Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent manis + haircare for middle-aged people

I am on a string of not being able to get decent pictures of anything. I've been trying out my new purchases in succession but so far I have no usable pictures whatsoever.

First I did Blue Whale, and I put it over Essie Mesmerize - which may have been part of the problem, considering that Essie's formula and my body chemistry just seem not to mesh. This combination looked great, it just wouldn't stay on my nails. By the night after I put it on, it was flaking off in big chunks. But wow, so pretty. It's a mixed glitter in a blue jelly base and it's supposed to be buildable on its own, so maybe next time that's what I'll try.

Then next I did Fires of Gallifrey (both of these glitters are LynB) over what I think was OPI Big Apple Red (it was a mini, and the minis aren't labeled. But I'm pretty sure that's what it was). This glitter is pretty similar in texture to Blue Whale, but it's a mix of orangy-pinky glitters that's really beautiful. The red base worked well color-wise, making it into a red-orange; overall, it didn't last quite as long as I would've liked, but it did far better than the Blue Whale/Mesmerize combo did, anyway.

Now I'm wearing Zoya Carter, the purple Pixie Dust, and I am madly in love, so far. It's barely even dry, and it may look different in different light - my living room lights are notoriously weird - but it's darker than I thought it was going to be, and it's gorgeous. It's really a fall color - heck, it was released as a fall color last year, so that shouldn't be surprising, should it? It's got a royal purple base, with magenta/orchid sort of highlights. But almost all the pictures I have seen of it look much lighter & brighter than what I'm actually seeing. I'm wearing it with 2 coats of NYC matte topcoat, so no texture. Just the pretty colors.

(So on the whole, apart from the wear issues, these last purchases were a big win, because I love everything I've tried.)

I don't know if I've ever talked about my hair here, but you're going to hear about it today. All my life I have had super-oily hair - it had a little bit of wave to it, but it was very thick and very fine and wouldn't hold a curl at all unless I permed it. (This was a big trial to me in the hot-roller/curling-iron era in the late '70s.) It was dark brown and still is, it's just getting more and more gray - but it's still only, I don't know, maybe 5-10% gray even now. I threaten to let the gray grow out and I get about 6 months worth of roots and then I give up and dye it again. If you have lighter hair, you can probably ignore gray better than I can - against the 90-95% of my hair that's still dark it tends to look like I have spiderwebs on my head. Not good.

When I first started coloring it - I'm not sure exactly when I started coloring it but definitely more than a decade ago now - I used L'Oreal Feria for a long time, then I got it colored in a salon for a number of years, and now I'm back to home coloring again, but I've been trying out various brands and colors, almost all of which I like just fine. I've tried lighter browns and darker browns and redder browns, I've tried eSalon and Nice & Easy and various other drugstore brands. I don't really like it when it's too too dark or too too red, I've found, but I haven't had any major disasters at all. (My natural color is a very neutral brown that seems to be almost impossible to replicate with dyes. The eSalon formula I've been using has a good bit of violet in it, and I do like that on me.)

The main problem with going gray, as I've experienced it - and I have talked to a number of people my age & older about this and they seem to agree - is that gray (silver/white/whatever) hair has a completely different texture than the rest of my hair had, and still does have. It's thicker, it's wiry, and it tends to be dry, apparently. My scalp is still pretty oily, so I'm really having to adjust to this. I use tar shampoo pretty regularly to keep my scalp in line, even though I doubt it's good for the life of my haircolor - the rest of the time my shampoos are exclusively ones that are made for colored hair. And to help keep the dryness in line, I've started testing out weekly conditioners, and especially hunting around for good weekly conditioners that aren't too expensive, because there are a lot of expensive ones out there. So far I've had good results with a protein pack that I've forgotten the name of, and also with good old Aussie 3-Minute Miracle. (The protein pack was $1.99, and I got 3 uses out of it. The Aussie stuff was around $3.99 for 8 ounces.) I'm also trying out a new John Frieda color-refreshing rinse that I saw a good review of somewhere. We'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

