Rose Gold in Beverly Hills, Darling!

I rarely buy pricey nail polishes – I just don’t find that the formula/wear time is any greater, and unless it’s a really unique color, I don’t see what’s the point. (Plus I’m super cheap.) However, last year Cirque Colors had a limited edition set of neons that I coveted SO HARD, and I kept waiting because I thought they’d go on sale, but instead it totally sold out and I never got any. :( So when I saw before Christmas that they’d released an amazing rose gold-coated silver flake polish, I finally bit the bullet and purchased it. And ohhhhh how glad I am that I did!

2.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I am OB-SESSED with Halcyon! Not only do I love the name, but this polish is ev-er-y-thing! Metallic flake polishes have become very popular with indie brands in the past year, with a few brands eventually branching out into colored metallic flakes. From reviews I’ve read, though, everyone raved that Halcyon, with its perfect rosy hue and shine, was THE metallic flake polish to get if you were going to get one, so I wasted no time snatching it up! Halcyon is incredibly opaque – I barely needed two coats to get full coverage – and it’s SO shiny. More than one person noticed how sparkly and reflective it was while I was out wearing it (especially the shop girls at the Beverly Hills souvenir store). Ugh, I just love this polish so much – if you like rose gold, I highly recommend picking Halcyon up!

Once again, sorry for my dry-ass cuticles!

Once again, sorry for my dry-ass cuticles!

I was trying to think what to pair it with, and I was still craving brights after my neon mani, so I used China Glaze’s Too Yacht To Handle (TYTH). I’ve written about the CG Sensational pastel neons before, but basically: the colors are amazing, the formulas are shit. TYTH isn’t as streaky as most of them, but I definitely needed three coats, and it usually chips on me by the next day. Sigh. I definitely had to touch these up already for these photos, and it was only the next day! Still, though, that color is to die – it’s such a gorgeous, incredibly vivid aqua, I just can’t quit it. (Color Club’s Blue-Ming is similar but slightly less green-toned; however, its formula is even worse than TYTH.) I used tape to make a diagonal shape to apply Halcyon on my pinkie and a thin stripe on my middle finger over TYTH, then threw on a layer of CG’s glitter I Pink I Can on my pointer. I Pink I Can has a pretty good formula and nice glitter distribution, so I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a rose-gold glitter!

2.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns with bottle

I put this mani on for the weekend my sister and our friend decided to have a Beverly Hills tourist day. It was overcast and gloomy out, which wasn’t great for photos but meant there weren’t too many other people out. Beverly Hills is actually one of my favorite places to walk around LA – there’s plenty of parking garages with free two-hour parking and the area is especially made for crowds to easily wander through all the chic shopping. On the day we went, we decided to take a tour on the Beverly Hills Trolley – it’s $5 for a 40-minute tour, and I highly recommend it! They begin by going through the famous shops on Rodeo, then chug along through the residential area across Sunset to show homes previously owned by Hollywood celebs (Clark Gable, the actor who was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Charo [lol]) and sites like the Beverly Hills Hotel and the famous Witch’s House. Our tour guide was lovely and beyond chic in her black suit and flapper-esque hair, and she knew so much about the area. Definitely worth it if you’re in the area on the weekends (it only runs Sat-Sun for certain months out of the year: info here)!

After our trolley tour and a wander around Rodeo and the surrounding streets (hitting up MAC and Coffee Bean, obvs), we went back to the Witch’s House to get better photos and to the Beverly Hills Hotel to see the grounds. The Witch’s House was first created on a movie lot in 1921 before being moved to Beverly Hills in the 1930s, and it’s appeared in a few movies including Clueless (which is how I knew about it). There was a lot of detail when you get close up – tiny lanterns, a fake vulture in the tree out front, signs saying “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” in a witchy font, and a carefully overgrown-looking garden. The Beverly Hills Hotel should need no introduction – we wanted to get lunch at the tiny coffee shop in the hotel, the Fountain Coffee Room, but there are only 19 seats around the curved counter and although we came at an in-between time, there was still a line, so we walked down to the gift shop, instead, where I couldn’t resist a pink wine opener with the famous logo in green.

We had one last stop before we left Beverly Hills: the Greystone Mansion. You can’t go inside unless you’re there for a special event, but the grounds are free for anyone to explore. There’s a huge parking lot that was almost totally empty when we arrived, and we wandered through the beautiful fountains and perfect shrubbery, and when we got the the main courtyard, we all noticed it looked familiar. My sister looked it up and sure enough, that’s where they filmed the scenes for Chilton in Gilmore Girls! That’s one of my favorite shows, so I was beyond excited.

