Candy Splatter

I wanted to do something completely different with today’s look but I was stuck for a while before I thought of doing my usual blood splatter mani with Halloween colors instead of red. I’m pretty pleased with the result, although adding the black makes me think more of Reese’s Pieces than the candy corn look I was originally going for. :/

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I started with a base of everyone’s favorite white with a drop of gray, My Boyfriend Scales Walls. It was still streaky at two coats, but I knew I’d be splattering over it. Then came the messy part! I love splatter nails but I swear, I can never get it quuuuuuite right – see how on my pinkie the polish just looks smudged instead of splattered? And yet it’s perfect on my middle finger. Blerg. Maybe I’ll go back to using a regular straw instead of my current method of coffee stirrer, although in the past that just made big splotches. Sigh – I can’t win!

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However, I’ve finally landed on a way to make cleanup a breeze – smear Vaseline around your cuticles! I read this somewhere a long time ago but this was the first time I’ve tried it out myself, and it worked like a dream. After carefully making sure not to get any Vaseline on my nails themselves, I splattered away and when I was done, I just used an orange stick to gently scrape away the Vaseline from my cuticles, taking the excess polish with it. Huzzah!

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My Halloween-y movie today is a new favorite that I just discovered thanks to Netflix Instant – The Awakening. It’s set during one of my favorite time periods – the spiritualist movement of the 1910s/early 1920s – in England, where Rebecca Hall plays Florence, a famous writer who busts fake mediums making their living by tricking poor grievers into thinking they’ve contacted their deceased relatives. A teacher from a remote boarding school contacts her, urged by the school matron who’s a fervent fan of Florence’s work, and against her initial judgement, Florence makes the journey to debunk the pupils’ belief that a ghost is haunting the grounds.

I love, love, love the cinematography in this movie, especially how everything is gray and washed out, completely visually evoking the hopelessness of the time immediately after WWI and the massive influenza outbreak that together killed millions and basically destroyed a generation of young men. The only thing I loved more was Rebecca Hall’s performance – she is perfectly curt but not rude/mean, and shows a sense of humor lurking under Florence’s businesslike facade. I wish she were a bigger star – she’s been fantastic in everything I’ve seen her in, but I think she’s fallen into the Keira Knightley trap of being typecast as a “period” actress.
Oh, and baby Bran Stark is one of the boarding school boys! via

Oh, and baby Bran Stark is one of the boarding school boys!

I love this movie so much because it’s a haunted house (which I’ve already mentioned I love), there’s a pitch-perfect moodiness that accentuates the setting of a horror story in isolated England, the mystery is interesting and not cliched, and there are some genuine scares along the way! If you’re in the mood for a more atmospheric than jumpy scary movie, you should definitely try The Awakening.

Anyone ever seen The Awakening and loved it as much as I did? Any thoughts on this mani? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a few days with another Halloween look. ‘Til then – A x

Monster Blood

Today’s manicure sort of reminds me of the covers of the Goosebumps books from the ’90s.

I used to looooove that series, and read them constantly. I actually still have the first two Goosebumps books I ever owned. P.S. – if anyone’s feeling really nostalgic, the TV show is streaming on Netflix right now. You’re welcome.
I used to not really be into the “drip manicure” look – I kinda thought it was weird unless it was done as blood or slime for Halloween. For some reason it’s grown on me lately, but I‘ve still only done it for Halloween, ha. I’m pretty pleased with how my drips came out here – I didn’t want it to look too cartoony, despite the color scheme, and I think I managed the perfect oozy drip here.

Doesn't this look like a weird, old potion bottle?

Doesn’t this look like a weird, old potion bottle?

I really love the green/purple color combo for Halloween – it evokes imagery of weird, bubbling concoctions in a mad scientist’s lab – and I think it was a great choice for a slime-y look. I’ve discussed my love of yellow-toned greens before, but ughhhhh Def Defying is so great! I wore it by itself for a day before doing the drips because I didn’t want to cover it up once it was on!

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In keeping with the ’90s Halloween theme, today I’d like to talk about Disney’s TV movie Tower of Terror.


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If you’ve never seen this movie as a kid, it’ll probably be lame but if you grew up watching it like I did, you’ll get a kick out of rewatching it like some friends and I did recently. It’s really cheesy and definitely super ’90s, but hey, I love cheesy ’90s. Anyway, this was a TV movie that Disney made to promote their then-new Tower of Terror attraction, and it stars Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst, playing uncle and niece, respectively. “Uncle Buzzy” is a disgraced former reporter who now can only get work doing ridiculous stories and photos for tabloid magazines, using his niece Anna to pose as everything from ghosts to Bigfoot. An old woman gets in touch with Buzzy about the mysterious disappearance of five people sixty years ago that caused the closing of the glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel – their elevator dropped (of course) and they were never seen again. Buzzy and Anna go to fake some photos of ghosts and some weird shit starts happening.

