Friday, September 21, 2012

Del Sol Beach Bum

I have a friend, Chelsea, who is interested in museum work like I am.  She too is in a graduate program in New York, but it's upstate, so nowhere near the city.  I liked her immediately when I met her, and she is one of my favorite people.  Also, she sends me presents (last year she sent a bunch of vintage-y costume jewelry, which I LOVED), like this Del Sol nail polish.

So, the gimmick with these, as I'm sure many of you know, is that the polish changes color when exposed to UV light (or, sunlight).  My fascination with mood rings and stuff that changes color hasn't really diminished as I've gotten older (I am a child of the '90s, what can I say?), so I was instantly into this.  The one she got for me is called Beach Bum.  Here's what it looks like indoors.

It actually looks eerily similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Starfish Patrick, which is one of my favorite polishes of all time.  The Del Sol, however, is quite sheer.  I think this was either three or four coats.  While Sfish P eventually ends up way more opaque than this, I think this is about as far as Beach Bum will go in terms of color density.  You're always going to have visible nail line with this one.

And here it is in full sunlight.  It went from a light, beachy coral to a sort of plum-ish purple color.  And when I took this photo, I had only been outside in the sun for like 45 seconds, so the color transition happens pretty quickly.

Later in the day I was sitting in Central Park, watching people walk dogs and chase their children.  And yes, ladies, the orange tights have come out of hibernation.  It was overcast, so I took some pictures of how the polish looks when it's not quite in its full sunlight-purple-mode.  Kind of interesting.  The range of colors that Beach Bum offers kind of reminds me of a sunset.  But I like the way it looks best in the first photo.

My week is already over and I feel like it just started.  I only had one class this entire week, plus a viewing session of an object at The Met yesterday (which wasn't nearly equivalent to a class; it was me using a microscope on a piece of fabric and saying WHAT IS THIS? AND THIS? to the person who was helping me).  I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do this weekend.  I can't believe it's already here again.  I feel like I just survived last weekend; like I said, the days are so much easier when I'm busy.  But I do get to sleep in, which is good.  I kept waking up several hours before my alarm went off every day this week, and I wasn't able to go back to sleep.  Plus I still have pretty chronic insomnia.  And I think I might be getting a cold?  BASICALLY, I'm just trying to figure out how many things I can complain about in a SINGLE PARAGRAPH.  Answer:  several.

Okay, time for me to find some articles to read that'll maybe help me with upcoming papers and abstracts and such.  

Is it Monday yet?

Monday, September 17, 2012

RBL Bikini Bottom: A Most Delicious Jelly Sammie

I haven't been having the best experiences with Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes lately, so I decided to use one of my three favorites, that never does me wrong, to help me regain my trust in the brand.  Bikini Bottom is...actually, I don't know why I love it so much.  I don't like blues, I don't like sheers, and I don't like Spongebob.  But it's definitely an HG jelly polish of mine, and I haven't lost my love of it in the few years I've owned it.
artificial light
natural light
macro that looks awkward but gives you an idea of what this looks like

My nails and cuticles got all stained from my foray into Vamp Land last week, so please forgive that.  This is one of a myriad of layering combinations I've done with RBL Bikini Bottom.  I did one coat BB, then one coat of another favorite, China Glaze White Cap (seen layered here, here, here, and here, and on its own here--see?  I love this one), and topped it with another coat of BB.  The resulting look is very light and ethereal, with just a tint of blue and a hint of sparkle.  I like this a lot.  

My only complaint about Bikini Bottom is that if you want it to be sort of opaque (four coats) it takes forever to dry.  Like, forever.  As in, last time I wore it opaque I went on a movie date with Sam like three hours later and it dented while I was shoving my hand into the popcorn bag--and yes, it can be argued that I have an unhealthy obsession with movie theatre popcorn, but this denting was just ridiculous.  So anyway, I usually try my best to layer it (also this conserves my precious bottle of BB, which is now about 25% gone *sob*) to get the feel of this light, beachy blue.  If you want to see some other things I've done with it:  "opaque" and over Essie Marshmallow, with Revlon Colada Fizz, with Revlon Whimsical, with OPI Gone Gonzo!.  This polish seriously never gets old for me, and I can always dream up new combinations for it, even with the limited repertoire I have here in New York.

