Monday, August 21, 2017

Sally Beauty haul

I've only done a Sally Beauty online order once before, and it went just like this one. It's not a bad thing, but it gets kinda crazy. I was coveting My Little Pony polishes, and I looked and Sally Beauty had CG buy two get one free. And I needed shampoo, and there was a 20% off coupon, and then there's that $50 threshold for free shipping. You get $50 worth of items added and then you put the coupon on and it knocks off $10 and you have to add even more stuff to get back to the free shipping level. So that's why I say it seems a little crazy.

With all of that going on, I got quite a lot of stuff for 50-odd dollars. (I did already have a current beauty club membership, for the record.) Starting with the four polishes:
  • China Glaze Where's The Party Canon At? (My Little Pony - and as I said the other day, it's canon and not cannon, I've seen it online spelled both ways but my bottle definitely says canon) - raspberry glitter
  • CG Let Your Twilight Sparkle (also My Little Pony) - blue shimmer top coat, because I have a weakness for those
  • CG Fairy Dust - because I didn't have it and there wasn't a third MLP polish I really felt like I had to have
  • Wood I Lie To You (this was on clearance - Finger Paints Hard As Steel, the ones with the bamboo pattern on the cap) - fuchsia/berry creme
  • another 32 oz. of nail polish remover, because I go through a ton of it
  • Ion Color Defense After Color Sealer, 6 oz. tube - this goes with the hair color I've been using, and all I had were some little packets of it. And then it was ALSO buy two get one free, so I got more items from that same collection...
  • Ion Color Defense Sulfate-Free Shampoo (because I've been experimenting around to find sulfate-free shampoos that I like and that are reasonably priced)
  • Ion Color Defense Leave-In Protector
  • a liter bottle of Biotera Color Care Shampoo (and this one is not sulfate-free. I haven't fully committed to sulfate-free yet, mostly just because it is generally more expensive. But this looks like it's meant to be a Biolage knockoff and I always did like Biolage.)
  • Vanilla lip scrub
  • Palladio baked blush in Berry - because I seem to be on a perpetual search for the perfect shade of blush (I'm not sure this one is my holy grail or anything, but it's not bad!)
  • a packet of charcoal detoxifying hair mask
  • assorted empty plastic bottles
  • and a pump that hopefully will fit the liter bottle, because I wasn't sure I still have one

Oh, also, I ordered this either very early Saturday morning, or very early Saturday night, I forget which - but either way, I ordered it over the weekend and it was here on Tuesday. That's pretty awesome service.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


I showed Xtreme Wear Cerulean, from the Crayola collection, in the blue cremes post a week or so ago, but I didn't ever put this picture up, so I'm remedying that now:
It's a really pretty color and very near to a one-coater. (#1 on the wheel, here.) None of the polishes in the line are really unique, but then, wouldn't you expect the basic crayon colors to have been well-covered territory by now? There'd be something wrong with the powers-that-be at the nail polish companies if they hadn't done things like this many times before now.

Here it is on my nails.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

NOTD: Where's The Party Canon At?

This is actually Where's The Party Canon At? (and yes, it's canon and not cannon on my bottle, I checked) from China Glaze's My Little Pony collection, over another polish I just bought, Finger Paints Wood I Lie To You. And it's mattified (with Matte All The Things), because I was going to work and all that sparkle just seemed like a little too much. It's still pretty sparkly but nothing like it would have been with regular top-coat.
Wood I Lie To You is a sort of a berry creme and so I thought it would be a good undercoat for Where's The Party Canon At? which I would call more of a raspberry base. I think WTPCA eventually gets pretty opaque on its own, but I still used two coats even with the undercoat.

This is part of a bunch of stuff I bought from Sally Beauty online - I think the haul post will be along on Monday.

