Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Long Haul: January 2013

Remember my post about blogging goals for 2013? As promised, here is the total of polishes and nail care products I purchased during the month of January, along with the total spent for the month.

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, anything I bought as a gift for someone else won't figure into this and does not count.

Notes: I don't have bottle shots for everything since I left a couple of purchases at my apartment and since some are still en route to me, but I will edit this post with pictures by February's installment.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Zoya Cho

After a holiday hiatus, Skinny Dipping (With Friends) is back for 2013! Welcome, welcome.

There have been endless Zoya swatches in the blogosphere lately due to their three for $10 polish promo earlier this month, so you may be slightly burned out on Zoya, and I'm sorry about that. But for the sake of variety (I didn't want to blog yet another Essie nude) and for the sake of trying my picks from last year's Zoya spring collection, here's Cho.




Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast. Please pardon the nick on my index finger and the hangnail on my ring finger. :(

I also keep my nails pretty short, so I don't wrap my tips. Sometimes that doesn't show and sometimes it does; with fussier polishes like this one, it definitely shows.







Oh, it looks fine, right? But wait ... 







I suck at describing colors, so let's go with the ~official~ description, which is "yellow-toned light soft peachy beige with a hint of ultra fine silver shimmer." That shimmer is ultra fine, all right.

I've had this polish on for about a day, and something about it strikes me as a bit ... off. In some lights, it pulls a little too yellow on me; in others, *I'm* too yellow for it, which is funny, as I bought it because I'd read reviews that said it would be better on warmer skin tones. Even the Zoya/Art of Beauty site says Cho is "especially nice for skin tones with olive or yellow undertones." But ... I have those! Why is this not working? *whimper*

Maybe it's just as well. The reviews I'd read about this polish warned it was a little streaky. They did not lie, but it wasn't the worst formula I've ever worked with. What I didn't expect was how long it took to dry. I polished before bed, but stayed up to fool with my new tablet (Google Nexus 7 ... what can I say? I love Android, haters gonna hate) and didn't sleep for another half hour. I thought my nails were dry, but I woke up with sheet marks on my left hand and I had to re-do it. If you see bubbles on any of my fingers, just know I'm halfway through this bottle of Wicked Fast. It's not Cho's fault.

Cho is from Zoya's True collection for last spring. It's $8 and in the core Zoya line, so it's quite easy to pick up, especially during a promo. I actually got my bottle straight from the Ulta clearance section last year, and while Ulta's Zoya clearance prices are a bit laughable ($5.99? Really?), they're still cheaper than having to pay for shipping if you just want ONE polish from an e-tailer.

Although I'm not in love with Cho, I can't hate on it too much -- sure, this particular color wasn't so good on my nails, but ... how do I put it? ... if this were on a shoe, I would buy it so fast. Have you tried this polish? Would you want to? (Because if you are stateside, you can have this bottle ... just e-mail me.) Any picks from Zoya's True and Lovely collections? Do I really need Jacqueline??? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Thanks for reading! We will be back next month with more nude polishes, but until then, don't forget to visit Anna's blog, Business Lady Polish, to see what she's got for us today. She takes some great photos! If you aren't following her, you ought to get on it. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rescue Beauty Lounge Abi

I blame one of my dad's best friends for all the "Breaking Bad" I've been watching lately, which I guess means I also indirectly blame him for this mani.

Note: If you have any close Filipino friends, then you're probably familiar with the concepts of "balikbayan boxes" and "pasalubong." Well, this is more pasalubong (no box).

When my family traveled to the motherland in May, my father contacted one of his high school/medical school buddies and told him to bring his daughters so everyone could meet for dinner. Dinner ended up being kind of awkward turtle, and not just because I'm a picky eater -- I think it's a cultural thing, because the conversation was not exactly flowing on the kids' side of the table. The girls spoke English, so that wasn't the problem: we just had nothing to talk about. My sister and I were about to turn the awks up to maximum until my mother asked my dad's friend if he wanted anything in particular from the U.S. that they could bring back for him on their next trip. After he named his heart's desire, I was put in charge of fulfilling it. Better still, the conversation kept moving from there.

