Monday, August 31, 2009

Reader Request: 3 LA Girl Disco Brites swatches (Funkadelic, Chic, Disco Ball)

I REALLY want more of these Disco Brites: I love how... bright and jelly the polishes are. Sure, this makes application a little bit of a pain but when they work well, they work REALLY well. Sigh. When's CherryCulture's next sale?? C'mon Labor Day... c'mon Labor Day... When did a holiday meant to commemorate workers become a "HEY SHOPPING IS SOOOO AWESOME DAY"? (I suppose roughly around the same time all holidays took on that meaning.)

LA Girl Disco Brites Funkadelic
It's a bit more dusty and muted IRL. Very pigmented despite the jellilocity (I just make up words) of it.

LA Girl Disco Brites Chic
Didn't think I'd like this peachy magenta shade but the jelly, the squish! Not a fan of pinks but this is a "look at your nails, smile happily at the sight" polish.

LA Girl Disco Brites Disco Ball

I was very surprised at how much I loved this jelly slight-off-white. Three coats and the glossiness gave it an almost pearly look. It was bright without being stark: an opaque white that didn't just lie flat on the nail. My favorite white so far (and I have a bunch of them).

Unfortunately I sense that the Disco Brites line are going to be a little hit or miss for me. Thicker jelly polishes, such as these, get difficult to handle if you're into doing more than two coats. I don't think I would have the patience to do any of these as a four-coater (because I'd actually have to wait for layers to dry) and for that reason, the yellow, oranges and lighter greens and blues of this collection would not go over so well (for me anyway).
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An overactive conscience + Lippmann... raffle-esque deal (?)

Before I post about the Lippmann non-deal, I just wanted to say quickly that for my part, unless I indicate a relationship between a retailer and this blog specifically, the sales I post up are ones that I hear about through Nail Board, email newsletters or have seen on websites that I've been on. I just figure that if you're like me, you're going to be spending money on polishes anyway, so being able to save 10% here or there does help a little bit (though I do wonder if I'd spend anything at all if I didn't know about coupons). That being said...

The most non-sale ever is going on for one day only (September 1st, 2009) at the Lippmann Collection website. If you wanted any of the new releases, including the Celebrate collex, and enjoy the thrill of the luck of the draw, purchase something on this website: one of ten customers will be given a $50 gift certificate. Those are pretty good odds.


You know what else is pretty good? Quite a few of the older Lippmanns for sale for $12 each (+$5 flat shipping) at Hello Gorgeous. A wider selection is available at BeautyBridge (don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for 5% off first orders) for $16 with free shipping on any order. Additionally, BeautyBridge also has a price-matching program: if both Hello Gorgeous and BeautyBridge have the same polish, buy it from BeautyBridge for the free shipping and then email them with the link to Hello Gorgeous within five days of purchase and get the difference refunded.

Also, BeautySak sells a wide selection of Lippmann (including Celebrate collex, Marquee Moon and Don't Tell Mama) for $15 each, free shipping for $50+. And finally, if you're buying a whole huge lot of Lippmann (like, a veritable ton), Nordstrom's has them for the normal price ($16), $5 shipping for orders $50+ (with code: BEAUTY), but you can also get 3% cashback if you have an ebates account.

Ahh, comparison shopping. Always fun. :)
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MAC - Dry Martini

I must apologize in advance to Flinty; her Dry Martini is en route and I don't mean to tread on any toes by commenting on this first. Sorry, Flinty! (Her opinion might be quite different from mine however, so I look forward to hearing what she has to say about it.)

Having said that, I thought I'd ask our readers just what they thought of this polish or, more specifically, what they think of this polish on my hands. To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of it. In a way, to me this is the nail polish version of MAC's Smoke and Diamonds, which, in my opinion, is a very confused eye shadow that is sometimes taupe, sometimes green and sometimes smokey grey. You'd think that would be a good thing, right? Not always.

