Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark...

...is, quite simply, a little black dress for one's nails.

[I know that it's not black, it's eggplant, but I was trying to be DEEP and METAPHORICAL.]

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MAC Mean and Green (!!!!)

Totally late to this party, but I thought I'd post about my nail polish boner for MAC Mean and Green.  These pictures were taken indoors, and are kind of blurry, but they're pretty good for showing what this polish can do.

So, here it is.  I took these pictures in the library and at least one person was looking at me like I was crazy.  Apparently this has a dupe in Orly...Space Cadet?  I think.  I haven't bought an Orly in quite a while, so I don't have that one to compare.  Most of the time Mean and Green looks sort of purply-pink, but if you get it at the right angle there's a pretty awesome rainbow effect.  Don't let how cool this one looks fool you, though.  Application was troublesome.  First, my brush was totally wonky.  Bristles sticking out every which way.  Second, the formula was thick and difficult to work with.  And I needed three coats.  And it took forever to dry.  Despite this, though, I still think it was worth it.

I'm pretty sure all these MAC polishes are sold out (this one was given to me by the unfailingly generous Michelle), but as I said, this one has a dupe in Orly Space Cadet, which I assume is more readily available.

In conclusion, I'm in love with this polish.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Joe Fresh Storm

My friend PerryPie sent me some Joe Fresh polishes quite a while ago, and I have one to show you today.


This is Storm.  I'll be the first to say that this photo is bad because:
1.  This is under indoor lighting and 
2.  My cuticles look jacked up.  Clearly I have not been sticking to the Lemony Flutter routine (and I haven't).  I solemnly swear I'm going to start putting that stuff on before bed.

I can't say that the color is incredibly unique, but it is incredibly beautiful.  Taupes like this just sing to me.  It's quite cool-toned, with pretty noticeable purple undertones (not as gray as Metro Chic, but not as brown as OPI Over the Taupe).  The formula on this one seemed watery and sheer to me, and after the first coat I was sure I would have to do three to even it out.  But, surprise!  It was perfect after only two.  It dried super quickly, too.  About 10 minutes after applying it I realized that I was late to meet a friend, and after I had grabbed my keys, put on my coat, and rummaged around in my purse I still didn't have any dents in the polish.  Yay.  The only problem is that this chipped REALLY quickly on me.  After about a day I had pretty bad signs of wear, hence the indoor light.  It was already dark by the time I got home from work and took the photo, so I'm sorry about that.

I have been feeling so oddly sentimental lately.  On Monday my boyfriend and I were hanging out, just lying in bed in my semi-dark-from-crappy-winter-light room, and I asked him if he ever consciously made memories.  I've been doing that a lot lately.  Living a moment and deciding right then and there that you're going to remember it as a particularly beautiful one.  Having little to do on a lazy Monday afternoon except lie around in bed with the man I'm in love with merits a beautiful moment.  But yeah, I don't know.  Something about the past couple weeks has made me feel like I have to really live every day; really experience things, good and bad; remember the little things that make me smile or feel warm inside; laugh until I cry; relish the work I'm doing.  Maybe it's because I know that this period in my life is close to ending and I have so much uncertainty about the future.  But whatever has made me feel this way, I'm sort of thankful for it.

Anyway, Storm.  Thoughts?  Have I ever asked you guys what your favorite taupe/mushroom polish is?  I probably have, but tell me again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Revlon Starry Pink

First thing's first:  the winner of the Muppets Giveaway was a reader called Pam R.  Her win has been confirmed via e-mail, so congratulations to her!

Revlon Starry Pink is not a polish that I meant to fall in love with.  I found it at Target about a month ago, and for some reason I threw it into my cart (it was a post-end-of-semester-freak-out-calm-yourself-down Target sort of trip, and I was feeling like I needed something pretty; I remember that day well).  I wore it once as soon as I got it but didn't take photos.  So now I'm wearing it again.

Starry Pink is a milky/sheer pink base full of hexagonal and regular small silver glitter.  The first coat goes on pretty sheer, but the color eventually builds to what you see in the photos after three coats.  It dries fast, too.  I did two coats of topcoat to amp up the shine and make sure that the glitter would lie smoothly against my nails.  

