Rescue Beauty Lounge The Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty (fall 2010)


Once in a while, I will temporarily get sucked into a historical TV series, almost always due to a good-looking, charismatic lead actor.  One such series was Showtime's The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.  While not historically correct (Henry the VIII was not a looker IRL), I would get drawn to the dramatic storylines.  Similarly, Ji Baek of Rescue Beauty Lounge was taken in by a historical novel set in Henry the VIII's England, especially by the descriptions of the attire.

“I fell in love with the Tudor dynasty in the novel Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel,” says Baek. “The more I learned of the queens’ wardrobes—the layers of embroidery, embellishments of pearls and fur and rich jewel toned fabrics—the more I saw a parallel with what’s going on in fashion this fall. Givenchy’s intricate brocades, Lanvin’s feather-festooned metallics, and the strong, powerful neutrals at Celine all served as starting points for Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Autumn/Winter color collection. Each color has micro particles of pink, blue, green, gold, and silver to add iridescence similar the tiny colored threaded that give brocade fabrics their depth of color.”  

The polishes are named after 4 of Henry VIII's 6 wives, Anne (Boleyn), Catherine (of Aragon), Catherine H(oward), and Jane (Seymour).  

Rescue Beauty Lounge The Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty Fall 2010 - Anne.jpg

Anne (two coats):  dark olive green with gold shimmer and pink/gold glass flecks

Catherine (two coats):  deep purple with pewter shimmer and blue/pink glass flecks

Catherine H (two coats):  Wedgewood blue with gold shimmer and blue/pink glass flecks

Jane (two coats):  grayish nude with gold shimmer and pink/green/gold glass flecks

All of the polishes applied smoothly and were opaque in two coats.  I adore the richness of color in Anne, Catherine and Catherine H.  Jane is the outlier of the set, with its neutral subtlety.  The glass flecks give the polishes a sparkly dimension, similar to the brocade fabric that inspired Ji Baek.  I adore the whole collection due to the dedication and cohesiveness of the theme, but my personal favorites are Catherine H and surprisingly, Jane. 


Dior Vernis Summer Mix 2012 (summer 2012)


When it comes to high-end polish brands, Dior is my #2.  My Chanel collection is kind of ridiculous in comparison, due to my previous compulsion of buying up almost every new Chanel polish between 2008-2012.  However, I’m a bit more discerning with my Dior selections.   I have a few HTF (hard-to-find) vintages, such as Sparkling Blueberry but mine are mostly selections from 2009-2012.

Summer is coming to end, so I will be posting a few past summer collections before September.  The first one is Dior’s Summer Mix 2012.  The collection consisted of 4 “sorbet finish” nail polishes and 4 lip glosses.  I’ve deciphered “sorbet finish” as a cross between crème and jelly.

Acapulco (three coats):  bright sunshine yellow

Calypso (two coats):  candy apple red

Cosmo (two coats):  watermelon pink

Lagoon (two coats):  Mediterranean blue

The application was only finicky for Acapulco, which is not surprising for yellow nail polish.  For some reason, most yellow nail polishes are just a pain to work with.  The others applied well in two coats.

Is it just me, or has summer just come and gone quickly?  I feel like time just started racing by after I turned 30.



Rescue Beauty Lounge The Bloggers Collection (fall 2009)


Social media has evolved over the years…I was on Facebook back when it was a college-only website.  When I started collecting polish, the current media was blogging.  Now it’s moved on to more visually driven apps such as Instagram and YouTube.  My favorite way to receive nail information is still reading blogs, even if that makes me a bit of a dinosaur.  I like being able to scan a page’s content without having to listen to a long video or decipher a jumble of hashtags.

Due to the popularity of social media, there has been a lot of collaborations between influencers and brands.  Rescue Beauty Lounge’s The Bloggers Collection was one of the first ones I remember.  I am a huge fan of the three bloggers featured in this collection; they’re the OG nail bloggers.

