Friday, January 31, 2014

Colors for Valentine's Day: a nail wheel

Pinks and reds, the classic colors this time of year. Obviously I'm not suggesting that everybody has to wear pink and red from now til Valentine's Day, because (a) you would tell me to go stuff myself and you'd be right to, and (b) I'd hate it if everybody did it, and it's not something I do myself consistently. I do it when I feel like it, but this year, I've been out of the pink mood and haven't worn it much in months, or red either, and now they're both starting to sound appealing again.

Now I have to admit that I like pink and red partly because they look good on me. I wear pink and red tops a lot, and I have a ton of pink and red nail polish because of that, too. But red looks good on almost everybody, and everybody can probably wear some shade of pink, too. So I did a nail wheel with some representative polishes from my stash. I only did a few reds, because even though it's not actually true that all reds look alike, still, there's not as much variety of reds as there are pinks. Also, I found out the hard way that very pale pinks just don't show up well on a nail wheel, so I just skipped them this time around except for the one confetti polish. But I tried to hit a range of colors in between there!

I know putting the little heart on the wheel is corny, but it was mostly so I wouldn't have to write VALENTINE'S DAY across it. (You may can see that I drew it in green Sharpie first, like the numbers, then I went and doodled around it with a fine-tip Sharpie, because, well, I was bored. All this pink is giving me flashbacks to junior high or something.) -- Maybe my own defensiveness about this is something we should discuss, actually, because sometimes my reaction to pink is weird. As I've already said, I really like pink, I wear pink clothes with great regularity and pink nail polish even more, but I seem to react oddly to an excess of pink. I usually won't wear Strobe Light because it trips that "too much pink" trigger in me every time, and that's maybe partly why I look at my own wheel with the silly heart on it and roll my eyes. Maybe I think pink is best in small doses.

So my issues aside, these are all polishes that came out of my own stash. Obviously, one at a time (or two, if I'm layering), I like them just fine!
  1. Purple Poodle (Orly)
  2. Santa Red My List (China Glaze)
  3. Lilith (Zoya)
  4. Alegra (Zoya)
  5. Juicy (Zoya)
  6. She Loves Me, I Love Him Not (Orchid)
  7. Peru-B-Ruby (OPI)
  8. Riley (Zoya)
  9. Red Carpet (Xtreme Wear)
  10. EmpoweRED (Rococo) with its matching toner on tip
  11. Dita (Zoya)
  12. Japanese Tea Garden with Aphrodite's Pink Nightie on tip (both OPI)
  13. Japanese Tea Garden (OPI) with Pink Pineapple (Revlon Parfumerie) on tip
  14. Status Symbol (Essie)
  15. Redrum (Dollish Polish)
  16. Rory (Zoya)
  17. Shelby (Zoya)
  18. Lara (Zoya)
  19. Girls On Film (Nostalgic)
  20. English Rose (Rimmel) with Hard Candy Jailbait on tip (I misidentified it earlier as Shy)
A ton of Zoyas here, but I had a good range of Zoya pinks to choose from, and Zoya hardly ever discontinues anything, so they're all still available, far as I know. Not all of these polishes are still in production, though, and I'll note what I know about that as we go down the list. I tried to concentrate on ones that are at least still possible to find. I should note that I did get the one China Glaze free (as I end up saying at least twice a week), but everything else here I paid for.

We're starting with 19, because that's how I took the pictures, I don't remember why!
(19) is Girls On Film - which says "temporarily unavailable" on Nostalgic's website, so its availability is unclear. But there are tons of these confetti polishes around so it's possible that there's a substitute for it from another brand, if not. (Ooh, here's a really pretty candidate!) This is the only one of these confettis in a creamy base that I own, and I wasn't sure about it at first, but it keeps growing on me. (20) is Rimmel English Rose, which is sort of a slightly-boring rose pink that I think of as somewhat old-fashioned, but it's still pretty. I wanted to try Jailbait, the Hard Candy, over something, so I picked the Rimmel, and it looked pretty cute, I think. ShyJailbait is an old Hard Candy color (as you can see, it has a completely different bottle from the ones that are currently available) so if it's still available from HC at all, it probably has a different name. But again, there are lots of topper sort of things like this around. And then coming around to (1) we have Purple Poodle, which is not really purple but magenta, with purple microglitter. This is a current color, as far as I know - I bought mine at Sally Beauty just last week.

Closeup of the wheel:

This is 2 to 5:
(2) is Santa Red My List, which despite its name is pink. (Purple Poodle is not purple and Santa Red is not red. I think there's a trend here.) It has a nice foil-ish finish on it that I like, and this is from the holiday collection, which I have seen around in recent weeks, so it's possibly still findable. (3) Lilith is a duochrome, and actually is not showing up on the Zoya website, now that I said that Zoya rarely discontinues things. It has a blue flash that's interesting, but other than that it's similar to a million other fuchsias. (...and for the rest of this entry I'm going to stop talking about alternatives unless I know something more definite, or this is going to get really repetitive.) (4) Alegra has a similar finish to the China Glaze - it's a packed microglitter - but it reads more as a red-violet on the wheel. Then (5) is Juicy, which is different because it's a sheer. They don't call it a jelly, but that doesn't mean you couldn't play around with it and do the kind of things you can do with a jelly. (Hmm, I might try a jelly fade!)

Closeups, which overlap a bit with the last one:
2 and 4 look pretty similar in this picture, but looking at them in real life (2) the China Glaze reads more as a reddish-pink, while (4) Alegra reads much more towards purple.

 6 to 9:
(6) is Orchid She Loves Me, I Love Him Not, which is a very packed microglitter. It's very pretty and sort of violet-leaning, and if you like it you may need a swap-buddy in Texas, since Orchid is only sold at HEB and HEB is only in Texas. (Maybe they'll have a sale soon and I can stock up!) Anyway, (7) is OPI Peru-B-Ruby, which is an almost-red but leans pink, and it's nice and shiny and pretty and I think still available. (8) is Zoya Riley, which is a deep raspberry color that's a bit different - notice in the wheel pictures that Riley actually reads darker than either of the reds here. And (9) is the Xtreme Wear, Red Carpet, which is a nice, fairly sheer, glittery red, which looks like it has a hint of violet in it at 2 coats but turns more obviously red with more coats. I believe I'm on my second bottle of this one.

Here's 5-8 getting darker and darker.

10 and 11:
OK, so I wasn't sure about this Rococo duo and how well it worked - it's called Empowered or EmpoweRED, and it's a really pretty red along with a toner you use to darken it. I tried doing skittles, and it definitely does make it darker. I did my whole hand with the red and left my thumb plain and did 1, 2, 3, and 4 coats of toner on successive fingers, and you can tell the difference. It just isn't a dramatic difference. I've been on a quest for the perfect blackened red, and this isn't it, but still it's pretty. My pictures of the skittles didn't come out but let's see if you can see it on the closeups below. By itself it's on the light side of red; with a lot of toner, it's more on the dark side (*insert your own Star Wars joke*). (But you can't see much of this effect, at least on my monitor, so you'll have to take my word for it, but it's there.) Oh, and then as an afterthought to this picture, we have (11) Dita - which is actually a pretty awesome color, it's somehow the most tasteful bright pink you can imagine. Zoya calls it a "saturated purple-toned berry-red creme." In some ways, it is the perfect bright pink.

