Swatch Saturday Doubleheader, Part One: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Kaffir Lily

You lucked out this weekend, Reader! Because I was super busy this weekend, I didn’t have time to post my weekend swatches. That means this weekend will have four swatches instead of just two! The first of these swatches is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Kaffir Lily; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Kaffir Lily is a dusty pink holo with pink shimmers. Application was easy; the polish has the typical velvety BEGL consistency while also being pretty well-pigmented. I had nearly opaque coverage on the first coat, which was wonderful. It needed a top coat for shine, but other than that, this polish is pretty much perfect.

I had so much fun wearing this. I kept it on for a day or so, only taking it off to do another swatch. Besides this swatch, I wore it a couple weekends ago with a watermarble, and it just felt so ladylike and so chic. I absolutely love it.

Kaffir Lily is discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. Other BEGLs can be purchased from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Bliss Polish’s VIP in Atlanta

Swatch Sunday!! This is a polish I’m very excited about. It’s my first-ever Bliss Polish, and it’s the first of the VIP exclusive polishes I got when I attended The Indie Shop Atlanta in March. TIS was so long ago; it was shortly after that when my lens died, and I only got to review one of my scores before going on hiatus. I had this fantasy that I was going to swatch everything I bought and get a lot of hits for VIP swatches, but alas. This is VIP in Atlanta; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Full disclosure: I thought this polish was called Up in Atlanta for months. I mean, Atlanta is up from Florida, after all.

VIP in Atlanta is a cool pinkish-taupe holo. Application was good; the consistency is silky and easy to work with, but I think I’d like it if it was just a tad thicker. I had no problems with it at all. Coverage builds very gently with complete opacity in two coats. The polish dries to a glossy holo finish.

I am so excited about this polish and I feel so guilty writing about it today because I wish it wasn’t an LE so everyone could have it. I love nude polishes when my nails are this length, because it makes them look even longer and more elegant. The holo is bonus.

VIP in Atlanta was a VIP-exclusive shade for The Indie Shop Atlanta. Other Bliss Polishes can be found on their website.

I bought the VIP ticket that netted me this polish.

Manicure Monday: Feather Weather

Happy Monday, reader! It’s the official first day of spring, and it’s time for spring manicures. Probably nobody was thinking brown for spring, but it’s what I’m rocking. For a change of pace, I got some feathers out, and there’s something about birds and spring, right? For this look, I used Model City Polish‘s Dark Roast, feathers from a Ciaté nail art kit, and Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair holo top coat for an extra holo finish. All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

Dark Roast is a great holo. It’s a rich brown, but the holo is pretty strong, and there are these tiny gold shimmers in it. It dries shiny. I felt kinda bad putting the feathers over it, like it was too pretty to cover up. The feathers were kind of a pain, and as you can see, it looks a little messy, but I’m rolling with it. I used the holo top coat over the feathers just to pull it all together, and I think it came out all right.

I heard a sad rumor that Model City Polish closed down, and though I haven’t seen anything official, I do see that their etsy shop is on hiatus. That really bums me out. Model City was one of the first-ever indies I bought from, they gave me my first press samples, and everything they made was quality. It’s sad to see them go. I feel like a bad fan because I’ve just heard about it.

I don’t know where to get Ciaté’s nail art kits anymore. Digital Nails’s Spectraflair top coat is sold in their etsy shop.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Alert

Hello, reader! Today’s mani is a pretty simple one. I’m apparently still into negative-space manis, but really, I just wanted to do something with a textured polish that was still nail-arty, and this was just the direction it took. For this look, I used Emerald & Ash‘s Construction Season with Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair top coat.

I’ve talked before about how much I love the Road Trip collection from E&A. Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete collection, but the ones I do have have been a ton of fun to wear. The texture is unlike any other polish type; It’s a very fine grit, as opposed to chunky glitter or rough sand. It sparkles like sugar. This one happens to be Nickelodeon orange, which makes it my favorite.

I wanted a little something under the negative part of the nail, just to keep it from being completely bare, so I put a coat of Spectraflair top coat under Construction Season. You can barely tell it’s there, but I like the addition. I can’t see it at all indoors, but in the sun, you can see it’s barely-thereness.

Speaking of sunlight, here are some photos I took in direct sunlight. The orange got kind of washed out, and the color also suffers from an uncooperative camera. You can see the reflective goodness pretty well out here at least, as well as the aforementioned Spectraflair.

Construction Season has been discontinued by Emerald & Ash (though they’ve been MIA for quite some time). Digital Nails’s Spectraflair top coat and other polishes are sold in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

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.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Cuts in My Heart

Hello, reader! I’m excited about today’s swatch. We have Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Crooked Hearts behind us, and in the next few weeks, we’ll see some special edition polishes, some prototypes, and some Sirens from 2015. I’m so late to the party on these, but I can’t wait to get there. This polish, Cuts in My Heart, is the first of these; it was an Addicted to Holos box-exclusive. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent. All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

There’s a wee bit of color settling on the bottom. This didn’t affect the color quality at all.

Cuts in My Heart is a deep red holo with red shimmers. Application is good; would you believe this polish is a one coater? Depending on your application style, it totally could be. I actually did have an opaque first coat, but I added more just because I like the thickness. The product consistency is very good; it’s thick but doesn’t need thinning, because it’s still easy to use. The polish dries quicky and with a satiny finish; top coat is necessary for shine.

So, I love this. Red holos are already amazing, so of course I like it. One thing I notice about this one is that I can actually see the shimmers in it. With a lot of the BEGL holos I’ve worn, the shimmers either get covered up by the color, or they blend into the color so well they’re undetectable. In this polish, I can really see them. They’re the same color as the polish, but they also stand out. I quite like it.

Cuts in My Heart, as I mentioned, was a box-exclusive and is since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish 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.

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 Monday: Orange Holo Crush

Happy Monday! This is post is late because I’m lazy. I’m excited about this mani, though, because I don’t often use my Enchanted Polishes. I try not to feel bad about using discontinued or special polishes, but I feel bad about using the Enchanteds. I don’t want to use them up! This mani started as just a half-moon mani with May 2014, but I added a stripe of Ciaté’s Encore! for a little extra color. Let’s get started! All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

Most of my Enchanteds are used. This one is; it was one of the first ones I ever bought. At the time, I was just buying up whatever ones I could find that were under $20. I could never get in on the pre-orders or surprise restocks in time, so buying them used was always a better option, even if it sometimes cost a little more. I love orange, so I knew this was one I would want. Boyfriend’s birthday is in May, so there’s that, too.

I like Encore! in this mani because it’s a similar orange, but also different enough to be apparent. I wanted something between the negative space and May 2014, and after considering a few different things, this was what I picked. I felt a little bad covering up some holo, but I think it works. Also, good news, Envy didn’t stain me! Two coats of Seche Base did the trick.

May 2014 is no longer sold by Enchanted Polish; other polishes are available in their online shop. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.