Saturday, September 30, 2017

Slick Black

This is another one of those discontinued Sally Hansen lines, Triple Shine, in Slick Black:
On the wheel this is #17. This is a great polish and it's one of those I always feel like I should wear more. Triple Shine had several of these great microglitters - this one is a black base with mostly silvery microglitter, I think, but it's hard to really tell what's in there. Anyway, it ends up reading as an almost-metallic dark gray instead of black.

Friday, September 29, 2017

NOTD: That's What She Said, matte

I like this polish but I don't love it - this is That's What She Said from KL Polish (which was in the spring collection):
It's a little odd in that it reads almost as a neutral in indirect light, but it is a metallic and you can really see that when the light hits it. It's kinda cool, although it wasn't what I was expecting at all.

(Added: I completely omitted the fact that this has matte top-coat, when I first posted this. Sorry - kind of an important thing to leave out. Also, next time I'm definitely using the ridge-filling base.)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sephora Play Luxe

As if Sephora Play isn't enough, they are periodically doing "luxe" versions that cost twice as much. ($20 rather than $10.) They don't come on the subscription, you just have to order them. I think maybe I got an e-mail about it, so I'm not sure if they show up on the website if you're not already a Play subscriber. Honestly, if you're not, don't feel too bad about it because I don't think they're worth the extra money. (Is that a spoiler?)

I didn't take a picture of the box, apparently, but you know it's extra-fancy because it's in a solid black box instead of the striped one.

My favorite thing is the iridescent bag, honestly:
I'm not sure you can tell much from that picture, but you can see it better below. It's good-sized flat bag with a zipper. It's big enough that it barely fits in the box - about 7-1/2"  square, but the usable size is only probably about 6". Still, that's not bad. It holds quite a bit of makeup.

And then you get little tarot-card things that tell you about the products:
And here's what was inside:
L-R, it's Diorshow mascara, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Hourglass Veil Primer, Amore Pacific Moisture Bound (that's the one in the squarish box at the top), Tom Ford (mini-size) lipstick in Indian Rose, and a Flowerbomb sample that's considerably larger than the usual little sample sprays.

I partially got this because I was thinking it might be the only time I'd ever get to try a Tom Ford lipstick (which is otherwise far too expensive for me), but I'm not crazy about the color, it's too pale - or well, not really that pale, but too mauve, or too neutral, probably the latter. I dunno. I do like the Amore Pacific moisturizer a lot, that's the one I've actually used the most so far. But on the whole I'm pretty underwhelmed. It is somewhat nicer than the normal Play box, but not enough that it's worth twice the price. I am not a person who's heavily into luxury brands, so if you are you might like it more. But I've seen several threads complaining about it on the Sephora forums, so I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Here's somebody unboxing this box:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Buyer's remorse + charitable giving + baseball

Oh you guys, I've been bad. I know better than to tell myself not to buy anything, but I wrote this post talking about what the polish I had bought during the summer, and after that I was like, "Oh, I've got to slow down," and have I? Well, no. I bought more Colourpop - it was marked down! and I loved the sample I had of MAC Prep & Prime and so I ordered that from Nordstrom and then threw in a polish there, for good measure, and I bought a bunch of assorted stuff from HB Beauty Bar... and I feel like there's something else that I'm forgetting, and there probably is. (And I donated some money to a charity dedicated to Puerto Rico, also. And one for the Virgin Islands, and multiple places for Harvey relief. I think I skipped over Florida completely, sorry - somebody else will have to make up for that one!)

Astros player Carlos Beltrán is among several Astros from Puerto Rico, and has has donated $1 million of his own money and is taking donations to supplement that. My understanding is that they have managed to charter a jet (apparently the Astros' owner is taking care of that part) and they are taking it over full of supplies - I'm sure that's just a first step. If you are interested in contributing to that, it's here - and here is Beltran talking about that (and breaking down in tears, it's very affecting).

(Why yes, I AM quieting my conscience over the shopping by talking instead about charitable giving -  isn't that how it's supposed to work?)

Next week the playoffs start, and I may need to see if I can figure out how to do Astros-themed nails! MLB apparently has sets of polish in team colors with decals, for all teams - here is ours:
(The last thing I ordered from MLB took weeks to arrive so I won't be ordering this. The Astros start playing next Thursday. I'm sure I can wing something, though.) (Here's the link for the set above, though; since I ganked their picture I guess I should provide a link back to it!)

