Monday, July 31, 2017

Revlon stash & favorites

According to my spreadsheet, I have 19 total Revlon polishes. I tracked all but a couple of them down. (I don't know why I obsess about whether I have every polish from a brand at the time I talk about them. I like to have them all, but with this many polishes and with my habit of reorganizing them in odd ways - by season, by finish - it's just not going to happen consistently. On the whole I've done a pretty good job of tracking them down.)

I am not sure about the chronological order in which the different bottle styles occur, but the basic Revlon bottle definitely has differences over the years. I grouped the ones with the stripes on the cap together - these seem maybe a little older than some others, although I don't really think I've had them all that many years.
I took label pictures too - I'm starting to really like having those. So this is Blackout, which is Top Speed, I believe (although the lettering has completely worn off the front of the bottle and it doesn't actually say that any more) and then Plum Attraction ("new!") and Strawberry Electric. You can see where the fill line is on these - all of them have been worn quite a bit.
I used to be really partial to Top Speed in, I think, the early 00s. I also remember having a color called Port or Port Wine, which might or might not have been Top Speed. I really loved quick-dry polishes back in the day - most of my collection back then was Top Speed and Jet-Set (the L'Oreal equivalent). But since I didn't have many polishes I went through them fast. The Port color was the first polish I ever remember going through more than one bottle of.

I'm not sure about Blackout but I'm pretty sure the other two here are discontinued. The "main line" Revlon polishes all seem to have one-word names these days, with the exception of the really old names like Cherries In The Snow. (And I guess the whole Top Speed line is discontinued as well, now. I don't see it on the website.)

Here are the rest of the main-line Revlons - they're out of order from the picture below but these aren't easy to mistake for one another anyway. L-R, this is Not So Blueberry (a scented polish), Vixen (a Chanel Vamp dupe), Scandalous (which is a purple glitter, although on my monitor it's hard to tell), Hypnotic, and Revlon Red.

Then these are the other bottle style, which was used for Brilliant Strength and the previous version of Colorstay, and these days is also used for Gel Envy.
I only have one Brilliant Strength, and that's Intrigue, on the left. (And I've never gotten around to buying any Gel Envy.) And then the rest of these are the middle version of Colorstay: Rain Forest, Fall Mood, Amethyst, Bold Sangria, Rich Raspberry, and the base-coat. I was really fond of this version of Colorstay, and I actually have backup bottles of a couple of colors that I bought when they were closing them out (that's Rainforest and Amethyst). I think I had two of the base-coat also, it's a good one.

And then we have the odd men out, here:
This is Always Sheer Bliss, from the oldest version of Colorstay (or rather, ColorStay, on this bottle), and then two Revlon Parfumerie polishes, Pink Pineapple and China Flower.

The older version of Colorstay are the ones that each came with their own bottle of top-coat. I actually still have one of those, too, but I don't usually round up the base-coats and top-coats - I don't know why I happened to include the base-coat above, actually. The one top-coat I have says Sealing Shine. There were a couple of versions of this Colorstay, too, which had slightly different bottles. But they always had a really limited choice of colors, which is why I don't have more of them. The only other one is one of the polishes I said was missing, Continuous Cranberry, which as you might guess is a dark red. (I might as well go ahead and tell you about the other one while I'm at it - it's a "Chroma Chameleon" in Topaz. It's a duochrome sort of thing which I've always found kind of disappointing.)

And then one more, although it's in really disastrous shape and I threw it away after I took this picture:
I hated these nail art wands, mostly because they're incredibly hard to balance. This one is Nail Art Neon in Ultra Violet. As usual with neons, it's a mess to put on, and I made a giant mess trying to put it on, too - I think I remember trying to get white polish out of the carpet, later. I never wore it again and I don't know why I've kept it, exactly. I think I did actually like the results in the end, but it was such a pain getting there it just wasn't worth it. I originally had two of these; the other one was not a neon but a glitter. It was called Orbit, but that one is long-gone.

