Archives

Post-interviews nails time!

I’ve been rocking the Interview Nails for like… three weeks or summat.  And it is terribly dull to be honest, I mean mannequin hands are kind of fun but for heavens’ sake.  So you know what that means (or will by the next sentence):  nail color blowout!

This is not a PWI, but for fun, I’ll tell you it’s…

OPI Euro Euro and/or SC Enchanted,* Pure Ice French Kiss, SC Rise’n’Shine, Orly Lucky Duck, Wet’n’Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch,**  Pure Ice Wild Thing, Rimmel London Sunny Days, SC Pull Over, Sinful Colors Citrine, and Orly [mystery red].†† 

This is not interviewy at aaaaalllll

Wheeeee! …I don’t know if I’ll wear this to work tomorrow. (I don’t even know if I’m going to work tomorrow.) But honestly I love the fact that I can have this little brainstorm, poke around in my stash, and accomplish it.

Ooo wait, sunlight (actual sunlight, Seattle is getting to that time!):

Indirect sunlight!  It’s, ahm, not very different.  But it was awesome of Mr. Fix-It to take pictures.

Okay, next is cooking many foods, answering many emails, deciding many things.  But loooook I can make rainbows!


* Yes a number of things were liberated from the PWI bin to make this happen!  The daylight shot is SC Enchanted, because by morning I had dinged my pinky. …somehow?
** A shimmer because I still don’t have a real green creme rrrrr. Also, I did not make this name up.  
THIS is the one-pass nail-staining monstrosity! Rrrrrrrrrrr… but it does work here 😛
†† There’s a sticky spot where the label came off… dude I’ma be honest. This is another probably-10-20 year old polish, I am sure it doesn’t exist any more in this formulation, and I only used it because my even older OPI Red was stuck closed. It’s red, ok?  
Except for green, dammit! And, uh. That one teal I ran out for.  Shhh.

PWI: Rimmel London Pink-A-Boo and Sunny Days

Maaaan all that interviewing stuff was crazy.  And, contrary to my expectations, it’s kind of ongoing!  I had a phone thing with someone from Place #3 this morning, and I’m expecting to have another with #2 shortly… it’s complicated, is all.  I plan to post more (spoilers: #4 was great and #3 was a-MAYY-ziiinng), but I kind of think I write in this blog because nail polish is easy and super fun for me, and I could so use that right now.

So here’s a thing that happened before I went off to get my brains scrambled interviewed.

Rimmel London Pink-A-Boo and Sunny Days:

X
I tried to use these colors as a half-moon mani, but everything went wrong.
…everything.  I don’t wanna talk about it.  (Okay since you insist the yellow is
streaky and transparent and the pink dings if you look at it funny which I did you
can see it and everything gets everywhere after like 9 coats of polish, aaarrrgh!
)

The yellow, uh.  Needs a lot of coats.  But it’s a very true yellow!  The pink’s fine, very very pink, but fine.  After a complete fail of a half-moon manicure, I decided to go with rocking the asymmetry, which I kind of always love:

X
Mr. Fix-It took photos!  With my crappy camera
phone!  I do not think he cared for it at all!

Ahhh yes.  That feels better than worrying about my future, yes indeed it does. ^_^

If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you (PWI: Rimmel London Sweet Lavender)

Since Mr. Fix-it made me realize I have no lavender nail polish (huh?), I obviously needed to buy nail polish.  Obviously!  Rimmel London makes these little $2 bottles – they’re really small, actually, 8 mls instead of 18?  But I have literally never once used up a bottle of polish (except, like, base coat), so I really don’t give a crap about the per-ounce price.

Rambling! Rimmel London Sweet Lavender:

Honestly it’s more lavender in person. A little bluer, a little dustier, but
it’s fine!  Because I’ve sorta reached détente with my phone on color.*
* Translation: it wins, while I secretly pine for a camera manufactured by Pantone.**
** Not that secretly.  Mr. F and I just talked for 20 minutes about what that would be.

I’m (semi)-unexpectedly home for a day plus a bit, so I’m screwing around… quite a lot actually.  Because (1) it relieves stress, and (2) my talk is done.  Done done.  No more practicing, no more fussing with it.  It’s as good as I can make it at the moment, I’ve practiced giving it… it’s done.  Which hasn’t been true for the previous, what, two months?

I realized in the course of looking at this that I don’t really have any pastel colors.  I mean maybe a couple accidental ones, but on the scale of my polish-buying, that’s odd!  Also, I realized that lavender doesn’t actually suit me.  The pic looks okay, but even Mr. Fix-It agreed that in person it looked off.

SO I am going to buy pastel colors and see what happens!

Meanwhile: the whole season-based color thing is a bit passé!  But, because pastels are usually associated with spring/summer coloring, I decided to try a thing.  I went and took every online test I could easily find about seasonal coloring…

Ok that’s not quite true.  We should talk methodology.  Which kind of takes us to another post.

PWI: Urban Outfitters Smush

The other day I found that my grocery store has green olives stuffed with feta cheese, AND green olives stuffed with raw garlic, which I am now happily alternating.  I thought about entitling this post “How to never be kissed again.”

I recently mentioned my random bottle-grab Smush as a dumb name for a color.  But then it was on the surface, so here’s Urban Outfitters Smush:

Indoors, obv.  This didn’t stay on long enough for a daytime
shot!  Read on to find out why I have one weird green nail…

I was applying this, and I was thinking, “Seafoam, hm hm, seafoam… … didn’t I just do an Urban Outfitters seafoam color?  Is this a PWI fail?”

