Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Orchid Of The Year, Aurora

Added: see links at the bottom** - I have better pictures of both of these, separately. This picture is still interesting as evidence of how similar in color these two polishes are, though!

This is another one of that bad batch of pictures, so enlarge at your own risk - I thought I was through all of those but apparently not. This is Lynnderella Orchid of the Year and Zoya Aurora.
These are the two very similar ones on the wheel - the one with the overt sparkly bits is Orchid Of The Year and the one above it (which is less obviously sparkly but still looks very similar in color) is Aurora. Orchid Of The Year is definitely meant to be Radiant Orchid, and I think Aurora was released slightly before Radiant Orchid became such a sensation but clearly it's in the same general spot on the color wheel. I love this color and both of these are quite beautiful. Orchid Of The Year is mixed sizes of glitter and Aurora is a holo. (Zoya's website is down as I'm writing this, but Aurora is still available as far as I know - it's a very popular polish, I've heard. Lynnderella polishes... well, you never know. I looked on eBay and I don't see OotY but Lynnderella does re-release things sometimes, and I'm pretty sure it was a popular polish for them, too, so it might turn up again in the future.)

** Newer posts here for Aurora & Orchid Of The Year - note also that Aurora was on my favorites of 2016 list, and Orchid Of The Year was hands-down my favorite polish of 2014.

Hyped, Believe In Believing

This is Formula X Hyped and Pipe Dream Polish Believe In Believing (a mini):
I'm not sure whether Formula X actually calls Hyped a neon, but if it's not it's real close to it. It's very, very bright. It's very much red-violet but because it's so bright you almost tend to read it as pink. This is another one that I need to make sure I wear soon, since it's that time of year. The mini here is Believe In Believing, which is another red-violet glitter - I do seem to have a lot of those. This one is swatched over Plum Attraction, which matches it almost dead-on and makes it look metallic. It's a nice pairing, actually.

I'm almost 100% sure that neither one of these is available, because I know I looked up Pipe Dream a few days ago and they didn't have any glitters whatsoever, and I also know I bought Hyped on clearance months ago. Generally I'm too cheap to pay full-price for Formula X; if I have it then odds are it was marked down.

Mira, Ultra Violet

This is Zoya Mira and Milani Color Statement Ultra Violet:
Since this one, again, is not easy to read, start with the very messy nail toward the top, which is Taffeta (which is not included in this entry - I'll explain about that when I get to that picture). Ultra Violet is the one below Taffeta and Mira is below that. The Milani version of Ultra Violet is noticeably redder than Mira, which looks a bit blue-toned by comparison. Ultra Violet is also super-shimmery although it's hard to see that in this picture. (See swatches here.) UV is apparently not a current color - Milani's page for this line is here and it's not on it. Mira is still current - the link is below.

Mira was apparently in the Summertime collection along with Kieko and Sooki, because here are Scrangie's swatches for that. (Zoya typically does six cremes and six coordinating shiny/shimmery things for its summer release. This year it's Pixie Dusts, but usually it's something a bit more mainstream than that; last year I think they called the shiny ones "liquid metal" and in past years they've been heavy shimmers or glass flecks, etc. They usually have coordinating names for each set of six as well - the one that went along with Summertime was Sunshine, as I recall. Another year it was Beach and Surf.)

Added: better picture of Ultraviolet, here.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fig, Sugar Plum

Here we have Sinful Colors Fig and Milani Color Statement Sugar Plum:
Neither one of these are terribly inventive names - I know at least one other brand had a color named Fig, although I can't think at the moment who it was. And I don't actually know of another Sugar Plum but I do have in my own collection a Sugar Plum Fairy (Julie G) and Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild (Sephora by OPI). Also, I admit to an unfortunate tendency to mix up my only two Milani Color Statement polishes because they're both purple, but I did check the labels on these and this is indeed Sugar Plum - you'll see the other one later today, if I'm remembering my scheduling right. (The other one is Ultra Violet, which again, is not terribly creative.)

I went looking for this wheel to check this, and I can't find it, but I'm fairly sure that Fig is a creme and Sugar Plum is a shimmer. And Fig is somewhat darker and at least a bit more blue-toned, where Sugar Plum is more definitely a red-violet. (Added: on a later re-evaluation of Fig, I decided it does have some shimmer, although it's much less shimmery than Sugar Plum, for certain.)

Lest you think I'm terribly disorganized, well, yeah, I am, a bit, but this is what my collection of nail wheels looks like now:
I thought I had the new ones in color order, but clearly some of them not so much. (The older ones, in the back in this picture, are numbered, but I gave up on the numbering because it didn't seem to be much help.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Butterflies & Rosebuds, Morning Moneypenny

This is Julie G Butterflies & Rosebuds, and OPI Morning, Moneypenny (which is a magnetic):
These are darker red-violets - not as dark as Fig, as you can see on the wheel, but still definitely on the darker side. It's really not what you expect of a color called Butterflies & Rosebuds - maybe that's the point. Here is a swatch of B&R - I called it a blackened color back then, I notice, which might be true but if so it's not really spectacularly obvious. B&R is a microglitter and possibly that might be a fair description of Morning Moneypenny. It's got some scattered holo bits, I think, and of course it's a magnetic, but I didn't have a magnet ready to try that out here. And I'm not really that into magnetics, let's face it - like a lot of people I had a little flurry of interest where it was fun to play with them, and then I was pretty much over it. But luckily this is also a nice color even aside from the magnet effects.

Butterflies & Rosebuds is still showing up on the Jesse's Girl site as a current color. (Julie G is made by Jesse's Girl.) Morning Moneypenny was part of the Skyfall tie-in colors, and might still be findable, although it's not a current color, I'm sure enough about that that I'm not going to go check on it. I think the magnetics in particular were meant to be LE.

