Baby’s First Water Marble

China Glaze Harvest Moon, Glitter Goblin, Fantasy Makers Rest in Pieces

China Glaze Harvest Moon, Glitter Goblin, Fantasy Makers Rest in Pieces

So I was due for a new mani and even though I had a few ideas for Halloween nails, I wasn’t really into any of them. I went looking through my polishes and remembered how much I loved Glitter Goblin from last year’s China Glaze Halloween collection.

LOVE. China Glaze makes some awesome Halloween polishes (although admittedly the last two years haven't been as stellar).

LOVE. China Glaze makes some awesome Halloween polishes (although admittedly the last two years haven’t been as stellar).

Isn’t this lovely? I’m not even an orange fan usually, but I adore this. Tiny burnt orange and holo silver glitter pieces in a clear base, sparkly as all get out.

The world's tiniest gif. My usual app isn't working :( Blurred, as, always, for sparkle.

The world’s tiniest gif. My usual app isn’t working :( Blurred, as, always, for sparkle.

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It’s not an incredibly dense glitter, making Glitter Goblin perfect for glitter gradients, which is how I usually use this. Here I layered two coats of GG over one coat of another China Glaze, Harvest Moon, from the Hunger Games collection. It’s a great burnt orange/copper foil (although that does make it hard to see the orange glitter in GG because the two colors are so close). I decided to attempt a water marble for the first time ever, and chose to use black and clear polishes so the glitter would show through underneath. My first try was using Wet’n’Wild clear and W’n’W Black Creme, both of which I’ve featured before. It…did not go well.

Barf.

Barf.

The polishes were drying super quick in the water so that I couldn’t easily drag my toothpick through and make shapes, it would just scrunch into unattractive blobs, as you can see above. On the one nail (my middle one) that had a kind of cool shape, the black bled through the clear layer. Cue aggravated sigh. I couldn’t admit defeat though, and set about experimenting, so I tried a bunch of different clears (some base coats, Gelous) with a bunch of different blacks (Color Club Revvvolution, W’n’W Ebony hates Chris, Fantasy Makers Rest In Pieces) and none of those were reacting well together. I was getting SO ANNOYED before I realized the W’n’W clear actually worked well, but it was the black polishes that weren’t working – except for Rest In Pieces.

Yes, my toothpick is a cocktail umbrella.

Yes, my toothpick is a cocktail umbrella.

I wanted to have a full manicure that actually looked good, so I did a few gentle swipes of remover over each nail and got off the previous, failed black water marbles. I added another coat of GG because some of the color had come off with the remover (and actually I think it got some of Harvest Moon, too, because the color wasn’t as vibrant during the second attempt, making it harder to see under the black, blergggggg). When that dried, I used W’n’W clear as I did the first time, plus Rest In Pieces, and hallelujah! The polish didn’t dry quickly and I was able to drag some designs into it.

Right hand.

Right hand.

Left hand.

Left hand.

I’m still not THRILLED with this – I couldn’t really make any shapes I truly liked, and Rest In Pieces wasn’t as opaque as I wanted (which I guess is why it worked, the polish is slightly runny/thin) – but it’s miles better than my first attempt! And actually, RIP is kind of cool with this because it’s a black with teeny, tiny purple glitter, which you can see in the macro looks really awesome with GG’s glitter.

Please forgive my raggedy-ass cuticles. It's been a rough week.

Please forgive my raggedy-ass cuticles. It’s been a rough week.

Watermarbling looks so cool when I see it on other people’s blogs, but dude, it’s a LOT of trial and error, clean-up (I used tape around my nails but it still got all over my fingers, as seen in the first attempt photo), and I’m all for experimenting – that’s why I started this blog, after all – but water marbling is a lot more work than I usually want to do. Painting my nails is a relaxing thing for me, so I think it might be a long time before I attempt water marbling again. I’m glad I finally tried it, though!

Continuing with my list of favorite Halloween-y movies, Scream is definitely top five.

"What's your favorite scary movie?"

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

I really don’t know how anyone can not love Scream. After decades of mainstream horror being relegated to endless, ever-shittier sequels of once-popular ’80s movies (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street), Scream was a crazy hit because it was so fresh. It was perfectly gory, wickedly funny, and super meta, with the characters savvy about horror pop culture and using their knowledge to escape the villains. I’ve seen this movie a lot and I still love it, if only for the sweet, sweet ’90s outfits.

This is the only group pic I could find and it isn't even that bad, but TRUST, the outfits are hilarious.

This whole movie is such a ’90s time capsule, I love it. The cell phones! Sydney’s computer! Video stores!

