months and chatted with on Twitter. I'm also not tagging 11 people. I will not be offended in any way shape or form if you're not into responding. I'm also stealing Kristen's questions, because I have the dumb right now and can't think of anything better to ask. :)
Thalie @ Glazed Talons
Mandy @ Makeup For The Inept
Destany @ Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom
Sophie @ Obsessive Compulsive Beauty
Kelly @ Beauty Obsessed
Sophie @ Obsessive Compulsive Beauty
Kelly @ Beauty Obsessed
Friday, March 16, 2012
I was actually a little bummed when I got my February Maven box. Red carpet glam: a red shimmer and a yellow gold glitter. Meh. Put 'em in the drawer and didn't even swatch. I thought Oscar might be an okay accent nail, so I put it on. SO sparkly. I wish it was a little softer, as I can't say the color is incredibly flattering, but it's really glittery. Oscar also goes on really smooth, and could probably be opaque in 2-3 coats. One coat of top coat, and I the nail was pretty smooth. I took some closeups of Oscar to give you a better idea of the color and shine. I would love, LOVE a pewter or gunmetal glitter like this.
What shade of green did YOU choose for St. Patty's Day?
One of the goals I had when I started blogging was to give some how-to information, along with sharing my favorite products. I realized that nail polish makes for a little quicker posting, so I've fallen into a rut. Sorry.
If a girl decides to undertake a project, the first logical step is to do some research. To the interwebs I went.
Lemon juice, toothpaste, and even bleach. Didn't work. Didn't work. No bleeping way I'm literally bleaching my nails. Buffing works if your nails are thicker, but mine don't grow in very thick. Then, I found it: Peroxide.
Well, duh. Want to go blonde? Peroxide. Seems like it would work to bleach your nails, too. It's also a lot more gentle than bleach.
The "recipe" I found said 1/3 cup water and about 3 capfulls of hydrogen peroxide. I soaked my nails for about two minutes at a time, then used a soft toothbrush to scrub my nails. I did notice the nails lightening slightly, so I repeated the process a few times.
Sadly, I didn't take any photos before I started. My nails were never that bad to start with, but swatching polish all winter stained them a bit. I trimmed them down, and I'm hoping they'll grow out nice and healthy looking. I'm also taking a break from dark and bright polishes that might stain until they're healthy.
I'll keep you posted on my progress, but I can safely report that my attempts have been successful so far!
Also part of this grand master plan is to get my hair back to it's natural color...or at least close. More on that later...
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Another great feature? This stuff is like $6 at Target. Compared to brands that run $15-$20 (or more), I'll take this any day.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
First up is Kelly. She's described as a blushed white creme, and one of the newest neutrals for Spring. Kelly has a peachy tone, which I found really pretty. The finish is like glass. Just pure shine. I really like this color. I'm not sure I've worn peach since 1990, but this one makes me want to.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I was completely unprepared for how awesome this polish would be. A matte? Intriguing. With a little shimmer? Better. Still...the formula is fantastic. I picked up Zoya's Lolly, and the I can never get it to look good. There are always streaks and ridges. No good. Stone Cold goes on smooth, and the finish is nice and even. No pooling, no dragging, brushstroke free. Fab.
Please make Stone Cold part of the permanent collection. Please???
Polish Lovers Everywhere
I think the reason the color choice makes more sense after reading the books comes from the whole premise. The Capital chooses children from each district and essentially pits them against each other in a death match. It's a horrifying thought to do that to a child, so dressing the characters up to look older would make it more palatable for the citizens forced to watch. This probably makes little sense unless you know a little about the books. I recommend them. Not necessarily the greatest literary works to grace the shelves of Barnes & Noble, but they're well-written and send a better message than Twilight.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
According to ehow.com, here are the ingredients for Black soap:
Black soap contains water and the bark of the shea butter tree, the leaves of palm trees, the bark and leaves of the banana tree bark and leaves, plantain plant and the pods of the coco plant. The soap also contains a number of oils including shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil and kernel oil. The actual content depends on the brand of soap as well as any additional scents, herbs and fruits that are added to the base ingredients.
Here is the Product Description from Amazon.com:
Some of the Benefits of black soap - Helps deep clean skin. - Works on most skin types including rough and dry or sensitive skin - Helps clear skin bumps and spots - Helps relieve acne, oily skin & other skin problems. - Great for removing makeup - Works against premature facial lines and wrinkles - Can be lathered and used as a shampoo. Usage of the Black African Soap Break off a bar-size piece from the bulk, then press it to shape with your hands, or use it as is. Rub the bar between your hands (or on a washcloth would also work), then rub your soapy hands on your skin and hair. (If you rub the bar on your hair, it will get hair stuck to the bar.) Black soap absorbs water easily, so keep it from sitting in water or it will dissolve away. The soap holders covered with little vertical fingers work well. Because this soap is softer than commercial soap, it comes off the bar more easily, so less rubbing of the bar is needed to release enough soap. When you start another bar, just push the old soap sliver onto the new piece and the two will easily unite; leaving no waste. How to Store the Black African Soap Pure traditional African black soap is a soft milled soap and has very high natural glycerin content. As a result, it readily absorbs moisture from the air. It must be stored in a dry location or in a sealed plastic bag or it will become soft as it absorbs moisture. Black soap exposed to the air will have a thin white colored film. This film is not mold it is caused by absorption of water from the air. This can be avoided by keeping the soap in a dry location away from moisture until ready for use. Ingredients: Traditional Black Soap contains mainly cocoa pod ashes, plantain skins ashes, and palm oil, processed together.
The soap has an interesting smell. It actually smells like soap. No dyes. No perfumes. No color or fruity-smelling goodness like we're used to from any other company. I've found that I like it. It smells clean. You smell clean after you use it.
I got the boyfriend using the soap as well. His skin is more oily and mine is on the dry side. We both like it. I still need to use a moisturizer, but I need that with about every soap on the market.
My skin feels really soft after using it. It lathers really well, so it doesn't take a lot. Your bathtub may develop rings if you take a bath. It clears up a lot of shaving bumps, and can be used to shave. I haven't had razor burn in my armpits since I started using it, which is rare for me.
It also does a great job clearing acne. I'm breakout prone, as I've mentioned before. It also seems to fade scars. I even found I could dab a little on blemishes and the swelling diminishes a lot by morning. It's even discreet if used during the day under foundation.
The soap also gets softer as it's exposed to moisture. You want to make sure you break off little chunks for use in the bath, then store the rest in a dry place. A white film develops when it gets humid, so don't freak if it looks fuzzy.
I've been really happy with the soap so far. I alternate this and The Body Shop Shea or Cocoa Butter body washes and my skin does pretty well. The stuff I buy can be found on Amazon.com for about $10-12. It is recommended to make sure you're getting the soap imported from Africa, not grown in a lab in the US for authenticity.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
For the photos, I used one coat of Maisie over two coats of Kristen.