Sunday, November 3, 2013

Top 10 Fall Favorites: Nail Polish

Hey guys!  Today I thought I'd do something that I don't do much on here, to coordinate with a YouTube video I'm about to film.  I've picked out some of my favorite fall nail polishes to show you.  I've started off with the bottle shots, and then there are swatches at the end.  I apologize for the lack of actual nail swatches; I'm currently out of acetone, and my WalMart is terrible about keeping it in stock.

All the red-purple-blue colors

First up is Color Club Winter Affair.  This is a gorgeous burgundy fleck polish with hints of gold, orange, and purple.  It doesn't actually show on the nails as multi-faceted as it appears in this shot, though, so it looks a bit more like a plain dark red that's just really sparkly.  As someone who doesn't really like plain shimmer/metallic finishes though, I like this one a lot!  

The next color is Queen of West Web-erly from OPI.  This is a gorgeous color, although it's quite runny and sheer, and requires 3-4 coats for anything near opacity.  It has a shimmer finish, but the shimmer is quite subdued, and there are no streaking problems like many shimmers have.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure is a gorgeous eggplant/aubergine colored creme polish.  I've had it on my toes for the past few weeks, and it's just dark enough to scream "Fall!" without being barely distinguishable from black.  It applies very smoothly and evenly, as do most of the colors from this line.  

Salon Perfect Playful Plum is a gorgeous berry color with specks of blue shimmer in it.  They don't look like chunks of blue glitter on the nail, they just give it an overall blue tone and shimmer.  I think this might be a perfect dupe for China Glaze's Gowgirl Up, which is a polish I loved years ago and I used a significant portion of the bottle I had.  Salon Perfect and China Glaze are owned by the same company, IIRC, so that dupe would make sense.

The cosmetics line from Bongo is fairly new at KMart (and, I believe, exclusive to KMart), and most of the colors were fairly boring/normal to me, but this one stood out.  Poppin Bottles is a slate blue with specks of bright blue iridescence.  This does take 3 fairly thick coats for opacity, but I've been wearing two over coordinating undies.  

The Chameleon line was recently downsized, so I'm not sure if this polish is still available, but I've had Waltz for quite a while and only recently started using it.  I really can't put my finger on what makes this one look so special to me, but I wore it a few days ago and couldn't stop staring at my hands.  The duochrome effect isn't quite as strong on the nails as it appears in the bottle, so I think the tint around the edges just makes it look like it has a bit more depth to it.  Or something like that.

All the neutral colors

Flash Back is one of the polishes from a newer (I'm not sure if it's currently still the newest) collection from NYC.  I've been absolutely obsessed with these kinds of neutral, slightly multicolored fleck/foil polishes lately, which I'm sure you can see from my next few favorites.  What's kind of unique about this one is that the particles are aaaalmost small enough to just be shimmer, but not quite.  This gives a very unique effect, but the color makes it not too "out there" and I think this would even be work-appropriate, in some less restrictive offices.

Zoya Edyta was another polish that I'd had for years and only recently discovered that I liked.  The base is sort of a blackened green, with orangey gold flecks in it.  It goes on very smoothly, and is opaque in two coats.

You may have noticed that this "Top 10" actually has 11 polishes in it.  That's because these two are so similar, they pretty much count as one.  Revlon Rich is a new, limited edition (I assume) polish this fall.  But Sally Hansen Shoot the Moon is in the permanent line as far as I know, so if you miss out on Rich, Shoot the Moon should make a very near (if slightly more expensive) dupe.  Both take about 3 coats for opacity, 4 if you want to make sure, but neither gets too goopy to work with.  As I mentioned above, both of these are that multicolored neutral fleck appearance that I've been absolutely obsessed with lately.

Finally, Revlon Elusive is probably the most unique polish I've tried lately.  Unfortunately, it doesn't get quite as bright on the nails as it is in the bottle, but there's definitely more visible glitter than I was able to capture in my swatch below.  This is a great example of companies going for the "indie" effect in their polishes, with a black jelly/crelly base, and multicolored glitter.  There's larger teal and green hexes, as well as tiny fuchsia/pinkish microglitter in there.  Since I bought a backup bottle of this, I've actually been thinking about experimenting with this polish and diluting it about 1:1 with clear polish, then layering over black undies to see if the colors look any better that way.

