Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nicole by OPI I Shop Mintage + my first OCC lip tar!

Remember how Deena of "Jersey Shore" (shut up, you know the Shore was the pinnacle of MTV reality programming) would constantly say something was "her best thing"? Mint polishes are not really my best thing. Jade, certainly. Pistachio, definitely. Chartreuse and lime, absolutely. But mint is a tricky color for me, usually because of the potential blue undertones that make it lobstery and weird on my hands. If you have the same problem, don't worry. There is a mint for you out there! It might be Zoya Neely ... it might be Orly Jealous, Much? ... or it miiiiiiight be this polish. Check it:

Three coats with SV.

So, these photos. I was telling Janice I was kind of frustrated with them because they don't look like every other photo I've already seen of NOPI I Shop Mintage, including hers. I guess this is what it is.

But whatever. I love this polish so much that I wore it twice in one week ... I took it off to cut and file my nails, ended up putting it back on, and now I have a nice little usage dent in my bottle. It's THAT good. What is it that makes it so good, you wonder? Well ...
  1. THAT COLOR. With top coat, it ends up being a little more blue than I thought it would be in the bottle, but I'm not even mad. It works for me. It's definitely a variation of mint green, and not blue enough to be sea foamy. Win.

  2. THE FORMULA, oh my God. I ended up needing three coats, but that's not a bad thing. The consistency of this formula is slightly fluffy and jelly-like, not simultaneously goopy and chalky at all (which is what tends to happen with pastel mints). I found the key here is to load up your brush halfway to 2/3 high on one side, work carefully, and let each coat dry for at least two minutes. Although it looks kind of weird after the first coat, it does look much better after the second. --This might sound high maintenance, but oddly for me, this was a pleasure to work with. Here I have to note that much like Hannibal Lecter, I can be frustratingly, exceedingly patient. It's ... interesting.

  3. DUPE STATUS: I don't have pictures of this, but back in February right after OPI Hawaii came out, I was walking around Ulta with this NOPI and a bottle of OPI That's Hula-rious. I think I already had Mintage at this point, and thought that Hula-rious was too close to merit buying it that day. Mintage seems to be slightly dustier, but here's a nail wheel comparison for reference.

  4. THE PRICE: I'm not gonna play, I love the NOPI brand a LOT. Yes, the saggy boob bottle is not aesthetically pleasing. Yeah, some of the collections and collabs skew more tween and teen. But you know what? Generally, the colors and formulas have really improved in the past two years ... and the price is so, so right. Sometimes you can find a good drugstore coupon for one, Ulta will have a great 2 for $10 sale (or something similar) that you can use with your $3 off $10 coupon, and Walmart has them for, what, $5.99? So to me, you're just paying for OPI quality with a saggy boob bottle, and I can't argue with that. ;) I have my eye on That's Just Plain Nuts maybe this fall because ha, that name!, and that color is making me die.

I Shop Mintage was released in Spring 2014 as part of its revamped core line (which is so good, I think). I don't remember where I bought this bottle ... was it Walmart? Was it Target? --BTW, none of the Targets around me sell NOPI in the store any more, but you can find them on the Target site for $5.99. Throw it in your cart next time if you need free shipping. ;)

Snaps to Madeline for picking out this polish via text! Which brings me to this ...

Over the past year, I've really gotten into lipstick. I don't know where it came from, but last summer, it was like someone flipped on a switch and suddenly I had to have all the lipstick. I've amassed a teeny tiny "dragon princess hoard" of lipsticks since then; as long as it's a saturated color with a little blue, I'm game to try it. I've been dying for an OCC lip tar for years, but somehow one never made it into my shopping bag or online cart. With the whole ~fixed income situation lately, though, I figured I'd just live vicariously through Madeline, who texted me with a list of potential purchases during the most recent OCC sale.

Two weeks ago, a small package from OCC arrived on my front door, and I was like, "What the hell? I didn't order any- OHHHHHHH MYYYYYY GODDDDDDDDDD" when I realized this must be the package Madeline had hinted about the week before. But what did she send me, exactly? Instagram friends, you already know.

I'm still hyperventilating, tbh. Madeline and I have been obsessing over Technopagan since it came out last fall. I fell in love with it hardcore when Anna and I were getting Sephora makeovers before Stephanie's wedding; Anna's MUA was wearing Technopagan and it was just emoji heart eyes for me. I'm so excited to have this little shimmery purple tube of amazingness. So thank you again, Madeline!!!

No, I haven't worn this yet. BUT! I'm thinking about taking Technopagan on its maiden voyage this Saturday for my friend's mom's housewarming party. (To say the woman likes purple is an understatement! And while my friends are going to take one look at this and tell me it's not Halloween yet ... I don't really care. If I run into B's friends later, I'm definitely going to get a couple of raised eyebrows.)

