Thursday, November 12, 2015

Milani Fierce Foil Florence

Originally, this post was supposed to be a "Hannibal" series finale post at the end of August. Clearly, that didn't happen. I thought I'd keep this one in the reserves, just in case I didn't have anything lined up for a while. Friends, that time is now.

So here's a quick look at Florence, one of the LE Fierce Foil polishes Milani released earlier this past winter:

Three coats with SV.

I don't hate it, but I don't LOVE it. It does give good photo, though, doesn't it? I liked the warm apple green color, and I was so thrilled that for once, the gold specks were visible on the nail. *raised hands emoji*

Application- and appearance-wise, it went on more like a metallic shimmer than a foil -- IIRC, it's opaque in two coats (which also happens to be the consensus among us blogger folk). But you know I'm not happy until I slap on three; I don't think the third coat made the color look any more vibrant or rich in the end. I just never know how things are going to photograph, and I'd rather not have a surprise bald patch, y'know? Anyway, the formula on Florence was pretty good. Dry time also was good. All in all, I'm just a little bummed that I don't like it more.

Since Florence and the other Fierce Foil polishes were limited edition, you might have to check blog sales, swaps, or eBay -- but if you'd like to swap for this and Venice, you can e-mail me! :) I only have Milan left to try, but I have a feeling that one's going to be my winner, winner, chicken dinner because gooooooooooold.

If you're wondering why I used Florence for a "Hannibal" finale post, it's because Florence was the setting for the first half of the third season. It was a weird season in terms of structure and pacing, but I don't know what would have improved that. (Also, I cannot handle how handsome Richard Armitage is, ever, so I basically need Jesus at this point.) I'd missed the penultimate episode -- in fact, I still haven't seen it! -- and I was in L.A. for the weekend, but I couldn't not watch the finale!

A photo posted by Rach (@rachtotheizzo) on

Ugh, I don't know why Instagram embeds are so ginormous. But Team Sassy Science FTW! Wish there had been more of them in Season 3. :'( I suppose we'll always have Aaron Abrams' (Zeller) live tweets, though. #hannigetyourgun and #cannibelleoftheball will remain the perfect Season 3 hashtags.

Another observation: The characters' fashions and styling always were incredible, but this season, DAMN DAMN DAMN. I don't know if it was the extra attention I was trying to give this last season or the female characters' arcs this time around, but their wardrobes in particular blew me away. Gina Torres wore a certain dress that made her scenes even more devastatingly gorgeous. Gillian Anderson had some droolworthy Florence outfits (her gowns! That hat!). But I think my favorite was Caroline Dhavernas' cane/blazer/red lip game ... seriously, her red lip game only came in second to Hayley Atwell's on "Agent Carter" for me. LOVED IT.

And of course, at least we got some adorable Funko Pop figures out of this show. Last year, I preordered this one as soon as I knew it was going to be a thing. Madeline disagrees, but *I* think it's precious. I love him.

A photo posted by Rach (@rachtotheizzo) on


Welp, that's all I have for this post. Thanks for reading! Did anyone else like the Milani Fierce Foil polishes? Did you have a favorite? (Don't forget to e-mail me if you want to swap for this & Venice!) Any other Fannibals gonna miss this beautiful, grotesque horrorshow as much as I will? I don't know that I'd want to see a movie/additional season/miniseries in the future, but I'm looking forward to whatever Bryan Fuller does next because he's a treasure. Apparently his next immediate project is an "American Gods" television show, which, okay, I definitely didn't love the book, but if anyone can make me come around, it's him. He DID get me to love a sharp-dressed cannibal gourmand psychiatrist, after all**. ;)

** And theremin & harpsichord player, calligrapher, sketch artist & painter, art historian, polyglot, accomplished murderer ... the list seriously goes on forever, DAMN IT, HANNIBAL

Monday, November 9, 2015

Solo Skinny Dipping: FingerPaints Sketch Me

Happy November! I swear it feels like summer just got here, but I'm not complaining (yet). November is actually my favorite month, so I'm veryyyyy excited.

