Manicure Monday: Pink Destination

Hello, reader! It’s Monday again! For today’s look, I used Shinjuku Golden Gai and Plumeria from Elevation Polish. It’s so colorful!

When I heard Elevation was doing a collection based on Japanese landmarks, I decided I was going to buy it, even before I knew what it looked like. I couldn’t pass up a polish named after places I’d been in real life, could I? Of course, Shinjuku Golden Gai wasn’t one of them; I was a teen when I was in Japan, and the bars and clubs of this district were beyond my reach. This actually has nothing to do with the nail polish, I’m sorry.

Shinjuku Golden Gai is a gorgeous polish, though. It’s a warm neon pink with a cool neon pink flash, and the two together make such an awesome combination. The formula was so smooth and lovely to work with, also. It has renewed my love for hot pink polish.

I didn’t want to do glitter gradients two weeks in a row, but I also didn’t want to cover up my base polish very much. I pulled out Plumeria and used the lightest hand I could to sponge the polish on. I like the result. This was what I wanted last week’s look with Bridezilla to be, not the chunky mess I ended up with. I really love the round glitters and all the color they add, but you can still see the pink flash in the base polish. These photos were taken in direct sunlight. The warm pink leans orange out here, which I love. You can see the shimmers in Plumeria pretty well out here, as well as the pink shimmer in Shinjuku Golden Gai. I love this mani so much.

Plumeria looks like it might be discontinued, but Shinjuku Golden Gai and other Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Claire’s Mystery Pink (Hot Stuff)

Swatch Sunday is back! Today’s polish is an oldie, one of the first I ever bought as an adult. This polish, whose shade label came off years ago, was purchased in 2007 or ’08 and saw a lot of use in those days. I’m wearing it at three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

This mystery pink, as you can see, is a neon pink creme. I can’t speak much for its formula, product consistency, or application, since it is old and I thinned it out prior to this use. It was pretty thick and goopy before that. Coverage was okay; it took three coats to even out the opacity. It dries with a matte finish; I used top coat for shine.

Even though I love this polish, I do admit it’s not the most high-quality polish. You know how some polishes just feel thick, like the pigment never really blends into the polish base, and it’s like you’re just brushing wet pigment onto your nail? That’s what this feels like, like the ingredients just didn’t fully incorporate. I wish I’d taken a photo of it without the top coat, because the top coat disguises the poor quality. It dries matte, but not in the chic way, but the cheap way. Like I said, I really like this polish and I hate to call it poor quality, but I’ve used way better polishes. Also, as I mentioned, this is a nearly ten year old bottle of polish, and I don’t intend to judge all Claire’s polish by this one. If you’re still preteen enough to shop at Claire’s — and I know you are — don’t let this one dissuade you from trying others.

Claire’s polish is sold at Claire’s.

Update: Melanie of Polish is the Key to My Heart recognized this shade as Hot Stuff! Thanks for the tip, Melanie!

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Cold Inside Me

Welcome back to Swatch Saturday! Last week, we took a break from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Crooked Hearts collection to have a look at a limited edition Siren. We’re jumping back in with another shimmery beauty, Cold Inside Me. I’m wearing three coats of Cold Inside Me with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

Cold Inside Me is a teal polish with blue-to-purple shifting flecks. I didn’t realize the flecks were shifters until I was processing these photos, so none of my photos capture it. I do apologize. As it is shown here, however, was what it looked like most often on my nails, so I do feel that it is represented accurately. Application was good; the first coat was nearly opaque, just a slight hint of translucence without streaking or gaps in coverage. The second coat evened it out very well. The consistency is very smooth and easy to work with. It dries quickly and with an interesting satin finish; I have photos of it in the sunlight set toward the end of this post.

How gorgeous is this, seriously? The base color itself is already very cool, but then the glass-fleck shimmers come in and make the whole thing sparkly and shimmery and BEGLesque. I love it.

