Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Long Haul: August 2013

A huge part of the reason I only spent a measly whopping total of $6.99 on polish last month was because I was crafting intensely for my friend's bridal shower. My mantra was this: If I can't eat it or it didn't come from a craft store, I can't haz it.

This month, I should have been saving up more for our bachelorette trip to Kentucky (where I'll be when this post goes up!), buuuuuuut I have this tiny problem where I either eat or buy my feelings, and apparently I was frustrated enough on the 14th and the 20th to pick up a few small thangs.

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: Let me know if there's anything you want to see on the blog in September. I'll do my best to post it, although I'm starting to favor seasonally appropriate polishes because fall is my favorite.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Funky Fingers Jawbreaker

Note: As I'm writing this post, it's Friday night and I have the worst headache I've had in months. But I wanted to blog this polish because I have NO IDEA what this week holds until Thursday -- our bachelorette trip to Louisville starts on the 30th. I'm so excited and stressed out, I might barf. (Literally.)

When my friend Chelsea was visiting at the beginning of July, we stopped at the Five Below near my apartment because she'd never been to one before -- apparently they don't have Five Belows in Nashville (or Tennessee), which is so weird to me because there are five in the Richmond area. Anyway, that store is great if you love cheap polish, cheap cell phone car chargers and the occasional $5 DVD, so I figured it was worth a visit. As I remember it, Chels didn't find anything to take home that day ... but I did. This was one of them, as was this polish right here:

Three coats with one coat of Gelous under one coat of SV.

While he was ringing me up, my Five Below cashier remarked that this polish reminded him of Pop-Tarts. I don't see it, but I've only ever eaten Pop-Tarts on maybe five occasions in my life, and they didn't look a thing like this. Jawbreakers, though? Absolutely.

It's worth noting that Funky Fingers Jawbreaker might resemble another indie, Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker -- at least, it does in pictures. I don't own the P&P, but I prefer the Funky Fingers because it doesn't contain bar glitter, which is really not my favorite. I love the color combination of the glitters, and I also love that the colors are bold and really stand out against the milky white base. Love.

The formula was better than I expected it to be. I was worried that it would be a gloopy mess, but it wasn't -- it reminded me of the formula on HARE polishes, which have been pretty good, in my experience. The milky white base takes at least three coats to build up to opacity. If you want it to look white WHITE, I'd recommend going for a fourth coat ... or try layering Jawbreaker over something like OPI Don't Touch My Tutu. ;) Dry time was really fast with Gelous and SV, and it doesn't dry bumpy or gritty, so that's always appreciated.

I've been to Five Below a few times in the past few weeks, and this polish is still there. For $2, you can have this, or pick up two more Funky Fingers polishes and you're good for the 3 for $5 deal. Juuuuust sayin'.

I only wish I loved this timeless relic of the late '90s half as much as I love this polish (spoilers afoot if you've never seen it):

("Eight Arms to Hold You" was THE TITS., and still is ... 
I'll totally fight you)

Pardon me for saying it, but "Jawbreaker" was a MESS. Yes, Rose McGowan was beyond great. I just felt like that movie didn't come close to what it could have been. (However, I will concede that the name "Vylette" is fucking HILAROUS.) That's okay, though, because 1999 brought us these far superior high school satires, none of which I actually watched until I was well out of high school:

But this? Just one girl's opinion, of course. Do you agree with me on any of these movies? What are your feelings on Funky Fingers Jawbreaker? If you own Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker, are the two polishes even close enough to be comparable? Would you like to see the last Funky Fingers polish I picked up from this particular haul? Sound off in the comments and give me something to read during my lunch break!

Hopefully I'll have one more post for you this week before I head off to Kentucky -- that is, if my body doesn't stage a full-blown revolt. :(

Friday, August 23, 2013

NARS Lal Mirchi

As it happens, there's an unphotographed NOTD in between this one and OPI Care to Danse: a gold from Zoya that I adored. But there was never a good time for me to get pictures of it, and as much as I adored it, I was tiring of keeping it on my nails "just in case." My fellow MUAers and bloggers know those feels.

So I asked Madeline to help me choose a new NOTD, which works out, because I said I'd show you another Thakoon for NARS before the summer was up.

I can't remember if I mentioned it on this blog, but I know I've told a couple of blogger friends that Lal Mirchi was my white whale among the Thakoon polishes.

Also, my pictures of this one aren't even 70% accurate, so please direct yourself to Scrangie's. For some reason, my pictures REALLY pulled out the red.

Three coats with SV.

