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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.**

slap

 

** 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!

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.

**
Untitled

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.

gg

Green galaxies are hard to photograph.

gg2

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!

alph3

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:

best

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

neely1

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.

duck

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.)

Duckliiiings.


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

blur

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

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 twofer: Sinful Colors Secret Admirer and Winter Wonderland, plus, Zoya!

A bit ago, I asked my sister what color I should paint my nails, and she said gunmetal gray.  This is taking a while because I apparently have too many dark gray polishes!  I wanted to post these two together.

Sinful Colors Winter Wonderland:

Dark gray or maybe black, with a bazillion
little blue and gold shimmer particles.

And Sinful Colors Secret Admirer:

Dark gray or maybe black, with a bazillion
little silver shimmer particles.

Since these were taken in very different lighting, I painted my ring finger with Winter Wonderland and left the rest Secret Admirer.

Yyyyyeah.

I mean, you can kind of see the difference.  WW reads as paler and a bit bluer.  But come on, this is kind of ridiculous.  It’s the same brand!  They’re both very pretty, and they both look like macadam to me (although I don’t think of macadam as “pretty,” really, so that’s a bit weird).

Anyway.  Dupes they be!

Zoya Earth day exchange!

Okay, I have a real post (several) in the pipeline, but I wanted to get this out there real quick.  Zoya is an expensive-ish brand of nail polish, out of my price range usually, but once a year, for Earth day, they do an exchange – (almost) everything half price, and you can send them unwanted bottles of polish to dispose of in an environmentally appropriate way.  I am planning to buy me some Zoya!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, because there are a lot of polishes to choose from.  Like… a lot.  And, as with the repeat wearings of polishes, I end up pretty much just choosing the same colors over and over when shopping.  (I have so much teal…)

I am the one behind the monitor waggling toys
at him.  So basically my life is awesome despite
advisers, because… I mean look at him.

So if any of you wanted to nail shop vicariously through me (or, actually through me, I guess), you  could go to this page right here and choose some stuff for me to buy.  And to subsequently put on my body.*  Or your body.  Or Mr. Fix-It’s body!  Heck, I’m easy.


* Edited to add after questions. Yes, I will totally buy polishes you suggest ironically, and I will wear them.  And furthermore, I will make them look good.  Hit me.

PWI Sinful Colors Gorgeous (Attack of the Teal Foils)

Doing so much life job talky stuff is hard!  SO let’s talk about nail polish, eh?

When I PWI’d Sinful Colors Aqua, I mentioned that it was insanely similar to…

Sinful Colors Gorgeous:

SC: check. Metallic foil: check. Clearly teal: check. 
Obvious distinctions from Aqua: no check.

They’re not dupes; Aqua is noticeably bluer in both bottle and hand:

Shots taken while balancing weird grip are
noticeably blurrier!  Or maybe I was just
sleep-deprived, who knows.

But… I mean, come on.  They’re both teal foils.  They’re both good coaters that are prone to showing brushstrokes.  I don’t quite feel the need to get rid of one, but knowing what I now know, I probably wouldn’t have grabbed both.  (And that’s actually rather saying something.)

Aqua; Gorgeous.  Different, but.

PWI twofer: Essie Penny Talk and OPI Gaining Mole-mentum

I know a lot of you reading already know this, but I have something of an obsession with copper.  It’s not my fault!  It’s genetic!  Passed from my grandmother through my mother to me.  

I like lots of copper.

I like amazingly new, weirdly super-pink copper.  I like more often-encountered, beautiful oxidized copper.  I even think verdigris is pretty cool, personally.  Not surprisingly, this has joined forces with my nail polish obsession.  I will buy pretty much any damn thing that is copper, or coppery, or copper-ish, or SAYS copper.  Sadly, in nail polish as in life, there’s a shockingly lame level of access to copper things!  (give me more copper earrings or give me death)

ANY way.  I started seeing things on the nail-o-blaggityblog-o-sphere about a copper polish,  Essie Penny Talk, which is outside my usual price range but cooopperr.  So I ordered it, got the bottle, and it was clearly gold.  I mean look:

Essie Penny Talk:

I even whined to Mr. Fix-It, and
he was all “Uh…hm. Gold is nice?”
So I put it on my nails.

