Manicure Monday: Half Moons and Pearls on Nubbins

I broke a nail Sunday night. I was reaching for something, hit my pinky nail on it, and it just popped off. I couldn’t even save it. It broke completely off at the nail bed. I had to cut them all short. My nails haven’t been this short since I moved out of my apartment and broke every nail taking posters down. My fingertips touch the keyboard keys when I type and it’s weird.


This is the nubbin version of the manicure I had planned for my long, beautiful nails. I almost didn’t do it, since I thought it would look strange on small nails. And it does, kind of. I think the design probably exaggerates how short the nails are, and I almost did give up on the pattern to do a solid black, but where would the fun have been in that? Even nubbin nails deserve to be pretty.

China Glaze's For Audrey, LA Colors' Black Pearl

China Glaze’s For Audrey, LA Colors’ Black Pearl

Nubbin nails are no fun, but they’ll grow back.

Manicure Monday: Black and Blue Glitter Mess

So I’m really excited about this week’s manicure. There are some things I would do differently, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Also, I’ll be wearing my first indie polish this week, and mostly I’m excited about that.


I really love my polishes this week. Outrageous is a soft taupe with a lot of metallic shimmer that goes on opaque in one coat. I’m pretty impressed with it, considering I paid a dollar for the bottle. I really loved it before I put the glitter on over it, and I might regret it a little. The real star here is the glitter anyway.

LA Colors's Outrageous, Pretty & Polished's Boy Bleu

LA Colors’s Outrageous, Pretty & Polished’s Boy Bleu

Boy Bleu from Pretty & Polished is one of the first indie polishes I ever bought. It’s meant to be a full coverage glitter, giving a granite-like appearance. Here’s where I messed up. I thought that dabbing the glitter on instead of brushing it on would give me the most coverage, and I was a little heavy-handed in my application. My accent nails already had two coats of white polish before I added the glitter, just to make up for any bare spots that might have occurred. Thankfully, I didn’t need it, but because the coarse glitter made cleanup difficult, you can now see it around the cuticles. I’m not even sure why you can see it at the tips. Shrinkage, maybe? I don’t know, but there it is. So with the two coats of underwear, the two very thick coats of glitter, and three coats of Seche Vite, the accent nails are much thicker-looking than the others. It kind of bothers me, but it’s not that bad. I actually put so much on that I could shape and mold it with my fingers. Good thing I did, I would have had some strangely shaped nails.

Next time I’ll apply the glitter in thin coats and hope to build coverage that way, rather than trying to load it all on at once. I’ll still probably end up with fat nails again, but it won’t be so problematic.

Manicure Monday: Undersea Epic Glitter Gradient

The first day of fall is this week, and so the viciously bright neons and the whimsical glitter mixes are being put into storage for next year, and the dark muted colors are coming back. Well, for some people that’s happening. It’s not happening here. I’ll wear my neon orange whenever I want. I am, though, going to be using a lot of blue colors throughout the season. A lot of my recently acquired colors are blues, and I’ll be trying lots of colors I’ve never used before, ones I’ve had for a few days and ones I’ve had for a few years. I have some great things planned for this season.


I did a similar manicure in July, and decided to try it again with different colors. I like it much better this time. The dark blue side of the Moon Candy is almost black, but over the white, it’s very blue. After putting the shredded glitter over the blue tips, I got this wonderful oceanic effect. It really makes me want to book it to the beach. I know this was meant to be a fall manicure, but as it invokes thoughts of swimming, of sunshine and water, it’s anything but appropriate for fall.

This was intentionally blurred to show the colors. Maybe.

This was intentionally blurred to show the colors. Maybe.

Of course, I encountered a few problems with this week. Something I’ve consistently had trouble with is Revlon’s double-ended polishes. I’ve had the brushes start losing bristles, I’ve had the cap break completely off, and I’ve had the polishes completely dry out. The Moon Dust I used this week was one of those. I had to thin out the glitter side once before, when I noticed the agitator ball was suspended in the middle of the polish. When I opened it to use it this week, I had the same issue. The blue was thick, stringy, goopy. The glitter was impossible to remove from the bottle. I put some thinner in it and let it sit overnight, but maybe I used too much, because it was kind of watery. I also had a hard time getting the colors to blend, and once the watery glitter was added, it kind of smeared the gradient around. I’d be mad if I didn’t like it so much.

