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

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FingerPaints – Magritte’s Masterpiece

Wow, it seems like it hasn’t been but a month or so since my last post and….  What?  It has been a month since my last post?  Damn.

I could blame time or conflicts or ennui or just plain laziness, but I suppose it’s a combination of all three to a degree.  I’ve also been kind of bummed even thinking about nail polish since I had a nail break right before Easter.  Well, of course they all started following suit like lemmings to the sea and, once the third one bit the dust I had to uphold my two broken nails per hand limit and burn the village to the ground and salt the earth.  Welcome to Stubbytown, Population 10.

So no new manicures for several weeks now other than applying the lacquer equivalent of bandaids in order to once again rock the mannequin hands.  I also had to put the kibosh on the fancy mani that I had planned for my birthday next week, can you imagine such a tragic turn of events?  Luckily, I have many pics and review notes in the can already so I will have to look at this as an opportunity to get caught up on things.  As they say, when life hands you lemons just find someone to who/m life has handed vodka…

So, Magritte’s Masterpiece!  The polish I was wearing when the first domino fell and set off the sad chain of events to which I just referred.  I don’t blame the polish, I still love it dearly!  I didn’t notice until I was comparing photographs that the name on the label is actually MaRgritte’s Masterpiece.  I have to think that this is a typographical error since FingerPaints’ conceit is an artistic theme to their color names and that it’s supposed to be Magritte’s.  Even if it’s not and the spelling is intentional, I cannot deal with it and it will be forever known to me as Magritte as in Rene.  Not that I’m much of a fan of his work, and you’d think a polish with this name would be apple green, but a rose by any other name, yeah?

I’ve spent I don’t know how much time and money over the years searching for a true cobalt nail varnish.  Consequently I have more dark blue nail polish bottles than a person who doesn’t necessarily even like the color dark blue should own.  I have several that are described by the manufacturer as cobalt and at least one that is actually named Cobalt!  But, no dice.  Maybe I don’t really know what color cobalt really is (which we’ll revisit when I review Crimson), but by a true cobalt I mean that I want a polish the color of cobalt glassware.  You know, deep but not flat blue with a hint of red to it.  Not enough to see red or even enough to be a blurple, but just enough to make it glow from the inside.

So for the record, nail polish makers, I do not consider the following to be a true cobalt:

Navy blue

Dark blue metallic

Blurple, jelly or otherwise

Navy blue shimmer (it’s still navy blue)

Dark blue with glitter or a holo (I love a good holo, but it’s not cobalt!)

Then I’m browsing through the BOGO sale at Sally and end up just grabbing this one because I’ve been standing there forever and they might be ready to call the authourities because they think I’m casing the joint.  I don’t have a lot of expectations for it (I’ve had so many hopes and dreams dashed upon the jagged rocks of the nail lacquer display in the past), but whatever because I managed to pick up China Glaze Dorothy Who that I’ve wanted forever so yay blue!

So imagine my shock and thrill when I get home and try out my new purchases and there it is!  My Holy Grail!  My white whale!  My whatever was in Marsellus’ briefcase in Pulp Fiction!  The perfect cobalt!!

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See why I didn’t have too much expectations just looking at it in the bottle?  It’s not quite dark enough and a bit too flat for true cobalt, but once on the nail….

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Isn’t that sweet?  Want to see it again?

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Oh yeah…. now that’s what I’m talking ’bout……

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This was three glorious, silky coats.  Like a lot of dark blues, OPI’s Russian Navy comes to mind, the first coat is kind of a weird sort of blue-black streaks with bald patches, but it was beautiful by the second coat.  I could have stopped there, but I gave my usual third coat just for the sheer joy of it and it darkened it just a touch to go beyond perfect!  Not sure that I could have taken a fourth coat without passing out from the exhilaration of it all.

I’m not sure how to describe the consistency.  It was substantial, but not thick.  Sort of like that cheap ass Jiffy frosting you make yourself v. the expensive Duncan Hines stuff already mixed in the can.  I think the texture of it even affected the look of the creme.  All shiny and luxurious but solid, like latex.  Latex?

I’m not talking latex wall paint, but latex like in superhero catsuits.  In fact, that’s it!  The color, finish, shade, depth, it reminds me of Mystique’s skin.  Not that lame ass J-Law body suit in Days of Future Past, but pure old-school kick ass Romjin rubber and body paint.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Days of Future Past!  I think it rivaled Last Stand for the best installment in the whole series.  It was even better than First Class and that insane Kevin Bacon/Michael Fassbender action was everything!

So why did J-Law wuss out and request the body suit in the first place?  Word on the street is that she found the prosthetics and body makeup and whatnot that she wore in First Class was just too uncomfortable.  Sack up, Lawrence!!  What about dedication to your craft?  What about suffering for your art?  For Magneto’s sake, take a cue from ScarJo, who rocked the Black Widow leather while she was pregnant, dammit!  Now that girl is FIERCE!!

