Manicure Monday: Desert Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve been in the mood for nail art, so here’s some nail art! And really I mean that I finally remembered to buy some sponges so I can do some gradients. I’ve missed them! For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Thrill Me to the Marrow (pale pink) and Robo-Aggression (gray), Pepper Pot Polish‘s The Big Fuzz (peach), and Elevation Polish‘s Sample JY #26 (glitter).

For the gradient, I put down two coats of Thrill Me to the Marrow, then started a three-color gradient, only my nails are too short for three colors to really show up. You can see there’s a faint bit of coolness at the bottom near the cuticle that immediately fades into warmth from The Big Fuzz. In a way, it actually turned into something cool, but I’m still a little sad it didn’t get more visibility. The Big Fuzz and Robo-Aggression worked pretty well here; the peach was a little on the sheer side and I worried about how well it would show up, but it did the job. Robo-Aggression is a gray creme rockstar.

Sample JY #26 is the main polish I wanted to use, and it’s a pretty typical Elevation topper. I’m a huge fan of the metallic round glitters they use; they remind me of coins. The polish has three different colors of them: gold, silver, and copper, as well as black and white hexes and squares. It’s the perfect topper for this gradient.

The BEGL shop is still on hiatus, but plans to return soon. The Big Fuzz was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive; other Pepper Pot Polishes can be found in their etsy shop. Sample JY #26 was a prototype; other Elevation polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Silver Splatter

Happy Monday! Over the weekend, I attended The Indie Shop Atlanta, and today, I’m not using any of the polishes I bought. I had a great time at the event, and I posted my haul photos on Instagram; I hope to get a more detailed post about the event up this week. For today’s look, I used Butter London’s Bumster, Essie’s Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low, and Julep’s Braiden. I also used liquid latex for the first time today, more about that later.

Before I started today’s look, I really didn’t know where I was going with it until I started, I just knew I’d be using some silver over a nude base. Bumster is a great neutral; I’m a huge fan of these neutrals that lean a lit yellow or green, they’re just the slightest bit ugly. I wish I used these shades more.

I don’t know why I thought silver for this, other than I thought the shine and shimmer would look amazing with the neutral creme. I’m also not sure why I went for a splatter mani, but I kind of like where it went. I didn’t originally plan to use Braiden, but Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low didn’t add enough contrast.

Here’s where the liquid latex comes in. Over the weekend, I bought my first bottle of the stuff from Ribbits Stickits. I put it around each cuticle and extended it down to my knuckle, because I’ve done this before and I know the mess it makes. I wasn’t a fan of the smell. I did a second coat, because I’d heard in passing that this makes it easier to peel off. It ended up sticking my fingers together and peeling off prematurely. Also most of the mess ended up getting on the parts of me that weren’t covered, like my palms and wrists. This was a messier-than-usual splatter, and got polish on everything on my desk, from my computer monitor, my phone, my clothes, you name it. Despite everything, liquid latex is the game-changer everyone told me it was going to be.

Butter London, Essie, and Julep polishes are sold in stores. Ribbits Stickits liquid latex is sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Purple Holo Romance

Happy Monday! This post is going up a little late. Today was my day off and I was lazy all day. There’s a lot of fun happening this week though; The Indie Shop Atlanta is this weekend, and I’m putting my mani together for that. I’m dying to go! I hope I’ll see some of you there, and I can’t wait to show off my haul. That said, let’s dive into my mani for the week! This is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Fare the Wind with Lynnderella‘s If the Shoe Fits.

Fare the Wind is way prettier than I remember it being when I swatched it three years ago. The purple is a nice mid-tone purple; it’s a strong shade, but the holo doesn’t overpower it, and the blue flakies in there don’t get lost. The sunshine overpowered it a little, but you can still appreciate it. I love this shade, and I love digging out shades that are a couple years old and were possibly forgotten about. In a community like ours, where we’re always excited about whatever new polishes are on the horizon, it’s important to shop our stashes and give love to polishes we have (she says, as she prepares to max her credit card out at TIS Atlanta).

This is actually the first time I’ve used If the Shoe Fits. I fell in love with it when I bought it, and then I forgot about it. I’m actually wearing it here over Fare the Wind, and it’s so shimmery that I didn’t need to wear it over anything. I’m a sucker for anything with heart-shaped glitter in it, so this was an easy buy for me. Can’t wait to use it again!

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop; they’re currently closed, but will return soon. Lynnderellas are sold on eBay and their website.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Reverse Monet

Happy Monday, reader! My look today is an experiment; I’m using a fan brush for nail art for the first time ever! I bought a cheap drugstore nail art kit just for the fan brush in it, and I’ve finally gotten around to using it. For this look, I used a faded bottle of Sinful Colors’s Dream On, Kleancolor’s Neon Orange, and Island Girl’s Aloha Paradise.

I started this look off with a good base of Dream On. Like I said, this polish faded dramatically. It was once a vibrant neon purple that became the coral you (kind of) see here. Even when I got this polish, I wasn’t a huge fan of it; it takes all of three coats to cover all the streaks and leaves behind a cheap-looking flat finish. I love Sinful Colors polishes to death but this one was never my favorite.

I originally didn’t include Aloha Paradise in this look, but ultimately, the look needed something for contrast. Dream On and Neon Orange are both on the sheer side; obviously the coverage builds, but for nail art, something with good coverage is ideal. It didn’t look like anything without the teal to liven it up. After that, I just kind of brushed the polish back and forth over the nail until I started getting dry brush strokes. It looks amazing up close like this when you can see the brushy details, but from far away, it just looks like a brown mess.

