Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OPI Wocka Wocka!, a giveaway, and MANIACAL LAUGHTER

I'm having a giveaway until Dec. 10! You can click here for more info.

On Saturday, I went to see the "Muppets" with my high school bestie -- my thoughts on the movie after I've talked about this OPI for a hot sec.

I'm not a big fan of glitter and shiny things, but I LOVE most things Muppets! I hit up Ulta last month with my polish shopping partner in crime and decided to take Wocka Wocka! home with me. For some strange reason, I've been craving berry reds lately, and after the red fail that was Zoya Racquel, Wocka Wocka! would've had to work hard to disappoint me.

Two coats with SV. A little more berry-colored than you see here.

In addition to being Fozzie's catchphrase, Wocka Wocka! is a deep red berry shimmer -- just more blue-based and berry enough to look great on me (as opposed to OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, which was bad news bears). In natural outdoor and some indoor artificial lights, Wocka Wocka! merely looks red and not so much berry. It's definitely very glowy, and I do like that.

Formula was OPI perfection and very pigmented. Of course, it's also quite stainy around the cuticles, so take care when you apply it. I imagine I'll probably have to go an extra round with Orly Cutique when I remove this!

If you already have a go-to shimmery red or were hoping for something more original, I'd honestly skip this one. As I said earlier, I was compelled to buy this one purely because of my fondness for the Muppets and my current adoration for berry polishes. I know. I have a soft touch. Curse you, marketing!

Here's the part you were probably really more excited for: my $0.02 about the movie. But wait, LOOK AT MY EARRINGS. :D

I am no film critic, even though I've done my share of acting like one. I don't know what it is, but I delight in analyzing things (Virgo much?), especially movies. I've enjoyed so many that I didn't think I would, and didn't like some that I'd hoped I would.

This movie left me somewhere in the middle. I don't know how else to say it -- while the film was very good/funny/touching in bursts, it wasn't cohesive as a whole. I enjoyed it, truly, just not as much as I had hoped to.

"The Muppets" does a great job of showing you what's so special about the beloved characters, and showcasing their particular sense of humor. Part of the reason I never had a favorite Muppet growing up was because I enjoyed them all as a family of sorts. Seeing the gang sing "Rainbow Connection" together after many years really made me teary.

My only beef with the movie comes with the central characters of the non-Muppet family: Jason Segel's character, Amy Adams' and the Muppet-like Walter. I realize this isn't Shakespeare or Ibsen or what have you, but they were kind of ... bland. They were cute, but I feel like they missed the mark by just enough to bother me. Now I'm not sure if this was because I was so happy to see the Muppets that I couldn't deal with anyone that wasn't them, or because the human "Man or Muppet" subplot was a wee bit boring to me. I'll be honest, going back and forth between those two storylines seemed like more work sometimes than it was worth.

"The Muppets" was directed by James Bobin, and Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords served as musical supervisor and songwriter. Bobin was the "Flight of the Conchords" HBO series director, which should give you some idea of what his style is like. The songs were wonderful. I've quoted "Me Party" three times since Saturday, haha. All the running gags were really funny, silly and clever, and I loved the cameos -- I only would have loved to see Steve Martin, but I'm a nerd like that.

I've heard a lot of talk this weekend basically saying Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller helped make this a Muppets movies for this and future generations. I agree. It wasn't perfect, but it was GALAXIES better than anything that happened after "Muppet Treasure Island."

Except, of course, for this little gem. It's like a '90s wet dream for me -- minus George Clooney -- but you can't have everything! It's okay, though. Brian Bell makes up for it. HELLO. I want him for Christmas. (Or, you know. Always.)

Weezer cruise, anyone? Yay or nay on Wocka Wocka! or "The Muppets"? What about favorite Muppet movie?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rach's ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway

I've been reading nail blogs since late 2008 and although I've never won a giveaway, I still think they're damn awesome. When I started blogging, I figured it would be a matter of time before I did my first giveaway. I had thought I'd wait at least until a six-month blogaversary, but the approaching holiday season is a better fit for me than my six-month blogaversary in January!

I have a tendency to go big or go home (which is why I'm often "home"), and I hope you participate in and enjoy this giveaway! It was very hard for me to settle on a theme, so I split it down the middle. I chose polishes in a ROYGBIV motif; everything else is holiday-based.

