Friday, June 29, 2012

China Glaze Flirty Tankini

Well, July is right around the corner so I figured it was high time for me to bust out some neons.  I picked up a few new ones at Ulta with a 20% off coupon, plus a $3.50 off coupon, plus a buy 2 get 1 deal.  



I read a decent amount about this polish before I decided to buy it.  It's always described as coral.  Here's the thing:  it doesn't always look like it does in the photos.  Sometimes (in the sun) it looks hot pink.  When I first started putting it on I was sitting on my balcony in the sunshine and I immediately thought to myself "NOT CORAL, CHINA GLAZE."  I guess it's a sometimes-coral?  Does anyone else who has this polish agree with me on this?  I'm starting to feel like I can't identify colors correctly.  

Also I read that the formula was mostly good.  For a neon, okay, the formula is good.  Let's put it that way.  For a normal polish?  Not so much.  My Flirty Tankini was really thick, and I was almost worried the polish wouldn't dry.  A self-leveling quick dry topcoat seemed to help out with the application problems, but I'd recommend going slowly, making sure you don't have too much polish on your brush, and doing thin coats.  Here I did two medium coats and I gave the polish ample dry time.  The polish also gets thicker the longer you have the bottle open, so be aware of that.

Other than these little grievances, I will say that I do love the color.  It's very summer.  And I'm feeling very summer lately.  See?


Good lord, I need a tripod.  Or else I'll have to keep using my jank full-length mirror for shots like this.  And yes, I do wander around wearing headphones like this all day.  How else am I supposed to listen to America's Greatest Hits album on loop for hours?

I got that chevron top up there from Old Navy for $3.50 or something like that.  It's a size large and is therefore quite a bit too big for me, but tying it at the waist semi-fixes the problem.  It also does that great falling-off-the-shoulder casually thing that I'm fond of.  I know that it'll become one of my summer staples because it's versatile.  I am also planning on making it part of my FOURTH OF JUL-OUTFIT, a term coined by my friend Amber two summers ago.  

Fourth of Jul-Outfit:  noun; the clothing combination one dons on the Fourth of July, an American holiday where we all wear red, white, and blue, drink too much, and risk taking off our limbs with sticks of fire.  There are also hotdogs and marshmallows.

The skirt is H&M (old, and another staple), and my LOBSTER FLIP-FLOPS are L.L.Bean.  You're jealous of them, aren't you?  What a summery outfit.  Clearly I am feelin' this season.

Okay, that's it for today.  As for Flirty Tankini, what would happen if you used it in a manicure with Essie Bikini So Teeny?  What the universe just implode due to adorable rhymes?  Something to ponder.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sephora by OPI Yellow My Name Is Betsey

Yellow and I don't play well together, let me start off by saying that.  I usually can't find a yellow that does anything for my skin tone, first of all, and then there's the terrible formula issue that is inherent with yellow pigment.  The only yellow I have ever loved on is Revlon Electric (supposedly a dupe for Chanel Mimosa).  But I gave Yellow My Name is Betsey a go.



The formula was as bad as I expected; thick and streaky.  On some nails I did two coats, on some three.  Clearly I needed three on all of them, but I didn't notice until after I'd put topcoat on already.



My decision to wear this one hinged on my outfit choice for today, a red and coral dress with all-over flamingo print.  It's a fun dress, very swingy and twirly.  

So, yellow.  Hit or miss with you guys, generally?  Any recommendations for other yellows aside from my beloved Revlon Electric?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wet n Wild 2% Milk and Little Surprises

I feel like this polish probably won't interest most of you guys, but I'm posting it anyway because milky sheers are an obsession of mine right now.  It actually took me a while to find this one.  I had been looking at every Walgreens I went into with no luck, and then yesterday I spotted it.




This is 2% Milk, a beige sheer jelly.  I really love how this makes my nails look.  The formula is absolutely fantastic for a sheer like this, with no streaking in sight.  I used two coats, but I think the color will build up to a bit more opacity with three.  2% Milk also has a sister, Wet n Wild Sugar Coat, that is equally as amazing if you're into this sort of look.


