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Here I Am! Updates and Such

By on August 3, 2015
in Sally Hansen
Nail Polish Room Update via @alllacqueredup

Nail Polish Room Update

Hey guys, remember me? I know it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged regularly, but I’m not abandoning you. This summer has been crazy. I reorganized my office (aka the nail polish room), which is still a work in progress, and I’ve been on a bit of a journey that I haven’t been ready to talk about until now. Keep reading to see what’s up.

Nail Polish Room Update

Since we don’t have an IKEA in Cleveland, yet, I can only get my fix when I visit friends in Pittsburgh and Ypsilanti. Fortunately, we were in Ypsi for a friend’s birthday at the beginning of summer, so I took it as a sign that it was time to redo my office.

In spite of having nine Helmers, no judgement, my office was becoming unlivable. I couldn’t find anything and I had a lot of polish to purge and put away, but not enough room to even sort through it all. Plus, I had this giant l-shaped desk taking up valuable space. Note: This is my office when we first moved into the house, pre-Helmers.

Nail Polish Room - Before

Nail Polish Room – Before

First order of business was getting a new desk. I’ve envied people’s Alex units for years, so when I saw that IKEA sells a desk combo that includes a short, narrow Alex, I was sold. Breaking down that old desk felt fabulous. Not gonna lie, I went a little Office Space on it.

Office Space Fax Machine Scene

Office Space

This is the IKEA LINNMON/ALEX combo and the depth of the Alex means I have plenty of room to store my to-be-reviewed polishes, treatments, and more. I’m in love with it. The chair is the SKÅLBERG/SPORREN and even though I thought it would help cure my habit of sitting on my leg, it’s SO uncomfortable. I’m still on the hunt for a chair.

Nail Polish Room - After

Nail Polish Room – After

Finally, I moved all my Helmers into one corner, to give me a nook for my photo equipment. Though I’m a little put off that the new white Helmers are actually white, unlike my old ones that are cream. I wish they had always been that bright.

Thanks to Andrea from Chickettes, I snagged some Command hooks to hang my swatch sticks on my Helmer. So much more accessible this way.

Nail Polish Room - After

Nail Polish Room – After

My photography setup includes three different lights, so I can make lighting adjustments as needed, a tripod and a table to stage shots. I know a lot of people have invested in huge systems for photographing products and nails, like the MyStudio, but I like to keep it simple and affordable. None of my pieces cost over $50. I mean, the tent light was under $30 on

Back To School

2014 sucked for so many reasons, the biggest being the loss of Loki, so I decided to make a big change in 2015 and go back to school. Studying IT is something I’ve wanted for quite some time, but I always let fear get in my way.

I haven’t talked about this publicly until now, very few of my friends even know, because the whole concept is intimidating. I know I’m not the first person to go back to school later in life, but I still felt like the oldest person in the room, even though I wasn’t. Plus, I was afraid I wouldn’t finish or be able to hack it, so I didn’t want that knowledge out there if I failed. But, I feel like I’m finally in a place where I’m proud of what I’m doing and excited to share.

However, I made a huge mistake by taking summer classes and that has been a killer. Managing to blog while in school wasn’t so bad during spring semester, but when you have to accomplish 16 weeks of work in 10 weeks, all extra time flies out the window. School had to be my priority. I’m not paying all that money to slack off.

Now that all my finals are done I’m finally free, and resolute that summer classes will NEVER happen again. I missed you all so much, and I just can’t keep up with that kind of accelerated pace. Though I am happy to report that I’ve received A’s in every single class the past two semesters.

Puerto Rico with Sally Hansen

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Coty’s national sales meeting at the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico. Over 500 Coty employees descended on Puerto Rico for a few days of beauty fun in this gorgeous setting.

