Get to Know Me!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, but I was tagged by Lene over at The Makeup Honey.  You can check out their original Get to Know Us post here.  I love the questions they came up with, so I thought I’d give it a shot!  Keep reading if you’re interesting in my hair style, makeup routine, or my top-secret (not really) blogging habits!

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?

Super curly.  Like, I need four different products to tame the frizz kind of curly.  Think young Keri Russell.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?

I haven’t permanently dyed my hair since high school, but once in a while I do a semi-permanent color glaze at home.  Usually I just add some gold or red tones to my reddish brown hair, without making it darker or lighter.  It makes it so much softer and glossier without the damage of permanent dye.  I kind of want to try a fun color on the tips, though.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?

I went to an all-girls high school, and perfecting the messy bun was pretty much a requirement for graduation.  That’s how I wear it most days.  I’m not a morning person, so I wash my hair at night, and the curls tend to get smashed while I sleep.  If I’m feeling fancy, I might go for a sock bun.  And once in a blue moon I’ll straighten it, but I hate the damage it causes, and I’m really trying to take care of my hair.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?

Always at home.  I did get a gel mani/pedi a few months ago because I was going on vacation for the holidays and my nails tend to chip within a day or two.  But before that, I probably hadn’t been to a salon in years.

5. How often do you change your nail polish?

Almost every day.  Maybe every two days.  My polish never lasts longer than that, and I tend to pick at the chips.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?

I live in Southern California, there’s no such thing as winter.  Seriously though, I wear my Rainbows pretty much year-round, so I tend to keep my toes polished, but I paint them maybe twice a month.  Toenail polish chips don’t bother me so much.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?

My everyday routine is spot primer, CC cream, concealer, powder, blush, and mascara.  I can do it in five minutes if I have to.  If I’m going somewhere nice, maybe half an hour.  And if I’m doing winged eyeliner, I start getting ready an hour early, because it takes me about a million tries to get them remotely even.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?

I always do my face first.  That’s just how I like doing it.  If I’m doing any sort of smoky eye or something, I’ll hold a tissue underneath to catch the fallout.  But that’s really not often.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?

A while back, I started watching beauty videos on YouTube and had to buy everything.  So I have a lot of makeup, but realistically, I don’t even touch half of it.  My sister and her friends come over to get ready for school dances, though.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?

Never.  They’re just not my thing.  I think the last time I wore them was for a halloween costume when I was eighteen.

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?

Nope.  I recently quit my job to be a full-time grad student, and I have literally put on makeup once in the last month.  I used to put on makeup every day for work, but it was usually simple, and I would go bare-faced every once in a while if I woke up late or wasn’t feeling well.

12. Do you wear makeup when you’re home alone or with family?

Definitely not when I’m home alone – my skin needs to breathe.  But I really like doing my makeup for family events.  My cousins are pretty into makeup, so we have fun comparing and sharing tips.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?

I used to hate it, but in the last month or so I’ve kind of stopped caring.  I wear big nerd glasses, and I have several pairs, so I’ll just pick a darker, thicker frame.  It’s harder to tell I don’t have makeup on that way.

14. How many high-end products do you have?

Quite a few.  Now that I’m looking through my stash, I realize they’re mostly blushes and eye shadows.  I’ve been getting into lipstick lately, but I really like Revlon, and I refuse to spend a lot of money on something I’ll need a lot of, like foundation.  I tend to stick to the same few brands, so I’m not tempted to keep buying.  I like Tarte and Urban Decay a lot.  And I will never stop using the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara.  That’s my one must-have high-end product.

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you’re getting dressed?

I’ve developed a uniform of jeans, t-shirt, cardigan, and ballet flats.  It’s easy, comfortable, and looks classy.  I have a lot of different colors, so I just throw on whatever clean combo I can find in the morning, as long as it looks decent together.  My style is a bit bohemian, and I like weird details, so I’m not too concerned with everything matching.

16. How often do you change your handbag?

Once in a while.  I bought a huge green leather tote bag with a long strap from Lucky Brand a while ago, and I’ve been sticking with it for the last few months because it’s ginormous.  But I have a few different colors and shapes.  I really like Lucky and Fossil bags, and I’m in love with my little blue satchel from London Fog.  If I’m going out somewhere special and I have time, I’ll switch it out.

