Monday, March 31, 2014

Odds & ends

I was already plotting what I was going to buy when Zoya has their Earth Day sale that they always have, but then I realized that two of the things I was plotting about were discontinued: specifically, all three of the Fleck Effect polishes seem to be, which is Chloe & Opal & Maisie. I know flakies were last year's - or actually year-before-last's - trend, but I still like them and I was going to buy another bottle of Chloe, and maybe one of Opal, too. But oh well, that's how it goes, right? There are still plenty of other flakies around, I just have to buy them elsewhere.

Oh, I had one little update that I was going to note in case somebody is really paying attention, and that's that I have to retract a little bit of the nice things I said about those Epielle makeup remover towelettes a couple of weeks ago, because it turns out that the citrus ones, at least, irritate my skin on repeated use. I still have the cucumber ones to try, and I also bought another package of the Orchid-brand ones as a backup. (I'll try to remember to report back on the cucumber-scented ones. They sound more soothing, don't they?) Also, in all fairness, I have to say that I have super-(SUPER-)sensitive skin these days, so most people might not have the degree of problem with this I do. I never used to, but boy, I do now.

I'm about to have to redo my nails after I wash my hair, I'm sure, because they're already a bit worn on the tips and I haven't even done it yet, but I've had Two Cents (or maybe it's singular, actually, Two Cent), the Sonia Kashuk that I bought on clearance, on for several days and I love it. It's coppery brown with a bit of a metallic finish - not overly flashy, but really pretty.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blue-green stash

In the neverending stash project*, today we have blue-greens, starting with the more green end of things and working down toward blue:

Row 1: Viridian, Darkest Emerald Luxe, Racy Green, Zuza, Thames
Row 2: Henley Regatta, East Village, Deeper Dive, unlabeled Accessorize glitter, Mermaid's Tale
Row 3: Evening Emerald, Miss Universe,  Party by the Pool, Glee, Teal of Fortune
Row 4: Nail Junkie, So Blue Without You, Bells Will Be Blinging

Viridian & Darkest Emerald do look very green next to the rest of these, but if you put them with the greens they have a distinct blue tinge. I'm not sure I'd call So Blue Without You "blue-green" at all, really, it's awfully close to being a pure cyan blue. But on the day I took this picture I felt like it belonged with the blue-greens.

Less than a year ago, I had arguably maybe half-a-dozen blue-greens. (And hmm, one of them is Maisie and that's not even in the picture above. It's probably in a box of topcoats somewhere.)

*Maybe I'll start officially calling it that, with caps: The Neverending Stash Project. Because I'm beginning to think it's quite accurately just that.

Added: Things in this picture I've never worn (because I'm trying to be more aware of this): Viridian and Darkest Emerald? (I'm not quite sure about the former); Deeper Dive, the Accessorize glitter, Miss Universe, and possibly Nail Junkie (which, if I haven't worn, I need to wear stat!)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

NOTD and oh hi there

I seem to be taking a week or so off from nail-blogging, with the exception of this little blurb. I dunno, I haven't been in the mood, plus it's been too gloomy to take pictures. (And I have some degree of seasonal affective disorder so it's possible those two things are connected. Plus pictures seem to put me in the blogging mood, somehow.)

Most of the past week my nails have been some version of this combination: Zoya Kierra (which is more or less burgundy) on the bottom, Travel in Color on top of that so it turns more pink, and then a coat or two of Chloe, because flakiness for the win, or something like that. I have a couple of new polishes, including a Clinique mini, so I'll be trying those out soon. But I have a couple of extra work-days coming up, plus we are in the middle of computer-game release week (Reaper of Souls and Elder Scrolls Online, I don't know who decided to release those a week apart!) so it may be sometime next week before I emerge again.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

In Target

I hadn't been in Target in ages, so I have things to talk about. Here's an end-cap, to start the discussion with:
For anybody local, or local enough to know what I'm talking about, at least, this is the SuperTarget that's across the street from Baybrook Mall (which, for the rest of you, is a really large mall and surrounding area of retail stores in the southeast Houston suburbs, a few miles from the Johnson Space Center). I started to crop the aisles out of the picture, and then I decided to leave them so you could see a bit of the cosmetic area. Anyway, what we're looking at here on the endcap is some Sonia Kashuk products that are entirely new to me, and I'm sort of wishing I'd taken some close-up pictures, but the cash registers were right behind me and I was afraid if I made it too obvious that I was taking pictures they'd tell me to stop. But I guess it's basically this stuff: the bath & body line. I am always a fan of pretty packaging, so I gravitated right to it.

