Manicure Monday: Red Jelly Sandwich

Did I ever tell you guys about how much I love red nails? I love red nails. I love glitter. I love the way this turned out.


My last attempt at a glitter sandwich was in March, and if you’re longtime reader, you’ll remember this nail fail that resembles Italian food. When I did that manicure, this was the one I wanted. Pretty much as soon as I discovered Wet ‘n Wild’s Everybody Loves Redmond was slightly translucent on the first coat, I knew I was going to have to do this. Of course, the coverage seems to build, so had I used a bit more, the glitter would have been totally covered. You can see this on the middle finger, somewhat; I’d uncovered some of the glitter during cleanup, and did a second coat on just that nail. As a result, the glitter is harder to see.

In direct sunlight, but still indoors.

In direct sunlight, but still indoors.

Unfortunately, these labels don’t stand up to my haphazard storage method of having everything sitting around in a box. I have a couple bottles of these Wet ‘n Wild Fast Dry polishes, and all of the labels are completely rubbed off. Anyway, I like this color a lot. Indoors, it’s an orangey red, but outside in the sunlight, it’s very red, very bright. I’ll go ahead and admit I had pretty low expectations for this color, but I’m very impressed.


The glitter is Julep’s Paris. I got it in a mystery box sometime over the summer, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I would have chosen and purchased on my own. Even though there’s a ton of glitter in the bottle, it’s meant to be used as a top coat, to give a manicure the right amount of sparkle without being over the top. Of course, I don’t like things that aren’t over the top, so I went crazy with this glitter, adding three thick coats before putting down the last layer of red.  As a result, the bottle is two-thirds empty now.

Wet 'n Wild's Everybody Loves Redmond, Julep's Paris

Wet ‘n Wild’s Everybody Loves Redmond, Julep’s Paris

Also, let me tell you some about the topcoat I used this week. I’ve been buying a lot of indie products lately. Indie polish is the latest scourge on my wallet. It’s so gloriously inventive and completely unlike anything I could ever find in a store that the extra money and shipping fees are totally worth it. After the topcoat issues I had the past couple weeks, I decided to try Digital Nails’ topcoat, since I was buying their awesome new color-changing polish anyway. I’m pleased to report that it’s awesome. It dries in about the same time as Seche Vite.  I’m really impressed with it. Not that Digital Nails makes bad stuff, but I didn’t expect it to work so well. I’m wearing three coats here, and it gives me great shine and makes my nails rigid, which is something I look for in a topcoat. My nails are extremely soft and thin, and I rely on a hard topcoat to not only protect my color, but my whole nail. I would totally recommend it.

Oh Lord Jesus it's a fire.

Oh Lord Jesus it’s a fire.

The only problem is, it was clear when I started. I don’t know if this is an issue with the topcoat itself or the fact that I used it on cheap red nail polish, but now it’s an odd pink. It doesn’t look like the tint affects it in any way, which is good, but I don’t want this to happen every time I use it and having some weird brown topcoat after a few weeks. I guess we’ll see.

Manicure Monday: Matte Gold Sparkles

Here is another great manicure ruined by cheap top coat.


It started so well. I used two coats of this very dark, very opaque OPI shade called We’ll Always Have Paris. It looked purplish in the fluorescent supermarket lights, and when I got home with it, it was like a deep brown. It still looks purple in direct sunlight, but it’s brown enough that it worked for my purpose this week. I’m still not entirely sure what color it even is, and I’ll admit it I just bought it for it’s name, because I’m kind of obsessed with France. I love these dark, vampy colors, though. They remind me of middle school, when I wasn’t allowed to wear black nail polish (or black lipstick, or dye my hair black), but I could get away with just about any other dark color. As a result, I wore lots of of dark purples and silvers and browns to get the same effect. I still love how it makes my nails look.


The notch on the ring finger is from picking at dried polish around the cuticle. Entirely my fault.

The gold sparkles are As Gold as It Gets by Essie. This is one of the first Essies I ever bought myself, way back around Christmas when I’d gotten some money, and I had to walk the whole mile to Walgreens to get a bottle of acetone because the nearer store was out. While I was there, I checked out the nail polish. I’d come all that way, right? I didn’t yet own any Essie polishes, I had money rolling around in my pocket, I splurged and bought as many as I could carry. I spent literally every cent I had on Essie polishes and acetone. Anyway, I love the Essie LuxEffects line, and I like this one in particular. It gives any color an iridescent warmth and a unique finish, one that’s different from gold leaf or glitter. Adding the matte top coat to it guarantees you can see every piece of gold.

OPI's We'll Always Have Paris, Essie's As Gold as It Gets, Revlon's matte top coat

OPI’s We’ll Always Have Paris, Essie’s As Gold as It Gets, Revlon’s matte top coat

Somehow, I don’t know how this happened, the top coat completely smudged my tips. Somehow, it ate through three layers of polish, even though I’d given it ample time to dry so as to avoid this. I am so mad at myself for using up all my Seche Vite. I think I’m going to just buy one of those mega large bottles and be done with it.

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.


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.

Manicure Monday: Red and White Stamps

I bought a stamping kit on my latest excursion to Sally; that was like a month ago, and I’ve just gotten around to trying it out.


The neutral base color is a color called Cashmere Crème. I got it in a thrift store probably a year ago. When I got it, the printing on the bottle was mostly intact; I have no idea what happened to it since then. I’m also not entirely sure what color this even is. It looks like a tan shimmer in the bottle, but on my nails, it looks more metallic, more silver. It’s confusing. It’s a good base color for this manicure, though.

It was kind of tough finding the right colors for the stamped designs. I’d set aside the dark red Mercury Rising to go with the Cashmere Crème before I even knew I was going to be doing this stamping design, and at first, I didn’t think it would be opaque enough to stamp with. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. The white is Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get, my workhorse white color.

China Glaze Cashmere Creme, Sinful Colors Mercury Rising, Sally Hansen Hard to Get

China Glaze Cashmere Creme, Sinful Colors Mercury Rising, Sally Hansen Hard to Get

Then I got the rhinestones out. I tried doing them just on my thumb and ring finger as accents, but then the rest of the nails looked plain, so I added a few here and there, alternating the colors on each finger. Then I got tired of seeing ones that didn’t have a rhinestone and I ended up with more than I planned, and some in odd places, like on the sides or at the very tips.

For a first try at stamping, I’m happy with it.