Swatch Sunday: Color Club’s Poptastic

Swatch Sunday! I hope you like neons, because I got the neons. It’s just what I needed this weekend. This is Color Club’s Poptastic; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam in the Melon Baller scent. No white undies were used.

Homemade label; the bottles came without them and I had to make my own.

Poptastic is a neon pink creme. Application was good; the product consistency was a little thin, but I got good coverage with multiple coats. I had no issues at all with drying times. The polish dries with a glossy finish.

I’ve been wearing a lot of bright pinks lately, and it’s been so much fun. Neons just feel so good to wear, like I’m always thinking summer thoughts every time I look at my nails. I’ve had a ton of fun wearing this. It even looks good on my tiny pinky nail! Also, thanks to everyone who sent healing vibes, they totally helped. Also, bacitracin. It doesn’t look so bad now, and it stopped hurting.

Poptastic and other Color Club polishes are available on their website.

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: Beyond

It’s Monday, and it’s time for manicures! This week, I’m using the one Color Club Halo Hues polish I own. I gotta say, for a mass-market holo, it’s pretty good! This is Beyond; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos were taken in direct sunlight. Also, full disclosure: it’s been raining most of the day, so when it stopped and the sun was actually shining, I ran outside before everything was totally dry and smudged my ring finger. I decided to just photograph it as-is instead of redoing it and risk losing the sunlight.

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I remember the Color Club holos being a huge deal a couple years ago. They were easily the most accessible linear holo on the market at the time. I saw more of these in nail polish communities than actual indie holos. Beyond isn’t the most unique polish; it’s a warm gray holo, but still pretty comparable to early indie holos — Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Don’t Worry, I Don’t Bite is one that comes to mind. Of course, that can work to its advantage, too; if you love those basic early holos but they’ve all been discontinued or reworked, these are certainly for you.

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I think I actually bought this one on accident. I actually wanted Kismet, that dreamy silver holo from the same collection, and I goofed and got Beyond instead. Not that I’m complaining. I love wearing this, and I don’t feel so guilty about using it so much as I do with the indie holos. I know I’d have a much easier time replacing this one than, say, a sought-after Enchanted.

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Smudge :(

Smudge 🙁

I’m still so sad about that smudge. It looks worse in real life than it does in photos; I ended up bumping it again on the way in and I’m probably going to redo it anyway just because it bugs me. I feel like a bad blogger for posting these — especially the macro — but as I write this, another bout of storminess is rolling through, and I know I did the right thing.

Beyond, Halo Hues, and other Color Club shades and products are available on ColorClub.com. The infinity loop bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Green Glass Gold

Happy Monday, reader! I have to admit, I’m not all that pleased with the way my mani turned out today. Have you ever paired two polishes together thinking they’ll look great together, but then they don’t? That’s exactly what happened today. For this Manicure Monday, I’m wearing Color Club’s Fly With Me with The New Black’s Textured Gold Leaf Foil. All nails are topped with Seche Vite top coat.

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Fly With Me is gorgeous, right? It’s a translucent green with green-to-gold shifting flecks. I really loved this collection because the shifty flecks give these polishes a finish all their own. I don’t have anything else like them. The end result is part metallic, part shift, all shine and glamour. I love it.

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You can see the green shift best here.

You can see the green shift best here.

It’s the Textured Gold Leaf Foil that I don’t love. I mean, there are things about it I love: I really love that the glitter pieces are inconsistent; some are really chunky, some are fine. I love how reflective it is; I can see myself in that really huge piece on my middle nail. However, when it says it’s textured, it means the chunky pieces, either due to the pieces piling up on themselves or to just plain being chunky, tend to stick up in places, leaving bumps on the surface of the mostly-smooth nail. Even two coats of Seche Vite wasn’t enough to smooth it down. It also doesn’t stand out enough from the gold flecks in Fly With Me, that’s really the problem I have with it here. It blends in too well and just looks odd. I shouldn’t blame the polish for my mistake, I suppose. Not every combination can be a hit, and sometimes we don’t learn that until it’s too late.

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Sunlight photos! You can really see the translucence of Fly With Me here; note the visible nail line on the index finger. Also, the Gold Foil is really shiny here. You can see my striped sweatshirt.

