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!

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.

Manicure Monday: No Place Like Chrome

Happy Monday, reader! I hope you guys like shiny silver, because that’s all I’ve got today. This is Essie’s No Place Like Chrome without top coat. Silver for days!

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I love the Mirror Metallics collection from Essie. I have them all, but I’ve only ever used two of them, and No Place Like Chrome is the only one I’ve used twice. I know metallic polishes come and go, everybody makes them at some point, but I’m so glad I’ve got these. The finish is so fun and unique, making any mani stand out. I’ve only ever worn this polish by itself, but someday I’ll get around to using it as an accent with something. Mirror polish makes any mani striking.

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The last time I wore this bow was with another strong silver mani. I am actually really surprised by how easy these are to wear. Sure, it’s big, but it rarely gets caught on anything. It’s about as wide as my finger, so someone with thinner fingers might have trouble, but I love wearing these bows. It’s like wearing the biggest, tackiest engagement ring, except it’s glued to one of my nails.

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In the sunlight, the metallic effect is just as apparent. It’s actually kind of blinding. The bow is especially ridiculous. Check out the flares on it.

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No Place Like Chrome and other Essie polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Born Pretty Store.

I bought these products 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.

Manicure Monday: Toggle to the Top

Happy Monday! This week’s look is just one polish, Essie’s Toggle to the Top! I’m wearing three coats of Toggle to the Top with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Toggle to the Top is a fairly unique polish in the Essie lineup. I can’t think of too many others in their core line that have glitter in them. It’s a rich and deep red, gorgeous on its own, but the glitter adds edge and dimension. It makes me feel super sexy.

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I kind of messed this mani up with my new brush. The old brush I used to clean my cuticles with eventually became so ragged I had to toss it, and I’m still learning how to work with my replacement. As sexy as I feel in this polish, I can’t stop looking at the mile between my cuticle and the polish.

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But yeah, I love this polish, and I wish Essie did more like it. I know they (re)released Starry Starry Night, and I failed to get in on that because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I don’t buy too much polish anymore, but that’s definitely one I’d snatch up if I had the chance. I’ve never understood why they shy away from glitter. The LuxEffects collection, while they still have a place in my heart, and kind of old and boring now. Toggle to the Top is a perfect example of an elegant glitter polish that isn’t overdone or tacky.

Toggle to the Top and other Essie polishes are sold nationwide. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

HPB Presents Neon Splatter!

Hello, reader! Today’s post is a special Hobby Polish Bloggers linkup! Every month, the bloggers from the HPB Facebook group get together and do a themed mani; the mani can be as simple or elaborate as we want, so long as it adheres to the theme. The theme for May is neons and neutrals. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal and American Apparel’s Moon as the nude base, and American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Neon Coral, Neon Yellow, Neon Green, and Essie’s I’m Addicted as the colors. I actually did this post two weeks ago before I went on vacation, I’m excited to finally show it to you!

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I really love this month’s theme, and I had a lot of ideas on how to work with it. My first thought was a watermarble, but I did that for last month’s theme, so I skipped it. I also considered the dry brush technique, but ultimately chose the splatter, because I saw an excellent one on Casual Contrast that totally made me want to try it, and also because I’d never done it before. I put my base colors down, got the straws out, and commenced to splattering. I had so much fun with this mani. It reminded me of when we were bored in middle school and we’d dismantle pens to blow the ink out all over stuff. I gotta say though, the cleanup was way worse than I expected. Totally not for the faint of heart.

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For these HPB manis, and really every challenge mani, I try to use untried polishes, but this is the first one where all the polishes have been used multiple times. When it comes to neons, the American Apparel neons are my go-tos; they’re vivid without having to use a white base, and the product consistency makes them very easy to work with. However, there’s no blue, so that’s where the Essie comes in; I had it sitting out from a previous swatch, and it was just the right blue to work with my other neon shades. I love that the theme calls for nudes, because as cool as this would be with a white base, it means you can’t use just any neons, you’ve got to use some that are worth a crap.

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Remember I mentioned Moon used as a base? This is why: super secret glow-in-the-dark action! I put a coat over Chantal, just before adding the splatters. I wasn’t totally satisfied with just nudes and neons, I needed one more element to make this look really special. Between the glow and the neons, this mani is like the ’90s threw up on my nails. These photos were taken in compelete darkness.

