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.

Manicure Monday: Lime Sherbet With Sprinkles

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s look evokes images of springtime, doesn’t it? I’m so ready for spring. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Queen Lime Rose Zinnia with Lynnderella‘s Bridezilla.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is probably the newest BEGL I’ve worn yet, and maybe also one of the most interesting. The shade itself is already very cool; it’s this delicious lime sherbet green (get it, cool?), but then there’s these pink-to-gold shifting flecks that add contrasting shimmer. It’s so gorgeous. It dries with a satin finish to boot. It’s an incredible polish.

You know what else has a beautiful pink-to-gold shift? Lynnderella’s Bridezilla! I actually paired them for this reason; the matching shimmer unites both polishes in a really cool way. The shimmer you see here is likely more from Bridezilla than Zinnia; I sponged a little extra shimmer on the tips after adding the glitter. Also, I do apologize for how sloppy the glitter looks. I always do this! I try to make sure I have enough glitter, and then I end up with too much. It’s a fun glitter mix, though, right? I love that there’s so many different shapes in it. They stick up off my nail and get snagged on things, of course, but I can deal with it for a day or two.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. Everything is so bright out here! The shimmer doesn’t seem as intense, but it’s pretty potent wherever the light hits it. You can see the shift pretty well out here, too.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is not currently in stock; see the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer shop for other polishes. Bridezilla might have been a limited edition Lynnderella; other Lynnderellas are available on their website and on eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Monochrome Duochome

Happy Monday, reader! My first proper manicure of the year was done with Ciaté’s Starlet and Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional. Opposites attract, right?

Starlet is a beautiful sheer black duochrome that shifts from purple to green. The shift is pretty intense, which I love. It is a little on the thin side, and it took three coats to achieve any kind of opacity. Next time I’ll layer it over a black creme base. I almost felt a little bad about covering up the shift, but it’s strong enough that the glitter doesn’t completely obscure it. I wasn’t sure about this combo at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.

I know that the black and white glitter toppers are out now, but I never really spent any time with them when they were popular, so I’m still a fan of the look. I think I’ve only ever used two before this, actually. I chose Black Tie Optional for this look because these toppers look good over everything, including, apparently, duochromes. The glitter adds texture and variety to each nail while the base adds fun shifting color. I can’t believe this combo actually worked.

In the sunlight, you can see how thin Starlet is on my tips. That’s frustrating to see, I thought I’d covered all the streaks! The shift is very strong out here, look how bright the green is! I am having so much fun wearing this look.

Starlet may be discontinued by Ciaté; other Ciaté polishes are available at Sephora. Hard Candy polishes are sold at Walmart.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Year-End Glitter

Happy Monday! It’s the last Monday of the year, and hopefully you got through it unscathed. There’s only a week left of this dreadful year, and I cannot wait to leave it behind. I’m going to send it off right, with a glitter gradient! For this look, I used L’Oreal’s Cockatoo’s Wisdom and Nails Inc.’s Upper Street.

I loved Cocktaoo’s Wisdom in the bottle; it’s this rich, cool brown, but it was hard to get opaque on my nails. It’s why I put the glitter on the top of the nail instead of the bottom, where I would have rather put it, but I needed it to cover the streaks that were still somehow left behind, even after three coats. It was really disappointing. On the plus side, despite coverage being wonky, it had a lovely shine to it. I felt a little bad mattifying it.

Upper Street is a pretty fun topper. By indie standards, there isn’t a lot going on in it; all of the glitters are the same shape and size, and it’s just color and finishes that are different, but I think it’s fun. I wanted cool colors to complement the cool brown base, and I think the pink and blue pastels do that very well. There are some metallic gold hexes in here also, but mattifying them hid them somewhat. I was hesitant to use this, because I’ve broken two Nails Inc. caps recently and had my polishes dry out. Hopefully this one is fine.

