Friday, July 12, 2013

Sin City Haul

I tend to avoid doing haul posts. There are a few reasons for that, including I only have so much time to devote to blogging and if I do haul posts more often, that means fewer swatches and comparisons, and swatches and comparisons are my way to justify the hauling in the first place. I also feel like posting bottle shots without swatches is being sort of a tease, since with my backlog and tendency to get distracted by whatever's new and shiny some bottles have to wait a very very long time for their moment in the spotlight. Today, though, I am doing a haul post, because a) the shopping excursions in Las Vegas were very fruitful and b) more than one person commented that they'd like to see the haul when I asked on my July 5th entry if anyone would (that mani used a couple of the polishes I bought in Sin City).

I actually bought so much polish in Las Vegas that I shipped a box home; I was worried my suitcase would be overweight if I didn't, and the excess baggage fee would be more than it cost to send the extra weight back via the USPS. I did pack some polishes in my suitcase, too, but most of them went into a medium size priority mail box. The kind that opens on the end is just the right size for polish boxes to fit into, and lots of the places we shopped gave us those boxes with our purchases. Having them made it much faster to pack up, too. Rather than having to wrap each bottle in bubble wrap, I just needed to shove enough bubble wrap into the top of the box to keep the bottles from rattling. Then I put the boxes into plastic bags to contain any leaks and slid those into the priority mail box. I didn't have quite enough polish boxes, so I did have to bubble wrap a few bottles individually.

As I mentioned in my post about this lacquer lovers weekend, one of the attractions of Las Vegas was the ABC Store (stores, actually, but we only went to one of the locations). I bought way more Island Girl polishes there than I had when I was in Hawaii, the natural habitat for Island Girl. The fact that they were buy 2, get 1 free certainly encouraged me.

Left to right below: Island Girl Surfing Safari, Waikiki Surf, Hawaiian Islands, Hawaiian Sunset, Island Coast, Island Volcano. The first two are the ones I used in my patriotic mani I posted about last week. Hawaiian Islands I got because I couldn't think of any yellow orange star glitter polish already in my stash. I waffled on Hawaiian Sunset, but it made it to the cash register with me because I wanted one of the shades where the star glitters were almost submerged in the base color (I think there were three or four like that) and this was the most purple plus the name made me think of the beautiful sunsets I saw when I was there in Hawaii. The last two I also waffled on—I didn't have multi glitters in these particular base colors already, but they'd be easy enough to make, but it's been ages since I had time to franken, so might as well buy them.

Below: Island Girl Island Heat, Island Paradise, Island Sunset, Hawaiian Sun, Island Color, Island Sun. The first three I got because they are appealingly indie-esque. Hawaiian Sun and Island Color because I was curious how they compared to ones already in my stash (Sinful Deep Red Ocean and one of the Mardi Gras ones Rite Aid had this summer). Island Sun because it's an interesting shredded glitter in some of my favorite colors.

Here's a closeup of Island Sun:

There was a Walgreens right across the street from our hotel. Note that in Las Vegas, "right across the street" can still be a hike, but we were not daunted by the journey down one long driveway, across a small stree, up an escalator, across a pedestrian bridge over the Strip, through part of the Palazzo building, and down another escalator because there was lots of polish to be seen. This was one of the fancy Walgreens with an expanded beauty section like that one in Chicago where I got scolded for taking photos last September. I was thinking that compared to the dozen polishes I got at the ABC Store, I was pretty restrained here, except then I counted up the bottles and found there were eleven—I guess it seemed like fewer because that was spread across several brands.

I got two from Pop Beauty: Iced Glitz and Poetic Peacock. There were plenty of Pop colors there that I didn't have, but these two were the most appealing to me (and will look great worn together if the swatch I did with the testers on a piece of paper mrsrexy and I were sharing as we made our way through the displays).

I got two Nailtini polishes as well: Sugar Rim and Sparkler. Sparkler was one I was going to buy in Chicago before the sales associate barked at me about taking pictures. Since I don't like to have single bottles of a brand, I had to get Sparkler a friend, and Sugar Rim was the second most interesting shade in the Nailtini section.

I got five GOSH: Spot on Pink, With a Twist, Matt Effect Top Coat, Lazy Green, and Galaxy. I am very proud of myself here in that I did not get all of the special/limited edition colors there were to be had. I limited myself to one of each type of cap design plus the matte topcoat (for my ongoing comparison series) plus Galaxy which was on my official wish list.

I didn't take a photo of the other two polishes I got at Walgreens: Barielle Blue Cotton Candy (which I figured I should have if I still was attracted to it this long after I swatched Lucy's press sample) and Nicole by OPI Pixie Glitter (which I will definitely be swatching in the next several weeks).

