A Few Words on … Wretched Excess

Remember way back when (like the previous post?) when I said that I performed triage and ended up having to cut off all the nails?  And that I’d only gotten to use one of the big slug of polishes that I’d just scored on the latest Sally BOGO deal?  So, you’d think that I wouldn’t be purchasing even more polish since I just got a bunch (like I didn’t already have a metric tonne) and wouldn’t be able to use any for at least a couple of months?

Yeah, well….

Side Note:  It might be more than a couple of months.  It’s been over a month and I don’t have much new growth at all because I’m getting flaking and peeling.  What’s up with that?  I’ve never had a problem with that before!

So, here I am minding my own business and I get a Sally email for free shipping over $25 (usually it’s $50).  Side Note #2:  If you shop Sally at all (and, if not, WHY not?), sign up for emails.  Yes, they send a lot of new product and sale emails, but they also send a slug of different coupons and 1-3 day deals that aren’t advertised in store.  And if you’re buying in store, you don’t even have to bother with printing it out from the computer.  Just show it to them on your phone and they’ll input the code.

I’m not super excited about it, but I am needing some other stuff when/if it goes on sale so it just hangs out in my inbox.  Yes, I have my gmail set to put Sally in the inbox with an important tag rather than in the promotional tab.  What???  Then I get an email later on in the month that they’ve got an additional 50% off red tag clearance!  So I motor on over to the site just to see and what do my wondering eyes behold?  B2G1 on nail polishes (except OPI)!!!  Do I even need to mention that I still had my 15% off total purchase reward coupon from the month before?  Didn’t think so….

I’m still not sold because it’s kind of against my religion to pay for shipping unless absolutely necessary and there’s not enough clearance stuff I like to make the $50 threshold.  And I’m not buying anything full price just to bump it up. Then I go back through my emails and hey! that $25 free shipping still has one more day before it expires!

Side Note #3 for joke time:  So this guy’s in the middle of a flood and is sitting on his front porch when a 4WD comes by and tells him to get in and get out of there.  “No”, the guy says, “God will save me.”  A little later and the water’s a little higher and he’s looking out his second story window when a speedboat comes by and tells him to get in and get out.  “No, I have faith in the Lord.  He will save me.”  Later still, he’s sitting on top of the roof when a helicopter comes by and, well, you know.  Guy says, well, you know what he says.

Five minutes later a big wave crashes him off the roof and he drowns.  Guy gets to heaven and starts ripping God a new one.  “I put my trust in You, my faith was strong!  Where were You in my time of need?  “Dude”, says God, “I sent a 4WD, a speedboat and a helicopter.  What the hell were you waiting for?”

Okay, go ahead and laugh until you wet yourself.  I’ll wait…

So what does that have to do with anything?  I have free $25 shipping, 15% off total coupon, clearance plus 50% off and B2G1.  It’s the perfect storm!  I, unlike guy on the roof, know how to take a note.  The universe obviously wanted me to have more nail polish!

After all the shouting was over and the smoke cleared, I got 14 polishes for $27.  Total!  But wait, there’s more!  What if I told you that number included 3 Gelish minis (why do they call them minis, do they even make larger ones outside of base and top?) and 4, count ’em, FOUR OPIs?  Look, here’s proof!

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The only poop in my punch bowl was that one of the Orly I wanted (actually the only Orly I really wanted) was out of stock.  But they sent me a $5 coupon for a $1.50 bottle of polish, so it’s all good…

Of course the OPI weren’t B2G1 and weren’t exactly on clearance.  At most they were a buck or so off the regular price.  But the 50% off code worked!  I might not have gone through with the order if not for that.  And I think those clearance designations might have been by mistake on a few because they had most of all of the brand new Soft Shades from this year’s collection that just came out a few weeks before.  I only got one of them,  Put It in Neutral.  That’s also the only one of my new purchases I can really wear right now because it’s a fantastic light, muted pink.  That picture in the link isn’t really true it’s much softer and a bit more sheer.  You can see it in my photo between two of the Gelish.