Random nail polish link:
Let's talk about vintage polish

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NOTD: Turn On The Northern Lights

This is OPI Turn On The Northern Lights:
I don't know how well you'll be able to see the shimmer, but it's there. It's really sort of similar to the "unicorn pee" pigment that's in So Jelly, although I assume that's not actually what it is. The pigment doesn't show up quite as well as the one in So Jelly, but I think that's because this doesn't have a jelly base. Anyway, it's really pretty, whatever it is.

If I'm counting right, the picture above was taken six days ago - I put it on early Wednesday morning. This picture below was taken just now, early Tuesday morning:
There's some wear, and I should have added another coat of top-coat, but on the whole this polish is holding up fabulously well. I even washed my hair in the interim. This is the kind of wear that I feel you're really supposed to get from OPI polish, but that I don't normally get - which I put down to my having difficult nails, usually. But now I'm trying to figure out why this one did so much better. I think I used some old Colorstay base-coat (from the last iteration of Colorstay, not the current one) but I'm not entirely sure what top-coat I used, at this late date. Hmm, well, anyway, this polish is definitely a win, in any case.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fall favorite: Cinnamon

Cinnamon was in my top 10 Zoyas. (It's fall now, technically, so I thought I'd show something more obviously fall-ish even though it's still hot as blazes here.)
I have a lot of browns and really I can't quite figure out what makes this one so special. It's just, like, a brown with more oomph! It's (says Zoya) "a classic bronze liquid metal, originally designed for Zang Toi NYFW Fall/Winter 2015." Maybe that's it - it's not brown, it's bronze. Or it's that it's a designer color. And it's "liquid metal"... I dunno. Maybe it's a combination of all those things! It's awesome, whatever the reason.

(Still available from Zoya here.)

(And that's not an affiliate link, for the record.)

Added: an old NOTD post. Also I added a "2015" tag to this because it was in my 2015 top 10.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Charge It Up

This is Charge It Up, one of my handful of magnetics:
It's a nice grayed-out steel blue. I didn't try to put a pattern into this swatch. The only picture I could find with a magnet pattern is this one on Flickr - I don't remember it looking like this with the multicolor effect but this says it's Charge It Up. Obviously this is one I need to try again! On the other hand this is a pretty cool color even without the magnet.

(Note: the link above was missing but that's been corrected.)

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Here is Colourpop Pixi-lated:
I showed a mani that had this with I Wand It That Way but I haven't specifically shown this polish on its own. I guess I should have done it sooner because these went on sale and now have disappeared completely from Colourpop's website - and I mean, disappeared as in the "nail" category is completely gone. (I ordered the rest of the collection a week or so ago so I guess I got in under the wire there.)

(Note that of the two blue swatches, the top one is Pixi-lated by itself and the bottom one is with I Wand It That Way added.)

I'm really wondering about that disappearance, now. These nail polishes have a fabulous formula and I hope they aren't completely abandoning the idea of doing nail polish. I read somewhere that Colourpop is about to start being sold at Sephora so I wonder if that somehow has to do with it. Maybe they'll reappear as Sephora's new house brand, or something. We can only hope.

Friday, September 22, 2017


This is Pretty Serious Ninja-lish-ious, which was a limited edition polish a while back:
This is #18 on my wheel, here, a navy jelly with mixed colors of glass flecks in it. Really beautiful. I don't think I've worn this yet, and I definitely need to remember to make that happen soon. It's very fall-appropriate, too.

I don't know what I did to mess the label up like that - it definitely didn't come that way. Ninja-lish-ious is named for Alicia, who is the US warehouse manager for Pretty Serious. I've never had any direct interaction with Alicia, but I've gotten numerous packages from Pretty Serious in the past several years, and they have always come very promptly and contained exactly what they're supposed to contain - presumably due to Alicia. I have no idea if the warehouse is an actual warehouse or if it's, like, Alicia's spare bedroom or something - but either way, they system they've got going works, and works well. (I would point out that I've never needed to interact with her directly, because I've never had an issue I had to contact her about. That kind of speaks for itself, I think.)

For better swatches, because mine seems kind of unhelpful, really - see KellieGonzo. Also, have I mentioned here that Pretty Serious' new website is up? (In fact, yes, earlier this week, but to repeat: the US version is here. No country drop-downs! Slightly different bottles! Some new polishes! Yay! And no, unfortunately this particular polish is not there. I point you to the words "limited edition" way up at the top of this entry. It's gone away already, I'm pretty sure.)

(Added, if you're like me, you're going, well, that's all well and good, but what's #17? I wasn't sure myself, and I went on a hunt through my tags to figure that out. It turned out to be a Pretty Serious that is still available - BSOD. Always a favorite. And 16 is Elliot, which I thought would still be available, but which I didn't see at a cursory look.)

