Holiday Mani #7: Glitter & Ice

Hello everyone, and merry Christmas if you celebrate! There are certain polishes that I feel like I can only use at this time of year – they just scream “Christmas,” even if they’re not traditional red and green, but I can only do so many holiday manicures each year so some of them don’t get enough love. This year I decided to combine a few of my old favorites so they can get their time in the sun!

ILNP's Christmas in Bordeaux, China Glaze's Frosty

ILNP’s Christmas in Bordeaux, China Glaze’s Frosty

Frosty is really gorgeous. It’s from what I think is the best China Glaze holiday collection (best holiday collection ever, really), 2010’s ‘Tis The Season To Be Naughty And Nice. I really liked that collection because they had traditional colors (a billion reds, metallics) but also hues that still came across as “holiday” without being too overused, like navy blue, olive, and plum. Anyway, Frosty is a semi-sheer white with iridescent shimmer that mimics that sparkle of sunlight on fresh snow. I think I did 5 thin coats to attempt to get rid of the nail lines at the tips of my nails, which I hate, but ughhh this color is so lovely and delicate, I’m gonna overlook it!

12.25.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

For the glitter fade at the cuticle, I just sort of dabbed and swirled a little blob of ILNP’s Christmas In Bordeaux (CIB) on each finger to put the glitter pieces where I wanted them on my nail. I always say this, but I really wish ILNP would do glitter mixes again – I have a bunch of Barbra’s glitters that I picked up when they all went on sale as she made her move to exclusively holographic and multichrome polishes a few years ago, and while her current polishes are all beautiful, I still love her glitters because they were all so beautiful and usually unique. CIB is Christmas in a bottle with its evergreen, holly-berry red, and bright gold hexes, squares, shards, and micro glitter – understated, chic holiday glamour! It looks so lovely over Frosty.

For those who celebrate, how was your Christmas? It’s been unseasonably warm (and humid!) even here in Florida, which has made me a little grumpy, honestly, and it hasn’t really felt like Christmas. But my family tried our best to make it feel like Christmas – we switched up our usual tree ornaments for sparkly iridescent tinsel and DIY neon ball ornaments, did our annual Christmas Vacation screening on Christmas Eve, and had a smorgasbord of random tasty items as a sort of Christmas buffet. Also, not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself for the presents I got them this year – sometimes it’s pretty difficult to get things I’m sure they’ll actually love, but this year I did really well! I cleaned up pretty well, too, getting some fun stuff including a [Uber Chic Mat knockoff]! I only recently learned about these types of mats, but as soon as I saw them I immediately let my family know it would be a great present. I haven’t gotten a chance to play with it much yet, since I didn’t bring any polishes or tools with me this year, but I can’t wait to try it out once I get back to California! I might even do a little video or something, hmmmm. Anyway, my Christmas was wonderful, and I hope yours was, too! When I get back to LA, I’ll be doing a post with a round-up and swatches of some polishes I ordered during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so watch out for that after the new year. Until then, thank you so much for another year of reading my blog! Have a wonderful rest of your year – A x

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Subtle Stamping

More stamping! Remember how I was talking last time about how some designs are so easy to just stamp down and they look great without too much effort? This design is one of those, and made for a quick and easy mani.

12-18-13 bottles

I’ve worn Phat Santa and Jolly Holly before, but I haven’t featured Posh. I forgot to take a “before” pic with just swatches, but Posh is so great. A perfect Crayola green that’s great in two coats, when I put this puppy with Phat Santa it reminded me of red and green holiday M&Ms. I don’t have many Revlons, and Posh does usually get tip wear pretty quickly on me, unfortunately, but it’s one of my favorite polishes. I can’t think of any other polishes that have a similar color, which is weird because it seems so basic! Just pure green. Maybe Essie’s Mojito Madness? Anyway, it’s amazeballs and you should run out to your nearest drugstore to grab it.

(Please excuse my pictures, my skin tones varies wildly from pic to pic, plus there’s a little tip wear and my cuticles are kinda gross from how dry it’s been.)

12-18-13 curled from side

I was originally going to stamp with gold, but decided to mix it up and try green. Jolly Holly wasn’t completely opaque in one coat when I used it as a base a few posts ago, but somehow it stamped perfectly! If I had a green that was a little more metallic I think this would’ve popped more and been easier to see over Phat Santa, but sometimes a subtle effect is nice.

Posh looks like it leans yellow here, but it doesn't. The other pics are more color-accurate.

This one is more to see the design, the color is way off for some reason.

