Thursday, April 26, 2012

After a LONG hiatus, a very LONG update! Day 9 (rainbow), Day 10 (gradient), Day 11 (polkadots), and Day 12 (stripes) of the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge

I have been even more terrible than usual at updating... but I have excuses! Sort of. Kinda. 

(If you do not wish to read this ramble of my recent adventures, just skip down to the manis!)
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I went to Pax East in Boston, a gaming convention hosted by Penny Arcade. This was my second year going and it was a super fun nerdy weekend. I even shaved my hair into a mohawk. Long story short, there was a game promotion for Far Cry 3 where you get the game for free if you shave your hair into a mohawk to look like Vos (I'm guessing he's the main character, a terribly ugly guy IMO). Well, I saw it as an opportunity to get a free haircut - I was going to cut my hair short anyway, so what the hell right? Well, it didn't really come free. I got interviewed by this horrible interviewer who didn't know how to operate a mic, it was incredibly awkward. To be fair, I was being honest about not knowing anything about the game and just wanting the haircut, so I'm sure I made her job harder haha. Then, I was forced into playing a tournament of the game where all the players were mohawk receivers... and of course they kept panning back to me because I was the only girl playing that round. Which I think was a bad move on their part because I am HORRIBLE at shooters, so I was shooting the people on my team. It was pretty damn embarrassing. At least my friends had no interest, so they didn't watch the disaster. 

Me after the shave, with FC3 badly spray painted onto my head. I swear I did not intentionally smugly pose for this photo. I had just gotten a new cell phone, and my tiny hands are not used to these new fancy big-screened devices, so I had trouble aiming the camera!

However, this IS me being a bit of a camera whore. I needed to play around with the camera as a sort of therapy. Going from long curly locks to a shaved and hawked head is a big leap and takes getting used to, even if you like it for the most part (and especially if you have body image issues). Also, a big spiky mohawk isn't really me. My hair is curly, it hates and fights against being anything but curly (it immediately starting curling even when they spiked it), and spiking glue doesn't make it curl any less than it normally would. So privately camwhoring allowed me to see my curly-hawk from different angles. 

The man getting hawked next to me had long dread down to his butt. He was getting the game for his friend. I don't think he realized the leap he was making in shaving off all the dreads from the sides of his head. He had a really hard time and actually looked like he was trying with all his might not to cry in front of everyone. During the tournament he was puffing one of those electronic cigarettes furiously and turned completely silent, as oppossed to his happy talkative demeanor prior. If you're a female, or are used to long hair, or are in any way connected to your hair in a way that you feel it is an actual part of you... really, don't do this. I went and got a boycut and buzzed off all my hair the night before the last day of school senior year in high school. On a whim, because I was so unhappy with myself i just did something drastic. I remember the pain the rashness of that decision brought. Even knowing what I was getting into this time I've had some crying bouts and such, and although I know it isn't really the hair (i like having short hair) but rather underlying feelings just being triggered by something visual in front of me, there's no denying that we all identify ourselves by our appearance to varying degrees. That, and knowing that other identify us by our appearances to varying degrees as well, can make any drastic change very hard to cope with. That man really did look awesome with long dreads where the mohawk would be, sides shaved. I can only hope he came to be comfortable with it, and that he stuck with the electronic cig if he was trying to quit lol. 

The trip was great... ya know, aside from the concussion. Concussion you say? Yep. The night before the opening day of the convention, fellow PaxEast-ers hold what is known as the PokeCrawl - A pokemon themed, challenge based bar crawl. Well, between the alcohol and a nightmare that turned into me waking up half-dreaming and having an anxiety attack, I hit my head in the hotel bathroom. My companions were drunk and don't remember me hitting my head, but the pain of it is one glimpse of conciousness I do remember. It was hard enough to give me a pretty shitty concussion and PCS - which is what Jane McGonagal (game designer and author of Reality is Better) suffered from and prompted her invention of SuperBetter - although hers was very serious due to not healing correctly. 

In the ER getting checked out. Between anxiety (I hate hospitals) and feeling horrible, Steve was making me laugh with CAT scan jokes. We decided that they put you in a room and throw cats at you, and if they stick to you like magnets you've failed the test and are declared crazy. And that I would fail. Sadly, there were no cats. But he did help me pee in a cup, and even carried my pee cup for me while a dizzily stumbled back to the bed. What a good guy I've got.

