Manicure Monday: Feather Weather

Happy Monday, reader! It’s the official first day of spring, and it’s time for spring manicures. Probably nobody was thinking brown for spring, but it’s what I’m rocking. For a change of pace, I got some feathers out, and there’s something about birds and spring, right? For this look, I used Model City Polish‘s Dark Roast, feathers from a Ciaté nail art kit, and Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair holo top coat for an extra holo finish. All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

Dark Roast is a great holo. It’s a rich brown, but the holo is pretty strong, and there are these tiny gold shimmers in it. It dries shiny. I felt kinda bad putting the feathers over it, like it was too pretty to cover up. The feathers were kind of a pain, and as you can see, it looks a little messy, but I’m rolling with it. I used the holo top coat over the feathers just to pull it all together, and I think it came out all right.

I heard a sad rumor that Model City Polish closed down, and though I haven’t seen anything official, I do see that their etsy shop is on hiatus. That really bums me out. Model City was one of the first-ever indies I bought from, they gave me my first press samples, and everything they made was quality. It’s sad to see them go. I feel like a bad fan because I’ve just heard about it.

I don’t know where to get Ciaté’s nail art kits anymore. Digital Nails’s Spectraflair top coat is sold in their etsy shop.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Inky Opal

Hello! I feel like today’s mani is a special occasion because I’m using Essie’s Shine of the Times. Remember when this was the polish every nail addict needed but couldn’t find? I remember checking every drugstore in town when I heard it existed, and then I had to resort to buying one on Amazon. About a year after that, I did find two in the wild, hidden away in a Walgreens sale bin. It was the greatest day. For this look, I used Shine of the Times over Julep’s Char.

Char is the best undies for shine of the Times. It’s dark enough for the fiery flakies to look their best, but has just a hint of color. I love Shine of the Times over black, but it’s kind of basic. I love substituting a dark gray, blue, green, or plum for black. It feels a little more sophisticated. Plus, when it’s over dark blue, it kind of looks like unicorn pee.

I don’t think there’s a polish that Shine of the Times couldn’t make better, though. Honestly, I chose Char at random. I was totally prepared to layer it over any creme I plucked from the drawer, but now I can’t imagine a better combination.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any sunlight shots of this thanks to the impending winter storm, or for those of us in Florida, rain. I think I captured the shift pretty well, though, and my flakies came out sharp. I never get studio photos this good.

Shine of the Times, as you may know, was discontinued by Essie. Char may also be discontinued; it’s out of stock on julep.com.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Alert

Hello, reader! Today’s mani is a pretty simple one. I’m apparently still into negative-space manis, but really, I just wanted to do something with a textured polish that was still nail-arty, and this was just the direction it took. For this look, I used Emerald & Ash‘s Construction Season with Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair top coat.

I’ve talked before about how much I love the Road Trip collection from E&A. Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete collection, but the ones I do have have been a ton of fun to wear. The texture is unlike any other polish type; It’s a very fine grit, as opposed to chunky glitter or rough sand. It sparkles like sugar. This one happens to be Nickelodeon orange, which makes it my favorite.

I wanted a little something under the negative part of the nail, just to keep it from being completely bare, so I put a coat of Spectraflair top coat under Construction Season. You can barely tell it’s there, but I like the addition. I can’t see it at all indoors, but in the sun, you can see it’s barely-thereness.

Speaking of sunlight, here are some photos I took in direct sunlight. The orange got kind of washed out, and the color also suffers from an uncooperative camera. You can see the reflective goodness pretty well out here at least, as well as the aforementioned Spectraflair.

Construction Season has been discontinued by Emerald & Ash (though they’ve been MIA for quite some time). Digital Nails’s Spectraflair top coat and other polishes are sold in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Accidental Mid-Mod

Hey, reader! Happy Monday! Today’s mani reminds me a lot of an older one, where some glitter on just a couple nails was a fashion statement. Man, accent nails seem so quaint now. For this look, I used Julep’s Dianna and Lynnderella‘s Seven Swans Swimming.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a creme unfettered like this, and I have to admit, I really like it. Cremes are so underrated. I used to pass over them so often, but when you really think about it, they’re the perfect finish; they’re color and shine and nothing else. This shade in particular, Dianna, has been a ton of fun to wear so far; it’s that perfect midcentury modern robin egg blue. Like I said, underrated.