17. How often do you blog?

Not nearly as often as I should.  It’s a lot of work!  I’ve been blogging on The Polish Squirrel for a little over three years now, and I’m really proud of how far it’s come, which is inspiring me to stick with it.  I also recently started another blog, called Adventures of a Bibliophile, as a sort of grad-school journal (I’m getting my MA in English and Creative Writing).  There are some personal essays and book reviews on there as well.

18. Do you read comments posted on blogs?

On my blog, I always read every single one.  On other people’s blogs, it depends on the contents of the post.  I do read the comments a lot, but only if I’m curious to see what other people are saying about the topic.

19. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?

Not really.  If it’s something I need I usually just add it to my cart on Amazon right away (even though most of the time I’ll end up buying it later), but most of the time, I just hope I forget about it so I don’t have to spend the money, haha!

20. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?

I use a Cannon Rebel T3.  It was a college graduation/Christmas present from my parents about two years ago.  I really want to learn how to use all the settings, but auto and macro are good enough for nails.  And a lot of my Instagram pics were taken with my iPhone.

That’s it!  Hope you enjoyed my answers, and a big thank you to Lene for tagging me.  I had a lot of fun doing this Q & A.  Feel free to do this yourself and let me know in the comments below!  I’d love to see all of your answers!

The Polish Squirrel Etsy Shop is Now Open!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a few of these sets already, but I have decided to open an Etsy shop with hand painted nail sets!  I’m really excited about this new venture, and I hope you like it too!

Check out the gallery below to see my initial listings, and use code TPS25 for 25% off your order through the end of March!

I’m also available to create custom sets, so email me for more info if you’re interested!

Click here to check out my Etsy shop!

2014 Highlights

This past year has been an incredible one.  I read some amazing books, met some lovely people, finally figured out what I want to do with my life, and started grad school.  This also marks my third year on this blog (in February), and I honestly cannot believe that it has lasted this long!  As crazy as my life has become in the last year, I always enjoy coming back to this.  I love reading your comments, and it still blows my mind how many of you actually read The Polish Squirrel.

I have a few changes in store for next year, and I’m hopeful that means more time for blogging.  Thank you all for sticking with me this long, and I wish you all a wonderful 2015! – Stephanie

Check out some of my favorite nail art from 2014:

May your coming year be filled with magic, dreams, and good madness.  I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful.  And don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build to sing or live… only as you can.  And don’t forget to surprise yourself.

– Neil Gaiman

Nail Essentials

Between work, grad school, and the terrible cold I’ve had the last few weeks, my nails have been in pretty bad condition.  I haven’t done any nail art in a while, but I thought I’d share some of the staples I’ve been obsessed with lately.  Most of them are products I’ve been using for years, but I’ve made a few new discoveries in the last month that have completely changed my nail game.

nail essentials

Continue reading


It’s no secret that I have a (slight) addiction to Netflix.  My most recent choice for a watch-the-entire-series-in-a-weekend binge was the BBC series Sherlock.  I think it took about two minutes for me to become obsessed.  I’m actually reading the book at the moment because I am so impatient for the next season to start.  So, naturally, I had to find some way to put it on my nails.

sherlock wallpaper

For the first time ever on this blog, I did photoshop the pictures (clearly) to make them look more vintage-y.  But, I figured since it’s nail art, and not a swatch, it doesn’t really matter.  I think it they look pretty awesome this way.

I used Bundle Monster plate 312 for the stamping and freehanded the happy face.

sherlock wallpaper

If you’re already a Sherlock fan, you know which scene this is from, and why it’s a favorite.  But if you haven’t seen it, here’s the clip I was inspired by:

Lime for Lymphoma

Last Sunday, my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.  It came as a huge shock, especially since my aunt  passed away from cancer less than two months ago.  We were extremely lucky in that the doctors say that my dad’s condition is curable, but that does not mean it is going to be an easy road to remission.  So, in my first post back, I thought I’d do lime nails (the color of lymphoma awareness) for my dad.

lime for lymphoma

I used China Glaze Def Defying as a base and stamped with Sally Hansen White On.  I kind of love that the green bled through and made it a lighter green color.  On the rest of my nails, I used Lac Attack Fractured Glass.

lime for lymphoma

Thank you all for your support and understanding!  It’s been a tough week, but I’m hopeful that everything will be ok soon, and I’m planning on posting regularly from now on.

P.S. Please excuse my uber-shorties – I was pretty hard on my nails this past week.