Application
Dry Martini goes on very well. I do not have a lot of experience with MAC polishes; the one other colour I do have, I can't complain about and in that light, Dry Martini is the same. In one coat DM is a bit streaky, but after two you attain a nice creamy coverage. For the swatches I present here, I've applied three for good measure, but this is not necessary and it should be noted that I typically apply two coats of colour for all of my manicures. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Good
If you want a colour that can be categorized as unique then Dry Martini might be for you. After I looked at it online (the initial swatch on AllLaqueredUp being what sold me), I was convinced I needed this colour in my life as I thought it was something rarely seen. I still think that's a fair statement, to a point.

Under the lights at MAC, this polish was nothing special. After I'd gotten it home, it was already dark, so I waited until I could see this polish under bright sun to truly understand its complexity. In the light, DM reminds me of a smooth river rock; a little muddy, a little mossy. The olive tones of the colour really come through when it catches the sun.

The Bad
Unfortunately, with fall drawing closer and skies slowly turning to grey, there will be little sun for me to stick my hands under in order to admire the olive beauty buried deep within this polish. Neither yellow lamp light nor fluorescent light adequately brings the green of this polish to the surface. After a small sampling, it is clear that most people simply think of this colour as "brown". (Not even "khaki" as it is pleasantly described by MAC.)

The Ugly
I've heard this polish described on forums and other blogs as something reminiscent of what you'd find in a baby's diaper. While I think this description does the polish a disservice, I find that I'm really disappointed that it isn't more green as was initially promised.

Personally, I think this polish looks decent enough against my skin, but I'm not convinced that it's unique enough to warrant paying MAC prices, nor am I convinced that other people won't find it a) unprofessional or b) downright disgusting.

What do you guys think?

-mKat


shade sun flash


P.S. In case you hadn't noticed, I've chopped my nails off. :P I'm going in to Apple to give the iPhone one last try. No nails = no excuses. If I can't type now, I'll chalk it up to technological ineptitude on my part and I'll (sadly) admit that the iPhone is not for me.
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Barielle Labor Day sale

Now through Labor Day, Barielle is offering free shipping on orders $50+ (as usual) with its typical Buy 2 colors Get 1 FREE and 10% off of $60+; 15% off of $75+; or 20% off of $100+. No code necessary.

Don't forget the 10% off FREE10 coupon code (expiry unknown) as well as a first-time order code when you sign up for the newsletter (15% off). As far as I know, these codes can be "stacked" (i.e. used together) though I don't know if they can be used in conjunction with the above sale. Worth a try, right?

By the way, I've been adding bunches of nail polish blogs to our blogroll on the sidebar. If you know of a nail polish or nail art blog (or a beauty blog that features nail polish at least 70% of the time) that I haven't yet linked to, please let me know. There are 145 nail polish blogs listed here so far and I'd love to have a more comprehensive list of them!
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Just another manic Monday

Wow, I can't believe August is over!! I have no idea where my summer went and can't believe tomorrow is September. I REALLY dont want summer to end!!! Tomorrow means only two weeks till my exam :( Sooo nervous!!

So here's the evolution of my mani for the past WEEK =x Been so crazy lately that I didn't have time to pamper
myself! Here is an oldie but goodies, China Glaze Ruby Pumps! The first picture is in natural light, followed by full sunlight. This polish was hauled baack in March and I JUST used it last week lol talk about backed up!


After I got bored of it I topped it with Maybelline Colorama in Ruby Rays


This is my first flakie nail polish!! It definitely made Ruby Pumps over the top haha with all the glitter and duochrome flakies! Unforuntately, the sun didn't come out when I did this, so no magnificent photos of it in the sunshine.
And then....... to top it all off, I made it matte with Nubar's V for Men. This def turned it into a whole diff mani! From beginning to end I wore this whole mani for SIX days!!!!!!! It held up beautifully :)
read more "Just another manic Monday"

The last throes of summer: some old yellow swatches I don't think I've posted yet

Days are getting shorter, weather's just a bit chillier (though we seem to have hit a mini heat wave here in the last few days), for those in climates where you have deciduous trees, maybe the leaves are starting to turn. (Or maybe they've turned brown and dropped off in the summer heat. :P) I miss New England in the fall. Hell, I miss seasons, period. Except for hot, humid summers on the East Coast -- those I lack all missingness for.