Boys 'n' Berries, Ultra Violet

This is my only Nina polish, Boys 'n' Berries (note that I've corrected my spelling on this - I had "Boyz 'n' Berries" but I think it's actually just "Boys"), and Revlon Nail Art Neons Ultra Violet:
I have two polishes called Ultra Violet (both spelled the same way, as two words, I'm pretty sure) but they are different brands. This one is a dual-ended wand - I bought a couple of these on the same day, and I was very up-front about the fact that I hated them. I couldn't use them without spilling something. And at the time I'd never really tried a neon, and it turns out I'm not big on neons, either. The other end of the wand is white base, and my experience is that it was incredibly streaky and just cranky to apply. I'm really tempted to just discard this one - it's always in the way, for one thing. But maybe I'll try it one more time for the summer before I decide. The swatch does not have the white base, but it does look like a true neon to me. Last I knew, these Nail Art Wands were still available - but perhaps not, the line is not showing up on Revlon's nail polish page any more.

I bought Boys 'n' Berries fairly recently but I haven't worn it yet. Maybe it was discontinued when I bought it, though, because it's not on the current list either. (I couldn't find a separate website for Nina - I think they're a Sally Beauty exclusive as far as I know. But they're not a brand I know anything much about.) I didn't put it next to G-listen To My Heart but they seem pretty similar - I think maybe G-listen is somewhat lighter-colored though.

Grape Minds Think Alike, G-listen To Your Heart

Here are Wet n Wild Wild Shine Grape Minds Think Alike and Sephora by OPI G-listen To Your Heart:
I tried and I'm having trouble with talking about these two colors without getting into the "what color is grape" issue. I think it's partly because G-listen To Your Heart (it's the bottle I'm looking at, not the swatch) has a lot more variety in its coloring and thus appears more "fruity" to me, even though it's really not much like the actual color of most grapes. (It seems more like the color of a raspberry, if anything.). Anyway, that issue aside, these two ended up next to each other on my wheel but they're not much alike in any way past general color family. Grape Minds Think Alike: creme, red-violet in sort of a neutral way, and fairly dark. G-listen To Your Heart: glitter top-coat in varying red-violets which generally lean more toward the raspberry-to-pink end of things. (Actually the two of them layered might be rather pleasing, though. I'll try to remember to try it.)

Added: I believe that Grape Minds Think Alike is a current color. My bottle says "new" because it was a new color a year or so ago when WnW changed the bottle style on the Wild Shine line. (I don't have legible size info in front of me but I think the new bottle are smaller than the old bottles. But since they're still 99 cents, it's hard to complain too much about that. And then as far as SOPI is concerned, they were discontinued several years ago. There are still probably stray bottles floating around, but the line as a whole is gone.

I tried to do some research on the color issue, and "grape" is one of those color categories that are used so broadly that it's meaningless, really. About the only reliable thing that it seems to mean is that it denotes something somewhere in the general region of purple. The polish above with "grape" in its name seems reasonable in that it's sort of a wine-color, a dark red-violet, but it's really just as common if not more so for the color grape to be blue-violet, as shown in the color swatches if you scroll down here (which seems to be the color reference that Wikipedia most often uses).  I even thought about using grape Kool-Aid as an example but my googling there got results that were just as confusing. Let's just say that "grape" in a polish name doesn't tell you much.

(I thought I knew a fair bit about color before I ever started talking online about nail polish, but boy oh boy, I can still learn more. Tons more.)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Domestic Goddess, Royal Highness

This is Sephora by OPI Domestic Goddess and Bonita Royal Highness. I actually made this picture smaller because it hurt my eyes at larger sizes. It's not bad at this size at all, but don't try to read the writing! I have provided a what's-what guide below.
The nail wheel here doesn't line up like you might guess. Both of these polishes are considerably darker than they look in the bottles, and the nail wheel spot which looks like it might be Domestic Goddess (the brightest red-violet one) is actually not either one of these polishes. It's Zoya Perrie (which I talked about back here and I think I accidentally swatched twice). Royal Highness is above Perrie and Domestic Goddess is below. Royal Highness actually is more neutral; Domestic Goddess more red. Royal Highness also has a ton of shimmer in it which you really can't see here. Maybe when I try again I can pick that up too!

I keep saying I'm going to re-take all the pictures from this set, and I'm sure I will - except maybe in this case, because Domestic Goddess was a mess and I'm pretty sure I tossed the whole bottle after I took the picture. I did at least get a decent swatch of it first but I'm stuck with this picture (although I'll try again with Royal Highness, probably).

Dancer Is The Best Reindeer, Carter

This is Wet 'n' Wild (the label is missing on this but I'm pretty sure it's the Fast Dry line) Dancer Is The Best Reindeer, which I think was an LE color several years ago, and then Zoya Pixie Dust in Carter.
I just checked and Carter is still available on Zoya's website. I believe that all of the older Pixie Dusts are actually out of production but they had pretty substantial stock of them, I guess, because most of them are still there. (If you don't already know this, there are also 6 new Pixie Dusts as part of Zoya's summer collection!) Anyway, both of these are among my favorite polishes, I would say. (When I finish this current stash project - which won't be for a month or more if I stick to my limit of two posts a day - I will try to remember to go through all these swatches and come up with an all-time favorites list. That's something I've never done.)

So, Dancer Is The Best Reindeer is mixed glitter in purples and blues - there are other polishes with similar color mixes, I believe, although I can't tell you what they are right off the bat. And then Carter is purple texture with red-violet or fuchsia bits mixed in. It's pretty without topcoat but it is really stunning (and that's not a word I throw around lightly) with topcoat, because it brings out all the glittery bits. I know I've posted pictures before and I'll try to track those down.

Question: Since I've mentioned this subject already, is anybody annoyed by the two-a-day posting schedule? If so, please speak up in the comments!! I'm doing two posts a day for as long as my stash lasts, which may be several months at that rate.

