Archive for ‘nail polish’

February 11, 2011

White frocks and frolicking. And angels.

11pm and I promised a post up today.

Welcome to my idea of ‘making the deadline’.

I used to be better at this. I’m sure I was.  High school assignments finished before 10pm; undergrad assignments finished before 2am; Honours… erm. Started at 2am? Ah. I see. What a horrible development.

So! Time to bash out a post before 1am. Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see.

Did very little today. Met up with my thesis supervisor, scored a free book, and borrowed Doctor Who DVDs and Diana Wynne Jones books from the library. Entertainment for the week is definitely set!

Here are some snippets of my outfit:

The hat is Valerie’s. I was only wearing it because we had just come out of the car and she doesn’t wear her hats when she’s driving. My shoes are wonderful and are from Wittner. Their purchase came around as a bit of an accident, really — I went in to get this pair of heeled brogues and then came out with something else entirely. I have yet to find the ideal pair of heeled brogues. I think they need to feel a bit more sleek. And with a lower vamp. One day!

The bow was originally a brooch from Lovisa. I replaced the pin with an alligator hairclip and lo, instant hairclip or brooch. Nifty or what. My nails are sporting OPI’s All Lacquered Up, which is deep brown-based red. I think I might wear a taupe colour next time, just to let the champagnes and blacks bounce off each other differently.

The dress is from Alannah Hill and it is called ‘Devil in Disguise’. I’ve worn it before with a green slip underneath (here). This is actually one of the first times I’ve worn it out with its original cream slip. It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite dresses, particularly because of the movement of the skirt:

HOW IT FLUTTERS. IT MAKES ONE FROLIC, WHAT.

It wasn’t even windy, you guise. There was like. No. Wind. Just walking. How awesome is that. (or maybe there was wind and I forgot. I can’t remember.)

ONE LAST THING.

Who watches Doctor Who? Good. And who’s seen ‘Blink’, the weeping angel statues episode? Mmm. And WHO’S SEEN THE ONE WHERE THEY COME BACK? If you’ve seen ‘Blink’, you know what I’m imitating in the next shot. (Or is it more than imitating?)

If you aren’t a Doctor Who fan… there are these scary statues of weeping angels. They go around covering their faces and if you look away… BAM. YOU’RE DOOMED. (You really should give the show a try; it is really Quite Awesome.)

And those of you who have seen the Other Episode in Which They Appear (Time of the Angels? Or something?) — you know how [highlight between the tags — spoilers] >they get embedded in your brain when you look into their eyes? (And what negligence and asshattery from Moffat, giving us closeups of the angels’ eyes when Amy is stuck with the video image. NOW WE ALL HAVE ANGELS EMBEDDED IN OUR EYE MEMORY, MOFFAT; WELL DONE, YOU PRAT.) Yeah. Well. I looked. And…< [/spoilers]


 

Don’t. Blink.

 

(Also. I really need a tshirt that says ‘The angels have the phone box.’)

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November 29, 2010

Flubber nails

NAILS OF JELLY.

I HAVE THEM.

Oh, nothing like a spot of photo-commentary incongruity to start a Monday evening!

Let’s backtrack and recap.

No, first, let’s shamelessly plug my giveaway: one decorated Moleskine notebook and three Ulta3s, all for you! Just leave me a comment in the linked post and your contact details before December 12, 11.59pm to enter the draw.

I somehow found my way to my local and hidden Ulta3 today, and purchased a few bottles. The one in the middle is one of those purchases — ‘Dusty Rose’, which looks like a warm browned pink with some shimmer. (The two bottles flanking it are Earl Grey and Cocoa Bean, which I’ve swatched here). I also picked up ‘Waterlily’, which is a deep warm plum with fine gold and pink  shimmer in the bottle (which unfortunately disappear slightly on my nails). I haven’t a swatch yet, because purple is evil.

I have a strange aversion to the colour purple, which I’ve hinted at on my About page. Purple is quite a popular colour generally, I think, but for me, it signifies Absolute and Terrifying Evil.

