Friday, February 27, 2015

Playing with polish: India + Ruby Pumps

I put Zoya India on in the middle of the night the other night, and I must've been half-asleep, because it was a mess. I cleaned it up and it ended up looking alright, but... this was the first time I'd worn India, and I have to say I didn't immediately fall in love. I don't really think the application issues had anything to do with it, either. It was okay, it just wasn't all that and a bag of chips, especially compared to the other two Ignite polishes I'd already tried (which was Teigen and Yuna, both of which I adored). So I wore that for a day or so - I didn't take a picture because the sun wasn't out - and then for some reason I decided to put a coat of Ruby Pumps on top of it. My exact reasons escape me now, but I think I just sort of randomly pulled it out as something that sorta-kinda matched India, And man, I love this combination:
I've been looking for a "blackened red" nail polish for a while now - or at least I've been in love with the idea of a blackened red polish, I can't really say I've done that much active looking - and this is kind of in that ballpark, really. The bright red of Ruby Pumps over the darker red of India seems to give that effect.

(If you blow that picture up you may notice that my cuticles look a bit dry - but for once I noticed this in real life before I noticed it on the picture, and pulled the tin of G&G cuticle balm out of my purse and used it. I usually forget I have that. I also notice that my cleanup was once again not exactly stellar - as usual, I was running out the door on the way to work, and this picture was actually taken in my parked car. But anyway, you can get the idea, which is the important part.)

I was talking a while back about what I was calling the "Lynnderella plan" in my head - basically it was a way of inducing myself to buy less - and I've been trying it out, and so far, so good. The original idea was, if I didn't buy anything else all month, I could buy one Lynnderella at the end of the month. But when I went and looked at Lynnderella's website I didn't really see anything that caught my fancy, especially, so I decided it could be any high-end polish, within reason - and then I decided that it would work better if I just called it a $5-a-week budget. However many weeks I can hold out without buying anything, it's that x5, right? It accumulates. If I want to buy a Louboutin (which I'm pretty sure I don't) I would have to not buy anything for 10 weeks, in theory. For a Chanel it would take about six weeks, because the budget has to cover shipping and tax, too. I started this several days into February, so almost three weeks have gone by - this is pretty amazing for me - and I saw a flakie from Painted Polish that did take my fancy - I think it's Flake Your Booty, it's navy, but their website is down right now so I can't check. And it was $12 plus $3 shipping, so three weeks' worth of budget, exactly, and I went ahead and ordered it. It hasn't quite been three weeks but I figure it will be by the time it gets here - as long as I don't start buying anything else in the meantime I decided that's within the rules.

We'll see if this keeps working in the long haul, but so far, it's been quite effective at cutting out the drug-store impulse purchases, at least. If this ends up being one indie polish every few weeks, that's fine, too. I was spending well over $5 a week before, on average, and I've got so many polishes now that it was just getting ridiculous.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Stash: jellies and crellies

Mostly jellies, or at least jelly-like - there's only one that's clearly a crelly in this bunch (though I probably have a few more of both scattered around my stash):
top row:
  • Sangria (Cover Girl Outlast) - a slightly orange-leaning red - I don't think this is officially a jelly, but it's definitely in that in-between zone of "jelly-like" slightly squishy polishes
  • Today I Accomplished Zero (OPI Coca-Cola collection) - I have to say honestly that I didn't fall in love with this on my nails, and I'm not sure why. But I've only worn it once, so maybe it was just a case of it not looking quite like I expected. Anyway, it's a black jelly with reddish glitter. I love it in the bottle! (S&L swatches)
  • Y'all Come Back Ya Hear? (OPI Texas collection) (I keep incorrectly putting "now" into this polish name, because that's the way that phrase goes in my head!) - there were several in the Texas collection that were called "sorbets" but the two I have seem like jellies to me, pretty much! This is pretty much Longhorn orange*, maybe a little red-leaning. It looked surprisingly okay on me.
  • Girls On Film (Nostalgic Lacquer) - pink crelly with various sizes of pink and purple glitter
second row:
  • Paloma (Zoya) - I adore Paloma. Zoya only has the three polishes in this one small collection (Gloss) that it officially calls jellies, as far as I know, but I have two of the three and they are great. I don't know why they don't make more. Paloma is my all-time favorite for doing "jelly sandwiches" with. If you know me you know I love my raspberry polishes. Put just about any glitter under this and you can predict with a very high degree of certainty that I will fall in love with it. (example from 2013)
  • Houston We Have A Purple (OPI Texas collection) - another "sorbet" - and the name is great, if only it was actually purple. In fact it's awfully similar to Paloma, above, a raspberry-ish pink, maybe verging on purple but totally not there. (I would wear it more if it was actually purple!)
  • Voodoo (Fright Night Claw Polish) - up until the last couple of years, there were really only a couple of kinds of Halloween polish that I knew of: Fright Night Claw Polish, in the "coffin" bottle, and Fantasy Makers, in the tombstone bottle (there's an example of that one here, too). I'm not sure who makes "Claw Polish" but it seems to be perfectly okay polish. Voodoo is a darker-than-average red jelly with glitter.
  • Red Carpet (Xtreme Wear) - I actually discarded this polish after I took the picture above, because while there was a good amount of polish left in the bottom of the bottle, it never moved the whole time I was taking this picture, even when I shook it. It wasn't solid, but I just didn't feel like it was worth trying to thin it out & see if I could salvage it. It's a lovely red, but I have several very similar ones.
  • Jolly Lolly (L'Oreal) - another jelly-sandwich champion; in fact I had it on just recently in the course of my V-day festival of layers. This was the red one from L'Oreal's Miss Candy collection back a couple of years ago. (I always regretted that I didn't pick up some more of these.)
third row:
  • Purple Poodle (Orly) - like Houston We Have A Purple, this is not actually very purple. It's a magenta jelly with purple bits in it, instead. (I like it, it's just not purple!)
  • Gina Girl (e.l.f. Disney Villains collection) - a gray jelly-ish base with a mix of purple glitter
  • Purple Potion (Fantasy Makers, made by Wet n Wild) - a black jelly-ish base with purple glitter (and aw, Creepy Pumpkin is in the pictures at that link - I loved that polish so much I used up a whole bottle, and that polish has never reappeared in the years since that I could find!)
  • Dark Side Of The Moon (D. Lippmann) - Lippmann's website calls this a creme, but it seems awfully jelly-ish to me. Maybe I'm hallucinating. In any case it's a very vampy dark eggplant.
  • Katherine (Zoya) - this is the other one from the Zoya Gloss collection (I should really go buy Frida, the third one) - this one is raisin-colored. (sandwich mani from 2014)
bottom row:
  • East Village (NYC In A New York Minute) - a pretty aqua color, but very sheer. I wouldn't suggest wearing this without something under it unless you're totally down with visible nail line. As I recall, I ended up wearing four coats the time I tried, and it still wasn't opaque. But hey, it's two bucks. (mani from 2013)
  • Nail Junkie (Sinful) - I talked about blue-green glitters a couple of weeks ago when I showed a number of them on a nail wheel - including this one. I guess we should really just assume here that jellies = sheer, and this one also proves that point. Again, I'd put something under it under most circumstances. Anyway, blue-green and super-sparkly, what's not to like?
  • Deeper Dive (Spoiled) - another blue-green glitter, but more of a teal than an aqua, and the glitter is much subtler than the one above. Really pretty. (Possible application issues, though, if you look at the link.)
  • Party By The Pool (Pretty Serious) - it's a jelly with a lot of glitter, and it's teal. (Possibly a bit lighter than Deeper Dive, but definitely darker than Nail Junkie.) I couldn't possibly tell you what color the glitter is, but it's beautiful. I love this one.
  • Ice Hotel, In Hell (Liquid Lacquer) (actually this is unlabeled, but this is the name that was given to me when I bought it from somebody's blog sale, and it matches the pictures I found online - it's pretty distinctive) - blue jelly with circle glitter in a variety of sizes and colors (mani from 2014)

