Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Essie Coconut Cove

Sorry for the break. It's been a long one. 

I decided I needed to do something about my dying nails. Around about last October, almost all of my nails became partially detached from my nail beds. They looked terrible. Similar to the chemical burns a lot of people suffered when Mentality polish let those bad batches of polish out. I still don't have an answer as to why, except maybe wearing polish 365 days a year for five or six years isn't a great idea. Around mid-March I badly tore one of them; I had maybe about 1/4 of an inch of nail left on my index finger. The pain, blood, and swears that followed were not nice. 

So I stopped painting. Cold turkey. I moisturized and oiled but that's where the attention to my fingers ended. I stopped buying polish, stopped reading a lot of blogs and hoped they'd grow back normal. They have, I'm happy to say, but I feel like I've lost a lot of interest in the hobby, which bums me out. I've lost a lot of confidence too. I feel like I can't pull off interesting colors, and I'm now terrified of glitter again.  

So even though I'm hesitant to paint my nails, I'll try getting back on the horse. I've got an Alex literally full of polish, so I'd feel like a fool if I let it all just waste away. We'll see how it goes. 

My hatred for summer is not a secret here. It was very easy to not buy any polish this spring and summer because none of it appealed to me. Coconut Cove was the exception, though. It's just a nice, opaque off-white. I did two thicker coats rather than three thin ones, and got a chip on my index finger (hence the little patch job). It's summery without being over the top. 

So if I wasn't painting my nails this summer, what was I doing? 

1. Stranger Things. Oh my god, guys. This show. I haven't been so into a show since the first season of Once Upon a Time. Or the fourth season of American Horror Story. I literally do not know how to live my life until the second season comes out next year. Ugh. 

2. The Great British Bake Off. Mary Berry is officially my new favorite everything. The 2014 series is my favorite (and the only one available on Netflix right now, unfortunately) and I've watched it probably 20 times now. How flipping cute is Martha? And Richard!? Honestly, he should have won.

3 & 4. Yewwwtweewb. I've been watching Peaceful Cuisine, along with Simon and Martina, obsessively all summer. After an overload of Red Letter Media, I really needed stuff that was calming and cheerful. 

5. Wiener Party? Late to the party on this one, but I'm catching up. Boyfriend and I have managed to get to mid-season 5 in about a month. I'd like to be fully caught up by the time the next season is out, I hate being out of the loop. Honesty time: am a bit disappointed I'm not seeing more wieners. Was promised floppy wieners. Also it took me too long to realize Theon is Lily Allen's little brother. Oh Alfie, ya naughty.

6. Welcome To Night Vale. All Hail the Glow Cloud. Podcasts have become a HUGE part of my life this year, and this is one of my favorites. I took my car in for some repairs in late spring, and in fixing the problem, my cd player came unplugged. If I wanted it to work again, I'd have to go to the dealership and have them reprogram it, and it was a top priority for me to get it fixed since I can't stand to listen to silence when I drive. But I've literally gone the whole summer without it because I just listen to this now. It's on when I'm cooking, when I'm cleaning the house, and it lulls me to sleep at night. 

7. Lore. Another podcast I am head over heels for. I thought I was the only weirdo that dived into creepy rabbit holes in my spare time. What a silly notion. My only complaint? It's bi-weekly, so I get an awesome 35-40 minute fix and am left high and dry for two weeks. Apparently it's being turned into a television series as well, I am SO.EXCITED. 

I'm also taking serious charge of my health. Over the past month I've cut out dairy, carbs, fast food, soda, and sugar and I've dropped about 15 pounds. Super proud of that. The first couple weeks were hard and I was a grumpy, salty bitch because I couldn't have peanut butter sandwiches (one of my reasons for living), or get up in the night for a semi-conscious midnight snack (my sister refers to that as being a werepiggy), but I feel better than I've felt in years. The puffiness in my face is gone, and since I've cut dairy out I no longer get horrible stomach cramps. I've got a ways to go to get to my goal weight (about 2 years), but I'm going to keep on going.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sally Hansen In Full Blue-m

Go home, Spring. You're drunk. 

