Born Pretty Store Neon Studs Review

First of all, Y’ALL. I had such a hard time picking my three Zoya colors for their promotion! When you have as many nail polishes as me, you have to be really picky – I kept seeing colors I liked then being like “Nope, too much like [OPI/China Glaze/Orly/etc I already own].” I’m also starting to get verrrrry guilty about not wearing half the polishes I have, so I really need to start delving back into the depths of my stash (which I also desperately need to reorganize, ahhh). But! I finally picked Yuna, Tomoko, and Nyx as my colors and I can’t wait to play with themmmm, and also to see the mystery mini shades – I am such a sucker for mini-sized anything!

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!  via

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!

A while ago I received an email from Born Pretty Store asking if I’d like to review some of their products. Obviously I jumped at the chance, and I chose a few colorful stud wheels to try. Lately I’ve been wishing for chilly, overcast weather but getting abundant sunshine (damn you, SoCal!), so I decided to do a mani that combines both a cloudy and sunny feel – my previous post of my favorite Zoyas reminded me of some fabulous colors I rarely use, and I ended up using Dove as a base with some of BPS’s neon studs on top.

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After two careful coats of Dove dried (my bottle has a tendency to be streaky, so I wait a long time between coats, and carefully paint them on), I added a layer of top coat to each nail one by one and used my handy dandy curved tweezers to quickly apply the studs in a small pyramid design.

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The studs are brilliantly colored and the color didn’t scratch off when I fumbled with my tweezers or dropped them against the table. I’ve been wanting to try these for a long time and I’m so happy I finally got a chance to try them out! I do wish I had gotten a slightly bigger size, though, because these were hard to pick up with my tweezers. Also, because my top coat is on the thick side, it was difficult to place them so that the top coat didn’t overflow when I squished the studs down – as a result, I didn’t press the studs down enough, and two of the pink ones popped off a few times before I managed to secure them with a teeny dab of top coat – but that’s really an issue with my top coat and not the studs.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y'all! I've def fallen behind on moisturizing recently.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y’all! I’ve def fallen behind on moisturizing recently, sorryyyyy.

I think maybe a darker gray would make the neon studs pop more, but I love the fun pop of unexpected colors. I want to do something similar with a neutral and a pink/purple/blue/green stud color combo in the future, but I do like this tropical rainbow scheme. It accomplished exactly what I wanted, and I love it.

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Thanks for reading! See you all next time – A x

Captain Ahab Approved

Any summer nail art theme isn’t complete without a nautical manicure, so I put together this fun design.

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First and foremost, I wanted to let y’all know that everything went wrong with this mani, so it’s not my best, I apologize! Now that that’s out of the way – I’m obsessed with this giant tentacle stamp on my ring, it’s so fun! I had to include it to spice up the usual “anchors and stripes” nautical look. Unfortunately, it stamped like crap. I’m not sure if it’s 2030 – which didn’t even transfer the first time I tried it, freaking me out because it’s my favorite stamping polish! – or the stamp itself, but I could not get a super opaque, crisp image. The stripe/anchor design stamped fine, as you can see:

I stamped the tentacle on my thumb, too, but you can't see it in these pics.

I stamped the tentacle on my thumb, too, but you can’t see it in these pics.

I also kinda wished I’d used China Glaze’s First Mate instead of Bermuda Blue, because it dries significantly darker on the nail than it does in the bottle so it’s hard to tell it’s blue and not black, but oh well. Bermuda Blue is a one coater, which is obviously great. I thought it would be fun to do a neon coral or pink instead of the usual red/navy nautical color scheme, so I suffered through Neon & On & On’s terrible formula for this. Every single time I use that polish it’s a whiplash of emotions – annoyance at how it needs at least four coats to be non-streaky and opaque, adoration at the gorgeous color, anger when after all that work it chips after one day…

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I added some little studs to the stripes on my ring which I think are so cute, it reminds me of a nautical striped shirt with buttons. However, I used blue striping tape and as you can see, it bled into My Vampire Is Buff – and this is after I tried to salvage some clean lines since the striping tape kept coming off my nail. At this point I was thisclose to just taking the whole thing off and doing something else, but I figured I’d already come this far so I kept going. I do like this mani – I think the squid keeps it a little more weird (in a good way) than the usual nautical design and even though the striping tape bled, I love the “buttons” – but argh it was just so much work. I need to do something really simple next time!

