Mother Lode

Over the weekend I met up with a lovely woman from MUA who offered to go halfs on a nail polish windfall with me. We split up the treasures and I hauled home what must certainly be more than 100 bottles of nail polish, mostly older Maybellines, Sally Hansens, Revlons and L'Oreals. There are some really neat colors, along with some good basics likes reds and nudes, and I've started cataloging them but I'm only through the first 60 or so. It's really a LOT of nail polish.

I expect to gift away some of it in swaps, and of course I know a lot of women who wouldn't be opposed to a fresh bottle of red nail polish, so I'll enjoy playing nail polish Santa for the next several months. Plus, it's always nice to know there's a nail polish ally out there...who understands your "hobby"...


Elsewhere Online

This used to be a link to an article I wrote for Become.com. After I wrote the article, they emailed me several times requesting that I tweak the links, add more links, be more specific with the description of the link, etc etc. Now, four years later, they've taken the time to ask that I remove these links as they are trying to "clean up" their site.

Whatever...but I find this highly annoying...!

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms

I'm sure if you're a girl who is the least bit girly in terms of makeup and whatnot, you know about Sally Hansen products. Basically, if you do your nails, you've used a Sally product at some point, because she makes all of them. I'm a big fan of the instant cuticle remover myself.

Anyway, in terms of nail color, Sally Hansen makes A LOT of freaking lines of nail polish. So many in fact that one might wonder...why exactly...but anyway. One thing I've discovered as I've learned from more hardcore nail polish devotees is that this humble drugstore brand can inspire deep devotion, especially to such beloved discontinued polishes as the Chrome Nail Makeup, Magical Nail Makeup, Fire Opals and Nail Prisms.

I stumbled across a few Nail Prisms recently (you can find all of these wonders on eBay, and some at dollar stores) and they are indeed quite pretty. Normally I'm not a glitter fanatic, but this one is lovely.
Sally Hansen,Nail Prisms,Purple Diamond,pink,purple,hand,glitter

The color is Purple Diamond. I put it on over 2 coats of Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, which is a really pretty polish by itself.
rbl,rescue beauty lounge,plum,brown,hand,Bruised

Shiny goodness!


Question of the week/Review of the week

The issue at hand today: Why are mass market brand mineral makeup dispensers so incredibly jank?

A bit of background: I switched to mineral makeup several years ago because liquid foundation is the devil. No, sorry, that's not totally accurate. It's just that liquid foundation was a terrible, terrible thing for me. How many did I try over the years? A dozen? Probably more. And they were all terrible, they would just sit there on my skin and slide around all day, and then they would give me zits. To be perfectly frank, I find liquid foundation disgusting. But I understand this puts me in a minority. I switched to powder foundation and tried both NARS and MAC (WTF, CAPS LOCK LOL), both terrible and NARS being the worst. Eventually I realized that I don't like or need that much maquillage slathered over my face and I tried Jane Iredale makeup at the recommendation of a salon owner. Later I switched to Bare Escentuals on the advice of a friend.

Not long ago I ran out of Bare Escentuals foundation and Mineral Veil. (Let's not even talk about Mineral Veil...there is literally no replacement for it and I miss it so much I could cry. Really, don't talk about it.) To replace the two of these things costs $44, American, plus tax. Due to I am unemployed, this is not feasible. And seeing as how you can practically buy mineral makeup at the corner gas station anymore, I decided to give cheaper brands a try.

Now I understand "cheaper" is relative. No one has to pay $44 for makeup, but I like to, and I used to have a job that afforded me that pleasure. The two mass market brand mineral foundations I tried cost $11.99 and $12.49, which is also not really "cheap," depending on your perspective, your budget, and the importance of makeup to you personally. But for the purposes of this post let's consider it cheap enough.

The first one I tried was Revlon ColorStay Mineral Foundation, which I purchased at Target for $11.99. It comes in eight shades and has an SPF factor of 10 (Bare Escentuals is SPF 15). It is also sold in the worst dispenser in the world. I won't try to tell you that the Bare Escentuals sifter is foolproof, because I've dropped plenty of them and also they are terrifically inconvenient for travel. But I can fit a makeup brush in there, which is more than I can say for Revlon's crappy dispenser.

Where to begin? The shape of the sifter is odd, practically ensuring you'll leave a third of the product unused because you can't get at it; the brush is stubby and painfully scratchy; the powder reservoir is too narrow to get a real brush into; the brush apparatus is clumsy and droppable. The makeup itself? Fine, if not spectacular. The coverage was decent, although it didn't seem to last as long as Bare Escentuals. (That may just be the Mineral Veil difference...but then again we're not talking about you-know-what.)

I hated the Revlon container so much that I decided to try L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Foundation for my next purchase. I picked up a coupon circular in my apartment building mailroom and, sure enough, there was a coupon for L'Oreal cosmetics, making it only $10.49 at Target. The L'Oreal mineral foundation comes in 10 shades with an SPF of 19.

To be honest, it's a much nicer mass market mineral foundation. The L'Oreal shade works better for me and seems to provide better coverage for a longer time. Also, the container is less stupid, but only slightly. You have to pop the brush out of its dumb little bell jar, leaving you with a clumsy "handle" that's covered with powder, since the bottom of the brush is the lid of the powder reservoir. At least the bottom of the jar resembles a traditional sifter, although somewhat dinkier in size. Though L'Oreal's brush is softer than Revlon's (by a lot), I am still using a regular old Sephora brush with this. It's just not worth it to fool around with the too-cute-by-half arrangement that L'Oreal has chosen.

Anyone use mineral makeup? Have you found anything you like at mass market prices?