Friday, May 31, 2013

A tale of hipster heaven and hell + Orly Halley's Comet

I detest posting after noon (I feel like no one reads my blog in the afternoon/evening), but I got home from work way too late last night to finish this post properly, so here we are.

You ever know how it feels when you FINALLY get the opportunity to do something, but then you're a little scared that it might not meet your expectations? This past Monday definitely was a twofer for me -- I wore Halley's Comet to see The Shins in concert. Yeah, it doesn't sound like a big deal, but work with me here.

Let me start with The Shins (or as my mother calls them, The Tibias. *faceFUCKINpalm* Without even knowing my parents, you KNOW I'm their kid). When I first heard "New Slang" on the first season of "Scrubs" back in 2001, I was into it, but didn't think about them again until the first "Scrubs" soundtrack came out the next year -- apparently, 2002 was a formative year for my music preferences. At that point, I decided their debut album, "Oh, Inverted World," was the tits, as was their follow-up, "Chutes Too Narrow."

And then the movie "Garden State" came out in 2004 and this happened, and I was all, "SONUVABITCH."

(source: Le Cinema Paradiso ... in all seriousness, it's a cute Tumblr.)

Let's just admit the MPDG trope is getting kind of tired -- I wouldn't mind so much if it were done well, but it's usually not.

ANYWAY. My point is, I pretty much had to act like I didn't like the band after the movie came out in case people thought I liked them because of the movie. Either way, thanks for that, Zach Braff. (Really, when was the last time the logic of an 18-year-old made sense?) I've continued listening to the band over the years, but I'd kept that on the DL to the point that when I found out they were coming to Richmond, I had second thoughts about buying concert tickets because going meant HIPSTERS.

For those of you who don't know anything about Richmond, it's the hipster mecca of, shall we say, the lower Mid-Atlantic. It was a little annoying when I went to college in 2005, but I can't imagine what it's like now. The idea of being surrounded by hipsters and BABY HIPSTERS was enough to make me decide I'd buy tickets later.

Of course, when I finally decided I wanted a ticket, those fuckers were sold out. So I turned to Craigslist, and a lovely lady was nice enough to sell one to me.

The show was a lot of fun! Yes, hipsters and baby hipsters abounded. (Don't worry, I didn't catch anything.) Strangely, the crowd skewed younger than I thought it would -- I supposed more people my age and older would be in attendance; if they were, they were nowhere near me! I was sandwiched between a bunch of kids WHO WEREN'T EVEN 21 YET, and one of these kids became my concert buddy that night. She was very sweet. I had a good time, though, and it would have been even better if not for, well, Shark Week. (Sorry, truth bomb.)

Know Your Onion!

New Slang

I'm sure you've noticed I like to match my nails to a polish that is loosely lyrically-appropriate. I had a crap ton of options -- first, I thought of wearing Orly Sea Gurl again, but decided it wasn't fabulous enough. Then I put on Orly Spark, and that STILL wasn't fabulous enough, and after texting Madeline and Anna, I changed it to Halley's Comet half an hour before driving down to the venue. Yeah, I guess I'm THAT girl now.

But, I'll take it if it means I'm not a hipster?

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station, one day of wear.

Have a shload of pictures because I've barely posted all week and this polish deserves a shload of pictures.

I'd say Halley's Comet is pretty fabulous, wouldn't you? (TY, Madeline and Anna!) I don't know why I put off trying it (or buying it) for so long!

Halley's Comet was released in Fall 2010 as part of Orly's Cosmic FX line, and it's a core shade at Ulta. It's super easy to find online, too. It became popular as one of 2010's barrage of Zoya Charla dupes, and although I don't own Charla, I also have Wet n Wild FastDry Teal of Fortune as well as Essence Choose Me! I asked the great KarenD last year about her favorite Charla dupe, and she said she would be least likely to give up Halley's Comet. Clearly, that answer was enough for me to buy it last August, so a belated thanks goes out to you, Karen! :)

Among all the Charla dupes, I think Halley's Comet is said to contain the most green/gold glitter/glass fleck particles, and warms up the teal base color rather significantly on me. When I had a delicious barbecue lunch with B the next day, he actually classified this polish as green. (I love him very much, but I think he might be even worse than I am at classifying colors.) I didn't have any issues applying this; the formula was perfect and it was opaque after two coats, but three gives the most satisfying coverage. I wore this for a day, removed it and reapplied it to take better pictures, when I found (1) SV shrinks something awful with this polish, but it is glassy af and (2) it didn't stain my nails after one day, nor did the glitter particles stick to my skin. Total win. By the time this post goes up, I'll have had it on since Tuesday night with no chips and minimal tip wear. I'll most likely remove this today.

