Thursday, August 30, 2012

Comparison: Essie Master Plan vs. Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas

My mini blog sale is underway until next Tuesday, and there are quite a few items remaining! You can check it out using the "Stuff for Sale" tab atop the page, or by clicking here. Thanks for looking and thanks to those of you who bought something -- I appreciate it!

I posted my swatches of Essie Master Plan two weeks ago and offered to do a janky comparison between this and my beloved Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas, mostly because Master Plan garnered a lot of comparison to Waking Up in Vegas when the former was released last year. This post is for Naz and anyone else who might be interested in seeing the difference between those two polishes.

This is my first comparison post. I've been wanting to do these for a long time because I know they're incredibly helpful. However, I've got limitations -- I think I'm quite good at capturing polishes individually using my phone camera, but put two polishes close together and it gets really tricky for me. I'm hypercritical and I did the best I could, so please don't tear me apart. :/

  • I found it easier to capture the difference between these two polishes using natural light indoors. It's not as obvious under a lamp, as you're about to see. I only took one picture under the lamp.
  • I used three coats of Master Plan (MP) on my middle and pinky fingers, and -- I think -- three coats of Waking Up in Vegas (WUIV) on my index and ring fingers.

Natural light (indoors):

Artificial light (indoors):

Basically, Waking Up in Vegas is a hair lighter and cooler than Master Plan. They're both good polishes, but you don't need both unless one works better with your complexion than the other.

I hope this was the tiniest bit helpful. I'd really like to step up my photography game on an actual point-and-shoot to get my comparisons where I'd like them so I can do more.

Sterling Meowlory Archer and I thank you for looking!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mini blog sale!

Okay, friends. It's time for Stuff's first mini blog sale! I filled up a little box of polishes and extras that I normally would put up for swap; however, with a move on the horizon, I don't want to bring along any extra things with me if it can be avoided. --I'm sorry if the pictures look kind of weird in terms of sizing, by the way. My "photography session" got interrupted and I lost my mojo. Blerg.

My mini blog sale is U.S.-only with payment exclusively through PayPal. Due to time constraints, it will only be open until Tuesday, September 4. To see the other rules, shipping rates and need-to-knows as well as the items up for sale, click on the "Stuff for Sale" tab at the top of the blog, or click here.

Thanks for checking it out! I hope you find something you'll love more than I did. :)

Happy Monday, and happy shopping!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A short hiatus, but first: OPI Do You Think I'm Tex-y?

I was wearing China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada this week, but I couldn't take a picture of it to save my life, so let me show y'all what I wore before I wore that.

For a year, this OPI Texas polish has been languishing in the train case that houses my untried OPIs. Why try this now?

Last week, I was replying to a message on Facebook and scrolling down my timeline (no ... really, FUCK YOU, NEW TIMELINE), when I saw a journo classmate's pictures of a one-year wedding anniversary "photoshoot" wherein her photographer friend followed her and her husband around for an afternoon. My friend and her mister are crazy photogenic. Anyway, all I got out of the pictures was that my friend was wearing a really beautiful deep pink, berry, sort of magenta creme on her fingers and toes, and I WANTED IT. --To be fair, she's also an alabaster goddess, and the kind of color I just described is one that would pull differently on different wearers, so my yellow hands probably would make me look jaundiced.

But I couldn't get the color out of my mind, and I knew that I had to have SOMETHING that would do. Despite its stupid name and the fact that it photographs a hair warmer than it really is (it's so much more pink on my yellowness), this OPI did very well.

Three coats with SV.

I know we as an Internets collectively rolled our eyes at OPI's announcement of their sorbet jelly polishes in last spring's Texas collection, but we were pleasantly surprised when the jellies turned out to be not only easy to apply, but fairly opaque as well. This certainly is true for Do You Think I'm Tex-y?, which also dries to a very glossy shine before top coat and is the most pink of the collection (had this been a creme, it would have been unoriginal as heck). I used three coats for opacity and it's quite squishy, though you can stop at two coats for the true jelly experience. You can see my smile lines because I'd let my nails get a bit long.

