Monday, February 29, 2016

Gift of Fab: Misslyn Cosmetics Mannequin

Posting a special pastel for a special day, obvs. I don't know that a Leap Day can be but so special, but whatever. I might as well do it up on the blog because February 29, 2020 is quite a ways away and who knows what will happen?

I know I didn't even begin to scratch the surface that was the box of polishes my Canadian friend and reader Jess sent me last May, buuuuuuuuut you guys! Jess sent me another box at the end of January, full of even more goodies I can't find here in the U.S.A., including a highly coveted Canadian exclusive lipstick (Bite Beauty Candied Maple, omfgggggg). The 2016 Pastel Obsession had kicked in hard by the time the box showed up at my doorstep, so my priority, if you can call it that, was determining whether Jess had included a blog-worthy pastel.

Allow me to introduce Misslyn Nail Polish in Shade No. 568, Mannequin.

Three coats with SV.

Nothing about this polish is particularly "mannequin" to me, except for the part of my brain that dares ask if this is a reference to Kim Cattrall. Again, I say, "whatever." (And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET THIS BE A "MANNEQUIN" REFERENCE.)

IMO, this color embodies what I've always thought of as "Statue of Liberty" green. Too gorgeous, yes? It's a little brighter and less dusky IRL than it is in these pics, but that's Nature's Lightbox for you. Anyway, Mannequin's light green shimmer adds some depth?/dimension?/visual interest?/what are words? to a base color I'd categorize more as jade or even seafoam rather than a true mint. I'm happy to report that while the shimmer does NOT die on the nail (yay!), I don't think it's instantly noticeable to the ~untrained eye. I don't have anything like this.

The formula was pretty good on this one. It's opaque in two coats, but I did three out of habit because I thought it looked patchy under my OttLite. The polish is easy to manipulate, maybe a little more watery than I expected (not a bad thing -- just give it some time to dry, of course). The Misslyn brush stem is short and the brush itself is like a slightly moppier Essie brush, if that makes sense. I liked it, though, and I didn't have any issues. It was dry after a few minutes of SV, and I wore it for three days without any chips. I did have some tip wear, but I had just trimmed and filed down my nails, which always messes with my tips. I usually wait another day before slapping on a new mani, but I just could not wait to try Mannequin!

Misslyn is a German brand that arrived last year at Shoppers Drug Mart, a chain of Canadian drugstores. ETA: Jess says this Mannequin was an LE polish (Google came through and now I see it's from last summer's L'Amour Toujours? collection). WTF, this ought to be core! All I can say right now is that if the other Misslyn polishes Jess sent me are as good as Mannequin, then (1) you guys are in for a HUGE treat when I eventually blog more and (2) I am well and truly fucked because I will always want more. Thanks a lot, Jess. ;) (But seriously -- thanks so much, lady!)

Before I duck out, I want to say I've really enjoyed posting this month. Sure, the pastel fever had a lot to do with it, but I think taking a break over the past few weeks was helpful. I never felt that I was forcing myself to crank out an entry, which is one of the best feelings any blogger can have (it's true, ask one).

I'm not entirely sure what's in store for March aside from taxes, spring cleaning, and helping out my aunt who'll be staying with me for a little bit. But I'll do my best to pop in when I can. I hope you will, too! <3.

P.S. In the spirit of Leap Day, Madeline and I watched "Leap Year" two weeks ago. It was as awful as our mutual thirst for Matthew Goode is unquenchable. (So ... infinitely.) But this guy's career, IDGI. I don't think rom coms are for him -- he's perfect for period pieces and for portraying unhinged & menacing characters (e.g., Adrian Veidt/Ozy in "Watchmen" & Uncle Charlie in "Stoker"; I skipped "Self/less" because I heard it was terrible, but I think his character in it fell along these lines). My point is, he's underrated and gorgeous and needs bigger parts in better movies. Yes, good(e).