Since I'm on the quarter system, I still have a couple of weeks reprieve before school starts again: I'm going into the 2nd year of my PhD program. I'm starting to get really nervous, remembering how hard my first year was (for a number of reasons, both personal and professional). But there's no reason to suspect that anything will be different than the year before, except this year, I'll know what I'm doing. I'm even TA'ing the same class again as I did last spring, Psychology of Language. Except there'll be more papers to grade this time around: 5 essays in the quarter (i.e. every two weeks), 50+ papers for the two TAs.

For all you students who complain about having to write papers, let me remind you of your TAs (or, for the lucky ones, professors) who have to read and critique them. :) After TA'ing for the first time last year, I realized something: bullshit is obvious (as is ill-preparedness and lack of proofreading). I really wanted to write my college professors and be like, "I am sorry for not proofreading! I am sorry that it was so obvious that I had NO idea what I was talking about at times! I am sorry I made such a fool of myself on paper and didn't fully realize how foolish I sounded!"

Anyway, instead of discussing the irritations of grading, I think I'll post some pretty nail polish pictures. Here are some yellow swatches I've done in the last few months but haven't gotten a chance to post here. I love yellow and am always on a mission to find the perfect yellow creme nail polish. For those of you who love yellow too, you know that yellow is often one of the hardest colors to work with: often streaky, goopy and hard to build to an opaque finish. Here are some of the better examples of yellow cremes I've found.
Chinoiserie Joy
Four coats yet still VNL. Not a fan of Chinoiserie. At $8 a bottle (plus the hassle of actually ordering Chinoiserie), for polishes that have largely disappointed me thus far... I doubt I'll be putting in a Chinoiserie order again.

OPI The "It" Color
I love this warm golden yellow (it almost tiptoes its way to a soft orange, but not quite): it's streaky and kind of sticky for the first two coats but by the third, it settles down into a lovely smooth finish with VNL that's only visible if you scrutinize it. If happiness had a color, it would be this.

Barielle Lemondrops
Fairly decent yellow: a shade too cool for me, I think, but as a polish, it was alright. Not the easiest to work with but nor was it a huge pain in the ass. Unlike the other Barielles from this summer's line, I found the formula somewhat hard to control.

Misa Happy Happy
Okay, maybe happiness would be this color. Seriously one of the best yellows ever: applied beautifully, three coats, no VNL. Gorgeously glossy finish. Better than OPI The "It" Color because TIC is more of an orange-y yellow whereas this is, like, the platonic form of a yellow: the color lemons are supposed to be. :)

Nubar Lemon Sorbet
I wanted this polish so bad for so long. And then I got it, and it just was waaaay too bright and chalky. A glossier, jellier finish would've suited me better. It applied fine in three coats, but just didn't look good on me.

And of course, check out my latest post on Illamasqua for Wayward (a couple posts down), a fabulous cool yellow creme.
read more "The last throes of summer: some old yellow swatches I don't think I've posted yet"

MAC free shipping all week


It's pretty easy to find free shipping deals from MAC but they've made it just that much easier this week: free shipping all week on any purchase (expires: September 7th, 2009). Personally, I'm not totally impressed by the Jin Soon collex but I do have Dry Martini en route right now. :)
read more "MAC free shipping all week"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ULTA discount/promo code: 20% off entire order

ULTA has a coupon code for 20% off your entire order, code 28671 (expiration date: September 5th, 2009). ULTA carries a bunch of drugstore brands, as well as Essie (including Matte About You), Piggy Polish, and their own brand nail polish (which is Buy 2 Get 1 Free at the moment). Free shipping for purchases $50+.

