Playin’ The Blues

Good afternoon, everyone! Today I’ve got a mani using an old favorite, a new favorite, and an old htf that I haven’t used in aaaaages.

China Glaze Electric Beat, Ninja Polish Glamorous, Lynnderella Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu

China Glaze Electric Beat, Ninja Polish Glamorous, Lynnderella Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu

Last post, I wrote about the gorgeousness of Ninja Polish’s Crazy As A Capper, dupe for the legendary OPI Mad As A Hatter. In that same order, I also bought Ninja Polish’s prototype dupe for another highly sought-after OPI polish, the fabulous holo Glamour. This is only a prototype because according to the Ninja Polish site, it has too much holo.

I mean, bless ’em for wanting to get as close to an exact match as possible, but in my book, there’s no such thing as too much holo! Glamorous has a wonderful formula – almost a one-coater! This kind of blue (well, indigo is its own thing, I suppose) isn’t my usual jam – I’m more a brights/aqua-leaning girl, but Glamorous is beyond gorgeous and completely irresistable. Def pick it up if you’re a holo or blue fan!

5.3.15 posed with bottle

I knew I wanted to do an all-blue look, so I pulled out Lynnderella’s Mademoiselle Violette de Bleu (MVDB) since I thought its royal and purple glitters would complement Glamourous’ gorgeous indigo hue, and China Glaze’s Electric Beat for its periwinkle color to set off all of MVDB’s shades. I’ve had my five Lynnderella’s for about four years now – they were my first big polish purchase and they’re lovely, but in the last few years I haven’t used chunky glitters that much.

5.3.15 pose

Application was actually pretty easy – I kind of gobbed on one coat, then carefully moved the glitter pieces around until I was satisfied there weren’t any open areas. It required two layers of top coat and still isn’t COMPLETELY smooth, but that’s what you get when you use a chunky glitter. It really wasn’t that bad, though. MVDB is a stunning mix of royal blue, navy, purple, and indigo hex and square glitters in a lightly tinted blue base. Some of the glitters are holographic, which makes it even more sparkly in the sun!

5.3.15 sun

I tried out the scalloped nail decals I got in my KBShimmer order on my ring finger as an accent, using Glamorous over Electric Beat. I cut the decal in half and was easily able to use both on my nail, which is awesome because now I know I can basically double the number of decals, mwahahahaaaa.

Sorry about my raggedy-ass cuticles, y'all.

Sorry about my raggedy-ass cuticles, y’all.

This is such a fun mani – not too bold but still blingy with the glitter and holo. I foresee a lot more holos and glitter in my future! Thank you for reading, everyone! See you next time – A x

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

Imagine how excited I was to find out that Cinespia, the company that shows films in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, was showing Beetlejuice as their annual Halloween offering! One of my favorite movies, I knew immediately I had to coordinate nails for the event!

French Tip White, Def Defying, Funky Dunky, Black Creme

French Tip White, Def Defying, Funky Dunky, Black Creme

Obviously Beetlejuice’s black-and-white striped suit was going to be the biggest element of this mani, but I wanted to add some color, too, which is how I decided on adding purple and green for Beetlejuice’s shirt and hair and also for Lydia’s bedroom.

Oops I forgot to put Connect the Dots in the bottle pic!

Oops I forgot to put Connect The Dots in the bottle pic!

I’m so pleased with how these came out! It’s always super tedious to place the striping tape juuuuuuuuust so to get perfectly even stripes, but the effect is super cool when it’s done. Besides Beetlejuice’s famous suit, there’s a lot of black-and-white elements in the film, so I put a coat Lynderella’s Connect The Dots over the purple and green nails. I feel like the chaos of CTD mimics the crazy feel of some of the sets in the movie.

10-27-14 diagonal

If you haven’t seen Beetlejuice, go watch it right now. It’s in the best Tim Burton era – the late ’80s – where he manages to hit all the right notes between dark, goofy, and hilarious. The story centers on Barbara and Adam Maitland, a young married couple that dies and has to come to grips with the afterlife – namely, the fact that they’re stuck in their house for 120 years and don’t take kindly to the new family that’s almost immediately moved in. The Deetzes, from New York, are comprised of a stressed real estate man; his ridiculous, trying-to-hard-to-be-cool wife (the amazing Catherine O’Hara, who is sublime); and teenager Lydia. Lydia Deetz along with Wednesday Addams were my favorites growing up – I’ve always loved weird, spooky things, and these characters were the poster girls for weird and spooky.

Me too, girl. via

Me too, girl.

