Friday, June 11, 2010

This week's NOTDs

So this week, I changed my polish every night! That's a first for me, since this is a relatively new obsession :)

I moved the following from the "untried" to the "tried" category:

American Apparel California Trooper
OPI Let Them Eat Rice Cake
American Apparel Office
OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender
Zoya Sloane
Zoya Dana


American Apparel California Trooper


OPI Let Them Eat Rice Cake (sorry for this awful pic. I was having issues lol)


American Apparel Office (it's looking a bit bluer here than it should... )


OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender

This one reminded me a bit of Essie Splash of Grenadine, so when I took it off tonight, I swatched a couple fingers of it:


Comparison: Essie Splash of Grenadine and OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender


Zoya Sloane: This colour is so gorgeous! I really love it, but I only wore it for a couple hours before I decided I wanted something more summery! XD

But first, I had to play a bit with Nfu Oh #40 and mattify it:






Zoya Dana (I'm obviously not so blue coloured; I had a hard time getting the colour to show accurately :( photography fail).

I think the Zoya brush is a lot easier to handle than the wide OPI (I find myself getting brush strokes with the pastel colours). I'm practicing my gap here, ya'll!

Let's see if I can make it through the weekend without changing colours.

Oh! By the way, I got some results today that I have been waiting for, and I passed the last requirement for one of my professional accreditations! I will be getting a raise next month and get to put some letters behind my name XD I allowed myself a $50 stipend for another nail polish haul (I set up this "bonus" before I got my results!) so I'm pondering on what I should get :) I'm thinking of trying BB Couture. /wistful sigh

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Comparisons

My current polish count (excluding base and topcoats) is 46, and yet somehow I have accumulated very similar shades ;)

None of my non-polish-crazy friends can tell the difference :( But I know you guys understand!!

First: sorry for the messy application; I have yet to find a clean up brush, so I have not done any cleaning up here! :( Any recommendations?


I prefer American Apparel California Trooper to Essie Playa del Platinum; it's slightly warmer.


I prefer American Apparel Office to China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint. AA Office is dustier and more muted; seems less outrageous for my work environment :) I didn't have any of the application problems with this polish that I was expecting bsaed on reviews. Yay!


American Apparel Butter and China Glaze Lemon Fizz. I think I prefer the China Glaze here, but I think both look kind of bad on me :( My fingers at not usually this red though! I had an awful time with applying AA Butter as a full mani the other night; I got so frustrated I had to take it all off. So gloopy! I need to thin that bad boy out!


Obviously not dupe-ish AT ALL, but my friend Tish had picked up After Glow for me and was wondering what it looked like next to Strawberry Fields.


Yeah I bought both Orly Gumdrop and China Glaze For Audrey. I prefer the Orly one because somehow I think it looks a tiny bit better on me.


Here they are layered with my glitter polish from The Face Shop


And mattified. I think I like this look!


The Face Shop GR501 on its own.

I've worn a new colour every day so far.. that's a first for me! I'll post those NOTD pics soon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Haul in the City

I think I like to pretend that I have self control; for instance, I'll say I don't eat much ice cream. The truth is I usually don't buy ice cream. If I buy ice cream, I'll eat it even if it's midnight.

Speaking of ice cream, Haagen Dazs was on sale a couple weeks ago for $1.75 a pint (!!!), so there were 6 in my freezer for a while there. There's only 3 now. Dulce de Leche is my absolutely favourite ice cream ever.

What I'm getting at, is that when I set up the no-buy for myself after my TransDesign haul, I broke it almost immediately when the opportunity to acquire polishes reared its ugly (read: lovely) multi-coloured-head.

Hopefully this makes you feel better about your recent indulgences!

I'm moving in two weeks to a 2 bedroom apartment, and that means a trip to Ikea... which means I'll be tempted to buy a Helmer (ok, I'll be honest here, I'm probably just going to buy one). Then, with all this extra space to store polish, naturally I'll want to fill it up. Don't those badboys hold 500 bottles?