*Actually I'm a Longhorn and I went to a high school that used these same colors, and I can tell you that "Longhorn orange" kind of runs the gamut, like so many color names. The color you see most often on nail polish (including an Orly color named Hook 'em Orange) is a sort of neutral pumpkin-orange. But at football games (and on Longhorn merchandise) you will just as often see burnt orange, which is more of a rusty orange - and if you look at a picture of an actual small-l longhorn, that's generally more like the color that you see. (Here's Bevo, for reference.) (If would be kind of weird if they were actually pumpkin-orange, wouldn't it?)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Recent sampler bags

Here is the February Ipsy bag:
  • Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray
  • Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil
  • City Color Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini
  • ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder in Cosmopolitan
  • Emite Professional Eyelash Curler
I'm sort of sorry I looked at Ipsy's website because some people apparently got nail polish. All things being equal, I'd usually prefer to get nail polish! I'm sure I'll use most of this, though - even the eyelash curler will get a try, although I haven't used one in years. I haven't tried the lip & cheek colors yet, but the colors do look possible. The only thing I'm completely not sure about is the face oil, because I have historically had super-oily skin and the idea of adding more oil is anathema to me - but it's been the trendy thing for a couple of years now, and I might try it.

I also have the winter Walmart bag that I think I got back in December. I pulled the biggest item out, the Pond's Rejuveness cream, and kind of forgot about it. But there actually was other stuff in there:
I've used up the towelettes already, I really liked them. (Which gives the lie, doesn't it, to my earlier statement that I only pulled out one thing from the box. Apparently I pulled out two.) They have a nice texture to them that sets them apart from other facial cleansing towelettes I've tried. Then we also have here Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, and Olay Tone Perfecting Cream. And that wasn't all:
There were more samples, from Nivea, John Frieda, and L'Oreal. For what you pay for this (I think it was $5 for the shipping), that's a pretty good deal.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Layered: Glacial Springs & Quirky Smile

I started out with Misa Quirky Smile - it's got a nice shimmer and it looks beautiful by itself.
(You can't tell much besides the color from this picture, but it's the best I got.)

Much as I liked that, after a couple of days it was wanting to chip a bit, so I did what I usually do, I patched it up and put something else on top of it. I have a number of candidates for this job in the blue-green range, but I remembered that I had Smitten Glacial Springs, which Karen had brought me when she was in Houston last year and which I had never gotten around to wearing:
It's lovely. I'm not a huge holo fan in general but I really like this one. This was my first try at wearing Misa and my first experience with Smitten, and I'm impressed by both.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stash: not-quite-microglitter, part 3

Last installment of these, then we go into microglitters proper, probably. (I also have some smaller categories like the full-on foils. We'll see which pictures I find first!)
top row:
  • No More Waity Katie (Butter London) - this was BL's "Royal Engagement"-themed polish - you can't really see it very well here (it looks like it needs shaking up, actually) so look at the link. It was considered a fairly funky color a few years ago when it came out. It's a semi-sheer lavender-gray glitter - I've seen it called a "pretty-ugly" color - it walks the line between elegant and grungy, a bit - but I like it.
  • Is That Silva? (OPI Magnetic - from the Skyfall collection) - this is the only magnetic that I've ever been able to get to work really properly, and it's beautiful. It goes on silver, as I recall, and the magnetic makes the affected part turn charcoal gray. It came with the diagonal-striped magnet, which was well-designed and relatively easy to use. (mani from 2013)
  • Parizska (Square Hue Prague collection) - a medium gray with scattered silver glitter, really lovely
  • Yuna (Zoya Ignite collection) - this is the unusual one in the ignite collection - all of this collection is beautiful, but this one is way cool in a way the other ones aren't; it's blue-gray with gold shimmer (S&L's swatches)
  • (between rows, an unlabeled dark red) - this is a really pretty marsala-ish red, actually, it's more unusual a color than most of these minis
middle row:
  • Violet Flicker (Outlast) - this was one of the colors that was released as a Catching Fire tie-in, and it's one of my favorites - a mix of small glitters in a violet base
  • Starry Night (Sonia Kashuk) - silver glitter in a black base - at the link they talk about what this is a dupe to, but I don't have anything else really like it
  • Boughs Of Holly (Pahlish) - Pahlish releases a duo-of the month, and this one was from Dec 13, along with a glitter topper. It is, as you might expect, a lovely evergreen color, with lighter-green glitter
  • Mistletoe (Julie G Holiday Gumdrops) - this is pretty much the dark-green version of a small-glitter texture - it looks to me like the glitter is a mixture of lighter and darker greens
  • (upside down) Optical Illusion (SpaRitual) - I talked at length about this one when I bought it - it's a yellowish green glitter comparable to a lot of those "zombie greens" that get released at Halloween each year. I bought it for specifically that reason.
bottom row:
  • Electrique (Pahlish) - half of another Pahlish duo, but in this case I only have the one (this was apparently from last August) - this is bright blue-leaning purple with gold microglitter (mani from 2014)
  • Lotus (Zoya) - a great greyed-out purple with glitter
  • Rockin' Renaissance (Finger Paints) - this is a texture, even though Finger Paints doesn't mark its textures as such.
  • Sugar Sugar (Sinful Colors) - bright red with a glitter running through it (pretty but like too many other Christmas reds)
  • Pyrite (Pahlish) - mixed metallic flakes - there's some silver in there but it reads as antique gold. I love this one.
(I'm surprised at how many from Pahlish are in this bunch. Which reminds me, I looked at Pahlish's website the other day, and they're in jeopardy of becoming one of those polish brands that I like to call "perpetually sold out" like Enchanted Polish. Nothing was in stock.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's gifts

So about my Valentine's Day present (see over here for the story on that, if you haven't heard it already)...
All I got besides this was a very modest little bouquet of flowers, which was sweet of Rob but unnecessary. I was serious about wanting these polishes to be my whole present, because it was a substantial amount of money that I spent. I don't remember what the total was for the two Pretty Serious polishes but I know exactly how much the order from Misa was: $30, because that was the amount you had to spend to get free shipping. Misa's polishes are $7.50, so that's four of them. (I was only going to buy two polishes, to begin with, and then I started considering a third, and shipping was $7.50 as well - I checked - so basically three polishes was the same price as four, at which point I gave in and ordered four. Which is partly what caused the fit of remorse later on!)

