Friday, November 23, 2012

NAIL FILES: Concrete Jungle

Good morning, lovely nail files bloggers!

This week my nails are shellac-ed once again. I chose the color 'Concrete Jungle'. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite colors I've ever had. It isn't too dark or too light for the season. I have had a hard time transitioning to darker colors now that it's fall time, but this is a perfect color. I don't know what it is with taking pictures of my nail colors, but it seems to be more difficult than one would think! :-)
Although a bit blurry, this was the picture I captured that portrayed the color best. I also really like the name of the color

Happy Black Friday! I am not participating in black Friday because I elected to work today instead. I hope you find some great deals out there (POST EM and SHOW EM!) if you are taking part in the craziness! AND be safe!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This is to you, the military wife..

I saw this blog post on one of my friend's facebook pages, and thought it was really touching. The author also collected people's pictures to incorporate them into the post. Love it. My favorite quote from it:

"This is to you, the one who waits for a call, who keeps your cell phone glued to your hand. To you, the one who checks the mailbox incessantly and refreshes your inbox ten times an hour. You, the one who quells the ever present pit in your stomach and refuses to listen to the news."

I may not be a military wife, but I can really relate to, and appreciate this post.

Goodnight, bloggers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scenes from Portland

This weekend I headed south with my good friend Katie. We went down to Portland to visit one of our old friends who lives in the area. We went down to visit about two years ago, and decided that it was well over due for another visit. Lots of tax free shopping, and yummy food was had. A great way to spend part of the long weekend.

A picture from our visit two years ago

 Unfortunately, this trip wasn't in the summer like our last one so we were stuck indoors for the most part, but we still managed to have a good time!

 We went to this awesome hotel called The Nines. Inside there were a few different restaurants. One being Urban Farmer. Urban farmer is set in the middle of the 8th floor. It's an open air concept, and is furnished nicely. We took advantage of the bloody Mary bar, which was delicious, and that's coming from someone who doesn't normally like bloody Marys.We also went to Widmer Brother's Brewery. You just can't go to Portland with out visiting at least one brewery. Portland is one city that is FULL of micro breweries.

Friday, November 9, 2012

NAIL FILES: Featuring my first ever Julep Parlor visit!

I have been following the Nail Files from Tara @ Fabulous but Evil for close to a month or so, and because of this I was introduced to Julep. I had never even heard of this Julep before, and little did I know they have actual Julep parlors located solely in my neck of the woods. After all the wonderful nail colors and praise about Julep from Tara, I started looking into this company because I was curious when she mentioned the Julep Maven mail order program. I'm not usually one for doing my own nails because I can't sit still that long, and I usually mess them up right away. I stick to someone doing my Shellac for me because they're the pro, and they are dried before I have a chance to screw them up! Anyway, when I made the discovery of the parlors I knew I had to try them out ASAP. I scheduled an appointment at their Bellevue location for a Fab for 14 Julep Manicure. AKA their take on a shellac manicure. I was taken a little back by the price, but based on the description I figured it would be worth it:

Fab for 14 Julep Manicure-$66

Enjoy up to 14 high-gloss, chip-free days with new polish technology that dries instantly. Includes reflexology-based massage, sea salt exfoliation, and hydrating paraffin wrap.
Duration: 75 Minutes

Sounds amazing, right? Normally I pay around $28-30 for the basic shellac application and a little lotion at your regular run of the mill nail salon around the corner, but when I saw that there would be all these extras at Julep, I figured I'd fork over the extra $30 bucks.

I arrived to the salon, checked in and was told that I could get a glass of wine or champagne in place of my free bottle of polish if I wanted to. It was still early in the day, and I didn't feel like drinking so I decided to go for the free polish, which I picked out at the end of my manicure. I sat down at one of the stations, and let the lady do her work on me, I was excited for my reflexology massage and paraffin wrap! As time ticked along, none of those things occurred. She did all the usual steps in a manicure; trimmed and filed the nails, cut the cuticles, and buffed the ridges. Then came the color. My choice for color was called Grace. A nice deep brown full of good sparkle. I was surprised when she busted out the bottle of Gelish brand shellac. This happens to be the same exact brand they use at regular nail salons. It was a great color though so I didn't think too much into it. I liked that when they put my hands under the light that they didn't keep them under there for a very long time because sometimes it feels like I'm going to get burnt hands at other nail salons. I also like the fact that Julep Parlors are environmentally friendly and very clean in their practices.

After the color was all set and done the woman who did my nails asked if I wanted lotion. I said absolutely! The lotion was applied, much like at other salons, and then THAT WAS IT. The fab for 14 Julep manicure was done. No reflexology massage, no sea salt, and no paraffin wrap! I went up front, paid the $66 dollars, and got my free color. I walked out of the salon pretty confused, because then I started to think that maybe I scheduled the wrong service, or had gotten my services confused. It had only taken 45minutes to complete which didn't seem right either. I went home, looked up the services again and realized I was right, I should have gotten all those extras, but instead got exactly the same thing I would have received at my regular nail place except that I paid double the price!

Obviously, I'm not completely dogging on Julep, but I was extremely disappointed with my lack of experience had there. They did a good job overall, but I felt I didn't get my money's worth. I think I would go back there for a pedicure, but I'm sticking to my cheapy salon for manicures. I can't justify spending over $120 for a months worth of manicures when I can get the same thing done elsewhere for half the price. I also can't comment on their products since they don't have their own brand of Shellac. I think if people are into doing their own nails, Julep Maven is a good choice. For all these reasons I feel I can't make a final decision on this place, but I'm definitely skeptical about it until I go back and try a pedicure. That will be the deciding factor.

Have you visited a Julep Parlor or used their products before? What did you think?

Have a good weekend, bloggers!