A Bit Shady: OPI Swatches

Nail polish was my first (beauty) love. Even though my nail polish wardrobe is smaller these days I’m lame, I still feel a rush of completely ridiculous excitement when I spot a majestic shade. (Zoya Dream, can you stop haunting me? Thanks.) OPI makes my longest-loved (still manufactured) shade, I’m Not Really a Waitress. I don’t really wear it year-round anymore, but it is pretty much the only thing on my nails from Thanksgiving through Christmas. It makes guest appearances throughout the year as the mood strikes. It was on one such mission to plan repurchase and admire swatches of this polish that I noticed that OPI swatches are inaccurate, computer-generated garbage.

OPI Swatches aren’t Swatches

Not in that they’re low-quality, shoddy lighting, on ugly nails. No – OPI swatches are flat-out digitally whipped up lies. Not retouched, nay; a fabrication in their entirety.

My beloved, beautifully swatched by Elegantnails.com:

Then, the ridiculous embarrassment provided by OPI themselves:

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Discontinued Products I Miss vol. 2

I’ve written about the list of products that have been sent to the metaphorical glue factory, and since then, the list has only grown.

DIY Hair Gloss Supplies

RIP My Preferred DIY Hair Glaze Products

The Clairol Radiance line carried at Sally’s has been discontinued, and I only found out days ago thanks to a comment from a reader. I have to find a new method to execute my DIY hair glossing treatment! I aim to have a new regimen established by December. I’d tackle this sooner, but I’m getting my balayage touched up in a few weeks and its fairly pointless to mess with it when my hair is in tip-top shape.

Discontinued Products I Miss - St Ives Whipped Silk Lotion

The Best Drugstore Lotion, Ever

This isn’t a new or recent discontinuation, I just found myself wishing it was still made. St Ives Whipped Silk body lotion was cheap, moisturizing, lightweight, lightly scented, and all-around awesome. Unfortunately, they discontinued it in the US in favor of what is, as far as I can tell, a bunch of heavily fragranced, sticky trash.

Also, RIP the Aroma Steam body washes. Those things were amazing too, dang it!

More Discontinued Products I Miss after the jump.

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Nail Care Routine

Cuticle Oil - Nail Care Routine

Although I have pared down my collection of colors and don’t have polish on as much as I used to, my nail care routine is still an essential part of keeping myself feeling human as opposed to some cave-dwelling fiend.

In Shape

Every week or two, I kick my nail care routine off by trimming and shaping my nails. I’m still using the clippers from the kit I shared in January 2015 and these super-inexpensive files from Sally Beauty that I shared this past February. They’re great! I taper the sides and round the edges ever so slightly.

You see all these super squared-off manicures constantly that look nice, but I’m like, “How are they not stabbing everything with the corners of their nails!?” Looks nice, but just like a two inch nail enhancement – not practical.

Care for your Cuticles

Don’t skip cuticle care in your nail care routine! You could have an amazing polish job, but ragged, dry cuticles will bring it down a few notches. Conversely, polish-free nails still look great when they’re shaped and have their cuticles cared-for.

For cuticle care, I slap on Sally Hansen Apricot Cream (shared January 2017) throughout the day. Once per week, I use a Sally Hansen gel to facilitate the removal of dead tissue where my eponychium meets my nail plate. An orangewood stick does just fine, but I like cuticle stones, these plastic pushers (I bought just one at Sally’s), or one of the heavy-duty stainless steel implements salons use. I hate using cuticle nippers for this; they tend to cause more problems than they solve. I do use them, however, to treat annoying hangnails.

Slap a hydrating cuticle treatment on afterwards. I use either the cream I mentioned above or Essie Apricot Oil. At this point, I’m not sure if I would repurchase the Essie product. I don’t dislike it but there are probably more cost-effective solutions out there.

Polish and Beyond

If polishing, I’ll use acetone or alcohol to clean up and slightly dehydrate my nails to prep for polish. After I polish (regardless of method), I apply cuticle oil (yes, again!) and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

If I’m skipping polish, I finish my nail care routine by giving my nails a good scrub with hand soap, then reapplying cuticle oil. In case it is relevant, my soap dispenser is currently filled with SimpleHuman Spring Water – I like it, but will probably just go back to Method; even though I bought it cheaper than Amazon has it for, Method is still cheaper and works just fine!

