Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant -- for Naz!

When I swatched RBL Decorous earlier this month, I asked you which of the two remaining unswatched RBL Iconic/Ironic polishes I should try first.

Naz over at Naz's Nails (I love her blog!) wanted to see Insouciant. Her wish is my command ... or something. It's not like she had to twist my arm too hard, because this polish is TDF and I'm firing myself right now for not wearing it earlier.

Three coats with SV.

Insouciant has a perfect smoky, greyed-out lilac/lavender creme base with a subtle blue shimmer that appears like a blue flash in certain lights. Any time encounter with a purple like this (light and/or smoky) is a welcome one, since I tend to have zombie hands ... but polishes like these have been an obsession of mine since OPI Parlez-Vous OPI? (which never should have been discontinued). In my eyes, the dusty/smoky thing Insouciant has going on takes it just out of the pastel category. Ugh. It's so beautiful.

The formula on this baby was absolutely perfect. I think you can get opaque coverage in two coats, but I am a compulsive three-coater. It went on like butter, had an average dry time (I'll take that over slower than molasses), and wore without chipping for four days. There was slight tip wear but until I start washing dishes with gloves, that's to be expected.

Unfortunately if you're looking for this polish, Insouciant is sold out on the RBL website. Ji has no plans to bring it back Correction via Anna: According to the RBL blog, this is returning as a Bring it Back, presumably sometime in November. Thank you, Anna! IDK how I missed that! Until then, your best bet would be stalking swap lists and blog sales -- and no, I won't be putting my bottle up for either. As my friend Janice says, it would take an act of Congress for me to get rid of my RBLs (well, that and extreme color incompatibility ... see RBL Decorous). But if these swatches aren't enough to make you want this polish, allow me to direct you to Kristy's. Her pictures of purple polishes can't be beat!

Insouciant: everything it's defined to be, or missing something? I'm all about the former. Naz, I especially hope you enjoyed this! More importantly, I'm now 3/4 of the way through the Iconic/Ironic collection (scary), so I think I'll bring out Recherche soon to celebrate.

P.S. If any of you want to help me make some more decisions, I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and I need to decide on a new pedi color that will coordinate with one of two prospective outfits. Do I keep it classy with Zoya Bevin (re-wearing what I wore to a wedding in March -- purple and cream), or do I go bold and bright with Cult Nails Devious Nature (re-wearing what I wore to a wedding in May -- blue, orange and pink)? I'm siding with the pink right now but I never can have too many external opinions.

Monday, July 30, 2012

NEW: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear For Sher-bert (Tout Sorbet)

It's no secret that anyone reading this blog might have a slight nail polish problem. Part of said "problem" is how it affects your shopping habits.

Recent example: A few days ago, I blogged about seeing Wilco perform at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA. Well, one of my best friends from high school lives in that area now, and we decided to go partially so we could spend some time together, which was nice because we hadn't seen each other since Christmas. I drove up to Vienna from Richmond early in the afternoon because I-95 can be a Clusterfuck of Epic Proportions at any given time, and I wanted to give myself some padding for traffic and various unforeseen conditions.

... conditions like nail polish shopping. I arrived in Vienna maybe an hour or so before my friend got out of work. How, oh how, would I ever pass the time? Yeah, you know where this is going. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. DO NOT PASS GO. "Should I get a snack and some caffeine?" I asked myself. "OR SHOULD I GO STALK SOME DRUGSTORES FOR POLISH???"

I hit up RiteAid first, but I wasn't feeling it. Walgreens was the next stop. And then I saw this Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear display of limited edition summer goodies, and I knew I was in trouble.

These polishes looked extremely close to existing core Xtreme Wears, and I thought that perhaps the finish of these puppies would be different. The caps on these polishes also were darker and less reflective than Xtreme Wears usually are.

So I grabbed one. For science.

