Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pink Wednesday: Pretty Serious Cosmetics CGA

In case you missed Monday's egregiously late Skinny Dipping post, you missed a major giveaway announcement: Anna and I are giving away 4 of our favorite nude polishes to one lucky reader on August 31! Click [HERE] for contest rules and the Rafflecopter form. :)

Now, I'm preeeeeeeeetty sure Pink Wednesday nail posts are no longer A Thing these days, but indulge me. Today, I've got a polish I've been attempting to blog for two months. Say hello to Pretty Serious CGA!

Three coats with SV.

Sadly, CGA is another case of Like, But Not Love. It's the color. I should have gone with my gut instinct and skipped it -- if I wasn't in love with it on Scrangie, how was I going to love it on me? LOL. The magenta/orchid tones of this polish realllllllly kind of blends in with my skin tone and makes me look dead, which I am not crazy about (in that sense, it reminded me of my warped bottle of Orly Frolic). That really gave me a sad, because CGA is the third polish from Hello World that I didn't quite love on me. Ladies, I have to say that I adore the motif of the collection. I'm not an out and out computer/tech geek (I mean, I remember going to Babbage's with my dad, I used to love Jonny Lee Miller in "Hackers" so much that it defied sense, and the summer before ninth grade, I read this book called The Cuckoo's Egg, which, LOVE -- and not just for the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the footnotes), but I totally cackled when I saw the names of everything in the collection because it was all too perfect. This polish is no exception. The cyan? turquoise? aqua? shimmer against the magenta *is* CGA in nail polish. Google "cga graphics" if you don't know what the heck I'm spazzing about.

Oh, and the formula was great. I think it was opaque in two coats, but don't quote me on this because I don't remember. (Sorry!) Some of my Pretty Serious polishes tend to be on the gummy side, like my RBL shimmers can get, but I've never had a problem with them. They go on the nail very easily and dry quickly, which I always appreciate.

CGA was from the Pretty Serious debut collection, Hello World! from the late spring? early summer? of 2012. (You guys. That was TWO YEARS AGO, WHAT EVEN?) Although ANYWAY, if you're interested in picking up CGA, it's being discontinued from the core line, so hop over to the Pretty Serious shop and grab it while it's $4.95. I don't remember whether I got this off a blog/Storenvy sale or directly from the Pretty Serious clearance sale, but I know I didn't have this polish before May of this year. (Steff, maybe you would like this one? Let me know!)

Any thoughts on CGA? What was the last color that didn't quite work on you? Did you ever watch "Hackers" back in the day? I'd love to know! It's sooooooooooooo terrible, but JLM was kind of darkly dreamy in the '90s (can we talk about "Trainspotting"? Or, even though it was 2009, his Mr. Knightley in "Emma"? MY GOD).

Oh, and don't forget to enter our Skinny Dipping giveaway! ;) Again, there's a link at the beginning of this post, as well as on the sidebar of this blog. Now you know.

Thanks for reading! I'm trying to finish up with a post for Friday, but we'll have to see -- I'm not in a great mood today, so I don't know if I'm going to feel like blogging when I get home from work. Ugh, is it Saturday yet?????

Monday, August 18, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends) Turns 2! featuring China Glaze Five Rules, AND A GIVEAWAY!

Late as usual, but this time it's because Comcast is the wooooooooooooooorstTM Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. It's okay, though. I'm here now and I'm ready to celebrate TWO FRICKIN' YEARS of Skinny Dipping (With Friends)! I can't believe Anna and I have been doing this every month for two years -- okay, we adjourn in December to blog Christmas polishes -- but still! And I'm so happy to have a partner who gets just as excited about nude polishes as I do. That helps make this adventure more fun!

Fun? Hold that thought. I'll come back to that.

But first, this is China Glaze Five Rules, from their tie-in Colour Your Destiny collection with the film version of "The Giver" (which met with both lukewarm and abrasive reviews upon its release last weekend). I picked up three CYD polishes the first time I saw the display back in July; I already blogged Capacity to See Beyond, so Five Rules makes the Number 2 out of 3. :)

I feel like I have something similar to Five Rules, but I ain't even mad. I love it.

