Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway Nearby

Edited 7/6/12 -- To read more about the legal issues surrounding the name of this collection, read this post on the official Rescue Beauty Lounge blog.

Hey y'all! I thought I had scheduled this post for earlier this morning, but I never clicked "publish," so it sat in my draft folder. Whoops. And since there was a huge storm that swept through Virginia, our power and internet were out for a while. It's all good now, though. (Note: CAN YOU IMAGINE THE CREYS last night at the movies if the power went out during "Magic Mike"???!?! If I've learned one thing about living in the south, it's that you don't mess with older ladies who are Matthew McConaughey fans. You just don't.)

Anyway, it's the last day of June (that is just crazy bananas ... with Nutella ... everything is better with Nutella), and everyone's RBL GOMM pre-orders are arriving at their new homes. Although I received my box of four polishes last Friday, I didn't know what I wanted to wear first (I still have polishes from older RBL releases I haven't tried yet) or even when I would get around to them. The other day I tasked Anna with picking out a brand and a color family for me. She went with RBL and blue, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out Faraway Nearby.

I'll confess that among the polishes I selected in my preorder, Faraway was the one that impressed me the least in the bottle. Did I feel the same way about it on the nail?

For the record, the last three pictures are the most accurate.

Two and a half coats with SV.

When I heard that this collection was inspired by a biography on Georgia O'Keeffe's life and works, I knew that Ji would have to include a desert sky blue, though I didn't know what RBL name would be attached to it. And I was right. (I couldn't find a picture to attach to this post that I liked, but you can Google some desert landscape and bone paintings, and you'll know what I mean.)

When you understand the inspiration behind this polish, the color itself is perfect. Compared to the other aqua/turquoise/sky blue shades I have, this has some green tones, which makes it stand out. However, the trademark RBL subtle shimmer, though beautiful, almost seemed to dull Faraway Nearby for me indoors. The best thing to do is pretend this is a creme. ;)

The formula on this one seemed weird to me. Most of my RBL polishes also tend to be perfectly formulated, if a bit gummy (is it the resin?), but Faraway's was so weird to me. I need two coats to get this opaque, and I experienced some cuticle drag. I usually don't have to wait too long in between coats with RBLs -- I didn't this time, and whoops. In all honesty, I don't know if I was having a hard time because of the formula or the brush. The brush on my bottle was slightly uneven, as though part of it had been lopped off on the side. I'm no good with brush surgery, or I'd attempt to fix it. Polishing with that brush was like polishing with one of those tapered, curved brushes. Maybe that's part of the reason I had cuticle drag. I wore this for four days with no chips. 

Faraway and the rest of the GOMM collection should be available for regular sale exclusively on the Rescue Beauty Lounge site sometime in July (within the next couple of weeks???), though I'm not aware of an exact release date at this time. A $2 price hike from $18 to $20 per bottle was recently instated for all collections released after this spring's Fan Collection, so keep that in mind if you don't already know about this.

Was Faraway in your pre-order, or are you planning to get it next month? If you've tried it, what did you think of it? I'm having a quite a time deciding how I feel about it. Here's why: If this had been a polish from a drugstore or even a salon brand, I would be crazy in like with this. But because it's RBL and I have slightly higher expectations, I feel a little underwhelmed. I'm going to have to mull this one over for a while.

Hope you're all staying safe this weekend, and that you have an enjoyable holiday if I haven't posted before then!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cult Nails Awakening

I've worn a couple of my Cult Nails polishes in the past, though I've never featured them on Stuff for whatever reason. Cult Nails is one of my favorite indie/niche brands -- as much as I like my Cult Nails polishes, I absolutely swear by the Wicked Fast top coat. Wicked Fast has changed my Zoya experience for the better and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone having trouble with Zoya-compatible top coats.

But this post isn't about Wicked Fast ... today I've got an actual polish to show you! And chickens, I had a hell of a time taking these pictures. They're probably the grainiest pictures I've taken in a while, and I'm sorry. :/ What you're about to see is the best of my batch.

Three coats with SV.

I didn't like how this ended up looking on me (I hoped the color would pop a little more against my skin), but I adore Maria's slightly dusty take on teal! This teal is definitely blue, but has a greenish tint, and somehow it manages to look a bit blackened in natural light. I'm not the biggest fan of the blackened look, I'll be honest. Interestingly enough, it reminds me of muddy ponds, especially with the jelly-creme texture.

The formula on this baby was a little watery (most of my Cult Nails polishes tend to be that way), but extremely workable and buildable. I might have mentioned before that I prefer my polishes to be thinner than thicker in formula, so I'm quite happy with my Cult products. The first coat goes on like a jelly and looks the smallest bit grainy, but the graininess disappears by the second coat and you get full depth and opacity with three. Because of the jelly-creme texture, you might have some VNL if you keep your nails longer.

