Waterfall Nail Art for NAIL – April Showers

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I brushed Affie for today’s Cherry Blossom festivities. Unfortunately, as a result my wrists and fingers swelled and flared up. I sorely (heh, see what I did there?) wanted to freehand water droplets but I just did not have the dexterity or practice for it. I settled for the waterfall technique as it was very RA-friendly and had the prompt right in the name (kinda)!


I should waterfall more often. The technique is easy, simple, fast and the final result always looks like it takes more time than it actually does! I hope you like it too!


April Showers Waterfall Nail Art | The Rite of AgingI used Picture Polish Serenity and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Hunger Flames as my bases.

I sealed both colors with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat. This is the first time using this top coat and have no idea what to expect.

I detailed with detail brushes, Picture Polish Serenity, Revlon Parfumerie Fresh Linen and Zoya Dream. I sealed the design Seche Vite.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


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Living with RA: the Rite of Aging...Early

Assorted Nail Art Techniques for Hemangiosarcoma Awareness

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I debated whether to include this manicure in Saachi’s tribute post but then decided to keep it separate. The tribute itself is already very long and this way I can create multiple manicures. This also fufills the U is Unusual prompt for the A to Z  Series.


What is Hemangiosarcoma? It is blood vessel cancer that presents in dogs and cats. It is not rare but it is aggressive. It is arguably the most aggressive cancer found in animals. Typically, it first appears in the spleen or liver then metastasizes to the lungs, heart, and brain (anywhere, really, that circulates blood).


Doxorubicin has the most research and highest success rate out of all the chemotherapies. It does not stop the spread of the disease but slows it down. Unfortunately, that’s where the research ends. There are a couple of other chemo options but there is not a lot of successful research backing it. When we found out the Doxorubicin did not work, we stopped all chemotherapy. The cancer was so advanced, in our gut, we knew nothing would work. Maybe it would extend Saachi’s life for a couple of weeks…if that…and pumping her body full of toxins for an extra two weeks did not scream a great quality of life.


Cancer is basically an autoimmune. Cells constantly multiply and sometimes they mutate. These damaged cells suck resources from the healthy ones. They form from each dog’s genetics, they differ from dog to dog. Saachi’s cancer did not respond to Doxorubicin. We don’t know why. In animals, there is still no way to study the genetic markers and pinpoint which are resilient to which medications…

The manicure I created includes blood splatters, a subtle red dotticure, and stamped DNA strands. I hope you like it!


Hemangiosarcoma Awareness Nail Art | The Rite of Aging


Hemangiosarcoma Awareness Nail Art | The Rite of AgingI used Wet n Wild Black Creme and Color Club On the Rocks as my base.

I detailed with Sephora by OPI Mr. Right Now, Sinful Colors Secret Admirer and Barry M Chili.

I stamped with MoYou London plate 03 from the Scholar Collection.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Don’t forget to check out the other U for Unusual posts below!

A New Detailing Brush – Born Pretty Store Review

I feel pretty awful. The Born Pretty Store kindly sent me a couple more items. I finished a couple of looks but then my dog got really ill, passed away and I could not muster the energy to work on the review!


I jumped at the chance to try some nail art tools I had little practice with namely, a small detailing brush! I own a couple already which are actually quite difficult to work with on a smaller nail bed. When I saw the cute transparent Liner Brush I badly wanted to give it a go. The cute crystal filled handle was an added bonus. The below pictures are courtesy of the Born Pretty Store website!


dsc 1The only difference between my tool and the above pictures is the crystals are pink instead of white. As the transparent crystal are just for fun, it is a moot point. Heh!


Below are a few of the manicures I made!

Neon Cow Print | The Rite of Aging Palm Tree Gradient | The Rite of Aging Stamping and Feather Nail Art | The Rite of Aging

















I finally had the guts to try the cow print and palm tree gradient. Eh, I tried them in the past but never got the detailing quite right. Using a smaller, more precise brush really made a difference!



