Manicure Monday: Lavender Glamour

It’s Manicure Monday again! It’s Halloween, but I’m kind of glad to have the Halloween manis behind me. Lavender doesn’t scream (heh) Halloween, and I’m cool with it. For this look, I used LA Colors’s Bliss (lavender) and China Glaze’s Full Spectrum (microglitter).

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When I paired these two polishes together, I was originally just going to use Full Spectrum as accent nails and leave the Bliss nails alone. I love Bliss on its own, and I love cremes, but my recent sort-of resolution to do more nail art inspired me to do the glitter swirls. For these, I just dipped a thin nail art brush in Full Spectrum, did a wiggly thing on the nail with it, and then more wiggly things in the leftover spaces. I put dots to fill up whatever space was left. The design is a bit clearer on the thumb nail than the others, but it’s still cool on the others. This was a mani where I could totally shut out the perfectionist and just be happy with however it turned out.

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I kind of wish I was wearing Full Spectrum on its own. There is so much going on with this microglitter; though it looks silver primarily, there are fine glitters in many colors, as well as an allover purple shimmer. It’s just beautiful. I’ve had this in my collection a long time, and I’m glad I’m finally using it. There are blue and green versions of this polish, and I can’t remember if I have them or not, but I need them if I do. This is super beautiful.

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In the sunlight, the glitter takes off. The colors are brighter and much easier to detect. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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thumb, index, ring fingers

LA Colors and China Glaze are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these polishes myself.

All Holos Eve: Silly Spiderwebs

Today’s post is a special post! I’ve been trying to participate more in social blogger events lately, and I’ve wanted to do more nail art in general. so here we are, getting into the Halloween spirit with the All Holos Eve link-up. This was started by Jenne of Polished Pathology, and I can’t believe I’m actually doing a Halloweeny mani. For this look, I used Enchanted Polish‘s October 2015 and Dime Piece. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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The All Holos Eve event is all about nail art with holos, which I admit I don’t do enough of. I’m always afraid to waste holo polish. The colors are so gorgeous on their own that they don’t often need art to make them pretty, and I don’t have great confidence in my nail art skills, so I don’t want to use my nice polishes on sucky nail art. I went with the spiderwebs because I’ve been seeing a lot of them, and handpainting them is novice-friendly.

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Of course, some of them look like rib cages, but that’s Halloweeny too, right? There are no rules here! I have to keep reminding myself that nail art is not a competition — even though I want to win anyway — and that it’s fine to have silly spiderweb nails. I think they’re charming. That’s my takeaway from this, nail art isn’t scary and it’s cute when it kind of sucks. It’s liberating to say.

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October 2015 was a limited-edition mystery polish and is no long sold by Enchanted Polish, but as of this writing, Dime Piece is currently in stock.

I bought this polish myself.
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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.

Manicure Monday: No Place Like Chrome

Happy Monday, reader! I hope you guys like shiny silver, because that’s all I’ve got today. This is Essie’s No Place Like Chrome without top coat. Silver for days!

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I love the Mirror Metallics collection from Essie. I have them all, but I’ve only ever used two of them, and No Place Like Chrome is the only one I’ve used twice. I know metallic polishes come and go, everybody makes them at some point, but I’m so glad I’ve got these. The finish is so fun and unique, making any mani stand out. I’ve only ever worn this polish by itself, but someday I’ll get around to using it as an accent with something. Mirror polish makes any mani striking.

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The last time I wore this bow was with another strong silver mani. I am actually really surprised by how easy these are to wear. Sure, it’s big, but it rarely gets caught on anything. It’s about as wide as my finger, so someone with thinner fingers might have trouble, but I love wearing these bows. It’s like wearing the biggest, tackiest engagement ring, except it’s glued to one of my nails.

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In the sunlight, the metallic effect is just as apparent. It’s actually kind of blinding. The bow is especially ridiculous. Check out the flares on it.

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No Place Like Chrome and other Essie polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Born Pretty Store.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype NEB 1.0

Happy Saturday, reader! I’m wearing a BEGL prototype for this week’s swatch! This is NEB 1.0; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Prototype NEB 1.0 is a clear-based microglitter with black, silver, and blue holographic glitters. There are some larger dot and moon glitters floating around in the bottle as you can see from the bottle shots, but I didn’t get any of them on my nails. Application was very good; there was more glitter in this bottle than in a released polish, so I got full opacity in fewer coats than normal. I still used three, so my nails look a bit thick. However, it dried very quickly and didn’t leave a lot of texture behind. I still used top coat for shine and smoothness.

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Are you tired of me talking about how great BEGL microglitters are? Because even though this one is only a prototype, it still has all the qualities I love in a microglitter. The colors, though varied, all complement each other. There are no holes in the coverage. The only real letdown was that I couldn’t get any of those larger glitters. I’ll get them someday!

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In direct sunlight, this polish comes alive. It really does. The holographic effect is much stronger and the sparkle is legendary as a result. Today wasn’t the sunniest day, but if it was, I’d probably be blind from glitter exposure.

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No other bottles of Prototype NEB 1.0 were made. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Jello Sandwich

It’s Manicure Monday again! Today’s look is a jelly sandwich, which is probably my favorite nail art technique. It always comes out so well! For this look, I used L’Oreal’s Mango Mamma over American Apparel’s Light Year, as well as Seche Vite top coat.