When I finally ordered this and a few other NARS goodies last fall, I couldn't wait for the box to arrive. I think Lal Mirchi was the first polish I extracted from its little NARS box -- I was so excited to have it in my hands, as it was a NARS Bleecker street boutique exclusive and I'd never actually seen it on the NARS site before. I ended up seeing it on the site three times, and ordered it after it had gone out of stock twice because NARS regret is brutal (coming this fall, Rach and NARS Mash: A Love Story).

But my heart sank when I saw it in the bottle, because Lal Mirchi looked like a dusty sunset orange, and I had a couple of those. Little did I foresee it would be entirely different on the nail, where it definitely skirts the line between red and orange. It's crazy saturated. I definitely also see this:


The formula, application and dry time were just as fantastic as Anardana's, and by that I mean they were PERFECT. Two coats are all you need to get it opaque. Also worth noting is that this polish looks orange at one coat, but then is more of a red-orange after two. I wore Lal Mirchi for two days, during which I experienced better wear with it than I did with Anardana, which had chipped within a day. This did not; I only had barely visible tip wear after the second day. Score!

In conclusion: TOTAL WIN. If you're a fan of this collection or red-orange cremes, and find Lal Mirchi on a blog sale somewhere, anywhere, BUY IT. Don't wait forever like I did, and certainly don't wait almost a year to think about wearing it, either. (Shout out to Madeline for being decisive when I could not be.) That's no way to treat a white whale. ;)

If you're thinking this blog post was unusually short for me, you're ... not wrong. This week has been a busy one, and I haven't been able to concentrate on anything AT ALL. The good news is that I've somehow started Welcome to Night Vale (yay), started reading Danielle's August pick for our book club, and I've even begun crafting for Krysi's wedding at the end of next month. The bad news is that I'm generally stressed out right now, to the point where I think it's messing with my health a little bit. Not kosher at all, but everything should calm down within the next few days and I'll just have to ride it out.

Have a good weekend, and I'll be back next week! I hope to post at least twice, and I've acquired some new polishes I'm excited about -- that is, if I get the chance to take photos! :-P

P.S. I saw "Kick-Ass 2" last weekend with B. I kind of wish we had skipped it because it was not good. The only things I liked about it were Donald Faison and John Leguizamo, and ... that's about it. So save your pennies, or go see "Red 2," if it's still playing near you. Or you should order a pizza and catch "For a Good Time, Call ..." on HBO! That's a better idea, isn't it?

Monday, August 19, 2013

One year of Skinny Dipping (With Friends)!!! + OPI Care to Danse?

First of all, thank you to all of you who shared your fainting stories in the comments last Thursday! You have some good stories, some even more traumatic and funnier than mine! I'll respond individually later tonight. Passing out = the worst, but you guys = the best. You do know that, right? I truly mean it.

Luckily, nothing crazy dramatic happened over the weekend. --I mean, I *did* notice on Friday afternoon that I couldn't find my driver's license, so I had to renew it online. SIGH. The last time I actually saw it was last Saturday night, an hour before I fainted. With my luck, I'll probably find it tomorrow or as soon as my replacement gets here, but ughhhhhhh. I can't believe I didn't notice it wasn't in its usual spot (my wallet), and I've been driving around the damn state all week.

ALSO ALSO ALSO. I just realized today's Skinny Dipping post marks ONE YEAR since Anna and I began this joint series!!! I'm so thrilled. Despite my Virgo nature, keeping up with *anything* is not my strong suit, so having a blogger friend to partner with once a month has been helpful. I couldn't ask for a better partner than my Anna. :) If you missed some Skinny Dipping posts or would like to relive them, feel free to browse the Skinny Dipping (With Friends) tag [HERE], at the bottom of this post, or on Stuff's sidebar.

Without further ado, Care to Danse?, the first OPI NYC Ballet I'm sharing on Stuff because OPI NYC Ballet milky sheers 4evah.

This is four coats with SV. Really, you only need three. I'm just special, but you know that.

WAHHHHH, SO GOOD. I picked up Care to Danse? back in March right before Ulta temporarily stopped letting us use coupons on OPI, and figured that if I hated it, it would be an easy swap. Except, well, I'm never getting rid of it.

This is touted as a pale lilac? lavender? sheer, which I certainly can see in the bottle. And on some people, it definitely pulls that way. On me, though? This shit is PINK., therefore, I don't have the dreaded zombie hands I always get with pale purples. \o/

The formula, application and dry time, of course, were flawless. Three coats will get it opaque. I had a bald spot because I was working too quickly, so I added a fourth coat. You don't need to wait copiously in between coats with these NYC Ballets the way you would with most sheer polishes, but at least give yourself two minutes. It makes for an even more flawfree experience, just sayin'.