The thing my dad's friend wanted most from America? DVD box sets of American TV shows.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I was on it like white on rice because I'm an aspiring DVD/TV show whisperer. My dad's friend said he favored dramatic series, and especially any show that involved science. In the cab that night, I told my dad we needed to get him some "Breaking Bad" on DVD, but we had to wait until the holidays because it would be super cheap.

I also wanted to make sure both my dad and I could vet any shows I was recommending, so I've been catching up on "Breaking Bad." I sort of dropped off halfway through Season 2 the last time I tried to play catch up, but I just finished it and HOLY SHIT. WALTER WHITE, YOU GREEDY-ASS FUCK. Anyway, in the process, I finally got to the Krysten Ritter episodes (love her), and wouldn't you know, there was talk of seeing an exhibition by a certain artist. Fun fact, "ABQ" was the name of the Season 2 finale (ABQ in reference to Albuquerque); the real name of this polish was the name of an episode late into Season 3 (it's a different place, a town less than an hour away from Santa Fe, where said artist lived).

A more fun fact: "Breaking Bad" series creator Vince Gilligan is a native of the Richmond, VA area. I didn't discover that until two years ago when local media publications apparently also discovered it, but knowing that he incorporates local names and places into the show is really fun for me. Can you imagine how badly I would derp if I ran into him at a local bbq place, or even walking around The Fan?!? I would just die.

But since you know I am more likely to die alone in an apartment full of dogs wearing knitted sweaters and named after TV characters, here're some damn pictures of RBL Abi already.




Three coats with SV.












The last two photos were taken on the third day of wear, when I finally was able to get shots in the sun. Not too shabby, methinks. (But, sorry about my cuticles. Yuck.)

And perhaps this yellow green not the most interesting color, but it's certainly unique to the RBL lineup. I bought this hoping it would be a contender for my perfect apple green shimmer; for one thing, it's more like a creme, and it's sort of a dustier green, but I dig it. I wore a lot of grey this week, so having a pop of green on my nails was nice. This one had the same formula as Faraway and Santa Fe, and the same kind of SUPER secret shimmer, except Abi's was silver. I think my brush was slightly less wonky than my brush for Faraway, so that helped. Yo, RBL. What's going on with that?!

This dried fairly quickly with SV. I know I have some friends who have trouble getting their RBLs to dry and stay on -- I used to, too. SV was the last top coat I thought to try. I think I mentioned it before here on Stuff, but I used to layer Poshe and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, which was OKAY, but annoying enough for me to try SV in a fit of desperation. And it worked! Considering my wonky body chemistry with almost everything (Color Club, I'm talking to you), I was thrilled. What I'm really trying to say is ... don't give up on finding a compatible top coat. TRY EVERYTHING YOU HAVE.

As you know, Abi was one of the seven colors that make up RBL's GOMM collection, and you still can buy it for $20 at the RBL site. Actually, Abi may be my first GOMM win out of the two polishes I've tried so far from that collection -- Faraway didn't wow me, and I hated Santa Fe on me.

Bonus: I got a blog sale package from Jacqui a couple of days ago, and Abi matched the tissue paper she used.




How do you guys feel about Abi? I don't really see this polish as being one of THE GOMMs to get (for me, THE GOMM is Ghost), but if you really love green and RBL, you should go for it. Are you guys all caught up with "Breaking Bad"? What is the longest time it's taken you to catch up on a show? And when it comes to giving gifts, is there anything you're exceptionally good at gifting? (No secks jokes right now, seriously.)