Well, let's consider this my contribution to this future problem:


This haul made me so happy!!! Honestly, I was grinning like a kid by the end of the day. I didn't get all of this on Saturday; the Nfu Oh and Stila palette were from prior purchases :3

Nfu Oh #40: I hauled this a while ago from fabuloustreet.com when I had been depressed about not being able to find Hidden Treasure. So I bought this.



Close-up of flakiliciousness

Stila It Girl Palette: Stila had free shipping over Memorial Day weekend and I couldn't resist a $10 palette :p The pans are a little smaller than normal Stila pans, but contain a tiny bit more product. This is the same palette that was found in some $20 Costco bundles, I think.

This just arrived today via UPS, so I've only swatched them.


Left to right: Lamé, Chloe, Kitten

I think I mentioned before that I'm a bridge-and-tunnel girl now, so I hopped on my Port Authority bound bus Saturday around lunch. Ever since I moved here and got my car, I have spent almost no time walking compared to when I lived in cities. I always get awful shin splints after going to NYC because of all the walking you inevitably do. Although, my calves and shins feel fine this time! \o/

What am I babbling about. Why do I babble so much?

I walked down 8th ave to Beauty 35, which I had checked out on Yelp the day before. Great place! They had Essie, OPI, ORLY, and some cheaper polishes. They also carried NYX makeup, which I would soon learn was all over the city, but I have actually stuck to my make-up no-buy fairly well (ok, I've spent $15 since end of May).

Here, I picked up my first two ORLYs (at $5 each):


The baggie is so adorable too!


Country Club Khaki: I had been wanting this for a while now and I'm THRILLED with it! It's exactly what I wanted from Essie Playa del Platinum (too cool and grey, gave me lobster hands) and OPI Tickle My France-y (too red/pinkish/mauvey). It is just perfection. When I had been wearing Rimmel's Steel Grey, all I could think about is wishing it were lighter and less mauvey. Now I have that! :) I can safely cross off all my other taupey mushroomy colours from my Wish list, because this is what I was hoping for all along. There are such things as happy endings XD


I wore it as a mani for 2 days. I thought I could go all week without changing it because I love it so much, but I failed miserably at that too.


Gumdrop: I have China Glaze For Audrey. I knew that these were too close to have both, but I bought it anyways. I'm glad I did, though! I swatched them next to one another, and Gumdrop is somehow more flattering on me than FA! I really want to wear this, but I have Country Club Khaki on and I am in love with it right now. AGH!

This one came with a free lip gloss, but since I don't really use gloss, I gave it to my friend L2, who I was meeting up with later.

I saw the new OPI summer collection here, but passed on it. I almost bought Essie Mint Candy Apple because they still had it in stock, but I decided against it too! So yay? I showed some tiny restraint?

Next, I walked down to 32nd street and headed towards Koreatown.

I passed by Wigs and Plus which had a decent selection of OPI, permanent Essies, the neon Color Club collection, and more NYX makeup. I didn't get anything here, though.

I also popped into Jack's 99c store to see if they had any polish, but the only thing I found was a wall of ELF products. It was too busy in there for me to figure out if there was more polish, but I picked up an eyeliner brush to test as a clean up brush. I also wanted to get some of that shimmering facial whip, but they didn't seem to have it.

ELF Eyeliner Brush:The eyeliner brush failed miserably as a cleanup brush. It was too thick and not stiff enough *giggles*. I tried to trim it, but I still couldn't get it to work for me. Oh well, just a $1 and worth a shot, right? It's not in the pic because I already threw it out XD

I should have picked up the concealer brush instead, which may have worked better because it has a tapered, flat head. Next time I'm in the city, I'll pick that up. I'm glad I found somewhere with ELF products (my Target doesn't have them yet) so I don't have to pay for shipping or buy a ton of cheap products to get free shipping.

