Rose Gold in Beverly Hills, Darling!

I rarely buy pricey nail polishes – I just don’t find that the formula/wear time is any greater, and unless it’s a really unique color, I don’t see what’s the point. (Plus I’m super cheap.) However, last year Cirque Colors had a limited edition set of neons that I coveted SO HARD, and I kept waiting because I thought they’d go on sale, but instead it totally sold out and I never got any. :( So when I saw before Christmas that they’d released an amazing rose gold-coated silver flake polish, I finally bit the bullet and purchased it. And ohhhhh how glad I am that I did!

2.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I am OB-SESSED with Halcyon! Not only do I love the name, but this polish is ev-er-y-thing! Metallic flake polishes have become very popular with indie brands in the past year, with a few brands eventually branching out into colored metallic flakes. From reviews I’ve read, though, everyone raved that Halcyon, with its perfect rosy hue and shine, was THE metallic flake polish to get if you were going to get one, so I wasted no time snatching it up! Halcyon is incredibly opaque – I barely needed two coats to get full coverage – and it’s SO shiny. More than one person noticed how sparkly and reflective it was while I was out wearing it (especially the shop girls at the Beverly Hills souvenir store). Ugh, I just love this polish so much – if you like rose gold, I highly recommend picking Halcyon up!

Once again, sorry for my dry-ass cuticles!

Once again, sorry for my dry-ass cuticles!

I was trying to think what to pair it with, and I was still craving brights after my neon mani, so I used China Glaze’s Too Yacht To Handle (TYTH). I’ve written about the CG Sensational pastel neons before, but basically: the colors are amazing, the formulas are shit. TYTH isn’t as streaky as most of them, but I definitely needed three coats, and it usually chips on me by the next day. Sigh. I definitely had to touch these up already for these photos, and it was only the next day! Still, though, that color is to die – it’s such a gorgeous, incredibly vivid aqua, I just can’t quit it. (Color Club’s Blue-Ming is similar but slightly less green-toned; however, its formula is even worse than TYTH.) I used tape to make a diagonal shape to apply Halcyon on my pinkie and a thin stripe on my middle finger over TYTH, then threw on a layer of CG’s glitter I Pink I Can on my pointer. I Pink I Can has a pretty good formula and nice glitter distribution, so I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a rose-gold glitter!

2.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns with bottle

I put this mani on for the weekend my sister and our friend decided to have a Beverly Hills tourist day. It was overcast and gloomy out, which wasn’t great for photos but meant there weren’t too many other people out. Beverly Hills is actually one of my favorite places to walk around LA – there’s plenty of parking garages with free two-hour parking and the area is especially made for crowds to easily wander through all the chic shopping. On the day we went, we decided to take a tour on the Beverly Hills Trolley – it’s $5 for a 40-minute tour, and I highly recommend it! They begin by going through the famous shops on Rodeo, then chug along through the residential area across Sunset to show homes previously owned by Hollywood celebs (Clark Gable, the actor who was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Charo [lol]) and sites like the Beverly Hills Hotel and the famous Witch’s House. Our tour guide was lovely and beyond chic in her black suit and flapper-esque hair, and she knew so much about the area. Definitely worth it if you’re in the area on the weekends (it only runs Sat-Sun for certain months out of the year: info here)!

After our trolley tour and a wander around Rodeo and the surrounding streets (hitting up MAC and Coffee Bean, obvs), we went back to the Witch’s House to get better photos and to the Beverly Hills Hotel to see the grounds. The Witch’s House was first created on a movie lot in 1921 before being moved to Beverly Hills in the 1930s, and it’s appeared in a few movies including Clueless (which is how I knew about it). There was a lot of detail when you get close up – tiny lanterns, a fake vulture in the tree out front, signs saying “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” in a witchy font, and a carefully overgrown-looking garden. The Beverly Hills Hotel should need no introduction – we wanted to get lunch at the tiny coffee shop in the hotel, the Fountain Coffee Room, but there are only 19 seats around the curved counter and although we came at an in-between time, there was still a line, so we walked down to the gift shop, instead, where I couldn’t resist a pink wine opener with the famous logo in green.

We had one last stop before we left Beverly Hills: the Greystone Mansion. You can’t go inside unless you’re there for a special event, but the grounds are free for anyone to explore. There’s a huge parking lot that was almost totally empty when we arrived, and we wandered through the beautiful fountains and perfect shrubbery, and when we got the the main courtyard, we all noticed it looked familiar. My sister looked it up and sure enough, that’s where they filmed the scenes for Chilton in Gilmore Girls! That’s one of my favorite shows, so I was beyond excited.

So if you’re visiting LA and want to do some Beverly Hills exploring, this would be a great itinerary – even with all our wandering at Rodeo, it only took us about three hours to do it all. Very good plan if you’re trying to be chi chi chi, Beverly Hills on a budget!

Neon Craziness

This mani was obscenely neon – I even had random dudes commenting on it because it was so bright it caught everyone’s eye! I was inspired by a contest Melt Cosmetics was having on Instagram – they’re releasing another one of their famous eye shadows stacks, this time in eye-searing pink, orange, yellow, and green, and had a giveaway that involved posting your best “radioactive” look on IG. I was a little stuck on color combos, so I decided to use theirs and run with it!