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend! Are you doing anything cool? I'm going to watch the Met Opera's HD broadcast of "Maria Stuarda" this afternoon, and I can't wait. It's a new production of the Donizetti opera about Mary, Queen of Scots. I'm not half as excited for this as I am for "Rigoletto" next month, but I love Joyce DiDonato, who plays Maria Stuarda. She's fantastic.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dior NY 57th, ordinary time and a moral dilemma

When my date with NARS Night Flight more or less crash dived last Saturday, I didn't feel like wearing another a dark blue shimmer. No, apparently what I wanted was a gunmetal/charcoal grey metallic. I tend to reach for blues and greys a lot in January, but given last weekend's unexpected temps in the high 60s, I think I felt the need to summon the cold and grey. (Note: It rained nonstop on Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps I'm on to something here.)

There's also the tiiiiiiny little issue of me owning three gunmetal/charcoal grey polishes, and I need to test drive them before I make any final decisions as to which one can stay in my stash. So off I go with NY 57th from Dior's Les Gris City trio released in 2010.

I'm smacking myself for not trying this earlier. It's so lovely.




Three coats with SV. Two coats are enough, but I gotta tell you, that brush is the derp.









This may not be the most unique color, but I think every polish lover should own a gunmetal grey. I am partial to dark grey and vampy polishes for the same reason that I am partial to brown eyeliner, when I DO wear it: black just looks too harsh on me. However, I like the suggestion of color/definition. Dupe-wise, NY 57th garners the most comparisons to Chanel Steel, which I don't own; Zoya Freja appears to have more red shimmer particles in the bottle. I can't get over how much I LOVE the way this looks on the nail. It's so ... smooth. It reminds me of hematite, you know?




At the time, the Les Gris City collection was my first experience with Dior and their new brushes. Since this is a metallic finish, I should have taken extra care during application. The formula was okay, perhaps a little more thick than it needed to be, but not by much. My real problem was the broom/paddle brush. Usually, I'm okay with it, but I had the worst time trying to get the right amount of polish on it so I wouldn't put too much on the nail. As a result of that and not waiting enough time in between the two coats I used, I had some bald spots near my cuticle, hence the necessity of a third coat to cover that. Had I been more careful, I really could have gotten away with two coats. It wasn't terribly brushstrokey, which was nice. And although it dried quickly, I got light sheet marks on my left hand the next morning, but that didn't bother me enough to do anything. I wore this for four days with tip wear, though I wonder if that was because I did a bit of cooking and also because I wasn't wearing my usual base coat.

As I mentioned earlier, the Les Gris City polish trio was released for Fall 2010. These polishes, Bond Street, Gris Montaigne and NY 57th were named after the three most popular Dior boutiques in London, Paris and New York City. Bond Street is long gone and while I think Gris Montaigne may be in the Dior core line, NY 57th is available for $24 only on Dior.com. I bought mine through that site right before Christmas 2010, as I had some holiday cashish to spare, little dreaming that Dior would become my favorite high end polish brand. (I'm not in love with their Spring 2013 polishes, though -- money saved!)

We know what I think of this polish (looooooooove), so what do you have to say? Would you agree that every collector needs a gunmetal grey in her/his stash? What was your first high-end brand splurge? And what's the longest time it's taken you to wear a polish from your stash? You know I'm bad at it.

In other news, my father took the Christmas tree down on Sunday in accordance with the end of the Christmas season (if you were raised Catholic, then yeah, last Sunday was the end of that). I removed my decorations on Friday. As I packed them away, I couldn't help wondering where they'd hang in eleven months -- where WILL RachQ even be? I barely spend any time in my apartment, and I won't lie, it's getting a little depressing knowing that I'm not likely to get a different job any time soon. But you know what's the opposite of depressing? This here ornament, which I plan to take a better photograph of next Christmas, with a better camera.


What, your Captain Picard ornament isn't flanked by angels?

(Also, that little bear in the shoe to the left was from my first Christmas. Aww.)


I didn't get a chance to hang this next one you're about to see, because I chanced upon it last week in the Hallmark holiday clearance section while "helping" my mom buy a birthday card for her friend. I remembered freaking out over this ornament, but I wasn't paying upward of $30 for it. However, for $8 and change, there was no way I WASN'T taking this bitch home.




