Friday, May 30, 2014

OPI Damone Roberts 1968

Guess who's back?

As Tupac once said, drop the drums, here it comes, only got two minutes to bounce, and every second counts. 

I thought about saving this post for Monday until it occurred to me that today might be payday not only for me, but also for some of you guys. So before your hard-earned dollars go to bills, maybe you can squirrel away $20 for the second re-release of one of the most elusive, sought-after cult OPIs, OPI Damone Roberts 1968.

If you read this blog and other nail blogs, then you know aaaaaaaaall about OPI DR1968 and the collector's frenzy surrounding this polish. According to Vampy Varnish, it will be on pre-order on Monday, June 2; there's even a page for it on the Damone Roberts web store, which is the only place that will sell it. There's a reason it sold out twice, once when it was released originally in 2009, and again in 2010, which is when I bought my bottle.

Three coats with SV.

People say this polish is universally flattering, and they are not lying. This shade of green was made to match the walls of the DR salon in New York. It's officially touted as "pistachio" more than mint, and I get that -- this green contains more yellow and brown. It's closer to jade than mint, I think, but I like that it mostly does its own thing.

The formula on this creme could not be more perfect. It's opaque in two coats. My bottle was starting to separate a little, but it was nothing rolling it around for a minute couldn't fix. This is basically a creme lover's dream! I can't say anything about wear time because even after all these years, I can't QUITE bring myself to wear it. I know. Somewhere Janice is like, "OMG WHAT?!" but it's true. It happens with some polishes, as I'm sure some of you know.

I have thick, weird eyebrows -- one grows and arches WAY more differently than the other -- so ever since I was a little girl, I've always wondered what it must be like to have a renowned EYEBROW PROFESSIONAL hook you up. At 27, I am lucky to have found an excellent local salon where I'm comfortable and happy with most of the aestheticians. And while getting my brows done once by someone as famous as Damone Roberts is still on my bucket list, I find that OPI DR1968 is a far more affordable way to remember this. :) Again, as of Monday, June 2, you can preorder this polish for $20 on the Damone Roberts site. Be lucky that you can order on the site -- when I ordered mine in 2010, I had to call the salon. And if your last name is as weird (or weirder) than mine, it was very trying.

Speaking of brows, I have to run -- I have an appointment this afternoon and I needed to be out of the house half an hour ago. I wasn't able to get any posts ready for next week, so don't be surprised if it's quiet around here on Stuff.  I'll do my best, but real life has been challenging lately.

As always, thanks for reading! I'll talk to you all again in June. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend nails: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Perfectly Poppy

Happy Hump Day! It's Tuesday night as I'm writing this. I was supposed to be asleep two hours ago, but I don't know if I'm going to have time to blog this week, so here we go. 

This was my Memorial Day NOTWeekend. As you know, remembrance poppies are a huge deal in most parts of the Western world around this time of year. The poppy became the symbol of remembrance after the popularity of the poem "In Flanders Fields" written during World War I by John McCrae, a Canadian officer who also was a poet, author, and -- swoon -- physician. But it wasn't until 1921 that the remembrance poppy was adopted as a symbol here in the U.S., thanks to an American professor named Moina Michael who came up with the idea of selling silk poppies to help raise funds for disabled veterans. She was known as the "Poppy Lady," and even published her own poem called "We Shall Keep the Faith," which was inspired by "In Flanders Fields." Michael's poem didn't come to my attention this time last year until I noticed a verse printed on the back of my Netflix mailer, accompanied by an illustration of a giant poppy.

I love Netflix, and I love Netflix envelopes ... especially when I get to learn something.
See, there ARE benefits to being on a DVD plan! (besides a larger selection of stuff)

The idea of doing my own nail art continues to terrify me, so there'll be none of that for a while. However, I knew I had more than a few poppy reds in my stash, so I picked one to wear for the holiday weekend, and oh, Sally Hansen. Shut up and take my money.

Three coats with SV.

