Friday, March 28, 2014

Essie Armed and Ready: That lamp doesn't have a family!

First off, group high five because we made it to Friday! YASSSSSSSSSSSS. This week crawled by slower than a six-month-old who cannot get the hang of it ... but we're here! I might have celebrated by sleeping in, so today's post is gonna be one of those "late lunch o'clock" posts. But you know what else?

If you thought, "Well, Rachel hasn't posted about a TV show in a while," then four for you, Glen Coco, because there is in fact a show I wanted to put out there: the half-hour comedy "Enlisted," which is on FOX tonight at 9 (just before "Raising Hope"). I have a sinking feeling it's going to get cancelled because we are allowed only so many nice things -- also, moving it to a different time slot cannot possibly be helping -- but I really love the show, and I'm thinking some of you might, too! It fills the hole in my heart left by "Ben and Kate," another ill-fated comedy.

If you liked "Stripes," "M*A*S*H*" (the show) or "Scrubs," then you'll really enjoy this. "Enlisted" is about three soldier brothers who are part of a rear detachment unit in Florida, with the oldest, Pete (played by Geoff Stults), having come back from Afghanistan and struggling to readjust to life out of combat. OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, los hermanos Hill are not bad to look at.

Also, KEITH FREAKIN' DAVID (!!!) plays the Sergeant Major. He is great. (But when is he NOT?) The other members of Pete's platoon are played by comedians and actors you might recognize from other TV shows, including PFC Mort Gumble = Parker the intern on "The Mindy Project," SPC Chubowski = Patsy on "Getting On," and PFC Dobkiss = Sweet Dee's rapper boyfriend Lil Kevin on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

I can't tell you about the accuracy the minutiae of life on a military base as depicted on "Enlisted,"1 but overall, it's very touching and gets so much right. Although neither the show's creator nor its executive producer served in the military, the former came from a military family. Every production title card shown at the end of each episode features a photo of the showrunners' relatives who have served. (However, they hope to be allowed to use actual photos of enlisted soldiers in the future.)

I actually ended up watching the episodes out of order (Episode Four was aired wayyyyy out of order), so the first episode I saw was "Pete's Airstream," the third episode. But the next episode I streamed was the one that made me a full-on "Enlisted" stan: Episode 2, "Randy Get Your Gun," in which the youngest Hill brother, Randy, fails his marksmanship test and middle brother Derrick has to help him. P.S., I never watched "Veronica Mars" (I'm sorry, Madeline), but apparently Derrick = Piz.2

Enter Essie Armed and Ready, the perfect polish to highlight what is still my favorite "Enlisted" episode. I know I featured it in my Oct. 2012 Horatio Hornblower extravaganza, but here are some better photos:

Three coats with SV.

I had to go full-on OttLite with this polish, because it would NOT photograph in natural light AT ALL. But the extra effort was worth it! Look how beautiful. I have to say that I didn't think the shimmer showed up as vividly on the nail as it does in the bottle -- at least, not in low light. However, I do think it adds a little more ... dimension? If you're into military and olive green polishes, this one is for you. The formula is perfect and opaque in two coats.

I'm not totally sure if this is still a core polish, since it was released in the spring of 2012 in the three-piece Go Overboard collection. That collection also gave us Go Overboard (obviously) and Play Date, both of which still are in core Essie displays ... so I'm guessing that Armed and Ready might be, as well. Don't quote me on this. I DO know it's easy to find online, though, so maybe if you need something to add to an e-tailer order, you could add Armed and Ready. I've owned a fair amount of olive and military greens, and I can see myself taking this with me if I had to be away from home for a while. :) It's that good.

To get back to "Enlisted" and "Randy Get Your Gun," here is what killed me the most about the episode, Derrick attempting to desensitize his little brother by having him describe "Toy Story 3":

(source: I saved this a while back and don't remember. HALP!!!!)

