Friday, May 30, 2014

Stash: Violet-leaning pinks

I put all my reds and pinks into one big box, and when I looked at them in a good light, I started noticing how many had a hint - or more than a hint - of purple to them. A couple of them are even named Purple Something, but I wouldn't have them in this picture if I didn't think they fell into the pink camp.
(The rows sort of stair-step down so I'm doing each little level as a different row!)
Top row: Hard Candy Scam, Zoya Reagan
Second row: Color Show Magenta Mirage (a shatter aka crackle)
Third row: Zoya Allegra, Pipe Dream Polish In Through the Out Door (that's the one with the completely illegible label - a great pink-and-gold glitter)
Fourth row: China Glaze Be Merry Be Bright (magenta and blurple glitter), Colorstay Rich Raspberry, Essie It's Genius
Fifth row: L.A. Colors Pink Sizzle, Orly Purple Poodle (magenta jelly with violet glitter)
Sixth row: Confetti Purple Pizzazz (which reads even more pink than it looks in the bottle), Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink, Zoya Rory, Pipe Dream Polish Believe in Believing (a mini with an equally illegible bottle to the full-size one above it), and upside-down, NYC Fruit Punch
Bottom row: Orchid He Loves Me I Love Him Not, Studio M Slammin' Red, Zoya Kierra, Cover Girl Glosstini Pyro Pink

(Note that Pyro Pink is one of those Catching Fire tie-in colors that I was talking about a few days ago. I think these have now gone into the permanent collection in full-size bottles.)

To my recollection, not a single one of these is untried. I was on a fuchsia tear a couple of years ago, so many of these got used heavily during that time. (Slammin' Red, for example, is darn-near empty.)

Several of these, you may notice, are packed-fuchsia-glitters in the same mold as Slammin' Red - which despite its name is very definitely not a real red. He Loves Me I Love Him Not, Scam, and Believe in Believing. (Scam is particular is long-discontinued and is one of those polishes that apparently shows up on eBay from time to time and goes for ridiculous amounts of money. But I can't afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on nail polish - what I already spend is bad enough - so I will have to content myself with these other, very similar colors.)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stash: Red-orange, dark reds

This is the stuff that I was calling "near-red" the other day. It starts with things that lean orange and works down to some that lean almost purplish:
Top row: Elfin' Around (shimmer), Hot Cinnamon (texture), Sangria, F*ck and Run, Reva (sort of strawberrry with gold shimmer)
Second row: Riley, Karina (microglitter), Voodoo, Posh (matte), Unbreakable Heart
Third row: Blaze (holo), Blackberry, Peru-B-Ruby (redder than it looks here, although it definitely has pink tones as well), Dark Side of the Moon, Sparkling Wave
Bottom row: Echarpe de Seda, unnamed mini, Vixen, Ramblin' Red, Bad Santa

As yet unworn: Elfin' Around, Dark Side of the Moon, Sparkling Wave, the unnamed mini

I read somewhere lately that Dark Side of the Moon was a Snow White & the Huntsman tie-in. I had no idea that such a thing existed. Apparently there was a light one and a dark one, and obviously this is the dark one. I didn't retain what the light one was.

Let's see, what else do I have things to say about? Zoya Blaze is from the first round of Zoya holos, which I have forgotten the name of and which I'm feeling too lazy to go look up at the moment. Anyway, I wanted to love these holos but the fact is that I really didn't. It took me a while, but I'm starting to think that holos just aren't really my thing. Give me a shimmer any day. (However, Echarpe de Seda, below that, is a jelly holo and comes a lot closer to being awesome, in my opinion.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Odds & ends

I haven't bought any nail polish at all this month, because I have spent the month trying to try out all the stuff I bought/was given in April, but here's one leftover polish that I don't think I showed off before, plus some other miscellaneous stuff:

The Pumi Bar came from Sally Beauty - it was on sale when I went in to buy acetone, but I haven't tried it yet. The remover pads were from the Cherry Culture order which you've already seen the rest of, if you read here regularly. The one polish is the famous Nfu Oh 51, which may not be my favorite polish ever or anything, but is sure a lot of fun. And then the Vinylux top coat came from Amazon, I think I already mentioned that one. (I also realized that I have one more stray that I had totally forgotten about, which is Jordana Crystal Glitter - it looks like holo glitter in a clear base. I have it on now over a gray base and it's lovely.)

