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.

Manicure Monday: Blue Insinuation

Happy Monday! Manicure Monday is early because I was able to pull myself out of bed early for once. For this week’s look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s The Innuendo Squad with the Holo Glam decals I won in a giveaway (that I talk about here). All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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So it wasn’t that long ago since I swatched The Innuendo Squad (I say it wasn’t that long ago; it was July, yikes), but I’m happy to revisit it. It’s a delicate blue with the softest, prettiest holo flame; I almost just wore it alone again to enjoy it. I didn’t want to cover it with anything. When I got the decals in that giveaway I won a bit ago, I thought about pairing them together, and I like how it turned out.

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Of course, this is my first time with water slide decals, and I don’t quite have the hang of it yet. On my Cinderella hand, I tried the method of soaking the decal in a bowl of water, sliding it off onto my finger, and then placing it, but this felt like too much work, and also just trashed one of the decals. I found it easier to place the dry decal on my nail, use an eyedropper to wet it, and then peel the paper backing away when it was wet enough. My placing wasn’t quite right, and so I tried to balance it out with a rhinestone. I kind of like it. Not a first bad go at the decals I suppose. It adds fun to the look without disturbing the polish.

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The Innuendo Squad is discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are sold in their online shop, and lots of previously retired polishes are making a comeback for the holidays, just saying. I looked for the Holo Glam shops and just found their social media pages, so I don’t know where to tell you to get those.

I bought this polish myself.
I won the decals in a giveaway.

Swatch Sunday: Nvr Enuff Polish’s Cieux Romantiques

Welcome back! Swatch Sunday is exciting today, because the polish I’m wearing is a giveaway prize! Kristi from BeginNails went to the Indie Shop event in California earlier this month and had a giveaway for some nail decals that weren’t for her, as well as a little jar of Ever After cuticle crelly. I won! And when I got the package, there was a polish and some scented base and top coats from Dream Polish. How fun! The polish I got is an event exclusive called Cieux Romantiques from Nvr Enuff Polish; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish’s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

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Cieux Romantiques is a shimmery rose polish with a slight holo effect, holo glitters, and a pink to gold shift. Application was good; the product consistency is thin, but doesn’t drip or flood the cuticle. The first coat was even but still sheer, and the second coat evened everything out. The polish dries with a mostly glossy finish; I used top coat for shine and protection. The only thing I really disliked about using it was the wide brush; the brush reminds me of the wide and flat brushes used in the Wet ‘n Wild Megalast line, or Sally Hanse’s Insta-Dri line. I have small nails and I find wide brushes are usually more trouble than they’re worth.

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Nvr Enuff is a new to me brand; I’d heard of them, of course, but had yet to try anything. I really love this polish, even though I have to admit I didn’t think much of it in the bottle. The rose is a lovely color and intensity, the holo sparkle is just the right amount, and the shift sends it right over the edge. It’s glorious.

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I got some sun shots. It’s been overcast here for days, and this is the first time in a while we’ve had some sun. These are day-after photos, so there is a bit of wear from having washed dishes the night before.

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A few things about the other things I won in this giveaway: I used the Gem Stick and Gem Glam base and top coats and liked them a lot. The scents, Grammy’s Treats and Melon Baller, lasted a pretty long time, and they were nice, fresh, not overpowering scents. Gem Glam is something I’ve heard a lot about and I’m happy it lives up to the hype. The Ever After cuticle crelly is awesome. It holds together like a cream, but feels and applies like a lotion. The pumpkin spice scent makes it smell good enough to eat. I’ve got ideas for the holo decals, so you’ll get a better look at those next week.

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Cieux Romantiques was an Indie Shop exclusive and is no longer for sale. Other Nvr Enuff polishes are sold in their online shop.

I won these products in a giveaway.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Hypothermia

Happy Saturday, reader! Today’s Swatch Saturday is good. We’re looking at Hypothermia, a special Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer that’s never been sold alone — except during the annual Depression Awareness charity auctions — you always had to buy the winter collection as a whole. Perhaps it will make a return in this year’s winter collection! Here’s three coats of Hypothermia with one coat of Seche Vite. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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Hypothermia is a steely lavender holo with purple shimmers. Application was very easy; this polish has the usual perfect BEGL formula and product consistency and was very nice to work with. Depending on your application technique, you may only need one coat of this polish for a completely opaque look; others should stop at two. The shimmers, are easily detected in this polish, though it does blend in easily with the holo effect. The polish dries with a somewhat glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and holo emphasis.

