Mani Monday: Kylie Jenner's "Kommotion"

You probably have noticed that I haven't been posting my Mani Mondays as regularly as I used to! I admit that I've fallen a bit behind on blogging. Outside of lots of "stuff" happening in my life, I've actually been enjoying having natural nails for some time now. Plus, with exercising regularly and eating a protein-heavy diet, I've seen my nails become stronger and stronger on their own, and not require a protective coat of polish to keep them from breaking.

However! Polish is still a love of mine, so I'm going to try to keep back up with my posts. Today brings you another Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors shade, "Kommotion." You might recall my other Kyle color post from May featuring a pretty light lilac-lavender shade, "Kurtsey." This is also from the velvety demi matte line called Trend Matters, and I have to say that the finish is indeed a mid-matte look, even with my usual top coat. 

I remember once reading a blog post featuring a color that walks the line between blue and purple, and the author called it "blurple." I think this shade qualifies. The pearl shimmer gives it depth, and keeps it from falling too matte. Because "Kommotion" is a softer color, I bet it would look great on long nails, too! 

The staying quality was pretty run-of-the-mill for Sinful Colors: longer lasting than you might expect from a cheap nail polish brand. I think I had a significant chip about day 5, and then tips started jumping ship shortly after. I've worn this on my toes as well this summer, which I'd suggest as it looked pretty darn cute. 

Have you tried any of these demi matte polishes? Do you use a shiny topcoat with them, too?

Polishes Used: 
Pastel Purple: "Kommotion" by Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors
Base & Top Coats: Seche Vite

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Saturday Sounds: Gallant

It admittedly took me quite some time to finally jump on the Spotify train. I joined just a few months ago with the intention of really broadening my music horizons. Outside of being a music-lover through and through, exploring new sounds is vital to a DJ's career - and if there's anything I hate, it's being stuck and stagnant. Spotify has been turning me on to artists right and left, including this incredibly talented young artist, Gallant. 

He's only been around for about 3 years, and I think that's pretty amazing considering he was just on Jimmy Fallon (above) to support his new album, Ology. His smooth R&B sound and vocal range immediately caught my attention, as it did for the Fallon audience. His performance was met with serious enthusiasm from Fallon himself, as well as a standing ovation from the crowd. 

I'm a big "feeler," and sometimes I just really don't want to listen to love songs or breakup songs or songs about getting turnt. Gallant is the perfect medium for those moods. His lyrics lean more towards poetry than you might find on the radio, but they're still accessible. For instance, if you're in a spot in your life where you're not entirely sure where you're headed, check out "Skipping Stones." It's honest, heartfelt, but not entirely too sad. 

Let me know if you check Gallant out!

Tat Chat: Saint Louis' Cammeron Donnelly

You might have heard I have some new ink. I'm turning into one of those people that requires acquiring a new tattoo every few months, otherwise I start to get a little antsy! In January, I sought out the super talented Cammeron Donnelly to do a David Bowie tribute tattoo. Camm is patient, thoughtful, creative, and easy to work with. I love collaborating on projects with my tattoo artists so that I get something pretty unique, and also allows the artist to put their own style into the work. After the success of my Bowie piece, I knew Camm was the one to continue working with! I started my leg sleeve with him in May, and wanted to help you get to know him as well. Read on below to learn more about this awesome human!

Camm has been tattooing for about 11 years after starting his first apprenticeship around 2004. He bopped around in shops until landing in Seattle's Lucky Devil South with Ernie Gosnell, Paco Rollins and the rest of the team. He says of the shop, "It wasn't until I met them that I realized what I was looking for the whole time. Community, family, a sense of belonging. They are truly my family and never will let me forget it." I think most of us look for that in a work space! 

When I asked Camm about his inspirations, he mentioned Alphonse Mucha, which I can see reflected in Camm's renderings of beautiful women. Another inspiration is a familiar name to the public: Don Ed Hardy - famous for his tattoos on clothing and accessories. One of his other inspirations is R.K. Sloane, who is well known for his macabre and fascinating works of art. I think you can see that a little bit in Camm's personal work and original designs - I love some of his "spookier" work! Speaking of spooky, Camm houses some of his equipment in a stunning mini-coffin with gorgeous velvet interior. Maybe he's a vampire as well as a tattooer. The coins embedded in his machine caught my photographer Abby's eye, and Camm tells us that they represent his grandfather: the big coin is from his cremation and the little ones are Liberty coins from his birth year.

