Sunday, April 27, 2014

L'Oreal Too Dimensional?

Sorry for the mini-hiatus, I've had low morale/a color hangover for most of the week. And various nail breaks. And PMS.

Allow me to introduce you to the prettiest of the L'Oreal Gold Dusts. Period. No contest. I don't even know what to do with myself, guys. It's a sparkle-splosion of glittery magic. I want to dive headfirst into it and emerge covered in glittery goo and shoot up into the night sky and spray it everywhere like Smaug. 

Also the name is silly. 

I'm sad it didn't photograph properly, but this was as good as I could get it. Too Dimensional? has a deep, inky blue/purple base and is full of the most intense goldy-lemon shimmer, as well as more sparse green and orange shimmer. To top it off, there are lavender/silver hex glitters peppered throughout. This was the only textured polish I've considered top coating; with all the shimmer and glitter, the base gets a bit lost. But it's gorgeous both wet and dry. Much like a good burrito. 

This was two perfect coats, no clean up. L'Oreal, if you are reading this, MAKE MORE GOLD DUSTS. IN ALL THE COLORS. 

Looking forward tonight. I helped my bff get an awesome job, so she's taking me out to dinner at Maggiano's. I don't frequent Los Angeles much, but when I do, Maggiano's is usually involved. Or Canter's. Or Grand Lux Cafe (amazing beignets).

Basically I'll go there for food. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014: Pastels Till Ya Puke featuring Jenna Hipp & O.P.I.!

There's really only one thing you can say about a manicure like this:

Frankly though, I had a blast. I sat down last night with a bag of pretzels and some M&M's Bunny Mix and decided that I was going to do nail art. NAIL ART! And it was going to be the most fabulous, Easter-y nail art there ever was!!! 

Many pretzels, pastel M&M's and two glasses of Arnold Palmer spiked with a little whiskey later, this was what I came up with. Maybe it was the chocolate or alcohol, but I forgot along the way that I can't do nail art...or do it well, anyway. But I had some good, quality time with myself, had some delicious snacks and a really good drink (I rarely, if ever, drink) and it was a lot of fun. Plus I watched The Desolation of Smaug while I was doing it and I never, EVER say no to Jacksonian Tolkien. I won't get into how different the movie is from the book and all the liberties Jackson took, blah blah blah, because I don't care. The book is amazing. The movie is amazing, in a different way. I grew up on Tolkien and I think Jackson's interpretation was a lot of fun.


Obviously, I tried to do Easter egg nails. The thumb and ring finger sport polka dots, my tried and true stand-by. On the pointer I attempted to make those little Charlie Brown zig-zag chevrons with some intermittent dotting. Middle sports a flower (I think?); pinkie...STRIPES! 

On to the colors!!!
Lavender: O.P.I. Rumple's Wiggin': a nice light lavender with a DIVINE formula.
Yellow: Jenna Hipp Tweet Me: bright, lemony yellow.
Pink: Jenna Hipp Damage Control: a bright, saturated pastel pink; in the same color family as Pepto Bismol, but not nearly as intense.
Mint: Jenna Hipp Freshmaker: a really bright, intense minty blue/green.
Peach: Jenna Hipp Hashtag: creamy peach, pretty basic.

I'd read reviews on the Jenna Hipp pastel formula and the consensus was that at best it was temperamental and at worst a streaky nightmare. I actually had very little trouble with them! I can honestly say I've used much, MUCH worse. Sure, they streak, but that's par for the course with pastels. I did three coats for all of them and they came out nice and smooth and streak-free. If you do less, you will have a bit of streaking. 

Of course the one that was most striking and fun was Freshmaker, but my surprise favorite? Hashtag. Other than Van D'Go (or do I have Tart of those anyway) I've never ventured into peach polish because I was sure it wouldn't look good. I'm pleasantly reminded that it actually looks quite nice on me! You can expect more peach manicures from me in future. 

So there you have it! If I have a stamper next year I will probably go with that, but if I get a set of good brushes, nail art is definitely something I'd like to practice more. :D

I thought posting an actual bunny would be cute and also help me with my fear of bunnies. And yes. You read that right. I'm slightly afraid of bunnies. More specifically, holding a bunny. I'm not afraid if they're near me doing bunny stuff; I actually think they're super cute and will squeal. But when I'm asked if I'd like to hold said cute bunny, I get nervous. Why, you ask? The short answer is I read and watched Watership Down a lot as a kid, and if you've never read or seen it, all I can say is those are some brutal ass bunnies. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hare Polish Let Them Eat...What?