I believe Care to Danse? and My Pointe Exactly are core; if they're not core OPIs, they're definitely core at Ulta and super ETF online. After I fell in love with Barre My Soul, I didn't think I would want these two, but damn it, NYC Ballet is two for five right now! (I'm not counting Pirouette My Whistle.)

Soooooooo, do you guys care for Care to Danse? (Sorry, I had to.) And Krysi, because I KNOW you're reading this ... would this pass muster as a potential bridal party polish? God, this collection is the tits. I need to save myself the grief and get a bottle of Don't Touch My Tutu! and You Callin' Me a Lyre? already.

Thanks for reading, and especially if you've been following Skinny Dipping for the past year! Here's to another great one ahead. :) I'll get back with you ... uhhhhh ... sometime this week. Work has been a little crazy because last week was the first week of school, and one staff member just went on maternity leave, so ... I guess what I'm saying is: don't be surprised if I'm gone for more than a few days at a time.

P.S. Anna blogged Care to Danse? and Pirouette My Whistle back in March. They look boss on her! And don't forget to visit Business Lady Polish to see the nude polish she's posting today.

K, I'm out.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DRAMA ON THE HIGH SEAS! China Glaze Splish Splash, fainting spells, cannonballs & bonus meth cupcakes

It wasn't until Monday that I realized I'd completely left a sentence unfinished on Sunday's blog post. (I've fixed it.) MY B, you guys! But I was pretty shaken over the weekend because, uh ... I kind of fainted at a concert.



It was so. goddamn. embarrassing.

I can't even pretend I'm not still a little traumatized by that. Let me give you some background and show you the nails before I get into all of it, though.

Roughly a month ago, right before Krysi's bridal shower, I found out there was going to be an indie music festival in Richmond. I was about to roll my eyes to high heaven until I looked at the lineup of performers and saw that THE BREEDERS would be there, as would Those Darlins. I'd missed the Breeders when they came to D.C. in May because I'd gone to my friend P's wedding that day, and I didn't think they would swing by the VA area again. I remember saying, "Oh, SHIT" and spending too much money on a presale ticket for a 2-day pass.

Recently I scrolled through Haus of Polish for the first time in ages (that place is like a death trap, in the best possible way) and saw all the swatches of last year's China Glaze Summer Neons. They looked goooooood. And I owned two of them, still untried, so I decided to wear Splish Splash as my NOTWeekend.

--A happy accident, since the Breeders' 1993 album "Last Splash" has become a favorite of mine. Seriously, you cannot claim to be a '90s child and not know the guitar riff from "Cannonball." I'll be real: in 2003, I had no idea there was more to the band that gave us "Cannonball" -- remember, these were the dial-up Internet, pre-Soundhound days, and if you missed the DJ's blurb or the music video titles, you were SOL. But shit yeah, I knew that riff.

I also know this polish is pretty great.

Three coats with SV.

This isn't a neon, per se. It is hella bright, though. And I do love that glowy shimmer -- it elevates Splish Splash from the basic bright creme/neon category. So great.

The thing that really impressed me was its formula. It's very thin, so it looks like crap on the first coat, but it's opaque and amazing at three. It definitely needs to be built up, although the results are worth the effort. I think I was so thrilled with this because I think China Glaze Towel Boy Toy had this same result in mind, but its execution was CRAP. So Splish Splash was a complete upgrade. (I know people love Towel Boy Toy, but I'm sorry ... it needs a reformulation before I share those feelings!) Dry time and tip wear were average. I wore this for six days -- I was busy and didn't have time to change my polish ... at least this was a lot of fun to look at.

And at least my nails looked good before I went down like a 100-pound freshman girl practically trying to get alcohol poisoning on her first night back at campus after Christmas break.

I still have no idea what happened. I went to B's house and took this selfie with Sterling Meowlory before B and I had dinner at a barbecue joint.

Look at how much my precious baby wasn't having it.

Then I raced down to Brown's Island, where the festival was taking place. I had been killing time with B because I didn't want to spend all evening with drunk people by myself until the Breeders; it didn't hit me until Saturday morning that I was going to a music festival all alone-y on my own-y, and why on earth hadn't it occurred to me before then?!?! Anyway, by the time I got there, it was about 8:20-ish and it was starting to get dark. The weather was a bit humid and muggy, since it had rained earlier that day, but it could have been much worse.

You can see how dead it was, which is why I was SUPER confused. I was expecting epic crowds, kind of like what the city gets during the fall Folk Festival. I suppose Saturday night is what happens when you promote your event, oh, ONE MONTH before it starts. Because it was so dead, it took me forever to find the entrance, but the volunteers who helped me find it and greeted me were there pretty rad, so the festival got a point back.

