Manicure Monday: Accidental Mid-Mod

Hey, reader! Happy Monday! Today’s mani reminds me a lot of an older one, where some glitter on just a couple nails was a fashion statement. Man, accent nails seem so quaint now. For this look, I used Julep’s Dianna and Lynnderella‘s Seven Swans Swimming.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a creme unfettered like this, and I have to admit, I really like it. Cremes are so underrated. I used to pass over them so often, but when you really think about it, they’re the perfect finish; they’re color and shine and nothing else. This shade in particular, Dianna, has been a ton of fun to wear so far; it’s that perfect midcentury modern robin egg blue. Like I said, underrated.

I chose Seven Swans Swimming for my accent because the shimmery blue base it’s in was about the same color as Dianna, and some of the glitters are, too. The glitter mix is fantastic in this polish; pink and white are the perfect companions to robin egg blue, and the shapes add a lot of variety. I know the snowflake doesn’t quite belong there — tomorrow’s high temperature is 83 degrees F — but it’s cute. It’s kind of mid-mod, too, now that I look at it. It could be a classic winter in Florida mani as well — winter motifs in summer colors — that’s mid-mod too, isn’t it?

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The fine shimmer in Seven Swans Swimming gets washed out, but you can see the glitter in greater detail. You can also see the shine of Dianna in all its glory.

Seven Swans Swimming is available from Lynnderella.com. Julep is sold in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren’s Lucky Shamrock

Happy Saturday, reader! Remember last week‘s Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer swatch, and how I said it was part of a duo? This is its other half, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock. It is the St. Paddy’s Day-themed glitter topper you need. I’m wearing one brushed coat of Siren’s Lucky Shamrock over Zoya’s Chantal (nude) and Neely (green) and LA Colors’s Hottie (coral) with one coat of Seche Vive top coat.

Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is a clear-based glitter topper featuring a mix of green, orange, gold, and black glitters, iridescent glitters, and orange flakies. The official description also lists shamrock glitters, but I didn’t get any, and I don’t see them in the bottle, either. Application was good; the glitters brushed on easily and the product consistency performed well. The polish dries quickly and with some glitter texture, so top coat is necessary for smoothness.

Of the two polishes, this one is the obvious holiday polish. Personally, I don’t care much for polishes that are only useful one day a year, but if you’re big into holiday looks, this is one you want. It’s basically Ireland in a bottle. It makes for a very easy St. Paddy’s manicure.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The flakies get a little washed out out here, but the glitters come alive.

As of this writing, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is still available, and even better, on sale in the BEGL shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Guest Post for Secretary’s Nail Art

Hello reader! I hope you like guest posts, because I’ve got another one to share. Dina from Secretary’s Nail Art recently had a baby, and I got to step in and help her out. It’s look that’s a little of everything, but mostly it’s pink.

Follow the link to see more!

Manicure Monday: All Heart

Happy Monday! Today’s post is actually early because, as you’re reading this, I’m on a work trip and it would be a very late post if I didn’t get it done ahead of time. I’m not a blogger who has a ton of mani posts backlogged because I like to write about things as I wear them. This post is all about Literary Lacquers‘s Jack Rose, some striping tape, and a lot of heart glitter. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

Do you ever notice that every indie maker has their own kind of holo polish? That’s something I enjoy about indie polish; holos are a staple, but each brand has their own blend of Spectraflair sizes and strengths and makes the linear holo their own. Literary Lacquers’s holos are done in such a way that the holo is strong but fine at the same time, and I think that’s really cool. Jack Rose in particular is a polish that starts off sheer and builds up to full strength before you notice it, and the bronze shimmers in it make it metallic and sparkly. I love it.

Obligatory shade photo

I didn’t want to do another look with hand-placed glitter so long after my last one, but this was quick and easy. I’ve mentioned before that I never do holiday manis unless they’re convenient; I don’t like Valentine’s Day, but I like heart glitter, so I got it out. When I did my first hand-placed glitter look, I got so many reader comments about how long it must have taken. In all seriousness, it took longer to get my striping tape straight. I used a smaller size glitter this time, but the application time was about the same. It helps when you’re only doing a couple of nails, probably; if I’d done them all, I’d still be working.

Literary Lacquers can be found in their etsy shop. I got the striping tape on Amazon, and the heart glitters are from Glitter Unique.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Hors d’Oeuvres

Hi hi! It’s Manicure Monday! Today’s look is one I kept simple, but it’s still over the top. I used Essie’s Hors d’Oeuvres and a diamond charm from Daily Charme. It’s kind of insane.

Hors d’Oeuvres is a challenge to photograph. There’s so much shiny; the strong gold shimmer and embedded silver hex mix means a lot of light bounces off it and makes it hard for the camera to focus or get a good white balance. (I shoot on auto, sue me.) It’s also very reflective, which is a cool finish. I’m really enjoying it.

I ran out of super glue, so I decided to see if Seche Vive was enough to hold the diamonds on. It did, for a while, until one mysteriously disappeared. I still have yet to find it. I pulled the other one off to risk losing it and put on a second coat of Vive. Speaking of which, have you guys tried Seche Vive? I was skeptical, since I’ve never used any of these gel-effect polishes or top coats before, but I really like how this one feels. I used multiple coats and haven’t noticed any of the bad effects from multiple coats of Seche Vite, so yeah. It’s too early to tell yet, but I might be a convert.

The sunlight is probably where Hors d’Oeuvres looks its best. You can definitely see how reflective it is in these photos; that glare is out of control. This set of photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

This one is actually in the shade.

