Friday, December 11, 2015

China Glaze Out Like a Light

You wouldn't really know it because I haven't blogged much this year, but I've really been into dark grey polish. You know: Zoya Geneviev, OPI Dark Side of the Mood, and now this. I'm not sure what's going on since grey hasn't had this much of a moment since late 2010/early 2011! No hate, though, because China Glaze Out Like a Light is excellent and unlike the other two greys I just name-dropped, it's a true creme. I also should probably share that this is my current pedicure color; rarely do I decide to go full matchy-matchy, but I couldn't resist.

Two coats with SV.

For all 2 of you who are wondering if Out Like a Light looks black, now you can benefit from my weird observations. It does verge on vampy territory, for sure, and is one of those polishes that is darker on the nail than it is in the bottle (doubly so after top coat). In low lights, it'll look black until you compare it to something that actually is black. So if you have a friend or family member who's giving you shit about your nails looking goth or whatever (true story), you still can be like, "NAH" and go about your day. To my eye, it's more of a cool dark grey and I don't have pictures, but it was an exact match for a ~deep charcoal shirt I wear often during this time of year.

Normally I'm all about that three coat life, but Out Like a Light is opaque in one coat and completely patch-less at two. This leads me to believe that it would make a great polish for nail art and an excellent layering base (I was going to use Essie Jazzy Jubilant, but #toolazy. Soon!). I thought the formula was a pinch more watery than creamy, although I might be nitpicking at this point. Do not load up your brush because you will definitely get some cuticle flooding!! Other than that, it's smooth sailing with this one. Dry time was really great with SV; if you want to wear this for longer than two days, you might want to try another top coat that doesn't scuff quite so quickly ... alternately, you can add a glitter or layering polish on top. I only wore this for two days because I decided to chop my nails down a bit, but it didn't get any chips. It's been on my toes for the last two weeks -- still looking perfect -- and I expect it will stay on for another two weeks. It's so damn good.

Out Like a Light is from China Glaze's Twinkle collection for 2014 so it's a year old now, but if you love dark grey cremes, it's still a really good one. I passed on it when I was getting my Twinkle picks last December, but I kept seeing it in the clearance bin at Sally's and caved either right after New Year's or during a red tag sale in February. I don't remember now. I'm just happy to have it. Look for it online, and also try seeing if a dusty or beauty supply place has it. For some reason I keep seeing it at the Kroger near B's house and at the West End Bed, Bath & Beyond in Richmond, which is odd, but hey.

What do you guys think about Out Like a Light? Do you have a favorite dark grey creme or any layering suggestions for colors like this? (My life is so #whitecapallthethings and I know I mentioned Essie Jazzy Jubilant, but I also think China Glaze Travel in Color would be cute.) ALSO: I realize the Twinkle collection looks super boring next to this year's ChG holiday offering, Cheers!, but Twinkle's grown on me. Plus it's come to my attention that the polish called No Peeking was something of a sleeper hit, one year out. Any opinions on that one? I got it last Christmas in my massive nail polish ornament set from my best friend, so if anyone wants to see that before the month is up, I can try to post it.

Thanks for reading! Hope you guys have a good weekend. I missed Richmond's Krampusnacht last weekend, but I plan on visiting the botanical garden and making B drive all over town to look at tacky lights (tonight?). I think that's a tradition by now. I can't wait to catch up with one of my girlfriends from college, too! Good stuff all around.

Also, this has jack all to do with the holidays, but this "Brooklyn" movie, you guys. Have any of you seen it? I'm interested in seeing it because unlike "Creed," I do not have an emotional investment in that movie and I've heard wonderful things. I have borderline obsessive movie-viewing habits that include reading five million reviews, so the one-two punch of the unknown is very rare for me. I've never even read the original novel. Anyway, if you watched the movie, I'm curious to know if you liked it and if it's worthy of all the hype.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Essie Mind Your Mittens

Last week, Anna and I were reminiscing about old Essie winter collections, so I asked her for some suggestions and she came back at me with Mind Your Mittens or Parka Perfect. Then of course I went to Madeline for some input because you know how I do.

YOU GUUUUUUUYS. Why did no one tell me to wear this sooner?!?!? YOU ARE ALL FIRED.

... until the next time I need someone to pick my polish for me. ;)

Three coats with SV.

