Manicure Monday: Old-Fashioned French Manicure

Manicure Monday is finally here! Today’s post is late because somebody (me) failed to charge the camera battery. It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s get this post rolling. I went for a French manicure-inspired look with inlaid glitter. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal, L’Oreal’s Raven’s Dream, Lynnderella‘s Something Old, and China Glaze’s White on White.

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I used two nudes in this look. I planned to use Raven’s Dream — a nude called Raven’s Dream, what? — is a sheer nude that’s ideal for a French mani, but I really suck at applying these sheers. I can never get them to look not-streaky. I love the look when it’s applied well, but I can never get it right, so I used Chantal as undies, and then a couple coats of Raven’s Dream on top. As it turned out, the color you’re seeing here is Chantal, but the shine, as well as the sheer painted over the glitter, that’s all Raven’s Dream. It has the most gorgeous gloss finish.

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I picked Something Old to go in this look because it has this great vintage feel. It’s got white and pink, the best hallmarks of bridal-themed polishes, but also incorporates a soft yellow, really making it seem faded and well-loved. Of course, this look kind of takes the beauty out of the polish. You can see some colors and shapes, but any sparkle gets cancelled out. The colors in the glitter are just soft enough to be obscured, so unless you know the glitter is there, it’s easy to overlook.

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I always suck at painting tips on. They always look so thick! My bottle of White on White is really low, so it took a lot of polish to get an even white tip on every nail. Some of them look and feel flat, but others have a visible bump where the tip is. It happens every time. It ties the look together, though. It’s not a true French by any means, but it does the job. The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. The glitter looks really nice out here, you can even see a bit of sparkle.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are sold at Ulta. Raven’s Dream has been discontinued; other L’Oreal polishes are sold in stores nationwide. Something Old was a Lynnderella limited edition and has since sold out; Lynnderella polishes are sold on eBay and on lynnderella.com. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Lavender Glamour

It’s Manicure Monday again! It’s Halloween, but I’m kind of glad to have the Halloween manis behind me. Lavender doesn’t scream (heh) Halloween, and I’m cool with it. For this look, I used LA Colors’s Bliss (lavender) and China Glaze’s Full Spectrum (microglitter).

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When I paired these two polishes together, I was originally just going to use Full Spectrum as accent nails and leave the Bliss nails alone. I love Bliss on its own, and I love cremes, but my recent sort-of resolution to do more nail art inspired me to do the glitter swirls. For these, I just dipped a thin nail art brush in Full Spectrum, did a wiggly thing on the nail with it, and then more wiggly things in the leftover spaces. I put dots to fill up whatever space was left. The design is a bit clearer on the thumb nail than the others, but it’s still cool on the others. This was a mani where I could totally shut out the perfectionist and just be happy with however it turned out.

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I kind of wish I was wearing Full Spectrum on its own. There is so much going on with this microglitter; though it looks silver primarily, there are fine glitters in many colors, as well as an allover purple shimmer. It’s just beautiful. I’ve had this in my collection a long time, and I’m glad I’m finally using it. There are blue and green versions of this polish, and I can’t remember if I have them or not, but I need them if I do. This is super beautiful.

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In the sunlight, the glitter takes off. The colors are brighter and much easier to detect. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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thumb, index, ring fingers

LA Colors and China Glaze are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: The New Black’s Gold Leaf Foil

Welcome back for Swatch Sunday! Today’s swatch is of a mystery polish from The New Black I’ve just been calling Gold Leaf Foil. The New Black doesn’t label any of their shade names, which is kind of frustrating. I’m wearing Gold Leaf Foil over Sally Hansen’s Black Out (black), Octopus Party’s Universal Loner (red), and Indigo Bananas‘s Klein Trink Wasser (blue) with one coat of Gelous.

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Gold Leaf Foil is a clear-based glitter topper with metallic gold shredded glitter. Application was easy enough; the product consistency delivered the glitter well enough and wasn’t too difficult to work with. The glitter itself was the troblesome part. The glitter pieces are unevenly shaped; some pieces are very large and others are barely there. The very coarse pieces don’t always lie flat, which sometimes leads to them getting snagged and/or pulled off. It does dry quickly and with a good shine; I used top coat for extra smoothness.

