Friday, January 31, 2014

L'Oreal Diamond in the Rough

I mentioned before that O.P.I. Baby Please Come Home is my very favorite texture polish. It was my favorite selection from the Mariah Carey Holiday collection. I would even go so far as to say it is my favorite polish of 2013. During the month or so that I was absent from all this, I wore it almost exclusively. I'll feature it at some point...I was thinking it'd make a nice Valentine's manicure. We'll see. 

Anyway, I was at CVS picking up a slew of prescriptions and decided to peruse while I was waiting for them. I spied the the L'Oreal display and it was actually full (as opposed to picked over like it was at Rite Aid). I had been wanting The Statement Piece (and am now eyeing The Reign of Studs) and next to it I saw Diamond in the Rough. I was irresistibly drawn to it, and though I normally wouldn't have left the store with two L'Oreals (almost 7 bucks a pop, ouch) I just couldn't help myself. What the hell was it about this color? I kept examining it at red lights on the way home and only when I got home and set it next to my O.P.I. (it's got a place of pride on my bedside table) that I realized.

Total dupes. 

Do I mind though? Hell no. Because this color is so gorgeous, so delicate and stylish that I just can't get over it. Is it lavender? Is it silver? Is it grey? It's all three and I'm over the moon about it. It reminds me of my youngest aunt who is an artist/clothing designer. She is tall and willowy and just so incredibly chic without even trying. She can be clad entirely in sweatshirt material and look completely elegant. And that's what this color is. Comfy, elegant sweatshirt material that is toned down and glittery at the same time. 

This was two amazing, glitter-packed coats over my new Barielle base coat, which seems to be doing its job. This polish looks gorgeous under any light and I never, ever want to take it off. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

butter LONDON Saucy Jack

It's been a while since I've worn a good, old-fashioned red creme. So long, in fact, that I've forgotten how to photograph them. These pictures are pretty awful, and the third one is the only really color-accurate one (in sunlight, anyway. Like all deep reds, it's a bit of a chameleon). Still, I feel like a fox. 

I hadn't planned on buying anything from butter LONDON's Last Orders sale, but for $7.50 a pop? Not too bad. I picked up five and Saucy Jack was one of them. Not a unique color in the slightest, but damn if I don't feel like a million bucks in this polish. There's just something about dark red, right?

Formula was excellent. It has a similar creme-jelly formula to Jaffa, but without the blood, sweat, and tears. Three coats and I was good to go. Under sunlight it brightens up, but the rest of the time it stays dark and demure. 

Now that I've got this on, I almost don't want to go back to my texture binge. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Zoya Godiva

I just can't quit textures. My boyfriend loathes them and shivers every time he touches my nails when I wear them, but I can't help it-they're easy to apply, they wear like iron on me, and I can skip top coat and not have to worry about sheet marks!
I took advantage of the Zoya 3 free offer earlier this month and picked up Godiva, Nyx, and Rue. I was going to get London instead of Rue, but I can never say no to a blush nude. 

Another overcast day, so the pictures aren't great, but you get the idea. This was three perfect coats of Godiva, a stunning beige nude with sparkling silver texture. The sparkle is looks as if I've dipped my nails into raw sugar. So beautiful. 

It's quiet and understated, but cheerful, which is exactly what I need right now. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nicole by O.P.I. Goodbye Shoes

Finally some sun! Honestly, I never thought I'd type those words since I live on a corner of the planet that is flooded with sunshine 11 months out of the year and am not a fan of the stuff myself. But...I have a ton of new polishes I want to take pictures of and the last few days it's been overcast, and any pictures I try to take indoors end up grainy and color inaccurate. I keep thinking vaguely of making a light box of some kind, but with everything going on, I'll have to file that project under "Someday".

Goodbye Shoes was the only Carrie Underwood polish that really caught my interest. I live for dusty, moody shades like these. It reminded me of of MAC Blue India (a color I kick myself for not snapping up) and I thought it would be lovely for both winter and spring. 

It's decidedly greener than Blue India (I'm going by swatches I see online), but no less girly and delicate. It's a calming color, if that makes sense. I'd love bed sheets in this shade. And the formula? Divine. This was my usual three coats, though two would have been more than sufficient, with GCS on top. I'm also using a new protein base coat from Barielle, so we'll see how that goes; my nails are finally starting to grow out a bit.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

L'Oreal Sexy in Sequins

Sorry for the short nails; I'm pretty rough on my hands nowadays, and breaks are almost daily occurrence for me. I've doubled my dose of biotin and I moisturize whenever I get a chance, but I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference yet. 

I wasn't sure about this polish when I saw photos of it online. It just didn't look very special to me. But perusing Rite Aid last week I happened upon it. In the bottle it looked drop-dead gorgeous-a deep, rich base with golden-green shimmer and what looked like very sparse fuchsia shimmer, and sequin glitters. Hubba hubba. I was positive the pretty shimmer wouldn't translate onto the nail, but what the hell, I had a coupon so it only cost me around two bucks. 

The good news is the shimmer does translate onto the nail. Beautifully. The bad news is it is impossible to capture accurately the complexity of this polish. And though it is quite lovely, I doubt I'd reach for it again. At least not for a while, anyway. But I am going to re-wear it once my nails have grown back out to a comfortable length-I'm never wild about any polish when I have super short nails.

Well, off to get some sleep (I'm late posting this, today was packed); I've got a pineapple upside-down cake to make tomorrow for my boyfriend's birthday. Till next time!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Zoya Tomoko

Some polishes are just too fancy for every day. Tomoko is one of them.

I sort of consider her the evening gown of the polish world. She's glittery and flashy, but somehow chic and understated.

