Friday, October 28, 2011

OPI Brights Power!: my Halloweekend HG

This isn't the first orange polish I owned -- that distinction goes to OPI In My Back Pocket. However, this is the one that stopped me from buying any other orange polishes for almost a year!!! My bottle of Brights Power! is quite beloved. I've worn it every Halloween since 2009 and countless times since then. I think the level of polish is roughly where my middle finger is in these photos.





Three coats with SV.









Word of warning: this polish STAINS. So use a good base coat combo, and make sure you apply your base coat well so that the polish doesn't flood your cuticles or act up. Also, I know three coats is pretty tedious to some people, but that's what you need to even this one out. But it's always been worth it to me.

What I like best about this orange in particular is that it's the perfect shade of bright orange on me. It's not too yellow and it's not too red, too pastel, neon, or even dusty. I cannot tell you how many occasions I have planned outfits around this polish except that there have been far too many of them (and more to come!). I love to wear this year-round -- it's perfect for summer and fall, and warm and cheerful during the winter doldrums.

Brights Power is from OPI's Mod About Brights collection in Summer '08. I bought this one a year after it came out. My friend Krysi and I had been killing time at Ulta before I had to go to work when she saw this in a two-pack with OPI Green-wich Village and told me I needed them because they were "Rachel colors" and the set was cheaper than the cost of both colors together at SRP. That was all the persuasion I needed, and I am so glad I have both colors now!

What's your favorite orange? Got any good Halloween plans for the weekend? I have no idea what's going on, apart from a "Puss in Boots" viewing (I was sorely tempted to break ~tradition~ and wear OPI What's With the Cattitude? instead!).

I know that technically Monday is Halloween, but have a good Halloweekend! I wish I could leave you with a clip from one of my favorite movies, "Dead & Breakfast" (particularly a clip with the zombie line dance rap), but I couldn't find one, so you get one of the best scenes in "Ed Wood" instead. It's not a Halloween movie per se, but I tend to watch it a lot around this time of year and it's my favorite Johnny Depp/Tim Burton movie. :)





Thanks for reading and I'll see you next month!

P.S. Don't forget to watch or DVR "Chuck" tonight! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pumpkin Spice: major layering WIN! :D

This mani is scary ... scary in how bad it looks! I blame the shrinkage. :'(

If you know me from MUA or have been following my blog for a little while now, you'll know that I'm pretty heavy on cremes and not so much with glitter. It turns out that I can handle glitter, but in EXTREMELY small doses, and especially when used in the occasional layering experiment. Creepy Pumpkin was pretty but didn't exactly blow my hair back, but I do believe that I have found a layering glitter I can get behind in Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pumpkin Spice (whew, these names are wordy).




One coat with Poshe over the unnamed Sonia Kashuk polish I posted yesterday.










This dried to a smooth finish with my Poshe top coat. That was REALLY exciting! I don't know about you, but having grainy or bumpy nails is weird to me.

In terms of choosing the best polishes to layer with Pumpkin Spice, I've come to a conclusion with which you may or may not agree--

See, Pumpkin Spice has that murky, black/green jelly base, right? It actually reminded me of my Dior Rock Coat. Based on some undocumented experimentation as well as this post at Fashion Polish, Rock Coat's smoky effect shows up best on medium-to-dark base colors. I figured this might be the case for Pumpkin Spice, and this logic seems to have served me nicely. This was pretty much why I opted to go with a vampy -- the dark base also helps the orange/copper glitter pop.

I'm going to continue to find other combinations for Pumpkin Spice -- I'm glad I took the plunge with this glitter! It doesn't overwhelm me and it's festive enough to make me enjoy doing something different. For $2 and change, I can live with that!

I got mine at Ulta, but I saw it at Target, CVS and Walgreens in late August. It came out with a bunch of other fall Xtreme Wear shades that I passed on. I hope this isn't limited edition because while I doubt I'll ever use up my bottle, I still want to layer this over EVERYTHING. :)

This is definitely a surprise favorite -- you know what that means?




Did you get this one too, or others from that collection? What's your favorite polish with the word "pumpkin" in its name?

Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with my favorite orange polish of all time (so far).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The lone survivor of my Sonia Kashuk 2010 Lend a Hand Nail Trio

Fair warning: this is not my greatest post ever. :/

As October nears to an end, it occurs to me that I have not really done much in the way of supporting breast cancer awareness this year (nail-wise, that is), so I'm correcting this today with a vampy violet creme.

Yup, a vampy!

Last fall, Sonia Kashuk came out with a trio of nail polishes for her Lend a Hand Nail Trio collection at Target. The trio, which sold for $9.99, was part of her partnership with Target in creating and selling a special limited edition product range for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I forget what? which? (uh-oh) percentage of the proceeds went to the foundation but when I learned that Ms. Kashuk is a breast cancer survivor, I had to buy this!

The collection is simply known as the Lend a Hand Nail Trio, and none of the polishes have any names. I never saw anything on the press releases, so when I got mine, I checked the box (nada) and looked to see if there was a sticker/label on the bottles (nope). This set also came with a metallic pink foil and a mauve creme, but I have since RAOKed the foil and banished the mauve creme to my swap box as it doesn't look great on me. Apologies for the messy cuticles and overall lackluster pics*! -- as much as I have the occasional problem applying vampies, I can never own too many of them, especially one for a good cause.

*These shots were snapped after one day of wear. Methinks I should try a better top coat next time. Also, the Ott-Lite pics are a little more color-accurate than the sun ones. (Dear Santa -- or Boyfriend, in the event that he is cyberstalking me and reading this -- please bring me a real camera for Christmas. Love, Rach)



Three coats with Essie Good to Go.







Oh hello, right hand!

One thing I love about vampies is that they usually apply ridiculously well, as this one did. In a lot of ways, this particular polish reminded me a lot of Essie polishes -- great formula, and easy to apply with a short brush stem, although the Sonia Kashuk polish brushes are a *touch* more girthy (heh heh) than Essie brushes. I had a couple of bald spots, but I think it was more user error than the polish itself.

However, the main thing I don't love about vampies is how messy they are to clean up. Whether it's because the formula or your application is responsible for any of your polishing troubles, clean up is usually staintastic and simply not a good time! And that certainly goes for this polish.

Sure, I wish this had a name and that I had used a slightly less shrinky top coat, but I still plan on keeping this vampy on hand for a little longer. :)

Despite the photos, I think this base color is a necessary evil for tomorrow's Halloween-based (and rather tame) layering experiment. (Yes ... another.)

Did you buy this trio last year? I really like the idea behind this one but I think if I had known that I would only be keeping one, I would have just made an actual small donation to BCRF. Oh well. You live, you learn.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Layering experiment with Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Creepy Pumpkin

By now, you've probably seen this polish more than a few times. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get it, but the price of $1.99 was hard to argue with! I wound up grabbing this one at Ulta mostly with the intention of reaching a $10 minimum purchase so I could use a coupon. *cough*

When I saw this one in person, I eyeballed it to make sure that it really WAS as sheer as the reviews made it out to be. (It is.) I'm not much for layering, but I also didn't feel like doing a million coats for opacity! I put it over my weekend NOTD, Revlon Tangerine, and I think the end result turned out pretty well.






One coat with Poshe over three coats of Revlon Tangerine and one coat of Poshe. For the record, it doesn't dry completely smooth.









I don't have too much to say that everyone else hasn't already said about Creepy Pumpkin. One, naturally the base of this polish will give a slight orange tint to whatever you decide to layer it over. As oranges go, Revlon Tangerine is a pretty light orange, and Creepy Pumpkin actually made the orange in this combination ever so much darker -- dark enough to look good with my complexion. ;)

Two, the bottle cap was kind of a PITA for me. I'm not really into most novelty polish bottle shapes as I am too practical for my own good sometimes. The gravestone design was really cute, don't get me wrong, but the cap was not easy for me to screw back on properly. It took me a few tries before I was able to align the sides of the cap to the bottle -- not my favorite thing, but again, I only have two weirdly shaped novelty bottles in my stash (the other being one of the Snowman polishes from Rite Aid), so what do I know?