There's only one catch: I've been struggling with whether I should keep this, or give it to BF. He would LOVE it, even though he maintains that every other Hallmark keepsake ornament has nothing to do with Christmas. But ... *I* love it. (I even wrote a screenplay in college in which this cantina scene was part of the final denouement.) And I found it. BF didn't put up his Christmas tree because a certain Sterling Meowlory Archer would have destroyed it within minutes. Besides, I already gave him his "Star Wars" Christmas gift. So ... I should totally keep this. Right? OMG, I DON'T KNOW. Just ... ugh, you guys. What do I DO.

Monday, January 14, 2013

NARS Night Flight (and noms from Elizabeth)

After foiling off Metallic 4 Life, I wanted to wear something blue. I put this on one hand and wore it for all of thirty minutes, if you can believe that. In related news, 2013 is the year I stop buying blackened shimmers because I just cannot wear them (this polish being the exception).

Don't get it twisted -- NARS Night Flight is a beaut. It's just not bright enough for me. Or I'm not pale enough for it. Whatever.




Three coats with SV. You only need two. Also, I need to throw out this clean up brush, fo reals.









This is one of those blackened shimmers with a murky, blackened base, which allows the blue shimmer? microglitters? to peek through on the nail. I find these blackened blues to be more like deep navies and especially like denim. It's a really nice look if you can make it work. Night Flight appears more blue on me in pictures than it really was, and tragically, I cannot make it work.

Considering how damn good the formula was on this polish, that is even sadder. I'll never understand the fascination with one-coaters, so I can't remember if this is opaque in one coat, but I know it was perfect in two. Three was just because. It dried to a smooth, velvety-looking finish, but top coat glosses it up in no time. I haven't worn SV with my NARS polishes for a full mani, so I can't tell you how it would wear, although it does dry fast.

I don't wear make-up (wayyyyyy too labor-intensive), so if I didn't read blogs, I would have had no idea that NARS' Night Series polishes were fashioned after the company's popular eyeshadow palettes. That's pretty cool, actually. The NARS site touts Night Flight and the other Night Series polishes as limited edition -- they were released for Fall 2011 -- so grab these while you can! Each polish retails for $18 USD, and you can place an order through NARS, Beauty.com, or Barneys New York. I bought my bottle directly from NARS when I made a major polish haul at the beginning of October. (Speaking of NARS regret, Lal FUCKING Mirchi, y'all. I missed ordering that betch THREE TIMES.)

What do you think of Night Flight and/or the Night Series polishes? If you don't have any of them, would you buy any? I actually ordered two others, but who knows how long it will take before they make an appearance on Stuff. Don't hold your breath, LOL.

Before I sign off, BONUS TANGENT!

My non-blogging life has been kind of a mess for the past couple of months, which is partly why I am so thankful to have a fun hobby that allows me to cultivate friendships with other lacquerheads. One such friend, Elizabeth, has this blog. You may have heard of it. I sent her a Christmas card last month, and she said she wanted to send me one as well.

This arrived in the mail on Boxing Day. I was on Day Three of the infamous Christmas flu, and I felt miserable. (Especially knowing that I was missing all the sweet post-Christmas DVD sales. UGH.)




When I saw the "Hong Kong Post" printed on the mailer, I croaked out loud, "Who the hell do I know in Hong Kong?!" Don't worry, I figured it out.




SNACKS! I love all of these, but they were in flavors that I hadn't tried before. I decided not to eat them until I could taste flavors and stomach food again, so I actually ate the shrooms over the weekend. They were DAMN tasty. I've only eaten them in chocolate, so grape was an interesting change of pace. I'm saving the pocky and the mochi (for what, I don't know), but I know they'll be awesome. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! <3

Don't I have awesome friends? :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

OPI Metallic 4 Life

Happy Saturday! I intended to post this polish Wednesday morning, just in time to remind you that ABC's "Nashville" is back on TV after its winter hiatus (because really, what epitomizes country music fashion more than glitter?). However, one computer, two users and two more houseguests don't exactly mix, so I'm posting this a few days late. I can rave about "Nashville" later.

