Saturday, December 31, 2011

WHOA Sparkles

Just a quickie post today.  I have no idea what I'm doing tonight for New Year's Eve.  My boyfriend seems non-commital and all I really want to do is kiss him at midnight, so we'll see where I end up.  But I did manage a festive manicure.





This is one coat of Gone Gonzo! followed by one coat of Divine Swine followed by another of Gone Gonzo!.  I like this way this turned out, with the pinky-purple just peeking through.  I'm pretty into it.  Good for sparkle.  Different from my NYE manicure last year, which was all gold.  

Normally I'd do some profound reasoning about how this year has changed me for the better, but I'm too tired for that this year.  Which I think is indicative of how this year has changed me anyway.  Let's just say I'm relishing time with The Hunger Games novels and my Sex and the City DVDs a little too much.

Until I figure out what the hell I'm doing tonight, what are you all doing?  Any awesome plans?

[these polishes provided for review; check out nailpolishdiva.com]

Friday, December 30, 2011

Revlon Electric

A couple weeks ago all of a sudden I yearned for yellow nail polish.  Then a couple days later I was wandering around Walgreens looking for trail mix when I spotted Revlon Top Speeds on sale for $2.99.  I snatched up Electric, a dupe for Chanel Mimosa (or so they say).




I didn't think I'd love this as much as I do.  It's sunny and happy and makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.  For a yellow the formula was really great.  A little thick, but totally manageable.  I used two and a half coats; some nails had little bald spots so I added a third.  I'm definitely into it and I'm glad I bought this one.  And saved it for a dreary, slightly depressing, after-the-holidays kind of day.  Also, I may have matched it to my outfit.


My dress (worn here as a shirt with a skirt) has little blue and purple irises all over it with cute yellow centers.  Good match, huh?

Anyone else loving yellow right now, or is it just me?  Is it just a summer color?  Acceptable in winter? What do you guys think?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

H&M Going to the Opera

The people who love me know me well.  For special events they give me H&M gift cards.  I had hardly started spending my birthday ones (from Boyfriend and mom) when the Christmas ones started rolling in. I went the day after Christmas to see if there were any good deals to be had and of course walked out with new spring stuff and no sale stuff (a kelly green shirt, a coral-pink tee and a great little blazer).  While I was standing in the mile-long line two cute little nail polishes caught my eye.  I restrained myself and only bought one.




Going to the Opera is a lovely, deep, opaque blue-based red.  There isn't much to say about it because the color isn't unique.  It reminds me a lot of China Glaze Phat Santa, but I can't be bothered to do a comparison because there really are so many similar colors.  I loved Phat Santa and I love Going to the Opera just as much.  Maybe even a little more; it gets props for its cute bottle (although it should look a little familiar, no?).  The formula was excellent.  Not too thick, not too thin.  The brush was great, too.  I wasn't sure what to expect with a polish like this, but I was pleasantly surprised.  $3.95 for 0.5 fl oz., so really not a bad deal.  I'll tell you one thing:  if I'm ever going to the opera, this is the little beauty I'll reach for. 

Other things I'm loving:


Sex and the City, which I can never get enough of.  For many years I've been asking for the complete Sex and the City series for Christmas.  This year Santa finally obliged.  Actually, the tag said it was from my cat, Raven.  So thanks Raven (and by that I mean thanks, mom and dad).  I turned in my applications today that had deadlines in late December/early January so I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY have a little free time to breathe.  I will spend it cuddling with my boyfriend, shopping and watching my new DVDs.


This necklace.  Originally I bought this for my mom for Christmas, but when I discussed it with my boyfriend he said he didn't think it was her.  I got her something else (something much nicer and from her favorite boutique) and kept this for myself.  And I'm glad I did because I love it.  $12.95 from H&M and I've worn it every day since Christmas.  When I showed it to my mom she did her best Tim Gunn impression by telling me "it's a lotta look."  But we art historians love our statement necklaces.  


The fact that my mother put a Christmas sweater and Santa hat on a wine bottle she was gifting to someone.  It was...pretty great.  I was in the back seat on Christmas while we drove somewhere and I said something like, "I can't believe this wine bottle is wearing a damn sweater."  My mom turned around and said, "But where is its hat?"  It turned out that the hat had gotten lost in our coats piled in the back, but I put it back on, snapped this photo, and all was right with the world.

