Friday, May 31, 2013

Ice Truck Killer Nails/I'm Back

I really meant to do an I'm-going-away-for-a-week post before I left for Cleveland but I just didn't have time.  But I'm back now, and I have a little bit of a backlog of polishes to show you.  This post actually won't be terribly informative nail polish-wise because I don't remember the names of all most of the polishes I used.






Ben was the one who had the foresight to take these pictures for me, so that was nice of him.  Yes, that is a fishing pole in my hand.  I went fishing.  By that I mean that Ben baited the hook and took the fish off if/when I caught anything.  So I guess technically what I'm saying is that I held a fishing pole.  At least I casted and reeled in the fish myself?  

I did my nails with my cousin Mattie.  She did a different color on all ten of her fingers (which we forgot to photograph), and so I decided to do [almost] the same thing.  I chose five colors:  Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fuchsia Power, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away, Sinful Colors Dream On, and two Funky Fingers (a yellow and a green) whose names I don't remember.  All of these were Mattie's polishes.  When my aunt saw my nails she promptly said, "You have Ice Truck Killer nails."  Which made me laugh pretty hard.  You may remember a similar look here.

 [source]
 [source]

Oh first season of Dexter:  you were amazing.  Anyway, I liked how this looked for a fun weekend with family, and I kept it on until the fuchsia color chipped.




I was pretty surprised when I ended up catching a couple fish.  As you can see, I was not keen on the idea of having them anywhere near me.  I like fish.  I like watching them swim around in a tank and I watch documentaries about them constantly.  But I do not want to touch them, ever and at all.  Occasionally I will eat them, but I didn't tell these fish that.  


Ben was way better at fishing and also posing with a fish.  It's okay to be jealous, ladies.  

I had a really wonderful trip and I can honestly say that seven days have never gone by more quickly for me.  I had a problem leaving New York last week because of all of those tornadoes happening.  My plane sat on the runway for three and a half hours.  Somewhere into hour two and after I had watched Wreck-It Ralph and read four chapters of a book, I called Ben crying, "I just want to come home!"  I cried on a plane full of strangers who were also angry, hot, and tired.  In the end I made it home several hours late, and we didn't crawl into bed until 2:30 in the morning on Thursday.  

The next day we had a wedding to go to.  The ceremony was outside and it poured.  Despite that, it was one of the loveliest ceremonies I've ever been to.  It actually made me cry, and that has never happened to me before.  

 wedding attire
have I ever told you guys that...I'm a total ham?

Anyway, it was a very nice day.  After that Sam flew in from Boston and we headed down to the lake.


I had a really lovely time.  It was a busy time.  But I saw two friends get married, saw Gatsby with Ben, got to spend time with Sam and family (those things are synonymous by now), made s'mores, fell asleep on Ben's lap to the tv (falling asleep in front of the tv is literally my favorite thing EVER and I love being able to do it), went to a Memorial Day rib cookout with friends, ate Indian food with my parents, and did a beach trip with Ben (photos to come).  That time went by so quickly, but I love that I'm making memories.  And even more, I'm glad that I have a partner who doesn't mind capturing them.  Because I'm awful at taking pictures.


Like this picture, which is of a sign that reads:  "Directions for detour in blue container.  Help yourself. $1.00 donation appreciated!  Take a pop or water.  Have a great day!"  Man, this was just the epitome of central Ohio.  We were on a country road and all of a sudden found it blocked.  We had no idea where to go, but when we looked to our right we saw this helpful little station.  We did indeed take some directions (we didn't take any refreshments), and in no time we were around the detour and going the right way again.  It was pretty funny.