If you want to know: I think I have around 500 bottles of polish. I skipped a few especially boring ones, but we're looking at 250 posts, more or less, to get through the whole thing. So that's 125 days, which would be, what, four months or so? Plus whatever NOTD posts and other miscellaneous posts, like the Sephora posts, I come up with, but there are usually only only a couple of those a week. I'm almost two months in but I wasn't being as consistent at first as I'm trying to be now. I'm now scheduling ahead and posting one at night where 8-5 people will see it in the morning, and the second one around lunch-time, so if you're getting notifications you'll see it in the afternoon, is the idea. And I'm posting 7 days a week in the interest of getting this done. I have Bloglovin' notifications on, and those go to Twitter so if it's annoying too many people I could turn the notifications off. (Or you can always just mute me for the duration and pick up again in August or so!)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Purple Neon, Vanity Flare

Another picture that's more than slightly out-of-focus, darnit. This is Absolute New York Purple Neon, and SH Triple Shine Vanity Flare:
In case it's hurting your eyes (like it's hurting mine) trying to read the writing here, Purple Neon is the one pointing at the bottles that's lighter and a hair pinker. And Vanity Flare is the one above that. Purple Neon is a nice color, and these polishes seems to have pretty nice formulas - but what this polish is not, is a neon. No way, no how. I doubt that anybody except maybe the polish company would be inclined to argue with me about that, really. If you've ever worn a neon, you know what a neon looks like, and this ain't it. But other than that, it's a perfectly nice, if perfectly dupe-able red-violet. (Well, I assume it's dupe-able, I didn't actually make any attempt to check that.)

Vanity Flare is also pretty usual, although also just pretty, in a darker and maybe slightly bluer way. In fact, this bottle apparently spent some time lying on its side and you can see the blue pigment stuck to the side of the bottle. That's not to say it's anything I'd call a true blue-violet, because it isn't. It's just a more neutral purple than most of the ones we've seen up to now, assuming you've been following my two-by-two parade of fuchsias and red-violets from my stash, the last few weeks. From here you're going to start seeing some things that are more just plain purple - although I don't think I'm completely done with the red-violet end of things, either.

This picture is definitely going on my list to re-do, but meanwhile, it's going online as is. (What I'm doing is going back and editing these posts as I get more information or more pictures, etc. I'm considering these as sort of an illustrated index to my stash. There's an actual A-Z index in process, even.)

Swatches of the AbsoluteNY set here

Makeup brushes & other goodies from Sephora

NOTE: Since I'm talking about Sephora, I want to make sure you know that they have extra premium samples right now, if you're a Beauty Insider, with a $25 purchase: two minis with the code HOTBI or, if you're a VIB (regular or Rouge), use HOTVIB and you get three. (All it says on the website is "limited time" so I'm not sure how long these will be good.) (And no disclosures required here. I'm just a Sephora junkie like everybody else.)

I got this stuff in the mail from Sephora (plus some little sample packets not pictured here):
The Bb Curl is a "premium sample" - the ones you get with a $25 purchase. The other two are the $25 purchase, between them - a Nars concealer in a travel size and a small makeup brush - the Classic Mini Multitasker. As one does (or well, as *I* regularly do, anyway), I ordered all this and promptly forgot about it. When it showed up I had to piece together exactly what I was thinking when I placed the order. I wanted to try the concealer and the Bb curl creme, that was the easy part - what I wasn't sure about is precisely why I wanted this brush. I think I read something about it somewhere - I'm not sure I know where. But anyway, it's a good brush for powder and that's what I needed. I'll show you why below. Basically I had two powder items I use regularly and only one brush I really like.
I cut off the side of the pressed powder in the picture because of the mirror reflection, but you get the idea - plain old Clinique pressed powder, which I basically only use in my t-zone where I tend to get shiny. And then my recently-acquired MAC blush. The brushes pictured here are my selection of larger-size brushes. Before I got the new blush, I was still using the brush that came with my Benefit box-o-blush (even after I retired the box itself), but it was getting kind of ragged. Basically what I've found with these large brushes is that I don't really love the ones where the brushes are very loose, as a lot of large brushes are. The new one is next to the blusher - it's a small handle and the bristles are soft but packed together, which seems to be more what I like. The one next to that is an e.l.f. angled blush brush, which is the one I already had that I liked best. (It's also the cheapest, I think, so I possibly should have just bought another one, but it's a little late now for that thought.)

Including the new brush, three of the brushes pictured here are Sephora brushes - the other two are the bright-pink Kabuki-style one at the top, and the one at the far right, which is big and very loose. The remaining one, the metallic-looking one, is Mally, and is also sort of that same looser style. It came with a Mally set which also included powder foundation, but I have not developed too much of a liking for the foundation yet. (It's the powder, not the brand. I have no problem with the product itself. I've always used liquid foundations and I can't seem to change that preference.) Anyway, I do like the new one - and the short handle means it's nice for travel/purse use. Now I've been going back and forth deciding which one (of the two I like best) I'm going to use for which item. Clearly I need to pair them off rather than switching back and forth, but I'm not quite there yet.

(And, um, thanks to the lure of extra premium samples - although you'd think Play! would have cured me of that a little after eight months - I may or may not have another order on the way, depending on whether what I ordered is actually in stock at the moment, which is unclear. I'll report back on that, of course.)

Update: I was poking around and I found a video (which I haven't watched yet, because I'm at work) that compares the Sephora #45 - the full-size version of the one I bought - to some of the e.l.f brushes. That's here. The number on the small version is 45.5. I haven't yet come across the page that I was reading in the first place but if I find it I'll add that also. A-ha! I think it was Nouveau Cheap.

