Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thinking about what Beauty means to me...and a Red Comparison (long, but good post!)

While recovering from knee surgery, I took the time to read a ton of books. Some fiction series follow ups that I love and a few books of the "self-help" genre. A friend told me about a book she was reading so I checked out the prologue on and knew I needed to read it. Why? I've been dieting and beating myself up for most of my life and so I could relate to this book. 

I'm sharing this now because I was moved (as many of you were) by Andrea's Post over at Black nail polish and lip gloss and have been wanting to share this book with the world since I got so much out of it. I know that not everyone will, but when I find a gem like this, I usually end up telling everyone I know to CHECK IT OUT CUZ IT'S THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!!! Yeah, that's me...and that's ok. :)

It took me the whole week to read the book not because it is a big book, but because I kept having to set it down to think, absorb, cry, thrash, get angry and, finally, accept. I realized that I had, once again, forgotten who I am and gone back to believing what other people's stories told me I am. I also came to realize that I was trying to fill my non-stuff compiling life up with stuff again to counter the difficult financial times the husband and I have been facing. I mean, if I have all this nail polish, then we aren't struggling so bad, right??? RIGHT???

What I learned mostly was to be present again. Be passionate about life and most of all, remember that I am beautiful just as I am right now, and now and now. 

First thing I did was to cancel my Weight Watchers membership. Yep, I've had great success (you'll find this very post over there if you click but there are a couple years of posts and a huge transformation over there if you're interested in learning more about who I am) and some backsliding with that plan but, I learned so much there and because of the time I spent learning their "Tools for Success" I was ready to hear the message in this book.  

I'm done dieting. I'm done telling myself I don't measure up to someone else's idea of what is beautiful. I'm also done eating absently and not enjoying every minute, including the minutes I spend feeding this glorious body I've been blessed with to walk on this beautiful planet I get to call "home."  

And when I hear that little nagging voice, the one that tells me I am not enough, I don't have enough, I'll never BE enough...I will, as soon as I realize I am buying it's bs, tell it to shut the hell up!  It has been a little over a week. ONE WEEK and without counting calories, points, or carbs, without weighing and measuring, without denying myself what my body wants, I'm getting healthier. I've lost 9 pounds. NINE. Just by being present when I eat. I share that because, as the author, Geneen Roth says, "It's not about the weight and yet, it's not NOT about the weight" For some of us, healthier means losing weight, for others, it means gaining or maintaining while nourishing our bodies. For me, it means some weight needs to leave my body...and I will never, EVER diet again. I'm free. I'm back to being me and that is a very cool thing.

What is this book? If you clicked the Amazon link above, you already know, but if you didn't, the book is 
Women, Food and God: An unexpected path to almost everything.  

So the changes to my attitude lead me to look at my stash and decide it was time to do some culling. I don't need all these bottles taking up space in my tiny home and already increased the size of my stash to at least 20 times my initial plan. Part of that is seeing all these gorgeous colors all you ladies are posting. I love so many of the colors, but I don't NEED them. Hence my asking how you'd feel about some used polish giveaways. I don't want to replace them with swaps...I want to reduce my stash and have the colors I love and only those colors. I want to travel light while I'm here. I forgot that about me... That's not to say I don't envy you all your's just not something I want as much as I want to travel light. 

I began the culling with comparisons, which I shall share with you, to help me decide which polishes I want to keep and those that, while still quite nice, are so similar to what I'm keeping, I don't need them in my stash.  I know already, from reading other blogs, that all of my comparisons may show my lack of understanding of dupes and all that stuff, but for me, really, how many red nail polishes do I need? Certainly not 40...more like 4.

I give you the contenders and I think these are Jellies, but there may be a creme in here.
Left to right: Cheeky Monkey Pop My Cherry, Zoya Harley, Miss Marion Carnival, Essie Lollipop, tictac unnamed red

On the nails in the Sun: (all are 3 coats, no base, no top)
Beginning with the Thumb they are in the same order: Thumb = Cheeky Monkey, Forefinger = Zoya, Middle = Miss Marion, Ring = Essie and Pinky = tictac.

In the Shade:

Cheeky Monkey Pop My Cherry is a wonderful true red jelly with a formula I had to learn to use and am now quite fond of. I don't have any complaints about the color, the formula or the brush. The brush is average but the formula would work if all you had to paint your entire nail was a toothbrush. :) Lizard rates this one: Sizzling!

Zoya Harley wasn't a true red, a bit more orange and I thought the formula was a bit on the watery side. Lizard rates this one: Balmy, but I have enough reds so it's downgraded to Chilly because of the formula and it just can't compete with CMPMC.

