Friday, April 29, 2011

Coral Fixation: Chanel Orange Fizz

Oh hey Friday.  Nice to see you.  So, everything that could have gone wrong with this polish went wrong with this polish for me.  I put it on at around 8pm, and around 2am when I was home and getting ready for bed a huge chunk came out of it while I was unbuttoning a particularly difficult button on my vest.  Then when I woke up I had sheet marks all over my left hand.  Not cool, Chanel Orange Fizz.  Not cool.  But you're really pretty, so I'll give you a pass.

Chanel Orange Fizz, I believe from the spring of 2009, is really, really close to my perfect coral.  It's just a little, teeny bit darker on the nail than it is in the bottle; if it looked exactly on the nail as it did in the bottle, I'd call it perfection.  It's not too pink, it leans just slightly orange, and it's really lovely and soft-looking.  I personally had issues with the formula.  It was really thick, and after two coats I noticed weird bald patches, so I did a third.  Then apparently it never dried, as you can see in the pictures of my left hand.  Maybe I just have to be more careful and use thinner coats; I don't know.

Now you might say, "Oh dear Stephanie, it's too bad that your [almost] ideal coral is Chanel and so terribly expensive!"  I would say that you're sweet for the lament, but that we can find a dead-on dupe of Chanel Orange Fizz at any Ulta store for 99 cents.  It's Essence brand, it's called What Do U Think?, and I've misplaced my images of it.  I assure you though, that any differences between What Do U Think? and Orange Fizz are not detectable to the human eye.  I may even have given away my Essence polish because I have the Chanel, but I can easily pick up another one for under a dollar if I feel like I have to.  And there is the solution to our Chanel price-hike, at least in this one instance.

Any thoughts on Chanel Orange Fizz?  Have you sprung for this one, like me, or have you contented yourself with a dupe that costs pennies?  

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coral Fixation: Essie Cute As A Button

Welcome back to Coral Fixation!  Remember when I conducted that poll asking which coral polishes you guys wanted to see?  It's time to reinstate coral madness.  The winner of the poll was AA Poppy, which I showed you back in March.  Runner-up was Essie Cute As A Button, and here it is. 

(sorry, no sun!)

Cute As A Button, which I've shown once before, was released a couple springs ago along with Chubby Cheeks, which is one of my favorite Essie names.  This one is a pink-leaning coral that really is kind of a chameleon.  Depending on the light it can look either hot pink or coral.  This basically means that sometimes I really like this polish and sometimes I hate it because hot pink isn't, and never will be, my jam.  I found the formula to be a little thick, but workable.  This is three coats.  It's pretty, but it's not my favorite coral.  It does have a nice squishy, almost jelly look to it, though.  

Something that I do really like about Cute As A Button is that it almost matches one of my all time favorite lipsticks!  MAC Vegas Volt!

See what I'm talking about!? think I'm crazy, don't you?  Crazy AWESOME.  Anyway...

Right after I put this post up I'm going to go turn in my final portfolio for my last class, hear a dissertation prospectus pitch, and then I'm done with this semester.  Yesterday I celebrated my first day of not really having any academic obligations by staying in bed until 1 and then having breakfast for lunch with my boyfriend.  Then I iTunes-rentined Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and watched it alone in my underwear.  This either makes me a sad lonely hermit or kind of a rockstar.  Regardless, it was wonderful.  Today I have no idea what I'll do after I drop my portfolio off.  Finishing my first year of graduate school seems like a big deal, but I don't know how to celebrate.  

I was thinking of going to buy MAC Ever Hip because it re-releases today with the Fashion Flower collection, but one of my besties, Angela, is going to send me a tube (thank you Angela!).  She can get to her MAC in the morning and I can't, and I'm afraid it'll sell out before I get my paws on one.  Barring a MAC shopping spree, there's really nothing else I want to do but drink a cup of really good coffee.  And, actually, walk around the art museum.  There's nothing like staring at beautiful paintings and thinking, "HA!  I am not currently obliged to write about you!"

