Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Love Sprinkles

This is Sinful Color Love Sprinkles, which was LE this time of year a few years ago:
You might not can get your hands on this one, but there were some other Sinful polishes with heart-shaped glitters at Walgreen's a few weeks ago. Or honestly, it might be just as easy to find some loose heart-shaped glitter and plonk a few hearts down on your nails individually. I've never bothered to do glitter placement because I'm too lazy, but I understand the theory, right? You just paint your nails and let them dry, then use top-coat as a glue and put more top-coat on top of that. (That said, this also might look good on top of that pink I showed a couple of days ago.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Comparison - Adrenaline Crush, Petra, & Hotel Particulier

I had compared two of these three before - that was Marc Jacobs Petra and Lancome Hotel Particulier. Then I bought Miracle Gel Adrenaline Crush and when I wore it, I thought, Gee, this reminds me of Petra. So here are all three. I would say they are really similar but not quite dupes.
They are also all colors that are hard to put your finger on - pinkish- (or maybe purplish-) brown metallics. I complained loudly when I bought Hotel Particulier that it wasn't the color I thought I was getting - I thought it was going to be much more pink. (Although then I decided I liked it after all and put it in my top five polishes of 2016.) Here is a separate swatch of Adrenaline Crush - I know I wore it but I can't find a picture - and Petra is linked up at the top.

You can see in this picture, I think - at least it looks that way in the bottle - that Adrenaline Crush is a little lighter than the other two - maybe it's a little more pink. But still, they're all pretty close. I was going to say that one thing to think about is that Miracle Gel is cheaper than the other two. But I'm pretty sure Hotel Particulier is discontinued anyway, because it was LE in the first place. (It would be effectively the most expensive since it's $15.50 for a teeny tiny bottle.) Marc Jacobs polishes are $18, as I recall, but you get more polish, and also they do have sales on the website from time to time. That's when I bought mine, when they were having a 50% off sale. So when that happens it becomes $9 and the price difference from Miracle Gel becomes pretty close to negligible, in theory. I suppose you'd still have to pay shipping.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pumped Up Pink

This is Insta-Dri Pumped Up Pink:
I just bought this, but I think it may already be discontinued. (One clue: it was marked down to $1.99.) As you probably know already if you pay attention to the Sally Hansen rack at your local drugstore, SH has just re-done the Insta-Dri line with new labels and also some new polishes. And I checked the website and this one is not listed. However, it's pretty newly discontinued so I think it's likely to still be findable here and there. And it is very pretty, in its own super-girly way, and Valentine's Day is coming up, after all, and I typically go into hyper-pink mode sometime around late January/early February. So I may be trying this one out very soon. I'll report back if I do.

It's very inconvenient for my manicure schedule when Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras overlap like they do this year. I think Mardi Gras is the 13th and Valentine's Day is of course on the 14th, which means it also falls on Ash Wednesday - which is slightly weird, but I'm not Catholic so that makes no actual difference to me. I think Lunar (aka Chinese) New Year is also that same week, like maybe the 16th. (I don't have a polish especially for that one, but I always think about doing a nice lacquer-red thing. Usually I never get around to it though. Although, hmm, I have some great reds that I hardly ever manage to get around to before Valentine's Day...)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Assorted empties

NOTE: my apologies if you tried to read this earlier, I apparently posted this without half re-reading for typos. I think most of them are fixed now!!

I've had this forever, and it's an excellent product and I don't know why it took me so long to use it up. I think I just kept (accidentally) shoving it in a corner somewhere and forgetting I had it. I don't know if you can read this label - the light is weird - but this is Clinique Turnaround Overnight, and apparently this one is so old they've changed the name, a bit - mine says "radiance moisturizer" and the new ones say "revitalizing" instead. (Is that the buzzword of the moment?)

