Fourth of July Mani!

Hi, everyone! I’m popping in really quick to show off my July 4th mani this year!

Tried to capture the holo of Indie Go and Very Ornamental, but no dice...they have a pretty decent holo flare in person, promise!

Tried to capture the holo of Indie Go and Very Ornamental, but no dice…they have a pretty decent holo flare in person, promise!

I almost used my fave polish, Mirrorball, to keep all the polishes holo, but at the last minute decided to use My Boyfriend Scales Walls. MBSW is a really great polish – it’s white with a drop of gray and is opaque and non-streaky in two easy coats, which is amazing for a white polish!

7.4.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

For my ring finger I used some star nail decals from What’s Up Nails over Indie Go, and on my middle I (painstakingly) placed stripe decals over MBSW then painted Very Ornamental over top to get the ‘Merica stripes. I like this mani way better than my one from last year, although that one was super last-minute. I’m well-documented as not being a fan of red, but I actually like this mostly-red mani because I think it’s so freaking cute!

The star decals weren't totally stuck down in a few places so they didn't come out perfect, but I kinda like how they look a little haphazard, almost like they were handprinted on.

The star decals weren’t totally stuck down in a few places so they didn’t come out perfect, but I kinda like how they look a little haphazard, almost like they were handprinted on.

Thanks for reading, and a happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans! I hope you have a fun and safe holiday – A x

June Nail Art Challenge #2: Colors You Don’t Usually Wear

Today’s prompt and mani are all about one color, a color I have a weird bias against – red.

6.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I don’t really gravitate towards red in general, although sometimes – usually in the fall or holiday time – I do like a nice wine/vampy or metallic red. But something about just a plain red creme polish I really don’t like – I remember getting super annoyed when I’d watch Parks & Rec because Leslie often had red nail polish, and I couldn’t stand it. I’m not quite sure what it is about it that presses my buttons – I guess maybe it just seems dated to me now? Like very ’80s or something (even though red nail polish has been around since I think the 1920s, and was one of the few nail polish colors until fairly recently, history-wise)? I even prefer a nude manicure to a red creme one, and I am definitely not an all-nude polish type of chick! Anyway, because of this, I almost never wear red in a mani unless it’s holiday time or 4th of July, so when I saw this prompt I knew immediately that I’d be doing something with red.

6.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle2

Another problem I have with red is what to pair with it – anything metallic seems Christmassy, as does any kind of green or white. I hate the red/pink pairing that fashion-y people are always trying to make a thing, and red + purple doesn’t really work for me, either, while red + yellow just looks like advertising colors (specifically, McDonald’s). For my taste, basically the only options left were gray or a blue that wasn’t cobalt (because then it gets into 4th of July territory), so I opted for a bright turquoise to make a pop-y combo. Then I chose to do a bubbly gradient of dots because I thought it would be a fun and peppy look to make me not hate seeing red on my nails!

Ugh freaking reds - I let this dry for 15 minutes, but it still streaked when I put on top coat :/

Ugh freaking reds – I let this dry for 15 minutes, but it still streaked when I put on top coat :/

Well, that seems like one big rant against red, ha! I’m pretty pleased with how this came out, though. Sometimes I wonder if the nail art that I do isn’t exciting or intricate enough to warrant a blog, but I think that in this age of super crazy nail art on Instagram and in famous salons that maybe there’s some merit to the kind that I do – I think maybe it’s nice to just show some cute or pretty looks that can be done with minimal tools and time. I see enough page views that makes me think this is true, so thank you for your support! Also, if you ever have any ideas of nail art or colors you’d like to see, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to feature it! As always, thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time with a super fun prompt that I really loved – A x

Holiday Mani #6: Christmas Color Block

Hi everyone! This mani is really simple but very fun, and definitely got me a ton of compliments.

From left: ILNP's A Fresh Evergreen, Nox Twilight's Disco Darling, Sally Hansen's Celeb City, China Glaze's Just Be-Claws

From left: ILNP’s A Fresh Evergreen, Nox Twilight’s Disco Darling, Sally Hansen’s Celeb City, China Glaze’s Just Be-Claws

I started off with a base of Celeb City, one of my favorite silvers which just so happens to be cheap as hell, then when that dried I sponged on a layer of Disco Darling. DD is from a brand called Nox Twilight, which I found out about 5 years ago from the blog Lacquerized which I used to love (and is now sadly defunct). She used a bunch of these polishes and even though they’re a Twilight (yes, those terrible books) beauty brand, I really liked a few of the shades and loved how cool the bottles looked. I found them online just as they were doing a sale, so I scooped up a few. Oddly, for being a Twilight brand, the names of these polishes have nothing to do with the books – for example, the colors I got were Disco Darling, Citrus, and Poseidon. Very weird. Anyway, Poseidon was a brilliant cyan but faded to gray within a few months of me receiving it (!) and Citrus was a nice coral with gold shimmer but not really my jam, so I gave it away – Disco Darling is the only one I have left, and it’s definitely the best by far. It’s a pretty opaque glitter, so you can get full coverage in 3 coats, but I like to layer it over silver to preserve my bottle, which is getting thick and is more than halfway done. :( Nox Twilight doesn’t make these anymore, but I think China Glaze’s Glistening Snow is pretty similar, if you like how this looks (of course you do, it’s gorgeous)!