One reason I decided to go in Target was that they've been talking about some Target makeup sections being remodeled over on Nouveau Cheap, and I was curious, I wanted to see if that had happened yet. But no, apparently not. They don't seem to have anything much on clearance yet, either, although I did buy a couple of polishes - a Sonia Kashuk and a Sinful Color - that were on clearance. But there was certainly no general makeup clearance sale going on.

I really only pay great attention to makeup sections on the rare occasions that I need something, except for the nail polish, but I do know (because they did have nail polish!) that the Pixi section was there the last time I was in a Target - I go in this Target and also another one further down the freeway occasionally, and the one in Galveston very occasionally, too, and I really can't be sure which one I was in last! But anyway, I did notice this time that they had full sections of Nyx now (but with no nail polish), Rimmel (also with no nail polish), and e.l.f. (ditto with the nail polish, what's up with that?). A few years ago they didn't have any of those, and honestly I can't be sure when they got what, because as I said, it's not something I pay attention to consistently. But I'm pretty sure the e.l.f. section at least is new, and I think the Rimmel and Nyx sections have at least been moved to a more prominent place. Which I think says something about what's popular with people who do buy a lot of makeup. Anyway, Target and Walmart are the first places I know of to get more or less full lines of e.l.f. around here, all I've seen is scattered bits of stuff in some CVS stores, previously. (And Walmart had theirs on a freestanding display, like maybe they were testing it.) So I guess I'll be watching to see what happens, there.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cuticle balms

I now own 3 different cuticle balms that I didn't own a month ago. In the order I bought them, they are:
They all come in tins or something similar (the SH one is plastic instead of metal, with a screw-off lid), but they are all different sizes. G&G is 0.5 ounce, Badger is the biggest at 0.75 ounce, and the SH is the smallest at 0.28 ounce. It was the middle ground in terms of price, but of course the small amount of product makes it the most expensive on a per-ounce basis. It has that added function of being a Cuticle Eraser, though, so presumably it has a more complex formula. Badger is the cheapest overall, and since it's also the largest that makes it by far the cheapest per ounce. G&G was the most expensive, and it comes in a much smaller-looking tin, but that tin is really packed, so it's a better bargain than you might think. Definitely if I wanted to carry a tin of this in my purse, the G&G balm would be the one I would pick for that, all else being equal.

The scents also vary. The SH balm really has no discernible scent (or not that my perpetually stopped-up nose could tell, anyway, but it's allergy season so I probably have even less of a sense of smell than usual!). G&G lets you choose from several scents - mine is Aloe & Green Tea, a nice green scent, but very subtle. You can get it unscented, as well. The Badger balm also has a green scent, but it's considerably stronger. I noticed Lemongrass and Verbena among the ingredients, and that's more or less what it smells like.

They all seem to work fine. They all moisturize well, and clearly the Sally Hansen one does perform its extra function and exfoliate dead skin around your cuticles. The Badger balm is somewhat greasier. The Glisten & Glow one is lighter, to the point that you have to work a little harder to get enough on your skin for it to work properly. And the SH one is probably somewhere in between the other two in terms of texture.

I only have new pictures of two of these; I was taking pictures of my latest round of purchases, and I didn't have the G&G tin handy to take a picture of. See here for a picture of it.

These two appear to be similar sizes, don't they? but appearances can be deceiving.
These packages are both right around 2" in diameter. The G&G tin is about 1.5". (In metric that would be a little over 5cm, for the two above, and a little less than 4cm for the other one.)

Here are the insides (the Sally Hansen, as is probably obvious, is now on the right, and Badger on the left):
I think I've said before, here, that I really never paid any attention to my cuticles until recently - I didn't feel like I needed to - but I've been using one or another of these regularly for several weeks now, and I do think they look noticeably better. (And I used the SH balm on my poor neglected toes, because I thought they could use the exfoliating, and boy, do they look better.)

As far as one brand vs. the other, well, I'm not sorry I bought any of them - I see them all as having somewhat different functions. The Badger will go by my bed and be more like a night cream. G&G is the day cream of the bunch. And the SH is more of a specialized product that I'll use maybe every few days. It says you can use it daily but I can't really see wanting to do that, plus this way it'll last much longer. (If they  really want me to use it more often, they're going to have to reduce the price!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ho ho Holodays

Not a well-cleaned up manicure in any way shape or form, but it's all I got. This is Ho Ho Holodays (over 1 coat of Ipanema Girl, actually, which may have darkened it a bit):
You can't see much holoness here, either, but trust me, it's there. Actually, though, I love this not for the holo but just for the shade of green, which I think is really beautiful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More nail mail

Last night I showed the MoYou plate I got, but that's far from being the only nail mail I've gotten lately. For somebody that's supposed to be being thrifty and all that stuff... well, I'm not doing a very good job of it. I haven't gone completely berserk, but I've talked myself into buying some stuff I really shouldn't have bought.

