June Nail Art Challenge #7: Beach!

Hello, dear readers! How’s your weekend panning out? I did a lot of fun stuff outdoor this weekend – like flea market perusing! – but ughhhhhhhh have I ever mentioned how much I hate summer? Because I DO. It’s not even July and I’m already over being hot all the time. Blerg. Anyway, being hot in the summer nicely segues into today’s prompt – beach nails!

From left: Color Club Blue-Ming, Models Own Turquoise Sea, Essie Sand Tropez, China Glaze White On White

From left: Color Club Blue-Ming, Models Own Turquoise Sea, Essie Sand Tropez, China Glaze White On White

I saw this beach waves-inspired look on Pinterest somewhere and thought the idea was perfect since I love me a waterspotted mani, and gave it a go.

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I attempted to do the same water-spotted technique over the gradient as I did for my turquoise nails, but with white polish. The white was way too sheer, though, so I did 3-5 drops before spraying, but then that made the white a little more opaque than I wanted…I mean, it doesn’t look terrible, just not as great as I wanted.

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I do think that it gets the “sea foam floating over the sand and water” look I was going for across, although some of the polish was a little more…wavy? like on my ring finger than that foamy dappled/spotted look I wanted. I probably should’ve experimented with how far away to spray to get bigger spots, but I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

I did really love these nails, though! I think they’re really pretty, and I hope you do, too! I only have one nail art challenge left in June, so thanks for reading, and I’ll see you then! – A x

June Nail Art Challenge #6: Zigzag!

Hello, friends! This is gonna be a short post, so let’s get to it!

Left to right: Zoya Shelby, China Glaze Hang Ten Toes, CG Sweet Hook, CG That's Shore Bright, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, Color Club Blue-Ming, CG Too Yacht To Handle, Color Club Twiggie, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

Left to right: Zoya Shelby, China Glaze Hang Ten Toes, CG Sweet Hook, CG That’s Shore Bright, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, Color Club Blue-Ming, CG Too Yacht To Handle, Color Club Twiggie, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

I used this exact color combination two years ago in this mani, and I still love it! There’s nothing more fun than having a candy-coated rainbow on your tips.

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This took a little bit of time – a few of the colors required three coats (Blue-Ming, Sweet Hook), then I had to wait for top coat to dry, as well, and then it took some time to get all the zigzag/chevron decals to evenly spaced – but the end result is so worth it. I think this is cute without being too cutesy, you know what I mean?

Here's a better pic of the thumb.

Here’s a better pic of the thumb.

My mom and sister said this looks like Easter eggs, which I didn’t notice but they totally do! I kinda don’t want to take this off, I love it so much! 😍

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Thanks for reading, everyone! See ya next time – A x

June Nail Art Challenge #5: Unicorn!

Whoops, sorry, this should’ve gone up yesterday. Today’s theme is not really my jam, but it still came out pretty cute anyway!

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I’ll be frank – I don’t like cutesy stuff, so a “unicorn” challenge was not really my cup of tea, but I decided to just lean into it and get all pink and sparkly! Bottoms Up has recently become my favorite pink – it’s an amazingly neon, bubblegum, ridiculous Barbie pink and I figured it would be perfect for a unicorn mani! Unfortunately, once I attempted to stamp over Bottoms Up, I had some real issues that made it take forever to get looking halfway decent. I used some Winstonia stamping plates to place a bunch of random stars on my middle finger, then the big unicorn on my ring finger.

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If you’re gonna do a unicorn mani, you might as well throw in some holo, right? I put my old buddy Mirrorball on my pinky, pointer, and ring fingers. The light was super weird outside so these pictures aren’t great, but I’ve used it before on this blog if you want to see how amazing and sparkly holo-y it is!

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Okay guys, I have discovered my new TV obsession, but because it’s British there’s only six episodes per season, so I’ve already watched the whole thing this past week and now I’m suffering withdrawals. :( The show is Peaky Blinders, and it’s awesome.


