Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 favorites (less #1)

I did a top 10 but I don't have fancy pictures or anything, because I think everybody who knows me knows by now that that's not how I roll. (I would have taken some sort of pictures if there had been sun today, but no dice on that. I will see what I can dig up out of the Delicious Color archives, though!)

I have never done a top 10 before, and given that, I decided that it didn't make any sense to limit it to polishes released this year only. Because of that, my criteria for inclusion is not when it was made or purchased, but rather that I wore it for the first time in 2014. (I did pull several older releases out of the list and put them into an Honorable Mention category, though - see below for that.)

This is 2-10 - #1 is coming tomorrow. In alpha order by brand:

  • China Glaze Travel In Colour
  • Cover Girl Outlast Violet Flicker
  • Dollish Polish The Angels Have The Phone Box
  • OPI Alcatraz... Rocks
  • Pahlish Pyrite
  • Serum No 5 Yule Light Up my Life
  • Sinful Colors Gilded
  • Zoya Carter (Pixie Dust)
  • Zoya Teigen

Yule Light Up My Life:

The Angels Have The Phone Box:

Carter, without top coat and with:

Honorable mention (older polishes which I just wore for the first time in 2014):

  • Barielle Elle's Spell
  • China Glaze Glitter All The Way (former holiday polish inexplicably in Mardi Gras colors)
  • Kleancolor Sparkle Purple

Glitter All The Way:

Sparkle Purple:

Other nail products I loved in 2014:
Chick cuticle oil (works great, but mostly I love it for the scent, tangerine-ginger)
Orchid-brand nail polish remover (for the weird pump-action bottle)
Nailthins decals

Orchid remover:

This was rest of my shortlist:
Bonita Peonies Gone Wild
Chick Hipster Chick
Chick Once Upon A Time
Jade Vestido De Gala
Julie G Butterflies & Rosebuds
Lush Lacquer Ho Ho Holodays
Nyx Enchanted Forest
Orly Intergalactic Space
RBL Meow Meow
Serum No 5 Sunset Flare
Square Hue Vaclavske Namesti
Urban Decay Vice
Zoya Posh
Zoya Yuna

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas goodies

I don't have pictures because the sun hasn't been seen at all in the last couple of days, but I got some nice stuff for Christmas. In particular, I think my aunt must have gone into Sally Beauty and asked what to get somebody who was into nail polish! (I said this to her, and she looked surprised and then laughed, which I took as a yes. I know Sally Beauty stuff when I see it.) It was Tweezerman cuticle scissors (which... well, my first reaction was, "I'd never cut my cuticles!" but I do get hangnails from time to time so it's a good thing to have, really), a 4-in-1 nail file, Bridge the Ridge basecoat, a divided acrylic tray, and OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress, which I don't have and was interested in trying. So I was really happy. I told my aunt she did good. I got a lot of stuff off my wishlist from Rob, like a couple of bottles from Pretty Serious' Blogger Collaboration collection. (One was Swatch & Learn - and I've forgotten offhand what the other one was.) I got Today I Accomplished Zero, and one of those Miracle Gel duos with a color polish plus the topcoat - and Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer, which I'd been wanting. And I got some other assorted stuff like a little crossbody bag, and a couple of gift cards.

I doubt that anybody remembers that I was talking about this a couple of months ago, but back then I had gotten a couple of Burt's Bees grab-bags, and I was planning on distributing all those lip balms and glosses and things among my female family members. Well, it turned out that this went over very well. I had kept some of the Burt's Bees stuff for myself, but there was still a lot left, and I also had a bunch of very-high-end samples that my sister had sent me, and assorted items culled from Ipsy bags and such, too. I couldn't decide how to split it up, so I enlisted my cousin's help, and we dumped it all out on the table late on Christmas Eve, and divided it all into piles, one per person, and had a great time doing that. And they all really loved it.

Today's nails are Ruby Pumps from China Glaze, two coats (with Nail Nutrition underneath, and NYC topcoat) - I've had it for a while but I hadn't gotten around to wearing it til now. Before that I had on Yule Light Up My Life, a Serum No 5 polish from last year's holiday season.

