Neon Watermelon

I think once Memorial Day hits it’s officially summer, right?

It’s been gloriously overcast here lately – “June gloom” has come early this year, I guess – but I was definitely feeling bright summer vibes, so I did a fun neon look this past weekend.

Clockwise from the top: China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts, Zoya Gilda, China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard, butter London Cotton Buds

Clockwise from the top: China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts, Zoya Gilda, China Glaze I’m With The Lifeguard, butter London Cotton Buds

Last summer I did strawberry nails, which I looooved, so I decided to try out some watermelon nail art, but I wanted to make the colors a little more punchy rather than realistic – hence the neon. This look was surprisingly easy to achieve. First, I used one thick coat of You Drive Me Coconuts (YDMC). I almost just used YDMC by itself but at the last minute I put a coat of Gilda on top to add a little shimmah shimmah.

5.28.15 curled under

After those dried, I swiped a layer of Cotton Buds on in a thick line at the tip of my nail, kinda like a French manicure. Once that dried, I painted on I’m With The Lifeguard (IWTL) a little higher up on top of Cotton Buds, so there was a thin line of white left. I was gonna make little stripes of darker green vertically on top of IWTL to mimic the shading of a watermelon’s rind, but I ended up liking it as is.

5.28.15 angled brush

The finishing touch was to use my tiniest dotting tool and plain black polish to create a line of pointed seeds right under the white. It was kinda hard for me to get them juuuuuuust right, and a few are a little messed up, but you can only see it up close – in general, I think they turned out pretty well! I’m really quite pleased with this whole look – I think this is adorable and I kind of want to recreate it with some of my pastel neons in the future.

5.28.15 bottles in background

Last year I did a whole month of summery nail art, but to be honest, this year I’m feeling kind of lazy, ha. I do have a rough idea for a Mad Max: Fury Road-inspired look, buuuuut we’ll have to see if I’m feeling up to it or not. Lately I’ve been really enjoying just wearing plain manicures (well, okay – more like a few colors on each hand but still, nothing fancy), but I don’t know if anyone would care to see those so I might be posting a little less in the coming weeks. Let me know if you’d still like to see my less exciting manis – or maybe if there’s any kind of simple summery look you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments! As always, thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x

ILNP Flakie Swatches

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday weekend (if you’re in the US)! This post should’ve gone up almost a week ago, sorry, I completely spaced! But anyway, in today’s post, I have swatches of two ILNP flakie polishes – Brilliance, a color-shifting multichrome, and Fame, a gold metallic with holographic particles. Let’s dive in, shall we?

5.25.15 bottles

Multichromes look best in the shade, where the full spectrum of their color shifting properties comes out, so I managed to snap some quick pics under a shaded patio table at work. Check out this awesomeness:

5.25.15 Brilliance shade diagonalJPG

I resisted getting Brilliance when I placed my first ILNP flakie order because I already had Nubar 2010, which is a red-orange-gold-green flakie, and I thought they’d be too similar. However, I kept seeing swatches around and still loving it, so when I got an ILNP coupon in my email, I immediately put it in my cart! I’m so glad I did – Brilliance has the same basic color shift spectrum as Nubar 2010, but instead of red it’s a gorgeous rosy pink, plus ILNP’s flakies are metallic whereas previous old-school flakies are translucent, so the finish is different, too.

Tilted up so you can see the green shift.

Tilted up so you can see the green shift. Please excuse the paper cut on my ring finger!

I really like the metallic/more opaque finish of ILNP flakies because it means they’ll show up on a greater variety of base colors – I think Brilliance would pop just as well over a lighter gray than this one (China Glaze’s Recycle), but Nubar 2010 definitely only shows up well over dark hues. Not a big deal, it’s just nice to have more options. Anyway, I’m so glad I eventually got this – it’s gorgeous, you should all get it, the end.

Fame in the shade to show the flakes over a similarly colored and contrasting colored base.

Fame in the shade to show the flakes over a similarly colored and contrasting colored base. Sorry my cleanup sucks, I did these really quickly.