ANYWAY, the whole point of posting this was to ask you if you have any tips or warnings for wearing OCC lip tars. Madeline already told me to go ahead and get an angled eye or lip brush to help form straighter lines, so I'm gonna get on that. Three "YAY NOW I HAVE THIS ... BUT WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH IT????!!" questions, though:
  1. Do you think I'd need to wear a lip liner for this? If so, what would you recommend? I recently got a UD Ozone chunky pencil and I love it, but I wonder if a colored liner would help me a little more here.
  2. General SOS here: Any lip primer recommendations? I'm currently using a NYX one, and it's okayyyyy, but it could be better. I've heard good things about MAC Prep & Prime, but I don't wanna drop coin right now unless you can guarantee brilliance.
  3. If you've used Technopagan ... how hard is it to remove? How stainy is it? This might be the clincher as to whether I'll wear it on Saturday, honestly. I don't want to take it off, then go to bed and spend the next day looking like I gave a weird alien beej. (Which, hahaha^infinity, but seriously.)

If you can answer any of these questions, that'd be so helpful! I'm such a makeup n00b -- reading about shit is not the same as using it. Makeup is hard for me because it's such a subjective, expansive thing and it's so ~YMMV. But the gift of Technopagan makes my questions SUPER IMPORTANT. I'm sure it'll be worth it. :)

Thanks for reading! If you have anything to say about mint greens, NOPI v. OPI, Technopagan, surprise gifts, or any answers to my lip tar q's above, please spill!!! I'll try to post next week, and I'll let you know if I ended up wearing it or not.

P.S. Did anybody catch the "Jersey Shore" reference in the most recent "OITNB" season finale? I'm determined to work that phrase into my vernacular, because it's 2010. HAHAHA.


  1. MAC Prep and Prime is good stuff, worth the $$. ABSOLUTELY lip liner. I'd recommend clear, actually. What you've no doubt heard about Lip Tars is completely true: the tiniest amount (like, the smallest dot you think you need, and then take half of that) will do. It's easy to add more, not so easy to wipe off. It doesn't stain necessarily, but it does *stay put*. The angled brush is a must. I love, love my lip tars (all 2 of them lol) - hope you like yours!

    1. Thank you so much for taking a moment to share! <3 Clear lip liner, hmmm ... any suggestions? (I'm using UD Ozone, but less as a primer and more for its amazing lipstick barrier qualities.) Do you find clear liner works better with the lip tars you have? What colors? I'm so curious. ;) Thanks again!

  2. I've never tried Lip Tars, but I HAVE tried MAC prep & prime's ok? I guess? I mean, I *think* it helps my lipstick stay on longer, and maybe apply better, but I feel like so would a waxy lip balm. Because that's what it feels like on my lips. A vanilla-scented, slightly waxy balm. It's aggressively fine IMO. Although, full disclosure, it's the only lip primer I've ever tried, so I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe it is truly spectacular compared to all the others, I don't know.

    Let me know if any of the Bite Beauty Canadian Maple lipsticks catch your eye. ;)

  3. P.S. Love this colour on you. Such a great, dusty-ish mint!

    1. Thanks, Jess!

      LOL @ your assessment of MAC P&P. That's how I feel about this NYX! (aggressively fine). I've used UD Ozone as a primer as well, and it worked SO well, but it didn't solve the problem of creating a lipstick barrier. #firstworldproblems

      I did look at photos of those Bite lipsticks and daaaaaaaayuuuuuum, Candied Maple and Sugared Maple look amazeballs. AHHHHHHHHHH WHY DID YOU BRING THIS UP?!?! ;) (BTW these are SO not even the same price point, but LMK if you want any NYX or the L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection Reds -- my favorite so far is Frieda's Red, which is more fuchsia tbh but it's sooooooo flattering.)

  4. I am looking for a good light minty green. I really liked Essie Fashion Playground, but didn't read the reviews before getting it. 4 troublesome coats later, I had something that was lovely, but not realistic for me to ever do again. So, still on the look out... maybe I will have to give this one (or the Orly or Zoya) a try :)

    1. Oh, and for the record, I giggled like a fool, for, seriously, like 5 mins after "weird alien beej". Still chuckling days later. Times infinity, indeed!

    2. OMG, I don't think anyone liked Fashion Playground!!! I got in January? February? but of course I haven't tried it yet ... I'm just a glutton for punishment, what can I say. ;)

      Try Zoya Neely (my current creme fave) or OPI That's Hularious ... it's basically this but slightly brighter and with a 2-coater formula, from what I Googled.

  5. Those are the stars of the collection IMHO. I suspect Candied Maple would pull too warm on me but I may break down and buy Sugared Maple. It's super pretty. I recently bought the Maple Agave lip mask and it smells INSANELY good. You have until October, so keep the offer in mind.;)


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