Nail Care Routine Maintenance

Usually, I can go two weeks before needing to trim and redo my cuticle work. In the meantime, I keep my cuticles from spontaneously bleeding all over my keyboard (yes, it really happened) by applying my cuticle cream at least once a day. I don’t use a crazy-fancy hand lotion, either; Skinfix (shared August 2016) is unscented and awesome.

If I break a nail, I file it smooth lest I lose my mind. Otherwise, I mostly let them be and enjoy a tidy manicure. If I lose my mind and get a shoddy manicure in a salon, however, I usually need to pay extra attention to my hands for the month after (aka defeating the purpose of a salon manicure). Boo.

What does your nail care routine look like?

May 2017 Favorites

May 2017 FavoritesMay 2017 Favorites
Fieldcrest
and Threshold Bath Sheets (Target), $10 /
OPI Bubble Bath, $9 / Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head, $27

Short post this month – my month was full with work, so I didn’t do much fun beauty stuff. In reality, I find it sketchy to see bloggers or vloggers touting 10-15 new, “favorite,” products per month. Seems disingenuous. Even if content creation is your full time gig, it isn’t realistic.

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December 2016 Favorites

Isn’t it funny how much faster time seems to pass as we age? Not to start the year off on a dark note, but I’m pretty sure I just wrote my December 2015 Favorites. Wildly, this is my fourth December Favorites post (2013, 2014). I ended up trying and becoming rapidly obsessed with a lot of new stuff, so this was pretty difficult! Unfortunately, my nice tidy graphic was eaten by a grue, so I’ll be sharing in-line images in my December 2016 Favorites.

December 2016 Favorites - Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner, $20

The same Sephora in JcPenney set that the NARS pencil I am now obsessed with came in had this. I’ve really wanted to try one of the Heavy Metal Glitter liners forever, but I couldn’t justify $20 on one. Being unable to try it and being unable to wear it to work caused it to rank low on my wish list. (The set was only $30, so it was a solid value.) I wore it a lot during December; between the holidays and a staycation I was like, “Why not glitter?” It’s really easy to apply, it stays on well, and damn it’s pretty. I want all of them.

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NARS Blush, $30

I bought my first NARS blush ($30) while taking advantage of an Ulta Platinum discount. I didn’t go with their bestseller, Orgasm – and instead went with an equally-shadily-named one, Deep Throat. I’m satisfied with my drugstore blush (from elf and Milani), and I like my two Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes… One use of this stuff, though, and it is no wonder why NARS slays the blush market. It’s gorgeous, and I’m glad it is in my life.

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Esarora Brush Cleansing Mat, $12

When I wrote about the Real Techniques Brush Palette, I mentioned that I wouldn’t shell out for a Sigma mat. And that rings true, I wouldn’t and won’t. But I would spend $10 on this Esarora one on Amazon (Regularly $13, I picked it up on Lightning Deal a while ago). I like it a hell of a lot more than the Real Techniques one – it’s a lot easier to use, and definitely nowhere near as awkward. It also comes with a small circular one for travel.

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Dearfoams Sweater Slipper Boots, $32

In my area, winter weather started well before the solstice. Costco had a great deal on these Dearfoams slippers ($13!) so I grabbed a pair and love them – they’re warm and comfortable, and unlike other slippers, they don’t feel like they’re going to fall off your feet as you walk around the house. Amazon still has them for about $32. These are not intended for outdoor wear.

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Woodwick Yuletide Wreath, $10

I came across this candle while running an errand for my mom at Hallmark. It’s interesting – I don’t normally go for the pine-y, balsam fir-esque scents, but this one snared me. I was already stocked up on North Pole by Yankee, but I after smelling this I required it in my life. It just smells like Christmas, and in a year where I was feeling uncharacteristically un-Christmas-y, I wanted that. Provided they don’t get discontinued, Yuletide Wreath ($10) will be a staple in my holiday candlescaping shenanigans.

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, $8

Even though I’ve been more into neutrals lately I am still a lover of red nail polish. I’ve been wearing I’m Not Really a Waitress for ten years now (I just typed that and feel uncomfortable) and it hasn’t gotten old yet. I’ve  I own the GelColor version ($20) (which isn’t quite the same as the original but I still <3 it) and I got a pedicure with the regular stuff the week before Christmas. I bought mine from Amazon, but it doesn’t appear to be stocked there now.

RIP KvD Painted Love in Adora

Lipstick, by its very nature, does not have a generous shelf-life. I went to use Adora around December 16 and found that it was no longer good. Oh well – I’ll just have to buy it in the Studded Kiss formula. I hope it is still as good!

What did you love in December?