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.

Project Pan, Winter 2016: Neutrals and Brights

Hello hello! It’s time to share with you the makeup products I plan to use during the Winter 2016 season! Last season, I played around with some extreme smoky eyes and bold lip colors; this season, I wanted to experiment with colorful eyes and neutral lips. I’m excited to try some new things! If you’re familiar with fall’s Project Pan, you know that this isn’t a true PP challenge; this is a way for me to spend some quality time with makeup products I’ve bought and have never really used. It’s like a makeup date. For the next twelve weeks, I’ll be using these products on my face exclusively until the beginning of the next challenge, when I get my summer makeup out in March.

I suppose I’ll start with things that carry over from the last challenge. I won’t mention too much about essential things like foundation and primer, but there is a bit of overlap.

Face
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve written a makeup post lately without talking about this primer. Yes, it’s a big player in this look.

NARS All Day Luminous Foundation in Siberia

When I ran out of MAC Studio Fix Fluid, I was torn over what to replace it with. Part of me wanted just to get another bottle, because it actually was a good fit for me. I’m a person who likes to try new things, though, so I decided to go for a different foundation. There’s a part of me what wishes I’d just stayed with the MAC, though. I like the NARS foundation enough, but the thin consistency is annoying sometimes, and it’s not as neutral as I thought it would be. I’ll keep using it, but I probably will return to Studio Fix Fluid once it’s gone.

MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer in NW15

Yep, this again! I probably shouldn’t bother to include it since I used it like all of twice last cycle, but I already had the photo, so here it is.

NYX Radiant Finishing Powder in Brighten (pictured above)

I have a love/hate relationship with this powder. I love how complete it is; not only does it set makeup beautifully, it also brightens, color-corrects, and illuminizes, like it’s many products in one. However, it doesn’t keep oil in check, and the luminizing feature ends up making me look even more shiny than I am. It’s perfect for cool weather, but a no-go in the summer. I’m trying to use it up.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NW10

This powder is the best! The full coverage basically renders my concealer obsolete. Using it over liquid foundation is probably overkill, but it’s really the best complement to medium-coverage foundation. In the fall and winter, I want all the coverage I can get, and this helps me get there.

Marc Jacobs Glowstick in Spotlight

Remember this? Since I’m using neutral colors for my lip and cheeks, I wanted a neutral highlighter, and this was the best one. When I reviewed this, I reported that it was super creamy and blendable, but that was over the summer. Now that tepmeratures are lower, the stick isn’t quite so creamy, and it’s not as easy to use and apply. It’s a little disappointing.

MAC Powder Blush in Taupe

During fall’s challenge, I only used this for contouring my nose, chin, and forehead. I’m also using it as a blush this time around because I wanted a neutral base look. In this capacity, it hovers somewhere between blush and contour, and I really like it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

Yes, this again. It’s still not dried out, so I’m gonna keep using it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes in Brunette

Yep, this too.

NYX Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray in Matte Finish

This stuff goes a long way to keep me from looking powdery and unnatural. It doesn’t keep me mattified, but it makes my makeup look dewy and fresh. The bottle is almost empty; I’m definitely going to repurchase.

MAC Fix+ Finishing Spray (pictured above)

Having two facial sprays is probably overkill, but I feel like there’s a place for them both. The NYX spray sets my foundation, but I still use a setting powder, just for safety. The Fix+ spray keeps that last dusting of powder from looking too powdery. Probably unnecessary, but I like it.

Eyes
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly

Painterly is also making a return in this cycle. I’d rather be using an actual primer, since my lids are kind of oily and creamy products like this have never worked for me in the past, but I’m making it work.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean and Milk

Black Bean was a godsend last cycle for my ultrasmoky eye, so I’ll be using it for the same purpose this time around. I’ll also be using the Milk pencil for extra-white whites and extra-bright brights. These pencils make eyeshadow look the way it’s supposed to look.

Urban Decay Vice 3 Eyeshadow Palette

I’ve had this palette for a while, and I’ve never used it until now. I chose a colorful palette to go with this look that’s otherwise very neutral; I wanted eyes that really stand out. I’ll talk more about this, keep reading!

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyed Pencil in Zero

For my eyeliner needs.