I am not an expert on My Little Pony in any way shape or form - I'm too old, I was grown before they came along - but I feel like the names of the two polishes I bought from that collection must be fandom in-jokes I'm not quite getting. (The other one I got is Let Your Twilight Sparkle. I did read The Secret Life of Dolls back in the day and that's what "twilight sparkle" makes me think of.)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Comparison: dark blues

Dark blues, mostly cremes:
Here is the whole list of blues in numerical order (including the ones I already talked about), so this picture starts with #7:
  1. Cerulean (Insta-Dri)
  2. Robyn (Zoya)
  3. Peri-wink-le Of An Eye (WnW 1-Step Wonder Gel)
  4. Mesmerize (Essie)
  5. Pacific Blue (old formula - SH Xtreme Wear)
  6. Intrigue (Revlon Brilliant Strength)
  7. Blackout (Revlon Super Top Speed) (this one is not actually a creme, but it's so dark that it's hard to tell what it is. I think maybe it has some paler blue shimmer in it.)
  8. Midnight Cami (Essie)
  9. Plummet (Insta-Dri)
  10. Nail-robi (Color Club)
  11. Cynthia (Zoya)
The brand-name is completely gone from my bottle of Blackout, but here it is from Kaz. Her bottle says "Super Top Speed" and that does ring a bell with me.

Here's Blackout close-up (#7 on the wheel):
You can see the fill line here, I've worn this a fair bit here and there. (Let's face it, I'm more likely to wear things more that are not cremes. It's just a fact of life for me.) (Also, as I mentioned in the Revlon stash post, all of the Top Speed line is now discontinued.)

I talked about Plummet and Nail-Robi yesterday, so I won't talk about them again; instead, here is Zoya Cynthia.
It looks almost greenish next to its violet-leaning neighbor on the wheel. I think what it is is super-dark indigo. (Zoya calls it "blackened peacock teal" which also implies that there is a little green in there.)

And I don't seem to have a picture of Midnight Cami on its own, but here's the group picture:
I am going to have to come back later to talk about Midnight Cami because it is also not a creme and I hadn't worn it in so long I'd forgotten that. Obviously I am terrible at identifying cremes from not-cremes. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2017


This is a subset of the dark-blue cremes post that's coming tomorrow, but I unexpectedly found two polishes that are basically dupes and I wanted to show those together. It's Insta-Dri Plummet and Color Club Nail-Robi:
It's hard to see with these dark colors, but these two are number 9 and 10 on the wheel, and on my monitor you can just see that these two look different from the other dark blues, and like one another. These are both blurples, basically - in different lights they may look like a purple-leaning navy or a very dark blue-leaning purple. I've seen them both called purple but to me they look more blue if you don't look closely. I guess it's just a trick of the light, because if you look up swatches, they look more blue in some people's pictures and more purple in others. (ALU had a post with other dupes for Plummet, not including Nail-Robi. Zoya Pinta was one of them.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Love In The Dunes

This is Deborah Lippmann Love In The Dunes, a mini-size polish from the Midnight Garden collection:
It's one of those taupes which is slightly purple-leaning. (Lippmann's website calls it "purple gray" but it doesn't read particularly gray to me.)

This is still a current polish in the Gel Lab Pro line (see the link just above) but apparently not in the regular line. The Midnight Garden minis aren't labeled as Gel Lab Pro but I suppose that doesn't mean they aren't, necessarily.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garnet Nectar

This is Terrybly Garnet Nectar:
It's a creme in oxblood red - or, I suppose, actually the color of a garnet. You may remember that I was not very impressed with the other one of these polishes that I bought. This one didn't seem as balky when I was doing the swatches - I started to say "I'll have to wear this and see" but I'm always saying that, and we're going to have to get closer to fall before I'll be able to talk myself into wearing any more dark colors, I'm not going to kid myself about that. Anyway, whenever I do finally wear it, I'll definitely report back.

You may can still find these polishes around but I'm pretty sure they're discontinued. Don't pay full price for them, for sure.

