Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guuuuurl, I Herd That!

Sorry, I just had to put a little sass into that title.  What can I say, it's a sassy polish!

 This here, in case you haven't put it together, is China Glaze I Herd That from the Fall 2012 Safari Collection.  All in all, I thought this was a pretty nifty collection, and this here is my favorite.  It was tough to photograph the full awesomeness, as the glitter had a subtle holographic effect in the sun.  LOVED it.  So much so, I funky-frenched it!

I tipped it with OPI Bronzed to Perfection, an ULTA clearance buy.  You can always tell when I'm taking my pictures in the middle of a hot-as-balls Tennessee summer; the photos take on a moody, hazy look.  Sorry bout that.

Y'all, I've got big ready?  I.  GOT.  A HELMER.  Loooooooove it!  I'm going to try to document my collection this weekend.  Tighten up your britches, y'all!  GET READY!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It was his year, it was his year, IT WAS HIS YEAR!!!

OPI It Was My Year always makes me think of the movie "Strictly Ballroom."  I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the "theme" of my blog is based around my love of movies.  I try to do most of my titles after a film quote or reference.  This one is from the fantastic Australian film, "Strictly Ballroom."  It was directed by Baz Luhrmann, and is essentially the inspiration for "Dirty Dancing."  I can't find a clip from the exact part of the film that includes the quote, but that's just as well, because you really ought to just go watch the whole movie (it's available by instant streaming on Netflix).  When I discovered this fantastic film, I made both my brother and my father watch it, and in spite of the fact that I got dubious looks when I introduced it as "a movie about ballroom dancing," they were both shocked to discover that they liked it!

But enough of that other obsession of's the swatch of OPI's It Was My Year, from the Summer 2011 Ms. Universe collection.  I believe this was given to me as a gift by my very best friend who lives on the other side of the country.  She gave me several polishes as a hostess gift when she came to visit, and she had GREAT taste in choosing the colors.  I feel like "It Was My Year" preceded a few other dupes like Zoya Faye.  It must be a great color to have been copied by the likes of Zoya!  Hope you love it as much as I do.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bow In My Presence!

I have an alter ego.  Everyone should have an alter ego.  Mine is Sheba, Queen of the Desert.  I barely remember when or how she was born, but there you have it. 

This is a polish Sheba would love.

Wet N Wild Bow in My Presence over Sally Hansen Color Quick Pen in Turquoise Chrome
The Wet N Wild Be Jeweled collection (like the China Glaze Prismatics collection, a near dead dupe) is lovely to look at in the bottle, but frankly, not that impressive on the nail.  I thought the look above was pretty, but knock your socks off, you know?  If you DO like this collection, you should know that most Sally Beauty stores are currently clearing the China Glaze Prismatics collection for rock-bottom prices.  Check it out!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Green, memories and animals

Happy Saturday, all!

If there's one thing about blogging that I love, it's taking pics on a gorgeous Saturday.  Today I've ventured outdoors to bring you all Orly Lucky Duck.

 I've topped it here with China Glaze Luxe and Lush, a topcoat I have truly adore.  A green and a shredded glitter topcoat?  Yep, love this.

Whilst photographing, I realized you guys had never seen my wrist tattoo.

This tattoo is less than a year old.  I'd considered a wrist tattoo for a long time, but was always too chicken on account of my fairly corporate work environment.  At last, my workplace issued a policy on tattoos, and it mentioned that they were okay, so long as the tattoo wasn't vulgar and reasonable effort was made to cover it.  I figured a wrist tattoo was easily covered by a cuff bracelet (which I love anyway), so I went for it.  The design is a twist on a vintage Corelle/Pyrex pattern called Crazy Daisy/Spring Blossom that I grew up eating off of at my grandmother's house.  I inherited her kitchenware when she passed, and I continue to collect it.  In short, it's a design that means a lot to me, and which I'd considered getting tattooed for years.  It's my second piece of ink.

THEN, the day was so pretty that my dog and my outdoors kitty were really enjoying themselves and were happy to see me.  I took this fun little pic to show how well they get along.

Foxy loves her little playmate and Zaz really looks up to her gigantic friend.

I hope that everyone is having a lovely weekend, as I certainly am!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Quick Gunmetal Update

Hi all!  Wouldn't you know, after I wrote my last post, I finally found Revlon Carbonite!  For the first time, I had success finding polish at my Big Lots, which has a history of sucking.