NYX Big and Loud Lash Primer (pictured below)

I talked at length last time about my love for lash primers, and I’m still very happy with this one.

Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

This is a sample I’ve had in the drawer for a while, and I’m finally using it! I don’t really care for it, to tell the truth; the formula is fine, but the brush is huge and I don’t like huge mascara wands. I find them difficult to work with.

Lips
MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer

This is my favorite lip primer! It’s practically gone; in this photo, it’s twisted all the way up, and I’ve been using a lip brush to apply it. I can’t wait to buy another one!

Obsessive-Compulsive Cosmetics Cosmetic Colour Pencil in Anti-Feathered (not pictured)

My favorite clear lip liner! Sometimes I overdraw with this, or underdraw, because it’s invisible. Lately, I’ve found that the MAC lip primer is enough to keep my lip color on, so I’ll probably phase this out once it’s gone.

Obsessive-Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Sebastian

I forgot to shake it up.

When I started building this look, I started by choosing a lip color at random, and this is what I got, and it’s the part of this look I’m the most excited about. It’s a color I’ve never really worn before, a color I’ve never really seen on people. At first, I wasn’t too sure about it and nearly put it back. I put it on, though, and I loved the way it looks on me. Sure, it’s not a conventional color, but it’s strangely wearable while also quite unique. I am really enjoying it.

The Process

While looking at densely populated palettes like Vice 3, I’ve often wondered what would happen if I wore the colors as they’re placed. Sure, it’s not organized to be worn a certain way, but I’ve always wanted to try wearing shadows one line at a time to see what the colors would look like, and just to experiment with different combinations. That’s the idea behind the eye looks I’ll be doing with this palette. In my first week, I’ll be using Vanity, Lucky, Reign, and Bobby Dazzle together.

I used the Milk pencil on my lower lid with Painterly on the upper lid and brow bone. I then applied Bobby Dazzle all over my lid. Can you see the difference? It’s a stark white on my lid, but a gentle shimmer on my browbone. I worked Lucky and Reign into my crease, and used Lucky and Vanity on my lower lashline. Starting with this column of shadows made this one easy; I’m definitely looking to some of the others being a challenge.

Here’s the whole look! Everything on my face is mentioned in this post. I plan to do a different eye look each week to match my Manicure Monday look, and I’ll post the eyeshadow of the day on Instagram, so follow me there to stay up to date. I won’t do any update posts until the very end. I hope you’ll follow along with me!

The Marc Jacobs Glowstick was sent for review, which is linked here. This post is not related to that review, and my opinion is not swayed by free stuff.
Everything else I purchased 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.

Swatch Sunday: Sonia Kashuk’s Two Cent

Swatch Sunday time! I love this swatch. This is Sonia Kashuk’s Two Cent, and it’s probably the prettiest copper polish I’ve ever worn. I’m wearing it here at three coats with Seche Vite.

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Two Cent is a shimmery golden copper brown polish. Application was good; the product consistency is a little on the thin side, but was still easy to work with. The first coat went on a bit light; the nail was covered, though the coverage was streaky. Additional coats were necessary to even it out. It dried quickly and with a smooth, glossy finish. I still used top coat for extra shine and protection.

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I love how shimmery this is. It’s such a warm and dimensional shade. When you look really closely, you can see all the different colors that make up the big-picture shade; there’s red, gold, copper, and brown, and that’s just to begin with. I’ve always loved these warm copper shades; it was always one of my favorite lipstick shades when I was growing up, and wearing it on my nails now is pretty cool.

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In the sun, the colors warm up big-time. In the studio, it looks way more brown than copper, but in direct sunlight, it looks like liquid pennies.

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Two Cent appears to have been discontinued; other Sonia Kashuk polishes are available at Target.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Kinetic Copper

Happy Monday, reader! Remember magnetic polish! I’m bringing it back! Today’s look was done with Sally Hansen’s Kinetic Copper; this is three coats of Kinetic Copper with one coat of Seche Vite.

