Holiday Nails #3: Dotted Cranberry Gradient

I wanted to do something a little holiday-esque but not overtly Christmas-y, so I decided to do something with red and gold – always very holiday!

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

I ended up doing a gradient to go under the gold dots. I used OPI’s Color So Hot It Berns (CSHIB) and China Glaze’s Velvet Bow and then – curveball! – ended up throwing on a matte top coat. I always want to do matte nails but forget, so I’m glad I finally remembered this time! I love how it looks with the matte gradient under the shiny metallic dots.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

For the dots, I put a little dollop of Goldeneye on a piece of paper and gently dipped my smallest dotting tool in it, added a dot to my nail, and repeated the process. I wanted to get the dots uniform, which is why I added more polish each time, but a few of them still kinda blobbed. It doesn’t look too bad, though.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns up

I kinda wish I had done a slightly lighter red instead of Velvet Bow, but I don’t think I actually have one! I’m not really a red person, so I only have a few, and I basically only take them out at this time of year, ha. I do think the gold dots help elevate it to festive instead of dark/goth, though. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x

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Halloween Mani #8: Halloween Bubbles!

Hello lovely readers! We’re in the home stretch leading up to Halloween, so I’m gonna have nail posts probably every day this week. Savor that, because after this month I probably won’t post very much, ha – I don’t know how some nail bloggers do so many posts/manis every single month! It’s too much for someone as lazy as me, even though I do love nail art. Today’s nail art is a very fun look that actually took me no time at all to do:

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I used two easy coats of Zoya’s Loredana, a dark gray matte that was recently re-released. It’s gorgeous, with its silver flecks, and since it’s matte, it dried in a flash. Score. When that was dry, I used a medium dotting tool to apply a few dots around the side of each nail with Arizona, followed by Treble Maker and Anime-zing Color. Then I used a smeller dotting tool to fill in the space with multicolored dots in a rough curved shape.

Ahhh sorry, I didn't see the chip on my pinkie when I was taking pics!

Ahhh sorry, I didn’t see the chip on my pinkie when I was taking pics!

It still looked like it needed a little something, so I went back in and put a few small black dots in the empty spaces. I thought this mani was really fun – the gray under the traditional orange/green/purple makes it less cutesy, but still cute, if that makes sense? Also, I didn’t use top coat or anything, but all these polishes dried really quickly so it was a pretty fast mani (except for one or two dots that got a ding, but that’s because I’m impatient).

See that gorgeous matte shimmer?

See that gorgeous matte shimmer?

Tomorrow starts the week leading up to Halloween! Are you excited? Do you have your costume prepared? I definitely do not – as much as I love and anticipate Halloween, I think because I decorated so early (mid-September) and because I’ve been so busy (October is always a super busy month, and my family was just in town for a week), the rest of October really snuck up on me. I think I’m gonna have to go with something that’s more makeup based rather than costume based, since I’ve run out of time and have no more weekends to shop! I’m thinking of doing a cute alien look, but we’ll see. Anyway, thanks for reading! I’ll have another post up tomorrow, see ya then – A x

Topshop Polish and 2015 PaleyFest!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a wonderful week! I did a little splurge last weekend and picked up two Topshop nail polishes, one of which I wore in a dreamy mani.

3.22.bottles

So first of all let me just say that I thought the Topshop polishes were two for $10 – maybe I’d seen a sale the other times I’d gone or something, because when I got to the register they were definitely 2 for $15. I bought them anyway but ehhhhh I don’t think these are worth the price tag. They are tiny and maybe the cremes and mattes (the mattes did look cool, not gonna lie) are great but the formula on the two I got – this speckled lavender and a holo star-and-microglitter topper – weren’t amazing. But anyway, I do really love this color. It’s my favorite type of lavender, pink-leaning, and I love the tiny matte glitter pieces that give it that speckled Easter egg look. I used three coats by itself on my right hand but it doesn’t dry quickly so I did two thin coats over one coat of Sweet Hook on my left, which was so much better! The color didn’t really change but it was definitely more opaque and took me much less time to paint on.

Sorry about my busted cuticles, y'all!

Sorry about my busted cuticles, y’all!

