Autumn Leaves

Apologies for my absence, lovely readers! I was out of town in Nashville for a few days, and the week leading up to that was crazy at work, so I was running around with chipped nails like a pleb. But now that I’m back, I’ve whipped up a cute, fall-appropriate mani I can’t wait to share with you!

Whoops, forgot to add Essie's Barefoot & Topless, which was my base coat.

Whoops, forgot to add Essie’s Barefoot & Topless, which was my base coat.

So you may have noticed that I’m very into nail decals, especially the ones from What’s Up Nails. If you’ve been a reader for any length of time, you’ll know that I am super lazy when it comes to nails – I always want to do super cool, intricate designs, but then I realize how much work/time it would take and just settle for something more plain. But with nail decals, you can make your nails look fancy in no time at all, plus they make sure each design is uniform, which is something that always bugs me when I try to hand-paint stuff. What’s Up Nails had a sale a few weeks ago, so I scooped up a few different decals, including this adorable fall leaves one.

My pointer looks like crap because I'd forgotten to add top coat after I put down the last layer of Barefoot & Topless, so everything smudged when I pulled the decal back up.

My pointer looks like crap because I’d forgotten to add top coat after I put down the last layer of Barefoot & Topless, so everything smudged when I pulled the decal back up.

Now, having just raved about how easy decals are to use, I will say that this leaves one was a bit trickier – I had to use my tweezers to sort of punch through each leaf cutout and make sure the inside came out so I could paint through the hole, since most of them stayed firmly attached when I peeled it off the backing. I kept the little golden leaf cutouts, though – maybe I’ll use them for another mani!

11.19.20 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

As for the colors…last year at fall I was allll about the jewel tones – deep purple, teal, and orchid. This year I’m really feeling those traditional fall colors – rich reds, muted oranges, olive greens, and shimmering golds – and once I pulled out polishes in these tones I was majorly into it. I wanted to use polishes that were all foils, or at least shimmers, and luckily I found some in every color I wanted.

11.19.20 Fancy Finger Guns upside down

Orly’s Emberstone is supposedly infused with minerals to create a “multidimensional effect.” I don’t know about that, but it IS gorgeous, and once I remembered I had it I was kicking myself for not having used it in forever – it’s a beautiful, glitzy pinky-coral. Just Be-Claws is one I got earlier this year – I’m not a red fan, but I just couldn’t resist this gorgeous, incredibly rich cherry red foil from China Glaze’s holiday collection last year. OPI’s Goldeneye is one that I rarely use, and I almost gave it away but I’m so glad I didn’t! It’s a bright yellow gold loaded with sparkly shimmer. Harvest Moon is an old fav of mine that’s getting some major use this year – I’m recently obsessed with copper, and when the light hits this one it’s magic! Last but not least, the golden-green shimmer of my fall dreams! My sister just finished her bottle, so I’ve got to keep a close eye on mine in case she tries to steal it – although I couldn’t blame her, it’s absolutely beautiful.

11.26.15 Fancy Finger Guns macro

I managed to see some fall leaves myself when I was in Nashville a few days ago – alas, the bright colors had mostly gone already, but there was still some lovely color! Nashville was incredibly fun – it’s way smaller than LA, so traffic was almost hilariously a non-entity, and because it’s small there was more than enough time to do everything we wanted to in three days. Nashville is quite a foodie town – half the “to do in Nashville” lists I found were mostly restaurants – and boy, did they deliver! Some of my favorite food spots we hit were Virago (sushi and cocktails), Whiskey Kitchen (the wait was insane on Friday night, which is why we popped over to Virago in the first place, but we scored on Sunday and got right in), Edley’s Bar-Be-Que (their cornbread alone is to die for), and Mellow Mushroom, a delicious pizza joint right next to Vanderbilt (although that one is a chain, but I’d never had it before so it counts!).

We also hit up most of the other must-see tourist-y things like the Parthenon in Centennial Park and the pedestrian bridge, but the most fun thing we did was the Pedal Tavern! You bring your own booze and drink while pedaling this weird cart contraption down to Lower Broadway where the honky-tonk bars are. It sounds weird, but it’s incredibly fun (although I felt bad for the cars stuck behind us!) – our guide Larry would pop out from his seat during stop lights to refill drinks and played fun songs the whole time, in addition to being great at giving tips about what to do in Nashville.

