Swatch Sunday: Crystal Knockout’s Pegasus Landing

Welcome back to Swatch Sunday! Today’s polish is a new-to-me brand called Crystal Knockout (formerly DazzleGlaze). I loved meeting them at The Indie Shop in Atlanta; they’re from Florida, and I always like meeting the neighbors. They were selling a big range of products, even making their own jewelry. I regret that I didn’t buy any of the jewelry. Anyway, so here’s their VIP bag contribution. This is Pegasus Landing on its own (three coats) and over both China Glaze’s White on White and Sally Hansen’s Black Out (two coats) with one coat of Seche Vite.

Pegasus Landing is a shimmery white gold with gold glitters and rose gold flakies. This was very easy to apply; the product consistency good, even with all of the glitter in it. The bigger glitters was a little shy, but with repeated coats, I still got a good amount on my nail. I did a terrible job at showing the rose gold aspect of the polish; it was probably my favorite thing about it. The polish dried well but I did wish I’d used a second layer of top coat.

I didn’t expect this polish to work so well on its own, but I definitely prefer it alone than over white or black. I love how well the gold stands out over the black, but it’s definitely best without undies. I don’t really have any other polishes like this one, so it’s got a cool uniqueness factor. Lots of polishes like this with really creamy shimmery bases and chunky glitters don’t work, but this one does.

Pegasus Landing was an event exclusive. Other Crystal Knockout products are sold on their online shop.

This polish came in an event VIP bag.

Swatch Sunday: Chaotic Glitz’s The Dryad

It’s Swatch Sunday!! Yes, it’s another Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive. I’m sorry. I feel so bad teasing polishes you can’t buy without hunting it down. I’m pretty excited about trying out a new-to-me brand, though! This is The Dryad from Chaotic Glitz. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

 

I’ll admit it, I have no idea what color The Dryad is. In the bottle, it looks like a blackened shimmery plum with holo glitter, but on the nail, it’s more of a gunmetal, or just a shimmery black. In any case, I am so into it. The product consistency was lovely; it was super easy to work with and I had complete opacity in two coats. It dries with a satin finish. The brush is also one that delivers a lot of polish on the nail, I’ll let you decide if that’s a plus or not.

There’s a brush-stroke there that didn’t quite level itself out.

The Dryad is a pretty great polish, and I’m happy it’s one of my first CGs. It’s a dark and sultry polish. It has an edge. Unfortunately, it was shady outside when I took these photos, and the glitter isn’t as shiny as it should be, but it’s definitely got some sparkle, too. It’s beautiful.

The Dryad was an Indie Polish Atlanta exclusive. Other Chaotic Glitz products are available from their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday Doubleheader, Part One: Bluebird Lacquer’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

It’s Swatch Sunday! Same rules as last time, we get two today because we had none last week. Lucky for you, they’re two of my acquisitions from The Indie Shop Atlanta! This first swatch is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil from Bluebird Lacquer. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a dark polish — I can’t tell if it’s a black or a navy — with blue-to-purple shifting shimmer, holo, and flakies. This polish has everything. Application was good; as you might expect, it was a little thin and streaky on the first coat, but everything evened out nicely. It dries with a somewhat glossy finish; I added top coat for shine and protection.

This is a polish I cannot help but love because there’s so much going on in it. Dark and moody? Check. Icy blue shimmer? Check? Holo? Yes! Flakies? Okay sure! It’s like a buffet of everything that makes nail polish amazing. I loved wearing this and cannot wait to put it on again.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive and may not be for sale. Lucky for you, though, I happen to have an extra bottle! There was a mini in my VIP bag but I knew I wanted a full-size when I saw it, so I’ve got one of both. I’m thinking of doing a giveaway with it and some of the other dupes I got; should I give them away one bottle at a time, or do the whole lot?

Other Bluebird Lacquers are sold on their website, though as of this writing, their shop is temporarily closed.

I bought this polish myself.

Nailspiration: Alterre NY’s Resort/Winter 2017 Collection

Hello, reader! Today’s post is all about shoes and manicures based on shoes. I got an early look at Alterre‘s 2017 shoe collection, and after seeing how easily the designs and colors lend themselves to negative space manicures, I had to give it a shot.

This post is a sponsored post by Alterre NY and Brandbacker. The opinions stated in this post are my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Alterre, imagine this: modular sandals. You start with a sandal base, with straps that snap to the bottom sole. Different straps (the look) can be added to the sandal base (the lift) to customize the shoe. All looks work with all lifts and can be used to create a huge combination of different shoes. Imagine the possibilities!

