Month: July 2011

No Miss Purple Xtasy

 - by Playing with Polish

No Miss is a line of natural cosmetics available at Whole Foods. I got this beauty while I was on vacation with my husband in Portland. Purple Xtasy is a pale sheer purple with multicolored iridescent glitter. I found that it was to sheer for my taste to wear alone. However, it is great for layering. I tired it over BB Couture’s Nike (a somewhat reddish-purple with red and blue shimmer). The results were a purple that was a bit paler and more bluish with glitter that reminded me of confetti :-) I found that this polish was similar to most flakie glitter polishes I have tried in that it photographed best in indirect sunlight.

No Miss Purple Xtasy

No Miss Purple Xtasy in natural light

BB Couture Nike

BB Couture Nike in sunlight

Application was very good. I used three coats of BB Couture Nike with one coat of Purple Xtasy and a top coat.

No Miss Purple Xtasy

No Miss Purple Xtasy

Portland and Purple Xtasy

 - by Playing with Polish

This year for our anniversary/summer vacation my husband and I decided to go to Portland, OR. I had read that is was a great destination for bike riding, craft brews and excellent and abundant vegetarian food. Wow, what’s not to like?!? Those are things that both of us love! :D

Jessica and Ryan at Multnomah Falls

Jessica and Ryan at Multnomah Falls

Portland turned out to be everything we hoped for! The city and surrounding areas were so green. I can’t believe how many tree pictures I took in the space of a week. This Californian was totally in awe of the lush vegetation! The food, cycling and tasty IPA were all better than I had dared hope. As far as nail polish goes, I was very restrained that week. I only bought one bottle at one at Whole Foods – a glittery purple by No Miss. Purple Xtasy practically jumped into my shopping basket :D I should have a swatch posted in the next few days. It is pretty sheer, so I will be showing it layered with another color.

What are your plans for this summer? Did you pick-up any polish along the way?

Jessica and Ryan on Mt. Hood

Jessica and Ryan on Mt. Hood

No Miss Purple Xtasy

No Miss Purple Xtasy

New Hair Color

 - by Playing with Polish

I have had blonde hair for more than a decade (I did when I was a kid too, but it got darker as I got older). Recently I decided it was time for a change. I wanted less maintenance (no roots!). Also since I am nearing the end of school (only three more classes!), I  wanted something “smart” looking for my planned reentry into the workforce. But did I really want to give up my golden hair? My beauty idol is Grace Kelly. I have always wanted a classic, elegant look like hers. Would I feel too plain with brown hair??? I wrestled with the decision for a while, and decided that I would give it a shot.

I frequently wear my hair in a ponytail, but I did not realize how often until I was looking for a “before” picture! In almost all of my pictures of myself I am wearing my hair up and you can’t really see it.

Jessica with blonde hair

Before with blonde hair

Jessica with brown hair

After with brown hair

I love it! My new hair is so much shinier, and I think it really makes my eyes pop! :-D I am glad my stylist suggested that I keep doing highlights. It really gives the new darker color great dimension. What do you think? Have you undergone any major hair transformations?

Your Go To Polishes?

 - by Playing with Polish

Recently someone found out that I had a nail polish blog, and naturally they asked me about my favorite polish. My brain froze – too many to think about! I love just about anything by BB Couture, Orly has really put out some awesome polish, China Glaze’s OMG collection really rocks, and Nfu Oh can always be counted on for something that packs a lot of punch.  Do I even have a favorite? I couldn’t say I have a favorite. It really depends on what I am craving.  However, I do have a “go to” polish. One that I reach for again and a gain. Although it changes, right now my  go to polish is Orly’s Rage. When I look at my collection faced with indecision, Rage is always a good choice. It boasts excellent application and drying time. When I am wearing rage, I am always pleased gazing at my beautiful rose gold nails :-) It is a good vacation choice too because without being a boring nude sheer, the lighter pinkish color manages to hide a bit of wear.

What are your go tos? Is it a particular polish or a brand that you know won’t let you down?

Orly Rage

Orly Rage in Sunlight

Mavala Agena vs Nubar 2010

 - by Playing with Polish

In response to Andy’s question about how Mavala’s Agena compares to Nubar’s 2010, I snapped a few pictures. Agena has a blue base and the flakies are are duochrome, but primarily red. Nubar has a clear base and also has duochrome flakies with the most prominent color being orange. The picture is out of focus, but it best showed the colors of the flakie glitter pieces.

Mavala Agena and Nubar 2010

Mavala Agena and Nubar 2010 in sunlight

Both applied nicely, but I would only use them for layering as I feel they are too sheer on their own. Two coats shown.

Mavala Agena and Nubar 2010

Mavala Agena and Nubar 2010

Sustainability Base at NASA Ames Research Center

 - by Playing with Polish

On June the 29th my husband and I got to tour NASA Ames’ Sustainability Base! This new building is really cool. It was designed to use water and energy very efficiently, and includes many recycled (and even some reclaimed) materials. Good stuff! :-D

Sustainability Base

Sustainability Base at NASA Ames Research Center

The building is oriented to maximize the use of natural light. It also uses photo voltaic power, LED lighting and skylights. In addition it has systems to greatly reduce the use of potable water (projected to reach 90% reduction in potable water use).  The building is LEED Certified Gold, although the goal is to become Platinum certified (the highest rating).

Sustainability Base makes use of an exoskeleton in its design

Sustainability Base makes use of an exoskeleton in its design

Native and drought tolerant plants were used for the landscaping (they will be irrigated using recycled water from the building). The building is supported by an exoskeleton (the exoskeleton  echos NASA’s wind tunnel design and in conjunction with flexible building connectors is excellent for seismic safety).

Playing with Polish and Mr. Playing With Polish

Me and Mr. Playing with Polish in the required hardhats! :-)

inside Sustainability Base

Inside Sustainability Base

The building is cooled using a radiant cooling system in the ceiling (uses naturally cool water pumped from the adjacent field). Moving water for climate control is much more energy efficient than air. Radiators under the windows provide efficient heating. The windows are oriented to maximize penetration of natural light, and provide every occupant with an outside view. Skylights on the second floor provide further natural lighting. LED and compact fluorescent lights provide efficient supplemental lighting as needed. Windows are energy efficient, and employ glazing technology from the Apollo missions! They also open to allow fresh air flow which reduces the need for cooling (the bottom windows are can be opened by occupants while the top windows are controlled by computers using temperature sensors). The carpeting is recycled and recyclable, and the tiles are modular so they can be replaced if one becomes damaged. They are low VOC along with the paint and other building materials. Vents in the floor allow the building to intake fresh air overnight. I was amazed at how fresh the building smelled!

View of the iconic Hanger One and the field where the cooling water is stored

View of the iconic Hanger One and the field where the cooling water is stored

Here is a beautiful view from the open workspace (the workspace was designed to foster collaboration).

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