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.

Birthday Mani Digest 2016

Welcome back, reader! As you know, I took a bit of time off these past couple weeks to celebrate my birthday. It was only supposed to be one, but the arrival of Hurricane Matthew led to everything being postponed. That madness is now over, and now I’d like to show you what my nails were up to during the downtime. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen most of these lovelies already. I promise I will not be mentioning my birthday again until next October.

Birthday Mani #1: Pink Frosting With Sprinkles
Essie’s Good Morning Hope with Lynnderella‘s Icing Glass Garland

img_5668i

The first birthday mani was a fun warm-up with an untried Lynnderella topper. I had a lot of fun wearing this; Icing Glass Garland was a lot more interesting in real life, however. There is a lot of iridescence and color-changiness. It doesn’t look like much over Good Morning Hope, but it still made for a fun and dainty look.

Birthday Mani #2: Cupcakes
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Eleanor, China Glaze’s White on White, LA Girl’s Black, Orly’s Water Lily, P2’s French Kiss, Ciate’s Pillow Fight

img_56872i

I always do cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, and this year’s mani was actually done in the middle of the hurricane. Even though the hurricane was an unwelcome birthday event (thanks, universe), we still had a good time. A lot of our friends live in evacuation zones and came to stay with us when the call came to evacuate, so we still had a party and ate food and played board games. It was not the worst experience.

Birthday Mani #3: Hello Dalek
Digital Nails‘s Hello Dalek

img_57352i

This was last week’s Manicure Monday post, but I’m including it for continuity. Monday was my actual birthday, and it was a ton of fun to wear a party on my nails as well. When your birthday is on the worst day of the week, you have to party any way you can.

Birthday Mani #4: Glitter Frosting
Digital Nails’s Pandorica, Model City Polish‘s Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Wacie Nail Company’s Your Daring Escape, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Walk Through the Tulips
img_57562

This look includes the polish I made myself for my birthday! Your Daring Escape is a silvery-white holo with holographic glitter and pearl pink and metallic silver flakies. I wanted a holo-meets-glitter-gradient look, but as the sun never came out that day, a lot of the beauty got lost.

Birthday Mani #5: Stripey Blue Frosting
Literary Lacquers‘s Bluestocking Romance, Hard Candy’s Sky, China Glaze’s Mosaic Madness

img_57912

This was the mani I got the most compliments on for sure. I’d always wanted to do this moving stripes design, and this was the day I felt like dealing with the striping tape. It came out so much better than I expected it would, though I’m a little disappointed it smeared a little with the top coat. I’d totally do it again.

I also want to take this time to share some birthday manis of years past. I realized at some point that I’ve been doing the annual cupcake mani for five years now; the annual cupcake mani predates wacie.com, even. I love doing little retrospectives like this; if I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that my cupcake painting skills have gotten only marginally better.

2012
Colors Unknown, but probably all Sinful Colors

ir92y

Look at this. I almost don’t even want to share this, but we all have to start somewhere, right? I do remember waiting practically all day for the dots to dry, and they still smudged when I put the top down. Not only was this before wacie.com came to be, but I think it was also before the days of quick-dry top coat. Those dark, dark days.

2013
Sally Hansen’s Mint Sprint, OPI’s Eurso Euro, P2’s French Kiss, Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES!

photo

These look more like mashed potatoes than cupcakes. This was my first birthday post on the blog. Going back and reading the post, about it, I completely forgot all that stuff happened! I do remember doing this mani in Boyfriend’s tiny Atlanta living space, trying not to bother him and his roommate with nail polish smell. I got acetone on his desk and ruined the varnish. I still feel bad about that.

2014
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Dawn Breaks and If You’re a Seascape, Indigo Bananas‘s Moonlight (Clair de Lune), P2’s French Kiss, American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Essie’s Fiji, Ciate’s Candy Floss

IMG_02002

That P2 polish finds its way into every birthday mani, doesn’t it? I loved this look a lot. I totally wore it to a fancy restaurant. Here’s the post!

2015
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Ocean Warmed by the Sun, Digital Nails’s Purple Reign, Nails Inc.’s Pudding Lane, Hot Topic’s Light Blue, Estee Lauder’s Black Plum

12145279_905705656183566_853061513_n

This is last year’s mani, and the mani that celebrates the big 3-0. This was also one of the last photos I took on my phone before Drunk Me left it on top of the car and broke the camera forever. Good times!

Again, a huge thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday; I cherish all of you! Thank you so much for tolerating all of the birthday posts.

Pretty sure I bought all these polishes myself.

