Remember me? A refresher course!

The very lovely Angie over at Polish and Patience was nice enough to give me a Liebster Award. LAST YEAR. I filled this out then, but never got around to posting it. I honestly feel like I'm an awesome person (don't we all?), but I may lack personality when I write. I'm not sure filling this out will help or hurt me in that respect. :p I'm going to add a few pictures so everyone's not super bored when they hit the Page Down button to scroll quickly through this post. ;)

 

China Glaze Red Satin with Darling Diva Polish in Ti Amo

 

Eleven things about me:

I prefer watching TV shows to movies. There's so much more to experience with the characters in a TV show because you get more time with them. My three favorite TV shows of all time are "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "The IT Crowd" and "Veronica Mars." If I need reality TV, it's gotta be "Cops" or "Tabatha Takes Over."

I love sugar. I could even eat it plain in years past, which might partially explain why I'm now pre-diabetic. If you're pre-diabetic, do everything you can to avoid becoming diabetic! Being diabetic- and even pre-diabetic- really takes the joy out of eating because you have so many restrictions on what you can eat.

If you have anything rude to say about Nebraska Cornhuskers football... you can say it to someone else. ;D

I have the most shopping stamina of anyone you'll ever meet. I love window shopping and I could do it all day! Nice malls I've enjoyed visiting include Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona, La Encantada in Arizona, Beachwood Place in Ohio, The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania and Ala Moana Center in Hawaii.

My first concert was the Beach Boys when I was ten years old. I've seen Barenaked Ladies in at least five different states and I've seen OK Go live eight or ten times. The last concert I went to was Robert Plant last month. But if I had to listen to one artist for the rest of my life, it'd be Dwight Yoakam. L-o-v-e his voice and music!

I've lived in three different states two times each. I miss Arizona the most. I loved being able to see the mountains and beautiful scenery of southern Arizona.

I'm the dog mom around here while my husband is the cat dad. Diamonds may be some girls' best friend, but I'll take my dogs over jewels any day!

I got into nail polish because I'm a sucker for pretty colors. I also have a pretty good selection of paper paint chips from home improvement stores. Sadly that doesn't mean my house has been painted at all. *facepalm*

Horoscopes amuse me so much. I like the Daily Horoscope app by Comitic on my phone and read Susan Miller's horoscopes for my sign and rising sign, too. Her app finally cut back on video ads, which is good when you're trying to browse your horoscope at 1am and your significant other is asleep.

I've been with my husband over ten years, which could be the reason...

I'm expecting a son in October. That would only partially explain why I haven't been doing much blogging. I did have trouble with stinky polish fumes when I painted my nails last night, but otherwise my only excuse is that I hate cropping and editing the bazillion pictures I insist on taking to make sure I get the color just right.

 

L'Oreal Club Prive (I had to lobsterize myself in Photoshop to make the nail color more accurate)

 

Eleven questions from Angie:

1. What is your first polish memory? Chanel's Night Sky was the first nail polish that I remember reading about and knowing that I had to have it. I paid $15 for it at the Chanel counter at Dillards. Not a bad way to spend $15, if you ask me.

2. Is this something you share with friends, or do you keep your 'polish play time' to yourself? I have some friends that like nail polish and makeup, too. It's nice to have friends that understand (and an understanding husband that has his own hobbies.)

3. How do you keep your polish organized? I don't. I want to do a massive purge, but I fear I'll have to get even more storage just for the purged polishes! I have a few underbed storage containers, plus some plastic five drawer towers.

4. What is your favorite color? Light, minty pastel green! I've picked up a polish or three in my favorite color now that it's in style.

5. What is your favorite finish? I do enjoy a good shimmer, but no frost/brushstrokes allowed!

6. What is your favorite polish brand? In the past, I would've said OPI. But there are so many good brands out there now. L'Oreal has stepped up its game, and their sister brand Essie usually has great quality and some awesome colors.

