Rainy Day Nails

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen me complaining about the heat and/or sun. I crave perfectly crisp, overcast days and chilly, stormy nights, but I live in Southern California, where lately we barely get a week of rain per year. This weekend, however, I got my perfectly overcast, rainy day, and I decided to do a complementary manicure.

Rain always makes me think of England, so I threw this little guy as a silly prop.

Rain always makes me think of England, so I threw this little guy as a silly prop.

I recently used another light gray, Zoya’s Dove, but Pelican Gray is a bit of a deeper gray, and it also has barely perceptible microshimmer. So…basically, they’re not total dupes, which means it’s definitely justifiable to have them both, obvs. (#polishaddictprobs) Pelican Gray’s formula is a little thin, so I used three coats here just to make 100% sure any streakiness is was covered.

That weird purple area on my ring finger? I tried to add a piece of glitter to an empty area with a dotting tool, not realizing it still had some dried polish on it :/

That weird purple area on my ring finger? I tried to add a piece of glitter to an empty area with a dotting tool, not realizing it still had some dried polish on it :/

I really love Nostalgia. I think I got this at CVS (it was a few years ago and they had a bunch of colors, I got a green, purple, and maybe a gold from this same line?) but Nostalgia has the most beautiful reflective quality, and is the only one of the glitters from this group that doesn’t apply sparsely. I adore the way it looks on top of Pelican Gray – it definitely evokes a rainy feel with the twinkly pale blue glitter atop the moody light gray. Ugh love, love, love this combo.

So metallic-y and sparkly!

So metallic-y and sparkly!

Thanks for reading, y’all! The weather forecast shows there might be some rain this weekend, too, so wish me luck! :) See you next time – A x

Chalkboard Nails and WorkPlayPolish Do My Nails

A week or so ago Sarah from Chalkboard Nails posted on her Instagram that she’d be at a RiteAid in West Hollywood with Julie G and Leslie from WorkPlayPolish to do a meet-and-greet event. WELL. Obviously I was stoked, but I got the dates messed up so I thought it was next weekend. Then as I was running around doing errands this past Saturday, I checked my Instagram while waiting around and saw the post that they were there already! I managed to hustle over with my sister and get there just in time to be the last in line to get our nails done.

2-22-15 pose

This is a weird color combo because I was wearing butter London’s Stag Do, a blackened teal, and had planned to do some nail art over it, but Leslie had pale pink, royal blue, and gold Julie G polishes to work with, so they look kinda odd together. But whatevaaaaaaaa because my sister and I got to chill with Sarah and Leslie for about half an hour while Leslie did leopard spots on my nails and Sarah did some rose art on a few of my sister’s (she’s not a big nail art person, so she just wanted an accent – although an hour after we got home she’d already taken it off and had done a replica of Sarah’s own nails that day, gray with golden-orange shimmer).

Sorry for the weird chip at the cuticle on my middle finger - I put Stag Do on ONE DAY before this, and it already chipped. Freaking butter London.

Sorry for the weird chip at the cuticle on my middle finger – I put Stag Do on ONE DAY before this, and it already chipped. Freaking butter London.

Both ladies were lovely and awesome. You can tell Leslie was a nail tech for years – she effortlessly chatted with us the whole time. She was very warm and charmingly excited about everything, and Sarah was really funny and witty – when I asked them how they kept their polish collection organized, and then admitted I don’t like to have friends see exactly how many I have but rather bring them out a few polishes to choose from, Sarah likened it to the Wizard of Ox behind the curtain, hee. They asked if I had a blog (and Sarah followed me on Instagram, eeeee! And also remarked that she remembered seeing my account name before, eeeeee!) and we talked a bit about how the nail art blogging thing is making a move over to mostly Instagram. I asked what they had planned for the weekend after the event, and Leslie was super excited to tell us that they were going to PUMP for dinner and drinks later that night, and then they told us that on Sunday they were going to breakfast with China Glaze, having a tour of OPI, and then having a hang out and mani/pedi with Katie from The Painted Nail at their new W Hotel location. I mean…does that not sound like the most amazing weekend?! Anyway, both Sarah and Leslie were so charming and really fun to talk to; just generally very cool chicks. You can tell the two are good friends, and y’all, it was just really cool to meet people who are so big in our little nail art sphere in person. I tried to not to nerd out too hard, but it was really awesome to meet them.

Sarah's top left, Leslie top right, me at the bottom!

Sarah’s top left, Leslie top right, me at the bottom!

We also snagged some swag at the event – reusable RiteAid bags (always welcome, since I keep forgetting to leave one in my car) stuffed full of samples and a few full-sized items, like Julie G’s top coat, which is amazing and my new fav, and an NYC mascara that’s actually really great. Meeting two of my fav bloggers AND free stuff? Saturday was the best.

#swag

#swag

Sorry for going on so much but thanks for putting up with my babbling! I’ll see you next time – A x

Nailz for San Francisco!

