I Love Plaid Nails!

(Disclaimer: this blog post includes an affiliate link.)

Happy weekend! I hope you’re all having a good weekend.
I believe that Black Friday was a foreign to us here in the Netherlands before, but this year, it’s EVERYWHERE! I have no complain although I haven’t gotten anything so far yet.
Did you get anything? Are you planing to get anything?

I went to get a plaid coat or at least I wanted to try it on and to see if I’d look good in it. I did look fine. I liked it better than the other plaid coats I tried in the last a few months. However, it wasn’t “the one” just yet. I couldn’t point it out exactly why I wasn’t fully sold though. The size was good, I liked the design, I liked the color pallets, and the length was fine, too.
Are you curious which one I tried? (Here.)
I didn’t expect it would be this hard to find my kind of perfect plaid coat,  honestly!

Oh well. At least I have plaid pattern nail art to wear!

This is the one I did at the beginning of November.

Here are the colors I used.
·HEMA Long Lasting Nailpolish in ‘822’. (Muted red. Nail polishes from HEMA have more interesting names since a few years ago. I’m afraid I don’t know if this color was given a new name and still exists. I do hope so!)
·Essie Mind Your Mitten (Dark grayish navy.)
·OPI ‘My Vampire is Buff’ (“Creamy pale nude.”)
·Make-up Studio Nail Color in ‘103’ (Fine champagne gold metallic shimmer.)
·OPI ‘I Snow You Love Me’. (Round holographic rhinestone-like glitter.)

I went for a cozy and fuzzy flannel blanket look. 
To achieve this look, only you need is a cotton bud/Q-tip. You just need to dubbed your choices of nail polishes with a Q-tip by gentle stamping motions. Then, you can add thin lines with a brush.

This is the picture I took last night before I did my manicure.

As you can see, my nails last quite well. They always have been as far as I can remember.
When I started to learn how to do nail arts by myself, I used to do manicure every weekend. Then, somehow, I could go on for weeks with a same nail design. I just need to shorten the length of my nails and reapply top coat.
I hardly get chipping. Probably that’s why I get often asked if I have gel nails.

And then I changed to this!

I really loved the previous nail art I’ve done, so I decided to keep the design but switching the main colors. I was very curious how it would look like!
Oh! I also changed the order of painting a bit. I thought that starting with OPI ‘My Vampire is Buff’ would be better for this one.
I’m very happy with the pigmentation of the nail polishes I layered on ‘Mind Your Mitten’ by Essie. I was a bit worried that they might not be able to see well enough.

The technique I used is also exactly the same, with a Q-tip and a thin brush.

Although the color pallets are the same, these two nail arts look pretty different, don’t you think?
I can’t pick which one I like more.
What about you? Which one do you prefer?

Have a great weekend!


Love,
Ayako

Nails I Did Back In September

(Disclaimer: this article contains affiliate links.)

I did change my nails while I was “neglecting” my blog.
I have a few nails I haven’t share on my blog yet, so I’ll write about them little by little.

The last nails I did in September was “marble stone inspired nails”.

Marble stone inspired nails I did in September.

I used Essie for this look (except the fine gold glitters).
The colors I used are ‘In The Lobby’, ‘Island Hopping’, ‘Limo Scene’, and ‘Blanc’ by Essie.

(L to R) ‘In The Lobby’, ‘Island Hopping’, ‘Limo-Scene’, ‘Blanc’ (Excuse me for the not so well focused picture!)

‘In The Lobby’ (according to the official Essie website, it’s described as “Exotic cinnamon plum” Interesting!) is such a beautiful deep plum color. I believe it came in 2016. And I’m afraid it’s a limited edition since the official website said “not available” But I found it on a Dutch online shopping site called Bol.com. It’s almost sold out there, so if you can’t find anywhere near you, it might be a chance to get it. (Even though it’s a bit more expensive than the original price. I guess it’s hard to get now?)

Did you miss the chance to get your hands on the beautiful ‘In The Lobby’? I might need a back up. Hmm. Get ‘In The Lobby’ here.

‘Island Hopping’ is another beautiful color I often pick in sweater weather season. Essie describe this as “A rich plum mauve”. I had no idea this one was also “plum”! No wonder they go well together.
You can get it on Essie’s website, but I just realized it might be tough for people who don’t live in the US. (If you chose to buy it through the official website, you have 2 choices. Either buy it via Amazon or via Ulta.) For those of us who live in NL or in the neighborhood countries, again Bol.com might be the better choice. (This color is cheaper than ‘In The Lobby’ on Bol.com, but this one is almost sold out, too.)
‘Island Hopping’ anyone?

