Saturday, May 31, 2014

Use Nail Polish as Nail Polish Remover? It Works

As I get older, dry hands become more of a pressing issue. I have stopped using acetone and non-acetone removers, temporarily switching to a soy product, perfume, and pure rubbing alcohol, and found I liked the alcohol the best but it eventually got too drying, not for my skin but the nails themselves. Well, here's my new solution: I put a sheer, light-colored polish over existing polish on my nails, gently rub the wet polish off with a paper towel, repeat as needed, concentrating on the cuticle area and the sides to get all of the old paint off, and voila, healthy nails and non-dried up hands and fingers. It's not the quickest solution but the best one so far. One thing is certain; ever since I left nail polish removers behind, my hands have not had a problem with dryness. That makes me happy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Catholic Church will aid Mayor de Blasio's plan to add affordable housing

Catholic Church will aid Mayor de Blasio's plan to add affordable housing - De Blasio has turned to the Catholic Church for help with his plan to build 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. The church will work with the city to create new affordable housing units and to preserve cheap apartments that are in use. By Jennifer Fermino, New York Daily News May 6, 2014

Poll: New Yorkers Prefer Donald Trump And Liam Neeson Over Bill de Blasio

Poll: New Yorkers Prefer Donald Trump And Liam Neeson Over Bill de Blasio 05.19.2014 | Jerome Hudson, Daily Surge

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May Top 10 Fragrance Favorites List

I have a whole new list of Top 10 favorites perfumes in May, thanks to unearthing a bunch of fragrances I had stored away last year. My changing taste also has to do with rising temperatures in general, but it's really nice to rediscover old favorites like I just got them all over again. What's more, I'm wearing vintage perfumes again, so many beauties I'm grateful to own. Does the changing season do the same thing to you?

Oh yes, it's prom season for those of you that are attending. Will you wear a formal scent or a casual favorite? Perhaps you'll get something new for the occasion. This year, I'm turning into a parent of a teenager, so I'll have all the joys and worries associated with those milestone events soon enough.

I'm wearing scents I didn't used to, such as Caswell-Massey White Rose which I thought was too heavily musk-laden, and Guerlain Eau Imperiale which I perceived as sharp but now it's as sweet and refreshing as 4711--indeed they're so very similar. My shifting taste could very well have to do with age, though I prefer to blame the weather. Have a great weekend!

Here's what I'm wearing these days:

May Top 10

1. Giorgio Armani Armani Code
2. Guerlain Chamade parfum (both vintage and new)
3. Paco Rabanne Calandre (both Calandre and Eau de Calandre, also vintage and new)
4. Guerlain L'Instant
5. Yves Saint Laurent Cinema
6. Caswell-Massey White Rose
7. Givenchy III
8. Guerlain Eau Imperiale
9. Cartier Delices Eau Fruitee
10. Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit rollerball

Friday, May 16, 2014

The "Right to Forget" a Genocide

The Right to Forget a Genocide - The EU ruling on Google and the importance of forgetting by Zeynep Tufekci in The Message

Thursday, May 15, 2014

East Village Radio to Sign Off After 11 Years

What bummer news!! WEVR has been the staple underground music station in NYC for years! I really lament this loss. Many thanks to the station and DJ Mari for playing my songs. East Village Radio to Sign Off After 11 Years by Karaslamb,

Hero Cat Saves Little Boy From Vicious Dog Attack

Hero Cat Saves Little Boy From Vicious Dog Attack—Watch the Amazing Video! by Jenna Mullins, May 14, 2014 E Online

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Princess Perfumes: Princess Ranyah, Stephanie and Elizabeth

Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1652)

Royalty and perfumes have been intertwined since forever, most notoriously in the United States exemplified by the Prince Matchabelli line of crown-shaped perfumes. These are perfumes that royals actually had a hand at creating; Prince Matchabelli was in fact a perfumer who blended his own creations for his clients. Although today, we might have heard of Wind Song perfume through a stop at the drugstore, that body spray in a can made by Fragrance Rebel formerly known as Parfums de Coeur was one of the perfumes that used to come in a crown bottle.

Prince Matchabelli crown bottle, Wikipedia

What do perfumes made by royalty smell like? I have yet to sample Wind Song in either new or vintage form, but I have sampled a few other lesser-known royalty perfumes that are now very hard to find. Here is a trio of quick reviews of these fragrances:

Princess Ranyah miniature perfume,

Princess Ranyah: I can't even find the launch year for this perfume, but Perfume Intelligence lists Miss Razan as the maker. My mini says it was Made in Italy. This is a beautiful, full-bodied and sweet Floral with tuberose, similar to Gale Hayman Delicious. Nothing is minimalist about this orchestration; I gather that the list of notes if ever found would be a long one. My guess is that it's from around the same time period as perfumes like Gale Hayman Delicious and Oscar de la Renta Volupte: the early '90s or so. The bottle is pretty and rather dainty, with a white flower cap shaped like a daisy.

