Saturday, September 22, 2018

Planner haul, pt.3

For the record, this is a continuation (as you might guess from the title) of these previous entries:

Erin Condren products come in these very cute boxes with stickers and stuff inside:
Everything I've gotten from them in the past couple of years, at least, is in a container with this same pattern on it. Boxes of various sizes, flat envelopes, whatever - this is their branding, I guess. Very feminine - not to say I don't like that fine, but I guess if you're somebody who doesn't like this kind of thing, you have to go to Franklin Covey or somewhere for your planner needs. (Is Franklin Covey still around? When I worked in an office that was what we all had, but I never hear anybody talk about it any more.) (Apparently the answer to that is yes, it's still around.)

The thing with the poinsettias is the very expensive notebook that I talked myself into buying. ($20, I think? but it may have been 15% off, I'm not sure). It's a bound notebook but I have to say I do like it so far. I'm always making lists and that's what I'm using it for. I'm not sure I will ever buy another one of these, I think it's too expensive for just a notebook, especially when I already had a bunch of Field Notes sitting around unused. And then the clear thing sitting on top of it is a ruler/bookmark, and some sticky page-tab things on the right.

I've never liked the EC pens in the past, but these are new(-ish) and somebody said they liked them so I decided to give them a try. They are basically Sharpie-type markers with a fine point and a thicker one, and I do actually like them, a bit to my surprise.
Oh, and I almost forgot - I actually bought some personalized notepads - I never buy things like this, normally, this is why I started out saying I went kind of nuts. That's them on the right above, they are the Floral Ink pattern, like the new planner.

And hey, I haven't actually shown that new planner, so here it is:
Again, with the sticker covering up my name. I really like this design - we'll see how long I want to keep it. (But I have plenty of other cover options if I get tired of it.)

And one more matching thing for that pattern: sticky notes that snap into the planner.
Oh, and that's a sheet of poinsettia stickers on the left, I keep forgetting I bought that one. (I kind of went all-in on the poinsettia thing, too - I do like the pattern but I wish I had gotten something else on that notebook.)

Actually there may be one more non-EC planner haul - a small one - because I bought some more stickers on Etsy, and one of them is even nail-polish related!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Planner haul, pt.2

Continuing from part one... One thing I noticed lately is that Erin Condren's shipments have gotten where they come noticeably faster than they used to. I knew that EC had opened a retail store in Austin (they're based in California, so I was a bit surprised about that) but actually it turns out that they opened a whole distribution center in Austin as well. Which I guess explains why my shipping has been so fast - they're physically only 100-odd miles away from me now. It might not help quite as much if you live on, say, the east coast.

I wanted to show a little bit of the actual guts of the planner, so here's a page that I just set up lately. This is about the most decorating I do ahead of time on a planner page, unless it's a holiday or something. (I do have a weakness for holiday stickers.)
I've seen people who pretty much cover up the whole page with stickers, but I actually like to be able to write on mine. I always put washi tape across the top, pretty much - this washi is Floral Ink, which matches my new planner cover for 2019. And I've gotten fond of the seasonal date stickers that you can see there - I don't use them all the time, but I think they're cute and they don't cost much, so I usually buy several months' worth a year. (Planner stickers of one kind or another seem to be a huge thing on Etsy and various craft-supply websites. There are tons.)

(Basically what I mean about writing on the planner is that I put in appointments and work hours and such ahead of time, but to a large extent I just use the daily columns to take notes on - the top section is before work: what time did I get up, did I drive through Starbucks and what did I eat for lunch? The second section is notes on what I did at work - or what I did during my "work hours" on the other days - and the third one is what did I do after I got home. So it's sort of a diary, in the end.)

Another reason to get the planner direct from EC is because you can choose your format and color scheme. This is the vertical format, which I think is the most popular. You can also get an hourly format and a horizontal one. I've flirted around with the idea of getting the horizontal one but really I think vertical is best for the way I use it. And then you can choose whether you get the colored version, which changes colors month to month, or you can get a neutral one. (Some of the people who use a whole lot of stickers seem to prefer the neutral one just because they don't have to worry about their stickers not matching the color that's already there.)

