Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mostly Meh, Sometimes Marvelous.

I am so addicted to shopping drug stores and department stores for polish sales.  I almost always order my polish online, so I'm used to waiting for things in the mail.  This was the only way I ever used to acquire polish.  So, shopping in person for polish and actually getting my hands on it right then became an instant addiction.  I usually regret it right away because sales always outweigh whether or not I actually want something.  Not to mention the "deals" always add up to an amount of money that could have purchased the polishes I REALLY wanted online.  Keep in mind this obsession only started about 2 months ago when Walgreens ran it's first BOGO on Sinful Colors.  Before that I had never purchased nail polish in person EVER.  Not once.

To top it off there are always rushes on certain drugstore brands of polish once online swatches start to circulate.  When I see one of these "desirable" polishes I ALWAYS buy it.  Whether I personally like it is not even a factor.  A prime example is Sally Hansen Opulent Cloud.  I finally spotted it and bought it without thinking.  I never even opened it because I knew I would end up swapping it since I don't even like the stupid polish in the first place.  Alas, I broke down and swatched it anyway today just to see what all the fuss is about.  My original opinion still stands on this one, "meh".
This was 2 coats.

 Then there are stores like Ross.  At this store you will find packs of several polishes for the price that just one bottle in the pack would sell for at a drug store.  I CANNOT resist them.  10 mixed Sally Hansens for $4.99?  A pack of 5 old school Rimmels for 2.99?  Give me a break!   I am helpless against the powers of low prices.  So, I end up with piles of pinks and sheers I wont ever wear.  At least they were dirt cheap right?  These next two are a crazy amount of coats, like 5?   I'll try to keep the suck to a minimum.
I actually don't hate this one.  It's ok.  2 coats.

Then there are the "sleepers". The polishes I grab because they are on sale that I end up LOVING. They really make all the duds and mindless spending worth it to me.
Rimmel Camoflauge. Gorgeous green shimmer. 2 coats $1.09 at Walgreens!
Deliciously Dark. Super dark purple creme. Awesome! Also, $1.09 at Walgreens.
This is one of the only darker nude shades I like. I love it actually. It flows on smooth like a 20 dollar polish, is opaque in one coat, dries fast and here's the freakin KICKER folks- this polish came in a 2 pack for ONE dollar at a Family Dollar.
Here is the other half of the dollar pack duo.  This also flows like buttah, and dries fast.  It's in my top 3 reds. Yep, 50 cent playa!
My new favorite dark blue shimmer.  It's a rich midnight blue with lots of shimmer that shines TEAL! This is 2 thin coats.  Surprise! This is 99 cents a bottle!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vampy Comparison

Some of my favorite polishes are vampies, really dark red toned jellies or creams. Since a lot of the time online swatches seem to run together for me it makes it hard to decide which ones are similar, which aren't, and which ones I really want.

So, I did a comparison of 4 of the vampies that I think seem the most similar and most popular from swatches online and the bottles alone. 
Above from left to right we have China Glaze- Evening Seduction, Lippmann- Maneater, Zoya- Casey, and Misa- Love Bite.  These look really similar in the bottles as they do in a lot of swatches I've seen online.  But this is really decieving, because they are really not all that similar.
Ok, here they are on my nails in indoor lighting. Right away Maneater jumps out at me as the most different. It is clearly brown with barely any red in it at all. The next one that is the most unique is Love Bite. It's much more red and has the most jelly-like finish. Casey and Evening seduction are really close except that Casey more of a jelly and ES is a straight cream.
Here they are outdoors in direct sunlight.  Now I really see Love Bite and Maneater standing out from the rest as totally different. Maneater looks almost totally brown.  We can also see that Casey and ES really are very close, save the finish, even in direct sunlight. They both have a strong undertone of plum and a deeper burgandy. 

So none of these are dupes of eachother. 2 are close but not dupes. 
Here are swatches of each polish alone. You can really see how these could get jumbled without a side by side. 
For me the must haves from this are Love Bite, and Casey. If I had known that Maneater was so brown I totally would have passed on it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Olympic style speed swatching!!

