Saturday, September 21, 2013

Angel of Mine Creamy Baby Oil

I haven't posted in quite some time! I was standing on my bed to hang this poster, and foolishly decided to jump down instead of stepping off carefully...needless to say, I've been nursing an injured ankle for a few weeks, which hasn't left much energy for even manis!

I've said in the past that dollar stores can be a beauty treasure trove, and Angel of Mine Creamy Baby Oil proves it again! It comes from Dollar Tree, one of the few remaining dollar stores where everything is actually a dollar. It's a light-to-medium moisturizer; it's rich enough to take care of flaky skin on my hands, but not rich enough for cuticles. It absorbs really quickly, which is hard to find in something so moisturizing. The scent is a little more grown-up than traditional baby oil, with a definite note of sandalwood, but not overpowering; I like to use this to seal my AmLactin/cover up the urea smell on days when my perfume is floriental instead of fruity.

The only thing I don't like about it is the very liquid texture---sort of a thin gel/crème---however, it's called "creamy baby oil," not "baby oil crème," so I can't seriously complain. I've learned not to get distracted after dispensing into my hand, though, as it tends to end up on the floor...but even if I do, it's only US$1 for that awfully cute 10-oz. bottle!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Color Club Over the Moon

Color Club Over the Moon is a beautiful sky/ocean blue linear holo, with a strong rainbow effect even in dim lighting. It goes on much more saturated/warmer-toned than it looks in the bottle, happily. I ordinarily wouldn't put anything over a holo, but I was in a Hawai'i state of mind at the time; the blue linear holo base reminds me of the Pacific ocean, while the glitter accent (Glimmer by Erica Rainbow Star Sprinkles) reminds me of the near-permanent rainbow in the sky above. 

While I'm thrilled with the color and holo effect on Over the Moon, the formula is a bit of a disappointment after Harp On It, which applied nicely and didn't chip for over a week. Over the Moon needed to be thinned, yet was pretty sheer - I needed one normal coat, plus one thick coat. It started chipping the next morning in the shower, which I'd expect from most linear holos, but not from a CC Halo Hue. Happily, though, it shares Harp On Its topcoat tolerance, in that the rainbow flare isn't dulled by my current choice, Hong Kong Girl. I bought all my Halo Hues from - US$7 for a standard 0.5-oz bottle, a bargain compared to most linear holos (usually around US$11 for 0.3 oz).

Usually I'd use the bottle as a prop, but I thought you might enjoy looking at one of my new necklaces as well. I won't link to the shop, as I'm now concerned that the art used was stolen, but I bought all four turtles: Michelangelo just happens to be the cutest/most neon. All this TMNT stuff makes me feel like a seven-year-old again, but without the bedtime and restrictions on candy!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings the Blues

I'm not going to say that Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings the Blues is my first-ever HG polish. There are other polishes that I love for their wearable beauty (Revlon Lilac Pastelle) or because they're ultra-flashy yet go with everything (Color Club Cloud Nine). However, Lady Sings the Blues is the first time a polish has ever totally captured my personal aesthetic all at once, letting me wear my soul on my nails. It's black and blue, my favorite color combination; it has that sheer jelly base that makes it look a trillion miles deep; it reminds me of the ocean, the rain, and city skylines at night. I knew from the moment I saw the first pics that this polish would end up being a firm favorite.

As you'd expect after all that does have its flaws. It needs to be applied over black polish - this is two thick coats over black. Like most jelly glitters, tipwear is practically instantaneous. It seems to take forever (~20 minutes) to dry, although that could be a side effect of the humid Texas summer. I don't care. It's worth the fuss and the price - I got it for US$14 on Amazon, quite a savings compared to the usual price of DLs. Pick this one up if you like dark and glittery, because it is divine.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sinful Colors Endless Blue + Darling Diva Ringer

I want to apologize for the tipwear and kitchen sink you're about to see. I usually have pretty high standards for the pics I upload. However, the color and finish of this mani are too amazing to let it go unseen by the Internet.