Film Noir, Break Through

Ugh, not a great picture - this is one I need to put on my list to re-take. Anyway, you can see the swatches and that's what matters, right? This is Finger Paints Film Noir and Essence Colour & Go Break Through:
Film Noir is the dark one and Break Through is above that. Break Through is just your basic red-violet, although it's a bit darker than some of the ones I've talked about in the last week or so. Film Noir, though, is the interesting one because it's different - it shows up on the nail considerably darker than the bottle color, as you can see - and matte. Finger Paints never seems to give you hints about unusual formulas - I have one that was unexpectedly textured, too (we'll get to that). I can't say I've worn Film Noir much - it would be a really good fall color, though. But I don't know of anything else remotely like it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's Bouquet With Me, Harlow

This is Sephora by OPI It's Bouquet With Me and Zoya Matte Velvet in Harlow:
I mentioned Harlow in passing when I was talking about Kieko, because their base colors look really similar. The Harlow swatch has Seche Vite on the tip, but its natural state is what you see on the bottom portion of the nail, the matte portion. Kieko is a creme, where Harlow has shimmer in it which doesn't usually show up that much if you leave it matte.

(Added: better picture of Harlow, here.)

Note that neither one of these polishes are things you're likely to be able to get hold of easily. Zoya usually re-releases some of the Matte Velvets at the holidays, but I don't think it's necessarily all the colors. And Sephora by OPI is long gone, of course. It's Bouquet With Me may have been part of a line called Jewelry Top Coats, which were glitters in a clear base. Like every other pale purple, it's likely to be read as pink. It's super-pretty, though - it's one of those things that I look at and wonder why I never remember to wear it.

Purple Pizzazz, Purple Diamond

This is Confetti Purple Pizzazz and Sinful Colors Purple Diamond:
In case you're having trouble reading my writing, these are the two very pale colors on the wheel (between them is Convergence, which I've already talked about). Pizzazz is the one above Convergence & Diamond is the one below. They do seem to roughly correspond to what you see in the bottle, in the sense that Purple Pizzazz reads more pink (or possibly mauve) and Purple Diamond reads more purple. But honestly I'm not sure most people would look at either one of these on the nail and call them purple. This is the kind of thing that I use (when I remember to use them at all) primarily for layering, because on their own, they are barely noticeable. If you like very sheer polishes, these are pretty ones, full of shimmer. If you have the kind of job where many dark or bright polishes are considered beyond the pale, this may be the kind of thing that you may be able to wear. Luckily I don't have that sort of job any more. (Far from being a disadvantage, there are people in my workplace who check regularly to see what crazy color I'm going to put on my nails next!)

Re availability: Confetti used to be CVS' version of Sinful Colors, wasn't it? and they don't carry it any more, to my knowledge. I don't know whether it's available somewhere else or not. And I don't see Purple Diamond on Sinful Colors' current list, either.

Reswatched pictures of Purple Diamond here.

Other people's swatches:
Swatches of P.Diamond over various colors
Swatches of P.Pizzazz (where they agree with me that it should not have purple in its name, but pink)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

PeachyPolish, Carly

Rescue Beauty Lounge is gone - I imagine most of you are already well aware of that. So you probably can't get hold of the first of these polishes except maybe on eBay - this is PeachyPolish.com (I left of the .com part in the title so I wouldn't confuse the computer or something, but officially it's part of the name - note that that link, though, leads to the page where she talks about her polish, not just to the website in general.) The other one here you should still be able to get, and that's Carly.
I think Zoya's pictures of Carly at the link above are totally misleading - you can see that my bottle, at least, is certainly much darker than the bottle pictured there. Even the swatches on that page look different, which leads me to think that it's not just me. It's red-violet, but it's a dark red-violet - this is actually one of my favorite polishes, and has been for a long time. PeachyPolish looks like it's quite similar, which I didn't actually realize until I swatched these. In the bottle Carly has very noticeable metallic sparkle, where PP just looks like a heavy shimmer.

Added: more info on PeachyPolish here; Carly is in my top 10 Zoyas here.

In Through The Out Door

This is Pipe Dream Polish In Through The Out Door (named after a Led Zeppelin album):
It's red-violet glitter mixed with gold, in a clear (or possibly very-pale-pink) base. It looks to me like there are a couple of sizes of small-to-medium glitter in the mix. You could get this to opacity if you were patient, I think. I did try layering it, but the color I picked was too close to the glitter color and half the glitter pretty much just disappeared:
This is Xtreme Wear Posh Plum as a base, which is way too close of a match, clearly. You'd need to try something darker or lighter, I think. Anyway, I like it on its own just fine. (I talked about Posh Plum in the last entry.)

Pipe Dream Polish is still in business but doesn't have a lot of variety in stock, and none of the older colors are still around. I recall them as having a bunch of cool glitters like this but now it looks like they stock mostly cremes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Posh Plum, unlabeled

This is SH Xtreme Wear Posh Plum (minus the glitter, which I'll talk about in the next entry) and an unlabeled red-violet.
The unlabeled one is actually really pretty - I'm not crazy about a lot of these unlabeled ones, but this one is nice. Posh Plum is a pretty cool red-violet with a nice duochrome sort of effect.

As far as availability, there may be an L.A. Colors polish that corresponds to this - that's what these unlabeled minis seem to be - but I've never made any real effort to sort that out. There are a couple of current colors that look similar, though. I also took a look at Xtreme Wear colors and Posh Plum does not seem to be a current color. As I've said before, plain red-violet cremes are pretty common, but this is not a creme, and I don't know of anybody else that has a duochrome like Posh Plum's.

Posh Plum swatches here and here.

Rory, Kieko

Two Zoyas, Rory and Kieko:
These are both summer Zoya releases, I believe, but not from the same summer - I think Rory was from Beach & Surf, and Kieko from Summertime & Sunshine. You can see that Rory reads as more of a pink (although definitely with purple leanings) where Kieko is darker and more clearly on the purple side of things - I'd say it was in the general "radiant orchid" range of the Pantone Color of the Year a couple of years back. Kieko is, in fact, more similar to Harlow (above it on the wheel) than I would have guessed. Harlow is matte but with topcoat, as on the tip of the nail, here, it looks almost identical. And of course Rory is super-shimmery where Kieko is a plain old creme. If I was going to wear a plain old creme (which if you know me you know I rarely do), Kieko is a really good one. I love these colors.

