A Very Zoya Halloween

Hi everyone, and happy Halloween! I hope today is the perfect Halloween for you, whether that means going out to bars (and imbibing many Halloween-themed shots), dressing up for a costume party, or chilling at home with scary movies! I will be going out to a little place near my apartment because traffic/taxis are crazy on holidays here, but tomorrow is the real Halloween treat. I’ll explain more after I show you my final Halloween mani!

Zoya Dhara and Storm

Zoya Dhara and Storm

I wanted to go with traditional black and orange for my actual Halloween nails. This was my first time trying out Storm and I luuuuuurve it. I resisted buying it because I have so many black polishes already and I don’t really wear them that often (a friend in college wore black nails so often that I OD’d on them even though I asn’t even wearing them myself), but last Zoya promo I figured since I love my other Zoya scattered holos so much, I might as well try this one. And it does not disappoint!

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The only issue is that for a black it’s oddly sheer – I had to do three coats to get it fully opaque/not streaky. But once it dries it’s got a lovely glossy finish and ughhhhh I just love the flecks of holo against the inky black! It looks like a freaking galaxy on my nails! I couldn’t get a good pic but trust, in the sun this bad boy is a sparkly rainbow explosion of gorgeousness.


So purdyyyyyyy

I thought pointy V-gaps would look nicely Halloween-y, so I did those in Dhara using tape. Dhara is another one I was trying out for the first time, and I also loved it! Like Storm, I kept resisting buying Dhara because I already have OPI’s Jinx, which is a very similar color that leans more coral. I kept seeing gorgeous swatches, though, and I’m so glad I bought it because it’s juicy, sparkly, orange perfection! I used two coats and since it’s over black it looks more like a rusty/burnt orange than the vivid true orange it really is but I actually really loved that.

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So my Halloween treat is that I’m going to see Danny Elfman’s concert tomorrow night! They did it last year, too, but this time Danny himself is performing, which will be the first time he’s done it in over 20 years. Whaaaaat! Obviously, I’m so excited, and I’m so happy my friend L asked me along! She and I share a love of creepy, spooky things, and I know we’re gonna have the best time at the concert. (P.S. she has an awesome horror movie blog that you should check out if you’re into horror!) So in lieu of writing about another favorite spooky movie, I’m going to do a write up of the concert on the next post (it won’t technically be Halloween, but it’s always Halloween in my heart).

Thanks for reading and following my Halloween manicures all month, and I hope you all have a super fun Halloween! See you next time – A x

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

Imagine how excited I was to find out that Cinespia, the company that shows films in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, was showing Beetlejuice as their annual Halloween offering! One of my favorite movies, I knew immediately I had to coordinate nails for the event!

French Tip White, Def Defying, Funky Dunky, Black Creme

French Tip White, Def Defying, Funky Dunky, Black Creme

Obviously Beetlejuice’s black-and-white striped suit was going to be the biggest element of this mani, but I wanted to add some color, too, which is how I decided on adding purple and green for Beetlejuice’s shirt and hair and also for Lydia’s bedroom.

Oops I forgot to put Connect the Dots in the bottle pic!

Oops I forgot to put Connect The Dots in the bottle pic!

I’m so pleased with how these came out! It’s always super tedious to place the striping tape juuuuuuuuust so to get perfectly even stripes, but the effect is super cool when it’s done. Besides Beetlejuice’s famous suit, there’s a lot of black-and-white elements in the film, so I put a coat Lynderella’s Connect The Dots over the purple and green nails. I feel like the chaos of CTD mimics the crazy feel of some of the sets in the movie.

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If you haven’t seen Beetlejuice, go watch it right now. It’s in the best Tim Burton era – the late ’80s – where he manages to hit all the right notes between dark, goofy, and hilarious. The story centers on Barbara and Adam Maitland, a young married couple that dies and has to come to grips with the afterlife – namely, the fact that they’re stuck in their house for 120 years and don’t take kindly to the new family that’s almost immediately moved in. The Deetzes, from New York, are comprised of a stressed real estate man; his ridiculous, trying-to-hard-to-be-cool wife (the amazing Catherine O’Hara, who is sublime); and teenager Lydia. Lydia Deetz along with Wednesday Addams were my favorites growing up – I’ve always loved weird, spooky things, and these characters were the poster girls for weird and spooky.

Me too, girl. via

Me too, girl.

It makes me kinda sad there aren’t really characters like these two and Daria – smart, surly girls who like whatever weird stuff they like unabashedly and won’t put a smile on their face just to make others happy. I know I sound old but man, I feel like kids’ and teenagers’ stuff now is all faux happy and shiny, with characters who look impossibly perfect at all times. You won’t find anything like Lydia’s pointy bangs, that’s for sure.

