Manicure Whenever: That’s What I Mint

Happy Wednesday! I planned to wear this polish on Monday for my Manicure Monday series, but my weekend look got irreparably smudged right after I finished, and being low on top coat, I decided just to go for the textured polish right away. I actually wore this polish from Saturday to Tuesday with minimal chipping. This is Nicole by OPI’s That’s What I Mint; I’m wearing three coats.

I was super impressed by how well this wore on me. I’m not one to wear a polish more than a day or two, and that’s largely because of how quickly it chips. One will chip and then I end up picking at it and all the others until there’s nothing left and I have no choice but to start over. I’m actually kind of proud of myself that I kept polish on for four whole days.

Nicole by OPI is sold in stores; I got this one from a Target clearance bin.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch: Emerald & Ash’s Construction Season

Welcome back, reader! It’s another swatch! This is Emerald & Ash’s Construction Season, a throwback from their 2013 Road Trip textured polish collection. I’m wearing three coats without top coat.

Construction Season is a bright orange polish with a fine texture. Application was good; due to the textured effect, the polish is quite thick, and goes on in thick coats. I find this kind of consistency easy to work with, but I realize some people don’t. The texture is pretty smooth, and smoothness increases with additional coats. It mostly serves as a visual effect than a palpable one, so even the people who dislike textured polish may like this one.

So, when I was getting this post together, I noticed that Emerald & Ash’s website is down and the domain is expired. I know they were on hiatus for a while, but I thought they came back, and it’s sad to lose another maker. So many of them are closing up this year. It’s a terrible shame. I hope everything is going well for them.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange Alert

Hello, reader! Today’s mani is a pretty simple one. I’m apparently still into negative-space manis, but really, I just wanted to do something with a textured polish that was still nail-arty, and this was just the direction it took. For this look, I used Emerald & Ash‘s Construction Season with Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair top coat.

I’ve talked before about how much I love the Road Trip collection from E&A. Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete collection, but the ones I do have have been a ton of fun to wear. The texture is unlike any other polish type; It’s a very fine grit, as opposed to chunky glitter or rough sand. It sparkles like sugar. This one happens to be Nickelodeon orange, which makes it my favorite.

I wanted a little something under the negative part of the nail, just to keep it from being completely bare, so I put a coat of Spectraflair top coat under Construction Season. You can barely tell it’s there, but I like the addition. I can’t see it at all indoors, but in the sun, you can see it’s barely-thereness.

Speaking of sunlight, here are some photos I took in direct sunlight. The orange got kind of washed out, and the color also suffers from an uncooperative camera. You can see the reflective goodness pretty well out here at least, as well as the aforementioned Spectraflair.

Construction Season has been discontinued by Emerald & Ash (though they’ve been MIA for quite some time). Digital Nails’s Spectraflair top coat and other polishes are sold in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Jennine

It’s Monday!! This Monday means a manicure featuring Julep’s Jennine! This is my first time using one of Julep’s Stardust Finish polishes, and I’m always excited to wear a textured polish in general. For this look, I used three coats of Jennine without top coat.



I know textured polishes aren’t the trend they used to be, but I still love them so much. They just have such a distinctive glitter look, something that microglitters alone can’t quite pull off. Jennine is a mermaidy crust of glitter on the nail, something cool and tranquil but also sparkly and fun.



The texture of Jennine is finer than that of other textured polishes I’ve used in the past. I thought that since there were no chunky glitters, it wouldn’t achieve a texture as well, but once I had it on, it looked the way it was supposed to. There is some texture, but it’s not gritty or snaggly. It’s really nice to touch.



As you might have guessed, Jennine is gorgeous in the sun. I love the allover sparkle and dimension. I look down at them every chance I get!





Jennine is out of stock, but other Julep polishes are available at My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Lemon Lolly

Happy Monday! I’m excited to be wearing a textured polish this week. I know everyone else has moved on from them, but I still think they’re cool. This is Lemon Lolly from Nicole by OPI; I’m wearing three coats alone.



