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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:

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:

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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:

doznroses

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:

IMG_6861

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:

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…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:

IMG_6806

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??

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.

red

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 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:

alph1

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.

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Green galaxies are hard to photograph.

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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!

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

 

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.

PWI Twofer: Julep Cassie and Sally Hansen Sparkling

Julep… Oh man.  Let’s talk about Julep.

For one thing, their polishes were originally mostly/only available in a beauty subscription box, which is a thing that mostly means “overpriced and mediocre” but whatever we can talk about it later.  Which, fine.  Don’t care, you can get them elsewhere now.  But even so… they are so expensive per actual nail painting!  I mean I know I said I don’t really care about price/oz but I do not like to be insulted.

But I wanted to be objectively fair, so, inspired by my favorite beauty blog and/or my actual background as a researcher,  I did some data analysis, based on: (1) what was within arms’ reach, plus (2): what prices I roughly remembered paying and/or Google suggested ish.

 
Brand $USD ml $/ml
Sinful Colors 2 15 $0.13
Pure Ice 2 15 $0.13
Sally Hansen Xtreme 2.5 15 $0.17
Wet’n’Wild Shine 2.2 12.7 $0.17
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails 2.5 13.3 $0.19
Urban Outfitters 5 15 $0.33
Rimmel London 60 second 3 8 $0.37
Rimmel London lasting finish pro 5 13.3 $0.38
Orly 8 18 $0.44
Sally Hansen Triple Shine 5 10 $0.50
O•P•I 8.5 15 $0.57
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri 6 9.2 $0.65
Revlon 6 8 $0.75
Julep 14 8 $1.75
 Sorted by $USD/ml.  Also, “formatting” this table makes
me feel better about the impending move to wordpress.

So yeah: Julep is officially insane.  They have sales all the time, but, but… I mean come on.  Julep I can do basic math!  Surprisingly many adults can do basic math.  Plus your stupid long skinny bottle gets knocked over easily.  But then my friend N came over with her enormous collection of Julep polishes, two of which she insisted looked better on me.  So now I have some Julep nail polish after all.  Ehn.

Julep Cassie:

polished fingernails

Indoors. Blurry but faaiirrlly color-accurate?

I actually liked the color, both indoors and out; I rarely wear pink, but this is a warm-toned and (IMO) atypically sophisticated variant.  The formula was somewhat sheer… this is three thick coats, and it could probably have used another but I ran out of patience.  Of course, the next morning I got interested in…

Sally Hansen Sparkling:

photo 2

Pink glitter! With a Cassie accent nail, just so you can see it in (overcast) daylight.

I think they work together really well, actually.  I was really pleased with the effect.

PWI: Sally Hansen Grape Going! Plus, JERBS

For those who are following along at home, here’s the interview scorecard:

  • 1 (R) – A good school, a decent interview.  I wasn’t smitten, and I doubt they were.  I didn’t make a fool of myself but I don’t expect followup.
  • 2 (F) – A fantastic research fit, but a social fit that really concerned me.  OTOH, they made me an offer, and they offered me the moon and the stars.  If they want me that badly, I’m willing to try to make it work.
  • 3 (G) – A fantastic research fit.  A fantastic social fit.  A fantastic place.  I would sell… something important to work there.  They loved me, too; they told me so.  But they’ve interviewed some truly amazing people, and it’s all down to the shouting, now.  It’s an engineering department.  There will be shouting.  (But please, please, please?)
  • 4 (U) – Smaller school, less of a research fit, but I would fill some painfully obvious holes they have, and socially it was awesome.  People were direct, honest, forthright, and kind.  I enjoyed the heck out of my visit and I would work there if they offered.  Also, the closest to Super Woman and Dr. D of anyplace I interviewed.

I expected to hear from #3 today, but didn’t.  I actually managed to work myself into a state where I was womity just from nerves.  Finally I said screw it and fell back to my usual reaction to adversity: sulking and nausea.

And, oh, food.  Coq au vin (traditional style, so it took 4 hours), cauliflower puree, skinned drumsticks in batches in the freezer, and oven-roasted Brussels sprouts in brown sugar and bacon glaze.  (Um… I have leftovers… help?)  I actually managed to fight down the urge to call an impromptu dinner party and make everyone individual Cornish game hens, but it was a near thing.

And, as happens when the going gets confusing and adult, I have been painting the crap out of my nails.  It is consequence free.

Today’s offering is Sally Hansen Grape Going!:

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Reddish purple!  [hand tilt]  Bluish purple!  …am I more excited than this warrants?

A blue-purple duochrome,* which is pretty awesome.  That said, it has some problems.  One is sheerness, as this is like 4-5 coats, meaning way more chances to screw up.

The second, and far worse, is how subtle the color shift actually is.  I needed this super-direct setting-sun light to get a real purple – the mildly uninteresting mid-tone blue on the right is more the default look.

Anyway!  Tomorrow I will hear something maybe or maybe not!  Please, um, just please cross your fingers, or pray, or whatever your superstition is and all, or nothing.  Just… please.


* Two different colors in different lights / at different angles.  The word is also used for polishes that shift among >2 colors, which makes Grammar Hulk aaaangry because it should obviously be multichrome.  You wouldn’t like me when I‘m… using the red pen

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 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 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:

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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:

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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: 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!

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: Sally Hansen Golden-I

I’m meeting with a visiting VIP today, meaning my nail polish has to be work-appropriate – which in my field just means “subtle” (I have a whole rant on that, but it can wait). I’d go without polish, except…

I recently switched back to PVA peel-off base coat. In the meantime, I had forgotten that water-based coats won’t block stains. (Lab Muffin gives an excellent explanation, as always.) I was reminded after a day of chartreuse polish turned my fingernails three-pack-a-day yellow overnight! doh.

So, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I, which is unprepossessing on me:

It’s a tiny bit cooler and shinier than this shows. Indirect outdoor light.

It’s a foil; application is okay, definitely not a one-coater. The color is a pale, pretty gold, somewhere more in the champagne family. This is two coats; it would really have needed three for full opacity, but very short nails have their charms!

Perfectly nice color. Too much for a job interview (sigh) but reasonable for one casual half-hour meeting. Maybe tonight I’ll put glitter on it…