This picture is not Photoshopped. My nails really are an intense, ultra-saturated blue with strong purplish-pink shimmer. This is two thick coats of Darling Diva Ringer over one of Sinful Colors Endless Blue. Endless Blue is the Sinful answer to Nails Inc. Baker Street and the other ultramarine blue crèmes that have been all the rage lately. As a bonus, it's opaque in one coat, which makes it a real live unicorn among Sinful polishes, which are infamous for still showing VNL after five coats. Darling Diva Ringer is supposedly a dupe for the legendary and discontinued Clarins 230 - I wouldn't know, as I've never seen it in person. If you own both these polishes or any of these dupes, it's a must-try layering combo that reminds me of a brilliantly lit nebula. That makes it very appropriate for the playing of Mass Effect, which is a bonus!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

TMNT 2012 is awesome

I've been getting very into this series lately, and with moments like this, how could I not?

I'll probably end up posting more animated GIFs pics in general from the series here since Blogger will host larger files than Tumblr, but I'll confine them to this post. Also, if you want to check out my brand-spankin'-new Tumblr (which is so far all about TMNT2012), it's here:

I promise actual beauty content soon, but my last manicure was a catastrophe (Milani Enchantment), and I've been busy with the Mass Effect series after *finally* replacing my XBOX 360. If anyone in the polish community saw my nails right now, I'd be banned from MUA and have my blog deleted.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ruby Kisses Crystal Glosses in Hot Voodoo and Flirt

I was interested to discover these at the beauty supply store down the block today. I had no idea Ruby Kisses made lip gloss! The ice pink on top is Hot Voodoo, a name I could swear I've heard somewhere else; the coral-ly peach is Flirt. They're both very sheer and will probably only show color if thickly applied over pale lipcolor; however, they're super shiny and positively laden with subtle, slightly iridescent clear sparkle. They're very thick and sticky (my preference) and have a generic tropical fruity scent (not my favorite, but acceptable) as well as a slight sweet flavor. At US$2 for 0.5 oz, it's a good bang for one's buck, too!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finally, a makeup case I can love instead of just make do with!

For me, the dollar store is a kind of paradise lite - not as awesome as Hawaii, or a good Thai restaurant, or even the beauty supply store, but still frequently a source of treasures. I think this kind of love affair with cheap and tacky is what Gretchen Wilson was talking about when she sang "You might think I'm trashy, a little too hardcore, but in my neck of the woods, I'm just the girl next door." If this doesn't convince you of my pedigree, ask me about my family's lawn ornaments made out of shotgun shells, or my great-grandfather marrying his cousin. ANYWAY...

It fits my eye and face makeup well, and I could probably cram all my lipcolor and a few nail essentials in there as well. I could also dump the makeup out and use it as a travel toiletry case, although I'd worry about runs in the "satin." Not bad for US$8 at Dollar General. We recently got a huge new one that has a full range of Wet n Wild nail polish, and a very good range of L.A. Colors cosmetics and polish both - I'm becoming a big fan of L.A. Colors' standard line of lip glosses. Remind me to review Orchid and Altered Beige one of these days.

(Note the eye shadow quad, brush, and mascara in the drawer. The first two are Cover Girl - I'm always intrigued by the shadow sets that are supposed to enhance a given eye color, even though I know perfectly well which colors enhance my green eyes. I just couldn't resist this snazzy little set, especially since the brush looks and feels good for a d/s brand. The mascara is a sample I got from Chanel when I bought myself Sky Line nail polish for my birthday - both still untried because I'm nuts.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Different Dimension Orion Nebula

First off, I want to apologize for the application job you're about to see. It's messy, not because of Orion Nebula itself, but because of the Pure Ice Black Rage I used as lingerie under it. I find it practically impossible to apply black polish without making a mess (I suspect this is purely psychological), and Black Rage is a somewhat difficult polish, needing to be thinned after almost every manicure.

