Manicure Monday: Silver Splatter

Happy Monday! Over the weekend, I attended The Indie Shop Atlanta, and today, I’m not using any of the polishes I bought. I had a great time at the event, and I posted my haul photos on Instagram; I hope to get a more detailed post about the event up this week. For today’s look, I used Butter London’s Bumster, Essie’s Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low, and Julep’s Braiden. I also used liquid latex for the first time today, more about that later.

Before I started today’s look, I really didn’t know where I was going with it until I started, I just knew I’d be using some silver over a nude base. Bumster is a great neutral; I’m a huge fan of these neutrals that lean a lit yellow or green, they’re just the slightest bit ugly. I wish I used these shades more.

I don’t know why I thought silver for this, other than I thought the shine and shimmer would look amazing with the neutral creme. I’m also not sure why I went for a splatter mani, but I kind of like where it went. I didn’t originally plan to use Braiden, but Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low didn’t add enough contrast.

Here’s where the liquid latex comes in. Over the weekend, I bought my first bottle of the stuff from Ribbits Stickits. I put it around each cuticle and extended it down to my knuckle, because I’ve done this before and I know the mess it makes. I wasn’t a fan of the smell. I did a second coat, because I’d heard in passing that this makes it easier to peel off. It ended up sticking my fingers together and peeling off prematurely. Also most of the mess ended up getting on the parts of me that weren’t covered, like my palms and wrists. This was a messier-than-usual splatter, and got polish on everything on my desk, from my computer monitor, my phone, my clothes, you name it. Despite everything, liquid latex is the game-changer everyone told me it was going to be.

Butter London, Essie, and Julep polishes are sold in stores. Ribbits Stickits liquid latex is sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Glitter Shapes on Nude

Welcome back! I had swatches to show you this weekend, and I had this fantasy that I could write and promote two blog posts while also cleaning my house for my birthday party, attending my birthday party, and then cleaning up after my birthday party. I will be getting you the swatches this weekend, at least. If you missed my birthday manicure on Instagram, you should check it out. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, even if it’s a little more Christmas than I wanted it to be. Anyway, Monday’s here again, and here’s a new mani! This is Julep’s Alexandra, mattified, with a shiny dollop of Lynnderella‘s Golden Lining.

I don’t often like the look of matte nails. I like them on other people, of course, but I always feel like I’m sucking the life out of the polish when I mattify it. Alexandra, though, looks amazing mattified. The pale almond is great on its own, but it’s even more stylish with the matte finish.

Trying to capture the matte/shiny here, just got glare

I didn’t like Golden Lining mattified, so I used an extra bit of top coat over the — I don’t know what to call this shape. Ruffles? Dollops? Scoops? — to make the glitter sparkle. It’s still not as shiny as I hoped it would be, like the contrast between the matte creme and the shiny glitter isn’t as dramatic as I imagined it would be, but I still rather like it. Golden Lining is a beautiful polish and it pairs wonderfully with Alexandra. I’m probably going to use it again this weekend.

I can’t find Alexandra on the Julep site, so it might be discontinued. Golden Lining may also be discontinued, I don’t see it on the Lynnderella site. I also used Essie’s mattifying top coat and Seche Vite.

I bought all of these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Dreams and Real Talk

Hello there. After six months without new content, wacie.com has returned! I have to admit, it’s a little strange to go through this process again. I don’t quite remember how WordPress works. I don’t quite remember how I used to go about taking the photographs. I got a little less meticulous with nail care since I stopped blogging and I don’t quite remember how to avoid ugly cuticles. I hope you’ll bear with me while I readjust to all this.

I burned my finger making crepes. It’s healing up!

Look how empty this bottle is. I’ve only used this polish like twice.

So, for the first time in six months, here’s Manicure Monday. I’m wearing Lynnderella‘s A Whiter Shade of Maybe over Julep’s Audrey with two coats of Seche Vite. Photos were taken indoors and in direct natural sunlight.

I have missed sharing my nails with you, reader. I still painted my nails a few times a week while I was on my break, but I stuck to some pretty basic looks like this one: one shade, one glitter, very little nail art. I didn’t do a whole lot of nail art to begin with, but I’ve missed it and can’t wait to delve back into it.

I know this combination is a little weird. I wanted dainty, and I got it, but the glitter is sort of invisible here. There are faint pink glitters that blend right into the base color, but the shimmers stand out where they normally might not have. I’m pleased with it. After wearing dark colors for a few weeks straight, it’s a great palate cleanser, too.