I couldn't find my bottle of China Glaze's Sun-Kissed, so this neon yellow Essie is standing in.

I couldn’t find my bottle of China Glaze’s Sun-Kissed, so this neon yellow Essie is standing in.

I was a little bummed because I’d forgotten that the ultra-neon Warhol and Lava Lamp don’t blend well in gradients, so the gradients weren’t as smooth as I prefer on my middle fingers, but this was still a super fun look! (Note: my skin looks super dead in these photos, but I couldn’t really edit them at all because it took away from the fabulous neon-ness of these polishes.)

 Guys, I am SO sorry about the state of my cuticles in these pics! I didn't realize they looked this bad until I posted these.

Guys, I am SO sorry about the state of my cuticles in these pics! I didn’t realize they looked this bad until I posted these.

Besides the gradients on my middle fingers, I used some neon studs from Born Pretty Store over I’m With The Lifeguard (pinkie) and Sun-Kissed (pointer) to still use all four colors but in a different way. On my thumb I tried a weird pseudo-gradient by putting small dots of colors on my sponge and dabbing it over white, but since Lava Lamp and Warhol don’t blend that well, it kinda looked weird. Oh well, ya gotta experiment sometimes!

1.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns neon curled

All these colors are over one thick coat of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds. People usually layer neons over white using the excuse that it makes them “pop” more, but I feel like if it doesn’t look eye-searing unless it’s over white, it’s not neon. All the colors I used here are definitely neon – Sun-Kissed and I’m With The Lifeguard look exactly the same with one coat over a white base as they do 3-4 coats on their own, but since I started late at night, I didn’t want to wait for all those coats to dry. Warhol and Lava Lamp are extremely pigmented for neons – Lava Lamp barely needs two coats! (This is probably why they don’t blend well in gradients.) If you’re craving a truly cornea-burning neon pink or orange, those two are your best bet.

1.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns neon around bottle

Two weeks ago, I was able to go to the newest (and hardest to get into) LA museum, The Broad. It’s a free museum, so it booked up as soon as it opened in September and we had to reserve our tickets in November for our January date! Located downtown, The Broad houses what used to be Eli and Edythe Broad’s personal art collection – when they moved to LA in the 1960s, Edythe began to collect modern art, soon Eli shared her passion, and they eventually ran out of room in their home for any more pieces, so they began loaning them out to museums. The Broad was created last year to keep their collection all in one place.

My – and probably everyone’s – favorite was Balloon Dog (Blue) by Jeff Koons, the giant, metallic balloon dog on the second floor. I also loved his Rabbit, a silver metallic rabbit whose reflective property reminded me of the Millennium Bean in Chicago. (I couldn’t get a good photo because there was some obnoxious couple taking 10,000 selfies in front of it, so here’s a link.) Other favorites of mine are below:

The Disney Concert Hall is right next door to The Broad – and as I learned from the video I watched there, the concert hall was built with fundraising efforts from Eli and Edythe Broad and was created by the same architect the Broads used for their museum and their house, Frank Gehry. It’s sculptural and gorgeous, and you can wander around outside when you’re done with your museum trip.

Thanks for reading! I just got some goodies in the mail from Cirque Polish, so I’ll probably have a mani up with one of those polishes in the next few days. Thanks for reading – A x

Green and Magenta Moroccan-Inspired

Hello there! Sorry for the delay in posting – I thought this had gone up already! Today I’ve got a really great color combo that I absolutely love.

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I’ve used Color Club’s Right On before on this blog, and it became such a favorite after I used it that it’s been on my toes almost the entire time since. I just love this color – it doesn’t look like anything out of ordinary in photos, but it’s so bright and saturated and FUN that I can’t help but want to reach for it whenever I don’t know what to do to my nails. I love the color combo of hot pink or purple and green, so I paired it with First Timer, which I remembered being little softer for some reason (probably because it looks a little muted in the bottle), but it’s a bright, spring-y green that I think looks fantastic with Right On.

1.21.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

I am still loving my What’s Up Nails decals that I got on sale during Black Friday – I got five or six different ones, and these might be my favorite. I realized after I painted over it that I should’ve had the design going off my nail and not stopped it right at my tip – it made the tips just silver, which looks weird, but at least I learned for next time! I wanted a base color that popped under the magenta and green, so I used one coat of No Place Like Chrome. If you need some metallics, these Essie “Mirror Finish” polishes are great – I also have Good As Gold and Copper Penny (which is actually a lovely rose-gold), and they’re all opaque and reflective as hell. However, when you’re going to peel a decal off these kind of polishes, you might have some issues – even with a fully dried layer of top coat on NPLC, it still pulled up a bit when I took the first decal off. Luckily, I was able to smooth the polish back into place and sort of re-stick it down with top coat.

My nails were a little longer here - I attempted to grow them out, but it annoyed me too much, but I filed them down a little TOO much so now I"m trying to get them back to a nice length. Whoops!