El Conquistador Resort - Puerto Rico

El Conquistador Resort – Puerto Rico

Coty owns Sally Hansen, OPI, Rimmel, NYC Color, philosophy and more, and part of the conference included a Beauty University where brands presented education about their products. I presented for Sally Hansen, applying Miracle Gel on my lovely model while giving application tips and tricks for long-lasting wear. I was super nervous, but after I got through my first group session, the next five went swimmingly.

ps, the new Miracle Gel 2X Volume Top Coat is fantastic. It solved the streaking issues I had with the initial top coat formula. Now it wears like a champ and looks nice and smooth.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Presentation

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Presentation

I was also excited to see OPI Global Nail Artist Vu Nguyen applying nail art with OPI Venice colors using the GelColor line. How cool are these under the sea nails?

OPI Venice Nail Art

OPI Venice Nail Art

That’s a bit of what’s been going on with me. Now that I’m on break from school, I have a slew of new nail polish colors to show you. Are there any fall collections you’re dying to see? I can’t believe we’re talking fall already. Ugh!

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There Are 37 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lisa N. says:

    Its great to heat what you’ve been up to lately!

  2. ChristyH says:

    I understand you are busy and all, but I am wondering if you saw Sally Hansen Fall line. Sally Hansen I think are my favorite polishes. Opi and China glaze have their fall lines out and just wondering about SH, especially complete salon manicure line.

  3. Ariadna says:

    So glad to have you back! And congratulations on going back to school!! It’s never too late to start something new. I can’t wait to see what new posts you have, I just saw that Zoya released their new Fall collection and I can’t wait to start seeing swatches. :)

  4. hollybell41 says:

    You’ve been missed! I’m past 40 and dream of going back to school. Kudos to you for “jumping off”!

  5. Arathael says:

    Wow, that is a lot of catching up! Thank you for sharing all of it, from the pix of the Helmers/room, to the more personal stuff. You should be very proud about school and everything you’ve got going on!

  6. Megan says:

    Yay! I’m glad to see you’re back :)
    It’s actually because of you that I got back into the habit of painting my nails :)

  7. Bite Buff says:

    So proud of you for taking the plunge that is intimidating for many others. You’re rocking it! I’m glad that the light at the end of the summer semester tunnel is shining bright. Enjoy the last bits of summer. Let’s toast to that!

  8. Ann says:

    congrats on going back to school. That’s great! And I look forward to seeing the fall colors!

  9. Sasha says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. I have three cats. One which is a new member and whiskers is mine, tinker is my moms and Ella belongs to my daughter. I couldn’t even imagine losing any of them. Loki is in a better place now watching over you.

    Congrats on going back to school! Never give up on your dreams. I understand what you mean about wanting to keep it to yourself in case you fail. I recently graduated from a Cosmetic Techniques & Management program and I’m planning on taking Business in Septemeber because I would love to own my own salon/spa kind of thing but haven’t said anything to anyone I know really. I just feel like they’re going to be judging me because I’m going back to school again. Congratulations on the grades as well!!!

    P.S. Your nail room looks amazing!

  10. Jen says:

    I almost went back to school last year too, and although I didn’t (really long story), a part of me is glad. I wasn’t the best student during undergrad, and I doubt anything has changed after a few years of not studying! But congratulations on the straight A’s!

    Thanks for linking that tent light, I’ve been thinking of picking something up to help with my photos. I always use natural light, and while it’s the most flattering (in my opinion), it’s also super inconsistent!

  11. Sanne says:

    WOW, I am always happy to see someone who have more nail polishes than me, hehe! :) Very nice office, congrats. And a huge congrats on all your A’s. :)

  12. I love posts like this. Great to see your creative space, and good luck on IT school!
    What are the two lamps you are using for photography? I am looking for some myself, and would love a pointer.

  13. Congratulations on finishing finals! And the A’s! And having the guts to go back to school! I’m inspired by you.

  14. Jeannie C. says:

    Congrats on going back to school! Especially in IT. I plan on doing exactly the same thing. With the loss of my Portia a year and 8 months ago, it has been hard. I made the same decisions you did. Best of luck to you, Michelle, even though you don’t know me from Adams house cat!

  15. Rhiannon says:

    I’m so incredibly glad that you are back!! Thank you for sharing your story :)

  16. Amanda says:

    I always want to see Zoya releases lol. Glad to hear you are all good, was getting concerned!!

  17. Susan M. says:

    Michelle, you rock! Congratulations on all your work with your office and school! And I love the OPI Venice nail art. Absolutely gorgeous!

