Nail Quickies: Rainbow Flakie

Hello, dear readers! I apologize for my absence this past week – I’ve had a few manis but nothing that felt interesting or pretty enough to post. I’ve been feeling a little lazy lately, so I’ve actually only been doing plain color nails. I KNOW, but I just haven’t been feeling even simple nail art. Today’s isn’t all that exciting, either, but I think it’s purdy!

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I’m not usually one for blue-toned purples, but I grabbed No More Film randomly a few months ago and eh, it’s all right. It looks almost black on the nail unless you’re in direct sunlight, and I usually avoid those kinds of colors but it’s a nice base to make the flakes of Twisted pop. Anyway, I nabbed three of the new ILNP flakie polishes in the pre-order last Friday, which is what made me want to dig out one of the flakie polishes I already owned.

Sorry for the janky cuticles!

Sorry for the janky cuticles!

This is only one coat of Twisted, and as you can see, it’s got a really great amount of flakes. It felt super smooth, too, even before top coat. I wish there was more blue to really round out the rainbow-y-ness of the flakes, but I love all the different colors, it’s so fun – different than glitter but like a party on your nails!

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I’m so excited for the ILNP polishes, though. They won’t get here for almost a month but ughhhhh they look so gorgeous! They’re not like the usual flakie polishes – they’re opaque and seem to be made out of a shiny, foil-esque substance as opposed to traditional flakes like Twisted, which are sheer and iridescent. I had a hell of a time choosing which ones to order – even at a dollar off, they’re pricier than I like to pay for polish, so I limited myself to three, and I spent foreverrrrr clicking between swatches, trying to narrow it down, plus a lot of them are very similar, so it was difficult choosing. I tried to get three that had different color shifts, but I have one or two more in mind I might snatch up later as a Christmas present to myself. Exciteddddd.

Thanks for reading! I’ll try to do some fun nail art and post something more interesting soon. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Mustard Mani

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great weekend! Today I have another fall-hued manicure, using my new Sephora Formula X Brushed Metallic (what a mouthful, eh?) polish.

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This is two careful coats of Ambitious. These polishes are weird – I had to re-do one nail because the first coat dried with a weird line/crack thing, and even putting another coat didn’t cover it, it just kinda…sunk right in. I don’t know why, but I love this polish. I’m weirdly drawn to this color – it’s one of those “ugly pretty” shades that normally aren’t my jam, but something about the this particular mustard (or “goldenrod,” as it’s described on the Sephora website) plus the metallic sheen and the super matte texture is really drawing me in right now.

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I did a little berry-colored accent nail on my pointer with Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, an old fav. To make everything more cohesive, I stamped with black on my middle fingers and used a dotting tool to put a little black dot on my pointer and pinkie. The stamp I used is from one of my new Mo-You plates, which I adore. Look how fun these designs are:

Hipster Collection plate 08. Also, damn it's hard to get a picture with stamping plates that doesn't reflect everything yet still shows all the designs!

Hipster Collection plate 08. Also, damn it’s hard to get a picture with stamping plates that doesn’t reflect everything yet still shows all the designs!

This didn’t wear very long because mattes always get chip wear super quick, sometimes within a matter of hours, but I really liked this. I love manicures with a little bit of everything – different textures, stamping, mixed designs…

My sister made me laugh at an inopportune moment so the dot on my pinkie is a little wonky :/

My sister made me laugh at an inopportune moment so the dot on my pinkie is a little wonky :/

Do you have a favorite matte polish? Did you get any of these Sephora ones or the new, limited-release Zoya ones? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Formula X Brushed Metallic Swatches

So I was at Sephora the other day and I became entranced with their new Brushed Metallics collection. Luckily, I had removed my previous mani just before I went to the mall, so I was able to quickly swatch 10 of the colors. Fair warning – my nails weren’t in the best shape for these photos, I apologize!

Right hand, from pinkie to thumb: Spectacle (wine red), Valor (deep purple), Prophecy (cobalt), Discovery (turquoise), Destiny (sky blue with pink shimmer).

Right hand, from pinkie to thumb: Spectacle (wine red), Valor (deep purple), Prophecy (cobalt), Discovery (turquoise), Destiny (sky blue with pink shimmer).

Left hand, from pinkie to thumb: Ambitious (goldenrod), Motivated (burnt orange), Mind Game (olive green), Synapse (nude), Singularity (lavender taupe).

