Manicure Monday: Inky Opal

Hello! I feel like today’s mani is a special occasion because I’m using Essie’s Shine of the Times. Remember when this was the polish every nail addict needed but couldn’t find? I remember checking every drugstore in town when I heard it existed, and then I had to resort to buying one on Amazon. About a year after that, I did find two in the wild, hidden away in a Walgreens sale bin. It was the greatest day. For this look, I used Shine of the Times over Julep’s Char.

Char is the best undies for shine of the Times. It’s dark enough for the fiery flakies to look their best, but has just a hint of color. I love Shine of the Times over black, but it’s kind of basic. I love substituting a dark gray, blue, green, or plum for black. It feels a little more sophisticated. Plus, when it’s over dark blue, it kind of looks like unicorn pee.

I don’t think there’s a polish that Shine of the Times couldn’t make better, though. Honestly, I chose Char at random. I was totally prepared to layer it over any creme I plucked from the drawer, but now I can’t imagine a better combination.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any sunlight shots of this thanks to the impending winter storm, or for those of us in Florida, rain. I think I captured the shift pretty well, though, and my flakies came out sharp. I never get studio photos this good.

Shine of the Times, as you may know, was discontinued by Essie. Char may also be discontinued; it’s out of stock on julep.com.

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 Tuesday: Plum Opal

Hello, reader! I had an awesome Fourth of July weekend, and that’s why I’m posting a mani in the middle of the week. I hope yours was just as good! I like this mani, so even if it is late, I’m excited to share it. I’m using one of the Chanels I treated myself to for my birthday and a gorgeous flakie topper! This is Chanel’s Provocation and Finger Paints’s Symmetrical Symphony mattefied with Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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I loved the Finger Paints flakie collection from the other year. I was actually pretty lucky and scored most of them from the Sally Beauty Supply sale bin. It was the most exciting thing. I love this one because the colors contrast; some flakies glow golden, others glow blue-violet, and they bring out the best in each other. I had to mattify them for the full effect. The colors are very strong. I used two coats to get this much coverage.

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As beautiful as the flakies are, though, I’m the most excited about wearing Provocation. Deep plum polish always makes me feel glamorous, but having it be a Chanel polish really ups the glamour factor. There’s still a part of me that feels guilty for buying these, especially since there’s no real difference between mid-end and high-end polish. I just remember seeing Chanel’s Vamp in so many magazines as a young teen that I knew one day I’d have to own a Chanel polish. I might have a little buyer’s remorse, but I feel posh as hell with this polish on.

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In the sunlight, you can really see the opal effect the flakies have. It’s really mesmerizing! The matte coat makes it possible to see all the colors at once, and the colors are really vivid outdoors. Provocation looks red for some reason. These photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

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Chanel polishes are available wherever Chanel cosmetics are sold; mine is from Nordstrom. Finger Paints is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Oy, Stupid Face

Happy Saturday! Last week, we finished up Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s What Wouldn’t I Do collection, and we’re entering the second phase of the enormous Doctor Who collection! Good times! This week’s polish is Oy, Stupid Face; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Oy, Stupid Face is a bright pink crelly with flakies. Application was good; while most of the flakies were fine particles that laid flat on the nail, the larger ones were very coarse and did sometimes stick up. You can see this in some of the photos, and it’s my only real complaint with this polish. The crelly has really nice opacity, and really only needed two coats. It dries quickly and with a satin finish.

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Even though the pointy flakies were kind of annoying, they absolutely glow in this polish, and I’m glad they’re there. The fine sparkles are beautiful as well, but the bigger ones have this deep iridescence that shines up through the layers. It’s crazy gorgeous.

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The iridescence is especially evident in the sunshine. The finer flakies look best out here as well. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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The color looks a bit off in this one. My camera really struggles with bright pinks and oranges in the sunlight.