Below, I've got a nail wheel comparison of Carbonite with the polishes I discussed in my last post.

L-R:  Revlon Carbonite, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Sinful Colors Secret Admirer, Ruby Kisses Steel Magnolia
The wheel pic is not 100% accurate, as it is much easier to see in real life that Carbonite and Just Spotted are NOT dupes at all!  Carbonite is nearly a one-coater, whereas Just Spotted definitely needs at least two coats.  Just Spotted also has a faint rainbow shimmer that is absent in Carbonite.  The only possible dupe I'm missing here is Chanel Graphite, but I can tell ya right now that it's just going to have to stay missing!  I hope this helps anyone else who, like me, is partial to the gunmetal family of colors.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gunmetal Dupe Alert!

Check this shiz out, yo.  (I...I have no idea where that came from.)

A friend of mine recently left our company, and I was so proud and sad!  She was an intern when she first came to work for us, and I was her first boss at the company.  That girl was a sharp cookie, and I knew she was destined for greatness!  She was quick to learn of my lacquer obsession, and when she moved from intern to full-time employee, I congratulated her by purchasing a Butter London for her that she'd had her eye on (British Racing Green, should you have been curious).  So when she got a new gig outside the company, she said goodbye with a sweet note and a bottle of Sinful Colors "Secret Admirer."

Is this gorgeous, or what?  How did I not know this existed?  She did a great job picking a color for me; I totally would have picked this out myself.  Gunmetal has always been a favorite color of mine, so it only stands to reason that I already had a couple of colors in my collection that were quite similar:  OPI "Just Spotted the Lizard" (an alleged Revlon Carbonite/Chanel Graphite dupe) and Ruby Kisses "Steel Magnolia."  Below you'll see Steel Magnolias on the index finger, Just Spotted the Lizard on the middle finger and Secret Admirer on the ring finger.

Now, I suspect this may ALSO be a dupe for China Glaze "Stone Cold" from the Hunger Games collection (with a clear topcoat on account of Stone Cold is a matte.)  I kinda wanted Stone Cold, and indeed I saw it at Sally Beauty recently.  I came THISCLOSE to buying it to test my dupe theory, but man...I needs ta keep my monies.  (Anybody wanna verify this for me?)

I really do think that Secret Admirer is what I wanted Carbonite to be.  I never could find Carbonite in stores to be sure, but if it's true that Just Spotted the Lizard is a Carbonite dupe, then Carbonite is greener than I thought it would be.  Secret Admirer and Steel Magnolia are pure shimmery grey/silver, which is what I expect true Carbonite to be.


Thanks, former coworker!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Talk Nerdy to Me

At last!  A post!  A post I promised a month ago!  I was right; it was tooooo much of a hassle to wear and photograph all of my Nerd Lacquers right off the bat.  I'm sorry...these are some glitter-packed lovelies but, good GRIEF, what a royal pain to remove!  I could go on all day about how horrendous that process was, but such whining would detract from how yummy these polishes are in every aspect.  I mean, really; the colors, the branding, the names...I cannot help but love it all!!!

First up, "I Think You Call Me Sexy."  I don't know why this picture is upside down, unless Blogger decided that it would be fun to imbue this picture with some of the spontaneous, whimsical nature of the TARDIS?  Here you get an indication of what topcoat-eaters Nerd Lacquers can be.  I've got one coat of Seche Vite over this, which is usually enough to glass-over (yes, glass-over) some pretty gritty glitters, but I really wanted this to have a glassier finish.

"No Medal for Chewie."  Poor Chewie.  I just don't think they could find a medal in his size.  Either that, or they were afraid of the impact that a possible dismembering would have on the regal nature of the medal ceremony.  The logistics of placing a necklace on a Wookie notwithstanding, I'm not sure why a polish with this name isn't brown and silver?  I think that would be appropriate.  Nevermind that, this color is FUN!  I can never have enough green; add some golden-green and blue glitter?  Shut the front door.

Hope everyone has had a great Memorial Day weekend!  Tomorrow we trudge back to the grind.  I think the scene below will be me in the morning; feel free to join me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Get outta here, ya ruffian, ya!

Good evening, all! I continue to be terrible at posting regularly. What has gotten into me?  Darned if I know.

