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.

Empties Roundup: November 2016

Guess what, reader? It’s finally time for the Empties Roundup for November 2016! I don’t know about you guys, but November was a rough month for me. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, I wrote a novel for National Novel Writing Month, and between those two things a lot of my other responsibilities were neglected. I even neglected my poor blog, and I’m still catching up. Better late than never. Enjoy the empties!

JP Orange Spice Hand Soap

This is what you get when you send Boyfriend out for hand soap. Like you kind of expect him to get something nice, because by now he should know what you like. Instead, he spends the least amount of money possible. This soap smelled all right at least, but it took a lot of product to finally come to a lather — how else am I supposed to know my hands got clean otherwise? I replaced this with some L’Occitane soaps I found in a thrift store. Yeah, you read that right: thrift store soap is better than this.

Orly French Tip Guides

Ahh, the original nail vinyls. I can’t live without these, and I bought another box as soon as I emptied the last one. These are super helpful for French tips and half-moon manis and I will always rebuy them.

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Super Hydrating Hand Cream

I love Pacifica products, and the blood orange scent could be my favorite. Well, besides all the others. I love everything they make! I actually got this from the Target clearance bin. It did moisturize my hands a lot, but they would occasionally still feel dried out after dishwashing, so I went through it pretty quickly. I’ve moved onto another Pacifica lotion, this one in the Indian Coconut Nectar scent.

Bath and Body Works Shower Gels in Maui and Oahu

I’ve done it, I’ve finally finished up my B&BW shower gels. I may have a few others stashed away somewhere, but these ones are finally gone. I don’t think either of them were too full; Oahu was a good half full, even fuller before I used it to wash makeup brushes a couple times. Maui was mostly done and I think I only got a couple uses from it. I haven’t repurchased any other shower gels; I’m going to see if I can put a dent in my soap collection.

Briogeo Blossom and Bloom Voluminizing Blow-Dry Spray (mini size)

I got this in an ipsy bag forever ago, but I only just started blow-drying and heat-styling my hair, so I’d only gotten around to using it this November. I think I used this up at the beginning of the month, and I really miss it. The scent was lovely, and it left a nice softness and shine on my hair. I bought Not Your Mother’s blow-dry spray when this ran out, and I like that one too, but I’d rebuy this in a second if I saw it on a shelf.

Hickory Ridge Organics Dead Sea Salt Scrubs in Coconut, Spearmint Eucalyptus, and Mango

So of all these products, these are the ones I’m most excited to talk about. These are local-ish products, made in St. Augustine, Florida, which is just a half-hour drive from where I live. Boyfriend and I went to St. Augustine for my birthday this year, and while we were wandering, I found the HRO shop and got a little crazy. I liked these scrubs a lot; the scents were really strong and the oils were plentiful and very moisturizing. My one gripe is that the salt pieces were kind of large and rounded off. I like a scrub with gritty, abrasive bits, and this one was a bit too gentle. Also the labels are not waterproof. That said, I hope to buy more of these on my next trip there. For now, I’m back to the Shea Moisture scrubs.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10

I’m pretty proud of this one, too, because this is like three years coming. I loved this foundation, and I’m proud to have used up the whole thing. I don’t know if you can see the fill line; it’s not really a fill line, just the foundation on the very bottom of the bottle that the pump couldn’t get to, and it’s just enough that it just coats the walls of the bottle instead of trickling out if I turned the bottle upside-down. I’m a little sad to see it go. I decided to try NARS’s All Day Luminous foundation when this ran out, and even though I like it enough, I wish I’d just repurchased this one. Side note: I just panned the powder I bought with this foundation.

Castelbel Jasmine and Hyacinth Soap Bar

This was a huge bar of soap, so huge and so egg-shaped that it was really awkward to hold and use in the shower for a long time. Recently I dropped the last little sliver on the shower floor and it broke into a dozen soapy little pieces. I got an oatmeal soap from Trader Joe’s (another Boyfriend pick) out of the drawer.

And there it is, nine days late, the Empties Roundup for November 2016! Have you used any of these products? What did you use up? Let me know in the comments!

I bought these products myself.
Except for the ones Boyfriend bought himself.

Manicure Monday: Autumn Moons

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s Manicure Monday finds me with very short nails; I went bowling on Saturday night and kind of trashed them. At least they grow back. I went for a mature yet cute look today to remind myself that these are, in fact, not a child’s hands. I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Newborn Solstice Sun, Essie’s As Gold As It Gets, and China Glaze’s Angel Wings. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

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I wore Newborn Solstice Sun on its own quite some time ago when I swatched it. Even though it’s gorgeous on its own, I wanted to try something new with it. I went through the bag of tricks: rhinestones and loose glitters, vinyls and striping tapes. I wanted to get really crazy with it. Once my nails were unexpectedly cut down, though, I decided to keep it simple. I’m wearing Newborn Solstice Sun alone on two nails, as well as the darker shade in the half-moon. It’s a beautiful polish; the color is so deep, and the glitters add depth and sparkle. This is a huge BEGL favorite for sure.

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I used Essie’s As Gold As It Gets as the undies for my half-moon. It’s so soft, you can barely tell I used anything there. I wanted just a hint of sparkle, and that’s exactly what I got. I used China Glaze’s Angel Wings as an afterthought; I actually had an accent ring finger nail that was just covered with red and gold rhinestones, but it looked too Gryffindor, so I took it off and just used the gold glitter instead. It still looks out of place to me, but at least it’s not as ridiculous as the rhinestones were.

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Newborn Solstice Sun was a limited edition polish; other BEGLs can be purchased from the BEGL shop. As Gold As It Gets and Angel Wings are available wherever Essie and China Glaze are sold. I got my rhinestones from Amazon. The red bow vinyl is from Monster Polish as part of their Doctor Who collaboration with BEGL. I always associate the red bowtie with Pee-Wee Herman, though.

I bought these polishes myself.