I got my ticket along with my card for three free beers, to which all presale ticketholders were entitled. I stopped by the merch table first to pick up some Breeders swag, and decided on a super $$$ poster -- but I didn't feel bad about it, because it's their LSXX tour right now (20 years since "Last Splash"!). Then I got a beer from the truck, and started scouting for a spot close-ish to the stage. I stood to the left side, close enough to get OK pics, but far enough that if I had to leave for some reason, I wouldn't get trampled. I nursed my beer for the next 30 minutes, and halfway into it, the band came onstage.

I didn't even care that this shot blurs the heck out of Kim Deal's face because KIM DEEEEAAAAAAL.

They started playing through all of "Last Splash." It was EPIC. By that point I think a few more people had turned up, but the numbers were smaller than I thought they would be for a Breeders-loving town. However, the people who were there were having an awesome time. And so was I.

One of my most frustrating problems is that I have a hard time focusing 100% on any one thing, even if it's something I'm doing for fun, like writing a blog post or even rocking out at a concert. Last Saturday, while half of me was having a good time, the other half of me was wondering just how big of a carload I could move out of my apartment on Monday. What the hell, right? I was ecstatic when the band started playing "Drivin' on 9," one of their most popular songs; although I cheered and took a picture, I was debating whether I would move my kitchen utensils and appliances or my bedroom closet contents first when I blacked out and crumpled to the ground. Frankly, I was surprised that there was enough ground around me to fall on, given that more people had been gathering since the band had gone onstage.

Here's the last shot I took before I passed out. I'm so pissed that it wasn't even a good one, LOL.

You guys, I was FUCKING MORTIFIED. My first instinct was to check that my $$$ Breeders poster hadn't crumpled as well; it was fine. My second instinct was to wonder whether I'd gotten grass stains on my sundress (nope) or if people had seen my ass (this dress goes a bit over the knee). Several people helped me up, and a girl with curly blonde hair and a red skirt asked me if I was okay. For some reason, I told her I hadn't eaten. I guess I didn't want her to think I was some fucking alky.

I stood up. I feel like I stayed up no longer than 20 seconds before I went down AGAIN, because they weren't even halfway through "Drivin' on 9." At that point, the safety officer also helped me up, and had me lean on him as he walked me to a bench closer to the beer truck and away from the crowd. I remember him saying kindly, "You're okay" and getting a bottle of water for me. I think he knew I wasn't drunk because he'd seen me while I was at the merch table (trust me when I say rent a cops in college towns know drunk people). He patted me on the shoulder and went back to his post, leaving me to text B in a panicked daze. As I drank my water, I started to feel better, especially once I felt a cool breeze blow. By the way, I super appreciated Mr. Rent a Cop, because he could have been a royal jackass about the whole thing. So that was nice. Thank you, good sir.

I was starting to feel bad that I had to watch the concert from a short distance when Blondie Red Skirt walked over to me. She asked me if I was all right again. I thanked her and said I was feeling better. She told me to make sure I ate something, and handed me this:

Yay, drunk food. I was still full from dinner, but I nibbled this slowly and watched the set wrap up until it was time to leave. I was feeling steadier. Just ... also ... stupid. :/

Far away sads

Blondie Red Skirt swung back my way one last time, asking me if I would be okay to get home. Girl, I don't know who you are, but thanks for looking out for me! Seriously, I appreciated it.

I stayed on the phone with B until I got back to my car, and then drove shakily to Krysi's house, where I was planning on spending the night anyway. She and I stayed up till 3 a.m. talking -- I was so strung out, I couldn't sleep. I kept freaking out because I couldn't think of any warning signs (rapid heartbeat, blurred vision, etc.), but mostly because I'd been alone. That last one really did a number on me, because I go to so many places and do so many things by myself ... what if the situation had been more serious?

I still had my pass for the second day of the festival, but considering how Saturday had gone, I decided to skip Those Darlins. So Krysi and I just made a day of it, having lunch, shopping for polish and groceries, and OH YEAH, WE MADE THESE THINGS, TOO.

The recipe we'd looked at called for blue rock candy, but we couldn't find any. We improvised and used blue Jolly Ranchers instead, which, let me warn you guys ... that shit is HARD candy. And sticky. Krysi needed a hammer to crush them! I've never eaten rock candy, but I'm pretty sure you don't need a hammer for that. Oddly enough, that Jolly Rancher flavor didn't taste too bad with yellow cake and cream cheese icing. :)

... SIGH. What. A. Weekend.

If you would like to share your thoughts on Splish Splash, last year's ChG Summer Neons, the Breeders, the "Breaking Bad" premiere, or maybe an embarrassing fainting story, PLEASE DO! Whether it's a drunk fainting or sober fainting story doesn't matter to me -- now that I can say I've done both, they're both awful. This was *nothing* like drunkenly blacking out, because I know what that's like, and I haven't done that since I was 19, hahaha.

A note: I'm trying to get an appointment with my nurse practitioner in a few weeks. I don't know if she'll have any idea as to exactly why this happened, but the popular guesses (including my physician father's) are stress or vitamin deficiency. I haven't been taking care of myself lately, and I have been a little stressed out about money, moving and the eventual job hunt. I'm also a wee bit anemic and hypoglycemic, so who knows if that too had some part to play in this. The bottom line is that I'm all right now, and you know what? I'm probably going to avoid outdoor music festivals for a while.

But again, as many of us have said many, many times ... at least my nails look good. I also have bragging rights about seeing a killer band, a poster, and this story, I guess, so there's that.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week. This weekend should be a relatively quiet one, thank goodness!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big, beautiful [blue] sky: Zoya Skylar

First off, special shout out to my friend Krysi for letting me finish this post on her laptop! Thanks, girl. <3

Another important TV premiere post today -- the final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad" start tonight! I blew through three and a half seasons on DVD this year, so I had the benefit-slash-disadvantage of not having to wait for them to air. The show always was on my radar, but I dropped off halfway through the second season for some reason "Friday Night Lights"? "Battlestar Galactica"? "Dexter"? "Big Love"? "The Good Wife"? My epic "Smallville" series marathon with my former roommate? (I had a full DVR back then ...)

But it doesn't matter. I'm here now, I'm all caught up, I'm ready, and if everything has gone according to plan this weekend, Krysi and I are making meth cupcakes this afternoon.

Two things:
  1. See that huge ripped bit of skin on my ring finger? I've never been a nail biter, and I've been taking care of my cuticles, but if I find a hangnail, I will totally pick at it. :( I shouldn't, but I do, and that's what happened on Wednesday. There. Now you know one of my ~secrets.
  2. I'd planned to use a different polish for this post, but it had an annoying brush and wouldn't spread the polish properly. I also couldn't get the photos to turn out the way I wanted to in the time I had to do it, so I said, "F--- it." (I was polishing at 1:30 a.m., which was not the best idea.)

So hello, Skylar (even if the one on the show is "Skyler").

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

This shade of slate blue is tricky for me to pull off. I have shirts in this color, but sometimes I'm not sure if it's something that should be on my nails, you know? After applying two coats of Skylar, I wanted to take it off and scrap this post entirely.

But then I put on Coat Numero Tres, and then I was like, OK, let's see where this goes.

The shimmer is super pretty, dense and delicate at the same time. You definitely wouldn't mistake it for a creme with subtle shimmer. It works nicely against the blue base, I think, and lends it a greener tint that makes this color flattering on more complexions. Polishes with this type of shimmer (not quite a glass fleck or flakie) were A Thing in the spring of last year; the only reason I bought Skylar was because I thought it would be better on me than OPI I Have a Herring Problem and OPI I Don't Give a Rotterdam! I'm still deciding whether to keep this, so I think I'll have to actually wear this as a full NOTD (the photos above were a rare swatch).

Skylar was from last spring's Zoya True collection, and is still ETF online for $8 a bottle. I only picked up three polishes from that collection; I swatched Cho back in January, there's Skylar (obvs) ... and one more I haven't tried or blogged. Sound off if you'd like to see it!

Any thoughts on Zoya Skylar or the True collection? Do you have any cool plans for tonight's "Breaking Bad" premiere? I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see how everything goes down! I'm also kinda hoping Walt gets his. Damn, that man is a greedy piece of work. Additionally, I may have an interest in Todd's fate because that actor was one of my favorites on "Friday Night Lights." Do you think Saul Goodman deserves his own spin-off series? Also, no lie, part of the reason I'm excited for the show's final episodes is because I'm wondering if Vince Gilligan (the showrunner) is going to visit the Richmond area in the near future. In case he does, I have Questions. (And knowledge of several local bbq joints.)

I'm sure you've seen this video sometime within the past week, but in case you haven't:

Candy Patrol, HAAAAAAAAAAA. Laughing for days.

Over and out. See you for a SUPER ridiculous post in a few days ... I was super distracted while writing this one, and the next one will explain why. :/ Oh, and if our meth cupcakes are successful, there will be pictures. Pics or it didn't happen, right?