Friday, September 30, 2011

Only blue talk and love ... Models Own Beth's Blue

After wearing dark colors and fall shades for my last few manis, I needed something lighter and brighter ... and apparently, also something that is full of B3 stinkiness. (Which I love, don't get me wrong!) I was epically torn between Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas and Models Own Beth's Blue, and asked my equally-indecisive-and-total-enabler friend Anna to help me out. I think she chose well. :)

Please forgive the weird squiggly-ness of my sunlit pics. Apparently my phone, much like myself when I worked in TV, hates the sun.

Two coats with SV.

Beth's Blue is a lovely light blue-leaning periwinkle, pretty close to the Crayola definition of periwinkle and more blue than AA L'Esprit (you can barely tell from those pics, but yes). It's a gorgeous color, not so much a fall shade to me, and more of a winter/spring one. You know I love SV, so I obviously don't care about the stench (as long as it's not scented polish or, even worse, a KleanColor ... good heavens).

Now for the not-so-gorgeous part of this polish: the formula. I swatched Beth's Blue on a nail and found that it went on a bit thick; when I started the actual polishing process with my base coats, I found it went on a bit chalky and streaky. UGHHH. I used a few drops of Seche Restore and needed two thin-medium coats to get the polish even. BTW, it took me about two failed attempts to realize this. >__< But the color payoff is totally worth it. And it dried quickly, so there's that.

I used to use NailTek Foundation II as a base coat last year, and the Models Own bottles remind me of my old NailTek bottles. (I think NailTek changed its bottle shape last year ... they made the cap skinnier.) Its white cap and white lettering make the MO bottle is the most adorable non-square bottle I have in my collection. The brush isn't hard to use at all, as it's a thinner brush along the lines of China Glaze and Essie.

I'm curious to see how this wears, so after the weekend, I will give you a status report. :)

Edited to add that this polish wore really well for three days until I chipped it on one finger at the end of the third day. This happened when I stopped adhering to the "jewels, not tools" mantra ... like a genius, I decided to peel open my ChapStick seal instead of twisting it like the instructions say. I'll definitely wear Models Own polishes with SV again!

If you're brave enough for pastels, B3-full polish, and international shipping, you can find Beth's Blue on the Models Own website. I *think* Urban Outfitters also sells MO on their website, but they only sell a few colors and AFAIK, Beth's Blue isn't one of them. I got this polish last August during a MO World Cup promotion ... was it 50% off? I don't even remember. I just remember hauling ass!, which means there may be more MO posts in the future. :)

Do you have any favorite Models Own polishes? Good weekend plans?

Thanks for reading! I'll see you next month. ;) I cannot believe September is over and fall is finally here. WTH. But here, have a video I meant to post last week and totally forgot about. It kind of works with how very ... twee this color makes me feel and kind of matches the puppet in the video. I don't care. I love Pomplamoose. Judge me. And we all know the original version of this song is pretty baller anyway.

... how cute is Jack's grandma?! Stop being so damn cute, Pomplamoose.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A crankypants NOTD: MAC Deep Sea

Great balls of fire. In case you're wondering how Cupcake Camp turned out on Saturday, I'm right there with you! After an unfortunate turn of events with our transportation, we weren't able to make it out there. :( That was incredibly disappointing -- I was excited about the event and although we weren't able to participate as bakers, it would have been nice to be there as regular attendees for a good cause. (Here are some pictures on their Flickr. I'm getting the beetus just looking at 'em! I haven't yet been able to find any information as to how much money was raised for DC Candlelighters, but I'd love to know!)

I still managed to eat more than a few cupcakes anyway -- if I eat another one before the end of this year, it will be too soon. Since that day trip fell through and I didn't make any other plans to roll with my homies, I wound up spending the weekend watching TV and a bunch of movies with the old balls and chain. That wasn't too bad.

I was a little cranky, but not cranky enough to go out and BUY ALL THE THINGS. (Don't act like you've never been there!) Having said that,
here's a polish I acquired on one of my infamous "I feel awful, let me run by Nordstrom and Panda Express on my way back from DSW" shopping days last month.

Profuse apologies for the bubbly top coat. :/ It's most likely thinner time. Too bad this is the only top coat that my MAC polishes will dry with!

