Manicure Monday: Glitter in Backup Camera Hell

To begin this post, I must first apologize. My regular camera has decided it wants a vacation and has so far refused to turn on. This is the reason my weekend swatches were not posted, and it’s the reason I had to fall back on my — shudder — backup camera. I apologize for the missed posts, and I apologize for the low quality of this one. Until the camera is fixed, my Manicure Monday posts are going to look like this, and I will not do swatches.

Anyway, this mani is gorgeous in real life, and it is an absolute tragedy what this camera did to it. My polishes today are Revlon’s Bare Bones and Digital Nails‘s Timey Wimey, all topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



Bare Bones is a pretty run-of-the-mill nude. In person, it’s on the cooler side of nude; some of these photos are color-accurate, some are not. The formula is okay; it was on the sheer side and though I did reach full opacity, it still leaves something to be desired. It’s not as smooth as it could be. It doesn’t quite level itself and some brush-strokes were left behind, though a top coat did help some to resolve that.



The real star here is Timey Wimey, one of my oldest indie polishes. When I chose a nude as the base, I started combing through the glitter toppers, thinking what this polish needed to carry it through the week was the craziest glitter I had. I found poor Timey Wimey at the bottom of the Helmer and that was that. I used an eyeshadow applicator sponge to apply it to my nail; I brushed the glitter onto the end of the sponge, then dabbed it on. I’m really happy with how it came out. Even when it’s a little dense or clumpy, it’s still gradual. I’m glad some of the nude base can be seen through it.



Revlon polishes are sold in stores; I got this one from Big Lots. Timey Wimey and other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday:

Happy Monday! It’s late, but here’s this week’s Manicure Monday post. I’m wearing OPI’s 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.


mmpdcst4 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.

Swatch Sunday: Love, Angeline’s Emeralds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Welcome to this week’s Swatch Sunday! I’m excited to show you a polish from a new-to-me brand called Love, Angeline. This polish, Emeralds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, was a Beauty Quartet Box exclusive, so it’s also not a common one. I’m wearing three coats of Emeralds Are a Girl’s Best Friend with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.





Emeralds Are a Girl’s Best Friend is a deep emerald green holo with fine emerald glitter throughout. The holo effect is pretty subtle; indoors, it’s basically invisible, but outdoors it’s much more potent. The glitters are visible in any light and give the polish a jewel-like finish. Application was easy; the product consistency was on the thicker side, but I had no problems with it. It dried quickly and with a somewhat glossy but smooth finish. I added top coat to really bring out the glitter shine.



This is a really lovely polish. The jeweltone effect is really cool. The holo isn’t the focus of this polish, and I think that’s really interesting; there’s just enough of it to be pretty, but the glitter is the real star of the show. It makes the polish.


Emeralds Are a Girl’s Best Friend was a box exclusive polish and is no longer sold new. Other Love, Angeline polishes are available in their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren Seashore

Happy Saturday! I’m excited to bring you today’s swatch, because it’s the first of a small-batch series by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. Each month since August 2014, BEGL has released one Siren polish, and more often than not, they sell out in minutes. Siren Seashore, the oldest Siren, is the one I’m wearing today. I’m wearing three coats of Siren Seashore with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Siren Seashore is a sheer nude crelly with gold, copper and blue glitters in various sizes and finishes, as well as a fine shimmer throughout. The product consistency was really nice; the lacquer is thin, but supports the glitters well. The glitters spread easily and evenly over the nail. It’s quite sheer; even after three coats, my nail line is still visible. This also means it layers beautifully over the glitter. The polish dries with a glossy, smooth finish; I added top coat for extra shine.



I think the Siren series polishes are among BEGL’s best work. Siren Seashore is my favorite of the recent BEGLs I’ve worn. I really love the nude crelly, because it blends right in with my nail. The glitter really stands out from it. It’s a soft neutral look with just a bit of color and lots of sparkle. It’s absolutely beautiful.