I've done my bit, so I'd love to hear from you about Halley's Comet, Cosmic FX (I regret not getting Lunar Eclipse ... I really want it!), or your favorite Charla dupe. I also hope you enjoyed my sad month of Orly polishes -- you'll see more of them intermittently in the coming weeks, though.

Any Shins fans in the house? How did you come about them? I'm laughing so hard as I'm typing this, but ... do you struggle with hipster problems? While I have a weird affection for Richmond's, I would so not survive in Brooklyn. --I mean, I've known some really lovely hipsters in my time, but man ... I can only take them in small doses.

Bless you, Max Blum. RIP, "Happy Endings."

Oh, and believe me, the irony of my whole "this is how I knew it first and then I almost ragequit" hipster spiel is not lost on me. I can't win.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Long Haul: May 2013

Of all the polish I purchased this month, I only regret buying two of them. Of course, the goal is not to have buyer's remorse, period, but sometimes shit happens.

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: Do you guys even care about seeing haul pictures?, because I give up. If I can't make something happen after five months, I probably can't do it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Orly Heat Wave + Sterling Meowlory Archer: One year in the danger zone.

I usually don't post on Sundays, but today is VERY IMPORTANT because it marks one year since B adopted a little grey tabby cat and brought him home. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I can't imagine my life before my precious Sterling Meowlory Archer, but I maaaaaaaay have made B agree to let me take ownership of him in the event of B's untimely death because I don't think anyone else will love him as much as we love him.

Look at this face. How can you not?

Someone's first night home. It doesn't feel like a year ago!

Before I post cat spam, nails! I wanted to wear Orly Beach Cruiser since summertime kicks my general neon pink craze way, way up. However, given how problematic finding blogging time has been this week, I figured I'd better pick another polish that would be easy to photograph if I had a spare 10 minutes. Sorry, Arlyn!

Enter Orly Heat Wave, which is perfect, because the first time I posted about Sterling Meowlory Archer, I was trying to choose between several untried orange polishes.

Three coats with SV. If you guys HATE these pictures, I'll try to re-do them on my next major day off. LET A GIRL KNOW.

This polish may not be a neon, but ... I still like it, even if my hands can get a little too red for it sometimes. I loved that the shimmer was more apparent than the shimmer in Revlon Tangerine, my other contestant in the race for Rach's Perfect Candy Corn Orange Shimmer. (I'm not even going to link you to my post, those pictures were JANK.) It sparkles in low light -- if the particles were larger, it would remind me of Zoya Kimber's -- and I bet this would look amazing with a topper like China Glaze White Cap or even a flakie like Essie Shine of the Times. Hmm. White Cap. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

No lie, the formula for this polish was much better than I thought it would be. It's thin, and I thought it would be watery and runny -- not so. It goes on the nail and spreads more evenly than most polishes this thin do. If you stop after two thin coats, you'll probably have a little streaking, so I'd recommend three for full opacity. Dry time was good with SV; I was half asleep while polishing and used NYC Grand Central Station on my right hand, which was a total mistake. I didn't have sheet marks the next morning, but apparently I scratched myself in my sleep and the GCS on two didn't survive those dents.

Heat Wave was from Orly's High Voltage collection from Summer 2008. I think this all happened a few months before I really got into nails, so I vaguely remember seeing it around. I do remember Charged Up becoming a permanent fixture at Sally's, and I know I ran into Hot Shot quite a few times at CVS. I got my bottle in a swap a couple of summers ago, which is lucky -- it seems to be discontinued as well as a little htf right now. Crazy.

I don't see too many swatches of Heat Wave out there, so I'd like to know what you think.

And now for what you really came for ... cat spam.

B and I don't have fancy cameras, so everything you're going to see came off our phones (every nail picture I posted to this blog comes from a phone). Some of these shots are blurry and terrible quality, but they're some of my favorites.

