January 31, 2014

Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo - Swatches and Review

I had the world's fastest trip to Sephora to get this today. I think the whole thing took me literally 15 seconds, transaction not included. Walked in, walked directly to the Nars section, saw this duo at the top of the display, snatched one, walked to checkout, paid, left. I didn't touch or look at any other product. I only had eyes for Nars Kauai. I've been waiting with baited breath for this to hit stores since I saw the Nars Spring 2014 promo pictures. I've just been muttering "IT WILL BE MINE, OH, YES, IT WILL BE MINE" all Wayne Campbell-y.

 Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Swatches and Review

 Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Swatches and Review

This duo looked so, so beautiful in the promo pictures. The colors just looked so saturated and intense. They seeped into my brain and were controlling me, pretty much. I could not not buy this duo. I wanted to reach through the pictures and touch it. I was pretty apprehensive because I've been burned by Nars before but this duo makes up for any kind of past wrongdoings on Nars' part.

Those indiscretions can be summed up in a sentence: Nars is really hit and miss with the pigmentation of their eyeshadows. I have one or two duos with colors that barely show up and that have a really chalky consistency. I've seen long awaited, colorful collections end up looking like literal sidewalk chalk when swatched. I don't want to pay $34 for sidewalk chalk for my eyes so I was definitely worried about Kauai. I made sure I didn't throw out the receipt for this purchase because I was half convinced I'd have to return it. Instead, it's hands down the best Nars duo I own. The colors are super pigmented and vibrant and the texture of the shadows is nice and buttery. It's actually better to use a lighter hand when applying these shadows. They're just so creamy that a little amount of product goes a long way. I hope Nars has made some kind of update to their formula and that all future releases have this kind of blendability and color intensity.

 Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Swatches and Review

 Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Swatches and Review

The first color is an antique gold while the second is an intense, blued violet. Both colors have sparkly particles and a metallic look, as if you're applying them wet at all times. You're not going to have a wimpy, sheer wash of color with either of these shadows. What you see in the pan is what it will look like on your eye. I love the color combination, as well. You get a versatile, brassy golden shade and a unique, shimmery purple for when you're feeling more adventurous. It's like an antique frame around the purple cousin of a Yves Klein painting.

 Nars Spring 2014 Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Swatches and Review

I'm so happy this duo lived up to my expectations because they were pretty damn high. I wish I could put this duo in my eyeshadow drawer and have it end up influencing all my other Nars shadows to be as creamy and pigmented. Why can't you guys be more like Nars Kauai? I'm looking at you, Bellissima.

January 28, 2014

Trying so hard not to make a 2006 'Shoes' title for this post

I accidentally acquired 3 new pairs of shoes in less than a month. I just go through phases of purchasing like items. Like, for a year, I bought almost nothing but nail polish. Then it was nothing but make up. All last spring it was nothing but sundresses. I never mean to be so discriminatory with my purchases but it just kind of happens. I just binge buy like items until it becomes an embarrassment of riches and I tire myself out and move on to something else.

I think these shoes were bought in isolation, though. They were all purchases of gifts mothered by necessity. I'm not a shoe person. I kind of just have one of each type. One pair of flip flops to wear down to the laundry room. One pair of Uggs for the winter. One pair of riding boots for the fall. One pair of sandals for the summer. One sneaker type of shoe, a black and pink pair of Converse. I have about 6 pairs of ballet flats and that's as excessive as I get. That plus some heels I can barely wear make up my whole shoe collection. That's stunningly minimalistic to me. I know some people are reading this and thinking that it's nothing and they only own one singular pair of shoes or just walk around barefoot everywhere. I don't care. This is mind-blowingly inexcessive for me.

My boyfriend's cousin is very aware of my "there's never too much" philosophy on life and got me this little dish for Christmas and told me to think of it with glitter in mind. I keep my night creams on it to remind myself that you can never moisturize too much. I dropped the bag containing the dish on the floor with a bit of force when my boyfriend and I were unpacking after Christmas. He told me to be careful because "your 'buy everything in bulk' dish is in there!" so that's the male perspective on that philosophy. I also had my boyfriend's cousin son open the gift for me so he could rip open the wrapping paper and he shrugged when he saw the actual gift and told me solemnly, "It's a plate." That's the preschooler's perspective.

