Monday, April 27, 2015

Stash: purple & green shimmers

I've already done a lot of these stash posts and some of them (like the last one with the topcoats) had a lot of polish in each entry - and really I like the ones like this with fewer polishes per picture, since I'm basically googling every polish individually. It's time-consuming, although as I said a while back, I'm learning a lot from doing it. I'm researching my own stash as I go, and it's totally worth doing. But I've been working on this since January and I'm... probably more than halfway finished, but I'm not anywhere near finished. I'm hanging in there, and hopefully I really will finish, eventually.

So I'm sure there are a few exceptions, but mostly what's left now is one broad category: shimmers. It's a very broad category, though. (I'm avoiding counting. I don't want to know exactly how many I've done and how many are left. And I'm not going to start counting "shimmers part ___" either. Ugh. But it's safe to say there are going to be quite a lot of parts, if I don't just play out completely before that.)

Let me get the bulk of one gripe out of the way before we start: even though there's not that many polishes here, this installment is particularly rife with unlabeled or illegible bottles. This is very annoying. If it wasn't for my spreadsheet I wouldn't know what was what half the time. Some brands have extremely tiny type - Zoya has shrunk theirs recently, but there are plenty of other offenders. And then this bottle of Orchid is mostly illegible because it's labeled in black type on dark polish, so who knows what it says? The specialty Revlon here may or may not be labeled at all - I can't tell. There's a bunch of teeny-tiny type and maybe the name is in there somewhere or maybe it's not. (I seem to recall that it is, but honestly, I couldn't find it again.) And like I said, this is an especially annoying bunch, but these problems are very common, on the whole. I know I'm not the only middle-aged polish junkie - maybe you young things that still have good eyes can read some of this stuff that I can't. And I honestly don't think I should have to give myself a headache to read a polish bottle in the first place.

So the list below the picture is my best educated guesses (with help from various sources) about what these polishes actually are. About half of these actually have readable labels.
top row:
  • Mistletoe Kisses (Virago Varnish) (link is to Jessface90's YouTube liveswatch of this collection) - a gray-green almost-foil with extra scattered sparkle (this whole collection is gorgeous, Jess is making me wish I had bought more)
  • Topaz (Revlon Chroma Chameleon) - medium-green foil with green-gold flash (I have to say I honestly wasn't nearly as impressed by this one as I expected to be) (mani from 2013, in an entry where I also complain about the tiny type!)
  • Crocadilly (Essie Magnetic) - dark gray-green, which luckily I like because I could never get the magnet to work properly. BJU's instructions at the link say that she got better results applying it after topcoat, so if I remember I might try this again. I partly bought it in the first place because I liked the magnet pattern, which is a criss-cross sort of design. But it just worldn't work for me.
  • Irene (Zoya) - sort of a mossy green with a bit of brownish flash. I know that doesn't sound that attractive (at least it wouldn't to me, if I hadn't tried it) but somehow it works. This is one of my favorites, in fact.
bottom row:
  • Plum Attraction (Revlon) - a pretty red-violet shimmer, not quite dark enough to be called "plum" in my mind but close to that, I guess. Definitely more in the RV-fuchsia ballpark than the red one.
  • Suri (Zoya) - beautiful, shimmery royal purple
  • Island Couture (Orchid) - no googled pictures of this one, since it's a store brand, but it's a nice color. I remember it as being more just shiny than shimmery, on the nail. You can see that it's quite a bit lighter than Suri. Aside from Orchid-brand being next-to-impossible to find in the first place unless you live in Texas, I think that this one was a non-core color, too. A lot of the colors that pop up on displays seem to turn up as core colors later, but this one never did, that I saw.
  • Empty Stocking (Ulta Wicked Wonderland set) - the link is to Karen's pictures, and I got my set from her in the first place. (I really try not to spend much time wandering around in Ulta, generally, it's dangerous.) Very dark, vampy purple. I'm not sure who decided it was a Christmas color, I certainly wouldn't have thought of calling it that!
  • Bottle Green (Gosh/Oh My Gosh - I read somewhere that only the minis are labeled Oh My Gosh, like this one, but I don't think they sell this brand around here so I can't verify anything) - a blackened teal. The only picture I could find that appeared to be the right color was from Pinterest, in this case.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NOTD: two Pretty Serious manis

So when last heard from last Friday, I had that Bonita polish on that I liked but which was chipping. At some point over the weekend, I changed that out and put Revlon Plum Attraction (you know it's an older Revlon, with a name like that) on as a base, and then put Pretty Serious Stuck In The Middle over it. And that looked really nice. Plum Attraction is red-violet enough to pick up those same tones in SitM. (Here's the bottle shot of that one - it does have definite purple leanings.) So I liked that mani a lot but we've had lots of rain in the last week, so I didn't have good conditions for pictures.

