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!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shopping My Stash: Thank YOU! (for being a friend)

Another Friday, another Shopping My Stash post ... and another Orly. What?

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Steff and I wanted to express our gratitude to you, our readers, by posting polishes that some of you have given us. We've both been incredibly lucky to receive some sweet packages from readers and friends in the nail polish world, but sadly, even some of those polishes sometimes go untried and unblogged.

Orly Fresh is by no means the oldest gifted untried in my stash. However, it does have the distinction of having been gifted to me on not one, but TWO separate occasions, first by my MUA pal Erin, then again by Chelsea (the corgi-loving proprietress of Nailed). Also, it was the only gifted polish I actually have pictures of right now.

So, tell me ... does this polish have my name all over it, or what?

Three coats with SV.

What can I say? My friends know what I like. Thank you, Erin and Chelsea! <3

I don't have anything in my stash like Fresh, a grassy green creme that is brighter than most greens in its wheelhouse, but it's not quite neon. I used to think it was a dupe for NOPI One Time Lime ... it's not. The NOPI is less bright, and is a true creme finish. I think this has a slightly semi-matte, squishy (but not quite true jelly) finish to it.

I actually took these pictures back in June, so unfortunately I don't remember anything about the formula. I only remember that the dry time was fast. Sorry!

Fresh was released near the end of Summer 2011 as part of Orly's four-piece Happy Go Lucky Back to School collection. I blogged my botched bottle of Frolic last year (I say "botched" because it was not that color when I originally bought it), but I've bought a new bottle since then. Frisky, while unblogged, is a huge favorite of mine, which leaves Flirty as the remaining untried. That was one of my favorite collections of 2011; Orly makes some pretty great bright shades, and the Happy Go Lucky polishes are no exception.

What do you think of Fresh? Would you agree that this is a Rachel color? Opinions on Orly Happy Go Lucky? What's the oldest untried polish someone gave you? I'd love to know!! I've got two Revlon Street Wears and Janice gave me a few super oldies (including an Essie SSN dupe? almost-dupe????). Have you ever been gifted the same thing twice by different people? --It doesn't have to be a polish, I'm just being nosy. ;)

This does it for me today. We'll be back next month, but until then, don't forget to go to Short 'n Chic and check out Steff's Shopping My Stash pick! I'm really excited to see her post. She texted me with what it was the other night and I can safely say I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE. Once again, snaps to Erin and Chelsea for sending me this polish! You ladies are the best.

I meant to post on Veterans Day with an appropriate color, but time continues to slip away from me. For someone who is unemployed, I have A LOT on my plate (for me, at least). Luckily, I've been able to get away for a small break this week -- I got to see one of my musical sheroes, Jenny Lewis (of "Troop Beverly Hills" and Rilo Kiley fame), in concert on Wednesday night. She was magical. (Don't worry, I'll post about it this month.) Last night, I was able to get dinner with a friend I haven't seen in forever at a place I haven't eaten at in forever, so that was all kinds of wonderful. And tomorrow is B's birthday. He has to work, so it's not going to be as epic as last year's Fancy Steak Dinner, but there will be cake, beer, and "Big Hero 6," all of which are cause for excitement.

Thank you for reading! Hope you have a good weekend, and I'll get back with you next week. I really hope I get the chance to post more before the deluge of holiday polishes ... !

Thursday, November 6, 2014

OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby?

My social life has been pretty stale for the past couple of months, so I was delighted when my pal Chelsea stopped by two weekends ago on her drive from Nashville to Philly. I had had naked nails for the better part of that week, so yes: I stayed up wayyyyyyyy too late looking for a polish to wear -- to BREAKFAST -- not entirely because I couldn't bear to have naked nails, but partially because I missed the ritual. Does that sound weird? I swear it's true.

And not to make this blog super OPI-centric or anything (I get so bored with blogs that feature the same brands time and again), but there's a reason I keep going back to this brand. Most OPIs have pretty amazing formulas, don't require much fuss, and they dry and wear well on me. (Okay, that was more than one reason.) I've been curious about Deutsch You Want Me Baby? for a long time but I didn't want to buy it; when I saw it on a blog sale last month, I went for it. I think it's nice, just not really on me. I dunno.

NOTE: These photos captured the glow incredibly well, but this is a pinch more of a burnt red IRL than I could manage.

Three coats with SV.

First of all, the name. HA! (But no comma after "Me"?) Deutsch You Want Me Baby? is the perfect burnt red-meets-orange metallic shimmer, significantly more orange than red. It's BEAUTIFUL, as you can see. And THAT GLOW! The formula was impeccable, too, opaque in two coats and just as easy to work with as you could wish for.

I just wish I liked this orange on me more than I do. It's gorgeous, but if I'm being honest, I can't see myself reaching for it again. I mean, Chelsea told me she liked it on me. Madeline also liked it (I texted her a picture of my latest lipstick purchases, Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 06 and 10). Deutsch is in so many ways the quintessential fall orange, but it doesn't really work for me. :/ At least I know!

Deutsch You Want Me Baby was released two years ago in OPI's Germany collection. I don't think this particular color made it to the core OPI line, but it's not hard to find if you want it.