Rescue Beauty Lounge The Bloggers Collection Fall 2009 - Mismas.jpg

Mismas (two coats):  rich purple crème

Mismas was created by blogger Michelle Mismas of the blog All Lacquered Up.  It’s one of the earliest blogs, dating back to January 2007.  While there haven’t been any new posts since 2016, it’s a great resource for people like me who like to collect older collections.           

Orbis Non Sufficit (two coats):  army green crème

Orbis Non Sufficit was created by blogger Stephanie Toledo of the now defunct blog The Polish Addict.  Stephanie’s blog is one of the first ones I started following, so I’m sad to see that her page is no longer online.

Scrangie (three coats):  light purple shimmer with a strong blue/green flash

Scrangie is the eponymous polish created by Scrangie Marcanio of the blog Scrangie.  Unlike the other two blogs, Scrangie also focused on makeup.  I loved her nonconformist streak; unique and memorable.  Like ALU, there haven’t been any new posts since 2014, but if you want to look up some great throwback polishes (such as OPI’s original Designer Series), you can find it on the site.

When I started Throwback Lacquer, I was completely STOKED that both Michelle and Scrangie followed my Instagram account.  You can follow their Instagram accounts at @alllacqueredup and @thescrangie.


Creative Nail Design Black Light (2005)


In the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, the Club Kids were infamous New York City dance club regulars.  They were known for their outlandish costumes, crazy behavior and rampant drug use.  The best-known Club Kid was Michael Alig, a party promoter.  If you’re interested in more information about Michael Alig and the Club Kids, you definitely need to watch Party Monster with Macaulay Culkin as Alig.  It tells the story of his rise and fall, which culminated in Alig murdering a fellow Club Kid.  It’s a very campy movie, but enjoyable.

Creative Nail Design is best known for their professional lines, such as Shellac, but I have a special place in my heart for their actual polishes.  In 2005, they released the Black Light collection, 3 colors and a glitter topper which glow under a black light.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a black light, so I don’t know if these will still glow.  The Black Light collection is named after infamous New York City clubs:  Dance USA, Danceteria, Limelight and Studio 54.  The first 3 clubs were the ones that the Club Kids frequented.

Dance USA (two coats):  tomato red jelly

Danceteria (three coats):  fuchsia pink crème

Studio 54 (three coats):  bright purple crème

Limelight is a glitter topper and contains blue-to-green color shifting flakes.

Limelight (one coat) over Dance USA

Limelight (one coat) over Danceteria

Limelight (one coat) over Studio 54

If you’re interested in these polishes, they’re all still available on Head2Toe Beauty.


Illamasqua Rubber Brights (2012)


Back in the late-‘00s, Illamasqua was releasing polishes most mainstream brands wouldn’t dare.  Not only were the shades unique, the bottle was beautifully elegant and the formula was buttery smooth.  It was a bit more expensive than most mainstream brands, but you got what you paid for.

I am saddened that Illamasqua will no longer have nail polish in their product lineup.  I have so many good memories of their polishes (have you seen RAMPAGE?!) and to see them go the way of the dodo brings out the feels in me.

Today I’ve got their Rubber Brights collection.  It’s got rubber/matte finish polishes in a rainbow of colors.

Aorta (two coats):  bright red

Devotee (three coats):  bubblegum pink

Nurture (three coats):  bright light green

Optimist (three coats):  orange/yellow

Prosperity (two coats):  saturated purple

Serenity (three coats):  sky blue

The formula is a bit tricky to deal with, especially Nurture.  All of the shades requiring 3 coats were due to the streakiness of the polish.  Aorta and Prosperity both applied easily and evenly.  Due to the formula, Aorta and Prosperity are my favorites in the collection.