Winter Affair, Queen of West Web-erly

Trouble Maker, Playful Plum

Poppin' Bottles, Waltz

Flash Back, Rich

Shoot the Moon, Edyta

Rich, Shoot the Moon - for comparison.  As you can see they're nearly identical.

Elusive - The glitter actually does show up a bit better than shown here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe discovered something new to try.  I'd love to hear your favorite fall polishes down in the comments :)

Sephora by OPI Review and Swatches

The Sephora by OPI line has, as far as I understand, been recently discontinued from Sephora stores.  Consequently, it's been popping up at discount retailers, including Hautelook, which is where I got mine.  I figured I'd put up a quick review of the polishes I picked up in their $3 sale for anyone else who might see them on sale and be curious what the quality is like.

L to R: It's Bouquet With Me, Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild, Indi-go With the Flow, Cover Me in Petals, Go With the Flow-er (over Cover Me in Petals), I Come in Peas, Casting Call, Shiny Dancer, Already Famous

First up, the three glitters.  It's Bouquet With Me was the most disappointing, partly just because I didn't like the color.  I'd looked up swatches of these online before I bought any of them, and this one must have looked a lot more interesting online, because I would never have picked out a polish that was just silver and pink glitter.  It applied with decent coverage, though.  Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild is a pretty mix of small lavender hexes and large holographic lavender hexes.  It applied fairly well, too.  Indi-go With the Flow was one I was hoping would be a dupe for Essie's Stroke of Brilliance, but alas, this polish applies with all the goopy, awful coverage of the Spoiled polishes which retail for a dollar or two.  What you see in the swatch above is four coats, with a lot of playing around to make the glitter somewhat even.

Cover Me in Petals and Go With the Flow-er are a very nice coordinating match.  Cover Me in Petals applied quite nicely, opaque in two coats, and without a goopy application.  Like most glass fleck finishes, Go With the Flow-er was still sheer after 4 coats, so for this swatch I put two coats over a coat of Cover Me in Petals.  Both these polishes are a tad more red than my camera would pick up, but they both have that same almost neon intensity that the picture shows.

I Come in Peas was one that I bought pretty much just for the name, but I like the color, too.  It's a deep green creme polish, and it doesn't lean too close to black, teal, or anything else.  Two coats gave good opacity, and like all the cremes I got, it applied very smoothly, without streaking.  Application was the same for Casting Call, it went on very smoothly in two coats.

Shiny Dancer and Already Famous were the two I was most excited about, but also the two that were the most annoying to work with (besides Indi-go With the Flow).  Shown here are 4 coats each.  You could maybe get away with three, but as you can see from the lumpiness on the swatches, I had a little accident with my swatch wheel and was trying to cover up the gouges.  They're both very pretty colors, and could probably be worn with only two coats over similar colored undies, or used for a glitter gradient over a creme polish.  Shiny Dancer is a slate blue and silver foil looking polish, and Already Famous is a taupey-gold.

And now for some bottle shots:

My overall impression of these is that I'll likely use them, but I didn't need them, and I'm not terribly excited about most of them.  They're not unlike anything you can get at a drugstore, and since the quality wasn't exemplary, I'd stick to cheaper polishes unless you find an amazing deal on these.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Review and Swatches

My first review in a loooong time, how exciting! I found the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine display at my Walmart a few days ago!  I wanted ALL THE COLORS!  But I only decided to try out 4 of them, because while the glitters were all gorgeous, none of them looked exceptionally unique compared to things I already had in my collection. 

Unfortunately, because I decided I was going to return two of these, I only swatched them on one nail each and didn't get any more pictures before I made my decision.  Then once I'd decided to return them, it seemed pretty tacky to keep using more of the polish just for swatches.  The four I got, as they appear in the photos below are: Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, and Play Koi.  And honestly I got Play Koi solely because of the name.  As I mentioned in my Halloween post, orange is my absolute least favorite color, as well as the only color that I dislike almost every version of, almost all the time.