I also only got one China Glaze because they only had two clearance and the other one sucked.  But I lucked out on that one, too!  See that gorgeous teal?  The picture they had on it was a grotesque yellow (that was the other clearance one).   A light teal with sparkles???  Colors like that NEVER go on clearance!  Apparently, nobody bothered to notice that the name of it was Teal the Tide Turns and do some legwork to see what the true color is.  Let that be a lesson, kids.  It always pays to do your homework!

So, given all that, if you can still tell me that I shouldn’t have pulled the trigger on this purchase?  Why are you reading this blog in the first place?  Ha!

To show that I do have some self control, the past three days Sally had a BOGO on all nail polish (except, all together now, OPI) and, even with my $5 coupon and a 20% off total purchase burning a hole in my inbox, I passed.  I should be good for a while now (famous last words) because nothing in the Hawaii collection really thrilled me enough for a full size at full price and, while the Zoya Summer collection is nice, there’s not really anything so different that I have to have it at full price sight unseen.  Next time I go to Ulta, I might check out what the couple that I like really look like in person.  Speaking of Ulta, I get double points for my entire birthday month and I haven’t set foot in there all month (yet, it’s only half over…ha!).

Now, I’m not making any promises come August or thereabouts, because the OPI Fall collection is Venice and from what I’ve seen in sneak peeks there is a lot of gorgeous stuff in there!  It seems like I generally prefer the fall over the spring.

So, how to sum up this post of wretched excessivity?

SCORE!!!1

A Few Words on … BOGOs

My mother relies on my sister and me for all of her transportation needs which, of course, includes her grocery shopping.  So we have a deal worked out that whichever one of us takes her gets Savings Catcher rights to her receipt.  My mom is a Catcher’s jackpot!  She buys brand names, does no price comparison and pays absolutely no attention to sales.  While reviewing my savings balance, I’ve noticed that I almost always get double because she buys two of everything.  So what does that have to do with nail lacquer?  Is the Quest turning into a multi-purpose personal blog?  Yeah, like I have anything interesting to say about a variety of topics, or even on the general condition of the human race….

So, again, what does this have to do with nail lacquer?  Read on, Macduff!

I, as opposed to my mother, live for store brands and sales!  But in thinking about it, I realize that I have inherited her habit of buying two of something.  Of course, in my case, I buy two of something if it’s on sale.  And BOGOs?  They get me weak in the knees and send me into a spiritual awakening….

For those uninitiated in the jargon of cheap bastardity, BOGO stands for Buy One, Get One (the free is implied).  I’ve mentioned the joys of BOGO in the past, along with my recent disappointment over no BOGOs at Ulta for their spring Beauty Steals.  But wait, didn’t I say that I didn’t really have any butterLONDON wants at the moment?  Yes, it was a mild disappointment, but still disappointing because I get excited over BOGOs whether I actually want it or not!

So you know where this is going, right?

Uh huh.  The day after Ulta’s BL steal, I get an email from Sally that they’re having a three day BOGO sale on all nail polish!  Except for OPI, of course.  It’s always excluded from super deals just about everywhere.  I’m not sure if the gels were included this time, sometimes they are, sometimes not.  I don’t really pay attention because I don’t use gels.  I have been using the foundation and top and curing them for a clear base under my regular manicures, but I don’t need colors for something that’s supposed to last 2-3 weeks when I get sick of my current color anywhere from 3 days to 5 minutes after I complete it.  Not to mention that it’s time consuming and labor intensive as hell to remove.  But that’s another topic for another Few Words….

