Halloween Mani #5: Neon Spiderwebs!

Hi everyone, how’s your week going? It’s still hot as hell in my neck of the woods, and you better believe I’m not gonna be done grumbling about it any time soon. But! I do have a very fun mani to share with you today:

Color Club's Right On, Sally Hansen black striper

Color Club’s Right On, Sally Hansen black striper

I wanted to do something simple for my next look, and I just bought this color so I couldn’t resist using it. Like all neons, it’s difficult to capture accurately on camera, but ughhhh this one is gorgeous, y’all! I can’t decide what this color is, exactly – it’s too purple to be a fuchsia, but too pink to be a true violet? Somewhere in the middle of that is what Right On is, plus some faint lighter blue shimmer, and it’s awesome! I really love shades like this, and it’s an easy two coater.

10.16.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

I made my spiderweb half moons using a Sally Hansen striper I got on sale a while ago at Target, and was surprised how easy it was to use. The hardest part is making sure there’s just enough polish on make your line perfectly straight and opaque – it took me a while to make sure the polish wouldn’t slide down from the upper part of the striper, making the polish blob onto my nail, or that I wouldn’t take off too much, leaving me with a scratchy line instead of a strong, opaque one. I started with three lines – going straight out from my cuticle, then one on each side more diagonally outward – then connected each line with smaller curved lines to create the “web” effect.

The color is a little blown out here, sorry!

The color is a little blown out here, sorry!

These were so cute, I was sad I couldn’t keep them on longer! But with 13 manis to get through this month, I’ve gotta hustle (although I think I’m falling a little behind already, ahhhhh)! I’m really enjoying almost all of these manis a lot, though – I think I might recreate some next year, with different colors or something. (Of course I’m already be planning stuff for net year’s Halloween!) Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x


Neons & Holo!

Guys, I have been very ambivalent about my nails lately. I haven’t been taking care of my cuticles and am just generally “meh” every time I go to paint them. Nothing is really exciting me lately, so I decided to pull out some fun colors in an attempt to jazz up my nails and get me excited about doing them again. I have a feeling this month won’t have much intricate nail art – fair warning – but maybe that’s just as well since the holidays are coming up and I don’t want to burn out before I have a chance to do some really fun designs, especially for my main event: Halloween!

China Glaze Rose Among Thorns, Color Club Harp On It

China Glaze Rose Among Thorns, Color Club Harp On It

Rose Among Thorns is an olllllld China Glaze polish – maybe from 2007? It’s a fabulous blazing, neon red, but it’s a little sheer – definitely needs at least three coats (I think I used four on my pointer?). I really love using neon red or coral with silver holos – there’s just something about that combo I really love.

9.4.15 FFG neon+holo curled

On my right hand I used Essie’s In The Cabana – I picked it up for my mom but I couldn’t resist trying it out (sorry, Mom!). I somehow don’t have anything quite like it, despite having way too many turquoise polishes (jk, you can never have too many turquoises) – most of my turquoise/aqua colors are green-toned, but this one has more of a true blue undercurrent. It’s so happy and pretty, I love it! Formula was great, too – this was two easy coats.

9.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns blue

If you don’t have any of the Color Club Halo Hues, you are seriously missing out. It seems like every indie polish brand out there is doing holos – I have quite a few from ILNP and Cirque – plus even brands like butter LONDON and Revlon will come out with one every now and then, but hands down, my favorite is Color Club’s.

Even in the shade the holographic prism of Harp On It is visible.

Even in the shade the holographic prism of Harp On It is visible.

The color range isn’t huge – the 2012 collection is all pastels and a few colors look very similar, and the 2013 collection has more vivid hues but nothing super interesting like an emerald or yellow – but CC has my favorite holo formula of all time. They go on easy (although you can get some balding if you don’t wait a few minutes before adding your second coat) and the holographic rainbow is blindingly bright with a smooth prism that most brands offering holos don’t have – they tend to be more scattered than very linear like CC’s. Don’t get me wrong – I love all kinds of holos, even super scattered ones like Zoya’s Dream – but CC’s holo flare is the best, in my opinion. I think they retail for $10 each, but you can find them online for $7. Even at the full price, I think they’re totally worth it.

Mmm check out that blingy holo rainbow!

Mmm check out that blingy holo rainbow!

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday, and we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in LA – Preux & Proper, New Orleans-inspired cuisine. Preux is the downstairs bar that features a smaller menu but has a killer list of New Orleans-esque cocktails (Hurricane and Sazerac, of course, as well as names like Category 5 and Vieux Carre) as well as a wall of alcoholic slushies behind the bar, just like on Bourbon Street.

9.4.15 FFG Preux & Proper drinks

Proper is the upstairs dining area, which has the full menu and continues the beautiful Southern-style décor, including balconies for lovely views of downtown. P&P is on the pricier side – cocktails are $10 and food is $10-$22 (it’s mostly small plates), but everything is amazingly delicious and the atmosphere is great. It’s a nice little splurge restaurant!

I forgot to take photos of the food, but these are the little glasses they give you after your meal to try the alcoholic slushies downstairs.

I forgot to take photos of the food, but these are the little glasses they give you after your meal to try the alcoholic slushies downstairs.

I’ve only been to New Orleans once (on my cross-country drive to move here to LA) but I loved the city and of course the food, and P&P really does have that Nawlins feel – even the outside looks like it belongs in the French Quarter.

9.4.15 FFG Preux & Proper outside1

I highly recommend Preux & Proper for awesome Southern food and charm in the middle of industrial downtown Los Angeles. I’ve only ever been at night, but I believe they have a 4–6 happy hour, which definitely makes it more affordable!