Two coats with Poshe.

Is this the most original take on teal? No, but I love it! I wasn't planning on getting this one, but decided when I saw it in person that it was different enough from RBL Teal/OPI STWD, CND Urban Oasis and Zoya Cynthia to be worth the splurge. Though I consider it a blue teal at heart, Deep Sea has more green in it than those others I just mentioned, and in low lighting you can tell that it's not black. Yay for that!

Like most recent MAC polishes, this one is highly pigmented. Two thick coats is all I needed for opacity, but make sure to wear a good base coat combo and be careful to avoid pooling in the cuticles -- you'll have a heck of a time getting that out! That's the only reason I took pics of my bubbly left hand. My right hand only had one huge top coat bubble, but you would slap me if you saw the clean-up job on that hand. The brush on MAC polishes is a little awkward to hold to begin with, specifically if you polished the way I did (that is, in bed and jittery due to slight caffeine withdrawal), so try to attempt to polish at a table or on a stable flat surface.

Deep Sea is one of the four polishes from this fall's MAC Me Over collection. The collection is supposedly limited edition and the polishes cost a ridiculous amount of money (I think I paid $30-ish for Deep Sea and my other pick from MAC Me Over). I loved the colors in the collection even though they might be a little basic, and I thought they looked good together. If it weren't for the price tag and my army of potential dupes, I probably would've bought them all as they are fairly flattering colors on me.

Again, apologies for the bubbly top coat! Did you pass on Deep Sea, this entire collection, or MAC polishes in general? What do you buy when you're cranky? I feel like some of my other cash-worthy pastimes (knitting, TPBs, DVDs) should come with a warning along the lines of "Please budget responsibly." *pats wallet*

This has nothing to do with anything, but I watched "The Lion King" in 3-D on Saturday afternoon. IT WAS AWESOME, better than a lot of the movies made in 3-D, to be honest. It hit me that kids today have really awful, less-than-substantial movies -- studios are just in it to make an easy buck and hope we don't notice mediocre celebrity voicework and weak stories. "The Lion King" was one of the last great animated (Disney) movies of my childhood, and the fact that the movie as a whole (animation, score, story) still resounds so powerfully is a testament to old-school quality. Plus, Uncle Scar! Jeremy Irons ... woof. [/tangent]

Friday, September 23, 2011

BB Couture Junk in the Trunk, and a Very Good Cause

Hello, friends and new readers! Thank you for the follows -- I do appreciate it a lot, and I know there are so many nail blogs out there, but if you stick around, I'll do my best to make it worth your while ...

... starting now.

Tomorrow afternoon, I am going to be in D.C. assisting my Virgo soulmate J, who's competing at CupcakeCamp DC. More on this after I do a quick review! Anyway, if the event's Facebook page is true, there will be more than 1,144 cupcakes. I'm more of a muffin lady myself, but I will Do Things for a good red velvet cupcake.

Clearly, BB Couture Junk in the Trunk was the obvious choice for my weekend mani. I took pictures on my right hand this time because I had massive top coat bubbles on my left index finger and a chip on my ring finger, but the chip was 100% the fault of a troublesome zipper and I didn't feel like painting that hand over. I had THINGS TO DO, you know? And if it EVER stops raining, I would love to get some shots of this in the sun.

Three coats with SV. In person, this is a touch greener than what you're seeing here.

I would describe this as a cerulean/cyan blue with shimmer that isn't metallic, but not quite glass-fleck (think of the shimmer in Essie Coat Azure). IT'S SO PRETTY. When I got this one, I thought it looked similar to Illamasqua Fern -- it's super close, but not 100% a dupe.

Junk in the Trunk applied easily and dried VERY quickly with SV -- after about twenty minutes, I was able to put boots on without denting my mani. My only issue with the formula was that it didn't level out, but if that was my only problem, I'm going to STFU and drop it. This is the third BB Couture I've used, and while I like the length of the brush stem and the thin brush, I have to say that the brush itself isn't the most pliable (for me, a "pliable" brush would be something like Orly/Zoya/Essie). Again, an extremely minor gripe.