Favorites: Hypnotic, Rain Forest, Fall Mood
Runners-up: Intrigue, Amethyst

Wow, I had a lot to say about Revlon, and I didn't even get around to saying that the first polish I ever bought myself was a Revlon (something fuchsia, I don't remember the name of it any more) and also there's the nice article that I read about Revlon the other day, which is really interesting if the history of cosmetics interests you at all.

Also, I may do some reswatching of certain colors, so you'll probably see those again later.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Crayola colors from Sally Hansen

Apparently this collection is called Sally Hansen + Crayola, officially - I had no idea this existed until I walked in Walgreen's last night and saw it:
I restrained myself and only bought one (I'm not sure I would have managed that if my husband hadn't been with me). Sally Hansen's website says there are 12 colors, but there were only 8 in this display that had the Crayola branding on them, so I mostly ignored the rest. (The one underneath the green is a gold metallic, that's the only one I even bothered to look at.)

So these are Wild Strawberry, Sunset Orange, Carnation Pink, and Dandelion.

I did know that they'd been renaming crayon colors in recent years - these are definitely not the names I remember from my long-ago childhood.
Granny Smith Apple? (most Granny Smith apples I see are yellower than this, but anyway...)

Cerulean (which was the one I bought), Vivid Violet, and White. The four others on the website that I did not see are Scarlet (presumably a brighter red), Razzmatazz (a hot pink), Denim (darker blue), and Purple Heart (which looks more blue-violet).

Note the sticker that says "for adult use only" - I believe that actual Crayola crayons (and probably most other brands, too) are made with food-safe ingredients in case small children eat them, as they probably regularly do. Even if Insta-Dri polishes were 3-free (which to my knowledge they're not), you wouldn't want a small child to ingest them, that's for sure. I guess that's the reasoning, anyway. Plus you don't normally put regular nail polish on small children, either, right? You can tell I'm not a mom, I really have no idea about these things, but I'm under the impression that that's basically why nail polish meant for children is never anything adults would actually want to wear, because it's always been made to a higher safety standard, even before there ever was such a thing as 3-free and 5-free in regular nail polish. It basically involves a trade-off between safety and wear-time, I think. And I just opened the bottle of this polish I just bought, and it's still got a pretty strong chemical smell, so... that makes this sort of an odd partnership, really, to my mind. Except that I saw the Crayola bottles and I went over there like a shot - which tells you that this probably really is aiming for us nostalgic adults, right?

I have swatched Cerulean already but I don't have pictures yet. It's a lovely medium blue and it's a one-coater. I wonder if they all are. I've been pretty vocal lately about Insta-Dri being an underrated brand, even if they're not 3-free.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

NOTD: Hyped

I'm wearing Formula X Hyped, and I'm going to have to take back at least part of the bad words I've said about it:
I didn't clean this up as well as I could have, but by the time I got this one on my nails and properly set last night, I didn't have much energy left for that. It's balky and it takes three coats to get anything like a uniform opacity - and actually, if you look close, it's not that uniform. And I tried to take something like half an hour between coats, to avoid having more of the setting issues I had the other day.* But it is staying put, and it's got a little bit of tipwear after 24 hours, but that's all. That's much better than the first time I wore it. I don't really think this is a true neon, but my theory is that there's some neon pigments mixed in there, at least, and that contributes to the problems I keep having.

For the record, here's what's on my nails
  1. Nails Inc Superfood Base Coat
  2. Hyped
  3. Hyped
  4. Hyped
  5. Pretty Serious Matte All The Things
I really like the finish of Matte All The Things - this was the first time I'd tried it.

* I was thinking I had said this somewhere already, but maybe not: I tried to put Hyped on the other day and it was raining, so very high humidity, and I don't know whether that had anything to do with it, but it just did not set at all. And I finally just took it off and went to work with no nail polish on, which I hate doing. So that's why this time I was giving it an extra-long time to make sure it was dry between coats.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Purple Palette

This is Finger Paints Purple Palette:
Lovely purple glitter that does eventually get opaque on its own. I think this is only two coats in the swatch but I didn't mark anything so I can't swear to that.