Here's For Sher-bert. All of the bottles in this display had the usual Sally Hansen labels, one label with the polish's name in English and the other label in French. So if you see "Tout Sorbet" in my photos, that's what's up.

This dried semi-matte, which led me to believe this polish had to be a some kind of neon. I'm not sure what was going on with my ring finger, but I'm willing to guess it was a bubble in my base coat combo. I used three coats here.

And with SV. So squishy!

The formula was lovely and you don't have to work super-quickly with this one because it gives great coverage. I guess I'm just curious as to the true finish of the polishes in this collection: Are they neons, or are they meant to be mattes??? Does anybody know?

Now we've come to the part where I get a little irritated with myself because I already own a few squishy reddish corals! In all honesty, this saddened me because it looked like a rosy reddish coral jelly in the bottle, but went on more red-orange neon on the nail. I'm willing to bet it's a skin tone thing. (Darn you, yellow skin tone.) Or maybe it's a neon thing? I don't know, but it takes on rosier reddish tones in low lighting. And because the color was a bit more orange-red on me, I have to let this one go on account of last one in, first one out.

Now that you know how I feel re: For Sher-bert, what about you? Were you drawn to this display, or did you buy any of these polishes? Do you have a red coral problem? Do you also find yourself stalking polish when you have the time?

Sirius the Sheltie, my friend's fluffy ham and a half of a dog, thanks you for reading and wishes you a happy Monday. (It was actually a Wednesday morning when I snapped this, but he's so cute I couldn't keep this photo to myself now, could I?)

Silly sheltie. I love him!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And Stuff's First Birthday Giveaway Winner is ...

... Sarah at Starlight Radiance!

Sarah said she would like to see more hand poses, a change in my blog background (done!), and more layering with glitter here on Stuff. This has all been taken into advisement. Thanks, lady! As far as her favorite Summer 2012 movie went, she said she loved "Men In Black 3" ... DUDE, THAT MOVIE WAS AWESOME., and it might be my favorite of the franchise. The time travel plot was not particularly inspired (I watch too many movies/TV with time travel, I guess) but Josh Brolin's portrayal of young Agent K was worth every penny of admission.

Congratulations, Sarah! Please e-mail me within the next 24 hours to confirm your win.

Thank you to all of you who participated and spread the word about the giveaway! I appreciate you taking the time to answer the questions I asked in the original giveaway post -- those questions were a way of getting feedback about the blog to see what's working and what's not. I can only blog for myself but so much. A certain degree of transparency is important to me, so I plan to share some of the suggestions I received as well as some things that have helped me during my first year of blogging. Since you left your e-mail addresses, I'll be e-mailing you back within the next two weeks to say thanks and to respond to any comments and suggestions you left for me. You took the time to throw me a bone, so it's only fair.

I've also loved reading your responses to my "Magic Mike"/summer 2012 movie question! Apparently a lot of you would love to see Ryan Gosling get down in a "Magic Mike" movie, and that made me laugh. But you know what will make you laugh? The fact that I would like to see Christopher Meloni (Detective Stabler) in a "Magic Mike"-ish movie or sequel. MELONI YES GOOD DO WANT.

Thank you to my readers, old and new -- I hope you stick around. This first year has been quite a ride, and I'm hoping bigger and better things will follow!

(source: ... I forgot? I right click saved this forever ago but it's not htf)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stuff's First Birthday Giveaway Reminder!

Edited to add that my dear friend Anna finally has started her own blog, Business Lady Polish! I've mentioned her a few times on this blog (mostly in an enabler capacity), and she kindly wrote a guest post for me back in April on Essie She's Picture Perfect. There were cookies. Anyway, I'm so excited to see her flying solo! Give her a follow and tell her I sent you. Her pictures are awesome and her first post is already so much better than mine!

As of this post's publication (geez, could that wording be any more awkward?), you've got a little over 12 hours to enter Stuff's First Birthday Giveaway!