I didn't even notice when I put these two together that they both have "BB" in their names - I just put them together because they were similar heights. So we have Dr Jart+ Beauty Balm and Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. I love a lot of Dr Jart products and I love the feel of this balm, but it's not the most flattering color on me. And then I ordered this Invisible Oil when I actually meant to order the Invisible Oil PRIMER, and boy was I shocked, because this is less than an ounce, whereas the primer is a big 8-oz thing. I should have just returned it, but no, I kept it. And actually I've started putting it right on my hair recently (added: meaning I put it on my ends at night, only), which is something that I would never have dreamed of doing a few years ago. But still, I don't love it the way I love the primer.

I wanted to be sure to remember this soap from Bath & Body Works, which I've been using in my kitchen, because I bought two different scents in this same kind of bottle and I like this one better:
I think the other one is (mint with) lemongrass, and it's fine, too, I just like this one best. So for later when I'm scratching my head trying to remember what the one was I liked better was, I have it written down. (I guess this is the current version of it. Or maybe this, because mine didn't foam.)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lumiere & Cassiopeia

So I bought several things from HB Beauty Bar, one thing from ILNP, and then a couple of polishes from KL Polish. I showed a Cassiopeia mani already but here are swatches for both of them, Cassiopeia and Lumiere.
Kathleen's polish names are kind of all over the place, I think deliberately, but she mostly sticks to one or two words or a short phrase (offhand, "That's What She Said" comes to mind). So here we have Cassiopeia, like the constellation, and Lumiere, presumably after the Beauty & the Beast character. These are not from the same collection - Cassiopeia is from the Winter collection, and Lumiere is from the Colourpop collab - do you call it a collab when it's sort of with yourself? What it is is colors to match the lip colors that she came up with for CP previously. Anyway, here's Lumiere. I know I watched the video for the Lips & Tips/KLxColourpop collection when it came out, and she said it's harder to match the colors up than you'd think. What looks good in a lip color isn't going to look as good in a polish, necessarily - or in some cases the pigments don't really match up well. I don't have any of the lippies so I don't really know how well she succeeded.

Honestly I have to say that I'm not in love with Lumiere, as a color - it's pretty much just your basic dusty rose.
On the other hand, the only other dusty rose I can think of offhand that I have is a Rimmel one that I've never really been all that into. And I do have Zoey, which was from KL Polish's first collection a year ago - but that seems to me to be much more neutral. I didn't pull out Zoey to compare, though. (On KLP's website: Lumiere, Zoey. Definitely similar, but Zoey is more tan-looking, and not as pink. Less saturated, I guess?) Anyway, I'm sure I will wear this, even if it ends up mostly getting used for layering.

I already showed my Cassiopeia manicure - I really like it a lot.
It's a very-dark-brown holo - like a night-sky effect.

Added: KL Polish does have a promo going - I don't see it promoted on the website but I'm pretty sure it was running through the 30th. It's "Make Your Own Bundle" - put three polishes in the cart and you will see it. It's three polishes for $19.95 - I assume you do still have to pay shipping. It shows up as the 3rd polish having a huge discount. I put three in my cart but I couldn't quite make up my mind to hit the checkout button. If it had been running before I bought these two I would have been on it like a shot. (The three I put in the cart were Mia, Mindy, and Casino Night.) Partly I backed off because I was thinking that Kathleen's birthday polish is bound to show up soon, and would I rather have that? And I won't know the answer to that til I see it!

Added (2) (in case anybody happens to be looking): I got an e-mail with the birthday polish and it goes on sale Feb. 1. It looks like golden glitter and holo glitter. (I think the video is probably on YouTube, either on Kathleen's channel or the KL Polish channel, if not both.) Honestly, I don't think that sounds like something I really need, unless it looks really fabulous when it's swatched. I have gold glitters out the kazoo. (But then, I'm pretty sure I said that last year, too, and then I went "well it's champagne" and bought it anyway, and I'm not the least bit sorry.)