Left hand, from pinkie to thumb: Ambitious (goldenrod), Motivated (burnt orange), Mind Game (olive green), Synapse (nude), Singularity (lavender taupe). I apologize for my effed up thumb, my nail got ripped off :(

These are all one speedily applied coat. Just like regular metallics, if you go back over the polish when it’s still wet, you’ll drag it back up, as you can see on my right pointer with Valor. Also, in the macros below you can see that you have to be super careful when applying, otherwise the formula gets lumpy and streaky, and they certainly emphasize any imperfections on your nail. Weirdly, less than half of the colors in this collection actually show up with a metallic sheen: Ambitious, Motivated, Mind Game, and Spectacle. The others just look like normal matte polishes, and Destiny isn’t even matte. It doesn’t have that velvety texture and there’s definitely some shine – kind of waxy, but still, shine.

Synapse veers into the creepy category for me – it reminds me of that weird “mannequin hands” fad from a few years ago. Prophecy and Discovery are great colors, but Destiny and Valor fall a little flat for me. Spctacle looks like it would be a good color to snatch up when Zoya’s Posh goes away again (those mattes are limited edition, right?). I’m kiiiiind of obsessed with Motivated, Mind Game, and Ambitious – I actually bought Ambitious because I just couldn’t stop staring at it on my nail! In my opinion, these three are the best Brushed Metallics – the colors are rich and the shimmer allows gorgeous depth, and these actually do have a (matte) metallic look when applied.

I didn’t see many swatches of these online, so I hope I helped out anyone who was looking! I’ve got a manicure I did using Ambitious coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that. Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

It’s Fall, Y’all!

Hello, lovely readers! I’m in such a good mood because fall has finally come to Southern California (well…for a few days, at least). I had a lovely Halloween weekend – a great night out Halloween night in my Cruella deVille costume, the fabulous Danny Elfman concert on Saturday, and a lovely day polish shopping then reading in the park on Sunday. Most importantly, I got to have my windows open all weekend and it was freaking divine. I’m in such a good mood I don’t even care that it’s Tuesday (the worst day), although that might be because I did a quick mani yesterday and it’s keeping me in the fall love bubble.

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I mentioned this last year, but holy crap, Goldie Boo Boo (GBB) is autumn in a bottle! I say this every time but ughhhhh I’m so sad I Love Nail Polish has decided to not do glitters anymore because all the ones I have are awesome!

See??? This is ONE easy coat, people!

See??? This is ONE easy coat, people!

GBB is comprised of orange, gold, chocolate, and gray glitters in a clear base with gold micro glitter. I kind of regret putting it over Petra now, since you can’t really see the gray glitters, but I do love the gold and orange over Petra’s dusty purple-y gray.

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Unfortunately, this chipped pretty quickly because GBB’s base is pretty thick – this bottle if from ILNP’s original formulation, which is super thick and smells super strong – and combined with the kinda thick layer of top coat I added to make it smooth, well, it was a recipe for disaster. I got to enjoy the sparkle for a few days, at least!

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So I kind of had a two-parter Halloween – on Halloween night I went out in costume, then on Nov. 1, I went to the Danny Elfman concert with my friend L! The concert was held last year but this year was the first time he’d sang live in over 20 years, which is crazy. The concert was celebrating his 25-year collaboration with Tim Burton, and my pics aren’t the best, since it was obviously are to get great photos in such low lighting, but I tried:

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The show started with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory music playing over a video montage of Tim Burton’s films. I think they did a nice mix of Burton’s most well-known films and less iconic ones like Charlie (I didn’t even know what that music was until I looked at my program). Next they performed music from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, playing a segment from the movie (the bicycle race) on the screen, then mixing a few quick video clips with concept drawings. They did this for every movie segment, and it was awesome – I love seeing initial ideas and comparing them with what ended up being the final product.

Sleepy Hollow concept art.

Sleepy Hollow concept art.

Next up was Beetlejuice! This one got a montage of clips, plus a few different segments played (like where Beetlejuice shows up with the circus music playing). After that was Batman/Batman Returns. I have to confess: I used to have some of the Batman score on my iPod, I am weirdly obsessed with the music that plays as he’s taking Vicki Vale into the bat cave for the first time (oh boy, that sounds like a euphemism, doesn’t it?). Anyway, they also played my fav scene from Batman Returns, where Selena Kyle comes back to her apartment and wrecks the shit out of everything because she’s a badass now. My favorite part of the show, though, was how the audience would react to certain pieces – there was an audience-wide chuckle of recognition for Pee Wee and Mars Attacks!, and a swell of whispered excitement for Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love that so many people could tell which piece was which just from the opening notes, and I’m astounded that Danny Elfman has created so many iconic themes that thousands of people know instantly.

11-04-14 Danny - title card

The best part, though, was obviously The Nightmare Before Christmas, and it got the largest segment of the night. The orchestra played the overture, and Danny and a few helpers sang “This is Halloween” and “Making Christmas.” Danny performed “Jack’s Lament,” “What’s This?”, “Jack’s Obsession” and “Poor Jack” by himself, then brought out a special one-night-only guest, Catherine O’Hara, to perform “Sally’s Song”!

