Hearts, glass, and presentations

This afternoon, I gave my presentation for the conference du jour.  It went well; I felt underpracticed, but since this material is part of my job talk that’s really not true.  Anyway, I got some laughs from the audience, which isn’t possible if they’re not engaged, and some good questions, so I was comprehensible.  It was a small turnout, but it was scheduled during the very last session; a lot of people were already on planes.

C’est la travail.  (And oooo I need to write about Québec so much.)

As mentioned, I recently bought a small mountain of Hearts & Glass polish.  (Actually I bought three, then after quick swatches went back and bought every color I found interesting.)  Here is:

Hearts & Glass Cloud Nine:


Pretty turquoise! Also, pretty French tip color for next time. Not teal, at least in indirect Pacific northwest sunlight in summer. The color’s pretty accurate, even.

I have had the worst time finding any information about this brand, even proof that it exists; this page is the best, only, thing I’ve found.  And I really like them:  The three colors I’ve worn so far are all excellent, easy to work with, one- to two-coat coverage, no staining.

So: here are a whole bunch of bottle shots, internet.  Of Hearts & Glass Nail Polish.  Polish polish hearts and glass nail lacquer polish google tag hearts and glass.  So there.

photo 4

Cocoa Loco <?>, Bronze Goddess, Leading Lady <?>, Daring Duchess.  Doesn’t it almost actually look bronze in this picture?

photo 3

Wisteria Memory, Plum Fantasy, Juliette’s Blush <?>, Perfect Kiss <?>.

photo 2

Wizard of Ahs, Lucky Clover, Sexy Sorbet, Tangerine Tease.  The only reason Rebel Yellow isn’t here is because I have enough yellow polish and I didn’t realize it was named Rebel Yellow.  I could not have resisted that.

photo 1

Stolen Moment, Lapis of Luxury, Cloud Nine, Pure Courage.


Bronze Goddess and Daring Duchess again, because maybe you want to see them from the front, I dunno?

Color names are basically guesswork, because the bottles are in boxes, because everything I own is in boxes, some of which I may see again someday.  ARGH MOVING.  I will update if I ever see the boxes again.

My best guess after packing, by the way, is that I have around 400 bottles of nail polish, about half what I had wild-ass guestimated a while ago.  (From this one can conclude, correctly, that binges of buying 20 bottles at a time are actually quite rare.)  That’s not a bad estimate, but it’s not good either.  When I unpack I might actually pay enough attention to figure out things like brand percentage… or I may be swamped with the new life.  Hard to know.

Red-ish coral-ish thing PWI

At a conference in the magical land of Québec, Quebec.  (I thought it was Quebec City, but like New York “City”, that’s apparently just to disambiguate.)  So far it’s… been not much, really.

Remember when I said how strange it was, but coral seems to suit me, at least sometimes?  It still does.  Strange, because pinks don’t, oranges don’t (I think?), and it’s not a color I think of as going with my skin tone (glow-in-the-dark pale, but very neutral).

Sinful Colors Energetic Red:


Red-coral-ish?  Sigh.  Nice, though!  My pictures utterly failed to capture how bright a color it is, probably largely because of all the overcast in the world.

The fact that this is named “Energetic Red” makes me think the people who name the colors are looking at photos.  From this photo (and others), it looks red.  It’s not.  It’s intense red-leaning coral, slightly neon in fluorescent lightning.

And I said I would try some coral lipstick, and I did, and I’ll be damned.  It’s okay.  If said lipstick ever gets unpacked, I’ll show pix of that too.  It looks weird to me, possibly because I mostly wear either lipstick the color of my lips or very dramatic lipstick… but not unflattering, I think?  Who knew.

Anyway, now I’m pondering Conference Makeup and beauty/dressing/etc in academic in general, since I’m here for a week, more or less as a professor for the first time. <!> I’ll let you know if anything new suggests itself to me…

Plum Gold PWIs

Have you noticed the longest posts are ones where I whine about having nothing to say?  I’m going to try to back off on that.  Not that I feel like whining today: it’ll be a while before the high wears off.  A long while.

News from last night’s celebratory/goodbye dinner: brioche donuts are amazing and should probably be illegal for the public good.  (Or, at least, my good.)

This is two colors from Sinful Colors’ current limited-edition releases, which I guess are for fall?  Both have been in LEs before, so I may actually have one of them somewhere.  In a box.

Sinful Colors 24 Karat:


Gold!..ish yellow.  With plenty of visible nail tip.  You can see clearly how nubby my nails are without the free edge; comes of chopping them down so violently all the time (or so I’ve heard, maybe it’s actually genetic).

This is a very pretty, IMO very classy, very sheer yellow gold.  This is… maybe 4-5 coats?  Too many, and you can still see the nail, which for this color is fine with me.  I like it this way, but it’s clearly meant to add a gold sheen over something else.  However, I went the opposite direction, adding French tips with…

Sinful Colors Fig:


With bonus fig-colored cuticles!  This is probably the longest my nails have been in years, because I’ve been writing instead of robot-ing for the last couple of months.  Poor robots.

This was made possible with nail art brushes (Thank you, Mama T!!).  I still got Fig all over myself, but I’m getting there.

I really like this, you guys!  I like both colors and the combo, I like the French tips, I don’t even particularly want to frantically hack off my weirdly-long nails yet.  Neat!

Some stuff happened today

Let’s see.  I went by a Sephora but wasn’t wowed by anything, sadly.  I tried a friend’s mini of OPI (unlabeled, I think it was Down to the Core-al), but I dinged it basically instantly, so not much point taking pictures; it’s a nice bright (definitely neon) coral shade.

Had a nice goodbye dinner with friends (sniff), finished off a six-year-old <!> painting project… dunno.  It was a nice day!

Oh, and defended my Ph.D. dissertation successfully.  So that was nice too.

Moving, PWIs, and making words

Packers came yesterday.  (I say “packers,” what I mean is “one dude from HandyBook,” but still.  He packed.)  I also packed.  We all packed.  Except the cats, who, mysteriously, mostly stayed out of the way.  So now my home for the last n years is filled with boxes, but not so much with my belongings.  It’s strange, and I’m tired.

Professional packers are interesting.  They pack things.  I mean, all the things.  They don’t stop and wonder if a pan lid that fits none of your pans should move cross-country, nor the 1/8th-full bottle of dish detergent; they just box it.  He packed a good deal of stuff I wouldn’t have, but I bet it took him half the time.

I was reading Foodness Gracious – well, looking at the pretty pictures – and the author posted something about the writing in his blog, and wondering if it actually matters.*  It so matters.  I find that I only come back to blogs whose writing I think is entertaining, no matter the pretty pictures.

And this is as much a my-life blog as a nail polish blog (somehow that happened).  So, I feel like I should have stuff to say?  But I’m tired for so many reasons, and that’s the enemy of writing well.  So here is some more nail polish, and with luck post-defense I will be less whiny (so whiny!) and more talky.