For the stamped nails, I used my Fairytale 02 plate from Mo-You for the first time. Weirdly, there are certain designs I can stamp really easily, does that happen to anyone else? I used the swirly cloud part for my pointer and pinkie and it was really easy to stamp on just the way I wanted. My pointer got a little smudged but I love how the swirly design looks with the speckled lavender. So dreamy and spring-y!

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So last weekend I went to Paleyfest! You may remember I went last year for the Parks & Recreation panel. This year, honestly, the panel choices sucked so I didn’t have a hard time narrowing down my self-imposed limit of one to one of my fav shows, Jane the Virgin! I know a lot of people compare it to Ugly Betty, which I get – they’re both based on telenovelas, they both feature a large cast, colorful sets, and sometimes “wacky” humor – but they’re definitely not the same. If you haven’t seen it, a quick description: Jane was raised by her single mother Xiomara and grandmother Alba, both of whom she lives with, and she’s a very down-to-earth, practical person who knows exactly what she wants in life (to eventually marry her long-term boyfriend Michael, who she hasn’t had sex with yet, and to become a teacher). She works at a fancy hotel in Miami Beach while putting herself through school, and she had a crush on the owner’s son Rafael a few years earlier. Through a series of events, Raf’s sister, a gynecologist who’s got emotional and substance abuse issues, accidentally inseminates Jane with Raf’s sperm. And that’s not even getting to any of the good parts! It’s really funny and sweet, the characters are wonderfully fleshed out (especially the female family dynamics of Alba, Xo, and Jane, which I love), and with the “Miami” (aka Manhattan Beach, CA) setting the sets and costumes are beautiful.

The cast from left to right:  Executive Producer Ben Silverman, show runner Jennie Urman, Gina Roderiguez (Jane),  Justin Baldoni (Rafael), Jaime Camil (Rogelio), Andrea Navedo (Xiomara), Ivonne Coll (Alba), Brett Dier (Michael), Yael Grobglas (Petra)

The cast from left to right: Executive Producer Ben Silverman, show runner Jennie Urman, Gina Roderiguez (Jane), Justin Baldoni (Rafael), Jaime Camil (Rogelio), Andrea Navedo (Xiomara), Ivonne Coll (Alba), Brett Dier (Michael), Yael Grobglas (Petra)

But getting back to the panel – I didn’t take many pictures this time around, sorry! I do have some pictures of the cast and all the women were dressed great – Yael Groblas, who plays Petra, was wearing an amazing white jumpsuit; Ivonne Coll, who plays Alba, was wearing a lovely, fitted reddish pink frock, which was a welcome departure from her sort of frumpy abuella clothes on the show; Andrea Navedo, who plays Xo, was in a sort of conservative but cute yellow dress (again, a big departure from Xo, who’s a “hot mom”); Gina Rodriguez was in a cool, white fringed crop with a black skirt; and the show runner, Jennie Snyder, was in a great full-skirted print dress that I wanted to steal.

3.22.PaleyFest three

First of all, let me say that Jennie is awesome! She was funny and cool, she had a great relationship with the actors, and she seemed very genuine and appreciative of her position. I gotta say, it was so lovely to see someone who seemed so nice, normal, and down-to-earth, compared to the people I’m used to in the industry. Actually, the whole cast seemed that way – there was a natural, friendly chemistry they all had with each other, and you could tell they’re all very close. I only remember a few things in particular about the event since I was beyond exhausted at the time, sorry about that! Oh, and I want to say that Jaime Camil was basically Rogelio in real life, which delighted us all. (Hilariously, the moderator said it as “Ro-GEL-ee-oh” like three times, even after the cast said it correctly, until he finally caught himself.)

3.22.PaleyFest gasp

One thing I do remember that got a big laugh was when the cast was answering one of the audience questions, “How has your life changed since getting on the show?” When it was Ivonne’s (Alba) turn, she deadpanned, “Everyone thinks that I’m a actually grandmother.” She also noted that it was funny how she’d spent so much time and money on classes learning how to speak without an accent, and on Jane she only speaks in Spanish! That brought up another little talking point where Gina (Jane) discussed how Jennie the showrunner, who is Caucasian, was great about asking the cast for their experiences, to add authenticity – like when she originally wrote Alba only speaking in Spanish and Xo and Jane responding in English, she was going to change it but the cast assured her that’s how it worked in Hispanic families. It was so wonderful to Jennie using such respect when writing for characters from a culture she isn’t part of – when asked how she does it, she replied that it’s about “writing people, not writing race.”