Ugh, guys.  This is going to be a hard week for me, I think.  We have today off from school because it's Rosh Hashanah, so I had a three-day weekend and my Monday class is canceled.  My Thursday class is also canceled because my professor is out of town.  I always fare so much better, emotionally, when I'm busy, so having a lot of spare time on my hands is...sad.  I just sit alone and think about how I'd rather be back in Cleveland and Apple Valley with Ben and my family.  Yesterday I woke up to many Facebook posts from Ben and his friends on my NewsFeed because they'd all gone out together on Saturday night, and it really made me wish I'd been with them.  Sadly the two things I was looking forward to most this month got mashed into one week.  My trip to Cleveland, obviously, but also a couple days before I left I met up with ALU Michelle and Nancy from Beauty411, which I totally forgot to mention.  They were here for Fashion Week, and their hotel was a ten-minute walk from my school, so we had dinner and drinks.  And god, it was so wonderful to see a friendly face here.  I laughed through all of dinner because these ladies were so hilarious together, and I loved hearing their Fashion Week stories from years past. 

Anyway, I feel like I sort of have nothing to look forward to.  Even worse, I have a paper due the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I'm worried it won't even be feasible to go home for the holiday.  I think I might try to schedule another trip home in October instead of having Ben come here.  Honestly, I think it does me good to get out of the city and to lay eyes on home, if only for a couple days.  I was griping to my mom a while back about how it's pathetic that I feel like I need to come home already, and she said, "Hey, come home once a month if you want to.  I think you should."  So maybe I'll do that.  I'm aching for kitty cuddles, holding Ben's hand, and seeing my mom and dad. 

Okay, enough of that.  I have no idea what I'm going to do on this extra day off, but it'll probably involve a soy latte and a book.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

OPI All A-Bordeaux the Sled

Thank you all for the congratulations re:  our engagement.  Honestly, still pretty surreal.  I really never thought this would happen for me.  Anyway, I had to change my nail color because one of my nails (on my right hand, so you won't see it) ripped off like, down to my skin.  It was bad, guys.  Bad enough for me to say an obscenity in the library more loudly than I should have.  Anyway, the polish looked all jacked up after that, so I picked something totally vamp and fall.

This polish rarely shows up as anything other than black or super dark brown on me.  But it's actually a wine color, as the name implies.  It's pretty much my go-to vampy.  It came out with the 2009 OPI holiday collection.  I know there are a million polishes out there that would dupe this one, but I like this one in particular.  The formula is pretty thin and runny.  It needs three coats to eliminate bald patches/cuticle drag.  I actually did four on some nails.  Maybe this polish is too high maintenance for what it is.  But, I still love it.  And in the autumn and winter I reach for it pretty often.  

I think it looks nice with this sparkly thing that lives on my left hand now.  It's so pretty, so shiny, so DISTRACTING.  I was trying to read that article there forever, but I just kept looking down at my hand.  I'm such a girl.

Anyway, that's all.  It's almost Friday, which means I almost get to sleep in.  And I'm pretty excited about it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

HUGE News: Short 'n Chic, Meet Big 'n Shiny

I'm back in New York City after an amazing weekend in Cleveland.  And I have big news.  Perhaps the biggest news I've ever had in my life.

I'm engaged.

