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 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?  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

OPI Tickle My France-y: Clean Slate

With all of the glitter that has been happening on my nails in the past couple weeks, the other night I decided that I needed a cleansed palette.  A clean slate, if you will.  So I reached for my Almost Favorite Polish Of All Time, OPI Tickle My France-y.

I've of course shown you this one before, maybe more than once.  But repeat performances of nudes are always welcome on my blog.  This one is just amazingly lovely on me, and that's why I always find myself reaching for it.  It's a pinky nude with a drop of purple or gray to it, which places it firmly in the "edgy neutral" camp.  Three coats shown here, but it's usually fine with two.  I don't know why I did three.  It's from the 2008 France Collection, and terror of terrors, I have found that there's now another version of this polish floating around, a "new" version.  I haven't come across it because for some bizarre reason I haven't bought a back-up bottle yet.  Suffice it to say, the newer one doesn't look as awesome and I hope I don't run into it.

Guh.  I know I've reached a weird point in the semester where I hate spending time with almost everyone (except a couple friends and my boyfriend).  Last night my friend texted me and said he had just woken up from a nap.  I became irrationally enraged.  HOW could ANYONE have time for a NAP?!  I don't have time for a nap.  I don't even have time for regular sleep, and there are people who have EXTRA sleep in the middle of the day?!  That was my thought process, at least.  And that's how I know I need a vacation.  Next week will be good.  My boyfriend and I are having dinner with a couple friends next Wednesday, which will kick off my little Thanksgiving break.  Unfortunately for me I won't have time to do nothing over Thanksgiving (as much as I'd love to) but at least I'll have Thursday.  So that's something to be thankful for.

Anyway.  Tickle My France-y.  Thoughts? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OPI Pepe's Purple Passion

Pictures first, text later.

Pepe's Purple Passion from the Muppets.  The sole semi-vampy in the collection.  It's really interesting flaky glitter, similar glitter to what's in Meep-Meep-Meep, in a plum/raisin base.  If the sun hits this polish it sparkles really nicely.  I think the raisin color is a really nice one for the wintertime, and I'm glad OPI included something that's sort of vamp in the Christmas collection.  It also has an adorable name.

That having been said, the formula on this is awful.  I assumed that because it had the same glitter as Meep it would have the same UH-MAZING formula.  But it didn't.  First, it was extremely thick.  Thick enough that I thought I needed to shake the bottle or something and I did that after finishing one hand.  But no dice.  Second, it's...chunky.  The glitter doesn't lay smooth, and because the formula is weirdly chunky it dries to a bumpy finish.  I did two coats.  It also somehow eats topcoat.  I put on one coat of topcoat and it was like I had none on at all, so I did a second.  The formula is also thick enough that if you don't wrap your tips with the polish it looks like you've missed spots.  

Honest opinion:  unless you absolutely-love-gotta-have-can't-live-without this color, skip this one.  There are comparable raisin colors out there that probably have better formulas.  Kind of depressing, huh?  On the bright side, out of all the Muppets polishes I've tried this the only one I've been disappointed with.  So that's good.  

Sigh.  I can already tell this week is going to be quelle beast.  One of my seminars is actually over, class-wise.  Now I'm just writing the paper for it (in theory).  I have to grade tests.  Prepare the art history 101 students for 102.  Read stuff.  Write more stuff.  Not sleep.  Drink a lot of coffee.  

How are you guys doing? 

[This product sent for review.  Questions?  See my disclosure policy.  Want this polish on your fingers?  Check out]

Monday, November 14, 2011

OPI Gettin' Miss Piggy With It and Essie Clambake

Instead of just straight-up glitter I decided to layer this one with a jelly and see how it turned out.  

Success!  I love how this looks.  I used Essie Clambake and OPI Gettin' Miss Piggy With It (the second not-so-veiled 90s Will Smith reference in the collection...I don't get it).  This look is really easy to achieve.  I did one coat of Clambake, let it dry, did two coats of Miss Piggy, and then one more coat of Clambake.  The result is that the glitter looks like it's floating or suspended in the jelly polish.  The glitter particles are like little embers burning in a river of lava or something.  So pretty.