Today I again reach back into unpublished manis to bring you a vampy Ruffian I did a few months back ago.  Presenting the ever-popular Ulta For Bitten topped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Wined Up.

 I liked this look a LOT.  Most people who saw it only viewed it as red-on-black, but I knew about the lovely red sparkle in For Bitten. 

I tell ya, the Sally Hansen flat, tapered brush is PERFECT for Ruffians.  I did this free-hand, and that's quite an accomplishment for someone as shaky and graceless as myself. 

Recently, I was able to acquire quite a few Nerd Lacquers, and I hope to present those to you soon in a two- or three-part series.  Glitters such as Nerd Lacquers drive me NUTS to remove, so we'll see how long it takes me to get through them all.  Idiotic me has already worn some of them without photographing them, but today I'm rocking I Think You Call Me Sexy, and I've snapped a pic.  These are some seriously gorgeous polishes, and I can't wait to show them off. 

Happy Sunday to you all!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Barilla's Holland Opus

Hey, all!  Sorry it's been so long since I posted.  Things have been ducky, and Disneyworld was AWESOME, but my creativity has been just totally zapped.

I haven't taken any new mani pics in a few weeks, but I thought today I'd dig back and see what I hadn't shown off yet.  And lookie here!  My OPI Holland collection swatches!  I really liked this collection...way more than I thought I would.  I saw other girls' swatches and thought, "Meh.  Nothing earth-shattering."  But when I saw them in stores, I realized that I wanted so many of them!  They're all so very wearable, and the ones I chose have that little "ooh-aah" that you only realize is there when you look closely.

Gouda Gouda Two-Shoes

Pedal Faster, Suzi

I Don't Give a Rotterdam

Of these, I think Gouda Gouda Two-Shoes is probably my favorite.  This surprises even me; it's a work-appropriate taupey-y rose.  Sounds boring, right?  WRONG.  I can see this color looking great on pretty much any skin tone, and again, it's got that little special shimmery something that I just LOVE in otherwise boring colors.  I was torn between buying I Don't Give a Rotterdam and I Have a Herring Problem (which is similar, but with more green), and I'm glad I chose Rotterdamn.  I do so adore a cornflower blue.  Pedal Faster is a lovely pink, but it was a bitch to photograph!  It also drives me moderately nuts that it really ought to be called "Petal Faster, Suzi" if they're trying to play off of Holland's famous tulips, but whatever.  I'm gonna have to put it in third place just for that. 

I hope everyone is having a great time Spring-ing into April! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hungry for Hunger Games?

Greetings from Disneyworld!  By the time you read this, I'll be hanging out at the Mouse's House.

I'll be at the World with my family, and while I'm gone, I hope to see "Hunger Games" with my sister-in-law.  We've both read the books and loved them.  (Who didn't?)  The China Glaze Hunger Games collection was pretty awesome; so awesome, in fact, that my Sally ran out pretty!  I only managed to get three of them.  In truth, the only one I still really want is Stone Cold.

Here we have Harvest Moon, which represents District 9:

 It's a delicious blend of bronze, brown and gold.  Quite lovely, really.  I don't follow "rules" about certain colors in certain seasons, but I still feel that this smacks SO hard of Fall, that I probably won't wear it much again until then.

Next up is Riveting, representing District 3:

 What can I say; it is...riveting!  It really is.  I feel like this sort of color should not look right on my pale, cool-toned skin, but I was VERY pleased.  I can only imagine that this would be flattering on most anyone, and that has GOT to be a rarity for an orange.

Last but not least, the "flaky" (more on that later), Luxe & Lush (District 1):

I feel that calling this a flakie is a bit of a misnomer.  I expect a flakie to sort of...blend into its basecoat, changing it and forming something totally new.  I compare this more to the randomly shaped mylar-type glitter topcoats that are becoming popular, especially among frankeners and independent lacquer mixers.  Flakie or no, it's captivating.  I've shown it over several different color families to show you what a versatile "effects" polish it can be, and unfortunately I can't remember what these base polishes are!  If you're very curious about one, let me know and I'm sure I can narrow it down.

All in all, I think this China Glaze did a fantastic job of coming up with colors that really represented the Districts of Panem.  This could have just been a random assortment of colors with names that were sort of reminiscent of the Hunger Games, but it isn't.  By the time you read this, many of you will have already seen the movie, and I hope it didn't let you down! 

