Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stash Swatch Swap II: Zoya Mimi = epic win and epic photobomb

I don't know any Mimis in real life other than a little girl who made my sister cry on their first day of kindergarten! (Wonder whatever happened to her ...)

However, there are many other memorable Mimis ... at least in my mind.

I do share her ridiculous love for Mr. Wick.

I never watched "90210" but I was a HUGE fan of "So NoTORIous." (Or really, Sasan.)
RIP, Miss LaRue!

I love Puccini's "La Boheme" but less for the story and more for its glorious, glorious music.
I began listening to opera with compilations that included Luciano Pavarotti & Mirella Freni recordings, and they will always be my favorite Rodolfo & Mimi.


And last but certainly not least:


To be honest, Mimi Imfurst was not my favorite contestant last season on "RuPaul's Drag Race." And to be even more honest, the last season of "Drag Race" was not my favorite -- Raja is high fashion but isn't really a drag QUEEN (plus her personality was the worst) and the whole "Heathers vs. Boogers" thing was repulsive to me. I know this is a reality competition show about drag queens for heaven's sake, but I guess we won't be seeing classy winners like Bebe Zahara Benet for a while. (CAMEROOOOOON!)

Okay, polish.

I've been in a purple mood lately and I was SO close to choosing Zoya Yara from Courtney as my last pick from her stash, but purple won out! I believe Mimi is one of Courtney's favorite polishes for pedis, and she recently used it as a base under Lynnderella Love Potion No. 99 here.

Her picture is far more color accurate than my first attempt below, which is too blue. Between the glass fleck and the purple, my phone cam almost exploded. (Not literally, but you know.)

Three and a half coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast, my new HG top coat for Zoya! The last shot I have is the most color accurate.

You can go here and here to see other pictures of Mimi that I consider accurate, in different lighting.

You've probably seen this one a bajillion times; in case you haven't, this polish contains a sparkly glass fleck finish in a cool purple jelly base. I think the glass fleck has a little bit of duochrome to it, which flashes mostly pink, though in some lights you can see light gold. The jelly base is more of a cool "neon" purple to me, closer to polishes like Orly Charged Up than to something like Milani Rad purple. The glass fleck definitely warms up the royal purple base color.

I needed three coats to get this opaque, and then the half coat to cover up some bald spots. The formula on this was pretty good, and it applied easily. No problems with this at all. I did have some issues using the brush, but that's simply user error ... I'm not completely used to Zoyas yet.

Mimi was part of Zoya's ever popular summer 2010 Sparkle collection, which gave us the iconic Charla (as well as my personal faves from this collection, Nidhi and Ivanka). You can buy it on Zoya's website for $8, as well as through many e-tailers on Amazon and eBay. I've even seen the brand in some beauty supply shops and at Ulta, though I'm not sure if Mimi is in the core Zoya display there.

Now as for Wicked Fast, I'm not alone in my troubles of finding a great Zoya-compatible top coat: SV = noooope; SH Insta-Dry = doesn't dry, Poshe = dries but I get tip wear after one night and it's not shiny, more waxy?, Essie Good to Go = dries slowly and chips aplenty. All Lacquered Up's Zoya wear test shows that one of Zoya's ingredients, cellulose acetate butyrate, doesn't play well with other popular base and top coats that also contain it.

Enter Wicked Fast. After asking my friends L & J how much they liked this top coat (A LOT), I bought this and Get it On when Maria offered free shipping for the Cult's first anniversary a few weeks ago. (Note: As Maria states here, Wicked Fast is B3F but DOES contain camphor.) I tried it over Mimi and not only did it dry wonderfully overnight, but it's also shiny and I saw no significant tip wear until the morning of Day Three. If it sounds like I'm nitpicking, I'm not -- I just want a top coat that dries with Zoyas and I've finally found it! I'm pleased to say that there will be many Zoya posts in the next few months. Thank you, Maria! You can buy Wicked Fast from the Cult Nails shop for $8, or with Get it On for $15.

