Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meow Meow + a tour of H-E-B

I'm wearing RBL Meow Meow, a blackened green glitter, and it's really beautiful but I still think "Christmas green" every time I look at it. Maybe next time I'll put it over black and see if that helps. (Or maybe a lighter green? I'll have to experiment...)

I tried to get a picture of Meow Meow, but the iPhone picture sucked, and it's been too rainy to get decent lighting at home. And therefore I don't have a picture of the new things I've gotten, either. I have a couple of new things via the lovely Karen:
I got to have lunch with Karen and Mr Karen last week, and then we had some time left so Mr K went off on his own and Karen and I went shopping, and we ended up at - where else, really? - the grocery store. There's not much else nail-polish-wise that's not available in the Detroit area as easily as it is in the Houston area. Ulta and Sephora locations are pretty abundant at both places, but H-E-B isn't. As it happened, they were having one of their Orchid coupon sales, so she was able to do a little stocking up very reasonably. All I bought was one more discontinued Colorstay, since there was also another Revlon coupon sale. (We got back with still a few minutes to spare, so we did do a quick run through Ulta, also. Neither of us bought anything there, but I think there will be some pictures in Karen's next display post that came from Houston.) Anyway, I hadn't seen Karen in person since 2008, I think - and Mr Karen in even longer than that - so it was really nice to see them both.

I hadn't been in Ulta in months, so there were a lot of things I hadn't seen, like the OPI Nordics and the new Zoya colors. The Nordics were pretty but there wasn't anything I felt all that tempted by. The Zoya Ignite collection, on the other hand... well, I know Zoya has sales, and OPI is rarely on sale, so it's much more likely I will own some of these Zoyas eventually than it is the OPIs. (Particularly India and Sansa, to be specific. So pretty.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New purchases + Sparkle Purple again

These pictures are a bit blurrier than I'd like but they're all I have. First of all, here is what I think is a much more color-correct picture of Sparkle Purple:
It still doesn't capture the very-red-violet flash of it, but it's closer, anyway. Also note that I have been wearing this since last weekend and the tip-wear is still awfully minimal. Of course I have who-knows-how-many coats of polish including at least two of topcoat, so it ought to wear like iron, shouldn't it?

As for purchases, this is Llarowe + the one RBL + the Revlon that I already talked about:
top row: Chick Cuticle Oil, Briarwood (A England), Nail-Robi (Color Club)
bottom row: Hipster Chick, #601 Shuffle Green (Dear Rus), Rain Forest, Meow Meow (Rescue Beauty Lounge)

I think the Revlon was either $1.33 or maybe only 33 cents after the coupon, I'm not sure which. (My receipt is not at all illuminating on this question, I looked.) The Dear Rus was $2 and the Chicks were $3. The others were full-price.

What stood out to me when I looked at these polishes, and what you've probably already noticed yourself, is the prevalence of green here. I love green, but my goodness, I really do get carried away. One thing about it, though, the three dark greens don't look anything alike - maybe in the picture they do a bit, but in person they don't. Shuffle Green is very gold-flecked, Rain Forest is a glass-fleck shimmer and Meow Meow is more of a full-on glitter with black mixed in. (Here's Kellie Gonzo's pictures of the RBL collection, which show it looking quite different.)

The others... well, Briarwood is one of those polishes every nail junkie knows about, and I just hope I love it as much as everybody else seems to. (Partly the Llarowe order was a "try new brands" thing for me - all of those except Color Club are new to me.) Nail-Robi got a lot of press back last spring when it came out, too, and it looks really beautiful. And the cuticle oil is... well, it doesn't say on the bottle but I believe it was tangerine-ginger, was the scent, and it smells divine. So on the whole, without having actually tried any of these polishes yet, I'm pretty happy with these purchases. I am going to have to spend the entire fall and winter wearing dark green every other manicure if I want to go through them all, though!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Playing with polish: Kleancolor Sparkle Purple

I don't know anything about Kleancolor, except that people always talk about the smell of their polishes - I think this means that they have a chemical smell, like the nail polishes all did until they started changing formulas not too many years ago. (I can't say I noticed the smell of this one, though. As usual my nose is stopped up, but if it had a really strong smell, I would have noticed, I think.)

Well, anyway, I'm wearing my one and only Kleancolor polish, which I got from a blog sale (Gnarly Nails' apparently, because here is the picture that includes the bottle). According to Kleancolor's website, this is in fact a current color - 36 Sparkle Purple. (4th row, middle of the row, does not look nearly as blue as that picture implies, at least on my monitor!)