The following photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight, but you’ll notice these photos are also comparisons; the photos on the left are at two coats and without top coat, while on the right it’s at three coats and top coat. I prefer the glossiness of the top coat, but the satin finish is pretty enough that I had to photograph it.

Cold Inside Me and other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Lime Sherbet With Sprinkles

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s look evokes images of springtime, doesn’t it? I’m so ready for spring. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Queen Lime Rose Zinnia with Lynnderella‘s Bridezilla.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is probably the newest BEGL I’ve worn yet, and maybe also one of the most interesting. The shade itself is already very cool; it’s this delicious lime sherbet green (get it, cool?), but then there’s these pink-to-gold shifting flecks that add contrasting shimmer. It’s so gorgeous. It dries with a satin finish to boot. It’s an incredible polish.

You know what else has a beautiful pink-to-gold shift? Lynnderella’s Bridezilla! I actually paired them for this reason; the matching shimmer unites both polishes in a really cool way. The shimmer you see here is likely more from Bridezilla than Zinnia; I sponged a little extra shimmer on the tips after adding the glitter. Also, I do apologize for how sloppy the glitter looks. I always do this! I try to make sure I have enough glitter, and then I end up with too much. It’s a fun glitter mix, though, right? I love that there’s so many different shapes in it. They stick up off my nail and get snagged on things, of course, but I can deal with it for a day or two.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. Everything is so bright out here! The shimmer doesn’t seem as intense, but it’s pretty potent wherever the light hits it. You can see the shift pretty well out here, too.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is not currently in stock; see the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer shop for other polishes. Bridezilla might have been a limited edition Lynnderella; other Lynnderellas are available on their website and on eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Ciaté’s Chinchilla

Swatch Sunday is here again! Today’s polish is Ciaté’s Chinchilla. It’s the cutest blue I’ve used in a while. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Chinchilla is a dusty blue creme. My bottle had some separation, and I had some difficulty getting it back together; when I shake the bottle, I don’t hear the agitator balls, which makes me think there aren’t any in there. I had to add my own. Good thing I had them just laying around, right? Once I got it back together, though, the product consistency was good. My first coat of Chinchilla was streaky, as you might imagine, but it evened out by the second. It dried quickly and with a glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

These tiny bottles are a pain to pose with.

I really like this shade, and I feel like it’s a unique one in my collection. It’s the perfect dusty blue; every blue I have is bright or deep and there aren’t many in between. It would be a great base for nail art; in fact, I think I got this in a Ciaté set that came with caviar beads or dried flowers or something.

Chinchilla looks like it’s discontinued by Ciaté; other Ciaté polishes are available on their website and at Sephora.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren Sweetheart

Hello, reader! Swatch Saturday is going strong in 2017! Today’s polish is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Siren Sweetheart; I’m wearing one brushed coat over Zoya’s Chantal and Essie’s Fiji and Mint Candy Apple.

Siren Sweetheart is a clear-based glitter topper with iridescent hex and square glitters and denim blue hexes in a mainly-white glitter mix that includes rectangles, stars, hearts, diamonds, and squares. Application was okay; the consistency was pretty thick, which is not unexpected, seeing how much glitter is in the bottle. The glitter is very dense, so I got tons on the brush and didn’t have to fish for the larger shapes. The polish dried quickly with some texture; I used top coat for smoothness.

The white glitter topper is one of my favorite mixes, because it can be worn over anything. I only swatched it over pastels here, but you could put this over any creme and have an interesting look. The iridescent glitters shift colors based on the lighting, so there’s some color in the polish, the white glitters add texture and fun, and the blue glitters break it all up. I am having a ton of fun wearing this.

These photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. In the sun, the iridescent glitters look a little washed out, but out here, you can see just how much glitter is on each nail. The studio photos seem a little deceptive by comparison.

Siren Sweetheart was a numbered limited edition that has since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Empties Roundup: December 2016

Hey hey, reader! We have one last thing to cap off 2016, albeit a bit late: it’s the Empties Roundup for December! It’s a quick one this month, so let’s get started.

