Nail Quickies: Pink and Blue

Hello, friends! I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this, since my nails are still too short for my liking and my cuticles refuse to look good, but what the heck? I’ve been a little bored with polish lately and just doing one color, so I tried to mix things up a little with this mani.

4.20.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

So…I didn’t end up loving this look. The decals I used on my middle finger weren’t spaced properly enough (I hate that little part at my cuticle and the zig zag nearest my tip is too big compared to the others) and the dry brush I did on my pinkie didn’t turn out as cool as I would’ve liked, but I still really like this color combo.

4.20.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

The pink, Orly’s Risky Behavior, is more blue-toned/magenta in person, but it kept coming out very hot pink in my photos. It’s very vibrant and pretty, though! I saw it on sale for 97 cents at Ulta and couldn’t resist. The formula was great, too – two easy coats.

4.20.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I actually really love how my thumb turned out – I guess using a metallic as one of the brush strokes looks way better than using it as a base? I felt like the colors didn’t really pop on my pinkie, but it looks great on my thumb. Ah well, lesson learned!

4.20.16 Fancy Finger Guns thumb

Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x

Green and Magenta Moroccan-Inspired

Hello there! Sorry for the delay in posting – I thought this had gone up already! Today I’ve got a really great color combo that I absolutely love.

1.21.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I’ve used Color Club’s Right On before on this blog, and it became such a favorite after I used it that it’s been on my toes almost the entire time since. I just love this color – it doesn’t look like anything out of ordinary in photos, but it’s so bright and saturated and FUN that I can’t help but want to reach for it whenever I don’t know what to do to my nails. I love the color combo of hot pink or purple and green, so I paired it with First Timer, which I remembered being little softer for some reason (probably because it looks a little muted in the bottle), but it’s a bright, spring-y green that I think looks fantastic with Right On.

1.21.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

I am still loving my What’s Up Nails decals that I got on sale during Black Friday – I got five or six different ones, and these might be my favorite. I realized after I painted over it that I should’ve had the design going off my nail and not stopped it right at my tip – it made the tips just silver, which looks weird, but at least I learned for next time! I wanted a base color that popped under the magenta and green, so I used one coat of No Place Like Chrome. If you need some metallics, these Essie “Mirror Finish” polishes are great – I also have Good As Gold and Copper Penny (which is actually a lovely rose-gold), and they’re all opaque and reflective as hell. However, when you’re going to peel a decal off these kind of polishes, you might have some issues – even with a fully dried layer of top coat on NPLC, it still pulled up a bit when I took the first decal off. Luckily, I was able to smooth the polish back into place and sort of re-stick it down with top coat.

My nails were a little longer here - I attempted to grow them out, but it annoyed me too much, but I filed them down a little TOO much so now I"m trying to get them back to a nice length. Whoops!

My nails were a little longer here – I attempted to grow them out, but it annoyed me too much, but I filed them down a little TOO much so now I”m trying to get them back to a nice length. Whoops!

I’ve had Urban Outfitter’s Sea Dust for a looooooooong time but I don’t think I’ve ever featured it before. It’s a dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream at a much cheaper price point – UO polishes are usually 2 for $8, and DLs retail for about $20 each. I only used one coat over First Timer – it’s pretty opaque, or it seemed so over a similarly colored base, anyway! It’s a really lovely polish – fine sea foam glitter with slightly larger aqua glitter pieces sprinkled throughout. Very pretty and definitely very mermaid-y! I thought it was a nice accent color to go with First Timer and Right On.

It doesn't look like much in photos, but Sea Dust is really pretty!

It doesn’t look like much in photos, but Sea Dust is really pretty!

Thanks for reading! I’ll try to have one of two more posts up before February. See you next time – A x

Holiday Mani #6: Christmas Color Block

Hi everyone! This mani is really simple but very fun, and definitely got me a ton of compliments.