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Watch out, Keeks!

Watch out, Keeks!

Buzzy and Anna find out the ghosts are real, and they work together with Abigail; Q, a mechanic and heir to the hotel if it should ever be fixed; and Jill, Buzzy’s previous editor/lovah, to try and help free the ghosts. As seen in the above .gifs, the effects are hilariously bad and the dialogue/story isn’t riveting, but it’s a fun throwback that’s probably easy to find on YouTube (I’m one of the last people to get discs from Netflix, which is how we watched it).

If you’ve ever seen Tower of Terror, please tell me in the comments so I know i’m not alone in my cheesy TV movie love! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time with another fun Halloween look. – A x

Black Magic

Hi everyone! How’s your October going? it’s a super busy month for me and I’ve been planning nonstop – I’ve got my apartment fully decorated for Halloween, a trip to a pumpkin patch scheduled for next weekend, and I’m starting to put together my costume, yay! Today I’ve got a kind of witchy Halloween manicure to show you guys using one of my favorite spooky color combos, black and green.

Orly's Here Comes Trouble and Sunglasses At Night

Orly’s Here Comes Trouble and Sunglasses At Night

I originally want to do something with green and purple glitter, but then I couldn’t find the purple glitter I wanted so I ended up with this look and I love it! I used one coat of Wet ‘N Wild’s Black Creme, my go-to black, and added a layer of top coat to my middle two nails. After an hour or so, I applied hole reinforcement stickers at the cuticle then painted two thin coats of Here Comes Trouble, and removed the stickers. I love Here Comes Trouble – it’s a perfect grass green, has a subtle depth from the combo of fine glitter and small hexes, and even has a pretty smooth texture that only needs one layer of top coat.

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I was less impressed with Sunglasses At Night. I’ve been picking up and putting back down this polish every time I go to my fav polish supply store, and a few weeks ago I finally bought it because I thought it would be perfect for Halloween. Sunglasses At Night is composed of black holographic bar glitter in a sheer tinted base, and while I’m not normally a fan of bar glitter, something about it really caught my eye. Unfortunately, the formula is really shitty – it’s super watery and difficult to grab a good amount of glitter. I do love the actual glitter itself, though – it’s definitely holographic but when it’s on the base color looks blue instead of black, which is pretty unique and looks really cool.

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Today’s movie post is a total guilty pleasure – Practical Magic. This movie is not great, and at times is quite painfully ’90s (that soundtrack!) but for some reason, every time this movie is on ABC Family, I have to watch it. I’m totally a sucker for the “small-town New England in October” setting, so that’s definitely a part of this movie’s allure for me. Anyway, if you’ve never seen the movie, it has three generations of Owens witches – Aunts Jet and Frances, main characters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman), and Sally’s daughters Kylie and Antonia – living in a small town where Sally is trying to deal with her husband’s death and raising her kids in a place where people gossip about the Owens being witches.

Sally, of course, is the “super talented witch who just wants to be normal and doesn’t use her powers” cliche, trying to raise her kids to be “normal,” which is difficult as they live with the super witchy aunts. Sally is the wild child who left home as a teen, and the main story is kicked off when Gilly calls Sally for help escaping abusive Jimmy. The women end up accidentally killing Jimmy as they try to escape, and when they bury him in the aunts’ backyard they think they’re safe, until weird things start happening and a cop comes calling to find him.

There are a few jump-y moments when Jimmy comes back, and I think the movie does a nice job at creating tension for the scenes with Jimmy and later with the hot cop who’s investigating. The end exorcism (I guess?) scene is also pretty cool. Mostly, I just really love the sisters’ relationship – Gillian is flighty and immature, Sally is stubborn and jaded, but they appreciate each other despite their flaws and will do anything for each other. Also, Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest really make the most out of their short screen time as the aunts. When you’re not in the mood for something scary but still want that October/Halloween feel, Practical Magic is a good movie to pop in.