Where I’ve Been

This is just a brief post to let you all know why I haven’t been posting lately.

First off, I’d like to thank Christina and Retu for helping out with their great guest posts! Because of them, this blog wasn’t completely neglected for the past few weeks.

So basically, one of my four (yes, four) part-time jobs turned into a full time job, so I obviously ran out of free time. And as a lot of you know, blogging is like a part-time job, especially if you post almost every day. I love blogging, but I had to sacrifice the fun job for the one that pays (and that I can actually put on my résumé).

I am planning on setting up some sort of schedule this weekend, and then just scheduling posts in advance every week. Hopefully this will allow me to continue blogging on a regular basis.

So, I will be back very soon, but I will definitely not be posting as often – maybe two or three times a week. And I am still accepting guest posts! Email me if you’re interested.

Thanks so much for your understanding as I try to figure out my uber busy schedule!


Guest Post: Setu Rohini from The Nail Art and Beauty Diaries

Today I have another guest post, this one from Setu Rohini from The Nail Art and Beauty Diaries!  She sent in a post all the way from India, and did a really cool tutorial for you! Check it out:

 Guest Post at Polish Squirrel – The Acid Wash Nail Art

Hi Pretty Ladies, I am Setu Rohini from the I am a Business Analyst by profession and a blogger by passion. I am more like your girl next door who is crazy about nail art, makeup and Do It Yourself beauty. This is my first time at ‘The Polished Squirrel’ so I am excited, thanks Stephanie to let me meet you allJ.

I feel at home whenever I am in midst of polish lovers and that’s the kind of warm feeling I am having now J. I was wondering what nail art could I possibly share that is up to the blog yet connects with most of you. Then I decided to do a real simple nail art which doesn’t require no tools absolutely; so that every one of us could easily and quickly grab it J.

I can be extremely talkative so I can go on for a posts length without uttering a word about the nail art so I am stopping here.

Well this form of nail art is called the “Acid Wash” although it has nothing to do with acid or even close to it 😛 . It is very easy and fun, you don’t even need to sit at your desk and concentrate. It can be done ‘Just Like That’. You can see another Acid Wash Nail Art done by me here.

The Acid Wash Nail Art 1

Items Needed

  • Two contrast color nail paints of your choice
  • Q Tip/Ear bud
  • Nail paint remover

The Acid Wash Nail Art 2

The Acid Nail Art Tutorial

  1. Prep your nails for the nail art by washing, cutting, filing your nails and doing the base coat.
  1. Apply a coat of the nude shade (Avon Pink Crush) on your nails and let them dry.

The Acid Wash Nail Art 3

  1. Cover it with a coat of black nail paint and let it dry.
  1. Here comes the fun part. Dip the cotton bud / Q Tip in nail paint remover (you could use a cheaper quality acetone since it’s not going to touch your skin). Just dip it enough to wet the cotton bud and acetone shouldn’t be dripping out of the bud.
  1. Use the nail paint remover soaked Q Tip to wipe off the black color at random places. As the top color will fade, the nude color will be revealed. Do not rub vigorously, or you will wipe off the nude color also giving a sneak peek to your bare nailsL.
  1. Apply the top coat and you have the acid washed nails 😛

The Acid Wash Nail Art 4

Additional Information:

  • Apply one coat each of the nail paints; the sum total will anyways be two. Remember, a thicker coat peels quicker.
  • Depending on your comfort you can also use three colors for a more colorful acid wash effect.

I hope you enjoyed the nail art. Please visit my blog The Nail Art and Beauty Diaries for more.

Thanks so much for doing a guest post Setu! 

If you liked this post, please make sure to like it or leave a comment!

And you should definitely check out Setu’s blog, The Nail Art and Beauty Diaries, for more of her awesome nail art!

Interested in writing a guest post for The Polish Squirrel?  Check out all the details here!  (You don’t have to be a blogger.)


I just wanted to write a quick post to share one of my proudest blogging moments: my nail art was featured on!!!  I’m still giddy (but that might also be because of the massive amounts of coffee I downed today).

