Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is, in all honesty, my favorite day of the year.  I love the build-up to it.  I love the movies that are on TV, the ghost-hunting shows, the scary movie moment count-downs, the candy corn, the costumes, the over-the-top revelry and masquerading...everything.  I always love October.  Conversely, my cats hate it.  And here's why.

Awwww!  I'm a cat and Alley is a chicken.  Thanks Halloween!  Even though it's my favorite day of the year I don't usually do anything.  I was supposed to go to a Halloween party on Friday, but I got too drunk at a restaurant before the party to make it.  Ah well.  I had the best of intentions.  Instead my Halloween revelry will probably consist of reading about the Northern Renaissance at Starbucks.  Perhaps I'll wear my cat ears.

Let me live vicariously through you guys.  What are you all doing for Halloween?  Can you believe that tomorrow is November?  That's my birthday month!  And Thanksgiving!  Yay!  I love autumn.  Everyone have fun and be safe!  And if you want to send candy on over my way I'm partial to dark chocolate and candy corn.  Mmm, sugar coma...

Friday, October 29, 2010

China Glaze Fortune Teller

Heeeeeey guys, happy Friday!  I'm pretty excited about tonight; it's my friend's birthday and we're going out to Great Lakes Brewery to celebrate.  It's time for Christmas Ale already!  If you're not a Clevelander you wouldn't understand the frenzy that goes on around this beer, but trust me, it's epic.  Anywho, I decided that I needed to have Halloween nails today because I'm going to a Halloween party tonight.  So...China Glaze Fortune Teller.

I'm sure we all remember this one.  I've seen it on a few blogs lately, and rightly so, because it is the Halloween nail polish extraordinaire.  It was a 2009 Sally Beauty Exclusive and I scooped it up as soon as I saw it.  Fortune Teller has irregularly shaped orange glitter suspended in a black jelly base.  This is two coats followed by two coats of Out the Door.  With only one coat it's a little bumpy so I did two to even it out.  I love this polish.  It's like...embers glowing through ash, or something.  It's gorgeous.

That's all!  Short and sweet today.  This is the fourth time I've posted this week, I think, and it feels really good to get back in the swing of things.  I've missed blogging, so this is helping me deal with other things.  Enough of the mushy.  I'm off to watch an episode of Buffy before I get ready for dinner.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

China Glaze Hey Doll

I read a lot of reviews about Vintage Vixen before I went out and bought a few.  Most reviews I read said unfavorable things about Hey Doll, a metallic-y shimmer-y dusty rose.  But I got it anyway.  I couldn't resist.  My boyfriend calls me doll, you see, and has since he met me.  Even though I'm not a huge pink fanatic I had to have this one just for the name.

So here she is.  And you know what?  I actually really like it.  The color is interesting, kind of a golden rosy thing.  While it does look a bit dated, perhaps a little 80s, I still think it looks nice on me.  I'm glad I have it.  And the name is adorable and makes me smile when I think about it.  Aaaaanyway, the formula was very nice on Hey Doll, two coats shown here.  And sorry for the tipwear.  I've been wearing this one for a few days now.  So what do you guys think?  Too dated for you?  You like it?  Spill please.

To end I'll show you the giant pile of papers I'm trying to sift through for my methodology research.

Plus one Gilmore Girls season (three, my favorite), a Netflix which I must remember to send off today (the last disc of season three of Dexter).  I feel as if I am drowning in literature.  Perhaps I need a better organizational system.  We'll see.

Okay, that's all for now.  I'll talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

American Apparel Berry

Nail polish nightmare number two from this week.  First was the disaster that was China Glaze Ingrid, and now it's American Apparel Berry.  When I heard AA was in trouble financially I decided that I should probably buy up all of their polishes.  I got Berry when I bought Hunter and...I think Palm Springs (3 polishes for $ guys know the drill).  Berry is a nice, safe color.  A beautiful, deep, cool-toned red.  Riiiiiight up my alley.  I put it on the night before last, let it dry completely, did a little homework, then got in the shower.  What'd it look like when I got out of the shower?  Let me show you.