‘Til then, L’Oreal The True Diamond (over Sinful Colors Strapped):


Glass fleck goodness!  Might be worth clicking to get the full effect.


Same, only over some interesting silver stickers.  The effect didn’t really work, the topper just kind of swallowed the sticker.

There are a lot of possible effects and finishes for nail polish.  A lot.  I’ll do a post sometime, probably soon.  One of my favorites is “glass fleck.”  I don’t know if it’s actually glass powder, just another shape/material of glitter, or what, but I like it.

So, this is a topper that’s basically just a bottle of glass fleck stuff in a clear base.  I haven’t yet figured out how to make it as pretty as the bottle, but I’ll keep after it a bit.

I need to start doing bottle shots again.

* Which links back to here, which in turns links to someone tweeting something mind-bendingly dumb.

Okay, posting again. This is me posting.

It’s not strange for me to have binary behavior, either posting regularly or Just Not Posting.  That being the case… and it being the case that I will likely be using this (or some) blog to communicate with the handful of folk I am leaving behind but who might remember me in six months… I’m aiming now to go back to the former.  And boy do I have a lot of nail polish queued up.

So I wrote my dissertation.  In 7 days.  It should have been 6, but I turned it in a day late because I needed the extra time, plus What Are They Going To Do Fire Me.  I must say, in the strongest possible terms, I do not recommend this.  It was a total staple job, but even so, the level of immersion, stress, and effort involved for those 7 days left me truly, alarmingly useless for almost two weeks.* **

So… don’t do that.  Honest.  Reschedule your defense and make another plane ticket if that’s what it takes.  For the love of god, learn from the mistakes of others.  I defend Monday (fingers crossed) and so far I haven’t found the wherewithal to start my presentation.

That’s bad.

In non-academic news (ha ha), we’ve got most of the moving nonsense scheduled, modulo getting some cats to the right city (thpt cats).  We don’t actually have a place to live (bah) but apart from those small details, it looks like this move is going to happen.  Exciting!  Or it will be when I get some wherewithal to use on being excited.

Okay, nail polish, actual posting soon.  Both these PWIs are recent acquisitions, because… I was going to say my willpower is weak when I’m out of wherewithal, but in practice I don’t try to stop myself from buying <$2 nail polishes.  I mean… why?  It’s not like they’re full of calories.  Or potassium benzoate.

Hearts & Glass Bronze Goddess:


You will see why I felt the need to check the name.  I wouldn’t call this bronze.  I would call it pink.  But it’s a VERY good coater (maybe 1 coat?) and, despite being quite very sparkly, a reasonably work-appropriate color.  And the glitter scales poorly in pix.

Hearts & Glass Daring Duchess:


This, while a creme and not sparkly, is not in fact a color I would wear to (say) a dissertation defense.  But  this image scaled fine.

So.  Pink!  Pink pink pink.  They both have excellent formula, excellent opacity, ridiculously nice for being some random one-off brand.†  What can I say?

* still counting.

** This is extremely consistent with studies on human work in general; you don’t gain anything over anything but the VERY short term by working long hours.  You get the most work over a 2-month span or anything longer at a 35 hour week.  Long hours are not helping you.  Really!

† Listed in tags as “hearts and glass” rather than “hearts & glass” because the ampersand breaks wordpress’ tag system. Tsk!

Thesis. Talk later.

Dissertation due Monday.  Not ready.  Talk about nail polish later.

I mean either you’re not seeing this or you use a blog reader and don’t care, but FYI that’s what’s up.

Many pretty polishes, all in a row (PWI × many)

So I missed a plane today (ARGH).  It was partly my fault, partly Delta’s.  And of course they can’t put me on anything until tomorrow.*  Why do I keep flying Delta?  Bad things always happen – starting many years ago when they stranded Mr. Fix-It in Egypt until I sicced a lawyer on them.

I am very excited about my new job, but I was at least equally excited about The One That Got Away.  On the other hand, TOTGA would have required flying a lot more Delta.  Maybe this time I’ll learn?  Dear Self: it doesn’t matter that it’s cheaper if it always sucks horribly.

Sooo… that was bad.  OTOH, I then had a very nice, laid-back lunch with a dear friend who made time for unexpectedly-present me.  Also, the corner drugstore had a random display of $1.49 nail polishes from a random small brand (Hearts & Glass) that turned out to be really, really nice.  So nice I went back for more…

Dear reader: I bought 22 nail polishes today.

Is PWI just some self-enabling joke?  I mean, that’s, what, like ¼ of the polishes I’ve successfully reviewed?  Maybe.  I worried about it briefly, but then I was like “SCREWIT LOOKIT MAH PRETTIES.”  I missed a plane!  I deserve comforting things.

So it seems like a good time to just post a massive dump of nail polishes, as previously warned.  It’s a good thing I no longer put all polish names in PWI post titles, because that would be a long title…

Sally Hansen Seasational:


I have so much trouble typing “seasational,” because it is not a word.  Even for a fake word it’s kind of stupid.  Anyway, it’s a nice teal cream, decent coverage, and fairly shiny.

Sinful Colors Taupe It Off:


It’s supposed to dry matte, and it does. While it’s not textured, the little bits of glitter make it look… uneven? MK described it as river silt, and he’s right. Not flattering on me!

Sinful Colors Dozen Roses:


One of my continuing efforts to find a flattering pale pink. (Mr. Fix-It likes pink.) Okay, not great; good coverage for that kind of color, though. I have mountains of turns-out-it’s-super-sheer pale pinks.

Some Essence (not Essie!) sparkly navy:


Essence doesn’t, as far as I can tell, name their colors. This looks pretty in the macro shot, but really it’s quite dark and the glitter (such as it is) is very subdued.  On me it looks rather dull.

Zoya Jade:


…Jade. Right. I assume they mean as in “harlot,” but it’s still a dumb name for a tomato-red nail polish. This is four thin, easy coats; final color was okay but nothing to die for, I thought.  Click for half-hidden sparkle.

This is the point where I realized I can’t probably shouldn’t have cherries for dinner, and went to make some curry.

So, curry in tummy, I present Sinful Colors Strapped:


Very true to color! So basically it’s a (very) matte greenish teal. Like most matte shades, it dried really fast. I think this was 2-3 coats?

I… sigh.  I have more queued up.  But for now that’s enough, plus it’s obviously time to go to sleep, so I can catch my super-early shuttle, so I can catch my early plane.  And tomorrow I will be 2800 mi/4500 km away, posting from boring talks at a conference (maybe none of them will be boring! (yeah…)) and househunting like mad.

* Actually they were pretty gung-ho about putting me on a red-eye that left at 12:14 am.  And then changed in Minneapolis midway through.  Does anyone fall for that??

Silly Hats and Nail Polish

Whoops for falling off the edge of the universe?