P.P.S. I've been trying to fill the space/sci-fi TV show hole in my heart since "Battlestar Galactica" ended, and I think I might have found a suitable replacement in "Killjoys." I just finished watching the first season -- last year, I only watched the pilot, then fell asleep halfway through the fifth episode. Uh, oops. I'm always here for action, comedy, a lady showrunner, a WOC actress as the lead, and oh yes, the requisite Ashmore twin. (Shut up, they are adorable. Thanks, Canada!) I guess the only real "thumbs down" I would give "Killjoys" is the dumb way of spelling names, but such is the way of sci-fi, I'm afraid. Anyway, it's a fun show and if you're looking for some lighter sci-fi fare (plus Ashmore twin!), then check this show out. It's cute and I hope this upcoming season will be just as satisfying as the first, whenever it starts up again on Syfy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Revlon ColorStay Buttercup (and a gel rant)

To loosely quote Scott Pilgrim, there are reasons for people to hang out with me ... including the fact that I am really good at finding the perfect greeting card. (It's true; ask anyone who's received one from me!) Two weeks ago, I was killing time at Target looking at Valentine cards for B. This is always a minor ordeal because LOL, what are feelings? I had already dropped into Hallmark and Walgreen's earlier in the week and had come up dry; the only card I saw at Target that made me chuckle was the one I gave him last year and obviously that was not an option this time.

I had to paw through the "from the cat/dog" section to finally find The One. (Heh. "Paw through.") I'll show you the card in a minute, but it got me to thinking about Valentine candy hearts, which in turn made me go, HEY. I hadn't blogged a pastel yellow yet.

Four coats with SV. My cleanup brush is on its way out -- any recommendations?

I had a hell of a time getting pictures of this Revlon! It's much warmer-toned than the traditional pastel yellow polish -- awesome for variety's sake, and not so awesome when every other photo comes out looking like Illamasqua Load. Since my preference is for the more traditional lemon pastel yellow, I don't see myself reaching for Buttercup again, as pretty as it is. It doesn't give me lobster hands or anything, but the warmer tones in this yellow don't quite agree with me. For less than $2, it was worth a try!

I remember this polish making the rounds on a few blogs a few years ago. As we all know, a good pastel yellow is hard to find, so a lot of people were really excited about Buttercup. I totally get it: good for a yellow, annoying for any other color. See, normally I would not be pleased with a pastel creme that was streaky after 2 thin coats and still needed a thicker coat (or two) for cover-up, but for a yellow, that's a pretty good deal, especially since Buttercup wasn't chalky at all. (I find that chalky pastels make for lots of chips and awful cracks.) I had to use a fourth thin coat because I didn't think it looked good enough under the OttLite although it might have been OK for all I know. I only wore this for a day and it stayed on all right. Got a little bit of tip wear, but I have definitely had worse.

The only reason I bought this polish was because it was on clearance at Ulta a while back (probably mid-2014?). I had a coupon and thought, "What the heck." The original Revlon ColorStay line got discontinued back in 2014 to make room for its successor, the ColorStay Gel Envy line. That's so weird to think about, because I feel like the OG ColorStay line JUST came out! --Sidebar, I'm so over this "gel" polish trend. I don't buy into it and based on what my gel-wearing blogger/NB friends have told me, there isn't that much of a difference between "gel" lines and regular polish! It also irks me so much because whenever a new gel color or line is released, a lot of fantastic regular polishes in the core display/line-up get taken away. I am not into that. (I actually just had to buy some Chanels before they disappeared forever, now that Chanel has converted to a more "gel" formula.) Anyway, I don't purchase Revlon often, so I believe I have about 3 original ColorStay polishes left to try and maybe four of the ColorStay Gels??? I'll have to look. I'm sure they will get worn (if not blogged) as soon as I get over pastels ...

... which may not be for a while. We'll see how long it takes or what polish might snap me out of it! Are you over my pastel fixation? Do you have a favorite pastel yellow? (Another sidebar: KellieGonzo posted the new ChG spring collection last week, and there is a pastel yellow that looks more my speed than this Revlon. Must see in person!) And HOW GREAT is this Valentine card? ;)

The perfect card for the cat lady in your life. Mine enjoyed this. :) 
Thanks for comin' through, Target!

But I'd most like to hear your thoughts on the gel polish trend. Do you think it will go away anytime soon, or should we get used to core displays basically being half "gel" and half regular polishes from now on? No one I know IRL has any feelings about this one way or the other, so I figured it would be best to ask, you know, other people who really love polish.

