I haven't been around much lately ... real life, man. Things at work and at home got ... complicated., and not completely because of the holidays. There are just not enough hours in the day to do many of the things that needed doing! And then my parents decided to spend the holidays out of the country, and I didn't want to be alone. I thought I would have to spend it with Sterling Meowlory Archer, and a few of my friends offered to let me spend Christmas with them (love you!), but luckily my sister was able to get a flight home from New York on Monday morning. The carb-loading is in full effect, liquor was purchased, I've sat her through both series of "Cranford," and last night we went to our cousin's house to get drunk and watch movies.
The good news? I didn't get the flu this year. So that's a substantial improvement.
I got so overwhelmed with all the demands on my time that I had naked nails for four? five? days until yesterday, when I decided to suck it up and do Christmas nails. Of course, Christmas nails meant I got behind on a few more things (*cries*), but it was so nice to look down at my hands and see this.
Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station.
This is Essie Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, from this winter's Shearling Darling collection. I remember not being sure if this would look good on me, so I didn't pick it up right away. For some reason, though, I really like it. I have a lot of colors like this, and it falls in the OPI Parlez-Vous OPI? family of dusty lavender/mauve/whatever, but this is one of the more neutral shades in that spectrum: not too warm and not too cool on me. PERFECT. I'd recommend this one if you work in an uber-conservative setting, btw.
It also helped that the formula on this one was good. When Essie makes a creme, they really know what they're doing! I had some bald spots after two coats, so I used three and everything was fine. Dry time was quick with GCS, which made it really easy for me to do a glitter gradient with Sephora by OPI Be-Claus I Said So after taking some swatch photos.
I don't use a sponge or anything when I do these gradients, only a light touch with the brush. I wonder if a sponge would make application easier or harder. Thoughts?
I'm still getting the hang of working with glitter toppers, but this one was easy to use. I think the most difficult thing about this gradient business was trying to coax some hex glitters out of the bottle. Trust me, if you think this looks meh/okay in photos, it was AWESOME in person. Really!
The $OPI line was discontinued this summer to make room for the new Formula X for Sephora line, but I can't remember if Be-Claus I Said So was part of the core line up. I remember it was a holiday shade back in 2011, though. In any case, you can find $OPIs, even this one, at Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I actually found this one at Ross a couple of weekends ago for $2.99, and I HAD to pick it up even though I wasn't there to look for polish. $2.99, guys. You wouldn't be able to resist, either.
I feel like this post was so rushed. :/ I'm not happy about that, but whatever. What are you wearing for Christmas?
Oh, and here's some shots from the holiday light show at the botanical garden. My boyfriend and I went on Saturday night, and apparently every other person in Richmond had the same idea. I wonder if that was because the weather was in the high 60s! Last year, we also went on the Saturday before Christmas and it was a much easier affair in terms of waiting in line and the sheer volume of people, but it also was FREEZING that day. I'm just glad we got to go.
P.S. The theme this year was "A Natural Love Affair." It was so cute (the train display with the little animals was too adorable), but overall, I wasn't as wowed by this theme as I was last year.
This is for you, Angie. When we saw this unicorn, a small child screamed, "IT'S SO FLUFFY, I WANT TO DIE!"
This year, the tree had a separate theme, The Birds and the Bees.
A couple of weekends ago, B and I drove around looking at tacky light displays and paid our annual visit to the Brandermill Yeti. Did you know that Yetis usually are not included in the traditional Nativity arrangement? Shocking, I know.
(This year, the Yeti and the other decorations at that house almost did not go up since the owners of that house had a son in the hospital, but I hear that young man is doing better. IIRC, he told his parents to go ahead and put everything up, bless.)
My two favorite ornaments this year:
And a certain little kitty didn't stay awake through "A Christmas Story" last Saturday night.
If you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, whether you're doing your own thing or you're with family and friends. I know things on my end were in limbo until the last minute, but in the end, I'm just so happy I had somewhere to go ... and that there was booze.
Again, here is a terrible/awesome compilation of some of my favorite holiday tunes if you need something to put on today. :)