Manicure Monday: Golden Red

Happy Monday! Reader, you may not be surprised to see I’ve done another red and gold mani. As much as I love that particular combo, it’s starting to feel like a rut. However, since my base polish was both red and gold, I just rolled with it. I started with three coats of Digital Nails‘s Let Zygons Be Zygons, then did a watermarble with a mystery Orly gold and clear.

The gold is so shiny that the watermarble is pretty difficult to see. You can see the marbled lines if you look closely, but from far away, it’s a mess. I suppose the solution is just don’t choose such a blingy polish, because this totally looked better in my head. I thought about mattifying it, but I didn’t think it would help, because it’s just that shiny. I wish I could tell you what the name of it is, because you kind of need it.

Let Zygons Be Zygons is such an awesome polish. I loved the idea of a red jelly with golden flakies, but what I didn’t know until today is that there’s just a hint of Spectraflair in it. It’s gorgeous! It looks kind of basic, but I really love it on my nails. There’s a lot going on in it. I just hope I don’t regret putting it on my toes also.

I took this one facing one of the lights directly. You can see the marble a little better here.

The next set of photos was taken in direct sunlight. Out here, you can see the tiny holo very well. In the macros, you can see that the Orly gold is made pretty much exclusively of gold flecks. This mani didn’t turn out the way I imagined it, but I’m glad I went for it.

This one’s in the shade.

Let Zygons Be Zygons isn’t in stock, but other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop. You probably know where to find Orly.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Cuts in My Heart

Hello, reader! I’m excited about today’s swatch. We have Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Crooked Hearts behind us, and in the next few weeks, we’ll see some special edition polishes, some prototypes, and some Sirens from 2015. I’m so late to the party on these, but I can’t wait to get there. This polish, Cuts in My Heart, is the first of these; it was an Addicted to Holos box-exclusive. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent. All photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

There’s a wee bit of color settling on the bottom. This didn’t affect the color quality at all.

Cuts in My Heart is a deep red holo with red shimmers. Application is good; would you believe this polish is a one coater? Depending on your application style, it totally could be. I actually did have an opaque first coat, but I added more just because I like the thickness. The product consistency is very good; it’s thick but doesn’t need thinning, because it’s still easy to use. The polish dries quicky and with a satiny finish; top coat is necessary for shine.

So, I love this. Red holos are already amazing, so of course I like it. One thing I notice about this one is that I can actually see the shimmers in it. With a lot of the BEGL holos I’ve worn, the shimmers either get covered up by the color, or they blend into the color so well they’re undetectable. In this polish, I can really see them. They’re the same color as the polish, but they also stand out. I quite like it.

Cuts in My Heart, as I mentioned, was a box-exclusive and is since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polishes are available in their online shop.

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.

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┬áthat 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: Ruby Opal

Happy Monday! I’m kind of happy to be back into my regular routine. Today’s look features a polish of my own called Dynamica; it’s a red crelly with a wee bit of scattered holo goodness. I swatched it in my Wacie Wednesday series ages ago, and lamented then that I didn’t use it in a sandwich mani with some glitter. Well, today is that day. The glitter I paired it with is Lynnderella‘s Red Opal. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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I used two coats of Red Opal as my base. Red Opal is so packed with glitter and has such a rich red base that it could be worn at two coats on its own. There are so many kinds of glitter in here, holo, metallic, and iridescent, that it has a lovely dimensional appearance. I used one coat of Dynamica over Red Opal; Dynamica is a warmer red and changes things up a bit, and adds that hint of holo sparkle.

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This late afternoon sun is not the best for holo shots, but it’ll have to do. It was dark and overcast all morning and afternoon, and then just now, this was the little bit of sun out, and really, I was glad to get it. It still looks pretty cool.

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Red Opal might be discontinued; other Lynnderella polishes are sold on lynnderella.com. Dynamica isn’t for sale yet, but may be in the future. I’ll let you know.

Red Opal was purchased myself.
Dynamica was made by me.

Swatch Sunday: Wet ‘n Wild’s Everybody Loves Redmond

Welcome to Swatch Sunday! Here’s the second swatch of the weekend. I’m wearing Wet ‘n Wild’s Everybody Loves Redmond today; here’s three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Everybody Loves Redmond is a red creme. Application was good; at the first coat, the color goes on really nicely, though it has a jelly/crelly-like sheerness. With additional coats, the coverage gets better, but my nail lines are still visible even after three. The polish dries quickly and with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

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I like this polish. It’s not fancy, but I’m really impressed with how it looks alone. The VNL is kind of annoying, but the color intensity and shine are both really gorgeous. Of course, this polish is also suitable as the color for a glitter sandwich, or anything you may need a jelly-ish polish for. I’ve enjoyed wearing it! It’s definitely not bad for the price.

