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 Ciaté

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.

Guest Post for Secretary’s Nail Art

Hello reader! I hope you like guest posts, because I’ve got another one to share. Dina from Secretary’s Nail Art recently had a baby, and I got to step in and help her out. It’s look that’s a little of everything, but mostly it’s pink.

Follow the link to see more!

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!

Manicure Monday: White Snow Blue Lava

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s manicure is accidentally wintry. Some rain finally brought some chilliness to Florida, but it’ll be warming up again by Christmas (I hope). By chilliness, I mean it’s 59 degrees right now. Anyway, onto the look; I used OPI’s White Shatter over American Apparel’s Neptune, as well as Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

Crackle polish is so over, even Boyfriend knows it’s over. I showed him my nails today and he said “Come on Wacie, crackle polish is so 2011.” I know it is, but I’m still going to keep using it if I have it around. I get tons of compliments on crackle polish whenever I do wear it, and since it’s almost certainly going to be in fashion again in the future, why should I toss it? Not that I plan to hoard it for another ten years, but as I already have plenty of ten year old bottles, it’s not unlikely I won’t still have them.

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Something I like about topper polishes — not just crackles, but glitters and shifters, too — is that I can get creative with what I use as my base. Sometimes I’ll use it as an excuse to use a high-end or indie creme, a thermal, just something that I wouldn’t normally use. I’ll even try to use a color that makes a contrasting or unlikely combo. I used the glow-in-the-dark Neptune for this because I loved the idea of the glow coming through the cracks. It mostly just glows through the white, but you can still see the difference. Neptune also isn’t completely opaque, and it changes color a bit based on whatever part of my nail it’s on. It’s a bit brighter when it’s on the white free edge of my nail, and makes a mini gradient.

Of course, old crackle polish can be unpredictable. It didn’t crack on a few nails and I had to redo them. The pinky nail you see here had to be redone twice. It wasted a lot of time and polish. I love the matte finish, though. Usually I’m not a fan of the matte finish, but I feel like it was the way to go today.

White Shatter is discontinued, but other OPI polishes are available in stores nationwide. Neptune and other American Apparel polishes have also been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Holo Stripes With Sprinkles

Happy Monday! I dug deep for today’s mani. I didn’t feel satisfied just putting glitter over polish, so I got the holos out and the striping tape. I should do this kind of thing more often. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s Hitsujiyama Park (light pink), Literary Lacquers‘s Laughs in Flowers (pink stripes), Model City Polish‘s Pour Me Another (dark pink), and OPI’s Pink Yet Lavender (glitter). All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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With this mani, I just wanted something pink and flashy. I chose three pink holos of varying colors and holo strength; Hitsujiyama Park has the least holo and most opacity, Pour Me Another has a strong holo flame but is pretty sheer, and Laughs in Flowers has fine holo glitters mixed in to create a unique finish. These three polishes, when combined, create a distinct and cohesive look. I’m looking forward to pairing them again soon!

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Pink Yet Lavender is a glitter topper, so I brushed it over the striped nails and sponged it on the others. I have to admit, this wasn’t quite what I expected when I started. In the bottle, the glitter looks more rose gold, likely due to the tinted pink base. On the nail, it pulls silver. I don’t mean to say I don’t like it, but I definitely expected more pink glitter, that’s why I chose all pinks for this mani. Pink Yet Lavender, at least, has some holo glitter in it that helps tie it all together. Also, sponging took a significant amount of product. You can see the fll line on the bottle; this is the first time I’ve used this polish and that’s where it is now.

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I am having a lot of fun wearing this, all things considered. The stripes add a fun visual, the glitter adds sparkle, and the holo pushes it over the edge. This took a lot longer than the usual Monday mani, but I’m glad I spent the time on it. I used to push myself really hard to do nail art, and I feel like lately all I’ve been doing is wearing glitter over a base, and that feels lazy. I definitely need to get out of my lazy mani zone.

