Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wave Goodbye to Summer

The heat has broken, HALLELUJAH! To bid my goodbye to the hot weather, I used colors that remind me of my beloved North Atlantic in my favorite simple nail art pattern.

All Essie, the turquoise is Naughty Nautical and the dark blue is After School Boy Blazer, which is one of the colors from this fall's color collection. For the record, it definitely reads blue in person, but the darkest possible version. I'm feeling these almost blacks for this season, they add an edgy accent that stays super cool as you get a closer look.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Topless & Barefoot

That's what comes right before barefoot and pregnant, AMIRIGHT?

I believe this color comes from one of the Essie bridal collections from a few years back. I have pretty mixed feelings about the name, if I'm being honest. Just can't decide if I find it amusing or if it's trying too hard. But that has very little impact on its wearability, so onward and upward, I suppose.

The first coat applies quite patchily, but gives good opacity with a creme finish. It has some problems self-leveling, but a little finesse resolves that issue nicely. On its own, this isn't my favorite neutral nail ever, but I think it has a lot of potential as a base for nail art. Glad to have it in my collection.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Inevitably Falling

I'm a little disappointed that, the moment I embrace the inevitability of fall, the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-nineties, but hopefully an embrace of more autumnal colors will bring on the milder weather in which I prefer to enjoy football games.

Meet Julep's Josephine. This dark teal is great for fall. It provides an excellent contrast to some of them warmer fall colors, and should make any outfit pop. I'm definitely feeling it, even if it can't ward off today's 90+ high.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

For Your Aural Pleasure

Do any of y'all listen to podcasts? I know they're kind of old news, but I discovered them when I finally jumped on the iPhone bandwagon in January and I am totally addicted. Here are my top five faves (in alphabetical order, for fairness):

This American Life
Ira Glass's long-running show on NPR also puts up their weekly hour every Monday. With subjects ranging from recidivism to map-making, there's always something interesting in the show to keep your mind engaged. Throw in Glass's surprisingly soothing voice, and you've got the perfect enriching radio piece.
When You Should Listen: On your commute, or your Monday lunch break.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
I'm just gonna go ahead and show my hand on this one...this is my favorite podcast. Such my favorite that I've almost run out of (3 years!) of back episodes. I guess I'm just a sucker for the kind of fun bits of trivia that show up here! Subjects range widely, with current hosts Holly and Tracy exploring world history in easily digestible episodes between 20 and 40 minutes long. Luckily, they put out two new episodes a week, so it's pretty easy to get my fix.
When You Should Listen: At the gym during cardio, keeps your mind off the pain and focused!

Stuff You Should Know
Chronic jokesters Josh and Chuck bring listeners two episodes a week chock full of things you didn't even know you wanted to learn. With titles like "How Beer Works" and "Is there such a thing as a truth serum?," how could you not be intrigued. Admittedly, some shows captivate me more than others -- I'm sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to care about Bitcoin -- but there are so many episodes that it might very well be impossible to run out of listening material.
When You Should Listen: In bed before you fall asleep, while cooking dinner, or on a long road trip.

The Moth
This gem features short stories told live, without notes, at Moth events around the country. Some of the stores featured are told by well-known writers or performers, while others are told by "normal" people. The topics range wildly, from a day in the life to events with a global impact. What they all have in common is that they are deeply personal and beautifully told. Chances are, your emotions will run the full spectrum as you follow the podcast's updates, but it's fully worth what you can learn about the world.
When You Should Listen: When you need 15 minutes to reboot and get a new perspective on life.

Welcome to Night Vale
The newest addition to my must-listen gaggle. This bimonthly podcast concerns  the goings on of fictional (or maybe not...) Night Vale, AZ. The voice of Night Vale has an eerily deadpan delivery of the increasingly strange events in the town, causing you to become worried for its citizens and stay oddly amused at the same time. I would give more details, but I wouldn't want the sheriff's Secret Police to come knocking...
When You Should Listen: On an exceptionally beautiful day to stave off the creeps.

So there you have it! Best part is, theyre all free! What do y'all like to listen to?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Baked Turkey and Black Bean Meatballs

I don't think I've ever made such a concerted effort to make a food item healthy.  I think I may have actually pulled it off (though, of course, I couldn't resist throwing in a little cheesy goodness). The best part is that it is soooo easy to make these, and you could just as easily make turkey burgers out of the this recipe, I'm sure they'd taste great with a bit of a crust on them.