I had another really nice weekend.  It was my mom's birthday on Saturday so I got in some family time and had an amazing dinner.  On Sunday my boyfriend, Ben, had to wake up early to go to work.  Early enough that he told me I couldn't keep my eyes open when he tried to say goodbye to me.  I slept the lazy sleep of a Sunday morning, and when I finally woke up and stumbled my way to the kitchen I saw a bag strategically placed in my living room between the couch and the fireplace.



I wasn't wearing my glasses, and when I put them on and looked more closely I saw this.


Also this.


And this was inside the bag.


I had tried this dress on several weeks ago and fallen in love with it.  It's two different shades of green, there is a sash, there is also tulle under the skirt, and it has prehistoric-looking fish on it.  But, rarely is my love worth a full-price Anthro impulse buy, so we had left it at the store.  


I got to make this terrible joke after finding the gift, which was almost a gift in itself.



This gift combined with the flowers he brought me at the end of last week and the sunset we watched together at the lake on Sunday night is almost romance overload.  Hey, I said almost--in reality, I'm relishing it.  This man makes me feel special every day, and I'm wondering what I've done to deserve to be with this amazing person.  Maybe it's karma or fate or something equally as untenable; whatever it is, I'm thankful for it.

Anyway, happy summer.  Rest assured that I'll be drinking in the long days with 2% Milk all over my hands.


(P.S.  That Jason Wu for Target dress you see up there ^ was scored for $11.98 on clearance this weekend; yessssss)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sephora by OPI Alley Cat and XOX Betsey Dupe Status

Another Betsey Johnson polish for you today, especially of interest to me for its name.




This is $OPI Alley Cat, a blue-leaning berry pink.  It really strongly reminds me of OPI Ate Berries In the Canaries, released fall 2009 in Coleccion de Espana.  I don't have that one, so I can't do a comparison, but they look really similar.  This polish had a flawless formula, and I only needed two coats.  Also I totally thought this was a creme until I discovered some hidden shimmer.


SEE?  Right there on my middle finger?  You can even see it in the top of the bottle.  $OPI was sneaky with this one.

You may remember that I have a kitty named Alley.  Her full name is actually Alley Kat (yes, with a "k;" it's even on her vet records), so I love the name of this polish.


And here's the little monster.

Another reason I like this polish at the moment is because I'm really into wearing green right now, and I think a pink like this goes well.



Like this t-shirt dress that I got from H&M recently ($12.95).  First of all, ridiculously comfortable.  Second of all, I love the emerald color.  Especially with $OPI Alley Cat.  The jewel tones really complement each other.  Also, on my lips is the remains of Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart, which is a bright pink.  I'm in love with that product.  Perhaps more on that later if you guys are interested.

And lastly, as if this post wasn't long enough already, I tried to figure out if OPI Steady As She Rose might be a dupe for $OPI XOX Betsey.


On the top stripe is Steady As She Rose, and on the bottom is XOX Betsey.  Not dupes.  SASR is definitely more purple.  But I would also say that the difference is negligible if you're not super into grungy nudes (I am).  So, the search continues.

Okay, that's all for today.  Thanks for stopping by, as always.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sephora by OPI XOX Betsey

Last week I had lunch with my lovely friend Michelle from over at All Lacquered Up.  In addition to good food, good conversation and great company, Michelle almost always comes bearing generous gifts, and this was no exception.  When she pulled the mini set of $OPI Betsey Johnson polishes out of her purse I said, "I didn't even know these were a thing."  And that's how far behind I am in beauty news.








XOX Betsey is a total winner.  I put it on and knew that I would need a full-sized bottle.  It's a pinky opaque nude, and I see a drop of blue in it as well.  I love it.  It was perfect in two coats, even with the tiny mini brush on the tiny mini bottle.  After I put this one on I was trying to think of a dupe I may have for it.  OPI Miso Happy With This Color seems like it may be too red, while OPI Let Them Eat Rice Cake seems like it might not be red enough.  Zoya Kennedy might be a contender.  I'm going to have to check out the dupe status before I go splurge on a full-sized bottle of this one.  That's assuming these are even still at Sephora.  I feel totally out of the nail polish loop.  