Rory is still a current color, but Kieko is not I must have spelled it wrong when I looked before because it is indeed current. (I'm a good speller in general but I trip up sometimes on "ie" vs "ei"!)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Good Girl Gone Bad

Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad:
I think I had this polish in with the reds, at some point, but it ended up on the wheel with the red-violets, this go-round - it looks pretty red next to the more purple things like Kashmir, but next to the reds I imagine it might look more wine-colored. It's probably one of those in-between colors. You can definitely see some purple in there. (Here's KellieGonzo's swatches and she says the same thing about it being in the middle between red and purple. And here it is described on DL's website as "cabernet.") Anyway, it's pretty and wine-colored and glittery, so it's great.

NOTD: Poltergeist Puddle

I seem to remember that on the day I bought this polish, I intended to buy a different purple from Pretty Serious, Purple Monkey Dishwasher - partly just because that's a hilarious name - and I went and looked at the website and I ended up buying Poltergeist Puddle instead. That was months ago and I've never gotten around to wearing Poltergeist Puddle and I had forgotten why I decided I needed it, that day. But here it is and it's pretty awesome:
I don't think this picture picks up the awesomeness, quite honestly. It just looks like another dark purple here. But there's all sorts of shimmer and shininess going on with it that you just can't see. It seems to have glimmers of blue in it, like maybe there's some blue flakies in there - but there's also what seems to be fuchsia shimmer. The website also mentions a "slight golden duochrome" which I haven't even been able to see yet; maybe I'll see it when I get it into sunlight.

Added: same day, outdoors under a cloudy sky:
You can definitely see the blue bits if you look closely in this one.

Still available from Pretty Serious, here. (Pretty Serious is not paying me or giving me free polish, but they're pretty much my favorite polish brand these days.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Play by Sephora for May

I had figured out that they were changing the packaging for Sephora Play, and it went into effect this month. Instead of a box packed into a bigger box, you just get the black and white box as a mailing box, now, and inside you get a drawstring bag and a brochure:
This is fine with me - I always thought the old way was rather wasteful. The box doesn't have the cute lipstick design on it either, any more, but that's not particularly important to me either. (I have gotten, what, eight months of the old box, anyway, and I haven't thrown any of them away, they're too cute. I used four of them for Christmas gifts and I have all the booklets from past months in one of them, which means I still have a few extra boxes to use for future gifts or whatever.)

So instead of a whole booklet, which again, was somewhat wasteful, now it's just a big sheet of paper folded into fourths, and the card is now on the front instead of in the very back of the booklet. Basically I think they've ramped up Play! to full force now and they're being more efficient, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Here it is unfolded:
It's not so big that it's totally unwieldy, but big enough to be legible, so that works.

I can't say I'm in love with the bag design. "Let's beauty together"? But whatever. Hopefully it won't be the same every month anyway. I'm sure I'll end up using that for a gift bag as well, if I don't use it myself.

And here's what's inside:
The theme is "Forces of Nature" which I believe is intended to mean natural products that pack a big punch. The item a lot of people are excited about, I imagine, is the Bite Amuse Bouche, because I think it's new. It's a good color and I like it, although I doubt that I will ever buy a full-size one. (I am still really into Nyx Lip Butter. That's become my current holy grail.) I opened it up so you can see the pink color, which is called Kimchi. (Here's the page from Sephora's website so I don't have to go into total detail about everything.) The Origins "Maskimizer" is a mask primer - a new thing, and there are two small mask samples to use with it. (The primer itself is in a spray-on bottle like a perfume sample.) Then there is the Tarteist pencil, which may be blending into the background here because it's so thin. I'm not in love with the color (which is Latergram, ha) but I do like the idea of the very thin lip crayon. And then there are the two things in tubes on the right: the Korres Rose Sauvage mask (which is basically just an extra-heavy night cream) and the Briogeo hair mask, which is called "Don't Despair, Repair!" I have already tried the Korres one and I really like it. I might fork out for that one later on. And I am definitely going to try the hair mask - and the Origins mask, as well. So on the whole, a pretty good box. (And oops! I forgot the perfume, which is Atelier - another citrus flavor, but different from the couple from them I already have.)

I have to say that on the whole I continue to think that Sephora Play is beating out Ipsy in product selection. I don't love every product but they're hitting the mark a lot more.

Pyro Pink, Stuck In The Middle (and a rant)

This is Cover Girl Pyro Pink and Pretty Serious Stuck In The Middle:
I went on a bit of a rant about the first of these polishes and that's below (I didn't know I still felt so strongly about that issue!) but anyway, Pyro Pink is sort of a rosy-pink microglitter with a lot of sparkle - it was originally a tie-in with Catching Fire, thus the name. Stuck In The Middle is awesome - it's jelly and glass-flecked and iridescent. (It's a collab with @thepolishhaven on Instagram - it's still available here.) This is supposedly the red-violet wheel we're on, here, but you can see that Pyro Pink is much more of a neutral pink, where Stuck In The Middle is more in line with the rest of the wheel.

I have another bottle of Pyro Pink in what most people would call a mini and Cover Girl calls a "Glosstini" (huh, they are apparently still current - or at least still on Cover Girl's website - but I'm pretty sure the bigger sizes have been discontinued). The Glosstinis are extremely small bottles - I'm not going to do the math again but they retail for $3.79 or so, says drugstore.com, and they are only 0.11 oz - about half the size of an average mini, actually, and I did the math one time and if you figure it per ounce it comes out in Lippmann territory, more or less. You can eyeball it by multiplying by 10 - we're talking $40 an ounce or something approaching that. Oops, I didn't mean to go on another rant about this but let's just say that the regular Outlast sizes are a much better bargain if you can find them. (I think it's misleading, is my main gripe - the bottles don't look as small as they actually are. But if they're still selling them then presumably nobody is complaining too vociferously.) (I will have to go back and take a picture of the two bottles next to each other, if I can remember to do it.)

