Manicure Monday: Blackheart Glam

Happy Monday!! For Manicure Monday this week, we’re feeling fancy high-end. For today’s look, I used Urban Decay’s Blackheart and Deborah Lippmann’s Glitter and Be Gay.

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Urban Decay is a huge player in my daily makeup game, but I’ve only worn a few of their polishes. That’s why I’m super-thrilled to be wearing Blackheart this week. It’s a pretty nice polish: deep chocolate as a first impression, and upon closer inspection, a pink-to-gold shift appears. It reminds me of middle school, when I stuck to deep browns, plums, and gunmetals because my parents didn’t allow me to wear black polish. Good times! I’m pretty sure I had a Street Wear polish just like this.

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I picked Glitter and Be Gay to go with Blackeart because both polishes used plenty of rich, warm colors. I mean, of course I had to choose gold to go with chocolate brown. Also, it’s not all gold, there are some cornflower blue glitters in there, and I think maybe some silver, but it turned into one big sparkly cluster. I regret that I was so heavy-handed with the glitter, and I wish I’d done some nails with brushed-on glitter, but the gradient turned out well enough. It looks like a mess in photos because it was so shiny, but I still like it.

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In the sun, Blackheart isn’t as deep as it is indoors;actually, even indoors it doesn’t look all that dark, but I think that’s the glare from the glitter washing it out. You can see the pink and gold shimmers quite well outside, too. You can also see the individual glitters best out here, which is proof that they actually do pair well.

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Blackheart was an Urban Decay limited edition and is sold out on Sephora.com, which is where you can find other UD polishes. Glitter and Be Gay is available wherever Deborah Lippmann is sold; mine is from Sephora as well.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Fun With Microglitter

Happy Tuesday, reader! It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s have a look at this week’s mani. For this mani, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype Summer 1.1, Wacie Nail Company‘s Opulence, and Digital Nails‘s Tauping Mechanism. All nails are topped with a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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I ended up pairing red and gold again. I can’t help it, they just go so well together! At first I wasn’t going to pair Summer 1.1 with anything, just because it already has so much going on. The colors are so vibrant and varied that it looks excellent on its own. When I started thinking about what nail art I would do, if any, I started looking at other options. I found Opulence in the polish box and went for it.

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The dotting was something I explored later on. I was pleased to discover microglitters actually do dot. In these photos, because of the macro, it looks weird because you can see the individual pieces of glitter and it makes it look less like a dot. My dots didn’t really line up the way I wanted them; they’re more linear than scattered on one nail, and that kind of bugs me. Overall, though, I’m happy with how uniform and neat they are. I try to avoid dotting because I can never keep my hands steady enough, but this came out really well, all things considered.

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Here are some sunlight photos! You’ll see how the glitter is brighter and shines better than in the studio. Opulence looks best here, too; you can see that’s actually a gold and silver mix and not just gold alone. The glitter really comes to life in this set.

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Tauping Mechanism was the last selection I made for this look. When I decided to do the dots, I knew I needed a nude as the base, something that would fade gently into the background and not detract from the dotting, and Tauping Mechanism does exactly that. It’s amazing for undies! It’s opaque in one coat and levels itself nicely. It’s also the only polish in this mani I hadn’t used before.

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BEGL Prototype Summer 1.1 was a one-off and no others were for sale; other BEGLs are for sale in their shop. Opulence will be available in the Wacie Nail Company shop shortly. Tauping Mechanism is for sale in the Digital Nails shop.

I bought these polishes myself, except for the one I made.

Swatch Sunday: Orly’s Space Cadet

Happy Sunday! It’s been a long day, and I’m excited to finally bring you today’s swatch! I’ve been dying to wear this polish, and I’m thrilled to be showing it to everyone. This is Orly’s Space Cadet; I’m wearing three coats of Space Cadet with one coat of Gelous top coat.

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Space Cadet is a purple, copper, gold, and olive multichrome polish. The polish is a deep indigo base; the mutlichrome effect comes from the larger pigment particles in the polish. If you look closely, you can see where they didn’t cover the nail all the way and the blue color of the base is more visible. Application was easy, and product consistency was good; the polish wasn’t too thick or thin, and the polish spreads well over the nail. I needed two coats for full opacity. The shifting effect is strong and occurs in any lighting condition. It dried quickly with a smooth and glossy finish. I added top coat for extra shine and protection.

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So I’m really, really impressed with this polish. I know it’s been out a while, I know how late I am to the party, but man this polish is awesome. It’s probably the strongest shifter from a mainstream polish I’ve used yet. You can see the pieces in the polish and how large they are; it’s basically a fine glitter in there, so those it’s not as smooth as a multichrome from I Love Nail Polish might be, this one performs about as well as those do. The color shift requires very little effort to see — all one has to do is move their hands a bit and their nails will look completely different. There’s such a wide variety of colors between the shift, too, that one rarely sees the same color twice. It’s absolutely stunning. I tried so hard to capture the shift, but I did not do it justice. The shift is pretty intense, and I guess the camera couldn’t handle it.

