Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Essie Vices Versa

A couple weeks ago, on my way home from a particularly hectic Saturday at the museum, I stopped at our local grocery store chain to pick up the stuff for a Mexican dinner.  I only had a couple things on my list, and most of them were over in the dairy section, but somehow I managed to wander by the cosmetics anyway (it's a skill, I tell you).  And there were the summer Essies.  I don't even think it was April yet when I found them.  There were no reviews out yet in the blogosphere, just PR stuff, so I wasn't sure how the formulas would be or which ones to get.  After standing in front of them for about five minutes, I chose two and was on my way (and then I stood in line for literally 35 minutes--it was one of those days).

blah blah cuticles...SORRY.  I put lotion on literally right before I took these pictures--I almost couldn't hold the camera because of how greased my hands were--and it still didn't help.

This is Vices Versa, and it's a spring green "neon."  Now, as has been noted, neons often pop if you put them over white.  But in my experience, true neons are still neon even without the white base.  That's not true with this polish.  Although it definitely has neon pigment in it because it dries matte, when this is applied by itself and without an opaque white base coat (as in my photos), it doesn't look neon when it dries (even with topcoat).  It just looks like a really bright green.  It reminds me a lot of OPI Green-wich Village, which is a creme.  In real life this polish doesn't even look as neon as it does in these photos--my camera messed with the color a little bit.  It also doesn't make my hands look super red like they do here.  I used four coats, and the formula is pretty typical for a "neon;" ie horrible.  It doesn't self level at all and it's sheer.

Karen over at beautygeeks swatched each of the Essie 2014 neons alone and then over white, and you can see that Vices Versa does look like a neon green over white, while it appears as more of a bright shade on its own.  So I'm not alone here.  But you guys know what I mean, right?  Like, even Essie Pink Parka, which I just posted about here, is a bright neon without a white base.  Polishes like China Glaze Surfin' For Boys and Flip Flop Fantasy pack more than enough neon punch on their own without having to resort to a white base coat.  All of this babbling that I'm doing about white base coats is leading up to my saying that these polishes probably aren't worth it.  Yes, they're really pretty and the bottles are super appealing in the display, but unless you really feel like a.) finding a white that'll go on opaque and even in one coat (which I've NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FIND after years of hoarding collecting cosmetics) and b.) doing at least four or five coats of polish.  Do I regret buying Vices Versa?  No.  I like the color on its own even though, to me, it isn't a true neon.  I think the green is really pretty and I don't have anything else like it.  Will I go back for the purple, the coral, the pink, etc?  No.  They're dupable.  Save your money, ladies.

So, what do you think of these?  Have any of them jumped into your shopping carts?  I'm also curious to know if any of you have run across them yet.  I only saw them at Giant Eagle one time; the next time I went back the display was empty and I haven't seen them anywhere else. Truly odd, because I think the official release date for this collection, Too Taboo, isn't until 1 May.  If you guys have any thoughts on this, or neon polishes in general, let me know.  I'm not too big a fan of neons, to be honest.  Surfin' For Boys is probably my favorite one, and it's pretty tame...

Until next time!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shopping My Stash: April Showers

This month for Shopping My Stash I chose the theme, and there's almost nothing that I love more than a silly cliche (except a silly pun) so I chose April Showers.  I scoured my Helmer drawers for a while (much to Remy's delight; he was literally rolling around in nail polish bottles), and I came up with a couple options...but I settled on OPI MonSooner or Later.  I've had this polish for SO LONG, and I can't believe it took me until now to use it.

Isn't this color delicious?  I think it's too orange to be called a tomato red, but it's somewhere in that ballpark.  I think it looks a lot like the Crayola color Red Orange, actually.  It's a simple color, but it's really beautiful.  I used three coats here.  With a lot of OPI's older reds (hello Vodka and Caviar), even though they're really pigmented when they go on, they leave a lot of VNL with two coats.  This one was no different.  Also, I love how orange-reds like this one look with olive green (I'm wearing my new Lindsay Weir-esque spring jacket in the above photo, and I just think the colors play so nicely together--on a related note, this now makes Halloween REALLY EASY for me this year and I'm pretty excited about it).