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So I did some checking to see if Wet ‘n Wild still sells this Fast-Dry line; they do, but on their website it’s marked down and some shades are unavailable. Wet ‘n Wild polishes are sold in stores nationwide.

My father gave me this polish for Christmas last year, haha.

Manicure Monday: Decadent Sands

Hey! It’s Manicure Monday! Today’s look is all about a microglitter polish I made for myself, a little something I call Decadence. I also wanted to do a nail art look with only one polish and some negative space, so here we are. All I used for this look is Decadence and Seche Vite.

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Decadence is a microglitter with silver, red, and blue holographic glitters. To achieve the look, I used some French tip guides along the base of my cuticle, making a half moon shape, and applying two coats of Decadence. I peeled off the guide, added a third coat of polish, and sealed it with top coat. The result is a little lopsided; the glitter is very dense on most of the nail and quite sparse on the half-moon, but it’s kind of cool, like sands through the hourglass.

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I’m kind surprised the negative space turned out so well. One of the nude polishes I wore a few weeks ago stained my nails an ugly yellow, and since then, I’ve wanted to do nothing but negative space manis. Of course, I had to wait for my nails to grow out a little. There’s nothing like growing out stained nails.

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The following photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight. I love microglitters so much. They’re the best way to pack everything you want — color, glitter, whatever you like — into one bottle.

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Decadence is not available for purchase (yet). Lemme know if it’s something you like.

I made this polish.

Swatch Sunday: The New Black’s Gold Leaf Foil

Welcome back for Swatch Sunday! Today’s swatch is of a mystery polish from The New Black I’ve just been calling Gold Leaf Foil. The New Black doesn’t label any of their shade names, which is kind of frustrating. I’m wearing Gold Leaf Foil over Sally Hansen’s Black Out (black), Octopus Party’s Universal Loner (red), and Indigo Bananas‘s Klein Trink Wasser (blue) with one coat of Gelous.

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Gold Leaf Foil is a clear-based glitter topper with metallic gold shredded glitter. Application was easy enough; the product consistency delivered the glitter well enough and wasn’t too difficult to work with. The glitter itself was the troblesome part. The glitter pieces are unevenly shaped; some pieces are very large and others are barely there. The very coarse pieces don’t always lie flat, which sometimes leads to them getting snagged and/or pulled off. It does dry quickly and with a good shine; I used top coat for extra smoothness.

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Coarse shredded glitter is probably my least favorite glitter shape. I mean, I love how they look, their shine and madness is unmatched. I love how this looks over the cremes. I just don’t like how these large glitters stick up. If you look at the sunlight photos in the next set, you’ll actually see that my pinky nail has more glitter on it than the studio set. That’s because, between the time I took the photos outdoors and indoors, the glitter actually got pulled off somehow. In the studio photos, you can just see where it used to be.

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Here are the sunlight photos. I took these a bit late in the afternoon so it’s not the harsh sunlight I usually shoot in. Like I said, this is a pretty cool looking glitter, even if working with it is kind of annoying.

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sstnbglfmm

So I can’t find a source on where to get The New Black these days. I got this set — this polish came with a black creme and a set of gold studs — from Ulta when it was in the clearance section. Sephora’s website has a two bottle set in their clearance section as of this writing. Other than that, they seem to have been discontinued.

I bought these polish 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Monday: SpaRitual’s Intention

Hope you had an awesome Labor Day weekend, reader! The very long weekend — in addition to today’s holiday, we all had a hurricane day on Friday — has shifted my posting schedule a bit. Here’s the swatch I intended for Sunday, but is going up on Monday instead; here is SpaRitual’s Intention. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Intention is a sheer red with red, pink, and gold glass flecks. Application was easy; the product consistency is on the thinner side, and as you may have guessed, the first coat was a bit thin, but still had good color and coverage. All three coats were necessary for good opacity. The polish dries with a satin finish, and with the glass flecks, it creates an almost metallic look. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

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I love Intention, and I’m happy to be using it so soon after trying out Intuition a few weeks ago. I bought these at the same time and think of them as sister polishes. I really love the glass flecks in them; admittedly, I didn’t even realize they were glass until I was doing the shoot for this swatch and saw the label — “infused with recycled glass” — and thought it was really cool. I even checked my other bottle and it says the same thing. I had no idea! I mean, the effect is a bit different from a regular shimmer polish, but now I know why.

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In the sun, the red really warms up, and the shimmers glow really nicely. I love reds, and this is a new favorite for sure!

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Intention and other SpaRitual polishes are available on sparitual.com.

I bought this polish myself.