Manicure Monday: Pastel Belle

Happy Monday!! My Manicure Monday look today is a pastel wonder. This is Lynnderella‘s Custard Candy Cake and Literary Lacquers‘s My Secret Garden. This look is easy and cute.

It’s overcast today, so the photos are a bit dark.

So I was hoping Custard Candy Cake was just a tad more opaque. In the bottle, you can see it’s a cool pale yellow, but it brushes on very sheer, leaving lots of shimmer but not a lot of color. I’m wearing three coats here, and while the opacity increased a bit, it’s still very sheer and pale. It’s not what I wanted, but it’s still kind of chic, so I like it.

My Secret Garden was one of the first LitLacs I ever bought, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s a pretty basic topper with lots of color and just a bit of sparkle. The colors are a little too bright for the base, and I feel like that might be washing out whatever color is there, but you don’t want to hear me say negative things about nail polish, do you? No. I’m sorry I focus on the negatives a lot, but I just write about what I see and I should probably try to stop that.

Custard Candy Cake might have been a Lynnderella limited edition because I don’t see it in stock; other Lynnderellas are available on their website and eBay. My Secret Garden isn’t currently stocked, but other Literary Lacquers are for sale on etsy.

I bought these polishes 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 Monday: Old-Fashioned French Manicure

Manicure Monday is finally here! Today’s post is late because somebody (me) failed to charge the camera battery. It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s get this post rolling. I went for a French manicure-inspired look with inlaid glitter. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal, L’Oreal’s Raven’s Dream, Lynnderella‘s Something Old, and China Glaze’s White on White.

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I used two nudes in this look. I planned to use Raven’s Dream — a nude called Raven’s Dream, what? — is a sheer nude that’s ideal for a French mani, but I really suck at applying these sheers. I can never get them to look not-streaky. I love the look when it’s applied well, but I can never get it right, so I used Chantal as undies, and then a couple coats of Raven’s Dream on top. As it turned out, the color you’re seeing here is Chantal, but the shine, as well as the sheer painted over the glitter, that’s all Raven’s Dream. It has the most gorgeous gloss finish.

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I picked Something Old to go in this look because it has this great vintage feel. It’s got white and pink, the best hallmarks of bridal-themed polishes, but also incorporates a soft yellow, really making it seem faded and well-loved. Of course, this look kind of takes the beauty out of the polish. You can see some colors and shapes, but any sparkle gets cancelled out. The colors in the glitter are just soft enough to be obscured, so unless you know the glitter is there, it’s easy to overlook.

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I always suck at painting tips on. They always look so thick! My bottle of White on White is really low, so it took a lot of polish to get an even white tip on every nail. Some of them look and feel flat, but others have a visible bump where the tip is. It happens every time. It ties the look together, though. It’s not a true French by any means, but it does the job. The following photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. The glitter looks really nice out here, you can even see a bit of sparkle.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are sold at Ulta. Raven’s Dream has been discontinued; other L’Oreal polishes are sold in stores nationwide. Something Old was a Lynnderella limited edition and has since sold out; Lynnderella polishes are sold on eBay and on lynnderella.com. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

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: Sunburned Sunrise

Welcome to Manicure Monday! Today’s manicure looks like it was inspired by Reese’s Pieces, but I promise it wasn’t. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Sunburned Siren, Smokey Mountain Lacquers‘s Electric Sun, and Digital Nails‘s Enterprise, along with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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So when I was planning this look, Sunburned Siren was my main color choice. I totally fell in love with it the first time I swatched it. I wanted a nail art look, something that’s bright and fun like the Siren but doesn’t take away from it. I got Enterprise out because of the wild shift; it goes from a deep magenta to a cool gold, embracing the colors of the Siren’s shimmers but also exaggerating them. I added Electric Sun to work with the sunrise motif, to work as a cool shimmery yellow. It’s only just occurred to me that their names work together. I wish I hadn’t added the yellow, because that’s what makes it look like Reese’s Pieces, but it helps the sunrise look like a sunrise, so it works out.

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I used Enterprise as shifty sunrays, and I wish I’d used a gold glitter as well. I used an eyeshadow sponge as my application method; I also used it on the all-glitter accent nail. Enterprise is definitely more suited as a topper than a full-coverage glitter, so I did two brused coats of Enterprise, which gave me good but not complete coverage, and just used the sponged coats to cover what was still showing of my nails. I’m surprised it was able to cover so much. And, of course, what’s a wacie.com manicure without a bow? I love how many of you comment on the bows I use, it makes me feel like people really are seeing my stuff.

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In the sunlight, this mani was exactly what I wanted, even if it didn’t turn out the way I’d envisioned. It’s bright, warm, and fun, but it’s also accidentally autumnal, which works out, since the first day of autumn is in just a few days. These photos were all taken in direct sunlight.

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Sunburned Siren was a BEGL limited edition and has since sold out; you can buy other BEGLs from their online shop, though they are currently on a break. Electric Sun was a Beauty Quartet Box exclusive and is no longer available; other Smokey Mountain Lacquers are sold on their website. Enterprise and other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these products 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

HPB Presents Neon Splatter!

Hello, reader! Today’s post is a special Hobby Polish Bloggers linkup! Every month, the bloggers from the HPB Facebook group get together and do a themed mani; the mani can be as simple or elaborate as we want, so long as it adheres to the theme. The theme for May is neons and neutrals. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal and American Apparel’s Moon as the nude base, and American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Neon Coral, Neon Yellow, Neon Green, and Essie’s I’m Addicted as the colors. I actually did this post two weeks ago before I went on vacation, I’m excited to finally show it to you!

