Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rah rah sis boom bah

You guys, it's been a tough two weeks.  I haven't felt great physically or emotionally, and Ben was out of town for thirteen days in a row.  Thankfully he got back last night, but I'm still totally overwhelmed with this wedding crap.  Somehow I still found the time to do a sort of back-to-school themed manicure.  I stopped at a Five Below after work one day on my way to my officiant's house to discuss our ceremony, and I found a super fun glitter polish called Pep Rally.

Man.  Funky Fingers bottles:  hard to hold, easy to love (I'm available for marketing purposes, FF)

Pep Rally is a bunch of bright, almost-neon, differently shaped glitter in a clear base.  The bottle is absolutely packed with glitter.  I was getting too much on the brush while I was polishing so some nails (mostly on my right hand) ended up looking like a hot mess.  But still, I like the look it gives.  I did what I guess we can call one coat, but really I was just dabbing glitter on and trying not to wipe it off with the brush when I was polishing.  You all know the deal with application of chunky glitter toppers. It's like a dab-then-smoosh kind of deal.  I put it over Funky Fingers Dark Knight, which is just a basic black creme.  It was good after two coats--and actually I really like its formula so I'm glad I picked it up.

This past weekend I had a joint bachelorette party with my friend, Kayleigh, whose wedding is September 13th (one week before mine).  She rented out a condo in Sandusky for the weekend, and we mostly spent time at the pool and lounged around--which was fine by me.  I think there were nine of us total, so it was pretty fun.  I didn't get a lot of pictures because we were around so much water and I was scared I'd drop my phone in, but I like this picture of us:

ring pop!

My best friend Aimee came in from the Chicagoland area to spend the week before the party in town.  We ended up going to my final wedding dress fitting together (it's finally done after being too something every time--too long, too big, too whatever.  Now it fits), finding her own wedding dress (she's getting married next August), and just generally spending time together.  Which is always nice.  On Sunday, after we had to check out of the condo and while most of the other girls went to the Lake Erie Islands, Aimee and I went to a safari park.  We had gotten way too sunburned to properly be outside anymore, so we needed another activity.  This was one of those places where you drive around and feed the animals from your car.  Aimee loves this stuff and I had never done anything like it, so we figured, why not?  It's called African Safari Wildlife Park and it's in Port Clinton, OH.

Aimee and a friendly elk--there was an unfriendly elk too, and that one was super freaking aggressive; this one was nice

me and some sort of deer (and Aimee's arm)

There were giraffes and zebras to feed too, so that was interesting.  We had a lot of fun and got to stay in the shade.  Aimee looked like a little lobster and my back didn't fare too well either, even with several applications of SPF 50.  Oh the trials and tribulations of the pale.

So yeah, that's what's been going on.  After many months of sort of trying to hold in how stressed out this wedding is making me, I finally succumbed to it last Tuesday night and ended up ugly-crying to my mom and saying, "I can't do this by myself anymore!"  It wasn't pretty.  But I guess this could be considered the home stretch.  Basically I'm counting down the days to when we get to leave for Scotland and when Ben and I can be like, yeah, we're married.  Sup.  And I still haven't figured out what's obviously the most important thing about my wedding day, which is which polish to wear.  Oh, the problems I have.

Okay, I hope everyone is doing alright, and hopefully I will talk to you all again soon.  And if you're starting school this week, good luck!  Rah rah!

Monday, August 18, 2014

L'Oreal Jeans & Tonic

Yep, still loving textures.

...even ones that give me a case of the lobstah hands...

Jean & Tonic is from the L'Oreal Miss Denim summer collection.  It's a turquoise texture.  Pretty straightforward, but daaaaaaaamn is it lovely.  The other night I was wanting a summery-looking turquoise or light green to put on my nails, but I was also feeling super lazy.  Then I remembered Jean & Tonic, which dries super freaking fast, doesn't need topcoat, and only needs ONE COAT.  Yeah, one coat.  I considered doing a second coat, but it looks fine at one.  And it's easy to apply, too.  I really like the L'Oreal brush.  It's flat and wide without being huge.

I have one other polish from this collection that I posted about at the end of June, Skinny Jeans.  I like Skinny Jeans better, but that's because I just love that color blue.  But anyway, I think this collection was really cool, and I kind of regret not picking up a couple more.  Live and learn.  AND BUY ALL THE TEXTURES.

Bonus Remy pic:


Friday, August 15, 2014

Shopping My Stash: Extra White Before Labor Day

Guys, it's been almost a solid year since Rachel and I started our Shopping My Stash series.  The first post was last September 13th, and I cannot freaking believe how quickly time has passed.  I absolutely love doing this series; it's so fun.  And I love collaborating with Rachel because she's seriously one of the coolest chicks I've ever known.  I'm pretty flattered and thankful that we're still at this!  For August, I suggested that we play off the "no white after Labor Day" cliche because Labor Day this year is September 1.  I for one have been enjoying wearing white polish since before Memorial Day, I've just not posted one.  So, without further ado, here is NOPI Yoga-Then-Yogurt.

First, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever posted a NOPI.  I know, I know.  I just...hate the way the bottles look?  I've never been drawn to buying them because the bottles are so weird.  But anyway, I actually got this one because a.) like I said, I've been into white polish lately and b.) because of Rach's post on it a while back.  It's a white, but I think it has a drop of yellow in it, maybe?  Because it's not exactly the starkest of whites.  It's a tiny bit more subdued, but honestly not by much.  It's still pretty WHAT'S UP I'M WEARING WHITE POLISH.  But this is definitely a polish that I would recommend to someone who likes pastels or whites.  It's unique in my collection.  I think I've been spoiled by Formula X White Matter (definitely my favorite white) though, because for some reason I expected to only have to use two coats of Yoga-Then-Yogurt, but I definitely needed three.  And because this is my first experience with Nicole by OPI, I wasn't sure what to expect formula and brush-wise.  I found the brush stem to be shorter than I expected, but I thought everything was easy enough to control.  The brush is a nice size for my nail beds and I didn't really have any problems.  But I still think the bottle is ugly.  Funnily enough I have another NOPI waiting in the wings that I picked up last week when Sam was visiting.

Anyway, all in all, I don't think I'll avoid NOPI so much in the future.  Ugly bottle aside, Yoga-Then-Yogurt is a great polish and I'm glad to have it.  Also, can we talk about how I'm wearing a sweater in the above picture?  It has been total autumn weather in CLE for the past few days and I am way less than pleased about it.  I remember that last summer I was waiting to embrace fall until its very first day, and I was milking summer all I could.  The weather now is making it hard to do that.  On the first day of fall this year I'll be packing for SCOTLAND where I really will need a sweater.  And a jacket.  And some leggings.  That'll make the season easy to embrace.  But for now, Cleveland, pull your shit together.  It's the middle of August.

K, hope everyone's well.  Don't forget to pop on over to Rachel's and check out her post today!  Bye!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some Purples and Stuff

I'm not sure why I felt like I had to do some sort of gradient/ombre deal with purple, but the other day I found myself tearing through my stash looking for five appropriate colors.  I did a decent job, I think.  Fair warning, though, my cuticles are super dry and just not pretty.  


I tried to pick purples--or periwinkles--that were on the cool side of the spectrum, and I think it mostly looks pretty good.  On my thumb is Essie St. Lucia Lilac, a polish I've never posted about before...but it was one of the very first Essies I owned (along with Fiji).  On my index finger is Sinful Colors Baby Blues, which I last wore here.  On my middle finger is China Glaze What A Pansy, which I last wore here (and I love it).  I have China Glaze Grape Pop on my ring finger, and I hadn't pulled that one out in yeeeeeaaaaars, but it's a really nice, pretty much true purple, polish.  I last wore it in 2010.  And on my pinky I have OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, which is an eggplant...but it does lean red.  So, whoops.  I last wore it here.  I like how this turned out, and I think it has a really nice effect from far away.

And now, here are some bonus pictures of Remy:

He basically just becomes a lump when we brush him.  We have to get his armpits really well because he gets little mats there if we don't.  He doesn't even care with you pick up his arm and start hacking away at him.

And then there's this.  He's a majestic beast.

Alright, that's all for today.  I'll be back with another post on Friday, so I'll talk to you all then!  I hope everyone had a good start to their weeks!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

butter London Snog and Wedding Shower

A while ago when I bought butter London No More Waity Katie from Ulta, for some reason I also got a free mini bottle of Snog.  I decided, after much deliberation, to wear it to my wedding shower, which was last Saturday.

There isn't much that I can descriptively say about this one.  It's a fuchsia creme.  Pink isn't usually my color, but I decided to try it out.  The formula was really nice; I only had to use two coats, and even though the brush on the mini bottle was small I had no trouble with it.  I suppose I recommend this polish if you're really into pink and you collect them, but I'm fairly sure there are roughly a million dupes of this at waaaaaay cheaper price points than butter London.  I'm not even sure why I got this free.  I guess I spent a certain amount of money (I also bought the bL topcoat).  Anyway, verdict:  pretty, but dupable.  