So of course I looked in the box, and discovered that UO Girrl Like You is a green seafoam, not a blue seafoam.  Silly me!  Hence the accent nail, for comparison purposes.

I’ve a bit of a dilemma.  Smush is a cool color, something I would like to have, but the formula is god-awful.  It’s streaky, chalky, draggy and miserable.  This is three coats, and the pinky still has a drag line; I chose the accent nail because the middle finger had the worst coverage.  I did not enjoy playing with this polish, which is super unusual!  Keep or ditch, keep or ditch?  Either way it’s hall of shame.

Man.  Now I’m out of olives.

Half Moons! plus, PWI twofer: Urban Outfitters Bandeau & Sinful Colors Frenzy

“Half moons” (those white arcs at the base of your fingertips) are often re-represented on nails in a variety of silly colors.  Traditionally this is done by masking off the base of your nails with these:

Which is, you know, pretty amusing.

I’ve tried this look before, but since I exclusively use peel-off base coat,* I always end up just peeling off the entire nail’s polish.  ANY way, the other day I was reading some blog about nails (don’t remember whose, sorry!) and the blogger said something like, “Then I put hole reinforcements on my nails, being sure to stick them to the back of my hand first of course…”

Of course.

So obvious in retrospect.  I mean if I had really sat down and formulated the question as “How do I make these less sticky,”  I would have answered it immediately.  Formulating the right question when you see a problem is, sometimes, the only hard thing.  Or even realizing you should treat it as a solvable problem.  Engineering is hard!

But!  It means you get to see my first ever successful (ish) half moons.

Here’s Urban Outfitters Bandeau:

Indoor.  I doooon’t need a new camera (I don’t) but
would a lamp be such a bad idea?  …I’m doomed

Which is a fairly nice purple creme; 2 coats.  In low light it reads as black, in bright light it looks about like this, satiny dark purple.  In sunlight, however, it is glowingly purple, as shown below.  The odd, slightly satiny finish is accurate.

With Sinful Colors Frenzy, a nice purple-and-plum glitter.

X
Purple!  Indirect sunlight/direct sunlight.  Glitter’s hard to take a good picture of.
I feel like I would need a star filter or something.  For the camera. That I don’t need.

I don’t think this color choice was that successful.  I’m not sure why, but it feels off from a bit of distance.  Dunno!  Maybe I’m just not used to it.  Also, waiting for three layers of Frenzy to dry was kind of awful; next time I want something fast for that part.  The stickers did pull some of the Bandeau up, I’m guessing because it wasn’t fully dry.

But!  Still!  Lookit!  Half-moons!  Purple ones!


* Subject of upcoming post

Nail mechanics

Interested in the mechanics and some chemistry of nail-painting?  Possibly not!  Feel free to move on.  BUT if you are interested, here are some deets of how it all works!  Actually, all the deets.  Good grief.  Deets are long

Polarity!  Broadly, liquids come in polar (molecules have a magnetic positive and negative), and non-polar (they don’t).  Water is polar; acetone and other nail polish solvents are non-polar.  Nail polish floats on water like oil.  This will matter.

Three peel-off base coats, a regular base coat, and two fast-dry top coats.  In
general, for any given painting of my nails, I will use one from each category.
(PS: augh augh now I’m noticing the numbers don’t line up augh)

So the nitty gritty!

First step, for me, is always a peel-off base coat.  They don’t last anywhere near as long, and the failure mode is looking down and discovering a whole nail is missing – “Now where did I leave that?” But I’d (much) rather paint my nails a new color than fuss with nail polish remover.  Also, glitter tends to mechanically block the action of remover, so glitters are a damned nightmare to remove otherwise.

The players.  I start with:

1: Nail Pattern Boldness‘ Glitter A-peel.  This is the only one that is regular, non-polar nail polish chemicals.  I used to use this a lot, but the solvents in nail polish eat your nails, and I’d prefer to avoid that – I only get chipping, peeling nails when I’m putting non-polar solvents on them regularly.  Including this.  So I moved on to…

2: Homemade PVA base coat.  PVA (polyvinyl acetate) is Elmer’s glue (or tacky glue, outside the US), which peels off nails exactly the same as it peels off skin.  Lab Muffin is generally credited for working this out, although others have too.  It is water-soluble and polar!  So this is a bottle of Elmer’s wood glue mixed with water.  It doesn’t eat my nails, and it works.  Also, no fumes.

3: OPI Glitter Off.  Also PVA, and brand new to the market.  OPI is best known for their formulas, because they are amazing, so when I found out that this existed got some immediately.  This is my new best friend.  All the advantages of #2, plus it lasts about 2x as long as my homemade stuff, dries a bit faster, and really only needs one coat.

Next is a regular base coat!  This is important!  Polar base coats (PVA) don’t block the sort of pigments found in non-polar solvents (all nail polish), so after either #2 or #3 I need a regular base coat to do that.  If those pigments aren’t blocked, they (occasionally) soak into your nails and take up permanent residence.  Eeeww.

In case you thought the “interview nails” was entirely a problem
in my head, I’ve been asked about this nonsense.  I failed to use a
non-polar base coat one time.  That polish is already hall-of-shamed. 🙁

4: Orly Rubberized Bonder.  This is a very popular base coat for holding polish without chipping, and it prevents the horribleness of figure 2 there.  Always use base coat, kids.  If you don’t want to go peel-off, this is actually the first step.

Next is some kind of attractive polish!

You cannot tell me this is not wizardry.

Finally, a coat of fast-dry top coat.  Fast-dry top coat is the difference between bothering to paint my nails, and not.  About a minute, maybe two after application, your nails are bomb-proof and you can go about your life.  I love you chemistry!