7. What else do you do with your free time? Hang out with my husband, my pets and my mom; eat great food (Middle Eastern, Thai, BBQ!); procrastinate working on my blog; tons of laundry; read other blogs (if only there was a good replacement to Google Reader :(); and be awesome a majority of the time. :))

8. Do you have any pets? Yes! They were all homeless and one of them was going to be killed that day if we didn't take her. Support no kill shelters and spay/neuter programs!

9. What is your vision of a 'perfect day'? Relaxing with great food and great company. What's better than that?

10. What is your favorite book? Don't laugh- Archangel by Sharon Shinn. It was the first book I read by her and she does a great job creating different worlds. Jacqueline Carey is probably my second favorite author. I really like authors who can really draw you into another world.

11. What is your favorite movie? The one I've probably "watched" the most is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." I was not a fan in my teen years, but I ended up really enjoying the music. The movie is good background noise.

 

Chanel Taboo (which always looks better in pictures than real life)

 

At this point, I'm supposed to tag eleven people with less than 200 followers and give them eleven questions. Not to be the c-c-c-combo breaker, but I don't know who to tag. If you're reading, please consider this your formal engraved invitation to tell me eleven things about you, answer eleven questions, and give me your blog link so I can see the answers! Comment below if you want me to give you the questions you absolutely must fill out. :)

Essie No Baggage Please

I have no idea what possessed me to buy No Baggage Please (836) from Essie's Wedding collection this year. Maybe it was because the woman at Ulta put a piece of tape on one of my nails, then painted the polish on. It was nice of her, but possibly I felt guilty "using" the polish and ended up buying it. At least the trial run was more hygienic than her actually painting it directly onto my nail, yes?

 

As you may be able to tell from my lack of enthusiasm, I am not a fan of No Baggage Please. There's something about this light bubblegum pink- it's a little lighter than my pictues show- that I just am not a fan of. If you love this type of color and are looking at buying NBP, make sure you have a bunch of nail polish thinner on hand. It's one thick, streaky pain in the bottom. Even after I dumped a ton of thinner in, it's still a little streaky. And seriously, what's the point of having shimmer in such a thick formula? It's just going to be obscured. Even after my thinner party, the shimmer is still hard to find on the nail. Don't be fooled by looking at the bottle- your nails will not be that shimmery.

 

You don't really notice how bad the streakiness is from far away. This might look better on toes just for that reason. But when you look at your nails up close... hooboy. I did three thin coats over ridgefiller and I certainly could have used another coat.

 

Bottom line: totally not worth the purchase. Were I one to return nail polish, I'd be returning this one.

butter LONDON Shambolic

I found Shambolic at Nordstrom Rack a few weeks ago for less than seven bucks. For that price, how could I not pick it up?! They did have one bottle of Dosh, nestled among the Shambolics, as well as a set of Shambolic with its matching lipgloss for about US$11. They even had two of the OPI Liquid Sand Bonds- Solitaire and Vesper- but I only opted for one single bottle of polish on this trip.

Shambolic came out with Jack the Lad and Scuppered for Holiday 2012. I bought both of those, but Shambolic didn't seem worth the regular bL price tag so I didn't buy the set. I still don't think Shambolic is worth full price. It's described in that link as "sheer, pinky-purple glitter with larger hexagonal lavender glitter suspended in a black base." There's definitely a dark gray or charcoal tinge to this polish and the glitter is pinky-purple. I feel like there are two hex glitters: a similar pink purple and the lavender hex mentioned in the description is more like a very light ballet slipper pink. Call me crazy, but I swear I see a smattering of green glitter. It's not very obvious unless you really stare at your nails.

I had to play with the colors on both photos I'm posting because Shambolic didn't play nice with my camera. Can you see the green in this one?

 

I tried to capture the hex glitter in this one:

ETA: perhaps my phone captured the hex better?

I used three coats for my swatches, but I think four would have been better. The effect you get on your nails with Shambolic isn't as bold and full as you see in the bottle (or even my photos) because it's a sheer color. You're also going to need at least two coats of top coat if you want this color to shine. I will say that I had zero problems with the formula or the brush. Score! I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for this one. But if you see it and don't mind a more washed out version of what's in the bottle in your nails, it's worth picking up.

