I Really Want to Like China Glaze Nail Polish

I have long searched for the perfect nail polish brand. In my high school days, it was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and later, in my college years, I discovered my true nail polish soul mate, Essie. However, while I knew and loved Essie for all that it was, I wasn’t ready to tie myself down to one polish brand for the rest of my life. That’s when I met China Glaze. China Glaze seduced me with its $7.50 price tag and bright neon colors but, it wasn’t until the chipping began that I saw it for what it really was, an Essie imposter.

I bought my first bottle of China Glaze back in March, after I discovered the brand in Ulta. Sitting catty-corner with Essie and OPI, I figured it was destined to be one of the polish elites.

It wasn’t until my second purchase in the China Glaze family that I realized my mistake.

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China Glaze is just is not the brand for me. I don’t know if it’s the surface of my nails or the formula of the polish but, I just can’t get the stuff to stay on. When applying, it dries insanely quick, which was a huge plus for me, however, it often takes three coats before I capture the true pigmentation in the bottle. And with all the coats, I figured the stuff would be chip proof but, when applying to my fingernails, the polish chips off several hours later.  I’m not talking tiny nicks but, the lacquer literally peels off in huge chunks even when having washed my hands and using base coat before painting my nails.

I can’t figure out what the problem is.

When it comes to removing the polish, it is impossible to take off. I will go through four or five cotton pads just trying to get it off, which makes me scratch my head because when I want it to stay put, I can’t get it to stay on my nails.

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Usually, I am not much for ranting about products that I don’t like on this blog but, I feel a little duped by China Glaze. Online reviews everywhere are giving it 4/5 but, when I start scrolling through them I see the same complaints that I have about this brand. Chipping. Too many coats. Hard to take off.

In my experience, I have had better much better luck with drugstore brands, and when it comes down to it, $7.50 is too high a price for a polish that flakes off the same day as the application. If anything my experience with China Glaze has reminded me of my true love for Essie and that when it comes to forking over that extra buck, Essie is worth the price.

What is your experience with China Glaze?

Post-Grad Life is Better

Post-grad life is a bit of a roller coaster. Half of the time, I am thinking, heck yes – no more homework, Netflix marathon! and the other half of the time I am thinking, ughghsugh – what am I doing with my life? And despite the never ending merry-go-round of emotion, post-grad life feels a lot more stable than college ever did.

In college, I always felt like I was building my life out of cards. Between the Russian roulette of roommates and a never ending cycle of classmates, professors, and jobs  - my life felt totally unstable during my four years as a college student.

I actually feel relieved not return to college in the fall and, in light of my post-grad existence, I am starting to feel like I am finding the stability that makes me a very happy old person trapped in a young person body.

For one, I have a six month lease. Do you realize that the last time I lived somewhere for six months in a row was four years ago before I moved out of my parent’s house? It’s been bizarre to settle into a place and realize that I won’t be packing things into boxes ten seconds later. Six months isn’t forever but, half a year seems a little more permanent than a semester. The idea that I will still be in the same apartment when there are Christmas lights up is mind boggling to me.

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Secondly, I am not so afraid that the people in my life are going to disappear at any second. In college, I always felt like people were slipping through my fingers because with 85 percent of the campus leaving on the weekends and, students transferring in and out every week, “friends” came in as quickly as they disappeared. However, in this post-grad world I am finding more and more friends who intend to or already have set roots here, and for the first time in a long time, I am not so afraid that if I blink the people in my life will evaporate.

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Lastly, I finally have time. I loved all the learning in college but, by the end, I was ready to be done with all the filler assignments, quizzes, and readings that sucked up so much of my time. Now, I actually have time and freedom to go places and hang out with people because even though I have work – work ends pretty much when I step out of the door at the end of the day. I remember in the beginning of July, I went climbing with my friends in West Virginia (see above), and there was a moment when I just laid down on a towel, stared up at the trees, and realized how happy I was to be free of the huge weight that was college stress.

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I won’t say that post-grad life doesn’t have any downsides. I can’t take a nap at 1 p.m. on weekdays anymore and, I am still trying to figure out how to turn two part-time jobs into one full-time one. However, every so often in post-grad life, I find myself feeling happier than I ever did in college. Instead of feeling like I am living in a house of cards, finally it feels like I am starting to lay brick, and feeling the stability of a permanent existence is one of the most comforting feelings in the world.

First Impressions

My first impression of someone is almost always wrong. I would think that by 21, I would be better at figuring people out but, it seems that for me, the complexities of human beings will never be cut and dry.

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However, because I am so terrible at pinning people down when I first meet them, I like to play a game of first impressions. It goes like this – shortly after I first meet someone, I write all about them in my journal. Then, months later, if I actually get to know the person, I revisit my initial assessment of them. Most of the time, the original description is so far from the truth that I can’t even imagine what possessed me to write it.

The reason that I make a habit of playing this game is because it reminds me not to write people off when I first meet them. It is so incredibly easy for me to meet someone, make snap judgments, and then give up on even trying to get to know them based on the imaginary narrative that I have assigned to them based on five minutes of conversation.

For example, recently I was talking to one of my friends about when we first met. We met before I left for England, at which point I completely blew him off, and then were reintroduced through a mutual friend when I came back from England and slowly we became friends and now, he is my go-to climbing partner.

I see this example as a recurring phenomenon throughout my life. Time and time again my first impression has proven me wrong. It is so strange for me to look through my journal and go back through my past thoughts and realize that if I had gone with my first impression, I would be lacking some of my favorite people in my life.

That’s not to say that you should ignore your gut instinct. There is a difference between thinking someone is bad and knowing it – feeling your entire body telling you – get the heck away!

Nonetheless, the moral of the story is this – every person on this planet comes with a unique set of circumstances, personality traits, and history that makes them who they are. This human cocktail cannot be communicated in ten minutes of meeting someone or even after a week of knowing them. Getting to know someone takes time, an open mind, and an ability to put aside what you think you know versus what is actually true.

First impressions are dangerous things. They can draw us towards the wrong people and push us away from the right ones. And maybe the most important lesson I have learned from first impressions is that sometimes the most interesting, fun, and loving people are the ones that you never expect when first meeting them who, like episodes of Gilmore Girls, only get better with time..

Are your first impressions usually right?

Naked 1 Tutorial: Summer Gold

We are officially in mid-summer. In Maryland, that means Target is starting to fill its shelves with back-to-school deals, the humidity is slam dunking us all, and the Bay Bridge is plagued by a never ending saga of beach traffic. However, just because summer is here doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my favorite eye shadows. The Naked 1 is my favorite palette during the summer heat because it is super sweat resistant when paired with a primer.

This gold shadow concoction is just one of the many eyeshadow pairings that I have been using so far this summer season.

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1. Prep your eyes by applying eye shadow primer and under-eye concealer.

2. Apply a dark golden eye shadow (Smog) to the outer edge of your lower lash line and your entire  upper lash line, winging out the shadow slightly.

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3. Apply a golden eyeshadow (Half Baked) to your entire lid.

4. Apply a matte brown eyeshadow (Buck) to your crease. Make sure to blend out the crease after you apply the shadow or it’s not going to look as seamless.

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5. Use a dark brown eyeliner to tightline your upper and lower lash line.

6. Apply mascara to your lashes. I am using brown mascara instead of black here.

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