Sinful Colors and Kleancolor are sold in stores. I found Island Girl in Hawaii.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Whenever: That’s What I Mint

Happy Wednesday! I planned to wear this polish on Monday for my Manicure Monday series, but my weekend look got irreparably smudged right after I finished, and being low on top coat, I decided just to go for the textured polish right away. I actually wore this polish from Saturday to Tuesday with minimal chipping. This is Nicole by OPI’s That’s What I Mint; I’m wearing three coats.

I was super impressed by how well this wore on me. I’m not one to wear a polish more than a day or two, and that’s largely because of how quickly it chips. One will chip and then I end up picking at it and all the others until there’s nothing left and I have no choice but to start over. I’m actually kind of proud of myself that I kept polish on for four whole days.

Nicole by OPI is sold in stores; I got this one from a Target clearance bin.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Light and Magic

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look was an experiment in combining matte and glossy finishes to create some texture, and I think I did well. My polish here is Monster Polish‘s What’s Wrong With This Jumper?; I used Seche Vite for the glossy elements.

I swatched this polishes ages ago, and I swore that when I did a proper manicure with it, I would take advantage of its natural matte finish. It’s a beautiful polish either way, so I thought doing this would give it the best of both worlds; you get the most holo on the shiny parts, but the matte softens it. This is the kind of nail art this polish was meant for (though maybe not this execution).

Unfortunately, this has already started to chip. I should have used a coat of top coat before the last coat, and ultimately, before I added the nail art, but I’m running low and need to conserve what little I have. I definitely plan to try this again in the future with another beautiful matte polish.

In the shade. The contrast between gloss and matte is most evident here.

Monster Polishes are for sale in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Rich Vintage

Happy Monday! Today’s look makes use of a vintage Maybelline polish that I’ve had since at least 2005. This is Tawny underneath Formula X for Sephora’s Out of Sight.

Tawny is a rich toffee brown creme. For a polish of its age, it actually applied quite well; the consistency was a little on the sticky-thick side, and was a little annoying to work with. I could have thinned it, but it wasn’t quite that bad. The worst thing was the shedding brush. It left quite a few strands on my nails, and I wasn’t able to get all of them off. I just put more polish on top of it.

Out of Sight is gorgeous. It’s super-blingy, and nearly blinded me in the sunshine. It’s also got some golden flakies in there. This polish has the same issues that all the shredded glitter toppers have with smoothness, and I talked about that a bit in last week’s post. This one is maybe ninety percent smooth with a few jaggies.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Opal Breeze

Happy Monday, reader! I have another easy/lazy nail look this week. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s The Merchant’s Son under Ciaté’s Snow Globe. It’s opalicious!

Snow Globe was the main polish I wanted to use here. I was such a huge fan of these shredded iridescent toppers when they came out; even now, I still can’t get over that Mylar-esque shine and all those colors. Of course, this is as bumpy as it looks; one coat of Seche Vite wasn’t enough to smooth down all those jagged edges. For this reason alone, I’m glad we moved onto flakies.

The Merchant’s Son, as you see it here, is a former thermal polish. I even dug this one out hoping for the thermal effect to add some complexity to this look, but alas, thermals don’t transition forever. There’s a fine green shimmer in here that got a little covered up, and definitely doesn’t come out on this cloudy day. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange and Ginger

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look is simple but colorful. I used Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed and Digital Nails‘s Ultimate Ginger. Let’s get started!

Sun Kissed is a polish I’ve had for a long time; you can’t tell in this photo, but the fill line is somewhere around the French words on the bottle. It may be one of my oldest. I kept it simple here, just because I wasn’t sure how the consistency of the polish would be after so many years. It was actually still pretty easy to work with, but it was thickening and stretching like mozzarella around the neck of the bottle. This is the first time in a while I’ve had the hope that I can finish a bottle of polish.

I used Ultimate Ginger here for the orange glitters, as well as the complementary colors. I knew the orange and blue together would make a stunning combination, but I didn’t realize how colorful Ultimate Ginger really is. It’s not just orange and blue glitters in there; it’s yellow, white, and green, too. I know this is a polish based on a painting of flowers (or rather, a Doctor Who episode centered around it? Confession: I’ve never seen Doctor Who) so it should come as no surprise, but still. There’s much more to this polish than I expected.

Sally Hansen polishes are sold in stores. The original formula of Ultimate Ginger was discontinued, with a changed-up version called Penultimate Ginger taking its place. Either way, Digital Nails is unfortunately still on hiatus.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Whenever: Double Purple

Welcome back, reader! I have an old Manicure Monday that I never got around to posting. This must have been done around Christmas, when I was hellishly busy at work. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s 2014 and Siren’s Quarter Life Crisis.

Remember 2014? I barely do. I remember buying this polish, though! This is a sheer purple with a strong shift, as well as some iridescent glitters throughout. The shift doesn’t come out so well in bright sunlight, but it’s definitely there. I love the glitters in there the most, it’s what sets the polish apart from other shifters.

Siren’s Quarter Life Crisis was a holiday gift-with-purchase polish from I don’t even know how long ago. Clearly, I’ve been buying BEGL a long time. This was the first GWP, I think, and it was a pretty small batch, being capped at 15 bottles. I picked this to go with 2014 because the primary colors are pretty close; one adds color than sparkle to the look, while the other does the opposite. I think it turned out pretty well.

Neither of these polishes are still available from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer, but other BEGL polishes are available in the online shop (which is currently on hiatus).

I bought 2014. The Siren was a gift with purchase.