Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year Over and A New One Just Begun

Even though this post is going up on New Year's Eve, I have to tell you that this is not in fact what I'm wearing today because this manicure chipped almost immediately.  But oh, it was just beautiful and I loved wearing it.  Remember in my last post when I told you that I didn't want to wear anything but Essie Hors D'Oeuvres for the rest of the year?  Well, I wasn't exaggerating.

I wanted to put more of a rose gold base under Hors D'Oeuvres, so I chose Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Style Steel.  I think if I had only used one coat of the Essie it would have read as more rosy, but I couldn't resist using two coats because THIS GLITTER IS EVERYTHING.  So it ended up looking more silver.  But you can still see the rose base in the second to last picture!  I wanted a pinkish base because I wanted to sort of try to make my nails complement a new watch that I got the day after Christmas, which looks like this:

Forgot to take my own picture of it (#lazy), but I'm sure you'll see it on me soon.  This is actually my very first watch; I've never worn one before.  Ben loves watches, and one day we were at Macy's poking around the watch case, and the rose gold ones caught my eye.  In the end I chose this very small and simple rose gold Fossil with a blush face (for a drastically reduced price...TJ Maxx holla), and I've really been loving it.  

In other news, Ben is sick.  On Sunday he woke up with 102 degree fever, so I took him to the doctor.  After an incredibly long wait in a room full of incredibly sick people (my paranoia was in full swing.  my immune system seems to be tiny and sad), the doctor told him he "might" have the flu, did a test, and prescribed Tamiflu.  I spent the day taking care of him, running around buying soup and filling prescriptions, etc.  All day I felt like I was in a giant bubble of virus.  I went to Panera to pick up some chicken noodle, and when I started to place my order the girl who worked there covered her mouth and yelled, "OH GOD I'M GONNA PUKE" and then literally ran away.  Perhaps needless to say, I left Panera and went somewhere else.  Gross.  Poor girl.  Much like the holidays last year, I've spent a lot of my time disinfecting and being really worried that I will also get sick.  I probably will, but dammit, I'm rubbing everything down with isopropyl alcohol and Lysol anyway.  

I know last year I did sort of a reflection post about 2012.  I'm not going to do that for 2013.  Mostly because I don't want to reflect on it too much.  I lost one of the people who I truly loved in my life; I moved again; I'm trying to start over.  I'm still looking for my path, but at least I'm settled.  So that's all for reflections.  

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's Eve (I have no idea what I will be doing; we were invited to several parties, but depending on how we're both feeling...we might be in bed by 11 and watching Netflix while the ball drops).  And this is not the last you'll be seeing of Essie Hors D'Oeuvres!  Even though it chips immediately I'm planning on putting it right back on in some way.  Get excited.

Talk to you in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top 10 Beauty Products of 2013

I don't just have an obsession with nail polish, you guys.  It's most beauty products in general.  I always like to try out new things to see what works for me, and during the course of this year I've found some gems (along with some duds, but those won't be included here).  This post will cover my top ten favorite products that I've been using this year (not necessarily 2013 releases, just things I've been loving).  So here we go, in no particular order:

First, my absolute favorite thing EVER from 2013:


Okay, for real this time:

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted

I remember when I got this perfume I texted Sam and said, "today I got a really embarrassing celebrity perfume," and she said, "you mean like, Taylor Swift?  Or like Justin Bieber?"  Luckily it was the former.  Wonderstruck Enchanted is the follow up to Wonderstruck, and is slightly sweeter and fruitier with an oriental flair (the notes are actually berries, passionfruit, poppy, peony, champaca petals, vanilla, white musk, white freesia, and blond woods; I get a lot of cashmere-scent on the dry-down for me, and that's why I like it). Normally I really don't like fruity fragrances, but all throughout the autumn months I just couldn't get enough of it.  Now that it's winter I'll probably be switching to Dior Addict, which I consider my signature scent and which I rely on heavily in the wintertime every year, but I had a great run with Wonderstruck Enchanted, and I'll definitely go back to it frequently (Ben loves it).  Also, how lovely is that bottle?  Even if it's a little tacky, I love the little charms and the holographic overlay.  I'm a sucker for packaging.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

yeah, this is...loved.