(I say "closer to fall" rather than "in the fall" because fall is mostly just an abstract concept where I live. By the time Halloween rolls around we might be seeing less fiendishly hot weather, or at least we start to get the occasional cool front that gives us a little relief for a day or two now and then. Usually if we get any fall color at all, it turns up around Thanksgiving, or even later.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

SquareHue Scuba Hawaii

SquareHue had a 40% off sale for subscribers only a couple of weeks ago, on past boxes. But you had to buy the whole box (some of them were two polishes and some were three), and I'm such a picky person that there aren't many boxes where I wanted everything in it. If there's something like a "straw color" (that one was in last month's collection) that's a dealbreaker for me. (I unsubscribed from SquareHue after the January box in 2016 and didn't resubscribe until a few months ago, after they finally changed their policies where you could pick your polishes to some extent, or skip boxes entirely). Well, the only collection that they had available in the sale where I thought I might actually wear everything in it was Scuba Hawaii, from last August. I knew people had raved about that collection. Even then I immediately started second-guessing myself about the orange polish, though.

But the box is here and I do actually like the orange. It's red-orange enough that it's fine.

Here's the swatch card as well as the wheel swatches. The orange is Nani, and the violet is Ikaika, both cremes, and then the third one is a foil, Akamai. That one is pretty sheer but I think if you build it up enough it'll be awesome. So I'm pretty happy with this. (The box was marked $25 and so 40% off was $15, and that includes shipping. I think that was a pretty good deal.)

(See, in this picture the orange doesn't look very red-orange, either. That was why I got nervous about it. But yay, I like it fine.)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Amethyst Couture

This is Color Show Amethyst Couture, from the Brocades collection:
As I mentioned when I talked about Black In Mirrors, these polishes were LE, were heavily hyped at the time, and they became almost impossible to find very quickly. And heck, they were a drugstore polish doing something different, so I guess if you look at it that way it deserved the hype. (Free advice to drugstore polish brands: do something different some more, and I'd buy more from you.)

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is, this was the first one I bought, and I don't really love it. It tends to just kind of look like sludge on your fingers. The shiny bits all seem to hide. I really wanted to like this, and so I was fairly disappointed by that. Later on I found Black In Mirrors, and it's better - and there was a red one that I've always wished I bought, which I don't remember the name of. This one, I could've done without, and that's a shame.

(I made a new tag just for this: "disappointing polishes." I'm sure I can find some other things to add that tag to!)

Added: previous discussion of this polish

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Discard: Glitz Gal

I was showing those Maybelline Brocades before, and it occurred to me that this polish, from Sally Hansen's Gem Crush line, is sort of a similar consistency:
And I don't think I ever put up this picture, so this seems like a good time to do it. It's kind of similar to Black In Mirrors, and I thought it looked good in the bottle, but obviously (since I fished it out of the discard box) I don't like it as much as I like that one. It's too sludgy.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Comparison: light-to-medium blue cremes

I've been wearing a lot of blue lately, and I said I might do comparisons. So I picked up 11 blue cremes (or in a couple of cases, things I thought were cremes looking at the bottles), and then I added a crelly later for comparison purposes. These go all the way from light to very dark blue, and I'm breaking them up into two posts to talk about. This is the lighter half, although they're not exactly ordered from light to dark here, are they?
L-R, this is Cerulean (Insta-Dri), Robyn (Zoya), Peri-wink-le Of An Eye (WnW 1 Step Wonder Gel), Mesmerize (Essie), Pacific Blue (SH Xtreme Wear, and this is the old formula), and Intrigue (Revlon Brilliant Strength).  None of these are anything near dupes, but some of them are closer than it looks in the bottles.

As far as availability, the two on the right are definitely discontinued. (You might be able to buy something that Sally Hansen calls Pacific Blue, but it's not the same formula.) The Crayola polishes are LE but just came out in July so hopefully they'll be around for a while. And I didn't go check, but I think the other three should still be available. Essie had changed the name from Mesmerize to Mesmerized the last time I looked, but I'm pretty sure it's still a core color.

Square Hue Odhani is the one that I left out of the original swatches since it's a crelly, but I stuck it on at one end of these swatches. Odhani is #18 on the wheel (at the bottom), then Cerulean is 1 and Robyn is 2.
On the nail, I'd call all of these pretty close, although it takes more coats of Odhani and Robyn to get there. Not dupes, but close. Cerulean is close to being a one-coater. Robyn is a little lighter and brighter, but not as much as you'd think from the bottles. Odhani is a bit dustier - and of course it's the crelly. Crellies really tend to separate, in my experience, and you can see the dark blue separating out at the bottom of the bottle.