I'm slowly working my way through the rest of my Hare polishes. I've had this one on for three days, hence the bit of tip wear. This is a first for me; I've never had a polish last this long on me and still be in such good condition.  

As always, the description of Let Them Eat...What? is taken from the Hare Polish website:

"Let them Eat...What? is a soft white jelly with a blend of various shapes/sizes of hot orange, baby pink, white & gold glitter. This shade is highlighted by a delicate silver shimmer."

I would have liked to layer it over a white jelly but I don't have one yet. I might actually get one today, if I have time. In the meantime, I layered it over Essie Blanc. It's a pretty, cheerful polish with the right amount of glittery goodness. Formula was great, nice and thin. I did have to 'place' some of the glitters, but that is to be expected with these kinds of polishes. Dry time was wonderful.

Ignore the bits of green on the skin around my cuticles. Taking off my previous manicure was a nightmare. While the polish doesn't stain your nails (which is awesome), it does like to stick to skin. It's such a beautiful color though, so it's hard for me to fault it. I documented my struggle on Instagram...riveting, I know. This is what my life is like now. 

Pretty low today. However, tomorrow's nails will be amazing (and they may possibly make you puke from sweetness overload), so that's something to look forward to. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

O.P.I. Amazon...Amazoff

I was worried Amazon...Amazoff would look similar to M.A.C. Screening Room...I was right. The only difference between these polishes? O.P.I. has blue-ish emerald shimmer. Booo. I mean look at this mani, then look at M.A.C. Screening Room. Pretty much the exact manicure, down to the Boom Boom Pow accent nails. 

I guess I know what I like. 

I think in real life, Amazon...Amazoff leans much more green than Screening Room, so I take solace in that. It's a super-gorgeous deep teal with subtle, tonal shimmer that, while not invisible, isn't in-your-face; it really deepens and enriches the base color. Screening Room, by comparison, is much brighter in person and a straight-up creme.

This manicure is something I'd wear in winter, but I was feeling something deep and moody today. And of course Boom Boom Pow because it's like, the best glitter top coat ever made. 

Slowly getting over my cold. Yesterday helped a lot; I celebrated my two-year anniversary with my boyfriend. We ate at the restaurant we had our first date in, which was super lovely and romantic (in spite of the terrible jazz covers of 80's hits), played with Ripley and then went to a little bakery and bought French macarons, and mochi ice cream and feasted while watching Once Upon a Time. I seriously could not have a better boyfriend, guys. I basically spent yesterday eating awesome food and watching silly shows and cuddling with an amazing, handsome dream come true. :D 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sephora by O.P.I. Havana Dreams & Flurry Up!

Came down with a bit of a cold today, so this'll be short and sweet.

Nana's birthday was a great success, despite the hiccup we had when ordering lunch. It's a long story and I'm too fuzzy-headed to explain. But rest assured, we have a lot of free pizzas coming our way.

I was pretty sad when Sephora announced they were discontinuing their line with O.P.I. Every S.O.P.I. I own I love (except maybe IM Beauty, but that's a color issue). I'm especially smitten with the collaboration they did with Betsey Johnson and one of my polish undertakings is to own all of them.

Even though the S.O.P.I. line is discontinued, they're still pretty easy to find. I ordered Havana Dreams when I found out the line was dissolving for $4.50 on the Sephora website-I'm unsure whether or not they're still available  there, but I'm sure eBay has a lot of them. Flurry Up! I found at Big Lots. I paid all of $1.80 for it, along with the Sparktacular! Top Coat, a red glitter that I can't remember the name of, and I Found a Pot of Gold!

I looooooove Big Lots.

When I set the two next to each other, I knew they had to be worn as a duo. At first I attempted to do a glitter gradient, but the base in Flurry Up! is really viscous and it would have ended up a huge mess. So I just applied two coats. The glitters are a tad difficult to manipulate, but honestly it's just glitter. It's meant to be messy.

Havana Dreams is a pale, white-based blue creme-jelly, perfect in 3 coats. Flurry Up! is just a standard silver glitter in a clear base. Both are pretty straight-forward colors, but look so lovely together.

Time for some hot tea, honey, and lemon for my throat, and curling up in bed for a nap. Till next time!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Orly Cheeky

Say hello to a naughty polish that has the cheek (hurr) to not photograph properly.

I spied this beauty on the nails of one of my favorite bloggers (please go by her swatches, they are MUCH more color accurate than mine), and seeing as it's a coral, well...I had to buy it. 