That's all.  How was everyone's Christmas, since I didn't ask last post?  Any opinions on H&M Night at the Opera?  And I've probably asked this before, but since I like to know:  what's your all-time favorite, can't-live-without-it, red polish?  

Monday, December 26, 2011

OPI Animalistic

This is actually one of the polishes from the Muppets I was most excited about.  You know how I feel about red.









And this is a good red.  Clearly this was before I got fed up with the length of my nails.  I was really messy with application, so sorry about that.  I was watching Dexter while I did this and kept getting distracted by blood and Michael C. Hall.  Rawr (ohmygod I couldn't believe the season 6 finale).  ANYWAY.  This is a shimmery, semi-color shifting coral-red.  Great description, huh?  At some angles it looks more orange or pink than others, but I'm not prepared to call it a full-on duochrome.  This was three coats.  It has the same finish as Warm and Fozzie and Designer...DeBetter!--shimmery, foil-ish particles that all combine for a really sparkly finish.  I really like this red.  I think this might be my favorite polish of the collection so far, but I still have a couple left to wear.

In other news, my friends DEADIRON came in SECOND after the second round of voting.  This is super amazing and we're all REALLY EXCITED, so if you have a minute, could you vote for them again?  We're in the third round this time and the procedure is the same:


Click "DEADIRON"

Click "submit" (at bottom of link page)

If you could help out that would be really nice.  These are great guys and they deserve great things.  And again, if you want to check out their music, here's their official website.  As I mentioned before, cute boys, good music, what's not to like?  Appropriate polish for today, too, because as I recall Animal is a drummer.  No?  Okay, maybe that connection is a stretch, but vote for them anyway (until December 31!)  ;)





Thanks guys!

Friday, December 23, 2011

China Glaze Peace on Earth and Happy Holidays

I can't believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  I feel like yesterday was August.  I wasn't really paying the holidays any attention, and then all of a sudden on Monday night I took a trip to a small town and the whole thing was decorated for Christmas.  It was kind of surreal, actually.  It was like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls come to life.  And then I sort of started to feel some holiday spirit.  So here's what will be on my nails for the weekend.





I got topcoat all over my cuticles because I was wrapping my tips, so that's why this looks ridiculous and not great.  But nonetheless, here's China Glaze Peace on Earth with China Glaze Party Hearty over it.  A throwback to China Glaze holiday 2010, but I loved the collection and I love a good olive green, so why not?  This was ONE COAT of Peace on Earth topped with one coat of Party Hearty.  Good formulas all around, as is the way with China Glaze.  If you want to see Peace on Earth by itself, I wore it here, while my mom was in the hospital last November.  I remember so well putting it on and staring at it while I was in the hospital room.  It was something pretty to distract me.  Anyway, I digress.

I'm not religious at all so Christmas doesn't really carry that connotation with it for me.  To me, Christmas is a time when everyone is a little nicer, things smell like cinnamon, Starbucks brings out its holiday cups, and the snow is still a novelty.  Kids are excited, there are trees inside, and everyone eats good food.  So really, even if I'm not religious, what's not to like about it?  

From the bottom of my little heart, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or the solstice, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend full of relaxation, family, friends, and, let's face it, pie.


Happy holidays, everyone.

<3

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nail Girls Green #4

A few weeks ago I came home to find a package on my doorstep from the UK.  Baffled, I tore it open once I got upstairs to my place to find a sample from Nail Girls.  I was so frazzled at the time that I hardly remembered that I had been offered a polish to review.  I stowed it away for when I'd have time.  And friends, that time is now.




I had been wearing this one for a couple days when I took the photos, so that's why it looks beat up.  Green #4 is a deep, dark vampy teal.  At first I thought it was sort of an evergreen color, but it turns out that it has a few drops of blue in it.  But good lord is it gorgeous.  And the pigmentation is insanely amazing.  I only needed one coat (but I did two anyway).  It also dried really quickly.  The formula was a little thick, but nothing that wasn't workable.

Nail Girls is a company based in the United Kingdom.  Their products, created by two sisters, are inspired by the fashion trends. These polishes are 4 free and go for £10.50 at http://www.nailgirls.co.uk/.  Check 'em out.