Slick Black and Sparkling Water

Slick Black was one of the polishes I decided to keep.  It has a fleck type of finish, with mostly black/dark gunmetal colors, but also some hints of green/teal and magenta.  It has great opacity, too - completely opaque in two coats, which can be unusual for this type of evidenced by Sparkling Water.  Sparkling Water is a gorgeous teal and blue fleck polish, but it's really more of a jelly finish as far as opacity.  It looked stunning in the bottle, and would probably have looked nice over coordinating undies, but it was similar enough to Watermelon Rind by China Glaze that I just didn't think I needed both.  I couldn't get pictures to show the color correctly, and it's really not as blue as it shows up.  It's definitely more of a teal shade.

Bait Me and Play Koi

Bait Me is a very pretty, slightly off-white.  It was a bit sheer - I believe I used three coats for that swatch - but not overly goopy or thick once it was on.  I returned this one, but not because of the quality, simply because I don't use shimmery whites enough to need it.  Play Koi, I bought just for the name.  This one didn't show up well in the pictures, but at 3 coats, there's still definitely VNL.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with this one, besides maybe a jelly sandwich with some non-matching color underneath so it alters the bright orange hue.  If you're looking for an orange jelly (I'm thinking this looks pretty similar to the orange from that L'Oreal collection earlier in the year), this was a pretty nice polish.  It applied with no streaks, and wasn't excessively goopy even at three coats. 

Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, Play Koi

Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, Play Koi

Overall, the formula on these seems a bit on the thicker side, but they also seem to dry fairly well, and don't stay goopy forever if you use a fast-dry topcoat with them.  If I didn't already have so much nail polish, I'd definitely be interested in more shades from the collection, but most of the colors in the line are very similar to, if not dupes for, things already in my collection.  The packaging is one of those where the large square "overlid" comes off, and there's a small, round, "normal" handle inside of it.  The brush was nothing particularly special, although my Play Koi brush had several stray hairs on it.  As pretty as a lot of their packaging is, I do with Sally Hansen could just stick with one or two bottle designs.  I'm normally not one for excessive attention to packaging, but these bottles just remind me too much of obelisks or tombstones for me to think they make cute polish bottles.

Happy Meowloween!

I'm not really one to get into all the "spooky" aspects of the Halloween season.  Horror movies, zombie gore, and all that stuff has just never been my thing, although I have cut up a dead body before, and found it thoroughly interesting.  I'd originally intended to do an orange, green, and maybe purple mani, but when I started experimenting, I remembered that I really hate orange, and any shade of orange is literally my least favorite color ever.  As far as I'm concerned, pretty orange does not exist, and I have orange polish in my collection solely for goldfish and koi.

I decided on this green and purple goop mani, but since I'd done a glowing kitty mani last year and really liked it, I wanted to add that to this year's as well.  Although one died several years ago, both the cats my family had growing up were black cats, so I've always had a particular affection for that Halloween symbol.  Like last year's, this one glows, but this year I used the Sinful Colors glow polish.  For $2, I wasn't expecting miracles, but the glow isn't really anything astounding.  I keep thinking I'd really like to get one of those more expensive indie ones that glows SUPER bright in the dark, since mine glowing wouldn't even show up in a picture.  (It definitely did glow noticeably, though, just not insanely brightly.)

One thing I didn't like so much was the way the purple really brightened up with the glow in the dark topcoat (har har, I'm soooo funny, I know).  But really, what started out as a deep, almost vampy purple turned into this soft, bright purple.  I still like the color, but I had been envisioning something a lot darker for Halloween, and it didn't seem to change the appearance of the green as drastically.  I painted the cats on after I had put the glowing coat on, specifically to avoid any problems with weird colors.

Side note: like my new "lightbox"?  It's actually my shower.  I'm sure eventually there's going to be some very awkward explaining to do to my roommate about why I'm standing in the shower fully clothed, taking pictures of my nails, but I've found that that's the lighting that works best in my apartment.  I have no idea why, but for some reason, all the lighting in our kitchen and living room just seems...too dim.

I suppose at some point, I should probably list the polishes I used....

Purple: China Glaze Grape Pop
Green: Sally Hansen In Record Lime
Black: Sinful Colors Black On Black
Yellow: Milani Yellow Whiz
Pink: Sally Hansen Berry Juicy
Glow topcoat: Sinful Colors Glow in the Dark

And now for some closeups.

Someday I will have enough fine motor skill to draw cat pupils evenly and nicely.  As well as enough patience to make sure the yellow globs have fully dried first.  But I think they came out pretty nicely - the ones on my left hand, at least - and from more than a couple inches away, the wonky eyes aren't even noticeable.

