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.

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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.

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!

Manicure Monday: Year-End Glitter

Happy Monday! It’s the last Monday of the year, and hopefully you got through it unscathed. There’s only a week left of this dreadful year, and I cannot wait to leave it behind. I’m going to send it off right, with a glitter gradient! For this look, I used L’Oreal’s Cockatoo’s Wisdom and Nails Inc.’s Upper Street.

I loved Cocktaoo’s Wisdom in the bottle; it’s this rich, cool brown, but it was hard to get opaque on my nails. It’s why I put the glitter on the top of the nail instead of the bottom, where I would have rather put it, but I needed it to cover the streaks that were still somehow left behind, even after three coats. It was really disappointing. On the plus side, despite coverage being wonky, it had a lovely shine to it. I felt a little bad mattifying it.

Upper Street is a pretty fun topper. By indie standards, there isn’t a lot going on in it; all of the glitters are the same shape and size, and it’s just color and finishes that are different, but I think it’s fun. I wanted cool colors to complement the cool brown base, and I think the pink and blue pastels do that very well. There are some metallic gold hexes in here also, but mattifying them hid them somewhat. I was hesitant to use this, because I’ve broken two Nails Inc. caps recently and had my polishes dry out. Hopefully this one is fine.

Cockatoo’s Wisdom has been discontinued by L’Oreal, but other L’Oreal products are sold nationwide. Upper Street is also discontinued; Nails Inc. is available at Sephora.

I bought these polishes 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.

HPB Presents: Goldfish

Hello reader! It’s time for another Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up! Every month, members of this Facebook group choose a theme for a mani; each member’s mani can be as simple or elaborate as they want it, as long as it’s relevant to the theme. The theme for August is goldfish, and for my look, I used Kunimitsu‘s Lucky Goldfish and China Glaze’s Japanese Koi. See what I did there? I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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My look was inspired in part by a look from Hey, Darling Polish!; it was just the right amount of cutesy without a lot of effort. A quick glance at my blue polishes led me to Lucky Goldfish, and it was a coincidence Japanese Koi was the orange I picked out. I stopped there because I couldn’t find any more polishes with fish-related names.

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The fish were done by stippling Japanese Koi onto the nail with a dotting tool, first into a teardrop shape for the body, and a wide triangle for the tail. Japanese Koi wasn’t quite thick/pigmented enough to competely blot out the dark blue, and coverage isn’t very even, but this is only really apparent in photos. It looked totally fine on the nail.

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In the sun, the glitters in Lucky Goldfish perk right up. I like to imagine the glitters are the many goldfish of a large school. I also love how this looks mattefied; as much as I love a good glossy finish, there’s no glare here to obscure the art.

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Lucky Goldfish and other Kunimitsu polishes are available from their etsy shop. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.
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HPB Presents: Project Orion

Welcome to the Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up for the month of July! Each month, this Facebook group chooses a mani theme; it’s up to the participant to decide how simple or elaborate their mani will be. Anything goes as long as it adheres to the theme! July’s theme is space, and I decided to take my mani in a different direction; I attempted to recreate NASA’s Project Orion insignia in mani form. For this look, I used Monster Polish‘s I was Hoping for Minimalism, but I Think I Came Out With Magician as the base, and the logo was done with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Terrific Twos (the planet), Sally Hansen’s Magenta Moves (the whoosh), and China Glaze’s White on White (the stars). All nails were finished with Seche Vite top coat and Essie’s Matte About You matte coat.

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It’s probably no secret that I’m a big spaceflight nerd. I follow rocket launches, planetary science updates, and ISS experiments almost as closely as I follow indie polish releases. When Orion was launched for its first experimental flight test in December 2014, you better believe I was watching it online. It was delayed a few times due to weather violations, and once because there was a boat in the launch zone. I didn’t trust myself to not sleep through it, so I just stayed up for three days. It was really the most exciting thing I’d been since Curiosity landed on Mars.

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My interpretation of the logo is a little sloppy, but I think it’s recognizable at the very least. I think the logo is actually pretty clever; the Orion constellation is hidden inside it. My nail wasn’t quite big enough for the whole design, so it’s a little cramped. The Monster Polish I used as the base is the perfect spaceflight blue. I love that the planet depicted is now a mound of glitter. I’m happy, overall, with how it turned out.

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Part of the reason I did this mani was to raise awareness of what’s going in modern spaceflight. It’s disappointing to me that more people either don’t know about or aren’t interested in the gains we’ve made in the past few years. There’s so much happening now: science is done on the ISS every day, SpaceX is continually innovating, and missions to Mars — likely on the Orion spacecraft — will be inevitable. This is like near-Disneyland levels of excitement to me.

This is an Orion model at Kennedy Space Center. It was a little more convincing in person.

This is an Orion model at Kennedy Space Center. It was a little more convincing in person.