Imagine this but at night, with a billion cars and people around and a group of older lady bffs who kept yelling about their sports teams while downing whiskey. Awesome.  via

It’s basically this, but at night, with a billion cars and people around and a group of older lady bffs who kept yelling about their sports teams while downing whiskey. Awesome.

I highly recommend a trip to Nashville if you can – since we went in early November the weather was beautiful – chilly and no humidity – and there’s a lot of fun things to do (and especially eat!). Thanks for reading, everyone! Until next time – A x

ILNP Road To Awe and Mountain View Swatches

A few weeks ago I splurged and got two polishes from ILNP’s fall collection. Spoiler alert: they’re gorgeous. But of course, you already know that – I’ve never seen an ILNP polish that isn’t completely amazing. Anyway, the hardest part of choosing two polishes was deciding between the two multichrome flakies, Road To Awe and Glory – they’re pretty similar, and both beautiful fall polishes. In the end, though, I chose Road To Awe, because I don’t usually wear red/rust/orange hues.

ILNP Road To Awe

ILNP Road To Awe

I applied one coat over OPI’s Casino Royale on my ring finger and Essie’s Barefoot & Topless on all my other fingers. Like my other ILNP flakies, the formula on this was great – it was easy to spread all the shards out and get a nice, even covering like I like, and there were no pieces sticking up or anything.

11.12.15 Road To Awe under

Road to Awe has color shifts of fuchsia, purple, orange, and even gold at certain angles. So pretty, right?

11.12.15 RTA diagonal

Obviously I flipped when I saw that there was a dark green in the collection, but I wasn’t even ready for this jelly.

11.12.15 MT bottle

Mountain View is amazinggggggg! I knew I had to have it after I saw the first swatch online. It’s a gorgeous blue-leaning dark green – but not so dark it looks black, which is a huge polish pet peeve of mine – filled with not only beautiful fine holographic glitter but tiny copper flakes, too! I’ve really come to love copper lately, and green is always and forever my favorite polish color, so this combo was always gonna be a hit with me!

11.12.15 Mountain View curled

The formula was pretty good, although it definitely takes three coats and was startlingly sheer at one coat, but I assume it’s a bit sheer to allow the copper flakes to show through the dark base color. It dried fairly glossy, too, although I’m wearing a top coat in these pics. I didn’t have any staining, either, which is great with such a dark shade.

It was hard to capture the copper flakes, but ughhhh so pretty in person!

It was hard to capture the copper flakes, but ughhhh so pretty in person!

ILNP never disappoints, but these two are especially gorgeous. I’ve already worn these for almost a full week each, but can you blame me?

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Fall-ing Into China Glaze

Hi everyone! Whew, I’m still a little wiped out from doing so many manis for Halloween! I’ll probably just be doing some simple manis this month, I hope you understand! Today’s mani is a color combination I’ve never tried before, but it felt very rich and fall-like:

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

Desert Sun is a weird one. China Glaze describes it as a caramel, but I think it’s a little too orange for that – but it’s also a little too yellow to be a tan? I’m very confused by it, but I’m calling it butterscotch!

I actually really like this color combo – I love me a teal, and tan goes well with teal, so this weird more orange-y hue gives it a little something extra. Desert Sun has a pretty good formula, too, although I did need three coats.

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottles

Custom Kicks is an old CG that’s pretty new to me – I only got it a few months ago, but it is awesome! It’s a beautiful, super saturated teal with fine gold shimmer that mostly only comes out in direct light, but it’s gorgeous. I probably didn’t even need two coats, but I did it anyway because I was painting in low light and wanted to be sure there was no patchiness.

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled2

The glitter, I Soiree I Didn’t Do It (ISIDDI), is from CG’s new 2015 holiday collection, and it is GREAT. I did two thin coats over one coat of Custom Kicks, and it was very opaque, plus the glitter is small so I don’t needed one layer of top coat for it to be nice and smooth. For my ring finger, I used some sample zig zag decals that came with my What’s Up Nails order a few weeks ago to apply ISIDDI over Desert Sun.

