Friday, December 24, 2010

holiday nails

Top pic is Nicole Fell From The Tree with WnW Prancer, ChG Party Hearty and Milani Gold hex from the new collection on all except the thumb. Thumb is Milani Red Sparkle One Coat Glitter with ChG Medallion on top.

Bottom pic is Milani My Network and ChG Medallion. The green/red mani got a lot of comments from customers and bro-workers but that darned Fell From the Tree stained my nails even with a basecoat of Instant Artificials. It was worth it because that green is intense.

What to do, what to do....

I got a call last week from Mr. B-the source of many of my finds. He's the fella with the warehouse full of polish I wrote about earlier? Seems that Mr. B's assistant was picked up by ICE and is getting sent back to his native country after trying legally to gain citizenship. This sucks on many levels-he is having to be separated from his wife and kids who are legal. It leaves Mr. B without anyone to help him run his business which really stinks because the assistant knew where all of the good stuff was. Mr. B is a man in his 60s who works as he puts it "6 and a half days a week"; at his age he should be getting ready to retire and enjoy the spoils of his business. I think it keeps him young though-he is sharp as a tack.

So Mr. B asks me if I want to come and be his assistant. Well, of course I want to! The only problem is I would have to commute 80 miles roundtrip every day, 5 days a week. I have a not-so-fuel efficient car nearing 100K miles that would hate that trip. Going down is fine but coming back up the mountain is tough on my car. She doesn't like it very much at all and since I haven't found a mechanic to date I can't afford any repairs to her right now. The other issue is as a single parent, I'd be in another state if something were to happen to my youngster while in school. Also, I actually like the job that I have.

So the cons are outweighing the pros but oh do I want to throw caution to the wind and say yes. I'm not going to right now, but I just have to get it off my chest that it is really tempting. I'd like to figure out a way to go down there 2 days a week and keep my current job. The wheels are turning!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

some recent finds

I live in a small town and am running out of places to hunt it seems. Most of the time, I strike out either due to a language barrier (why oh why didn't I take Vietnamese in high school? Oh, that's right because it wasn't OFFERED) or because they don't sell polish and look at you like you have a second head growing out of your neck when you ask them if they have any for sale. It's a game of numbers really-you keep trying until you hit pay dirt. Persistence is the key to a good dusty hunter.

Down the street from work there is a nail place that I've had good luck at-the first time I went I came out with OPI's Glacier Bay Blues. I showed my bro-workers (I'm the only girl at my store) what I'd found and they didn't see the big deal. Yes, it's true that a lot of men are color-blind but really, it's just that my bro-workers are severely heterosexual rednecks that wouldn't know a bottle of polish from a tube of lipgloss. 
I've still not done an entire mani with this; my untrieds are epic. But I was stoked to get it! Here's some other finds from that particular dig.

They had a really sad looking bottle of China Glaze Dusk that I may go back and get eventually but it just didn't wow me in the bottle. It needed a day's worth of shaking/rolling to get it looking like it should.

Next set of pics are from the local mall's chop shop. My neighbor works there; her English is pretty good but I think she thinks I'm wacko because all I talk to her about is polish. That's probably the last thing she wants to talk about is work! 

I couldn't capture Rudolph Red's prettiness-it's a pinky red jellyish polish with gold microglitter. Think Smitten with Mittens but pinker maybe? So pretty IRL.

Friday, December 10, 2010

picture post

Here's some of the lovelies I came away with from my maiden voyage to Mr. B's Home for Wayward Polishes. I apologize for the amateurish photos but I'm working on building a proper lightbox and whatnot.

Old Creative Nail Designs-good times, man-good times! They aren't B3F and that's the way I like them. Full of toluene-y goodness! From l to r, Red Baroness, Royalty, Blueblood and Heiress.
 Some old China Glaze glass fleck beauties-I think these are from the Drunk People collection as their named Martini Lunch, Martini Pedicure and Sass in a Glass (from left to right). I'm still on the hunt for their sister polish, It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere. Seriously, that's the name of it!
OPI's Beachen Peachen and Tucum-cari Boys n Berry. The latter is black label, can't remember if BP is as well. See the dust on the darker polish where the cap meets the bottle? That's what I'm talking about.
More dust! These pics don't do either of these polishes justice-they are by Revivanail and they rock! The green one is a dark hunter green with gold micro shimmer, perfect for Christmas. The purple is deep grape with the same gold micro shimmer. They wear like grim death-no tipwear! And they apply so easily I can use them blindfolded.
Three Toma polishes-I'd seen this brand only online in pictures and evilBay so I thought they looked like fun. The polish in the middle was naughty and went to polish heaven; no matter how much thinner I added it was like spackle. Plus the color was not as interesting on the nail as in the bottle. I haven't tried the other two but given my mood swings it will get a workout.
I actually bought these from some surly Vietnamese ladies, not from the wonderful Mr. B but they were bought the same week so I'll toss them in here. Can't remember the name of the first one, it's rather unremarkable as a standard charcoal shimmer. But the green in the middle is Cat's Eye and the one on the right is Grape Crush. GC has holographic shimmer and therefore is shiny and good. Haven't tried Cat's Eye yet.

