Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rach's 4th Annual ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway WINNER!

Hey y'all, only four more sleeps until Christmas! (WTF) It's time for me to make someone's holiday season a little bit brighter ... let's announce this giveaway winner.



Congratulations, Lynn! :D Lynn's favorite holiday polish is China Glaze Emerald Sparkle -- GOOD CHOICE -- and the movie she wanted to win was "The King's Speech" -- ALSO A GOOD CHOICE. I just need to hear from this lucky lady by Monday afternoon/evening; if I don't, I'll choose another winner.

I want to thank you all, readers old and new, for entering this giveaway and supporting Stuff! I know my presence has diminished a fair amount this year, so it really does mean a lot to me to have you here. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you a wonderful (or survivable) season.

Two additional things.

  1. I hate to say it, but I have to pull the plug on my holiday movie + polish series prematurely this year. I wish I didn't have to and I am SO BUMMED, but I simply don't have the time right now. (OTOH, I can start prepping for next year?) I will probably do one more post before the end of the year, either to show you my Christmas NOTD or to do a quick 2014 wrap-up.
  2. ... please accept this ridonculous playlist as an apology. I would have posted this earlier -- I have been working on it since right before Halloween and I really love it (I have no taste, which you know) -- but already given my erratic post times, I couldn't figure out how to work it in casually into the posts I did write.

Long story short, here is a Christmas playlist. Enjoy.




Again, thank you so much. <3

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sinful Colors Simply Silver + Cirque Colors Let's Dance

Happy hump day, ladies! Only 8 more sleeps until Christmas ... WHAT EVEN. I would be lying if I said I was starting to feel it, although it certainly is not for lack of trying. :/ I am just REALLY frustrated and confused about my life and HOW DO I ADULT??? -- I am a mess, but what else is new?

Anyway, here's my latest effort at bringing Christmasy times to the blog. This also was one of my contenders for last Friday's Shopping My Stash holiday glitter post. I had a couple of layering ideas in mind, but I knew I wanted to start off with a silver foil base. So I pulled out Sinful Colors Simply Silver, a silver foil that was released last year as part of Sinful's limited edition Mirror Metallics collection. It's your typical silver foil, but you know my Limited Edition Disease. Combined with a 99-cent sale at Walgreens ... yeah, it was bound to happen.

Pictured here is three coats with NYC Grand Central Station.









I don't believe Simply Silver is a core Sinful polish, but I have seen it from time to time in various seasonal Sinful displays. If you don't have a trusty silver foil in your stash, it's a good one to have. I had no issues with formula or application, and dry time was good with NYC GCS. It was opaque in two coats, but I used a third one out of habit.

Now I said I had two layering ideas I was tossing around, but the first was so failtastic that I decided to roll with the second one. I recently purchased a trio of Cirque Colors glitters on either Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, including Let's Dance, a new Cirque rainbow confetti glitter that is made up of square glitter and two different sizes of hex glitter in a clear base. While this combination is something we've seen before and therefore seemingly pretty basic compared to indie polish offerings ... I like basics. And this gets major points from me for having nary a holo or a bar glitter in sight. Sometimes you just want a bold rainbow sparklebomb.

I used two coats of Let's Dance topped with NYC GCS.









Let's Dance wasn't terrible to work with, but it wasn't exactly an Essie Luxeffects glitter (the nicest glitter toppers I have ever used, bar none). At any rate, I hardcore derped at applying this on my left hand (learning curve?), but my right hand looked much nicer and the glitter placement was more even. And of course I don't have pictures of that hand, but I'll be better about application next time. Dry time was good with GCS and the wear was perfect for three days; it didn't dry lumpy but it wasn't completely smooth, either, so I'll probably do Gelous + SV next time, too.

This glitter (and the other Cirque Live It Up holiday glitters) is on sale exclusively through the Cirque online shop for $13. If you are as picky about your glitters as I am or a hardcore Cirque stan, it's well worth the $13, otherwise I'd wait for a sale, either through Cirque or a blog sale. I think I want to layer this over a purple creme or maybe in a jelly sandwich next. We'll see.

If you saw the title of this post, it should be no surprise that I'm blogging "Silver Linings Playbook" today. I had no idea what to expect when I watched this movie two years ago, so when I left the movie theater thinking, "I HAVE TO BLOG THIS," I knew it was something huge. Huge enough for JLaw to get the Oscar, I don't know, but I think I definitely was glad she got the role of Tiffany instead of the original choice, Zooey D. (Maybe ZD would have been right for the role 10 years ago, but certainly not now!) Also, if you had told me 11 years ago that Bradley Cooper would be the "Alias" cast member who would blow up (second to Jennifer Garner, of course)? I never would have believed you.