I remember the day that I talked myself into buying this.  Ben and I were at Ulta in January, right before my grandmother died, and as I was turning this little palette over in my hands I said, "I think I would use this every day."  And oh, was I right.  I've used it so much that I've hit pan on Naked2 and I'm about to hit pan on W.O.S.  I've read some reviews that say the shadows in Naked Basics aren't pigmented enough, but I completely disagree.  I think they're lovely mattes with a great formula, and I think all of them are completely perfect.  I mean, you can just tell from the slightly gross picture that this is an extremely loved palette.  I reach for it literally every single day; if I don't do my entire eye look from here, then I at least use Naked2 as a transition shade.  Because it is perfect.  $27 very well spent.  I highly recommend this.

Skin79 Super+ BB Triple Function (Hot Pink)

BB creams were definitely a trend this past year, and I got in on it.  First I tried one from Maybelline and it was very unkind to my skin (all of February I had breakouts; finally I traced it to the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream).  I decided to abandon American BBs and go straight to an Asian one.  I got the Hot Pink Skin79 BB from Amazon for around $15 and I really like it.  I don't ask a lot of my foundations or tinted moisturizers; I've been blessed with pretty good skin, so all I really want them to do is provide sun protection, even out my skin tone, and cover the occasional blemish.  This BB cream does all of those things, has a lovely consistency, and matches my skin tone really well (it's supposed to adjust to match any skin tone, but I'm dubious about that; I'm already extremely pale so this one happens to work for me).  I smear it on, set it with some powder, and I'm good to go.  I recommend this for anyone who's currently in the market for a product like this.  It hasn't done me wrong yet.

Rimmel Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer in Fair

My biggest skin problem is dark circles.  I have them no matter how much I sleep, no matter how much water I drink, etc etc.  I need something to cover them up, and trust me, I've tried a lot of things.  I found Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer at Duane Reade one rainy day in NYC and decided to try it.  I love this stuff.  It, quite simply, does the job.  A little bit under my eyes in a triangle shape and blended with my ring fingers makes the discoloration go away, and, bonus, it brightens the undereye area.  I'm on my fourth tube of this now, and I'm running pretty low on it.  One month I decided to try Benefit Erase Paste (which is quite expensive) and it didn't hold a candle to this cheapie drugstore concealer that you can pick up for about $6 depending where you live.  For Christmas my mom got me Benefit Fake-Up (upon request), so we'll see if I like it better than my Rimmel.  If you have a problem with dark circles or discoloration under your eyes, I'd check this stuff out.  It's readily available and, for me at least, it works.  

Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara

This is one case where I have to admit that advertising worked.  When I visited Ben over Memorial Day I watched some tv and kept seeing commercials for this mascara.  When I got back to NYC I picked myself up a tube.  Now, the formula itself is just okay.  It's nothing special.  It works.  But the reason that I like this product is because of the "microbrush," or small wand that you're supposed to use for your bottom lashes.  I actually use this tiny wand on my top lashes every. single. day for my first coat of mascara, no matter which mascara I intend to use for my second coat.  It catches every little eyelash and separates them really nicely.  Sometimes for a more natural look (which, let's be honest, I almost never really want) I'll just apply one coat of mascara on my top and bottom lashes using the tiny wand for both.  It really gives a nice effect.  And I'll repurchase this product just for that.

