Halloween 2016 Nails #2 – Chic Candy Corn

Hello, friends! I wanted to do something with candy corn colors but not the traditional candy corn look, and this is what I came up with!

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I went with slightly more muted colors, which feels very chic and fall. I switched up where each color went on every nail, giving it a fun look! East End and Brick Lane are from the butter LONDON Brick Lane holiday polish collection from two years ago that I got for Christmas, and they’re two of my favorite colors ever. I’ve really become a fan of warm mustard-y, marigold-y yellows in the past year, and East End is suuuuuuch a good one! Brick Lane is a rusty, pumpkin-y orange with a hidden bright orange shimmer that only comes out in direct light, but it’s gorgeous. I really wish they were full-sized – they’re only 0.2 fl oz, so they are tiny – because I feel like I have to use them really sparingly, which is hard because they’re such gorgeous fall colors! The cream is obvi my fave cream, OPI’s My Vampire Is Buff.

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I used washi tape to tape off angles at the tips after my base colors had dried, then once those were painted, top-coated, and dried, I used more washi tape for angles the other way. I love how this looks, and despite putting on multiple players of top coat, it really didn’t take very long.

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Phew, it’s been a long week, y’all! I’m glad it’s finally over, and I’m hoping to do a few more Halloween manis this weekend. I’m not sure I’ll quite make it to 13 like last year, but I’d like to so I’ll try my best! 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.

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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.
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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

Fall-ing Into China Glaze

Hi everyone! Whew, I’m still a little wiped out from doing so many manis for Halloween! I’ll probably just be doing some simple manis this month, I hope you understand! Today’s mani is a color combination I’ve never tried before, but it felt very rich and fall-like:

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

Desert Sun is a weird one. China Glaze describes it as a caramel, but I think it’s a little too orange for that – but it’s also a little too yellow to be a tan? I’m very confused by it, but I’m calling it butterscotch!

I actually really like this color combo – I love me a teal, and tan goes well with teal, so this weird more orange-y hue gives it a little something extra. Desert Sun has a pretty good formula, too, although I did need three coats.

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottles

Custom Kicks is an old CG that’s pretty new to me – I only got it a few months ago, but it is awesome! It’s a beautiful, super saturated teal with fine gold shimmer that mostly only comes out in direct light, but it’s gorgeous. I probably didn’t even need two coats, but I did it anyway because I was painting in low light and wanted to be sure there was no patchiness.

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The glitter, I Soiree I Didn’t Do It (ISIDDI), is from CG’s new 2015 holiday collection, and it is GREAT. I did two thin coats over one coat of Custom Kicks, and it was very opaque, plus the glitter is small so I don’t needed one layer of top coat for it to be nice and smooth. For my ring finger, I used some sample zig zag decals that came with my What’s Up Nails order a few weeks ago to apply ISIDDI over Desert Sun.

11.4.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

As I mentioned, this color combo felt very fall to me, and it’s just in time, because it’s actually starting to feel like fall here, huzzah! It was pretty chilly today, and although it’s supposed to warm up later this week (classic LA weather), I’m enjoying it while I can – I got to wear boots today! I actually probably could’ve gotten away with a scarf, even, since it was pretty cold outside with the wind. Missed opportunities, y’all! I’m even enjoying the “it gets dark early” thing, because the nights are chilly even when the day isn’t, so I get to throw my windows open at home and have a nice, fresh breeze sweeping through our stuffy apartment and making it feel very nice, indeed, to snuggle into my blankets. It’s pretty great, you guys. Okay, I’ll quit rambling about the weather! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Neon 90s Vibes

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well! I’ve been on a bright polish kick lately, and I’m pretty obsessed with this combo:

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Neon Barbie pink + neon turquoise = yassssssssss! I’ve written before about the China Glaze Sunsational polishes – gorgeous neon pastel hues, terrible formulas – but even though I needed 3 coats to get rid of streakiness with these, it surprisingly wore really well! Usually when I do more than two coats my polish chip pretty quickly, but I wore just pink and blue skittles for a few days and they held up beautifully! Hm…

Taken in my car at 5pm on the way home (at a red light, obvs).

This is like, day four. Whaaaaaat?

I loved these two colors just by themselves (reminds me of cotton candy or these taffy candies), but decided to spice it up a little and added some decal art. I looooove tape manis. They’re really easy – which is great because I’m super lazy – but look like you’ve put time into your design. I did some cleaning last weekend and found an envelope of decals I thought I’d lost, including these awesome zig zag/lightning bolt(?) ones! Unfortunately, because I had to put on two coats of Bottoms Up to get it non-streaky, when I pulled the decal up on those fingers, it got a little messed up. Definitely try to use polishes that only need one not-so-thick coat when using decals/tape, because I’ve had this issue before.

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With the lightning bolt-esque shape and the neon pink and aqua, these nails look kinda 90s (and remind me of Clarissa Explains It All‘s credits), and that just makes me love them more! I wore this manicure for almost a full week, which should tell you just how much I loved it, because I usually get bored after about two days. That’s also why the polish is so far from my cuticles in these pics – I kept forgetting to take photos until the day I took them off and my nails grow hella quickly, oops. I know they look kinda gross, sorry about that!

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I’m really feeling these neon pastels lately, so I’ll be back soon with another bright look. Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

butter London Cotton Buds

I’ve made my thoughts on butter London pretty clear on this site before (too pricey for polish that chips too quickly) buuuuuut in January they had 50% off their “Last Orders” and there was a kit with three polishes, a dotting tool, and a clean-up brush that would be about $20 after the discount that I felt like I couldn’t resist because a) a single bL polish is $15 so this was a great deal for three + tools, b) the polishes included Cotton Buds, which I’ve read countless rave reviews of and I did desperately needed a new white polish. The weird thing was, when I added Stag Do – a dark teal with shimmer – to my cart as well, I got free shipping even though the total was under $30. Well, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so that’s how I ended up with four new bL polishes when all I really wanted was a white (#polishaddictprobs).

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

Jaded jack, HRH, Cotton Buds, Stag DO, and a cuticle brush and dotting tool.

I was not thrilled with Cotton Buds, unfortunately. I’d read lots of reviews saying it was an easy two coater, but that definitely was not the case for me. I waited five or so minutes between coats, but still had one big streak on each nail after two coats so I needed a third, and even after that, my nails don’t look perfect. Sighhhh. I wish I had snatched up another Milani White Out before they changed over to their new polishes – now that was a great, easy two-coat white. I’ll pour one out for you later, buddy.
2-7-15 pour one out

I wanted to do something simple with my white nails, so I decided to just do a diagonal with one of my fav golds, OPI’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby.

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Love.Angel.Music.Baby is a really cool polish that I’ve shown a few times before on this blog – it’s a “satin” finish, which isn’t quite stark matte but definitely isn’t glossy, and it has tons of gorgeous shimmer. It’s kind of a bitch to remove for some reason, but it goes on like a dream so despite my annoyance with Cotton Buds, I was glad to have a quick and easy way to jazz it up.

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Nice, huh? This isn’t a look I’d normally do – the white + gold makes me think of something a lifestyle blogger like Cashmere & Cupcakes would do – but I like it (well, except for my messed up ring finger). I’ll have to keep looking for a great white, but c’est la vie – that’s kind of an on-going issue when you’re a lacquerhead. Freaking light polish colors, man!

What did you think of this mani? Do you have a favorite (hopefully 2-coater) white polish to suggest? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, y’all! See you next time – A x