You Know Nothing Jon Snow + new acquisitions

Kind of dusty and with some definite chipping on my index finger but here is You Know Nothing Jon Snow (hereafter to be known as YKNJS):
Considering how hard I am on my nails generally, having them look even halfway decent on the fourth day is pretty good for me. I'm definitely retooling for tomorrow. (I suspect it's Blue Whale that you'll see next, but I could still change my mind.) Anyway, about YKNJS, I actually like it a lot, and considering my normal avowed hatred for the way very pale colors look against my skin-tone, that's saying something. You can see that while it looks pretty white in the bottle, it's not really white - I guess you could call it off-white or very pale greige or something like that. But then it also has bits of blue shimmer in it, and also a sort of "pepper" effect with very small dark matte glitter scattered around. It's not showy but it's nice. It'd also be a pretty good work polish for people with conservative dress codes to deal with (which is not me, thank goodness). (Here's a link to it on Dollish in case you want your own.)

OK, so here's everything new I've gotten lately - which is the 3 Funky Fingers plus the 4 LynBs and the 3 Zoyas I was talking about yesterday:
This gets kind of glarey down toward the bottom but at least you can see them.
top row: Funky Fingers Sand & Stillettos, Unicorn Farts, Glitter Matters
middle row: Zoya Cynthia, LynB Blue Whale, Teal The Cows Come Home, Fires of Gallifrey
bottom row: Zoya Carter and London (both Pixie Dusts) and LynB This Is Halloween

Here's a picture with the LynBs rolled onto their sides so you can see more polish:
Blue Whale is mixed bright-blue glitter of various colors & sizes. Teal The Cows Come Home is of course teal, although it really doesn't so much look like it there. It has lots of shimmer, too. Fires of Gallifrey is red-orange, brighter than it looks here, I'd say. I was sort of intending to try it over a red base and see how that looks. And then This is Halloween, down on the bottom row, is purple with fine glitter in it, some of which is orange. I'm looking forward to trying all of these out. I'm more excited about the LynB ones but I always have loved all the Pixie Dusts I have, too, so I'm sure I will love these.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July sale hauls

I'm back to having just a few readers after a flurry of having a bunch back when I was posting every day, during the winter. I liked having more readers, but I've been keeping a blog or an online journal to one degree or another for over ten years now, and I know better than to think I I'd ever keep up with extremely regular posting. (I suspect my regular readers are mostly the people who know all this already, but in case some of you are new, I started with Diary-X, which is long gone, went on to Livejournal, which is still around and which I do still post to off and on, but then I also had a quilt blog and a little general blog - I tend to forget all about that one, but it's still there and I wrote a few interesting things there, along with a lot of things which are utterly impenetrable when the links don't work - and then I had the bead blog which eventually turned into a general craft blog, and then this one.) Anyway, I really appreciate those of you who hang in there with me!

I have new stuff and I would like to post a picture but there's just not enough sun to get decent ones. (NOTE: picture is in the next entry.) I have four new polishes from LynB and three from Zoya, both of whom were having sales back around the 4th of July. Zoya's sale was one of those 3-polishes-for-the-cost-of-shipping-and-handling deals, like they have done often before. They charge $12 for the S&H, so I think of it as being 3 for $12 with free shipping, really, rather than the other way around. I doubt that they make much money at that price, but I doubt that they're losing money, either. I didn't see anything about current polishes being excluded from the sale, like they sometimes do, but I haven't been able to work up all that much enthusiasm about the current polishes anyway, so I bought two of the older Pixie Dusts - one from last fall and one that I think might be from the original bunch, the fall before that - and then a blue-gray called Cynthia that I just liked. (The two Pixie Dusts are London and Carter, respectively dove-gray and bright orchid-ish purple.)