But, GLITTAH. I KNOW. This is SO UNLIKE ME. And I can't stand Nicki Minaj. What was I THINKING? (Little kids singing "Super Bass"? Not cute, y'all.)

I never will understand why I wanted this polish. All I can say is that I'm really into it.


"I'm soooooooo into you."
(source)


Well, maybe not to THAT point. But I do like this polish very much.




Three coats with one coat of Gelous, and topped with one coat of SV. There was no sun the day I took photos, everything was gross and overcast.








Black jelly base, and three different sizes of silver glitters, including a hex glitter. Pretty basic, but pretty wonderful too. I don't have anything like this -- but that's expected from someone who is mostly a creme lover. I use thin coats when working with jelly bases, so the first coat was pretty sheer although it built up nicely after three coats. The glitter wasn't hard to control -- at least, not to me. I opted to top this with one coat of Gelous PLUS one coat of SV to get a smooth nail surface, and I was so surprised at how quickly that dried. Within twenty minutes, I was good to leave the house for dinner (om nom nom, Indian food!). I put this on Tuesday night and it only chipped on one finger on Friday; I probably will foil it off this weekend. Also, some people say that the formula in their bottles gets goopy after the first use, so it'd be a good idea to have some thinner on hand, just in case.

Metallic 4 Life was from last spring's OPI collaboration with rapper Nicki Minaj. To quote Queen Mimi, "I didn't know she sang. I thought she rapped. Or whatever."





Indeed.

I bought my bottle at Ulta last year during an OPI B2G1, but the collection is still pretty ETF at some beauty supplies and online. It's been a year since its release, and if OPI does what it did last year when it rebranded and renamed its 2011 Katy Perry polishes, we may be seeing these Nicki shades again this summer. I also hear that Metallic 4 Life is a close dupe for Nicole by OPI Luke of the Draw, from the newly-released "Modern Family" tie-in collection. I've seen about 50/50 preferences between this OPI and the NOPI from bloggers; supposedly Luke of the Draw is a little more dense than Metallic 4 Life, but they're not different enough to own both. I think the glitters are bigger than those in NARS Night Breed (untried), and I don't own Illamasqua Creator, so I can't be certain about that. I'm rather content with this one.

Anyone own Metallic 4 Life, and do you/did you like it as much as I seem to? Do you think you may get NOPI Luke of the Draw instead? Do you like "Moment 4 Life," the Nicki Minaj/Drake song this polish was named for? (I'm a negative on that -- besides, Drake will always be Wheelchair Jimmy to me. That's pretty awful, isn't it?)

I'm actually most interested to know what you think of these OPI collaborations with musicians, since this is going into its third year. What do you think of the final products, or the marketing? ALSO, I'm a little put out by the fact that I'm not in love with the OPI Mariah Carey polishes. Little girls in the early '90s couldn't go without loving at least three of her songs, and I am no exception (though it took me longer than most because I was mildly sheltered). I love Mariah and as much as I would love to buy an OPI polish bearing her name, the only one that interests me is Sprung, and I'm not sure if I could werk that. I'm not crazy about the Liquid Sands or any kind of texture polishes, so those are out. And yet ... I own one polish from the Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj collections.

Such a case of the first world sads, am I right?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wine time!: Zoya Jules

I'm sure some of you know that "Cougar Town" returns tonight for its fourth season on TBS at 10/9c. If you didn't know ... now you do.

I'm not even close to catching up on the show, and I'll be missing the premiere since I don't get cable at my parents' house, where I've been camping for the past month while my mom was out of the country. So why am I telling you to watch this show if I'm not even caught up?