From L-R, here are the polishes you will win, all brand-new bottles (apologies for the very domestic domesticity in the background!):

  • OPI Red-y for the Cure
  • American Apparel Lopez Canyon, a color from the American Apparel's new fall line
  • Standing in for yellow, L'Oréal Owl's Night
  • A mini bottle of SpaRitual Rhythm of Life
  • China Glaze Blue Year's Eve
  • Zoya Pinta
  • The retail version of Essie Sexy Divide, part of the Essie 2011 Dive Bar/New Year's collection of repromotes
  • one mini bottle of China Glaze Peppermint Cuticle Oil, from last year's China Glaze 'Tis the Season To Be Naughty and Nice collection, size 0.375 Fl Oz

You will also win the following prizes:

  • a hand-knit scarf knitted by myself using Lion Brand Jiffy yarn in Gold, along with washing instructions.
  • 16 Christmas cards, so you can go ahead and send everyone your holiday greetings before 2012 arrives! Or maybe you'll be early for next year. Up to you.
  • Chococat notebook -- I saw it on Black Friday and thought it was cute! (Everybody likes Sanrio. Right?)
  • (not pictured) one Dolfin chocolate bar in my favorite flavor, Hot Masala. I'll buy another bar in a couple of weeks, but IT'S THE BEST THING EVER. Trust me. It's not particularly Christmas-y, but it'll be a welcome break from everything gingerbread and peppermint.
  • (not pictured) three sheets of white felt for easy-peasy polish removal. Unless you change your NOTDs often, three sheets tends to last me maybe three months. It's kind of crazy.
  • Something else fairly holiday-related may also sneak its way into your package. You can look out for an allusion or two on the blog next month. :)

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada until Saturday, December 10. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 P.M. ET. A randomly selected winner will be announced on Sunday, December 11. This person will have 24 hours to contact me before I select another winner.
All this being said, here are the rules to enter. Good luck!

  1. You must be a Google Friend Connect follower with a valid e-mail address.
  2. Fill out the entry form below.
  3. Pimp this out to your friends or anyone you think would be interested! If you blog about it, that qualifies you for an additional entry. Please include the URL when you fill out the entry form; if you decide to blog later, please leave the URL in a comment here and I will update it.

I'm super excited! I hope you are, too. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brown on Black Friday: OPI Get in the Expresso Lane

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying your Black Friday shopping. I can't think of anything worth cutting and shoving people for this year, so I don't plan to venture out for a little bit. Here's a blog post to tide us all over until I do!

When I picked my Thanksgiving mani on Wednesday night, I thought about what I'd worn on previous years.

Thanksgiving '08 = Sally Hansen Maximum Growth in Wholesome Earth
Thanksgiving '09 = China Glaze Recycle
Thanksgiving '10 = StrangeBeautiful Vol. 4 turban orange

So ... berry, grey, and orange -- standard fall colors there. The other fall colors I am loving nail-wise this year are navy, mustard, olive and brown. Seeing as I've covered mustard and olive on the blog this month, I think I was due for brown for some time! ;) And luckily, I've been itching to wear this one since I got it.

I don't remember if this was two or three coats, though -- I was watching "Doctor Who" while polishing ("The Lodger") and talking to my sister. Oops. So sorry!

One day and many washed Thanksgiving dishes later, with SV.

Formula was perfect and creamy, and barely required any cleanup. Win!

I was a little disappointed that it dried a bit darker than the bottle color on me, but not disappointed enough to dismiss it from my stash. It looks brown in most lights, and that's good enough for me! Because of its grey/dark green tones, this seems to be one of the more neutral browns in my stash -- the others appear to lean warmer, chocolatey or nearly vampy. Dupe-wise, I don't have Rescue Beauty Lounge Fortissimo or Zoya Codie to compare -- as an OPI hoor, this one was the obvious purchase for me.

I got my bottle of Get in the Expresso Lane in my AveYou Groupon haul from this August. It's still quite readily available, though, so if you're looking for a good deep neutral brown polish, this is a good one to try. :) I have two more OPI Touring America polishes left to show you, and I cannot tell you how much I love this "boring" collection!

Speaking of seemingly boring things I love, I would like to share with you my new favorite Tumblr, MasterPieceofAss. It's the best thing ever if you also enjoy Masterpiece Theatre (Classic, Contemporary, and Mystery!). How much do I love a man in period film? Well, so much that one of my best friends threatened to send me a costume period male stripper for my 21st birthday.

I agree, Mr. Tilney.

Before I depart, here's a couple of Thanksgiving shots from Casa de Rach. My uncle, a vascular surgeon, carved the turkey. Being the nerd that I am, I will never stop finding that funny.

Thanks for reading, and do stay tuned for something special this weekend! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FingerPaints Harvest Hues: Happy, happy Turkey day, hunger pains will go away ...