I picked this movie up for either $3 or $4 on Black Friday, and watched it with my sister last night. Her first words as the final credits rolled were "GOD DAMN IT, DAVID O. RUSSELL," and I kind of have to agree. Why the sideeye? Here's why! So messy. But the dude gave us another one of our faves, "I Heart Huckabee's." :/ I also never have read the Matthew Quick novel from which this movie was adapted, so I couldn't tell you how closely the film adhered to the book, or any of that stuff.

The other thing is that I can't claim to know what it's like to have or grow up with a serious mental illness in the family, so while I'm familiar with how mental illness looks on paper, seeing it depicted onscreen is another thing entirely. Everyone experiences things differently, and all the more so with those who have a mental illness. Without seeing the DSM IV, I couldn't tell you how accurate the actors' portrayals were, but I think they were done earnestly and respectfully, if that makes sense. (I should say that my sister and I groaned at the pronunciation of the drug "Trazodone," though. Preeeeeetty sure that's not how it's pronounced and if you were on this medication, you would damn well know!)

And now for the random bullet points about this movie:

  • The cast was ON POINT. Pat, Sr. is exactly the kind of character Robert De Niro should be doing more of these days. I also loved the character of Danny, he was basically the least annoying Chris Tucker character I have ever seen, hahaha. I straight up cackled when I saw Dash Mihok as well (he's a solid character actor, "Romeo + Juliet" 4 evr). Also, Anupam Kher! NICE.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I swear the movie theater marquee sign on the night of the Raisin Bran not date read "Midnight Meat Train." LOL forever.
  • I really, really hate it when people say that "everything happens for a reason." It seems so trite and I find it very unsettling. But for the purposes of this movie, you see that Pat, Jr. (BCoop's character) really has to believe in that, he has to find solace and hope in that, in excelsior, in a silver lining any way he can get one. After all the horrible stream of current events these past few weeks, Tiffany's outburst of "Humanity is just nasty and there is no silver lining" really resonated with me.
  • Not a sports fan, so I can't speak to the accuracy of the stats Tiffany threw down during the parlay. It would be awesome if they were true, though.
  • However, I will take any opportunity to laugh at the expense of a Dallas Cowboy fan. It's okay, I'm dating one. But that doesn't mean I understand the seemingly random allegiance to Dallas. You live in VIRGINIA (or, in the character Randy's case, Philly). That is, like, nowhere close, bruh. "America's team," HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  • THIS .GIF. THIS FREAKING .GIF. As soon as this happened, I knew it was going to be a .gif I would use forever because WE'VE ALL BEEN HERE. (I had to read A Farewell to Arms in ninth grade, and yeah, that was basically the whole class's reaction. I liked it, but that was still my reaction.)

I don't remember where I got this because I did not save it like a horrible person

  • The Christmasy parts of this movie don't occur until pretty late. The movie's climax takes place three days after Christmas, at a holiday dance competition.
  • ... which brings me to the music. For the most part, I loved a lot of the tracks featured in this movie. I even whipped up a mini playlist of some of my favorites for you!: 




There actually is a Jessie J song on the soundtrack, but ... nope. She's really hit or miss with me, and that song was a miss. I did like her house band performances at the 2011 MTV VMAs, though. (Speaking of Jessie J ...)

All right, I'm out. Anyone else a fan of this layering combo, of Cirque Let's Dance, or "Silver Linings Playbook"? As you can see, I had a lot of thoughts about the movie, but I have a lot of love for it, too. Did you ever read the novel? I don't know if I will, so who knows. I won't rule it out. My point is, I was delighted to have discovered a new-ish Christmas movie classic two years ago, so I'm very happy to finally have been able to blog it.

Thank you for reading! I'll try to post again on Friday, but if I don't get the chance (my sister is visiting until Sunday), you have until Saturday night to enter my ROYGBIV holiday giveaway. Not a whole lot of time left there, so don't miss it!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shopping My Stash: Merry & Bright

Is this really happening, the last Shopping My Stash post of 2014??? How crazy to think that this year is practically over. So much has changed for both Stephanie and myself, professionally and personally. Also, I still can't get over the fact that this happened; I'm convinced things can get only more epic in 2015! They have to.