So that was my Halloween mani.  I haven't been posting much lately because honestly I haven't really been doing much nail art.  I've been really loving darker, multicolored fleck polishes that I prefer to just leave plain, but I also have quite a few nail art ideas I've been thinking I want to try, as soon as this week (midterms) is over and I have more time on my hands.

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's not anti-consumption, it's asking yourself a question

My last post got some "hate" when posted on Reddit because, apparently, I was being a judgmental bitch.  I personally feel that, even if not everyone agreed with what I had to say, "judgmental bitch" is not the logical conclusion one would draw about me from reading what I wrote there.  I'd like to further clarify what I meant by considering your purchases more carefully, because my intention was not to mock or insult anyone.  I didn't mean that anyone should stop buying things, and I don't necessarily think that everyone should buy less, either.  I know there are a huge number of people who DO just buy things for themselves to enjoy.  As long as they think that what they buy is worth the use they get out of it, their shopping habits don't necessarily have to change at all.  The group I was speaking about were the people like me, who just obsessively shopped with the main intention of showing it off.

On my YouTube channel, I have 62 videos in my "Hauls" playlist, so hopefully anyone who felt like I was on a judgmental, mocking high horse will be able to see from this that I used to be "worse" about this than probably the majority of the people I'm writing to.  I bought things all the time.  And I still buy things all the time--that's the point I'm trying to make.  While I'm sure the lifestyle maintains a lifelong appeal for some, I personally find the general anticonsumption mentality to be extremist and haughty.  I want to clarify that that is not how I intended to come across.  I take issue with those who say that you can't be happy because of a material possession you own.  Would I give up my 500 bottles of nail polish I've been collecting for almost 10 years to save a family member or friend's life?  In a heartbeat.  But while none of my family and friends' lives are at stake over my possession of cosmetics and clothing, I'm going to keep buying them, and I'm going to keep enjoying them.

I enjoy them a lot more now than I used to, though, and that change in mentality was what I was trying--unsuccessfully, it seems--to communicate in my last post.  As I mentioned to someone in a comment, I'm saying the very opposite of "people shouldn't splurge on things that make them happy."  In fact, I've begun to enjoy my purchases a lot more since I've stopped buying things solely because they're on clearance, and started buying things because I genuinely like them a lot.  Rather than buy a basket full of nail polish at the dollar store, 2/$1 and ending up with 30 nail polishes I never use, I've begun noting unique colors that I like when I see them in someone's blog.  I'll add them to my Amazon or Ebay wishlist, and when I feel like I can afford to spend a few extra bucks to get something nice for myself, I buy one or two.  When they arrive, I only have a couple new things to use--all my excitement can be focused on them.  One thing I found when I used to buy huge quantities of makeup or clothing in the past was that I would be excited to wear it, but I wouldn't be really excited about any one item, I'd just be excited that I had so much new stuff.

Another thing I'd just briefly like to mention is the "peer pressure" mentality.  When this gets addressed, usually everyone defensively declares that they'd never judge someone for the brands they use, and I think that's absolutely true!  The nail polish and makeup communities overall are full of people who embrace all skill levels and budgets.  I'd be furious if I ever saw someone telling a beginner that their nail art wasn't good enough because they'd used cheaper brands, and I know many other people would come to that person's defense, too.  That said, though, there's a huge importance placed on brands, and I think that does lead some people to make purchases they wouldn't normally have made.  Specifically regarding nail polish, I fairly often see someone buying Essie or OPI even though they wouldn't really have thought to, because "everyone says these are so amazing!"  (Personally, I think Essie is mediocre, at best, and comparatively awful for the $8 price tag, but I know there are a lot of girls who really love the brand.)  Or, "I just got my first Juleps, I'm a real Laquerista now!" and I feel sad that someone might feel, even lightheartedly or jokingly, that they're not "part of the group" until they've bought certain expensive products.  In my own experience, everything I bought in this haul was "peer pressure."