The problem is, I love all of it. I'd be hard-pressed to say I wanted to send any of this back, even if I could. But anyway, I can't, and so here I am, showing you what-all I've bought, once again. (I like that phrase, "what-all" - sounds like something my grandma would've said. She was very country, my grandma.)

First of all, there was stuff from Different Dimension. I've been eyeing that "Silence of the Lambs" themed collection for a while now. And I know I have a wacky sense of humor, but luckily a lot of nail polish junkies seem to be the same way, and so we get a nail polish called "It Rubs the Lotion On Its Skin" - which is the one on the left. It was on sale, see, so I had to buy it. (And it's brown glitter, which is different.) And then once I decided to do that, I figured I might as well buy something else that was marked down, which was the one on the right - it's called "Out of Space Convertible."

I had no idea what "Out Of Space Convertible" might mean exactly - I just picked it because I liked the colors, in this case - but there was a clue in that it was part of a "Santa Baby" collection, so I went poking around to see - this version, anyway, has that phrase in the lyrics. The original Eartha Kitt version clearly says "a fifty-four convertible too, light blue" (that link is to a YouTube version with lyrics - here's just the lyrics) but maybe some of the many cover versions used "out of space" as a substitute for "fifty-four" in later years. The number of syllables match, even if it's a bit goofy.

That tangent aside, the next thing was the offer that came in my e-mail one day - buy $10 of merchandise, get a Lippmann polish free - you didn't pick the polish, but it was Dark Side of the Moon, a very vampy aubergine, a great-looking color. So I found two Obsessive Compulsive polishes on sale for... I think it was $5.60 each, and bingo, I'm at $10. Oh, and I also had Badger Balm Cuticle Care in my cart, so I went ahead and got that too - I wanted to see how it compared to the other one. So the result of all that is that here we have my new friends Arsenic, Chimera, and Dark Side of the Moon.
Here are the polishes - the Badger Balm will be featured in a post later in the week. And there's a picture of it below, also.

Then we have this little trio - I arranged them here so you could see all the names, although it's a bit blurry! Polished by KPT Naughty & Nice, which is a red thermal; Lacquer Lust Ho Ho Holodays, which is naturally is a holo; and Yule Light Up My Life, which is one of Serum No.5's signature glow-in-the-dark polishes, in a Christmas mix.

Here's the bottles:
I'm wearing HoHoHolidays right now - I decided that I was still in the mood for green, and it's a pretty color. The thermal is more dark pink than red, really, so I think I will wear that too, this spring. The Serum No.5 is the only one that may have to wait on the holidays. (Note that I bought my set from Lacquer Lust, but they have all three have had them on their website. The last time I looked, S-No.5 still had the individual bottles, as well as the set.)

You may notice that there are two Christmas glitters in this post. That might be the one thing that I really can't say that I needed - however, I'm sure I will wear them, I love Christmas glitters. I will have nail-wheel swatches of these later, but early returns are that they certainly don't look anything alike, even if the color-scheme is similar. Yule Light Up My Life is a chunkier glitter, and Out of Space Convertible a very fine one.

So that's the end of the nail mail. The only other thing I have is that I went in CVS and they had $5 in CVS bucks on a $10 Sally Hansen purchase, and I had been eyeing a couple of things that together would be over that limit:
The post that's coming later in the week is a comparison of all these cuticle balms, but I wanted this one because it's a cuticle remover as well as a balm. And then the polish is Wavy Blue, a shimmer.

Here's the Sally Hansen and the Badger balms:
The similarities and differences among these two and the Glisten & Glow balm are something I'm going to talk about in a separate post, probably on Friday. Anybody tried these and have opinions?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mystery package

I got a little flat package in the mail last week that said "Royal Mail" and I couldn't imagine what it was.

No return address on the front, but I turned it over and it did say "MoYou" on the back, so that's when I realized what it must be. In typical fashion for me, I went, "Oh yeah, I did order that, didn't I?" I did order a stamping plate, but I didn't order it directly from MoYou, I ordered it from Amazon. That's one reason it took me so much by surprise. (Also, I don't get much mail that says "Royal Mail" on it, here in Texas.)

