Calamity Carol

Calamity Carol Bottle

As in Carol of The Walking Dead.  Although…alluringly alliterative though it may be, is “calamity” really the correct descriptor for Carol Peletier’s very particular brand of post-apocalyptic madness?  Girlfriend’s ice cold, and I kind of love it.  Or I loved it right up until she suddenly – and abruptly, because this is The Walking Dead – began acting completely contrary to her long-established character, running off alone to ruminate on man’s inhumanity to man, when she should have been back in Alexandria terrorizing small, frightened children with her apocalypse cookies and impressively detailed death scenarios.  I totally hate-watch The Walking Dead, so I actually don’t have much of a stake in it one way or another, but I’d like to see Carol get her mojo back next season – every apocalypse needs its rage goddess.

Personal feelings on both the show and the comics aside, I love the idea of The Walking Dead, as evidenced by this TWD-themed polish from Dollish Polish, Look at the Flowers, Lizzie, a mucus-hued favourite.  Straight up, this polish looks like snot – ain’t nothing wrong with that!  Here I topped Look at the Flowers, Lizzie with two sweet flower studs and a couple of badass silver spike strips.  I definitely think Carol – any version, really – would approve.

Calamity Carol Fingers

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Look at the Polish, Lizzie

Lizzie Bottle

Who knows, maybe if Lizzie had been into nail art instead of murder, zombie playtime and just generally going insane, things might have worked out differently for her.  And am I really making a joke about one of the most devastating moments in The Walking Dead, one that ends with (SPOILER) the execution of a child?  Yes. Yes, I am.  Because I’m apparently just as cold and shut-down as Carol (blasphemy – Carol is an apocalyptic rage goddess, and I’d really like it if she and Daryl would just start making out already.)

The Walking Dead airs on Sunday evenings, and so I thought Monday morning would be a good time to pull out this fun lacquer, Dollish Polish’s Look at the Flowers, Lizzie.  Chase away the Monday morning, post-apocalyptic blues and all that good stuff.  I love this polish, because it works in spite of itself.  I mean, it’s little bits of flesh-hued glitter suspended in a snot green jelly base – attractive!  Except it is – very much so – with a nice, not-too-goopy formulation as well.  The perfect polish for the zombie slayer on the go!

Lizzie Fingers 2

Divergent/Detergent

One Choice Bottle

That’s how I refer to the Divergent series of movies, the third installment of which, Allegiant, opens next weekend.  I am not a fan (the young adult dystopian thing interests me not one bit) but my husband entertained a brief flirtation with the first flick.  It was fine. They’re all fine.  Bland and fine.  Someone will love them; that someone just won’t be me.

Last year, in a nod to my husband’s for-a-time obsession, I purchased this Divergent-inspired lacquer, Dollish Polish’s One Choice.  I thought with the latest movie hitting theatres, One might want to make the Choice to pick up this really lovely polish, which is still available online.  Also, the last time I swatched One Choice, I had just sustained a rather nasty nail break to my ring finger, in addition to an inch-long, carpet tack-induced gash to my index finger.  Needless to say, my longer nails and tidier hands now make for a better swatching base.

Released as part of Dollish’s Ultimate Fandom (Part Deux) Collection, One Choice is a sheer white polish sprinkled with blue, red, yellow and black glitter.  Each colour represents a different faction within the Divergent universe, if that matters to you. But what matters to me is that this polish is super cute!  Cute, and it applies (and dries) nicely. I’ve regrettably had some trouble with Dollish’s glitters in the past, but One Choice thankfully remains immune, applying smoothly in three glossy coats.  A very good Choice.

One Choice Fingers

Custard Waffle Cone, with Sprinkles

Custard Cone Fingers

The weather around my part of the world has taken a delightful turn for the spring-like, and with it has come some pretty hardcore longing for warmer times and climes.  I’m normally a cool weather kind of person, but I have found this winter just brutally long and unpleasant.  I suppose I say that every year – to gripe a-boot the weather is to be Canadian, eh?

So with visions of melting mounds of snow finally appearing right before my very eyes, I decided to honour the warmer weather with some ice cream cone nails.  I adore the polish I used here for the ice cream, Dollish Polish’s Get Your Sprinkle On!, a custardy yellow creme dotted with multi-coloured glitter.  It’s bafflingly difficult to find a soft yellow polish; most err on the side of vibrant Lego yellow or super pale, this-is-actually-off-white.  Get Your Sprinkle On! is a proper pastel yellow, a creamy-looking confection dotted with a smattering of colourful glitter.  Sweet!

Custard Cone Bottle

Fed Up: A Bit of a Rant

Candy Cane Forest BottleRegular readers of this blog know it’s not my style to call out a polish manufacturer for a product that doesn’t ring my chimes. Personal preferences being as varied as they are, there’s no way to appeal to every lacquerista. But when a polish (or seemingly an entire line of polishes) fails to pass muster on its most crucial elements – formulation, ease of application, overall value – I do feel the need to speak up, if only to keep my readers from exchanging their money for a sub-par product. And regrettably, this polish, The Seven Levels of the Candy Cane Forest by Dollish Polish, is just such a sub-par product.

You actually may be asking yourself why I’m tinkering around with a Christmas polish in June. That’s because, less than enamored with Dollish’s offerings to date, I thought I’d try the lone remaining untried polish I purchased in a fit of post-holiday spending, the Elf-inspired The Seven Levels of the Candy Cane Forest, just to see how it compared to its order mates. Given how poorly the others have performed to date, I wasn’t confident in its abilities to see out the year.