By the way, SCHOOL IS OVER.  This semester was the WORST EVER and I'm so glad to have a little respite.  I still have to work on some things for the symposium I'm co-chairing and do more applications, but I feel like I finally can breathe.  And do things like this.

My friend got a Happy Meal at McDonald's and there was a punch-out "milk mustache" on the side of the box.  I colored it black.


Had to blow on it to make sure it was dry before I stuck it to my face.


All of a sudden I was a lot more pensive.  Mustaches do that.


It's a good look for me, right?


And that's how I started my winter break.  A mustache, ice cream and buying A Picture of Dorian Gray, because for some reason that's all I've wanted to read for the past three months.

Also, remember that giveaway I had like...two months ago?  The Miss Universe one?  I'm the worst blog-runner ever and I haven't sent the winner her prize yet.  But I'm doing that this week, now that I'm done with school.  And there is another giveaway coming up (from which the winner will receive her prize much more promptly) so stay tuned.

That's all for now.  There will be one more post before Christmas, I believe, so I'll talk to you guys soon!  Until then, what does everybody think about this Nail Girls polish?  I can't recommend it enough; you should check out the site if you have a chance!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can I Ask You A Favor?

I don't often do a lot of personal plugging on here for things, but this is something that's important to some of my friends so I thought I'd ask...


My boyfriend's best pal (also my pal; hi Alex!) has a really awesome metal band, DEADIRON, and they are in a contest.  If they get the most votes, then they'll win all kinds of cool stuff and get important opportunities to tour, which would be really amazing for them.  If you want to listen to some of their music, give a click here to go to their official website.  What's not to like?  They're cute boys playing pretty awesome music.  SO if you could do me a tiny favor and cast a vote for them, we'd all be grateful.  


First, click THIS LINK.


And then click "DEADIRON" (Cleveland, OH)


And then click "submit vote"


I'm pretty sure they were in first place after the first round of voting (!), so every little bit helps!  And you can actually vote once every day until voting ends.  



Hi.  Sometimes I wear t-shirts.  Well, almost never.  But this one is special ;)  (lipstick is Maybelline Southwest Sizzle, which was a limited edition a couple summers ago, in case anyone's intrigued; and no, I'm not sleeping lately)

If you have a spare minute for the next couple days then I'd appreciate it!

Thanks for reading if you did, and I'll be back with another polish (from a new-to-me brand!) in a couple days.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Revlon Aloof; Also, Tulle

I was at Walgreens last week and when I saw Revlon Aloof on the display I couldn't resist it.  I had been looking for a not-so-white white.  I found myself bringing it home with me.




I actually don't know how I feel about it.  Aloof has this weird quality to it where it's not quite white, not quite gray and not quite silver.  Also not quite a pearl, not quite a metallic and not quite a shimmer.  It occupies a weird liminal nail polish space.  The formula was fantastic, though.  I was almost good with only one coat, but I did two just to be safe.  It applied a bit bubbly or lumpy, but I can't really tell in real life.  It's a nice wintery color.  I think I just wanted it to be different than it actually is.  But I'm starting to appreciate Aloof for its own weird and special qualities.  Plus it was on sale.

Last Friday I wanted to feel pretty.  Do you ever have those days?  I was teaching my last class of the semester.  I was also submitting my first PhD application.  It's not like I did it in person or anything, but there was something about looking nice that day that seemed appealing.  So I wore a new dress from Anthropologie that my mom got me for my birthday.  When I was at work and school I got a lot of compliments.  Then I ended up unexpectedly spending the night at my parents' house on Friday night and having to wear the same dress on Saturday.  It's AMAZING what's acceptable on a college campus and a museum setting, but what is deemed ridiculous in a small town.  I got so many I-can't-believe-she's-wearing-that-looks.  Like open stares.



WHAT?  If a twenty-five-year-old woman wearing what is basically a full-on tutu on a random Saturday is wrong then I don't think I want to be right.  Yes it's tulle.  Yes my friend described me as a goth ballerina.  Yes I indulged the fantasy by putting my hair up in a ridiculously high top-knot.  But I wore scrunchy boots (which you can't see in the pictures) to make it look less formal!  I was practically dressed down!  The stares I got in Panera while I was editing my paper are still funny to me.

