Manicure Monday: Neon Pink and Flaky Glitter

I’ve been doing a lot of so-so manicures lately. None were so bad I had to take them off right after, but I was never really pleased with them. None of them had that sparkle, that appeal, whatever it is that makes me stop what I’m doing to look down at them. I don’t know whether it’s the flaky glitter or the neon pink, but I love these nails a lot.


I started with a base coat and two coats of white polish, then two coats of the pink color. I don’t even know how many coats of the flakies I put on, I was talking to someone on Skype and I got distracted. This is the first time I’ve used flaky glitter, even though I’ve been buying it obsessively since I discovered Revlon’s Moon Candy. This pink color, a nameless Claire’s polish I’ve had for like five years now, is still easy to work with. It’s so bright that I probably could have skipped the white polish I put on under it. I was also unsure if the flaky glitter would give me the warm gold tones I wanted. I’d say I got that, and more.


Of course, no matter if I’m happy with the manicure or not, I always think it’s better than it turns out in photos. I don’t notice the white coat sticking out on the bottom, the nick in the polish on the index finger, the little piece of top coat I missed in cleanup. After I take the pictures, I can’t unsee them. I guess it’s like looking at bikini pictures of yourself; no matter how happy you are with yourself or how good your self-body image is, they always take you down a peg.


From left to right: Orly Bonder, Hard to Get, Nameless Claire’s polish, Luxe & Lush, Seche Vite

Here’s what I worked with this week. The Seche Vite bottle was half full last week, now it’s maybe a quarter full. It’s really thick and comes off in strings with I pull the brush away from the bottle. Even though this happens, I’ll probably buy it again, as well as the thinner that goes with it. Just this weekend though, I bought a bottle of Out the Door, and tried it out on one nail. I hope I’ll like it as much or even more than Seche Vite. Even if I don’t like it as much, I only paid $6 for it.

Manicure Monday: Green and Yellow Color Blocking

I have an inner perfectionist, believe it or not. It never cares about anything important; it’s never concerned with how clean my house is. My inner perfectionist is kind of a slob. No, my inner perfectionist only notices the flaws in trivial things, things that no one else will ever notice. My manicures are one of those things. I know that a manicure can look great without being totally perfect. My inner perfectionist does not. My inner perfectionist hates this manicure.

Left hand.

Right hand, because it's a little different.Left hand on the top, right hand on the bottom.

I got the idea from this Chalkboard Nails tutorial. I needed an idea that would allow me to use warm, bright colors, but wasn’t too complex or time-consuming. I added to it, rotating the design instead of alternating the colors. In theory, it’s a fantastic idea. In practice, with sloppy taping and thick, goopy polish, I just made a mess. I started with the white base, which took three coats until it was finally opaque, and then I added the yellow, then the green, which is old and thick and tough to work with. I think my bottle of Seche Vite is starting to thicken up as well, because I kept getting really thick, uneven coats of it. Between the green color and the topcoat, they’re a little bumpy in places.

What I used: Orly Bonder, Hard to Get, Daisy, Lickety-Split Lime, Seche Vite

What I used: Orly Bonder, Hard to Get, Daisy, Lickety-Split Lime, Seche Vite

I keep telling myself it’s not that bad, but I can’t stop hoping they’ll chip off soon so I can redo them (which means they’ll stay on all week).

Manicure Monday: Matte Blue-Black with Glossy Tips

Remember when I wrote about things other than my nails? Yeah, me neither. All the time I spent waiting for this domain, I had many ideas for what I’d do with it when I finally got it, and when I did finally get it, I decided to use it as an outlet for my fiction, but I find myself writing less these days, and not because I want to. I do my nails every week without fail, so that’s why all the entries have been about Manicure Monday. I hope to get back to fictioneering soon.


This is a manicure I’ve wanted to try for quite some time. It reminds me of a Sephora bag, with the alternating matte and glossy stripes. It’s one of the simpler manicures I’ve done recently; there’s no glitter, there’s only one color, and you wouldn’t notice the glossy tips unless you were very close. I like the color, and I like that it’s understated, but I wish it was just a little more noticeable. I love it, but I’m not in love with it.

Trying to show you the shiny.

Trying to show you the shiny.

When I bought the matte top coat, I thought I was going to use it all the time, so I bought another one so I’d never run out. This is only the third time I’ve used it. I expected that I would like it more, but I feel like a glossy finish gives the color more life, more sparkle, and putting the matte coat over it just sucks the life out of it. This shade, See You Soon, has this beautiful blue shimmer, and I felt like I was killing it when I mattified it. I hoped it would come back with the Seche Vite on the tips, and it did a little. It’s nowhere near as sparkly as it was.

From left to right: Orly Bonder, Sinful Colors See You Soon, Seche Vite, Revlon Matte top coat

From left to right: Orly Bonder, Sinful Colors See You Soon, Seche Vite, Revlon Matte top coat

Meanwhile, for the rest of the week, I’ll try to find something to write about that isn’t about my nails.

Manicure Monday: Neutral Gradient

Here’s another entry into the “I thought this would turn out better” files. Generally, I like the colors, and I always like how my gradients turn out, but I kind of expected more from this color combination. The brown is too cool for the nude, and looks purple in direct sunlight. That’s not really what I was going for.


This is another case where the quality of my polish is far lower than the quality of my top coat. I don’t even know the name of that Maybelline polish; it lost its labels long ago. I think I got it in that same outlet shopping excursion as last week’s old-as-dirt Maybelline polish; it’s all goopy and thick and was hard to coax out of the bottle. I used Seche Clear this week because I couldn’t get the Bonder bottle open. I bought Seche Clear by accident, thinking it was Seche Vite, but it’s not a bad base coat. This is the first time I’ve used it in a full manicure.


I don’t typically do neutral colors like this. They’re understated and don’t pull much attention, completely the opposite of my personality. I keep telling myself that nudes and neutrals don’t have to be boring, and even though it’s a nice change from the bright colors I usually wear, it doesn’t really feel right. One thing I do like is how shiny they are. I can see myself in them. Thanks, Seche Vite.

Manicure Monday: White, Brown, and Orange Dot Gradient

After last week’s accidental Italian food manicure, I knew one thing was true. I probably couldn’t do much worse than pizza nails, and if I did, I would really have to screw up for that to happen. I was in a tricky spot, though. After seeing many of the nail artists on Reddit doing designs with dots, I wanted to try one. I wanted this magnificent waterfall of polka dots cascading down my little nails. After searching for tutorials, I found a tutorial from Chalkboard Nails and followed it as well as I could.  It’s not quite there, but it’s not bad for my first attempt.


It kind of looks like animal spots, now that I think of it.

These are some of the saddest looking bottles of polish I have. The Claire’s polish doesn’t have a name, but it’s chunky and thick and even though there’s some light glitter in the bottle that doesn’t apply well to the nail, making it bumpy and coarse instead. The old Maybelline polish was an outlet store find about eight years ago; I can’t believe I even still have it. Wait, yes, I can, because I use everything until I lose it. The orange/yellow LA Colors is part of my paint your nails so you don’t go crazy shopping binge. It’s kind of watery, kind of uneven, but it looks nice against the white. I was worried it wouldn’t show up well at all.


I always feel weird using Orly and Seche Vite with these old and cheap polishes. It’s having Dom Perignon with my Big Mac. Earlier manicures with that white polish were never successful; it would always slough off in flakes like dandruff by the second or third day. Of course, that was before I discovered that there was a purpose for top coat after all.