Here's my left hand, the one I normally show you.  Do you see those chips?  DO YOU SEE THEM?  Particularly on my index and ring fingers.  I couldn't believe it.

For aesthetics' sake, here is my right hand.  But as you can see, there is major tipwear.  MAJOR TIPWEAR.  After two hours!  I know I took a shower, but my nails were dry!  They were dry, I swear! What the hell, American Apparel?  I use the same base and topcoats that I always use, so that's no excuse.  This has never happened to me with an AA before.

Berry just happened to match the sweater dress I was wearing yesterday.  I love me a sweater dress.  People have often told me that they could never dress the way I do every day (dresses and tights always, until lately when I added jeans to the mix--scandal!) but sweater dresses are like pajamas.  This one was from H&M and I got it for $34.95.  I've shown you this belt before, also from H&M, $12.95.

Back to the polish.  I love the color of Berry.  I absolutely adore it.  The formula was, of course, flawless.  Looking at the pictures on the macro setting I realize that I could have used a third coat, but I think that if I wasn't scrutinizing my own nails two coats would be just fine.  I'm sad this chipped so fast because I would have kept it on for at least a few days.  Pout.  Alright, I'm going to remove Berry and chose another polish.  This next one better not suck.  I'm getting disheartened.

Monday, October 25, 2010

China Glaze Ingrid

It's Monday.  It's Monday and I don't want to get out of bed.  It's Monday and I don't want to go to school. It's Monday and my nails look awful.  And I'm going to show them to you now.  I never had my camera on me when I remembered to take pictures, so these ones you're about to see are from my iPhone.  And from inside a Starbucks.

So here it is.  Ingrid.  And I hate it.  It's a shame, too, because this is the color I was looking forward to the most out of my fall polish purchases.  On other people I think it does look "greige," but on me I felt like it just looked brown.  A poo brown.  A gross poo brown.  People kept asking me what I had on my nails, though, so maybe it's not as bad as I think it is.  When I put it on and didn't like it I thought I would give it a chance.  So I wore it until it chipped (four days) and the color never grew on me.  

As for the positive, the formula was really nice.  The brush was a little weird, though.  It kind of reminded me of a Rescue Beauty Lounge brush in the way it fanned out at the end without putting any pressure on it.  Does that make sense?  Probably not.  Anyway, I didn't have any problems with it.  Two coats, dried to a high shine, done.  My mom liked this polish on me too so I told her she could use it.  She came over for dinner last night and I couldn't believe how terrible Ingrid looked on her.  She said she only kept it on so that I could see it and she wanted to take it off right away.  It looked like poo on her too.  How sad!

I was so looking forward to Ingrid.  I think it would look better on someone with darker skin, like my friend Amber.  Oh well.  I'll try to post tomorrow, too.  I have a few things I need to get my mind off of, so maybe blogging will help.  Hope everyone's well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MAC Bad Fairy

Hey guys!  This is going to be a long post with something very special and important to me at the very end, so please stick around.  You know how I babble.  On Friday night my friend Michelle Mismas was nice enough to take this poor graduate student out to dinner.  She fed me Indian food, she listened to my life complaints, she dazzled me with stories about Zoya and fashion weeks gone by, and she gifted me polish literally as soon as I walked in her door.  She is truly generous.  She immediately handed me the three MAC Venomous Villains polishes from the Malificent set, which is just...awesome.  I didn't get any of the Orly FX collection, so all of these polishes are new to me.  Plus they were also sold out at my MAC store and my MAC counter, so I really had no hope of getting them.

I asked Michelle which one of the three was her favorite and she told me Bad Fairy, just because it's the most unique of the lot.  So that's the one I used first.  I've read a lot of reviews of this collection and I've seen Bad Fairy called "cranberry" a couple times.  I don't know if that's MAC's official description of the shade or what (I'm too lazy to look) but I don't see cranberry when I look at this at all.  I see magenta.  When the light hits this duochrome at certain angles an orange/amber flash really comes out.  It's very, very pretty.  I wasn't crazy about it when I first put it on, but it's growing on me the longer I wear it.  It went on very sheer with the first coat, but it's buildable and fully opaque at three coats.  The formula was fine, as most MACs seem to be lately.  The brush on my bottle was a little wonky, but it didn't affect application too much so I'm cool with it.

