Friday, June 24, 2016

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Kiss

Oh, hi!

So, about not knowing what June would hold for this blog ... apparently, the answer is this post, because I've worn all of two polishes this month (!). June's always been a busy month for my family, and I've been running around Virginia like a truck driver lately but all generally is well. I'm just soaking up summer, which in this week's case has meant staying up too late anxiously streaming the news and crushing S4 of "Orange is the New Black" + S2 of "Grace & Frankie" because it's been raining too much to really get out.

Anyway, both summer and I are on the blog now. :) This is one of the most summery colors I could think of, and had I posted this earlier, it would have been a nice, semi-timely nod to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade last weekend. I didn't go, of course, although I enjoy looking at the parade photos every year because gdi, I love a theme and what better theme is there to ring in the summer season? Obviously I had to pull out a Lippmann Mermaid for the occasion. It was tough to narrow down a final choice, but I think Mermaid's Kiss was a good one.




Three coats with SV.








Mermaid's Kiss undoubtedly is THE foofiest (if not one of the foofiest) polishes I have ever worn, and yet strangely, I loved it. It's so pretty. The sheer light pink base kind of blends into my skin tone a little bit, however, I think the greeny-gold shimmer and the darker pink glitters save it and really pop in a good way. The sheer base gives those glitters a milky look, which is TDF. My best friend actually asked, "Is that just one polish?" thinking I'd done some layering magic, but ... nope! Just this. :D

I needed three coats to get this opaque because of the sheer base (one coat is fine if you're in the mood for a sheer-ish shimmer party). Luckily, the formula is a dream! It dries fairly quickly and it's so easy to work with -- it is so NOT the type of glitter formula that B refers to as "confetti and glue," where you have to keep pushing it around the nail. I did my nails while he was waiting for a shirt to come out of the dryer and despite being pretty expedient in my process, both he and I were a little surprised with how quickly and easily I was able to get from base to top coat with this polish. And as if that wasn't enough, Mermaid's Kiss even dries flat. It isn't a thirsty glitter at all ... I didn't even need to do a coat of Gelous before SV. It stayed flat throughout the 5? 6? days I had it on, though predictably my two chip-prone fingers had chipped by the end of Day 3. Removal wasn't terrible, but I'd still recommend using a fresh felt square/cotton round/whatever and a quick handwash to get those remaining tiny glitters.

The Lippmann Mermaid collection was released in the summer of 2013 after DL Mermaid's Dream became a favorite (I thought I had that one, but my Helmer search revealed that I do not). Since I can't find it on the Lippmann site any more, Mermaid's Kiss must have been LE, as is Do the Mermaid ... which is too bad, because those were two of the best Lippmann Mermaids, IMO. There are a few bottles left on the Bloomingdale's site, so if you're a Lippmann/mermaid/pink polish lover and you're feeling frisky, absolutely jump on it. Now I'm 90% sure I bought my bottle in some kind of sale back at the end of 2014 or so ... but as I say too often here, I don't know why I waited so long to use it!

Well ... now you've seen half my content for June, haha. I will say that what I'm wearing right now is pretty interesting in the sense that I'm still not sure if it looks good on me. I'm letting it marinate, as one Helen Cooper would say (I love "Kissing Jessica Stein" so much -- one of my favorite movies, for sure). At least this Lippmann gave good photo. If any of you own any of these Lippmann Mermaids, I'd love to hear what your favorites are. Should I get Mermaid's Dream? What are your favorite mermaid polishes? I'm tempted to pull out WnW Waves of Enchantment again ... it's been a while.

Thanks so much for dropping by! I hope y'all are having a good summer so far. Got any good plans? I don't think I'll be jet-setting like I did last year ... honestly, I ought to invest in? borrow? a GRE prep book. :/ But if I can finish this library e-book before it needs to go back, I'm looking at a laundry and "Sense8" marathon this weekend. I've been warned that the first couple episodes are a slog to get through, but I'm ready.


P.S. I saw "Love & Friendship" earlier this week and loved it -- I love Whit Stillman, plus it's been, what, 20 years since Kate Beckinsale did a literary adaptation/costume piece and she was awesome. Oh, and I spent like 1/4th of the movie trying to figure out who Xavier Samuel reminded me of, but I got it now: I'm getting a little Theo James + a little Ben Barnes. Anyone else?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gift of Fab: Joe Fresh Poppy

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day! Mine was low-key, but quite nice -- I spent it falling asleep on SMA's couch eating Popcorners (kettle flavor), watching "Tiny House Hunters" (omg, these people are the worst), and nursing a wicked sunburn.