I asked Camm out of curiosity if there's anything he'd never tattoo on someone based on his personal preference. I was thinking he'd say something more along the lines of "knuckle tattoos" or an image he finds silly, but he responded with "Hate tattoos. Tattooing was meant to be a form of self expression. if thats something you feel expresses who you are than your money could be better spent talking to someone about your misguided priorities." Agreed, Camm. The projects he prefers to work on are larger scale, such as sleeves or back pieces. I often joke about those areas being "prime real estate," and he echoed my sentiment with "I enjoy the labor of making the tattoo look like it was supposed to be there - like it's always been there. Let's be honest, there's more room to sink your teeth into and really give it all you've got."

Speaking of great real estate, I started working on my leg sleeve in May with Camm! I'm a huge nerd (if you didn't already know), and an important part of growing up for me was ravenously devouring books. The Tolkien world of Middle Earth was one of my favorites, and I really wanted to pay homage to my love for his work. If I was going to start with a large piece, I knew it needed to be dynamic, fantastical, and fun. One of the most climatic events in Tolkien-tale is when Smaug the dragon is smoked right out of the sky, so I focused on that - I knew Camm would be down to dance with a dragon and do some incredible work. And here we are! 

The majority of this outline session was pretty easy - but I can say with certainty the back of my leg was an absolute nightmare. I am NOT looking forward to working on that again. I'll be adding color in a month or two, and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out. Stay tuned!

Camm is a dream to work with, so if you're in the market for a new piece, seek him out currently at Iron Age in the Delmar Loop. He welcomes consultations, so give him a call there and talk to him about your next idea! 

Find more of Camm here:
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Photos: Abby Gillardi

Mani Monday: Nonie Creme Clacker

If you spied my Mani Monday post a couple weeks back, you'll know I picked up a new nail polish from a pretty display in Walgreens. This lovely little polish comes from Nonie Creme Colour Prevails, and I gotta say, the bottle design is what really sold me. The butterfly wing is so striking! If you read the other post, you'll know that the wing design was inspired by Alexander McQueen's 2001 runway spectacle, "VOSS." It's also designed to be easier to hold, which in turn should make application fluid. 

I have to say, I was pleasantly pleased with the handling of the brush due to the butterfly wing! It felt natural to hold, and I was able to angle my hand comfortably to paint my nails. This polish in particular needed three light coats, and I really liked the color. I'm not a big fan of totally matte polishes, and "Clacker" has a teensy amount of shimmer, which keeps it from looking flat. I applied the polish on Wednesday afternoon, and by Sunday I'd sustained an unusual chip right in the middle of a pinky, but nothing super noticeable along the tips of my nails, so I was pretty happy with the staying quality. 

Although no other polish colors really jumped out at my in terms of uniqueness, I definitely would like to grab another just out of curiosity. Plus, the pretty packaging will just look nice on my shelf!

Polishes Used: 
Grey: Nonie Creme Colour Prevails "Clacker"
Base and Top Coats: Seche Vite

OOTD: When A Dress Makes Sense

Guess what, y'all? It's hot as all get out in Saint Louis. I don't really mind summer - I like camping, pools, nights in the park, and all the activities that accompany the season. However, when it gets too hot to wear jeans, I start to get grumpy. I'm a denim girl through and through. But when our temperatures start hovering around 90 degrees and up, I start falling apart. I feel boring in dresses, and I also feel like so many dresses these days are poorly designed, don't fit well, and are generally unflattering. However, every once in a great while I stumble across a vintage pretty that fits well, is breezy, and still sort of fits with my style. 

I hit a secondhand jackpot at my local Goodwill recently, and this dress happened to be there that day. The 90s are so in right now, as well as dark florals. Now that it's hot as heck in Saint Louis, and I also have been healing up a new, large leg tattoo, I've gravitated uncharacteristically towards dresses, so this one has seen a lot of use since I snapped it up for like $9. I can't really argue when it fits so well, too! 

Many thanks to my darling friend Emmy for snapping these photos recently when we met up for brunch! Check her blog out over at That Cheap Bitch - I heard a rumor that she'll be updating again shortly! I can't wait to see her this fall when I'm back in NYC for Fashion Week. 

