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: Dreams of Mermaids

Hello reader! I’m so excited for today’s post. I’m wearing a thermal polish! Dreams of Mermaids was a very early indie polish purchase, and today’s the day I’m giving it some love. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



Dreams of Mermaids is a green-to-teal thermal polish with gold, blue, and green glitters, as well as a green shimmer throughout. Unfortunately, because it’s a very hot day in sunny Florida, I wasn’t able to capture the thermal effect well. In July, it doesn’t matter how long my nails are, the polish is always in the hot stage. Dunking my nails in ice water effects the change, but as soon as I pull it out, it goes right back to hot. This is why my cold stage and transition photos are so watery; I had to work fast. I do apologize.







I’m actually surprised the thermal effect still happens at all; this is a three year old polish, after all. I bought it at the same time I bought Pretty Chameleon, another beautiful Pretty & Polished thermal. Not only does it still change, it still has a pretty dramatic change. Something I notice about old thermals is that even though the effect still happens, it doesn’t happen as quicky or as powerfully as it used to. This one still works like it’s brand new.



In the sunlight, you can see exactly why this polish is called Dreams of Mermaids. The colors are definitely evocative of the ocean, and the shimmer really lights up out here! These photos were taken in direct sunlight.






It looks like Dreams of Mermaids has been discontinued by Pretty & Polished; other P&P polishes — including thermals! — are for sale in their etsy shop and on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Pretty & Polished’s Pretty Chameleon

It’s another Swatch Sunday! I get to show you a thermal this week and I’m super excited. Pretty Chameleon from Pretty & Polished has been on the blog before, but never on its own. I’m wearing three coats of Pretty Chameleon with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




Pretty Chameleon is a pink thermal polish with fine pink and blue glitters. Application was good; the product formula was very easy to work with, and I achieved full opacity in two coats. The colors change with the temperature of the polish; the pink is deep when cold and pale when warm. The glitters, though sparse, get lost in the creme; most of it just looks like blue dots with very little sparkle. It dries quickly and with a satin finish; I used top coat for extra shine.



Pretty Chameleon is one of the first indie polishes I ever bought — the eleventh, to be exact, and my second thermal — and it’s always been a polish I’ve loved. Thermals were new to me back then, and being pink made it all the better. I think the color difference was a big stronger when I first got it, but that tends to happen with thermals as they age. I’m surprised this one still changes at all, given it’s three years old. Also, because it’s hot in the house as well as outside, it was difficult to keep the cool effect long enough to get photos of it. As soon as I pulled it out of the ice water, it warmed right back up again.



These photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. I used pool water to effect the temperature change. It heated back up almost immediately.





Pretty Chameleon is out of stock; check Pretty & Polished’s website and etsy shop for other polishes.

I bought this polish myself.

HPB Presents: Spring Hibiscus

Hello hello, reader! Today’s a special Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up post. Every month we get together and do a themed mani, and the theme for March is spring. The mani can be as simple or elaborate as we like as long as it fits the theme; as a personal challenge, I try to use polishes I haven’t used before. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s The Merchant’s Son, Ellagee‘s Breena, Essie’s Tart Deco and Sunday Funday, L’Oreal’s New Money and Hyde Park, and Revlon’s Sunlit Grass and African Tea Rose, all topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Of course, flowers are the harbingers of spring, and as beautiful as they are, I didn’t want to do a floral mani for spring because I knew everyone else would be doing it. I did it anyway. Boyfriend and I are very into tropical plants, and we wanted to make our backyard space even more tropical, so we got a few new hibiscus plants. I snapped a photo of this beautiful peach hibiscus, and I knew I had to make a mani out of it. Boyfriend is also quite the connoisseur of Hawaiian shirts, and this look is inspired by those as well.


I started this look out with two coats of The Merchant’s Son, three on some nails where it was still a bit translucent. The Merchant’s Son is a thermal, but you can’t really tell under all the flowers. I didn’t even bother to show the thermal effect in action because it would be impossible to see. I picked a thermal because my original idea was to use a gradient. I also used a thin coat of Breena — that’s where the flakie holo comes from — just to add a bit of sparkle. When you can see the thermal effect of The Merchant’s Son, it shows right through Breena. The addition of Breena was probably unnecessary, but I needed one more polish to make an even eight.



I did the leaves before I did the flowers, but I did them exactly the same way; instead of brushing the polish on, I stippled it on with a dotting tool. I don’t know what it is, but I’m much more comfortable with the dotting tool as a method. Brushing never works for me. I have small nail beds, and often the brush feels too large or unwieldy, even when my nails are quite long. For this reason, there’s not a lot of intricate detail in the foliage and flowers; I took a cruder colorblock approach to this. I stippled the leaves on — two colors for variety — and then the flower petals, and then the pistils and stamens. For reference, I used Nailstorming’s hibiscus nail art tutorial video. I actually picked my colors before I sought out the video, and I love that we both chose pretty similar colors.



