Peppermint Bark Nails

Hi everyone, how’s your week been going? I’ve been in a rush all week, so I have a super quick post for you today!

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I know I say this every time I feature ILNP polishes, but I wish Barbra would make some glitters again! I know she’s doing amazingly well with her current lineup of holos and multichromes, but man, her glitters are some of my absolute favorite ever, especially the holiday ones! I was in the mood for a fun, bright look, so I chose to use Something About Merry, a fun mix of red, green, white, and translucent glitters.

Sorry for the terrible clean up around my cuticles - I added the glitter before I tried to clean up, and it made it difficult to get a nice line.

Sorry for the terrible clean up around my cuticles – I added the glitter before I tried to clean up, and it made it difficult to get a nice line.

This is one coat of Something About Merry over two coats of Mrs. Mint, which I got from my nail blog buddy Rach. I loooooove how the bright mint looks with the saturated green and red of the glitter. Something about this mani reminds me of peppermint bark, although I know that usually has a white base, not mint. But I love the traditional Christmas colors with the mint, it looks so fresh and fun, don’t you think?

I love mint but GAH it makes my skin look so red!

I love mint but GAH it makes my skin look so red!

Sorry this post was so rushed, but I’ve got another one coming along soon. I’m trying to get everything done before Christmas, ahhh. Is anyone else caught up in last-minute holiday prep? It’s fun but kinda stressful; I feel like I deserve a cocktail (or two) after what I’ve been running around doing today! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x


It’s Fall, Y’all!

Hello, lovely readers! I’m in such a good mood because fall has finally come to Southern California (well…for a few days, at least). I had a lovely Halloween weekend – a great night out Halloween night in my Cruella deVille costume, the fabulous Danny Elfman concert on Saturday, and a lovely day polish shopping then reading in the park on Sunday. Most importantly, I got to have my windows open all weekend and it was freaking divine. I’m in such a good mood I don’t even care that it’s Tuesday (the worst day), although that might be because I did a quick mani yesterday and it’s keeping me in the fall love bubble.

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I mentioned this last year, but holy crap, Goldie Boo Boo (GBB) is autumn in a bottle! I say this every time but ughhhhh I’m so sad I Love Nail Polish has decided to not do glitters anymore because all the ones I have are awesome!

See??? This is ONE easy coat, people!

See??? This is ONE easy coat, people!

GBB is comprised of orange, gold, chocolate, and gray glitters in a clear base with gold micro glitter. I kind of regret putting it over Petra now, since you can’t really see the gray glitters, but I do love the gold and orange over Petra’s dusty purple-y gray.

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Unfortunately, this chipped pretty quickly because GBB’s base is pretty thick – this bottle if from ILNP’s original formulation, which is super thick and smells super strong – and combined with the kinda thick layer of top coat I added to make it smooth, well, it was a recipe for disaster. I got to enjoy the sparkle for a few days, at least!

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So I kind of had a two-parter Halloween – on Halloween night I went out in costume, then on Nov. 1, I went to the Danny Elfman concert with my friend L! The concert was held last year but this year was the first time he’d sang live in over 20 years, which is crazy. The concert was celebrating his 25-year collaboration with Tim Burton, and my pics aren’t the best, since it was obviously are to get great photos in such low lighting, but I tried:

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The show started with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory music playing over a video montage of Tim Burton’s films. I think they did a nice mix of Burton’s most well-known films and less iconic ones like Charlie (I didn’t even know what that music was until I looked at my program). Next they performed music from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, playing a segment from the movie (the bicycle race) on the screen, then mixing a few quick video clips with concept drawings. They did this for every movie segment, and it was awesome – I love seeing initial ideas and comparing them with what ended up being the final product.

Sleepy Hollow concept art.

Sleepy Hollow concept art.