Once again, you must be a U.S. or Canadian public GFC follower, and all entries are due by 11:59 P.M. EST. I will not be accepting any more entries after this time! I will announce the winner tomorrow.

The other rules, mini survey, and oh yes ... the prizes! may be found [HERE].

Thank you, and best of luck! ;)

(source: gifwarehouse)

Friday, July 27, 2012

NerdLacquer Home of the Untempered Schism + OPI Warm & Fozzie

My first blogaversary giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight. In case you're like me and aren't much for the Internets on Saturdays, you should totally go ahead and enter today! Rules and prizes are here.

It's taking me a long time to warm up to the indie brand polish trend, but the biggest reason is because most indie polishes are glitters. I appreciate glitter, but as you know, it's far from my favorite thing, and I would be lying if I didn't confess to being a liiiiiiiiiiittle butthurt about the lack of cremes within that niche market. The polish you're about to see today is actually from my first indie brand purchase, although it's not the first indie brand I've featured on Stuff.

What prompted me to hitch a late ride on this train?

Right before Christmas of last year, I did this thing where I managed to catch up on Series 5 and 6 of "Doctor Who." Despite scoring Series 6 on DVD for the cheaps on Black Friday and receiving Series 5 as a present from the old balls and chain, I was having some pretty pathetic Doctah withdrawal. So I trolled Etsy (as you do), where I chanced upon some "Who"-themed lacquers by indie creator Amanda Collier, the lady behind now-defunct NerdLacquer.

I have no idea what happened with that. She was coming out with new collections and had polishes exclusive to two e-tailers (Harlow & Co. and Ninja Polish), until one day she just dropped off the face of the earth. I really, REALLY hope nothing unfortunate befell her; on the other hand, I've heard rumors that she never refunded or honored the orders placed before she closed up shop. I can't confirm this -- I'm just telling you what I've heard.

My NerdLacquer wishlist is longer than it should be, but I've accepted that those babies are long gone and I'm just going to treasure the ones I have that much more! So here's my January order, the day it arrived in its packaging. The polishes could have been wrapped a LITTLE more securely, but the presentation was lovely!

And the spoils!

I ordered Don't Blink and the Mad Man with a Box trio, composed of All of Time and Space, I Think You Call Me ... Sexy, and today's polish, Home of the Untempered Schism. Since HOTUS goes on a bit too sheer for my liking, I decided to layer it over OPI Warm & Fozzie, which I showed you on Wednesday. Good idea? I say yes.

One and a half coats of HOTUS + SV over three coats of OPI Warm & Fozzie.

Home of the Untempered Schism is one heck of a polish name and one heck of a polish!! There's a tinted, sheer base -- I'm not sure what color that is, really. Is it bronze? Is it copper? Is it gold? Fuck it, I have no idea, but it darkened Warm & Fozzie ever so slightly to make it quite becoming. A variety of glitters in different shapes and sizes are mixed in, too. I think there are two different sizes of gold hex glitter, smaller black hex glitter, some coppery/bronzey glitters, and some smaller red, green and blue holo glitters. These holo glitters are easy to spot in the bottle, and not so much on the nail.

One important thing to note about NerdLacquer polishes is that they are NOT entirely B3F. I never did find out the ratio of B3F to non-B3F components in the lacquers, but I do remember Amanda writing on the NerdLacquer Etsy page that she tried to use as much B3F materials as she could. As a result, your bottle of NerdLacquer might have a slightly non-B3F smell.

I only used one and a half coats of this polish to layer, and I found that it applied and dried pretty well with SV. I'm not sure if that can be attributed to the non-B3F lacquer components, but I'm not gonna knock it.

This polish is incredibly unique and makes for such a fun look. When I get down to it, though, I don't know that I would wear HOTUS again! This particular glitter mixture turns out NOT to be my cup of tea. I think it's the black glitters -- they throw me off. Ah well. Can't win 'em all.

