Saturday, June 25, 2011

A letter to my lovelies…

Hi gals -
First off… I’m pretty sure I’m the worst blogger on the face of the earth.  I’m constantly gone for LONG periods of time and come back and say “I won’t do that again!”, just to follow it up with another long absence.  How the heck do you guys find time to blog?!  I know most of the other bloggers out there have jobs and families and lives – how do you do it?  Do you do everything on your days off and then schedule for the rest of the week?  Please, let me in on your secret, because I am really struggling over here!
Secondly… I finally got around to making a light box.  I was so excited and spent a whole afternoon swatching and taking pics.  I just uploaded all of them today and wow… they suck.  There are hardly any pictures that came out ok since I started using the light box.  They are all darker than they should be, all polishes look matte, everything is a little fuzzy and grainy.  Do you guys have any suggestions?  It looks great IRL, but when I take the picture, it looks like not enough light is getting in.  I thought about poking some holes in the top, but I have hesitated – seems like that would just make the light weird, ya know?  Kinda spotty?  Those of you that use them – do you just have your light from the top or do you do side lights too?  I just have one OTT light, and I put it at the top.  The light looks fine when I’m looking at it, but my camera won’t pick it up.  I’ve tried adjusting the white balance with no significant difference.  Apparently until I get this figured out, I’m going to have to ditch the light box.  :(
And finally… wow, my hauls have been out of control recently!  I have been using gift certificates, Groupons, codes, etc., so it doesn’t seem like I have spent that much at once, but overall, it’s killer.  And my desk is almost completely covered in polishes I have received in the last month.  I have a few more on the way too!  *hangs head*  I had a couple of fab swaps recently – one from Canada (hello if you’re out there!) and one from the UK (to get a US polish!  Crazy!), plus there was that AveYou flash sale, I finally used my BeautyBar Groupon, I won an awesome giveaway over at Polished Pirate (*hugs Jaybird*), I used my Apothica gift certificate I won at My Lucid Bubble (*hugs KrisinPhilly*), finally pulled the trigger on my Essence haul at Ulta, plus there are all those random polishes I keep picking up!  SO MANY PRETTIES!!!  O.o
Anyway, I am a bit overwhelmed right now – with life, blogging, polish, all of it.  *sigh*  My schedule is going to be changing a bit in the near future, so I might actually get two days off in a row… which means I *might* get to spend more time swatching and such.  When you never have 2 days off in a row, it’s really hard to spend time doing stuff like that.  Especially when Daniel is home.  He does not understand my nail polish obsession and never will.  He says they all look the same, but they are just different colors.  He sees no difference between shimmer and glitter, crème and jelly.  *sigh*  I love that boy to death, but sometimes… lol.
So, yes, overwhelmed – where do you start when you begin to feel like this?  I looked at my spreadsheet and nearly died when I saw the total (which is missing a ton of new stuff) and the % untried.  Do you go on no buys?  Can you stick with it?  I have no self control or will power when it comes to NOT buying stuff.  Even low buys don’t work out that well.  I start off ok, and then someone has a code and all hell breaks loose.  Those of you who have had blog sales to get your stashes more manageable – did it help?  How did you go about purging?  Any regrets?  I’m not sure I have the time / energy for a blog sale (hell, swapping is almost too much for me sometimes), but I’m willing to look at whatever might help. I’m not sure how well I’ll do at culling the herd – I have a hard time saying no!  I have been seeing a lot of people on the NB talking about purging and how if they don’t LOVE it, they aren’t keeping it, but that is hard.  What if you LOVE the color, but the formula kinda sucks?  What if it isn’t your fave, but it does work great for when  you need to look like a muggle?  What if it was a gift?  HTF?  The only one from a collection you don’t LOVE?  Blargh – stressed out even thinking about it!
Please let me know what you do when polish mania starts getting you down… I really need to know!
And, since I can’t leave you without swatches, here are pics of the American Apparel neons.  I took these in my light box, so they are sux0r! 

Bottle shot – woo woo!  I felt fancy taking this one!  ;)

This is Neon Red.  It’s not really red – much more pink / coral.  I really like it though.  Best formula of the collection.  It does dry matte (they all do), so I’m wearing a topcoat here.  I actually think I took this one outside the box, so it isn’t too bad.  More pink than China Glaze’s Flip Flop Fantasy.

Neon Yellow.  I’m just going to be honest here… this one sucked.  Big time.  I have been searching for a neon yellow and I knew they were troublesome, so I shopped around quite a bit before finally purchasing one.  AA is known for their excellent formulas, so I though this one would *have* to be better than the usual neon yellow.  I guess I’ve only tried one… but if the others are worse, I would say they were unworkable.  This was thick, gloopy, streaky, gummy, and never dried.  It also flooded my cuticles even though it was so thick and left my skin super-stained.  It doesn’t self level.  It almost seemed to be… chunky?  Is that possible?  I’m wearing a topcoat in this pic to try to even it out, but it didn’t help, plus you can’t tell because of the weird light box problems I’m having.  I think this was something like 5 coats.  I tried thinning it quite a bit and starting over, but it still took 5 coats to get close to even.  I guess I’m still looking for a neon yellow.  Suggestions?

Neon Green is also not the best example of what a polish should be.  Thick and goopy, unable to self-level, streaky, and not all that opaque.  I think this one is 4 coats.  Again, topcoat didn’t help.  Such an awesome color, but SO hard to work with.  It’s like… the opposite of China Glaze In The Limelight.  I mean, they both kinda suck and look similar at the end, but where Limelight is so hard to control because it’s so thin and watery, Neon Green is so hard to control because it is so damned gloppy.  Again, thinning didn’t really help.  This was one of the really grainy pics, I tried to clean it up as much as possible, but I know it still is pretty rough.  :(  Brighter and yellow-er IRL.
Neon Violet… ugh, this picture is so bad it is embarrassing.  I will eventually re-swatch this one and replace this hideous thing.  Fuzzy because of the box.  I didn’t realize my clean up sucked so bad until I started editing.  Anyway, the formula on this one was much improved from the previous two, but not as nice as Neon Red.  I believe this was 2 coats.  Pretty smooth and easy to work with, though still a bit streaky.  This is brighter IRL, you know how neons are.
I didn’t get Neon Orange and Neon Coral, I might try to get those sometime in the future.  Vampy Varnish didn’t have nice things to say about Orange, so I dunno if I’ll get it.  And… wait, there is a Neon Blue now?!  Where the heck did that come from?!?  I’m not crazy, right?!  That wasn’t in the original press photos?!  *sits on hands to keep from ordering*
Thanks my dears.  I really appreciate all of you.
<3 -

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