Lemon Lolly brings a bit of brightness to my Monday. As of this writing, Tropical Storm Colin is on its way to my house, and as such, it’s been gray, stormy, and foreboding. It’s the perfect day for yellow! I am a fan (to a point) of inclement weather, so it’s kind of fun to listen to it. If you’re reading this from Florida, stay safe!



I wear textured polishes so infrequently that I haven’t had time to get sick of them, and honestly, I don’t know if I ever could. I mean, I know it is kind of gimmicky, but this one is just so golden, so sparkly, and so cheerful. I don’t think I could wear this polish and be in a bad mood. It’s a look that could only come from a textured polish.



On a somewhat unrelated note, I used to have the perfect clutch. It was bright yellow, leatherette, and studded with silver spike studs. I went through a yellow phase a few years ago and it was absolutely perfect for me then. My cat peed on it and ruined it. Today I got nostalgic for it, and that’s why I used the spike studs on my accent nail. I miss that bag so much, and this is my dumb little homage to it.


Lemon Lolly has been discontinued by Nicole by OPI; other NOPIs are available in stores nationwide. I got mine at Target. My spike studs are from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Virgo Supercluster

Happy Monday again, reader! This week’s Manicure Monday is also a Wacie Nail Company release! One of the first polishes I ever made found itself in my polish queue, and it felt appropriate to do a mani with it and a release at the same time. This polish is called Virgo Supercluster, and I’m wearing it at three coats without top coat. Photos were taken both indoors and outdoors in direct sunlight.



So if you’re a longtime reader of, you’ll might remember a Wacie Wednesday feature, when I wore a new prototype I made every week. Virgo Supercluster was one of the first Wacies to make their debut there, so check out that post as well. In that post, you can see what this polish looks like with top coat; this week I decided not to use top coat to capture its gritty textured finish. Whether you choose to wear top coat or not, this polish is still insanely sparkly, and even without top coat, it does still have some gloss.



Every time I write a post like this, I’m just so excited. I’m not only writing a blog post about a nail polish, but I’m bringing a new polish into the world. I’m putting a part of myself out there. And, should it ever make its way into someone else’s hands, I hope they love it as much as I do.




Though most of the photos I took were indoors, I did get out for a bit this afternoon to take some in the sun. This polish absolutely looks best in the sunshine, because you can see every bit of the holo glitter shine. Indoors, it’s still pretty, but it’s muted. In the sun, the colors are brighter and richer, and just make the polish. I think the texture pops more out there, too.





Virgo Supercluster is available from the Wacie Nail Company etsy shop. My bow is from Daily Charme.

I made this polish.


Manicure Monday: Sweetie

Happy Monday, reader! Here’s my mani this week. I used a textured polish alone, so it’s simple. It’s Sweetie from Sally Hansen; I’m wearing three coats without top coat.



Sweetie is a flat yellow textured polish. There’s no glitter or shimmer; it’s just a yellow creme with bumps. I really like the color; I like these cool light yellows a lot. I’m having a hard time getting into the texture, though, like is it truck bed liner, or is it polish? Don’t get me wrong, I like the way the texture feels, but the look is just lacking. The absence of glitter just makes it look like thick nasty polish.



I’m trying to make the best of it. Honestly, I don’t hate it or anything. I just had really high hopes for this polish. I wanted more. I at least wanted sparkles.



Sally Hansen polishes are sold nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Cinna-man of My Dreams

Welcome back! We’ve got another simple manicure done with a textured polish for this week’s Manicure Monday. This is Cinna-man of My Dreams from Nicole by OPI. I’m wearing three coats without top coat.