So I want to talk a little about the blog and where it might be headed. Before my lens failed in March, I was putting a lot of time into the blog, posting three or four times a week. I was working so hard because I wanted to compete. I wanted to see if I could make it as a full-time blogger. This break gave me a long time to think about why I was blogging, who I was doing it for, did I still find it fulfilling or not. I still plan to blog, but on a much more casual level. I want to try just exploring my nail polish stash and maybe try a personal blog concept again instead. I’ve also had time to reevaluate other parts of my life, and I suppose we’ll just see where blogging falls in with my new goals.

Audrey is out of stock on Julep’s website. A Whiter Shade of Maybe is for sale on Lynnderella.com.

I bought these polishes myself. Real talk is totally real.

Manicure Monday: Inky Opal

Hello! I feel like today’s mani is a special occasion because I’m using Essie’s Shine of the Times. Remember when this was the polish every nail addict needed but couldn’t find? I remember checking every drugstore in town when I heard it existed, and then I had to resort to buying one on Amazon. About a year after that, I did find two in the wild, hidden away in a Walgreens sale bin. It was the greatest day. For this look, I used Shine of the Times over Julep’s Char.

Char is the best undies for shine of the Times. It’s dark enough for the fiery flakies to look their best, but has just a hint of color. I love Shine of the Times over black, but it’s kind of basic. I love substituting a dark gray, blue, green, or plum for black. It feels a little more sophisticated. Plus, when it’s over dark blue, it kind of looks like unicorn pee.

I don’t think there’s a polish that Shine of the Times couldn’t make better, though. Honestly, I chose Char at random. I was totally prepared to layer it over any creme I plucked from the drawer, but now I can’t imagine a better combination.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any sunlight shots of this thanks to the impending winter storm, or for those of us in Florida, rain. I think I captured the shift pretty well, though, and my flakies came out sharp. I never get studio photos this good.

Shine of the Times, as you may know, was discontinued by Essie. Char may also be discontinued; it’s out of stock on julep.com.

I bought these polishes myself.

Empties Roundup: February 2017

Hey reader! Welcome to the Empties Roundup for February 2017! Somehow, the shortest month of the year has been the most epic month for empties. Keep reading to see what I used up!

Toni & Guy Matt Texture Dry Shampoo

This is my second Toni & Guy dry shampoo, but I think I preferred the Cleanse dry-sham to the Matt Texture. Either way, I’m still scoping out a replacement; I tried the brunette Bumble and bumble dry-sham when I was at Sephora last, and I might give that one a go.

Curology Protective Lip Balm SPF 30

This was a leftover from when I was a Curology subscriber. The balm was really smooth and creamy and lasted a pretty long time, even overnight if I applied it just before bed. I forgot to photograph the inside of the tube to show its emptiness, but believe me, I dug out every last bit of it. I replaced it with Sun Bum’s banana lip balm. It’s not as good, even if it does smell like banana Laffy Taffy.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

This stuff wasn’t bad, I guess. I didn’t notice any added makeup longevity when I used it, but it didn’t make things worse, so there’s that. I did buy a bottle of Urban Decay’s All Nighter to replace it, but I’m not entirely convinced I need a setting spray at all. Maybe in the summer.

Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum

I’m a little sad to see this stuff go. It was a pretty gentle serum and I did see some softening of fine lines and a brighter complexion when I used it regularly. For now though, I want to try some other retinol serums and see if this is one I’ll come back to; I really want to try one from The Ordinary.

CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion

I feel like I had this thing forever. I probably will buy this again, but not for a while yet, since I’ve got so many other ones I want to work through first. Currently I’m working with Skinfood’s Cucumber and Lettuce Watery Emulsion, Shiseido’s Benefiance Nutriperfect Night Cream, and Valentia’s Pure Glow lotion. I think the latter breaks me out, but I’m trying it again to make sure it wasn’t hormonally-related.

Boots Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum

I liked this stuff, too. My Target recently stopped selling Boots Botanics — Soap and Glory is in its old shelf space — so I don’t know if I’ll ever get another chance with this stuff, but I did enjoy it.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

This particular bottle was from a GWP set, but I have a full-size bottle of it waiting for me after I finish up some other samples. I’m working on a sample bottle of Lancôme ‘s Advanced Genifique serum, and Philosophy’s When Hope is Not Enough after that.