Anyway, since it's ~the most wonderful time of the year~, Steff suggested a holiday bright theme, then asked if glitter counted. I had a good laugh over that one. I'm not even that much of a glitter magpie (at least, compared to my fellow polish hoarders), yet I'm preeeeeeeeetty sure glitter ALWAYS counts. ;)

Believe it or not, what you're about to see was not my original choice for this SMS. I had to move some posts around because my life is crazy-go-nuts; after discussing our picks last night, I made the last-minute decision to blog this polish so you would get 2 different things to look at. The things I do for y'all ...

... but it's cool, I don't mind. This polish is a stunner!




Three coats with SV.








Say hello to HARE polish Free-Spirit of the Season! This glitter ... heyyyyyyyyyyy. I totally share HARE creator Nikole's love for bright pink glitter, so between that, the pine green jelly base, and the gold microglitters, I was completely smitten. I wasn't so into this when I swatched it on one nail, but my hesitation was short-lived after I applied it to the other fingers on that hand. This polish also contains some red holo hex glitters, but the holo isn't an overpowering deterrent for me. I guess the only strange thing worth noting was that the pink glitters naturally were not as vibrant after the next jelly layer of polish. Again, not a deal-breaker, but you're gonna want to make sure that you get some pink glitters on your last coat so that it really stands out.

I didn't have any formula or application issues with this HARE. Obviously, the jelly base is buildable, so you're going to need three coats for opacity. (A fourth coat doesn't really do anything ... #askmehowiknow.) It wasn't super lumpy or gritty after SV, but if you want this to be perfectly glassy and smooth, I'd add a coat or two of Gelous before top coat.

Free-Spirit of the Season was part of the HARE polish Bohemian Holiday collection for the 2013 holiday season, and the only polish from Bohemian Holiday that got my attention. If you'd like to grab this polish, check to see if it's in stock at the official HARE Etsy shop, where it goes for $10. You also should be able to buy it from HARE's other official retailers (there are 10 bottles left on Llarowe as of "press time").

In an unusual move for me, I have to admit I did not like the Christmas movie I'm pairing this polish with. Womp wooooooooomp. The reason I ended up watching "The Family Stone" was because last year's ROYGBIV winner, Marija, named it as her favorite holiday movie and recommended it to me. I'm always game to try a new holiday movie, and I have a couple girlfriends who also name check this movie around this time of the year, so I gave it the old college try.

And uhhhhhhhhh, yeahhhhhhhh. If I had paid money to see this movie, I would've been soooooooo pissed. I referred to the notes I took while watching this movie -- the note-taking is a recent development, because there is just so much going on that I really can't rely on my short-term memory right now -- and I had to laugh at two things. One, my notes were all of two bullet points long. (I'd filled two pages on "The Proposition," ha.) Second, the two bullet points basically said the same thing, which was that "The Family Stone" is not the movie I thought it would be. I felt the tone and pace were so uneven! See, it starts out like your standard ensemble comedy, right down to the score, but then halfway through the movie, it gets SRS BIDNUSS. And then it gets a little funny again. I dunno how else to articulate it (also it's 4:17 in the morning). I just wasn't into it, and that was a bit of a bummer. Also, I thought Dermot Mulroney's character was a tool, so the whole family fussing over him didn't really do anything for me. I guess my family is awkward enough that I'm gonna need a huge payoff if I have to watch other people's be awkward. (NOTE: I am aware that I sound like a megabitch now. I AM SORRY. I NEED SLEEP.) There were sweet and poignant moments, absolutely, but too few and far between.

If you've seen "The Family Stone," then I think you'll at least approve of me pairing it with this HARE polish. You know, the Stones being so in favor of letting their freak flags fly, and all that.

If you haven't seen "The Family Stone," here's the trailer:



SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT THE TONE AND THE MUSIC?


Not every holiday movie is a winner, but that's all right because Free-Spirit of the Season certainly was. :) (I think I'm gonna blog a bunch of "honorable mention" movies next year, what do you think?) --As always, feel free to share any of your thoughts about any of this! I'm not super disappointed about the movie, though, because life would be so boring if we liked the same things, yes?

