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.

Manicure Monday: Summer Bronze and Gold

For Manicure Monday this week, I’m wearing one of the super-gorgeous Naked polishes! Every time I get one of these out, I think about how foolish I was to buy this Urban Decay set, and how glad I am that I did, because it’s nowhere to be found now. This is Smog, and I’m wearing two coats topped by one coat of Seche Vite. My glitter accents are Orly’s Too Fab.

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Smog is a bronze polish with a rich golden shimmer. It’s wonderfully opaque in two coats, dries quickly enough, and delivers even color. It reminds me of chocolate ganache, just rich and sweet and shiny. Delicious. I want to wear this so much more often, but the bottle is so small and scarce that I never want to run out.

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Too Fab is the opposite. Orly bottles are enormous, and I’ve had this one for a pretty long time. This is like the metallic gold glitter topper that never stops giving. My bottle is a hair more than halfway full, but I will be using it until the end of time, probably. I didn’t expect to get so much glitter on my accents; this is one coat, after all. I wanted to be able to see the Smog through the glitter. It’s still pretty, though. I think the gold and the bronze complement each other very well.

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Outside, this is just blinding. The gold shimmer in Smog is really visible here, and the glitter throws so much light it’s insane. You can see the light flaring off of it. It’s crazy.

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Handcare rave: I got this cream the other weekend from Ulta. Le Couvent des Minimes Soothing Night Hand Creme has the most delicious lavender scent, and it makes my hands pretty soft. I use it right after I wash dishes in the evening, when my hands are the most dry. It absorbs well, smells incredible, and feels very light after application. The price is a little steep; it was something like $8 for a .8oz tube, but oh my gosh, it was so worth it to me.

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Final word: these are the perfect polishes for the end of summer and the beginning of the school season. I could not have chosen better.

Swatch: Emerald & Ash’s Boot Season

I don’t normally do this, but I got something new in the mail today, and I had to try it out right away. This is Boot Season from Emerald & Ash, a brown holo with copper flash. I’m wearing three coats (through two would have been sufficient) and two coats of Seche Vite.

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The first seven pictures were taken in my studio, where the holo was pretty hard to see. You can almost see it in the second to last photo. In all the others, it just looks like a rich, shimmery brown. I love browns like this, especially in the summer; it’s like my nails have a tan. The formula was on the thick side, but I like that; I find it easier to work with and I don’t make a huge mess. This is my first E&A, so I’m new to the nice grippy brush cap. I like that a lot.

Okay, here’s the outdoor sunlight photos. Look at that holo! This polish looks completely different in the sunlight. There’s so much pretty holo goodness. It’s amazing. I have no other words.

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I started using Instagram in February to meet other nail bloggers and discover some new polish brands. It’s been a lot of fun being able to interact more with the people who make my polish, polishes I haven’t tried yet, and people who might be wearing Wacie Nail Co. in the future. A few days ago, Emerald & Ash posted a photo of their bitchin’ new business cards, and I, being the proofreader I am, happened to spot a spelling error on it. Turns out it had been that way for a long time and no one had noticed. To thank me, they sent me this bottle of Boot Season. I decided to review it ASAP because I want to feel like I earned it. I did get this polish for free, but reviewing it wasn’t even part of the deal. That was all me. If you like Boot Season, you can buy it here. I mentioned before that this is my first Emerald & Ash. I will undoubtedly be buying more of this brand.

Manicure Tuesday: Harvest Glitter on Brown

I’m back! I had an unexpected hiatus last week; I underestimated my workload and didn’t have time to take photos of my nails. I did do a puzzle piece manicure that was in theme with my job, but I didn’t have the time to take proper photos of it. My thrice-a-week blogging schedule will resume this week. Due to exhaustion, this week’s manicure post is a little late. For Mani Tuesday, I’m wearing Pretty & Polished’s Hows About a Roll in the Hay over Julep’s Vera.

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Vera isn’t such a bad polish, really. I have on three coats here, but I could have gotten away with two. The formula is typical of Julep polish: thin but easy to use, quick-drying and shiny. I just can’t get past it being the same color as chocolate milk. I actually forgot chocolate milk was a thing until I had to work early one morning, my friend had some in the fridge, and I had flashbacks about grade school cafeteria lunches the whole rest of the day. Now I can’t get past this polish being Yoo-Hoo brown.

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I had really high hopes for Hows About a Roll in the Hay from Pretty & Polished. I ordered it as soon as I laid eyes on it and couldn’t wait to get it. I own many of the P&P thermal polishes and a few of their glitters; I’ve been very happy with them. In this one, the glitter sinks, leaving a quarter-inch layer of lacquer all around the top of the bottle. My first application attempt left me with a thick layer of polish with maybe two pieces of glitter. I had to leave the bottle turned upside-down for 15 minutes before I got a good glitter distribution. This is probably not a problem; there’s actually a ton of glitter in this bottle, and it’s probably perfectly reasonable for it to settle and sink a bit. I’ve never had this happen with any of my P&Ps, so that’s why I feel a bit annoyed by it.

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Despite the trivial issues I have with the polishes, I’m happy with the look I got. I like the autumnal warmth of the color combination. It also reminds me of breakfast foods. And grandma couches.