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Fly With Me is discontinued by Color Club; other Color Club polishes are sold on colorclub.com. The Textured Gold Leaf Foil is sold as part of the Shattered Demi Lovato set; that’s available at the-new-black.com.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Neon Sunset Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I adore today’s manicure because it’s so bright and busy. The gradient you see was done with Color Club’s Wham! Pow! and Sally Hansen’s Magenta Moves; the glitter topper is China Glaze’s Whirled Away. All nails are topped with Seche Vite top coat. I had a ton of fun doing this look today, so I hope you love it!

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Wham! Pow! is one of the best neons I’ve used in recent memory. It was opaque in two coats, dried with a satin finish, and — the best part — did not require a white base for the full effect. It’s almost painful to look at, it’s so bright. This is a seriously fantastic neon and I definitely recommend it to everyone. Magenta Moves, though a bright color, isn’t as neon as Wham! Pow!, so it kind of keeps the gradient from being too loud and creates the smoky-but-still-bright sunset effect.

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I fell in love with Whirled Away the first time I saw it. This was back when those black and white glitter toppers were at the height of their popluarity; this was the first one I got, probably also the first one I ever used. My favorite thing — simultaneously the best and worst thing about this polish — is that it sets itself apart from the others by using much larger glitters. I love big glitters, cannot lie, etc., but I feel like it makes the polish go faster. I’ve only used it twice, but the bottle is already half empty. It’s so sad. It’s also kind of a pain to apply, because the slice/bar glitters are so long they sometimes hang off the nail like eyelashes, and sometimes it was hard to get the glitters to spread evenly over the nail, but it still looks cool even when it’s a little lopsided.

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Unrelated: I miss swatching! I noticed today that it’s been two months since my Canon broke; I thought it would only be in the shop a few days and now I have no idea when I’m getting it back. I’m so sad, I really miss wearing all those new polishes! I’m kind of afraid to use things now because I can’t document it as easily. Here’s hoping it’ll come back someday soon.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Lemon Butterfly Fizz

Happy Monday! It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s take a look at my mani this week. For this look, I used Color Club’s Daisy Does It and Ellagee‘s Chronic Badass. I’m pretty chuffed with it. I’m also thrilled with the photos, since I’m still on my backup camera; I can’t believe this is the same camera that took last week’s sad photos.

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Daisy Does It is gorgeous, and I was afraid I — or the backup camera — would fail to do it justice. It’s a sheer yellow with yellow-to-gold shifting flecks, but I couldn’t get the shift to show up in the studio. Everything else is accurate, though: the lemon yellow, the barely-there nail line, the tons of shimmer that make it almost metallic. I love this polish and the rest of the collection; the shades are pretty simple but have tons of dimension and personality.

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I’ve loved Chronic Badass ever since I swatched it earlier this year. I picked it to go with Daisy Does It because I just love purple and yellow together. Before I put it on, though, I had my doubts. I didn’t want the pink and purple glitters to interfere colorwise with the green shift, but it actually looks pretty cool. The shift only shows up in certain lighting conditions anyway, so I worried over nothing. The shimmer itself is really powerful and seems especially so on the accent nails. The topper makes it seem much glassier than the nails without it. It’s gorgeous.

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I hope to have the camera fixed in time to start weekend swatches again; the camera place nearest me is only open 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, so finding the time to get there will be a challenge. I’ve missed my blog, though. I miss my camera.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Studded Luxury

Welcome back, reader! It’s Monday again, and I have another mani. I’m pretty fond of this one; it looks like I put some actual effort into it. I mean, I did; it took me a long time to glue these studs on. I’m wearing two coats of Color Club’s Pucci-licious, two coats of Deborah Lippmann’s Boom Boom Pow, and one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat.

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I always end up putting purple and yellow together. I am quite the fan of complementary color combinations, but purple and yellow might be my favorite one. Purple is such a bold and stately color, and adding gold to it just makes it even more luxurious and even more beautiful. I can’t tell you how I pleased I am with myself and my manicure right now.

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Pucci-licious is fantastically creamy, so I knew it could stand up on its own. Boom Boom Pow, however, wasn’t the glitter beast I anticipated, so I put on a second coat and added the studs. I think the studs really make this look; it ties in the gold on the accent nails, which was kind of incongruous to the rest of the mani. The studs add much-needed balance and squares off the look. Get it, because the studs are square.