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this one. It's a great thing to have when you want to spice up an orange shimmer but IMO the glitter is brighter than the glass flecks I've come to love (China Glaze Ahoy, mostly). It sure is fun, though!

I bought this bottle of Creepy Pumpkin at Ulta, but I've also seen it at CVS. The only thing is that it's so close to Halloween that I'm not exactly sure if the displays will be up much longer. Just a thought.

Are there any other layering combos I should try before I resign this one to my swap box? My friend Anna used this over CND Asphalt and it's as unexpectedly pretty as you can imagine. ;)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Her heart belongs to (Revlon) Tangerine

... yup ... you get Johnny Mercer today and not Zeppelin because I am just that cool. ;)

I said on Thursday that I was hunting for my HG neon pink polish this past spring and summer. However, there are other colors I've been trying to find, too! They include pink-leaning corals, shimmery light-medium greens ... and my perfect candy corn orange shimmer. After a couple of misses, I'm pleased to show you the current front-runner, Revlon Tangerine!





Three coats with Poshe.











When I first saw this polish in person, it looked like a creme in the bottle, but not so much on the nail! I think its tiny yellow shimmer gives Tangerine something close to a pearly sheen, which is the reason why I don't know if it goes with my coloring 100%. I really love it, though. The formula isn't watery or sheer or hard to work with. You will need at least three coats, though, but you probably know by now that three coats is SOP for me.

Tangerine was from Revlon's Summer Romantics trio that came out this summer. I wasn't sure if it was ~limited edition~ like the summer Top Speeds when I saw them at Walgreens, so I grabbed this one anyway. It turns out that not too long after I bought those polishes, I spotted them in the core Revlon displays at Walmart and Target. Go figure.

Now that I've finally *sob* found the perfect top coat for Revlon polishes, I cannot seem to get enough of them! Two Revlon NOTDs in one week?! Last year, that never would've happened. Thank heavens for Poshe.

Thank you for reading, and I hope everyone is having a good weekend! My boyfriend came to visit me for the afternoon yesterday, and I had a little "TREAT YO SELF!"** time today, so I'm in much higher spirits than I was this time last weekend. I've been in a reading funk, and I'm hoping one of my "TREAT YO SELF!" purchases, Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, will snap me out of it!

**If you don't know what I'm referring to, first go slap yourself and then check out this post on NailNerd.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Jersday dip in Urban Outfitters Hot Tub

Some of you may be aware of my abiding love for "Jersey Shore." Even less well-known is my deep affection for a good deep neon pink, and I spent a lot of this past spring and summer hunting for my holy grail. October doesn't exactly scream "neon pink" to me, but what other color is there to mark tonight's "Jersey Shore" season finale in Italy?





Three coats with SV.











NEON: 1, PHONE CAM: 0.

I think even with these photos, you have some idea of where the color fell short for me. Hot Tub turned out to be one of those neon pinks that is more like a highlighter kind of pink, which isn't what I wanted. I'm still hoping to find a shade a little less pinky coral-ly and a bit more rosy! :/ Guess I'll try this one again with two coats before I keep on trucking.

I am kind of digging these repackaged Urban Outfitters polishes. The colors are pretty on trend with the season (I picked this one up over the summer) and they apply well, as was the case here. For a neon, I was impressed! The polish applied smoothly and evenly and you DON'T need to use super-thick coats to get it opaque. However, I forget if it dried to a satin finish (sorry!). I don't see these on sale at the Urban Outfitters website, and I don't remember what they cost individually, but I seem to remember that in-store you can buy two for $8.

I think my only issue is with some of the polish names. Yeah, I know Urban is the kind of store that pushes the whole "kitschy edgy ironic hipster" thing and I'm just as guilty as the next girl of popping in every now and then. But even taking into account all prior controversy regarding the company, given the current conservative political views of its founder, it's kind of weird to me that Urban would have a house line of polish with names like "Plan B" and "Hangover." Just sayin'. Also ... "Plan B"? Really? It's not often that I take issue with polish names (there are much bigger things in the world) but that one is really getting my goat today.

ANYWAY.

