An OPI Oldie: What’s With The Cattitude?

Have you guys ever heard of the January Cure? It’s an Apartment Therapy thing that, let’s be honest, I would never actually complete – the very first assignment was to buy flowers, and already I was like “ehhh” because flowers are nice in theory but like…it kinda just feels like throwing money away to me? – but it did get me on a “start the year with a clean home” kick. I don’t have a real schedule or anything, but this past weekend I cleaned a shitload of stuff out of my closet and reorganized/purged my polishes. True, I didn’t purge that many polishes, but reorganizing them made me realize who often I go back to my same favorites all the time, so I decided to start showing a little love to my lesser-used bottles, and one of the first ones I grabbed was OPI’s What’s With The Cattitude?

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This exact hue of baby blue is actually pretty rare in the polish world – mostly when light blues come out they’re super pale, like Zoya’s Blu or Essie’s Borrowed and Blue, while WWTC? has that more pigmented, dreamy morning sky tone. WWTC? is from the OPI’s 2010 Shrek mini collection, which was amazing because there were NO PINKS OR REDS. Let that sink in for a second: OPI. No pinks or reds.

I couldn't find a .gif of this! Way to let me down, Internet. via

I couldn’t find a .gif of this! Way to let me down, Internet. via

In 2010 I was a wee baby lacquerhead – this was one of the first polish collections I was aware of because I’d started reading All Lacquered Up’s blog and keeping up with polish info – but I already had a few similar lime greens, so I skipped those and snapped up the two blues and two purples from this collection instead.

Ugh sorry about that ugly little healing cut on my pinkie. Also, I think WWTC? is leaning a tiny bit aqua in these pics, but it's definitely a powder blue.

Ugh sorry about that ugly little healing cut on my pinkie. Also, I think WWTC? is leaning a tiny bit aqua in these pics, but it’s definitely a powder blue.

Despite the somewhat finicky application, I used to wear this color a fair bit when I first got it, but I was en route to becoming the crazy polish monster I am today and my collection amassed to the point of more bottles than days in the year, plus during the 2011-2013 period there were a LOT of great collections that came out with beautiful and/or unique colors, so a baby blue that required three careful coats just wasn’t on my radar of something to reach for. I’m still kinda on the fence about it – it’s not really my style anymore, but I don’t want to let it go because it was one of my first big polish purchases and besides, my tastes change all the time (like how I suddenly like neutrals???) so I’ll keep it for now. I did feel the need to jazz it up a little after a day, though, so I pulled out my old buddy, China Glaze’s Lorelei’s Tiara.

1-21-15 around bottle

It was chilly (and weirdly, suuuuper foggy) here in LA yesterday and today, so I thought a little wintery look would feel appropriate. I’ve used Lorelei’s Tiara as an accent once on the blog before (there’s even a gif that shows its insane sparkle) and I guess I just really hate glitter clean up because I’m using it only as an accent again! I really like the combination of baby blue + bright silver + royal blue, though. I attempted a glitter fade on my pointer before remembering how freaking opaque Lorelei’s Tiara is

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Do any of you have an old fav you don’t get around to wearing much anymore but you still don’t want to let it go? Let me know in the comments! As always, thank you so much for reading! I’ll see you next time – A x

Born Pretty Store Neon Studs Review

First of all, Y’ALL. I had such a hard time picking my three Zoya colors for their promotion! When you have as many nail polishes as me, you have to be really picky – I kept seeing colors I liked then being like “Nope, too much like [OPI/China Glaze/Orly/etc I already own].” I’m also starting to get verrrrry guilty about not wearing half the polishes I have, so I really need to start delving back into the depths of my stash (which I also desperately need to reorganize, ahhh). But! I finally picked Yuna, Tomoko, and Nyx as my colors and I can’t wait to play with themmmm, and also to see the mystery mini shades – I am such a sucker for mini-sized anything!

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!  via

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!

A while ago I received an email from Born Pretty Store asking if I’d like to review some of their products. Obviously I jumped at the chance, and I chose a few colorful stud wheels to try. Lately I’ve been wishing for chilly, overcast weather but getting abundant sunshine (damn you, SoCal!), so I decided to do a mani that combines both a cloudy and sunny feel – my previous post of my favorite Zoyas reminded me of some fabulous colors I rarely use, and I ended up using Dove as a base with some of BPS’s neon studs on top.