Also, for ebates members: ULTA has 3% cashback.
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Illamasqua NOTD + swatches + some glitters

Today, I have the saddest Illamasqua Rampage swatch ever: I didn't even think that I had just lotioned up my hands before taking photos of my NOTD and so everything is a smeary fingerprinty mess. So instead of one nice picture, I'll post two less-nice pictures:

Illamasqua Rampage

Opaque in three coats. It is a VERY lovely dark green jelly, no doubt about that. But this is one of the times where I think to myself "$14 gift card to Sephora... or this nail polish?" (Actually, since I ordered 4 Illamasquas at once and kept the receipt, the thought process is more like "$56 gift card to Sephora... or four nail polishes?" Right now, I'm not lemming anything huge from Sephora but I will one day.)

Illamasqua Rampage with LA Girl Rock Star Crowd Surfing on top
From left to right: four coats, three coats, two coats and one coat of crowd surfing. Crowd Surfing was a huge disappointment on its own because I had hoped it'd be an opaque shimmery green flakey but alas, it will only really do by itself if there's an opaque basecoat. Still, it's a beauty when layered over a dark color like Rampage: the copper flakies are especially striking. It appears too frosty though: maybe less silver (or is light green?) shimmer would have suited me better. I won't be reaching for this one a lot but I just love the way it looks in the bottle!

Closeup of Crowd Surfing on top of Rampage

Illamasqua Jan
A smooth lavender pink creme. The color is nothing special. Of the four Illamasquas I got, this is one I'm most likely to return. It's not a color that suits my complexion or personality and I may already have five Essies that are this color.

Illamasqua Wayward
This has to be one of my favorite yellows so far. The application was much easier than one expects from a yellow, though there were still some bald spots after three coats. Still, it's better than the streaky messes that yellows usually are. It sucks that I love it too much -- it's one of the only good yellows I've managed to find so far and if I end up keeping any one of these Illamasquas, it'll be this one.

Illamasqua Milf
Minty green goodness. Mint green is one of my favorite nail polish colors ever, which means I don't want to return this because it's a color I love and I want a million of them. The application was not streaky on this but it was a bit goopier than I expected it to be. After I swatched this, I knew it was perfect for this glitter that I bought off of nbmarketplace (a used polish selling LiveJournal community that is open to members of MUA).

Illamasqua Milf with Tony & Tina Evolution on top (one coat)

Illamasqua Milf with Tony & Tina Evolution on top (two coats)
OMG. This is the BEST SILVER GLITTER TOPCOAT EVER. It could be opaque after awhile: it wouldn't be bumpy per se (it's surprisingly smooth for such big chunks of glitter) but it would be... scaly... like a fish... a very SHINY fish. It's SO bright and reflective. I want to put this on top of everything. Anyone else familiar with Tony & Tina polishes? I'm under the impression they were discontinued. But if any of them are like Evolution... gimme them all!!

Close up of Milf and Evolution

(don't forget to enter in the BB Couture for Men giveaway! I'm having a great time reading everyone's entries for what polishes they'd like to see featured on Polish or Perish! Also, the chance for free nail polish! yay!)
read more "Illamasqua NOTD + swatches + some glitters"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Inglot's 852



3 coats.
Applied well. Dried quickly.
This is a black jelly with purple shimmer. There is a subtle multicolored shimmer as well.
The black jelly is predominant w/ first few coats. However, it purples up as the shimmer builds.
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Old Color Club NOTDs: Magic Attraction + Oooooo La La & Reader Request: a Revlon scented polish

For the first NOTD, it was a pretty straightforward Color Club Oooooo La La (I have no idea what the correct number of "o"s are -- too many). Stark white alleviated by shimmer, smooth application. Really, quite a lovely white.

Color Club Oooooo La La

The following day, I decided to layer it with Color Club Magic Attraction.