Manicure Tuesday: Red vs. Blue Multichrome

Welcome to Manicure Tuesday! I know, it’s weird for me too. I like today’s look today, though, even if I did a bit of a sloppy job. For this look, I used MAC’s Queen’s Honor (red) and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue); my thumb and pinky have Queen’s Honor alone, my index nail has Baker Street alone, and my middle and ring nails have a gradient made with both colors. I then applied a coat of Orly’s Synchro (the multichrome) on each nail, then finished with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You top coats.

IMG_42012

IMG_42082

I love Synchro, because I can confidently say I don’t own another polish like this. The red to blue multichrome is totally unique and I don’t have another polish that uses it. That said, I feel like I’ve never used it to its full potential. I wore it only once over red, and this time I decided to switch it up a bit and use red AND blue. I am stunned by how good it looks over the blue, I might even like it better than over red. Blue is the color I see the most of wearing Synchro, and it makes both colors look icy and interesting. Mattefied, it looks like an ethereal brocade. It’s really cool.

IMG_42102

IMG_42172

My gradients didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped. I had a hard time blending the two colors. When I do gradients, I don’t usually pick two colors of the same intensity, I pick one that’s lighter and one that’s much darker, and then it evens out somewhere in the middle. This gradient left a dark purple center that I didn’t really like, but it ended up being covered by Synchro, so it’s hard to tell it’s a gradient at all. It’s pretty subtle. I can’t tell if it’s the look I wanted or not. I still like it though.

IMG_42202

IMG_42272

Shifty!

Shifty!

Outdoors, Synchro really shines! The shift occurs pretty easily both indoors and out. These photos were taken in direct sunlight. Try not to notice my green pool.

IMG_41632

IMG_41702

IMG_41762

IMG_41802

IMG_41862

IMG_41922

Queen’s Honor was a limited edition polish from MAC and has sold out; other MAC polishes are available at your local MAC counter. Baker Street and other Nails Inc. polishes are sold at Sephora. Synchro has been discontinued by Orly; other Orly polishes are sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Shleee Polish’s Beautiful Dreams

Welcome back, reader! I’m excited about today’s swatch; it’s from a brand I’ve been dying to try forever! This is Beautiful Dreams from Shleee Polish; I’m wearing one coat over LA Girl’s Black, China Glaze’s White on White, P2’s French Kiss (pink), and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue).

IMG_31262

IMG_31322

IMG_31352

ssspbdbcm

Beautiful Dreams is a clear-based glitter topper with a primarily white glitter mix — shapes include stars, moons, hearts, dots, and clouds — with silver moons and stars, iridescent hexes, and a strong blue-to-purple shift. Application was good; I didn’t have to fish for the shape glitters, and the glitters brushed on evenly. Product consistency was also good; it wasn’t too thick or thin. It dried quickly and with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra smoothness and shine.

IMG_31562

IMG_31592

When this polish came out early this year, I jumped on it. This was the first time I’d ever seen the cloud glitters, and I still get so excited about new glitter shapes, I have to buy the polish I see them in first. Beautiful Dreams is a great use for them, too; the overall look is ethereal and celestial, and the clouds just belong. It’s a perfect mix of glitter and shimmer. I am crazy impressed with it, as well as with Shleee in general.

IMG_31662

IMG_31692

IMG_31842

IMG_31912

IMG_32002

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The shift gets a little washed out — especially in midday — but still looks gorgeous. You may also be wondering why I used a white polish as a base for white glitter. I think there’s something charming about white over white; it’s giving the shift and the silver glitters a chance to stand out.

IMG_30962

IMG_31042

IMG_31092

IMG_31002

IMG_31202

IMG_31162

Beautiful Dreams is currently not in stock; other Shleee Polishes are available in their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype BBD1.0

Happy Saturday! It feels so good to be past our third anniversary. I still can’t believe we’ve passed such an important milestone, it’s crazy! For this week’s Saturday swatch, I’m wearing Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype BBD1.0 over Nails Inc.’s Eaton Terrace, China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, and LA Girl’s Black, as well as Seche Vite top coat.

IMG_63092

IMG_63172

IMG_63212

IMG_63272

 

Prototype BBD1.0 is a clear-based fine glitter topper; the glitter mix is predominantly purple holo glitters, but also contains holo reds and blues and matte lime green glitters. Application was easy; the glitter brushed on without any problems, and the product consistency was very workable. It dried quickly and with a smooth finish. I added top coat for extra shine and protection.

IMG_63312

IMG_63352

 

This a really fun polish to wear. I used neutrals for this look because I wasn’t sure how the glitter would look over other colors, but the glitter is so fine and so varied in color that it would probably look good over anything. I’m actually impressed by how it looks over black; you get the flashes of color without the speckled effect the lighter colors get. I thought it would be boring over black, but I think it’s my favorite of all of them. The lime green satin glitters feel a bit out of place, but I don’t dislike them; I think it breaks up an otherwise monotonous (but still quite pretty) glitter mix.