From left: ILNP's A Fresh Evergreen, Nox Twilight's Disco Darling, Sally Hansen's Celeb City, China Glaze's Just Be-Claws

From left: ILNP’s A Fresh Evergreen, Nox Twilight’s Disco Darling, Sally Hansen’s Celeb City, China Glaze’s Just Be-Claws

I started off with a base of Celeb City, one of my favorite silvers which just so happens to be cheap as hell, then when that dried I sponged on a layer of Disco Darling. DD is from a brand called Nox Twilight, which I found out about 5 years ago from the blog Lacquerized which I used to love (and is now sadly defunct). She used a bunch of these polishes and even though they’re a Twilight (yes, those terrible books) beauty brand, I really liked a few of the shades and loved how cool the bottles looked. I found them online just as they were doing a sale, so I scooped up a few. Oddly, for being a Twilight brand, the names of these polishes have nothing to do with the books – for example, the colors I got were Disco Darling, Citrus, and Poseidon. Very weird. Anyway, Poseidon was a brilliant cyan but faded to gray within a few months of me receiving it (!) and Citrus was a nice coral with gold shimmer but not really my jam, so I gave it away – Disco Darling is the only one I have left, and it’s definitely the best by far. It’s a pretty opaque glitter, so you can get full coverage in 3 coats, but I like to layer it over silver to preserve my bottle, which is getting thick and is more than halfway done. :( Nox Twilight doesn’t make these anymore, but I think China Glaze’s Glistening Snow is pretty similar, if you like how this looks (of course you do, it’s gorgeous)!

I don’t know why it took me so long but sponging on glitter really is the way to go – like I said, my Disco Darling is getting pretty thick, but when you use a sponge to apply glitter polish, the sponge sucks up most of the polish base, leaving you with just the glitter so you don’t have that gross thick feeling of 3 layers of lumpy glitter polish. I put one thick but small swipe of DD on my sponge per nail and it covered wonderfully. Once my top coat was completely dry, I stuck a piece of Scotch tape to my palm a few times to make it less sticky (so it doesn’t pull up the polish underneath when I take it off), then cut it into small, uniform sections. I applied each at a diagonal in the middle of my nail, then painted on A Fresh Evergreen above the tape and Just Be-Claws below.

12.24.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

As I’ve said many times before, I am not a red person, but there’s just something about Just Be-Claws – I think because it’s a nice cherry red, which has a bit of a pink undertone, plus the foil formula makes it look fun without being too “holiday.” Very weird that I’m so into a red! A Fresh Evergreen is just ridiculous amazing – it’s not quite dark enough to actually be evergreen, but it’s a little too deep to be a kelly green, either, so it’s pretty unique in my collection, and I just love the color. The holo effect isn’t my favorite – ILNP holos tend to be a little more scattered then I prefer – but it does look really pretty in the sun. I couldn’t capture it at all in my lightbox, though, but I didn’t have time to get an outdoor shot, sorry about that!

I just noticed as I was posting these that my cleanup job was terrible and my cuticles look busted - sorry! I was trying to bust out some manis in a hurry, so this isn't one of my cleanest.

I just noticed as I was posting these that my cleanup job was terrible and my cuticles look busted – sorry! I was trying to bust out some manis in a hurry, so this isn’t one of my cleanest.

I really love each of the colors I used for this, and particularly enjoy how it looks with all the different textures – glitter, foil, and holo. Very fun, and I hope you liked it, too! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x

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

Autumn Leaves

Apologies for my absence, lovely readers! I was out of town in Nashville for a few days, and the week leading up to that was crazy at work, so I was running around with chipped nails like a pleb. But now that I’m back, I’ve whipped up a cute, fall-appropriate mani I can’t wait to share with you!

Whoops, forgot to add Essie's Barefoot & Topless, which was my base coat.

Whoops, forgot to add Essie’s Barefoot & Topless, which was my base coat.

So you may have noticed that I’m very into nail decals, especially the ones from What’s Up Nails. If you’ve been a reader for any length of time, you’ll know that I am super lazy when it comes to nails – I always want to do super cool, intricate designs, but then I realize how much work/time it would take and just settle for something more plain. But with nail decals, you can make your nails look fancy in no time at all, plus they make sure each design is uniform, which is something that always bugs me when I try to hand-paint stuff. What’s Up Nails had a sale a few weeks ago, so I scooped up a few different decals, including this adorable fall leaves one.

