Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gift of Fab: Essie Taj-Ma-Haul

A couple of weekends ago, I was at my best friend's house for a late Saturday night muffin baking date (as you do). As we waited for the muffins to rise, she produced this Essie from out of nowhere and told me that maybe this color would look better on me than it did on her. She'd picked it up on mega-clearance at Ulta, and for $1.97, why not? I'd seen this one floating around as well and kept passing on it because I didn't know if I could pull off this color, but when K handed it to me, I was interested to see how it would do.

The verdict? Well, I wore Taj-Ma-Haul last weekend, and I still don't know where I am on it. I only know that this will look INCREDIBLE on ladies with yellow/olive/tan/dark skin tones! My hands & fingers do get a bit red sometimes, which makes this tricky for me. But I don't think it looks *too* terrible, y/n?

Three coats with SV.

In reality, this polish has more of a faded look than these pictures show. In certain lights, it can be a little more vibrant, but it won't encroach on tangerine territory. The official Essie description touts this as "spicy marigold apricot," which I suppose is true ... although I did get some overripe cantaloupe vibes from it. Definitely a unique shade to the Essie catalog, and for summer in general.

Nearly all of the Essie Resort 2016 reviews praised Taj-Ma-Haul's formula, which was encouraging. Only ... not so much? I don't know if my/our bottle was weird or if it was just too humid for my Gelous base coat or what, but I did not have the same "TWO EASY COATS!" experience everyone else seems to have had. Nope, I really needed three, especially when I noticed that this didn't dry as quickly in between coats as I'm used to with Essie cremes, because when I went back I got some pooling on the second coat, which was not cool. Um ... what even. Normally I wouldn't be annoyed because this is fairly par for the course with some polishes, but I was annoyed because I wasn't expecting to have to deal with it. Had this been a streaky mint pastel, I could understand. It was just weird when almost everyone is like "omg so good, such a flawless formula, y'all!" But if this is the worst thing I can say about this polish then I guess that's not the end of the world. I had this on for four days with average wear and one chip, not too shabby for a weekend of salad prep and housecleaning (and "Sense8" bingeing).

Essie Resort 2016 showed up kinda early this year, I wanna say around March?? (not as early as Resort 2014, though, which I saw in JANUARY of that year), so you might be able to score it on clearance or at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Personally I wasn't as wowed by the Resort 2016 palette this year, especially knowing it's inspired by India ... when I think OPI's SPRING 2008 India collection had more stunning and memorable polishes, then ... I dunno. Just a thought. I did score two other Essie Resort 2016s on clearance, but Essie has put out two other summer collections since this one, which probably is old hat by now.

Thanks to Krysi for gifting me with this polish and giving me a chance to try it! :) If any of you have this Essie, I'd love to hear from you, particularly re: the formula & this shade's wearability on you. I'm curious.

And thank you so much for stopping by! Between this post and my previous one, we're all up to date on my June NOTDs, hahaha. At this rate, July might be pretty quiet around here, too. I also don't know if I'll be doing a blogiversary? blogaversary? giveaway next month because I sort of forgot to plan one ... if I'm able to put one together, it might be kind of late. I don't know. Let's see what happens. Until next time!

P.S. Muffin recipe [HERE]. Surprisingly good, and also quite tasty with whole wheat flour (though I think I prefer regular all-purpose). But I will note that you might have to reduce the filling by maybe 1/3 or 1/2 because I found that my yield with the ingredients as listed was too much. Alternately, you also can increase the bread portion by 1/3 or 1/2, which I have done several times because I don't think there's quite enough for a filling sandwich; this also should yield approx. double the muffins. Win.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Kiss

Oh, hi!

So, about not knowing what June would hold for this blog ... apparently, the answer is this post, because I've worn all of two polishes this month (!). June's always been a busy month for my family, and I've been running around Virginia like a truck driver lately but all generally is well. I'm just soaking up summer, which in this week's case has meant staying up too late anxiously streaming the news and crushing S4 of "Orange is the New Black" + S2 of "Grace & Frankie" because it's been raining too much to really get out.

