Monday, March 31, 2014

Essie Bikini So Teeny

I'm forcing myself off the pink track to show you a polish I've been wanting to wear for a very long time. I bought it in...must have been January or February, and had to force myself to wait for spring. Because really, you can't get more spring than a soft blue. 

However, there is some disappointment attached to this polish. First, it would NOT photograph properly. The color you see in the pictures is accurate in sunlight, but it's not the true color of the polish. Bikini So Teeny is a beautiful periwinkle blue, but in the sun it's more bright sky blue. I really wanted to show you the periwinkle, but it just freaked my camera out too much. But rest assured, it's beautiful. There is also some gorgeous multi-colored hidden shimmer that is visible in the bottle, but takes a back seat on the nail, and adds dimension.

Secondly, the smell is...weird. It's really acrid and...farty-smelling, I guess? I don't know. I'm pretty used to nail polish fumes at this point, but I got a mean headache before I was done painting. 

Lastly, formula was a bit finicky. It took four coats for everything to even out nicely, but on the upside, it dried very fast. 

I did notice that the color does go well with my new phone cover:

I never expected to own an iPhone, but here it is, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. The case is from Pelham Cases on Etsy. They're based in Santiago, Chile, but the wait for this case was so, so worth it. It's drop-dead adorable. I kind of love kitties.

In other news, my boyfriend and I have decided to foster a dog. The doggy daycare he used to work at housed a sweet, very shy Shiba Inu/cattle dog mix named Ripley. Her owner paid to keep her there permanently, but about a week ago we received the news that she would probably be euthanized at the end of the month. This is atrocious in and of itself, but we were especially devastated because she and my boyfriend have such a close bond. We scrabbled around trying to find a no-kill rescue that would take her and Grace Rescue volunteered. So we will foster her and take her to adoption events on the weekends. If you live in the Southern California area and are looking to adopt a sweet and quiet little girl, come check Ripley out!

Her info should be up on the site soon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

O.P.I. Let's Do Anything We Want!

And the pink craze continues...

Am I the only one who thought that this year's Soft Shades collection wasn't so soft? We all know how I feel about metallic blues (refresher: barf) and I'm not so hot on duochromes. Everything else looked fun, but Let's Do Anything We Want! was the one that jumped out at me most...almost literally. It was in my shopping basket at Sally's before I even read the name. I'll probably be twitching for the other soft shades and glitters around this time next year, though.

This polish vies for favorite glitter topper with year-before-lasts confection, Pirouette My Whistle. I don't know which I love more. I would say Let's Do Anything We Want! but I have pink fever right now, and Pirouette My Whistle goes with anything.

Let's Do Anything We Want! is a unique blend of  large white squares, rosy pink glitter hexes, smaller white squares, and very, very small white circles in a clear base. It's magic girly perfection. One coat is delicate and whimsical, two coats is a glitter bomb of pink sweetness. It is going to make an awesome Valentine's manicure next year.

Formula was great too. The large white squares were a bit difficult to get out, but if you let the polish rest upside down for a few minutes, you won't have a problem. As for the the other glitters, they spread out beautifully. Dry time was average, and texture wasn't a problem at all! This one dries glossy and flat, no top coat gobbling.

I'm wearing two coats over O.P.I. Let Them Eat Rice Cake, which pulls surprisingly baby pink on me. I've see swatches of it and even looking at it in the bottle there is a drop of grey or beige that made me think it would be similar to My Very First Knockwurst. But when I wear it, it becomes distinctly baby pink, with just a drop of peach. I'm not complaining, I don't have a baby pink in my collection, but in the bottle it looks so different.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Study in Polish I Do Post-Mortems

One resolution I had for this year was to look more into indie polish brands. I've mentioned on several occasions that Hare polish is my favorite; each one I own is a work of art. I want more works of art by more brands!

Now in addition to having a pink fetish right now, I am a huge Sherlock fan. Like ridiculous. I grew up on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and I'm what I would consider a purist when it comes to my beloved childhood stories, but I'm not lying when I say I could wax idiotic about Sherlock. I think it's one of the best reinventions of Mr. Holmes there is.

Now I want to get into all the shows I'm loving at the moment. Gotta stay focused. 

I Do Post-Mortems is a homage to the beautiful and quiet, but powerful Molly Hooper. She's like this polish, very soft and unobtrusive, but when you look closer, you see a multitude of color (or baddass-ness). When I saw this little beauty on Accio Lacquer, I knew it had to be mine. 

