June Nail Art Challenge #5: Unicorn!

Whoops, sorry, this should’ve gone up yesterday. Today’s theme is not really my jam, but it still came out pretty cute anyway!

6.19.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I’ll be frank – I don’t like cutesy stuff, so a “unicorn” challenge was not really my cup of tea, but I decided to just lean into it and get all pink and sparkly! Bottoms Up has recently become my favorite pink – it’s an amazingly neon, bubblegum, ridiculous Barbie pink and I figured it would be perfect for a unicorn mani! Unfortunately, once I attempted to stamp over Bottoms Up, I had some real issues that made it take forever to get looking halfway decent. I used some Winstonia stamping plates to place a bunch of random stars on my middle finger, then the big unicorn on my ring finger.

6.19.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled

If you’re gonna do a unicorn mani, you might as well throw in some holo, right? I put my old buddy Mirrorball on my pinky, pointer, and ring fingers. The light was super weird outside so these pictures aren’t great, but I’ve used it before on this blog if you want to see how amazing and sparkly holo-y it is!

6.19.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

Okay guys, I have discovered my new TV obsession, but because it’s British there’s only six episodes per season, so I’ve already watched the whole thing this past week and now I’m suffering withdrawals. :( The show is Peaky Blinders, and it’s awesome.


Peaky Blinders is apparently the UK’s first gangster TV show – it’s drawn comparisons to Boardwalk Empire (gangsters doing business with booze and race tracks in the 1920s), but I thought Boardwalk was boring as hell and never even got through half of the first season when it premiered, so I think the comparisons are pretty superficial. Anyway, this show is very cinematic, like all great TV shows in our recent Golden Age, and definitely has a style all of its own, one of which is using modern British rock songs from bands like The Kills, PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, and of course, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – whose awesome “Red Right Hand” provides the theme song. The show also never met a slow-mo scene set to music it didn’t like, but that’s part of the fun.
Seriously, some shots are really just gorgeous. via

Seriously, some shots are really just gorgeous. via


The show does get bloodier and more violent as it goes on, though, so be warned if you’re squeamish! Also, one word of (casting) warning: I read that Tom Hardy, my Mad Max: Fury Road love, “starred” in the second season, but he’s barely in it. Don’t get me wrong – he makes the most of his time, and his character is hilarious (much-needed humor, by the way, because it can be quite a dark show), but he’s not in it very much. That’s okay, though, because weirdo eye candy Cillian Murphy is in like, 90% of the show.
Also, all anyone does on this show (besides maim or murder) is smoke and drink. via

Also, all anyone does on this show (besides maim or murder) is smoke and drink. via


A few things I don’t totally love about the show: I will admit, besides matriarch Aunt Polly (who I love), the female characters can be a bit underdeveloped, but it definitely got better in the third season, and I’m hoping it will continue to improve. Also, the criminal plots get a bit ridiculously twisty and difficult to follow in the second and third seasons, but at this point I mostly just watch for the characters, anyway. There were also some strong Godfather-esque moments in season three, in particular (some very “Micheal Corleone behind a desk” imagery), but I think that’s kind of inevitable when you’re doing a show about a gangster family. And anyway, much like Boardwalk Empire, The Godfather never really held my attention the way Peaky Blinders does. I’m sure it’s partly that I’m such an Anglophile, but I just think that for all its darkness and violence, the characters and the show’s style (the smoky urban setting, the costumes, the music) make it really enjoyable. Definitely at least give it a try if you’re looking for a new show!
Love you, Aunt Pol! via

Love you, Aunt Pol! via

Thanks for reading my little fluffy unicorn/dark drama show mashup post today! See you next time – A x

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May Nail Art Challenge #9: Mani You’ve Never Posted Before

Hello, all! This post was supposed to go up a few days ago, but I was out of town, sorry about that! I’m happy to get it in just under the wire (I totally woke up thinking today was June 1), though!

My right hand came out a little bit better than my left, which had more black than I preferred.

My right hand came out a little bit better than my left, which had more black than I preferred.

I forgot to take a polish bottle photo, but I’ve featured China Glaze’s Too Yacht To Handle (TYTH) so. many. times. on this blog, I think you know what it looks like! This mani is from a few weeks ago – I did it on a whim just to try out the turquoise nails technique, then it came out amazing and I was mad at myself for not taking photos of the process. I almost went with a more true-to-life turquoise color for this, buttttttt I can never resist TYTH’s neon allure.

So prettyyyyyyyy!

So prettyyyyyyyy!

I will probably do a photo tutorial for this technique at some point, but the basic steps are: 1. Paint on your base turquoise color. 2. Take a balled-up piece of plastic wrap, dab it in a little gold nail polish, and gently and sparingly sponge gold onto different spots on each nail. 3. In a cup of room-temp water, add one drop of black nail polish, spray perfume or alcohol into the spread-out drop (so it gets a spotted look), then place your finger into the water nail-first. 4. Use a Q-tip to gather up the rest of the black polish still floating on the surface, remove your finger, clean up the excess black with polish remover, and add top coat. 5. Voila! Nails that look like a turquoise stone!