In this shot Robyn looks a little lighter than in the one above.
Peri-wink-le Of An Eye (#3 on the wheel) is by far the lightest of all of these, though. It leans just a hair toward the purple side, but really on the nail it read as blue rather than periwinkle, I thought.

I always think that the (old formula) Pacific Blue (#5) has that same effect - it looks periwinkle in the bottle, but not so much on the nail. And I usually think it looks considerably darker on the nail as well (unlike Peri-wink-le Of An Eye).
Pacific Blue is still lighter than Mesmerize (#4), which is the darkest of this bunch. And then I don't really think that Intrigue (#6) is a creme at all, and I'm not sure why I ever imagined it was. But I swatched it already, so I'll talk about it just the same. It's a grayed out medium blue with some shimmer that's either tonal or silver, I'm not sure which. It's very pretty, in a low-key way. (It's also a tiny bit periwinkle-leaning, but not near as much as Pacific Blue.)

(Expect part 2 of this next Friday, assuming I can get organized enough to finish it by then.)

Added, after I had already written the rest of this:
Here's Jess of NineZero and her review of KL Polish's summer Miami collection (I'll explain below why I'm putting this here):
Jess said in the video above that KL's Porter Miami is a really close dupe for Pacific Blue. I already have Pacific Blue, as you've seen above, but the fact is, I usually won't wear it because I know it's not replaceable (or not for any reasonable price) - I just save it for swatching, mostly. I looked at KL's website and waffled around and while I was still waffling, more or less, they put up a sale! I don't have any idea if it will still be there by the time this gets posted but it's buy any two polishes, get a free bottle of Magic City. And so that put me over the edge even though I wasn't really thinking of buying Magic City. I bought Porter Miami and That's What She Said, from the spring collection. (There's a big banner on the website advertising this special, so if you look and that's not there, I imagine it's fair to assume it has ended. I didn't see an expiration date posted.) (Added: still there as of Sunday am. My guess that the actual end date is "when the Magic City runs out", whenever that might be, or maybe at the end of the weekend, since it's lasted this long!)

So I'll have to do some more comparisons when Porter Miami arrives. (Note that Porter Miami is not a one-coater like Pac Blue is, according to Jess - she said she used two coats. But if it's the same color that's still far closer than anything else I've seen.)

(Is it still a bargain if you get something free you weren't sure you wanted in the first place? Anyway, I figure if I don't like it that much, I'll pass it along to somebody else. And I did want the other two.)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Black In Mirrors

Here is Maybelline Color Show Black In Mirrors, which was from the LE Brocades collection:
I decided this was my favorite out of the handful of Maybellines I have - I called it "blackened silver" the other day, and it does sort of give that effect, but I don't think that's what's really going on here. It's mostly dark-gray metallic glitter with some larger gold bits mixed in. It's not a microglitter or a texture, it's too chunky for either of those, but it also goes on surprisingly smooth. Unlike so many glitters, I don't remember it being a big eater of topcoat. (Maybe that's what made this line unusual. Mostly I am on record as thinking these were overhyped, but I do like this one.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I only have 6 Maybelline polishes, and here's five of them:
L-R: Magenta Mirage (Shredded), Clearly Spotted (Polka Dots), Tenacious Teal (which I guess is the only one I have which is from the core line), and then Black In Mirrors and Amethyst Couture (both of which are from the LE Brocades line from a few years ago).

The sixth is the only old-style Maybelline I have. This is Two-Timer Stars:
I've owned a lot of Maybelline polishes over the years, but all of the ones I bought myself are long-gone. This one I got from Karen in one of a couple of swaps she and I did several years back.

I've never swatched several of these so expect to see those in the next few days. As far as a favorite, I think I'd go with Black In Mirrors - you can't really tell here but it's a sort of a blackened silver thing - more gray than actually black.