I didn't think to take a picture of the back of the package before the light went this afternoon, but here's what was inside, in any case:

(more pictures under the jump)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chupacabra for St. Patrick's Day

I'm wearing ModLacquer Chupacabra, which for some reason makes me smile as the name for a polish to wear for St. Patrick's Day - I guess maybe it's because that's about as un-Irish as you can get? I dunno. Anyway, I only have a tiny 4ml bottle of this stuff, so I did 2 coats of Chupacabra on top of WnW Black Creme. I've had it on since Friday night and these pictures were taken on Sunday, and there's a tiny bit of tipwear but nothing significant. I used Butter London Hardwear for a basecoat, I think, and a couple of coats of Grand Central Station on top. (I didn't write anything down, but I'm pretty sure that's right!)

Here's an out-of-focus thumb, because sometimes out-of-focus pictures show off the glitter the best:
(Also because it just wouldn't focus this close-in, so I didn't have much choice.)

Aaaaand this is not color-corrected at all, so ignore the fluorescent-induced lobster-hand, please!
I'm writing this on Sunday - I'm planning to leave this on for Monday if it doesn't chip today. If it does, I'll probably switch to my other green glitter tonight, and that's Patricia.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

150+ green polishes

This is another of those weekend-I'm-bored posts. I poked around on Pinterest and online stores and nail polish company websites over the last couple of weeks looking for green polishes, and I made a list that I was really just making for myself, originally, but then I figured, why not share?

For U.S. readers, here is the short list of green polishes that you might could actually buy in a store this weekend, assuming you're within driving distance of a drugstore or department store or a Sephora or Ulta. (Nail salons are always a possibility, also.) Unlike the big list below, these are limited more to something that I feel like could be construed to be a St. Patrick's Day sort of green - somewhere between bright kelly green and darker emerald-ish green. Non-U.S. readers might can find some of these same colors, I just have less of a handle on what brands would be available for you!
  • Butter London - British Racing Green
  • China Glaze - Four Leaf Clover (neon), Paper Chase, Running in Circles
  • Deborah Lippmann - Laughin' to the Bank
  • Essie - Pretty Edgy
  • Illamasqua - Rampage or Viridian
  • Marc Jacobs - Oui!
  • OPI - Jade Is the New Black
  • Revlon - Posh, Rainforest (Colorstay), Balsam Fir (Parfumerie)
  • SH Triple Shine - Kelp Out
  • Sinful Colors - Exotic Green, San Francisco
  • Ulta - Envy
  • Zoya - several shades, including Irene, Ivanka, Rina, Shawn, and Chita (Pixie Dust)
(keep reading for the big list)

Friday, March 14, 2014


I don't talk about makeup much, and I've never shown one of my "empties" before, but I have one today:
This is Orchid-brand makeup-remover towelettes. I like using these kind of towelettes, but the name-brands are really quite expensive, I've always thought - something like $4.99 for 30, or even more. Orchid was the cheapest brand that my HEB store had - I think they were about $3.50, and actually you only get 25, but still, that seemed like a significant price break, so I bought them, and I like them, and now they are gone.

(I noticed just this week at HEB that some of the Orchid-brand items have a little line below the name now that says "by HEB" - I've said before that HEB really promotes their store-brands, but I've never been entirely sure if Orchid counted as one of them. So apparently that question is being answered!)

So, I was in need of more remover towelettes, and I would have just gone and bought more Orchid ones, but I happened to find a recommendation online for something even cheaper - much cheaper, as it happens. I am always iffy about brands that I've never heard of that turn up at dollar stores and places like that. So I would never have even thought of buying these - actually I'd been in Big Lots lately and never even noticed their existence. But I was poking around on Nouveau Cheap, and I happened to notice her list of "Holy Grail" drugstore products - things she really likes that are also really cheap - and this was on there. $1 for 30, at Big Lots:
This is the cucumber scent, as you can see, but I also bought a citrus one, and I think there were also unscented ones. The citrus ones smell very nice - I haven't opened the cucumber package yet because I'm always worried they might dry out. And they seem to work fine. So yay for saving money!

UPDATE: yay for saving money but boo for skin irritation - watch out for the citrus one if you have sensitive skin. See here. (I still think they smell really heavenly, though!)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A study in green

Aaand here we go again with the stash posts. This is the third time in a little less than a year that I've done pictures of my stash - first by color, then by a couple of months ago by brand, and now by color again. This time I will probably take my time more with getting them up than I did last year, but I have the beginning here, anyway. My green stash - and my stash in general - has grown a good bit in that time, which is partly why I'm doing this again. And since I've also done nail wheels of everything in the meantime, I know my stash much better than I did. Last time green went last, but this time I'm in St. Patrick's Day mode, so it's going first.