I can't really put my finger on why I love this one so much.  I think it's because the pink looks a little...dirty?  Kind of grayed out.  Which, to me, makes this polish look kind of edgy even though it's...*shudder*...a glittery pink.  Also I like how this looks with my pale skin.  This is definitely a polish I'll be keeping around and reaching for all winter.

I had a pretty good weekend.  Like I mentioned on Friday, I went to the last opening at the Carnegie Avenue location at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland.  It was pretty great.  Those things are always great people-watching.  Plus there was a performance piece going on throughout the whole event which involved hobo-looking actors walking around wearing sandwich boards and yelling things like THE END IS NIGH.  See?

Is there anything better on a snowy Friday night?  I don't think so.  You can see the snow on the poor guy's coat here.  It started coming down in earnest around 9 and continued well into the night.

Saturday night my boyfriend and I went to our friend's opening.  He's a painter.  It was nice to see him having his paintings on display somewhere.  Apparently he was also mentioned in the newspaper, but I didn't see it.  A pretty big deal for him, though.  

I'm also really into this right now:

I just started the second season.  I never knew a PBS series could be so enthralling.  And that Maggie Smith was so feisty.  

Okay, that's it for today.  Any other people obsessed with Downton Abbey, milky pink polishes or weird contemporary art?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Muppets Muppettes Reminder!

Hello readers!  It's Friday.  That means it's a good day.  I'm happy to have finished my first week of classes, to have taught my first class of the semester, and that I'm going to an opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland tonight.  I'm happy that I'm wearing a new dress (this one) and red tights.  But most of all I'm glad that VERY SOON I will be able to give one of you some OPI Muppets minis.  Wait, what's that?  You haven't heard about my giveaway?  Well, click here, then!  You can enter to win pretty polishes like this one:

OPI Warm & Fozzie

Remember to enter by 11:59 PM EST, January 20th (that's TODAY).

Thanks guys!  Good luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt

Two things on the agenda today:  first, nail polish (duh).  Second, a tale of obsession with a happy ending.

A jelly sandwich with Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom and OPI Gone Gonzo.  I've decided that this is my favorite way to wear the Muppets glitters.  And it goes to show that they're pretty versatile.  I did the same thing with Gettin' Miss Piggy With It.  This is two coats Bikini Bottom, one coat Gone Gonzo, and then one more coat of Bikini Bottom.  I love this.  The only problem is that it took FOREVER to dry.

So, when I decide I want something I go kind of crazy over it until I get it.  It happens with hard to find drug store nail polishes, and this month it happened with a dress.  It started when my mom took me on an Anthropologie shopping trip for my 25th birthday (because she is the best) and I picked out a few things.  One of the things I chose I got as a Christmas gift, but when I tried it on Christmas morning I was much less enamored of it than I was when we bought it.  So I returned it.  Which meant I had roughly $200 to spend at Anthro.  I spent some of it on a dress that was on sale (and I'm really happy with that purchase), but what to do with the rest of it?  I was perusing the Anthro website about two weeks ago when I saw this.  I said (shouted) to my boyfriend, who was sitting next to me playing with his iPod, "OHMYGOD LOOK AT THIS IT HAS BIKES ON IT OHMYGOD."  He was not as elated as I, but he indulged me, as he usually does.  From that moment on I was a woman obsessed.  I had to have it.  

But much to my dismay, it's actually already backordered in most sizes (as it turns out, not mine).  Also I couldn't figure out whether or not it actually ran true to size, so I was hesitant to order it from the website. Yesterday I called my Anthropologie store, and they told me they had just gotten it in that day but only had two left.  One of them was an 8 (YAY THAT WILL FIT ME HOPEFULLY, I thought).  So I got in my car and sped off.  And this happened.


It.  Has.  Pockets.

This dress, which is called the Bike Lane Dress, also comes with separate straps that are adjustable and totally functional.  Much to my surprise, the 8 is actually a tiny bit big on top.  But not enough to dissuade me from buying this one or to persuade me to wiggle into a 6.  Side note:  I always wear a smaller size than I think I will because I'm starting to realize I have really big issues with body image.  I've been struggling with my weight for several years now, and I always think I look huge.  Having been pretty overweight before, and also being a total perfectionist, it's a difficult thing to overcome.  I am so glad that this dress now lives in my closet, and I can't wait for spring-ish weather so I can flounce around in it.