I was Hoping for Minimalism, but I Think I Came Out With Magician and other Monster Polishes are available in their online shop. Terrific Twos was a BEGL limited edition and has since sold out; other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are for sale in their online shop. Sally Hansen and China Glaze are available in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Manicure Tuesday: Plum Opal

Hello, reader! I had an awesome Fourth of July weekend, and that’s why I’m posting a mani in the middle of the week. I hope yours was just as good! I like this mani, so even if it is late, I’m excited to share it. I’m using one of the Chanels I treated myself to for my birthday and a gorgeous flakie topper! This is Chanel’s Provocation and Finger Paints’s Symmetrical Symphony mattefied with Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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I loved the Finger Paints flakie collection from the other year. I was actually pretty lucky and scored most of them from the Sally Beauty Supply sale bin. It was the most exciting thing. I love this one because the colors contrast; some flakies glow golden, others glow blue-violet, and they bring out the best in each other. I had to mattify them for the full effect. The colors are very strong. I used two coats to get this much coverage.

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As beautiful as the flakies are, though, I’m the most excited about wearing Provocation. Deep plum polish always makes me feel glamorous, but having it be a Chanel polish really ups the glamour factor. There’s still a part of me that feels guilty for buying these, especially since there’s no real difference between mid-end and high-end polish. I just remember seeing Chanel’s Vamp in so many magazines as a young teen that I knew one day I’d have to own a Chanel polish. I might have a little buyer’s remorse, but I feel posh as hell with this polish on.

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In the sunlight, you can really see the opal effect the flakies have. It’s really mesmerizing! The matte coat makes it possible to see all the colors at once, and the colors are really vivid outdoors. Provocation looks red for some reason. These photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

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Chanel polishes are available wherever Chanel cosmetics are sold; mine is from Nordstrom. Finger Paints is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES!

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! Today, I’m wearing a favorite from my collection, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES! I’m wearing three coats with Seche Vite top coat and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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I love this polish so much; it’s so whimiscal and cute I could die. It’s one of my favorite indies, and it’s one of the cutest polishes I own. I like to think it might also be pretty hard-to-find, and that kind of excites me. It was the gift with purchase the first time BEGL’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer-inspired collection came out, and when it was re-released a couple years ago, it was replaced with a holo that was actually pretty stunning. It’s kind of sad to think it might never come back; as much as I love having HTF polishes, I feel bad that so many people missed out.

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I needed a new matte top coat, so I finally decided to try Essie’s. The last time I looked for this, I was buying my first matte top coat ever, and they were just becoming popular. I ended up with the Revlon one because it was the only one my Walgreen’s had. I’m still struggling to embrace the matte finish, but I really like how it looks with this polish. The glitters still shine despite not being glossy, and the milky blue crelly looks like porcelain. I actually do have a few matte looks planned in the coming weeks, and I feel weird that I’m looking forward to them.

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Sunlight photos! The pale blue got washed out in direct sunlight, looking more like a cool white in some photos. The glitters stand out very well though!

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Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES! has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGL polishes are available from their online shop. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

This is also one of my most frequently used polishes, as you can see.

This is also one of my most frequently used polishes, as you can see.

This polish was a gift, but was not sent for review.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Manicure Monday: Neon Satisfaction

Manicure Monday is here again! I kind of can’t believe how fun my manicure is today. It’s adorable and obnoxious, but I think it’s a great combo, if I may say so. For this look, I used American Apparel’s Neon Violet with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Self-Satisfied, along with Seche Vite top coat and Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte top coat.

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So I’ve swatched a bunch of American Apparel neon polishes, and I have to say, they’re some of the best I’ve ever used. They have great coverage and they don’t require a white base for their neon-ness. The only downside is that they’re not always 3-free; this one contains formaldehyde. It’s a great polish, though. I love the color, brightness, and product formula. When I picked this for Manicure Monday, I knew I needed something equally as fun and bright to balance it out.

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Self-Satisfied is one of my most-used glitter toppers. I’ve used it in three different manicures now and it’s about half-empty. It looks fantastic over everything, though I love it best over bright colors, especially orange. I love to pair complementary colors, so I knew this would be best for the Neon Violet. Not all of the colors in the glitter work well over the base; it’s hard to see the red hearts and dark pink hexes, but I still like the match. I really love the way this turned out.

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The only real downer to this manicure is the matte top coat. I’ve used Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte coat a couple times now, and I don’t know if it’s user error or not, but it kind of sucks. I mean, it does a great job being matte; look at how velvety the color is. What’s not cool, though, is how it splits. It makes these lines like crackle polish. Also, for some unknown reason, it created these white marks on my nails. Look at my pinky nail. Where did those come from? There was no white polish used in this manicure, so why there are there white spots? I actually had white brush strokes on my thumb. Here’s the kicker: the super glue I used to secure the studs left a bit of shine, so I put down another coat of Mattenificent; the white spots and lines went away. Seriously? They didn’t all go away, obviously, but the unsightly white brush strokes on my thumb are gone, as well as some other marks on other fingers. I am just so confused. At least the mani looks fine, that’s what counts! Here are some outdoor photos, taken in direct sunlight:

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American Apparel doesn’t seem to sell nail polish anymore, at least not on their website, because I couldn’t find it there. Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer has discontinued Self-Satisfied; other BEGL polishes are available in their shop. Ciaté is available at Sephora. My bow charm is from Claire’s, and I forget where my studs are from. Sorry.

I bought these polishes myself.