Between all the saturated colors I haven't blogged and the old favorites I've been wearing, I figured I was due for something decidedly neutral. Anna's not totally up to blogging at the moment because #datgradschoollife and I'm sporadic enough as it is these days, but I really, really missed blogging nude/neutral polishes, so Solo Skinny Dipping it is! I noticed this FingerPaints polish hanging out near the top of a box where I keep some of my polishes, and I went, hmmmmmmmmmmm ...

... which is more or less how I felt about it until I realized I love everything about it EXCEPT how much it clashes with my complexion IRL. Sad panda. :(

Anyway, this is three coats of Sketch Me with SV.

Nice, right? Sure, if my skin color was a 100% match for these photos in this exact lighting condition. In some lights, I love it; in others, yuck. But it truly is a lovely little chameleon of a polish, and here is another set of photos that show off its warm tones:

Also, as I was working on this post, I saw that there weren't a lot of pictures of Sketch Me that popped up on Google Images. So I guess you're welcome, Internet. ;)

I can't put my finger on whether it's taupe or greige or what-have-you. All I know after wearing it for a weekend is that it has hints of mauve and I'm too olive/yellow for it, which is really too bad because it's a great edgy neutral. I can't describe the color accurately for the life of me, but I can say that it'd be a great work-approp polish, it's such a cozy color, and that I could easily imagine this shade bottled up in a brand like nails inc. or Essie or Color Club or NYC ... you know what I mean? It'd be good at practically any price point. I'm surprised Dior hasn't tried it, tbh. (I love Dior, but GDI, their colors have been so boring since they switched to their Gel Shine formula/rebranding.)

And the formula was SO damn good, too. I have to rave about that! It was creme perfection -- granted, my bottle's went on like a more "fluffy" type of creme, but it was so, so easy to work with. I found that I didn't have to load up my brush too much, since I was just pushing the same blob of polish around on my nail, if that makes sense. If you can manage a decent-sized blob of polish, you can get this opaque in one coat, but I thought it looked a little too patchy under the OttLite for my tastes. Two coats will do. Dry time was great and I wore this for a whole weekend without chips and barely visible tip wear.

With all those nice things to say about Sketch Me, can you see why I was so bummed that it didn't work for me? I think it's discontinued now -- also a bummer -- since I can't find it on the Sally Beauty site and IIRC, I got this in a red tag clearance sale right at the beginning of summer. Let me know if you want this and we can work out a swap or something!

So while it stinks that this color didn't quite work out for me, I'm on to the next neutral. I'm thinking something Orly, maybe -- any ideas? I would love to post more neutral/nude polishes here again, even without the regularity that I used to have. Blogging is so weirdly cyclical, but I'm OK with it if you're OK with it.

Thanks for reading! Fingers crossed, I should be able to post at least two more times this month. We'll see what's going on. I might be doing birthday stuff for B this weekend, Friendsgiving is coming up the weekend after that, and then of course, there's Thanksgiving proper ... I love love LOVE November, but wow, is it ever NOT ideal for this weekend swatcher. I don't know how I did it before! D:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

OPI Viking in a Vinter Vonderland

Yup, still loving vampies and fall colors over here. Anyone else?

Slowly but surely, I'm making my way through my OPI Nordic picks. I stand by my original assessment of "OPI wasn't even trying with this collection," so I don't own much. Don't get me wrong, the formulas for the three I've tried have been fine ... but the overall selection of colors and finishes was a let down. (Then again, I actually rather loved OPI San Francisco, so maybe don't listen to me.)

ANYWAY, I didn't want to do my nails last Saturday until I knew which dress to wear to my friend Kristin's wedding. After much deliberation, I polled Madeline and Anna, who both picked a blue dress, which meant purple nails. I had no particular reason for choosing this OPI except that it was on top of my headboard and I didn't have to dig through any boxes and Helmer drawers. I was running behind on time and with less than 20 minutes before B & I had to leave, I did the fastest, shittiest manicure possible -- not that my friends noticed, because this polish was great.

Also, how ridiculous is this name? Good lord, OPI.

Three coats with SV.