Baked Turkey and Black Bean Meatballs
Serves 4-6

1 lb. 99% Lean Ground Turkey
2 oz. crumbled feta
1 15.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 whole egg
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put rack in the center of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.

2.) In a large bowl, use your hands to combine all ingredients, making sure the egg and flaxseed meal are evenly incorporated. Take care not to over mix.

3.) Form the mixture into meatballs, about 1/3 cup mixture in each one. Place on baking sheet.

4.) Bake for 35 minutes, or until cooked through.

5.) Enjoy! I find mustard is the perfect condiment for these bad boys.

What Everyone's Losing Their Shit Over - Fall '13

If you read any of the same blogs I do, or any other beauty-related blogs at all, you may have noticed some recurring items in many different posts. That's right, y'all, Fall releases have wormed their way into our reality and the actual season draws inexorably closer. So here's what everyone has been losing their shit over in the blogging world, which means the real world will join in on in about 5, 4, 3...

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick

This "creamy badass luxury" from eternal favorite Urban Decay comes in 22 shades, which is really quite a large release, if you ask me. Then again, this is filling a glaring void in the UD oeuvre, so I guess they decided to go big. By all reports, these apply beautifully, and the shade selection has a little something for every style. These are definitely on my must try list.

Butter London Colour Clash Collection

One of the fall releases for cult brand Butter London, these six shades straddle the border between neon and creme, two trends that I think will still be really hot heading into fall. I have seen these show up with raves on just about every nail blog, pushing me closer to an in appropriately expensive nail lacquer purchase.

Chanel Le Blush Cremè de Chanel

It's no secret that cream blush is a super hot item right now. It's also no secret that Chanel knows what it's doing when it comes to makeup (and fashion, and perfume...). That makes the fabled fashion house's entry into this product really exciting, and the reviews have been almost universally positive. If there's one splurge item for me this fall, don't be surprised to see my sidling up to the high-end counter some time in the near future.

So those are the hottest picks around the blogosphere for this coming season. What do you think? Have you tried any of them yet, or has something else caught your eye? Let me know!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lungs for Josie!

Hello all! As some of you may know, one of my very close friends has Cystic Fibrosis and found herself in desperate need of a double lung transplant.  I am pleased to report that Josie received new lungs on July 28th! Her recovery is going smoothly so far, and though she has a long journey ahead of her, the change this has made in her life is awe-inspiring.

As you can imagine, a procedure of that magnitude incurs an unbelievable cost. While her family is fortunate enough to have health insurance, they are still personally responsible for many thousands of dollars related to the wonderful, life-saving care she has received. Many have already demonstrated their generosity and donated toward her cause, but there's still a ways to go.

You can find Josie's fundraising page here:

Every little bit helps, so even if you can only give a dollar, or even just a shout out for her page, it would be deeply appreciated by Josie, her family, and everyone else who cared about her, myself included!

I hope you all are having a terrific Friday and have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's All in the Details

One of the things I like best about living in Chicago are the individual touches on many of the buildings around the city. I've seen some of the loveliest little details hidden away on residential streets in the thick of it all. Walking around Lincoln Park last night, I noticed some really beautiful stained glass. I just think it adds a lot of character to a place!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pink Lemonade

I would say "morose" is not too strong a word to describe myself between the ages of 12 and 21, which is why I find it a little bit surprising that I love bright colors. But it's true. I EFFING LOVE BRIGHT COLORS.

I used Essie Watermelon, my current favorite pink, and Julep Bea for this look. I really want to like Bea, it's a great yellow, and it's opaque in a couple of coats, but it did that bubbling thing under the top coat. I'll have to be a little gentler with the bottle next time.

This look is brightening my day! I've got a bad case of can't-look-away-from-my-nails. Makes walking even more dangerous than usual for me. Eeeek!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Getting Ready Rag

I don't care what you say, everyone has some jams that they love to listen to while getting dressed. Nothing like pumping it up as you change your outfit six times because it turned out that shirt you wanted to wear isn't clean after all and neither is anything else because you're bad at remembering to do your laundry. My current four song fix goes something like this:

"Just Give Me a Reason"
Pink ft. Nate Ruess

"Yoü and I"
Lady Gaga

"Pretty Girl Rock"
Keri Hilson

"Death to my Hometown"
Bruce Springsteen ft. Tom Morello

What gets you raring and ready to go?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tomato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I appreciate that this photo makes this look totally terrifying, but those are the kind of food pictures you get when you really want to get down to eating what you've just cooked.