And as always when I gush about things, I feel I have to remind you that no disclaimer is necessary here. Nobody gave me anything or has paid me anything. I just really love this brand.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Victorian End

This is SquareHue Victorian End, from the 1900s collection
I didn't put this in my top 4 SquareHues, but I think it was in the shortlist (which was the top 8). SquareHue does some good purples but this is the one I decided my favorite because it's different. It's sort of a dull dark plum, with shimmer. That doesn't make it sound too great, but obviously I really like it.

I said it was different, but actually it looks really similar to the polish below it on the wheel. I checked and the one pointing at the wheel is Victorian End, as it should be, and the one below it is Vaclavske Namesti, from the Prague collection, which was only a couple of months before the 1900s one - November 2014 and January 2015. Anyway, Vaclavske Namesti - which is the local name for what we call Wenceslas Square in English - is similar but even more grayed-out than Victorian End, and while it has shimmer I think it's less obvious. I like them both, but they are not dupes. I do think it was a bit odd to release these two so close together, though. (Victorian End does seem pretty appropriate for the its royal subject matter. Is there a reason for Wenceslas Square to be plum-colored? I have no idea.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


This is Cirque Lichen:
It's a shimmery olive with gold flash. I tend to stay away from olive colors because they're too yellow, but this one works for me - maybe because the shimmer is golden rather than yellow? I'm never sure. Anyway, a totally beautiful color and great for fall. This was from the Alchemy collection several years ago and it's discontinued.

(This was in my 2015 favorites, for the record.) (Also, this is my entire Cirque stash, FWIW.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Here is Zoya Vespa, a Pixie Dust:
I showed a mani picture of this months ago, but apparently I never put up the swatch picture, so I'm remedying that. It's a pale green, but it doesn't seem to be as pale as it appears on this swatch - it's more like the bottle color here than the swatch color, as I recall.

Here's one of the NOTD pictures for comparison:

Monday, September 18, 2017


This Pretty Serious VT100 (named after a terminal, making it pretty much the ultimate geeky nail polish):
Pretty Serious has just re-done their website (it was supposed to be up in July, so September is pretty much par for the course for that kind of thing). This polish is discontinued but the new website has a "museum" which is meant to show all the old polishes, eventually, and VT100 is from their very first collection (called Hello World) which is all that's in the museum right now.  This is a really beautiful polish, but PS has some other oldies-but-goodies for sale on the new website, so keep an eye out if you're interested in this polish; it might make a reappearance at some point! (Note: I have no inside information whatsoever here. I just know that they've done limited-edition re-releases before, and there's certainly no reason to think they're stopping that.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

NOTD: unicorn pee!... I mean, So Jelly

As usual, crappy picture, but you can see the shimmer so that (to me, anyway) makes up for the very obvious defects! (Clarification: I meant the defects in the picture, not the polish.)
This is KBShimmer So Jelly, which contains the (so-called) "unicorn pee" pigment which is very hard to find and thus much prized among nail polish junkies. I had never actually seen it in person before, but it is really beautiful and I'm glad I tried it out. This is part of a set of 4 polishes but they are all now showing up as out of stock on the KBS website. (I checked because I was going to order another one.) Anyway, this has a dark raspberry-red base (you can see at the base of my nails what it looked like on the first coat) and then the unicorn pee stuff shows up as a sort of coppery-red shimmer. You can't really see it in all lights but it gives the polish a lot of depth even when you can't really see it. When you can, it's quite awesome.

Added: for the record, since I've been on a kick of mattifying practically everything lately - I did not put matte top-coat on this one. I think I used my dwindling bottle of BL Hardwear, and it came out nice & shiny.

Clinique "Non-stop pop" set

I bought this a month or so ago (I think maybe it was when they had double points for VIBs) and I never got around to showing it. I've got so much lipstick and I didn't totally fall in love with these colors, so I'm probably just going to give these as Christmas gifts. I may keep the tin!

Added: I spoke too soon - I really like Rose Pop! Definitely keeping it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I finally got around to buying my first Enchanted Polish, Fairy:
I was experimenting, so these three swatches are all Fairy - over a dark pink, over a pastel (First Wings First, I think), and alone. I should have tried over black - I suspect that might be the best bet. I think it looks better alone than over the two pinky colors I tried. Anyway, this polish is made of very fine flakies, with some holo stuff mixed in.