I have a great excuse, though.  This past weekend was graduation, and I had parents in town to attend and generally help me get ready for life transitions, not to mention helping my sister get over hip surgery.  Also, my sister had hip surgery.  And I’m still trying to find a place to live.

So it has been, to put it mildly, a little busy.  But hey, now I have a silly hat!  And silly robes and stuff.  My full regalia makes me looks like a 15th century bishop or royal adviser or something.  My German adviser tells me they don’t do regalia in Germany.  I guess they got over it in the actual 15th century.

So I graduated!  This is an awesome lie: About half the people wearing bishop robes on that stage will defend over the summer, like me.  But I’ve been hooded – it feels great, if you’re wondering – and now it feels inevitable, instead of unbelievable.  My parents got me a card that made me go RIGHT into happy crying, my wonderful husband got me a new awesome fountain pen, and… and life is really pretty good.

None of this nonsense affects my love of nail polish.  I haven’t been too busy to buy it, but I’ve been too busy to use it, which is pretty frustrating. On the other hand, I got to paint my mom’s nails, which was awesome and will probably be a fixture of my future life.  Also, I have a bunch of pictures of various PWIs that are just waiting to be posted.  So… with apologies, I’m going to just do a massive image dump (next post).

I will make up for it with ducklings eventually.



In keeping with my general policy of putting pictures in posts.  I don’t remember when Mr. Fix-It and I found a Terrifying Laser Eyeball Lady gift card, but I promise you it’s much creepier in person.

Oh oh oh and a small editorial change, if anyone cares: PWI posts will no longer have the name of the polish in the title.  It’s too restrictive!  And the search function works the same either way.

PWI: Born Pretty Holo Polish, plus adornments!

Quarter’s drawing to a close.  Good riddance.  I’ve finally piloted my user study on the robot (thanks MK!).  It still needs work but in most ways it’s pretty deployable.  I really need to figure out why the robot’s verbal responses are delayed almost 3 seconds; that part’s just not working.

Stupid robots.

Anyway!  I have been painting my nails, just not blogging as much.  Just busy.  Well, and also Tachyon discovered that if I play console games instead of sitting at my computer, I make a really comfortable lap:


I mean… what am I supposed to do?  I’m no monster.

So that’s been something of a showstopper.  Yeah, my life is hard.

Anyway, I got nail-mail yesterday from the Born Pretty store, a source of cheap stuff that’s based out of Singapore.  (My last two packages had customs labels describing them as “cell phone case” and “electronics misc,” so that’s definitely legal.)  Shipping to the US is free.  All of this means it takes arbitrary amounts of time to arrive.  I basically place an order and forget about it, and whenever it shows up it’s a nice surprise.*

If you’re anything like me, when presented with new toys, you have to try them out right noooww.  This is how I came to be sporting Born Pretty Holo Polish:


It’s magically delicious.

This is a “linear holo,” meaning the holographic excellence shows up along lines defined by the curve of the nail, rather than being randomly spangled about.  I am very excited about future polish!

Unfortunately, the above is about the best holographic presentation I got.  It was taken in the weird cold fluorescent elevator of my 100-year-old apartment complex.  Below is what it mostly looked like in practice.


Gray’s a color.

It was still interesting.  Also, this is a rather low-end holo polish;** I may step it up to an expensive one.

In the meantime, since I still had new things to play with and less-than-exciting nails, I promptly bunged on a ton of stuff.  Behold: stuff.


Indirect (and failing) sunlight.  This is the closest I came to getting things in focus.  I choose to believe that this is not my camera’s way of opining on the tackiness of just slapping everything on together.

Left to right:

  1. Silver… errr… crown? sort of? stickers.  They were fine, they stayed on, I’ll use more.
  2. Silver rhinestones.  Also fine.  I got to use my new teeny-thing-picker-upper tool!
  3. A black-and-clear 3D sticker.  Iffy.  It tore when I tweezed it off the backing, and subsequently came off the nail in blobs.
  4. Water decal of some generic part of a clock.  If you haven’t built models of aircraft or tanks or (in my case) giant space robots, you probably didn’t know that water decals are the devil.  But I was prepared for it, and I love the designs on this sheet.

Then a bunch of stuff fell off.  But hey, toys!  TOYS.  Expect rather more… er… reasoned adornment pix in the near future.

* Actually this is how I cope with almost all shipped goods.  We order so much stuff from Amazon that we get several packages a week… so why track?  Mr. Fix-It will ask me what’s in an incoming box, and I’m all, “Clothes?  Toiletries?  Electronics?  Cats?”

** Actually, at $7/6ml on sale <!!>, it kind of isn’t!  Should have read the description more closely.  But there are companies who specialize in this nonsense and may produce shinier holographics.

Whinging, plus PWI: Sinful Colors Enchanted

Posting’s fallen off lately because a great number of other things are coming to a head.  I’ve been interleaving tasks, rather than trying to finish one off and take on another; this is more to do with respective timings than preference.  (I’ve gotten better at task switching in grad school, but my switch cost is still, I think, rather high.)  The main effect so far: I am behind or very-behind on everything.  Including but not limited to:

  • run one final user-study on a robot
  • work out details for moving 2800 miles
  • find someplace to, you know, live
  • make conference plane tickets ×2 (done!)
  • make family reunion tickets ×2
  • finish thesis
  • defend thesis
  • start thesis

And probably other stuff, I dunno.  Also, if you want to, you know, found a college or whatever: quarters can be good for undergrads, but grad students neeeeed semesters.  10 weeks is not long enough to explore, internalize, and do a research project on a topic.  (Dissenting commentary?)

Painting my nails has even fallen off, which is unusual.  But it not died!  So without further ado, I present:

Sinful Colors Enchanted.

photo 1

Direct sunlight.  Purple!  It’s only not shiny because for some reason the concept of “focus” is alien to my mind/hands/camera.

photo 3

Indoor lighting.  Quite dark, but purple.

photo 2

Indirect sunlight. (Pretty literally. This is in my own shadow, in direct sunlight.)  Now it’s blue!

This was part of a limited edition, although I haven’t the faintest when or why.  It’s dark, but still purple in most lighting instead of black, although only just.  It’s too muted (and a bit dusty) to be a true purple, as well as leaning a bit bluish (in some lights).

Not something I see myself thinking “Oo!” and reaching for, but it works ok!  Especially on my short nails.  Other people can pull it off, but when my nails get longer than about 2mm, super-dark colors make me think I look… hm.  Something.  Maybe just like I’m trying too hard?

PWI twofer: Zoya Shawn and Pure Ice Saddle Me Up

Side note: I’m not reviewing Zoya Anne.


Why would I mention such a thing?  Because I keep trying to.  Anne has been, thus far, such an exquisitely balanced mix of promising color and horrid formula that I end up doing this Sisyphean thing with it.  And this week (or possibly quarter or more), I do not have the patience for that kind of diva behavior.  I’ve started and stripped it at least three times, maybe four.