My pointer looks like crap because I'd forgotten to add top coat after I put down the last layer of Barefoot & Topless, so everything smudged when I pulled the decal back up.

My pointer looks like crap because I’d forgotten to add top coat after I put down the last layer of Barefoot & Topless, so everything smudged when I pulled the decal back up.

Now, having just raved about how easy decals are to use, I will say that this leaves one was a bit trickier – I had to use my tweezers to sort of punch through each leaf cutout and make sure the inside came out so I could paint through the hole, since most of them stayed firmly attached when I peeled it off the backing. I kept the little golden leaf cutouts, though – maybe I’ll use them for another mani!

11.19.20 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

As for the colors…last year at fall I was allll about the jewel tones – deep purple, teal, and orchid. This year I’m really feeling those traditional fall colors – rich reds, muted oranges, olive greens, and shimmering golds – and once I pulled out polishes in these tones I was majorly into it. I wanted to use polishes that were all foils, or at least shimmers, and luckily I found some in every color I wanted.

11.19.20 Fancy Finger Guns upside down

Orly’s Emberstone is supposedly infused with minerals to create a “multidimensional effect.” I don’t know about that, but it IS gorgeous, and once I remembered I had it I was kicking myself for not having used it in forever – it’s a beautiful, glitzy pinky-coral. Just Be-Claws is one I got earlier this year – I’m not a red fan, but I just couldn’t resist this gorgeous, incredibly rich cherry red foil from China Glaze’s holiday collection last year. OPI’s Goldeneye is one that I rarely use, and I almost gave it away but I’m so glad I didn’t! It’s a bright yellow gold loaded with sparkly shimmer. Harvest Moon is an old fav of mine that’s getting some major use this year – I’m recently obsessed with copper, and when the light hits this one it’s magic! Last but not least, the golden-green shimmer of my fall dreams! My sister just finished her bottle, so I’ve got to keep a close eye on mine in case she tries to steal it – although I couldn’t blame her, it’s absolutely beautiful.

11.26.15 Fancy Finger Guns macro

I managed to see some fall leaves myself when I was in Nashville a few days ago – alas, the bright colors had mostly gone already, but there was still some lovely color! Nashville was incredibly fun – it’s way smaller than LA, so traffic was almost hilariously a non-entity, and because it’s small there was more than enough time to do everything we wanted to in three days. Nashville is quite a foodie town – half the “to do in Nashville” lists I found were mostly restaurants – and boy, did they deliver! Some of my favorite food spots we hit were Virago (sushi and cocktails), Whiskey Kitchen (the wait was insane on Friday night, which is why we popped over to Virago in the first place, but we scored on Sunday and got right in), Edley’s Bar-Be-Que (their cornbread alone is to die for), and Mellow Mushroom, a delicious pizza joint right next to Vanderbilt (although that one is a chain, but I’d never had it before so it counts!).

We also hit up most of the other must-see tourist-y things like the Parthenon in Centennial Park and the pedestrian bridge, but the most fun thing we did was the Pedal Tavern! You bring your own booze and drink while pedaling this weird cart contraption down to Lower Broadway where the honky-tonk bars are. It sounds weird, but it’s incredibly fun (although I felt bad for the cars stuck behind us!) – our guide Larry would pop out from his seat during stop lights to refill drinks and played fun songs the whole time, in addition to being great at giving tips about what to do in Nashville.

Imagine this but at night, with a billion cars and people around and a group of older lady bffs who kept yelling about their sports teams while downing whiskey. Awesome.  via

It’s basically this, but at night, with a billion cars and people around and a group of older lady bffs who kept yelling about their sports teams while downing whiskey. Awesome.
via

I highly recommend a trip to Nashville if you can – since we went in early November the weather was beautiful – chilly and no humidity – and there’s a lot of fun things to do (and especially eat!). Thanks for reading, everyone! Until next time – A x