LUSH Aqua Marina cleanser sample

Confession: this sample was like two years old. I got it when I was visiting Philadelphia. Should I have thrown it out? Absolutely. I didn’t notice any ill effects after using it up at least. I might consider a repurchase of this, or at least another sample. Clay cleansers are nice sometimes.

A’Pieu NonCo Tea Tree Spot Patches

I didn’t know what to expect from these, but I liked them. I wore them to bed whenever I noticed a pimple coming up, and in the morning, they’d be dried up. Amazing! I just wish they put more than twelve or so in the pack. Occasionally I had some fall off, but that happens.

TonyMoly Whitening Capsule Essence

I liked this. It was a clear gel that absorbed quickly and moisturized. I only had ten packets, so I probably didn’t see the intended results in the time I had with it, but I’d like to give a full-size product a shot.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, Geranium

I know hand soaps aren’t beauty products in the traditional sense, but I’ve found it difficult to get a good hand soap that doesn’t irritate my hands. This is important, regardless of whether or not you’re a nail blogger. I’ll never buy another hand soap.

Proclaim Coconut and Macadamia Nut Oil Hand Lotion

This stuff was pretty nice, and the tube was only a dollar from Sally Beauty Supply. It was moisturizing and the effects lasted a good long time, but I did find myself reapplying pretty often.

Dream Polish Gem Glam scented top coat

I won this in a giveaway! Thanks again to Kristi from BeginNails, because I loved this stuff and I hope to purchase my own full-size bottle eventually. The scent was fantastic and long-lasting, even after dish washing. I know it doesn’t look empty, but I cannot get that last bit out, so I’m calling it.

Seche Base ridge-filling top coat

This I didn’t love so much. I bought it by accident; I totally thought it was clear, since it was in a box with a white background. It was pretty white, streaky, and often interfered with jellies and other sheer polishes. I liked Seche Clear so I’ll probably go back to that, but right now I’m using Dream Polish’s Smooth Gem, another giveaway win from Kristi!

L’Occitane en Provence Extra-Gentle Milk Soap

So I got this from a thrift store. It’s pretty lovely stuff. I swore my loyalty to Mrs. Meyer’s a few photos ago, but I kind of lied, because I’d totally buy this soap again. I did have another bar so I was able to replace it quickly, but I may have to pay retail for one when the time comes.

Noni Papaya Pineapple Body Wash

This is from a hotel in Hawaii! You’ll notice I didn’t cut it open; it’s clear and I can see there isn’t much left in it anyway. It was nice stuff, but I’ve got other hotel minis to work though, lots of which are also from Hawaii.

Lancôme Nutrix Royal Body Creme

Another GWP product! This stuff was perfect for winter skin; it was rich and thick and lovely. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for when winter rolls around next year.

NSPA by Nirvana Spa Exotically Cream Coconut Shower Scrub

This wasn’t half-bad. It’s not the kind of scrub I usually buy; I go for the oily sugar ones. This one was very well scented, foamed easily, and wasn’t too harsh or abrasive.

The Indigenous Soap Company Tea Tree Patchouli soap bar

This was some good soap and I’m a little sad it’s gone. The fragrance was strong and earthy and the bar had poppy seeds in it for gentle exfoliation. It was very nice. Even my boyfriend liked it, and he doesn’t like anything.

Miscellaneous

Who loves samples? I do! Here are some quick notes. The Skinfood apple mask was very hydrating. The Missha BB cream was too dark for me, but I liked the coverage. The Kate Somerville sensitive skin cream was amazing; I had a cold and lost the skin between my lip and nose for a while, and had to limit myself to products that wouldn’t irritate the raw skin. That one was gentle and didn’t burn at all. I loved it. The Julep Rock Star cream was actually an empty from last month that I forgot; it’s still a winner. The Koh Gen Do gommage gel was pretty nice; I’d never used a gommage gel and I was really impressed with the results. I’d like to try it again. The COSRX BHA liquid was amazing and I’m totally getting a full-size bottle. The Origins masks were also lovely; I bought a full-size of Drink Up Intensive the last time I was at Sephora.

Sheet Masks

My favorite of these was the Snail mask. It dried up some acne that was coming up, and that was really impressive. The Creme Shop mask was really wet and I was patting the essence in for like an hour after; I see this as a plus. The Skinfood mask felt really nice and I did see some brightness after I took it off. The Welcos Jeju mask didn’t leave me feeling oily in the morning like some masks do.