my current cover

Let's talk about covers. The covers on most EC planners - unless you buy a hard-bound or otherwise perma-bound one - are perforated so that they're changeable, which just gives you another thing to spend money on. I mentioned before that I had covers in the paisley pattern I showed before, but I actually have quite a bunch of planner covers - I'm not even sure how many. Less than a dozen, but maybe not much less.* Counting my new 2019 one, I'm on my fourth planner; one cover comes with each planner, of course, plus I have a Halloween one and a Day of the Dead one and the one above with the flamingos (the background color there is Blush, I believe, in case anyone wants to know)... Actually I'm now on my second Halloween cover, because the first one (which I utterly loved) is now falling apart. I always retire the most battered cover each year to stay on the past year's planner, so I think the old Halloween cover is going to have to be the one to be retired this year. I'd like to use it one more year, but it's looking pretty sad, so I bought a new one - which has bats on it and says "Something wicked this way comes" - scroll down here. (They periodically do a buy one, get one free sale on the covers, so that's the time to buy your extras. From the most recent BOGO I got the "something wicked" one and then also poinsettias, because it's the first December-holiday one I've ever seen that I liked well enough to bother. Although last year they had llamas in a sweater-like pattern during the winter, and I've been sort of sorry I didn't buy that one!)

* I counted, and with the two new ones I may be up to an even dozen covers. Four years of planners and four BOGO sales, I guess!  (2x halloween, Day of the Dead - with skulls. naturally - poinsettias, flamingoes, 2 colorways of paisley, a sort of Moroccan tile one which I think is retired, a purple colorway of Fleur Feliz, also retired, Mid-century Circles (which was on my 2017 planner), Floral Stitches (2018), Floral Ink (which will be 2019), and... one more that I'm not coming up with - or maybe I miscounted and I'm just under a dozen after all.)

(For the record, there will be one more part to this, and that will be up tomorrow.)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Various grays and blacks

I'm piling all of these into one post so I can go on and talk about something else next week. I don't seem to have a lot to say about grays and blacks, generally.

First we have Essence Beauty Beats As Long As You Love Me, which apparently is tied to Justin Bieber somehow. I am the wrong generation for Mr. Bieber, but I believe this is one of his song titles, and I seem to remember that he was actually involved in the making of this polish line in some way, as well.
As you can see on the wheel, it's very similar to Wet Cement - maybe a little darker - but it's a shimmer.

This is Black In Mirrors, which is from the famous (or actually sort of infamous) Maybelline Brocades collection. There were other colors in this collection that got a lot more buzz, but this one is my favorite out of the couple that I have.
There was a year or two when all the mainstream companies were making polishes like this - 2013 is when my spreadsheet says I bought this. I think they were trying to compete with indies, it seemed like. Now all the drugstore brands and even the brands like OPI and Zoya seem to have decided they are better off sticking with the tried and true things - red and pink cremes, for example - and have mostly given up on doing this kind of crazy thing. (Although just when I really think that's true they do something interesting again.) Anyway, all that aside, this is antique-ish gold and silver in a jelly base, it's really fun.

I showed Dirty Baby earlier this year when I bought it, and I'm throwing it in here just because it seems to go with this bunch. I still haven't worn it. But it seems like a fall-to-winter color so I imagine I'll get around to it sometime in what's left of this year.
(It seems like a slightly-toned-down version of Black In Mirrors, really - except I don't think it has gold in there, just silver.)

And then, because I actually used it as a base for this whole wheel, and I don't think I've ever actually done a swatch post for it, here is Wild Shine Black Creme:
This is my go-to black for swatching. I have this old bottle, which is maybe on its last legs (the label certainly is), and I also have a couple of the newer bottles. But I don't really wear it on my nails much.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Feifei, Steel Guitar

This is Zoya Feifei, which is still available:
I love Zoya in any case, but I love them extra much for hardly ever discontinuing anything. This polish has been around for years - I bought this bottle in 2012, which is also apparently when it was released (Diva collection, fall 2012, along with other Zoya classics like Daul and Suri and Song.). This is a steel-blue glass fleck, and I'm always a sucker for a good glass-fleck.

Here's Zoya's verbiage: "a medium steel blue base with heavy gold and blue iridescent metallic sparkle. A truly unique sparkling iridescent blue that adds a magical look to the nails." I'm inclined to think "magical" is probably a bit of overstatement, but obviously I really do like this. It looks very gray next to all these blues, but it's pretty much balanced right in between.