Thing is, I try like hell not to go to any stores on the weekend.  Not only do I hate people aimlessly milling about, and crowded parking lots, and standing on lines at the register, Sally in general and my Sally in particular are tiny little cubbies with aisles like rabbit warrens.  And I like to take my leisurely damned time aimlessly milling about while perusing both the regular lacquer display as well as the clearance racks (which are located in various dark, crowded corners of the store).  And, I didn’t have a lot of interest, as I haven’t even paid much attention to the spring lines for China Glaze, FingerPaints or Orly (the only three at Sally that I consider other than OPI).  However, last time I was there they had a whole slug of China Glaze in the clearance rack that hadn’t yet been marked down and I had my reward coupon for March burning a hole in…..well, burning a hole in the passenger seat of my truck.  What, everybody doesn’t toss any possible coupon or deal circular directly into their vehicle?  You never know when you might be innocently tooling about on the streets when a sale breaks out!

So, I made a deal with myself that if I happened to get my lazy bahonka out of the house on Friday, I’d go check it out.  And, true to form, I only made it outside to check the mailbox.  Crisis averted!  But I wasn’t quite out of the woods just yet….

Now, the one exception to no weekend shopping is early Sunday morning.  I stay with my mother on Saturday nights and if I leave her house early enough on Sunday mornings while the faithful are in church and the sinners are sleeping it off, I’ll do store errands.  Best time hands down for Costco is when they open on Sunday.  Well, my brother was in time visiting so we went out to breakfast and all that family happy times stuff so I went straight home when I left shortly after noon.  Okay, crisis really averted!  As it turns out, not so much….

Since I didn’t go to sleep until 5 am (because I’m wild like that) and got woken up at the crack of 7:30 to go to breakfast, I went home and settled in for a little nap.  Aren’t Sunday afternoon naps the best?  So I woke up around 3, puttered around a little and suddenly got THE URGE to go check out Sally BOGO and clearance polish right damned NOW!!

What could I do?  Well, what any reasonable person would do.  I threw on some sweats, piled the bed head up into a hair claw and hit the road!

Well I get to Sally, hit the clearance rack and find out that all the China Glaze has been snagged.  Dammit, if only I would have gotten there before the sale started and the vultures descended, I might have been able to score some of the ones I was scouting.  (BOGO was a limit of three, so that gets saved for the full price stuff.)

So, eh…. I did manage to find two FingerPaints on clearance that I found acceptable.  Nothing completely spectacular, but at $2.29 worth the chance.  And really, the only full price polish I’ve had on my Get When on Sale List was China Glaze Dorothy Who? so maybe I’ll forgo the BOGOs this time…..

(insert maniacal laughter)

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For those keeping score (like I supposedly do), that’s 2 China Glaze (the aforementioned Dorothy and Deviantly Daring, a duochrome I’ve looked at a few times), 2 Orly (I’m still mad about missing out on Mirrorball in their holiday collection) and 4 FingerPaint (2 on clearance).

So, after the BOGOs, the clearance, my Sally Club discount and my % off coupon, I got 8 bottle of nail lacquer for well under $3.00 each.  And I’ve already used one of them that ended up being something perfect that I’ve been looking for a long time now and nothing I get has been exactly right.

Sneak peek!

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So job well done, right?  Yeah, I’ll just keep telling myself that….

China Glaze – Grape Pop

Although I don’t always go in order of being used, I think that the pale green pastel is next chronologically.  But I took some comparison pictures with a couple of other colors that I want to include in the review and I haven’t uploaded them to WP yet.  So I’ll forge ahead and let something else take cutsies….

Grape Pop was in the China Glaze’s Spring 2010 collection called Up & Away.  It was mostly straight cremes of various candy shades.  I don’t know what that has to do with hot air balloons, but I do have a few from that collection and it was a pretty nice group.

This is a straight ahead purple creme.  If I had to pick, I’d say it leans blue rather than red, but it’s pretty much right down the middle.  While that might sound a little boring, it’s actually really great!

