Nail Quickies: Luxurious Butter London Hues

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely (pre-Thanksgiving, if you’re American) week! I’ve got a super quick post for you today using two rich Butter London shades.

Sorry for the weird glitter clumping of Bit Faker - I left it facedown overnight before this pic.

Sorry for the weird glitter clumping of Bit Faker – I left it facedown overnight before this pic.

I go back and forth with Butter London – the colors are really fun, but they wear terribly on me and are often so streaky or sheer I don’t know how they get away with charging $15 per bottle. But I really do love these two colors: Bluey, a gorgeous peacock blue, was one of the first Butter London polishes I ever got, and Bit Faker is a so-not-me-but-it-somehow-caught-my-eye opaque bronze-y glitter that I got on sale last year. I love how luxe teal and bronze look together, and I decided to do a Bit Faker glitter fade over a base of Bluey.

11-23-14 diagonal

Bit Faker is so packed with glitter – which normally is great – that it makes it hard to get a nice gradation on a glitter fade. I also put a little too much of a second coat of glitter at the tips to try and cover up Bluey peeking through, resulting in a sizable bump that wasn’t helped by top coat. Not a huge deal, but it’s a polish pet peeve of mine.

11-23-14 macro

I still think this looks nice, though – just kinda like I stuck my wet nails in a tub of glitter instead of a nice, soft gradient.

11-23-14 curled

Thanks for reading! I’ve got a look I really love for the next post, that’ll be up in a day or so. See you next time – A x

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.

09-29-14 bottles

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.

09-29-14 curled

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

Favorites Month: Neutrals

This isn’t the most thrilling category, I know, but I do like seeing what people’s favorite neutrals are. I found my favorite (and now discontinued, SOB) white from just such a favorites list! So here are my top ten picks for neutrals:

08-26-14 bottles1
FYI: One of only two OMG polishes I own, the formula on this guy is a bit weird – it’s SUPER runny in the bottle, but the holo looks normal on the nail so I’m not sure what happened (I did get it off eBay, though, so…). I do love me a neutral with a twist, though, which is why I love FYI – a nice, soft nude that nonetheless has a KAPOW holo flare in the sun. As much as I love more scattered holos, this kind of super smooth linear holo is so cool and futuristic-looking and I wish more polishes had it.

Sand Tropez: A pretty neutral tan, Sand Tropez is a nice neutral that I usually just use under glitters but it’s such a classic mani shade – my friends always flock to it when they raid my collection.

My Vampire Is Buff: (I can’t find my bottle, so Samoan Sand is standing in!) This collection came out right around the time that I was starting to accept neutrals/traditional colors into my polish collection and I’m so glad I scooped this baby up! It’s a favorite of lacquerheads everywhere with its easy formula and pretty French vanilla hue that’s a perfect base for nail art or a lovely, clean look on its own.

Frosty: So prettyyyyyyy. China Glaze has some fan-freaking-tastic holiday colors, and I have five or so from this collection (2010). Frosty is a sheer, jelly-ish white with tiny white, pink, and green sparkles. It screams “winter!” and ugh I just love its icy splendor so much!

White On The Spot: Another favorite that is now gone! This guy was amazing – usually whites are super streaky and take at least three coats to even out, but with WOTS I could sometimes get away with one coat. ONE COAT. Siiiigh. Milani has apparently done away with this line and has a new polish line out, and I’m just praying that they didn’t change the formula too much because my bottle now is chunky and old :/

08-26-14 bottles2
Skull & Glossbones: This came from that weird OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection that was all subdued pastels – not really what comes to mind when one thinks “pirates” – and I didn’t give any of the polishes much thought until I kept seeing S&G pop up on blog after blog. I finally got my own bottle and I’m so glad I did – it’s a light gray with a pinch of green, an odd, ghostly color that I nonetheless love.

Pelican Gray: I was torn between this one and OG China Glaze gray Recycle, but I do prefer the lighter, more dove gray of PG (the horrible formula of my bottle of Zoya Dove, similar to this color, immediately put it out of the running). I wore this once by itself, mattified, and it was a really cool, weirdly chic look. Hmm. Now I want to try that again…

Dahlia: I love the Zoya PixieDusts and Dahlia is no exception! It was a little disappointing when I first put it on – since it looks black in the bottle but once it’s on your nails it’s actually a dark gray – but I do love the deep yet warm gray, and it’s sparkly as all get-out. It looks like crushed graphite on your nails!

