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

Holiday Nails #2: Snowy Winter Landscape

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? I went to the Unique LA Holiday Market today, one of my favorite things to do in December in LA. It’s a market with lots of booths selling all sorts of items from clothes to edibles to jewelry to home goods, and it’s so fun to go and see all the beautiful wares plus getting some tasty samples! It’s on the 12th floor, too, so it’s got an awesome view of downtown LA. Definitely recommend it for holiday shopping if you’re in LA in December! I wore my fav winter lip, Maybelline’s Divine Wine, and this manicure. I wanted to do something very light and wintery, so I decided on this simple look.

Zoya's Wednesday and Sally Hansen's White On

Zoya’s Wednesday and Sally Hansen’s White On

I started with two easy coats of Zoya’s Wednesday. I loooove this color – weirdly, I don’t think I’ve ever used it on my blog before, although it’s one of my favorites! The color is definitely brighter in photos than in person, but the formula is perfect, its true the washed-out aqua color is so dreamy…if you’re ever stuck for a color to get in one of Zoya’s deals, definitely pick this bad boy up!

Sorry my cuticles are so busted - it is soooo dry here.

Sorry my cuticles are so busted – it is soooo dry here.

I used Sally Hansen’s White Out for the snow, dotting with my smallest dotting tool for the falling snow and my lopsided little tree (I tried!), and just used the regular brush in the bottle to get the curved snowbank at the tips of my nails.

12.6.15 diagonal

Very cute, no? I really love the combo of a dusty/washed out blue with white for winter. I mean, obviously, it’s mostly more vivid hues with white – blood red, deep cobalt, evergreen – but the paler blue looks very dreamy and pretty. I love it! (Although I do get that I’m romanticizing snow, which has hit most of the U.S. pretty hard the last few years. Sorry, guys! It’s just so pretty!)

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Holiday Nails #1: Green and Glitzy

Hi everyone! I debated doing 12 holiday manis, but the 13 I did for Halloween almost broke me so I’m just gonna see how many I get to, ha. Today I have my first holiday mani of the season, and it’s super simple but definitely blingy – just the way I like it!

OPI's Bring On The Bling and Sinful Colors' San Francisco

OPI’s Bring On The Bling and Sinful Colors’ San Francisco

I started with a base of Sinful Colors’ San Francisco. This color is a classic – probably one of my oldest, and it’s one of the polishes Sinful Colors is known for. The color is soooo gorgeous – it’s a true emerald (unlike Zoya’s Giovanna, which I also love but it definitely leans blue) and has this amazing glow to it.
Unfortunately, the formula kinda sucks – it’s SO sheer at first coat, and if I wasn’t going to cover up my tips with glitter I would’ve needed four coats total to avoid any nail lines showing through. I guess it’s worth it for this gorgeous hue, though!

The glow of San Francisco was SO intense that it freaked out my camera!

The glow of San Francisco was SO intense that it freaked out my camera!

After SF was dry, I did a glitter fade using one of my favorites, OPI’s Bring On The Bling from their Burlesque collection in 2010. I didn’t get this polish then, though – back then, I wasn’t yet the crazy lacquerhead I am today, and thought paying $9 for a nail polish was way too much money. 😂 What a sweet, innocent baby I was! Anyway, a few years later I found this guy and my only other Burlesque polish, Glow Up Already!, for fairly cheap on eBay, and I’m so glad I snatched them up because these glitters are so fun! I don’t usually wear small glitters like this because they’re a bitch to remove, but mannnnn these are so pretty and sparkly! It’s very difficult to make a good fade with glitters that aren’t sparse, though, so this isn’t perfect but I tried my best!

Sorry my hands look so dead - all the bright green was throwing my camera off!

Sorry my hands look so dead – all the bright green was throwing my camera off!

And because I couldn’t resist, here are macros of Bring On The Bling on the nail and in the bottle. See how pretty? It’s mostly champagne-gold glitter, with a generous sprinkling of blue, orange, purple, red, and green glitters, as well. Glow Up Already! has the same multicolored glitter pieces, but its base is mostly light green glitter instead of gold.

Holiday season is already wiping me out – I did a lot of Christmas present shopping this past Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, and am scrambling to finish projects at work and set up hang outs with friends before I fly home. I also scored some major polish deals this weekend, so I might have a quick swatch post with those later on. Did you make any mega deals this year? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x