Let's take a couple of minutes to talk about HOTUS as it relates to its namesake, shall we?

Simply put, the Untempered Schism in "Doctor Who" canon is the opening in the space/time continuum. It was a BFD in "The Sound of Drums" and "The End of Time," the last full special during David Tennant's run as the Tenth Doctor. This two-parter and the specials leading up to it took me foreverrrrrrr to watch. I cannot lie -- I was more than ready for Ten to go at that point. Now that I've had some time to put between "Tensanity" and myself, I'm thinking this was more of a case of me being ready for Russell T. Davies to go (ENOUGH WITH THE ROSE OBSESSION, OMG. She was great for a while, but damn if Martha and Donna didn't get the short end of the stick in comparison) and less any fault of Tennant's. I'm noticing a pattern here, however: I *loved* Eleven during Series 5, but I wanted to throw him in the Battlestar Galactica's airlock in Series 6 (I know, different fandom). Not to sound dramatic, but I just think the writers butchered the character and made him a huge asshole, and that was WITH a brand-new official showrunner, Steven Moffat. Moffat was responsible for some of the best new "Who" episodes, but a few episodes do not a competent showrunner make, know what I'm saying?


For you lovely lacquerheads, do you think this glitter is too tame or too busy for you? Does anyone know what happened to Amanda and NerdLacquer? Like I said earlier, I'm hoping nothing bad happened, but it's odd that she exited stage right when she had a good thing going! Did you buy this set, or the other "Doctor Who" ones? Which of my remaining NerdLacquers do you think I should try next?

For the die-hard Whovians out there, do you think this polish matches up to what you know from the show? Who was your first Doctor? My first real Doctor was Nine (my PBS viewing in the '90s was limited to "Sesame Street," "Mr. Rogers," "Keeping Up Appearances" ... and "Lawrence Welk" -- I doubt my stations ever carried older series). Do you perhaps think new "Who" has peaked and it needs to take a little break?

If you read this entire post, congratulations and thank you! :D

(source: doctorwhogifs)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July: OPI Warm & Fozzie + some Sterling Meowlory Archer glamour shots

Another day, another metallic.

I wasn't sure I wanted Warm & Fozzie back in December, but I am no stranger to holiday collection, limited edition OPI regret (some of my girlfriends might remember my quest for Smitten with Mittens last year). This looked so beautiful on so many of my blogger and MUA friends (*cough* Anna *cough*) that I decided to pony up the $8.50 and order it on AveYou while I was ordering some other OPI Muppets shades for some friends' Christmas gifts.

As I typed this post, I realized I must really love Fozzie because I have two OPI Muppets polishes named for him.

Anyway, Warm & Fozzie was super confusing for the old Droid cam -- which is interesting to me, because it was on point for Cos Bar at Target Bronze! Please keep in mind that W&F is one of those polishes that looks different on everybody -- it usually looks darker on most of my friends and other bloggers.

Three coats with SV.

These pictures outside might give you a little more feel for the duochrome.


The other day when my father was providing me with tech support services (as fathers do), he looked down at my nails and asked, "What color is THAT?" Even I'm not sure how to describe this one. (My reply: "Awesome?") It's composed of little glittery gold, copper and pink foil particles with green and brown duo tones suspended in a slightly smoky base. Warm & Fozzie is a foil all right, albeit a thin one. It blends into my skin tone a little, but not enough to worry me, and it looked horribad under my office lighting, although everything does.

The formula for this polish was better than I thought it would be. I've seen several bloggers' swatches with two coats. I wanted to see if using three would provide additional color depth and more opacity, and it really does make a bit of a difference if you're using thin-medium coats. Because the base of this polish is a bit smoky (swatch it on paper if you don't believe me), I figured it would need to be built up.