As almost-black purple cremes go, Viking in a Vinter Vonderland is slightly more purple than black. You won't be able to tell under the dimmest of lights, but otherwise, I swear this is purple. I tried holding my hands up next to my black and navy clothes to see if there was a discernible difference, and, well, seasoned lacquerheads certainly will see it. Nail polish noobs and colorblind boyfriends, probably not so much. Also, last year Michelle at ALU said this polish was the bluer counterpart to OPI Siberian Nights (another one of my all-time favorite fall vampies!), which is pretty legit; if you don't believe us, you can look at this Beautygeeks post.

The formula on this one surprisingly was a little on the thin side, completely throwing me for a loop because I assumed it would apply like a straight up creme. But it looked terrible at one coat, kind of like how vampy jellies look when you put on the first coat. The second coat was an improvement, but it still looked patchy, so I waited as long as I could stand to wait before adding a third. Strangely, that third coat irked me because I was not expecting to have to deal with something like that while also having a serious time constraint! #firstworldproblems #whatistimemanagement Dry time was fine, I guess; I definitely kept my hands stuck out of my open car window on the way to the wedding just to speed it along.

In the end, this polish is good for what it is, but honestly, if you're looking for a no-frills purple vampy creme, you can skip it. Now that I know what to expect, I won't be reaching for Viking in a Vinter Vonderland when I'm in a pinch! If you want it, though, I don't think Ulta sells it any more; you might be able to find it at a beauty supply with lots of OPI and definitely online. I'm 90% sure I got this last year when Ulta was having an OPI B2G1, which they seem to be having now -- so grab some LE OPI Starlight while that sale's on! (There are four? five? Starlight polishes I'm eyeing, but I'll wait until TJ Maxx has them.)

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've already seen a few pictures from wedding weekend. I'll share them again here, plus a few more. :)

The night before the wedding was the night of the long-awaited John Waters live performance of his one-man show, "This Filthy World." It was so cool to see that the event was sold out! The show was followed by a brief Q&A, a book/DVD/whatever signing, and a midnight screening of "Cry-Baby." It was really cold outside and the line was like two hours long, so I said, "Fuck it" and decided to stay inside to watch "Cry-Baby" instead. If the weather had been a little warmer, I think I would have stuck it out and gotten a signed copy of Carsick or "Cry-Baby." Oh well, John Waters is a national treasure and I'm just glad I got to go see him. :)

No photos were allowed at the show, but trust. If he comes to your city, you've got to go. Bring your mom.

The next day, I made the mistake of sleeping through my alarm, which is not at all ideal when you think you might need extra time to get somewhere you need to be. Oops.

SMA didn't want to help me pick a dress. Thank goodness for friends you can text to make your decisions for you!

But (for God's sake) B & I made it to the church on time. How much time, you ask? Let's just say he was able to put gas in his car while I slipped in to Sephora for an emergency mini-makeover (I always choose the winged eyeliner because I haven't been able to do it successfully on days when I actually need to be in public, what is with that???).


A really cute pic I got of the bride & groom during Mass

First dance, John Legend's "All of Me"
(I'm sorry but when I hear "All of Me," I just think of the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin movie, which is THE BEST and I think I need to watch it soon)

WEDDING PIE! I think this was the chocolate chess. There were three other mini-pie flavors to choose from: pumpkin, apple, and pecan. I tried all but the apple, and they were so good! I joked with B that this is the one year he gets something other than cake at a wedding, because we had donuts at Anna's wedding in May.

Kristin's dance with her dad

This is probably one of my favorite things that happened that night. Our friend was pouting because he didn't have a date and therefore he had no one to dance to Sade with, so our best friend's husband volunteered. I don't have pictures of it, but the groom also danced with him, too. I'm dead. This is totally gonna be my #tbt next year.

Our best friend/matron of honor doing her toast

All in all, I'm happy to say that the last wedding of the year was a blast. The Mass was lovely (and oddly, not interminably long), Kristin's flowers were perfect, the pie was DELICIOUS, the bourbon was flowing, and the bride was so adorable and happy. The only problem (aside from the DJ denying my Hall & Oates request) was that I was still hungry after the reception, but that was an easy fix. We got Our Table at our favorite bar, and I pretty much murdered a burger and my shandy. We were all really fucking tired, though -- the wedding was at 2 o'clock that afternoon, the bridal party had been up since God knows when, and I'd been out the night before, so we *barely* made it to midnight. I'd gotten a hotel room in anticipation of what I thought would be a night of heavy drinking, but even though I didn't drink much, B & I hoofed it back to our room and passed out right away.