IMG_63432

IMG_63472

Here are some sun shots. The glitter looks amazing outside; you can really see the variety of colors in the glitters here. The following photos were taken in direct sunlight.

IMG_62802

IMG_62842

IMG_62872

ssbeglpbbdmc

 

Prototype BBD1.0 is a one-off prototype, and I have the only bottle. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polishes can be purchased from their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Nails Inc.’s Cornwall

Welcome to Swatch Sunday! Today’s polish is Cornwall from Nails Inc. I’m wearing one coat over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Essie’s Good Morning Hope, and Julep’s Bess. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

ssnic

ssnic2

ssnic3

ssnic8

Cornwall is a clear-based glitter topper with matte blue and white short bar glitters. Application was easy enough; the glitters stick to the brush well, and the base consistency is such that the polish doesn’t drip off the brush or pool on the nail. However, this means it also doesn’t spread evenly, which makes the glitter drag and clump on itself. This can result in a heavy application in some cases. The bar glitters are short, so they don’t lean off the edge of the nail like the longer ones do. The polish dries quickly and with a textured finish. I used top coat for smoothness and shine.

ssnic4

ssnic5

I have to admit, I have a hard time calling this a glitter polish. I think that’s what made the feathered topper trend so successful, albeit short-lived. Even though there was nothing new about either glitter toppers or bar glitters, this was still a pretty unique look that anyone could achieve. I still think it’s a cool look. It’s a shame these polishes didn’t really make it past 2013.

ssnic6

ssnic7

The sun’s been good to me; I’ve been able to get direct sun pictures for the past few posts. These photos were taken outdoors in the late afternoon. I’m grateful; it’s helping me improve my macro game.

ssnic9

ssnic10

ssnic11

The shimmer you see here is from Pelican Gray, not Cornwall.

Cornwall and the other Feathers polishes seem to be discontinued by Nails Inc. Other Nails Inc. polishes are available at Sephora, which is where I got this one.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Darling Diva Polish’s The Pumpkin Queen

Happy Sunday, reader! 2016 is off to a great start, isn’t it? I hope you’re all having a fantasic weekend. Yesterday, we looked a summer polish, and today we’re looking at an autumn polish. From a destash mystery bag, the same one that yielded this beauty, this is Darling Diva Polish‘s The Pumpkin Queen. I’m wearing one coat of The Pumpkin Queen over Nails Inc.’s Eaton Terrace and Baker Street and OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana, as well as one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

ssddptpq

ssddptpq2

ssddptpq3

The Pumpkin Queen is a clear-based glitter topper with a mix of glitter that is predominantly matte and metallic orange hexes and metallic green hexes and squares. Though these colors are the focus of the polish, it’s actually quite colorful; there are glitters in red, yellow, and blue, as well as very large purple hexes. The glitters brushed on easily, though sparsely at first. The base consistency is good; it carries the glitter without goop. It dries quickly and with a smooth finish, though the purple hexes don’t lie flat on the nail.

ssddptpq4

ssddptpq5

Though the glitter mix is inherently autumnal, wearing this polish in January doesn’t feel completely out of place. Because there aren’t any seasonally-shaped glitters, and because the mix is so colorful, it’s not strictly a fall polish, even though it’s intended as one. I like the blue glitters best; they stand out from the rest of the glitters, but they also make the orange bolder. I really love the purple hexes too, but they feel just a tad out of place. Overall though, I like this polish, even though it’s not something I would have bought myself.

ssddptpq6

ssddptpq7

I did a little bit of homework on this polish; it’s a polish from 2012. I don’t even know if I have any others that old, because I didn’t get into indie polish until 2013. How cool, it’s vintage! I also love the printed label, it’s like a bootleg.

The Pumpkin Queen is no longer sold by Darling Diva Polish; other polishes are available from their shop.

I got this polish in a grab bag.

 

 

Swatch Sunday: Lynnderella’s Chef Kitty

Did I mention how happy I am to be swatching again? I have missed it so much. I know I’m out of practice, so please bear with me while I get back into the swing of it. This Sunday, I’m wearing my first Lynnderella polish, Chef Kitty; I’m wearing one coat over Mac’s Queen’s Honor (red), Essie’s Roarrrrrange (orange), OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana (yellow), Revlon’s Posh (green), and Nails Inc.’s Baker Street (blue) with one coat of Seche Vite.