5: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  Probably the fastest-drying, and very thick, so one coat can even out glitter roughness and so on.  Magical clear nail armor.  I heart this very much.  It chips quickly, but not as quickly as the peel-off peels off, so for me it’s excellent.

6: Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat.  (SH Insta-Dry, red bottle, is also good.)  Dries reasonably fast, a bit thinner than Seche Vite, but less chippy.  I use this for interview nails, which are not peel-off.

And that’s it!  Glue, a regular base coat, fast-dry top coat, plus something pretty, and you’re good to go.  It sounds like a lot of coats, but since the world dries faster these days, it doesn’t correspond to taking forever (much less time than typing up this monstrosity!).  All you really need is base coat and color, if you’re feeling minimalist.

PWI: Island Girl Polynesian Heat

Mr. Fix-it took my request to heart (okay, I poked him), and suggested lavender nails.  Whereupon we discovered that however the hell many little bottles I have, I don’t have a one of those.  Gah!  The closest I could come was this, which is more like a pale pink, although I tried layering it over purple, which sometimes works but didn’t really here.

Island Girl Polynesian Heat:

Indoor lighting, because then I took it off.  Please
ignore the one weird finger, that’s a failed experiment.

X
Left: indoor; right: flash.  (Oo!  Flash!  Whatever’s next?)

Okay, first off I’ll just get this off my chest:  “Polynesian heat”?  Doesn’t that make you think of something in the red/orange/yellow family?  Or at least something saturated?  Something not, say, delicate, frosty pinkish-lavender?

Meh, whatever, it’s a pretty color.  Which is a shame, because the formula is fail.  It’s everything people hate about “frost” finishes: it shows every imperfection and every brushstroke, it’s thin and runny and doesn’t stay where you put it, it’s not self-leveling.  It looks mostly okay from a little distance?  But it’s not really worth the hassle.

I tried rescuing it by putting a topper on it I’m excited about; the two nail polishes played together poorly, with Polynesian Heat crinkling up and going all weird.

Hall-o-shame!  Shame, I say!  Burn the witch.

PWI twofer: Wet’n’Wild Sophisticated Lady and Sally Hansen Ice Queen

I bought this at the same time as Wet’n’Wild Champagne Toast, from the same display and, apparently, in the same mood.  Behold!

Wet’n’Wild Sophisticated Lady:

pink nail polish is pink

I don’t really get the name.  It’s pink.  What’s sophisticated about pink?  I mean it’s too pale to be bubblegum pink, but?  …whatever.  It’s pretty, it’s subtle, it’s fine.  I feel like if I mixed this and Champagne Toast  I’d have a more opaque Nomad’s Dream.  Nice to have around.

Then, because I make the same mistakes over and over, I layered on the partially-contrasting Sally Hansen Ice Queen:

Bugz!  Little teal bugs on my hand!  Ugh.

Big pink glitter, big teal glitter, teeny iridescent multicolored sparkles.

This does a good job of showing why I don’t really like multicolored glitter.  Up close, it looks fine, but from any distance the teal glitter just looks like I got scunge on my hands and should wash them.  Also, getting the big hex glitters out was a giant pain; getting this many glits took three-ish coats and a mountain of dabbing.

So I’ll either get rid of this or use it for the teeny sparkles.  Meh.

PWI: Pure Ice French Kiss

I think a lot of my color photography problems stem from variations on blue.  I thought it was awesome that Eurso Euro (I don’t need to link it again, do I?) photographed so beautifully.  I now think it was luck.  Specifically, I’m beginning to think that my camera just gets way overexcited about blues.  It sees blue and just jumps up and down in its little… camera… space.  Thing.

(You do all know that when I say “camera” I mean “iPhone”, right?)

Anyway, this is a sort of navyish blue, which my “camera” waaaay oversaturated.  I got something closer to color-true by dropping the saturation enormously, hence the skin tone.  (I mean, I know what color my skin is.  I can just look.  It’s nail polish I need want some record of.)

Pure Ice French Kiss:

Taken in an alley with rain coming down, because I’m trying to add some
grit and drama to this blog.  (No I’m not.  Alleys just come in rainy here.)

It’s blue, all righty.  Yep.  Sure is blue.  I have a lot of blue polish, mostly from my long quest for a perfect indigo.  Not this one.  I just bought this one.  I don’t know why.

I guess that’s why I have so much blue polish.

My capitalization of brand tags is inconsistent, and to fix it I have to edit posts individually.  This does not please me at all.  In fact I am quickly reaching “unacceptably annoyed” by formatting limitations imposed by Blogger!  But any other blogging choice is a lot like work.  Bah.

PWI twofer! OPI: Vant to Bite my Neck? and SOPI: Beam Me Up Hottie!

I did not choose to put these polishes together because they are both complete sentences with punctuation.  I would have, but I only just noticed.  Dumb sentences, sure, but better than [grabs a bottle at random] “Smush”.

This first one I kinda already knew would disappoint.  It’s from the same collection as Eurso Euro (have I blithered on enough about that one yet?), and when I got EE in all its indigo perfection, I hoped the purple would be equally glorious.  (Spoiler: it isn’t)

OPI Vant to Bite my Neck?:

These are both pretty color-accurate, because your human meat eyeball with its high dynamic range can see a lot more color depth at once.  So the way-overexposed shot on the right that shows the purpliness is, in human eyeball terms, just another part of this polish’s “depth of color”.  Stupid excellent meat eyeball.