I chose Seven Swans Swimming for my accent because the shimmery blue base it’s in was about the same color as Dianna, and some of the glitters are, too. The glitter mix is fantastic in this polish; pink and white are the perfect companions to robin egg blue, and the shapes add a lot of variety. I know the snowflake doesn’t quite belong there — tomorrow’s high temperature is 83 degrees F — but it’s cute. It’s kind of mid-mod, too, now that I look at it. It could be a classic winter in Florida mani as well — winter motifs in summer colors — that’s mid-mod too, isn’t it?

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The fine shimmer in Seven Swans Swimming gets washed out, but you can see the glitter in greater detail. You can also see the shine of Dianna in all its glory.

Seven Swans Swimming is available from Lynnderella.com. Julep is sold in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Golden Red

Happy Monday! Reader, you may not be surprised to see I’ve done another red and gold mani. As much as I love that particular combo, it’s starting to feel like a rut. However, since my base polish was both red and gold, I just rolled with it. I started with three coats of Digital Nails‘s Let Zygons Be Zygons, then did a watermarble with a mystery Orly gold and clear.

The gold is so shiny that the watermarble is pretty difficult to see. You can see the marbled lines if you look closely, but from far away, it’s a mess. I suppose the solution is just don’t choose such a blingy polish, because this totally looked better in my head. I thought about mattifying it, but I didn’t think it would help, because it’s just that shiny. I wish I could tell you what the name of it is, because you kind of need it.

Let Zygons Be Zygons is such an awesome polish. I loved the idea of a red jelly with golden flakies, but what I didn’t know until today is that there’s just a hint of Spectraflair in it. It’s gorgeous! It looks kind of basic, but I really love it on my nails. There’s a lot going on in it. I just hope I don’t regret putting it on my toes also.

I took this one facing one of the lights directly. You can see the marble a little better here.

The next set of photos was taken in direct sunlight. Out here, you can see the tiny holo very well. In the macros, you can see that the Orly gold is made pretty much exclusively of gold flecks. This mani didn’t turn out the way I imagined it, but I’m glad I went for it.

This one’s in the shade.

Let Zygons Be Zygons isn’t in stock, but other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop. You probably know where to find Orly.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: All Heart

Happy Monday! Today’s post is actually early because, as you’re reading this, I’m on a work trip and it would be a very late post if I didn’t get it done ahead of time. I’m not a blogger who has a ton of mani posts backlogged because I like to write about things as I wear them. This post is all about Literary Lacquers‘s Jack Rose, some striping tape, and a lot of heart glitter. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

Do you ever notice that every indie maker has their own kind of holo polish? That’s something I enjoy about indie polish; holos are a staple, but each brand has their own blend of Spectraflair sizes and strengths and makes the linear holo their own. Literary Lacquers’s holos are done in such a way that the holo is strong but fine at the same time, and I think that’s really cool. Jack Rose in particular is a polish that starts off sheer and builds up to full strength before you notice it, and the bronze shimmers in it make it metallic and sparkly. I love it.

Obligatory shade photo

I didn’t want to do another look with hand-placed glitter so long after my last one, but this was quick and easy. I’ve mentioned before that I never do holiday manis unless they’re convenient; I don’t like Valentine’s Day, but I like heart glitter, so I got it out. When I did my first hand-placed glitter look, I got so many reader comments about how long it must have taken. In all seriousness, it took longer to get my striping tape straight. I used a smaller size glitter this time, but the application time was about the same. It helps when you’re only doing a couple of nails, probably; if I’d done them all, I’d still be working.

Literary Lacquers can be found in their etsy shop. I got the striping tape on Amazon, and the heart glitters are from Glitter Unique.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Hors d’Oeuvres

Hi hi! It’s Manicure Monday! Today’s look is one I kept simple, but it’s still over the top. I used Essie’s Hors d’Oeuvres and a diamond charm from Daily Charme. It’s kind of insane.