Catherineeeeee why didn't you come to the Beetlejuice Cinespia showing???

Catherineeeeee why didn’t you come to the Beetlejuice Cinespia showing???

The absolute best, though, was the secret encore – the official, on the program encore was Alice in Wonderland, and some people started leaving, but THEN Danny came back out and performed my favorite, “Oogie Boogie’s Song”! It was awesome, and hilarious because the conductor put on a Santa hat and played the part of Sandy Claws for his couple of lines. After Danny left and came back we thought we were in for another encore, but instead he gave a really lovely little speech that let the audience know that the orchestra playing that night was the same one that he used to record all his movie scores, and also that most of the orchestra had been there for almost 30 years, meaning they personally have been working with Danny for his whole career. How crazy is that? I thought it was really nice that he acknowledged the orchestra, and they were seriously so amazing.

11-04-14 Danny -Danny singing

A few random notes: I realized that Edward Scissorhands oddly doesn’t have a very memorable/iconic score except for the “Ice Dance” scene. The music is fairly nondescript, which was probably the point, but it’s very weird since it’s such a big movie and all the other classic Tim Burton film scores are instantly recognizable. I also thought the Big Fish segment went on way too long (real talk: I’ve never been a Big Fish fan), but I know a lot of people like it. Planet of the Apes, which I’ve never seen and have no intention of seeing, was kept blissfully short, as was Frankenweenie and Mars Attacks! – just enough of the music played without being overkill, which is fitting for the smaller films (real talk: I kinda love Mars Attacks!). Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite movies, and that spooky-ass music was so amazing to hear live, especially when they played scenes on the screen. They had some singers perform a small section of Corpse Bride which was fun, and the Dark Shadows score was really beautiful (although it’s another I don’t really have any intention of seeing).

This is the second year they’ve performed this show, and I think it’ll probably be an annual thing, so if you’re in LA around Halloween, I highly recommend you get tickets! It was seriously, just the coolest thing ever.

Thanks for reading, if you got through my endless fangirling! I’m preparing to start a new mani as we speak, so I’ll have another post up soon. See you next time – A x

A Very Zoya Halloween

Hi everyone, and happy Halloween! I hope today is the perfect Halloween for you, whether that means going out to bars (and imbibing many Halloween-themed shots), dressing up for a costume party, or chilling at home with scary movies! I will be going out to a little place near my apartment because traffic/taxis are crazy on holidays here, but tomorrow is the real Halloween treat. I’ll explain more after I show you my final Halloween mani!

Zoya Dhara and Storm

Zoya Dhara and Storm

I wanted to go with traditional black and orange for my actual Halloween nails. This was my first time trying out Storm and I luuuuuurve it. I resisted buying it because I have so many black polishes already and I don’t really wear them that often (a friend in college wore black nails so often that I OD’d on them even though I asn’t even wearing them myself), but last Zoya promo I figured since I love my other Zoya scattered holos so much, I might as well try this one. And it does not disappoint!

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The only issue is that for a black it’s oddly sheer – I had to do three coats to get it fully opaque/not streaky. But once it dries it’s got a lovely glossy finish and ughhhhh I just love the flecks of holo against the inky black! It looks like a freaking galaxy on my nails! I couldn’t get a good pic but trust, in the sun this bad boy is a sparkly rainbow explosion of gorgeousness.

Gooooooooorge

So purdyyyyyyy

I thought pointy V-gaps would look nicely Halloween-y, so I did those in Dhara using tape. Dhara is another one I was trying out for the first time, and I also loved it! Like Storm, I kept resisting buying Dhara because I already have OPI’s Jinx, which is a very similar color that leans more coral. I kept seeing gorgeous swatches, though, and I’m so glad I bought it because it’s juicy, sparkly, orange perfection! I used two coats and since it’s over black it looks more like a rusty/burnt orange than the vivid true orange it really is but I actually really loved that.

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So my Halloween treat is that I’m going to see Danny Elfman’s concert tomorrow night! They did it last year, too, but this time Danny himself is performing, which will be the first time he’s done it in over 20 years. Whaaaaat! Obviously, I’m so excited, and I’m so happy my friend L asked me along! She and I share a love of creepy, spooky things, and I know we’re gonna have the best time at the concert. (P.S. she has an awesome horror movie blog that you should check out if you’re into horror!) So in lieu of writing about another favorite spooky movie, I’m going to do a write up of the concert on the next post (it won’t technically be Halloween, but it’s always Halloween in my heart).

Thanks for reading and following my Halloween manicures all month, and I hope you all have a super fun Halloween! See you next time – A x