Gettin' Miss Piggy With It is the red version of Fresh Frog of Bel Air.  It's small, red, round glitter and red and silver hexagonal glitter suspended in a clear base.  I know that opacity can be achieved at three or four coats.  But I wanted to try something different with this one.  The formula on the OPI is really good; easy to manipulate with a great dry time.  If you love red or shiny things, I'd recommend Miss Piggy to you.  This glitter really added something special to Clambake.  I can't wait to use the other Muppets glitters for similar manicures.  

See how it glows?  So pretty!

That's all for today.  Has anyone picked up Miss Piggy?  Anyone planning to get their paws on it for the holidays?  I'm sure you could do some really fun things with it...and it's hard to go wrong with sparkle ;)

[This product sent for review.  Questions?  See my disclosure policy.  Want this polish on your nails?  Check out]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

OPI Rainbow Connection (!!!)

I have to admit that I didn't understand why people wet their pants over Lippmann Happy Birthday.  What's the big deal?  I thought.  It's just big, chunky, stupid glitter in a clear base.  When all the Happy Birthday dupes came out I avoided them.  And then I met OPI Rainbow connection.  On my first date with Rainbow Connection we just stared at each other.  Hm.  Maybe you don't look so bad, I thought.  You'll be happy to know that the bottle didn't say anything back to me.  On our second date I decided to actually wear it.  And this happened.  And I metaphorically wet my paints and fell in love.

OPI Rainbow Connection over American Apparel L'Esprit.  Looks like cupcakes!  Or sugar cookies!  Or Easter candy!  Or...or...God, I'm hungry.  Anyway, this is such a happy and interesting combination.  I did two coats of L'Esprit (flawless formula as always; thanks, American Apparel) and then one coat of Rainbow Connection on top.  I'm showing you both my left and right hands, because they got different glitter distributions and I wanted you to see both.  

Rainbow Connection is multi-sized glitter in a clear base.  The glitter is small and round, but also medium and large sized and hexagonal.  OPI loves hexagonal glitter right now, I guess.  There are all sorts of colors hiding in here (yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, silver, blue), but the overall effect is one of predominantly silver (in the bottle).  I'm sure that at some point this could be opaque, but I wasn't about to sit there and pile on six coats of nail polish just to find out.  I think this layered look is absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to try more combinations.  My only complaint would be that this does not at all look Christmasy.  But that's not such a terrible complaint.

Also, if you missed out on Rainbow Connection (I hear it's sold out most places), then Nicole by OPI Rainbow in the S-Kylie is apparently just the same polish in an uglier bottle.  My advice?  Seek out the actual OPI.  My reasoning?  First, more aesthetically pleasing bottle.  Second, it's not named after a Kardashian sister.  That alone should be motivation enough.  Milani Gems would also be a good substitute.  

One more thing for today.  I had always heard that the "foil" method of removing glitter is the best, but I was dubious.  Then I tried it.  And now I am, as they say, a believer.  So, for those of you who are not indoctrinated into this methodology, let me elaborate:
Let's say that you are wearing OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air.  Then let's say you have a meeting with your program advisor about Ph.D. programs and you realize obnoxious, green, glittery nails are completely inappropriate (albeit fabulous).  You don't want to spend an hour scrubbing your nails, so what's to be done?  Here's what.
1.  Put on a pot of coffee.  This step is important.
2.  Create ten squares of tin foil.
3.  Douse cotton balls with remover (pure acetone, of course, works best)
4.  I do one hand at a time:  place cotton ball on nail, wrap with tin foil.  This way the cotton (and remover) is in constant contact with your finger.
5.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee.  You'll look like this (although hopefully more well-rested).

6.  The sweet spot is somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes.  Just sit there and relax.  Then, after the allotted time, unwrap the foil, push down on the cotton, and drag it off your finger.  ALL the glitter will come off with the cotton.  No need to scrub.
7.  Repeat.  Drink more coffee.

Seriously, it works.  As I said, I was not a believer until yesterday when I didn't have to scrub at all to remove Fresh Frog.  And now I know the magic of the foil.  Forget rubbing the cotton balls on the glitter uselessly.  Forget felt.  Just.  Do.  This.  

Okay, I've rambled enough for today.  Rainbow Connection?  Do you love it too?  Totally a keeper for me.  I'm so glad I opened my cold little heart to it.

