Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zoya Tallulah + weekend wrap-up

Usually, I post my monthly haul spendage and my STYLE column at the end of the month, but this here polish was so darn pretty it DEMANDED to be squeezed in before May, and who am I to protest a blue like this?

Get ready to experience what Steff refers to as a full-on nail polish boner, in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...




Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

I love this polish so much I want to move to Vermont and marry it.













No lie, I could show you pictures of this one all day. WOULD YOU BELIEVE I've had this in my stash for about two years without truly wearing it? -- swatched on a couple of fingers, yes, but never as a full mani? To quote Jacobim Mugatu, I feel like I'm on crazy pills. Tallulah became my NOTWeekend when Tara picked it out for me after I arranged her Helmers by color because I can't make decisions. To be fair, my other choices included my new Chanels (Bel-Argus and Azuré), China Glaze Igniting Love, Illamasqua Nomad and Essie Using My Maiden Name, so you can see why I was having such a hard time. Thanks, T. <3

Everything about this polish is amazing (HOW RICH AND SATURATED IS THAT COLOR OMG), including its formula. My Zoyas have a tendency to be a little gummy, but this wasn't. It dried in record time with Wicked Fast, and wore well with barely visible tip wear and no chips. I haven't tried removing it, but I wore my double base coat combo, so I'm not worried about stains.

Tallulah was part of the Ooh-La-La collection from Summer '09; you can buy it for $8 on the Art of Beauty site and I bet you could find it in person (I found my bottle two years ago at a beauty supply in Potomac Mills). That collection makes no sense to me -- they're all gorgeous, but the color palette and the different finishes weren't exactly cohesive. I blogged Midori last year, and picked up Ginessa and Goldie in last year's Zoya Exchange. I'm going to tell you right now: Goldie is FANTASTIC, and you should get it if you love golds.

In closing, Tallu will be in HEAVY rotation on my tips this summer and if it did not give you a full-on NPBTM Steff, then I'm going to guess you hate blues.

My boyfriend, who loves anything blue, was really into it. I think he laughed at me a little on Saturday when I couldn't stop staring at my nails during the intermissions of the Met's final Live in HD broadcast of the season. I dragged him with me to this movie theater at a high-end mall that serves food and is a halfway point between my apartment and his house, so that was nice. That transmission was Handel's "Giulio Cesare," and while it was fun, I felt it ran JUST A BIT longer than I wanted it to because it was such a nice day outside and I wanted to look at puppies (this mall is also dog-friendly. I MEAN, if you're going to drop $$$ at Saks, you may as well be able to bring your favorite furry friend -- which reminds me, the only Tallulah I know is my friend's sweet pittie).

Later that night on Facebook, this is what B had to say about the opera:

"I don't know much about opera, but I'm pretty sure the one I just watched told the classic story of how Julius Caesar marched into Egypt with his British troops (commanded by a Scotsman) to drive out the Indians and Moroccans.

"However, he was defeated by the evil brother of Cleopatra and left for dead by the seaside. Somehow survived and returned to Egypt with an army of now-undead British soldiers (still commanded by a Scotsman, but I don't think he was a zombie. At least, unlike the others, I never actually SAW him dead) and a formidable force consisting of dirigibles (or possibly zeppelins. Hell, they might have all been Hindenburgs for all I know) and battleships.

"With his zombie army and future weapons he defeated Cleopatra's evil Moroccan brother and his henchman, transformed Cleopatra into Marie Antoinette, and married her in a Victorian wedding that was so awesome that all of the surviving Moroccans and Indians from across Egypt showed up.

"So did the dead evil brother.

"And his dead henchman.

"It felt as if all of this was being portrayed in real time (approximately 3 years) but I am assured it was, in fact, a mere 4 hours and 35 minutes."

Now admittedly, the production was ALL OVER THE PLACE in terms of location and period, and that wedding was not a Victorian wedding, although Cornelia would not have looked out of place at one. NO T, NO SHADE.

But all nitpicking aside, yup ... I'm hitting that.

I am going to end this post with what happens when you go to Costco during Shark Week:




After watching the oh-so-timely "Bitchin' Kitchen" PMScapades episode, I had delusions of baking Nadia's goat cheese brownies. But when I saw this at Costco, I decided it was less effort and told B to stop laughing. I still want to try the goat cheese brownies, though. Let me know if you do.