The aforementioned kiddo's sister was being baptized and I went out to get a pair of shoes for the occasion. I knew I was wearing a navy sheath dress which is my Cher-esque most capable looking outfit. So, for shoes, I wanted something that would match, something that were church worthy and something I could actually walk in. I have Issues with a capital I with heels. I have chunky legs and cankles so heels are a must for me when I wear a dress. My cankles are a fucking joke. My body has a small frame and I have a weirdly small peanut head but the blueprints got lost around my ankles. They're the exact same thickness as my calves. It's just a structural problem. I could weight 80 lbs and still have cankles, I'm sure. So, heels are an actual necessity for me to wear. I look like ugly Britney on a gas station snack run if I don't. Heels are the only thing that me any kind of definition to my legs.

Unfortunately, there are 12 year olds who walk better in heels than I do. It's a horrible joke. The stories I could tell about it. My boyfriend was making fun of me once when we were on our way home from a Valentine's Day dinner in Boston. We were walking through the T and he was laughing at me and some guy yelled out, "Hey, buddy, you leave her alone! She's doing her best! You're doing great!" A different time in a different pair of heels, I went to a party and ended up falling on the ground nothing short of 5 times. I think my friends were worried I was going to break my ankle. I woke up with bloody knees and bruises all over my body. I say, out loud, "This is the LAST TIME I wear heels. I don't care how bad my legs will look. I hate these fucking shoes, I'm throwing them out!" literally every single time I wear heels. They hurt my feet and I can't walk in them.

I feel like I'm a person who should wear heels, though. I would love to be the kind of girl who wears 4 inch heels everywhere. It's one of the only aspects of my abilities and self that I'm not self aware of. I can deal with confronting so many of my faults. I'm overweight, I'm self involved, I'm borderline brain dead when it comes to math, I talk in a Kourtney Kardashian monotone voice - whatever, fine. But, I can't wear heels? Sorry, that is unacceptable. That can't be me. I can wear heels. I will try over and over and over and get the same results and still end up convincing myself that I'm a heel person five more times that year. Heels were definitely on my mind when I went shopping for baptism shoes.

I died when I saw these Marc By Marc Jacobs color blocked satin heels at TJ Maxx.

I was imagining finding some kind of sturdy, bland, business casual shoes. Definitely not gorgeous, color blocked shoes. They have a rich, navy peep toe with a beige inner portion and the prettiest azure color for the heels.

These shoes are my new favorite shoes and were a manifest destiny kind of find. They had three pairs of designer shoes in the whole store, one pair of this particular shoe and the pair was in my size. My size in heels in normally a half size smaller so I was worried as I tried them on but they fit perfectly. All of that on top of something that would match my navy dress. Plus, I had received a TJ Maxx gift card two weeks before I purchased them for Christmas. It was a done deal. I paid $25 for these. The cashier commented on what a good deal it was. Marc By Marc Jacobs for $25. I love Marc Jacobs. He was probably the first designer I was ever into and I've never owned anything outside his tongue in cheek discount line. I used to wear his flip flops all the time and almost laughed in my boyfriend's face when he bought a pair of $80 flip flops from Aldo. He retaliated by telling me I wear Marc Jacobs sandals and it should be a big deal. He almost passed out when I told him they were $13 from the Marc Jacobs store in Vegas. I paid $12 more for actual, serious Marc by Marc Jacobs heels.

The most wonderful part of these shoes is that I can walk in them. I don't know what it is. I don't know if the fact that they're designer heels makes an actual difference or a psychological difference. Maybe they're better architecturally or maybe I just imagine that they are. Maybe it's the specific height and thickness of the heel. I have no clue. It was an unbelievable feat for me to wear heels for 20 minutes but I wore these heels for hours. My boyfriend and I drove home the same day as the baptism and I had two shoes with me - a pair of boots and these heels. We stopped at two different rest stops and I wore the heels in each time. This is just extreme to me. I was like, "Eh, it will be easier to wear the heels than put on the boots and take them off afterward." I felt like I was model strutting into New Jersey rest stop bathrooms in these heels. They were legitimately that comfortable and that easy to walk in. It was like some kind of tutorial just downloaded into my brain as soon as my feet entered these heels and boom, I walked in these heels as if they were a pair of sneakers or flats. It was no thing. It was as if it had never been a thing. They're magic, Italian made, color blocked heels. I'm so happy to have a pair of go to heels that are gorgeous and functional.

