Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pearl Up

Rach sent me this polish a little while ago because when I read her post on it I couldn't not have it.  Once I read her post, I went out to all the Walgreens in this area and poked around for it, but even if I found the display Pearl Up was already cleaned out every time.  Anyway, Rach is the best and sent it on over to me.  Sadly I completely passed out on the couch, like, as soon as I had finished doing my nails, so there are some dents in the polish.  Plus there's my dry hands issue because hand sanitizer.  C'est la vie.

I've seen Pearl Up described in a couple different ways.  Some have described it as a pink-leaning beige, some a pink-leaning white.  To me, it's a straight-up light pink.  I don't think it could ever be mistaken as a white, at least not on my skintone, and the same goes for beige.  It just looks pink.  Pearl Up is a jelly, so it's not super opaque.  Meaning I had to do four coats to get it to look like this, and that was why it was a bad idea for me to fall asleep right after applying this.  But Ben was watching The Simpsons, which I don't really love, and I was under like three blankets on the couch...and the next thing I knew Ben was standing over me telling me I had to get in bed.  I knew my nails would dent.  But anyway, for a jelly the formula wasn't bad.  It's a very pretty, demure polish. The kind of polish that would enhance the look of your natural nail color at one or two coats, but that speaks for itself at three or four.  Does this have a dupe?  I don't doubt it.  I'm sure there are Essie dupes.  But SH Xtremes are so cheap that I think you'd be hard pressed to find a sheer pink that performs better at its price point.  I do think this looked better on Rachel than it does on me--it really pops on her in a good way--but I still like it.  So thanks, girl!  Much appreciated.

Anyway, non-polish news:  I got a new job!  It's at the same institution--and actually the same-ish department--but it's a different job with different responsibilities and it pays a bit more.  So I'm excited for something new.  Sadly it's not full time, but hopefully after the new year begins I will have something else on the horizon to fill the rest of my time.  Until then, I plan to be boring and married, fall asleep on the couch to The Simpsons, and to settle into my new role at work.  

I have also lately found myself digging around my stash for brownish polishes.  I think OPI How Great Is Your Dane? has kicked off some dormant desire in me to wear all the earth tones all the time.  So if anyone has any suggestions for good brown polishes, let me know what they are in the comments.  Because I am receptive.  I hope everyone is doing well!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shopping My Stash: October Occult!

Is there any time better than Halloween?  I love walking into Walgreens and seeing severed hands and skeletons in the seasonal aisle.  I love the creepy feeling that October evenings have.  I love that the leaves are changing colors and that it is time for all things pumpkin.  But really I just freaking love Halloween and have since forever.  When I was a teenager I got it into my head that I was going to celebrate Samhain with my two friends--because I was totally fascinated by the origins of Halloween and the idea that the dead could cross over into the world of the living--and we went to the woods, a graveyard or two, my friend's treehouse (ha), and even this creepy abandoned house with our Ouija board in tow.  We did this all throughout October, and I always felt electric waiting for Halloween to come.  Now that I'm a grown-ass woman and I know that no religion is for me, even the cool Gaelic ones, I still get so anticipatory every October.  Last October Rach and I had a general Halloween theme, and this year she suggested a broader occult theme.  Fine by me, girl.  Fine by me.


this necklace is from J.Crew, by the way.  a couple people have asked me.

I have to say again what I said last year, which is that it's a challenge for me to find unused spooky or Halloween-related polishes in my stash because I tend to buy them and use them right away.  But I did have SpaRitual Howl tucked away.  It reminds me of werewolves and Professor Lupin.  This polish is from 2011, but I haven't had it that long.  I actually think I got it from Michelle at some point, because I don't usually buy SpaRitual for myself.  And now I know why!  I got mad tipwear after like half a day.  Seriously, when I looked back at these pictures I was like, uh?  I just put this on!  I guess this formula just doesn't agree with my chemistry or something.  Which is a shame, because Howl is very pretty and very autumnal.  The base of it is a deep, espresso brown, but the shimmer is red, gold, and lighter brown.  When the light hits it you can tell how special it is.  It kind of reminds me of China Glaze Wagon Trail in that way.  When you're looking at it inside you're kind of like, yeah, this is okay... but when you get outside?  fugetaboutit.  Like I mentioned in my post about Formula X Anomaly, I've been really, really into browns and earth tones lately, so Howl is right up my alley.  That's why I'm so bummed that it wouldn't stay on my nails.  I had to remove this after only a day.  Sad!