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See?  It’s vibrant without being flashy, highly pigmented without being dark and one of the best creme formulas from China Glaze that I’ve come across.  See that beautiful coverage?  TWO coats!  That’s it!  Even me, the Original Three Coat Queen, looked at it after two and thought, “eh, there’s absolutely nothing here that could be improved by another coat”.

And while the color seems like something that I have at least a dozen similar shades, not really.  I’ll have to dig through because the few I compared just by bottle were quite different.  I have one Sally Hansen CSM (Good to Grape, maybe?) that I think might be close.  When I find it, I’ll compare.

If you want a candy coated purple that’s not too dark, not too light, that’s a straight creme with no shimmer, glitter or fleck of any kind, covers well and goes on like a dream, Grape Pop is an excellent choice!

 

 

 

China Glaze – Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath was a polish that China Glaze put out a few years back in a Breast Cancer Awareness collection, but is now part of the permanent line.  It’s a very sheer white with a slight hint of pink to it.  The only reason I have it is because it was part of a gradient set I picked up about two years ago.  Although it’s not anything I would have purchased on its own I do have a few sheers, including a couple pinkish ones, so  I’m not opposed to the color itself.  It’s just not anything special that would catch my eye and tell me that I must have it.

All of that to say as a disclaimer of sorts that I wasn’t prejudiced against this one before I even tried it.  In fact, since my nails are in the awkward stage I was looking forward to a soft shade and wasn’t even opposed to a little VNL in the process.   What I wasn’t looking forward to was four (!) coats of runny, cuticle flooding, streaky mess that left both bald spots and globs at the same time.  And, although it doesn’t really show in the picture, the VNL was still really prominent after all those coats.  There’s not a top coat on it because I could not get this mess off fast enough, so I didn’t even do both hands.

Even this Queen of Rationalization on why to keep something can’t recommend it as an undercoat, because the number of coats (four!) to even get a semblance of smoothness is way too many when you haven’t even added your main color or topcoat, or for a french, because after all those coats (four!) it’s not sheer enough for the nail color and not opaque enough for the tip color.

Angels Breath

 

But, wait! (you might say), the picture doesn’t look all that bad…  If you have the intestinal fortitude to zoom the picture, you’ll see the blobs, the patchiness, the raggedy cuticle line and and the complete non-leveling action, even after (did I mention?) four (!) coats.  I suppose it could have evened and smoothed out at some point, I just gave up after four.  Go ahead, zoom in, just don’t say I didn’t warn you…

China Glaze – Escaping Reality

I think this might be the last one from my “old” batch of pictures before I cut all my nails down and went on hiatus.  But never fear, I’ve been busy making new ones!

Remember that movie Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away that came out around Christmas of 2012?  Yeah, me neither.  But China Glaze apparently thought so highly of it that they did an entire full size collection devoted to it as a tie in.  Remember that 2012 holiday collection from China Glaze called Cirque du Soleil:  Worlds Away?  I do, but just barely and vaguely at that….

But, after brushing up on it in preparation for this post, it did have a couple of cool glitters that I liked.  But I find it physically impossible to pay full price for China Glaze (as reasonable as it is for a salon brand) and there were only a handful of cremes left when Sally finally got around to clearancing them.  So I ended up with two of them, a coral whose name escapes (ha!) me right now and this one.

Escaping Reality is a hot pink that borders on neon.  If it was a brighter or lighter shade it could very well go neon or fluorescent, but the pink is a darker blue leaning shade that saves it from being too loud and makes it much more wearable, rather than just being a “just for fun” choice.  I still classify it as a “hot” pink because it’s highly pigmented, plenty bright and not at all soft.

China Glaze Escaping Reality

As far as the formula goes, it was a bit on the runny side for a creme but I didn’t have a problem with any cuticle flooding.  It wasn’t even necessarily that patchy but since I like to do three coats anyway, that doesn’t really work against a polish for me.  Unless it’s one of those that you’ve still trying to even out half a dozen coats into the thing!  While it wasn’t exactly a matte, there wasn’t much shine to it, but a coating of my precious Seche Vite fixed that up and left my nails looking creamy smooth and ultra shiny.