Outfit Details:
Dress: Goodwill   |   Bag: Avalon Exchange   |   Sandals: Revive Thrift Shop
Necklace: Fable & Lore   |   Sunglasses: Hand-me-downs from Grandma

Tune Tuesday: Kaytranada's 99.9%

A few Tune Tuesday posts ago, I featured Låpsley, a young artist who's exploding on the scene. Imagine my surprise when I just discovered that prominent producer, DJ, and creative master Kaytranada, is only 23 years old. I often joke that this makes me feel like I've accomplished nothing in life, but that's silly business. But when Kaytranada has already been touring, opening for Madonna, and worked with names like AlunaGeorge, I sure feel like I need to get working! 

Born in Haiti, but raised and based in Canada, Kaytaranda's style is modern, electronic, and much to his father's joy, features cultural beat references. There's something for everyone on the album, but my best recommendations are "Glowed Up" and "Vivid Dreams." Otherwise if you're looking for something super chill, hit up "Bus Ride." The song "Got it Good" features Craig David, who has Usher-like pipes, and is great for those who wanna spend all their cash on their babe. If you're feeling like hitting up something a little more retro, peep "Breakdance Lesson N.1." 

Do you have any young artists you've been grooving to lately?

On Getting Road Trip Ready: Nashville!

Let’s be real. I love my city, but sometimes it’s really great to just get the heck out of it for a few days at a time. I'm doing just that starting this afternoon! Road trips are one of the easiest ways to do that, and one of Saint Louis’ best qualities is that it’s situated in the middle of a good number of cities that make great weekend getaways. I’ve done Chicago, Kansas City, and Memphis, but the one that seems to be the most popular amongst my friends is the one I’ve never been to - Nashville! Or, "Nashvegas" as some of my pals lovingly call it. I’m long overdue for a road trip in general so it only makes sense that I’d hit the city I’ve never experienced. Because I'm road trip rusty, I thought I'd share a little bit about how I've been preparing for the journey! 

My first thought when planning a new trip usually revolves around Can My Car Handle This? If you know me in the real world, you'll know that I recently sold the car I'd been driving for 10 years. I was ready for a new decade-long relationship on wheels, and my little Mazda 3, Ozzy, is much better equipped to travel further than just across Saint Louis City. I spent some time with my dad this past weekend getting more acquainted with all of Ozzy's innards, levels, and tire air to make sure she's road trip-ready. Aside from low air in her spare tire, she's in the clear! 

The next big thing I always think about when it comes to travel is What The Hell Happens To My Wallet? Budgeting isn't always a perfect science, but because I've been traveling on my own more frequently, I'm able to better plan my spending. The first things I factor in are travel expenses, accommodation expenses, and food. Travel expenses aren't terrible when it comes to road tripping, especially if you've got a buddy to share gas purchases with. Accommodation expenses were originally going to be low or nonexistent as my partner has a close friend we had hoped to stay with, but alas! She is out of town. Luckily, Airbnb offers such a wide range of places to book, we were able to find a cute spot for a great price. This will be my first time staying at an Airbnb, but I have heard so many great stories about being able to stay with locals and learning about the city from a dweller. Check back for our experience at the "Nashville Nest!" Our host sounds so friendly and sweet. I can't wait to meet her!

Food is really where I run into trouble because I LIKE TO EAT. I also like to try local favorites and recommended spots, so sometimes I end up at hot spots that have menu prices reflecting their popularity. I would totally love to splurge, but I'm gonna try my best to be a good girl. Some joints I've been eyeballing as recommended to me by friends are (images above L-R):
1) Biscuit Love - A food truck success story with brunch eats and an emphasis on local.
2) Two Ten Jack - Japanese flair pub with ramen, sushi, and more with a lady chef!
3) The Pharmacy - A lovely outside biergarten space with local beef, and a soda fountain!
4) The Lipstick Lounge - A queer bar aimed at the ladies. Well, duh. 

And of course, you know I gotta budget in a little bit of shopping! I hit up ALIVE Magazine's Fashion Editor and big-time Nashville fan, Sarah Stallmann, for some ideas. She sent over a list she actually compiled just last month! From that list, I think I'll be checking out: 
1) Local Honey - Apparently merchandised impressively for easy shopping!
2) Hip Zipper - A wide range of eras with affordable prices? Yes, please!
3) Nashville Flea - A giant flea market? Sign me the heck up. I love a good hunt. 