I was howling. I still quote "THAT LAMP DOESN'T HAVE A FAMILY!" to, um, myself ... because I know only TWO other people who watch this. Apart from the Randy stuff, though, there was an equally hysterical storyline with Pete and another sergeant competing for the marksmanship trophy, but I won't get into that. You'll just have to watch the episode for yourself, and HEY, if you're in the U.S., you can watch it on the official site, where it's available for the next 64 days -- you have no excuse.:

The show is being moved from its terrible Friday night time slot to another night and time that is yet TBD. I'll keep you posted when I find out more! Until then, you can follow and tweet with the show's cast and crew on Twitter -- the showrunners are particularly wonderful to interact with (the exec. producer has replied to a couple of my tweets in the past). It's so obvious when people sincerely love what they've worked on, and I get those vibes from that show. It would be a shame for it to go away because I would hate to end my time with the Rear D after only one season!

All righty, that is all for me this week. I hope you enjoyed everything I've blogged this week! It was a challenge to have content five days a week for two consecutive weeks, but again, it's Friday, we did it, and now it's time to kick back and catch up on some other shows. I'll see you on Tuesday -- let me know what you think of Armed and Ready and "Enlisted"! Seriously, watch it. You'll be begging to join Randy's Hug Club. I know I am.

1Apparently the pilot was rife with errors, but after hiring a military entertainment consultant, things have been improving. Still wondering about hair lengths, though.
2Apparently this Piz character is a highly divisive one???, especially to people who ship Veronica with some tool named Logan. IDK if Logan actually is a tool, he just kind of seems like one.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gift of Fab: Sinful Colors Hip to Be Square

Back in February, Madeline sent me a bubble mailer chock full of polishes that are 100% me. That is no small feat, so ... well done, girl! I've been wanting to try some of them for a while, but for the purposes of new Spring '14 polishes, here's Sinful Hip to Be Square from the Oh My Mod! collection that's been around since, what, late January/early February. In fact, there's a new display at Walgreens that includes most, if not all, of Oh My Mod! as well as Mod in Bloom. So if your Rite Aid is as much of a hike for you as it is for me, you're in luck!

I'm sure there are a lot of close dupes for/very similar colors to Hip to Be Square, including Sinful Sail La Vie, but I can't get enough of this color. I actually passed on this one because I already have Sail La Vie ... and yet, idcurr. I was thrilled to get it as a gift! More for me. :D Thank you, Madeline!

(Note: Oh. I haven't put my bottles of Sail La Vie and Hip to Be Square next to each other, but apparently they're the same?)

Three coats with Gelous + NYC Grand Central Station.

Gorgeeeeeeeeeeeeeouuuuuuuuuuuus. Hip to Be Square is a BRIGHT cornflower blue creme with a secret silver shimmer that you'll only see in artificial light. Such a perfect, happy color for spring, no? It reminded me of Maybelline Pie in the Sky, a.k.a. the first cornflower blue polish I fell in love with. I also have weird memories of precisely what I was doing and how I felt the weekend I wore Pie in the Sky four years ago ... strangely, I felt the. exact. same. way. wearing Hip to Be Square last weekend. Both times, I was hanging out with B and I didn't want to leave. :( /csb

... whoa, feelings. Gross.

Although the formula for this polish is a little thick (I think it was the combination of pastel + shimmer), it was easier to apply than I thought it would be. Really! I will divulge that Hip to Be Square is one of those blue polishes that sure smells like blue, so take that warning with a grain of salt. It's not as strong as other blues I've worked with, but still. Dry time was okay with Gelous + NYC GCS, and the wear was magnificent for the four days I had this on. No chips, one small crack on my left thumb -- most likely because my bottle of Gelous is dying -- and barely visible tip wear, which ... if you could have seen that in person without the aid of a macro, you would have been too close.