Then I walked into H&M (retail therapy is the best therapy, I tell you) and this happened:


I made a beeline straight for the neon pink, high-waisted, pleated, long skirt.  I think I've realized why people stare at me now.  But it is FABULOUS.  And only $12.95!  God, I love H&M.  Both my boyfriend and my mom got me H&M gift cards and I can't wait to spend all of those dollars.  And yes, I know you can see my bra through that shirt.  Don't worry, I didn't buy it.  But I really liked that color combination.

Anyway, that's my life.  Wearing tulle and neon pink and having a color called Aloof on my nails.  Classes ended Friday, so that's a relief.  Tomorrow I'm proctoring an exam and then I will have to grade them.  My internship is over.  One of my papers is done, and there's only one more to go.  I feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, but I know I have to keep plugging away at PhD apps.  I fear the light may be an oncoming train...

Opinons on Aloof?  My new skirt?  MY AWESOME TULLE DRESS?  Please share.

Monday, December 05, 2011

OPI Warm and Fozzie

Back in early summer my friend and I were looking at the promo shots for the Muppets collection.  As soon as she saw the color of Warm and Fozzie she told me she wanted it.  Then when I was sent the collection for review she asked me for it right away.  She has worn and loved it several times in the past couple weeks, so I figured I would show it to you guys (even though you've seen it before) before I lose my bottle to her forever (just kidding, Sam.  I'll get you your own).  For some reason I just couldn't really capture the color of this one even though I had great sunlight.  See for yourself:





And a crappy macro.

This polish is a chameleon and really is unique.  I can't think of anything else close to this; not that I own, anyway.  It's a bronze foil-ish base, but it sparkles red, green, pink and gold.  It looks in the bottle like it may be a duochrome, but it's really not.  Sometimes it has a sort of pink cast, but not duochrome quality.  Still, this one is a stunner.  I used two coats and I was good to go.  The formula was great and it dried really fast.  Like everyone else who seems to have reviewed this, I can't recommend it enough.  Plus the name is adorable.  Makes me feel like cuddling my teddy bear (yes, I still have one) while I snuggle under a blanket.  Mmm, I love wintertime.

So.  I didn't post much last week because it was possibly the worst week I've ever had.  I don't want to elaborate and bore you, but for some reason I just totally hit my breaking point.  I've had a really difficult semester.  An internship, two seminars, French (until recently), co-chairing a symposium, applying for doctoral programs, teaching...and I was handling it all pretty well.  And then a few things happened that upset me and I crashed and burned.  I was trying really hard this semester to sort of take everything in stride and not be so freaked out and stressed all the time.  I tried to spend time with my boyfriend, not take everything so seriously, keep things in perspective.  I tried not to complain and be angsty so much on here.  Well, it worked for a good solid thirteen weeks.  But no more, friends.  No more.  Actually, I think I've hit a weird point of numbness.  I plowed through the weekend, working as much as I could, writing as much as I could.  I decided that when the semester ends (December 19th) I am going to my parents' lake house.  I'm taking nothing but giant sweaters, tights, comfy pajamas, and a book (well, probably my computer; who are we kidding).  I am going to not do anything but sleep.  And watch tv (I don't have one).  And fall asleep while watching tv.  And read sometimes.  But mostly sleep.

The countdown is on.  December 19th.  I have to finish two papers about two paintings.  And I can do it.  I think.

[This product sent for review.  Want it on your hands?  Check out nailpolishdiva.com]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pixel Blu Ray Baby

Monday again.  Perhaps the worst Monday.  Coming down off the post-Thanksgiving break high is the worst, and I have a full draft of a paper due tonight and I'm giving a presentation today.  Blah.  But the good news is that I have this little tidbit for you.






With flash.

This is Pixel Blu Ray Baby, and it was a birthday gift from my little cousin, Mattie.  It's very, very pretty.  I was pleasantly surprised by the formula on this one.  The other two Pixel polishes I own are incredibly sheer, but this one is good in two coats.  It's a really nice blue-green shimmer that definitely reminds me of a peacock feather.  I think these are $2.99 at Ulta, so if you're into this type of color run out and get it.  It's almost too pretty to pass up.

Dear Miss Mattie,
Thank you for picking out a birthday present for me!  You did a great job and I can't wait to show my friends this nail polish and tell them that you picked it out.  I also can't wait to see you again and I miss you already!