There was a big Sephora just down the street from the Walgreens. Amazingly, I did not buy anything there. Not one thing. I was tempted, sure, but I just kept telling myself that I have Sephora online and there's at least one big Sephora store in southeast Michigan (not that I go into it hardly ever since it's not conveniently located; point is that I could if I really wanted to).

The first beauty supply we visited was pretty much on accident; my phone lost its location while navigating so we weren't where we planned to be but mrsrexy spotted a sign that had the name of one of the places we were heading to so we stopped. It turned out to be mostly a hair store that just had the same name as the place we'd been intending to go, but they did have a little bit of nail stuff, including a Ruby Kisses display, from which I chose five colors: Red Romance, All Purpled Out, Snow White, Regaled Out Blue, Crazy Night Out. I'm iffy about the bar glitter in Red Romance, but it seems pretty sparse and this was cheap enough that I won't feel bad if I don't end up liking. All Purpled Out I had to have for the name alone; the fact that it's glittery is a bonus. Snow White I could have probably left there since I have a lot of shimmery toppers already, but again, it was cheap, and also Snow White was one of my favorite characters growing up. Regaled Out Blue I would have skipped over entirely except Amy noticed that it looked like a jelly. Do I have a dark blue jelly? I couldn't think of one. Crazy Night Out seemed like a good choice for a Las Vegas souvenir plus it was purple and glittery so it made the cut. The clerk was actually wearing this one on her nails so I got to see what it looked like out of the bottle before I even bought it.

The real serious dents in my polish budget came when we made it to the beauty and nail supplies we did plan ahead for. I didn't keep good track of what I got where; it all blurred together into one big happy shopping extravaganza. Between brands I'd never seen before, brands I rarely see, and oldie but goodie colors I didn't have from brands I see all the time there was plenty to tempt me. I did not do all that well with resisting.

Morgan Taylor is one of the brands I'd never seen before. They had a wide range of colors but I limited myself to just four shimmers and glitters that I was pretty sure didn't overlap much with my existing stash: Who's That Girl, It's My Party, Let Them Eat Cake, Under the Stars. (They get extra credit from me for proper use of apostrophes in names, and for having a website that makes it easy to see their colors; for example Morgan Taylor purples.) There was one more I would have bought—All the Right Moves—if one of the other ladies hadn't gotten the last bottle in the store (I wasn't mad, it was fair enough that she saw it before I did, and it will come to me at some point if it's meant to be).

Here's a detail shot of Let Them Eat Cake; just look at that yummy blend of colors:

Nabi I've heard of before, of course; I run into random displays of it at random Walgreens stores and have swatched and worn various colors. What I hadn't seen before from them was this particular line of glitters (with a "New & thick formula"). I managed to limit myself to just four: Sky Twinkle, Green Land, Abysis (maybe they meant Abyss?), and Pink Moon Star.

Here's Abysis up close:

There were a bunch of Savina colors with very fine holo glitter; I got three of them plus a couple glitters: Blue Ice, Sparkling Water, Charcoal Sparkle, Gold Flecks, and Black Mist.

I ended up with six from Dare To Wear: Rock Star, Electric Masquerade, Goddess of Samba, Rose Gold Rage, Bold N Bronze, and Love Potion. Rose Gold Rage is a crackle polish; I wasn't going to buy any more crack but I didn't have any from this brand yet and this was such a pretty shimmer I snatched it up. I am not sure at this point what my theory was behind getting Bold N Bronze; it's a fine metallic but surely I already have something close. Maybe this is when my brain was overheating.

Goddess of Samba in detail:

Orly is one of my soft spot brands, so I was delighted by the nail supply which not only had them on racks but also had bins and boxes of Orly ripe for digging through. I came home with five: Ruby Passion, Flagstone Rush, Veriwinkle (dig that old 22 ml bottle!), Blushalicious, and Aquamarine Bliss.

Sation knows the way to my heart is glitter; I'm feeling pretty good that I was able to limit myself to five from them: Class Clown, Band Beauty, Videogame Vixen, Prettiest Player, and Most Hue-nique.

I only ended up with three China Glaze; I'm not sure if that's because I already have so many or the selection wasn't as good as for the other brands. My choices: Emerald Sparkle (which I do already own but this looks like the "good" version and I'm not sure if that's the one I have in my stash), Cafe Mystique, and Sprinkles.

I came home with even fewer OPI, and wouldn't even have these if I hadn't seen one of the other gals getting them which piqued my interest. If I am underendowed in any area of my stash, it's yellows and oranges, so I felt fine getting these two. Nicole Alert is on the left and Osaka-to-me Orange on the right.

Prolana is another new-to-me brand; they didn't have flashy glitters to pull me in but on my second or third lap through the nail supply I happened to pick up a bottle of one of the shimmers and it felt good in my hand and looked good to my eye so I scooped up a few more to go with that first one. My final quintet: Frigid, Turning Blue, Glitterati Red, Cold as Ice, and Cold Hearted.