I didn't have the bottle with me in the first two pictures, so I'm sorry about that.  They were spontaneous candid shots.  This is a difficult polish to capture.

I also bought myself one of the Cruella lipsticks from the Venomous Villains collection.  It's the most wearable of the six, in my opinion.

Here I am wearing Heartless lipstick.  It's a nice, wearable cherry red that still packs a bit of a KAPOW.  And no, the irony is not lost on me that I'm wearing a sweater with a giant heart on it.

Now for something off-topic, but it's for a good cause.  I hope that piques your interest.  My dad, computer whiz and father figure extraordinaire, is the IT manager for a relatively new organization called The Cleveland Cord Blood Center.  Why am I bringing this up?  Well, first let me tell you a little bit about what the CCBC is all about (you can also click on the link provided to sleuth for yourself).  It is Ohio's first and only public cord blood bank.  How does it work?  A full-term baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut, the blood (full of stem cells!) is extracted and sent to CCBC's facility where it can then be distributed world-wide for transplants or for research.  Why are stem cells important?  They have the ability to renew themselves and then differentiate into specialized cell types.  They can (basically) act as a repair system for damaged tissues, organs, what have you.  I'm also going to include this fantastic three-minute video from a local Cleveland news station that does a really great job explaining why CCBC is so important.

So why am I telling you guys?  CCBC is participating in the Pepsi Refresh Project.  I'm sure you've all seen commercials for it before.  Pepsi is giving away millions of dollars to fund great ideas.  The winners are decided through the votes of the public, so I'm writing about The Cleveland Cord Blood Center in hopes that you guys can take a few minutes out of your [busy] days to go to this link and cast your vote for CCBC.  CCBC should be the first idea that comes up when you give that link a clickity-click.  I think Pepsi requires you to register to vote, but I promise that it only takes a minute and that they won't spam your inboxes.  Trust me, I had the same concerns, but I've remained Pepsi spam-free.  Every vote counts and every little bit helps.  You can also donate directly to the Center at its website, which is, again, right here.

Before I stop going on about this I just want to make clear, for anyone who might be concerned or who didn't watch that video, that CCBC does not use embryonic stem cells.  My dad likes to tell me that the stuff they use would be medical waste anyway.  Umbilical cords are thrown away every day.  CCBC simply takes that medical waste and turns it into something extraordinarily useful.  Super cool, right?  It would mean a lot to me and my dad if you guys could just take a minute and cast your vote for CCBC.  Remember, every vote counts.  You can also vote once a day, so if you feel like going back and voting again tomorrow (and the next day, and the day after...) you can certainly do that.

Okay, thanks for sticking with me if you did.  I know I don't post much anymore but just know that I really miss all of you.  This blog is a bright spot in what is quickly becoming Ohio nuclear winter.  I'll do what I can to make more time for it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Here's Hoping

Here's hoping that this week is better than last week.  Honestly, it has to be.

No polish today.  I meant to change mine last night but time got away from me.  You know what I did do, though, all by myself?  I put together a new, shiny red Helmer.  Now my polishes have somewhere to live. Maybe I'll have a polish to show you guys tomorrow.  For now, though, I just wanted to say...

Happy Monday.  Try to make yours great.  I'm going to do my best to cheer up.  Talk to you all soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Forever 21 Hunter Green

Happy Monday, everyone.  This weekend I went on a shopping trip to Forever 21.  In addition to buying a hipster sweater covered in images of little white bunnies, I also bought two necklaces and a bottle of nail polish.  The polish was up by the register and I spotted this little guy while I was checking out.  The Forever 21 brand is Love & Beauty, and I'm going to venture a guess here and say that's it's manufactured by the LA Girl people.  F21 used to have LA Girl and now has Love & Beauty, which are in the same bottles as the former, with the same font and the same label.  Hm.