I was gone all weekend and came home on Sunday to find my mom had whipped out my childhood Easter tablecloth, despite Easter being almost a month ago. But it was nice to see that tablecloth again after so many years, because BUNNIES!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Long Haul: April 2013

I was OK this month. And then I got my tax return and went to Nordstrom. You'll see.

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: Depending on how much time I have after work, my monthly STYLE post may run any time between tomorrow and Thursday.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Zoya Julie (come out of the rain)

Heyyyyyyyyyy, you guys. Saturday posts are not the norm for me, but on Thursday I had a MAJOR case of the lazies and yesterday was spent running around town until Tara got off work and I figured, WHY NOT JUST WAIT until Saturday?

I know last night was the deadline for Zoya Exchange orders, so maybe you can think about Julie the next time there's a sale or some kind of crazy promotion. I wore this to the Josh Rouse show on Wednesday. Call me obsessive if you must, but it was the obvious choice to me.




It's cold and I can't wait forever ... for pictures, you say. Okay, okay.




Three thin coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.









Sometimes this looks periwinkle, but trust me, it's much redder and lighter than OPI You're Such a Budapest.

Julie first came on our radars near the end of last year during NYFW when it was a custom, limited edition color for designer Zang Toi's spring 2013 looks. Those looks were based around the idea of an "ice princess," and holy crap, I wanted Julie so hard because it was gorgeous and light purple and I really like the name Julie. It's now part of Zoya's Lovely collection for this spring, but at the time I think Gei Gei and Piaf were the other parts of the Zang Toi set, which sold out epically quickly (to me, anyway).

My friend Janice wasn't especially enamored with Julie and Piaf, so I maaaaay have bought them from her. After trying out Julie and wearing it for five days (with no chips and minimal tip wear, natch), I can't wait to try Piaf! The formula was not as bad as I thought it would be -- I think the shimmer can make application annoying for some people, but if you use thin coats and work slowly like I did, then you won't have any issues. Removal, however, left little bits of shimmer around the skin, so just wash your hands before you slap on a new color.

"Julie (Come Out of the Rain)" just so happens to be name of the lead single off the new Josh Rouse album, "The Happiness Waltz." (I embedded the music video near the top of the post.) Usually I'm very wary of new albums from my favorite artists, because sometimes you know how it is when you like only three songs, but I'm happy to report that I really love "The Happiness Waltz." Usually I'm also very wary of albums that are released when a songwriter or band seems to have "settled down" in life, but I think the album retains the same hopefulness and sunny melodies showcased in his earlier songs. They're rather infectious.


Rouse (right) playing an encore, "Lemon Tree"


I would like to say that I first heard of Josh Rouse via his song "Directions" on the "Vanilla Sky" soundtrack. I loved that movie, although I can see why other people wouldn't. But I LOVED that soundtrack. Cameron Crowe knows what he's doing, right? So after hearing that track, I decided I wanted more Josh Rouse stuff. And boy, did I find a treasure trove of it. I've been listening to him since I was 18? 19?, so getting the chance to see him live was like getting to scratch something off my concert bucket list. (Especially since, y'know, he lives in Valencia now.)

I'd never been to The Birchmere before, but it was easy to get to (for once, 95 was not a PITA) and I really liked the size and amenities of the venue, plus the staff was super helpful and pleasant about answering my neurotic dum-dum questions. I would love to go there again; Billy Bragg (!!!) was there the night after I was, and I could have gone to that show if I had budgeted accordingly, but I did not. Anyway, I made a concert buddy (another solo showgoer) and the set was AWESOMESAUCE. I hope it is not three more years before Josh Rouse comes back there.

He stayed to meet fans after the show. I got a signed poster and I would like to say I was not a dork, but I probably was. And now that I think of it, I should have gotten him to write my name on that poster, but oh well, a signed poster from one of my faves is still PRETTY DAMN GREAT.


 
I want to say this is the very last song of the set, "It's the Nighttime" 
(a crowd favorite, which goes for me too)


I don't know yet where "The Happiness Waltz" ranks among my favorite JR albums, but here are my top three:
  1. "1972" (2003)
  2. "Nashville" (2005)
  3. "Subtitulo" (2006)

Really good stuff there, if you want to give it a listen. I mean, I think you should, but I'll be the first to admit that my taste in music verges heavily on WGWG. (But, like, REALLY good WGWGs.)

