WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Cobalt & Peach

Hi everyone, how’s your week been going? I’ve been doing a week of catch-up posts when I realized I was two weeks (!) behind, but today I’ve reached the last prompt for the WNAC August nail art challenge and I am posting on time, huzzah! I’ve really liked how easy and open it was – only once a week and with unrestrictive prompts that leave you free to do a wide scope of designs. A lot of the nail art challenges I’​ve seen require something new every day of the month (!!!), which is something lazy ol’ me would never have attempted, and I liked how the prompt gave me a color palette but left me free to do whatever I felt like. I will def be revisiting this challenge in the future when I’m lacking inspiration! So here we go, the last prompt of the WNAC nail art challenge:

Nails Inc Baker Street, China Glaze Son Of A Peach

Nails Inc Baker Street, China Glaze Son Of A Peach

I really love this color combo, but of course, being me, I had to make it a bit punchier. Enter China Glaze’s Son Of A Peach – the obnoxiously formulated, gorgeously pastel neon-ed peach of my dreams. It never shows up the correct colors in photos (although I did try my hardest!), so I apologize for saying “you need to see this in person to appreciate it,” but…you really do. Anyway, I think I used four coats to get this color perfectly opaque? Like most pastels and/or neons, SOAP is plagued with a patchy formula that makes it difficult to achieve a nice, level, opaque coat. I’ve discussed this many times before because as much as I hate the formula of SOAP, the color is so to die for that I’ve used it a bunch of times on this blog in the past, so I’m gonna stop bitching about it and get to the rest of the mani!

8.28. around bottle

I added a layer of top coat to my middle two fingers and gave it about 30 minutes to completely dry, then I carefully laid striping tape in a criss-cross pattern and quickly painted on a coat of Nails Inc’s Baker Street. Baker Street is another polish I’ve used a bunch of times on this blog – it’s a fabulous cobalt that’s a one-coater if you’re careful, although it does chip very quickly on me, unfortunately. After I applied my coat of Baker Street, I gently pulled up the striping tape, except I forgot which pieces went down first on my ring finger so they all kinda tugged up at once, which is why it doesn’t look as crisp as my middle. In person you can’t really tell that much, though.

8.28. diagonal

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty pleased at how good I’ve become at striping tape (my forgetting which order as noted above notwithstanding). I usually don’t have the patience to try something like this, but once I realized how amazing pointed tweezers were at helping ease of application, I kind of became a pro. Since I’m only ever 50/50 good with stamping and 0% skilled with water marbling {which I think everyone agrees with the MOST difficult nail art), tape designs are my favorite way to create nail art. As long as you know to make sure the bottom color’s top coat is completely dry and to pull up the tape immediately after painting, it’s really easy to make cool designs even for a nail art novice.

8.28.pose

I can’t believe August is over already. 2015 has gone by incredibly fast, right? It really freaks me out, but also…August being over means HALLOWEEN TIME is officially at hand! I bust out my autumnal-scented candles right around now and start decorating my apartment in the middle of September because I just can’t wait for fall, and the best part – this year in Southern California it’s supposed to actually be chilly and cool! I will get a real fall season, huzzah! Last year it was in the high 90s all through October and I thought I was going to die – also, it’s hard to plan cute outfits for the pumpkin patch when you have to dress like it’s high summer, bleh. Anyway, I’m already planning Halloween manis, obvs, but I’m not quite sure what to fill September with. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see, leave me a comment below! Thank you so much for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Mint & Lilac

Hi everyone! How’s your week been going? The weather has been super weird here lately and it’s throwing me off – super hot then dropping ten degrees, humid and sunny then overcast and gloomy…very weird. Make up your mind, yo! Anyway, this is last week’s WNAC challenge, and it’s one of my favorites:

China Glaze Lotus Begin and Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

China Glaze Lotus Begin and Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

I loooove mint and lavender together, so I was really into this look. I’ve been super lazy with my nail art lately, so I just did a simple gradient design but I tried it vertically for the first time, and I liked it a lot!