This is two coats of Different Dimension Orion Nebula over one coat of Black Rage. I was intrigued by Orion Nebula several weeks ago, then abruptly vetoed after reading that it requires a lot of "fishing" to get the larger pink/purple iridescent circles out. Then, in an act of polish-ADD hilarity that I suspect is actually pretty common, I forgot that I'd decided against it and bought it on impulse, remembering the "fishing issue" about five seconds after placing my order with a merchant who doesn't accept cancellations.

The copy was partially right: You do have to fish if you want many of those big iridescent circles in your manicure. However, I'm perfectly content with one or two. The smaller hot pink circle glitters are easy to get, but it does require dabbing onto the nail to get a semblance of even coverage. Fortunately, the black jelly base seeps away from the glitters as the polish is applied, so there's no need to shove glitters around with the brush, trying to get them clear of the base.

In the end, I was surprised by how much I like the result - some of my nails look like constellations or diffuse clusters of hot pink stars in an utterly black night sky, while a couple of unplanned "accent" nails have big, shiny, iridescent (and holo/dichroic at some angles!) planets or supergiant stars. Perhaps best of all, Orion Nebula has what I consider to be the most desirable quality in any jelly glitter polish - it looks positively fathomless on the nail, like I could stare at my manicure for a few minutes and end up lost in space. It's definitely worth the minor application hassles, although it's perhaps too fidgety for the strictly casual polish lover.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A little Monday miscellany

This is how I store my lipcolor, which is the only makeup I wear on a daily basis. I've tried keeping drawers or even cases well-organized, but I find that this is the easiest system to decide what I want, grab it, and go...although the truth is that I'm so lazy and absentminded in the morning that I usually set out everything the night before, anyway. I even put the ice for my iced coffee or tea in my water bottle and in the freezer, since I drop more ice than I put in the bottle if I try to do it in the morning. I'm a night owl!

My new Havaianas - Slim Animal in Gray. I really can't stand wearing closed-toed shoes, so I live in Havaianas for 3/4 of the year here in Texas. They're much more supportive and comfortable than other flip flops, even in the same price range. I actually have a bum ankle, but can stand comfortably for hours in my Havaianas. Fortunately, my office is totally laissez-faire about how I dress, allowing for both my Havaianas and my love of flashy nail polish.

 Can you believe she's still alive after just over a month? I should rename her GladOS.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ninja Polish Glamorous bottle shots

OPI DS Glamorous is a highly desirable blurple (blue/purple) linear holographic polish that's become basically impossible to get. It occasionally pops up on eBay at exorbitant prices---think two or three digits---or, every once in a blue holo moon, someone will find one in an off-trend salon or nail supply store ("dusty"). Ninja Polish has wisely anticipated that a good dupe would sell like hotcakes and released the pretty you see below, named Glamorous, as part of their Spectrum collection.

I'm not sure exactly why I immediately snatched up my own bottle of Glamorous. It could very well be due to the hype surrounding OPI DS Glamour. Fortunately, that's an existential crisis I don't actually have to deal with, as I'm a sucker for blue linear holos anyway. With that in mind, Glamorous is actually a lot more purple than I expected - I would describe it as a deep denim blurple. I haven't actually tried it on yet, but so far I prefer Hits Apolo to fill the (quite important) ocean blue holo niche in my life. Glamorous is US$11 at Ninja Polish, although it's currently out of stock and will probably be hard to get for a while due to the insane popularity of OPI DS Glamour.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Suave Professionals Rosemary + Mint Conditioner

I have great hair naturally. I'm also extremely modest.

Really, though: my hair doesn't need much help to be shampoo-commercial worthy. The trickiest part is dealing with the thickness - if it's moisturizing enough for the dryer outer layers, it tends to exacerbate my already oily scalp. If it gets my scalp clean, it tends to dry out my hair. You get the idea.

Suave Professionals Rosemary + Mint Conditioner has been my hair's favorite thing for a good two years or so now. It's just the right texture (not too thick, not too watery) to easily work through my hair without having to use half the bottle in one sitting. Even if I rinse out every trace, it leaves my hair smooth and nearly effortless to detangle. It never leaves buildup or causes greasiness, never breaks out my scalp or back, even when I use it for several days in a row. It smells like wonderful herbal mint, and gives my scalp a light tingly feeling. It's dirt cheap, about US$3 for the biggest bottle (36 oz, I believe). Even the packaging is my favorite kind, an upside-down squeeze tube.

