Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Bling

Hey, long time no blog!  Aside from the fact that I'm feeling super uninspired right now, the past week has been a little nuts for me with work and the holiday and a party and my best friend visiting from out of town for wedding dress shopping (for her!).  I'm surprised I had a minute to take pictures of what I had on my nails...but I did!

This is OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana topped with Hollish Bazaar.  I know it has been said many times, but I Just Can't Cope-acabana is the best yellow I've ever used.  When it goes on it's a little streaky and you're like oh shit not this again, but somehow it self-levels between coats.  And I only needed two.  Color me delighted.  As for Hollish Bazaar, it was sent to me by a lovely reader called Natalia.  She also sent me a couple wedding teacups all the way from Australia, so thank you, Natalia!  Bazaar is a glitter topper with several different colors happening, as well as both round and square glitter.  I really loved how these two looked together; they made for a really nice Easter/springtime look, and I got a lot of compliments.

Okay, that's all the time I have for today.  I expect May to also be a little crazy, because I have two trips planned and I have to write and deliver a lecture for work at the beginning of the we'll see how things on the blog go.  I hope everyone had a nice Easter, if you celebrate, and if not then I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Revlon ColorStay Rich Raspberry

I have been hearing about how the Revlon ColorStay polishes combined with the Revlon ColorStay topcoat are a one-two punch of long-lasting polish goodness, but until recently I didn't have any to try.  Then my friend Cassie and I did a little swap, and one of the [many] delightful extras she sent along was Rich Raspberry.  Cassie runs a blog and YouTube channel, both called Thrift Thick, and I encourage you to check them out because she is utterly delightful.  She makes me laugh all the time, I totally trust her opinion on cosmetics, and she has an adorable fluffy cat named Galileo.  It was so thoughtful of her to send some extra goodies, so thanks again, Cassie!  You're wonderful!

Rich Raspberry is an absolutely lovely color.  It's a pinky purple creme, and I think it looks really nice on my skin tone.  Like I mentioned above, this is my very first Revlon ColorStay polish.  I was pretty impressed with the quality of the formula, but I did need three coats to even things out.  The brush was one of those wider ones meant to really fill of the nail beds, and it did...but the brush was also surprisingly stiff.  I wasn't expecting that, so I had to get used to it.  

As for whether or not this wears amazingly if paired with the topcoat (and I did wear the ColorStay topcoat with it), in my experience that answer is no.  But take that with a grain of salt, because almost no polishes agree with my body chemistry enough to last longer than three days, no matter the base/topcoat combination.  It's worth noting that the Revlon topcoat isn't quick dry; I actually had to look it up on MUA to find out because I had no idea.  I don't like using topcoats that aren't quick dry, because I figure that IT'S THE FUTURE and I want to afford my beauty routine EVERY ADVANTAGE (read:  I'm lazy).  But I used it anyway.  This wore two days on me and then I had a huge chip on a finger on my right hand.  Other chips followed.  Again, though, this is just me.  I've heard a ton of people sing the praises of these ColorStay polishes, so they definitely work for some.  Having said all of that, the color is divine and I'm really glad to have it.  It'll look nice on my toes for the summertime that may never come.

In other news, I learned a couple of embroidery stitches the other day at work (for reasons), and after I completed a little project I decided to take a needle and some floss home to practice.  After a little bit I felt comfortable doing a simple pattern, so I bought some floss and wound up making this little guy:

He's cute, right?  Even this simple little thing took me a long time, but I'm glad I made it.  I have no idea what I'll do with this, but who doesn't want a happy mocha, amirite?  Plus it snowed the other day (and it was 75 degrees on Sunday, so I don't even know what's happening right now) and Ben is out of town, so it was nice to come home from work, snuggle up, and concentrate on a little project.

Alright, that's all for me today.  Anyone have a favorite Revlon ColorStay polish that I should look into?  And make sure you top by Cassie's channel and blog and give her some love!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Essie Vices Versa

A couple weeks ago, on my way home from a particularly hectic Saturday at the museum, I stopped at our local grocery store chain to pick up the stuff for a Mexican dinner.  I only had a couple things on my list, and most of them were over in the dairy section, but somehow I managed to wander by the cosmetics anyway (it's a skill, I tell you).  And there were the summer Essies.  I don't even think it was April yet when I found them.  There were no reviews out yet in the blogosphere, just PR stuff, so I wasn't sure how the formulas would be or which ones to get.  After standing in front of them for about five minutes, I chose two and was on my way (and then I stood in line for literally 35 minutes--it was one of those days).

blah blah cuticles...SORRY.  I put lotion on literally right before I took these pictures--I almost couldn't hold the camera because of how greased my hands were--and it still didn't help.