Sally Hansen's Hard to Get, Revlon's Moon Candy in Moon Dust.

Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get, Revlon’s Moon Candy in Moon Dust.

I went back to Seche Vite this week because my Digital Nails topcoat is now this strange reddish orange color, and I was afraid it would affect the white polish. I was also afraid it wouldn’t smooth out the coarse glitter as well. Hard to Get is back, too. This bottle is like a workhorse. I use it for everything, and as a result, it’s almost time for a new bottle.

So yeah, fall manicures. Bring it on.

Manicure Monday: Orange and Nude Sparkly Starburst

I feel like orange is a color that doesn’t get enough play. I only have a few orange pieces of clothing, and I only have a few bottles of orange polish, even though I have hundreds of bottles of polish. I guess it’s unpopular because it’s so bright and attracts a lot of attention, but that’s exactly why I like it.


This week, I made a starburst thing with orange polish over striping tape, nude, and holographic glitter. It was inspired by a stamp plate I have, with stripes fanning out over the nail. However, in all my test runs, I absolutely could not get the stamped design to cover my nail the way I wanted, so I tried it with the striping tape. I like this look, but I wish I’d used more pieces to make more lines, to make the color and glitter beneath slightly more noticeable.

Intentionally blurred to show off the glitter.

Intentionally blurred to show off the glitter.

I worked with some great colors with week. The nude is Naked, from Urban Decay’s (now very rare) Naked nail set. I hated neutral nail colors before I got this set. Naked is such a subtle but gorgeous shade that I felt a little bad that I was going to cover up most of it. I added the Fairy Dust glitter on impulse; I thought a soft sparkle would make the nude lines stand out more. The orange is an Insta-Dri color called Heat Flash, and it’s fantastic. I got great coverage in one quick drying coat.

Urban Decay's Naked, China Glaze's Fairy Dust, Sally Hansen's Heat Flash

Urban Decay’s Naked, China Glaze’s Fairy Dust, Sally Hansen’s Heat Flash

I love this mani, but there are a few things I’ll do differently next time. First, I want to strike a higher contrast between the colors. I really want the starburst pattern to stand out, so I’ll use black over white or light blue over dark blue. Next, I’ll use more tape and add more lines. Maybe I’ll add rhinestones to the vertices to give it something extra. For now though, I’m pleased.

Manicure Monday: Blue Marbling Over Gold

Today I have two colors: one I absolutely love, one that’s kind of meh. I also have a new technique that gave me a result completely unlike what I expected, and not in a good way.

Quite some time ago, cutepolish posted a tutorial for water spotting. It’s done much the same way water marbling is; you drop polish onto water, but this time, you spray it with alcohol, which makes holes in the color. You dip your nail in, and like magic, you have this cool effect. Well, I got something completely different. It’s not bad, but it’s not what I was going for. I think the alcohol product I used may have been the culprit; I used a body spray that had been in the fridge for a while, so it’s probably my fault.


My two colors this week are Teal the Cows Come Home by OPI, and Amelia by Julep. Amelia looks beautiful in the bottle, but is rather sheer; I have on two coats, and you can still see my nail line. Teal the Cows Come Home is gorgeous after two coats, but after the marbling technique, the light color beneath, and whatever effect the alcohol may have had on the polish, the color is thin, barely visible in some places.

Julep's Amelia, OPI's Teal the Cows Come Home

Julep’s Amelia, OPI’s Teal the Cows Come Home

Having said all that, I like these colors together. The summer is ending, the last days are fleeting, and I feel that urge to preserve it, to capture it in any way possible. I dislike autumn; I dislike the cooling temperatures, the leaves, having to wear a jacket, the muted colors, all of that. Well, autumn itself isn’t so bad, but it’s really just a stepping stone to winter, and winter and I aren’t friends.