Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zoya Piaf: Meh

After missing it last year, this year I decided to do the Zoya three free thingy.  I spent a long time poring over swatches for my last two polishes, but the first one I chose was a no-brainer:  Piaf.  You see, one of my very favorite polishes ever is an oldie but a goodie:  Sally Hansen Salon Forsythia from a Tracy Reese collection of yore (you can see it on me here, and if you REALLY want a throw-back, here).  Piaf reminded me of the color of Forsythia, so I knew I wanted it...because Forsythia has a really awful formula.  So, without further ado:

Okay, so here's the thing.  I actually put this on twice.  The first time I put it on was at night in dim light.  I did my normal two coats and thought that it looked like I had visible nail line.  So I did a third.  But then I felt like I could still see my nail line.  So I did a fourth.  A fourth!  Then I put on some topcoat, watched Dance Moms, and went to bed.  Of course I woke up in the morning with horrendous sheet marks.  I got kind of irritated.  I googled Piaf to see what other bloggers had said about it, and everyone said it was opaque at two coats.  I was confused.  Even Christine over at Temptalia said it was opaque at two coats, and she is usually a pretty tough and honest reviewer.  So I took it off and started all over again.  I used thicker coats and just stopped at two.  That's what you see in the pictures above.  And, as you can CLEARLY SEE, this is not opaque.  Not at all.  But I just couldn't handle doing four coats again.

Here's a sunlight picture.  You can see how streaky it is, especially on my pinky.  Ugh.

Yeah, I don't know guys.  I'm really disappointed in this one.  I absolutely love the color.  It's like an almost-gold yellow shade with pearlescent shimmer.  But the formula was super thick and not very easy for me to maneuver.  And then there was the opacity issue.  Did I get a dud bottle or something?  Pretty much every review I read on it said that the formula was fine (if a little thick) and that the polish was pigmented.  So, color me confused.

This is what it has been like the past couple days (without windchill).  I'm getting a little sick of winter.  Normally I really like it, but this is just ridiculous.  And it's only January.  February is totally the worst month (I say this every year), so I am dreading it.

Ben is leaving on a work trip today.  Just like I'm over winter, I'm over being by myself.  Thank goodness for Remy.  He's a nice little companion.  Too bad he can't plan our wedding for me.  Over the past few days I officially hired a photographer for the wedding (love her), found an officiant (she's great), got my order of save the dates, designed an invitation suite, and made a cake appointment.  Things, they are a-rollin'.  

Here's our save the date photo that our friend Jenna took.  I doctored it up with some text for the actual cards that we're sending out, but I think this picture is perfect.

Okay, that's all.  The next time I talk to you guys it will be *shudder* February.  Does anyone else have experience with Zoya Piaf?  It's starting to drive me crazy that I'm apparently the only one who has had trouble with it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Funky Fingers The Wizard

Apparently last year when Oz the Great and Powerful was released Funky Fingers followed suit with Urban Decay and OPI and put out an Oz themed collection.  I was unaware of this until I did some googling, and I think the only polish left from this collection at Five Below was The Wizard.  Which is fine, because it's awesome.


First I did one coat of OPI Designer...De Better! just to lay down a silver base.  Then I did two coats of The Wizard, which is small silver glitter with many different colors of larger round glitter mixed in.   I see...silver, yellow, magenta, green, blue, and orange.  I don't know if this is unique, but I had never seen anything quite like it before (then again I'm not exactly up on my nail news).  I think that with three, maybe four coats, The Wizard could be opaque on its own, but I was honestly too lazy to find out.  I had a little bit of trouble with application because the round glitter didn't really want to stick to the brush.  I ended up holding the bottle upside-down every time I dipped the brush in to let gravity help.  It worked out pretty well, but was kind of a pain.  Other than that, I definitely recommend this if you can find it.