Can you tell I’m jazzed about Avengers 2:  Age of Ultron coming out this Friday?  I usually give it a while for the crowds to thin out a bit, but I’m not sure I can stand it this time.  It’s a distinct possibility that I will end up with tickets to the gun show this weekend.  I’m even thinking of springing for the IMAX, if you can believe it….

Where was I now?  Oh, yeah, nail polish!  I really love Magritte’s Masterpiece.  Way to go, FingerPaints for making my dreams come true!  Now if only Hawkeye can do the same.  SPOILER ALERT:  He probably can….

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 – 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.

Nail Art – Little Mermaid Party

This really isn’t nail “art”, but it best fits this category because it isn’t a review and the manicure was put together for a specific look and occasion.

The occasion was my niece’s first birthday party and it had a Little Mermaid theme.  I could have gone all fancy with iridescent fish scales and some black outlines, but I didn’t actually do it until the night before.  So the plan was to use the Mermaid colors of purple and teal with some of the same colored glitter and sparkles on top.  But did I have four different lacquers in the appropriate colors that would work together?  What a silly question….

Mermaid teal

Mermaid Belinda payton

 

The base color for the right hand was OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop, a dark teal creme from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection topped with Art You Wondering, a turquoise/teal micro glitter in a clear base from FingerPaints.  This was also the accent nail on the left hand.

The left hand was two colors from the Zoya 2013 Zenith Holiday Collection.  The base was Belinda, a dark purple metallic while the topper was Payton, a jelly with a slight holo that was more of a violet purple.  The accent nail was teal, to match the other hand.

I really like how it turned out, so much so that I might use the same colors for a straight on manicure.  But I’m still going to get more advance notice for this year’s theme so I can top this one!

 

 

 

FingerPaints – Art Nouveau Nectarine

As promised, I’m attempting to get back on track with stuff that I’ve let slide during the last 9 months when life got in the way.  I’ve got a couple old ones to get out and then it’s time to get on the journey of getting my nails back into shape.  Since I cut them all off about 6 months ago, I’ve had maybe a cumulative month to six weeks where they’ve looked decent.  I’m now experimenting with some gel bases and different cuticle stuff, so that will be a journey all its own.  So far, I’m pleased with how it’s going, but that worm could turn at any time….

I only have a few FingerPaints, and that was because with a combination of a sale/coupon/total purchase % off, I ended up getting them for like $2 each.  As such, I don’t know a whole lot about the line except that it’s exclusively at Sally Beauty and apparently their conceit is that all of the polish names are “arty”, much like Zoya does the girls’ names thing (although that’s getting strained lately).

I was never really interested because I figured it was basically a glorified house brand a few steps up from Wet ‘n Wild and why pay China Glaze prices when I could get Sinful Colors or Salon Perfect for a buck or two at the drugstore?  I am glad I took advantage of the afore-mentioned deal, because I really do like the polish!  Although I have only added one bottle and a few stripers (I think I might have had these before I got any lacquers) to the four bottles I originally purchased, it isn’t for lack of trying.  I took I don’t know how many trips to Sally trying to get a few of the last couple collections and the ones I wanted were always sold out!  But it’s likely that there’s a FP or two in my future the next time there’s a BOGO or some equally ridiculous sale.  Now, onto the review!

Art Nouveau Nectarine is a color in the standard FP line.  I should have thought more about the word nectarine, because I was really looking for a peach and this is kind of a dark peach with a touch of orange, which I guess is kind of what a color called nectarine should be!  So, it took a while for me to actually use it because it looked too orange on my swatch stick.  However, I’m happy to report that the orange didn’t really translate that much to the nail.

Fingerpaints Art Nouveau Nectarine

You can see that it’s not a pure peach, but what saved it was how juicy it looked, like it was a solid jelly (it isn’t, just a plain creme).  I also didn’t realize how crunchy my cuticles were looking when I took that shot.  Who says that fancy retina pixels and super close up is a good thing?  I also don’t know what’s going on with the tip wear on the index nail, as I don’t remember having any wear issues and didn’t think I waited long to take a picture but it was over six  months ago and I’ve slept since then.

After a few days I was tired of it (as I usually get after 2-3 days), but either didn’t feel like or didn’t have the time to do a new manicure, so I freshened it up with a coat of Colorful Collage!

Fingerpaints Colorful Collage Nectarine

This is a standard glitter in a clear base with a borealis type color of silver/blue/pink.  I’m not going into an in depth review on that, as I want to do separate reviews for the glitters and sheer holos with a variety of looks.

A Few Words on… Rationalization

Q:  What do you do when you have so many bottles of nail lacquer that you can’t decide which color to use?

A:  Go out and buy more!

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Rationalization:

  •  I got four OPI minis for less than the cost of  one and a half full bottles, and I was considering two or three  of them.
  • The Zoya was on clearance at Ulta.  And I have no pale yellows at all,  much less with a shimmer.  You can’t fight kismet…
  • After my Sally Club discount, a 15% off coupon and a BOGO offer, the FingerPaints were less than $2.00 each!  And the only FingerPaints I’ve ever tried are the stripers, so it qualifies as research.