Springy Nails

Due to moving, I haven’t had my nails painted in AGES – I threw on Funky Fingers’ Sand and Stilettos, a present from my buddy Rach, for Vegas at the start of our road trip, but I didn’t want to take anything out once it was packed, so I endured chipped nails for a week before I was able to remove them entirely and then I was just too busy to put anything else on. But this week, inspired by the lovely spring happening in Nashville (my first spring, sort of! I have lived in Florida and California, neither of which have actual seasons, so seeing pretty flowering trees and soft new grass everywhere is kind of blowing my mind), I did a lovely pastel mani.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I had no pastel pink polish (not a fan of baby pinks at ALL), but luckily my Walmart had Sally Hansen’s Hard-Core Party for 99 cents. The formula was predictably terrible – very streaky and sheer, even at 3 coats – but it was so cheap, I’ll keep it in case I have pastel mani needs in the future. Luckily, all the other polishes were an easy 2 coats.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles curled

I also attempted a new nail art technique for this mani – splattering with a toothbrush. I realized later that most people do this with acrylic paint, which is probably why mine was kind of a fail. I tried to thin the polish (Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a super reflective silver) with a little water before dipping my toothbrush in it, but it still didn’t do more than teeny tiny flecks when I ran my thumbnail across the bristles. Oh well. I do like the effect, it’s just kind of hard to see in photos since it was so subtle.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles diagonal

As I said, I haven’t done my nails in forever, but apparently my blue obsession is still going strong. I’ve gotten very into green with my decorating – my new bedroom is evolving into lots of mint, kelly green, and aqua – but I ended up doing a full mani of just OPI’s Gelato On My Mind after this mani chipped because UGH LOOK AT IT. It’s such a perfect pale robin’s egg blue and shockingly has a great formula for a pastel. Man, I love it so much.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

Ahhhhh it was so nice to have pretty nails again! I need to build my new lightbox, but I’ve got other stuff going on so my next few photos might just be outside like these until then, so I can get back onto a regular posting schedule. I still need to unravel all my polishes, though, so we shall see how that goes, ha. Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x

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A-England: Wuthering Heights and Sleeping Palace

Hi everyone – sorry, I’m having a lot of trouble getting my photos to download so this post was supposed to go up a few days ago. But if you like muted hues, you’ll love today’s post! I can’t even believe how much I’m into these colors. They are so not my usual bag, but I don’t know, something about these colors seems super cozy to be wearing when the temperature starts to drop (which it actually is doing a bit here, so yay!).

12.2.15 FFG A-England bottles

I started off with two coats of Wuthering Heights. I have no idea how to describe this color – it’s a gray-mauve-lavender hue (and it looks way more lavender in photos than in person) – but it’s beautifully moody and perfectly evokes the gloomy, stormy location of the novel. It’s got a very fine, subtle holo shimmer that doesn’t detract from the color, which is the star of the show.

12.2.15 FFG A-England up

I used striping tape to make intersecting “V” shapes, then painted over it with one thick coat of Sleeping palace. Oooooooh, y’all – I like Wuthering Heights a lot, but I freaking loooooove Sleeping Palace. It’s a dusty plum that is the perfect fall color – it looks very deep and rich to me somehow. Sleeping Palace also has more of a holo flare than Wuthering Heights.

12.2.15 FFG A-England

Sorry if my pictures look weird – I was trying to capture the holo flare, so I took these while hiking in Griffith Park. It’s one of my favorite places in LA – the Observatory is gorgeous and has an amazing view of the city, and on the hiking path you get a great view of downtown LA, too!

For my fellow Americans, how was your Thanksgiving? I had a really lovely, chill day and even had a cute little foster pup for the week to spoil with treats! Although I’m kind of freaking out that it’s already December and I need to start on holiday manis post-haste since I’ve been slacking so much this month, whoops. Oh well, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! See you next time!

Happy, happy turkey day! via

Happy, happy turkey day! via

Halloween Mani #12 – Graveyard At Dusk!

Here we are – sorry – once again, my photos wouldn’t download, so you’re getting a double Halloween post today! Unfortunately, I’m not super in love with this mani – it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but at least I know what not to do next time! So without further adieu:

OPI Funkey Dunkey, Sinful Colors Black On Black, OPI A Roll in The Hauge

OPI Funkey Dunkey, Sinful Colors Black On Black, OPI A Roll in The Hauge

I had a few issues with this mani – I should’ve made the orange part go higher up, so the graveyard “shadows” were more visible; I should’ve used a darker purple at the top instead of black again; and most importantly, I should’ve paid more attention and kept my sponge damp so I didn’t get all these tiny pieces that got stuck and made my polish bumpy. :( I don’t even think the gradients themselves are all that great – on my ring, the colors just look like horizontal stripes. Sighhhhhhhh basically everything went wrong with this look, but in spite of the flaws being super glaring to me, I still kinda like it for some reason.

10.31.15 graveyard bottle

The one good thing was the quality of the decals from What’s Up Nails. I seriously love them – I’ve already used the drip decals and had a great experience, but these graveyard ones really impressed me because the design is pretty intricate but still came out clear and crisp after I’d painted over it. They had a 20% off deal a few weeks ago, which is when I scooped up these and the drip decals, plus a few others, and now I can’t wait to try them all out! (Although the prices are actually really great even without a discount.)

10.31.15 graveyard diagonal

Although I wish I could’ve change the colors slightly, I do like the general idea of the color scheme I went for – I think dusk is a very spooky time of the day, when you can actually see the last bits of sunlight slipping away by the second, and I loved the idea of a graveyard right before total darkness sets in and the spirits start to come out. Mwahahahaha!

My skin is super blown-out because I was trying to show the colors of the mani better.