[This product sent for review.  Questions?  See my disclosure policy.  Want this polish on your fingers?  Check out]

Monday, November 07, 2011

OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air

I thought for my first foray into glitter for the holiday season I'd just go for it and pile it on.  I didn't layer this one.  It's just several coats of glitter (which still isn't opaque).  I know I'll have to sandblast this off my nails later, but oh well.  And my pictures aren't great.  I just can't seem to get it right today.  Monday.

Blur for sparkle

Fresh Frog of Bel Air (which, weirdly, is one of two not-so-veiled 90s Will Smith references in this collection; I tried to see if he produced the Muppets movie or something, but no I don't know what's going on here) is itty bitty green glitter with big silver hex glitter in it.  The formula was good, it's just sheer.  It dried lightning fast.  If you REALLY want this one to be opaque, you're going to either need to be more careful than I was or use four or five coats (I used three).  This is definitely best for layering.

Okay, that's it.  Short and sweet today.  Opinions?  Glitter lovers?  I imagine this will be nice layered over a pink or red for Christmastime.  I'll definitely consider that in the future.  

Iiiiiiin West Philadelphia, born 'n raised...

[this product sent for review.  questions?  see my disclosure policy.  want this polish on your nails?  check out]

Friday, November 04, 2011

OPI Meep-Meep-Meep

I don't know when I'll learn that pink just isn't me.

Despite pink not being me, I have to admit that Meep-Meep-Meep from the OPI holiday collection is pretty.  I had trouble capturing its sparkle, hence the weird candid I'm-drinking-a-diet-Dr. Pepper cherry.  I keep seeing this polish described as red, but it's not.  Meep-Meep-Meep is fuchsia, a fiery purple-pink looking color jelly base with glassfleck glitter scattered throughout.  The glitter sparkles gold, blue, purple, pink and red, and in the sun this polish is gorgeous.  My camera just didn't want to capture that and no matter how many photos I took it still didn't look right.  The formula on this was amazing.  Very easy to apply, very pigmented, and only needed two coats.  It practically applied itself, and it dried quickly.  This one actually reminds me of Congeniality Is My Middle Name from Miss Universe, but the shimmer is different and it's a bit less purple.  I also heard through the grapevine that it's really similar to Let Me Entertain You from OPI Burlesque, but I don't have that one to compare.

Best part about this polish?  The name.  Meep indeed.

[This product sent for review.  Questions?  See my disclosure policy.  Want this polish on your own fingers?  Check out]

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

OPI Better!

Geez, OPI is really into exclamation points in naming their polishes.  Superfluous punctuation annoys me, but I guess that's nit-picky, huh?  Anyway, happy November :)  My good mood of last week has plummeted, but that hasn't stopped me from being pretty joyful about the OPI Muppets collection.  I wasn't sure which one to wear first, but in the end I chose one of the two that I was most excited about from the collection.

OPI Better! isn't your typical silver foil.  It has little copper flakes interspersed.  This makes for a stunning and unique finish if you look closely enough.  The sparkle on this polish is out of control.  If you love silvers or foils but are looking for something a little different and off-beat, then I suggest you snatch this polish up.

The application was good, if a little runny.  On the first coat I was really surprised at how sheer the polish was, but it built up to this opacity after only two coats.  And it dried lightning fast.  The nice thing about this polish is that you get all the pizzazz of glitter without any of the grittiness.  This is a big deal for me, because I can't stand that bumpy glitter feeling.  But I really, really love this little guy.  OPI has been pretty successful lately at making polishes that seem to be unique but are also total collection staples all at the same time.  I'm delighted.

Here's my hair after it had been freshly cut, by the way.

Much shorter than I'm used to having it, but it looks nice and less...heavy.  I'm sure I'll get used to it.  Also, I went to a Halloween party on Saturday sort of unexpectedly and I had no costume.  I was wearing what I had worn to work that day (this):

When people asked what I was I told them art deco.  No one laughed.  This is what happens when I hang around with people other than art nerds.  My boyfriend managed to wear like three different costumes over the weekend, which made me feel even lazier.

Anyway, that's all for updates.  Opinions on Better!?  Is it on anyone's list to pick up?  If not, it should be ;)

[This product sent for review.  Questions?  See my disclosure policy.  Want this polish on your own fingers?  Check out]