Storm: I’ve only worn this guy once, very briefly, but it was enough to get on my list! I hope Zoya keeps making more and more colors in this awesome irregularly shaped, holo-flecked formula; I already own almost all of them! I’m not a huge fan of black on my nails (a bunch of friends wore plain black constantly on their nails in college when I was in college and somehow I kinda OD’d on it) but this little beauty almost makes me want to wear it every day!

Black Crème: (I also can’t find this polish, so another black WnW is standing in!) I’m sad to report that W’n’W has changed the formula of this perfect gem. The bottle I have (on its last legs, oh nooooo) has a perfect, buttery one-coat formula that made it a cinch to create nail art. I got a newer bottle not too long ago and while it’s not the worst, it doesn’t come close to this original formula.

For my neutral mani, I wanted to wear Dahlia on its own because I only wore this once, ages ago, and I wanted to get it on my paws again! I mentioned that I don’t like plain black on my nails, but I do love gray – it feels more chic to me than black, even though I know that’s the go-to for lots of people (including my #1 polish buddy, my sister).

08-26-diagonal

Dahlia also has the added bonus of being a sparkle explosion, which is always welcome since I’m not usually one to wear a crème neutral by itself. I did add these little silver studs for extra interest, though, and I love them with Dahlia!

08-26-14 angled

See any of your favorites up here? Do you have any suggestions for a great white since my fav is discontinued? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you back next time with my favorite metallics! – A x

(Late) Month of Untrieds: Glittah Gradient

Okay, I had this post ready to go yesterday but I ended up not being able to post it, so I’ll have my first March post up tomorrow and here is my Month of Untried finale!

I had two glitters in my untried pile and thought I’d attempt a gradient with them since they’re both supposed to be pretty opaque. I used:

03-01-14 bottles

I got Bit Faker in the recent Butter London sale, along with Poole (which frankly disappointed me – it looks VERY dusty, not at all like swatches I’ve seen online. Maybe I got a dud bottle?) which I also haven’t tried yet but I’ll save it for my next go of untrieds! Bit Faker is a lovely dark bronze glitter with a clear base. It’s definitely opaque, I bet two coats would be all you need. It’s got a lot of scratchy texture, though – I had to use a coat of Gelous and two coats of Seche Vite to smooth this puppy out. Also, please excuse the tip wear – there were some glitter pieces that were all jagged at the tip of my nail so I filed it a bit and only later realized it totally took all the glitter off :(

03-01-14 curled bottle

Essie Beyond Cozy was a huge hit when it came out, but I thought it was kind of boring. Of course, as my tastes have changed a lot in the last year so when I saw it at my favorite cheap polish supply store I threw it in my basket, and I’m glad I did. I don’t have another glitter like it – it’s a light, cool-toned champagne that looks silvery in certain lights.

03-01-14 diagonal

I painted one coat of Beyond Cozy over a coat of OPI’s Glitzerland, a light gold, and then I painted on Bit Faker to about halfway down my nail. After that dried, I did painted another coat of Beyond Cozy starting from the cuticle and lightly brushed it over where Bit Faker ended to shake a smooth gradient. Even though I did this really quickly, I think it turned out pretty well.

03-01-14 curled

Macro!

Macro!

This is my last post for my Month of Untrieds! I feel so much more organized now that I’ve finally gotten through so many untrieds and purged some polishes I didn’t need. I hope you guys liked these posts, I might do it again in the future. Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Goldie Boo Boo Ombre

I looooooove this manicure, y’all. I can’t take credit for it, since I got the idea off I Love Nail Polish’s website, but I’m completely in love with this on my nails. I used a lot of polishes in this ombre:

11-21-13 bottle shot

I used slightly different colors than on ILNP’s site, just working with what I had, but I think it looks pretty great! Dark Coffee looks way darker than when I used it previously, but I think it’s because that was one coat over a lighter color, plus I used two coats here. Every color was two coats except sheer 2% Milk, which was three.

