July Nail Art Challenge #4: Inspired By Fabric

Ahhh sorry this is so late! I thought I had posted this already. I didn’t think I’d like this prompt very much, but I ended up loving the result!

Sally Hansen Color Foil in Liquid Gold and Sephora by OPI in XOX Betsey

Sally Hansen Color Foil in Liquid Gold and Sephora by OPI in XOX Betsey

I’ve recently started to really like these headbands that Forever 21 sells with the little bow at the front. There’s dozens of designs and they look cute worn lots of different ways, plus the bow isn’t too fluffy or big so I don’t look like an eight-year-old. I admit that I’ve always loved headbands since Blair Waldorf had them as an essential part of her wardrobe, and I’m definitely getting back into them again!

7.17.16 Fancy Finger Guns around headband

This didn’t turn out perfectly – I’m not a wizard at freehanding like some nail artists – but I really liked how this ended up. I love that the stars on this headband are the more pointy kind, like the Christmas star, instead of the traditional even, five-pointed star, and although my detail brush and the gold polish I used didn’t ensure that my stars turned out perfectly (the brush kinda sucks and the gold Color Foil streaked), I love how they look with the scattered dots. The pink polish, Sephora by OPI’s XOX Betsey, isn’t an exact match for the blush pink of the headband, but as someone who’s not a light pink person, I’m just happy I found something in my collection that’s semi-close!

7.17.16 Fancy Finger Guns straight

I hope you liked this mani as much as I did! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

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Tropical Aqua and Lime

I used to love wearing two different nail colors on each hand – one color on my left, one color on my right. I realized the other day that I haven’t done that in forever, so I pulled out some of my brightest and happiest colors to do just that!

(Sorry my lighting is a little weird in these pics - I still don't have my lightbox yet (nowhere to put it right now) and I was rushing to take these pics before the sun totally went away, hence the blue tint.)

(Sorry my lighting is a little weird in these pics – I still don’t have my lightbox yet (nowhere to put it right now) and I was rushing to take these pics before the sun totally went away, hence the blue tint.)

Blue-Ming is the prettiest aqua blue, but the formula sucks (like most pastel neon colors). It also chips really quickly on me, but the color is to die. I used two of my dotting tools to make the curved line of dots – first I added a few bigger dots, then I filled in the rest of the space with smaller dots. I ended up wanting to add some gold, too, so I just put it over a few existing green dots.

4.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns left

The green polish featured here is from Lime Crime. I know it’s a terrible company, but I bought this polish, Pastelchio, and the purple, Lavendairy, years ago, before I really knew much about the company. Last year (or was it 2014?) was that awful incident where lots of people got their credit cards ripped off because Lime Crime didn’t want to put better security measures in effect (i.e. they were being cheap), and that’s when I found out about the whole host of other shitty practices Lime Crime had engaged in the past. I do have a few more products from them – a few eyeliners and a liquid lipstick – but again, I got them a few years ago before I knew of any issues, and I’m going to keep using them because I really like the formula and the colors, but I won’t be repurchasing (I believe China Glaze has colors that dupe both the green and purple that I own, anyway). Okay, rant over!

4.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns right

I really love the color combo of aqua, lime, and gold, and Honey Ryder is the perfect gold – not too yellow, not to champagne-y, and with just the right metallic sheen. It’s no secret that I love OPI’s texture polishes, and this is one of my favorites. I’m weird about golds, so the fact that this is my preferred hue AND it’s a texture? Yas, yas, yas!

4.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns both

I hope you liked this look! It was a lot of fun, and it got me some compliments, which is always nice. I haven’t been feeling very nail art-y lately, so I’m going to participate in a nail art challenge I found on Instagram in May to try to get me back into it, which means lots of posts this month! Thanks for reading, see you guys soon with my first challenge – A x

Berry and Gold Textures

I’ve said this many times before on this blog, but I love playing with textures. I landed on this color scheme by accident, but I really love the outcome.

1.11.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

Cherry Cherry Bang Bang (CCBB) is a polish I scooped up after seeing it on my friend Rach’s blog. It’s not my usual jam, but I love it – it definitely takes a full three coats because it’s a little streaky and it takes a while to dry, but it’s such a lovely, rich berry that it’s worth the extra effort. I originally paired this with a coral, but I forgot that CCBB dried a little darker than in the bottle, so that combo didn’t look great and I switched it out for shimmering gold.

Guys, I am SO sorry for my busted cuticles in these photos. I didn't see how bad they were until my polish was already off.

Guys, I am SO sorry for my busted cuticles in these photos. I didn’t see how bad they were until my polish was already off.

Love.Angel.Music.Baby (L.A.M.B) is from the OPI/Gwen Stefani collab from a year or so ago, and while most of the colors were pretty boring, I looooved this one as soon as I saw it in person. It’s a champagne-y leaning gold shimmer with a matte (“satin,” according to OPI) finish that makes it way more interesting than this shade would normally be. It’s fairly opaque – barely requiring two coats – and like any matte, dries quickly, making it the ideal polish to throw on in a hurry. I love pairing it with deeper hues – something about the combo of shimmery, matte champagne and rich jewel tones looks so amazing together to me.

This is the most accurate representation of how CCBB looks.

This is the most accurate representation of how CCBB looks.

I used some old decals I found on eBay a few years ago for the design on my middle finger and a brand-new score as the glitter – Deborah Lippmann’s Boom Boom Pow. This was a major score, y’all – DLs retail for $20 each, but I found this one for $5 at TJ Maxx. Yassssssssss! It supposedly has 24 karat gold in it, but it looks to my eye like a fairly normal sheer gold hex glitter topper – but, you know, it’s a pricey name brand in a fancy bottle, so I love it. I did two coats on my middle finger so the gold dust isn’t as sheer as it is in one coat (which I did on my ring, but you can’t really tell because it’s layered over another gold). I love my ring the most in this mani, with the contrast between the matte L.A.M.B., the glittery Boom Boom Pow, and the glossy CCBB. So pretty!

Seriously, this bottle just looks so classy.

Seriously, this bottle just looks so classy.

Thanks for reading! 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

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