Next up was Beetlejuice! This one got a montage of clips, plus a few different segments played (like where Beetlejuice shows up with the circus music playing). After that was Batman/Batman Returns. I have to confess: I used to have some of the Batman score on my iPod, I am weirdly obsessed with the music that plays as he’s taking Vicki Vale into the bat cave for the first time (oh boy, that sounds like a euphemism, doesn’t it?). Anyway, they also played my fav scene from Batman Returns, where Selena Kyle comes back to her apartment and wrecks the shit out of everything because she’s a badass now. My favorite part of the show, though, was how the audience would react to certain pieces – there was an audience-wide chuckle of recognition for Pee Wee and Mars Attacks!, and a swell of whispered excitement for Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love that so many people could tell which piece was which just from the opening notes, and I’m astounded that Danny Elfman has created so many iconic themes that thousands of people know instantly.

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The best part, though, was obviously The Nightmare Before Christmas, and it got the largest segment of the night. The orchestra played the overture, and Danny and a few helpers sang “This is Halloween” and “Making Christmas.” Danny performed “Jack’s Lament,” “What’s This?”, “Jack’s Obsession” and “Poor Jack” by himself, then brought out a special one-night-only guest, Catherine O’Hara, to perform “Sally’s Song”!

Catherineeeeee why didn't you come to the Beetlejuice Cinespia showing???

Catherineeeeee why didn’t you come to the Beetlejuice Cinespia showing???

The absolute best, though, was the secret encore – the official, on the program encore was Alice in Wonderland, and some people started leaving, but THEN Danny came back out and performed my favorite, “Oogie Boogie’s Song”! It was awesome, and hilarious because the conductor put on a Santa hat and played the part of Sandy Claws for his couple of lines. After Danny left and came back we thought we were in for another encore, but instead he gave a really lovely little speech that let the audience know that the orchestra playing that night was the same one that he used to record all his movie scores, and also that most of the orchestra had been there for almost 30 years, meaning they personally have been working with Danny for his whole career. How crazy is that? I thought it was really nice that he acknowledged the orchestra, and they were seriously so amazing.

11-04-14 Danny -Danny singing

A few random notes: I realized that Edward Scissorhands oddly doesn’t have a very memorable/iconic score except for the “Ice Dance” scene. The music is fairly nondescript, which was probably the point, but it’s very weird since it’s such a big movie and all the other classic Tim Burton film scores are instantly recognizable. I also thought the Big Fish segment went on way too long (real talk: I’ve never been a Big Fish fan), but I know a lot of people like it. Planet of the Apes, which I’ve never seen and have no intention of seeing, was kept blissfully short, as was Frankenweenie and Mars Attacks! – just enough of the music played without being overkill, which is fitting for the smaller films (real talk: I kinda love Mars Attacks!). Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite movies, and that spooky-ass music was so amazing to hear live, especially when they played scenes on the screen. They had some singers perform a small section of Corpse Bride which was fun, and the Dark Shadows score was really beautiful (although it’s another I don’t really have any intention of seeing).

This is the second year they’ve performed this show, and I think it’ll probably be an annual thing, so if you’re in LA around Halloween, I highly recommend you get tickets! It was seriously, just the coolest thing ever.

Thanks for reading, if you got through my endless fangirling! I’m preparing to start a new mani as we speak, so I’ll have another post up soon. See you next time – A x

Smoky Gradient

Hi everyone! This weekend was a glorious one – I got a lot of errands and boring but essential housework done, went to a super fun beachside bar crawl, and most importantly, the weather was fantastic! not quiiiiiite fall-type weather, but it wasn’t humid for the first time in weeks and there was a lovely breeze and distinctive lack of heat. I’m so weird but the weather affects me so much, and this weekend was such a nice break from our never-ending summer.

I was definitely feeling more autumnal, though, and I wanted to do a mani that reflected that. I also really wanted to use I Love Nail Polish’s AC Slater, a deep brown holo, and I remembered the lovely smoky gradient Sarah at Chalkboard Nails did with it, so I decided to recreate that. I used Color Club Cherubic, a tan holographic, as my neutral counterpart.

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Every time I use any of the Color Club Halo Hue polishes I fall in love with them all over again. They are easy to apply, pigmented, and so freaking holo! I did two coats of this bad boy but then things got dicey when I brought AC Slater into the mix. It was really sheer when I first started to sponge it on – like barely showing up – so I added way more polish but then that was too much so I didn’t get the nice, smooth gradient I prefer. Oh well – the more grungy gradient kinda suits the dark hue of AC Slater, anyway.

