Friday, February 28, 2014

Lippmann Lara's Theme

I cannot afford Lippmann polishes.  Period.  But happily for me, my friend Michelle had an extra mini bottle of Lara's Theme that she didn't want, so it came to live with me.  And I am very happy that it did.

I will say that this polish definitely photographs darker than it appears in real life.  IRL it's the color of the outside of an orange.  You know, like the fruit.  In most of the swatches I've seen, and in my own photos, it looks a couple shades darker than that.  But other than that, this color doesn't need much description.  It's orange and it's a creme.  It's bright and juicy, and pretty perfect for livening up your day.  The formula was good, but a little thick.  The brush on the mini bottle was really small, so that might have affected things.  I needed two coats, and I was almost afraid it wouldn't self-level, but with topcoat it turned out to be fine.

This polish is a few years old by now, but I know that it was created with model Lara Stone, who is Dutch.  You know what Dutch people love?  Orange.  I read this little blurb about why here, but I can't really claim that that's a reliable resource.  So here's another one.  I do love it when nail polish is educational, don't you? 

Orange was a nice pick-me-up for me because the weather has been like this:

I took this yesterday, on the day that Ben flew off to Vegas, where I assume it is sunny and at least mostly warm.  And here it was -6 with windchill.  I'm looking forward to Saturday when it'll be almost 40, yay!!  Winter really needs to just stop.  Normally I actually enjoy winter, but this one has almost been enough to convince me to move south.  Walking from my door to my car yesterday morning in my workout capris (it was sunny out, so I didn't realize it was THIS COLD) was torturous, and that's only a distance of like fifty feet.  Once the wind hit my bare calves I was like, NO PLEASE NO ANYTHING BUT THIS.  Won't make that mistake again.  Spring cannot come soon enough.

Okay, that's all for me today.  Sorry it was a quiet week.  I wanted to see how long Essie Truth or Flare would wear without chipping; turns out it was a solid four days!  But that left me wearing the same polish for most of the week.  But anyway, since I was basically an orange virgin before this (true orange, anyway), what's your favorite orange polish?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Essie Truth or Flare

I took a little trip this weekend to Columbus to see my parents, Ben at work, and a couple museums.  Sadly the one museum I really wanted to go to was closed for an installation, but I'm still glad that I went. While I was there I popped into a Target to buy a contact case and solution (forgot 'em), and I ran across the Essie spring collection again.  So I got another one.  Sadly, though, the nail on my middle finger broke.  I mean, it really broke.  I filed it down and filed the other nails down a little, but.  It is what it is.  Also my cuticles were dry and I had no lotion, and I didn't have any acetone for any sort of cleanup.  So what I'm saying is, THIS IS REAL LIFE, PEOPLE.  But at least you can see what the color looks like...?

Looks great with this sailboat sweater!

Dusty blues like Truth or Flare epitomize the feeling of spring for me.  Here in Ohio we tend to get a lot of rain in the springtime, and this color reminds me of a sky that's either threatening rain or that has just cleared up.  It is truly beautiful, and I love the color.  I didn't really love the formula, though.  I bought this one thinking it would be a creme, but it's not.  It's sort of that creme-jelly hybrid that Essie does, but like...pretty heavy on the jelly.  If I had known that maybe I would have been less surprised, but when I started to use it I was all, what even is this.  Taking into account that it's a jelly, though, the formula was okay.  My advice is to really load the brush with polish and make sure you have enough on there, and then do thin coats.  But also wait between coats.  Okay, so it's kind of a pain in the ass.  But like I said, the color is divine so it's not that bad.  I used three coats here.  

Sadly, I think I returned from my trip with a cold (maybe).  Yesterday I started to feel crappy once I got home, so I'll have to see how I'm feeling today.  If I am sick, this will be the first time this winter.  I almost made it.  So close, guys.  So close.  If I am not sick, then I really need to come up with something fun to do this week, because Ben is taking a trip with a friend to Vegas, about which I am very jealous.  Because more arctic air is blowing through here in the next couple days, and it's going to be incredibly cold AGAIN.  I don't begrudge him a trip with a pal because he works really hard and deserves a break, but I'm totally aching for warm weather and I kind of wish that I could go too.  Alas, Remy and I will be here snuggled up together hoping it doesn't snow too much.  Speaking of the little fluffernutter, he was on his own for a few days while I was gone (my friend Jenna came over to feed him and visit with him; thanks Jenna!) and when I got home he was glued to me.  It was too funny.  If I sat down he was on my lap, and if I stood up he was trying to climb my pants to get to me.  And he had a lot to say about his time alone.  I'm pretty sure most of it was just, WHERE WERE YOU, WOMAN?  He's such a good little pal.  

Okay, that's all for today.  I hope everyone had good weekends, and I'll talk to you later in the week.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

OPI The Thrill of Brazil

Because oodles of swatches of the OPI spring collection have been popping up, I decided to dig out a classic OPI red, The Thrill of Brazil.

I don't even remember when OPI was $6.

My thumbs have the driest skin on my entire body, not even kidding.  But I wanted to show you my PARTY NAIL, which is three coats of Shimmer Polish Elsa (which was generously sent to me in 2012, and which you can still buy here).  I needed to add some sparkle to my copious texting, I guess.