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Coarse shredded glitter is probably my least favorite glitter shape. I mean, I love how they look, their shine and madness is unmatched. I love how this looks over the cremes. I just don’t like how these large glitters stick up. If you look at the sunlight photos in the next set, you’ll actually see that my pinky nail has more glitter on it than the studio set. That’s because, between the time I took the photos outdoors and indoors, the glitter actually got pulled off somehow. In the studio photos, you can just see where it used to be.

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Here are the sunlight photos. I took these a bit late in the afternoon so it’s not the harsh sunlight I usually shoot in. Like I said, this is a pretty cool looking glitter, even if working with it is kind of annoying.

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So I can’t find a source on where to get The New Black these days. I got this set — this polish came with a black creme and a set of gold studs — from Ulta when it was in the clearance section. Sephora’s website has a two bottle set in their clearance section as of this writing. Other than that, they seem to have been discontinued.

I bought these polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Holo Stripes With Sprinkles

Happy Monday! I dug deep for today’s mani. I didn’t feel satisfied just putting glitter over polish, so I got the holos out and the striping tape. I should do this kind of thing more often. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s Hitsujiyama Park (light pink), Literary Lacquers‘s Laughs in Flowers (pink stripes), Model City Polish‘s Pour Me Another (dark pink), and OPI’s Pink Yet Lavender (glitter). All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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With this mani, I just wanted something pink and flashy. I chose three pink holos of varying colors and holo strength; Hitsujiyama Park has the least holo and most opacity, Pour Me Another has a strong holo flame but is pretty sheer, and Laughs in Flowers has fine holo glitters mixed in to create a unique finish. These three polishes, when combined, create a distinct and cohesive look. I’m looking forward to pairing them again soon!

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Pink Yet Lavender is a glitter topper, so I brushed it over the striped nails and sponged it on the others. I have to admit, this wasn’t quite what I expected when I started. In the bottle, the glitter looks more rose gold, likely due to the tinted pink base. On the nail, it pulls silver. I don’t mean to say I don’t like it, but I definitely expected more pink glitter, that’s why I chose all pinks for this mani. Pink Yet Lavender, at least, has some holo glitter in it that helps tie it all together. Also, sponging took a significant amount of product. You can see the fll line on the bottle; this is the first time I’ve used this polish and that’s where it is now.

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I am having a lot of fun wearing this, all things considered. The stripes add a fun visual, the glitter adds sparkle, and the holo pushes it over the edge. This took a lot longer than the usual Monday mani, but I’m glad I spent the time on it. I used to push myself really hard to do nail art, and I feel like lately all I’ve been doing is wearing glitter over a base, and that feels lazy. I definitely need to get out of my lazy mani zone.

Hitsujiyama Park and other Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop. Laughs in Flowers was an Addicted to Holos box exclusive from March 2015 and is no longer available; other Literary Lacquers are sold in their etsy shop. Pour Me Another is also a long-gone limited edition; other Model City Polishes are for sale on etsy. Pink Yet Lavender is also discontinued; OPI is sold in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Sunburned Sunrise

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s manicure looks like it was inspired by Reese’s Pieces, but I promise it wasn’t. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Sunburned Siren, Smokey Mountain Lacquers‘s Electric Sun, and Digital Nails‘s Enterprise, along with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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So when I was planning this look, Sunburned Siren was my main color choice. I totally fell in love with it the first time I swatched it. I wanted a nail art look, something that’s bright and fun like the Siren but doesn’t take away from it. I got Enterprise out because of the wild shift; it goes from a deep magenta to a cool gold, embracing the colors of the Siren’s shimmers but also exaggerating them. I added Electric Sun to work with the sunrise motif, to work as a cool shimmery yellow. It’s only just occurred to me that their names work together. I wish I hadn’t added the yellow, because that’s what makes it look like Reese’s Pieces, but it helps the sunrise look like a sunrise, so it works out.

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I used Enterprise as shifty sunrays, and I wish I’d used a gold glitter as well. I used an eyeshadow sponge as my application method; I also used it on the all-glitter accent nail. Enterprise is definitely more suited as a topper than a full-coverage glitter, so I did two brused coats of Enterprise, which gave me good but not complete coverage, and just used the sponged coats to cover what was still showing of my nails. I’m surprised it was able to cover so much. And, of course, what’s a wacie.com manicure without a bow? I love how many of you comment on the bows I use, it makes me feel like people really are seeing my stuff.