Everyone on YouTube was talking about the Sephora Friends and Family sale, as well as the Wet n Wild ColorIcon palettes.  I bought them because I felt that it gave me a way to really participate in what everyone else was talking about, and that I was somehow more included in the "beauty community" because I possessed those items.  I'm not going to pretend that those Sephora items were awful and I hated them.  I used them just as much as I used the other makeup items I had at the time, I just had so much that nothing really got the love it deserved.  As for the Wet n Wild palettes, I still have them, solely because they're limited edition and they look cool in the pans.  But I don't think I've used them on my face more than once or twice.

Ok, Liz, so now you sound like you're back on the point of "listening to other people talk about what they buy is horrible, and buying things because someone else mentioned they liked it is horrible, too." What are you trying to say here?  I'm trying to say that I love being an active member in the nail polish community, and I'm glad that there are so many people who share my interests.  This isn't me telling anyone that they must make a radical change to their lifestyle.  It's just me asking them to consider their reasons for purchases.  Purchases made solely to splurge a little on yourself are just fine!  My only concern is when people aren't making the purchase for their own enjoyment and instead doing it to gain approval from others.

I hope this made it a bit clearer what I was trying to say yesterday.  I do apologize if I didn't make myself clear enough in the initial post, and like I said in that one, too, I'm not trying to address the entire audience who will probably read this.  It's a much more specific issue than that.  If you think this doesn't apply to you because you buy nail polish once every month or two and you've never posted a picture of it online, you're right, so please don't mistake my meaning and think that I'm against cosmetics purchases of any kind.  I'm just hoping to possibly affect a few people to whom who this might really make a difference.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why do we love hauls so much?

I'll be the first to admit, I love doing hauls.  I always have--since I got into the "YouTube Beauty Community" anyway.  Back when I made videos, hauls got at least 2 times the views that a tutorial or review did.  And honestly I never quite understood it.  I fully grasp the concept of wanting to live vicariously through another person, but I've always been a little put-off by the fact that, as a whole, the "beauty community" would rather just watch someone go on for half an hour about everything they bought that week--often hundreds of dollars of merchandise--than watch informative reviews on those items so they could decide how worthwhile it would be to buy those items themselves.  One of the reasons I love the nail polish online community so much more than YouTube is that usually, a post includes a review.  It may not be incredibly detailed, but it's much rarer to see someone make a post solely to talk about a bunch of brand new items they haven't even opened yet.

I've had these thoughts for some time, but it wasn't until this summer that I realized why, in my opinion, hauls are such a huge attraction for so many people: they are a form of justification for illogical purchases we often can't afford.  On RedditLaqueristas, I see posts fairly regularly that are titled something to the effect of, "I really couldn't afford this, but look how pretty it is!" or "I have no money in the bank now, but these polishes were totally worth it!"  When girls post hauls, those often get upvoted far more than the nail art that I joined the subreddit for does.  They will often title it something like "My first big haul!  How'd I do?" as though they want affirmation of their shopping habits.  And I believe that's exactly the point of hauls.  Somehow, sharing your purchases with others who have the same interest as you allows you to justify items that you shouldn't have bought.  Invest as much as you want in your hobby, but it should never be such an excess of spending that you're almost totally depleting your bank account to do so.

At this point, I likely sound fairly judgmental.  Well, in a way, I am.  I strongly disapprove of this lifestyle, but not because I don't understand that passion at all.  Rather, I understand it too well, and I've realized that life can be a whole lot more fulfilling without it.  When I was in an unhappy relationship, attending community college with no job and no friends, I'd spend all the spare cash I had buying bags and bags of clothing from the thrift store, and makeup on clearance.  The thrift store by my house had these HUGE bags, probably about the size of a 13-gallon trash bag, and on Wednesdays ($2-5 clothing an additional 50% off!) I'd routinely come out with half a bag full of new clothing that I couldn't wait to show to my YouTube viewers.  But then I'd never wear it.  Sure, there are some pieces I used.  There are some I used a lot.  Years later, one of my favorite semi-nice shirts came from there, and I've worn it dozens of times. But at least 50% of the clothing never even got worn, and of what did get worn, about 75% of it was never worn more than a couple times.  All the excitement came from showing it off in a video, to strangers I'd never meet.  These were the only people who would truly appreciate my purchases.  I felt like nobody else would care much what I wore anyway.