Miss Marion Carnival is one I really liked when I did my Miss Marion review...I still really like it. The formula is great, the brush is really nice and it builds the color really well. This one was the most orange red of the bunch and that, plus my love for this company makes it rather special to me. It's an orange red I can wear and look at that shine. The Lizard rates this one: Toasty.  It stays

Essie Lollipop: This is a bright red jelly with a delightful formula but the brush is scrawny. In fact, I didn't much like the brush in this one at all. It's very similar, maybe even a complete dupe for Cheeky Monkey Pop My Cherry, but I had to choose the Monkey over this because the brush was challenging and I simply love Cheeky Monkey. Still, the Lizard rates this one: Sizzling! (it's Essie after all.)

tictac unnamed red: This one was a bit of a surprise. I won this in a giveaway and I wasn't expecting very much since it's a brand I'd never heard of nor seen until just before the giveaway.  This was the wateriest polish in the bunch. Cuticle flooding and all. That might be because I am getting used to Cheeky Monkey and Essie but still, this was one watery polish!  It dried super shiny though not as shiny as the others. I think with practice and some topcoat, I might be able to make this one shine. Still, it's not a favorite so it goes in the cull pile. Final Lizard rating: Tepid

Bottle picture with Flash:

In the end, I am keeping only Cheeky Monkey Pop My Cherry and Miss Marion Carnival with a wandering eye on Essie Lollipop as it sits in the cull pile along with Zoya Harley and tictac unnamed red.

Some of these were review samples, some were giveaway winnings...I honestly didn't purchase a single one. Still, it is harder to let them go than I thought it would be.  How will I do it?  A few different ways actually. I'll be having another nail polishing party with my co-workers and friends and I'll take an assortment there for them to choose a few to take home, some will be in various giveaways and if I can make enough room, I may swap and do the Zoya exchange for truly unique to my collection colors. 

I hope you enjoyed my comparison and review of the red jellies I have! Next up: The Darker Reds
Til then, be present, be loving, be true to who you are!
~The Lizard


  1. Insightful and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings. :)

  2. Oh, this is awesome! Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well. Andrea definitely inspired me to share my thoughts as well, because I too have struggled with self worth, also. I love that we are all sharing our thoughts, it's inspiring!
    As to polish giveaways - as a fellow polish fiend, I have no objection to used polish giveaways! I was wondering about this myself.

  3. Wow. I can't wait to pour over your other blog. Thank you for sharing. I am on weight watchers right now. In the past, the points/measuring/weighing became a monster. I am really interested in this book!

    (great reds btw. I have a recovering addiction to red cremes. it's all I used to wear!)

  4. I've read all this post "nodding"...I've been struggling with my weight for years, since I was 16...There have been diet periods (Beverly Hills, Zone, WW - I still have one of the notebooks where I wrote all I was eating and daily weight) and eat-until-you-ache periods. My weight was going up and down, food and scale were an obsession.
    Luckily my pregnancy (at 30, so I had 14 years of food mess behind) stopped this crazy behaviour and I discovered that "not caring" (reading all labels, count fat, buy fat free o "light" products) and enjoying what you eat made the miracle for me, as my weight finally stabilized. This book seems really interesting, actually it's not about the weight, it's about feeling good with ourselves and sometimes I just need something to remind me that (I find always something in me to be unhappy about). Concerning "travelling light", you are right, maybe I feel I should think about my buying/lemming policy too :-P
    Hugs, have a nice free day/week/month...

  5. It seems like there's a "beauty revolution" going on in nailbloggers land lately;). I just checked your weight-loss blog, you did such good work!
    I understand what you're writing, and I've had those "I'm going to accept myself the way I am now" moments as well. But I just don't like being fat!And I'm super happy with the ww diet!
    I'm also having a nailpolish-stop, I started to feel like a greedy shopaholic. Buy, apply, take picture, and place on shelve. Not funny at all;).

  6. Great post. I hate how much polish I have and am constantly bringing polish to work and giving it away. Some I can't part with - but some even if I don't want to part with them - I honestly know I won't be wearing them again, so I do. I hate saving things, as they are just things after all. I was wondering about doing a used polish give-away as well.

    As for the body issues and weight issues. I don't believe in dieting. I have some weight I always think I could lose, but I can't get on the dieting bandwagon. I feel like I need to be happy and when I am enjoying a meal with family and friends, I don't want to have to think about what to eat. Actually I don't eat meat and have to always make sure my diet is balanced so I stay healthy, and that takes enough of my focus. Sometimes I wish I could be like everyone else and just eat meat again, but I can't do it. I can not will myself to meat in my mouth anymore. So since I have that restriction - I am not about to add others. Whether I lose the weight or not. But I do need to work out more. Maybe that would help? More activity?

  7. This post is pure genius. I am going through a similar thing with food at the moment and I think it's working. I certainly feel better about myself!

    Thank you for this, I loved reading it.

  8. great post! hope your knee is better soon:* check your email asap ;) :)

  9. I love your attitude! And YAY for your losing 9 pounds! That's fantastic =) Very inspiring and encouraging post =) You always take the best pictures too!

  10. Thats awesome! I am so happy when people discover a way forward through their spiritual side!

    We are all such strong, amazing, capable creatures! We just need to learn how to harness it!

  11. I think I like the Zoya best....Great post and a even better attitude!:)

  12. What an interesting post! I'm glad that you now accept yourself as you are, and wow, look at the results - you actually lost weight! As for the polishes, I think you've got a good idea there. It's funny, I was just looking at my red nail polishes yesterday and wondering how many reds do I really need?! I mean, really! :P


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