Cirque Holo Polishes

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a lovely week! I was craving some holographic sparkliness but of course the day after I put this mani on it was cloudy and overcast for almost an entire week. I was fiiiiinally able to take some photos yesterday, so sorry for the week-plus absence, but feast your eyes on these babies:

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I ordered three Cirque holos just before Christmas last year during a sale; I already showed the gorgeous orchid holo, Xochitl, in a previous post, but today I combined the last two in this super blingy mani.

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So we’ve got Panacea, a funky chartreuse holo, and Cerrillos, a vibrant turquoise – both colors I looooove, even when not in deliciously sparkly holo form. Panacea was a little sheer, so I did three thin coats, and Cerrillos was probably good at two but I was painting in low light so I added a third for good measure. These wore super well on me – I had it on for almost an entire week and I only got a little chip on each finger. Not bad! Oh, also, for some reason when I photographed in the direct sunlight (to catch as much holo flare as possible), the base colors didn’t appear as vivid as they are in person. Photos really don’t do these justice, they’re mesmerizing in real life!

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For my glittery pinkie and thumb, I dabbed a coat of China Glaze’s Techno over Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a great one-coat metallic silver. Techno is pretty chunky, so I did two thick layers of top coat, which of course meant my thumb chipped almost instantly. Sigh. But I just kept fixing the messed up parts because I liked this mani so much. It definitely didn’t chip off in big chunks like heavy glitters usually do on me, though, so that was a plus.

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On my pointer, I did one coat of No Place Like Chrome and then a layer of top coat. After it was totally dry, I placed one of my Make It Stick tribal decals (although it looks like they don’t do nail decals anymore…?) and painted a thick layer of Cerrillos on the top half and Panacea on the bottom. I was nervous to smooth the decal down too hard, like I usually do, because metallics have a tendency to rip off if you use tape on them, so the one side doesn’t look too great, but the outermost side is pretty crisp. I’ve never used these before because I kept forgetting about them, but I really love the designs.

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I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! I’ve got a few simple nail designs like this in mind for my next few manis, and I might even attempt a pictorial tutorial? Hmmm we’ll see how lazy I’m feeling. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see. As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time! – A x

Bunting Nails!

I’ve been wanting to do bunting/ nails for a while, but I didn’t have any brushes near as fine as what I’d need to do it, so I finally ordered some nail art brushes I’d been eyeing on Winstonia (FYI they’re having a 20% sale right now [which I missed, dammit!]!) and they finally arrived a few days ago so I tried them out!

Oops - as usual, I forgot to add my base coat color, it was Snow Me White by Sinful Colors.

Oops – as usual, I forgot to add my base coat color, it was Snow Me White by Sinful Colors.

These brushes are super fine, and I used the smallest/shortest three for this manicure. I had to do the banners once then go over them again – I’m not sure if it was because I dipped the brushes into little dabs of polish on a napkin, so the polish got too thick, but originally the banners were super streaky from an issue with brushstrokes/filling in the polish. They still weren’t perfect in the end, but it was late and they looked really great in person so I left them at this (stupid cameras, exaggerating flaws!):

Ahhhhhh I didn't see that huge chip on my thumb when I was taking these pics, I'm sorry!

Ahhhhhh I didn’t see that huge chip on my thumb when I was taking these pics, I’m sorry!

I still had a bit of an issue with getting a nice straight line – a few hairs of the brush would always sort of stray or separate and it was a little frustrating. I don’t think it was the polish – the second time I just dipped my brush into the bottle so it wasn’t exposed/gloppy – but maybe it was user error somehow? I think maybe I just need to get used to them – you can tell by the not-at-all-similar size/shape of the bunting that I’m not half as good at freehand nail art as some of the other way more talented ladies out there! But I really love having a way to do slightly more detailed nail art, though – I’m not going to be painting the Mona Lisa on my nails anytime soon, but now I can do little things and even tiny touch-ups!

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I’m sorry for the super sporadic posting – I just started a new job and I’m verrrrrrrry slowly adjusting to the new hours/schedule, so I haven’t done as many designs this month as I’d originally wanted to, but I definitely have at least one more summery nail art coming up soon.

Weirdly, my polish is fully intact in this photo. I must've banged my nail between taking this photo and the others…?

Weirdly, my polish is fully intact in this photo. I must’ve banged my nail between taking this photo and the others…?

