Friday, July 29, 2016

OPI ... Eurso Euro

NEGL, part of the reason blues like this don't make appearances on this blog too often is because they are not fun to photograph. And when I do make an attempt, they all kind of look the same. But after considering I might not be posting after next summer, I'm just like

--Well, that, and you've seen OPI ... Eurso Euro a few billion times since its release three years ago. (You probably even own it.) THREE. YEARS. AGO., a.k.a. "long enough for it to be included in core displays and phased out of core displays." I actually didn't buy it until last summer during a major Sally's clearance raid!

But I was in the mood for something cobalt-ish recently, and I didn't have to go digging around for this one, so on my nails it went.

Three coats with SV.

#sorrynotsorry for all the pics. I was just super into it after wearing summery brights. I also need to add that my fingers are not this red IRL, so Eurso Euro is way more flattering than it looks. But the color is freakin' hot! It's closer to a navy or midnight blue than other cobalt polishes are, I think, but not so dark that it'll come off as black or remotely vampy on the nail. It's not as bright or as indigo as something like Revlon Top Speed Royal or RBL All About Yves -- but I think part of the reason a lot of us skipped EE or weren't in a rush to buy it was because it wasn't something especially new ... which more or less sums up my thoughts vis-à-vis the OPI Euro Centrale collection.

That's why I was really pleased with the formula. SO buttery, creme perfection, etc. It's too much of an opaque creme for me to try calling it a jelly-creme. ;) It's really easy to work with, just as long as you don't load up your brush because you will get flooding and then your clean-up will be awful. (Also awful = the blue smell -- it's no SH XW Pacific Blue, but it's there, all right.) Eurso Euro is opaque in two coats, but I used three out of habit. Dry time was good with SV, and the wear was pretty good -- minimal tip wear and three tiny chips after 6 days! -- but oh my god, the SV scuffs were terrible, even with a brand-new bottle. Aggravatingly enough, SV scuffs are far more noticeable over dark cremes. Such is life.

Eurso Euro might not be in the core OPI displays at Sally's or Ulta these days, but it's not hard to find, especially online (check a destash and you might save more!). Like many other polish lovers, I think OPI Euro Centrale was a good collection if you were looking to build up or fill gaps, but easily passable for steady, longtime collectors. With the exception of You're Such a Budapest, I scored 4 other Euro Centrale polishes on MAJOR clearance and received another one from a nail polish fairy ... so ... yeah. IDK. Over the years, I've noticed that OPI Spring doesn't do as much for me as Fall and Holiday, so there's that as well.

Anyway. Eurso Euro turned out to be a good polish to wear to see le meilleur travesti executif, because I went to see Eddie Izzard's "Force Majeure" show at the beginning of last week! He's currently wrapping up a primarily East Coast + Mid-Atlantic summer mini-tour, and I made a last-minute decision to go after discovering some available seats (I'd been checking twice a week after general sales juuuuuuust in the off chance). Granted, I was up in the first row of the nosebleeds, so it was a little hard to hear him at points -- but overall completely worth it to me.

OK so the interior is lovely, why have I only been here once before???

IDK why I was trying to be so stealthy about this when some people were low-key catching Pokémon right and left, including the guy next to me, hahaha

He also did a quick Q&A after the set. Why oh why did I not ask him about his favorite cosmetic products? >__<

My verdict re: "Force Majeure" is that it's no "Dress to Kill," but a good time nonetheless. During the intermission, I heard a guy behind me tell his friends that he didn't like hearing Eddie making fun of religion, which was a little "lol wut" since that's only a teeny tiny, significant part of his repertoire ...

Anyway, I will leave you now with a Youtube clip of the most randomly entertaining "Force Majeure" bit. 

Thanks for coming by this month! I know things have been quiet around here but I'm doing what I can. Incidentally, I gotta get back to my GRE review book. I hope to post something in between study breaks. :)

P.S. Looks like IG hashtags are (mostly) working again! New dilemma, though: I'm toying with the idea of locking down my IG account to private because I am irrationally terrified of more successful and/or annoying people I know IRL finding it and going "what the shit, Rachel." I'm going to sound defensive no matter how I slice it, but ... like, sorry I don't have a sexy Instagram adult hobby like endurance running, hot yoga, cooking, etc. I've always been this way about the mundane things that bring me joy (this has been going on since childhood), but that's a conversation best saved for close friends and possibly a future therapist. ANYWAY. What nail enthusiast hasn't had these thoughts once or twice, amirite?

Oh well. Gonna get my Frank Reynolds on. Go for it!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July: China Glaze Meet Me Under the Stars

Another ChG today -- hopefully you won't mind! I think I wrote before that I was super into China Glaze Twinkle (Holiday 2014) this past holiday season, so much so that I ended up trying out 4 from that collection. Meet Me Under the Stars wound up being my actual Christmas NOTD. A little ho-hum compared to other holiday polishes, perhaps, but I loved the look.

Three coats with SV.