Added: Since I bothered to go off about this (it's a pet peeve, can you tell?) I did go find two bottles and take a picture:
I just grabbed what was handy. Both of these are the Catching Fire tie-in colors, and I liked both of these enough that I bought them in both sizes. The Outlast bottle, the large size, is only 11 ml (for reference, the "standard" bottle size is 15 ml or half an ounce, 0.5 oz) - and I actually have no problem with that, I rarely use up a full-size bottle of anything anyway so I don't mind a somewhat smaller bottle. But the Glosstinis are less than a third of that, I think it says 3.5 ml although you can't really read it here. In ounces it's 0.37 for the regular size and 0.11 for the Glosstini.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kimber, Strawberry Electric

This is Zoya Kimber and Revlon Strawberry Electric:
Kimber is a bright fuchsia pink with gold shimmer. It's super-bright, which is why I rarely ever wear it by itself. I hit on a combo that I liked early on - Kimber and Reva - and I've mostly stuck with that. It's one of those pairs where I like them more together than I do either polish alone. (Kimber is just too bright; Reva is a little too... strawberry. It also has gold in it, says Zoya. Together they balance out, to me.)

Strawberry Electric's problem for me is actually the same as Reva's: it's too strawberry - a little too coral, I think. It's very pretty, though. You can't really tell much difference in this picture but Strawberry Electric is somewhat sheer - although I wouldn't really call it a sheer, per se - and it has a lot of very pretty shimmer to it. Or maybe it'd be more correct to call it pearlescence.

Kimber is a current Zoya color, I checked. (That's not an affiliate link, just so you know.) I'm going to try to double-check before I hit post but I'm pretty sure that the other one is not current just because Revlon doesn't use names that sound like that any more. They could surprise me, though. (Nope - there are a few exceptions, like Cherries In The Snow, which is a name that I believe goes back to the 1930s, but no Strawberry Electric. The current main line has 72 colors, says the website, most of them with one-word names like "Seduction" and "Socialite.")

Friday, May 20, 2016

Into the circular file: Convergence

This mini of Chirality Convergence is something I've enjoyed but it's gone away now:
I didn't want to call this "destash" because it's not like I have something like it and I'm getting rid of it because I don't want/need it any more. I don't believe I have anything remotely like it. I'm getting rid of it because it's clearly just not usable at this point. Apparently I didn't close it properly at some time in the past, so I'm in no way blaming the nice lady of Chirality for this. You can't see what it really looked like on the nail but you can see the color, here, anyway. I imagine I have another swatch of it someplace, if I can dig it out. When it's not such a mess it's a lovely plum holo, I really liked it. And for the record, I believe you can still get this one on their website.

Added: There's some nice swatches if you scroll down here.

Raspberry Rush, Magenta

So here we have Color Club Raspberry Rush, and AbsoluteNY Magenta:
These colors are so bright it's a bit hard to be sure what you're looking at. But I think Raspberry Rush is noticeably brighter than Magenta. They're both cremes, but Raspberry Rush is scented - in fact it's from the same collection (I think it was called "Wicked Sweet") as the grape one which I talked about in the destash post a few days ago, the one that had faded so badly. Either this one was immune to that or I did a better job of keeping it in the shade, because it clearly has not faded a bit.

Magenta, here, appears a bit streaky, but I bought this as a set of polishes and they all have pretty nice formulas, if maybe a bit on the watery side. Absolute New York is a brand that I have otherwise never heard of - the only thing I know about it is that it's the same company that makes Nicka K New York which I had heard of, although it's pretty obscure as well. (HEB carried Nicka K for a while, although I haven't seen it lately.)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Status Symbol, Strawberry Fields

This is Essie Status Symbol and China Glaze Strawberry Fields:
I think both of these are slightly coral-leaning. Status Symbol is a bit lighter, but maybe not as much so as it looks in the bottle. I just got Strawberry Fields relatively recently, but I've had Status Symbol for several years. I'm pretty sure it was the first Essie I ever wore. I was relatively late to both of these brands - I came to OPI earlier because they sold it in the grocery store. Essie is sold everywhere now - China Glaze still not so much - but I bought this and maybe a couple more Essies from Ulta. I think maybe this was in 2011. I bought my first Butter London (which was Henley Regatta) at the same time, as I recall. Status Symbol I remember being sort of a trendy color at the time. This bunch of polishes were maybe some of the first colors I bought that could really be described as trendy.

Fuchsia Glamour, Reagan

This is NYC Fuchsia Glamour (even though that's not what the bottle says) and Zoya Reagan:
I'll go hunt the links down later, but at some point I found somebody else's picture of a bottle of a very-pale-pink NYC polish labeled Fuchsia Glamour - so just the opposite of mine; this was clearly a case where the labels were swapped. Note that the positioning of the wheel is faulty, here, as well - FG is the bottom swatch in this picture, which probably means I knocked them askew when I was taking the picture, I'm guessing. But it was close enough that I didn't feel like I needed to re-take it. FG and Reagan look closer on the wheel in this picture than they do in the bottle, although I think that's misleading - I went back and pulled out the actual wheel and Reagan is considerably darker. (I might have another go at taking pictures of this after all, later on, just to see if I get different results with different lighting and the new camera.) I also confirmed that Fuchsia Glamour is indeed a bit streaky, although it may not be all that noticeable.

