Cotton Candy Nails

I like to follow a few people on Instagram who have pretty, pastel-hued accounts. I know it’s kind of a cliche – girls with icy pastel hair who wear pale clothes and sip pink tea out of gold tea cups in perfect lighting – but sometimes it’s nice to see some dreamy pics in the middle of the boring work day. One of my favorite accounts is @studiomucci, run by Amina. She has an Etsy store, Studio Mucci, that makes tissue paper tassels, lanterns, and pinatas in pretty, happy color combinations, and paints her life with pastel from her lavender and pink yarn(!) hair to her workspace. A few weeks ago she posted a pic of her mani and I fell in love with it – having something of a pastel moment, myself – so I decided to do a look inspired by hers!

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First I did two coats of Shelby as my base, then when that dried I took little chunks of a cosmetic sponge held with tweezers, applied Shelby, Sittin’ Pretty, and That’s Shore Bright on each one by one, and gently dabbed them randomly on my nails. This is the method I’ve seen people use for galaxy nails – which I’ve actually never done before, I’m a terrible nail blogger! – and this actually kinda looks like a pastel galaxy, no?

You can see the tail of my pink mermaid tweezers in the background there - very adorable. and goes perfectly with this cutesy mani!

You can see the tail of my pink mermaid tweezers in the background there – very adorable. and goes perfectly with this cutesy mani!

When I’d gotten my random gradient to how I liked it and each nail was dry, I applied a thin layer of Fairy Dust. I only recently picked this up, and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. I have tons of holo glitter toppers, but this one is perfect for anything because it’s micro glitter, so it just adds a light sparkling layer over your nail without requiring tons of top coat to make the surface smooth. I mean, I love my holo toppers like OPI’s Which is Witch? but I haaaate having to put two (or more!) layers of top coat on to get my nails smooth – or at least as smooth as you can get with a chunky glitter.

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It’s not exactly like Amina’s – hers looks a bit more purple and has a pinky-gold shimmer on top – but I used the same general concept and I love how it turned out. Never in a million years would I think that I’d like having cutesy pink and lavender nails, but I’m super into it. It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore!

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What do you think of my fairy nails? Do you follow any pastel princesses on Instagram? And does anyone else own a Studio Mucci garland? (I have one from right before they revamped the store, it’s hanging at work and I love the color combo.) Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, y’all! See you next time – A x

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Neon 90s Vibes

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well! I’ve been on a bright polish kick lately, and I’m pretty obsessed with this combo:

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Neon Barbie pink + neon turquoise = yassssssssss! I’ve written before about the China Glaze Sunsational polishes – gorgeous neon pastel hues, terrible formulas – but even though I needed 3 coats to get rid of streakiness with these, it surprisingly wore really well! Usually when I do more than two coats my polish chip pretty quickly, but I wore just pink and blue skittles for a few days and they held up beautifully! Hm…

Taken in my car at 5pm on the way home (at a red light, obvs).

This is like, day four. Whaaaaaat?

I loved these two colors just by themselves (reminds me of cotton candy or these taffy candies), but decided to spice it up a little and added some decal art. I looooove tape manis. They’re really easy – which is great because I’m super lazy – but look like you’ve put time into your design. I did some cleaning last weekend and found an envelope of decals I thought I’d lost, including these awesome zig zag/lightning bolt(?) ones! Unfortunately, because I had to put on two coats of Bottoms Up to get it non-streaky, when I pulled the decal up on those fingers, it got a little messed up. Definitely try to use polishes that only need one not-so-thick coat when using decals/tape, because I’ve had this issue before.

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With the lightning bolt-esque shape and the neon pink and aqua, these nails look kinda 90s (and remind me of Clarissa Explains It All‘s credits), and that just makes me love them more! I wore this manicure for almost a full week, which should tell you just how much I loved it, because I usually get bored after about two days. That’s also why the polish is so far from my cuticles in these pics – I kept forgetting to take photos until the day I took them off and my nails grow hella quickly, oops. I know they look kinda gross, sorry about that!

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I’m really feeling these neon pastels lately, so I’ll be back soon with another bright look. Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

Topshop Polish and 2015 PaleyFest!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a wonderful week! I did a little splurge last weekend and picked up two Topshop nail polishes, one of which I wore in a dreamy mani.

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So first of all let me just say that I thought the Topshop polishes were two for $10 – maybe I’d seen a sale the other times I’d gone or something, because when I got to the register they were definitely 2 for $15. I bought them anyway but ehhhhh I don’t think these are worth the price tag. They are tiny and maybe the cremes and mattes (the mattes did look cool, not gonna lie) are great but the formula on the two I got – this speckled lavender and a holo star-and-microglitter topper – weren’t amazing. But anyway, I do really love this color. It’s my favorite type of lavender, pink-leaning, and I love the tiny matte glitter pieces that give it that speckled Easter egg look. I used three coats by itself on my right hand but it doesn’t dry quickly so I did two thin coats over one coat of Sweet Hook on my left, which was so much better! The color didn’t really change but it was definitely more opaque and took me much less time to paint on.