MAN did I love these nails! I always love TYTH, but the turquoise stone look was really cool. I want to try it again with a lighter color turquoise – hopefully having a color that reuiqres less coats means it won’t chip as quickly as this did (as I say for all my posts featuring China Glaze’s Sensational pastel neons – the colors are amazing, the formulas are crap). Anyway, that wraps up my May nail art challenge! The group where I got this challenge from on Instagram, @clairestelle8challenge, already has up another one for June, and I like a lot of those prompts, so I think I’m gonna do it again for June! I really like someone else giving me a broad idea that I can just run with, and I already have some ideas brewing! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again in a few days with the first challenge for June – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #8: Spring Flowers!

Hiya, all! The temperature is starting to climb, which means all I want to do it wear bright colors, so even though today’s nail art challenge prompt is “spring flowers” – which brings to mind soft, pale hues – I HAD to go neon pastel.

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

As I’ve written many times before because I can’t stop using this color, China Glaze’s Son Of A Peach (SOAP) is SO hard to capture accurately on camera – it’s definitely a neon peach, but in photos it almost always looks like a mac-and-cheese, yellow-toned orange. However, I think I FINALLY managed some photos where I caught how it looks in person! I always try to shoot neons in the shade, where you can gauge both the actual brightness and see the true color, but that never really worked before with SOAP until now, huzzah!

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze's Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn't show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze’s Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn’t show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I really love peach and lavender together (and just realized that I already used that combo once during this challenge, oops!), and I love the pairing of these two polishes! Lavendairy is one of my favorite polishes and I hate that I have to use it sparingly (I don’t support Lime Crime anymore, but even if I wanted to buy another, they stopped making nail polishes), so I just did a few accents with SOAP here. The purple/orange combo and the white daisies make this look a little ’70s, which I wasn’t going for, but I still think this looks really cute!

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

Only one challenge left this month – I can’t believe May has gone so quickly! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #3: Sunset!

Hello, friends! I hope your weekend is going wonderfully. Today was really warm but breezy and gorgeous so I’ve been outdoors almost all day, and I have a friend in town, so it’ll be fun to show her the honky tonks on Lower Broadway tonight! Before that, though, I wanted to get this post up!

From bottom: China Glaze Son Of A Peach, Neon & On & On, You Drive Me Coconuts, Morgan Taylor Anime-zing Color

From bottom: China Glaze Son Of A Peach, Neon & On & On, You Drive Me Coconuts, Morgan Taylor Anime-zing Color

I was a little lazy with this prompt – I was going to do something more interesting than “tropical sunset,” which basically everyone does, but…I wasn’t feeling doing anything too involved, and gradients are already a decent amount of cleanup, so here we are. I almost used all China Glaze polishes, but at the last minute I remembered the faboosh almost-neon purple of my Morgan Taylor Anime-Zing color, so I threw that guy into the mix!

5.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

I did something I almost never do and did a white base before sponging on my gradients. I don’t generally like doing a white base – it’s too easy for the white to peek out along your cuticle, which bothers me to no end, so I usually just do a base coat of the lightest color – but I couldn’t tell which color would be lightest so I decided white would be easiest. I wish I had managed to blend the purple in a bit better, but I think this is a super fun combo, and it was BRIGHT. It’s difficult to capture neons on camera – and every time I managed to brighten the other neons to their full brightness, Son Of A Peach came out too yellow, which is why these photos are a bit dark – but if you’re looking for a fun not-highlighter-yellow neon, any of these will do (although be warned: they chip quickly, sometimes within 24 hours :/).

5.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal bottles

Doesn’t this make you want to have a fruity drink on the beach? Mm I might go make one right now! Thanks for reading! See you in a few days for my next challenge – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #1: Hearts

Hello, dear readers! As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to be doing a nail art challenge this month that I found on Instagram. I love doing challenges every once in a while to help me to break out of my usual go-to techniques and colors.

5.2.16 Fancy Finger Guns challenge

The first challenge is hearts. Admittedly, hearts are not really my thing, so I just did some simple stamping using an old BundleMonster plate I’ve had for years over That’s Shore Bright, which has been featured a lot on this blog. But hey – purple + white is a pretty fool-proof color combination, right?

Ugh I forgot that the white I use for stamping ALWAYS smears when I apply top coat. So annoying.

Ugh I forgot that the white I use for stamping ALWAYS smears when I apply top coat. So annoying.

I did use a new stamper for this, though – a few months ago I bought this clear “jelly” stamper from Born Pretty Store after seeing clear stampers become all the rage for nail artists on social media. And I have to say, the hype is REAL. I am usually pretty terrible at stamping, but this stamper is larger than my old one so it’s easier to pic up an image, and for some reason the squishy jelly texture made it a breeze to roll the design right on my nail. Of course, the ability to look down and see exactly where I’m applying my design due to the clear stamper was a definite help, as well – half the time I’m lucky if I get the design mostly on my nail, let alone straight or where I want it. I think I actually might be stamping a lot more frequently now that I can do it so easily!

5.2.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled1

I also used my OttLite for the first time in these photos – gotta say, I kinda love it! I feel like it made my photos a little more crisp, and it’s definitely nice to have white light (instead of the more yellow bulbs I had in my old lightbox) if I can’t catch sunlight on a cloudy day.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a few days with a prompt that’s definitely more me – dots :)