Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inaugural post: Chanel Riva, and hello!

Hi! Rach here, and welcome to the inaugural post here on Stuff I (S)watched. "Another nail blog?" you ask.

Well, yes ... and no.
After some thought, blogging seemed to be the ultimate outlet for me to share some of my favorite hobbies. While the focus of this blog certainly will be nail polish, there are other things I'd like to include that are -- how shall I put it -- sort of supplementary to my polishing experience. I'll address that stuff after the polish part of this post.

But it took me forever to decide on the right time to start blogging. And after seeing so many great swatch pictures online, I told myself I’d have to wait until I got a real camera.
As you can see, I didn’t exactly wait that long. For the past few months I’ve been experimenting taking NOTD pics on my 2010 HTC Droid Eris and found that with the right lighting, I can come up with some decent images! I realized that if pictures were what was holding me back, then I was going to be waiting a long time. In that spirit, I present the first polish featured on SIS:




Chanel Riva was a LE polish from Chanel’s Côte d’Azur collection last winter. I want to say it was released in November, because that’s when I bought it from the Chanel website with a free shipping code (w00t!). Riva was a treat to myself after a traffic court case was dropped -- I remember being so overwhelmed with relief that I bought it almost immediately that morning.
I swatched it on a couple of fingers but I hadn’t really worn it since buying it. During swatching (and eventually wearing it), I will tell you that the formula is streaky and milky and takes at least three thin-medium coats to smooth out.
This is four coats with Poshe top coat. Three coats is par for the course for me, so four isn’t going terribly out of my way. But oh, it was worth it!




I would’ve loved to take more pictures outside, but there were a lot of bees on the deck, and I hate bees.









As with most Chanels, the secret shimmer in this polish is only apparent in very bright sunlight, otherwise Riva looks like a baby blue creme indoors. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with that, but I can understand not wanting to pony up $25.
Also, depending on one’s body chemistry and the actual polish used, some top coats don’t play well with Chanel polish. I’ve found that regular top coat + Seche Vite dried a bit lumpy, and SV alone results (“resluts”?) in fantastic tip wear and a bit of chipping. I tried Poshe, and so far it seems to be working out. Poshe isn’t self-leveling like SV and I have yet to master the art of using it, but so far, it seems to be doing the job.
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Now that I've concluded the polish swatch/observation part of this post, I always think it’s fascinating to find out more about someone’s favorite things! Though I can’t promise this will be fascinating, here are some of my favorite non-polishy things which I plan on sneaking in here from time to time, also known as

Stuff You Would Put in a Trap to Catch Me

- ONTD (OhNoTheyDidnt) This one’s kind of a twofer: celebrity gossip blog + LOLs aplenty (this includes some amazing .gifs -- TDK pool party .gifs were my e-highlight of Summer ‘08.)

- Dogs, but especially Pembroke Welsh Corgis. I don’t know what made me cotton on to the idea of having one, but they’re so cute, and such a great breed for my lifestyle (yeah, you know you saw that episode of “Dogs 101”). If I had a corgi, I would name it Snozzbert and knit it Christmas sweaters and love it and pick up guys in the park and post a jillion pictures on Tumblr and basically, we could be short and fat and happy together.

- Television. When my sister started watching “Community,” she told me that Abed reminded her of me … on steroids. I’ve learned to lock this down in public over the years, but once you start talking about one of my favorite programs, my dork starts showing A LOT, most especially for a little show called

- “Friday Night Lights.” While I am incredibly sports-impaired for someone who grew up in Southwest Virginia (Hokie country), I found it very easy for me to relate to the show. Dustin Rowles on Pajiba.com said this show will “make your heart swell three sizes bigger.” And I completely agree, except for the part where my heart didn’t exactly stop at three sizes. :) If this hasn’t convinced you, Google “Tim Riggins.” You’re welcome.

- Mountain Dew slurpees. Caffeinated like crazy, comes in a size GINORMOUS (go to Sheetz or 7-11. Seriously.), and still cheaper than quality frozen coffee. I lived off of these in college, and can drive almost anywhere if I can drink these along the way.

- Knitting. I’m self-taught, which is great when people are impressed and conversely, explains a lot when people are not impressed. I think I’m at intermediate level, and I taught myself how to knit in the round a few years ago but could not fathom how to finish the “Doctor Who” adipose creature I was making! Until I can get proper human instruction, I’m sticking to scarves. My favorite scarf patterns are cable and aran ones. I’d also like to start learning brioche stitches, double knitting and Fair Isle. Ravelry is one of my favorite places, although I lurk more than I post there.

Having said all this, THANK YOU for stopping by today. I do hope you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, and that you’ll drop by again! :)

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