My pointer got a little lumpy because I let the sponge get too dry, whoops.

My pointer got a little lumpy because I let the sponge get too dry, whoops.

First I did a base of Sally Hansen’s Mint Sorbet, then when that dried I painted on a stripe of Mint Sorbet and China Glaze’s Lotus Begin on a dampened makeup triangle sponge, slightly overlapping them, and gently sponged it on in an side-to-side motion to blend the colors. I think the gradient part came out looking really well for once, yassss.

8.27.15 diagonal up

I ended up adding a silver stud at each cuticle to jazz the look up because it felt a bit too plain, but overall I really loved this mani and it got a lot of compliments!

8.27.15 curled around bottle

Thanks for reading! Sorry these last few posts were so late, but tomorrow I’ll have the last WNAC challenge up to round out the month. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Magenta & Navy

Hi everyone – so sorry, this post was supposed to go up two weeks ago, I totally thought it was up already! I’ll be posting a lot this week because I’ve forgotten to put up the last two weeks’ worth of posts, sorry about that!

Today’s post is the second prompt on the WNAC color combo challenge:

ILNP Indie Go, China Glaze Beach Cruise-R

ILNP Indie Go, China Glaze Beach Cruise-R

I wanted to do something simple and was inspired by this JINsoon Fall 2014 look I saw on All Lacquered Up. I didn’t set out to do another holo look after using them in the first week’s challenge, but I really liked the way these two looked together, so eh, whatevs. I started with a base color of China Glaze’s Beach Cruise-R (wtf is up with the “-R”?), sealed it with top coat, and wore it on its own for a day to make sure it was totally dry/hardy before the next step.

8.26.15 diagonal

Then I painted on one thick layer of Indie-Go-Go and quickly used my smallest dotting tool to draw through the polish in a wavy line. On a few of my nails I didn’t have a light enough touch and the dotting tool scraped up Beach Cruise-R, but I used a striping brush to add color back and fix it.

Here's a weird, Spider-Man-like photo of my hand against the stucco wall outside.

Here’s a weird, Spider-Man-like photo of my hand against the stucco wall outside.

I ended up really liking this even though it def didn’t look as good as the original JINsoon design. And you can’t see it very well in photos for some reason, but Indie-Go-Go is sooo sparkly and holo-y, mmmm, I love it. I’m glad I scooped it up during her last sale, it’ll be so chic for SoCal fall where the temp might drop a little but it’s still always sunny out.

8.26.14 around bottle

What did you think of my attempt at JINsoon’s look? Would you try this design out? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading – I’ll see you next time – A x

Chatbooks Review + Free Book Code

A few weeks ago Kristin from Lacquerstyle posted a code on her Instagram (@kgrdnr) for Chatbooks, with a cute photo of her holding a little book that was made up of her nail photos. What is Chatbooks, you ask? IT’S AMAZING – a gorgeous little high-quality 6″x6″ book of photos that’s an easy, chic, modern-day photo album.

The cover photo was one of the first photos I posted once I started my FFG Instagram, and the filter kinda made it print weird.

The cover photo was one of the first photos I posted once I started my FFG Instagram, and the filter kinda made it print weird, I think. (I don’t use filters anymore.)

There are a few options for creating books – you can link your Instagram account or directly upload photos from your phone or computer. Once I saw Kristen’s post, I immediately headed over to the site and connected my Fancy Finger Guns account, then spent wayyy too long figuring out which photos to exclude (my beginning photos weren’t always great, of course), editing captions (sometimes they were too long for Chatbooks to fit it the text), and generally creating a perfect mini coffee table book of my nail photos. I ordered it the next day, and while my confirmation email said it would take about two and a half weeks, three days later I got a shipping confirmation! It took about 5 business days to get to me, and I was sooo excitedddd when I finally got my hands on it!

8.12.15 book with bottles

I’m not a huge or famous nail blogger, but I’m really proud of this little blog, and making this book – having something tangible, in print – is such an awesome way for me to sort of put my hobby on display in a chic way. I mean seriously, how cool is it to have a mini coffee table book of your own photos? (I’m definitely doing some of my personal IG account soon!)