Essie North Fork (summer 2009)


For many years, the Essie brand has been renowned for its conservative sheer pinks and nudes, especially Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite, Ballet Slippers.  It was a rarity for Essie to release unique, outstanding shades, but they definitely have some hits, such as the famous Starry Starry Night.  Back in the late ‘00s, some posts started circulating with Photoshopped wishful Essie collections, full of vibrant colors not really seen from the brand, especially in shades of blue and green.  We were surprised when Essie released the North Fork collection, even if it was a bit muted compared to the Photoshopped pictures.

Greenport (three coats):  muted turquoise blue crème

Sag Harbor (three coats):  pale bluish-green with a fine silver shimmer

Essie North Fork 2009 - Shelter Island.jpg

Shelter Island (three coats):  sky blue crème

Since 2009, Essie seems to have come out of the shell with more vibrant, unique colors outside of its sheer pinks/nudes core.  If you want to see more unique Essie shades, I’ll post more in the future here or on my Instagram.


Zoya Gossip (summer 2008)


Pre-streaming Netflix, I watched the most TV during college.  I was obsessed with Sex and the City, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and the GOAT, Chappelle’s Show.  However, my peers were all obsessed with MTV’s Laguna Beach:  The Real Orange County.  For those of you unfamiliar with Laguna Beach, it was a “reality” show centered around Lauren Conrad AKA LC, a conventionally attractive blonde who attended school in Laguna Beach.  I still have a quote on my Facebook profile from one night watching Laguna Beach with friends…”99.9% of the things that come out of The Asian Girl’s mouth should never be said.”  It’s funny how some things never change.

Anyhoo, Laguna Beach spawned a spin-off, The Hills, again centered around LC.  We used to joke in our family that my middle sister was our local LC.  Coincidentally, my sister’s first job out of college brought her to Southern California.  When she left, I mimicked a voice-over, stating, “Today we say goodbye to our beloved JA, when she leaves The Mills for The Hills.”

Apart from my personal jokes about the shows, I really don’t know too much about the characters or the storyline.  It all kind of mish-mashed into “blah blah blah, rich white girl problems, blah blah blah.”  However, The Hills was so popular that Zoya named their Gossip collection after 6 of the characters.

Audrina (two coats):  orchid purple crème

Elodie (three coats):  coral pink jelly

Heidi (two coats):  coral pink/orange crème

LC (two coats):  coral red crème

Lo (two coats):  bubblegum pink crème

Whitney (two coats):  Barbie pink crème

I will say, this is a very solid summer collection, even though it’s heavy on conventional colors.  This would be a great variety for summer manis and pedis.  The best part is, this whole collection is still available on Zoya’s site!  That is a unique trait about Gossip…10 years later, all of the colors made it to the core collection.


Drugstore Digging: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel


I am admittingly behind when it comes to mainstream polishes, especially drugstore brands.  The turnover for drugstore brands is high and my local stores rarely get the cool limited-edition displays, so I only buy them impulsively.  However, when I found out that Sally Hansen released a holographic, I had to track it down.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Adrenaline Crush.jpg

Adrenaline Crush (two coats):  plum-toned brown metallic foil

Metro Midnight (two coats):  light mauve scattered holographic

I almost missed out on Metro Midnight because I did not see it on the main display.  It was on a limited-edition display near the beauty cash register.  CVS currently has a buy one, get one half-off promotion for Miracle Gel plus a bonus 6000 points on your CVS card until Sunday, so it’s the perfect time to go out and get some!

Unrelated side note:  My gallery is now stocked to the gills with all of my Pretty Serious polish pictures, so check them out before the closing sale ends!!!


Pretty Serious Museum of Naileontology Vol. 5 (2018)


(includes press samples)

Hello everyone!

I’ve got bad news and good news…the good news is, I’ve got three of the latest Pretty Serious Museum of Naileontology shades.