And that's all I can think of to say right now. In a few days I'll have 2014 favorites to post, and if the sun ever comes out I'll take some pictures. (Also, because I am utterly insane, I have a new stash project in mind for January. We'll see if that happens.)

Added: I forgot about this, I do have a picture of Yule Light Up My Life that I took at work and posted on Twitter. It does show off the sparkliness quite well!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

To Pixie Dust or not to Pixie Dust

I'm still holding out on buying any more Pixie Dusts from the BOGO sale at Zoya. I was toying with the idea - maybe Arabella? Dahlia? but I just can't convince myself that I need any of those that badly. I have so much polish now that I can't keep track of it as it is.

(For example, I was thinking about wearing Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, only I don't know where it is. I'm not terribly worried about it, though, I have a zillion other dark greens and it'll turn up. I know it's here someplace.)

From the BOGO page up there, I wandered over to Zoya polishes by color, which I always love. Pumpkin Spice. (I'm still sort of coveting Autumn, except I know I wouldn't wear it until next fall.) Marsala - which has been taking a lot of heat but which I still rather like. Reds, although I certainly don't need any more of those. Also mattes - I'm still coveting the couple I don't already have there, which is Loredana and Harlow. If those were in a BOGO sale I would be considering it more seriously. Hmm, don't they usually have some promo thing in early January?

(FYI, none of the links above - or below, for that matter - are affiliate links.)

Let's see, I've been keeping up with my nails of the day on Twitter, mostly. I'm still wearing Bad Santa, which I've had on for several days. (I still think it's the best name for a red polish ever, but I told somebody that and they just stared at me like I'm crazy, so apparently not everybody gets that concept.) It's an old Ulta color, from a "Wicked Wonderland" set some years ago. I won it in a giveaway from Karen several years ago and I don't think it was brand-new then. But they are great colors. I wore Bad Santa mattified for a couple of days, and then that was dinged-up a bit so I added another coat of polish and this time used HK Girl so they're all nice and shiny.

Base-coat-wise, I'm still using up my bottle of Sinful Colors. That's probably what's under everything I've worn lately, although I haven't been keeping very good records.

Before Bad Santa, I was wearing RGB Slate, which is about what you'd think, a somewhat-metallic gray. I wore it for a day or so but I was experimenting around with various things to put on top of it and I didn't like the results so I finally just started over completely.

Before that, I was wearing Sinful Kissy - which is supposed to be a (near) dupe for Zoya Charla. I put it over SOPI Leaf Me At The Altar, which made it lean a bit greener.

And before that, I had on Triple Shine Slick Black, and since my thing lately is that I just keep layering, after a day or so I put NYC Blue Majesty on the tips. It looked pretty cute.

(And I think that finally gets us back to SC Gilded over red, which was the last NOTD that made it onto this blog.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A wheel (half) full of recent purchases

I filled half of a nail wheel up with recent purchases, in no particular order (and this isn't all of them, either, it's just the ones I had handy.
I did go back and number these after I took the picture, but going from L-R:
  1. Enchanted Forest (Nyx Salon)
  2. Via Della Spiga (Square Hue Milan collection)
  3. Houston We Have A Purple (OPI Texas collection)
  4. Odette (Zoya Naturel collection)
  5. Sansa (Zoya Ignite collection)
  6. unlabeled mini (not new, but I found it under a table where I'm pretty sure it had been for a while, so don't think it had been swatched before - not that you can tell a lot)
  7. Fires of Gallifrey (Lyn B)
  8. Dovima (Zoya matte)
  9. Gilded (Sinful Colors holiday collection)
  10. Remy (Zoya Ignite collection)
I believe all of these were two coats, and I left an area at the bottom of each nail where it's only one coat so you can see where there's a difference. (It's most noticeable on Enchanted Forest at the far left.)

Here's the bottle pictures - slightly out of order but I think you've got enough information to sort it out without further help! - and below that is close-ups, with some comments.