Anyway, my reason for going to K-town was to check out The Face Shop. I'd seen it before when I used to live nearby, but I was not interested in beauty back then. I really wanted to get that hyped white mud nose pack from The Face Shop, but they didn't have it in stock. :(

By the way, it's been really hot and gross and muggy the last couple weeks on the east coast, and Saturday was pretty awful to be walking around. I sweat profusely around my hairline and on my upper lip, so I felt really self conscious in The Face Shop with two perfect Korean store attendants watching me like a hawk while I wiped away sweat on my brow with a crumpled paper towel. At least my eye makeup was looking good (imo. haha).

Since the $6 white mud nose pack was out of stock, the girl offered me a $13 alternative. Don't worry, I stuck to my guns. Instead, I picked up a Mung Bean foaming face wash, a layering nail polish, and some polish remover.



Mung Beans Herb Day Cleansing Foam: $8 for a huge tube (170 ml) and is very creamy and foamy. It leaves my skin more "squeaky" clean compared to my current face wash. There's a bit of a clean scent, kind of plant-y, but nothing offensive.

Nail polish remover in pink: This was $2.50 (I think) for 100 ml, which I think is a good deal. It smells DIVINE! Honestly, I don't know how it smells so good!! It's strawberry scented and not gross in any way at all. The blue one is bubblegum scented, I think, but I prefer strawberry. Really glad I picked this up!!


Nail colour in GR501: This was $5.50 which kind of shocked me, because the polish section only had a sticker that said $2-5.50, and I honestly thought this would be one of the $2 ones. I was naive and too sweaty to ask -_- I bought this mostly to layer on top of For Audrey (and now Gumdrop) to try and emulate Chanel Nouvelle Vague. I'll have to make a post on that later.

The girl gave me a couple free samples and I gave one of them to L2. Two of the samples were the white mud nose pack ALTERNATIVE she tried to sell me, but I haven't tried it yet. We'll see!

After my sweaty The Face Shop encounter, I went over to LUSH, at the Herald Square location I wanted to buy Lemony Flutter.

Ok let me just say that I hate walking by, much less entering, LUSH because of the strong scents. I get a headache and find the smells invasive.

My plan was to grab the butter and get out of there ASAP. I went inside, tried a little sample and stupidly tried to smell it. Obviously, you can't smell jack in that store. I was then accosted by a girl who proceeded to tell me an entire lemon went into that tub!!!! I have no idea if that is true, and I couldn't care less. Why does she think that's a selling point? I'm here to get soft cuticles, not consume a lemon in the process.

Anyways, she asked if I was interested in it or just "touching up" (which I thought was kind of rude) but I said I came in here to explicitly buy this one thing, and just wanted to check it out before taking it to the register.

BTW I was wearing OPI Jade is the New Black topped with Nfu Oh #40 flakie, and topped yet again with Essie Matte About You. I forgot to take a picture :(

She noticed and complimented me on the mani, but sounded very confused. "It's glittery but matte O_o", she said. "Yes, I put a matte top coat on top", I replied. Little did she know, her kissing up was a waste of time, because I was going to buy this ludicrously expensive butter regardless! Hah!


Seriously, this tub was $14.95!! Is this just Manhattan pricing? On the LUSH website it's only $12.95. Lame.


Thank's Nic...


My little dent so far. I used some on my heels last night.

Lemony Flutter: I've only used it for three days and I've never used a cuticle cream before. It smells very lemony, but on the herbal side. There's 46g of product in the tub.

Anyways, I made a beeline to the cash (Which in NYC is like 5 steps in any store) and bought the dang thing. Some irritating ladies were chatting near the cash with huge shopping bags sticking out behind their arms. I had to push a lady to get out of there. I don't feel bad about it.

Note that I was breathing through my mouth the entire 3 minutes I was in the store.

OK. Here's were I hopped on a subway and headed to Soho. I pretty much always forget how disgusting it gets in the subway stations in the summer. Talk about non-existant air ventilation! I got off at Prince St and headed north to Ricky's for the first time!