It annoys me that you can't see the toner effect here, because you could when I took the picture!

12 and 13:
12 and 13 have the same base: OPI Japanese Tea Garden, which I noticed was for sale on some fairly major website I was cruising lately, so it is still available. I'm not so sure about Aphrodite's Pink Nightie, which is what is on top of it on (12). (But again, frosty pale pink, there are probably a million of them.) I think I mentioned this a month or so ago when I was doing my original pink wheels - these two polishes were one of my very early experiments in layering, and I still think they go really well together. But Pink Pineapple looks pretty good over it in (13), too, so eh.

12 and 13 are visible both in the last close-up picture and in this one too. But I think you can see them a bit better here:
(14) is the aforementioned Strobe Light (mentioned wayyyy up at the top), in this case over another classic, Essie Status Symbol. Bottle picture coming up:
In my experience, you can stick pretty much any pink under Strobe Light; it's so flashy nobody's going to notice the difference. Strobe Light is actually over ONE coat of Status Symbol; then I went, "Oh wait, it needs another coat! and just put the second coat over the bottom half where there was no glitter. I wouldn't do this on a real mani, but on the nail wheel it looks surprisingly ok. Status Symbol was still an Essie core color the last time I looked, but they have other colors that are very close, too. (Watermelon springs to mind.) (15) is Dollish Redrum, which may not be findable - there are other pink holos around, but none with as fun of a name.

Next we have this very girly trio of Zoyas - if you're not already acquainted with Rory, Shelby, and Lara, and you like pale pinks, you should be:
Rory is a microglitter, and slightly more purple. Shelby is paler than Lara. Shelby is really too pale for my coloring; I mostly wear it for layering. (Rory looks great over it!)

I happened to go leafing through my spoons while I was taking pictures yesterday, or I would not have remembered that those three all came from the same collection:
Beach & Surf has to be one of Zoya's all time best-selling collections. I seem to recall almost buying the whole dozen at one point, but I settled for these six. (The other three are Reagan, Carly, and Kimber.)

Aaand that's actually it, because we started with 19. I can't imagine that anybody who hates pink has gotten this far, so I won't apologize again for the pink overload. If you do like pink, maybe this has given you some ideas!

I'd love to hear feedback! Tell me your theories about why pink is so polarizing. Tell me your favorite pinks. (Two that come to mind that I don't own that everybody seems to love: Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream. Both glitters, so that may be why I have resisted thus far.) Beat me up for subjecting you to all this pink, if you like...

(And to repeat my disclaimer: nobody's paying me anything to say all this. There is not so much as an affiliate link in this entire entry. I did get the one China Glaze for free, but it was a straight-up blog giveaway and not given to me for review, even!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I am not a terribly organized person - if you know me or you've been reading here very long you have probably figured that out! So it's not very surprising that there's overlap between these two pictures of recent purchases, because I mislaid the first picture for a while and couldn't remember what was in it when I took the second one. (I did think briefly of going back to redo the second one, but this time of year, the light changes fast and the sun was low enough by then that I didn't think I could get a decent picture.)

  • ModLacquer Chupacabra mini
  • ModLacquer Goblin mini
  • Zoya Chita
  • Zoya Katherine
  • Zoya Chyna
  • Essence Beauty Beats As Long As You Love Me (the Bieber polish)
The ModLacquer minis are tiny - I think it's 4ml - but I wanted to try Chupacabra so badly that I didn't care. Goblin is very cool-looking too - a green/brown duochrome. Let's see, I've talked about Chita and Katherine more than once already, I believe, and the Bieber one, too. I haven't worn Chyna yet because I'm saving it for my pre-Valentine's Day spree of reds and pinks, which is probably about to commence at any moment. (In fact it may more or less have started already, but I'll get to that in a minute.) In anticipation of that, tomorrow's post is more than likely going to be about red and pinks. I did a nail-wheel for the occasion, even.

That was the stuff that's arrived at my house most recently. I can't actually say that I've purchased most recently, because as I think I've mentioned already, I bought some stuff from Holly's blog sale and it's still in transit. (I haven't seen today's mail so it may be here already.) Here's what was still in the bin that I've been throwing recent purchases into:
(starting with the one on the far left, then across the top)
  • China Glaze Agro
  • Orly FX Intergalactic Space
  • Orly Purple Poodle 
  • Rococo EmpoweRED
  • Rococo EmpoweRED toner
  • Rococo Stone Cold Karma
  • Pahlish Blood of the Mountain
  • Pahlish Pyrite
  • Zoya Chita and Katherine
  • Jin Soon Gossamer
I just realized that there is a Rococo missing - Darkest Emerald. It's untried as yet, so I'm sure I'll get a picture of it sooner or later. Also, if you're wondering about the EmpoweRED thing, check back tomorrow. It's on the new nail wheel. (You may notice that the red Zoya was also missing, but I realized that when I took the picture, since I knew I had three new Zoyas, just like everybody else in North America. I just didn't bother tracking it down.)

I'm wearing Blood of the Mountain, which is what I meant when I said I might have started with the reds and pinks already. It doesn't feel like a Valentine's color, but it is red, a very dark red - it really does look like blood, especially in low light. It lights up beautifully in the sunshine, though. (I had a couple of tries at capturing it in the light, but I never got even a halfway-decent picture. Go look at somebody else's, instead.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stash - Revlon

The Revlon portion of my stash:
L-R across the top and then bottom:
  • Revlon Parfumerie Pink Pineapple and China Flower (both as yet untried)
  • Scandalous - a purple glitter (more on this one below)
  • Vixen
  • Plum Attraction
  • Strawberry Electric
  • Not So Blueberry (scented)
  • (starting the bottom row) Nail Art Neon (dual-ended wand) in Ultraviolet
  • Orbit (Nail Art Moon Candy)
  • Blackout
  • Colorstay Amethyst
  • Colorstay Rainforest
  • Colorstay Basecoat
  • Colorstay Topcoat
  • (old) Colorstay Always Sheer Bliss - these are sitting on top of the little bottles of topcoat that came with them! one for each color
  • (old) Colorstay Continuous Cranberry and topcoat
  • Chroma Chameleon Topaz
  • (upside down) bottle of Top Speed topcoat which I have now talked about three days in a row!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I mentioned that old bottle of Top Speed, and here it is, along with some other things that I picked out as being among my oldest polishes that I still own:

  • Top Speed topcoat
  • Jet-Set Departure
  • Cover Girl Boundless Color Gold Rush
  • Colorstay Continuous Cranberry
  • Colorstay Always Sheer Bliss
(I wasted a ton of money over the years on pale pinks, especially the super-pale ones like the one on the right. I don't know why I kept thinking if I tried another brand I'd decide I liked it!)

I don't know how accurate my memory is about when I bought what, really. I suspect all of these are maybe 4 years old, at the very least, because that was when I started to get more seriously interested in nail polish, and at least a few of them are considerably older than that. I think actually some of my OPIs may be just as old as these or older, too - in fact, I know some of them date back at least to sort of the mid-2000s, although that's about as good a date I can put on them at this point. (I do know that we moved cities in late 2008, so I can date things by that if I have any memory of where I bought them. The OPIs mostly came from Kroger's in Galveston, thus pre-2008.) It's hard to look at OPIs and think, "That one's old," though, because their bottles haven't changed much in years.