Anyway, the Maitlands have a hard time being seen by the living, so they can’t scare the Deetzes out of their home.
Poor Barbara, stuck for 100 years in that terrible, frumpy-ass dress. via

Poor Barbara, stuck for 100 years in that terrible, frumpy-ass dress. via

They turn to Beetlejuice, a “bio-exorcist” who claims to be able to help. However, they quickly realize Beetlejuice is more than they bargained for and has his own agenda, but he won’t be gotten rid of so easily. The weird thing is, for a movie that’s named after him, Beetlejuice is only in the movie for about 17 minutes. They make it count, though – Beetlejuice is pervy and gross but also really funny, and it’s definitely an iconic role for Micheal Keaton.

At the Cinespia showing I learned that the writer (who was in attendance but didn’t stand up to talk, boo!) also wrote The Addams Family, so this guy is basically responsible for creating my spooky obsessions as a kid. Also at Cinespia there were a LOT of really cool costumes – there were quite a few Adams and red wedding dress Lydias, but also a Miss Argentina, a Dante’s Inferno girl, and one of the dead football players. I was kicking myself all night for not donning a costume, too!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I have two more Halloween manis to go before the month is over, and the next one I’ve been planning since last year. Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Witching Hour

I had a stamping mani in mind for today but I wasn’t really feeling it, honestly – stamping often takes me more than one try to look decent and I just wanted something easy, which is how I came up with this simple witchy look.
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This is two coats coat of WnW’s Black Creme, my go-to black that has unfortunately become goopy. I then added a drop of regular top coat and gently placed my Hex nail charm.
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This is my first time trying out Hex and I’m really pleased! I was bummed when the star/moon charm I originally wanted was out of stock because it was a little bigger, but although this guy looks a smidge too small for my monster nails I still like it a lot. I’m going to take it off after a day to make sure I don’t lose it (these charms usually don’t stay long on me since I put my hands through the ringer every day).
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On my pinkie I used Pure Ice’s Gold (great name) to make an angled tip. I debated added a little something else but I think sometimes less is more, despite my inner magpie that always wants to throw on additional color/glitter/shiny!
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The movie I’m discussing today is not a Halloween movie, but it’s got that spooky feel that I love so I’m including it: Coraline. This movie is weird but awesome; based on the Neil Gaiman book, it tells the story if a blue-haired little girl who has two flighty/scatterbrained parents who’ve moved her to an odd apartment building in the middle of nowhere.

Bored now. via

Bored now.

Coraline feels neglected by her parents and bored, so she starts exploring and eventually finds a secret little door that’s got a brick wall behind it. Later that night, Coraline follows a mouse through that same door, which now leads to the Other world, where her Other Mother and Other Father are warm and attentive, and give her everything she wants. She keeps going back despite warnings from the other tenants in the apartment building, but eventually the Other Mother reveals her true colors.
10-24-14 Coraline creepy handWhile not outright scary, Coraline is delightfully dark, spooky, and moody, which I think by now you’ve learned I love. The animation in this film is ridiculously gorgeous, and my mind was blown when I saw this behind-the-scenes featurette on how they created Coraline’s teeny, tiny clothes (minuscule knitting needles ahhhh!). I also love that Coraline isn’t some sugary-sweet little girl character – she’s surly and sometimes whiny, and is a bit mean to the only other kid in her building, a boy named Wybie, who tries to hang with her. This isn’t her whole character, but I appreciate adding these traits in because I like when kids are portrayed with full personalities like anyone else. I saw this in 3D in theaters and got the 3D DVD because I love how subtle it is – adding just enough dimension to give the elements realistic depth without being super in your face. If you’re in the mood for a creepy but not scary flick, I highly recommend Coraline!
Coraline vs. her puppeteer via

Coraline vs. her puppeteer

Thanks for reading! I’ve got a mani based on one of my all-time favorite movies coming up next. See you then – A x

Candy Splatter

I wanted to do something completely different with today’s look but I was stuck for a while before I thought of doing my usual blood splatter mani with Halloween colors instead of red. I’m pretty pleased with the result, although adding the black makes me think more of Reese’s Pieces than the candy corn look I was originally going for. :/

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I started with a base of everyone’s favorite white with a drop of gray, My Boyfriend Scales Walls. It was still streaky at two coats, but I knew I’d be splattering over it. Then came the messy part! I love splatter nails but I swear, I can never get it quuuuuuite right – see how on my pinkie the polish just looks smudged instead of splattered? And yet it’s perfect on my middle finger. Blerg. Maybe I’ll go back to using a regular straw instead of my current method of coffee stirrer, although in the past that just made big splotches. Sigh – I can’t win!