Okay, I guess that does it for Shopping My Stash in 2014. Thank you SO MUCH for reading this post, and for following Shopping My Stash this year! Everything about this series has been a blast, from tossing around themes with Steff to reading your comments; I can't wait to see what kind of themes (and twists on themes) we come up with next year. I'm still really proud of Occult-ober, btw.

Everyone be good this weekend! I'm off to visit B and Mr. Archer this weekend, watch a 6-hour opera broadcast (I clearly do not love myself), check out this year's holiday light display at the botanical garden, and go on a tacky light mini-excursion to pay my annual visit to the Christmas Yeti (blogged here in 2013, + in 2012). I'm trying to squeeze in a couple more Christmas shopping errands as well as dinner with a friend, and then I'm picking up my sister on my way out of town. I can't wait for Saturday night ... I'm going to sleep sooooooooooooooo good.

Before I head out, let me plug my ROYGBIV holiday giveaway. You've got one more week to enter and win some baller prizes! And of course, don't forget to read Steff's post over at Short 'n Chic. That polish is pretty epic. ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pretty Serious Cosmetics Seasonal Sunset

Before we get going, I have to warn you all that I am in a TERRIBLE mood. Like, I am not even kidding, I have been running on 9 hours of sleep for the past 2 days. I am dangerously close to having a full-blown tantrum right now, which is nagl for a 28-year-old. #imnotagirl #notyetawoman *sigh* Anyway, don’t be surprised if this post gets weird. (Weirder than usual?)

I’ve worn two other holiday polishes that I don’t plan to blog anytime soon on account of HAZMAT NO TIME, but today I’m kicking off my holiday polish + holiday movie series. And I’m really thrilled with today’s picks from both categories – a HUGE shout-out to Australia today!

First, some backstory: In 2012, Pretty Serious Cosmetics (or simply, Pretty Serious) launched. Kaz, the creator, released an amazeballs debut collection (Hello, World) and cranked out two more equally killer collections before stealing my heart with the Christmas Without Snow collection. I LOVE Christmas polish, no doubt about it. But the spin that Kaz put on her holiday offerings was too much for me to resist! Pretty Serious was a bit hard to get two years ago because they didn’t have a U.S. stockist until maybe the beginning of 2013. This meant that I ended up building my Pretty Serious stash piecemeal, and as of this summer I was able to score all of my Christmas Without Snow picks. \o/

Seasonal Sunset was not one of my original must-haves – its color seemed as though it would be tricky for me to pull off. However, I watched an incredible Australian movie around this time last year, and I knew I HAD to pair it with Seasonal Sunset. Nothing else would do, so I caved like a bad tent and bought it from Ninja Polish (this polish was out of stock at the Pretty Serious site at the time). When it arrived, I was so excited to try it, I almost cut my hand with the scissors I used to open my bubble mailer.

Luckily, I didn’t cut myself. But it would have been worth it. I think. Maybe. YOU GUYS IT’S SO PRETTY.




Three coats with SV.










Bonus pics, during actual sunset (if it makes any difference to you):










Like I said ... gorgeous color, but so tricky, complexion-wise. I mean, I am *just barely* doing this. But it's so stinkin' beautiful. You know I love a good glass fleck finish, and Seasonal Sunset did not disappoint! The gold particles against the rusty orange jelly base ... *drool* It's unusual, and my photos did not do this polish justice.

Since it's got a jelly base, it needs three coats to look even and opaque. Luckily, the formula is easy to work with and the dry time was good with SV. My only issue with application came from the wonky brush my bottle has; I contacted Pretty Serious via Twitter last year about it, and Kaz asked me to go ahead and drop a line to the official PS customer e-mail address with a photo so they could go about replacing it. However, that's when my holiday got INSANELY busy and I forgot about it completely. The reason I'm mentioning this incident now is because I cannot stan hard enough for Pretty Serious and its customer service, and the only way I would love this brand more is if I got better wear with it. Seasonal Sunset lasted all of 1 day until it chipped on two fingers -- granted, they are the chiptastic ones with terrible peelies -- so I don't know, maybe it's a body chemistry thing.

If you now are on the prowl for this pretty, it's been discontinued, so I would suggest stalking every blog sale, Pinterest sale, Storenvy shop ... anything you can find, because if you can make it work it is SO worth the trouble!! I know that's not the greatest thing to hear, but that's kind of where we're at with this polish right now, you know?

Otherwise, kudos to this brilliant Aussie brand for giving us this polish. And kudos to Australian cinema for giving me some of my favorite movies ever,** including the one I'm going to blog today.