And this picture is not right, either:
The sparkles in this are very red-violet, and while the color in this picture looks pretty and you can see a hint of the red-violet, it still didn't pick up the full effect. This is actually 4 coats of SP, so it's super-glittery. It's over a base of a very dark blue-leaning purple - the base color from the Orbit Nail Art Wand (Revlon). (I had used the glitter end of the nail wand up, so I needed to use the other end up anyway.) The reason I did so many coats of the glitter was mostly because I put the glitter on late Saturday afternoon, and then put a quick-dry basecoat on, because my husband wanted to go to dinner, and then I had one of those things where the polish was dry on top but not underneath and it was wanting to shift around. It looked ok if you didn't look close, but it was bothering me enough that I added more coats of glitter - and then, of course, more topcoat - on Sunday.

This was the second Sparkle Purple mani I did. The first one used Colorstay Amethyst - which is much lighter - for a base, and it looked pretty different. I liked it as much if not more, but I didn't even manage to get a half-decent picture of that one. I'm really enamored of this polish and I'll probably try the Amethyst version again soon.

Speaking of Colorstay, I was in the grocery store this afternoon, and I ended up bringing home another bottle of Rain Forest. I wasn't in any hurry so I was poking around the drug department because they had all these better-than-usual coupon sales going on. Revlon is back in the back and I hadn't even looked at the Revlon display in a while, apparently, because I wasn't aware they had any "old" Colorstay left back there. I think with the coupon it ended up being a dollar and change. (If you live where there are H-E-Bs, the coupon is $3 off most Revlon, but I think only through tomorrow.) This is actually my third bottle of Rain Forest, but I think the first one is pretty close to empty and of course it's discontinued, so I don't think I'm being excessive there. It's a backup to my backup.

(Other good finds from the coupon sale, for the record: $3 off house-brand sunscreen in 70 & 100 SPF; $2 (I think it was) off Suave "gold bottle" hair products.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pump nail polish remover

I only bought this because it was free or nearly free with a coupon, but I really like it, it's turned out:
This is Orchid (H-E-B house brand) polish remover in a squat 6-oz. bottle with a "convenient spill-proof pump." I wasn't at all sure that I would care for a pump polish remover, but I figured, well, I'd try it. It turns out the pump didn't quite work the way I was imagining:
It has this little flat cup on top and it pumps UP. You put your cotton round or cotton ball or whatever on top of that and pump right into it. Mostly it works very well, although as usual nothing is really spill-proof where I'm concerned. I managed to actually shoot remover into the air right through the cotton round at one point and spill it that way, but still it's hard to have a major spill with this, anyway. (I will probably buy another one when I find them on sale again - I think regular price was in ballpark of $2 - but meanwhile I just refilled it with the acetone I had on hand.)

I took these pictures a week or more ago, and then I promptly forgot about them. I have been wearing Kleancolor Sparkle Purple for several days, and now it's chipped, and when I went to take it off I remembered the remover pictures. I really like Sparkle Purple and I'll probably just do the same mani again, so I'll try to get pictures this time!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Friends of mine have gone to LondonCon and I am jealous - however, I didn't really pick this because of that, I picked it because it was an untried that was still sitting out.
This is an uncropped iPhone picture, which is rare. I don't normally play with the color on my pictures, but I do crop a whole lot. This one seemed fine without it.

This is Zoya London (Pixie Dust), two coats topped with two coats of NYC matte top coat - and Zoya Get Even as a base. I made a big mess of it - you can see one spot where it got marred here, and my right thumb is worse. So I may have something else by tomorrow. I think it took longer to dry than I was willing to give it, at the time. (There's a lesson there.)

two additional things: (1) I failed to comment on my terrible (or rather nonexistent) cleanup job, although that really isn't necessary since you can see it perfectly well if you look close, and (2) I have new purchases coming. I bought a new RBL glitter from the presale, and also some odds and ends from Llarowe.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Yay for the approach of fall.

I was looking at my nail polishes this weekend, and I'm excited for fall to be coming. A lot of my favorite polishes feel more like fall/winter polishes than spring/summer. Purples, greens, neutrals....

Of course it's hot as blazes here and will be for a couple of months, in all probability. But still, at least we're getting to the point where we can pretend it's fall. And eventually it will be here!

(Meanwhile I am still wearing Butterflies and Rosebuds. But something new will probably be coming later today. I have no idea what it will be!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hair products

First of all, today's mani is Julie G Butterflies and Rosebuds. Blackened, shimmery dark pink. I've talked about that one before so nothing more to say about it, really.

