Friday, May 31, 2013

A CVS haul

I'm still wearing Sugar Rush, although it's worn enough on a couple of tips that I will probably go ahead and take it off tonight. I love it enough that I e-mailed Karen and proposed a Gumdrops-for-Orchid nail polish swap, which she immediately accepted. We'll see what she's able to find as far as other colors. (Actually I wouldn't mind having another bottle of Sugar Rush, even, since the bottles are so small. The only color I don't want is the other orange.)

The funny thing is that we might end up back in Ohio again next week - well, that would be funny-as-in-highly-ironic, not funny-haha, because the reason we're (probably/almost certainly) going is that my father-in-law is critically ill. But I don't know what the schedule would be, of course, if we do go, and whether I might have nail-polish-shopping time is totally unknown. The least of the things I should be concerned about, let's face it.

Meanwhile, I went in CVS earlier and came out with four bottles of polish:
  1. Spoiled Cougar Attack (copper glitter), which I have been wanting for ages, for FORTY-NINE CENTS. I don't know what that was about. It didn't say it was on sale at all. Maybe it's a closeout? (In which case I'm really-extra-glad I got it. But I don't know that that's the case at all, anyway.)
  2. NYC "In a New York Minute" East Village (teal-blue foil), which sold me by putting the model's hands wearing this color on the display picture.
  3. Maybelline Color Show Shredded Magenta Mirage - which means it's a crackle, right? I didn't even snap to that until now, but that's fine - I've never bought a crackle in all this time, it's time I tried it!
  4. Maybelline Color Show Tenacious Teal - which I only bought because it was buy one, get one 50% off on the Color Shows, but it looks really pretty. It looks in the bottle like a straight-up green, not a teal at all.
Note that these are all stuffed into my (not very big) handbag at the moment, because it's hot outside and I didn't want to leave them in the car! The things we do for beautiful nails...

ADDED: my husband and I were working together today (which we don't do often, even though we work in the same place) and on the way home he wanted to run in a different CVS to get milk. So, guess what, I came in to look at the nail polish. I ended up with a new polish #5: Revlon Not So Blueberry - which doesn't look blue at all in the bottle, it looks like a sparkly purple. This was another 75%-off polish, and I got some intel on this from the clerk, when I came running up demanding that Rob pay for my polish. (Because I didn't want to take my purse full of newly-purchased polish inside CVS, that just seemed like asking for trouble.) Not that this is a surprising concept, but the clerk said that they were clearing out less-popular colors so that they have room for new fall colors. So you might want to check your local CVS to see if they have any of these semi-secret 75%-off bargains.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sugar Rush!

I decided to try taking some pictures with my actual camera instead of with my iPhone. The camera is seven or eight years old, so the iPhone may actually be a better camera than my poor old Canon. But on the other hand, since the Canon has an actual physical shutter button to push, it's possible to take this kind of picture, which I could never manage with the iPhone:
It's not a great picture, but the color seems fairly true, at least. This is Sugar Rush, from the Julie G Gumdrops collection. (I wonder if somebody who plays Candy Crush Saga had a hand in naming these? I hear that voice from the game say "Sugar Rush!" every time I see this name.)

Anyway, I like the color - it's red-orange enough to be fairly flattering on me (here are the rest of the colors - you can see that there's another orange that's more of a true orange). I was afraid that the texture would drive me crazy but it really doesn't. And it goes on very shiny but dries to a nice shimmery tone with just a little sparkle to it. Overall I really like it more than I expected to. A fun summer color with texture, what more can you ask?

(Oh, I forgot to say that I did use base coat, and Nail Nutrition too, but no top coat, of course. And this is three coats. It pumps up the color a bit with every coat, and I thought it was prettier with three, although two would have done, too.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nicole by Special K

I'm still wearing Gimme a Grape Big Kiss (see last entry) which I love but which is getting distinctly ragged in a couple of spots. So something else will doubtless be coming tonight or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd mention the Special K promotion in case people haven't seen it - my husband has been on a kick of eating Special K for breakfast or I wouldn't have. Going by the link there, though, it appears to be available through other products besides cereal. It takes 3 product codes to get 1 Nicole by OPI polish (in red) or 8 codes will get you a set of 3 (the red, a pink, and a blue). Apparently it MUST be a box with the promo offer on it - just any Special K code won't do. I decided to go for the single polish since I had 3 boxes (rather than wait to see whether Rob collected any more), so we'll see what I get - I'll report back on that when I do.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gimme a Grape Big Kiss

Hmm, I wrote most of an entry and managed to lose it. I hate it when that happens.