I have this vague frisson that it's going to be discontinued now.

Here, check out my awesome earbuds. I love anything with radiohazard symbols, especially bright blue ones. Yeah, this pic is from last Christmas - we're kinda redneck, but not that redneck.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Need an Emily de Molly polish?

(Note: This is not an endorsement. I'm not receiving anything in return for this post, unless you count being permitted to fork over my ~$30.00 for one polish that may never actually arrive. I am glad to have the chance, though!)

If you're a U.S.-ian polish lover like myself, you've probably despaired at ever getting your hands on the Emily de Molly polish(es) of your choice. The only current U.S. stockist is, and EdM restocks there sell out so quickly that actually getting the polish you want isn't too far removed from winning the lottery. I've really been lemming Black Forest (check out Nails and Nom's post on it if you don't mind risking the same fate), and so I've been searching for international stockists willing to ship to the U.S. One, based in Singapore, ran out of Black Forest before I had the chance to nab it. Finally, I took the plunge and e-mailed Sally of Sally Magpies to see if she'd be willing to ship to the U.S.

The answer is yes. However, there's a slight fly in the ointment. Their shipping to the U.S. is a flat £11 - about US$15 as of this morning. That's without tracking. The polish itself is £11.50. In short, you have to really want it. I do, so I bit the bullet. Will you?

Friday, June 21, 2013

No comment.

CocoaPink Black Chocolate and Fluffy Green Tea Linen Sprays

While I mostly stick to MakeupAlley's Nail Board, I do occasionally cheat on my dear NBers with other boards. While trolling (in the Biblical sense, not the Internet sense) the Bath and Body Board, I've seen many raves about indie bath and body e-tailer CocoaPink. Since perfume and scented bath goodies are probably the only beauty product I love more than nail polish, I decided to give her a little business.

I furthermore took the B&B Board's advice on using her linen sprays as a way to try scents - a generous 2.5 oz is only US$4.50. While they're called linen sprays, the bottle says you can use them as a hair and body mist, which is what I intended to do all along - they don't dry out the skin or hair, and there's no burning or stinging when applied. They're quite powerfully scented - I can still smell my scent of choice in my hair after 24 hours, and I only need one or two spritzes to smell myself clearly. Therefore, these linen sprays are actually stronger than your average body mist!

As you can see, they're very cutely packaged in amber plastic spray bottles, which protect the scent from degradation somewhat, although I still wouldn't store them in direct sunlight. The labels are really cute and well-made, to boot. They don't seem waterproof, but apparently they really are.

As to the scents themselves, I'm most pleased with Fluffy Green Tea. The Web site describes it as "green tea...blended with marshmallows." The green tea is a true matcha (powdered green tea, as used in Japan) scent. Matcha is something you either love or hate; it's evocative of lawn clippings and soap, but like licorice and other acquired tastes, it's oddly addictive. While I don't get a marshmallow note per se, I do think Fluffy Green Tea smells just like the green tea Pocky or filled marshmallows one finds in Japan (or in my case, receives in care packages from BFFs living in Japan). It's not too sweet, though. I think it's perfect for summer because it reminds me of one of my favorite treats, a Starbucks green tea Frappuccino (to which I add java chips).

Black Chocolate turned out to be a bit more complicated for me to review. It's described thus: "Dark complex Belgian chocolate laced with two types of rich amber resin. Our chocolate does not morph on the skin, but remains a lovely true scent." There are a lot of gross fake chocolate scents out there, and this definitely isn't one of them; at first spray, it really smells like dark chocolate, complete with the slight floral undertone found in fine chocolate. As to it not morphing on the skin, that wasn't true for me. However, that likely has more to do with me than the scent itself. I have wonky body chemistry that renders many popular scents unwearable and typically unwearable scents divine, so I knew the odds of Black Chocolate working for me were 50/50 at best. While wearing it, I sometimes get a whiff of yeasty or mildew notes, which isn't something I want to smell like. Yet when I stick my nose close to my skin, there's a wonderful clean earthiness. Only my hair actually smells like chocolate. I actually bought this to layer with Fluffy Green Tea, but it totally overpowers it, even at two sprays of Fluffy Green Tea to one Black Chocolate. I'm not sure whether I'll keep wearing Black Chocolate as a personal fragrance, but I'll definitely keep it to use as a linen/room spray.