Sally Hansen In a Flurry

I bought Sally Hansen's In A Flurry ages ago, but I hadn't swatched it until December. So much for timely swatching! We may get a few snow flurries late tomorrow night, so this post is slightly topical. :p

 

I thought In A Flurry might be similar to butter LONDON's Jack the Lad, but nope. Compared to the bL, Flurry is more charcoal than green. The shimmer may not be as gold, and there's purple shimmer rather than pink shimmer. As far as I can tell! I think there are different colors in it every time I look. :roll: I used three thin coats, which really allowed the shimmer to shine through.

 

While it mainly looks black on the nail- you'd be hard pressed to say it's specifically green- it does sparkle nicely. While the brush on this particular Insta-Dry was cut slightly unevenly, the brush itself was thick yet springy making it easy to get a pretty decent curve by my cuticles. I actually like this polish, which surprises me because I've been hard to please (nail-wise!) these days. If you wanted to pick this one up, you could possibly find it in any place that sells Sally Hansens but doesn't get too much foot traffic. I'm sure this color is still out there!

Lippmann Collection Cleopatra in New York

I'm kind of a sucker for Egyptian things. Exhibit one: my handsome husband. Exhibit two: Lippmann's Nefertiti and my newest acquisition, Cleopatra in New York. I didn't even bat an eyelash as I bought US$18 worth of glitter nail polish at Nordstrom because yep, I'm a sucker. I had to have it as soon as I saw the name, regardless of the color. For shame!

 

Described as "gold studded black," Cleo is a sheer black with two sizes of wan gold glitter. Yes, I'm Princess Crabbypants right now and I'm telling you that this polish... just didn't thrill me the first time I wore it. Maybe I'll like it better next time? I'm looking at these pictures after wearing Cleo and kind of liking it at the moment. I do want to use a black polish as "underwear" next time so that I have an opaque base coat and so I have to use less of Cleo with each manicure.

 

If you like the look of Cleo but not the price tag, you could take a gander at Howl at the Moon by Girly Bits. If you must have the Lippmann, there was a $10 off code for first time customers on HSN.com (plus free shipping), making one Lippmann polish less than $10, but I'm not sure if that's still valid.

 

I think this is still a little sheer for me at three coats. I can't put my finger on why I'm not fully enjoying this polish. I do like it more than one Egyptian thing I will never, ever like- molokhia. Putting leaves in soup is one way to ruin a perfectly good soup. ;) My husband would definitely disagree, though. :)

Quick swatch: China Glaze Water You Waiting For

Water You Waiting for is from China Glaze's Cirque du Soleil collection, which ties in with the "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away" movie. I haven't seen that movie, but I have seen a traveling Cirque show. Some of those folks tumbled just as hard as my heart did when I put WYWF on.

 

But I just could not get a decent picture of this polish. It's incredibly frustrating because WYWF is really pretty. You'll have to take my word for it. This next shot was supposed to show off the different glitter colors:

 

All I can tell you is that you should really take a look at this polish if you like blue glitters. The addition of purple (indigo?) glitter really makes this outstanding. Water You Waiting For is definitely on my top five list of China Glaze polishes that were released last year. I paid full price for it at Ulta and I don't regret it at all. I had to have it as soon as I saw it! You, the savvy shopper that you are, can find it for less at various online retailers. ;)

Quick swatch: Pahlish Layering

I was more than happy to see 2012 end. The last four months were not great, but here's hoping 2013 will be much better for all of us. :) I have several months of pictures and posts half done, so I should have enough content to help me get my mojo back. As always, if there's something you'd like to see swatched, or you'd like better pictures of something I've already shown, just let me know!

Pahlish is currently having a sale on discontinued colors. On New Year's Eve, I decided to do a few super quick swatches of the discontinued colors that I own. Not the best timing since I ran out of time to do my nails for a party, but I did have enough time for hair and makeup and let me say... I looked fabulous. ;D I grabbed some butter LONDONs to put underneath the Pahlishes to show how sheer or opaque they were. Swatches of the bLs by themselves can be found here. Swatches of the Pahlishes can be found on Etsy under their individual pages, which I've linked to in the next paragraph. I highly suggest checking those out, especially for Combustible Lemon. I could not get a decent picture of it.

