23 February 2008

NP - OPI - I'd Like to Thank

Opi Polish Review "I'd Like to Thank"

I didn't even get the chance to add a second top coat. This manicure had massive chipping by the second day, especially on the pointer finger, and the polish came off at day three. I will have to admit that following the first round of chipping between day 1 and 2, the application settled out, and I did not have a noticeable wear difference between days 2 and 3.

I've got to agree with Cincyfan at http://www.alllacqueredup.com/, while this may be described as a copper shimmer, it has little warmth at all. "I'd Like to Thank" is a rosey mauve shimmer, but it has too much pink in it for me. While the pink doesn't show up much under my full spectrum light, it is almost garish under fluorescent office lighting.

I'm not real comfortable in this shade, though I don't think it looks all that bad. So I'd say it will definitely work for anyone near neutral coloration, but not either extreme of warm or cool.

I didn't have any application problems with this bottle. However, between the chipping and the pinkyness of the coloration, I'm tossing this bottle (i.e. finding some poor thing to foist it off on ... maybe my SIL).

Additionally, since I've got small fingers, I dread applying polish to my pinky nail with OPI's "ProWide Brush." It is as wide as my nail and makes application near the cuticle an exercise in patience. Also, it is very easy to overload the "ProWide." *sigh* Then again, the narrowness of other brushes makes application to the rest of the nails time consuming. I need to ponder on which I prefer ...

PR - Vogue - 2939

Vogue 2939

I threw, almost literally, together a muslin for this snap front dress shirt. What attracted me to the pattern most was the severely inset sleeves. And I'm really pleased, for two reasons:

#1, I've recently had rotten results with Vogue 8323 and Vogue 7799, and I was ready to give up on Vogue patterns

#2, I love the pattern, I'm very pleased with the muslin and expect future tweaks to make it that much better. (Which is good, since I doubt I'll make use of the other pieces.)

Starting with the back ...

Obviously, it needs a bit more room in the hip area, and a bit more taken out for my sway back.

My typical pattern adjustments include: 5/8" taken out for sway back, 1/2" taken out for erect upper back, hips one size larger than bust, shorten sleeves, and narrow shoulder. The only adjustment I did not make to this pattern was the narrowed shoulder.

Sleeve looks good from the back, upper back looks fairly good ... onto the front ... uh-oh

Love the collar and sleeve hem treatment, but the front sleeve is wrinkling really funny all along the upper arm. I think the armscye seam and sleeve is simply too long in front. This will be a unique adjustment for me. Not necessarily the first time it has shown, but as I'm in search of TNT patterns, I'm going to perfect this pattern.

There is no pulling at the hips in front. But I may have a bit much fabric in the upper chest, and I think I'll start with a horizontal tuck across the upper front and sleeve.

AND, I'll use a higher quality fabric next time around.

The hem treatment was "homaged" directly from a top I spied a waiter wearing several months back. Since I like the option of tucking or leaving out, this facing gives a great finish to a shirt. I will de-emphasize the peaks at the side hem just a bit.

A highly recommended pattern, versatile and wearable. The snaps could easily be changed into buttons and I encourage profligate interfacing use, as well as an invented back facing (the collar lies so much nicer this way).

20 February 2008

Quiz - Science and Math Nerd

Although the title and description really offend my literary nature ....

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren't this extreme, but you're in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don't worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Literature Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Drama Nerd
Social Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Yeah, pretty accurate. :)

13 February 2008

NP - Zoya - Irene

Zoya Polish Review - Irene

I like warm polish shades. And as much as I like the weird and oddball shades some companies put out, I've never seen a pretty green ... until now.

Zoya Irene is this lovely, shimmery, medium olive shade, leaning to the warm side yet still skirting the neutral edge.

Base - Zoya Anchor Basecoat

Polish - Zoya Irene (2 coats)

Top - CND Dry & Shine (requires buffing to shine, otherwise it finishes matte, I shined with a paper towel ... I think)

12 February 2008

NP - Zoya - Natalie

Zoya Polish Review - Natalie

If you had told me I could keep a manicure, esp. a medium creme, on my nails for 8 days, I would have said, "You are ODing on a substance (legal or illegal), please stop."

I've never had a manicure last longer than 3 or 4 days on a medium to dark shade, much less a creme that shows every little mistake, chip, and wear point.

Here's my proof, 8 days (I've got to write it again, EIGHT DAYS!!!) of a mani:

Base - OPI Nail Envy Sensitive and Peeling Formaldehyde Free formula

Polish - Zoya Natalie (2 coats)

Top Coat - CND Air Dry

2nd Top Coat applied on day 3 - Zoya Armor Topcoat

Perhaps that second top coat saved me from early wear. I so rarely remember to reapply a top coat, I'm far too busy with other things.

BTW, all polish is 3 free. Mixing formulas (apparently) gives poor results.

Zoya Natalie is not the easiest polish to apply, I'd say it is a halfway polish (between shear and opaque), and if you apply too lightly you get streaks, but if you apply too much it is hard to thin it enough without destroying the application.

Regardless, I love the color. It is a russet, reddish brown. I'd call it the warm equivalent of a creme mauve. It blends with so many other colors. I've pretty much gone through an entire wardrobe considering how long this mani has lasted.

I don't recommend this for cool toned individuals, but for neutrals and warms looking for a medium creme.

06 February 2008

NP - Nubar Options

Ah, HA! I've found it. A wonderful matte polish that is free of currently known nasty chemicals.

Introducing Nubar's Matte Finish Nail Protector

It dries quickly and lasts for a while. I recommend it for: when you want a fast protective nail coat with no shine, and when you want to mattify your polish.

I also found a polish that I've been searching for forever (meaning at least 10 years). When I was in HS, Cutex had this clear red polish. One of the only polish bottles I've ever emptied completely through constant use.