Also, I'm pretty sure I mentioned way back (by which I mean, sometime this year, but at least a couple of months ago) that Karen and I were doing another swap, and I think I posted the stuff I got from her, but if I had pictures of what I sent her, I'm pretty sure I never got around to posting them. So here's her post with pictures.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stash: Red and near-red

I had some vague idea I had already posted the reds in my stash this year, but apparently not, so here you are:
Top row: Zoya Delilah (which is a glitter although you can't tell it), Stop (mini, also a glitter), unlabeled OPI mini which I'm pretty sure is Big Apple Red, Razzmatazz mini, old Sephora mini which is only labeled No.08 (and is a bit darker than it looks there, and shimmery)
2nd row: Xtreme Wear Red Carpet (glitter), Just Be-Claws, An Affair in Red Square, Bet On Red (all of those last three are very shimmery), Jolly Lolly (a jelly and redder than it looks - the light seems to be hitting especially oddly on the right side of this picture)
3rd row: Challenge Red-y, Knees Up, Chyna (texture), Sparkling Fire, Poppy Field
Bottom row: the first two are a set, Rococo EmpoweRED and its toner (which is the darker one, meant to darken the red), RBL Chinoise, Sooki, Revlon Parfumerie China Flower

I haven't worn: Big Apple Red, Just Be-Claws, Challenge Red-y, Sparkling Fire, and honestly I'm not sure about a couple more, because it's hard to keep reds straight in my head. Let's say there are a couple more that I've maybe swatched and worn once.

I'm not changing the title, but actually what I was calling near-reds were in another picture which I decided to put in a separate entry. That should be along later this week.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Catching Up: Cover Girl and China Glaze

I'm really behind on "what I've been wearing" posts. From last weekend, this is All Wrapped Up, one of the China Glaze holiday 2013 polishes - there were 3 microglitters like this, I think, but I hadn't worn this color before:

It keeps looking very blue in pictures - this was not my first try at getting a picture of it - but it is very firmly in the "dark blue-violet" camp in person. It's very beautiful but it had a tendency to flake in big sheets so overall I wasn't thrilled with it.

Then all week I've been wearing Cover Girl polishes that are from that bunch I got for my birthday. I think they are from the "Catching Fire" tie-in collection, but they were originally released as Glosstinis, as I recall, in tiny little bottles, and now they've all been re-released in the regular Outlast bottles. I bought a couple more colors at the time which I liked other than the itty-bitty bottles, so I'm happy to see them in a normal size. (I did the math on the price per ounce at one point and it's very high on the Glosstinis, because the bottle size is something like a tenth of an ounce) They are all kind of microglitter/metallic sort of finishes; these two, Midnight Magic and Violet Flicker, both seem to be multicolored tiny glitter, but in different-color bases. I'm not sure I got a picture of Violet Flicker (I keep wanting to spell that Flickr) but it was actually my favorite. I like Midnight Magic, too - I'm not entirely sure what color the base is but if I had to guess I'd say charcoal gray or maybe blue-gray. I did manage to get some decent pictures of it in the Starbucks line earlier:

Here are pictures of all the Catching Fire colors from All Lacquered Up. The ones I had already were Seared Bronze and Pyro Pink - as I recall I liked the former more than the latter. Michelle of ALU also points out that Seared Bronze is pretty much a dead dupe for Warm and Fozzie, so if like me you were wishing you had bought W&F before it was discontinued, here is a substitute. I may have to go pick up some more of these - maybe HEB will have another coupon sale soon. (Also, she says that Midnight Magic was an existing core color, which I didn't know, but that it does have that same finish.)