This was my first attempt at this kind of nail art, and I’m happy with how it came out. It’s rough, sure, but I didn’t screw it up or anything, you can tell what it’s supposed to be. It’s super in your face. Boyfriend accused them of being stick-on nails and that was kind of satisfying. I got to use a whole eight unused polishes, that’s pretty nice too.



The truth is, spring came long ago to Florida. I know other parts of the country are still thawing out, but we’ve been enjoying it for some time now. That’s kind of the reason I didn’t want to do a spring flower mani, I was just so over spring flowers that I just wanted something summery and fun, something that really reflects Florida in March. Speaking of which, here’s some sunlight photos! The holo, or what you can see of it, looks amazing out here. I’m not sure if the Elevation or the Ellagee is my favorite of this look, but they look so beautiful together I couldn’t possibly choose.




Here’s a product roundup, just for reference. I rarely do this, but I rarely use so many polishes for one mani.


Elevation Polish has discontinued The Merchant’s Son, but you can find their other polishes in their shop. Breena also appears to be discontinued by Ellagee; other polishes are sold in their shop. Revlon, L’Oreal, and Essie are sold in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Manicure Monday: Sundown

Happy Monday, reader! This is the last Manicure Monday of 2015. I cannot believe another year has gone by and I’m still blogging. The wacie.com anniversary, as well as the anniversary of Wacie Nail Company, are coming up, and I have some really fun things planned, like new polishes! For now though, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. For this final post of 2015, I’m wearing Pretty & Polished‘s Sundown; this is three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.



Sundown, as you can see, is an orange-to-yellow thermal creme polish with glitters in orange, yellow, and pink. The polish coverage is on the opaque side, so glitters from previous coats don’t show up so well in the finished look. That’s especially true for the orange/cold stage; since the yellow/warm stage is much paler, and the darker glitters do actually show through a little. The transition occurs easily. Application was okay; the creme went on beautifully, but the glitters were few and took some manipulating to get them just right. The polish dries with a satin finish.



I bought this polish in 2015, and I’m actually surprised it still transitions. I’m thrilled with it, really. A lot of the thermals I’ve had that long — even a few I bought more recently — have stopped altogether. I was really unsure of what to expect from it. It’s beautiful, though, isn’t it? It’s so strangely appropriate for this post, and in so many ways: obviously the name is appropriate, since the sun is setting on such an exciting year. Today’s high was 83 degrees, and so the colors are unseasonally seasonal. It’s not a NYE glitterbomb, but it’s a really cool polish to see me through the end of the year.



Sundown is no longer made by Pretty & Polished, but you can find other polishes (thermals!) on both their etsy store and their official website.

I bought this polish myself.


Manicure Monday: Polka.com/thermal

Happy Monday! It’s late, but here’s this week’s Manicure Monday post. I’m wearing OPI’s Polka.com over Digital Nails‘s Nox with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. I love this mani, let’s get started!



I love thermals. I have so few and I don’t wear them often, but I adore them. Nox is especially beautiful; it morphs from a pale periwinkle to a deep indigo and dries with a matte finish. Unforunately though, because it’s been so warm here, I’ve rarely seen it in its cold state. It goes right back to the warm state pretty much instantly. I had a glass of ice water in the studio while I was taking these photos for a quick dip, and I got one photo where you can see the transition. One thing that’s constant, though, is the shift in this polish. This delicious shimmer shifts from blue to pink, and it’s amazing. It’s definitely the best part of this manicure.



Polka.com is a pretty simple topper; while colorful, there aren’t a ton of crazy shapes and the colors are muted. This is pretty typical for an OPI topper; there’s a bit of excess lacquer, so without dabbing or sponging the glitter on, there isn’t much coverage. I usually hate this, but today I’m thankful for it, because I didn’t want to cover up the thermal. I could have done with more, but I didn’t want to risk another coat and then having too much.


My one photo of Nox doing thermal things.


I’m really happy with how they look together. I thought the glitter would overpower the shimmer in Nox, but they work together well. The darker glitters blend into the thermal when it’s in its cold state, but that’s forgivable, especially since the cold state is unlikely to happen. I really want to try this look in the winter, when the thermal effect will actually get some play.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Island Diamond Sunset

Who likes glitter and thermals? I do! For this Manicure Monday, I’m wearing a fun double-thermal and an opal glitter. This is three coats of Digital Nails‘s Island Sunset with one brushed coat of China Glaze’s Luxe and Lush, as well as one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat.