I don’t know why it took me so long but sponging on glitter really is the way to go – like I said, my Disco Darling is getting pretty thick, but when you use a sponge to apply glitter polish, the sponge sucks up most of the polish base, leaving you with just the glitter so you don’t have that gross thick feeling of 3 layers of lumpy glitter polish. I put one thick but small swipe of DD on my sponge per nail and it covered wonderfully. Once my top coat was completely dry, I stuck a piece of Scotch tape to my palm a few times to make it less sticky (so it doesn’t pull up the polish underneath when I take it off), then cut it into small, uniform sections. I applied each at a diagonal in the middle of my nail, then painted on A Fresh Evergreen above the tape and Just Be-Claws below.

12.24.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

As I’ve said many times before, I am not a red person, but there’s just something about Just Be-Claws – I think because it’s a nice cherry red, which has a bit of a pink undertone, plus the foil formula makes it look fun without being too “holiday.” Very weird that I’m so into a red! A Fresh Evergreen is just ridiculous amazing – it’s not quite dark enough to actually be evergreen, but it’s a little too deep to be a kelly green, either, so it’s pretty unique in my collection, and I just love the color. The holo effect isn’t my favorite – ILNP holos tend to be a little more scattered then I prefer – but it does look really pretty in the sun. I couldn’t capture it at all in my lightbox, though, but I didn’t have time to get an outdoor shot, sorry about that!

I just noticed as I was posting these that my cleanup job was terrible and my cuticles look busted - sorry! I was trying to bust out some manis in a hurry, so this isn't one of my cleanest.

I just noticed as I was posting these that my cleanup job was terrible and my cuticles look busted – sorry! I was trying to bust out some manis in a hurry, so this isn’t one of my cleanest.

I really love each of the colors I used for this, and particularly enjoy how it looks with all the different textures – glitter, foil, and holo. Very fun, and I hope you liked it, too! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x

Holiday Mani #4: Holiday Stripes

I really love the color combo of red and mint – it’s a little retro, which isn’t normally my jam, but I love it for some reason. I thought it would be fun to use some of my new What’s Up Nails wrapping paper decals and use this color combo for Christmas!

Sally Hansen White On, China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer, OPI Color So Hot It Berns

Sally Hansen White On, China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer, OPI Color So Hot It Berns

I started with a base of two coats of Sally Hansen’s White On (my butter LONDON Cotton Buds is still MIA) and top coat, which I did the night before, although you don’t have to wait that long – just 15 min or so, until you’re sure the top coat has fully dried. Then I applied my decal, smoothing it completely down, and used two small detailing brushes to paint on each section – I alternated which colors went where on every other nail for funsies. Immediately after I was done painting, I carefully peeled each decal up so the polish wouldn’t start to dry and stick to the decal. I really need a new red, though – even after letting this dry overnight and attempting to paint on my top coat diagonally to match the direction of the stripes, my OPI red STILL streaked a bit across two of my nails! Plus, you can see it sort of bled under the decals because the red lines aren’t as crisp as the mint ones. Grrrrr freaking reds, man.

12.14.15 Fancy Finger Guns upside down

Overall, this looks pretty cute, huh? This is definitely a little time-consuming, since I used two colors and had to paint each little section separately, but it’s not too bad once you get in the rhythm. It does look like wrapping paper (which is the description of the decals on the What’s Up Nails site), which is a fun mani this time of year. I bet this would look really great using metallics.

12.14.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I’m attempting to get seven or eight manis done total, so hopefully I’ll reach my goal! I know everyone loves holiday manis, and I do have a lot of holiday polishes I only bust out once a year, so I should try to use as many as I can! Anyway, thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Holiday Nails #3: Dotted Cranberry Gradient

I wanted to do something a little holiday-esque but not overtly Christmas-y, so I decided to do something with red and gold – always very holiday!

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

I ended up doing a gradient to go under the gold dots. I used OPI’s Color So Hot It Berns (CSHIB) and China Glaze’s Velvet Bow and then – curveball! – ended up throwing on a matte top coat. I always want to do matte nails but forget, so I’m glad I finally remembered this time! I love how it looks with the matte gradient under the shiny metallic dots.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

For the dots, I put a little dollop of Goldeneye on a piece of paper and gently dipped my smallest dotting tool in it, added a dot to my nail, and repeated the process. I wanted to get the dots uniform, which is why I added more polish each time, but a few of them still kinda blobbed. It doesn’t look too bad, though.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns up

I kinda wish I had done a slightly lighter red instead of Velvet Bow, but I don’t think I actually have one! I’m not really a red person, so I only have a few, and I basically only take them out at this time of year, ha. I do think the gold dots help elevate it to festive instead of dark/goth, though. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x