Manicure Monday: Orange and Ginger

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look is simple but colorful. I used Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed and Digital Nails‘s Ultimate Ginger. Let’s get started!

Sun Kissed is a polish I’ve had for a long time; you can’t tell in this photo, but the fill line is somewhere around the French words on the bottle. It may be one of my oldest. I kept it simple here, just because I wasn’t sure how the consistency of the polish would be after so many years. It was actually still pretty easy to work with, but it was thickening and stretching like mozzarella around the neck of the bottle. This is the first time in a while I’ve had the hope that I can finish a bottle of polish.

I used Ultimate Ginger here for the orange glitters, as well as the complementary colors. I knew the orange and blue together would make a stunning combination, but I didn’t realize how colorful Ultimate Ginger really is. It’s not just orange and blue glitters in there; it’s yellow, white, and green, too. I know this is a polish based on a painting of flowers (or rather, a Doctor Who episode centered around it? Confession: I’ve never seen Doctor Who) so it should come as no surprise, but still. There’s much more to this polish than I expected.

Sally Hansen polishes are sold in stores. The original formula of Ultimate Ginger was discontinued, with a changed-up version called Penultimate Ginger taking its place. Either way, Digital Nails is unfortunately still on hiatus.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Cognac Sparkle

Happy Monday, reader! It’s been too long since my last post. I knew November would be a busy month for me; all in this month, I’ve gotten a job, written a novel (almost done!) and cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner. I knew something was going to have to give to get everything done, and unfortunately, it ended up being the blog. I’ve got lots of swatches to catch up on — I’ve been painting, just not posting — so I’ll have lots of content coming up. Some of it’s from when my nails were still long and pretty (rip).

Today’s look was done with Butter London’s Tea and Toast, OPI’s Muppets World Tour, and Orly’s French Tip Guides.

I have this thing about Tea and Toast, like it’s the ugliest color in the bottle, but I absolutely love it on my nails. It’s really stylish, but I always have this apprehension before I put it on, like I’m about to do something terrible, but it always comes out lovely.

I picked Muppets World Tour for this look because I wanted something that would still have a lot of shine without covering the base too much. As it turns out, this polish had more glitter in it than I expected, and it’s hard to see the half-moon and naked nail underneath. On the whole, though, I like the look. It sort of looks like a gradient instead of a half-moon, and glitter is the best. No arguments here.

Unfortunately, I think both these shades are discontinued. Butter London and OPI are both easy to find in stores.

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.

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.