My nails were a little longer here – I attempted to grow them out, but it annoyed me too much, but I filed them down a little TOO much so now I”m trying to get them back to a nice length. Whoops!

I’ve had Urban Outfitter’s Sea Dust for a looooooooong time but I don’t think I’ve ever featured it before. It’s a dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream at a much cheaper price point – UO polishes are usually 2 for $8, and DLs retail for about $20 each. I only used one coat over First Timer – it’s pretty opaque, or it seemed so over a similarly colored base, anyway! It’s a really lovely polish – fine sea foam glitter with slightly larger aqua glitter pieces sprinkled throughout. Very pretty and definitely very mermaid-y! I thought it was a nice accent color to go with First Timer and Right On.

It doesn't look like much in photos, but Sea Dust is really pretty!

It doesn’t look like much in photos, but Sea Dust is really pretty!

Thanks for reading! I’ll try to have one of two more posts up before February. See you next time – A x

Berry and Gold Textures

I’ve said this many times before on this blog, but I love playing with textures. I landed on this color scheme by accident, but I really love the outcome.

1.11.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

Cherry Cherry Bang Bang (CCBB) is a polish I scooped up after seeing it on my friend Rach’s blog. It’s not my usual jam, but I love it – it definitely takes a full three coats because it’s a little streaky and it takes a while to dry, but it’s such a lovely, rich berry that it’s worth the extra effort. I originally paired this with a coral, but I forgot that CCBB dried a little darker than in the bottle, so that combo didn’t look great and I switched it out for shimmering gold.

Guys, I am SO sorry for my busted cuticles in these photos. I didn't see how bad they were until my polish was already off.

Guys, I am SO sorry for my busted cuticles in these photos. I didn’t see how bad they were until my polish was already off.

Love.Angel.Music.Baby (L.A.M.B) is from the OPI/Gwen Stefani collab from a year or so ago, and while most of the colors were pretty boring, I looooved this one as soon as I saw it in person. It’s a champagne-y leaning gold shimmer with a matte (“satin,” according to OPI) finish that makes it way more interesting than this shade would normally be. It’s fairly opaque – barely requiring two coats – and like any matte, dries quickly, making it the ideal polish to throw on in a hurry. I love pairing it with deeper hues – something about the combo of shimmery, matte champagne and rich jewel tones looks so amazing together to me.

This is the most accurate representation of how CCBB looks.

This is the most accurate representation of how CCBB looks.

I used some old decals I found on eBay a few years ago for the design on my middle finger and a brand-new score as the glitter – Deborah Lippmann’s Boom Boom Pow. This was a major score, y’all – DLs retail for $20 each, but I found this one for $5 at TJ Maxx. Yassssssssss! It supposedly has 24 karat gold in it, but it looks to my eye like a fairly normal sheer gold hex glitter topper – but, you know, it’s a pricey name brand in a fancy bottle, so I love it. I did two coats on my middle finger so the gold dust isn’t as sheer as it is in one coat (which I did on my ring, but you can’t really tell because it’s layered over another gold). I love my ring the most in this mani, with the contrast between the matte L.A.M.B., the glittery Boom Boom Pow, and the glossy CCBB. So pretty!

Seriously, this bottle just looks so classy.

Seriously, this bottle just looks so classy.

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Rainy Day Glitter

Last week we had a full two gloriously rainy day, and I wanted to do a mani to match. I looooove grays and dusty blues on rainy days, so I decided to try out a new Potion Polish with the perfect name and an old favorite cornflower blue.

1.9.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I will probably do a full review post on my three Potion Polish purchases, so for now I’ll just briefly discuss Rainy Day On The Couch. I bought it purely for the name, but once it arrived I was smitten with how it looked in the bottle – the deep gray base is filled with purple shimmer and tiny aqua, navy, and holographic glitter pieces that sparkled as soon as I opened the package and was so freaking gorgeous. When I actually put it on my nails for this mani, the formula was a bit sheer – I assume to ensure that the glitter pieces still showed through the dark gray base – and it didn’t dry matte but it wasn’t shiny, either.

I applied three coats to make sure it was totally opaque, then applied top coat – and there was that sparkle I’d been missing from the bottle! The holographic sparkle doesn’t seem to come through without top coat. I love what’s going on with this polish – it really does evoke the feeling of a rainy day. I can’t quite decide about the purple shimmer, though – I do like it, but I feel like it might not have been necessary? Anyway, this polish is awesome, you should totally scoop it up if you like grays/delicate sparkle.

1.9.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

Electric Beat is an old favorite of mine – from one of my favorite collections, China Glaze’s Electropop in 2012. I own almost all the colors, and with good reason – the colors are fun and the formulas are amazing. Electric Beat is no exception – it’s almost opaque in one coat, the formula is so easy, and the color is a perfect, soft cornflower blue. I used washi tape and Electric Beat to add a little design to my ring finger to tie the look all together, but I feel like grays and dusty blues are always well-matched, especially for a dark and stormy day!

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Here’s hoping there’s many more rainy days in our future (the California drought it getting scary). Thanks for reading! See y’all next time – A x