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I really love this month’s theme, and I had a lot of ideas on how to work with it. My first thought was a watermarble, but I did that for last month’s theme, so I skipped it. I also considered the dry brush technique, but ultimately chose the splatter, because I saw an excellent one on Casual Contrast that totally made me want to try it, and also because I’d never done it before. I put my base colors down, got the straws out, and commenced to splattering. I had so much fun with this mani. It reminded me of when we were bored in middle school and we’d dismantle pens to blow the ink out all over stuff. I gotta say though, the cleanup was way worse than I expected. Totally not for the faint of heart.

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For these HPB manis, and really every challenge mani, I try to use untried polishes, but this is the first one where all the polishes have been used multiple times. When it comes to neons, the American Apparel neons are my go-tos; they’re vivid without having to use a white base, and the product consistency makes them very easy to work with. However, there’s no blue, so that’s where the Essie comes in; I had it sitting out from a previous swatch, and it was just the right blue to work with my other neon shades. I love that the theme calls for nudes, because as cool as this would be with a white base, it means you can’t use just any neons, you’ve got to use some that are worth a crap.

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Remember I mentioned Moon used as a base? This is why: super secret glow-in-the-dark action! I put a coat over Chantal, just before adding the splatters. I wasn’t totally satisfied with just nudes and neons, I needed one more element to make this look really special. Between the glow and the neons, this mani is like the ’90s threw up on my nails. These photos were taken in compelete darkness.

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And these photos were taken in direct sunlight! Really harsh sunlight tends to wash neons out, so they’re not as bright out here as they could be.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are available from Ulta. Essie polishes are sold at Walgreens and other stores nationwide. American Apparel polishes have been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Swatch Sunday: Polish Addict Nail Color’s Fireflies

Welcome to this week’s Swatch Sunday! Today’s swatch is a fun one; I’m using an older polish from a new-to-me brand. This is Fireflies from Polish Addict Nail Color; I got it in a destash mystery box, and the only thing I could find out about it on Google was that it came out in 2013. I’m wearing three coats of Fireflies with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Fireflies is a pastel yellow crelly with pale yellow hexes, orange bars, pink and purple butterflies, and blue shred glitters. Application was okay; the pale yellow is very streaky on the first coat, almost nonexistent, and did leave some streaks by the third coat. Though the glitters are on the larger side, they were easy to retrieve from the bottle. I did have the glitters pile up in some places. The product consistency was good, though on the thinner side. The polish dries with a glossy finish. The larger glitters, especially those that piled up, did leave a bit of texture, even after top coat was applied.

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I’m not really familiar with PANC, even though I’ve seen them around the indie polish internet quite a lot. This is my very first one, and I’m not even its original owner. Despite that, it’s always fun to revisit older polishes and see how far the maker — and indie polish in general — has come. That said, I’m kind of torn on how I feel about this polish. The nostalgia factor is certainly fun, the concept and colors are fun, but I feel like the overall look is a little lacking. I would really love to see a reformulation of this polish in today’s indie style.

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In the sun, this polish looks about the same. There’s no shimmers or anything in this polish, there’s nothing really that comes to life in direct sunlight.

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Fireflies is probably discontinued by Polish Addict Nail Color; other PANC polishes are sold in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself via mystery box.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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: Strawberry Banana Swirl With Sprinkles

Happy Monday, reader! I did a great time doing today’s manicure, and I hope it shows! For this look, I used OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana and Live, Love, Carnaval with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Get Too Close to the Flame. All nails are topped with one coat of Gelous. Because of a chip that occurred in the polish between photography sets, I’ll be showing you the daylight photos first. These were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

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I Just Can’t Cope-acabana has been on this blog a lot lately; I’ve used it as the undies for glitters on at least three different swatches, and I’ve used it so much that it’s starting to show the fill line. Yellow can be hard to work with sometimes, what with the streaking and failure to level itself, and this is no exception, but it’s a really nice color. It’s a pretty neutral yellow and works with just about everything. I love the way it looks here with Live, Love, Carnaval; I didn’t think to pair these two until the last minute, and I like the way they look together. I mean, they should, they came from the same Brazil collection. They set each other off in just the right way, and they both marbled like a dream.

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So let’s talk about the chip on my index finger. I have no idea what caused it, only that it appeared sometime taking the daylight photos and taking the indoor photos. I’m pretty sure it’s a problem caused by Gelous. I know it’s not really meant to be used as one, but I ran out of Seche Vite and I don’t know when I’ll be able to get another bottle. It’s incredibly frustrating, because it takes a century to dry on its own and I keep smudging it hours after I thought it was dry. I miss Seche Vite so much.

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I’ve watermarbled before, but this is the first time I’ve tried the horizontal swirl; usually I stick to the flower or the pinwheel. I don’t think it looks too bad. I think I used too many rings, or maybe I made too many strokes in the polish, but it can be pretty tough to tell the colors in the marble apart; from far away, it just looks orange. I still like it, though.

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Get Too Close to the Flame works so well with I Just Can’t Cope-acabana that I couldn’t not use it. It was actually the first polish I picked out for this mani, and the ideas about the pink and the watermarble came later. I kind of struggled with how to use the glitter, since I still really wanted to, and I ended up just doing one allover coat with it, even over Live, Love, Carnaval, where there isn’t much constrast and all you see is some shimmer and faint glitter shapes. It’s a fun look, I think. Over the yellow, it’s bright and cheerful, over the pink it’s mysterious, and over the marbling, the word that comes to mind for me is planetary. It reminds me of the swirls around the red spot of Jupiter. It pleases me.

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I got I Just Can’t Cope-acabana and Live, Love, Carnaval from Sally Beauty Supply. I got Get Too Close to the Flame from the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer online shop; it’s been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.