Effigy of Agon (two coats):  inspired by Urban Decay X, mauve with a strong copper shimmer

Mamagaran’s Scream (two coats):  inspired by Revlon Mesmerizing, purple with a green duochrome shimmer

Messenger of the Titans (two coats):  inspired by Chanel Iridescent, periwinkle purple with a purple shimmer

On to the bad news…Pretty Serious has announced on their official Facebook fan group that they will be closing down this year, discontinuing the current product line.  The entire site will be at 30-50% off with the coupon code CLOSING.  The upcoming neon and nude collections will be listed at 40% off.  However, the closure isn’t permanent and they’re looking to relaunch next year.


Rescue Beauty Lounge Spring/Summer 2009


If I had to pick a favorite city, I would select New Orleans.  The food, the music, and the atmosphere can’t be beat.  Ironically enough, I live next to the city that has been voted as Travel + Leisure’s top city in the world for 6 years running, but there’s a lot to unpack there.  I spent most of my childhood and adult life living on the Gulf Coast, so New Orleans was a short 3-hour drive away.  Have you ever woken up to a Bloody Mary and freshly fried, powdered sugar-covered beignets?  Tell me you can beat that!!!

Anyhoo, back to the nail polish, while I weep because I can’t get a decent beignet for miles around.

Back in the day, Rescue Beauty Lounge had the best crème polish formula on the market.  They were richly pigmented and applied like butter.  The Spring/Summer 2009 collection was a huge departure from their main offerings and unique in that snapshot of nail polish world.  The collection consisted of three flashy and sparkling glitter polishes:  Frugalista, Locavore, and Look Rich, Be Cheap.

Frugalista (three coats):  silver and purple glitter in a clear base

Rescue Beauty Lounge Spring Summer 2009 - Locavore.jpg

Locavore (three coats):  gold, green, blue and purple glitter in a clear base

Look Rich, Be Cheap (three coats):  gold and purple glitter in a clear base

If you’re looking for the perfect Mardi Gras manicure, these are the polishes to turn to!  They even match the primary colors of Mardi Gras:  green, gold and purple.  Hopefully I can wear one of these to New Orleans in the near future.


Drugstore Digging: Salon Perfect Holographic Finish


I’ve always considered Wal-Mart as a last resort.  The parking lot sucks, the customer service is lacking and your fellow customers are usually at their worst.  However, I’ve been sucked back into the vortex due to the news of Color Club’s Wal-Mart-exclusive holographics.  The last time something like this happened was 2015’s Hard Candy 20th Anniversary collection.  Unfortunately, I’ve only found a few of the new Color Clubs, but I found a silver lining:  Salon Perfect also released new holographics!

For those of you not in the know, Salon Perfect is owned by the same parent company as China Glaze.  There are a lot of similar colors between the two brands, even dupes for China Glaze’s Hologlam collection.  I can’t find an official statement, but according to the internet, the main difference between the brands are the hardeners added to China Glaze’s formula.  I haven’t had much experience with Salon Perfect, so I can’t really tell a difference between the two.

Salon Perfect Coming In Hot.jpg

Coming In Hot (two coats): silvery-blue holographic

Salon Perfect Don't Give A Glam.jpg

Don’t Give A Glam (two coats):  charcoal gray holographic

According to Salon Perfect’s official website, these are the only 2 current holographic polishes.  They’re also a steal at $3.98 a pop!  Compare that to OMG Flashbacks retailing at $8.29 and Color Club Halo Hues, which is over $6.00. 


Pretty Serious Bad Reputation (2017)


(includes press samples)

I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but this is my favorite release from 2017.  I’ve worn all three colors as mani/pedis and whenever I’m indecisive with what to wear for the week, I will fall back on one of these polishes.

Pretty Serious Bad Reputation - Cherry Bomb.jpg

Cherry Bomb (two coats):  cherry pink crème with gold glass-flecks

Heartbreaker (two coats):  lavender violet crème with blue glass-flecks

Stupid Cupid (three coats):  tiffany blue crème with fine green/gold shimmer

Cherry Bomb and Heartbreaker apply very well, like softened butter on toast.  Stupid Cupid can be applied in 2 thick coats if careful, but I tend to err toward three thin coats.