This is the other of the two that were MIA, and I'm glad I've unearthed both of these - ok, not surprising because I love purple but still. The fact is, it's the stuff that I actually wear that tends to get mislaid somewhere, because I stick them in my backpack or in luggage or something and they take a while, possibly a long while, to get back to their proper places. (Which reminds me, I found Legend still in my bag today. I need to make sure it gets back to its proper place, too.)

(The story about exactly where I found these is here, if you want to know - at the bottom of that entry.)

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Here is Nfu Oh 51 (or you may see it referred to as VS-51, for Victorian Series):
I've used up about half of the bottle of this, and I did it trying to make it opaque, back when I first had it - or, well, something like opaque, anyway. You can see in swatch #15 here that it's quite sheer, really - this is two coats. If you're willing to do a bunch of coats you can get to the point where between the purple base and the flakies your nail line is disguised, at least, pretty much. I do like the way it looks alone, but more recently I have mostly just used this as a top-coat.

Nfu Oh is a Korean brand, and there's always (for some years, anyway) just been one US distributor, FabulouStreet, and it does look like they still carry it. This was one of the first flakies to be widely available, as I understand it, so this is sort of a legendary polish. It's worth getting your hands on if you like this kind of thing like I do.

I showed this yesterday as a top-coat - here. Here's an older mani as well.

More links: Scrangie, Swatch & Learn

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NOTD: Ignite plus #51

I mentioned when I showed pictures of Ignite that I would probably put something over it since it was chipping. I didn't know what at the time, but I've actually located two of my MIA polishes in the last week, the ones I never swatched because I haven't seen them since I started swatching polishes about fifteen months ago, and one of them is the legendary Nfu Oh 51. So that's the one I used.
#51 (or Oh-51, as I tend to call it in my head) is actually a purple-leaning flakie, but it takes several coats to build up the base enough to be able to really see the purple. So it works fine as a layering polish, and I really like this combination.

(Where were they all this time? In different rooms, but in both cases, they were at the bottom of bins full of miscellaneous junk - this one was buried under a bottle of aspirin and the other one was in the bedroom with some travel soaps and stuff like that. On that second one I'm guessing that I threw all that stuff there when we got home from Ohio the last time I went, which was quite a while ago. I am clearly not the most organized person in the world.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I deliberately didn't reswatch Formula X Hyped when I did the rest of the Formula X swatches, but I couldn't stand it so I went back and did the swatch after all.
This is an almost-neon with a satiny finish, but what I'd forgotten was how much microglitter is in there - in the bottle. In real-life it shows up really well; in the picture I think you can just barely see it. However, it's one of those that disappears almost completely on the nail. It's still very very pretty, though, and it would have been a shoe-in favorite of mine if it wasn't for the wear problems.

I've got this and another polish sitting on top of my acrylic nail boxes (which I got from Amazon Prime Day and haven't talked about yet) and both are polishes like that - great color, poor wear. (The other one is the purple you can see at the very bottom of the wheel - it's a Picture Polish that I'll get around to talking about soon.) My intention is to try both of those again and apply them extra-carefully and see if I can get better results. We'll see.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Formula X NOTD & favorites

First of all, Legend, which looks really awesome on one hand and not quite so much on the other:
Something about this angle gets some of the shiftiness, at least, to show up.

Then I took the other hand, in more or less the same lighting (it looks a bit more sunny but it's still not in direct sunlight) - obviously a different angle, and yes, definitely a bad mani done in the car (but so was the other hand!):
Yike. (I would advise that you not blow this up any further, it's really appalling.) I was really tempted not to post this at all, but it seemed like cheating to post the really good one and hide the really bad one. (Well, yeah, ok, that's what people do all the time, but I try to have a more warts-and-all approach in general.) Anyway, this is a pretty polish, and if it had really looked like that top picture all the time this would have been a definite favorites candidate. And as I believe I said before, I do like it - but not quite that much.