So here's the list:
From Pretty Serious: BSOD and VT-100, a blue glitter and a green glitter (I think these were originally from the same collection; note the vintage-computer-related names on both)

From Misa: (three of the four are shimmers that were originally from the same collection, so see Scrangie's post here) When U Say My Name (a dark brown that seems to have a hint of red in it, very beautiful), Spinning Out of Control (which let's call a dark blue-violet so I won't have to say the b-word), Quirky Smile (deep teal), and the fourth is Dirty Sexy Money, which is of course green. These are my first Misa polishes, and the application on them even just on the nail wheel was amazing - I don't throw around the phrase "like butter" normally, but seriously, that's kind of what they seemed like. They just felt good. I hope when time comes to actually wear them that I like them just as much.

Misa didn't have fancy boxes but what they did send was a set of really nice swatch cards, which is also cool. (The picture goes with the previous page, which was something about meeting your mother-in-law or something along those lines!)

Here's the two Pretty Serious polishes:

This is two of the Misa polishes (I ran out of room on the nail wheel):
This is When U Say My Name and Spinning Out Of Control - which looked more purple in real life than it does here.

This is Quirky Smile:

And here is Dirty Sexy Money next to the other two medium greens I showed back a week or two ago:
I was afraid I had bought a dupe of Moss, but actually it's not. L-R, this is Dirty Sexy Money, Chick Moss, and Maybelline Tenacious Teal. In the picture it looks more blue-tinged, almost turquoise. In real life it looked more like the same shade of green as Moss, but a bit lighter. Definitely not dupes, but not far off. (Anyway, I love Moss, and it's a fairly small bottle and discontinued, so it's good to have something else in the same ballpark.)

(Also I think the Pretty Serious boxes are adorable, so here's another picture of those.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Post-Valentine's gloom

Don't take the title to mean I'm down in the dumps, because I'm not - I meant the weather. That storm from the northeast has made it all the way down to Texas. To combat that, I'm (still) wearing pink - actually I'm still wearing my Valentine's manicure but it's mostly covered up by G&G Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally. It looks a bit like the Rockstar Pink that's somewhere underneath it - it's that kind of mixed pink glitter, although I doubt that it's anything like a dupe (see below for more on that). I don't have pictures of anything because of the gloomy (as well as chilly) weather; if this keeps up I'm going to have to pull out my Ott-light and see what kind of pictures I can get with that.

I was trying to think how many coats of nail polish I must be wearing - it's a lot. Let's see - base coat (I couldn't possibly tell you which one actually I can tell you which one, now that I think about it - it was Zoya Get Even), 1 coat of Harlow, at least one coat of one glitter or the other on top of that, then a coat of Gelous, then a coat of Jolly Lolly and after that two (I think) of Disco Sally and two of SV because Disco Sally was really bumpy - that makes eight or nine, and some of them are not at all thin. I wouldn't be surprised if this all came peeling off on its own, but so far so good. Tomorrow night I'll probably take it all off and start over, in any case.

(I wrote the above on Monday night, but on Tuesday the sun came out, so there are pictures after all!)
As described above, here is Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally over... all of the above.
(My nails look shorter than they really are from this angle, which is weird to me. They're not really long, by any means, but they're not really super-short, either.)
Wear update from Tuesday: this still has not chipped at all, which amazes me. There's maybe the tiniest little bit of wear, but that's it. Maybe I should use two coats of top-coat more often!

Also, because the bottle is in this picture and that reminds me to talk about it: my bottle of Seche Vite is getting low, and I honestly don't think I'm going to buy any more unless somebody has a really good sale on it. I like SV, but it's expensive and there are so many other top-coats that are just as good and are cheaper. (Plus I've got a whole bottle of Butter London Hardwear that's still nearly full, and I've had it just as long as the SV. So that's probably one I need to remember to use more often!)

Oh! and I do have the comparison of the two polishes that I mentioned above, and they're... alike and yet completely not:
They're pretty unlike in color - Rockstar Pink, on the left, is a darker pink with a lot of multicolor stuff in it, especially some blue. Disco Sally is a couple of shades of pink and I think some gold - at least that's what it looks like here. The glitter is so small that it's hard to tell with the naked eye what the colors are. The way that these two are alike is in the size and texture and general blinginess of the glitter, although you can't see that here. These are both very showy glitters with a good helping of holo glitter, I think. Not for the faint of heart. (In fact I was thinking of trying putting matte top-coat on top of Disco Sally last night, and I never got around to it. But I bet I would like it, for day-to-day wear.)

(I was going to talk about the polishes I got for Valentine's, here, but now that I've got pictures I've decided to break it up into two entries. So that'll probably be coming later tonight or tomorrow.)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Swatches: more about glitters

I haven't showed any nail wheels in ages, but I haven't completely given up on them. (I have sort of given up on using them as a way to show my whole stash, though! or not the way I tried before, at least...) Here I'm using them to take another look at some of the glitters I've been showing in these stash posts. (I mostly have not been using jump-cuts these days, but this one may get so long it gets a cut. We'll see.)

So here we have a nail wheel full of glitters. (The wheel number is essentially meaningless, I have just been numbering them sequentially from when I started doing this - what was that, a year and a half or so ago? - so it's the 28th wheel I've filled up. I've shown many of them here over that time, but a quite a few I haven't.)

  1. Sexy Siren - Studio M
  2. Slammin' Red - Studio M
  3. Purple Medallion - Studio M (aka the one that looks pink, not purple)
  4. Gift Of Sparkle - Studio M
  5. Ice Dream - Sinful Colors
  6. Ice Dream over Fergie Cabo Cruise
  7. Sexy Siren over Fergie Cabo Cruise
  8. Shuffle Green, aka Dear Rus #601
  9. I Want To Believe - Dollish Fandom (the almost-invisible one, which I guess Dolly probably did on purpose, come to think of it!)
  10. Sparkling Wave - LASplash
  11. Dancer Is The Best Reindeer - WnW Fast Dry
  12. Out Of Space Convertible - Different Dimension
  13. Elderberry - Nail Pattern Boldness
  14. Holiday Spirit - Sation
  15. It's Bouquet With Me - Sephora by OPI topcoat
  16. Fowl Play - Orly
  17. Amethyst Couture - Color Show Brocades
  18. City Of Ashes - Esmaltes da Kelly
  19. Gold Digger - Aldo
  20. Bells Will Be Blinging - China Glaze
These have either been in the recent stash posts or they're in upcoming ones. I just picked out ones I wanted to see more of. And actually I have another wheel that has a couple of comparisons I'm interested in, as well. This is wheel 27, and I don't think you've seen it before either:

For one thing, there are those golds at the upper right, which is something I've talked about lately, although Pyrite may not have shown up in stash pictures yet:

L-R, this is Pahlish Pyrite, Khroma Fairy Dust, and Sinful All About You. You can see in the whole-wheel picture that they don't really look the same even from a distance. Pyrite looks the most like your whole nail is gold, in this picture. Both of the others look a bit chunkier in texture, plus Fairy Dust is sparser and All About You looks brassier. I talked about Fairy Dust at some length here (well, it's long partly because I was talking about the brand in general), but the other two I haven't gotten to yet. (Note Gold Digger as well, below in wheel 28.)