As I've said, Hip to Be Square is from Sinful's LE Oh My Mod! collection that was out back at the end of the end of January at Rite Aid, but as recently as last weekend, I've seen it in a huge Sinful display at Wags (please see the link to Nouveau Cheap above). It should be $1.99 until the next Wags sale, whenever that is, and then you can pick it up for 99 cents. Or if you're lucky, you will have a friend who is as awesome as Madeline who can pick it up for you! I'm really glad she did. :)

Oh, and for the one person wondering, "Hip to Be Square" is not my favorite Huey Lewis song*, but this is:

For context:

"Chuck" was really into '80s music ... I'm counting AT LEAST three Huey Lewis songs featured on the show, including "Hip to Be Square." Ugh, I miss "Chuck."

So, yeah. Gonna stop now before this post turns into me rambling about Jeffster and the '80s music on "Chuck"! Did you pick up any Sinful Oh My Mods or Mod in Blooms? I have so many of the Blooms ... I still need to wear them. Anyway, thanks for reading, guys. And of course, thanks for making this post possible, Madeline! <3

If I can get home early tonight, you'll have one last March post tomorrow. :)


*I'm sure Huey Lewis is a lovely person, but I cannot handle most of his songs. Can. Not. I would rather have Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" on loop for two hours, which tells you how much I cannot.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NEW(-ish): Orly Cheeky

I really wasn't planning to pick up any polishes from the Orly Blush spring collection. When I saw the PR images, they looked boring. When I saw the collection in person, they still looked boring. But then they were on sale at Sally's and I had a coupon, so I couldn't not give Cheeky a try.

And yes, it is kind of funny to me that I picked Cheeky, a coral shimmer, instead of Naked Canvas, a nude shimmer. I must have had spring majorly on the brain when I bought this!

Three coats with SV.

Welp, you can see how much I loved this. (I'm coming back for you, Naked Canvas.) It looked amazing and basically is what I wished RBL Coquette would have been like on me. As I remember it, Coquette had this sort of ... muted quality to its base color, which Cheeky does not (yay!). Also, I loooooove the gold shimmer and the fact that this coral has *just* enough orange in it to play well with my skin tone. I think Orly's actual description of Cheeky is "peach shimmer," although to my eye, it's more coral than peach. But no matter.

I'm not sure if it's because I was polishing in a hurry before bed, but Cheeky's formula was a leeeeeeeeeetle fussy. The first time I put this on, I had some streaking and dragging after two coats and needed a third to cover that up, but I think part of that was because I wasn't waiting in between coats the way I usually do (I was polishing before bed). The second time I put this on, I was more careful; I had no streaks and patchiness but Cheeky definitely requires three coats for opacity. I was so in love with the color payoff, I would have used four coats if necessary! Anyway, I wore this for two days with no chips and minimal tip wear. I wasn't thrilled about the tip wear, but after changing my base coat/top coat(s) game, I've noticed that I usually get crazy tip wear on manis right after I've cut and filed my nails, which I did do before applying this polish. So who knows. I'll be wearing Cheeky again this spring, and of course I will report back.

Cheeky (and the rest of the Orly Blush collection) is for sale at Sally's and Ulta right now, though you also can get it online pretty easily. If you love corals, this one is worth closer inspection. I've noticed Orly still has a bit of work to do with their pastel shimmer formulas -- what the heck, it's 2014! -- but again, I enjoyed Cheeky so much that I am happy to make it work.

Have you picked up any of the Orly Blushes, or will you be skipping them? I haven't fallen head over heels for an Orly spring collection since Precious (so, 2011) -- summer and fall collections are what Orly tends to do best, IMO. Howeverrrrrrr, I'm eyeing Intergalactic Space from the recent Galaxy FX collection ... whoa, DO WANT!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back tomorrow with the last Spring 2014 polish of the week -- nay, of the month! March just whizzed by. I can barely believe it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rescue Beauty Lounge Footpath

Can we classify the RBL A Poem collection as a spring release? Yes? No? At the very least, we can agree that it's the newest thing from RBL. I don't like RBL as much as I used to and I admit I was not excited about this latest collection, but old habits die hard. I waited for the regular release to get the two most irresistible Poem polishes (I might go back for the others piecemeal, but we'll see). The nail blogger/MUA friends who've known me the longest probably knew I was going to spring for Footpath first (puns!). They were right.

