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┬áthat 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: Lavender Glamour

It’s Manicure Monday again! It’s Halloween, but I’m kind of glad to have the Halloween manis behind me. Lavender doesn’t scream (heh) Halloween, and I’m cool with it. For this look, I used LA Colors’s Bliss (lavender) and China Glaze’s Full Spectrum (microglitter).

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When I paired these two polishes together, I was originally just going to use Full Spectrum as accent nails and leave the Bliss nails alone. I love Bliss on its own, and I love cremes, but my recent sort-of resolution to do more nail art inspired me to do the glitter swirls. For these, I just dipped a thin nail art brush in Full Spectrum, did a wiggly thing on the nail with it, and then more wiggly things in the leftover spaces. I put dots to fill up whatever space was left. The design is a bit clearer on the thumb nail than the others, but it’s still cool on the others. This was a mani where I could totally shut out the perfectionist and just be happy with however it turned out.

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I kind of wish I was wearing Full Spectrum on its own. There is so much going on with this microglitter; though it looks silver primarily, there are fine glitters in many colors, as well as an allover purple shimmer. It’s just beautiful. I’ve had this in my collection a long time, and I’m glad I’m finally using it. There are blue and green versions of this polish, and I can’t remember if I have them or not, but I need them if I do. This is super beautiful.

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

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thumb, index, ring fingers

LA Colors and China Glaze are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Revlon’s Sweet Revenge

Happy Sunday! Today’s post is a little different from the usual Swatch Sunday business, because we’ve got a twofer as the polish this week. Revlon’s French Mix set comes with two colors and encourages you to do some nail art with them. This set is called Sweet Revenge. In the photos below, I’m wearing three coats of each polish with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Before I talk about the polishes, I want to talk about the packaging, because it directly affects the quality of the polish. While this double-ended polish brush seems really stylish and convenient, I’ve had nothing but problems with them. The brush caps break and stops fitting inside the brush cap, or the polish itself dries out. Either way, the polishes end up becoming unusable. When I took this one out to use it, the brush to the purple polish was broken, and the pink polish was totally dried out. If you have any of these polishes and you hate the packaging as much as I do, you may be pleased to know that the brushes and caps from mini polish bottles from TKB Trading are the same size and will fit very well. This is how I was able to separate mine and save the polish inside.

The pink in this set, as I mentioned, was totally dried out, but I saved it with polish thinner. Because of this, and because I had to use so much, I can’t speak for the consistency of this polish, or what it was like before I had to thin it out. When I applied it, it was on the thinner side, and required all three coats for full opacity.

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The purple polish is very opaque, and achieved full opacity by the second coat. The pink shimmer, though fine, appears best in lower light; the studio lights washed it out a bit. The purple polish was the best suited for nail art because of its opacity. Both polishes dried quickly with glossy finishes.

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I did a quick skittle mani just to see how well each one works for actual nail art. The pink, though it does work for some things, isn’t thick enough to fully cover the purple, which is opaque enough to cover anything. I’ll definitely be using the pink as the base color from now on. Photos were taken in both the studio and outdoors in direct sunlight.

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Sweet Revenge, the French Mix series, and the double-ended brushes in general seem to be discontinued by Revlon, because I don’t see them on their website (good). Other Revlon products are available nationwide.

I bought this product myself.