That's all for today.  The week is almost over, hooray!  What do you guys think about Essie Cute As A Button?  Cute enough for you?  Too pink?  Too orange?  Too blah?  Spill.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Essie Splash of Grenadine

Sunday I was walking down my street in the morning, on my way to my car to drive to my mom's for Easter brunch, and I noticed that the trees have little green flowers on them.  I had been so busy writing my final papers, cooped up in Starbucks and the library, that I hadn't even realized that spring is everywhere now.  It's a late spring, though.  Last year right around this time everything was in full bloom.  I remember because that's when I wore Essie Splash of Grenadine for the first time (I posted about it here).  Seeing the little buds on the trees made me want to wear that polish again, so here it is for a second time.

It's sunny today!  Deceptively.  Because I know it's supposed to death storm around 3pm.  But for now I'm glad I got up early so that I could see some sunshine.  I don't know what it is lately with me and pink.  I don't normally wear it.  But what I do like so much about Splash of Grenadine is that it refuses to be categorized as either pink or purple.  It is emphatically both but neither one at the same time.  It does nice things for my skin tone, too.  This polish looks really lovely on my mom, also.  She had me buy her a bottle at Ulta last spring because she liked how it looked on me so much (and I wasn't giving up my bottle).  This was three coats.  Two would have been fine, but I did three just because.

Well, I'm pretty much finished with school.  My last class was yesterday.  I finished both of my final papers and turned them in.  Now all I have left is the compilation of a portfolio for another class.  This semester was not fun.  The reading was intense.  The writing was more intense.  I'm glad it's over, but I'm also a little sad.  The other day I said to my boyfriend, "Do you think this is the best time of my life?"  He responded, "Maybe.  But it might also be the worst."  Hah.  That's him; optimistic for me.  He balances me out, because I am never ever optimistic.

Anyway, all that's left now, besides this portfolio, is carting masses of books back to the library.  I do not look forward to this endeavor.  But I've found myself writing down call numbers for books on Whistler and Jasper Johns.  It's going to be a fuuuuuun summer, I can already tell.

Thoughts on Splash of Grenadine?  I know there are those out there who love it as much as I do.  How could you not?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Essie Fiji

Pictures first, babbling second. 

Let me tell you a little story about Essie Fiji.  One day I was sitting in the art history lounge at the University of Chicago, probably reading before class, when in walked this chic-looking graduate student.  She sat down on the couch across from me and started flipping through an auction catalogue.  She had this gorgeous but stark baby pink on her nails that just complemented her skin tone so well.  So for the first time in my life I said to her, "Excuse me, what's on your nails?"  She told me it was Essie Fiji.  Now, this was maybe three years ago.  I had never heard of Essie.  So I went home and Googled it.  Eight bucks! I thought, dismayed.  I'm not paying eight bucks for a nail polish.  Little did I know that I would soon be paying upwards of twenty bucks for Chanel, but that's beside the point.  

Anyway, Essie Fiji was truly my first lemming.  When I finally got it my roommates and I used it for weeks, so my bottle is pretty well loved.  I recently lent it to my friend here in Cleveland and it looks so nice on her.  I was going to just give it to her, because I am wont to give my things away to people if I know that they love them more than I do, but she insisted on giving it back.  So I put it on last night.  And I do still like it.  It's a pastel, obviously, so the formula is a huge pain in the ass.  What you see in the pictures is three coats.  It's a good color for Easter, right?

Who would have thought that it was a light, pastel baby pink that would have started my nail polish obsession?  Thanks, Fiji.  You created a monster.

Thoughts on Fiji?  On Essie pastels?  On anything?  How are you guys doing?  I miiiiiiiss you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nubar Essence

I have no idea what made me choose to wear this polish.  Out of everything I own I for some reason reach for a frosty pink with chunky holo glitter?  Really?