So, not exactly my best set of photos ... but eh. It's something, I guess.

Silver microglitter in a black jelly base miiiight not be the most original idea, and maybe not something you'd expect to see in a holiday collection (well ... a holiday that isn't Halloween). I would say that compared to a polish like Orly Goth, the glitters in Meet Me Under the Stars are more dense and packed together. It's also pretty interesting in that its black jelly base leans ever so slightly blue, since most black jellies have a touch of brown IMO. Finally, I believe the microglitters technically are holo glitters, but they're much too small and faint most of the time that it's not going to be an issue for the 1% of you who, like me, aren't wild about holos.

Upon second use, the formula on my bottle is a little bit thick, which I don't mind since it's easier to thin a polish than try to thicken it up. You'll need three coats to get this opaque (you might have VNL or a bald patch at two), but each coat dries fairly quickly. I'm also happy to report that while Meet Me Under the Stars doesn't dry completely smooth, it isn't a thirsty glitter, so a Gelous glitter sandwich won't be necessary, either. I can't remember how long I wore this one, but I want to say it was somewhere between one week and two weeks because I was busy and too lazy to change my polish. I'm pretty sure it chipped sometime before the end of Week 1 but it must not have been bad enough for me to warrant removal for a while. I just remember being stoked that this polish made it for one week and survived Christmas Eve dinner prep -- I've been taking a more active role in helping prep my family's holiday dinners, so a polish that doesn't look worse for the wear is a huge deal for me.

K, this is all I have for a ~Christmas in July post. Do any of you guys have this polish, or any favorites from ChG Twinkle? Are there certain holiday polishes you find yourself reaching for year-round? Anyone else making their holiday gift lists early this year? I swear I'm gonna start gift shopping soon, because time always sneaks up on me in the end ... and getting an early start doesn't hurt when you're trying to stretch your gift budget. Some of my friends are a little more challenging to shop for than others but maybe 2016 is the year everyone gets a Funko, haha.

Hope you guys have been enjoying this month -- I can't believe it's almost over! This week was pretty lame ... I got sick and binged all of "Jane the Virgin" (love, love, LOVE the Latin Lover Narrator, my new favorite TV narrator since Jim Dale on "Pushing Daisies") and "Wet Hot American Summer" (finally), and I'm really excited about a new library book that just came in (Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt). So yeah, I guess I have that going for me.

OH! One more thing ... I noticed that some hashtags on Instagram, including a couple of my personal ones, quit working halfway through last week. WTF? I know there's always this + the bevy of censored/banned tags, but lol please. I only noticed when SMA's hashtag stopped showing everything except Top Posts, and then a day later with my nails tag. Again ... huh??? I don't know that this warrants sending a bug report and so I suppose I could always wait for things to go back to normal ... but if any of you who are IG-/tech-savvy could enlighten me (specifically as to whether the error is on my end or IG's), I'd be very much obliged. Many thanks in advance!

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gift of Fab: China Glaze Meet Me in the Mirage

I'm still weak for gold, no question. But it occurred to me that I hadn't worn a rose gold polish in a while, so I was stoked to try this one that Janice sent me last month.

I tend to not go for rose gold polishes as much as I go for other varieties of gold, because I think rose gold doesn't really pop on me like gold or copper do. I feel like you have to be either super melanin-deficient or super melanin-abundant (is this even a term? w/e) to make rose gold look good. My parents' friend actually is very fond of wearing rose gold polish (I think she was wearing one the last time they got together), and it looks incredible on her darker skin. On me, it's kind of ... just there? However, I am not one to kick a metallic foil out of my stash without the benefit of a test run.

I'm sure I've said this before, but I love metallic foils because they're like instant finger bling you don't have to worry about losing or being allergic to. I will never not feel this way.

Three coats with SV.

My skin is more yellow than it appears to be in these pictures, but that's okay because this foil is such a beauty. I know I don't have the fanciest and nicest of (phone) cameras, but you can see the blend of pale rose and silver particles here. Not sure how this compares to other rose gold foils, although I've heard it's a fairly neutral one. I also think this polish would come in handy for nail art. And if you enjoy polishes that are very evocative of their names, then you'll enjoy this polish for sure. The foil finish and the word "mirage" are so perfect!

Also perfect: the formula. As with most foils, you can get good coverage in one coat, but I think it looks a pinch more rich at two, you know? Its dry time with Seche was indeed fast, and a weekend of wear was surprisingly good -- no chips, just a hint of tip wear.

Meet Me in the Mirage was the only foil in China Glaze's six-piece Desert Escape collection from last summer. Now this collection wasn't exactly easy to find last summer since it was exclusively available on the Lock and Mane site, not at Ulta, and only available as a mini set or in nail art sets at Sally's (though strangely, I did come upon two full-size Desert Escape shades at TJ Maxx). If you DO want it now, though, you should be able to find it on Amazon and eBay. I will say that the colors and finishes in Desert Escape aren't especially unique compared to the Great Outdoors and Cheers collection palettes, but they undoubtedly are THE nicest polishes that you could want in those particular colors and finishes. I'm so excited about inheriting this set -- thanks, Janice! :D

Edited to add that this polish is in the core ChG display at Ulta, along with The Heat is On (the red creme) and What's She Dune (the nude creme).