Well, since that was such a mess, the next day we're on to Ignite. This time I did not do the mani in the car and I actually did a much better job, generally, but it still seems to look a bit ragged in the pictures:
It's a really beautiful dark red - you can see that it did pull a bit but as reds go it had pretty good application. Here's the other hand:
It almost has a jelly-like quality to it, though I don't think it is a jelly. (What I had written down before about the formula was that it was pearlescent.) I didn't notice when I took these pictures that I already had a big honking chip on my little finger just above. Still, as reds go, it wore pretty well - I had had it on for nearly 24 hours by the time I took the pictures, and most bright reds I've tried would be toast by that time. (And bear in mind that my nails are just cranky and I never get really good wear on anything much.) Given that this is a really gorgeous red and had at least halfway decent wear and didn't leave little pink marks on every piece of paper I've touched today, I decided that this does merit inclusion in my favorites. I have now patched up the chips - more than one, by this time - and I'm trying to decide whether to just top-coat it and see how it does for a second day, or to put something else on top of it. Knowing me I suspect "something else on top of it" will win, but I will say this - this is one of those polishes that looks better and better the more coats you put on. That's two above and I'm now at three and... surely it wouldn't look better at four, right?

I said there were two favorites and I never said what the other one was, either, but if you've been paying attention you might have guessed that it's Marine.
(Marine has a bit of wear in this picture, too, doesn't it, but I think I had had it on for longer when this was taken.)

And the runner-up is Explosive, just because it's not quite like anything else I've ever seen.

Of course this whole line is discontinued anyway and I'm not sure if they are findable at all or not. I haven't tried to look so far, since I was concentrating on what I already had. A nice even dozen seems like a good place to stop.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Moving Mauve

This is Terrybly Moving Mauve:
I showed this in the bottle before - it's a sort of a raspberry creme. (Terrybly is a French brand and as I understand it, in France "mauve" means a straight-up red-leaning purple, not that sort of faded purple/pink take on it that's what I think of as mauve.)

I know this doesn't look bad on the swatch but when I actually put it on my nails, it was streaky and very balky and ended up a big mess. Considering this polish retails for $30 I really expected more. Heck, even for $7 plus shipping - which is what I actually paid - I expect more. It's all the more frustrating because I love the color.

(I took some pictures but they're so awful I can't bear to post them, and if you've seen some of the pictures I've posted in the past, you know that means they're really terrible. I need to try this polish again later on, and be very careful and maybe do it on a day with lower humidity* - because part of the problem was that it didn't want to set - and see if I can get some more-acceptable results.)

So you know what I ended up doing? I wish I had a picture of that part - I put Zoya Leia on top of the whole mauve mess. And somehow that disguised all the problems and I totally loved it. Every time I buy expensive cremes I end up doing this - solving problems through layering, I mean, not using Leia in particular. (Read back in my archives about Rescue Beauty.) It's such a waste and yet it looks so beautiful I can't really be very sorry.

*although when that might be, in Texas, I don't know - maybe along about November.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Empties - I have more than this but I'll start here:
L-R (these are sample/travel sizes except as noted):

  • LeeAnni Eco 3 in 1 Revolution (full-size)
  • Pantene hairspray
  • Theorie argan oil hair serum
  • Christophe Robin hair mask with pricky pear oil
  • Korres brightening 24-hour moisturizer
I'm not even sure where I got all of these. The last two came from Sephora but the others probably came from Ipsy, or maybe Walmart, because I was getting those boxes for a while. Actually I'm pretty sure I got a sample of the LeeAnni stuff from Ipsy and then ordered the full-size one directly from LeeAnni. This is a good moisturizer although maybe not as revolutionary as they want it to sound. I like it a lot and it's pretty reasonably priced.

The Pantene hairspray is of course nothing unusual, but it is for me because I don't usually use a lot of hairspray. I usually spray my bangs - just, like, one quick spritz - to keep them from flying around, but I don't spray the rest of my head. So that means even a trial size hairspray lasts me a long time. I did like this one, though, although I ultimately bought a bigger can of L'Oreal hairspray to replace it with.

I've talked before about how my hair has changed texture, and I'm still working through what products suit my hair. My hair is curly now, but not super-curly, and hair oil is maybe a little much, still. A few years ago it was still quite oily and I would never have dreamed of putting more oil on. It's much drier now but if I use hair oil it has to be quite lightly. So I didn't ever completely use up the Theorie stuff. I did really love the Christophe Robin mask, though, and if it wasn't so very expensive I would be buying more of that.