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Oy, Stupid Face has been discontinued by BEGL; other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Crush

Happy Monday! Orange is the word of the day here. This mani is all about big color and flakies. For this look, I used Sally Hansen’s Heat Flash, Digital Nails‘s Crush Leaves Not Dreams, and Seche Vite top coat.

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Heat Flash is a fantastic polish, though mine is aged and had to be thinned quite a lot prior to today’s use. Despite that, the opacity and color intensity are still as great as ever. This is a bottle I’ve been enjoying for many years now; it’s one of the best oranges I have in my collection. My only gripe is with the double-wide brush; I’ve never been able to use it without making a mess of my fingers.

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I didn’t want to cover such a bold and fun color, only accentuate it, so I wanted to go with a flakie topper. It took a long time to find the right one, and I’m not sure if Crush Leaves Not Dreams was the right choice, but I kind of like how it came out anyway. Crush Leaves Not Dreams is a slightly-shimmered clear-based topper with these magical rose-to-gold-to-green flakies. I don’t know how else to describe them — other than voodoo — because they’re unlike any flakie I’ve ever encountered. They’re chunky and more substantial than the iridescent flakies we love, but not to the same degree UCC flakies are. These are just so unique and magnificent. The shift occurs easily and looks great over this orange base. I added studs for extra accents, just because I can’t stand it when all the nails look exactly the same.

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Here are some sunlight photos! Crush Leaves Not Dreams looks amazing outdoors. Usually my camera freaks out over orange polishes in the sun, but I think these turned out well. The blue/purple shimmer gets overwhelmed, but the flakies look great.

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Sally Hansen seem to have discontinued Heat Flash and the Insta-Dri line; other Sally Hansen products are sold in stores nationwide. Crush Leaves Not Dreams was a small-batch polish and is sold out; other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s One Gray-t Year

Hello, reader! I’ve just gotten back from the spontaneous trip my boyfriend and I took this weekend to celebrate the holiday. If you’re American, I hope you had a fantastic July 4th, and if you’re not, I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Because I was out of town, I only have one weekend swatch for you. This is One Gray-t Year from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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One Gray-t Year is a deep gray creme with an assortment of rainbow flakies. The formula consistency is just right and was super-smooth to apply. The flakies are easily distributed as well. I had full opacity in two coats. My bottle did suffer some settling, but the color isn’t affected at all. Drying times were fast, and this polish dries with a matte finish. I used top coat to bring out the color in the flakies and add shine and protection.

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One Gray-t Year was made to commemorate the first anniversary of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer in 2014. It was a limited edition polish released with the first Fan Favorites collection. I’ve been a BEGL fan for a long time, even before the maker started selling polish to the public, so to be able to celebrate this milestone with her, albeit more than a year late, is really exciting. I love this polish; the contrast between the striking base color and the soft pastel flakies is gorgeous. It also wears like iron. I usually do my Swatch Saturday manicure on Wednesday; it’s now Sunday, I still have this polish on, and it’s barely showing any signs of wear. The tips are a little worn, but the color and shine are still going strong. It’s rare that I get this much mileage out of any one manicure. I’m really impressed.

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Here are some vacation photos! We spent Friday and Saturday in the Titusville, FL/Cape Canaveral area. I’m very interested in space travel and exploration, and Kennedy Space Center is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was the greatest! I got to drink a beer in the Rocket Garden.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this photo already. On the way home, we stopped a kitschy little wildlife park in Christmas, FL called Jungle Adventures. I never get tired of seeing alligators.

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One Gray-t Year was a limited edition and is no longer for sale, but other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available in their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

News: Wacie Nail Co. for Depression Awareness

This is so exciting, guys! There is now a Wacie Nail Company polish you can actually buy. Yes! Julie, the owner of Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer, is holding a huge charity auction, with dozens of rare, hard to find, and one of a kind polishes up for grabs. One of these is the first-ever Wacie Nail Company polish to actually leave my house. Blue Skies Ahead is a silver linear holo with rainbow flakies that turns blue in sunlight and glows in the dark. Yeah, it does all that! I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Indoors, this polish is already really pretty. In the studio, the holo effect isn’t too obvious, but the rainbow flakies shine nicely. Then, when you go outside, this happens:

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Did you see that? I had to make a gif, just to prove that it actually happens. It’s a subtle change, but it does change. Then, when you’re in the dark, this happens:

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Crazy, right? It’s amazing! This polish glows really brightly in the dark, and glows blue rather than yellow or green. It only takes a few seconds to charge it up, and it glows for a very long time.

