It’s Herrrrrrrrre…

It’s October 1st, and I couldn’t be happier! Fall is my favorite season (although it’s supposed to get hot again this weekend, grumble grumble) and Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, so I always do a full month of Halloween-y manicures because why not? Last year I also did a little write-up of my favorite spooky movies at the end of each post, and I think I’ll continue that because it’s fun. Anyway, here are the polishes I used for the first manicure of the season:

10-01-14 bottles

I didn’t want to repeat polishes from last year but a few of them are straight-up Halloween in a bottle and I don’t feel right wearing them any other time of year, so you’ll be seeing them again this time around – and one of those polishes is Crows Toes’ VooDoo, which may be my absolute favorite Halloween polish! I wrote lots about it last year, but as a quick recap, this polish is kind of hard to put on because it’s got so much glitter, so it does take a little finesse to apply. I don’t mind the chunkiness that much, though, because it’s Halloween perfection in a bottle, consisting of orange bars and medium hexes; deep purple shards, hexes, and lighter purple squares; and micro glitter pieces in orange, purple, and green.

10-01-14 macro

In the interest of keeping things fresh, I decided to try something new so I attempted a reverse glitter gradient, and surprisingly I really like it! I think layering it over Petra was a good idea, too – I like the contrast of the murky, purple-y gray with the brightly saturated orange, green, and purple glitters.

As usual, please forgive my cuticles - I swear, I cannot figure out how to keep them hydrated and non-gross.

As usual, please forgive my cuticles – I swear, I cannot figure out how to keep them hydrated and non-gross.

I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be good at glitter gradients – for some reason I can’t get the hang of how to make the glitter nicely fall down the nail into the perfect gradient – but I think this turned out okay. I like that it’s not super over-the-top Halloween; it looks kind of chic, actually.

10-01-14 diagonal

The movie I’d like to talk about today is Poltergeist, an ’80s classic. I haven’t seen it in years but it holds a special place in my heart – it was one of the first horror movies I ever watched as a kid.

I feel like Poltergeist still holds up really well – I mean, obviously some of the effects are dated now, but in general the story and the build up to the dramatic rescue are still great. I’m a sucker for haunted house movies, and this is one of the best. (A house built over an ancient Native American burial ground, helloooo?) And did you know this movie is part of the reason the MPAA created the PG-13 rating? There used to be nothing between “PG” and “R,” and Poltergeist‘s creators successfully argued it down from an R to PG but it got a lot of criticism because the horror scenes were actually pretty intense.
The scariest thing in a movie about violent, vengeful ghosts? This freaking CLOWN. via

The scariest thing in a movie about violent, vengeful ghosts? This freaking CLOWN.

I love the beginning of this movie so much – the scenes of suburban domesticity, the few clues that there’s something going on that only little Carol Ann can see, the initial excitement turning to fear once the adults discover the supernatural happenings – and even though the effects are kind of cheesy at the end, there’s still some genuinely creepy/gross/scary moments, like when the mom is in the pool pit with skeletons or of course the infamous maggot in meat scene. Bleh. Oh, and of course one of the best things about this movie is Zelda Rubenstein helping to get Carol Ann back. This house is clear, y’all!

Any thoughts on this mani or Poltergeist? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon with my next spooky manicure :) – A x

P.S. Congratulations to Kate N, the winner of my September sparkliest giveaway, and thank you so much to everyone who participated! I’m thinking about doing an Instagram giveaway sometime in the future, so stay tuned for details!

Favorites Month: Neutrals

This isn’t the most thrilling category, I know, but I do like seeing what people’s favorite neutrals are. I found my favorite (and now discontinued, SOB) white from just such a favorites list! So here are my top ten picks for neutrals:

08-26-14 bottles1
FYI: One of only two OMG polishes I own, the formula on this guy is a bit weird – it’s SUPER runny in the bottle, but the holo looks normal on the nail so I’m not sure what happened (I did get it off eBay, though, so…). I do love me a neutral with a twist, though, which is why I love FYI – a nice, soft nude that nonetheless has a KAPOW holo flare in the sun. As much as I love more scattered holos, this kind of super smooth linear holo is so cool and futuristic-looking and I wish more polishes had it.

Sand Tropez: A pretty neutral tan, Sand Tropez is a nice neutral that I usually just use under glitters but it’s such a classic mani shade – my friends always flock to it when they raid my collection.