Unlike my travels to New York Fashion Week, I don't fret too much about fashion choices when it comes to road trips. Ultimately, we're looking at 90 degree temperatures, so I'm focused on packing light summer clothes and staying comfortable. I have a feeling overalls might be going with me... perhaps my cowboy boots, too! 

Have you been to Nashville lately? Do you have any favorite spots to hit while there?

Mani Monday: Nonie Creme Colour Prevails

What happens when fashion and beauty collide? A whole helluva lotta things, but when that fusion comes from someone with a trained artistic eye, a passion for color, and pointed inspiration, you know it's gonna be good. Plus when you throw in the fact that the company's director is a self-proclaimed style chameleon much like myself, you've got a winner in my book. 

I was in Walgreens this weekend and spied a new end-of-aisle installation of some super pretty makeup packaging. Of course, I see nail polish and immediately bee-line to any new display. It turns out that my location got hip to the drugstore line of Nonie Creme Colour Prevails. 

Nonie Creme Colour Prevails is a new makeup brand by the former founding Creative Director of ButterLONDON, Nonie Creme. She draws her inspiration from the artistry of fashion, and felt particularly drawn to Alexander McQueen's 2001 runway stunner, "VOSS." I remember watching the video sometime last year of that runway/performance piece and just being totally mesmerized. The woman inside the box of moths and butterflies was alive, nude, and terrified. As soon as I heard that her packaging was even remotely inspired by McQueen's "VOSS," I knew I needed to scoop something up.

I snatched up one of their nail polishes in the color "Clacker," and can't wait to try it out this week and report back! The polish line is “five free," meaning no nasty chemicals like DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. The bottle is not only pretty - it's mean to assist you in your at-home polishing: "The Precision Painter brush has a patented, ergonomically designed handle that intuitively guides your grip for precise, professional quality application." I'm stoked to see if it feels any different than applying with other brands' brushes. 

Have you seen Nonie Creme Colour Prevails' products yet? Do you buy stuff based on pretty packaging just like I do? 

Friday Finds: Lauren B's Etsy Shop

Confession time! I'm a huge online window shopper. During lunch breaks or bouts of boredom, I often end up wandering aimlessly through various online catalogs, even if I actually rarely purchase anything. Right now, I'm in an online shopping dry spell because I've been a good girl and saving for things I really, really want (like a new tattoo!). When I do get a buying bug, I often turn to Etsy, because it offers a wide variety of handmade to vintage to reworked items. 

You might recognize the name Lauren Busiere from pasts posts on my blog - she's the tattoo artist that has done all the work on my left arm! If you'd like to see a bit more about her work on me, check out this post. At the moment, she is focusing more on art, creating, her framing business, and selling awesome vintage finds rather than focusing on tattooing. This means I've been creeping her Etsy shop a whole lot as she updates rather frequently.

I'm forever in a state of not quite nesting in my home, but really needing to do so. This means I ought to get my act together and start to actually settle in my current apartment. It's not my ideal setup, but the space is nice, and I have the feeling I could make it "mine." I'm a fan of little items here and there that help bring character to a space, so although I'd prefer to move towards a more minimal state in my apartment, I do love to have trinkets. Pack rat status runs in my family for sure.

Outside of her vintage finds, Lauren also has illustrated a number of coloring books for purchase through her etsy shop! Who's going to download the Prince and David Bowie ones with me?!

Find Lauren here:
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Tune Tuesday: Wild Beasts' "Get My Bang"

I've never been the biggest fan of indie rock, to be perfectly honest. I like what I like, and I either latch onto a group or I don't. One group I sunk my claws into several years ago is Wild Beasts, and indie rock outfit hailing from England. I fell in love with vocalist Hayden Thorpe's ringing falsetto, especially on songs like "All the King's Men" from their sophomore studio album, Two Dancers. His voice meshes so well with that of Tom Fleming's, and I love the juxtaposition of how they sing together. 

When I saw the announcement that Wild Beasts had released a new track and would be dropping an album later this year, I about squealed. I haven't followed them religiously since Two Dancers, and need to catch up on their other two albums before the impending Boy King is released, so I'm a bit behind. I'm highly digging "Get My Bang," with the exception of that strange, quiet midsection of the song. Have you listened to Wild Beasts before? What do you think of the new track?