... When you hear the pilgrims say, "It's happy Turkey Day!"

Yay, I have a new phone battery, thanks to a family friend. :) (However, part of me does agree with the old balls and chain -- it is highly interesting that my battery died right after receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich update. Anyway ...)

What with Thanksgiving being around the corner and all, I thought now would be a good time to break out FingerPaints Harvest Hues. I love a good harvest, though more accurately, I love anything that involves pumpkin pie!

Two coats with SV. So sorry, I didn't see the sheet marks on my left hand until I saw these pictures! Boo. AND WHAT IS WITH THE SHRINKAGE?!?! Ugh.

Also, it's not as brushstrokey as it looks, I promise. It's more glowy!

This is a dark forest green shimmer whose slight brushstrokiness can be forgiven because of how perfect this polish is otherwise. It practically applied itself -- I love the FingerPaints brush and how pigmented their colors usually are. It all makes for easy polishing, for a wonderful price. This brand is appallingly underrated. :3

I don't think it's an exact dupe for China Glaze Jolly Holly, WetnWild FastDry SaGreena the Teenage Witch, or Sinful Colors San Francisco; however, if you have one of these, you really won't need the others (unless, of course, you love green polish). I have all four of these, so it's just a matter of deciding which ones get to stay in my stash -- who knows how long that will take!

Harvest Hues was a limited edition polish from FingerPaints' Seduced by Fall Collection from last year at Sally's. I had no intention of getting it when I first saw it as I was exclusively Team Creme at the time, but after a magical saggy boob-shaped bottle of polish changed my tune, I ran back for this one when I saw it on clearance.

What are your feelings about FingerPaints? Any favorite Thanksgiving foods or movies? I'll try to post on or before Thursday, but in case I don't get to that, I'll leave you with a clip from one of my favorite movies. I'll even go so far as to say that this is probably one of the few movies with a sequel more enjoyable than its precursor!

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

NEW: American Apparel Imperial Purple, or "I Hate You, Ice Cream Sandwich!"

My deepest apologies for these pictures -- in addition to my inability to capture purple accurately, Android's Ice Cream Sandwich update is doing me no favors in terms of battery life. These crappy photos are the best of the experimental ones I was able to upload to Flickr before Ice Cream Sandwich took a giant dump in my plans for the day! Can you say, "Re-swatch"? Because that's going to have to happen!!! ...

This is the last of the new American Apparel polishes I have for you! I know I said this color was "pretty much my favorite" -- wasn't that helpful? (I love ALL THE COLORS!) I'm sure the boyfriend would say that was about as helpful a hint as when I whine to him about being hungry, so we should go somewhere with food.

Two coats with SV.

This last photo is the most color-accurate. I HATE THESE PICTURES. And I was so excited for this post, too. :(

No, it is not an exact dupe for OPI Sapphire in the Snow. Sapphire in the Snow has a bit more red in it. However, for your money, I think this and Orly Wild Wisteria are your closest (as well as more widely available) bets!

Formula on this one was lovely and a little bit thick, or perhaps it just seems this way to me because of the American Apparel brush stem. I'm still working on getting just the right amount of polish on the brush (it varies from bottle to bottle) without glopping it all over the bottle neck. As with any long stem, you have to take extra care for the polish not to drip and that's never a good time. Luckily, I didn't have to work too hard here.

Imperial Purple is available for $6 at American Apparel stores and on AmericanApparel.net. (The site picture for this polish? SOOOO not accurate, but you can't win them all!) In case you bought the American Apparel Groupon that's $25 for $50 (or $50 for $100), I did check out the Groupon FAQ. Yes, the Groupon may be redeemed for polish, but not the multipacks.

Did I manage to sell you on Imperial Purple, or would you rather grab The Valley? Any general purple lovers out there? I really don't remember when I got on board with purple -- I've always liked it, but I think as soon as I got out of college, I wanted ALL THE PURPLE THINGS. And then my ex-roommate and I practically ODed on purple a few months before the "Watchmen" movie came out.

Although I'm not a psychopath, I love Adrian/Ozy. He's smart, pretty, and pretty fucking fabulous. Veidt's purple '80s bidnuss suit in the movie is awesome and cancels out the fact that Ozy's suit has, um, nipples. But you have to admit it's far more appropriate for him than Batman ...

