Manicure Monday: Bless This Glitter Mess

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve got another messy glitter mani to share, because I can never say no to glitter. This is Lynnderella‘s Unicornament over a Maybelline vintage mystery polish.

I’ll start with Unicornament, since it’s clearly front and center in this look. This is probably my favorite-ever Lynn, because there’s so much happening in it. All that color, glitter, shapes, and bling in an iridescent base, it’s irresistible.

I felt a little bad covering the base polish up, because it really is a nice polish. It’s a warm pink — or cool red, I can’t tell — with silver flecks. I’ve had this polish for at least ten years, and believe it or not, it still applies really well. It could have done with some thinner, but it wasn’t thick enough that I thought it was necessary. I’ll have to do another look with it soon so that it gets its due.

Maybelline polishes are sold in stores. Lynnderella polishes are available on their website, Amazon, and eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Mystery Brand’s Glitter Glow in the Dark Polish

Hello reader! This Sunday’s polish is one of those fun novelty ones from around the holidays. I don’t have a brand or a shade name, just this cute pumpkin face — looks strangely sinister in the dark — and a dainty, glowing look. I got this from Rite Aid in Atlanta a few years ago, and that’s really all I can tell you about it. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





This mystery polish is a translucent glow in the dark polish with a fine iridescent glitter mix. Application was good; the consistency was about what I expected, not too thick or thin. The glitter is well-distributed and evenly applies to the nail. It’s very sheer, so building to opacity is not what this polish was suited for; however, this doesn’t have a grainy appearance that some glowers have with multiple coats, making it a good polish for layering. It dries quickly and with a glossy finish, though there is still a bit of texture from the glitter.




I bought these — I also have a pink equivalent — because I couldn’t turn down glow in the dark polishes with glitter. I’m not the kind of person who (usually) goes after novelty products, but these were so cute and not really something I expected to find, so I got them. I like how barely there it is; I forget I’m wearing polish at all. Even the glitter is inconspicuous unless the light is shining right on it. And, of course, the glow is pretty powerful if you’ve been holding it under the light. One thing I worry about is wear length and quality; a few hours after finishing the mani, I got a chip.



I took some outdoor photos. The sun didn’t come out for me today, but it looks nice regardless. These photos were taken in mostly cloudy conditions.





I have these polishes listed as Rite-Aid, since that’s where I got them, and there’s no branding or anything else on it. I’d love to learn more about who makes these!

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Maybelline Mystery Red

Hello, reader! For today’s Swatch Sunday, we’re looking at a very old polish from Maybelline. Its name has since been lost, but today, we’re immortalizing it in blog form. It’s also one of the polishes I used in my first-ever post, so there’s that. I’m wearing three coats of this mystery polish with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




This mystery polish is a red jelly with fine red and silver glitters. Application was easy, and pretty typical of a polish like this; the first coat was streaky, but additional coats deepened the color and built opacity. And, for a polish its age — it’s been about ten years since I got this bottle — it applied pretty well. I thinned it myself a few months ago, but there were still some issues with inconsistent thickness, which I believe is a sign of its age, not its formula. The glitters distributed easily. It dried quickly and with a glossy finish. I added top coat for extra shine and protection.



I have a real soft spot for this polish. I’ve written time and again about how much I love red polishes, and this is a really special one. I’ve had it a long time, and though nothing beats a red creme for me, this may be an exception; it’s like a red creme but with more. It complements my skin tone so well, and it just makes me feel glamorous and sexy. I will truly be sad when it runs out.



I do not know the name of this polish, nor do I know whether it’s still being made by Maybelline. Other Maybelline polishes are sold nationwide.

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: Claire’s Mystery White

For this edition of Swatch Sunday, I am bringing you a super oldie. This is a polish I’ve had since about 2008, and I almost thought this would be this bottle’s last mani. This is a mystery polish from Claire’s; there’s no indicator of the shade name anywhere. I’m wearing this at three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.




This mystery polish is a milky and frosty white with small iridescent glitters. Before I put this on, it was thick and goopy. I might have put too much thinner in it, because the application was quite streaky, and three coats was still pretty sheer. The white pigment is very chalky and dries matte, which doesn’t do any favors for the glitter. The finish is gritty and the glitter is covered up, leaving it to look like chunks and bubbles in the finished look. It’s not ideal, and probably wasn’t intended. This polish did dry quickly, so it has that going for it, which is nice.