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After two careful coats of Dove dried (my bottle has a tendency to be streaky, so I wait a long time between coats, and carefully paint them on), I added a layer of top coat to each nail one by one and used my handy dandy curved tweezers to quickly apply the studs in a small pyramid design.

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The studs are brilliantly colored and the color didn’t scratch off when I fumbled with my tweezers or dropped them against the table. I’ve been wanting to try these for a long time and I’m so happy I finally got a chance to try them out! I do wish I had gotten a slightly bigger size, though, because these were hard to pick up with my tweezers. Also, because my top coat is on the thick side, it was difficult to place them so that the top coat didn’t overflow when I squished the studs down – as a result, I didn’t press the studs down enough, and two of the pink ones popped off a few times before I managed to secure them with a teeny dab of top coat – but that’s really an issue with my top coat and not the studs.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y'all! I've def fallen behind on moisturizing recently.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y’all! I’ve def fallen behind on moisturizing recently, sorryyyyy.

I think maybe a darker gray would make the neon studs pop more, but I love the fun pop of unexpected colors. I want to do something similar with a neutral and a pink/purple/blue/green stud color combo in the future, but I do like this tropical rainbow scheme. It accomplished exactly what I wanted, and I love it.

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Thanks for reading! See you all next time – A x

A Zoya Deal, and My List of Favorites

Have you heard about the ongoing Zoya deal? Through January 14th, use the code NYNH to get any three Zoya polishes plus three mystery minis for $15. Pretty sweet, right? I love when Zoya does their deals! However, it can be really overwhelming to try to pick from the hundreds of polishes Zoya has available, so I thought I’d list my favorites to hopefully help you narrow some choices down (plus, personally, I love reading these kinds of lists!). Some of these polishes were also on my comprehensive all-time favorites list which I did a few months ago, so I apologize for the overlap! I just really love some of these bad boys. :) Also, please note that my clean-up won’t be perfect because I was very quickly swatching these to try and get the post up so y’all have time to actually use it before the deal is up.

Let’s start with the sadly soon-to-be-gone PixieDusts! I’m so sad Zoya is discontinuing these beauties – after disliking them in the beginning, now I really love textures polishes, and I was hoping Zoya would put out some in fun colors like turquoise or neon in the future. But alas, it was not to be, and if you don’t have any PixieDusts, you should definitely use this deal to pick a few up! Here are my favorites:

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Stevie: I wish Stevie were a pinch more vivid, because I think with my skin tone it looks kind of muted once it’s my nails, but it’s such a lovely, sparkly lilac. It’s a little sheer, but since the PixieDusts don’t chip easily on me I usually just do two thickish coats instead of three thin ones.
Dhara: I’m not usually an orange fan, but there’s something about this fabulous, juicy orange with gold shimmer that sets my heart aflame. Rowr! It’s also very opaque, almost a one-coater, so it’s a great pick for when you’re short on time.
Solange: Solange is maybe my favorite Zoya ever. Well, definitely my favorite PixieDust, anyway! It’s a gorgeous yellow with golden shimmer, and it looks like liquid sunshine on your tips. I think it’s the gold that makes this yellow so flattering on so many people. If you don’t have this color, you need it!
Dahlia: I love, love, love this badass-looking polish! Be aware though – in the bottle it looks like pitch black, but on the nail it’s more like dark gray because of the silver shimmer. Still super awesome, though, and so sparkly!

Next we’ll do cremes:
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Dove: I love a nice, clean gray. It looks so chic and subtle without being boring, and Dove is the perfect light gray for me! It can be a little streaky, but I think that might just be my bottle since I haven’t read any other bad reviews, but honestly, taking the time to do three careful coats is worth it for this clean, classic hue!
Petra: Until about a year ago, I was not a neutral fan, but I love how Zoya has been reinventing neutrals every spring, and this is one of my favorites! Zoya described it best when they said it is a “dark, smoky, dusky grey creme with strong purple undertones.” Definitely a color-changer depending on the lighting – you can see here it looks much darker and purple-er than the bottle – but always beautiful!
Wednesday: Okay, actually, maybe this dreamy, faded aqua is my favorite Zoya of all time. I have one or two blues close to it but none that match exactly – it’s showing up a bit too bright here, it’s def more faded. I love that it’s pastel-y but not boring, and it can look chic or playful depending on what else you pair it with (I love putting it with Shelby, below!). It also has a fantastic two-coat formula. Swoooooon!
Shelby: From the same collection as Wednesday, 2012’s Beach & Surf collection, Shelby is not my usual color but something about this pretty cotton-candy pink caught my eye and I had to snap it up. The formula can be a little finicky in that Zoya way – it’s a bit thick so you grab a little too much on your brush and flood your cuticles – but it’s actually an opaque two-coater.

