Pretty Nails & Kitty Toes

Pretty Nails & Kitty Toes

Of course I already paid a visit to Essence, the nail salon that I discovered during my bike excursion around the town of Uruma.

Since I already had my toes did, I decided to give my fingernails a shot (even though I traditionally avoid manicures due to their depressingly short life-span.) I’m curious to see how long I make it before the first chip!

American Pedicures, You Lose

ImageWhen I first found out I was moving to Okinawa, the girls I knew there consoled me with the same bit of seemingly useless information: “You can get an amazing pedicure over here!” This afternoon, I visited Cocok Nail Salon with my sponsor, Kellie, and I have to admit that it was pretty much the best thing ever.  Not only do they serve you chilled green tea and the massage is lengthier and more thorough than any I’ve ever had, but you get a giant book of hundreds of intricate designs to choose from. I played it safe the first time and stuck with the pink and floral design pictured above, but it’s just a matter of time before I attempt one of the following:


Plus, what’s not to love about a nail salon with a great view (clouds and telephone lines aside) and a resident feline? His name is Mitt, and he’s adorably grumpy 🙂

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All in all, this was an experience I will certainly repeat. I’m generally the type of girl who gets a pedicure maybe two or three times per year, but in a place where I will fairly consistently be in sandals (or cute peep-toed shoes), I think they may became a staple in my island beauty regimen. For better or for worse, there is another location near the base I on which I will live. How lucky is that?

Now, check out Kellie’s toes! They’re little minions! Too cute.


“Those that love you are not fooled by the mistakes you’ve made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you’re confused.”

How is the cruelty-free shopping going?

It’s actually going really well, thanks for asking! I’ve replaced *most* of my bath/body/beauty items with more eco-friendly (and at the very least, cruelty-free) alternatives.

These are some of my faves:

Too Faced Cosmetics – foundation, blush, and bronzer

Physicians Formula – mascara, brow pencil, eyeliner

Alba Botanicals – shampoo, conditioner, face wash

Village Naturals – body wash (though I love Jason, for an occasional splurge)

St. Tropez – self-tanners

Basically all I need now is a good face moisturizer and eye cream. I have some in line to try, but first I need to finish my current bottles (which I thought were cruelty-free, but actually aren’t… which is a bummer because I really like these.) I’d like to find a good toothpaste next! I feel like that may be harder, unfortunately… especially since I’d have to impress Chuck with that one too 😉

Anyway, that was probably way more info than you wanted, but yeah – I am on a roll with it!

I completely agree with Ms. Kendrick! I always feel so pretty in that scenario too. Except most of my “diamonds” are secretly not diamonds at all. 🙂

I’m no beauty guru, but…

There are only 3 products I’ve ever used that truly, dramatically accomplish what they claim:

Agadir Argan Oil Spray. I have fine hair that tends to get limp in no time. It was severely damaged several years ago, so I gave this stuff a try, and now my hair is in great shape!! (It didn’t take all several years though, don’t worry.) I still use it after every wash, whether I blow dry or not. Other leave-in conditioners are too heavy for my hair, but this is perfect!

Revitalash Conditioning Serum. Non-prescription Latisse. Not to brag, but my eyelashes are kind of amazing after using this for a few weeks. The drugstore equivalents do nothing in comparison. It’s kind of pricey, but you can find it cheap(er) on sites like eBay, and it does last a while!

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. I’m not just fair – I’m pasty – so I’ve tried every self-tanner in the world it seems. I was really skeptical about St. Tropez, thinking it was overhyped and overpriced, but let me tell you – it’s NOT! I’ve never tried anything that’s more fool proof and odor free than St. Tropez. The mousse goes on evenly and dries quickly. It doesn’t stain my clothes, and it’s actually brown, rather than orange. It can be used for subtle glow, or for a deep tan, though it’s more cost-effective to use it for the glow. I think I’d still rather get a professional spray tan for the deeply bronzed look, but for a quick and nice light tan, this is a gem and completely worth the money!

Anyway, just thought I’d share my success stories, for anyone who’s wasted a lot of time and money on useless gimmicks, like I have…

First try at my new curling wand! Not too shabby for a rushed on-my-way-to-work job, if I do say so myself 🙂 Can’t wait to experiment with it!

(And just ignore the awkward twisty-pose that makes me look bloated.)

My Latest Obsession

… is finding cruelty-free make-up, hair, and general hygiene products. I recently found a great list of all brands that do and do not test on animals (and no, the list does not come from an extreme source like PETA.) 

Some of my products got an A+ on the Animal Testing Report Card, but quite a few got a big fat F, the most disappointing of which were pretty much ALL of my mascaras. Seriously, my top 3 faves of the moment – Lancome Hypnose Star, Maybelline Full n’ Soft, and L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes – are all on the no-no list. WTF?

As I’m sure just about any girl knows, it’s hard to find a mascara you love. But I’m determined to try and find a new one! And with the wide variety out there, I’m sure I can find one I like..

The harder things will be the more “unique” items I’m currently in love with… like my new Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (part of my new interest in skincare.) I was kinda surprised a supposedly more “organic” and natural brand like Kiehl’s would test on animals… but inshallah… what can ya do.