Hors d’Oeuvres is a challenge to photograph. There’s so much shiny; the strong gold shimmer and embedded silver hex mix means a lot of light bounces off it and makes it hard for the camera to focus or get a good white balance. (I shoot on auto, sue me.) It’s also very reflective, which is a cool finish. I’m really enjoying it.

I ran out of super glue, so I decided to see if Seche Vive was enough to hold the diamonds on. It did, for a while, until one mysteriously disappeared. I still have yet to find it. I pulled the other one off to risk losing it and put on a second coat of Vive. Speaking of which, have you guys tried Seche Vive? I was skeptical, since I’ve never used any of these gel-effect polishes or top coats before, but I really like how this one feels. I used multiple coats and haven’t noticed any of the bad effects from multiple coats of Seche Vite, so yeah. It’s too early to tell yet, but I might be a convert.

The sunlight is probably where Hors d’Oeuvres looks its best. You can definitely see how reflective it is in these photos; that glare is out of control. This set of photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

This one is actually in the shade.

Hors d’Oeuvres and other Essie polishes are sold in stores. The diamond charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Office Disco

It’s Monday, and I have a new mani! Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer is my polish, and originally I’d meant to wear it alone, just to enjoy the pretty holo goodness unabated. With such a soft shade, and on such short nails, I found the look a little too SFW, so I decided today was the day I tried hand-placing glitter. I did okay! All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

I love Tact. The green glow it has really takes it to the next level. It’s cool and silvery, it’s green and taupe and holo. It’s understated and elegant. Today, though, I wanted just a little more.

I didn’t expect hand-placing glitter to be the challenge it was. I knew it would be time-consuming, and I knew it took a steady hand, but I thought I’d have it under control. First I couldn’t find the right glitter; I wanted something as barely-there as my polish, but also large enough that I could place easily. I didn’t have anything like that, so I grabbed the big silver hexes. I started in the middle, and clipped the glitters that didn’t fit on the nail; these cut edges got caught on things and were pulled off, resulting in some bare spots. I also didn’t expect so many glitters to stack; I thought it was getting one, but there would be five more, and the extra glitters would fan out and ruin my clean lines. It was a learning experience, I keep saying to myself. The look isn’t bad, but I’m definitely going to practice this.

Shade photo. I love holo glitter in the shade!

While this wasn’t the look I wanted, I like it. I like how over the top the disco ball nail is while the others are tame. It’s fun. I can’t wait to play around with hand-placing a little more.

Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass isn’t in stock, but other polishes are available from the BEGL shop. They’re open!

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Blast From The Past

Welcome back, reader! Manicure Monday is a simple look this week. I’d actually planned something a little more intricate, but now that I’ve cut my nails down, I simplified it. I’m talking like there’s something wrong with just color and glitter, there’s totally not! For this look, I used Sephora by OPI’s It’s Bouquet With Me over Orly’s Rio Nights.

Originally, I’d planned a gray to purple gradient with Rio Nights. When I’ve got a multicolored glitter like this, I like to pick colors out and find cremes that match it, and that way everything is cohesive. With nails this small, though, there just wouldn’t have been room for it.

I love this mani, though. It’s making me all kinds of nostalgic. I was a hardened nail biter when I was younger — hell, until I was 23 — and this was what my hands always looked like back then. I liked wearing polish, but it was never a biting deterrent, so I always had these tiny little nails. I also feel deeply for purple glittery polish; the first nail polish that was 100% mine was a gift from my sister, and it was a purple glitter, right around the time unconventional colors and glitter polishes were getting popular in the late 1990s. I wore that polish until it was gone. This look channels that polish so hard.

I regret that I didn’t get any sunlight photos of this look. There’s been some inclement weather in the southeast, and the sun didn’t shine for more than five minutes at a time, and I could just never catch it. Also, when was the last time I wore a bow charm? It’s been ages!

The Sephora by OPI line has been discontinued; I actually found this particular one at Big Lots. Orly polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these polishes myself.

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.