Smoky Gradient

Hi everyone! This weekend was a glorious one – I got a lot of errands and boring but essential housework done, went to a super fun beachside bar crawl, and most importantly, the weather was fantastic! not quiiiiiite fall-type weather, but it wasn’t humid for the first time in weeks and there was a lovely breeze and distinctive lack of heat. I’m so weird but the weather affects me so much, and this weekend was such a nice break from our never-ending summer.

I was definitely feeling more autumnal, though, and I wanted to do a mani that reflected that. I also really wanted to use I Love Nail Polish’s AC Slater, a deep brown holo, and I remembered the lovely smoky gradient Sarah at Chalkboard Nails did with it, so I decided to recreate that. I used Color Club Cherubic, a tan holographic, as my neutral counterpart.

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Every time I use any of the Color Club Halo Hue polishes I fall in love with them all over again. They are easy to apply, pigmented, and so freaking holo! I did two coats of this bad boy but then things got dicey when I brought AC Slater into the mix. It was really sheer when I first started to sponge it on – like barely showing up – so I added way more polish but then that was too much so I didn’t get the nice, smooth gradient I prefer. Oh well – the more grungy gradient kinda suits the dark hue of AC Slater, anyway.

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Photos can’t do these polishes justice. The holo flare is significantly weaker in AC Slater than Cherubic, but I kinda like having blingy holo blend into more subdued but still pretty rainbow-y sparkles.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It's much more in-your-face in person.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It’s much more in-your-face in person.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I’ll see you next time with my first Halloween manicure (yayyy)! See you then – A x

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Nail Quickies: Matte + Dry Brush

Hi everyone! Here’s a quick mani I did recently. I used Zoya’s Ibiza, which I remembered as being a bit lighter than this but you can barely tell it’s blue, bleh. I really dislike almost-black colors; I just feel like, what’s the point? Anyway, I added a matte top coat then busted out my bottle of Sally Hansen Color Foil Nail Makeup (why the long-ass name?) in Liquid Gold.

Oh jeez, I just noticed all the chips/tipwear. Forgive meeeeee, I took these pics super late after work one night and also matte polish chips SO QUICKLY.

Oh jeez, I just noticed all the chips/tipwear. Forgive meeeeee, I took these pics super late after work one night and also matte polish chips SO QUICKLY.

I picked up a few of these new foils when I saw them on sale at Target a few months ago but this was my first time using one. It was really hard for me to get the dry brushing technique correct with this polish; if the tiniest bit was left on the brush it was too opaque, as you can see on my pointer, but if I brushed it off more than that there really wasn’t enough on the brush to use. I’m not thrilled with how this turned out, but I feel like it looks kind of bad ass. I’d liked to try it again with a different design. Here I just tried to do a criss-cross type thing.

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I’m probably going to post once more before October, when my Halloween manicures begin. Eeeeeeeee I love Halloween! I have some fun ideas planned and I can’t wait. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway! See you next time – A x

Katy Perry Concert and Nails!

Hi everyone! This weekend I went to the Katy Perry Prismatic concert with my sister and two of our good friends and it was really awesome. I’m not a huge KP fan but she did most of her big, fun hits and the costumes, sets, and everything else about the show was really cool. I’ll have some pics and gifs below but first I’d like to show you the nails I wore!

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I had so many ideas of what to do so it was hard to narrow it down, but I finally chose to do a manicure inspired by Katy herself, with a little added holo sparkle since her tour has a “prism” theme. I did two coats of Essie’s Sexy Divide, a deep metallic royal purple, then topped it with one thick coat of Nubar’s Violet Sparkle, which I just picked up this weekend. I was really impressed with Violet Sparkle – it barely had any texture because the glitter pieces were so small, which I loved because I hate having to cover glitter with multiple layers of top coat to get it smooth. After I applied top coat, I used tweezers to quickly add different rhinestones along the side of each nail. On my accent nail, I simply dabbed on gradient of China Glaze’s Techno; I really wanted to use some holographic foil that I picked up, but I couldn’t find my foil glue. :((((

This doesn't look super similar to Katy's manicure, but I was running out of time and I still think it's pretty fun.