And then the Korres was another moisturizer I really liked, although this is the day cream and I know I liked the night cream even more than this. (The packaging has changed but I think it's basically this stuff.) (Here's the night cream.)

Friday, July 21, 2017


Last two Formula X polishes, but apparently I only have a new picture of one of them.

This was part of a line called Shifters, which did not seem to mean that they are true duochromes, but rather that they have multiple colors of microglitter to make them shift color. You can see some heavy shimmer or microglitter in the bottle here. I also found this entry with a lot of pictures of it. Looking at it in the bottle (in person - I have it in front of me now), I see a lot of what looks like cool-toned microglitter, and the base looks like it might be a dark plum. (This is why I'm having so much trouble picking favorites, I think. These are very complex polishes!)

I said that another of these polishes was too dark to wear in the summer - but I actually have Legend on right now, even though it's just as dark. I like it but I don't think it's going to make the favorites cut.

I was thinking I had taken a new picture of Hyped but apparently I didn't reswatch it. Maybe that was because I mostly did the reswatches in order to pick a favorite, and I didn't really feel like Hyped was eligible. It's a really pretty almost-neon pink (or maybe raspberry) with a satin/matte finish, but it has pretty serious wear problems, as I noted in this entry. That's enough to throw it out of competition, in my mind. (I went back after I wrote this and swatched Hyped - I'll have that to show another day.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cosmic, Aura

I went back and figured out that I've talked about all my Formula X polishes except for four (out of the 12). That's all but Cosmic, Legend, Aura, & Hyped. So I feel like I can't just drop this now, I have to finish the set. (And also I haven't said what my favorites are. I've decided I can pick two, and I know already what one of them is but I'm not sure about the second one. We'll see after I've taken a better look at the rest.)

When I did my big color-wheel pass last year (linked above), I paired this with No More Waity Katie because, I said, they were both "betwixt and between" - and I do see what I meant by that, but it looks odd when I go back and look now because they are nothing alike other than being vaguely purple. What I meant, really, was that they were sort of the odd men out. NMWK is between purple and gray and Cosmic is between purple and blue. It seems sort of shifty but what I decided was going on - I think - is that it has a purple base and both blue and red-violet shimmer in it. It's actually pretty cool. I notice that in the past I've said that the shimmer doesn't really show up. - but that was not my experience this time. It doesn't show up in all lights but I could see both blue and fuchsia at various times. (NOTD pics to follow.)

Aura is red microglitter in a black jelly-ish base. It looks great in the bottle but when I've tried it on my nails I didn't love it so much. I think this is one of those where I need to either give it another try or give it away. That decision may be waiting til fall, though, because this is just not something I feel like wearing in the height of summer. Apparently this was from a collection called Black Quartz. (Here is Imperfectly Painted's entry on it.)

(That leaves two more Formula X's for Friday, which works out perfectly.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


This is Formula X Explosive:
It's a very in-your-face glitter, with a big sprinkling of holo and what appears to be a lot of silver stuff besides. And yet its dark-gray base keeps it quite chic. (That's not a word I use a lot, but here it seems appropriate.) I saw somebody call it the perfect polish for New Year's Eve, once, and I definitely agree with that.

NOTD pic
old swatch picture of Explosive
Formula X stash

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Formula X swatches

I showed my Formula X stash but I didn't come up with favorites. I decided I needed to re-swatch or at least poke around and look at the swatches I already had. I showed one set and here are a couple more.

Ignite already has a post of its own. It's a lovely dark red, although here is the picture Sephora had posted of it, which looks rather different. And then this is the new swatch I did - it's #10 here:

A nice metallic pewter-looking gray.

I have two from a collection that I think was called Transformers Top Coats, which are really just matte glitters in a clear base, as far as I can tell. I have the periwinkle and the darker blue one, but I know there were more colors than that.