The other thing is that long stretch of blue-greens on the bottom:
L-R: Sinful Super Star, Pretty Serious Party By The Pool, Butter London Henley Regatta, Jesse's Girl Glee, Sinful Nail Junkie

I believe Nail Junkie is intended to be a dupe for China Glaze Atlantis, which I think is discontinued. (Here's a comparison - not quite dupes but very close.) I saw Nail Junkie just the other day so I know it's still out there. What surprises me here is that the base color on the three at the right, at least, is so similar. The two on the left are a bit bluer, but Henley Regatta, Glee, and Nail Junkie are really similar in color. All three of these are glitters but I wouldn't call them dupes at all. Henley Regatta is a really packed glitter, Glee is a microglitter that I remember as looking a bit more metallic. And Nail Junkie looks like it might have holo bits, it's more sparkly. (As for the other two, I believe they're both jellies. Super Star almost looks like Party By The Pool with some purple glitter thrown in, doesn't it? Ooh, look at Super Star over dark blue - yummy.)

(more of the first wheel under the jump...)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Crazy V-day manicure

I always seem to end up wearing something a little crazy for Valentine's Day. Last year it was two different glitters and this year I did that too, although mostly they're on different fingers this time instead of just being on top of each other like last year. (Also, I'm pretty sure I said the other day when I had it on that I thought I hadn't worn Rich Raspberry before, and apparently I was wrong about that, because it was the base of all that glitter last year. It's a good Valentine's color.)

So here's this years' - it's kind of a mess but oh well:
Most of this week I've had on two coats of Harlow with topcoat, and it's lovely, so I put that back on again, with Rockstar Pink on my ring finger and pinky on both hands. But this time I was in a rush and I only put on one coat of Harlow, and apparently that was a mistake, because you can see some slightly bald spots on both hands. It's not that noticeable unless you stop and look at them, so in real life I doubt anybody but me will notice, but it's certainly noticeable in a picture. I think some of that is the fault of Love Sprinkles, too - it was gooey and I think it may have moved Harlow around under it, especially since I was fiddling a bit with the matte glitter. Unlike a lot of the other Matte Velvets, though, I don't think Harlow should be considered a one-coater under any circumstances, unless you got hold of a bottle that's thicker than mine. Two thin coats should do it, though.

So Rockstar Pink is the multicolored glitter, if you haven't figured that out, and Love Sprinkles is the matte glitter with dots and small hearts. It looks like it's white but I think it's actually very pale pink. Here's my other hand:
It looks a little less uneven but doesn't have any hearts except for one on the thumbnail which you can't see. I started out with three hearts and somehow managed to lose one, so now I have one on each hand. I also tried Love Sprinkles on this hand over the Rockstar Pink on my index finger, but I left it at that because I didn't think it looked that great. And then I gooped on some Gelous over all of this.

Next time I use Love Sprinkles (which is likely to be Valentines 2016) I'm going to try to remember to do glitter placement on the hearts.

Added: It occurred to me that I had a red jelly (L'Oreal Jolly Lolly) and I decided to see what that looked like on top of the whole shebang. And it looks great, actually. It hid many of the flaws without covering everything up completely. It shifted the color towards red, definitely, but in bright light it's still a deep pink rather than full-on red. And the matte glitter which appeared white before is now sort of a medium pink - but still quite visible. I like it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stash: not-quite-microglitter, part 2

More things that seemed grainer than the bulk of the microglitters:
top row:
  • Apple Berry Smoothie (Rimmel Cocktail Colours) - these are sheers that come in a very small bottle (and they were LE, to boot), so I always figured why waste them trying to get them opaque? I always put something opaque underneath them. They have a really pretty finish, though. (I have two more but they aren't in this group.) (Also, this is another one of those names that baffle me - an apple berry smoothie does not seem like something that is likely to be bright blue.)
  • Feifei (Zoya) - this is a hard polish to categorize - it's a blue-gray base (Zoya calls it "steel blue" as I recall) with multicolored flecks in it. It's quite sheer. The finish is similar to Zoya's Daul, which was in the same collection. (mani from early 2015 here)
  • Teigen (Zoya) - the first one of the Ignite collection I bought last fall, and I loved it so much I've been steadily buying more of them ever since. Zoya calls the finish "liquid metal" but it seems to me to be pretty similar to polishes like Feifei and Daul, with a glass-fleck sort of feel to it. This color is hard to pin down, but it's somewhere in the fuchsia/raspberry range.
  • Crush On Lava (Hard Candy) - a coppery duochrome with reddish flash - this is from the Crushed Chromes collection but I wouldn't call this a true chrome finish. (Swatch & Learn)
  • Teal Of Fortune (WnW Fastdry) (note that this link has been corrected) - teal jelly base with foil bits, so it ends up with a foil finish. Really pretty.
middle row:
  • Glee (Jesse's Girl) - a blue-green glitter that shifts with green and yellow flash. I love this one, but it's pretty sheer, as I recall, so I don't try to wear it alone.
  • Carly (Zoya) - this has always been one of my favorites - it's got a dark-purple base with lighter pink-purple sparkles. It has that foil finish like all the Beach collection. Awesome.
  • Rockstar Pink (Xtreme Wear) - I have still not yet worn this polish, and I don't know that there's going to be a time better than Valentine's Day for something that girly. In fact, I might go put it on tonight. It's very dense multi-glitter in a sort of purple-pink-blue colorway - see Scrangie.
  • Scam (old Hard Candy mini) - were there two versions of this polish? because the one I am seeing online the most does not seem to jibe with the one I have. Mine, as you can hopefully tell, looks like a microglitter, but the one in the link does not and neither did the one in the 20th anniversary pictures. So I dunno... (I really want to see the 20th anniversary one now, though!) (Added: apparently there are two versions of Scam, as I guessed. I hate it when polish companies do that. It's one thing to adjust the formula a little but if you make it into a different color entirely, don't give it the same name - at least call it "Scam 2" or something. Trust me: polish junkies are going to notice anyway.) (The one I have is bright fuchsia with silvery-pink bits. The other version appears to be more purplish pink, with shimmer but not actual glitter.)
  • (upside down) Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally (Glisten & Glow) - pink multi
bottom row:
  • Sparkling Fire and Sparkling Seaweed (LASplash) - I would consider these top-coats, really. If you look at that picture of the Seaweed one, they did manage to get it to something approaching opaqueness after three coats, so your milage may vary. Anyway, I would have said that they were glitters with clear bases, but that turned out not to be true of the third one of these I have, so I may not be true of these, either. I'm gonna have to investigate further. Sparkling Fire is a bright red and Sp. Seaweed is a sort of murky green, as you might expect.
  • Henley Regatta (Butter London) - this was the first Butter London I ever bought, a few years ago, and it's lovely but unfortunately has a tendency to flake badly. (I've seen other people say this about BL glitters, but it seems to be sporadic and not everybody has this problem, or so I've gathered.) It's a blue-green, densely packed glitter, and if you like this but you don't want to pay $15 for it, there seem to be a number of dupes for it around.
  • Show Stopping (Sinful) - pink and holo glitter in a pale-pink base, apparently a dupe for Xtreme Wear Strobe Light, which I complained about endlessly but managed to use a whole bottle of, just the same. (It tripped my "too pink" meter - I believe I remember saying that it looked like a six-year-old's birthday party.)
  • Jewel Tone (L.A. Colors) - I like this one, and I agree with the blogger who said that it looks best over black. It's similar colors to WnW Dancer Is The Best Reindeer, another polish I really like, although I don't think it's identical - the glitter seems sparser. I don't think you could make this opaque without putting most of the bottle on your nails.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sephora mail