May the odds be ever in your favour!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You've Got Green on You

Better late than never, right?  I painted my nails in the spirit of St. Patty's, but I really don't much care for getting out and, ahem, "celebrating" the holiday.  That's just as well, because I haven't been feeling well, and ended up sleeping the day away!  That, in turn, explains why I'm just now getting around to posting this.

I should further explain that I LOVE all things Irish.  Really, every day is St. Patrick's Day for me.  That would be why when it came time to do this green skittles mani, I found I had sixteen different greens.  Long story short, that's a lot of any one color for the size of my collection. favorites!

Pinky: OPI On Stranger Tides, Ring:  Zoya Shawn, Middle:  Milani HiTech, Index:  Sinful Colors Envy, Thumb:  China Glaze Cling On

Pinky:  Zoya Yara, Ring:  Zoya Ivanka, Middle:  Zoya Gemma, Index:  Zoya Midori, Thumb:  Finger Paints Tough Art to Follow

By the by, please excuse the slapdashiness of this mani.  I did it in about 10 minutes, which was all I had at the time! 

For these photos, I chose to "pose" with my collection of tippers/beaters for my bodhran.  If that last sentence made very little sense to you, check this out:

That's Sean McCann from Great Big Sea (my very favorite band) demonstrating.   That thing he's beating the bodhran (drum) with is called a tipper or a beater (depending on who you ask).  I'm an extremely novice player, so when I was in Ireland a couple of years ago, I picked up several tippers so I could learn more about which styles felt most comfortable to me.

The three on the right came from Ireland.  So of course I found I still prefer to play with the one on the right that came with my bodhran!
This tipper is relevant to my interests.
Hope you've enjoyed this late ode to St. Patrick's Day and unsolicited lesson on Irish instruments!  Happy Sunday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quick Alert: Nerd Lacquer now in stock!

And I just ordered WAY more than I should have.  So excited!  Cannot wait!

Get thee to Etsy!  Get 'em while you can!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Magnetic Polish - My turn!

Anybody else notice how gimmicky the world of polish has been over the last year or two?  We've got crackles, flakies, magnetics...what's next?  Me, I love a good gimmick, so I'm always game.

I picked up my first magnetic polish in Sephora back when I visited NYC last fall.  It was Nails Inc "House of Parliament."  I think Nails Inc was probably one of the first companies to really kick this trend into the mainstream, but they're certainly not cheap.  (They're currently retailing at Sephora for $16.)  Thank goodness, then, that China Glaze released a more affordable line of magnetic polishes a little while later.  Theirs retail for $6.99, plus you have to buy the magnet for an additional $6.99.  With Nails Inc, the magnet is in the bottle cap, and it's meant to impart a wavy lines design.  The China Glaze magnet has three designs: diagonal lines, chevron and star/asterisk.

As with so many things, though, magnetic polishes are a great example of getting what you pay for, but it's also a bit of a mixed bag.  Let me show you what I mean.

Pinky:  Nails Inc Houses of Parliament (using Nails Inc magnet); Ring:  China Glaze Cling On (using CG chevron magnet); Middle:  China Glaze Instant Chemistry (using CG star magnet); Pointer:  China Glaze Cling On (using NI magnet); Thumb:  China Glaze Instant Chemistry (using NI magnet)

Whew!  That's a lot to sort out, I know, but let me explain why I did what I did.  I've fiddled with these enough to have learned one very important lesson:  the China Glaze magnet...SUCKS.  It just does.  Look at that middle finger; does that look like a star to you?  However, I LOVE the China Glaze colors.  They're way more saturated and intense than the Nails Inc magnetic polishes.  Because of these observations, I've decided that the best thing to do is use CG polishes with the Nails Inc magnet.  It's a bit of an investment to have to do it this way, but it's worth it to me.  I mean...LOOK at that pointer finger.  Cling On is gorgeous, and when I placed the Nails Inc magnet over it, I could instantly (no exaggeration) see the pattern come up.  Check it out again here:

I understand that $16 can be quite a splurge for polish for a lot of us; frankly, I'm not sure I'd have shelled out for it if I hadn't been using vacation money (which, like vacation calories, isn't real money).  If you really want to dabble in this trend but have a China Glaze budget, please check out Scrangie's amazingly detailed guide to troubleshooting magnetic polish here.  I simply don't have the patience or the will or the mad skillz to get mine to come out looking like hers, but perhaps you'll have better luck!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

NOLF (Nail of Last Friday)

Hey, all!  Lately I've REAAAALLY been wanting to revert to my college-era nocturnal ways, so while I'm sitting here trying to make myself go to bed (tomorrow's a Monday, after all!), I thought I'd quickly share last Friday's mani with you.