Peaky Blinders is apparently the UK’s first gangster TV show – it’s drawn comparisons to Boardwalk Empire (gangsters doing business with booze and race tracks in the 1920s), but I thought Boardwalk was boring as hell and never even got through half of the first season when it premiered, so I think the comparisons are pretty superficial. Anyway, this show is very cinematic, like all great TV shows in our recent Golden Age, and definitely has a style all of its own, one of which is using modern British rock songs from bands like The Kills, PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, and of course, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – whose awesome “Red Right Hand” provides the theme song. The show also never met a slow-mo scene set to music it didn’t like, but that’s part of the fun.
Seriously, some shots are really just gorgeous. via

Seriously, some shots are really just gorgeous. via


The show does get bloodier and more violent as it goes on, though, so be warned if you’re squeamish! Also, one word of (casting) warning: I read that Tom Hardy, my Mad Max: Fury Road love, “starred” in the second season, but he’s barely in it. Don’t get me wrong – he makes the most of his time, and his character is hilarious (much-needed humor, by the way, because it can be quite a dark show), but he’s not in it very much. That’s okay, though, because weirdo eye candy Cillian Murphy is in like, 90% of the show.
Also, all anyone does on this show (besides maim or murder) is smoke and drink. via

Also, all anyone does on this show (besides maim or murder) is smoke and drink. via


A few things I don’t totally love about the show: I will admit, besides matriarch Aunt Polly (who I love), the female characters can be a bit underdeveloped, but it definitely got better in the third season, and I’m hoping it will continue to improve. Also, the criminal plots get a bit ridiculously twisty and difficult to follow in the second and third seasons, but at this point I mostly just watch for the characters, anyway. There were also some strong Godfather-esque moments in season three, in particular (some very “Micheal Corleone behind a desk” imagery), but I think that’s kind of inevitable when you’re doing a show about a gangster family. And anyway, much like Boardwalk Empire, The Godfather never really held my attention the way Peaky Blinders does. I’m sure it’s partly that I’m such an Anglophile, but I just think that for all its darkness and violence, the characters and the show’s style (the smoky urban setting, the costumes, the music) make it really enjoyable. Definitely at least give it a try if you’re looking for a new show!
Love you, Aunt Pol! via

Love you, Aunt Pol! via

Thanks for reading my little fluffy unicorn/dark drama show mashup post today! See you next time – A x

June Nail Art Challenge #4: Purple!

Hello, dear readers! For this prompt, I decided to re-do a mani I did almost exactly two years ago. (Now I actually live where there are fireflies, how funny is that?)

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I was reminded of this old manicure when I saw a lone little firefly floating around outside my window this weekend, and I thought it would be fun to re-create with the purple theme in mind. I used a gradient of Giver’s Theme, Funkey Dunkey, and just the littlest bit of Russian Navy (which I think technically is an indigo, but it always looks purple to me) for that just-before-nighttime sky coloring.

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When the gradient was dry, I used a nail art brush dipped in black polish (I used an old Sally Hansen) to make the tall grasses at the tip of my nails. I like this a lot better than what I did on my previous one – I used two different greens to make the grasses, but it kinda looked cartoon-y. I much prefer the black – it really looks like a silhouette of the grass as the sky darkens to night.

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The last time I did this mani, I didn’t like how I had too many of the larger orbs and it looked kind of cluttered, so I did only one or two at first on each nail, then added one or two here and there until I liked it. I’m really pleased with the end result (and that the yellow I used – China Glaze’s Happy Go Lucky – didn’t smear when I applied top coat like Zoya’s Pippa did on my previous mani).

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Oh, I almost forgot to talk about CMAFest! We ended up doing some of the free concerts during the day on Saturday (Jamie-Lynn Spears (!) who did a little medley of ’90s songs including obviously a little Britney, and my sister’s new fav singer on the scene, Russell Dickerson), but DUDE, it was so hot. Everyone was walking around sweaty as hell, but luckily they had a lot of water stations set up, plus those little paper fans everywhere, otherwise I would’ve died. My sister had a friend in town for CMAFest but she and her friends were leaving early, so they nicely gave two tickets to my sister and I, which meant we got to go to the closing show on Sunday.

I am not a country music person, but it was cool to be in the stadium (where the NFL team plays) with 50,000 people all stomping and singing along to each performer. We saw Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan, with hilarious introductions by the Property Bros – who apparently are now a band and performed earlier in the day?! Can’t believe I missed that one. Anyway, besides the humidity and the shitshow of getting a Lyft after the show (we left early but it still took almost 45 minutes because there’s never clear instructions for the drivers with all the crazy street closures and stuff around these kind of events, and our guy said they held the cars for almost 20 minutes before they let them all to the pick up area?), it was a really fun night!

Thanks for reading, everyone! See ya 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!

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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