Monday, February 28, 2022

The sad demise of Zoya Carter

I asked my husband the other night what color I should paint my nails. I've always done this periodically, when I can't make up my mind. (Valentine's Day is over and it's a bit early to go into St. Patrick's Day mode...) So I threw out a couple of suggestions and he said that maybe purple sounded good, and then he went to bed early and I started poking around looking for all the purples.

And boy, did I find purples. I love purple nail polish, and there's a lot of it, but before long I ran across the polish that I believe I've called my all-time favorite polish once or twice. (Here's me saying it's my very favorite Zoya, anyway, and I own something like 100 of them.) So I decided I would wear Carter.

Here's Carter in the bottle:

It looks fine, but this particular bottle of Carter turned out to have some issues. As you can see, Carter is a purple Pixie Dust (meaning a textured polish), royal purple with magenta sparkle. (Zoya still makes Carter, I checked on this.) And I'm not blaming Zoya for these issues, you understand, since my bottle is apparently about eight years old. According to what I have written down, it was a fall 2013 release, and I bought mine in 2014. It was in my 2014 favorites, too.

First of all, it went on a bit darker than I remember it being - which, fine, darker is more elegant. It still looked good. No, the real problem was that it wouldn't set. I remember Zoya having issues with certain top-coats or base-coats back in the day - I think it didn't play nice with Seche Vite, as I recall. Zoya was a natural brand when pretty much everybody else was not, so I think it may have had something to do with that. By the time I realized last night that it was a problem I had base-coat and top-coat on, so it's probably hard to pin down if there was some kind of incompatibility like that.

I was frustrated. It looked fine, and it felt fine if you didn't press too hard, but when I finally decided I really needed to test it, it scraped right off the nail. (And I tried again with a different base-coat, and it still was doing the same thing. It occurred to me later that I should have tried Zoya's own base-coat, but by the time I thought of that, I had given up). I finally threw this bottle away and did something else entirely.

I can still buy another bottle of Carter, but I probably haven't even worn this polish in a couple of years, so will I? Considering that it would cost $12 now, probably not.

But like I said, nothing against Zoya. Things happen when a polish is old enough to be in grade school.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Nails of the day

 In the interest of getting you all caught up on my doings... well, if you've seen my Instagram you've probably seen some of these pictures, but I know some of you don't go there for one reason or another. So I'm repeating some stuff that's probably already over there.

 This is Hakuna Matata, which I mentioned last time was a BCA polish:

For me, medium pinks have to walk a fine line or become too pale for my taste and/or my skin tone, but this one does a good job.

Incidentally, I think Zombie Claw has a great box:

I think this picture was taken after I've had this one on a while!

This is the only polish I bought from OPI's holiday collection for '21, Ready Fete Go.

This one I think I'd had on for two whole weeks:

I did Do You Sea What I Sea? alone for the first week, and then I patched it up somewhere in there and wore it for another week with Starrily Enchanted on top of it. (So the base color is the OPI and all that flakie stuff going on is Enchanted.)

Monday, February 14, 2022

Bottle shots

 As I've said before, I mostly wasn't buying nail polish during my long hiatus last year. But I did start buying some polish again late in the year, so here's a few pictures:

This one was labeled "Sept new polish":

The Zombie Claw polish came from the Breast Cancer Awareness box - I bought a big box of those a couple of years ago, but this year I only bought the one. The other two were September Polish Pickup polishes. So all three of these were presumably limited edition and aren't obtainable any more. For the record, though, the Zombie Claw (which of course is pink, because BCA) is called Hakuna MaTATA (boob joke, get it?). The Nailed It polish was called Love Is Weakness, and it's much more red than this picture would lead you to believe, with lots of flakies. And the KBShimmer is a purple base, also with tons of flakies. (I have swatches of these somewhere and I'll try to get them up eventually!

And then this trio was a Black Friday purchase, I think - all from Lucky 13, obviously. These three are +5 Sparkle (a top-coat, naturally), Wakanda Forever, and The Sky's The Limit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The nail polish aisle

I wandered into a brand-new H-E-B store the other day and they had quite a nice nail polish aisle, so I took some pictures:

If you don't know what H-E-B is, that probably just means you don't live in Texas. It's a big grocery store chain that is Texas-only and is absolutely beloved by most Texans. (If you do live in Texas and you're wondering where this is, it's on I-45 on the very far southern edge of Houston. It opened about a month ago.)