Do You Think I'm Tex-y? was one of the four jellies in OPI's Spring 2011 Texas collection. It never ceases to amaze me that I wound up with five OPI Texas polishes, despite being crazy underwhelmed by the collection! Anyway, I'm not sure if this one made it to the core OPI line, but it shouldn't be HTF online or at beauty supplies that stock OPI.

Also, this is happening, and worth mentioning:

I'm going on a short hiatus near the end of the month, because

TL;DR version = I'm moving
--Not the blog, but me. And my Helmer. (Gulp.)

Please wish me luck! I'm going to need it. @__@ 

I'll be posting a mini blog sale on Monday. For the most part, you'll be seeing some familiar polishes that didn't work for me for whatever reason. I hope you'll be able to give those pretties the love that I just could not!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Maybelline Color Show Twilight Rays

In the past few months, Maybelline has added a new line of Color Show nail polishes. You've probably seen them in various drugstore displays and even on other blogs, but never on my shorties, so here we go.

I wasn't drawn to most of the shades -- let's face it, this happens after a few years of collecting -- and Twilight Rays was the only one that intrigued me. I have grown fond of sparkly black polish and I love glass flecks, so for $2 and change, it seemed like a worthy investment. (And this line of thinking is how I often find myself getting in trouble when shopping for a lot of things. You don't even know how many times I've had to talk myself out of buying dresses when they're 100% cotton AND machine-washable.)

Two coats with SV.

Does Twilight Rays remind of you of any others in terms of color? I'm getting a little bit China Glaze Wagon Trail and Hello Kitty Night Sparkle, both of which have the same black base, only the shimmer particles in those polishes aren't as large as this one's. But the gold shimmer somehow lends it an almost olive tint. --Now that I think about it, I wonder if this might be close to OPI Live and Let Die, from the James Bond-themed holiday collection for this year. (OPI LaLD seems to have a different-colored base, though.)

This polish is rather pigmented and had a good consistency, not too thick or too thin to work with. When you're applying, wait in between coats ... I didn't, which is probably why I have a wee bit of cuticle drag on my pointer finger. This dried super quickly with SV. I can't tell you how this wore, because I removed it right after taking photos.

I've seen the Maybelline Color Show polishes primarily at CVS, Wags and RiteAid. Back in June, however, some of these Color Show displays were tucked away at some WalMarts, which is where I'm 90% sure I got mine ... I think it was on the same day I was on my Sally Hansen CSM Cerise bender.

I liked Twilight Rays, but I didn't LOVE it. I don't know why. Something about it just isn't working for me. (Y U SO HARD 2 PLEASE, RACHEL?!?) For the price, though, I'm not overly disappointed. I definitely can see myself picking up another polish from this line (specifically, Styled Out) when Low Buy (For My Life) 2012 dies down.

Do you have Twilight Rays, Styled Out, or any others from the Maybelline Color Show line? What do you think of this one? Does it remind you of any others? And when will I ever find a black glass fleck that I will love as much as I loved OPI Baby It's Coal Outside??? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pink Wednesday: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Cerise, or "Unsuccessfully Killing a Lemming"

Another Wednesday, another pink. This one IS pink, I swear.

Back in April, I swatched Sally Hansen Olive Branch and said Olive Branch would be the only one I would buy from the fashion-inspired Complete Salon Manicure spring display. Obviously, I spoke too soon, because I bought Cerise in June while I was at WalMart looking for those little bags of wine coolers and daiquiris that you have to freeze at home for a few hours (I hate Tara so much right now for introducing me to these).

The truth was, I really really wanted NARS Anardana after seeing it on Jellynat (that blog seems to have been removed. Sad panda! I loved it. Also, I wanted the entire Thakoon for NARS collection ... and I still do). The thing was, I wasn't willing to pay NARS prices for it -- let me tell you now, this is so not a dupe. It's really nice for what it is, but I repeat, IT IS NOT A DUPE. (Damn it.)