But then I did another Pretty Serious mani after that, and that one I do have pictures of - it's BSOD, as in Blue Screen of Death. (It's from the same collection that VT100 was, which I was wearing a while back. I think VT100 may be discontinued but here's BSOD.)
Here's Kaz's description:
All your friends will stop and stare at this beautiful blue jelly packed to bursting with blue glitter. Don't make the critical error of passing this one up! 
Disclaimer: Any instance of Blue Screen of Death while purchasing this product is a complete coincidence. Quite possibly the coolest coincidence ever, but still a coincidence.

Details on this one:
1 coat hardener
1 coat BL Nail Foundation
2 coats BSOD, and two was plenty (one didn't quite seem adequate)
1 coat Gelous

Here's somebody else's swatches, which don't look quite as bright as mine so I'm putting them in here as a comparison!

Friday, April 17, 2015

NOTD: Peonies Gone Wild + TinC

First of all, regarding the budget I put myself on: it continues to work well. I had let it build up enough that I was getting into high-end territory, if I'd cared to spend my money on that, but instead I bought two polishes from Lucky 13: Aurora Borealis (a flakie) and Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey. It's probably not even necessary to say that that second one is Tardis-blue - but what got me about it was that it's a jelly + glitter. I don't really have anything like that, not in blue, anyway. I got a shipping notice for these so they should be here soon!

I really love the polish I'm wearing but it keeps wanting to chip. It's Peonies Gone Wild by Bonita, with Travel in Colour slapped on top of it. TinC can't really add much pinkness to a polish that's already bright fuchsia, but it does add some pretty shimmer (although Peonies Gone Wild had some shimmer to it already, too). I complained last night that this mani was chipping, and then I decided to patch it up and put more layers on top of it rather than starting over. I'll see what it looks like when I get home tonight - so far it doesn't look too bad.

This was yesterday. This whole mani was pretty much slapped on late at night, so the execution is definitely faulty but I do love the color.

Oh, and a wear note from last week, which was that the Layla+TinC combo that I was wearing then lasted for a solid week - 8 days, actually, which is just unheard of for me. I'mna have to try it again and see if it was just a fluke!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NOTD: Layla CE39 + TinC

I wanted an antidote to all those pastels from last week, and this was it: Layla CE39, I think it is (the number's not too legible). I just did some poking around online and that looks correct - Layla's website lists it as CE39 Southern Light. The names are never on the bottles - only the numbers - but I had figured out some time ago that they all seemed to have a name to go with the number. Although the only other Layla polish I have, CE61, seems to have changed names - it was "Ipanema Girl" and now it's "Golden Green"!

But anyway, back to the one I'm currently wearing, it's a dark purple that definitely has gray leanings - here are two sets of pictures from two different nail blogs that make it look completely different - RocknPolish and Embee Nails. I think it's interesting that the latter one couldn't see the purple at all. Here's what it looked like to me:
You can see the purple, right? But you can also see that it's pretty grayed-out. I definitely see both those things in it. So it's really pretty and subtle, but you know me, I couldn't leave it at that. So I put Travel In Colour on top of it, and here's what I got then:
I'm not sure you can really tell the difference too well here because of the glare. I liked it by itself, but I love it with Travel In Colour - it's still dark purple, but it has that pink flash that TinC gives everything, and it's more obviously shimmery and eye-catching and in fact I got a couple of compliments on it at work. It's flashy enough to be noticeable without being too flashy, if you know what I mean.

These pictures were taken a couple of nights ago when I first put it on. It's held up pretty well, although it has a bit of wear, now - I haven't decided whether to take it off tonight or get one more day out of it. I'll report back on that.