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So, yeah. Hypothermia is a BEGL classic, and if you don’t own it, you’ve gotta get it. It’s the perfect purple for winter; it’s a deep, greyed-out shade, but the holo effect is strong if you’re lucky enough to get some sun. I definitely recommend grabbing this the next time it becomes available.

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From left to right: Direct sunlight, cloudy conditions, direct light again, but tilted for shimmer visibility

As I mentioned, Hypothermia was never sold separately outside of special events and was a gift with purchase of previous winter collections. Keep an eye on BEGL news to see if this lovely comes back. Other BEGL polishes are sold in their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

All Holos Eve: Silly Spiderwebs

Today’s post is a special post! I’ve been trying to participate more in social blogger events lately, and I’ve wanted to do more nail art in general. so here we are, getting into the Halloween spirit with the All Holos Eve link-up. This was started by Jenne of Polished Pathology, and I can’t believe I’m actually doing a Halloweeny mani. For this look, I used Enchanted Polish‘s October 2015 and Dime Piece. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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The All Holos Eve event is all about nail art with holos, which I admit I don’t do enough of. I’m always afraid to waste holo polish. The colors are so gorgeous on their own that they don’t often need art to make them pretty, and I don’t have great confidence in my nail art skills, so I don’t want to use my nice polishes on sucky nail art. I went with the spiderwebs because I’ve been seeing a lot of them, and handpainting them is novice-friendly.

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Of course, some of them look like rib cages, but that’s Halloweeny too, right? There are no rules here! I have to keep reminding myself that nail art is not a competition — even though I want to win anyway — and that it’s fine to have silly spiderweb nails. I think they’re charming. That’s my takeaway from this, nail art isn’t scary and it’s cute when it kind of sucks. It’s liberating to say.

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October 2015 was a limited-edition mystery polish and is no long sold by Enchanted Polish, but as of this writing, Dime Piece is currently in stock.

I bought this polish myself.
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Manicure Monday: Pink Holo Stripes With Sprinkles

Happy Monday! I dug deep for today’s mani. I didn’t feel satisfied just putting glitter over polish, so I got the holos out and the striping tape. I should do this kind of thing more often. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s Hitsujiyama Park (light pink), Literary Lacquers‘s Laughs in Flowers (pink stripes), Model City Polish‘s Pour Me Another (dark pink), and OPI’s Pink Yet Lavender (glitter). All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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With this mani, I just wanted something pink and flashy. I chose three pink holos of varying colors and holo strength; Hitsujiyama Park has the least holo and most opacity, Pour Me Another has a strong holo flame but is pretty sheer, and Laughs in Flowers has fine holo glitters mixed in to create a unique finish. These three polishes, when combined, create a distinct and cohesive look. I’m looking forward to pairing them again soon!

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Pink Yet Lavender is a glitter topper, so I brushed it over the striped nails and sponged it on the others. I have to admit, this wasn’t quite what I expected when I started. In the bottle, the glitter looks more rose gold, likely due to the tinted pink base. On the nail, it pulls silver. I don’t mean to say I don’t like it, but I definitely expected more pink glitter, that’s why I chose all pinks for this mani. Pink Yet Lavender, at least, has some holo glitter in it that helps tie it all together. Also, sponging took a significant amount of product. You can see the fll line on the bottle; this is the first time I’ve used this polish and that’s where it is now.

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I am having a lot of fun wearing this, all things considered. The stripes add a fun visual, the glitter adds sparkle, and the holo pushes it over the edge. This took a lot longer than the usual Monday mani, but I’m glad I spent the time on it. I used to push myself really hard to do nail art, and I feel like lately all I’ve been doing is wearing glitter over a base, and that feels lazy. I definitely need to get out of my lazy mani zone.

Hitsujiyama Park and other Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop. Laughs in Flowers was an Addicted to Holos box exclusive from March 2015 and is no longer available; other Literary Lacquers are sold in their etsy shop. Pour Me Another is also a long-gone limited edition; other Model City Polishes are for sale on etsy. Pink Yet Lavender is also discontinued; OPI is sold in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.