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.

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.

Swatch Sunday: Ciaté’s Chinchilla

Swatch Sunday is here again! Today’s polish is Ciaté’s Chinchilla. It’s the cutest blue I’ve used in a while. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Chinchilla is a dusty blue creme. My bottle had some separation, and I had some difficulty getting it back together; when I shake the bottle, I don’t hear the agitator balls, which makes me think there aren’t any in there. I had to add my own. Good thing I had them just laying around, right? Once I got it back together, though, the product consistency was good. My first coat of Chinchilla was streaky, as you might imagine, but it evened out by the second. It dried quickly and with a glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

These tiny bottles are a pain to pose with.

I really like this shade, and I feel like it’s a unique one in my collection. It’s the perfect dusty blue; every blue I have is bright or deep and there aren’t many in between. It would be a great base for nail art; in fact, I think I got this in a Ciaté set that came with caviar beads or dried flowers or something.

Chinchilla looks like it’s discontinued by Ciaté; other Ciaté polishes are available on their website and at Sephora.

I bought this polish 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.

Manicure Monday: Orange Holo Crush

Happy Monday! This is post is late because I’m lazy. I’m excited about this mani, though, because I don’t often use my Enchanted Polishes. I try not to feel bad about using discontinued or special polishes, but I feel bad about using the Enchanteds. I don’t want to use them up! This mani started as just a half-moon mani with May 2014, but I added a stripe of Ciaté’s Encore! for a little extra color. Let’s get started! All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

Most of my Enchanteds are used. This one is; it was one of the first ones I ever bought. At the time, I was just buying up whatever ones I could find that were under $20. I could never get in on the pre-orders or surprise restocks in time, so buying them used was always a better option, even if it sometimes cost a little more. I love orange, so I knew this was one I would want. Boyfriend’s birthday is in May, so there’s that, too.

I like Encore! in this mani because it’s a similar orange, but also different enough to be apparent. I wanted something between the negative space and May 2014, and after considering a few different things, this was what I picked. I felt a little bad covering up some holo, but I think it works. Also, good news, Envy didn’t stain me! Two coats of Seche Base did the trick.

May 2014 is no longer sold by Enchanted Polish; other polishes are available in their online shop. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

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

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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

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

Manicure Monday: Ombre Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! A lot of polishes found their way into this week’s Manicure Monday post! For this first-time ombre, I used Essie’s Go Ginza and Devil’s Advocate (thumb and pinky, respectively), Ciaté’s Pillow Fight (index), Julep’s Charlotte (middle), Chanel’s Provocation (ring), and Revlon’s Hearts of Gold FX. I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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So after last week’s break, I actually broke the same nail again and just gave up and cut them all down. I forgot how hard it is to have short nails! I mean, obviously it’s not like having long nails, but there’s a challenge in there. I can’t scratch my back as easily, for example. It’s also harder to paint them, because the edge is so near the fingertip, I can’t wrap the edges as well. They’re already worn on some nails. It’s sad; this mani is going to be chipped to hell by tomorrow.

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At first, I was just going to use Charlotte as the base on all five nails, but I decided that was boring. I’d never done an ombre like this before and dug around in the bins for purple cremes. You would not believe the time I spent looking for four more purple cremes. Turns out, these are like the only five I had! How is it possible that I can have 1,400+ bottles of polish but practically no purple cremes? I actually did have a few more but most of them were similar shades and didn’t make a difference. I don’t like how some of the purples are warm and some are cool, but the glitter looks good over all of them at least.

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Hearts of Gold FX is such a fun topper. I love glitter toppers and I love shaped glitters. I love finding mainstream polishes with shaped glitters. I’ve worn it on the blog before, so this time I used the matte top coat to make it extra different. I love the way it looks mattefied! The glitter looks different over every nail, but I think I might like it best over the lighter shades, where the glitter blends in a bit more. In the sunlight, even though it’s mattefied, it’s still blinding.

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Essie and Revlon are sold in stores nationwide; mine likely came from Walgreens. My Chanel is from Nordstrom. Julep polishes are sold on their website and other stores. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Seche’s Collage Overlay

It’s Swatch Sunday again! Today’s swatch is Seche’s Collage Overlay! This is a serious glitter topper. I’m wearing one brushed coat over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Essie’s Fiji, and Ciaté’s Sugar Plum, as well as one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Collage Overlay is a clear-based glitter topper with holographic pink bar and hex glitters in various sizes, as well as large white hexes. Application was tricky with this; there’s so much glitter and it tends to clump together, making it a challenge to get even coverage. The bar glitters are pretty long in this polish and can be difficult to work with as well. You can see them sticking off the edges of the nail and into the cuticle. On the plus side, it does dry quickly with some chunky glitter texture. I used top coat for shine and smoothness.

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So I really wanted to love this look. I really loved it the first time I used it; I paired it with a hot pink jelly for a sandwich, and it made a really great look. I love the glitters in this mix; I love how it’s holo glitter, but it’s not much like any holo glitter I’ve ever seen. The color is unique. I love the white hexes as a monotony breaker. I just wished it brushed on a bit better. It’s a mess.

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I took some photos outside, and let me tell you, this is blinding in direct sunlight. Look how washed out these sunlight photos are. This will give you some indication of how shiny it is. It was kind of painful to look at.

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Collage Overlay might have been discontinued by Seche. Other Seche products are available in stores nationwide; I got mine from Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Rainbow Honey’s Sakura Matsuri

Happy Sunday! It’s been a great weekend so far! My swatch this Sunday is Sakura Matsuri from Rainbow Honey; I’m wearing one coat of Sakura Matsuri over Essie’s Mint Candy Apple (blue), Ciaté’s Candy Floss (pink), and OPI’s Dutch Tulips (red), as well as a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Sakura Matsuri is a clear-based glitter topper with pink matte, red metallic, iridescents in blue and green, and pink and white flower-shaped glitters. Application was okay; it was sometimes hard to get the flower glitters, and when I did, I’d get tons of them, as well as a lot of lacquer on the brush. It was difficult to apply to the smaller nails, and took quite some time to dry. The glitter still had a bit of texture when dried, so I used top coat.

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This is my first Rainbow Honey polish, and I think it’s adorable. I think it’s pretty unique as far as toppers go, since the flowers are the main focus of the concept, and quite a literal execution with the flower glitters. The polish is fairly monochromatic; the glitters all stay within very light shades of pink. The red accent glitters add sparkle, and the iridescent glitters add dimension. The flower glitters are always the focus of the look, and the other glitters don’t detract from it.

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In the sun, you can see how the colors vary, and you can see the definition of the glitters best. You can also see how the glitter smudged the red polish. I actually didn’t notice this until I was processing these photos.

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The Rainbow Honey online shop is currently on hiatus, and I’m unsure whether Sakura Matsuri is still for sale.

I bought this polish myself.