So, here we go, and I made the pictures slightly bigger so you could really see the bottles. I had good sunlight so the colors should be fairly true! Part 1:
Top row (L-R): Editorial (mini), Slightly Unstable, Goblin (mini), Walker Bait, Irene, Leaf Him At the Altar, Patricia, Rainforest, Boughs of Holly, Veruschka (Matte Velvet)
Bottom row: Two Timer Stars, Rock Candy (Gumdrops), Rags To Riches, Kale (mini), Agro, Crocadilly (magnetic), Lizard Belly, Chita, Bottle Green (mini), N-evergreen (mini)

(Untrieds in this picture: Editorial, Goblin, Veruschka, Rock Candy, Chita?)

and the rest:
Top row: both minis - Chupacabra and unnamed apple green
Bottom Row: Topaz, Rikki, This Is Tree-mendous, Mistletoe (another Gumdrops), Emerald Green, Tenacious Teal, unnamed green mini, CE61 aka Ipanema Girl, Kaboom, Ivy League, Cutie Colada

(Layla polishes only have numbers on the bottle, but when you Google them you always find a name to go with it. I'm not sure why it works that way. But I'm not complaining, because names are easier to remember than numbers, that's for sure.)

(Untrieds in this picture: only Mistletoe, and the unnamed minis)

For comparison, here's my green stash from last spring:
Two of those aren't even greens (this was the last picture I took, so those two on the lower right were "strays" that hadn't made it into the previous pictures), and at least one - Racy Green, on the lower left - I've included with the blue-greens this time around. So I had 9 or 10 greens, depending on how you count - and now I've got 30-odd. Wow. I don't actually think there will be quite as much difference in every picture - overall I think the size of my stash has doubled, more or less. Which is a lot of polish in one year, any way you look at it.

In case anybody cares, here's my rule about labeling (aka Blogger's tag system): I don't have an absolute threshold on putting up the "too many to name" label - but when there's a lot I go to using that + "other brands" if applicable - it usually is, it means brands that are not in my label list - + "indies" if applicable, AND if I'm not feeling pressed for time I try to at least put in the brands that show up more than once. But Blogger does have a limit on the number of labels you can put on a post, and if I try to get every brand in on a post like this one I do hit it, I have managed to several times. So I've quit trying on that one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


As I've already said on Twitter, this picture shows visible glitter on my cuticles all too well in a couple of places, and it makes me cringe, a bit. I'm posting it anyway because it's the only one I have, and at least it's in focus!
This is Ice Hotel in Hell, the Liquid Lacquer I showed the other day, and I put it over a base of Essie Crocadilly (which is, as the name implies, a crocodile green). I was hoping it would stay a bit more green than this, but actually the only way you can tell the green is there is a couple of places where it peeks out at the bottom. However, I do think doing that made it a bit darker and less cyan-blue than it would've been otherwise.

It also looks bumpy in this picture, especially if you blow it up, and I pretty much got this worked out by the time I got done, so I'm assuming either I took this picture before (or in the middle of) the several coats of topcoat I ended up putting on, or somehow it's just showing up as bumpy - because in person it didn't look that way.

Now I have on ModLacquer Goblin, which seems surprisingly similar to Zoya Irene. They're not dupes - the underlying color of Irene is paler and more yellow, and the shimmer in Goblin is more obvious. But on the hands, they look pretty much alike.

....aaaaand I messed up the Goblin mani, and rather than do it over again, I decided to go with something else - that ended up being Dollish Walker Bait. I kept thinking it looked sort of gray rather than green the last time I wore it, but now I'm not sure why I thought that. It's a dark-green holo - it is sort of a grayed-out green, a little bit, but only a very little. I like it, and I'm glad I didn't sell it on eBay as I was threatening to.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nail wheel 20