This isn’t a new trope by any means. There are squillions of evil villains who drape themselves in purple, but no one is scarier than Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty:

(Click to enlarge for serious terror. Note that she turns everything around her purple. THAT’S HOW EVIL SHE IS.)

The complete opposite of evil is green jelly. The wobbly stuff. It’s sweet and cool and tastes amazing with vanilla ice cream, and you get jelly and ice cream when you’re in hospital because you have tonsillitis*, which generally makes it awesome. And un-evil.

(*Valerie refused to believe me when I told her this. Neither of us have had tonsillitis that landed us in hospital, so really, my belief in jelly and ice cream in hospitals stems only from rumour and things on television. I believe in jelly and ice cream at hospitals in the same way that kids believe in Santa Claus. Please tell me you’ve had ice cream and jelly while in hospital for tonsillitis and keep hope alive.)

And in honour of awesome jelly (and perhaps as a foil to the evil-but-beautiful Waterlily in my nail polish collection), I purchased a bottle of NYC/Ulta3 ‘Jelly’, which is a lime green with a jelly finish.

NAILS OF JELLY. (And now you know why I started this post with that phrase.)

I love it and will never wear it, but I love it anyway. It’s much more neon in real life than in this shot, which is a bit over-exposed but it’s the closest I could get to capturing the colour. If you ever gave yourself ‘manicures’ with highlighter pens, this is basically a grown up, slightly more polished version.

It’s so unwearable on my skintone and with my wardrobe, but it looks like I’ve just come back from killing Flubber, which makes it strangely appealing. (Sorry, Flubber fans. I have nothing against Flubber really.) This is with five coats or so because I was aiming for opaque bottle colour. It looks more Flubber/lime jelly-like with the usual two or three, but I stupidly forgot to take a photo.

I also forgot to take a photo of yesterday’s and today’s outfit, an oversight for which I apologise most profusely. I will try to remember tomorrow, I promise! (Today’s outfit was amazingly boring anyway, trust me.)

And, again, don’t forget my giveaway — click click click!

November 28, 2010

Giveaway time!

Picked up some Ulta3s*— and they’re for you!

(*Okay, one of them is an NYC, but that’s just a repackaged Ulta3. It’s a tricksy spy Ulta3, infiltrating non-pharmacy bases. You have to love it for that.)

I was hoping to find Earl Grey and Cocoa Bean, because I know a few people are after them, but the Pulse Pharmacy I went to was sadly quite raided.

This set is made of my favourite colour palette: cherry red, pale blue, and pale pink. I love wearing these colours all together or in pairs (I’ve  only posted a blue and red outfit so far), particularly because they’re commonly considered to be Colours That Clash. I personally think they look rather spiffing together if you have the right shades and the right textures.

I’ve also decorated a Moleskine cahier in navy and cream, which is one of my other favourite colour combinations (particularly when I’m in a preppy student mood).

I’ve used a few bits and pieces lying around my room. There’s a piece of a print of a map of Paris; a scrap of a letter from 1942; a wooden button; a bow I made out of tattered chiffon (from an old high school hair accessory), a strip of lace peeking out here and there, from my Year 12 formal dress; a felt flower with a diamante centre from an Alannah Hill cardigan. (This is the cardigan here.)

Let’s talk boring admin stuff.

This giveaway is open to readers in Australia only. (I don’t think I have any readers overseas but if I do — hello! Sorry that this giveaway isn’t open to you; I’m afraid I’m a bit short on cash this month and can’t afford postage outside of Australia. Next time, I promise.)

To enter, you have to do one thing:

1. Leave me one comment. It can be anything. It can be a simple ‘hi’; it can be chatty; it can be a copy and paste from a Wikipedia article. (I would love this, because I have a warped sense of ‘awesome’.) Only one comment will count per person, unless you left a note on my ‘should I do a giveaway?’ post prior to the 28th of November 2010.

Please leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win — it won’t be published or used for any other purpose. A blog address/Vogue username would be fine, too ^^. (Or say who you are if I know you in real life. Maybe leave me a message on my FB wall saying you entered?)