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On a slightly more positive note, I saw 22 Jump Street today and it was hella good. I don’t want to amp it up too much, but I definitely thought it was as funny as the first one. I especially loved the end credits. I’m so glad Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have become such a big thing – I’ve loved them since Clone High, the short-lived MTV show that my best friend and I were obsessed with in high school (and we even found a way to buy shitty DVDs from Canada, which was the best decision of my life). If you’ve never seen it, I think there’s some episodes on YouTube so you should get on that pronto. You’ll thank me later.

Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Neon On A Rainy Day

I’ve been so happy because it’s been lovely and cloudy and chilly and RAINY the past few days! An extra benefit of rain in LA is that everyone stays home/off the roads so the city is way less crowded than usual, making this a very successful weekend for getting my errands done and easily grabbing a seat at my favorite lunch spot.

Is there anything more divine than sipping a perfect cappuccino outside at a little bistro table while the rain pours down?

My view as I sipped a perfect cappuccino outside at a tiny bistro table. Heaven.

But I did spend a fair amount of time straight loafin’ on my couch, catching up on Hannibal and sipping hot tea while it poured outside. I’ve also been brainstorming a theme for March, since that’s a pattern I’ve gotten into and I really like it, because sometimes I get nervous that I won’t have anything interesting to post on here if I don’t have some kind of prompt, even if it’s pretty vague. I was uploading a few photos from the blog to Pinterest the other day and went back through my older manicures on there. I used to just post photos I took of my nails when I was sitting in traffic on the way to work or on my lunch break – if you want a giggle, there are some truly terrible photos in my “My Manicures” board from when I had a shitty old phone – and I kept saying to myself “Aw, I forgot I had that polish!” or “Whoa, it’s been forever since I wore that.” So my “theme” for this month is old favorites – basically me rummaging through my stash and pulling out some polishes I truly love but haven’t worn lately (or, you know, in like a year). So…get ready for some bright-ass colors, y’all.

My first March mani is one of my all-time favs, China Glaze’s Surfin’ For Boys. It’s from the 2012 summer neon collection – of which I own almost every single polish, because that collection was amazeballs – and normally corals aren’t my bag but DUDE this gorgeous color caught my attention from the first moment I saw it. It’s eye-searing coral with subtle pink shimmer, a great formula, and just looks good all year round, especially on your toesies in the summer!

I did these in a bit of a rush (as usual) so please forgive the not-totally-smooth top coat situation, I accidentally globbed too much on while adding the studs.

I did these in a bit of a rush (as usual) so please forgive the not-totally-smooth top coat situation, I accidentally globbed too much on while adding the studs.

I didn’t want to add a bunch of other polishes in the manicure because I wanted to soak in this faboosh color, but I thought some studs might be cool. I recently got a bunch of circular studs from Born Pretty Store, so I wanted to play around with those. I’ve only ever had square studs, and I actually had a bunch of really cool ideas for designs but…then I got lazy so I just did this:

03-02-14 diagonal pink shimmer2

I think it looks nice, though. Ugh I just love Surfin’ For Boys. I always get so many compliments when I wear this, because it’s something crazy lacquerheads and more conservative polish-wearers alike can get into. I’ve also given this polish away to so many people as presents, it’s seriously such a huge hit with everyone.

I managed to catch a bit of the pink shimmer here.

I managed to catch a bit of the pink shimmer here.

I’m so into this manicure – maybe it’s the circular studs, maybe it’s my new shorter nails, maybe it’s just the color, but I really love this. I’m kind of excited to dig out all these old favorite polishes this month. I feel like a lot of what I’ve put on this blog so far isn’t my normal thing – which is great, because I started this blog to get out of my comfort zone/laziness – but I’m ready to get back to some classic “me” polishes. I hope you enjoy seeing these, too! See you next time – A x

P.S. This is already kind of a long post, but I just quickly wanted to say that I reached ten followers! I really and truly appreciate every one of you for keeping up with my silly little blog, thank you so much!