This was my first LynB order, but she was having a really good sale - the individual polishes were around $5 each, I think, and then you got a free polish if you ordered three. Apparently she made a special one-batch LE polish for the free polish, so everybody got the same thing - it's called Teal The Cows Come Home and it looks pretty awesome. She said she had a couple of bottles of it left over and they're up on Etsy right now, so go take a look if you're interested, while they last. The other polishes I got were Blue Whale, which was from her QI collection (which cracks me up even though I've never watched QI regularly), Fires of Gallifrey, which is of course a Doctor Who polish, and This Is Halloween, which I don't see up on her website now, although some of the other Nightmare polishes from the same line are still there. (Frog's Breath!)

(Here's a picture of This Is Halloween that I found when I googled. This is without a base - other pictures I've seen seem to be with a dark base and look considerably darker.)

Incidentally, I'm still wearing Jon Snow - well, actually I've only had it on for one whole day, because I put it on Sunday night, but anyway, it's holding up fine. If the sun will come out I'll get a picture of that too. (However, it's thundering now, so don't hold your breath.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ultimate Fandom again

I was poking around in my list of indie polishes, and I happened to notice Fandom Cosmetics' tagline: "Live Long and Polish" - I like it.

I am in the middle of applying Dollish You Know Nothing Jon Snow. I'm at 3 coats and there is still visible nail line, so if you're VNL averse, you might want to avoid this one. I think I am stopping here, though. (I'll try to get a picture of it if the sun will ever come out.)

I tried These Are Not The Droids You're Looking For yesterday, and it read too Christmassy to me - metallic and jewel-tones. I don't think it has to be Christmas to wear that combination but, I dunno, I am always more in the mood for that sort of thing in the winter. So I decided to save that one for a bit.

Before that I had on The Deathly Hallows over RGB Slate, which I liked but never did get a picture of. The main thing I have to say about that one is that unless you're a lot more adept at dabbing techniques than I am, it takes a lot of coats to get a decent amount of glitter in there. I had on basecoat + Slate + several coats of TDH + 2 coats of topcoat, so a good 7 coats of polish, and it was so thick it finally started coming off in big chunks. So I liked it, but it takes some work to get on properly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Funky Fingers + a violet display

This is Funky Fingers Glitter Matters over Peonies Gone Wild, because that was the only dark pink I had handy. Glitter Matters is big matte pieces in pink and yellow and white, and I thought I might hate it, but I didn't. It's cute, but it's also really difficult to get anything resembling even coverage with. I might try putting a little thinner in it next time, because it was very thick & gloopy. I ended up doing several successive coats with matte top coat in between.

I have a picture of another mani involving Funky Fingers, but it looks so unlike the actual mani that I decided not to use it. The FF polish was Sand & Stilettos, which is a glitter that looks rather like Zoya Monet does in some pictures I've seen, although not having seen Monet in person I might have that all wrong. Anyway, S&S is a small holo glitter - not a microglitter - with silver and various pastel-ish holo pieces. I thought it looked almost like it had a violet tinge to it in the bottle, but on the nail it mostly looked very silver. Very silver, even with just one coat. It seemed to me like that one coat looked like a base for a jelly sandwich, so I put 2 coats of Jolly Lolly on over it, and even though Jolly Lolly is red it came out looking very pink - so I put a coat of Paloma over that, and it still looks pink, just a darker fuschia-pink. Maybe next time I'll try Katherine, since that's even darker. Anyway, the overall effect is really pretty, it's just pinker than I wanted. But the picture didn't look like it at all, so you'll have to imagine for yourself.