So anyway, about my shower.  It was really, really nice.  We had it at a tea house called Clementine's that I used to go to with my grandmother aaaaaall the time.  I still go eat there when I'm in the area because it reminds me of being with her.  Anyway, my friend Aimee and my two aunts, Mary and Michele, threw me the party and it was delightful.  I was pretty worried about it for a lot of reasons--there were going to be people there I hadn't seen (or really wanted to see) in a long time and I was worried about how I looked.  I also hate being the center of attention, and when you're the one who's getting married it's kind of hard to escape the spotlight.  Even though I was apprehensive it still turned out to be a really nice day.  I got some things we really needed (cookware, because I have basically none), and some things I really wanted (KitchenAid Mixer, a fancy plate set).  Aimee got me personalized teabags--and everyone took one home--and Michele and her daughter Mattie handmade all these little LA Colors nail polishes with veils on them.  I forgot to take a picture, but trust me, they were cute.

Opening stuff.  I like this picture because it looks like I'm wearing a giant balloon hat.

I'M TALL, OKAY?  Michele is in the middle and Mary is on the end...and I'm really not THAT tall.
These ladies are just the best.

My cousin Katie also made me this.  It says, "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible," which Billy Crystal says to Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally... (which everyone knows is my all-time favorite movie).  If my eyes look glassy in that picture it's because Katie's little painting made me openly weep.  In front of everyone.  For a while.  First I cried because I thought the sentiment was so sweet.  Then I kept crying because she made this painting for me and that's really sweet.  Then I kept crying because of all the nice people who came to support me and give me all these things that they took the time to buy and wrap up and stuff.  I don't know, I just got super emotional.

So if anyone is reading this who planned the shower, drove to the shower, or flew to be able to come to the shower (SAMMY), thank you.  It meant a lot to me.  And I hope you're amused to know that I was wearing a polish called Snog.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unintentional Xmas in July: China Glaze Velvet Bow

The other day I went with some friends to Great Lakes Brewery for a screening of the 1989 Batman.  The guy who was introducing the film said something like, "And just to let everyone know, this is an active brewery, so you might notice people walking around a lot.  We have a lot of Christmas Ale to make!"  I think I was supposed to be all, hehe! but instead I was like, NO CHRISTMAS.  NOT YET.  NOT EVER.  I am too into summer right now.  I would like time to slow down.  So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a polish at Marshall's that I felt like I really needed to have...and it's a Christmas polish.  WHOOPS.  But I wanted to wear it now, because sometimes a girl needs a little Uma Thurman vamp(ish).

So this is China Glaze Velvet Bow, which is from the 2011 holiday collection, Let It Snow.  Before this...I didn't have anything from this collection!  I don't know what the hell I was doing in 2011 that I missed all of these polishes.  Anyway, Velvet Bow is a pretty standard vampy brownish-burgundy-deep red.  I'm like 95% sure it's a dupe for one of my favorite vampies, OPI All A Bordeaux the Sled (last worn in 2012!).  I read a lot of reviews of Velvet Bow after I bought it, and most people said they had issues with the formula.  I didn't think it was bad, but because it's sort of a jelly-creme hybrid it did apply a bit patchy.  I used three coats.  I like colors like this a lot, but they're definitely a dime a dozen.  You'll find something like this in every brand's core line, but I like this one anyway.  I think vampies look great on everyone.  Definitely worth $2.99.  Thanks, Marshalls!

Not much to report going on over here.  I'm slowly getting wedding things done, which is good because it's getting pretty close.  My invitations went out last week, which is exciting.  But the most exciting thing is that after months and months of talking about it, we finally booked our honeymoon flights.

On September 23 we'll be on our way to Edinburgh for a ten-day stay, yaaaaay!  That's right, instead of going to a tropical location like I feel like most people do, we're going to a rainy, cloudy, kind of cold place with a lot of sheep.  We're pretty excited about it.  We've started reading Scotland books and deciding the type of things we want to do (should we pull a Lily and Marshall and head to Loch Ness? we think yes).  The reason we're going is actually not because of How I Met Your Mother, but because we have a family friend who has a flat in Edinburgh that she's letting us use, so that makes the trip a lot more affordable.  Regardless, we're pretty psyched.  So if anyone has any Scotland things that they think we should check out, let me know!

Alright, I hope everyone has a good start to the week.  Tonight I'm going to see my favorite band, Gogol Bordello, so I think I'm going to have a great day.  Take care!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

80s Creamsicle Nails!