Island Sunset is such a fun thermal polish. Thermals are always fun when they change colors with heat, but this one is double the fun because it changes at cool temperatures as well. It goes both ways! At its most neutral state, Island Sunset is a cool peach. Dipped in ice water, it turns a deep pink. Dipped in tea, it turns a warm yellow. I’ve been playing with my nails all day, submerging them into whatever liquids are near to see what color they turn. I have quite a few thermals in my collection, but this is the only three-way thermal. I love it.



Luxe and Lush is the perfect glitter for this polish. It’s made up entirely of iridescent shredded glitters. Depending on the light, the glitter reflects the warm peach and cool rose tones in the polish itself, which I think is really cool. In other lighting conditions, the glitter turns greenish-blue. It has every color I could want, but it doesn’t interefere in any way with the thermal polish; as the color changes in the thermal, the glitter and its many colors offers just enough glint and sparkle.




Seriously, how great is this look? I’m so excited about both of these polishes and I want to wear this combination forever. Also, I just got my pool cleaned and I can’t wait to see what it looks like underwater. It’s sparkly, summery, and just a ton of fun.

Island Sunset isn’t currently in stock, but you can buy other Digital Nails polishes in their etsy shop. I got my bottle of Luxe and Lush from Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Double Pink and Fairy Dust

Happy new year, readers! This is my last manicure for 2014. Yeah, I can’t believe it, either! I’m wearing three coats of Pretty & Polished‘s Pretty Chameleon, one coat of China Glaze’s Fairy Dust, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.



Pretty Chameleon is a thermal polish that goes from bright pink to light pink with body temperature. Applying this polish was a dream; the consistency is thick, but this is typically the case with the way thermal polishes are made. Drying times were quick, however, and the polish dried with a matte finish. It’s a very easy polish to put on. There are also some scattered holographic pigments hanging around in it, which aren’t easy to see with the Fairy Dust on top. I really love thermal polishes. The effect occurs almost instantly, depending on how warm or cool my hands are. This is tricky when applying multiple coats; it’s one color on the brush and another color on the nail. It’s so fun, though!



Everyone loves Fairy Dust, right? This was actually the polish I wanted to feature today, but the thermal kind of stole the show. It’s such a beautiful polish, and I wish I had the chance to use it more often. Maybe it’s good that I show restraint and don’t put it on everything, even though I’ve been tempted.


Pretty Chameleon, cold

Pretty Chameleon, cold


It’s a pretty tame NYE mani, but I’m happy with it. I thought wearing a thermal on nubs would be boring, like they would just always be the warm pink and I’d never get to see a change. Additionally, it was 80 degrees here today, and I was counting on cool outdoor temperatures to effect the change. I saw it change in the supermarket earlier, though, so that’s something.



See you guys in 2015!

Manicure Monday on Tuesday: Fun With Thermals

I’m always excited to share a first on the blog. For Manicure Monday this week, I’m wearing Tomboyish from Pretty & Polished, one of my first-ever indies, my first-ever thermal polish, and the first-ever thermal on the blog. I’m wearing three coats of Tomboyish with one coat of Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair top coat and Color Club’s clear coat.



The label got soft and peeled a bit from dipping the bottle into water to change its color.

The label got soft and peeled a bit from dipping the bottle into water to change its color.

Tomboyish is a deep teal-to-dusty blue thermal polish with a light sprinkle of holographic sparkle. The consistency is thick due to extra pigments, but it’s still very easy to use and apply. The first coat was very sheer, but coverage builds with additional coats. It dries quickly, and with a matte finish. In this regard, it’s very much like an ordinary polish.



Thermal polishes change color with heat, and that’s what makes this polish special. The teal color deepens when it’s exposed to cold temperatures, and it fades to blue when exposed to warm temperatures. Body heat is enough to effect the change, and it happens instantaneously; if I dipped my fingertips in cold water, the teal color would deepen, but would fade back to blue as they warm up again. If your nails are longer than your fingertips, you’ll often have a nice gradient effect; the part of your nail grown past your finger will be different than that’s closer to your cuticle. It’s an awesome, effortless look.


I wanted just a little bit more sparkle with Tomboyish, so I put on a Spectraflair top coat made by Digital Nails. The holo isn’t as strong as it would be if it was a holo polish, but being able to turn any polish I own into a holo is pretty cool.


I’ve had this polish for a long time, so I think the effect isn’t as potent as it used to be. The first time I used it, the light color was much lighter, and now it hovers somewhere in between. It’s still pretty cool, and it still changes, but not like it used to.

I love thermals, and I’ve got more in the pipeline. I can’t wait to wear them.