This is Ulta "Lav-ish," which was part of the mini-polish set called "Paint the Town."  Y'all, I LOVED this polish.  First off, it's a lovely lavender-taupe color with a delicate pinkish-gold shimmer built in.  It's a great office neutral.  I wasn't terribly scared of staining, so I decided to do without a basecoat (which is rare for me).  As a result of that and the ease of application, this was definitely one of the quickest-yet-still-flawless polish jobs I'd done that I can ever remember.  I don't think the "Paint the Town" set is available anymore, but it looks like the full-size Lav-ish is, and I just can't recommend it enough as an addition to your office-friendly polish collection.

Hope everyone avoids a case of the Mondays tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who doesn't need a bit of whimsy?

I like a bit of whimsy, don't you?  In fact, Revlon's "Whimsical" has two things going for it:  "whimsical" is one of my favorite words, AND it's a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's "Glitter in the Air," which is an amazing Pink song!  Really and truly, this has been a lemming of mine since I first caught sight of it.  A couple of weeks ago I picked up Ulta's last bottle!  w00t!

I feel like it's been done and done in it's purest form and over white, so I decided to throw it over a navy polish.  (It was a navy from an Ulta set.  I've since lost the packaging, and the bottle was too little for a label.)  Here's before the dose of whimsy, and after:

Yeesh, that's a bit messy.  You know blues, though.  This has two coats of Whimsical over the navy.  In truth, I wish I'd stopped at one.  It really looked better that way.  Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with Whimsical, and downright DELIGHTED I never came close to dropping $15+ on Glitter in the Air.  Can't wait to play with this some more!

Update:  The navy is from Ulta's Paint the Town set.  It's called Nauti-cal But Nice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Texture Play Fail

If ever there's been a collection I WISH I'd bought all of when I had the chance, it's China Glaze Vintage Vixen from Fall 2010.  I've scrounged up one or two, though, and the latest is Riveter Rouge.

Leave it to me to take a lovely color and thoroughly eff it up.  Haaaaaad to mattify it.  Didn't like that, no.  Haaaaad to go all artsy on it, try a glossy stripe up the middle.  Well, that was godawful, so I just haaaaad to do a crappy freehand French glossy tip.  Oy.  When will I learn?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Don't Mess with Me

I borked a nail.  In my defense, I did so changing my oil.  "Don't Mess with OPI" and don't mess with a girl who changes her own oil.  I thought it would be fun to take a nail pic while my hands were still all dirty and I hadn't yet fixed the nail.

The OPI Texas collection was one of those that really didn't blow my mind when I first saw it, but a good year after it came out, I find I now own four of them!  I stumbled onto a buy-one-get-two free OPI clearance at the Wal-Mart salon the other day.  Score!  I added the above "Don't Mess" to my collection, along with the below, "Guy Meets Galveston."  They join "Austin-tatious Turquoise" and "Houston, We Have a Purple."

I luuuuuuurv jellies.  (Oh, 'scuse me, Suzi, "sorbets.")  Has a nail polish collection ever sneaked its way into your stash like that?

Friday, February 3, 2012

You've traveled so far, love, now all of the stars are aligned...

(WARNING:  This post has absolutely nothing to do with nail polish.  It DOES, however, document what were quite possibly the most amazing 24 hours of my life.  Also, it is very photo- and video-heavy.)

These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.

Tuesday, January 24:  My best friend Rebecca's husband exposes me to this...

It is love at first listen, and I haven't fallen this hard for music since I was a teenager and was first learning who I was and what sort of music spoke to me and defined who I was.  I immediately download the only two Gotye albums currently available.  I.  Am.. In.  Love.

Friday, January 27:  The opportunity to win tickets to see Gotye perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live is posted on Gotye's website.  As my best friend Rebecca lives in LA (where JKL is taped), I inform her of the opportunity.  She is notified the same day that she has won.  Unfortunately, we also realize that she only won one ticket.