‘Limo Scene’ is one of my favorite ‘base color’. When I want a soft and subtle base color for nail arts, I often go for this one. It looks a lot more pink on both Essie and Bol.com though. This nail polish is more like jelly.I own a few bottles of ‘Limo Scene’ as back up.

‘Blanc’ is nice opaque white. (On Essie)
I’ve used ‘Alpine Snow’ by OPI before I got ‘Blanc’, but personally, I prefer Essie’s ‘Blanc’. ‘Blanc’ is actually less opaque compared to ‘Alpine Snow’. Because of that, I find it’s easier to control.
Are you looking for a white nail polish that is pigmented enough? Buy ‘Blanc’ here.

I used cling film to paint the marble stone inspired pattern.
What I had in mind was finer pattern, not the usual gray scale marble stone we see often. (I do like the typical marble stone pattern though!)

I hardly use cling film to do nail arts, so I need more practice.

That’s it for today!
See you next time!


Love,
Ayako

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Another Update

Hi.
First of all, I’d like to thank you all for visiting my blog even though I haven’t posted anything at all for the last 2 months. (The only up to date thing on this blog was my Instagram post.)

I knew that I had to write something like what happened after the job interviews I mentioned last time. But I just didn’t feel like it. I was even more disappointed by the rejections especially because the both interviews went really well.
It’s hard when you want to try something totally different, however you don’t have experience nor qualification for that job. How would you get experience when they don’t give a chance to you?
It’s frustrating.

So yes. I felt ashamed. I didn’t feel like writing about my failures. It was hard enough to share the results with my colleagues who were excited for me.

To be really honest, I’m not in a good place right now.
I mean, my relationships are great. I love my life I get to spend with my beloved boyfriend. He is incredible.
And I reconnected with a very good friend of mine after such a long time. Both of us were busy with stuffs and we lost in touch eventually. 7 years is such a long absence. But funny thing is, we didn’t feel like we had no contact for ages the moment we got together. I guess that’s what happens when you are with the right people.
Career wise, I’m totally stuck as you already know. It’s very important factor of our life for that’s how we earn money from. How you feel about your work affects your happiness.

I feel lots of stress and I’m under so much pressure.
I have no idea how long I can stay strong.

What I need right now is to be extra nicer to myself. I need to take better care of myself. I heed to love myself more. I should treat myself like a toddler just like Gretchen Rubin talked about in her podcast.

I have to be strong. I have to be back on the game.
But I need some time and rest, too.

I’ll do my best.

Next time I will write about something totally different. Something more uplifting and fun. Maybe I should put some nail pictures together since I haven’t wrote about my nails for a while.

Maybe some of you are going through tough time like me. I hope that we all make through this.
Nothing will stay the same. This too shall pas, as a wise man once said.
So let’s be nice to ourselves and to other people. Things will get better.

Love,
Ayako

Short Update

Hi there! I hope you are all having a great day.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post or two, but it’s been busy and stressful. Why? Because I’m trying to make a career change. I was invited for job interviews. I felt very excited and grateful for that. At the same time, I felt nervous and scared. I’m not going to lie.

I try to stay positive no matter what result I get. It’s not easy to get rejected though. It’s not nice at all.

I really hope that I’d be able to announce good news here on my blog soon.

I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive. And the reason why I don’t get to write a blog post recently.

Wish me luck!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Love, Ayako

Self-help Practice

Do you work on self improvement? What do you think about self-help?

I do like it and I need it very much in my life, especially now.
However, I’m not here to talk about how amazing and great for you to do that. I’m not going to force people to do the practice just because I’m trying to work on it.

I was introduced to the famous book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne not long after I left Japan and moved to the Netherlands. My mother sent me a copy of that book. And that was the first time when I learned about the “Law of attraction” as a concept.
When I come to think of it however, I kind of knew how things and/or life work as a elementary school girl. My grandmother taught me a spell/chant to say before falling asleep in bed. She told me to repeat those words for 3 times and then pray/wish by expressing gratitude in my mind.
It quickly became a habit. I kept doing it as long as I can remember almost every night unless I was very exhausted and fell asleep instantly. I don’t remember when exactly I stop taking time for that… I still do it, but way too little. I should bring that. habit back.
Because it helped me a lot to go through my tough time growing up. And it vamped up my good mood and gratitude when I was having great time.

What I was praying/wishing were small things really. It went like this.
“(After the spell/chant) I’m very grateful for today. I’m grateful that I had a good day today. Thank you very much. Please bring me another good day tomorrow. I thank you for that. I wish to be able to wake up on time tomorrow morning. I’m grateful for my family. Please protect them from bad things to happen. I wish happiness, health, and all the best for my family. Thank you. Good night.”