Added (3): here's the video, and apparently it's a sheer topper, which does make a difference. Still, I'm waiting for swatches, for sure.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Best Face Forward

This is Morgan Taylor Best Face Forward:
This is from the "Selfie" collection from last summer, which I guess explains the name. MT describes it as a purple neon, which... huh. Not really how I would've described it. In the bottle it's clearly got (blue) microglitter in it, although on the nail it doesn't seem to show up much. It's matte and sort of glowy, but neon? Not really. (I'm not really into neons anyway so that doesn't matter to me, and it looks pretty.)

This is another of the polishes I bought from HB Beauty Bar just lately, so it's still current.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Black Orchid

I did that thing I sometimes do where I suddenly decide I must have a certain polish, in this case ILNP Black Orchid:
Apparently this was released several years ago, but it's still available so thanks to the magic of the internets, here it is. It's a deep red-violet holo and it's lovely.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More from HB Beauty Bar

I wanted another one of those peach color correctors like I bought at HB Beauty Bar a while back, and while I could have gotten it somewhere else, I knew I could get it at HB Beauty Bar and it'd be 20% off - they always seem to have a 20% off special running - and I could use the excuse of free shipping (at $35) to buy some polish, too. Actually I ended up buying more than one (identical) corrector (not pictured) plus four polishes, and they also sent a free Jordana eyeliner (also not pictured, because I forgot about it when I was taking the pictures).
(I did put one concealer in the picture so you could see it - it's LAGirl Pro Conceal, in peach.) Then the polishes are (L-R) China Glaze Holo At Ya Girl! (which is from the Rebel collection in fall 2016, and was marked down), Morgan Taylor Best Face Forward, from last summer's Selfie collection, OPI Feel The Chemis-tree (from the practically-still-new holiday 2017 collection), and Essie Maki Me Happy, which is from last fall's collection. I've done swatches of these and I'll get them up in upcoming days. (I'm wearing Feel The Chemis-tree as I write this and I believe the NOTD post will have gone up by the time this is posted. It only has the tiniest bit of tip-wear after days and days. This must be that good OPI wear that everybody talks about and I rarely actually experience.)

Monday, January 22, 2018

NOTD: Feel The Chemis-tree

This was taken hastily at work and it doesn't particularly do it justice, but this is my favorite-polish-of-the-moment, OPI Feel The Chemis-tree:
It seems to be the same pigment that's in Turn On The Northern Lights, but with a different color base. (Keep going, OPI - make this in more colors. I for one will keep buying them.) So this one is plummy - red-violet instead of blue-violet. I liked TOtNL enough that I put it in my top 3 polishes of 2017, but I like this even more because the pigment shows up better. (I'm just not sure it shows up well in this picture, unfortunately.)

This was in the holiday collection - I think it's Love OPI XOXO - and so it should still be findable. I bought mine at HB Beauty Bar. (I also bought some other stuff at the same time, and I think the haul pictures are coming up tomorrow.)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Empties: lip butters

I've got a bunch of empties but for today I'll just show you these:
This is Revlon Colorburst lip butter in Lollipop and Nyx lip butter in Hunk (which is now called Thunderstorm - I talked about that here and also back here). The Nyx is my favorite, I've finished up three of these, I think, because I re-apply it compulsively when my lips feel dry. The Revlon one is fine too but I don't quite like the color as much on me.

Friday, January 19, 2018

NOTD: Accessorize glitter, matte

This is a little mini bottle of glitter from the chain Accessorize, and it came to me marked Teal Glitter, I believe, so that's what I've always called it. (I think I bought it from a blog sale for 50 cents or something.)
It's pretty. It was of course more glittery before I put the matte top-coat on, but I like it matte just as much.

The bad news was that it didn't wear very well. However, it didn't stain at all when I took it off so that's always nice. I was just sure it would!

This chain doesn't exist around here, to my knowledge - and I don't know if they still sell nail polish at all. Really, I imagine these are discontinued and not easy to find, but you never know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Show Stopping

I'm starting to think about pinks and reds, since we're less than a month away from Valentine's Day, and so here's Sinful Colors Show Stopping (over some random red):
This is a pale pink microglitter with holo glitter mixed in. It's well-named, really, because it's very flashy. It seems to be discontinued but I bet it's findable if you poke around.