I don't know why I like spring. I shouldn't. The allergies, the onslaught of warm sunshine, the explosion of life all around me...all these things should make me very grumpy. Call me weird, but I LIKE winter. I like stillness, leafless trees, and a feeling of life in stasis. It's nice. It feels like time has stopped and you can just relax for a bit. But when spring begins I get a little giddy in spite of myself. 

It's barely March and life in my garden is in full swing. I've got buds on my pomegranate trees, a little bird building a nest in the bushes in my backyard, and flower-themed, pastel polishes on my mind. I'm going to start with one I wore a lot last spring but never got around to photographing. 

In Full Blue-m (while I like the effort, Sally, the execution is a little sloppy) is a really lovely, watery periwinkle. I say periwinkle because there is a drop of lavender that just doesn't translate well on the camera. It's there though, I promise. I feel like I've seen this exact shade in a Monet painting somewhere. It's soft, beguiling, and is going to look amazing on everyone. 

When I first bought it I was worried it would be too close to Zoya Kristen, but it's much more color-saturated, and has much less grey. There is also that elusive lavender undertone. Their only similarity is finish, which is a nice, dense creme. And while I am not one to kick a creme out of bed, I almost feel that a shade this ethereal would have looked better with a more jelly-like finish (think Zoya Miley, or Orly Bon Bon, just more blue). 

I noticed they're re-promoting this shade this year, so it should be easily found at the drugstore. This was 3 perfect coats with Essie Better Than Gel on top. I never thought I'd see myself buying a $10 top coat and justifying it, but that ish is GOOD. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sinful Colors Glass Pink

How about another shimmery pink? It's not the most exciting polish choice, but I like the way it makes my nails look. 

I've had Glass Pink for a few years but I've never had the urge to wear it until a couple days ago. It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but  just one of those colors that you have to really be in the mood to wear. 

I layered one coat of Glass Pink over 3 coats of Essie Tying the Knotie, which was from the 2015 bridal collection. I'm not sure if I've shown in on here before but I really should. It's a gorgeous, creamy neutral pink and set off the golden shimmer in Glass Pink perfectly. 

I ended up not wearing anything for Galentine's Day/Valentine's Day-bf and I just weren't feeling it this year. We don't usually make a big deal about it, but I spent the better part of the 14th in the emergency room so by the time I got home all I had energy for was a pizza and a couple episodes of Naked and Afraid with him. When we are feeling particularly silly we just watch and laugh at the butt shots, and at the contestants in general. 

I feel like my pink craving is running its course, so we'll see what I come up with next.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bicicletta

I am off to such a late start this year. What with working and the embarrassing amount of television I've been watching, I just haven't had time for nails. I signed back up for Netflix on a whim early last month and I really haven't stopped watching. I'll take breaks to sleep, and work, but I find my butt parked and Netflix on for the rest of the time. I'll generously call it a 'nesting period'. 

I've had Nails Inc. Victoria on for most of January, and even some of February. It's just that good. A long time ago I would have promised to take pictures and put it up here, but let's be honest. That probably won't happen until *maybe* October. Realistically speaking. But I did have a craving for something girly and sparkly (everything Victoria isn't), so I thought I'd see if Bicicletta would indulge that. 

The lighting today wasn't very good-winter lighting never is, so it's photographing much warmer than it is in real life. It's what fairy wings and princess dresses are made of: a shimmering, glimmering pale pink with silvery, sugary sparkle. I tried to blur the last photo to show how gorgeous the shimmer is in this polish; didn't turn out quite the way I hoped, but you get the idea. 

I used three coats since it's a bit on the sheer side and I'm still growing out the damage to my nails. I almost wish I'd saved this to wear on Galentine's Day, but again, I have no idea if I'll even be motivated to wear polish then. 