I used the waved(? For some reason I always think of this as the “1920s” design) stamp on Winstonia plate W111 on my thumb, pointer, and middle fingers, and its inverse on the right there on my ring. I swear, this set of plates if worth it for this image alone. It’s simple but really lovely, and I’m kind of obsessed with it (maybe because it reminds me of this fabulous wallpaper), plus it always comes out so perfectly crisp it almost seems like I’m wearing nail wraps instead of polish.

Another awkward angle!

Another awkward angle!

After stamping, I added Orly’s Mermaid’s Tale on my pinkie to add a little pizazz. Mermaid’s Tale is another polish that I always forget about, then rediscover and want to use it on everything. It’s green small hex and tiny glitter pieces in a clear base, and some of the hexes are holographic which makes a really fun effect. The glitter pieces seem almost teal in some lights, too. This is definitely is very mermaid-y, and the formula is great – even before top coat it dried very smooth which is rare for a glitter. (Side note: I hate Orly’s new bottles, I think they’re so ugly.)

You can see Jolly Holly better over Phat Santa in direct sunlight like this.

You can see Jolly Holly better over Phat Santa in direct sunlight like this.

I really liked this combo, but it got tip wear pretty quickly and as always my thumb started chipping first, and usually once I get a chip that’s my cue to take it off and do something else. I just hope I have time to do the manicure I have in mind next. Oh, also a little heads’ up: I’m going to be busy the next few weeks, so my picture quality might not be the best (I mean, I use a phone camera, so it’s never been amazing, but you know what I mean!).

Anyone love Posh as much as I do? Any thoughts on this mani?

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Sweater Weather

This is a really fun manicure! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, despite my less-than-stellar stamping skillz.

12-15-13 bottle pic

I wanted to do something snowy, and Frosty is the perfect polish for the job! It’s a sheer white with delicate white shimmer that glints pink and green when the light hits it just right. It’s beautiful and very soft, and really does look like fresh snow sparkling in the sunlight. Here’s what Frosty looks like by itself:

I almost wore it just like this for a few days, but then it started to feel too girly/princessy to me. This is 3 thin coats, and in real life it was still a little bit sheer.

I almost wore it just like this for a few days, but then it started to feel too girly/princessy to me. This is 3 thin coats, and in real life it was still a little bit sheer.

I attempted to capture the green and pink shimmer, but you can barely see it here. It's much more noticeable in real life, and really lovely.

I attempted to capture the green and pink shimmer, but you can barely see it here. It’s much more noticeable in real life, and really lovely.

I love the white/silver/blue wintry color combination, and originally I was going to just do a glitter gradient of Lorelei’s Tiara, an amazing, opaque, and SUPER SPARKLY sterling silver glitter peppered with bright blue pieces. (Side note: I keep wanting to spell it “Lorelai” like my favorite Gilmore girl.)

That saucy minx!  via

That saucy minx!
via

Then I was randomly sifting through my Winstonia nail stamping plates and came across one of those “winter sweater” designs on plate W120.

Sorry for the awkward angle, it's hard to photograph without reflecting the background!

Sorry for the awkward angle, it’s hard to photograph without reflecting the background!

Well, that adorableness was obviously going to happen, so I grabbed Maybelline’s Navy Narcissist and got to stamping! However, I seriously underestimated how hard it was to stamp with a very intricate design. With more abstract or bigger designs (like the one I did in November) it’s fairly easy to just quickly plant the design down and it’ll look pretty good, but this one took a lot of precise maneuvering.

12-15-13 diagonal

I tried it on my right hand first and the stamps were a kind of tilted and off center, and didn’t go all the way to the edges, which always annoys me. I attempted my left hand and still hadn’t gotten the hang of it enough, but luckily a quick swipe of polish remover got it off so I could try again. The snowflakes on my pointer are a little smudged at the top and the sweater designs aren’t perfectly straight, but overall I think it came out pretty well and I really like it.

12-15-13 snowflake

I used the two tiny snowflake designs at the top of the plate a few times on my pointer finger and the winter sweater design on my middle and ring fingers, then did one full coat of Lorelei’s Tiara on my pinkie and used it as a gradient on my thumb.

12-15-13 curled

I loooooooove how Lorelei’s Tiara and Frosty look together. Snow Queen chic! They’re both super sparkly, so I did something I haven’t done in a while and made a little gif! Taken in the wine aisle at my grocery store cuz I’m classy like that.

52ae9c8ec76ceb101c000cc3

I confess that I’ve only actually encountered snow a few times in my life, but I do love it, and these nails make me think of wearing a thick sweater, being bundled up beneath a blanket, sipping on piping-hot coffee or cocoa, and watching the white world outside.