So I had to keep resting and taking naps on corridor floors of the convention center throughout, but I still had a great time. I'm finally feeling better, the symptoms come-and-go now, mostly when I'm not resting properly or stressed. On a side note, depression/anxiety brought on from a head injury feels so foreign and weird to my "normal" depression/anxiety, and came on in such odd and physically exhausting/painful bouts... I was really at a loss when it would happen, and I actually found myself actively grateful for knowing as much as I do about my own shit and having a pretty great knack for personal insight.

On another side note, Johann Sebastian Joust is the most incredibly fun thing I've come across since forts. I was lucky enough to play - and be yet one of the players to fling a shoe at someone's head (unfortunately, it came correening towards my own head haha). You should take a look at some of the gameplay videos on youtube for a laugh. They play anywhere - from the halls of pax, with gaming professionals, in the outdoors, and even in subway train cars with unsuspecting riders playing as audience.
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Day 9 challenge - Rainbow


So, I had done a mani for St. Patrick's day with literal rainbow accent nails, but it is on my old and now dead cell phone. So in my PaxEast mani decision I opted to go for Pacman themed nails which I thought also befitted the rainbow themed challenge. This one was surprisingly simple and very fun to wear. The stylist who cut/shaved my head noticed them and made a big deal about them (which makes sense, because I think someone in the beauty business would be more interested in nail polish more than the gamers who were there to play actual games haha). I used an array of WetNWild Megalast colors including (from left to right) "I Red a Good Book", "I Need a Refresh-mint", "On a Trip" and "Candy-licious" . I used NK nail enamel in Yellow for the thumb, and black and white nail art polishes for details. 

Day 10 challenge - Gradient


I still need to work on this and try out different techniques. I'll fully admit here that I tried doing a gradient with two cream colors and failed. I find glitter gradients to be much more forgiving when you're still learning. I did a pinky glitter gradient by hand (aka sans sponging or any other tool) using three different polishes: Essie "Peach Daquiri", Orly "Berry Blast", and Butter London "Rosie Lee". Also, my favorite coffee mug haha.

Day 11 challenge - Polka Dots


I knew I wanted to use a grey and yellow combo, and I new I wanted to give my Zoya "Luna" an honest try as I hadn't actually done anything but play with it until this point. So out came this random mani, which I fell in love with once it was done. I used Essie "Cocktail Bling" and Zoya Luna for the base, and used some yellow and purple for the dots. The dotting tools I use are *these*, which Steve gave me last christmas. Not only are they pretty and swirly, but they've stood up to my demon cat's teeth and shinanigans. 

I loved this one... while it lasted. I had purchased Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat in the hope that I would find something cheaper (even if just a dollar cheaper at my drugstore) than Seche Vite that worked just as well for me. But this topcoat chips SO easily! The fast dry quality is amazing, and I would argue that it dries even faster than Seche Vite. But if the "diamond strength" is going to make it chip the same day because it offers no flexibility with the nail (no matter how well you wrap the tips), than screw it!

Day 12 challenge - Stripes



I kept is simple for both of these manis, which seemed to work just fine since I recieved compliments on both. For the first one I tested out half-lines for the first time. I've seen "half-lines" used in some beautiful manicures, but I must say that it was late and these were not the most uniform or evenly spaced lines in the world. But I liked it. For the based I used Essence "Choose Me!" and for the stripes just some metallic gold nail art polish.

For the second, please excuse the polish on my skin, I didn't completely clean up before taking this bad quality photo. A camera app picture frame can't hide terrible contrast glare. I was already very frustrated about having broken two nails and thus having to cut them all, so I just didn't want to possibly frustrate myself further with something complicated (my head had been swimming with im/possible feats of intricate artistry prior). I was also hoping the bold-colored vertical stripes would make my nails appear less stubby. For the base I used Essie "Go Overboard". For the stripes I used nail art polishes in neon pink, neon yellow, and bright lime green.

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Phew, long post! I have a bit more, but I'll save it for a separate post - which I really hope to post this week ! I am definitely a blogging slacker, but I want to get better, I swear. I may even post the few simple bits of jewelry I've made... maybe. =P