Speaking of functional shoes, I've needed new sneakers for my entire life. I've really never owned a good pair of workout shoes which I know is unbelievable because I have such a fit, enviable body. I have no idea what kind of shoes these are or what their pros or cons are. I can't even think of fitness buzzwords to add in here for sarcastic effect because I'm probably in the top 5% of unhealthiest people on the planet. I bought these shoes because I really need some kind of motivation to get my ass to the gym and pink shoes are the solution (hopefully). I bought them at Nordstrom Rack with a gift card I got for Christmas and I was kind of bummed out about that. I had a bunch of Nordstrom gift cards and I wanted to hoard them away until I stumbled on something amazing that I just HAD to own. I go to Nordstrom Rack at least once a week and I was envisioning this moment coming maybe weeks or months from now. I didn't want to spend this gift card so quickly after getting it and on such a practical purchase. I wanted to use it on a frivolous purchase that I wouldn't normally part with real dollars over, you know? I'm pretty disgusted over how responsible this decision was. I need proper workout clothes to become healthy and to lose weight. I need to lose weight so I can buy and wear the cute, frivolous clothes I would have bought with that gift card.

I'm a parody of myself, I know, but I almost turned these down because I didn't feel they were pink enough. The blue swish and laces were the part of these shoes that were "too much" for me. I'm in love with them now that I have them home. They're just so bright and pretty and fun to look at.

Again, I have zero idea about what these shoes will do for my workout or my body. All I've noticed is that they're much lighter than my old sneakers. My old ones feel like they're made of bricks, by comparison. Ugly bricks with a bad color palette.

Look at these things. They're probably the grossest thing I own. I'm not even referring to that fact that they're old, which they are. I'm referring to the weird, swirly, berry purple and slime green color combination. They look like something you'd buy from Zany Brainy in the 1990's. I bought them because they were the cheapest sneakers in Famous Footwear back in 2011 and I needed sneakers to wear to work in a hurry. These have been my only semblance of supportive footwear for the past 3 years. Is it any wonder that I weigh what I do? Who would want to put these abominations on for a second, let alone for an hour in a public gym?

Now, I have cute shoes to work out in and I hate that I spent my precious gift card on them. Hopefully cuteness + self hatred is the magic formula I need to plant my ass in the gym. I suspect that cancelling my cable next month will be the biggest factor. My arms just might be tied if the only way to watch bad reality TV and Lifetime movies is to watch them while on the treadmill.

Finally, the one thing I truly wanted, nay, NEEDED, for Christmas was new rain boots. My old ones were $14 from Target and a size too big. I never wore them because I tripped over my own feet every tenth step. Like, they were enough of a problem that I'd rather wear other shoes that could potentially be ruined rather than my one pair of waterproof shoes. They were also bright yellow and covered in a red strawberry print. Not the most versatile shoe. I walk at least a mile every week day which is fine so long as it isn't monsooning out and the sidewalks haven't become tiny rivers. I had water soak through my leather riding boots on two occasions and it was just becoming a joke. I'd wake up on rainy days and be like, "Well, today's plans include ruining a pair of shoes."

Luckily, I asked for and received Hunter rain boots for Christmas. Black, tall and glossy. I wanted something that I could be sure would last and obviously Hunter is that brand from rain boots. Like, they shipped from the United Kingdom. The UK knows rain. I had a moment of doubt after I asked for them because I saw that they came in a bubblegum pink color.

They're adorable and look edible, almost. That glossy pink just reminds me of candy. My boyfriend watched me open the Hunter box on Christmas Eve and I think he thought they were going to be the pink ones up until the last second. My maturity persevered, though, and I went with the black. I wear almost nothing but black yoga pants, Minnie pants and leggings as bottoms so black was the obvious choice.

These boots are amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. It's almost liberating to just walk directly through giant puddles and swampy areas of grass while wearing them. I'm really disgusted by dirty water, especially living in a city. Who knows what's in it? I'm not going to think about it. I just know I like having waterproof protection all the way up to my knees. I have sequoia tree trunk calves and these boots fit, no problem, even with chunky socks underneath. They're just so comfortable, durable and practical. Hopefully, I'll end up owning these things for the next ten years of my life.

I just knocked it out of the park with practical shoes in a month. Heels I can walk in, adorable running shoes and quality rain boots. I feel like my shoe collection is complete, so long as my new found ability to walk in (one pair of) heels doesn't get to my head.