It's bright, punchy and leans slightly more orange than pink, which I normally don't like, but I'm willing to overlook it because of the shimmer. Oh ye gods, THE SHIMMER. It is predominantly gold, but you get flashes of yellowish-green. It's not shy; it's delicious, in-your-face SHIMMAH. 

Formula was where it got tricky. The consistency was smooth and even, but it did streak a bit. I got dragging on a couple of nails, and it took 3 1/2 coats to get it to behave. But I.Do.Not.Care. It's gorgeous, springy, juicy, and delightful. Upside was that dry time was excellent. 

If you like coral, get your butt to Sally's and buy this.

Off to get the house ready for tomorrow. It's Nana's 88th birthday, and we're having a big celebration for it. It hasn't been a banner year so far, but we're fighting as hard as we can. And we're gonna win. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

China Glaze Teal the Tide Turns

You're either going to love or hate this polish. Every review I read on them was either die-hard love, or eternal hate. Guess which one I am.

As an ardent texture fan, I must express my humble opinion and say that this is the most beautiful and interesting take on a texture. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this polish. It's so beautiful and pebbly and reminds me of beautiful rocks, the beach, and sea glass. It makes me want to lie on a towel in warm sand and take a long nap.

Teal the Tide Turns has a lot going on inside the bottle. The base is a creamy, bright celadon green. It's got a hint of translucency that is just so delicate and whimsical. Interspersed are small emerald green hex glitters that twinkle and catch the light. Finally, there are white particles that look very much like sand! Fantastic! They (I assume) produce the texture effect. Have I mentioned I'm in love???

All together, this manicure shouts, "BEACHES! MERMAIDS! LAGOONS!" to me. It makes me want to spritz myself with L de Lolita Lempicka (my favorite summer scent), and go frolic in the waves.

Formula was pretty good, considering everything that's going on in it. I used three coats, but I think I'll do two when I wear it again next. Three made everything a little lumpier than I would have liked. It dries sort of creamy/glassy, which is just breathtaking (to me).

So yeah. HOME RUN, CHINA GLAZE!!! I love it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rimmel London New Romantic

Oh hello nubbins, haven't seen you in a while. 

I was getting heartily sick of uneven nail lengths and just cut them all down to size. Anyway, here's more pink! It's not a pink I would normally have chosen, but for whatever reason, pink is casting a spell on me lately.

New Romantic is a soft, blue-toned baby pink, full of very fine and subtle silver, pink, and green shimmer. Overall the shimmer is silvery-white, but if you look close enough you see the flash of green and pink. A pretty standard princess pink. It's nothing ground-breaking but it's lovely and a basic and I'm happy I bought it. What is pretty cool is that it's a new Rimmel Salon Pro, which are really nice. I've bought three of their new Salon Pro polishes and I'm very happy with each of them. I'm on the prowl for more. Some of the colors are just nice basics like this one, others are pretty interesting (looking). 

You're looking at three coats of New Romantic. The first coat goes on super sheer. I slapped on some Hare Polish Own Your Opulence to add some pizzazz. As you can see, I was pretty heavy-handed with it, especially on my middle finger; the shrinkage could probably be seen from space. But still, this is an awesome color combo. 

Aaaaaand, say hello to bubble season!

I don't know if you can see, but my left thumbnail is peppered with bubbling. Not from the polish, but the heat. It's really starting to warm up here (hottest day of the week so far, well into the 90's) so that means polish is going to start bubbling like mad here. Last year it was a constant source of irritation to me; I can't tell you how many manicures I removed in disgust. But I'm sort of resigned to it now.

Also, excuse the dog hair...Toby is shedding, and his hair is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Such is the life of a Malamute owner. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Little Bottle of Sunshine; or, The Coral That Started it All: Maybelline Express Finish Fire Fly

We've all got that one polish. Regardless of price, formula, or availability, it's our perfect polish and we will accept nothing less. You're looking at the reason I love corals so much. The formula is less than stellar, it doesn't do well covering my smile lines, and technically doesn't exist since I can't find it anywhere online, or even confirm it existed with Maybelline, but this doesn't stop me from proclaiming: THIS IS THE MOST PRECIOUS AND LOVED POLISH IN MY STASH. Not only that, it has a lot of memory attached to it.

This feels so weird typing, but come on. We've all got a polish like this in our stash. Right?