Somebody somewhere was talking about the first polish they ever owned, and mine was a Revlon. I can't remember the name of the color right now but I think I would recognize it if I saw it - it was in production for years after I bought it sometime in the mid-70s. It was a very bright fuchsia, and at the time it seemed a bit daring! That might not be the first polish I ever wore, because I have a vague memory of my mother letting us paint our nails a few times before that, but it was the first one I ever bought with my own money.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bieber sandwich

This was one of those manicures where I just kept doing layers until I arrived at something I liked.
Intergalactic Space had some noticeable tipwear, after I washed my hair, and I was trying to decide whether to try to go another day with it - only then I broke a nail, and so I just threw in the towel on that. (It wasn't too hard to get off - I suspect all those layers of Katherine underneath the glitter helped a bit!) I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I started digging around in the "recently-acquired" bin, and ended up with the Justin Bieber polish. It has a name but it's a bit long and I suspect this polish will forever remain filed under "Bieber" in my brain. (It's "As Long As You Love Me." I think. I assume that's one of his songs.) Anyway, it is a pretty polish, despite its origins - gray with shimmer - but I have to admit that I partly picked it because I knew I could layer over it. The next thing I picked out of the bin was the snowman polish, because it was silvery holo shimmer and it seemed like it would go well with the gray.

So, thus far we have:
  1. Nail Nutrition (and no other basecoat, which might be why this is already chipping)
  2. Bieber
  3. Bieber
  4. Snowman
  5. Snowman (ok, its name is Sparkle, and I don't have any excuse about name-length on this one, but I still think of it as Snowman, just the same) - then I realized Katherine was still in this bin, too, and I thought, "Jelly sandwich!" and so...
  6. Katherine
  7. Katherine
  8. Top Speed topcoat
The bottle of Top Speed that I used for this didn't even make it into my line-up of topcoats - it was a black bottle, and I suspect it's fairly old. (I know they're still making Top Speed but I'm not even sure what bottle it comes in nowadays.) I decided afterwards that this bottle is going to live in my glove compartment as an emergency backup until either it gets used up or it get hot enough that having combustibles in my car makes me nervous. But it's winter, even here, so that's a couple of months away.

(In fact we are supposed to have snow on Tuesday. I'll believe it when I see it.)

(Regarding the title: I started trying to think of even worse variations on the already fairly lame joke about a Bieber sandwich, but I decided that was bad enough, and I should stop there. You're welcome.)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Intergalactic Space

This is Orly Intergalactic Space over Zoya Katherine:
I bought it without ever having seen swatches, and I was a bit worried, but actually I quite like it. It's a black jelly with a lot of bronze glitter, very scattered larger white circles - you can see one on my index finger - and some other colors of smaller glitter as well. I love anything with bronze or copper, so I can be counted on to love this one as well, I guess. I had put Katherine on as a syrup mani, so it gets lighter towards the bottom of the nail, and I think you can see that a bit if you look close. (But not unless you're really paying attention!)

So where did I come by Intergalactic Space? you might wonder. Well, I said I was going to slow down on buying stuff, I didn't say I was going to stop. I went in Sally Beauty because I had a $5 off coupon that expired the end of January, and I wanted to use it before I forgot. I bought a big bottle of acetone and some nail files that were on sale, and then I bought 2 Orlys, because they were buy 1, get one free. (The other one is Purple Poodle, which I bought half for the name.) I did make it through a trip to Walgreen's and a couple of trips to HEB in the last week or so without buying any polish, but I also bought some stuff from Miss Holly's blog sale so I can't exactly feel virtuous. I didn't go hog-wild with that, at least.

Oh, and I also bought a snowman polish that was marked down, just because I never have had any of those and it was cheap. It was called "Sparkle" so it looked like something I'm likely to use!

Also, I saw somewhere that Sally Beauty was going to have Finger Paints on sale in February, so I am already plotting to get a couple of those. If I can at least keep from buying anything else until then, I'll be pretty happy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Indies, part 2

First of all, it occurs to me looking at yesterday's entry that everybody in the world probably does not know what nail people mean, exactly, when they talk about indies. So here's a little bit of explanation (and if you don't want to read it, then skip down past the jump & the picture for the continuation from yesterday). The short answer is, indies are polishes that people mix up at home, in their basement or wherever. A few years back, you'd hear people who were into nails talking about "frankens" all the time, and it mystified me for a while, but I finally figured out that it meant home-mixed nail polish. (I guess the term comes from "Frankenstein"?) The most common franken, I think, was that you just took some glitter and poured it into a bottle of clear nail polish, to see what you'd come up with. So indie polishes are (at their simplest, anyway) just a refinement on that: some people got good enough at it to start making nail polish for their friends, and then they put up little stores for their polishes on Etsy, and voila! before you know it there's a whole industry of these things.

I saw an estimate one time a year or so ago that there were 1000 brands of indie polish, and if anything I'd guess that that's conservative. I wouldn't recommend going out and starting your own indie polish business now if all you want is to get famous and rich, because the market is pretty saturated. But it became an industry because people will buy these polishes, because the women making these polishes (as with most things nail-polish-related, it's almost all women) were doing far more interesting things playing with nail polish at home than what the big polish companies were doing. I suppose the secret, to some extent, is that the makers here are also the consumer, so they know what the consumer wants, where the big companies didn't. And a few of them have gotten fairly famous - I'm not so sure about rich. But there are definitely at least a few people who make their living at it!
(back to specific indies after the jump)

Friday, January 24, 2014

A small case of indie-mania

This was not what I was intending to put up next, but here it is, just the same: the indie component of my stash. I am sort of a latecomer on indies so it's a fairly small collection!
L-R starting with the top row: Colors by Llarowe Montana Sky, Paint Box Polish Slightly Unstable, Dollish Polish Walker Bait, Dollish Deadly Nightshade mini
2nd row: Pipe Dream Polish In Through the Out Door, Pahlish holiday duo of Boughs of Holly and Yuletide Treasure, Nail Pattern Boldness Elderberry
3rd row is all Nostalgic Nail Lacquer: As If!, Girls on Film, F*ck and Run, Rid of Me, and Patricia
Bottom row is all minis: Pipe Dream Polish Believe in Believing; Chirality Convergence, The Symbiote, and Kale; Dollish Redrum and They're Here! (actually I think "here" is spelled with extra e's in it, but anyway)

Let's see, I've talked about most of these at one time or another since I've had this blog, so I'll try to dig out links. Montana Sky is a blue jelly with scattered glitter - and I don't seem to have gotten a picture of it so here's somebody else's. Slightly Unstable is the Bellatrix polish in a Women of Harry Potter series - it's so LE that at the time I ordered it, I believe the Etsy shop had a note up saying that this polish required special ingredients, and she wasn't ordering them until she reached a certain threshold of orders for it (and if not we'd get our money back, of course). Obviously she got there. (Here's both Slightly Unstable and Elderberry, in one entry, and this entry has a picture of SU again, at the very bottom, with Yuletide Treasures on top of it. Also note that somewhere near that picture is a link to a coupon code that should still be valid, at least if it's still January when you're reading this!)