Hitsujiyama Park and other Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop. Laughs in Flowers was an Addicted to Holos box exclusive from March 2015 and is no longer available; other Literary Lacquers are sold in their etsy shop. Pour Me Another is also a long-gone limited edition; other Model City Polishes are for sale on etsy. Pink Yet Lavender is also discontinued; OPI is sold in stores nationwide.

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

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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

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

Empties Roundup: June 2016

Hello, reader! Today’s post is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I love reading empties posts, but I rarely empty products, and it’s not worth it to me to write about the one BB cream or the bottle of Seche Vite I used up this month. For this inaugural Empties Roundup, I have five whole things to talk about. Let’s get going!

OPI’s Expert Touch Lint-Free Nail Wipes

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I picked these up out of a Sally Beauty Supply sale bin for four dollars. I wasn’t sure what they were at the time, but I grabbed them, just to try them out. The box says they absorb polish very quickly, and while this is true, they also absorb remover very quickly as well, and eventually gain this gross tacky feel to them, which I really disliked. The wipes themselves are small, so between the tacky feel and the size, I used a wipe or two per nail, or 10-20 for each manicure. They left lint on me, so they’re definitely not lint-free. They do remove polish, however, so it wasn’t a total miss. They even work in the foil method of glitter removal. I didn’t hate these wipes, but the day the box ran out and I could go back to regular cotton pads was a pretty good day. I won’t be purchasing these again.

Benefit’s Bathina “Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer” Body Balm

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This is truly a momentous occasion, because I’ve had this tin since 2010 and it is finally empty. The balm itself was a rosy gold with a soft powdery scent, and came with a puff for applying it to the skin. I didn’t use it continually since 2010, only in the summers, because this stuff looks amazing over a tan. It can be a bit much on very hot days, but I happen to like looking like I sweat glitter, so that’s okay with me. I loved this product, but I don’t know if I’ll ever re-purchase it. I’ve got other body shimmer products I need to work through first, and who knows how long that will take.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

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This wasn’t an empty as much as it was just time to toss it. I’d been using it since March. I really wanted to love this, but I couldn’t get past the brush. It was really big and unwieldy with a pronounced curve, often giving me too much product where I didn’t need it. There was one side of the brush with very short bristles, and that was the only way I could use it. Mostly I’m just sad this mascara isn’t the old Volum’Express in the red tube; that was my HG waterproof mascara, and now Maybelline has discontinued it and wants me to have scary spidery lashes now. I replaced it with the Great Lash Waterproof mascara, also from Maybelline.

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Gloss in Clair

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This is another oldie from my collection that’s finally going to the big vanity drawer in the sky. I really love the Buxom lip glosses for their minty tingle and sheer wash of color; I have dozens of these glosses but I’ve ever finished like two, including this one. Because I have so many, I probably won’t more, and even if I wanted to replace this one, I don’t think they make it anymore. That’s actually how old this lip gloss was.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Virgin

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Do you ever look at your eyeshadow palettes and notice there’s one shade that’s visibly more used than all the others? In my UD Naked palette, Virgin is that shade. You can tell because the pan is completely empty. And because no Naked look is complete without Virgin, I got a single to replace it. This is actually the second single eyeshadow I’ve gone through. I’ll definitely be replacing this.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder Sample

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I actually forgot I had this in my makeup bag until I ran out of my regular powder. Finding this actually saved my life. I have no idea where this came from, since I don’t normally buy Tarte; it must have been a Sephora sample, or an ipsy bag offering. It was a pretty nice powder, though it felt a little creamy for a finishing powder; my skin didn’t feel 100% finished. In the summer, though, that’s not so important, because it ends up just disappearing into sweat anyway. I’m not sure I’d buy a full size of this, I’d rather just go back to my Make Up For Ever powder.

And there you have it, the first-ever Empties Roundup on wacie.com! Looking at these photos, I feel very accomplished. I rarely use something for so long that I actually use all of it, so to have this many empties at the end of the month is really special. Now all I have to do is avoid buying more stuff and setting myself back!

