ILNP Swatch: Kaleidoscope

Hellooooo everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was really lovely – very relaxing while also getting some errands done, plus there was a huge thunderstorm and golden retriever snuggles! Basically the definition of a perfect chill weekend. To ward off the “bleh”s from the start of a boring workweek, I’m going to show my latest polish acquisition today, ILNP’s gorgeous flakie Kaleidoscope.

7.19.15 bottles

Kaleidoscope is a mix of all the flakie polishes ILNP offers, so obviously it was the one I was most excited about from ILNP’s summer 2015 collection. I love, love, love rainbow toppers, so a rainbow-y, color-shifting flakie topper? I can’t even, because I’m dead.

7.19.15 pose

I mean, gahhhhhh. This is gorgeous! Just like my last INP flakie, Kaleidoscope went on easily and had great coverage so I didn’t even have to dab and swirl like I sometimes have to with heavy glitter toppers. There actually isn’t much texture to these flakes even before you put on top coat, which is nice because I haaaate bumpy, lumpy nails (which is why I don’t wear glitter that often). As for the flakes themselves – again, just like my last review, I love that these are opaque, metallic flakes that can be layered over anything, not just a dark color. To prove it, I did one thick layer over Color Club’s East Austin, a neon peach (a notoriously troublesome color, so this was three obnoxious, streaky coats. Sigh).

There really isn’t that much more to say – this is fabulous, go get it right now. I’m a pretty frugal lacquerhead – I don’t actually own that many indies because I’m just not a person to shell out $10-$15 for one polish all that often – but Kaleidoscope is totally worth the $$$. It’s gorgeous and extremely versatile because it can go over just about any base color. You definitely won’t regret this! (Although it does pay to sign up for ILNP’s newsletter – it lets you know when pre-orders are happening, which is how I got this polish for $1 off, as well as the 30% off sales they sometimes have, which takes the sting out of the price a bit. Especially if you want to order more than one bottle at a time because hello, of course you’ll want to, their polishes are gorgeous and have great formulas!)

7.19.15 fingers

Oh man, I could stare at this combo all day. I love how summery it is with the peach base color! Did anyone else pick up any ILNPs in the pre-order or anything from the summer collection at all? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

Fourth of July Mani

Hi everyone! I hope my fellow Americans had a fun and safe Fourth of July yesterday! I only had time for a quick Independence Day mani, so let’s get to it!

I forgot to include the glitter polishes in this pic, oops! I did include a beer, though, because 'MERICA!

I forgot to include the glitter polishes in this pic, oops! I did include a beer, though, because ‘MERICA!

I knew I wanted to do something with a classic red, white, and blue color scheme, so I pulled a bunch of polishes from my stash. I decided to do a creme vs glitter thing, so first I splattered OPI’s Color So Hot It Berns and Calypso Blue over butter London’s Cotton Buds on my two middle fingers. I’ve talked about it before, but bLs chip SO quickly on me, and Cotton Buds is no different – it literally chipped a few hours after I put it on, oy vey. I do like my splatter for once, though – usually I end up with a big blob on each nail but this time I got a bunch of pretty perfect splatters, so huzzah!

Argh I wish I had gotten a better pic of Ruby Pumps, it's so lovely!

Argh I wish I had gotten a better pic of Ruby Pumps, it’s so lovely!

On my pinkie I used two coats of China Glaze’s Ruby Pumps, one of their most famous colors – and for good reason, it’s a gorgeous red glitter – over one coat of Color So Hot It Berns, and on my pointer I did two coats of Dorothy Who?, also from China Glaze’s “Wizard of Ooh Ahz” collection, over one coat of Calypso Blue. Dorothy Who? is a blue jelly glitter and while it ended up being a little lighter than I wanted for this mani, it’s still such a lovely polish that I’m glad I dug it up since I haven’t worn it in forever.