Awakening is from last fall's Cult Nails Hypnotic collection, and it's available for $10 at the Cult Nails shop. I purchased my bottle during Cult Nails' one-year anniversary sale back in January along with another polish from the Hypnotic collection, which I hope to share with you before Maria releases this year's fall collection!

What do you think of Awakening? Do you prefer smoky or bolder, more saturated teals? (You can guess which I prefer.) What are your favorite Cult Nails polishes or products?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zoya Paz, and my new guy ... sort of?

First, a tale of how it took two people to help me pick a polish:

You might be familiar with how very "your nail polish smells funny" guys can be sometimes. Until this past weekend, the last time I saw my BF was the weekend I wore China Glaze Aquadelic (which stayed on past that weekend), and when I jokingly asked for a color family for my next visit, he opted for orange.

Actually, his exact words were "Oh, you have all the colors. I could ask for a green with purple and brown and you would have it." Smart mouth. Also, I don't have that anything in that color ... ew.

What I DO have, however, is a bunch of untried orange polishes. I skittle swatched a few, texted a picture to Janice and asked her to pick one. (See, I am horrible at making decisions.) She chose one of her favorite oranges, Zoya Paz. And after wearing it, I now can say that Paz is one of my favorite oranges, too.

Note: These photos are best when viewed on Android.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.


Paz is neon orange perfection. A common color description (and a highly accurate one, at that) is "traffic cone orange." Oh yeah. It's a little more red-orange than neons like Essie Bright Tights and China Glaze Sun Worshiper, and lighter than something like Color Club Hot Lava. The closest dupe I can think of as far as bottle color would be China Glaze Japanese Koi, but I'm willing to bet this has the better formula. Depending upon your lighting, Paz can look like a redder neon orange as seen in this post, but it also can be yellower in some lights. Either way, it's still terrifically bright.

Speaking of formulas, neons can be tricky sometimes because they dry to a satiny-matte finish and you have to work quickly. At their most difficult, most neon formulas are either too watery or too sheer -- think of the Essie neons of yore, and most of the China Glaze neons prior to their current Summer Neons offerings. Well, there's none of that with Paz. Zoya's formulas tend to be a bit gummy (know what I mean?), and while this was no exception, it went on the nail remarkably well for a neon. There were no bald patches, no pooling, no slow drying. Of course, I waited between coats as I usually do with neons; this also dried matte, but top coat will fix that in a jiffy.

I had this on for four days and the only reason this chipped was because I had submerged my hands in water quite a bit over the weekend. To be fair, the chipping only occurred on the corners of two fingers that have been known to chip previously, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Paz was from Zoya's La-Di-Da summer 2009 collection, along with fan favorites Ali and America. I got my bottle in last year's Zoya exchange, but you can find it at the Zoya/Art of Beauty site here. I can't recommend this one enough!

And now to address the latter half of this post title ...

I have to backtrack to Memorial Day weekend, specifically, the night of my roommate's wedding. I returned to my BF's house (I stay there when I visit), tired, hot and starving ... when I walked into the living room and saw a kitty scratching post standing by the coffee table.

He had finally broken down and adopted a one-year-old little boy cat from the local Humane Society, which is great for him and the cat (to quote my gal pal Lizzard Van Reptile via text message, "the boyfriend is easier to re-home"). As the dog lover in this relationship, I didn't know how to feel about it. I like babies only a little more than cats (because you can tickle their feet), and I really don't like babies. Just puppies. All the puppies. There are only three cats I can think of who I like and who liked me. The night before the wedding while I was having dinner with Tara, he texted me a cat picture taken during his dinner break. Although he'd phone me in the past to tell me about the kitties up for adoption, he had never texted me a cat picture before. That was how I knew his resistance would not be intact for long.

I gotta admit the sight of that scratching post was enough to make me briefly entertain the idea of turning around on my heel and leaving to find something to eat on my own. When I saw BF cradling the little creature like a baby, and I asked him why THIS cat in particular, here is the answer he gave me, accompanied by a sheepish smile: "I didn't want anyone else to adopt him!"

Well, okay. That logic works for my boyfriend. I've never cohabitated with a cat in such close conditions before, so I decided to keep an open mind and see how Little Boy CatTM Shawn Spencer and I got on. The amount of pictures you're about to see should show you that we get on just fine. He might even be my other boyfriend, given how cuddly and affectionate he can be towards me. I also had a hand in naming him, so that helps.