Three coats with SV.

So yeah, I think we can say I liked Five Rules just as much as the critics did not like the movie. The formula was creme polish perfection, so I would have to be stupid to get rid of this. And while this color is not all that unique, I am not one to kick a flattering neutral shade out of my stash! Five Rules definitely resides in the putty/greige neighborhood, but it doesn't have overly greenish or reddish tones. Obviously in certain lights you can see the grey stone cast better than in others. In fact, here are 2 photos that I thought pulled out the grey tones rather well:

Sooooooooo gorgeous. I love it. If you're looking for it, the Colour Your Destiny is out now and it's limited edition, so go grab it before it's gone. I did because you know me and my LE Disease ... it's a problem. :)

Any thoughts on this polish? Did you go see the movie last weekend? If you did, I'm curious to hear what you think. I think I'll wait till this can come to Redbox or something. Oh, and if you want me to see another Colour Your Destiny polish here, leave a comment with your request -- the first one I actually have, I'll blog it in the coming weeks.

Next on the agenda: Anna and I wanted to thank you for reading Skinny Dipping for two years, so we took the liberty of putting together a little giveaway! One lucky U.S.-based reader will win four of our favorite nude polishes, all previously blogged as Skinny Dipping entries. It's pretty easy to guess who picked what!

From left to right:

This giveaway is open to U.S. readers following via Google Friend Connect (apologies to our international friends!) until Saturday, August 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be chosen and announced on August 31. That lucky lady will be given 2 days to respond to an email from one of us, so please reply as soon as you can! If you don't, we will have to choose another winner. (--And yes, I will pay more attention this time so we don't have a repeat of what happened on my last giveaway, hahaha.)

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway and find out how you can make additional entries. Good luck!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much! We hope you've loved Skinny Dipping as much as we love this feature. <3

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shopping My Stash: White wears, summahtime edition

I always feel like a drag every month when I text Steff to ask if she has any ideas for our next stash shopping posts because I feel like I bug her, only for me to end up posting wayyyyyy later in the day. But real life was so crazy last week that I knew I wasn't going to be able to post at all last Friday, which is why you're getting Shopping My Stash today. (Thanks, Steff!)

Steff came up with the idea of posting a white or a pastel to play off of the "no white after Labor Day" cliché, especially since Labor Day will come before our September stash shopping post. The white I originally wanted to use for this post was super uncooperative (and better suited to my White Hot Wednesday feature), so I used another polish instead: OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, which also happens to be one of Steff's favorite polishes. I chose a white(-ish) creme because I tend to associate white shimmers and glass flecks with the winter holiday season, but cremes are great at evoking the crisp and cool feeling most of us chase in warmer months.

I cannot believe I've owned this polish for 2 summers and did not wear it until last week. FOR SHAME.

Oh, and for the record, my boyfriend does not scale walls. But if we really need to reach (for the purposes of this post), he and Peter Parker both work with journalists.

Three coats with SV.

My Boyfriend Scales Walls is a lovely white creme with a few cool drops of grey. I can't think of any dupes for this. Color Club Silver Lake seems more grey, and China Glaze New Birth (from the new Colour Your Destiny tie-in collection with "The Giver") seems warmer than MBSW. In any case, this polish looks good on everybody. (As a matter of fact, here's MBSW on Steff; if you read her blog, then you've seen her do lots of nail art with it as well.) And although I've been wearing white polish this summer, MBSW looks faded next to a true white creme. It actually took a few days for me to get used to wearing this, because my nails looked like I'd rubbed them on a pair of dark wash jeans. You know what I mean? It was pretty weird, but I got used to it after the third day.

Apart from MBSW being universally flattering, its formula is pretty incredible for a white. It was really easy to work with the second time I put it on for swatching purposes (I think the first time it was terrible because my base coats were on their way out), and dry time with SV was really fast. I wore it for four days last week, and it held on pretty well with no chips. The tip wear part was kind of interesting, though -- I had minimal tip wear on my left hand, but average tip wear on my right (my dominant hand). I washed my hands eleventy billion times last week, but I can't think of anything else that would explain the tip wear difference.