Aaaaanyway, I know that Rach isn't much for Halloween, but I have enough excitement for us both.  This year Ben and I are going to parties on the 31st and November 1st (hopefully we can make it to both) so I am excited.  We're doing two obligatory-we-just-got-married couples costumes, and I think they'll both be pretty good.  What about you guys?  Any fun Halloween plans?  

Make sure you drop on by stuff to see what Rachel has for you today, and I'll talk to you all next week!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Formula X Anomaly

So when you look at this pictures of my nails in this post, you're probably going to be like, ew look at her dry hands (ALL the hand sanitizer and hand washing), and look at how she did kind of a shitty job applying this polish, gross.  Well, I'm sorry.  But you know what?  There are basically no swatches of Formula X Anomaly on the internet, so I really wanted to do this post even though my polishing skills were lackluster when I put this on.  As I was telling Rach recently, my color palette of interest lately consists of really earthy tones...rust, camel, light browns, olive, etc.  It's all I want to wear on my body, and kind of all I want to wear on my nails.  Anyway, I decided that Anomaly needed to come home with me when I found it for this reason.  I had happily been wearing OPI Germanicure by OPI, and I hadn't even had time to take pictures of that yet before I decided I just had to wear Anomaly.

I got my fringe back.  There is something about fall that just makes me want bangs.  I cannot resist.

Sephora describes this color as a russet brown.  I call foul.  I think "russet," by definition, means a warm, reddish brown.  This color is literally the exact opposite of that:  it's a cool, greenish brown.  It's a brown that's so green that it almost looks olive.  But not quite!  It's still brown.  And I have to say, I'm pretty taken with it.  It's an interesting neutral, that's for sure.  And it definitely fits the season.  This is only the second Formula X polish I've tried.  I was whelmed by my first one, but I had a much more pleasant experience with Anomaly.  The formula was really, really nice.  I used two coats.  I've been wearing it for a day now and I don't have any tipwear or chips to report, so I would say I'm pleased.  I'm trying to think of a color I have that could dupe this or come close to it.  Oh, you know what?  I bet it has some similarities to A-Taupe the Space Needle, which is absolutely one of my very favorite nail polishes ever (but I'd have to do a comparison to see).  Okay, that explains why I dig Anomaly so much--and I just realized it as I was typing this out.  I guess this polish isn' anomaly?  Ha.  Ha.

Last Sunday I took a drive down to Apple Valley to the lake house.  Partially--mostly, actually--to spend time with my parents, but partially because I wanted to do some classic Ohio October leaf peeping.  The foliage (and the weather in northeast Ohio on Sunday) did not disappoint.

we went on what I think was probably the last boat ride of the season when I got down there.  The sky was a lot grayer in central Ohio.  A plastic cup of wine and a blanket and I was happy.

This happened on my way home.  It happens all the time when I'm driving to or from Apple Valley, but this time it was while the buggy was going up a huge hill so I literally could not pass it safely.  I took the opportunity to snap a picture because I was behind it for A WHILE.

Okay, I will be back with a post for you tomorrow, too!  Lucky you, right?  But before I go...

This little grump.

Friday, October 10, 2014

NYC Crystal Couture Ruby Queen

I don't really wear that much red.  I have a few red polishes that speak to me (hellooooo ChG Igniting Love), but for the most part I'm not super, super into it.  I also don't wear that much glitter.  But when I ran into the NYC Crystal Couture collection at Rite-Aid a couple weeks ago I was completely drawn to Ruby Queen (as well as, let's face it, basically the entire rest of the collection).

(trying out the 90s Cindy Crawford lip here--or, as it has been reincarnated recently, the Kylie Jenner lip--I'm into it.  NYX Mauve lipliner and NYC Euro Trash matte lipstick)

Ruby Queen is a pinkish red jelly with small red and larger purple/maybe fuchsia round glitter.  You guys, it's good.  The fuchsia glitter is what saves it from being too holiday-esque, but I definitely see this working well for Christmastime, if you're so inclined.  For a jelly/glitter, the formula was phenomenal.  It was thick without being too thick, and it stayed where I put it.  I needed three coats for it to be opaque, but I think that makes it a versatile polish.  Layer it at one coat, or wear it opaque at two or three.  The best part about Ruby Queen is that it's $1.99 at Rite Aid, and there are usually coupons on the collection displays.  NYC is, hands down, my favorite drug store brand for polish.  I always find myself loving their seasonal collections.