I will end this Buttercup post with the best Buttercup:

I really wanted to title this post "As You Wish," but, yeah. Watching this tonight. This week. SOON.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Belated Valentine: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Babe Blue

This is the latest Valentine post I've ever thrown up on this blog. It took way too long for me to put this post together. Sorry! As an apology-slash-belated ode to Valentine's Day, please enjoy one of my current favorite jams.

It was either this or post "Ignition (Remix)," guys. I did you a favor.

I noticed my tendency to reach for bold nail polishes for past Valentine's weekends, but this year, I was committed to keeping my pastel game strong. I settled on the color blue (B's favorite color, typical male) and chose this one for the name, because if there's anything I love, it's a tangentially appropriate name. And it's been a minute since I wore an Xtreme Wear, let alone a blue like this one.

So, Babe Blue. Here's three coats with SV. (1) I'm blaming the cold weather for the dryness on the sides of my nails, and (2) I like to keep things consistent picture-wise by posting the same set of 6 pics, but the weather has been ridiculous, hence this weird ... mélange. Oh, well. It is what it is.

I had to futz with this photo to darken it and also holy contrast settings, Batman

this one, too

[Sidenote, I'm wondering if the name of this polish is supposed to be a reference to Paul Bunyan's blue ox, Babe. I hope so, because how freakin' cute would that be?]

I hear it's a dupe for Essie Bikini So Teeny, but I can't comment on that since my bottle of BST is ... somewhere. I also keep seeing SH XW Babe Blue described as "periwinkle," which, NO, because damn it, it's cornflower. It's actually closer to sky blue than periwinkle tbh; there aren't any lilac tones to be found here. This polish has soft silvery shimmer particles, small enough to keep Babe Blue from being a glass fleck; when the polish dries, the shimmer is pretty much imperceptible unless you're under a direct beam of light.

Every pastel shimmer is different, so you never really know what kind of formula you're dealing with. I thought this went on more nicely than older pastel shimmers, but it still was a little fluffy, and I did have to wait in between coats for a minute or two to avoid cuticle drag (easy when you have a good Candy Crush game going). Which brings me to this: Some people say Babe Blue is opaque in two coats. I disagree. Even with two careful coats, it still looked patchy, so I went for a third coat after a couple of minutes, and it looked much better. On the flip side, other reviewers have cited self-leveling issues (not surprising with a fluffy pastel formula), but I didn't experience any of that because I applied my polish slowly and carefully. Just something you might want to be aware of. Dry time with SV was really fast albeit a little tacky after 10 minutes; Babe Blue is SO not a polish you want to apply before going to bed. I had sheet marks on my right thumb and index finger, bleh. I put this on Friday night and it held on all right until Tuesday night. No chips, average tip wear; on Monday morning, I noticed the beginnings of a sizeable crack on my left middle finger.

I don't remember when I bought this polish, only that it was sometime last year. Google leads me to believe it was released in the spring, so we'll go with that. You can find Babe Blue in the core SH XW display and if you must get it, get it with a SH promo or (ugh) go to Walmart because it is SO much cheaper there. Again, I can't compare this to Essie Bikini So Teeny right now, but if the formula on BST is the same as Babe Blue's, I would have to tell you to go with Babe Blue or to just buy a cornflower creme. (I hear SH Insta-Dri Set Sail has a great formula! Let me go look for my bottle.)

Like I said, it's been a long time since I wore a nice pastel cornflower blue, so I really enjoyed this color. It was a pretty good choice for a pretty good Valentine's Day weekend. Every fact-finding conversation I had with B did not indicate definite dinner plans, but I wanted dinner plans so I went ahead and made a last-minute reservation at a speakeasy downtown.

I think this place opened last year, and a bunch of my friends and my sister had said good things about it, so I'd been curious for a while. It was ... okay? Like, the food was really, really good. I thought the cocktail prices were a bit ridiculous, so I only had one Moscow mule ($11 seems a little much, IMO). The place was popping, but I told B I would have enjoyed it more if (A) we hadn't been seated so close to the door because it was like 18 degrees and we got a blast of cold air every time the door opened, (B) we'd been with a bigger group of people, and (C) the restaurant had fully committed to the speakeasy concept. He laughed at me for that one, but look, I want flappers, bathtubs of gin, and a jazz piano player with a mustache and a side part -- I want the whole enchilada! I sound like I'm complaining, but really, it's a cute place and it was incredibly fun to go somewhere totally different and new. Also, last night was too cold for me to bother trying to look cute, so I have no idea how you ladies in colder climes do it.