I mentioned three nail-mail packages that came last week, but I almost forgot about the fourth package because it contained makeup instead of nail polish. Somebody at Sephora had the lovely, lovely idea to do an Amazon-style free shipping deal - theirs is called Sephora Flash. You pay $10 and you get free shipping for an entire year. (Specifically, you get two-day shipping, just like Amazon - unless your purchase includes nail polish, in which case that has to go by ground and may take longer, but is still free.) I live right near a Sephora, except that it's inside a (huge and usually crowded) mall and most of the time I would rather die than set foot inside the mall, even for Sephora. So a way of shopping at Sephora without shopping in person at Sephora is a most welcome thing.

I went poking around in their clearance area online and I saw something there that I've been wanting to try, and that's Lip Tar. There was a Christmas set marked down that included just the color of Lip Tar that I would have wanted, and another couple of items to boot - it came in 2 colorways, one was nude, I believe, and the other one was violet. The lip pencil and tube of tar included in the violet set were both called Lydia, and as you can see, were sort of a red-violet, verging on fuchsia but violet-leaning enough to be interesting.

The other item, at the bottom, is a pale-pink creme meant mostly to use as a highlighter, I think - including, they point out, to highlight the pout of your mouth after you've applied the Lip Tar. I've tried it and it looked quite nice that way. But you can also use it on your cheeks and around your eyes.

(Now that I have the free-shipping subscription, I'm going to have to try it out on some nail polish - I still haven't tried Formula X!)

Stash: not-quite-microglitters, part 1

I had a huge bunch of microglitters, and I pulled out these, which have more noticeable texture to them than the rest. So these are, like, small-but-not-quite-micro-glitters. (I actually think I have 3 groups of these, which I pulled out as being grainier than the really invisibly-micro microglitters.)
top row: 
  • Holiday Spirit (Sation) (my bottle is different than the Holiday Spirit pictures at that link, but I believe the polish is unchanged) - multicolor glitter in a gray base
  • Sparkle Purple (Kleancolor) - red-violet glitter in a clear base (mani from 2014)
  • Alcatraz... Rocks (OPI Liquid Sand) - pretty much all polish junkies know about this one already, I think - it's an indigo-based texture with multicolor sparkle
  • Kaboom (Salon Perfect) - this is supposedly a Floam dupe, although I have never actually seen Floam in person so you can't prove it by me. I would call it cyan & chartreuse matte glitter in a clear base (although I think you could argue about the exact color names)
  • Glitter All The Way (China Glaze) - released as a holiday polish, actually is virtually the perfect Mardi Gras polish, with gold/green/purple predominating. (There probably is some red in the mix somewhere, but you just can't see it most of the time.) (mani from 2014)
second row:
  • Dancer Is The Best Reindeer (Wet n Wild Fast Dry) - blue & purple in a clear base - really awesome but I believe it was LE (there are other polishes like this around, though!) (mani from 2012)
  • The Reign Of Studs (L'Oreal texture) - see my bitching elsewhere about this name - medium purple texture, with a finish that reminds me of the Julie G Gumdrops polishes, although I haven't compared them specifically. (mani from early 2015)
  • Gold Glitz (Milani) - a very packed gold glitter; Swatch and Learn says it has orange glitter in the mix. I hadn't figured that out for myself but I had noticed it looked like it had more variation to it than the average gold.
  • Sand & Stilettos (Funky Fingers) - silver glitter with multicolored holo bits. It's very pretty but it's too flashy for my taste most of the time, to be honest. In a clear base but could probably be built to opacity if you're patient.
  • Luna (Zoya) - my favorite polish for jelly-sandwich layering, and unfortunately it's discontinued. I'm sure there are other similar polishes out there, though. Silver hex glitter (maybe some smaller glitter too, I'm not sure) in a fog-gray base, very beautiful.
third row:
  • Big City Dazzle (NYC Top Coat) - a fairly sparse multicolored glitter in a clear base, definitely meant as a top coat - it says so right on the bottle! I thought it was too sparse with just one coat, but with several I liked it a lot.
  • Cinna-man Of My Dreams (Nicole By OPI Gumdrops) - To my knowledge, this polish has nothing to do with The Hunger Games, but in my mind, this name is totally about Lenny Kravitz. (Surely they did that on purpose, right?). Anyway, it's "spicy warm pink" that reads as coppery, and I love it, even if it doesn't actually have anything to do with Lenny/Cinna. Although it does. (more swatches)
  • You Know Nothing Jon Snow (Dollish) - this is a lovely polish, and even my normal hatred of pale & pastel polishes couldn't stand up against it. It's an off-white crelly with silver and I think blue and tiny black bits. (And I'm not saying I like it just because Jon Snow is a babe. Although he is.)
  • unlabeled teal glitter (Accessorize ) - I don't think I've ever worn this, so I don't have my own pictures to fall back on, and I couldn't find a swatch online that I could positively identify as the same as mine.
bottom row:
  • This Is Halloween (LynB) - a dark plum base packed with small glitter in various shades of purple and orange. Awesome.
  • Out Of Space Convertible (Different Dimension) - this was from a "Santa Baby" collection but it doesn't look all that Christmassy - I think you could wear it for other occasions besides just the holidays. It's various colors of small glitter in a black jelly base.
  • It Rubs The Lotion On Its Skin (Different Dimension) - I love this one. It's basically a texture, with a black base and orange glitter. And of course, there's that creepy name.
  • Elderberry (Nail Pattern Boldness) - this is one of my favorites, cool-colored glitters in a clear base. Blue-green-purple is such a great color combination. (mani from 2013)
Y'know, I do obsess about polish names - this is not news - but it's totally the fault of indie polish makers. LOOK at these names. (Now I'm wondering if Elderberry is about Monty Python. And I did a whole riff about Out Of Space Convertible back when I bought it!) (Instead of blaming indie polish makers I should probably blame OPI, because they're the one who really got the whole thing going about crazy polish names.)