It wasn't love at first sight for Mind Your Mittens and me because this color is tricky, tricky, tricky. Tricky to capture, and tricky to describe (at least, for me). I wasn't able to coax out its blue or green tones in my photos, but it most definitely is a darkened blue teal -- so dark, I'd consider it a vampy in most lights. When you can get a really good, close look at Mind Your Mittens, you can see that it's the tiniest bit dusty? muted? smoked out?, which is a lovely twist on this blackened teal (very Zoya-esque IMO). I don't think I'm the only who would like this polish even more if it were just a tad lighter and didn't read so dark. MYM is one of those polishes that you'd have to put next to something black to see that it actually ISN'T black; while I enjoy colors like this as much as the next person, a little more color never hurt. Having said that, as great of a creme as this is, I think MYM would be a jaw-dropper if it had been a jelly. YEAH. Think about it for a second ...

Formula, application, and dry time were classic Essie creme, that is, perfect. Well, except for one thing, and that was the slight whiff of pigment that we all know from several blues and purples. It wasn't completely overpowering (I love you, SH XW Pacific Blue, but damn), but it was there. Other than that, though, it was all good. I wore it for three days and it still looked good, so I'm willing to bet it would have looked almost perfect if I'd used Essie Good to Go as a top coat instead of SV.

If you can believe it, Mind Your Mittens has been around for two years now! What the what. I feel like the Shearling Darling collection *just* came out. Anyway, I can't remember whether Mind Your Mittens is in the core Essie display, but it's not hard to find if you want it. I think I got my bottle at TJ Maxx or Marshalls maybe last year? Not sure. Just make sure you like really blackened cremes before you spring for this one! Now that I think about it, the Shearling Darling collection was a lot more cohesive and interesting than last year's Essie holiday collection and this year's ...  I loved Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, so now I need to wear Sable Collar and Parka Perfect for reals.

Any thoughts on Mind Your Mittens? Blackened cremes? Do you like this color as it is, or do you wish it had been juuuuuuust a smidge lighter? What were your favorite polishes or picks from Shearling Darling? Because I'm a little nosy, I'm interested to hear how you think this year's Essie winter collection stacks up against previous ones -- I don't own any of 2015 but based on what I've seen in stores, I think it's already an improvement after last year's. I picked up some of 2014 on clearance but as far as I'm concerned, Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low was the only thing that looked interesting and even that was dupey for China Glaze Gossip over Gimlets, so ... meh. ANYWAY, I'd love to get your $0.02 on this business.

Thanks for reading! I hope you like dark cremes, because I have one more coming up. However, I can't decide if I should I tart it up with a glitter topper -- a little wham! pow! never hurt anybody ... especially not during the holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Zoya Peterhof Palace (a.k.a. Zoya Ziv) + Friendsgiving 2015

So it's December now. I don't know how I feel about that! But if this means it's time for me to whip out my Helmer drawer of holiday polishes (plus overflow), then it must be a little bit of a good thing, yes?

Speaking of good things ... this gold polish, y'all. It's so good that I wore it for TEN DAYS, from Friendsgiving until two days ago. Admittedly, it didn't look so hot after ten days (or even after five), but gold foils are just so brilliant and, well, forgiving! And you really can't beat their simplicity. I love this color so much.

Here's three coats of Zoya Ziv -- or "Peterhof Palace," as it was called in designer Zang Toi's limited edition February 2013 NYFW trio. I HAD to get the trio because hello, #jeweltonez4lyfe. (Zang Toi's inspiration was Imperial Russia, which, I know nobody watches "Anastasia" for historical accuracy but ohmygod I need to watch it RIGHT NOW.)

Sorry these photos are a bit of a mess as they're from different groups and oh man my hands are so cold and lobstery, wtf? I actually had to color correct a couple because my hands kept showing up too red. Sigh.