Today was less panicked and more mildly grumpy.  Mr. Fix-it’s out of town all week on business, and it definitely reduces my Fun Human Quotient.  A lot.

ANYway.  Please meet Anne’s actual well-behaved sister, Zoya Shawn:

photo n

Here it looks truly green, not olive. This is one of its maybe 4-5 faces.  Also, between yellowland and greenland I cut my nails to nubs again.  They just don’t do so well inside a robot when they’re longer.

It’s an interesting chameleon.  Unquestionably muted army-olive in some lights, obviously green in others, oddly in-between and grayer or browner in yet others.  But every single one of the color variations suited my fishbelly-white complexion. -_< ?

And, as usual, after a day of looking at it I was bored, so glitter happened.

Pure Ice Saddle Me Up.

photo 3

Pix, showing Shawn being olive, indoor. Noticeable but somewhat subtle.  Also… “Saddle Me Up”??  wha..?!

Still boring.  It’s too close, color-wise!  But to repeat:  Every single shade of Zoya Shawn on my pasty engineer skin was amazing.

photo 5

Pretty real-life accurate, which is a nice surprise!

Direct-sunlight pix are worse, FWIW.

Summary!  Zoya Shawn is very well-behaved, excellent beside Autumn/Winter colors; Saddle Me Up is a very close match for it and reasonably opaque in 2 coats.

PWI: Sinful Colors Pull Over

I went out for dinner with a bunch of my lab mates tonight, advisor accompanying (and paying, apparently from grants – I wonder if I’ll be that well-funded?).  We went to a bar + food place, whose main attraction is bocce ball, which is apparently a game where you throw balls at other balls, and either try to hit them or try not to, depending.  It’s completely one of those games where you know people were playing its predecessor with rocks, thousands of years ago.

I am not, as it turns out, good at bocce.

So I wandered off and started plying my advisor with questions about advising and choosing students, plus a certain amount of “augh what am I doing”.  It was a convivial setting, with beer, so he answered pretty openly, and I talked a bit more openly about my current struggles and fears.

You guys, it’s starting to feel like I’m really doing this.  It’s actually going to happen.  O.O  I’m going to go be faculty.  I alternate between wildly giddy and feeling like I might vomit.*

So I paint my nails.

Sinful Colors Pull Over (plus cat):

photo 1

Glossy Yellow  Mustard
Chromium Yellow  Pull Over??

Man, that’s yellow.  It’s… oh!  Here we go!

School bus yellow is a color which was especially formulated for use on School buses in North America in 1939. The color is now officially known in Canada and the U.S. as National School Bus Glossy Yellow and was originally called National School Bus Chrome. (emph mostly mine)

Thanks, internet!  I heart you!

This manages to escape the Curse of the Yellows, possibly because it’s halfway to orange (which also explains why it doesn’t look godawful on me).  This is three coats, which I disapprove of somewhat, but it looked nice afterwards instead of still streaky.

* Ever bought your first house?  This feels very similar.

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Love Nails and OPI Sedona Seduction

Okay, this gets pretty complicated. 🙂 You see, Mama T bought me a set of nail art tools!

I find nail art intimidating.  For one thing, I keep my nails SO short; for another, I fear it sneaks into an “even a grad student can’t get away with this,” even though I cheerfully wear disco balls and neon colors to work.  Also? It seems scary and hard.

But… those are dumb reasons.  I paint my lips non-earth colors all the time,* just not at work.  And being scared of nail polish is a bit mental.  I mean, really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?  Thirty seconds of acetone?

So.  Step 1 is yet another SC teal, Sinful Colors Love Nails.

photo 2

Pretty blue glowy things!  There
beginneth and endeth the joy.

This color and me, we are gonna love-hate fierce.  It’s really very pretty, and it kind of has a deep internal glow that sunlight catches beautifully (and cameras don’t).  But the deep internal complexity comes because this is six coats.  I don’t have time for six coats!  Nobody has time for six coats! >:-( THPT.  I’m wondering if I could get a similar look by layering it over a more polite teal, which I certainly have in abundance.

Anyway, next up, I grabbed OPI Sedona Seduction, a cold ice blue, and a dotting tool (least scary).  Also, Zoya Mosheen.

mosheen  left
Right hand: Sedona Seduction dots over Love Nails; Sedona Seduction alone; dots; Mosheen
over Love Nails; dots. Left hand: dots; dots; Mosheen over SS; dots; dots.

So yeah!  Love Nails is a beautiful PITA.  Sedona Seduction is a very icy, almost-silver blue, opaque enough to make dots with.  Mosheen is a very fine glitter; it’s hard to tell here, but it’s paler over Sedona Seduction.   I need to experiment with it further before I declare it PWI’d.

And… I can make dots! ^_^

* Speaking of:


Lipstick color is true, achieved with lighting that makes the rest of my skin look grayish. I swear I’m not a Yuki-Onna.

I recently placed an order for a large number of inexpensive samples with the Portland Black Lipstick Company.  This is Artificial Amethyst, which Mr. Fix-it doesn’t hate.  (He kind of does hate some of the other weird ones.  Sigh.)  Also, their swatches are terrible, look for other people’s if you’re interested.

PWI twofer: Sally Hansen Red Carpet & Sinful Colors All About You

I have to say, I picked up the red here under the belief that it was a glitter.  In the fluorescent store lighting, believe me, the shimmer was a lot more prominent.  On hands?  No.  It’s a deep, shimmery, vampy red, but it’s not glitter.  I do like it; I don’t much like the three-coat minimum for opacity, but I’ve heard it layers well.

Sally Hansen Red Carpet.


After dark and taken, unusually, with flash.
Reds mostly go deep and sexy at night.  Mostly.

And then, partly because I wasn’t really having a True Red day and partly because I had tip wear by morning, I did half-moons with Sinful Colors All About You:

photo 5

Sorry, crap picture. It’s what I got.  You can
see the red is much brighter in daylight.

This whole thing was just a mess.  The red’s an insta-stainer, so where I got it on my cuticles, it stayed.  (Usually I scrape it off before it sets; in this case it didn’t help.)  The index finger flaked off about 20 minutes later (note clever pose above), and the gold is not remotely opaque at three coats.  I like the idea of the red-and-gold combo, but… not this red, not this gold.

Nothing really terrible or hall-of-shame-worthy by itself, but I ended up taking the whole thing off pretty fast. :-/

PWI: Rimmel London Red, Steady, Go…

Punctuation in nail polish names is so strange.  I would have said that Ready, Steady, Go…  (Brit for Ready, Set, Go!) obviously needed an exclamation point.  Even a period probably wouldn’t have raised my eyebrows.  But an ellipsis?!‽

And on the interrobang front, kindly allow me to share a dork poem:

  < > ! * ' ' #
  ^ " ` $ $ -
  ! * = @ $ _
  % * < > ~ # 4
  & [ ] . . /
  | { , ,  SYSTEM HALTED

Or, read aloud.  (Really!  Say it out loud!)

  Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
  Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
  Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
  Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
  Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
  Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.

So yeh I’m a huge dork.

ANYWAY.  Rimmel London Red, Steady, Go…:

photo 2

A very tomato-y red, but it works! Maybe, as well as being unexpectedly coral-friendly, I am unexpectedly tomato-friendly? That would be ok. Tomatoes are delicious.

I meant to use this as a base coat for a new red glitter, but I ran out of time.  This is one coat!  Although a second doesn’t change the color noticeably.  You can see my teeny tiny free edge (nail blogger for “the part that sticks out past your quick”), but I don’t actually mind VNL (nail blogger for Visible Nail Line).

Um… still talking but content ran out.  I stop now.  More red next time.

Dear splodey-head (a love letter)

Wandering around the flat, turning off lights, lowering blinds, turning monitors as dim as I can; turning my own to inverted colors so it’s darker.  (Ctrl-Option-Cmd 8, if you have a mac.)  It doesn’t actually help, but it’s something I can do.

Cluster headaches[1]: go away.  We hate you.  You are not welcome here.  Leave.

[1] “The term “headache” does not adequately convey the severity of the condition; the disease may be the most painful condition known to medical science.”

PWI: Zoya Blu

I have menny menny nail polish.  (I think we’ve talked about this.)  And much of it suits me gloriously.  Yay!  Some of it, however, doesn’t.  What colors I should wear is an empirical question, in my mind.  Do things look good on me?  Which things?  Why?  What are the closest choices for doing better?  I am, to such a degree that it damages my publishability, an empiricist.  So when Dr. P got me a rainbow of Zoya colors, I was thrilled!

Zoya, by the way, apparently names their polishes after women.  I say “apparently,” because some of them are… non-obvious.  Blu, Piaf, Kaufda?  Livingston?  Jade?!  (Possibly the first ever red nail polish named after a “this means green” word?  I mean what the hell.)

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that Zoya Blu

photo 4xphoto 1
Blu blu blu blu!  It would lose its meaning on repetition except that’s not a word anyway.  Also, rose sticker!

…did not suit me at all.  The pictures, as so often happens, are deceitfully flattering.  In person, this pastel looks like it was photoshopped in.  I’ve said it before: a bad color match looks weirdly superimposed in real life.

But in and of itself, it is a gorgeous color,* and the formula was a nice two-coater, especially for a pastel.  I may not approve of Zoya’s marketing strategy but I have to say, so far, they make amazing nail polish.

“Nail stickers” can mean two things: little stickers, or water decals.  If you’ve ever made a model of any kind, you know the latter are six kinds of bitch to work with.  The little rose is the former; you just sticker it on.  (Things I have learned. 1, use top coat, or the gold will wear off, leaving a sort of white rose outline. 2, use peel-off base coat, or you’ll be trying to figure out how to get nail polish remover under a sticker for a long time.)  I really like these, and I’ve ordered some variations… I like EASY nail art.

* On the whole “Reasons I am loathe to move” front: I spent a good 30 seconds trying to decide which part of the blue, blue sky in this fair city was the closest match for my nails.  Sigh.

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Opening Night & Wet n Wild Slap the Bass

This is one of those posts where I chose a color based on the glitter I wanted to put on top of it.  I have a remarkable number of toppers to get through, given that we’ve established that I’m all weird about mismatched glitter.  I mean… okay.

As far as I can tell from some casual research, the “nail care market” has been undergoing insane growth since about 2008, with a 32% increase in profits in 2012.  Analysts were upset because 2013 was “only” showing 19% growth (I’m playing a bit loose with dates, but roughly).  The market is starting to saturate, with some people declaring the nail polish fad to be drawing to a close, although in actuality if the market stabilizes at its current sales rates there’s a hell of a lot of nail polish going out into the world.  In fact, since 2008, nail polish recession sales outpaced the famous “lipstick effect” that I had never heard of.  (Short: during recessions lipstick sales rise, as women put off bigger pick-me-up purchases.)

Meanwhile, there are only so many colors the human eye can differentiate, and even fewer that most people care about.  The number of nail colors is further limited by chemistry – there are only so many body-approved, stable, acetone-soluble, mutually compatible, etc. pigments.  So, there are only so many nail polish colors.  Hence, finishes.  Glitters, shimmers, cremes, glass flake, flakies, textured polishes… I know I’m missing a zillion variants.

Why the economics lesson?  Because there’s huge money in continuing to produce nail polishes that differ from previous ones.  (Well, and also because I’m something of a pedant.)  Anyway, even given my sharply limiting preferences, there’s always something interesting to buy, and often it’s new toppers.

Enough lead-in?  Yeah, I thought so.  Here’s Sinful Colors Opening Night.

photo 1

Which, all things being equal, is a very nice, very shiny, very dark teal.  I don’t think I have anything similar.

photo 4

I wouldn’t call it a foil, but those are the trees outside my apartment window, so maybe I have to?

Nice, anyway.  In indoor lighting it’s much darker, but not so much that you can’t see flashes of color.  Chosen, as I said, to complement…

Wet n Wild Slap the Bass:

photo 5

Whiiiich is actually there. Although you might have to take my word for it.

While the glitter is almost invisible, it does make the polish quite a bit brighter.  Mostly it makes it look like a very well-lit Opening Night.  I really liked the effect on myself, especially as the light failed.

If you’ve ever wondered why it’s sometimes Wet-n-Wild, sometimes Wet n Wild, sometimes Wet’n’Wild, and so on: it’s because they themselves are inconsistent; I mostly just copy from the bottle.

If you wondered why “Slap the Bass” is a name for a teal glitter, I can’t help you.  I can tell you it’s funnier if you assume they’re talking about the fish, though.**



** Yes, this is the part of the post I spent the most time on.  Do you suppose they’re actually going to give me a PhD?  It seems… unlikely somehow.

PWI: Urban Outfitters Cocktail (Or, how I learned to quit worrying and love the coral))

Very short post because I’m behind on bloggage.  As I am on everything else, also.  I am given to understand that the next year or two of my life will be like that and I should get used to it. 😛 Fortunately, this is a nail polish that more or less speaks for itself.

Urban Outfitters Cocktail:

photo 2xphoto 1
Coral! VERY coral, showing off its pinky/orange nature. Both pix in sunlight, but it was
pretty much equally bright indoors, because you can’t keep a good coral down.

Very bright!  Beautiful formula, too (2 coats).

I think of myself as looking terrible in coral?  But this nail polish, one other coral polish, and a flaming coral tshirt I got from StitchFix are all weirdly flattering.  And now I can’t remember why I thought that.  So, experimentation is in order!

