Manicure Monday: Purple for Days

Hi, reader! My look this week is a classic gradient with glitter over it. For the gradient, I used K*Sea Gale’s Nails‘s Wisdom and KBShimmer‘s Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple; the glitter is Sinful Colors’s I Miss You.

So this is a look I love to do when I know I’m using a glitter topper. The gradient adds a little bit of complexity to the base. There’s nothing wrong with a solid base and glitter, because that’s a great look, too. I like the gradient because it’s a really subtle effect.

Widsom and Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple were both holos, and in the photos, you can’t really even tell. The glitter completely obscures the holo effect. That was a little disappointing, but the glitter is able to stand out, and that’s what’s really important to me. It’s a simple look, but there’s still something going on.

K*Sea Gale’s Nails is now Northern Nail Polish; Wisdom is still available on their website. Excuse Me, I’m VIPurple was an Indie Shop Atlanta 2017 VIP exclusive; other KBShimmer polishes can be found on their website. I Miss You was discontinued by Sinful Colors; other Sinful Colors polishes are sold in stores.

I bought two of these polishes myself.
I won Wisdom in a giveaway.

Manicure Tuesday: Jade Rainbow

Welcome back! I’ve got a green look to show you this week for Manicure Tuesday. The striping tape wasn’t on my side, but I’m happy with the look I got. I used Philly Loves Lacquer’s Fortunate Rainbow and Elevation Polish‘s Yeti’s Healing Vibes.

I always feel a little sad talking about a brand that’s closed down. When I got into indie polish, PhLL was one of the brands I saw everywhere, and it took me ages to try them; I only have box-exclusive polishes from them, and never bought any of their core releases. That said, it was a huge shock to me when they closed up. I love every PhLL polish I have, and I regret that I didn’t go for more of them.

This Elevation Polish was a limited edition made to benefit the American Himalayan Foundation after the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. It’s a beautiful creamy jade with fine little rainbow flakies in it. It’s gorgeous! I know Elevation is a controversial brand now, but this is one polish from them I’m really glad I bought.

Both of these polishes are limited editions that have since sold out. Philly Loves Lacquer no longer makes polish. Elevation Polishes are sold in their online store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Smoky Marble

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! Full disclosure, I’m not super happy with these photos, but because I love how this marble turned out, I’m posting it. It’s been raining here for a week straight, and even though I was in the middle of washing dishes, I had to take advantage of a brief moment of sunshine. My nails are wet and flat here, the tips of the nails are all chewed up-looking because I didn’t do a great job trimming, but I’m happy enough with the result to post it. My polishes are Enchanted Polish‘s October 2014 and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Niagara Sunrise.

I paired these two because they both have a strong and warm shimmer that complements the other. October 2014 has this lovely olive shift, where Niagara Sunrise’s is a soft but fiery orange. October 2014 also benefits from being a holo. These two have so much dimension on their own, and some of that gets lost in this marble, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

I did a dry marble for this. I poured a thin stripe of each polish onto a Ziploc bag, marbled them together with a dotting tool, then let it dry overnight. I tweaked the drip marble method a bit; as cool as drip marbles are, I feel like marbling it with a tool gives me more control over the way the colors mix. By the time I’ve gotten what I want with a drip marble, the colors are so blended together I can’t tell them apart.

Enchanted Polishes are sold on their website. Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Tuesday: Fine-Apple

Happy Tuesday, reader! Yesterday was a busy day, so I’m only getting to posting Manicure Monday today. It turned out to be a good thing, since yesterday was rainy. For this look, I used Revlon’s Parfumerie scented polish in Beachy over Chaotic Glitz‘s Gold Rush. The scaled design was done with Ribbits Stickits‘s Mermaid’s Tale vinyls.

Originally, I’d planned to wear Beachy alone. Since it is a scented polish, I didn’t want to interrupt the scent with top coat or anything else. The more I thought about it, though, the more I knew I had to get at least one more polish in here. I have too many to just use one at a time. It’s just as well; the scent always leaves my nails as soon as I wash my hands, anyway.

Gold Rush is stunning. It’s such a bright, dazzling golden glitter, and I wish I hadn’t covered so much of it up. At first, I worried there might not be enough contrast between Beachy and Gold Rush, and that the design wouldn’t be immediately visible, but I kind of like it. Beachy is a frosty polish and reflects differently than Gold Rush, so in different lighting conditions it does show up differently. I didn’t occur to me until I was finished that it was halfway to pineapple. I’m still thinking about going in with some green glitter to finish it up.

Revlon polishes are sold in stores. Gold Rush and other Chaotic Glitz polishes are sold in their etsy shop. Ribbits Stickits vinyls are sold on their website.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Tuesday: Frosty Blue Glitter

Happy Tuesday, reader! I meant to post this yesterday, but I had the day off and went swimming with friends. That’s also the reason this mani looks a little chewed-up, I forgot to take the pictures before I got in the pool. In any case, here’s a gradient I did with First Frost and The Years Have Been Short, both from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer.

First Frost is still one of my favorite BEGLs, and I was super excited about using it. It was one of the first BEGLs ever made, and one of the first indies I ever bought. I adore this polish, and I loved using it this week.

