Halloween Mani #7: Spooky Gradient!

Hi lovlies! This is going to be another lightning-quick post as I just got home from a Jimmy Buffet concert at the Hollywood Bowl with my folks and I’m about to go to sleep for DISNEYLAND tomorrow! I’ll have a weekend round up at some point, but since it’s getting to be the end of the month, I want to pump out as many posts as I can so I make my goal of 13 Halloween manis. So this short and sweet post is about my gradient nails!

10.23.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I loooove China Glaze’s Harvest Moon. I mean:

Look how gorgeousssssss Harvest Moon is!

Look how gorgeousssssss Harvest Moon is!

It’s from their 2012(? no time to Google!) Hunger Games collection, which I hated at first but now I own almost all the colors, and this is one of my favs – I adore a burnt orange, and this one is a gorgeous, reflective foil, to boot! I did a rough gradient (using my usual damp sponge routine but didn’t take too much care to ensure a smooth, even gradient to keep it ~*spooky*~), and I think the deeper orange makes this a really chic look as opposed to the more kitschy or cutesy Halloween manis that pop up a lot (sometimes even my own designs)!

10.23.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I also added an accent glitter nail on my pinkie – the copper doesn’t quite match, but it looks pretty close in real life. It’s really a struggle for me to keep the same design on all my fingers, it’s like nail polish ADD or something!

10.23.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

P.S. this is the mani that cracked 400 followers on IG for me! This is very exciting – I know I’ll never be a “big” nail blogger, but seeing my number grow higher and higher during the less-than-a-year I’ve been putting my designs on Instagram has been really lovely and affirming. I don’t do anything too complex, but I appreciate everyone who likes checking out what I keep coming up with. If you’re one of my IG followers, thank you so much for your support! And doubly thanks since you’re taking time to read my blog post, and I know the nail game is mostly IG now, so it’s really swell that you want to read some words written by little ol’ me. Thanks so much, and I’ll see you in a day or two with my next mani! – A x

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Neon Gradient and a Witch Baby Soap Review!

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? Ughhhh it’s soooo hottttt here – it was 102 this weekend (unfortunately for all the actors at the Emmys red carpet who were sweating in their suits and gowns) and it’s still in the 90s so I’m going crazy. I’m ready for fall weather, dammit! It won’t stop me from putting up Halloween decorations in my apartment or lighting my “Leaves” Bath & Body Works candle, but it does feel wrong to wear anything other than bright-ass polish when it’s still so hot out. So I did a little something simple with some of my favorite pastel neons.

9.22.15 bottles

I’m actually surprised I haven’t shown Highlight Of My Summer more on this blog – a quick search showed that I’ve only posted it one other time, which is weird because I love and wear this color so much, even though like the rest of the 2013 Sunsationals Collection, the formula is crap (also, my bottle has gotten thick and goopy, bleh). It’s always difficult to tell in photos, but HOMS is a great bright mint – I can hardly wear any others, they all look so sad and pale compared to it. Anyway, for this look I did three painstaking coats of HOMS, and when that was done I did a gradient with Too Yacht To Handle (which I actually do post a lot on this blog). I also threw on a layer of Fairy Dust because SPARKLE.

9.22.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

I couldn’t find my butter London white so I used an old NYC one I had rolling around and unfortunately it’s super sheer and goopy so my next design didn’t turn out so great, sigh. I applied some “tribal” decals I’ve had around for a while, painted over them with the white, and peeled the decals off – only it got a little messed up on my pointer, oops. I also don’t totally love the weird harlequin diamond look I accidentally made on my pointer with the little triangle shapes, but I do love how my ring turned out! I’d definitely try this again using just the decal from my ring and a better white polish.

9.22.15 Fancy Finger Guns straight

Since this is a shorter polish post, I wanted to add a review for one of my favorite new indie companies – Witch Baby Soap! WBS is an indie shop that started on Etsy and eventually became its own shop. They’re based out of New Jersey and have found a big following on Instagram, which is how I found them. First of all, I love the name – anything that’s witchy, I am IN. The packaging/branding is lovely and they’re also vegan, don’t use chemicals, and are cruelty-free. For my very first purchase a few months ago, I ordered just one soap to try them out – they were sold out of almost everything, but I wanted to try at least something so I got the Hex-Breaker soap (and allllllmost got the Gossip-Stopper soap just because it’s gorgeous and looks like a sparkly galaxy, but I hate star anise.) Hex-Breaker was a pretty mild scent – it’s got lemon, lavender, angelica, and clary sage, but I mostly smelled a light lemon scent that didn’t linger too much on my skin. Since I usually use shower gels, this soap really surprised me – it left my skin feeling clean but not dried out, and my skin was actually softer after use.