Back in the spring of 2006, I took a college course on the history of cinema and spent my spring break watching a bunch of old westerns, mostly John Wayne movies on my parents' couch. While I am by no means an expert on the genre, I got to know it pretty well. Last year, I watched John Hillcoat's "The Proposition" because I was going through a bit of a Guy Pearce phase (sorry, Angie, I like the dude) and I was blown away by how much strongly it resembled the classic American Western, despite being a distinctly Australian film.

Here's the trailer:




Ugh, so good. Do you see what I'm talking about? The plot is more or less explained in the trailer, but here's the gist: The Australian outback, at the late 19th century. After the Arthur Burns gang commits a terrible crime, Captain Morris Stanley proposes to pardon Arthur's younger estranged brothers Charlie and Mikey in exchange for finding Arthur and delivering him to local law enforcement. Captain Stanley gives Charlie the nine days before Christmas. The hunt quite literally begins, and it is one helluva chase.

I cannot get my many thoughts about this movie together in a coherent fashion, so here are a few in bullet form.
  • The movie is directed by John Hillcoat, who also directed "The Road" and most recently, "Lawless," about Virginian bootleggers***. I watched "Lawless" before I ever saw "The Proposition," and I have to say that "The Proposition" is the far superior film in almost every aspect.
  • Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave wrote the screenplays for both "The Proposition" and "Lawless." I thought "The Proposition" was incredible, so again, "Lawless" felt like a major step back. Cave also wrote the music for this movie. The song "The Rider" gets quite a bit of play as a sort of repeated musical motif for Charlie, Guy Pearce's character (I don't know how to write about this stuff properly, I don't know enough words); it really sounds ... experimental? ... so you might not be able to get on board with it at first, if not at all. It depends on how much you like that sort of thing.
  • About the music ... if you are a fan of this movie (and this movie, to a lesser degree), then you are going to find the beginning sequence so jarring. So. Jarring. And if you are a terrible person like me, you also will be suppressing giggles.
  • One of the pervading themes of this movie is roughness: the landscape, the time in Australian history, culture, & its settlement, the characters' personalities and struggles ... it's so evident, which is why I loved Emily Watson's character so much -- she's pretty much the opposite of all that. She's one of my favorite actresses, and I've stanned for her since "Hilary & Jackie," baaaaaaack in the day. She always brings it.
  • Danny Huston, man. He is so good at being creepy, I could barely believe it when I saw him as Nicole Kidman's sympathetic fiance in "Birth." Anyway, he just has an uneasy but powerful presence on screen, and he does it up in this movie. You pretty much believe the dude is capable of all the monstrous acts Arthur's committed.
  • The main character, Charlie, reeaaaaaaaaaaally internalizes a lot. I mean, he pretty much has to, given his background and the fact that he is on a solo expedition. However, this type of character might not be your cup of tea, so keep that in mind.
  • The Burns brothers are supposed to be Irish. I am no expert on Irish accents and I feel like they are best left to, well, the Irish ... so I wasn't really crazy about the ones I heard here.
  • As I also am not Aborginal Australian, I am not the best person with whom to delve into a serious discussion about Aboriginal culture. But -- and I think this is relevant to those who live in any country taken over or imperialized by Western nations -- it wasn't hard for me to believe that the racist views expressed by some white characters would not have been out of place, especially given the movie's time period.
  • What goes down at the end of the movie really, really disturbed me the first time I saw it, so I'm putting that out as a warning to you. Roughest movie time Christmas ever.

This is the version of "The Rider" that plays over the film credits at the end of the movie.




So yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh, I think that's everything. This is about as in-depth as I'm going to get with any of my Christmas movies this year; this is the most intense, brutal movie I've probably ever blogged, holiday season or no, so at least I got it out of the way. (I still think it would have been kind of funny if I'd blogged this next Tuesday on the 16th -- you know, 9 days before Christmas.) It's all shallow sailing from here, my friends. :) But give "The Proposition" a watch. It's really something. I rented it on Netflix disc last year, and I watched it on Google Play this week as a refresher, so you can find it there as well.

Any thoughts on Seasonal Sunset, the Pretty Serious brand, this movie, Westerns, Australian cinema, Nick Cave ... anything? You guys, I can talk all day about this movie, but if you watch it, I'd love to hear what you think. One character has a thing for sunsets, so I think I pretty much nailed it with this post!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back tomorrow with another holiday polish because it'll be time for SHOPPING MY STASH. I don't even know what I'm posting yet. (Okay, that's a lie. I know. I have two options, though. BUT WHICH ONE WILL I POST???) And don't forget to enter my ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway if you haven't done that already.