Warm & Fozzie was part of OPI's The Muppets collection released last year as both a holiday collection and a tie-in with the Jason Segel movie. Since it was limited edition, it won't be showing up in the core OPIs, but you definitely can buy this on Amazon and eBay. I showed you Wocka Wocka! last November, and while I have Rainbow Connection, I'm still not totally sure what to do with it -- though I think Steff's jelly sandwich with Sally Hansen Parchment might be in order.

Did you buy Warm & Fozzie last year and fall in love with it, too? Any other OPI Muppets polishes you STILL haven't worn for whatever reason? (I think this is sad, considering we are fast approaching the OPI James Bonds.)

And although he is not a bear, let me share some pictures of Sterling Meowlory Archer, the closest thing I have to a little fuzzy baby. --We went through his adoption papers last month looking for his estimated birthdate before BF took him to the vet (we thought he might have ear mites. He didn't). This was when I discovered his estimated birthday is August 2011, and his name at the Humane Society was "Curly." He's not especially curly per se, so we're thinking he had brothers named Larry and Moe.

In any case, Sterling Meowlory Archer is clearly the superior name. You're welcome, kitty! Tomorrow makes two months since his adoption. :) Janice says I should get him a little kitty turtleneck for his birthday (if you watch "Archer," then you understand the significance and the hilarity of the "tactleneck.")

All of these shots were taken last week while I was in town, so they're quite recent.

For some reason he really likes sleeping next to BF's pants.
 Exhibits A and B:

I DON'T UNDERSTAND., but darn if he doesn't look like the happiest little thing.

And if you think this was a ridiculous amount of kitty spam ... you'd better be glad I don't have a dog yet. This blog would be taken over by SO MUCH PUPPEH.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cos Bar at Target Bronze

You've got FIVE more days left to enter Stuff's First Birthday Giveaway! Don't miss out!

What? Another metallic? I know. I have a problem. I've never been so into metallic anything in my life. I used to think mixing metallics with clothes the way Stacey and Clinton want their "What Not to Wear" subjects to do it was tacky, until I realized it was no longer tacky if you had the right accessories. In some weird way, that's how I've been feeling about metallic polishes.

Today's post is all about Cos Bar Copper, a limited edition polish I rescued from the Target clearance bin a few weeks ago. I know Target has been rotating products from smaller, less well-known brands in their The Shops beauty section, so I figured that's what the whole Cos Bar business was about. It turns out that this Cos Bar is a "luxury cosmetics" store based in Aspen, CO (and has since expanded with 12 more stores). You can check out the store site here.

I didn't really pay much attention to the Cos Bar products at Target, mostly because I only care about nail polishes, and the reviews for two out of the four polishes weren't calling to me during their time in the store. A few weeks later, I responded to the call of the almighty clearance bin. You know how we do, boo.

Yeah, I just typed that last sentence and that sounded WAY better in my head, where Brad from "Happy Endings" was saying it.

Three coats with SV.

Yeeeeeeeeees. This is probably the most bronziest polish I've ever worn. It actually doesn't detract me from trying bronze again, but I don't know that this is MY bronze. See, while the color is wonderfully deep and vivid, it's also got enough of a brownish-red tinge to make it unwearable for me. Sad panda.

Which is too bad, because this polish applied wonderfully! It's been a while since I swatched it and I didn't take any notes, so I don't remember anything weird about it. I think you can get it nice and opaque with two coats, though I used three.

Although the Cos Bar products are long gone from my Target (and possibly at yours as well), you still can find it for $3 online at the Target web site.

Did you spring for any of the Cos Bar at Target polishes? What do you think of Bronze? Better yet, what is your favorite bronze nail polish -- do you have any recommendations for me? And what the fuck is the difference between bronze and copper in terms of color??? Isn't bronze (as a metal) supposed to be mostly copper, anyway?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Full-on Monet? As if!: Hard Candy Sky (2010 rerelease)

You have one week left to enter my first blogaversary giveaway! Chop chop!

Did you know that yesterday, July 20, marks the 17th year since the release of "Clueless," one of the best '90s teen flicks ever (or simply one of the best '90s movies)? You didn't? Well, there ya go.