I started to put "details" at the bottom, but I'm not 100% sure about all of this. I think this is right, though, so I'll go ahead and put it:
Beauty Secrets Nail Hardener
Butter London Nail Foundation
2 coats CE39 (Layla Ceramic Effect)
1 coat Travel In Colour (China Glaze)
1 coat Seche Vite

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A failed experiment

These are really bad pictures, but this was an experiment, so I'm not really apologizing for that. I'm showing these to you so you can judge for yourself what you think of it. This is Formula X TNT - cobalt matte glitter - over Hard Candy Sky. It was one of my late-night manicures, anyway, and clearly it was very much just slapped on. Also this was the iPhone under fairly dim fluorescent lighting, and I pulled the saturation down but didn't otherwise monkey with the color.
This is one coat, and the next picture is two coats.
Other than it being sloppy, I really quite like it - although you really can't tell that it's not over white, can you? Anyway, my intent was to clean it up the next morning and wear it for a day or two. However, something in the combination of polishes caused it not to set, and when I went to bed, an hour or more after I'd put this on, it still had not set. I know I had put Seche Vite over the original Sky - I'm guessing it was the 3-free formula that Formula X uses interacting badly with SV. Remember how people used to have trouble with SV and Zoya polishes? I think that it's probably that same sort of effect. There's some ingredient in fast-dry topcoats that's the problem, I remember reading.

So the experiment is a failure, but not for the reason I expected. Next time I'll remember to keep the Seche Vite away from these.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stash: topcoats (of the glittery or shimmery kind)