I Do Post-Mortems is a delicate, beguiling shade of pink, very meek and understated. Suspended in it is gorgeous holographic and golden shimmer that catches the light beautifully. This is the sweetest polish I own. 

The formula was sheer (I'm wearing 4 coats, 3 would have been fine, but I couldn't sleep last night) and a bit thick, but it spreads beautifully and dries quickly. No bubbles, no streaking, no dragging. I wore it over a base of Barielle Nail Building Protein and a coat of Nfu Oh Aqua Base. One coat of Grand Central Station on top. 

I believe it is still in stock on their shop website.

Now, since it has been a very, very hard, and frankly upsetting day, I am off to obtain as much junk food as is possible and re-watch Once Upon a Time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Cuteness with China Glaze Sea Spray & Essie Blanc

These are, without a doubt, my favorite nails so far this year. I was only going to do a couple accent nails with polka dots but they ended up being so cute I had to do my entire hand. My grandmother's physical therapist asked me where I had my nails done, which was a nice little pick-me-up. Too bad the rest of the day has been comparable to poo. 

Sea Spray is a delicate, whimsical shade of soft blue-grey with pearly shimmer. The shimmer is subtle, even though it looks quite strong when you first paint it on. But once dry, it really only serves to add dimension to the color, much like RBL shimmer. This color is my new favorite anything and reminds me of a greyed out, slightly shimmery version of my very favorite blue, Cartwheels on the Catwalk

I added the polka dots using Essie Blanc and a little dotting tool (I finally succumbed). I have to say though, I love it. Once you've dotted using a little tool instead of a bobby pin, there's really no going back. 

Three coats of Sea Spray (as usual) and a coat of NYC Grand Central Station on top. It's gonna be super hard to take this one off. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Essie Go Ginza

I don't know why, but pink is looking so good to me lately. And not just subtle shades of pink, either. I actually purchased O.P.I. Strawberry Margarita the other week!! Gimme all the pinks. 

Go Ginza, however, doesn't strike me as very pink. There are some lavender or lilac undertones there. I can sort of see the cherry blossoms that inspired the color, but mostly it makes me think of expensive lavender soap. Which makes me think of hot, luxurious baths. Which makes me sleepy. Which is not good, because boyfriend and I are walking the dogs in a bit.

Whatever color it is, it's so pretty. I'm weird with spring collections. They don't strike me as very special when they come out (case in point: the last two O.P.I. Soft Shades collections) but anywhere from six months to a year later I decide they're gorgeous, I've got to have them, and frantically scrabble around to get my mitts on them. I only picked up Maximillian Strasse-her last spring (almost ties for favorite green with Hooky at the Hamlet); all the others weren't anything special...then. 

I got Go Ginza at CVS with a 'buy 3 get a complimentary Essie' coupon. It was just calling my name. The formula was terrific seeing as how it's a pastel. Not chalky or streaky at all, and super self-leveling. I did 3 coats because of reasons and then slapped a coat of Pirouette My Whistle on top for sparkle. I have fairy princess nails. 

I wish the lighting had been better, it was quite overcast at the start of the day. But no matter, I'm in a good place today. I watched the superdark Moral Orel episodes without crying uncontrollably and I'm going to enjoy the new(ish) Mountain Goats album with boyfriend later on. I might just even watch The Comedy!!!

No. No I won't, I'm kidding.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nicole by O.P.I. Sweet Daisy

Spring means a few things to me: cutting my curly hair short, jean jackets, white sundresses, and coral nails. Also Lolita Lempicka. Say hello to the first coral of the season. 

Sweet Daisy, while beautiful, does not cooperate in natural sunlight. You're looking at a very washed out version of it. In reality, it is a nice bright pinky peach. Literally a perfect coral. I tend to go for the more subtle, soft jelly corals (forever looking for a Maybelline Firefly dupe) and this one is just that. It can look completely peach in certain lights, but mostly it's just cute and coral.

I spent weeks picking it up and considering it whenever I was in the drugstore, thinking, naaaah it leans too brown, it'd look horrible on me. I bought it a couple days ago (out of frustration really-I was sick of meandering over to the N.O.P.I. rack and looking at it) and I.AM.SO.GLAD.I.DID. I have a LOT of coral nail polish, more than any other color in my collection, and it's one of my favorite colors to wear on my nails. I can buy them and buy them, and no two I own are exactly alike. 

Basically, I love coral. 