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Rainbow Honey’s Sakura Matsuri

Happy Sunday! It’s been a great weekend so far! My swatch this Sunday is Sakura Matsuri from Rainbow Honey; I’m wearing one coat of Sakura Matsuri over Essie’s Mint Candy Apple (blue), Ciaté’s Candy Floss (pink), and OPI’s Dutch Tulips (red), as well as a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Sakura Matsuri is a clear-based glitter topper with pink matte, red metallic, iridescents in blue and green, and pink and white flower-shaped glitters. Application was okay; it was sometimes hard to get the flower glitters, and when I did, I’d get tons of them, as well as a lot of lacquer on the brush. It was difficult to apply to the smaller nails, and took quite some time to dry. The glitter still had a bit of texture when dried, so I used top coat.

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This is my first Rainbow Honey polish, and I think it’s adorable. I think it’s pretty unique as far as toppers go, since the flowers are the main focus of the concept, and quite a literal execution with the flower glitters. The polish is fairly monochromatic; the glitters all stay within very light shades of pink. The red accent glitters add sparkle, and the iridescent glitters add dimension. The flower glitters are always the focus of the look, and the other glitters don’t detract from it.

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In the sun, you can see how the colors vary, and you can see the definition of the glitters best. You can also see how the glitter smudged the red polish. I actually didn’t notice this until I was processing these photos.

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The Rainbow Honey online shop is currently on hiatus, and I’m unsure whether Sakura Matsuri is still for sale.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Strawberry Banana Swirl With Sprinkles

Happy Monday, reader! I did a great time doing today’s manicure, and I hope it shows! For this look, I used OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana and Live, Love, Carnaval with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Get Too Close to the Flame. All nails are topped with one coat of Gelous. Because of a chip that occurred in the polish between photography sets, I’ll be showing you the daylight photos first. These were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

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I Just Can’t Cope-acabana has been on this blog a lot lately; I’ve used it as the undies for glitters on at least three different swatches, and I’ve used it so much that it’s starting to show the fill line. Yellow can be hard to work with sometimes, what with the streaking and failure to level itself, and this is no exception, but it’s a really nice color. It’s a pretty neutral yellow and works with just about everything. I love the way it looks here with Live, Love, Carnaval; I didn’t think to pair these two until the last minute, and I like the way they look together. I mean, they should, they came from the same Brazil collection. They set each other off in just the right way, and they both marbled like a dream.

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So let’s talk about the chip on my index finger. I have no idea what caused it, only that it appeared sometime taking the daylight photos and taking the indoor photos. I’m pretty sure it’s a problem caused by Gelous. I know it’s not really meant to be used as one, but I ran out of Seche Vite and I don’t know when I’ll be able to get another bottle. It’s incredibly frustrating, because it takes a century to dry on its own and I keep smudging it hours after I thought it was dry. I miss Seche Vite so much.

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I’ve watermarbled before, but this is the first time I’ve tried the horizontal swirl; usually I stick to the flower or the pinwheel. I don’t think it looks too bad. I think I used too many rings, or maybe I made too many strokes in the polish, but it can be pretty tough to tell the colors in the marble apart; from far away, it just looks orange. I still like it, though.

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Get Too Close to the Flame works so well with I Just Can’t Cope-acabana that I couldn’t not use it. It was actually the first polish I picked out for this mani, and the ideas about the pink and the watermarble came later. I kind of struggled with how to use the glitter, since I still really wanted to, and I ended up just doing one allover coat with it, even over Live, Love, Carnaval, where there isn’t much constrast and all you see is some shimmer and faint glitter shapes. It’s a fun look, I think. Over the yellow, it’s bright and cheerful, over the pink it’s mysterious, and over the marbling, the word that comes to mind for me is planetary. It reminds me of the swirls around the red spot of Jupiter. It pleases me.

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I got I Just Can’t Cope-acabana and Live, Love, Carnaval from Sally Beauty Supply. I got Get Too Close to the Flame from the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer online shop; it’s been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.