Speaking of ~conflicting feelings~ ... anyone else have some about this season of "Jersey Shore"? I felt like it was more roommate conflict, less motherland (even with the language and culture barriers). It was kind of crazy how the house dynamic improved drastically without Sitch being a creep (or to quote Sammi, "a fucked-up individual"). I mean, Jenni and Sam making Sunday dinner together? WHO SAW THAT COMING?!??! But in general, I think this .gif can show you my overall opinion of this season.


Oh well -- time to put this season to bed and hope for some good stuff next year. :)



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Showing my spirit fingers: Revlon Royal Cloak

October seems to be a month that is pretty cause-heavy and apparently tomorrow, October 20th, is Spirit Day. I've already removed this polish but I have plenty of purple in my wardrobe and may or may not leave the house looking like a giant grape. :)

Every now and then, the MUA nail board will go B-A-N-A-N-A-S for a limited edition drugstore polish. I haven't *really* been on for a couple of months, but there was a LOT of buzz for Revlon Royal Cloak the last time I was around. I wasn't sure what to think. History has proven that the more in love the NB is with a polish, the more likely I am to find it either out of my comfort zone, or simply not my bag, baby! However, after seeing a bazillion sweet pics of Royal Cloak, I thought I'd better get it. The hunt was on, the quest began, ThunderCats were go, etc., etc.


Luckily, I didn't have to look far -- I found a huge display at my Ulta the day before my birthday and snapped it up, justifiying it with my infallible "it is my birthday and I must BUY ALL THE THINGS" logic. Okay, the board wins. This is a lovely polish, dammit.

No sun today, so we get indoor and Ott-Lite pics again.





Three coats with Poshe.








(click to enlarge)


I think this last picture is the most color-accurate to what this polish truly looks like on me.

While this is an extremely gorgeous polish, I feel like it it looks a lot better in these pictures and on others than it does on my nails. I've come to appreciate a good glass fleck, but I think this polish contains more tiny flakies than glass fleck (which is why I'm tagging it under "flakie"). I'm not used to wearing flakies, so this ends up looking too busy for me and I think this is going in my swap pile. I'd make more of an effort to keep this one if the base color had more blue in it.

The formula was fine, not too thick or thin at all! I have had trouble in the past finding a good top coat that plays well with Revlon polishes, but over the summer discovered that Poshe is what I need. Together the polish holds up well and doesn't shrink or chip.

Royal Cloak is from Revlon's limited edition Masquerade collection, out right now in drugstores. As I said earlier, I got mine at Ulta, but I also saw this at CVS (I'm on the east coast), so it could be floating around in a different drugstore chain.


What's your Spirit Day mani? Any thoughts on Royal Cloak, or nail board hits and misses? Or thoughts on the new "ThunderCats" reboot on Cartoon Network? I watched a couple of episodes last month ... more accurately, I was falling asleep when my boyfriend put it on and I willed myself to stay awake for both episodes because I actually kind of like it a LOT. The new Snarf ... OMG. SO FUGGEN CUTE! I want one. --The not talking doesn't hurt, either. :D




See, isn't he cute? :3

Monday, October 17, 2011

OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window ... no, seriously, STOP THE F***ING CAR!

Last night, my family and I returned from our weekend road trip to North Carolina -- we visited Biltmore House (my in-laws' ancestral home, hurr hurr hurr) and the Nantahala Gorge via the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. I may or may not have jinxed the trip with my weekend NOTD, OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window.

There is no question that I have inherited a lot of things from my father: my penmanship techniques, my sense of direction, my shellfish allergies, my ridiculous eyesight, my sweet tooth, my perfectionist Virgo characteristics, my love for certain film genres ... and my vertigo. (I think you can see where I am going with this ...) My mother thinks it's hilarious that I love riding rollercoasters, yet I turn green when I'm on a winding road at a speed of less than 35 mph. I DO NOT LIKE SLOW TURNS. The road to our hotel Saturday night was like this, and after a while my dad was breathing heavily and had to let my uncle drive. We had to stop three times and call the hotel for directions each time! I was getting pretty woozy myself ... but I am not the one who threw up in front of the hotel!!!! Poor Dad.