You can see that I have lots of minis on the indie polishes. It makes sense to me since they're slightly higher than my normal price-range, in general ($10 seems to be about the average price for a full-size indie polish), and also because I so rarely use up anything nowadays. (Back when I had maybe a dozen polishes total, it was different.) So the only Dollish full-size bottle I have is Walker Bait, and I believe that a mini wasn't available for it, although I could be wrong. Walker Bait, if you don't know, was only available in a certain time-frame - you had to order it before the Walking Dead premiere back in October. It's an olive holo, and gorgeous.

All the rest of the Dollish Polishes were Halloween polishes. (Ooh, Dollish has some cute Valentine polishes. I should never let myself look at these websites!) I didn't write down what collection Deadly Nightshade came from, but I'm pretty sure that that name is a callout to Tim Burton, wouldn't you think? (Aha, it's "This is Halloween" so I'd say that's a big yes.) The two on the bottom row were both part of a horror-movie-themed "Halloween Frights" collection. Anyway, Deadly Nightshade, as you've already seen if you followed those links, is a mixed-size purple glitter. I actually wore it over green at Halloween, an idea I got from somebody's else blog (and I don't remember whose, unfortunately!) - it was a good idea, whoever it came from, and it looked really cute. Unfortunately I have no photographic evidence that I can find. I do have a bad picture of They're Heeere. It's much prettier than that, though. And I have not worn Redrum, still (how did I let that happen?) but it apparently is the polish that kept popping up on my nail wheels - at least two different ones - that I couldn't identify. Apparently with one coat, it looks pink (it's #11, there). But it doesn't look pink at all in the bottle. I will probably rectify that's still untried very soon - I am sort of saving up everything pink and red that I own for a big orgy of Valentine-color-scheme manicures between now and V-day. I have kind of been out of the mood for both but maybe I am ready for them again.

I've talked about the Pahlish duo ad nauseum in the last month so I'm not going to repeat that. Here's one of several entries about it. I also have a couple of brand-new ones that I haven't worn yet, and that obviously didn't make it in to the picture. So you'll be hearing more about Pahlish. (Also, dammit, Forest of the Dead is back in stock. I'm repeating to myself: I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE GREEN POLISH.)

Hmm, I apparently have so much to say about indies that this is getting awfully long. Maybe I'll do a part 2! (To be continued, since I'm sure I have quite a bit to say about Nostalgic and Chirality and NPB, too. - And Pipe Dream, since I don't seem to have said anything about them, either!)

(NOTE: You may have seen part 2 for a while this morning, but it was just a list and that is not what I intended to put up, so I un-published it again and it will be back tomorrow.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rococo and more

I don't think it's news to anybody that the more expensive the brand, the fancier the packaging:
There are two bottles of Pahlish in that picture, and they're just with the rest of this stuff because they showed up in the mail the same day. The rest of this all came from Space.NK Apothecary, and it was all half-price, but even for half-price you still get all of this beautiful but moderately excessive packaging, of course. Anyway! Half-price Rococo and Jin Soon and Lipstick Queen! Why am I complaining?

For the record, the two Pahlishes (which were not on sale, if I'm remembering correctly) are Pyrite and Blood of the Mountain. (I think Blood in the Mountain has sold out in the past, right? So I was lucky to get hold of it at any reasonable price.) Then the square Rococo box is a duo, EmpoweRED or maybe it's just Empowered, but anyway it's a red polish and a toner which is supposed to darken it. I have been obsessed with blackened reds lately so I wanted to try that. Then we have a Jin Soon, which is Gossamer and was a Space.NK exclusive, I believe. (I can already report on that one, and in fact you are probably going to get sick of hearing about it because I am in love. It's an iridescent topper and it's awesome.) Next there's the single Rococo, which was Darkest Emerald Luxe - which is a blackened emerald or a teal, depending on who you ask. And in the purple cracker was a Lipstick Queen lipstick, a very nice lip brush, and another Rococo, which was... I keep forgetting the name, I think it's Stone Cold Karma. (I'm wearing that one right now - with Gossamer on top of it, of course!) The lipstick is "Nude Sinner".

A couple of other Space.NK notes: they might still be having a sale because I got an e-mail about it a couple of days ago, but I haven't checked in to see what if anything is still in stock! Also, I feel like need to say that while I found some complaints on Facebook about their shipping, my experience was fine. I got it in a reasonable time, well-packaged (actually everything in the picture was inside much more padding inside a box), and correct, so I have no complaints whatsoever other than that the fancy packaging bothers me a teensy bit. But it's not by any means the most overpackaged merchandise I've ever seen. Not even close, so my griping is just blather, to a large extent.

I don't have pictures of my recent manicures, but for the record, the two Gossamer ones were the one that I mentioned above, Gossamer over Stone Cold Karma, and before that, I put Gossamer over the Chita + topcoat mani, and it was gorgeous. On the evidence of what I've tried so far, I'd say Gossamer shows up better over darker colors. You can see it over Stone Cold Karma, but you have to look closely. Also, I should say that Stone Cold Karma is basically a nude, although it's darker than my (super-pale) skin tone, but it looks good on me and that was a bit of a surprise. (Darker may be why it looks good on me. I usually don't like light colors on me at all.) I'm not sure why I even bought that set in the cracker since nudes are not usually my thing, but I actually like the lipstick, too. So that was a big win, overall.

(I thought I already had pictures of the individual bottles, but I haven't been able to find them. I'll get those up eventually.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More belated HoliGlazes: a nail wheel

All China Glaze nail wheel, so HERE'S THE DISCLAIMER: these are the polishes that I got free from polish insomniac and China Glaze.
These are 2 coats unless otherwise stated. There were 13 polishes; I tried various things over black (mostly the glitters) and tried out a few other combinations to fill up the wheel.

(I don't recommend trying to read my writing on the wheel - there's a list under the jump)
  1. Santa Red My List
  2. Just Be-Claws
  3. Travel in Colour  (1 coat) over Just Be-Claws
  4. So Blue Without You
  5. Bells Will Be Blinging
  6. Bells Will Be Blinging over So Blue Without You
  7. Mingle With Kringle 
  8. Be Merry! Be Bright over Mingle With Kringle
  9. Be Merry! Be Bright
  10. This is Tree-Mendous - green microglitter (2 coats)
  11. Put a Bow On It - fuchsia microglitter
  12. All Wrapped Up - purple (or maybe blurple?) microglitter
  13. Your Present Required
  14. Your Present Required  (1 coat) over (unnamed) black
  15. Bells Will Be Blinging (1 coat) over black
  16. Be Merry! Be Bright  (1 coat) over black
  17. Travel in Colour  (1 coat) over black
  18. There's Snow One Like You (3 coats on tip)
  19. Travel in Colour  (1 coat) over Elfin' Around
  20. Elfin' Around - orange-leaning red shimmer
I did this wheel right after I got these polishes in mid-December, but then it was close to Christmas and things were chaotic and I kept losing it (the wheel, I mean) and finding it and losing it again. Somewhere in there I kept track of it long enough to take pictures, but actually as of now it's missing again. I'm not too worried about it; it'll turn up eventually.

I didn't take bottle pictures because I'd already taken several - here's one, and here's Jessika's thumbnails, too. But I did take some detail pictures of the wheel, so you can see better.

