Manicure Monday: All Heart

Happy Monday! Today’s post is actually early because, as you’re reading this, I’m on a work trip and it would be a very late post if I didn’t get it done ahead of time. I’m not a blogger who has a ton of mani posts backlogged because I like to write about things as I wear them. This post is all about Literary Lacquers‘s Jack Rose, some striping tape, and a lot of heart glitter. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

Do you ever notice that every indie maker has their own kind of holo polish? That’s something I enjoy about indie polish; holos are a staple, but each brand has their own blend of Spectraflair sizes and strengths and makes the linear holo their own. Literary Lacquers’s holos are done in such a way that the holo is strong but fine at the same time, and I think that’s really cool. Jack Rose in particular is a polish that starts off sheer and builds up to full strength before you notice it, and the bronze shimmers in it make it metallic and sparkly. I love it.

Obligatory shade photo

I didn’t want to do another look with hand-placed glitter so long after my last one, but this was quick and easy. I’ve mentioned before that I never do holiday manis unless they’re convenient; I don’t like Valentine’s Day, but I like heart glitter, so I got it out. When I did my first hand-placed glitter look, I got so many reader comments about how long it must have taken. In all seriousness, it took longer to get my striping tape straight. I used a smaller size glitter this time, but the application time was about the same. It helps when you’re only doing a couple of nails, probably; if I’d done them all, I’d still be working.

Literary Lacquers can be found in their etsy shop. I got the striping tape on Amazon, and the heart glitters are from Glitter Unique.

I bought these products 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 Tuesday Morning: Winterland Hottie

Happy Monday! My post is late tonight because I just got back from a Christmas party, where these wintry nails were a huge hit. I know I said I never do seasonal nails, but I had the opportunity today and I took it. For this look, I’m wearing Indigo Bananas‘s Klein Trink Wasser as my base and Sinful Colors’s Hottie on top. All nails are topped with Seche Vite top coat.

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So last week I talked a bit about drugstore glitters as a gateway drug; back in the ’90s, Sinful Colors was where it was at. I don’t know if you remember, but Walgreens used to sell it, and they came in indie-style bottles, the barrel ones with the black caps. My mother felt uncomfortable buying something “sinful”. I wanted every color. It’s fun how some things never change; I love these glitter polishes as much as I did when I was younger. The polishes haven’t changed much, either; they’re the same iridescent glitter mixes they always have been. There’s something really nice about that. It might be the same glitter, but it’s a ton of fun finding new and grown-up ways to wear it.

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I love that indie cremes are becoming a thing. That’s not to say Klein Trink Wasser is a new polish; I actually bought it last year, and this is the first time I’m wearing it. I just mean that, even with a seemingly basic color like this one, you’d think that there’d be no more creme colors left without mass market dupes. As surprising as it seems, I don’t have anything like this polish in my collection. All my dark blue cremes are really dark, and all my dark blues are shimmery or glittery. It took me a long time to find a creme in this particular shade. Anyway, I think that the indie creme trend is amazing. Between the Creme a la Mode box and the Pipe Dream neons and brights, there are a ton of exciting cremes without mass market dupes. It’s really cool.

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I’m not sure I’ve ever worn striping tape on its own on the blog; usually I just use it like a vinyl strip. I’ve definitely never worn loose glitter, and that’s fun, too. The snowflakes were bigger than I wanted and they’ve been getting snagged on things. It also feels a little weird wearing snowflakes on my nails when I’m wearing a tube top and shorts. One more thing: I made a scented top coat to wear with this mani. I had a little vial of winter gardenia fragrance oil, so I made a top coat with it because it seemed appropriate. I’ll have these listed in the shop soon, along with a new Wacie Nail Co. collection.

Klein Trink Wasser and other Indigo Bananas polishes are sold on their website. Hottie and Sinful Colors are sold in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Yellow Lattice on Grey

I ran out of Seche Vite this weekend trying to smooth down a heavy glitter manicure, and didn’t have enough of to finish this week’s mani. I had to resort to my backup, the el cheapo LA Colors top coat that takes ages to dry and can’t be applied until the lacquer itself is dry. When I woke up this morning, a couple of the nails on my right hand were dimpled and rough from being pressed into teddy bear fur, and I’d done them hours before I’d gone to bed. This stuff seriously takes until 2014 to dry.

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This was my first time using striping tape to make thin, clean lines. Some of the nails came out really well. On some of them, I forgot the order in which I put down the tape pieces and smudged a few of the lines. The dots, thankfully, cover most of those. On the whole, it’s kind of a mess: there are more stripes on some nails than on others; none of them are consistent. That, and with the top coat problem, I’m kind of just counting the days until I take them off.

Julep's Lexie, Orly's Decoded, Sally Hansen's Hard to Get (again)

Julep’s Lexie, Orly’s Decoded, Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get (again)

Here are the colors I used this week. Lexie was a little hard to work with; even after two coats, I still had steaks and bald spots in places. Decoded is one of my favorites, though. It’s pretty much opaque in one coat, dark and mysterious. I’ll be sad when this one is empty.