This year’s collection, which doesn’t launch until September, is based on styles from the 1970s. The catalog contains a lot of earth tones and platform shoes, which I’m a huge fan of.

As I mentioned, I saw a manicure for every shoe in the catalog. The modular approach to negative space manicures works as well as it does for shoes.

P2’s French Kiss and Essie’s Good As Gold

These looks are completely outside what I usually do for myself. I did a lot of taping and a lot of freehand painting, which I’ve never been completely comfortable with. Some of these looks, I regret to say, aren’t up to my usual standards.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse on the Lake and Siren’s Quarter-Life Crisis

They’re kind of editorial, and maybe that’s the look I wanted all along. Not all of these looks, nail and shoe alike, are suited for everyday life, but they could be with just a few adjustments.

This was directly from the PDF catalog, I didn’t get a hi-res photo of this one.

Sally Hansen’s Black Out, China Glaze’s White on White, dried flowers from Ciaté

e.l.f’s Nude, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s I Could See Them Too

P2’s Artful, Essie’s Nothing Else Metals, OPI’s Dutch Tulips

So, what do you think, reader? I hope you like the shoes and some of the manis. I’ve been thinking of making Nailspiration a regular wacie.com feature, because I see so many things around the house and out into the world that would make fantastic nail art that I never get the chance to try.

 

This post is a sponsored post by Alterre NY and Brandbacker. The opinions stated in this post are my own.
All nail products featured in this post were purchased myself.

A Look Back at 2016

Hello reader! Now that 2016 is behind us, I wanted to look back on some of my blog highlights and share my favorite nail art looks, and maybe share some of my 2017 blogging goals with you. I guess I could have waited to do this on my blog-versary in March, but it feels more appropriate to do it now.

January: Elevated Gradient

February: Neon Satisfaction

You’ll notice these photos are tiny. Why? Because in March, The Great wacie.com Server Crash of 2016 happened! My webhost had a hardware failure, and for whatever reason, several months of posts were lost and had to be pieced back together with images and text cached by Google. It was an extremely frustrating and embarrassing time for me.

March: Spring Hibiscus

I miss these long nails.

This is probably my favorite look of the year.

Third Anniversary Do-Over

I mentioned earlier that my blog’s anniversary is in March. For last year’s anniversary, I recreated the first-ever mani I posted on my blog. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for my fourth year, but it’ll probably be awesome.

April: Dusty Watermarble

May: Neon Splatter

I went to Hawaii in May. As a result, this is my least active month on the blog for the year.

June: Orange Jello Sandwich

My first Empties Roundup post was also in June.

July: Beyond

August: Ombre Hearts

September: Popples

October: Stripey Blue Frosting

This was a look I did to celebrate my birthday.

November: Ruby Opal

December: White Snow Blue Lava

So there’s my year! This was probably the busiest year for the blog, since I broadened my sujects quite a lot. I did tons of swatches and nail art, but I also ventured into product reviews and makeup talk. I don’t think this will ever become a full lifestyle or beauty blog, but I’m definitely having fun with it in this format. I’m kind of excited to see what it’ll evolve into in 2017. Here are a few beauty goals I have in mind, though.

1. Write more
I wrote 175 posts in 2016, averaging about 14 per month. It doesn’t sound like much to me, like I did way more work than that, especially when it started to feel stressful. That said, I’d like to do at least one more post every week.

1b. Write on my other blog more
I have a second blog that I want to start posting to more. It’s been so long since I’ve bothered with it that I don’t even remember the login credentials. I still want a place to talk about myself and my life, a place to seem like I have a life away from my nails.

2. Build a real skincare routine
I still feel insecure about my skin. I’m frustrated that I’m 31 and I still get acne. I want to take every preventative measure I can against wrinkles and anti-aging. I also want to try a 10-step Asian beauty routine. If you’re over 30 with oily skin and hormonal acne, I want your recommendations.

3. Stop competing
I know one of the big rules of blogging is not to compare your success with others’, but I feel so competitive about it. At the risk of sounding whiny, I always look at other bloggers who’ve been working on their blogs for about as long as I have, and watching their blogs grow faster than mine is kind of frustrating. I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

4. Do more real nail art
I love glitter toppers and I think I use at least one every week, but sometimes it feels lazy. I want to go back to the basics: watermarbling, gradients, dotting. I love my glitters, but it’s starting to feel like a cop-out.

I think that’s it! Anyway, I think 2017 is going to be an exciting year, and I’m looking forward to the good times, the challenges, and the time we spend together. Thanks for reading!

