Search This Blog


Le Vernis fail

Dear Roses and Lilies,

A few years ago, my mother received a bottle of Chanel nail color. It was shade #105 Triomphe, a beautiful milky yet sheer white, somewhat similar to their Pearl Drop.

She gave me the bottle, saying that the shade made her nails resemble - pardon her comparison - a dead man's nails.

I loved Triomphe. On me it was just a sheer "my nails but better" kind of color, that lasted over a week without chipping and dried fast. Of course, I used it all up and discovered the shade had been discontinued. Bummer.

Then I "forgot" about Chanel nail polish for a while... until Fall 2011 introducing Peridot #531. A metallic unlike any other, a bold shade that good gals would never like wearing, making this one so much more... special!

Love at first sight it was and I waited over a month for the shade to hit the shelves.

Another fashion crush trigger was June #539. A soft apricot perfectly suitable for every day wear.

Alas, the quality of these two is far from being worth the price tag.

For the first quarter of the bottle, they were fantastic - like my very first Chanel nail polish. Then I think I should have thrown them out and bought the next fashionable shade... right? Wrong! I like to finish my bottles, even if I have many.

These two turned out to be quite a disappointment... They don't dry as fast, they are streaky and, worst of all, I get tiny bubbles on each application. :-(

So, dear Roses and Lilies, in hopes of finishing my bottles, I call out to you - please tell me what you do to keep lacquers from bubbling up and being streaky.



Nail color

Dear Roses and Lilies,

As of late, I have been developing an addiction to nail lacquers and my favorite brand is OPI.

OPI is an American company. It started out as a dental supply business ( Odontorium Products Inc. = OPI ), which was bought by a visionary man, who moved from Hungary to the USA to pursue the American dream.

He took his knowledge of dental technology and used it to create something that makes us smile and feel better on rainy days (more on

I now have a small collection of carefully hand picked lacquers that are, in my opinion, amazing :-D

As all OPI fans already noticed, there is not one shade in their collections that is exactly matching an older shade. They have a lot of shades of pink that differ - some have glitter, some are milky, some are creamy etc. Don't know how they manage it, but there is a ton of creativity involved.

Something else that is alluring about these lacquers is the size of the bottles. Your get 0.5 fl. oz. ( = 15 ml. ) of awesomeness. When you open the bottle, what you discover is not the skinny brush you may be used to with nail polishes, but a big brush that makes application soooo much easier.

And, saving the best for the last, the names! They come up with the cutest names for each shade. If you look at some of the videos they have on youtube, you get an insight of how fun the creative process can be. Especially over lunch, with a lot of people and ideas to work with.

The first shade my bf got me is a silvery grey from their Swiss collection, named "Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous!". The collection was launched in 2010, but the nail lacquer is still fresh-ish. It still applies evenly, but dries slowly and isn't quite as runny as the more recent ones I have. Still, the shade is fantastic and lasts at least a week on my nails.

The second shade I bought ( note: for my brother who wanted to give someone dear a cool gift ) was a sheer, glittery pink called "Princesses Rule!". Goes on very sheer in one coat and more opaque in three. Perfect for a very casual nail.

The other shades I have are equally as beautiful and have movie inspired names ( "Skyfall", "Goldeneye", "Honey Ryder" - James Bond movies inspiration; "Just Spotted The Lizard" and "Into The Night" - metallic shades from their Spider Man collection; "Ogre-The-Top Blue" - from their Shrek Forever After collection ), funny names ( "Yodel Me On My Cell" - from their Swiss collection; "Gouda Gouda Two Shoes" - from their Holland collection; "Every Month Is Oktoberfest" - from their Germany collection and "Oh-oh Roll Down the Window!" from their Touring America collection ).

I can tell you, the quality of most of them is amazing. You still need a base coat and a top coat to prevent chipping and staining with most bold shades. But we ought to apply base and top coats anyway, right? ( most of the time, I don't bother = laziness )

The price for these can be pretty hefty compared to more affordable nail polishes/lacquers, but for me and other OPI fans, these fabulous little things are worth every penny.

What is your favorite brand and shade of nail lacquers?



Color and care

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Beauty - for women - has always been a concern, although, with most animals I know of, the male always fights to impress the female...

Yeah - it's a jungle out there. ;-)

And... there has been a silent war going on between women and their white hairs for aeons.

Our great-grandmothers used all sorts of DIY's to keep their hair lustrous and healthy. Nowadays, we have ready made products we can get off the shelves of the stores or online.

Whether they are worth buying or not - it's up to all of us to find out by "experimenting" a bit.