January 23, 2014

TheTsarina Essentials - Some Of My Holy Grail Beauty Products

Like monthly favorite except lifetime favorites. I've already made a comprehensive post about my nail care holy grail products but I'm highly committed to more than just nail products. I'm a very brand loyal person. Almost all of my interests are just set in stone and very rarely change. I could eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months. I'll literally play a new song I like over and over and over on repeat for weeks at a time. I'm probably going to be elderly and still shopping at Forever21 just like I was when I was 13 and 18 and 23.

This definitely extends to beauty products - I find something that works and stick to it. Sometimes it's just because I know what I like but other times it's just because a product is too good to stray from. I consider myself married to products like these. I don't run out to try new versions of them unless the new product is incredibly acclaimed and even then I proceed with caution. I use these products and these products alone. I just robotically buy a new one without any kind of thought, over and over until I'm dead, whenever I run out of the following:

 L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray Holy Grail Products

L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray

My all time, most important piece of beauty advice is to trust women from three states and three states alone on matters pertaining to your hair and nails. Those states are New York, New Jersey and Texas. In my experience, women from those places are committed to big, voluminous hair and know exactly what hairspray to use to make that happen. That hairspray is L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray. Elnett has been a staple for decades. My favorite part in the heavily Oscar nominated, 70's style period piece American Hustle was the opening sequence where Christian Bale prepares his comb-over with L'Oreal Elnett. This was perfect for me because I like to believe that Jersey and New York had a China level smog coating them in the 70's due to Elnett hairspray.

via NYMag.com
Half a century's worth of popularity in one of the most hairsprayed areas of America definitely counts for something. This spray isn't kidding around when they advertise an extra strong hold. Unfortunately, even the unscented version smells like something an exterminator would use on a bug infestation. It may be the real reason the tristate area can smell so toxic.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler Holy Grail Products

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
I'm very wary about eyelash curlers. I've tried several and always end up with same results - my lashes breaking off in chunks, right in the middle of the hair shafts. I originally thought someone was cutting my lashes off while I slept to be vengeful. I guess I live the kind of life where that could be a possibility because I was shocked and appalled when I realized it was the work of my drugstore brand eyelash curler. You mean to tell me cheap curlers with break my lashes in half? Sorry, here I was thinking I was at the center of some kind of elaborate mind gamey revenge plot involving my eye hairs.

Shu Uemura is the only eyelash curler I've touched since those traumatic experiences. It dramatically increases my lashes' volume and opens up my eyes. My boyfriend asked why I was wearing fake eyelashes after my first use and, I mean, that's the dream. I always want to look too overdone with minimal effort. Best of all, I've been using this eyelash curler for a solid month now and my eyelashes are still intact. Not a single severed lash to be found even though this curler reaches even my most tiny, fragile inner lashes. I'm not shocked that this thing is pretty gold standard in the makeup industry. It lives up to the hype and then some.

MAC Phloof! Eyeshadow Holy Grail Product Swatch
MAC Phloof! Eyeshadow Holy Grail Product Swatch

MAC Phloof! Eyeshadow
This pearl color is my favorite highlight because of how reflective it is. It's like brushing ground up fairy wings onto your brow bone. It just knocks all my other go to highlight shades out of the park. Some days, I wish it was the early 2000's so it would be acceptable to just haphazardly brush this all over my entire eyelid.

MAC 217 Blending Brush
I don't know how I was attempting to put on make up before this brush came into my life. Even now, I feel awkward using any other kind of brush for blending my eyeshadow. There's just nothing that makes it as easy as the MAC 217. It's the perfect combination of stiff and fluffy and every other brush makes me feel like I'm a five year old who snuck into her mommy's make up bag instead of a capable adult who knows what she's doing. I've had another one or two on my wishlist for almost a year now so I can always have a clean one on hand for the most stubborn of blending situation. Do you think you're hopeless and could never learn how to apply eyeshadow? Pick up a MAC 217 and laugh at your former insecurity.

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow 
 This is my original Naked palette and it's safe to say I use the shade Naked a smidgen more than the other shadows. I use it almost every single time I do my makeup. It's so easy to blend out neutral shades with Naked and works well as an all over the lid color when I'm keeping it low key. Those times are when I'm waking up at 7AM and I've allotted 3 minutes total to do my makeup. I'm kind of nervous about what I'm going to do when I finally run out of Naked since the rest of my palette is still pretty full.

