Manicure Monday: All Heart

Happy Monday! Today’s post is actually early because, as you’re reading this, I’m on a work trip and it would be a very late post if I didn’t get it done ahead of time. I’m not a blogger who has a ton of mani posts backlogged because I like to write about things as I wear them. This post is all about Literary Lacquers‘s Jack Rose, some striping tape, and a lot of heart glitter. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

Do you ever notice that every indie maker has their own kind of holo polish? That’s something I enjoy about indie polish; holos are a staple, but each brand has their own blend of Spectraflair sizes and strengths and makes the linear holo their own. Literary Lacquers’s holos are done in such a way that the holo is strong but fine at the same time, and I think that’s really cool. Jack Rose in particular is a polish that starts off sheer and builds up to full strength before you notice it, and the bronze shimmers in it make it metallic and sparkly. I love it.

Obligatory shade photo

I didn’t want to do another look with hand-placed glitter so long after my last one, but this was quick and easy. I’ve mentioned before that I never do holiday manis unless they’re convenient; I don’t like Valentine’s Day, but I like heart glitter, so I got it out. When I did my first hand-placed glitter look, I got so many reader comments about how long it must have taken. In all seriousness, it took longer to get my striping tape straight. I used a smaller size glitter this time, but the application time was about the same. It helps when you’re only doing a couple of nails, probably; if I’d done them all, I’d still be working.

Literary Lacquers can be found in their etsy shop. I got the striping tape on Amazon, and the heart glitters are from Glitter Unique.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Office Disco

It’s Monday, and I have a new mani! Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer is my polish, and originally I’d meant to wear it alone, just to enjoy the pretty holo goodness unabated. With such a soft shade, and on such short nails, I found the look a little too SFW, so I decided today was the day I tried hand-placing glitter. I did okay! All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

I love Tact. The green glow it has really takes it to the next level. It’s cool and silvery, it’s green and taupe and holo. It’s understated and elegant. Today, though, I wanted just a little more.

I didn’t expect hand-placing glitter to be the challenge it was. I knew it would be time-consuming, and I knew it took a steady hand, but I thought I’d have it under control. First I couldn’t find the right glitter; I wanted something as barely-there as my polish, but also large enough that I could place easily. I didn’t have anything like that, so I grabbed the big silver hexes. I started in the middle, and clipped the glitters that didn’t fit on the nail; these cut edges got caught on things and were pulled off, resulting in some bare spots. I also didn’t expect so many glitters to stack; I thought it was getting one, but there would be five more, and the extra glitters would fan out and ruin my clean lines. It was a learning experience, I keep saying to myself. The look isn’t bad, but I’m definitely going to practice this.

Shade photo. I love holo glitter in the shade!

While this wasn’t the look I wanted, I like it. I like how over the top the disco ball nail is while the others are tame. It’s fun. I can’t wait to play around with hand-placing a little more.

Tact is Just Saying Not True Stuff, I’ll Pass isn’t in stock, but other polishes are available from the BEGL shop. They’re open!

I bought this polish myself.

Project Pan, Fall 2016: Rose Quartz + Serenity-Inspired — Conclusion

Hi Reader! You might remember that I started a twelve-week beauty challenge where I committed to a handful of products for the whole twelve weeks. I called it a Project Pan, but since I’m not using them until I hit pan or use them up, it’s not the most accurate name for it. I did, however, completely my twelve-week obligation to them, so I’m doing one last update post to talk about what I did use up or hit pan on before I move onto the Winter 2016 challenge. For detailed product information and swatches, please see my first post for this challenge.

The sun has set.

As I mentioned in my first post, the products I chose were based loosely on Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2016, with some black thrown in for fun. I had a blast with these looks. I left the house with black or blue lipstick on for the first time since middle school. I felt edgy, fashion-forward, and bold. I forgot what I looked like without crazy raccoon eyes. I’m a little sad I’m putting all this stuff away, but I made some progress with these products, and I’m sure they’ll come out of the drawer again someday. For now, I’m happy to be moving on to new things.

Empties: 4
Let me talk first about the things I used up. I didn’t use up any products unique to the challenge, but instead used up some essential products and replaced them. I wrote about the MAC primer and foundations I used up in previous Empties Roundups. I also finally decided it was time to part with the Clarins mascara. I finished my MAC foundation up and went for NARS, I used up a Revlon powder and went back to MAC Studio Fix powder, I used up the MAC primer and went back to Smashbox, and I tossed an old mascara. That’s four empties.

Pans: 3
Honestly, I’m surprised I hit pan on anything. I hit three, though, and I’m pretty proud of myself! Have a look at that NYX eyeshadow trio. The champagne and matte black were my workhorse shadows for this look, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I hit pan on those. It’s just that I’ve used some shadows for years and I still have yet to pan those, but I can pan these in twelve weeks. Maybe they’re small pans. I’m happy I panned the compact, because that’s a thing I’ve had for years. It’s nice to see progress made!

Notable Mentions
Lipglosses
I didn’t think I used up so much of the glosses, and I almost feel a little bad about it. These are two great colors that I should really think about wearing on their own someday.