This is Vices Versa, and it's a spring green "neon."  Now, as has been noted, neons often pop if you put them over white.  But in my experience, true neons are still neon even without the white base.  That's not true with this polish.  Although it definitely has neon pigment in it because it dries matte, when this is applied by itself and without an opaque white base coat (as in my photos), it doesn't look neon when it dries (even with topcoat).  It just looks like a really bright green.  It reminds me a lot of OPI Green-wich Village, which is a creme.  In real life this polish doesn't even look as neon as it does in these photos--my camera messed with the color a little bit.  It also doesn't make my hands look super red like they do here.  I used four coats, and the formula is pretty typical for a "neon;" ie horrible.  It doesn't self level at all and it's sheer.

Karen over at beautygeeks swatched each of the Essie 2014 neons alone and then over white, and you can see that Vices Versa does look like a neon green over white, while it appears as more of a bright shade on its own.  So I'm not alone here.  But you guys know what I mean, right?  Like, even Essie Pink Parka, which I just posted about here, is a bright neon without a white base.  Polishes like China Glaze Surfin' For Boys and Flip Flop Fantasy pack more than enough neon punch on their own without having to resort to a white base coat.  All of this babbling that I'm doing about white base coats is leading up to my saying that these polishes probably aren't worth it.  Yes, they're really pretty and the bottles are super appealing in the display, but unless you really feel like a.) finding a white that'll go on opaque and even in one coat (which I've NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FIND after years of hoarding collecting cosmetics) and b.) doing at least four or five coats of polish.  Do I regret buying Vices Versa?  No.  I like the color on its own even though, to me, it isn't a true neon.  I think the green is really pretty and I don't have anything else like it.  Will I go back for the purple, the coral, the pink, etc?  No.  They're dupable.  Save your money, ladies.

So, what do you think of these?  Have any of them jumped into your shopping carts?  I'm also curious to know if any of you have run across them yet.  I only saw them at Giant Eagle one time; the next time I went back the display was empty and I haven't seen them anywhere else. Truly odd, because I think the official release date for this collection, Too Taboo, isn't until 1 May.  If you guys have any thoughts on this, or neon polishes in general, let me know.  I'm not too big a fan of neons, to be honest.  Surfin' For Boys is probably my favorite one, and it's pretty tame...

Until next time!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shopping My Stash: April Showers

This month for Shopping My Stash I chose the theme, and there's almost nothing that I love more than a silly cliche (except a silly pun) so I chose April Showers.  I scoured my Helmer drawers for a while (much to Remy's delight; he was literally rolling around in nail polish bottles), and I came up with a couple options...but I settled on OPI MonSooner or Later.  I've had this polish for SO LONG, and I can't believe it took me until now to use it.

Isn't this color delicious?  I think it's too orange to be called a tomato red, but it's somewhere in that ballpark.  I think it looks a lot like the Crayola color Red Orange, actually.  It's a simple color, but it's really beautiful.  I used three coats here.  With a lot of OPI's older reds (hello Vodka and Caviar), even though they're really pigmented when they go on, they leave a lot of VNL with two coats.  This one was no different.  Also, I love how orange-reds like this one look with olive green (I'm wearing my new Lindsay Weir-esque spring jacket in the above photo, and I just think the colors play so nicely together--on a related note, this now makes Halloween REALLY EASY for me this year and I'm pretty excited about it).

MonSooner or Later is from the 2008 India collection, which was kind of amazing.  I actually have a couple others from that collection that I don't think I've touched either, so that should probably be rectified.  I'm glad that we decided to go with April Showers for this month for a couple reasons.  First, I got to wear this awesome polish.  Second, it seems incredibly appropriate because this past week in Cleveland has been super rainy.  And lastly, because I've had that Bambi song stuck in my head for the past week and I'm not at all upset about it.

drip drip drop little April shower, la la la la la, etc.
Bambi is not my favorite Disney movie by a long shot and I remember almost nothing about it except this song (my favorite is The Little Mermaid, in case you were aching to know)

Alright, this has to be a short one for me because I'm low on time this week, but make sure you stop on by stuff i (s)watched to see what Rach is wearing this month.  Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to you next week!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Revlon 1000 Volts

Although I'm not the biggest Spider-Man fan (and more specifically, I'm not super into Andrew Garfield in the role), I couldn't help but pick up a few of the polishes from the Revlon collaboration.  

loving the caps on these

1000 Volts is definitely a duochrome, but I would say that its shift is pretty subtle.  It goes from a warm gold to a copper, and then sometimes it reads a little green, but I couldn't capture that.  This is a really, really pretty polish.  It's a tad warm for my pale, cool skin, but I still like how it looks.  Sometimes golds like this can read as holiday-esque, but I think the copper shift in 1000 Volts saves it from that.  I used three coats here.