Bourjois Stephanie, Perfume Emporium

Bourjois Stephanie: Princess Stephanie de Monaco launched her own perfume in 1989, simply named "Stephanie". It was made by Bourjois, the company that made Soir de Paris; both Soir de Paris and Stephanie share the royal indigo blue packaging motif. Stephanie perfume was composed by the famous Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge. The scent is a spicy Oriental, ambery, big and bold with what registers to me as an aromatic mint top note. It reminds me vaguely of Niki de St. Phalle crossed with Must de Cartier, both of which were bonafide '80s perfumes.

HRH Princess Elizabeth "E", Fragrantica

HRH Princess Elizabeth "E": This is a rich Floral in a retro classical style with an ambery base and spices. Sold by QVC, I imagine this has great potential to be worn as a "fur perfume", or parfum fourrure, although the floralcy is most prominent. Like the other two princess perfumes, the notes seem complex and full-bodied. The list of notes that I could find online include hyacinth and orange blossom. You can read more about HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia on Fragrantica.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thank You, Moms

I mean, look what our mothers lived through. Posting a vintage ad like this is just ironic now, isn't it?

Happy Mother's Day. Image: A parody from the '80s of Lanvin Arpege perfume

Friday, May 09, 2014

Nintendo's rejection of gay relationships gives fans a lot to be angry about

I wish Nintendo would let gay people have their pretend gay marriages in their pretend life world. The argument that allowing what gamers want would turn a virtual reality game into a propaganda tool for social commentary is comical if it weren't for the fact that it's condescending. Just as most people in America know someone with autism, people know somebody who's gay. Besides, if the game glitch of the past allowed gay marriages and they supposedly "fixed" it, that sounds more like social commentary than anything else, not to mention it's sad to give something and take it away. What is this, virtual Prop 8?

Look, I hate that the Covet Fashion app game only has one obviously ethnic face mold for virtual models, and it's the Asian face with particularly small eyes, as if that face should represent a billion + people world wide in every Asia-related event from "Ninja" to "Geisha" to "Chinese New Year". It hurts that only one type of people can be stereotyped, and the California game maker can get away with it for the lack of fear of a lawsuit. The game makers could argue that private game companies can do what they want, but people will still say that that sucks, and likewise their company, Hollywood and the entire West Coast.

I'm not saying every political end should be leveraged, because that sucks, too, but real life is hard enough, and games are supposed to be a fun escape; there's nothing wrong with making their game more inclusive and fun. Nintendo's rejection of gay relationships gives fans a lot to be angry about - Nintendo of America will not allow gay relationships in Tomodachi Life, and their logic for doing so just doesn't add up. Yannick LeJacq Thursday 8 May 2014 Guardian

UPDATE: Nintendo has apologized and promised that a new installation in the future will be more inclusive. Nintendo: We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I Love Lucy: The Ricardos Go to Japan

Lucy and Ethel looked beautiful! Post-war Hollywood depicted Japan in positive light as seen in this episode of I Love Lucy and movies like Sayonara starring Marlon Brando and Miiko Taka.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart

"She's revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author Alice Walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women's rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn't buy in to Alice's beliefs - her daughter, Rebecca, 38.

"Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises - a mother." Read the article: How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart By Rebecca Walker, DailyMail 23 May 2008

John Varvatos (Classic Fragrance) by John Varvatos

Mmm, this is a good Men's scent. Is there really leather in here? It's nothing like Chanel Antaeus or Drakkar Noir. And what is auramber? To me, this smells like sweet woods, in a really modern-contemporary way. It reminds me vaguely of something--maybe Tom Ford Black Orchid, but John Varvatos Classic is easier to wear for me. The aqueous, aftershavey note is very light in this, sort of the way Prada for Men has toned down that übermasculine cologne smell to make it more shared gender-like. It can be had for a song if you shop around.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Can a person's Myers-Briggs personality type change?

My Myers-Briggs personality type changes from INTJ to INFJ and sometimes INTP and INFP. I've even come up as an ENTJ on one of those tests. Now, some people I know who have taken the test more than once have always come up the same type, while others have had even more wildly different results due to most or all of the preferences being marginally expressed at 1%, going from ESTJ to INTJ, or ESFP to ENFJ. Why does this happen? The official MBTI experts will tell you that your (MBTI) personality is innate and never changes. Is personality nature, not nurture? Here's an interesting Q & A posted on Quora that I found on the topic:

Psychology: Can a person's Myers-Briggs personality type change? Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Author: Cracking the PM Interview & Cracking the Coding Interview

"Do you mean can your personality type change, or can the results change? Those are different things.