So, in other words,

Eggplant.  Very dark purplish-black.  (Unless it’s white.  Did you know it’s called an”eggplant” because of the smooth round egginess of the white ones?  I didn’t.)  Aubergine.  Lovely color.  Source: the wikipedia article on “the color aubergine”

Look, aubergine is a lovely color that is mostly black.  Seriously, when your canvases are 1cm2, this is just… black.  In direct sunlight (well “sunlight”) it’s… black.  (Black with an excellent, long-lasting creme formula, because OPI.)

With hints of eggplant.

So, since I don’t actually really like this polish, I decided to try to spruce it up by doing something I know I dislike, which is adding a highly-contrasting glitter topper.

SOPI: Beam Me Up, Hottie!:

Left: what it actually looked like, which is, mysteriously polka-dotted nails.  Right: They’re very holographic
polka dots!  And I learned that a blurry picture actually captures the holo colors better.  I learned this from
real bloggers with better cameras.  Which I do not need one of.  Because I don’t need another hobby.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  …no, no it didn’t.  It seemed like something I could reach without dislodging this cat.  So that’s like a good idea, kind of.

This is just a bottle full of silver holographic glitter hexes in a clear base.  Seems like my kind of looking-futuristic thing, but the formula is such a total goddamned PITA.  This is several layers, with much dabbing.*

So… all things being equal, total fail!  I’ll probably keep Beam My Up Hottie! for use over silver, where its holographic awesomeness can blend and glitter distribution is less obvious.  I kind of feel like McAubergine here is bound for a new home.

* (Basically what it sounds like – sort of “patting” the nail with the brush, pushing individual glitters (glits?**) around.)
** I am pretty sure an individual glitter is a glit

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Aqua and Shattered Rocket Fuel

Occasionally  I look at the little bin of things that are post-Project Wear-It, then at the burgeoning bin of things that are still waiting, and I make a little sad noise.  Then I remember that it’s just nail polish for crying out loud, if it makes me sad it’s a stupid hobby.

Then I make a little sad noise.

I made lunch (and dinner) from scratch today!  Chicken stew.  But I was playing around, as I do when I have no-one else present to poison, and it’s… well.  I should have made more instacurry.  I would describe it as barely edible.  So I am sad about that (and a little hungry)… which means I should show you nail polish!  Yes.  Yes it does.

Sinful Colors Aqua:

Pretty color!  It’s not quite this… electric in person.  However, since
it was a horrid gray rainy day even by Seattle standards, I’ll take my
bright colors where I find them.  Even in misleading photographs.

This is so similar in the bottle to SC Gorgeous, when I find it I’ll show you.  This is a very pretty blue-leaning aqua, and Gorgeous is a sliiiigghhtly green-leaning aqua.

But I had an ulterior motive, which was to provide a base for a polish that must be 15 years old minimum, about which the Internet knows nothing (damn kids)

Behold!  Shattered Rocket Fuel:

Green and blue bar glitter everywhere!  I, I swear.  Honest?  This isn’t even
lighting, it’s just teal, honestly the camera adds drama here, I  don’t
understand photography apparently, why does the camera add drama.

Yes, it… also looks pretty teal, doesn’t it.  Hrm.

See this is actually a mix of beautiful blue and green bar glitter.*  In the bottle it looks like some kind of jewel.  But in person it looks.. well, aqua.  Especially from more than 6 inches away.  It’s pretty, especially in indoor light, but compared to the bottle it is disappointing.

What the bottle looks like; what the polish looks like with a little distance. Here
the bottle looks less exciting than in person, and my nails look more exciting
and glowy.  It’s the same damn polish, camera.  What do you want from me.

Ah, well.  Pretty is still a good thing.  I vaguely recall doing roommate E’s nails with this over purple and liking the results, maybe after PWI I’ll try that.

(PS: Also: It may seem as though our living room floor is covered in random objects.  In fact, they are cat toys.  I don’t know what to tell you.)

* Bar glitter means “long thin glitter”.  It tends to hang off the sides of your nails or stick straight up or otherwise be a pain.

PWI: Maybelline Emerald Elegance

I am amazingly wiped out.  Walking to school yesterday, and back two hours later, necessitated a nap.  Putting on nail polish seems like a chore.  (Buying it, not so much, it seems.)  I think I was all wired up on anticipation and adrenaline for my Job Interview, and now that it’s over, my strings have been cut, and I am tired.

I wasn’t that impressed with the Maybelline Color Show Brocades collection.  (Too many words!)  But I eventually picked one up, which led me to looking at swatches, which led to the inevitable purchase of…

Maybelline Emerald Elegance.

Big green glitter, smaller green glitter and teeny-tiny gold
and green glitter, and it was easier to find that out on the
internet than by looking at the actual polish, by the way
Rather truer color at half-dark, 5 minutes after previous picture.
Thanks Seattle! When I need “darkness” you are there for me

Two coats. Thick and gloopy as all hell, but not actually hard to work with. The addition of teeny gold glitter makes it lean towards a yellowish green.

I feel like “brocades” is surprisingly apt (especially given the history of cosmetic companies on this). These are glitter polishes, but not sparkly; they end up giving the sense of complexity and something-happening without being glittery or obvious about the mix of colors.

From six inches, anyway. Beyond that, they look “green”. This is the tragedy of fancy nail polish. Le Sigh.

PWI: OPI Nomad’s Dream (interview nails selection!)

