Thursday, June 30, 2011

REVIEW of Julep nail polishes: Amy, Miranda, and Gloria

Overall...not a fan. Let me explain...

This was recommended by a beauty blogger and though I tried to resist, I couldn't help but whip out my credit card for such pretty summer shades, especially with $1 donated from each purchase to organizations that support women, a $15 discount, and no shipping and handling.

Here are pictures from the website...




Come on, how cute are they?


These are pictures of the bottles in person...

The colors don't "pop" in the same way and they're a little darker.

So, how did they apply?

I started with Miranda. The first coats applied a little streaky. It takes a considerable amount of polish to apply smooth but the formula is somehow both liquid and thick so it's hard to find a balance. If you put too little polish, the brush drags and it doesn't apply evenly. But then, it's thick so when you go in to correct little mistakes, you've got a very apparent swipe of polish. To me, the final effect is still a little streaky and looks too thick on my nails. Also, the polish was very sticky and tacky in the bottle, so much so that when I pulled out the brush, the wand was dripping with polish and the polish created "threads". The brush definitely made applying the polish more difficult. From a distance, though, it is a very pretty sea-foam green. It is a little darker than the picture on the website. It took about 2-3 coats with basecoat and topcoat. Seche-Vite is so wonderul that it smoothed out a lot of the streaks and gave it a polished look.

Overall: Love the color, pain to apply, so-so results. I would look for this color in another polish.

First Coat

First coat

2-3 coats

Natural light

With top coat

I had my pedicure done with Gloria. The verdict from the nail salon was that the Miranda polish was indeed very thick and sticky and was "too dry". She said Gloria was a little better though I think it seemed like an average polish and the brush still applied the polish in streaks. When I did my mom's nails in Gloria it was admittedly a little better than Miranda but it was still so thick and gloppy. Imagine a little person (Lilliputian, homunculus, take your pick) loading up a catapult with globs of paint and that's basically how I was forced to use it, just slapping it on the nail and fixing the edges with nail polish remover and finishing with top coat. That it ended up looking nice is a testament to my skill and not the quality of this nail polish.

Gloria looks a little pink in the pictures but looks light a light peachy-red in the bottle. On my nails it is somewhere between a bright coral and a shocking orange depending what light I'm in.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Imagination...Thoughts on Writing

Sometimes when I sit down to write I'm confronted with a problem. I don't know what to do. I know what I can do but that seems to easy, it seems like something I've heard before, something too simple. So I wait and wait until my brain works out the problem and I find my way to something that sounds like me. It might be a familiar or probable plot but it's written in my own style. But while I'm still feeling uninspired, I sometimes think back to when I was younger. Didn't it seem like you were teeming with ideas that you just didn't know how to articulate as well as you can now?

So what is the problem?

A) Is the problem just that we become less imaginative with age? Is it the same way our brains are less capable of memorizing large amounts of information or learning a new language?

B) Is it a problem of structure? Is it just that we can still imagine things but only within the confines of certain plot points that society has instructed us on? That is, you're still fully capable of being imaginative but everytime you look for an answer the little people in your brain pull out options from a filing cabinet stocked with the tropes you've seen and read about in movies, books, TV, etc. Is it that we've been taught that certain things are realistic and so we reject what we might have once written? That is, we've had a notion of reality imposed upon us so like novel writers of the past we look for the option that seems the most probable. This stops us from writing about dragons, or magical ponies, or even taking realistic but wildly unconventional plot turns or such because those office minions in our brain stamp them with the red ink of the fantastic and unlikely. Is that why we rehash so many of the same plots?

Why is there this problem, if indeed there is one? Why is the height of our structural expertise when our imagination is at a low point? Why is the height of our imagination when we don't have the skill to explain our thoughts articulately?

And yet, when we're young we're not completely free of rehashing the same plots because we're learning. We're starting to pick up familiar plots, learn and develop them into our own plots as we develop our own style and voice.

So...which is the better point to be at? Should we keep journals when we're young to develop when we're older? Should we live in bubbles? How would we then learn the skill of writing without any products of society (books, essays, film, television, plays)? I don't really know how to deal with this so I'm just throwing it out there to the universe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Summer Nail Polish Color - YSL Beauty La Laque in Turquoise Blue REVIEW

YSL Beauty La Laque in "Turquoise Blue"

Yes, it finally arrived and I adore it. It's a more playful color outside in direct sunlight and more of teal inside in dim lighting. I had a professional handle this...I think it took 3 coats though 2 coats are probably sufficient.

Doing my own nails I find that I hate the brush. One or two of the bristles keep sticking out and the brush is really rough making it difficult to sweep the polish on quickly. It goes on ridged unless you use lots of polish which of course can lead to bubbles and to a thickness that prevents it drying evenly, etc. etc. problems. Also, it's very difficult to remove and I find that it has stained my nails, the underside of my nails, and my fingers around the edges of the nail blue. A bit more nail polish remover and soap and water should remove it all but right now I'm a little woozy from the fumes and my nails are looking particularly dry and unhappy.

So...pretty color. Hard to apply. Stains nails. I might suggest using a different brush and maybe resorting to an acetone nail polish remover (I'm currently using non-acetone and it's taking a lot of it).