Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Never Forgotton

I've been keeping pics of my manis fairly consistently, I just seem to lack the time or focus to get them up here regularly.  Hrmph.

I partially blame Pinterest.  *whistles innocently*

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm still here!

I'm sorry I've been quiet lately but I've had some health issues take priority.

But I have still been painting my nails, trying new techniques, and documenting everything!

Stay tuned, there's going to be picture overload coming soon!
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Whimsical Jelly Sandwich

So this is the week that I not only had my virgin trip to Icing, but I also received my wonderful Secret Valentine present from my Polish Addict's group on Facebook.  Which had in it FIVE amazing polishes all the way from Sweden!  Be still, my polish covered heart.

And then I had to stop by the grocery store, and I checked out the polishes and nail stuff (like always) and realized they had the highly lemming'ed Revlon Whimsical!  What is a lacquer lover to do?

Wear as many of them as possible at one time.

The makings of a delicious jelly sandwich.  L-R, Revlon Whimsical, Icing Written in the Stars, Viva la Diva 127.

I love it.  It's so squishy and full of interesting glitter bits and stars that catch and reflect the light in little flashes of rainbow goodness.  After taking the pictures, I now see that it's doing the dreaded Seche Vite shrink at the tips giving me some VNL.  Luckily I have a lovely silver holo glitter polish in the corner of my eye that would work perfectly as a French tip with this combination.

Covered in Icing (or why I shouldn't go polish shopping without a chaperone)

Since the polish addiction is always growing, and I've been spending far too much time looking at other nail polish blogs, I've seen so many posts and pictures of Icing polishes that had me lamenting the store availability in my overgrown suburb of a capital city.  And then, it suddenly dawned on me that I thought we did actually have one Icing store hidden away in the corner of a newish strip mall that I don't frequent very often.  A quick visit to the shop locator page, and I was all but squealing with delight.  It was true!  An Icing of my very own!

One evening after work I had some time to kill, so I figured I'd swing by and check it out.  You know, for reconnaissance purposes so I could plan my attack for when my tax return check came in.  And I think that's where I made my first mistake.

About 45 minutes later I was walking out with five new full sized polishes and a mini-quad of their "baby blues".  I got all three of the Charlie Sheen inspired polishes (Tiger's Blood, Rock Star From Mars, and Epic Winning), Witch's Brew, and Written in the Stars.  The quad of minis are not named, which makes me a little sad, because they are so pretty.  I'll have to swatch them out in a later post and see if between the pictures and my words I can do them justice.

There was no doubt in my mind that the first one gracing my nails would be Epic Winning.  Not only is the name fantastic, but so is the polish.  It's a cacophony of royal blue, silver, and holographic glitters in a clear base.  The loveliness of the sparkle and shine is nearly impossible to capture in a picture, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.  It make me want to make rock star hands and  growl "UNICORNS AND GLITTER!" in my best metal goddess voice.  \m/ ^_^ \m/

Of course, in the way of things, I use the glorious glitter polish - and the sun goes into hiding for three days. 

Indoors, fluorescent lighting

The majority of the manicures I've seen that feature Epic Winning used a black or navy base color, which looks yummy, but I wanted to do something a little different.  I chose to use Nicole by OPI's "It's All About the Glam" from their Kardashian collection.  That is a lovely white shimmer on its own, but also a nice base for heavy glitter polishes.  I'm really looking forward to trying Epic Winning over a silver foil base, too.

This picture was taken indoors under incandescent lighting.  You can start to see some of the sparkle, but it's just so hard to capture!  This is one of the gloriously light catching type of polishes that manage to sparkle even at night as you're driving under streetlights. 

The blurrier, the sparklier.  I love how this also shows the glint of the blue glitter, as well.

I did have to apply this rather thickly to get the coverage I wanted, and ended up using three coats of Epic Winning over one coat of It's All About the Glam.  It did apply easily though, and dried quickly even considering my heavy-handed approach.  I think I might have added a fourth coat to get even more oomph out of the glitter, but it was starting to seem a little like overkill at that point. 

I've decided I love Icing and I love Epic Winning.  I can see me dropping a pretty penny in that store, and I'm just glad it's on the other side of the city and I'm not tempted to stop by every week.  Ok, not TOO tempted.  ;)

Fowl Play + Twisted

I got a little behind in posting my adventures in nail polish, mostly due to my recently going through books like I'm a starved woman who finds sustenance in the pages.  Oh yeah, I have another book review to post.  Again.  Already.  *smh*  Luckily, I have been documenting all the manicures so I can take this lovely (but chilly) Sunday and play catch up.  Not like I should be cleaning, or anything... *shifty eyes*  What? Nothing....

On to the polish!

