Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Little Update: Graduate School and A New Apartment

Hi guys!  I miss you!  I have a spare...55 minutes right now, so I thought I'd post a little update about what's going on in my life.  Here it is in a nutshell:  total insanity.  After I had my orientations for grad school I realized really quickly two things:  first, I'd be unable to commute from home and be successful in the program.  Second, I'd need to quit my job.  I found an apartment as quickly as I could.  I saw a place on a Saturday and I was sleeping here by the following Tuesday.  I quit my job at Coffee Inc., which is really, really sad for me.  You all know how much I love coffee.  And being a barista.  And my barista buddies.  And...coffee.  But I think it was necessary.  I only have one shift left before I'm finished at Coffee Inc., and it's bittersweet.  On one hand I think it'll be good that I can just focus on school.  On the other hand...I love that job.

I was living about 35 minutes away from my school.  When I found my apartment (which I called The PH for the penthouse) my biggest concern was just getting my bed and my books here.  It's funny how your priorities change.  Food?  No, not an issue.  Books?  Yes, need them.  Anyway, I don't have much here right now.  Look at this sad amount of nail polish.



I chose nine polishes and brought them with me, plus my base and topcoats.  In case you're interested, here's what I brought:
(1)  China Glaze Cherry Pie
(2)  OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
(3)  Sally Hansen Concrete
(4)  OPI Midnight In Moscow
(5)  OPI You Don't Know Jacques!
(6)  American Apparel Passport Blue
(7)  OPI All A-Bordeaux the Sled
(8)  China Glaze Wagon Trail
(9)  China Glaze Bogie
You'll notice a pattern here, I'm sure.  I'm in a vampy and gray mood.  I brought Cherry Pie with me just in case I ever feel fabulous, but for now I feel moody.  Don't judge me.  I've got All A-Bordeaux the Sled on right now and I love it.



So here's my place.  I wasn't kidding when I said I only have a bed and a desk.  And it's huge.  That first picture was taken from the doorway.  I have a huge living room and nothing to put in it.  Literally nothing.  Those are my important art books on the floor.  I have an extra bedroom, too.  And no stuff.  Sigh.



A dear friend, who is just so incredibly good to me all the time, has been writing inspirational things on my bathroom mirror.  I have daily freak-outs about pretty much everything going on so looking at my mirror makes me smile.  I am so deathly afraid of failure.  Everything has just happened so fast, you know?  All of a sudden I'm a graduate student and I'm going to school full-time again.  I don't know why I thought I could work and go to school, too.  This grad school thing is evidently a full-time job in and of itself.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you guys a little update and let you all know I'm doing okay.  I received a few sweet e-mails, so that was really nice too.  You are all the best and I miss blabbing at you every day.  But don't worry about me!  I'll just look like this for the next two years.



I'll update again when I can.  My 55 minutes are up, though, and I'm off to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  I wish I had a cup of coffee...

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Only Goodbye For A Little While

Hi everyone.  It's kind of a sad day for me.  On the one hand this is my 300th post (yay mayor bee!).  On the other hand I'm saying goodbye to you all for an undetermined amount of time.  As you've probably gathered from my two previous posts, I'm freaking the balls out about graduate school.  I had an orientation for art history students yesterday (there are eight of us) and received the syllabus for one of my seminars.  My bicep flexed when I picked it up.  It was huge.  It scared the crap out of me.  Seriously.  


I decided that I need to take a break from blogging.  As much as I love writing every day, nail polish, and all of you, I really need to concentrate on not failing miserably (which is still a distinct possibility).  As I said to my friend Laura yesterday, it's better to over-freak-out than to under-freak-out.  Right?  Therefore a Short n Chic hiatus is in order.  I suppose it's fitting that this is happening right after this blog's first birthday.  I've had a year to get this thing going and I love how it has turned out.  This blog is my baby.  It pains me to let it go for even a little while.


BUT things, they are a-changin'.  I want you all to know that doing this blog has been...awesome.  If you want to keep in touch with me PLEASE shoot me an e-mail:  sodejablue[at]gmail[dot]com.  I would love to chat with any of you about...anything!  I'll be back when I feel comfortable with how my life is progressing (which sounds totally vague, but that's how I'm feeling right now). 