The periwinkle one is Boom (over a dark base here):
And you can see TNT in the above picture as well, it's the cobalt blue one above Boom. I really like Boom over the dark-blue base but I haven't found anything that does as well for TNT. Maybe I'll have to try it with some of these new blues I've gotten lately

Monday, July 17, 2017

Formula X blue-greens

Since I have several Formula X in more or less this same blue-green color range, I swatched them all together so I can compare.
On the wheel (starting from the bottom) it's:
  1. Marine, one coat
  2. Prism, two coats
  3. Honestly, this was an accident but I quite like it - I'm pretty sure it's Marine over State Of The Art
  4. Marine, two coats
  5. State of the Art, I think only one coat (it really needs two, you can see streaks)
In the bottle, left to right this is State Of The Art, Prism, and Marine (with the black cap). I had forgotten how dark State Of The Art is - in the bottle it looks slightly bleached-out, but that doesn't seem to transfer to the nail. Prism is lighter and brighter, and Marine is in between those two as far as color, but it's also basically a texture. Marine is probably my favorite of these three, and the one I've worn the most. (But bear in mind that I also liked State Of The Art enough to put it in my favorites last year - all the more surprising because it's a creme, and I'm not a creme fan in general.)

old posts of mine about these:
Prism & Marine
State Of The Art (and my swatch wheel of 2016 favorites)
all my Formula X stash

posts from other people:
Marine (which is apparently from a 2015 "Sea Glass" collection)
State Of The Art (that's a Pinterest link because that's all I found apart from my own prior picture)

Sunday, July 16, 2017


This is SquareHue Norteña, from July's box:
It's a pretty dark plum creme. I don't think I have anything exactly like this, so there's another hole filled in my collection! (I'm not a creme person, as I have said many times, but this looks like a good base for layering.)

Here's the original post about this SquareHue collection.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


This is SquareHue Limeña, from July's box:
It's a red with (I think) coppery shimmer. It looks vaguely orange some of the time, I guess because of the copper. It's very pretty but I'm not sure how flattering it's going to be on me.

(Here's my original "unboxing" post.)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bath & Body Works

I have never really shopped at Bath & Body Works - I think it got popular about the same time I stopped shopping at malls a lot, or else I just ignored it. I did go in with Rob one time not too long ago and we sniffed at a lot of different scents, but I don't really remember what was what, and anyway, that was during the holiday season and the holiday scents aren't out just yet. (I bet they'll be getting fall scents any time now, though!)

Anyway, I decided I needed to find a reasonably-priced shower gel, because while I just use bar soap a lot of the time, sometimes I do like to have the option of using liquid soap as well. I got on their website and there was a sale with three travel size soaps for $12 or so, so I figured I'd use that to try out some scents. And I ended up buying some full-size hand soaps and (of course) a candle. All of it was on sale and I think there was a free shipping promo also, and I ended up spending around $30-35 altogether. And here's the box that came in the mail today:
The big bottles are the hand soaps, and the shower soaps are scattered around in there, and then the thing in the bubble wrap is the candle, which was wrapped so diligently that I had trouble prying it out again:
So far so good. I opened some of it to sniff and I like everything fine so far.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Terrybly "nail laque"

I have known of the existence of the brand Terrybly or "By Terry" for a couple of years - I think I first found it while poking around on Neiman Marcus' website, if I'm remembering right - but it's very expensive and I didn't really expect ever to own any. Before Louboutin nail polish came along, at least, it was the most expensive nail polish I'd ever seen, especially since you only get .33 oz for your $30. But Space.NK had it on sale for $7 (and it's still there, for $7.00 or $7.50 depending on the color - if I'd known it would be around this long I've have posted this link when I first saw it!) so now I have two bottles to show you - once I pry them out of their boxes:
I controlled myself and only bought the two, Garnet Nectar and Moving Mauve:

(You can probably guess that the one on the left is mauve and the one on the right is garnet.) I have heard good things about one-coat coverage and such with this brand, but my early swatching doesn't really bear that out for these colors, at least. I'll report back on that part later on.