After that first soap order, I wanted to try as many scents as I could, so I placed two or three small orders in the next few months whenever items came back in stock:

Séance soap: This soap is sandalwood and rose scented, and also has dandelion root, which is an herb used to “bring about spirits,” according to the description. Like Hex-Breaker, the scent of Séance isn’t super powerful, which I like, but definitely smells fresh and lovely. The bar is a gunmetal silver with a very fine, barely-there shimmer. Also, a few days after using this, I saw my living room curtains move when the AC wasn’t on, so maybe it did bring out some spirits! :)

Mermaid soap: Loooved this one! It’s a gorgeous, super summery scent with sea salt, summer sweet citrus, agave, and ocean spray. The bar is made up of swirled with yellow and aqua, and it has a fabulous, strong shimmer made up of delicate particles, but it doesn’t stay on your skin. This scent is only available in the summer.

Love soap: The Love soap smell is amazing if you like apple scents (which I do!). It’s got rose, as well, but I mostly smelled apple, and it’s a stronger scent than the other soaps I tried. It also has poppy seeds for gentle exfoliation, and like Hex-Breaker, my skin definitely felt softer after use. Like all the others, the Love soap also just looks gorgeous – it’s a rosy pink dotted with poppy seeds and has an unexpected strong blue shimmer sheen, making it duo chrome.

Rune bath bomb: I’m not a bath person, usually, but I really wanted to try this one out because these bombs have a rune inside! The smell was nice – not my personal fav because it’s a bit earthy (scents include patchouli, vetiver, tonka beans, lily, rose, and geranium, but I mostly smelled the first few), but I loved how it turned the water a sparkly, witchy green and it did make my skin lovely and soft after. This bomb comes with a little chart that describes each rune – I got the success one, holla!

Love bath bomb: I wanted to see if I liked the Love scent enough to buy a scrub or body butter (since it’s a lot of product and $13-$15 each), so I grabbed one of these bad boys during a more recent restock, and the scent is even lovelier in bath bomb form! I will definitely be buying a body butter when my Blue Moon runs out. This bomb is topped with dried rose petals and turns your water a deep pink – it’s awesome, even to someone like me who isn’t a bath person, and it’s clear why this is one of WBS’s biggest sellers!

Blue Moon body butter: I was wary about this because I didn’t know if I’d like the scent (jasmine and crocus, and I had no idea what crocus is), but this was such a hot-ticket item – usually it’s just called “Moon Butter” but this version was “charged under the blue moon” as well as coming topped with a crystal – that I couldn’t resist grabbing one. I wasn’t a huuuuuge fan of the scent when I first got it – I think because I’m not super into super strong florals – but it’s definitely grown on me, which is good because the scent lingers on your skin. The texture is like a thick icing, if that makes sense? It’s not light and whipped like most body butters – it’s thick but not heavy or greasy, and it does take a few minutes to completely absorb into your skin, but it feels so lovely and moisturizing. I wasn’t paying attention and totally didn’t see that this was a shimmer butter, which is a fun little extra but happily doesn’t show up that much on your skin (it’s not the ’90s, body glitter is not acceptable outside of a stripper pole anymore). I also looooove the pale aqua color of the butter, and nestled in the center like a beautiful witchy surprise was a clear crystal! How cool is that?

I just placed an order of a bunch of Halloween products when they went on sale last week, and I can’t wait to get them! The only issue with ordering from Witch Baby Soap is that they sell out incredibly quickly – you can sign up for emails on their site that will tell you when items come back in stock, but I’ve found it’s way more effective to follow their Instagram (@witchbabysoap), which alerts you a few days or sometimes weeks in advance and lets you know exactly what date/time restocks happen at. The owner of the shop did say they’re going to try to be more regular with restocks in October – listing whatever items they have ready every few days instead of waiting until they have a huge amount, which is why most products are out of stock for weeks at a time – but keep an eye out on their IG for official info. I highly recommend this brand, though – I love the professional touches they give their products (butters/scrubs come in real glass jars, every order gets a free sample) and the products themselves are just so, so great. I hope this review helps someone – I couldn’t find any really detailed reviews out there, and it’s hard to just blindly purchase a bunch of things without knowing if you’ll like the scents (even though that’s what I did!) so hopefully you’ll find this helpful. I’m sure I’ll do another review when my Halloween scents get here, but for now thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time! – A x

Labor Day Nails

Hi everyone! Americans, did you have a fun Labor Day weekend? Mine was pretty great – I got to hang out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and even got to hit up a barbecue and the beach. Not too shabs! Of course, I wanted to deck out my nails for the holiday, and I decided to do something neon for Labor Day since it’s regarded as the end of summer, so I busted out my new KBShimmer matte neon glitter and got to work.