I notice there's a little wear visible on that last picture (although not a lot) - I got a bottle of Vinylux Weekly Topcoat and I've been experimenting with using it as a regular topcoat since I don't actually own any other Vinylux products. I haven't gotten staggeringly wonderful results, but I do think it seems to wear a bit better than my usual norm - I've had this on for a couple of days now. I'll try to remember to report back on that.

Friday, May 16, 2014

On makeup and gender and MMOs

This is tangentially related to the subject of my blog - not nails but makeup - so I'm putting it here. If it doesn't interest you feel free to skip this!

I don't think I've mentioned this here, much, but I have a MMO habit. If you know me or read my twitter you already know this, but I'm going on the assumption that not everybody who reads here does. I started playing them with my friend Col something like eight years ago, so I guess you'd have to say I'm an MMO veteran nowadays. I'm not a hardcore player in the sense that I don't spend a a lot of time mucking around in dungeons, but I still spend a great deal of time playing, usually upwards of 20 hours a week, often more like twice that if I have time. To give you a sense, over the years I've played Guild Wars 1 & 2, World of Warcraft, SWTOR and LOTRO (which are the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings MMOs, respectively) pretty extensively, as well as some stuff like Auto Assault and Rift that people who aren't gamers may have never heard of. In every one of these you create a character when you start (usually you can create something like 4-8 different characters, sometimes more) and you can customize what they look like - humans or hobbits or cyborgs or elves or Sith, depending on the game, but always including their hair and makeup and such - and then that appearance is then frozen, more or less permanently. The ability to change it is usually something that is added as an afterthought after the game has been running a while - they usually call it adding a barber or something like that, a little service where you can change your hair and makeup/facial appearance for a fee, but sometimes it doesn't turn up for a year or more after the game goes live. But meanwhile you can change your clothing more or less at whim - in fact, changing your clothing is a huge part of the game, in every one of these games. It's a way to show status.

And it just occurred to me to wonder why this is so. Our current game is ESO - Elder Scrolls Online - and I have a human character who I gave sort of Braveheart-style face-paint down one side of her face, for some reason, and I'm kind of sick of it. (The normal thing is that you pick from a number of makeup options, usually several options that look like normal makeup with eyeliner and lipstick and such - even if it's an elf or a hobbit or whatever that you're putting makeup on - but also often more unconventional things like unusual gothy colors and facial tattoos and piercings and stuff like that.) I haven't really spent a lot of time worrying about how much I'd like to change that - it helps that you normally see your character from the back, anyway, or I never would've done it in the first place - but still, I would like to change it if I could. But I can't. Not yet, anyway. ESO is in some ways barely functional and slightly buggy, and there's a greater-than-normal number of things that are still to be added, and so I don't expect to see the barber-type module any time soon.

(NOTE for anyone who might actually be interested in the game: I realized after I wrote this that "barely functional" is probably overstating the case. And "slightly buggy" is probably understating it a bit. I don't want to give you the wrong idea - there are bugs and there are problems, but in fact it's been functioning fine, for the most part, for, what, almost two months now. If I wasn't having fun I wouldn't still be playing!)

Here's the character in question:
She's a Covenant sorceror, if that means anything to you - currently level 26 or so, a Redguard. (ESO has some nine races to choose from: three types of humans, three types of elves, plus cat-people, lizard-people, and Orcs, who just look like big humans with fangs.) My complaint is just that if they can put this much thought into a dress, and you can change those at whim, there's really no reason why they couldn't let you change your makeup as well. Maybe it's unfair of me, but I put this down to the fact that most MMO designers are still predominantly male. If more girls were doing the programming - and making the design decisions - I think they would certainly let you change the makeup as much as you change the clothes.