The brush is a little bigger than I anticipated. This being said, it is still smaller than any other brush I own. The bristles hold up well with acrylic paint, water, nail polish, acetone and oil. I have not experienced any bristle fallout or kinks and it holds its shape very well! (I use the oil to maintain shape after every use).

I really like this brush. I can create more intricate looks and am thrilled with the looks I made.


The Born Pretty Store offers very competitive prices for high quality products. And recently, I have not had any issues with shipping. I receive the items within 3-4 weeks, though, this past parcel took a little longer because of the winter weather. All my mail seemed delayed (including my paycheck, ick!)


If you’re interested in placing an order at the website feel free to use my 10% off coupon code!



Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Let’s Go Shopping – Beauty at Nordstrom

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I did not buy anything over the last few months and went slightly crazy at Nordstrom. There were many products I drooled over but had to lock the buying bug away. All my funds went towards Saachi’s chemotherapy and I did not want to spend on anything extra. Now that she has passed, I have a little wiggle room and wanted to go on a shopping spree (I always crave shopping sprees when I’m sad…)

What makes you feel better when you grieve? Do you shop? What do you buy? Tell me in the comments!


Below are the items I bought and a few others that caught my eye and am still debating! Enjoy!

nordstrom beauty haul - chanelErmergersh. I almost cried. I thought they no longer offered the higher SPF Chanel UV Essential lotion! This stuff is AH-MAZING. The first time I bought this sunscreen the sales rep told me to only use two drops rubbed between my fingers then applied to my face and neck. I don’t actually need more than that amount! The sunscreen only comes in a one-ounce bottle but it lasts me the entire summer. I keep this in my scrub pants pocket for those sunny days when I unexpectedly find myself outside with the dogs. The lotion is very fluid, it is non-greasy and absorbs quickly but, as with any titanium dioxide sunscreen I really wash my face well at the end of the night.

nordstrom beauty haul - mac fix +This facial spray has been on my radar ever since I started watching YouTube beauty videos. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE raves about this product. Apparently, this is the ultimate facial spray! It hydrates, blends foundation seamlessly and sets makeup! Take a sample size with you no matter where you go and your face will always be flawless! Those claims would pique anyone’s curiosity, right? I sampled MAC products before and was never too impressed by them but I decided to give them another chance. I am on a facial spray kick right now and there was no better time to try this one! I do not wear enough face makeup to “set” it…so…what am I going to use it for? During the summer I love wearing more vibrant, fun eye looks but they always crease! Apparently, spraying Fix+ on the brush not only helps shadow stay longer, it also mimics applying shadow “wet”. Let’s see if this product lives up to the hype!


nordstrom beauty haul - anrThe Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (ANR) serum is no surprise. It makes regular appearances on my blog. I am in my twenties, known for obsessive sunscreen use so I do not leaps and bounds differences in my skin after using it. This being said, I notice my skins feels more rough when I skip this step in my routine. I no longer break out as frequently, or am as oily, (especially important during the hotter, more humid months) and my skin just feels better.


nordstrom beauty haul - strobeAh…yet another YT sensation! Everyone gushes this is the best highlighter ever made. I always shied away from this because of a) the name and b) I am very picky about my highlighters. I love the idea of strong highlighter but because of my yellow undertones white highlighters look crazy and let’s face it, with this name, I really don’t want to look like I’m clubbing at 10 o’clock in the morning!  Nordstrom sells the mini-version of the MAC Strobe Cream so why not give it a go!


bb8fb39a46337406e669c65f6c8375f4When the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette came out I fell in head-over-heels love with the shade ‘Blackheart’. I almost bought the entire thing just because of that one shade. One day, I was at MAC counter at Nordstrom and laid eyes on the very similar MAC shade “Beauty Marked”. I considered buying it but I was still on the fence about the UD palette. Of course, it didn’t make sense to shell out 50 some odd dollars for only one shade but it would be cheaper for all 12 than the sole MAC one. I decided to be real with myself. I would never use the other shades in the Naked 3 palette, so now…it’s time for Beauty Marked!