Unfortunately, the Bad Reputation collection has been discontinued and is no longer available on the official Pretty Serious pages.  However, if you do some Googling around, you can find them on other online retailers.


NARS Thakoon (2012)


My husband hates it when I eat two kinds of food:  Indian food and anything with truffles.  He claims the smell lingers for days on end, giving him a headache.  As much as I love my husband, I’m also a dedicated food enthusiast…sorry, honey bunny.

NARS Thakoon was inspired by the bright colors of Indian spice markets.  The names of the polishes are also names of Indian spices.

Amchoor (3 coats):  bright mango yellow crème

Amchoor reminds me of ataulfo mangoes, also known as champagne mangoes.  I’ve heard great things about Asian mangoes, particularly from India and the Philippines, but I’ve never tasted them.  The closest I can get in the US are Mexican ataulfo mangoes, which are sweeter than standard grocery store mangoes.

NARS Thakoon 2012 - Anardana.jpg

Anardana (2 coats):  azalea pink crème

The best time to visit the Charleston, SC area is spring time, especially if azaleas are blooming.  The nearby Town of Summerville is also known as Flowertown due to the prevalence of azaleas in their downtown area.  Anardana resembles these flowers very closely.

NARS Thakoon 2012 - Koliary.jpg

Koliary (3 coats):  cyan blue crème

The blue-green quality in Koliary brings me back to my favorite place, Opal Beach.  Opal Beach is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, located between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach.  If you are ever in Northwest Florida and desire to really get away from it all, definitely consider Opal Beach.

NARS Thakoon 2012 - Kutki.jpg

Kutki (3 coats):  baby blue crème

One of my knitting friends is a die-hard University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sports fan.  This would definitely suit her tastes.

Lal Mirchi (2 coats):  hot pepper red crème

Lal Mirchi is my favorite due to the color’s richness.  It reminds me of shiny hot red peppers, such as bird’s eye chilis. 

Ratin Jot (2 coats):  orchid purple crème

2014’s color of the year was Radiant Orchid, similar to Ratin Jot.

The formula on these polishes are split.  Anardana, Lal Mirchi and Ratin Jot were the easiest to apply, only needing 2 coats each.  Amchoor, Koliary and Kutki needed 3 coats for opacity. 

NARS Thakoon was a limited-edition release and is no longer for sale.  However, you can find Amchoor, Anardana, Koliary and Ratin Jot on eBay below the retail price ($18).


Pretty Serious Pastel Pets 2 (2018)


(includes press samples)

Two years ago, Pretty Serious Cosmetics released their Pastel Pet Names collection to great fanfare.  If you like marbling nail art, they were perfect for such applications, as seen on More Nail Polish.  This April, a second Pastel Pet collection was released.

Bitsy Boo (2 coats):  sky blue crème

Bon Bon (2 coats):  cornflower blue crème

Pretty Serious Pastel Pets 2 - Chicky.jpg

Chicky (3 coats):  pale yellow crème

Dollface (2 coats):  lilac purple crème

Poppet (2 coats):  bubblegum pink crème

Smoochie (2 coats):  neon pastel green crème

Pretty Serious Pastel Pets 2 - Tootsie.jpg

Tootsie (2 coats):  pale yellow-orange crème

I should admit something:  crème polishes are my kryptonite when it comes to swatching.  I tend to always have trouble applying them, especially pastels.  The hardest to apply was Chicky, which is usually par for the course when it comes to yellow polish.  Chicky looks off-white to me; similar to Illamasqua Load.  Tootsie is supposed to be more yellow, but comes off very Kraft-macaroni-and-cheese on my skin tone.

Pastel Pets 2 is now available in the Pretty Serious USA online store and on the Pretty Serious International online store.