January 21, 2014

Home Improvement, Part I

I made some little changes to the apartment this month which has made a huge aesthetic difference. It's kind of hard to update this apartment because it feels like a waste to tailor a place we're hoping to move from. My boyfriend and I live in kind of no man's land DC. There are literal brick and mortar homes surrounding us. It's unbelievable that it's actually considered a city. It makes the cost of our rent just feel offensive, especially because we live in a one room studio. We are two people in an apartment meant for one person. Ideally, we want to move to a one bedroom where there would be room for much more than we have right now but there's just no way we can plan for that right now. I'll see something I'd love to have in the apartment but I can't get it because we don't have the space. There is nowhere to store anything. We eat all of our meals at our coffee table which is also my vanity. Our coffee table will just have my hair straightener, my eyeshadow palettes, our remotes, salt and pepper shakers, a candle and bottle of ketchup on it all at once because there's no separation of space. We just don't have the room. We've pretty much reached the point where we can't buy more things. Not just furniture but anything. We're out of space for books, for kitchen appliances, for extra sheets, for shoes. That alone is a reason that redecorating can be next to impossible - we're at the point where everything has to be edited. Something has to go out before something goes in or else it's going to be an episode of Hoarders up in this bitch. Even that can be difficult. For example, there is a rug I want on Rugs USA right now:

 Rugs USA Overdyed Turquoise Rug

Currently, this rug is 70% with free shipping. These people will deliver a 5x8 rug to my apartment right now for 30% of its original price, right now. $134 for a hand dyed rug. That's not normal. I would be totally willing to straight up throw out one of our rugs to bring this rug into our apartment. I hate our rugs. Our rugs are in our apartment because they're better than just plain, bare parquet. But, if I buy this rug right now, this rug will be ruined. We're going to have to throw out our 'living room' rug as is when we move out because food is inevitably dropped on it. I spilled a full cup of coffee on it last week because the rug was under the breakfast table which was also serving as my vanity at the same time. I am just physically unable to get this new rug that I desperately want because we're living in this tiny apartment with the intent to leave it. We can't buy for this apartment because we don't plan on staying here but we can't buy for a new apartment because we don't have the room in our current place. Basically anything we buy for decor has to suit this one in one out policy from now on.

The best easy change to make was a duvet cover and some shams. Specifically, the West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams.

West Elm Organic Cotton Pintucked Duvet Sea Spray IKEA Klimt Canvas

I love this duvet. It makes the bed so snuggly. I just want to crawl underneath this duvet at all times and cocoon myself in it and sleep for days. I think my boyfriend and I both slept in incredibly late when we first used it because it was like sleeping on a cloud compared to our old bedding. Our old bedding was just this thick comforter that was black and the worst. It used to belong to my boyfriend and he loved it but I just couldn't with it anymore.

My boyfriend is obsessed with the color black. He got a new phone a couple of months ago, one of those customizable Motorola ones where you can pick the colors for the buttons and trim and everything, and his mom and I went to the Verizon store to pick it out for him. She was overwhelmed when she learned about all these color combinations and looked at me with these worried eyes and was like, "Vanessa, what colors is he going to want???" and I was like, "Black." "Okay, well I'm going to text him just to be sure..." "Liz, don't even bother texting him, he's going to say 'all black everything'" That was the conversation pretty much verbatim and my boyfriend texted exactly what I had predicted back, to the letter. If he gets anything, it has to be in black. Everything that he has contributed to our apartment decor is black. Black couch. Black coffee table. Black TV stand. Black IKEA Lack side table. Black Expedit shelving unit. Black dresser. Black desk with an enormous black computer and two giant, shiny black monitors. I have one of his old lamps sitting on my nightstand and it has a black shade. He would probably paint the walls black if he could. The black bedspread was just the limit for me. It just worked out so that all the furniture on the living room side of our studio is his or something he picked out. The bedroom side is exclusively made up of furniture I brought - bed, dresser, my makeup storage units and a nightstand - and it's literally all white. Black living room, white bedroom. It kind of helps to give the illusion of two separate spaces, honestly, which was making the black comforter worse. It was the focal point of the bedroom side and it was just dead, black space and bled into our living room, visually.