The price tag calls this one Hunter Green; there's no label on the bottle itself.  This is a deep, dark, green creme.  Indoors it does that almost black thing that most people seem to hate (I love it) and in sunlight it's definitely decidedly green.  Isn't it beautiful?  The application was great.  This was only two coats.  The formula was nice, too.  For $2.80, what more can you ask for?  

I'm planning to wear my bunny sweater today.  Maybe I'll take a picture and show you guys another time, because it's pretty hilarious.  I wore it to a fire on Saturday night so I just washed the smoke smell out of it.  I also just tried to wash that smell out of my hair and it was proving to be almost impossible.  I got home really late Saturday so I didn't wash my hair then, and I was running around all day yesterday. I decided to wash it early this morning and I literally had to shampoo three times.  I can still smell fire, but just a little bit.  How annoying.  It was a good weekend, though.  I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather.  I did a little bit of shopping, watched a little bit of Dexter, hung out with my boyfriend and...wrote a paper.  The last thing wasn't fun, just necessary.  

I hope you guys had a good weekend too.  Everyone get your weeks off to fantastic starts...I know I'm going to try.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

It's Coming Together

As promised, I'm updating with pictures of my living room.  I finally got my couch today.  I think I mentioned in my last post that the first couch I picked out wouldn't fit up the stairs into my apartment even though the salesman assured me that it would.  I had to go pick out a new couch last weekend.  I was very annoyed.  I went back the furniture place and it took me forever to pick out the one I got, but here it is.

I know it looks big, but it's a sectional that comes apart in two pieces so it wasn't a big deal to get up the stairs.  Thank God.  The color goes well with my crazy rug and my nice picture of the Flatiron above my mantle.  I'm not crazy about the throw pillows, but I'll deal with them for now.  I'm pretty psyched to have a couch.  I've been sitting on a small, hard desk chair for the past six weeks.  My ass cheeks hurt.  Now I'll finally have somewhere to snuggle up and read.  As soon as the whole thing was assembled I wedged myself riiiiiight into the corner.  My boyfriend covered me with pillows and I asked him to take a picture so I could send it to my dad as photographic evidence that the couch arrived.

That's why I love me a sectional:  a nice corner for my butt.  It's going to be a cozy fall.  

And now I'm going to have a little rant that has absolutely with nail polish or couches.  Grad school.  It's no secret to anyone that I'm having problems adjusting.  I'm now going to school about 40 minutes from where I grew up (the east side versus the west side of Cleveland), so that's just making the adjustment even harder because I can go home whenever I want.  I go pretty much every weekend.  Sometimes I go in the evenings just to hang out at Coffee Inc.  It's a problem.  I need to just grow up and stop running home to my friends.  I'm cat-sitting for my parents this weekend, though, so I'll definitely be there come tomorrow.

Also, the orientation at graduate school just sucks.  In undergrad we had an extensive orientation so we could meet everyone.  We had tours of the campus.  Here, I have no idea where the fuck anything is.  I had to go pay the bursar the other day and I was just totally lost.  I know that's partially my fault, but I like to think that the institution has some responsibility to help a sister out.  I don't feel like I even go to school at my school.  I feel like I go to school at the art museum.  I always forget that our colors are blue and white.  Basically I just feel disconnected and it's weird.

I think I just feel alone.  This transition has been the hardest one of my life, I think because I haven't had a buddy to go through it with me from the very beginning.  I've made one really good friend, M, and I know I can always talk to her about whatever.  And I do.  She's in my program so it's nice to have a partner in crime.  Part of the problem is definitely that I took a year off between undergrad and grad.  My confidence level is basically a zero right now because I feel like it has been so long since I've written about art or since I've had to speak intelligently about it.  I'm doing alright and seeing that little letter "A" at the end of my papers is a nice confidence booster, but I just can't shake the feeling of inadequacy.  

I think I would feel a lot better if I had Raven here with me for cuddling purposes, but I don't want to uproot him right now.  He's the king of his own little castle at my parents' house and they love him.  I do miss him, though...

Look at that little troublemaker.  I adore him.