(If you want to see it over a paler color, here it is over a medium pink.)

Monday, January 15, 2018

NOTD: Cassiopeia

I've already forgotten why I suddenly decided I needed some KL Polish a couple of weeks ago (were they having a sale? I'm not sure) and so I ordered Cassiopeia and Lumiere. Cassiopeia was the one I really had in my head that I wanted from the winter collection; Lumiere was the one from Lips & Tips (aka Colourpop x Kathleen, because the polishes match her past Colourpop lip collabs) that I thought would most suit me.

I've done swatches and I'll get those up eventually, but for now here's Cassiopeia on my nails. First, in the shade:
It's very dark brown with something going on, is all you can really tell here. You have to get it in the sun (very-late-afternoon winter sun, here) to really see that it's a scattered holo.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

And Further

Here is Lollipop Posse ...And Further:
This is a lot of purple stuff in a blackish base. By "stuff" I mean shifty pigments and holo glitter. That's Adrenaline Crush is at the bottom of the wheel here, and And Further is the nail above that. By itself it goes on rather thin-looking with the first coat, but it firms up nicely with the second. And then the other thing I was trying to do here was recreate this mani, where I slapped it on on top of Zoya Carter, and it was lovely. It's hard to decode my various arrows & abbreviations there, but I think the darkest one is And Further over Black Creme, and And Further over Carter is the one under that.

I believe these polishes are not actually findable right now anyway. I happened to get in on a pre-order (and I have to say I wish I'd gotten more than one!) - and the preorder is done now, and as far as I know this polish is gone.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sparkle Like a Unicorn

I have a weakness for unicorn stuff, so this NailsInc set just reeled me right in:
It was only $15 for two full-size bottles, which is half-price from NailsInc's normal prices. (See here - and I hadn't seen the Dirty Unicorn polishes on that page, which is dangerous.)
I don't know how well you can read this but it is from the back of the box and it amuses me. Although nothing here except the unicorns on the box is actually holographic. (Is there like a law that you have to say anything with the word unicorn is also holographic?)

The colors are Dream Dust and Rainbow Wishes:

Dream Dust reads as pink on its own, but below that it's over black and it looks completely different.

Rainbow Wishes is also pinkish on its own, but it's more shifty, and over black it looks sort of purple-blue like it does in the bottle.
I think these will be fun to play around with, and by NailsInc's standards they're very reasonably priced.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Once Upon A Time

This is Chick Polish Once Upon A Time:
This is an indie that's been out of business for several years, which is a shame because I really like this polish and I'd love to have a backup. This is #6 on the wheel by itself and #5 over black. So on its own it's a somewhat sheer coral-ish pink. You can build it up to near-opacity but I mostly wear it as a top-coat. Over black you can see that it's still pink-looking but also more metallic.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

NOTD: Aura

This is Formula X Aura, which (although I know it looks brown on my monitor) is actually a red glitter in a black base:
I'm pretty sure Aura is the only Formula X polish I actually paid retail price for - mostly I waited for them to be marked down - and I found it disappointing. Everybody always complained about Formula X being expensive, and it was definitely on the high side (more than OPI and Essie, anyway) but it wasn't as expensive as Nails Inc or Rescue Beauty or pretty much any luxury brand. I think it was $10.50 or so, wasn't it? - maybe a little more depending on what type of formula it was. It's probably more than I ought to be paying but I buy fewer polishes now than I used to, in general, so I don't feel quite so bad about paying a little more for an individual polish. (See: the ILNP that is now winging its way to me. I'll get back to you on that one later.)

Anyway, I'm tempted to pull this picture down because it doesn't show the color accurately anyway and it kind of looks like there's a bald spot on my middle finger which I totally didn't notice in real life, but eh, maybe you can get the basic idea, at least. It definitely reads as redder than this, but the texture looks about right, anyway.