I am now wearing Gimme a Grape Big Kiss, which is one of the two scented Color Clubs from the "Wicked Sweet" collection that I got from Llarowe. I was seriously worried for a while that the scent was going to be a problem, because it made me cough while I was putting it on, but once it dried and I put top coat on, the scent died down to a tolerable level. You can still smell it, but only if you put your nose right up to it. Which is how it should be, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise it would be totally obnoxious. The very faint grape candy scent is pleasant, though, and I am totally in love with the color, which is not actually grape (as I think I said in the last entry) but rather a red-violet. It's quite sheer, and took four coats to get it really opaque, but it was totally worth it.

I bought 2 new nail related things on two different shopping expeditions in the last few days:
  1. A couple of fliptop Sterilite storage containers from Wal-Mart for 96 cents each - they are what I think of as a half-shoebox size - tall and squarish, perfect for nail polish. I put all my purples in one and all my blues and greens in another. That left enough room in the shoebox sized box that I was using before to put all the reds and pinks there in with space left over.
  2. A color called Pink Sizzle by L.A. Colors from Family Dollar, which actually cost a dollar. I don't have any L.A. Colors, and I figured it was time to try one out. Pink Sizzle is a dark pink that has a sort of rosy tinge to it, it looked a bit different.
Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not the most interesting shopping in the world, but it's what I got.

(And I'm just going to post this before I manage to lose it again.)


Friday, May 24, 2013

Stash additions & spreadsheets (w/bonus Lizard Belly pic)

Everything I've bought lately:
top row:
  • Julie G Sugar Rush (Gumdrops textured collection)
  • WnW Megalast On a Trip
  • Glitter Gal Lizard Belly (deep green holo)
bottom row:
  • Hedy's Ma.nish.ma. Ramblin' Red (I don't know why I picked this color, it looks like something I won't want to wear until fall!)
  • Picture Polish Violet Femme
  • Color Club Raspberry Rush
  • Color Club Gimme a Grape Big Kiss
  • Color Club Eternal Beauty (holo)

I did something the other day that I've avoided doing all this time: I made a nail polish spreadsheet. I know other people have them, but it seemed slightly extreme, somehow. But then I looked at somebody's (PolishAHolic's, to be specific - link is on this page) and suddenly it became clear to me what the point was. Now that I think about it, I wonder why it took me so long. I'm comfortable with spreadsheets - I used to be the secretary for a group of accountants, so aside from the fact that I never quite figured out pivot tables I'm really a pretty advanced Excel user - and I don't think pivot tables are going to be necessary here! (Certainly once you get to the size of PolishAHolic's collection, a spreadsheet has to be almost the only way to keep track.)

So of course now I'm geeking out over it, now that I've gotten started. I keep adding columns so I can do new ways of sorting. First I just had one column for the color, but then I added another one for "Color Family" - so I can do sort of basic color categories and sort by that, and then more specific colors in the original column.  I lumped all the purples into one "color family" and I made all the reds and fuchsias into another. As I mentioned when I was sorting out colors for those stash pictures, some are hard to categorize. For example, is Gimme a Grape Big Kiss, up there in the picture above, a pink or a purple? "Grape" leads you to think purple, but actually I'd call it a red-violet, poised right in between. I have a lot of those - I ended up putting them in the purple category but specifically labeling them red-violet as well.

I also love PolishAHolic's spreadsheet because it has links to all her reviews. I'm going to be checking that now that I noticed it's there. She doesn't have every polish in the world, but my god, she's got a lot. Here is her review of the 2 non-holo Color Clubs above, which I haven't tried out yet: Wicked Sweet. (I've never bought scented polish before, I hope it doesn't drive me crazy.)


I'm still wearing Lizard Belly, although several tips are starting to look very worn. (Others still look almost perfect. On the whole, considering how hard I am on my nails in general, I thought it did extremely well.)

It doesn't look very green here, does it? But actually it is. It's the first genuine dark green that I've ever owned. I like it a lot, even in normal room lighting where you can't see the holo-ness of it. And then once in a while the sun hits it and it's suddenly all gorgeous and you go, "Whoa."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lizard belly

(Saturday)
I posted in the last post about what I'm wearing today, but I forgot to mention that I did another Llarowe order. I did it on Tuesday and it came on Friday (great service!) but I didn't see it until after I had already done the spring-green manicure last night; otherwise I'm sure I would be wearing Lizard Belly today. Lizard Belly is something that I've wanted for a long time, and I resisted for close to two years, but I had a little birthday money from my in-laws and I finally couldn't resist any more. (Advantage of waiting: the price has gone down somewhat!)

