Halloween Mani #13 – Holy Crap, I Made It!

Ahhhhhh you guys, I did it! I didn’t think I’d make it by the 31st, but somehow I completed 13 manicures for Halloween! (I am never doing this again, just to be clear, ha!) I figured I’d do something a little more involved for my last mani, so here ya go:

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, Sinful Colors Black on Black, China Glaze Phat Santa

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, China Glaze Phat Santa, Sinful Colors Black on Black

The past few years I’ve always done a splatter for my actual on-Halloween mani, so I wanted to keep up with that tradition. I added another favorite Halloween design, though – black and white stripes!

10.31.15 splatter curled

I put down two coats of bL’s Cotton Buds first, then after that dried I applied one of the thin stripe nail vinyls from KBShimmer with my curved tweezers, pressing them all down firmly once they were in place to make sure no polish seeps under the tape and ruins the look. Then I applied one coat of Black On Black and quickly removed each piece of tape and was left with a fun stripe that reminded me of something very Tim Burton-esque.

10.31.15 splatter claw

After the stripes on each nail were done and dry, then came the fun part – splattering! I wanted to use a brighter red since I’d just watched Sleepy Hollow and was inspired by the bright red, almost paint-like blood they use. Using a regular drinking straw instead of my usual coffee stirrer, I put some polish at the end and then blew through the top to get these perfectly gory blood splatters, and it worked wayyyy better, let me tell you!

10.31.15 splatter around bottle

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all my 13 Halloween manis! I had a lot of fun doing them, although I’m definitely looking forward to keeping a slower pace with manis for a little while – 13 in one month is a LOT. Thanks for reading, and have a safe and fun Halloween! – A x

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Halloween Mani #11 – Water-Spotted Gradient!

Hi everyone! I’m chugging along with my Halloween manis, and this might be one of my favorites yet!

10.28.15 waterspot bottlesJPG

First, I put some of my latex stuff all around each nail for easy clean up, then I did the gradient – after two coats of Cotton Buds was dry, I did a gradient with CB and Arizona over top each of them, with Arizona at the top.

10.28.15 waterspot around bottle

I gave that about ten minutes to dry, then did the water spotting. So there are way better tutorials elsewhere, but the basic rundown is: I filled a Solo cup with lukewarm water, added one drop of Black On Black, and when it spread out I sprayed a little tester perfume spritzer in the middle so the polish got cool, weird spots and swirls, then lowered my nail into the polish and swirled away the excess with a Q-tip. After pulling my nail out of the water, I removed the latex (which meant I barely had to do any clean up – thank Yeezus someone thought that up!) and let it dry for a few minutes before adding a layer of top coat.

I was annoyed by how much the black almost completely covered my pointer finger, but now I kinda like how different each nail's coverage is.

I was annoyed by how much the black almost completely covered my pointer finger, but now I kinda like how different each nail’s coverage is.

This is a really fun look, but man, I need to find another way to do it – spraying that perfume makes the whole area smell SO strongly for a full day after, but I’ve tried it before using just alcohol and it didn’t do anything. Hmmmm must research.

Eeeeee only two manis left! They’re also a bit more work than my last few, so wish me luck! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Halloween Mani #3: Candy Corn

Earlier this week when I was writing this, it was chilly and rainy outside, I had my Autumn candle from Bath & Bodyworks filling the room with a gorgeous apple/pine/spice scent, and basically everything was cozy and wonderful and it felt like fall was finally here…

…cut to today, when it’s 100 degrees and temps are predicted to be in the 90s for the next week. WHY, GOD? I hope some nice fall weather arrives before too much longer or I’m gonna go crazy. Sigh. Anyway, let’s get to today’s Halloween mani:

Forgot to include butter LONDON's Cotton Buds, my white base.

Forgot to include butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds, my white base.

I used this tutorial from @nailsbycambria because the last time I did candy corn nails, a few years ago, it was a total mess – my lines weren’t crisp, my polish looked chunky from to many layers, ugh. This was much easier, although it still took a little maneuvering to get each stripe of color the same size. I decided to use a brighter orange because it was more fun, but after applying all my polishes I realized that unfortunately Jinx is more coral than orange like I’d thought, so it bothers me a little that the colors aren’t closer, but whatevs.

10.9.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

Oh man, I really love my Zoya texture polishes – I do get a little tip wear, but otherwise, those suckers don’t budge for days! Even my white base of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds didn’t immediately chip, which is something of a miracle. This mani was so fun – I got a lot of delighted compliments on it (I guess people really love candy corn?) and I kinda wanted to keep it on for longer but with 13 manicures to get through this month, I really need to hustle through them all.

Sorry about that little nick on my middle finger - I keep forgetting to cover it up in my pics!

Sorry about that little nick on my middle finger – I keep forgetting to cover it up in my pics!