Now I know how Howard Carter felt.

This story actually begins around Halloween-I took a day trip on my day off, sans child, looking for a beauty supply store I'd found only the name for online. It was on a road I'd traveled down several times but it was such a nondescript place I'd never noticed it before. When I got there I was blown away by what I saw-rows upon rows of mostly hair care and salon stuff. Hair color, perms, shampoos, conditioners, rollers, appliances-you name it, it was there. Shelves overflowing onto the floor to where you only had a path to get through. My OCD-addled brain nearly exploded. I wanted to straighten it all up! But there was polish to be had and I was on a mission.

I asked the gentleman if he had any nail polish and he showed me the aisle it was on, along with a hodgepodge of other products like lotions and treatments. To make a long story short, I spent 2 hours going through boxes and displays. I came out $76 poorer but tickled pink with my loot. Even better, the gentleman (who turned out to be the owner) and I struck up a conversation about nail polish. He told me what was in his store was only a fraction of what was in the warehouse. This was me:

 The owner gave me his e-mail address and told me if I was interested at taking a look around the warehouse sometime to let him know. So when I got home I emailed him and told him I was anxious to see what he had. Over a month went by, then he called. Which brings us to today's adventure.

I set out this morning dressed for a dig so to speak-old jeans, tennis shoes and a fleece jacket because I assumed the warehouse wasn't going to be temperature controlled. I also had a flashlight and a box cutter along with a notepad and my cell phone. I wish I'd brought my good camera because with this story seeing is believing. I only have one cell pic to share but it gives you an idea. Mr. B and I puttered around the store first today-I found a couple of OPIs and some old formula CND polishes and set them aside to buy. Then he said to his assistant "Isn't there some old OPI in the truck outside?" and his assistant said he thought there was so we unlocked the truck. In a box was several smaller boxes of OPI circa 1996. I let out an audible "squeeeeee!" and went all grabby hands. More than one box of Jasper Jade! 6 polishes in a box. I got lightheaded and took them as well as some of it's siblings inside. Yes, I bought one-I told Mr. B he needed to keep them inside for safe keeping.

So we set out for the warehouse, with Mr. B's trusty terrier Rusty in tow.  The warehouse is about 5 minutes from the store; it's actually a converted textile mill built over 100 years ago. As we drove towards it there were still small mill houses lining the street. Textile mills in The South were their own self-sustainable communities back in the day. Workers lived close, schools just for their children were opened, small hospitals were on-site, even recreational parks were built all for the workers and their families. Pretty cool. WalMart certainly wouldn't do that for it's slaves, err, associates, would they?

Mr. B's warehouse is the size of several football fields and is 4 stories tall. I'm pretty sure a good part of it houses his beauty supply empire though it appears he rents out space to other companies. We parked and transferred ourselves over to a golf cart, then headed up a loading ramp into the dark and chilly mill. Every floor is padlocked-how he knows which key is which was a mystery to me. I think Mr. B has a photographic memory because he can locate something amidst what the average person would consider absolute chaos.

The first floor is a series of locked areas but the 2nd and 3rd floors are all open space. The party girl in me said "This would make a great place for a rave!" then the Yuppie in me said "I would turn this place into lofts and sell them to my fellow Yuppies and make a killing!" I also thought "This place has GOT to be haunted" and I'm sure it is, seeing as it's over a century old and mills weren't the safest places to work. So with that last thought in my head, Mr. B deposits me on the third floor and tells me to poke around while he goes to get something. Right about then my imagination starts working overtime and I'm thinking I'm going to be the subject of an Eli Roth movie. But armed with my trusty flashlight and boxcutter, I soldier on.

Here is the third floor. No ghosts or chainsaw-wielding maniacs but there is a kitchen sink! This is one of four rows, and I'm thinking it's about 2 football fields long total-I took this towards the end of the row. Where it's dark there's more stuff but I didn't go back there-too chicken. I'm assuming the 4th floor looks the same from what Mr. B said. By the way, the floors are all WOOD and brick. You can see the red bricks pretty well in the pic; what looks like white paint between them is actually gorgeous wood; I'm guessing either pine or pecan as that's what grew in the area back then. The wood alone is worth a fortune. But I digress, onto the polish!

The third floor held only a few interesting finds but holy carp, the first floor blew my mind! I've never seen so much polish in all the days of my life. Thousands of small boxes inside bigger boxes, each containing 6 bottles of nail polish. Is it in any order? No. Is there an inventory database somewhere? No. Are the boxes even labeled? No. They are scattered around amidst other products-only Mr. B knows where to look. Just when I thought we were done in one area he'd say "OK, let's go around the corner here..." and BAM! Same scenario-a sea of boxes on shipping palettes. OPI, Essie, China Glaze...core colors, old discontinued colors...most have never seen the light of day. They just sit there needing good homes. It's like the polish shelter-all we need is a sad Sarah McLachlan song playing in the background, huh?

So what's exactly in there? There's no way to really know unless I quit my job and catalog it all to get it ready for Mr. B to sell it. I'm tempted, believe me but the reality is can't. All I can do is go visit and retrieve stuff once a month.