And finally, there you have it, the February 2017 empties roundup. If you’ve read this far down, thank you so much for reading all this. Did you finish up anything good? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

I bought these products myself.
Except for the one I won in a giveaway.
And except for the Valentia serum, that was previously a press sample.

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.

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: Jennine

It’s Monday!! This Monday means a manicure featuring Julep’s Jennine! This is my first time using one of Julep’s Stardust Finish polishes, and I’m always excited to wear a textured polish in general. For this look, I used three coats of Jennine without top coat.

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I know textured polishes aren’t the trend they used to be, but I still love them so much. They just have such a distinctive glitter look, something that microglitters alone can’t quite pull off. Jennine is a mermaidy crust of glitter on the nail, something cool and tranquil but also sparkly and fun.

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The texture of Jennine is finer than that of other textured polishes I’ve used in the past. I thought that since there were no chunky glitters, it wouldn’t achieve a texture as well, but once I had it on, it looked the way it was supposed to. There is some texture, but it’s not gritty or snaggly. It’s really nice to touch.

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As you might have guessed, Jennine is gorgeous in the sun. I love the allover sparkle and dimension. I look down at them every chance I get!

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Jennine is out of stock, but other Julep polishes are available at julep.com. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Ombre Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! A lot of polishes found their way into this week’s Manicure Monday post! For this first-time ombre, I used Essie’s Go Ginza and Devil’s Advocate (thumb and pinky, respectively), Ciaté’s Pillow Fight (index), Julep’s Charlotte (middle), Chanel’s Provocation (ring), and Revlon’s Hearts of Gold FX. I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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So after last week’s break, I actually broke the same nail again and just gave up and cut them all down. I forgot how hard it is to have short nails! I mean, obviously it’s not like having long nails, but there’s a challenge in there. I can’t scratch my back as easily, for example. It’s also harder to paint them, because the edge is so near the fingertip, I can’t wrap the edges as well. They’re already worn on some nails. It’s sad; this mani is going to be chipped to hell by tomorrow.

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At first, I was just going to use Charlotte as the base on all five nails, but I decided that was boring. I’d never done an ombre like this before and dug around in the bins for purple cremes. You would not believe the time I spent looking for four more purple cremes. Turns out, these are like the only five I had! How is it possible that I can have 1,400+ bottles of polish but practically no purple cremes? I actually did have a few more but most of them were similar shades and didn’t make a difference. I don’t like how some of the purples are warm and some are cool, but the glitter looks good over all of them at least.

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Hearts of Gold FX is such a fun topper. I love glitter toppers and I love shaped glitters. I love finding mainstream polishes with shaped glitters. I’ve worn it on the blog before, so this time I used the matte top coat to make it extra different. I love the way it looks mattefied! The glitter looks different over every nail, but I think I might like it best over the lighter shades, where the glitter blends in a bit more. In the sunlight, even though it’s mattefied, it’s still blinding.

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Essie and Revlon are sold in stores nationwide; mine likely came from Walgreens. My Chanel is from Nordstrom. Julep polishes are sold on their website and other stores. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Nails Inc.’s Cornwall

Welcome to Swatch Sunday! Today’s polish is Cornwall from Nails Inc. I’m wearing one coat over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Essie’s Good Morning Hope, and Julep’s Bess. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Cornwall is a clear-based glitter topper with matte blue and white short bar glitters. Application was easy enough; the glitters stick to the brush well, and the base consistency is such that the polish doesn’t drip off the brush or pool on the nail. However, this means it also doesn’t spread evenly, which makes the glitter drag and clump on itself. This can result in a heavy application in some cases. The bar glitters are short, so they don’t lean off the edge of the nail like the longer ones do. The polish dries quickly and with a textured finish. I used top coat for smoothness and shine.

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I have to admit, I have a hard time calling this a glitter polish. I think that’s what made the feathered topper trend so successful, albeit short-lived. Even though there was nothing new about either glitter toppers or bar glitters, this was still a pretty unique look that anyone could achieve. I still think it’s a cool look. It’s a shame these polishes didn’t really make it past 2013.

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The sun’s been good to me; I’ve been able to get direct sun pictures for the past few posts. These photos were taken outdoors in the late afternoon. I’m grateful; it’s helping me improve my macro game.

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The shimmer you see here is from Pelican Gray, not Cornwall.

Cornwall and the other Feathers polishes seem to be discontinued by Nails Inc. Other Nails Inc. polishes are available at Sephora, which is where I got this one.

I bought this polish myself.