Holiday Nails #2: Snowy Winter Landscape

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? I went to the Unique LA Holiday Market today, one of my favorite things to do in December in LA. It’s a market with lots of booths selling all sorts of items from clothes to edibles to jewelry to home goods, and it’s so fun to go and see all the beautiful wares plus getting some tasty samples! It’s on the 12th floor, too, so it’s got an awesome view of downtown LA. Definitely recommend it for holiday shopping if you’re in LA in December! I wore my fav winter lip, Maybelline’s Divine Wine, and this manicure. I wanted to do something very light and wintery, so I decided on this simple look.

Zoya's Wednesday and Sally Hansen's White On

Zoya’s Wednesday and Sally Hansen’s White On

I started with two easy coats of Zoya’s Wednesday. I loooove this color – weirdly, I don’t think I’ve ever used it on my blog before, although it’s one of my favorites! The color is definitely brighter in photos than in person, but the formula is perfect, its true the washed-out aqua color is so dreamy…if you’re ever stuck for a color to get in one of Zoya’s deals, definitely pick this bad boy up!

Sorry my cuticles are so busted - it is soooo dry here.

Sorry my cuticles are so busted – it is soooo dry here.

I used Sally Hansen’s White Out for the snow, dotting with my smallest dotting tool for the falling snow and my lopsided little tree (I tried!), and just used the regular brush in the bottle to get the curved snowbank at the tips of my nails.

12.6.15 diagonal

Very cute, no? I really love the combo of a dusty/washed out blue with white for winter. I mean, obviously, it’s mostly more vivid hues with white – blood red, deep cobalt, evergreen – but the paler blue looks very dreamy and pretty. I love it! (Although I do get that I’m romanticizing snow, which has hit most of the U.S. pretty hard the last few years. Sorry, guys! It’s just so pretty!)

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

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Halloween Mani #13 – Holy Crap, I Made It!

Ahhhhhh you guys, I did it! I didn’t think I’d make it by the 31st, but somehow I completed 13 manicures for Halloween! (I am never doing this again, just to be clear, ha!) I figured I’d do something a little more involved for my last mani, so here ya go:

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, Sinful Colors Black on Black, China Glaze Phat Santa

butter LONDON Cotton Buds, China Glaze Phat Santa, Sinful Colors Black on Black

The past few years I’ve always done a splatter for my actual on-Halloween mani, so I wanted to keep up with that tradition. I added another favorite Halloween design, though – black and white stripes!

10.31.15 splatter curled

I put down two coats of bL’s Cotton Buds first, then after that dried I applied one of the thin stripe nail vinyls from KBShimmer with my curved tweezers, pressing them all down firmly once they were in place to make sure no polish seeps under the tape and ruins the look. Then I applied one coat of Black On Black and quickly removed each piece of tape and was left with a fun stripe that reminded me of something very Tim Burton-esque.

10.31.15 splatter claw

After the stripes on each nail were done and dry, then came the fun part – splattering! I wanted to use a brighter red since I’d just watched Sleepy Hollow and was inspired by the bright red, almost paint-like blood they use. Using a regular drinking straw instead of my usual coffee stirrer, I put some polish at the end and then blew through the top to get these perfectly gory blood splatters, and it worked wayyyy better, let me tell you!

10.31.15 splatter around bottle

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all my 13 Halloween manis! I had a lot of fun doing them, although I’m definitely looking forward to keeping a slower pace with manis for a little while – 13 in one month is a LOT. Thanks for reading, and have a safe and fun Halloween! – A x

Halloween Mani #11 – Water-Spotted Gradient!

Hi everyone! I’m chugging along with my Halloween manis, and this might be one of my favorites yet!

10.28.15 waterspot bottlesJPG

First, I put some of my latex stuff all around each nail for easy clean up, then I did the gradient – after two coats of Cotton Buds was dry, I did a gradient with CB and Arizona over top each of them, with Arizona at the top.

10.28.15 waterspot around bottle

I gave that about ten minutes to dry, then did the water spotting. So there are way better tutorials elsewhere, but the basic rundown is: I filled a Solo cup with lukewarm water, added one drop of Black On Black, and when it spread out I sprayed a little tester perfume spritzer in the middle so the polish got cool, weird spots and swirls, then lowered my nail into the polish and swirled away the excess with a Q-tip. After pulling my nail out of the water, I removed the latex (which meant I barely had to do any clean up – thank Yeezus someone thought that up!) and let it dry for a few minutes before adding a layer of top coat.

I was annoyed by how much the black almost completely covered my pointer finger, but now I kinda like how different each nail's coverage is.

I was annoyed by how much the black almost completely covered my pointer finger, but now I kinda like how different each nail’s coverage is.