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns bottles

I started off with a base of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds on all my nails. (Side note: Cotton Buds unfortunately chips like a bastard on me – I already had SIX chips by the end of the first day I wore this mani – but I’m trying to use the bottle up before buying a new white. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!) After making sure my nails were thoroughly dry, I carefully eased on a coat of Scribble Me This, sort of spreading and dabbing so I got the glitter distribution I liked.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy - it's almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy – it’s almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

Chunky glitters like this will always have some texture, even with a thick top coat, so it didn’t bother me, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re going to use this kind of glitter. The formula was good for what it was, though – lots of glitter in each stroke and it was easy to move pieces around on the nail. I only own a few matte glitters, but this might be my favorite – I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and finally bit the bullet when KBShimmer had a 20% off sale a few weeks ago (follow their Instagram account for sale alerts!). The color combo is great and I love the triangle and stars shapes mixed in with the regular glitter pieces. Weirdly, everyone who saw it at the Labor Day barbecue thought it was a nail wrap or freehand nail art – I think matte glitter is still mostly a lacquerhead thing!

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns curled

For the gradient of Cotton Buds and Flashy on my pointer and pinkie, I first applied some liquid tape I just picked up at my favorite nail supply store around my cuticles. There are a lot of brands that sell something like this now, and let me tell you – it’s freaking genius! I can’t believe I waited to so long to try it, it makes clean-up a snap for messy techniques like gradients and it’s super easy to use – you just paint a layer around your cuticle, wait a few seconds for it to dry, then do your nails as you normally would and use tweezers to gently pull the liquid tape up.

Next time I'll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

Next time I’ll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

I wish this hadn’t chipped so quickly, I would’ve worn it all week, I love this combo! Do any of y’all have any KBShimmer glitters? I’m kind of obsessed now – I hope they don’t put out any Halloween glitters this year, I will totally snatch some up! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Mint & Lilac

Hi everyone! How’s your week been going? The weather has been super weird here lately and it’s throwing me off – super hot then dropping ten degrees, humid and sunny then overcast and gloomy…very weird. Make up your mind, yo! Anyway, this is last week’s WNAC challenge, and it’s one of my favorites:

China Glaze Lotus Begin and Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

China Glaze Lotus Begin and Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

I loooove mint and lavender together, so I was really into this look. I’ve been super lazy with my nail art lately, so I just did a simple gradient design but I tried it vertically for the first time, and I liked it a lot!

My pointer got a little lumpy because I let the sponge get too dry, whoops.

My pointer got a little lumpy because I let the sponge get too dry, whoops.

First I did a base of Sally Hansen’s Mint Sorbet, then when that dried I painted on a stripe of Mint Sorbet and China Glaze’s Lotus Begin on a dampened makeup triangle sponge, slightly overlapping them, and gently sponged it on in an side-to-side motion to blend the colors. I think the gradient part came out looking really well for once, yassss.

8.27.15 diagonal up

I ended up adding a silver stud at each cuticle to jazz the look up because it felt a bit too plain, but overall I really loved this mani and it got a lot of compliments!

8.27.15 curled around bottle

Thanks for reading! Sorry these last few posts were so late, but tomorrow I’ll have the last WNAC challenge up to round out the month. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Dreamy Pastel Summer

Hi everyone! How’s your week been going? I’ve been a little behind on posting lately, sorry about that! I’ve got a lovely, dreamy pastel mani today that’s not your usual summer mani:

L-R: China Glaze'Sweet Hook, Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie No Place Like Chrome

L-R: China Glaze’Sweet Hook, Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie No Place Like Chrome

For the color scheme, I was inspired by a skirt I saw on Instagram a few days ago – I’m not often in a pastel mood, but that lavender/light blue gradient was so lovely it really caught my eye. Bikini So Teeny (BST) is pretty sheer/streaky, so I did a base coat of two easy coats of Sweet Hook and sort of dabbed a light layer of BST on the tips. Once that was dry, I painted both colors onto a damp cosmetic sponge so they overlapped, then dabbed it on my nail in an up-and-down motion.

8.5.15 with bottle

I wanted to add a little something, so I stamped two designs from my Mo-You plate Hipster plate 08 on my middle fingers and thumb using Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a great, bright silver. I also added a coat of an old Sephora by OPI silver glitter topper on my pinkie and pointer fingers. Just the right amount of bling!

8.5.15 pose

I love doing out-of-season color combos like this, it’s a nice palate cleanser. I love neons as much as anyone but I can’t wear the same kinds of colors for weeks on end without getting bored. I love these colors together, though – it really reminds me of a hot, dreamy, sun-bleached afternoon.

8.5.15 lavender

Thanks for reading! See y’all next time – A x