Post-dinner #breadandmilk Kroger trip. This Kroger knows how to sell bananas, obvs

The cutest Valentine wanted some of that Ukrop's buttercream action

On Sunday night, we went to watch "Deadpool," which we loved because we are nerds. I. FUCKING. LOVED. IT. I am already fantasizing about the DVD/Blu-ray (specifically, the special features), which is how I know I'm really feeling a movie. Guys, this was THE BEST STAN LEE CAMEO EVER. And who knew the original Daario from "Game of Thrones" could be such an asshole? Not me! Anyway, everything Rotten Tomatoes, various Internet thinkpieces, and your nerdy Facebook friends say is true: "Deadpool" is NOT kid-friendly. Maybe it's because I loved the Cable & Deadpool comics and so I more or less knew what to expect, but honestly, there's no excuse these days because all it takes is a five-second Google search on this movie. Most people I know who watched it last weekend say they saw kids at their showings, as did I. :/ I also understand how some people would find the movie too meta and annoying, but when all is said and done, I think the folks behind this version of Deadpool redeemed the version we got in the clusterfuck that was the 2009 "Wolverine" origins movie (which I saw twice ... GDI, Taylor Kitsch).

I hope you guys had a nice Valentine-y weekend, whatever (and maybe whoever?) you ended up doing. I camped out at Chez SMA for snow reasons, which is always fun even though snow means B had to be at work super early. But we got to catch up on this season of "Agent Carter," and I finished a library book (and started a new one). I know this is what I do at home anyway, only for some reason I enjoy it so much more when I have company. #needypersonextrovertproblems, for sure. SMA even kept me company and napped on me while I was attempting to write this post, which was too adorable for words.

The best, cutest Valentine.
He was purring so hard. *heart eyes emoji*

If the weather forecast models are right, then I'm supposed to get more snow early next week, which means IDK when exactly I'll post before the end of February. Until then, you should tell me if you wore any fun polish last weekend, if you did anything fun for Galentine's/Valentine's, or if you watched "Deadpool." (If you did, how many kids were at your showing? I counted five before the lights went down, though there may have been more.) --Oh, and if you have any pastel nail suggestions, definitely leave a comment. I have a couple more lined up, but I like options!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Gift of Fab: Nicole by OPI Get a Mauve On!

A new week, and the 2016 Pastel Obsession rages on! I swear this is not the same color as the one I blogged on Tuesday, but I really couldn't resist.

Once upon a time (okay, Christmas 2014), my best friend gifted me a set of nail polish ornaments, along with the polishes used to make them. You might recall this photo I shared here and on IG:

This picture doesn't need to be so large but sorrynotsorry, IT IS SO AWESOME.
Also, Get a Mauve On! is not as pink IRL as it is in this photo.

I totally hung those ornaments on my tree this past December. They were great. :)

Everything about this nail polish ornament set tickled me to death. Still does, actually. I was? am? particularly entertained by the fact that among the twelve polishes Krysi chose, there was one that I did not know existed -- no small feat for two ardent polish enthusiasts. I Googled NOPI Get a Mauve On! the next day, and found out it was a new core NOPI release for 2015. I decided it was the perfect NOTWeekend for Krysi's birthday shenanigans last Saturday, plus I got to keep the pastel nail train going. And I got a serious crapton of compliments on this color all weekend! Excellence all around.

Sorry my sausage fingers look extra sausage-y in these photos. I was losing light and it was cold AF. Oh, and I have a weird dry spot around my PIP joint on my middle finger, a combo of eczema + wool allergy/knitting rash from holding my working yarn. I HATE WINTER.

Three coats with SV.

Had this polish been a little more saturated or pronounced, I don't know that you could call it a true pastel, but as it is, it doesn't look out of place next to colors like both of the polishes I've just posted. It's just muted enough to not fall under the "bright" label. At first, Get a Mauve On! gave me some Essie Splash of Grenadine vibes, if that Essie had been more purple, creme, and less jelly; this is for sure a color that would have fallen under the "radiant orchid" wheelhouse from a couple years ago.

