Thursday, November 27, 2014

OPI Ski Slope Sweetie + Friendsgiving 2014

Hey y'all, Happy Thanksgiving! I still have no idea what I'm wearing for the weekend ... I got as far as, "I HAVE TO WEAR A HOLIDAY SHADE," and that's it. I'm wearing a holiday texture. Textures are the bessssssst.

Anyway, here's what I ended up sporting to Friendsgiving last weekend. I'd sent Anna a text with a handful of options; although I loved her pick, a red creme, it was too high-maintenance for the spare 20 minutes I had for a polish change. (I find that reds are not the best polishes to use when I'm in a rush.) So I went with the shimmery option in the hopes that it would disguise any imperfections.

Four coats with SV.

When I told Madeline I'd bought OPI Ski Slope Sweetie, she said something like, "Of course you did. You love White Cap." I had to laugh. I do love ChG White Cap, and you know I'm a sucker for white and gold together (where did that come from??!?), I love most OPI holiday collections, and I love Mariah Carey, so this polish had my name all over it when it was released last year. Ski Slope Sweetie is NOT a dupe for White Cap -- SSS has more of a milky base, and the shimmer is not quite as glass flecked as White Cap. It really depends on how you feel about layering versatility -- if that's what you're after, stick with White Cap. If you want a white and gold shimmer to wear on its own, get SSS. If you love Mariah and OPI holiday collections, get SSS. Obviously, you know where I stand. ;)

Formula-wise, this one is pretty good for the kind of polish it is. It has a milky base and is somewhat sheer at one coat. You need at least three coats to reach opacity. I don't know why I used four, though. I guess the better question is why I keep going for that fourth coat when I don't *really* need to. Anyway, I waited two minutes in between coats and dry time was good with SV. I wore this for five days with no tip wear. The only chips I got were from me trying to investigate why the garage door opener wasn't working, and that was on Day Four, soooooooooooooo I'd call that a win.

Ski Slope Sweetie was part of the limited edition OPI Mariah holiday 2013 collection. I have to say I'm loving the name -- I knew it HAD to be a reference to Mariah's many holiday vacations in Aspen! (Now that she and Nick Cannon are done-zo, will she continue to go to Aspen this year with Dem Babies???) I'm pretty sure I got mine at Ulta, but last month I saw a few polishes from this collection at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for way awesome prices, so check there. It's also very ETF online through e-tailers and blog sales, which is nice.

Now for Friendsgiving pics! Once again, my friend Krysi held the dinner at her house this year. There were seven of us this year, including myself, so although we were down one person, we felt we had more of an excuse to tear up some dinner than we did last year (we had six people when her husband came home from work).

Also, EVERYTHING WAS HOMEMADE. FROM SCRATCH. I can't even. Some of my friends are such overachievers. Why are they friends with me??? I'm so lazy.

Broccoli-rice casserole thingy + rolls

"Krysi, where did you get this recipe?"
"Diabetic Living."
*raucous laughter*

Daisy, hoping to score some turkey or bread. She begged shamelessly throughout the evening while her new pug brother snored under the table (which is why I have no photos of him ... I should have recorded him snorting in his sleep, though).

My contribution? This Martha Stewart orange and fennel salad. I cut the bulb all wrong because, ironically, I was not paying attention and talking about "Master Chef Junior." But in addition to being tastier than expected, it was FAST and easy to make -- I would say it took less time to make than it took for me to locate the fennel at Kroger (apparently it's known as anise 'round these parts).

My friend Kristin still is participating as a subject in that NIH study that provides her meals. She ate her provided salad + entree at Friendsgiving, but I think she'll be back with a vengeance when Christmas rolls around.

Table almost ready


My plate, pre-turkey and -salad.

Clearly, the abundance of side dishes we had this year was so ridiculous that we were stuffed BEFORE we got around to the turkey. Oops. --In fact, Kristin's fiance had to stand up, take a deep breath, and lean against the wall for a minute or so after he cleared his plate.

So yeahhhhhhhh, I'll say we did the damn thing. This year's dinner wasn't as pretty or as roomy as last year's, but it was still loads of fun, and OH MY GOD, I was so dumb and ate one slice each of the two cheesecakes Krysi made. One was a Reese's cup thing, and the other was pumpkin ... I thought I was going to have to be strapped onto a dolly and rolled to B's car because I was THAT FREAKING STUFFED.