I was talking about hair-care the other day, and it occurred to me to pull a bunch of hair products out of my bathroom and take pictures. The funny thing is that I think of myself as a person who doesn't use a lot of hair products. But I certainly have a good bit, as you'll see below.

I think the reason I think of myself that way is because I don't use too much in the way of stuff like mousse and hairspray and such. As I mentioned before, my hair just does not take a curl well, although this has changed somewhat in recent years - I'll get to that below.

This first picture is the stuff that was in the area of the bathtub - shampoo and conditioner:
"T+Plus" is HEB's version of T-Gel (which is Neutrogena, and which I used for years before the generic ones became widely available). I mentioned having scalp problems - mine is more serious than just dandruff, and at its worst my scalp will get irritated and if I let it go will get really scaly. I've never quite gotten to the point of having to go to the dermatologist about it, but years ago I did mention it to my uncle, who was a GP, and he told me to use the tar shampoo. That was probably 30 years ago (because I was in my early 20s at the time), but I've used it fairly regularly ever since and it does keep things in line.

Then we have two that I mentioned in the other entry, the Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss (is John Frieda really a British company or are they just being pretentious? I'm not sure) and the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle. These are both things I bought recently and have only used once each, but so far so good.

The next two are shampoos, and they're not even all the shampoo I have. I do something sort of different with my shampoo - as I mentioned, I have always had super-oily hair, and I have typically always washed my hair twice (do most people do this, these days? "lather, rinse, repeat" is what the instructions used to famously say - I doubt that it's necessary for all hair types but it certainly helps with mine) and somewhere along the line I decided that it worked better to use two different brands of shampoo, one for each "lather" step. And I don't even consistently use the same two, it just varies with what I have on hand. Except for the tar shampoo, they're all shampoos made for color-treated hair; these two are Suave Keratin and then EverPure, one of L'Oreal's sulfate-free lines. I do really like EverPure - it's kind of expensive but you don't have to use very much, so one tube lasts quite a while. But I still alternate it with other things. I didn't drag my big bottles of shampoo out to take photographs - I usually try to buy the 1-liter bottles of fancier brands when they're on sale. I have a big bottle of Biolage and one of Fantastic Sam's shampoo brand (I think it's called Fantastic Cleanse). (I had not used that brand before but I got it when it was on sale, again, and I have to say it's worked really well.) Biolage is my favorite, though, I've been using it for years. Ulta usually has a big sale a couple of times a year and that's when I typically buy it. Despite the presence of the Suave brands, I'm a bit snobby about shampoos, or rather I am convinced that the more expensive ones do generally work better, partly because they usually contain fewer harsh chemicals and various gunk, like beeswax - I don't know whether any companies actually use beeswax in shampoos nowadays, but they used to. But anyway, the Suave Professional lines I will use, because I've always had good results with those.

Then this is what I had in the sink area in my bathroom:
I've had this Redken bottle for years, and it's almost empty, but I don't even remember that I have this stuff very often any more - I don't seem to have too much trouble with split ends these days. The other things are Bed Head Control Freak - basically a mousse - Infusium23 leave-in conditioner, and Suave Keratin dry shampoo. The Bed Head is the one that I wanted to talk about here - it's not something I ever would have thought to buy on my own, but I'm really crazy about it. My hair still doesn't take a curl in the traditional sense, but it has gotten much more of a wave than it used to have, and if I wash my hair and put this stuff in it and scrunch it up a bit, it dries very wavy and looks really great. A stylist told me to try it, and it's been great advice.

Added: I forgot to say that I do own a can of hairspray - it's good old Aqua Net, just like my mama used to use. I've never been able to tell that the expensive ones worked any better.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Playing with polish: Daul over Vinyl

This is Zoya Daul over Hard Candy Vinyl:
I've been wearing this for several days, so there's noticeable tipwear on my index finger. I took this this morning, and by this afternoon there was noticeable tipwear on quite a few fingers.

This isn't the greatest picture, but I think you can get the idea. Vinyl is an old (old) Hard Candy color, from back in the olden days before Hard Candy started selling at Wal-Mart. (I like new-formula Hard Candy too, I just don't have that many of them. But I have a bunch of these old ones.) Anyway, it's an almost-black purple, and it looks good on its own, but I just can't leave cremes alone these days, so it got paired with Zoya Daul, which is a crazy glass-fleck iridescent thing with a purplish base, but these two together come out looking more brown than purple in a lot of lights, and with gold flash that is all Daul. Here's Zoya's Daul page. The description says it's purple and gold, but in their pictures you don't really see the gold that much.

(oops, I hit the publish button by mistake, so I'll just leave this as is, I guess! It's basically done, anyway.)