It's just too beautiful, isn't it? I can't believe I didn't buy this one IMMEDIATELY. I had three other shades from this collection, but I only got Perfectly Poppy in January, months after it came out, because Janice raved about this one last fall to the point where I had to hunt it down. (Here's her swatch.)

Perfectly Poppy is a tomato red jelly that reads pretty warm for a blue-toned red. At first I was daunted by how it seemed to appear like a brownish-red in the bottle, and it is SUPER warm on the first coat, but that goes away after two coats. I loved this, especially because I haven't worn a red creme since February-ish. 

Part of the reason Janice and other bloggers/IGers/YTers raved about this polish is because it is in fact a one-coat wonder. Seriously. If your brush isn't terrible, you could do one coat and be done with it. But I went with three, of course. The formula was awesome, dry time was fast, and wear time was great: 3 days with no chips or major tip wear. I was really happy.

If you've decided you need Perfectly Poppy now, you better get on it! This was released as early as last August for last fall's Rent the Runway designer collaboration with Sally Hansen. Perfectly Poppy was one of the Tracy Reese shades from that collection, which was limited edition so I'm not sure about how ETF it would be to find now. I did find Malbec, New Wave Blue, and a couple of other Rent the Runway shades at a janky CVS near my work last week, though, so don't lose hope!

Sadly, this is all I have time for today. I would have liked to continue heaping praise upon Perfectly Poppy, but not half as much as I would have liked to write about poppies and Memorial Day. I've always felt a little disconnected from the holiday because my family is not a military one (I recently -- last week! -- discovered that my dad was THIS CLOSE to joining when my sister was a baby), so it doesn't have quite the impact on us that it's had on the families of my military brat friends. --At least, not in this country, it didn't: My maternal grandfather, who died long before I was born, served in the U.S. military when the motherland was an American commonwealth. He survived the Bataan Death March, but that's another story for another day.

Thanks for reading! Not sure if I'll have posts for the rest of the week ... it all depends on what time I get home from work tomorrow and Thursday. I might have had a four-day weekend, but due to some family craziness, I only was able to swatch one other polish. I was lucky to get this one done at all. This wouldn't bother me so much if I weren't trying to get back into the game, so I'm hoping I can get my groove back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, please hang in there with me, guys. Oh, and please drink all the summer shandys -- I desperately need one, and Saturday is just too far away!

Friday, May 23, 2014

butter LONDON Poole

TGIF! Sorry this post is so late, you guys. But it's a very exciting day -- for one thing, it's the beginning of my four-day weekend! I celebrated by sleeping in, which you probably guessed. Second, tonight is the "Hannibal" season finale. I am so ready for this. I haven't even decided what kind of delicious take out I want to order tonight. (Hannibal would murder me for getting fast food during his show, because how dare I do such a thing. He WOULD.)

Oh, and it's the last day of my butter LONDON week.

A few weeks ago, bL announced a new nail polish trio, the Brilliant Bronze Lacquer set. As it happens, I already own all three colors. Two of the polishes, Marbs and Poole, were part of last year's Summer Holiday collection, so I thought I'd blog Poole today. I'm pretty into it. :)

Three coats with SV.

When I saw the Summer Holiday swatches last summer, Poole didn't seem unique to me. However, when I tried to compare it to the other blue cremes in my stash, I didn't have anything quite like it. I thought it would be close to butter LONDON Artful Dodger, but Poole has more of a dusty, greenish quality that makes it different from other aqua blues. I love it.

Formula and application wise, there was a lot to love, too. It went on easily and dried quickly. I can't wait to turn it into a full NOTD.

As for the name, Poole is a resort town in the south coast of England. HEAVY on the tourism, from what I read. And this color is definitely resort ready. I like the idea of resort vacations more than the anxiety I get over them, so it's no surprise that I was more interested as to whether any notable people were born in that town. Wikipedia tells me spy fiction writer John le Carre was born there, as was film director Edgar Wright, which ... OOOOOOOOOH, GIRL, what is going ON between him and Marvel if he stepped down from the "Ant-Man" movie??! That movie was his baby. I need someone to SPILL. THAT. TEA., you guys.