Tomato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Serves 3-4

3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
5 oz. frozen spinach
4 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
3 tbsp. cream cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Clean chicken breasts. Using a thin, sharp knife, butterfly each one, taking care not to pierce the top or bottom of the opening. Season breasts with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare spinach according to package directions. While it cooks, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Add spinach and mix together (the heat from the spinach should soften the cheese and make it easier to combine). Season to taste.

4. Stuff each chicken breast with spinach mixture, there should be just enough for all three. If you'd like, secure opening with toothpicks.

5. Place chicken in a glass baking dish, being sure not to crowd the pan. Drizzle with olive oil.

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.

I think this makes an excellent late summer dinner, especially if accompanied by a lightly dressed green salad and a nice white wine. Enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here

Yesterday, the Lilly Pulitzer Facebook page posted the most beautiful pattern painting.  How great are these colors? It just feels like the slow segue August makes into Fall.

I was inspired to do a nail art design, something I am not usually inclined to do as a result of my chronically shaky hands. Results were predictable.

I think what it lacks in finesse is made up for in enthusiasm. It wasn't hard, as I'm sure you could tell, just involved patiently waiting for each new splotch of color to dry.

I used Essie for the whole mani, Grow Stronger for the base coat, and then (in order) The Girls are Out, In the Cab-ana, The More the Merrier, and Hip-anema.

Have you tried anything new lately?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense

We've all heard of the Clinique Chubby Stick, yes? People just lose they damn minds over those suckers.  Of course, I'm no exception, and I've been lusting after a particular one myself for months.

The Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus. Clinique does this cute thing where they've made all the names alliterative. Just a nice kitschy touch, I think. I just love full coverage lip products, they give a touch of glamour to the everyday, so I'm definitely more attracted to the intense formula in this line. Heftiest Hibiscus is a beautiful red orange that reads coral on me, so it must have some pink undertones that come through in the wear. Application is seamless, and the twist up applicator guarantees that you won't lose a bunch of product to a pencil sharpener. I've found that wear time is about 5 hours before a touch up is needed, and it leaves a nice stain, so it won't disappear entirely.

Available wherever Clinique is sold ($16).

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Favorites

Another month tragically gone from the calendar. I'm not sure exactly what happened to me this month, but my favorites list is a bit on the slim side. Perhaps it was the oppressive heat that discouraged me from using bunches of product. I suspect yes.

Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay Cologne (30ml) If you haven't checked out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yet, what are you waiting for?!? I got this captivating scent in their exclusive offering for the sale, which also included a Lime Basil & Mandarin Mini Candle and Orange Blossom Hand and Shower Gel. All for only $80! But this is my favorite of the three. You get a nice burst of fruit from the blackberry, and then it turns into this rich, sophisticated scent from the bay and other underlying notes. This is a great end of summer scent that I think will carry beautifully into the fall. Available online and at Nordstrom in 30ml ($60) and 100ml ($115)

Nails, Inc. Nail Lacquer in Porchester Square After reading about this polish for ages courtesy of Anna at Vivianna Does Makeup (we're best friends, she just doesn't know it), I finally found it in stock at the Sephora in the Shops at North Bridge. Magnificently creamy, this is the perfect purple greige there is. As far as I can tell, anyway, which is what matters. Terrific wear time, three days without a chip, and it goes perfectly with my next selection. If you're looking for a sophisticated nail look that strays from the beaten path, this is it, kiddos. Available from Sephora ($9.50)

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Happy Birthday Finally I can wear this! I lusted after this for a year and a half, obtained it about seven months ago, and promptly discovered that I didn't have a single polish over which this glitter looked truly stellar. Woe, woe, agony and woe! But it has found it's match in Porchester Square. This is a multi-colored glitter in primary colors that's in a clear base. It looks really festive layered over the Nails, Inc. color, and it just makes me happy to see it! Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to everyone! Available online and at Nordstrom, Bluemercury, and other stores ($19)