Formula X is discontinued - I don't know, are they showing up at TJMaxx or any place like that, or did they just sell them all for $2 on the Sephora website? I haven't seen anybody mention finding one since the big clearance sale, so I'm not sure. They might be findable here and there.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Late Black Friday haul

I bought a bunch of stuff from Nyx to give for gifts on Black Friday, and now that the gifts are given I can post the pictures. The only thing I kept out of this was the darkest color, which is a backup of the one I wear. (Which is the one that used to be called Hunk and is now called Thunderstorm, and it goes on as sort of a medium red-violet, much lighter than it looks from the tube.)
I must have a record somewhere of the name of this blush color, but I haven't found it so far. I did take a picture of the lipstick colors, so I have those. The box set of three is Beach BBQ, Easy Livin', and Neon Lights. The three loose pink ones are Taffy, Gumdrop, and Seashell. (And then Thunderstorm on the right.)

I did swatches on my wrist and I didn't write down what was what, but I think this is mostly in the same order. Presumably Thunderstorm is the bright one on the right - so Seashell may be pale bit that's hard to see on the far side of that.
I gave Beach BBQ to my sister and she really liked it. (I also gave her KL Magic City, which likewise went really over well. I knew she likes red-oranges the same way I like red-violets.) The rest went to other family members and I'm not completely clear on what went to whom, honestly. I should have taken a picture of the whole pile before I sorted it out - there was a lot more stuff than just this - but it was very much at the last minute and it didn't occur to me. I had Colourpop stuff, too, and Clinique, and all my Sephora Play leftovers and assorted deluxe samples. I decided I usually overthink the question of what exact color I give to whom and so I waited til the last minute on purpose (literally, like, 3am Christmas morning) so I had to just do it and not think too hard about it. Luckily everybody seemed to really like what they got!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

NOTD: Rich Girls & Po-Boys plus Peak Of Chic

Rob gave me these two polishes for a Christmas surprise (I think they came from Tuesday Morning):
This is Essie Peak Of Chic (from the Encrusted Treasures collection of a couple of years ago) and OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys (from the New Orleans collection, of course). I tested them out, as you see, and decided they would look very nice together. This picture is after I had been wearing this for days and you can tell, but I did like the result.
I just tried to do a snowy effect - I put more on some nails and less on others. Peak Of Chic is actually a bar glitter, and I usually am not at all fond of bar glittter, but somehow on this one, it works. (I think it's a smaller bar, which probably helps.) I swatched it by itself, also, and over black:
Peak Of Chic is more successful as a top-coat, I think (and even then only as a holiday specialty thing - I can't see wearing it again any time soon). It looks alright by itself, but awfully textured. I don't like it at all over black.

I didn't swatch Rich Girls & Po-Boys by itself since you can see perfectly well what it looks like anyway - a nice blue creme. I think it's lighter than all those blue cremes I was comparing last summer, but maybe I'll do a comparison at some point to check.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Top 3 swatches

To recap, if you haven't been reading the last few days, these were my picks for my top 3 polishes of 2017, in what I decided was my order of preference:
  1. High Tide (ILNP)
  2. Prince Cornelious (KL Polish)
  3. Turn On the Northern Lights! (OPI)
Honestly, if I had it to do over again, as I mentioned, I might jump So Jelly up to #3, even though it's discontinued. But I already did the swatches and I'm not doing them over again. (I don't think it would have been #1 in any case.) Actually, Turn On the Northern Lights reminds me of So Jelly, in a way - the shimmer in it reminds me of the Unicorn Pee pigment that's in So Jelly. But Turn On the Northern Lights sort of got graded down because I couldn't see that pigment all that well in the living room, even with some extra lights set up. I haven't looked at the pictures blown up large so we'll find out shortly if it shows up here.

(They may not be in the same order every time, but this one, at least, is in the order they're listed above. They don't look anything alike, at least, so that helps. High Tide is the bright blue-green one, Prince Cornelious is the red-brown one, and Turn On the Northern Lights is the dark-blue/blurple one.)

