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.

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!

Swatch Sunday: China Glaze’s Cashmere Creme

Happy new year, reader! My first post of 2017 is a swatch, and the polish is a vintage China Glaze. I’m not sure how vintage it is, but I do know that the label on the bottom is one I’ve ever seen before. I’m wearing three coats of Cashmere Creme with one coat of Seche Vite. Today’s post is very late due to NYE shenanigans.

Cashmere Creme is a cool frosty beige polish. Application was good; the polish was very easy to work with, the product consistency is spot on, and I had no issues. The polish dries quickly and with a smooth satin finish.

I found this polish in a thrift store, and I’ve been really curious about it ever since. It was about half-full when I got it, so it’s had quite the life before it came to live with me. I don’t know how old it is or anything else about it, and any identifying information that might have been on the bottle has long been rubbed away. It’s a mystery! I like this polish for that reason, but I also like it because it’s interesting. I don’t go for colors like this often, colors that are soft, neutral, SFW, because I tend to think they’re boring. The shimmer in this one is just so pretty; it gives the polish an allover coolness that makes it seem more silvery than it is. It’s gorgeous. I regret that it wasn’t sunny on the day I took these photos, I would have liked very much to see what it looked like in the sun.

I don’t know where to tell you to get Cashmere Creme. I know, I’m sorry! I bet you can find it on the internet. Other China Glaze polishes are sold in stores nationwide.

I bought this polish myself.

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.

img_67472

img_67532

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.

img_67552

img_67602

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.

img_67672

img_67722

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.

img_67172

img_67292

img_67242

mmoffmmm

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).

img_64972

img_65042

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.

img_65092

img_65142

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.

img_65192

img_65242

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

img_64672

img_64762

img_64692

mmlgmm

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.

Birthday Mani Digest 2016

Welcome back, reader! As you know, I took a bit of time off these past couple weeks to celebrate my birthday. It was only supposed to be one, but the arrival of Hurricane Matthew led to everything being postponed. That madness is now over, and now I’d like to show you what my nails were up to during the downtime. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen most of these lovelies already. I promise I will not be mentioning my birthday again until next October.

Birthday Mani #1: Pink Frosting With Sprinkles
Essie’s Good Morning Hope with Lynnderella‘s Icing Glass Garland

img_5668i

The first birthday mani was a fun warm-up with an untried Lynnderella topper. I had a lot of fun wearing this; Icing Glass Garland was a lot more interesting in real life, however. There is a lot of iridescence and color-changiness. It doesn’t look like much over Good Morning Hope, but it still made for a fun and dainty look.

Birthday Mani #2: Cupcakes
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Eleanor, China Glaze’s White on White, LA Girl’s Black, Orly’s Water Lily, P2’s French Kiss, Ciate’s Pillow Fight

img_56872i

I always do cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, and this year’s mani was actually done in the middle of the hurricane. Even though the hurricane was an unwelcome birthday event (thanks, universe), we still had a good time. A lot of our friends live in evacuation zones and came to stay with us when the call came to evacuate, so we still had a party and ate food and played board games. It was not the worst experience.

Birthday Mani #3: Hello Dalek
Digital Nails‘s Hello Dalek

img_57352i

This was last week’s Manicure Monday post, but I’m including it for continuity. Monday was my actual birthday, and it was a ton of fun to wear a party on my nails as well. When your birthday is on the worst day of the week, you have to party any way you can.

Birthday Mani #4: Glitter Frosting
Digital Nails’s Pandorica, Model City Polish‘s Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Wacie Nail Company’s Your Daring Escape, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Walk Through the Tulips
img_57562

This look includes the polish I made myself for my birthday! Your Daring Escape is a silvery-white holo with holographic glitter and pearl pink and metallic silver flakies. I wanted a holo-meets-glitter-gradient look, but as the sun never came out that day, a lot of the beauty got lost.

Birthday Mani #5: Stripey Blue Frosting
Literary Lacquers‘s Bluestocking Romance, Hard Candy’s Sky, China Glaze’s Mosaic Madness

img_57912

This was the mani I got the most compliments on for sure. I’d always wanted to do this moving stripes design, and this was the day I felt like dealing with the striping tape. It came out so much better than I expected it would, though I’m a little disappointed it smeared a little with the top coat. I’d totally do it again.

I also want to take this time to share some birthday manis of years past. I realized at some point that I’ve been doing the annual cupcake mani for five years now; the annual cupcake mani predates wacie.com, even. I love doing little retrospectives like this; if I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that my cupcake painting skills have gotten only marginally better.

2012
Colors Unknown, but probably all Sinful Colors

ir92y

Look at this. I almost don’t even want to share this, but we all have to start somewhere, right? I do remember waiting practically all day for the dots to dry, and they still smudged when I put the top down. Not only was this before wacie.com came to be, but I think it was also before the days of quick-dry top coat. Those dark, dark days.

