Manicure Monday: Low-Key Celebration

Happy new year, reader! I’ve got my first manicure of the year, and my hands are so cold I barely got it done. Seriously, I’m so cold, my hands are wrinkly. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Flash Forward Fantasy with Nails Inc.’s Princes Gardens.

This is a pretty basic look, and I think my nail game is off to a good start this year. Of course, it’s cold and dark outside, which means I couldn’t show you the gorgeous shift in the base polish, but I love that it’s almost a mannequin polish on me. I like that the glitter went on without overpowering the base shade, which is definitely a plus on short nails like these. I don’t have a lot to say about this look. I’m so cold.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop. Nails Inc. is sold in stores.

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: Cold Blue Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s mani was my first successful-ish look with vinyls. I had a sheet of tiny heart vinyls, and it’s been so long since I got them that the company who made them has since closed up. The first time I tried to use them, I messed up and just did not get a good look. I messed up this time, too, but not as badly. For this look, I used Ellagee‘s Cyrena and Sweet Heart Polish‘s Summer Breeze.

Cyrena is a sister polish to Liliana, which I wore recently and loved. This is a cooler icy blue version, complete with the same iridescent flakies, strong holo, and jelly-like opacity. Summer Breeze is about the same color, but with more pigmentation and less holo. I wanted a look that was more or less light blue monochrome. I think I got it pretty close.

So, about the vinyls. I don’t know if it’s because the cutouts were so small, or because my nails are small, but I had a really hard time getting good crisp lines, especially at the tips of the nails where they narrow and curl up on themselves. For the most part, you can tell the hearts are hearts, and only a few look blobby. This is because I added the tips to cover all the ones at the tips that were less defined. I freehanded the tips, and they’re a little sloppy, especially on the right hand, but I can deal with it.

Cyrena has been discontinued by Ellagee; other Ellagee polishes are available on their website. Summer Breeze was a box exclusive and is no longer for sale; other Sweet Heart Polishes are sold on etsy.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Red and Gold Splatter

Happy Monday! I want to preface this by saying this is probably going to be the last laid-back Manicure Monday for a while. After today, I dive into writing a novel and possibly starting a new job — fingers crossed! In any case, things are going to be busy and I’m nervous and excited. These nails look like I feel. For this look, I used Deborah Lippmann’s Single Ladies and Essie’s Good as Gold.

I wasn’t totally sure what I was going to do with this look when I started it. Single Ladies is a really squishy polish; it look three coats to get rid of all the streaks. I thought about taking advantage of this and doing a pond mani or something similar, but I didn’t want to cover the pretty metallic gold effect of Good As Gold. The classic gold and red was very necessary here.

Index finger, Ring finger

I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. Splatter manis are such a mess, and I kind of wished I had some liquid latex or something. I’ve really got to invest in some, it would make life so much easier.

Single Ladies and other Deborah Lippmann polishes are sold in stores; I got mine from Sephora. Essie is available pretty much everywhere.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Holo Dots

Happy Monday! This week’s look is pretty simple. After being at a loss over what to put on my nails, I finally settled on a dotticure after realizing I’ve never really done one. This is Ellagee‘s Liliana and A Rhyming Dictionary Polish‘s Heathendom.

Liliana is from a 2015 Ellagee collection. Yeah, I had to scroll way back through my Instagram photos to determine how old it is. Before this (and now, too, I suppose), I had a pretty limited experience with Ellagee, only having polishes from collaborations with other indies. This is the first one I’ve ever used that was independent of any other maker. In a word, wow. Seeing Liliana on my nails reminds me why I bought the whole collection. The holo is so strong, and the iridescent flakies floating in the polish are so super pretty. I wish this one was a little more opaque, but it’s gorgeous regardless. I’ve got some others from this collection I’ll be using pretty soon!

The flakies show up beautifully in the shade.

I used Heathendom as my accent here because it’s also a holo, but you can’t see the holo effect in the dots. I wanted an all-over holo effect, but now that I’ve done it, I should have used a blue creme, something that with more contrast. The dots are a bit more visible in the shade than in the sun. It’s a cute look either way.

Liliana was discontinued by Ellagee; other polishes are for sale at ellagee.com. Heathendom was a limited polish made for a collaboration with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other Rhyming Dictionary Polishes are for sale in their etsy shop (though it appears they’re on a break).

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: 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.