Any thoughts on Meet Me in the Mirage, rose golds vs. other golds, or your favorite metallic shades for summer? What about Desert Escape? Let me know if you're interested in seeing another DE shade -- save for one color, I think I might be able to get some decent photos.

Hope everyone's July is going well. Sans some family stuff, mine's been pretty boring so far, but things are about to get kicked up a notch because I impulse bought a ticket to see Eddie Izzard on his "Force Majeure" tour next week. Also, there's this.

To borrow from small business owner Dave Rose (RIP, "Happy Endings"), I've officially gone #gradschooldark. First, I need a math tutor because how does math work? You gotta understand, I bombed the math portion of my SATs back in the day -- my math scores kept getting lower despite attending SAT math prep twice a week. Even my instructor was like, "WTF?" I'm freaking out. Second, I feel like I'm putting the cart before the horse a little bit here because while my intended degree program at my prospective school doesn't require GRE scores, certain certificate programs that are offered in conjunction with other departments do require GRE scores. And as luck would have it, I'm heavily interested in those certificate programs. >___< I'm going to have to go down to the university and speak with someone about all this. I'm scared, y'all. So if you feel like sending good math vibes or some courage my way, I sure would appreciate it. Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

5 years! + Wet n Wild Mega Last Poppy Culture

Happy fifth birthday to Stuff! When I started this blog, my initial projection was that I'd do it for a couple of years, tops, and then fade out as my life picked back up, which seems to be the way most blogs go these days. The mediums have changed, too -- there are far more vlogs/YouTube channels, pins, and Instagram accounts now than there were five years ago.

I'm glad I kept this space, though. Because of this blog, I've made some wonderful personal connections; in particular, getting to know other nail enthusiasts for the last five years, whether you came from NB or other blogs, has been so fun. It's also hard to think of a time when I wasn't constantly in contact with some of the women who have become dear friends (in fact, I'm planning to visit Janice this fall!). Because of this blog, I had a semi-creative outlet, gained new perspectives on website maintenance and content creation, and of course I've definitely schooled myself in polish -- all good things for which I always will be grateful as I hurtle toward my 30s and, most likely, another career change.

My very first post was about a Chanel. Five years later, I find it funny that I'm not quite able to get away from drugstore polishes! You know how it is, you run in to grab a water or whatever, and then you detour by the cosmetics ... They're such cheap thrills. And in all honesty, I've had generally better wear results with my Wet n Wild Mega Last polishes than with some of my Chanels. I can't knock that!

I wanted to post a polish that would double as a good July Fourth polish and a fun blogiversary? blogaversary? pick, so a warm red seemed safe. But the name of this LE Wet n Wild from the Mega Last line really sealed the deal, because HELLO, HAVE YOU READ THIS BLOG? Emoji heart eyes, motherfucker! I'm sure Poppy Culture has dupes -- it gave me Essie Color Binge vibes -- but ... $1.99! I think I passed up a Mountain Dew for this. Whatever. Worth it.

Three coats with SV.

(had to sharpen this one. sorry if it looks grainy or weird)

Not the most original color, but I don't mind. Like Color Binge, this red is heavy on the orange but also retains a hint of coral. In that sense, Poppy Culture isn't tonally close to other poppy shades I've got in my stash, since those tend to be deeper (e.g., SH CSM Perfectly Poppy + Joe Fresh Poppy); nor would I consider this a tomato red. The formula on this creme is wonderful and for its original price point, you'd be hard pressed to find a better polish with this quality. So while I might not have a lot to say about this polish, I'm pretty happy with it.

My wear was just OK with this since I did a fair amount of washing stuff and food prep. After three days, I had tip wear, SV scuffs, and most of the polish on my chippy finger had peeled right off. That was fun. But I think that's par for the course right now with food prep & my weird chip-prone nail, so I won't hold it against Poppy Culture.

Poppy Culture was one of four Mega Last polishes included in the LE Lost in the Wild Flowers collection, which I started seeing in April, so I don't know if you'd be able to walk into your closest Walgreens and still find it. If you're still hankering for this, though, this is on sale on the Wet n Wild website, and make sure you check the clearance section at Walgreens, Rite Aid, or even Kmart (Kmart beauty clearance MAJORLY came through for me earlier this spring, and after that I will never skip it if I'm close to one that might have what I want!).

Maybe not the most exciting blog birthday post, but I thought a late one would be better than not having one at all, or glossing over it completely, which is what I did last year and not totally fair to something that's brought me some joy for several years. So thank you for reading, commenting, emailing, and swapping polish with me, or just RAOKing it because you're that nice. Thank you for every follow and every repin and every like on IG. Thank you for making these past five years a little more special for me to look back on. It's meant more than I can say. <3