(I've been doing stash posts mostly on Mondays but if I go once-a-week on all these (many) brands I only have a few of, we'll be at this forever. So you may see them a couple of times a week, maybe even three occasionally if I get on a roll.)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


This is Zoya Mira:
This is a really nice color, a mid-toned blue-leaning purple creme that's just a tiny bit dusty. It's one of those colors where I say, "I should really wear that more" (which, if you've been reading lately, I've been saying a lot).

Still available from Zoya. It's a classic, really.

(I got a new set of nail wheels and they're the oval ones like this where you can write on the front, and I am thrilled, because those are my favorites. I could deal with the round ones but I'm surprised how much I found that I care about this.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Color Club stash

I really don't have all that many Color Club polishes.
L-R, this is Raspberry Rush (scented), Eternal Beauty (holo), Snow-flakes (silvery flakie topper), Hot Couture (pale pink topper), It's Raining Men (blue-to-purple duochrome), We'll Never Be Royals (purple-burgundy-orange multichrome), and Nail-Robi (purple-leaning blue creme).

I'm missing one mini that I forgot about, and there's one polish that I discarded. But I've written about both of those, for sure: the mini is Editorial (which I liked so much I bought two bottles of it), and the one I threw in the trash - because it had faded horribly - was Gimme A Grape Big Kiss, which came from the same collection as Raspberry Rush and was scented.

(Added, because I don't know why I didn't think about putting the old pictures here before.)

Editorial (on the left, but I think you could probably figure that out on your own). I believe it's supposed to be a dupe for Chanel Peridot.

And this is the only picture I could find that showed the original color of Gimme A Grape Big Kiss (It's the one in the middle.) And if you want to see the color it faded to, that's what's in the link on its name further above.
(This came from this post in very early 2014, and if you think this picture is out of focus now... well, it's fuzzy at any size, I think, but it's also possible you may be seeing it at a higher resolution than the original size. I cropped the down because it had other stuff in it; I think this was taken with my old Canon camera and the resolution is not great. That's why you don't see me repeating those old pictures a whole lot.)

I've got label pictures below, but first let me think about favorites. I had We'll Never Be Royals in my 2016 favorites, but then I decided I didn't love it as much as I thought after I'd worn it a couple of times. Nail-Robi is really beautiful, but it's a creme and I really haven't worn it a lot. Ditto Eternal Beauty - except it's a linear holo, of course. Linear holos are not really my favorite things, in general, either. Honestly, if I just get to pick one, I think I'm going with Hot Couture. Top-coats are often my favorite things, anyway, and this is a really awesome one.

So ok, that's decided, and we can go on to labels. Color Club has a bad habit of releasing bottles without any name on it. I've seen lots of complaints about this from other people, too, over the years. I know Eternal Beauty was unlabeled - I remember getting online and double-checking to make sure I had it right - and I think Gimme A Grape Big Kiss wasn't either. And neither was either one of the minis. I think the rest of mine were labeled, as you can see below (well, if you can read them):
(Snow-flakes, apparently, rather than Snowflakes or Snowflake - I think I've seen it called all of those at one time or another. The hyphen in the middle bothers me, really, but I usually take the bottle name as canon unless I have some reason to think it's not what they actually meant.)

And then this:
I just messed up the label on Nail-robi, it's not that it didn't have one. And I mentioned Eternal Beauty above, but I have also complained previously about the fact that all of the holos have really vague names that give no clue to what color they are. I mean, everybody does that some of the time, but from a company with a history of not labeling things properly in the first place, it's doubly annoying. Just number them if you don't want to give them a proper name, but give us a way to tell what is what.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Grey Area

This is Xtreme Wear Grey Area:
Despite the name, this is not really a gray at all, but rather a grayed-out brown creme. I'd call it a dark taupe, really - I think it's very elegant. Maybe the name is meant to be a play on the way that taupe is a "grey area" of its own - or is that stretching it?