sslck

sslck2

sslck3

Chef Kitty is a shimmery glitter topper with mostly white glitters in various shapes and sizes, as well as accent glitters in various colors and finishes. The maker describes it as an “’everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to cuisine”, and I have to agree with that; the variety of glitters in this polish is staggering. Considering the amount of glitter in this bottle, it spread very well over the nail; I had no trouble getting even coverage at all. It dried pretty well, all things considered. I used to top coat to smooth everything down and really bring out the shimmer in the lacquer base.

sslck4

sslck5

I know Lynnderella is old news for most people, but I had to see what the fuss was about and, last March, purchased Chef Kitty. I loved the mental image; I pictured my own fat fluff wearing a chef’s hat and knocking every herb and spice I own into a bowl. I was amazed by this polish and its quality, so impressed that I bought 24 more since then. They’re just so gorgeous! Lynnderella’s been in the indie polish game a long time, but everything they make is still creative and gorgeous.

sslck6

sslck7

Chef Kitty is available from Lynnderella’s Storenvy; other Lynns can be purchased via eBay auction.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Moons and Glitter Crowns

Welcome back, reader! I hope your Monday treated you well. I had some Monday mishaps with my manicure today, but overall, I really love how it turned out. For this look, I used a deep pink Maybelline polish with Nails Inc.’s Princes Arcade for my glitter accents. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

mmpmagc

mmpmagc2

So this Maybelline polish is one I’ve had for probably a decade and a half. It’s a formula that’s not sold anymore, the color label has long since been peeled off, and the print on the label was wearing away. These aren’t necessarily signs of a bad polish, just an old one. Here’s the kicker, though: the brush was disintegrating. Strands of the brush — sometimes in whole, long fibers, others broken off into centimeter-long pieces — were coming off and getting stuck on the nail as I was applying the polish. At first I thought I could just pick it off, since I’ve had brushes like this before; they lose one or two hairs, I tweeze them off, and no harm done. This was not that. The more I brushed, the more came off. It was shedding like a cat. By the second coat I had to give up. I got a mini bottle from my workshop, poured the polish into it, and started working with the new brush. It was a vast improvement, but unfortunately some of the strands were left floating in the polish and found their way into my manicure anyway. You can see a couple in there. I probably should have thrown it out, but it seemed like such a waste; it’s really a great polish; I got perfect opacity in two coats, and it dried with a really glossy finish, albeit a bit slowly. I had to save what I could.

mmpmagc3

mmpmagc4

So I do the half-moon thing pretty often, but usually with two polishes, a base coat and then a second color brushed over. I’ve never done it with the natural nail exposed, so I decided to give it a shot. Really, I just wanted to do something other than the usual creme-and-glitter-accents I usually do. I really love this glitter — Princes Arcade from Nails Inc. — because it and the mystery color kind of complete each other. I’m not sure that Princes Arcade is dense enough to be worn on its own, but it looks full and lush over the base color. I also tried it as a gradient along the half-moon — a crown, if you will — just as a glitter accent but also trying something different. I like the look, but I think I got a bit too much on the index finger. The middle finger’s got the right idea though. They just work together so beautifully.

mmpmagc6

mmpmagc5

I got my bottle of Princes Arcade from Sephora. I don’t even know how to tell you to find this Maybelline polish, even if you wanted it. The bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Summer in Springtime

Good evening, reader! After all the festivities of the day, I’m just getting around to posting today’s Manicure Monday offering. I’m wearing three coats of Color Club’s Warhol and one coat of Nails Inc.’s Chelsea Embankment Gardens with one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat.

IMG_86502

IMG_86522

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a good neon. Warhol is an incredible polish. I’m a little weirded out by how different it looks in the bottle and on my nail; it’s a little more reddish after putting it on. I mean, not that I care, I think it’s gorgeous. It’s just not what I expected. I can’t stop looking at it, though. It’s so bright and big. I think I want to be this polish.

IMG_86622

IMG_86662

Chelsea Embankment Gardens is a mouthful. It’s also a unique little polish. Part of Nails Inc.’s Floral glitter topper collection, it pairs pretty pastels with large and dense glitter. This particular shade — sadly, the only one from the collection I own — is packed with fine baby pink hexes and mini bar glitters, as well as the five-petal daisies in pink, blue, and yellow. The collection was the first time I’d ever seen this glitter shape, so I bought one just to try them out. I really wish I’d bought more. My favorite Nails Inc. polishes are the glitter toppers, because they make the best color combos.

IMG_86742

IMG_86782

It was maybe a little unorthodox to mix neon and pastel, but I like the way it turned out. They both stand out away from the other. Each polish gets its due attention. It’s also seasonally appropriate; the flowers say springtime, but the neon says unofficial first day of summer. It’s two extremes put together. It’s also the best of both worlds.

Color Club is sold at colorclub.com; I got mine at an outlet store. Nails Inc. is sold at Sephora and Ulta.

I bought these polishes myself.