Of course, as with any successful horror film, like those before it Scream has a bunch of sequels. Scream 2 wasn’t terrible, Scream 3 was terrible, and Scream 4 was actually a pleasant surprise, for me anyway, but original-flavor Scream is still the best. If you’ve never seen it, you’re doing yourself a disservice – there’s some great jumpy moments, the “who’s the killer?” reveal is awesome, and it’s a really clever and funny film in addition to being scary. Oh man, and it stars practically-baby-faced, newly famous Courtney Cox whose character Gale Weathers (…yeah) is the best, seriously.

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Do you have any pathetic water marbling attempts like this one or have you managed to actually triumph over it? Do you have rose-colored ’90s memories of watching Scream like I do?

Thanks for watching! See you next time – A x

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Poison Apple

This manicure turned out way better than I imagined. It’s pretty classy but also fun and most importantly, has a buttload of glitter.

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I’ve always loved fairy tales. Actually, the original stories themselves are pretty brief, with surprisingly dry writing, but I guess I just love the visuals I imagine from them: beautiful Briar Rose sleeping for a hundred years in a dark castle tower, twelve lovely princesses whirling and dancing the night away in glorious gowns, the poor miller’s daughter locked in a huge room surrounded by straw. Some fairy tales simply summon up one image, such as the famous poison apple from Snow White.

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I love this image from the Disney movie of the evil queen’s potion dripping over an apple, pooling into the shape of a skull. I wasn’t quite sure if my less-than-amazing nail art skillz could pull that off, so I focused on just doing something oozy and drippy.

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This looks like I used a lot of polishes, but most of these colors are for the apple accent nail.

Wet'n'Wild 2% Milk, Milani Dark Chocolate, China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, OPI Color So Hot It Berns, We'n'Wild Black Creme, I Love Nail Polish Candy Apples and Razors

Wet’n’Wild 2% Milk (base for apple nail), Milani Dark Chocolate (stem), China Glaze Emerald Sparkle (ooze), OPI Color So Hot It Berns (apple), We’n’Wild Black Creme, I Love Nail Polish Candy Apples and Razors

All in all, I think this mani came out really cool, especially for my first attempt at drawing-type nail art! For the apple I contemplated using a lighter or more yellow green, something like looked like slime, but I couldn’t resist the dark allure of Emerald Sparkle. I LOVE this polish – deep green with gorgeous glitter, very classy and cool. My favorite part of Disney fairy tale movies is how they made their old-school villains darkly glamourous – Lady Tremaine, the Evil Queen, and of course the best villain Maleficent – and I think Emerald Sparkle matches that idea.

It looks pretty dark in most of my pictures but it's a perfect emerald green.

It looks pretty dark in most of my pictures but it’s a perfect emerald green.

Candy Apples and Razors isn’t something I’d usually get because I don’t wear red or silver too often, but when I Love Nail Polish had it (and a bunch of other holiday polishes) on sale, the swatches made me jump on it. There’s red square and smaller hex glitters, silver shards, small burgundy glitters, and tiny holographic glitter. I only needed one coat on each finger, although like most packed glitters it did take a little placement to make sure there was an even coat. I’m so glad I picked this up, it’s lovely and I love the inspiration!

Yum.

Yum.

I liked this so much I wore it for almost an entire week, which is pretty high praise coming from someone who usually changes their polish every 2-3 days. After all that time I only have two chips, too, which is verging on a miracle.

I couldn't resist.

SO CHEESY, but I couldn’t resist.

With each Halloween manicure I post, I’m mentioning a favorite Halloween-y movie of mine. The first few movies I talked about were fun Disney ventures; today I’m discussing the creeptastic classic Rosemary’s Baby. I can’t imagine a more horrifying situation than thinking you’re pregnant with the devil’s baby, and Rosemary’s Baby deftly follows the poor main character’s psychological journey. The whole atmosphere of the movie is moody and unsettling before ramping up to terrifying with the realization that Rosemary has no one to turn to and even her body isn’t her own anymore, just a tool for a truly frightening group of people.

One creepy bitch.

I once read that Roman Polanski originally wanted a more robust, “All-American” girl to play Rosemary, but Mia Farrow’s waif-like frame definitely works for the character – she seems so physically frail and small, and thus truly helpless as she starts to realize what’s happening. It’s pretty chilling stuff, plus the movie has the world’s creepiest lullaby sung at the end. Seriously, it’s basically the scariest thing about the movie. If you aren’t much for gory or violent horror, definitely check this out.

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Any Rosemary’s Baby fans out there? Thoughts on this mani?