There is one thing that is my favorite so far this year. It fuels me when I'm down and makes me laugh like a hyena when it catches me off guard. It is this incredibly derpy picture I took of my sister's dog a few weeks ago:

Look at this doofus. Lounging around like he's the King of Chins. My sister and I were having a Trailer Park Boys marathon and I looked over and he was giving me this totally blissed-out face. Every so often I'll send it to my sister with some cheesy OKCupid pick-up line. It passes the time. 

Till next time. Hopefully I'll get my butt in gear and wear polish more, but it feels like an uphill battle with my nails in such a crummy state. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Finger Paints Santa's Little Topper

Hopefully this won't be my last Christmas manicure, but it's a distinct possibility since I'm working full-time this week, running errands, and doing the Christmas shopping. I have a couple ideas rolling around in my head, and I was hoping for a chance to try something new, but I would be okay with redoing my manicure from last year, which I really enjoyed. 

I tried a few times to photograph this exact manicure last season, but just never got the right light angle, or it would chip before I could get good pictures of it, or any other number of reasons I didn't get many good holiday manicures documented last year. Santa's Little Topper is such a nice, gentle, subtle Christmas glitter; it looks good over almost any color, but my favorite combination is with Essie Mint Candy Apple. It's sort of a pastel, marshmallow-y, retro Christmas combination. Or snowdrifts and birch branches and holly berries. Santa's Little Topper is, I believe, the only glitter I own that contains bar glitter, which I would never, ever own under usual circumstances because bar glitter offends every atom in my body. But I can overlook it in this case because it is so small and sparse. 

Another thing I like about Santa's Little Topper is that the suspension is slightly red-tinged, so it sort of changes the tone of the base. Mint Candy Apple is a little intense for me as a winter polish, but a thin coat of a clear, red-tinged topper like SLT and it becomes a little dirtier, and a little more grey, which reminds me more of snow. 

1 coat of Santa's Little Topper over 2 of Mint Candy Apple. A few of my little students like to see what new nails I have every week, and they really, really liked this one. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

I am going to be honest guys...most of the holiday polish collections I've seen from major brands this year are incredibly disappointing. I will concede that there are a few pretty ones in the O.P.I. Starlight (I think that's what it's called) collection, but nothing I'm desperate to get my hands on. 

If I'm honest, my tastes run towards the classics. Rich, decadent red cremes, sparkly silver and gold, emerald anything...that's what I like to see. And since I didn't get it, I'm looking at past polishes for my fix. 

In my humble opinion, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is probably one of the most beautiful polishes ever made. Ever. And this is coming from someone who doesn't wear a lot of glass fleck. It's a beautiful, deep green that can look straight up emerald, or more teal (or blue spruce as I like to think of it) depending upon the lighting. On top of this, there are flashes of gold glimmer. It is just explosive in the sunlight. I come off as a vain idiot because I literally hold my nails to the light every chance I get. 

I took these pictures after about 5 days of wear. FIVE. I did this because I'm putting the new Essie Gel Setter top coat through its paces. And it's good. I love my European Secrets Rock Top Coat, but about a third of the way through the bottle I notice it shrinks my tips, which is incredibly annoying. However it does mask any and all bubbling and imperfections so I'm not eliminating it permanently from my top coat line up. 

3 coats of Christmas goodness, and Essie Gel Setter top coat. Y.U.M. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

L'Oreal Masked Affair

Sorry for the different locale, but the house is kind of crowded this week; granted, a grocery store parking lot isn't private either, but I'll take what I can get. 

I've intentionally saved Masked Affair for the Holiday Season, because it just has that kind of feel to it. It's a steely grey, lavender-tinged linear holo. Pretty much perfection. Formula was great, but I needed 3 coats for full-coverage-lately when I've been painting I've just done two (hooray for laziness!). I added top coat with misgivings, but I shouldn't have worried. 