This giveaway ends on December 12, 2010 at 11.59pm, AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Comments will be allocated numbers in the order in which they are received, and I will use random.org to generate the winning numbers on December 13. The winner will be notified via teh interwebz (email, blog comment, Facebook, PM on the Vogue forums) on the same day. The book and nail polish will be posted to the winner in a 500g Australia Post Express satchel.

Good luck!

November 24, 2010

Squirrels and museum curators

I mentioned personal phases and fads in one of my older posts — in particular, my tendency to collect and hoard things. I’m not too terrible a hoarder. In my head, there are two types of ‘not that terrible’ hoarder*: squirrels and museum curators. Squirrels find a lot of things and save them for a cold winter’s day so that they don’t starve. Museum curators collect a lot of things and put them in glass cases and write little cards and pet them with their gaze.

(*Please note that I’m not discussing the hoarding that has been equated with a mental illness. I simply don’t want to call it ‘collecting’, because there’s collecting and then there’s my inexplicable desire to Have It All. I have no sense of moderation really.)

My sister and my mother are the former; little squirrels who insist on keeping everything they come across ‘just in case’. My sister’s bedroom is crammed full of shoe boxes filled with knick-knacks ‘that could be used for some art project’, and the downstairs room has five wardrobes because my mother doesn’t want to give them away. To be fair, we are using them, but I personally think we could downsize.

I’m a museum curator, which means that I collect a lot of things and fawn over them with a happy sense of accomplishment. And then I suddenly draw an arbitrary line between ‘things I need’ and ‘things I don’t’, and deem my collection complete.

This is my modest collection of nail polish, which pales in comparison to quite a few. They’ve all been carefully selected, though, to go with at least one particular outfit. Some of them only do go with just one outfit, actually.

At the moment, I can quite contentedly say that I need no more. That’s because the phase has passed.

…But, dear god, do I need notebooks.

I don’t, really.

But I want them. I only have a few, really, and I don’t need any more. One day I’ll devote a post to them; wonderful, glorious little pockets of fun that they are. I was going to post up a photo of them but I haven’t yet taken one I like. Watch this space!

Speaking of notebooks, I’ve started to put together a little one for my giveaway (sorry about the strangely bright pink background; I’ve just dumped it on an old filing cabinet I usually keep hidden away):

What do you think? I think it just needs a few more things to bring out the depth of the navy blue (Moleskine does such a lovely navy). The chiffon bow in the top right corner will also be at more of an angle.

What I’ve used so far:

  • A handwritten letter from 1954, to a ‘Mr Hubert A Kraus’ living in Canada;
  • A scrap of lace from the offcuts of my Year 12 formal gown;
  • A section of a print of a map of Paris;
  • A little wooden button
  • A tattered chiffon bow fashioned from a hairclip I used to wear in high school. The hairclip was a larger bow,  but I tore it apart to make something less structured and tidy.
  • A length of cream grosgrain ribbon with a stripe of satin down the middle.

I don’t want to make it too bulky in case things fall off/it becomes impossible to use, so it’s going to stay quite simple, I think. I don’t think it’s coming along too badly ^^.

This, by the by, is what I’m wearing as I tackle this little project:

 

It’s not the most exciting outfit in the universe, because I chose everything based on the fact that a) they were blue; b) they were easy to nap in. Such is life.

I’m wearing, as per usual, Alannah Hill. The cardigan is yesterday’s teal Flames to Dust, paired with yesterday’s cream Adorable Wafer Girl cami… okay, this is starting to sound worrying. I promise you that they’ve been washed; I was just too lazy to put them away and too lazy in the morning to go through my wardrobe, lol!

My skirt,thankfully, is different, and is the cream Sit Down, Shut Up! skirt. It has adorable polka dots in pale blue and a darker blue, and little silk blue buttons. Very fond of it. And the belt is a blue and cream Little Picket Fences, from the same season. It has quite a nice buckle:

 

My necklace is from Untamed Menagerie on Etsy and reads ‘We’re All Mad Here’ in cursive script. I love Alice in Wonderland (it was actually going to feature in my thesis) and couldn’t resist it. The picture is taken from her listing, because I can’t get a good shot myself that does the piece justice:

I also have the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ necklace. Definitely recommend the seller — amazing service and really beautiful pieces.