The quality is low on these before photos because, foolishly, I didn’t keep the originals, only the edited versions.

Highlighter
Check out the fill lines on the High Beam! I’m surprised I used that much of it. A dab here and there really makes a difference!

Lipsticks
I didn’t put too much of a dent on Saint Germain, but Blue Velvet and MUFE #50 are visibly used. Blue Velvet looks the most worn-down. It seems like every time I went out, I had the blue lip on, and I feel like maybe I did use it more than the others because I was always touching it up. Obviously, when your attention is divided over three lipsticks, you’re not going to wear them down as mucha as if you’d only focused on one. You’ll also remember I had a fourth lipstick in the main post, but since I only used it once (when I saw family), I didn’t include it in the final post.

Lip Primer
Here’s my MAC Prep + Prime Lip, turned all the way up. Yeah, I’ve got to dig in there with the brush now to get to the product. It’ll be time to replace it soon!

The other eyeshadows
I don’t really want to include these, but I made the graphic, so I have to include it. Compared to the NYX shadows, I didn’t really use these at all, and so there’s practically no difference between the befores and afters. No surprise there. I really did think I was going these more when I started.

Facial sprays
While the MAC Fix+ is a relatively new purchase, so it’s not as used-up as the NYX Setting Spray is. You can see the fill line through the clear bottle. The NYX spray, while I can’t tell how full it is, it feels pretty light and, when shaken, it doesn’t sound like much is in there. It’ll be time to replace that soon, too!

I only included the products that show visible use or wear. There were a lot of things I included in the look that weren’t used-looking enough to warrant sharing. Some of the products in this look were being used for the first time and didn’t really show signs of wear. Some of them were only applied once, like blush and eyeliner, and don’t show much use. Some of them, like the Eyetini and Heavy Metal liners, were used all of twice. The most often used products were the ones with the most drastic signs of use, and that’s what I included.

And there you have it, twelve weeks of weird blue lips and raccoon eyes is over! Stay tuned for the Winter 2016 Project Pan!

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Urban Decay’s Naked

Swatch Sunday is back again! I’m excited about this week’s swatch. Remember when Urban Decay released the six mini Naked polishes? I’m showing one off on the blog! This is Naked, the nude creme from the collection. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Posing with mini bottles is the worst.

Posing with mini bottles is the worst.

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Naked is a nude creme polish. Application was easy; the product consistency is just right and is very easy to use. The first coat is almost opaque, and the second solidifies it. Of course, it’s in a mini-bottle, and applying polish with the mini-brush is not my favorite thing. The polish dries with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

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Naked is one of a set of six polishes inspired by the hugely popular Naked eyeshadow palette. The set contained polishes that went all the way down the Naked spectrum; there are nudes, plums, browns, even a black with silver glitter. I regretted buying this set at first, because it was $28 for six minis, or something like that, and then the set was discontinued and I felt good about having them. I kinda feel for everyone who missed out on this; the polishes are very high quality, and the packaging is sleek and modern, just like the Naked palettes.

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If you’re one of the unlucky ducks who missed out on this set, I have some good news for you. Urban Decay recently released a new set of Naked polishes on their website! The six from this set aren’t part of it, but they’ve drawn inspiration from the other palettes and have shades that are similar, and some I like much better. Commando is probably the closest to Naked; these polishes are exclusive to urbandecay.com. Grab some!

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Old-Fashioned French Manicure

Manicure Monday is finally here! Today’s post is late because somebody (me) failed to charge the camera battery. It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s get this post rolling. I went for a French manicure-inspired look with inlaid glitter. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal, L’Oreal’s Raven’s Dream, Lynnderella‘s Something Old, and China Glaze’s White on White.

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I used two nudes in this look. I planned to use Raven’s Dream — a nude called Raven’s Dream, what? — is a sheer nude that’s ideal for a French mani, but I really suck at applying these sheers. I can never get them to look not-streaky. I love the look when it’s applied well, but I can never get it right, so I used Chantal as undies, and then a couple coats of Raven’s Dream on top. As it turned out, the color you’re seeing here is Chantal, but the shine, as well as the sheer painted over the glitter, that’s all Raven’s Dream. It has the most gorgeous gloss finish.

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I picked Something Old to go in this look because it has this great vintage feel. It’s got white and pink, the best hallmarks of bridal-themed polishes, but also incorporates a soft yellow, really making it seem faded and well-loved. Of course, this look kind of takes the beauty out of the polish. You can see some colors and shapes, but any sparkle gets cancelled out. The colors in the glitter are just soft enough to be obscured, so unless you know the glitter is there, it’s easy to overlook.

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I always suck at painting tips on. They always look so thick! My bottle of White on White is really low, so it took a lot of polish to get an even white tip on every nail. Some of them look and feel flat, but others have a visible bump where the tip is. It happens every time. It ties the look together, though. It’s not a true French by any means, but it does the job. The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. The glitter looks really nice out here, you can even see a bit of sparkle.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are sold at Ulta. Raven’s Dream has been discontinued; other L’Oreal polishes are sold in stores nationwide. Something Old was a Lynnderella limited edition and has since sold out; Lynnderella polishes are sold on eBay and on lynnderella.com. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.