So anyway, I'm back in New York now and it's sweltering.  I'm trying really hard not to turn on my air conditioner because MONEY, but it's 90 degrees and I think I'm going to give in eventually.  Happily, though, in one week Ben is coming back to New York and we're planning all kinds of things to do.  Now that I'm just working 9-5 I feel like I have so much free time.  I'm not studying for any tests or stressing about any reading or papers.  Yesterday I got home from work and I read a book, you guys.  For pleasure.  I haven't done that in YEEEEAAARRRS.  I will probably get bored eventually, but for now I'll be finding more than enough YouTube makeup tutorials, tv shows, movies, books, and MUSEUMS to occupy my time.  

I'll talk to you all next week!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Maybelline Vivids: Hot Plum

Pretty much every spring around this time I start going crazy over lip products.  This spring is no exception, and I've found a line of lipsticks that I'm totally obsessed with, and the beauty community seems to agree.  A couple years ago when I was first getting into lipstick, the first one I bought was a Maybelline (in Red Revival).  I've always really liked their lipsticks (especially the smell, which is nice and sort of buttercreamy), so I was totally delighted when I found the Vivids line with the same formula, same nice smell, and same awesome staying power.  I picked up two of the Vivids lipsticks:  Hot Plum and Vivid Rose.  I haven't tried the latter yet, but I've been wearing the former for a week now and I have to share it with you because I'm so into it.

Here it is on me.   
I love the color of the tube!  It's like a weird combination of neon orange, pink and red.  It's so neat.

Arm swatches.  Vivid Rose on the left and Hot Plum on the right.

Hot Plum is a bright pink that leans purple.  I wouldn't call it a plum, I'd call it more of a purple-leaning fuchsia.  I just love this lipstick.  Like I said, I have a soft spot for Maybelline lippies.  They apply really nicely, have a really lovely formula, have wonderful coverage, and feel lighter than most creme lipstick formulas.  I find that they typically last for about 4 hours on me without touchups.  This color is totally perfect for spring.  It's also nice because lately I've been really into pink makeup.  I never thought I'd like pink eyeshadow, but I just can't help myself.



I've been loving this little drugstore quad by Revlon (Berry Bloom), which I've had for years and I've just started using.  Used sparingly, I think pink looks great on the eyes.  It's so happy.  And now I'll have lips to match!  

You can find the Maybelline Vivids lipsticks in most drugstores for between $6-8, depending on where you are.  I've heard that some people have found them at Target for as little as around $5.50, so do be on the lookout for that.  

I am soooo ready for summer.  I can't wait to raid my lipstick collection, which is still at my parents' house, when I go home this week...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Leopard Print Freehand

I'm going to ignore the fact that this was completely a product of finals procrastination and just tell you that I'm kind of excited that this leopard print was so delightfully easy to achieve.


 AND...the elusive animal that I like to call:  my right hand

I mean, it doesn't look AMAZING, but it looks PRETTY GREAT for my first time trying this.  Here are the polishes I used:


The base is OPI My Vampire is Buff (last seen here), the metallic dots are Funky Fingers Pink Pixels (courtesy of Rach and last seen here, during my finals frenzy of last semester), and NYC Black Lace.  This might need very little explanation, but I'll tell you how I did this anyway.  I started off with two and a half coats of the OPI.  Some nails needed a third, hence the "and a half."  Then, I used a bent bobby pin to dot on the Funky Fingers in rather asymmetric blobs.  The nice thing about this is that it doesn't have to be perfect.  Lastly, I used the black and a little paint brush to trace around the dots on either side and put random splotches on the empty spaces because HORROR VACUI.  I let it dry for a while and then topped it off with a thick coat of Seche.  


With leopard jeans and leopard plushie from the my trip to the Columbus Zoo in January.  Ben (and also my parents) will readily tell you that I have "TOO MANY STUFFED ANIMALS," but I can't help myself.  They are my preferred souvenir and have been since I was a little girl.
See?  What a pal.

Today I have my last exam (that I feel completely unprepared for) around 4:15.  Last night I was feeling kind of like


But this morning I'm kind of all


So I don't even know, you guys.

But after this bitch is over I plan to go downtown and have SEVERAL drinks.

