Sunday, March 31, 2013

MY WATCH BEGINS: Rescue Beauty Lounge Ghost

Oh, does it EVER.

Also, Happy Easter! In case you've been living under a rock (not Casterly Rock, hee hee), the third season of "Game of Thrones" kicks off tonight on HBO. I don't get HBO at temporary RachQ, but B does, so I'll try to be there tonight. My mom was a little taken aback when I said, "OMG, Easter is on Game of Thrones Premiere Day?" and tried to correct me by telling me, "No, Game of Thrones Premiere Day is on Easter." That's my mom for you.

Also, a local bar is tapping this tonight, so I kiiiiind of have to be there. As I told B, I don't care if this tastes bad, I need it in me, and that's what she said.

Last year, I blogged American Apparel Summer Peach for the second season premiere and it was hysterical fun. This year, I'm afraid I'm just indulging myself. Ghost was not this polish's original name, as we know, but that's okay. Anything to tie it into GOT, right?

Jon Snow is not exactly my favorite character in the books. On the TV show, he's not exactly in the running for my favorite character, either -- you know I'm not feeling someone when THE HOUND gets a higher Rach ranking (... yarp). The wonderful thing about Jon, though, is that he is ripe for internet hilarity. Take, for example, this .gif.

(source: Jon Ho)

And this one:
(source: Tumblr -- if this is your .gif, 

And then take a moment to collect yourself.

I nearly died laughing when I saw this. If you're not laughing, you're broken. The puppet is Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy in the series, the Alfie Allen who is Lily Allen's brother and the guy she's singing about in "Alfie." That puppet was her representation of her brother in the music video. BOOM.

Okay, RBL Ghost. I have to warn you that these swatches are kind of sad, but (1) I came home from work later than I expected to and I was losing light, so (2) I will try to re-do them if you would like me to do that.

Three coats with SV.

I HATE starting off using the original color description (it's like beginning an essay or speech with the dreaded "Webster's Dictionary defines ..."), but the "nebulous glow" of adobe in twilight sounds about right. Ugh, that glow is so gorgeous. I think I would like it a little more on me if it were less warm and more of a neutral brown.

The formula on this one was classic RBL. You have to work quickly with most metallic finishes, so I liked that I could take my time with Ghost a little bit. It wasn't brushstrokey, either. I would suggest waiting longer than I did in between coats to avoid bald spots and dragging -- like I said, I was losing light, so I was in a big damn hurry. Two coats will get this opaque, but as a compulsive three-coater, two just feels wrong to me.

So far, Ghost is my favorite polish from the RBL GOMM collection released last summer. It's still available on the RBL site for $20 and if you really don't want your bottle, I'll be happy to give it a loving home. I need another backup of this, it's so good. I have Bella, Poppy and Jack left to try, and you may see Bella next month if I can find it.

RBL Ghost: Like it? Love it? Missed it and need it NOW? What or whom are you most excited to see in Season 3? I never got around to reading the book because I can't seem to read any more -- maybe that's lies and deceit soup because I finished Mindy Kaling's book last night -- but I know the changes D&D made to the show. I can't say I approve of some of them (*cough* the Catelyn/Robb dynamic *cough*), but I'm ready. Give me the Reeds. And the Queen of Thorns. And Mance Rayder. Just give me everything.

All right. I have to hop in the shower, like, 20 minutes ago, so I'm out. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and a wonderful premiere day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fug Friday returns! ... on a Saturday

Fug Friday is a (relatively) new feature dreamed up on Twitter with gal pal Jacqui of The Scholarly Nail, who shares my penchant for '90s nostalgia, live tweeting TV shows and fugly polishes. Who will out-fug the other? How many Fridays can we possibly keep this going? More importantly, which one of us will break down and order BB Couture Anal Probe? Only one way to find out: keep reading!

Long time, no Fug Friday! Whatever my excuse is, it doesn't compare to Jacqui's (school and her latest project, The Scholarly Nail's Wax Blog -- if you love scented wax, give it a follow!). But we're back today, so please cross your fingers and hope it doesn't take us another five months to execute another one of these.