These are turned every which way, and I'm not going to worry about that - I'm assuming you can manage to read the numbers, even upside down!
So here we have the white texture at the very top, then we have Travel in Colour, the color-shifting topcoat, over Elfin' Around, and then 20 is Elfin' Around alone. Near as I can tell that result is normal - Travel in Colour seems to shift everything I've tried it on towards pink. Then we go back to #1, which is Santa Red My List (which, oddly, is very pink). 2 is the actual red in the bunch: Just Be-Claws. And 3 is Travel in Colour over Just Be-Claws, which is, again, shifted to pink. (I'm not wasting any more of my Travel in Colour mini on that combination, since it looks almost exactly like Santa Red My List!)

4:  So Blue Without You; 5: Bells Will Be Blinging; and 6 is those two layered (which I wore as a mani before Christmas; it was terribly festive!)

(this picture is blurry but I still think you can get the idea)
7, Mingle With Kringle, features under a glitter fade with another of my Christmas manis
8 is Be Merry! Be Bright over Mingle With Kringle and in 9 it's alone. I tried Be Merry! Be Bright over something purple the other day, I think it was, and I decided I was going to save it to wear again closer to Valentine's Day; that was the kind of vibe it gave off, for all it has that very Christmassy name.

This is the microglitters, which I love:
10 This is Tree-Mendous (2 coats); 11 Put a Bow On It (here it is with top coat, and you can see that it appears much more fuchsia than in the picture above); and 12 All Wrapped Up

13 is Your Present Required; then the next 4 are over a black base: 14 is Your Present Required, 15 Bells Will Be Blinging, 16 Be Merry! Be Bright (which I like)

This overlaps with the last one, but 17 is Travel in Colour  over black, and then we come around to where we started with the texture, There's Snow One Like You. That one is problematic, and I've been casting around for a way to wear it. It's very thick, and it has hex glitters in it, which makes it seem even thicker.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Buying habits and bottle size

I just noticed that Colores de Carol, in addition to having a really lovely and colorful new blog header, has a new tagline - " 'I have enough nail polishes' - said no woman ever." Very cute and apropos.

In fact, I said that very thing last summer, although obviously I wasn't serious about it, because I then proceeded to double the size of my nail polish collection in six months. Actually maybe what I said was that I didn't think I really needed any more, in the sense that I had all the major color groups covered. Only then I decided I needed this polish and that one, and somehow it snowballed. Need is a very fluid thing.

I am contemplating this partly because somewhere in my recent orgy of clearance-sale purchases, I hit 300 polishes, according to my spreadsheet. Last spring/early-summer, when I was doing that first set of stash photos, I know I said I had 100-odd full bottles, plus a bunch of minis. A lot of the things I bought in the interim have been minis, and I'm not going to try to figure out the mini-to-full-size ratio,** but anyway, I was under 200 total when I made the spreadsheet back then, and now I'm over 300. So a lot of buying has gone on. (I did get the dozen China Glazes for free, yes. And I did some swapping with Karen, who is a very generous swap-buddy and I definitely got back more bottles than I sent her. But I paid for all the rest of 'em.)

Which is to say that I need to slow down. I'm trying not to say the words "no-buy" out loud, because I tried that last summer and it didn't go well. I should've known, really. (Try to tell me I *can't* do something, and it rarely ends well.) But I think some slowing down should be doable, hopefully.

**It's becoming relatively meaningless, I think, in any case. The concept of a full-size bottle being 0.5oz/15ml seems to be going by the wayside. However, minis just seem to get smaller - I bought some minis lately that were 4ml, or about .13 oz. It's enough for a couple of manis, I imagine, but boy, that's tiny. I'm trying to at least start paying more attention to how much I'm buying as well as what I'm buying, but it's easy to get seduced by the pretty colors and the glitter and forget to look!

So remember how I said I sorted my polishes by brand, then after I took the pictures, I was re-sorting by color? Well, here's what that looks like:

Basically I commandeered every big plastic bowl that we have in the house, and most of my polishes are just sitting in those. I still have a few more pictures to take, then I can start breaking this down and resorting within these rough categories, too. The purples (top picture) are in a big purple bowl meant for Halloween candy; then the middle picture is sort of fall-colors-plus-red-plus-gold, and that's in a bowl with a Christmas design, and the blues and greens are in a big green plastic bowl that I think is Tupperware, and was probably one of my mother's. (This is not everything, as you might can tell, especially since pink is notably absent - this was just the pictures I snapped because I thought it was all slightly comical.) (Also I am slightly proud of my bowl-to-polish color coordination!)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stash - Butter, CG, and Sinful

Butter Londons from my stash: Lillibet's Jubilee, Pitter Patter, No More Waity Katie, Nail Foundation, (2nd row) Thames, Henley Regatta, Knees Up, Hardwear, Powder Room remover mini

For a long time the only BL I had was Henley Regatta. I think I bought it from Ulta a couple of years ago. Then last summer I went on a tear and bought most of the rest of this within a month. I bought four more polishes from BL's own "Friends & Family" sale, and then I bought Thames + the nail care items in a set from Nordstrom's big summer sale. The three wildly-varying purples on the top row were a set called "The Royals" (I think - and now I'm gonna be singing Lorde again for the next two days, because I've had that song stuck in my head a lot lately). (It's hard to tell, but Lillibet's polish - that's the queen's childhood nickname, as I understand it - is pale silvery lavender, and No More Waity Katie is a purple-gray shimmer, both very pretty. I need to try Henley Regatta over Thames, don't I? - because they look awfully similar in the bottles! And Knees Up is a polish I've seen described as "wrapping-paper red" because it looks like red foil. I like all of them, but Knees Up might just be my favorite. (I just talked about basecoat and topcoats the other day, so I'm not going to repeat myself there, but I will say that I've had this bottle of remover since last summer and haven't opened it yet, because it's non-acetone and I'm an acetone user. But I'm sure I will use it sooner or later!)

I guess we're going from high to low price-wise here - this is China Glazes and then Sinful Colors. I did whole posts on the China Glazes back in December so I'm not really going to go through them all again, though. If you're new to my blog, I won all 13 of these in a giveaway - it's the entire HoliGlaze (2013 holiday) collection. Here's the nail wheel that has them all. There are only 8 7 Sinfuls, I think (first I was counting the mini that's over on the right side, but it's another CG), and they start with Rich in Heart, which is the brown one that's upside-down on the top row. The pale bluish-looking one at the top right is Let Me Go, which is hard to categorize by color, but it's a sort of mother-of-pearl duochrome shimmer, it's great. And the turquoise one is Nail Junkie, a glitter (which as I recall, is supposed to be a dupe for China Glaze Atlantis). The last four on the bottom row are also SC's - I think it's I Love You, Winterberry, basecoat, and Fiji. I don't have all that many Sinful Colors, as you see, but actually I am a big fan. They do so great for the price!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Origin stories

Not Origin the cosmetics company, but cosmetics and nail-polish companies in general. Where'd they come from?

OPI was a dental-products company called Odontorium Products Inc. - thus OPI. I googled the original name (because it's sort of comical and I don't always entirely trust Wikipedia) and found this fascinating short CNN/Money story from 2004 that tells how they went from dental products to nail products, so I won't repeat that part, but once they did, OPI spent most of the 80s selling acrylic supplies to salons, before then adding nail polish in 1989.