Anyway, since I like to post poppy reds for the holiday, here's one that came all the way from my favorite Canadian reader-slash-correspondent, Jess. She sent me a belated winter holiday package in January that was absolutely stuffed with so many things I cannot get here in the States ... such as this Joe Fresh polish. I have never set foot in a Joe Fresh clothing store in my life, although I remember when Canadian bloggers & MUA NBers would post them and I've been wanting to try some out for science ever since then. And sure, my Canadian readers probably are cracking up over me coveting polishes they can pick up at the grocery store (Loblaw's), but omg let me have my moment. Thanks, Jess, for slaying the lemming and enabling me! :)




Two coats with SV.








I have this thing where sometimes I don't wear reds like this for several months, but then when I put on one, I always wonder why I fall into that pattern because this is so lovely. In truth, I didn't think there would be much to this red because what else can there be, really? Well, I wasn't wrong ... but at the same time, I also kind of was. I also didn't know what to expect from Poppy because I wasn't pulling up much in the way of Joe Fresh polish reviews on Google.

I think Poppy is more of a neutral red on me, neither warm nor cool. The formula was pretty good, too, easy to work with and covered the nail opaquely in one coat! I did use two for these photos because piling on more seemed unnecessary, though I have to say I did play around with one nail and achieved bottle color with four coats -- it looks deeper and darker then, which led me to classify this Poppy as a jelly-creme finish that is slightly more creme than jelly, maybe a 70:30 ratio. The brush seemed a little stumpy to me, but it wasn't bad at all. Dry time was average with SV, but I kept smashing and denting my nails into things and it was kind of a disaster to get them to look okay after photo sesh.

As of "press time," this polish goes into its fourth day of wear. Obviously I haven't removed it yet, but I'm going to assume it's a stainer because you'd be hard-pressed to find a red that isn't these days (plus I had to re-do a nail completely and had to bust out the Orly Cutique, ugh).

Despite the generally lovely things I've heard and read about Joe Fresh polishes, the one thing that kept coming up was how quickly they chipped. I was intrigued, seeing as everyone's body chemistry and base/top coat choices are different. Knowing I was going to be out of town this past weekend, I added a layer of Gelous before applying SV, since this combo has helped other polishes give me long weekend wear. Sadly, that did not have any effect on Poppy, because it chipped within 24 hours. I was pissed. By the third day of wear, four nails had chipped, and all I had done with my hands that would affect wear was (1) shower and (2) dig in my wallet/purse for my credit & Metro cards. NEGL, Hercules was me and I was Hercules.




However, I wouldn't call Poppy a complete failure because I really liked this red (wayyyy more than the last one I blogged for NYE!). Though -- I am HELLA curious to see what happens with my other Joe Fresh polishes now. We will see! Jess picked out some gorgeous JF colors for me, so you'll see at least one this summer. Thank you again, Jess! You rock.

Okay, speaking of summer ... I guess it's here now. I picked the best AND the worst weekend to go to D.C., because it was hot and humid AF and the metro started single tracking and there was a Nats game Friday night and Memorial Day weekend brought so. many. people. into the city. On Saturday, my girlfriend tossed around the idea of going to Right Proper for post-brunch beers, but it was so damn hot that beer, much like milk, would have been a bad choice. So we skipped it. (And although we had a patio brunch, my right arm wasn't totally in the shade, hence the sunburn. Sadface!) When Stephanie and I met up Saturday night, we even did a dessert bang-bang ("Louie" reference) with gelato AND ice cream because the heat was unbearable. It was pretty gross on Sunday, too, and the humidity finally gave way to rain less than two hours after I left Fairfax, where I had brunch with my high school best friend and another HS classmate. I would have liked to do more in the city while I was there, but as it is, I'm quite happy I was able to spend a little time with some of my favorite people. They do my heart good. :)

Here are 3 pics you've already seen on IG, but I liked them so much, I'll post them again, damn it.


I scored a Craigslist ticket for the Friday night performance of Garrison Keillor's last Wolf Trap weekend as host of "A Prairie Home Companion." I feel like he's been on at least three farewell tours prior to this one, but this one had a real air of finality to it. Super bittersweet. I will miss him. (GK is sitting to the right of the piano.) Getting to Wolf Trap was a disaster of epic proportions, which made this show extra meaningful and satisfying to me.

