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...)!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

OPI Green On the Runway

As soon as I walked into Ulta and spotted the OPI Cokes my interest was piqued.  A lot.  I picked up the Sprite one and one of the Vanilla Coke ones, and I was a happy little camper.  I immediately knew that the polish inspired by Sprite, Green On the Runway, was special.  And it is super, super special.

Pictures really don't do this one justice, but I did my best.  Green On the Runway is a green/copper duochrome.  Most of the time it looks green, but sometimes it has an olive cast, and at the right angle the copper jumps out.  It has the same sort of feel as Nubar Wildlife, but the colors are radically different even though Wildlife is also a green/copper duochrome.  Truthfully I much prefer the OPI because the green is more of a rich jewel tone.  Beeeeaaaauutiful.  

The formula was great and I used two coats here.  Notably, I also used the butter London P.D. Quick Dry--"pretty darn quick"--topcoat because I've heard it works miracles.  Verdict:  nuh uh.  I got the same wear out of this polish as I would almost any other (a couple days) before I got a very noticeable chip.  NYC Grand Central Station works just as well for me and the bL topcoat is literally nineteen times  more expensive.  Oh well.  I'll use up the bottle and then never buy it again.  

I'm going to try REALLY HARD to have one more post for you this week before I go off to my annual family reunion/party/funtime.  I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the weather!  It has actually been really hot here and I've reeeeaaaaally been enjoying it.  I've also been reading a lot, so if anyone has any book suggestions I'd be glad to hear them!

Until later!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

butter London No More Waity Katie

Cue my being the worst ever blogger, because I totally didn't notice that the BEAUTIFUL GREEN TREE outside my window was reflected on my nails/the bottle while I was taking these pictures.  Sorrrrryyyyyy.

No More Waity Katie is one of the many, many items sold to commemorate the royal wedding.  I can't say I was super pumped about said wedding, but I do have really fond memories of that point in time (like when Sam and I watched the William and Kate Lifetime movie in her very small apartment while eating terrible [but also amazing] Chinese food on the floor).  Anyway, I didn't get this polish until last weekend when I was tooling around Ulta and poking around the butter London display; I had kind of wanted it for a long time, and I decided it was just time.  There are a lot of conflicting opinions on this polish, but I think it's really nice.  It's just lavender glitter suspended in a smoky purple-gray jelly base, but something about the color looks really special...ESPECIALLY in the bottle.  I think it looks better there than on the nail, but I'm still a fan.  Because the base is so sheer it definitely needs three coats to build up opacity, and also it eats topcoat.  I used two coats to try to make it feel sort of smooth, but even with that it's still a little lumpy.  

But anyway, I'm glad I have this polish.  And look at Kate now!  All stylish and babied up.  She probably wouldn't wear this color, would she?  Oh well, more for me!

Monday, June 23, 2014

L'Oreal Skinny Jeans

I still love me a texture.  And my favorite textures are the ones that are matte and remind me of a popcorn ceiling.  I don't know why this finish entices me so much; ever since I tried Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in Sour Apple I was smitten.  When I ran into the summer L'Oreal textures at Bed, Bath & Beyond one day I knew I had to leave with a couple even though my passion for polish seems to have fizzled out a bit.  Regardless, here's Skinny Jeans:

This color is just to die for.  It's so pretty.  The photos aren't super color accurate in that Skinny Jeans is a softer, more periwinkle type of color rather than the bright blue you see particularly in the first picture.  The texture is also a bit different than Sour Apple, which has become my benchmark for popcorn-ceiling-textures.  The bumps it dries with are finer and more delicate.  It doesn't feel rough, like it's going to catch on sheets or knits.  It just feels interesting.  The formula was really nice and very easily controlled, and I did two coats here (no topcoat, obviously).  

One reason I chose to wear this color was because I wore this Plenty by Tracy Reese dress to The Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice party on Saturday, and I felt like even though this polish was a little matchy-matchy with it, it still looked nice with the dress.  I also like textures like this because I feel like they dry pretty quickly, so a manicure really requires minimum effort.  I'm still wearing Skinny Jeans as I write this, and I'll probably keep it on until it chips.  It really is a nice polish, and I recommend picking it up if you can (although I think I got this like a month ago, so I have no idea if it's still around).  

I actually ran across the display when I was on my way back from bridal shoe shopping.  I decided to go the extra classy route, and I'm going to wear clear jelly shoes.  Not kidding.  I found these by Steve Madden, and when they're actually on they look totally invisible.  I tried them on with my dress at my fitting last week and I was pretty delighted by them.  Plus, I know brides nowadays (NOWADAYS because I'm an old lady) like to wear like, bedazzled four-inch heels, but I am so not doing that.  Flats please.  The shoes have been the hardest part of the wedding ensemble to plan BY FAR.  

ANYWAY.  Shoe tangent.  

I hope that all of you guys are doing well and that you're enjoying the first few days of summer.  It has been oddly cool here for the middle of June.  We had a couple of scorching days last week, but for the most part it has been temperate.  I'm really looking forward to truly hot weather.  I still don't feel like I've recovered from the ridiculous winter that we had here in Cleveland.  Anyway, back to anyone else still into the texture trend like I am, or are you over it?  Even if you are over it, you can't deny that Skinny Jeans is one gorgeous blue.

