Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pretty Serious Cosmetics Seasonal Sunset

Before we get going, I have to warn you all that I am in a TERRIBLE mood. Like, I am not even kidding, I have been running on 9 hours of sleep for the past 2 days. I am dangerously close to having a full-blown tantrum right now, which is nagl for a 28-year-old. #imnotagirl #notyetawoman *sigh* Anyway, don’t be surprised if this post gets weird. (Weirder than usual?)

I’ve worn two other holiday polishes that I don’t plan to blog anytime soon on account of HAZMAT NO TIME, but today I’m kicking off my holiday polish + holiday movie series. And I’m really thrilled with today’s picks from both categories – a HUGE shout-out to Australia today!

First, some backstory: In 2012, Pretty Serious Cosmetics (or simply, Pretty Serious) launched. Kaz, the creator, released an amazeballs debut collection (Hello, World) and cranked out two more equally killer collections before stealing my heart with the Christmas Without Snow collection. I LOVE Christmas polish, no doubt about it. But the spin that Kaz put on her holiday offerings was too much for me to resist! Pretty Serious was a bit hard to get two years ago because they didn’t have a U.S. stockist until maybe the beginning of 2013. This meant that I ended up building my Pretty Serious stash piecemeal, and as of this summer I was able to score all of my Christmas Without Snow picks. \o/

Seasonal Sunset was not one of my original must-haves – its color seemed as though it would be tricky for me to pull off. However, I watched an incredible Australian movie around this time last year, and I knew I HAD to pair it with Seasonal Sunset. Nothing else would do, so I caved like a bad tent and bought it from Ninja Polish (this polish was out of stock at the Pretty Serious site at the time). When it arrived, I was so excited to try it, I almost cut my hand with the scissors I used to open my bubble mailer.

Luckily, I didn’t cut myself. But it would have been worth it. I think. Maybe. YOU GUYS IT’S SO PRETTY.

Three coats with SV.

Bonus pics, during actual sunset (if it makes any difference to you):

Like I said ... gorgeous color, but so tricky, complexion-wise. I mean, I am *just barely* doing this. But it's so stinkin' beautiful. You know I love a good glass fleck finish, and Seasonal Sunset did not disappoint! The gold particles against the rusty orange jelly base ... *drool* It's unusual, and my photos did not do this polish justice.

Since it's got a jelly base, it needs three coats to look even and opaque. Luckily, the formula is easy to work with and the dry time was good with SV. My only issue with application came from the wonky brush my bottle has; I contacted Pretty Serious via Twitter last year about it, and Kaz asked me to go ahead and drop a line to the official PS customer e-mail address with a photo so they could go about replacing it. However, that's when my holiday got INSANELY busy and I forgot about it completely. The reason I'm mentioning this incident now is because I cannot stan hard enough for Pretty Serious and its customer service, and the only way I would love this brand more is if I got better wear with it. Seasonal Sunset lasted all of 1 day until it chipped on two fingers -- granted, they are the chiptastic ones with terrible peelies -- so I don't know, maybe it's a body chemistry thing.

If you now are on the prowl for this pretty, it's been discontinued, so I would suggest stalking every blog sale, Pinterest sale, Storenvy shop ... anything you can find, because if you can make it work it is SO worth the trouble!! I know that's not the greatest thing to hear, but that's kind of where we're at with this polish right now, you know?

Otherwise, kudos to this brilliant Aussie brand for giving us this polish. And kudos to Australian cinema for giving me some of my favorite movies ever,** including the one I'm going to blog today.

Back in the spring of 2006, I took a college course on the history of cinema and spent my spring break watching a bunch of old westerns, mostly John Wayne movies on my parents' couch. While I am by no means an expert on the genre, I got to know it pretty well. Last year, I watched John Hillcoat's "The Proposition" because I was going through a bit of a Guy Pearce phase (sorry, Angie, I like the dude) and I was blown away by how much strongly it resembled the classic American Western, despite being a distinctly Australian film.

Here's the trailer:

Ugh, so good. Do you see what I'm talking about? The plot is more or less explained in the trailer, but here's the gist: The Australian outback, at the late 19th century. After the Arthur Burns gang commits a terrible crime, Captain Morris Stanley proposes to pardon Arthur's younger estranged brothers Charlie and Mikey in exchange for finding Arthur and delivering him to local law enforcement. Captain Stanley gives Charlie the nine days before Christmas. The hunt quite literally begins, and it is one helluva chase.