Let's get to it and address the question of whether MAC Dry Martini resembles a bodily secretion. Obviously, I think it does. It looks like the result of consuming any grocery store sugar cookie or cupcake topped with blue frosting -- gross in reality, great in polish and perfect for Fug Friday purposes.

Four coats with NYC Grand Central Station.

Dry Martini has a brown cast to it, but on me it built up to a deeper greenish color after four coats -- I'll get to the four coats part in a second. This was far more green indoors under artificial light than it was outside, where you really could see the brown. This doesn't seem especially martini-like to me. It's more like ... a hat. I don't know. I haven't had a martini in forever (mostly because they're overpriced).

Admittedly, the formula on this polish was a little weird. Because it's sorta old (from '09, I think), a small amount of polish had evaporated, although I don't think that's what made Dry Martini so confusing to work with. It would have been perfect if it hadn't been slightly watery! It was opaque at three coats but unfortunately, I still had bald patches, so I slapped on a fourth coat and that seemed to fix it. I'll give MAC the benefit of the doubt this time because this is an older release; every MAC polish I've used since 2010 has been quite pigmented. Dry time was great with Grand Central Station, and -- I was so thrilled about this -- it didn't shrink after one day. This was a huge deal to me because I usually get shrinkage after one day with SV. I wore this for five days with minor tip wear and chips.

Dry Martini is discontinued, as it was released in Fall 2009 for MAC's Nail Trend collection by Jin Soon. I lucked out either in 2010 or 2011 and nabbed this at the CCO up in Williamsburg, VA. Dude, I loved that CCO -- I found so much good shit there, like my back-ups of MAC Blue India (looooooove), MAC In the Buff and MAC Ming Blue (another Jin Soon hit). Speaking of Jin Soon, she released her own line of nail products and polishes, yay! Michelle at ALU reviewed her spring collection; you can check out Jin's other polishes on her site.

Is Dry Martini fug enough for ya? Don't forget to visit Jacqui's blog to see today's Fug Friday pick! And if you're feeling so inclined, we'd both love it if you left us comments telling us whose polish was fuglier. ;)

Thanks for reading, especially if you came over from The Scholarly Nail -- welcome! I hope you all enjoy the your Easter weekend, and I'll see you back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Long Haul: March 2013

Doing this a little early this month because I have something awesome ready for Friday and Sunday.

Remember how good I was last month? OOPS. Also, it's pretty insane how into pink and light purple polish I am right now. IDEK what that's about.

The rules: If I bought other items at one store along with polish, I won't include the tax, just the total amount I spent on polish. Additionally, swaps or anything I bought as a gift for someone else won't figure into this and won't count.

Notes: No pictures. Ever. (I'm working on a tiny lightbox. I might just cave and buy one next month.) I WILL edit this post if I end up buying something before Sunday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sinful Colors Show Me the Way

This was going to be next Friday's post until I realized it wasn't quite what I was going for and I could do better. What's going down on Friday? You'll have to come back and see. ;) For now, this is what you get. Enjoy.

Three? four? coats with NYC Grand Central Station. I'm sorry, I forgot!

In terms of color, Show Me the Way is a pinch more brown than SH Hard as Nails Hard Cash, which I blogged last year, but not as swampy as Confetti My Favorite Martian. It contains faintly visible glitter specks. That glitter doesn't really add anything to it, so I would have left it out. Not a bad color, but I was looking for something a little brighter; it's not something I'd wear again, either.

This polish went on sheer-ish and needed a little bit of build up before it started looking opaque. I derped and I can't remember whether this required three or four coats, but I want to say three. As far as I can recall, I didn't have any drying issues with this. I took it off after getting these photos because it, like "Pitch Perfect," was a solid eh. --Not even eh+ or eh-, just eh.