Not much else to report.  It snowed here all weekend, so that was depressing.  I met with a couple photographers and chose one for the wedding.  So, that's done.  Well, I guess it's not done until I sign a contract, but I feel like the time is nigh.  Other than that, it was a pretty sleepy weekend.  Ben finally has a couple days off work (he hasn't had proper time off since literally before Christmas), so that'll be good.  We can spend a little time together before he's leaving on a trip again.  Sad, sad panda.

To end, here's Remy playing with this treat egg thing that his Auntie Jenna and Uncle Dave got him for Christmas.  This is when he first realized that if he knocked it around food would fall out, and he's just like, "MOTHER OF GOD."  I actually had to put his regular food in it because he was getting too smart about knocking out all the treats.  But he was just as excited about his kibble as he was about treats.  Simple pleasures.

Make sure you pull a Remy and enjoy a simple pleasure today.  You deserve it on a Monday.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Essie Full Steam Ahead and FF Lady Charlotte

A little while ago I stopped into a Five Below to check on the Funky Fingers situation.  I ended up taking advantage of the 3 for $5 deal, and I was really delighted by one of the glitters I got, Lady Charlotte.  I paired it with a polish from Essie's summer 2013 collection, Full Steam Ahead.  I found the whole Essie summer collection at my TJ Maxx one day, and I snagged this one for $3.99.  

This picture is the most color accurate for Full Steam Ahead.  For some reason the rest came out just a touch darker.

I'm pretty in love with how these two look together.  Full Steam Ahead is a very light, slightly sheer lilac with almost imperceptible shimmer.  I can see it in the bottle, but not so much on the nail.  Here I did two coats; if I was going to wear this on its own without glitter, I would have done at least three coats...but because I was topping it with something I just left it alone at two.  Lady Charlotte is a glitter topper in a clear base with small gold, and then larger lavender and pinkish-mauve glitter.  I used one coat here.  I really like how these two look together.  It looks springy and happy, like a little garden party.  Remy, on the other hand, was less impressed.

Not a fan of purple, I guess.  Haha, what a weirdo.  Look at his tongue.

Aside from my silly cat and glitter nail polish, I've been doing wedding stuff like crazy.  I have three meetings this weekend and one at the beginning of next week, trying to nail down invitations, a photographer, and an officiant.  I have a good lead on an officiant, which right now is actually what I'm most worried about getting sorted out.  Ben and I want to have a completely secular ceremony, and finding someone who's willing (and eager) to do that and who is available on our date has been a struggle.  I've also been looking for decor/centerpiece/table number ideas that utilize teacups and pots.  My aunt found the cutest teacup cake-topper idea, so I'm excited about that little detail.  I also chose bridesmaids dresses the other day from David's Bridal (because it's everywhere and so are my bridesmaids), so my next challenge is to get two girls to choose one dress and three to choose the other. I'm sure it'll work out, and I'm a little excited about the dresses (black with "petal" pink sashes), because I've been putting off choosing them for a while.  Why, I don't know.  I've been putting off thinking about a lot of wedding stuff because it all seems super overwhelming.  But I guess with the new year came a new desire to tackle all of it and organize everything.  So that's what I've been up to.  

Other than that, I'm dying to go to Anthropologie and spend the gift card my mom gave me for Christmas.  Every time I decide I'm going to go, I swear, it starts snowing.  It's not too far away, but it does require some highway driving; people are just morons in the snow on the highway, so I try to avoid that as much as possible.  Yesterday I was all set to hop in my car and go, and then I opened up the curtains and it was just fluffing snow like crazy (you can't say "pouring" snow, so fluffing sounds right...right?).  Maybe this weekend I'll finally get out there.