Sunday, January 29:  Rebecca emails Gotye's PR person, Travis, who had notified her when she won.  She inquired whether it would be possible to take someone else.  She was nervous about going alone, and wanted to take her husband.  Unfortunately, Travis could not help her, but promised to let her know if her request could be accommodated.  Later that day, he emailed her to let her know that someone HAD dropped out, and put her husband on the list.

Monday, January 30:  Everything I see is overcast with green, as I am SO jealous of Rebecca and her husband.  When I arrive at work that day, I begin fiddling with airfare prices just for shits and giggles.  I am surprised by the (all-things-considered) affordability of flights.  I am seriously considering going.  I inquire of her husband as to whether he'd be willing to let me take his spot.  He sweetly informs me that it will make Rebecca VERY happy for me to come; he will be delighted to give me his spot.  (Also, he is getting sick.)  I begin to seek the approval of my boss to take two days off this week to fly to LA on a whim.  My flight is purchased Monday evening.  Before I buy the ticket, though, Rebecca emails to Travis to make sure that I can take her husband's place.  He happily agrees to, as someone is nuts enough to fly from Tennessee just for this occasion!

Tuesday, January 31:  Travis informs Rebecca that someone ELSE has dropped out, and he has added her husband back to the list.  As the Gotye song goes, "All of the stars are aligned."

Wednesday, February 1:  I fly from Nashville to Chicago to LA.  Rebecca's husband picks me up from the airport, we pick up Rebecca from work, and all three head to Hollywood to wander about until the taping call-time of 6:45.  (This includes a meal at In-N-Out.  Hells.  Yes.)  I've flown all that way and am not about to get a crappy spot at the taping, so we toddle on over to wait in line at about 5:15. The rest of the night goes as follows.

When we arrive at the back of the studio (in the parking lot behind the JKL studio, where the outdoor mini-concert stage is set up), there is already a short line.  We stand for awhile.  There's a fence defining the concert area, and fortunately there are a few holes in the fence.  Sound check commences, and I get my first glimpse of Gotye.

We are wristbanded (after some confusion over our lack of tickets) and branded "Priority" along with a smaller group of people than the other folks waiting in line.  We are allowed into the audience area first.

When we enter the actual staging area, we and our hundred+ other friends find ourselves in an area behind caution tape, about 50 feet in front of the stage.  Apparently, more lighting decisions need to be made.  Once they are made, we are informed that we must walk slowly toward the stage, never crossing a very cool, kinda cute security guard, lest we risk being kicked out.  The caution tape is lowered, and we walk slowly (as instructed by Mr. Cool) towards the stage, and find ourselves at the very front of the audience, right at the fence (which we leaned on; a blessing to our tired feet) which is parallel to the stage.  Oh my God.  I'm going to be just a few feet away from Gotye/Wally.

There is a large screen at the back of the stage area.  During sound check, I learned that it would display some of the animations and graphics from Gotye's uber-creative videos.  During the time that we waited for him to appear, though, it would display what was going on during the taping of JKL.  Earlier in the evening, while peering into the staging area, we'd seen a trailer with a llama in it, so we knew that animals would somehow be a part of the show.  Little did I know, a sloth (MY VERY FAVORITE ANIMAL) would be a part of the evening's events.  Indeed, during a segment called "Guess What Animal Is On Guillermo's Head," a two-toed sloth was placed on Guillermo's head.

At last, cameramen and people began to appear in the staging area in front of our head.  At last...Gotye.

If you've never been to a taping of any kind, you should know that there is so much more that goes on than what you see.  A chubby bald man in a suit appeared as everything was being set up.  He informed us that cameras would be on us, and we would be instructed by him to go batshit crazy, even when was nothing going on.  So we did.  We clapped and screamed our asses off.  It wasn't much of a stretch for me, as I was so excited.  Jimmy Kimmel came to the edge of the stage and did an introductory blurb.  I thought I'd be seen on camera, but alas, we were just on the edge of the camera's view.

Gotye did five songs:  Heart's A Mess, Somebody That I Used to Know, State of the Art, Eyes Wide Open and Only Way.  I knew, of course, that "Somebody That I Used to Know" would be the one to air.

The first four songs were done in that stop-and-start way that tapings are done.  However, when the fourth song was completed, the camera crew went away and Goyte, as Wally put it, "had the stage to ourselves."  At that point he geared up for "State of the Art."  It's a REALLY interesting song.  The segment I filmed is very bass-heavy, so it's tough to hear, but stick it out (til about :38).  Wally came ALIVE during this song.  I can't blame's SO damn fun.  Unfortunately, it really left me wanting more!!!

