Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Forsooth, It Is Forsythia


The other day I went downtown to Ulta to see if they had the new Orly fall collection in yet (they didn't, but it's imminent, I feel it). I went into a CVS on the way, just to see if they had any deals on the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes (they didn't). Defeated, I was walking out when I noticed a display of polishes that was totally not by the other polishes. When I went over to investigate...I saw it was the Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen polishes from spring 2009! Yesssss! I had been looking for these for a long time! I kept going into random Walgreens (Walgri?) and CVSs just to see if they had it. What do you know, as soon as I stopped actively looking I found them. There they were in all their glory. I thought it was funny that the only color that was missing was Azalea, which is a bright pink creme (think OPI ElePhantastic Pink). That's the most boring color in the collection, in my opinion. People just love pinks, I guess. Here's a picture of the display:

Okay, what is the deal with the model's dress? It's bright green. I thought the concept of these collections was that the polishes were supposed to match/complement clothes from the runway. Uuhh, what? Michelle at All Lacquered Up swatched these alongside creations from the runway and I do not remember a bright green. Okay, maybe the model in the Tassel picture is wearing bright green and we can't tell, but...I don't really think so. Maybe they recycle the display from years past? It doesn't say spring 2009 so I don't know. Haha, "limited edition"...UH NO KIDDING.

Anyway, I got Forsythia. I wanted Night Hydrangea, but at $6.29 for a drugstore polish, I thought I could do with just one (restraint!). Miss Tyra would call Forsythia ugly pretty. It's a mustardy color, a grayed out and dusty yellow. I'm not going to lie, and I knew this when I bought it, but this color is probably hard for anyone to pull off. I'm really, really pale so I thought maybe I could make it work. What do you think? (pictures are midday sunlight, indoors, midday sunlight, respectively)

Yeah, I don't think so either. But I love it. Like, a lot. It's such a weird color. Even though it was released in a spring collection (IN MARCH THANKS HYDE PARK CVS AND SALLY HANSEN DISTRIBUTION) I think it's a beyond fantastic color for fall. I have a mustard and purple dress from H&M, so maybe it'll look less ghastly on me if I match it with an outfit? I used to have a Payless purse that matched too but it tore. Drat. Here's a bottle picture. Maybe you can see that this isn't a creme; it has barely-there pearlescent shimmer.

The color is great but...am I the only one who has trouble with the application of these Sally Hansen Salon colors? Seriously. Maybe it's just me. Michelle praises the application in the link I provided above. I feel like I can never really get enough polish on the brush. It's streaky. It has cuticle drag. The more polish I put on the brush the less drag there is, but then it takes forever to dry. This was three coats and as you can see below (shade picture), there are still little bald patches. Of course no one would notice unless they were really close to me, like with their noses against my hand, but you know. It's the principle or something.

Anyway, major lemming fulfilled. I'm willing to put up with the poor application for the weird awesomeness of Forsythia. Thanks CVS on State and Adams!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Do the [Obligatory] Hustle

Happy(ish) Monday! Reading Betsy's post has just reminded me all over again how much I miss her and her snark. Couple that with my cynicism and you have...um...two bitches? But we love each other and we're also hilarious and awesome (and we know it). Now that you've met my partner in crime and you know she's not a figment of my imagination or an apparition or anything supernatural, onto my nails. Another Disco Brite! I can't get enough, seriously. Hustle is a vibrant purple creme that leans way toward the blue side. Although it is a creme, the consistency of this color is almost jelly-like. It's a little hard to describe. Even with three coats of it the color looks a little watery, but that's just the nature of the polish. It's really gorgeous. Application on this one wasn't as smooth as the others I've tried. The first coat went on like watercolor paint. Ack. The second coat left me with cuticle drag. Ack! The third coat left me with insanely awesome nails. ACK! I mean YAY! The third coat was pretty thick because I was getting a little peeved, but it dried really quickly with one coat of Seche Vite. Behold:

This was inside near a window. It's a pretty good representation of the color, actually. Late afternoon light.

Uhh, weird perspective, but what can I say? I'm an artiste. Outside in the sun.

Here's the bottle, with my lovely painted thumb for comparison. Very, very pretty. Doesn't this color kind of remind you of the top of a ziploc container? It doesn't? Well it should. Come on. Look.

I knew you'd see it my way eventually. That container lid is clean, by the way. The water is from having just been washed.