Hi everyone! This past weekend I went to San Francisco – and of course, being me, figuring out a manicure to wear is almost as important as planning outfits. I wanted to use one of my new Zoya PixieDusts because they wear really well and I’d be in SF for almost 4 days, but just wearing one color seemed a little too boring, so I added one of my favorite colors and used another for a fun accent.

2.17.15 bottles

I showed I Snow You Love Me about a year and a half ago on this site (and I won’t be linking to it because it was when I just started and those pics was BAD, y’all) but haven’t touched it since then. I like the idea of this polish – especially since OPI isn’t a super innovative brand – but you can’t just slap it on because of the thick base coat and how the glitter pieces sink to the bottom. I decided to scoop out a few to position at my cuticles for a punchy holo accent and I really love how it looks, especially over the neon of Surfin’ For Boys, one of my all-time favorite polishes.

My skin tone's a little weird in those pics because I was trying to capture the neon tone of Surfin' For Boys.

My skin tone’s a little weird in those pics because I was trying to capture the neon tone of Surfin’ For Boys.

I put Tomoko on my pinkie, pointer, and thumb, and it is be-youuuuu-ti-ful, guys! Unfortunately, I lost my little macro lens for my iPhone, so I can’t get a close-up pic, but I tried to at least capture both its metallic tones and its sparkle:

Sorry also for how generally busted my nails look - I haven't been able to take care of them much recently.

Sorry also for how generally busted my nails look – I haven’t been able to take care of them much recently.

Usually PixieDusts last very well on me, but of course the time I really needed it to, Tomoko chipped the second day. And kept chipping. And kept chipping until I had a tiny patch left in the center of my nail. Boooooo. Oh well, this was pretty while it lasted!

2.17.15 SF Golden Gate Bridge

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for about 6 years now (Jesus) and I’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco, but I could never get anyone to go with me – everyone I know has already been there, either with their families or boyfriends/girlfriends, and weirdly didn’t want to go again (despite raving about how it’s the best city evaaaa, etc). The good thing about living with my sister is that I have a built-in travel buddy, and in January when we realized Presidents’ Day meant a Monday off, we decided to look up flights. Since February isn’t exactly high travel season, we managed to score plane tickets and a hotel near lots of cool SF things for pretty cheap – victory!

Chinatown

Chinatown

Unfortunately, everyone else in Bay Area had the same idea to go to SF, and the city was insanely crowded all weekend. It also was much warmer than it normally is, which was great for the locals – who wouldn’t stop giddily remarking on the weather – but annoying for me, queen of complaining about hot weather. (To be fair, it wasn’t HOT hot, but when you’re walking around in the sun all day, it does get uncomfortable.) I’d been looking forward to chilly temps and cloudy skies, so I was a bit grumpy I’d brought jackets and scarves for nothing. Sigh.

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Our first full day there, we took a tour we found on Groupon, the San Francisco Love Tour. You get driven around in an old VW bus painted psychedelic rainbow with an electric blue interior, which is obviously awesome, and the tour guide Alan, was even more awesome. He’s had a really interesting life, was super knowledgeable about the city, and just a really cool, friendly guy – as we drove around, people driving alongside us or on the sidewalks were gawping at the crazy car and he’d wave out the window and shout greetings at everyone. When traffic made it seem like we wouldn’t get to see half our tour, he mentioned there was no tour after us and that if we were game, he’d make sure we saw everything. We all said yes, and not only did we hit every area on the list, but we even made a detour and got to take photos in front of the Golden Gate Bridge which he doesn’t normally do. If you’re looking for a tour of San Francisco, definitely check this one out, you won’t be disappointed!

Caught some of Alan, the tour guide - yes, he wore  a tie-dye hoodie that matched the van.

Caught some of Alan, the tour guide – yes, he wore a tie-dye hoodie that matched the van.

I’m not sure if it was the weather or the amount of people or what, but I was a little meh about San Francisco. I think because literally everyone I know who’s been RAVED about how much they loved it, would move there if they could, etc, that I felt like I was a…weirdo or something? for not loving the city. We did all the things you’re supposed to do, but I didn’t feel that connection to the city. The only thing I really loved was wandering the Haight-Ashbury district – my sister and I had an amazing lunch at a great noodle joint (The Citrus Club) and the shops were really cool and fun, and of course we had a scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. It was a really cool area and I snapped up some cute clothes that I can’t wait to wear.

Rasputin Records on Haight.

Rasputin Records on Haight.

Thanks for reading, y’all! What do you think of this mani? Does anyone else have lukewarm feelings towards SF? Please tell me in the comments so I don’t feel so alooooooooooone! Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

butter London Cotton Buds

I’ve made my thoughts on butter London pretty clear on this site before (too pricey for polish that chips too quickly) buuuuuut in January they had 50% off their “Last Orders” and there was a kit with three polishes, a dotting tool, and a clean-up brush that would be about $20 after the discount that I felt like I couldn’t resist because a) a single bL polish is $15 so this was a great deal for three + tools, b) the polishes included Cotton Buds, which I’ve read countless rave reviews of and I did desperately needed a new white polish. The weird thing was, when I added Stag Do – a dark teal with shimmer – to my cart as well, I got free shipping even though the total was under $30. Well, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so that’s how I ended up with four new bL polishes when all I really wanted was a white (#polishaddictprobs).