Fire Fly came into my life in 2002. I was a sophomore in high school, nervous, quiet, and a festering anxiety disorder compounded with crippling depression (then undiagnosed) caused me to chew my nails into oblivion. A girl who sat in front of me in my Spanish class, aside from always being well-dressed and beautiful, sported the most perfect coral nail polish. It accentuated her subtle tan and made me wish I wasn't so pale. And messy-looking. Despite my tastes leaning more toward black and dark red (or on the other end of the spectrum, silver holographic glitter bombs), I set out to find my own little bottle of sunshine. Maybe it would magically help me dress better, and act less like a dying fish when interacting with people. After poking in Long's Drugs a bit (this is how old this polish is...12 YEARS...when CVS was still Long's Drugs) I found a display of new Maybelline polishes and snapped it up. How I wish I'd bought the whole rack.

I wore it constantly. I may have worn mostly black clothes, purple eyeliner, and Chuck Taylor's so beaten up they belonged in the trash, but I LOVED my coral polish. It helped me chew on my fingertips less, and brightened my otherwise doleful outlook. I used the whole bottle up, and then promptly forgot about it. Other stuff got in the way...crushes, homework, first relationship, friends, betrayals, going to shows, holographic polishes (Sally Hansen Nail Prisms, yo), etc. Teenagers will be teenagers.  A few years later I unearthed the bottle and panicked because all that was left was a fraction of an inch of dried-up gunk. I wanted to wear my coral polish and I couldn't (it didn't occur to me at the time that one could have more than a single coral at a time. Chalk it up to loyalty...or stupidity, take your pick). I searched online...nothing. It was like it didn't exist.

MakeupAlley confirmed that I wasn't crazy. I put a question up on the nail board and a very kind girl answered me, and even offered to send me the bottle she had. I almost cried. I've met the nicest people on that site.

I've tried to use it sparingly, but it's hard, seeing as how it's my everything (in terms of coral). The bottle is about half gone, so until I can find a reasonable dupe, or manage to stockpile a whole bunch of bottles of Fire Fly (listed under 'Utopian Dream') I probably won't wear it as a full manicure after this. It's too precious. The way most varnish veterans feel about Clarin's 230, I feel about Fire Fly.

It's not that special, considering what it is. It's a coral jelly, not too orange, not too pink; just a perfect blend of both. It's bright without being obnoxious or making my skin look dirty (I find really bright shades bordering on neon, or stark, white-based colors tend to make my skin look muddy). Just cheerful and coral. But in all my years of searching for a dupe, I've not found anything like it. I've even attempted mixing my own version.Twice. Everything either is too bright, too dark, too orange or pink, too opaque/creamy...there's a reason I've got a ton of coral polish. While I appreciate them for what they are now, they were, admittedly, purchased in the hope that they would resemble my beloved Fire Fly. None have come close.

And I guess, in a sense, it also is special because it reminds me of a time in my life where, although I was troubled and figuring things out, I was happy. I didn't know I was happy at the time, I was too busy being a depressed teenager. But looking back, I had a lot to be thankful for. I discovered what love felt like. I realized what it was to feel beautiful and have self-esteem. I felt I belonged to humanity in a way I felt I hadn't belonged before. I discovered a talent for writing (that I've been neglecting a lot in the last few years). So this little bottle of sunshine means a lot to me emotionally. It's just one of those polishes.

We've all got one.

P.S. This was three coats. There was bubbling, but not as much as you'd expect from a 12-year old jelly. A couple of coats of NYC Grand Central Station masked most of them.

EDIT: A picture for you from under my makeup mirror light, to show brightness! Taken with my iPhone, my camera would never have been able to do this. I might just start just taking pictures with my phone now:

So pretty!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

L'Oreal Pop the Bubbles

I had a couple bad breaks over the last few days, so I just cut all my nails down. I've had a free edge for so long now that the tip of my index finger (worst break) actually hurts a little. It's a weird sensation. 

I needed a really low-maintenance manicure since I'm too tired to really care about my nails right now. So here's another Gold Dust polish. They've quickly become one of my favorite texture lines.

Pop the Bubbles is a light, bright blue-green with a hint of grey.  It may not look like there's grey in it, but when I set it next to other blue-greens I own, it's more apparent. This comparison from is a good example. Interspersed are pretty silver glitters; very mermaid-y. Makes me want to go to the beach. 

This was two easy coats, no clean up (I know I've said it before, but best brushes evarrrr), no top coat. This is such a lovely polish guys, it's really cheering me up right now. I'm looking for the small victories. A polish I like will do.