9.4.15 FFG Preux & Proper outside

Anyone else love New Orleans-style food? I’m also obsessed with the cocktails – I’m not usually a rum fan, but P&P’s Hurricane was one of the best I’ve ever had, and their hibiscus Moscow Mule was amazing, too! I need to figure out how to replicate that. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

ILNP Swatch: Kaleidoscope

Hellooooo everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was really lovely – very relaxing while also getting some errands done, plus there was a huge thunderstorm and golden retriever snuggles! Basically the definition of a perfect chill weekend. To ward off the “bleh”s from the start of a boring workweek, I’m going to show my latest polish acquisition today, ILNP’s gorgeous flakie Kaleidoscope.

7.19.15 bottles

Kaleidoscope is a mix of all the flakie polishes ILNP offers, so obviously it was the one I was most excited about from ILNP’s summer 2015 collection. I love, love, love rainbow toppers, so a rainbow-y, color-shifting flakie topper? I can’t even, because I’m dead.

7.19.15 pose

I mean, gahhhhhh. This is gorgeous! Just like my last INP flakie, Kaleidoscope went on easily and had great coverage so I didn’t even have to dab and swirl like I sometimes have to with heavy glitter toppers. There actually isn’t much texture to these flakes even before you put on top coat, which is nice because I haaaate bumpy, lumpy nails (which is why I don’t wear glitter that often). As for the flakes themselves – again, just like my last review, I love that these are opaque, metallic flakes that can be layered over anything, not just a dark color. To prove it, I did one thick layer over Color Club’s East Austin, a neon peach (a notoriously troublesome color, so this was three obnoxious, streaky coats. Sigh).

There really isn’t that much more to say – this is fabulous, go get it right now. I’m a pretty frugal lacquerhead – I don’t actually own that many indies because I’m just not a person to shell out $10-$15 for one polish all that often – but Kaleidoscope is totally worth the $$$. It’s gorgeous and extremely versatile because it can go over just about any base color. You definitely won’t regret this! (Although it does pay to sign up for ILNP’s newsletter – it lets you know when pre-orders are happening, which is how I got this polish for $1 off, as well as the 30% off sales they sometimes have, which takes the sting out of the price a bit. Especially if you want to order more than one bottle at a time because hello, of course you’ll want to, their polishes are gorgeous and have great formulas!)

7.19.15 fingers

Oh man, I could stare at this combo all day. I love how summery it is with the peach base color! Did anyone else pick up any ILNPs in the pre-order or anything from the summer collection at all? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

Nails for Pride!

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is going well. I was supposed to have this post up two weeks ago – when I went to Pride in West Hollywood – but I’ve been majorly slacking on the blog recently. I wanted to finally get this post up today, though, for the historic SCOTUS ruling that same-sex couples can marry nationwide.

I wish it was unanimous, but I'll take what I can get!

I wish it was unanimous, but I’ll take what I can get!

I kind of still can’t believe it – after a rough few years for civil rights in this country, it’s felt for a long time that everything is terrible and it’s hard not to get downtrodden. Of course, even with this win, there are still many other civil rights issues left to fight for, but this ruling is such an amazing stride forward and deserves to be celebrated!

6.26.15 bottles

For my Pride mani, I wanted to do something that both incorporated rainbow colors and a fun, festive theme, so I ended up doing confetti dots with stripes as an accent nail. I also used neon colors instead of the traditional ROY G BIV. It was a pretty easy mani to do, actually – the hardest part was getting the striping tape on perfectly evenly and since the stripes were so small to allow all six colors to fit on my nail, to paint the polish on without getting to on other sections. For this last part, I just used the least amount of polish on the brush as possible.

6.26.15 curled

Then came the fun part – the confetti dots! I used the smallest dotting tool I had (which still makes fairly big dots because I usually have too much polish) and dipped it in a little dollop of each color I put on a spare piece of paper, then added random dots on each nail. I think the color order I went in was yellow -> green -> blue -> pink -> orange -> purple because I wanted to make sure the lighter colors didn’t get lost amongst the darker ones. It was really easy to do, you just have to swipe off the current color with a remover-soaked cotton ball before going on to your next one so they colors don’t mix and get muddied.

I used purple striping tape and some of it rubbed off on the polish, which you can see on the yellow stripe :(

I used purple striping tape and some of it rubbed off on the polish, which you can see on the yellow and green stripes :(

Because I used butter London’s Cotton Buds as my base, this mani chipped almost immediately, unfortunately (bLs wear like crap on me), which is why in a few of the pics you’ll see that my thumb looks terrible, even though I tried to touch it up. I loved how this looked, though – so happy and fun, and since it was so easy, I would love to try it out with different colors (and a different base) in the future. It just looks like a party on your nails, doesn’t it?

6.26.16 both hands

This year was the 45th annual Pride celebration in West Hollywood, and while I wouldn’t have braved the Sunday parade for anything (I couldn’t have dealt with the 40,000 people that were going to attend, I hate huge crowds), I went Saturday evening and my night ended with a fantastic concert by Kesha! I unabashedly love Kesha – I think her music and her general glitter party thing are so fun – so I was really looking forward to the concert and it definitely delivered. I didn’t really get many great pics or videos because I was awkwardly on the side (there were a BILLION people there), but it was such a fun show – Kesha had amazing neon green hair; there was tons of glitter, rainbow balloons, and backup dancers dressed in S&M gear and animal costumes; and at the end Kesha even came out in a rainbow costume complete with a rainbow guitar. Classic Kesh.

Thank you for reading and helping me celebrate this great day! I’ll 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