Sinful Colors just redid their core line, but I'm pretty sure this one is still a core polish. You can pick it up for $1.99 at Walmart, RiteAid and Walgreens -- my favorite place to go for Sinfuls is Wags, since they run some baller promos from time to time. I never would have picked up Show Me the Way on my own, so I'm glad I received this as a swap extra.

What do you think of Show Me the Way? Interesting? Boring? Worth picking up during the next Sinful promo? What was the last thing that was just "meh" for you? I'll probably discuss "Pitch Perfect" in another post, but I'll just say I wasn't feeling it AT ALL. At least I was able to rent it for next to nothing, thanks to B's Redbox rental code!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nail of the Novel: American Apparel Passport Blue

**Please take a few seconds and vote in the poll I added in the upper righthand column of the post! Thanks! I might not be able to get started with that until May-ish, but that's assuming y'all are interested. I want to get an idea of what you'd like to see.**

Ain't no secret that I've been draggin' ass with this post. Here's why:
  1. When I finished reading Danielle's book club pick for February, the first words out of my mouth were, "WHAAAAAAAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!??!?!!?" I felt like Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook" when his character finishes A Farewell to Arms, only considerably less rage-y but definitely just as confused.
  2. What would I do for my nail of the novel???? (This is a term coined by Danielle and it's absolutely brilliant, IMO.)
I settled on this polish that I've had for years. I put it on after removing Pretty Serious VT100 on Monday. (Dude, if I'd actually gone out on Saturday night with lady friends instead of Sunday night with B, I'm willing to bet VT100 would've gotten me a crap ton of compliments. And also, shout out to one of my favorite bartenders, Joanne! Joanne is the best. She listens to our cat stories, tells us some of her own, and does not judge me for my terrible taste in beer.)

Whether it's to my eventual benefit or detriment, I'm a very literal-minded person. First I thought, "Maybe I should do China Glaze Exotic Encounters" but to me, the term "exotic" is exciting and even sultry, not "hooooooooooooooooly fucking SHIT, U IN DANGER GURL," which is more where the novel was. Then it was, "Oh, maybe I should do China Glaze Man Hunt" because there was an actual manhunt in the book. I later entertained the idea of a sheer, since one character had her manicuring essentials out in the desert with her, but I can't imagine how polish in post-WWII would have held up in the desert. So we get AA Passport Blue, since there was quite the plot point involving one character's missing passport.

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station. And sorry if these photos look weird. My camera freaks out with dark colors.

Passport Blue is a strongly pigmented deep navy ink creme. It never looks black, yay! One thing I loved about these first American Apparel cremes was that you could tell *exactly* where or what they drew their color inspiration from. Well, according to this blog (one of my faves!), Passport Blue is a bit darker than an actual U.S. passport.

This polish was pretty pigmented, but really easy to apply. --Easy, despite the worst part of application being those long-stemmed AA brushes, and believe me when I say this required CONSTANT. VIGILANCE. (I also may have been quite sleepy whilst polishing.) You can get away with two coats, but as a habitual three-coater, two didn't feel right to me. It dried really quickly with Grand Central Station, and I got minor tip wear after one day -- far less than what I would have gotten with SV after one day, if you want to know. I wore this for three days with a bit more tip wear, but no chips.

Passport Blue is one of the core American Apparel cremes, and one of the first ones that was available when the store started marketing nail polish in early 2010. It's $6 online and in stores, and you can buy three polishes for $15, which is nice. American Apparel is ridiculous to me for so many reasons, but I do like their polishes a lot, even if they don't wear too well on me. I don't know why I love mine. Is it the range of colors in the creme finish? Is it the square bottle? I sure as hell know it's not the AA ~aesthetic~!

As for the novel, I'm still not completely sure what it was about, or what its themes were. Yeah, I haven't been able to think critically about literature since 2003, but this book was one of the densest things I'd read in years. To the author's merit, it was written beautifully, no matter how much I wanted to choke some of the characters out of frustration because I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HALF OF THEIR DECISIONS.