I also bought 2 Color Club neon-ish colors that are both from the same summer collection from a couple of years ago: Raspberry Rush and Give Me a Grape Big Kiss. Because those are colors I just can't resist, seemingly.

(Sunday)
Things I have tweeted about that never made it onto the blog, partly for my own future reference:
Avon Holos
Manglaze Santorum
Not specifically about nail polish, but I'm sure it affects the fall lines: Fall 2013 Color Report

Still wearing spring green today. I'm sure by tomorrow at the latest I'll change this out, though.

(Tuesday)
I've been wearing Lizard Belly since last night. It really didn't look green in the bottle at all, but it is - although it's a very dark green and probably reads as an indeterminate almost-but-not-quite black in low light. I haven't gotten a good look at it in sunlight yet but under the fluorescent lights in the kitchen it's quite beautiful. It is starting to seem that every time I put on a holo we have a cloudy day, but that's probably because we've had quite a lot of them lately.

It went on nicely, although it's a bit sheer and it took 3 coats to get it good and opaque. Next time I might put another green underneath it and see if that helps. Even though the price had gone down (to $11, where it was listed as $14.00-14.95 in that ALU post from 2011 that I linked above), it's still a pretty small bottle and I'm definitely going to be inclined to hoard it a bit. (When we finally get some real sunshine I'll be sure to try to get a picture.)

NOTE: there's a picture in the next entry.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

History

My friend Col asked me the other day why the sudden interest in nail polish, which made me laugh. The answer, of course, is that it's not sudden at all, it's just that he suddenly noticed - I'm guessing it's because I've been tweeting an awful lot of links to blog posts lately. Even though I persist in saying from time to time that this is "not a real nail blog" (mostly meaning that I don't swatch constantly and take well-lighted pictures of my swatching), I have gotten a bit more serious about posting semi-regularly and tweeting the links and such. I've had various blogs for 10 years or so now and I can say with fair confidence that I will never be super-regular about when I post. But I'm trying to get in something once a week or so, at least.

My husband has also noticed that my interest in nail polish has risen to the level of a hobby lately, but really it's been that way for a couple of years now. I guess maybe the blogging has made me more voluble about it. I've always painted my nails off and on since I was 12 or so - more or less since the time my mom decided I was old enough to wear makeup. Usually I'd go through periods of keeping them polished all the time, and then get bored with the maintenance and stop for a while, and then start again some time later. So it's always been sort of a cyclical interest of mine. But I've been keeping my nails polished more often than not for maybe the last decade, and the periods where I neglected them have mostly gotten shorter and shorter and have disappeared almost entirely for the last year or two. (I used to paint my toenails off and on, too, but never very regularly, and I've abandoned that entirely these days since I don't usually wear sandals or open-toed shoes and so nobody sees my toenails at all except family, when I kick my shoes off at home or at somebody's house where I'm comfortable enough to do that.)

I never had acrylic nails or have gotten a professional manicure at all, except for a couple of Christmases ago when my cousin (who's licensed as a cosmetologist, although she hasn't been in the business the last few years) gave me a gel manicure. That's partly because I didn't feel like I could afford regular manicures, and partly, I finally realized, because I don't actually like people messing with my nails very much. I've always had pretty healthy nails without much effort, and usually I think fooling around with them doesn't improve them, and often seems to actually do harm - for example, my cuticles are just fine, usually, when left alone. The more I mess with them, the more they seem to have problems. (I did like the gel manicure quite a lot, though. I might eventually buy a kit to do my own.)

Speaking of nail care, I watched Holly's video about her nail routine, which made me think a bit more than usual about mine. (For example, I think I might ought to try cuticle oil, at least.) As I said, I believe in letting well-enough alone, for the most part. If I wasn't just genetically lucky about my nails I would probably do more. I do use Nail Nutrition when I think of it or when they seem dry. I usually use another base coat on top of that - I always use some sort of base coat and almost always a top coat. I'm not consistent at all about brands, though; those vary according to what I have around. And I used Cutex or a similar store-brand polish remover until the last year or so, when I finally started using 100% acetone. And it doesn't seem to have caused my nails to dry out excessively, so I'm planning on sticking with that unless I start having problems.