What did you guys end up getting in your Zoya Exchange orders? What do you think of Julie, the Zang Toi colors, or the Lovely collection? Will you give Josh Rouse and "The Happiness Waltz" a listen? You can stream the album on his site. Tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Har. Lovely.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rach Redux, Zoya Mimi edition

Last January, I borrowed Zoya Mimi from my friend Courtney in a stash swap and posted some truly hideous pictures of it. If you indulged me by doing so much as looking at that post, I AM SO SORRY because those pictures were SO BAD.

I liked Mimi so much that I bought my own bottle last summer. I took the next few photos last month, intended for the April 1 megapost that never happened. So they are more recent, sure. But are they better? To that, I say HELLS YES. It's amazing what you can learn to do with a camera in a year. (That's what she said.)




I can't remember whether this was 3 or 4 coats. Oop @ me. Sorry! Top coat was Cult Nails Wicked Fast.








Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch mo' better.

I did my spiel about Mimi last year, but here are the basics again:

  • This purple glass fleck awesomeness needs at least 3 coats to build up, since the base is sheer.
  • It dries super quick, but take a couple of minutes in between coats anyway.
  • It's from the Sparkle collection of Summer 2010 with Charla, Ivanka, Gilda, etc.
  • If you love glass flecks and purples, you probably need this.

Seriously, if you don't have this already, add this to your Zoya cart NOW.

This is probably one of the shortest posts I've ever written (if not the shortest), BUT! This afternoon, I'm heading up to NoVa to see a Josh Rouse show. His new album is solid (you can listen to it on his site), and I can't wait to hear tunes old and new. Although I'm still dealing with my allergies, I'm just planning to bring my inhaler, drink LOTS of water and stand near a hallway, bathroom or someplace I can make a quick exit if I have a coughing fit because this guy hasn't done a srs U.S. tour in at least two? three? years and he lives in SPAIN now, so I HAVE to see him. Nineteen-year-old priorities ftw. I'll have the dish on Friday, so come back for that!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Zoya Adina (this is for you, Ashley!)

When I asked you to help me choose between Zoya Adina and Jo, the nearly unanimous vote favored Jo, which I posted on Friday. Today, I've got Adina for Ashley, the lone dissenter. I hope you enjoy, Ashley!

I wore this all weekend, and I could not quit staring at my hands. I had lunch with my aunt yesterday, and she was pretty into this, too.




Four coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast. You can stop at two, but I was curious to see if additional coats would give this color more depth. I had some bald spots after a third coat, but a fourth took care of that.









I've always been intrigued by Adina, but I didn't want to take the plunge and buy it in case it turned out to be a massive fail. However, when I got a chance to swap for it last fall, I jumped on it. Try new things, right? I'm glad I did.

As soon as I put it on, you could say I was mesmerized by how it sometimes goes from looking like this:



To this:



That's pretty nuts, isn't it? Okay, MAYBE it isn't, but this is the first real duochrome I've ever worn, so cut me some slack for being so into it. ;) At first, I thought the mauve/lavender base color would not jive with my complexion and I wanted it to be darker, maybe even RBL Scrangie-ish, but now I actually think a darker base color would stop this polish from evoking such a dreamy, ethereal feel. I've read some posts in which some bloggers say they didn't really see too much of the green on the nail -- in my case, I see quite a bit of green. And this purple base pulls pretty mauve on me, not as purple as it looks in some other bloggers' photos.

The formula for this polish was fine. I explained the whole four coats thing earlier, but again, you could stop at two or three. I think this would have dried faster if my bottle of Wicked Fast hadn't been beginning to die its slow death; I wore it for three days with minimal tip wear and no chips. Booyah.

Adina was part of Zoya's Reverie collection for Spring 2010, and if you want to add it to your Zoya cart, you totally should DO IT NOW. God, it's so funny to think that in early 2010, I had no access to Zoya, and that I was losing my mind (and dollars) over OPI Hong Kong, which I still think was a totally baller collection. Scrangie's post on the Reverie collection informed me that this polish was named after the blogger Adina of Krasey Beauty. I wanted to confirm that, so HERE is Adina's post on the matter.