I knew Revlon was much older, but didn't know that much otherwise except the name of the founder - which is not RevLon, but RevSon (without the caps in the middle, that was just me). It was founded by Charles Revson and partners in the very early 1930s. One of his partners was his brother; another was a chemist named Lachman, which is who the "l" in the brand-name is in honor of. Their only product for most of a decade was nail polish - a then-new formula which was pigment-based, instead of dye-based as previous polishes had been. Modern cosmetics are so pigment-heavy that it's pretty easy to see why this was a hit, to my mind! Revlon was already a multi-million dollar company by the time they added their first lipstick in 1940. (So don't let anybody tell you that nail polish is a fad.)

I adapted the little stories above from Wikipedia and other sources - but they don't have entries for even all of the biggest companies. Where's Sally Hansen, for goodness sake? At times like this I always think that you can tell Wikipedia is mostly run by boys. Anyway, if I get around to doing some more research later, I'll make this a series. I don't know if it interests anybody else, but it interests ME.

(I said I wasn't going to do a Sunday entry, but I think I will after all - this one has already been sitting around for a week as it is.)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Today's nails - Chita

I did this late last night and it's not the neatest manicure I've ever done, but it's not awful. This is two coats of Zoya Chita, plus two coats of top coat. I don't really remember what I was thinking when I decided it needed top coat, but anyway, it still looks pretty and sparkly - and it's still got a bit of texture to it even after two rounds of Grand Central Station, so I think it's fair to characterize it as a top-coat-eater. But I like it. (I should say that now that I look at this picture, I think it looks a bit more greyed-out here than this polish really is. It's a pretty straightforward forest-green.)

My Zoya package came with some random person's name on it, and a city-name I didn't recognize (Zoya is in Cleveland, right? so I'm sure it's some suburb of Cleveland) and I was thinking, "Oh, god, did I order something else that I've forgotten?" But no, it was just the Zoya order. (The other two were Chita and Katherine. I'll have pictures of the latest acquisitions in the next few days, I'm sure. Which reminds me, I've been posting every day so far in 2014, but don't expect that to continue indefinitely. In fact, I may take tomorrow off, but I'll try to get something up for Monday,
at least.)

I found a picture of my hand on a piece of scrapbook paper, labeled "2010" - and I had green nails then, too, so I thought I would post a bit of that picture for you to see:
I'm pretty sure that's Emerald City - you saw it in the row of Xtreme Wear bottles a week or so ago, if you've been paying attention. (Maybe sometime in March I'll do a list of good St. Patrick's Day polishes, because that certainly is one.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sunset Flare

I mentioned that I bought my first Serum No 5 polishes, and I now have on Sunset Flare. Not great pictures, but they do capture the way it changes color, a bit! Honestly, if it glows in the dark I haven't noticed it yet, but I do love the way it glows in the sun. (If you follow my Twitter you've seen the second picture, but not the first!)

Out of the sun, it looks pink. In indirect sunlight it looks more orange:

Then in direct sun it does this:
It glows. It really does look like a sunset!

Basecoats and nail nutrients

Basecoats and other assorted products:
The "other assorted products" are mostly across the top: Seche Restore, which I discussed briefly yesterday, and then four Sally Hansen nail care products: VitaSurge, Nail Nutrition Strength Formula, Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil, and Nail Nutrition Growth Formula.
The bottom row is basecoats: Glitter A-Peel (from Nail Pattern Boldness), Orly Bonder, Colorstay, Butter London (Nail Foundation), Sinful Colors, and Zoya Get Even..

I talked a bit about the Sally Hansen nail-care products in the entry where I showed all my SH polish, but only very briefly. I like their nail-care products, generally, and my grocery store, which likes to have in-store coupon sales, has such sales on these products pretty regularly, and I use up enough of this stuff that I usually use those coupons to get more when I run across them. I bought Nail Nutrition Growth first out of these four, and I've used it a lot. I'm not sure it actually helps my nails grow, but it makes the bed of my nails feel better, I'm sure of that. I just started using the cuticle oil lately, and I think I need to be using it more often, but certainly it helps. VitaSurge also has a nice feel on the nails, once it's on, but it's got little bubbles in it and you're supposed to sort of massage it into your nails, so it's not actually something you just put on like nail polish. And I haven't tried the Nail Nutrition Strength Formula yet; I'm saving it for after the others have run out. (I've more or less given up on ever getting really long nails, so really the strength one is probably more what I should be using. Good, strong, and maybe sort of medium-length is all I'm shooting for. I think long nails are unrealistic for me.)

Like the topcoats, I use my basecoats pretty interchangeably without having any really clear favorites. I've used the Butter London a lot (and like the topcoat, have barely made a dent in it) and I've used Get Even a lot since I got it for Christmas. But I've used Orly Bonder a ton, too - I tend to just use whatever's handy really. I am sort of thinking that ridge-filling basecoats might be what I ought to be using in the long-term, though - I don't have terribly uneven nails, but I have some visible ridges. I also used to use Sally Hansen - I know I used up at least one bottle of Insta-Grip, and I might have had Complete Salon Manicure at some point, as well. I do think basecoat is something it's important to use, but I have never established in my own mind whether one is superior to another, to speak of.

I've used Glitter A-Peel a couple of times, and if I have a gripe with it, it's that it works a little too well. It's intended to allow you to peel thick coats of glitter off without damaging your nails, and it does that. I've had a little problem with it coming off sooner than I want it to, but I suspect that this is similar to my general chipping problems in that it's more or less self-inflicted. I'm just hard on my nails, and that's certainly going to affect what Glitter A-Peel does!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Top coats and other nail products

I should point out that this is really part of my stash series and not any sort of scientific comparison of topcoats. Of course that isn't going to stop me from telling you my opinions just the same!

L-R: Seche Vite, Colorstay "new" formula, Butter London Hardwear, several NYCs (one is matte, one is Grand Central Station, and one is the long-wearing formula), then we have two different bottles of old-formula Colorstay with slightly-different packaging, and a Rimmel basecoat/topcoat that I only bought because it was a package deal with a polish included. (I don't really think much of the combined ones, I have to say. They don't seem to do either job as well when they try to do both.)

Interestingly, I have no huge favorites here. I like the expensive ones and I like the cheap ones. I like Seche but I'm not sure it's a great value for the price. I would say the same thing about the BL one, except that (1) I got a good deal on it, in the Nordstrom's sale last summer, and (2) it's a huge bottle and I've barely made a dent in it even though I've used it a good bit. Obviously it won't literally last forever, but it seems like it's going to last a long time.

I've been going through a lot of topcoat, because I change polish every couple of days, usually, and also because I've been using a lot of glitters lately, and you know how they eat polish! so that's one reason I have so many. I like Colorstay topcoat, and the New Colorstay bottle is in fact almost empty and I'm working through those old ones, too. (If you don't remember Old Colorstay, it came only in two-packs with a bottle of topcoat in each and every package, which is probably why it's not still around. They didn't have much color choice, and the colors are what I love about Colorstay nowadays!) Actually I think one of the NYCs came in a set, too - that might've been Grand Central Station, because I think then I looked at the bottle and went, "Well, it's just a clear, not a top-coat at all!" and was all indignant, and then I poked around and figured out that everybody seems to use it for topcoat anyway. And it does fine, and it's, what, 99 cents?

