Green Ombre Party!

I’m really into greens lately and couldn’t resist using a few of them together, resulting in this green explosionnnnnn.

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I wore just Highlight of My Summer (HOMS) by itself for a day or so because it’s the best mint evaaaaa – so fantastically bright, and usually the formula is obnoxious but somehow this time I only needed two coats. Turns out, HOMS is the exact color I just painted my nightstand, too! I guess I’m on a bright mint kick…

Sorry about my cuticles - they're a little dry and I kinda messed up my clean up a bit :/

Sorry about my cuticles – they’re a little dry and I kinda messed up my clean up a bit :/

I painted The Real Teal (which looks super blue next to the mint) and HOMS on a wrung-out makeup wedge and sort of rolled it on my nails, then dabbed a bit up and down to make sure the middle looked like a smooth gradation. After that dried, I carefully applied one coat of Emerald Dew Drops (EDD). I’ve extolled the virtues of ILNP’s glitters before, but ughhhh they’re so good, y’all! I think Barbra, sold off the remaining glitter polishes during her last sale (when I scooped up EDD plus three holos) and I understand that she’s found her niche as a holo/multichrome creator now, but I do hope that she eventually makes glitter again. I just love her combinations, they’re so unique and lovely!

EDD is comprised of solid and translucent white hexes and bars, teal squares and shards, smaller green hexes, and holo micro glitter. I love itttttt – even with the bar glitter, which is not usually my jam – and think it’ll look fab over an array of colors. The formula is fantastic for a glitter, it’s not hard to move pieces around on the nail and you get a good amount of glitter with each swipe. I used two coats of NYC’s In A New York Minute to smooth it out because my Seche is all dried up, but EDD isn’t too bumpy so it feels fine.

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I got a ton of compliments on this combo! With the neon mint and sparkly glitter, it’s a real eye-catcher – I had people at work grab my hand to get a better look ha. It’s held up very well, too and I think I’ll wear it until I get a chip. I hope you enjoyed this post, see ya next time! – A x

Nail Quickies: International Indies

Hi all! My life has been a little hectic lately so I haven’t had as much time as I would like to devote to this little blog – or to consistently doing my nails at all, it pains me to say – so I’ve decided to start “nail quickies,” brief posts with recent manis for when I’m short on time. They’ll be for when I don’t have time to do anything too intricate with my nails, so they won’t require much description/discussion. Recently I haven’t been posting most of my manis because they’ve mostly been of the “I need to slap a replacement over my current chipped color” and not anything too fun or unique, but this way I’ll still be able to post something even if it’s short! So here’s today’s combo:

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Saint George is truly gorge, and one of the first indie/more pricey polishes I bought way back when I first started to really collect nail polish. It’s one every polish lover needs in their arsenal – it’s a one coater, has that lovely a-England trademark scattered holo, and is the most fantastic deep teal. Ughhhh I love this color so much! I’m glad I chose Saint George to pair with this neon pink than the mint I was originally going to use, it looks so much richer.

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The Pink One is another indie from abroad! I got TPO and Daphne’s Birthday party, a fun glitter topper, sometime last year, I think, after I saw TPO on Stuff I Swatched. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you’ll know I’m not generally a pink person, but this one is special – not only is this fabulous neon pink opaque in two coats (!) but the branding for Pretty Serious is just awesome. I’m a sucker for packaging – it doesn’t always make me buy a product, but I definitely take notice when a brand puts the time in to create something that’s fun and completely reflects their brand, and Pretty Serious did an amazing job.

I love Daphne, the Pretty Serious mascot there on the side of the box. Their illustrator is so awesome, all the art on their site is so great!

I love Daphne, their mascot there on the side of the box. Their illustrator is so great!

I did the design on my middle two fingers with striping tape and UGH. Sometimes striping tape is just such a struggle for me! You can see the actual design turned out pretty well on my middle finger, but wouldn’t adhere securely enough to prevent some of Saint George seeping under the tape. Then over on my ring I lost the end of the tape so I had to sort of cut into it again to make another one, and that makes a thicker piece, and it wouldn’t lay as nice as the pieces on my middle finger and blerggggg. I haaaaate when things can’t be perfectly uniform (unless that’s the look I’m going for, obvs)! I like this design, though – simple and not too time-consuming, tape issues notwithstanding. I think I need to rig up something like this with my striping tape, but that would mean rounding up all the random spools scattered around my apartment….

Here's the one photo I captured outside before clouds rolled in - you can see how sparkly Saint George's tiny holo particles are and that gorgeous shimmer in TPO!

Here’s the one photo I captured outside before clouds rolled in – you can see how sparkly Saint George’s tiny holo particles are and that gorgeous shimmer in TPO!

Lately there’s been a sales at drugstores in my area, so I managed to pick up four of the new Sally Hansen Color Foils, plus I’ve got shipments en route from Zoya and I Love Nail Polish, so I should have some slightly more interesting stuff coming up soon! I’m also thinking of maybe doing a “favorites” month in August because I love making lists – would anyone be interested in that? Let me know in the comments if you are! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

A Bevy of Brights

I was craving something bright and easy, so I grabbed these polishes kinda at random and ended up with this fun mani. I love it so much – the bright colors kept catching my eye and making me so happy all day at work!