This polish is part of the Ladies' Eye Candy collection from BB Couture for this fall. According to retailer Overall Beauty, this is a limited edition collection, so if you want any of these polishes, grab 'em while you can! The whole collection is $49.99 on Overall Beauty and Junk in the Trunk is $8.95. I have another polish from the Ladies' collection and one more from the Men's, and I'll get to those ... er ... before the end of the year. Yes.

So how do we feel about Junk in the Trunk -- the polish, or in general? Har har har.

Okay, before I go -- here's more details about DC Cupcake Camp.

You can buy a ticket and donate here:

We'll be at Table 14 with the chocolate mint and lemon blackberry cupcakes. Hope to see you there! :)

Hope you guys have a great weekend, too. :D

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Orly Stone Cold, and a birthday shoutout!

First of all, this manicure is dedicated to all my fellow September Virgo babies, especially the lovely Steffels. She is one of my favorite nail bloggers and MUAers, and I'm glad to know her. Though her birthday is tomorrow in my U.S. Eastern time zone, it's already her birthday in hers. Happy birthday, Stef! :)

I like wearing blue polish not only on my birthday, but also throughout the month of September as sapphire is the birthstone for us September kids. Orly Stone Cold certainly fits the bill -- it's VERY blue, and from Orly's Mineral FX collection! After a couple of weeks of hemming and hawing, I finally got it. Good decision, or what?

Three coats with Essie Good to Go.

The best way I can think of to describe the finish of this polish is "glass fleck ON STEROIDS." Holy sparkle, Batman. I'm not sure whether this is too much for me yet -- I'll know by my next post! The color is so vibrant -- think China Glaze Frostbite, but a little lighter -- and the glass fleck just adds to it. I know I was whining about MAC Ming Blue not being "loud" enough, but this polish is almost ... too loud. Yeah, call the wahhhh-mbulance. I'm such a polish wuss.

No problems with the formula. I was concerned initially that it would be either thick or runny -- not at all! Use a good base coat combo, though, because I bet it stains.
I could have done with two coats but IMO the shade starts to look deeper and more complex with three. I think I could have used a different top coat as well, because glass fleck finishes usually don't dry as smoothly as, say, foils. They do feel a little bumpy, and Stone Cold is no exception.

Stone Cold is part of Orly's Mineral FX collection out this fall, which I believe came out sometime late last month at Sally's, where I got mine. I also was interested in Ember Stone, but that turned out to be more orange than red, and Rock Solid had more holo glitter than I was comfortable with (see: this entire blog so far), leaving Stone Cold as my only pick. I think at Sally's it was $7.99 (I had my Sally card as well as a coupon, so I probably got it down to a little less) but otherwise retails for nearly $10.

What are/were your picks from Orly Mineral FX? You need to get this baby if you love blue polishes. Also, please wish Stef a happy birthday if you haven't already! :)

On an unrelated note, if any of you live in the D.C./MD area and are looking for something fun to do this Saturday, I'll have a suggestion in my next post. ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

RGB Deep: my post-Emmy NOTD, also "What would Kalinda wear?"

The words "Emmy winner Kyle Chandler" put a big dumb smile on my face when I woke up this morning. As a loyal and long-suffering "Friday Night Lights" fan, I almost cried when he was presented with the Outstanding Lead Actor award last night (and if I keep watching YouTube clips, I'm liable to keep doing so). What a great birthday present for him!

This was funny to me because I wasn't even thinking about Coach Taylor around 2 a.m. when I finally went to bed after marathoning the second season of "The Good Wife." I bought that season on DVD two weeks ago as an early birthday present to myself (seriously, I have GOT to stop using my birthday as an excuse to buy shit) and have been watching these episodes in an effort to catch up before the third season premiere on the 25th.

The terrific actress (and 2010 Emmy winner) Archie Panjabi plays a character named Kalinda Sharma, the in-house private investigator for the show's fictional law firm. Kalinda is as BADASS as she looks and I sort of want to be her when I grow up. The closest I can get to channeling Kalinda at the moment -- without the cryptic looks, boots of justice and a baseball bat -- is by wearing my hair up, dark clothes ... and dark polish.