MonSooner or Later is from the 2008 India collection, which was kind of amazing.  I actually have a couple others from that collection that I don't think I've touched either, so that should probably be rectified.  I'm glad that we decided to go with April Showers for this month for a couple reasons.  First, I got to wear this awesome polish.  Second, it seems incredibly appropriate because this past week in Cleveland has been super rainy.  And lastly, because I've had that Bambi song stuck in my head for the past week and I'm not at all upset about it.

drip drip drop little April shower, la la la la la, etc.
Bambi is not my favorite Disney movie by a long shot and I remember almost nothing about it except this song (my favorite is The Little Mermaid, in case you were aching to know)

Alright, this has to be a short one for me because I'm low on time this week, but make sure you stop on by stuff i (s)watched to see what Rach is wearing this month.  Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to you next week!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Revlon 1000 Volts

Although I'm not the biggest Spider-Man fan (and more specifically, I'm not super into Andrew Garfield in the role), I couldn't help but pick up a few of the polishes from the Revlon collaboration.  

loving the caps on these

1000 Volts is definitely a duochrome, but I would say that its shift is pretty subtle.  It goes from a warm gold to a copper, and then sometimes it reads a little green, but I couldn't capture that.  This is a really, really pretty polish.  It's a tad warm for my pale, cool skin, but I still like how it looks.  Sometimes golds like this can read as holiday-esque, but I think the copper shift in 1000 Volts saves it from that.  I used three coats here.

I've seen this collection at one Walgreens and also Ulta (I think things were a little more expensive at Walgreens, actually).  I'm still waffling on whether or not I want to get that blue lipgloss because it just looks so cool, but I haven't seen any on-lip swatches yet so I can't decide.  Oddly the collection at my Walgreens is completely untouched (aside from the couple polishes I got).  I thought more people would be looking for these.  BUT I guess that gives me extra time to decide what I need, right?

Did anyone else find or pick up anything from this collection?  I know Rach said she got all the polishes, so I'm excited to see them on her.  Speaking of Rach, don't forget to stop back on Friday to see our monthly Shopping My Stash posts!

Monday, April 07, 2014

H&M Car Paint Purple

H&M is really stepping up their nail polish game lately; has anyone else noticed that?  The last time I popped in there they had a ton of colors to choose from, and one of them caught my eye because in the lighting of the store I couldn't tell if it was navy blue or dark purple, which was intriguing.  Sadly when I actually wore it and tried to take pictures of it, it would only appear blue.  I think if it had been sunny it would have been a different story, but c'est la vie.

oh yeah, and I didn't have the bottle with me when I actually took the photos, so that is my gym lock I'm holding

also some reddish lips, blue eyeliner, and a navy and white shirt for opening day...

Car Paint Purple is an indigo creme.  I think.  At least that's how it looks in the bottle.  Here it pretty much just looks dark blue.  I tried to coax out the purple tones by holding my purple padlock, but it didn't really work.  The formula was nice and easy to work with, and I only needed two coats.  The brush was different than I remember H&M polishes being; it was a bit wider and flatter, but easy to control nonetheless.  Unfortunately this color didn't last long on me at all.  It may have been because I have been washing my hands really often, but I'm not sure.  I basically have had to accept that polishes just do not last on me no matter what base/topcoat I decide to use.  You know which polishes really agreed with my body chemistry?  $OPI.  THANKS FOR NOT EXISTING ANYMORE, $OPI.  Sigh.  