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Photos can’t do these polishes justice. The holo flare is significantly weaker in AC Slater than Cherubic, but I kinda like having blingy holo blend into more subdued but still pretty rainbow-y sparkles.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It's much more in-your-face in person.

Argh soooo hard to get a good photo of the holo/sparkles! It’s much more in-your-face in person.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I’ll see you next time with my first Halloween manicure (yayyy)! See you then – A x

Favorites Month: Glitter

Here it is, my last category for favorites month! I wanted to end on a fun note, so I chose to end with my favorite glitter polishes. I don’t wear glitter that often because I’m super lazy and hate glitter removal, but come on – who doesn’t love glitter?! Sparkly glitter, matte glitter, big glitter, tiny glitter, all one color or crazy combinations – I get so annoyed when people say things like “you shouldn’t wear glitter past the age of ten.” Please. Not only can glitter polish can be elegant and chic, but what’s wrong with rocking some obnoxiously loud glitter on your tips when you’re 30, 40, 50? It’s fun! And trust, there’s no low-key glitter polishes on my top ten list!

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Disco Darling: About five years ago, when I first started getting into polish collecting, I remember seeing a few of these Nox polishes on Lacquerized (a now sadly defunct nail blog) and when I followed the link they were on sale. WELL. Obviously I had to buy some! Despite the Twilight affiliation – barf – these polishes were pretty great, with good formulas and a pretty bottle, but Disco Darling was by far the best. A dense concentration of teeny tiny silver holo pieces in a clear base, this takes three coats for opacity but daaaaaaaamn once it’s on you can’t stop staring. SO blingy and gorgeous, and definitely an eye-catcher – even my male coworkers were grabbing my hand to get a better look at this polish!

Servin’ Up Sparkle: I have so many silver holo glitter toppers and I love them all, but I told myself I’d only choose one so I went with my first, from one of the Serena Williams combo packs a few years ago. This bad boy is insanely sparkly and blindingly holo – it’s definitely chunky so it requires double layers of top coat, but this bling-fest is totally worth it.

11:59: This topper is fairly simple, but it really makes a statement over any color. Composed of black and gold hexes, squares, micro glitter, and even a few circles, this polish is so fun and definitely looks like New Year’s Eve in a bottle.

Maxxed Out: Crows Toes was one of the first indie brands I became super obsessed with, because every time she put out a polish collection it was perfectly curated and just so freaking awesome! This is probably the blingiest polish I own – the silver and gold holo glitter in hexes, bars, and microglitter is flashy and bright even in low lighting. I’ve only worn this a few times because it’s chunky that even with top coat it’s not completely smooth, but the bling factor definitely makes up for it!

Sticks & Stones: One of the OG indie polishes, S&S is really just a super fun polish – this combo of matte black-and-white glitter hexes and bars looks amazing over any color, although I especially love putting it over neons.

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The Glittering Crowd: Another OG Lynderella polish, TGC is just so awesome. There are apparently 100 different kinds of glitter in here, and you can definitely tell – it’s a fantastic glitter explosion of all shapes and colors, and hands-down the best multi-glitter polish there is.

Ariel: Love, love, love this glitter polish that is Princess Ariel in a bottle! It’s got the purple of her shells, the red of her hair, and the green of her tail, plus some truly gorgeous aqua/green flakie-esque shimmer that I always forget about then die over again each time I put this on! It’s also got a truly spectacular formula for a glitter.

Moonbow: So gorgeous – you can see from how much is gone from the bottle that I’ve loved this one a little too hard for such a small bottle, but I can’t help it! (Curse those Brazilian polish makers and their tiny bottles!) The glitter shifts from turquoise to purple to pink and even a few specks of yellow, orange, and green depending on the light and it’s truly breathtaking.

Bring On The Bling: How I wish I had gotten more of these when they were out! I was in my early stages of polish addiction at the time and thought “meh, it’s just another OPI holiday glitter.” HOW WRONG I WAS. I managed to find this and one other polish (Glow Up Already!) on eBay, I think, a year or so after this Burlesque collection was released, but they were already kinda pricey. These glitters are so great, though – sparkly full-coverage micro glitter, yum! This one is gold-based with additional green, pink, blue, silver, and orange glitter pieces. So fun and holiday-esque!