Randomly Not Nail Polish

I’ve been meaning to rant about makeup and academia in general. Well, someone else just did, and eloquently, too. Lesson: if you procrastinate for long enough, someone will get exasperated and do it for you. 😀

I am referring to this post by Sylirael of The Painted Rogue, written in cooperation with Auxiliary Beauty – both also doctoral students. Very much recommended reading. The only thing I would elaborate on: I think one of the big things that makes makeup unprofessional is that makeup is girly. Women may have infested the hallowed halls, but the very least they could do is act like men.

Their posts included “what I’d like to do/what I actually do” pix, and in the spirit of solidarity, so shall I.  And what I like to do most is experiment.

First, since I got the OCC Lip Tars largely because you can make arbitrary colors with them… I did!  I love green, but in retrospect a little more muting would have made it look better on me.  This is pretty crayola.  Nonetheless, experiment 1: informative!  This covered as well as the blue and doesn’t look as outright weird as the yellow.

green lips

I failed to take a picture of my lips with nothing on. It’s better for everyone, really.

The reason this took so long to post: I did a coordinated eye look, and it was a total failure.  Specifically, it looked interesting, but it photographed terribly.  That’s what research is, right?  Trying things and having them fail?  I tried to convince myself to post failpix (researchers are terrible about publishing negative results), but in the end, no.  So. Now it’s later.


Silver liner, silver shadow with green accents, plus mascara.  It’s hard to show, but it’s VERY sparkly, which is really all that makes it interesting.

Not, I hope you will agree, particularly over the top (despite the sparkling).  But I wouldn’t wear it interviewing or to a conference for fear of the dread Not Being Taken Seriously.  Not because I think engineers are allergic to silver (that would suck for our robots) but because it is quite noticeable that I’m wearing makeup.

Am I saying I want to wear green lipstick to work and have sparkly eyes all the time?  Nope.  Mr. Fix-It dislikes makeup on me, and mornings are always tight. It would be very occasional.  Plus, you know… when I bitch, I always think about Amanda at Pretty Girl Science, who has to wear nail polish (!) that is “conservative and simple,” with no other guidelines.  (Aka, I know it when I see it, and I’ll yell at you then.  Written rules are not always better than unwritten.)  But you know, that’s pretty much garbage too.

In summary, Dear Academia: I’m training up to be an engineer and a researcher, and it annoys the fuck out of me when I’m not allowed to try new things.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.†

* A note on coverage.  I complained that this stuff feathers; the internet’s answer is “you’re using too much.”  I am not.  I can spread the most opaque color so thin you can clearly see skin through it, and it feathers.  Gr!

† Oh, almost.  At heart, I will always be both a costumer and a HUGE ham, and I had tools out, so this happened. IMG_1603

PWI: Zoya Destiny

Another day, another Zoya.  This one is interesting.

“Textured polish” is exactly what it sounds like: nail polish that doesn’t dry smooth.  The first incarnation of it (that I was aware of) was the OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 collection.*  That was 18 months ago, and people are still making them.  I would have sworn it was a three-week fad, but noooop.  My reaction to these was always “Eeuugh,” because I don’t want to feel like there’s lumpy crap on my nails.

Well… as you may or may not know, Dr. P chose almost everything in the recent Zoya haul.  She did a remarkable job.  I had asked for suggestions because I tend to choose similar colors over and over; as she put it, she didn’t know what those colors were, so she went with one of everything, hence the beautiful Zoya rainbow.

I am guessing she didn’t know that Zoya “PixieDust” means “textured.”  (Why on Kerbin would she?)  But I kind of figured, hey, if I’m ever going to try these, why not a beautiful Zoya at the behest of someone making helpful suggestions?

Hence, Zoya Destiny.

photo 5

Orangeycoral sort-of sparkles. Extra sparkles on pinky for… added effect..?

photo 1

Slightly more color-accurate, slightly less texture-accurate.

As predicted, I’m not at all crazy about the texture.  That said, it looks more interesting than I expected.  It looks like certain holiday ornaments,** in a way I certainly can’t capture on camera.

So, for an interesting visual effect, I can certainly see myself going back to it, although I wouldn’t describe myself as a convert.  I like the color a great deal, which undoubtedly affects my opinion!

*As well as having generally great formulas, OPI does lots of promotional collections.  I mean lots, ranging from Gwen Stefani to Bond movies to the Muppets.


PWI twofer: Elevation Polish Alpine Heights and Sally Hansen Galaxy Green

I really enjoy painting my nails (you probably should have noticed that by now to bother going forward), but I often look at the huge pile of little bottles and go “Buh?” – especially on a Friday night after a long, stressful week.  So, annoyed, I did a “I am going to grab blindly and use whatever comes out.”

The universe is good at calling bluffs.  In this case, what came out was a glitter-and-flakie topper of the subtle sort.  I don’t think any number of coats would make this opaque.  I’m not sure the bottle is opaque.

So I poked around until I found something I should have tried before now, Elevation Polish Alpine Heights:


Indoor lighting.  Because I paint my nails at night.  Which is when I’m home.  (Okay, okay, sunlight pics below.)

It’s not the Platonic ideal green I’ve been looking for – too blackened and not saturated enough – but it’s a nice green!  Especially in sunlight.  This is three (thick) coats.  It’s thick but not gloopy or hard to control, which is strange.

Also, I think it makes an amazing base for Sally Hansen Galaxy Green.


Green galaxies are hard to photograph.


The MONSTERRR photographs are a forlorn attempt to show off the sparklies.

The whole concept of “glittering” kind of entails motion, wouldn’t you say?  “The dragon’s hoarde glittered as we walked around it, admiring.”  Otherwise it just… shines, or something.  Bah.

Well anyway!  A mostly green/some gold topcoat with rare green flakes.  I think Green Galaxy is a great name for it; it looks very galactic, especially at night, although that’s super hard to capture.  Anyway, I was pretty pleased with the results of the random-grab approach.  I will probably try it again!


Bottle pic, so you can see what the universe threw at me for “I’ll use whatever I grab”.


PWI: Zoya Neely

I’m not having much luck photographing the Zoyas!  I don’t think it’s anything about them, or anything.  I think it’s a mediocre photographer, with a mediocre camera, in a hurry.  So these are blurry!  That said, the color comes through pretty well, I think.  (This is a creme, so there’s no interesting shimmer to get lost, or anything.)

Also present: Monet, the I-must-have-it glitter that caused the giant Zoya haul.  I think you can see color through it fine?  Plus it’s – sigh – the least blurry shot I have.

Zoya Neely:


In overcast daylight. With glitter. And blur. Maybe it’s an artistic choice! (it isn’t an artistic choice)


Much greener in direct sunlight.

I’m not sure about pastels on me generally.  It seems like it’s rarely a good thing.  That said, I think the grey undertones mute the green in a really good way, making it both more flattering on me and more sophisticated than a purer pastel green like Smush.  I think it has a lot going for it!  In some doses, anyway.  Although I actually think the grey is not so ideal for Monet; it might look good over purer colors.  We shall see!