I'm going to put basecoat in a different entry, and some Sally Hansen nail care formulas along with those. This is some of the other nail care items I have, besides all that:
This is just intended to be representative of odds and ends of files and remover and such that I have, this isn't everything I have, by any means. Some of these are things I'm new to - I've never had nail thinner until lately, and I don't recall ever buying orange sticks, either. I bought a bottle of Seche Restore a while back, and then I also bought a bigger bottle of thinner at Sally Beauty, but I haven't really needed to use them. Likewise with orange sticks - I bought those ones with the wrapped ends at HEB, and then I bought a big package of plain ones when I went to Sally Beauty before Christmas. I'm sure it'll take me years to use all those up.

Let me just take the other categories of stuff one at a time:
files: I have a lot of files but most of them are just various brands of the same type as in the picture - I haven't graduated to the fancy glass ones so far. (And I quit using those "diamond" kind a couple of years ago when I kept reading how bad they're supposed to be for your nails. Although honestly, I do try to file in one direction and all that and my nails still peel. I can't tell that this variety helps any with that, although I do generally like them better than the diamond kind.)
cotton rounds: I can't think of much to say about them, except that I do seem to prefer the round kind over squares, or cotton balls
aluminum foil: for glitter removal (It's in a ball because that's my recycling.) I also have some finger cots that I use as a substitute for the foil but I don't know where those have gotten off to!
remover: I put the little bottle of Zoya Remove in as an example of removers. Mostly, I use plain acetone. (I have another sample Remove bottle like that one that I usually fill up with acetone, because the smaller bottles are easier to sling around!) I love Zoya generally, and I want to like Remove - it feels good on my nails, and I even like lavender scents, normally - but I guess Remove smells too strongly of lavender to me, or something. If I use it long enough to take off a whole manicure, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. (I don't like strong smells, I guess. I don't wear perfume much any more, but when I do it's very light eau de toilettes. So I guess there's a pattern there.)

Oh, and I stuck the bottle of "No more chips!" in there - it's really old and I hardly ever remember to use it. I guess it should really be in with the top coats but I didn't see it when I took the top coat picture. That was one of the first specialty nail products I ever bought, I think - I remember going in Ulta some years ago when they were a new thing and looking to see what magic potions they had for my always-bad chipping problem. I think my main problem is just that I work with computers all day and am hard on my nails generally. I don't really look for magic potions any more!

I also notice that there's an HEB logo visible in that picture, which I thought might interest some people because I talk about them a lot. It's that red logo up towards the upper right corner. If you don't know this already, HEB (technically it's H-E-B with dots or hyphens in between, because it's initials, not a word) is a big Texas-only chain of grocery stores. I shop there all the time and I adore them. I'd like them just for the groceries, but they also have a very large aisle full of nail polish, and a nail-polish brand, Orchid, that's not officially a store-brand, but nobody else anywhere I know of seems to carry it. They do have tons of stuff that's their own brand, or actually brands, they have several - everything from milk to grass-fed beef to well, orange sticks - and most of it is really good. If you hear Texas people talk about Central Market, that's also H-E-B - it's basically a division they created to compete with Whole Foods. And also awesome. (And no, they're not paying me, I just like them.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shopping report

Recent purchases, from CVS, Serum No 5's sale, and Gnarly Gnails' blog sale:

  • Milani Gold Gleam
  • Color Show Clearly Spotted
  • Serum No 5 Poppy Fields mini
  • Serum No 5 Sunset Flare
  • Aldo Gold Digger
  • Oh My Gosh Bottle Green mini
  • Color Club Editorial mini
  • unlabeled Accessorize glitter mini
  • Essence Evil Queen
  • Kleancolor Sparkle Purple

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just what color IS a radiant orchid?

Which one? It's a mystery to me. (Actually, I just pulled this picture out at random, as one that had colors that looked pretty close, but the one at the bottom left is Winterberry - I'm pretty sure that one's not actually orchid. The others... well.) (The other three are Eternal Beauty, Lotus, and Harmonie. More on that down toward the bottom.)

Pantone 18-3224 is what I've seen on swatches of the official color of the year, but Pantone's dirty little secret, near as I can tell, is that they announce the color of the year, but they don't really attempt to make anybody use that exact color. I suppose it would be impossible to do, for one thing. I've been watching this process for several years now and it's the same every year. This year, they put up a picture of an orchid on a red-violet sort of background - so which color is radiant orchid? the color of the orchid (and there's a couple to pick from there) or the color of the background? Nobody seems to know, or maybe the people who know are mostly not commenting.

One thing about it, this has drawn a lot of interest to the color orchid, and red-violet colors in general, which I think is Pantone's whole idea, and probably is why they don't just make it about Pantone 18-3224. (I said "dirty little secret" above like it was a bad thing, but really I don't think that. It gets them a lot of publicity, yes, but it also gets people thinking about color in general, and that's good.)

There's some color discussion below that is maybe a bit tl;dr long for people who aren't into this subject, but after that it's mostly links, and a polish list, so skip down to those if you just want to see the colors without reading more about this!

I've done a lot of thinking about color in general, in recent years - although I'm certainly no expert - and something I've been playing around with, in my head and on Pinterest and such places lately, is where the line is between purple and pink. It's pretty shifty, anyway, and orchid is somewhere in there, but I'm not entirely clear in my mind on where, either. (I think one of the links above had a picture of a sheet of various Pantone colors that are close. That's actually the most useful bit, to me.)

Anyway, in my head - and presumably on a color wheel - the progression through purple and into pink goes like this (and bear in mind that while I may put this in list form, it's actually more like a sliding scale. The points are not fixed.
  • blue-violet
  • neutral purples, that lean neither blue nor red
  • red-violet
  • magenta
and somewhere in there between red-violet and magenta, you start reading these colors as pink, especially if they're very pale. But the thing about orchids is that I've seen things all along this range be called orchid, all the way from blue-violet to awfully-pink, and in all kinds of intensities, too. So I still don't know the answer, assuming there even is one. But oh well, these kind of things make life interesting, right?

(I should qualify that: I don't have an answer but I do have an opinion, which is that orchid is on the paler end of this range of colors - although that may be where the "radiant" part comes from; maybe it's meant to imply a more intense color. Until I started paying attention to this in the last year or so I probably would have just called the darker red-violets "purple" but nowadays I'd be more likely to actually call them "red-violet," until they start shading into more magenta/pink tones, at which time I start calling them "fuchsia" or "hot pink" or something like that.)

First of all, Beauty Department did a whole post where it mostly looks like they did try to match the specific Pantone color I named above (and which is shown in the entry) - they came up with some things that I hadn't, at the time, like Zoya Charisma. (Charisma's been on my Zoya wishlist for a while, and I don't know why I still haven't gotten it.)

Here's some polish and makeup and other assorted items from several sources that I think is in the orchid/red-violet ballpark:
new Zoya Hudson (a gorgeous orchid shimmer, but apparently not yet available). Most spring lines seem to have an orchid - they'd be crazy not to! I know I saw a China Glaze picture somewhere also.
Zoya gives you several choices from their current lines - Perrie might be closest to the traditional idea of orchid, there.
Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet lip gloss
Orly Grape
Pantone iPhone cover and a "chip drive"
Laura Mercier Orchid eye stick

(Added: Huffington Post did a piece on this, too, and their examples are also all over the place.)