Okay, that's all for me today.  There will definitely be two other posts this week; I'm sorry things have been so sparse lately!  I've been trying to balance my personal life/work/gym schedules and I haven't quite found a good equilibrium.  But soon I will and all will be well.  Also, today would have been my grandmother's 91st birthday.  I can't believe a year has passed so quickly since I last wrote about her last birthday party.  I still miss her every single day.  If you want to read about her, for a while I did a series called The Tess Collection because I have all of her old nail polish.  The series became difficult for me to maintain after I moved for a variety of reasons, but people seemed to like those posts.  And I certainly enjoyed sharing them.  Anyway, I'll be thinking about my grandma all day today.  Because she was such a special lady.

Happy Monday and happy April 7th.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

...Out Like a Lamb

I had the best intentions for this post.  As in, I meant for it to go up yesterday.  But life happened and I didn't really have time, so here it is, a day late and already a day into April (rabbit rabbit!).  When I was a kid one of the things I most vividly remember learning about was the saying about March "in like a lion, out like a lamb."  I think I remember because my mom always said it, and because one time we colored pictures of lions and lambs for school.  Anyway, this:

I'm pretty terrible at nail art, but I got the idea to do a lamb at the end of February for a post in March and knew I had to try.  Then when I searched around for "lamb nail art," I ran across this tutorial on Chalkboard Nails.  Yay!  I just did my best to copy it.  My sheep definitely has unnaturally long legs, but WHATEVER.  He looks okay to me.  The base color of this is Essie's Pretty Edgy, which I hadn't pulled out in a hot minute--by "hot minute" I mean since 2010, so it really has been a while.  In real life it's a tad more blue-based than it looks here.  But it's a green jelly-creme hybrid, and you can see in the last photo of my nails that there's still some VNL on my pinky; I only used two coats on most nails.  The body of the sheep is OPI Alpine Snow, his legs are Wet n Wild Black Creme, his ears are OPI I Sao Paolo Over There, and his little nose is Wet n Wild Tahiti.  I gave it my best effort, guys!  Lamb ahoy.  

Yesterday, the last day of March, was blustery but not horribly cold as it has been lately, so I was happy to sport this little lamb.  April is a month I generally really enjoy because I love spring, so I'm glad it's here.  I can't wait for the flowers to start popping up and for warmer days and cute umbrellas.  How about you guys? What do you most look forward to about spring?   

Alright, lamb out!  Hopefully I talk to you again before next week!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

China Glaze What A Pansy

YOU KNOW, periwinkle is a polish color that never gets old for me.  Maybe it's because I think it looks great against my skin.  Maybe it's because I find the color calming.  Maybe it's because I think it works for many seasons.  Whatever the reason, I love it.  So when I saw there was a striking periwinkle creme in the China Glaze City Flourish collection, the decision to buy it was pretty much made for me.

look how purple this photo ended up!  not color accurate, but isn't it pretty??

There is no better way to describe What A Pansy than as simply periwinkle.  It's a creme.  Its formula was delightful, and what you see here is two coats.  I love this color on shorter nails, and I had to cut mine off the other day because they were just bugging me.  I hope this polish gets good wear time, because, like I said, I really like this color on me and I wouldn't mind wearing it for a few days.  Also the name sort of delights me.  I'm surprised China Glaze didn't have a name referencing a pansy before this.   

And now for something totally off topic:  check out the new little friend I have on my dashboard.  Ben is an expert at feeling those mystery Lego packages and figuring out which character is in them, so I asked him to find me the coffee guy.  And he did!  I put him together and we stuck him down with some velcro.  I think he's adorable.  And apparently his name is Larry.

Alright, that's all for today.  Does anyone else feel the same way about periwinkle polishes that I do?  More importantly, who thinks "periwinkle" is a funny word?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Essie Pink Parka

According to my calendar it is spring.  According to my weather app, today it is 30 degrees.  This does not please me.  To combat this perpetual winter, I chose one of the brightest polishes I own (and kind of an old polish too), Essie Pink Parka.  I ran across it a couple weeks ago when I was going through my Essie drawer and I set it aside for a day like today, when I really need it to feel like springtime.

looks like I used flash, doesn't it?  nope!  the polish is just that bright

Pink Parka, which is from the Fall 2009 collection, is a true neon pink.  These photos make it look way more violet-toned than it is in reality.  The formula was streaky, and after three coats it still had bald spots--but this polish is so glowy and bright that you can't tell in photographs, which is convenient for all of us, isn't it?  I really liked this polish while I was wearing it, but sadly this happened after less than a day of wear:

see all those chips on my nail tips?  ack.