Mattie's the best and is a PRETTY GOOD Pictionary player as we all discovered on Thanksgiving.  I love my little cousins on my mom's side (HI KATIE MISS YOU) and I hate that I only get to see them a couple times a year.  But I am thankful that I got to hang with Mattie and her brother Jacob on my birthday.  It was a good present in itself.


Also, I think I mentioned my boyfriend brought me birthday roses in my last post.  I took this picture and thought it was too pretty not to share.  The roses were actually mostly wilted and spent by the time I got back from Thanksgiving time with my family (and Black Friday shopping with my mom), but I was glad to have had them for a day or so anyway.  No one before him had ever gotten me flowers before, and I'm always beyond delighted when he brings them.  

So, does anyone else have Blu Ray Baby?  Opinions on the Pixel brand?  Tales of holiday shenanigans?  Spill.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oh Hey, It's My Birthday Again

Annual birthday post with annual birthday polish, OPI Dazzled By Gold.




Blur for sparkle effect.



With flash

The best gold I own and one of my favorite OPIs.  2011 marks the third year that I have worn this polish on or very close to my birthday.  This was three coats.  Isn't it great? 

  Also, here is what I wore the day before Thanksgiving to celebrate the upcoming holiday:



My friend was making fun of this little sweater I got from Forever 21; she said it looked like a blanket from the back of a pick-up truck last week, and then when I asked what I should wear for Thanksgiving she made a reference to this sweater as a smallpox blanket.  But despite that I am in love with it.  And I know she said these things out of love, because I will be the first person to admit that I do not dress like a normal person.  But as far as my wardrobe goes...this is exceedingly normal. 

EDITED TO ADD:  Okay, my boyfriend came in last night and after giving me a birthday gift and a dozen roses proceeded to say, "That sweater is hideous."  NO ONE LOVES MY SWEATER.  Suffice it to say, I changed into a black dress instead.  Then he took me to the art museum.  And dinner.  And then he watched all of When Harry Met Sally...with me because it's my favorite movie.  So really I guess not liking the sweater isn't that big a deal.  I love you, nice boyfriend :)

Also, I'm off school for two days.  So...


Not.  Even.  Exaggerating.

Okay, that's all.  I'll end this on a happy note by assuring you that when I woke up this morning I did listen to Birthday by The Beatles like 12 times.  And really, what more can a girl ask for?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Revlon Mistletoe or: Officially Embracing Christmastime

I'm officially participating in the holiday milieu.  I became ecstatic (like, really) when Starbucks put out their holiday cups.  I squealed with glee when Starbucks put up hanging snowflakes in the shop (yes, I tell the progression of seasons from the interior of Starbucks...is that weird?).  I went to Walgreens this weekend and noticed some holiday drug store displays, so I meandered over and grabbed an interesting-looking one, Revlon Mistletoe.  Sadly, no sun available here.




I really hate using flash, but I thought this polish warranted it.  Mistletoe has a charcoal-ish base color, but it's full of greenish-gold glitter.  It's really pretty and kind of vampy.  This is my first quick-dry from this brand, and I'm kind of disappointed with the formula.  It was really thick.  I wanted to add thinner to it, but I don't have any here so I just made due with the polish as it was.  By the time I finished the first coat my right hand some of the nails looked chunky and weird, so I really had to be careful with the application of the second coat.  They still look a little weird, but this polish is pretty enough that I kind of don't care.  I like how it looks on my short little nails too!  

In other news, I am totally obsessed with this song (the video won't embed for some annoying reason, but here's the YouTube link):


I can't get enough of it.  And it's so saaaaaaad.  But that guy's voice is totally haunting.  And as I have been telling everyone who will listen to me, he's a perfect combination of Sting and Peter Gabriel.  God, it's so good.

This week is a big one for me...I have a presentation tomorrow, then it's Thanksgiving and I get a break (YAYAYAYAY!!!).  I cannot wait.  I graded all my papers, so that's done.  Wrote the presentation and made the powerpoint, so that's done.  Now I just have to practice not sounding like an idiot!  Two more papers to freedom from this semester, guys.  If I weren't so tired (and still in bed) I would be literally jumping for joy.

Okay, that's all.  Thoughts on Revlon Mistletoe?  Does anyone know if all of Revlon's quick-dry formulas are this crappy?