I didn't sleep well, though, because I think I'm getting sick. NOT COOL. When we checked out, I suddenly came down with ... an intense craving for breakfast food, which I *never* have during breakfast hours. I made B drive me to IHOP, where I devoured the pumpkin pancake combo and an entire pot of coffee.

That hit the spot so hard that we spent the rest of the day watching shows on the DVR and we didn't eat again until maybe 7? 8? when I decided I needed soup and a salad from Panera. Also weird, because I NEVER want Panera. I don't know. Maybe it's the end of days. Shit, next I'll probably want to get married. JUST KIDDING! But it was nice to hang out with B and Mr. Archer, because I haven't really hung out with them in a couple of months. Everything has been so touch and go because I've been traveling for bachelorettes and family weddings! There are, however, no weddings on my docket for 2016, so at least I'll have some time to get my liquid eyeliner game on fleek. ;) #priorities

So that was a lot of fun. I can't wait to see the newlyweds next month at Friendsgiving! Also, this post reminded me that I didn't post anything from the family wedding I went to last month. Eh, if I get to it, I'll get to it. You guys probably have seen Essie Color Binge a million times by now.

Before I go: Do any of you guys have this OPI? Since I had a bit of a learning curve with it, I'm especially curious to hear what you have to say. A year later, does anyone else think that OPI Nordic was a snooze? I only picked up 3 OPI Venice polishes, but I think eventually when funds allow, I wouldn't mind having more. Lastly, if you've had a wedding dessert other than cake, you should tell me what it was! My friend had cupcakes at his wedding three years ago (THREE?!?!), and now this year, I've had donuts AND pie, so I'm all about alternatives. Delicious, tasty alternatives ...

Thanks for reading! Hope you guys have a great weekend. I'm going with my best friend and her husband to see Brian Wilson tonight (OMG, WHAAAAAAAAAAAT) and as long as that happens without me getting sick before/during the show, I don't mind if I get sick tomorrow!

P.S. I saw "Crimson Peak" a week ago. I enjoyed Jessica Chastain it but I didn't love it, so I might have to watch it again later to decide how I feel.
P.P.S. I also watched "What We Do in the Shadows." LOVED IT, it was too hilarious. I'm gonna need that on DVD. #werewolvesnotswearwolves
P.P.P.S. I know we all saw that "The Force Awakens" trailer, so ... thoughts? I really want to not be disappointed, which I think sums up my feelings re: the current state of the "Star Wars" franchise. :/ 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sally Hansen CSM Candied Apple

Y'all, I am feeling Halloween so hard this year ... at least, as hard as a lazy person who can't commit to and most likely won't do a costume can possibly feel Halloween. ;) I've been watching Halloween/spooky-ish movies almost every night, but what I really wanted to do was blog some Halloween polishes from years past. Sadly, I couldn't get it together; instead, you get ... a red creme?

I've been really into reds lately, but I mean, I get it. Red cremes seem boring next to all the fun Halloween color palettes (which make them also seem out of place, considering the red creme mania that ensues from December to February), buuuuuut SH CSM Candied Apple is really darn nice. If you can deal with/get past the CSM brush, this little baby is a ONE-COATER. Yup.

Of course, I used three because habits, I can't break 'em. But seriously. ONE COAT! Don't tell me you're not into it. So check out those three coats + SV:

Okay, three points awarded to Gryffindor Candied Apple for being a One Coat Wonder with a great creme formula. I don't know what kind of dark magic makes these CSM cremes so good. But we'd better add three more points to Candied Apple for how strongly it resembles its namesake! I love it when this happens.

(source: One Perfect Bite)

This polish is a cool-toned red with the slightest touch of pink, a little deeper than my photos could get it, just not so deep that you'd mistake it for a Christmas/holiday red. Does that make sense? It reminds me slightly of Essie Style Hunter, which I can't find right now; Candied Apple might be a deeper, darker shade but I really think they're in the same vein, so you could live without one if you had the other.