On Friday Ben picked me up from the airport, and that evening he pretty much insisted that we go to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see the new atrium (by the way, if you live in the Cleveland area and you haven't been to see it, go; it's gorgeous).  While we were there I did just as he expected I would, and I led him upstairs to see the Caravaggio painting in the Baroque galleries (I can't not visit that painting, and he knows my taste in crazy 17th century artists well enough to predict this).  As we were making our way back toward the American galleries we stopped in the Armor Court (which is a major attraction of the museum--people love it).  I said to him fondly, "Do you remember when you told me you loved me for the first time here?"  He said he did, of course, and led me over to sit on the bench where we had been sitting on that day.  I had ended up with a business card of someone who works at the museum who I've been hoping to make a connection with, and I was holding it in my hands because I didn't have pockets in my dress and I wasn't carrying a purse.  He said, "Why are you still holding that?  Let me put it in my wallet."  He fumbled in his pocket and realized he didn't have his wallet; he had left it in the car.  I said, "It's fine.  I'll hold it."  He said, "Oh, can you hold my phone?"  "Yes..."  "What about my keys?"  "Okay..."  So I'm sitting there holding his phone and keys, sort of confused.  Then he said, "I have something else that I want you to hold forever."  He took a little velvet pouch out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and asked me to be his wife.  I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't say anything and I was just nodding my head.  But I ended up on the marble floor with him, hugging him and kissing him and saying, "yes, yes."  

He took this after I had stopped crying.  I couldn't stop smiling even when I was kissing him.  You can see the tapestry on the wall behind us, and also the knight on horseback that's in the middle of the gallery.  

Oh, and the ring.  YOU GUYS, THE RING.

It's perfect.  Whenever I've thought about getting married before (and those thoughts have been very minimal up until meeting Ben, let me tell you), I've always thought about:  1.  the ring  2.  the dress.  And this ring is exactly what I've always wanted.  It's elegant and simple, and OH YEAH the diamond is big and shiny.

And also, confession:  I had a feeling that he would propose this weekend.  I knew it was coming (we'd talked about it).  I picked this nail polish BASED ON how it might look with an engagement ring.  And that, ladies, is how you know I'm obsessed with my hobby.  It's $OPI XOX Betsey, which I've blogged about recently here.  And I think it looks perfect!  I sent that photo of myself to two of my good friends, and they both said, "you have perfect engagement nails."  Actually, one said, "you have Charlotte York engagement nails.  It's too perfect" (thanks Betsy!).  Mission.  Accomplished.

But I don't mean to diminish how amazing and romantic and surprising the whole proposal really was.  He proposed to me at one of my favorite places in the world where he knows I love to be.  And he was so sweet.  The next night we went to a wedding.

Proving that we both clean up nice.  Especially him.  The dress is Anthro winter 2011 (I can't remember its name), and I'm always looking for a good time to wear it.  It's pretty difficult to find a tutu-worthy event.  But, this wedding was.  We ate cupcakes and danced and laughed.  And then we went to sleep together and woke up next to each other.  And everything was perfect.  We both keep saying to each other, "we're getting married."  It's still so new that it's almost incredible.  Oh, also, the popular question is whether we've chosen a date.  Answer:  NO.  We don't know where we'll live (NYC or CLE?) or when we want to have this wedding.  I have to get my own shit together and figure out what I want to do with this doctorate before I tackle planning a wedding.  For now we're just content knowing that we're engaged and that we're both all in.
Being back in New York is a little harder than it already was now.  Leaving him again was almost unbearable.  But I'm still so happy to know that he wants to be with me like this.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  And I love this man so much.

So.  Pretty great engagement nails, right?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

China Glaze Trendsetter and Second Thoughts

You might be saying to yourself:
We've been here before.  I recognize that tree.
Okay, TRUTH.  I don't have oodles of new things to share with you.  But I have this to share with you UH-GAIN.