Color Club Oooooo La La with Color Club Magic Attraction on top
Looks dull and drab as still photo but the video illustrates the holo glitteriness of it. This could be built up to opaque in four coats, I imagine.



In a different vein/company/color/gimmick:
I only recently saw (and bought) my first Revlon scented polish -- I wouldn't have even paid them any attention if it weren't for a P or P reader request! -- and I am very pleased with it! Admittedly, at first, I was skeptical: a scented polish? I had just gotten out of Inglot where they claimed their (oh-so-painfully slow) non-acetone polish remover ($7 for a small bottle) smelled like "orange blossoms". (It smelled like polish remover.)

But behold, my Revlon Not So Blue-berry smelled like fake candy blueberries! It doesn't smell as much when wet but it gives a distinct candy scent when dry. Surprisingly enough, the scent even lingered for awhile. The polish itself was also quite pretty: a light blue foil with a very slight blue-purple duochrome effect. I'm not a huge fan of Revlons (or of foils, for that matter) but if I find any more of these, I will probably be tempted to pick up a few.

Revlon Not-So-Blueberry scented polish

read more "Old Color Club NOTDs: Magic Attraction + Oooooo La La & Reader Request: a Revlon scented polish"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Filed under "What was I thinking?"

Creative genius, while good in theory, can often produce questionable results...

Base colour: China Glaze - Breakin' (orange); China Glaze - Shower Together (aqua crème)
Stamp: Konad SP - Black Pearl; China Glaze - Shower Together
Plate - m45 (French); m51 (flowers)
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails w/ Nylon in Nude (no. 95)

As you may know, I am a huge fan of MAC, and last Thursday was the official launch of their Makeup Art Cosmetics collection. Having never had within my possession Firespot (one of the most beautiful orange eye shadows that MAC has ever created), I was extremely excited for the debut of Off The Page, a lovely frosty orange eye shadow with a hint of gold shimmer. The gold undertones are complex enough that in the right light, I'd dare to call it a duochrome, a gorgeous transition colour to move beyond the fun of summer and into the heart of fall...

Anyway... in its honor, I decided to debut another orange that day: Behold Breakin', part of China Glaze's 2009 (summer) Kicks palette. It's also a gorgeous orange with a hint of gold shimmer. Lovely enough with two coats (but I should probably have applied three for truly opaque coverage.) On its own, this colour was stunning; bright and cheerful without being over the top, the way Solar Power (a ChG yellow) can wear on me. Looking back, I probably should have left well enough alone...

But of course, I did not.

I don't quite remember how this accident got started as it was Sunday or Monday when this experiment began. I think I tried Konading something in white, having thought that black and orange was far too Hallowe'en for the end of August. The white inevitably became a hot mess, and none of my usual stamping colours seemed to fit with orange. Gold could have worked but it would have been incredibly subtle and I thought this orange deserved better than that.

So, somehow, we ended up here. An orange shimmer and crème teal french. As if that wasn't bad enough I thought throwing on some fishnets would make things better. Not so! And the flowers? I would have stamped them in DV8, but wouldn't you know it refused to cooperate.

Oh well. I think I've got one more truly outrageous looking manicure to do before classes start up... I'll try to make the most of it. But not before I give MAC's Dry Martini a run for its money.

-mKat





Coming up: Dry Martini: hopefully not the same shade as the mess Canada geese leave behind.

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100th post! BeautySak deals + a question about these types of posts

I dunno if number of posts for a blog is a milestone but 100 is a nice round number to comment on. That's not bad for about six weeks and seven bloggers: awww... I remember when it was just me. Because that's a real tax on my memory there. :)

I'd like to point y'all in the direction of BeautySak, which sells a decent selection of Rescue Beauty Lounge and pretty much ALL Lippmann polishes at a slightly discounted rate: all Lippmanns are $15 ($1 cheaper than most places) and the core RBL polishes are $16 ($2 cheaper than most) though the few new RBLs are the typical $18. Shipping is always free on orders over $50 -- a total easy to reach when you're buying polishes for $16 a pop.