Monday, January 31, 2022


As I think I mentioned, I've been working on destashing some things, since I have more polishes than I could wear even if I re-did my nails every day -- which I certainly don't.

Here are a few of the things I decided could go:

NailsInc Alexa Lace:

 (These are old pictures.) This is from a collab with Alexa Chung, I believe, and it's meant to mimic lace. I never wore it more than once or twice around Valentine's Day.

 Cirque Succulent Garden, which is just not flattering on my skin-tone:

This is Rococo Stone Cold Karma, which is too neutral for me. I wore it maybe once or twice, and that was years ago.

This is Formula X Prism, which is so sheer it's just more trouble than it's worth, even though the color is gorgeous!

(I added the "meh" tag to this post because it's how I felt about all of these polishes. I didn't hate them but I sure didn't love them, either.)

Friday, January 14, 2022

I'm alive.

I've started buying polish again, and also destashing stuff I don't wear/don't like/didn't close properly (and so on). So hopefully I'll manage to get some more substantial posts up, eventually, too. I'm working on updating pages like the stash list that don't show up as a blog post. also. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Beauty Pie

Hello strangers! I've been gone for a good while but hopefully at least some people will see this!

I've been trying out Beauty Pie, which I've seen described as "Costco for beauty" - I think it does give you the general idea. It's a UK company, but they do ship to the US and they ship fast, so I'm guessing they're not actually shipping from overseas. The idea is that they sell quality beauty products for really insanely low prices - like, drugstore-type prices. But you do have to join - it starts at $10 $15 a month or $99 $60 a year. (Added: The prices have changed since I first wrote this. They are definitely really pushing the annual memberships, but on the other hand if you don't mind being a member for a year, it's far cheaper than it originally was.) 

So far I feel like they're delivering - I really love everything I've tried so far, at least! There is a "spending limit" that's kind of confusing, but so far I've ordered twice without running up against it.

The first time I ordered, I got a small bottle of cologne and a "sample set" with four other scents. I got Petals, Heliotrope & Ambrette, which is really nice. It's flowery without being overwhelmingly flowery, if you know what I mean. That was a 15ml bottle for about $17, and while it's still available, it's apparently a limited edition thing so if you're interested you might want to grab it soon. I'm about halfway through that smallish bottle already, so I decided to order something bigger, and this time I got Mandarin Leaf, White Cedar & Freesia, which I really think smells awesome. I was afraid to order the big bottle without knowing what these smelled like, so I do recommend trying the sample set or a travel size first, but the big sizes are really a good deal at about $22 for 100ml. They say these are made by the finest French perfumers and put the normal retail price at $125, and honestly, I believe that. They seem to be very high-quality.

(Note: I am not being compensated for all this gushing. I'm doing it entirely on my own dime, because I like it.)

Their packaging is adorable, too:

Here's my recent order inside their respective boxes:

The smaller white box is top-coat, and I'll try to report back on that after I've tried it out. They do have nail polish, but it's only a small selection at this point, and I'm still on my polish no-buy so I only bought the top-coat, which I actually did need. (For some reason I have tons of different base-coats but I'm running out of top-coat.)

Later: Verdict on the top-coat after a couple of uses is that I really like it. But I don't know that it's that stunningly better than anybody else's.

Here they are out of the boxes:

L-R, fragrance, shadow stick, top-coat (The brush in the top-coat bottle looks bizarrely huge but it's actually not, it's just your standard wide brush, I think. I opened it up to check!)

The shadow stick is a coppery color, which I like. The only other thing I've tried that I haven't already mentioned above is a glossy "Futurelipstick" which I also liked. (It doesn't have as much of a color payload as I'd like, but I bought it when we were wearing masks all the time, so it didn't seem to matter then!)

And oh! I almost forgot to say that I did indeed get a new phone, so yay, better pictures! (I traded my old 5-year old iPhone SE for a newer iPhone SE. It made an amazing amount of difference.)