Still, as much as I like being right, I wasn’t pleased to find Candy Cane Forest behaving exactly as I expected. There is alternately too much glitter in this festive mix of circles, bows, hexes, candy canes, stars and large trees and too little – perhaps owing to the heaviness of the larger pieces, the glitter just slides off the brush and back into the bottle. So pack your hip waders for this one, because if you want to use this polish, you’re going on a fishing expedition. Formula-wise, Candy Cane Forest is no great shakes, succumbing to that thing all but one of my Dollish polishes does where it pulls off the end of my nails in fine, dry threads. I was also dismayed to note that the glitter, a mix of matte and holographic pieces in red, white, green, silver and gold, is beginning to colour bleed, staining the clear base a sickly, watery green.

Are these minor points? Sure. And maybe it’s not fair to lay all of my grief with Dollish at the doorstep of this one polish, but seeing as all but one – 10 in total – have been problematic at best and completely unusable at worst (I outright binned two minis that were behaving more like glue than nail polish), it’s a better-than-usual indicator of their products in general. Frankly, these polishes are far too expensive – $5 US for a mini, $10 for a full sized bottle – and difficult to obtain – online only, with all the attendant shipping fees – for this nonsense, and I’m not playing any more. Cutesie pie names inspired by some of my very favourite movies and television shows, Dollish’s milieu, are all fine and well, but only if the quality lives up to the inspiration, and these polishes have fallen disappointingly short. Buyer beware, friends. End of rant.Candy Cane Forest Hand

That’s a $5 Shake!

Milkshake Better BottleThe good, the bad and the ugly on this lacquer, Dollish Polish’s Pretty F*cking Good Milkshake, breaks down as follows:

The Good: The name is everything! This is another pick from Dollish’s Pulp Fiction Collection, this time a slightly shimmery pale pink studded with red, yellow, green and white matte glitter. Its name is inspired by a favourite scene in which John Travolta’s Vincent Vega takes Uma Thurman’s gangster wife Mia Wallace out to dinner, expressing utter incredulity when she orders a $5 milkshake.

The Bad: Names aren’t everything! And since you can’t paint a name on your nails, it renders the point of a pop culture-centric nail polish totally moot, especially when it is of as poor a formulation as Pretty F*cking Good Milkshake. Keen readers will note that this is the third such Dollish Polish I’ve run across in as many weeks to trade quality for cutesie, something I was once willing to write off as an anomaly but now see has become an actual aggravating trend. Like You’ve Got Red On You and I Myself Am Strange and Unusual and I Threw My Pie For You (an Orange is the New Black-inspired polish I have no pictures of, as it was very much like trying to paint my nails with actual pie filling), Milkshake is just this side of unusable. It’s thick, but dry, and wants to pull off the ends of my nails in fine little threads. The pale pink base and large matte glitter also do their part to make this polish a no-go, with the sheer base requiring multiple, multiple coats for full opacity (I used six coats here and a coat of Seche Vite) and the heavier glitter doing its best to pull it right back off your nails again. And not for nothing, but Mia Wallace orders a Martin & Lewis-style shake, which is straight-up vanilla, meaning creamy white (cute though this Strawberry Shortcake-hued colour combo might be.)

The Ugly: Dollish Polish’s products have been irritatingly inconsistent, waffling between the best polish I’ve ever owned (the pale yellow Get Your Sprinkle On!) and the very worst (the aforementioned I Threw My Pie For You; the first polish I’ve ever just outright binned, actually.) I’m willing to run with the theory that like most polishes, Dollish’s lacquers operate best in a full size bottle as opposed to the minis I typically purchase, but that doesn’t excuse other minor aggravations like colour-settling and streaking.

You might be looking at these pictures and thinking, “That looks pretty all right; what the heck is she talking about?” But please keep in mind that while I am not a nail professional (I just play one on the Internet!) I have a lot of experience painting my nails with what I term “difficult” glitters, and if I’m having trouble wrangling a mani in anything less than six coats, what about the nail newbie? Like my Pulp Fiction-loving, nearly new mom best friend, who (spoiler!) I recently sent a bottle of Milkshake to, who in very short order will not have all the time in the world to sit around while she waits for infinity coats of nail polish to dry. Nothing should be this much work, as pretty as the end result might be.Milkshake Hand

Ooh, Naughty!

EMF Do You CollageI’ve spent the past couple of days painting a livingroom’s worth of Ikea bookcases so they look like anything other than Ikea bookcases. Taking them from black MDF to whitewashed wood has been fussy, messy, painstaking work, and although I’ve yet to break a nail (cue that misfortune in five, four, three…) my nails look a FRIGHT. Even if I had managed to find a bit of time to work on some nail art, I’d still have to scrape about a half inch of white latex off my mitts first, and at this point, that’s simply a bridge too far! I can barely even motivate in the direction of the kitchen so I can make myself some dinner. I’ve been imploring the cats to fetch me chow and libations, but so far they ain’t biting (although they might if I keep nagging them!)

So it’s a wonderful thing indeed that I have a couple of these swatchy-type posts in reserve for just such a rainy painty day. Like yesterday’s post, this is another Dollish Polish lacquer, this time the hilariously named English Motherf*cker, Do You Speak It? from their somewhat recently released Pulp Fiction Collection. It bears quite the dirty name for such a ladylike-looking polish, which is of course precisely why I bought it! Unlike yesterday’s post, however, this polish is the total package – gorgeous sandy rose colour, fabulous, creamy consistency and a totally badass name. A solid winner, no question, and thankfully the polar opposite of yesterday’s Dollish disappointment. Lovely, lovely.