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Mascara A drugstore mascara that I actually like? I'm not sure about some of the bigger claims made about this new offering from Revlon, but I can't deny that it lifts and separates my lashes beautifully. It doesn't add a whole bunch of volume, but I don't mind that as I have pretty full lashes already. This is a great daytime mascara, one or two swipes and you're good to go. As far as I can tell, it doesn't flake significantly, but I'm a notorious eye rubber, so I can't speak to that as well. Lord knows the price is hard to beat! Available in most drugstores ($7.99)

Anthropologie Mug and Canapé Plate I LOVE having my breakfast on this adorable set I picked up on sale from Anthropologie. What's not to like?! A dog in a fez!?! SO CUTE. Just cheers my miserable morning self up immeasurably. And a seriously good bargain. If you like them, you'll have to scour the sale rooms pretty hard, seems like everyone else thinks they're pretty great, too. On sale at Anthropologie

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Find Your Grail

This product has been hailed around the blogosphere as a sort of holy grail of concealers. What is it? NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($28). So, does it live up to the hype?

I've been using it for about a week now, and I have to say, the texture is reeeeeeally interesting (in a good way). Not quite liquid, not quite cream, it's really easy to blend and get a natural finish. I get pretty solid coverage with one layer, and you can build it, although it takes a good deal of finesse so as not to disturb previous layers. I've been wearing it under my eyes without setting powder on no foundation days, and it definitely hits between 7-8 hours before a touchup is needed. Impressive? Oui.

It's available in 10 shades, so there should be a fairly good match for just about anyone. It definitely covers my circles and brightens up my under eye area without being heavy or creasing. I hate to admit it, but for $28, this one-step wonder may be replacing Bobbi Brown's corrector and concealer for my camouflaging needs. I feel like a traitor.

Have any of you given this concealer a go?

Monday, July 29, 2013

If I Was A Folly Girl...

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Paris Follies ($26) has sung and danced its way into my heart. A powerfully bright pink coral, it delivers high shine along with surprisingly long lasting power. Now, this is a gloss, so don't get any illusions about this pushing through a meal, it's just not going to happen. Still, undisturbed, I got a good four hours out of this before I needed to reapply.

It is slightly sticky as it has a really glossy formula, but I wouldn't say it feels excessively heavy by any stretch. The applicator is a small, thin brush on the end of your typical lip gloss wand, which was puzzling at first, but it really lets you get the shape of your lips perfect without over-applying product. Sign me up for the chorus!

Nails are painted with Nails, Inc. Porchester Square with Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday on accent nails.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grow Stronger, You Badass Mother

I realized that I haven't mentioned the new base coat I've been using, which I should because it's really proving to be a BAMF. 

I picked up Essie Grow Stronger base coat a few weeks ago when I had some coupons, as I wasn't satisfied with the Orly base I had been using lately. I guess based on the name that it's supposed to be a nail strengthener. I hadn't really been paying too close attention to that aspect of it, but now that I think of it, my nails have been flaking considerably less. The real reason it occurred to me to mention this base is that it is doing a champion effing job making my polish last. I would say it extends my manis by about 2 days. This is a big deal for me, as someone who typically chips her nails by the end of the first day.

This sucker will definitely be holding a permanent spot in my home mani line up.  Bonus! It's a really pretty pink color, so you can also just wear this as a colors.  Yay!

Monday, July 22, 2013

What'll It Be?

UPDATE: It's a boy! Another king, it is!

Boy or Girl? Blue or pink? (Or pink or blue?)

Today, people all over the world are waiting for the birth of one little human.  Is that weird? Yes, yes it is. Is it the perpetuation of a system of government that has, by and large, outlived its usefulness? Most likely. Do I give a shit? No.

There's only one question we should all be asking ourselves: Do they make baby-sized crowns?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Does Anyone Know Someone Named Cassie?

I feel like that name has fallen a bit by the wayside in the past 10-15 years. Anyway, that's what this polish is, Julep's Cassie, a light orange-peach creme.

This came in my July box, along with a color that was far more gray than I expected, the name of which currently escapes me.  I feel pretty meh about this. Takes three coats for opacity, doesn't really stand out on my nails. I think I have more interesting pale peach shades than this.  Maybe it would be more interesting on darker skin?