Now, I get really sad when I see girls falling into the same cycle I was in.  Shopping shouldn't be your main source of happiness, especially if you go shopping just to buy things, and then don't really get any use out of the items once you've bought them.  Of course it's fine to go every now and then.  I've tried both extremes, and I don't think that trying to stop shopping entirely is any healthier than shopping in excess.  But at least what I've noticed for myself is that since I stopped posting hauls and showing off everything I bought to people online, I've stopped feeling so compelled to buy more things.  I'm not perfect, and I still catch myself thinking of what I'm going to say in my video about each item as I'm placing it my shopping basket in the store.  When I get home, though, the only enjoyment I can get out of that item is the enjoyment I get from using it, and so I've found that I'm much more inspired to do creative things with the stuff I've acquired (mostly nail polish, but also clothing and makeup).  Rather than show a product in a video, swatch it, then toss it in a drawer, I've been leaving new nail polish purchases out on my desk for a couple weeks, finding ways to use them in manicures, and then by the time I finally put them away, they've been used, often several times.  Similarly, with clothing, I hang it on my bed (I have one of those futon-bunk thingies now that I'm in an apartment and out of the dorm, so I've been using the side rail as a clothing rack like I did at home), and then I see it every day as I'm getting ready, and feel a lot more inspired to use it than I would if it were with everything else in my closet.

I'm not saying this is the perfect solution; it's just an improvement.  Ideally, of course, I'd have just a moderate amount of clothing in my possession, so that I wouldn't have to keep new things out in order to be reminded to use them.  But I doubt I'll get over my excitement at new clothing any time soon, and as a $20/month or so activity I enjoy, I think buying 2-4 new items that I actually really like is much better than buying 20-30 new items just because they were all less than $2.  Since most of the clothing I've bought (I've only bought about 5 items of new clothing from stores in the past year) is from thrift stores, I really don't feel like I'm doing very much evil as a consumerist American.  Even if Goodwill isn't the most upstanding organization one could support.

As nice as it would be to start a revolution, I have no delusions of grandeur.  I'm sure this post won't reach a large enough audience to effect a change across the blogosphere, but I hope that by sharing this, I can at least reach a few people who will be positively influenced by the opinions I've presented here.  I hope that even if it's just for one person, the next time you're out shopping, you stop and think about what you're buying, and whether you're buying it just to be happy that you bought it, or if you genuinely want it and will get good use out of it.  Using a $30 nail polish once, in my mind, does not constitute "good use," but of course that value is assigned by each individual to their own purchases.  I don't advocate not buying, I just want people to think more before they buy.  Here's a video I made when I first moved to Washington for college.  While my thoughts have changed somewhat, I still think it's a fairly good summary of my mindful shopping strategy.  I enjoy fashion, makeup, and nail art.  I'm not going to stop just because a small part of me wishes I'd never stopped being the tomboy who never dressed up or even owned much makeup.  I'm always going to love having things I love using, but this is how I try to ensure that everything I have is something I actually love using.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I may have a problem... June Haul

We all like to joke about how we're such "addicts" or we "totally have a problem."  I've seen that phrasing from people who have a collection of about 100 bottles of nail polish.  So what does that mean when I can go out and buy that much in a few months without a second thought?  Because they're all pretty, though, I might as well show them to you.... (I'm posting this from my home in California, while these are all back in Washington, so I don't remember all the names off the top of my head.  If you're curious about a shade, just ask and I'll try to look it up.)

Rite Aid was having their buy $30 of nail stuff, get $10 rewards thing, so I bought quite a bit from there.  These pictures will include both the original $30 and the extra $10.  Overall, I did do a fairly good job of only buying things that I'll actually use.  I really wanted Sugar Rush from the Julie G Gumdrops line.  I did not really want Tangerine Dream, and I wanted Hot Cinnamon even less.  I originally got them because Sugar Rush was out of stock at the first Rite Aid I went to, and I was trying to get to the $30.  Then when I went to go spend the $10 in +Up rewards (plus another $5 I'd gotten from some conditioner I bought), I did find Sugar Rush at another store.  So now I have two bottles I'll likely never use now that I have the color I wanted.  Tangerine Dream is a really pretty color, but I think if I want textured, I'll reach for Sugar Rush first.

I then for some reason had to buy almost all of the Polka Dots line from Maybelline....  I actually got the two on the left (Clearly Spotted and Drops of Jade) from Walmart, but they didn't have any of the other colors when I first saw them.  So the others were purchased from the second Rite Aid store.  I really like them, but Drops of Jade seems to be the only one that will feasibly get opaque on its own.