nordstrom beauty haul - raspberry popIf I ever go for a lip product other than balm it has to be a nude gloss. However, I cannot stop gushing over this Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Raspberry Pop! As it is, I am a huge fan of the Pure Color Glosses! The consistencies down the line are perfect. They are not overly thick but they are slightly sticky. I barely notice it after they wear for a while. They settles nicely into the lips and do not accentuate dry lines or patches. I own at least three in my stash at all times. That is saying a whole lot since I rarely wear lip products!

Raspberry Pop is not very pigmented. It adds a slight berry tinge but it is like wearing a classy disco ball! I cannot get over the glitter in this. I would not wear it to work but I definitely to weekend brunch! It is just so freaking fun!! It catches the light in a bright, glimmer-y way without yelling “hey, look, the girl smeared her lips with glitter!” I absolutely love it! (Some of my other favorite shades: Blazing Coral and Magnificent Mauve!)


nordstrom beauty haul - warm neutralI am still on the fence about this palette. I love neutral eyeshadows and own way to many of them. But, this would be a great way to try out MAC eyeshadows. And, I do not own any dupes for these colors!…Can you tell which way I am leaning??


_10415190 _10415209If I chicken out on the above palette I can always purchase one of the smaller ones instead. Here’s the problem: I cannot decide between the two (Burgundy Times Nine [top] or Amber Times Nine [bottom])! Since I am new to MAC the logical part of my brain says I should go for the larger palette then come back for the smaller ones. I just cannot get over the burgundy shades, though!! Can I get all three??


Yeah…I completely went off the rails with this haul. I rarely buy this many products in one go. I purchase one expensive item or a couple of cheaper ones…Then I got the email about the 24-piece sample gift with $130 purchase. This was the perfect time to check out some of my “want-to-try” products. There was an extra bonus: add $20 more and receive a FRESH sample set. On further inspection of the gift sets, I realized I was not interested in most of the products. Unfortunately, when I tried to empty my shopping cart of the larger items (i.e., the 15-eyeshadow palette) I added more little items instead! Oops!


What do all these products have in common other than first time tries? I cannot purchase them at Sephora. The store starts their Beauty Insider 15% off sale on April 12th! Logically, of course, I shouldn’t buy a whole lot from either store since I plan to take advantage of both promotions but hey, I can always put myself back on a no-spend regime!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Dotticure Nail Art for NAIL – Easter

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I tried a couple of different ideas for the NAIL Easter prompt but they didn’t turn out as well as I wanted. I really liked my recent dotticures as I finally figured out the best way to do them. Similar to the blobbicure I did not wait for the base polish to completely dry. As long as I did not use a lot of polish for the dots, they turned out completely circular! Yay!


I hope you like it!

Easter Dotticure Nail Art | The Rite of AgingI started with 2 coats of Zoya Pippa as my base.

I used a variety of dotting tools, Milani Power PeriwinkleColor Club Twiggie and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Petal Pusher. I also used a Sally Hansen pink nail art pen for the smallest dots.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Acrylic Paint Easter Nail Art

…sort of…

I painted carrots…not with Easter colors but…bunnies eat carrots and the Easter Bunny dominates the Hallmark part of this holiday!

This is already not my favorite time of year for personal reasons and due to recent events Easter really snuck up on me!

I do love pastels though so I will definitely try and add some pastel gradients into the nail art mix!

I hope you like the below nail art…Later, I added some neon sugar-spun after seeing a 3D carrot on Instagram. Since I do not make 3D acrylic accents the closest I could think to do was sugar-spin (Duh!) Anyways, remember how I always say neons spook my camera? Well, apparently they terrify it in direct sunlight. I barely got contrast between the sugar-spin and nail and my tips look like they are glowing red so I decided not to put the picture on the blog. I don’t think it came out that incredible anyways but if you want I can add the picture in.