And cat shenanigans.  Remy loves straws.  There are straws all over the floor of our apartment because he loves to pick them up and run around with them, chew on them, chase them, bring them into bed with me...etc etc.  We buy multicolored straws so we can easily find them when they're all chewed up.  I don't usually use them to drink, but there was some lipstick happening on my face and I had never used a NYX matte before, so I wasn't sure how it would do with drinking.  Anyway, straw.

As you can see, he's interested.  As you can also see, this is where I do my nails.  And I like to stay hydrated?  That's one of my issues.  Water bottles everywhere.  You should see my nightstand (SORRY BEN).

AAAAAAND he goes for it.  He tried to take the straw right out of my mouth with his teeth.  Gently yet forcefully.  And his breath really smelled.  He is the cutest.

Okay, I'm out.  Anyone else pick up any of these Crystal Couture polishes?  I'm kicking myself for leaving the green one behind, and I'm hoping that if I pop up to Rite-Aid in the next couple days it will still be there for me.

Until next time!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Topshop Dancing in the Dark

Hello, everyone!  I'm finally home!  I've been pretty exhausted since we arrived (although jet lag is better coming back to the US from Europe than the other way around, I think), but I did find time to do my nails with one of the polishes I picked up on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

I know that I could have gone to Topshop in NYC every day if I had wanted to, but I don't think I ever did.  But when I saw it in the UK I definitely wanted to go in and poke around.  And poke around I did, at many clothes and shoes, but all I walked away with was one polish for £6 (which, I think, is kind of steep for the size of the bottle, which is .27 fl oz--to put it in perspective, an OPI is .5 fl oz).  Anyway, Dancing in the Dark is a taupey-gray jelly with white "speckle" glitter.  They had a couple colors like this with the same idea, but for some reason the gray one spoke to me.  I don't have anything exactly like this polish, but it's kind of the same idea as Hard Candy Cocoa S'more, except that one has black as well as white glitter.  Dancing in the Dark was pretty sheer, and I used three coats here.  A fourth one probably wouldn't have hurt, but no thanks.  Three is plenty for me.  Topshop polishes have small, wide brushes with short, stubby stems.  I didn't find this one difficult to work with, and I was really happy with how it ended up looking.  I like a taupey-gray like this for fall--or really anytime of year because it's so neutral--and the white glitter just gives it a little extra somethin' somethin'.  

I'm going to have to do another post that has some photos from our trip, because I myself don't have very many.  I didn't bring my own camera, and because my phone was a totally useless brick over there, I ended up turning it off, so I don't even have any crappy iPhone photos.  None of note, anyway. But I will get some photos from Ben to show you.  Spoiler:  we had a great time.  The weather in Scotland was unseasonably nice.  We were over there for a full 10 days, and it only rained at all on the very last day.  It was even sunny and warm and beautiful when we went into the highlands, which is apparently very, very strange.  We explored all of Edinburgh and did lots of things, and we also went to Loch Ness and a bunch of different locations in the highlands.  I'm really happy with how the trip ended up going; nothing went wrong at all, and I got to see two friends over there (one who I know from NYC, and another one from London who came up to spend the day with us).  The flat we were staying in--which belongs to a family friend--was absolutely gorgeous and homey and perfect.  I was very sad to leave Scotland.  Very.  Very sad.  I absolutely loved Edinburgh.  But I was happy to come home to this little fuzz:

This is his happy face while he was snuggled up next to me on the couch for the first time in a week and a half

Poor Remy must have thought we were never coming home.  But come home we did, and he hasn't left me alone since, even when I'm asleep.  Last night I woke up pressed against Ben, totally on his side of the bed (which is weird because I need space when I sleep), and when I scooted back to my side to see what the hell was going on, I ran right into Remy's butt because he was sprawled out longways against my pillow.  So that explained it.  

Alright, that's all for me this morning.  I will be back soon to show you some more polishes I got over in the UK (helloooooo Barry M).  I'm feeling a little more interested in blogging now, probably because I had a break and because...I don't have to plan a wedding!!!!  Wahoo!  K, talk later.  Happy Monday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Little Wedding Preview

I know what you're thinking.  Oh, she's so fickle, saying she's going away until October and possibly forever but now here she is with wedding business.  But here's the truth:  the wedding went better than I possibly could have ever imagined (said the cynical pessimist), and that makes me excited to share the few pictures I have.  I didn't have possession of, well, any of my possessions during the day.  My bridesmaids had all of my stuff, and I only asked for my phone once for a limo selfie.  But photos have been trickling in from other people, and it makes me so freaking excited to see how our photographer's photos are going to turn out.  I also saw Anna and her B at the reception and got to chat a little, and hung out with Rach and her B at the reception and the following night for dinner, so that was great.  I think they might have a picture or two that they might put up, as well.  Anyway, first thing's first:

Here are a couple of crap pictures of my nails.  This is one coat Essie Hi Maintenance (ha), one coat Revlon Starry Pink, one coat Hi Maintenance.  It's very, very soft with just a hint of a little something extra.  I had no idea what I wanted to wear up until Thursday evening when I tore through my stash, decided on the Revlon for sure, but knew I had to tone it down.  I think it was really nice for something subdued.  And my toes were Maybelline Poolside, which were totally visible through my Steve Madden jelly shoes. 