And to be honest, I don't think of this color as "mauve." Because I am (barely) old enough to remember "The Golden Girls" being on TV, my read on the color is much closer to OPI Just Lanai-ing Around, a.k.a. Blanche Devereaux in a Nail Polish. Basically what I'm saying is if you grew up in the late '80s and early '90s and were around your grandma a lot, then you are no stranger to that warmer variety of mauve. This mauve is more akin to something you'd find in a hair chalk trend situation, I think. It's got a lot of cool lilac tones (part of why I love these photos); at the same time, I could see how it would contain more red compared to other similar shades. It's a little chameleon. What I like best about the color is that it's very feminine without being overly frou-frou, if that makes sense. Love!

ALSO. Can we take a moment to appreciate the NOPI creme formula? When they get it right, they really get it right, and if you are committed to staying within a certain budget, there are so many great NOPIs to choose from that you don't have to venture into OPIs. Application was great, and Get a Mauve On! was opaque in two coats. Dry time was super fast with SV, as always. I wore this for five days without any chipping and barely visible tip wear, which is pretty standard for NOPI and me.

This should still be a core NOPI, so you can find it at Ulta, most drugstores and Walmart -- but when it comes to those last two chains, I've only seen it at stores with HUGE beauty sections. The bare bones beauty section at the Walmart near my parents, for example, doesn't carry this color. So keep this in mind. Ulta definitely has it, though, and even without a sale or promo, you can pick up two with a $3.50 coupon for just under $11 before tax. And it won't be hard to pick two, because NOPI has some good core colors right now. (Let me remind you, OPI is like $10 right now, are you fucking kidding me and when did this happen?!?) I really need to do a NOPI brand week ...

This bombass polish is not the only thing I must thank Krysi for today. No; right before we dove into her birthday festivities, she gave me a late Christmas present. I was really excited about it, as she'd said earlier that week via text that "it might be the most ridiculous thing" she'd ever made. Well, I am ALWAYS here for ridiculous. I told her I hoped it was "social-worker-in-a-horse levels of ridiculous." (RIP, "Hannibal.")

And oh, was it ever.

(L-R) Hannigram, Magic Mike, Piemaker, Dexter Morgan, TEXAS FOREVER, Captain Hornblower, Eric Northman and Vampire Beel 

I AM DYING. I was laughing so hard, I could not stand up when she said that she went on the "TV is my boyfriend" tag on this blog to decide who she should include on this thing. As it turns out, the bracelet is a bit too long for me, so somebody is getting booted off, sadface. BUT WHO? My first thought was that perhaps the "True Blood" vamps, Eric and Vampire Beel, should go because when was the last time we enjoyed them? (2013?), and then I wondered if maybe it should be Magic Mike because that's not a TV show (it should be). Further introspection leads me to believe my precious Horatio Hornblower should be the one to go because he is not an integral figure in K's and my friendship. I'll let you know what I ultimately decide, but feel free to weigh in!

I had a ton of fun last weekend doing birthday things. We hit up a sports park, where I almost froze while Krysi spanked us all in mini golf (I had no idea she was that good, no wonder that's what she wanted to do, LOL). Based on last Saturday afternoon, I think sports parks must be where parents' souls go to die; I wouldn't mind going back when it's warmer for go-kart racing. Or maybe we can find a place with a better track. One of our friends has never been go-kart racing, which is so weird, because did she have a childhood? How does that happen?

I knew nothing about our dinner venue, but it was AH-MAH-ZING. Not only did it boast a lengthy selection of $6 house cocktails on their regular menu, but also some great wintry-themed drinks for the same price. I went in on the honey bourbon and loved it. Then for dinner, I got this buttermilk fried chicken breast that is haunting my dreams because it was perfectly cooked -- not too fluffy, not too breaded, and the chicken was so tender ... ughhhhhhhh, I want it now. Anyway, if you decide to venture south of Richmond and into Petersburg but you don't want Croaker's Spot, go to Longstreet's Deli. There were at least four other items on the menu that tempted me, so you know I'll be back!

(the coffee cup = my team)
(and yes, I scored us a point for answering a question about Hard Candy!)