Revlon Matte Balms

wearing Striking

Some of you may remember when I sang the praises of the Revlon Kissable Balm Stains (my favorite is Smitten), so when I heard that Revlon had released a matte version, I was all over them.  I have three now and I love them all (my favorite is Striking).  If you liked the Kissable Balm Stains, then I highly recommend these.  There are some differences, though.  For example, the matte versions don't stain per se.  They might leave a little bit of color on the lips after hours of wear, but they don't stain like the Balm Stains do.  The mattes also don't apply quite as evenly and take two coats and a little bit of effort to look perfect.  But that's okay, because when they look perfect, they really do look perfect.  My favorite thing about them is that when you're wearing them you literally feel like you're not wearing anything.  I've forgotten that I'm wearing any lip product a couple times while using these and accidentally smeared all of it off onto a napkin.  Anyway, I love these and I want them all.

Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette

I picked up this palette late last winter when Coastal Scents was having a major sale.  I paid something like $11 for it, and it was totally worth it.  When it got to me I was so excited, and I used this on my eyes all spring and summer (often with a base of NYX Milk to make the colors pop; full disclosure).  There are endless combinations you can do with this bad boy, and I still love it.  Each eyeshadow is about the size of a dime, and most of them are really great quality.  This is still my only Coastal Scents purchase, but I'd definitely be willing to give more of their products a try.

Jordana INCOLOR FabuLiner Liquid Eye Liner

This Jordana eyeliner pen is probably the most repurchased item in my makeup arsenal.  I'm on probably my fifth one of these, and I will keep going back for more.  First, they're dirt cheap.  Regular price they're something like $4.95; last time I bought a new one I got it on sale for $2.50.  This is just a no frills felt-tip eyeliner pen.  It works, it can draw a thick or thin line, and it lasts for a long time if stored properly (horizontally).  Almost every picture of me you've seen with a cat eye is courtesy of this little pen.  Right now I'm giving L'Oreal Super Slim liner a go, but honestly, I like this Jordana liner a lot better.

Texture Nail Trend:  Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Sour Apple

I.  Love.  The.  Texture.  Trend.  I still love the texture trend.  I think my favorite one was Sour Apple by Sally Hansen.  For some reason I found it so incredibly interesting, and I remember I couldn't stop looking at my nails and feeling them.  Also I just absolutely adored the minty green color.  I already did a whole post on that polish, so I'll just link you to it here. 

MAC Stereo Rose

blended out (left) and heavily swatched (right)

I never used to wear blush, but this year I got into it.  Sometimes I felt like a light coverage foundation or a BB cream just left my face looking totally flat, so I was in search a nice blush.  I actually had MAC Stereo Rose sitting around from its 2010 re-release, and I hadn't touched it.  So I got it out.  Turns out I absolutely LOVE IT.  It gives my face the loveliest rosy glow, and I still wear it at least once a week.  Since my discovery of Stereo Rose I've branched out to the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes (I'm particularly enamored of Blissful, and I'm lusting over Exposed), but this MAC MSF is still my favorite.  

So there you have it!  My ten favorite products of 2013.  I have a bunch of new ones to try out now from Christmas (thanks mom and aunties!), so it'll be interesting to see how the list changes.  Stay tuned for one more nail post for the year!  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

And here begins my very favorite polish combination I've used all year, China Glaze Mingle With Kringle topped with Essie Hors d'oeuvres.  


To honor Christmas morning, I'm in pajamas wearing no makeup.  Actually it's because I've been sick the past few days and I haven't put on makeup since Saturday.

Can you even believe how beautiful this is?  I might not wear anything else but Essie Hors d'oeuvres for the rest of 2013 because it's that awesome.  I used one coat of Mingle With Kringle and two coats of the Essie, which is a sheer glitter topper with iridescent gold and silver microglitter and larger silver hex glitter.  I'm pretty sure it could be opaque on its own, though.  But I wanted more of a gold vibe for Christmas, so I decided to layer it.  

I hope that everyone has the happiest of holidays (if you're into that sort of thing).  From all of us here at Short 'n Chic...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

With Candy Canes and Silver Lanes That Glow...