One, my sister and I spent a LOT of downtime in our hotel room while we were in the motherland this May. We were either too jetlagged, unaccustomed to the sweltering heat, and in my case, too sick to venture out during most days. But our hotel room had functional air conditioning, a small fridge ... and a TV. I'm forever insisting that trip wasn't a vacation, but the eating polvoron while watching TV part kind of was. There was one channel we watched every day in particular called Velvet, which ran many western programs. Velvet was like Bravo, Style and E! combined; my sister and I don't really watch those types of channels, so everything that aired on Velvet including our formal introduction to "Cougar Town" (apart from all the "Cougar Town" jokes on "Community," of course) was new to us.

Two, I have an excuse to blog Zoya Jules. Jules is Courteney Cox's character on "Cougar Town." If I had to tell you anything about Jules, it is that she is THE "Cougar Town" cougar, and that she and her friends Really. Love. Wine.




I think you get the idea. This makes me incredibly sad because three years ago, I got sick after drinking a tiny glass of ... well, the name escapes me, but I remember thinking that Rinaldi from A Farewell to Arms drank a lot of it. --Which sure narrows it down, because Rinaldi drank anything. Lucky jerk.


(source)


ANYWAY. Jules.




Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.








THIS POLISH. LOOOOOOOVE. As you know, I suck at describing colors, but I will say this: Are you looking for a new sparkly shade that's also office-friendly, or perhaps a polish to go with your new little black (or plum or teal) dress -- something that should be fun but not overwhelming and loud? Then get Jules. I can see how it could have a lobster hands effect on some skin tones, something I narrowly avoided. Whew. I really love this. It's such a delicate champagne gold glass fleck (very small particles) with undertones that are supposedly taupe, but are more mauve on me.

I had no issues with application. It's easier to use thin coats when applying Jules, and I would recommend three for maximum glitz. Maximum understated glitz. It dried quickly with Wicked Fast, and wore well for three days. I had minimal tip wear after that, which you can see here, but I would have been happy to rock this one for a whole week if I didn't have to chop my nails down. Those things grow so fast.

Jules was part of Zoya's Spring 2011 Intimate collection. 2011, can you believe it? I remember reading Scrangie's review at a bar on NYE (and BF asking me, "What are you reading?" My reply: "NOTHIIIIIIIIIING") There's a Zoya promo on right now that's breaking the internet -- 3 polishes for $10, including shipping -- so if you are looking for a third polish to add to your order, I highly recommend this one.

Anyone else share my love for this Zoya, or an unfortunate inability to drink wine? If you watch "Cougar Town," who is your favorite character? Who do you think has the best style (and nails, of course)? Laurie has my vote for all of these things. Surprise, surprise. Are you excited to see the show move to another network? What new title would you bestow upon "Cougar Town" if you were able to change the title? Talk to me about your favorite episode, even if I haven't seen it. Fellow members of the Larmy, I WANT TO KNOW.

P.S. Sorry if this post seems rushed. My family is hosting two houseguests this week, and although I'm happy to have them here, I also have to find time when I can get it. I actually wrote this post while everyone was watching THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE OF ALL TIME.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cult Nails Annalicious, and something new for a new year

Happy Saturday, and welcome TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW to my first real post of 2013! And yes, my first real post of 2013 required a "Futurama" reference. Among my many Christmas gifts from BF was Season 7 on DVD. Such a good gift. I love that show so hard. BTW, I did get to see BF and Sterling Meowlory Archer on New Year's Day, and we went to see "Les Miserables." (Dear. Effing. Lord.)

Speaking of gifts ... there was a lady on the MUA nail board back in the day who once said that when the guy in your life gifts you with a kitchen appliance, it is a Sign of Srs Things to Come. I can't remember her username, but she's wrong. LOL. I enjoy practical gifts, and so this is the most unromantic thing ever. (I got corgi socks last year. That was pretty romantic, actually. Just as romantic as the Han Solo carbonite ice cube tray I gave BF this year.)