So I didn't even crop this photo properly when I regrammed it from Steff but this is from dessert bang-bang stop No. 1, Dolcezza. OMG it was so good. So good. And also, aren't we cute? (My fading lipstick is UD Menace, a.k.a. the best clearance lipstick purchase I've ever made. I hadn't touched it up since brunch or dinner that day!)

Out of the short D.C. wishlist I posted last week, Kramer's was the only place on that list I actually visited ... so it makes total sense that I didn't buy anything. I was super tempted, though -- Boy, Snow, Bird isn't listed as an ebook selection at the library and I have been wanting to read it since it came out. SOON.


Thanks for reading this post, and thank you so much for reading this month! I have to say, I've been derping on actual content, but these month's pictures are some of the best I've taken in a while and I'm really happy with them. As I said at the end of last month, I don't know what the next month will hold, but I hope you'll come have a look and say hi in June!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

China Glaze Let's Jam

I only blogged one polish from last year's China Glaze summer offerings, but with this year's China Glaze summer collection upon us, now seems like a good time to share one of my Lite Brite picks. Half the Lite Brite display was empty when I first encountered them at Sally's last month, and with their mix-and-match B2G1 sale, I opted for two other colors instead. But I couldn't get this purple out of my mind, and when I made the mistake of killing time at another Sally's later that month, I caved.

PSA: Sally's is having a China Glaze (and Orly) buy 2 for $11 promo that ends tomorrow. You know, if you're so inclined. ;)

I hesitated with Let's Jam for so many reasons, the biggest ones being that (1) it's enough of a medium purple to look merpy on me and (2) surely I had a dupe somewhere -- that is, a dupe in a violet creme base. The blue flash in this polish is such a simple touch but also such a vibrant one, making this unique ... and happily, quite wearable for me.

In case anyone was wondering, this is the purple polish I had on in my Instagram posts 2 weeks ago. I ended up wearing this for 12 days ... I meant to take it off but I got busy and then I got sick, so it stayed on. Not that I had a problem with that, because this is so freaking pretty.




Three coats with SV.








That blue flash, though! It's SO great. For the curious, the answer is YES! -- it is *very* visible to the untrained eye (and from a distance, at that)! I'm just saying, if even my beyond colorblind boyfriend can detect it, then it must be fairly strong. ;) Another thing I like about this shimmer is that it lasted throughout the duration of this mani -- while my top coat dulled the shine, the shimmer continued to slay. I wouldn't classify Let's Jam as a true neon; if anything, it's closer to ChG's neon pastel game circa Summer 2013. Not totally electric, but the next best thing. I'm debating whether this is pastel, but IDK when I've called other polishes in a similar range "pastel." Feel free to chime in!

I'm feeling a bit iffy about the formula, however. It's not bad at all! I just wish I had known not to load up my brush, because this dries quickly, like a neon matte would, and if you load up your brush then your nails will be a lumpy disaster, especially when your dying bottle of SV is drying on top of that. #askmehowiknow. So I say, take what you normally use, and then dab half of that against the bottleneck rim. Once I did that, everything was easy peasy (lemon squeezy). I've read reviews where people say it's opaque in one coat, and ... eh. Like, you can cover your nail in one coat?, but I wouldn't say it's perfectly opaque -- two is better (I used three out of habit and also, photos). As I said, I wore this for 12 days; however, it started chipping to all hell on the sixth day, and oh my God, the Seche scuffs were awfulllll ... let's just say Let's Jam looks far more presentable in these swatch photos than it did IRL by the time I removed it.

I think Ulta has full displays of the Lite Brites collection now, and of course you can try your luck at Sally's (although I think Sally's has been rolling out this collection since April, maybe even late March). You'd probably also find some good deals on this online, but lately I've taken to buying from brick & mortar stores since I'm in a support-local-business phase -- which, let's face it, it shouldn't be a phase, but that's where I am right now. ANYWAY, I feel like the other Lite Brites I have aren't as exciting as the ones making a big splash on IG and on blogs, but those were the ones I was most excited about among what was left to me. I'm a sucker for brights and neons! What can I say?