Any thoughts on this polish? OPI Germany? Favorite fall colors? Have you been so foolishly vain in your youth to go so far as to paint your nails at ungodly times of night so that your friends would never see your naked nails??? WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE ... RIGHT?

Sadly, my nails also went naked on Halloween. I'd made it as far as double base coats, but I'd had no time to put anything on before I had to leave the house. This was the first Halloween since 2009 that I didn't have OPI Brights Power! on. :( It's okay, though ... I went to my friend Krysi's house and got to have a cozy little Halloween dinner with some of my friends. I also got to meet her new pug, Charlie. His friendliness and willingness to wear a doggie Halloween costume definitely outruled his stinky breath. ;)

A newly-engaged friend of mine is participating in an NIH study in which all her meals are prepared for her. She gets breakfast, lunch, and snacks at NIH, and I think she gets to take dinners home. On weekends, they give her a HUGE cooler of food, which she schlepped with her to RVA from Bethesda last weekend. LOL.

There was SO MUCH FOOD in that cooler, you guys. She says her breakfasts and lunches generally are really good, but she's not a huge fan of dinner. Anyway, I don't know the purpose of this study is because I am a terrible listener when I am surrounded by food and I haven't eaten all day. Herp derp. All I'm sayin' is that the whole thing is pretty interesting.

No one had a party we felt like going to on Saturday night, so B and I went to the drive-in to see what we'd thought was a triple-feature, "The Book of Life," "Gremlins," and "Beetlejuice." Due to the cold weather Saturday night, they only played "The Book of Life," but they still did trunk-or-treating and car decorating for the kids. I did not want to get out of my car, so I rolled the window down and sat with my giant bag of candy in my lap. One mom said what I was doing was smart. Her son seemed to agree, saying, "OOOH! DELIVERY!" B and I were intrigued and amazed by these kids, because they only took 1 bag of candy until I told them they could take two ... and I had the good stuff! The other weird thing was that they all seemed to want the Skittles more than the other candy we had. Are you kidding me?! Skittles are great, but ... M&Ms! Snickers!

Anyway, it was a super fun time. Before the movie, they played "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," which I hadn't seen in a few years, so that was nice. We really liked "The Book of Life" -- if you are in any way an animation nerd/a fan of Ron Perlman/a Dia de los Muertos enthusiast, you will LOVE it. The humor in the movie kind of reminded me of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" ... if you've seen both "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and "The Book of Life," let me know if you think this is an apt description.

We got home at around 9, and decided to keep the Halloween movie marathon rolling. I highly recommend both of the following flicks:

MST3K, yassssssss

This look clearly says, "Oh, you have to get up to pee? NOT OKAY."

... that was a nice weekend, especially considering the fact that my ass is so damn broke right now. It was GREAT to turn my brain off for a couple of days, have dinner with some friends I haven't seen in months, have a movie night with B and Mr. Archer, and basically chill out. I need more of that. I do this all the time at home, but I need to be around people. #extrovertproblems November is my favorite month, and this one will be a vast social improvement, so I'm looking forward to it.

K, I'm out. If I can get my act together, I should have a post on Friday; if not, I'll see you guys next week! Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Deborah Lippmann Sookie Sookie "True Blood" set (Human Nature & Fairydust)

Happy Halloween, ladies.

Sorry this post is so late! The only time-sensitive things in my life this month were related to work, bills, and my car inspection. Oh, and my parents. I just came back from dropping them off at the airport ... everything is batshit crazy right now. :/

Anyway, I wanted to blog something Halloween-ish today, but since I didn't have the time, this LE Deborah Lippmann duo based on HBO's "True Blood" will have to do. There were two sets released in 2012, one based on Sookie and the other on Jessica. The Sookie colors really intrigued me, so I finally pulled the trigger on the duo this spring.

Let's start with the nude color, called Human Nature.

Three coats with SV. Sorry my SV was starting to shrink ...

I'm sure this polish has a dupe somewhere, but it IS lovely. I would never kick a Lippmann out of my stash unless the color was horrendous on me or the formula was weird ... as you can see, I did not have those issues here.

And here's Fairydust, the milky iridescent shade. It's meant to go on as a topper but is opaque at three coats. I think I added four because I wasn't paying attention. :/ Anyway, it's gooooooooooorgeous. I don't have DL La Vie en Rose to compare, but I think both shades are different enough to merit owning both.

Now here's what you've actually been waiting for: Human Nature topped with Fairydust! It does not disappoint. Pictured is 3 coats of Human Nature and 1 coat of Fairydust.

There were no leveling issues, and the formula on both polishes was great. Fairydust does dry a lot faster than you think it would, which I'm attributing to the awesomeness of Deborah Lippmann's polishes. Less than ten minutes after I applied SV, however, I got cocky and decided to sort the recycling, which led to a huge dent in one nail (noooooooooooo). I didn't wear this as a full NOTD because I actually have had naked nails for more than a week. I feel like I'm going to want to do what I usually do with my HTFs and "save" these polishes -- not that this was super HTF or anything, but Fairydust is INSANELY beautiful. I can't even handle it. Must preserve the precious!

