Manicure Monday: Purple for Days

Hi, reader! My look this week is a classic gradient with glitter over it. For the gradient, I used K*Sea Gale’s Nails‘s Wisdom and KBShimmer‘s Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple; the glitter is Sinful Colors’s I Miss You.

So this is a look I love to do when I know I’m using a glitter topper. The gradient adds a little bit of complexity to the base. There’s nothing wrong with a solid base and glitter, because that’s a great look, too. I like the gradient because it’s a really subtle effect.

Widsom and Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple were both holos, and in the photos, you can’t really even tell. The glitter completely obscures the holo effect. That was a little disappointing, but the glitter is able to stand out, and that’s what’s really important to me. It’s a simple look, but there’s still something going on.

K*Sea Gale’s Nails is now Northern Nail Polish; Wisdom is still available on their website. Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple was an Indie Shop Atlanta 2017 VIP exclusive; other KBShimmer polishes can be found on their website. I Miss You was discontinued by Sinful Colors; other Sinful Colors polishes are sold in stores.

I bought two of these polishes myself.
I won Wisdom in a giveaway.

Manicure Tuesday: Frosty Blue Glitter

Happy Tuesday, reader! I meant to post this yesterday, but I had the day off and went swimming with friends. That’s also the reason this mani looks a little chewed-up, I forgot to take the pictures before I got in the pool. In any case, here’s a gradient I did with First Frost and The Years Have Been Short, both from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer.

First Frost is still one of my favorite BEGLs, and I was super excited about using it. It was one of the first BEGLs ever made, and one of the first indies I ever bought. I adore this polish, and I loved using it this week.

The Years Have Been Short is like a grown-up version of First Frost, if you’re into that. The glitters aren’t as chunky, but the white crelly base and the glitter colors are pretty similar. This was why I paired them up; I wanted a look that was only slightly different, but still very cohesive.

First Frost and The Years Have Been Short were both discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are available from their online store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Radiant Gradient (What’s Green is Gold is Green Again)

Happy Monday, reader! I have to preface this post by stating that I’m aware this isn’t my best work. I’m new to using nail vinyls and I’m still learning how to use them. I thought I’d given my polish enough to time to dry, but the vinyl still pulled a lot of it up, and I tried to paint it back on, and that’s why it’s a little messy. If any of you are seasoned nail vinylists, give me your tips! Anyway, for this look, I used a base of China Glaze’s Rare and Radiant, and the gradient is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Too Many Misters and We’re Vincible. The vinyl is the Zig Zag Zip design from Ribbits Stickits.

I started with the base of Rare and Radiant. I love this polish because it has such a dramatic shift, but I always have a hard time using them as a base for nail art because of it. It’s always easier to throw some glitter on top, which was what I almost did, but I decided to challenge myself. I almost feel a little bad for covering it up.

Working my way through my Indie Shop haul has been fantastic. I’m trying so many new things! I’m trying not to use my vinyls up right away, but I’m really excited about having them. I’m just going to need to get better at using them. I was sure an hour between applying the base and sticking the vinyl on would be enough; that’s how long I wait when I use Scotch tape and I rarely have my polish come up with that. I’ll do better next time for sure. My gradient turned out well, at least. BEGL cremes are becoming my new favorites!

China Glaze is sold in stores; this bottle is from Sally Beauty Supply. BEGL polishes are sold in their online shop, which is currently on hiatus. Ribbits Stickits vinyls are available on their website.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Desert Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve been in the mood for nail art, so here’s some nail art! And really I mean that I finally remembered to buy some sponges so I can do some gradients. I’ve missed them! For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Thrill Me to the Marrow (pale pink) and Robo-Aggression (gray), Pepper Pot Polish‘s The Big Fuzz (peach), and Elevation Polish‘s Sample JY #26 (glitter).

For the gradient, I put down two coats of Thrill Me to the Marrow, then started a three-color gradient, only my nails are too short for three colors to really show up. You can see there’s a faint bit of coolness at the bottom near the cuticle that immediately fades into warmth from The Big Fuzz. In a way, it actually turned into something cool, but I’m still a little sad it didn’t get more visibility. The Big Fuzz and Robo-Aggression worked pretty well here; the peach was a little on the sheer side and I worried about how well it would show up, but it did the job. Robo-Aggression is a gray creme rockstar.

Sample JY #26 is the main polish I wanted to use, and it’s a pretty typical Elevation topper. I’m a huge fan of the metallic round glitters they use; they remind me of coins. The polish has three different colors of them: gold, silver, and copper, as well as black and white hexes and squares. It’s the perfect topper for this gradient.