More late additions (I'll probably keep adding here as I come up with more examples):
Butter London Molly Coddled (they call it "opaque lavender orchid")

I also started pulling polishes out of my stash that I thought read as orchid or red-violet, and here's my list. (It's a pretty long list, so I'm not going to make any attempt at links here. If you don't want to google, you can look by brand in my labels list in the sidebar; I'm sure I've talked about most of these in the past year or so. Although bear in mind that the "orchid" in my label list is the brand, not the color; I need to go in and make that clearer.)

This list starts with the paler and redder colors - although you do have to bear in mind that I don't look good in pastels and I know it, so my palest is not terribly pale - and gets darker, more or less.
  • Zoya Perrie, as mentioned above
  • Julie G Crushed Candy (a "Gumdrops" texture)
  • Zoya Kieko
  • Chirality Convergence (holo)
  • Confetti Purple Pizzazz (sheer, is really more of a topper)
  • Zoya Harmonie (which is a frost - see picture above)
  • Color Club Eternal Beauty (holo - also in picture)
  • Zoya Lotus (which has a pretty neutral base but a shimmer that's more towards red)
  • RBL Purple Haze (more greyed out and neutral)
  • Revlon Ultraviolet Nail Art wand (not at all neutral, and not meant to be - this is in the Neon part of this line, though, and I had the impression they were discontinuing them)
  • SH Xtreme Wear Posh Plum
  • Sinful Colors Fig
  • SOPI Domestic Goddess - discontinued, but I think the SOPIs have been seen around on clearance aisles, or virtual clearance aisles, and pretty recently
  • Triple Shine Vanity Flare
  • Zoya Mira
  • Insta-Dri Grape Going - a duochrome
  • Colorstay Amethyst
  • Zoya Roxy - which is a glitter with a darker base but very red-violet glitter
  • Kleancolor Sparkle Purple
  • Zoya Carly - sort of like Jem's plummier sister! (I love Jem but it's too brown for this list)
  • Revlon Plum Attraction (probably the darkest in this bunch)
(Added: I was looking at Revlon's website just now, trying to figure out if Plum Attraction is a current color - I suspect not, and I haven't found it so far if it is - but I did notice that Nail Art Neons are still listed as a line, so I may be wrong about Ultraviolet. What's not listed any more is Moon Candy, another of the Nail Art lines.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Greens - wheel overflow edition

I finally made a Facebook page! If you use Facebook, please go over and say hi!
I forget I never posted pictures of the overflow wheel, which is technically #10, I believe, but this wheel has always been different, and doesn't really go with the rest of them. I was trying to have a place to swatch new polishes, but also keep it in sort of a color-wheel manner, which is very difficult when you can't really anticipate what you're buying! This is a picture I took early on, of the first four things on it. I left spaces on it meant for other colors, only I was on a big tear of buying greens and this part of the wheel filled up really fast.

So I started with Revlon Rainforest (a Colorstay color), then added #2 - which is actually a green that I gave away, Orchid Grass Stain. I swatched this one nail's worth on the wheel and then sent it to Karen, because she had expressed interest in having it. (She wrote about this polish already. I sent her another polish, which I think was Nicka K, but if I swatched that one I did it on another wheel. It may or may not be that pink holo-ish one that I pointed out on recent wheels; my records have completely broken down on that point. Added: I'm since decided that this is not the case and the "pink holo" is actually Dollish Redrum)

(For the record, of the greens, 3 is a Revlon chrome - Chroma Topaz - and 20 is Nostalic Patricia. I'm pretty sure I have raved about how much I love Patricia on this blog at some point!)

Here was the whole wheel, early on. green really was the color of 2013, for me. And now it's full.

Note that I wrote "overflow - cool" on the wheel. I wasn't just attempting to be hip; I meant cool colors. I guess I thought I would buy some pinks or oranges or something before I got this filled up so that there would be a Cool Overflow and a Hot Overflow. Yeah, not so much into the pinks lately. And oranges never have been my thing, and I have some gold polishes but NO yellows. (Although I saw Colorstay Buttercup marked down in CVS and almost bought it just because it's about the only yellow I could conceivably imagine wearing!)  I am definitely a cool-colors person, in general.

(If you're wondering and can't decipher my handwriting: 6 is WnW Gray's Anatomy, 7 is Color Show Black in Mirrors - a Brocade, so it's gone now unless you get lucky and find a stray one - and 14 is another Nostalgic, Rid of Me.)

Come to think of it, I have pictures featuring most of these, and since I have recently figured out how to make those pop up in new entries, I'll do just that!
The blurry picture of Patricia lets you see the purple which is mixed in with the green glitter. It's a lovely polish.
The Dollishes aren't on this wheel, at least not as pictured here, but the rest of these are. (The whole filled-up wheel will have to wait for some other day. Today I'm mostly just featuring those luscious greens.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nail wheel weekend: Dark-reds-plus-OPI

(This is wheel 13 - list after the jump)
I got a little messy up there with #3 but on the whole I think I do a decent job with these!
  1. Pyro Pink (over Chic Peek on tip) (2 coats)
  2. Continuous Cranberry (1 coat)
  3. Fruit Punch (2 coats)
  4. Ruby Without a Cause (1 coat)
  5. Glitterati (2 coats)
  6. Chic Peek (2 coats)
  7. Jem (1 coat)
  8. It's Genius (2 coats)
  9. Ramblin' Red (1 coat)
  10. Vixen (2 coats)
  11. ? (pink holo?) (Dollish Redrum?)
  12. Pirouette My Whistle (which you can't really see, I know)
  13. Alpine Snow
  14. Bubble Bath
  15. Tickle My France-y
  16. You Don't Know Jacques
  17. Lincoln Park After Dark
  18. Germanicure 
  19. Malaga Wine
  20. Big Apple Red
So the top half of this wheel is everything that was left over after I did whole wheels of pinks and one whole wheel of reds - this is mostly the darkest reds. And the bottom half is mostly OPI minis from that Take Ten set. I didn't bother to write down what they were on the wheel since I knew I had that recorded already. This is all of them except Cajun Shrimp, because there was room for it on the wheel with the oranges.

11 appears to be a pink holo - possibly/probably the same one that was on wheel 12, and I'm still trying to figure out what that is - maybe a Chirality? I think the Chirality I have is more purple than that, though. I'm hoping as I go through my stash some of these questions will sort themselves out. The only other thing I can think of is that it might have been was that Nicka K that I sent to Karen. But I thought it was more purple than that - and not holo.)

I already posted one picture from the upper part of this wheel but here it is again:
(Note that's probably only interesting to my fellow obsessive-compulsives:) I pulled that up from Blogspot's cache of my previously-posted pictures. What interests me is that when I uploaded it it was oriented as landscape. I'm sure this is the original way I took it but I'm surprised it reverted to that. Oh well, just one of those little technical weirdnesses. I'm not a full-tilt OCD-er but sometimes I do get overly focused on the small things!)

Here's the OPI set in the box - I think many of these are ones that most nail junkies are already familiar with, anyway. (My cousin the cosmetologist looked at them and said something about those just being "the basic OPIs" which sounds about right to me. But as I said previously, I haven't bought OPI much recently, so I didn't have any of them.)

(Also note: I was intending to get some more detail/bottle shots by the time this went up, but if I don't make it I'm just going to let it go up anyway, and add the rest later, like I did with the last one. At least that keeps the entry from being excessively long!)