(I also am caught here between the two spellings - gray vs. grey. I think "grey" looks more elegant but "gray" is the more common spelling in the US so I generally go with that, just in the interests of being consistent - which works fine until you come up with something like this that spells it the other way!) (added: I didn't even notice for days that I spelled the name wrong in the title.)

Dusty colors seem to be very fashionable right now, so i figured this was a good time to throw this one out there, rather than saving it until it's properly fall and it gets buried in the wave of all the new stuff. This is not a flashy color, but it's a surprisingly sexy one.

Also, here's a previous post that talks about this polish.

Friday, August 4, 2017

NOTD: Fools Rush In

This is Lippmann Fools Rush In, which was in the Midnight Garden collection:
The real thing looks better than this - and more purple than this, at least on the screen I'm currently looking at - but this is the best picture I've gotten so far. It's a really pretty slightly-dusty blue-violet creme. But it doesn't seem to photograph too well.

(I put a note at the end of the last entry chronicling the sad end of the Cerulean manicure - but that was a layering problem and as I said, I don't think it was Sally Hansen's fault, particularly. Fools Rush In also chipped a bit after a long shift of tapping at spreadsheets, and I may have another go at layering with it. We'll see if that goes any better.)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

NOTD: Cerulean

Here's Cerulean on my nails. I wore it for a day and it was chipping a bit here and there, and so I patched it up and put Zoya Maisie on top of it (which is a flakie - I haven't worn Maisie much but over the right polish it's really stunning, and Cerulean seems to work well).
This is Cerulean on its own, mind, and I do like it a lot. Now I'm plotting to find all these blue cremes I've gotten lately, and do a comparison.

Added: well, probably not Cerulean's fault, but I patched the chips and put 2 coats of Zoya Maisie on top, as I mentioned above, and it didn't set. It looked great, so I'm especially sorry it didn't work out. I never know whether to blame these things on incompatible formulas (3-free on top of NOT 3 free? seems possible) or our ridiculous humidity (almost always possible).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Deborah Lippmann Midnight Garden set

I would wait to show this "Midnight Garden" set til I had better pictures, but it's an exclusive to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and it is still showing up as available on Nordstrom's website, so I thought I'd go ahead and mention it in case somebody's not already aware of it. The sale continues for the rest of this week - until the 6th, which is Sunday. The set is $29 and ships for free to the US (and if you have one of those $10 Nordstrom Notes they've been giving out to promote their rewards program still sitting around, which I did, that gets it down to $19).

Added: I happened to notice that the minute the Nordstrom's sale ended, this popped up on Deborah Lippmann's own site. So you can still get it - still $29.

These are mostly not new polishes, so if you have a lot of Lippmann you are probably not interested in this. But if you're like me and you don't, it's a pretty good deal.
It's five mini size polishes - left to right, they are Love In The Dunes, I Feel Pretty, Whatever Lola Wants, Naked, and Fools Rush In. Naked and Whatever Lola Wants are current colors but the other three don't seem to be. (I don't believe any of them are new, though, either.)
It is valued at $60, the box says, which seems a little high - do they really sell their 0.27 ounce minis for $12? (I suppose they might!) Let's compare this instead to the price of five full-size polishes - at $18 each, that would be $90. So getting the half-sized ones for a third of that price sounds like a pretty decent deal to me.

(I'm outing myself as a closet hard-rock fan here, but I keep wanting to type "Wicked Garden" for the name of this set, after the Stone Temple Pilots song. I've had to stop myself a couple of times. At least now I have that song for an earworm instead of the pop song I had before.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Polish drawers from Amazon

Amazon Prime Day was a few weeks ago now, but I got one thing I really like so I wanted to show them. These are deep acrylic drawers that were marked down to $13 and change for a set of two. They're not gigantic and they're not super-heavy-duty but that also means they're not too heavy. So far I like them. They stack and they hold quite a bit of nail polish in each drawer. And you can pull the drawer completely out to get at what's in the back, as well.
Regular price is $18.99 so that's still pretty reasonable. I don't have any thoughts of putting my whole collection in these, but I might at least get another set of two later on.