This doesn’t look super similar to Katy’s manicure, but I was running out of time and I still think it’s pretty fun.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the concert. “Roar” kicked the concert off with a bang and she ended with “California Gurls” (ugh, that “u”) before an encore of “Birthday” and then “Firework,” during which everyone wore these 3D-looking glasses that made all the lights look like holographic explosions.

There was lots of cool stuff like dudes being suspended in the air with sparks coming out of their guitars and Katy flying around the stadium on a huge bouquet of balloons during the encore, and lots of weird stuff like a huge balloon of the poop emoji and a video of cats taking over LA, but overall it was really fun and cool with the prism-shaped stage and super colorful decor. My favorite costumes were the first outfit Katy came out in, a holographic top and skirt edged with LED lights, and her huge, flow-y gown and pastel rainbow wig for the ballad portion of the show, which unfortch I couldn’t get a good photo of.

Loooove this neon-lighted holographic outfit!

Loooove this neon-lighted holographic outfit!

This was during the '90s segment, which was pretty awesome.

This was during the ’90s segment, which was pretty awesome.

A little drive-by Katy floating on balloons.

A little drive-by Katy floating on balloons.

"Vogue" catwalk.

“Vogue” catwalk.

I know I haven’t posted very much this month, but despite the heat still lingering, I’m getting into a very autumn state of mind, and that’s gonna be reflected in my manis since it’s not cool enough to bust out my fav fall clothes yet. I’ve got some fun ideas I can’t wait to try out. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! See the previous post for info!

Birthday Mani and Sparklefest Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I’m so sorry I haven’t been updating regularly lately, things have been weird/busy, plus honestly I haven’t been very inspired with any of my looks lately. Today’s look is what I wore for my birthday yesterday:

The purple is China Glaze's Fancy Pants, the glitter is ILNP's Sugar Blossom, and the frosting and sprinkles are assorted polishes I'm too lazy to go find the names of.

The purple is China Glaze’s Fancy Pants, the glitter is ILNP’s Sugar Blossom, and the frosting and sprinkles are assorted polishes I’m too lazy to go find the names of.

I wanted to do something kinda cute, and I actually really love how this came out! I think it’s just the right amount of cute without being too cutesy. Didn’t take that long, either. I’m not much of a birthday person, but I had a lovely little day – rolled up a little later than usual to work with my favorite coffee in hand, had dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant with some friends that evening, and got some awesome presents including fun polishes and my new fave lipstick. Not a bad way to kick off the big 2-8!

Sorry for my busted-ass cuticles and also the huge cuticle gap - I'd had this purple on my nails for so long before I added the tips!

Sorry for my busted-ass cuticles and also the huge cuticle gap – I’d had this purple on my nails for so long before I added the tips it was growing out!

Yesterday I realized that I’ve reached over 130 followers on Instagram, which is nuts! I’m blown away that so many of you are following me there and also on Pinterest, Tumblr, and here on the blog, and I wanted to say thank you so much! I honestly can’t believe that I’ve kept up with this blog for over a year and I’m tickled pink that I actually have a loyal little audience :) As a thank you and also to commemorate my 100th post, I’d like to do a little giveaway. I didn’t really have a theme but once I started picking polishes I realized I was choosing all glittery polishes, so this is one sparkly-ass giveaway! They’re all kind of autumnal colors, as well, so I guess they’d be a good intro to the fall season (if it ever gets cool enough to actually be autumn, grump grump grump). Here are the beauties in the giveaway:

From left: China Glaze Loco-motive, Zoya Beatrix, _____, Color Club ___, Essie ____.

From left: China Glaze Loco-motive, Zoya Beatrix, Dare To Wear Seriously Golden, Color Club Pinky Swear, Essie Stroke of Brilliance.

And because I love SPARKLEZ, here’s some macros:

To enter the contest, fill out your information in the rafflecopter below. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the month. Good luck everyone, and again, thank you so much for following!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorites Month: Glitter

Here it is, my last category for favorites month! I wanted to end on a fun note, so I chose to end with my favorite glitter polishes. I don’t wear glitter that often because I’m super lazy and hate glitter removal, but come on – who doesn’t love glitter?! Sparkly glitter, matte glitter, big glitter, tiny glitter, all one color or crazy combinations – I get so annoyed when people say things like “you shouldn’t wear glitter past the age of ten.” Please. Not only can glitter polish can be elegant and chic, but what’s wrong with rocking some obnoxiously loud glitter on your tips when you’re 30, 40, 50? It’s fun! And trust, there’s no low-key glitter polishes on my top ten list!