I didn't know about Adina or Krasey Beauty until I read Scrangie's post, so this is who I thought of immediately because I'm a classy lady:






I never saw all of "Sorority Boys," and although the parts I HAVE seen are pretty dumb, I keep the TV on whatever channel is airing it. In my defense, I was going through a slight "Smallville" thing when this movie came out, and Michael Rosenbaum, dear God, YES. *sparkly HTML hearts*

Any thoughts on Adina, "Sorority Boys" or Reverie? (Ashley, what say you?) Do you think you might maybe possibly add her to your Zoya cart? I'm going to hang on to her for now. Allegedly, Duri Divas Only is a very close dupe, but I don't have that, so I can't tell you one way or the other.

Before I sign off, I just want to say thank you to those of you who left some sweet comments on Friday's post. I wasn't crazy about sharing my loser feels on this blog, but it happened anyway. I promise to keep that kind of word vomit to a minimum. And if you are having similar feelings, please feel free to e-mail me to vent if you think that will help. The twenties are hard. We gotta stick together.

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you on Wednesday.


P.S. My steak was awesome (but free food always is). I ate THE WHOLE FRICKING THING by myself. No regrets.

P.P.S. Other Adinas I now know of include Adina, creator of a-england polishes, and Adina, the heroine of Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Zoya Jo, feelings and why I'm Team Bhaer

Hay gurlfrans. We've got a LOT of ground to cover today, so let's get to it.

But first: EDIT- I don't know how many readers I have in the Boston area, but if you're out there, a lot of us will be thinking of you all today. Please be safe.
Second: The annual Zoya Exchange is underway today until April 26 at 11:59 p.m. EST, so go fill your cart! And tell me what you're getting, of course.
Third: I posted Zoya Kimber pretty late yesterday, so click on the link in case you missed it.

Aaaaand back to our scheduled programming.

Last week, I asked you guys to help me choose between Zoya Adina and Jo. All except one of you who responded wanted to see Jo, so here it is. Thanks for playing along!

What is that scraggly bit of hair? fuzz? on my ring finger? WHO KNOWS.




Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.









You might not believe it, but I was a bit underwhelmed with this color at first. I thought it gave me major lobster hands, but after wearing it for three days, I got over it. (I also have really bad circulation, which is part of the problem.) I knew I had to have it after seeing The Polish Addict's swatch, although I didn't track it down until 2010 or 2011. Anyway, I don't think there's anything quite like Jo! I'm going to say it's more cornflower than periwinkle since this is quite blue and to me, periwinkle suggests a hint of purple, which there isn't here. The silver shimmer is very nice, but I can see how some people would find it borderline frosty. It isn't to me.

The formula was okay. It reminded me of Zoya Midori -- "thick, but workable," though not quite as thick. I've noticed that my Zoyas have a tendency to be gummy, especially the shimmers, which I think might be attributed to the resin. --Don't quote me on that, btw. I'm too dumb to science. But while it was a tad gummy, it wasn't bad to work with, and it dried in record time with Wicked Fast. I wore this for four days.

Jo was from the Twist collection for Spring '09, the collection that gave us fan faves Malia and Harley. I have Malia (I used it for my "Bitchin' Kitchen" skittle look last October), but not Harley. I'm interested in it, but I don't know if I'm interested in it enough to acquire it, if that makes sense.

But, you guys.

You know that part in "Little Women" where Winona Ryder's Jo is freaking out to her mom after turning down Christian Bale (more on this in a second)? She's freaking out not so much because she turned down a babe, but also because her sister is going to Europe instead of her, and the general tone of the scene is "WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?!?!" Marmee, of course, is all, "Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts. How can you expect to lead an ordinary life?"

Yeah, after eighteen years, I've memorized that part. Anyway, it gets worse from there because:

I've been feeling a lot like Jo lately, minus the extraordinary gifts. This week, I had a minor freakout that was along the lines of "OMG WHAT IF ALL THE WONDERFUL AND EXCITING STUFF THAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN IN LIFE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO ME AND NOTHING WONDERFUL AND EXCITING WILL EVER HAPPEN AFTER THIS?!?!" Also, my younger sister and her kitties moved to New York City at the beginning of the month to start a new job, and while I'm super excited and incredibly proud of her, I cannot keep ignoring the fact that I basically feel like a sad sack all the time.