I'm not sure but at these level of discount I think that they must be discontinuing this line. Space.NK's shipping isn't especially cheap so unless you spend enough to get free shipping (which I think was $50) this doesn't end up being quite so cheap in the end - but I couldn't resist trying out the brand.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Buffalo Nickel

This is Buffalo Nickel, the Miracle Gel shade I bought a couple of weeks ago:
It was marked down, which I'm guessing probably means it's discontinued. It's a nice shade, though - a sort of pewter-ish antique silver. (Hmm, Daily Varnish really likes it, for whatever that's worth.) I have only tried a couple of shades of Miracle Gel but it seems like a pretty good product. It doesn't last anything like 14 days on my very difficult nails, but it last longer than most things, which is about all I can ask for.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stash: Formula X

Here is my Formula X stash - part one:
L-R: Marine, Metamorphic, Explosive, Aura, Legend, Hyped

and part two:
L-R: Prism, Ignite, Cosmic, State Of The Art, TNT, Boom

I'm not entirely sure about significance of the white caps vs. the black caps - I think it may be that the white caps are the "core" line and the black ones are the various "special effects" lines, which there were always a lot of. All eight of the black ones seem to be some sort of special formula, either a glittery or shifty thing, or a texture, or matte glitters - so that seems to make logical sense.  I only paid full price for one of these, as I remember it - I mostly thought this brand seemed a bit overpriced (overpriced? Sephora?) and only bought them when they were marked down.

I do have one mini bottle (it's Ignite) which I didn't bother to photograph because I also have the big size, which I bought recently when they were being discontinued. Here's an older photo if you really want to see.

(Also here's a shortcut to the Formula X label - which normally resides further down on my sidebar - in case you want more of a look at these.)

And as far as favorites, well, two of the blue-greens are ones I know I love - that's Marine and State Of The Art. And if you want a really splashy glitter, Explosive is a really nice one. And Ignite is a dark pearly red. A bunch of these I haven't worn a lot, or certainly not recently, anyway, and I may need to do some reswatching, or maybe even wear some of these. What a concept, huh.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Favorites, first half of 2017

This year is already half over, amazingly, so I thought I'd make up a shortlist of first-half favorites, and save myself work in December when I start working on my yearly favorites list. I came up with 14 polishes that I really liked - they are not necessarily new releases but were new to me. And then I narrowed it down to my very favorites, five of them.

In alpha order by brand - although I will say that if I had to pick one favorite off the top of my head right now, I'd go with Das Esspensive.

The top 5:
Femme Fatale The Necromancer
ILNP High Tide
KL Polish Das Esspensive XXV
Marc Jacobs Oui!
One-Step Wonder Gel (WnW) Periwinkle Of An Eye

Here's the rest of the original 14:
A England Saint George
D.Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad
Formula X Marine
Insta Dri Cherry Fast
Morgan Taylor The Last Petal
Pretty Serious Fairy Lights
Revlon Hypnotic
Zoya Destiny
Zoya Mimi

Added: a couple more I really like and I don't want to forget about later:
Zoya Anaka
Nine Zero January 2016 (maybe I haven't worn this? maybe that's why I didn't include it. But I thought I had.)

A few swatch pictures:

High Tide
Das Esspensive

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Status Symbol

Here is Essie Status Symbol, which I decided was one of my Essie favorites:
It's a slightly coral-leaning pink creme, sort of a Lilly Pulitzer pink, I guess? I'm actually wearing this right now, with Bikini With A Martini on top of it. If anything that seems to have made it look more coral-leaning. (I don't have pictures of this mani, unfortunately.)

I bought both this and Mesmerize (and Midnight Cami, as I mentioned) at the same time from Ulta. What I didn't realize at the time was that the first two are from the same collection in 2009. My notes say I bought these in 2011. I seem to remember Status Symbol being kind of a trendy thing for a while. It's not anything you still hear people talking about much, though.