And, to prove that I can’t pose like a normal person:

 

I’m not quite sure what I was doing here, but I’m positive that I was mocking Valerie, the camera-wielder. To do this pose, you have to put one hand up to your head, with your thumb touching your forehead, and wiggle the four fingers around while chanting ‘nyah, nyah’ or various immature taunts. It helps if you dance from foot to foot. Increases the absurdity.

The things you learn from this blog, huh.

November 24, 2010

Inky pleasures

I’m quite new to fountain pens, although my first foray into the world of nibs and flowing ink was when I was quite young (maybe seven at the oldest), wielding my uncle’s fountain pen to draw cockroaches in brown ink.

(For the record, I hate and always hated cockroaches. But I have a strange tendency to dwell on things that horrify me.  Like knives and blood. Most people avoid their phobias and fears; I stare at them with unconcealed horror and fascination. Go figure.)

I’ve always loved stationery, and a great deal of my high school life was spent hunting after the perfect ballpoint pen. I have tried every cheapie that Officeworks and Big W has to offer. I really have. I have also tried mid-range ballpoint pens from Parker, Waterman and that Spanish brand that Myer stocks that I can’t recall at the moment. The best, by the by, is the Parker Jotter by a long mile, unless you want a lightweight pen (Jotters are a bit hefty at times), and then it’s difficult to pass by  a Pilot BPS-GP with a fine point. The Pilot BPS-GP also has a removable metal pen-cap thingy that holds the pen together…

 

That Thing. And the most important thing about That Thing is that, with practice and a bit of patience, you can spin it off the body of your pen and make it spin around the table like a little silver top. Priceless hours of class entertainment, I assure you.

The thing about ballpoints is that a ballpoint pen is only as good as its refill. And once you’ve found your ideal refill (Parker ftw!), your mission has basically ended. (Though I haven’t tried Lamy, but I don’t like the shape of their pens.)

Not so with the fountain pen, which is a finicky little brat. The nib has to get along with the ink which has to get along with the paper, or else all you get is this blurry mess of once-legible writing. And nibs change, even in the same manufacturer (and in the same pen line), which makes every pen purchase a bit of an adventure.

I’ve found that my inks tend to agree best with my Parker Sonnet, which has a nib that’s wide enough to bring out the character in inks but isn’t so broad that my writing turns (too) illegible. (I have a photo of my pen on my About page, if you’re curious.)

 

My obsession with ink started with one particular colour: J Herbin’s ‘1670 edition anniversaire’, which is a glorious blood red ink commemorating 340 years of making ink and other awesome stationery. It was, of course, limited edition and I discovered it, of course, a few months after it had been released and snapped up by ink-lovers all over the globe.

And then one day, I saw it on Inscriber, which is (without a doubt) the best online stockist of awesome stationery. And it was sold out.

Story of my life.

(Not really, I just felt very sorry for myself because I’m a bit of a brat.)

But I asked them to notify me when the product was in stock (none too hopefully for, as I just mentioned, I was in the mood for feeling sorry for myself). A few days later, the email came.

A few seconds after that, I put an order through.

And in two days time, the most amazing bottle of ink appeared on my doorstep:

 

TA DAAAAA!

Isn’t it amazing? It is. Nicest bottle of ink I’ve ever seen. J Herbin usually has shorter, squat, no-fuss (though still rather attractive) bottles, which you can sort of see on top of my Penguin books on the left. (It’s the bottle with a purple moon on it. And the ink is delectable. You can sort of see it on my About page, too.) But this bottle is so very attractive, with its wax sealed cap and little wax seal badge proclaiming its name. Each seal is hand-done, I think (I know I read that… somewhere >.>) which just adds to its awesomeness.

AWESOME, YOU GUYS.

 

A translation, for those who can’t read my handwriting:

J Herbin 1670

EDITION ANNIVERSAIRE

Nommiest red evar.

OMG.

OMG, you guise.

This red pwns my favourite red nail polish.

It looks good even though I don’t have Inkophile’s handwriting.

Eeeee! Look at the shading!

Wow. This is pretty pigmented for J. Herbin.