It makes me kinda sad there aren’t really characters like these two and Daria – smart, surly girls who like whatever weird stuff they like unabashedly and won’t put a smile on their face just to make others happy. I know I sound old but man, I feel like kids’ and teenagers’ stuff now is all faux happy and shiny, with characters who look impossibly perfect at all times. You won’t find anything like Lydia’s pointy bangs, that’s for sure.

Anyway, the Maitlands have a hard time being seen by the living, so they can’t scare the Deetzes out of their home.
Poor Barbara, stuck for 100 years in that terrible, frumpy-ass dress. via

Poor Barbara, stuck for 100 years in that terrible, frumpy-ass dress. via

They turn to Beetlejuice, a “bio-exorcist” who claims to be able to help. However, they quickly realize Beetlejuice is more than they bargained for and has his own agenda, but he won’t be gotten rid of so easily. The weird thing is, for a movie that’s named after him, Beetlejuice is only in the movie for about 17 minutes. They make it count, though – Beetlejuice is pervy and gross but also really funny, and it’s definitely an iconic role for Micheal Keaton.

At the Cinespia showing I learned that the writer (who was in attendance but didn’t stand up to talk, boo!) also wrote The Addams Family, so this guy is basically responsible for creating my spooky obsessions as a kid. Also at Cinespia there were a LOT of really cool costumes – there were quite a few Adams and red wedding dress Lydias, but also a Miss Argentina, a Dante’s Inferno girl, and one of the dead football players. I was kicking myself all night for not donning a costume, too!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I have two more Halloween manis to go before the month is over, and the next one I’ve been planning since last year. Thanks for reading! See you next time – 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!

09-03-14 glitter bottles1

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.

09-03-14 glitter bottles2

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.

09-03-14 glitter diagonal

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

09-03-14 glitter macro

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

Easter Nails!

Hi all! I tried to actually post on Easter but alas, I just missed the mark. I had a lot of ideas on what to do for my Easter nails, but the choices kind of overwhelmed me so I ended up just doing something super simple – pastel neons and matte glitter.

04-21-14 bottles

I apparently can’t stop using China Glaze’s Sunsational colors, because I used four of them in this mani! I did three coats of each color except That’s Shore Bright; Too Yacht To Handle probably would’ve been good in two if I had been more careful. I think all of these colors have been shown on my blog before except Too Yacht To Handle, which is a gorgeous, super-bright aqua. It’s like my fav Aquadelic on steroids, so of course I love it.
Edit: I have actually used Too Yacht To Handle on my blog before, in this post from January; I’ve never shown it on its own before, though!

Apologies for the chips/tipwear on my thumb and pointer!

Apologies for the chips/tipwear on my thumb and pointer!

I added one coat of Lynderella’s Love, Lace and Lilacs atop each nail. I use my few Lynnderellas sparingly, and they are really beautiful, but I forgot how chunky they are – I put two, maybe three coats of Seche Vite on top and my nails still weren’t perfectly smooth (you can see a few pieces raised off the edge of a couple of nails). Other brands are doing the matte glitter thing now – the Maybelline Street Art collection and Sephora’s new Formula X polishes come to mind – but Lynn’s were the OG, as far as I know. LL&L also has pretty, sparkly micro glitter and a few sheer pieces that add a little something extra. The formula is a bit finicky – sometimes it’s hard to move the glitter pieces around because I think there’s a bit too much glitter for the amount of clear base, so it’s hard to get even coverage. But look how pretty!

Also, see that weird discoloration on the glitter on my pinkie? I have NO idea what that is, but I'm pretty sure something similar happened last time I used a Lynnderella…

Also, see that weird discoloration on the glitter on my pinkie? I have NO idea what that is, but I’m pretty sure something similar happened last time I used a Lynnderella…

I tried to capture the true colors in the shade, but it didn't really work. Too Yacht/That's Shore Bright are good, but Highlight is definitely not that bright, and East Austin and Neon & On & On are wayyy more bright/neon than they're showing up. The bottle pic at the top of the post is actually fairly accurate.

I tried to capture the true colors in the shade, but it didn’t really work. Too Yacht/That’s Shore Bright are good, but Highlight is definitely not that bright, and East Austin and Neon & On & On are wayyy more bright/neon than they’re showing up.

My sister and I started Easter with a nice brunch then spent a few hours at a local winery.

Nothing better than a fountain of vino!

Anyone up for a fountain of vino?

I’ve been there many times and it’s just so freaking lovely – bringing a picnic, stretching out on a blanket in the sun with the beautiful Malibu scenery around you, sipping a glass of delicious vino… Heaven. They also started a mimosa flight in addition to their regular wine flights, and that shit is good. Guava limeade, never leave me.