Obviously, I love this polish and I'm glad I got it in the end. (While I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, that surprise was nowhere near what I felt vis-à-vis ChG Pink or Swim, so no Sgt. Doakes surprise .gif here today. I don't know why I felt the need to clarify this, but now you know!) Anyone else feeling Let's Jam? Lite Brites? Summer polishes in general? In your opinion, what mainstream brand releases the best summer polishes? My answer is anybody but OPI -- Zoya, Orly, China Glaze, Essie ... OPI does do some nice tie-ins, but IMO, those aren't necessarily released with summer in mind. As always, I'd love y'alls input on that question.

All right, I'm out. If all goes according to plan, then tomorrow begins my mini D.C. weekend! To put it succinctly, I am very excited and scared. But it'll be fun. Hope you guys have a good Memorial Day Weekend, too! I can't believe it's been a year since Anna's wedding. Time has a way of passing, doesn't it?


P.S. Today is SMA's gotcha day! I would spam the shit out of this post, but ... Instagram. (His very own hashtag is HERE.) I can't believe it's been four years since B adopted him. SMA is still very much a sweet little bratty duchess prince, but I don't think I'd have him any other way. (Okay, maybe I would love him more if he let me pick him up and cuddle him for longer than ten seconds ... what even is the point of having a pet if you can't do that? --asked the girl who's never had a pet, which probably is why I'm so entertained and enamored by him)

Here's a pic B took on his phone last month after they both fell through the attic floor and guest room ceiling. >__< You would never guess this is a cat who had been freaking out because he'd gotten stuck in the insulation moments before. He scratched the crap out of B's shoulder, but other than that, they're fine (and so is the guest room ceiling). I guess I can't leave those guys alone for a day, because this is what happens.



Look at dis chunky qt!
  • Likes: attention, his kitty water fountain, his new litter box in the garage, open windows, sleeping on hoomins when they're under the afghan, supervising in the kitchen, clawing up carpet, hiding under the bed sheets, getting treats when hoomins leave the house, sleeping on top of the car in the garage, Cat Dancer, bunny kicking his kitty tower, lettuce, chewing on twist ties, and giving head bonks, kisses, & nuzzles
  • Dislikes: Lana Manpaws, being an indoor cat, claw trimmings, being brushed, being picked up and held for more than 10 seconds, closed doors, forced selfies, healthy cat food, the loud noises when the lawn guys work outside, the doorbell, belly rubs, the cat carrier, car rides to the vet's

What a doofus. Still not a cat person because they're so weird, but I'm this cat's person ... er, one of them. I love you, Mr. Archer!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sally Hansen CSM Spring Moss

Looking back over my last few blog posts, I guess my yearly spring & summer green-and-pink polish jag hit early. Two weekends ago, I had a yen for a smoked-out creme, which isn't exactly seasonally appropriate, but to heck with that when polishes like this one exist. I had to chuckle when I remembered this green was called "Spring Moss." Perfect.

As always, please forgive the cut on my finger. It looks way less disgusting now, since now it just looks like dry skin. But I'll take it.




Two coats with SV.








To my eye, Spring Moss is a smoky, dusty pine green that leans slightly more green than blue. But the blue tones are super heavy in this one, and I like it. I keep thinking I don't have anything like this color, although I could be super wrong. I dunno. It's just so lush. How could I not?

Nothing unusual about the formula and application here. Normally I go with three coats, but this looked really fantastic at two, so I stopped. I have to say, I am loving how consistent Sally Hansen's CSM cremes have been lately! I only kept this polish on for three days, and it held on pretty well. I had minimal tip wear but JFC, this got the dreaded Seche scuffs well within the first day. (My bottle of Seche is dying, which most likely has a lot to do with this.)

I guess the only bad thing about Spring Moss is that it was LE for last fall's Sally Hansen NYFW Runway collection, thus making it sorta hard to find at this point in the game (though I wouldn't rule out TJ Maxx or Marshalls entirely). Much like Candied Apple (blogged HERE), Spring Moss doesn't seem to be a designer collab shade, which my other two SH CSM Fall 2015 picks are. --And yes, I will post them eventually. :)

K, that's all I have nail-wise for today. I was hoping to get pics of last week's nails and then some pics for next week, but stuff kept popping up and there was never a good time. Here's hoping I can get that done this weekend!