Today marks the day when I need to get my ass in gear re:  museum work.  My boyfriend had a three-day weekend, and we spent every minute of it together.  I went to my third car show of the summer (it was hot and crowded and there were cars and also bugs), watched The Untouchables (yay), hung out with some of his friends, had dinner with my parents and grandmother for Father's Day, finished Six Feet Under with him, started Harper's Island with him, and went to an Indians game with him and another couple.  It feels so good to just relax, hold hands, and do stuff.  It feels like for the past year or so I was struggling to be happy, and now I know what happy feels like.  I want to grab that feeling and hold onto it, and that's my challenge these days.  But so far I'm doing pretty well.  My only lament is that my best friend moved to Boston.  It feels so weird to not text her and say, "I'm on my way over, let's order Chinese," or "I'll meet you at Starbucks in 15 minutes."  Instead it's "what'd you do today?"  But I'm getting used to it.

So, can anyone think of a dupe for $OPI XOX Betsey?  If you can, please let me know so I don't go spend $9 on this polish.  'Cause I wanna.  'Cause I love it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

BLACK LABEL: OPI Naples Syrup

This polish is an oldie.  But a goodie?  I'm not sure yet.




Naples Syrup is a lightish burnt orange with pink and gold shimmer.  I tried my hardest to get the pink shimmer to show up in the photos, but I was completely unsuccessful.  The polish was a tad sheer so I used three coats, but it has that fantastic chemical-laden OPI black label formula, so it went on smoothly and dried quickly.  I just can't decide if I like it.  I think it's a little too orange for me, even though from far away it looks sort of coral. 

This polish is from the Italian Collection, which brought us such favorites as Italian Love Affair and You're a Pisa Work.  Guys, the puns are OUT OF CONTROL in this collection.  For example, there is one called You Cannoli Imagine.  And here is where I beg:  if anyone has that polish and is willing to part with it, I need it.  Because of the name and because it's a nude.  IT'S NAMED AFTER CANNOLIS.



Sweet.  Jesus.  Ricotta.

Well, this post has devolved into my drooling over Italian pastry, so now is as good a time as any to end it.  Anyone else have Naples Syrup?  How do you feel about it?  Is it a keeper?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet

It seems that lately I'm addicted to pastels and brights, and I guess that's what's supposed to happen in the summertime, right?  After my love affair with e.l.f. Flirty Fuchsia ended (read:  after I removed the polish for the second time), I wasn't quite sure what to wear next.  Then I remembered that last week I had been craving a mint green, but I was at my friend's apartment and didn't have one around.  So today I found this polish from last year that I had never worn and that was languishing all alone-y on its own-y in my Helmer.




As mint greens go, this is a nice one.  I remember in 2009 when mints first became a thing, and I got Essie Mint Candy Apple and was so disappointed in it.  It was too blue and too chalky and too streaky. This polish is none of these things.  The formula is flawless, and even though the brush that came with it was wonky and stupid, I was still able to apply it fine in two coats.  Really, it's a pretty great polish for $1.99.  There's not that much to say about it; it's minty.

One of my favorite color combinations is mint and red (or turquoise and red), so I added a red belt to the little black dress I'm wearing today.


All in all, a success (with very minimal lobster hands).  

Ugh, guys, I have JURY DUTY tomorrow.  Sad.  Face.  Other than that, I've been filling my time working on this show:



It's going up at the Cleveland Museum of Art on July 1, so if you're in the area come check it out.  It's going to be beautiful.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coral Fixation: e.l.f. Flirty Fuchsia

I actually wore this polish last week until it chipped.  And then...listen to THIS...I took it off and immediately put it back on again.  That never happens!  But you all know about my love of coral polish, and although this one is called "Flirty Fuchsia"...well, look at it.





This is in fact a very soft, pink-leaning, coral jelly.  Guys, it's a jelly.  I got this in a four-pack of e.l.f. polishes from Target several months ago, and the entire package was only $5.  I did two coats here, and although there's some nail line visible it doesn't bother me.  In real life this does look a little pinker, but I still maintain that the "fuchsia" monicker is inaccurate.  It's coral.  And it might be my perfect coral.  The fact that it's a jelly made me totally fall in love with it.

And in thrifting news, this is my new favorite article of clothing.



