Manicure Monday: Golden Surprise

Welcome back, reader! It’s Monday, and I have some nail art for you. At least, if you can see it. I’ve had a string of these tone-on-tone manis that were all fails; the most recent before today was this silver-on-silver look I wore over the weekend, a look that worked in my head but looked completely different on my nails. This is Enchanted Polish‘s Good Life with Literary Lacquers‘s I Heard the Bells.

Good Life is an excellent polish. It’s such a strong gold polish, it’s got a strong holo, and it has this gold-to-green shift that completely changes the tone of the polish. It’s this cool-toned shift that makes the nail art visible. I did a few criss-crosses with striping tape, hoping the difference between glitter and holo would create some distinctive lines. There’s not enough contrast without the shift.

The art got a little messed up on the ring finger. I’m a little grateful you can’t see it.

In the shade.

I Heard the Bells is a pretty wonderful polish too. It’s full of fine glitters, but doesn’t dry with a texture, and it’s actually pretty easy to take off. I always get this polish out around the holidays — it is a holiday exclusive, after all — and incorporate it into a Christmas mani, but since I had it sitting out, I couldn’t resist using it. It’s a shame you can’t really see it here.

Enchanted Polishes are sold in their online shop. Literary Lacquers are sold on etsy.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Tinsel on Pink

Happy Monday, reader! I have a pretty simple look to show you this week. This is Essie’s Frilling Me Softly over Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Shocking. Let’s get into it!

Frilling Me Softly was the main polish I wanted to try this week. If we’re being honest, I wasn’t huge into this Essie collection, but I still bought them all to keep my LuxEffects collection complete. I have a serious problem when it comes to completing collections. I don’t know how popular these actually were among bloggers because I didn’t really see anyone talking about them; I know bar glitters are a point of contention among us, and I thought maybe that’s the reason. This one’s not too bad since they’re short. At least it gives some sparkle.

I used Shocking as the base as a treat. I like to use nice cremes under glitter toppers; I feel like it improves the manicure. My favorites to use under glitters are thermals and indie cremes, but sometimes you need a little luxury. I’m almost a little sad I covered this up, because even without top coat, Shocking had a gorgeous glossy finish. I’m looking forward to wearing this one on its own.

Frilling Me Softly and other Essie polishes are sold in stores. Shocking and Marc Jacobs Beauty is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Whenever: Punk Rock on Ice

Hello again! Today’s post is a quick one. This was a look I did that was supposed to be a Manicure Monday post, but for whatever reason, was never posted; it was definitely from November, which was a hugely busy month for me. In any case, I’m excited to finally show you this look. I used Indigo Bananas‘s Do You Have a Flag? and Model City Polish‘s Punk Rock Princess.

One day a few years ago, I realized I needed a white holo, and Do You Have a Flag? was the first one I stumbled upon. It’s a polish with a lot of dimension; not only is it a bright white holo, but it’s got some frost to it, and some silvery-white flakies to make it interesting. It’s a great polish.

Punk Rock Princess, on the other hand, was not a planned purchase, but it’s not like I wasn’t going to buy a polish called Punk Rock Princess. This is a polish I love, though. It’s got loads of chunky glitter, so even if it had a different name, I’d still love it. The colors are a wee bit edgy, and really pop over the white. The base has a pink tinge to it, and I’m not sure if that’s intentional, but I kind of like how it transformed the white to a light pink. The holo goodness is still visible underneath, but it added a bit of variety to the look.

Do You Have a Flag? looks like it might have been discontinued, but other Indigo Bananas polishes are available on their website. Model City Polish isn’t making polish anymore (sad).

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Low-Key Celebration

Happy new year, reader! I’ve got my first manicure of the year, and my hands are so cold I barely got it done. Seriously, I’m so cold, my hands are wrinkly. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Flash Forward Fantasy with Nails Inc.’s Princes Gardens.

This is a pretty basic look, and I think my nail game is off to a good start this year. Of course, it’s cold and dark outside, which means I couldn’t show you the gorgeous shift in the base polish, but I love that it’s almost a mannequin polish on me. I like that the glitter went on without overpowering the base shade, which is definitely a plus on short nails like these. I don’t have a lot to say about this look. I’m so cold.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop. Nails Inc. is sold in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Wonder

Happy Monday, reader! Today is the first day I’ve had off since Thursday. My retail job is getting busy since there’s only a week left to shop for Christmas gifts — and I’ve barely done any shopping. Today, though, is for ignoring my responsibilities and doing my nails and maybe having a bubble bath later. For today’s relaxing look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Watch the Walls over Lynnderella‘s Baby Pink Pink.

It’s 80 degrees out in December. It feels like summer, so it’s summer on my nails.

I’ve been kind of self-conscious about my shorties lately. I even bit one down because it was jagged, and I was really disappointed with myself after that. As a recovering nail biter, it is always so hard to grow them out past this stage, because it’s really easy to slip into biting again. One day at a time, I guess.

I bit this one so far down it hurt. 🙁

Glitter will help me get there. Watch the Walls is still one of my favorite BEGLs, and likely even my most used; the bottle is about two-thirds full at this point. I like seeing the empty out, because the polish is getting the love it deserves, but it’s sad to see it go. Once these polishes are gone, they’re gone. In this instance, I paired it with Baby Pink Pink because they both have an icy blue shimmer that stacks nicely.