In case you're wondering, I recommend this bL Brilliant Bronze trio -- only I would either purchase the colors piecemeal during a sale, or I'd wait for the set to be marked down. I still think $39 for three polishes is a bit steep. Better yet, get the Summer Holiday colors! I love the color palette, and I did buy them all piecemeal, so if all of the polishes look good on me, then it might be my favorite bL collection of ALL TIME.

Any thoughts on Poole, resort vacations (I prefer road trips), Edgar Wright dropping out as the "Ant-Man" director, or the "Hannibal" finale? I hope you enjoyed the bL polishes I posted this week -- I know they were pretty tame and they were all pastel cremes, but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants! (Except for Crumpet. I'm not convinced people said they wanted that one.)  Maybe if I do another week of bL, I'll try to make it a little more exciting. Maybe.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

butter LONDON Teddy Girl: More punk rock than you think.

Can't believe it's Thursday already, whaaaaat. This week flew by, which was great for Real Life, but not so great for blogging because I keep getting home late from work. It happened last night, and I am so sleepy, I am dangerously close to faceplanting into the keyboard as I type.

I own far more pastel pink polishes than pastel pink clothes. In fact, the only piece of pastel pink clothing I have in my wardrobe is this Robocup t-shirt from Threadless. (NGL, I totally wore it to the drive-in when I saw the new "Robocop" movie in March. Ain't no shame in my game, friends.) Anyway, two years ago, I went through this phase where I decided I needed to find my perfect pastel pink polish. When Ulta had a BOGO free promo in another 21 Days of Beauty steal that happened to fall ON MY BIRTHDAY, I took it as a sign and got Teddy Girl.

While Teddy Girl is nice, I refuse to believe it's $14 nice -- bL was $14 until last year, remember? It was like how Illamasqua was $14 until fairly recently. What gives?

Three coats with SV for these swatches. I used my butter LONDON Hardwear P.D. Quick top coat for a quick wear test.

For $7, it's ... okay. It's a little high maintenance for me. --Granted, I'm saying this about a polish I painstakingly applied in bed, jittery from being hopped up on one liter of Mountain Dew when I decided to make it a full NOTD. Of course, when I swatched it sitting at the kitchen island for these photos, it was easier to apply. I did have to finagle the amount of polish I wanted on the brush at first. The formula was a little weird, not thick, but sort of watery. There was some streakage after waiting a few minutes in between coats, but it's manageable with a thick third coat and practically nonexistent if you use SV as your top coat. As you can see from my photos, the SV helped it self-level pretty quickly. I used the bL Hardwear top coat because I've been getting great wear with it, but most of my nails look janky right now because I have sheet marks on a few nails, plus I spilled some acetone on one nail. Sigh. My wear time on bL polishes with bL Hardwear is great, but that top coat takes for-freaking-ever to dry. It is definitely not a top coat you use before bed. The good news is that the other nails that are sheet mark-free still look pristine.

Now that I'm done bitching, I have to say that I LOVED this color on me, which is weird. I enjoy more saturated pinks, or pastels with a twist, and this is without a DOUBT the most frou-frou color I have ever put on my nails. Is this bubblegum pink? Is this baby pink? I don't know, but it looks good on me. I've had this on for two days now, and I've been wearing mostly navy, which really helps this pink pop. I'm digging it, but not enough to buy more pastel pink clothing! (Note: I didn't take any pictures, but in the bottle, Teddy Girl is warmer and paler than Essie Raise Awareness, Essie French Affair, and OPI Mod About You.)

Teddy Girl was released for bL's Spring 2011 collection. I want to say it was created exclusively for Victoria Beckham's S/S '11 runway show, but don't quote me on that. If you don't want to pony up $15 for this one, though, you can do a couple of things: (1) scour blog sales, or (2) wait for a bL promo from bL, Ulta, Nordstrom, or Macy's. The only reason I have as many bL polishes as I do is because I scored some great promos over the years.

Like I said, this color is the foofiest polish I've ever tried. It's good every once in a while, but for the most part, I'll stick to my edgier pale pinks! What do you think? Do you wear a lot of pastel pink, in polish or clothes, or is not really your style? It's more of an accent color to me, tbh.