** In no particular order: "The Sapphires," "Muriel's Wedding," "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," "Flirting," "Moulin Rouge," "Australia" (seriously, I thought it was better than it gets credit for), "Breaker Morant," and "Gallipoli."
*** I am familiar with the area in question, and yes, bootlegged moonshine is still kind of a thing there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rach's 4th Annual ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway!

If you’ve been reading this blog for while, then you know what time it is ‘round these parts!

For the past three years, this post has gone up the Monday following Thanksgiving. That would have been the norm this year, but I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my aunt’s, and staying one more night with her and her dog last Sunday seemed like the thing to do. (Also, I might have made her watch “Captain America: The First Avenger” because #hestoohandsome.) Anyway, I’m here now, so let’s get crackin’. :)

I’m continuing my annual tradition of giving away seven holiday polishes in a ROYGBIV motif, yay! Here’s what’s up for grabs this holiday season.



Yes, it snowed the day I took this picture.
Go home, Virginia weather. You're drunk (and not on eggnog).


From left to right:
  • FingerPaints Sugar & Spice
  • Deborah Lippmann Marrakesh Express
  • Essie Luxeffects Rock at the Top
  • Sinful Colors Pine Away (the same green as last year, but you know what, w/e)
  • China Glaze December to Remember
  • OPI I Carol About You
  • Zoya Haven

I didn't get a chance to take pics, but you also will win the usual goodies:
  • 1 knitted scarf (BRIGHT red this year)
  • 1 bar of my favorite chocolate, Dolfin Masala Chai (in case you’re already getting tired of peppermint, this is the ultimate alternative)
  • 1 pack of my favorite TRIM nail sticks
  • 1 bottle of NYC Grand Central Station, one of the greatest low-cost top coats there is
  • 2 sheets of white felt (if you have never tried using felt instead of cotton balls for nail polish removal, you really need to get on this level, you will never go back to cotton balls unless you’re foiling off glitter!)
  • assorted Christmas cards, for late gifting or to stash until next year
  • Who knows what else will sneak its way into the package? :D

Aaaaaaaand what's a ROYGBIV giveaway without a holiday movie??? As always, you can choose ONE movie from the seven listed here (choices compiled from previous years):



  1. "About a Boy" (2002, dirs. Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz)
  2. "Batman Returns" (1992, dir. Tim Burton)
  3. "Die Hard" (1988, dir. John McTiernan)
  4. "The King's Speech" (2010, dir. Tom Hooper)
  5. "Little Women" (1994, dir. Gillian Armstrong)
  6. "Sugar & Spice" (2001, dir. Francine McDougall)
  7. "While You Were Sleeping" (1994, dir. Jon Turteltaub)

YOU ARE ELIGIBLE IF YOU ... :

  1. ...  are a U.S. resident AND a public GFC follower. See the GFC box in the right column that says "Join this site"? Click on that, and you're halfway done! (Plus, an even 300 GFC readers would make my holiday!)
  2. ...  have not won a previous ROYGBIV giveaway (so really, this only excludes 3 people).
  3. ... enter anytime between now and Saturday, Dec. 20 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the randomly-selected winner on Sunday, Dec. 21. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to claim the prize; a new winner will be selected if that person does not e-mail me within that time.
  4. ... fill out the questions in the Rafflecopter entry form below, and follow its instructions. Incomplete entries will not be considered, of course.
  5. ... get excited!

Thank you, and good luck! Wishing you all a very merry holiday season. <3

Thursday, November 27, 2014

OPI Ski Slope Sweetie + Friendsgiving 2014

Hey y'all, Happy Thanksgiving! I still have no idea what I'm wearing for the weekend ... I got as far as, "I HAVE TO WEAR A HOLIDAY SHADE," and that's it. I'm wearing a holiday texture. Textures are the bessssssst.

Anyway, here's what I ended up sporting to Friendsgiving last weekend. I'd sent Anna a text with a handful of options; although I loved her pick, a red creme, it was too high-maintenance for the spare 20 minutes I had for a polish change. (I find that reds are not the best polishes to use when I'm in a rush.) So I went with the shimmery option in the hopes that it would disguise any imperfections.