I was a little worried before I got to her house because (1) I hadn't made the salad yet, and (2) both B and I weren't in the greatest of moods before dinner. Both of us have been pretty grumpy lately for our own reasons; we've been doing the long-distance thing almost as long as we've been 'together,' and my instinct when I actually get to see him is to go full Pollyanna and try to enjoy our time together. Last weekend, however, I was running on empty and I had ZERO fucks to give about a lot of stuff. I'll cop to being fairly churlish. I think we just needed to have a good time, though, because once we walked through the door, I felt a lot better. Everything was smooth sailing after dinner, a real holiday miracle. :) And I got lots of kitty snuggles from Sterling Meowlory Archer that weekend, which I always love, especially as the weather gets colder.

As for Thanksgiving actual, tonight I'm headed across town to my aunt's house. My cousin came home, and she always whips up the usual favorites when he does. Somehow I don't think I'll gorge myself quite as much as I did last Saturday, but that probably means I'll get to drink more of the beer B got me (Bell's White Winter Ale -- I LOVE IT). AFAIK, my cousin and I are going to watch "22 Jump Street" and he claims he's going to put a GoPro on his mom's dog, but we'll see. This will be a quieter night, but I'll take it happily since Thanksgiving 2013 was an unmitigated disaster.

Before I get in the car, let me just say THANK YOU for reading! I know I haven't posted much this year, so I really appreciate that you guys didn't completely abandon me, haha. A huge hug goes out to the real life, blogger, and nb friends who are still pals despite my multiple-text complaints about my current situation -- thank you for still being my friends! ;) I'm actually considering a blogging hiatus, OR, at the very least, bimonthly posts after the holiday season, as things are extremely up in the air at the moment, my time is not exactly my own, and I am really feelin' it. We'll have to see how everything all shakes out.

Once more, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I hope you have a great one with the ones you love (or an uneventful one with the ones you must). Stay safe through the weather and the shopping crowds, be good, and I'll talk to you in December. <3 In the meantime, feel free to comment on this OPI, whether you prefer SSS or White Cap, your thoughts on OPI Gwen holiday, Friendsgiving, favorite Thanksgiving recipes/traditions/etc. -- spill! It's been a minute. I miss interacting with you!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Essie Mochacino

Happy Friday, and welcome to my final Skinny Dipping post of the year!

Okay, so here's the deal. I originally planned to have this post up on Wednesday morning, buuuuuuuuut Comcast seemed to have other ideas on Tuesday night and I didn't have time to wait around for it to get it together. Does anyone else hate Comcast as much as I do? I really wish FIOS was an option where I am. :-( Anyway, that was pretty disappointing for me, but not *too* much so, because I'm not crazy about this polish. Spoiler: It's lovely. It's just not me.

P.S. You totally can tell it's fall time in these photos. Although this is a camera phone, I prefer to take photos in natural light; I feel like I've upped my photo game this year, and I've come to realize that overcast days are MY FAVORITE days for swatches because you're not competing with sunlight. Sunny fall afternoons = not the greatest days for swatches, even if they're perfect for just about everything else.

There, now you know one of my greatest ~camera phone photography secrets~.

This is three coats (... maybe?) with SV (definitely).

See? Definitely fall time light, and this color ... eh ... I'm not in love with it on me. Depending on your skin tone, Mochacino could pull taupe or a very warm greige. On me, it leans on the red side of taupe, juuuuuuuuust red enough that I don't care for it. The silver shimmer is gorgeous and very prominent, which I appreciated.

I don't remember too much about the formula, which I guess means it was unremarkable. I DO remember that this goes on sheer-ish, so I used three coats for opacity. And then I zoned out, hence the probable fourth coat. (I really need to start keeping track of this stuff ...) Dry time was fast with SV. Since this was a quick swatch, I can't speak to wear time, but Essies tend to wear pretty well on me.

Mochacino was released in 2011 as an Essie retail exclusive. I have no idea whether it's remained in the core display, but it's not htf online through either a blog sale or an e-tailer. I'm not totally sure how I came about this bottle ... Target would have to be my best guess. You know how it goes, you go to Target for a couple of things and then you end up buying your feelings in $40 worth of stuff. We've all been there.

Although it does kind of blow to end one of my favorite blog features on a "meh" note, I'm actually fairly relieved I can purge this polish from my stash. Holy cats, my purging process has been slower this year than I would have liked. I've been really busy (I am the third busiest unemployed person I know) and although I really miss blogging regularly, it's been quite trying to find the time to do it because there is always something going on.