What I appreciated most was the fact that Tomoko didn't goop up like a glitter polish, and even after a third coat it remained nice and thin and flowing. Definitely in my top 5 favorites of 2013.

Not much else to say about today. I'm very tired, and I've developed some pretty ugly dark circles under my eyes.

Edited to add: Okay, so why has no one talked about how easy it is to take the PixieDust polishes off???? This is vital information! As much as I love the Liquid Sand's I've amassed, I dread removal because it takes pure acetone, 50 cotton pads, elbow grease, and often about 15 minutes to get them off my nails. That's what I was fully expecting when I sat down to remove Tomoko about 8 minutes ago. Imagine my surprise when I attempt to rub off the polish with an acetone-soaked pad and just having it fade off in less than 5 seconds!!! There wasn't even glitter left behind!!! I may never use another brand of texture polish again (this is totally a favorite texture is O.P.I. Baby Please Come Home, and it remains my favorite no matter what)!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Essie Parka Perfect & O.P.I. This Gown Needs a Crown

I've been itching to do a manicure with these two colors for the past week, and had planned on it yesterday, but the best laid plans...blah blah blah. You know how it goes.

I spent most of yesterday in the E.R. with my sister and grandmother. Turns out, Nana's got a blood clot in her leg, so now we have to give her Lovenox shots twice a day. As if there weren't enough on our plates...but we're grateful that it's in her calf and not her thigh, so at least when the clot dissolves there'll be a much lower chance of a piece of it going to her lung. 

But along with taking my medication on time and regulating my sleep, I'm practicing a C.B.T. exercise called "Pleasant Place". It's really helping. 

So. This color combination is just about the greatest thing ever. In the last year I've warmed up to blue considerably, and Parka Perfect is as pretty as they come. It's a soft blue with silvery grey undertones, and hidden icy shimmer flecks. It reminds me of a cross between Illamasqua Raindrops and Sephora by O.P.I. Cartwheels on the Catwalk, two polishes I love very naturally it had to be mine. 

This Gown Needs a Crown is a polish I've been so excited about. After I saw pictures of it on Swatch and Learn  I began trolling beauty supply stores looking for it. I hesitate to say there's a bit of a holographic element to it, but when you see it in direct sunlight (especially when wet) there is a bit of prismatic shimmer. It has a new satin finish so it dries smooth and matte, but still sparkles and shines intensely. I'm so happy the O.P.I. Gwen Stefani collection has a gold version. Because gold is like, everything

As for the formulas, Essie was what I expected it to be. Streaky and uncooperative on the first coat, but two more evened it out and topcoat made it perfect. I was worried when I saw the hidden shimmer in it because I thought it would have a similar formula to colors like To Buy or Not To Buy and Rock the Boat (i.e. bumpy, gritty glitter flecks that make application a nightmare), but was pleasantly surprised when everything dried smooth and even. This Gown Needs a Crown was divine and quick to dry. 

And since my right thumbnail is recovering from a break and looks like hell, I'll show you the left one:

As well as one of my dogs, who decided she wanted be in the photos:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

China Glaze Ruby Pumps, an Update, & some Changes

Until about a week ago, I haven't had the heart or time to polish my nails and share them with the Tumblr community. I mean, I've been wearing nail polish for the last two months, but it was more to help me escape my life than a genuine pleasure. A lot of things changed drastically in a very short amount of time and I continue to struggle daily with all the new responsibilities I have.

Then I woke up one morning missing blogging about my nails. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it again. I talked to my boyfriend, who encouraged me and I made the decision to move from my Tumblr blog to this Blogspot one. I want to be closer to, and more active, with the nail community as a whole, which has helped me so much these past months. I want to be more proactive about my hobby and maybe even look into a career involving nail polish. Of course these are plans that may never come to fruition, but the point is that I'm no longer spending my days terrified and rigid, but rather making plans for the future and doing my best to stay mindful of the present.

My grandmother came home December 23rd. Her improvement is steady, but slow. She is still paralyzed on her left side, but movement is coming back into her arm and leg slowly. She requires constant attention. I became, in the span of about twenty four hours, a full-time caregiver. I wash her, dress her, help fix her meals, change her diapers (she's not yet reached the point to where she can use a commode or toilet), read aloud to her, wash her sheets, make her bed, get her in and out of her wheelchair, help her with her physical therapy, administer her medication, and tuck her into bed at night. I run errands for the household and do most of the grocery shopping.

I do not list these things to complain. She has taken care of me all my life, and I am doing my part to take care of her now. But until she is more mobile and can walk again (the physical therapist is confident that by the end of this year she'll be mobile) I have put everything on hold; my hopes, my dreams, my career, all of it-has been pushed into the background. But that's okay for now because she needs me.

So this morning, after I'd gotten her up and dressed and in her wheelchair out on our patio, I brought out six red polishes (her favorite color to see on my nails) and told her to choose one. She picked Ruby Pumps, and it is to her health and recovery that I dedicate this first post on my new blog!

You've all seen Ruby Pumps, and for those who haven't, DO NOT go by my pictures. No picture can capture the glowing, glittery beauty that is Ruby Pumps. It is literally like wearing Dorothy's slippers on your nails. The first coat is thin, but not sheer, and you can see the deep pink base and sparse amounts of red glitter, but a second coat transforms it into a rich ruby red packed with sparkle. Truly a classic.

I was always curious why they chose red for the color of Dorothy's shoes in the movie-in the book they are silver. They probably wanted to utilize Technicolor. But no complaints from me-Ruby Pumps remains to date, in my top five favorite polishes.

Here's to 2014, my grandmother's recovery, and to making lots of nail polish friends!