You may remember a few weeks ago I reviewed the introductory box set offering from Quirk's Novels and Nails box set. Today I'm back with April's box, and oh my dot, am I hooked this month. This month we received a package centering around Oscar Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Now, last month I was so excited to dig into the package that I didn't take the time to stop and photograph the adorable way that Kerrie packages these Novels & Nails sets, so I promised myself, and y'all, that I would do better.
Inside the package where this sealed gift bag and a card marked "Read Me". Very Lewis Carroll, if you ask me. However, I played along and opened the envelope first.
Inside were Kerrie's HANDWRITTEN notes on this month's novel along with an appropriate quote card from Mr. Wilde himself on the value of good literature. Feeling sufficiently prepped for the goodies, I dug into the big silver bag (the complete contents of which are the first pic at the top of the post).
I'm so excited about the novel this month, y'all. I hope at least most of you are familiar with the story, even if you haven't read the book itself. It tells the story of a young man who is "blessed" with a magical portrait of himself that ages in his place. While Dorian remains young and beautiful, his portrait ages instead. Unfortunately, the portrait also reflects not only his physical visage, but the image of his soul as well, which deteriorates greatly over a life of cruelty and debauchery. It is with great happiness that I add this book to my collection, because it was actually one that I missed in school, and I'm pretty sure that I read The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus instead. My literary education classes were... unconventional, but that's a topic for another post. The point here is that I look forward to reading this book as an adult, having now walked in Wilde's footsteps in Dublin and understanding a lot more about his life than I ever could have as a teenager.
Setting the book aside, I began digging into my goodie bags. I started with the small pink drawstring bag.
Inside I found another handwritten card, this time containing a quote from Mr. Wilde on the absinthe experience. Oscar Wilde was a bit renowned for his fondness of drink (as are most Irishmen, I suppose), so this quote tickled me as I'd never read it before. Also inside the packet were a necklace with a Tinkerbell pendant (a throwback from last month's Peter Pan, of course), and a teeny tiny vial of Absinthe... err, green glitter.
***EDIT: Kerrie just tipped me off to the actual reasoning behind including the necklace with this set: absinthe was commonly referred to as "the green fairy". Sometimes I'm kind of dense. I blame it on the Irish cream in my coffee as I wrote this post, because, yanno, all the best writers were drunks anyway.***
I mean seriously... how stinkin cute is that?
Being thoroughly tickled on the beginning of my literary journey, I dug into the next bag.
This time the, again handwritten, card is a quote from the novel itself, encapsulating one of Wilde's thoughts about human nature and our desperate need to find humor in our existence. This month we were also graced with another packet of Love Hearts (which Mr. Faff has already tried to nick off me once, unsuccessfully) and the first wrapped package of a "secret" goodie.
Original Sin is the name of Kerrie's conditioning cuticle oil. This is a 5ml bottle of luxury. I absolutely cannot identify what fragrances she's added to this oil, but it is definitely a rich, exotic aroma that has subtle hints of something that remind me of the smell of a good cigar being fired up, and immediately transports me to the back of an old Irish pub where smoke fills the air and the most constant sounds are laughter and glasses knocking on wood tables. It may be that I'm getting a little too into this. Sorry. Shaking myself from an imagined life of aesthetic debate and slavery to the written verse, I moved on to the last bag in my package.
I saved my pièces de résistance because I knew it would contain the second half of the box set's namesake. Again I found a handwritten card (seriously, Kerrie, didn't your hands get tired?) with another quote from the book which talks of the connection between beautiful things and the horror from which they inevitably come. I stopped to ponder that for a moment when I read it, and then remembered what was inside that beautifully wrapped little bundle, and I knew that these were my exquisite things, and then I had to wonder about the tragic thing, and I got lost for a minute.
However, as Dumbledore once said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
Rowling AND Wilde, folks. You get it all here.
In ANY event... I've shown you the novel, now let's talk about the nails. These two beauties were neatly bundled up inside, and I almost squeed when I unwrapped them.
Every Exquisite Thing
This charming little minx of a polish is pretty much the best thing that's happened to me this week. It's a very mauvey rose polish with a beautiful shimmer and scattered holo bits and the whole thing just makes me so happy. I mean, not happy enough to sing Pharrell or anything, but happy inside my heart in a place that only beautiful nail polish can touch. This is pretty much an ideal shade for me, and one that I definitely would have picked up long before I started "collecting" polishes. I can't wear most true reds, and I don't like pink, and I already own enough purple polish to choke a horse, so these soft darker, bluer rose shades are a great compromise for me.
Fifty Shades of Dorian Grey
I love a clever pun probably more than most people, so the name of this polish tickled me quite thoroughly. I have a few girlfriends who got all obsessed over that silly series of books, but I never could bring myself to read them after I realized that every soccer mom across the States was fogging up the windows of her minivan over soft-core BDSM, when frankly, there's better and hotter adult fiction to tear into, but that's neither here nor there. This is about the polish, people. Let's focus, shall we?
Inside this glorious little glitter topper, there probably are 50 different glitter shapes, sizes, and shades, as you can see in the macros above. The two nail shots are each two dabbed coats of Fifty Shades over two coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff. The left nail is finished with Glitter Food and HK Girl, and on the right I've topped the same nail with NYC Matte Me Crazy. Being a lover of all things holo, this one is a very cherished addition to my burgeoning Quirk collection.
To finish this already-lengthy post, I wanted to show you guys a few snaps of a mani I created using both of these polishes.
My accent nail starts with a gradient base that moves from My Vampire Is Buff to Revlon Milky Way Grey, topped with two dabbed coats of Fifty Shades of Dorian Grey. I used Glitter Food to level it out and then topped with Out the Door. Unfortunately, OTD doesn't dry as quickly or as hard as I'm used to, and I ended up smudging the topcoat while setting up my light box before I realized it.
All my other nails showcase three glorious coats of Every Exquisite Thing topped with OTD.
I hope you enjoyed this look inside the Novels & Nails pack for April as much as I enjoyed opening it! Unfortunately Quirk is on a (hopefully short) hiatus right now, but as soon as she announces that she's open again, I'll be sure to pass the word along.
Hope you're all having a fantastic weekend and I'll see ya soon!