Like this weekend, although I've got a couple of fun things lined up! Tomorrow I'm going to watch a Met Opera broadcast, but almost immediately after that is our second Friendsgiving celebration at my friend Krysi's house. Our SECOND! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this. The bar was raised pretty freakin' high last year, as you might recall from this photo my friend Phil took just before we ate:

Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. My ever-expanding waistline is kind of dreading tomorrow, but the rest of me is so ready, my friends. SO. READY.

Anyway, this is me. I've got a crapton of things to scratch off my to-do list today, so I'll catch you next week before the holiday. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shopping My Stash: Thank YOU! (for being a friend)

Another Friday, another Shopping My Stash post ... and another Orly. What?

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Steff and I wanted to express our gratitude to you, our readers, by posting polishes that some of you have given us. We've both been incredibly lucky to receive some sweet packages from readers and friends in the nail polish world, but sadly, even some of those polishes sometimes go untried and unblogged.

Orly Fresh is by no means the oldest gifted untried in my stash. However, it does have the distinction of having been gifted to me on not one, but TWO separate occasions, first by my MUA pal Erin, then again by Chelsea (the corgi-loving proprietress of Nailed). Also, it was the only gifted polish I actually have pictures of right now.

So, tell me ... does this polish have my name all over it, or what?

Three coats with SV.

What can I say? My friends know what I like. Thank you, Erin and Chelsea! <3

I don't have anything in my stash like Fresh, a grassy green creme that is brighter than most greens in its wheelhouse, but it's not quite neon. I used to think it was a dupe for NOPI One Time Lime ... it's not. The NOPI is less bright, and is a true creme finish. I think this has a slightly semi-matte, squishy (but not quite true jelly) finish to it.

I actually took these pictures back in June, so unfortunately I don't remember anything about the formula. I only remember that the dry time was fast. Sorry!

Fresh was released near the end of Summer 2011 as part of Orly's four-piece Happy Go Lucky Back to School collection. I blogged my botched bottle of Frolic last year (I say "botched" because it was not that color when I originally bought it), but I've bought a new bottle since then. Frisky, while unblogged, is a huge favorite of mine, which leaves Flirty as the remaining untried. That was one of my favorite collections of 2011; Orly makes some pretty great bright shades, and the Happy Go Lucky polishes are no exception.

What do you think of Fresh? Would you agree that this is a Rachel color? Opinions on Orly Happy Go Lucky? What's the oldest untried polish someone gave you? I'd love to know!! I've got two Revlon Street Wears and Janice gave me a few super oldies (including an Essie SSN dupe? almost-dupe????). Have you ever been gifted the same thing twice by different people? --It doesn't have to be a polish, I'm just being nosy. ;)

This does it for me today. We'll be back next month, but until then, don't forget to go to Short 'n Chic and check out Steff's Shopping My Stash pick! I'm really excited to see her post. She texted me with what it was the other night and I can safely say I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE. Once again, snaps to Erin and Chelsea for sending me this polish! You ladies are the best.

I meant to post on Veterans Day with an appropriate color, but time continues to slip away from me. For someone who is unemployed, I have A LOT on my plate (for me, at least). Luckily, I've been able to get away for a small break this week -- I got to see one of my musical sheroes, Jenny Lewis (of "Troop Beverly Hills" and Rilo Kiley fame), in concert on Wednesday night. She was magical. (Don't worry, I'll post about it this month.) Last night, I was able to get dinner with a friend I haven't seen in forever at a place I haven't eaten at in forever, so that was all kinds of wonderful. And tomorrow is B's birthday. He has to work, so it's not going to be as epic as last year's Fancy Steak Dinner, but there will be cake, beer, and "Big Hero 6," all of which are cause for excitement.

Thank you for reading! Hope you have a good weekend, and I'll get back with you next week. I really hope I get the chance to post more before the deluge of holiday polishes ... !

Thursday, November 6, 2014

OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby?

My social life has been pretty stale for the past couple of months, so I was delighted when my pal Chelsea stopped by two weekends ago on her drive from Nashville to Philly. I had had naked nails for the better part of that week, so yes: I stayed up wayyyyyyyy too late looking for a polish to wear -- to BREAKFAST -- not entirely because I couldn't bear to have naked nails, but partially because I missed the ritual. Does that sound weird? I swear it's true.