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So we all remember 2011, right? Maybe it was 2012. That time had a lot of really fun and, looking back on them, really questionable nail trends. Magnetics, feather toppers, crackle toppers… It’s so fun to look back on looks like these with what we know now. I wasn’t huge into nail art at that time, and this was way before I discovered indies, so anything new was really exciting. Even with as popular as magnetic polishes were, I’ve still only worn like three of them ever, and that’s why the novelty hasn’t completely worn off for me. I kind of wonder if we’re going to look back on gel-effect polishes and Liquid Sand with the same kind of  dismissal.

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Kinetic Copper has the benefit of being a really pretty polish with or without the magnetic effect. As you can see, I only used the magnet on my accent nails; let’s not go too far into the past, shall we? This rich bronze has a lot of copper shimmers floating around in it, so even if you just wear it as a shimmer polish, it’s a really nice look. The magnet deepens the polish to a rich brown, and the wave pattern gives it a cool cats-eye cabochon effect. It’s still cool, even if it is dated.

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You can see the magnetic effect best in the sunlight photos. I never get a good even pattern because my nails curve so much; it’s strong in the center and only in the center. It looks fantastic in the sunlight, though, the copper shimmers really come to life out here.

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Kinetic Copper and the Magnetic line are discontinued by Sally Hansen; other Sally Hansen polishes are available in stores nationwide.

Manicure Monday: Blackheart Glam

Happy Monday!! For Manicure Monday this week, we’re feeling fancy high-end. For today’s look, I used Urban Decay’s Blackheart and Deborah Lippmann’s Glitter and Be Gay.

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Urban Decay is a huge player in my daily makeup game, but I’ve only worn a few of their polishes. That’s why I’m super-thrilled to be wearing Blackheart this week. It’s a pretty nice polish: deep chocolate as a first impression, and upon closer inspection, a pink-to-gold shift appears. It reminds me of middle school, when I stuck to deep browns, plums, and gunmetals because my parents didn’t allow me to wear black polish. Good times! I’m pretty sure I had a Street Wear polish just like this.

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I picked Glitter and Be Gay to go with Blackeart because both polishes used plenty of rich, warm colors. I mean, of course I had to choose gold to go with chocolate brown. Also, it’s not all gold, there are some cornflower blue glitters in there, and I think maybe some silver, but it turned into one big sparkly cluster. I regret that I was so heavy-handed with the glitter, and I wish I’d done some nails with brushed-on glitter, but the gradient turned out well enough. It looks like a mess in photos because it was so shiny, but I still like it.

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In the sun, Blackheart isn’t as deep as it is indoors;actually, even indoors it doesn’t look all that dark, but I think that’s the glare from the glitter washing it out. You can see the pink and gold shimmers quite well outside, too. You can also see the individual glitters best out here, which is proof that they actually do pair well.

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Blackheart was an Urban Decay limited edition and is sold out on Sephora.com, which is where you can find other UD polishes. Glitter and Be Gay is available wherever Deborah Lippmann is sold; mine is from Sephora as well.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Cinna-man of My Dreams

Welcome back! We’ve got another simple manicure done with a textured polish for this week’s Manicure Monday. This is Cinna-man of My Dreams from Nicole by OPI. I’m wearing three coats without top coat.

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Cinna-man of My Dreams is a cool rosy bronze textured polish. Application went well; the glitter was dense and evenly-distributed. I reached full opacity in two coats. The texture isn’t as coarse as some texture polishes are; as this is part of the Gumdrops collection, I suspect they were going for a fine sugar texture rather than the chunky glitter one the Liquid Sands have. The drying times were good; my nails were dry to the touch in about five minutes.

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A surprise in this polish in the shifting shimmer. I’m not sure what color it is in its natural state, probably bronze or rose, but when it’s front-lit, it turns a rich gold. It’s evident both on the nail and in the bottle. It’s my favorite part of this polish, just because it was so unexpected. It makes me wonder if I’ve just overlooked it in all my other textured polishes. I love it.

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The Gumdrops collection may be discontinued. Nicole by OPI is sold in stores nationwide; I got mine from Target. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Brown and Color

Another week, another Manicure Monday! Today’s mani is interesting — to me — because both of the polishes I used are ones I’ve used before. Since I have well over 1,100 bottles of nail polish, it’s rare for me to go a Monday without using something new. LA Colors’s Twisted Affair and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Prototype PFCS 1.0 have been featured on the blog, but not together. I love how well they pair! I’m wearing two coats of Twisted Affair and one generous coat of PCFS 1.0 on my accent nails, all with one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat. Also, to explain the exposed tip on my middle nail, an emergency occurred that required me to don a pair of gloves right after finishing the manicure. Thankfully all the other nails escaped unscathed.

