June Nail Art Challenge #8: Glitter!

Hi, everyone! Today is the last nail art challenge of June, and it’s a fun one: glitter!

Cirque Colors Le Invader, China Glaze Lotus Begin

Cirque Colors Le Invader, China Glaze Lotus Begin

I scooped up Le Invader with a few other Cirque Colors last year when they had a massive clearance to clean out stock for new products, but I haven’t used it until today. I was anticipating an annoying application – it’s a chunky glitter polish, after all, and they’re usually difficult to apply – but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! Guys, I really love Cirque polishes – they smell like lavender, the formulas are always a dream, and the branding and customer service are A+. If they weren’t a little pricier than I’d like, I’d buy them all the time! I’d say my one issue with them is that their new collections are limited edition now, which I learned the hard way last year, when I was waiting for their Vice collection to go on sale and instead it sold out. :/ (This year’s Vice collection just came out – how awesome do those look?!)

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I had a hard time deciding what polish to use as a base for Le Invader. I decided to use China Glaze’s Lotus Begin since it’s a more muted color, which would allow the vibrant rainbow of glitters to pop. I think maybe my bottle of Lotus Begin got incorrectly labeled or maybe the formula was wonky or something – all the other images I’ve seen of Lotus Begin online show a vibrant pinky-lavender, but mine is definitely more of a muted hue. Anyway, I do like how these two polishes look together!

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Thanks for following me on this month of challenges (again)! I’m not sure if I’m going to do another one in July or not, so I’ll be figuring that out in the next few days. As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time! – A x

June Nail Art Challenge #3: Fruit!

Hello, everyone! By the time you read this, I’ll be downtown for CMAFest! I’m not really a country music fan – the one exception is my queen, Kacey Musgraves – but I love downtown and I’m excited to see all the craziness! I’ll try to get some good pics while I’m down there, but for now, let’s get into my third mani for June!

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I’m so thrilled how this came out! I knew as soon as I saw the prompt that I wanted to do dragonfruit – it tastes like wet nothing, but it’s SO PRETTY, I couldn’t resist. My mani version all centers on a jelly sandwich, the lacquerhead term for when you layer a sheer polish and a glitter polish. I’ve never used OPI’s Don’t Touch My Tutu!, one of the NYC Ballet Soft Shades from 2012, but I got it on a whim a few years ago after seeing a bunch of nail bloggers rave about it. Using it for the first time here, I’m pretty disappointed, actually. It’s insanely sheer – at one coat, it looked like nothing was on my nails at all. But I wanted to mimic the clouded effect of the black seeds deeper within the dragonfruit’s white flesh, so I ended up using two coats of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds as to get a full base color, then added Tangled In My Web and a few coats of Don’t Touch my Tutu! on top of that. This mani has a LOT of layers, y’all!

6.11.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

Wet ‘N Wild’s Tangled in My Web is from a small Halloween collection in 2011, I think? I really love it – there are other black glitters, but none that I’ve found that are small, uniform pieces like this, and it’s a really fun effect. The formula used to be really thick and gloopy, but when I used it this time it was actually really easy to use? Very weird. Anyway, after that layer was dry, I applied three coats of Don’t Touch My Tutu!, then when I was sure those were completely dry, I applied another layer of Tangled In My Web.

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Last but certainly not least, I used a small nail art brush to add a thin layer of the hot pink outer part of the dragonfruit around the top half of my nail. It was difficult to get it even since I am not experienced with super detailed nail art like this, but I think I managed it pretty well! Phew, you guys – this was a LOT more work than I thought it would be, but I think it turned out really cool and I kinda love it!

I hope you enjoyed this fun mani, too! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

Tricky Green

Hello, friends! I hope you’ve had a great week as it winds down today. I, for one, am very excited for the weekend – there’s something called the Cherry Blossom Festival happening in downtown Nashville this weekend, among other things I’m excited to try out this weekend in my new city. I will report back next week with deets! Today I’ve got some simple but fun nails to show you, starring a polish that was a bitch and a half to photograph.

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So. China Glaze’s Treble Maker. I’ve used it once before on this blog as an accent color, but this was the first time I’ve worn it as a full mani. I love the color – it’s not often you see a neon(wish) green leaning blue instead of yellow. I mean, I love me a yellow-toned green (if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you already know that), but it’s cool to see a bright blue-toned hue. This polish isn’t really neon – photos try to make it look neon, and it certainly is bright, but it’s not actually neon.