Friday, July 7, 2017

July SquareHue: Marinera

I have to be honest and say that the first thing I thought of when I saw this name was tomato sauce - which is actually not spelled the same - marinara is the sauce, in case you're like me and you're not quite clear on this. (I did know immediately that that was surely wrong, just because it doesn't have anything to do with dancing, and that's what SquareHue's theme is for this year.) So it turns out that the marinera is a couples dance that seemed very familiar to me but I'm quite sure I could not have told you was from Peru. I hate to admit to this much ignorance but I figure I'm better off getting it all right out there up front. (I saw a reference to this dance as being from coastal Peru, so I'm clinging to the word "marine" to help me remember how to spell this. I'm usually a good speller, but those seemingly-interchangeable a's and e's are definitely giving me trouble.)

Anyway, this is the box I got:
Like last month, I only got two out of the three polishes; the third one was described as a straw color so I was pretty certain right away that it was not going to be something I was interested in. (After all, straw is pale and yellowish and I am not a fan of pale colors or of yellow colors, either.) The two polishes I did get are Limeña, a warm red with coppery shimmer, and Norteña, a dark plum creme. Both very pretty. I did more proper swatches and I'll get those up later. (As far as the names, Limeña just means a woman from Lima. Norteña means "northern" and applied to a person it'd presumably mean a northern woman, since these words are both feminine forms, but it seems to particularly refer to the style of music that goes with this dance, as best I could determine.)

Next month's dance is the flamenco, and the three polishes were a pearly dark olive, a "light terracotta" which doesn't sound like my thing, and another red. As much as I'd like to see the olive color, I decided to skip the August box since I wasn't much interested in either of the other two. (Maybe I can find somebody to swap polishes with - if anybody ends up with that flamenco olive and doesn't want it, let me know and maybe we can work something out!)

I noticed that SquareHue's polishes now say .45 oz where I thought it used to say .5, and that turned out not to be my imagination. I pulled out an old one to compare. (If you want to know, I think the purple polish in this picture is Baby Baby Baby, from the December 2015 collection, next to Limeña.)
Basically, the exterior of the bottle seems to be exactly the same size, it's just that the interior of the bottle is hollowed out a bit more in the old version of the bottle than in the new. I looked at several bottles to make sure that's what I was seeing, and the shapes varied a little but the interior of the new bottles seem to consistently be a little shallower. The difference is only, what, 1/20th of an ounce, so it doesn't take much. (It doesn't particularly bother me that they're smaller, I was mostly just curious to see where the difference was.)

(I am trying to remember to write SquareHue - one word - instead of Square Hue, two words. I mostly became aware of that because Google has corrected me a couple of times. My tag is still two words, though, if you decide you want to look up what else I've had to say about them!)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ocean Drive

This is KL Polish Ocean Drive, from the summer Miami collection:
I posted a mani picture of this the other day, and I'm mostly reporting back to say that while I like the color of this a lot, be warned: it's a stainer. It stained my nail beds a little bit - that part is not so bad. The bad part is, it stains the skin around your nails, and it even stained my thumb where I was holding the cotton round. It came off eventually, but that's really kind of a pain. I can't say I wasn't warned, because there was a review on the website that mentioned it. I just thought the color was so pretty I ignored that. I really did like it a lot and I'll probably wear it again, but the staining issues will make me think twice about it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Zoya Destiny (w/bonus meme)

I finally got around to trying Zoya Destiny, and I really like it:
It's a coral/red-orange texture. The red-orange part is usually crucial for me, because the yellower a polish gets, the less likely it is to flatter my skin tone, but this one swings far enough to the red end to be fine, I think.

This is two coats of polish and two coats of top-coat. I decided after two coats that it was opaque enough to suit me, but I think VNL-haters will probably want three. (And don't think that just because I used the word "hater" that I think there's something wrong with that. There's definitely not.)

I realized after a while that I hear the word "destiny" in my head in Darth Vader's voice. I never really thought much about this, but of course it's a meme:
Honestly (now that I'm thinking about it) I don't think this is a dramatic enough polish to deserve this very dramatic name. It should be a vampy color, not a summery one. My guess is that they were thinking of this as a dramatic, fiery color - it is bright, of course, but still, not all that dramatic, to me. However, this is still a nice polish, despite that bit of cognitive dissonance.

Oh yeah, and I don't think I ever posted the swatch picture, so here's that too:
This is two coats without top-coat.