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tall Tales and Fickle Fantasy: What I'm Reading

I thought I would do something little different today and let you guys know what I've been doing so much of this summer...reading.  I love it. I have always loved it. I was once grounded for staying up too late reading. Hell, I stayed up too late reading the other night, but there was no one to ground me but my lack of sleep in the morning.  After 16 months of procrastination, I finally got myself a library card, and I've been putting it to good use.

American Gods
By Neil Gaiman

My only previous experience with Mr. Gaiman's work was Neverwhere, which was captivating, but I thought somewhat underdeveloped.  Perhaps that was the result of it having originally been conceived for television. American Gods displays much more fluidity in its writing, and has a captivatingly enigmatic main character.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone or scare away people who claim not to like certain genres, but it takes a unique approach to exploring exactly what our ancestors brought with them to the United States.

By Charles C. Mann

Non-fiction. Alright, all the strict summer readers gone? Down to business. This is the follow up to Mr. Mann's work on the pre-Columbian Americas, 1491 (see what he did there?). I find it not quite as captivating as the first, possibly because it's covering territory I've tread many times before. Still, it is excellently written, and I don't think anyone with an interest in early American history would be disappointed.

The Queen's Governess
By Karen Harper

Delicious, delicious trashy historical fiction. Not as trashy as some I've read, but my familiarity with the Tudors and their admittedly fascinating lives made some of the truth stretching a little difficult for me to work through. Written as if a memoir of Elizabeth I's governess, Kat Ashley, it's got all the little sordid bits you would expect out of a summer read and could easily be dispatched in the space of half a day.

There are a couple of other novels I'm working through right now, but I'll wait until I get a bit farther along to write about them.  Hope you enjoyed this departure from Beautyville, I know I certainly have a deep passion for the written word.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Downtown Sound at Millennium Park

Every Monday night in the summer here in Chicago, there's a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  I first went a couple of years ago, and it seems I forgot in the intervening years what a neat thing it is to do. The park is so beautiful, and you're surrounded by some of Chicago's beautiful architecture. Last night I attended with a couple of friends and took in the sights and sounds.

Best part? It's free! That's right, you can have a wonderfully relaxing evening for not one single cent. The park has some stands that sell libations, and plenty of people picnic to their heart's content.  Plus, it gives you the chance to check out the touristy things without most of the tourists. I definitely recommend checking it out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Full Steam Ahead or All Washed Out?

Today, we have Full Steam Ahead from Essie's summer collection. This picture kind of makes it look better than it does in real life.

I generally don't wear purples, as I find they wash me out quite a bit. There's nothing specifically wrong with this colors, and it's pretty much on par formula-wise with a lot of other Essie offerings. It just isn't doing anything special for me, you know? You want something that's really going to pop out going to say, "Look at me, I'm super awesome!" If I'm going to wear a purple, it should do something more interesting than just exist.

I do so hate a nail polish bust. Le sigh.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summertime Watermelon

Funnily enough, I am not a huge fan of watermelon.  To be perfectly honest, I find it a little too watery.  Don't worry, I appreciate how stupid that sounds.  Nevertheless, this nail polish has been on my lust list for well over a year, and I found myself with a good number of CVS ExtraCare bucks that were about to expire.  I almost forgot about this gorgeous pink, but I spied it at the last minute and pulled the trigger quicker than you can say "impulse buy."

You'll excuse the messiness around my cuticles, I just painted my nails and have yet to take the shower that will wash those extra bits away because I'm too lazy to use a Q-tip to get rid of them.  Essie Watermelon is even better than I could have imagined!  The texture is lovely, nice and thick, and you can get great coverage in just one coat.  It's a bit more magenta than it looks in these pictures and goes on slightly darker than it looks in the bottle.  Nice and fruity!  Definitely in competition with my old favorite Fruit Sangria (which I still don't own, grrrrr).

You know, despite the fact that I refuse to wear pants and paint my nails all the time and am obsessed with makeup, I don't think of myself as being particularly girly.  The 13 pink nail polishes I have beg to differ.  Not to mention all the glitter.  Whatever.  DON'T LABEL ME.  Actually, I don't care, do whatever you want.