From thumb: 2% Milk; My Vampire's Buff; Sand Tropez; Berlin There, Done That; Dark Coffee.

Base colors from thumb: 2% Milk, My Vampire Is Buff, Sand Tropez, Berlin There Done That, Dark Coffee.

I was really surprised My Vampire Is Buff was only two coats, it’s rare that light colors aren’t super streaky/sheer and require three or more coats. However, if you use this luscious french-vanilla cream I suggest waiting a long time for the first coat to 100% dry, because I created a bald spot upon application of the second coat (although I managed to quickly touch it up so it turned out fine).

11-21-13 tilted

Sand Tropez is a mushroom beige with a surprisingly good formula for an Essie (I’ve mentioned before that I must have bad luck with Essies or something, because nail people in general love them but they’re usually a nightmare for me to work with). Berlin There Done That (I really wish there was a comma in there) is a polish I bought only for the name – in fact, I wanted to buy a lot of the polishes from that collection just for their names because I’ve been to a few of those places, but the colors just didn’t warrant it. I almost didn’t get BTDT because this purpley-gray taupe color (seriously, I have no idea how to categorize it) isn’t something I’d usually get, but a few months ago I started to warm up to neutrals and BTDT made its way into my collection after a trip to my fav downtown discount nail supply shop. Which is great, because otherwise I wouldn’t have a color to complete this neutral/brown-tone ombre!

11-21-13 curled around bottle sideways cloudy

And oh, Goldie Boo Boo. I went on and on about ILNP in another post, so I’ll just quickly say again how I love this brand! This glitter combo is autumn in a bottle – according to the website, it’s “inspired by an autumn sunset,” and the orange, brown, gold, and gray glitter pieces really reflect that. UGH I love that the creator put all those colors together, it’s so unique and they are perfect.

Teeny, tiny micro gold glitter; small gold, orange, and gray pieces; and slightly larger orange and brown pieces. I love that all the glitter is small and dainty.

Teeny, tiny micro gold glitter; small gold, orange, and gray pieces; and slightly larger orange and brown pieces. I love that all the glitter is small and dainty.

The brown glitters look black until the light hits them juuuuuust right. I did one coat of GBB on each nail; somehow my ring and pinkie fingers got more glitter than my other ones, but I surprisingly like it better when the glitter is a little more sparse, like on my middle finger (usually I am ALL GLITTAH ALL THE TIME).

Macro of my ring finger; this one shows each of the glitters the best.

Macro of my ring finger; you can see all the different glitters really well here.

Oh man, I just love this manicure – it’s so perfectly fall, but in a very lovely, delicate presentation. (And somehow has lasted almost entire week with no chips and little tip wear, which is unheard of because I’m really hard on my nails!) The problem is, I associate it with fall so much that I can’t see myself wearing it out at other times of the year. I’m a bit of a hypocrite; I say I disregard the “specific colors for specific seasons” thing, but certain colors like this – and almost all of my Halloween and Christmas glitters – are so much that season/holiday in a bottle that it feels weird to wear them at other times. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the weather will stay chilly a little later this year, so I can wear this again in the January/February time frame.

Mmm chai tea!

Mmm chai tea! Less “mmm” is the horrible lighting in my apartment – my hands look dead here.

On Monday I was rushing around trying to figure out plans because I totally thought Thanksgiving was this week. Luckily, I have an extra week to plan! My sister and I are having some friends over, and we’re trying to figure out what to make. My sister is really into side dishes and my jam is cocktails, so I’m trying to figure out a fun recipe that everyone will like. I’m a whiskey lady, myself, and I’ve seen some amazing-looking autumn whiskey cocktails on Pinterest, but my friends aren’t so keen so I’m going to do something with wine or rum, which seem to be crowd-pleasers. Right now I’m thinking mulled wine or some hot apple cider with rum to keep things appropriately fall-themed. Hot booze hits you a lot faster, though, so I need to make the drinks less intense so we’re all not falling asleep before we’ve even eaten!

Thoughts on this manicure? Have I managed to interest anyone in I Love Nail Polish? Any fun cocktail ideas for Thanksgiving you’d like to share?

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x