My Vampire Is Buff: (I can’t find my bottle, so Samoan Sand is standing in!) This collection came out right around the time that I was starting to accept neutrals/traditional colors into my polish collection and I’m so glad I scooped this baby up! It’s a favorite of lacquerheads everywhere with its easy formula and pretty French vanilla hue that’s a perfect base for nail art or a lovely, clean look on its own.

Frosty: So prettyyyyyyy. China Glaze has some fan-freaking-tastic holiday colors, and I have five or so from this collection (2010). Frosty is a sheer, jelly-ish white with tiny white, pink, and green sparkles. It screams “winter!” and ugh I just love its icy splendor so much!

White On The Spot: Another favorite that is now gone! This guy was amazing – usually whites are super streaky and take at least three coats to even out, but with WOTS I could sometimes get away with one coat. ONE COAT. Siiiigh. Milani has apparently done away with this line and has a new polish line out, and I’m just praying that they didn’t change the formula too much because my bottle now is chunky and old :/

08-26-14 bottles2
Skull & Glossbones: This came from that weird OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection that was all subdued pastels – not really what comes to mind when one thinks “pirates” – and I didn’t give any of the polishes much thought until I kept seeing S&G pop up on blog after blog. I finally got my own bottle and I’m so glad I did – it’s a light gray with a pinch of green, an odd, ghostly color that I nonetheless love.

Pelican Gray: I was torn between this one and OG China Glaze gray Recycle, but I do prefer the lighter, more dove gray of PG (the horrible formula of my bottle of Zoya Dove, similar to this color, immediately put it out of the running). I wore this once by itself, mattified, and it was a really cool, weirdly chic look. Hmm. Now I want to try that again…

Dahlia: I love the Zoya PixieDusts and Dahlia is no exception! It was a little disappointing when I first put it on – since it looks black in the bottle but once it’s on your nails it’s actually a dark gray – but I do love the deep yet warm gray, and it’s sparkly as all get-out. It looks like crushed graphite on your nails!

Storm: I’ve only worn this guy once, very briefly, but it was enough to get on my list! I hope Zoya keeps making more and more colors in this awesome irregularly shaped, holo-flecked formula; I already own almost all of them! I’m not a huge fan of black on my nails (a bunch of friends wore plain black constantly on their nails in college when I was in college and somehow I kinda OD’d on it) but this little beauty almost makes me want to wear it every day!

Black Crème: (I also can’t find this polish, so another black WnW is standing in!) I’m sad to report that W’n’W has changed the formula of this perfect gem. The bottle I have (on its last legs, oh nooooo) has a perfect, buttery one-coat formula that made it a cinch to create nail art. I got a newer bottle not too long ago and while it’s not the worst, it doesn’t come close to this original formula.

For my neutral mani, I wanted to wear Dahlia on its own because I only wore this once, ages ago, and I wanted to get it on my paws again! I mentioned that I don’t like plain black on my nails, but I do love gray – it feels more chic to me than black, even though I know that’s the go-to for lots of people (including my #1 polish buddy, my sister).


Dahlia also has the added bonus of being a sparkle explosion, which is always welcome since I’m not usually one to wear a crème neutral by itself. I did add these little silver studs for extra interest, though, and I love them with Dahlia!

08-26-14 angled

See any of your favorites up here? Do you have any suggestions for a great white since my fav is discontinued? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you back next time with my favorite metallics! – A x

Under The Sea (And On The Beach!)

I had big plans for this month to post at least 10 fun summer-themed nail art designs but unfortunately my life has been hectic lately and I just haven’t had time to do as many looks as I wanted. I still really like all the ones I managed to do, though, and although I had a few ideas left I thought I’d end the month with a beach-y/ocean-y design.

I keep forgetting to take the sale tag off Go Deeper, whoops. Also, my poor bottle of Frisky - it's so freaking  messy from collateral damage during a previous splatter mani.

I keep forgetting to take the sale tag off Go Deeper, whoops. Also, my poor bottle of Frisky – it’s so freaking messy from collateral damage during a previous splatter mani.

Godiva looks just like sparkly sand in the bottle, so it was a no brainer that I’d include it in this mani. It’s pretty sheer, so it took three coats to be completely opaque. I could’ve sworn I had a little golden shell charm but alas I was wrong, so I just added a little circle stud – just pretend it’s a shell and the manicure is so much cuter!

06-29-14 curled around bottle1

On my middle fingers I wanted to mimic the pretty shallow waters of the sea, so I did the Saran Wrap technique with Jade Hypnose over Orly’s Frisky. I kinda wish I had used China Glaze’s Aquadelic because I think the slightly more green aqua would’ve looked more like the ocean whereas Frisky looks more like pool water, but I still really like it – I think the holo particles of Hypnose really make the design look like sparkling water.

