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.

Swatch Sunday: Bliss Polish’s VIP in Atlanta

Swatch Sunday!! This is a polish I’m very excited about. It’s my first-ever Bliss Polish, and it’s the first of the VIP exclusive polishes I got when I attended The Indie Shop Atlanta in March. TIS was so long ago; it was shortly after that when my lens died, and I only got to review one of my scores before going on hiatus. I had this fantasy that I was going to swatch everything I bought and get a lot of hits for VIP swatches, but alas. This is VIP in Atlanta; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Full disclosure: I thought this polish was called Up in Atlanta for months. I mean, Atlanta is up from Florida, after all.

VIP in Atlanta is a cool pinkish-taupe holo. Application was good; the consistency is silky and easy to work with, but I think I’d like it if it was just a tad thicker. I had no problems with it at all. Coverage builds very gently with complete opacity in two coats. The polish dries to a glossy holo finish.

I am so excited about this polish and I feel so guilty writing about it today because I wish it wasn’t an LE so everyone could have it. I love nude polishes when my nails are this length, because it makes them look even longer and more elegant. The holo is bonus.

VIP in Atlanta was a VIP-exclusive shade for The Indie Shop Atlanta. Other Bliss Polishes can be found on their website.

I bought the VIP ticket that netted me this polish.

Nailspiration: Alterre NY’s Resort/Winter 2017 Collection

Hello, reader! Today’s post is all about shoes and manicures based on shoes. I got an early look at Alterre‘s 2017 shoe collection, and after seeing how easily the designs and colors lend themselves to negative space manicures, I had to give it a shot.

This post is a sponsored post by Alterre NY and Brandbacker. The opinions stated in this post are my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Alterre, imagine this: modular sandals. You start with a sandal base, with straps that snap to the bottom sole. Different straps (the look) can be added to the sandal base (the lift) to customize the shoe. All looks work with all lifts and can be used to create a huge combination of different shoes. Imagine the possibilities!

This year’s collection, which doesn’t launch until September, is based on styles from the 1970s. The catalog contains a lot of earth tones and platform shoes, which I’m a huge fan of.

As I mentioned, I saw a manicure for every shoe in the catalog. The modular approach to negative space manicures works as well as it does for shoes.

P2’s French Kiss and Essie’s Good As Gold

These looks are completely outside what I usually do for myself. I did a lot of taping and a lot of freehand painting, which I’ve never been completely comfortable with. Some of these looks, I regret to say, aren’t up to my usual standards.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse on the Lake and Siren’s Quarter-Life Crisis

They’re kind of editorial, and maybe that’s the look I wanted all along. Not all of these looks, nail and shoe alike, are suited for everyday life, but they could be with just a few adjustments.

This was directly from the PDF catalog, I didn’t get a hi-res photo of this one.

Sally Hansen’s Black Out, China Glaze’s White on White, dried flowers from Ciat√©

e.l.f’s Nude, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s I Could See Them Too

P2’s Artful, Essie’s Nothing Else Metals, OPI’s Dutch Tulips

So, what do you think, reader? I hope you like the shoes and some of the manis. I’ve been thinking of making Nailspiration a regular wacie.com feature, because I see so many things around the house and out into the world that would make fantastic nail art that I never get the chance to try.

 

This post is a sponsored post by Alterre NY and Brandbacker. The opinions stated in this post are my own.
All nail products featured in this post were purchased myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren’s Lucky Shamrock

Happy Saturday, reader! Remember last week‘s Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer swatch, and how I said it was part of a duo? This is its other half, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock. It is the St. Paddy’s Day-themed glitter topper you need. I’m wearing one brushed coat of Siren’s Lucky Shamrock over Zoya’s Chantal (nude) and Neely (green) and LA Colors’s Hottie (coral) with one coat of Seche Vive top coat.

Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is a clear-based glitter topper featuring a mix of green, orange, gold, and black glitters, iridescent glitters, and orange flakies. The official description also lists shamrock glitters, but I didn’t get any, and I don’t see them in the bottle, either. Application was good; the glitters brushed on easily and the product consistency performed well. The polish dries quickly and with some glitter texture, so top coat is necessary for smoothness.

Of the two polishes, this one is the obvious holiday polish. Personally, I don’t care much for polishes that are only useful one day a year, but if you’re big into holiday looks, this is one you want. It’s basically Ireland in a bottle. It makes for a very easy St. Paddy’s manicure.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The flakies get a little washed out out here, but the glitters come alive.

As of this writing, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is still available, and even better, on sale in the BEGL shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren Sweetheart

Hello, reader! Swatch Saturday is going strong in 2017! Today’s polish is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Siren Sweetheart; I’m wearing one brushed coat over Zoya’s Chantal and Essie’s Fiji and Mint Candy Apple.

Siren Sweetheart is a clear-based glitter topper with iridescent hex and square glitters and denim blue hexes in a mainly-white glitter mix that includes rectangles, stars, hearts, diamonds, and squares. Application was okay; the consistency was pretty thick, which is not unexpected, seeing how much glitter is in the bottle. The glitter is very dense, so I got tons on the brush and didn’t have to fish for the larger shapes. The polish dried quickly with some texture; I used top coat for smoothness.

The white glitter topper is one of my favorite mixes, because it can be worn over anything. I only swatched it over pastels here, but you could put this over any creme and have an interesting look. The iridescent glitters shift colors based on the lighting, so there’s some color in the polish, the white glitters add texture and fun, and the blue glitters break it all up. I am having a ton of fun wearing this.

These photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. In the sun, the iridescent glitters look a little washed out, but out here, you can see just how much glitter is on each nail. The studio photos seem a little deceptive by comparison.