7.5.15 diagonal

I had a pretty chill Fourth of July – my sister and I were fostering a tiny Chihuaua puppy the previous week and we brought her back to the pet rescue that day where she immediately got adopted, so yay! Then later that night I went to the Cinespia Fourth of July screening of Top Gun, complete with fireworks. It was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it – apparently there were 4,000 people there! There were so many people that half of them had to sit off to the side behind a big mausoleum so they couldn’t even see the movie – we got there on time but even so, we were a little off to the side, too. Craziness. It was a pretty good time, though – we sat next to a fun group of people, our grub was delicious (pulled pork sandwiches, cornbread, s’mores, beer and wine, mmmm), and the fireworks show was actually really great. Then we got home just in time to catch the end of Independence Day and finish off our s’mores, so all in all, a pretty great July 4th!

I hope my fellow Americans had a lovely July 4th, too! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Nail Quickies: Rose Gold and Teal Racing Stripes

Hello everyone! How’s your (holiday, if you’re in the US) week been going? I’ve had a busy few weeks at work so I treated myself to a some new polishes last weekend, two of which I’m wearing in my mani today!

7.3.15 bottles

I wasn’t too into the China Glaze desert collection – I like the idea behind the theme, but I’m at the point in my crazy huge polish collection where I only want to buy something if it’s unique, and these just ain’t it. My sister scooped up Meet Me In The Mirage, however, and once I put it on I realized it’s actually a little different from my other foil-y rose gold, butter London’s Champers. Champers is a bit more rich in color and has more metallic foil flakes – MMITM is lighter in color and isn’t as heavily foil-y. It went on easily and opaquely in two thin coats.

7.3.15 diagonal

I did want to note that Cecilia is fabulous at self-leveling – I did only one coat because I was, as usual, painting my nails in the half-dark, and later added another layer after realizing it was sheer in some parts. The polish had a streaked texture when it first went on because I was trying to apply only a thin layer, but to my relief a few seconds later each nail looked nice and smooth. So that’s actually pretty cool! For the stripes, I stuck a piece of washi tape diagonally at the tip of each nail and then applied a piece of striping tape above that and painted one thick coat of Meet Me In The Mirage.

7.2.15 pose

This was so easy to do and looks very chic, I love it! What do y’all think? Let me know in the comments! I know I haven’t been posting as much lately, but I’ve got a fun and easy Fourth of July mani coming up soon I think y’all will like. See you then! – A x

Nails for Pride!

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is going well. I was supposed to have this post up two weeks ago – when I went to Pride in West Hollywood – but I’ve been majorly slacking on the blog recently. I wanted to finally get this post up today, though, for the historic SCOTUS ruling that same-sex couples can marry nationwide.

I wish it was unanimous, but I'll take what I can get!

I wish it was unanimous, but I’ll take what I can get!


I kind of still can’t believe it – after a rough few years for civil rights in this country, it’s felt for a long time that everything is terrible and it’s hard not to get downtrodden. Of course, even with this win, there are still many other civil rights issues left to fight for, but this ruling is such an amazing stride forward and deserves to be celebrated!

6.26.15 bottles

For my Pride mani, I wanted to do something that both incorporated rainbow colors and a fun, festive theme, so I ended up doing confetti dots with stripes as an accent nail. I also used neon colors instead of the traditional ROY G BIV. It was a pretty easy mani to do, actually – the hardest part was getting the striping tape on perfectly evenly and since the stripes were so small to allow all six colors to fit on my nail, to paint the polish on without getting to on other sections. For this last part, I just used the least amount of polish on the brush as possible.

6.26.15 curled

Then came the fun part – the confetti dots! I used the smallest dotting tool I had (which still makes fairly big dots because I usually have too much polish) and dipped it in a little dollop of each color I put on a spare piece of paper, then added random dots on each nail. I think the color order I went in was yellow -> green -> blue -> pink -> orange -> purple because I wanted to make sure the lighter colors didn’t get lost amongst the darker ones. It was really easy to do, you just have to swipe off the current color with a remover-soaked cotton ball before going on to your next one so they colors don’t mix and get muddied.