Though I don't think Kalinda's been shown wearing polish more than a couple of times, I like to imagine she's got more than a few vampy shades of her own, similar to this one.

Three coats of RGB Deep with Essie Good to Go.

Deep is one of RGB's original ten colors and the RGB website describes this as a dark purple, but on me it was a vampy reddish plum -- or is it prune? I was apprehensive at first because the bottle color seemed almost like a deep brown; when I started polishing, this wasn't the case at all. The reddish tones build up to that lovely vampy, deep plum/prune color.

Deep's formula was a creme lover's wet dream to work with. I used three thick coats for total opacity and coverage, and it was quite glossy before I even put on top coat. The brush stem is short, but the brush itself is really easy to work with -- it's a little thicker and stiffer than, for example, a Rescue Beauty Lounge brush.

Despite the price (first $14 when I heard of them two years ago, now upped to $16), I happen to be a huge fan of RGB polishes. To me, they're worth the price because they apply well and wear well on me -- sure, the colors and finishes may be a little too boring and basic for most polish fiends, but you know I'm boring as hell. I'm one of those shoppers who prefers to see the goods in person before plunking down cash, so I ordered Deep on a whim (a half-price whim) and I think that was a pretty good decision because I happen to love vampy cremes.

The only way to see all the colors RGB offers is to check out their website which offers free shipping; select colors may be available at Urban Outfitters, and you also can check the RGB site for retailers in your state. The nearest one to me is Need Supply Co. in Richmond (down in Carytown -- they also sell a few NYX Girls polishes), which is where I got my first two RGB polishes, Minty and Haze. I bought this one and a few others from the RGB site two weeks ago for half off with a Lucky Mag code, only operable for one day.
I wish I had enough pictures to substantiate all this rambling, so here's a picture of two classy ladies from "The Good Wife" so you can see what I'm talking about when I gush over Kalinda's wardrobe. She's the one on the right.

SIGH. LOVE. And how awesome is it that Archie Panjabi won the Supporting Actress Emmy last year for her work as Kalinda? Fierce bitch is fierce, y'all. I'm one disc away from finishing the second season and I CANNOT WAIT for the season premiere this Sunday.

Do you guys have any RGB polishes you like or love? Any thoughts on the Emmy broadcast last night? It was unevenly paced, but it wasn't the host's fault for once. While it would have been a dream for my girl (and Virginia native) Connie Britton to win in her category, I'm more than OK with Julianna Margulies taking it home ... but oh lady ... what was that DRESS? Also, Steve Carell's loss was the biggest damn snub of the night. WTH.

What about the TV characters who are your fashion inspirations -- or hell, lifespirations? I think I managed to hit most of mine in this post: Kalinda and Alicia on "The Good Wife," Tami Taylor on "FNL," and occasionally, Fiona from "Burn Notice" and LaGuerta from "Dexter." Must be that sassy Miami style. IDK.

Wow, this post was a major fail. I meant to talk about Kalinda and instead all I've done is practically sob over Kyle Chandler (and "FNL" writer Jason Katims' win for his work on the series finale). I cannot get over last night and how sweetly art reflected life, and back again -- for "FNL" fans everywhere, clear eyes and full hearts finally didn't lose! As Tami Taylor would say, "Thanks, y'all. I appreciate that."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maybelline Cool Couture, a polish for a cool fall Friday

The forecasts all week have been touting cool weather for this weekend, starting today. Fall is in the air! That makes me an extremely happy panda -- I've even broken out my boots. Oh yes. This weather also made me want to break out a dark but shimmery fall color, and I knew I had just the polish for that!

--Also, this weather means that I may be a slave to my Ott-Lite for a while, so let me know what you think about these photos. And sorry about the grossness of my nail beds. I was cutting my nails down and may have gotten a bit ... zealous. Eh, it'll grow back by my next post. ;)

(click to enlarge)

Three coats of Cool Couture with SV.

This polish has a dark grey base with some blue, sort of like slate. While the base is an extremely flattering color on me, I'm not sure I would've bought this polish if it hadn't been for the teal shimmer laced throughout the gorgeous grey. The shimmer really sets it apart from other grey shimmers out there.