I still have one paper left to finish, and it remains to be seen whether or not I'll finish it before I leave for CLE Wednesday night.  I'll try my best.  It's not due until the 31st, but it would be nice to turn in before I go.  My friend Chelsea is getting married on Thursday and I'm going back for the wedding/for my family's Memorial Day festivities at the lake house.  My best friend Sam flies in from Boston on Friday night, and we'll roadtrip with Ben down to the lake.  To say I'm looking forward to it would be an understatement.  I'm looking forward to it so much that I've actually been trying not to think about it because it's distracting.  I get distracted enough as it is anyway.  Oh, and because I subjected you guys to my German woes, I can now proudly tell you that I got an A- in the class.  Take that, Freud.

Okay, wish me luck.  I'll probably study all the way up to the exam today and then just hope that intelligible things spill out of my brain-parts.  And, of course, there will be much coffee.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CoverGirl Coral Silk and Weekend Recap and Photos

I have lots of things to share.  First is this CoverGirl polish, Coral Silk.  This new CoverGirl line has received rave reviews all around so I knew I had to try one.  And duh, I picked one of the corals.




First thing's first:  the junk around my cuticles is dried topcoat.  I...had no idea that was there.  Because, you know, it's clear.  Anyway, the first two pictures are sun, the third is in shade.  As you can see, this coral is really bright and it also leans orange.  It's nice.  If I had been in the room when they were naming this color I would have suggested KAPOW! Coral.  Because it's pretty in-your-face.  The formula was fine, but a little thick and streaky.  I did two coats but I probably could have used three.  Ben bought me this polish back at the end of March and I just got around to using it.

Oh, and speaking of Ben, he came to visit me this past weekend.  I didn't write anything about it last week because I was just so stressed out (German is over, yay!!!!).  He arrived on Friday and we had the best time.  We went to The Met (well, sort of; he waited for me there and wandered around the galleries while I had my class), MoMA, The American Museum of Natural History, and to see Iron Man 3.  I have a million some pictures.

 here's Ben with Three Musicians, which he was very excited to see in person
here's me absolutely losing my shit over Christina's World, which I do literally every time I see it.
I was probably saying, "HE USED TEMPERA, BEN.  LOOK AT THE GRASS DETAIL.  LOOK AT IT."
 Ben and the new video game installation
Pollock and me


one of my favorite parts of MoMA (and I have several) is Serra's Delineator, which is sheets of steel on floor and ceiling that visitors are encouraged to walk on.  I did an extended twirl session much to the amusement of many a bystander.  But I really love how these turned out.
this is probably the best photo taken of us to date and needs little explanation
 Ben had the Big piano all to himself for a blissful few minutes
aaaaand candy
outside the natural history museum
 clearly he's standing totally still because we've heard that that dinosaur's vision is based on movement
 there is an area on the first floor at the museum where there is a life-sized blue whale suspended from the ceiling and you can lie down under it and look up.  you can see part of the front of the whale near the top of the picture.  I was so tired of walking at this point that I didn't want to get up.
 I had my first cherry-dipped something-or-other (it was good)
Central Park

I was afraid that a visit from Ben would be totally debilitating in terms of schoolwork, but it seems to have worked out really well.  I took all of last weekend off and just tried to relax.  As soon as he left on Monday I started studying for my final.  But I miss him so much already.  On Saturday night after we got home from MoMA he said to me, "I can't believe all the things I've seen today."  MoMA is such a big deal!  And I was glad that he liked it and could appreciate it.  And that I could be there to hold his hand and say, "LOOK AT THIS ONE.  THIS ONE.  IS SO.  IMPORTANT" every three minutes.

