The Dark Side and the Light Side

Main Enchanted Mystery Photo

Yesterday I was banging on about a bath bomb that looked like the Death Star and today I’m equating my nail polish shades with the moral relativism of a Jedi – looks like somebody’s got Star Wars on the brain.  Which is sort of interesting, as I’ve actually never done a Star Wars manicure.  Can’t be that big a fan, I suppose (I’m not; I pretty much like The Force Awakens and that’s it!)

But I always like nail polish, and I really like these two Enchanted Polish lacquers, picks both from Enchanted’s collection of 2017 mystery polishes.  Longtime readers may remember that I purchased all of 2015’s mystery polishes, although they may also recall that I wasn’t terrifically impressed with any of the choices.  As such, I sat out 2016.  But when Enchanted announced that 2017’s run of mystery polishes was going to harken back to their earliest best sellers, polishes that I initially missed out on because nail art wasn’t yet a thing in my life, I thought I’d jump back into the fray and hope for the best.

The first two polishes of the year, January and February, already give me great hope that this collection will be filled with unique offerings.  I have my fingers crossed about five times over for a polish inspired by Shrimp Cocktail, a shimmery, coral-hued jelly that is MY holy grail of nail polishes, but I’ll be satisfied if they’re all as lovely as January and February.  Let’s take a closer look at both. 🙂

January 2017 Collage

Representing the Dark Side (or just, you know, the dark side) is January 2017, a black scattered holo brimming with indigo, purple and lime green shimmer.  January 2017 is one of those polishes that regrettably photographs quite poorly.  Glittery black polishes tend to do that, their riot of rainbow colours getting somewhat lost in the gloom.  January ’17 is no exception, particularly in the shade.  But out in the sun or beneath any other direct light source, this polish is an absolute stunner, tossing off mad rainbows with every flick of your fingertips.  Gorgeous in two easy coats.

January 2017 Bottle Shot

February 2017 Collage

Then looking on the lighter side of life, we have the very ethereal-looking February 2017. This polish is a bit of an odd duck – I initially thought it was a very sheer topper.  But February 2017 is actually a full coverage polish, beautifully opaque in two coats, and reminiscent of standing in a cloudy haze.  By which I mean an actual cloudy haze, not a drug-induced one – like when I quite triumphantly stood on a mountaintop in Stowe, Vermont as a teenager, the clouds gently curling my hair into damp tendrils, and looked down on the majesty of creation and thought…”WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING UP HERE?! IT’S A FRIGGIN’ THREE HOUR HIKE BACK DOWN THIS OVERGROWN HILL!”  Never been much for nature, this one.

But this polish is so lovely, this time a silver linear holo infused with a rich streak of greeny-purple shimmer. It’s a sort of queasy-looking colour combination, and one I like very much, particularly in the shade.

February 2017 Collage Shade

These two polishes are unfortunately no longer available.  For the mystery polishes, Enchanted operates on a pre-order basis, and I purchased both of these (at a cost of $16 US a bottle) earlier in January.  But the rest of the year is still up on deck, and if these two beauties are any indication, we’re all in for some lovely treats.  You can get yours by signing up for Enchanted’s newsletter, which will fill you in on any upcoming pre-orders and releases.

Metamorphosis: A Mini Lush Review

Metamorphosis Collage

This bath bomb totally looks like the Death Star, right?  Actually, wait, before any big time Star Wars fans start nerding at me about the placement of the exhaust port amidst all of those little concave notches, I’ll amend my statement to say this bath bomb totally looks like Spaceship Earth, right?!  For those who don’t speak Disney-ese, that’s the name of the attraction that resides within the giant geodesic dome at the front gates of Epcot. The ride is basically a journey through the history of human communications – a very, very slow journey.  It also features some of the most disturbingly lifelike – and just plain disturbing – animatronics in any Disney park (and there really are so very many to choose from.)  But it’s essentially 20 minutes of darkened, seated, gently moving air conditioning, which means there will always be a place for it in Florida.

Anyhow, with its little speckled dimples, I think this Metamorphosis bath bomb from Lush looks like Spaceship Earth.  The ride is sometimes affectionately referred to as The Big Ball of Boring, which is also apt when describing this bath bomb – cool outward appearances aside, this one didn’t have much zing.  Again. This is kind of becoming a trend with my bath bombs, and a highly regrettable one at that – I don’t like it when the insides don’t match up with the super cool outsides.