I just put "topcoats" on the title, first, and then I thought, "No, people will think I'm talking about Seche Vite again." Not that kind of topcoat, but the decorative kind. Although this is not everything I have that could fall into this category, by any means. (I might get some arguments about some others, if anybody cared about this enough to argue.) Most of these were either intended to be used as a top-coat or they're so sheer that I've decided they're not much use any other way. I'll try to distinguish which is which as I go along.
The rows are really wonky here, but more or less top to bottom and left to right. I think armed with brands and links you should be able to work this out!
Sideways across the top:
  • Enchanted Forest (Nyx) - I think you could make this one opaque eventually, but why? This is very pretty on top of something else, and much less work. It looks green in the bottle, but comes out more blue than I expected without a green under it. I need to experiment with it some more.
  • Cutie Colada (Rimmel Cocktail Colours) - the colors for this line really don't seem to have much relationship to the names. This one is the green one. It's almost like they assigned the color-names at random. According to the piece at the link there, Rimmel also claimed that these are one-coat polishes, so apparently somebody was, well, just nuts. I put these in this category for a reason; these are very sheer - this one in particular. The other two I have can be built to opacity, probably, but this one really can't. It's very pretty, though. This is apple-green, with blue-green duochrome shimmer.
starting to the right of those:
  • Tiara (Orly mini) - super-shiny silver microglitter, sort of like tinsel, really.
  • (upside down) Baby Bellini (Rimmel Cocktail Colours) - this is the same link as above, since PGS is reviewing the same three that I own, and this is the purple one (are bellinis purple?). It's considerably more opaque than the one above, although it's still pretty sheer. From a distance, I think I'd call this a grape color, although close-up you can see the purple base and duochrome flecks.
  • (upside down) Pirouette My Whistle (OPI mini) - you know, I haven't gotten around to trying this, and I think it's because in my head I had it classified as something like Tiara, above - but looking at Holly's link, here, that doesn't seem to be what she's saying. If it's matte, then I suddenly become a lot more interested.
  • Blue Majesty (NYC Crystal Couture) - blue jelly with cyan glitter, yum.
next partial row, on the left (two rather old polishes, as it happens):
  • Two Timer Stars (Maybelline Express Finish) - a very pale-green frosty shimmer. On its own it's practically invisible unless you put on many, many coats, which is why I call it a top-coat. But I've worn it in manicures in the past where it looked really cute layered over things (although I couldn't tell you what that was, offhand!)
  • Jailbait (old-formula Hard Candy) - I wore this one as a topcoat just the other day. (By the way, be careful about googling indiscriminately for this one, you can end up in some really unsavory places!) It's kind of the same as the one above, as far as being super-sheer. I can't imagine trying to wear it by itself, really, although I don't think either of these was released specifically as a top-coat. Was wearing really sheer colors really in for a while, at least if you were 15 or so? I suppose it's possible. I don't know exactly how old either one of these is - I don't think that my bottles are all that old, but it's possible that the shades, at least, are in the 15-20 year old range. We know Hard Candy was all the rage in the late 90s, after all.
stair-stepping down, on the right:
  • Groupie (Orly mini) - this is the set I bought mine in - Star Light Star Bright - although that's an eBay listing in the link so who knows if that will stay around. I bought mine straight from Orly, though. I can't find any swatches of this online. I know it's vaguely gold - what I'm not sure of is whether it actually looks like a metallic or a shimmer on the nail. In the bottle it looks like more of a shimmer. If I remember to try it out I'll report back.
  • Gilded (Sinful Colors) - this was a holiday polish, and not specifically sold as a topcoat, but it's super-sheer - if you look at the link you see LacqLuster complaining about its sheerness! - but I really wouldn't think of wearing it as anything else. It has a gold shimmery/microglitter base and bigger scattered reddish pieces, although I don't really think they're bright red. It's quite lovely, though, and I wore it several times last fall in different combinations. In fact I see that I put it in my top 10 of 2014, which I had already forgotten. (Here it is over red.)
  • (upside down) Travel In Colour (China Glaze mini) - this one was intended to be a topcoat, specifically a color- (or colour?) shifting one. This came as a mini with the Holiglaze collection, and as far as I know was only ever released as a mini. I liked it so much that I went and bought a lot of 3 more bottles of it on eBay. It's shimmery and in my experience it shifts everything toward pink, although it doesn't look pink in the bottle and I think it has other colors in it as well! (I've always wondered about why they released it with the British spelling in the US. I've never heard any sort of answer to that, though.)
second row from bottom:
  • Mist You (Sally Hansen Salon) - I think Karen may have sent me this polish, so I don't really know how old it is. It seems rather like it may have come from that decade-or-more-ago era of sheer polishes being fashionable, but I'm not sure. (I think they quit making this polish line several years ago, anyway.) Anyway, pale, sheer, what I would definitely call a top coat, and that's all I've ever worn it as.
  • Pearl Wisdom (Orly) - this was one of the first topcoats that I got really enamored with. I actually have a couple of bottles of this. Apparently it either pretty obscure or it was extremely LE (or both), because the only pictures I can usually find of this are things like old blog sale listings or non-English-language beauty supply places. Maybe all these older sheers are from the heyday of the French manicure? that seems possible. I do think that these were actually meant to be top-coats or at least used in a French mani, maybe, because they are just too sheer for anything else.
  • Purple Pizzazz (Confetti) - totally reads as pink, despite the name. In the bottle, it looks like pale purple (lilac, I guess?) but this does not translate whatsoever to the nail. (Do they even make Confetti polishes any more? I haven't seen them in ages.) It's pretty, anyway, it's just not purple.
  • Firefly (Jesse's Girl) - this is the white squarish bottle on the far right, if you're confused. Since you can't really read the white writing over the more-or-less-white polish, that makes it hard to distinguish. I only have a few Jesse's Girl polishes but I love the ones I have. This is sort of in the same ballpark as Travel In Colour, a shimmery color-shift sort of thing.  The link calls it gold. I don't see that looking at my bottle, but it does seem to verge on metallic
bottom row:
  • Disco Ball (Xtreme Wear) - sheer holo glitter in a clear base. I used to wear this one over everything, back a few years ago. I went through about a bottle and a half of it before I got tired of it. (I think they still make it, and it's still cute. And last I looked, it was still two-dollars-and-change, too.)
  • Diamond Love (Orly) - another sheer one that I believe was in the same collection as Pearl Wisdom, above. I didn't ever warm up to this one, though. It's sort of textured and bumpy-looking, but not in a good way.
  • Sparkle (Sally Girl Snowman) - holo glitter, similar to Disco Ball, above.
  • Added: Crystal Glitter (Jordana) - I managed to miss this one the first time through - holo glitter in a clear base
  • unlabeled sheer pink mini with holo glitter (I haven't been trying to look these up as I've gone along, but I've been saying for ages that I think they're actually L.A. Colors polishes - I did look this one up, though, and it does seem to correspond to L.A. Colors Tinsel, if you look at the link)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

March Ipsy bag

It occurs to me that I never posted the March Ipsy bag:
I really liked the blue flowered bag, for one thing - that's gone into my purse. The 5 items are cleanser, moisturizer, makeup brush, lip butter, and eye shadow. I haven't gotten around to trying the cleanser; the moisturizer is fine but didn't blow me away. (Have I talked about the LaFresh one from a couple of months ago? That's the one I'm still plotting about buying - it's expensive so it may end up being a birthday present.) The brush is a double-ended one, although you can't see either end in this picture, and I've actually ended up using it a lot, in order to apply the Pixi eye shadow, that to my surprise, I liked. I thought it looked like it might lean a bit too orange, but it looks good on me, it happens. The lip butter is Nyx and it worked the other way around - I thought it would be a good or at least okay color on me, and it wasn't. It's way more orange-leaning than it looked and I ended up giving it away because it looked awful on me. However, I really liked the formula so I may end up buying one later, just in some other color. (FYI, the too-orange color was called Little Susie. I gather other people got different colors, though.)