It's not that awful - and in fact it looks sort of cool with the blue dress - but still I'd like to be able to get rid of it someday. Preferably before 2016 or so.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Playing with thermals, and acetone

I bought nail polish remover back a few months ago from Sally Beauty, and I bought the one that just said "Acetone" rather than "Pure Acetone" - it looks slightly pinkish, and I believe it has a little bit of lanolin and such in it. And I expected it to work just fine, but really it didn't so much - not on difficult removal jobs, anyway. It seemed too diluted, I thought. So I went back to Sally Beauty today and bought the Pure Acetone, and I poured the two together. And it fixed it, to my satisfaction. It's still not as drying as pure acetone would be, hopefully, but it's also a lot stronger than the "impure" version. And I had enough partial bottles floating around that decanting from one bottle into another wasn't a problem at all.

The mixed version took three coats of Nfu Oh 51 off with very little trouble, where I had trouble getting two coats off with the other stuff.

I finally got around to trying Naughty & Nice, the Polished by KPT thermal, and well, not much happened. That's not really true, it got much lighter when I put it on, so it's reacting. But my nails are so short I barely got that "french mani" sort of effect that thermals normally have.

Here's a couple of pictures taken in the car, in a couple of different spots (meaning, a couple of different traffic lights!) so that the light is a little different.
Maybe it's shifting a little bit, because right now it looks paler than either of these, but I'm certainly not getting the two-tone effect at the tips. I'll have to try it again when my nails have grown out. I cut them back very severely last week, so they're shorter than normal.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Super Star over black

One of the new Sinful Colors, slightly blue-shifted and lobstery as usual in this light:
It's really pretty - blue-green with purple flakes which are not visible there. I put it over a black base - it was one of those ones that I have a bunch of with no name and no brand, the ones that I have long been theorizing are actually L.A. Colors. I may test this and go buy the L.A. Colors black and see if it's the same, because I liked the way this went on - it was a near-one-coater. And this is three coats of the SC over it.

Update: this was a bitch to get off. I'd recommend foil (or the peelable basecoat, if you're thinking ahead) for this.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Playing with polish, Lippmann & Nfu Oh edition

I mentioned in my last post that I had been experimenting around with my new greens, but I didn't go into any specifics.

For one thing, I have had another weird experience with Glitter A-Peel. As many people have stated about it and the OPI peel-off stuff as well, you just can't use it and expect your polish to stay on more than a few hours. (OK, some people can, but I can't, and I'm clearly not alone there. I'm not sure if it's a body chemistry issue or that those people are just more careful than I am apparently capable of being.) So, I put it on, we went and had a nice dinner - this was on my birthday, a week ago - and everything was fine; then we went to the grocery store on the way home and by the time I got back in the car the nail with the big glitter had decided to start peeling off. That's not the weird part; that's just par for the course. What I was wearing was two of the Lippmanns I got for my b-day: Mermaid's Dream on 9 nails and Shake Your Money Maker as an accent nail. So it was Shake Your Money Maker that peeled first, but when we got home - presumably while I carried groceries upstairs in recyclable bags with handles that might have rubbed against the nails - Mermaid's Dream had peeled off of another nail - peeled completely off and was gone without a trace. And well, so that's two nails down, but the weird part is that the polish on the other 8 nails stuck on like glue, and never did peel at all, even with prodding from an orange stick. I had to take the rest - eventually - off with remover in the normal way.

But since they were on like glue, apparently, this was where I really started experimenting. I tried doing a French mani and/or a glitter fade with Shake Your Money Maker - it worked well as a french on top of Mermaid's Dream. It did not do so well as a glitter fade, it's too thick. (Maybe with some thinner, it might do better, but really I think it's just too gigantic a glitter to "fade" well.)

And then I had those two nails with nothing on them so I tried the other green I had that was new, and that was Nyx Enchanted Forest. It is a dark-green microglitter kind of thing, and it's no surprise that I am crazy about it. That's just right down my alley. (So I went around for several days with Mermaid's Dream on 8 fingers, accents of SYMM on some of them, and an index finger and thumb on one hand that was another color entirely. But it was all color-coordinated!)

