Tag Archive | ppu

Some PWIs and some reflections on blogging

It’s been a few weeks since I posted. I’ve been painting my nails; in fact, I think they are literally the longest they have ever been, right at the moment. (Usually they grow until one breaks, and I hack them all off. I don’t know why nothing has broken yet. Random chance, perhaps.) But although I have had PWIs to do, I haven’t had anything else to talk about, and I find that just posting pictures of swatches is not really as rewarding as blogging when I feel like I have something to talk about.

It’s not like nothing has been happening. Friends have visited for the first time since very early 2020, work always has something going on, life continues on. It’s just not the sort of thing I’ve been in the habit of talking about on this here blog, or perhaps the spark that makes it fun to write (and, one hopes, to read) has been missing.

I don’t really know, nor do I know what exactly I plan to do about it. Blogging is definitely good for me when I’m in the groove for it. Maybe I’ll just… post about nail polish for a while and see how I feel. Here, have a dump-o-polishes.

Leesha’s Lacquer, Huddled by the Heater. A pretty pinkish-copper with lots of bright sparks.
Pahlish, Heroes in a Half Shell. A lovely spring green with lots of gold shimmer.
OPI, Sweet Heart. A mellow, blush-y almost-nude pink. Much prettier in person.
Noodles Nail Polish, Lend Me Some Sugar. Basically a tan crelly with gold flakes. In reality it looks speckled rather than gold-flecked, which is okay but not what I was after. Very thick formula and no fun to take off.
MTK Design, All the Hype!. I didn’t end up getting a pic of this one that wasn’t just ugly. It’s a very sheer thermal jelly that goes back and forth between a bright (clear) peach and a rather dingy (clear) lavender-brown. Pretty in the bottle but on the nail, I was not enamored.

More to come, probably, perhaps. It depends apparently, in part, on the muse.

Shiny red kinda-holo

Spent the weekend at my parents’ house, swimming at their nice gym, playing with the kids, and generally having a lovely time. B will be fully, effectively vaxed this coming Wednesday, so we jumped the gun a little, but only a little, and nobody in either household was showing any symptoms of anything other than missing their relatives, so… we went.

Of course, that was enough activity for my nail polish to start cracking off, but fortunately I took pictures first. Unfortunately, I took them all after applying top coat. this is Phoenix Indie’s Fighting for Love and Passion, from the March 2022 Polish Pickup.

In my office, versus…
Direct sunlight.

So basically it’s a very true red with some holo that only comes out in sunlight. What’s weird about it—and the reason I said “unfortunately” about the pictures—is the polish looks very, very different before it’s top-coated. Without a top coat, it’s a dull-ish pinky-red with a lot of silver holo. After, it’s… well… none of those words. I’ve rarely seen a polish that changes that dramatically with top coat. I wanted a true red holo, but this, apparently, can only be one or the other.

I’m very on the fence about this month’s PPU. There are a couple of polishes I find interesting, but only one I really want, and for just one bottle with fixed shipping, it’s a very expensive way to buy nail polish. On the other hand, I want it an awful lot. 😬 I’ll probably dither until I run out of time, but who knows.

PWI indie gold, plus random cleanup

Interestingly randomly, I started writing here in early February 2014. Now it’s early February 2022, so I’ve been casually intending to update this blog for eight years, almost to the day. Maybe it’s something about the season.

Almost everything I used to link to from this space is defunct. That’s hardly a surprise. Eight years is basically forever in blog-land, plus a lot of the people I used to follow were students. Students graduate, have life transitions, and move on. It’s actually one of the sometimes-good, sometimes-hard things about being faculty—you form relationships with your students, and then they go. I don’t mind the defunct stuff so much (blogs, not students), but the stuff that now links to “Buy this domain now!!!1!one!” can pretty much piss up a rope. Camping on a used-to-be-popular site name that you aren’t using, in hopes of getting someone to buy it, is one of the many sleazy bits of How It All Works.

As of today I’m wearing Make It Stop, by Quixotic Polish, also a Polish Pickup pickup. This is a slightly difficult one to describe. In the bottle it’s a color-shifting scattered holo, but on the nail the holo is quite lost except in really good lighting:

A hand with nail polish holding a bottle.
The centering and wrapping of captions in my new wordpress theme is rather messed up. 🙁

This was three fairly thick coats. Nice formula, if rather thin, but more coverage would have been nice. It comes across as a sort of a slightly holographic nude color? It’s gold with a lot of green-to-pink multichrome shimmer, so it really depends on the angle at which the light hits it. I do wish the holo was more pronounced.

A hand with gold nail polish with holographic flecks.
See, holo! Only in my bedroom, though.

One of the notable things about nail polish (and nail art) is how different it looks in practice, which is to say, not up close to the camera and holding still. Hands move fast and nails are small, and different polishes come across very differently. Despite its lovely complexity, “in practice” this one looks like a gold nail polish with occasional pink reflections. But it is lovely, and flattering, and I am glad I went to the trouble of stripping off Glass Fish for it (and it was a PITA to remove).