This is my 20th nail wheel, which feels to me like I've reached some kind of milestone.
  1. Darkest Emerald (1 coat) (Rococo)
  2. Silver Glitter (1 coat) (Barry M LE)
  3. After Party (1 coat) (Icing)
  4. Show Stopper (1 coat) (Sinful Colors)
  5. Glitter All the Way (1 coat) (China Glaze)
  6. Editorial (1 coat) (Color Club duochrome)
  7. Miss Universe (1 coat) (Essence Colour & Go)
  8. Travel in Colour (C.Glaze) over It's Genius (Essie)
  9. Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild (SOPI) over Fig (Sinful)
  10. Purple Poodle over Domestic Goddess (SOPI)
  11. Purple Poodle (3 coats) (Orly)
  12. Rich Raspberry (2 coats) (Colorstay)
  13. Fall Mood (2 coats) (Colorstay)
  14. Rags to Riches (2 coats) (Rimmel Lasting Finish)
  15. Posh (Zoya Matte Velvet) (with top coat on tip)
  16. Be Merry, Be Bright (C.Glaze) over Posh
  17. Poppy Field (Serum No. 5) over In Through the Out Door over Rich Raspberry
  18. In Through the Out Door (Pipe Dream Polish) over Rich Raspberry
  19. Amethyst Accent (Finger Paints)
  20. Rockin' Renaissance (Finger Paints)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Online shopping

Tip for people with retail websites: If you have a store, no matter how big or how small, it's pretty important to keep your front page updated, at the very least! This seems like it would be obvious, but apparently it's not to everybody. If it's March and you have a sale on your front page that expired a month ago, I'm totally not going to buy anything -- because that looks like you haven't actually looked at your website in the last month, and that makes me nervous about giving you my money. (That's a real example which I just saw; I'm not going to name the store, but it wasn't a nail website so it's unlikely that it belongs to anybody who's reading here.) I was pretty much an early adopter of online shopping, and if there's something I've learned over the years, it's that there's always another online seller - if you want to buy a thing, but something about a website or a seller doesn't smell right, metaphorically speaking, then go find another seller, no matter how much you love whatever it is you were about to buy. Nail polish, with its thousands of often-unique polishes, almost seems like an exception to my "always another seller" mantra (which I developed navigating the wilds of old-school eBay), but I try not to buy into the mindset of uniqueness too much even with nail polish.

I've been on a kick of buying stuff from blog sales lately. For the price of one higher-end polish, you can get half a dozen of somebody else's cool cast-offs, usually only used once or twice. I figure it's a good way to try out new brands! Here's part of the latest round of blog-sale purchases (from A Little Polish) plus a couple of items from Glisten & Glow:

  • (top row) Funky Fingers Burgundy Scales - which I think is supposed to be a crackle, but which failed to crack at all on my nail wheel (but I think it cost a quarter, so eh)
  • G&G Nail & Cuticle Balm
  • (bottom row) Instant Artificials basecoat
  • Liquid Lacquer Ice Hotel In Hell
  • Glitzology Falloween
  • G&G HK Girl topcoat
Every one of these was a new brand to me. I really like all of them so far, and I adore the cuticle balm, especially. I got the aloe & green-tea scent, but the scent is really light, in any case - I really don't notice the scent unless I stick my nose right in the tin. As far as the polishes, I'm wearing Ice Hotel in Hell right now - I'll get a picture of that up later in the week. (Falloween is probably going to have to wait - it seems too explicitly a seasonal polish to try out six months early!)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Emerald City

I talked in a post a while back about how nobody seemed to know what color Radiant Orchid was, but actually last year's Color of the Year seems to have the same problem, in a way that surprises me. Opinion on Radiant Orchid seems to have settled down a bit now, to a middle-of-the-road red-violet, but at first it was really all over the place, and that's not that surprising because I don't think most people carry a very clear picture in their mind of what color "orchid" is, much less "radiant orchid". (Purples seem to confuse people, anyway, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.) But I would think that most people DO have an idea of what color "emerald" is.

(NOTE: See the bottom of this entry for a list of recent Colors of the Year, if you have no idea what I'm going on about here.)

Maybe I'm giving people too much credit, or it's a generational thing, I don't know. Maybe people don't obsess over color like I do. (I'm sure that's true, in general - but probably not of my fellow nail polish junkies!) I grew up in the era when The Wizard of Oz was an annual television event - I'm not sure where that tradition came from, exactly, but I know it was true for years and years, that it was on TV exactly once a year. I guess whichever network it was had a contract about it, but back then when there was no internet we didn't think much about that. It just showed up once a year and everybody watched it, pretty much. So that's one thing that shaped my perception of "emerald" - it's the color of the Emerald City, of course. And the other thing was pictures of jewelry in catalogs. The emeralds in those old catalogs were usually a little darker than Emerald-City green, but they were a pretty similar color, on the whole. So I have a definite opinion. Emerald is a dark green, but it's green. It's not a bit blue-green, it's like you took a color like "kelly green" - a St. Patrick's Day green - and made it darker. .