I've seen this collection at one Walgreens and also Ulta (I think things were a little more expensive at Walgreens, actually).  I'm still waffling on whether or not I want to get that blue lipgloss because it just looks so cool, but I haven't seen any on-lip swatches yet so I can't decide.  Oddly the collection at my Walgreens is completely untouched (aside from the couple polishes I got).  I thought more people would be looking for these.  BUT I guess that gives me extra time to decide what I need, right?

Did anyone else find or pick up anything from this collection?  I know Rach said she got all the polishes, so I'm excited to see them on her.  Speaking of Rach, don't forget to stop back on Friday to see our monthly Shopping My Stash posts!

Monday, April 07, 2014

H&M Car Paint Purple

H&M is really stepping up their nail polish game lately; has anyone else noticed that?  The last time I popped in there they had a ton of colors to choose from, and one of them caught my eye because in the lighting of the store I couldn't tell if it was navy blue or dark purple, which was intriguing.  Sadly when I actually wore it and tried to take pictures of it, it would only appear blue.  I think if it had been sunny it would have been a different story, but c'est la vie.

oh yeah, and I didn't have the bottle with me when I actually took the photos, so that is my gym lock I'm holding

also some reddish lips, blue eyeliner, and a navy and white shirt for opening day...

Car Paint Purple is an indigo creme.  I think.  At least that's how it looks in the bottle.  Here it pretty much just looks dark blue.  I tried to coax out the purple tones by holding my purple padlock, but it didn't really work.  The formula was nice and easy to work with, and I only needed two coats.  The brush was different than I remember H&M polishes being; it was a bit wider and flatter, but easy to control nonetheless.  Unfortunately this color didn't last long on me at all.  It may have been because I have been washing my hands really often, but I'm not sure.  I basically have had to accept that polishes just do not last on me no matter what base/topcoat I decide to use.  You know which polishes really agreed with my body chemistry?  $OPI.  THANKS FOR NOT EXISTING ANYMORE, $OPI.  Sigh.  

Okay, that's all for me today.  There will definitely be two other posts this week; I'm sorry things have been so sparse lately!  I've been trying to balance my personal life/work/gym schedules and I haven't quite found a good equilibrium.  But soon I will and all will be well.  Also, today would have been my grandmother's 91st birthday.  I can't believe a year has passed so quickly since I last wrote about her last birthday party.  I still miss her every single day.  If you want to read about her, for a while I did a series called The Tess Collection because I have all of her old nail polish.  The series became difficult for me to maintain after I moved for a variety of reasons, but people seemed to like those posts.  And I certainly enjoyed sharing them.  Anyway, I'll be thinking about my grandma all day today.  Because she was such a special lady.

Happy Monday and happy April 7th.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

...Out Like a Lamb

I had the best intentions for this post.  As in, I meant for it to go up yesterday.  But life happened and I didn't really have time, so here it is, a day late and already a day into April (rabbit rabbit!).  When I was a kid one of the things I most vividly remember learning about was the saying about March "in like a lion, out like a lamb."  I think I remember because my mom always said it, and because one time we colored pictures of lions and lambs for school.  Anyway, this:

I'm pretty terrible at nail art, but I got the idea to do a lamb at the end of February for a post in March and knew I had to try.  Then when I searched around for "lamb nail art," I ran across this tutorial on Chalkboard Nails.  Yay!  I just did my best to copy it.  My sheep definitely has unnaturally long legs, but WHATEVER.  He looks okay to me.  The base color of this is Essie's Pretty Edgy, which I hadn't pulled out in a hot minute--by "hot minute" I mean since 2010, so it really has been a while.  In real life it's a tad more blue-based than it looks here.  But it's a green jelly-creme hybrid, and you can see in the last photo of my nails that there's still some VNL on my pinky; I only used two coats on most nails.  The body of the sheep is OPI Alpine Snow, his legs are Wet n Wild Black Creme, his ears are OPI I Sao Paolo Over There, and his little nose is Wet n Wild Tahiti.  I gave it my best effort, guys!  Lamb ahoy.  

Yesterday, the last day of March, was blustery but not horribly cold as it has been lately, so I was happy to sport this little lamb.  April is a month I generally really enjoy because I love spring, so I'm glad it's here.  I can't wait for the flowers to start popping up and for warmer days and cute umbrellas.  How about you guys? What do you most look forward to about spring?   

Alright, lamb out!  Hopefully I talk to you again before next week!