There is only one bottle of Blue Skies Ahead available, at it’s up for auction. All of the proceeds of this auction benefit I Need A LightHouse, an organization that raises awareness of depression and suicide prevention education. This is a cause that means a great deal to me, and I really hope you’ll help Julie and me raise lots of money for it. You can find Blue Skies Ahead and the rest of the auction here. Thank you so much.

2014 Birthday Nails!

It’s my birthday! I’m not going to do a proper write-up of all the polishes today, I’m just going to show this off because I am way too proud of it.

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Here are the polishes I used:
Thumb: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Dawn Breaks
Index: Indigo Banana‘s Moonlight (Clair de Lune)
Cupcakes: P2’s French Kiss, American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Essie’s Fiji, Ciate’s Candy Floss
Pinky: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s If You’re a Seascape

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s participating in the giveaway! If you haven’t entered yet, you have, of this writing, eight hours left to enter to win two Ciate polishes. The winner will be announced tomorrow! I’m so excited, this is my first giveaway and it is going gloriously well. I can’t wait to do this again.

Swatch Saturday: American Apparel’s Andromeda

It’s Swatch Saturday, and I’m wearing the last American Apparel polish I bought on vacation. It’s the only one of them that isn’t a neon. This is Andromeda, and I’m wearing three coats of it with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Andromeda is a pretty unique polish; it’s a thin lavender jelly laden with metallic turquoise and iridescent purple glitter shreds. It’s like a purple counterpart to Sinful Colors’s Green Ocean. I decided to wear this polish alone because I wanted to see how opaque the jelly base would get. It’s still quite sheer, and my nail line is still visible, but the glitter covers the nail well.

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Unfortunately, application with Andromeda is not easy. The lacquer consistency is very thick and takes quite a while to dry, even with quick-dry top coat. The glitters tend to stick together and clump on the nail, leaving thick bulges in the polish. Also, it doesn’t always sit flat on the nail, so even with top coat, there’s still glitter that sticks up and keeps the polish from being smooth to the touch. It’s beautiful, so I think it’s worth putting up with.

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Outdoors, sunset

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There you have it: I’m done with American Apparel polishes for a while, and I’m going to start up my weekly Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer swatches. I’ve missed them.

Manicure Monday: Shine of the Times

Oh my holy crap. I’m really excited about this week because I got to use a polish that is well-loved and sought after by basically everyone. Yep, Shine of the freaking Times!

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This is one of my favorite purchases. I mean, it’s obviously a gorgeous polish, but I scored it on Amazon, and only paid $1.41 because I had a gift card to cover the rest. I think this was also my 200th polish, so it’s significant to me for that reason, too. Yeah, I care about that stuff for some reason.

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The iridescent flakies shift from red to green, and even though it’s easy to see with the naked eye, but a little more difficult to capture with a camera indoors. I managed to get a few that do, but I also went outside to see if I could get better results (not really). It didn’t occur to me until just now to try to use the flash, but I think what I got is good enough.

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The blue I used this week is Blue Me Away from Sally Hansen. I’ve used this before (you can see the bottle is already about 1/3 empty), and while it’s semi-opaque after one coat and ready to go after two, it stains my nails blue every time. I used a double dose of base coat under it this week, so hopefully that takes care of that.

Sally Hansen's Blue Me Away, Essie's Shine of the Times

Sally Hansen’s Blue Me Away, Essie’s Shine of the Times

I can already tell this is going to be one of those manicures I’m going to stare at all week. I can’t even tell you how excited I am.