Enchanted Forest is not nearly as forest green as I thought it was - in fact it's practically blue. (I don't think it's actually quite as blue as it looks in this picture, but it's definitely in the blue-green range, anyway.) I've worn it but I think I wore it over a dark-green base and so the blue shift wasn't noticeable. Via Della Spiga is the red and I still like it a lot. My only comment is that it does seem to lean a tiny bit to the pink side sometimes - but only a little. (That's not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned, anyway!)

So here we have Houston We Have A Purple (which is berry-pink, not purple at all, but I knew that when I bought it) and Odette, which is a slightly grayed-out purple creme. Houston We Have A Purple was one of several "sorbet"-finish colors in the Texas Collection and so far they seem really interesting. (I've tried the other one I bought, which was the orange one, but not this one yet.)

This is Zoya Sansa, which like all the Ignite colors is fabulous - much more fabulous than you can tell here - and an unnamed beige-ish mini which as I said I found under my TV table. It's one of that big collection of minis that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. You can't tell much here but actually I think it has possibilities for layering. I'll probably play with it at some point.

This is Fires Of Gallifrey - which I've worn a couple of times, usually over something orange. I had no idea the base was actually this pinkish! And the black is Zoya Dovima, one of the matte velvets. (There were six of them in the last re-release and I have four of them. I'm always using them so I'm really tempted to get the last two, too, before they become unavailable again.)

This is Gilded, which I've been wearing like crazy lately but it's still interesting to see what it looks like on its own, and Remy, the blue Ignite polish. Which looks amazing - I haven't tried it yet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Playing with polish: red, Gilded, & mattified

I kept adding layers to this - for that matter I think I mentioned the bottom layer in the last entry, Via Della Spiga, which is the bright red creme. I wore that for a day or so, and then I decided I wanted something more glittery, so I added Zoya Karina, which is a somewhat darker red microglitter. Then yesterday I added Gilded (which is Sinful Colors, and which I've used several times lately). I had in mind that I wanted a lot of red showing around the edges, and I played around with it, and then put Sally Girl matte top coat on it, for good measure, and this is what I ended  up with:
It looks more gold in real life, though - let's see if you can tell better in this picture.
Anyway, I love it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Marsala? + NOTD

I ganked a picture off the internet as an example of Pantone's pick for color of the year, which, if you haven't already heard, is "marsala," a red-brown.
I've heard some derision about this color, but I think it has possibilities as a "new neutral" - I don't think it's something I'd want whole outfits of, but I kind of like it. Is there a nail polish that approximates this color? So far I haven't seen one that comes very close. Lippmann Bitches Brew was suggested, that I saw, and it's sort of generally in the ballpark, I guess, but it's not very close to being this exact color at all. It's way darker. Possibly the closest thing that I own (and I'm not really a earthtones/neutral person so I don't have a lot of candidates) is OPI I Knead Sourdough, from the San Francisco collection. It looks fairly close in those pictures - closer than I would have guessed - and it's probably still obtainable, I bet. (I suspect it actually reads darker than this, though.)

As far as my own nails, I said I was going to switch to holiday colors, and so far I have. I also said I was probably going to start with Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, and that I did not do. I wanted glitter, and I didn't want to cover Aragon up with glitter the first time I wore it, so instead I covered Zoya Veruschka up with glitter - although really, the glitter wasn't all that heavy anyway, and you could totally see the base color. The glitter I used was Nyx Enchanted Forest. (Hmm, it looks pretty by itself and I'm not sure I've ever worn it that way. Maybe I'll do that this month while I'm on the red-and-green tear.) Anyway, I didn't get a picture of this combo. It was pretty but it was totally Traditional Christmas Green, just a glittery version.