Um...this is so not me.  BUT I do like the delicate pink color with my skin tone.  This is from the Prisms collection, released, I think, in the spring of 2010.  I have almost this whole collection, gifted to me by my friend Michelle who is unfailingly generous and lovely.  You guys remember China Glaze Good Witch?  Remember how when that collection was re-released people were peeing themselves wanting the colors and then they turned out a little meh because of the frost+glitter formula?  Well, that's kind of how Nubar Essence is.  The base is a somewhat frosty light pink, which, when combined with glitter, makes the finish look bumpy.  You can kind of tell in the first picture.  Besides that, though, I guess this isn't a bad polish.  It only took two coats, so that's good.  I used two coats of topcoat here.  No matter what anyone tells you, not all of the Nubar Prisms have smooth finishes.  Gem, Essence, Jewel...I'm sure there are a few others...they're bumpy as hell when they dry.  Trust.  

So it's Friday and my class for the day was cancelled.  I need to finish one of my papers and just get it out of the way, so that's my plan for the whole day.  I had a tiny triumph on Wednesday when I gave a presentation on my idea for an exhibition in front of some museum staff and it was remarkably well-received.  I felt good for about an hour, until I remembered all the stuff I have to get done.  Then I felt buried alive again.  But still!  People liked my ideas and that's super exciting to me.  I've also realized that as soon as I'm done with finals I'm going to need to make some major changes to my life, and I'm...not looking forward to it.  Restructuring is the worst.  I can tell this summer won't be relaxing...but I only have a week and a day left of this semester, so I just need to power through.  Everything's due by April 28th, and it can't come soon enough.  T-I-R-E-D.

Okay, enough complaining.  Opinions on Nubar Essence?  Do you prefer a scattered holo like this one or a more linear holo like China Glaze OMG?  Again, I have no idea what possessed me to wear this one.  I even have most of OMG at my disposal.  What's wrong with meeeee?

Monday, April 11, 2011

BLACK LABEL: OPI Tinsel Town Taupe

Oh hey!  I told you I'd bring you guys something new this week!  And by "new" I obviously mean "old," because this is an awesome black label OPI, Tinsel Town Taupe.

I am deeply sorry for the state of my cuticles.  I don't have a lot to say about this one, because it's pretty perfect.  The nice putty color is great and right on-trend for this spring even though this is from a really old collection (I think?).  The application was great because this is of that old chemical-laden formula that we all love so much.  I did two coats.  The color reminds me of wet clay.  This might be because I've been spending days poring over Bernini terracotta models and sketches, but there it is.  So I guess this color is appropriate for me right now.  I put it on my toes too!  I love neutrals on my toes. 

This is another one from that package I got from Gail, by the way.  Not being able to paint my nails very much is KILLING me because I have so many pretties that I want to try.  I also just got a package from my buddy PerryPie with some awesome-looking Joe Fresh polishes therein.  So excited!  When the semester is over (in three weeks, holy crap) I will be back to the bloggin' full-force.  I miss it when I don't do it.  It's my happy place.

So, what are you guys thinking about Tinsel Town Taupe?  Elegant, isn't it?  Thoughts?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Zoya Kelly and China Glaze White Cap: Layered

Hey kittens.  Feeling kind of antsy that I haven't updated since last week, so here's a little something to keep me on your minds ;)

Sadly I wasn't too into Zoya Kelly when I wore it last week, and since Zoyas wear like crap on me, I slapped some China Glaze White Cap over it on the second day.  And it gave me an immediate nail polish boner [NPB].  Super pretty, super easy.  I didn't even put topcoat on and it's really shiny and lovely.  In the interest of full disclosure, I wore OPI Lincoln Park After Dark all week this week.  I took it off today and replaced it with OPI Fiercely Fiona, which I've wanted to wear ever since swatches of China Glaze Electric Pineapple started showing up.  Fiercely Fiona looks terrible on me but I love it anyway.  You can see me wearing it here.

And because I promised pictures of the Detroit Institute of Arts, here are some. 

Me with Nocturne in Black and Gold by Whistler.  A painting I've longed to see for ages.  I looked a hot mess that day because I'd gotten up at 6 after sleeping...for not a long time.  Ew.

Whistler's self-portrait:  original nineteenth century badass.

That's all.  I'll throw up a post next week, I promise.  I'm just so busy.