Well, the reason I'm going on about this is because there's all these nail polishes that call themselves emerald, but aren't (in my opinion, anyway). I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this issue before, here and there. I think I first started noticing it with Thames, last summer:
Now I don't know for sure what BL's website said in July, but right now it calls it a blue-green. I think it may have been Nordstrom's fault I thought it was supposed to be emerald, and of course I don't have the website from then to look at (in fact as I write this Nordstrom's website is down completely - it says they're "making enhancements") - but you can see where I was talking about this last July, anyway. And in fact I never thought it was emerald at all, looking at the pictures - it was just that Nordstrom said so. (And okay, I will grant that it could pass for emerald if you're not looking close.) But then there came Viridian (from Illamasqua - Sephora's website calls it "peacock green"), and then Darkest Emerald Luxe (from Rococo) which I was talking about yesterday - it just doesn't look very green to me at all. So I'm confused, now, about whether my whole perception of what an emerald looks like has been off for my whole life!

I found a cool graphic with the last 10 official Pantone CotYs, going back to 2004, which is interesting. I think I've only really been aware of it as a Thing for the last 5 years or so, because I do remember some talk about Mimosa, and I definitely remember the flurry of talk about "Honeysuckle" (which was a pink) back at the beginning of 2011.
2009: Mimosa
2010: Turquoise
2011: Honeysuckle
2012: Tangerine Tango
2013: Emerald
2014: Radiant Orchid

Thursday, March 6, 2014

More nail wheel overflow

This is another (almost-)full nail wheel - most or all of this is stuff I got in January.
  1. Katherine (Zoya)
  2. Silver Glitter (Barry M LE)
  3. Show Stopper (Sinful Colors)
  4. Afterparty (Icing)
  5. Intergalactic Space (Orly) (1 coat)
  6. As Long As You Love Me (Essence Beauty Beats)
  7. Miss Universe (Essence Colour & Go) (3 coats)
  8. Glitter All the Way (China Glaze) (3 coats)
  9. (blank)
  10. Chita (Zoya)
  11. Chupacabra (ModLacquer)
  12. Goblin (ModLacquer)
  13. Darkest Emerald Luxe (Rococo)
  14. Agro (China Glaze)
  15. Rags to Riches
  16. Fall Mood (Colorstay)
  17. Gossamer (
    Jin Soon) 
    over Stone Cold Karma and Chita
  18. Stone Cold Karma Luxe (Rococo)
  19. Rich Raspberry (Colorstay)
  20. Purple Poodle (Orly)
(detail under the jump)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nail wheel overflow: Take Ten and more

Here's a nail wheel that I haven't posted before:
1-10 are the ten polishes in the OPI Take 10 mini set that was around at the holidays. 11-20 are just assorted Christmas gifts and new purchases from around that time:
1. Pirouette My Whistle
2. Alpine Snow
3. Bubble Bath
4. Tickle My France-y
5. You Don't Know Jacques
6. Cajun Shrimp
7. Big Apple Red
8. German-icure by OPI
9. Malaga Wine
10. Lincoln Park After Dark
11. Pyrite (Pahlish)
12. Blood of the Mountain (Pahlish)
13. Sunset Flare (Serum No. 5) (2 coats)
14. Chyna (Pixie Dust) (1 coat)
15. EmpoweRED (Rococo)
16. EmpoweRED Toner over EmpoweRED  (multiple coats - 4?)
17. Believe in Believing (Pipe Dream Polish) over China Flower
18. Poppy Fields (Serum No. 5) over China Flower
19. China Flower (Revlon Parfumerie)
20. Pink Pineapple (Revlon Parfumerie)

It's hard to tell a lot on these very pale ones, but Pirouette My Whistle appears to be white and silver glitter (more specifically, I think, white hexes and silver microglitter) in a clear base. Alpine Snow is almost-white, where Bubble Bath is actually very pale pink, I believe. And Tickle My France-y is a nude pink, or you might possibly call it a pale mauve - and since mauve seems to be trendy this spring for the first time in ages, that's a distinction that might be important in some circles!

Then we have the famous You Don't Know Jacques, which I guess you would call a dark taupe, and Cajun Shrimp, an orange-red, and Big Apple Red, a more classic red. And last in this bunch is German-icure by OPI, which seems to be on its way to becoming another OPI classic. It's sort of in that "chocolate cherry" range. (Look at Polishaholic's swatches down toward the bottom of this entry - she looks at a couple of possible dupes there, too.)