I was actually quite disappointed. They had the new OPI collection and the new Essie collection (I had to back away slowly from Demure Vixen), but everything was at retail. Essie $8, OPI $10. I didn't know how much their house brand Mattese was, but none of the colours called out to me anyways. I did notice they carried a lot of treatments, including Barielle. I briefly though about looking for and buying the manicure extender, then I remembered that I can barely make it 48 hours without changin my polish, so long-wear time is not really an issue for me at this time. -_-

They also sell Stila here, which is cool. Although, Stila is having so many dang sales online lately (for example, that $10 trio!) that I can't imagine paying retail for it.

I walked down Broadway and made a small effort to find clothes, but my mind was still on polish.

I popped into Rite-aid and a few Duane Reades to see if on some tiny off-chance Hidden Treasure was there. It wasn't (none of them even had the display up), but I did pick up one of the limited edition NYC blushable cream sticks in Pink Flash for $4. I like it. That's the other $4/$15 spent on makeup.

NYC blushable cream stick in Pink Flash

I went to Eve Beauty Source, where I had gotten my bottle of thinner before (it has petrolium distillate as the main ingredient, which is different than my Seche Restore... I thought this was causing my thinned polishes to cause my nails to flake.. I'm still not sure), but they didn't have anything new here either.

I went to the American Apparel to see how much their polish was. I had been eyeing California Trooper and Butter from swatches online. Turns out, they're $6 each, or 3 for $15. Obviously, I sprung decided to get an extra colour and "save" some money.





Office: I had read reviews about this being streaky, but I have a low resistance to mints, I think. Glad I got this though, its dustier than China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint. I've also read its close to Essie Mint Candy Apple, so double bonus that I didn't buy it earlier!


Butter: Paler than China Glaze Lemon Fizz. I just put this on tonight, and had a hard time with two fingers... but I was rushing it. I mattified it and put gloss tips... I need some practice with doing tips!

I just realized something bad about these bottles - you can't roll them!! So you have to shake them and bubblify them? :(


California Trooper: Love the colour, but I'm not sure if I love it on me. To be determined!

The bottles are really great, I like them.

The store itself, I hate. I got the polishes and left, without bothering to even glance at any of their hipster clothes. I was happy getting the polishes, though! I thought about getting Mouse, but I'm glad I didn't because it is much greyer than this perfect Country Club Khaki! Ahahahahah. I don't think I need to get any more colours from AA now. I can go back to regularly ignoring this store.

At this point, I was supposed to meet up with L2. We were headed to the Skinny Cow free bra fitting event. We got free ice cream, a tote bag, some champagne, and a bra fitting, obviously. It came with a mail-in card for a free bra from Warners/Olga. L2 is really skinny though, so they didn't even offer a bra in her band size on the mail-in card! Haha.

We decided to head to St Marks Place to grab some sushi for dinner. You can't go wrong with St Marks Place. If it weren't so disgustingly hot and humid, I would have forced her to get poutine with me at Pommes Frites.

You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can't take the poutine-craving out of her.

While walking up and down the area looking for a suitable sushi place, we stumbled upon a little japanese grocery store. We stared at the cosmetics section for a while. I wanted to get a japanese mascara, but they were priced at $14-18! We both managed to resist, and instead I bought a selection of my favourite snacks. I already ate one of the candies, so it didn't make it into the group shot! (I also got some sticky rice to make Thai Sticky Rice w/ Mango, but you guys don't want to see a bag of rice.)

We had a long, tasty and cheap dinner at Je-Bon Sushi and Noodle House then I took the 9pm bus back to my lil' NJ-abode.

I was hugging my haul and cackling the entire way home.