Four coats with SV.








When I told Madeline I'd bought OPI Ski Slope Sweetie, she said something like, "Of course you did. You love White Cap." I had to laugh. I do love ChG White Cap, and you know I'm a sucker for white and gold together (where did that come from??!?), I love most OPI holiday collections, and I love Mariah Carey, so this polish had my name all over it when it was released last year. Ski Slope Sweetie is NOT a dupe for White Cap -- SSS has more of a milky base, and the shimmer is not quite as glass flecked as White Cap. It really depends on how you feel about layering versatility -- if that's what you're after, stick with White Cap. If you want a white and gold shimmer to wear on its own, get SSS. If you love Mariah and OPI holiday collections, get SSS. Obviously, you know where I stand. ;)

Formula-wise, this one is pretty good for the kind of polish it is. It has a milky base and is somewhat sheer at one coat. You need at least three coats to reach opacity. I don't know why I used four, though. I guess the better question is why I keep going for that fourth coat when I don't *really* need to. Anyway, I waited two minutes in between coats and dry time was good with SV. I wore this for five days with no tip wear. The only chips I got were from me trying to investigate why the garage door opener wasn't working, and that was on Day Four, soooooooooooooo I'd call that a win.

Ski Slope Sweetie was part of the limited edition OPI Mariah holiday 2013 collection. I have to say I'm loving the name -- I knew it HAD to be a reference to Mariah's many holiday vacations in Aspen! (Now that she and Nick Cannon are done-zo, will she continue to go to Aspen this year with Dem Babies???) I'm pretty sure I got mine at Ulta, but last month I saw a few polishes from this collection at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for way awesome prices, so check there. It's also very ETF online through e-tailers and blog sales, which is nice.

Now for Friendsgiving pics! Once again, my friend Krysi held the dinner at her house this year. There were seven of us this year, including myself, so although we were down one person, we felt we had more of an excuse to tear up some dinner than we did last year (we had six people when her husband came home from work).

Also, EVERYTHING WAS HOMEMADE. FROM SCRATCH. I can't even. Some of my friends are such overachievers. Why are they friends with me??? I'm so lazy.


Broccoli-rice casserole thingy + rolls

"Krysi, where did you get this recipe?"
"Diabetic Living."
*raucous laughter*

Daisy, hoping to score some turkey or bread. She begged shamelessly throughout the evening while her new pug brother snored under the table (which is why I have no photos of him ... I should have recorded him snorting in his sleep, though).

My contribution? This Martha Stewart orange and fennel salad. I cut the bulb all wrong because, ironically, I was not paying attention and talking about "Master Chef Junior." But in addition to being tastier than expected, it was FAST and easy to make -- I would say it took less time to make than it took for me to locate the fennel at Kroger (apparently it's known as anise 'round these parts).

My friend Kristin still is participating as a subject in that NIH study that provides her meals. She ate her provided salad + entree at Friendsgiving, but I think she'll be back with a vengeance when Christmas rolls around.

Table almost ready

COMPLETE SPREAD

My plate, pre-turkey and -salad.


Clearly, the abundance of side dishes we had this year was so ridiculous that we were stuffed BEFORE we got around to the turkey. Oops. --In fact, Kristin's fiance had to stand up, take a deep breath, and lean against the wall for a minute or so after he cleared his plate.

So yeahhhhhhhh, I'll say we did the damn thing. This year's dinner wasn't as pretty or as roomy as last year's, but it was still loads of fun, and OH MY GOD, I was so dumb and ate one slice each of the two cheesecakes Krysi made. One was a Reese's cup thing, and the other was pumpkin ... I thought I was going to have to be strapped onto a dolly and rolled to B's car because I was THAT FREAKING STUFFED.

I was a little worried before I got to her house because (1) I hadn't made the salad yet, and (2) both B and I weren't in the greatest of moods before dinner. Both of us have been pretty grumpy lately for our own reasons; we've been doing the long-distance thing almost as long as we've been 'together,' and my instinct when I actually get to see him is to go full Pollyanna and try to enjoy our time together. Last weekend, however, I was running on empty and I had ZERO fucks to give about a lot of stuff. I'll cop to being fairly churlish. I think we just needed to have a good time, though, because once we walked through the door, I felt a lot better. Everything was smooth sailing after dinner, a real holiday miracle. :) And I got lots of kitty snuggles from Sterling Meowlory Archer that weekend, which I always love, especially as the weather gets colder.