Thanks everyone.  I'll miss you guys.  Keep in touch!  I'll still be reading and commenting on other blogs, so I won't be totally gone.  Just a bit out of the loop.

Love, love, love,


Steff

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Essie Velvet Voyeur

Hey guys.  Super tired today, but that's kind of my own fault.  When I finally got a minute to sit down and do my nails it was 2 in the morning.  I was kind of impatient.  Because it was 2 in the morning.  I used Essie Velvet Voyeur from the new fall collection.  Because I was impatient I got cuticle drag.  I was also too lazy to do three coats, so I just left bald patches.  I'm a bad, bad blogger.



See what I mean about the bald patches?  Anyway, Velvet Voyeur is a nice, dark purple vampy creme.  It looks pretty similar to William Tell Me About OPI in the bottle, but I don't have that one to compare the two.  I love Essie's description of this shade, though:  "intense chocolate amethyst."  That made me want to buy it.  Plus I love me a vampy.  Application was fine, as it always is with Essie, I just didn't wait long enough between coats.  If you're looking for a good dark purple that actually still looks purple (ie, NOT Lincoln Park After Dark) then check out Velvet Voyeur.  Creepy name, good polish.

So my orientation was okay yesterday.  I actually have another one today just for art history grad students.  I think there are only eight of us in the program this year, so I'll get to meet everyone.  I'm trying to figure out what to wear; too hot for tweed  :(  Thanks for all of your encouraging words yesterday, guys.  I really appreciate it.  For some reason this transition is probably the hardest one I've ever gone through and I feel pretty alone.  That sounds so emo, doesn't it?

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Funky Fingers Cheshire and TOTAL FREAKOUT

Hey guys.  It's the night before my orientation for grad school (this post will auto-post) and I am FREAKING THE BALLS OUT.  Dude, I'm so scared.  It would be much better if I had a buddy to go with me, but alas.  I'm all alone-y on my own-y.  To distract myself from what is sheer and utter terror, I'm going to write a post about the polish I'm currently wearing, Funky Fingers Cheshire.  





Of course you all know that purples photograph weirdly, so this looks too blue.  In real life it's definitely more purple.  It's a beautiful, blue-based purple.  I'm not really sure where this brand is generally sold.  There is this new-ish store in the area called Five Below where everything is five dollars and under.  I can get this brand there, three for five dollars.  So that's what I did.  I wasn't sure what to expect from Funky Fingers in terms of quality, but I've got to say...this polish is pretty freakin' awesome.  It went on really smoothly, was opaque in two coats and dried quickly.  It also dried to kind of a satin finish, but it's not bright enough to be a neon.  My only complaint is that the bottle is shaped really weirdly; it makes it difficult to hold for picture-purposes.  Not that most people would care about that.  I really liked the long handle on the brush, though.  Goooood stuff.  I'm a huge fan of this polish.  I'm excited to try out the other two that I got.


Okay, so I think that right about now I look like this. 



Usually to make myself feel better I do silly, frivolous things.  Today was no exception.  I have a penchant for theming outfits, you see, and I've been thinking of having a grad student outfit for months.  Now, ideally this outfit would include jeans (got 'em), high-heeled booties (got 'em), a black t-shirt (got it), a tweed jacket (JUST got one--thanks mom!--it's BB Dakota and it's PERFECT) and ridiculous hipster glasses.  I was missing the glasses.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  Ray-Ban style, ridiculous, thick-framed.



I went back to Five Below and got these [completely fake] glasses for $4.31.  I wanted the same glasses in brown that I had seen there the other day, but they were gone by today.  I was fully expecting all my friends to laugh their asses off at me, but these actually got a pretty positive reaction from most people.  I mean, they're ridiculous.  You kind of can't help but laugh.  As I've been saying for months, grad school is SERIOUS BUSINESS, people.  SRS BIZNAZ.  Serious business requires not-so-serious accessories.  Seriously.