Chanel Neon (spring 2018)


Previously, I reviewed Chanel’s 2017 collection Neon Wave.  Today I’ve got two limited edition neons from this spring.

Rose Neon (two coats):  searing peachy pink neon

Scenario (two coats):  hot coral red neon

Chanel Neon Wave - Magnetic.jpg


I’ve included a picture of Magnetic to show the contrast in color.

If you’re a neon fan, you’ll probably love these two.  There is definitely enough difference to justify owning all three.


OPI It's Summer For Shore (summer 2003)


The summer of 2003 was special for me.  I had a rough second semester of my high school senior year, mostly due to the drama after the end of my first relationship.  Right before graduation, one of my longtime classmates brought me a graduation gift from his mother, a substitute teacher I previously helped.  We reconnected at our mutual friend’s graduation party, thus starting one of the best summers I’ve ever had.

Nail polish wasn’t even on my radar back then, being a degenerate nail biter.  But dang it, I wish I was into then…because that was when OPI released It’s Summer For Shore, full of shimmery, holographic goodness.  It’s Summer For Shore is different from other holographic polishes I’ve previously reviewed, due to the subtle holographic effect in shimmery bases.

Blue Moon Lagoon (three coats):  pale blue shimmery holographic

Coral Reef (three coats):  coral red shimmery holographic

Crim-sun (three coats):  strawberry red shimmery holographic

Day At The Peach (three coats):  pink-tinged peach shimmery holographic

OPI It's Summer For Shore - Sand-erella.jpg

Sand-erella (three coats):  lilac shimmery holographic with faint green duochrome effect

What’s Dune (three coats):  white shimmery holographic with blue/pink duochrome effect


I layered one coat of What’s Dune over Essie Marshmallow a few years ago.  Check out that holographic effect in the sun!

I feel like I need to apologize for the lack of holographic effect in my pictures.  I use an artificial indoor light box to swatch my polishes.  I probably should try to take pictures outdoors, but my area currently has triple-digit heat indices.

Unfortunately, we split ways that fall due to attending universities 200 miles away from each other.  Life has treated him well; he’s now happily married with a child, last time I saw.  I’ll leave it with a song I was listening to around the time we dated…I was in my Teena Marie phase.


Pretty Serious Museum of Naileontology Vol. 1 (2015)


(includes press samples)

For vintage nail polish collectors, there is one blog above all else:  Pretty Random.  Pretty Random was THE vintage nail polish blog, full of discontinued polish and peppered with Kaz’s unique humor.  If I were to ever see Kaz’s collection in person, I would throw myself to the floor, Wayne’s World-style.  Unfortunately, the blog is now defunct due to malware, but they still have a Facebook page and an Instagram account.  Point being, Kaz is the queen of vintage nail polish.

Why do I mention a defunct blog?  Because the story doesn’t end there.

In 2012, Kaz started her own independent makeup brand, Pretty Serious Cosmetics.  The brand is very close with Kaz’s personality:  fun and retro.  She loves ‘80s hair bands, B-movies, video games, retro clothing (especially shoes), and all things glittery.  Pretty Serious even has a mascot, a retro pin-up named Daphne.  Daphne was created by graphic designer Leigh Young, who also designs all Pretty Serious artwork.  What I like most about the brand is that it marches to its own beat, rather than jumping on every trend bandwagon.

My all-time favorite line from Pretty Serious is the Museum of Naileontology, which started in 2015.  This line is every vintage polish collector’s dream, because VHTF (very hard-to-find) polishes are recreated.  Vintage polish collecting can be exhausting…I have saved eBay searches dating back to 2009 that have never been pinged!  If actual hunting isn’t difficult enough, the sheer cost of some of these polishes can make your head spin.  The Museum of Naileontology cuts out all those difficulties.

Eye of Copernicus (two coats) is an homage to Chanel Ciel de Nuit/Night Sky.  For more information on Ciel de Nuit, check out my previous post, The Great, Big Night Sky Lacquer Round-up.  It is a deep navy blue jelly with fine silver glitter.