I've been searching for something similar from a 3 free company: zoya no dice, likewise OPI, and Revlon's options are disappointingly narrow ... enter Nubar.

Here is Bon Bon French Manicure:

This lovely, mild orange looking polish goes on with a deep sheer peach effect. My favorite of the two polishes I ordered from Nubar. It helps hide the fact that my nails beds are purple.

Here is Mon Amour French Manicure:

This color, which looks like clear red (more like the Cutex I remember) goes on almost color-less. I was expecting something with a little more pigment. Needless to say, this is not a favorite, and will probably be finding a new home.

Chipping and wear with such sheer shades is almost impossible to see, so this is a mani that lasts for a week or more with me. Wear seems no better or worse than any other "new" formula.

I've looked at their color cards and thought of ordering more. BUT, since they don't do ingredients lists on the bottle or on their propaganda ... I'm hesitant. They do say they are big 3 free, but what are they hiding???

Nubar Nail Polish - Check it out for yourself


Eyeliner ... my NeverEnding Story

I'm not a big eyeshadow fan, so I finally stopped buying it. I hardly ever wear any.

Likewise, mascara is a hardly ever event. I buy a tube every six months or so, use it 5 or so times, and toss it when it gets out of date. I just don't like the way it feels on my lashes.

However, eyeliner (e/l) is a totally different story. It is my eye makeup. I wear e/l everyday, on both lids. And that's where I run into my problem. I can handle smudgey liner on my upper lids as long as it doesn't migrate far. Unfortunately, it's a different story on the lower lid, where liner migrates to my under eye crease and disappears from my lash line. This is true for all pencil type liners, and yes I've tried a few.

So for this year, I will find a HG e/l. Since the scuttlebutt about gel liners seems so positive ... longer lasting than a pencil, and much easier to apply than a liquid ... I've taken the plunge.

I dropped by ULTA on my way home from dinner to look over their brush selection, and decided to peruse their gel liners. They had Smashbox Cream e/l (which has a bad ingredient for me), Garden Botanika Long Lasting Cream Gel e/l (bad ingredient), Stila Smudge Pot (with no ingredients list to be found), Elizabeth Arden Gel e/l (no ingredients list), Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof e/l (no known allergy ingredients, but a poor color selection to this point), and L'Oreal's HIP Cream e/l. My first attempt will be with L'Oreal's HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Brown (930).

It is 0.159 oz for ~$12 and has the following ingredients list:
Disteardimonium hectorite
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene
Propylene carbonate
coloring agents

i.e. no Ricinus communis ... to which I am allergic

I like the brown color, but it is a little dark for the lower lids. It can be applied lightly, and in the four or so hours since first application, it has not smudged at all. No liner in the lower lid crease. Wow. I did not think this was possible.

So I'm going to need at least a grey/charcoal, light bronzy brown, and a red brown. Now to continue my search since L'Oreal only has the following colors: Black (of course), Brown, Teal, Midnight Blue, and Eggplant. All but the brown are totally useless to me.

Some other products I may try include:
* Stila Smudge Pot $18 * (on order)
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner $19
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow $22
Make Up For Ever Aqua Creamliner $20
Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner $22

I can get to the ingredients lists of all but Bobbi Brown's products. BB follows EU regulations, but that only tells me so much. I've dropped a line to the BB team, and hope to get a positive answer from them soon. In the meantime, I'm placing an order for Stila Smudge Pot in Bronze and will keep an eye out for the perfect brush for applications, since that is half the battle. You need a narrow, not too full brush that balances stiffness with flex. Either extreme, too inflexible or too flexible, gives you a rotten application.

I really wonder whether the application will be much different between the various brands, because their ingredients lists are very similar. I look forward to the Stila Smudge Pot, they are running a no shipping sale right now, and it will be an interesting comparison between the brands.

The ingredients list for Stila Smudge Pot:
Disteardimonium hectorite
Phenyl trimethicone
Hydrogenated polyisobutene
Propylene carbonate
Barium sulfate
coloring agents

Notice something? Those first 5 ingredients, exactly the same ... and a $6 difference. Well, what's the product amount difference? Stila is 0.14 oz., less than the L'Oreal product. Just something to keep in mind.

03 February 2008

MR - Beowulf & Grendel

Beowulf & Grendel

Beowulf - Gerard Butler ... my previous exposure was LCTR: Cradle of Life

Hrothgar - Stellan Skarsgard ... POTC: Dead Man's Chest

Grendel - Ingvar Sigursson ... new actor

Selma - Sarah Polley ... also new actor to me

Hondscioh - Tony Curran ... I last saw him in Blade II

Music by Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson

The film looks beautiful, which makes sense since a lot of it was filmed in Iceland.

The acting was, for the most part, good. My only complaints in this category are:
- no subtitles and the accents and muttering could run together making the speaker all but incomprehensible. I think I caught 3/4 of the speeches.
- Sarah Polley, half the time she was awesome, half the time it was like she was only reading the script ... I can only assume direction failure for these moments.

I'm a big Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan, and agreed to watch this mostly because Gerard Butler and Tony Curran were in the film. I enjoyed the film and don't feel that my time was wasted. Admittedly, it won't be going on my keeper shelf (which houses Blade I-III, LCTR: I and II, and POTC: I and II). It is not something I would watch over again, though I'd listen to a commentary.

I've never read the Beowulf story, and don't know how faithfully the film was adapted. However, I suspect, from the storyline of Selma, that the screenwriters took a lot of artistic license with the original.

Finally, the language in the film is a bit crude, perhaps locker room lite. It didn't bother me, though it probably would have bothered a younger me (I've since read and thoroughly enjoyed Selina Rosen's Queen of Denial and Recycled ... that's one mouthy Barion Queen).