Guys, we got snow up in here.  Between Saturday and Sunday we got at least seven inches, and now as I sit here writing this more little flakes are falling.  I know it's not technically winter yet, but in Cleveland, trust me, it's winter.  This year I really didn't get many holiday-themed polishes.  Actually, I think I only got Mingle With Kringle, and that was sent to me by PR.  I guess things haven't really been speaking to me lately.  I did pick up a Sinful Colors glitter, called Glimmer (which makes me think of The Hunger Games, and which I have mistakenly been calling "glisten" for the past month) OH MY GOD IT'S CALLED GILDED.  Reader Marija just commented and told me that.  It's hilarious because I read the bottom of the bottle RIGHT BEFORE I WROTE THIS and still got the name wrong.  UGH.  I remember my friend Sam got it too, and she used it for her Thanksgiving manicure.  I was unsure about what to do with it.  Most people have been pairing it with a vampy color so, as is my nature, I went in the opposite direction.

First I did two coats of OPI Barre My Soul, then one coat of Glimmer Gilded, then one more of Barre My Soul.  Now, if it was sunny (which it may never be again, who knows) you would be able to see the lovely golden/iridescent glitter in Glimmer Gilded.  I can still see it in real life, but in photos it's harder to see.  The red glitter is really noticeable, though, and I like the effect that Barre My Soul gave it.  I don't think I have to tell you that this OPI is basically the end-all-be-all of jelly sheers.  Oh, it's just the best.  Its only issue is that it seems to flood my cuticles a little every time I use it, but I don't caaaaaaaaaare.  

Glimmer Gilded was very thick for a glitter polish.  I think it might be able to be opaque with three or four coats.  I recommend it if you're currently peeing yourself over rose gold like I am.  I mean, I changed my wedding colors to blush and coral (and gold), I'm lusting--LUSTING--over a rose gold watch and a blush coat, and I practically yelped with glee when Urban Decay released Naked3 in tones of, you guessed it, pink (you may remember waaaaay back in May when I mentioned that I've been really into pink eyeshadows--that obsession never went away).  So anyway, in the bottle at least, Glimmer Gilded looks PRETTY rose gold-y.  I think you could do a lot with this glitter, so it's worth checking out.

There is not much other news here.  Ben is on a long trip so I'm by myself.  And I'm on a strict diet so I want to kick almost everyone I come in contact with.  I am at my Scary Weight, which is the exact same weight, to the pound, that I was at last time I decided I was a fatass (at the end of last January).  Enter diet.  Right before Christmas probably wasn't the best time to decide to diet, but I'm doing it.  I will feel much better 12 pounds from now, and I will keep telling myself that every time I feel like I need to eat a cookie or have a peppermint mocha (even a skinny one, because those aren't great for you either--SADLY).  Other than that, I have been Christmas-ing.

Got a tree for my parents' house with my dad, which is our tradition.  That day it was like 20 degrees out (not too bad), but with windchill it was roughly negative A MILLION, so we picked pretty much the first tree we saw, tied it to the roof, and got the hell out of dodge.  But I made him take this picture of me first.  Those are my I-Mean-Buisness boots.

Ben and I watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2 while I tried to avoid wrapping the cat.  It's funny; during my first marathon present wrapping session Remy stayed totally away from me.  He sat in his cat tree, which you can see above my hat, and supervised me.  But then on this particular day when I brought the paper out I couldn't keep him away.  He's a little weirdo.

That's all for today.  I'll try to have another post for you later this week!  I'm still trying to decide what to do for Christmas nails, so if anyone has any suggestions, come at me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shopping My Stash: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses

Guys, this is our last Shopping My Stash post for 2013.  I can't believe it.  That time, it sure does fly.  I've had China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses since 2010 and, this is a little bit of a cheat, I actually used it EXACTLY a year ago to do some holiday polka dots (see?).  In that post from December 13, 2012 a bunch of people commented and told me to give Mistletoe Kisses a chance for a full manicure.  I promised I would, and dammit, here we are.  Finally.