Love love love wheeeee.

 

My favourite red nail polish, for the record, is OPI’s An Affair in Red Square. OPI’s Affair in Red Square is a deeper red cousin of OPI’s famed I’m Not Really a Waitress, and J. Herbin’s 1670 is darker still, with earthy brown undertones that make it look closer to blood than to the sparkling Christmas tones of An Affair in Red Square.

Here’s another shot:

THIS INK IS SO AWESOME.

SO AWESOME.

It’s the sort of colour that makes me want to write passionate letters to my lover right before I murder them and write confessional notes in their blood.

If I had that sort of tendency.

Which I don’t.

Sharp knives and blood fear, remember?

Maybe I’ll just write a murder mystery instead.

ANYWAY, away from sounding creepy and back to just sounding strange:

I mentioned ‘Inkophile’ in that scrawl. Inkophile, whose handwriting I covet terribly, has an amazing blog. The swatches of 1670 put mine to shame. Look and drool: Inkophile’s swatches of1670. This ink has character and Inkophile has the skillz to really bring it out. I want those skillz. So badly.

…I wish I had more use for a red, because red is a little bit difficult to read in long stints. I suspect I’ll use this bit of ink up first and then go to my usual dusty purple or nutty brown, unless I suddenly buy another brilliant colour.

Okay, outfit post coming up later tonight!

November 22, 2010

Sugar highs and giveaways

I love my iPod Touch. I really do. (In fact, I’m typing on it now.) It’s like an iPhone but without the pesky tendency to ring and make me talk to people.

The thing is, I inevitably end up using it right before bed to answer some very insistent but rather unimportant questions, like ‘Can you floss too much?’ (answer: yes, if you do it incorrectly) and ‘what is incorrect flossing technique?’ (answer: sawing back and forth instead of gently moving the floss up and down). And then I start to worry that I’ve been flossing vigorously and inaccurately all my life and have endangered the well-being of my teeth forever, which is not exactly the sort of thing that helps put one to sleep.

Other times, I play games. I’m particularly partial to Plants vs Zombies and The Creeps, which are tower defence games: strategic games in which you have to, by one means or another, protect your base from incoming enemies. More often than not, you have to build ‘towers’, weapons that attack the enemies as they make their way to your base (which more than likely has piles of awesome things, like cake and gold and your main source of life). If you like strategy games and you haven’t yet tried PvZ (no, seriously? You haven’t?) or The Creeps, these are definitely worth a shot. They’re mindless enough for you to think, ‘I’ll only play one level’ — which is precisely the right amount of mindless that makes you play about five levels on top of the three or four ‘just one more…’ moments.

OH. I was going to do an outfit post but, alas, I’m not wearing anything of interest. Have a strangely baffling photo. On the left is what I am wearing in my head, except I actually have a torso and arms and a head and things. I think I took this photo to show off my Chanel-inspired two-tone stockings and never really got around to sharing it. (Or maybe I did, on a different medium.) The skirt is by BCBG Max Azria and the shoes are suede Tony Bianco ‘Palais’. The stockings are divine, and that’s all I can tell you, unfortunately. I’m rather fond of the Chanel originals but I am the Jack the Ripper of stockings and I would tear a hole in them as soon as I took them out of the packet.

such discrepancies...


On the right is what I usually look like after coming home from uni/an outing: I get half-changed because I’m too lazy to actually get properly undressed. So on go the trackies under my skirt/dress and I’m ready to go until bedtime. The blouse is from Alannah Hill and the trackies are decades old from the children’s pyjama section in Target. I have OPI’s Suzi Says Feng Shui on my nails, which made more sense with my outfit, I promise you! My bedsocks are wonderful and were bought at an impulse almost-midnight run at Kmart. (I do those scarily often. There’s something strangely appealing about a 24/7 Kmart, but I do pity the poor people who work those hours.)

By the by, I am rather sleepy and cramming handfuls of fairy floss into my mouth and typing on my iPod, so I don’t know what I’m saying or if it’s very interesting.

Other people do drunk!posts; I do sugar-high-and-sleepy!posts.

Have a picture!