Like I said, I’ve had this bottle for many years. It’s one of the oldest bottles in my collection. I remember I grabbed it because I just wanted a white polish, and this was the first one I saw. This wasn’t long after I’d finally stopped biting my nails, and is one of the first bottles of polish I owned as an adult. Even though the polish itself is kind of sucky, I’ll be sad when this runs out, just because I’ve had it forever. It’s like one of my oldest children. When it’s finally gone, it will be kind of sad. I might even feel the need to recreate it in the future.



If anyone reading this happens to know the same of the shade, I’d love to know what it is!

Manicure Monday on Tuesday: Post-Vacation Pink Moons

I’m back from vacation, and the hiatus is over! I had a blast while I was on vacation, but I felt a bit guilty about ignoring the blog. I actually took my laptop and some polish along with me, thinking I would have time to update while travelling. I seriously overestimated the amount of free time I would have. I also didn’t take a whole lot of nail pictures while I was gone, even though I painted my nails; painting my nails while tipsy in a hotel room at 1 AM does not make for good manicures. Anyway, I’m still trying to get my groove back, so this week’s post is not only late, it’s probably also deviating some from the usual format a little. I was gone so long, I actually forgot how I normally take pictures.

I decided to do something easy this week, just to celebrate being back in my natural habitat. I neglected my usual hand and cuticle care, and also suffered a lot of breaks while I was gone, so I spent a lot of time just soaking and taking care of my nails, and after all that, I just didn’t feel like doing something intricate or time-consuming. Also, I’d had a plan for these two polishes before I went on vacation; I have no idea now what it was. This week, I’m wearing a mystery color from Maybelline, and Sephora by OPI’s Dear Diary….





I expected Dear Diary… to be much more sheer than it came out on my nails. The first coat was sheer and pretty streaky, but the second evened it out. There are still some places that are thin and bald, this is most evident on my thumb, if you’re able to see it at all. On every other nail, it’s mostly opaque.





I have no idea how to identify this Maybelline polish. It’s a shame, because even though it’s an oldie, it’s a gorgeous color. It’s a rosy mauve with a pretty shimmer. It doesn’t seem to wear well; I put it on yesterday; this isn’t even 24 hours later. I’ll chalk this up to my nails being so short I can’t wrap the tips.


This bottle comes from a time way back when I had a problem peeling the stickers from things, so that’s how it came to be a nameless mystery color. I’d really love to know its name. If you can identify it, please help me out!

Manicure Monday: Neon Pink and Flaky Glitter

I’ve been doing a lot of so-so manicures lately. None were so bad I had to take them off right after, but I was never really pleased with them. None of them had that sparkle, that appeal, whatever it is that makes me stop what I’m doing to look down at them. I don’t know whether it’s the flaky glitter or the neon pink, but I love these nails a lot.


I started with a base coat and two coats of white polish, then two coats of the pink color. I don’t even know how many coats of the flakies I put on, I was talking to someone on Skype and I got distracted. This is the first time I’ve used flaky glitter, even though I’ve been buying it obsessively since I discovered Revlon’s Moon Candy. This pink color, a nameless Claire’s polish I’ve had for like five years now, is still easy to work with. It’s so bright that I probably could have skipped the white polish I put on under it. I was also unsure if the flaky glitter would give me the warm gold tones I wanted. I’d say I got that, and more.


Of course, no matter if I’m happy with the manicure or not, I always think it’s better than it turns out in photos. I don’t notice the white coat sticking out on the bottom, the nick in the polish on the index finger, the little piece of top coat I missed in cleanup. After I take the pictures, I can’t unsee them. I guess it’s like looking at bikini pictures of yourself; no matter how happy you are with yourself or how good your self-body image is, they always take you down a peg.


From left to right: Orly Bonder, Hard to Get, Nameless Claire’s polish, Luxe & Lush, Seche Vite

Here’s what I worked with this week. The Seche Vite bottle was half full last week, now it’s maybe a quarter full. It’s really thick and comes off in strings with I pull the brush away from the bottle. Even though this happens, I’ll probably buy it again, as well as the thinner that goes with it. Just this weekend though, I bought a bottle of Out the Door, and tried it out on one nail. I hope I’ll like it as much or even more than Seche Vite. Even if I don’t like it as much, I only paid $6 for it.

Manicure Monday: Neutral Gradient

Here’s another entry into the “I thought this would turn out better” files. Generally, I like the colors, and I always like how my gradients turn out, but I kind of expected more from this color combination. The brown is too cool for the nude, and looks purple in direct sunlight. That’s not really what I was going for.