Does anyone else here have really long hair?  Well I do, and it gets everywhereWith as much of it as there is strewn over every object in my house it is a miracle I have even one strand of it left on my head.

So what, right?  It isn't the end of the world to have some strands of hair lying around.  After all most women with long hair have the same problem.  Well, most women probably aren't total lunatic spazzes like me.  So, yeah it's different.

What happens to me as a result of my hair being all over the place is this.  I will be going about whatever no doubt idiotic task I'm doing at any given moment and FEEL a hair touch my hand.  Instead of realizing that is in fact a HAIR.  I do this instead, "OMG A SPIDER!!!" and mindlessly launch whatever object the hair was attached to across the room. 

So, on any given day I throw at least one item on the ground and run away.  You would think I could get this under control simply for the sake of keeping up appearances.  I mean I can't just go around screaming and throwing random objects then running away in front of company.

This morning while preparing to do some swatching the lucky item that got hurled through the air was a 1/4 full OPEN bottle of acetone.  Awesome. 

Being the brilliant free thinker that I am I grabbed my polish towel (I use a towel to remove polish so I don't make a lot of waste.) and mopped up the acetone.  I then did some Olympic style speed swatching so that I could use up some of the acetone before it evaporated. 

I painted on my first swatch so fast I was actually shaking and nearly worked myself up into frenzy over it.  Took my photo and grabbed my acetone soaked towel to get ready for swatch 2.  Of course the towel was already dry.  OF COURSE.  But it did not evaporate too fast to remove a dinner plate size chunk of the stain finish off my desk where I had thrown it in such a hurry.

I did some swatching anyway though. 

Beautiful blackened green shimmer.  My absolute favorite green shimmer.  This is 2 coats. 

Silver micro giltter in a clear base.  This was released as part of 09 christmas from China Glaze.  It's better layered but I wanted to see how many coats it would take to be worn on it's own.  The answer is 5.

Dark purple shimmer.  Ohhh.  It's so pretty.  Almost looks blackened, but it isnt so dark that it looks black indoors. 2 coats.

Bright red micro glitter in a black jelly base.  This is 3 coats.  My advice for this one would be to use a good one coat black like Sinful Colors- black on black, then layer this over it.  This is with no topcoat and it really needs one.

This was released as a Sally Beauty Supply exclusive by China Glaze for Halloween 2009.  It's orange small and medium round glitter as well as large hex glitter in a black base.  This one is very tricky to apply.  It takes 3 coats plus at least 2 coats of a good topcoat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cat's FREAKIN' Eye!


In my hands, at this moment is a bottle of China Glaze- Cat's Eye.   Not only is it in my hands it's ON my nails!  I have wanted this so badly and for so long. I am nearly at a loss for words.  Nearly.

This polish is exactly as I imagined.  It is dead on accurate to my own cat's eye color.  Observe:


I received this long time lemming in a swap from the most amazing swapper ever.  Do you hear this secret swap fairy?  You are the BEST swapper EVER. 

Here it is in all it's dusty duochromy glory.

A fun fact I learned while taking these photos is the reason why there isn't a polish called "Dog's Eye".  It's because a polish that perfectly captured a dogs eye would not be called dog's eye.  It would be called something more like "Guilt in a Bottle", or "Liquid Guilt". 

This was the Manatee's reaction to me swooning over my cat's eyes and taking 200 million pictures of him today-

He REALLY makes you feel like shit huh?  Nobody want's a polish that looks the way a dog's eye can make you feel.  That would really sell great.  People aren't ransacking store shelves looking for things that make them feel terrible.  I can almost hear the marketing team now, "hey John, let's put something on here about starving children to go with the whole guilty as sin theme".

Despite the the fact that a nail polish called Dog's Eye is an idea riddled with failure, the Manatee REALLY WANTS a nail polish named after him if the cat gets one. Maybe I can get him a scented polish that smells like a rotten wildebeest carcass and we can name it "Musk of Mugsy". We will just have to see.

Let's take another look at that glorious polish to cheer ourselves up after that mood crashing display.

Ahhh.  That is so much better.