Since I made such a fuss, I’ll cop that I wondered all along if this would happen: I ended up using one of my possibly 5 oldest polishes for interviewing. This is pretty close to perfectly balanced between pink and gold, making it a good match for my super-noncommittal skin tone.*

OPI Nomad’s Dream:

I don’t have a conversational aside for this picture, possibly
because I am in New Jersey, slowly being drained of life

A little shiny, but on my short nails, basically unnoticeable, as desired.  It’s also pretty sheer; this is three coats.  Two is even more unnoticeable.

Nomad’s Dream was a special edition MANY years ago, but has been re-released in the last few years.  Since OPIs have been reformulated in the last ten years or so, it may be quite different – it looks different in the bottle.  I don’t care enough to pick up a new bottle and find out, and the internet’s fascination with nail polish post-dates the original.  Humankind may never know.

* Most makeup babbling starts with: “determine whether your skin’s undertones are pink (cool), or yellow (warm)”. This does not work for me, independent of being arbitrary and a bit odd.  OTOH, I pin down one end of the fair—dark spectrum pretty thoroughly.

PWI: Rimmel London Burgundy Flirt, or, an interesting cheat; plus! L’Occitane Neroli

Well, I was going to do Rimmel London Burgundy Flirt. But… here’s the thing. I just did UO Spiked Punch, and they’re the absolute same. Really. Same creme/jelly* formula, same effort, same final color. The interim color was a bit different, but who cares? I had originally convinced myself that RL BF was a teeny bit browner, but, you know… it’s not. So, they’re BOTH going in the PWI bin.

I will not insult your intelligence with additional pictures.

So instead I will talk about perfume again! (wheee)

First, and important, there are two formulations of this, old and new. This is important because it is true of MANY perfumes (and some other cosmetics). This is because of either IFRA requirements (suuuuch a useless link) or EU requirements; basically, both have the same aim, which is eliminating perfume constituents that people are allergic to.

As a hopelessly pan-allergic creature myself, I love it. I never ever ever want my perfume to interfere with someone’s ability to breathe. (This is also part of why I favor low-sillage** perfumes.) But, a number of pre-existing perfumes had to be reformulated to comply with one or the other, and how much they changed is extremely variable.

So, L’Occitane Neroli (bitter orange blossom).

Some eBay seller. Thanks dude and/or lady!

I have a sample of this, and I have no idea when it’s from (I got it second-hand). My best guess is that it’s the original: exactly what’s shown above, a beautiful deep red. The newer versions seem lighter, plus I haven’t seen a new one in a little box-let. The internet suggests that the pre- and post-reformulations are moderately different. Also it … kind of smells allergenic?†

Review: y’all. I hate it.

I mean I can admire things about it! It has personality! It’s interesting and not the same as a million other perfumes! It has novel notes and dry-down! Just… they’re kind of a bad idea? (On me.)

It’s a very unisex smell, but not in a very soapy way; bitter orange is strong, and it’s backed by strong, strong cedar and spice (I get cloves and coriander). Sounds like it would be up my alley, but… it’s chokingly strong. Like, after 20 minutes of a fairly mild spray, I couldn’t take it anymore. Washing it off led to a lingering neroli/spicey/mildly soapy smell, tolerable… but not good.

This is someone’s perfect perfume. Go, someone! (You can have my sample.)

* I really need to get on a domain-jargon post
** reeeaaaallllyyyy 
Look, it sounds pretty hippy-dippy. But when you’ve been this allergic for this long, you actually start to be able to smell when certain things are a bad idea. I’m not crazy.

PWI twofer: Sally Hansen Celeb City and Sinful Colors Queen of Beauty

Sometimes it’s worth posting base color + topper separately; often it’s not. This is that second kind.

Base coat (which is nice on its own, I mean, I wore it), is Sally Hansen Celeb City:

X
Left is daylight, right is indoor, cuticles are covered in silver. Not easy to
photograph! It’s no Push’n’Shove,* but it’s a perfectly nice metallic.

Pretty color, nice and even in two coats. It’s shiny but maayyybe the glitters are too coarse to call it a foil? Nah, foil. (I think I’m going to do a post on all these made-up domain specific words.)

Later, topped with Sinful Colors Queen of Beauty:

X
Do I need to say which is which? No, I do not. Because the
indoor photos are always the ones where I’m in last-stage jaundice.

My camera haaaates this. It took a while to get two even borderline decent photos, I mean, for heaven’s sake. Go look at KittyPNB’s swatches if you care, she has an actual camera. 😛

But basically, it looks like little disco balls. Just straight-up silver glitter. This is 4 [!] coats. I doubt it would be opaque without Celeb City undies, but it was pretty at every stage.

As a side note… who comes up with these names? Some of them are nicely descriptive (Champagne Toast), some are just eh (like, Celeb City, once I see the polish I can make some connection),  some of them are straight-up meaningless (Cassie, Hot Wired), and some of them are just weird and misleading (Pull Over is an orange-ish yellow). It’s like paint samples, which are also named by people tripping so hard they can taste colors.

# of clicks it took me to find this: 2.

So now we know what color surreality, quintessent..i…ality? .. and elegance are.

PWI: Sally Hansen Rouge Rush

This is another topper-over-previous thing. It’s very convenient! Also, Mr. Fix-It gave me the plague a head cold, which doesn’t change what I have to do to get a job, so forgive me if postings are kind of short and uninspired. Really uninspired.

Over UO Spiked Punch, here’s Sally Hansen Rouge Rush:

Indirect daylight, not-daylight. In person it looks better at night.

These were disappointing to photograph. In person, especially at night, they have a sort of glimmering depth that I usually associate only with flakies. I mean, I’m really too casual a blogger to get a lightbox and a macro lens and suchlike nonsense, but I can see why people do.