First of all, we should probably talk about how when I took these pictures it was 40 degrees, sunny, and I was outside WITHOUT A COAT (I mean, I was still wearing a scarf and also my little PINK workout jacket that I wear to the gym, but STILL).  It felt so good, I cannot even tell you [SIDEBAR:  every year I say that fall is my favorite season, but I think it's actually spring.  I love the smell of spring and the feel of spring and the flowers and how the sunshine is finally warm after many long months of winter; the springtime fuzzy-feels pretty much make surviving Cleveland winters worth it].  So, about The Thrill of Brazil...I think it's core, because you can still buy it on the Ulta website.  It was originally released in the 2002 spring South American collection.  My bottle is black label, which means it stinks like chemicals, has a tiny brush, and applies SO WELL it's ridiculous.  There isn't really much to say about this polish.  I would call it a true red creme.  I don't think it really leans too red or too blue, but straddles the fence somewhere in between.  I did two coats here; unlike a lot of OPI reds, this one has no berry undertones on the first coat.  What you see in the bottle is what you get on the nail, and I was happy with how this one looked at two coats.  

This is in fact not the only Brazil-ish themed OPI nail polish I own; I also have Up the Amazon Without a Paddle.  When the 2014 OPI Brazils finally made their debut I got my butt to Ulta to check them out...and walked away with zero.  Then the other day I went back to Ulta, I scrutinized all of them, and again walked away with zero.  The corals are beautiful, but I've been collecting corals with vigor for years now, and they're just not unique.  The taupes are beautiful, but the same goes for them.  I think I finally settled on bringing home the yellow (I Just Can't Cope-acabana) and the deep green (Amazon...Amazoff [har har har]), because...Brazilian flag.  And also because I don't have a yellow that applies well, and I've heard tell that this new OPI one is okay/good.

Okay, that's all for today.  How are you guys feeling about The Thrill of Brazil?  Does anyone else have a black label bottle of this?  Does anyone remember...when OPIs were $6 at Trade Secret?  And lastly (I promise), what are your picks from OPI Brazil?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Essie Fashion Playground

My Target has been killing it lately in terms of Essie.  It had the resort collection ages ago, and I spotted the spring collection, which I think is called Hide and Go Chic (like), two weeks ago (which I still have not seen at Ulta).  I couldn't just let the spring collection PASS ME BY, so I chose just one

My hands are so dry.  I put on lotion right before I took these pictures and it didn't help much. This winter has been awful for my poor skin.  SORRY.

This is Fashion Playground.  At first I thought that it was a mint green--and it does look like that sometimes--but now I think it's more of a green-leaning turquoise.  It has that really subtle shimmer that so many of Essie's recent releases have had (like Cocktails & Coconuts), but it's pretty difficult to see unless you have really good light or you're at a really good angle.  I was attracted to it while I was in the store, but I was convinced that there is another Essie shade that's really close to it but I couldn't figure out what it was...but I think it's Turquoise and Caicos (the only polish from Essie Resort 2011 that I don't have!).  I can't compare the two, but there's something really familiar about Fashion Playground.  Even so, it's still really pretty.  

I didn't find the formula easy to work with.  First, my brush had some seriously wonky fibers on it.  One of them was really long, and I wanted to just cut it off...but I was on the couch under a blanket polishing and didn't want to get up.  You know how it is.  The weird brush did make application kind of challenging, but not nearly as much as the formula did.  I thought it was really thick.  The first coat was disappointingly streaky.  So was the second.  The third evened everything out decently, but it still didn't look perfect; I think SV would have really helped things out, but I don't have any of I used NYC GCS.  Fashion Playground looks nice enough on me, but it does give me some of the dreaded LOBSTAH HANDS.  I like it anyway, though, and I think it's a perfect color for spring.  Very new life-y and refreshing, like a stick of minty gum.

In life news, this past weekend was really nice.  For V-Day on Friday Ben and I went out to The Melting Pot, and he got me FLOWERS (which I love very much) and also this watch:

I also love this very much (although it's not a great picture).  Those are the rails of my balcony reflected on the right side.  So rose gold-y and shiny.

Remy also enjoyed Valentine's Day, because it was the first time since Christmas that he got to try to eat wrapping paper:

You can't tell, but he's tearing it apart and nomming on it.

On Saturday we went out to dinner at Melt for our friend's birthday, and then hit a few bars.  Sunday we saw The Lego Movie with another friend (and it was wonderful), and yesterday we saw Monuments Men (less wonderful, but okay).  I like weekends full of friends and melted cheese.  Plus I've been going to the gym six days a week, so I let myself eat fries.  It was GLORIOUS, friends.  Glorious.  Other than that, I have been watching or DVRing the Olympic figure skating during the live broadcast to hear Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir commentating.  Because it's amazing and it delights me.  They're a little bitchy and completely hilarious.  WAAAAAAAAY better than the prime time commentators.  Set your DVRs, ladies.  10am on skating days.  You won't regret it.