We have a new Five Below near us (well, by the mall on the freeway, which is not too far away) and I had heard people talk about the brand they had that was exclusive to them, so I went in to see about that - it was Fresh Paint I meant, because I remembered the name. What I didn't realize was that Funky Fingers is also apparently exclusive to them. Both brands were $2 each or 3/$5, so I bought three from Funky Fingers: Sand & Stilettos, Glitter Matters, and (because I figured I might as well buy three, and because the name amused me) Unicorn Farts. I think I've seen at least three or four polishes called Unicorn Farts now, and they were all different. Funky Fingers apparently thinks that unicorns fart big multicolored hexes, which I suppose is as valid an interpretation as any other. I didn't buy any Fresh Paint, because all they had was pastels apparently left over from spring, and they were boring.

One more stray picture I keep forgetting to post:
a "Color of the Year" display from H-E-B, with a couple of different polishes in an orchid-ish range (I didn't write down what they were). (I also think at least one of those on the top row wasn't supposed to be there at all!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Angels Have The Phone Box

So I tweeted a picture of The Angels Have The Phone Box, and it promptly got retweeted in Doctor Who circles and suddenly my hand and my rather dry-looking cuticles are being seen all over the place. (That might be a slight exaggeration. Several places, anyway.) As you know (Bob), I am not a huge fan of holos in general. However, with this one I like the color a whole lot even out of the sunshine - mostly the problem I have with them is that they rarely live up to their pictures, I think!
This is full-sun, and you can see that it's not a really blazing holo even here. Out of the sun it sometimes seems to have a little bit of green in it, so that it looks more like a teal. Anyway, I like. (Full details: this was two coats, with Instant Artificials and then BL Nail Foundation underneath, and Seche Vite on top. And in the interests of full disclosure, I have to tell you that it's now got a good bit of tip wear after only a day. But I think that seems to be the rule rather than the exception with holos, anyway. At least in my experience.) (Update: It's Friday, three days later, and I still have this on. The tipwear is not a great deal worse than it was when I wrote the above. I'll probably change it tonight or tomorrow.)

Before this I wore Live Long And Prosper for several days, but since I didn't get around to taking a picture before the last day when it was horribly chipped, I can't bring myself to post the one I eventually did get. I refer you once again to Mishka's pictures (on Dollish's website, this time), because it looked pretty much just like this, when it was fresh.

(Note: some may be wondering since I've talked about this collection so much, but there's no actual legal disclosure required here. I paid full retail price for these.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Stash: dark red-violets

If we were trying harder to stay in color-wheel order here, this would go next to the dark reds (the ones down toward the bottom of the picture in that link). I usually do try for something resembling color-wheel order but somewhere along the line here I started taking pictures of pinks when I should've been taking pictures of purples, and screwed that idea all up. So, anyway, this is dark red-violets - burgundies and that sort of thing. (Names having to do with red wine are very common in this color range.) I thought they were a very odd bunch when I was taking the picture, but in fact they now seem to belong together more than I originally thought, even though some of them belong more of the red side of red-violet than others.
Top row: Diamond Strength Private I, Ulta Salon Chic Peek, Illamasqua Glitterati (at least, I'm pretty sure this is Glitterati, although it doesn't have a name anywhere on the bottle that I can see)
Middle row (these zigzag around a bit): Outlast Violet Flickr,  Funky Fingers Burgandy Scales (that's how it's spelled on the label, and I believe it's a crackle), Colorstay Bold Sangria, Zoya Jem, Barielle Elle's Spell
Bottom row: Zoya Carly, S-OPI Ruby Without A Cause, Finger Paints Hipnotic (ditto on the spelling being theirs, although that one at least makes for a fairly cute pun)(and this is a magnetic), Zoya Katherine (a jelly)

I'm not sure if "burgandy" is just a typo or if there's some joke there that I'm missing.

Many of these are what people would think of as fall or holiday colors. Glitterati was in fact part of a holiday set. Bold Sangria is really the only one of these that's just a creme; everything else is a shimmer or glitter or flakie (that would be Elle's Spell) or some other oddity. I do really like all of these, even Burgandy Scales, and I'm pretty sure it's the only crackle I've ever said that about. Several of these are among my very favorite polishes: Violet Flickr and Private I, on the more purple end of things, Zoya Jem and Carly (which are pretty similar, except that Jem is somewhat browner), and Elle's Spell, because I love a good flakie.