MBSW might not be a true oldie in my stash, but it's two years old! It was part of OPI's tie-in with "The Amazing Spider-Man" movie two summers ago (TERRIBLE movie, IMO). If you did not get a chance to grab this polish back then, it's really ETF online right now! You will love this, I promise. I don't understand why it's not core. It's awesome, which is no small feat for a white polish. I have loved my share of OPI reds and pinks, but I don't see why they couldn't remove one from their core line and include this instead!

What do you guys think? Any opinions about wearing white after Labor Day? Do you have OPI MBSW? If so, do you agree that it is awesome/universally flattering/should be core? Do you have any other OPI ASM polishes? I only have Number One Nemesis, but you know me, gotta have all the Chanel Graphite almost-dupes. I'm running low on time today, so I'll complain about "The Amazing Spider-Man" another time. To put it politely, I was extremely not a fan.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to visit Short 'n Chic today and have a look at Steff's white polish of choice. If she's posting what I think she's posting, then I've never seen it blogged before, so I'm pretty stoked to see what she has to say about it. :)

Hope you all have a good weekend! I'll try to be back on Monday for Skinny Dipping. You will love the polish I'll share then ... at least, you'll love it on me! ;) #whatishubris

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Great Polish Giveaway of 2014 (by Nail Polish Canada)

I have not been the greatest blogger lately, so I was very surprised (and even more flattered) when I received an email last week from Nail Polish Canada, asking if I wanted to participate and add a prize in their epic giveaway of UP TO 200 POLISHES. This giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents until August 15, so if you haven't already entered, do it!

Here's the form:

I had a hard time choosing a polish to add to this killer prize bag. I was torn between a white and a gold, only I ultimately went with a very yellow-leaning chartreuse: butter LONDON Wellies. Below are a few quick-and-dirty shots under my OttLite -- I think I would have been able to pull out the green tones more if I'd had some natural light, but I missed my window. This is three coats with SV.

I won't lie, I had a little bit of a "learning curve" when it came to application, but if you're a die-hard chartreuse lover, then the color payoff is everything. I would like to have a more thorough swatch & review post about Wellies, but I just don't have time right now. Maybe I can work on that this coming weekend.

ANYWAY, you can check out other bloggers' picks [HERE]. Good luck!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stuff's 3rd Birthday Giveaway Winners!


I know I said I would announce the winners on Friday, but my work schedule changed and I ended up having to go in. (Until last weekend, I was able to work from home on most Fridays, but work is work, right?) A long work day + family stuff = me falling asleep in the car on the way home, enough to the point where I faceplanted into my bed for the rest of the night.

Basically, I did not get a chance to do any blog stuff until Saturday morning. And then I made the mistake of not thoroughly going through y'alls entries and letting Rafflecopter do the work for me! Long story short, I done fucked up BIG TIME while contacting winners for the U.S. prize pack, so instead of having 2 winners, there now are 3. Because I made a mistake, the only way to make it fair was to assemble another set of polishes. If that's okay with y'all, that's more than okay with me!

Congratulations to Vi and Ali, who won the U.S. packs, and to Danielle, who won the international prize (the Sephora e-gift card)! I've e-mailed everyone and they've all replied, so everyone's prizes are on the way.

This should teach me to drink my coffee first, right? Ha.

A huge THANK YOU to all of you who entered! I loved reading your comments in the blog post, and hearing about your favorite polishes and movies (so far) of 2014. I personally cannot answer that question because it is wayyyyyyy too "Sophie's Choice" for my decision-addled brain, so you guys already bested me there.

I also wanted to thank you for reading and supporting this blog! There are innumerably more nail blogs now than there were when I first started blogging (and even starting to read nail blogs), so I truly appreciate that you take a few minutes out of your day to read mine. <3 This goes doubly if you leave comments, since I love interacting with my fellow lacquerheads. I hope to keep hearing from you!