I don’t have anything like Fame and I wanted to experiment, so I’ve shown it here with one layer over OPI’s Glitzerland, a champagne gold, on my pinkie and ring fingers, and one coat over OPI’s A Roll In The Hauge (ARITH), a saturated orange, on my middle and pointer fingers. I’m not sure I love Fame for layering over contorting hues – it looks kinda weird over ARITH to me because even at only one coat the flakes are so dense, and I prefer a more evenly spaced topper. For example, look at the Brilliance swatch above – there’s a pretty even distribution of flakes but also base color showing through, whereas with Fame over ARITH, there’s a lot less orange showing through and it looks “off” to me. But that’s just my preference, some people might like that look. The gold of the flakes and the gold of Glitzerland are basically the same, so that would be great for a quick mani, but I’d like to experiment further and see how many coats it would take for Fame to be opaque on its own.

It was really hard to capture the holo but trust, it was pretty intense and hella sparkly!

It was really hard to capture the holo for some reason but trust, it was pretty intense and hella sparkly!

I will say that I loooove the holo in Fame! ILNP holos are not my fav – holographic polishes come in a range from scattered (i.e. A-England) to super linear (Nfu-Oh) and in that range there’s even more variety, such as Color Club’s holos, which are linear but it’s more fuzzy, if that makes sense? The other ILNP holos I have are an in-between scattered and linear, where the linear rainbow part is comprised of sparse sparkles, which I’m not a fan of. However, Fame really blew me away because it’s a way more…focused linear rainbow? (I am terrible at explaining this.) Whatever it is, I love it. I’m not usually a big gold person, but I seem to be using it a lot in my recent manis, so I’m glad to have this blingy metallic/holo/flakie explosion to add into the mix!

Definitely sign up for ILNP’s email newsletter, I got a random 30% off coupon, which I why I bought these babies. Have you picked up any ILNP polishes lately? What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading, and see you next time – A x

Orly Key Lime Twist

I’ve recently bought quite a few polishes, oops. But they are so pretty, I couldn’t resist! A few were long-time lemmings of mine, but some were new, like Orly’s Key Lime Twist.

5.12.15 bottles

Key Lime Twist is a pretty unique shade – it’s sort of a soft neon, if that makes sense? I guess the Maybelline term “bleached neon” would fit here – it’s still quite bright, but not a true KAPOW IN YOUR FACE neon. It’s a soft neon yellow with a little green tinge, but not enough to make it chartreuse. It’s a total chameleon, so I took a bunch of pictures to try to capture all its different facets.

In a slightly shaded area behind my work.

Taken in a slightly shaded area.

This took me four coats – I followed Rach’s advice to do one thin coat and two thicker ones, but it was still too streaky so I had to add a fourth. However, I will say that this many coats normally chips super quickly on me, but KLT lasted about three days before I had a tiny chip on my thumb and middle finger, so that’s great! I haven’t worn an Orly in forever, so I can’t remember if I usually get good wear time with them, but this was pretty awesome.

5.12.15 blue light

Above is a picture of how neon KLT really is – in the bluish shade behind my work building, it looks radioactive and positively glows. Below is what it looks like under my daylight bulb in my lightbox – the green disappears and it just looks yellow.

5.12.15 curled up

I loved this color but got a little bored, so I decided to add silver chrome drips! I had to be verrrry careful with this – chrome polishes look amazing but they’re difficult to work with and show every little flaw. I used a dotting tool to get the drips, then used Sterling Silver’s brush to fill in the tops, and I had a little trouble getting the drips to be filled in completely because chromes are so weirddddd but while it doesn’t look amazing here in photos, it really didn’t look that bad in person. I don’t LOVE it, but I think it looks kinda cool. What do you think?

5.12.15 diagonal

If you’re okay doing 3-4 coats, definitely pick up Key Lime Twist – it wore really well and is such a fun, fab color, especially as we roll into the summer months. Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

A-England’s Dragon

This past weekend some friends and I went to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (lulz) for the second year in a row. I didn’t take any photos because I took so many last year, but I did do another themed mani. When I think of the middle ages, I think of those fairy tales of King Arthur, princesses in castles, and dragons – this last one instantly made me think of the fabulous A-England shade with the same name.