And on that subject, do readers of this blog like that I so frequently update with coupon codes, sales and lower-than-usual-prices that I hear about?

(Don't forget to enter in the BB Couture for Men giveaway using the form in the sidebar!!)
read more "100th post! BeautySak deals + a question about these types of posts"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beauty Bridge coupon/promo code

BeautyBridge currently has a 10% off most items. They always do free shipping on any order in the US (fabulous for the time I needed one single polish!) and carry the following brands: Lippmann Collection, Nailtini, Sula Paint & Peel, Pop Nail Glam, Pixi, Babor and Sothys. Code: SUMMER10 (expires: August 31st, 2009).

The Pop Nail Glams are tempting. It's been a latent lemming of mine for awhile.
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Three different kinds of frankening moods in 36 hours: franken NOTDsI

My last three NOTDs sort of exemplify three of my four types of frankening moods.

Mood #1: "Hey, I want a polish of this color." Basically, filling a gap in my collection.

Nameless pastel yellow franken
This one I did at the behest of my SO who said he wanted something that kind of resembled Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn jelly beans. Since I didn't have the color, I made one up.

Mood #2: "I like it but I'd like it better if..."

Then there are times where I know of a polish (either have seen it online or own it) that I like the idea of but I think I might like it more if it were more this way or more that way. This was the case with Barielle Falling Star. It's striking and interesting but there's something about it that I didn't like enough to order (though I ended up being disappointed that I didn't). I love the copper glitter but I think it's too sparse and the single color/size was too flat for my taste. I call these dupes but they're more "inspired by a true story" type frankens.

Sometimes, my straight-up frankendupe attempts get downgraded to this category when I can't figure out how a certain effect is achieved. Or when I decide that I like the franken as is, screw that it doesn't exactly resemble whatever I'm trying to copy.

Consolation Prize, v1.0 (still needs tweaking)

Close-up of Consolation Prize
I definitely didn't try to copy Falling Star. I just took a couple of elements I liked: a lightish blue and a color of glitter that isn't often found in blue polish (would've preferred a copper like in the actual polish but I settled for red instead). Then I just went to town and added whatever else I thought might look fun mixed in.

Mood #3: "Ooh, I like it... but I'm not going to buy it."

Then there are times when I do frankendupes because I'm either too cheap/stubborn to buy a polish that I really love the look of OR when there's a popular polish that seems like it may present a novel challenge. (Frequent candidates for these are Lippmann and RBL polishes...) Predictably, these take the longest since there's a whole routine to it: find every big picture of the target polish (swatches and in the bottle), stare at these pictures, read as many descriptions of its appearance, finish and application as possible, identify possible components, then pick out all the polishes in my collection that could go into that. Maybe mix a couple of things on a paper plate to get a start but generally, I work in the bottle (hint: start with really small amounts). Today's NOTD is an example of that. Don't feel like shelling out the cash for RBL Scrangie but was curious to see if I could reproduce something like it. These are the worst: whenever I get the urge to frankendupe, it's just an irresistible mood: I NEED to do it immediately, to the best of my ability, RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

I was in the middle of finishing up some transcription for my research when the urge to frankendupe RBL Scrangie hit. The result:

Pale Imitation, v1.0 (definitely needs tweaking still)
Like I mentioned on NB already, it needs to be more jelly, darker, a tad bit more red-toned... sigh. A frankendupe is truly never finished.

And then there's Mood #4 (which has no NOTD illustration at the moment): "...I wonder what I'd get if I mixed these together." Some of my best frankens... and biggest disasters. :)

Anyway, back to research now that I've done a frankendupe... and posted about it. Whew. Needed to get that out of my system.

