Thursday, July 12, 2012

DIY: Make your own nail polish!

So call me crazy, but I am not going to purchase all of this seasons "hot" nail polish colors. Why? Glad you asked. First of all the $12-$18 price tag. Second, many colors are a fad and if you buy them you'll just end up with a lot of strangely colored nail polish that you never use. Third, even if the color comes back in style in a year or two a lot of polish will go bad (separate) by then.
That said, I still see some colors that make me drool, and thanks to Sephora emailing me at least once a week I get a constant reminder of the uber chic colors I'm missing out on.  This seasons color that became my obsession? Turquoise! I spent a week flip-flopping on whether to buy turquoise polish, mostly because I couldn't decide whether the color was pretty or pretty awful and I didn't want to part with my hard earned cash to find out.
Then it struck me: Could I make my own nail polish? A quick Google search later made me think I could. All I really needed was white nail polish and eyeshadow. So I rummaged through my makeup and found supplies.

Items used:
  • white OPI nail polish
  • an Urban Decay eye shadow in turquoise that I haven't worn in years
  • a cheap lip gloss brush
  • two plastic cups
  • two Q-tips
  • nail polish remover. 
  1. Pour about a teaspoon full into the plastic cup (make sure you pour enough to do two coats of a pedicure or manicure with)
  2. Pull the cotton off two Q-tips
  3. Use one of the Q-tips to scrape some eyeshadow into the plastic cup
  4. Use the other Q-tip to mix the eyeshadow into the white polish
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reach your desired color
  6. Apply the nail polish to your toes or nails (or both!) with the lip gloss brush, add second coat when the first coat has dried
  7. Pour a little nail polish remover in the plastic cup which hasn't been used yet
  8. Swirl the lip gloss brush around in the nail polish remover and once it looks clean wash off with soap and water

I have to say that I LOVE the results.  It is two weeks later and it still looks great!  Of course when I told my mother what I was doing she just looked concerned and offered to give me some of her polish ;)  Oh, and I'd like to add a fourth reason for not buying this seasons hot nail polish color: because making your own is fun!!

Note: I think you could use colored chalk pastels instead of eyeshadow.  I will try it out and let you know!

My camera is terrible, it looked way better in person!


Money 101: Spot the "investment"

Sometimes people want to believe a purchase is an investment for one simple reason, they wanted to buy Item X, so they called Item X an investment as a justification for the purchase.  My point is, if you like something and want to buy it and you can afford it... then buy it.  But don't fool yourself into believing that an item is an investment just by calling it such.  If a purchase is truly an investment however, you still need to do your research to determine whether it is a winner or loser!  Lets look at some things people buy and see if you can spot the "investment":

A house: Trick question!! There are two kinds of houses.  The house you live in and the house you rent to other people.  1) The house you live in is not an investment. You aren't making any money on it now. And generally you will pay more in mortgage payments than you will make when you sell the house, even if you sell it for more than you bought it. 2) The house you buy as a rental is an investment. But it could be good or bad, there are no guarantees.  You could lose money if you misjudged the rental market and, for instance, there aren't people renting in the area, or houses are renting for less than your monthly mortgage payment.  Your investment may not make or lose money at all if, for instance, a year of rental income only covers a years worth of mortgage payments + property taxes + any repairs. You could make money however if a year of rental income exceeds a years worth of mortgage payments + property taxes + any repairs.  There are a variety of other factors that come into play, but my point is: buying a house isn't necessarily an investment, and even if it is, it may not make you rich.

Expensive luxury items: A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, was telling me about an acquaintance who buys an expensive $2,000 + purse each year. The acquaintance sees the purses as investments. I see the acquaintance as delusional. If she wants an expensive purse and can afford it then by all means, buy it. But don't delude yourself into believing it's an investment. It is a luxury item, not a mutual fund.
Jewelry: Even an expensive brand new diamond ring loses value once you take it off the lot. Don't believe me? Ask any divorcee you know who has sold her ring. The price you pay at the shop takes into account the stores rent, employees, insurance, wholesale price of the stone, the crafting of the ring, advertising etc. That is why a new ring that costs a store $1000 ends up on the shelf for about $4,000 - $5,000. Buy new jewelry because you like it and can afford it. You aren't making money on that shiny new solitaire.  If you see a Chanel brooch at a yard sale for $1 however...

Trendy toys:  Beanie babies... nuff said.

Art:  Tread lightly in this area!  Art can be an investment but research is necessary.  If you see a painting for $5,000 and you think it is a good investment, STOP!  Are you buying it because you think it is beautiful and you would love to see it above the dining table every day? Or are you buying it because you think you can sell it in the future for boat-loads of cash?  If your answer is "boat-loads of cash" you better have done your research on the artist, how much his/her stuff is worth, and whether it is in demand.  Additionally, what is popular now may not be in the future.  So a painting may actually lose value.  Real world example: I was at the antiques road show recently and a man brought two paintings for appraisal.  They were appraised for $30,000 each!  He wasn't happy.  It turns out that he had paid $30,000 each for them.  He, for whatever reason, thought he was getting a deal when he purchased the paintings.  But it turned out that he just got a fair price.  I couldn't help but think that maybe consulting a professional or doing more research may have revealed the true state of affairs.

To wrap this up:  Don't pull the wool over your own eyes, i.e. it's a purse not your retirement account.  Do your homework if you are buying something that is an investment.  Buy things you like, because in the future you may not be able to sell them, let alone make money on them! Don't be greedy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let me introduce myself

This blog isn't going to be all about ulcerative colitis, but my illness is what inspired me to start a blog.  When I first got sick I kept a notebook in which I logged what I ate, the time I ate it, the medicines I took, my pain levels...I hoped it would provide a clue as to what was making me feel like I was being stabbed in the abdomen.  I gave up after a year.  The whole endeavor had been fruitless, which led to my husband and I affectionately calling the notebook "the book of pointless."
The only good thing in the notebook were the occasional entries that mentioned something fun I did, such as "went to dinner with Nick" or "Alison came over to watch a movie."  It helped me realize that my last year and a half hadn't just been sickness, I had happy moments too.  This blog is my new book of pointless, minus the logs of what I ate etc.  This book of pointless is just about living :)