Oh, and fair warning: Because Footpath is such a weird color (in the best possible way), it's going to appear differently on different skin tones. For the most part, here is what it looks like on mine.

Three coats with SV.

As Pam Poovey would say, SPLOOSH.

A common description of this polish is mustard, which may be true, but it's more of a golden "earthened yellow" on me. For every dusty slate blue-grey and pink coral I can't wear, there's a weird warm, golden yellow with my name on it ... and this one is fantastic. Footpath definitely is a color that would prompt my dad to ask, "What color is THAT?" (Answer: AWESOME.)

Its formula was old school RBL -- that is, it had flawless application and coverage. It's opaque in two coats, but I added a third anyway. Dry time was fast with SV. I only wore this for swatch purposes, although I'm sure I would have gotten good wear out of it.

If you're interested in Footpath, it's available for $20 at the RBL site. I realize $20 is a lot to part with for a color that might be iffy on you ... but if you hate your bottle, you can send it to me. ;)

Now if I love the other Poem polish I got, I might have to go back for the other cremes in the collection! IMO, cremes were what RBL did best right before/when the polish scene exploded (so, circa 2009-2010); some of my old favorite RBLs are cremes, so it was nice to see Ji go back to a finish she is really good at. IIRC, she changed labs, so kudos to this new one for giving us something awesomely old school. I haven't really been in love with what the brand has been releasing since GOMM, tbh, so this was a nice change of pace. I also don't need a trailer to announce a new collection -- I understand how they might be of some help, but they still leave me cold. I guess I just believe in letting the product speak for itself. (And now we know why I am reluctant to run my own business ...)

Anyway, weird rant aside, care to share your thoughts on Footpath? RBL cremes? Anyone want to make any guesses what my second pick from A Poem was? Thank you for reading, and I'll be back tomorrow with another something new from Spring 2014. :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

China Glaze Lotus Begin

Soooooooooooo remember that time I said I was bored with Spring 2014 collections and then ended up with 8 China Glazes from the City Flourish collection? Yeah, that happened, all thanks to the China Glaze BOGO at Sally's this month. Whoops. But Madeline and I have a fever and the only cure is ALL THE NEON PASTELS, which City Flourish provided, and then some. Lotus Begin is one of two polishes I knew I absolutely needed, because HELLO, PURPLE. <3333

This polish has some serious cool tones, so I'm pretty confident in saying that it'll look amazing on everybody. However, as a neon pastel, it definitely is NOT easy to photograph. All the Google images I've seen so far are so different from each other! What you'll see below is what Lotus Begin looks like on me in natural light; none of the pics have been doctored. I really love it.

Three coats with SV.

I cannot think of a way to accurately describe this color except DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.

And now for the part a lot of you have been waiting for: the dish on the formula. Some people found it horrendous. Personally, I didn't have any problems with it. Here's what I'm going to say: If you have tried any of the neon pastels from last summer's China Glaze Sunsational creme set, then that's EXACTLY what you're going to get with the City Flourish neon pastels. I'll also add that you kind of have to work quickly and carefully, as the neon pigment dries quickly and it dries semi-matte, so any imperfections will tend to make themselves apparent. You will need a top coat for shininess; I used SV because of its self-leveling powers but I had to apply it with the quickness! I wore this for four glorious days with minimal tip wear and one chip on the usual corner (left corner) of the usual chip-prone finger (right index).

The City Flourish collection has been out since last month, but Sally's has that BOGO going -- if you also have our neon pastel fever and you're lucky enough to find a store without a picked over City Flourish display, GET THIS POLISH. Or use your points at Ulta. Or buy it at a beauty supply online. Up to you. But if you're gonna get one polish from City Flourish, I really think Lotus Begin is THE one to get.