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Mango Mamma is the perfect jelly. The color is bold but the coverage always stays sheer. It has the appearance of orange gelatin. I badly wish I had an orange-scented top coat, but I feel like this polish also deserves to smell like orange gelatin. As it’s the perfect jelly, the jelly sandwich was basically the only thing I could do with it. I can’t believe something like this came from a mainstream brand.

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Light Year was maybe not the best glitter for this look, even though it turned out looking pretty cool. I knew brushing it on wasn’t the best application method because it’s liquidy, so I sponged it on. Even then, I got some holes in coverage, even though it didn’t look like it at the time. I guess it doesn’t matter, because what is on there sparkles wonderfully under Mango Mamma. Overall, the look feels flashy, stylish, and bold.

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For this look, outdoors in direct sunlight is where it’s at. The orange looks a little washed out, but the glitter comes alive and looks its best. It almost looks kind of autumnal, with the orange jelly and the warm shades coming through in the holographic glitter. It’s like Thanksgiving in June!

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Mango Mamma might be discontinued by L’Oreal; other L’Oreal polishes are sold in stores nationwide. American Apparel polishes have been discontinued as well.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s 2000 Years

Happy Saturday! I have the most gorgeous microglitter to show you today! This is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s 2000 Years, part of the huge Doctor Who collection! I’m wearing three coats of 2000 Years with one coat of Seche Vite.

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2000 Years is a clear-based periwinkle, silver, navy, and lilac microglitter polish. Application was easy; the first coat was sparse, but coverage built with additional coats. I could have gotten away with only two, but I really wanted the third, just to really solidify the glitter. It dried with a slight texture; I used top coat to smooth it out.

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I love microglitters so much. BEGL makes all my favorites because they have the best color combinations. There are so many colors of glitter in this bottle, but you barely notice, because they blend together so organically. It blows my mind that there’s a person actively thinking “yes, these are the glitters”. It’s just consistently beautiful, every single one.

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It comes alive beautifully in the sunshine! It’s crazy sparkly, and I felt so glamorous wearing this outdoors.

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2000 Years and other BEGL polishes are available from their online shop. For once, I’m wearing one that’s not discontinued!

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Post-Vacation Drama

Happy Monday, dudes! It’s actually Tuesday where I am, and I’m just getting around to posting this because I spent my Monday partying for Memorial Day. I’m finally back from Hawaii, and this is the first mani I’ve done since I got back. It feels good to be back at my mani station; I’ve felt like half a person without having polish on for the past week. Do my hands look tanner? I shopped a lot in Hawaii, so I might do a Hawaiian beauty haul post in a bit, as well as some Island Girl polish swatches. Keep an eye out for those!

Anyway, this post-vacation look was done with Sonia Kashuk’s Smoke and Mirrors and Digital Nails‘s So Sparkle.

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Smoke and Mirrors is a classic shimmer silver polish. This shade has been around forever and every brand has one. I even remember my mother rocking this silver back in the day. It’s shimmery, sparkly, and foil-like; it’s not as foily as something like Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, but it’s still very reflective. This polish is one that shows brush strokes pretty prominiently, and I can’t really see them in this one, which is really nice.

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So Sparkly is amazing, and is easily the star of this manicure. Someone at my cookout today it looked like dreamy space glitter, and that’s the best way I can describe this polish. It’s got a teal to purple shift, red and blue glitters, silver flakies, and a holo effect throughout, though I can’t tell if it’s Spectraflair or fine holo glitters. I’ve been staring at my polish all day, and mostly the two with So Sparkle on. This polish is dramatic and gorgeous and everyone should have it.

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I put the two together because I wanted a simple metallic look to help me ease back into my manicure and blogging routines. I thought about adding the usual 3D elements and opted not to. I didn’t want to do anything very complicated today, what with holiday barbecues and swimming, and I’m still pretty jet-lagged. I also have other things I need to do today. Like unpack.

Sonia Kashuk polishes are sold at Target. Digital Nails is sold on etsy.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Blackheart Glam

Happy Monday!! For Manicure Monday this week, we’re feeling fancy high-end. For today’s look, I used Urban Decay’s Blackheart and Deborah Lippmann’s Glitter and Be Gay.

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Urban Decay is a huge player in my daily makeup game, but I’ve only worn a few of their polishes. That’s why I’m super-thrilled to be wearing Blackheart this week. It’s a pretty nice polish: deep chocolate as a first impression, and upon closer inspection, a pink-to-gold shift appears. It reminds me of middle school, when I stuck to deep browns, plums, and gunmetals because my parents didn’t allow me to wear black polish. Good times! I’m pretty sure I had a Street Wear polish just like this.

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I picked Glitter and Be Gay to go with Blackeart because both polishes used plenty of rich, warm colors. I mean, of course I had to choose gold to go with chocolate brown. Also, it’s not all gold, there are some cornflower blue glitters in there, and I think maybe some silver, but it turned into one big sparkly cluster. I regret that I was so heavy-handed with the glitter, and I wish I’d done some nails with brushed-on glitter, but the gradient turned out well enough. It looks like a mess in photos because it was so shiny, but I still like it.

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In the sun, Blackheart isn’t as deep as it is indoors;actually, even indoors it doesn’t look all that dark, but I think that’s the glare from the glitter washing it out. You can see the pink and gold shimmers quite well outside, too. You can also see the individual glitters best out here, which is proof that they actually do pair well.

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Blackheart was an Urban Decay limited edition and is sold out on Sephora.com, which is where you can find other UD polishes. Glitter and Be Gay is available wherever Deborah Lippmann is sold; mine is from Sephora as well.

I bought these polishes myself.