Metamorphosis Pic

While I didn’t love the scent of Metamorphosis, fans of the Lord of Misrule line (a black pepper, vanilla and patchouli fragrance) will find its spicy scent quite pleasant.  And while I also didn’t love that this bath bomb puttered out in a little under a minute – again – I did appreciate the deeply unusual colour combination, an odd assortment of charcoal grey, mustard yellow, baby pink and, right at the very end, a tiny puff of grass green.

At the moment the Metamorphosis bath bomb is an online-only purchase.  It retails for $8.95 Canadian.

Flame On!

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I was watching Cars this morning when it suddenly occurred to me that one of Ramone’s custom paint jobs – he’s the ’51 Impala who owns the paint shop – would make an excellent manicure.  So that’s precisely what I did, opting for his stylized flames-over-purple glitter number – it’s pretty badass for an animated car.

Literary Inspiration: The Walking Dead

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After kicking off my friend Julie’s reading challenge with my favourite novel, The Virgin Suicides, an ultra light and breezy choice (sarcasm), I thought I’d lighten things up a bit by diving into the comic book world of The Walking Dead, where of course nothing bad ever happens and everyone lives in perfect happiness perfectly, forever and ever (further sarcasm.)

The second challenge prompt called for a book inspired by art and literature, be it art history, a book on technique or, say, a comic.  I went the comic route, seeing as The Walking Dead Compendium 1 is right on my bookshelf (as is 2, for that matter), and as a casual viewer of the show, I’ve always been a little curious as to the similarities and differences between it and the books.

Compendium 1, a MASSIVE, forearm-taxing beast written by Robert Kirkman, Charles Adlard and Tony Moore, clocks in at 1,000 pages and covers the first 48 issues of the comics.  Save a childhood obsession with the graphic novel Tales From the Crypt, comics as a storytelling format have never really been my thing – I prefer novels.  And indeed, I had a bit of a hard time getting into a decent reading rhythm with the comics, with the dialogue either entirely absent (Rick waking up from his cop coma) or spurting from characters like word vomit (pretty much anyone upon introducing themselves to THE GROUP; after that you won’t hear from them again until they die.) Which might just be the style of comics in general, although if the show is any indication, I think that one may be particular to The Walking Dead.  I also found there to be a weird condensing of seemingly-pivotal moments (Rick’s awakening, Shane’s death, THE GROUP’s introduction at Woodbury) in favour of endless scenes of morality talk (but again, that might just be The Walking Dead.)

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But after an initial period of hesitation, I started really, really getting into the story, digging hard on the parts where the book and the show would intersect and then deviate once again (Carol and Tyreese!  Super unhinged Hershel!  Sexy Dale and Andrea time!)  It was all going so well.

Where the comics lost me, though, and where I ultimately stopped reading, was with the introduction of Woodbury.  Fans of the show will remember that during the third season a new villain was introduced by the name of The Governor.  Completely insane by any definition of the word, The Governor of the TV show was an authoritarian psychopath with fish tanks full of walker heads in his livingroom, a zombiefied daughter in the closet and a super big hate-on for Rick Grimes.  So not a good guy.

But The Governor of the books is the WORST guy, a violent and sadistic rapist who cuts off Rick’s hand within about six frames of meeting him (there’s that pacing thing I was talking about) and gleefully, and repeatedly, assaults Michonne over PAGES.

As a matter of personal principle, I don’t watch or read anything that heads too far down the path of sexual assault (cruelty towards animals and torture porn as well.)  My tolerance for that is practically nil.  It’s insulting and uninspired writing used by lazy authors who can’t think of a motivating event for their female characters beyond rape (looking at you, Game of Thrones.)

So when the books – which to that point had been bleak, yes, and shocking, also yes, but still very much in keeping with the PG-13 tone of the show – took a hard, hard turn into ultra heavy sadism (there is one image I wish I could unsee that will haunt my dreams forever) I checked the hell out.  I feel like there may have been a switch in authors at this point, the change in tone – and not one for the better – is just that jarring and unpleasant.

So The Walking Dead Compendium 1 and I parted ways at about the halfway mark.  But as always, I had to do a bit of nail art to go along with my choice of book, this time a mani showing off my ultra tiny lettering skills, because every other option was just too depressing or inappropriate.  Which is just The Walking Dead for you (I should create a macro for that phrase.)

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Bubble Bubble

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…toil and trouble.  The toil being the not inconsiderable amount of time I put into this manicure, only to then run directly into the trouble – smashing my fingertips straight into the bathroom door after a post-mani wash-up.  Aargh!  As always, take your time, friends, to do all parts of a job well, and don’t forget to stick the landing!