(As you saw if you clicked through, Imperfectly Painted hates "The Reign of Studs" - the name not the polish - as much as I do. It's nice to have backup on an opinion.)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Compulsive buying: Finger Paints & Zoya

I already talked about the stuff I bought at Sally Beauty. I think I also mentioned that several things had come in the mail. So here's pictures of the Sally Beauty mini-haul plus, well, some of the stuff that came in the mail. I had a fit of guilt and turned two of the three boxes that came in the mail last week over to Rob so that he could give them back to me later and we could call them my Valentine's present. Polishes from Misa and Pretty Serious are a much better present than flowers or a plant that would just die anyway, right? And it relieves me of some buyer's remorse. (I don't mean I'm sorry I bought them, really; I'm just sorry I spent so much money!)

Rob: Well, what about that? ::points to box from Zoya::
Me: ::possessively:: No, you can't have that one. I'm opening that one.

Yeah, I know, I get a little crazed. I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes behind my back, but luckily I wasn't in a position to see that.

So anyway, here are pictures of my purchases from Sally Beauty and from Zoya. (Pictures of the Misa and Pretty Serious haulage presumably to come next week when I regain custody of them.)

Finger Paints, from L-R: Hue-whatchamacallit (I can't seem to remember this name, but yesterday's entry informs me that it's Hue Left A Message?), Film Noir, Purple Palette. Notice that the Purple Palette bottle has the old FP logo that I think they supposedly stopped using about a year ago. I'm guessing that means that that's how old this bottle is - not that it matters. (See below for swatches on all of these.)

And here's the same polishes plus the two treatment products:
Manicure Extender, on the left, is just a specialty top coat, really. I would never have thought to buy it if it hadn't been marked down, but I'll be interested to see if it helps. And then the round bottle is hardener.

I'd heard other people complain about Zoya being slow to get orders out when they have their big promos, but I had never had to wait all that long before. It was darn near a month, this time. I was not particularly in a hurry for them, but after that much time you start to wonder. These are my three "free" polishes (It's a good deal, of course, but $15 is hardly free, to my mind):
L-R: Harlow, a matte velvet; India, from the Ignite collection; and Neeka, which is an older polish (I believe from the same collection as Jem, back several years ago) - it's a grayed-out purple. This gives me all but one polish out of the Matte Velvet collection (Loredana, which I decided I could do without) and all but one of the Ignite collection too (Autumn, which I figured I could wait on considering that the only time I usually wear oranges is, well, autumn).

Here's the box the little mystery mini collection came in:

I poked around online, and I think this is actually one of the NYFW sets from last year - it was for Peter Som, it said - which means these colors probably haven't been widely available, for sure. These polishes are minis (.25 oz) and I can't say any of them are things I would have bought on my own except for maybe Anais, but it's fun to get pulled out of your comfort zone occasionally, so I'm happy to have them.
L-R, this is Severine (pale gold), Anais (very dark green), and Charlotte (a very pale nude creme). I figure since last year the 3-free deal was $12 and this was $15, you were effectively paying $1 each for the minis, which is extremely reasonable.

I also swatched everything onto a nail wheel:
This is two coats on all of these. (And yeah, if you're paying attention you'll see I made a big smeary mess on top of the numbers, but at least I avoided messing up the nails themselves!)

L-R Purple Palette, Film Noir, Hue Left A Message

I somehow managed to cut half of the Purple Palette nail off in both of these pictures, but I think you can see enough to get the idea. I think that both of these glitters might be opaque enough to wear on their own with more coats, but I probably will just put something opaque underneath them, in practice. And Film Noir is a really pretty color and I suspect I'll end up wearing it with top coat, as I often do with matte polishes. I like the matte look but I just can't see wearing a full mani of this one.

These are the three Zoyas that I ordered:
L-R: Harlow, India, Neeka

And this is the three from the mini:
L-R: Anais, Charlotte, Severine

You really can't see much of any of this bunch. Anais is actually green but the camera didn't pick it up. You can barely see Charlotte at all, and you can at least barely tell that Severine is metallic, but only just. It's really pretty in person, I'm looking forward to trying it out. Even Charlotte is not actually as invisible as it looks here - it's not the off-white of the blank nail wheel but is actually a light tan color. Not my thing, normally, but I'll try it out, too! (Added: everybody online but me seems to think that Anais is a dark gray-black. When I swatched it in the afternoon light in my bedroom I thought it was definitely dark green. So huh, I don't know. It doesn't seem to read green, does it?)

Added: if anybody is wondering about the backgrounds here, this is my very own quilt that I made some years ago - I use a picture of it as my icon, sometimes, in various online places. It's this one:
Hmm, it came out sideways here, but you can get the idea just as well. I had the bright idea that pink and yellow and orange might all look nice together, and luckily I was right. It's very cheerful and I love it. I pulled it out and put it over the foot of my bed last week when it was cold.

Friday, February 6, 2015

NOTD: Rich Raspberry + TinC

I was looking for a Valentine's pink that appealed to me, and I remembered Colorstay Rich Raspberry from this entry, which I had never worn. I bought it either at Big Lots or marked down at the grocery store (I bought several both places, and I forget which is which) when they were clearing the old-formula Colorstays out last year. I had vague plans for putting something else over it, since it's a creme and I tend to find cremes boring, but I did quite like the color, in the end, so all I put over it was Travel in Colour. It didn't really change the color to speak of but just added a little shimmer. (Travel in Colour changes the color a lot on some polishes - it shifts them toward pink, as far as I've been able to tell - but since this was pink in the first place it couldn't do much there!)

(Added: I forgot to say that this is two coats - it was rather thin, notice that you can see a bit of nail-line in this picture - plus one of TinC. And I think I used Colorstay basecoat, since I had some. I put some regular topcoat on eventually, but I think I took the picture before I had done that. It was pretty shiny without it.)

I had it in my head to go in Sally Beauty - yesterday after my doctor's appointment (which was entirely routine) I went and had lunch at Luby's and then swung by Sally Beauty in Galveston on the way to work. I ended up spending $30 but I did get a lot of stuff for my $30. Well, it was really $25 because $5 was renewing my card, and then I got a $5 coupon to use later. Then, let's see, I bought acetone and a plastic squeeze bottle to use because I had some makeup bases I wanted to mix* and I didn't have a good container to do that in. And I bought Manicure Extender, from the same company that makes Gelous (American Classics) because it was on sale and I thought, "Well, I'll try it." I suspect they're discontinuing it, actually, because I can't find any listing for it on Sally's website. (But that doesn't mean it doesn't work, anyway, that just means nobody was buying it. If it helps extend manicure life even a day or two it'd totally be worth it to me!) And I bought something else clear - oh, it was nail hardener, because I'm still experimenting around with things like that, and I hadn't tried that one. I don't really want to be able to grow my nails super-long but I'd like it if they'd break and peel a bit less. So I don't know if hardener will help that much but it can't hurt to try it. It was one of those Sally-brand products (Beauty Secrets, maybe?) that comes in a smaller round bottle or a much bigger round bottle - there are a couple of nail products that come like that. So I bought the small one to try out. If I like it enough that I go through it all then I'll think about buying the larger one.

Then I bought three Finger Paints polishes, which I totally did not need. One was Film Noir, which was on clearance. And then all the other FPs were on BOGO sale so I bought two of those - they were both glitters, and it was Purple Palette and Hue-something (Hue Left A Message, I guess, although I thought it was more gold-looking and less pink than this). They were similar small-but-textured-looking glitters, sort of like those Christmas China Glaze polishes that I liked so much from 2013. At least that's what they looked like in the bottle, we'll see.