P.S. Remember to enter in the BB Couture for Men giveaway using the form in the upper right of the webpage!!
read more "Three different kinds of frankening moods in 36 hours: franken NOTDsI"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some Barielle swatches from the All Lacquered Up collection

I was in a weird mood when I ordered my Barielle/ALU polishes. I usually like the unusual, attention-getting polishes but neglected to get Falling Star (it kinda just tweaks me the wrong way) or the green one (a bit too frosty looking). So I got mostly cremes from the collection and after two long weeks of waiting -- seriously, did FedEx come by way of Papua New Guinea? -- I got them today and... I am underwhelmed. I might not have been so underwhelmed if it didn't take so long, thereby building anticipation... but anticipation was built and after all that build-up, I experienced a let-down.

Part of this is that in three of the five ALU/Barielle polishes I received, the bristles in the brush were loose. This is not a huge problem: find a pair of scissors, do some snipping, presto chango, brush with no bristles prickling out in odd directions. But there are cheaper polishes (that arrive in a more timely manner) with brushes that aren't defective. And I really don't like having to make something "as good as new" when I've bought them new. :P One of the non-prickly-bristle polishes was also kinda goopy, which made swatching nicely just that much harder. So out of the five ALU/Barielle polishes I got, only one applied without a single hitch.

Enough of me complaining. On to the pictures!

Barielle U-Concrete-Me
Nice basic grey with a slightly browned base. Perfectly lovely and the application would have been sooooo smooth, if not for the bristles. Again, scissors, snip-snip, perfection.

Barielle Putt-E-On-Me
I love me some taupe! This one with a slightly more reddish/purple base. Fab application. Sure, I have a lot of these sorts of drab taupe-y creme shades right now but I like 'em and I'll keep buying 'em until I realize I have waaaay too many.

Barielle Get-Mauve-ing
Doesn't do a thing for me. I don't hate it -- it's a pretty nice polish -- but I can't see reaching for this ever again.

Barielle Make-It-a-Latte
I'm getting into browns lately and am loving this one: rich brown with gold and red shimmer. Very classy and very autumn.

Close-up of Make-It-a-Latte (is there a pun I'm not getting here? What is up with the hyphens?)

Barielle Blackened-Bleu

Saved my favorite to last. I didn't know if I would care of this one since it seemed dupey to China Glaze Blk-Bila-Bong (more hyphens!) but I haven't compared them yet. I just know that this is one gorgeous polish with a lot of depth and appearances depending on how the light hits it.

Close-up of Blackened-Bleu

From these polishes, and the photos I've seen online, I don't see any real compelling reason to run out and buy the rest of the collex (especially without the 15% off coupon first-timer coupon). And since I also picked up five others I've wanted from old/core collections, I probably won't be indulging in Barielle very much for awhile. It seems to be a very reliable brand with good application and a nice variety of colors and finishes, but at a normal $8 a piece + shipping (even if you do the Buy-2-Get-1-Free)... eh, there are other polishes in the sea. :) It is very cool, though, that Michelle at ALU got to help design these polishes. Does anyone know if she profits from them as well?
read more "Some Barielle swatches from the All Lacquered Up collection"

Neiman Marcus and MAC coupon/promo code

For those interested in Lippmann (not recent ones), StrangeBeautiful (why on earth sell all the polishes in two sets?), NARS (including Tokaido Express) and Chanel (including some recent ones, I think -- I'm not familiar with Chanel), Neiman Marcus is doing free shipping with code: NMAUG (expires 8/26/09).

Since the Jin Soon polishes are out, a MAC coupon code for free shipping plus mascara sample: LASH99 (expiry unknown). Can't wait for Dry Martini to arrive!
read more "Neiman Marcus and MAC coupon/promo code"

Green Nail Wheel Comparison

Hello all! Tomorrow is my official school orientation and I am N-E-R-V-O-U-S. Ugh! I think my NOTD for tomorrow may be RBL Scrangie for some extra confidence and something pretty to look at. :)

Now, before the nail wheel, I have some thoughts I wanted to share. As you know, I recently got married and I have decided to change my last name to his. Many of my feminist friends find this decision to be wrong, which led me to question why? The reason I'm changing my last name is not because I feel I have to but because I personally detest the last name I was born with. I associate my maiden name with some very negative family experiences and I'm ready to give it up.