Finally, I have to rave about CocoaPink's customer service. The Web site said that turnaround time on orders was 5-10 days, but she got my package out in 2-3. She also refunded my shipping, which was unnecessary but greatly appreciated nevertheless. My order was beautifully and carefully packed in various colors of tissue paper, and included a few generously-sized samples. I would definitely recommend Fluffy Green Tea to anyone looking for a true, long-lasting matcha scent, but the affordability of the linen sprays means you can try any scent that sounds good at minimal risk!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Most Interesting Cleanser in the World

I have sensitive combination skin. It's about as difficult to placate as that description makes it sound. Most cleansers either give me pseudo-rosacea, break me out, or cause the skin to peel off my face. Literally peel off my face. Whatever do I cleanse with, then?

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Oil-Control Foaming Cleanser.

Now mind you, I said in Texas. If I visit/move someplace dryer or windier (like Toronto, where I lived for a rather long time), it's too drying. Not coincidentally, then, I notice that most of the low-star reviews on MakeupAlley say it strips the skin. However, if you're oily/combination and live in a warm and humid climate, it's a must-try.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Elevation Polish Haba Xueshan

So, yeah, there's a reason you only see my thumb here. I took off my whole mani and tried China Glaze Stone Cold again, this time with (matte) topcoat; it chipped just as quickly and as badly as before. This polish is so not worth it, especially since I don't care about The Hunger Games. Frankly, I think Zoya Freja, which is my favorite dark gray polish so far, would look just as good, or better, mattefied than the naturally matte Stone Cold - maybe I'll remove Stone Cold and try Freja instead. My Elevation Polish Haba Xueshan accent isn't going anywhere till it chips, though:

The base color on my thumb is Sinful Colors Cinderella. The glitter topcoat is, of course, Elevation Polish Haba Xueshan. Now, the black and white matte "confetti" glitter polish thing has been going for a couple of years now. I can name at least three of them off the top of my head, all close dupes. However, out of all of this category, Haba Xueshan is the only one that's ever made me want to snatch it up.Though its charms are subtle, you can see why I love it if you look closely - the few pale blue (described on the Elevation Polish Web site as "glacier") circle glitters. I'm crazy for the combo of blue and black, especially pale blue, so Haba Xueshan is the perfect marriage of "trendy" and "Merissa." What you see here is one thick coat, about half a brush-load.

The tricky part seems to be finding just the right polish to wear it over. Steel gray was too dark and hid the black glitter; the light blue you see here pretty much hid the glacier glitter. A bright polish to really show off all the colors, such as a neon pink or coral, would detract from the icy theme. Perhaps next time I'll try a silver.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Last night I produced a lovely manicure to show how I wear black, or rather, the closest I come to wearing black. It was China Glaze Stone Cold with Elevation Polish Haba Xueshan accent. Alas, I made the mistake of trying to get away with no topcoat---usually I would wear a matte topcoat over the matte Stone Cold---and had remove-worthy chips before breakfast. I never wear the same mani twice in a row, but I may do it this time...but with something else under Haba Xueshan to provide better contrast. We'll see.

Also to talk about: CocoaPink Fluffy Green Tea and Black Chocolate, and why Neutrogena cleanser is meme-worthy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My take on the current white nail trend

I've seen a lot of plain white crème manis and pedis lately. While some can certainly pull it off, I'm guessing it would look strikingly like Wite-Out on me. I also have to be careful with pale shades against my skintone - they frequently make me look dirty and/or jaundiced, especially cool-toned ones. Glitter Gal Light As a Feather has been called a pure white linear holo, but it's actually subtly gray in the bottle. I found that layering it over Orly Au Champagne (a slightly warm-toned white shimmer) canceled out the gray tone and gave me a nice, non-chalky white. Most importantly, it's holo - more holo in person than it looks in the pic.