I have always been drawn to new and "unusual" things, so when I first heard about and saw swatches of Fowl Play, my inner artist/rebel sat up and paid attention.  It's a glorious deep purple jelly polish, intermixed with blue and silver glitter, and orange and blue flakies.  I *love* me some flakies.  Of course, when I was able to get my hands on this polish I had recently also gotten most of the FingerPaints Special Effects flakies.  Which means I was putting them on top of EVERYTHING.  Fowl Play is yummy on its own, but I saw a wonderful opportunity to add more sparkle by adding a layer of Twisted on top.  I was quite satisfied with how the two blended together, and I can see me wearing this again in the future.

Orly Fowl Play (two coats), FingerPaints Twisted (one coat), and the usual adhesive base coat and Seche Vite top coat.  Photo taken indoors, under fluorescent lighting.

Unfortunately you can see the dent on my middle finger in this one, but it gives you a better idea of how the flakes from Fowl Play blended so nicely with the flakes from Twisted.  Indoors, fluorescent lights.

Heading outside, you can see that even in indirect sunlight the flakes are still visible.  I loved the pop of color against the muted background.  Yes, even I sometimes prefer sparkle that isn't totally in your face.

And the requisite blurry shot in the sun, so you can actually see the sparkling gloriousness.  The silver and blue micro-glitter in Fowl Play is most apparent in this picture, though you can see hints of it in the indoor shots as well.

Overall, I have nothing ill to say about either of these polishes.  The wear time was also notable, as I went about 5 days (!!) without needing to redo my nails. 

I have tried and tried, but I can't find anything I love for a top coat that isn't SV. Which stinks because of the infamous glitter shrinkage. It's just so thick and glossy and brings out the colors of the polish so magnificently.  Does anyone have a top coat they recommend that is as wonderful as SV?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

If history class had been this interesting, I probably would have paid more attention.
When my son was about a year and a half old (and my ex-husband was still my husband), I decided it was time to get a part time job because I desperately needed consistent time away from the house and playing "Mommy".  I managed to get hired at one of the major national booksellers, though I worked primarily in the music section.  Nevertheless, this afforded me the opportunity to spend many hours a week in the company of my first love - books.  I quickly discovered that my favorite genre du jour was "historical fiction".  My son will be turning six in March, and this is still my preferred genre.

Most people will recognize the author Philippa Gregory from her novel The Other Boleyn Girl (which is INFINITELY better than the movie that was rather loosely based on this story), but she has written a veritable library of historical fiction novels that follow the leading ladies of British history as far back as the Middle Ages.

The Lady of the Rivers tells us the story of Jacquetta Woodville, also known as Jacquetta of Luxembourg, a fixture at the court of King Henry IV due to her royal bloodline and very close friendship with Henry's wife, Margaret. As with Gregory's other novels, it's easy to find yourself transported to another time and place where courtly intrigues and plans for war are a daily occurrence.  Jacquetta's time covers the end of The Hundred Year's War and the beginning of The War of the Roses. 

Jacquetta is an incredibly fascinating character, and it's hard to believe at times that many of the events described in the novel are based in fact and not the product of a fertile and rather romantic imagination.  After an odd first marriage to John, 1st Duke of Bedford, she was summoned to the royal court in London by King Henry VI.  Her escort on this trip was Richard Woodville, the late duke's chamberlain.  During their travels, the two fell madly in love and married in secret before their arrival in London.  Marriage among the nobles without permission of the king was simply not done, but Jacquetta and Richard were able to return to the king's good graces by paying a fine of 1000 pounds.

She bore 16 children during her marriage to Richard before her death at age 57.  Nuff said.

One of the most fascinating, and true, aspects of the story is the legend of Melusina.  Jacquetta's bloodline is reported to be directly descended from this water goddess, which manifests in psychic powers of premonition and visions through scrying, as well as the odd bit of magic.  As you can imagine, this resulted in more than one accusation of witchcraft during a time period that was less than tolerant of multiple religious views.  Not to mention what seems upon researching a patriarchal fear of any kind of power held by a woman.  This does make for a nice seasoning to an already fascinating story.

The dialogue is, quite naturally, a product of fiction and speculation though the actual historical events are illustrated and brought to a new light for the current generations.  Not only is the story entertaining, but it is also educational.  Not to say that the author doesn't take poetic license with some of the sequencing, but it does give the reader a much greater understanding of England's long and rather bloody history. 

For me, I've noticed that what this type of novel does is make me curious about the true history that inspired the novel, and I will spend hours researching on Wikipedia to find out what really happened.  Like I said, if only history class had been this interesting! 

I definitely recommend this book, as well as all the others by Philippa Gregory.  The exception is The Wildeacre Series, which has not found its way onto my bookshelves just yet.

Interesting bit of trivia: Through her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, Jacquetta was the maternal grandmother of Elizabeth of York, Queen of Henry VII. As such, she is an ancestress of all subsequent English and British monarchs, including Elizabeth II, and seven other present-day European monarchs. - from Wikipedia