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In the sunlight, this mani was exactly what I wanted, even if it didn’t turn out the way I’d envisioned. It’s bright, warm, and fun, but it’s also accidentally autumnal, which works out, since the first day of autumn is in just a few days. These photos were all taken in direct sunlight.

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Sunburned Siren was a BEGL limited edition and has since sold out; you can buy other BEGLs from their online shop, though they are currently on a break. Electric Sun was a Beauty Quartet Box exclusive and is no longer available; other Smokey Mountain Lacquers are sold on their website. Enterprise and other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Tuesday: Red vs. Blue Multichrome

Welcome to Manicure Tuesday! I know, it’s weird for me too. I like today’s look today, though, even if I did a bit of a sloppy job. For this look, I used MAC’s Queen’s Honor (red) and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue); my thumb and pinky have Queen’s Honor alone, my index nail has Baker Street alone, and my middle and ring nails have a gradient made with both colors. I then applied a coat of Orly’s Synchro (the multichrome) on each nail, then finished with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You top coats.

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I love Synchro, because I can confidently say I don’t own another polish like this. The red to blue multichrome is totally unique and I don’t have another polish that uses it. That said, I feel like I’ve never used it to its full potential. I wore it only once over red, and this time I decided to switch it up a bit and use red AND blue. I am stunned by how good it looks over the blue, I might even like it better than over red. Blue is the color I see the most of wearing Synchro, and it makes both colors look icy and interesting. Mattefied, it looks like an ethereal brocade. It’s really cool.

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My gradients didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped. I had a hard time blending the two colors. When I do gradients, I don’t usually pick two colors of the same intensity, I pick one that’s lighter and one that’s much darker, and then it evens out somewhere in the middle. This gradient left a dark purple center that I didn’t really like, but it ended up being covered by Synchro, so it’s hard to tell it’s a gradient at all. It’s pretty subtle. I can’t tell if it’s the look I wanted or not. I still like it though.

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Shifty!

Shifty!

Outdoors, Synchro really shines! The shift occurs pretty easily both indoors and out. These photos were taken in direct sunlight. Try not to notice my green pool.

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Queen’s Honor was a limited edition polish from MAC and has sold out; other MAC polishes are available at your local MAC counter. Baker Street and other Nails Inc. polishes are sold at Sephora. Synchro has been discontinued by Orly; other Orly polishes are sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: No Place Like Chrome

Happy Monday, reader! I hope you guys like shiny silver, because that’s all I’ve got today. This is Essie’s No Place Like Chrome without top coat. Silver for days!

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I love the Mirror Metallics collection from Essie. I have them all, but I’ve only ever used two of them, and No Place Like Chrome is the only one I’ve used twice. I know metallic polishes come and go, everybody makes them at some point, but I’m so glad I’ve got these. The finish is so fun and unique, making any mani stand out. I’ve only ever worn this polish by itself, but someday I’ll get around to using it as an accent with something. Mirror polish makes any mani striking.

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The last time I wore this bow was with another strong silver mani. I am actually really surprised by how easy these are to wear. Sure, it’s big, but it rarely gets caught on anything. It’s about as wide as my finger, so someone with thinner fingers might have trouble, but I love wearing these bows. It’s like wearing the biggest, tackiest engagement ring, except it’s glued to one of my nails.

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In the sunlight, the metallic effect is just as apparent. It’s actually kind of blinding. The bow is especially ridiculous. Check out the flares on it.

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No Place Like Chrome and other Essie polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Born Pretty Store.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Vision Intuition

Happy Monday! Manicure Monday is here! I’m excited to be using a SpaRitual polish for the first time today, as well as a Lynnderella polish that’s been calling my name for a while now. For this look, I used three coats of SpaRitual’s Intuition and one brushed coat of Lynnderella’s Moonstone Magic.