Where things got almost Island Girl crazy was with a brand called B Touch. They had so many glitters, from micro to chunky. I bought ten bottles and put a few more on my wish list because even I have to draw the line somewhere.

Below: G43 (all others have a name as well as a number but not this one), Fuchsia, Double Rainbow, Red Lavender G (I assume the G stands for Glitter but it's not spelled out), and Lime Green Glitter.

Below: Green Glitter, Multigreen G, Glow It, Good Evening, and Light Blue.

Whew, that's it for my Las Vegas purchases. I did also acquire three more bottles but I didn't buy those, they were given to me, and I think they deserve their own post with swatches.

I realize I acquired more in three days than most people ever buy in a lifetime and am fortunate to be able to indulge like that.

Since I'm on the subject of excess, let me share this image:

That's my family room floor being taken over by piles of polish I've been accumulating in random Helmer drawers and cardboard boxes waiting to be sorted by finish and color so I can get them onto nail wheels for my grand swatching project. In the lower right are the cremes. Just above are the shimmers. The skinny column to the left of the shimmers are holos. The big batch flowing out into the room to the left of the holos are glitters. The small groups along the left side are magnetics, crack & spotteds, color changing (via sun, topcoat, or temperature), holiday (snowmen, pumpkins, tombstones), textures, and flakies. This photo was from Wednesday; I spent most of my free moments yesterday sorting these groups into smaller ones and storing those away to await a swatchathon. I am beginning to really see the wisdom of going on a no buy; I just don't think I have that in me right now. I've happily been on a no buy for yarn for ages, but I'm not there with polish yet. A slow buy, sure. I need to do that. Or else get some more Helmers—they come in yellow now.


  1. Omg what an epic haul! I've got hearts in my eyes just from reading your lovely post ^_^

  2. This is seriously the most epic haul I've ever seen! A couple of these brands I'd never heard of before. I'm definitely interested! We have a small nail supply store near us and I'm wondering if there are any interesting polishes. Hmmm...

  3. Oh dear! I am so jealous!!! ^_^ Fabulous haul. Certainly wish I could indulge like that. ;) Perhaps some day.

  4. Holy moly ! I always feel guilty about the number of polishes I have (700-ish) - then I see haul posts and pics like this, lol.

    I'm curious - have you actually worn most of the polishes you own ? This is were I fail - I go mad buying it, HAVE to have it - then so much of it sits because I keep buying more. It's an endless cycle. There are days I think I need to just give it all away. (of course the hoarder in me would never allow that).

    That said - what an amazing haul of pretties ! WOW !

    1. bleubelle, oh my no, I haven't worn most of the polishes I have in my stash. I don't even keep track of trieds and untrieds on my spreadsheet the way some gals do. I sometimes think of my stash as a nail polish museum where some things are there just to be admired or for their historical value. If I actually get around to using them, it's a bonus!

  5. Note to self - don't go shopping in Vegas in October when I go!! Some awesome polishes in this haul - thanks for taking the time to post.

  6. Looking forward to more Wheel Wednesday's and the results of the marathon swatchathon!

    We lucked out on some really great polish finds during our time got some great I think we all did!

  7. Drooling over here - so many goodies :)
    You wrote: "I see the wisdom of going on a no buy; I just don't think I have that in me right now." - exactly how I feel myself :)

  8. Wow! Karen you have a lot of nail polishes.That's any girl dream ;)

  9. Oh emerald sparkle looks nice. I love the look of those Island girl polishes too.

  10. Wow, epic haul! And that last picture.... wow!!

  11. Great haul! I am heading to Vegas from Australia in September. Would you mind letting me know if the a. which nail supply store would you recommend going to and b. is that accessible without a car of your own?

    1. Jas, the nail supply stores I know about were all outside of the tourist areas, and since we did have a car I'm not sure what public transit options there might be. The ABC Store with Island Girl and the upscale Walgreens with GOSH, etc. were both right on The Strip, so those are easily accessible. If you'd like to e-mail me (the.karend @ I'd be happy to help with any details I can.

  12. This is amazing! I never had any desire to go to Las Vegas before....but now I'm tempted.

  13. Wow, what a fantastic shopping experience!

  14. Orgasmic likey! I love Ruby Kisses!!! Snow white isn't so much a topper as a white metallic looking polish that is more opaque than it looks in the bottle & can be used for nail art. They make a great, inexpensive polish that works great for both free hand & stamped nail art.

  15. I am so grateful for this post, I will be going to vegas in August and dont know anything about polish down there.

  16. OMG! That's a great haul! Cant wait to see them!

  17. Oh my! This is such a great haul! It was almost never-ending! lol :D


Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)