I used purple striping tape and some of it rubbed off on the polish, which you can see on the yellow stripe :(

I used purple striping tape and some of it rubbed off on the polish, which you can see on the yellow and green stripes :(

Because I used butter London’s Cotton Buds as my base, this mani chipped almost immediately, unfortunately (bLs wear like crap on me), which is why in a few of the pics you’ll see that my thumb looks terrible, even though I tried to touch it up. I loved how this looked, though – so happy and fun, and since it was so easy, I would love to try it out with different colors (and a different base) in the future. It just looks like a party on your nails, doesn’t it?

6.26.16 both hands

This year was the 45th annual Pride celebration in West Hollywood, and while I wouldn’t have braved the Sunday parade for anything (I couldn’t have dealt with the 40,000 people that were going to attend, I hate huge crowds), I went Saturday evening and my night ended with a fantastic concert by Kesha! I unabashedly love Kesha – I think her music and her general glitter party thing are so fun – so I was really looking forward to the concert and it definitely delivered. I didn’t really get many great pics or videos because I was awkwardly on the side (there were a BILLION people there), but it was such a fun show – Kesha had amazing neon green hair; there was tons of glitter, rainbow balloons, and backup dancers dressed in S&M gear and animal costumes; and at the end Kesha even came out in a rainbow costume complete with a rainbow guitar. Classic Kesh.

Thank you for reading and helping me celebrate this great day! I’ll see you next time – A x

Cirque Holo Polishes

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a lovely week! I was craving some holographic sparkliness but of course the day after I put this mani on it was cloudy and overcast for almost an entire week. I was fiiiiinally able to take some photos yesterday, so sorry for the week-plus absence, but feast your eyes on these babies:

6.10.15 bottles

I ordered three Cirque holos just before Christmas last year during a sale; I already showed the gorgeous orchid holo, Xochitl, in a previous post, but today I combined the last two in this super blingy mani.

6.10.15 curled around bottle

So we’ve got Panacea, a funky chartreuse holo, and Cerrillos, a vibrant turquoise – both colors I looooove, even when not in deliciously sparkly holo form. Panacea was a little sheer, so I did three thin coats, and Cerrillos was probably good at two but I was painting in low light so I added a third for good measure. These wore super well on me – I had it on for almost an entire week and I only got a little chip on each finger. Not bad! Oh, also, for some reason when I photographed in the direct sunlight (to catch as much holo flare as possible), the base colors didn’t appear as vivid as they are in person. Photos really don’t do these justice, they’re mesmerizing in real life!

6.10.15 diagonal

For my glittery pinkie and thumb, I dabbed a coat of China Glaze’s Techno over Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a great one-coat metallic silver. Techno is pretty chunky, so I did two thick layers of top coat, which of course meant my thumb chipped almost instantly. Sigh. But I just kept fixing the messed up parts because I liked this mani so much. It definitely didn’t chip off in big chunks like heavy glitters usually do on me, though, so that was a plus.

6.10.15 curled up

On my pointer, I did one coat of No Place Like Chrome and then a layer of top coat. After it was totally dry, I placed one of my Make It Stick tribal decals (although it looks like they don’t do nail decals anymore…?) and painted a thick layer of Cerrillos on the top half and Panacea on the bottom. I was nervous to smooth the decal down too hard, like I usually do, because metallics have a tendency to rip off if you use tape on them, so the one side doesn’t look too great, but the outermost side is pretty crisp. I’ve never used these before because I kept forgetting about them, but I really love the designs.

6.10.15 macro

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! I’ve got a few simple nail designs like this in mind for my next few manis, and I might even attempt a pictorial tutorial? Hmmm we’ll see how lazy I’m feeling. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see. As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time! – A x