A Few Words on … Beauty Steals

So just last week I was thinking here it is almost the middle of March and I haven’t seen anything on Ulta’s semi-annual Beauty Steals promotion.  And then this weekend I get the newest circular with the BS (ha!) calendar!  I was so excited that I stood in the driveway and checked it out…

As an aside, what ever happened to the excitement that getting the new phone book generated each January?  Damn you, internet and your infernal immediacy!  That used to be a really big deal and I probably haven’t even opened a phone book in the last couple years.  I get two or three different ones every year and, when I finally toss them to be recycled, the spines aren’t even cracked.  Kind of sad, isn’t it?

But back to the matter at hand…

Generally, the only nail lacquer represented is butterLONDON, but I’m always hoping for a Zoya or OPI one.  Or even a CND Vinylux, since I really like a couple of shades in their spring collection, Garden Muse.  Hell, I might even check out some Orly or Essie on a BS!  But it’s still a BL-only world, so I’ll have to save my coupons for the others that I want.

So, BL fans, start your engines and circle March 19 on your calendars!  It’s so exciting!  Well, actually not.  Instead of the usual BOGO, it’s a flat $9.00.  Now that might actually be a better deal for some.  You don’t have to buy in pairs and it also covers nail treatments.  Those are usually $19 a pop, so that’s even better than 50% off!  However, I’m not even feeling a tiny bit of want on this one.  It could be because I still have tons of untrieds from my BL sprees last fall.  I even got a really good deal on cuticle remover/oil sets or I might go for some of the treatments.

For those wondering about the various treatments, I really can’t give much of a review.  The treatment products I have are the Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator, Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil, Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat and Hardwear PDQuick Top Coat.  Of those, I haven’t tried the cuticle oil or the base coat.  Once I run out of my current oil and base I’ll start using those, so a future review might be in the offing.  I’ve been using the Melt Away for a while now and, while I can’t say it’s appreciably better than any of the Sally Hansen ones I’ve used, I like it well enough.  But at 9 bucks, it’s only a few dollars more than the drugstore varieties and the BL treatments are in bigger bottles than the lacquers, so it might work out to the same or less per ml/oz than the ones in glass bottles with a brush.  Probably not the gel kind in a squeeze bottle, but I prefer the brush types so it’s worth it to me.  I will say I like it a lot better than Blue Cross remover, which is so thin it’s like water and just comes in a big ol’ plastic bottle with no applicator.  I have scads of the Blue Cross since it’s actually cheaper than water, so I started using it in the foot bath and went for better stuff on my nails.

I kind of banged on the PDQ top coat during my Seche Vite review, but I’ll backtrack a little on that.  All of my in use bottles of SV need some Restore and since I’m too damned lazy to do it when I’m thinking about it, I forget until my nails are wet and I pick up the bottle.  So I’ve been using the PDQ for my last couple manicures.  Is it as good as Seche Vite?  No way!  It’s not as glossy and it’s not as hard so you don’t get that satisfying click-click.  It also doesn’t dry as fast, but it does do a lot better than I previously thought.  I’ve been using it when I don’t have anything to do afterward except play on the computer with no typing involved.  If I needed to get up and go somewhere or have some activity right after, I’d still definitely go for the SV.

The only reason I have the base coat is that it came in a set, so it’s not that I’m dissatisfied with my regular OPI base or Seche Clear.  My OPI is really getting low, so I’ll probably switch to the BL after that’s gone and wait for a sale instead of replacing the OPI right away.  The cuticle oil was also in sets at a huge discount so I still had plenty of my other oils left.  I have a big bottle of Super Cheap Super Nail that I use when I want need a big oil drenching (like after my nails have been through an acetone soaking), but I’ve been using some Sally Hansen and Gelish as my daily oils.  Once one of those runs out, I’ll start on the BL.

Since I don’t have any pictures for this post, I’ll just give a random sneak peek at an upcoming BL polish:

All Hail the Queen with West End Wonderland accent

As well as a bottle shot of one of the cuticle oils that I’m currently using up before I start with the Handbag Holiday:

Polish is OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress

Polish is OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress

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butterLONDON – Queen Vic

I have a somewhat rocky relationship with Butter London, which I expounded in a somewhat blistering fashion in a previous BL review.  But I’ve been on a bit of a BL spree in the last several months, what with BOGOs at Ulta and 50% coupons off of already reduced last orders on their website.  In spite of myself, I’ve begun to love it.  I still don’t love it $15 for 11ml worth, but I really love it at $8.00 and under…

This is Queen Vic, which BL calls a red wine/cranberry creme.  I only had a few BL cremes in my collection previously, but I’ve gotten quite a few more with my latest acquisitions.  For the most part I’ve liked them, I find them better than China Glaze, but not quite up to OPI standards.  I’d put them just under Zoya, which might be attributed to the brush.

Queen vic1

I’d classify this more as a berry than a cranberry, which I think of as more red.  Maybe red wine/dark mauve as it does lean just a taste purple.  I find it very close to OPI Anti-Bleak from their one of of their Mariah Carey offerings a few years ago or Casino Royale from the Skyfall collection.  Also Got Cherried Away from the Coca-Cola collection, which I actually have.  I’ll need to remember to do a comparison when I get around to reviewing that one.  Or maybe Zoya’s Veronica.

In other words, there’s nothing unique or special about the color.  Well, I shouldn’t say not special, because the color itself is a great one.  Probably why there are so many variants of the shade available.  Work appropriate but not boring, understated but not granny-ish, attractive on just about every skin tone and any nail length.  In other words, a pretty classic shade and one that I’m quite fond of in general, not just in nail varnish.

 

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.

image

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….

 

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!

image

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.