None of these are super fantastic high quality pictures.  Ben took one, Sam took a few, and my friend Jenna took some...but I couldn't wait to share them with you guys. 

Here's a less than stellar and totally candid picture of me in my dress.  This was right after Ben and I did our "first look," which was the most nerve wracking part of the day for both of us.  The dress is by Maggie Sottero and it's called "Juliette."  I picked it out almost two years ago and I loved it as soon as I saw it.  It was definitely the star of the show.  Everyone was ooing and ahing over it all night.  And I really did feel beautiful.

My best friend (and maid of honor) Aimee and I in the limo.  My makeup that day was mostly my own, some applied by me and some by the hair and makeup people.  I had some Naked2 palette on my eyes, generous winged liner, and the lipstick is my perennial favorite, Illamasqua Maneater.

My dad walking me down the aisle.

Jenna took these and I love them!

When I finally got to take off the dress after wearing it for almost twelve hours.  My hips are bruised from the weight of it, but it was totally worth it.

Before we went to bed.  So much dancing and loud music equals a bit of a headache, but I was still totally content.

Seriously, if something went wrong at this wedding I didn't know about it.  Everything seemed to go super smoothly, and everything was how I wanted it to be.  The venue was amazing, the weather was more perfect than we could have hoped for (and even a touch too warm), my photographer was a goddess, the event coordinator at the venue was amazing, the food was good, the cake was wonderful, and we danced until they kicked us out.  I had danced the bustle right out of my dress by the end of the night.  My bridesmaids were great, Aimee made THE BEST SPEECH EVER, our flowers were absolutely stunning, and there were teacups.  I made a lot of things for the wedding myself, and it was nice to see the little personal touches set up once we got to the reception.  

Now that everything is over I feel very relieved.  I am not a super social person and crowds unnerve me, so I thought the wedding would be hard on me.  The hardest part was planning it.  Living it was pretty easy, surprisingly.  Like I said above, I had a lot of nerves right before I saw Ben, but once I did see him I felt a lot better.  I was a little nervous before I walked down the aisle because my dress was a touch too long and I had to handle some stairs, but in the end I just walked on my tiptoes, held onto my dad for dear life, and it was fine.  The reception was definitely a dance-like-no one's-watching situation for me because I didn't caaaaaaaare.  The whole day was a blast.  

And now...

We're off to Scotland this afternoon!  So I'll talk to you guys later, and hopefully have some non-smart phone photos to share in the future.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You

I am largely unaware of basically everything going on around me at the moment, so when I ran across the All Aboard collection from China Glaze at Sally's last week I was pleasantly surprised.  I didn't find most of the colors terribly unique, but when I saw Choo-Choo Choose you, I knew I had to pick it up.  Ben also tells me that it's a Simpsons reference, which I wouldn't have gotten on my own, but I did remember the episode once he told me.  ANYWAY.  This:


Please excuse the tipwear.  I had been wearing this for almost two days when I got around to taking photos.  I actually put this on for my friend Kayleigh's wedding last weekend--purple was one of her colors so I thought I would theme it up a little bit.  The base of this polish is like, a smoky purple, and then depending on the angle from which you're viewing it, it can either have sort of amber shimmer, or green.  It's pretty interesting...and I don't think I have anything else that looks like it.  The formula was a little runny, and I was initially disappointed at how sheer the first coat went on.  I ended up needing three coats to reach opacity, but I think the payoff of how beautiful the color is is worth it.  This is also wearing really, really well on me.  I put it on last Friday night, and now it's Thursday and I'm still wearing it with just a little tipwear and only one little chip.  I approve.

Okay, I'm out.  The next time I talk to you I'll be maaaaaarried.  And I still don't know what I'm going to wear on my nails for my wedding, because I am failing at details right now.  I am pretty overwhelmed, but hopefully all goes well.  Think of me on Saturday, and tell the rain clouds over Cleveland to eff off.