Siren Seashore is no longer available from BEGL, and the BEGL shop is currently on hiatus.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Pink Moons and Glitter Crowns

Welcome back, reader! I hope your Monday treated you well. I had some Monday mishaps with my manicure today, but overall, I really love how it turned out. For this look, I used a deep pink Maybelline polish with Nails Inc.’s Princes Arcade for my glitter accents. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



So this Maybelline polish is one I’ve had for probably a decade and a half. It’s a formula that’s not sold anymore, the color label has long since been peeled off, and the print on the label was wearing away. These aren’t necessarily signs of a bad polish, just an old one. Here’s the kicker, though: the brush was disintegrating. Strands of the brush — sometimes in whole, long fibers, others broken off into centimeter-long pieces — were coming off and getting stuck on the nail as I was applying the polish. At first I thought I could just pick it off, since I’ve had brushes like this before; they lose one or two hairs, I tweeze them off, and no harm done. This was not that. The more I brushed, the more came off. It was shedding like a cat. By the second coat I had to give up. I got a mini bottle from my workshop, poured the polish into it, and started working with the new brush. It was a vast improvement, but unfortunately some of the strands were left floating in the polish and found their way into my manicure anyway. You can see a couple in there. I probably should have thrown it out, but it seemed like such a waste; it’s really a great polish; I got perfect opacity in two coats, and it dried with a really glossy finish, albeit a bit slowly. I had to save what I could.



So I do the half-moon thing pretty often, but usually with two polishes, a base coat and then a second color brushed over. I’ve never done it with the natural nail exposed, so I decided to give it a shot. Really, I just wanted to do something other than the usual creme-and-glitter-accents I usually do. I really love this glitter — Princes Arcade from Nails Inc. — because it and the mystery color kind of complete each other. I’m not sure that Princes Arcade is dense enough to be worn on its own, but it looks full and lush over the base color. I also tried it as a gradient along the half-moon — a crown, if you will — just as a glitter accent but also trying something different. I like the look, but I think I got a bit too much on the index finger. The middle finger’s got the right idea though. They just work together so beautifully.



I got my bottle of Princes Arcade from Sephora. I don’t even know how to tell you to find this Maybelline polish, even if you wanted it. The bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: L’Oreal’s Target Red

We’re seeing red this Swatch Sunday! L’Oreal’s Target Red is one of my favorite and most well-loved red cremes. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.




Target Red is a red creme. Application was easy; because this is an old bottle, it was actually pretty dried out and I was able to create my perfect consistency with thinner. I used three coats, but I had really nice opacity after two. Drying times were good, and it dried with a very glossy finish. I added top coat for even more shine and protection. I had no issues with this polish, but during cleanup I did notice it gets really smudgy with acetone. Seriously, I looked like a murderer.



Target Red was a Target-exclusive shade way back in 2010. There was a liquid lipstick, a traditional cream lipstick, and this nail color. This really is an old polish, and it’s been used a lot; there was a time when I used this polish — together with the liquid lipstick and a pair of matching red glasses — almost exclusively. As a result, and you can’t really tell this from the photos, it’s only about a quarter full. It’s been good to me. I ran out of the lipstick years ago, but I’m glad there’s still some of the polish left.



Target Red appears to have been discontinued, but other L’Oreal polishes are available in stores.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype SLE 1.1

Happy weekend, reader! I’m excited to show today’s polish, a golden holo prototype from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. It’s the most summery polish I’ve worn this summer so far! This is Prototype SLE 1.1, and I’m wearing three coats of it with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos are taken outdoors in direct sunlight.





SLE 1.1 is a yellow linear holo with a golden flash and blue shimmer. Application was easy; though the product consistency was on the thinner side, it still went on smoothly. It did leave some brush-strokes, which are most apparent in the shimmer. The holo effect is subtle, and I can’t tell if it’s being overpowered by the gold or if there just isn’t much to begin with. Because of this, the polish really comes to life outdoors; indoors, the holo effect doesn’t really happen at all, it’s just the golden shimmer, which gives it a metallic look and is actually pretty cool. The polish dries quickly; I used top coat for shine.



So yeah. I like this a lot, and I’m kind of mad I didn’t wear it sooner. It’s like sunshine in a bottle. Summer is nearly over — though in Florida it’s unofficially summer pretty much all the time — and I’m just discovering another perfect summer polish. Of course.