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This is my favorite. I got all the colors!

I got some sunlight photos. The colors are warmer in natural light, and you can see the tinted base out here. Again, the shift occurs pretty easily.

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Space Cadet and other Orly polishes are available where salon-quality polish is sold; I got mine from Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Glitter Secret

Happy Monday! This week I did some time-intensive nail art — by my standards at least — and I love it. For this look, I used Butter London’s West End Wonderland with American Apparel’s Moon. I wish I did nail art like this every week!

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The idea for this mani was to have a negative-space mani with a secret glow-in-the-dark effect. I loved the idea of just having a fun polish paired with “naked” nails, and then having the “negative” parts of the design glow. Obviously, if you look closely, you can tell they’re not totally naked, because Moon has this grainy look in it, but that’s only if you look up close. From a perfectly reasonable distance you wouldn’t be able to tell at all.

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This is one of the more intricate designs I’ve ever done, because I rarely do anything with more than two steps. First, I put down a coat of Moon. Next, I did a gradient with Moon and West End Wonderland. I left my thumb and pinky with just the initial gradient. When that was dry, I put strips of striping tape over the gradient in a criss-cross pattern, then sponged West End Wonderland over the entire nail. I finished with Seche Vite top coat. On the accent nail, the one with the studs, I used two coats of Moon and skipped right to the all-over sponging of West End Wonderland. I think it turned out pretty well!

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The only thing I would do differently — I do plan to do this again — is to use a polish with greater contast. It’s a little hard to see the negative space because it’s so similar to the glitter polish. I may also consider just using striping tape for greater contrast in the dark, because I did fail to take that into account. You can see in the glow photos where the lines are, but I think it would be cooler if the contrast was higher.

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Moon has an amazingly strong glow. If you look closely, you can see the titles of the books on my bookshelf.

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Moon has been discontinued by American Apparel. West End Wonderland and other Butter London polishes are available at sephora and Ulta. I got mine in a swap, lucky me! I don’t know where the studs came from.

One of these polishes were purchased by myself. The other was received in a trade.

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.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Intersecting Lines in the Sand

Swatch Saturday, woo! This Saturday, I’m wearing Intersecting Lines in the Sand from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite. This first set of photos were taken outdoors in partly cloudy lighting.

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This poor label. It looks like it’s been through hell.

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Intersecting Lines in the Sand is cool yellow linear holo polish with icy blue shimmers. Application was smooth; it began sheer but built coverage with additional coats. The holo effect, as always, is most beautiful outdoors in direct full sun, but is still pretty in lower lighting. Indoors, the polish is more metallic and the blue shimmers are most visible. It dried somewhat matte; I added top coat for shine and protection.

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I really love this polish. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite from the Far From the Sun collection. I love the golden-ness of it; it’s like the beach and the sun and pineapples cooked down into polish. It’s summery, warm and cool simultaneously, depending on whether you’re inside or outside. It’s perfect. The following photos were taken indoors in the studio; you can see how the color changes and the shimmers become the focus.

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Intersecting Lines in the Sand has been discontinued, but other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available in their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: MAC’s Neptune

Happy Sunday! I’m excited to show you today’s polish; it’s a souvenir from one of the coolest vacations I’ve ever taken. This is MAC’s Neptune, and it was purchased from the Macy’s flagship store in New York City. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Neptune is a metallic burnished gold polish. Application was easy; coverage was buildable, and it took me all of three coats to achieve this level of opacity. The consistency was thin but smooth and cooperative. It dries quickly and to a semi-glossy finish. There’s a slight duochrome effect to this polish; it leans slightly green when in certain lighting conditions. I used top coat for shine and to accentuate the shimmery finish.

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I mentioned before that this polish is a souvenir, and it is. Last year, I had the opportunity to tag along on a road trip from Jacksonville, FL to Niagara Falls. We passed through New York City, and being sentimental and a shopaholic, I stopped in every flagship store and bought at least one thing, just so I could say “Yeah, I got this from the Herald Square Macy’s”. I almost wonder if that wasn’t the whole reason I wanted to go to New York.

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I really like this polish. Apart from its being a vacation buy, it was one of my first MAC polishes, and probably also one of my first makeup-brand polishes. I tend not to buy those since they’re so easily dupeable, but this had been a special occasion, and sometimes it feels good to overpay for something. It feels like a luxury.