The BEGL shop is still on hiatus, but plans to return soon. The Big Fuzz was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive; other Pepper Pot Polishes can be found in their etsy shop. Sample JY #26 was a prototype; other Elevation polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought these polishes 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!

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!

Manicure Tuesday: Red vs. Blue Multichrome

Welcome to Manicure Tuesday! I know, it’s weird for me too. I like today’s look today, though, even if I did a bit of a sloppy job. For this look, I used MAC’s Queen’s Honor (red) and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue); my thumb and pinky have Queen’s Honor alone, my index nail has Baker Street alone, and my middle and ring nails have a gradient made with both colors. I then applied a coat of Orly’s Synchro (the multichrome) on each nail, then finished with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You top coats.

IMG_42012

IMG_42082

I love Synchro, because I can confidently say I don’t own another polish like this. The red to blue multichrome is totally unique and I don’t have another polish that uses it. That said, I feel like I’ve never used it to its full potential. I wore it only once over red, and this time I decided to switch it up a bit and use red AND blue. I am stunned by how good it looks over the blue, I might even like it better than over red. Blue is the color I see the most of wearing Synchro, and it makes both colors look icy and interesting. Mattefied, it looks like an ethereal brocade. It’s really cool.

IMG_42102

IMG_42172

My gradients didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped. I had a hard time blending the two colors. When I do gradients, I don’t usually pick two colors of the same intensity, I pick one that’s lighter and one that’s much darker, and then it evens out somewhere in the middle. This gradient left a dark purple center that I didn’t really like, but it ended up being covered by Synchro, so it’s hard to tell it’s a gradient at all. It’s pretty subtle. I can’t tell if it’s the look I wanted or not. I still like it though.

IMG_42202

IMG_42272

Shifty!

Shifty!

Outdoors, Synchro really shines! The shift occurs pretty easily both indoors and out. These photos were taken in direct sunlight. Try not to notice my green pool.

IMG_41632

IMG_41702

IMG_41762

IMG_41802

IMG_41862

IMG_41922

Queen’s Honor was a limited edition polish from MAC and has sold out; other MAC polishes are available at your local MAC counter. Baker Street and other Nails Inc. polishes are sold at Sephora. Synchro has been discontinued by Orly; other Orly polishes are sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Bridal Gradient

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! I’m excited about today’s look, because the first-ever Wacie Nail Company polish is part of it. I feel like I made this polish a lifetime ago! This is Bridal Bouquet over a gradient of China Glaze’s For Audrey and Orly’s Water Lily.

IMG_29472

IMG_29522

Bridal Bouquet was the reason I started making polish. I’d had ideas for polishes and ordered customs from other indie makers, but this was an idea I wanted to do just for myself. I still remember how exciting it was to receive all the glitters and bottles and lacquer supplies in the mail; I still remember the satisfaction of shaking it together, brushing it onto a swatch wheel, and knowing I’d gotten it right. That was two years ago. It feels so good to come full circle.

IMG_29552

IMG_29602

To keep the marriage motif, I went for a Tiffany-inspired gradient. For Audrey, everyone’s favorite Tiffany blue, had to be used. In testing, I tried Bridal Bouquet over many blues, but For Audrey was my favorite base for it. As an afterthought, I added Water Lily to create a little bit of dimension beneath the glitter. Though Water Lily is a deeper, brighter turquoise, the gradient is very subtle, barely even there. The glitter is such that the gradient is covered up and on display at the same time.

IMG_29652

IMG_29712

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. When the sunlight is harsh like this, the iridescent glitters get washed out. The gradient looks fantastic, though, and there is a bit of sparkle yet. I’m pretty happy with this look, overall. How long has it been since I last did a gradient? Much too long.

IMG_29192

IMG_29312

IMG_29372

IMG_29262

IMG_29422

Follow wacie.com for Bridal Bouquet release info, as well as other Wacie Nail Company polishes. China Glaze and Orly are available in stores nationwide.

I made this polish. Other polishes were purchased myself.

wacie.com Third Year Anniversary Post!

Happy Friday, reader! I don’t typically post on Fridays, but today is a special day: it’s the third anniversary of wacie.com! This is a huge day for us, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring you this post. It’s been quite a ride, and I’m so glad you’ve been a part of it.

On March 11, 2013, I posted my first-ever Manicure Monday post. I think I’d posted a few posts before that, but as wacie.com became more nail-oriented, I took them down and began to focus on nails exclusively. I’d been experimenting with nail art for a couple of years by the time I started the blog, and actually starting the blog helped me get better at it. My nails look and feel healthier, my application skills have gotten better, and I think the quality of the blog has improved, too. Three years is a lot of time for improvement, after all.