This is another case where the quality of my polish is far lower than the quality of my top coat. I don’t even know the name of that Maybelline polish; it lost its labels long ago. I think I got it in that same outlet shopping excursion as last week’s old-as-dirt Maybelline polish; it’s all goopy and thick and was hard to coax out of the bottle. I used Seche Clear this week because I couldn’t get the Bonder bottle open. I bought Seche Clear by accident, thinking it was Seche Vite, but it’s not a bad base coat. This is the first time I’ve used it in a full manicure.


I don’t typically do neutral colors like this. They’re understated and don’t pull much attention, completely the opposite of my personality. I keep telling myself that nudes and neutrals don’t have to be boring, and even though it’s a nice change from the bright colors I usually wear, it doesn’t really feel right. One thing I do like is how shiny they are. I can see myself in them. Thanks, Seche Vite.

Manicure Monday: White, Brown, and Orange Dot Gradient

After last week’s accidental Italian food manicure, I knew one thing was true. I probably couldn’t do much worse than pizza nails, and if I did, I would really have to screw up for that to happen. I was in a tricky spot, though. After seeing many of the nail artists on Reddit doing designs with dots, I wanted to try one. I wanted this magnificent waterfall of polka dots cascading down my little nails. After searching for tutorials, I found a tutorial from Chalkboard Nails and followed it as well as I could.  It’s not quite there, but it’s not bad for my first attempt.


It kind of looks like animal spots, now that I think of it.

These are some of the saddest looking bottles of polish I have. The Claire’s polish doesn’t have a name, but it’s chunky and thick and even though there’s some light glitter in the bottle that doesn’t apply well to the nail, making it bumpy and coarse instead. The old Maybelline polish was an outlet store find about eight years ago; I can’t believe I even still have it. Wait, yes, I can, because I use everything until I lose it. The orange/yellow LA Colors is part of my paint your nails so you don’t go crazy shopping binge. It’s kind of watery, kind of uneven, but it looks nice against the white. I was worried it wouldn’t show up well at all.


I always feel weird using Orly and Seche Vite with these old and cheap polishes. It’s having Dom Perignon with my Big Mac. Earlier manicures with that white polish were never successful; it would always slough off in flakes like dandruff by the second or third day. Of course, that was before I discovered that there was a purpose for top coat after all.

Manicure Monday: Red Gradient

I spend a lot of time doing my nails. Basically, I set aside my entire Monday for it. It wasn’t so bad when I stuck to solid colors, I could be finished in an hour. In recent months, I’ve gotten into more intricate and time-consuming methods and techniques of nail art, so it can take all day to finish them, but when I do finally finish, I have a beautiful manicure and a fantastic sense of accomplishment.

This manicure was against me from the very beginning. In theory, it was a great idea. When I tested it on my mannequin hand, it looked fantastic. When I started, I had to fight it every step of the way. The dark red with glitter polish is very old and thick and refused to drop off the brush the way I wanted it to so I could sponge it on. By the time I finished, I’d actually emptied the bottle. When I added the matte top coat, I felt like I had sucked the life out of it. This morning, while I was in the shower, I picked at the cuticles a bit and took too much off, and when I tried to smooth it down with acetone, I just made it worse. On top of that, it’s raining this morning, so I didn’t have any natural light to help my photos. I also don’t know what that bump is on my middle nail. Even after all of that, though, I’m pretty happy with it. It didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it, but I love the gradient. I keep staring at it.

Yes, my desk is ugly. Yes, that's polish on my keyboard. Yes, that's a burger sticker.

Yes, my desk is ugly. Yes, that’s polish on my keyboard. Yes, that’s a burger sticker.

There’s the stuff I used. That Maybelline bottle is so old that all but the front sticker has come off, so I can’t tell you the name of the shade, not that you could probably buy it anymore. Also, I used to have a real problem with peeling the stickers off of bottles.

There’s another reason I’m writing this. Five years ago, I stopped biting my nails. When I was younger, I’d watch my mother paint her nails, and then I’d feel bad about my own nubby nails, so I’d stop biting. My nails would grow and be long and gorgeous until something stressed me out, and that was it, they were gone. I went through many such phases as a teenager. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I finally managed to stop for good, and now that I think about it, it’s probably because I was able to turn to alcohol during stressful times instead of just biting off all my nails. Save your nails, drink a beer? That’s really bad advice, don’t follow it.