I only did a quick swatch, so I can't tell you anything about wear time. Sally Hansens wear pretty well for me, so I guess when this becomes a full NOTD I'll probably get a good handful of days out of it. Also, you know the CSM line is my favorite drugstore line and I REALLY love the LE Runway/New York Fashion Week shades, so I had to get this (and three others) back in August! According to Nouveau Cheap, Candied Apple doesn't seem to be one of the designer shades. Eh, whatever. This polish is great. If you have LE Disease, hoard CSM polishes, or love reds, get it.

Anyone else feeling any kind of way about Candied Apple, or is it just me? Did you pick up any of these Fall 2015 Runway shades, or were they a solid pass for you? Who else is super into Halloween shit right now? Most importantly, does anyone actually still make candied apples anymore, or do candied apple recipes exist on the Internet for the sole purpose of being Pinterest fodder????, because I truly have no idea.

Thanks for reading! I don't know if I can post next week since I tend to do my swatching during weekends, and this weekend is Wedding Weekend #3 for my college friend, Kristin, in Richmond. I'm so excited to see everyone, eat wedding pie, get my drink on and dance with my friends to at least ONE completely inappropriate song -- this wedding will be the last wedding among that particular group of girlfriends, because I plan to get married in 20never, so I figure I might as well enjoy it, right? Oh, and I'm catching a John Waters show tomorrow night (a live performance of "This Filthy World" + a midnight screening of "Cry-Baby," which I haven't seen in at least 7 years) -- I can't wait for this, either! Hope your weekend will be just as epic. :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gift of Fab: nails inc. Victoria

Happy Friday! Here's another polish Madeline picked out for me among the reddish options I sent her last weekend. Vampy red jelly? Yes, please!

But this one is special, because it came in a box of goodies from Jess, a reader and friend from Canada. A huge box arrived at my door early in May, full of Canadian chocolate and polish -- Jess even included a bag of cat treats for SMA. The chocolate disappeared entirely in August; however, since my blogging habits veer toward the seasonally appropriate, it's time to start showing off some of these babies. (Hooray! And thank you again, Jess!)

Oh my damn, though. Definitely had a #blamemercury moment with this manicure, because these photos are from my third attempt to put it on. First I waited too late in the day to take pictures and the ones I got were grainy and terrible, then my "fresh" bottle of SV somehow streaked the crap out of it, until finally I had some cuticle drag and bald spots because I got tired of waiting in between my standard three coats and the light was fading. There was no way in hell that I was taking this off and trying AGAIN, so I slapped on a fourth coat and called it a day.

Four coats with SV. Three coats really should be all you need -- had I been patient enough to make it work and not rush through them, you would have gotten pictures that showed what a lush jelly Victoria is. Instead, the four coats gave this polish a more creme look.

Soooooooooo pretty! Victoria is a straight up deep wine? oxblood? cherry? color with no traces of brown, which I appreciate. Basically, it looks good on everyone and I'll assume it's a popular seller because of its "hero shade" status. Granted, it's not especially unique these days and I have enough of these colors to last me until I die, but I will never kick these beauties out of my stash because (1) Victoria was a gift and (2) COME AND SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK! [/Ron Burgundy moment]

Like I said, this polish has a jelly finish. Formula-wise, it was a little weird -- not exactly gloopy or thick, but I had to take care not to overload my brush or it would have been even more of an application disaster. Since it's a jelly, I like to wait in between coats so it can dry; luckily, dry time wasn't too long but my impatience the third time around got the better of me. :( Ah, well. I can't speak to the wear time on Victoria because it was never on for longer than a day because of my various application & photo fails, but it seemed to be okay for a day, which is all I can ask for from a vampy jelly. (SV usually scuffs them up something nasty after one day!)