(P.S. The glitter polish I used here?  Polish Me Silly’s Mr. Bubble.  It’s bath time fun for everyone!)

March Band of Bloggers

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Welcome to the March edition of Band of Bloggers!  Hopefully this month begins to bring more temperate weather and the first signs of spring!  In my neck of the woods, conditions have been alternating between crazy heavy rain/high winds and beautiful sunshine and blooming flowers.  I hope the weather will stabilize a bit this month.  Since the month of March usually holds the first signs of spring, that begs the question:

What scents are your favourite scents to melt and wear for spring?

Are you a fan of traditional spring scents such as florals, fresh/clean, earthy, herbal, etc.?

Do you consider yourself a seasonal melter (melting scents traditionally associated with a particular season)?

I wouldn’t consider myself a seasonal melter, if only because every time I try to really immerse myself in the hallmark scents of a season (pumpkin and apple in the fall, mint and trees in the winter) I go into complete olfactory overload and swear that if I ever smell another (apple, it’s usually apple) scent, I’m hurling all my warmers off the balcony.  Bit dramatic, that, but I think we’ve all been there.

 So no, not a seasonal melter, but as we move into the warmer spring months (how funny that we’re now talking about the spring – after two weeks of way-above-normal winter temperatures, the mercury plummeted overnight to -20) I do tend to gravitate towards some of the lighter, fresher and cleaner scents in my wax collection (said collection still being 99 percent fruity-bakery, so take that with a large grain of, um, sugar.)

Here I pulled two favourite new fragrances from my recent Sniff My Tarts order, a large frosted sugar cookie in Lavender Marshmallow Cake and Lemon Cake Pops, and a bag of no-fuss chunks (adorable little petit four-shaped confections) in Mango, Blackberry and Twinkies.  Customs both, they’re fruity, fresh and beautifully layered – perfect AND perfectly unassuming background scents, the kind of fragrances that make you think, “I don’t know what that is, but it smells flippin’ GREAT in here.”  Definitely my kind of spring scents. 🙂

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We hope you’ll join the fun and leave your own answer in the comments below!  And we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

If you are a blogger and would like to join us for our monthly posts, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of us.

Lipstick Love

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Feeling impulsive, I recently picked up a little treat for myself in the form of this gorgeous gold flake-sprinkled lipstick from Kalijumei, a Chinese beauty brand completely off my radar until Harlow & Co. began carrying them some weeks back.  That’s when I jumped on this beauty, Kalijumei’s Flower Jelly Lipstick in Flame Red, a way upmarket mood lipstick that changes colour based on your body temperature.

I’m actually making this all sound a LOT less glamorous than it actually is, which is quite – this luxurious lipstick, with its real gold flakes, gorgeous floral core and elevated price tag ($28.99 Canadian, eh) bears this one out as a very special purchase.  Even the scent of this light pink gloss feels lush and plush – the intoxicating, but ever elusive, fragrance of vintage, high end cosmetics.  I can’t deny that I feel undeniably glamorous when I swipe on Flame Red’s sheer pink wash, like a movie star from the golden age of Hollywood.

A tiny footnote regarding the Inspector Gadget-like tube, however: The lipstick is released from its mirrored case by depressing the inlaid button on the top of the tube (very ninja; I love the spy work aspect to its design.) But if you’re not careful, as I was, and you don’t roll the lipstick all the way down before putting it back in the tube, it WILL bump up against the top of the case the next time you depress the release.  Which affects the lipstick itself not one iota, I know, I know!  But a blogging and photography bummer all the same.

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Texture-wise, Red Flame applies and wears like an ultra light lipgloss, imparting a sheer wash of colour that morphed from a light pink to a medium berry depending on my temperature.  I didn’t find the colour change hugely noticeable, although there was some visible difference in tone.  In this photo, which I took outdoors, you can really see the rosy tinge to this lipstick, in addition to that gorgeous little floral core.

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Speaking of those little floral centrepieces, having used this lipstick for only the briefest of moments, I can’t speak to how well they’re going to hold up over the long run.  I suspect things are going to get somewhat dicey when I reach the halfway mark.  But until then, let’s just enjoy the gorgeous, luxe design of a unique beauty product done so very right. Such a lovely treat; I’m so glad I splurged.

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If you also feel like treating yourself, these Kalijumei lipsticks are still in stock over at Harlow & Co.  There are four shades on offer, including a tantalizing coral and a perfect purple and a…you know what?  I think they’d all be pretty fantastic.  Go get it, girl. 🙂