Now I've gone red, and I'm wearing Via Della Spiga, from the Square Hue Milan collection, which was the October one. It's just a great classic creme red, and there's not much more to say about it. Goes on beautifully in two coats. (I guess I could say that it's what I wanted RBL Chinoise to be, and what Chinoise wasn't, somehow. Which is an old complaint of mine, but a compliment to Square Hue!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Polish for the holidays

This is not really a stash post - well, it is part of my stash, but it's not part of my ongoing series of stash posts, because this is not everything I have in these colors. This is more an idea post about what to wear for the holidays, if you want to go for a holiday theme - and what to buy, if you need to buy something. (But this is just what I had already, I wasn't thinking about what was easily available when I picked these out!)

Reds (and golds) - Honestly, I think the lesson of this picture is that all reds tend to look pretty much alike from a distance. Some of these are very glittery and some are cremes, and on the nail they may look a little lighter or darker or more shimmery - and there's everything in here from $2 drugstore polishes to $20 high-end ones - but at arm's length, red is red. (Even Posh, the matte on the top row, looks pretty similar to the rest of these if you put top coat on it.) I didn't put any oxbloods or anything that leans really purple in here, those would look more different. As for the golds, oddly, they tend to look very different on the nail a lot of the time even if they look similar in the bottle. I guess it's the metallic component - some are mixed metals, some are brassy, etc. But still from a distance, people are just going to think, gold, unless you've done something very subtle with it like a glitter fade.
Top row: Square Hue Via Della Spiga (from the October Milan collection), Zoya Posh (matte) and Karina (microglitter), RBL Chinoise, OPI Big Apple Red (mini)
Second row: Sinful Colors Sugar Sugar (glittery), China Glaze Ruby Pumps (even more glittery), China Glaze Just Be-Claws (from last year's holiday collection), Butter London Knees Up (gorgeous foil), NYC Crystal Couture (which is LE, so snap it up if you see it) in Ruby Queen
Third row: Zoya Chyna (Pixie Dust) and Delilah (another glittery one), Milani Bet On Red, Serum No 5 Poppy Fields, Triple Shine Pearly Whites
Bottom row: LASplash Sparkling Fire (glitter), Dollish These Are Not The Droids You're Looking For (mixed glitters), Milani Gold Glitz, Sinful Colors All About You (brassy-looking small glitter), Aldo Gold Digger (chunkier glitter)

One great holiday red, if you can find it, that didn't make it into the picture is Glitterati, from Ilamasqua. I suspect it's discontinued but I'm not sure. Here's somebody's swatches - you can see that it's much darker than the ones above, with scattered glitter.

Greens (plus some glitters and a few blues):
Top row: Funky Fingers Unicorn Farts, Different Dimension Out Of Space Convertible (from the Santa Baby collection), Zoya Indigo (glitter), Sinful Colors Ice Dream (silver-blue small glitter)
Second row: LynB Blue Whale (from their QI collection), Pahlish Yuletide Treasures (with the one below, a duo from last year, a chunky red & green glitter), Serum No 5 Yule Light Up My Life (red & green mixed-size glitter)
Third row: Colorstay Rainforest (glass-fleck forest green, discontinued unless you can find it at Big Lots or somewhere), Pahlish Boughs of Holly (glittery dark green), Xtreme Wear Emerald City (a lovely shiny green which I'm also pretty sure is discontinued), Dear Rus Noblesse No 601 (green and gold and possibly discontinued, as well)
Fourth row: Zoya Veruschka (matte), OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow (suede-finish), RBL Meow Meow (green glitter)
Bottom row: LASplash Sparking Seaweed (green and silver glitter), Julie G Textured Mistletoe, Nyx Salon Enchanted Forest (at least I'm pretty sure that was the name of it, the bottle is completely illegible!), Zoya Chita (Pixie Dust), Layla CE61 (foil)

There's more noticeable differences between the greens. I was trying to pick "Christmas" greens, things in the emerald/forest range, but still, there's just more noticeable differences between these, to me. I think it's at least partially just the way I picked the reds, because to me a real holiday red means something within a very small range, where there's more leeway on the greens.