You can glimpse the miniscule flakes that make this gold foil so vibrant. As gold foils go, Ziv/Peterhof Palace leans a little warm, but not as warm as SH CSM Gilded Lily, OPI Goldeneye, or Orly Glitz & Glamour do. It IS warmer than OPI Glitzerland, Orly Luxe, and China Glaze Midnight Kiss. In terms of color, Ziv/PP is closer to OPI Dazzled by Gold/ChG Mingle with Kringle so if you have one of those you probably don't need the others. I love gold, though, so ... you know where I stand. ;)

The formula for Ziv/PP is pretty good! You can get full coverage and opacity in two coats, but I thought it was perfect at three. It dries pretty quickly in between coats as well, which is good if you're in a hurry. With my favorite Zoya-compatible top coat, the now-discontinued Cult Nails Wicked Fast, dry time was a breeze and I was able to go to sleep without sheet marks or dents after half an hour (no, I don't have a Candy Crush problem). My nails looked great the next morning and I didn't need any clean-up, but I could've done with those liquid tape things my nail art-loving friends use because holy crap, if you are not careful you will get foil particles everywhere. Anyway, it survived a day of heavy dishwashing without any chips or awful tip wear, and but it did not make it unscathed past Thanksgiving Eve (major tip wear from food prep), and especially not Thanksgiving morning (the sides were peeling and oh yeah, I might have accidentally sliced off a liiiiiiiittle bit of thumbnail while slicing potatoes). Part of the reason I like light shimmery foil polishes so much is because they're so forgiving in terms of tip wear -- you have to look really hard to see it, and the average person wouldn't notice how disgusting my nails actually were, if that makes sense. So major snaps to Ziv for helping a girl out! Removal was a pain, though, because tiny foil bits get EVERYWHERE and I had to wash my hands at least twice to scrub it all off.

Ziv was part of the Zoya Ornate collection from Winter 2012; at this point, it's safe to say that it's a Zoya fan favorite, so it's not hard to find. :) Heck, now that it's officially the holiday season, I'm sure Zoya will have a few sales & promos floating around if they don't already, so do with that information what you will. Ziv's good stuff. Highly recommend (obviously).

Okay, so the next few photos will be an Instagram rehash of our 3rd Annual Friendsgiving dinner at my best friend's house. I know I'm totally That Girl, but I consider Friendsgiving to be the official start of my holiday season because the logistics re: Thanksgiving Actual are so effed (and will continue to be for the rest of my lifetime, I think). This year, we had nine people including myself; we barely managed to cram ourselves around the dinner table. I love getting together with this group of friends and I know the day will come when we won't be able to, so I'm all about doing it up while we can!


Our theme was holiday pajama pants, but I couldn't resist adding these holiday socks from Target. They are the best $5 you will spend on holiday socks and I keep telling people that if I happened to receive another pair for Christmas, I wouldn't be mad. Charlie the pug also wore a Christmas sweater although I couldn't get a picture of him in it. Trust me, he was adorable.

So everything except the spicy Caribbean chicken wings and the amazing salad were made by my best friend and her mom. FROM SCRATCH. The garlic bread stuffing and carrot souffle were such hits last year that they returned this year! The only thing I really missed were mashed potatoes, but I cooked some for actual Thanksgiving and I think they might happen next Friendsgiving because they were GREAT.

Krysi got me to eat Brussels sprouts and I didn't hate them!

Daisy had #noshame in her quest for #icanhazturkey2015.

O hai, Ziv! This beer was my "contribution" to the feast. YOU GUYS. I'm not a beer snob and I don't even like root beer but I can put this stuff away so fast -- a good thing when you wanna get tipsy, which I've been doing a lot lately. 

Pumpkin pie (there were TWO), pumpkin rolls (only difference was the top one had pecans), and eclair cake. Our friend decided to try a little of each but I learned my lesson from last year and only had one slice of pumpkin roll. Attempting to finish dessert after all that food was straight-up gluttony. We were ugly laughing watching our friend try to clear his plate and I was telling B, "Tell your cat I love him" in between bites of pumpkin roll.

Um, yeahhhhhhhhh. Good thing some of us already had our pajama pants on, right? Only another friend's husband and B didn't get in on that. Haha. I was so stuffed that it was all I could do to stumble back into the guest room and pass out almost immediately after we'd cleared the table and piled dishes in the sink. The struggle was so real. But we enjoyed this so much, I'm hoping we can put together a smaller celebration for New Year's Eve! (I've already volunteered myself to make leche flan -- I got my mama's recipe on Thanksgiving and I plan on busting it out every chance I get.)

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this Friendsgiving post! If you got hungry reading it, so did I (damn it). But that was great and Ziv is great and I also hope your holidays are off to a decent start. If everything goes according to schedule, I'll be back with more holiday polishes next week. Yay!