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

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A-England Wuthering Heights

Hi everyone! How’s your week going? Mine has been okay, except for the tragedy that has struck my nails – I rarely get breaks, but my middle finger on my left hand (the one I show in photos) had a weird chunk of nail broken off the tip, so I had to file it down, and now my pointer nail has the beginning of a break, and it’s REAL low, so I’m kind nervous because it’ll definitely hurt if it rips off. Sigh. My nails do grow pretty quickly, but I may not be able to post for a little while because these breaks are pretty bad. So today I’ve got the last mani I had on before The Break Attack: A-England’s Wuthering Heights.

4.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottle

This is from the A-England collection based on – obviously – Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s book which took me three weeks to slog through in high school because I hated it so much. I feel like you’re either a WH fan or a Jane Eyre fan, and I am definitely more a Jane girl (although Mr. Rochester can suck it), although there was an article on the The Toast a while back (can’t find it now…?) framing WH as a horror story instead of the great love story it’s come to be known for, and it got me kinda has me wanting to read it again, keeping that different perspective in mind. Anyway, I really liked a lot of the polishes in the collection, and eventually snatched up two, Spirit of the Moors (a gorgeous cobalt with scattered holo I’ll wear son) and Wuthering Heights, named after the home of Cathy and Heathcliff.

4.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I wore this last year (with another A-England polish, Sleeping Palace), and I loved it just as much this time. The formula is great – most nails only needed one coat – and the color is a fantastic stormy lavender-gray that totally evokes the moody moors where the novel takes place. It has a weak, very scattered holographic shimmer – A-England’s trademark – so it’s difficult to see unless you’re in direct light, so it gives the polish a lovely depth. You can see the holo better in that previous post I linked to above; these photos I took on an overcast day, which seemed to match the mood of the polish.

Let's pretend we can't see how bad my cuticles still, are, k?

Let’s pretend we can’t see how bad my cuticles still, are, k?

I hope to be back with some fun new manis soon! If not, I might just do some favorites round ups or something, just to have content in the interim. As always, thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x

Rainy Day Glitter

Last week we had a full two gloriously rainy day, and I wanted to do a mani to match. I looooove grays and dusty blues on rainy days, so I decided to try out a new Potion Polish with the perfect name and an old favorite cornflower blue.

1.9.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I will probably do a full review post on my three Potion Polish purchases, so for now I’ll just briefly discuss Rainy Day On The Couch. I bought it purely for the name, but once it arrived I was smitten with how it looked in the bottle – the deep gray base is filled with purple shimmer and tiny aqua, navy, and holographic glitter pieces that sparkled as soon as I opened the package and was so freaking gorgeous. When I actually put it on my nails for this mani, the formula was a bit sheer – I assume to ensure that the glitter pieces still showed through the dark gray base – and it didn’t dry matte but it wasn’t shiny, either.

I applied three coats to make sure it was totally opaque, then applied top coat – and there was that sparkle I’d been missing from the bottle! The holographic sparkle doesn’t seem to come through without top coat. I love what’s going on with this polish – it really does evoke the feeling of a rainy day. I can’t quite decide about the purple shimmer, though – I do like it, but I feel like it might not have been necessary? Anyway, this polish is awesome, you should totally scoop it up if you like grays/delicate sparkle.

1.9.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

Electric Beat is an old favorite of mine – from one of my favorite collections, China Glaze’s Electropop in 2012. I own almost all the colors, and with good reason – the colors are fun and the formulas are amazing. Electric Beat is no exception – it’s almost opaque in one coat, the formula is so easy, and the color is a perfect, soft cornflower blue. I used washi tape and Electric Beat to add a little design to my ring finger to tie the look all together, but I feel like grays and dusty blues are always well-matched, especially for a dark and stormy day!

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Here’s hoping there’s many more rainy days in our future (the California drought it getting scary). Thanks for reading! See y’all next time – A x

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

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