Oh, and the book was The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. If you know anything about the novel, then you'll know my feelings are completely warranted. There's also a 1990 Bertolucci film adaptation that Bowles seems to have panned, starring John Malkovich and Certain Parts of Debra Winger. I have no idea how faithful it is to the novel, but it's available on Netflix if you are in the mood for some serious moral ambiguity and Debra Winger's lady parts.

I also would like to note that this was the first time I'd read an e-book, via my Asus Google Nexus 7. I haven't played too much with my little Nexus, but I've never been interested in e-books. You go to an airport, coffee shop, wherever with an e-book and if you're not careful, some asshole will jack that shit. But lug your two-inch(...ish) copy of, say, Infinite Jest and you look like a fucking intellectual genius (or a poser -- it could go either way). In any case, the only thing I didn't like about this particular e-book was that there was no translation widget? app? because there was a fair amount of conversational French in the text. I only took one semester of French and all the French I remember comes from "Beauty and the Beast" and the Flight of the Conchords "Foux Da Fa Fa" song.

 Voilà mon passeport!

So yeah, I was kind of boned. Luckily, I don't think any of the French in the text was significant, but there was enough for me to go, "Aughhhhhh, what does that MEAN?" All things considered, however, I'd read another book off my tablet again.

OMG, Elizabeth. I just realized that blonde chick from the video and that "FOTC" episode is Eliza Coupe, a.k.a. JANE FROM "HAPPY ENDINGS."

Time to go! I'd love to hear your thoughts about American Apparel polishes, Passport Blue, difficult reads, e-books versus hard copies (Team Hard Copy!), or your favorite "Flight of the Conchords" episode. I'm not sure what mine is, but I know I preferred Season One to Season Two.

I can already tell my next Nail of the Novel post will be far less ... problematic than this one was. Of course, the real problem is that I need to read more than twenty pages into our March book, but you know. I have, what, nine days? Totally doable.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pretty Serious Cosmetics VT100

If you thought I would let St. Paddy's Day go by without a green polish ... I would never do such a thing. Here's what I had on over the weekend.

My aunt also liked this polish, too. It's pretty great. I mean, you'd have to be blind not to.

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station. And you are going to enjoy these photos, damn it, because I had a HECK of a time taking them.

I discovered Pantone books when I was 19, getting beasted at kings at a friend of a friend's apartment. The girl who rented that apartment was a graphic design student, and she had a Pantone book lying around. You know I flipped through it! Even when I'm tipsy, I know when I'm on to a good thing**, especially given my fascination with color. The emerald in VT100 doesn't subscribe to the Pantone definition of emerald, but who cares. Sometimes I think this is actually better.

In case you are like me and hoard glass flecks, VT100 isn't a dupe for Zoya Ivanka (Ivanka is more blue and more sheer) or China Glaze Running in Circles. Ivanka and Running in Circles are true glass flecks; VT100 is more of a creme base with microglitter to me since the glitter particles are a more pronounced gold. It would be a nice addition to your growing army of greens. ;)

Two interesting things about formula and application on this polish. Like Morning Java, the formula was on the thick side, but quite workable. Application was fine. You can get this opaque in two coats, although! -- and this is where it gets interesting to me -- I wasn't crazy about it with two coats. Three, YES. It looked more ... realized? Whatever the word I'm searching for, it was better at three. I wore it for three days, although it chipped within day one on two nails (nails that have been prone to small breaks, I must add). I had no tip wear, which made me a happy panda.

VT100 was part of the Pretty Serious debut collection, Hello World! It retails on the Pretty Serious site for $9.95 AUD, but if you're in the U.S., you can pick it up for $12 at Llarowe. I have two more Hello World polishes left to try as well as a tiny Pretty Serious order coming in. Obviously, I can't get enough of Kaz's creations. :D

If you've bought any Pretty Serious polishes, did you pick up VT100? IS IT NOT BOMBASS? Sigh. And what did you wear this past St. Patrick's Day weekend?

**Does this explain BF? Oh, brother.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Cult Nails Cruisin' Nude

I considered posting an OPI NYC Ballet for March Skinny Dipping because Anna and I have been obsessing over that collection for the past couple of weeks. Then I decided it might be nice to blog a brand I haven't shown on Stuff for a little bit, hence Cruisin' Nude.