*I think I've mentioned the makeup-base issue here before - I use L'Oreal True Match or whatever it's called (I nearly said "Color Match" but I think True Match is right), but the color C2 is a little too pale for me and C3 is too dark. So I buy a bottle of each and mix them together. Foundations are practically always on buy-one-get-one-half-off sale anyway, so it works out to buy two at a time.

I'm still contemplating that Lynnderella approach to buying polishes that I mentioned before. Like, at the end of a given month, if I have managed to refrain from buying anything, I can reward myself with a Lynnderella (or if there's no Lynnderella I have my eye on, a Lippmann or something). But I've already ruined February, so maybe in March. I seriously figure I would save money in the end on that - I think I paid $22 including shipping for the last one I bought, and most months I'm spending well over that. (I ordered some Misa polishes a couple of weeks ago, and then some more Pretty Serious, and there was also that Zoya special from January. I just now got my polishes from that one - I'll take a picture the next time the sun comes out - as well as pictures of the Sally's haul.)

Stash: cremes pt 4 - shades of purple

(I was tempted to try to make some kind of "50 Shades of Gray" joke out of that title but it was too much of a stretch.)
Remember how many pinks there were in the last entry? Some of these could reasonably claim to be pink, too. But these are the ones that read more purple - if you put them next to the ones in the last entry it would be glaringly obvious.

top right:
  • (sideways) Savita (Zoya Matte Velvet) - not strictly a creme, as I keep saying every time I list one of these - it has pinkish shimmer, although it's fairly subtle. (Top coat seems to bring it out.)
  • On A Trip (Megalast) - a vaguely periwinkle-ish blue-violet. (Describing colors gets so weird sometimes.) It's purple, but it has definite blue tones to it. I thought this was an unusual color when I bought it... but actually you can see that I have several more polishes that are in the same ballpark as this. I like my blue-violet violets.
  • Mira (Zoya) - Slightly blue-leaning purple - somehow I tend to end up wearing both this and Purple Haze as bases for other things! (mani from 2013)
  • Purple Haze (RBL) - slightly grayed-out purple. I have long been on record as thinking this color was boring. Other people adore it. (I wanted to adore it, but I just... didn't.)
going across from the top left:
  • Celebutante (Ulta) - slightly squishy, slightly blue-leaning purple - I don't think it's really a jelly. Maybe nowadays we'd call this a crelly, but I don't think that word had been invented when this polish was.
  • Vanity Flare (Triple Shine) - fairly neutral as purples go, but it's a really pretty color
  • Bold Sangria (Colorstay Longwear) (so discontinued unless you can find it at Big Lots or somewhere) - dark purple, leaning toward the reddish side of the fence. (See this is where the homework comes in handy - I would have been inclined to class this with the redder burgundy colors. But it's actually more purple than I was remembering.) (Also note that this had the wrong link attached to it before but that's now corrected!)
  • (upside down) Violet Femme (piCture pOlish) - very bright purple - pretty but as I recall, it was terribly streaky and had wear issues as well. As I've said, this brand and I just don't seem to get along.
next row, starting with the double-ended one:
  • Ultra Violet (Revlon Nail Art Neons) - I tried this a couple times and then gave up. I'm also on record as not being a fan of neons, anyway, but if there's a neon I could get into, it's purple. Unfortunately this one is so streaky and difficult that it just didn't work out.
  • Odette (Zoya) - very gray purple - this is from Zoya's first Naturel collection, and is actually the least neutral of the bunch, which is why it's the one I bought.
  • unlabeled red-violet mini
  • Lincoln Park After Dark (OPI mini) - so dark it's hard to tell, but I think this does lean slightly to the reddish side. I haven't actually worn it much, I prefer my purples not to look like blacks.
  • Plum It (SH Salon) - dark purple - actually rather similar to LPAD but I think more neutral.
  • Careful It's Vine-tage (Megalast LE Matte) - google for swatches of this and you'll see they're all over the place - it's from Megalast's fall 2014 collection. I've seen it called "grape" and "royal" and "neutral" but I would say it's somewhat red-leaning and slightly grayed-out. And matte, of course.
bottom row:
  • Perrie and Kieko (Zoya) - like the three pink cremes in the last stash entry, these two seem pretty similar and just vary in intensity. (Those three were all from the same collection, though. These two are not.) I had some idea from the pictures and from what people said that I would adore Perrie, but it's one of those colors that's just too pale for me - and it doesn't always look all that pale in swatches, so I don't entirely understand it. I guess I had just convinced myself it was less pale than it really is - and so Kieko, its darker cousin, is much more my speed.
  • Deception (Wild Shine) - this is another one of those LE polishes that WnW has been doing lately, and it's not actually a creme, it's a jelly. As such, it's temperamental, but really, really pretty. This kind of berry thing is right up my alley. 
  • Break Through (essence) - this one's a creme, but it's very similar in color. Beautiful.
  • (upside down) Domestic Goddess (Sephora by OPI) - this was the first SOPI that I fell in love with, back when I didn't really own that many polishes. But then look at the bottom row except Perrie, and you'll see these are all really similar, and these are kind of my jam, when it comes right down to it. The reason I think pinks are boring is because they're not purple enough, apparently.
I think this is the last of my cremes. One thing that interests me about this is how few medium purples are here - these go from blue-violet to red-violet without much of a stop in the middle. (Maybe it's something about cremes, because I do think I own a fair number of medium purples. They're just not cremes.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two comparisons

In this entry, I was talking about Chick Moss and Color Show Tenacious Teal looking alike, so I swatched them on a nail wheel to see. They are not dupes but they are extremely similar; the main difference is that Moss is thicker - almost a one-coater, but not quite. Tenacious Teal is thin and kind of streaky, and I think I remember complaining about the streaking issue the first time I wore it. (Yup, right here.) But it builds well and evens out, it just takes it 2 or 3 coats to become both unstreaky and opaque. As I've said before, Tenacious Teal is not what I would call teal by any stretch of the imagination, but it is maybe slightly more blue than Moss is. But not by much.

Well. I found my pictures and either I'm seriously confused or else Moss is actually more blue. Look:
I always try to let my successive layers show on nail wheels, because it's instructive. The one with 3 coats (on the right) is Tenacious Teal, I'm pretty sure. Which means Moss is the 2-coat and definitely more blue one on the left. Go figure.
(Moss is discontinued, unless you can get hold of it somewhere. Tenacious Teal is Maybelline so it is more likely to still be around.)