Here's some more things from my stash that are very "holiday" but didn't make it into these two pictures (most of the silver ones are in this post):
  • Holiday Spirit (Sation - fine multicolor glitter)
  • Dancer Is The Best Reindeer (WnW Fastdry - purple/blue) and Elderberry (Nail Pattern Boldness - purple/blue) (these two are quite similar, and another one that's pretty similar is LA Colors Jewel Tone, which last I looked was still a current color)
  • Is that Silva? (OPI - silver magnetic)
  • Celeb City (Xtreme Wear - bright silver)
  • Luna (Zoya - bright silver glitter - a great jelly sandwich center)
  • Glitz (Orly - bright gold)
  • Gold Gleam (Milani - gold with a "mixed metal" effect)
  • Fairy Dust (Khroma/Kardashian - gold topper)
  • Mingle With Kringle (China Glaze - gold metallic) (note to self: go heavy on the base coat due to staining issues the last time I used this!)
  • Sand & Stilettos (Funky Fingers - multi holo glitter)
  • Jordana Crystal Glitter - just what it says, a fine glitter that shimmers like crystal - very pretty!)
  • Disco Ball (Xtreme Wear - holo glitter)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Y'all Come Back Ya Hear

I think I mentioned a couple of entries back that I had bought some 1/2 price OPIs from Sleek Nail - well, they came extremely quickly and I am wearing one of them now and I'm very satisfied with that purchase. I bought 2 polishes from the Texas collection from a couple of years ago, Houston We Have A Purple (which does not appear to be purple at all but more like a berry) and Y'all Come Back Now Ya Hear? (a very bright orange) - both of these are what OPI called "sorbets" but which seem to me to pretty much be jellies in my limited experience here. I just did a jelly sandwich with YCBNYH and Sinful Gilded which is very pretty - I did 2 coats of the OPI, 1 of Gilded and another YCBNYH coat on top of that. There's still some visible nail line even after that many coats but I can deal with it.

Added: I posted the two iPhone pictures below and then I found this picture on the memory card of my camera, which I seems to be the same manicure, and which looks considerably more like I feel like the manicure actually looked. I usually only take pictures with the Canon when I have daylight; the iPhone pictures tend to be taken whenever I think of taking them and have any kind of decent light, which in this case was under the fluorescents at work. So I'm sure that accounts for a lot of the difference. (The Canon is about 10 years old; it's an old A510 with a whoppin' 3.2 MP. So I'm not sure saying it's a "better" camera than the iPhone is entirely accurate. It does have things like a macro setting that the iPhone does not, though.)
(above: Canon - below: iPhone)

The other thing I bought was Here Today Aragon Tomorrow which is on my unofficial lemming list and has been for ages. (It's unofficial because I never have made an "official" one. There's no list anywhere except in my head. I try not to obsess about polishes I don't have, there are too many of them!)

I do have another type of list going that I've never made before, though, and that's a shortlist for Favorite Polishes of 2014. I've never done a yearly favorites list before because I've just never been organized enough. But the other day I went through blog entries and compiled a (fairly long) list of things I loved, and then cut that list down to a smaller one - I'll have to wait and see what I wear in December that I fall in love with before I can get any further than that. I'll probably do a top 10, I imagine, if I can decide on ten. (I do think I know what my polish of the year is, unless something comes along to bump it off - but I'm obviously not going to tell you now.) I decided my criteria was going to be that it had to be something that I wore for the first time in 2014, rather than something that was released or that I bought in 2014, just because that's easier to track, mostly. I don't care about when things were released, and limiting it to things I actually bought in 2014 cut out most of what I wore in January and half of what I wore in February, which seemed silly - especially since I never did a favorites of 2013.

Karen was kind enough to send me a couple of sets of Salon Effects nail polish strips to try out - I have never tried the strips so it's going to be interesting to see how I like those. They are, let's see (I had to find where they put the names!) - Wicked Bamboo, a sort of neutral stripe, and Running Wild, which is a tiger-print, looks like.

(This may be my last "fall" manicure - we'll see, but I've been eyeing the Christmas colors. Aragon next, probably.)