Neptune was part of MAC’s long-gone Aquatic Allure collection and is discontinued. Other MAC polishes are sold at counters and stores nationwide.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Autumn Moons

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s Manicure Monday finds me with very short nails; I went bowling on Saturday night and kind of trashed them. At least they grow back. I went for a mature yet cute look today to remind myself that these are, in fact, not a child’s hands. I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Newborn Solstice Sun, Essie’s As Gold As It Gets, and China Glaze’s Angel Wings. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

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I wore Newborn Solstice Sun on its own quite some time ago when I swatched it. Even though it’s gorgeous on its own, I wanted to try something new with it. I went through the bag of tricks: rhinestones and loose glitters, vinyls and striping tapes. I wanted to get really crazy with it. Once my nails were unexpectedly cut down, though, I decided to keep it simple. I’m wearing Newborn Solstice Sun alone on two nails, as well as the darker shade in the half-moon. It’s a beautiful polish; the color is so deep, and the glitters add depth and sparkle. This is a huge BEGL favorite for sure.

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I used Essie’s As Gold As It Gets as the undies for my half-moon. It’s so soft, you can barely tell I used anything there. I wanted just a hint of sparkle, and that’s exactly what I got. I used China Glaze’s Angel Wings as an afterthought; I actually had an accent ring finger nail that was just covered with red and gold rhinestones, but it looked too Gryffindor, so I took it off and just used the gold glitter instead. It still looks out of place to me, but at least it’s not as ridiculous as the rhinestones were.

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Newborn Solstice Sun was a limited edition polish; other BEGLs can be purchased from the BEGL shop. As Gold As It Gets and Angel Wings are available wherever Essie and China Glaze are sold. I got my rhinestones from Amazon. The red bow vinyl is from Monster Polish as part of their Doctor Who collaboration with BEGL. I always associate the red bowtie with Pee-Wee Herman, though.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype SLE 1.1

Happy weekend, reader! I’m excited to show today’s polish, a golden holo prototype from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. It’s the most summery polish I’ve worn this summer so far! This is Prototype SLE 1.1, and I’m wearing three coats of it with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos are taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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SLE 1.1 is a yellow linear holo with a golden flash and blue shimmer. Application was easy; though the product consistency was on the thinner side, it still went on smoothly. It did leave some brush-strokes, which are most apparent in the shimmer. The holo effect is subtle, and I can’t tell if it’s being overpowered by the gold or if there just isn’t much to begin with. Because of this, the polish really comes to life outdoors; indoors, the holo effect doesn’t really happen at all, it’s just the golden shimmer, which gives it a metallic look and is actually pretty cool. The polish dries quickly; I used top coat for shine.

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So yeah. I like this a lot, and I’m kind of mad I didn’t wear it sooner. It’s like sunshine in a bottle. Summer is nearly over — though in Florida it’s unofficially summer pretty much all the time — and I’m just discovering another perfect summer polish. Of course.

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This polish is a prototype and there are no other bottles. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Red Luxe

Welcome to Manicure Monday! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that I got off my duff, got the dotting tool out, and did some real nail art. I still kind of suck with the dotting tool, but I’m really pleased with my results. For this look, I used Maybelline’s Red Relic as my primary color, Ciaté’s Gold Digga as the secondary color, and caviar beads in Gleam, also from Ciaté. I also used Seche Vite and Hard Candy’s Just Matte top coat.

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Red Relic is a fun little polish. It’s a red jelly with iridescent pink flakies that dries matte. I was a little disappointed when I first tried it out, because I’m not a huge fan of the matte finish. I supposed then that it wasn’t anything top coat couldn’t fix, so I kept it. The finish has grown on me, though. It’s actually the reason I made the whole manicure matte. Gold Digga has a metallic shine, and I needed to even it out with a matte top coat, so the finish you’re seeing is actually the matte coat, not the original Red Relic finish.

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Gold Digga and the Gleam beads came together in a caviar nails set that was in the sale bin at Sephora. Gold Digga is a pretty nice polish; it’s a burnished gold with a rich metallic finish. It also looks fantastic mattified. The matte coat hides the brush strokes and evens out the color. It’s rare that I think a polish looks better without a glossy finish, but this one definitely does. I feel like it helps emphasize the luxe feel Ciaté was going for.

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The two colors together are gorgeous. I got the elegant and opulent look I wanted. I’m just a bit unhappy with all the nail art horrors my camera captured. In the photos you can see just how uneven the crosses are, you can see all the gaps in the caviar, you can see the glue spots where I put the studs down. I know nobody probably noticed them until I mentioned them, but when I look at these photos, they’re all I see. In person, though, this mani is perfect.

Red Relic was a limited edition and has been discontinued by Maybelline, though you can find it if you look around the internet. Gold Digga and the caviar nail kit are available from Ciaté’s website. Hard Candy’s matte coat is from Walmart. My studs are from an outlet store.

I bought all of these products myself.