I know I’m romanticizing it since I’ve never lived anywhere with an actual snowy/icy/deathly-cold winter (and visiting a friend in Minnesota in late December/early January a few years ago was a real eye-opener about what most of the country goes through every year), but this little scenario sounds really nice right about now. Mmm.

Any thoughts on this mani? Are any of you actually experiencing a lovely, not-too-extreme snow?

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Red, Green, and Metallic

First of all, something super tragic has happened, y’all.

12-11-13 RIP

I went to look through some holiday polishes to figure out my next combo and I found this catastrophe. It’s completely dried out! I have no idea how it even happened, the cap seemed to be on correctly and tightly, and the other two polishes in the set with it were totally fine. The base of Party Hearty just…evaporated? There’s a weird lump of glitter stuck together in the middle, but everything else is all dried out. And I don’t even know what happened to that brush! I took a few pictures because I’m kind of fascinated.

12-11-13 RIP collage

I’m also pretty sad, because I went to find a replacement bottle but I can only find it for like $20 on eBay since it’s from a discontinued 2010 collection, but I only use it once or twice a year so I can’t really justify paying that much. Awww, I really loved this glitter! It was the perfect quick, fun topper for holiday nails, and had a great formula. Saaaaaaad times.

I got Party Hearty in a set with two other polishes, Phat Santa and Jolly Holly, and luckily they’re totally fine. I used both as bases for today’s look. I was inspired to use Phat Santa because one of my favorite nail blogs just posted about it. I’ve only ever used Phat Santa for Halloween blood splatter manicures, this is my first time doing a full manicure with it, and I gotta say it’s great! It’s a jelly but pretty opaque – there are a few faint bald spots but I think it’s because I didn’t wait that long between coats (I used 3 here). It’s a medium cherry red, and dries super glossy on its own. This looks like it belongs on the nails of a glamourous 1940s movie star or something.

Car pic!

Car pic! Also, sorry for the sheet marks!

Side note: also, I gotta say, I love the name “Phat Santa.” It’s pretty common practice for polish brands to try to have pun-y or cheeky names for their polishes, which often leads to cringe-worthy titles (Oh God, OPI’s are the worst – “My Vampire’s Buff”? “Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window”? Oy). But China Glaze usually manages to keep them cute and fun – “Too Yacht to Handle” and “Keep Calm, Paint On” were two of my favorites from their collections this year. As someone who definitely will buy a polish for the name alone, this kind of thing is obviously very important to me :)

On my left hand I used Jolly Holly, a hunter green shimmer that also had a great formula. It’s a perfect Christmas green, deep and rich but not dark – it’s clearly green in all lighting.

Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of Jolly Holly by itself.

Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of Jolly Holly by itself.

Taking off Something About Merry was annoying like glitter removal always is, so I decided to skip doing glitter for some metallic shapes and I tried my hand at DIY decals again. I’m not hugely thrilled with how this turned out, but it’s kind of nice to have a change from just glitter, which is usually what I do for holiday manicures.

12-11-13 both hands

I did the triangle/arrow design I liked so much when I first attempted decals and tried something new, using some thin pieces in a sort of starburst design. I tried my left hand with Phat Santa first and honestly I think it looks shitty, but I like it much better on my right hand. I think Jolly Holly’s deeper color sets off the metallics so you can see them better, and I like how the thinner starburst pieces look. I also like the positions of each color better on the right hand, so it’s a gradient of foil-y silver–>light cool gold–>bright yellow gold.

Left hand.

Left hand.

Right hand. Sorry about my awful painting job around the cuticle!

Right hand. Sorry about my awful painting job around the cuticle!

I only did decals on my pinkie and ring because I really like the color of both Phat Santa and Jolly Holly, and I wanted to see a lot of them, but it’s hard for me to just paint one solid color and leave it at that! I need to figure out a way to get the decals themselves more opaque…to an extent it’s cool if they’re a bit sheer so when I layer them on top of each other like I did with the triangles, they show through the ones above them, but here the colors bleed into each other a little too much so it’s hard to distinguish between the colors. Ugh, I also had a hard time cutting the bottoms of the pointed pieces neatly, so that looks kinda awful. Boo.

Weird crossed ring finger shot!

Weird crossed ring finger shot!

Pinkies!

Pinkies!

I almost forgot to list which polishes I used. I’m kinda out of it today! Here they are:

From left: China Glaze Phat Santa, CG Jolly Holly, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City, OPI Glitzerland, Pure Ice unnamed gold

From left: China Glaze Phat Santa, CG Jolly Holly, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City, OPI Glitzerland, Pure Ice unnamed gold

Sorry this was a little all over the place, I’m in a bit of a rush. Any thoughts on this mani? Have you ever had a polish casualty like poor Party Hearty before?

Thanks for reading! See you next time! A x