Ginger Spice Latte: I have no idea what possessed me to buy this polish, but i’m so glad I did because once I put this on my tips I was ob-sessed! A dense mix of tiny gold and copper glitters, this polish is so freaking gorgeous and looks beautiful over any color. I especially love wearing it in the fall, it’s like drizzling caramel over the top of your manicure.

I tried to do a glitter gradient with Moonbow but the formula is a bit thick so my gradient wasn’t that great, and my little bottle of Essence Just Rock It! is on its last, goopy legs, so I didn’t do a great job with that around my cuticles, either. Sigh. I do love Moonbow over the dark blue, though.

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It was super hard to capture the shift for some reason, but I think I got it pretty well in macro form.

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I hope you enjoyed favorites month! It was so fun for me to go back through my stash and rediscover old loves or even polishes I’d totally forgotten about! (#polishaddictprobs, amirite?) Do you see any of your favorites on this list? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading along with these posts, I’ll be back with something bright and fun next time, and maybe even a little surprise. See you then – A x

’90s Daisy Nails

This weekend I went to the Cinespia screening of Empire Records, so obvs I had to do ’90s-themed nails! I wanted to do something with daisies to mimic the daisy print that was everywhere in the early 90s, and I think my final result was actually pretty great!

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I really wanted to use the fabulous indigo holo from my recent ILNP order, Indie Go. Previously I’ve only used ILNP’s glitters (which she doesn’t make anymore, sob) so this was my first time trying out a holo, and it was, as expected, fabulous. Indie Go was almost opaque in one coat, and the formula flowed easily onto the nail. It’s still sparkly under indoor lighting but of course comes alive in a holo blaze of glory when you’re in direct sunlight. It’s not a super linear holo, but very pretty nonetheless! It was really hard for me to capture the holo though, for some reason.

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After two coats of Indie Go had dried, I used a teeny tiny brush from my Winstonia set dipped in Snow Me White to paint little stripes in flower shapes scattered around my nails. I finished the daisies by putting a yellow center on each flower with a dotting tool. I actually love how these came out! I was afraid they were going to look cheesy or messy but this actually turned out super cute and fun! Not bad for my first time trying floral nails, eh?

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I’ve talked before about the cemetery screenings, which is my favorite LA summer event, and this time I saw Empire Records. Admittedly, it’s not a great movie, but it is a fun one, and a nostalgic one if you grew up seeing it on TV a lot in the late ’90s like I did. We were a little disappointed at first because usually they have an actor, writer, or director from the movie they’re about to show talk a little before the movie starts, and they didn’t this time. HOW-EV-ER, after the movie, who showed up but the director, DP, Ethan Embry (Mark), Johnny Whitworth (AJ), Coyote Shivers (Berko), James Willis (Eddie), and Brendan Saxton (Warren)?

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Apparently the director got kicked off the set of the movie and it never officially got a premiere, so the cast and director were all super excited to be at the screening to see all the fans. They tried to do a Q&A but there wasn’t a mic for the audience, but a few people did run up and ask a question, including one girl who asked what everyone’s favorite song from the movie was. Everyone said the Gin Blossoms song (obvs) except for AJ, whose fav was the Romeo & Juliet Dire Straits song. (AJ, by the way, is still super hot – maybe even hotter than he was in the movie.) The absolute best, though, is that someone asked that Berko sing “Sugar High,” which he didn’t seem to want to do but then the DJ started playing it, and he sang the whole song!

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Everyone was dancing and singing along and it was just the best, man. I complain about LA a lot, but there are a lot of cool events that happen in this city that you can’t find anywhere else, and that’s what I love about the Cinespia screenings. If you’re ever in LA for the summer, definitely try to go to a screening, you never know who’ll show up! :)

The girls next to us had made Rex Manning Day cupcakes, which they sweetly offered to us. How fun! (Sorry about the shitty quality, though, not sure what happened…)

The girls next to us had made Rex Manning Day cupcakes, which they sweetly offered to us. How fun! (Sorry about the shitty quality, though, not sure what happened…)

Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x