(source: Texts from the Owlship)

Thank you for dealing with this craptacular post, and have a good weekend! :) Stay tuned, 'cause I got some good stuff for next week ... if my phone can be fixed quickly, anyway!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some November birthday shout outs, and Barielle Aura Angora

I'm sorry I haven't been around as much! But before I get into that, I'd like to take a minute and send out a few November birthday shout outs. :)

  • First, a belated happy birthday to my sweet friend Anna -- baker, future business lady and grand enabler.
  • Second, a happy happy birthday to my long-time friend and fellow British period drama lover, Lauren! Please go on over to her blog and wish her happy birthday if you haven't already.
  • Third, and at the risk of sounding like a "Dexter"-style stalker, a super-early happy birthday to my first follower and one of my absolute favorite nail bloggers, Stephanie of Short n' Chic.

It's also my boyfriend's birthday today, but ... I've already dealt with him, so ... yeah. :-p

I have nothing in my stash remotely close to topaz, the November birthstone, and sorry, ladies, but you'll have to settle for my Rather Unreasonable Facsimile. Despite all of that (and the occasional lobster hands), I happen to love this one, so never fear!

This is the polish that was, in my opinion, the star of last year's Style in Argyle (or, as the MUA nail board called it, Shades of Poop Fall) collection by Barielle. It's so very cozy and golden and just, well, fall. Depending upon my mood, it will remind me of either food or fall foliage (but mostly, food). How could I not love it??

Two coats with SV. Now I am craving honey mustard. I frown on O'Charley's but I love their honey mustard, damn it.

After a year of sitting first in photo storage boxes and eventually my Helmer, this polish made like a celebrity couple and began the process of separating. That's what all that red business at the bottom of the bottle is about. So I had to give it a roll and an impatient shake, and it was mostly fine. (I say "mostly" because it was a leeeeeeeeetle goopy -- not enough for me to want to thin it, but enough for me to mention it.) It dried very quickly.

This is the first full Barielle mani I have ever done. Aside from the minor degree of goop, I had no complaints. The brush stem length was not too long or too short, and the bristles spread polish pretty evenly. Not much to say in that department.

I bought this bottle at Ulta last fall, when it began selling Barielle polish. I remember thinking back then that Shades of Poop Fall may not have been the best collection for Barielle to debut at Ulta if they wanted to stick around, and what do you know, I'm right. Last month, the clearance section had what was left of the already-small core Barielle display; I saw Zoyas in the racks where the Barielles had been. However, if you still want this polish, you can still find it for $8 at Barielle.com. The site has free shipping for purchases over $50, and polishes are currently buy one, get one half off. That's not too shabby, really.

What do you think of this color? (I totally love it -- no surprise there.) Did you guys pick up any of last year's Shades of Fall? I also grabbed Cowl of the Wild, but that turned out to be a dud on my skin tone so I swapped it away.

As you know, I was sick last week. I'm happy to report that I am much better now! So if you bought the American Apparel Groupon that's floating around, you'll see my last pick from their new polishes at the end of this week. I'm also putting something cool together for next week, which I think you may like. ;)

Thank you for reading, and happy birthday, ladies!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day! -- Eyeko Military Polish (for Brave Nails)

It's Veterans Day! (And 11/11/11 ... oooooooooh.)

As you can probably surmise, I have not ended up in the hospital (... yet) -- this week, I was hit with an infection (and when I say "hit," I mean "body-slammed"). Painting my nails is the last thing I want to do -- all I want to do is stay in bed with books, a heating pad and a British model/actor. But I thought I'd suck it up today so I could do this mani.

I wanted to do something for Veterans Day and knew I had a few untried army greens in my stash. I think my selection speaks for itself.

Three coats with SV.

You definitely need at least three coats to build it up to a murky, deep olive color -- if you stop at two coats, it still looks kinda brown. (I need to start taking pictures along the way so you can see what I'm talking about!!) However, I am totally digging it on me and I know I am going to be sad when I finish up this tiny bottle!!!

About that bottle ... it's tiny. It's .30 fl oz, and even with only three coats I still managed to put a little bit of a dent in it. The bottle shape is thin and reminds me a little bit of small vials in terms of relative size, and the brush stem is long but the bristles spread easily and are of an average girth. The brush is pretty easy to work with, although I was worried about tipping the bottle over because of its narrow shape!

I got this polish, along with four others, in an amazing multi-swap last year with a seriously amazing NBer who ordered them from Eyeko.com. Sadly, I think Eyeko discontinued their polish sometime late this summer, so these are pretty HTF now. This information makes me even more grateful to my swap partner for these polishes!

I can't believe how much I actually like Military and am smacking myself for not trying it earlier. What's that? It's .gif time, featuring one of my favorite TV vets, James Doakes!