Sorry about my busted cuticles, y'all!

Sorry about my busted cuticles, y’all!

For the stamped nails, I used my Fairytale 02 plate from Mo-You for the first time. Weirdly, there are certain designs I can stamp really easily, does that happen to anyone else? I used the swirly cloud part for my pointer and pinkie and it was really easy to stamp on just the way I wanted. My pointer got a little smudged but I love how the swirly design looks with the speckled lavender. So dreamy and spring-y!

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So last weekend I went to Paleyfest! You may remember I went last year for the Parks & Recreation panel. This year, honestly, the panel choices sucked so I didn’t have a hard time narrowing down my self-imposed limit of one to one of my fav shows, Jane the Virgin! I know a lot of people compare it to Ugly Betty, which I get – they’re both based on telenovelas, they both feature a large cast, colorful sets, and sometimes “wacky” humor – but they’re definitely not the same. If you haven’t seen it, a quick description: Jane was raised by her single mother Xiomara and grandmother Alba, both of whom she lives with, and she’s a very down-to-earth, practical person who knows exactly what she wants in life (to eventually marry her long-term boyfriend Michael, who she hasn’t had sex with yet, and to become a teacher). She works at a fancy hotel in Miami Beach while putting herself through school, and she had a crush on the owner’s son Rafael a few years earlier. Through a series of events, Raf’s sister, a gynecologist who’s got emotional and substance abuse issues, accidentally inseminates Jane with Raf’s sperm. And that’s not even getting to any of the good parts! It’s really funny and sweet, the characters are wonderfully fleshed out (especially the female family dynamics of Alba, Xo, and Jane, which I love), and with the “Miami” (aka Manhattan Beach, CA) setting the sets and costumes are beautiful.

The cast from left to right:  Executive Producer Ben Silverman, show runner Jennie Urman, Gina Roderiguez (Jane),  Justin Baldoni (Rafael), Jaime Camil (Rogelio), Andrea Navedo (Xiomara), Ivonne Coll (Alba), Brett Dier (Michael), Yael Grobglas (Petra)

The cast from left to right: Executive Producer Ben Silverman, show runner Jennie Urman, Gina Roderiguez (Jane), Justin Baldoni (Rafael), Jaime Camil (Rogelio), Andrea Navedo (Xiomara), Ivonne Coll (Alba), Brett Dier (Michael), Yael Grobglas (Petra)

But getting back to the panel – I didn’t take many pictures this time around, sorry! I do have some pictures of the cast and all the women were dressed great – Yael Groblas, who plays Petra, was wearing an amazing white jumpsuit; Ivonne Coll, who plays Alba, was wearing a lovely, fitted reddish pink frock, which was a welcome departure from her sort of frumpy abuella clothes on the show; Andrea Navedo, who plays Xo, was in a sort of conservative but cute yellow dress (again, a big departure from Xo, who’s a “hot mom”); Gina Rodriguez was in a cool, white fringed crop with a black skirt; and the show runner, Jennie Snyder, was in a great full-skirted print dress that I wanted to steal.

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First of all, let me say that Jennie is awesome! She was funny and cool, she had a great relationship with the actors, and she seemed very genuine and appreciative of her position. I gotta say, it was so lovely to see someone who seemed so nice, normal, and down-to-earth, compared to the people I’m used to in the industry. Actually, the whole cast seemed that way – there was a natural, friendly chemistry they all had with each other, and you could tell they’re all very close. I only remember a few things in particular about the event since I was beyond exhausted at the time, sorry about that! Oh, and I want to say that Jaime Camil was basically Rogelio in real life, which delighted us all. (Hilariously, the moderator said it as “Ro-GEL-ee-oh” like three times, even after the cast said it correctly, until he finally caught himself.)

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One thing I do remember that got a big laugh was when the cast was answering one of the audience questions, “How has your life changed since getting on the show?” When it was Ivonne’s (Alba) turn, she deadpanned, “Everyone thinks that I’m a actually grandmother.” She also noted that it was funny how she’d spent so much time and money on classes learning how to speak without an accent, and on Jane she only speaks in Spanish! That brought up another little talking point where Gina (Jane) discussed how Jennie the showrunner, who is Caucasian, was great about asking the cast for their experiences, to add authenticity – like when she originally wrote Alba only speaking in Spanish and Xo and Jane responding in English, she was going to change it but the cast assured her that’s how it worked in Hispanic families. It was so wonderful to Jennie using such respect when writing for characters from a culture she isn’t part of – when asked how she does it, she replied that it’s about “writing people, not writing race.”

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It’s getting a little pricer every year (natch) and they stream each panel now on Yahoo, but I still think it’s a really fun thing to experience in person. If you have the chance to go, I highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

Spring Has Sprung, Y’all

It’s been hotter than a bitch here in Southern California so I was feeling some summer-y colors, but I actually ended up with a very spring-ish combo – cool mint and bright coral.