Also, I thought I would update that I was extremely impressed with the wear time of Dance Studio (pictured in the Friday, August 21st post). I had it on for almost three days and I only had a teeny bit of tip wear. No chips or anything. Let me tell you, I put this polish through a lot: a couple baths, a shower, rigorous hair washing, and scrubbing dishes. I was even a little sad to remove it, which is weird for me because I usually paint my nails daily. I think I'll wear Dance Studio often in the fall. One of my friends was looking for a good dark blue or navy for autumn and I really think this fits the bill. Speaking of fall, it was only 68 degrees here yesterday. I needed a sweater (luckily I just bought a really cute metallic-y one from H&M). YAY! I love snuggling up under blankets when it's chilly outside :D

I don't think I'll wear Hustle for quite as long, so I should be back pretty soon with another Disco Brite. Also, I think I'm going to Ulta today. I was there recently and they were having a buy two get one free for Orly, which means the new Orly Fairy Tale collection is probably due out really soon. Weee!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Betsy, bitch

Today is the glorious day, dear readers, that you can finally rest assured as to Steff’s sanity. I am not an imaginary friend nor a figment of her imagination. Yes, it’s the elusive Betsy, in the type.

For the most part, Steff has already introduced me, but I guess I’ll say a few words about myself as well. I recently started an archaeology job that requires my hands to be submerged in dirt or water for 8 hours a day, and even the glorious Seche Vite is no match for such atrocities. Hence, I go the whole week with….bare nails. I know, it’s sad. But when Steff presented me with an excuse to still do my nails on the weekends, I would have hugged her with joy had that not necessitated my driving to Ohio first. So unless something strange happens, like I get fired (dear god I hope not), my posts will probably be confined to the weekends.

As far as polish is concerned, Steff is right, I am definitely in a creme phase right now. But I’m also drooling over all the shimmer packed mattes this fall. Zoya and the new OPI shimmery Mattes need to be on my nails. Like, NOW. I'm also on the hunt for a grey (gray? I never remember which side of the pond uses which spelling) that doesn't involve me paying shipping fees, like the perfect but unavailable in stores Obsessive Compulsive Dangerous, but...you know...in stores.

Today, I will be bringing you one of my favorite nail colors for years now, Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine Glossy. If you are one of those people who don’t like the almost black blues (or purples, or whatevers), I think this might convert you. Indoors, it definitely looks black in most lights. But outside or in good indoor lighting, this black glows red. This is one of those colors that I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on, and usually from non-polish people. That might say something about the polish, but I prefer to think it just means it’s too gorgeous not to comment on.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. They're all blurry, and on top of that, somehow my nails were dirty or smudgy or something right before I took the pictures? Ugh, gross. Sorry you have to witness such filth. I don't have the excuse of using an iPhone. I just suck at taking pictures of my hand. Hopefully with time, these will improve. Sadly, today is a day when a good quality picture could really demonstrate the beauty of the polish, but you'll just have to trust me about how great it is. Or, go out and buy a bottle!

I can't really report on the quality of the polish because it's so old, it had thickened considerably. But, after a few drops of Orly thinner, it was smooth as silk, and only took one coat. Luscious and easy.

Since I can’t update as often as Steff has been so far, I’m thinking I’ll have a shtick to my posts. And as the thing that binds the two of us together is not so much nail polish as it is a love of all things pop culture, for now, that will be my go to shtick. So, in this vein, I will be tying in the gorgeous Glossy to the ridiculously bad/awesome film, Obsessed. If you haven’t seen the millions of commercials for it….well then you are Amish, and probably wouldn’t be reading a blog anyway. It’s the Beyonce/Ali Larter movie (co-starring our BFF, Jerry O’Connell!). Anyway, this movie is not only totally watchable because of the ridiculous ending girl fight -- which oh, dear readers, is worth watching at least twice – but because it perfectly demonstrates classy sexy vs. that’ll be 20 bucks mister sexy. Point being, Ali Larter’s infamous red dress from the promos and posters, all backless and ridiculous, is the latter kind of sexy.

At this point in the movie, we knew this chick is a special kind of crazy. Thus, there is no need for subtle sexiness – or sanity. But Glossy is like the other kind of sexy. More subtle, and more wearable, without that pesky aura of roofie slipping temp gone wild. It’s more like one of Ali Larter’s early ensembles, which I can’t find a picture of, but is a great red Burberry trench paired with a simple black sheath dress and pearls. Grace Kelly-esque, according to the costume dsigner. And while Glossy is hardly Grace Kelly – it’s nice, it isn’t magic or royalty – it’s sort of the polish equivalent of the simple, chic sexy that is implied by the easy elegance of a LBD and a great trench.