Oh, and one more thing:  happy birthday to my mom!  TREAT YOSELF today!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shopping My Stash: SUMMAHTIME

Hey guys!  I went a full month without blogging, which is kind of crazy.  I haven't done that in half a decade.  I'm back today to do a SMS post with Rach.  It doesn't even seem possible that somehow we're in the summertime months, but here we are.  SOMEHOW WE ARE HALFWAY through June. Which is scary!  Summer is such an ephemeral time where I live, but I wish it could last...for longer than it does.  ANYWAY, we chose a generic summertime theme for June.  In 2010 Wet n Wild released a collection of summery polishes all named after tropical or vacation-y destinations.  I had tried out all but two (and they're for layering!), so I decided to give the last couple a whirl.  

you know it's summertime when:  my face freckles are like, HEY

This is two coats of Wet n Wild Tahiti (a warm pink creme) with a coat of Wet n Wild Bora Bora over it (a pink glass fleck-y shimmer).  I've never been a huge fan of pink nail polish, but I have to say that once I decided I was in love with OPI Elephantastic Pink, I began to be more accepting of other pinks.  The formula on the creme, Tahiti, was nice and easy to work with and I only needed two coats.  Bora Bora was also nice, and I felt like one coat added sufficient sparkle.  The one big gripe that I have with these polishes is that the bottles are TINY and so are the brushes.  It makes them really hard to work with.  I showed a picture of the tiny brush stems back in my original post about these, which you can see here (May 2010, holla!).  I in fact had so much trouble while I was polishing that at one point I dropped the brush and got pink nail polish everywhere; that's something that has never happened to me before.  I felt like a giant fumbling around with these stupid tiny bottles.  But anyway, it turned out nicely in the end.  As pink manicures go, this one was interesting and blingy enough for me to wear it for a few days.

May was such a busy month for me, and I'm not sure that June is going to slow down much, either.  At the end of May I took two trips:  first, to Colorado to see my cousin Katie graduate from high school, and the very next weekend I went to Massachusetts to visit Sam.  We spent our days together in Provincetown doing a bunch of Cape Cod-y things like going whale watching (I found out I get seasick and I threw up a lot, but it was worth it), eating lobster, and going to the beach.  It was a great time.  I'm working a lot this week, and then next week I'm taking a little mini-break with another friend.  I have my FIRST FITTING (that sounds so Say Yes to the Dress), so we're going to make a little trip of it and stay a couple days down in Columbus where I got my dress.  Should be fun.  

Anyway, I hope that you've all been doing well while I've been away!  I've been lurking around and reading blogs (without commenting because I suck at doing that on my phone) so don't think I've forgotten about any of you!  Make sure you stop on by to check out what Rach is wearing (I think it's an oldie...but of course a goodie).  Until next time!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Taking a Break

Hey guys.  I'm dropping by to let you know that I'll be taking a break from blogging for a little while.  I mentioned in one of my previous posts that May is a little bit busy and harried for me, so I thought it might be best for me to go on hiatus.  I'll still be around if anyone wants to drop a line or anything, and of course I'll be reading blogs and stuff.  

In the past when I've taken breaks I haven't been able to stay away too long, so we'll see how long this lasts!

Until next time!  Hopefully all of you are enjoying nice weather like we have been here!

Remy says bye, too

Friday, May 09, 2014

Shopping My Stash: May Flowers (Finally!)

I made it to our monthly Shopping My Stash post, yay!  I'm pretty excited about this one because I've been meaning to wear this polish since I got it...FIVE YEARS AGO.  Five years.  Half a decade.  It has been sitting around quietly.  I knew that if we went with the April showers bring May flowers saying as a theme then I would be forced to pull it out this month and finally give it a whirl.  So here she is, ladies:  Sally Hansen Salon Night Hydrangea.

seriously bad hair day=Indians cap and hair wrangled into pigtails

I feel like I should have taken more photos of Night Hydrangea...and really, I did.  But purples are so rough to photograph that most of them just didn't turn out.  Anyway, can we just pause and have a moment of silence for the Sally Hansen heavy square bottles? ....  miss ya, squares.  Miss ya.  Night Hydrangea came out in the spring 2009 collaboration with Tracy Reese.  I have a couple polishes from that collection, and let me tell you...these bitches were really hard to hunt down.  I remember exactly where I was when I found an almost-full display:  in Chicago, visiting a Boyfriend Past, in a CVS in a kind of terrible neighborhood right off the green line.  I wandered in on a particularly hot summer day and THERE THEY WERE.  I was so excited and I grabbed Honeydew, Forsythia, and Night Hydrangea.  I really love when I can remember the little stories behind how I got polishes.  Just because I hadn't used it until now doesn't mean I don't have a special warm place in my heart for it!

I was fully expecting the formula on this polish to be terrible and I was dreading using the old skinny brush.  But I was delighted to find that after I gave the bottle a good shake, the formula was just fine.  I used three coats and dry time was good.  The color is really nice, but probably not something that's not completely dupable, especially within the last five years.  I don't recommend tracking this down on eBay or anything for that reason, but I will say--damn, it's a nice purple.  I believe Rach is also showing you all one from this collection today, so lucky for you, you get a twofer!  

Alright, I have to keep this short because I'm tired of staring at a computer screen all day (making powerpoints and scanning stuff is just the worst).  Hopefully I will be back with something new next week, and thanks for stopping by!  Remember to visit stuff i (s)watched to see what Rach is wearing today!