Sorry this post is kind of lame.  Mr Fix-It is having one of his legendary headaches, so I’m distracted.  In penance, I offer the first of probably many shots of Reasons I Hate Leaving This Campus #3047: ducklings.


First there was the duck with three ducklings, then the one with eight. Then the one with three again. Now
this lady has… eleven? Is she babysitting?  (And if that doesn’t cute you right out, I have videos.)


Big holographic hexes!  Colors!  Orange and green and blue and purple!


The only one that’s deliberately blurry.  See?  Colors!!

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Unicorn

My delightfully analytical sister asked me yesterday if formulas were consistent across brands – for example, is OPI strictly better than Sinful Colors.  In my experience, mostly no?  Most of my SC colors, and most everything else from a major brand, have reasonable formulas (although OPI is the queen of formulation).  What IS consistent is formulas across colors.  Yellows are notoriously streaky, as are pastels.  Neons tend to be translucent, requiring white undies, and almost invariably dry matte or semi-matte; teals are stainers.  And so on.

So I’m not completely stunned that the pastel yellow Sinful Colors Unicorn

photo 2

Five coats.  Five.  And it’s still a streaky mess.  (Click for the full size if you don’t believe me.)  I have better things to do with my time.  Hobbies are, generally speaking, fun!  This is not fun.

…is a total loss.

So, okay, first of all, “five coats and not there yet” is unacceptable.  Among other things, the more coats I do, the more nail polish is going to end up on my cuticles.  (And hands.  And desk.  And, in one memorable incident, cat.)  I don’t do the traditional cleanup with acetone and a brush, because, 1, it’s smelly and a hassle, and, 2, errors are basically invisible when you’re not looking at macro shots.  So I can’t be arsed, I guess.  Second, I look weird and terrible in yellow; I have yet to find an exception to this.

Since this was already horrible, I decided to try something new-to-me.  A “jelly sandwich” is a thing where you alternate layers of a translucent polish and glitter, so that the glitter shows to varying degrees.  When done correctly, they can actually be really visually interesting.  So I poked around and decided on a yet-to-be-reviewed polish.*

photo 3

It looks worse in real life, strangely enough. I *cough* wonder if a nicer camera might fix that.  Which doesn’t matter because I am not getting one.

Not an improvement.  Unicorn is murky, not a true “jelly” (transparent, colored polish), so the glitters don’t glitter.  You can see on my middle finger (touching my thumb) where I tried to do multiple layers.  It just looks like polka dots, basically.

Unicorn, hall of shame!  Hall of shame, unicorn.  Have fun!

* Wet’n’Wild Caught on Sapphire, if you care. I didn’t really process how dumb that name is until I typed it out.

Jobs, and Zoya * many

As happens occasionally, I’m starting to lose it.  o_O  School, mostly.  I have a grad-student-life post, a followup-on-the-shiny post, and several PWIs to do.  I even mostly have pictures!  No verbiage, but pictures.  The good news (at least for me) is, I have a job!  It was my #2 choice while interviewing, but it was a strong choice – great school, interesting city, and (hooray!!) close to my family!  Also, my startup package* is extremely generous; basically, that tells me that they really are determined to see me succeed.

So basically:  WHEEEE, JERB!!!

Oof.  Okay.  Done.  For the moment. 😀

That does mean that I need to figure out moving to another city at about the same time as defending my thesis.  (Oh, and I should write that.  …yeah.)

But for tonight, I’ll just note that my Zoya sale haul** came.

nail polish bottles, in order by color

Codie, Jade, Kaufda, Destiny, Tanzy, Anne, Piaf, Neely, Apple, Shawn, Ray, Indigo, Mosheen, and Blu, plus Monet.
I am a wizard of chromatism and acetone.

Heeee!  Many little bottles!  Names are shown from left to right, with Monet (the topper that I had to have, which started this whole thing) in the middle.  Codie, Anne, and Ray (bold-faced) I didn’t choose, they were gift add-ons.

It did occur to me that Project Wear-It sort of depends on the basic assumption that I’m wearing polishes faster than I am buying them.  Usually I have no trouble convincing myself that that must be true, but… hm.

*Money the school commits to you for getting a new lab set up, buying robots, travel, and so on, until you have grant funding coming in.

**The much-touted “exchange” is, of course, basically just a sale, since they don’t actually care if you send polish back to them (although a tidy way of getting rid of nail polish is nice).  Also, Zoya’s big thing is that they are “5-free” (missing five scaaaary chemicals).  This annoys me mildly because only a few of those chemicals are even worth avoiding, but annoys me substantially because most polishes don’t contain these 5 things.  (Ingredient labels!)  So treating it as selling point is basically a version of this – it’s disingenuous scare-marketing.  For an extremely informative post on the topic, please see this post by Robyn at Brightest Bulb in the Box.  (And then also all her other posts.)

Shinyyy!!! …I mean. Review. Yes. That’s what I meant.

I got a request (I love requests!!) to opine on super-shiny nail wrap things.  As far as I can tell, there are 4 (maybe 3?) options:

  • Minx (the original).  Heat-shrink stickers, applied in a salon.  Lasts: a week or so.  Costs: $50+!  Aaaand we’re done.
  • Non-Minx heat-set nail wraps.  I’d have to try them to know what the hassle factor is (which is why I’ve already ordered them).  Costs: 19¢/nail.  Also, at least in pictures, 100% identical to…
  • These stickers.  These are probably less hassle than heat-shrink nails?  Costs (from this site now): 50¢/nail.  Also, what I’m about to review. 🙂
  • Push-n-Shove, with its concomitant babying and less-mirror finish.

Okay, first, let’s get this out of the way, because it’s going to distract me until we do:

photo 4
ohmigosh so shiny sooo shinyyy I am a cyborg from the future here to destroy you!†    *pant* *pant*  …ok. Done.

What.  As I’ve said before and will say again, I see nothing wrong with wanting to look like I’m from the future.

Okay!  Review time!  (This is gonna get long, so feel free to skip out.)

High Level

I love these.  Love.  They are mirror-shiny and futuristic, and they made Mr. Fix-It say “Wow.”††  They’re priced for special occasions, but that’s okay; sometimes there are special occasions.

That said, here are the nits and the picks.

What you get

Here’s the package, plus the remnants when I was done:

photo 5  photo

 I’m sorry these images are all mis-aligned and weird.  I’m still working on bending WordPress to my will.

So.  16 stickers.  I only needed to cut two to size (my index fingers were between sizes).  These are long and my nails are short, so I could probably have cut them in half lengthwise to get 2 applications; that said, if you decide to do that, do it before you pull them up and get finger grease all over the long ends.  Unlike me!  Which is why I only have 6 left that I could cut into useful shapes.


They’re stickers.  You know how to use stickers.  So, pretty easy?  My hands are shaky – sleep dep, caffeine, rhinovirus, stress, you name it – so it took some time, maybe 20, 25 minutes at my usual slow-loris pace.  This involved a fair amount of carefully re-placing stickers until it looked right, which will affect longevity.