So I put on my new gold nail polish.  Which did go on gold …until it wasn’t.  Like the weirdness of Push’n’Shove, over about a minute or two, it slooowly changed (cured?), until I was looking at this:

Totes copper.  Specifically, the very pink color of brand
new, totally untarnished copper.  *happy sigh*

What the hell, y’all,  Chemistry is magical.

So I really like Penny Talk!  But I didn’t top coat it, and like most foils, it chips if you move your hand through oxygen molecules, and after a day the edges were all ragged and sucky.  So I added

OPI Gaining Mole-mentum:

Up close you can see that it’s made of little shard glitters in gold, silver and copper.

From a little further away you can see that
it’s just sort of… confused sparkle?

I dunno.  When I did Rouge Rush, also with shard glitter, I liked the depth and the almost-flaky-level glow?  So I thought I would give this a try.  But I’m not so sure.  Also, layering it over copper made the copper glitter vanish, which I did not care for.  So I’ll try it over something else before I do anything drastic.

Yipes! Stripes! …and some rough news.

So I was talking to Super Woman a few days ago, and at some point asked her, “Hey, what color should I paint my nails?”

To which she responded, enthusiastically, “Blue with black stripes!!”

Er.  Well… I do have striping tape, which is basically the world’s thinnest masking tape.  (Well, it’s mylar.)  I’ve tried to use it a handful of times, with no success.  But this time I had a Directive, by god.

This is my fourth and final attempt:

Blue!  With black stripes.
Bonus thumbs! …look, it’s hard taking pictures of your own hands.

And I think I got it working!

This is not the shade of blue I was planning to use.  What I’ve read about striping tape is that you need to pull it off when the polish is either really wet or really, really dry; I found that only “really wet” worked, possibly because I had so many layers of polish going on.  Basically I found that I needed something that could be opaque over black in a single not-too-thick layer, and what I found was Physicians Formula Trendsetter Chic #2.  Most of my other blues needed either multiple layers or white undies.*

This is layered over Sinful Colors Black on Black.  I refuse to do a PWI.  It’s… it’s black.  It looks black?  But it IS a one-coater.

So yeah!  I dunno if I nailed it exactly?  But I made stripes, by gum!

In other, lamer news, Interview #3 (nickname: Dream Job) has made an offer to someone else, which he is planning to take.  I haven’t officially been told “no” yet – I have a phone call tomorrow – but right now, smart money’s on “SIGH”.  I have officially set aside time to sulk.


* Yes, this is a nail jargon term…

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!:

X
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

PWI: RED. (By which I mean OPI Red, plus threefer Jane Megawatt and Pure Ice Bare It All, but whatever. RED)

Soooo, two things about red nail polish!

1. One is always looking for the perfect, flattering, amazing red polish. (And lipstick!)
2. People* are Concerned that red polish may make one look Fast, and, perhaps, Loose.**

That said, one of my oldest polish acquisitions is…

OPI Red.

Red.  This shot makes it look pinkish maybe?  But it’s so primary,
unapologetically red. Maybe a hair blue leaning?  It’s not 3-free
or 5-free or vegan or whatever, and I know there’s a newer version
that is, but this is my canonical and beloved Fast Lady red.

There’s a new post-reformulation red.  I feel like I ought to try it, I guess.  Because I am not completely happy with my existing, classic, vampy, and hot red.

Anyway!  There are only about 4, 5 “nail art” things I’d be interested in?  The simple ones!  So I am interested in the “glitter gradient.”  Basically, you take a glitter polish with medium-to-bad coverage, and paint it in receding layers, so a gradient comes out.  Which is my thing!

The glitter is two things: JANE Megawatt – which is the solid glitter on my index finger – and Pure Ice Bare It All.  They are identical.  Weirdly so – they are both gold glitter with random copper glits.  The PI BiA has thicker coverage, so that’s a difference, the only one.  I’ma get rid of one, probably the Pure Ice, because it’s less usable for gradients.

My index finger is the Pure Ice.  Less gradient-y but otherwise identical.

But anyway: RED.


* To a certain Type of Person, don’t you know.  (The kind that sits on hiring committees.)
** …why? Red? It’s a color? I don’t… even…
Yeah, no, I really am.

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.

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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.