Yep, that’s pretty much I was wishing for every night. And yes, I did ask for “universe” to help me waking up on time.
I changed things up sometimes depend on my needs.
While I was doing it almost every night, my life was good most of the time. (Even though I went through tough time when I was being bullied.)

These days, I’m bringing back another old habit of mine. And that’s keeping a journal.
I wrote about journal in this blog before, however, that was more about “Morning Pages” and “Stream of Consciousness Journal”. I tried the latter for a while. Then, I switched it up to gratitude journal. I liked doing that one, too. And now I’m back to a good old fashion way of journal.
I used to keep a journal when I was between like 10 to 15 years old. The 10 years old me knew the power of positivity somehow, so I decided to write mainly about good things from that day. I remember writing mostly about my crush. Haha! Like, “I had fun talking with him today”, and “I’m so happy that our eyes met so many times!” Very cute.
I remember that I really loved the way I wrote in my journal. It was like having a deep secret conversation with myself, or more like another me, maybe. It clearly suited me well because I kept doing it for 5 years.
So, I’m writing the way I used to do, but I also added an element of “Stream of Consciousness Journal”. Which means, I don’t think much about how to write. It doesn’t have to be neat. I just fill a page with my own words.

What else did I start doing?
Oh, yes! Podcasts! I love listening to great podcasts.
There are tons of podcast channels and episodes out there. Because of that, it might makes you feel overwhelming to pick one.
I already knew what I wanted to listen to. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations (on Spotify, on iTunes) and TED Talks were the first ones that I looked for.
I listen to them when I get ready to go to work, and/or on the way to work and on the way home. I bike for about 40 to 45 minutes total per day when I go to work, which is perfect to listen to them!

Even though I’m a big fan of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and TED Talks, some of the episodes didn’t really interest me much. I’m totally fine with that, because I don’t expect them all to be my cup of tea.
If I listen to something and if I find it’s boring, then I just stop it and try something different. There are many motivational podcasts out there, but some of them are just blah-blah-blah. (I’m not talking about Super Soul Conversation nor TED Talks.)
When I listen to something really great however, I keep replaying it over and over. So that I can understand the content much better.

Do you listen to podcasts?
Do you have any favorite way of self improvement?

It’s quite exciting when you feel like having a powerful “A-ha!” moment. It feels like as if your mind, heart, and soul are getting to understand very important things about life and a way to happiness. Not your brain.
It’s interesting experience, really.
I’d love to be able to feel more of those!

Have a great day and weekend!

Love,
Ayako

Shattered Glass Nails

Oh my! I haven’t posted anything for 20 days!?
I’ve been ‘busy’ with many things recently, so writing blog posts have been neglected for a while as you can clearly see.
I haven’t gotten around to write things I wanted to share with you at all yet either! I shall try to do more today. Yes.

I’m going to write about my current nails first.
I enjoyed the previous nails with KIKO’s Candy Canes Nail Lacquer in ‘041’.
The nails lasted for a bit longer than 2 weeks. Honestly though, I was expecting to last longer than that, like for 3 weeks at least. I guess it’s still considered long enough, especially because it’s summer time.
The removing process was rather a nightmare. The glitters didn’t want to come off at all!
When I remove stubborn glitter nail polishes, I take them off the way gel nails are supposed to be removed. Even with this method, this KIKO one was tough.

I hope my current nails wouldn’t be such difficult one to remove.
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I remember this kind of nails with little pieces of a cellophane was a big thing a few years ago, which originally started in South Korea. I’m someone who doesn’t follow trends much at all, so I didn’t jump on the bandwagon.
I can’t even recall when I bought this cellophane pieces nail topper by Catrice. I believe it was a part of limited collections, so I’m afraid it’s already discontinued. (Yep, it is. ’50 Glitterazzi’)

I’m still pretty much in the mode for a clear base nail look.
I had this nail topper in mind already. I picked 2 additional nail polishes to put the nail look together.
I used OPI ‘Pedal Faster Suzi!’ and Sinful Colors ‘1106 Cinderella’ to do “cheek nails” here and there.
Have you ever heard of “cheek nails”? I have no idea when it got popular, but it’s a nail art look started in Japan. It’s a very beginner friendly nail art method. Just apply nail polish with a makeup sponge to achieve a blushed cheek like effect. (Well, I didn’t use sponge for this look though. Mainly because I was lazy to grab a makeup sponge.)