Cockatoo’s Wisdom has been discontinued by L’Oreal, but other L’Oreal products are sold nationwide. Upper Street is also discontinued; Nails Inc. is available at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: White Snow Blue Lava

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s manicure is accidentally wintry. Some rain finally brought some chilliness to Florida, but it’ll be warming up again by Christmas (I hope). By chilliness, I mean it’s 59 degrees right now. Anyway, onto the look; I used OPI’s White Shatter over American Apparel’s Neptune, as well as Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

Crackle polish is so over, even Boyfriend knows it’s over. I showed him my nails today and he said “Come on Wacie, crackle polish is so 2011.” I know it is, but I’m still going to keep using it if I have it around. I get tons of compliments on crackle polish whenever I do wear it, and since it’s almost certainly going to be in fashion again in the future, why should I toss it? Not that I plan to hoard it for another ten years, but as I already have plenty of ten year old bottles, it’s not unlikely I won’t still have them.

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Something I like about topper polishes — not just crackles, but glitters and shifters, too — is that I can get creative with what I use as my base. Sometimes I’ll use it as an excuse to use a high-end or indie creme, a thermal, just something that I wouldn’t normally use. I’ll even try to use a color that makes a contrasting or unlikely combo. I used the glow-in-the-dark Neptune for this because I loved the idea of the glow coming through the cracks. It mostly just glows through the white, but you can still see the difference. Neptune also isn’t completely opaque, and it changes color a bit based on whatever part of my nail it’s on. It’s a bit brighter when it’s on the white free edge of my nail, and makes a mini gradient.

Of course, old crackle polish can be unpredictable. It didn’t crack on a few nails and I had to redo them. The pinky nail you see here had to be redone twice. It wasted a lot of time and polish. I love the matte finish, though. Usually I’m not a fan of the matte finish, but I feel like it was the way to go today.

White Shatter is discontinued, but other OPI polishes are available in stores nationwide. Neptune and other American Apparel polishes have also been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Holo Crush

Happy Monday! This is post is late because I’m lazy. I’m excited about this mani, though, because I don’t often use my Enchanted Polishes. I try not to feel bad about using discontinued or special polishes, but I feel bad about using the Enchanteds. I don’t want to use them up! This mani started as just a half-moon mani with May 2014, but I added a stripe of Ciaté’s Encore! for a little extra color. Let’s get started! All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

Most of my Enchanteds are used. This one is; it was one of the first ones I ever bought. At the time, I was just buying up whatever ones I could find that were under $20. I could never get in on the pre-orders or surprise restocks in time, so buying them used was always a better option, even if it sometimes cost a little more. I love orange, so I knew this was one I would want. Boyfriend’s birthday is in May, so there’s that, too.

I like Encore! in this mani because it’s a similar orange, but also different enough to be apparent. I wanted something between the negative space and May 2014, and after considering a few different things, this was what I picked. I felt a little bad covering up some holo, but I think it works. Also, good news, Envy didn’t stain me! Two coats of Seche Base did the trick.

May 2014 is no longer sold by Enchanted Polish; other polishes are available in their online shop. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Blue Insinuation

Happy Monday! Manicure Monday is early because I was able to pull myself out of bed early for once. For this week’s look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s The Innuendo Squad with the Holo Glam decals I won in a giveaway (that I talk about here). All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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So it wasn’t that long ago since I swatched The Innuendo Squad (I say it wasn’t that long ago; it was July, yikes), but I’m happy to revisit it. It’s a delicate blue with the softest, prettiest holo flame; I almost just wore it alone again to enjoy it. I didn’t want to cover it with anything. When I got the decals in that giveaway I won a bit ago, I thought about pairing them together, and I like how it turned out.

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Of course, this is my first time with water slide decals, and I don’t quite have the hang of it yet. On my Cinderella hand, I tried the method of soaking the decal in a bowl of water, sliding it off onto my finger, and then placing it, but this felt like too much work, and also just trashed one of the decals. I found it easier to place the dry decal on my nail, use an eyedropper to wet it, and then peel the paper backing away when it was wet enough. My placing wasn’t quite right, and so I tried to balance it out with a rhinestone. I kind of like it. Not a first bad go at the decals I suppose. It adds fun to the look without disturbing the polish.

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The Innuendo Squad is discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are sold in their online shop, and lots of previously retired polishes are making a comeback for the holidays, just saying. I looked for the Holo Glam shops and just found their social media pages, so I don’t know where to tell you to get those.

I bought this polish myself.
I won the decals in a giveaway.