K, that's all.  If anyone has any grand wedding ideas, come at me.  Now is the time that I'm ready to take advice and absorb suggestions.  Talk to you all next week!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love & Beauty "Peacock Feather" (Grey Multi)

I've been so bored of most polishes lately.  Nothing has been exciting to me.  Last week I went to Forever 21 to take advantage of the absolutely enormous sale they were having, and I spotted a polish that I thought was interesting.  Distressingly, Forever 21 doesn't name their polishes except by color, but after some googling I found out that this one might be called Peacock Feather.  

the DRIEST of cuticles.  I can't even.

how could I not have bought this?  LOOK AT IT

Well, I was right.  Peacock Feather is interesting.  It's a sheer gray jelly base with dark purple glitter and fuchsia and teal round glitter.  I liked the layered look of this, like rocks frozen under ice, and I liked how shiny it ended up being.  But the formula is awful.  It took me forever to get it sort of even and for the glitter to not look clumpy.  I think this was three coats.  Also, by the next day this was literally falling off my nails.  I had insane tipwear and there were chunks missing.  But it was a cheap thrill, and I'm glad I tried it out.  For $2.80 I'm not too upset.  

That's all for today.  I wanted to to let you guys know that if you've e-mailed me about teacups for my wedding and I haven't responded to you, it's probably because I'm a little overwhelmed with wedding stuff right now.  But I'm planning on getting my shit together and penning several responses.  Thank you to those who have reached out.  I truly, truly appreciate your generosity.  

I'm going to try to have another post up on Friday.  It's been a slow nail week, guys.  But I did hit up Five Below a couple weeks ago, so I might have something sparkly to show you.  Here's hoping.  Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Maybelline Color Show Frozen Over (With Dots!)

There are new Maybelline Color Show polishes out on a pretty sizable display.  When I ran across them at Target I felt like there wasn't anything too interesting, except for Frozen Over (which actually might be a dupe for Sinful Colors Cinderella--and if not, it seems pretty close).  But when I actually used Frozen Over, I thought it looked a little boring on its own and decided it needed a little embellishment.  I got out a tiny dotting tool and a bobby pin and got to work.

while he's distracted by OUTSIDE I can pretty much pile bottles of nail polish on and around Remy and he doesn't even care

First let's talk about Frozen Over.  It's a sheer, very light blue base with pink and maybe gold (?) shimmer throughout.  For reference, here is my post on Sinful Colors Cinderella from 2012, which I described as "a pale blue with a drop or two of gray added to it that gives it a soft feel.  It also has tiny gold and pink shimmer, which is just incredible."  2012 Stephanie was way more impressed with Cinderella than 2014 Stephanie is with Frozen Over (which is very similar) #polishjaded.  But anyway, for this I used three coats of the Maybelline (could have used a fourth), and then did a sort of dot gradient using OPI Alpine Snow and China Glaze Passion For Petals (which is actually a pink, but looks sort of orange here).  It was very easy, and I love the results.  

Then I ended up dropping by Walgreens that same day and I found Wet n Wild Shine's new matte top coat.  Yay!  I have been wanting a matte top coat because my Essie Matte About You DRIED THE HELL OUT.  Seriously, it is completely unusable, and I don't know how it happened.  The bottle was closed tightly, etc.  Anyway, this top coat, like other Wet n Wild Shine polishes, was only 99 cents.  And as you can see from the photographs, it clearly does a good job mattifying.  It gets a ringing endorsement from me.  And I actually like this manicure better matte.

So anyway, there you have it.  I'm getting a little bored with recent polish releases.  Nothing is really speaking to me.  Even polishes that I bought from, say, 2013 fall collections, aren't even interesting enough to me right now to use them.  They're all lined up in my bathroom waiting to be used, but I'm all "meh."  What have you guys been loving right now?  Do you have any recommendations?  If so, I'd love to read about them in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Argyle is the Coziest Manicure

First let me say that I am absolutely terrible at freehanding nail art.  I know that if I did it more, I would get better at it.  But it is a pain in the ass, and I don't know how some of you ladies do the beautiful things that you do.  Having said that, I saw the cutest "sweater weather" nails on Elle & Ish back in November and I thought they were just delightful.  Then I saw them on Jen from From Head To Toe in a recent video, and I knew that I had to try my hand at this pattern.  It didn't go super poorly, but it didn't go super well either.  But I was pretty proud of them anyway.  The first four pictures look basically the same, and I know that, but I'm posting them anyway.  Because, like I said, I'm...pretty proud of them.