And not to make this blog super OPI-centric or anything (I get so bored with blogs that feature the same brands time and again), but there's a reason I keep going back to this brand. Most OPIs have pretty amazing formulas, don't require much fuss, and they dry and wear well on me. (Okay, that was more than one reason.) I've been curious about Deutsch You Want Me Baby? for a long time but I didn't want to buy it; when I saw it on a blog sale last month, I went for it. I think it's nice, just not really on me. I dunno.

NOTE: These photos captured the glow incredibly well, but this is a pinch more of a burnt red IRL than I could manage.

Three coats with SV.

First of all, the name. HA! (But no comma after "Me"?) Deutsch You Want Me Baby? is the perfect burnt red-meets-orange metallic shimmer, significantly more orange than red. It's BEAUTIFUL, as you can see. And THAT GLOW! The formula was impeccable, too, opaque in two coats and just as easy to work with as you could wish for.

I just wish I liked this orange on me more than I do. It's gorgeous, but if I'm being honest, I can't see myself reaching for it again. I mean, Chelsea told me she liked it on me. Madeline also liked it (I texted her a picture of my latest lipstick purchases, Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 06 and 10). Deutsch is in so many ways the quintessential fall orange, but it doesn't really work for me. :/ At least I know!

Deutsch You Want Me Baby was released two years ago in OPI's Germany collection. I don't think this particular color made it to the core OPI line, but it's not hard to find if you want it.

Any thoughts on this polish? OPI Germany? Favorite fall colors? Have you been so foolishly vain in your youth to go so far as to paint your nails at ungodly times of night so that your friends would never see your naked nails??? WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE ... RIGHT?

Sadly, my nails also went naked on Halloween. I'd made it as far as double base coats, but I'd had no time to put anything on before I had to leave the house. This was the first Halloween since 2009 that I didn't have OPI Brights Power! on. :( It's okay, though ... I went to my friend Krysi's house and got to have a cozy little Halloween dinner with some of my friends. I also got to meet her new pug, Charlie. His friendliness and willingness to wear a doggie Halloween costume definitely outruled his stinky breath. ;)

A newly-engaged friend of mine is participating in an NIH study in which all her meals are prepared for her. She gets breakfast, lunch, and snacks at NIH, and I think she gets to take dinners home. On weekends, they give her a HUGE cooler of food, which she schlepped with her to RVA from Bethesda last weekend. LOL.

There was SO MUCH FOOD in that cooler, you guys. She says her breakfasts and lunches generally are really good, but she's not a huge fan of dinner. Anyway, I don't know the purpose of this study is because I am a terrible listener when I am surrounded by food and I haven't eaten all day. Herp derp. All I'm sayin' is that the whole thing is pretty interesting.

No one had a party we felt like going to on Saturday night, so B and I went to the drive-in to see what we'd thought was a triple-feature, "The Book of Life," "Gremlins," and "Beetlejuice." Due to the cold weather Saturday night, they only played "The Book of Life," but they still did trunk-or-treating and car decorating for the kids. I did not want to get out of my car, so I rolled the window down and sat with my giant bag of candy in my lap. One mom said what I was doing was smart. Her son seemed to agree, saying, "OOOH! DELIVERY!" B and I were intrigued and amazed by these kids, because they only took 1 bag of candy until I told them they could take two ... and I had the good stuff! The other weird thing was that they all seemed to want the Skittles more than the other candy we had. Are you kidding me?! Skittles are great, but ... M&Ms! Snickers!

Anyway, it was a super fun time. Before the movie, they played "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," which I hadn't seen in a few years, so that was nice. We really liked "The Book of Life" -- if you are in any way an animation nerd/a fan of Ron Perlman/a Dia de los Muertos enthusiast, you will LOVE it. The humor in the movie kind of reminded me of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" ... if you've seen both "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and "The Book of Life," let me know if you think this is an apt description.

We got home at around 9, and decided to keep the Halloween movie marathon rolling. I highly recommend both of the following flicks:

MST3K, yassssssss

This look clearly says, "Oh, you have to get up to pee? NOT OKAY."

... that was a nice weekend, especially considering the fact that my ass is so damn broke right now. It was GREAT to turn my brain off for a couple of days, have dinner with some friends I haven't seen in months, have a movie night with B and Mr. Archer, and basically chill out. I need more of that. I do this all the time at home, but I need to be around people. #extrovertproblems November is my favorite month, and this one will be a vast social improvement, so I'm looking forward to it.

K, I'm out. If I can get my act together, I should have a post on Friday; if not, I'll see you guys next week! Thanks for reading.