Pastels and Nightmares

Want to hear something ridiculous?  See I'm a mind reader, I totally knew you did!  I have this recurring nightmare that is positively insane.  Let me tell you about it. 

My nightmare goes like this- EVERYTHING is on sale and I only have five dollars and some change.  I frantically run from booth to booth in this flea market-like hodge podge of stores that carry nothing but nail polish.  I am armed with a basket that keeps BREAKING and I never have a scrunchie to keep my hair out of my face.  The whole dream is me having a massive panic attack over what I will be able squeeze into my $5 budget and fixing the basket constantly while searching the ground for things that have fallen out of it.  All of this always takes place while my family, mom, fiancĂ©, step daughters, all watch from the sidelines saying things like "she's gone over the edge", "this is it for her", "how sad".

Yeah...Now that you know just how gargantuan of a freak I am, let's get back to business.  Today that "business" is Essie. 

Essie hasn't really been on my radar very much in the past.  I'm not sure why exactly.  Maybe it's all the sheer pinks and reds you have to sift through to find something good?  They just haven't been a brand that is on my mind with "have to have it" authority. 

I have gotten several Essies at flea markets for incredible prices and I will say this about Essie- She knows how to do red people!  But beyond that I have only had pastels and such from her that are basically bleh.  Lots of coats, just boring.  So armed with that information, when I was at Ulta last weekend and found a bunch of Essie on sale I got some more, anyway.  Knowledge is power people, unless there is a sale.

What is it about great deals that makes me buy things I don't want?  Can you guess what Essies I got at Ulta?  MORE PASTELS.  Will I ever wear these longer than it takes to snap a photo?  Nope.  Does that really bother me?  Nope.  Because apparently, I collect Essie now.  News to me.  I guess it only takes 5 or more bottles of one brand sitting on my shelf to convince me that I "collect" that brand and therefore will buy as many as I see as long as they are on sale.

I did get one that I really like and will probably wear.  Or at least say I will wear it with sincerity if anyone asks which no-one will, so I'm golden. 

A very warm red/brown creme.  This was 3 coats.  Say it with me gals, "I will totally wear this one!"
I received this in a swap from the most awesome person I have met on MUA to date.  I normally am not into pinks but I love this one! 3 coats.

Muted grayish blue with subtle shimmer.  It reminds me of fog.  I remember when this collection came out and I know I wanted this one but for the life of me I can't remember why.  But who cares because now it's mine! 3 coats.

I had no idea you loved Beverly Hills Essie!  Thanks for the info, dude!  But shouldn’t a polish with this name be a grayish green shimmer?  Say, the color of cold hard cash?  3 coats. 

This is 4 coats.  I'm not loving it.  But I am going to do this polish with some black chevron tips and a white stripe.  It's going to look killer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not so hot, Hot Topic

During my haul-tastic weekend we made a trip to the mall. I seriously haven't been inside a mall in years. To put it nicely I just don't care for crowds. But, the lure of fabulous nail polishes and the smiling faces of my dear step daughters was just too great to resist.

One of the stores on my list was Hot Topic. They have polish in the most adorable little punk rock bottles. I have wanted them ever since I saw them on Scrangie's blog. So when I spotted the Hot Topic I was overcome with glorious feelings of excitement and walsed right in as if we belonged there.

Um, we didn't belong there. Let me paint the picture for you. The inside of Hot Topic was a writhing sea of sweaty teen bodies and unfortunate fashion. In the center of this hot pink and black mass of cloth and adolescents stood my family. My fiancĂ©, in his 30s sporting an Izod golfing shirt and a "born to fish" baseball cap. My pre-teen ever so innocent looking step daughters clad in pastels and pony tails with looks of sheer joy plastered on their faces. And me, wearing the MOST hideous pair of Lee old lady leans and a brown button down sweater. LOOK. The jeans were a gift from my mother whom I was visiting so I had to wear them ok. And no she doesn’t live in Hot Topic, she lives in the town the Hot topic is in.