Enchanted Polish seems to have finally gotten to the point where the polishes stay on the website for a few days. And they even had a sale! Times have changed there, a bit. Maybe they are doing bigger runs of the polishes?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NOTD: Rory, matte

This is Zoya Rory, which is a summer polish from a few years ago, I think, with Matte All The Things matte top-coat:
It's a medium-toned berry/red-violet with a ton of silver shimmer - so much that with the matte top-coat, little "pools" of shimmer become visible on the nail. It doesn't look bad but it's a bit of an odd effect. (Maybe I should have shaken the bottle some more.) This picture was taken in shade and it looks much darker than it does in real life.

(I checked, it's from the Surf collection, which was in 2012 - the same collection with Myrta and Carly and Zuza. It's still available.)

Added: a 3rd-day update: this was chipping a bit so I put Where's The Party Canon At on top of it, then a coat of Gelous and another coat of Matte All The Things. So there's a lot of coats on my nails now, but so far they're holding up fine.

I Wand It That Way

Here is I Wand It That Way, from Colourpop's new line of nail polish:
I didn't try to swatch this alone, because you're just not going to be able to see much. This shows it over the two other polishes from that line that I bought (blue and pale lilac) and you can see those same colors without it above that. I love this polish - I took a mani picture of it but it really looks more like the swatch above than it does the picture at that link. It's very pretty and iridescent and hey, it's currently on sale for $3! (and the regular price is only $6, anyway)

(It's not on the Colourpop "discontinued items" page, I checked, so I'm guessing it's just a sale and that they're not discontinuing these. At least I hope not!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Here is Square Hue Y2K, which was in my favorites list:
It's an almost-black base with silver shimmer. It's another favorite that took me by surprise because it didn't really seem like anything unusual at first.

This post shows the 1990s collection which included this polish and Vogue, which was also in my favorites. I liked both these polishes from the beginning, but I would not have said at the time that they would be in my all-time favorite Square Hues.

SquareHue favorites

I showed my SquareHue stash a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get around to picking favorites. There are a lot of polishes I like in there, but I re-swatched many of them and eventually came up with a shortlist of 8, which I then narrowed down to a top 4.

This is my top 4 - Parizska, Y2K, Vogue, and Lake Louise.

I'm going to do a new post for Y2K because I've never shown it by itself, but here's the old post on it. Below are the other three.

Parizska is a charcoal gray with silver glitter:
(This is from the Prague collection back in 2014; if you scroll down here there's a picture of the full set.)

Vogue is from the same collection as Y2K (I'm surprised I ended up with two from the same collection!) - which was the 1990s.
If you squint at the label picture above you may be able to see that the year on the bottom of the bottle is 1990 - I think that was the year the Madonna song came out. I remember looking at this polish and going, "Oh, another dark red," but this one somehow stands out. The description I found for it just said shimmer but it seems to me to be more of a pearlescent finish.

And then there's Lake Louise, from the Hike Banff collection in early 2016.
A pale - but not super-pale - and very shimmery blue. Since I don't like pastels on me, I didn't expect to like this, but obviously (since it's instead in my favorites) I was wrong!

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Picture Polish Flirt:
This and the other PP that I showed yesterday are my entire piCture pOlish stash. I like this color a lot and I loved the other one, but I had wear issues with both of them and so I pretty much gave up on this brand after that - they're just too expensive to fart around with. (They're an Australian brand, which partly accounts for the high price. In the US they're available at Live Love Polish and probably other places as well.) (To be fair, though, other people love them, so I assume not everybody has wear issues like I do with them. Sometimes I have extremely cranky nails.)

This polish made me a little weirdly nostalgic when I realized it was one of the three similar colors in this picture. There had been a couple of little experiments before that, but that post there was where I really started what has become an ongoing series - if you've looked at this blog at all you've probably figured this out already. I call them "bottle and wheel" pictures and they're just a way to catalog my stash, really. I started out almost a year and a half ago with pictures of several polishes at a time, on my ten-year-old Canon in natural light through my bedroom windows, and I've ended up retaking a lot of those pictures, and I'm now doing one polish at a time under fluorescent lights on my iPhone SE (which I bought when the Canon and my old iPhone gave up the ghost more or less simultaneously). They're still not fabulously great pictures but at least they're more consistent. And this series may go on forever - or at least until I run out of steam, eventually. (Certainly I'm going to keep doing this for new polishes, indefinitely.)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Violet Femme

This is Picture Polish Violet Femme:
(Yeah, I know, I'm capitalizing it all wrong, but it's late and I'm too cranky to bother.) I still think this is one of the most gorgeous colors ever, but I remember it being balky to apply and not wearing well, unfortunately. I didn't especially have that experience swatching it here, but sometimes when you're just doing one fake nail, you just don't notice that kind of thing as much. This is three coats - if you blow this picture up you can see the coats at the base of the nail quite clearly. (I always intend to do it like that - so you can see the layers - and it just doesn't quite happen all the time, but it totally did what it's meant to, here.)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Amazon top sellers in skincare