This polish is a prototype and there are no other bottles. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Jazzy Mint Glitter Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! Hope you had a good one. I present to you this weekend’s edition of Manicure Monday; I tried my hand at a glitter gradient for the first time in ages, and I’m pretty happy with the result. My base color is Sinful Colors’s Mint Apple, and my glitter is Essie’s Jazzy Jubilant. I also used one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



A quick few words about the polishes I used: Mint Apple is a minty green with some silvery shimmer. It’s a very nice polish; I like the color and shimmer together, and I feel like it’s a unique piece in my collection, despite being so simple. Jazzy Jubilant is like the grown-up version of the classic rainbow glitter; the colors are muted and deeper, but each color is respresented well. I actually didn’t like it much when I first got it, but wearing it has totally changed my mind. It looks way better on the nail than in the bottle, especially over a base color like this one.



I tried the gradient from the cuticle for the first time, and I like it. I just wish I had more nail real estate. I only wanted a smattering of glitter instead of the dense coverage I got. I applied the glitter with an eyeshadow applicator sponge, and while the sponge absorbed the excess lacquer, the dryness meant I couldn’t push the glitter around like I wanted to, and of course once there’s too much, I can’t take it off, so I got stuck with it. It’s not bad, and if my nails were longer, there would have been more room to fade out the gradient, so to speak, but I’m pretty happy with it as is.



Mint Apple and other Sinful Colors products are sold in stores nationwide, as are Jazzy Jubilant and other Essie shades. I got mine from Walgreens.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Literary Lacquers’s Grey Cat/Grey Fence

Swatch Sunday is here again! Today I’m wearing one of the first indie polishes I ever bought, as well as one of my first Literary Lacquers. This is Grey Cat/Grey Fence; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




Grey Cat/Grey Fence is a gray crelly with black, white, and iridescent glitters in squares and hexes. Application was easy; though sheer, the crelly goes on evenly and without streaks or patches. The glitters also spread evenly and show nicely through many layers of polish. I had no issues at all with it. The product consistency was perfect; it supports the glitters without being thick or blobby. It dries quickly and to a glossy, somewhat smooth finish. I added top coat for extra shine and smoothness.



Grey Cat/Grey Fence is inspired by a passage from O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi. As quoted by the maker:

“Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him.”



I’ve had this polish for two years now, and I’ve only worn it once before. Even though Literary Lacquers makes some breathtaking holo polishes, there’s a special place in my heart for this polish, and it might be my favorite LitLacq to date. It’s simple by today’s indie polish standards, but two years ago, when I was new to indie polish, this was unlike anything I’d ever seen before, and the fact that someone was making polish inspired by books was pretty much the greatest thing I’d ever heard.

Grey Cat/Grey Fence has been discontinued, but other Literary Lacquers are available from their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Get Too Close to the Flame

Happy Saturday! We’re finally caught up on swatches from last week, so let’s look at some new ones! Today’s swatch is a special-edition glitter topper from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer called Get Too Close to the Flame. I’m wearing one coat over Revlon’s Bare Bones, Essie’s Good Morning Hope, and Sally Hansen’s Kelp Yourself, as well as one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Get Too Close to the Flame is a clear-based topper with glitters in shades of pink and orange and various sizes (including stars), as well as a fine pink shimmer throughout. Application went well; the glitters spread evenly, though I did employ a bit of dabbing/placing to cover bare spots and spread out the glitters that clumped together. There was no extra cuticle-flooding lacquer, and the base was the right consistency to support the glitter without being too thick or goopy. Drying times were quick, and it dried with a smooth texture and glossy finish. I added top coat for extra smoothness and shine.



This is a summer polish for sure. The color is bright and bold, even if it’s not that colorful, and the variety of shapes and sizes make it interesting to look at. I love the big dots and tiny stars, the hexes large and small. I love the pink shimmer and its perfect amount of sparkle. I love that it looks fantastic over any polish, soft or bright. This is the first BEGL topper I’ve worn in months, and I forgot how nice they are.



Get Too Close to the Flame was a limited edition and is no longer for sale. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polishes are for sale in the BEGL shop.

I bought this polish myself.