Thanks for reading! See you next time! A x

Frogs’ Breath Gradient

Halloween manicure the second:

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China Glaze Urban Night and Crows Toes Frogs' Breath

China Glaze Urban Night and Crows Toes Frogs’ Breath

I liked this manicure better in theory than in execution. It’s not terrible, but not my favorite either. I think a dark purple that was more blue would’ve gone better, plus I forgot how concentrated the glitter is in Frogs’ Breath so the gradient didn’t turn out that great – there’s no real graduation, just a shitload of polish halfway down the nail, despite my best efforts to take some off. Oh well. I really love Frogs’ Breath, though – all different sizes of glitter in varying shades of green and gold holographic.

My macro lens isn't that great but see how pretty this is?

My macro lens isn’t that great but see how pretty this is?

I like the color of Urban Night, too, but weirdly the formula was SUPER runny and streaky and just generally kind of hard to manage, taking three coats for coverage (you can see around my cuticles I did a pretty bad job of controlling it). Even with that much polish and waiting between coats I still had some bald spots. It’s been a while since I wore this but I don’t think it was this bad before. Still a great color though, an almost bruise-like (sorry, I know that’s gross) reddish plum. This is a hue I wouldn’t have even owned a year or two ago. It’s funny how much my polish tastes have changed between when I first started collecting and now.

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The name Frogs’ Breath makes me think of The Nightmare Before Christmas (I think it was probably the inspiration, this is from Crows Toes’ Halloween collection last year) which is one of my favorite Halloween (and Christmas, obvs) films. I know that recently it’s been co-opted by emo and goth kids who shop at Hot Topic, but I really have loved this movie since I was a kid; I always liked creepy, weird, Halloween-y stuff, and this movie is a perfect mix of all those.

Ghosts and pumpkins

The music is so great they even released a special edition of the soundtrack with artists like Marilyn Manson and Fiona Apple doing their own versions of each song, and visually the attention to detail and just pure scope of the animation is astounding.

Snowflake

I love how Disney was so nervous when this came out there’s no sign that it was a Disney movie – no Disney castle logo in the beginning or anything – but now they happily roll out TNBC merchandise and even decorate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion with TNBC styling from October to December. I know because I got to go yesterday!

Outside, dolled up with the countdown clock and ribbons and bows galore.

THe Haunted Mansion all dolled up, including the countdown clock.

 

A little gif of the cool animatronic setup by where you get into the cars.

A little gif I made of the cool animatronic setup by where you get into the cars. Dr. Finklestein’s brain lights up “Noel” ha

I’ve never been to Disneyland at Halloween time, and I loved it! Pretty autumn touches of leaves and foliage-colored banners along Main Street, the aforementioned Haunted Mansion changes, and they even made Space Mountain to be a LOT faster and had some kind of fire-ghost image chasing you as you ride which was so cool and creepy. I went with my sister and our friend, who told us about the Alice in Wonderland “T-Party,” a cool setup in California Adventure where an Alice-themed band (the singer is dressed as Alice, the guitarist is the Mad Hatter, etc) plays on a huge stage with cool club-y lights. There was also an amazing DJ I called Deadbunny because he wore big light-up rabbit ears, which kind of reminded me of Deadmau5. Most importantly, though, they served cocktails! Boozin’ at Disney is the BEST, y’all. The drinks were delicious and even had ice cubes that lit up, which was a fun touch.

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Such a great day – we were there for 12 hours and I loved every minute of it.

Do you have any Crows Toes? Are you pro or anti TNBC? Any thoughts on this mani?

I hope you liked this post! See you next time! A x

First Halloween Mani!

IT’S FINALLY OCTOBER! October is my favorite month by far. I’ve mostly lived places that are very summery year round, and while that might sound great to some of you, for me summer weather = death.

This basically sums up how I feel about constant sunny weather and heat.

This basically sums up how I feel about constant sunny weather and heat.

I get hot so easily and sometimes even get headaches from the heat and it makes me not even want to venture outside and UGH. But in lovely October the weather starts getting cooler (well, in theory) so you can pull out cozy sweater and boots, seasonal treats like “pumpkin spice this” and “peppermint that” come back, and most importantly, HALLOWEEN IS NIGH. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and I like to stretch it as long as I can, which means my apartment was decorated yesterday and all this month I’ll be doing fun Halloween-themed nails.