NOTD: F*ck and Run over Maya

I'm not censoring the name of the polish in the title. It's on the bottle just like that: F*ck and Run. It's from Nostalgic Polish; I believe the name is from a Liz Phair song. The polish is a shimmery & sheer coral-leaning red. I layered it over Zoya Maya as an experiment, and it was a successful experiment. I quite like the results.
There is some visible nail line, but eh. The sequence here is actually base coat (Chick base coat, because it was what I happened to pick up), then a coat of F&R, because I was thinking I would try it by itself. But it's awfully sheer and I think it would have taken many coats to get even tolerably opaque - so then I thought of Maya, which is a paler creamy polish in this same coral range. So I did a coat of Maya and then two more of F&R. And then Seche. And then actually this morning I added another coat of F&R. So there's, what, four coats of F&R altogether, plus one of Maya, plus base and top-coat. That's a lot of coats. But it came out with this sort of pearlized coral finish that I do really like.

(oh - first picture with the new phone! I'm not sure it's magically better in this particular shot, but I definitely do think it's a great improvement, both over my poor iPhone 4 and also over my late and lamented 10-year-old Canon.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dita, unlabeled mini

Here we have Zoya Dita and an unlabeled (probably LA Colors) mini:
The mini is much sheerer; Dita is bright, but somehow also subtle (I looked this up and I notice Scrangie also had trouble describing this one back in 2009 when it came out, which makes me feel better). It has a bit of a retro feel to it, which is maybe why they named it after a burlesque artist. (Zoya rarely seems to say who their colors are named after, specifically, but Dita Von Teese is the only Dita that comes to mind for me.) Anyway, you can see on the wheel that Dita is somewhat darker than it looks in the bottle.

(I may end up retaking this set of pictures - this one seems okay but I was noticing that the ones for the rest of the wheel were reflecting oddly. If this one comes out better in the new round I'll add the new one here.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ultimate Pink, Hi Sweetie

This is Essence Colour & Go in Ultimate Pink, and Clinique Hi Sweetie (a mini):
I can't really think of much to say about these, apart from the fact that they are pretty darn near identical - maybe Ultimate Pink is just a hair lighter. And the fact that I dripped Ultimate Pink onto the wheel reminds me that I believe it was thinner. I don't seem to have gotten any info about number of coats onto this wheel but I think that Hi Sweetie was a one-coater or pretty near to it. And Ultimate Pink was not. (Of course Ultimate Pink was $1.99, as I recall, and Clinique polishes are $12 or so, so there's that as a distinguishing factor as well - except that I just looked and neither of these polish lines seem to exist any more, per their respective brands' websites - Essence is pushing gels and Clinique doesn't seem to have any nail polish at all, now. Interesting.)

Monday, May 16, 2016


As I mentioned a few days ago, I made a separate nail wheel for things I seriously intend to get rid of. That's not to say that these are the only things I'm getting rid of. These were actually the candidates to go away to Zoya in the Earth Day exchange. I bought six polishes from Zoya so that's what I was intending to send back; there are seven here because I changed my mind about one of them. I'll get to that. These are mostly drugstore brands because I figured those were the most likely to be full of toxic gunk. (I have not actually gotten these in the mail yet, I admit - but they are all boxed up and ready!)

(Added: I'm gradually adding more notes about all these polishes at the bottom of this entry, under a jump break.)

These two are Icing After Party (mixed shard glitter) and Wet n Wild Party of Five Glitters, which seems to be intended to be a Happy Birthday type mixed glitter (but is only a half-hearted attempt, I think). Somehow I just never cared for either of these.
(Detailed comparison of Party of Five Glitters with HB & other polishes here.)

Then we have two pretty similar oranges, Xtreme Wear Crushed and NYC Times Square Tangerine Cream. I think I bought these in two different years to wear at Halloween. The NYC is more of a straight creme; the Xtreme Wear has that sort of slightly-metallic finish that a lot of the older Xtreme Wear colors have. (I don't know a better way to describe it.)
These two became destash candidates because I have other oranges and I don't really wear orange much except in the fall, so I can't see keeping them all.

Here's the one that faded, which I mentioned at the entry I linked above: Color Club Gimme A Grape Big Kiss. It was a scented polish and I was honestly only able to ID it by the fake-grape scent, because as you can see it's not really identifiable as anything like a grape color.
To be fair, it was never really purple, it was sort of a red-violet, and in the bottle it does really look sort of pink - but the swatch looks orange. (Hmm, it looks awfully purple in Scrangie's swatches, actually. But I remember it as being more like one of those red-violets that reads fuchsia.) (Here's what it looked like when I got it three years ago. - Three years ago to the day since that was posted, in fact!)

The other polish in the picture above is the one I changed my mind about, because I kind of like it, and that's Dusty Spring Fields, a sort of purple-tan color. I seem to have feelings for it, in a weird way, and I decided to switch it out with my only other polish from this brand, Ramblin' Red:
I have a bunch of colors like this, so this one felt more like something I could bear to part with. Also I think of the two, it had more severe wear issues. (I talked about that previously over here.)

Can you see why I don't destash much? I really am emotionally attached to some of my polishes. I do have more in a destash box, though, and I have actually thrown a few things away, and given a few things away. I'll get to those later.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Purple Poodle, Houston We Have A Purple

This is Orly Purple Poodle and OPI Houston We Have A Purple, which I talked about in more detail back in January:
My ongoing stash project has gotten to this same purple-to-pink part of the color wheel, so I thought it was a good time to repeat these. Both of these are jellies which both have purple in their name, but which read as almost identical fuchsia colors on the wheel. I think they have more or less the same base color, but Purple Poodle has a fairly heavy violet shimmer in it, so that's the difference. You just can't really see it on the wheel, here.

(Purple Poodle is still showing up on Orly's website, which is what the link on the name leads to, but I don't think it's a polish that's easily findable any more. The OPI polish does not show up on their website, but that doesn't really mean it's not findable any more, in this case: the link is to Amazon. I bought mine from some random beauty e-tailer, I think.)

Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

I've already talked about the Hard Candy polish a few entries back (here) so all I'm talking about here is Starry-Eyed For Dear Daniel, from the OPI Hello Kitty collection that was released earlier this year:
I did show the bottles and discuss it back when I bought the set, and here it is on my nails, too, but I didn't have the swatch and the bottle in one place, previously. It seems to me that it looks considerably lighter in color on the swatch (or the nail) than it does in the bottle. And honestly, it seems to me that of the Hello Kitty set, it's the one that looks the most like my conception of what a Hello Kitty polish ought to look like. Pink and sparkly, right?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

NOTD: Enchanted Forest over Agro

I was poking around the box of green polishes, which is pretty large and hasn't been newly swatched yet, and I came up with China Glaze Agro, which I hadn't worn in a while. As PolishAholic notes, Agro has kind of a funky finish - I like the color but I wasn't in love with the finish, myself. And so I grabbed something to put on top of it, and the something was Nyx Enchanted Forest, which is a fairly sheer green glitter that's somewhat on the blue side, as I recall. And it took Agro's more olive-green color and pulled it right over into emerald. It came out really beautiful; I got compliments.
Not a great picture, but I think you can get the basic idea. With two coats of Agro and two coats of Enchanted Forest, it came out noticeably glittery, but not in a terribly flashy way.

I think that Agro is still findable if you were determined to have it - it's from the first Hunger Games collection, about, what, four years ago now. Nyx nail polish has never been easy to find, since I've been collecting; this is the only one I have. I don't have the bottle in front of me but I think it's from the Salon line. I poked around and Nyx's website doesn't even show that line any more. So finding that one might be very dicey.

New iPhone is finally due to arrive, woo! (However, you'll probably continue to see pictures from the old one for a good while.)

English Rose

Well, I said I was done with pinks, and then I inevitably found a couple more. This is Rimmel English Rose, from the Lasting Finish Pro line:
I always have trouble describing colors like this - it's definitely a rose color, but it's maybe a bit on the dusty side and maybe also leans just a little bit coral? I am (clearly) unsure about that. Maybe we'll just settle on "rose" - which is what I usually call everything medium-pink. I did like it on me and I remember that it did actually wear quite well.

I will also note that the reason this polish is by itself rather than in a pair like most of these pictures is because the polish that it would have been with, the orange-looking one, is a polish with MAJOR fading issues and it's on a destash wheel that I will be getting to soon. (Slight spoiler: I will go so far as to tell you that the orange-looking polish actually has "grape" in its name. That's how far it has strayed from its original color.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Perrie, Deception

This is Zoya Perrie and Wild Shine Deception - which I believe was a summer LE color maybe three years ago:
Perrie never looks as good on me as I want it to, and I don't really know why. Zoya calls it a cool-toned lavender, which sounds fine - but their picture shows it as considerably lighter than it appears here, and it's also a 3 of 5 on the sheerness scale, so maybe somewhere in there lies the basic problem. (I'm going to have to re-try this and see if I can come to any conclusions about that.) Deception is a jelly, and I always love jellies, so that part's pretty predictable. It looks lighter and considerably pinker than Perrie on the nail wheel, even at three coats.

More about Perrie: ALU swatch from 2010 here (it was in the Flash collection, same as Robyn which I just bought recently). I also noted here that Perrie and Kieko are "sister" polishes of sorts - Perrie is paler and Kieko is darker but the tones in them are very much the same.

(I've been trying to do my stash project in some semblance of an order, but I started out with what I had ready to go at the time, which was reds and fuchsias, and then went to paler pinks. In the meantime, I've now swatched & photographed everything I have that's purple, so I think I'm going to start heading in that direction on the color wheel. This is the start of the red-violets. I have a lot of purples; this is going to take a while. Then I'll work through the purples and toward the blues, more or less, and keep working around. I have the blacks and grays swatched, too, so if I start going into color overload you may see those for a while as a palate-cleanser.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Aphrodite's Pink Nightie, Japanese Rose Garden

These two OPI pink polishes are 10 years old or more and didn't come from the same collection, but I started wearing them together years ago and have ever since.
The two-toned swatch is both polishes at the tip (Aphrodite on top, naturally) and Japanese Rose Garden alone at the base. Shelby is the polish swatch above it, so you can see that it's darker and maybe a little dustier than Shelby and Look At My Bow. Maybe a little more pearly, too, it's not a straight creme, I would say. Aphrodite's Pink Nightie is pale and sheer as well as shimmery - it is a color you can easily imagine as a sheer frothy nightgown. But, as we've established, I'm picky. Japanese Rose Garden alone trips my "too-pink" meter and Aphrodite, of course, is too pale. But together, they split the difference, somehow, and become something I like. (I can't say I wear this combination a lot, these days, but I do trot it out occasionally.)

(Note that I had the name wrong on one of these polishes in the title, initially - for some reason my brain wants to call the darker one "Japanese Tea Garden" rather than Rose Garden. But I have corrected that.)

I'm experimenting with indoor lighting for these pictures, so you may notice some changing backgrounds, etc.

It turns out that Aphrodite is a current color. I was just sure both of these were discontinued, but apparently not! Aphrodite apparently was originally from the "Greek Isles" collection in 2004. Japanese Rose Garden was of course from a Japan collection but I don't know the year offhand. I can't feel too sad about it being discontinued, since I'm sure there's something plenty similar among OPI's masses of pinks.

Also: verification on the name, although I don't think it's really needed:
(but, y'know, I have the picture, so what the heck.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally, Naughty & Nice

This is two indie polishes, Glisten & Glow Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally and Polished by KPT Naughty & Nice:
Gettin' Dirty With Disco Sally is from a Studio 54 collection - it's various pink/red glitters and a scattering of gold and black, in a clear base. It's very sparkly and fun. I just don't have long enough nails to get the proper effect with thermals - which is what Naughty & Nice is - but luckily I do like the color. It comes off as a pearly rose color, I'd call it. It was in a holiday collection a couple of years ago. I doubt that either of these are easily findable, although you never know.