Siren Sweetheart was a numbered limited edition that has since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

A Look Back at 2016

Hello reader! Now that 2016 is behind us, I wanted to look back on some of my blog highlights and share my favorite nail art looks, and maybe share some of my 2017 blogging goals with you. I guess I could have waited to do this on my blog-versary in March, but it feels more appropriate to do it now.

January: Elevated Gradient

February: Neon Satisfaction

You’ll notice these photos are tiny. Why? Because in March, The Great wacie.com Server Crash of 2016 happened! My webhost had a hardware failure, and for whatever reason, several months of posts were lost and had to be pieced back together with images and text cached by Google. It was an extremely frustrating and embarrassing time for me.

March: Spring Hibiscus

I miss these long nails.

This is probably my favorite look of the year.

Third Anniversary Do-Over

I mentioned earlier that my blog’s anniversary is in March. For last year’s anniversary, I recreated the first-ever mani I posted on my blog. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for my fourth year, but it’ll probably be awesome.

April: Dusty Watermarble

May: Neon Splatter

I went to Hawaii in May. As a result, this is my least active month on the blog for the year.

June: Orange Jello Sandwich

My first Empties Roundup post was also in June.

July: Beyond

August: Ombre Hearts

September: Popples

October: Stripey Blue Frosting

This was a look I did to celebrate my birthday.

November: Ruby Opal

December: White Snow Blue Lava

So there’s my year! This was probably the busiest year for the blog, since I broadened my sujects quite a lot. I did tons of swatches and nail art, but I also ventured into product reviews and makeup talk. I don’t think this will ever become a full lifestyle or beauty blog, but I’m definitely having fun with it in this format. I’m kind of excited to see what it’ll evolve into in 2017. Here are a few beauty goals I have in mind, though.

1. Write more
I wrote 175 posts in 2016, averaging about 14 per month. It doesn’t sound like much to me, like I did way more work than that, especially when it started to feel stressful. That said, I’d like to do at least one more post every week.

1b. Write on my other blog more
I have a second blog¬†that I want to start posting to more. It’s been so long since I’ve bothered with it that I don’t even remember the login credentials. I still want a place to talk about myself and my life, a place to seem like I have a life away from my nails.

2. Build a real skincare routine
I still feel insecure about my skin. I’m frustrated that I’m 31 and I still get acne. I want to take every preventative measure I can against wrinkles and anti-aging. I also want to try a 10-step Asian beauty routine. If you’re over 30 with oily skin and hormonal acne, I want your recommendations.

3. Stop competing
I know one of the big rules of blogging is not to compare your success with others’, but I feel so competitive about it. At the risk of sounding whiny, I always look at other bloggers who’ve been working on their blogs for about as long as I have, and watching their blogs grow faster than mine is kind of frustrating. I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

4. Do more real nail art
I love glitter toppers and I think I use at least one every week, but sometimes it feels lazy. I want to go back to the basics: watermarbling, gradients, dotting. I love my glitters, but it’s starting to feel like a cop-out.

I think that’s it! Anyway, I think 2017 is going to be an exciting year, and I’m looking forward to the good times, the challenges, and the time we spend together. Thanks for reading!

Swatch Sunday: Butter London’s Tea & Toast

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!! Here’s a swatch! This is Butter London’s Tea & Toast; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Tea & Toast is a toffee brown creme. Application was very nice; the product consistency was pretty typical for a creme, and is such that I had an almost-opaque first coat, though I tend to do pretty thick coats. Drying times were good, and the polish dries with a glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

I love this shade! I think it’s a pretty unique color in my collection; despite having so many bottles of polish, I don’t own a whole lot of cremes, and especially not many warm caramel ones. It’s elegant and stylish, and I love the look. I thought it was going to be boring!

I think Tea & Toast is discontinued, unfortunately; other Butter London polishes are sold at Ulta and Nordstrom; I got mine at Nordstrom Rack!

I bought this polish 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.

HPB Presents: Silly Halloween Cats

It’s that time again: It’s the Hobby Polish Bloggers linkup for the month of October! Every month, the HPB Facebook group gets together to do a themed mani. Of course, October’s theme is Halloween! I’d been seeing the cat tips around, so I decided to try it out myself. I used Zoya’s Chantal, the no-name glow in the dark polish from Rite-Aid, Sally Hansen’s Black Out, and Enchanted Polish‘s Ectoplasm.

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I don’t really like doing holiday nails, so I wasn’t that excited about the theme. I went with the black cat tips because it’s more cutesy than Halloweeny, and also resembles one of my own cats. It fits the theme while also dodging it, and I’m happy about that.

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I started with three coats of Chantal; of course, I wanted fewer but could never get it even until the third. I also used two of the glow in the dark, since the glitter is so sparse. I’m pretty happy with the art job I did with the cats; I did the head shape with the polish brush itself, did the ears and pupils with a thin art brush, and used the dotting tool to apply the iris. That part is a little wonky, but I’m happy everything else looks the way it should.

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Remember I said I used glow in the dark polish? This part didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, though it looks really cool in the photo. In real life it just looked weird. This photo was taken in complete darkness.

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I got some sun shots, too! There’s not much to see here but the glitter. There’s not much, but this is a gentle reminder that it’s there. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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And there you have it! I mentioned earlier that this mani looks like one of my cats, so I’ll leave you with a photo of that dear kitty. This is Quaker. She actually crossed the rainbow bridge last August at the ripe old age of 20. Sorry to bring this post down with a sad pet story, but this mani made me miss her.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are sold at Ulta. Check Rite-Aids and other drugstores for the fun pumpkin GITD polish. Enchanted Polishes are sold in their online shop. Sally Hansen is sold in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.
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