Hey everyone!  I actually got okay pictures of my nails yesterday, so that's new.  The title of this post refers to what Ben said when I sent him a photo of this manicure.  The colors remind me a little more of the 90s than the 80s, but Ben will always go to the 80s with a reference if he can.  Anyway, this:

please note kitty paws riiiiight here ^^

On Saturday night I was texting with Sam and I sent her a picture of OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today and NYC Sweet Melon (which is part of the new City Samba summer collection) and I asked her which I should use.  She said both, so I did this.  The base color (the one closest to my cuticles) is Sorry I'm Fizzy Today, which I had wanted since I saw it on Sam's toes at the end of May.  It's a veeeeeeeeery pink leaning coral and the color is absolutely stunning.  I was fully expecting it to be opaque in two coats, but after the second one it was pretty seriously streaky.  A third coat evened things out, for the most part.  I let that dry, and then I went in with Sweet Melon and did a few gradated brushstrokes on each nail.  Sweet Melon is a really pretty, happy color.  I can't think of a better way to describe the color than "melon"--just like the inside of a cantaloupe.  There's also some hidden pearly shimmer in there that gives the polish just a little extra punch.  Also the pigmentation was really good on Sweet Melon.  I wasn't sure how it would do over Sorry I'm Fizzy Today, but I only needed one swipe for full, opaque color.  Yay!  This looks so happy and summery to me.

Has anyone picked up any of the NYC City Samba collection?  When I found the display at Rite-Aid last weekend I went kind of nuts with it and got five of the polishes...but I kind of want all of them.  At $1.99 apiece they're relatively guilt-free...AND there's a dollar off coupon on the display, too!  Which is why last time I popped into Rite-Aid I also got a bronzer (Coral Samba).  Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well and enjoying the summer...I've been trying to be outside as much as possible lately, which I hope helps my mood.  Because I'm a little stressed.  But anyway, talk to you all soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Funky Fingers Jawbreaker

This is going to be...the worst post.  Because I just couldn't get pictures of this.  Every time I thought of it I didn't have the bottle or the light was wrong or I needed lotion or something.  But it's the thought that counts. 

I got the aptly named Jawbreaker about a year ago from Five Below.  Originally I got it as a sort of substitute for China Glaze It's a Trap-eze, which I just never got around to picking up.  But really they're not that much alike at all...and at least in photos, I like Jawbreaker way better.  This polish is a variety of glitters in a sheer, milky white base.  The formula is fine and easy to work with; here I did three coats, but I think if you want it to be totally opaque it's probably a good idea to do four.  It's wearing exceptionally well on me with Seche.  Today will be its fourth day, and not a chip in sight.  I honestly have no idea if this is still available...I haven't been to a Five Below in quite a while.  I tried to run into one last night, but I didn't make it before it closed at 9.

So, can we talk about weird weather for a minute?  Last night at almost 6pm it was only 62 degrees.  It's the middle of July.  I don't understand this.  We'd better have a warm fall or I'm just going to move south because this is total crap.  

Also, last night my mom and I did this Wine and Canvas thing where we went to a bar, drank some wine, and learned how to paint a painting of fireflies on a pond.  It was one of those things where everyone did the same painting, but everyone's also looked a little different.  Here's mine:

While I was doing it I kind of thought it looked shitty, but once I finished it I thought it looked pretty nice.  Because I'm an art historian a lot of people--outside of my field, at least--assume that I have some sort of artistic inclination.  The answer is that I absolutely do not.  I am not a visually creative person at all.  So, I was happy to attend this event where someone told me exactly what to do in easily understandable steps and I walked away with a presentable finished product.  Anyway, I think Wine and Canvas does events like these all over the place, so I definitely recommend checking it out.  It's pretty fun and low pressure.  Plus, wine.

Okay, that's all for today.  I hope you're all doing well and that it's not 62 degrees in July where you are (if you're in the northern hemisphere, anyway).  Until next time!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Shopping My Stash: Nautical Edition

I was pretty sure that I would have had another post up before July 4th, but it didn't happen because I was too busy.  Hell, I even thought I wouldn't be able to make SMS this month, but here I am.  Rachel suggested a nautical theme and I was happy enough to oblige because I have a few Wet n Wild Mermaid's Cove polishes from 2011 that I've been wanting to use for, well, three years.  A couple of pictures are a little blurry because the polish is so sparkly, but hopefully you can get the idea.  Also you're seeing my right hand because one of my lefthand nails is a little wonky right now.

So this is Diving For Pearls, and it's a teal with gold and green shimmer.  It's really, really beautiful, actually.  I'm not sure why I waited so long to use it.  Teals like this aren't usually my favorite polishes, but this one just screams summertime to me.  It was a tiny bit sheer and probably could have done with three coats, but I did two and felt fine with it.  This was a really good collection, you guys!  Does anyone remember Waves of Enchantment?  That was one of the most beautiful drugstore polishes I've ever come across.  And Diving For Pearls definitely gives that one a run for its money.  Also I love the name.

Alright, that has to be all for me today.  I'm glad I could get a post up, but I just haven't been into blogging lately.  I've been really busy with just like, life stuff.  Nothing is wrong or anything I'm just keeping busy with work and wedding and friends and family.  And also I've been cross stitching in my spare time.  Sounds boring, doesn't it?  But it's super cathartic.  Okay, hope you're all doing well!  And make sure to check out what Rach is wearing today (it's right up my alley...)!