I had the West Elm duvet cover picked out since early summer. I liked how it was solid but still interesting with the pintucks adding both a sort of design and texture. I originally saw it in this color and fell crazy in love:

 West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet + Shams in Sea Spray Steel Blue

That kind of steel blue is just one of my colors. My bedroom growing up was painted that color and I had it picked out for literal years before it was painted. It goes with everything. I hung so much stuff up on my bedroom walls and there was nothing that clashed with that paint color. I feel like that color is the one "masculine" thing I actually like, too, which makes it even better for decorating with. Then, I swear within like... a week of me seeing this duvet cover it sold out. Only in that color. It was stocked in twin sizes for a brief period of time and then poof. Gone. They keep the photo up but it's not available to buy anymore. It's a total fucking tease. I held out hope for a restock until Christmas time when I gave up and settled for the color Sea Spray instead.

 West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet + Shams in Sea Spray

Now that I have it, I prefer it. I'm sure I'm going to want to paint our bedroom walls in a future rental that steel blue color so it would be a bit too overwhelming to have a duvet that matched exactly. The lighter, soft blue also brightens up our apartment sooooo much. It works with all the white furniture and makes the 'bedroom' look like an airy, soft, separate space. I also couldn't even believe how opaque the duvet itself was. I was gearing up to buy a whole new white blanket to put inside it but I was just so excited once I got it home that I quickly threw it over our thick black comforter. None of the black shows through. You can't even tell. That's a feat for such a light colored cotton duvet that's being put over this thick, plush, black blanket. The color is kind of a downside though. My boyfriend has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I've ever known and eats things like little bowls of chocolate chips in bed. I have to keep a Tide pen in my nightstand now because he inevitably spills some and somehow grinds it into the duvet and I turn into a crazy woman. "You're getting CHOCOLATE on our brand new nice DUVET? DO YOU KNOW CHOCOLATE STAINS? IT DOES." In retrospect we were better off with a black bedspread but I just couldn't take it anymore. I'd rather be perpetually panicked over staining this beautiful cloud duvet than deal with this:

That was our bed when we first moved in and a joke. A big, mismatched joke. My life feels more put together with matching bedding. You know how just making your bed makes your whole room look and feel cleaner? It's that times 100 when you have pretty matching bedding on top of it. This is literally the same bed but with a duvet cover over that black bedspread and shams over two of the pillows and the clutter cleaned up. Dunzo.

 West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet + Shams in Sea Spray

 It looks so much better, aside from that one small untucked portion at the bottom. I'm a slob, I guess.

I also finally finished the hanger project in the closet. I can barely stand how much better it looks.

 Closet makeover after black felt hangers

Look at that. Look how neat it looks. Just by hanging every single item on a matching hanger. I was able to hang even more of my boyfriends clothes than I could previously fit. He had a dresser drawer just crammed with clothes that wouldn't fit on the rack (also, by the way, he has 32 plaid button up shirts. Black and plaid. That's his color palette.). Enter sleek, black, felt hangers and it all fits. There's even a gap in the middle. It's out of control organized. This all happened on Saturday when I had browsed both a Nordstrom Rack and a Marshalls for these hangers. Nowhere to be found. I've been searching multiple Nordstrom Racks and TJ Maxx kinds of stores of a solid month looking for these hangers. They've all disappeared from stores, obviously, because I need them. So, after the hanger hunt I go to Costco and LO AND BEHOLD:

Costco black felt hangers
COSTCO was selling boxes of these hangers. BOXES. 35 per box. Guess the price. Just guess. I'll tell you - $8 each. WHAT. HOW. I've thought I've been getting a bargain when I pick them up $6/$7 for 10. I got 70 of these hangers for $16. The felt feels slightly rougher than the hangers I previously bought but who gives a shit, honestly. What difference does that make for that price? I couldn't believe it. My boyfriend and I were literally walking into Costco from the Marshalls we had gone into specifically to look for hangers and the literal first thing we see in Costco is boxes upon boxes of these hangers.

I feel like such a mom shopping in Costco but Costco is amazing. Like, it's just such a suburban married couple thing to do, to go to Costco on a Saturday together and say things like, "Babe, what's on the list? Do we have enough toilet paper?" or "Babe, can you BELIEVE the price of this Bisquick?" But Costco is just ridiculous. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of by not shopping at Costco for something, truly. I'd rather tetris an orange juice carton the size of a cannon into my fridge than get less for my money with a non bulk sized carton. The savings are bananas and then they have miracle finds like these hangers on top of it all. 70 black felt hangers for $16. You'd get literally 10 hangers for that price from somewhere like the container store. Costco is just out of their minds.