Hotel Soaps from Paya and Bath and Body Works

Confession: I steal the toiletries from hotels. I know it’s kind of chintzy, but they always come in handy. Sometimes I end up in a hotel that doesn’t supply it for me, and what then? Good thing I had those 400 tiny bottles of shampoo in my suitcase, right? Soap’s not a practical one to carry around, so I decided to use them up in my shower at home. The Paya one is from a hotel in Hawaii, and the Bath and Body Works ones are from a Best Western. Did you guys know B&BW do the toiletries for Best Western? I had no idea. There was actually a fourth soap that I didn’t get finished in time, you’ll see it at the end of this month most likely.

Hickory Ridge Organics Shower Butter in Balinese Coffee

I used this as a solid exfoliating body scrub, and it was delightful. It didn’t last long, maybe five uses at most, but I loved it every time. The bottom layer was made mostly of the solid coffee bits, which made it a bit rough at first, but as I kept using it, it got gentler and more creamy. The coffee bits were hard to wash off sometimes, especially early on in the bar. It was so nice though, incredibly moisturizing and left a nice creamy sheen on my skin. I can’t wait to rebuy this.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original Scent, mini size

I bought a lot of these to take on vacation when I went to Hawaii, and this is the last of them. This wasn’t my favorite dry shampoo; it was easy to overdo and left a white residue. Wasn’t bad for travelling, though.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, mini size

I got this in an Origins 500-point reward from Sephora. I had it in my travel bag with the rest of my stuff, but I ended up taking it out when I ran out of my full-size cleanser and I didn’t have a backup. I rather liked it. It left my skin feeling clean, though a little dry and stripped. I know this is a turn-off for a lot of people, but when my face feels oily and dirty one hundred percent of the time, I welcome a bit of drying cleanser. I’m thinking about buying a full size of this.

Shea Moisture Hand and Body Scrub in Lavender and Wild Orchid

Yep, this again! This is my favorite scrub in one of my favorite scents. Get used to seeing these.

And that’s it, the last Empties Roundup for 2016! Did you notice it’s mostly travel-size products? I hope to travel more in 2017 and work on my pile of stolen hotel toiletries. I’ve already got a couple ready to go for January’s roundup.

What did you finish up this December?

I bought these products myself.
 Loading InLinkz ...

A Look Back at 2016

Hello reader! Now that 2016 is behind us, I wanted to look back on some of my blog highlights and share my favorite nail art looks, and maybe share some of my 2017 blogging goals with you. I guess I could have waited to do this on my blog-versary in March, but it feels more appropriate to do it now.

January: Elevated Gradient

February: Neon Satisfaction

You’ll notice these photos are tiny. Why? Because in March, The Great wacie.com Server Crash of 2016 happened! My webhost had a hardware failure, and for whatever reason, several months of posts were lost and had to be pieced back together with images and text cached by Google. It was an extremely frustrating and embarrassing time for me.

March: Spring Hibiscus

I miss these long nails.

This is probably my favorite look of the year.

Third Anniversary Do-Over

I mentioned earlier that my blog’s anniversary is in March. For last year’s anniversary, I recreated the first-ever mani I posted on my blog. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for my fourth year, but it’ll probably be awesome.

April: Dusty Watermarble

May: Neon Splatter

I went to Hawaii in May. As a result, this is my least active month on the blog for the year.

June: Orange Jello Sandwich

My first Empties Roundup post was also in June.

July: Beyond

August: Ombre Hearts

September: Popples

October: Stripey Blue Frosting

This was a look I did to celebrate my birthday.

November: Ruby Opal

December: White Snow Blue Lava

So there’s my year! This was probably the busiest year for the blog, since I broadened my sujects quite a lot. I did tons of swatches and nail art, but I also ventured into product reviews and makeup talk. I don’t think this will ever become a full lifestyle or beauty blog, but I’m definitely having fun with it in this format. I’m kind of excited to see what it’ll evolve into in 2017. Here are a few beauty goals I have in mind, though.