All in all, I think this was a successful stash swap, at least on my end. :) Many thanks to Courtney for letting me borrow her pretties, even if I did hang on to them for a while! I'm still drooling over China Glaze Swing Baby and I'm adding Mimi to my Zoya Exchange order later this spring, and hopefully I can get some better pictures of it later. We're hoping to do another stash swap again this summer, but in the meantime, check out the first of her three picks from my stash, Orly La Playa.

If you read through all of that, I salute you! I tried so hard to make this post a little entertaining because my pictures are SO BAD. ;__;

Talk to me about Zoyas, top coats, Wicked Fast, or "Drag Race." (OMG, THE PIT CREW. And I actually think I prefer "Drag U" -- its purpose and overall tone are more positive, and I love watching some of my favorite queens werk their magic on "biological women.") Season Four of "RuPaul's Drag Race" just started and airs Monday nights on LOGO at 9/8c. You also can watch this and previous seasons online at LogoTV.com.

It's only appropriate to end this post in true Ru fashion with advice that I would do well to remember:
"If you can't love yourself, how in the HELL are you gonna love someone else? Can I get an amen?"


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stash Swatch Swap II: China Glaze Swing Baby

Not that you missed much, but my post from Monday wasn't updating in other bloggers' blogrolls. I've fixed the problem, and you can read that post here if you like!

Last week, I shared my first pick from my winter stash swap with my gal Courtney. That was an easy choice! My second one, though, kind of threw me for a loop. I confess I entertained the idea of a Lippmann glitter (I KNOW RIGHT) but in my search for ETF neutral staple colors, decided to poke around and see if Courtney had just the thing. Sure enough, her description of Swing Baby got me thinking perhaps I too could look into a sparkly alternative to a neutral shade.

Also, this polish looks fantastic on a variety of skin tones across the Web. I've never seen this polish look bad on anyone, now including me; see it on Courtney here.

Three coats with Essie Good to Go.

The official China Glaze description of this polish is "taupe frost with silver microglitter." Is it really? I've tagged Swing Baby under "metallic" and "foil." Tomato, tomahto. The foily microglitter is silver, yes, but to me, the base color is a champagne gold. IMO, the foil finish is what makes this polish, otherwise if it were a frost or even a metallic chrome, it would be boring and I wouldn't feel as strongly about it as I do.

At first I thought this would be a good dupe for OPI Designer... De Better! Well, it's close, but at the same time, it's not! The China Glaze is overall warmer in color and depth than the OPI, which has more silver in the base and gets a pinch of warmth from its red specks of glitter. If you missed out on the OPI, I really think you could make yourself happy with this one. I don't have any bottle comp pictures because I couldn't take one that was good enough, but trust. Not really dupes.

I ended up using Essie GtG because it worked so well when I used it on another China Glaze foil, Midnight Kiss, that I thought it would work its magic again. It did, quickly and smoothly. No bumpiness or grittiness for me! The formula was wonderful to boot.

Swing Baby was from China Glaze's Fall 2010 Vintage Vixen collection; it recently became a core China Glaze polish at Sally's, where you can scoop it up if you need more instant gratification than e-tailers can give you. I have --gulp-- four others from this collection that I haven't worn yet and I hope to show you two of them next month. (Backlog, thy name is Rachel.) They're pretty epic, and if this polish is indicative of how much I may end up liking Vintage Vixen, then ... uncle.

Also, Swing Baby made me think of this. ROFLCOPTER:

I haven't seen this in FOREVERRRRRR. The last time I saw this, I was all about "ER" and Noah Wyle and while Christian Bale brought it, he was not nearly old enough for me to think about. (Mostly because I also was all about then-"ER" alum George Clooney, who WAS old enough.) This is so going on my Netflix queue for a rainy day, though I imagine I'd probably cringe at this movie now.

Final verdict on Swing Baby? I love it. I need it. I wants it. I DIE.