So if you’re visiting LA and want to do some Beverly Hills exploring, this would be a great itinerary – even with all our wandering at Rodeo, it only took us about three hours to do it all. Very good plan if you’re trying to be chi chi chi, Beverly Hills on a budget!

ILNP Road To Awe and Mountain View Swatches

A few weeks ago I splurged and got two polishes from ILNP’s fall collection. Spoiler alert: they’re gorgeous. But of course, you already know that – I’ve never seen an ILNP polish that isn’t completely amazing. Anyway, the hardest part of choosing two polishes was deciding between the two multichrome flakies, Road To Awe and Glory – they’re pretty similar, and both beautiful fall polishes. In the end, though, I chose Road To Awe, because I don’t usually wear red/rust/orange hues.

ILNP Road To Awe

ILNP Road To Awe

I applied one coat over OPI’s Casino Royale on my ring finger and Essie’s Barefoot & Topless on all my other fingers. Like my other ILNP flakies, the formula on this was great – it was easy to spread all the shards out and get a nice, even covering like I like, and there were no pieces sticking up or anything.

11.12.15 Road To Awe under

Road to Awe has color shifts of fuchsia, purple, orange, and even gold at certain angles. So pretty, right?

11.12.15 RTA diagonal

Obviously I flipped when I saw that there was a dark green in the collection, but I wasn’t even ready for this jelly.

11.12.15 MT bottle

Mountain View is amazinggggggg! I knew I had to have it after I saw the first swatch online. It’s a gorgeous blue-leaning dark green – but not so dark it looks black, which is a huge polish pet peeve of mine – filled with not only beautiful fine holographic glitter but tiny copper flakes, too! I’ve really come to love copper lately, and green is always and forever my favorite polish color, so this combo was always gonna be a hit with me!

11.12.15 Mountain View curled

The formula was pretty good, although it definitely takes three coats and was startlingly sheer at one coat, but I assume it’s a bit sheer to allow the copper flakes to show through the dark base color. It dried fairly glossy, too, although I’m wearing a top coat in these pics. I didn’t have any staining, either, which is great with such a dark shade.

It was hard to capture the copper flakes, but ughhhh so pretty in person!

It was hard to capture the copper flakes, but ughhhh so pretty in person!

ILNP never disappoints, but these two are especially gorgeous. I’ve already worn these for almost a full week each, but can you blame me?

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

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

ILNP Atlantis

Hi everyone! Today I have a very subtle mani – since I used my last ILNP flakie over a contrasting color, I wanted to use it over a similar color for today’s look, but it blended juuuuuust a little too well and my macro lens got lost so it might be a little hard to see that multichrome goodness in my pics, sorry about that! (I do have a new macro on the way, though!)

3.3.15 bottles

I also totally meant to take pics of each step for this mani, but as usual, I just started doing it and completely forgot. Oh well. To begin, I used two coats of Glitzerland on my middle fingers and one coat of One Track Mind on my pinkie, pointer, and thumb. OTM is a really great polish for when you want to do a quick mani since it’s a one-coater, but I was disappointed with how dark it was. I’ve been searching for a replacement to an oldddddd and discontinued Essence color, Just Rock It, which was the perfect not-too-dark navy, and I thought OTM would be a good dupe but it’s a bit too dark for my liking – I’m generally not a fan of those almost-black colors. Sigh. It’s got a great formula, though, so I will be keeping it around!

3.315 curled around bottle

Once the top coat had dried on the nails with Glitzerland, I applied two pieces of striping tape, blocking out a thick stripe down the center of each nail. I used a light hand to paint one coat of OTM – sometimes painting with a thick coat means it gets under the tape – then after about a minute, I applied Atlantis just down the middle section over OTM.

3.3.15 diagonal

The flakes are pretty densely packed so I only used one coat. I carefully removed the tape and while those nails dried, I tried to apply the flakies in a fade but as my regular readers know, I’m somehow incapable of doing a perfect fade. :/ My pinkie isn’t too bad, though! Anyway, after everything was dry, I applied a thin layer of top coat.

3.3.15 curled

I actually really like this look, despite how hard the flakes are to see. Atlantis starts off as a blue-leaning purple, then shifts through reddish purple, fuchsia, [ etc ]. I reeeeeally wish I had my macro lens, ugh, but if you love purple and flakies, this is the polish for you! The color shift is beautiful, the formula is super easy to apply, and it’s just an all-around awesome, unique polish to have.

3.3.15 tilted up

Thank you for reading! See you next time! – A x