I also added an atrocious attempt at some tiger stripes at some point before I removed it.

China Glaze Fingerpaints Charcoal

Although I’m far from the best nail artist in the world, I can usually do a pretty decent animal print, so I don’t know why this is 1.  so amateurish and 2.  why I took a picture of it.  Since I’m holding a FingerPaints striper in the picture, I’m pretty sure that I’d just gotten the stripers and….. wait!  I do remember!  Sally was having a B2G1 sale on FingerPaints stripers and I got those at the same time as the two China Glaze polishes!  Since it was the first time I’d gotten the FingerPaints brand of stripers I was testing one out while sitting on the couch with just a shaded lamp for a light source while chatting away with my sister.  Now that I remember the circumstance, that striping job turned out pretty well!

The striper was Ch-art-coal Black and is a really nice one.  Granted, my only other stripers are Salon Perfects that sell for a buck or two at the drug store but FingerPaints are definitely my favorites.  The brush is very narrow, but really long with flexible bristles and a nice point so you can get really thin lines as easily as thicker ones.  The polish itself is thin enough for a light touch and good control, but not so runny that it will drip and spread.  It’s pretty much like a nice fluid eyeliner, it goes where you put it and not where you don’t.

China Glaze – Sweet Hook

This color was first introduced in the Spring 2012 Electropop collection.  With a name like that you’d think bright, flourescent, maybe even neon, but  the majority of that collection was pastel creme and we will be re-visiting Electropop a few times during this journey, since I’ve got several of those cremes.

I was fairly certain that this was now in the permanent line.  I looked it up to make sure and, unless they’ve changed this color with it went stock, the shade that China Glaze shows for this one is really off.  It’s showing a medium-dark lavender and the original is a light, pink leaning lilac.

I’ve got a couple of really rough looking spots on this one (did I not even look at these before I uploaded them?), but the color does show true, so I’m going with it.  Just imagine that index nail had a meteorite fall on it just before the picture was taken.

China Glaze Sweet Hook

This shows my why (as I’ve mentioned before) I’m sort of meh on China Glaze.  Nice color but nothing spectacular.  Not a great formula, but not really awful.  And that’s pretty much China Glaze.  Not bad enough to avoid it like the plague, but not good enough to seek it out and reach for it over something else.  I’m probably somewhat spoiled, as I have a lot of OPI and Zoya, who are masters of creme formulas and colors.

But Sweet Hook does have something that makes it one of my favorites and has me overlook the formula being a bit thick.  This is one of the most complimented shades I wear, especially from the men.  You’d think they’d go for the sexy, vampy stuff, right?  Whether it’s just the shade itself or it just looks good with my skin tone, there’s something about this otherwise innocuous nail polish that makes people notice it and remark.  And, hey, who doesn’t like a little positive reinforcement when it comes to their manicure?

A Few Words on … Willpower

So in my last post I mentioned that I get suckered into trying to love butterLONDON every time Ulta has a B2G1 sale.  So what was I supposed to do when Ulta had its semi-annual 31 Days of Beauty promo and one of the daily Beauty Steals was two BL for $15?  That’s a BOGO deal!  Will I be twice the sucker on this one?  Let’s find out…

My BL collection stands at the same count as before the BS (ha!) of the day happened.  How did I manage this?  It was a multi-pronged approach that leaned heavily on the lazy-ass tine.

Ulta is abut a 20 mile round trip, which saves me enormous amounts of money.  But I had talked myself into going on BL day because I wanted to find a specific shade of OPI  and look at the new Zoyas.  I also wanted to check out the clearance rack because, you know, half price stuff!