Khepri’s Amulet (two coats) is a dupe of Revlon Street Wear Hippy Dippy.  It is teal green with a green/gold shifting shimmer.

Pretty Serious The Dragon's Curse.jpg

The Dragon’s Curse (two coats) is inspired by OPI Crème de Menthe.  Crème de Menthe is from OPI’s coveted 1989 X collection, which includes the mythical Rainforest.  It is a mint green crème with a golden shimmer.

I personally own Crème de Menthe and Ciel de Nuit, so I can post comparisons for the Eye of Copernicus and The Dragon's Curse.  Hippy Dippy is INCREDIBLY hard-to-find, even for a seasoned vet like myself.

Eye of Copernicus (ring and pinky fingers) vs. Chanel Ciel de Nuit (index and middle fingers)

The Dragon's Curse (ring and pinky fingers) vs. OPI Creme de Menthe (index and middle fingers)

There are some very subtle differences, such as the amount of glitter in the first comparison and a slight color variation in the second comparison.  I think they're fine replicas of the originals.

The Dragon's Curse is now discontinued, but Eye of Copernicus and Khepri's Amulet are still listed on Pretty Serious's US shop.  Unfortunately, only Eye of Copernicus is currently available.

I'll be back with the 4 subsequent Museum of Naileontology collections soon!


Chanel Illusions D'Ombres (fall 2011)


Back in November 2010, I made an impulse decision that ultimately changed my life:  I signed up on Plenty of Fish, otherwise known as the cesspool of online dating sites. 

My first date after joining the site was a failure.  He totally wasn’t into me, which sucked because he was a Matt Damon lookalike.  After the date, I stopped by a vegan bar to meet up with friends and ran into an acquaintance celebrating her birthday…she immediately ordered me a double shot of Maker’s Mark.  It was befitting after that date.

There were some hits and there were some misses.  There was the Navy pilot who was cowed into admitting to me he was in the middle of a divorce due to a bartender friend of mine who knew he was married.  There were a couple of times I was dumb enough to end up at a guy’s residence and ultimately ended up in bed with them.  There was the guy I knew from high school who went full stage 5 clinger on me, before we even met in person (Spoiler alert:  we didn’t.).  Then I got stood up on Valentine’s Day…my baby sister felt sorry for me and bought me The League Season 1 DVD and candy as a consolation.  Finally, there was this guy whose profile was advertised in almost all of my searches…

Of course, I looked at the profile.  It was the most detailed and longest profile I’d ever seen, listing out explicitly who he was, his interests, what he wanted in a partner.  In contrast, my own profile was sparse on information…I was told later that I was able to get away with that due being an attractive female.  This person had an upgraded profile, indicating they were looking for a serious relationship and paid extra to appear more frequently in searches.  However, the profile was set to “email and text only” because he was deployed in Afghanistan.  I was already meeting people in person…not a snowball’s chance in hell, right? 

He messaged me and we started a sporadic exchange.  I asked him what drove him in life…and he emailed a response similar to his profile:  long and extremely detailed.  I didn’t have a ready response, so I sat on the message for a few days before responding.  I had no idea what drove me in life…what was I to say to someone who already had it all figured out?

Not long after the Valentine’s Day snafu, I grew weary of the random creepers and my recent string of misses.   By that time, he was the only guy I was regularly messaging, so I gave him my email address to keep in touch since I decided to delete my profile.

We kept emailing each other over the next 3 months, discussing current events, my love of nail polish, and everyday minutiae.  It turned out we had similar political beliefs; two blue spots in a blood-red area.  We talked about his dogs, random internet sites we liked, sports, alcohol, and his plans after the military.  I liked his personality, but I worried that there wouldn’t be a physical attraction, so I kind of put him at arms’ length.

