Holiday Mani #7: Glitter & Ice

Hello everyone, and merry Christmas if you celebrate! There are certain polishes that I feel like I can only use at this time of year – they just scream “Christmas,” even if they’re not traditional red and green, but I can only do so many holiday manicures each year so some of them don’t get enough love. This year I decided to combine a few of my old favorites so they can get their time in the sun!

ILNP's Christmas in Bordeaux, China Glaze's Frosty

ILNP’s Christmas in Bordeaux, China Glaze’s Frosty

Frosty is really gorgeous. It’s from what I think is the best China Glaze holiday collection (best holiday collection ever, really), 2010’s ‘Tis The Season To Be Naughty And Nice. I really liked that collection because they had traditional colors (a billion reds, metallics) but also hues that still came across as “holiday” without being too overused, like navy blue, olive, and plum. Anyway, Frosty is a semi-sheer white with iridescent shimmer that mimics that sparkle of sunlight on fresh snow. I think I did 5 thin coats to attempt to get rid of the nail lines at the tips of my nails, which I hate, but ughhh this color is so lovely and delicate, I’m gonna overlook it!

12.25.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

For the glitter fade at the cuticle, I just sort of dabbed and swirled a little blob of ILNP’s Christmas In Bordeaux (CIB) on each finger to put the glitter pieces where I wanted them on my nail. I always say this, but I really wish ILNP would do glitter mixes again – I have a bunch of Barbra’s glitters that I picked up when they all went on sale as she made her move to exclusively holographic and multichrome polishes a few years ago, and while her current polishes are all beautiful, I still love her glitters because they were all so beautiful and usually unique. CIB is Christmas in a bottle with its evergreen, holly-berry red, and bright gold hexes, squares, shards, and micro glitter – understated, chic holiday glamour! It looks so lovely over Frosty.

For those who celebrate, how was your Christmas? It’s been unseasonably warm (and humid!) even here in Florida, which has made me a little grumpy, honestly, and it hasn’t really felt like Christmas. But my family tried our best to make it feel like Christmas – we switched up our usual tree ornaments for sparkly iridescent tinsel and DIY neon ball ornaments, did our annual Christmas Vacation screening on Christmas Eve, and had a smorgasbord of random tasty items as a sort of Christmas buffet. Also, not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself for the presents I got them this year – sometimes it’s pretty difficult to get things I’m sure they’ll actually love, but this year I did really well! I cleaned up pretty well, too, getting some fun stuff including a [Uber Chic Mat knockoff]! I only recently learned about these types of mats, but as soon as I saw them I immediately let my family know it would be a great present. I haven’t gotten a chance to play with it much yet, since I didn’t bring any polishes or tools with me this year, but I can’t wait to try it out once I get back to California! I might even do a little video or something, hmmmm. Anyway, my Christmas was wonderful, and I hope yours was, too! When I get back to LA, I’ll be doing a post with a round-up and swatches of some polishes I ordered during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so watch out for that after the new year. Until then, thank you so much for another year of reading my blog! Have a wonderful rest of your year – 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 Mani #5: Tropical Holiday

Hi everyone! Apologies – I’m a few blog posts behind because I thought I had put them up already, so I’ll have a few in a row the next few days. As for today’s post, this is a semi mani fail – it’s not terrible, but it definitely didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, so I’m apologizing in advance! I do really love this color scheme, though:

China Glaze Surfin' For Boys, Cults Nails Deal With It, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

China Glaze Surfin’ For Boys, Cults Nails Deal With It, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

I wanted to do something that was sort of like those “Christmas sweater” nails that are so popular this time of year. I actually did some two years ago, when I was just starting my blog, but I was so not feeling up for attempting stamping, so I used decals this time. The snowflakes and deer are from What’s Up Nails, my newest fav, and the chevrons are from some place on eBay that I can’t remember because they’re a few years old and I just found them, whoops.

12.15.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

So I didn’t love these decals like the rest of mine from What’s Up Nails – they didn’t stick very well to my nails, and because they’ve got such tiny details, the not-sticking thing meant they didn’t come out perfectly crisp. You’ll see what I mean in the macros below. It’s not the worst case I’ve ever seen, but it just kinda annoyed me – the bottom of the big snowflake was all blobbed (unfortunately, I think you can see it better in my regular pics than the macro) and the deer’s antlers had way more detail on the sticker, but here I had to move polish with my tiniest dotting tool to make it look like two antlers instead of a just a blob of polish.

I also somehow managed to mess up the dots on my pinkie – on my thumb they’re perfectly fine, but my pinkie…I honestly don’t even know what happened. Plus, when I added topcoat on my pointer, Surfin’ For Boys bled and streaked coral all over the rest of the nail. Sigh. Overall these were not my favorite nails by a long shot, but I love the color combo! I wanted to do something that was similar Christmas colors but a little off – so originally I was going to do a more orangey-red and lime green with the cream (instead of traditional true red, hunter green, and white), but I realized I didn’t really have an orange-y red, so I decided to just go straight neon! I think the coral and acid green look really cool with the cream, which tones them down a bit so it’s not too stark, but still allows the bright colors to pop! It’s like a tropical version of traditional holiday, which is something I’m very used to, being from Florida – things like palm trees decorated with ornaments and flamingos with Santa hats are very popular there!

12.15.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

So this was a bit of a let down, but I’ve got a two more holiday manis that should make up for it! Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Holiday Mani #4: Holiday Stripes

I really love the color combo of red and mint – it’s a little retro, which isn’t normally my jam, but I love it for some reason. I thought it would be fun to use some of my new What’s Up Nails wrapping paper decals and use this color combo for Christmas!

Sally Hansen White On, China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer, OPI Color So Hot It Berns

Sally Hansen White On, China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer, OPI Color So Hot It Berns

I started with a base of two coats of Sally Hansen’s White On (my butter LONDON Cotton Buds is still MIA) and top coat, which I did the night before, although you don’t have to wait that long – just 15 min or so, until you’re sure the top coat has fully dried. Then I applied my decal, smoothing it completely down, and used two small detailing brushes to paint on each section – I alternated which colors went where on every other nail for funsies. Immediately after I was done painting, I carefully peeled each decal up so the polish wouldn’t start to dry and stick to the decal. I really need a new red, though – even after letting this dry overnight and attempting to paint on my top coat diagonally to match the direction of the stripes, my OPI red STILL streaked a bit across two of my nails! Plus, you can see it sort of bled under the decals because the red lines aren’t as crisp as the mint ones. Grrrrr freaking reds, man.

12.14.15 Fancy Finger Guns upside down

Overall, this looks pretty cute, huh? This is definitely a little time-consuming, since I used two colors and had to paint each little section separately, but it’s not too bad once you get in the rhythm. It does look like wrapping paper (which is the description of the decals on the What’s Up Nails site), which is a fun mani this time of year. I bet this would look really great using metallics.

12.14.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I’m attempting to get seven or eight manis done total, so hopefully I’ll reach my goal! I know everyone loves holiday manis, and I do have a lot of holiday polishes I only bust out once a year, so I should try to use as many as I can! Anyway, thank you for reading! 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