In all honesty...I can't BELIEVE I'm starting grad school.  It seems like I just started my "year off."  I've been having such a great time for the past seven months just working at Coffee Inc. and making new friends.  I'm sad to have that time end.  I'm still going to try to keep my Coffee Inc. job for a couple days a week, but school obviously comes first.  Because the glasses say so.  I have so many fears about it that are pretty unfounded.  Like...what if everyone is smarter than me?  What if I've been out of school for too long and I've forgotten how to be a good student?  What if I try and fail...?  I'm so, so scared.  When I get anxiety like this it's almost impossible for me to sleep and I have to be in Cleveland early tomorrow.  So that'll suck.  Sigh.  When did I turn into an adult?

That's enough of my blabbery.  Anyone else use Funky Fingers polishes?  I'd be interested to know because I've only seen these in one place.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

China Glaze Classic Camel vs. MAC In the Buff

The other day when I had my spending extravaganza at the MAC store (it wasn't actually that bad...just a lipstick [Morange] and a Lip Glass [Dare To Wear:  So Bad]) Betsy bought In the Buff.  When I saw it I thought that it looked kind of like China Glaze Classic Camel minus the shimmer.  She kindly let me do a comparison.







As you can see, I was dead wrong.  They have similar feels to them; they're both vaguely camel-y looking.  Classic Camel, though, is way, way warmer than In the Buff, which has obvious green undertones.  I expected to hate In the Buff on myself but...I really don't.  I actually kind of adore it.  In all honesty, I expected Classic Camel to kick the ass of In the Buff.  For me it didn't.  Don't get me wrong; I still like Classic Camel.  I haven't worn it for a full manicure yet, but I will in the near future, I'm sure.  It's definitely more of a fall color, don't you think?  I like the shimmer in it.  


There's just something about In the Buff that draws me in.  It's a weird, weird color.  I guess it's beige?  But I definitely see green in it.  Nathalie had a series of bottle photos in sand...and the color definitely reminds me of sandy beaches.  


Is it even worth comparing these two since they're so obviously different?  I don't know.  I mean, maybe you only want to buy one weirdo beige/nude/camel color this fall, so why not break it down for you guys?  So, differences.  Well, let's start with the most obvious one:  finish.  In the Buff is a creme, which I tend to prefer anyway, and Classic Camel is a shimmer.  Next is application.  When Betsy was putting on In the Buff the formula gave her a lot of trouble.  I remember that she had to do three coats and she said it still looked uneven after Seche Vite.  For me, In the Buff's application was fine.  I used two coats and it dried really fast, even without topcoat.  Classic Camel's formula was a bit thick, but still workable.  Also two coats.  Finally, price.  MAC polishes are $12.  I got Classic Camel for $4.99 at Sally's.  Honestly, I think I'll be at the MAC store next time I have cash buying In the Buff.  I liked it that much.


Congratulations, In the Buff.  You stole my cold little heart.  Your cute name didn't hurt, either.

Monday, August 16, 2010

China Glaze Midnight Mission and Happy Birthday

Hi everyone.  First of all, happy birthday to Short 'n Chic!  It was a year ago today that I started this blog.  Isn't that crazy?  I can't believe it...  Anyway, today I've got the second polish I chose from China Glaze Vintage Vix for you.  I went to a couple Sally's stores looking for this one.  Just order it off the intarwebz, you say?  Too easy.  As you know, I love the thrill of the hunt.









So here's Midnight Mission.  It's a really beautiful blue shimmer.  I'm pretty sure that China Glaze describes this one as a navy blue frost...but it's not a frost.  Just a metallic-y shimmer.  The formula on this one wasn't overly fantastic.  The longer I had the bottle open the thicker the polish became.  Wagon Trail, my favey-fave polish, has this same problem so I'm used to working with it, but it's still annoying.  What you see in the pictures is two coats.  This is a beautiful polish, especially in the sunlight.  It glimmers.  Good job, China Glaze.

And now for things with which I am obsessed as of late (and by "as of late" I mean over the past few days):
1.  Lip stain.  Betsy let me try her Cover Girl lip stain while she was here and I loved it.  The number on the bottom of hers is 430 but I can't find that one in stores anymore.  Instead of that I got Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Flame.