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

I was not thrilled with Cotton Buds, unfortunately. I’d read lots of reviews saying it was an easy two coater, but that definitely was not the case for me. I waited five or so minutes between coats, but still had one big streak on each nail after two coats so I needed a third, and even after that, my nails don’t look perfect. Sighhhh. I wish I had snatched up another Milani White Out before they changed over to their new polishes – now that was a great, easy two-coat white. I’ll pour one out for you later, buddy.
2-7-15 pour one out

I wanted to do something simple with my white nails, so I decided to just do a diagonal with one of my fav golds, OPI’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby.

2-6-15 curled udner

Love.Angel.Music.Baby is a really cool polish that I’ve shown a few times before on this blog – it’s a “satin” finish, which isn’t quite stark matte but definitely isn’t glossy, and it has tons of gorgeous shimmer. It’s kind of a bitch to remove for some reason, but it goes on like a dream so despite my annoyance with Cotton Buds, I was glad to have a quick and easy way to jazz it up.

2-6-15 in front of bottles

Nice, huh? This isn’t a look I’d normally do – the white + gold makes me think of something a lifestyle blogger like Cashmere & Cupcakes would do – but I like it (well, except for my messed up ring finger). I’ll have to keep looking for a great white, but c’est la vie – that’s kind of an on-going issue when you’re a lacquerhead. Freaking light polish colors, man!

What did you think of this mani? Do you have a favorite (hopefully 2-coater) white polish to suggest? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, y’all! See you next time – A x

Zoya January Promo Swatches

Hello, lovely readers! After complaining to friends about how it always takes foreverrrrr for me to receive my orders from Zoya’s promotions, I actually received my order yesterday, huzzah! (Also super weird, because the tracking said it hadn’t even been shipped yet…) I thought I’d do a super quick swatch post showing the polishes I ordered and the colors included in the Mystery Minis!

2-6-15 bottles

First up, the polishes I ordered. I reeeeeeally debated these – I feel like there actually aren’t too many Zoya polishes I really NEED anymore, since I’ve got a fair amount and their last few collections haven’t had anything that really grabbed my attention. I finally decided to try out Yuna, warm gray with gold and copper flecks; Nyx, a periwinkle PixieDust; and Tomoko, a metallic silver-gold PixieDust. Here are my thoughts (and also, sorry for my less-than-perfect cuticles!):

I know this picture is super awkward, but I was trying to catch the colors/finishes as best I could.

I know this picture is super awkward, but I was trying to catch the colors/finishes as best I could.

Yuna: SO PURDYYYY. It’s got a great two-coat formula and the lovely greenish-gray with tiny gold and copper flecks is totally unique in my stash…nothing else to say, this one is beautiful! It was hard to capture the gold/copper flakes but they’re much more noticeable in person. Basically, if you love grays and/or flakes, you’ll love Yuna.

Nyx: Eh. I’m not super thrilled with the color but I also don’t hate it…we’ll have to see if it grows on me or not. Also, as you can see, it’s still not fully opaque after two coats, which is kind of annoying.

Tomoko:


^ basically sums up how I feel about Tomoko. It leans a little warm in this pic, but in person I can’t tell if it’s more a cool-toned gold or a warm-toned silver, and I kinda like that – it’s like a weird, neutral metallic. More importantly, it’s an easy two-coater and it is SPARKLY, y’all! It’s not showing up well in this photo but trust, throw on Tomoko if you want total party nails.

Now let’s take a gander at the Mystery Mini trio! A friend tipped me off that the minis are from the collection Zoya created for Peter Som at last year’s New York Fashion Week. I knew Zoya wasn’t going to send out any bright colors or anything too mind-blowing, but I was actually way more pleased with what they sent out than I thought I’d be.

2-6-15 left

Anais is a metallic-threaded black (it has a “vein of warm pewter running through it,” according to that post) that’s unique in my collection, plus I really love the name Anais, so this one’s a winner for me.

Severine likewise has a cool name (sounds like a badass villainess) and while it’s a fairly standard champagne gold, it’s nice to have a tiny bottle I can take with me when I travel. It was a little bit brushstrokes, but that almost completely smoothed out once I applied top coat.

Charlotte is the one I’m not sure about – I have been warming up to neutrals a lot more lately, but still, a dirty khaki isn’t really gonna make me jump for joy. The formula was nice, though – it’s a two-coater like the others, which is surprising for a light color.

What colors do y’all get in the promo? Let me know in the comments! I weirdly love hearing about what people snatch up in the Zoya sale ha. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x