The shimmers (these actually make a pretty almost-ombre!):
1-12-15 shimmers

Mimi: Every time people see me wearing this, they freak out and demand to know what it is. The whole Sparkle collection from 2010 was great but there’s something about this rich, vivid purple with pinkish shimmer that makes everyone lose their minds. Def snap it up if you’re a purple fan!
Remy: This is a newer polish, and after spotting it at the nail supply store I immediately snatched it up. It’s an indigo with “a strong flash of green and gold liquid metallic glitter” but what I love most is how it’s not too dark – I hate almost-black shades because I feel like what’s the point? Remy looks like an evil mermaid’s tail – moody blue with a sultry, blingy shimmer. Yum.
Logan – I’m a sucker for greens, and this lush, gold-flecked forest green is one of my favorites ever. I like that it doesn’t look too holiday, unlike a lot of shimmery deep greens, so I don’t feel weird wearing it year round. It’s got a near-perfect formula, too, and is almost a one-coater.
Zuza – From the same collection as Wednesday and Shelby (actually, that whole collection was fab), Zuza is basically a more vivid Wednesday ​with foil particles. It reminds me of a beach resort holiday, and come summer, this shade is almost exclusively what I wear on my toes.

Some metallics and a duo chrome:
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Adina: Adina is a really cool and unique color from a few years ago that never really gets much love on blogs. It’s a pale violet with a strong acid green duo chrome that looks like a witch’s potion. It seems super sheer on the first coat, but is opaque in two. There are sliiiight brushstrokes but you can’t really tell in person. I bet this would look badass layered over a darker purple!
Giovanna: I don’t really need to say anything about this color because This blue-leaning emerald looks like Zoya plucked a jewel out of the royal crown and melted it into their bottle. Like Adina, the minimal brushstrokes that can appear aren’t really noticeable in person, and anyway, who cares? This color is too gorgeous for words (although double up on base coat, this strong color might stain a little).
Mason: A “Fandango pink,” whatever that is, Mason was a surprise hit for me. I love purpley-pinks but this one is so sumptuous and rich, it feels like prepping for a ball every time I use it. I really love the random tiny glitter specks that wink in the sun.

Here are some special finish polishes, mattes and a flakie:

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Maisie: I love flakie polishes, and while indie creators have started to make them more widely available lately, Maisie is a great pick if you want to stick to mainstream brands. This is one coat over Zoya’s Ibiza. They morph back and forth from turquoise to green as your hand moves, a fun effect that you’ll be playing with all day.
Veruschka: I loooove Zoya’s mattes. They really do look like velvet, and are just as beautiful with top coat as without, although I love how quickly they dry in their natural state (although they do chip fairly quickly). Veruschka is such a chic tone of forest green, and it always reminds me of Scarlet O’Hara’s curtain dress on my tips!
Savita: The same formula as Veruschka – thick but not gloopy, opaque enough that it can be a one-coater if you’re careful – plus a fabulous royal purple color makes Savita one of my go-tos for a quick mani. And let’s not even get started on how it looks with top coat. So lovely!

Let’s end my list with a bang, starring the scattered holo finish polishes! This is one of my favorite Zoya finishes and they’ve used it on multiple colors, but the brilliant holo rainbow comes through better on some more than others, and the below three are all perfectly flashy and bright!