Let's not beat around the bush: If you have mad love for nude polishes, YOU MUST GET CRUISIN' NUDE.

Even my aunt liked it. I should disclose that my aunt is 63 and wears polishes like China Glaze Sun Worshiper. She rocks. I think her current pedicure might be SH Xtreme Wear Green with Envy. (I also should disclose that very few people in my family look their age -- thank you, Asian genetics.)

Three coats with SV.

For the record, I would have loved this if it had been a plain creme finish. It can take on that look in low light. I guess that's a testament to how great the nude base color is.

I wasn't sure if I was going to find the subtle pink flash of shimmer flattering, but it worked. I don't own Essie Kisses and Bises, which you would layer over a nude to get a similar effect, so I can't tell you how these two compare.

I had no formula or application issues with Cruisin' Nude. You can stop at two coats, but it was a pinch more opaque at three. I actually wore this for five days, but slapped on one coat of Essie A Cut Above on Day Four. It was ... all right. I didn't take pictures because while I loved the formula of those Essie Luxeffects glitters, I'm underwhelmed with that particular one, but we can talk about that another time.

Cruisin' Nude was released in the summer of 2011 as part of the A Day at the Races collection. It's currently sold out on the Cult Nails site, but according to Maria, it should be back sometime this summer. With the price increase, I'm assuming it'll be $12 when it returns, although I promise it is completely worth it if you love twists on nude polishes.

I know some people aren't keen on supporting Cult Nails following certain events in January. That's understandable and I respect that. I had a busy work week and I was late to the party when that happened, but I wasn't overly bothered about it. I'm cool with the Cult. Plus, I was lucky enough to knock out a bunch of my Cult Nails lemmings through several sales last year, and I plan to blog them. End of story.

SO, Cruisin' Nude. I am dippy in love with it. Are you? What's your favorite Cult Nails nude? Do any other ladies in your family surprise you with their pedicure choices?

Don't forget to peep Anna's blog today to see what's she's sporting! We'll be back with more nude polish next month. Who knows, maybe one of my OPI NYC Ballets will make an appearance.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pink Wednesday: HARE polish Rad Cloud

My affection for the odd pink polish is one thing, but pink indie glitter ... well. If you're thinking that's not something I would be into, you're right. No need to take my temperature or anything -- just check out Kristy's and elbee's swatches. They were all the convincing I needed to purchase a few HARE polishes last fall with some extra birthday cashish. So thanks for that, ladies.

Now you get to see my photos! Kristy and elbee opted to layer Rad Cloud over other polishes (Mode Gorg and China Glaze It's Poppin', respectively), but I wanted to see how opaque this could get on its own. The answer: pretty opaque.

Honestly, I could have taken pictures of this polish all day. There was only one thing I didn't like about it, which is enough for me to let this go. Can you guess what it was?

Without further ado, the many sides of HARE polish Rad Cloud ...

Three coats with SV. And I feel like I've been saying this all winter, but please forgive my jankity cuticles. Should I up my moisturizing regime?

Rad Cloud contains different sizes of hex and square purple, fuchsia orange and green glitters suspended in a milky pastel pink base. Surprisingly, I LOVED the pink base color. I thought it was very dainty. For the most part, I liked the combination of glitters, too. Except, that is, for the green square glitter (ding ding ding! That's the dealbreaker for me). I don't know what it is about that green, because I thought it complemented the pink, orange, purple and fuchsia, but on the nail, I just didn't like it on me. I'm weird like that. A good portion of the green glitter also sunk to the bottle of the bottle, although it's nothing a good roll wouldn't fix.

Now, I'm not accustomed to working with milky glitters, so I didn't know what to expect. Rad Cloud was very easy for me to use, albeit a tad goopy, although that's probably due to its milky pastel base. I had no problems with it, no drag or pull or anything, and it dried quickly with three coats for opacity. The polish pretty much goes where you put it, and I didn't do any clean-up with this, which was really nice.