 

My pointer finger is butter LONDON Artful Dodger and Pahlish Typewriter Keys, the middle finger is butter LONDON Blagger and Pahlish Goldmine; Gutted, the ring finger is butter LONDON Come to Bed Red with Pahlish Combustible Lemon, and the pinkie is butter LONDON Dahling with Pahlish Your Possible Heart (which is now sold out- I snoozed, you lost. Sorry! :oops: ) The bL polishes were two coats, while all of the Pahlishes minus Typewriter Keys were one coat. I don't think TK can be built up to full opacity without a billion coats. I did wear four coats of Goldmine; Gutted in early November and it was pretty opaque. I received tons of compliments while wearing it, so it's good if you're looking for an eye-catching, attention-grabbing polish.

 

And from the side to show off opacity better:

 

A few months back, I received a big box of indie polish goodies from my buddy Shannon of Pahlish as a pick-me-up. It totally worked! :) I will work on swatching all the different indie brands I now have thanks to her, but I've been super unsatisfied with the pictures my cameras are taking. I'm not entirely happy with these pictures, but I really dig Typewriter Keys and Goldmine; Gutted and wanted to try to share them. If you need better pictures of any of these, just leave a comment or email me and I'll try to get to swatching ASAP. :)

OPI Casino Royale and The Man with the Golden Gun

While I'm not a huge Bond fan, I fondly remember watching 007 movies with my family around the holidays when I was younger. I can't say I was interested in the Bond movie coming out this winter, but seeing the trailer of "Skyfall" in an IMAX theater made me contemplate actually watching it in the theater. Doesn't everything look better in IMAX? I'm sure Javier Bardem will look extra handsome on the big screen. ;)

I carefully studied all the swatches I could find of this collection, then ordered four polishes online. I almost ordered two bottles of Live and Let Die, but I restrained myself. After seeing the collection in person, the only other color I bought was You Only Live Twice. (I'm not counting The Man with the Golden Gun, as I knew I needed it like I need oxygen and technically it's a top coat anyway. :D) I have to give a round of applause to people like The Polishaholic who do timely swatches so the rest of us can decide what we're going to buy when a collection finally comes out.

 

Casino Royale is a plum crème that surprised me. I love the color in bright light, though it's a bit more muted (as is my love for it) in low light and the shade. It's a good color, but get into full sun and it turns into an amazingly flattering and pretty color on me.

Since Casino Royale is a crème, it is the perfect base for The Man with the Golden Gun. I wish the gold wasn't so sparse with one coat, but I think the flakes of gold may be bigger than those on the SOPI gold top coat. That top coat is on sale, so if you don't care about the size of your gold flakes, that's the cheaper way to go. I do think TMWTGG dried a little dull, so use a coat of top coat after it. The textured (in look, but not touch) shards of gold look amazing. My camera just couldn't catch that detail. If this polish had been cheaper, I would have stocked up! One tip: cut the sticker on the bottom of the display box that TMWTGG comes in and use the more stylish sticker on the top as a hinge.

 

I do have pictures of the other three colors I bought and will be posting them soon. I took the pictures before Sandy started bringing us gusty wind, overcast skies, chilly temperatures and rain. I hope that everyone in Superstorm Sandy's path is staying safe!

Now on sale at Target... elf, Revlon, Sally Hansen and L'Oreal

Despite the fact that everyone who loves to shop at my nearest Target also loves to try nail polish on... I still check the clearance products to see if there's anything I'm interested in. I just try to ignore the fact that some of it may have already been used. :roll: While "if you wouldn't pay full price for it, you probably don't really want it" is a good rule to live by when shopping, I tend to forget it when looking at all the pretty colors for cheap.