I hope you guys liked this post! Thank you for reading, see you next time – A x

Strawberries On My Fingers

Continuing my summer nail art month with this super cute look:

Color So Hot It Berns, Running In Circles, Happy Go Lucky

Color So Hot It Berns (CSHIB), Running In Circles, Happy Go Lucky

I did two coats of CSHIB and when it dried, I did little slightly elongated dots with Happy Go Lucky. This mani made me realize I really need to get some teeny tiny brushes for detailing – I used my smallest dotting tool for these dots and they were still too big for my liking. Oh well. I applied a coat of Seche and after waiting about an hour, I cut some tape pieces in little jagged shapes (sort of like my shark bite look but thicker), applied them to my nails, and quickly painted two coats of Running In Circles.

Please excuse my janky tips - my Seche Vite is at the halfway point, which means it's gotten way too thick/gloppy and it's started shrinking my tips. Sigh.

Please excuse my janky tips – my Seche Vite is at the halfway point, which means it’s gotten way too thick/gloppy and it’s started shrinking my tips. Sigh.

I’ve done this strawberry look before and I always manage to nick it because the greens I use for the top take foreverrrr to dry since I have to quickly apply a second coat on top of the first without waiting for it to dry – you can’t let the tape sit very long once you’ve painted over it because it dries on top of the tape so the tape will tear off the polish underneath. I’ve tried this look twice before with Orly’s Fresh and managed to ding it each time. This go ’round I did ding a nail but I kind of smoothed it back out, which I count as a victory. I also did yellow for the seeds this time – usually I do black, but last time I did that people asked if they were watermelons :/

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I think I’d like these better if the “seeds” could be smaller – they look kind of cartoony here – and I just now thought of using a darker red instead of the yellow, which I’m not crazy about. Why didn’t I think of that earlierrrrrr? Whatever, these are so freaking cute, I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on them, and they definitely fit the summer theme!

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So yesterday LACMA had its second annual live commentary screening event where they screen a film and have the director, writer, and/or actors there with microphones to give anecdotes, facts, and general commentary on the movie (like the ones on the DVD). This year’s pick was Napoleon Dynamite, which is celebrating it tenth anniversary.

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I feel so freaking old! I remember when this movie came out – it was the summer before I began college and I was working at a multiplex. Napoleon Dynamite screened daily to nearly empty theaters, but I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen and ended up dragging friends to see it on three separate occasions that summer. I was a film student in college and it’s funny to remember how much I used to truly love movies like this (whereas now I rarely watch movies and haven’t bought one for probably five or six years. I’m all about the TV now). I have ND on DVD, but I haven’t watched it in years and I was surprised how well it actually held up – still a weird little flick, but funny. The director Jared Hess, star Jon Heder, and Will Forte (no idea why) gave commentary although they didn’t even talk that much, but I enjoyed the little behind-the-scens tidbits.

I was surprised how much of the film is made up from Jared Hess’ real-life experiences. The scene where the old farmer shoots a cow just as a school bus of children rolls up to see? That actually happened to the director’s brother (“That’s farm life, you guys,” he laughed). Also, a friend of his growing up really bought a “time machine” – for $800 from a guy in Florida (of course it was Florida) – like Kip and Uncle Rico do in the film, and later that kid also bought a “wish machine.” When Napoleon calls Kip and asks him to bring his Chapstick was taken from Jared’s younger brother actually calling Jared to bring him Chapstick at school.

Except for the unicorns, all the drawings of Napoleon’s in the film were drawn by Jon Heder. They also had to fly in a hand model for the opening credits because someone at Fox Searchlight thought Jon had a gross hangnail on one of his fingers, so half the hands are Jon’s and half are a much tanner models (Jon added that it was super awkward having to be there with the model and direct him how to move the plates). Tina the llama was Jared Hess’ mom’s llama in real life (named Dolly), and Jon said the line he gets quoted at him the most is “Tina you fat lard, come get some dinner!” Oh, and when Jared moved to Idaho, his school required everyone to join a club but the only one left was the sign language club, which was the inspiration for the “Happy Hands” club.

From left: Diedrich Bader (Sensi Rex), Shondrella Avery (Lafawnduh), Jon Heder (Napoleon), Carmen Brady (Starla), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Sandy Martin (Grandma aka Mac's mom), director Jared Hess.

From left: Diedrich Bader (Sensi Rex), Shondrella Avery (Lafawnduh), Jon Heder (Napoleon), Carmen Brady (Starla), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Sandy Martin (Grandma aka Mac’s mom), director Jared Hess.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I highly encourage you to do a little strawberry nail action yourself – they’re a real crowd pleaser, and they’re adorable for summer. I’d love to see your version if you do! Thank you for reading, see you next time – A x

Chevron Chic

I started following Make It Stick on Instagram and a week or so ago they posted about a sale they were having. I do a lot of tape manis, so I loved the idea of having pre-cut shapes at my disposal and ordered a few designs.