Snaps to Courtney for kindly letting me borrow this polish, even if it took me far too long to use it!!! There's one more polish left from our stash swap that I've been saving for last because I wanted to make sure I run a good wear test on it. It's also the one I'm most excited for, strangely enough. No, it is not a purple creme, but it is purple and it is awesome!

EDIT: Swing Baby is now officially a surprise favorite, which means this .gif is back:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcoming the year of the Dragon -- OPI Red My Fortune Cookie

Note: These pictures look most accurate when viewed on Android.

According to my calendar, today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival (though I know some people who rang it in over the weekend). I haven't done anything remotely celebratory about it since 2006 -- unless
repeatedly watching "Fruits Basket" counts -- but with the past few years being what they were, I figure I'll need all the luck I can get!

2012 is the Year of the Dragon. I'm not totally sure what that means, only ...

(source: xharliec on deviantART)

... I'll explain this later. (Also ... YES. YES IT IS.)

Of course I had to grab a red! I'm sure you already know this, but in China, the color red is considered to symbolize good fortune and joy, that sort of thing.

By the way, if my nails looked more jacked up than usual, it's either because I was trying a new top coat or because I had quite a bit of difficulty painting with a mini (okay, so I was polishing in bed). Also, boo to the hangnails. It's cold and I can't seem to tame them just yet.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast, after three days of wear. Yep.

This is a bright tomato red creme, verging on coral on me. Very warm-toned, and very saturated. Wonderful OPI creme formula!

Red My Fortune Cookie was the obligatory OPI red in its Spring 2010 Hong Kong collection. Dudes, I LOVED that collection!, but the only full-sized ones I kept were Jade is the New Black and Hot & Spicy. I got this one when the OPI Hong Kong Tiny Takeouts (a.k.a. the set of minis) were clearanced early that summer. I cannot resist adorably packaged minis on sale! The other two polishes in the mini set were Dim Sum Plum and Suzi Says Feng Shui.

I want to say this polish is part of the permanent OPI collection (at least, at Ulta), still quite ETF. Also, in case you missed Rescue Beauty Lounge Bangin', this post confirms that this OPI is an exact dupe for the RBL. \o/

And as for the seahorse/dragon: "Fruits Basket" is a Japanese manga as well as an anime series. Though I only read the first volume of the manga, I am practically fluent in the anime. Basically, this sweet but kinda derpy orphan girl named Tohru Honda (I may or may not have named my first car after her) discovers that her classmate's family has been placed under a zodiac curse for many generations.

Thirteen of the Sohma family members are possessed (is that the right word?) by the spirits and characteristics of the Chinese zodiac animals. They transform into these animals when they are stressed, sick/weakened, or -- and this is my favorite -- HUGGED BY A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITE GENDER. The anime, which I hear is pretty faithful to the manga, mines a crapton of physical comedy from this and it is every bit as amazing as you think it is.

I wouldn't recommend this if you are a serious anime fan -- this is definitely on the lighter side and carries a lot of messages for young girls, so while there are some darker elements, it's not going to be your thing. But if you like your ridiculous with a huge helping of adorable, then by all means ... you need this in your life.

For a long time, my sister and I had no idea why the seahorse represented the dragon until her Japanese friend told her that "tatsuno-otoshigo," Japanese for "seahorse," translated literally into "baby dragon." Well, okay. Kinda goofy but it makes sense. Also, once you see Hatori (the seahorse) in his human form, you'll know that there is NO WAY he would be a ferocious, gold-hoarding, fire-breathing dragon. He's so fricking cute. They all are.

Was Red My Fortune Cookie one of your Hong Kong picks? How will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year? Do you find "Fruits Basket" as hopelessly adorable as I do? What's your Chinese zodiac animal? I was born in 1986, which makes me a tiger. I think that means I'm supposed to brave. (I'm not, or I haven't been in some time -- at least not in a significant way.)

From me and my "Fruits Basket" DVDs -- Happy Chinese New Year!