Swatch Saturday: Bluebird Lacquer’s Realm of the Fae

Welcome back to Swatch Saturday! Today’s post is late and I do apologize, but it may be the norm for a while. Just bear with me! Today’s post is all about Realm of the Fae by Bluebird Lacquer; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Realm of the Fae is a deep purple holo with a pink/orange shift. Application was great; I had perfect opacity at two coats, and the product consistency is very easy to use. The holo effect is best in sunlight, but the shifty shimmer is best indoors. The polish dries quickly and with a smooth satin finish. I used top coat for shine.

You guessed it, this polish was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive. There were so many! I like this polish a lot. The holo isn’t too strong so it doesn’t overpower the shimmer, and there’s just enough shimmer in it to add dimension to the look. It’s gorgeous.

Realm of the Fae was an event exclusive. Other Bluebird Lacquers are available on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Bliss Polish’s Fairy Castles

Welcome back to Swatch Saturday! Today’s polish is another Indie Shop exclusive! It’s a stunner, too. This is Fairy Castles from Bliss Polish; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Fairy Castles is a dark purple holo. Application was very good; the polish is the perfect consistency, and my first coat was nearly opaque. I used three because I like the thickness. The polish dries to a smooth and glossy finish.

It has been a long time since I put on a purple this rich and velvety. I love it! I actually kept this on for a full day and it was so much fun to wear. The holo is so strong, even in indoor lighting, and I kind of hated taking it off. So happy I snagged this one!

Fairy Castles was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive. Other Bliss Polishes are available on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Purple and Radioactive

Happy Monday, Reader! I’m so glad to be back, and your reception to the new posts has been absolutely wonderful. It’s almost like I never took a break! For this week’s Manicure Monday, I’m wearing Digital Nails‘s Curie-oser and Curiouser over Sinful Colors’s Verbena.

Curie-oser and Curiouser is, of course, a polish made in honor of Marie Curie, the scientist most known for her pioneering research on radioactivity. The polish name is an Alice in Wonderland reference. This is truly a Digital Nails polish. The white and black glitters are the most obvious and true-to-life in these photos, but the finer glitters, the fuchsia and aqua, definitely look bigger in the photos. It’s not a wild indie glitter mix, but it’s very pretty and has quite a lot of dimension thanks to the finer glitters.

Verbena is the perfect companion to the glitter topper. I really agonized over what purple polish to pair with the glitter, and had my regular reminder that no matter how much polish I have, I’m never going to have every single one I need. Luckily, I found Verbena at the bottom of the stash drawer; my friend had given me a bag of polish she didn’t want, I just tucked it away, and rediscovered it while I was putting this manicure together. These two colors couldn’t go better together, and I’m so happy I found it, and grateful to my friend for giving it to me.

One more word about Curie-oser and Curiouser: it glows in the dark. I mean, if you’re going to make a polish for Marie Curie, you’re basically required to glow in the dark. I’m wearing two coats of it here, so there’s a very strong glow. I can’t wait to go to bed an annoy my boyfriend with my nails!

Verbena looks like it might have been discontinued by Sinful Colors. Digital Nails is currently on a break.

I bought these polishes myself. One with money, and one with friendship.

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.

Swatch Sunday: Del Sol’s Spike

Hello, reader! Do you guys like solar polishes? I’m a ’90s kid, and I’m an easy sell for anything that changes color. I bought a few Del Sol polishes when I was on vacation a few years ago because I could not resist. I blame mood rings. This is Spike; I’m wearing three coats of Spike with one coat of Seche Vive top coat.

Spike is a frosty mint green polish that turns a cool mauve when exposed to direct sunlight. Application was good; the product consistency was on the thin side, but was still easy to apply. The first coat was sheer and I needed all three to achieve full opacity. Because it’s so frosty, brush-strokes are pretty apparent. It takes a while to effect the color change, probably a good five minutes or so. The polish dries with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

How fun is this polish! Honestly, I’d hoped the purple it changed to in the sun would have been a bit brighter; it’s a little too on the SFW side for me. The green it starts out as is very pretty; sometimes it seems more silver than green, but it’s always icy and shimmery and cool (pun?) to look at.

One thing you’ll notice is that this post has a ton of photos, and I apologize. I wanted to show the polish in both states, and to treat both states as two different polishes. They really could be; if I didn’t know it was a solar polish, I’d assume they were. The following set of photos were taken in direct sunlight.

Like I said, I wish the purple was brighter and/or darker. It’s a pretty unique shade as-is, but I just wanted more from it, especially when you see its actual color compared to the label.

One thing I wish I’d been able to capture was the polish in transition. As I mentioned, the change took some time to occur, and my camera takes such high-quality video that my computer can’t handle editing it. Also my phone camera doesn’t work. I think I got a decent shot of the bottle hovering between colors.