Husband and Rebecca had been quite ill, and I was under strict orders not to hug them.  Nevertheless, when the taping had ended, I could not help myself.  A group hug ensued.  I was so excited, Rebecca felt compelled to conduct a post-show interview.  I was basking in the glow.

Unfortunately, that's the end of the show.  We headed on out of the taping area, through a parking lot, where we discovered the animal handler from the show chatting with someone.  I was busy posting my Facebook status update about how I'm basking in the post-show glow, and my mental process went something like this:

"That's the animal handler.  The animal handler is surrounded by animal carrier boxes.  The animal handler had a sloth.  There's a sloth in one of those boxes.  CAN I SEE THE SLOTH?!?"  The last sentence I actually asked of the handler.  She, in her odd way, gave me permission to look at the sloth.  After peering in several pet-carrier-type boxes, I found...the two-toed sloth.  I may not be as bad as Kristen Bell, but nearly so.  Sloths...I....I love them.  At this point, I lost my shit.  I went all Elaine Benes on my BFF and her husband...I was slapping them and jumping up and down, squeeling, "Holy shit, y'all....I just saw...GOTYE...AND A SLOTH...IN AN HOUR!!!!"

Here's the long and short of it:  I landed in LA at about 1:00 PM on Wednesday.  I flew out of LA at about 11:00 AM on Thursday.  And it was about the most amazing 24 hours of my life.

I saw Gotye.  I saw a sloth.  I saw my best friend.  I saw my best friend's husband.  My best friend's husband's family welcomed me into their home, as they so sweetly always do.  One of my best "new" friends took me to the airport, gave me sweets and shared breakfast with me.

I am...SO BLESSED.  I love life, however much it may peeve me.  I love music.  I love my friends. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Messy Mani with a Message

I'm not sure if this will actually post ON Blackout Day, but I'm hoping it will show up in some reader feeds.  I've chosen to blackout my page AND my nails to call attention to protesting SOPA & PIPA, two pending bills moving quickly through Congress. 

I've done my research, made my decisions, and made my opinions known to my local lawmakers.  Now it's your turn.

Learn more.  Do more.  Stop SOPA & PIPA.  For more information and to take action, please click HERE.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beauty things I love

I am such a sucker for products.  I love to try new things, and when I find something I love, I want to tell the world about it!  Seriously, you should ask my coworkers; occasionally I'll find a new food I'm in love with or some miracle product, and work will be put on pause while I host my own little infomercial complete with goofy hand gestures, but with the added benefit of real-time free samples.  (Full disclosure:  these informercials are usually received with a tepid "Uh-huh" and synchronized swiveling of chairs back towards computer monitors.)

That being said, today I'm going to break from the polish talk to share with you a round of my current (and in some cases, long-time) favorite beauty things.  Hope you enjoy!

1.  Freeman's masks - They're readily available (usually at Wal-Mart, and who doesn't have a Wal-Mart?), and come in LOTS of different scents, formulas and benefits.  I try not to use them too much, maybe once every other week or so.  I suppose I COULD use them every day, but that would ruin the effect.  The effect, to me, is enjoying that certain something about sitting around (for the ten or so minutes it takes for the mask to dry) waiting for yourself to get more beautiful that just feels so self-indulgent.  I feel like half the benefit of any beauty product is how much lovelier it makes you FEEL.  It's all about self-confidence and setting aside the time to pamper yourself!

2.  Beauty vlogs - Two of my absolute faves are Michelle Phan and Petrilude.  Michelle has fantastic tips, DIY beauty treatments and "looks" for any occasion; and Petrilude does AMAZING costume makeup and drag-queen looks, which can really teach you a lot about concealing, contouring and shading to carry over into every day looks.

3.  Twist-up application eyeliner - I've come to discover that most women have that "one thing" that they cannot do without in their makeup routine, and eyeliner is mine.  I have naturally sleepy-looking eyes (heavy-lidded and downturned) and thin, short eyelashes.  These qualities lead to my eyes seeming to disappear into my face.  Eyeliner really helps them POP and wake me up!  I typically only do a single line across my top lid, but will also line the outer half of the bottom lid when I'm going out.  My favorite eyeliner at the moment (and for awhile now) is Avon's Glimmerstick Diamonds.  I am NOT a cosmetics snob.  I will spend where I feel it's worthwhile, but if a drugstore (or Avon) product makes me happy, so be it!