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Sooooo I don’t understand the description or photo of Trout Pout on the butter London website. It’s described as: “Pale and retro, this opaque cantaloupe nail lacquer looks great on anyone.” Um, this color isn’t pale or cantaloupe-y – this is what cantaloupe looks like, and this is what Trout Pout looks like:

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Defeinitely more of a coral pink, no? The photo on the website looks more like a carnation pink. I really hate when companies – especially such a big one like bL – don’t accurately show their products. But anyway, Trout Pout is actually really great – it’s bright but not neon, and the formula is usually pretty good, although my bottle is starting to get goopy, but I have had it for about three or so years now? I think Trout Pout might’ve been my first butter London polish, or at least was one of the first. Trout Pout is also the only bL polish that doesn’t immediately chip on me, which further cements it as one of my favs.

My dots smeared a bit when I applied top coat :/

My dots smeared a bit when I applied top coat :/

I know Sally Hansen has revamped its previously amazing X-Treme Wear line recently, and I don’t know if Mint Sorbet was one of the polishes that got reformulated, but I hope not because it’s actually a fantastic formula for a pastel – on my right hand I even got away with one (thick) coat! Unfortunately, when I used it with my dotting tools, I somehow kept smudging it ughhh so it doesn’t look that great. Just like with stamping, though, I’m not 100% perfect at dotting and still mess it up a fair bit of the time. But if you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I don’t have to be a perfectionist all the time, so a little mess-up doesn’t bother me too much. I like how this turned out a lot.

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Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

Blue & Purple Skittles, and a Colourpop Review

(Ahhhhh sorry y’all, I had this post ready over a week ago but I realized just now that I never actually put it up!)

Hi everyone! Today I have a quick blue and purple mani because I’ve really been digging those colors lately.

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Shower Together is so great – it’s basically a one-coater and isn’t too dark or bright, it’s just the perfect almost-teal (it’s not quite green enough to be called teal, but it definitely leans green). Are You Jelly? is the complete opposite of Shower Together – I think this is four thin coats, and it still look streaky. The color is fab – a bright orchid purple – but ughhhhh the streakiness is so obnoxious. It’s from China Glaze’s 2013 Sunsational collection, which was populated with likewise beautiful but difficult hues, and I’m never quite sure if the brilliant colors are worth the struggle to get the polish on nicely.

The striped nail got a little smeared when I put top coat on, but you can barely see it in person.

The striped nail got a little smeared when I put top coat on, but you can barely see it in person.

I do like this combo, though, and I was actually inspired to go blue/purple by the glitter, Wet n Wild’s Believe Me, They’re Real. BMTR was part of a holiday collection back in…2012, I want to say? I grabbed a few because they were dupes for the much-pricier Nails Inc. glitter polishes. BMTR is a pretty opaque glitter comprised mostly of glitter that’s a lovely blue almost the same color as Shower Together, peppered with royal purple glitter pieces.

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I accidentally smudged AYJ? on my ring finger so I cut a few random pieces out of washi tape and haphazardly applied them to my top-coated nail, painted on one easy coat of Shower Together, then immediately pulled the tape off. I’m actually really please with how it looks – it sort of reminds me of the design on Fruit Stripes gum – and I love how the richness of Shower Together makes the colors together look bright but not too 80s. I topped everything off with the Julie G fast-dry top coat I got at the Rite-Aid event a few weeks ago, and it was dry in a snap. I love that stuff.

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In other news, today I got my first order from Colourpop Cosmetics, the indie makeup brand that’s taken Instagram by storm with its wide range of colors are super-low prices. I ordered some neutral-colored matte eye shadows (Bill, To-A-T), a lippie stick and its matching lip liner (Dalia), and Colourpop’s lip primer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too thrilled with the eye shadows – To-A-T pulled very terra cotta on my skin when it looked like a med-tone brown online, and while I’d been super excited for Bill after seeing swatches online with it being a lovely mid-tone taupe or a lavender gray, either one I would’ve been happy with, it was basically invisible on my lids. I think part of the problem is that there’s barely any swatches on the site – there’s a few, and I appreciate that those do have show the colors on both a lighter and darker skin, even some of those aren’t color accurate according to bloggers’ swatches I’ve seen. As for the lip products, Dahlia is a great burgundy hue, but the lipstick went on patchy in one coat even over the liner. I’m pretty disappointed since I’ve only read gushing reviews, and maybe I built it up too much. I think if I order in the future I’ll stick to brighter colors, which are easier to be opaque (lippies) and to see exactly what hue they are (shadows).

Dalia lip pie stick, Dalia lip liner, Bill  eyeshaow, To-A-T eyeshadow, all without primer

Dalia lip pie stick, Dalia lip liner, Bill eyeshaow, To-A-T eyeshadow, all without primer

Did anyone else have a not-so-great experience with Colourpop or have any recs for products they love? Let me know in the comments! I really do want to give them another shot, but ehhh…. Anyway, thank you for reading! See you next time – A x