My family pretty much laughed for two minutes when I told them what the name of this polish was.




Three coats with SV. Please excuse the hangnail on my middle finger!










I know these OPI Touring America cremes are flat-out boring to a lot of people, but I will never feel this way as long as OPI keeps cranking out some top-notch cremes! All I have to say is that I think you need three coats of this polish for maximum awesomeness. This was an oddly flattering color for me -- initially I had some doubts about keeping this one but those doubts are no more. :)

I loved loved LOVED Biltmore, which didn't surprise me (my love for Anderson Cooper notwithstanding) -- just thinking of America at the turn of the 20th century has always fascinated me. Also, Asheville is beautiful in the fall! I hear Biltmore is even better around Christmastime, and I've already started trying to get my boyfriend to go on one of his pre-Christmas vacation days. *shifty eyes* The railroad, on the other hand ... I don't know, I was expecting more. And given how slow the train was going, I almost got sick ... but at least I can say I've been. I wasn't in the greatest mood and wasn't feeling well all weekend, so while I'm glad I went, I wish I had gone another time.

The first picture is from Biltmore, the last one is of my aunt's dog when we picked him up from the kennel, and everything else is from the train ride to the Nantahala Gorge & the river. I didn't want to use flash and freak the poor dog out ... but you can see how sleepy he was. :)


















Thank you for reading, and please check back in a few days for my "Jersey Shore" season finale NOTD. In the meantime, I implore you not to leave your toothbrushes on dirty counters!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Straight from the Buy More? Essie Pretty Edgy

Today is the first day of New York Comic Con 2011! Sadly, I'm not attending NYCC this year, but I went in 2009 and had an amazing time. For me, one of the highlights of the con was the panel for one of my favorite TV shows, NBC's "Chuck." I made friends with my seatmate, got to ask the show's creators a stunt question and -- best of all -- got to be in the same room as the panel moderator, my TV critic idol, Alan Sepinwall. (His write-up of the panel is here. Poor Yvonne Strahovski! I know people get dumb around ridiculously good-looking people, but this was practically at a Buy More level.)

Given the number of times I've actually been able to watch episodes of "Chuck" as they aired on TV, I don't know if you could call me a hardcore fan. But I'm a pretty big one, and although I'm a little sad that the fifth season starting up on Oct. 28th will be its last, I'm glad it got a good amount of time on air.

The show started with the title character working at a store called "Buy More," which is more or less a spin on Best Buy and the now-defunct Circuit City. (Okay, so technically, the show began with the title character's birthday party.) Earlier this spring, I wanted to find a polish that was the perfect shade of Buy More green and settled on CND Green Scene/Essie Pretty Edgy. How do you think I did?




Three coats with Essie Good to Go.












Essie describes this color as "palmetto green." I prefer "Astroturf ON STEROIDS." Tomato, tomato. ;) No complaints with it at all! The jelly-creme finish was glossy and perfect and easy to work with. Just use a good base coat because greens like this can get a bit stainy.

To me, Pretty Edgy was the standout polish of Essie's Summer 2010 collection (others, such as my friend Miss LizzardVanReptile, feel this way about Demure Vixen). It has a color dupe in CND Green Scene, which I no longer have, although Green Scene is more of a true creme finish as opposed to Pretty Edgy's jelly-creme. This is still fairly ETF online, on swap lists, and I believe it's core at Ulta, so if you want it, it's worth it.

The last time I wore this polish was when I went to D.C. in March to visit my high school bff and go to ShamrockFest to see the Dropkick Murphys, which ended up being a complete disaster thanks to some douchebags in the mosh pit in front of me. After getting jostled and almost kicked 20 minutes into the set, we left and grabbed a bite at Amphora.

But I digress. Do you have any suggestions for a better Buy More green? Are you sad to see "Chuck" go after five years, and what's been your favorite moment of the series? Favorite character? Don't forget to catch the final series premiere on Oct. 28th at 8 p.m. ET! I'll be wearing my Jeffster shirt that day. :)

I'd post a Jeffster video, but I can't find a good one, so instead I'll leave you with this scene from Season Two.




Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I'm going on a little road trip with family ... please pray for me, LOL.