I’m very happy with the end result!
If you see my nails up close and personal, then you’ll notice tiny bubbles. They are often inevitable, especially in summer. I don’t mind them with this look however, as they look like as if even the bubbles are part of the nail art look.
I’d recommend choosing for a clear base if you struggle with tiny bubbles occurring in between the layers of the nail polishes. Especially because they tend to appear when you’re almost done with your nails, or even later. Clear base helps those bubbles look like soda pop, so it’s more forgiven.

(As usual, I have no affiliate links in this article. In case you’re wondering.)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,
Ayako

Kiko’s Candy Canes Nail Lacquer in ‘041’

Hi! I hope you’re having a nice Sunday!
I’m enjoying a lazy day.

In the last update post, I mentioned that I have a few topics to talk about. But first, let me share my new nails with you. (Since I’ve already posted a picture on my Instagram.)

I really loved the previous marble nails a lot, so I thought that I would try it in a different colors, like more subtle and soft shades. Then, I found this Candy Canes Nail Lacquer by KIKO in my stash.
This one came out in spring 2016 as a part of Candy Nail collection, I believe. The collection had 4 different types of nail polishes like pastel base colors and glitters. I own only 1 of them, which is Candy Canes Nail Lacquer in ‘041 Fun Guarana’.

‘041’ is quite unique in my nail polish collections. It’s a glitter topper, but those glitter particles are mat.  It has micro glitters, small hexagon glitters in hot pink, pink, and pastel orange, medium and large hexagon glitters in pale pink.
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I love layering glitter nail polish on a clear base like this, especially in summer. I think it looks very refreshing to look at.

The formula could be a bit better, but I love the color combination of the glitters. The pop of hot pink is very effective in my opinion. It help preventing to be looking too sweet, I think.

I’m afraid this collection isn’t available anymore, since it was a limited collection in 2016.
That’s why I have no link for this Kiko nail polish to provide you.
Instead, I show you the nails I’ve done after I purchased this nail polish back in 2016. How about that?

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According to my Pinterest post, I’ve done this nail art in April 2016.
The base colors are ‘Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around’ and ‘Chic from Ears to Tail’ by OPI.

(Disclaimer: The links above are mainly to be able to see the colors and how they look like in their packages in case you’d like to purchase. By placing order through these links, I gain no profit. Some colors are unfortunately discontinued. I did my best to find websites where you can buy when it’s still available, however the colors might be sold out by the time you read this.)

Which nail look do you like more?

Have a great day!

Love,
Ayako

Updates

Hi there!
I hope you’re all doing great.

It’s been unbelievably hot in The Netherlands, especially last Friday. Our area reached up to 37 °C. I’ve been living in this country since 2007, but I have never experienced this much of heat before. The moment I stepped outside after work on Friday afternoon, I thought that I was going to evaporate.
I’m very thankful that we got some rain after that, even though it was less than I hoped it would. Still, it’s so much better than nothing! Especially it didn’t rain for such a long time, which is very unusual for Dutch weather.

I understand this heat is pretty much everywhere in the northern hemisphere.
I hope it got better in your country. If it didn’t happen yet, I really hope it would!

Here is the picture I took after nice dinner at a nearby cafe on last Friday.
IMG_20180727_182715
I thought it would be a getaway from the extreme heat in the cafe while eating there, but it wasn’t. The cafe was as hot as our apartment, if it wasn’t hotter. I sweated like crazy during the dinner.
It was nice to feel the breeze and listen to the sound of water. It helped cooling me down and I felt awesome!

I’m a bit taken a back to realize that I’ve been away from writing a blog post for a while.
Last time when I wrote a blog post was mid June and it was about my nails.
I can happily report that I still have the exact same nails, which is one of the reason why I haven’t gotten anything up here.

The biggest reason of the absence is because I’ve been busy working on a job hunt. (Another main reason would be due to the heat.)
I wrote my resume for the first time in 8, 9 years. That’s how long I have the current job.
I learned how to write a motivation letter, too. Both in English and in Dutch.

At the same time, I’m getting to know myself better.
I’m sure everyone has this moment when you feel like being lost. You don’t know what’s your purpose of your life. You have no idea what you want from your life. Or, you don’t know what to do with your life. You can’t really clearly see your future.
I do feel happy most of the time. I am thankful. However, I’m a bit lost.
I just started a few weeks ago, so I have a lot to work with. I can tell you that I’m excited to know myself deeper!

I’ll get back here with a new blog post soon. I have a few things I’d like to share with you. I just don’t know which one I’d like to write first yet.

Until next time, take care!