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So yes, the manicure. Twisted Affair is a color I like a lot, even though it’s a bit odd. In the bottle it looks like a cool milk chocolate, but in certain lighting conditions t looks bruised and sickly. I don’t mind that it’s occasionally ugly, but when it does, it needs a little help. This is why I chose PCFS 1.0 as the accent; it’s just so complex and colorful. I love looks that are colorful and neutral simultaneously.

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Twisted Affair applies easily and with good color: I expected it to be streaky and thin until the third coat, but I got full opacity in just two. The drying times were nice as well; I definitely bumped a nail on my desk a couple of minutes after I finished painting it and it didn’t dent or smudge. PFCS 1.0 took a little more work; I had to let the bottle sit upside-down for a while to get all the sunken glitters out, and really went at it to get good coverage. This manicure looks exactly as I imagined it would, but I am a little upset by the one that got messed up.

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Twisted Affair and other LA Colors polishes are available all over the place; I got mine from Dollar General. Prototype PCFS 1.0 was a one-off and is not available, but other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers can be purchased from their shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Pre-Valentine’s Pretties

My Manicure Monday post this week is accidentally romantic! I’d paired these two polishes together because I just liked the way they looked. Then it turned out their names were funny together. Then it just happened to be the Monday before Valentine’s Day! I actually really hate Valentine’s Day, but I never turn down an excuse to dress up and be pretty. I’m wearing three coats of OPI’s Sprung, one brushed coat of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Idealistic Future, and one coat of Digital Nails’s Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That top coat.

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Sprung is a lovely metallic copper with gold and cinnamon shimmers. It’s very shiny and reflective; if you look at the photo where I’m holding the bottle, you can see the reflection of my fingers on the polish. How crazy is that? I’m not sure I’ve ever used a polish that metallic. I didn’t notice it until I put it on. I almost feel a little bad about covering up all that shimmer with glitter, but it shines right through it. It’s awesome.

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I used these two polishes together because I felt like Idealistic Future was the only glitter topper I had that could stand up to Sprung. Sprung has so much going on in it; there’s so much shimmer and color that any glitter I chose either competed with it or demanded too much attention. This was the only glitter that coexisted with it.Even though this look is perfect for the Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m probably not going to wear it that long. I have some super-awesome swatches lined up.

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Sprung is discontinued by OPI, but it looks like a few are still available online. I get my other OPI polishes at Ulta. Idealistic Future has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer, but you can purchase other BEGLs from their shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: What Wizardry is This?

What’s this? A textured polish two weeks in a row? Yes! It’s crazy. This is What Wizardry is This? from OPI; I’m wearing three coats without top coat.

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What Wizardry is This? is a warm brown textured polish with gold glitters. I found this application much easier than Solitaire‘s; Solitaire’s brush was spread wide with glitter, and even though this polish also contains a ton of glitter, the brush was not as wide, and I had a much cleaner application. Drying time was very fast, and full coverage was gained in two coats. The glitters are very potent, which is why it looks more brown in some photos and more gold in others. It’s a very pretty and interesting look.

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I like when I end up wearing something seasonally relevant. Solitaire was wintry and peaceful, but What Wizardry is This? is very warm and autumnal. It’s the color of hot cocoa and firewood. This is absolutely perfect for fall.

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I don’t have any brown nail charms, so I used a stud. Earlier in the year, I got a huge pack of nail accoutrements at an outlet store for super cheap, and this is the first time I’ve used any of it. Originally, I’d chosen a heart-shaped one, but it wouldn’t sit flat on my nail, so I went with this diamond/Sims plumbob shape instead. I like it. It takes up more of the nail than I wanted, but it’s a fun accent.

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I wasn’t sure about this at first. When I got it, the Liquid Sand bandwagon was at full speed, and I just wanted all of them. I don’t own very many brown polishes, just because it’s not a very popular color. It’s also not very daring. This is more than just brown, though. It’s gorgeous.