Obviously, I loved this polish. I think I'm going to try Peonies & Park Ave. next ... that one is going to be even worse to photograph. I'm already dreading it. :/ But let me know if there's a City Flourish you'd like to see eventually -- if I have it, I'll probably blog it in May. (April will be a mostly Zoya affair, I think.)

Further questions? Opinions? Concerns? Anyone else enjoy neon pastels as much as Madeline and I do? Or did you find City Flourish too boring for you?

This has nothing to do with nail polish, but I wanted to say that I finally popped my drive-in movie theater cherry over the weekend! :D

I'm really not sure why I took this. I think I was going to tweet it until I remembered I was in the middle of nowhere and my signal was not going to be able to handle it. 
But most likely, I think I was just REALLY EXCITED.

B and I have been attempting to go for two years and never made it there for some reason or other. Last weekend was the opening weekend of the Goochland Drive-In's 2014 season, and the weirdness of the double feature pairing was too enticing for us. We enjoyed "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" but we could not stop saying, "Well, we know what Paul Verhoeven would have done with this" to each other during "Robocop" (the new one, obvs). Sure, this remake had a couple of things going for it and we liked the homages to the original recipe, but all in all, I think we'll stick to the original. I think my favorite thing about drive-ins -- so far -- is that B and I can do our popcorn gallery commentary thing without having to whisper, since we sat in his car and closed the windows. Anyway, if you're in the Richmond area, you should go. They take credit cards, and dogs are welcome! (And most of them are better-behaved than the kids we saw last weekend.) I can't wait to go back. :-)

Thanks for reading! I have two more posts ready to go for this week, but I'm not entirely sure when they're going up. Depending on what my timetable is like today and tomorrow, the next one will post either tomorrow or on Wednesday. I guess you'll just have to come back and find out. ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

NEW(-ish): Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer Taffy Tart

YAY, TEXTURE!!!! It's been a hot minute since I've blogged one. I've actually worn (and loved) a certain textured polish twice this year, but it's such a PITA to photograph that I've given up for the moment and moved on.

And you guys, this is a pretty good texture to move on with, especially after the aberration that was Sally Hansen Mint Tint. I'm repeating myself, but Sally Hansen is my favorite drugstore brand, which made Mint Tint's epic fail really disappointing to me. Taffy Tart may not boast the full-on glitz of, say, a Sinful Crystal Crush or a Zoya PixieDust, but it's a step in the right direction.

[A note about Taffy Tart: I found it at a CVS near the beginning of February, but it was not in a special freestanding display. It was, surprisingly, nestled with the other six SH Sugar Shimmers (that is, Mint Tint and friends) in the core SH wall display. I haven't seen this at all the CVSes I frequent; I've only seen it at two CVS stores, one near my parents' and the one near B's house, both in fairly affluent sections of town. Funny how those stores always get the good stuff.]

Three coats.

Notice anything? The gold shimmer IS visible! And it completely freaked out my phone cam, but that's okay. I was so happy that it showed up and that Taffy Tart resembled actual textured polishes, as opposed to cottage cheese (can you tell I'm still pissed about Mint Tint?). Both the shimmer and the roughness of the texture die down significantly after two days, but I think that's par for the course with textures and I'm fine with that.

This is NOT a dupe for Zoya Sunshine. For one thing, this has golden shimmer and Sunshine does not. As far as the blue base color goes, this is more ... denim? (Though not quite as denim-y as OPI Alcatraz/FingerPaints Sparkle in the Sky.) I don't own Sunshine (yet), but I do remember seeing it at Ulta last year and IIRC, it was a more saturated blue than this polish is. It is really pretty, though, and it got a compliment from one of our admin ladies at work last week.