Easter Carrot Acrylic Paint Nail Art | The Rite of AgingI started with 2 coats of Sephora by OPI Metro Chic and Seche Vite as my base.

I used a mixture of acrylic paints for the carrots.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Sugarspun Strawberry Nail Art

Yay YouTube! I was inspired by another tutorial, this time by cutepolish!


I know chocolate-drizzled strawberry nails are not new but cutepolish’s video was my most recent inspiration! And how the heck could I say no to a sugar-spin, right???

I’m kind of in a funk right now so I think I will be finding inspiration from others for a while.


I hope you like it! I definitely love the sugar-spin! Hehe…do I ever not love sugar-spin?

Chocolate Drizzle #sugarspin Strawberry #nailart | The Rite of Aging

I started with Wet n Wild Red a Good Book.

I detailed the strawberries with yellow acrylic paint, light and dark green acrylics and sealed it with Seche Vite.

I mixed Milani Spotlight White and Barry M Lychee to create my “white chocolate drizzle”.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Neon Watercolor Dotticure and Stamping Nail Art

I’ve been dying to try out this technique after I saw this recent video on Tartofraises Nail Art’s Youtube Channel! I not only love the look because it is neon but also because it is neon over black! In the past it took me forever and multiple layers for neons to show up over black. This is a great alternative for those bright colors to really pop!


I loved how the final look came out. It was super fun and easy and I will definitely try it again with a different design!

Neon Sheer Watercoloring | The Rite of AgingI started with 2 coats of Wet n Wild Black Creme as my base.

I stamped with Konad Special Polish White and Pueen Cosmetics plate PUEEN44.

I used a toothpick and Milani Spotlight White.

I used polish thinner, a fluffy artist’s brush, American Apparel Neon Red, Color Club Wham! Pow!, Warhol and China Glaze Sun Worshiper to color in the white design.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Sugarspun Nail Art for the A2Z Series: T is for Textured

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I’ve participated here and there in the A2Z challenge. When I do not get to the prompt on Thursday, I think ‘I will get to it by the weekend!’ then the weekend rolls away so does the rest of the week and we’re on to the next prompt!


Of course I had to do a sugar-spin nail art for the textured prompt. We all know my not so quiet disdain for textured polishes but I love me some sugar-spin! I was feeling a purple and teal combo and really love the final look!

I hope you do too!


Purple & Teal Sugar-Spun #nailart | The Rite of AgingI started with 2 coats of Color Club Mrs. Robinson and Barry M Plum as my bases.

I sugar-spun with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Hunger FlamesCancun and Zoya Haven. A lot of people wait for the nail polish to dry on the surface before they dip the toothpick in. I personally like to mix the polish and it dries to maintain the right consistency!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Don’t forget to check out the other textured polishes below!

St. Patrick’s Day Dotticure Nail Art

I did a dotticure for Valentine’s Day so I made one for St. Patrick’s Day. I am still on my green kick so I classified the nail arts under this holiday!


Anyways, due to stress and fatigue I am beyond tired. I considered not painting my nails but I needed a pick-me-up and nail art perks me up. However, I am sort of flared up so I fell back on RA-friendly non-uniform dots.

The picture is different as the usual lights are on the fritz. I pulled out my dusty light box and tried it out again. I now know how to set my camera more properly so I’m hoping I can get the hang of it. What do you think? Good picture or not? I have a lot of trouble focusing the details in the light box but I think that is due to insufficient lighting. However, my skin always looks so smooth! I guess there is a trade-off!


I hope you like today’s nail art!

St. Patrick's Day Dotticure #nailart | The RIte of AgingI started with 2 coats of Sephora by OPI It’s Totally Karma as my base.

I “nimbus-ed” with Zoya Giovanna and Pahlish Sunless Sea. I sealed the design with Seche Vite to create a semi-3D effect.

I dotted with Cult Nails Deal with It and Color Club Twiggie.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.