The glitter doesn't dry gritty, but it's not glassy smooth, either. I was okay using SV alone as a top coat, but if you are obsessive about a glassy smooth surface, I'd recommend a layer of Gelous before your top coat. It wore really well with no chips and minimal tip wear for two days.

Rad Cloud was part of last spring's Cumulus Excellence duo, the other half being Magic Mist, which I want to have babies with. 

If you're interested in purchasing some HARE polishes, owner and creator Nikole has currently closed up shop to fill distributor orders and to do an Etsy restock. Additionally, the new spring collection, The Last Queen of France, should go on sale in two days (this Friday, March 15). I'm not sure how much they retail for, $11? (I bought mine last year for $10), but they're $11 on Llarowe. For more information about the new collection, Etsy restock dates, and other places you can buy HARE, visit the official HARE polish site.

Oh wait, I lied. There was something else I'm not crazy about, and it's the handwritten labels (the bunny label shape is adorable, though). But it's not super important, merely a personal preference. There are new labels now, which are more to my liking, and just as cute.

What do you think of Rad Cloud, or HARE in general? Have you bought anything because your friend's pictures looked so good? If I end up absolutely loving the other polishes I got, HARE just may become one of my favorite indie brands. Crazy bananas.

Monday, March 11, 2013

butter LONDON Shag

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a decent weekend, what with daylight saving time and all. (I am one of those people who goes APESHIT when I see people write "savings" instead of "saving." To quote a journo classmate, drop that ignorant and incorrect "s." I used to make that mistake, but I know better now. And now you do, too.)

As promised on Friday, here's butter LONDON Shag. If you are my age and don't know what Shag means, then clearly you didn't watch enough Austin Powers back in the day.

Mmmhmmmmmm ...

Tom Cruise as Austin Powers in "Goldmember" ... whyyyyyyyyy (but thank you)

That cameo was the best thing Tom Cruise did in my entire childhood. (I have never seen "Interview with the Vampire -- blasphemy! -- so I cannot comment on that.) God, those Austin Powers movies were so dumb, yet so great. IDK. For some reason I watch them every time they're on TV and nothing better is on. Admit it, you do the same damn thing. It's okay. ;) Frau is my favorite. And Basil.

The rusty tones of this polish also bring to mind the shag carpets every house had in the '70s.

Three coats with miracle topcoat NYC Grand Central Station.

Shag was released last year as part of the butter LONDON fall collection, and it's the only polish from that collection I had any interest in. Is it bronze? Is it copper? Whatever it is, it was fun to wear for a few days, and definitely a fall color one could rock year-round. It's very classic, and when you think about those carpets I mentioned, a little nostalgic as well.

Nothing groundbreaking to say about application and formula here, as this polish practically applied itself. It's opaque in two coats if you'd rather not use three. The real treat for me was the absence of shrinkage/tip wear with NYC Grand Central Station until Day Three, because as much as I enjoy butter LONDON, this brand shrinks awfully with every top coat I've tried. So three days? I can roll with that.

Since it's a fairly recent release, you shouldn't have a hard time finding Shag at department stores, and it has a spot in the butter LONDON display at Ulta. Although butter LONDON also increased their prices by $1, making their polishes $15 instead of $14, they run decent promotions on their official site and at Ulta (go with Ulta because you get free shipping and extra points). I bought this polish out of curiosity when Ulta had a butter LONDON buy one, get one free sale on my birthday last year -- I wanted Lillibet's Jubilee, but it was OOS at the time.

After wearing Shag for a few days, I don't think it's a shade I'd reach for (please see: skin tone, wackadoo), but it was fun to try. Besides, you know I have a metallics problem. I'd still recommend it if you love fall colors and bronzey/coppery shades, and if you are a pale, pale lady. It will look so good.

That's it for Shag, but not for my metallics obsession. What do you think? As Austin used to say ... is it groovy, baby? Or just not your bag? And lastly ... "Who does Number Two work for?"