I never expect an easy time applying Maybelline polishes. Basically this comes down to a couple of things. The first issue regards the brush bristles. I have no problems with the cap or the length of the brush stem, but the bristles on most of my Maybellines are uneven, frayed, and generally don't spread out. Quality control IS YOUR FRIEND, Maybelline! I did have a couple of brush strands that splayed out, but that wasn't really a problem. The formula on this one was all right, but I needed two thick coats for complete coverage and a third for covering bald spots and unevenness. Then SV did its thing and all was well.

Cool Couture is one of the polishes from Maybelline's Scene on the Runway collection for this fall. It was the only polish in that collection that was enticing enough for me to grab it at Rite Aid last week. I believe the displays have been out for about a month (?), so get if you see it at your local drugstore chain, or check MUA swap lists.

I'm really glad I have this color. Funny thing about greys: my wackadoo skin tone makes all light, medium and dark grey polishes with green undertones look killer on me. However, greys with blue undertones don't look good unless they are darker greys. Riddle me that!

Did you guys pick up Cool Couture, anything else from this collection, or just anything exciting for fall? :D I may try to snag another pumpkin spice latte -- I had my first one of the season on Monday, and it was total fail whale. Hopefully this next one won't be as bad!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Misa Dirty, Sexy, Money: Worthy of my U.S. history boyfriend?

The boyfriend and I went on a little D.C. daytrip on Monday and spent the afternoon checking out the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Before our impromptu dinner date with my high school best friend, we killed some time at the National Portrait Gallery. After the hordes of visitors and taking in the very busy exhibits and displays at the Natural History Museum, the Portrait Gallery was the perfect close to the day -- just portraits and sculptures, no frills, no noise.

I looked at the Kyopo Project photos and may have cut my boyfriend loose so I could go hunting for a portrait of my U.S. history boyfriend, Alexander Hamilton. Luckily, I didn't have to go far before locating John Trumbull's 1806 painting. Alexander Hamilton has always fascinated me: he was a military man, a politician and delegate, an economist, a constitutional lawyer and our first Secretary of the Treasury. I've slooooooowly been reading this book by Thomas Fleming for a while, but Rufus Sewell's turn as Hamilton in the "John Adams" HBO miniseries only added more fuel to the fire.

I planned on wearing another polish after getting back from my birthday weekend, but you know I love old guys ... so this got bumped up on my list. Without further ado, Misa Dirty, Sexy, Money. Hee hee hee.

Three coats with SV.

(click to enlarge)

This is a dusty light teal/turquoise color that leans green -- it reminded me of the turquoise in my old Crayola colored pencil set, actually. The formula was pretty good, a little on the thick side. The Misa brushes are thin, which I like, and and they spread the polish out well. Two medium-thick coats was okay, but not completely smooth and three did the trick.

Dirty, Sexy, Money is from Misa's Living on the Fast Lane collection from Spring 2009. I ordered mine from TransDesign (now last September. It's close but not a complete dupe for Sephora by OPI Ocean Love Potion as well as NYX Girls Algae, so if you can't get a hold of this one, those are quite reasonable facsimiles. I have all three -- *gulp* -- but when this color looks as good on me as it does ... they're just staples! ;)

Since I'm feeling the need to wax some more on Hamilton, here's what the Trumbull painting looks like:

I haven't been able to discuss art history intelligently since I was ten years old, so here's a picture of Rufus Sewell as Alexander Hamilton for you to drool over. For the record, I don't know that Sewell was the right physical choice for Hamilton, although the casting people could not have picked a better actor with the same kind of energy. YES PLEASE DO WANT.

GODDAMN I LOVE BRITISH ACTORS IN PERIOD MILITARY DRESS TUMBLR. More precisely, I love that there's a Tumblr account for almost anything.

Thoughts on this Misa? Suggestions for future D.C. daytrips? Anyone else want to share their U.S. history boyfriend? Favorite Rufus Sewell projects? I can't wait to see him in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," but so far my favorite performance of his is in BBC's "Shakespeare Retold" version of "The Taming of the Shrew" with Shirley Henderson as the Katherine to his cross-dressing Petruchio. That's right. CROSS-DRESSING. It's on Netflix. You're welcome.