I cannot get my many thoughts about this movie together in a coherent fashion, so here are a few in bullet form.
  • The movie is directed by John Hillcoat, who also directed "The Road" and most recently, "Lawless," about Virginian bootleggers***. I watched "Lawless" before I ever saw "The Proposition," and I have to say that "The Proposition" is the far superior film in almost every aspect.
  • Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave wrote the screenplays for both "The Proposition" and "Lawless." I thought "The Proposition" was incredible, so again, "Lawless" felt like a major step back. Cave also wrote the music for this movie. The song "The Rider" gets quite a bit of play as a sort of repeated musical motif for Charlie, Guy Pearce's character (I don't know how to write about this stuff properly, I don't know enough words); it really sounds ... experimental? ... so you might not be able to get on board with it at first, if not at all. It depends on how much you like that sort of thing.
  • About the music ... if you are a fan of this movie (and this movie, to a lesser degree), then you are going to find the beginning sequence so jarring. So. Jarring. And if you are a terrible person like me, you also will be suppressing giggles.
  • One of the pervading themes of this movie is roughness: the landscape, the time in Australian history, culture, & its settlement, the characters' personalities and struggles ... it's so evident, which is why I loved Emily Watson's character so much -- she's pretty much the opposite of all that. She's one of my favorite actresses, and I've stanned for her since "Hilary & Jackie," baaaaaaack in the day. She always brings it.
  • Danny Huston, man. He is so good at being creepy, I could barely believe it when I saw him as Nicole Kidman's sympathetic fiance in "Birth." Anyway, he just has an uneasy but powerful presence on screen, and he does it up in this movie. You pretty much believe the dude is capable of all the monstrous acts Arthur's committed.
  • The main character, Charlie, reeaaaaaaaaaaally internalizes a lot. I mean, he pretty much has to, given his background and the fact that he is on a solo expedition. However, this type of character might not be your cup of tea, so keep that in mind.
  • The Burns brothers are supposed to be Irish. I am no expert on Irish accents and I feel like they are best left to, well, the Irish ... so I wasn't really crazy about the ones I heard here.
  • As I also am not Aborginal Australian, I am not the best person with whom to delve into a serious discussion about Aboriginal culture. But -- and I think this is relevant to those who live in any country taken over or imperialized by Western nations -- it wasn't hard for me to believe that the racist views expressed by some white characters would not have been out of place, especially given the movie's time period.
  • What goes down at the end of the movie really, really disturbed me the first time I saw it, so I'm putting that out as a warning to you. Roughest movie time Christmas ever.

This is the version of "The Rider" that plays over the film credits at the end of the movie.

So yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh, I think that's everything. This is about as in-depth as I'm going to get with any of my Christmas movies this year; this is the most intense, brutal movie I've probably ever blogged, holiday season or no, so at least I got it out of the way. (I still think it would have been kind of funny if I'd blogged this next Tuesday on the 16th -- you know, 9 days before Christmas.) It's all shallow sailing from here, my friends. :) But give "The Proposition" a watch. It's really something. I rented it on Netflix disc last year, and I watched it on Google Play this week as a refresher, so you can find it there as well.

Any thoughts on Seasonal Sunset, the Pretty Serious brand, this movie, Westerns, Australian cinema, Nick Cave ... anything? You guys, I can talk all day about this movie, but if you watch it, I'd love to hear what you think. One character has a thing for sunsets, so I think I pretty much nailed it with this post!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back tomorrow with another holiday polish because it'll be time for SHOPPING MY STASH. I don't even know what I'm posting yet. (Okay, that's a lie. I know. I have two options, though. BUT WHICH ONE WILL I POST???) And don't forget to enter my ROYGBIV Holiday Giveaway if you haven't done that already.

** In no particular order: "The Sapphires," "Muriel's Wedding," "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," "Flirting," "Moulin Rouge," "Australia" (seriously, I thought it was better than it gets credit for), "Breaker Morant," and "Gallipoli."
*** I am familiar with the area in question, and yes, bootlegged moonshine is still kind of a thing there.


  1. This polish is so pretty. My nails are in rough shape right now. The index and middle fingernails on both hands are too short for polish, but I think I will paint them tonight anyway.

    1. Thank you! Don't worry, my nails aren't in great shape right now, either :)

  2. OKAY. I will be putting this polish on tonight. This is awesome. Perfect for my office's holiday lunch on Friday.


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