We went back to K's house for cake and '90s Trivial Pursuit, which is always fun, only this game was tough because (1) it's so specific to the decade and therefore certain questions are EXTREMELY esoteric, and (2) literally every other card we pulled was from 1997. It was a close game, and our team up was what I call "Ovaries vs. Brovaries" -- we barely won the game but everyone was just glad it wasn't a several hour long affair. I love board games, but I suck at remembering rules and I rarely get to play because I'm usually not around enough people at one time to get a good game going. So as lame as it might sound, this was really fun for me. I hope we can play Cards Against Humanity at our next get-together!

Good polish, good friends, good fun, good weekend. Can't ask for more! What do you gals think of this NOPI? What color springs to mind when you see or hear "mauve"? Should I attempt a NOPI week? Most importantly, which fictional boyfriend would you boot off my bracelet?

Thanks for reading! I'll be back next week with a post-Valentine's pastel. Hope you guys have a good weekend -- Valentine or no Valentine, be good to yourself. I can't wait to watch "Deadpool" with B, faceplant into some Ukrop's bakery cupcakes, and snuggle with SMA because we're in love. Is it Saturday yet?

P.S. Anyone else watching "Legends of Tomorrow" on the CW? We watched the first half of the pilot last weekend, and B's reaction when it ended was a straight-up "NOPE." I watched the next two episodes by myself because I don't love myself I want Victor Garber back on my TV every week, kicking ass and taking names ... but this was not exactly what I had in mind. And despite how entertaining it is when my bae Wentworth Miller delivers his lines like a cartoon voice actor, at the same time it's SO cringey to watch in live action. Oh, and #justice4brandonrouthscareer. Dude deserves better. Aaaaaaalso, I know you can't compare apples and oranges, BUT: I was so excited for "S.H.I.E.L.D." when it started, only it took too long to get good, so I dumped it -- at least "Legends of Tomorrow" gets right to business. And it'll have a short first season (12 episodes, I think?), of which I'm all in favor because there'll be less reason for filler episodes and arcs to exist. I'm a DC girl at heart, and I've never understood why DC's live action projects aren't half as good as their animated ones. Granted, I do own nine out of ten seasons of "Smallville" on DVD, so maybe I shouldn't be talking. Oy. I can't believe I spent this long justifying the fact that I'm still watching this! *facepalm*

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

OPI Purple Palazzo Pants

Welcome to Part II of my 2016 Pastel Obsession! Maybe I'm willing spring into existence, I dunno. The week of Winter Storm Jonas, I removed Pahlish Short and Sweet, and texted Madeline with some options for my next manicure. I think she picked out this purple because she'd just ordered it in a major clearance haul from Sally's, so she might have been excited about it. I don't blame her. It's damn good. I hope it looks as good on her as it did on me, because it's a little tricky to wear. I'm just yellow enough to pull it off!

You've probably seen this polish a few thousand times since it came out last fall, but here it is on me, to the best of my ancient camera phone's ability.

Three coats with SV.

So, crazy story (not), I debated adding ChG White Cap for a day or two until I gave in to the power of Purple Palazzo Pants. I might do that the next time I put this on, but I'm glad I let this color shine on its own. I can see how people would look at it as pink, but it definitely reads like a weird cool lavender to me -- a duskier, cooler version of OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender, shall we say. I skipped OPI LLL for zombie reasons, so I'm very happy to own a more wearable shade! (I think Nailtastic's photos of OPI PPP are my favorite, and the most accurate. Check 'em out here.)

PPP's formula was heavenly, and it really just applied itself, which was wonderfully unexpected for a pastel, IMO. It looks good and is mostly opaque at one coat, but it's best at two. So you can stop there. I should've, but photos are weird and I'm a habitual three-coater. I wore this for SIX DAYS, and it held up beautifully until I had to scrub some stubborn baked chili off the bottom of a pot (d'oh!), which is when huge chunks of it finally chipped off. Who knows how long I could have gone on wearing this? I enjoyed it. Highly recommend.

PPP was from last fall's OPI Venice collection and you should have no problems finding it online, at Ulta, etc.; I got this one back in August when I was visiting L.A. and Ashley and I did a little shoppin'. (Okay, I did significantly more shoppin'.) This might be an unpopular opinion, but ... I actually liked OPI Venice. A LOT. Was it a little weird for fall? Maybe, but I liked it infinitely more than OPI Nordic (Fall 2014) and even OPI Hawaii (Spring 2015). The overall color palette just speaks to me. I have three other Venice polishes, but I wouldn't mind having more. >___<

Also, I just wanted an excuse to post this.