"Your personality can certainly change over your lifetime, though it usually won't change significantly in a short amount of time. Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type (MBTI) is merely a reflection of your personality (and a poor one at that).

"Your MBTI type can easily change in a span of weeks, or even minutes or hours. When people were tested just weeks apart on MBTI, 50% of the people had their personality type change.

"One of the major failures with MBTI is how the results are interpreted. The results are actually a bell curve, but people pretend as though it's a two-humped curve." Continue reading: Psychology: Can a person's Myers-Briggs personality type change? -

Image source and related article: Bimodal Personalities and the Myers-Briggs by Kate Donovan, posted at Freethoughtblogs by Ashley F. Miller

Sunday, May 04, 2014

MBTI: Being an INxJ means I'm an INTJ today, INFJ on other days

Let's start with an announcement, because it's confirmation of how I've assessed myself time and time again. Today, I'm an INTJ according to Humanmetrics. My Thinking preference was "marginal to no preference" at 1% over Feeling. To be sure, I messed around with the nosy demographic questions, and being male or female and being different age groups didn't change my result. Today, that is.

Now, a quick recap: It's been an amazing journey up to this point, until I finally realized that the things you like are the greatest indication of your preferred type. We might not necessarily like people who like the same things we like, but we can find some kinship through shared preferences such as humor. We also tend to prefer likeminded people, like musicians might feel at ease around other musicians more than lawyers (not that people can't be both). All along while testing INFJ or INTJ, I didn't understand why I didn't feel like other F types and I shared common senses of humor or musical tastes. I'm generalizing, of course, but I found myself less at home on their forums and Twitter timelines than on the T side, namely INTJ and INTP. I believe the definitive factor in the end was knowing that my Ni is in fact stronger than my preference for Ne. I could only be an INTJ or INFJ.

I think women are pidgeonholed into being Feeling types more often than we're aware. Thinking isn't a more masculine quality; it has to do with how we rationalize. For example, with a question like whether I trust reason or feelings more, I know they are interconnected; I feel a certain way because something is incongruent with my principles. In fact I feel strongly, and consider it a gift that my feelings can alert me to trouble. Do I still see this type of reasoning as proof of my preference for reason? Yes. Can rational people still be taken advantage of because we can rationalize feelings away even as we feel strongly? Maybe all the more, and that's what makes me cautious sometimes.

I think being proud is the wrong choice of words. For me, I'm glad I'm the type I am, because the way I prefer to think helps me deal with the ways that I feel. Does that make sense? "Mind over matter" pretty much sums up my type. You have preferred ways of bringing comfort into your world; analyzing everything to bits till I get the big picture is mine.

One more thing for today: Being a Judging type doesn't mean I can't improvise. I find I'm largely impromptu most of the time. I just prefer there to be no surprises, and I try to make it so there aren't, fully knowing there will always be.

Ok, one more thing: I like objective truth but not 100% of the time! Geez, I'm not immune to romance, good relationships, kindness, politeness and all that.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and talented adolescents: Feeling Boys and Thinking Girls: Talented Adolescents and Their Teachers


Jane Piirto, Ph.D. (ENTP)

This article appeared in the Proceedings of the CAPT conference in Orlando, Florida in March 1998


"The MBTI was administered to 226 tenth and eleventh graders who qualified as gifted and talented. Sixty teachers of the talented and 25 elementary and high school teachers were also administered the MBTI. Talented teens preferred ENFP. Gender differences were calculated as well among artistic youth and academically talented youth. Male artistic youth preferred F and academic females preferred T. Teachers of the talented preferred ENFJ. Other teachers preferred ESFJ. Implications for teaching these students are discussed.

"The MBTI has been widely used in education, and a few studies have focused on differences between teachers’ preferences and the preferences of artistically and academically talented youth. Myers and McCaulley (1985) described studies of National Merit Finalists (INFP), of gifted seventh to ninth grade males (ENTP) and females (ENFP); of creative men (INTP) and creative women (INFP), and of schoolteachers (ESFJ). N’s received higher grades than S’s and J’s received higher grades than P’s. The MBTI has been found to be associated with academic aptitude: Myers and McCaulley said, "To the extent that academic work requires the ability to deal with concepts and ideas (I), and with symbols and abstractions (N), academic aptitude should be, and is, associated with a preference for introversion and intuition" (p. 123). Feeling types score higher when verbal strengths are called for, and Thinking types get higher scores when analysis is in order. Perceptive types have greater breadth of knowledge than J and usually score higher on aptitude tests. However, J types get higher grades than would be expected by their aptitude scores because they organize their work and meet deadlines." Continue reading: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and talented adolescents: FEELING BOYS AND THINKING GIRLS: TALENTED ADOLESCENTS AND THEIR TEACHERS by Jane Piirto, Ph.D. Ashland University, March 1998