I would write more about what I've been up to lately, but having an Instagram account has dissipated that urge significantly. Things have been relatively boring, and you can always have a look at my posts (link in sidebar!), BUT if I had to pick highlights:

  • My sister and I attended a Lauryn Hill concert last week. She was incredible, her band was on point, and we loved the arrangements on just about every song. NGL, we didn't know what to expect in terms of there being an actual performance because uh, she has A History, plus there was the stunt she'd pulled in Atlanta the weekend before ... so we were a little nervous. Luckily, everything was great. The place was PACKED. We even made a friend in line. Worth it.
  • I got to watch "Keanu" with a couple of friends from my old job. Highly recommend if you love kittens and Key & Peele. The way Jordan Peele's character is so OTT about the kitten = 100% me being OTT about SMA, which made it funnier because I am still not about cats. 
  • Last weekend was Richmond Brunch Weekend benefiting the VCU Massey Cancer Center, so I couldn't not go. I made a reservation at Max's (Belgian-inspired and owned by Tarrant's peeps, I think), and B and I lucked out and got a really nice table on their second-floor patio/open window set-up, right by the window. It was kind of busy because of brunch weekend and also because many new college graduates were out with their families, but we didn't have any issues with the service -- our server was great. Our brunch dishes and our dessert were really good, so I can only imagine how good the actual lunch & dinner items are! They also have valet parking, which is SO NICE if parking downtown is not for you -- if we hadn't found a space around the corner, B probably would have taken advantage of it. I think the only real con is that Max's is not somewhere you want to go if you're on a budget. There are so many other joints where you can get more for your buck (and ngl, I think you're paying in part for the ambiance), so if you're looking to treat yourself or if someone else is looking to treat you, then by all means ... eat up! I would love to go back for dinner, but that might not be for a while. It's just nice to know that this place exists. :)
  • My ex-roommate graduated from her nursing program! She still has to take the NCLEX and all that good stuff, but this is a HUGE accomplishment and as I wrote in her card, she's gonna be as kickass a nurse as Claire Temple. ;) Whatever unit she'll work in will be stupid lucky to have her. So proud of you, T! (I also finally got to meet her parents, who are SO wonderful and just ... ugh, can they adopt me???)
  • Not really job news, but I contacted an organization about a volunteer opportunity that could be a potentially awesome fit. I haven't heard back from them yet but I hope I do! It is so wrenching to repeatedly put yourself out there, whether you're job hunting or volunteering or dating ... so I would like to think something will come out of it. Please cross your fingers for me!
  • Not a highlight as it hasn't happened yet and therefore is more of a consideration: I'm heading to D.C. for a day? a couple of days? next week, so if any of you guys are local readers, I would love suggestions on things to do, where to eat, etc. because I only ever visit my friends or go to the 9:30 Club when I'm there. So far my list looks like (1) the MLK Memorial, (2) the National Gallery of Art, (3) the Renwick Gallery, (4) Kramer's (duh!), (5) Eastern Market, and something else I'm forgetting right now so it must not be important. I don't want to spend a butt ton of money but I also don't want to have a crap time, you know? So if you can share any favorite fun places that aren't outrageously spendy, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

And thanks for reading! I can't believe May is almost over. 2016 needs to slow its damn roll. >__<

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gift of Fab: OPI The Berry Thought of You

My mother likes to say my younger sister and I inherited her two biggest beauty vices, perfume (my sister) and nails (who, me?). Despite sitting through her fair share of mani-pedis in college and med school, my mother does not exactly encourage this nail hobby of mine. In fact, I practically can hear her screech, "YOU HAVE SO MANY NAIL POLISH AND THEY WILL GO BAD" (translation: "YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY") every time I do so much as look at a bubble mailer, even if I'm nowhere in her proximity. I've also gotten the spiel about giving my nails a break and letting them "breathe" -- Asian mother, what are you gonna do, right? So, yes: you would be correct in assuming that she's never gotten me a polish. That's fine, because our tastes are so different it's hilarious, and also, she can get me other things if she really wants to.

You know who totally will get me polish, though? Her sister. The polarity between my mom and my aunt have been the stuff of family lore for ... forever, and it has been very interesting for me to observe as an adult. My mom and my aunt are complete opposites from the way they look, speak, dress, and accessorize (although both of them love a great bargain). Even their nail color choices are so different; my mother wears regular boring mom shades, but my aunt LOVES neons and brights -- I'm 90% sure she's wearing OPI Gelato On My Mind right now. But my aunt and I have always been close, partially because I'm a fluke offspring who never really left Virginia and partially because I'm the closest thing she has to a daughter. Basically, my aunt has been spoiling me rotten since birth. One of my earliest memories is of her taking me on a shopping trip to Hills (does anyone remember that store?) and buying me my first Barbie, 1988 Fun to Dress Barbie. I must have been two years old.