4.8.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

I named this polish “tricky” because every time I tried to slightly edit a photo to make the green match how it looks in real life, it got pushed over the edge to looking neon. It was very frustrating for me, because I hate when I can’t show polishes’ true colors in photos. I also tried to take photos on a more fun background, but when I did that, my skin looked super dead because of how bright Treble Maker is, and Treble Maker got super blown out if I tried to tweak the color at all, and ugh everything about photographing this was so annoying!

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Aside from photography issues, oh man, do I love this color! I wanted to add a little something extra, so I swiped some of American Apparel’s Galaxy, a chunky rainbow glitter in a clear base, onto a piece of paper, then picked out pieces one of one with my dotting tool to place them on my nails. This is my first American Apparel polish – I’ve only seen/heard raves about them from nail bloggers, but by the time I actually went into one to check the polishes out, I already had such a huge collection that nothing really stood out to me. I got Galaxy because I had popped into one with a friend and they were having a sale on polishes, and I knew I could use the glitter for nail art – and sure enough, I did!

Forgive my cuticles - I haven't been good about moisturizing them, sorry!

Forgive my cuticles – I haven’t been good about moisturizing them, sorry!

On another polish-related note…guys, I FINALLY got my Helmer built, and she is a thing of beauty!

I need to reorganize them again at some point – I mentioned previously that I tried to keep my polishes organized when packing for the move, but at a certain point I was just packing them willy-nilly so some stuff got mixed up – but it is SO NICE to not have them hidden away in shameful (yet cute) plastic shoeboxes, but all together in a nice little unit. I think I’m going to have to put some textured contact paper down so they don’t slide around, and I have to be SUPER careful when pulling the drawers out because it will totally fall out, but I’m so happy I finally have a polish Helmer! I feel like a real nail blogger now. :)

In Which My Obsession with Blue Continues…

Hello, everyone! How’s your week starting off? It’s actually a gorgeous day here – sunny and breezy, and not humid yet! This won’t be a super exciting post but I still haven’t unpacked my polishes (whoops) so I have limited options, plus I’m still head over heels with OPI’s Gelato On my Mind, so there wasn’t really a question of what to put on my nails next.

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I just used Gelato On My Mind in the previous post, but suffice to say, if you love these kind of blues, you NEED this polish. It’s just such a refreshing pale aqua shade – not powdery baby blue, which I’m not a huge fan of, but slightly more green-toned – and is a two-coater if you’re careful, which is amazing for a pastel polish.

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I did want to add a little something extra, so I put a coat of Sally Hansen’s Open Mica Night (OMN) on top. OMN has a slightly thick base, so you do have to put a little work in to make sure you get enough glitter on each nail/that it gets placed evenly enough, but I’m a sucker for square glitter, so I love it. It wasn’t totally smooth after one layer of top coat because my finagling to get glitter distributed evenly made the thick base have weird little bumps and lumps, but it wasn’t too bad. And it was VERY sparkly and fun in the sun!

You can see little bubbles in the top coat (or maybe OMN's base?) here that aren't visible to the naked eye, so weird!

You can see little bubbles in the top coat (or maybe OMN’s base?) here that aren’t visible to the naked eye, so weird!

Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x

Nail Quickies: Birthday Glitter

Hi everyone! This is a quick mani I did this weekend for my friend T’s 30th birthday.

2.10.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottle pic

I snagged Models Own Turquoise Sea from Live Love Polish‘s Black Friday sale – it’s my first Models Own polish and it is uh-mah-zing, y’all! The formula is impeccable – at one point I thought I’d messed up and made a huge streaky area, but a few seconds later it had all self-leveled and was totally smooth and opaque! It barely took two coats, dried fairly glossy, and the formula is perfect – not too thick but just enough so it’s easy to manipulate on the nail. I feel like the color isn’t super unique, but I love these kind of blues and I’d been wanting to try the brand out, anyway, so this is a definite win for me!

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I wanted to add a little fun sparkle, so I did a glitter fade using Pretty Serious Cosmetics‘ Daphne’s Birthday party. This mix is made up of pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple glitters of the same size, and it was fairly easy to manipulate on the nail. I didn’t put that much on because I was running short on time, but it came out looking like a perfect, fun birthday celebration!

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Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x