Manicure Monday: Blue Crackle Over Copper

I was looking forward to this manicure for a while. I bought Essie’s Penny Talk a few months ago, when I was just climbing onto the Essie bandwagon. My boyfriend and I were grocery shopping and I found the supermarket’s small section of nail polish. I flipped and grabbed as many bottles of it as I could hold (like four). My boyfriend caught me, made me put them all back, and literally dragged me away from the shelf. I didn’t put them all back though. I sneaked this one.

I’ve never shown swatches or pre-cleanup pictures on the blog before, but I knew I needed to photograph this one before I finished. I mean, look at this. I didn’t expect this metallic finish at all, and I am blown away by it. I’ve seen the other Essie metallic colors in stores, but I was never interested in them until I put this on. This is just breathtaking.

This is two coats of Penny Talk with no topcoat.

This is two coats of Penny Talk with no topcoat.

Dat shiny.

Dat shiny.

Unfortunately, it’s not very forgiving if you don’t have perfectly smooth nails. I have some nail peeling and dents from peeling off polish, and you can see every ridge and crease through the polish. I’ve never had this happen before. It may be time to invest in a ridge filling base coat, because I plan to buy more of these.

The actual manicure.

The actual manicure.


I know crackle toppers are long over, but I still like them. I like how unpredictable they can be, and how each nail is its own unique, chaotic piece of art. This particular crackle topper was sent to me from Germany, so I’m really excited to finally try it. I really love the way the metallic finish shines through the cracks. The crackle itself dries matte, but when I put the topcoat on, I get this incredible shine from both. I didn’t think I would like a crackle manicure so much.

Essie's Penny Talk, P2's Crackling Top Coat in Blue Bomb. I really love that German sticker on the bottle.

Essie’s Penny Talk, P2’s Crackling Top Coat in Blue Bomb. I really love that German sticker on the bottle.

Manicure Monday: Glitter Half-Moon Over Amethyst

Today’s nail experiment surprises me with its elegance.

It took me forever to figure out what to do this week. I had two randomly chosen polishes; one is a very powerful, commanding purple with a blue flash, and the other is a dainty glitter topper with a slight blue tint. In tests, I couldn’t get them to work together. Putting the glitter on top of the purple always cancelled out the shifting colors, and my nails are so short that making thick necktie stripes would not have worked. I was totally out of ideas, and it didn’t occur to me until just before I started that I should use the glitter as the undies for a half moon mani. Best idea ever.

Sinful Colors's Hottie, Sally Hansen's Purple Potion

Sinful Colors’s Hottie, Sally Hansen’s Purple Potion

To me, this is like the nail equivalent of an evening gown. The purple conjures images of both royalty and jewels. The glitter is the sexy underwear beneath. It lays a foundation that is inconspicuous, but adds a nice touch of sparkle that supports the purple without overpowering it. I’m really surprised I could get such an elegant mani that’s also so simple and quick to do.

This is blurred to show you the glitter and the blue shimmer.

This is blurred to show you the glitter and the blue shimmer.

It was rainy when I took the first couple of photos, and as soon as I sat down to write, the sun came out, so I took a one more.


Manicure Monday: Blue Glitter on Pink

These post-birthday nails are so shiny, I couldn’t get a decent picture of them. It’s rainy and overcast today, and what little light I could get from outside reflected off of the glitter and made things complicated. Even in person, they look like this. It’s impossible to see the glitter, only the shine. After ten tries with similar results, I gave up. This was the best I could do.


Seriously, this was the only almost-good one.

I tried a few new things this week. I bought a new base coat like three weeks ago, and the indie seller I bought it from took an eternity to ship it, so I broke down and grabbed this OPI one. I actually really like it. It dries very quickly and cuts my mani time down significantly. I’m really impressed with it. The pink from this week, Love Rocks, is perfectly opaque after two coats. I’m always excited to use Essie polishes because I have so few of them, so I really love the blue metallic glitter from Stroke of Brilliance. It made my photography a nightmare, but it gives me an effect I couldn’t get from anything else.

Sally Hansen's Love Rocks, Essie's Stroke of Brilliance

Sally Hansen’s Love Rocks, Essie’s Stroke of Brilliance

I didn’t think I would like this mani so much. I had the pink, I needed a blue, and Stroke of Brilliance was the first one I grabbed from the blue section, so I used it. (Someday maybe I’ll write about my haphazard polish sorting and zero-effort mani planning). I’m actually really pleased with it.

Manicure Monday On the Road: Birthday Cupcakes

It’s my birthday week, so I’m visiting my boyfriend in Atlanta for the week. Unfortunately, this means I have one photo of my manicure, taken with an iPad. Unfortunately, it means I had to type this blog entry on an iPad as well.

They look kinda melted.

They look kinda melted.

I used a lot of colors in this manicure, as you can see. Here’s a list:

Green: Sally Hansen’s Mint Sprint
Blue: OPI’s Eurso Euro
Pink: P2’s French Kiss
White: Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get
Accent nails: Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES!

Several days before I left, I packed everything I would need for this manicure. I put all five polishes into a bag with my dotting tool, pointed cotton swabs and acetone, striping tape, tweezers, and whatever else I would need to successfully complete this mani. When I started, I ended up peeling off my old mani, which took off a bit of my natural nail, but it also meant I didn’t disturb my boyfriend’s six housemates with bad acetone smell. Also, since it was a mani with rhinestones, it also meant I didn’t have to go through the kitchen hunting for foil or anything like that. So I’d already started on a bad foot. Then when it was time to start the dotting, the dotting tool wasn’t in my bag. I went through it twice, I looked in other bags several times, and it was nowhere to be found. I ended up making all my dots with the end of an unwound paper clip. It definitely shows. While this isn’t some of my best handpainting, it’s not my worst, either. Actually, it may be my best. I’m awful at handpainting.

So, the polishes. Eurso Euro had a really weird smell, somewhat different from the usual OPI smell. Now that I think about it, I have a dark blue P2 crackle with the same weird smell. Do these dark blue pigments just smell differently, or what? It had really nice coverage, and was easy to work with, but that smell. I can’t get past it. The mint green Sally Hansen is an Insta-Dri, so of course it was opaque in one coat and ready to go right away. I didn’t use the P2 for much, other than the cherry on the top of the cupcake, but it’s probably just as nice to work with.

I think the glitter crelly, Floppy. Hoppy. BUNNIES!, kind of stole the show here. Yes, that’s butterfly glitter you see there, as well as stars in a couple different colors, squares, and hexes. It’s a limited edition polish from Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer, and you only get it by ordering the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer-inspired collection. Holos aren’t really my style, so they felt bad for me and gave it to me anyway. It’s an excellent polish, and I kind of dislike how exclusive it is, because it’s the best one in the collection, in my opinion. If you want in on this or any of their other polishes (you do), here’s the link to the BEGL store.

I really hate typing on an iPad, so I guess I’ll end it here. See you guys when I get back from vacation!