Awww yeahhhhh, you like those lens flares? Just call me J.J. Abrams.

I hope you all had a nice Easter if you celebrate or just a nice, relaxing Sunday if you don’t. I’m going to put off removing this mani since Lynnderella glitters are a bitch and a half to get off, but I just got my order from Make It Stick so hopefully I’ll have something fun with those soon! Thank you for reading, see you next time – A x

#nailartjan Day 16 – Gradient

(I’m so late posting here, but I put my photo up on Instagram on the correct date so I’m still counting it as on time!)

Gradient challenge! I’ve only done a gradient once before, but this one is a million times better! It also used TEN POLISHES but sometimes you gotta work hard for something awesome. Here’s the lineup:

Clockwise from the mint green: Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, Color Club Twiggie, CC Blue-Ming, China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, CG Sweet Hook, CG That's Shore Bright!, Zoya Shelby, CG Hang Ten-Toes.

Clockwise from the mint green: Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, Color Club Twiggie, CC Blue-Ming, China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, CG Sweet Hook, CG That’s Shore Bright!, Zoya Shelby, CG Hang Ten-Toes.

To start I painted two coats of Shelby, Sweet Hook, Kinetic Candy, Blue-Ming, and Mint Sorbet. Because these are pastels, a few of them were still a bit streaky at two coats, but I knew I was going to be sponging over it, so that was fine. Here’s what those colors look like by themselves:

01-19-14 before curled

I’m not great at sponging gradient techniques – I somehow always get some texture and/or little pieces of the makeup sponges I use on my nails – but what greatly helps is something my sister taught me, to dip the sponge in water and wring it out until it’s just barely damp. Somehow the slight moisture really helps keep those tiny pieces from sticking your polish! I still got one or two, but they were easily picked off. Anyway, next I painted my color combos on my sponge, making sure to overlap them, and got to business! The combos were like they are in the bottle pic, but for easier reading, from thumb to pinkie: Shelby/Hang Ten-Toes, Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright!, Kinetic Candy/Electric Beat, Blue-Ming/Too Yacht To Handle, Mint Sorbet/Twiggie.

01-19-14 sponged1

Once I had gotten each nail to my desired opacity, I waited for them to dry and then did one thin coat of Lynnderella’s Connect the Dots, the famous matte black and white glitter. Lynnderella was one of the first indie polish creators, and I somehow managed to order five of her polishes a few years ago with relative ease despite the crazy wait list system. (In case you’ve never dealt with it before, highly sought-after indie polish makers’ wares often sell out in five seconds and this causes a great frenzy for their products, since most of them [back then, anyway] only made polishes as a side job and sometimes didn’t have them available for weeks or months at a time. Lots of people have real shops on Etsy and other websites now, but there’s still a few who people have to stalk Facebook and Twitter for updates about and order within seconds to get anything.) Lynnderella sells on eBay now but they’re way pricier – I think $20-$30 per bottle[!]? The good thing is, lots of easy-to-find polishes that are pretty good dupes are now available, I think Maybelline has one called “Spotted.” It does give me something of a lacquer-head thrill to own an OG Lynnderella, though :)

Gah sorry, I had some lotion on my hand that wasn't rubbed in!

Gah sorry, I had some lotion on my hand that wasn’t rubbed in!

Clean-up on gradient stamping is a bitch, I’m not gonna lie. I used those pointy makeup Q-tip thingies dipped in remover to clean up around each cuticle but I still managed to mess up my nice clean lines a bit. I used regular Q-tips dipped in remover to clean up the rest. I added a coat (or two, to fully cover some wayward bar glitter pieces) of Seche and voila! One of my favorite manicures ever was complete!

01-19-14 curled under

I got two little chips in two days, but I’ve touched them up because I want to wear this mani for as long as possible! I will definitely be late on the next challenge because I love this one so much. I’m so, so pleased with how this came out! I mean, it’s not perfect – the Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright gradient on my left hand isn’t great, and neither is the Shelby/Hang Ten-Toes on my left hand, but the CTD glitter distracts from any imperfections. Also, I think the Blue-Ming/Too Yacht To Handle colors are a little too similar so the gradient is reeeeeeally subtle, and conversely Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright are maybe a little too far apart color-wise to be a more seamless gradient, but that’s just my perfectionist tendencies nitpicking. I love these bright pastels together and will def do something with them again in the future. It just makes me happy when I look down and see this mani!

01-19-14 in car

Thank you so much for reading! See you next time! A x