Hors d’Oeuvres and other Essie polishes are sold in stores. The diamond charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Office Disco

It’s Monday, and I have a new mani! Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer is my polish, and originally I’d meant to wear it alone, just to enjoy the pretty holo goodness unabated. With such a soft shade, and on such short nails, I found the look a little too SFW, so I decided today was the day I tried hand-placing glitter. I did okay! All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

I love Tact. The green glow it has really takes it to the next level. It’s cool and silvery, it’s green and taupe and holo. It’s understated and elegant. Today, though, I wanted just a little more.

I didn’t expect hand-placing glitter to be the challenge it was. I knew it would be time-consuming, and I knew it took a steady hand, but I thought I’d have it under control. First I couldn’t find the right glitter; I wanted something as barely-there as my polish, but also large enough that I could place easily. I didn’t have anything like that, so I grabbed the big silver hexes. I started in the middle, and clipped the glitters that didn’t fit on the nail; these cut edges got caught on things and were pulled off, resulting in some bare spots. I also didn’t expect so many glitters to stack; I thought it was getting one, but there would be five more, and the extra glitters would fan out and ruin my clean lines. It was a learning experience, I keep saying to myself. The look isn’t bad, but I’m definitely going to practice this.

Shade photo. I love holo glitter in the shade!

While this wasn’t the look I wanted, I like it. I like how over the top the disco ball nail is while the others are tame. It’s fun. I can’t wait to play around with hand-placing a little more.

Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass isn’t in stock, but other polishes are available from the BEGL shop. They’re open!

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Blast From The Past

Welcome back, reader! Manicure Monday is a simple look this week. I’d actually planned something a little more intricate, but now that I’ve cut my nails down, I simplified it. I’m talking like there’s something wrong with just color and glitter, there’s totally not! For this look, I used Sephora by OPI’s It’s Bouquet With Me over Orly’s Rio Nights.

Originally, I’d planned a gray to purple gradient with Rio Nights. When I’ve got a multicolored glitter like this, I like to pick colors out and find cremes that match it, and that way everything is cohesive. With nails this small, though, there just wouldn’t have been room for it.

I love this mani, though. It’s making me all kinds of nostalgic. I was a hardened nail biter when I was younger — hell, until I was 23 — and this was what my hands always looked like back then. I liked wearing polish, but it was never a biting deterrent, so I always had these tiny little nails. I also feel deeply for purple glittery polish; the first nail polish that was 100% mine was a gift from my sister, and it was a purple glitter, right around the time unconventional colors and glitter polishes were getting popular in the late 1990s. I wore that polish until it was gone. This look channels that polish so hard.

I regret that I didn’t get any sunlight photos of this look. There’s been some inclement weather in the southeast, and the sun didn’t shine for more than five minutes at a time, and I could just never catch it. Also, when was the last time I wore a bow charm? It’s been ages!

The Sephora by OPI line has been discontinued; I actually found this particular one at Big Lots. Orly polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Lime Sherbet With Sprinkles

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s look evokes images of springtime, doesn’t it? I’m so ready for spring. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Queen Lime Rose Zinnia with Lynnderella‘s Bridezilla.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is probably the newest BEGL I’ve worn yet, and maybe also one of the most interesting. The shade itself is already very cool; it’s this delicious lime sherbet green (get it, cool?), but then there’s these pink-to-gold shifting flecks that add contrasting shimmer. It’s so gorgeous. It dries with a satin finish to boot. It’s an incredible polish.

You know what else has a beautiful pink-to-gold shift? Lynnderella’s Bridezilla! I actually paired them for this reason; the matching shimmer unites both polishes in a really cool way. The shimmer you see here is likely more from Bridezilla than Zinnia; I sponged a little extra shimmer on the tips after adding the glitter. Also, I do apologize for how sloppy the glitter looks. I always do this! I try to make sure I have enough glitter, and then I end up with too much. It’s a fun glitter mix, though, right? I love that there’s so many different shapes in it. They stick up off my nail and get snagged on things, of course, but I can deal with it for a day or two.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. Everything is so bright out here! The shimmer doesn’t seem as intense, but it’s pretty potent wherever the light hits it. You can see the shift pretty well out here, too.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is not currently in stock; see the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer shop for other polishes. Bridezilla might have been a limited edition Lynnderella; other Lynnderellas are available on their website and on eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren Sweetheart

Hello, reader! Swatch Saturday is going strong in 2017! Today’s polish is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Siren Sweetheart; I’m wearing one brushed coat over Zoya’s Chantal and Essie’s Fiji and Mint Candy Apple.

Siren Sweetheart is a clear-based glitter topper with iridescent hex and square glitters and denim blue hexes in a mainly-white glitter mix that includes rectangles, stars, hearts, diamonds, and squares. Application was okay; the consistency was pretty thick, which is not unexpected, seeing how much glitter is in the bottle. The glitter is very dense, so I got tons on the brush and didn’t have to fish for the larger shapes. The polish dried quickly with some texture; I used top coat for smoothness.

The white glitter topper is one of my favorite mixes, because it can be worn over anything. I only swatched it over pastels here, but you could put this over any creme and have an interesting look. The iridescent glitters shift colors based on the lighting, so there’s some color in the polish, the white glitters add texture and fun, and the blue glitters break it all up. I am having a ton of fun wearing this.

These photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. In the sun, the iridescent glitters look a little washed out, but out here, you can see just how much glitter is on each nail. The studio photos seem a little deceptive by comparison.

Siren Sweetheart was a numbered limited edition that has since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes 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┬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!