But yeah... about that no-buy! ... I'll try to stick to it this time. I didn't go into Sephora to see Illamasqua Milf in person (I was scared I was going to buy it), but that's kind of the last polish (at this MOMENT) that I wish I had. A grassier mint green, rather than blue. BB Couture's Laguna Lagoon looks like a good alternative. I'm not even sure if this colour is flattering on me, though. Let's hope it's not, and I can really hang on to this no-buy...

Friday, June 4, 2010

First TransDesign Haul

I placed my first TransDesign order last week. Normally I would balk at the thought of spending $50+ at one time for something I don't "need". Up until recently, I had been buying my polish 1 or 2 at a time from the drugstore. My Zoya exchange was my first taste of haul-y goodness... and I liked it!

I had 3 major lemmings to fulfill:

1. Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure: I went to my local Walgreens early May, and while it had the new display, both HTs were missing. I then stalked both CVSs close to my house, but neither have received the new displays.

2. China Glaze For Audrey: An easy find for most, but I had not figured out where the closest Sallys was. I now know, but still need a little bit of courage to navigate northern Jersey's redonkulous state highways. I absolutely abhor driving on these "highways" - they are utterly confusing to me. According to Google Maps, it will be easier to get to from my new apartment (I will be moving in two weeks! woohoo!), so perhaps I'll make it out there someday! There also seems to be a Dollar Tree in the same strip mall, and I'm excited at the thought of finding some cheapy goodness there, too!

3. OPI Tickle My France-y: From online swatches, this looked like the perfect nude for me. I couldn't find it at the salon I picked up my 3 prior OPIs.

Ok so, here's where I started breaking down. I hated having these unfulfilled lemmings. I thought to myself: "Ok, Jen, just bite the bullet and place some online orders. If you get all these things you want, you can stop buying so much nail polish. You can be happy!!!"

I know, how naive.

I placed an order from Fabuloustreet.com for a Nfu Oh flakie (#40) at $12.50 a pop (including shipping, at least!) to satisfy my Hidden Treasure lemming. I have yet to actually play around with this yet, it's more of a blue-green flake compared to HT's red-orange flakes.

I then placed my Transdesign order for For Audrey and TMF. Since shipping was quite expensive, I decided to pick up some more things, you know, to make it "worth it".

Here's the haul:



Jade is the New Black: From this year's HK collection, it seemed like a must have. I wasn't too excited about this, but after swatching it, I have to say, I am mighty impressed! I'm wearing it right now as a full mani (with Zoya Ivanka on my toes) and I am loving it! I think it really suits my skin tone.



Lucky Lucky Lavender: I wasn't sure if I wanted this or Panda-monium Pink, but I'm glad I went with this one. It's more pink than lavender, and it's actually close to Essie Splash of Grenadine, but less bright. I like it! It is very work-safe, so I might save it for later in the year. I'm going to wear as outrageous colours as I can while it's summer time!

Tickle My France-y: I was so excited to get my hands on this, because it looked so gorgeous in all the swatches I saw online. However, it looks very different to me in real life. It's much pinker/redder/mauvier than I thought :(

Let Them Eat Rice Cake: Another work-safe choice.

Regarding the last two polishes, I am a little worried about their authenticity. Based on Lacquerized's recent post on spotting fake OPIs, I started getting a bit paranoid:



There are only 3 symbols on the backs of these polishes, and they are both in a different order. Is it just because these bottles are older? I believe the France collection came out in Fall 2008 and the Japan collection in 2005.

Also, inside the cap of Let Them Eat Rice Cake, it is completely smooth and not "gear"-shaped like all my other polishes. It is also a smaller wand without OPI stamped at the top.

Someone please tell me these bottles are authentic! Do any of you have these polishes?