I had application troubles with Au Champagne - it was a bit runny. For the record, my hand isn't that gigantic - the GG bottle is tiny (10 mL/0.3 oz).

Friday, June 7, 2013

AmLactin Ultra Hydrating Body Cream...for your hands!

Despite being a total nail polish whore, I have to admit that I've had terrible cuticles and hangnails since childhood. Actually, one of the reasons I wear nail polish is to make my cuticles less starkly janky. However, hangnails are genuinely painful, distracting, and an infection risk; thus, I've long been looking for something that makes a real difference. Someone on MakeupAlley's Nail Board mentioned AmLactin, a lotion containing lactic acid to not only moisturize skin, but exfoliate the rough bits. Cleopatra was known for taking milk baths - this smoothing, softening action is probably why. I haven't been impressed with chemical (vs. mechanical, such as sugar crystals) exfoliants on my face, but after reading that many eczema patients have had success with AmLactin, I decided it was worth a try.

It works. Dramatically. It's not an instant fix for really rough, dry hands and cuticles, but there's a very noticeable improvement after just one use. After about a week of use, not only are my hands amazingly soft, but my cuticles are much softer and smoother, and I barely have any hangnails. I have a little KP (keratosis pilaris, AKA chicken skin) on my upper arms, just above the elbows, and it even makes that go away! I've settled in at using it twice a day: once just before leaving the house and once right before bed. It's important not to use it if you have any open or healing cuts, hangnails, or torn cuticles, as this would remove the scab and/or healing skin.

There are cons, of course, which you have to expect from any product that does one thing really well. It leaves a slightly sticky residue. It doesn't smell so good (I'm reminded of stale coffee), though I don't notice it unless I put my hands right up to my nose. Finally, it's expensive: this 4.9-oz tube was about US$10 at Walmart. The lotion, which comes in a bigger bottle (but presumably isn't as hydrating) is about US$20. There's supposedly a generic version of the lotion at CVS, so that might be worth looking into if you want to save some bucks. Regardless of the option you choose, I highly recommend this for anyone with problem cuticles.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chanel Shanghai Red: The unfulfillable lemming fulfilled!

I started wanting Shanghai Red right as it was discontinued in summer of 2009 (I believe), but didn't know at the time how costly DC'd Chanels tend to get. I went through a lot of expense, trouble, and foot-tapping to acquire as this year's (30th) birthday present to myself. Worth it!

The good news is that I'll probably never actually use this, or any other bottle of polish, up, so I shouldn't have to go through this particular polish acquisition dance again. I'm not a big fan of red (or most other "normal" polish colors) - I only own one other, the very glittery and classic China Glaze Ruby Pumps. As much as I love glitter, Shanghai Red will likely become my go-to classic red polish - every girl needs one, even the world's biggest blue polish nut.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

RIP Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young

Yeah, this is a beauty blog, but I have other interests. One of them is science, and among the sciences, meteorology is one of my favorites.

Engineer, scientist, and veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras, and chase partner Carl Young were among those killed in Friday's F3 Oklahoma tornado. As an armchair enthusiast, I never knew Mr. Samaras personally, but he had a reputation as a very careful storm chaser who put the lives of his crew before chasing. He wasn't a chaser for glory or money: his chase team, called Twistex, sought to deploy instruments in the path of tornadoes to gather data. We currently understand very little about what makes some thunderstorms produce tornadoes and not others; their work may eventually make it possible to warn people much further ahead of time and save lives.

 (Tim Samaras - image via NatGeo)

Simply put, Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young died in the hope that you and I might survive some black and stormy day in the future. They died doing what they love and for what they believe in: science, and the pursuit of nature's beauty. I am so grateful.