Love,
Ayako

 

Strawberry Jam And Yogurt, Marble Nail Look

Weekend! Yay!
I hope you’re all having a great weekend!
I didn’t plan anything for this weekend, except like usual weekly chores. My boyfriend will be back tomorrow, so that’s exciting! (I have to be honest, but since he had to go back to his country for the 3rd time so far this year, I got used to being alone. I enjoy “me time” a lot more again, which is a good thing!)

Okay, let’s talk about what I did on my nails this time.
I liked the juicy nail look I did last time so much, so I decided to go for a similar color scheme.

The nail art I came up with is this dark fuchsia and white marble look.IMG_20180714_145604-01-01

I don’t even remember when was the last time for me to do marble nails, but it’s definitely one of my favorite nail art looks!IMG_20180714_145712-01-01

The image I had in my mind when I picked nail polishes was yogurt served with strawberry jam on top. (Hmm… I might try blueberry jam version in the near future!)

The nail polishes I used for this nail art are similar to the last one I did.IMG_20180714_144140-01

I have to apologize first for not being able to provide links for these nail polishes though. Except the white, it seems very difficult (or even impossible) to find these nail polishes. I know, it sucks!

I’ll list them up anyway. (From left to right.)
Essie ‘blanc’
•Maybelline ‘265 Wine Shimmer’
Maybelline ’46 Sugar Crystals’ (I layered this one on top of non-marble nails to give a little bit of sparkles.)
•M2M Natural Nail Care Damore Jon ‘833 Hot Girls’ (I used this one for the marble and also for the non-marble nails.)
(I have no idea where you can get this brand in the Netherlands or anywhere, really. I was gifted some of their nail polishes long time ago.)

(Disclaimer: The links above are mainly to be able to see the colors and how they look like in their packages in case you’d like to purchase. By placing order through these links, I gain no profit. Some colors are unfortunately discontinued. I did my best to find websites where you can buy when it’s still available, however the colors might be sold out by the time you read this.)

What I did to get this marble look is simply dabbed a few drops of nail polishes per color on a nail, and then start mixing the colors carefully, gently, but also quickly with a toothpick. (Work on per nail, then proceed to the next nail.)
I’d recommend to add white right before you start swirling the nail polishes, so that you wouldn’t loose the nice crisp intensity of white that much while you’re mixing the colors.
How much you want to move the colors around is totally up to you. Just keep it mind not to mix them too much.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,
Ayako

Juicy Strawberry Syrup Nails

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.
I’m in a great mood thanks to my new nail look! I’m very simple and easy to be satisfied, right? I know!

I was wondering what to do next, then this juicy gradient nail art popped into my head.
Until the summer in 2016, I had never done gradient nails. This nail look is very similar to the one I did in 2016.
I remember getting so many compliments from my colleagues.
I adored everything about the nail look, so I’m really happy to do it again with a few minor changes.

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The color and the fine silver shimmers make me think of shaved ice with strawberry syrup. Don’t you agree?
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Those are the all nail polishes I used for this nail design. (From left to right)
OPI ‘Nail Envy Original’
Rimmel ‘Nail Nurse Stronger Nail Care Base Coat’ (The link leads to Rimmel NL, but it seems that they changed the package and design. If you live in NL or nearby countries, you can check Kruidvat, too.)
Maybelline Color Show in ‘265 Wine Shimmer’ (transparent berry shade with super fine holographic shimmers)
Maybelline Color Show in ’46 Sugar Crystals’ (very pale pink base with super fine silver shimmers)
•KOSÉ Cosmetics, Fine Nail EX in ‘SP 003’ (This one is sadly discontinued, but it’s a Holographic glitter nail polish.)
Essence ‘Better Than Gel Nails High Gloss Top Sealer’ (Oh, how I love this top coat! This is definitely one of the BEST top coats I’ve ever used!)
Essie ‘Apricot Cuticle Oil’

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I hope you can see the fine shimmers in the bottles.

(Disclaimer: The links above are mainly to be able to see the colors and how they look like in their packages in case you’d like to purchase. By placing order through these links, I gain no profit. Some colors are unfortunately discontinued. I did my best to find websites where you can buy when it’s still available, however the colors might be sold out by the time you read this.)

I used a piece of a make up sponge for this gradient look.
Because I didn’t use colored base, this nail art was really fast to do. Once the base coat is dry, you can start stamping until you are happy with the gradient effect. As the amount of nail polish you apply with a sponge is very thin and very little, you don’t need to wait for the nail polish to dry. By the time you’re done with the gradient, you can apply thin layer of the shimmering nail polish and add holographic glitters on some of your nails.
Then, seal everything nicely with a glossy top coat.

Every time when I look at these juicy syrup nails, I feel happy!
Having pretty nails help me immensely.

What do you find uplifting for you?

Have a great day!

Love,
Ayako