8.12.15 book open bottles up

I really wanted to put this review up because a quick search showed me practically nothing but mommy bloggers showing off Chatbooks filled with photos of their kids – which is great! It’s nice to have a super affordable, easy way to print your favorite family photos instead of making cheesy scrapbooks or shelling out $$$ at a printing store. But I wanted to show that Chatbooks are great for other things, too – if you have a blog or website with photos, I highly recommend you get a Chatbook (or three – each is up to 60 photos, and if you get a full 60-page book they print the dates and your title along the spine, which looks super profesh!) to display in your home or give as gifts, or even to use as a portfolio for jobs if you’re in a creative field.

My blog is almost two years old now (!) but I only started its IG last March. I got rid of quite a few of my earlier manicures or ones that I wasn't fans of anymore, so now I have about 40 to go on my next book.

My blog is almost two years old now (!) but I only started its IG last March. I got rid of quite a few of my earlier manicures or ones that I wasn’t a fan of anymore, so now I have about 30 to go for my next book.

I think Chatbooks would also be a fantastic idea for souvenir gifts of vacations, music festivals, family reunions, bachelor/ette parties – basically any special or fun event. I recently made one for my mom’s birthday of photos from her visit to see me when I was studying abroad in college, and she loved it – now she has a pretty, professional-looking book of our favorite photos from that trip and it’s so, so lovely to thumb through and remember our adventures! Everyone has those huge, ugly, old-school photo albums in their garage with pictures from decades ago, but I love the idea of having a little stack of these neat, slim, modern-looking photos books to replace those.

The space allocated for text is decent, and I've also seen people have a photo on one side and a full page of text on the opposite side if you need a lot of writing.

The space allocated for text is decent, and I’ve also seen people have a photo on one side and a full page of text on the opposite side, if you need a lot of writing.

I’m definitely gushing here, but really, I’m so happy I found such an affordable way to print my favorite photos in a beautiful book! (I swear they’re not paying me to advertise, I just really love Chatbooks, you guys!) One catch is that if you do the method where you upload your own photos, it’s $6 for only 30 photos and $1/page after that (still up to 60), whereas the Instagram connect option is $6 for the full 60 pages, but even that isn’t a bad deal, especially considering you get to add captions, locations and dates, choose your cover, and basically customize it any way you want. In conclusion…hop over to Chatbooks and get one! I even have a code so your first book is free – enter LHUUAAKT at checkout. I guarantee you’ll love it!

Nail Quickies: Yellow and Blue Nails

Hi everyone! How’s your week starting off? I’m trying to post more this month, so today I’ve got a simple mani I did a few weeks ago.

I forgot to take a polish pic, oops!

I forgot to take a polish bottle pic, oops!

I don’t think I’ve ever used this color combo before, but I really like it! Yellow and blue reminds me of French provincial style and that can be a little cutesy (sometimes almost verging on shabby chic, which I am not a fan of), so I didn’t want to do anything to frou frou and kept it simple with a dash of sparkle and a pop of polka dots.

8.10.15 curled in pool

The yellow is Nicole By OPI’s Lemon Lolly, and it’s basically the same as the OPI’s mini You’re So Flippy Floppy except it’s a normal-sized bottle and it’s super sparkly. Yasssssssss! (I love me a yellow texture polish – this is now my third one!) The royal blue is everyone’s favorite, Nails Inc’s Baker Street, and the light blue is Essie’s Bikini So Teeny, which I’m having a love affair with right now despite its less-than-stella formula.

Underwaterrrrr

Underwaterrrrr

I couldn’t really get a good pic of how sparkly Lemon Lolly is, but trust, it’s gorgeous. If you like yellow and/or texture polishes, I got it a few weeks ago at Marshall’s, so it’s worth going by your local store to see if they have one you can scoop up. Overall, though, this was such a cute and easy mani, even if Baker Street chipped on me almost immediately. Perfect for a lazy Saturday in the pool, anyway!

8.10.15 books

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x