P.S. Whether I have posts up this week depends on what time I get home from work. Shopping My Stash is scheduled for Friday -- I haven't picked out a polish yet, but fair warning, those photos might be really janky. :(

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NEW: China Glaze Capacity to See Beyond

I know I said I was going to be back on Monday with a red, but I bought this polish last weekend and it was TOO GOOD for me to hold off showing you. Only, I got a horrible migraine the night I wanted to work on this post, and the last thing I wanted to do was look at a computer screen, so I called it a night and went to bed early. I still have a little bit of migraine, but I'm 98% sure I know what that's about. (Coincidentally, I want to eat ALL the sweet and salty things.)

Anyway, I ducked into Sally's last Friday with my sister to pick up a badly-needed bottle of Gelous when I found the China Glaze Colour Your Destiny display. This is ChG's tie-in with the movie version of "The Giver" (or, as I like to call it, Jeff Bridges' passion project, so WHO KNOWS if it will be good because passion projects tend not to be). I cannot get over how weird this tie-in is. I haven't read the novel since I was probably 10, but the subject matter does not exactly scream "cosmetic tie-in" to me.

But if the other Colour Your Destiny polishes are like this one, I'll deal with it.

NOTE: These photos have been altered a little bit to bring out the warmer tones of this polish.

Three coats with SV.

Capacity to See Beyond was the first polish I grabbed from the display. I did not even stop to ask myself if I owned a similar shade of blue, but the closest one I could think of was Essie In the Cab-ana, and even then, I think that one leaned a little more green. Drool.

It's a good thing the color is so scrumptious, because the formula on this one was not exactly a walk in the park for me. I'm not sure if it was the humidity over the weekend or an issue with the polish itself; either way, I had a difficult time opening up the bottle. When I did, there was polish all over the side of the cap, but I was able to clean it up. The formula was on the thick side, and gooped a little if you left the bottle open for too long. It took me a couple of tries to figure out how best to load my brush while I was polishing. While I've definitely worked with more PITA polishes, ChG has made some baller cremes in the past and Capacity to See Beyond is not exactly one of them. Do you guys think I might have a dud bottle??? I've been wearing this for the past couple of days and it still looks good, so I'll keep it on till Friday or Saturday, I think. :)

Supposedly the Colour Your Destiny polishes will be available at Sally's and Ulta, but I've only seen them at Sally's as of last weekend. Go get you some! Or did you do that already? If so, which ones did you get?

Whatcha guys think of Capacity to See Beyond? I think the color payoff is worth the trouble, although like I said, I've worked with worse -- I realize this is not exactly the most ringing endorsement, but have I ever lied to you? Will any of you be watching "The Giver" when it comes out in a couple of weeks, or will you be a purist and stick to the book (like me)? I want to give the movie the benefit of the doubt because Jeff Bridges, but oh maaaaaannnnn, passion projects are messy and Hollywood and IDK, y'all.

Thanks so much for reading this post! I don't know what my schedule looks like this Friday, but I will be back at some point during the day to announce my giveaway winners. I guess it goes without saying, buuuuuuuuuut if you haven't entered yet, do it, plzkthx.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Christmas in July: Smitten Polish A Wedding Dress That Isn't Bright Turquoise

Holy technical difficulties yesterday, Batman! Again, another late post ... but well worth it, I think.

Anyway, Christmas in July. I enjoy it, but not to the point where I'll start blasting holiday music or shopping for gifts (although that might help me get ahead this year). Nope, I like it enough to wear a holiday-inspired polish, which today comes in the form of Smitten Polish A Wedding Dress That Isn't Bright Turquoise (from this point on in the post, I'll refer to it as Wedding Dress).

Y'all, I know I'm biased because I've known creator Noelie from our MUA nb days, but THIS POLISH. LOOOOOOVE.

I think this might be five coats with SV. I got really zealous because my nails are long this week and the VNL is out of control.

So turquoise. Much pretty. Wow.