A bit of a disclaimer: I don't know that these two products are the top selling skincare items on Amazon, but they are both things that I only became aware of because both of them were mentioned in some blog or other as top-sellers on Amazon:

"Insanely popular on Amazon" (The Zoe Report):
Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil, 4 oz
I bought the 4-ounce size rather than the 1-oz size because it seemed like a better value - about $13 for 1 ounce vs $21.50 for four. One ounce is just not very much, was my reasoning. Although I do only use a few drops at a time, so if you want to experiment with the small size first, it's still not a bad deal.

And then I'm not sure where I first saw this one, but I had seen it someplace and it was on sale during Prime Day and so I was like, well, might as well try it. (Notice this also has rosehip in it. That's the trendy skincare thing right now. Vitamin C, what a concept.)
Lilyana Naturals Eye Cream, 1.3 oz
(Bear in mind that given the generous amount you get here, you don't have to confine it to just your eyes!)

I'm really into layering skin products lately - "start with the lightest one" was advice I read somewhere, and it does seem to work pretty well. I like both of these products a lot, but they're just part of my arsenal of skincare products. Given that, it's difficult for me to know what really works best out of the number of products I am using, but I do think something in here is working. (Despite my flip comment above, I think rosehip/vitamin C is probably one of the winners.) And I don't think you have to spend $100 and up on skincare to get good stuff!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Assorted makeup

I got this eyeshadow from the Space.NK sale along with the Terribly polishes. I actually like this little shadow a lot. It's a good color for me as a base.
I believe the color is Pink Ribbon. The brand is Lord & Berry. (I paid maybe $3 for it.)

Then there is this Urban Decay lipstick, which I've had for quite a while - it's the Basquiat line, which I think came and went very quickly. It's not a bad color but I don't really love it as much as I thought I would - isn't that always the way?

This is the end of the box, on which is written the name of the lipstick (which is Exhibition).
Added: this is what happens when I write entries in the middle of the night: I forget the picture that shows the actual product. (Although yeah, it's essentially the color you can see above.)
(Added much later: I didn't love this at first, as I said, but it's grown on me. I really like it a lot now.)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wood I Lie To You

Finger Paints has a new(ish) sub-brand called Hard As Steel, and the summer release for that line was these bottles with bamboo-themed caps. This one is Wood I Lie To You.
I like this color, but you know since it's a creme that I feel morally bound to put something else on top of it. In this case it was Where's The Party Canon At? from the My Little Pony collection. You can see it as #6 on this wheel, and Wood I LIe To You is #4. They worked quite well together!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Whatever Lola Wants, Naked

Here are the last two Midnight Garden polishes - both of these are still available as individual polishes, as well, I believe. I think both of these are shades that have been around for some years, for that matter. And both of them are sheers.

Whatever Lola Wants
Created with Kelly Ripa
"sassy sparkling lilac/lavender" (sheer shimmer)

Naked (sheer)
"clean bare beige"

Ways you can help with Harvey relief

Sunday, September 3, 2017


I'm not necessarily going to comment a whole lot on each of these items because these are things that I haven't worn much and I have decided they're old enough that they need to be discarded. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them, I just haven't used them. And I'm not super-vigilant about throwing things away on a schedule but eventually I do root around in my stash of stuff I'm mostly not using and weed it out.

The OCC creme stuff has faded badly. (Although I scratched the surface of it, literally, and it's still much more pink underneath.) This was part of an OCC set I bought in very early 2015 - I talk in that entry about Sephora Flash being a new thing - and that was the start of my career as a Sephora junkie. And that makes this nearly 2-1/2 years old, so yeah, it's time for it to go.
(I definitely am not going to going to comment on "Pleasure Model".)

This is Bombshell Eye Base, and the color is Submissive. Actually I never understood why it was supposed to be a base considering that it is such a pretty color.

This is the Bellapierre powder - I put some in the lid so you could see what it looks like:

This is an Estee Lauder shadow duo that was in a gift-with-purchase set:
Oh, and there was a Josie Maran bottle in the picture up top that was supposed to be just argan oil, but I think I picked up the wrong bottle and the one pictured is something else. But I did have argan oil, and I actually googled "shelf life of argan oil" and found varying opinions. It was enough to make me decide it was time for it to go, though.

One more:

Ways you can help with Harvey relief