Unfortunately for those of you who love this color, it's now discontinued.  Fortunately for those of you who love this color, true neon pinks like this are not hard to find these days.  As it is, I wouldn't recommend this one because of the formula troubles (although neons are notoriously difficult anyway) and the staggeringly awful wear time I had with it, even after using SV.  But still.  Looks fab, doesn't it?

Sorry for my absence lately!  Remember last week how I was saying that I had a cold?  Well, I still have it.  As of Sunday evening I did feel much better, but for the seven days prior to that I felt like I was a dying snot bomb (and I'm sure Ben felt like that too, because my sneezes were diabolical).  I still have a cough and a lot of lingering congestion, but I don't have that weird fuzzy-headed-where-even-am-I sick feeling anymore.  

My other news is that I got a job!  Yes, after nearly six months of looking and being not-so-funemployed--and wondering whether or not I had totally messed up my life by choosing this path instead of a different one--I got a job at a museum in Cleveland.  Yes, you read that right:  I have a job related to my liberal arts field.  And it's kind of a fun job.  And this has been a happy, happy time despite how sick I've been.  I'm getting on a normal-person schedule (sort of--I work through weekends now) and I'm starting to feel, well, normal.  Life exists beyond grad school for this art historian, everyone!  

Let's all celebrate with neon pink!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

OPI Live.Love.Carnaval

First thing's first:  I take back everything I said about the corals in this collection being unworthy of picking up because they're dupe-y.  Truth be told, they probably do have dupes, maybe even from OPI itself.  But damn if they aren't beautiful.  Case in point?  Live.Love.Carnaval.

In these photos it pulls way more pink than it is in real life.  I'd describe the color as a true, but very-bright-almost-to-the-point-of-being-neon, coral.  It is summer in a bottle.  This color screams LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL to me, and it makes me happy to wear it.  The formula was great.  The first coat was a little streaky, but the second coat evened things out and I was happy with how it looked.  I think Live.Love.Carnaval would be a great color to wear on your toes for the [hopefully] upcoming warmer weather.  It is delightful.

This past Saturday I woke up with a cold.  An actual cold, not the I-think-I-might-be-getting-sick feeling that I've had almost all winter without actually developing a cold.  I had a busy weekend ahead of me, so I just took some Dayquil and powered through it, and yesterday and today I get to relax (and yes mom, drink plenty of water) and sleep this cold away.  I almost made it all winter without actually getting sick!  If I could have just made it a few more days I would have been home free.  Oh well.  

Here is Remy doing his own relaxing next to me in his favorite box.  What a life.

At least with this downtime I've gotten to read Divergent.  I have to say, I was skeptical of the book because sometimes dystopian future young adult stuff just isn't my jam, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed reading it.  I actually went out and bought the second book yesterday (along with a bowl of chicken noodle soup to go from Panera), so I'm fully prepared to see the movie when it comes out this weekend (actually we will probably go at the beginning of next week so we can take advantage of $5 movie night(s) as per usual).  Last week Ben took me to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and I was SO DELIGHTED BY IT.  Seriously, I laughed like a crazy person through the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed it.  So if you're on the fence about seeing that one, I really highly recommend it.

Alright, that's all for me today.  What do you think of OPI Live.Love.Carnaval?  Worth picking up?  What's your perfect warm weather polish color?  Because honestly, I think something like this hot coral is mine.

[This product sent for review consideration by Beyond Polish.  The opinions expressed are my own.]