Anyway, both summer and I are on the blog now. :) This is one of the most summery colors I could think of, and had I posted this earlier, it would have been a nice, semi-timely nod to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade last weekend. I didn't go, of course, although I enjoy looking at the parade photos every year because gdi, I love a theme and what better theme is there to ring in the summer season? Obviously I had to pull out a Lippmann Mermaid for the occasion. It was tough to narrow down a final choice, but I think Mermaid's Kiss was a good one.

Three coats with SV.

Mermaid's Kiss undoubtedly is THE foofiest (if not one of the foofiest) polishes I have ever worn, and yet strangely, I loved it. It's so pretty. The sheer light pink base kind of blends into my skin tone a little bit, however, I think the greeny-gold shimmer and the darker pink glitters save it and really pop in a good way. The sheer base gives those glitters a milky look, which is TDF. My best friend actually asked, "Is that just one polish?" thinking I'd done some layering magic, but ... nope! Just this. :D

I needed three coats to get this opaque because of the sheer base (one coat is fine if you're in the mood for a sheer-ish shimmer party). Luckily, the formula is a dream! It dries fairly quickly and it's so easy to work with -- it is so NOT the type of glitter formula that B refers to as "confetti and glue," where you have to keep pushing it around the nail. I did my nails while he was waiting for a shirt to come out of the dryer and despite being pretty expedient in my process, both he and I were a little surprised with how quickly and easily I was able to get from base to top coat with this polish. And as if that wasn't enough, Mermaid's Kiss even dries flat. It isn't a thirsty glitter at all ... I didn't even need to do a coat of Gelous before SV. It stayed flat throughout the 5? 6? days I had it on, though predictably my two chip-prone fingers had chipped by the end of Day 3. Removal wasn't terrible, but I'd still recommend using a fresh felt square/cotton round/whatever and a quick handwash to get those remaining tiny glitters.

The Lippmann Mermaid collection was released in the summer of 2013 after DL Mermaid's Dream became a favorite (I thought I had that one, but my Helmer search revealed that I do not). Since I can't find it on the Lippmann site any more, Mermaid's Kiss must have been LE, as is Do the Mermaid ... which is too bad, because those were two of the best Lippmann Mermaids, IMO. There are a few bottles left on the Bloomingdale's site, so if you're a Lippmann/mermaid/pink polish lover and you're feeling frisky, absolutely jump on it. Now I'm 90% sure I bought my bottle in some kind of sale back at the end of 2014 or so ... but as I say too often here, I don't know why I waited so long to use it!

Well ... now you've seen half my content for June, haha. I will say that what I'm wearing right now is pretty interesting in the sense that I'm still not sure if it looks good on me. I'm letting it marinate, as one Helen Cooper would say (I love "Kissing Jessica Stein" so much -- one of my favorite movies, for sure). At least this Lippmann gave good photo. If any of you own any of these Lippmann Mermaids, I'd love to hear what your favorites are. Should I get Mermaid's Dream? What are your favorite mermaid polishes? I'm tempted to pull out WnW Waves of Enchantment again ... it's been a while.

Thanks so much for dropping by! I hope y'all are having a good summer so far. Got any good plans? I don't think I'll be jet-setting like I did last year ... honestly, I ought to invest in? borrow? a GRE prep book. :/ But if I can finish this library e-book before it needs to go back, I'm looking at a laundry and "Sense8" marathon this weekend. I've been warned that the first couple episodes are a slog to get through, but I'm ready.

P.S. I saw "Love & Friendship" earlier this week and loved it -- I love Whit Stillman, plus it's been, what, 20 years since Kate Beckinsale did a literary adaptation/costume piece and she was awesome. Oh, and I spent like 1/4th of the movie trying to figure out who Xavier Samuel reminded me of, but I got it now: I'm getting a little Theo James + a little Ben Barnes. Anyone else?