Y'all have a stellar weekend (and I mean it, let your weekend be filled with beautiful stars)!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Don't Sweat It, Accessorize

Everyone knows that time of year when it's just too damn hot to think about outfits. I feel y'all, I really do. July is the perfect time to stop sweating in your nice clothes, dress casual, and go crazy with accessories.
Midsummer Jewelry

I love all these pieces, they just scream, "Be bold!" Click through to my polyvore to shop any of these interesting shiny bits.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fade into White

I figured I would be brave and try to do something new with my nails, so I googled around a bit and settled on ombré nails. 

You're right, I did a bit of a shoddy job, but is anyone surprised? NO. Still, I kind of like the look! The turquoise is Essie Naughty Nautical and the white is Essie Blanc. I used a disposable makeup sponge to get the effect and then cleaned up with q-tips and acetone. All in all, a pretty simple way to spice up your look!

Next time, I think I'll try two different colors, as the texture of the white can be a little finicky, even at the best of times.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Marc Jacobs...Beauty?

I'm sure many of you have already heard that Marc Jacobs will be releasing a makeup line in the very near future. This month's Vogue has a small feature on this expansion of his brand, and it spurred me to look into the line a little further.

According to WWD via, the line will include 122 products in all the major beauty categories. Generally, I dig the Marc Jacobs aesthetic, and from what I've seen, I'll definitely enjoy the look of these products. I'm a bit apprehensive of this entry into the market, as I feel he's already created a solid platform for his brand in fragrance, and the possible failure of such a wide release (products will debut simultaneously in all Sephora stores) could be troubling, to say the least.

Price points are going to be on the higher side, so I'll definitely be making an in person assessment of the products before picking anything up, but I'm most interested in the Style Eye-con No. 7 palettes, each of which will feature seven shadow colors, and the Lust for Lacquer lip glosses, which I hope will be as highly pigmented and sleek as the packaging makes them look.

And yes, I do find the product names a little on the kitschy side.

Marc Jacobs Beauty will launch in Sephora stores August 9th with a five product tease in stores the weekend of a July 19th.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello, Goodbye

That's honestly how fast my trip to New Jersey felt, like I was leaving as soon as I got there, ten days in ten seconds. I flew back to Chicago yesterday, and said my goodbyes Saturday. Being woefully sentimental as I am, I wept like a little child.

The magnificent Beau's sad goodbye. Those eyes! Sniff.

My last glimpse of the Atlantic for what I assume will be quite some time.

The closest I have ever been to the outside of the plane.

The last look I grabbed of New Jersey before boarding.

My sadness was tempered only by the knowledge that some new treats awaited  me in Chicago. I promptly treated my janky nails to a fresh new manicure with Essie Naughty Nautical from the summer collection. (Side note: is anyone else getting totally bummed out by the release of fall collections? I swear, it's the only time of year I wish beauty releases could be held off a little longer so I can hang on to the current season!)

This is a beautiful green turquoise with just the slightest hint of a shimmer, so slight as to be pretty much undetectable unless you're in full sunlight. The bottle definitely lies about how much sparkle you're going to get, and I wish it were just a little bit more apparent on the nail to capture a little of that incandescence of summer.  The formula is very nice other than that, a standard two coats will do you for opacity. I definitely like this color enough to put it in rotation, and maybe do some nail art experimentation, who knows?

Nail polish photos edited with the A Beautiful Mess Photo App, available in the App Store.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Essie Summer Collection 2013: The More the Merrier

2013 is a green number, isn't it? Just seems green to me. Almost the green of this nail polish, but with less yellow.  This green I would describe as chartreuse, a color I once believed to be some kind of pink based upon the way it was described in The View from Saturday, I believe.

It looks a bit greener in real life than in this picture, but as I write this, I'm sitting in the shadows of an awning, watching a rainstorm and the ocean, and thus true color pictures are proving a little difficult to capture. I'd rather be getting a tan, it's true, but this is quite relaxing.

This is a creme finish, the only one I believe, from the summer collection, and coverage is quite good in two coats. I thought the color might make me look a bit sallow, but I'm finding it perfectly lovely in a I-won't-be-able-to-get-away-with-this-shade-in-five-years kind of way. I'm feeling pretty mellow right now and perhaps am incapable of describing the depths of my feeling for this color, but I think it'll be on repeat until the leaves change color.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Creature of my Heart

I promise I will get back to writing about things that might have some bearing on your lives, but Gemma and I have been having impromptu photo shoots and I really must share.


Send me pictures of your pets? I want to see your furry loves!