I was a strange little thing and didn't actually watch the movie until 2008. I KNOW. Oh sure, I'd watched the TV series and I recognized a movie quote when I heard one, but there's something about watching the original source material for myself that I really enjoy. Apparently I enjoyed this movie enough to buy it on DVD not too long after that.

RIP, Brittany Murphy.

Before she advocated a "kind" lifestyle (read her post on her favorite nail polish brands -- maybe you'll see one of your favorite brands on her list) and feeding her baby boy the way birds feed their babies, Alicia Silverstone was a teen movie darling. Supposedly she's responsible for Hard Candy's popularity in the '90s as a result of telling David Letterman about her nail polish, Sky, when she was on his show. I don't remember this happening because I was, you know, NINE, but the mid- to late- '90s was when Hard Candy really blew up as a brand. Apparently you could only buy it at fancy establishments such as Nordstrom, Sephora, and other boutiques.

And then it kind of went away until 2009, when Hard Candy began distributing and selling its cosmetic line at Walmart. Sky wasn't added to the new polish lineup until 2010, which is pretty insane when you realize that this is probably one of the most popular Hard Candy products, if not THE quintessential Hard Candy product.

Four coats with SV. Trust me, that is not as bad it sounds. For me, that was definitely worth the trouble. More on this in a sec.

And this is why clean-up is so important, ladies. Don't ask me why I was polishing like a three-year-old, but I think this picture does capture the blue shimmery flash rather well.

Sky is a gorgeous light sky/baby blue stark pastel polish with a blue shimmer that reads more like a flash both on the nail and in the bottle. (Oh yes ... it translates.) The only thing with the shimmer is that it's pretty subtle, yet it still manages to pop against the starkness of the base color. That's what makes this polish unique, I think.

As with every other pastel known to man, the formula on this polish was not a fun time. I honestly believe you could get this good and opaque with three thin-medium coats, but I used super thin coats and three did not cut it, hence four. I used SV for its self-leveling magic, and while I did get some slight shrinkage, it wore pretty well for the three days I had it on. For a pastel, I won't complain. I got fantastic wear with Hard Candy Frenzy (five days) -- it's really too bad there are only a handful of Hard Candy polishes left now, because I had a good wear time experience with them!

Sky was one of the colors that made the cut when Hard Candy thinned down their core polishes in the past year. You can find it at Walmart for $4 and it even comes with a little plastic ring around the cap, too. (I can't wear it because I have short widdle sausage fingers. I'm pretty sure I'm a size 9? 10?, which stinks, because the ring is cute.) As for the original Sky, it's become quite the collector's item. There are a few floating around on eBay, but I can't speak to the authenticity of those bottles.

There are no dupes to this polish that I know of -- Chanel Riva does not even come close. There are a few comparisons of these two polishes on various blogs, and Riva really is a pinch dustier than Sky. But because Riva was a limited edition Chanel and is htf now, I would suggest you grab Sky unless you're really a Chanel collector. I haven't decided which of the two is staying in my stash, so I'll have to think about it for a bit.

In short, let me sum up how I feel about this polish.

Okay, maybe I'm a little more enthusiastic. But only a little, only because, as I mentioned earlier, I'm trying to decide between this and Riva. I really don't NEED both of those polishes.

Does the prospect of four coats of a pastel polish deter you from trying the new Sky? Is it a little sad when a brand goes from being sold at exclusive designer boutiques to being sold en masse at Walmart?

Have you ever seen "Clueless"? Any favorite quotes? Do you prefer Jane Austen's Emma, the inspiration behind this movie? Most importantly, do you think Paul Rudd simply benefits from good genes, or that he made a deal with the devil in exchange for aging flawlessly? --Not as flawlessly as Stacey Dash, of course. Daaaaaaaaaaayum, woman. She looks AMAZING.