============================================

What I'm wearing now:
  1. Nail Nutrition
  2. Sinful Colors Base Coat
  3. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Ivy League
  4. Ivy League
  5. Zoya Zuza
  6. Revlon Colorstay Top Coat
As I've said before, Ivy League is too yellow to look good on me. So this is an attempt to get to some sort of spring-green that's more flattering on me. I think Ivy League and one coat of Zuza work pretty well together, really - some of the yellow-green peeks through, but the blue in Zuza tones it down. And Zuza on its own would have been more blue than I wanted.

I grabbed a sunlight picture in the car of my (currently very short) nails, so you can get an idea of the color:
 
I was being impatient and I messed the finish up on this a bit - you can see the bumps if you look close - so I don't know how long I'll stick with this. But I definitely like it. It's one to remember for future reference.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vinyl & links & what the heck is "indie" anyway?

Last night I tried out one of those minis from my stash that I'm not sure I've ever worn - Hard Candy Vinyl. This is the one that I said in my stash post that I thought was actually a dark purple, and I guess it is, but it reads pretty close to black. I didn't really think that was very interesting, once it dried, so I started layering my old favorite Chloe over it. I've worn Chloe a ton, but always over something pink or red, and I know it has other colors in it, so I wanted to see if it would look different over another color. And boy, did it - it looks completely different. It doesn't look the least bit pink - it looks coppery in some lights and green in others. It's so coppery that if you showed me a picture of it in coppery mode I might have guessed that it was Pumpkin Spice, or something like that. (I love Pumpkin Spice and I love copper, in general, so I don't think that's a bad result!)
(Later addition: picture, at bottom of entry)

And that's really all I have to say about my own nails right now, so here's the "assorted other goodies" part of the title - links, etc:

I got to Scrangie when I googled Pumpkin Spice, and I haven't been checking her blog regularly lately (despite the fact that there's a link in my sidebar), but I see that she's posting again, and there were some things there that interested me. First of all, there's a brand called Pretty Serious that I've never heard of but which has some nice colors. (I especially love Emma Louise. Wow. Luckily for my budget, it's sold out.)

(Another brand that everybody suddenly seems to be talking about lately is LACC. There are so many brands now that it takes a while for them to register on my brain.)

While it's awfully early to be thinking about fall unless you're a retailer, here is OPI's fall line. Some really pretty colors, although I can't say that anything really completely blows me away.

Globe and Mail swatched the "Four Horseman" collection - I really like a couple of those, especially that pale green one. I also really like her striped jelly nail art.

An Etsy indie I'd never seen before: I Love NP

I'm trying to decide if I agree with this definition of indie nail polish which excludes independent companies who sell polishes made in a lab (Cult Nails, etc.). On the one hand, in my mind "independent" = "indie" - isn't that where the word comes from? So it seems a bit odd to say in one breath that they're independent, but then to exclude them. But on the other hand, when it comes to what most people mean when they say "indie," then well, yes, the definition that limits it to hand-made items is probably closer.

She also links to a newspaper article about indie brands: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/03/20/2766378/nail-polish-fans-start-making.html

I am not actually a big indie-brand consumer - in fact, my recent Chirality purchase was my first one ever - but I am really interested in it as a phenomenon, if nothing else. One reason for my long abstention: I am not really a fan of big glitters and that's what most indie polishes seem to be. So it's no coincidence that I held back until I found those Chirality holos. (To clarify: I don't dislike glitters, by any means! and I love the colors in indie polishes and I usually think big glitters are great in the pictures - I just don't like to wear them. Just one of my many quirks.)

(Also, I should probably point out that when I said I'm "not a big indie-brand consumer" - well, that's really only true when it comes to nail polish. At least, I have been buying this and that from Etsy more or less since it existed, and from various other indie-type online stores since before anybody started calling them by that name. So it's not that I have any objection whatsoever to the ethos of the thing. In fact, it warms my little middle-aged wanna-be-hippie-chick heart.)


Here's Chloe over Vinyl, looking awfully golden-brown in the sunlight in my car:
I'll have to remember to use this combination again in the fall!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Orchid displays

I was talking about Orchid-brand in the last entry, and it finally occurred to me that I had a display picture on my phone, taken a month or two ago:
Their displays tend to be very basic, as you can see. (They all appeared to use exactly the same base, for example, in either black or white.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Orchid-brand, and other assorted purples

(Monday)
Well, when last heard from, I was putting on one of my new polishes - On a Trip. I really liked the color a lot, but I messed the finish up by not letting it dry long enough, and it was bugging me, so the next night I covered it up. I had yet another purple with me, and I used that - this one was Orchid-brand, called Island Couture. It's a violet shimmer, very pretty, and I'm still wearing that now, although it has a good bit of tipwear. I'm thinking about taking it off but I haven't quite gotten around to doing that yet.

