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: Pink Destination

Hello, reader! It’s Monday again! For today’s look, I used Shinjuku Golden Gai and Plumeria from Elevation Polish. It’s so colorful!

When I heard Elevation was doing a collection based on Japanese landmarks, I decided I was going to buy it, even before I knew what it looked like. I couldn’t pass up a polish named after places I’d been in real life, could I? Of course, Shinjuku Golden Gai wasn’t one of them; I was a teen when I was in Japan, and the bars and clubs of this district were beyond my reach. This actually has nothing to do with the nail polish, I’m sorry.

Shinjuku Golden Gai is a gorgeous polish, though. It’s a warm neon pink with a cool neon pink flash, and the two together make such an awesome combination. The formula was so smooth and lovely to work with, also. It has renewed my love for hot pink polish.

I didn’t want to do glitter gradients two weeks in a row, but I also didn’t want to cover up my base polish very much. I pulled out Plumeria and used the lightest hand I could to sponge the polish on. I like the result. This was what I wanted last week’s look with Bridezilla to be, not the chunky mess I ended up with. I really love the round glitters and all the color they add, but you can still see the pink flash in the base polish. These photos were taken in direct sunlight. The warm pink leans orange out here, which I love. You can see the shimmers in Plumeria pretty well out here, as well as the pink shimmer in Shinjuku Golden Gai. I love this mani so much.

Plumeria looks like it might be discontinued, but Shinjuku Golden Gai and other Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Lime Sherbet With Sprinkles

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s look evokes images of springtime, doesn’t it? I’m so ready for spring. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Queen Lime Rose Zinnia with Lynnderella‘s Bridezilla.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is probably the newest BEGL I’ve worn yet, and maybe also one of the most interesting. The shade itself is already very cool; it’s this delicious lime sherbet green (get it, cool?), but then there’s these pink-to-gold shifting flecks that add contrasting shimmer. It’s so gorgeous. It dries with a satin finish to boot. It’s an incredible polish.

You know what else has a beautiful pink-to-gold shift? Lynnderella’s Bridezilla! I actually paired them for this reason; the matching shimmer unites both polishes in a really cool way. The shimmer you see here is likely more from Bridezilla than Zinnia; I sponged a little extra shimmer on the tips after adding the glitter. Also, I do apologize for how sloppy the glitter looks. I always do this! I try to make sure I have enough glitter, and then I end up with too much. It’s a fun glitter mix, though, right? I love that there’s so many different shapes in it. They stick up off my nail and get snagged on things, of course, but I can deal with it for a day or two.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. Everything is so bright out here! The shimmer doesn’t seem as intense, but it’s pretty potent wherever the light hits it. You can see the shift pretty well out here, too.

Queen Lime Rose Zinnia is not currently in stock; see the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer shop for other polishes. Bridezilla might have been a limited edition Lynnderella; other Lynnderellas are available on their website and on eBay.

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: 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: 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: Ruby Opal

Happy Monday! I’m kind of happy to be back into my regular routine. Today’s look features a polish of my own called Dynamica; it’s a red crelly with a wee bit of scattered holo goodness. I swatched it in my Wacie Wednesday series ages ago, and lamented then that I didn’t use it in a sandwich mani with some glitter. Well, today is that day. The glitter I paired it with is Lynnderella‘s Red Opal. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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I used two coats of Red Opal as my base. Red Opal is so packed with glitter and has such a rich red base that it could be worn at two coats on its own. There are so many kinds of glitter in here, holo, metallic, and iridescent, that it has a lovely dimensional appearance. I used one coat of Dynamica over Red Opal; Dynamica is a warmer red and changes things up a bit, and adds that hint of holo sparkle.

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This late afternoon sun is not the best for holo shots, but it’ll have to do. It was dark and overcast all morning and afternoon, and then just now, this was the little bit of sun out, and really, I was glad to get it. It still looks pretty cool.

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Red Opal might be discontinued; other Lynnderella polishes are sold on lynnderella.com. Dynamica isn’t for sale yet, but may be in the future. I’ll let you know.

Red Opal was purchased myself.
Dynamica was made by me.

Manicure Monday: Decadent Sands

Hey! It’s Manicure Monday! Today’s look is all about a microglitter polish I made for myself, a little something I call Decadence. I also wanted to do a nail art look with only one polish and some negative space, so here we are. All I used for this look is Decadence and Seche Vite.

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Decadence is a microglitter with silver, red, and blue holographic glitters. To achieve the look, I used some French tip guides along the base of my cuticle, making a half moon shape, and applying two coats of Decadence. I peeled off the guide, added a third coat of polish, and sealed it with top coat. The result is a little lopsided; the glitter is very dense on most of the nail and quite sparse on the half-moon, but it’s kind of cool, like sands through the hourglass.

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I’m kind surprised the negative space turned out so well. One of the nude polishes I wore a few weeks ago stained my nails an ugly yellow, and since then, I’ve wanted to do nothing but negative space manis. Of course, I had to wait for my nails to grow out a little. There’s nothing like growing out stained nails.

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The following photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. I love microglitters so much. They’re the best way to pack everything you want — color, glitter, whatever you like — into one bottle.

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Decadence is not available for purchase (yet). Lemme know if it’s something you like.

I made this polish.

Manicure Monday: Lavender Glamour

It’s Manicure Monday again! It’s Halloween, but I’m kind of glad to have the Halloween manis behind me. Lavender doesn’t scream (heh) Halloween, and I’m cool with it. For this look, I used LA Colors’s Bliss (lavender) and China Glaze’s Full Spectrum (microglitter).

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When I paired these two polishes together, I was originally just going to use Full Spectrum as accent nails and leave the Bliss nails alone. I love Bliss on its own, and I love cremes, but my recent sort-of resolution to do more nail art inspired me to do the glitter swirls. For these, I just dipped a thin nail art brush in Full Spectrum, did a wiggly thing on the nail with it, and then more wiggly things in the leftover spaces. I put dots to fill up whatever space was left. The design is a bit clearer on the thumb nail than the others, but it’s still cool on the others. This was a mani where I could totally shut out the perfectionist and just be happy with however it turned out.

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I kind of wish I was wearing Full Spectrum on its own. There is so much going on with this microglitter; though it looks silver primarily, there are fine glitters in many colors, as well as an allover purple shimmer. It’s just beautiful. I’ve had this in my collection a long time, and I’m glad I’m finally using it. There are blue and green versions of this polish, and I can’t remember if I have them or not, but I need them if I do. This is super beautiful.

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In the sunlight, the glitter takes off. The colors are brighter and much easier to detect. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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thumb, index, ring fingers

LA Colors and China Glaze are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these polishes myself.