Please take a few moments to consider what this day really means -- it's more than just a department store sale day! There are other bloggers who posted far more eloquently about Veterans Day, and here is a post by Maria (R3 Daily blogger, Cult Nails founder, and military wife) that I really liked.

Hope you (and your vets) have a good holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEW: American Apparel 7th and Alameda

This is another polish from American Apparel's new fall line of colors. I wasn't planning on wearing this so soon, but I wanted to wear a grey creme and this one won out as it was NEW NEW NEW (at least, to me).

Remember how much I adored The Valley? This one ... well ...

Two easy coats with SV.

I gotta tell you -- this polish applied beautifully, and I think out of all the American Apparels I've tried, this is the only one I remember leveling out. That's pretty amazing, which is why I was bummed to find that the color was kind of ... off on me.

Dupe-wise, it's closest to but lighter than Nina Ultra Pro Ink-Ling. I think I've mentioned it before, but my skintone favors neutral greys as well as greys with green tones. I figured that since 7th and Alameda was a cooler but darker grey, I would be able to pull it off. You can see I was wrong -- while this grey is darker than a medium grey, it's not dark enough in most lights to look good on me. It doesn't matter if a grey is cooler or warmer toned, but it will look good on me if it's super dark. That is so weird.

I've already swapped my bottle off to a loving new home, but 7th and Alameda is available at American Apparel stores and online at AmericanApparel.net, one bottle for $6 and three for $15. Despite my issues with the company's marketing, I have been a fan of their polish since buying my first three colors early last year: Peacock, Factory Grey and Manila.

I think this was named for the location of the American Apparel Factory Store in Los Angeles. Funny, because my first impression of this color was that it seemed like American Apparel Factory Grey's older, more sophisticated sister, and I believe Factory Grey (my first American Apparel polish, btw) was named for the color of the floors of either company stores or warehouses.

Any thoughts on 7th and Alameda, or any plans to purchase any of the new American Apparels? If I don't end up in the hospital this weekend, I'll show you my last pick from the new colors soon. Not-so-helpful color hint: It's pretty much my favorite. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

NEW: American Apparel The Valley

Upon arriving in Richmond last weekend, I braved the cold (and the hipsters) after my eyebrow wax and hoofed it to American Apparel to see their new fall polishes in person. I feel like there weren't as many people in the store this year looking for last-minute Halloweekend costume fixes as there were last year -- perhaps everyone is busier stalking the cast and crew of the Steven Spielberg Lincoln biopic, which is currently shooting around Richmond and Petersburg. (I CANNOT BELIEVE I MISSED JAMES SPADER, JOHN HAWKES, WALTON GOGGINS AND TOMMY LEE JONES. KILL ME NOW.)

I don't know if my Googling abilities have worsened since college or if no one's posted any swatches yet, but apart from press releases, I haven't seen much of the newer fall colors online. I know I need more American Apparels like a bullet to the brain (or polishes in general, for that matter), but some of the new shades were too much for me to resist.

... especially if one of the new shades is a lovely Tiffany-ish blue. Beteedubs, I am really sorry about my cuticles, dudes. I blame the cold weather. This always happens for a week when the weather gets cold, but after that, it's all good.

Two coats with SV.

Yup, two coats! The formula on this one erred a little bit on the thick side, but it wasn't too awful to work with. American Apparel formulas are always 50/50 with me, since I usually find the not perfect ones chalky or thick (I think it's the long-stemmed brush). This color is very bright but not quite pastel, which I also like.

I've gotten great weekend wear out of this polish. I put it on Friday night after taking off Zoya Racquel, and it's stayed on the most securely of any American Apparel polish I've worn in a while with no chipping and practically no tip wear. I credit my base coats, Instant Artificials (pink bottle) and Gelous. As for top coats, I think SV is still the best to use with American Apparels because SV will level these puppies out.

In terms of color comparison, I would say The Valley's closest relative is Orly Frisky. Frisky is brighter, while The Valley has that ever so dusty quality that American Apparel polishes carry off so well! If you missed out on Frisky, then I would say this is a great alternative. :)

The Valley is currently available at brick and mortar American Apparel locations, and online at AmericanApparel.net. Polish is still $6 a bottle and three for $15, which isn't bad at all.

So what do you think of The Valley? Was I able to twist your arms and/or wallets? I have two other new colors that I'll do my best to share before the end of this month -- you'll just have to wait and see what they are!

I wonder which valley this polish is named for. I'm assuming San Fernando, but which nickname, really? "Porn Valley" or "Silicone Valley"? Either way, it seems to suit American Apparel "sexcellently" well. ;)