 
My sister's oldest kittybaby, Boomer, 4, staring at us from around a box


Yes, I have a college degree and I enjoyed a brief stint in one of the most unstable industries ever. Yes, I currently have a job that pays the bills and lets me indulge in some of my creature comforts (hello, this blog). Yes, I am in generally good health. But overall, no, I am not happy with my life. And I don't know how to change that. I will be 30 in three years and I haven't done anything I want to do; I know few people actually get to, but obviously this bothers me. I think it would help if I knew what my talents were, and then I could find a way to put them to use for money. Only, you know, how do you figure that stuff out? Ugh, you can see I am not big on having feelings. They are sofa king gross and this is why I try not to talk about them. Sorry.

Also, because I just referenced Little Women, I am obliged to say this: "Such a small name for such a person." 


 (source)


To quote Madeline, TEAM BHAER 5EVER.

I mean, obviously. I'm not going to write an essay about it (I could if you gave me a couple of days), but let me be clear: I don't think Laurie would have been a good life partner for Jo. Yes, Laurie was young and rich and bright and handsome and passionate and beloved by the family. BUT! He and Jo were far too alike in temperament, which as Jo pointed out, would not be ideal in the long term. I guess that's why Mr. Bhaer is more appealing: he was more her intellectual equal, and more emotionally stable. Plus -- and you really see this in the '94 movie -- Mr. Bhaer is the person who sees Jo for the best woman (and writer) she can be. Sure, he was a little long in the tooth, but what more can you want?

In other words, I too have been ruined by Mr. Bhaer. Anyone else? Hands up.

If you read all of that, I commend you. Thank you. Here is some bonus Jo with one coat of China Glaze White Cap action (and a coat of NYC Grand Central Station), because White Cap is my new favorite thing. I promise this looked much more beautiful and delicate in person.







ILY, WHITE CAP. DON'T EVER LEAVE ME.

I'll be back with more Zoya on Monday. I hope you all have a great weekend. Mine will be off to a promising start, as less than 10 hours stand between me and a fancy steak dinner. Don't worry, I'll enjoy it. I'm not paying for it. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Belated Pink Wednesday: Zoya Kimber

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I didn't finish going through photos in time to do it because I thought I would catch a few winks instead. I really like blogging, but I really love sleeping. Ask anyone who's ever lived with me. I've had roommates who didn't know I was home because I slept all weekend. In fact, B can tell you that shortly after I started spending the night, one time I slept in until he practically had to kick me out of bed so he could go about his day.

Right off the top, I'm going to tell you I wasn't crazy about this polish. I'm beginning to wonder if this is going to become a regular thing with me and Zoya's K-shades, because this is the third one in a row -- I ditched Kimmy and Katherine.

Now we have Kimber, who is gorgeous, but just not for me. Here are some photos anyway in case you might love it more than I did.

Also, if these photos look nicer than usual, it's because my new phone was able to get the color more accurately than my old one. It's a long, boring and PAINFUL story. (I fell down and skinned my palm. The fall was so Chronicles of RiddickulousTM Tom Haverford that I cursed and then asked my mother if I'd ripped my pants.)




Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.











And for the record: the only Kimbers I could think of were (1) pistols and (2) Kimber from "Nip/Tuck." I wasn't the biggest fan of the show, but it had its moments. If I'd known that Ryan Murphy would continue to troll television ... well. (IMO, he is the worst.)

I thought I would enjoy this color more than I did. The base is a lovely blend of fuchsia and deep pink, and goes on like a foil, but then the gold shimmer peeks out. It's super pretty, and it applies really well, but I don't know. I just wasn't feeling it. I'm passing it up because while China Glaze Ahoy! is a completely different animal (the base color is similar, but it's a true glass fleck), I would reach for it more than I would reach for Kimber.

Kimber was part of last summer's Surf collection, and it's still available online. I'm sure you could track it down and find it in person if you really wanted to.

What do you guys think of Kimber? I also have three more Zoya K-names to try from my stash: Kelly, Kieko and Kotori. And I want Kennedy and Kerry. (Should I not?) I want Rory from the Surf collection, but I hope that's not a fail; I also haven't tried Zuza yet ... I wasn't crazy about Myrta when I tried it last summer. Come on, Surf collection. I know you have a winner in you. (... That's what she said.)

Thanks for reading! I'll be back with Zoya Jo tomorrow, so look out for that.