It definitely looks like a red-orange (right up my alley, if you know me) but it goes on a bit pinker.  It's a nice color, but I prefer something louder.  I really like the idea of a stain, though.  It goes on smooth, it's easy to be accurate, it feels like you're not wearing anything and it lasts a long time.  The Just Bitten line also comes with a balm in case your lips feel dry (and they will).  I think I'll try a bright pink one next.

2.  Repo!  The Genetic Opera.  Cannot describe how ridiculous/amazing this movie is.  Have you seen it?  HAVE YOU?  Let me break it down for you:  Giles from Buffy (Anthony Stewart Head) as an organ repossessor.  Paris Hilton as...well, a slutty heiress (that's a stretch).  Sarah Brightman.  SARAH BRIGHTMAN!  The whole thing is sung.  There is choreography.  There is gore.  There is a guy who looks like this.


I'm already anticipating buying a t-shirt.  I have already purchased the soundtrack from iTunes.  I have already created a ringtone for my phone.  Basically this is the BEST THING pop culture has brought me in a LONG TIME.

That's all for today.  What do you guys think about China Glaze Midnight Mission?  Does anyone have any lip stain recommendations?  I'm open to suggestions.  Also...has anyone seen Repo!?  So.  Awesome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

American Apparel Butter

When I was at American Apparel on Monday buying April her giveaway polishes I picked up Butter like four times but put it down each time.  I kept thinking that it would look awful with my skin, that yellows apply terribly, that they're streaky, etc.  Yesterday I ended up going back to AA with my friend Betsy because I wanted to show her the Hipster City that is Coventry.  This meant, of course, that I had to buy three more AA polishes for myself.



Here's my little friend Butter.  I finally bought it.  The formula on this polish can only be described as EX-QUISITE.  It was maybe a little thick, but this was still two easy coats.  American Apparel, you are awesome.  Butter is a nice, cool-toned yellow that doesn't look too awful on my skin.  I like how it looks from far away, actually.  Kind of mod-inspired, except yellow instead of pink or white, if that makes sense.  This might be similar to that yellow Orly from the Sweet Collection or whatever it was for spring.  I'm not sure.  Either way, its formula kicks the sweet little ass of every other pastel yellow I've ever used.  If you're a yellow fan (Ange-Marie!) then pick this little guy up.

I wanted to address a couple things that came up in the comments on the G + L post yesterday.
1.  Ginger + Liz did not change their bottles, as far as I know.  They still look the same.  The bottles I posted yesterday were sample bottles that were sent to me.
2.  I know a few of you wanted me to compare a Diamond Cosmetics polish to one of the G + L polishes.  I do not own any Diamond Cosmetics polishes so I can't do that.  I'm not ignoring your requests, I'm just unable to fulfill them.

I leave you with a picture of me ALREADY REGRETTING not purchasing a signed Bat Out of Hell record before I even left the record store.


And here are the signatures.  I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T FREAKING BUY THIS. 



NON-BUYER'S REMORSE, PEOPLE.  IS THERE ANYTHING WORSE?  Well, yes.  There are a lot of worse things.  But just let me be dramatic for a second.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ginger + Liz Fall 2010

Hey kids.  How is everyone's week going?  Mine's going well; my friend is visiting from St. Louis and we're having a fun time spending too much money.  I may have gone a little bonkers at the MAC store yesterday.  And H&M.  Fun times.


Anyway, I have three polishes to show you from Ginger + Liz's fall offerings.  I'm going to be honest with you guys here.  I have read that there is some drama concerning bloggers and G + L, but I've kept out of it. I'm just reviewing these polishes objectively, as all reviewers should.  If you've got any questions about that, shoot me an e-mail and I'd be happy to chat with you.



Here is Blowin' Money Fast.  It's a shimmery blueish green.  It's absolutely beautiful and the application was awesome.  Two easy coats to opaque.  I thought it looked a bit familiar, though, so I compared it to Zoya Suvi.



Suvi is on my middle finger.  There are differences.  The formula on Suvi was not wonderful compared to Blowin' Money Fast.  I used three coats here and there's still a bald patch.  It's also a bit less blue than Blowin' Money Fast.


And here are the bottle pictures.



Here is Ivy League.  It's a bright, yet still soft-looking, lime green.  I don't really collect colors like this so I don't have a comparison for you.  This one had a nice formula too, but it took three coats to even out.  Very pretty.