These days, my aunt still takes me along on shopping trips, but sometimes I drive us. And although she's no longer buying me Barbies, she still tries to pay for my purchases, gas, or for my meals! The only times she let me pay for something have been when I took her out for a Mother's Day Mexican lunch last year, when I took her to watch "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" two years ago and "Captain America: Civil War" on Saturday night. If we're out shopping and are in line together, she'll just say, "Did you find anything? Let me have it!"  in a voice that no child dare disobey -- be it my cousin, my sister, or myself -- so I will meekly comply and add my things to her cart or basket.

This is pretty much what happened at the beginning of March when we stopped at Sally's so she could buy a new file and a pumice stone. I forgot all about the teaser comb I wanted after making a beeline for the clearance polishes. I had been waiting for a certain OPI to go on clearance, because as much as I adored the color, I didn't want to pay $9.49 or whatever it is Sally charged last year for full-price OPI. $3.69, however, I absolutely could do! I found two more clearance goodies and an OPI Hello Kitty I'd been wanting, and had just made it to the register with my Sally card when I heard my aunt unzip her purse behind me. "What did you find?" she asked. "Let me have it!" With that went any delusion I had of buying my own polish that night. But since she forgot her Sally card, we had to use mine, so we? I? got the April coupon. I also coerced her into letting me buy her groceries an hour later. Small victories, I suppose.

And that is the story of how I (finally) came to be in possession of OPI The Berry Thought of You, one of my most coveted polishes in the past year. Do I have the greatest aunt or what? I hate drippy FB meme-type posts, but this one is pretty much 100% true. I am very lucky to have her.




Three coats with SV.





















When my aunt saw "The Winter Soldier," she could not get over Chrevans (but who among us has not felt some way about him at some point?). She kept shaking her head and saying, "What's his name? He's too handsome." Twenty minutes later: "He's too good-looking!" He was just TOO, an assessment I believe also applies to this polish. The Berry Thought of You is just TOO. It is the heart eyes emoji.

In actuality, I think The Berry Thought of You is a bit deeper, cooler, and more purple than I could get my photos to show. But you get the idea. Its squishy jelly-creme finish reminded me a lot of another of my favorite polishes of all time, Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets, which in turn is a jelly-creme version of OPI Ate Berries in the Canaries, which is a cooler version of OPI Dim Sum Plum -- all of those polishes are very beloved by me, as I will flip tables for this color. It always looks good. Plus I think its bluer, semi-orchid tint makes it a tad more interesting than your standard raspberry and coral pinks (which I also love). So you see why I was so instantly attracted to this color, even though I waited a long time to acquire it!

The formula on this one was amazing. Two squishy, perfect coats are all you need for opacity (I used three out of habit). Dry time is a breeze, as well. I didn't have any staining issues when I removed it, but if that's something you're really worried about, I cannot recommend Orly Cutique enough!

The Berry Thought of You was part of OPI's LE Summer Brights collection for 2015. IIRC, that collection had two repromotes from Summer 2014 and the rest were new shades. To be fair, OPI cranks out so many collections that you can blink and you'll miss some polishes. Oh, and the 2015 Summer Brights had three unoriginal creme offenders, a navy blue, a bright red-orange, and this color. The worst thing you can say about The Berry Thought of You is that it wasn't all that original, I'll give you that. But damn it, I love it. I even love that I start singing whenever I read or type out its wonderful, dumb name.


THIS ALBUM. FOREVER. RIP, Natalie.


Thanks for reading this late Mother's Day post! I hope all you moms out there had a good one. Anyone do anything fun last weekend? Are you Team Cap or Team Stark? I am Team New Person Who is Getting His Own Beautiful Movie, but if I really had to choose ... my eyes say Team Cap, but my heart is saying Team Stark. I'll probably watch this again when my dad gets back in the country, haha.

Okay, I gotta go. I actually have to meet my aunt at the seamstress's to drop off some things we need taken in. I'll be hanging out with B and SMA this week, but I'll have at least one post scheduled for while I'm gone. Catch you later!