So does this make me a bad feminist? Does indulging in activities or actions traditionally associated with being a submissive female, even if done for different reasons, make a female a "bad" feminist?

If it does in this case then I guess I just don't care. I'd rather share my last name with a man that I love rather than a family member who caused me an inordinate amount of pain.

Now on to cheerier things!

This nail wheel represents the more recent greens on the market.

(CLICK on the picture to make it larger!)


(Sorry for the blurriness in the lower left corner...there was a smudge on my camera lens.)

As you can see, each color is different. If you're not a nail polish addict like me, you might not need all of them. Hopefully this will help you make some decisions about which ones to buy!! If you have any specific questions leave a comment and I'll try to get back to you asap!

Some other recent green nail polishes that I do not yet have are:

BB Couture Poison Ivy
MAC Beyond Jealous
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Blackboard

I hope to get these soon and add them to the wheel!

Thanks so much for reading and don't forget to enter the BB Couture for Men giveaway!! :)
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The NOTD that I couldn't let go of (and I'm not sure why): China Glaze Agent Lavender

Today's NOTD was pretty much my NOT-Entire-D because I was too lazy to change it, even when I got really bored of it (repeatedly). I did a whole lot of swatching yesterday so I think I didn't want to deal with the whole polish-on/polish-off/polish-on-again rigmarole.

Even the application of China Glaze Agent Lavender was lazy: two coats, when I usually do three. And this one NEEDED three coats: it wasn't ugly VNL but it was VNL nonetheless. It was a little sticky in application but not streaky, since it did apply very evenly in two coats. It's just a shade more blue than lavender, IMO, but definitely more on the purple side compared to a somewhat similar shade, BB Couture Zuma Wave Rider (much bluer and more saturated, even though it is quite a light blue itself). It's a delicate color but it pops against my tanned skin, as evidenced by random people commenting on it today.

China Glaze Agent Lavender, pre-boredom:

About 12 hours into wearing Agent Lavender (6 of those were spent asleep), I felt the need to jazz it up with some sparkle so I put SpaRitual Shower the People (fine purple glitter topcoat suspended in sheer beige): very pretty but so subtle, it doesn't show up in photos.

Feeling dissatisfied 2 hours later, I decided to use some That's It? Instant Nail Art rub-on decals that I got from EZNails.com (they often, but not regularly, have them on sale for $1 each).

China Glaze Agent Lavender with That's It? Instant Nail Art in Black Daisies
I thought these decals would be less of a pain in the ass than they turned out to be. It's hard to hold a piece of stiff, flat vellum-type paper on a curved nail while simultaneously trying to rub the design on: it moves very easily and designs are easily transplanted in places besides those which you intended. But they are also easy to remove if you mess up: just scratch them off (obviously, this has to be done on dried nail polish).

Because I didn't use topcoat with these designs, they ended up getting wet an hour or two after I finished... essentially, melting the decals. That's fine, I thought they were kinda uninspired anyway... so instead of doing a new mani, I put on YET ANOTHER LAYER OF POLISH.

China Glaze Agent Lavender with Nfu.oh #50
I'm still trying to figure out what looks best with this delicate flakie polish. This isn't it. It's pretty... but it's also pretty boring. After this, I gave up -- though I did consider Konading but that would've been carrying the lazy too far (and would have defeated the whole purpose of being lazy, to boot) -- and I redid my nails in a light yellow franken that I couldn't take pictures of because by the time I got to redoing my nails, it was night (and I don't like photographing manis in sub-par light).

Voila, one polish (plus two as topcoats) and four different looks. That is how restless I was with my polish today, as well as how lazy I was. :)

Psst: don't forget to enter yourself in the BB Couture For Men Giveaway. Fill out the form in the sidebar (upper right of the webpage) to enter!
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