And I decided to put Orchid Steel Guitar here as well, because it seems a bit similar:
I don't think this is available any more - and it was a store-brand in the first place, so I doubt that it's easily findable. It has a similar glass-fleck-ish consistency, although it's a straight gray where Feifei is not.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wet Cement

Here's a plain gray creme, Xtreme Wear Wet Cement:
I keep buying grays but really I don't wear them much, when it comes right down to it. I do like this one a lot, though. It's a fairly cool medium-gray and it really is pretty close to the color of wet cement. I don't think this polish is current but it was around for a long time so it might be findable on Amazon or eBay. Even if it's not, though, this isn't really a unique color and I'm sure there's something similar around.




Sunday, September 16, 2018

Erin Condren haul, part 1

I've decided that I'm going to try to schedule the "off-topic" stuff - skincare, makeup, etc. - on the weekends, and keep to polish on the weekdays as much as possible. I don't know if I'll keep to that 100% but it seems like a good goal, anyway. Nail polish is not going to stop being my main thing any time soon. That said, this is even more off-topic than makeup, because it's about planners. I have a huge Erin Condren haul including my 2019 planner, but I have so many pictures I'm going to do it in stages.

So, regarding planners generally - I was having a discussion with somebody one day about whether it's organized people or disorganized people who need planners. All I can say is that I personally fall on the disorganized end of the spectrum, for sure. I don't have a massively complicated schedule, but I have a very poor sense of time and I forget things and having a planner seems to help. And I like Erin Condren's, even if they are kind of expensive. I think you can get them from Staples (here), but I've always ordered mine directly, because then you can get them personalized. Let's see, I think I ordered my first one in the middle of the year in 2015, but I paid extra to get the rest of 2015 and 2016 all in one volume. And then since then I've just done calendar years. The first year I also bought a bunch of extra covers, since they're interchangeable. This year I went especially bananas and bought the planner folio (basically a protective cover) , and also stickers, a notebook, etc etc...

Let's start with the folio, since it's something I haven't tried before:
It's made of neoprene, and the back side is black - or at least that's the only color I've seen - which means the designs with black in them are the natural matches to that. You can get the paisley design in black as seen here, or you can pick your own colors. I've had both the dark and white* versions of the cover, and it's really my very favorite design, which is why I decided to get it for the folio.

(*You used to be able to get this design on a planner in multicolors on a white background, which I really liked. - Aha, I just checked and it's still available as as a replacement cover, but that's the only place I saw it.)

The sticker below is covering up my initials, if you're wondering. That's being massively paranoid, I know, but I just wasn't comfortable putting it out there. (Most of my EC things have my full name on them, but this one just has room for initials.)
This is the medium size, which holds a standard-size planner easily and even some more stuff - I have been carrying a bound notebook that's the same size, as well as the planner. (The folio is 9x11" - I checked.) The neoprene stretches a bit, so that gives you some leeway, but there's not a huge amount of extra space. (I don't think there's actually a small size. There's only medium and large - large is 10-1/2x13". The medium size is $25 and large is $35.)

And because it's the same print, I'll also show you the mouse-pad I bought. (I feel like mouse-pads are obsolete, much of the time, but on the surface of my computer desk I seem to need one. And come to think of it, they wouldn't be selling them if nobody bought them, would they?) This is turned sideways because it fits better in the space I have - it also has initials and they're under the mouse, here. I was sorta beating myself up for spending the money on this item, particularly, but it has a really nice surface and I really like it and I know I'll use it until it falls apart in a few years, so really it's totally worth the $12.

(Part 2 coming on Friday)

Added: some pictures of the folio that I didn't post the first time:
This is the interior - it has several pockets and a pen-holder, as you can see. The planner fits underneath this. (Aside: I love this pink pen to a ridiculous degree because it matches the flamingo cover that I'm using now, and also matched the bright floral I was using for all of 2018 up until the last few weeks. And the paisley on the folio, for that matter.)

This is the planner's tabs peeking out from the edge of the folio.

The folio even has a cute EC-themed charm on the zipper:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Queen Of Hearts, part 2

I talked about Lucky 13 Queen Of Hearts a month or so ago. (Read Anya's little note at that link if you didn't before.) This polish was intended to be a magnetic but apparently didn't work out too well. Now that I have a new magnet to try it with, I did actually try it again to see if I could do anything on that score, and well, maybe Anya was right, because I still couldn't get anything to happen on the nail. There definitely is some magnetic oomph of some sort in there, though:
It's hard to tell from this angle, but the magnet is holding the whole (very small) bottle of polish in the air. So clearly the magnetic material is in there, even if it's not doing what it's supposed to otherwise!

Anyway, magnet or no magnet, this is a pretty polish.