P.S. My sister and now my aunt are the only family members who know about this blog. I told my aunt about it two months ago. To be fair, she doesn't totally understand what a blog is yet, though she knows that I take pictures of my nails and type a lot on the computer. Same thing, right?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gift of Fab: Covergirl x Star Wars Emerald Blaze

Late, but ... May the Fourth be with you! (And happy, happy birthday to one of my best friends -- I love you, Sara!)

I'll be honest: I wasn't feeling too great about "The Force Awakens" as soon as I heard JJ was on board to direct. (Yeah, I'm still salty about how "Alias" ended, and no, I'm never letting it go; also, I HATED "Star Trek Into Darkness.") And then once the Covergirl tie-in products were announced, I still wasn't excited -- I get nervous about movie tie-in products because usually the more they're hyped, the smaller the movie's chances are of actually being good, even if the products are amazing in their own right. When this collection started rolling out into stores, they were so frustratingly HTF, only adding to my displeasure -- it took me almost three months to find the lipstick I wanted! What even, Covergirl.

As far as the Covergirl x Star Wars nail polishes go, literally not a single effort was made because save for three colors (which are easily dupable, IMO), CG basically took existing shades and slapped a Star Wars sticker on them. Such is the case for Emerald Blaze, a core CG polish that also happens to have a dupe in OPI Green on the Runway (the Sprite color from the 2014 OPI Coca-Cola tie-in). Nonetheless, I was touched when my favorite blueberry Chelsea sent me a tiny Christmas package, which included Emerald Blaze. The package arrived the week "The Force Awakens" premiered and I won't lie, this sweet gift did more to get me keyed up for the movie than every dorky conversation I'd had with B. So thank you, Chelsea! 😘




Three coats with SV.









A few pics with the shift:









Quick color description: Emerald Blaze has smoky blackened base with prominent green shimmer and a little maroon/copper shift, which makes it look olive. The shift isn't the strongest in some lights, so if you're hoping for an Ozotic level of duochrome, keep sweepin' 'cause this ain't it. I will say that the lit-from-within glow is really nice, and I LOVE the way blackened shimmers look on short nails. Plus we all know I love a jewel tone, and this one is really beautiful.

I own the OPI dupe but I can't find it; everything I've read comparing the OPI and this Covergirl says that the OPI has a thinner but better formula. I did think this CG was thick yet watery at the same time (typical with blackened shimmers), but it wasn't too terrible to work with. Since this is metallic, you really want to put down a good base coat so you don't get bubbles or weird marks when polish dries. I thought it covered well in two coats but preferred it at three. Dry time wasn't too bad with SV, and I'll probably wear this until the end of the day tomorrow. Emerald Blaze is one of those shimmers that you KNOW is going to give you instant tip wear just by looking at it, which certainly was true for me. Maybe next time I'll have to do a Gelous sandwich with it. So far I haven't had any chipping, which is good.

I don't shop Covergirl products too much, so I don't really know what the deal is with their polishes unless I read it on a blog. I think Emerald Blaze originally came out at the beginning of 2015 as part of a Katy Perry mascara collab, along with two other jewel-toned metallic polishes that made up a "Lava" trio of some kind. I know those three colors became core, just in time for me to be unimpressed when the Star Wars polishes came out, hahaha. Anyway, if you want it, just run to the grocery store, drugstore, or wherever is having a Covergirl promo.

Final verdict? I'm kind of split on this one. It would be one thing if this was just a drugstore dupe for a salon-level polish. That is more than fine! However, as a Star Wars tie-in product, it sucks. No originality whatsoever. (Which, BTW, you also could argue was the problem for "The Force Awakens." More on that in a second.)

And here's a rant, because I love "Star Wars." I really do -- the original trilogy, anyway, plus Ewan as Obi-Wan Kenobi -- but I think for such an epic franchise, it deserved much, much more than it got in the way of tie-in cosmetics. It might not matter because people probably bought some of these CG products anyway and "The Force Awakens" made bank, but ... look, if OPI could put out a killer "Skyfall" collection and China Glaze gave us solid "Hunger Games" and "The Giver" collections, a more thoughtful approach for cosmetics aficionadas would have been really nice!