4.  Burt's Bees Foot Creme,  LUSH Lemony Flutter,  and Aquaphor Healing Ointment -  I lump all three of these products in together, because I will use their various benefits as needed on those bits and pieces that need major moisture.  Burt's Bees Foot Creme is a great product for those times when you want to DRENCH your feet in moisturizer, throw on some socks and hit the hay while the product works its magic.  The creme itself is quite greasy, and doesn't soak in easily, so you sort of want to cover it up and let it do its work.  Lemony Flutter has a reputation of its own already as THE go-to cuticle butter.  That reputation is not unwarranted!  It's amazing stuff, and also does wonders when I really want to go after that knobbly bit of the ankle that is forever going chalk-dry on me.  Finally, I learned about the joy of Aquaphor after my last tattoo, when it was recommended as an aftercare product.  It is also fabulous on those bits of your body that just won't soak up enough moisture...the heals, the elbow, the name it!  PLUS, it's cheap and readily available and most any drugstore.

 5.  Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Super Softening Hand Lotion - Yes, I've got two points dedicated to moisturizing.  The one above was for baaaaaad cases, extreme dryness.  This one is the best daily/nightly use hand lotion.  It used to be "Look Ma, New Hands;" you may be familiar with that if you're a fan of B&BW products.  This lotion is the good stuff.  It soaks in easily, but still feels like it's doing it's job without feeling greasy..  Plus (and this is hard to describe) it has kind of a citrusy, tingly feel that makes you feel as though it's DOING SOMETHING.  It's not cheap, but B&BW runs sales throughout the year, so if you're patient and keep an eye out, you can wait until they've been discounted and stock up.  (PS, there were going to be two items here; the other was to be Nivea Renewal Hand Cream.  I got this in my stocking this year, but my mom told me it was the only one in the store.  This makes sense, now that I've gone to look for the link for you;  it seems it has been discontinued.  IF you can find it, though, pick it up.  It feels GREAT.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lazy Lotus

Hoo boy, have the post-holiday blahs bitten me squarely in the arse.  It hurts a little bit, and I should probably bandage the wound, maybe disinfect it, but that sounds like an awful lot of effort.  Therefore, I'm just gonna keep sitting on the aforementioned arse with little thought to infection or pain.  Take that, blahs.  I'd tell you to kiss my arse, but...alright.  That horse is sufficiently deceased.

Here.  Have a mani I did months ago.  It's Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus with a lame experimental funky French tip done with Scotch tape and a pair of scrapbooking scissors.

I like this color.

I don't like this lame post-work, racing the sun, against-the-steering-wheel shot.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Pink Wednesday of 2012!

I should have made a bigger deal of this, but I didn't even realize it until I'd posted.  Y'all, my previous post was not only the first post of 2012, it also was my HUNDREDTH POST!  I...I actually stuck with something!  OMG!  Now that's reason for celebration!

Moving on now, we have ANOTHER momentous event:  the first Pink Wednesday of 2012! 

Zoya Alegra!  She's a pretty fuschia with what strikes me as an unusual finish that's almost a mix of foil and glass fleck.  Zoya is really good at this finish, I gotta say.  I just can't think of any other company that matches it. 

Random question:  why is it that every time I've just finished a mani, I have to go pee?  Does this happen to anyone else?

Yep, that's me.  Ringing in the new year with more random thoughts.  Happy 2012!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Quick and Pretty

I've been meaning to post all weekend, and this isn't what I intended to post about, but darnit, time is running out and I hate to start 2012 by feeling like a slack-ass loser.

Presenting...the reverse half-moon mani!

Zoya Yara with Mattese Black Glitter

I don't fancy I'm the first person to do this, but I'll be danged if I've SEEN it in any other nail blogs.  And ya know what?  I love it!  I'm planning on playing with this technique more in 2012. 

You know what else I think we're going to see a LOT more of in the coming year?  FLAKIES.  Yep.  What 2011 was to crackle/shatter, 2012 shall be to flakies.  Essie's done it.  Finger Paints did it.  Zoya's doing it.  So much for the clamor over Nubar 2010 and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure.  Flakies are going mainstream!  Hop on board before it's old hat.

Hey, y'all.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!