I got this skirt at my local Avalon Exchange for under $10, and when I removed a still-attached dry cleaning tag, I discovered that it is J. Crew (circa 2006).  I'm wearing it as a high-waisted skirt here, but it's actually supposed to sit at the hips.  Sadly (or maybe not!) for me, this is a size 4, and I am not.  But my waist is about a size 2/4, so it works nicely if it sits at my natural waist.  Anyway, I'm sure you all know about my penchant for whimsical prints, and this definitely fits the bill.  It also looks pretty great with a cropped blazer, so I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this in the future.

That's all for today.  Has anyone else found these e.l.f. polishes at Target?  Any other perfect coral polishes to recommend?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Fuchsia Power

I've had a hard time deciding what to put on my nails recently.  I put on RBL Anne the other day, thought I had let it dry sufficiently, and then woke up with insane sheet marks, so I had to take it off.  Then I was all set to put on another green when a bright pink caught my eye.  Maybe I'm getting into the spirit of SUMMER.





There isn't really much earth-shattering to say about this one.  It's a fuchsia creme, a super blue-leaning bright pink.  I like it.  Actually, if I was going to wear a pink lipstick (and I do), I would wear one this color (like MAC Girl About Town, for example).  It's nice for summer, like I mentioned, and the formula is out-of-this-world amazing.  I used one coat here, and although it was thick, it was totally workable.  This makes me feel pretty girly, which is strange.  I constantly wear poofy skirts and dresses and heels, and I never feel particularly girly; but pink polish on my nails?  Girly city.

I did a little bit of pink on my toesies too:


My toes were already bright orange (I think it was NYC Times Square Tangerine), so I made one nail (middle one) fuchsia, and I put a diagonal fuchsia stripe on my big toes.  Kind of hard to see here, but it looks pretty cool.  I normally only wear totally neutral polishes on my toes (my favorites lately have been OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh and OPI Bare It In Trafalgar Square), so this is a big change-up for me.

I'm subconsciously ushering in summer with my polishes!  It's normally not my favorite season, but lately I've found myself aching for warm weather, for bathing suits and cold beers on the lake, for sun, for family, and for those long days where the sunlight doesn't fade until 9:30pm.  So hello June, it's nice to see you again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

China Glaze OMG

As in, "OMG, I'm blogging again."  A camera has been lent to me, so I'm back.






China Glaze OMG is pretty much a classic.  Strong, silver linear holo.  It's totally stunning, especially for summer, and although there are a lot of semi-dupes or dupes roaming around out there for this one, there's just something utterly appealing about the China Glaze version.  There are two problems with it: first, the formula sucks.  It's thin and runny, difficult to control; also it leaves bald spots even if you wait between coats.  I did three here, and there are still a couple weird spots.  Not that big a deal.  Second, I think that top coat dulls the holo effect, and I don't like not using top coat.  That having been said, this dries super quickly even without top coat, so it has that going for it.  Despite these issues, I say if you run across it buy it (although I just checked ebay and the prices for this one are ridiculous) and if you have it cherish it.

In other news, I got an apartment in Manhattan.  Without ever leaving Cleveland!  If I had things my way I'd probably never leave Cleveland, but that's irrelevant.  I got a place through my school's graduate housing; I didn't think that would happen because there was a waiting list, but I got lucky.  The place is in East Harlem, and although this doesn't sound great I am placated by two things:  first, apparently the neighborhood is "becoming trendy," so that sounds semi-promising, and second, if Alfred Stieglitz took photographs of it the place is okay by me:



Speaking of Stieglitz...what do you guys think of the new Rescue Beauty Lounge Georgia O'Keeffe collection?  As someone who's going to get a doctorate in American art and who also loves nail polish I'm interested, but I'm kind of bummed there are no New York inspired polishes.  Sometimes when I think of O'Keeffe I think of flowers and the desert, but mostly I think of Manhattan.  




BUT I'm also obsessed with early twentieth century images of Manhattan, so maybe that's just me.  Maybe the collection was only inspired by desert.  Not entirely sure.  


Anyway, that's all for now.  Anyone have another silver holo they love more than China Glaze OMG? If so, I'd love to hear about it!