I don’t see Spike listed on Del Sol’s site, but other polishes are available there as well as in their stores.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s The One Worth Leaving

Welcome back! It’s Swatch Saturday, and I’ve swatched the last polish in Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Crooked Hearts collection. I’ve loved wearing every polish in this set; each one was a gorgeous shimmery marvel. This last one, The One Worth Leaving, is vampy magic. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

The One Worth Leaving is a wine polish with purple shimmers. Application was good, the product consistency was great and I had no issues. The first coat goes on a little sheer, but builds with additional coats. I like that it’s a little sheer, so that those shimmers get seen. After three coats, my shimmer didn’t seem as strong as it looks in the bottle, but it does pop up wherever the light hits it. It dries with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine.

I enjoyed wearing this polish. I’ve talked before about my relationship with burgundy polish, and I mentioned Monday how short nails like this reminds me of my youth and my days as a nail biter. I get a nostalgia buzz from this polish, too; plums and berries and wines were among my favorites back then.

Outdoors, this polish warmed up to a deep and gorgeous red. You can see the translucence out here; you can see the actual specks of shimmer, not just the ones the light activates. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

At publication time, the BEGL shop is temporarily closed, but I’m pretty sure The One Worth Leaving was in stock before the hiatus.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Blast From The Past

Welcome back, reader! Manicure Monday is a simple look this week. I’d actually planned something a little more intricate, but now that I’ve cut my nails down, I simplified it. I’m talking like there’s something wrong with just color and glitter, there’s totally not! For this look, I used Sephora by OPI’s It’s Bouquet With Me over Orly’s Rio Nights.

Originally, I’d planned a gray to purple gradient with Rio Nights. When I’ve got a multicolored glitter like this, I like to pick colors out and find cremes that match it, and that way everything is cohesive. With nails this small, though, there just wouldn’t have been room for it.

I love this mani, though. It’s making me all kinds of nostalgic. I was a hardened nail biter when I was younger — hell, until I was 23 — and this was what my hands always looked like back then. I liked wearing polish, but it was never a biting deterrent, so I always had these tiny little nails. I also feel deeply for purple glittery polish; the first nail polish that was 100% mine was a gift from my sister, and it was a purple glitter, right around the time unconventional colors and glitter polishes were getting popular in the late 1990s. I wore that polish until it was gone. This look channels that polish so hard.

I regret that I didn’t get any sunlight photos of this look. There’s been some inclement weather in the southeast, and the sun didn’t shine for more than five minutes at a time, and I could just never catch it. Also, when was the last time I wore a bow charm? It’s been ages!

The Sephora by OPI line has been discontinued; I actually found this particular one at Big Lots. Orly polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

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!

Manicure Monday: Monochrome Duochome

Happy Monday, reader! My first proper manicure of the year was done with Ciaté’s Starlet and Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional. Opposites attract, right?

Starlet is a beautiful sheer black duochrome that shifts from purple to green. The shift is pretty intense, which I love. It is a little on the thin side, and it took three coats to achieve any kind of opacity. Next time I’ll layer it over a black creme base. I almost felt a little bad about covering up the shift, but it’s strong enough that the glitter doesn’t completely obscure it. I wasn’t sure about this combo at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.

I know that the black and white glitter toppers are out now, but I never really spent any time with them when they were popular, so I’m still a fan of the look. I think I’ve only ever used two before this, actually. I chose Black Tie Optional for this look because these toppers look good over everything, including, apparently, duochromes. The glitter adds texture and variety to each nail while the base adds fun shifting color. I can’t believe this combo actually worked.

In the sunlight, you can see how thin Starlet is on my tips. That’s frustrating to see, I thought I’d covered all the streaks! The shift is very strong out here, look how bright the green is! I am having so much fun wearing this look.

Starlet may be discontinued by Ciaté; other Ciaté polishes are available at Sephora. Hard Candy polishes are sold at Walmart.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Chanel’s Provocation

It’s Sunday, and I have a swatch! My swatch today is Chanel’s Provocation; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. I should note that I took these photos about a day after I put the polish on, so there is a slight bit of wear on the tips.

Provocation is a darkened plum creme. The product formula is very smooth and easy to work with. I had some opacity issues with the first coat, but additional coats evened it out. I think it still looks a little off in photos, but it’s opaque in real life. The polish dries with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine.

This is the second of my birthday Chanel polishes from Nordstrom. The Nordstrom in my city opened on my birthday weekend a couple years ago, which I took as a sign I had to go. I’d also always wanted a Chanel polish, so I got two, this one and Blue Satin. I love the color of this polish. In some of these photos the color on my nails looks a bit darker than what’s in the bottle, and I’m not sure why that is, but it’s exactly the color I wanted: vampy, dark, and sexy.

I think Provocation may have been discontinued, but it’s an easy color to dupe, and any plum polish is probably comparable. Chanel polishes are sold wherever Chanel cosmetics are sold; mine are from Nordstrom.

I bought this polish myself.