I didn't have any issues with the formula or application. I think you could make yourself happy using just two coats of Taffy Tart for evenness and opacity, but of course the color isn't as gorgeous as it would be if you used three. ;) I wore it for two days with no chips, although I did have some tip wear on my right hand from scrubbing and cleaning. Again, I don't have a problem with this because textures are my go-to when I don't have time or patience to deal with fussy polishes or top coat. I don't even double up on base coat with them unless they're going to stain (this one did not). That's how lazy I am!

As I said, I found this in the core SH display at CVS. I haven't seen Taffy Tart pop up at Target or Walgreens yet; I don't know if this polish eventually will be available en masse, or whether only a few stores are going to stock it. CVS does feature it on its Web site for $5.99; there's also another Sugar Shimmer on the site called Gummy Grape that I don't remember seeing in store. Not sure if that one's worth tracking down yet, though. Just throwing that one out there. (NOTE: Ulta also has Taffy Tart and Gummy Grape on its site for $5.99.)

I'm really happy with Taffy Tart, even if it's not an in-my-face sparkle party like some other textures are. If you like blue textures, go for it! I've got three more Sugar Shimmers to try, and I hope they're more in keeping with Taffy Tart than Mint Tint.

But what do you guys think? Will you look for this one, or give it a pass? And can anyone weigh in on the name? I've never been a taffy lover, so I don't get it. I even Googled "blue taffy," and the blue that shows up in my image search is way lighter than this.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed having a post every day this week -- I still have so much catching up to do, so cross your fingers that I can work on more swatches and posts this weekend! I'm still not sure if I'm going to visit B tomorrow -- as much as I would love to, it depends on how I'm feeling by the end of today. I'm not "swing low, sweet chariot," but I'm not at 100%, either. Aaaaaanyway, have a good weekend and come back on Monday for a polish from China Glaze City Flourish! Spoiler: I LOVE it. :D

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Essie Truth or Flare

Since today is the first day of spring, how about I delve into a few spring releases?

Right before I got sick at the beginning of the month, I started hunting for spring polishes. Spoiler: I found them, and it did not help that I had quite a few coupons to use! (Okay, the coupons helped. But not with the self-control.) I even had this coupon for "buy 3 Essie products, get a complimentary Essie" at CVS, and uh ... you can guess what happened. Strangely, the CVS near B's house had no Resort 2014s, but they had a full spread of spring polishes. I bought two of those and wore one, Truth or Flare, the other weekend, so here it is.

Three coats with SV.

File Truth or Flare under "u tried it," because as lovely as this looks in photos, it was lobsterTASTIC in person. Let me explain! Dusty slate blue-grey shades are really tricky for me to pull off because while my skin tone has predominant yellow/olive tones, my extremities tend to get quite red at times. I want to say I'm getting better at identifying problematic colors, but these blue-grey colors tend to trip me up, which is a shame. I like that it's dusty, because that makes it different from other slate blue-greys. It also was not fun to photograph ... my first attempt was too grey and overwhelmingly lobstery, and then my second attempt was too blue. The third time truly was the charm here.

If you've seen Truth or Flare on other blogs, then you might remember the surprise of some bloggers when they found out it's actually a jelly. Or a jelly-creme (we do not use THAT WORD here on Stuff I Swatched) that is heavy on the jelly. I'd read about it, but I was surprised to find how sheer it was at one thin coat. I waited a couple of minutes before applying two thicker coats and everything was fine, no patching, no bubbles. Dry time was good with SV, and I wore this for four days with no chips and no visible tip wear. It was insane how well this polish wore! I was impressed.

All right, so my first Spring 2014 polish was a dud. My second one, though? Home run, baby. And so was the third. I'll actually be showing you that one tomorrow, so come on back for that. --Oh, and if you're interested in seeing my other pick from Essie Spring 2014, leave me a comment and let me know! I might be able to swatch it this weekend.

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow, there will be texture. Get excited. :D

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): OPI Don't Burst My Bubble + OPI Lights of Emerald City

Since Anna and I wanted to blog St. Paddy's greens on Monday, we moved Skinny Dipping back to today.