My skin is super blown-out because I was trying to show the colors of the mani better.

Thanks for reading! Sorry this one didn’t come out so hot, but my official Halloween mani is going to be super fun, and I hope you enjoy it, too! See you then – A x

Halloween Mani #5: Neon Spiderwebs!

Hi everyone, how’s your week going? It’s still hot as hell in my neck of the woods, and you better believe I’m not gonna be done grumbling about it any time soon. But! I do have a very fun mani to share with you today:

Color Club's Right On, Sally Hansen black striper

Color Club’s Right On, Sally Hansen black striper

I wanted to do something simple for my next look, and I just bought this color so I couldn’t resist using it. Like all neons, it’s difficult to capture accurately on camera, but ughhhh this one is gorgeous, y’all! I can’t decide what this color is, exactly – it’s too purple to be a fuchsia, but too pink to be a true violet? Somewhere in the middle of that is what Right On is, plus some faint lighter blue shimmer, and it’s awesome! I really love shades like this, and it’s an easy two coater.

10.16.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

I made my spiderweb half moons using a Sally Hansen striper I got on sale a while ago at Target, and was surprised how easy it was to use. The hardest part is making sure there’s just enough polish on make your line perfectly straight and opaque – it took me a while to make sure the polish wouldn’t slide down from the upper part of the striper, making the polish blob onto my nail, or that I wouldn’t take off too much, leaving me with a scratchy line instead of a strong, opaque one. I started with three lines – going straight out from my cuticle, then one on each side more diagonally outward – then connected each line with smaller curved lines to create the “web” effect.

The color is a little blown out here, sorry!

The color is a little blown out here, sorry!

These were so cute, I was sad I couldn’t keep them on longer! But with 13 manis to get through this month, I’ve gotta hustle (although I think I’m falling a little behind already, ahhhhh)! I’m really enjoying almost all of these manis a lot, though – I think I might recreate some next year, with different colors or something. (Of course I’m already be planning stuff for net year’s Halloween!) Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Halloween Mani #4: Splatter

I’ve mentioned before that I have such a love/hate relationship with splatter manis – they look SO cool and fun when done well, but I have a lot of trouble getting the kind of splatter I want on the nail (often I end up with just a blob, not that cool splatter shape). But I wanted to do something fun and easy with traditional Halloween colors, so a-splattering I went!

10.12.15 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I’ve actually kind of forgotten about poor old Orange You Hot? in the years since I bought it. I have almost that entire collection (China Glaze’s 2012 summer neons), and this color is fun, although a bit sheer (not totally opaque at 3 coats), but I didn’t mind because I was going to be splattering over it, anyway. I decided to use all bright versions of the traditional Halloween colors, so after my base of Orange You Hot? I splattered with Morgan Taylor’s Anime-zing Color!, an almost-neon true purple, and Orly’s Fresh, a bright yellow-toned green (aka my favorite).

10.12.15 Fancy Finger Guns around

I know I just used Zoya PixieDust polishes in my last mani, but I just couldn’t resist adding some accent nails using Dahlia – it’s a gorgeous almost-black with bright silver sparkle, and gave just that right amount of pop to the mani, I think. I’ll never get over the fact that Zoya didn’t make PixieDusts in neon or other fun colors like aqua – I love the formula and sparkle of them, and wish they hadn’t stopped production. Sigh.

I lightened this photo up a bit so you can see what Anime-zing Color looks like more accurately.

I lightened this photo up a bit so you can see what Anime-zing Color looks like more accurately.

This weekend I went to a showing of Hocus Pocus at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The El Capitan is pricey – general admission tix are $16 and the various levels of VIP go from $20-$30 – but luckily we found cheaper prices at Goldstar.com. Either way, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see one of my favorite movies in such a gorgeous venue. I’ve been to the El Capitan once before, to see Tron a few years ago, but I didn’t really remember much about it because we got there late and had to just hustle into our seats. This time, we got there the recommended 45 minutes early and were delighted when we finally got inside – not only is the restored 1920s theater beautiful on its own, but it was decorated for Halloween!

In the half hour leading up to the show, an organist performed onstage using an organ from the 1920s, one of five in the world. He played some classics with “spooky” titles like “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” “Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead,” and “Witchcraft,” as well as a slew of Disney songs like “Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “When You Wish Upon A Star,” and my favorite, “Grim Grinning Ghosts” (aka the Haunted Mansion ride music!). When it was time for the movie to start, he turned around and gave a wave, which is how I saw that he was wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt under his blazer (adorable!), and then played one last number while the organ sank down below the stage. It was really cool, and honestly the price of admission was worth that alone.

10.12.15 Fancy Finger Guns El Cap organist

There were two trailers before the movie started (for Disney animated movies Zootopia and The Nice Dinosaur, which looked like it would make me cry, freaking Pixar!) but they were pretty short and then the movie started! I don’t remember seeing Hocus Pocus in theaters when I was a kid, so it was really fun to see it on the big screen now! The theater was probably only half full, and it was a decent mix of adults my age and parents with younger kids, but happily none of the kids were a distraction and it was really cool to see HP with a big crowd. After the movie, we went down to the “basement,” where they had photos, props, and other little tidbits on display from the three movies the El Capitan would be showing for their Halloween line-up – Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Black Cauldron. I don’t really remember The Black Cauldron, but I love the other two movies, so I was delighted to see not only the Sanderson sisters’ costumes and cauldron, but also boooooook!, plus a car and the City Hall building from Nightmare.

If you don’t want to watch a movie, I saw that they do give tours where they talk about the history of the theater, which sounds pretty awesome, too. If you’re any kind of Disney lover, I think the El Capitan is a total must-see. Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x