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Storm: Obviously, the deep black base makes the shards of holo pop, and this is even more gorgeous in the sunlight. The dark base makes it so not as many holo particles show up as the other two colors here, butI actually love that – it looks like the twinkling night sky.
Aurora: I love that this is called “sugarplum purple,” and it’s kind of on the money, too. It’s a beautiful reddish violet hue that I just love. Enough holo particles show in Aurora that it actually has a weak linear holo effect, and this sucker is sparkling even in low light.
Dream: Between the deep royal blue hue and the amount of glimmering holo particles, Dream is literally breathtaking, trust – if you don’t have this one, buy it now. Then thank me when people grab your hand and ooh and ahh at your tips, admiring your mad polish game. You’re welcome. :)

Hmm looking at these swatches now, I realize that most of my Zoyas are mostly greens, blues, and purples! I’m not a professional blogger who gets collections shipped to me, so everything I have, I’ve bought myself, and obviously I only buy colors I’m drawn to. But I hope that this list at least helped you to find some polishes you might not have noticed otherwise in the huge Zoya site, and maybe convinced you which to snap up. If you have any questions about formula or would like suggestions, let me know in the comments and I’ll help you as much as I can! I don’t own all the Zoyas, but I read enough polish blogs to have a pretty good working knowledge of them so I can probably help you out. Thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x

A (Very Late) Happy New Year Post!

Hi everyone! I didn’t mean to be away for so long, but I was at my parents’ for a lengthy, lovely Christmas break without much polish or my photo setup, and then when I got back in the new year honestly, I just wasn’t feeling inspired to even play with polish much. :/ Howeverrrrrrr, my little polish funk is over and I’m back with a bright, punchy look to kick off a new year of Fancy Finger Gun posts!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that the China Glaze Sunsational polishes are some of my favorites. Are the formulas streaky, non-leveling, and generally a pain? Yes. But the colors are also so freaking gorgeous I can’t be mad at them for long! (JK, I get super pissed when they chip after a day. Sigh.) The other frustrating thing about these beauties is that the more genuinely neon ones are super hard to photograph in the correct shade, so in the following photos my skin is going to look kinda dead, but it was the only way to show the true color of Son Of A Peach! If I tried to edit them the slightest bit so my hands didn’t look awful, SOAP would lean more orange in photos than in person – it would kind of look like China Glaze’s Sun Worshipper, very yellow-toned, when it’s a really more soft, uh…peach-y color.

Sorry, I know my cuticles are jacked. Weather changes have messed up my skin so much.

Sorry, I know my cuticles are jacked. Weather changes have messed up my skin so much.

I bought Essie’s Bikini So Teeny towards the end of last year but haven’t worn it yet. I’ve mentioned before that I used to really dislike those kind of periwinkle-y, cornflower-y blues, but something happened last year and I somehow fell in love with them! I really love how pastels and neons look together, so I decided to pair these two up and I couldn’t love it more! I first did my two coats of Son Of A Peach (usually it would take three to make sure it was 100% non-streaky but I knew I’d be covering it up), let that dry, then applied a thin layer of BST and used a balled-up piece of Saran Wrap to gently sponge each nail, removing some of BST and letting SOAP show through. If I held my hand away this combo looked like a swirly cotton candy confection, and I got more than a few compliments! Below is a shitty pic taken in my car in twilight, but it was the only one I could get to show the neon-ness of SOAP.

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I know this is a little late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Did anyone get any particularly awesome gifts? I made out like a bandit this year, I must say! My standouts were Amy Poehler’s book, Heroine lipstick from MAC, and the Brick Lane set from Butter London!

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I lived in the East End of London when I studied abroad in college and spent many nights feasting at delicious Brick Lane restaurants, so I had to have this set, and despite my BL issues, I really do like these polishes! I briefly wore Cor Blimey, a deep purple, and Dubs, a fantastic shell-pink texture polish, over the break and they wore very well! My sister tried Bric-A-Brac, a red jelly with gold shimmer, that was beautiful, as well. Right before I left (literally, the day I was flying out!), I also finally got my shipments of ILNP flakies and some Cirque Polish holos I’d ordered, so I will be playing with those in the next few weeks! I did bring Metropolis home and wore it over plain black for New Year’s Eve but I forgot to get pics. It was the perfect blingy NYE polish, though, and I want to try some fun layering combos soon! Anyway, let me know in the comments about any awesome presents you got – polish-related or otherwise! Thank you so much for reading, and I will have another post up soon, I promise! – A x