Watch the Walls was discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are available from their online shop. Baby Pink Pink was a limited edition; other Lynnderellas are available from eBay, Amazon, and Lynnderella.com.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Olive the Glitter

Welcome back! I’ve got another super-shifty microglitter to show you today. This is Digital Nails‘s Galactica over Essie’s Sew Psyched.

Last week, I showed you Leviathan, that crazy shifty glitter that went from purple to blue to orange. Galactica is a sister polish to Leviathan; they are both named after fictional spaceships and feature wildly shifting glitter. These polishes are both so much fun to wear because they look so different in every lighting situation.

Sew Psyched is a great base for this glitter because it just blends into it most of the time. Of course, there are instances where it looks kind of odd, like when the light is shining right on the glitter and it’s super gold and the base is just kind of there. For the most part, though, the glitters and the base are the same, and all you see is the shine from the glitter.

Sew Psyched and Essie are sold in stores. Galactica and other Digital Nails polishes are sold in their etsy shop, which is currently closed.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Dark Water

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! You find me today with the shortest nails I’ve had all year. My last break was already devastating (curse you, fitted sheets), and now something else has happened to completely finish them off. This is China Glaze’s Black Diamond and Digital Nails‘s Leviathan.

I’ve had these Digital Nails starship glitters forever, and I’m just getting around to being able to appreciate them. They’re beautiful! The shift is just too impressive not to rave about. I realize I am so late to this party, but shifters, man, they’re amazing.

I feel a little bad for Black Diamond, because it’s a lovely polish on its own. It’s got this subtle gunmetal shimmer to it that the glitter completely obscured. I did plan a glitter gradient to get the best of both words, but there just wasn’t room for it on these tiny nails. Glitter wins every time.

China Glaze is sold in stores; I got this particular bottle at Sally Beauty Supply. Leviathan and other Digital Nails polishes are available on etsy, though they’re currently closed.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Cognac Sparkle

Happy Monday, reader! It’s been too long since my last post. I knew November would be a busy month for me; all in this month, I’ve gotten a job, written a novel (almost done!) and cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner. I knew something was going to have to give to get everything done, and unfortunately, it ended up being the blog. I’ve got lots of swatches to catch up on — I’ve been painting, just not posting — so I’ll have lots of content coming up. Some of it’s from when my nails were still long and pretty (rip).

Today’s look was done with Butter London’s Tea and Toast, OPI’s Muppets World Tour, and Orly’s French Tip Guides.

I have this thing about Tea and Toast, like it’s the ugliest color in the bottle, but I absolutely love it on my nails. It’s really stylish, but I always have this apprehension before I put it on, like I’m about to do something terrible, but it always comes out lovely.

I picked Muppets World Tour for this look because I wanted something that would still have a lot of shine without covering the base too much. As it turns out, this polish had more glitter in it than I expected, and it’s hard to see the half-moon and naked nail underneath. On the whole, though, I like the look. It sort of looks like a gradient instead of a half-moon, and glitter is the best. No arguments here.

Unfortunately, I think both these shades are discontinued. Butter London and OPI are both easy to find in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Glitter on Clementines

Hello, reader! Bad news, I broke a nail, and I had to cut them down short. It’s the first major break I’ve had so far this year — the last time I had them this short, it was February — and I’m pretty bummed. Luckily, the two polishes I used today look great on tiny baby nails. For this look, I used Digital Nails‘s Faraday-Glo and Kunimitsu‘s Beautiful Theory.

I can’t say no to neon orange. This is a great shade. It’s super bright even without undies, so much so that my camera struggled with the color quite a lot. Classic neons. There’s a fine blue shimmer in here, too, which was a bit hard to see. I covered it up with glitter.

Beautiful Theory is a fantastic topper. I had a hard time getting the shapes out, but on nails for ants, it’s not a bad problem to have. The iridescent glitters make the polish, though, and especially makes it pair well with bright orange. Depending on the angle, they look purple or pink. It’s really cool.

So tiny!

Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop (though as of this writing they are taking a break). Beautiful Theory isn’t currently stocked, but Kunimitsu polishes are also for sale in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Cold Blue Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s mani was my first successful-ish look with vinyls. I had a sheet of tiny heart vinyls, and it’s been so long since I got them that the company who made them has since closed up. The first time I tried to use them, I messed up and just did not get a good look. I messed up this time, too, but not as badly. For this look, I used Ellagee‘s Cyrena and Sweet Heart Polish‘s Summer Breeze.

Cyrena is a sister polish to Liliana, which I wore recently and loved. This is a cooler icy blue version, complete with the same iridescent flakies, strong holo, and jelly-like opacity. Summer Breeze is about the same color, but with more pigmentation and less holo. I wanted a look that was more or less light blue monochrome. I think I got it pretty close.

So, about the vinyls. I don’t know if it’s because the cutouts were so small, or because my nails are small, but I had a really hard time getting good crisp lines, especially at the tips of the nails where they narrow and curl up on themselves. For the most part, you can tell the hearts are hearts, and only a few look blobby. This is because I added the tips to cover all the ones at the tips that were less defined. I freehanded the tips, and they’re a little sloppy, especially on the right hand, but I can deal with it.

Cyrena has been discontinued by Ellagee; other Ellagee polishes are available on their website. Summer Breeze was a box exclusive and is no longer for sale; other Sweet Heart Polishes are sold on etsy.

I bought these polishes myself.