Here's Not on the First Date.  This is my favorite of the three I received.  You guys know how I love a taupe.  The application on this one was great too.  Two coats.  When I first took this one out of the box I thought it looked a lot like RBL Grunge, down to the silver shimmer.



Grunge is on my ring finger.  Not on the First Date is purpler than Grunge.  They're...not the same.  Haha.



Here are the bottles.  Compared to Not on the First Date Grunge looks almost...band-aid-y.  I still loves it though.


And here are the three polishes.  Cute, huh?  All in all I like this collection.  Ivy League and Blowin' Money Fast don't strike me as particularly original, but they're still pretty and apply well.  My favorite of these three is definitely Not on the First Date.  I'm wearing it for a full manicure right now.  I approve.

Ginger + Liz polishes can be purchased here for $12.00 apiece.  I'm not sure when these fall ones will be available on the website, but until then they have a nice selection of colors.  You can see my review of Boy Toy here.  

That's all for today.  Thanks for reading, kittens!

These polishes were sent to me for review.  These are my honest opinions, honestly.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Misa Embroidered Emerald and Giveaway WINNER!

Good morning, everyone!  Today I've got a really pretty polish to show you that Nathalie sent me recently. I wanted to make sure it would be sunny before I wore it; luckily today is a beautiful day here in Pleasantville.








Here's Misa Embroidered Emerald.  Isn't it gorgeous?  My first thought about this lacquer is that it's really unique, but funnily enough it has an exact dupe in Urban Decay Bruise, a comparison that Nathalie did here.  Anyway, Embroidered Emerald has a plum jelly base and it's packed with greenish-blue shimmer.  When the sun hits it the green shimmer lights up and shines through the plum base, kind of making this polish look like it might be a duochrome to the untrained eye.  Embroidered Emerald really is a little gem.


The application left a bit to be desired, though.  It wasn't terrible, but the formula was definitely a bit runny.  I had to get the hang of it.  What you see in these images is three coats, but it probably could have used a fourth to make it 100% opaque.  I had never used a Misa polish before!  I love the bottles and the long brush handles.  The brush was pretty nice, but maybe a little stiff.  When I was doing my third coat the brush tended to remove little patches of polish already on my nail if I pushed too hard.  I had to be really careful.  Still, I love Embroidered Emerald.  It's stunning.  Thank you, Nathalie!

Yesterday I went to American Apparel on the east side of Cleveland.  It's in a little area called Coventry that's very adorable.  There are signs like this hanging around.



Amber and I had tasty lunch.



We shopped for jewelry.


And we went to American Apparel.  The girl working in there was really nice and very cute.  When she saw me looking at nail polish she showed me her nails, which she had skittles-ed up with a bunch of pastel shades.  I gave her the URL of my blog, so if you're reading this, AA Friend, thanks for your help!  Anyway, I chose six polishes yesterday:  three for my winner and three for Steffie (Steffie is me).  Speaking of the winner, congratulations April of Concrete and Nail Polish!  In order to pick the winner of the AA Giveaway I assigned everyone a number (1 through 193) and let the random integer generator on random.org choose a random number (185).  Here are the polishes April wanted from me.

California Trooper, Passport Blue and Butter

Of course I had to get a few for myself.  Fun fact:  the most requested American Apparel polish from my giveaway was L'Esprit.  By far.  So what'd I pick for myself?

L'Esprit, Coney Island and Mount Royal

Normally I wouldn't choose a pink like Coney Island, but for some reason it was speaking to me in the store.  Plus I think the salesgirl had it on one of her nails and it looked cute.  Maybe it'll have a better formula than my beloved Essie Fiji and I'll have a different HG light pink.  Who knows.  L'Esprit looks awesome, and I can see why so many people wanted it.  Mount Royal looks purdy.  I wonder what I'll pick for myself next time--I think I might take my friend Betsy to Coventry to hipster-watch.

So that's all for today.  That giveaway was super successful!  I think I might do the same thing for my next one because you guys seemed to like it!  Anyway, I've got some cleaning to do so I'll talk to you guys soon.  Thanks for reading!