Then my bottle of Nfu Oh 51 showed up. Back when I was first getting into nail polish a few years ago, everybody was all agog over this, and I didn't pay that much attention at the time, really, but I did remember the name since it was fairly unusual. (How DO you pronounce "Nfu" anyway? I still have not figured out the answer to that one.)

This picture is not great at all but it does show you what Oh 51's base color is very well:
What you can't see there is the flakies, which in most lights I was in seemed to show up as coppery. I thought it was really cool. I poked around other people's reviews on the internet and most people seemed agreed that it takes 3 coats to be really opaque if you don't put something else opaque underneath, and this is two coats and there is VNL so I agree with that assessment. Two is not enough.

(I notice that I called it Oh 51 above - that's because that's how I tend to think of it, like it's a zero, 051, "oh-fifty-one" - even though I know it's Korean and so that's probably not what it really means.)

Then yesterday I tried it over something else - I kept thinking at home that it looked garnet under the fluorescents, and I decided to try to see if I could bring that out. I had one of the unlabeled OPI minis handy - I'm pretty sure that it's Malaga Wine. So I did that and then Oh 51, and it did indeed turn out as a sort of garnet color, with the purple overwhelmed and not really noticeable, but still with the coppery highlights. It was very pretty, but I probably will stick with its natural color more often.

The other thing I have to say about Oh 51 is that removal was not easy - the color came off with no problem but the flakies wanted to stay on. It was not quite as bad with the OPI underneath, but just a regular basecoat was not enough. Maybe next time I'll try two coats of basecoat.

Oh, I forgot to say that where I got my Nfu Oh was I had not dealt with them before, but everything went entirely smoothly and since they are the official US distributors of Nfu Oh, you don't have to worry much about whether you're getting the real thing, as you might if you bought it on eBay or somewhere. It's not cheap, but I wanted to try it and I'm happy with the results!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April(ish) acquisitions

Here's everything I've bought in the last month or so plus what I got for my birthday:
Left to right and top to bottom:
Very top: Jade Stiletto
First full row: 3 LASplash glitters: Sparkling Seaweed, Sparkling Wave, Sparkling Fire; and Colorstay Rainforest and Bold Sangria
Next row: Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink; Deborah Lippmann Let's Go Crazy; Nyx Salon Enchanted Forest
Next row: Cover Girl Outlast Midnight Magic and Violet Flicker; China Glaze Rendezvous With You; Lippmann Mermaid's Dream and Shake Your Money Maker
Bottom row: Satin Glam Taffeta; piCture pOlish flirt; Sinful Colors (from the Walgreen's 99-cent SC bonanza) All About You, Super Star, and Kissy

(I think I had posted a picture of Bold Sangria the last time I posted new stuff. I got confused about when I bought that one. Other than that this shouldn't be stuff I've posted pictures of before. It IS the same stuff I mentioned in the last two entries, and maybe some before that, too.)

There are only three new Sinful Colors (rather than, y'know, 6 or 12) because I sat there and looked at the display in 2 different stores, and I kept picking things up and saying, "Well, I have that one" and I'd have the next one I picked up too - apparently I pick the same colors over and over, because I don't really own every Sinful Colors color, not even close. I would say that I only have a handful - but I can't check to see how literally true that is because while I do have my computer back, I can't get at my spreadsheet because I don't have Office reinstalled on it yet. (There's this picture though - so not that many, yeah.)

I experimented around with various combinations of the greens in the last week - Mermaid's Dream (which is greener than it looks in the bottle), Shake Your Money Maker, and Enchanted Forest are all very very pretty.

I'm sure the minute I post this I'll think up 12 more things to say about these, but right now I'm kind of blank. So eh, I'm hitting post. (This has been sitting around for days already, anyway.)