Super Cheap Mini Polish!  Yayyy!  I'm actually really happy about these, too.  While I didn't *need* them, they're certainly unique, and very pretty.  I really like creme neutral shades, hence the two on the left.  The three on the right are completely unlike anything I already own (well, okay, I do have a couple dark duochromes...), and In Mint Condition, on the far right, seems to be a pretty close dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid Dream

Pretty...but so awful to get off, even with the foil method....

I love these.  Scattered holo jelly is hands down my favorite polish finish.  I already had the purple and the lighter pinkish color from this line, and I've been debating the teal, royal blue, and black, but decided to just stick with these two.

My first time ever in K-Mart, and I found this whole display of polish for $1.87 each.  I probably shouldn't be proud of myself for anything after having bought this much in the past month, but I did limit myself to just these three, despite the tempting price tag.  I put back the darker colors I'd never use, and the color or two that I already had something similar to in my collection.  Again with liking creme neutral colors....  Plus the mustard yellow for nail art.  I don't like it on its own, but the only yellows I have are bright or pastel, and this shade actually fits the color palette I usually wear much better.

Random polish!  I'm slightly mad at myself for paying $6 for the CG Holographic polish a couple weeks ago when they all went an additional 50% off this weekend...*sigh*  The Jordana rainbow glitter just might be my favorite of all 5 or so rainbow glitters that I already own....  But it had a different mix of colors, especially the small aqua pieces, which I really liked, and when I swatched it, it went on a lot denser than most, with the base being less goopy and overwhelming than most.  A random NYC to use up the last couple dollars of my $15 rewards money.  More evidence that I need to stop buying polish just to buy it. And for the last one, the color shows up a lot more like Mint Sorbet here, but Perfect Pear-ing is a really nice color.  It's almost like a neon pastel green, if that's possible.  I used it on my fingers a few days after I got it, and absolutely loved it, especially for summer.

So now to the more serious part of this.  I didn't *need* any of this.  I probably won't use a lot of this for quite some time.  A couple weeks before I bought all of this, I'd gotten a package in the mail from Forever 21, with I believe 13 polishes, because they were on sale for $.99 and had some interesting colors.  I've gotten a LOT better at actually picking out colors I'm likely to wear.  I no longer buy dark colors because no matter how interesting they look in the bottle, I know I'll hate them on my nails.

All the progress I've made doesn't change the fact that this is an unnecessary waste of money.  Yes, I enjoy nail polish, but so many people enjoy nail polish without having 500+ bottles in their collection.  My collection was at about 400 at the beginning of last year, and I'm sure I've bought at least 100 bottles since then, if not more.  Of course, I don't always buy at the rate that I have in the past month.  For most of the school year, I only bought polish on breaks, or maybe one every few weeks from Walmart if I happened to pass something really pretty.  It's summer, now, though, and in addition to lots of free time when I'm not working, I have a job, so I have money to justify my buying things.  But it's not like I'm making all that much, and I really should be saving for school.  The trouble is, I don't know how to do anything in moderation.

I don't want to just ban myself from polish completely.  It's fun, and I enjoy it, and I think there are perfectly healthy ways to go shopping every once in a while.  If I say I can't shop at all, I'll just keep thinking about how much I want to.  But I'm also not at all sure what a good limit should be.  Of course, I could say "Only 2 bottles of polish per month, and they have to be under $3" or something like that, but then I'd find a whole collection I really loved, for $4 each, break all my rules, and then feel like a complete failure for spending $12.  

I'm not trying to excuse anything, or to blame it on "problems I can't control," but I feel like this is a deeper issue for me, somehow, but I also don't think it's something I can just go see a therapist for and ask them to tell me how to spend less money.  Therapists are a whole lot more expensive than nail polish, anyway.  If you have any ideas, insight, experience, or suggestions, feel free to leave comments below.  It's likely that our situations aren't exactly the same, but sometimes it's nice to know you're not alone.  I often feel "alone" when I'm reading nail polish blogs and subreddits because it seems like everyone there is totally fine with their shopping habits, and I'm the only one who sees mine as a problem, and possibly even an addiction that I need to overcome somehow.

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