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I got my Pucci-licious from an outlet store. The Deborah Lippmann is from Sephora. The studs are by The New Black, which I purchased from Ulta.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Summer in Springtime

Good evening, reader! After all the festivities of the day, I’m just getting around to posting today’s Manicure Monday offering. I’m wearing three coats of Color Club’s Warhol and one coat of Nails Inc.’s Chelsea Embankment Gardens with one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a good neon. Warhol is an incredible polish. I’m a little weirded out by how different it looks in the bottle and on my nail; it’s a little more reddish after putting it on. I mean, not that I care, I think it’s gorgeous. It’s just not what I expected. I can’t stop looking at it, though. It’s so bright and big. I think I want to be this polish.

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Chelsea Embankment Gardens is a mouthful. It’s also a unique little polish. Part of Nails Inc.’s Floral glitter topper collection, it pairs pretty pastels with large and dense glitter. This particular shade — sadly, the only one from the collection I own — is packed with fine baby pink hexes and mini bar glitters, as well as the five-petal daisies in pink, blue, and yellow. The collection was the first time I’d ever seen this glitter shape, so I bought one just to try them out. I really wish I’d bought more. My favorite Nails Inc. polishes are the glitter toppers, because they make the best color combos.

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It was maybe a little unorthodox to mix neon and pastel, but I like the way it turned out. They both stand out away from the other. Each polish gets its due attention. It’s also seasonally appropriate; the flowers say springtime, but the neon says unofficial first day of summer. It’s two extremes put together. It’s also the best of both worlds.

Color Club is sold at colorclub.com; I got mine at an outlet store. Nails Inc. is sold at Sephora and Ulta.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Complementary Glitter

Manicure Monday!! I love my mani today. I’m wearing three coats of Color Club’s Sparkle and Soar, one brushed coat of Digital Nails‘s Aguamenti, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Sparkle and Soar is a shimmery orange polish with golden glass flecks and a hint of gold-to-green duochrome. Application was pretty easy, I didn’t have any problems with it. The consistency is fine; it’s thick due to the amount of shimmer/superfine glitters, but it’s easy to control. It dried pretty quickly, and to a satin finish. With a top coat, the shimmer becomes that much more vibrant.

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Aguamenti is a glitter topper with a truckload of metallic and holographic glitters in various shapes and colors. There are dots, hexes, squares, and bar glitters in blue, aqua, teal, and green. The maker says the base is slightly tinted, but I can’t tell. The application here was super easy for a glitter like this; the large glitters were easy to find and brush on, never getting lost in the smaller glitters. Also, sometimes it’s really hard to get good and even coverage with a polish like this, and that’s definitely not the case with Aguamenti. I could just brush it on and get this without any manipulation or glitter-placing at all. It’s awesome.

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I really like the way this paired together. I was going for something complementary; I wanted a glitter that would make the color pop a little more, and vice versa. The gilded orange is so rich and bright; the glitter glistens like jewels. I knew I would love this look, but I really surprised myself with how much I like it.

Sparkle and Soar is sold on the Color Club website, and wherever else Color Club is sold. Aguamenti is currently in stock in the Digital Nails shop, but has been discontinued. Definitely be on the lookout for these polishes.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Deborah Lippmann’s Happy Birthday

It’s time for another Swatch Saturday. For this edition, I’m wearing one dabbed coat of Deborah Lippmann’s Happy Birthday over two coats each of Disney Villains Cruella de Vil, Color Club’s Almost Famous, and Ciate’s Offshore, along with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Happy Birthday is a clear-based glitter topper with a rainbow mix of metallic glitters. The glitters didn’t spread well just brushing them on, but dabbing gave me much more coverage. There’s a ton of glitter on each nail, but you can still see the undies. The glitters are very shiny, and very much so with top coat. Drying times were very fast. I’m pretty happy with it.

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I am still a huge fan of these rainbow glitter polishes. Remember when OPI had that Muppets collection with Rainbow Connection? Would you believe I don’t have it? Would you believe that I had gone to Ulta, picked it up, held it in my hands, and then PUT IT BACK because I “didn’t need it”? That was the biggest mistake of my life. Somewhat luckily, the rainbow glitter fad caught on, and every brand had their own version of it. Deborah Lippmann’s take on it is pretty nice. It’s a good consolation prize.

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I got my mini bottle of Happy Birthday in a set with She-Bop. I don’t think this set is around anymore, but you can buy full sized bottles at Sephora, Ulta, and (I think) Nordstrom. The good news is, as I mentioned, every brand has their version of this polish now, so you don’t have to drop twenty dollars on this particular one.

Also, quick apology for my cuticles. Every undies polish I used for this mani stained the crap out of my cuticles, and I didn’t notice just how bad it was until I was processing photos. I do apologize. I’m quite embarrassed by them.