Here's Remy-cat looking as majestic as ever after his Christmas neuter.  He came home and proceeded to not rest at all, as the vet told me he should want to, but to tear the living room apart and climb and jump off of every high surface in our apartment.  He also ripped every bow off of every present that I had just wrapped (it was cute).  I'm hoping I don't have to confine him to a small room to chill out while he heals.  I guess we'll have to see.

wearing Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum and my new sparkly sweater (thrifted!)

This is a wonderful polish, just as I knew it would be.  It's sort of an icy, minty...wintergreen-y?...jelly base filled with either silver or green glitter.  I'm not sure which.  I have its pinkish-red mate, Mrs. Claus (featured most recently for Valetine's Day 2012 here), and I definitely love that one too.  Since it has a jelly-esque formula, this polish required three coats to be opaque.  But it dried quickly and applied well, if a little thickly, so I'm very happy with it.  Plus the best part is the name.  Mistletoe Kisses.  You've got to be happy knowing you're wearing a polish with such an adorable name.  

And I regret waiting literally three years to use this one as a Christmastime manicure, yes.  Lesson learned.

We gave Remy his Christmas present early!  It's a little stainless steel water fountain.

Dont worry, we wrapped the cord up a little and removed the [very enticingly edible for a baby cat] bow after I took the picture

He always likes to drink out of the faucets when we brush our teeth or wash our hands, so we thought he might like this.  He sort of played in it instead of drinking from it the first time, but I think he's getting the hang of it.  We're definitely in the Christmas spirit over here.  First gift given, many more to come.

Okay, that's all for me.  Make sure you head on over to stuff i (s)watched to see what Rach has for you today, and I'll talk to you all next week!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Silver and Gold Decorations on Every Christmas Tree

For the longest time I had resisted the siren song of the Wet n Wild Fergie collab polishes.  They're old enough now that they're no longer in their own special display at my Walgreens, but have been relegated to play with all the other Wet n Wild products on the regular display along the wall.  One day I was taking a peek at some eyeshadow trios when I noticed a silver with gold glitter, Going Platinum.  I swear, all by itself it jumped into my basket (CREEPY, right?).  I had already planned on the gold not being prominent enough on the nail to get the look I wanted, so I had my trusty bottle of OPI Dazzled By Gold handy for one thin layer.  Et voila!  Silver and gold.

sorry about my finger boo-boo :(

I'd say that if you like silvers, Going Platinum would be a good one to pick up.  It's unique (to my collection) because of the specks of gold in it (although it bears some similarity to OPI Designer, de Better!, which is actually one of my favorite polishes; I wore it for like a week and a half straight back in August).  I like gold enough that I felt it needed a little more, but if you're into silver then I say bring it home.  Its formula was fine, and it only needed two coats.  

This past Saturday I decided to do a baking experiment and see if I could bake an Oreo into a cupcake. All I did was drop a whole cookie into the cupcake paper before I poured the batter, and BAM, cookiecake.  Observe:

looks like a normal cupcake


:) :) :)

I described the color of this frosting as "terrifyingly blue."

I made these for my friend's 30th birthday and they were a hit.  As soon as people found out there was an Oreo hidden at the bottom of the cupcake they were basically gone.  I've been interested in baking lately, so these were a fun experiment.

Today Remy is having his man-bits lopped off.  Merry Christmas, little guy.  Hopefully everything goes well.  I do worry about him (when I made the appointment I was like, "BUT IS THAT VET THE *BEST* VET YOU HAVE?" [the answer was yes, she owns the clinic]), and I hate doing this to him.  But it's necessary.  He's almost six months old, so it's almost time for him to start spraying to mark his territory.  No thanks, buddy.  No thanks.  

That's all for today.  I'll see you all on Friday with an update about the newly "altered" Remy and a Shopping My Stash post!