But seriously, I love this. The turquoise jelly base is super squishy, so the color shift in the shimmer is beyond bonkers. You can see reddish gold shimmer in these pictures, but it also gets quite green (Lavish Layerings has some fantastic photos of the green shift). The effect is so, so stunning! I've also heard that you can layer this polish over something with a turquoise or green base, but I was curious to see how it would be on its own.

Which leads me to this: You could get a decent manicure with 3-4 coats of Wedding Dress on its own. But as I said above, my nails have been long this week (didn't cut them) and I wanted to make sure the VNL was covered completely because you know how cameras do -- they really pick up the VNL sometimes. I just wanted to be sure. Dry time was super fast with SV. I've been wearing this for 3 days with no chips and no tip wear, and it still looks perfect!

This Smitten was part of last year's "Love, Actually"-themed holiday collection. I know there's a Smitten restock today at 2 p.m. CENTRAL TIME, but I don't know if Wedding Dress will be included in this one. I forgot to ask Noelie, derp. What I DO know is that there are some issues with pigment supply availability, so basically, BUY THIS WHILE YOU CAN. I checked out the following stores where Wedding Dress still is in stock: Edgy Polish, Femme Fatale, and Hypnotic Polish. Again, I don't know if Wedding Dress will be included in today's restock, but make sure you check out the Smitten Polish store and Facebook page for more details on future restocks, okay? This is a polish you reaaaaaaaaaaally do not want to miss!, and that makes my bottle all the more special. :)

Are you loving Wedding Dress as much as I am? If you do love it and you don't have it, you need it! GET IT GET IT GET IT. What are your feelings about "Love, Actually"? I don't like the movie nearly as much as I did when I was 17, but it has its moments (two words: COLIN FIRTH). The name of this polish comes from the subplot with Keira Knightley's character. This particular subplot was one I never liked because I always thought it was kind of creepy, but I'll save that rant for another day. Lastly, have you started seeing Christmas items on sale yet? I usually see them at Costco as July sets in, but they really go balls out in August. Not here for that. TOO EARLY, YO.

Thanks for reading! Have a good weekend, and I'll be back on Monday with a red. It's been a couple months since I blogged a red, but there's never a bad time for red polish, right?

P.S. This is the last weekend I'm going to plug my 3rd blogaversary giveaway! If you haven't entered, or know someone who should enter and hasn't, now is the time to get on it. I'm giving away some cool prizes to two lucky international and U.S.-based readers, so don't miss out!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Zoya Rikki

Sorry for the late post. I have been pretty congested the past couple of days, and the humidity ain't helping, especially when I sleep. It's easy to go to sleep for once, but with the congestion, it's just as annoying as you think it might be.


Strangely, I've been blogging mostly newly-released polishes this summer. However, that doesn't mean I haven't been reaching for some goodies from Summer 2013.

Today, I've got a super underrated polish from Zoya's Irresistible collection. Last year, I went gaga for Amy, and although I didn't get a chance to blog Kerry, it was one of my favorite 2013 releases. Most of my blogger friends have been losing it over Hazel, but that one didn't really appeal to me. Rikki, though? Oh, man. I don't remember when it happened, but one day I walked into Ulta and decided I was going to have to acquire it at some point. Once this year's Zoya exchange rolled around, acquire it I DID.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Man, I love this polish. I have no clue why I was so drawn to it last year, because it's not particularly obnoxious or different. Like, a green foil, whoopty shit, right? First of all, I love foils because they're not super high maintenance when you need to go to bed fifteen minutes after you put them, and they usually look really good and dry fast. Second, this green is not heavy on silver shimmer, otherwise it would make me look like a ghostie. Instead, the shimmer is infused with gold, and that helps the green base warm up. Naturally, I LOVE the way this looks on me so much.

I had no issues with formula, application, or dry time. As with most foils, you're gonna wanna give each coat maybe an extra minute to dry so it doesn't pool and so your application will be nice and even. I'm pretty sure this was opaque in two coats, btw, but you know me and my three-coat compulsion. I wore this for a weekend back in June, and this looked good after two days. (Oddly, I remember more details when a polish wears badly. Anyone else?)