This is my first ILNP nail polish, as it happens. They're pretty expensive so I chose carefully, and obviously I seem to have done a pretty good job with that! The KL polish is part of the fall collection, which is the one where I bought the whole collection. And... hmm, come to think of it, I don't even remember where I got the OPI. I do know this is the only one I got from the collection, though. (Oh, huh, I'd forgotten this completely - I got it on eBay. The spreadsheet comes through again.)

I was experimenting with doing swatches on little plastic spoons, so this is what I did. Really I don't much like dealing with the little separate spoons so you probably won't see this much in future, but on the other hand, I still have some spoons left so I'm not going to say I'm never doing it again, either. I was thinking of the old Zoya spoons - remember those? - and I do like the fact that you can turn them over and get a decent approximation of what they'll look like with a heavy top-coat like Seche Vite. So I took pictures from both sides - front:
and back:
Notice that you can see the pigment in TOTNL on the top spoon (at least, on my home monitor you can!), but not really at all when you turn it over. That's why it came in third. High Tide is so showy that poor Prince Cornelious really can't compete - but really I like it a lot, too, that's why it's here in the first place.

I did swatches the way I usually do them, too - here's High Tide:

Prince Cornelious:
(Prince Cornelious doesn't seem to show up best in swatches, really - and it doesn't help that I managed to mar the finish on this one. I didn't even notice until I looked at the pictures.)

and Turn On The Northern Lights:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

And my favorite polish of 2017 is...

One thing: I don't usually have treatment products in the running for this (and I still didn't), but I would like to mention a top-coat, because I have worn this and worn it in the six months or so that I've had it, and that's Pretty Serious Matte All The Things. It's just the right amount of matte, somehow, and I really love it. We'll call it an Honorable Mention, officially. (It's sold out on PS at the moment - I just checked - but here is its page, for reference purposes!)

I was tempted to count down like a beauty pageant, but I'll resist. My favorite polish of 2017 is:
ILNP High Tide
(This is what it looks like matte!)

I will tell you what the runners-up were:
  • Prince Cornelious (KL Polish)
  • Turn On the Northern Lights! (OPI)
I also had a late wave of fondness for So Jelly, which I had already eliminated because it's not a current polish. But I got over it.
I took pictures that I'll show you tomorrow (that's here), but when I got down to three, I went and pulled the bottles out and re-swatched, and it was just no contest. This polish just glows.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Favorites of 2017 (the shortlist)

I'm still working towards a favorites list, so this is my shortlist, selected from the big list yesterday. Again, note that these were not necessarily brand-new polishes in 2017, just ones that I wore for the first time.

I've been pulling out the discontinued polishes from this list (I left Pixi-lated, since it's still in stock). Going by the brand's own websites, that takes out these:
  • Cherry Fast (discontinued, and this one surprised me - I guess it didn't survive the recent re-do)
  • Das Esspensive XXV (limited edition)
  • I Wand It That Way (discontinued)
  • Marine (brand discontinued)
  • So Jelly (limited edition)
  • The Last Petal (limited edition Beauty & the Beast tie-in)
I usually call those my Honorable Mentions. My rules are not exactly set in stone, so it's not like I couldn't let one of these go into the top 10 if I really wanted to, but I don't think I do. (So Jelly and Das Esspensive are the ones that might be serious candidates. I called Das Esspensive my favorite of the first half, but I don't know, I'm not feeling it so much now.)

And that leaves me with a top 10 for 2017 (in alphabetical order):
  • Adrenaline Crush
  • Destiny 
  • High Tide
  • Hypnotic
  • Peri-wink-le of an Eye
  • Pixi-lated
  • Prince Cornelious
  • Turn On the Northern Lights!
  • When U Say My Name
  • Where's the Party Canon At?
The surprising thing to me is that there are still a couple of cremes in the running. That's unusual for me.

A couple of pictures - Hypnotic & Das Esspensive XXV: