Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Long Haul: November 2013

Before I begin, I need to plug my giveaway that began yesterday! Click on this post to read the rules and see the prizes, and enter if you haven't already. :)

The good news is that I managed to obtain my holiday-exclusive lemmings, yay! The bad ("bad"?) news, as I'm sure you've heard, is that I have to buy a new car, which means I am soooooooo not gonna be hauling like this for a while. But that's OK -- you know I have a LOT of pretties to play with. If only buying a car were as much fun as buying polish ... !

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. I also will edit this blog entry to reflect the true numbers in case I buy something that wasn't recorded at the time of the original posting.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rach's 3rd (Annual) ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway!

Hey! I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah. If you did, great! If you didn't, it's okay. You're here now.

So is the giveaway I most look forward to each year! Here's the loot!

From left to right:
  • SpaRitual Intention
  • Orly What's the Password?
  • China Glaze Mingle with Kringle
  • Sinful Colors Pine Away
  • Essie Lots of Lux
  • Zoya Belinda
  • Nicole by OPI Back In My Gloria Days

In case you're wondering how good these are ... I own a bottle of each of these. ;)

The usual "extras" from my previous ROYGBIV holiday giveaways will make their way into the package. However, I didn't have time to assemble them and take photos. But you also will win the following:
  • one hand-knit scarf (this year, it'll be red)
  • one pack of TRIM nail sticks
  • two sheets of white felt
  • one Dolfin chocolate bar in hot masala
  • assorted Christmas cards
  • assorted tea and/or hot cocoa packets

And, as I did last year:

  1. "About a Boy" (2002, dirs. Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz)
  2. "Die Hard" (1988, dir. John McTiernan)
  3. "Sugar & Spice" (2001, dir. Francine McDougall)
  4. "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas" (2011, dir. Todd Strauss-Schulson)
  5. "While You Were Sleeping" (1995, dir. Jon Turteltaub)
  6. "Little Women" (1994, dir. Gillian Armstrong)
  7. "Return to Cranford" (2009, dir. Simon Curtis)
Wanna win this yet? Cool.

  1. You must be a U.S. resident and a public GFC follower. (USPS hates me -- I'm sorry, international friends! And for those of you already following me on Bloglovin', thank you so much! However, GFC is the only real option for verification purposes. I know, it's awful. Just do it!)
  2. This giveaway is open until Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the randomly-selected winner on Sunday, Dec. 15. The winner will have 24 hours to contact me to claim the prize; a new winner will be selected if that person does not e-mail me.
  3. Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below and follow its instructions.
  4. Get excited.
Thank you, good luck, and happy holidays! :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Essie Beyond Cozy & Friendsgiving 2013

Tomorrow is all about giving thanks (unless you are Jewish, in which case you get to do that AND celebrate Hanukkah!). This year, I've got a lot to be thankful for. But this post is about four things on that list:
  1. My friends, even though we live too damn far away from each other
  2. The car my dad let me borrow to see said friends
  3. My nail polish friends
  4. B (and Sterling Meowlory Archer)

Apparently every other person on my Facebook feed went to a Friendsgiving dinner last weekend (on Saturday, if you want to be specific). I happen to think that the dinner I went to at my friend Krysi's house was the best, but I'm biased. That woman is the hostess with the mostest, I swear to God.

More on that later ... nails first! I've been wanting Essie Beyond Cozy for forever, and it came to me last week in a surprise nail mail package from my buddy Janice. As soon as I unwrapped it from its bubble wrap, I knew I was going to wear it to Friendsgiving! The name was too perfect, because that's pretty much how a holiday season *should* feel, and I am not really feeling it right now. Also, this is GOOOOOOOLD. Have I mentioned I loved gold polish?

Wow, these pictures. Just call me DryHands McGhee -- ah, November.

Three coats with one coat of Gelous + NYC Grand Central Station.

This almost looks like a texture polish, doesn't it? I'd read that Beyond Cozy was seriously dense ... boy, was it EVER. I was good to go in two coats! (I used three for the usual reasons.) I adore the mixture of platinum and gold and champagne -- it's just insanely fitting for the holidays.

The only real merpy thing about this polish is that it dried gritty, even with Gelous and top coat! After wearing this for four days, though, I got over it. The wear was nearly perfect. I say "nearly" because I got two huge chips on my right index finger, but that finger is prone to chips. That's okay, though.

Beyond Cozy is from last winter's Leading Lady collection; I own Butler Please and blogged Leading Lady last year. It's core at Ulta now, and super easy to find online, so go for it!

Friendsgiving was great! Krysi finally got to break out the fancy dinnerware she'd gotten as wedding gifts, so that was fun. The drive was okay -- I was more excited to get somewhere for a "holiday" than I have in years! -- although, I didn't get to her house as early as I'd wanted to and therefore I didn't have time to make the side dish I'd wanted to make, but it turned out that was probably for the best because LOOK. AT. THIS. SPREAD.

Credit: Blurry (but comprehensive!) phone snap by my friend Phil

You can start throwing things at me when I tell you there were FIVE OF US eating that. I know. Piggies. But everything was delicious, and I'm already scoping out dishes to make next year. I've become increasingly ambivalent about Thanksgiving proper as I've gotten older and I'm feeling pretty displaced these days, so I don't feel at home in a lot of places ... but hanging out with these gals feels like home. (I get that feeling at B's sometimes, too, especially if I'm snuggling with Mr. Meowmeow.) I know I'm chasing some sad, weird holiday sentiment, but it's something I really need right now and if a glittery gold polish will help me get there, then why not wear it, right?

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Dior Underground (love is a place)

    This post might be a little bit of a throwback, but I couldn't bring my non-holiday posts to a close without sharing a little from my last show of 2013.

    --At least, I'm sharing what little I remember of it, because (1) it was at the beginning of the month, and (2) my mind was not there AT ALL because my car accident had occurred two days prior to the show. In fact, I'd nearly forgotten the show was that week because the whole thing was just so fresh and semi-traumatic (to me) at the time. When I was walking back from the venue to the parking garage, I almost walked right up to a car that was the exact model and color of my baby ... which was parked two spots away from my temporary ride. I was blinking back tears. It was weird.

    My point is, I get emotional about my car. I also had a good time. But it would have been better if I hadn't been in such a state. Or if a bunch of dudebrahs hadn't been standing next to me and watching some football game on TV at the same time. (Why do I remember *that*?)

    Aaaaaaaanyhoo, I originally blogged Dior Underground back in March of last year, and while those pictures were good for me back then, I now think they were gross. These are a lot better.

    Three coats with Gelous + SV.

    Although I own a bunch of amazing brown cremes, I am going to be so sad when I finish this bottle. Y'all, I love Underground so freaking much. Of course, the broomy Dior brush isn't the greatest thing ever. But the formula? PERFECT. Dior makes some amazing cremes-slash-secret shimmers, which this one definitely is. The Ottlite photos picked up the secret sparkle. Also, that color! I DIE. It's vampy brown awesomeness that never looks black. It also takes on slightly reddish-purple/mauve tones in natural light (is that how to describe it?), but you know it's brown. So good.

    If I had known that I was going to love Underground this much, I would have bought a back-up, for sure. This is long-discontinued now, since it came out back in 2011 for Dior's springtime "Rock Your Nails" collection (along with the Rock Coat). (Actually, I think Perfecto and Blue Label might still be part of the core line on, while Nirvana is available online via Sephora.) Let me know if you want me to blog the rest of that collection next year. I feel like I should. It was so epic.

    ... just like Metric and its lead singer, Emily Haines (who's a total babe, in case you were wondering, and ohmygod her fringe jacket that night, omg). I feel like I got a workout simply through watching her do her thing onstage.

    (Oooooh, ~dramatic shot is dramatic)

    The set list that night was more geared toward the band's newer songs, a good deal with which I am unfamiliar. I'm one of those terrible fans who listens to the same albums over ... and over ... and over, so it's rare for me to listen to a band's newer releases. I've pretty much been listening to the same Metric songs since 2004 -- so all I know comes from their first two albums ("Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" and "Live It Out"), plus the song "Black Sheep" that they did for the movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." Everyone went NUTS for that one. I did. (Note: I didn't know that Envy Adams's appearance in the books was based off of Emily's.)

    I'm not sure if the Richmond show sold out, but it did get quite packed. (Not, like, Shins or Neutral Milk Hotel sardine-packed, but there were A LOT of people.) As I remember it, the crowd was really interesting ... I saw college students, dudebros my age (and older), dirty hipsters, West Enders and, OH YEAH, a few older couples. Now that was surprising. Anyway, Emily Haines knew how to work the crowd, kind of like the Grace Potter of Canadian synth, I guess. I'm not much for synth, but I've always liked the way Metric went about it.

    Seriously, THAT JACKET.

    The night ended on a somber yet joyful note with an acoustic version of "Gimme Sympathy," Emily's Lou Reed duet. You could tell she was still affected by his passing; several days after the show, I came across her Rolling Stone tribute to him. It was nice.

    And that concludes the 2013 Stuff Concert Series! Thanks for letting me share some moments and NOTDs with you this year. It was a lot of fun. :) The only show I didn't blog was the Yo La Tengo one in January (and its corresponding NOTD, RGB Deep, which I blogged two years ago), but hey. Nine out of ten ain't bad. 2014's got a lot to live up to!

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Zoya Flynn

    Okay, this post is MEGA late. Like, a week late. I know. I'm sorry. But since this is going to be my last Skinny Dipping post of 2013 (December = ALL CHRISTMAS, ALL THE TIME), I wanted to make sure it would be a good one. This meant I had to choose something really awesome.

    Flynn is pre-eeeetty awesome.

    Dr. Carter Noah Wyle, I luv u 4evr.

    They'll never get his nose right. (But his smolder is just fine.)



    I got jokes! (Sometimes.) ANYWAY:

    Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station.

    Like I said. Awesome.

    When the Zoya Cashmere swatches first came out, I didn't think I'd want any of them. When I saw the collection at Ulta in September? early October?, I still wasn't feeling them. But then in mid-October, something happened and I kept wondering whether Flynn would look good on me. Good thing I caved during a surprise Zoya B2G1 at Ulta! I don't think this is a color that everyone is going to be able to pull off, but if you even remotely think you might be able to, TRY IT. You might be pleasantly surprised. :) It's very elegant ... it reminds me of leather. Or perhaps a wool camel-colored coat. You know, cozy. (Note: This is not a even close to Essie Case Study! The Essie is WAY more yellow. But it's sort of in the same vein.)

    This one had classic Zoya creme formula -- perfect, perhaps a little gummy? (I only get this with Zoyas and RBLs) -- and dried really quickly with Grand Central Station. I usually use Cult Nails Wicked Fast with my Zoyas, but I didn't feel like opening up a new bottle, and GCS was on my headboard, which is how I wound up using GCS instead. I only wore this for one day, but it's definitely getting broken out again!

    Not a bad way to end a year of blogging nude shades, if I do say so myself! Thanks for looking at them and indulging me. :) I'm not sure if Anna is planning to blog some nudes solo in December, but I'll be back at it in January. In the meantime, visit BLP for her November pick.

    Friday, November 22, 2013


    Technically, that's tomorrow. I'm not going to get to see it, but I'm not even upset about that. Is that weird? Does that make me a bad fan?

    Would it make me an even worse fan if I said that perhaps the show should go on a year's hiatus and/or get a new showrunner to refresh itself? Moffat wrote some great episodes in the past, but I'm ready for his era to be over. I've heard different rumors regarding the appearances of previous Doctors and I'm not sure what to expect. So this special makes me a little more scared than excited, I'm afraid.

    But 50 years is nothing to sneeze at. Neither is this:

    Two? Three? coats with NYC Grand Central Station. (I can't remember, sorry!)

    Song was released last fall as part of Zoya's Diva collection and it's perfect all around. I LOVE the shimmer. This is SUPER pigmented -- you really only need two coats -- *and* it doesn't smell like blue! (I feel like I should have a tag for that.) It does stain a little upon removal, though. I did have some flooding issues, but that's because I went too heavy loading up the brush.


    Yes. Donna was my favorite Nu!Who companion, 
    but I'm also partial to Alex Kingston's character because I loved her on "ER."

    But thennnnnnnnnnnn I remembered I had these super old NerdLacquers sitting around, and I couldn't NOT do this:

    Two coats of the NerdLacquer layered over the Zoya + 1 coat of Gelous and NYC Grand Central Station.

    It almost looks like a little galaxy on the nail, doesn't it? My bottle of this Nerd is a pretty old one. I don't know if Amanda changed the formulation a little bit in the newer versions, but mine is too sheer to wear on its own, hence the layering. My Nerds have a little whiff of chemicals about them -- again, I'm not sure if this has changed in the newer versions, but IIRC, Nerds were made with some non-B3F ingredients at the time I purchased mine. This dried flat with Gelous and top coat, and although I removed this after swatching, I'm confident that it would have lasted a few days.

    I Think You Call Me ... Sexy was part of the NerdLacquer "Madman With A Box" trio. Its name comes from the Series 6 episode penned by Neil Gaiman ... an episode I did not particularly care for at the time. (My opinion has not changed.) Unfortunately, if you want this (or any Nerds), you are SOL. That's all I'm gonna say. --That, and troll every blog sale you can find.

    I'm quite pleased with this layering combo. What do you think? Perfect for "Doctor Who"? Perfect even without association? Will you be watching the special tomorrow? And of course ... who's your favorite Doctor? Old!Who or Nu!Who, I'd love to hear it. (My favorite Old!Who = probably Four, then Eight. Nu!Who = NINE NINE NINE.)

    I think this might have been the shortest TV-related post I've ever written, but I'm so tired. Hope you don't mind. Thanks for reading, and I'll be back on Monday! Have a lovely weekend, all.

    P.S. I met Colin Baker (Six) at New York Comic Con back in 2009. He was very sweet.
    P.P.S. Now if I could meet Eight ... *dies* (*regenerates*)

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Rescue Beauty Lounge Cuprum

    Well, would you get a load of this? I posted yesterday freaking out about how I didn't know when my next post would go up, only to luck into some unexpected swatch time! I got two posts done ... I was hoping to get four done, but I'll take this. This is progress.

    So, Cuprum! This polish was my NOTWeekend last weekend ... which turned into my NOTLastFiveDays because my life is so ridiculous right now.

    I put this on Thursday night before bed, then woke up on Friday morning to do a whole bunch of stuff. Here are the highlights of my weekend:
    • The lowlight = getting the tags off my car and cleaning it one last time before it got towed to the salvage yard. I may have cried a little. And I may have apologized to it. I was ... emotional.
    • I finally went for a checkup. My last one was four years ago. Oops. But I got a badly-needed prescription, so yay.
    • I got approved for a car loan.
    • It was my boyfriend's birthday, and Krysi made him an awesome cake. (Crappy pics later!)
    • I tried Ommegang's Take the Black "Game of Thrones"-inspired stout, and I loved it.
    • B and I had a good time at fancy steak dinner on Saturday. I wanted to slip the pianist $10 to play the theme from "Cheers," but I chickened out. Next time!
    • I caught up on "Sleepy Hollow," "The Mindy Project" and "American Horror Story: Coven." Ryan Murphy is a troll of the highest order, but damn if I didn't get sucked into "Coven."
    • I got some things in the RBL 50% off sale. I have some mixed thoughts on that sale, but those thoughts are for another day.

    I was so dead. But my nails looked so great! My dude really likes blue, and the only blue I had to wear was this pair of earrings I hadn't actually worn since buying them in May. And then I thought maybe Cuprum would be a good match for them.

    Not an exact match, but ... eh. Close enough. (Oh, and the earrings are Amrita Singh via TJ Maxx. I *think* they were $12.99.)

    Three coats with SV.

    I guess the best place to start with Cuprum is by saying that it was someone's dream color (Neeta's, to be exact) and my instinct is to not say anything that isn't good about it. At the same time, I can't just post this and not say what I gotta say, so ...

    What Cuprum has going for it:
    • Amazing color -- pretty much what I imagine copper sulfate would look like! The finish is a smooth metallic chrome that stops just short of becoming frosty. It's perfect.
    • Good application and dry time
    • Great wear. I had this on for five days with no chips and average tip wear.

    And what I didn't like:
    • The formula was thinner, not as pigmented, and more watery than other RBLs I've used. I know I'm a compulsive three-coater, but three coats typically aren't par for the course with this brand.
    • The copper microglitter particles were barely visible. BOO-URNS! I adore copper, so I had hoped this would more closely resemble the particles in RBL Halcyon/butter LONDON Two Fingered Salute (which are not dupes, btw). Not so much with Cuprum! What's the point of including those particles if you can't see them? If you want to see those particles, you're going to have to make like Mr. John Thornton at Helstone and look hard. (Of course, you'll be looking for copper particles, not flowers in the hedgerow. But I think I've made my point. *swoon* Armitage, you life ruiner, you.)

    After five days, I wound up rather liking Cuprum, but if I absolutely had to part with it, I would be okay with it. If I had to part with, say, RBL Iconoclast? Things would get ugly. But Cuprum can stay in my Helmer ... until, of course, I find a polish that matches those earrings WAY better. ;)

    Cuprum was part of RBL's first Fan Collection from Spring 2012. I believe it sold out last weekend due to the 50% off sale, so see if you can swap for it or buy it on a blog sale.

    Before I go, check out some awful pictures of the tasty, TASTY cake my friend Krysi whipped up for my boyfriend. His favorite cake and ice cream flavor is mint chocolate, so two years ago I started giving him a mint chocolate birthday cake; I got my baker friend Jennifer to make one two years ago, and I made this How Sweet Eats loaf last year. This year, I wanted to branch out and try something a little different. So we did.

    I think I could've done without the almonds in the end. Or I should have roasted them first. :/ But he loves almonds, so I was going for a trifecta of win. Ah, well. Two outta three ain't bad.

    What recipe was this, you ask? It's actually a combination of two recipes Krysi found online that we both liked. The chocolate genoise was Martha Stewart, while both the whipped filling and the ganache were Joy the Baker. This tasted AWESOME. I've heard there will be a chocolate genoise with Bavarian frosting filling in my very near future, so I'll let you know how that turns out.

    To end, here is everybody's favorite, Sterling Meowlory Archer, waiting impatiently for his next mouthful of pumpkin pie yogurt.

    Thanks for reading! I've got one more post coming tomorrow, so check back for that.