I am a bad blogger right now and am not Googling where you can buy it, but I know I got mine with a discount from a sale this past spring. Totally worth it.

Any thoughts on this duo or the Jessica one, you guys? I really used to love "True Blood," but I fell off the wagon after Season 3 and I moved away from Richmond. My sister recently watched a shload of it on Netflix, though, and her reaction was, "WHY DIDN'T I WATCH THIS WHEN IT WAS ON?" Haaaaaaaaaaaa. I also have almost all the books ... while I am a book snob, these books are fun and they helped get me through a really bad time, so I feel obliged to keep them.

Sorry for the rushed post, but I have to be out the door in an hour. This month (or week, really) whizzed by and I didn't get the time to post, reply to comments, or leave comments on other people's blogs. :( I've been SUPER busy! I'm hoping November will calm down.

In the meantime, though, at least vampires and fairies are sort of appropriate for Halloween. I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend! I don't have a costume (I haven't had a costume since high school), but I do have fun plans with B tomorrow night, and tonight I'm going to my friend Krysi's house for dinner and Halloween movies. I'm really bummed that I didn't get a chance to share my favorite Halloween movie with you this year, but there's always next year, right?

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to check out Anna's post -- she posted earlier this week. We'll be back for another Skinny Dipping installment next month, which will be my final installment for 2014 ... I'll try to make it as good as this one, but this Lippmann duo might end up being harder to top than I thought!



Talk to you guys in November!

Monday, October 27, 2014

OPI With a Nice Finn-ish

OPI Nordic, what a snoozefest. I feel like I've been saying this since every other year with OPI fall collections, because this is what has happened since I *really* started collecting polish:

  • Fall 2009: Espana, LOVE. All that deep, lush color? Swoon.
  • Fall 2010: Swiss collection, boring but it filled some gaps in my collection.
  • Fall 2011: Touring America, LOOOOOOVE.
  • Fall 2012: Germany, enjoyed the color palette and omg the jewel tones, but it was all over the damn place and not cohesive at all.
  • Fall 2013: San Francisco, boring but some good texture + I liked the color palette, which reminded me of OPI Swiss a little.
  • Fall 2014: Nordic, ZZZZZZZZZZZ wake me up for spring colors plz.

To give credit where it's due, OPI does know how to make a damn good vampy creme, which is how I ended up with most of my picks from OPI Nordic, thanks to an Ulta B2G1 on OPI. Strangely, however, it was this burnished copper metallic chrome that I wanted the most. When I told Steff I'd bought With a Nice Finn-ish, she said it would look amazing on me. Let's see if she was right.

Three coats with SV.

Yes, Stephanie, you were right. Ugh, I'm soooooooooooooooo into it.

If you are on the fence about this polish, DON'T BE. I know this might be easy for me to say when it was an OPI B2G1 purchase, but unless your skin tone seriously clashes with this color, it most likely will look no less than fabulous on you. Words usually fail me when it comes to describing the specifics of color, but I think this one is on the bronze side of gold. It's significantly lighter and less intense than my beloved OPI Rising Star, but it's far from your average gold frost/chrome/pearl/whatever, which makes it interesting.

Speaking of finishes, if it's the Finn-ish you're worried about? (PUNS!) I promise it's not so bad! It IS nice. It looks brushstrokey when you apply it, but that dies down after top coat. I recommend using a ridge filler or Gelous if you're worried about nail plate imperfections showing (I used only Gelous and it looked fine). It's opaque at two coats; I used three out of habit. It dries faster between coats than most polishes with a similar finish, so no need to worry about that, either. Dry time was good with SV, and although I only swatched it for you, you know I'll be reaching for this one again (especially when paired with a jewel tone ensemble!!!!).

Ladies, what do you think? Would you be willing to give this OPI a chance? Do you share my opinion that OPI Nordic is a snoozefest, despite perhaps owning a few from this collection? (I don't know what Spring 2015 holds, but it better not suck as much as Texas and Euro Centrale.)

As for its name, I can't be the only one who thinks of this gal whenever I hear something about Finland ...


I am not one for the typical chick flick, but Isla Fisher is adorable and she just won me over in this movie. Plus, Hugh Dancy! Smiling! In nice suits! (I must admit I pulled out this DVD at least twice during the most recent season of "Hannibal" -- sometimes you need to be reminded that HD actually smiles and it's great.) I wouldn't go so far as to read the source material because I am an incurable book snob (I won't deny it), but I LOVE this movie. I also have a great memory of watching it for the first time a few years ago. (I was dog- and house-sitting for my friends' parents, and they had HBO, which was the jackpot. Nice dogs? Check. Crushed ice in the refrigerator? Check. HBO? OMG ... I hadn't been so excited to stay in on a Friday night in a while.) And funnily enough, my parents like this movie, too. Weirdos.

Anyway, that does it for this post. I meant to post Skinny Dipping today, but there was a problem with the phone I use to take pictures, and I had to push the post back again. Don't worry, though. It'll be up before Friday! Thanks for reading, and thanks for putting up with me. October has been so difficult and ridiculous, I'm hoping November will be much easier for me!