L'Artisan Parfumeur D'Humeur Reveuse

When you've been into perfume for as long as I have, sometimes you forget or take for granted the many options you have in your own wardrobe. Take for instance the fabulous L'Artisan Parfumeur Sautes d'Humeur collection; five different moods, yet I've really only properly worn and written about two. Since I'm currently revisiting my neglected loves, I gave D'Humeur Rêveuse (Lazy Mood) another sampling. Where was this when I was going nuts looking for the ultimate clean scent? Soft, clean, with that laundry detergentesque quality yet there's this pleasant gustative quality, too, as incongruent as that is in reality, juxtaposing food aromas with household cleaner smells. Ah, yes, it reminds me of the sweet almond-heliotrope notes in Castelbajac, only it's much lighter and less sweet in D'Humeur Rêveuse. Naturally, it also reminds me of Lea St. Barth, only less heavy in the musk department. It's the kind of scent I can wear when I want the austerity of that starched white shirt but don't want to give up the hedonistic, cuddly vanilla I always feel weak for, even when it comes hand in hand with that ol' fair weather friend, white musk.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

No More Nail Polish Removers: You Can Use Perfume!

Happy first day of May! You might already know that I've been on a journey trying to figure out the best, safest way to enjoy my new nail polish hobby, and that I've discovered some neat tricks along the way. How exciting it is for me to announce yet another nail polish remover that's less drying and less of a worry to have in the house than acetone and acetone-free products. It turns out I don't need to keep buying expensive natural soy nail polish removers anymore, either. Guess what? Alcohol works, and so does alcohol-based perfume. Well, I just happen to have some perfumes on hand--an entire wardrobe, to be exact. Will they double as functional products? Talk about a blessing in disguise! To see just how well perfume works, I ran an at-home experiment with 10 different products, 8 of which are perfumes, and also with ethyl alcohol and apple cider vinegar just to see.

Most of the 10 products I used were effective in removing nail polish off my fingernails, so here's the run down from the most useable to the least:

1. Jil Sander No.4 Eau de Parfum: This is the first perfume I randomly chose to test, and it worked like a charm. It left my nail shiny, and I could feel the perfume oil in the blend moisturizing my hand as I used it. It didn't take much effort in terms of having to scrub, either. It's very perfumey-smelling, especially in large amounts, but hey. Four stars! ****

2. Guerlain L'Instant Eau de Parfum: I was so hoping this would work because I love the scent and have been wearing it frequently, so I was tickled pink to see how effective it was. This one also left my nail in good shape while it took off the varnish relatively easily, and moisturized while doing its work. Four stars! ****

3. Calvin Klein IN2U Eau de Toilette: This one also worked well, even though it's an EDT. The scent is citric and pleasant, like how a fancy nail polish remover should smell--clean and fresh. I'm glad I got the big, honkin' bottle after all. Four stars! ****

4. Creed Spring Flower Eau de Parfum: I didn't want to use such a high end perfume as varnish remover, but it works, which I'm happy about because it's been my go-to scent for years. I had to use a bit more of it because it took a bit more effort to get the polish off, so even though the scent is four stars ****, as a functional item, three stars. ***

5. Serge Lutens Un Lys Eau de Parfum: Here again, I sacrificed a bit too much of the high end fragrance to get the varnish off my nail, so even though it's effective, I give it three stars. ***

6. Britney Spears Fantasy Eau de Parfum: I need to retest this one, because I thought it worked very well, but maybe I felt it was a tiny bit drying. Three stars. ***

7. Chanel No. 19 Eau de Parfum: This one worked fast, but it was also a bit drying. I need to test it again. Three stars. ***

8. Ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): The least expensive product that was effective for removing nail polish was also very drying. It started to make the top layer of my nail peel, so I won't use it again without oils to counterbalance the drying effect. But what's important is that IT WORKS! This could be what customers use at Sephora to remove polish. Two stars. **

9. Jean Nate Body Splash: I have a huge bottle of this stuff, too, and I thought the combination of it being relatively inexpensive and lemony-smelling would make this my ultimate choice, but it dried out my nail so fast, I saw it peel off the top layer before my eyes. It works fast, though. 1 star. *

10. Apple cider vinegar: Doesn't work at all. Zero stars.

I used these products to remove three coats of creme nail polish; I have no idea how well they would work to remove glitter polishes. I will see if the harsh Jean Nate works best for stubborn polishes. All in all, alcohol is still drying not only to nails but hands, so I would use moisturizer or oils of some kind when removing polish.

I hope you'll catch me on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook, and share your thoughts on these ideas, or any nail polish-removing secrets you may have!