I’m not a huge fan of super literal nail art like Frankenstein’s monster patchwork or stamps of bats and witches’ hats – I don’t hate that stuff, and will on occasion even do them myself, but in general it’s not my jam. I more prefer playing with traditional holiday colors/themes instead of straight images. Also, GLITTER. Soooo much glitter in the coming weeks (actually, for the next few months, because holidays = glitter to me). Get excited! Anyway, to kick off the month I have a skittles mani:

Halloween explosion.

Halloween explosion! Left hand.

Right hand.

Right hand.

I used a shitload of polishes for this mani, as you can see.

The brights: China Glaze I'm with the Lifeguard (neon with silver shimmer although you can't see it here), Milani White on the Spot, CG Orange Marmalade, Sinful Colors Let's Talk (a bit lighter than this but it's hard to get this polish color-accurate!)

The brights: China Glaze I’m with the Lifeguard (neon with silver shimmer although you can’t see it here), Milani White on the Spot, CG Orange Marmalade, Sinful Colors Let’s Talk (a bit lighter than this and definitely less blue but ughhh it’s so hard to get this polish color-accurate!)

The darks: Wet'n'Wild Tangled in My Web (tiny matte black glitter in clear base), W'n'W Black Creme, OPI Black Shatter, Girly Bits Into the Night (tiny holo and pink glitter in a slightly tinted black base), Cirque Debris (multi-sized black and silver glitter with sparkle)

The darks: Wet’n’Wild Tangled in My Web (tiny matte black glitter in clear base), W’n’W Black Creme, OPI Black Shatter, Girly Bits Into the Night (tiny holo and pink glitter in a slightly tinted black base), Cirque Debris (multi-sized black and silver glitter with sparkle)

Finger by finger:

Thumb: Wet’n’Wild Black Creme + Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper (which I now realize I forgot to include in the bottle photo ahhh!). I liked pairing copper instead of a true orange with black, it’s still Halloween-y but more chic or something. This is one coat of Black Creme and one coat of TSC, believe it or not.

Index: China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard + Cirque Debris, Wet’n’Wild Tangled in My Web. First on my left hand I used Debris, a chunkier glitter, but thought it was too similar to the size of TSC on my thumb, so on my right hand I used Tangled and I think the tiny black glitter is a better contrast.

Middle: Sinful Colors Let’s Talk + W’n’W Black Creme, Girly Bits’ Into the Night. Let’s Talk is almost impossible to photograph correctly – it’s a true, royal purple, and if you don’t own it you need it because it’s beautiful. I’ve never done the drippy style before, but I think it looks pretty good for being my first try! I added Into the Night on top of the black drips on my left hand but thought that made it harder to see so I left it off my right hand (I really should’ve used another color but I liked making black the color that tied all the nails together).

Ring: Oh man, I LOVE the striped ring finger, despite how long it took to do. I used tweezers to painstakingly place five or six striping tape pieces on my nails. I had to re-do each placement a few times to get it perfect, because I wanted all the stripes to be the same width as the striping tape and even though I was just eyeballing it I think it came out really great! It reminds me of Jack Skellingston’s suit.

Pinkie: CG Orange Marmalade + OPI Black Shatter. I put some tape at a diagonal and globbed on my poor, semi-dried-out Black Shatter. It’s gotten so gross and didn’t even crackle that well. I remember when this polish first came out there were a lot of issues with it drying out quickly, and I guess I have had mine for a few years now. :(

A lot of work but I really love this mani! A fun way to kickoff the Halloween countdown.
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I decided that I was going to list a favorite Halloween/horror movie of mine with each manicure. This is not a list of “best Halloween movies” or anything, just some of my personal faves. First up is a movie that I already included a gif of that’s beloved by everyone who was a child in the 90s:

HP boo

Hocus Pocus, y’all! If I did have to choose one halloween movie, it would be this one by a mile. Maybe I only think this because I grew up with it, but Hocus Pocus is a rare PG (?) movie that can actually be enjoyed as an adult, too. The story is fun, the setting of Salem is perfect (and lovely in all its autumn glory), and every single character is enjoyable and well-acted, even the kids and the minor characters (it’s especially fun to see a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker be absolutely ridiculous).

HP eat

It’s still funny even though I’ve seen it a million times since I was a kid. I can quote the whole movie (sometimes I just text my sister “Max. Fat chance.”) but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the shit out of this movie every time I see it. It’s really just a classic, and if you’ve never seen it, you should definitely check it out on one of ABC Family or the Disney Channel’s inevitable airings, if only for the scene where Bette Midler sings. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the most amazing things in this world.

HP scream

Do you get excited for fall (or in my case, “fall”) too? Do you love Halloween or Hocus Pocus as much as I do? What did you think of this mani?

I hope you enjoyed this post! See you next time! A x