My boyfriend did mention last night that he'd take me to the APL to pick out another kitten, but what's the point of that?  Then I'd have two kitties that would have to get used to each other eventually, when I finally do decide to uproot Raven.  I don't know.  The prospect is rather enticing, honestly.  I love kittens.  But who doesn't?  I don't think that's the solution, though.

Here ends the rant.  I'm still wearing Sally Hansen Concrete on my nails.  It started chipping like mad yesterday though, so I'm about to change it to something else.  It went five days without chipping, so I'm satisfied by that.  I always get excellent weartime out of the Xtreme Wear polishes.  Apt name, Sally Hansen.  Apt name.

Thanks for reading if you did.  I'll update again soon.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Concrete

Good morning, everyone!  I've got approximately an hour before I have to get my butt out the door for a lecture, so I'm going to use that time to show you the polish that has rarely left my fingers during the past five or so weeks.  First, though, let me sadly say that Anne didn't hold up very well.  I'm still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt by saying that to be fair I didn't use Rescue Beauty Lounge base or top coat (because I refuse to pay $18 for either).  I used my HG Orly Bonder as a base and Out the Door as a top.  Anne lasted less than three days without chipping.  Sigh.  Oh well.  It's still an undeniably gorgeous color for fall.

Before I show you pictures let me preface by saying a couple things (excuses!):  thing the first, the light outside is horrible.  Ohio is already falling into what I like to call nuclear winter.  I love fall, but it's such a sharp dividing line between seasons; ie, two Fridays ago it was literally 94 degrees.  Last Friday it was 52 or something like that.  So, bad light.  Thing the second, my cuticles are really dry because I haven't really been taking care of them.  And thing the third, one of the images is blurry but it's a good representation of the color so I'm including it.

I swear ro you that my cuticles do not look that bad in real life.  It's just the macro setting.  D:  Aaaaaanyway, this is one of the new(ish) Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes.  It's my current favorite.  I keep putting it on, leaving it there for a week, then wearing something else for like a day, and then putting Concrete back on.  I just can't help myself.  This polish is a little chameleon, too.  Sometimes, like in the second [blurry] picture, it looks like a taupe-putty color.  Sometimes, like in the third and first pictures, it looks quite purple.  It's just neutral enough to not look decidedly purple, though.  I love it.    The application on this little guy is fine.  It has the same issue that I've noticed with other Xtreme Wears, and that's that the polish thickens the longer you've got the bottle open.  My point?  Work quickly and you'll be fine.  It requires two coats and the dry time is fast.  It wears like iron.  I.  Love.  This.  Polish.  

I'll probably remove it either tonight or tomorrow and put on one of the new Sally Hansen Salons.  I was in Walgreens yesterday and ran across a full display of them.  Based on my affinity for all things olive green I'm sure you guys can guess which one I chose.  I also bought a back-up bottle of Concrete because I'm not sure whether or not these new Xtreme Wears will become permanent like some of the LEs have.  Better to be safe than sorry, especially when they only cost about $2 and you adore the color as much as I certainly do.

For fun, here's the view off of my balcony.

Reminds me of Rear Window.

I didn't end up getting my couch last week because it wouldn't fit up the stairs.  That's right.  I gave the salesman MEASUREMENTS of my apartment and its stairs and he ASSURED me that it would fit.  What a creepster.  I was so upset.  This Thursday is take two; I painstakingly picked out a [smaller] couch this weekend.  Thursday I will FINALLY have somewhere to sit and I'm so excited.  I will definitely be taking and posting pictures of my living room come Thursday.  This week is going to be so relaxing compared to last week.  Last week I had hundreds of pages of reading plus a paper due Friday.  This week my Friday class is cancelled, we're having a debate in my Wednesday seminar (which equals little to no reading) and my graduate discussion for my other class has been cancelled.  I finally feel like I can take a few breaths.  I'm also kitty-sitting for my parents this weekend so I'll get to spend the weekend at home, blissfully snuggly under a fuzzy blanket.  I'm looking forward to it.

Alright guys, time for me to get dressed!  I'll talk to you all soon, I promise.