For this I used:  OPI My Vampire is Buff for the base color, RBL Dead Calm and Chinoise for the diamonds, and OPI Better! for the little criss-crosses.  I followed the Elle & Ish tutorial as closely as possible, and this is how it turned out.  I think it looks PRETTY GOOD.  If I were to be doing this again I might choose some brighter colors for the diamonds, but when I chose these two I was thinking two things:  first, this matches an H&M sweater I have (which I subsequently couldn't find), and second, this is a great way to actually use some RBL polishes and avoid the chipping issue that I'm always having with them.  Yay!  I wore this for several days before I finally had to remove it because the base color started chipping and cracking.  Sad.  I think I might try doing this same pattern again, though.  It's adorable.

To end:

Remy looking alarmingly grown up.

Perfectly conforming to the curve of my butt.  While some may call him clingy, I simply thank him for being a good pal and keeping me warm during these long winter days.

Okay, that's all for me.  Has anyone else tried this argyle pattern?  I couldn't resist it because argyle is one of my very favorite prints!  It makes everything feel warmer and preppier somehow.  I hope you all had a good weekend, and I'll talk to you again sometime this week!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shopping My Stash WINTERTIME: OPI Alpine Snow

Yay, it's the first Shopping My Stash post of 2014!  Rach and I weren't too creative this month, and we decided on a wintertime theme.  After going through a bunch of my untrieds, I had a hard time finding a polish that had anything to do with wintertime or that looked particularly wintery to me.  Except one, which was the most obvious choice in the world.  Sorry I'm not sorry.

I fully cop to these pictures not being good.  My camera didn't want to focus, I think because the white polish was bright, and then the added bling from Essie Hors D'Oeuvres (last seen here and here) was just too much for it.  Also, gross dry cuticles.  I'm sorry.

Sweater here.  As Robin Thicke would say, I know you want it.

This is OPI Alpine Snow with a gradient(ish) of Essie Hors D'Oeuvres to make it look more winterish.   First of all, this is a super old polish.  Seriously, I think aside from OPI Flint Island Flicker (which, when is that even FROM? [1997, people.  1997]) it is absolutely the oldest polish I own.  It was actually my mom's, so it had been lying around her house for a while.  Finally I just took it (sorry mom), and it's been sitting in one of my Helmer drawers ever since.  I had never used it.  Until now.  The formula was actually okay for a white, but because the bottle is so old, it had the old skinny brush. I think application on this one would have been easier with a wider brush, just because the formula was a little thick and had trouble leveling.  Otherwise, though, it was alright.  It definitely needed three coats.  I actually like the look of white polish on its own (as long as it's nice and shiny to avoid that Wite-Out look), but I'm still crushing hard on this Essie glitter, so I couldn't resist jazzing Alpine Snow up a bit.  I actually think a white polish would be an amazing base for Hors D'Oeuvres, so that might happen in the near future.  Because, as I've said a couple times now, this glitter is everything.

Actually, I've been looking for a nice white polish with a really manageable formula for a long time.  Regrettably, Alpine Snow, although the formula is okay, is not it.  At one point in time I almost sprung for Rescue Beauty Lounge Underwear, but I decided not to waste the dollars on a polish whose formula was probably not that great (because...white).  I really, really wish that OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls was more of a pure white than a dirty white (also known as gray, I guess), because that would be perfect.  I guess I just have to keep searching.  

Alright, that's all for today.  To end I'll ask:  does anyone have any white polish recommendations for me?  I would appreciate suggestions!  Make sure you head on over to stuff to check out what Rach has for you today (which is probably more interesting than what I had, let's be honest).  Have a good weekend, everybody!