Oh, and a note about its name: I never bothered to look up the phrase "teddy girl" or "teddy boy" until a couple of months ago. B and I were getting ready to go out, and he had the TV on while he was waiting for me to shower and get dressed. When I came out, I noticed he was watching some BBC thing on the Beatles' early years. I heard one interview subject describe a teenage John Lennon as a "teddy boy." A quick Google search led me to this Buzzfeed piece on teddy boys and teddy girls. (Mea culpa, y'all. I have a love/hate relationship with Buzzfeed's excuses for .gif posts and quizzes, but I enjoy pieces like this and their "longform" TV/pop culture articles.) It is INSANE to think that this all started with young people dressing to imitate Edwardian fashion, which evolved into the more well-known rockabilly, then glam rock, new wave, and punk looks and/or subcultures. For teddy girls, sometimes called "Judies," the appeal of the Edwardian look was their way of going against the ultra-feminine fashions of the '50s. These ladies might have looked like they belonged on country estates, but apparently a few of them were more than capable of fucking shit UP. (Aaaaaaaand suddenly, this song makes SO MUCH SENSE.) I do find it funny that this foofy pink sort of epitomizes the feminine ideal they were trying to counter. But basically, this color is fashion., and perfectly suited for use by Posh Spice.

There, now I've educated us. I can sleep now. ;) Thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow so we can wrap up this week of bL polish. Tomorrow's polish might be my second favorite among this week's posts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

White Hot Wednesday: butter LONDON Cotton Buds

No, the title of this post is not a reference to Dr. Mindy Lahiri's love interests and/or boyfriends. I mean, sure, I could go there if you really wanted me to. ;) But no, WHW is a miniseries examining (and possibly ranking?) the white cremes in my stash. I've thought about doing this for a while, but now that summer is coming, it seemed like the prime time to do it. White nails always look good in the summer, but in case you also wanted a good white as a base for neons, I hope I can offer a few suggestions in an affordable price range. (I admit I don't understand this because I don't have time for neons that need to be layered, but hey.)

The idea to go through my white polishes was sparked a few months ago when Stephanie told me she was in the market for a good white polish, opaque in two coats and easy to work with. I said I had a few whites in my stash, and that this would be a good excuse to go through them. Why not, right?

So off we go, starting with butter LONDON Cotton Buds. I knew I was going to blog bL for at least one week this month, which is why I reached for this white first. SO GOOD, y'all. SO. GOOD.

Oh, and "cotton buds"? Q-tips, y'all. I don't think this slang is unique to Brits, but whatever.

Three coats with SV for these photos. I used the bL Hardwear P.D. Quick top coat when I actually wore this last month. A review of that top coat will come sometime this summer, promise!

At the end of yesterday's post, I said Cotton Buds was Top 20 material for me. So far, it's the best BLINDING, pure white creme I've ever used! Here's the breakdown.

  • Formula & application: Cotton Buds was on the thick side, but it was really easy to work with. After you figure out how much polish to load on your brush, it's easy going from there. Wait at least two minutes in between coats to avoid pooling and flooding. NOTE: Amy's review on Gotham Polish mirrored mine in that the second coat covered up any patches and imperfections of the first coat. Read her post!
  • Opacity: 2 coats, if you're careful. 2 coats never feels right to me, hence the third coat. I know no one wants a three-coat white, but I'd rather have three coats of a good white than three coats of an annoying streakfest, know what I'm saying?
  • Wear: I wore this for four days using the bL Hardwear top coat. Barely visible tip wear on a couple of nails on my right (dominant) hand, plus one chip on the finger that always chips (right index). Some lifting on the corner of another finger when I scratched myself in the shower at the beginning of Day 3, but the polish stayed on and looked GOOD.
  • Price: $15 USD on the official bL site and through any bL retailer. I got this bottle in March when Ulta had a 2 for $15 deal going for their 21 Days of Beauty.
  • Year of release: 2013, late summer/early fall for the Colour Clash collection. (It might have been such a basic collection, but I loved the overall look of all the colors. I have the whole collection except for Cake Hole, which is too warm for me.)
  • Number of compliments received: What? Don't tell me this isn't a thing. ;) Anyway, I lost count after three. I went to get an eyebrow wax while I was wearing this, and the receptionist at my salon lost her mind over it (my salon sells butter LONDON. Haha). And the lady at the Dillard's Dior counter was reeeeeeeeeally into it. So yeah, I would say this was a hit.