You have to cut off the extra length, which they suggest doing with teeny scissors.  After experimentation, I eventually settled on using scissors to get it close to the end of the nail, but nail clippers to cut the rest off.  They’re shaped for exactly this problem, it turns out!  I left a good 2-3 mm overhang, so there was a big chunk to poke out of my clippers with a toothpick, instead of tiny little pieces.

Still, no matter how careful I was, I ended up with wrinkling at the tips.  Nails bend lengthwise as well as widthwise (imagine putting a flat sticker on a globe), and the wrinkles caught on every little thing.  You can see it in that first picture above.  The instructions suggest stretching it to make it smooth, which makes the problem so much worse, why do you lie to me.

What eventually worked was cutting my nails to the quick when the sticker was already on.  If, like me, you trim your nails to nubbins semi-weekly, this is a good answer; otherwise, it is not.

So here’s the post-trim, no-snag version:

photo 2 photo 5

 same sad disclaimer 🙁 augh WordPress augh 🙁 dangit

Cleaner, tidier, much less prone to snags.. and still shiny enough to apply lipstick with. 😀


Well.  I only put them on tonight?  So this review is probably a little premature.  (But I was so excited!)  So, I will post new updates with back-links, if it helps.

The instructions say to “trim the cuticle” and “buff your nails.”  This is two things you should never do!  Ever!  (Rant coming soon, probs.)  You’d probably have equal luck cleaning your nails with an alcohol wipe beforehand, anyway (without the “screwing with your body’s immune system” issue.)  Of course, I didn’t do either, leading to…

I’m a terrible person to ask about this.  Playing with nails is a soothing nightly ritual for me. I very rarely wait for peeling between changes (younger-me is having an amazing belly laugh right now).  I am enabled by peel-off base coat.  But with something specialty like this, I think “makes it til morning” and “makes it to the following night” are valid benchmarks.  I will keep you informed on status when I (gasp) don’t avoid things like washing my hair anddoing dishes.

† I am pretty sure future cyborg destroyers won’t say ohmigosh, if it helps.

†† YMMV, depending on spouse.

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Citrine and Sally Hansen Pixel Perfect

I haven’t much wanted to paint my nails lately.  Which is a bit alarming, since I normally paint my nails at the pace of a slow loris asked to clean the toilet, generally while reading web comics.  It’s not a lot of effort, is what I’m getting at.  I certainly haven’t much wanted to blog – writing things that people see is exhausting.*  (For some reason I had the energy to bash things out with WordPress?  I dunno.)  I can tell I’m feeling better today, since I actually did want to both paint and blog.  But I am starting up slowly, using pictures from early this week when I was just coming down with the plague.

Behold: Sinful Colors Citrine and Sally Hansen Pixel Perfect:

photo 3 photo 4

Indirect daylight; direct sunlight.  My notes
on this just say “Ornj.”  Fair enough!

I took a few shots of Citrine alone, but it was in indoor lighting and my camera kinda bugged out.  I think you get the idea: it’s a very bright, tomato-ey orange, pushing orange-red.  Nice application, two coats.

The glitter† topper has an interesting backstory.  One of the early (ish?) indie polish-makers was Lynnderella (again, mostly glitter mixes).  Too expensive for my tastes, although some of her mixes are tempting.  She got a lot of internet commotion for her black and white nail polish Connect The Dots (swatched here by Posh Polish).  And to be fair, it was super unique!  But, being super unique, it got so much attention that it quickly collected a huge number of dupes and near-dupes.  This Sally Hansen polish is only one of many iterations.  (And  she eventually got involved in internet drama and blah blah, so you see it around less now.)

I like it!  The white keeps it from looking like tiny bugs, even at arm’s length.  Next time I’ll use more coats, though.

* Yeah, YOU think I’m whiny?  Talk to Mr. Fix-It.  When sick, he prefers to crawl into a hole and die alone.  I, however, turn into Ms. Whinypants McSnerksalot, announcing at random intervals how awful I feel and expecting people to make sympathetic noises.  We’ve slowly worked out a system: I do my best to leave him alone when he’s sick, even though I want to fuss, and he mostly doesn’t murder me mid-whine.**

** Okay, he takes excellent care of me. He is a better person.

† It kind of bugs me to describe non-sparkly stuff like this as glitter.  I mean, what does the adjective “glittery” mean to you?  But I don’t have a better word.  People occasionally say “matte glitter,” which I guess will do.  …feh.

Welcome to Cats Nails Robots on WordPress!

Lookit, I done moved this here blog!  I’m still working on the looks; it’s a little embarrassing to have construction dust around, but ah well.  The more I published on my old site, the more of a hassle migrating was going to be, so I’m biting the bullet.  So, here’s why!

#1. Google (through blogger/blogspot) is, anecdotally, prone to casually deleting all your stuff if they decide you’ve violated the terms of service. 

(I mean yes it’s just a silly little blog, but I created that content for a reason.)  And speaking of terms of service, get this:

#2. “When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

(Just a silly little blog, but..!  MY content!)

But the absolute, most important deal-breaker:

#0. Privacy.

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish, privacy-wise.

  • Obviously, if you know me, then reading this makes it crystal clear who I am. I’m not trying to change that.
  • But!  If you know me IRL – say, from work – I would like it not to be trivial to Google me and find this page.  (That’s why I’m not naming schools I’m interviewing at, for example; too easy to set up a Google alert for your own school.)  This page is for different people.

Meanwhile, Google has a strong preference to link everything you do on the web to everything else.  The whole “Permanently link Gmail to your YouTube account” thing made people really mad.  For excellent reasons!  People use different services in different ways, and Google’s determination to make “anything you can do on the web” into a monolithic, real-world-linked entity is appalling.

WordPress is, comparatively, a hassle.  But it’s worth it for me to maintain some damn control over my content and identity.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled posts!  Meanwhile, here’s how Gossamer felt about moving.

Cat with tongue sticking out

My own feelings are considerably more negative.

Life decisions, jobs, robots, sickness, … just stuff is what I’m sayin’

I’ve been spending a truly inordinate amount of time getting the Parallel-Universe-O-Blog (wordpress) set up.  Mostly it’s hard to make it meet my aesthetic standards?  I mean so was this, but I had no audience when I started, so I could take arbitrarily long (and I did!).

Also, Mr. Fix-It is getting over a horrible cold.  Being the loving spouse he is, he shared!  He’s recovering now, but I’m sick as a dog.  A sick dog.

All of which is to say: I meant to make you a cookie but I eated it blog post?  Instead, for reasons that are a mystery to me, I made a picture of the Vitruvian Man doing cartwheels.


whee! …I have a fever. Shut up.

So… yeah.  There’s nail polish and new posts and new site and, oh, my future to be decided tomorrow.  But for now, I give you cartwheels!

…what.  Cartwheels are awesome.