Again, Rikki is from last summer's Zoya Irresistible collection. You can find it online at various retailers, try beauty supplies, or cave in at Ulta, where it's $9. Your best bet would be add this to your cart during the next Zoya promotion. I knew the "threedom" deal just happened, but with fall collections coming, I wouldn't be surprised if they threw out one more.

Thanks for reading! I am doing my darnedest to have a post for Friday. We'll see how that goes, though. Fridays are the best, unless you are me and it's blog o'clock, and then they're the woooooooooooorst [/Jean-Ralphio Saperstein]. Thanks for putting up with me, though. It's really appreciated, especially during these next few weeks.

P.S. I'm giving some good stuff away for my third blogaversary. To quote Selena Gomez, come and get it.
P.P.S. Yes, I went there. (Thanks, ONTD, for being the reason I know that SG exists.) But also, this just reminded me I have an untried NOPI Selena Gomez ... should I blog it?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pearl Up

Oh man, it's Monday. That was ... quick. At least Anna and I have new Skinny Dipping posts up.

Thanks to some inconvenient time and money issues, I've been avoiding drugstores for the past couple of weeks. However, right before I started doing that, I made a pit stop at Walgreens to check out Sally Hansen's new Electric Summer collection in the Xtreme Wear line. It's been a while since I bought some true pastels (neon pastels, while lovely, are not exactly the same thing), yet I walked out with four polishes -- have you tried resisting a two for $4 deal? It's almost impossible. (I would have bought two more colors if they'd been in stock, but the display had been emptied of those colors long before I got to it.)

Here is Pearl Up, the polish I knew I needed as soon as swatches of this collection started popping up.

Crap, I forget whether this is 3 or 4 coats. All I remember is that I used SV as a top coat. Sorry, guys.

I admit I'm kind of biased since SH is my favorite drugstore brand, but can we all just agree that Sally Hansen is killing it this summer? You guys. This polish! I DIE. Pearl Up is a nude, beige-leaning jelly (!!!). I found that I needed a little TLC to apply it, but I'm 99.9% certain that was because my base coat application was not good the day I took these pics. (I need to get a new bottle of Gelous so, so badly.) I waited a couple of minutes between coats, which worked out nicely. As I said earlier, though, I don't recall whether I used 3 or 4 coats. I also don't remember at which point Pearl Up started to look opaque. All I know is that I used SV as a top coat. How long did it take to dry? I don't remember that, either. --I know, I'm the worst. I zoned out so hard because I was watching the last episode of "Rev" and WOW, did that show get me right in the feels.

Anyway, I super enjoyed the look of this. I'll have to bring this one back out as a full NOTD sometime. Now in case you're looking for this polish and the rest of the Electric Summer colors, I've seen them at Walgreens and at bigger Walmart stores. I'm not sure if the 2 for $4 deal is a Wags-exclusive thing or a time-sensitive thing because I saw it on the Wags display endcap and was so excited to find the display, I don't remember seeing any specific dates on it. Sorry, ladies. :( But if you want any of the Electric Summers, you'd better run out ASAP because these pretties are limited edition. I think I might want a back up of this polish, so perhaps I'd best get to steppin' myself.

What do you think of Pearl Up or the SH XW Electric Summers? Have you been able to find them? If you have, did you buy any? Which ones? I WANNA KNOW. I've been super into drugstore polishes this summer, but it's been a second since I blogged a legit drugstore brand for Skinny Dipping. I hope we get some good drugstore nude polishes this fall -- I hope I don't wait till next year to blog one again!

Thanks for reading! I hope to have a blog post up on Wednesday, but in case I don't get a chance to finish it, I should be back on Friday. Until then, make sure you stop by Anna's blog and take a peek at her Skinny Dipping post ... guys, it's good. I was really surprised by how much I want to stop by a drugstore to get it. *hides wallet* We'll see how long my resolve lasts!

P.S. I'm continuing to pimp my 3rd blogaversary giveaway. Can't stop, won't stop! It's open to both U.S. and international readers (for once), so don't miss out. :)