The polish has several different shapes of glitter in very, very minor variations of color; I’m a little surprised by how much I like it. AFAICT, it’s: pale pink glitter shreds; pale red glitter shreds; and smallish fuschia hex glitter.

It’s… a lot more harmonious than it sounds?

PWI: Urban Outfitters Spiked Punch

Captain Fix-It has had a nasty head cold all week (overlapping our time in Hawaii, ugh). I thought it was somewhat miraculous that I hadn’t caught it from him… until I woke up this morning midafternoon with a sore throat and fever. Sigh.

Last night my polish-interested friend N came over with a bunch of Julep she’d gotten on sale. We swatched them all, then I foisted a bunch of swaps off on her, and she gave me a couple of colors that suited me better than they did her. It was a very pointless, girly, relaxing interlude. Then, shockingly, I painted my nails.

Meet Urban Outfitters Spiked punch:
 

Indirect overcast lighting, dimmed to zombie chic

This was basically impossible to photograph. In real life it’s the deep, dark, true red of a well-aged Cabernet, leaning neither pink nor brown. My camera, however, insisted it was Bright Red. I darkened this picture until it was closer to color accurate, at the expense of making myself look like the undead.

It’s a very pretty color, although if my nails were ANY longer it wouldn’t work. (My very pale skin makes dark colors look garish and out of place in larger quantities.) It’s a crelly, so this was four coats. It looks deep and interesting, but it was a mild pain. Dries fast though.

The Stash, plus, PWI: Wet-n-Wild Champagne Toast 1

Polish All the Nails just posted these amazing shots of her entire collection lined up. O.O If my casual x × y count is even close, this is roughly a thousand bottles, which makes me question my handwavey “about a thousand” bottles in my collection, like, a lot. I doubt I could cover a 7-foot table… or could I? People are notoriously terrible at estimating volume, coverage, etc… but I still think I only have a fraction of these.

Well, PWI should make it a lot clearer. (Yay, “science”!)

I was going to do a PWI on Wet-n-Wild Champagne Toast, as another possible interview polish, but I can’t help feeling like we have to wait for daylight swatches. I think it’s a product of my nighttime lighting and/or camera, but this very pretty polish makes me look like a boiled lobster.

Wet-n-Wild Champagne Toast at night:

Left: more cooking, right: marginally less cooking. To my eye this looks like a
lovely, suitable pale gold, but to the camera… not so good. Daylight shots tomorrow!

I can say… this is a lovely, but streaky, pale gold. It’s pretty sheer; this is 3-4 (fairly fast) coats. I don’t mind streaks, to be honest. In my opinion, without a macro lens or a nail obsession, nobody notices or cares.

But I’m looking forward to a daylight post. Current feeling is that this is pretty, but subtle-verging-on-unnoticeable… which is to say, an excellent interview polish.

More tomorrow!

PWI: Island Colors Old Lahina and Surfing Safari

Island Colors is a new-to-me brand, because Hawaii. Cheap, too! I love cheap. (Don’t look at me that way, I’m a student.) Unfortunately, most of the colors are something I already obviously have. They do have some shaped glitters that I found interesting; and let’s be honest, I’m not going to leave a completely new kind of nail polish alone.

I almost always put glitters over basically the same base color, and generally don’t like multicolor glitters. So I picked up the deep red Island Colors Old Lahina, and the lighter red Surfing Safari:

(Does “surfing safari” say “red stars” to you? Because it sure doesn’t to me.)

I started with Island Colors Old Lahina:

3 coats, indoor lighting. Mysterious blue thumb.

Which was actually a nice, smooth creme. 1 coat was pinkish, but the 2nd and 3rd settled down to a nice, deep, not-quite-berry red.

I then added Island Colors Surfing Safari:

Look! Stars! …yeah, I don’t see them either, although I swear
they’re in there. The red is brighter because this is daylight.

Obviously, this is when things went downhill. I like my glitters subtle, not invisible. Also, the stars were a pain; I had to fish them out one by one and blop them on the nail in a puddle of clear carrier. Sometimes, this process scraped the red off part of a star. I feel like working with loose glitter would have been easier, and that’s saying something.

But the main problem is the too-perfect match to the background color. So, when this PWI is over, I may try it on something else. In the meantime, I bought two more colors, because… well, because that’s the sort of thing I do, I guess. 🙂

PWI: Sally Hansen Tweedy

Quick post because we’re leaving for Hawaii at… ugh… never mind it is so early. Sooo eaaarrrlyy.  Although I guess I can’t bitch, because Hawaii?

So anyway!  I wasn’t going to buy any of these Sally Hansen weirdnesses, because the swatches all looked terrible.  But then I guess everyone agreed with me, because they were marked down (eventually) to about two dollars.  I’m kind of weak, so I bought one, even though I kinda thought blog swatches of these looked like little bugs on your hands.

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Tweedy:

Up close: bugz. Distance: better!

Once again, hooray for trying stuff! Macro shots: little bugs. But from any distance, it looks interestingly complex and kind of awesome.

It’s white and black bar glitter. A slightly darker gray might make the white more visible.  Anyway, ok!

Collecting, or, An Existential Crisis

Someone once pointed out to me that like 47%* of blog posts start with “So.”  It’s like you’re coming in in the middle.  As in, “So there we were, me and 25 soaking wet Japanese architects in my apartment… and I’m out of brie!”

So I try not to start my posts with So. Even though I am pretty sure it’s common because it is amazingly convenient and feels right?