As the day wore on and I kept putting it off and vacillating back and forth on the wisdom of succumbing to the siren call of the BOGO, I decided to check out the BL colors online to make my selections in advance.  Ordering online was an option, but is less preferred for a couple of reasons.  1. They don’t sell Zoya online 2. You can’t see the colors in person 3. Shipping.

After giving it a bit of  rationalization deep thought, I came up with advantages to ordering online.  1. They had the OPI shade I wanted, while the store might not 2. The same might be true of any BLs that I selected 3. The gas spent on the trip would be about the same as shipping and 4. I didn’t have to get dressed.

Yay! I’m all set to go, BL here I come!  Wait, I’m supposed to be mowing through the lacquers I have, not adding to it.  And I already broke up with BL.  The next review in line was the one for Wallis, so I started writing it in my head.  Starting with all of the reasons why I don’t like BL.

Bottom line:  I ordered NOTHING.  Nil. Bupkis. Sweet FA.  I am a rock.  Encased in steel.  Surrounded by an electric force field that nothing can penetrate.  I am TI-TAY-NEE-UMMMM!!

The next day I went to Sally because I needed shampoo.

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That’s just the nail lacquer portion of my purchase.  The China Glaze was BOGO (and it’s less than half the price of BL to start with), the Gwen Stefani (far left) was on clearance (half price!  And that was the last bottle of Hey Baby they had!) and the other two OPI I had already planned on purchasing at some point.  So, there’s that.

I forgot to get the shampoo….

 

China Glaze – Turned Up Turquoise

Turned Up Turquoise was introduced as part of China Glaze’s Ink Collection from the summer of 2008, but is now part of the permanent line.  The collection was somehow related to tattoos, although any connection to either the colors or the names is beyond me.

I really want to love China Glaze, I’ve tried to convince myself to love it, I’ve kept buying it to try and force myself to love it.  It has a cool name, scads of colors, is priced on the lower end of the salon brands and is readily available at Sally Beauty Supply, which is my favorite beauty store and just down the street from me.

I don’t love China Glaze.  I like it, but I don’t love it.  There are a couple of them that I love, For Audrey and Make a Spectacle, for example.  But the rest of it is kind of take it or leave it.  Now that OPI has finally agreed to let Sally carry their line, my consumption of China Glaze will tail off dramatically.

The only reason I got this one was because it was in an ombre set of four colors called Wait Teal You See that was at a great price.  I think this was some time last summer and, while I wouldn’t have gotten it separately, I like it enough that I’ve worn it maybe two or three times since then.

This is kind of a strange one.  It’s marketed as a neon and, while it’s certainly bright, it doesn’t have that vibrant, knock you out punch that I associate with neons.  However, like most neons, it does dry matte.  It looks so different that I took pictures before and after top coating.

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This photo was taken after three coats of polish.  Mattes tend to dry super fast and this one is no exception.  But then give it a little Seche Vite magic and…

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Voila, it’s now a sleek and glossy sight to behold!  By the way, for those who have been wondering what in the world is this Seche Vite I keep carrying on about and what’s the big deal anyway, I’ll be devoting an entire post to this miracle in a bottle in a few days.

While the color in the pictures is lovely, it’s not accurate at all.  TUT is actually a green turquoise and skews heavily to the green side of green-blue.  This is apparently a common problem with this polish as I’ve looked at other pictures of it on the internet and far better photographers than I get the same blue and comment on it.

There used to be a toothpaste that was a green gel with a bluish tinge, but I can’t remember the name. Gleem, maybe?  The next best comparison I can think of is to take regular Scope and toss in a dash of the Blue Mint Scope and there you are!

The first coat, and maybe even the second were pretty streaky, which is common with neons, but they dried so fast it waa no real hardship.  I remember the third coat being thick and giving me a few globs, but I don’t see them on that first picture, so they might have been on my left hand.  It all got sorted with the top coat, but if you like rocking the matte look, be careful to make sure that last coat isn’t too lumpy.