See? They basically exactly match the water of my pool!

See? They basically exactly match the water of my pool!

On my pinkie I wanted to evoke the deeper ocean waters that are a bit darker but still have enough sun for a range of sparkly greens and blues. (P.S. Never Google “deep sea” – it will just bring up hundreds of terrifying monsters from the bottom of the ocean and you won’t be able to sleep tonight.) I did one coat of Shower Together and a crappy glitter gradient of Go Deeper, the inappropriately named Orly that is gorgeous with its teal holo sequins and tiny blue glitter. I had a hard time capturing GD’s sparkle but you can see how it looks in the bottle in the first photo – so fabulous!

06-29-14 curled under

Even though I didn’t get to do everything I wanted this month, I’m pleased with the designs I did get to do. I got to try out a bunch of new techniques and designs and ended up with some really fun looks that I loved, and I hope you guys enjoyed them, too! Thank you for reading, and see you next time for my Fourth of July look! – A x

One Day You’ll Be Cool…

When my beloved neon jelly sandwich started chipping, I wanted something pretty yet simple to replace it. I chose an old standby and a favorite blue, resulting in a lovely manicure.

China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle and OPI My Vampire Is Buff

China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle and OPI My Vampire Is Buff

I wasn’t happy with this gradient – I like ’em to have a smooth transition from one color to the next, with the gradation between colors very subtle, not looking like stripes but seamlessly blending. I didn’t achieve that on all my nails here (particularly on my middle and pointer), but I was doing it at midnight with almost no light, so I’m not gonna be too hard on myself.

I also got two huge bubbles somehow on my ring finger. WHYYYYYY

I also got two huge bubbles somehow on my ring finger. WHYYYYYY???

I would grumble that My Vampire Is Buff (MVIB) is a three coater, but it’s a light cream and that’s pretty much par for the course with these kind of colors. I don’t know why but there’s something about MVIB that I love – I think it’s because it’s a neutral that doesn’t make me look sickly plus it feels chic but not boring by itself (it’s certainly not the name, oy vey). Unfortunately, due to the three coats I needed for the base and then the additional coats of Too Yacht To Handle (TYTH), this chipped almost immediately, as you can see on my thumb in the photos. Blerg.

I also had a hard time making the cuticle area nice…maybe because MVIB is kinda thick?

I also had a hard time making the cuticle area nice…maybe because MVIB is kinda thick?

TYTH is, of course, fabuloso. It’s a super bright turquoise and that color just makes me happy, man. TYTH combined with MVIB looks sort of beachy cool, and I love it. If only gradients weren’t such a bitch to clean up, I’d do them all the time!

05-26-14 messy

Sunday night some friends and I saw Almost Famous at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. These Cinespia screenings are one of my favorite things to do in LA, even though it’s become way too packed and overpriced (haaaa that could be said about everything fun in LA)!

A sea of people and palm trees...

A sea of people and palm trees…

I do try to go at least once a summer, and while it feels a little irresponsible to throw money away on a screening of a movie I’ve inevitably seen hundreds of times, it’s so fun to see a beloved film with a huge audience that loves it as much as you. If you’ve never been, everyone brings picnic blankets and food and wine that they spread out in front of a mausoleum where the movie will be projected.

Waiting for the movie to start...

The movie’s about to start!

While you wait for the movie to start there’s a DJ playing songs in theme with the movie you’re about to see (oh man, there were some killer ’70s jams playing on Sunday!) and they used to have props from the movie but now they have a setup to take awesome themed photos:

My sister, me, and our friend M…how great is that set?! It's totally William's room!

My sister, me, and our friend M…how great is that set?! It’s totally William’s room!

The best part, though, is when they have someone who worked on the movie pop by, and last night Cameron Crowe was there! He said a few words about the making of the film and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s acting methods, and seemed genuinely thrilled about how many people turned out.

05-26-14 Cameron Crowe

It’s a really fun experience despite the few drawbacks, and you should definitely try to go if you’re in LA for the summer!

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! See you next time – A x

Chevron Chic

I started following Make It Stick on Instagram and a week or so ago they posted about a sale they were having. I do a lot of tape manis, so I loved the idea of having pre-cut shapes at my disposal and ordered a few designs.

My order came in a fabulous pink package including a business card with tips on the back and a piece of gum, how cute!