3.22.PaleyFest smiling

It’s getting a little pricer every year (natch) and they stream each panel now on Yahoo, but I still think it’s a really fun thing to experience in person. If you have the chance to go, I highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

butter London Cotton Buds

I’ve made my thoughts on butter London pretty clear on this site before (too pricey for polish that chips too quickly) buuuuuut in January they had 50% off their “Last Orders” and there was a kit with three polishes, a dotting tool, and a clean-up brush that would be about $20 after the discount that I felt like I couldn’t resist because a) a single bL polish is $15 so this was a great deal for three + tools, b) the polishes included Cotton Buds, which I’ve read countless rave reviews of and I did desperately needed a new white polish. The weird thing was, when I added Stag Do – a dark teal with shimmer – to my cart as well, I got free shipping even though the total was under $30. Well, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so that’s how I ended up with four new bL polishes when all I really wanted was a white (#polishaddictprobs).

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

I was not thrilled with Cotton Buds, unfortunately. I’d read lots of reviews saying it was an easy two coater, but that definitely was not the case for me. I waited five or so minutes between coats, but still had one big streak on each nail after two coats so I needed a third, and even after that, my nails don’t look perfect. Sighhhh. I wish I had snatched up another Milani White Out before they changed over to their new polishes – now that was a great, easy two-coat white. I’ll pour one out for you later, buddy.
2-7-15 pour one out

I wanted to do something simple with my white nails, so I decided to just do a diagonal with one of my fav golds, OPI’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby.

2-6-15 curled udner

Love.Angel.Music.Baby is a really cool polish that I’ve shown a few times before on this blog – it’s a “satin” finish, which isn’t quite stark matte but definitely isn’t glossy, and it has tons of gorgeous shimmer. It’s kind of a bitch to remove for some reason, but it goes on like a dream so despite my annoyance with Cotton Buds, I was glad to have a quick and easy way to jazz it up.

2-6-15 in front of bottles

Nice, huh? This isn’t a look I’d normally do – the white + gold makes me think of something a lifestyle blogger like Cashmere & Cupcakes would do – but I like it (well, except for my messed up ring finger). I’ll have to keep looking for a great white, but c’est la vie – that’s kind of an on-going issue when you’re a lacquerhead. Freaking light polish colors, man!

What did you think of this mani? Do you have a favorite (hopefully 2-coater) white polish to suggest? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, y’all! See you next time – A x

Late Christmas Day Nails

Hi everyone! I was trying to get these nails up on Christmas, but I…forgot. Sorry, y’all! They’re pretty simple, anyway, so here we go:

Ahhh sorry my bottles look so dirty and effed up! I've had Veruschka forever and Posh I rescued from the back of a dusty shelf at the polish store :/

Ahhh sorry my bottles look so dirty and effed up! I’ve had Veruschka forever and Posh I rescued from the back of a dusty shelf at the polish store :/

I now own all of the rereleased Zoya velvet mattes except Harlow, the fuchsia, and Dovima, the black, because I’m having a real matte moment. Obviously it sucks when there’s chip wear within a day, but I love how quickly they dry and how Zoya’s velvet mattes have the gorgeous shimmer which makes them more interesting than a normal, flat matte. Well, all of them except Posh – Posh doesn’t have as much shimmer as Veruschka or Savita, and as such I’m a little underwhelmed by it (although that could be because I’m not a red person, in general).

12-27-14  curled upside down

I’m always conflicted with these mattes – adding top coat brings brings their shimmer to the sparkling forefront, but in their natural matte state they really do look velvety and I love that unique finish. I decided to do a little of each for this look, so I added a swipe of top coat as a diagonal tip on each finger, and I really like how it came out – subtle but chic!

It was hard to capture the difference between glossiness and matte on camera, but you could definitely tell in person!

It was hard to capture the difference between glossiness and matte on camera, but you could definitely tell in person!

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a good one! Did you get any beauty goodies? I got a MAC lipstick I’ve been lusting after (Heroine, since I’m really into purple-ish lippies at the moment), plus a Butter London set I had to have, despite my BL issues, because it was based on the area I lived when I studied abroad in college and yes, I am that person ha! I also got the Amy Poehler book, yayyyyy! Let me know what pretty goodies you got in the comments so I can drool along with you! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x