FWIW, I enjoyed "The Force Awakens," but I didn't love it and I definitely do not have it on DVD. Not even Oscar Isaac can change my mind ... and I saw it twice in the theater to make sure, LOL. It was basically "A New Hope: JJ Style" and they really wore that out. It wasn't as awful as Episodes I, II, and III, and could have been so much worse, but I guess I hoped for something more. Who knows, I'll probably be all up in "Rogue One" because I like Felicity and lawd knows I love Mads. That's just me, though -- I'd love to hear what you thought of "TFA," the Covergirl Star Wars collection overall, or your favorite tie-in products. Thanks so much again for this polish, Chelsea! I'm happy to have it. I can see myself grabbing this one again come fall.

Sorry this post went up so late! Time got away from me today, but the good news is I wiped out a lot of household chores. I just wanted to post because IDEK what I'll be doing in a year, and at least this way I was able to put up something for 5/4, even if it was only once.

Not sure when my next post is going up because I just sliced a little bit of skin off one finger while dicing sweet potatoes for tonight's dinner. It's a small cut and really not that bad (I've definitely had worse) but IDK how ugly it's going to get before it starts to heal. (Plus I have no desire to get nail polish remover near open skin, omg OW.) I'm not sure how much of this is an aesthetic thing or a "taking you guys into consideration" thing ... we'll see! But thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

China Glaze Pink or Swim

I broke my Swissco glass file last week, so I made a Sally's trip to replace it. In addition to a dangerous mix-and-match B2G1 nail polish sale, I noticed some China Glaze House of Colour polishes in a clearance bin for $2.99 a pop. I grabbed the two I'd been wanting the most. Then the associate ringing me up informed me that those polishes came out to $1.49 each ... so I grabbed two more, and I think with the B2G1 promo, one polish ended up being free! As my aunt often says, I was so excited that I couldn't stand it. (Doesn't take much ...)

Pink or Swim is one of the polishes I ran back to get, and I wanted to give it a whirl first because it was the one I was the most iffy about. I don't entirely trust store lighting, but for $1.49, I was quite willing to let go of any doubts.

Usually I save the color spiel for after the photos but I ended up loving this polish so much, I can't do that today. I don't know how not to make this sound dodgy, but ... Pink or Swim is deceptively boring. When I saw the House of Colour press release, blogger swatches, and finally in person back in January? February?, I gave it a hard pass. In the bottle, it looks like a slightly muted, very warm carnation? salmon? pink, so warm that it's almost coral. Snooze.

Only, not so much. I think if this had been any brighter, it would make a killer neon pastel. As it is, I have to say that Pink or Swim is not nearly as searing as my photos make it look, but it is deceptively bright and really pops on me. And I love it.





Three coats with SV.







Had to bring back Sgt. Doakes because #damndaniel, I was feelin' this polish so hard


See what I mean? Pink or Swim is what I wanted ChG Pinking Out the Window (spring 2015) to be. Compared to a polish like OPI Kiss Me I'm Brazilian, this is significantly warmer, and more subdued. I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off this color, but I like it so much that I'm considering making this my next pedi shade.

The formula also surprised me in the best way. I mentally geared up for a ride on the struggle bus, but Pink or Swim turned out to be really, really easy to work with. I got great coverage on the first coat, and this was opaque at two. Like, WHAT? For a pastel, this is pretty wild. I added a third coat for photos just in case. Dry time was quick with SV, and I wore this for three days. I was just beginning to get some tip wear last night; after washing dishes without gloves (I know, I know), a huge chunk came right off my right index finger. I'd still feel okay about wearing this for a long weekend away, though.

Very, very delighted with my first pick from House of Colour, so if you too encounter anything from this collection on clearance, you should go for it. You never know! I'm looking forward to trying and sharing my other three House of Colour clearance treasures at some point; I've read pretty good things about these polishes, so I'm stoked.

What about you guys, did you pass on House of Colour? If you didn't, did you have any favorites from that collection? Have you made any great clearance buys lately, or had any polishes that turned out to be surprise winners? --I like hearing about these things. I mean, where else am I going to be able to ask this, if not on my own blog? ;)

One last thing: If you guys are into baby animals at all -- WHICH YOU SHOULD BE -- I need to tell you that there are 13 new cheetah cubs at the Metro Richmond Zoo. They won't be on exhibit anytime soon because they're so little, but you can watch some of these precious babies on the zoo's Cheetah Cam (use Flash-enabled browsers). I think this is a great pick-me-up for a Monday ... or just in general.

Kbye!