 Ikea Klimt Water Serpents II Canvas

Also, as a kind of footnote, how great is that Klimt canvas over the bed? It was about $40 from Ikea.  It's a section of Water Serpents II which I actually like better as a cropped stand alone piece. 

Art Nouveau is just so great to decorate your home with because its inherent purpose is to be decorative. That sentence sounds fucking stupid but there's not a ton of art that's simply art for art's sake. Klimt barely fits that mold himself because he was a symbolist, too, but his work is just some of the prettiest there is. That's my professional art history opinion. Klimt is very pretty to decorate with. Quote me on it.

January 19, 2014

My Butter London Collection and Swatches (and Butter London Sale Information)

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked

Butter London is a favorite nail polish brand of mine. Its biggest downside is definitely the price - a bottle retails for $15 a pop. Fortunately, you can almost always find them for much, much cheaper. Nordstrom Rack always has some shades in stock for less than $8 apiece and Butter London themselves run some really great sales. I always stock up on my most wanted shades during their Friends and Family 30% off sale. I've amassed almost my entire collection through these means. You're essentially a fool if you pay full price for Butter London. If you want to be a smarty pants like me, now's your chance. You have an opportunity to grab their polishes half off for their last call sale - go here to order these majorly gorgeous polishes for cheap before they disappear for good.

If you need some inspiration, here's my collection. I'm crazy in love with almost every single shade. I especially recommend any glitter polishes they offer. The glitter is fine and very sparkly and the finished texture is smooth. Check them out below.

Here they are in the drawer of my Helmer. I love the way these store. They're slim and sturdy and their square shape makes it easy to section them off from other polish brands.

Here's a view from the side. Their square black tops lift off to reveal a smaller, rounded handle that's easier to work with.
 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Swinger, The Black Knight, Slapper, Shambolic, Victoriana

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Wallis, Disco Biscuit, Scallywag, Gobsmacked, No More Waity Katie 

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
Fiddlesticks, Dosh, Jack the Lad, Two Fingered Salute, Scuppered

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 Victoriana, Swinger, Fiddlesticks, Scuppered

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
From the purple swatch: Shambolic, Scallywag, Disco Biscuit, Slapper, Blagger

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
 From the gold swatch: Wallis, No More Waity Katie, The Black Knight, Gobsmacked, Two Fingered Salute

 Butter London Collection Swatches Dosh Jack the Lad Slapper Wallis The Black Knight Victoriana Scuppered Swinger Fiddlesticks Scallywag No More Waity Katie Two Fingered Salute Blagger Gobsmacked
Two Fingered Salute, Dosh, Jack the Lad

Blagger is probably the stand alone polish that I wouldn't recommend. It's nothing special and I'm kind of annoyed I spent any kind of money on it. You could easily get something just as good from a drugstore.

Of the sale polishes lot, I highly recommend Fiddlesticks, No More Waity Katie, Scallywag and Gobsmacked. Fiddlesticks is really unexpectedly rich and vibrant on the nail - it looked kind of similar to an old Hard Candy polish when I first saw it in the bottle it but I was really bowled over by how unique and gorgeous it is on. Scallywag and Gobsmacked are both densely packed, sparkly glitters that allow you to easily achieve an opaque look. They're both really eye catching. Lastly, I love No More Waity Katie as a kind of demure looking glitter. I really just love the name alone - I paid full price for mine around the time of Will and Kate's wedding just for the novelty of it all.

I also highly recommend Slapper. It's one of my favorite polishes of all time. It's an almost florescent turquoise. I have to stop myself from wearing it exclusively in the summer. I'm kind of pleased it's not included in the sale because I'm sure I'll have to buy a second bottle at some point and I don't want it disappearing from my life. Wallis is gorgeous as well - it's a really antiqued looking greenish gold - and I don't have anything else even remotely close to it in my collection.

Take a look at the sale and add to your collection. All of my lemmings have sold out, luckily for my bank account. I'm really like a person on a cleanse or a diet who bakes a cake for other people to eat it with this post. Snatch up your half off Butter Londons by 11:59 PST on Janurary 23!