As for Thanksgiving actual, tonight I'm headed across town to my aunt's house. My cousin came home, and she always whips up the usual favorites when he does. Somehow I don't think I'll gorge myself quite as much as I did last Saturday, but that probably means I'll get to drink more of the beer B got me (Bell's White Winter Ale -- I LOVE IT). AFAIK, my cousin and I are going to watch "22 Jump Street" and he claims he's going to put a GoPro on his mom's dog, but we'll see. This will be a quieter night, but I'll take it happily since Thanksgiving 2013 was an unmitigated disaster.

Before I get in the car, let me just say THANK YOU for reading! I know I haven't posted much this year, so I really appreciate that you guys didn't completely abandon me, haha. A huge hug goes out to the real life, blogger, and nb friends who are still pals despite my multiple-text complaints about my current situation -- thank you for still being my friends! ;) I'm actually considering a blogging hiatus, OR, at the very least, bimonthly posts after the holiday season, as things are extremely up in the air at the moment, my time is not exactly my own, and I am really feelin' it. We'll have to see how everything all shakes out.

Once more, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I hope you have a great one with the ones you love (or an uneventful one with the ones you must). Stay safe through the weather and the shopping crowds, be good, and I'll talk to you in December. <3 In the meantime, feel free to comment on this OPI, whether you prefer SSS or White Cap, your thoughts on OPI Gwen holiday, Friendsgiving, favorite Thanksgiving recipes/traditions/etc. -- spill! It's been a minute. I miss interacting with you!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Essie Mochacino

Happy Friday, and welcome to my final Skinny Dipping post of the year!

Okay, so here's the deal. I originally planned to have this post up on Wednesday morning, buuuuuuuuut Comcast seemed to have other ideas on Tuesday night and I didn't have time to wait around for it to get it together. Does anyone else hate Comcast as much as I do? I really wish FIOS was an option where I am. :-( Anyway, that was pretty disappointing for me, but not *too* much so, because I'm not crazy about this polish. Spoiler: It's lovely. It's just not me.

P.S. You totally can tell it's fall time in these photos. Although this is a camera phone, I prefer to take photos in natural light; I feel like I've upped my photo game this year, and I've come to realize that overcast days are MY FAVORITE days for swatches because you're not competing with sunlight. Sunny fall afternoons = not the greatest days for swatches, even if they're perfect for just about everything else.

There, now you know one of my greatest ~camera phone photography secrets~.




This is three coats (... maybe?) with SV (definitely).








See? Definitely fall time light, and this color ... eh ... I'm not in love with it on me. Depending on your skin tone, Mochacino could pull taupe or a very warm greige. On me, it leans on the red side of taupe, juuuuuuuuust red enough that I don't care for it. The silver shimmer is gorgeous and very prominent, which I appreciated.

I don't remember too much about the formula, which I guess means it was unremarkable. I DO remember that this goes on sheer-ish, so I used three coats for opacity. And then I zoned out, hence the probable fourth coat. (I really need to start keeping track of this stuff ...) Dry time was fast with SV. Since this was a quick swatch, I can't speak to wear time, but Essies tend to wear pretty well on me.

Mochacino was released in 2011 as an Essie retail exclusive. I have no idea whether it's remained in the core display, but it's not htf online through either a blog sale or an e-tailer. I'm not totally sure how I came about this bottle ... Target would have to be my best guess. You know how it goes, you go to Target for a couple of things and then you end up buying your feelings in $40 worth of stuff. We've all been there.

Although it does kind of blow to end one of my favorite blog features on a "meh" note, I'm actually fairly relieved I can purge this polish from my stash. Holy cats, my purging process has been slower this year than I would have liked. I've been really busy (I am the third busiest unemployed person I know) and although I really miss blogging regularly, it's been quite trying to find the time to do it because there is always something going on.

Like this weekend, although I've got a couple of fun things lined up! Tomorrow I'm going to watch a Met Opera broadcast, but almost immediately after that is our second Friendsgiving celebration at my friend Krysi's house. Our SECOND! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this. The bar was raised pretty freakin' high last year, as you might recall from this photo my friend Phil took just before we ate:





Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. My ever-expanding waistline is kind of dreading tomorrow, but the rest of me is so ready, my friends. SO. READY.

Anyway, this is me. I've got a crapton of things to scratch off my to-do list today, so I'll catch you next week before the holiday. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!