I’m very excited for this weekend – it’s kicking off my Halloween weekends for the rest of the month! This weekend I’m going to see Hocus Pocus at Disney’s El Capitan theater, and I reeeeeeeally hope they’ll have some sort of display or something for it – they often have costumes, props, sketches, etc., from the movies they play on display downstairs, and I’d love to see, say, booooooook! in person. I’ll be obnoxious and take lots of photos I’ll put up next post. Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Labor Day Nails

Hi everyone! Americans, did you have a fun Labor Day weekend? Mine was pretty great – I got to hang out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and even got to hit up a barbecue and the beach. Not too shabs! Of course, I wanted to deck out my nails for the holiday, and I decided to do something neon for Labor Day since it’s regarded as the end of summer, so I busted out my new KBShimmer matte neon glitter and got to work.

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns bottles

I started off with a base of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds on all my nails. (Side note: Cotton Buds unfortunately chips like a bastard on me – I already had SIX chips by the end of the first day I wore this mani – but I’m trying to use the bottle up before buying a new white. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!) After making sure my nails were thoroughly dry, I carefully eased on a coat of Scribble Me This, sort of spreading and dabbing so I got the glitter distribution I liked.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy - it's almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy – it’s almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

Chunky glitters like this will always have some texture, even with a thick top coat, so it didn’t bother me, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re going to use this kind of glitter. The formula was good for what it was, though – lots of glitter in each stroke and it was easy to move pieces around on the nail. I only own a few matte glitters, but this might be my favorite – I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and finally bit the bullet when KBShimmer had a 20% off sale a few weeks ago (follow their Instagram account for sale alerts!). The color combo is great and I love the triangle and stars shapes mixed in with the regular glitter pieces. Weirdly, everyone who saw it at the Labor Day barbecue thought it was a nail wrap or freehand nail art – I think matte glitter is still mostly a lacquerhead thing!

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns curled

For the gradient of Cotton Buds and Flashy on my pointer and pinkie, I first applied some liquid tape I just picked up at my favorite nail supply store around my cuticles. There are a lot of brands that sell something like this now, and let me tell you – it’s freaking genius! I can’t believe I waited to so long to try it, it makes clean-up a snap for messy techniques like gradients and it’s super easy to use – you just paint a layer around your cuticle, wait a few seconds for it to dry, then do your nails as you normally would and use tweezers to gently pull the liquid tape up.

Next time I'll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

Next time I’ll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

I wish this hadn’t chipped so quickly, I would’ve worn it all week, I love this combo! Do any of y’all have any KBShimmer glitters? I’m kind of obsessed now – I hope they don’t put out any Halloween glitters this year, I will totally snatch some up! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Fourth of July Mani

Hi everyone! I hope my fellow Americans had a fun and safe Fourth of July yesterday! I only had time for a quick Independence Day mani, so let’s get to it!

I forgot to include the glitter polishes in this pic, oops! I did include a beer, though, because 'MERICA!

I forgot to include the glitter polishes in this pic, oops! I did include a beer, though, because ‘MERICA!

I knew I wanted to do something with a classic red, white, and blue color scheme, so I pulled a bunch of polishes from my stash. I decided to do a creme vs glitter thing, so first I splattered OPI’s Color So Hot It Berns and Calypso Blue over butter London’s Cotton Buds on my two middle fingers. I’ve talked about it before, but bLs chip SO quickly on me, and Cotton Buds is no different – it literally chipped a few hours after I put it on, oy vey. I do like my splatter for once, though – usually I end up with a big blob on each nail but this time I got a bunch of pretty perfect splatters, so huzzah!

Argh I wish I had gotten a better pic of Ruby Pumps, it's so lovely!

Argh I wish I had gotten a better pic of Ruby Pumps, it’s so lovely!

On my pinkie I used two coats of China Glaze’s Ruby Pumps, one of their most famous colors – and for good reason, it’s a gorgeous red glitter – over one coat of Color So Hot It Berns, and on my pointer I did two coats of Dorothy Who?, also from China Glaze’s “Wizard of Ooh Ahz” collection, over one coat of Calypso Blue. Dorothy Who? is a blue jelly glitter and while it ended up being a little lighter than I wanted for this mani, it’s still such a lovely polish that I’m glad I dug it up since I haven’t worn it in forever.

7.5.15 diagonal

I had a pretty chill Fourth of July – my sister and I were fostering a tiny Chihuaua puppy the previous week and we brought her back to the pet rescue that day where she immediately got adopted, so yay! Then later that night I went to the Cinespia Fourth of July screening of Top Gun, complete with fireworks. It was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it – apparently there were 4,000 people there! There were so many people that half of them had to sit off to the side behind a big mausoleum so they couldn’t even see the movie – we got there on time but even so, we were a little off to the side, too. Craziness. It was a pretty good time, though – we sat next to a fun group of people, our grub was delicious (pulled pork sandwiches, cornbread, s’mores, beer and wine, mmmm), and the fireworks show was actually really great. Then we got home just in time to catch the end of Independence Day and finish off our s’mores, so all in all, a pretty great July 4th!

I hope my fellow Americans had a lovely July 4th, too! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x