What I've learned so far is that not everything cheap is bad and not everything expensive is good. Trying to reach a "middle ground" that wouldn't make my wallet scream in pain, this is what I've come up with

Over the years, I went from my natural dark brown coloring to black, red, caramel and now - some kind of auburn. Nothing fancy, just the kind that doesn't necessarily require going to a salon. OK, the caramel phase was high priced and high maintenance. :P

Note to all hair coloring lovers:

Blond is a tricky color - if not done right, you may end up with split ends real fast or more hair on your brush than normal. Not to mention the dark roots or the hair turning orange at some point.

Black is really difficult to remove if you decide to go lighter (been there, took over 4 hours).

Red may make your roots look darker if you have dark hair.

Browns are low maintenance and in synergy with all complexions. 

Keeping all this in mind, don't forget that, in order for you to look awesome in any haircolor, you should only go two shades lighter or two shades darker than your natural hair coloring. Only a few can cross that border and still look fabulous. :-}

After finding your ideal color (which I am still looking for),  take good care of your locks. Use a shampoo that will both keep your hair hydrated (yeah - dye dries your hair out) and shiny. What I currently use is a very affordable one that does help keep my color fresh for quite a while. I don't bother buying expensive shampoo... unless I return to my precious caramel.

Conditioners and hair masks are a must, especially if you have dry hair to begin with. The conditioners that come together with some hair dyes are good. I like the ones from L'Oreal because they do a good job in making my hair smooth.

A very nice mask is the one with olive oil from Avon. I have been using it for years and it has become a staple in my bathroom. You only need to keep it on your hair for 3 minutes (or 10 if you're not in a hurry) and it will work wonders.

What are your secret weapons for keeping your hair fabulous?



On how to stress people at work

Dear Roses and Lilies,

I am going to venture outside my comfort zone on this one, but I still hope you will like it. And, of course, I mean to teach you something as well.

When getting a new job and for the first few weeks - or months in some cases - everything is either a blur or rosy and cozy. It depends on how everyone responds to new challenges.

But, after the blur or the rosy clouds, come all sorts of revelations. It's when the truth bites you in the 'arse'.

As you may well know, there are several differences between being 'just' an employee and being a boss. What we all have in common is stress at work.

And stress is the one pesky thing that pops up no matter what one does to avoid it. Keep reading on if you aren't bored yet......... ;-)

The most important things to do when you want to stress someone out are the following:

A. Give them as many tasks as you can get your hands on - the more, the better
B. Set really tight deadlines on all tasks - say things like "I need this done within an hour" - especially on assignments that need thoroughness and time
C. Start off being ambitious and competitive, then dramatically decrease your productivity just to sabotage your team's or your own performance
D. Be gloomy or irritated and spoil everyone's mood for at least a week every month
E. Congratulate one employee in front of everyone else, then start pointing fingers at those who accomplished less
F. Brag about your special relationship with your boss and make everyone else feel like they're worth nothing
G. If anyone comes to you with an idea, give that person the impression that it's the worst ever, then bring it up in the next staff meeting and take credit for it
H. If, at any point, you are informed that your employees are not happy about something, find the one who complains most, then make an example out of that person and fire him/her... or fire 2 or 3 at the same time - that way everyone else will keep quiet
I. Undermine your boss's authority every time you get a chance to - you'll get noticed sooner
J. Give out orders, then change them - it's how you can create more confusion or even despair
K. Always go to work late and leave early
L. Threaten everybody with firing every once in a while - you'll surely "trim the fat" that way
M. Answer all important questions as evasively as possible or confuse everyone by changing your answers frequently
N. If none of the above seem to work, be creative and come up with something new. But, most importantly, let all problems fly by. Because you're perfect and nobody else matters. >:-)

Hope you enjoyed this post and haven't taken it too seriously. I purposefully pointed out extreme cases, that you may have or are facing or may never experience.



All things purple...ish

Dear Roses and Lilies,

It's been quite a while since my last post and I hope you did miss me. ;-) I know I missed dwelling around cyberspace.

So I gathered up some patience in hopes of posting something inspiring. Instead, I've come up with this...

 neat group of purple-ish things that I like.

I've had the powder eyeshadows for some time now and, even though purple is supposed to make green eyes pop ( and mine are dark brown ), I simply love them for the colors and their texture.

Do they look good on me? Don't know, will have to post a picture and have you guys decide. ;-)

The Maybelline cream eyeshadow is a more recent acquisition. Can't comment on it yet, need to use it more.

I included the mascara tube because I love the huge brush and the fact that this mascara does not clump, nor irritate my eyes. But it's not purple. Would be nice though.

Purple-y nail polish - looks good against any skintone, as long as you choose the right shade. But I'll talk some more about nail colors in a future post.

Hope you liked this one.

See ya' later!