For now, dear readers, that is all I have to report. I hope to have another trashy movie inspire my nail choice for next weekend. I’ll be on the lookout. Till then, I leave you with Steff and the gorgeous colors she’s been finding. JEALOUS.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Morning Manicure

I think I may have managed a semi-decent picture with my iPhone! This morning I woke up and decided that I wanted to try another L.A. Girl Disco Brite. I chose Dance Studio, a dark blue creme that is somehow also...bright. My hands look really dry here, probably because this is after I used a ton of acetone but before I put on lotion. Anyway, check out Dance Studio:

Ahhh, isn't this gorgeous? I filed my nails all the way down before I put this one on. I just love dark polish on short nails. This isn't an "almost black" blue. It's definitely discernibly blue in all lights, but in sunlight it just POPS.

I'm wondering how close this polish is to Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm. You can see the Polish Addict's swatch of that color here. Just for good measure, here's a bottle picture:

I think Dead Calm is probably more navy and less vibrant than Dance Studio. I don't own any Rescue Beauty Lounge because they're pretty expensive ($18!). I've heard they apply really well, though, and most of them only require two coats for full coverage and opacity. I think I'd be more likely to buy them if I could find them somewhere like Sephora. I hate ordering stuff online. Paying shipping sucks.

Anyway, if you haven't been convinced yet to go get yourself some L.A. Girl Disco Brites...go find them! The colors are stunning and vibrant...but I still have three more to show you! Love, love, love them.

I went outside to take some pictures (read: I went outside to get life-juice, aka coffee, and ended up taking pictures) and I think I got a couple good ones of what Dance Studio looks like in sunlight. There are big, poofy clouds here today, so I had to be quick to get any sunlight. It seemed like whenever I opened up the camera on my phone the sun went away.

Ah, truly gorgeous polish. I. Am. In. Love. That is all (I think).


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicago Haul

Same bat time, same bat place. I'm bringing you pictures of my (epic) Chicago haul. It is large. Most of these cost under $4. Without further ado:

China Glaze! I was once told that a true art historian always apologizes for the quality of her images. I've made a habit of that here, and once again I will apologize. It's not overcast, but the light coming through the window was minimal. From left to right: Far Out (Retro Diva Fall 2009), Stroll (Retro Diva), Your Touch and Evening Seduction. Far Out and Your Touch are really similar. Not dupes, because Your Touch leans more toward the pink side, but they're very, very similar. I think Far Out is also pretty similar to Golden Spurs from last year's impeccable Rodeo Diva Fall collection, but I'm not 100% sure on that one. Evening Seduction might be China Glaze's Lincoln Park After Dark, but I haven't worn it yet. It just looks comparable.

L.A. Girl. I said in a previous post that I only got four of these. I went back to "Q" today and got another three. I love them. Again, terrible image, but you get the idea. From left to right: Copper (very creative), Hustle, Dance Studio, Boogie, Can U Dig It?, Turntable, Vinyl Record. I'm not a person who really loves blue nail polish, but I love Vinyl Record. A lot. Copper is the only one of these that's not from the Disco Brites collection. They can be purchased at L.A. Girl's website here.

Drugstore brands. From left to right: Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Honeydew, L'Oreal Paris Hopeful Plum, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Violet VOOM! and Uptempo Plum. Violet VOOM! is from Fall 2009 and should be available soon in most drugstores. I've only seen it in two places so far.

That's all. I can't wait to wear most of the Disco Brites polishes. They're gorgeous. Right now I'm sporting Turntable. I love it. Oh, anyone reading this now probably thinks Betsy is my imaginary friend. She isn't. She has a job (yay!), which I believe is full time, that requires her to dig in the dirt all day. I'm not sure when you'll hear from her, but I believe that you will. I'm still looking for a job (boo!) so I have more time.

Over 'n out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Light Nail Polish?

Hello again! It's me, Stephanie, your friendly neighborhood nail polish addict. Today I bring to you a nail of the day...with a fun story! And a stern warning.

As I mentioned in the last post I am staying with my boyfriend in Chicago for a little get-the-hell-out-of-the-burbs trip. It's hot here. Really hot. And my boyfriend, lovely man that he is, decided that he didn't need air conditioning this summer. I am sensitive to heat. Like, really sensitive. As in, I hate it. I regularly declare winter and autumn to be my favorite seasons and I delight in telling spring and summer to suck it. When he told me that he wanted to check out a shopping center that is "right around the corner" from his building I obliged...partly because he told me there was a Walgreen's in the shopping center, so maybe I would find the elusive Sally Hansen Salon Tracy Reese Spring Collection for 2009. He knows my lemmings. Isn't that a little sad and a little sweet at the same time? Right around the corner actually turned out to mean "eight blocks in blistering heat." Ew. I looked around once we got to Walgreen's and didn't see anything special. I didn't despair, though, because I had spotted a beauty and wig supply store (I believe it was called simply "Q") on the other side of the plaza. I went over to take a look and behold! Three huge displays of L.A. Girl polishes.