Another reason to be happy?  I realized that I have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and I teach on Friday.  I will probably end up interning on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I haven't met with my supervisor yet, so I don't have any work I can do (again, yet).  MEANING that even though today is technically the first day of the semester, I'm still on vacation.  Huzzah!  

[polish in this post provided for review.  want your own?  check out nailpolishdiva.com]

Monday, January 16, 2012

OPI Wocka Wocka!

So, reds.  You love 'em or you hate 'em.  As many of you probably know, I fall firmly in the love camp.  Warm reds, cool reds, sparkly reds, glittery reds...I'm into them.  Whenever I see them in the bottle I usually think they look boring, but I quickly change my mind when I have them on.

Wocka Wocka! is definitely a cool-toned red, with blue undertones.  I guess I'd call it sort of a cherry red.  But it's not as plain as you might think.  In the first picture you can really see the pink shimmer in the polish that comes out in direct sunlight or even under artificial light.  It sort of adds a whole new dimension to the polish, giving it more depth and making it more interesting.

I mentioned in the giveaway post that this has a flawless formula.  After doing a full manicure with it, I still think that's true.  The polish isn't too thick or too thin, it flows onto the nail nicely and it stayed where I put it.  I think I may have been able to get away with one coat, but I was weirdly caffeinated and shaky while I was doing this (as usual lately; I don't know what my deal is) so I needed two anyway.  My fault, not the polish's.  

So, what do you think?  Do you like this color?  If you do, make sure you enter my Muppets Minis giveaway!  You could win a mini of Wocka Wocka! as well as three other Muppets polishes.  Click here to enter, please.

In other news, it's the last day of my break today.  Which makes me feel like this.

Also this.

At least it's a four-day week...?  Sigh.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect: Sea

The other night my friend and I had a girls' night during which we watched Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy (mm, Gary Oldman in big '70s glasses; dream man), went to CVS and bought nail polish and chocolate.  I spied some square Sally Hansen bottles so I was all over them.  This new line is called Smooth and Perfect ColorCare, and it claims to do a lot of stuff, like let your nails "breathe" or something.  You can go to their website if you want to read about it.  But I was interested in them for two gorgeous, really light pastels.  The first one I'm showing you is Sea, a very light mint green.

Isn't this pretty!?

This photo is from my little iPhone, so it presents the color a little differently (bluer).

So you can already tell that I think the color is absolutely stunning.  It's a light, airy, pastel, mint green.  And it's not creme, either.  It has subtle shimmer, which makes the finish almost pearlescent.  Really unique.  I also love the square bottle.  The brush is the same wide, tapered one that comes with the Insta-Dri polishes. 

But Sea is not without problems in the application and drying departments.  First, it's kind of sheer.  I needed three coats to build up to opacity.  Second, the formula is thick.  Annoyingly thick, but I was able to work with it.  Third, it took FOREVER to dry, even using the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri stuff in the red bottle.  A few hours later I was getting dents.  Lastly, the finish has little...well, they're not bubbles...they look almost like pinpricks.  You can see them well on my ring nail in the second photo if you really enlarge the picture.  They're not obvious at all, and no one but me would have noticed them, but...it's still strange. 

Regardless of these issues, I can't help but be in love with this color.  I keep admiring my hands.  And a random girl told me she liked my nail polish while I was wearing this.  Compliments from strangers indicate something special, right?  As I said, I found this at CVS and I think it was around $6.  They were also buy one get one 50% off, so I did that.  Meaning I have another to show you sometime soon. Yay!

Also, I thought I would share an outfit I am particularly in love with right now.  Over winter break I've been having fun putting together new outfits that I'll wear for schooltimes (lame, right?  but god do I love clothes).

The blazer, striped tee, and skirt are all from H&M.  I found the blazer quite recently, so if you're into it you can probably still find it there.  I love the cut.  The necklace is from Francesca's, the boots and socks are Target and the tights are from Marshall's.