This was three thin, creamy coats over my Essie ridge-filling base coat (oh the pastels I'll be wearing this spring, mwahahaha) and NYC Grand Central Station on top. I was dog tired last night so I fell asleep before it was 100% dry and got a few sheet marks, but they're not too noticeable. Normally something like that would irritate the hell out of me, but I either don't care anymore or just am too tired to care. 

Getting my hair cut later today. Let's all pray I don't go for the Ginnifer Goodwin. Looks dynamite on her, I'd look awful with it. I'm watching too much Once Upon a Time. 

Also it's my grandfather's 92nd birthday today. So there will be cake later. 

Here's to hoping spring goes okay.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day the French Way: Hare Polish Hooky at the Hamlet!

Last year's St. Patrick's Day mani was a little less than festive, but in my defense I was still discovering the beauty that was blue nail polish. This year however, I am bringing out the big guns with my very favorite green. Seriously, I could not love a green polish more than this one. 

As with all my Hare polishes, I'll use the description on the site:

"Hooky at the hamlet is a bright shamrock green jelly that is IMPOSSIBLE to get a completely color accurate shot of! My camera was just not having it. This shade is brimming with white glitter in different shapes, sizes & textures, along with some scattered glowing-blue hexes and a very subtle purple shimmer."

I layered two coats of Hooky at the Hamlet over three coats of China Glaze Keepin' it Teal. I bought it exclusively to wear as undies for this polish because it's so sheer and squishy. It makes a perfect base. I didn't expect to like the color by itself as much as I did, although it would probably take upwards of five or six coats to get it opaque enough to eliminate most of my visible nail line. No way I'd lay down that many jelly coats and not get mad bubbles. 

I tried my best to get a shot of the gorgeous electric blue shimmers but they are pretty camera shy. In real life however, they glow and flash and really take this polish to the next level. So, so beautiful. 

No pinching this year! I'm not Irish, but I will definitely unwind this evening with a green chocolate eclair. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

L'Oreal Le Pastille

I haven't seen any of the polishes from this Les Blancs collection anywhere but Bed Bath and Beyond, which is frustrating because I frequent CVS way more often and want a few more. This was the only one I picked up at BB&B, Le Pastille. 

This makes me want an Oreo milkshake. Bad. It's different sizes of shiny black glitter suspended in a soft, sheer off-white/light beige. I layered two coats of Le Pastille over one coat of Orly Decades of Dysfunction. I've also worn it over Nicole by O.P.I. Am I Making Myself Claire? and that gives it a sort of lavender undertone which is very pretty as well. 

Application was great. Seriously, it was no trouble at all. The glitter spread nice and evenly, and I didn't have to do any placing or dabbing. I'm sure it would have been a nightmare if I didn't use undies, but I've learned my lesson; I don't want to spend hours scrubbing black glitter off my nails. 

I was binge-watching Once Upon a Time last night, and was top coating during a particularly suspenseful part and sort of lost track of how many coats I did. I know I did a coat of Gelous...possibly two coats of GCS. Oops. 

On the upside my manicure is perfectly smooth (not that this polish is particularly bumpy-the glitters lie nice and flat) and rock hard. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Revlon Parfumerie China Flower

Who's up for a neon red? I sure as hell am, and surprisingly, so is my grandmother! 

She lets me paint her nails with Deborah Lippmann Diamonds and Pearls because she doesn't like color on her nails, but enjoys the shimmer. But she LOVES red nail polish. I've been sitting on China Flower since January and when I asked her if she'd like me to paint her nails with it she said yes:

She can't stop looking at her hand, guys. It's adorable. I wish I'd been able to do a better job on her manicure, but it's SO HARD to paint other people's nails. The girls at physical therapy are going to be so excited to see her nails. 

China Flower is a neon red. That's the best I can do explaining the color, and my camera freaked out at the brightness. It's about a bazillion times more saturated in real life. I'm not a fan of neons at all, but red is a bit of an exception, since it's amazing in every way. It's bright, punchy, in-your-face, and very summery. I told my sister (who has really lovely olive skin) that she HAS to wear this as a pedicure, it'd look dynamite on her. It's so bright that any skin tone can pull it off, even me. 

The gimmick with these Parfumerie polishes is they have a scent. I don't know what china flower is supposed to smell like, but I doubt it's what's in the bottle. It smells very musky and woody, not unpleasant, but nothing like a flower. The smell is super mild, not overpowering at all. I have to be careful though, I keep bringing my fingers up to my nose to sniff them...don't want to do that in public. 