Right, right, crisis, right…

So I’m reviewing this nice seafoam green color, shortly after I’ve consigned a couple of polishes to the Hall of Shame and/or swap-landia. And I think, well, it’s a nice polish I guess, looks like liquid paper, but… should I add it to the Swap tag? I mean, when am I going to reach for a seafoam green? When I rewear my 80s-styled 10th grade prom dress (hah)? Why should I own this?

Then (oh no slope) I think… when am I going to reach for many of these?  Most of these?  I have (total guess) probably a thousand bottles of nail polish.  Probably 90%+ of those aren’t something where I’m going to be like, “Oh! This totally matches my graduation gown!” or whatever.  I don’t do nail art really,** and how often is a friend going to say, “Ooo, can you paint my nails midlevel-seafoam-but-not-too-green?”†

And this very quickly comes down to: why do I need these?

I don’t.

I buy nail polish for clear reasons:
   (1) it makes me happy after a shitty day
   (2) for that, they are small and easy to store and cheap and calorie free
   (3) my husband doesn’t mind (see 2)

But why do I keep them?

Ultimately, I suppose, this is the truth of the dilemma.  Why collect?  I will never reach for my seafoam polish because I need it and nothing is like it — or at least, on average, that’s true for the vast majority of my little bottles.  I’m not a professional cosmetics artist who needs breadth. I’m not even someone who can paint anything on her nails at any time (see upcoming rant again).  Project Wear-It has really made me consider: why is this in my house.

My only answer: because I’m a collector. And what that means, ultimately, is that owning all of these things makes me happy.  In and of itself.  Having a zillion little glass bottles makes me feel like an alchemist.  Or a wizard!  I’ve actually written fiction about it.

So. I’m not (just) a polish nut; I’m a collector. It’s a decent collectible (see 2 above), so… okay?

This raises a few more questions for me, including some frequently visited ones about video games…††  but ultimately, see 1, 2, and 3 above. So I will keep it because I have it, and it makes me happy, and there’s no harm.

And, if I ever get to go to an n*10-year reunion prom… I’ll be ready. 😛
* (this number is completely made up)
** (Sticking your hands inside robots all day tends to discourage nails that aren’t teeny weeny nubbins)
(spoiler: not often)
†† (huuuuge dork)

PWI: Sinful Colors Tantalize

I actually put this on as a base for another polish (coming soon), but since it’s on I figured I might as well post it, especially as I’m not exactly dying to wear it a lot. Behold, two coats of Sinful Colors Tantalize.

Indoor lighting. Color is pretty spot-on though, and doesn’t change in sun.

So… it’s gray. Not a bad gray, mind, but I’m having trouble figuring out what about this is “tantalizing.”  Maybe it’s because I like metallics and am generally kind of obsessed with shiny things, but I can’t describe this as appealing. Maybe if it was a creme, but the (very slight) shimmer just makes it look like a failed silver.

OTOH, I guess gray is sort of a basic thing to have around, and it’s not like it looks bad.

(But “Tantalize”?)

PWI: Urban Outfitters Girrl Like You

Another day, another green.  I have a small mountain of teal polishes, which are woefully under-represented so far… actually, when Project Wear-It winds to a close, I’m excited about using this blog to do some graphs and analysis about this collection. (Still a dork.) I do have some limits on what I will comfortably wear to work, at least given meetings or talks, so that may be something of a selection function.

Babbling. Here. Polish.

Urban Outfitter Girrl Like You:

Outside. There was sun but I was avoiding it.

It’s a pretty color. Strange on me, but not, I think, terrible. Nice, easy to work with formula. But…

Hrm

 …that’s gonna be a hard image to let go of.

(update: my beloved husband: “Should you buy some? To compare? …although it would probably cost more. And scrape off way sooner.” Still, good thought!)

Project Wear-It: Essie Going Incognito

Even since before discovering the blue perfection that is Eurso Euro, I’ve been mildly obsessed with finding a similarly wonderful green. Every option I see is slightly, but noticeably, kelly green – which is to say, has a definite blue/teal component. I love kelly green! But I want is a beautiful, saturated, true emerald green.

So when I saw The Polishaholic’s swatches of Essie Going Incognito, I already knew it was kelly green. Her swatches are pretty much always spot-on and informative. But it was so close, and I wanted it to be green so badly, and Amazon (as always) was right there…

Essie Going Incognito:

See? A little too blue to be “true” green.

But good gravy it’s pretty.

Formula lovely, color as shown or darker in some lights, yada yada.

I’ve collected nail polish on and off for years. My husband can vouch for buying me holographic polish, what, 15 years ago. Heck, my parents can vouch for buying me polish. But what really kicked off the last 2-3 years of obsession is the $2 Sinful Colors polish, and all its more recent competitors. (“What? People don’t always like spending $10 for a cosmetic that might or might not work? What?!” Why is this idea novel you guys.)

My only point is that spending $8 for a not-quite-right green is a vote of confidence from me! I still haven’t decided to spend $20 + $10-15 shipping for Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Recycle (whimper but pretty whimper) even if it might be closer, so I’m still me.

Interview polish, maybe?

Since my nails are currently 1/2 ugly yellow (ssiiiiggghh), my need for a nude (ish) polish has stepped up. Like, I have to make something work before the first job interview. I wasn’t planning to wear nail polish to a job interview, but I wasn’t planning on dying my nails nicotine-yellow, either. Oops…

It’s not like this realization made me buy nail polish; it just made me buy comparatively boring nail polish. (Let’s face it, I was gonna buy nail polish.) This isn’t exactly a Project Wear-It, either, since I’m explicitly looking for something I plan to wear several times, soon…

So, the possibly-interview-ready OPI Dulce de Leche:

In indoor lighting it’s basically perfect…
…but in sunlight it’s pretty pink! You can see the slight gold shimmer.