"Last Crusade" was the first "Indiana Jones" movie I ever watched, funnily enough. It's also the only one of those movies that my parents owned on VHS, so it's the one I know the best. When I go to Venice someday, you better believe I'm using "Ah, Venice!" as my photo album title. Will I be rocking palazzo pants? Proooooobably not, but this polish, sure!

In conclusion: Absolutely get this polish if you like pastels, purples, Venice, or peak Harrison Ford. I'll be back this week with another pastel because I have a problem. Also, don't forget to get your good eats on because Mardi Gras, and all that. ;) Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pahlish Over the Sea duo (Nov. 2014)

I don't know how or why, but last month, I started jonesing for a pastel manicure. I settled on this Pahlish, mostly because it was sitting right on my headboard and I didn't have to go poking around for it.

A quick rant about Pahlish, which I hate that I have to do, BUT: the pigments in three of my bottles ended up fading and dulling. Those polishes were older versions of Pianos Filled with Flames and Little Caroline, and most recently, Black Lace Elderberry, which was one of my favorites. I literally emitted a Luke Skywalker-worthy "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO" when I pulled out my bottle last year, only to find that the purple base had become a watery, murky brown. :( I know Pianos and Little C were reformulated and re-released and I absolutely repurchased those colors last year, but I'm still bummed about BLE because I really did love it and I only got to wear it once. I hope Shannon redoes that one in the future! I've never had a bad experience with Pahlish customer service and I'm sure that if I *had* contacted them, I would have gotten a response, so this is 100% on me. But you know what I mean -- when you buy something like this, you don't anticipate having it go bad on you so soon (if ever).

Anyway, those spoiled polishes made me a bit anxious about the rest of my Pahlish collection, so I've resolved to wear as many as possible in case they end up fading, too. This LE November 2014 duo turned out to be a great place to start, although I only wore Soft and Sweet, the periwinkle speckled creme, as a full NOTD.

First up, here's three coats of Soft and Sweet, plus SV:

I think top coat made this a little more blue than it is alone on the nail, but that's OK. Soft and Sweet is the palest of pastel periwinkle cremes, with some tiny speckled glitters thrown in. I wasn't crazy about the speckled glitters at first because if you don't add the Lights in the Clouds, the glitter topper, it just looks like your polish bubbled. Not my favorite look. Also, this has more of a chalky look before you add top coat, which darkens the polish a bit. But the color was exactly what I was wanted -- delicate and pretty.

The formula wasn't bad, either. A little on the chalky side, but I've dealt with so much worse! I think I had this polish on for something like four days? Can't remember. Tip wear was decent. I had some chips on the third day, though, and lots of cracks around the sides of my nails on the second day, which tends to happen when I do pastels and SV at the same time. Meh to that.

Finally, here's Soft and Sweet + Lights in the Clouds together (with a coat of NYC GCS):

This topper, y'all. Blue (navy/cobalt) and copper? I AM THERE. The formula was so much better than I expected -- I thought I would have to dip 'n' dab, but I was happy to not have to do that. Awesome. Interestingly, this color combination reminds me of a similar layering experiment I blogged 2 years ago, so you can tell I'm a fan of how they look together. (Ashley, maybe the dark blue/copper combo is something you can post soon!)

Initially I thought I would purge this duo, but seeing how beautiful these polishes look together made me reconsider. Silly me. No double elimination for me this time, so Shantay, you may stay.

And so ends Part I of my 2016 Pastel Obsession. Do you guys have any favorites? Please leave some color or polish recs in the comments and I will go through my stash to pick more.

But I'd most like to hear from any of you who own a bunch of Pahlish polishes -- did you also have any issues with yours fading and dulling? I'm hoping I just got unlucky and ended up with bad batches. As much as I've come to love the brand, I can't justify buying more in the future if this sort of thing continues to be a problem (and I don't think I've bought any since the Pianos and Little C rereleases). I'll definitely shoot Shannon & Team Pahlish an email soon to give them a heads up about this. And really, I guess I'd just like to know if anybody else had the same problems I did.

Thanks so much for reading! Have a good weekend, and I'll be back next week with more pastels (yasssss!).