I have to warn you now that this color freaked out my camera SO MUCH. It's really saturated and has more pink tones than I was able to show you. On my monitor, Cerise looks EXACTLY like this (the first one). I had no idea cerise meant "cherry" in French, or that it resembled the bluer tones of an uncooked cherry. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Two coats with SV.

See what I mean about it being saturated? Cerise is closer to Essie Watermelon, but a little warmer than Watermelon and therefore not a dupe for Anardana, which leans much cooler in comparison and makes Cerise look almost like a deeper pink-red coral.
The formula on this polish is quite nice, very jelly-creme in finish. It would have been easier to apply if the brushes for the SH Complete Salon line weren't so broomy and uneven. My brush was in need of minor surgery, which I did not perform; I just flipped the brush over and polished with the lined-up end, if that makes sense. It dried quickly with SV to a very glossy shine.

The spring Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure shades for Tracy Reese are pretty well documented, as are the Prabal Gurung colors, so I'm willing to bet Cerise belongs to the shades for Alexander Wang. Edit: The Alexander Wang shades were Parchment, Petrol and Oxblood. WHERE THE HECK DID CERISE COME FROM?!?! You might be able to find this on clearance at Target or for a couple more bucks on eBay. Who knows, you might get lucky and find this tucked away at a drugstore or even on a blog sale. *cough*

Like I said earlier, Cerise is a let-down if you're looking for a NARS Anardana dupe. On the other hand, it excels at simply being what it is. I know it's for a good reason, but right now I hate this low-buy and I hate that I want Anardana so much. Darn you, NARS and Thakoon! And darn Tara for addicting me to those frozen drinks! Each drink is double the size of a Capri Sun but with alcohol and without a straw, and only around $1 and change. They're good to have on hand if you don't want to mix a lot of ingredients and are willing to wait a few hours for them to freeze (it takes five hours, I think, so you'd be set for the night if you froze one early in the afternoon). I love frozen drinks, alcoholic or non. I don't have a problem. Noooooope.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Jack O

Last Thursday night, I found myself wanting to wear something orange. I blame this entirely on Anna because she texted me during her hunt for Halloween drugstore displays, and this polish is THE most perfect shade of pumpkin/sweet potato/carrot orange. Now that I have my very own Costco card, I am gonna be buying their pumpkin pies ON THE REGULAR this fall. This is dangerous, considering Costco's proximity to me ... ohhhhhhh, shit.

Three coats with SV.

The formula on Jack O is perfect -- on the thinner side of perfect, if that makes sense, though I think that's due to its satin-y finish. You don't have to work too quickly when applying the polish because it just glides on the nail. I haven't tried out any of my OCCs in the new bottles, but Jack O is in the older bottle with an older brush, which reminded me a little bit of a thinner Essie brush. I recommend using three coats; you can get it opaque in two, but you get more color depth with three. This dried OK with SV; HOWEVER, it's still a little tacky after approximately half an hour. I don't mind that because I usually put on a DVD or surf the internet while I'm letting a mani dry, but I know some people aren't into that or aren't willing to wait that long.

According to the OCC site, the brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, which is really cool if that's something that's important to you. I say that because most of us polish aficionadas tend to be equal opportunity buyers and collectors -- sort of like how non-B3F polishes continue to have tons of appeal for us.

I can't find any information about when this polish was released, so I'm guessing it was either limited edition or discontinued last year. If you're interested in checking out OCC's other polishes and products (lip tars are what they seem to be best known for making), you can peruse their site. Polishes are $8 USD each. I bought this on sale in December (I *think*) when OCC was changing to their newer, current bottles.

I don't think I'll be keeping Jack O -- as wonderful as the formula and application were, I don't know that I would reach for it again. Also, it might be better on someone whose skin tone isn't quite so yellow. I guess I should stick to true oranges and slightly redder oranges. Ah, well.