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.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Together Dead and Lonely

Hello, reader! It’s the last swatch of the year! I’m almost a little sad about that. wacie.com has grown tremendously in 2016, and I’ve tried some new things and I’m so happy that we’ve come so far together. I actually plan to do a 2016 retrospective, so I won’t get too far into the sappy stuff just yet. Let’s look at a swatch! Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Together Dead and Lonely is the polish of the day; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Together Dead and Lonely is a black jelly polish with fine silver and red holographic microglitters. Application was easy; since the polish is a jelly, you can expect a little bit of streaking on the first coat, but it was pretty good compared to other, less pigmented black jellies I’ve used. The streaks, if any, are evened out by the second coat. Consistency was on the thicker side, but worked for me pretty well. The polish dries with a satin finish and some slight glitter texture, so top coat is necessary for smoothness and shine.

This polish is a cousin to Noticing Face and Bound to the City Life, a strong-colored jelly with microglitter that is just amazing. I love the red in this mix; it adds color and sets a mood, so to speak: it’s vampy, it’s melancholy, it’s even a little grunge. Let me remind you that it comes from a Valentine’s Day collection. I love it!

Here are some sunlight photos! The glitters are pretty well-defined out here. In the studio, you can see them, but there aren’t so many; you can see all of it in the sunlight.

Together Dead and Lonely and other BEGL polishes are available in their online shop.

Happy new year!

I bought this polish myself.

Project Pan, Fall 2016: Rose Quartz + Serenity-Inspired — Conclusion

Hi Reader! You might remember that I started a twelve-week beauty challenge where I committed to a handful of products for the whole twelve weeks. I called it a Project Pan, but since I’m not using them until I hit pan or use them up, it’s not the most accurate name for it. I did, however, completely my twelve-week obligation to them, so I’m doing one last update post to talk about what I did use up or hit pan on before I move onto the Winter 2016 challenge. For detailed product information and swatches, please see my first post for this challenge.

The sun has set.

As I mentioned in my first post, the products I chose were based loosely on Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2016, with some black thrown in for fun. I had a blast with these looks. I left the house with black or blue lipstick on for the first time since middle school. I felt edgy, fashion-forward, and bold. I forgot what I looked like without crazy raccoon eyes. I’m a little sad I’m putting all this stuff away, but I made some progress with these products, and I’m sure they’ll come out of the drawer again someday. For now, I’m happy to be moving on to new things.

Empties: 4
Let me talk first about the things I used up. I didn’t use up any products unique to the challenge, but instead used up some essential products and replaced them. I wrote about the MAC primer and foundations I used up in previous Empties Roundups. I also finally decided it was time to part with the Clarins mascara. I finished my MAC foundation up and went for NARS, I used up a Revlon powder and went back to MAC Studio Fix powder, I used up the MAC primer and went back to Smashbox, and I tossed an old mascara. That’s four empties.

Pans: 3
Honestly, I’m surprised I hit pan on anything. I hit three, though, and I’m pretty proud of myself! Have a look at that NYX eyeshadow trio. The champagne and matte black were my workhorse shadows for this look, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I hit pan on those. It’s just that I’ve used some shadows for years and I still have yet to pan those, but I can pan these in twelve weeks. Maybe they’re small pans. I’m happy I panned the compact, because that’s a thing I’ve had for years. It’s nice to see progress made!

Notable Mentions
Lipglosses
I didn’t think I used up so much of the glosses, and I almost feel a little bad about it. These are two great colors that I should really think about wearing on their own someday.

The quality is low on these before photos because, foolishly, I didn’t keep the originals, only the edited versions.

Highlighter
Check out the fill lines on the High Beam! I’m surprised I used that much of it. A dab here and there really makes a difference!

Lipsticks
I didn’t put too much of a dent on Saint Germain, but Blue Velvet and MUFE #50 are visibly used. Blue Velvet looks the most worn-down. It seems like every time I went out, I had the blue lip on, and I feel like maybe I did use it more than the others because I was always touching it up. Obviously, when your attention is divided over three lipsticks, you’re not going to wear them down as mucha as if you’d only focused on one. You’ll also remember I had a fourth lipstick in the main post, but since I only used it once (when I saw family), I didn’t include it in the final post.

Lip Primer
Here’s my MAC Prep + Prime Lip, turned all the way up. Yeah, I’ve got to dig in there with the brush now to get to the product. It’ll be time to replace it soon!