1. Write more
I wrote 175 posts in 2016, averaging about 14 per month. It doesn’t sound like much to me, like I did way more work than that, especially when it started to feel stressful. That said, I’d like to do at least one more post every week.

1b. Write on my other blog more
I have a second blog that I want to start posting to more. It’s been so long since I’ve bothered with it that I don’t even remember the login credentials. I still want a place to talk about myself and my life, a place to seem like I have a life away from my nails.

2. Build a real skincare routine
I still feel insecure about my skin. I’m frustrated that I’m 31 and I still get acne. I want to take every preventative measure I can against wrinkles and anti-aging. I also want to try a 10-step Asian beauty routine. If you’re over 30 with oily skin and hormonal acne, I want your recommendations.

3. Stop competing
I know one of the big rules of blogging is not to compare your success with others’, but I feel so competitive about it. At the risk of sounding whiny, I always look at other bloggers who’ve been working on their blogs for about as long as I have, and watching their blogs grow faster than mine is kind of frustrating. I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

4. Do more real nail art
I love glitter toppers and I think I use at least one every week, but sometimes it feels lazy. I want to go back to the basics: watermarbling, gradients, dotting. I love my glitters, but it’s starting to feel like a cop-out.

I think that’s it! Anyway, I think 2017 is going to be an exciting year, and I’m looking forward to the good times, the challenges, and the time we spend together. Thanks for reading!

Manicure Monday: Monochrome Duochome

Happy Monday, reader! My first proper manicure of the year was done with Ciaté’s Starlet and Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional. Opposites attract, right?

Starlet is a beautiful sheer black duochrome that shifts from purple to green. The shift is pretty intense, which I love. It is a little on the thin side, and it took three coats to achieve any kind of opacity. Next time I’ll layer it over a black creme base. I almost felt a little bad about covering up the shift, but it’s strong enough that the glitter doesn’t completely obscure it. I wasn’t sure about this combo at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.

I know that the black and white glitter toppers are out now, but I never really spent any time with them when they were popular, so I’m still a fan of the look. I think I’ve only ever used two before this, actually. I chose Black Tie Optional for this look because these toppers look good over everything, including, apparently, duochromes. The glitter adds texture and variety to each nail while the base adds fun shifting color. I can’t believe this combo actually worked.

In the sunlight, you can see how thin Starlet is on my tips. That’s frustrating to see, I thought I’d covered all the streaks! The shift is very strong out here, look how bright the green is! I am having so much fun wearing this look.

Starlet may be discontinued by Ciaté; other Ciaté polishes are available at Sephora. Hard Candy polishes are sold at Walmart.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: China Glaze’s Cashmere Creme

Happy new year, reader! My first post of 2017 is a swatch, and the polish is a vintage China Glaze. I’m not sure how vintage it is, but I do know that the label on the bottom is one I’ve ever seen before. I’m wearing three coats of Cashmere Creme with one coat of Seche Vite. Today’s post is very late due to NYE shenanigans.

Cashmere Creme is a cool frosty beige polish. Application was good; the polish was very easy to work with, the product consistency is spot on, and I had no issues. The polish dries quickly and with a smooth satin finish.

I found this polish in a thrift store, and I’ve been really curious about it ever since. It was about half-full when I got it, so it’s had quite the life before it came to live with me. I don’t know how old it is or anything else about it, and any identifying information that might have been on the bottle has long been rubbed away. It’s a mystery! I like this polish for that reason, but I also like it because it’s interesting. I don’t go for colors like this often, colors that are soft, neutral, SFW, because I tend to think they’re boring. The shimmer in this one is just so pretty; it gives the polish an allover coolness that makes it seem more silvery than it is. It’s gorgeous. I regret that it wasn’t sunny on the day I took these photos, I would have liked very much to see what it looked like in the sun.

I don’t know where to tell you to get Cashmere Creme. I know, I’m sorry! I bet you can find it on the internet. Other China Glaze polishes are sold in stores nationwide.

I bought this polish myself.