100_1933

In honor of the anniversary, I’ve decided to recreate the first manicure I ever posted. Just like last time, here’s a gradient done with Disney Villains’s Cruella de Vil with a Maybelline mystery red, along with a coat of Seche Vite top coat and Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte top coat.

IMG_64792

IMG_64892

When I go back and read about the early version of this manicure, it sounds like I had a hard time with it; my mystery red was thick as molasses and cleanup was a challenge. I had just as much trouble with it this go-around. I’d thinned the mystery polish — polish thinner is something I’ve discovered since I did that manicure — but I still had trouble sponging it on. I didn’t get the contrast I got last time. I ran out of foam eyeshadow sponges I usually use for gradients and had to use the foundation blending sponges, which not only made my hands look like I’d committed a horrible crime, but made cleanup a huge ordeal. On top of that, because I did the mani from memory before I looked at the old post, I see I got the colors in the wrong order. I’m not even mad about that, because meh, close enough.

IMG_64962

IMG_65002

What really gets me is that the matte coat left those white spots on my nails again. The manicure looked great — exactly like the first time should have looked — until I applied the matte top coat. I was so frustrated and upset that I just threw it away. I hate tossing a nearly-full product, but I just can’t let it ruin any more manicures. I thought about redoing them, but decided I’d just leave it, as a sort of humble reminder of where I came from as a blogger. No matter how long I keep this blog, I’ll always have room to improve. Maybe on my fourth anniversary, I’ll finally get it right.

IMG_65062

IMG_65112

Here are some sunlight photos; it rained the last time I did this mani. In the sun, the glitter is a bit invisible, but still manages to sparkle a bit.

IMG_64442

IMG_64502

IMG_64542

 

On my past anniversaries, I’ve posted graphs and little data tidbits about the blog and what I’ve covered. I’m not going to do that this year, but I will share a few figures:
I’ve done 216 swatches.
Between swatches and Manicure Monday looks, I’ve worn Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers 108 times. Essie is my most used mainsteam polish brand at 42.
Blue is my most used color.
I now own more than 1,400 bottles of polish.

Thank you so much for making it this far with me. Thank you so much for making this blog more than a hobby, but a means to cultivate friendships, foster creativity, and strengthen a community where we all can grow together. Thank you so much for being a part of the last three years.

One polish was purchased myself. The other was a gift, not sent for consideration or review.

HPB Presents Elevated Gradient!

Hello, reader! This is a special post for the Hobby Polish Bloggers group on Facebook! Every month, we do themed manis, and January’s theme is the gradient. It doesn’t matter what kind of gradient we do, as long as it’s a gradient; we can make it as complex or as simple as we want. I decided to make mine a challenge and use four previously unused polishes. For this look, I used Sittin’ Pretty and Topless and Barefoot, both from Essie, as the base; I used Kilimanjaro and Salautay, both from Elevation Polish, as the glitter topper. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

hpbpeg

hpbpeg2

It’s been a while since I’ve done a two-color gradient, so long, in fact, that I started to wonder whether or not I’d lost my touch. This is probably one of the hardest gradients I’ve ever done. I could not get light purples and nudes — not just these Essie two, I tried OPI as well — and I could just never get them to come together. Either a color would go bald from oversponging, or a color just wouldn’t turn opaque, no matter how much of it I used. It did finally come together, and it was amazing.

hpbpeg3

hpbpeg4

I had to use purple and nude, though, because I had to use Kilimajaro and Salautay. I knew that as soon as I got these polishes that I had to put them together, because they have so many similarities: they both employ the use of round glitters and the color silver. After I finished the base gradient, I made a gradient with the glitters, flipping the colors so that the purple was over the nude and vice versa. Of course, after I sponged it on, they kind of bled into each other, which is actually pretty cool. My index fingernail got a little too much glitter, but aside from that, I totally got the result I wanted and I’m so happy.

hpbpeg5

hpbpeg6

This is the most intensive nail art work I’ve done in a while, so I’m really proud of it! Also, because this is a group effort, there’s an InLinkz widget here with everyone else’s gradient manis, so be sure to have a look at them! They’re just as proud of their work as I am with mine.

Sittin’ Pretty, Topless and Barefoot, and other Essie polishes are sold in most stores; I got mine from Walgreens. Kilimanjaro and Salautay are discontinued by Elevation Polishes, other Elevations are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.