It’s certainly a very pretty color! I’m just not sure if I’m feeling it for interviews. I do think it’s flattering, in an incredibly understated way. Not a bad thing to own, although I rarely want “understated” nails. I mean, if nobody is going to notice it, I would just go without nail polish. …usually.

Amusingly, I had to find the color name by slowly navigating OPI’s all-flash website, rather than walking eight feet and picking up the bottle.  Why?

you knew that was gonna be why

PWI: some mysterious UO pink thing

Maybe this is why I keep wearing blue. This was kind of another disaster. I keep buying pink polish, because my husband likes it, but I keep having fairly yellow skin on my hands? (Not so much my face, really.) And it keeps being weird and unsuitable. I suppose it’s not helped by my not liking pink very much.

This is another of my UO guilt haul polishes. Weirdly, the name fell off! So I don’t know what color this is, actually, unless I find a little round sticker lying around. (And the internet is oddly unhelpful.) So I guess it’s my kind of coral, kind of pink, gold-shimmer-laden UO mystery polish.

Indirect (but actual!) sunlight. Mostly I just take these in front of a window.

And by “my” I mean “soon to belong to someone with the right skin tone for it”. When nail polish is the wrong color for someone, it always looks to me like it got sloppily photoshopped in. The application is so hilariously terrible because it’s very sheer, so I kept going to try to fix it… this must be 5 coats. I think on someone else it would go more smoothly.

I think I need to use something soothing next. :-/ This made me sad. Oh, I tried putting various glitters and sfx toppers over it, but it just kept getting worse… lipstick on a pig, I guess.

PWI: Urban Outfitters Babyboy

Another day, another blue. I think I’m going to make a point of not wearing blue tomorrow. Unless I just keep this color on for another day, which would be fine with me, as it’s wonderful.

I went to Urban Outfitters last night to get a couple of 2/$8 polishes, and also to get out of the house and get moving. (Nail polish motivates me.) Aaaand they had a bunch of colors on fire sale, $0.99 a bottle. So I got six new polishes! …and a couple more for $8. (What can I say? I’m weak.)

Indirect sunlight. In indoor-only lighting it’s much more teal. Dang,
I feel like if I swapped this and the physicians formula blue,
they’d both be more color-accurate. do not need another hobby…

Why I haven’t seen more on the blogosphere about Urban Outfitters polish? I mean, yes, everybody wants in on the nail polish market right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if my insurance agent comes out with a line of nail polish. But UO has lots of colors, a reasonable price ($5, with various specials like 2/$8), and, in my experience, exceptional formulas. Am I missing something??

Update: I mentioned this to one of my (two) polish-interested friends, and she said, “Maybe it’s all that ripping off indy designers?” So I Googled ‘urban outfitters controversy’, and… yeah. Well, I’m not returning one-dolla polishes, but good to know. I guess. 🙁

Depressing! Let’s look at cats instead.

Sunbeams are the best thing.

PWI: Essie Sparkle On Top

Like any good academic, I’ve decided “Project Wear-It” is too long and too comprehensible, so I’ll probably go with PWI for a while. If it’s hateful I’ll go back!

J’avoue… when I said I might put glitter on Golden-I, I was thinking of a new acquisition, which is not a glitter but a flaky. I love flaky polishes, and my husband described one of the few I own as “looking science fiction-y”. ^_^ So I’m generally on the prowl for not-too-expensive ones!

Over Golden-I, meet Essie Sparkle on Top:

It looks like crumpled tin foil. Or very, very, very badly applied gold polish. Sigh.

Unfortunately, it really didn’t look great. From any distance it just looked uneven and lumpy. The iridescence didn’t really show. So I did what any sensible blogger (or academic) would do, namely Googled for someone else’s solution.

The swatches that appealed to me most were over pale colors, blue and pink primarily. Aha, sez I! I have a medium blue kicking around somewhere. So I tried it over the unnamed Physicians Formula blue, and magic happened:

Better!  Uh… I promise.

Okay, I freely admit that the pictures just don’t look any better than the gold!  Flakies are super hard to take pictures of, y’all.  But in person I see lots of glinting greens and distracting sparks of red and orange. I’m much happier. Except for my photography…*

* Write on chalkboard 50 times: I do not need another hobby, I do not need another hobby, I do not need another hobby…

Project Wear-It: Physician’s Formula medium blue

I don’t like it when nail polishes don’t have a name. It breaks something in my little OCD heart not to be able to fill out a mental spreadsheet properly. I’m not particularly organized, so I have no idea why it bothers me, but it does.

Physicians Formula (no apostrophe) sells trios of unnamed minis. I bought “Trendsetter Chic“: dark blue, medium blue, and plummy purple. I bought the trio for the dark blue (before I found my beloved Eurso Euro), and was disappointed by it. So I didn’t have the highest hopes for the boring medium blue creme.

Physicians Formula Trendsetter Chic #2:

Bloooo!

Joke’s on me, and hooray for swatching! This turns out to be a beautiful polish! It’s a rich, saturated cornflower blue, which covered flawlessly in two easy coats.

Okay, so this photo is a mess. My polish is super lumpy (I was trying something (don’t ask)), and there’s nail polish on a lot of things that aren’t strictly my nails. But I don’t care, because (1) it’s pretty true to color, though the actual color is a bit dustier/whiter; and (2), pretty.

When I said I wanted Eurso Euro in every color, this is the medium-blue fulfillment of my wish. Yaaay!