The second pair I swatched is Julie G Butterflies & Rosebuds compared to Pretty Serious Stuck in the Middle, which I had on the other day. I had ordered a couple of polishes from Pretty Serious back before Christmas, and as I mentioned, I put Stuck in the Middle on the other day on top of something else but didn't get a picture of it, and I thought at the time that it reminded me of Butterflies & Rosebuds, so I managed to get my hands on both of them (by which I mean, I found B&R in the chaos of my current resorting project; I knew where SitM was) and tried it. They are not dupes by any means, but they do look similar in a lot of lighting conditions.
1 - Butterflies and Rosebuds (on the left)
2 - Stuck In The Middle (on the right)

As I said, not dupes. And I'm not sure you can see the fully shimmery goodness of either one, here, but at least you can get an idea. B&R is a bit more violet and I think maybe blackened just a hair. Stuck In The Middle has iridescent glass-fleck-y stuff (look here).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

F*ck and Run + linkage

I was poking around on my indies page, looking for dead links, and I came across several indie sellers who have special polishes for V-day that I for one didn't know anything about. So here are some links for your entertainment:

Valentine's Day Stuff
Beyond the Nail
Compulsive Nails
Different Dimension
Dollish Polish
Glimmer by Erica
The Hungry Asian

plus some polish for Mardi Gras:
B-squared Lacquer
Glitterfied Nails

Here's a pre-Valentine's mani, Nostalgic F*ck and Run (if you haven't seen this polish name before: Yes, that's actually what it's called, asterisk and all. It comes from the name of a Liz Phair song, as I recall.) - I know it doesn't sound very romantic but it's a pretty polish, ok?
This is a pretty sheer polish, and I was goofing around with layering it with Gelous and seeing if I could get it to look squishier, and I'm not sure at what point in this process I took the picture. This may only be two coats, and no Gelous. Or it may be three, I'm just not sure. But it looks cute, anyway. I wore this for a day or two, in any case, and then I put Sinful Sugar Sugar on top of it, which is where I stand now. Sugar Sugar is one of those bog-standard reds I said I need to stop buying. (Although I'm pretty sure I bought it during the 99-cent sale, so eh.) It's actually a bit darker red than standard, though, and almost metallic. It's pretty, but probably unnecessary for most people who have a number of reds already.

Stash: cremes pt 3: cooler pinks and reds

I should probably say right off the bat that I have been bored with pinks and reds for a while now, generally. I've been trying some out in the run-up to Valentine's Day, but it's hard to get me excited about either. In fact I said in the last installment of my creme series that I need to stop buying reds - and that appears to go for "hot pinks," too - look how many of these are really, really similar. But for the most part none of these are recent purchases, either. (Of this bunch, I think I bought Flirt and Rich Raspberry - the latter on clearance - last year. The rest are all older than that.) And because of that I don't have as much to say about these as I have about others.

There were pinks in the last entry, and while I wouldn't go so far to say these are necessarily "cool" pinks - they call it "hot pink" for a reason, after all - still, these are generally less orange-toned than the ones in the last entry, shading into violet in many cases.
  • Japanese Tea Garden (OPI) - nice slightly-dusty rose pink, a bit of a "mom color" possibly but pretty. I think this was from a collection way back in the early 2000s.
2nd row (curving around below that):
  • Gimme A Grape Big Kiss (Color Club) - I know this says "grape" in the name and so you'd think purple but it's just not - I do think it's grape-scented, though. (I guess opinions vary on that because at the link they call it a purple neon.)
  • Hi Sweetie (Clinique) - I got this mini in a Clinique Bonus last year, it's a nice medium rosy pink, nothing to get excited about
  • Reagan, Lara, Shelby (Zoya) - all released in the Beach collection a couple of years ago and boy, they look like an ombre manicure to me! I don't think I realized at the time how much they are just different intensities of the same pink. Mostly I haven't worn them much, especially the paler two, but I think even Reagan, the darkest one, has mostly gotten ignored in favor of even brighter pinks.
3rd row:
  • Hasty (Jet-Set Shine) - most of my older L'Oreals have gone by the wayside - I don't think this one is quite as old as all that, though. I probably haven't worn this in ages.
  • Flirt (Picture Polish) - this is a gorgeous color but "piCture pOlish" and I don't seem to have any chemistry - I mean that rather literally. I have two bottles of their polish and I have had wear issues with both of them and they are just too expensive to keep experimenting with. Other people seem to love them, so I'm guessing this is just one of those things where my particular body chemistry and their formula don't mesh.
  • Hot Stuff (Orly mini) - Very bright pink - I always really liked this one on my nails.
  • Ultimate Pink (essence Colour & Go) - another hot pink, what can you say? "Ultimate"? I don't know about that.
  • Rich Raspberry (Colorstay) - the last two pinks I bought (this and Flirt) are awfully similar - this is maybe a bit more violet-leaning. I don't think I've tried this one.
4th row:
  • Dita and Juicy (Zoya) - these look similar in the bottle but in fact could not be more different, because Juicy is sheer. If you look at the old reviews they talk about streakiness and even fading. so it's possible this isn't the original color. (Honestly, I don't remember it ever looking different than this, though.) On the other hand, Dita is sexy - think Dita von Teese - and I think it reads darker on the nail than in the bottle.
  • Raspberry Rush (Color Club) - to me this one is more purple than Gimme A Grape Big Kiss (above) - I'm starting to really wonder if more than one of these have fading issues, though. Or the picture is just not picking up the violet, which is also possible.
  • Continuous Cranberry (old-version Colorstay) - we're starting to get more towards red here. (The picture at the link is one coat, and I think it built to a darker color than that, more like the bottle color.)
  • Riley (Zoya) - Zoya calls this raspberry but I thought it read mostly as red on the nail. I wanted to like this color more than I actually did. Also I have notes that say it had chipping issues.
bottom row:
  • Malaga Wine (OPI mini) - slightly darker red. I've only ever worn this as a layering polish.
  • No 8 (Sephora mini) - this isn't something you can find swatches of easily. This was Sephora's polish line before there was Sephora by OPI, but it really hasn't been gone all that long. This is another darker red.
  • Challenge Red-y (Nicole by OPI) - this is a very neutral red. I did get this from the Kellogg's production that she talks about in that link - thanks to my husband, who eats a lot of Special K.
  • Posh (Zoya Matte Velvet) - as I've said before, I don't really think I should have put these polishes in with the cremes, since it's got definite if subtle shimmer. Every time I've worn this, I've ended up wearing topcoat, but god it's beautiful with topcoat.
  • Vixen (Revlon) - oxblood red, one of the older vampy colors, I think, dating back to the 90s (although of course even then it was taking off from Chanel Rouge Noir aka Vamp). I bought this back a few years ago but I haven't worn it a lot.
I think there's one more dark red creme that didn't get into my pictures, and that's Ramblin' Red. It's very much oxblood in the Vixen/Vamp range of things. But it also had bad wear problems.

I used to wear tons of pink and red - in 2012 my default was "Chloe over (random hot pink)" and I think I overdid it, because I slowed down on them in 2013 and ground practically to a complete stop on them in 2014. I did start buying some reds late last year but I didn't wear them much, even then. I guess I did wear some pink and red in 2014, because one dark pink (Julie G Butterflies and Rosebuds) and red Zoya Posh, both shimmers, ended up on my "shortlist" for my favorites of 2014, although neither of them were in the top 10. I checked and I did wear a couple of reds in December in the leadup to Christmas, too. So it's not like it was a complete boycott on my part.