The Years Have Been Short is like a grown-up version of First Frost, if you’re into that. The glitters aren’t as chunky, but the white crelly base and the glitter colors are pretty similar. This was why I paired them up; I wanted a look that was only slightly different, but still very cohesive.

First Frost and The Years Have Been Short were both discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are available from their online store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Radiant Gradient (What’s Green is Gold is Green Again)

Happy Monday, reader! I have to preface this post by stating that I’m aware this isn’t my best work. I’m new to using nail vinyls and I’m still learning how to use them. I thought I’d given my polish enough to time to dry, but the vinyl still pulled a lot of it up, and I tried to paint it back on, and that’s why it’s a little messy. If any of you are seasoned nail vinylists, give me your tips! Anyway, for this look, I used a base of China Glaze’s Rare and Radiant, and the gradient is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Too Many Misters and We’re Vincible. The vinyl is the Zig Zag Zip design from Ribbits Stickits.

I started with the base of Rare and Radiant. I love this polish because it has such a dramatic shift, but I always have a hard time using them as a base for nail art because of it. It’s always easier to throw some glitter on top, which was what I almost did, but I decided to challenge myself. I almost feel a little bad for covering it up.

Working my way through my Indie Shop haul has been fantastic. I’m trying so many new things! I’m trying not to use my vinyls up right away, but I’m really excited about having them. I’m just going to need to get better at using them. I was sure an hour between applying the base and sticking the vinyl on would be enough; that’s how long I wait when I use Scotch tape and I rarely have my polish come up with that. I’ll do better next time for sure. My gradient turned out well, at least. BEGL cremes are becoming my new favorites!

China Glaze is sold in stores; this bottle is from Sally Beauty Supply. BEGL polishes are sold in their online shop, which is currently on hiatus. Ribbits Stickits vinyls are available on their website.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Desert Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve been in the mood for nail art, so here’s some nail art! And really I mean that I finally remembered to buy some sponges so I can do some gradients. I’ve missed them! For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Thrill Me to the Marrow (pale pink) and Robo-Aggression (gray), Pepper Pot Polish‘s The Big Fuzz (peach), and Elevation Polish‘s Sample JY #26 (glitter).

For the gradient, I put down two coats of Thrill Me to the Marrow, then started a three-color gradient, only my nails are too short for three colors to really show up. You can see there’s a faint bit of coolness at the bottom near the cuticle that immediately fades into warmth from The Big Fuzz. In a way, it actually turned into something cool, but I’m still a little sad it didn’t get more visibility. The Big Fuzz and Robo-Aggression worked pretty well here; the peach was a little on the sheer side and I worried about how well it would show up, but it did the job. Robo-Aggression is a gray creme rockstar.

Sample JY #26 is the main polish I wanted to use, and it’s a pretty typical Elevation topper. I’m a huge fan of the metallic round glitters they use; they remind me of coins. The polish has three different colors of them: gold, silver, and copper, as well as black and white hexes and squares. It’s the perfect topper for this gradient.

The BEGL shop is still on hiatus, but plans to return soon. The Big Fuzz was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive; other Pepper Pot Polishes can be found in their etsy shop. Sample JY #26 was a prototype; other Elevation polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

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: Reverse Monet

Happy Monday, reader! My look today is an experiment; I’m using a fan brush for nail art for the first time ever! I bought a cheap drugstore nail art kit just for the fan brush in it, and I’ve finally gotten around to using it. For this look, I used a faded bottle of Sinful Colors’s Dream On, Kleancolor’s Neon Orange, and Island Girl’s Aloha Paradise.

I started this look off with a good base of Dream On. Like I said, this polish faded dramatically. It was once a vibrant neon purple that became the coral you (kind of) see here. Even when I got this polish, I wasn’t a huge fan of it; it takes all of three coats to cover all the streaks and leaves behind a cheap-looking flat finish. I love Sinful Colors polishes to death but this one was never my favorite.

I originally didn’t include Aloha Paradise in this look, but ultimately, the look needed something for contrast. Dream On and Neon Orange are both on the sheer side; obviously the coverage builds, but for nail art, something with good coverage is ideal. It didn’t look like anything without the teal to liven it up. After that, I just kind of brushed the polish back and forth over the nail until I started getting dry brush strokes. It looks amazing up close like this when you can see the brushy details, but from far away, it just looks like a brown mess.

Sinful Colors and Kleancolor are sold in stores. I found Island Girl in Hawaii.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Light and Magic

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look was an experiment in combining matte and glossy finishes to create some texture, and I think I did well. My polish here is Monster Polish‘s What’s Wrong With This Jumper?; I used Seche Vite for the glossy elements.

I swatched this polishes ages ago, and I swore that when I did a proper manicure with it, I would take advantage of its natural matte finish. It’s a beautiful polish either way, so I thought doing this would give it the best of both worlds; you get the most holo on the shiny parts, but the matte softens it. This is the kind of nail art this polish was meant for (though maybe not this execution).

Unfortunately, this has already started to chip. I should have used a coat of top coat before the last coat, and ultimately, before I added the nail art, but I’m running low and need to conserve what little I have. I definitely plan to try this again in the future with another beautiful matte polish.

In the shade. The contrast between gloss and matte is most evident here.

Monster Polishes are for sale in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.