What do you think of Jack O? Is it NOT the perfect pumpkin shade? (I dare you to find one that's better.) Are you getting excited for fall, too? You know I am, but at the same time, I feel like Costco could have waited a little longer to put out the Halloween stuff. I don't need to be seeing kids' Halloween costumes at the end of July, smh. Let me have my summer!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Revlon Gold Coin

Whoa! 200 GFC followers! Thank you so much, you guys. I'm just glad someone else enjoys my little corner of the interwebs. As I said to my man, 200 is SO not bad for someone who takes pictures with her phone and rarely of glitter. But really. Thank you! I don't really have an NOTD to mark the occasion, and I already had this post scheduled to go, but I'll try to come up with something later.

Somehow I ended up with four gold foils while searching for my perfect gold foil last year. FOUR. There's nothing wrong with this one and I feel kind of bad about letting it go because Madeline really likes it ... but ... four. Trying to pare the remaining three down to TWO will be bad enough.

The first two pictures are the most color-accurate. It rained after I got the sunny pics, and I really would have liked to get more of those. I give up with Virginia weather.

Three coats with Poshe.

Not too much to say here -- this is the kind of yellow/champagne-y gold foil that I like because it's not too warm on my skin tone. This had an average dry time with Poshe and dried to a smooth finish. Two coats would have been enough for opacity, but I messed up two fingers and went with three. The formula on this one was a bit watery compared to Orly Luxe and even China Glaze Midnight Kiss, and I feel like the foil particles in this Revlon were a little closer to the ones in Orly Luxe. I have Luxe and I love it, so I don't need to keep this.

Gold Coin debuted late in 2010 as part of Revlon's Heavenly Metals collection with Silver Dollar and Copper Penny. I think I bought mine at CVS back when I thought this was going to be limited edition and I didn't have Orly Luxe yet. However, I'm pretty sure this is a core Revlon shade now. It's a really good polish if you're looking for a gold foil and you can't find Orly Luxe (I prefer the Orly because I think it's a little more opaque).

What's your favorite gold foil? What was the last polish you gave up because you had similar ones that you liked better? I think every polish collector should have at least ONE gold foil in her stash ... I find that golds are more of a staple metallic for me since they're fairly versatile.

Happy Sunday and thank you for reading! Mwah. xo

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Early and often: FingerPaints Fall of Surprises! + China Glaze Harvest Moon

Everybody get out your boots, scarves, football gear and pumpkin recipes, because I'm bringing you fall a little early today. For the record, you have no idea how excited I am for Starbucks's pumpkin spice lattes -- this kills me inside because I have a love/hate relationship with Sbucks -- I'd put their return date down in my corgi calendar if I knew what it was!

China Glaze Harvest Moon debuted this spring with the other "Hunger Games" Colours from the Capitol polishes, but it screams fall in my mind. I mean ... just look at the name. Supposedly it represents District 9's main contribution, grain. To me, Harvest Moon was one of the standouts from the Colours in the Capitol collection, which really says something because I usually can't pull off colors like this. It's not too warm or too cool for me, the formula was perfect, and I LOVE the foil finish.

Three coats with SV.

I bought my bottle of Harvest Moon at Sally's at the end of February, but you might be able to find it on clearance there. And it's really not HTF online at all.

So remember when I said I picked up three of the new LE FingerPaints fall polishes? (I posted Fall-ing for You last week.) Bet you didn't think I'd pick up a GLITTER, didja?

Yeah, neither did I. But look here ...

This is three coats of Fall of Surprises! with SV and without any base coat. There are two types of glitter in Fall of Surprises, a larger hex glitter and regular smaller glitter. It covers quite well on the nail, more fully than the Essie Luxeffects glitters or even the Sephora by OPI glitters, and if anything, you might have to take care not to overload your brush. It doesn't dry completely smooth on the nail, though I don't think it's anything Gelous + SV couldn't fix, and that's better than having it bumpy or gritty, amirite? To better give you an idea of its coverage, the pinky finger is one coat, the ring finger is two coats, and the middle finger is three coats.

Here are some more pictures of Fall of Surprises! at three coats with SV and no base coat.

Now here's what it looks like over Harvest Moon ...

ONE coat of Fall of Surprises! + one coat SV over three coats of Harvest Moon.

Let's just say I plan to wear this combo again in the fall, every fall from now on.