I know that was a lot of words for a white creme, but "concise" is not something I do well on this blog. In college, yep. At work, yep. Here ... heaven help me. That being said, I hope this post gave you enough background info on Cotton Buds to show you why I love it so much! And in case you're still not convinced, know this: I paid $7.50 for it, but with these results, I would have been happy to throw down the full $15.

That concludes my first White Hot Wednesday! As far as a schedule for WHW goes, I don't really have one. My only plan is to post these on random Wednesdays, which should keep us all on our toes. :) What do you think of bL Cotton Buds, this feature, or Mindy's ~diverse dating choices? Honestly, I can't rag on her too much, because my track record isn't exactly ... extensive. (I'm sure you were dying to know that, LMAO.)

Thanks for reading! Another bL polish will go up tomorrow, a polish I was surprised to like as much as I did. What is happening to me?!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

butter LONDON Fiver + Cult Nails Walk of Shame

Guys, I am about to be so poor today. When this post goes up, I'll be getting ready to stop by the city treasurer's office to pay my personal property tax. :/

One thing nobody really tells you when you buy a new car is that the newer your car is, the higher your personal property tax will be. I mean, it makes sense. But this really never had occurred to me in happier times because my old car would have turned nine this year, and of course its value diminished with time. (Never in my heart, though.)

While I'm fixated on money, here's butter LONDON Fiver. Fiver is Brit slang for a five-pound note, which converts to somewhere around $8 USD and change, which in turn is a little more than what I paid for this polish a couple of months ago during Ulta's last 21 Days of Beauty 2 for $15 bL promo. I'm not sure why I added it to my cart, but here we are.

Three coats with SV.

Super pretty, and perfect for spring! As you can see, Fiver is a pale, icy mint green creme with blue undertones. I thought those blue tones made it a bit too stark for me -- it wasn't unflattering, but after coming down from Zoya Neely, I wasn't madly in love with it. If you're wondering how Fiver compares to Essie Mint Candy Apple, it's more green than Essie MCA. I'll have to try that one again and see which polish I'd rather keep.

I don't remember anything weird about the formula. I just know I used three coats to make it even. Although these photos were taken using SV as a top coat, I used my butter LONDON Hardwear P.D. Quick top coat for two days of chip- and tip-free wear.

Fiver was part of bL's Sweetie Shop collection for Spring 2013, and you can pick it up for $15 at any major retailer that sells the brand. I'm glad I didn't spend $15 on this, though -- thank goodness for promos! I scored my two other Sweetie Shop polishes, Cuppa and Fruit Machine, through similar promos; I have my eye on Jasper right now because I am really into yellow this spring.

After wearing Fiver for two days, I thought it would need a little something to keep from looking so stark. I remembered I was going to crash a dinner with my parents and their accountant -- he always notices when I do something obnoxious to my nails. --Keep in mind, what's normal to you and me is kind of obnoxious to a 70-something man with no kids. ;) I don't know. See for yourself!

For the record, my parents' accountant asked me what on earth I was wearing after maybe 20 minutes, while we were waiting for our salads. Ha.

This was two coats of Cult Nails Walk of Shame + NYC Grand Central Station. I liked how easily this Cult Nails glitter spread on the nail. It was a little more dense than I was expecting it to be, and it dried smoothly on the nail, which I also liked. The only thing I didn't like were the little holo microglitters scattered amongst the gold glitters. It was a little too busy for my vanilla tastes. I think I ordered this accidentally a couple of weeks ago when there was a code for 40% off on limited edition Cult Nails polishes ... I think I meant to put Feedback in my cart, but I was ordering on my phone in the car (I wasn't driving, don't flip!), and ... yeah. Anyway, Walk of Shame goes for $12 on the Cult Nails site, where they're offering 20% off on orders through the end of May, if you want to hop on that.

