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

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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

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Magenta & Navy

Hi everyone – so sorry, this post was supposed to go up two weeks ago, I totally thought it was up already! I’ll be posting a lot this week because I’ve forgotten to put up the last two weeks’ worth of posts, sorry about that!

Today’s post is the second prompt on the WNAC color combo challenge:

ILNP Indie Go, China Glaze Beach Cruise-R

ILNP Indie Go, China Glaze Beach Cruise-R

I wanted to do something simple and was inspired by this JINsoon Fall 2014 look I saw on All Lacquered Up. I didn’t set out to do another holo look after using them in the first week’s challenge, but I really liked the way these two looked together, so eh, whatevs. I started with a base color of China Glaze’s Beach Cruise-R (wtf is up with the “-R”?), sealed it with top coat, and wore it on its own for a day to make sure it was totally dry/hardy before the next step.

8.26.15 diagonal

Then I painted on one thick layer of Indie-Go-Go and quickly used my smallest dotting tool to draw through the polish in a wavy line. On a few of my nails I didn’t have a light enough touch and the dotting tool scraped up Beach Cruise-R, but I used a striping brush to add color back and fix it.

Here's a weird, Spider-Man-like photo of my hand against the stucco wall outside.

Here’s a weird, Spider-Man-like photo of my hand against the stucco wall outside.

I ended up really liking this even though it def didn’t look as good as the original JINsoon design. And you can’t see it very well in photos for some reason, but Indie-Go-Go is sooo sparkly and holo-y, mmmm, I love it. I’m glad I scooped it up during her last sale, it’ll be so chic for SoCal fall where the temp might drop a little but it’s still always sunny out.

8.26.14 around bottle

What did you think of my attempt at JINsoon’s look? Would you try this design out? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading – I’ll see you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Lemon & Cherry

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well. I’ve been feeling a distinct lack of inspiration lately – you can probably tell from my slacking on posts – so when I stumbled upon this very leisurely (once a week!) Instagram nail art challenge, I decided to do it.

8.7.15 challenge

Today is the first prompt – lemon and cherry! These are probably the two colors I use the least in my nail color arsenal, so it was a bit tricky for me – plus I didn’t want anything that looked too “McDonald’s” or mustard/ketchup-y. I decided to throw a nude polish in to soften the stark red/yellow combo and I even pulled out a technique I haven’t used in almost two years!

Left to right: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Glitter Gal Love Bite, Nfu-Oh #62, OPI My Boyfriend Is Buff

Left to right: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Glitter Gal Love Bite, Nfu-Oh #62, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

I decided to use a little more effort than my recent manicures, so I created some little triangle decals for this look:

Sorry my skin looks hella busted, the sunlight was really harsh.

Sorry my skin looks hella busted, the sunlight was really harsh.

A quick set-by-step of this decal DIY: first, I painted a few coats of each color on some plastic wrap (I think this was three thin coats of each) then topped them with a quick-dry topcoat. When that was dry, I carefully peeled each color off the plastic wrap and started cutting the dried polish into little triangles with some cuticle scissors I have. I arranged the triangles on my nails over the dried base color, pressed them down lightly to sort of “attach” them to my nail, then floated a layer of top coat over the top to seal everything in.

Also please forgive the little cut on my pointer!

Also please forgive the little cut on my pointer!

This was the first time I’d used Love Bite, and I looooooove it! I’m not usually a red nails person, but add some holographic sparkle to anything and I’m a fan! I thought it would be cool to mix up the different kinds of holographic finish – Love Bite is more scattered, so for the nude I used Nfu-Oh’s #62 (unfortunately now discontinued). #62 has a very intense, super linear holo – no sparkles here, just smooth particles for a blinding rainbow! I took a macro to try to show the difference in finish:

8.7.15 macro

I’m not a huge fan of yellow/red but I think this looks pretty okay. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, see you soon – A x

P.S. Cirque Colors is having a mini sale – they’re clearing out some older polishes to make room for new colors, so pop over and see if they have anything you like! It’s such a good deal, considering these are usually THIRTEEN DOLLARS each! I also scooped a few up, oops :)

Cirque Holo Polishes

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a lovely week! I was craving some holographic sparkliness but of course the day after I put this mani on it was cloudy and overcast for almost an entire week. I was fiiiiinally able to take some photos yesterday, so sorry for the week-plus absence, but feast your eyes on these babies:

6.10.15 bottles

I ordered three Cirque holos just before Christmas last year during a sale; I already showed the gorgeous orchid holo, Xochitl, in a previous post, but today I combined the last two in this super blingy mani.

6.10.15 curled around bottle

So we’ve got Panacea, a funky chartreuse holo, and Cerrillos, a vibrant turquoise – both colors I looooove, even when not in deliciously sparkly holo form. Panacea was a little sheer, so I did three thin coats, and Cerrillos was probably good at two but I was painting in low light so I added a third for good measure. These wore super well on me – I had it on for almost an entire week and I only got a little chip on each finger. Not bad! Oh, also, for some reason when I photographed in the direct sunlight (to catch as much holo flare as possible), the base colors didn’t appear as vivid as they are in person. Photos really don’t do these justice, they’re mesmerizing in real life!

6.10.15 diagonal

For my glittery pinkie and thumb, I dabbed a coat of China Glaze’s Techno over Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a great one-coat metallic silver. Techno is pretty chunky, so I did two thick layers of top coat, which of course meant my thumb chipped almost instantly. Sigh. But I just kept fixing the messed up parts because I liked this mani so much. It definitely didn’t chip off in big chunks like heavy glitters usually do on me, though, so that was a plus.

6.10.15 curled up

On my pointer, I did one coat of No Place Like Chrome and then a layer of top coat. After it was totally dry, I placed one of my Make It Stick tribal decals (although it looks like they don’t do nail decals anymore…?) and painted a thick layer of Cerrillos on the top half and Panacea on the bottom. I was nervous to smooth the decal down too hard, like I usually do, because metallics have a tendency to rip off if you use tape on them, so the one side doesn’t look too great, but the outermost side is pretty crisp. I’ve never used these before because I kept forgetting about them, but I really love the designs.

6.10.15 macro

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! I’ve got a few simple nail designs like this in mind for my next few manis, and I might even attempt a pictorial tutorial? Hmmm we’ll see how lazy I’m feeling. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see. As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time! – A x