Cinna-man of My Dreams is a cool rosy bronze textured polish. Application went well; the glitter was dense and evenly-distributed. I reached full opacity in two coats. The texture isn’t as coarse as some texture polishes are; as this is part of the Gumdrops collection, I suspect they were going for a fine sugar texture rather than the chunky glitter one the Liquid Sands have. The drying times were good; my nails were dry to the touch in about five minutes.



A surprise in this polish in the shifting shimmer. I’m not sure what color it is in its natural state, probably bronze or rose, but when it’s front-lit, it turns a rich gold. It’s evident both on the nail and in the bottle. It’s my favorite part of this polish, just because it was so unexpected. It makes me wonder if I’ve just overlooked it in all my other textured polishes. I love it.



The Gumdrops collection may be discontinued. Nicole by OPI is sold in stores nationwide; I got mine from Target. My bow charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Jinx

Welcome back, reader! It’s been a long time since I got to wear a Liquid Sand polish; I’d forgotten how fun and pretty they are! This is Jinx; I’m wearing three coats without top coat.



Jinx is an orange-coral polish with tons of gold shimmer, and of course, a textured finish. The application with these is always tricky for me; The first coat goes on cleanly, and then with continued use, the brush that’s full of glitter and polish fans out wider than my nail and it makes a mess. At least the glitter is fine and cleanup is easy.



As you may remember, Jinx was part of the Bond Girls collection from 2013. I remember I really struggled with this collection; I’m not a fan of the 007 films — I’ve never actually seen one, in fact — so I felt a little weird about buying them. Eventually, I justified by telling myself it’s not the inspiration that matters, but the polishes themselves. This led to the dilemma of which one I was going to get, and whether I could justify spending my grocery money on the whole collection. I ended up finding an Amazon seller selling the whole collection for about $35.



This is one of the best Liquid Sand polishes I’ve used yet. A lot of them seem to lean hard to either visible texture or tons of glitter, and this one lands right in the middle. It’s obviously textured, but it’s not the main focus of the polish. The glitter and shimmers are there, but they don’t take over the look, either. It’s perfectly, beautifully balanced.

Jinx and the other Bond Girl polishes seem to be discontinued by OPI, but are probably still available in shops and online. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Emerald & Ash’s California Stop

Swatch Sunday comes to you in a more timely manner today. I’m excited to show you California Stop from Emerald & Ash. It’s from their textured Road Trip collection. I’m wearing three coats without top coat.





California Stop is a brick red jelly with shimmer and reflective silica beads; the silica beads are what gives this polish its texture. The texture is fine and still pretty smooth to the touch. I thought the drying times were good; my nails were bathroom dry in about fifteen minutes. Applying it was tricky; with all the beads and reflective goodness in it, the brush widened quite a bit, and was wider than my smaller nails. This made application on my thumb really nice, but made a mess on my pinky. I don’t blame this on the polish, just on my small hands. I got perfect opacity in three coats, though those who use lighter coats may need more.



Inspired by the ever-present red stop sign, this color is the exact shade of sun-aged red found in signs all over my neighborhood. To me, it evokes childhood memories of being in the car with my mother, driving around in my grandparents’ suburb, seeing the faded signs, the palm trees in every yard, and the sun in my eyes. Now that I think about it, that car was the same color as those signs.





The polishes in the Road Trip collection were the first textured indie polishes I’d ever seen, and I just thought they were really cool. They aren’t as coarse as mass-market textures, and they are beautiful in their shimmery monochrome simplicity. Also, at the time, I was getting ready to embark on a two week long road trip with a friend, so I was all about road tripping. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any of the polishes until recently, and by then, three of the seven were out of stock. It’s a shame, because there really isn’t anything else like them in my collection.

The reflective effect works best in dimmer, direct light, so in bright midday sunshine, it’s not as obvious. Out here, you get the shimmer and color of the polish, but not the reflective effect.



California Stop, as well as three of the other Road Trip collection polishes, are still in stock on the Emerald & Ash website. They are clearance priced, so it’s likely quantities are limited.

I bought this polish myself.