This is a really fun look, but man, I need to find another way to do it – spraying that perfume makes the whole area smell SO strongly for a full day after, but I’ve tried it before using just alcohol and it didn’t do anything. Hmmmm must research.

Eeeeee only two manis left! They’re also a bit more work than my last few, so wish me luck! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

Halloween Mani #3: Candy Corn

Earlier this week when I was writing this, it was chilly and rainy outside, I had my Autumn candle from Bath & Bodyworks filling the room with a gorgeous apple/pine/spice scent, and basically everything was cozy and wonderful and it felt like fall was finally here…

…cut to today, when it’s 100 degrees and temps are predicted to be in the 90s for the next week. WHY, GOD? I hope some nice fall weather arrives before too much longer or I’m gonna go crazy. Sigh. Anyway, let’s get to today’s Halloween mani:

Forgot to include butter LONDON's Cotton Buds, my white base.

Forgot to include butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds, my white base.

I used this tutorial from @nailsbycambria because the last time I did candy corn nails, a few years ago, it was a total mess – my lines weren’t crisp, my polish looked chunky from to many layers, ugh. This was much easier, although it still took a little maneuvering to get each stripe of color the same size. I decided to use a brighter orange because it was more fun, but after applying all my polishes I realized that unfortunately Jinx is more coral than orange like I’d thought, so it bothers me a little that the colors aren’t closer, but whatevs.

10.9.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

Oh man, I really love my Zoya texture polishes – I do get a little tip wear, but otherwise, those suckers don’t budge for days! Even my white base of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds didn’t immediately chip, which is something of a miracle. This mani was so fun – I got a lot of delighted compliments on it (I guess people really love candy corn?) and I kinda wanted to keep it on for longer but with 13 manicures to get through this month, I really need to hustle through them all.

Sorry about that little nick on my middle finger - I keep forgetting to cover it up in my pics!

Sorry about that little nick on my middle finger – I keep forgetting to cover it up in my pics!

I’m very excited for this weekend – it’s kicking off my Halloween weekends for the rest of the month! This weekend I’m going to see Hocus Pocus at Disney’s El Capitan theater, and I reeeeeeeally hope they’ll have some sort of display or something for it – they often have costumes, props, sketches, etc., from the movies they play on display downstairs, and I’d love to see, say, booooooook! in person. I’ll be obnoxious and take lots of photos I’ll put up next post. Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Labor Day Nails

Hi everyone! Americans, did you have a fun Labor Day weekend? Mine was pretty great – I got to hang out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and even got to hit up a barbecue and the beach. Not too shabs! Of course, I wanted to deck out my nails for the holiday, and I decided to do something neon for Labor Day since it’s regarded as the end of summer, so I busted out my new KBShimmer matte neon glitter and got to work.

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns bottles

I started off with a base of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds on all my nails. (Side note: Cotton Buds unfortunately chips like a bastard on me – I already had SIX chips by the end of the first day I wore this mani – but I’m trying to use the bottle up before buying a new white. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!) After making sure my nails were thoroughly dry, I carefully eased on a coat of Scribble Me This, sort of spreading and dabbing so I got the glitter distribution I liked.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy - it's almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

My iPhone camera can never catch the true color of Flashy – it’s almost exactly the color of the neon green glitter in Scribble Me This.

Chunky glitters like this will always have some texture, even with a thick top coat, so it didn’t bother me, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re going to use this kind of glitter. The formula was good for what it was, though – lots of glitter in each stroke and it was easy to move pieces around on the nail. I only own a few matte glitters, but this might be my favorite – I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and finally bit the bullet when KBShimmer had a 20% off sale a few weeks ago (follow their Instagram account for sale alerts!). The color combo is great and I love the triangle and stars shapes mixed in with the regular glitter pieces. Weirdly, everyone who saw it at the Labor Day barbecue thought it was a nail wrap or freehand nail art – I think matte glitter is still mostly a lacquerhead thing!

9.9.15 FancyFingerGuns curled

For the gradient of Cotton Buds and Flashy on my pointer and pinkie, I first applied some liquid tape I just picked up at my favorite nail supply store around my cuticles. There are a lot of brands that sell something like this now, and let me tell you – it’s freaking genius! I can’t believe I waited to so long to try it, it makes clean-up a snap for messy techniques like gradients and it’s super easy to use – you just paint a layer around your cuticle, wait a few seconds for it to dry, then do your nails as you normally would and use tweezers to gently pull the liquid tape up.

Next time I'll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

Next time I’ll apply it to the bottom of my finger, too.

I wish this hadn’t chipped so quickly, I would’ve worn it all week, I love this combo! Do any of y’all have any KBShimmer glitters? I’m kind of obsessed now – I hope they don’t put out any Halloween glitters this year, I will totally snatch some up! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x