The first night home ...

Sleeping on me the next morning after being locked out of the bedroom

Nosy neighbor.

Napping on his favorite afghan (purr-fect for making bread)

"O gud morning Rach, I herd u luv doggies, dat's hilarious"

Kitteh derp

Watching "Too Cute" puppies on Animal Planet with me Saturday morning

As of today, little Sterling Meowlory Archer has been home at the Danger Zone for exactly one month. Apart from the cat hair, his fascination with eating plants and wanting to dart outside every time the front door opens, he's a sweet little guy and doesn't give us too much trouble ... so far. So we're pretty happy about that. And I think as long as he gets his eatins and lovins, he's pretty happy, too. :)

Thoughts on Paz? Kitties? Ironically, "paz" means "peace" in Spanish ... I wonder if little Sterling Meowlory will help me make my peace with kittehs. (DO YOU NOT LOVE HIS NAME?!?! *cackle*) And cat owners, maybe you can riddle me this ... why do people affectionately refer to their kittehs as "boogers"?!!! I've never understood this. Maybe I'm being too literal, but I'm not overly fond of touching actual boogers, let alone picking up anything that is called a booger. No, ma'am.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Color Club Wild Orchid

Another short and sweet post today for yet another polish that I wasn't crazy about. I had the WORST lemming for this last fall and the worst time trying to capture it on camera when I finally got around to wearing it earlier this past week. I'm gonna start out with the good picture first, and work my way down to the ickiest.

Okay, see ... here's what most Wild Orchid swatches looked like, and how I so badly wanted it to look on me.

Three coats with SV. Apologies for the odd top coat shrinkage/tip wear on my middle and ring fingers.

Instead, the lavender tones of this light grey wash out my skin tone a little. Additionally, I found that the shimmer looked flat and didn't come out to play with me in natural light. (WHAT?) Observe:

Don't get me wrong ... this polish is nice!, just not as nice as I had built it up to be in my head. If I wanted a grey with lavender tones, I would have gone with my faithful bottle of American Apparel Factory Grey (though FG is a creme). And as for the shimmer, WELL. It reminded me a little of the shimmer in the RBL Tudor collection, if the shimmer had been a dud.

You know what this means?

Wild Orchid is from the Indulgence set of Color Club's Untamed Luxury collection for fall 2010. I know I bought my bottle online, but I can't remember if I bought it from TransDesign (now, 8ty8, or head2toe. In any case, if you are wavering on this shade or any other Color Clubs, these sites all sell them for super cheap -- always less than $3 a pop.

Et voila, c'est fini. Do you or do you not share my feelings about Wild Orchid? Will I ever go back to wearing a polish I actually like? (Answer: YES. I have it on now, and it is amaze.)

Anything fun going on this weekend? I'm going on a haunted walking tour tonight, but whether I'll be besieged by 2x4s (à la the "Ghost Adventures" crew) remains to be seen. If you watch that show, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Setting off Summer 2012: BB Couture Busty Bombshell

As America's next drag superstar Sharon Needles would say ... cluck cluck, ladies!

Today may be the first official day of summer, but it's been feeling that way for a while down here in Virginia. Welllllll, I've long since graduated from college and I no longer have summers off in between academic semesters as a way of marking the time, so here's how I know it's really here:

  1. I start jonesing for frozen (alcoholic) drinks
  2. I start jonesing for frozen (alcoholic) drinks ... outside
  3. I tend to get the itch to go on a summer road trip with friends
  4. Then I literally itch because I am eczema's bitch.
  5. There are peaches at the farmers' market
  6. ALL OF THE MOVIES come out. So do my favorite sundresses and espadrilles.
  7. I keep looking for reasonably lighter summer reading material (and failing epically. Why does my brain think a biography of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr qualify as such?)
  8. "Futurama" is back, and
  9. "RuPaul's Drag U" is back!!!!!!!

Oh yes, hunties. It's back. I am beyond THRILLED with the selection of this season's crop of drag professors -- I kind of wish I had a reason to be nominated to go on that show so I could experience the magic in person. Anyway, if you don't know anything about "Drag U" (apart from my desire to be on it), the show takes a mix of drag queens from previous seasons of "RuPaul's Drag Race" to serve as drag professors/fairy godmothers to "biological women" in need of an emotional boost given in the form of a drag makeover (and on occasion, tough love). Those women compete to go to the head of the class at Draguation, and they'll dance, wear crazy costumes, and get their very own drag name. It's wonderful television.

I don't know about you, but Busty Bombshell seems like a kind of "Drag U" Dragulator template to me.

Three coats with SV.