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However, I’ve finally landed on a way to make cleanup a breeze – smear Vaseline around your cuticles! I read this somewhere a long time ago but this was the first time I’ve tried it out myself, and it worked like a dream. After carefully making sure not to get any Vaseline on my nails themselves, I splattered away and when I was done, I just used an orange stick to gently scrape away the Vaseline from my cuticles, taking the excess polish with it. Huzzah!

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My Halloween-y movie today is a new favorite that I just discovered thanks to Netflix Instant – The Awakening. It’s set during one of my favorite time periods – the spiritualist movement of the 1910s/early 1920s – in England, where Rebecca Hall plays Florence, a famous writer who busts fake mediums making their living by tricking poor grievers into thinking they’ve contacted their deceased relatives. A teacher from a remote boarding school contacts her, urged by the school matron who’s a fervent fan of Florence’s work, and against her initial judgement, Florence makes the journey to debunk the pupils’ belief that a ghost is haunting the grounds.

I love, love, love the cinematography in this movie, especially how everything is gray and washed out, completely visually evoking the hopelessness of the time immediately after WWI and the massive influenza outbreak that together killed millions and basically destroyed a generation of young men. The only thing I loved more was Rebecca Hall’s performance – she is perfectly curt but not rude/mean, and shows a sense of humor lurking under Florence’s businesslike facade. I wish she were a bigger star – she’s been fantastic in everything I’ve seen her in, but I think she’s fallen into the Keira Knightley trap of being typecast as a “period” actress.
Oh, and baby Bran Stark is one of the boarding school boys! via

Oh, and baby Bran Stark is one of the boarding school boys!

I love this movie so much because it’s a haunted house (which I’ve already mentioned I love), there’s a pitch-perfect moodiness that accentuates the setting of a horror story in isolated England, the mystery is interesting and not cliched, and there are some genuine scares along the way! If you’re in the mood for a more atmospheric than jumpy scary movie, you should definitely try The Awakening.

Anyone ever seen The Awakening and loved it as much as I did? Any thoughts on this mani? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a few days with another Halloween look. ‘Til then – A x

Monster Blood

Today’s manicure sort of reminds me of the covers of the Goosebumps books from the ’90s.

I used to looooove that series, and read them constantly. I actually still have the first two Goosebumps books I ever owned. P.S. – if anyone’s feeling really nostalgic, the TV show is streaming on Netflix right now. You’re welcome.
I used to not really be into the “drip manicure” look – I kinda thought it was weird unless it was done as blood or slime for Halloween. For some reason it’s grown on me lately, but I‘ve still only done it for Halloween, ha. I’m pretty pleased with how my drips came out here – I didn’t want it to look too cartoony, despite the color scheme, and I think I managed the perfect oozy drip here.

Doesn't this look like a weird, old potion bottle?

Doesn’t this look like a weird, old potion bottle?

I really love the green/purple color combo for Halloween – it evokes imagery of weird, bubbling concoctions in a mad scientist’s lab – and I think it was a great choice for a slime-y look. I’ve discussed my love of yellow-toned greens before, but ughhhhh Def Defying is so great! I wore it by itself for a day before doing the drips because I didn’t want to cover it up once it was on!

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In keeping with the ’90s Halloween theme, today I’d like to talk about Disney’s TV movie Tower of Terror.


<a href="via“>via

If you’ve never seen this movie as a kid, it’ll probably be lame but if you grew up watching it like I did, you’ll get a kick out of rewatching it like some friends and I did recently. It’s really cheesy and definitely super ’90s, but hey, I love cheesy ’90s. Anyway, this was a TV movie that Disney made to promote their then-new Tower of Terror attraction, and it stars Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst, playing uncle and niece, respectively. “Uncle Buzzy” is a disgraced former reporter who now can only get work doing ridiculous stories and photos for tabloid magazines, using his niece Anna to pose as everything from ghosts to Bigfoot. An old woman gets in touch with Buzzy about the mysterious disappearance of five people sixty years ago that caused the closing of the glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel – their elevator dropped (of course) and they were never seen again. Buzzy and Anna go to fake some photos of ghosts and some weird shit starts happening.

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Watch out, Keeks!

Watch out, Keeks!

Buzzy and Anna find out the ghosts are real, and they work together with Abigail; Q, a mechanic and heir to the hotel if it should ever be fixed; and Jill, Buzzy’s previous editor/lovah, to try and help free the ghosts. As seen in the above .gifs, the effects are hilariously bad and the dialogue/story isn’t riveting, but it’s a fun throwback that’s probably easy to find on YouTube (I’m one of the last people to get discs from Netflix, which is how we watched it).

If you’ve ever seen Tower of Terror, please tell me in the comments so I know i’m not alone in my cheesy TV movie love! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time with another fun Halloween look. – A x