A visit to ISIS ... how meta! (You're not going to get this unless you watch "Archer." Also, if this cat is Archer, B is Woodhouse, which would make me ... not Dicky, DAMN IT CYRIL.)

When you get a cat a tunnel that lights up, but he'd rather play in this:

And this ...

His "I sell kitty Chanel" face:

One day, B was cleaning and left his chairs up on the table like this. Of course, it is the perfect size to be claimed as a new cat bed.

Kitty, this just can't be comfortable:

(I was 80% asleep and only became aware of this photo because B started laughing. 
Then he dropped his phone.)

A terrible photo of him in one of the bow ties Madeline sent last Christmas:

You might not believe me when I tell you I didn't warm up to this little guy right away, mostly because I am not a cat person. The night Sterling came home, he wanted to jump in my lap, but I wouldn't let him. (I think my exact words were, "Not on this dress, kitty!") I don't live with B, so it took me a little longer -- two weeks? -- to become completely smitten.

We drove to New Jersey for a day last June, and spent the night not far from Atlantic City. This trip was the longest we'd been out of the house since B adopted SMA, and I relished the chance to sleep in a bed with my boyfriend without a cat attacking our feet. The next morning, we headed home, exhausted and sweaty (it was a REALLY hot weekend -- B almost passed out on the way to NJ). I think we skipped dinner to sleep. We crawled into bed, and I remember backing up into B so I could be the little spoon while he attempted to watch "The A-Team" movie. I remember being too hot, so I inched away from him and flung my arms out.

That was when Sterling, elated to see his humans (after dipping into some fresh water and wet food, of course), jumped on the bed and snuggled into the crook of my arm.

"B," I hissed. "This is really cute, but THERE'S A CAT HERE." Instead of helping get the cat off me, B just laughed. I figured Sterling would be over it after a few minutes, so I let him stay. He stayed for a long time, happily purring and purring into the crook of my arm.

And then the darnedest thing happened: As I watched that striped ball of fuzz purr himself to sleep, my heart suddenly swelled a size or two bigger, a size usually reserved for "FNL" episodes or especially moving installments of "This American Life." I'm not sure if it was because I was insanely tired from driving, but I started to feel a fraction of what new moms feel, what pet owners feel for their fur babies. So although he isn't technically my pet, Sterling Meowlory Archer became my fur baby that night.

Naturally, I had second thoughts the next morning when he attacked my feet. But he is my kittybaby.

Being really adorable about stealing my quilt last summer:


Keeping me company while I was sick last November? beginning of December?:

I can't watch "Sherlock" without my little 13-pound heating pad:

The first of many "Selfies with Sterling." My brows were a hot fucking mess that week, SORRY.

When B gets home from work, this cat will run to the door and JUMP UP ON HIS HIND LEGS to rub his face all over B's face. I have no photographic evidence of this particular act, but trust me -- Sterling loves B so much, it's disgusting. (And adorable.)

All this, because one year ago, a friendly, playful boy cat "chose" B by booping him in the nose with his paw.

I'm so glad he did. I love him so much.

P.S. I still don't like cats! In fact, I'm hoping to get a dog within the next year -- SMA is the only cat I WILL EVER LOVE.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Orly Sweet Peacock

Oh my God. So much to cover today because I am SO BEHIND ON ALL THE BLOG THINGS. Work was just busy busy this week, which is why I didn't have any time for anything I wanted to do that wasn't collapsing in bed and watching "Dexter" or "Hannibal." (I seem to be in deep with the serial killers these days, heh.)

I'm not sure if I have any readers out in Oklahoma, but seeing the news earlier this week about the devastation caused by the tornado was just awful. I can't imagine going through something like that and wondering if your family is all right. I hope everyone finds a safe place to stay, and a way to move forward with their loved ones.

Second, and this is totally 1st world problems-y, can we talk about new Flickr for a minute? On top of all the advertising issues, pro account issues, Yahoo! issues and general adjustment pains ... I HATE the new layout. I hate the photograph clusters, and I hate the black background. I wish there was an option to switch back to classic view! That would make life so much easier. I've been using Flickr exclusively for blogging purposes for the past two years -- and, before blogging, for NOTDs and personal photos -- so I don't want to find another host gallery service. I'm pretty attached. I know nothing in tech ever stays the same and there's always a learning curve, so I guess all I'm asking is for the white background to come back ... I can learn to deal with the clusters and the rearrangement of the photo notes and tags, but this fucking background. So clunky.

Third, I saw "Star Trek Into Darkness" last Friday and I think I hate it just about as much as I hate new Flickr. There were certain things I was willing to overlook, and right when I was beginning to enjoy it ... NOPE. I'm not going to spoil anything for anybody; I'll just say that considering how much I loved the 2009 movie, I'm very disappointed.

Fourth, SWEET MUTHAF-ING PEACOCK, Y'ALL. It took me forevs to get these photos not just because work was busy, but also because it rained on photo day. And did I mention new f-ing Flickr blows?

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station.

This is a whole lotta foil. You can see the particles that got stuck to my skin and cuticle after I tried to clean up! But this teal peacock shade is certainly worth it. Depending on your light, it's going to lean either teal-azure or a true teal (see Scrangie's swatch); KleanColor Metallic Aqua appears to be more green than Sweet Peacock, and contains smaller foil particles than Sweet Peacock.

Now. I hadn't used my bottle since I bought it (I know), so it had gotten a little watery during the interim. My roommate remembers her bottle having a thick formula; after rolling mine around, it was good to go. I needed two coats to get this opaque, but I went for that third coat and a couple minutes later, T and I were on our way for some Qdoba (which is so weird when you've been eating Chipotle since 2008, and even weirder when you think about eating Qdoba all through college, 2005-2007). I had this polish on for maybe three days before it chipped on one of my chip-prone fingers, but I kept it on for five days total with minimal tip wear. For some reason, it didn't wear like iron the way KleanColor Metallic Green did, but I'm not complaining.

As you know, Sweet Peacock is one of the epic shades from the epic Birds of a Feather collection. This is a core polish at Sally's, and it's not htf online, so you can venture there. I have Lucky Duck and Nite Owl left ... but I think I'll wear some other Orlys before the end of the month first. ;)

Okay. Any thoughts on Sweet Peacock, new Flickr (ugh), "Star Trek Into Darkness" (punch me in the face)? Do you have any plans for this long Memorial Day weekend? I think I might have to work, but on Monday, I'm going to see The Shins in concert, something I have been dying to do since 2002. I know -- I'm such a closet hipster sometimes. Please don't throw any kombucha at me. I would appreciate it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Orly Pure Porcelain ... pure hotness

I love nude polishes, but I am CRAZY for the ones that take your outfit to the next level. You know what I mean? If you don't, it's okay -- you're about to find out.

Three and a half coats with SV.

Wearing Pure Porcelain for just one day, I felt far more put together and "finished" than someone wearing an ill-fitting t-shirt, fat jeans and ratty sneakers should have felt. (I have been wearing my fat clothes lately ... nothing fits except my bridesmaid dress. I look like I'm well into my second trimester. I should probably do something about this.) And this is what I mean by taking an outfit to the next level. If I can feel that way with a crappy outfit, can you imagine how I would feel with a prim cardigan and sundress combo, or even with a formal dress? !!!

It turns out pink-tinged nudes and I are better together than I thought, and Pure Porcelain confirms this. It had a pretty good formula for a shade that's stark and faded at the same time. It's not streaky, but it does need at least two coats to level. It's actually pretty cooperative. Dry time with SV was fast and should help you out if you had leveling issues. I did an extra half coat because I basically was polishing in the dark and you know how that goes -- you never can be too certain.

Pure Porcelain was part of the Precious collection for Spring 2011, which was a great year for Orly now that I think about it -- this, Happy Go Lucky, Birds of a Feather and Mineral FX ... good lord -- between Orly Precious and China Glaze Anchors Away, I was one happy polish collector. Also, if you remember the Orly tie-in with "Dark Shadows," then Decades of Dysfunction was Pure Porcelain, renamed.

I also have to disclose that Pure Porcelain was not the first Precious shade I picked up, but I can show you that polish this week? next week? if'n you wanna.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to check back next month for another nude polish, and don't forget to visit Business Lady Polish today for Anna's nude polish pick! (Oh, and check out Pure Porcelain on her -- it looks totally different, right? It pulls pretty pink on me.)