Blurred for thparkle-osity:

Busty Bombshell's formula errs on the side of thinness, but that's not such a bad thing!! I prefer thinner formulas because that way, I can take my time in between coats; also, I tend to get more chips from polishes with thicker formulas. In any case, BB Coutures wear really well on me with SV. I had this on for four days, and it only chipped because I did some yard work and washed dishes without gloves (which is typical of me).

It's got a weird olive/gold brocade-looking base color, and since the formula is so thin, it seems a tad smoky. Sometimes it looks green, sometimes it looks gold. And then there's the holographic glitter -- a little bit gold, a little bit red, very much green. That was kind of a bear to capture on camera. It's really quite magnificent but I just don't care for the glitter.

This polish was part of last summer's limited edition Eye Candy for Women set. I ordered this last summer (I think there was some sort of promotion that compelled me to pull the trigger), but supposedly you can find it on the BB Couture site for $10.95. Busty Bombshell concludes my Eye Candy for Women picks, but I have one more polish from the Men's set that you will be seeing before summer is over. It. Is. Awesome.

Got anything to say about Busty Bombshell? The holo glitter isn't my thing, so -- and let me try to put this in "Drag U" terms as best as I can -- yes, she's the baddest bitch in school ... so bad, she got herself expelled (from my stash).

... okay, that was lame. I tried

"RuPaul's Drag U" comes on Monday nights at 9/8c on LOGO. Get into it! You can catch up online, too. This and "Drag Race" are two of my favorite ways to spend my lunch break.

Happy first day of summah! What are you wearing to kick off the official start of season?

Monday, June 18, 2012

China Glaze Aquadelic

A funny thing happened last week where I wasn't exactly busy, but still did not manage to find the time to give myself a new mani and thus resulted in me wearing this polish for an entire week. I know.

These photos are kind of funny because I repainted my swatching hand because five days' wear is pretty rough to look at, LBR. You know how sometimes you get that one finger that won't cooperate for any given reason? That was my index finger, hence why this post looks like the ghetto version of a Fashion Polish swatch. Also, I'm sorry about the cuticle oil. I know there are people who aren't too fond of that.

Two coats with SV.

And I guess my index finger didn't look TOO disastrous in this pic ... so here ...

This color isn't particularly unique to my stash, or to anyone else's, it seems. However, it's a more saturated version of popular hues like China Glaze classic For Audrey, and the formula on Aquadelic was a bit more cooperative. It was on the thick side, but workable -- just make sure to use a little bit of polish on your brush so you can avoid pooling. I got some cuticle drag when I first applied this color, but I suspect it was because I didn't wait as long in between coats as I normally do (I was in a HURRY because I was polishing before bed and I wanted to sleep, haha). Dry time was good with SV.

Aquadelic was part of the China Glaze Electropop collection for this spring, and you still should be able to find it quite easily at places like Ulta and other China Glaze retailers (and especially online).

Not much else to say here -- it's a gorgeous polish and it's definitely staying in my Helmer. Did you pick up Aquadelic? What was the last polish you wore for a week?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Inglot 710

Bright colors and especially neons are can't miss, popular picks in the summertime, but one color I've always loved during summer (and early fall) is navy. I'm not sure why. There was a period last year where navy essentially was my new black.

This summer, I'm kicking off my navy kick with this matte polish from Inglot. I got this two years ago in a swap with a wonderful MUAer and wasn't sure what to expect from this matte (Inglot's cremes are some of my favorites). All I knew was that Piff has got some mad love for this particular shade.

Four coats. Three will do, but I messed up on one finger and decided to cover it.

And with top coat:

The first coat of this polish went on thin and a bit streaky (though maybe it was my base coat), but it builds up very nicely. 710 dries to a satin-matte finish. I can't speak to the wear because I took this off shortly after swatching this. I'm not a matte person and I haven't decided whether I'm keeping this polish yet, but I have to say this one didn't scare me off entirely -- it must be because it wasn't a chalky matte, but a semi-matte.

If you go to the Inglot Website, you can try to find a store location in or near your country. I think in the U.S., some Inglot shops are in Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle ... and the main one in NYC. I wanted to hit up that place when I was there in February, but I didn't have the time and I was with guys who like me, just not quite enough to let me wander all over the city for nail polish. ;) You can order polish and other products at the Inglot USA site here, but keep in mind that the product images aren't great, so unfortunately you don't have a good idea of what you're really getting into. I'll try to get my other three Inglots up here on the blog if you're interested in seeing more.

Any thoughts on this Inglot? Have you tried the brand, or would you like to? What about matte polishes? Favorite nontraditional summer colors? TELL ME ALL OF THE THINGS.