3 months passed, then we met in person at the beach.  In retrospect, I didn’t have anything to worry about when it came to attraction.  Two days after initially meeting, we were Facebook official.  We would get engaged approximately a year later then married after a 6-month engagement.  It’s been exactly 7 years since we’ve been Facebook-official.

At the time, I was obsessed with Chanel’s Illusions D’Ombres Fall 2011 collection.  The collection featured Peridot, Graphite and Quartz…I was particularly taken with Peridot and Graphite, being unique for that time period. 

Chanel Fall 2011 - Graphite.jpg


Chanel Fall 2011 - Peridot.jpg


Chanel Fall 2011 - Quartz.jpg


Deborah Lippmann - Supermodel.jpg

Deborah Lippmann Supermodel

This was the polish I wore the day we met in person and the day we got engaged.

Happy 7th Facebook-official anniversary, honey bunny!


China Glaze OMG Flashback (summer 2018)


2 weeks ago, I posted China Glaze’s original 2008 OMG collection.  China Glaze just released a 10-year anniversary collection named OMG Flashback, featuring 6 re-releases of the original 12 shades.  This isn’t the first time China Glaze has re-released a collection.  In 2009, they re-released the 2001 collection Wizard of Ooh Ahz.  What I love about China Glaze’s re-releases is that they actually TRY to emulate the originals (looking at YOU, Essie, for that horrendous 2016 Retro Revival collection, and OPI for that lackluster 2009 Colorcopia collection).

China Glaze OMG Flashback - 2NITE.jpg







So how do they compare to the originals?  Funny you should ask…

2NITE (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

China Glaze OMG Flashback - BFF comparison.jpg

BFF (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

DV8 (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

IDK (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

OMG (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

TTYL (2008 on index and middle fingers, 2018 on ring and pinky fingers)

The 2018 formula is a lot more opaque than the original, thus easier to apply.  The problem with the 2008 formula is that it’s extremely thin, making you wait for each coat to dry to avoid streaking.  The holographic effect in the 2018 collection is finer than the original, resulting in a brighter effect.

Overall, I’m impressed with OMG Flashback.  One complaint about China Glaze is how subsequent holographic collections (Tronica, Hologlam) were less prismatic than OMG.  However, with OMG Flashback, they improved the formula and refined the holographic effect, which surprised me.  Hey, Essie and OPI…THIS is how you recreate a collection!


Hard Candy 20th Anniversary Collection (2015)


You can’t talk about vintage nail polish and not mention the phenomena that was Hard Candy.  Hard Candy was the original “indie” polish brand.  Their first polish, Sky, was literally mixed in the founder’s bathroom to complement a pair of Marc Jacobs shoes.  Alicia Silverstone wore Sky on Letterman and thus, a legend was born. 

Hard Candy has switched hands over the years and is now a Walmart-exclusive brand.  In 2015, Hard Candy celebrated 20 years with an 8-piece limited-edition polish collection.

Hard Candy 20th Anniversary - Sky.jpg

Sky (two coats) is the color that started it all.  It’s a light blue crème with a faint blue flash.

Claws Up! (two coats) is a nude crème with silver shimmer.

Coconut (three coats) is a white crème with purple/pink shifting glass flecks.

Hard Candy 20th Anniversary - Girlie.jpg

Girlie (two coats) is a pink crème with a subtle pink flash.

Mint (two coats) is a light green crème with a faint green flash.

Scam (two coats) is a purple jelly with violet shimmer.

Tangerini (two coats) is an orange crème.

Zombie (two coats) is a dark purple shimmer with burgundy shimmer.

Coconut was a nightmare to apply, plus the glass-flecks do not appear on the nail, probably due to the crème formula.  Most of the cremes have a subtle shimmer in the bottle but does not show up when applied.

Collecting vintage Hard Candy is a bit difficult nowadays, due to the passage of time and sifting out Walmart Hard Candy polishes from listings.  I have a handful of vintage Hard Candys and will post them in the near future.