This is a little exercise book I used during uni in my third year. I took the covers out of the binding, covered them and decorated them with the things I had lying around my room, and then slipped the spirals back through. I used:

  • brown bow from an Alannah Hill something-or-other;
  • wooden buttons
  • vintage measuring tape
  • small black buttons from a work blouse
  • brass charms from a bracelet found at St Vincent’s
  • brass chain from some jewellery supplier
  • vintage music score, Chopin’s Prelude in D Flat
  • torn map
  • vintage dictionary definitions
  • Creative Memories scrapbooking card.

Hell, have some more pictures to make up for my pretty rubbish post (click to enlarge):

Heyyyy. That collage looked far less cramped when I was doing it. And one of the pictures has been repeated. How annoying. Never mind. It is 11.40pm and I am sleepy and I am out of fairy floss. I may redo this at a later date. I will.

Aaaaactually. Just got hit by a wave of brilliance. (FAIRY FLOSS IS GOOD FOR YOU, I TOLD YOU SO.)

My blog’s first monthy-versary is coming up in about ten days. What say I do a little giveaway? Yes? No? Ghastly idea or downright brilliant?

I was thinking of whipping up one of these books (probably a little Moleskine cahier to slip into your bag) and maybe a few little non-handmade somethings just to spruce the package up a bit. I don’t have very many regular readers or commenters which might make the whole thing a little lame — but I have racked up quite a few hits, so I suspect there are more readers than I imagine ^^.

Okay. How will we do this? It’ll be the usual ‘comment on a post and I will draw a random entry from a strange object’ affair; I will contact the winner and post it out ASAP.

Okay.

What about you leave me a comment with your opinion on the giveaway: good idea, or downright terrible. Your comments will help me decide on whether or not to do a giveaway and, if I do end up trying my hand at this giveaway affair, your comment will earn you one entry. I will do a follow-up post a few days after this one, with pictures of the giveaway stash

Short, sensical version:

1. Should I do a giveaway? Post an answer in the comments!

2. I will whip up a book and post photos of it (and other giveaway goodies) in a few days time, depending on the response to the giveaway idea.

3. Anyone who commented on this particular post gets one entry, provided that they enter the official giveaway. I will also set up another post to officially announce the giveaway, and any comments on that post will earn one entry. There will be a maximum two entries per person — one entry gained from this post; and one entry gained from the second ‘official’ one. Multiple comments on the same post will not count as multiple entries.

Does that make sense? I certainly hope so. See you all at a more reasonable time!

November 14, 2010

Those damn’d elusive Ulta3s…

I was walking towards the bank this afternoon (had to do a quick deposit of money for a ClearIT Online haul ^^;) and saw that my local Ulta3 stockist had an enticingly full looking bin. I had checked last week hoping to snare Earl Grey and Cocoa Bean (my nail polish stash is woefully low on neutrals and browns, you see) and lo and behold, two bottles of Earl Grey and two bottles of Cocoa Bean just sitting there.

I actually walked away.

Thankfully, I realised that that was easily One of the Stupidest Things I Have Ever Done, and dashed back and got one of each:

They’re the same colours as my KeepCup, lol! (I was going to crop it out because it wasn’t completely in the frame, but the colour match amuses me too much.)

Swatches of the polishes (NC30-35 skintone, or Everyday Minerals ‘Buttered Tan’ foundation):

I didn’t expect Earl Grey to suit my skintone at all, really, but I think it’s growing on me. I like that it’s reminiscent of a pastel palette without actually being a sweet Easter egg shade.

Not really sure how often I’ll wear this, but I like having ‘I might need it’-colours in my collections. I find that my outfits feel extra awesome when I have the right nail polish to suit.

Cocoa Bean feels like a good, office-safe shade — inoffensive but not terribly boring. It looks quite generically ‘brown’ on the first coat, but takes on grey undertones on the second. I don’t think I’d mind a fountain pen ink in this colour, actually! Must look around.

(Look at my right hand clawing at the poor bottle! I have yet to perfect the show-off-the-polish grip. My fingers are too long to do it comfortably T^T.)

I think these bottles and I are going to get along very nicely.