(Now I'm going to go wibble for a long time. This is the first time a storm chaser has been killed by a tornado out in the field, and if someone as careful as Tim Samaras can find himself on the fatally wrong end of a tornado, no storm chaser is safe. Well, no one is safe, really. I knew that viscerally all along, but this really cements it. It won't stop me from chasing my dream of seeing a tornado in person, though.)

Sontaya the Orchid

This is a beauty blog, so allow me to show you something beautiful:

I turned 30 yesterday, and this was my grandmother's gift. I love orchids, but I have something of a black thumb, so I'd probably never buy one for myself. Her name is Sontaya (a Thai name meaning 'twilight', no relation to the vampires), and she's some species of Dendrobium Phalaenopsis. See the new buds and vine escaping the pot? I'd say she's pretty healthy. Here's to hoping I can be a decent gardener for once.

Yes, I'm the kind of person who names plants. I talk to them, too.

I did make a big birthday polish haul; the pièce de résistance being Chanel Shanghai Red, a polish I've wanted since 2009. Expect actual content soon!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Color Club Halo Hues

I've posted this pic many times across the Internets already, but it's a fitting vanguard of what's to come; i.e., I now own a metric crap-ton of linear holos. Color Club's Halo Hues, especially the 2013 collection, are the nicest by far: They're violently holographic even in dim lighting and come in full-size bottles for about the cost of an OPI (US$7) at They go on just as nicely and last just as long as any polish not-a-linear-holo-polish, and they don't need any special basecoat or topcoat to look their best. Since taking this photo, I've also acquired Harp On It (classic silver) and Cherubic (nude, or nude on someone less pasty anyway), but owning every one of them would be totally worthwhile. Well, some of the pinks and nude shades don't do much for me, but they're still high-performance linear holos!

 (L-R: Eternal Beauty, Over the Moon, Beyond)

Monday, February 18, 2013

About RadGlam & Merissa

Disclosure Policy: If I'm reviewing an item provided as a "press sample," I'll indicate thus at the beginning of the post. My reviews are always, as the tagline says, brutally honest. If you're a beauty distributor who'd like me to review your product(s), do drop me a line: mhrc137 at

The Blog: "Radioactive Glamour" is pretty much a nail blog. I'm a well-rounded beauty maven, but nail polish is my real hobby in that arena. I originally intended to use RadGlam as a way to keep my beauty blatherings off social media, since not everyone there is interested, but I've failed in that as I'm still posting mani pics to Facebook. I still love the idea of my own beauty blog, though, and think it's worth doing.

Specifically, I wear whatever appeals to me (usually low-end because I'm cheap); only occasionally does that intersect with what's trendy. I'm not the type to post daily because, quite simply, I usually wear a manicure until it chips or shows tipwear. I do occasionally go a week, or even a few months, without painting my nails. Furthermore, my polish application and photography skills are both pretty amateur. Why should you bother keeping up with "Radioactive Glamour?" I'm quirky, so it's quirky by proxy, and perhaps even refreshing in a way.

The Woman: Merissa, 29, native to and living in Dallas, Texas, USA. I've also lived in San Francisco and Toronto, and dream of living in (or at least re-visiting) Hawaii, Alaska, and New Mexico, as well as Canada's Great Bear Lake, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Scandinavia. I work as an administrative assistant for a nonprofit. I identify as Pre-Sectarian Buddhist and politically socialist. I'm a perfectionist who values neatness and a minimalist aesthetic, if only as a foil to the chaos within. I'm a science enthusiast, particularly physics. I've been a hardcore PC gamer since 1993 and have also adopted the XBOX 360; I love FPS and action RPGs, but also Starcraft Brood War (Zerg: For the Swarm, baby!), Ragnarok Online and, somewhat embarrassingly, MapleStory. I listen to most genres of music, but especially industrial, heavy metal, and opera. I read and write copiously and possess a sardonic gallows humor that you either love or hate. I like unsweet iced tea, cats, Thai food (at the authentic heat level), and orchids. I'm easygoing but fairly reserved; if you call me 'princess', I'm not likely to be offended either way. Think the Cyberpunk Church Secretary, and you're on the right track.

The Legend: I got nothin', sorry.