2013
Sally Hansen’s Mint Sprint, OPI’s Eurso Euro, P2’s French Kiss, Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES!

photo

These look more like mashed potatoes than cupcakes. This was my first birthday post on the blog. Going back and reading the post, about it, I completely forgot all that stuff happened! I do remember doing this mani in Boyfriend’s tiny Atlanta living space, trying not to bother him and his roommate with nail polish smell. I got acetone on his desk and ruined the varnish. I still feel bad about that.

2014
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Dawn Breaks and If You’re a Seascape, Indigo Bananas‘s Moonlight (Clair de Lune), P2’s French Kiss, American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Essie’s Fiji, Ciate’s Candy Floss

IMG_02002

That P2 polish finds its way into every birthday mani, doesn’t it? I loved this look a lot. I totally wore it to a fancy restaurant. Here’s the post!

2015
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Ocean Warmed by the Sun, Digital Nails’s Purple Reign, Nails Inc.’s Pudding Lane, Hot Topic’s Light Blue, Estee Lauder’s Black Plum

12145279_905705656183566_853061513_n

This is last year’s mani, and the mani that celebrates the big 3-0. This was also one of the last photos I took on my phone before Drunk Me left it on top of the car and broke the camera forever. Good times!

Again, a huge thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday; I cherish all of you! Thank you so much for tolerating all of the birthday posts.

Pretty sure I bought all these polishes myself.

HPB Presents: Goldfish

Hello reader! It’s time for another Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up! Every month, members of this Facebook group choose a theme for a mani; each member’s mani can be as simple or elaborate as they want it, as long as it’s relevant to the theme. The theme for August is goldfish, and for my look, I used Kunimitsu‘s Lucky Goldfish and China Glaze’s Japanese Koi. See what I did there? I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

IMG_36432

IMG_36502

My look was inspired in part by a look from Hey, Darling Polish!; it was just the right amount of cutesy without a lot of effort. A quick glance at my blue polishes led me to Lucky Goldfish, and it was a coincidence Japanese Koi was the orange I picked out. I stopped there because I couldn’t find any more polishes with fish-related names.

IMG_36532

IMG_36622

The fish were done by stippling Japanese Koi onto the nail with a dotting tool, first into a teardrop shape for the body, and a wide triangle for the tail. Japanese Koi wasn’t quite thick/pigmented enough to competely blot out the dark blue, and coverage isn’t very even, but this is only really apparent in photos. It looked totally fine on the nail.

IMG_36672

IMG_36712

In the sun, the glitters in Lucky Goldfish perk right up. I like to imagine the glitters are the many goldfish of a large school. I also love how this looks mattefied; as much as I love a good glossy finish, there’s no glare here to obscure the art.

IMG_36232

IMG_36362

IMG_36322

IMG_36422

Lucky Goldfish and other Kunimitsu polishes are available from their etsy shop. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.
 Loading InLinkz ...

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).

IMG_31262

IMG_31322

IMG_31352

ssspbdbcm

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.

IMG_31562

IMG_31592

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.

IMG_31662

IMG_31692

IMG_31842

IMG_31912

IMG_32002

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.

IMG_30962

IMG_31042

IMG_31092

IMG_31002

IMG_31202

IMG_31162

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

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Bridal Gradient

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! I’m excited about today’s look, because the first-ever Wacie Nail Company polish is part of it. I feel like I made this polish a lifetime ago! This is Bridal Bouquet over a gradient of China Glaze’s For Audrey and Orly’s Water Lily.

IMG_29472

IMG_29522

Bridal Bouquet was the reason I started making polish. I’d had ideas for polishes and ordered customs from other indie makers, but this was an idea I wanted to do just for myself. I still remember how exciting it was to receive all the glitters and bottles and lacquer supplies in the mail; I still remember the satisfaction of shaking it together, brushing it onto a swatch wheel, and knowing I’d gotten it right. That was two years ago. It feels so good to come full circle.

IMG_29552

IMG_29602

To keep the marriage motif, I went for a Tiffany-inspired gradient. For Audrey, everyone’s favorite Tiffany blue, had to be used. In testing, I tried Bridal Bouquet over many blues, but For Audrey was my favorite base for it. As an afterthought, I added Water Lily to create a little bit of dimension beneath the glitter. Though Water Lily is a deeper, brighter turquoise, the gradient is very subtle, barely even there. The glitter is such that the gradient is covered up and on display at the same time.

IMG_29652

IMG_29712

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. When the sunlight is harsh like this, the iridescent glitters get washed out. The gradient looks fantastic, though, and there is a bit of sparkle yet. I’m pretty happy with this look, overall. How long has it been since I last did a gradient? Much too long.

IMG_29192

IMG_29312

IMG_29372

IMG_29262

IMG_29422

Follow wacie.com for Bridal Bouquet release info, as well as other Wacie Nail Company polishes. China Glaze and Orly are available in stores nationwide.

I made this polish. Other polishes were purchased myself.