Thoughts on this mani? Anyone else feel oddly compelled to always watch Practical Magic? Has anyone read the book (which I also like a lot)? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

It’s Herrrrrrrrre…

It’s October 1st, and I couldn’t be happier! Fall is my favorite season (although it’s supposed to get hot again this weekend, grumble grumble) and Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, so I always do a full month of Halloween-y manicures because why not? Last year I also did a little write-up of my favorite spooky movies at the end of each post, and I think I’ll continue that because it’s fun. Anyway, here are the polishes I used for the first manicure of the season:

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I didn’t want to repeat polishes from last year but a few of them are straight-up Halloween in a bottle and I don’t feel right wearing them any other time of year, so you’ll be seeing them again this time around – and one of those polishes is Crows Toes’ VooDoo, which may be my absolute favorite Halloween polish! I wrote lots about it last year, but as a quick recap, this polish is kind of hard to put on because it’s got so much glitter, so it does take a little finesse to apply. I don’t mind the chunkiness that much, though, because it’s Halloween perfection in a bottle, consisting of orange bars and medium hexes; deep purple shards, hexes, and lighter purple squares; and micro glitter pieces in orange, purple, and green.

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In the interest of keeping things fresh, I decided to try something new so I attempted a reverse glitter gradient, and surprisingly I really like it! I think layering it over Petra was a good idea, too – I like the contrast of the murky, purple-y gray with the brightly saturated orange, green, and purple glitters.

As usual, please forgive my cuticles - I swear, I cannot figure out how to keep them hydrated and non-gross.

As usual, please forgive my cuticles – I swear, I cannot figure out how to keep them hydrated and non-gross.

I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be good at glitter gradients – for some reason I can’t get the hang of how to make the glitter nicely fall down the nail into the perfect gradient – but I think this turned out okay. I like that it’s not super over-the-top Halloween; it looks kind of chic, actually.

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The movie I’d like to talk about today is Poltergeist, an ’80s classic. I haven’t seen it in years but it holds a special place in my heart – it was one of the first horror movies I ever watched as a kid.

I feel like Poltergeist still holds up really well – I mean, obviously some of the effects are dated now, but in general the story and the build up to the dramatic rescue are still great. I’m a sucker for haunted house movies, and this is one of the best. (A house built over an ancient Native American burial ground, helloooo?) And did you know this movie is part of the reason the MPAA created the PG-13 rating? There used to be nothing between “PG” and “R,” and Poltergeist‘s creators successfully argued it down from an R to PG but it got a lot of criticism because the horror scenes were actually pretty intense.
The scariest thing in a movie about violent, vengeful ghosts? This freaking CLOWN. via

The scariest thing in a movie about violent, vengeful ghosts? This freaking CLOWN.

I love the beginning of this movie so much – the scenes of suburban domesticity, the few clues that there’s something going on that only little Carol Ann can see, the initial excitement turning to fear once the adults discover the supernatural happenings – and even though the effects are kind of cheesy at the end, there’s still some genuinely creepy/gross/scary moments, like when the mom is in the pool pit with skeletons or of course the infamous maggot in meat scene. Bleh. Oh, and of course one of the best things about this movie is Zelda Rubenstein helping to get Carol Ann back. This house is clear, y’all!

Any thoughts on this mani or Poltergeist? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon with my next spooky manicure :) – A x

P.S. Congratulations to Kate N, the winner of my September sparkliest giveaway, and thank you so much to everyone who participated! I’m thinking about doing an Instagram giveaway sometime in the future, so stay tuned for details!

Smoky Gradient

Hi everyone! This weekend was a glorious one – I got a lot of errands and boring but essential housework done, went to a super fun beachside bar crawl, and most importantly, the weather was fantastic! not quiiiiiite fall-type weather, but it wasn’t humid for the first time in weeks and there was a lovely breeze and distinctive lack of heat. I’m so weird but the weather affects me so much, and this weekend was such a nice break from our never-ending summer.

I was definitely feeling more autumnal, though, and I wanted to do a mani that reflected that. I also really wanted to use I Love Nail Polish’s AC Slater, a deep brown holo, and I remembered the lovely smoky gradient Sarah at Chalkboard Nails did with it, so I decided to recreate that. I used Color Club Cherubic, a tan holographic, as my neutral counterpart.

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Every time I use any of the Color Club Halo Hue polishes I fall in love with them all over again. They are easy to apply, pigmented, and so freaking holo! I did two coats of this bad boy but then things got dicey when I brought AC Slater into the mix. It was really sheer when I first started to sponge it on – like barely showing up – so I added way more polish but then that was too much so I didn’t get the nice, smooth gradient I prefer. Oh well – the more grungy gradient kinda suits the dark hue of AC Slater, anyway.

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Photos can’t do these polishes justice. The holo flare is significantly weaker in AC Slater than Cherubic, but I kinda like having blingy holo blend into more subdued but still pretty rainbow-y sparkles.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It's much more in-your-face in person.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It’s much more in-your-face in person.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I’ll see you next time with my first Halloween manicure (yayyy)! See you then – A x