June Nail Art Challenge #4: Purple!

Hello, dear readers! For this prompt, I decided to re-do a mani I did almost exactly two years ago. (Now I actually live where there are fireflies, how funny is that?)

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I was reminded of this old manicure when I saw a lone little firefly floating around outside my window this weekend, and I thought it would be fun to re-create with the purple theme in mind. I used a gradient of Giver’s Theme, Funkey Dunkey, and just the littlest bit of Russian Navy (which I think technically is an indigo, but it always looks purple to me) for that just-before-nighttime sky coloring.

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When the gradient was dry, I used a nail art brush dipped in black polish (I used an old Sally Hansen) to make the tall grasses at the tip of my nails. I like this a lot better than what I did on my previous one – I used two different greens to make the grasses, but it kinda looked cartoon-y. I much prefer the black – it really looks like a silhouette of the grass as the sky darkens to night.

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The last time I did this mani, I didn’t like how I had too many of the larger orbs and it looked kind of cluttered, so I did only one or two at first on each nail, then added one or two here and there until I liked it. I’m really pleased with the end result (and that the yellow I used – China Glaze’s Happy Go Lucky – didn’t smear when I applied top coat like Zoya’s Pippa did on my previous mani).

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Oh, I almost forgot to talk about CMAFest! We ended up doing some of the free concerts during the day on Saturday (Jamie-Lynn Spears (!) who did a little medley of ’90s songs including obviously a little Britney, and my sister’s new fav singer on the scene, Russell Dickerson), but DUDE, it was so hot. Everyone was walking around sweaty as hell, but luckily they had a lot of water stations set up, plus those little paper fans everywhere, otherwise I would’ve died. My sister had a friend in town for CMAFest but she and her friends were leaving early, so they nicely gave two tickets to my sister and I, which meant we got to go to the closing show on Sunday.

I am not a country music person, but it was cool to be in the stadium (where the NFL team plays) with 50,000 people all stomping and singing along to each performer. We saw Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan, with hilarious introductions by the Property Bros – who apparently are now a band and performed earlier in the day?! Can’t believe I missed that one. Anyway, besides the humidity and the shitshow of getting a Lyft after the show (we left early but it still took almost 45 minutes because there’s never clear instructions for the drivers with all the crazy street closures and stuff around these kind of events, and our guy said they held the cars for almost 20 minutes before they let them all to the pick up area?), it was a really fun night!

Thanks for reading, everyone! See ya next time – 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.

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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!

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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 #5: Halloween in May!

Guys, I just realized my post titles for nail art challenges are like Kimmy Schmidt episode titles, and I kind of love it. Anyway, this challenge is totally up my alley, because I am the Halloween Queen, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s ALWAYS Halloween! (Also, this was supposed to go up two days ago, whoops, sorry about that!)

Maybelline Lust For Lilac, Palish Man's Red Flower, Zoya Stevie

Maybelline Lust For Lilac, Palish Man’s Red Flower, Zoya Stevie

I wanted to use traditional Halloween colors but in more spring-y hues since it’s May, and I chose a lilac and peach combo. (I want to note, however, that the polishes I chose did not play nice with my camera, so the photos are not the greatest quality, but I tried to show the colors most true to life.) I used Zoya’s Stevie, a lavender PixieDust, on my thumb, pointer, and pinkie, then a base of Maybelline’s Lust for Lilac (LFL) on my middle and rings fingers with Pahlish’s Man’s Red Flower (MRF) over bat decals.

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I had a hard time getting the lighting right on these photos – I couldn’t capture the holo of MRF, the top coat I used for the bat nails was too glossy so it kept showing a bad glare from the light, trying to avoid that glare meant that I couldn’t capture the sparkle and texture of Stevie…let’s just say, I was frustrated as balls trying to get some decent photos of this mani!

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I don’t totally love the way this came out – I accidentally put thick coats of MRF over the decals, which meant the edges of the bats weren’t super crisp when I peeled them off, and LFL is slightly too pink-toned to match Stevie, which I was going for… Eh, you win some, you lose some.

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This did get me really excited for Halloween, though (jk, when am I ever not excited for Halloween?). The other day I came across my Halloween decorations in the closet and was like “I’m coming for y’all soooooooon!” which led to my sister looking at me like I was crazy and reminding me that it’s only May. “But it’s basically summer, and summer always goes quick, then it’s fall, which is HALLOWEEN” was my response. But seriously…I can’t wait. I might even start planning some more Halloween manis now, yassssss. Thanks for reading, see you next time – 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!

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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 :)

A-England Wuthering Heights

Hi everyone! How’s your week going? Mine has been okay, except for the tragedy that has struck my nails – I rarely get breaks, but my middle finger on my left hand (the one I show in photos) had a weird chunk of nail broken off the tip, so I had to file it down, and now my pointer nail has the beginning of a break, and it’s REAL low, so I’m kind nervous because it’ll definitely hurt if it rips off. Sigh. My nails do grow pretty quickly, but I may not be able to post for a little while because these breaks are pretty bad. So today I’ve got the last mani I had on before The Break Attack: A-England’s Wuthering Heights.

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This is from the A-England collection based on – obviously – Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s book which took me three weeks to slog through in high school because I hated it so much. I feel like you’re either a WH fan or a Jane Eyre fan, and I am definitely more a Jane girl (although Mr. Rochester can suck it), although there was an article on the The Toast a while back (can’t find it now…?) framing WH as a horror story instead of the great love story it’s come to be known for, and it got me kinda has me wanting to read it again, keeping that different perspective in mind. Anyway, I really liked a lot of the polishes in the collection, and eventually snatched up two, Spirit of the Moors (a gorgeous cobalt with scattered holo I’ll wear son) and Wuthering Heights, named after the home of Cathy and Heathcliff.

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I wore this last year (with another A-England polish, Sleeping Palace), and I loved it just as much this time. The formula is great – most nails only needed one coat – and the color is a fantastic stormy lavender-gray that totally evokes the moody moors where the novel takes place. It has a weak, very scattered holographic shimmer – A-England’s trademark – so it’s difficult to see unless you’re in direct light, so it gives the polish a lovely depth. You can see the holo better in that previous post I linked to above; these photos I took on an overcast day, which seemed to match the mood of the polish.

Let's pretend we can't see how bad my cuticles still, are, k?

Let’s pretend we can’t see how bad my cuticles still, are, k?

I hope to be back with some fun new manis soon! If not, I might just do some favorites round ups or something, just to have content in the interim. As always, thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x