Manicure Monday: Neutrals and Glitter

This week’s Manicure Monday is a masterpiece. No really, I am way too excited about how this turned out. I had my doubts about pairing these two polishes, but they look so fantastic together that I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. We’re looking at Sally Hansen’s Natural Sienna and Digital Nails’s Xiao Mei Mei. I have on two coats of each, topped by two coats of Seche Vite top coat.

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Natural Sienna is a shimmery, chocolatey brown that I like a lot more than I thought I would. I always skip over browns and neutrals because they’re not bold enough for me. I grabbed this one out of a sale bin thinking “Meh, why not”, and I like it a lot. The formula is thin but covers well. My only complaint here is the brush; it’s one of those wide brushes that’s almost as wide as my whole nail, and I tend to make a mess with those. Otherwise, this one is totally worth the two dollars I paid for it.

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Digital Nails’s Xiao Mei Mei kind of steals the show here. Xiao Mei Mei is a nude crelly with orange, pink, and brown glitters. As you can see, it’s very sheer; my nail line is visible if you’re looking for it. I don’t even care about that. What I love about this is its simplicity; there’s just enough color to support the glitter, and it never detracts from it. Bonus: the nude would be my perfect nude if it didn’t have any glitter in it. It blends perfectly with my natural nail color.

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My favorite thing, though, is how well these colors pair. The neutrals, the deep colors, the glitters, they all complement each other so well. Totally gorgeous.

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I didn’t see Natural Sienna on Sally Hansen’s website, so it may be discontinued. However, Digital Nails has Xiao Mei Mei in stock, so grab it while you can.

Manicure Monday: Bronze Glitter Gradient

It’s like I dipped my nails in shiny chocolate. It’s not chocolate, though. It’s glitter!

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As you can see, I used two polishes this week. Wet ‘n Wild’s 2% Milk is a very pale, very sheer pink. The first coat was so sheer that it was nearly invisible. The second coat was less so, but was still very transparent and natural-looking. I’ve never gotten the point of these sheer pinks that don’t cover anything. I guess they’re useful for French manicures, but I never got the point of those either.  Orly’s So Go-Diva is a bronze glitter suspended in a clear base, and I had some trouble with this one. Before I started working with it, there was this layer of clear polish hovering over the glitter, and so when I pulled the brush out, I’d have maybe five pieces of glitter on an otherwise bare nail. I got this look by applying it with an eyeshadow sponge; the sponge soaked up the extra lacquer and still let me place the glitter where I wanted it.

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I could have done a better job with the gradient, probably. Since 2% Milk was so sheer, I felt I needed a thick layer of glitter to cover the nail line, and so that’s why it goes down so far. I tried to exercise some control, I honestly did. This is actually the second attempt at this manicure today; my gradient work was awesome, but I tried a jelly sandwich thing with the pink, but I ended up hating it and took it off. I’m not especially happy with this gradient, but I like it enough to keep it on. However, it has crossed my mind to just sponge the glitter onto the whole nail and keep the sheer pink out of it.

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This is a good festive manicure, I think. I never do themed or holiday nails, but I love when they happen by accident.

Wet 'n Wild's 2% Milk, Orly's So Go-Diva

Wet ‘n Wild’s 2% Milk, Orly’s So Go-Diva

You’ll see that layer of clear is gone from the Orly bottle. Out of curiosity, I tested it to see if the glitter spreads any better, and it does. I think I’m just going to pour out that extra bit of lacquer from every bottle from now on.

Manicure Monday: Matte Gold Sparkles

Here is another great manicure ruined by cheap top coat.

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It started so well. I used two coats of this very dark, very opaque OPI shade called We’ll Always Have Paris. It looked purplish in the fluorescent supermarket lights, and when I got home with it, it was like a deep brown. It still looks purple in direct sunlight, but it’s brown enough that it worked for my purpose this week. I’m still not entirely sure what color it even is, and I’ll admit it I just bought it for it’s name, because I’m kind of obsessed with France. I love these dark, vampy colors, though. They remind me of middle school, when I wasn’t allowed to wear black nail polish (or black lipstick, or dye my hair black), but I could get away with just about any other dark color. As a result, I wore lots of of dark purples and silvers and browns to get the same effect. I still love how it makes my nails look.

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The notch on the ring finger is from picking at dried polish around the cuticle. Entirely my fault.

The gold sparkles are As Gold as It Gets by Essie. This is one of the first Essies I ever bought myself, way back around Christmas when I’d gotten some money, and I had to walk the whole mile to Walgreens to get a bottle of acetone because the nearer store was out. While I was there, I checked out the nail polish. I’d come all that way, right? I didn’t yet own any Essie polishes, I had money rolling around in my pocket, I splurged and bought as many as I could carry. I spent literally every cent I had on Essie polishes and acetone. Anyway, I love the Essie LuxEffects line, and I like this one in particular. It gives any color an iridescent warmth and a unique finish, one that’s different from gold leaf or glitter. Adding the matte top coat to it guarantees you can see every piece of gold.

OPI's We'll Always Have Paris, Essie's As Gold as It Gets, Revlon's matte top coat

OPI’s We’ll Always Have Paris, Essie’s As Gold as It Gets, Revlon’s matte top coat

Somehow, I don’t know how this happened, the top coat completely smudged my tips. Somehow, it ate through three layers of polish, even though I’d given it ample time to dry so as to avoid this. I am so mad at myself for using up all my Seche Vite. I think I’m going to just buy one of those mega large bottles and be done with it.