Friday, September 30, 2011

A Few Good Splurges UPDATED

As you can probably tell from the blog so far, I'm not one who has to rush out and buy the biggest labels or the trendiest new products. In fact, if you know me at all, you've probably at one point or another heard my rant on the "limited edition" racket. While I enjoy reading the beauty blogs to find out what's new and available, you won't find me insisting I simply must rush out and buy, say, the whole MAC Holiday release. If there is a particular product that looks like it would be a great addition to my wardrobe, then fine, but I'd rather find permanent collection items to fall in love with and use over and over. And you know that I'm thrilled to find inexpensive staples too, like Wet 'n' Wild eyeshadows, Jesse's Girl primer, and Cover Girl Lip Perfection lipsticks.

But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the occasional high-end or on-trend item, either. I already told you about my recent Giorgio Armani acquisitions and can report that I've been using the foundation, eyeshadow, and lip colors almost daily since. I almost passed up the lip gloss that day, and I'm delighted I didn't because it's become a real staple for me due to its long wear and rich pigmentation. I can apply in the morning and touch up after lunch and I'm pretty much good to go for the day.

My newest splurge arrived yesterday -- the much ballyhooed Chanel Peridot nail polish. The furor over this color may not have reached quite the fever pitch of the original Vamp debut, but it's easily the It Product of the Fall 2011 season. I almost never buy stuff like this -- for one thing, I'm too lazy or too shy to fight for it at department store counters, and I'm not someone with insider links to procure it for me. I was also a little put off by some less than stellar reviews of the product's formula and wear. Not to mention the ludicrous price. But it looked so pretty in the bottle, so crazily duochrome, that I found my resistance wearing down.

Reader, I ordered it.

My nail polish arrived yesterday in a shoebox-size cardboard box marked HAZMAT. Inside, within layers and layers of tissue paper, I found several Chanel product samples (the website lets you choose a couple from a list) and beneath even more tissue, a chic black drawstring bag, like a mini version of those bags that fancy shoes come in. Inside that was the little shiny black and gold box, and inside that was the bottle of Peridot itself. I immediately took of my old chipping polish and tried some on. To wit:

The results are a little mixed, mostly weighing on the plus side. In most light it's antique gold, and this wouldn't be my first antique gold polish. The interesting emerald-topaz highlights you see so easily in the bottle aren't always so easily visible. But when they do pop out -- and at some angles in some light you see more green than anything else -- it's a magical, shifting sort of color. I used two coats with clear base coat between them and find the finish a little brushstrokey, but perhaps a professional manicure will resolve that. No sense yet of the wear length.

I intend to enjoy the hell out of this nail polish, probably long after it's declared "so last season." For what I paid for it, I ought to.

I've now worn this polish through two manicures and can report on them.

The first, which I'd applied myself, came out a little streaky in terms of visible brushstrokes. It lasted about 4 days before the tipwear and chipping forced me to take it off. This is about average for me when I use metallic polishes.

The second was professionally applied, and looked much smoother, so clearly I have a lot to learn about applying metallic polish. I had the manicure on Sunday, and by Tuesday several nails were showing visible tipwear and I noticed a couple of tiny bubbles. On Wednesday, one nail showed a crack in the polish starting near the edge of the nail, and there were two chips that I was able to touch up. By Thursday the tipwear was about the same, but more cracks and chips had appeared, though it will still get me through the workday without looking too awful (since the color is relatively light and it's reflective, it's not too noticeable to anyone but me).

The color is really fun to wear. It morphs so much depending on the angle and the light that I find it endlessly entertaining to hold my hands in various positions to see what it will do. This has gotten me through a number of long meetings. I like that the polish can look classically antique gold, prettily pastel seafoam, and edgily corpselike chartreuse, or all of those at once.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Well, it's been a month since Hurricane Swatch. We came through it just fine, not even a brief power outage (though many neighbors were not as fortunate). From there it was back to school and back to work and all the attendant chaos. Happily, though, I did not take a break from playing around with cosmetics and perfume.

From the sublime -- a visit to the Giorgio Armani counter and the acquisition of some really stunning stuff -- to the mundane -- falling in love with a line of Cover Girl lipsticks from the drugstore -- and lots of scent experimentation in between, it's been a busy month. I'll update with greater specifics soon.

I've gotten rather busy lately with various swaps organized through's Jamuary 2011 Moms group and several other swaps taking place at the site. One was the Crooked Crafting swap, which I just got into the mail today, so will stay mum until my swapee receives her gift. The other is the Halloween version of Switch Witch, in which the bulk of that community happily stalks each other, trying to glean clues about every conceivable preference of her target, then spends a couple of months sending secret gifts and cards. I'm having a blast preparing gifts for my Witchee and learning about new and exciting stuff on her wishlist in the process.

More to come!