I'm not sure why I'm so enamored of these pieces together.  I like the red of the necklace with the cool-taupe of the skirt, the stripes of the tee with the bands of the skirt.  And I like pairing boots like these, with kind of a hard edge, with everything.  Especially frilly dresses.  Also, yes, I am in an Anthropologie dressing room.  See that pink thing behind me?  It's this.  Regrettably the back on this tank is completely OPEN.  Like there are a couple of stitches up by the neck, and the rest of it just flows open.  It's the weirdest thing.  And a shame, because I love the obnoxious pink color and the snail print.  I don't have anything with snails on it.  I thought I could save it by tucking it into a particularly slinky black pencil skirt, but it just wasn't happening.  Sigh.  Snail-printed clothing, someday I will have you.

Alright, I've talked enough today.  I'm out.  But I have to ask...has anyone else tried the SH Smooth and Perfect polishes?  Any opinions?  At least with Sea, I think the finicky formula and long dry time are worth the color.  It's contented-sigh-inducing.  

Oh, also, Muppets giveaway.

Okay, now I'm actually done.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Muppets Muppettes Giveaway

Honestly, I meant to do this before Christmas.  But doctoral program application deadlines fell really close to it, so I was busy.  Busy up until...well, I never stopped being busy.  BUT I thought I'd post this now, since I'll be going back to school in less than a week.  An OPI Muppets collection minis giveaway.  Here's a regrettably not-so-great photo of what the winner will receive.

OPI Muppettes Mini Nail Lacquers

There are four mini polishes tucked away in this cute packaging:  Wocka Wocka!, Excuse Moi!, Designer...de Better! and Warm & Fozzie.  Here are swatches of each of those polishes (from my own bottles).

Wocka Wocka!  I haven't done a full post on this one (or worn it as a full manicure), but after doing this swatch I can't wait to.  This red is luscious and the formula is flawless.

Excuse Moi!  The only glitter in the collection that is opaque at two coats.  It's the most Christmas-y of the bunch, but it's so fabulous that I think everyone needs to have it.  I also didn't do a full post on this one yet, but it's forthcoming.  Saving the best for last, as they say.

Designer...de Better!  I did do a full post on this one, and you can find that here.  This is an awesome metallic foil with copper/pink particles thrown in for a little bit of oomph.  A must have.

And the general favorite from the collection, Warm & Fozzie.  Cute name, amazing polish.  You can read my post on it here.

Now you know what you'll win, so here's how you can win it.
1.  Be a follower of this blog.  Are you already a follower?  Great, you're eligible to win.  Not a follower?  Click "Join this site" on the righthand sidebar.  Easy-peasy.  International followers are eligible to win as well.
2.  Comment on THIS POST with your name and your valid e-mail address.
3.  Enter by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, January 20th.  I will randomly choose and announce the winner soon thereafter.

That's all.  Have at it!  Good luck, all.

[this giveaway made possible by nailpolishdiva.com]

Nubar Wildlife

I pulled Wildlife out of my stash because it's another polish that I remember being super excited about getting, using once, and then never using again.  Sound familiar?

I misplaced the bottle when it came time to photograph this, so I'm holding my Sally Hansen basecoat, lest there be any confusion.  Anyway, Wildlife is a true duochrome that flashes between copper and green, depending on how the light is hitting it.  As duochromes go it's pretty great and very unique.  I like Nubar.  I don't have many polishes from this brand, but the ones I have don't disappoint.  Wildlife has a great formula that's easy to control.  Two coats to opacity.  This polish reminds me of autumn.

I've been spending the past few days doing notes for my comprehensive exam, which is coming up in March (from here on out referred to as comps).  It's a scary test that could possibly determine the future of my education, so I'm part of a study group.  I put off doing my notes until this, the last week of break, and I'm regretting it.  I've been typing non-stop all day and my hands hurt :(  

But at least my nails look good, don't they?  ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Essie Armed and Ready

I mentioned in my last post that I ran across a couple Essie spring polishes at Target the other day.  I couldn't resist Armed and Ready.

I'm not quite sure how to describe this one.  The base is a murky brown with a few drops of green thrown in.  The shimmer is bronze/gold and...maybe a little pink?  It's an interesting color.  And of course anything that even comes close to olive green must be on my nails immediately, so that's why I picked this one up.  I love the last photo because it really shows the shimmer in the bottle.  This sloppy manicure was two coats of Armed and Ready.  The formula was thick but not in a bad way.  I could have done just one coat if I had been careful, but I always feel more comfortable doing two, just in case.  This isn't really a color that screams spring, but I'm glad it exists.  It's repeat-manicure material for sure.