So yes, a nice punchy color to usher in spring. I used three coats on myself, and two on my grandmother. I've got quite a bit more visible nail line than she does, and while it doesn't bother me to have it, I wanted to soften it a bit. Plus, you know, three coats is the magic number. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

O.P.I. You're Such a Budapest

Ugh. Daylight Savings hit me over the head with a club. I want to just crawl back into bed and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

However, before I do that, I want to do this pretty polish justice. I wasn't too impressed with the Euro Centrale collection when it came out (except Eurso am I not supposed to freak out about a TARDIS blue polish?) but over the course of the year I've managed to acquire three of them (starting to want Suzi's Hungary Again-what is it with me and pink all of a sudden?). I guess I appreciate collections once they're gone...not a good habit to have. 

You're Such a Budapest is a true periwinkle. A perfect combo of lavender and blue, nice and light, but really striking and bright. I love colors like this-soft, with a punch. For all intents and purposes it's a creme, but there is definitely some shimmer there. It's sparse and very shy, but present. I see small flashes of pink, purple, and bright blue.

I know Imperfectly Painted blogged about this color last month (she inspired me to pull out my bottle) and had a lot of trouble with the formula. I found my bottle very easy to work with, however. It's thin for a creme, but I didn't experience the streaking she did. This was my usual three coats with Rejuvacote and GCS on top. I can't rave enough about Duri Rejuvacote; it's done wonders for my nails. 

P.S. Excuse the ding on my thumb and the other little scratches. When you want toast at 3 a.m., wet nails won't stop you.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

O.P.I. Don't Bossa Nova Me Around

Spriiiiiiiing! I'm normally not too happy when the spring and summer months come around; autumn and winter are my jam. Southern California becomes a hot cesspool of smog, I sweat gallons, and can't muster up enough energy to do anything except sprawl out in front of a fan in a dark room. Everything is gross and hot and sweaty and my nail polish bubbles and I'm grumpy. 

But since the autumn and winter past were so horrible and traumatic, a new season is welcome. And CORAL! I am going to coral ALL THE THINGS. 

But let's start nice and slow with a clean neutral. Gotham Polish cited neutrals as a trend for this spring, and this makes me a happy panda. I love neutral cremes above all other polishes (except maybe coral jellies) so I'm going to be sporting nails like this A LOT. 

Don't Bossa Nova Me Around is pretty self-explanatory. A nice, creamy neutral with a hint of pink. It can look more putty in certain lights, but it seems to pull pink on me the majority of the time. It's in the same family as Steady as She Rose, but not as stark or white-based. Clean and lovely. 

I'm considering topping it with Pirouette My Whistle later on. I'm craving a bit of sparkle. 

In other news, I'm getting a new phone. My dear old Android is on its last legs. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Essie No More Film & Deborah Lippmann Diamonds and Pearls

As hard as it was to get rid of my sex nails, this little Essie was begging to be used. I was at Target with my best friend Christmas before last and put No More Film (I'm never sure whether to capitalize Essie and her polish names; I know they're all lowercase on the bottles, but the English student in me won't let me type them like that) in my cart-I couldn't say no to something that dark and pretty. When I got home she wasn't in my bag or on the receipt, so I can only assume the bottle fell in transit to the cashier. But my bizarre brain registered it as "Oooooh, pretty! Oh wait, I have that don't I?" every time I saw it at CVS or Rite Aid or Bed Bath and Beyond. I'd go home, search fruitlessly and then remember I hadn't actually bought it. 

I was replaying this scene for the nth time at CVS waiting for some prescriptions, and just bought it, figuring I could return it. Yay for finally getting my mitts on it!

No More Film is either a blue-based purple or a purple-based blue. One or the other. Or both. We know I'm not good with purples. Whatever it is, it's deep and inky rich, and definitely a one-coater if you're slow and careful. I was neither of those things last night so you're looking at two coats. I usually do three, but I felt it would just be gilding the lily with this one. 

And to add a bit of sparkle, I layered one coat of Deborah Lippmann Diamonds and Pearls. Because I bought so many polishes from the Mariah Carey collex. back in December, my frequent buyer's card for the beauty supply I haunt got filled up fast, and I had ten bucks free to spend. And what a coincidence, Diamonds and Pearls was on sale for just that. So I threw it in. It's a gorgeous layering polish with gold, copper, green, and pink shimmer. I paint my grandmother's nails with it once a week and she loves it. If my nails weren't so stained, I'd probably wear it sans undies, it's that beautiful. 

When layered over No More Film, it reminds me a bit of a spring night sky-rich and velvety, with twinkling stars and fireflies everywhere. My photos wash the color out a bit, it's much richer and darker than it appears.