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I have to admit, I don’t really know anything about SpaRitual. I’ve seen a few polishes around in communities, so I knew about the brand, but I’d never seen it in stores until I found some in a TJ Maxx in upstate New York. I got a set with two bottles and a clutch for like ten dollars. I had to buy it! I hate to say it, but I expected a little more from the formula; the first coat of Intuition was worringly thin, and while coverage improved dramatically with extra coats, it’s still not fully opaque. The shifting shimmer is nice at least. It’s still a pretty polish.

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I went through a phase where I was all about the white glitters in shimmery bases. I’m still not over it. I think half of my Lynderella collection is white glitters. They’re just so pretty! I have so many and yet none of them are the same, they all have some unique must-have quality. I chose Moonstone Magic for this look for its shifting base; it’s not quite the same shimmer as the one in Intuition, but I think they work together. It’s a little milky-looking over the purple, but it’s still dreamy and iridescent. Truth be told, though, I almost reached for Beautiful Dreams again. It was a hard choice!

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The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. In harsh light like this, you can see how thin Intuition still looks after three coats. It’s pretty disappointing. The tiny silver stars in Moonstone Magic kill me.

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Intuition isn’t in stock on the SpaRitual website; other polishes are available there. Moonstone Magic might be discontinued by Lynnderella; other Lynnderellas are available on their new site and on eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Shleee Polish’s Beautiful Dreams

Welcome back, reader! I’m excited about today’s swatch; it’s from a brand I’ve been dying to try forever! This is Beautiful Dreams from Shleee Polish; I’m wearing one coat over LA Girl’s Black, China Glaze’s White on White, P2’s French Kiss (pink), and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue).

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Beautiful Dreams is a clear-based glitter topper with a primarily white glitter mix — shapes include stars, moons, hearts, dots, and clouds — with silver moons and stars, iridescent hexes, and a strong blue-to-purple shift. Application was good; I didn’t have to fish for the shape glitters, and the glitters brushed on evenly. Product consistency was also good; it wasn’t too thick or thin. It dried quickly and with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra smoothness and shine.

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When this polish came out early this year, I jumped on it. This was the first time I’d ever seen the cloud glitters, and I still get so excited about new glitter shapes, I have to buy the polish I see them in first. Beautiful Dreams is a great use for them, too; the overall look is ethereal and celestial, and the clouds just belong. It’s a perfect mix of glitter and shimmer. I am crazy impressed with it, as well as with Shleee in general.

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The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The shift gets a little washed out — especially in midday — but still looks gorgeous. You may also be wondering why I used a white polish as a base for white glitter. I think there’s something charming about white over white; it’s giving the shift and the silver glitters a chance to stand out.

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Beautiful Dreams is currently not in stock; other Shleee Polishes are available in their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Beyond

It’s Monday, and it’s time for manicures! This week, I’m using the one Color Club Halo Hues polish I own. I gotta say, for a mass-market holo, it’s pretty good! This is Beyond; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos were taken in direct sunlight. Also, full disclosure: it’s been raining most of the day, so when it stopped and the sun was actually shining, I ran outside before everything was totally dry and smudged my ring finger. I decided to just photograph it as-is instead of redoing it and risk losing the sunlight.

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I remember the Color Club holos being a huge deal a couple years ago. They were easily the most accessible linear holo on the market at the time. I saw more of these in nail polish communities than actual indie holos. Beyond isn’t the most unique polish; it’s a warm gray holo, but still pretty comparable to early indie holos — Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Don’t Worry, I Don’t Bite is one that comes to mind. Of course, that can work to its advantage, too; if you love those basic early holos but they’ve all been discontinued or reworked, these are certainly for you.

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I think I actually bought this one on accident. I actually wanted Kismet, that dreamy silver holo from the same collection, and I goofed and got Beyond instead. Not that I’m complaining. I love wearing this, and I don’t feel so guilty about using it so much as I do with the indie holos. I know I’d have a much easier time replacing this one than, say, a sought-after Enchanted.

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Smudge :(

Smudge 🙁

I’m still so sad about that smudge. It looks worse in real life than it does in photos; I ended up bumping it again on the way in and I’m probably going to redo it anyway just because it bugs me. I feel like a bad blogger for posting these — especially the macro — but as I write this, another bout of storminess is rolling through, and I know I did the right thing.

Beyond, Halo Hues, and other Color Club shades and products are available on ColorClub.com. The infinity loop bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.