(The untrieds here are only Burgandy Scales and Hipnotic, and even those I've played around with on a nail wheel. Maybe in the fall I'll get ambitious and try out the magnet, even.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stash: red-violets, part 2

Here's part 2 of the red-violets, trending more toward the red/pink end now (but still not really there):

This picture is a bit fuzzy, but you can still see the colors just fine, and that's really the point of the thing. So rather than wait for another sunny day to retake it, I'm just going with it. Sunny days have been fairly hard to come by lately; we've been in a rainy cycle.
Top row: Sephora by OPI G-listen To Your Heart, Sinful Colors Fig, Studio M Purple Medalion, China Glaze Put A Bow On It
Second row: WnW FastDry Dancer Is The Best Reindeer, essence Break Through, Wild Shine Deception, unlabeled mini, Revlon Plum Attraction
Third row: Rimmel Cocktail Colour Baby Bellini, Lynnderella Orchid Of The Year, Zoya Keiko, Xtreme Wear Posh Plum, and then the wand one is Nail Art Neons in Ultra Violet
Bottom row: S-OPI Domestic Goddess, Julie G Crushed Candy (texture), Zoya Perrie, OPI Morning Moneypenny (Skyfall magnetic)

Somewhat geeky side-note: I mentioned capitalization questions in the last entry; specifically, that I have started trying to capitalize brand-names the way the brand wants you to. (At least most of the time; I'm not promising to be entirely consistent about it!) This comes up with piCture pOlish, of course, but also with a couple of brands that use all-lower case like e.l.f. and essence. For the polishes themselves, I have started going with what seems to be the standard for polish names in the blog world, and capitalizing Every Single Word. It took me a while to come around to this because it kind of hurts the librarian/English-major part of my heart, which badly wants to capitalize only nouns and verbs and adjectives and such, but not certainly not prepositions or articles. But I have come around to it - for this purpose only, of course. Thus "Put A Bow On It" is a polish, whereas if it was a title I would capitalize fewer words.

I didn't put Dancer Is The Best Reindeer and Purple Medallion next to each other in the pic, and actually they look a little bit different here, but comparing them in the bottles right now, they look awfully similar. I might have to swatch them & compare, if I can remember to. They're both packed glitters with a lot of multicolor sparkle, at the very least.

As far as untrieds here, I don't think there are any at all - I've even worn Purple Medallion, which I've had for less than a month. Possibly the unlabeled mini, but I think I've even worn that once or twice. I can tell you that I actively dislike the nail art wand (there's a rant about that here around a year ago, as I recall), and I haven't worn Perrie on its own more than once or twice because I think it's a bit pale for me and just doesn't work with my skin tone. (I do keep wearing it as a base for other stuff, I've noticed.) But all of these slightly-darker red-violets are great. Honestly, it looks like I've kind of bought the same color over and over, doesn't it? Lots of really similar R-V cremes here.

I have one more red-violet(ish) post, and that's the dark ones that verge over into reds, the wine-colors. After that I think I'm almost done with this round of the Neverending Stash Project. I have maybe a couple more posts after that - black/white/gray, and then probably multicolor glitters and some other miscellaneous leftovers. This may be the last time I try for pictures of the entire stash, but we'll see.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Stash: red-violets, part 1

I have two pictures of my sort of middle-of-the-road red-violets, but I guess I'll make them two posts rather than one big mega-post. So here's part 1, which is the more-violet-than-pink side of things. Part two will lean a bit more to the pink side. Honestly, I should learn from this: apparently I have a big, big love for this color range, where purple starts shading into pink:
Some of these look more purple than others, but all of them are more purple than what's coming up in the next picture - which in turn is still more purple than the violet-leaning pinks in this picture. . . which is still more purple than a middle-of-the-road pink.