Welp, this is all for today. What do you think of Fiver? Is it one of your favorite mint greens? Does anyone think I need bL Jasper? And most importantly, what is your favorite plain gold glitter for layering? I need one, and I am taking suggestions!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back tomorrow with a bL polish I am so in love with, I can't even. It's Top 20 material, that's how much I love it!, so make sure to check it out tomorrow. :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): butter LONDON Crumpet

It's Skinny Dipping time again! The fact that the last post that went up was a Shopping My Stash post tells you just. how. bananas. real life has been lately. But I had to come back for my other monthly series! I just wish I'd liked the polish you'll see today a lot more than I did.

So, butter LONDON Crumpet: like, but not love. I think it would look amazing on darker-skinned ladies, because on me, Crumpet resembled a foundation color, not a nail polish.

Three coats with SV.

That last photo kind of cracks me up. That foundation is Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in Shade 18, moderately fair. My aunt bought it for me last year as a birthday gift-slash-replacement foundation for my friend Krysi's wedding last September, when the original foundation we thought I could use ended up being sorta Oompa Loompa on me. This one is a much better match, thank goodness.

Going back to what I was saying earlier, I enjoy Crumpet, but I don't love it. I think it looked okay on me. It definitely wasn't as repulsive as the last nude polish I hated. I just don't see myself reaching for it again is all.

The formula and application on this polish were pretty good. Dry was decent. I have to note that although my I used SV as my top coat for these swatch photos, I actually used the butter LONDON Hardwear P.D. Quick top coat when I wore this. While that bL top coat is slower to dry than usual standbys SV/NYC GCS/Cult Nails Wicked Fast, I get crazy good wear when I use it with my bL polishes. I got three perfect days of wear with Crumpet: no chips, no tip wear.

Crumpet was part of the Starkers nail polish trio from last spring. The other two Starkers polishes were Tea & Toast and Shandy -- I think I have Shandy? Not sure; Crumpet currently is not available on the official bL site, but you still can pick it up at a few other retailers for $15. Orrrrrrr, if you live in the contiguous U.S. and you don't mind used bottles, you should email me and I can send my bottle to you. I'm open to swapping, but at the end of the day, I just wanna send this to someone who would like it. So email me! :)

I guess the real question is this: If I didn't like Crumpet on me (which, ngl, I suspected as much), why did I even buy it? The smiling qt on the right, that's why.

Jamie Bamber, man. So. Cute. Anyway, before standing behind THE TOWEL or getting in a fat suit on "Battlestar Galactica," he was the badass adorable, albeit slightly dramatic woobie Archie Kennedy on "Hornblower." In the Hornblower fandom, Archie Kennedy was known as a crumpet, and his fans were known as Crumpeteers. (Apparently, this explains how it all started.) I have never eaten a crumpet in my life, but when I do ... I will think of his adorable face. Also, can we talk about how damn good Jamie Bamber's American accent is? If you watched him in "BSG," you know what I'm talking about. OTHER BRITISH ACTORS, TAKE NOTE. *cough* Charlie Hunnam *cough*

That's all for me today. I'm gonna use this week as the butter LONDON week you guys voted for last month, so I will have another bL up tomorrow. Any thoughts on Crumpet, or Hornblower? (I see Ioan Gruffudd has a new show out this fall ... the promo clip I saw looks terrible, but I've watched a lot of terrible things for him. Like, I'm pretty sure I dragged my dad and sister out to watch the SECOND "Fantastic Four" movie at midnight. I'm still sorry.) Again, U.S. readers, don't forget to email me if you want this bottle! And don't forget to visit Anna's blog today to see her nude polish of the month.

Thanks for reading ! Oh, and in case you don't know what that towel reference was about ... Google "Lee Adama towel." You are super welcome. ;)