The two darkest of the OPI set were Malaga Wine - which is actually darker than it appears here, I think, a nice glossy burgundy - and Lincoln Park After Dark, which a lot of people will already have, I know. (Although OPI junkies will have most or all of these 10 already, I imagine.) Then we move into other brands - these two were my post-Christmas purchases from Pahlish - Pyrite and Blood of the Mountain. I am already on record online as not being a huge fan of Blood on the Mountain - the holo-ness of it just doesn't come out unless you get out into really full daylight, and the rest of the time I thought it looked a bit more like dried blood than I'd like. (I guess I should let that be a lesson to me, right? Don't buy a polish with "blood" in the name and then be surprised when it turns out to actually look like blood.) I do really adore Pyrite, though - it's a gold foil in varying shades, giving it a really antique look on your nails. Highly recommended, and as I think I mentioned the other day, there are only a few left on Pahlish's website.

Okay, 13 is from the Serum No. 5 Glowmelon collection, meaning it's supposed to glow in the dark. I never have seen any evidence of that myself (partly because I don't much care!), but it does really do a nice "sunset" glow in the sunlight, which is good enough for me. It has enough pink to it that I can wear it without it making me look excessively yellow. 14 is Zoya Chyna, the Pixie Dust. It glitters a lot more than is visible in this picture, and the glitter is dark red. It's beautiful. Next we have the Rococo EmpoweRED duo. 15 is the red on its own, and 16 has multiple coats of toner - I think it was 4 coats, maybe. You do see a visible difference in the colors between 15 and 16, but it takes a lot of coats of toner to get there.

I decided to try a couple of things over China Flower, because that was what we had handy. First is Believe in Believing, a Pipe Dream Polish, over China Flower. Believe in Believing is various large fuchsia glitters in a pink jelly base. Poppy Fields has largish square glitters and smaller glitters in a red jelly base, and I believe it also has a sprinkling of black glitter - perhaps to represent the stamens of the poppies. Then 19 is Revlon Parfumerie China Flower, a red that perhaps leaned just a bit pink, and then 20 in Pink Pineapple. They smell very nice - not too strong at all.

13&14 bonus:
I think I mostly wanted to post this picture of the orange Serum No. 5, Sunset Flare from the Glowmelon group. It has a lovely pinky-peach tinge that wasn't showing up in the larger picture.

Mardi Gras nails

Here's my typical slightly-offbeat Mardi Gras manicure: I put a full 2 coats of China Glaze Agro first, as a base. Then when that was dry, I added partial coats of Milani Gold Glitz - I wanted some of the green to show, still. Then I put Glitter All the Way over the coats of Gold Glitz, but not over the Agro parts. THEN, for a final extra bit of glitz, I put Essence Evil Queen on my right index finger. (It's big glitter of a lighter purple, and shows up more as flash than as color, mostly.)
(The nail polish oddly seems to match the fabric behind it, doesn't it?)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Swap goodies and new purchases

I've got new stuff I haven't shown off yet, it occurs to me. First of all, Karen and I have another swap in progress - I haven't mailed my end yet (although it did make it into a box, so I'm making progress) but I've already gotten hers. -- I am resisting the inclination to feel guilty about being slow, since last time it was the other way round and I mailed mine first! Anyway, here's what I got:
Lots of cool colors, always a safe bet with me. This is
  • a mini Sally Girl Matte Topcoat
  • Layla CE39 (aka Southern Lights)
  • Studio M Gift of Sparkle
  • e.l.f. Gina Girl, which is from the Disney Villains collection and is one of the Maleficent polishes
  • two Julie G Holiday Gumdrops, Sugar Plum Fairy and Mistletoe
  • and... a Sinful Colors magnetic which I have mislaid the name of right now, but it's a nice blue-gray, in any case, and I am all about the blue and the gray lately!
Here's the two Finger Paints I got at Sally Beauty, and two Orchids:
This is Amethyst Accents, Rockin' Renaissance (a texture), Steel Guitar, and Playmaker (which is out of that football season set I showed a display picture of ages ago). I bought more Orchids which are going to Karen - I already told her she was getting mystery Orchids, so I don't want to demystify them before they even leave my house. These are the ones I decided to keep.

And here's the latest round of stuff that came in the mail - two Barielles and a Cult Nails:
This is Jordana's Skinny Jeans (which I guess is sort of an 80s reference?), Fetish (black with a wax-finish), and Elle's Spell (a flakie). I don't think I'm expecting any more nail mail except for some treatment stuff from Glisten and Glow - because so many people seem to think they're wonderful that I had to try them out! I got HK Girl and some cuticle balm, and naturally I'll be reporting back on that later.