NOTD: Hard Candy Sky

I thought about using the "trying the untried" series name for this, but that would be cheating, since it's not actually untried. But this is the first time, I think, that I've worn it knowing what I was going to get. Previously, I kept secretly hoping for something else. (For one thing, I have thought all these years, due to tiny script print, that the label said "Shy" not "Sky" - this is actually a famous polish and I didn't even know until a month or so ago that I owned it. That's sad.)

I kept getting interrupted by one thing and another last night, and it was the middle of the night by the time I got two coats of this on. This morning I added one more coat plus Seche Vite before running out the door, and it still has a couple of slightly-bald spots and my cleanup attempt was minimal, given the time-frame. It looks alright in motion, not so great holding still for a picture:
These kind of chalky colors are just not my thing, as I was saying yesterday and as anybody who reads here regularly already knows. This is basically a one-day special mani for Easter, as far as I'm concerned. I did get intrigued because I was able to see the hidden shimmer in it last night under the fluorescent lamp in my bedroom. It looks sort of vaguely shimmery, maybe, on the nail, but I can't really see it as clearly as I could in the bottle.

(It is a great Easter/spring color. It would look cute and egg-like with some dots of other colors on it. But, as I said, I barely got it on my fingers, much less had time to think about decorating it further.)

I was speculating that Sky might well be as hard to apply as Gibson Girl was, but in fact it wasn't. That's not to say it was easy. It was thin and streaky where Gibson Girl was thick and streaky. I guess it'd be fair to say it was easier to apply in the sense that at least it didn't skip - but the results weren't particularly much better. If I'd had time to put on a fourth coat, I might have been able to get rid of the bald spots completely. Instead, probably what I'll do tonight is put something on top of it - maybe one of those Formula X glitters.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

NOTD: Easter-ish

I don't know if other people find "history of makeup" posts as fascinating as I do, but here's another really good one, about Mary Astor and the makeup they wore in the silent-films era.

This is Square Hue Gibson Girl + Color Club Hot Couture:
(flooded cuticles and all - also I think it looks a little brighter here than it does in real life)

I am not particularly in love with Gibson Girl, but then I never expected to be - it's not my kind of color. It was also balky to apply in that way that paler cremes often are. Gibson Girl was part of the Square Hue Decades polishes from January. I liked the other two a lot, but like I said, I'm not too much of a pale-pink fan. (Or pale-anything, generally - they just don't look good on me, normally. Although one of the others from that collection, First Flight, was one of the rare exceptions.)

What I mean about balky: wants to skip, extremely slow to dry so that the color pulls when you do the next coat, just generally hard to level and get even coverage. I did three coats and it still looked uneven. Luckily the glitter disguises all that quite effectively.

I really like Hot Couture enormously - it's tiny bits of various colors in a pink base. At a glance you just get silvery, but actually it seems to be pastel multicolors. Whatever else I put on next may get Hot Couture over it, too. My other hand is chipping more than this one, so I'll probably do a new manicure tonight unless I'm just totally too tired to fool with it. I'm tempted to try Hard Candy Sky since I have it - but my memory of my previous attempts with it makes me think that it would be just about as bad. I may end up with that or it may be something else entirely. We'll see. (Gumdrop skittles have occurred to me...)

Before this I had on purple - Bonita Royal Highness, which is more or less in the orchid range, with some shiny stuff over it. I think it was a couple of coats of Travel In Colour, and then I mattified it. (I liked that effect.) And after a day or two I added a coat of Hard Candy Jailbait, which is a shimmery, very pale pink that I think I got in a set at the same time I got Sky. It's mostly shimmer more than color, so I've pressed it into service over the years over various manis as a top-coat. (In fact I think it's in the stash post about top-coats that's coming up next.)