I didn't realize I had polish on my cuticles until I took these photos, so...ugh.  And, I'm sorry.  But you know, it is what it is.  And what is it?  It's this weird, kind of gross-colored polish that is awesome.  To describe the color of China Glaze Trendsetter I'm tempted to venture into  comparisons with poo, but I won't go there, friends.  No, no.  This is an incredibly elegant swampy green with really lovely golden shimmer.  This one looks different here than in my first photos of it, but that's the different lighting conditions, I guess.  Either way I love it.  I think it looks better on me when my nails are shorter, but that's alright.  I'm still relishing the color, and I'm glad I brought this bottle to New York with me.  Three coats, by the way.  And a good, China Glaze-y formula.  

Okay, ladies.  I am having problems.  My first week of class was fine.  I am not jumping up and down about what I'm taking, but I don't seem to hate any of the classes, so we'll stick a tally in the pro column.  I went out with someone and experienced a new borough on Friday (Queens) and saw a neat museum (this one), so that was good too.  All in all I was feeling sort of okay heading into the weekend.  And then on Saturday night I get a text from my mom (they had just gotten back to Ohio from their infinity-long vacay in Scotland) that my grandmother wasn't doing well.  I was shocked by this.  I had called her not too long ago, hadn't gotten an answer, so I left a nice detailed message.  My grandmother is a busy woman for being 89.  She usually has to pencil me into a booked schedule that includes visits to the senior center and some visits from my uncles.  So I didn't think anything of it when she didn't call me back.  Honestly, I always thought that if something happened someone would CALL ME.  I am very close to my grandmother, and the thought didn't even cross my mind that I would ever be left out of any loops re:  her.  And I was wrong.  I gave her another call and got a long story about how she had been in the hospital (twice?  still not sure) but she didn't want to call me because she didn't want to bother me, etc.  Again, I was shocked.  And devastated that I wasn't there and she was alone.

So there I was, sitting in my apartment on a Saturday night, sobbing into the phone with my grandmother on the other end.  I couldn't get a grip that night.  I felt unimaginably homesick for so many reasons, and I felt unimaginably guilty for not being there for my grandmother.  And on Sunday I was so out of sorts.  I wouldn't talk to anyone.  My best friend kept trying to get ahold of me, and even my exchanges with my boyfriend were bitchy.  Finally my mom called and told me she had visited my grandmother and it wasn't as bad as my grandmother had made things sound.  This did make me feel a little better, and I called grandma on Sunday night to talk to her.  We talked for about 20 minutes about this and that, and after that conversation I felt a little bit more normal.  But still.  The cry-fest I had in the shower (I almost always get in the shower when I feel a nervous breakdown coming on) is haunting me and I haven't felt right in a couple days.  But I talked on the phone to one of my friends yesterday, and he said so many things that I felt were right on and amazing that I wrote them down on post-its and stuck them to the door to the apartment so that I'll see them when I leave every day:

pink:  don't hesitate to come home
blue:  you'll either hit your wall and feel like climbing over it, or you'll know it's enough
purple:  don't get caught up in the competition; it's pointless
orange:  this will become your element

I'm trying to look on the bright side, which is that I am actually headed back to Cleveland on Friday morning, so I feel like this:

Ben's friends are getting married and I decided I was going to do everything I could to attend that wedding.  And I will see my parents, to whom I've spoken very minimally in the past couple weeks.  And, of course, I will see my grandmother.  But I'm naturally pretty pessimistic (I don't think I got this from my mother, so I'm starting to think it actually came from my grandmother) and I can't help but think ahead to when I come back to New York and I start feeling shitty and alone all over again.  What I'm saying is that I think this might not be worth it.  My best friend has this way of talking me down off of ledges, and she said something like, "You can do this.  We all know you can do this."  But unfortunately the one person who has to know I can do this is me.  And as I told her, my drive just isn't there.  Once upon a time this was my dream, but what if my priorities have shifted as I've grown a little older?  I just don't know anymore.  And that's the hardest thing.  To not know what I want, to not have that goal that's propelling me forward...well, that's very unlike me.  

But come Friday morning I will have this:

And it'll feel so good to see him.  I am counting down the days.