I picked up four for $1.99 each. I'm showing you two today, Vinyl Record, an aqua-ish creme, and Can U Dig It?, a bright green creme. The bottle says "black light nail polish" and these polishes, plus one more that I got, are from the Disco Brites collection. I'm not sure when these are from or if they're still widely available or what, but they're really awesome. The formula was surprisingly great and I got complete and satisfactory coverage in two coats. I say surprisingly because I expected black light nail polish to be more of a costume accessory than anything else, but these are really great polishes! So here's my NOTD with Vinyl Record and Can U Dig It?:

I told myself that I wouldn't post images of my nails until I had my camera, but this is cute, right? I knew it would be gone by tomorrow so I really wanted to put it up. Once again I apologize for the quality of the image and the bad light source, but it was overcast here again. I'm a little dubious about the whole black light thing, so I'll have to find some way to test that and edit later.

And now for my stern warning: don't buy L.A. Girl polishes at Urban Outfitters! I'm pretty sure that most retailers sell these babies for about $2. Urban Outfitters charges $5. That is ridiculous! I've seen them at Forever21 for about $2.50, which is way more reasonable. I definitely recommend these, though. I have a few other ones that I totally love.


Sunday, August 16, 2009


Welcome to our blog! Betsy and I are avid followers of nail polish blogs. After months and months of poring over blogs and swatches I decided that we should start our very own; thus Short ‘n Chic was born! Betsy and I were college roommates at the University of Chicago for two years and we’ve known each other for about four years. After graduation (which came a lot sooner than either of us ever could have imagined) we both moved back home, I to Cleveland and Betsy to St. Louis. We’re so far apart! I thought that we should start this blog together to keep each other up to date on nail polish goings-on. If we garner any sort of following that’s just icing on the cake (mm, cake). We’re just normal chicks who absolutely love nail polish. Companies don’t send us anything to review. We’ll just swatch what we have; at least in my case, the swatches may or may not be seasonally appropriate.

If you do happen to be reading our blog, then you’re really going to get the best of both worlds. Although Betsy and I have similar taste in almost everything from movies to music to trashy TV, we have rather different nail polish tastes. One of my favorite polishes is OPI’s Tickle My France-y. I love polishes like this: nudes, earthy and fleshy tones, beiges, taupes, I guess what you could call “work appropriate” with an edge. I don’t think Betsy shares my love of these shades. I love all polishes, but I’m really drawn to things like Tickle My France-y. However…there really is nothing I love more than a dark, vampy polish on short nails. It’s so…well, chic :D Now that fall is coming on quickly I’m really loving vampy colors. Brights just aren’t doing it for me lately (but that evidently doesn’t stop me from buying them). I’m totally lemming NARS Tokaido Express (see below!). NARS is a little out of my price range, but I feel like if I buy it it’ll be my go-to color for fall. Betsy can correct me if I’m wrong in her post, but I think right now she’s really in a creme phase. I love cremes too, but I’m just wearing everything lately (but I’m not too into metallics).

Anyway, I thought for my very first post I would include a picture of what I use for my semi-daily polish changes. This includes a base coat of either Seche Clear if I’m using a lighter color or Nail Tek II if I’m using a darker color (Nail Tek II works super well in preventing staining), then a to-be-determined number of coats of polish (I included Tickle My France-y in this photo since I referenced it above…I’m sure I’ll be swatching it someday), followed by Seche Vite, the holy grail of topcoats. The picture below isn't all that fantastic. It's kind of overcast where I am so there wasn't much light coming through the window.

Seche Vite really is incredible. The other night I painted my nails near a fan, which tends to cause bubbling. When I was finished with my second coat of polish I was a little depressed because of all the bubbles, but I added one coat of Seche Vite and it evened everything out. Like magic! Lately I’ve been wanting to do an experiment with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat versus Seche Vite on wear-time. My manicures usually only last about two days because I’m a compulsive hand-washer. I get tip wear so quickly. Before I discovered Seche Vite, which typically retails for between $8-10, I always used SH Insta-Dri. I’m interested to see which topcoat makes a manicure last longer. Someday maybe I’ll have some useful stats on that. I’ve heard that SH Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat is comparable to Sech Vite in every way, but I guess I’ll have to try that one too.

That's all for now. I'm on a mini-vacation, staying in Chicago with my boyfriend. I've gotten a ton of polishes during my very short stay [so far!] so I'll probably be swatching those when I have my camera, which I left at home. The above picture was taken with my iPhone, which isn't the best camera.