Anyway, that's all.  I may be scarce for the next week or so because I'm doing lots of fellowship hours and studying for my exam and finishing my last paper.  I'll be really glad when school is over.  Oh, and does anyone have a favorite polish out of the new CoverGirl line?  I'm eager to try a couple more.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Dear Dad, or: Lippmann Rockin' Robin

Dear dad,

I have to say, as far as dads go, you're my favorite one.  I might be biased, but we'll just leave it at that.  Remember that amazon gift card you sent me?  I know you may have thought I'd use it to enrich my mind in some way, maybe buy a book or even a DVD or something.  But one word flashed through my mind when I held the card in my hot little hands:  LIPPMANN.  This might not mean much to you, dad.  But to me it was an opportunity to own a ridiculously expensive bottle of nail polish and I jumped at the chance.  I blew that whole gift card on this little bottle.  Sometimes I tend to sort of build things up in my head.  This is gonna be AWESOME, I thought as I eagerly awaited my package.  And guess what?  It's awesome.





You enabled this, dad.  And so, thank you.  I haven't been this excited about a bottle of nail polish in a very long time.  I love everything about this.  The nice minty-blue color, the little black hex glitter, the way the first coat of glitter gets covered up but sort of peeks through (three coats shown here).  I have been nail-gazing allllll week because of this polish.  It was something little (but kind of big because Lippmann) to get excited about in the middle of my finals distress.

Sadly it also makes me want to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, which, as you know, is among my favorite ice cream flavors.  

This polish will get a special spot in my stash (or in the vase on my windowsill I have taken to calling The Polish House).  

Your favorite [only] child,
Steff

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Tess Collection: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mystic Lilac

My grandmother really loved the dollar store and our regional northeast Ohio drug store, Drug Mart.  I'm willing to bet that she got this polish from Drug Mart, and I could probably tell you exactly which store it came from.  I remember the collection that this polish came in, because it also had one of my favorite polishes ever in it, Concrete.  But today we're talking about Mystic Lilac.







I know I have a bottle of this polish in my own collection.  It's just so interesting.  The base is sort of a purple-tined gray, and it has vibrant green shimmer.  It's very, very pretty.  The only problem with it is that it's incredibly sheer.  I used four (pretty thin) coats here, and you can still see my nail line if you look hard enough.  But despite the multiple coats and watery formula, this dried pretty quickly with the addition of some Seche.  I think that Concrete may have been paired with this one in a collection in order to facilitate layering.  The base color of Concrete is pretty close to Mystic Lilac, just denser.

I really missed my grandma last week.  I've been a little desperate for someone to talk to, and I knew that I could always call her if I was lonely.  Because she was probably lonely too.  I'm still very much getting used to not being able to call her.  Sometimes I get as far as opening up my contacts and scrolling to her name.  Sometimes I wonder what she would say to me in this situation or that one, etc.  Lately I've been thinking about when I was talking to her about keeping my maiden name after I got married.  My mom was there too, and she told me I should change it.  But my grandma was like, "I think you should keep it!"  What a modern lady.  For this month's post I thought I'd share a photo of my grandma and grandpa at their wedding (in honor of setting our wedding date to coincide with theirs):


I think this picture is sweet.  My grandpa looks really happy.  I can't tell about my grandma, though.  I mean, I'm sure she was happy; it was her wedding day.  Maybe she just really wanted to eat that cake.  Because I really want to eat that cake.  Also I love their little cake topper.  

I had a pretty combination awesome/crappy weekend.  On Friday I met up with a family friend who bought me dinner and then took me to Macbeth.  Which was amazing.  It was a one-man show, so Alan Cumming played pretty much every single role.  Then I stayed at her hotel with her.  Even though she had to leave the next morning, she let me stay until check-out.  So I woke up in a nice, cushy bed in a dark, dark room (hotels on Times Square have THE BEST blackout curtains; they have to because of all the lights--I often wonder how the city can justify that electric bill), and then I took myself shopping at Forever21.  Among a couple other things, I got this necklace for $1.80 that I'm kind of obsessed with.



I forgot how happy a little shopping could make me (pretty happy).  The rest of the weekend was emotionally and mentally trying, and I'm so ready to just give up.  After my German final on Thursday I'll feel so much better.  

Probably.