PWI: white sparklies and glass fish

I’ve gotten some bad really annoying news about teaching loads lately, which promises to make my life harder and my research harder…er. I’ve been down and angry about it for close to a week, which is undoubtedly part of why I’ve been polishing madly lately. (Teaching load = how many classes you are expected to teach in a given year. Mine is going up, and as far as I can tell, the formula for who teaches how much is a big, dumb secret—one which I am dead set on unraveling, because although I enjoy teaching, it is neither my primary professional focus nor what I am actually primarily evaluated on, which makes it a poor use of my time. BAH.)

But anyway. Nail polish. Have I introduced you guys to Polish Pickup?

There are only so many colors in the world, and there’s a far smaller set of those colors that can be turned into nail polish. There are only so many affordable, cosmetic-approved pigments out there. There are also only so many interestingly differentiable colors; I just got rid of a bunch of polishes that are arguably different from things I own, but only in a “slightly bluer shade of shimmery teal” sense. And I’m not gonna say I own all the colors, or even all the colors that I would consider wearing, because I probably don’t—but boy, buying new, interesting polish has gotten hard after (wow) several decades. It helps when Mr. F buys me polish, since he tends to chose things I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards. (My kids have also been responsible for some recent selections, with wildly inconsistent results. 🥰) It actually makes me a little sad to see a giant display of nail polish and find that my reaction is “Ehh.”

One of the places I can consistently find at least some novel polish is Polish Pickup. This is a monthly event in which a number of indie designers (usually a bit under a hundred) list a polish that they are planning to make a limited run of, only for that month and only for PPU. This tends to be where the weird ones come out to play—thermals (color changing based on temperature), magnetics, interesting glitter combinations, colors that would probably not sell well in wider release. Most of my polish purchases for the last few years have been from there.

This leads us to a polish by ‘Ard as Nails, yclept Glass Fish:

Glass Fish. This one was impossible (for me) to photograph well.

It’s a white shimmery polish, with pink shimmer (ultrafine glitter, like too small to see individually) and larger, but still tiny, iridescent specks. In the bottle it’s gorgeous; on the nail it’s a bit disappointing. This is two coats over white. A lot of polishes are like that—the depth and richness of a bottle-sized amount is not the same as a few thin layers on the actual nail. I don’t regret owning it* but it’s not as distinctive as I had hoped.

I do wish it was at all interested in being photographed! Iridescents and holos are notoriously difficult for the camera, which in my case is still an iPhone held awkwardly in the other hand. You’ll have to take my word for it to some extent, because posting videos is a whole ‘nother kettle of coping, and it’s not that pretty.

Minor edit: It was enough of a glitter to be a hassle to take off, though!

Edit 2: Next time I might try it over a white that’s more flattering on me than stark white. Worth a try!


* You can tell I don’t regret owning it, because I still do! I still have some pangs about the large destashing, but mostly I feel really good about the nail polishes I still have. So, yay!

wot’s all this then

Yaaay!  Let’s see, what’s the last thing I wrote…

When I unpack I might actually pay enough attention to figure out things […] … or I may be swamped with the new life.* Hard to know.

Oh yes!  The ridiculously prescient thing!  Except I didn’t mean quite that swamped.

Well, here I am again. It looks like I’ve started to post a few times in the intervening (good grief) seven years, but generally time—or possibly self-imposed priorities—have not permitted. I don’t know if they will permit going forward, either, but I’m going to give it a bit of a try. I need things to do in the evening that are more self-care than productivity, and nail polish and its attendant musings are a thing. I don’t think anyone still reads this, and that’s okay, because really I am writing for me.

So, couple-three things have happened. I’m up for tenure now. We have a couple of small humans who are at least as charming as cats, if in a less fuzzy way. We have a house. Global pandemic. All kinds of things. I’m not spending as much time on nails, for two reasons:

  1. I don’t need the escapism quite as much as I did during my last year of grad school.
  2. I don’t have time.  (Seriously.  Not even close.)

That first one is interesting.  The last year of grad school – the thesis writing/job hunting part – was so, so strange.  Part of what made it so strange was just how oblivious I was to how strange it was at the time, in retrospect. I enjoyed grad school but I don’t miss that. But nail polish has always gone in waves for me. I’ll paint my nails consistently, get bored, stop for a few months (or years), start again, etc. I don’t think I had painted my nails since the pandemic started, but suddenly I am feeling it again, and that’s good too.

There’s so much I do want to talk about, though.  Nail polish, faculty life, faculty standards of dress and nail polish and beauty, cooking, papers and moving and transitions… and since this is my space, I guess I will just start talking about it.

So… hello again!  Here is some nail polish.

Red and yellow polish on nails

A beautiful thermal polish from Twisting Nether Lacquer, rather unglamorously entitled “Ketchup and Mustard.”

Project PWI may be dead, or I may limp along on it. Life has a way of intervening. But I am still planning to post pictures of polish as I wear it, because it serves a good record-keeping purpose. This one ranges from fairly pure, transparent yellow to true, if somewhat muted, red. I wish I had taken more pictures. Unlike many themals, it changes right around body temperature, so it actually changed a great deal as I wore it, instead of staying stuck solidly on “cold” or “hot” like so many do.

More soon, hopefully. Hopefully not another 7 years from now. But we will see!


* And boy, did I ever not know at the time how literal that was. Faculty interviews while 2-3 months pregnant are not a joke. But it worked out.