We were basically like Waldo in a Where's Waldo? book only if Waldo were a giant red beacon that took up half the page. Our family probably appeared as though we were lost and needed directions to the nearest golf course STAT! We did have a little bit of help blending in from the taller child though, who was wearing a braided, neon purple, weave-like, clip in hair extension she got at
Claires. It didn't quite cut it. 

It wasn't always this way. I used to be cool and dark and edgy and could have totally pulled off a Hot Topic trip. But back then I was way too cool to be seen in a retarded ass Hot Topic so...there ya go.

I did still manage to get a hold of three of these cute little bottles despite my early onset mid-life crisis. Hurray! And now my mission has been cemented. I must have a long row of these bottles lined up before me. MUST. 

The hot topic polishes dont have names anywhere that I can see so I can't help you there. This is a purple jelly packed with electric blue and purple glass fleck glitter. It is beautiful! This is 3 coats, indoors. The fluorescents really pulled out the blue shimmer in this pic. You can see more of the purple base in the sun.

Here is the same polish outdoors. So pretty.

Gorgeous! Dark blue shimmer. This 2 coats. Its a little darker than it is showing here.

Oh, lord. Here it is in the sun. What a gorgeous blue.

Black with small silver glitter. Very pretty but this took FIVE coats! Picture is indoors, I didn't bother with a sun picture it looks exactly the same.

These polishes retail for 2.99 and at that price rubbing shoulders with grubby little 14 year old vampires is totally worth it!

PS- Hey Mom I know you're reading this. I was just kidding about the jeans they are totally awesome. Seriously they ROCK!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I spent my weekend nail polish hunting with my dear step daughters. It was seriously the best time I have had in months! Among a million other places we went to our very first Ulta and OMG! We squealed, and gasped, and giggled the entire time. The moment we walked in both the girls stopped dead in their tracks and they both locked eyes with me. Their eyes were HUGE people. You know the eyes I'm talking about here. The ones you make when the waiter places 1/3 of a cow on a platter in front of you instead of the "steak" you ordered. The taller child had this to say in her first Ulta moment, "I think we need a cart".  She actually whispered it like Ulta would disappear if she startled it.

I was a little put off by the sales ladies at Ulta at first because they kept "casually" walking by us and I assumed they thought we were stealing. But then it hit me! They were checking on us because with all the "OMG"s and shrieks and hyperventilating we sounded like we were injured! Seriously.

In other news, I finally got around to trying the Orly mattes this weekend. I haven't been into matte lately. At least not like I was when it first came out, but I have had such a blast messing around with these Orlys!

The formula is good. Not too thick, not runny, not gloppy. It also isn't as hard to keep it from streaking as I had thought it would be. I like 'em. They are cool on their own but I REALLY love them for frenchs. So here are the two I got. 2 coats each.

Here are all the different combos I tried with them. The base coats are all 2 coats with the exception of the China Glazes which were both 3 coats.

First up, matte vinyl and iron butterfly together. Love it!

Iron Butterfly with a glossy topcoat. Shiney!

Meh. I like the color but it just didn't pop for me.

Iron Butterfly tips. Now it's kinda cool.

Now let's smother it in Orly Prisma Gloss in gold. Pretty.

*GASP* I freakin love this, SO MUCH.  It's like China Glaze made this polish just for me.

Now with a matte vinyl chevon tip. *Faints* I wore this shopping  Saturday and I got a compliment! People never notice my nails. Score!

Very pretty. I really like this too. It's a bit darker in real life.

Added a matte vinyl tip. Awesome.

Here is Dorothy Who? On it's own. I usually layer this over a darker blue because it is blinding!

Slaped some matte magic on it. Pretty.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Random Fail.

So, I set out to swatch a totally random set of polishes to slap up here to mix things up a bit. Seeing as how I just realized that every single "random" polish I swatched is a China Glaze I would call that a pretty big fail.

It's kinda like this folder on my desktop labeled "random crap" but inside it every single file is organized into sub folders by category. Not very random. *sigh*  

At least the colors are random. These are all 2 coats unless otherwise noted.

Neon green jelly. This is 3 coats.

Neon blue jelly with glitter. I love this one.

Adore this!

I really like this one also.