5.7.15 bottles

I haven’t used Dragon in ages, but I love it sooooooo much. It’s from A-England’s second collection, based on the epic story of St. George and the dragon. I really love reading the inspiration behind A-England’s collections, and even the way they write their product descriptions is just so lovely. A-Englands are a bit of a splurge, so I only have two that I got a few years ago, but they’re really amazing polishes – perfect formulas, unique polishes, and every single one is gorgeous. (I currently have my eye on these two from the Briar Rose series.)

See that fabulous golden flash in the bottle?

See that fabulous golden flash in the bottle?

Fittingly, Dragon really evokes the look of a dragon – its rich, mossy base reminds me of dragon scales, and the golden flash makes me think of their golden eyes. The signature A-England scattered holo just bumps the whole creation up to another level. It was really difficult to capture the gold flash and holo of Dragon, but I tried my best. You’ll just have to get your hands on it yourself to really appreciate its true beauty! (A-England can’t ship to the US anymore, but they’re stocked at a bunch of nail suppliers like Llarowe.)

I tried! The gold and holo sparkles are definitely very visible in person.

I tried! The gold and holo sparkles are definitely very visible in person.

Keeping with the dragon theme, I added a light layer of OPI’s Gold Shatter to my middle finger to mimic a cracked dragon egg. I know shatters were pretty much a flash in the pan fad, but I still really like them, I think they’re fun! I just wish my Black Shatter hadn’t dried out so badly, sigh. On my ring, I used two coats of China Glaze’s Medallion, a gold glitter with some scattered holo pieces, to represent the gold fortune dragons are sometimes shown to be protecting, depending on the story.

5.7.15 pose

I liked this mani a lot! I don’t like to do overt visuals when I’m doing themed nails – like stamping Santa hats for Christmas or something – and I think this one went very well with my theme without being too obvious, as well as being absolutely beautiful in the sun while we traipsed around the Ren Faire in flower crowns. Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Playin’ The Blues

Good afternoon, everyone! Today I’ve got a mani using an old favorite, a new favorite, and an old htf that I haven’t used in aaaaages.

China Glaze Electric Beat, Ninja Polish Glamorous, Lynnderella Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu

China Glaze Electric Beat, Ninja Polish Glamorous, Lynnderella Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu

Last post, I wrote about the gorgeousness of Ninja Polish’s Crazy As A Capper, dupe for the legendary OPI Mad As A Hatter. In that same order, I also bought Ninja Polish’s prototype dupe for another highly sought-after OPI polish, the fabulous holo Glamour. This is only a prototype because according to the Ninja Polish site, it has too much holo.

I mean, bless ’em for wanting to get as close to an exact match as possible, but in my book, there’s no such thing as too much holo! Glamorous has a wonderful formula – almost a one-coater! This kind of blue (well, indigo is its own thing, I suppose) isn’t my usual jam – I’m more a brights/aqua-leaning girl, but Glamorous is beyond gorgeous and completely irresistable. Def pick it up if you’re a holo or blue fan!

5.3.15 posed with bottle

I knew I wanted to do an all-blue look, so I pulled out Lynnderella’s Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu (MVDB) since I thought its royal and purple glitters would complement Glamourous’ gorgeous indigo hue, and China Glaze’s Electric Beat for its periwinkle color to set off all of MVDB’s shades. I’ve had my five Lynnderella’s for about four years now – they were my first big polish purchase and they’re lovely, but in the last few years I haven’t used chunky glitters that much.

5.3.15 pose

Application was actually pretty easy – I kind of gobbed on one coat, then carefully moved the glitter pieces around until I was satisfied there weren’t any open areas. It required two layers of top coat and still isn’t COMPLETELY smooth, but that’s what you get when you use a chunky glitter. It really wasn’t that bad, though. MVDB is a stunning mix of royal blue, navy, purple, and indigo hex and square glitters in a lightly tinted blue base. Some of the glitters are holographic, which makes it even more sparkly in the sun!

5.3.15 sun

I tried out the scalloped nail decals I got in my KBShimmer order on my ring finger as an accent, using Glamorous over Electric Beat. I cut the decal in half and was easily able to use both on my nail, which is awesome because now I know I can basically double the number of decals, mwahahahaaaa.

Sorry about my raggedy-ass cuticles, y'all.

Sorry about my raggedy-ass cuticles, y’all.

This is such a fun mani – not too bold but still blingy with the glitter and holo. I foresee a lot more holos and glitter in my future! Thank you for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x