My order came in a fabulous pink package including a business card with tips on the back and a piece of gum, how cute!

My order shipped quickly so I got it a few days ago and couldn’t wait to play! I also wanted to use a few polishes I’d recently bought, and so this is the combo I came up with:

04-22-14 bottles

I’m not sure why I bought this Essie – as is well documented on this blog by now, I’m not a red/coral person at all. But something about this little guy popped out at me every time I visited my fav nail supply store, so when I was there last weekend I decided to just finally buy it. And I like it a lot! I knew I wanted to use it with a dusty blue, so I chose Electric Beat. I own almost every polish from China Glaze’s 2012 Electropop collection, but I only got Electric Beat and its cousin, Kinetic Candy (a lighter version of the same color) a few months ago because those kind of blues aren’t normally my jam; however, I’ve used both a lot since acquiring them. I think this cornflower-y blue and the bright coral-orange work really well together here!

Come Here! is slightly more orange in person.

Come Here! is slightly more orange in person.

I almost just used Come Here! and Electric Beat with the chevron tape by themselves, but then I thought breaking them up with a neutral color would look better, so I chose my old buddy My Vampire Is Buff. I used two quick coats (would’ve done another if I was wearing it alone due to slight streakiness) and a layer of Seche Vite, then waited about an hour to add the tape and additional layers of polish – I tried it on a finger on my left hand after only about fifteen minutes and when I removed the tape, it pulled up my base layer of MVIB. :/ Since neither Come Here! or Electric Beat are normally one coaters, I did one super thick coat over the tape in an attempt to get them completely opaque, but as you can see in the closer photo below, that thicker coat meant my lines weren’t 100% crisp when I pulled the tape up. You definitely can’t tell unless you get up close, though.

I somehow managed to smear a little of Come Here!, probably while putting on top coat…I will never learn that patience is a virtue :(

I somehow managed to smear a little of Come Here on my ring finger, probably while putting on top coat…will I ever learn that patience is a virtue?

My pointer and pinkie fingers are topped with another fairly recent purchase, Rose of Light. It’s composed of rose gold hexes/micro glitter and small holographic square pieces, and is a pretty densely packed glitter. It’s really pretty! I’ve been into rose gold more and more lately, and this glitter is a nice, subtle way to add it in.

You can see the rose gold-ness better in this macro taken inside...

You can see the rose gold-ness better in this macro taken inside…


…and the sparkliness in this blurred .gif (I can never resist!).

P.S. The name “Come Here!” makes me smile because it reminds me of how Jenny Lewis says it in “Portions For Foxes.”

Daaaaaamn you guys, remember when summer used to be an empty wasteland for television? Sunday night I was typing up my Easter post and realized that later that night Mad Men, Orphan Black, Game Of Thrones, Veep, AND the new show Salem were all going to be on. I’ve been anticipating Salem because I thought it would be a hilarable cheesefest, but apparently Salem is going the Ryan Murphy “balls-out crazy” route. (Minor spoilers below!)

Oh man, I couldn’t stop laughing every time Shane West popped up – he just looked so out of place with long hair/period garb plus his character seemed to be incongruously modern compared to everyone else (it may have been his acting, though?). His love interest, the main girl Mary, is kind of coldly beautiful which I think works, plus I like that she goes from “sad young girl in love” to “bad bitch who owns the town and tortures her enemies.”

There are lots of faboosh capes, though! via

Puritans didn’t have a lot of fashion options, but there were still faboosh capes, apparently!

I was really startled at the random, pretty intense sex scene that came out of nowhere at one point, causing me to turn to my sister and confusedly ask, “Isn’t WGN the channel that edits out the word “poop” in its 30 Rock reruns?” And we watched it at like, 7 or 8 pm… You can’t even say things like “asshole” until 10pm, right? There were a lot of wtf moments though, from the literal frog in Mary’s husband’s throat (not to mention the thigh suckling???) to the possessed/haunted girl getting walked like a dog in the town square to the orgy of molasses people.

"We're here to partyyyyyyy!" via

“We’re here to partyyyyyyy!”

I can’t quite tell if I liked this or not – I have a tendency to enjoy shitty/cheesy shows if they’re fun (see: Reign) but Salem isn’t quite “so bad it’s cheesy good,” yet it’s definitely not actually good… Jury is out, but I will give it a few episodes to see if they embrace the camp or take themselves (far too) seriously.

Anyone else get goodies from the Make It Stick sale or watch Salem? Let me know in the comments!

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