See, all this says to me is, "Yes, now I can make ALL the Bitchin' Kitchen recipes my heart desires" (with a dash of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, of course). I don't even know what I want to tackle first. Like, this would be good. So would this.

ANYWAY, here's what you really wanted to see, my first mani of the new year. I usually go with red for good luck -- not that it's worked, ever -- and when I got stumped between two reds, I had Anna help me pick this one not too long after midnight. (Thanks, A.!)




Three coats with SV. For some reason, Wicked Fast does not play well with other Cult Nails polishes on me. Wanky body chemistry and all that.

Also, I think my current clean up brush is on its way out. I don't even know what's going on with my clean up in these photos.








Truth be told, I was a little disappointed with this polish when I first put it on. All the pictures I'd seen of it did not prepare me for how orange it pulled on my complexion. I enjoy warm red polishes, but when it comes to shimmers, the cooler-toned ones look better on me. As a result, I think OPI The Spy Who Loved Me is a better fit, but I really came to love Annalicious for itself during the four days I wore it. (Sort of bonus?: my middle name is Ann, a name that I feel would be better with an "e" on the end, although that's another story.) The gold glass fleck is probably what warms it up, though it looked mostly red on the nail as opposed to the bottle color. It's gorgeous. The particles aren't huge, so I can see how people would want to call this a foil, but that's a glass fleck shine, my friends.

This applied so well. Lovely formula. I know other bloggers have been using two coats for this, but three is Baby Bear for me (just right). Either way, you are guaranteed wonderful results. As I said, Wicked Fast doesn't play well on me when I use it over Cult Nails polishes -- I get three days' worth of tip wear after one day -- so I used SV, and this dried in record time. I had this on for four days with average tip wear, which was really fantastic. I'll definitely bring this out again.

Annalicious is from the limited edition Coco's Untamed collection that was released last summer, and one of my favorite collections from that season. I believe this was named after Coco's best friend, how adorable! For those of you who aren't aware of the Cult Nails price increase, here's the official Cult Nails blog post. Bottom line: As of January 1, 2013, polishes will be sold for $12 each instead of $10, while treatments will be sold for $10 instead of $8. So if you want to pick up Annalicious for less than $12, wait for a sale (Maria does have some good ones), look for it on blog sales, or find someone who has it up for swap.

So that's my deal with Annalicious. As for the "something new" in the title post, I am trying a new, albeit hardly original system of working through and blogging my untrieds when I'm pressed for inspiration and have no pop culture- or RL-inspired tie-ins. I'm going alphabetical with this. It's very MUA nail board of me, isn't it? But I think it'll work. I would like to get at least two rounds of the alphabet done in 2013, and I think this is a good goal for me, the most unorganized Virgo I know, to work on.

What do you think of Annalicious and/or the Cult Nails price increase? If you have an ungodly number of untrieds, do you have a particular method of working through them? Do you have any recipe suggestions so I can break in my new kitchen toy? And to get topical, did anyone go see the Joe Wright/Keira adaptation of "Anna Karenina"?

I did. Assessment: It is a really long Chanel advert/short film with lovely costumes and even better mustaches. However, the staging and the theatrical conceit drove me BATTY. I know it was Tom Stoppard but I found it so distracting that I constantly had to remind myself how the story's events unfolded in the book (which, IMO, should be considered a form of torture for high school students. I'm glad I read it, but damn. Fifty pages of Levin mowing grass with the peasants?!). It reminded me of those Lars von Trier movies, "Dogville" and "Manderlay," just more heavily ornamented. The cast, however, was pretty wonderful, and I'd almost forgotten Ruth Wilson was in the movie, so seeing her was a nice little surprise. Like "Les Mis," "Anna Karenina" was a fun experiment. But I wouldn't be enthusiastic about seeing another movie done that way.

Yeah, it may be a new year, but I still don't think I'm capable of writing a short blog post. Giddy up.