I totally asked my husband to take a picture of the end cap, so he did. He's a keeper! ;) On your left on the top shelf: beige snakeskin-like Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips, e.l.f. nail polish, the Prabal Gurung Sally Hansens, some nude (plus a red) L'Oreals and a few Revlon ColorStay longwear nail polishes. Double-ended Revlon polishes and elf emery boards are in the open containers.

I bought e.l.f.'s 20417 back when it was US$2, but now it's only $1.70. I love the black and gold snakeskin top and the gold lettering. The whole collection has snazzy packaging and style, from the palettes to the tweezers. I was tempted by a polish that had festive gold shimmer or glitter with larger iridescent glitter, but I managed to resist for now.

Too bad this polish has a terrible bushy brush that splays outward at the bottom, which makes it a pain to polish with. I also found an errant brush strand, but it didn't cause me as many problems as the one on Laura Mercier's Lavender Cloud. The color is pretty much black with pretty blue shimmer. It looks black most of the time with the shimmer not being very visible until the light hits it. Even when I used top coat, this polish wasn't particularly shiny. I think I ended up with three coats- two when I initially polished, then one more to cover up the pretty good tip wear I got in the day between polishing and taking pictures. When polishing my nails with this, I found the scent to be more obnoxious than usual. That may just be how e.l.f. polish smells. I like the shimmer in this one, but I wish it was more visible most of the time. I wish the brush was better, too, because the bottle is stylish.

Sally Hansen's Ivory Skull is a white crème. I'm sure it has a dupe, probably even within the Complete Salon Manicure line, but this color is a good core color to have in your collection. The entire Fall 2012 Prabal Gurung Fashion Week polish line is on clearance, including Gilded Lily which I've heard is a bit similar to OPI's Golden Eye. In the store, I thought that the grays and whites from this collection were a little off, like a little gray or yellow, but I can't really tell that this isn't plain white on my nails. The brush was a bit unevenly cut, with some strands sticking out a little, but still usable. The formula was thin but not runny. Two thick coats or three thin coats gives good opacity and dry time was also good. The Complete Salon Manicure line is generally solid, and I think Ivory Skull isn't outside the norm for CSMs. I think it's worth the $3.84 I paid for it.

A few Revlon ColorStay polishes were on clearance, including Sequin and Cayenne, plus the Moon Candy and French Mix collections. This display picture was snapped at Bed Bath and Beyond a few months ago. Before you ask, yes, my husband took this picture, too. :)

 

On the bottom of the Target clearance end cap were some cute cosmetic bags in various sizes. You could pick some of those up plus a few cheap polishes, some emery boards and then some cosmetics to make stocking stuffers or birthday gifts for some of the ladies (young or not so young) in your life. If you're putting together a bag for me, I'll take a Guerlain Rouge Automatique and the Tarte SmolderEYES pencil set. Dream big, right? ;)

Nails Inc Warwick Way with Fitzroy Square

I noticed that there are more Nails Inc polishes for sale on Sephora's site. I don't like the formula of Porchester Place so I understand why it's on sale. But Warwick Way? Is being a solid, normal teal crème its only crime? I'm not seeing it for sale on sephora.com currently, but it was there a few days ago and it may reappear before too long. It may also be in the sale section of your local store. It's well worth pawing through the small bins of sale polish because you can find some goodies in there.

I can see Warwick Way looking great on a number of different skintones. I'm cool-toned and I really like this color on me. It doesn't make me look red and it harmonizes with my skintone nicely. It is slightly more green and more jelly-like than it appears in the bottle, which I assure you is definitely a good thing. Two thick coats (like on my pointer finger) or three thin coats (on my other fingers) give good opacity, though it's still a tiny bit sheer at that point. My camera wouldn't pick up this particular shade, so I had to do some color adjustment on the next two pictures:

 

Fitzroy Square has fine aqua glitter and slightly larger blue glitter. I used one coat on my ring finger. I think these two polishes look good together. I'd recommend this one if you like glitter and blue shades of nail polish. This picture shows you how my camera kept picking up Warwick Way:

 

I bought both of these at full price as soon as they were available at Sephora. I think Warwick Way is a great color, so if you can get it for only US$5, it's a great deal!

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