The other eyeshadows
I don’t really want to include these, but I made the graphic, so I have to include it. Compared to the NYX shadows, I didn’t really use these at all, and so there’s practically no difference between the befores and afters. No surprise there. I really did think I was going these more when I started.

Facial sprays
While the MAC Fix+ is a relatively new purchase, so it’s not as used-up as the NYX Setting Spray is. You can see the fill line through the clear bottle. The NYX spray, while I can’t tell how full it is, it feels pretty light and, when shaken, it doesn’t sound like much is in there. It’ll be time to replace that soon, too!

I only included the products that show visible use or wear. There were a lot of things I included in the look that weren’t used-looking enough to warrant sharing. Some of the products in this look were being used for the first time and didn’t really show signs of wear. Some of them were only applied once, like blush and eyeliner, and don’t show much use. Some of them, like the Eyetini and Heavy Metal liners, were used all of twice. The most often used products were the ones with the most drastic signs of use, and that’s what I included.

And there you have it, twelve weeks of weird blue lips and raccoon eyes is over! Stay tuned for the Winter 2016 Project Pan!

I bought these products myself.

Empties Roundup: October 2016

It’s here, the Empties Roundup for October 2016! I used up a lot of fun things this month, and I’m pretty proud of the sheer number of them. Let’s get started!

Shea Moisture Hand and Body Scrub in Lavender and Wild Orchid

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The Shea Moisture sugar scrubs are my favorite thing. The sugar is coarse and abrasive (in the best way), the oil soaks into my skin quickly, and it’s pretty affordable at $9.99 for 12 ounces. Scrubs like these tend to be pretty expensive and come in small quantities at this price point; that’s what drew me to these in the first place. I’ll continue to buy these, but for now, I bought some scrubs from a local-ish maker in St. Augustine. One is almost nearly gone; I can’t wait to share those with you in next month’s post.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap in Lilac

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Last month I made it through the Peony soap, and now this one is gone, too. I’ve replaced it with the Honeysuckle scent that is very nice. These are the best liquid hand soaps.

Lush’s Snow Fairy Shower Gel

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I found this in the back of the bathroom cabinet. I must have had it for a few years. I opened it to sniff it, and then broke the cap as I was screwing it back on. Good job, Hulk. I liked this shower gel; I wasn’t big on the bubblegum scent but having glitter in it was enough to make me want to use it. Maybe I’ll buy it again if Boyfriend ever lets me step foot inside a Lush store again.

Le Couvent des Minimes Soothing Night Hand Cream in Lavender and Acacia

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This hand cream is the best. It’s so creamy and rich, and that’s nice, but the scent is my favorite thing. I love lavender-scented products, and sometimes the scents vary; this one has the lavender that smells right. I want to buy this again, but I remember it being kind of pricey, so we’ll see. I think this was already my second tube.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

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Is there such a thing as a cleanser being too gentle? I like that this doesn’t make my skin feel completely stripped and dried out, but that makes me wonder if it’s doing the job, because I still feel oily after. I used up a couple of these over the summer and replaced them with Cetaphil cleansers, and I definitely prefer this one to those. I’ll probably buy this again; it’s good for the price and it must be working if my face doesn’t look like pizza anymore.

Smashbox Photo Finish Blemish Control Primer

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I had this hanging around in the makeup drawer, and there wasn’t much left in it, so I used it as an interim primer, between running out and buying more. I don’t know how well this worked as a blemish treatment, because I used the majority of this product in the past, but it wasn’t bad for a primer. When this ran out, I bought the regular Smashbox Photo Finish primer.

Softlips Cube Lip Balm

ernov2016slcm

You guys, this is the thing I’m happiest about using up. I’ve probably had this for years. I’ve had it so long, I don’t even remember what the scent/flavor is. I did a search and they have two that come in pink containers, so your guess is as good as mine. I’m so happy to have used this thing up. It was lovely stuff, but I was ready to move on. I’m now using a lip balm from Curology, back when I was getting stuff from them.

LA Girl Nail Polish in Black

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This is another good one. It’s not often I actually use up a nail polish. It was something I used to do routinely, when I only had a few bottles. It never happens now that I have like 1,400. Of course, it’s only a black creme in a small bottle, but it’s progress. I’m now working on a Sally Hansen black creme I’ve had in the drawer.

And there you have it, the empties of October 2016! I cannot believe it’s already November. This year is so ridiculous! Did you use up anything this month? Tell me in the comments! Also, if you’ve done your own empties post, consider joining the linkup, courtesy of Cosmetopia Digest!

I bought these products myself.
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