My order came in a fabulous pink package including a business card with tips on the back and a piece of gum, how cute!

My order came in a fabulous pink package including a business card with tips on the back and a piece of gum, how cute!

My order shipped quickly so I got it a few days ago and couldn’t wait to play! I also wanted to use a few polishes I’d recently bought, and so this is the combo I came up with:

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I’m not sure why I bought this Essie – as is well documented on this blog by now, I’m not a red/coral person at all. But something about this little guy popped out at me every time I visited my fav nail supply store, so when I was there last weekend I decided to just finally buy it. And I like it a lot! I knew I wanted to use it with a dusty blue, so I chose Electric Beat. I own almost every polish from China Glaze’s 2012 Electropop collection, but I only got Electric Beat and its cousin, Kinetic Candy (a lighter version of the same color) a few months ago because those kind of blues aren’t normally my jam; however, I’ve used both a lot since acquiring them. I think this cornflower-y blue and the bright coral-orange work really well together here!

Come Here! is slightly more orange in person.

Come Here! is slightly more orange in person.

I almost just used Come Here! and Electric Beat with the chevron tape by themselves, but then I thought breaking them up with a neutral color would look better, so I chose my old buddy My Vampire Is Buff. I used two quick coats (would’ve done another if I was wearing it alone due to slight streakiness) and a layer of Seche Vite, then waited about an hour to add the tape and additional layers of polish – I tried it on a finger on my left hand after only about fifteen minutes and when I removed the tape, it pulled up my base layer of MVIB. :/ Since neither Come Here! or Electric Beat are normally one coaters, I did one super thick coat over the tape in an attempt to get them completely opaque, but as you can see in the closer photo below, that thicker coat meant my lines weren’t 100% crisp when I pulled the tape up. You definitely can’t tell unless you get up close, though.

I somehow managed to smear a little of Come Here!, probably while putting on top coat…I will never learn that patience is a virtue :(

I somehow managed to smear a little of Come Here on my ring finger, probably while putting on top coat…will I ever learn that patience is a virtue?

My pointer and pinkie fingers are topped with another fairly recent purchase, Rose of Light. It’s composed of rose gold hexes/micro glitter and small holographic square pieces, and is a pretty densely packed glitter. It’s really pretty! I’ve been into rose gold more and more lately, and this glitter is a nice, subtle way to add it in.

You can see the rose gold-ness better in this macro taken inside...

You can see the rose gold-ness better in this macro taken inside…

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…and the sparkliness in this blurred .gif (I can never resist!).

P.S. The name “Come Here!” makes me smile because it reminds me of how Jenny Lewis says it in “Portions For Foxes.”

Daaaaaamn you guys, remember when summer used to be an empty wasteland for television? Sunday night I was typing up my Easter post and realized that later that night Mad Men, Orphan Black, Game Of Thrones, Veep, AND the new show Salem were all going to be on. I’ve been anticipating Salem because I thought it would be a hilarable cheesefest, but apparently Salem is going the Ryan Murphy “balls-out crazy” route. (Minor spoilers below!)

Oh man, I couldn’t stop laughing every time Shane West popped up – he just looked so out of place with long hair/period garb plus his character seemed to be incongruously modern compared to everyone else (it may have been his acting, though?). His love interest, the main girl Mary, is kind of coldly beautiful which I think works, plus I like that she goes from “sad young girl in love” to “bad bitch who owns the town and tortures her enemies.”

There are lots of faboosh capes, though! via

Puritans didn’t have a lot of fashion options, but there were still faboosh capes, apparently!
via

I was really startled at the random, pretty intense sex scene that came out of nowhere at one point, causing me to turn to my sister and confusedly ask, “Isn’t WGN the channel that edits out the word “poop” in its 30 Rock reruns?” And we watched it at like, 7 or 8 pm… You can’t even say things like “asshole” until 10pm, right? There were a lot of wtf moments though, from the literal frog in Mary’s husband’s throat (not to mention the thigh suckling???) to the possessed/haunted girl getting walked like a dog in the town square to the orgy of molasses people.

"We're here to partyyyyyyy!" via

“We’re here to partyyyyyyy!”
via

I can’t quite tell if I liked this or not – I have a tendency to enjoy shitty/cheesy shows if they’re fun (see: Reign) but Salem isn’t quite “so bad it’s cheesy good,” yet it’s definitely not actually good… Jury is out, but I will give it a few episodes to see if they embrace the camp or take themselves (far too) seriously.

Anyone else get goodies from the Make It Stick sale or watch Salem? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! See you guys next time – 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.

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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