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I’ve featured Too Yacht To Handle and East Austin on my blog before, but the rest are old favs that are making their debut. Three are from one of my favorite nail polish collections of all time, China Glaze’s 2012 neons – Sunkissed, which isn’t quite an eye-searing neon yellow, but it’s still super bright; I’m With The Lifeguard, which is just neon green perfection; and Love’s A Beach, a fun warm-leaning Barbie pink. They all required three coats, but just barely – in fact, I think Love’s A Beach might’ve been okay at two, but with the crappy lighting in my apartment, I didn’t want to risk it. The retina-burning orange is Lava Lamp and I’ve only used it once or twice but I should really step it up because day-um that color is truly amazeballs! it’s like traffic cone orange on crack and even better, it’s only a two-coater.

Ack, sorry for the ding on my pinkie! And the tip wear, I've had this mani on for a few days now.

Ack, sorry for the ding on my pinkie! And the tip wear, I’ve had this mani on for a few days now.

I almost left this as is when I did my base coats but decided to throw a little variety in there so I did half-moons on my ring fingers with hole reinforcement stickers and freehanded angled tips on my pointers. It’s not perfect – I didn’t get the tips angled correctly or 100% evenly, and the moon on my left hand is a little off – but the colors just make me so happy! Seeing all these bright colors makes me want to do a neon ombre now, hmmmmm.

Also, I realize my hands look dead here, but when I tried to tweak the photo, Lava Lamp came out red instead of the glorious, vivid orange that it really is.

Also, I realize my hands look dead here, but when I tried to tweak the photo, Lava Lamp came out red instead of the glorious, vivid orange that it really is.

There’s not much to this mani so this is another short post! I heartily endorse all of these colors, and if you don’t have ‘em, YOU NEED THEM. (Okay, East Austin is a bit of a pain in the ass, but dat colorrrrr.) Thank you for reading! See y’all next time – A x

What I Wore: Fourth of July

Ahhhh I’ve had a super busy weekend, so I’m sorry this is late! This’ll be a short post because I didn’t do anything extravagant for my July 4th mani – I attempted to freehand on my ring finger and it just ended up looking hilariously bad, so I took it off and I threw this look together quickly because I was running out of time (and there were boat drinks to be had!).

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I did three coats of Color So Hot It Berns on all my fingers except my rings, which had one coat of Sunshine. In my swatching post I wrote how I wasn’t super thrilled with Sunshine, but this navy sparkle was the perfect color for the 4th, plus was opaque in one coat and dried super quick, so I think I kinda like it now? Not as sparkly as I’ve come to expect from the PixieDusts, but great for when you need a lightning-fast mani!

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As Sunshine was drying, I put a little dab of top coat and quickly placed some little clear star rhinestones in a semi-circle by the cuticle. I think these guys stayed on so well because I put these on while Sunshine was still tacky – usually rhinestones don’t stay on for longer than a few hours on me, but all these except one held one for two days. Not too shabs! As I mentioned, I was running way short on time, but I still wanted to add a little white so I dabbed on a coat of Pirouette My Whistle on my thumbs.

Sorry this photo looks so weird - it came out too dark so I had to lighten it up to see the colors, and my skin tone ended up super off.

Sorry this photo looks so weird – it came out too dark so I had to lighten it up to see the colors, and my skin tone ended up super off.

I hope my fellow Americans had a fun, safe July 4th! I’ll be back with another post tomorrow featuring a recent bright-ass mani of mine. See y’all then! – A x

Under The Sea (And On The Beach!)

I had big plans for this month to post at least 10 fun summer-themed nail art designs but unfortunately my life has been hectic lately and I just haven’t had time to do as many looks as I wanted. I still really like all the ones I managed to do, though, and although I had a few ideas left I thought I’d end the month with a beach-y/ocean-y design.

I keep forgetting to take the sale tag off Go Deeper, whoops. Also, my poor bottle of Frisky - it's so freaking  messy from collateral damage during a previous splatter mani.

I keep forgetting to take the sale tag off Go Deeper, whoops. Also, my poor bottle of Frisky – it’s so freaking messy from collateral damage during a previous splatter mani.

Godiva looks just like sparkly sand in the bottle, so it was a no brainer that I’d include it in this mani. It’s pretty sheer, so it took three coats to be completely opaque. I could’ve sworn I had a little golden shell charm but alas I was wrong, so I just added a little circle stud – just pretend it’s a shell and the manicure is so much cuter!

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On my middle fingers I wanted to mimic the pretty shallow waters of the sea, so I did the Saran Wrap technique with Jade Hypnose over Orly’s Frisky. I kinda wish I had used China Glaze’s Aquadelic because I think the slightly more green aqua would’ve looked more like the ocean whereas Frisky looks more like pool water, but I still really like it – I think the holo particles of Hypnose really make the design look like sparkling water.

See? They basically exactly match the water of my pool!

See? They basically exactly match the water of my pool!

On my pinkie I wanted to evoke the deeper ocean waters that are a bit darker but still have enough sun for a range of sparkly greens and blues. (P.S. Never Google “deep sea” – it will just bring up hundreds of terrifying monsters from the bottom of the ocean and you won’t be able to sleep tonight.) I did one coat of Shower Together and a crappy glitter gradient of Go Deeper, the inappropriately named Orly that is gorgeous with its teal holo sequins and tiny blue glitter. I had a hard time capturing GD’s sparkle but you can see how it looks in the bottle in the first photo – so fabulous!

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Even though I didn’t get to do everything I wanted this month, I’m pleased with the designs I did get to do.
I got to try out a bunch of new techniques and designs and ended up with some really fun looks that I loved, and I hope you guys enjoyed them, too! Thank you for reading, and see you next time for my Fourth of July look! – A x