I know Orchid is a brand that's probably unknown to a lot of people, and I don't know that I've talked about it since I've been posting here, although I know I've said most of this elsewhere. It's apparently a store-brand that's exclusive to HEB, which is a Texas-only grocery store chain. (They are pretty much the dominant chain, or at least sort of co-dominant with Kroger's, in big swathes of east and central Texas - I don't get to the other parts of Texas enough to be sure about them! Texas is a big place.) Karen and I did a swap back in 2011 where I sent her a couple of bottles of Orchid, and she theorized that they may be more or less the same as Pixel Polish (except cheaper, which is good for those of us with access to HEB stores, not so much for the rest of you). Anyway, it seems to be good quality polish. I don't have a huge number of bottles of it but I pick some up occasionally. They also have skin care products which I have not gotten around to trying so far - the only thing I've bought other than polish is their 100% acetone remover which of course is the same as anybody else's. They do have good coupon sales from time to time so that's usually when I've bought their products. (You can see an example of an HEB coupon sale in my old display photos which were on Karen's post and are also on Flickr.)

(Wednesday)
The layered purples were really holding up very well, considering, but I took them off earlier, finally, and put on Chirality Convergence (which is the plum-color) again - partly because the sun is out today and the first time I wore it, it was cloudy the whole time and so I have never gotten a good look at its holo effect. It's very unusual for us to have cloudy weather for many days in a row, but we did a few weeks ago and it happened to be when I first started trying out my new Chirality purchases. (The sun came out by the time I wore Kale later in the week, but it never did for Convergence.) Anyway, I really liked the color of Convergence, sun or no sun, and I wanted to try it again.

Added: pictures
Megalast On a Trip (I am not sure how accurate the color is here, but you can see pretty clearly that I marred up the finish!)

Chirality Convergence (in artificial lighting)

Didn't get a picture of the Orchid one, I'm afraid.

Maybe I should start putting on Convergence when we need rain. The sun was out when I put it on, but it clouded up before I even got outside, and last night and today we have had rainstorms. I'm starting to think that Convergence has magic cloud-attracting properties!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ohio

I have been at my in-law's with no internet, and didn't have the willpower to sit at McDonald's long enough to write an entry. (Perhaps I should look into the app for this, but I have never bothered.) Not too much has happened nail-wise since the last entry, anyway. I took Violet Femme off because I had peelie problems, and put on Chirality Symbiote, which I predictably loved (almost as much as I continue to love Violet Femme - my peelie problems are not Picture Polish's fault, let's face it). The Etsy store calls Symbiote a black holo, but I would call it a sort of a steel gray, myself. Actually the color that it looks in the bottle in that picture, at least on my screen, is a pretty fair indicator of what it looks like on my fingers. A fairly dark but not extremely dark gray, not anything resembling a black, in practice, although it's certainly possible that it has a black base. It goes on (and comes off) beautifully, like all the other Chirality holos.

I know that Symbiote comes off well because I just took it off. I have not made any firm decision about what's going on next. I brought a few things with me, and I bought a few more yesterday. This was a pretty quick visit to the in-laws and I didn't have time to do much, but I did make a quick trip to the Rite Aid in St. Mary's, Ohio, because I knew Rite Aid had nail polish brands that aren't available to me normally and I wanted to check them out. (I used the excuse that I needed to buy allergy medicine, but really, it was the nail polish.) I passed up a couple of things, like Jesse's Girl, that didn't grab me too much, but I did come out with these three things:
  1. Julie G Sugar Rush - which is a red-orange from the "gumdrop" collection - i.e., a texture
  2. Hedy's Ma.nish.ma. Ramblin' Red - looks like a dark maroon-ish red
  3. Wet n Wild Megalast On a Trip - a slightly periwinkle-leaning purple
OK, the WnW is probably available at home, I just never had noticed it. And I have never tried the Megalast line at all, so it's new to me, anyway. (Update: I now have it on and I really like it. I'm wearing two coats and I'm trying to decide if it needs a third. We'll see.)