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Disco Darling: About five years ago, when I first started getting into polish collecting, I remember seeing a few of these Nox polishes on Lacquerized (a now sadly defunct nail blog) and when I followed the link they were on sale. WELL. Obviously I had to buy some! Despite the Twilight affiliation – barf – these polishes were pretty great, with good formulas and a pretty bottle, but Disco Darling was by far the best. A dense concentration of teeny tiny silver holo pieces in a clear base, this takes three coats for opacity but daaaaaaaamn once it’s on you can’t stop staring. SO blingy and gorgeous, and definitely an eye-catcher – even my male coworkers were grabbing my hand to get a better look at this polish!

Servin’ Up Sparkle: I have so many silver holo glitter toppers and I love them all, but I told myself I’d only choose one so I went with my first, from one of the Serena Williams combo packs a few years ago. This bad boy is insanely sparkly and blindingly holo – it’s definitely chunky so it requires double layers of top coat, but this bling-fest is totally worth it.

11:59: This topper is fairly simple, but it really makes a statement over any color. Composed of black and gold hexes, squares, micro glitter, and even a few circles, this polish is so fun and definitely looks like New Year’s Eve in a bottle.

Maxxed Out: Crows Toes was one of the first indie brands I became super obsessed with, because every time she put out a polish collection it was perfectly curated and just so freaking awesome! This is probably the blingiest polish I own – the silver and gold holo glitter in hexes, bars, and microglitter is flashy and bright even in low lighting. I’ve only worn this a few times because it’s chunky that even with top coat it’s not completely smooth, but the bling factor definitely makes up for it!

Sticks & Stones: One of the OG indie polishes, S&S is really just a super fun polish – this combo of matte black-and-white glitter hexes and bars looks amazing over any color, although I especially love putting it over neons.

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The Glittering Crowd: Another OG Lynderella polish, TGC is just so awesome. There are apparently 100 different kinds of glitter in here, and you can definitely tell – it’s a fantastic glitter explosion of all shapes and colors, and hands-down the best multi-glitter polish there is.

Ariel: Love, love, love this glitter polish that is Princess Ariel in a bottle! It’s got the purple of her shells, the red of her hair, and the green of her tail, plus some truly gorgeous aqua/green flakie-esque shimmer that I always forget about then die over again each time I put this on! It’s also got a truly spectacular formula for a glitter.

Moonbow: So gorgeous – you can see from how much is gone from the bottle that I’ve loved this one a little too hard for such a small bottle, but I can’t help it! (Curse those Brazilian polish makers and their tiny bottles!) The glitter shifts from turquoise to purple to pink and even a few specks of yellow, orange, and green depending on the light and it’s truly breathtaking.

Bring On The Bling: How I wish I had gotten more of these when they were out! I was in my early stages of polish addiction at the time and thought “meh, it’s just another OPI holiday glitter.” HOW WRONG I WAS. I managed to find this and one other polish (Glow Up Already!) on eBay, I think, a year or so after this Burlesque collection was released, but they were already kinda pricey. These glitters are so great, though – sparkly full-coverage micro glitter, yum! This one is gold-based with additional green, pink, blue, silver, and orange glitter pieces. So fun and holiday-esque!

Ginger Spice Latte: I have no idea what possessed me to buy this polish, but i’m so glad I did because once I put this on my tips I was ob-sessed! A dense mix of tiny gold and copper glitters, this polish is so freaking gorgeous and looks beautiful over any color. I especially love wearing it in the fall, it’s like drizzling caramel over the top of your manicure.

I tried to do a glitter gradient with Moonbow but the formula is a bit thick so my gradient wasn’t that great, and my little bottle of Essence Just Rock It! is on its last, goopy legs, so I didn’t do a great job with that around my cuticles, either. Sigh. I do love Moonbow over the dark blue, though.

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It was super hard to capture the shift for some reason, but I think I got it pretty well in macro form.

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I hope you enjoyed favorites month! It was so fun for me to go back through my stash and rediscover old loves or even polishes I’d totally forgotten about! (#polishaddictprobs, amirite?) Do you see any of your favorites on this list? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading along with these posts, I’ll be back with something bright and fun next time, and maybe even a little surprise. See you then – A x