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And these photos were taken in direct sunlight! Really harsh sunlight tends to wash neons out, so they’re not as bright out here as they could be.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are available from Ulta. Essie polishes are sold at Walgreens and other stores nationwide. American Apparel polishes have been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.
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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.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Belladonna

Happy Saturday! My Saturday swatch this week is Belldonna from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. This polish was a limited edition gift-with-purchase that was only available if you bought the whole What Wouldn’t I Do collection as a set. I’m wearing Belladonna over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Ciaté’s Electronica (pink), and Essie’s I’m Addicted (blue) and with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Belladonna is a clear-based glitter topper; the colors are primarily white and black with noen blue, green, pink, and yellow. Shapes include stars, flowers, bows, squares, and diamonds. Application was good; it was a bit tricky to spread the glitter evenly, because there’s just so much of it. While this means you can get too much glitter, it’s not very hard to get the bigger shapes. The product consistency was smooth and easy to manipulate with the brush. The polish dries quickly and with a bit of texture. I used top coat for smoothness.

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I like Belladonna. I like the toppers that are largely white glitters with some color scattered in. The white means it can be worn over pretty much anything, and the small bits of color ensure you get a fun look. This does feel a bit like a take on the black and white glitter fad from a few years ago, but the range of added shapes and colors keep it fresh and current.

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These photos were taken in direct sunlight. There’s no shimmer in this base, so there’s nothing that really comes to life in the sunshine. I took a ton of macros, though,  so you can really see the variety of glitters.

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Belladonna, unfortunately, was an LE from 2014 and is no longer in production. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers can be found in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

HPB Presents Dusty Watermarble

Welcome back, reader! Today’s post is a special Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up post! Every month a theme is selected by the group, and this month’s theme is dusty colors. The look itself is up to the blogger; as long as it adheres to the theme, it can be as simple or elaborate as the blogger wishes. I like to raise the difficulty a bit and use only untried polishes, but this month I couldn’t, because I have very few unused polishes that fit the theme. For this look, I used Essie’s Spin the Bottle, Sew Psyched, and Marathin, Zoya’s Bevin, Ciaté’s Pillow Fight, and China Glaze’s Fairy Dust.

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As I mentioned, I don’t have a lot of colors in this dusty family, so I’m using a lot of polishes I’ve used in the past. I think Spin the Bottle and Sew Psyched were unused, but the others were probably only used once, so it’s not really a big deal. It took a lot of digging through the polish looking for the right colors; I have a lot of pastels and a lot of deep colors, but not too many in between. Marathin was actually the first polish that came to mind, and after a little bit of trial and error, I found a great combination, as well as the perfect way to wear them together.

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Watermarbling is one of those things I want to do all the time, and yet, I rarely do. I’ve done a few marbled accent nails here and there, but it’s usually as an afterthought; when I’m planning a mani, I usually just pick a glitter topper that pairs well and that’s it. A lot of the time, I’m working with polishes that don’t seem conducive to marbling. I don’t want to use anything with fine glitters or shimmers because it may not spread well, I don’t want to use anything rare, discontinued, or expensive, and I don’t want to use anything with a really unique finish, like a holo. If I’m creating a look around a creme, I’m rarely thinking about other cremes. It’s a shame, because I love cremes; I think the glossy creme finish is the most underrated of them all, and yet I rarely take advantage of them. Even with all these beautiful creme shades and the marbling, I still had to top it with glitter. Fairy Dust counts as a dusty color, right?

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The following photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. The colors are a bit washed out here, making the dusty colors look lighter and more pastel. Fairy Dust looks overwhelmed as well. On the plus side, I was able to get macros of all my favorite swirls. My ever-elusive right hand even makes an appearance.

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From left to right: Left thumb, left ring finger, left middle finger, right thumb

From left to right: Left thumb, left ring finger, left middle finger, right thumb

Essie, Zoya, Ciaté, and China Glaze are all sold in stores nationwide; mine are from Walgreens, Ulta, Sephora, and Sally Beauty Supply respectively.

Also, remember this is a group project, and there are links below to the other dusty manicures done by members of the group. Show them some love, too!

I bought these polishes myself.
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