This afternoon, I was at work, and randomly decided to check my email on my phone, which I rarely do.  An awesome reader named Alyssa (who is totally getting some nail mail from me now) had emailed me to let me know that my Boston mani was featured in Buzzfeed’s article, “14 Manicures with Boston-themed Nail Art.”  As I’ve become completely addicted to Buzzfeed over the past few weeks, I had a total fangirl moment at my desk (thankfully everyone who sits near me was out at lunch), and it was honestly a struggle for me not to go around showing everyone right that second (even though I instantly tweeted and instagrammed it).  It was kind of a shock, in a completely amazing way.  And even though I had a migraine and was in the middle of a thirteen-hour workday, I couldn’t stop smiling.  And to top it all off, not only were my nails featured on Buzzfeed, they were the first ones listed in a post about nail art for Boston, my favorite place in the world.  After everything that has happened this past week, personally and as someone who counts Boston as a second-home, this could not have been more perfect.  Best thing ever!

Anyway, here is a picture of the nails that ended up on Buzzfeed:


Check them out on Buzzfeed and in my original post.

P.S. This totally calls for some new Boston nails, don’t you think?  Hopefully I will get them done this week 🙂

Reader Posts!

So, I feel really bad about life getting in the way of this blog.  I’ve been working so much lately that whenever I’m home, I just want to sleep.  Or watch shows on Netflix and read Buzzfeed because my brain is incapable of forming coherent sentences after fourteen hours of work (including an hour and a half commute).  Anyway, I just want to say that I’m sorry.  So, I decided to add an exciting new feature to my blog!  I’m really hoping it actually works out. Are you ready for this?

The Polish Squirrel will now feature posts written by YOU!

So here’s how it’s going to work.  If you would like to write a post for this blog, shoot me an email at  Tell me what you would like to do, or I can help you come up with something awesome, and, once I give you the ok, start writing!  Email me the finished post, I will schedule it on the blog, and then I’ll let you know when it’s going live!

Now, to thank you all for being awesome and helping me out, I’ve decided to give out a small surprise prize to the reader whose post gets the most likes/comments by May 31.  To try and make it a little more fair, only posts posted before May 21 will be eligible.  (I may do another contest type thing if this works out, so don’t worry about missing it.)

And since I would like to protect my blog, there will be a few rules:

  1. I reserve the right to edit any and all posts for grammar (helping you out here ☺), profanity, inappropriateness, and/or incorrect facts.  I will send you a final draft before the post goes live.
  2. I also reserve the right to decline your post if it is inappropriate, violates copyrights, or is not your own work (ex: stolen from another blogger).  YOU CAN ADD YOUR OWN WATERMARKS to pictures if you would like.  If you do not watermark your pictures, I will include whatever name you wish to use along with mine, to give you credit if the pics happen to show up on Google, etc.  If I find out your post was stolen from someone else, it will be taken down, and you will be banned from guest posting.
  3. Since I really don’t want to give any of you my password, I will be doing all the posting, so if you want your pics in a certain spot within the post, let me know, otherwise I will arrange them as I see fit.
  4. Within reason, you can request a certain date for your post to go live, as long as it has not been previously claimed.  So, if you want it posted on your dog’s birthday, I can work with you.
  5. I would prefer you not post a swatch of a polish I’ve already posted, but I am flexible on this.
  6. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BLOGGER to participate! I would love to hear from you even if this will be your first blog post ever.
  7. In order to be eligible for the prize, you must live in the US (sorry, shipping is expensive), but you can live anywhere in the world to participate (as long as your post is in English or can be translated adequately).
  8. Multiple submissions will be accepted, but if you have already posted, I’m going to give everyone else a chance to post once, first, to make it fair.
  9. If I don’t respond within a reasonable amount of time, either something bad happened, or, more likely, you email went into my junk folder.  So if it’s been two days and you haven’t heard back, the safest bet is probably to contact me via Twitter, Facebook, or a comment on this post, because I always get those.
  10. Lastly, and this is probably obvious, the post must be about something related to nails and/or nail polish.  Swatches, nail art, and nail care product reviews are all acceptable.  Videos will be reviewed on an individual basis, and must be hosted on your own youtube channel (if I don’t have time for posts, I don’t have time for uploading, sorry!).

If you’re not sure about anything, ask me!

I’m really hoping that this works out, because I’m really excited to see what you all come up with, and I would love to give you the opportunity to have others see your work.  I don’t have a huge readership, but it’s something, and obviously I like you guys, or I wouldn’t be doing this.  So, if you’re maybe thinking about starting a blog, try this out.  If you have a blog and want to promote it, that’s cool, too.  Or if you have pics of that awesome nail art that only your cat got to see, post it here!