Not much more to report.  I haven't been doing too much recently, except watching The Walking Dead alone at night and regretting it soon after.  But I'm just loving it.  AMC has stolen my heart on three separate occasions (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and now The Walking Dead), and I'm really glad to have the relaxing (and terrifying?) entertainment.

Oh, you know what?  There is one more thing.  I am seeking a bottle of Revlon Whimsical, the Lippmann Glitter in the Air dupe.  There was once a time when I relished the hunt for difficult to locate drug store polishes, but that time has passed.  I thought I was ask if any of you would be willing to swap with me for a bottle of Whimsical.  If so, let me know in the comments--you can also find my e-mail in the Who Am I? section.  I am easy to reach either way.  And I'd be delighted to receive a bottle of the Revlon.

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Zoya Adina

I was in Target the other day when I spotted two Essies I hadn't heard of before.  A quick Google search on the ol' iPhone told me that these were new for spring 2012.  Spring.  Winter has barely started yet and I'm seeing spring polishes (don't worry; I bought one and you'll see it soon).  But that got me thinking about my favorite spring releases.  Normally it's the autumn ones that make my heart sing, but every once in a while I'll meet a spring polish that's gorgeous enough to merit its own serenade.  Zoya Adina is one of those polishes.

In spring 2010 Zoya brought us the Reverie collection, which included six pretty polishes, the stand-out of which was this little gem right here.  Adina is a true duochrome, meaning that the color you see is different depending upon the angle at which you're viewing the polish.  Sometimes it's a cool-ish purple, and sometimes an almost acidic green.  The finish is extremely shimmery, as you can see in the last image.  It almost looks like it could be a metallic, but without those ugly brushstrokes.  The formula is nice.  It looks like it's going to be really sheer on the first coat, but it builds up to complete opacity after only two.  

I remember lusting after this one for weeks two years ago.  Then when I finally got it I used it once and shoved it in a drawer, which is what happens with most of my polishes.  But I'm glad I got this one back out.  It's really interesting and beautiful, and I think it looks nice on my short little nails.  

After reading the comments on my last post about cuticle treatments, it became clear that Lush's Lemony Flutter is the general favorite.  So:

This is my face of trepidation (for having just spent $16.11 on a small tub of lotion) and excitement (for having just spent $16.11 on a small tub of [magic?] lotion)

I'll let you all know how my cuticles are doing after I've been using it for a few weeks.  

Anyway, anyone else feel like waxing poetic about Zoya Adina?  If not, then what's your favorite duochrome?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

OPI Skull & Glossbones

I started 2011 off with a neutral polish and I decided to start 2012 off with one too.  I hadn't used OPI Skull & Glossbones from the Pirates collection, so I thought I'd give that one a whirl.

My skin looks so pale in these photos...and I wish I could say I'm not actually this pasty, but I am.  Sigh.  Anyway, I'm really, really into this polish.  I don't know why I bought it and took so long to use it.  I was also feeling pretty shaky when I did this manicure and wasn't able to leave the gap between my nail and cuticle that I usually do.  Looks a little weird, huh?  And now I'm babbling, so I guess this means that I'm back into the groove of blogging, doesn't it?  Okay, anyway, the color.  The color is, for all intents and purposes, gray.  But in some lights it will fool you and look taupe.  And the best part about it is that there is definitely a drop of green somewhere in there.  It's a little chameleon.  The formula was a little thick and I ended up having to use three coats to even it out.  

Also, does anyone have any advice for my dry cuticles?  I've been slathering them nightly in Burt's Bee's Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and it doesn't seem to be doing much.  Sadly.  I don't really know what else to do.  They're not that bad in real life, but with the macro setting they look pretty bad.  Also the really short nails don't help, but I had to cut them and even them out last night.  They were driving me crazy.

Okay, so opinions on Skull & Glossbones?  I didn't do a Short 'n Chic "best of" post of 2011, but if I had, the OPI PotC collection would have topped the list.  I'm crazy about every polish I got from that collection, this one included.  A set of pastels that drive me wild...who would have thought?