I had a lot of nude polishes I wanted to blog, but I picked these OPI Oz ones from last spring because the OPI Muppets Most Wanted collection is now upon us. If that movie flops as hard as that collection, YIKES. See, for the most part (we're talking 90% of the time) when a movie launches tie-in products, it sucks. I can't even sugar coat that. Sure, I've been wrong a few times -- "Skyfall" was one of my favorite movies of 2012, and the fourth "Shrek" movie, while unnecessary, was way better than the third one -- but I like to think I have a pretty good instinct about these things.

Back in January, I had the urge to watch a bad movie. It had to so bad there was no way it could be good, and it had to be something I had never seen before, so I put on my coat and boots and picked out "Oz: The Great and Powerful" at a Redbox kiosk. That movie ticked too many of my boxes. Scathing reviews, SO much CGI, an annoying character played by Zach Braff, James Franco's vacant expressions ... this was going to be shit. And it was, which made me sad. I am here for a movie with Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams, especially as WITCHES, but I'm just disappointed it had to be *this* one.

Weirdly enough, OPI decided to make their annual Soft Shades collection an "Oz" tie-in last year; on the heels of the OPI NYC Ballets, they were nice enough to include three lovely milky, buildable sheers in the "Oz" collection. Don't Burst My Bubble is the one I wanted the most, so I was super excited when this arrived last fall in a package from Janice. (Thank you!!!)

Four coats with SV. Ordinarily I would have stopped at three, but my nails were so long (for me) and there was enough VNL that it bothered me.

The only reason I wanted this one is because I thought this would be more flattering on me than Glints of Glinda. I really liked the formula and application on this one -- basically, if you have any of the OPI NYC Ballets, then you know the drill: sheer, but easily buildable, etc., etc. I mean, if OPI wants to continue weird tie-in collections with perfect milky sheers, then maybe I should check out the pink one in OPI Muppets Most Wanted. Opinions?

Oh, and then I figured out my swatch sesh would be as good a time as any to try OPI Lights of Emerald City. This doesn't look like it would be my thing, but (1) SQUARE GLITTER!, and (2) my Twitter pal Amanda had it on one of her blog sales last year, so I was happy to take it off her hands.

Two coats of Lights of Emerald City, dabbed on as needed and topped with NYC Grand Central Station.

The formula on this was a giant PITA, but I am in luuuuuuuurve with the results. I didn't think I would like the white matte glitter pieces, but strangely, I do! I think it's probably because it's square glitter (my favorite); had it been hex-shaped, I would be pretty ambivalent. Again, you really have to fish for those white pieces in the bottle and then dab them on. And you have to be verrrrrrry patient if your base polish is a PITA because there will be bubbles galore. I waited until the SV had dried over Don't Burst My Bubble before applying Lights of Emerald City, and worked very carefully -- no bubbles, just gorgeousness.

Since this was just a swatch for the blog (feel special? You should!), I haven't actually tried it "in the wild." I would love to, though. I might actually do it in a few weeks. I bet this manicure would get me a crapton of compliments -- not that that's a reason to do something, but hey.

If you're interested in picking up either or both of these OPI Oz goodies, check beauty supply stores and online. They're really easy to find, so go for it! You can't go wrong with these OPI buildable sheers ... they're perfect for any season, any time, any where -- especially now that we're on the cusp of spring and summer.

That's it for this installment of Skinny Dipping! What do you think of this layering combination? Square glitter? What are your opinions on tie-in products, and what's been your favorite thing to come out of either? I'm currently on the hunt for the Revlon Electric Chromes for Spidey 2 ... holy God, I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED THEMMMMMMMMM.

Thanks for reading! I'll have another nude polish for you next month, but you can check out Anna's pick on Mitten State Prepster today. I'll also have another post tomorrow, so come back for that, k?