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

As I mentioned, this color combo felt very fall to me, and it’s just in time, because it’s actually starting to feel like fall here, huzzah! It was pretty chilly today, and although it’s supposed to warm up later this week (classic LA weather), I’m enjoying it while I can – I got to wear boots today! I actually probably could’ve gotten away with a scarf, even, since it was pretty cold outside with the wind. Missed opportunities, y’all! I’m even enjoying the “it gets dark early” thing, because the nights are chilly even when the day isn’t, so I get to throw my windows open at home and have a nice, fresh breeze sweeping through our stuffy apartment and making it feel very nice, indeed, to snuggle into my blankets. It’s pretty great, you guys. Okay, I’ll quit rambling about the weather! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Halloween Mani #13 – Holy Crap, I Made It!

Ahhhhhh you guys, I did it! I didn’t think I’d make it by the 31st, but somehow I completed 13 manicures for Halloween! (I am never doing this again, just to be clear, ha!) I figured I’d do something a little more involved for my last mani, so here ya go:

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, Sinful Colors Black on Black, China Glaze Phat Santa

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, China Glaze Phat Santa, Sinful Colors Black on Black

The past few years I’ve always done a splatter for my actual on-Halloween mani, so I wanted to keep up with that tradition. I added another favorite Halloween design, though – black and white stripes!

10.31.15 splatter curled

I put down two coats of bL’s Cotton Buds first, then after that dried I applied one of the thin stripe nail vinyls from KBShimmer with my curved tweezers, pressing them all down firmly once they were in place to make sure no polish seeps under the tape and ruins the look. Then I applied one coat of Black On Black and quickly removed each piece of tape and was left with a fun stripe that reminded me of something very Tim Burton-esque.

10.31.15 splatter claw

After the stripes on each nail were done and dry, then came the fun part – splattering! I wanted to use a brighter red since I’d just watched Sleepy Hollow and was inspired by the bright red, almost paint-like blood they use. Using a regular drinking straw instead of my usual coffee stirrer, I put some polish at the end and then blew through the top to get these perfectly gory blood splatters, and it worked wayyyy better, let me tell you!

10.31.15 splatter around bottle

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all my 13 Halloween manis! I had a lot of fun doing them, although I’m definitely looking forward to keeping a slower pace with manis for a little while – 13 in one month is a LOT. Thanks for reading, and have a safe and fun Halloween! – A x

Halloween Mani #12 – Graveyard At Dusk!

Here we are – sorry – once again, my photos wouldn’t download, so you’re getting a double Halloween post today! Unfortunately, I’m not super in love with this mani – it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but at least I know what not to do next time! So without further adieu:

OPI Funkey Dunkey, Sinful Colors Black On Black, OPI A Roll in The Hauge

OPI Funkey Dunkey, Sinful Colors Black On Black, OPI A Roll in The Hauge

I had a few issues with this mani – I should’ve made the orange part go higher up, so the graveyard “shadows” were more visible; I should’ve used a darker purple at the top instead of black again; and most importantly, I should’ve paid more attention and kept my sponge damp so I didn’t get all these tiny pieces that got stuck and made my polish bumpy. :( I don’t even think the gradients themselves are all that great – on my ring, the colors just look like horizontal stripes. Sighhhhhhhh basically everything went wrong with this look, but in spite of the flaws being super glaring to me, I still kinda like it for some reason.

10.31.15 graveyard bottle

The one good thing was the quality of the decals from What’s Up Nails. I seriously love them – I’ve already used the drip decals and had a great experience, but these graveyard ones really impressed me because the design is pretty intricate but still came out clear and crisp after I’d painted over it. They had a 20% off deal a few weeks ago, which is when I scooped up these and the drip decals, plus a few others, and now I can’t wait to try them all out! (Although the prices are actually really great even without a discount.)

10.31.15 graveyard diagonal

Although I wish I could’ve change the colors slightly, I do like the general idea of the color scheme I went for – I think dusk is a very spooky time of the day, when you can actually see the last bits of sunlight slipping away by the second, and I loved the idea of a graveyard right before total darkness sets in and the spirits start to come out. Mwahahahaha!

My skin is super blown-out because I was trying to show the colors of the mani better.

My skin is super blown-out because I was trying to show the colors of the mani better.

Thanks for reading! Sorry this one didn’t come out so hot, but my official Halloween mani is going to be super fun, and I hope you enjoy it, too! See you then – A x