For Audrey: I love my teals/turquoises and was looking forward to this very much. I wore it earlier this week, but it was a little dustier than I had imagined. Perhaps it is just my skin tone. Or maybe that I'm desperately wanting Chanel's Nouvelle Vague shimmery goodness. But I can't spend $26 on nail polish (yet), I would rather buy a NARS blush. I did see Jelly Nat's ingenious layering of LA Colors Blue Treasure atop For Audrey to dupe the NV look. Now, where do I find LA Colors? :D



Re-Fresh Mint: Everyone and their mother has a mint green. I had yet to score mine (Turquoise & Caicos wasn't minty at all; still love it though), so I decided to pick this one up. It seems like most nail polishes seem darker on me than in swatches (again, it must just be my skin tone), so when I heard that some people thought this just looked plain white on them, I knew I had to try it XD I do enjoy it very much! I was going to wear it for today's manicure, but I ended up going for Jade is the New Black. Sorry Re-fresh mint! Maybe next time!

Lemon Fizz: Pale yellows also seem to be all the rage, and this one looked nice. I can't wait to wear it! It is very summery :)

Strawberry Fields: A cult favourite, perhaps? I'm not usually a fan of glitter/shimmer, but this is actually very pretty. I would group it with my Zoya Sparkles. I'm glad I picked it up. My boyfriend is fond of it (he loves pink on me for some reason!)



To round out my purchases, I picked up a few other items...

OPI Crystal File: I'll admit it; I was a clipper girl. I decided to pick up a crystal file, since it's recommended by most nail bloggers. I like it so far, even though I do not have much nail to shape yet (still growing them out). Squovals, you shall soon be mine! I think I may have inhaled some filed nail dust, though *wonky face*.

ORLY Bonder: This seemed to be a highly rated base coat. I had been using a random Rimmel base coat and a completely unremarkable Seche ridge filling base coat, so I'm going to see how I like this. I might even wear my polish longer than 3 days to test their durability claim! Haha... fat chance.

Seche Restore: YAY! I desperately needed to thin my gloopy Seche Vite. I also spruced up an older glitter polish as well!

Essie Polish Remover: For $3, it seemed like a good idea. I really want to try Zoya's Remove+, though! Why must it be so expensive?! Why must minimum for free shipping be $55?! I'm stalking their website and twitter, now.

I do like this color lock system + Remove+ promotion. Unfortunately, I don't know what I'd get for the other $15 to hit free shipping. Any suggestions?

Polish Corrector Pen: Cheap and I thought, why not. I need to get an actual clean-up brush though... maybe I'll go once I figure out how to get to Michaels! XD

I feel like I should have ordered more to make the shipping worth it, but it was already seeming obscene to me to spend $63 in one shot on nail polish related items. It came out to be about $6 per OPI and $3.75 per China Glaze, including shipping.

Also, including shipping:

OPI Crystal File: $7.33
Seche Restore: $4.63
ORLY Bonder: $5.32

So this order was supposed to squash all my lemmings and put my mind (and credit card) at ease. However, not a day after placing my order, I had already started a new list of lemmings!! When will the insanity end?!??

To make matter worse, I will be tempting myself all day tomorrow because I'm headed into the city to meet with a friend. We're going to wander around Soho a bit before dinner, and surely that means more nail polish purchases, right?

Funny thing: I lived in NYC for a few months while I was doing an internship a couple years ago, and I was there around Halloween time. Based on the store fronts, I had always thought Ricky's was just a seasonal costumes shop! I had no idea it sold beauty supplies and have never actually gone inside! So Ricky's is on my list for tomorrow.

I also plan on heading into a LUSH store (though, to be perfectly honest, I cannot stand this store at all because of the assault on my nose) to pick up the highly recommended Lemony Flutter cuticle cream. This is, so far, my only sanctioned purchase tomorrow XD

Other scheduled stops include American Apparel (to admire their new polishes, I've yet to decide if I seriously want any of them. I've got my eye on California Trooper, though!), Muji (I want to pick up some basic cleaning supplies for my new apartment), and Sephora (to see if they have Illamasqua Milf; I want to see that in person!). Then, there are always the random beauty supply stores in the area that I'm sure I won't be able to resist popping into.

Hopefully I can resist and stick to my no-buy schedule! Failing that, I'll have some more posts on here XD