  18. Lisa S says:

    Gelish has Urban Cowgirl being released this month. I would love to see it. Thanks! Lisa

  19. Jessica says:

    I am so happy for you that you went back to school – but no wonder you needed a break this summer! Your office looks great and how exciting to go to Puerto Rico! Can’t wait to see what you have coming up on the blog this fall. :)

  20. Congrats on going back to school Michelle! It’s a huge accomplishment and I’m sure you will do fantastic :) That resort looks beautiful! WOW! Thanks for sharing your experience at the conference. I always like to know what goes on behind the scenes and didn’t know Coty owned all of those brands. Congrats on speaking for Sally Hansen too!! Do you know why they keep changing the formulas on these great polishes?

  21. OMG and your nail polish room is AMAZING!!! I love the essie rack! I’m planning on doing the same for my essie collection I just need a little space to do it all. Love all of your Helmers. I didnt have such good luck with mine. It was flimsy and the drawers are not stable so since the polish weighs so much I feel like they are going to fall right off the tracks when I open them. I have everything in a wide Alex 9 drawer. Those are the BEST! I just wish they would open out all the way. Anyway, beautiful room :)

  22. Sierra Delta says:

    Congratulations, Ms. SmartyPants! We’re all proud of you!

  23. MarciaF says:

    Welcome back. So many things to be proud of with your new room and studies. I’m sorry about Loki but in a way it made you go forward with your life. I love your set up and am looking forward to more posts in my mailbox.

  24. megan says:

    I’m 33, going back to school too (doing it online at Arizona State). I definitely feel you on the fear of failure part. I’ve failed so many times and been embarrassed for years that I don’t have a degree. But this time I’m older & wiser and like you, paying way too much money to f**k it up!

  25. Doris says:

    Love your new set up. I haven’t kept up with your site for years. But just got back into frequenting it again. I am glad to hear you will be posting a bit more now that you are down with Summer Session. I am dying to see Essie Fall 2015.

  26. Stephany says:

    So glad to see that you are back! Congrats on returning back to school as well! I love your new office BTW! Keep up the posts Michelle, I was dying when you went “radio silent” on your blogs.

  27. First off OMG Congratulations on going back to school! And the A’s! I always knew you were smarter than me ;) So proud of you, girl! I hope to some day go back so it’s inspiring to see that you’re kicking all the butts at it! Second, we had that same desk in black (I think I said that when I was up) and we went office space on ours too. That effing thing turned into a real POS. Jeff and I bashed the hell out of it because luckily my SIL was moving and we took her old desk and repaired it. It’s seriously one of my favorite things in the house. THIRD. PUERTO RICOOOOOO! SO flipping fabulous! You go, Glen Coco!

  28. Linda M says:

    I was wondering about you. I’m glad it turned out to be all good stuff!

  29. Camila Ramos says:

    Faz um video ou fotos mostrando como fica quando voce está usando o estudio.

    Beijos do Brasil ♥

  30. kelliegonzo says:

    So glad to see you “back” even though I know you hadn’t really “left”. I missed seeing your gorgeous nails!! I’m happy for your school adventure and so sad for your loss. Thanks for sharing with us! I’m so excited for the fall collections this year, can’t wait to see them on you! As far as the SH miracle gel top coat, does it still pull at the color and leave color on the brush when you apply it? That’s what I wasn’t happy with when I tried it, but if that’s fixed I will give the new version a try :)

  31. Charli says:

    The polish room looks great! And good for you for going back to school.

    I’m really looking forward to the OPI Venice collection. I think the names are really cute, and even tho some of the colors aren’t necessarily anything new, I’d like to see how they apply.

  32. Halee H says:

    Okay so i definetly know youre the person to ask this! I have to wear neutral coloured nails while attending radiology school at Vanderbilt. What exactly is a neutral nail colour? I know nude of course but are there any others?

  33. KB says:

    Congrats on the big step of going back to school and doing so well. I am glad you are back because I do love your swatches and the comparisons you do. Those are so helpful to make sure I don’t buy a dupe or to help me chose a new color. Thanks!