Okay, that's all for today.  Has anyone else seen the Essie spring collection popping up anywhere?  I'm eager to see more swatches, but I really haven't seen too many so far.  I'm so ready for spring to get here!!!!!  And lately I've really been on the lookout for refreshing colors like Fashion Playground to liven up these gray February days.  What about you guys?  What's getting you through the tail-end of winter?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Shopping My Stash Cupid Edition: China Glaze DV8

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Last year at this time I was hanging out with my best friend in Harlem eating Sour Patch Kids and Mexican food on my apartment floor.  This year I'm in a better situation (except my best friend is far away again) but I get to see Ben.  So that's nice.  Obviously Rach and I had to have a Valentine's theme for this Shopping My Stash post, and I immediately had an idea for a polish I wanted to use:  China Glaze BFF because of those little chalky candy hearts that have silly sayings on them (BFF is one).  But Y'ALL my bottle of BFF turned brown.  It's supposed to be bright pink, but when I took mine out it looked kind of like mud with a pink tint.  Because I had to change my plan I decided to use China Glaze DV8 from the same collection, since it's still text speak and Valentine-heart-y.  ish.

I accidentally bought the Sweet Tart version of these chalk-hearts, and DAMN THEY ARE GOOOOOOD.  I was convinced I wouldn't eat any of them because I hate the weird (original) Tums-flavored ones.  But these?  I've had a bowl of these in the kitchen for the past week and I keep eating them.

Okay, so even though I deviated from my original plan, I'm glad I chose DV8 (see what I did there?! har).  It still matches my trendy text-speak candy heart theme, and...well, look at it.  It's pretty gorgeous, and its holo is really strong and linear, like most of the OMG polishes.  It's just ridiculously beautiful.  The formula was also phenomenal; I remember the formula on OMG being kind of obnoxious, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  It was basically a one-coater, but I did two just to be safe and to get the best holo effect possible.  I also didn't use topcoat.  It dries really fast on its own, though, so not using topcoat isn't a huge deal...except these OMG polishes really don't wear that well.  So there's that to consider.

If you don't have this one and you want it, I found one listing on eBay (but it's going for like $40!  Yuck).  I'm glad that I have DV8, and it really makes me want to seek out the other OMG polishes that I'm missing (roughly half the collection...yikes).  Regardless, I had fun looking at this one in the rare February sun while I wore it.  

Hey, guess who doesn't want to be my valentine?  This fuzzball.

He's all, GIRL.  Stop.  I'm looking at something out the window.  It's important.

Tonight Ben and I are going out to a fondue dinner--a fondinner, if you will--so that will be exciting.  I always like having fondue, because I think it's sort of romantic and interactive, etc.  Looking forward to it.  I hope that everyone has a good Valentine's Day, and if you're not celebrating then I hope you have a wonderful Friday.  Make sure you head on over to Rach's blog and check out her V-Day pick.  I will leave you with this horrible Oatmeal Valentine's card and I'll talk to you next week!

Unicorn enchiladas for everyone!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Essie Resort 2014 Skittles: BECAUSE I CAN

At first when I ran across the Essie resort collection I only bought one.  But then it looked so lonely that I went back and got it a friend.  Okay, two friends.  In fact, the only polish from this collection that I didn't get is the vampy purple because I kind of a.) thought I probably have a million that look just like it and b.) didn't really understand how it contributed to the color story, which seemed sort of like, washed out/weathered/beachy to me.  But in the best way possible.

I decided to wear all three polishes at the same time because WHY NOT.  So first, on my pointer and pinky nails is Find Me An Oasis, which is a pale blue creme.  The formula on this one was tricky.  You can get away with two coats, but basically you have to really make sure to load your brush with polish to avoid any streaks (I used three coats here).  But not too much polish or else it'll look weird and goopy.  I think this color is beautiful, and I put it on my toes, too.  I like the idea of wearing this as [part of] my something blue on THE BIG DAY.  Next, on my middle nail is Cocktails & Coconuts.  It's a beige with really subtle shimmer, which you can see in the bottle shot above, but it's also very warm, with a lot of yellow in it.  I like it, especially because of the shimmer.  The formula on this one was good, and it didn't have the streaking problems that Find Me An Oasis has; I used two coats.  Lastly, on my ring finger, is Resort Fling.  Which is BY FAR my favorite of the three of these because JELLY.  CORAL.  Oh my god, you guys.  This one is good.  Like Cocktails & Coconuts, Resort Fling also leans to the warm side, with much more orange to it than pink.  Which is fine with me.  The formula is absolutely flawless on this one.  You can wear it with two coats for a more sheer look, but at three it's pretty much opaque.  If you, like me, crush on basically every coral you come in contact with, then you need this.  Actually, you need this anyway.  I don't buy backup bottles of polish, like, ever...but I want a backup of Resort Fling.  It's that good.

I just can't get over how beautiful these three look together.  The bottles just look so perfect nestled against each other.  Like I said, these for sure remind me of the beach, so these colors seem so apt for a resort collection.  I like all three of these polishes for different reasons, but DAT CORAL.  Swoon.  

Anyway, anyone get these polishes?  What about the dark purple one, Under the Twilight?  Do you think it's worth picking up?