I forgot to ask Jess where she picked up this bottle. All I know is that when I started getting into polish, the nails inc. brand was pretty hard to come by here in the U.S. I think a lot of people on the MUA nail board would order them on eBay or have a friend in the U.K. mule them over. Not too long after that, Sephora started selling nails inc., and I think maybe a couple of years ago Ulta started selling it, too, followed by various department stores who place nails inc. among their "high end" stock. The last time I was in Sephora, I noticed they didn't sell Victoria in this regular nails inc. bottle ... but they did sell Victoria in the nails inc. NailKale line for $14. Again, not a unique color, but if you need to fill up a Sephora/Ulta/whatever cart or want to try the NailKale line (I love the one I have, Bruton Mews), you know where to find it. :) If any of you already own or decide to try Victoria in NailKale form, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

nails inc. Victoria: Solid fall color, solid red, solid gift. I love it!! It's going to take forever, but I'm soooooo excited to start blogging more of my goodies from the Great White North because Jess absolutely NAILED my taste in polish. I'll try to get a couple more up before the holidays. :)

Thanks for reading! I feel like I say this all the time, but depending on how this weekend goes, I should be able to post at least 2 more times this month. We'll see! Until then, enjoy the shit out of your weekend because we survived the last 2015 Mercury retrograde, HALLELUJER! (The May retrograde period was more brutal for me than this one, though this one wasn't without ridiculousness. Whatever, Madeline & I are living it up until January 5.)

P.S. The other two Old 97's fans who read this blog know I couldn't end this post without including a certain song ... enjoy! ;)

Monday, October 5, 2015

China Glaze Tongue & Chic

Still in "YAY, FALL" mode, even if the leaves haven't changed yet and it's been pouring rain almost every day for a week. Hope all of you close to the coast are staying safe, dry, and hurricane-free!

Last week, I got a little overwhelmed trying to choose an old China Glaze fall polish to wear because they're all fantastic, so I did what I usually do: I had Madeline choose one for me. Since she's really feeling vampy shimmers -- at least, that was the case last week -- this polish from the 2013 Autumn Nights collection was her pick. I call the Autumn Nights collection "Vintage Vixen, Part II" because that's essentially what it is. I haven't worn a vampy shimmer in forever and ohmygod, the jewel tone-ness of it all ... I'm into it.

Three coats with SV.

That "lit from within" glow, DAAAAAAAAAYUM GIRL. It's so much prettier than my pictures show, I promise. To my eye, Tongue & Chic leans closer to the blue side of teal -- it actually reminds me of a flower girl dress I wore when I was 8. (I wish I had a picture of that dress. You would never believe it was made by hand and not bought in a store -- my friend's lola was an amazing seamstress!) Anyway, I have so much appreciation for a blackened shimmer that isn't *too* black; from far away, you can see that this polish is quite teal. It's not a dupe for China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald, which is more green and contains comparatively larger shimmer particles. My bottle of EF lives with Anna now, but I think this color suits me better because I feel like it's a little brighter.

Tongue & Chic was incredibly easy to apply! I'm echoing all the other bloggers out there who say that you can get this opaque in ONE coat if you're careful, but I did three out of habit. (Plus, you never know how things are going to photograph.) The formula is nice and thick and won't pool or flood as long as you wait a minute between coats, which brings me to say that this does dry pretty fast even before top coat. I like to give polish some time, though, because I'm super paranoid. Dry time was so, so quick with SV and I wore this for four days with no chips and minimal tip wear; I would have wrapped my tips, but I'd trimmed my nails down too far to wrap them before I put this on. BTW, when you remove this, make sure you've (1) put on double basecoat beforehand, and (2) have some Orly Cutique on you, because it might be stainy.

Oh, almost forgot one more thing about the formula, and that's that it totally smells like blue. (I think I need to make "smells like blue" a new tag on this blog.) On a scale of "mild" to SH XW Pacific Blue ... nah, I'm just kidding. ;) But that smell is definitely there, so if you hate it, you've been warned!

I don't think Tongue & Chic is a core retail China Glaze, but you'd easily find it online or at a beauty supply/dusty with an extensive ChG display for less than $5. If you like vampy, blackened shimmers, I heartily recommend it! I usually like my shimmers to be significantly more "WHAM POW HELLO THAT'S BRIGHT AF" but there's something to be said for blackened shimmers, especially when China Glaze makes so many good ones.

What do you gals think of Tongue & Chic? Do you prefer blackened shimmers or brighter ones? Should I blog more fall jewel tone polishes? More of my Autumn Nights/VV, Part II stash???? You should leave a comment with a suggestion, and then Madeline can pick out another one for us. ;)

Thanks for reading! Hoping I can get another post up before the end of the week. But seriously, tell me what to wear. The indecision is so real.