The rows above are pretty wonky but I'm hoping you can sort it all out if I give you brand-names to go by.
Top row: Milani One-Coat Glitter in Purple Gleam, Fantasy Makers Purple Potion (this is Wet n Wild's Halloween collection, as if you haven't already figured that out from the tombstone cap), Revlon Scandalous, Finger Paints Amethyst Accents, Kleancolor Sparkle Purple
2nd row:  Milani Purple Rush, Zoya Roxy, e.l.f. Gina Girl, Studio M Gift of Sparkle
3rd row: Sinful Colors Purple Diamond, piCture pOlish Violet Femme (I will capitalize the name of the brand the way they like, but it seems too confusing not to capitalize the name of the polish in the same manner as everything else!), Sephora by OPI Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild, Chirality Convergence (a holo and a mini)
Bottom row: Satin Glam Taffeta, Zoya Harmonie, Bonita Royal Highness, Triple Shine Vanity Flare, Sephora by OPI It's Bouquet with Me

There are several pairs I want to talk about here. The two Milanis are very similar colors, really. Of course one is a heavy-duty glitter and the other is a shimmery maybe-microglittery thing. The bigger glitter reads maybe a little redder in the picture above and I think that's the glitter it's picking up.

The two SOPIs are similar and yet not - SPFGW is darker and chunkier; It's Bouquet with Me (IBWM? sounds like some kind of missile) is actually considerably lighter and it has what look like some multicolored big holo pieces scattered around in it, almost a la Zoya Monet. I really think there's a sort of a blingy party thing going on in the middle of the softer paler smaller glitter. It's very interesting, and I don't think I've worn it yet either, although I did swatch it somewhere along the line. I'm going to have to look for that.

The third pair are not a pair because they're the same brand, they're a pair because I've seen them called dupes. This is Scandalous and Roxy, and they're both supposed to be dupes of something Lippmann, I think. Maybe Bad Romance? But I am not really convinced they're dead dupes, because in this picture Roxy looks much redder. Maybe it's all misdirection and they go on the nail as dead dupes, but they certainly aren't in the bottle.

Added: I was doing the next post and I realized I didn't talk about untrieds, which I've been trying to do, except for IBWM which I already mentioned. Actually I think a number of these are untried, probably just because I have so damn many purples. Oh, and Taffeta is untried because it has a defective brush - as in a stick and no brush at all, really, and I'd lost the receipt by the time I figured that out. I'm going to have to figure out a way to get some out of the bottle to try it. I also don't think I've worn Purple Gleam or Sparkle Purple, or Gina Girl or (maybe) Gift of Sparkle. And Purple Diamond is a fairly recent acquisition that I don't think I've tried - unless I'm just forgetting (I might've layered it with something) - and I'm almost sure I haven't worn Vanity Flare. Interesting. So I tend to veer towards either darker or redder.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ultimate Fandom: the collection

I took several pictures of the Dollish "Ultimate Fandom Collection" while I was unboxing, so here you go. (These were developed along with Accio Lacquer, I believe, and I keep referring to her most excellent swatch pictures of them: here and here.) I didn't think to take a picture when I first opened up the box, but really, it would've been pretty boring, because everything was individually wrapped in its own little envelope of bubble wrap. So here is a (not very neatened-up) picture of what they looked like after I pried them all out of the envelopes:

And here they are all nicely lined up, although the lighting is funky:
(Apparently I shouldn't have put You Know Nothing Jon Snow down on the right corner where it got the most sun. It promptly became blinding.)

And here are the bottle labels - in no particular order that I recall:
So I've already documented my experiments with Look At The Flowers Lizzie over here, and right now I have Live Long and Prosper on one nail - only because I tried it over Orly Sweet Peacock, which is a very bright (peacock) blue which turned out to be too bright for it. I'm not wasting my precious minis where you can't even see them properly. (I didn't think to take a picture of this mani when I was outside today - maybe tomorrow.)