The season is starting a little slowly for me. I've been sick as a dog the last couple weeks. It started out as a cold, developed into a wicked sinus infection, and then to top it off, one of the little nuggets that I tutor gave me some kind of viral eye infection. So I'm down, but not out. I'm planning on getting the tree out this weekend, and I may or may not have watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas 3 times already. And I've got a HUGE stash of Holiday polishes to get through. Last year I wore a lot but just never got around to photographing them. Hopefully this year will be different.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle

I've always been vocal about green and I not getting along, but if there's one green that wins me over 100% of the time, it is emerald. And since I heard that RBL will be closing its doors at the end of the month, I thought I'd pull out Recycle and see how it looks. I'm happy to say that I cannot get enough of this color. It's a rich, blackened (but never mistaken for black) emerald green that hits all the right notes: it compliments my skin tone, it's deep and brooding, and the depth of color is fantastic. 

RBL really knows how to do dark, moody colors, so it's a shame that Ji has decided to shut down. They were very pricey polishes, but very high quality, and the attention to detail, along with the creative thought that went into the colors and descriptions made them extra special. They are among my favorite polishes in my hoard. And since my switch to Nail Envy, they are the about the longest-wearing on me, barring textures.

Everything except the most recent Fan Collection is 50% off right now, and I may or may not have ordered quite a few farewell bottles. 

I added butter LONDON's Bit Faker for a little sparkle, hopefully it doesn't come off as holiday. I'm really excited for winter and holiday-mode to kick in, but I'm trying to restrain myself until at least Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

China Glaze Getting to Gnaw You

Fall is joke this year. It's always late in coming where I live-Southern California isn't known for its festive weather-but it was 89 degrees in my living room yesterday. I take two cold showers a day to stave off sticky sweating. I do most of my errands in the evenings when I don't have to worry about 2nd degree burns from just sitting in my car. I run out of cool clothes 5 times as fast because I sweat through them till they're soaking. I can't cook a hot meal because it makes the whole house turn into an oven. And I'm really starting to resent it. Frankly, if you live in a climate that allows for blissfully chilly autumn days, and gorgeous leaf coloring, I kind of hate you. I hate you and your scarves and your riding boots and your hot drinks. You suck. Meanwhile I'm sweating to death amidst fucking palm trees and the sun hurts my eyes.

In addition to this, no matter how normal my nails look in these pictures, they're falling apart and I have no idea how long it will be before they are normal again. Six of my fingernails have become partially detached from my nail bed-I can only assume it's psoriasis-related, because I don't have any other symptoms that would indicate a chemical burn. It doesn't hurt, but I have to be very careful not to tear them, or get them caught on something-I don't doubt they'd completely tear off if I were careless. 

Halloween, right now anyway, seems pointless to me. It's too hot to even think about burning my scented candles or wearing sweaters, most of the people in my house are too ill to decorate or think about trick or treaters, and I'm obviously out of sorts. Right now, the only way I can think to mark the holiday is to wear Getting to Gnaw You.

I have to just say first that I hate the name. It makes me think about the song, and then it gets stuck in my head and I become even more annoyed and unreasonable than I am right now. But damn, it's a nice color. It's a dark, smoky jelly filled with small, coppery-orange glitters. Very Halloweeny. I did one thick coat over Essie Licorice. It dries down matte, so if you want it shiny, top coat is a must. 

I'll see how I'm feeling closer to Halloween. Who knows, my mood may change. But from where I'm standing right now, what's the point?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Essie In The Lobby

September! Pre-Halloween month! I was at CVS the other day and they already had out decorations and candy and lots of Fall nail polish collections. I got really excited, so even though I'm nursing a really bad head cold, I couldn't resist using one of the new Fall Essies. 

In The Lobby is not a unique color by any means, but it's just what I need after a summer of friggin' color. Inside it is your garden variety vamp. It could be red, or purple, or even brown...but you'll never know until you get into better light. Sunlight and bright artificial light reveal it to be a deep purple wine. Again, nothing ground breaking, but really refreshing.

This was two coats, another would have just been gilding the lily. It definitely applies darker than it is in the bottle, but c'mon. Vamps. Are. The. Best. 

Now I'm off to nurse this stupid cold and prepare for all the Fall things.