May Nail Art Challenge #8: Spring Flowers!

Hiya, all! The temperature is starting to climb, which means all I want to do it wear bright colors, so even though today’s nail art challenge prompt is “spring flowers” – which brings to mind soft, pale hues – I HAD to go neon pastel.

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

As I’ve written many times before because I can’t stop using this color, China Glaze’s Son Of A Peach (SOAP) is SO hard to capture accurately on camera – it’s definitely a neon peach, but in photos it almost always looks like a mac-and-cheese, yellow-toned orange. However, I think I FINALLY managed some photos where I caught how it looks in person! I always try to shoot neons in the shade, where you can gauge both the actual brightness and see the true color, but that never really worked before with SOAP until now, huzzah!

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze's Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn't show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze’s Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn’t show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I really love peach and lavender together (and just realized that I already used that combo once during this challenge, oops!), and I love the pairing of these two polishes! Lavendairy is one of my favorite polishes and I hate that I have to use it sparingly (I don’t support Lime Crime anymore, but even if I wanted to buy another, they stopped making nail polishes), so I just did a few accents with SOAP here. The purple/orange combo and the white daisies make this look a little ’70s, which I wasn’t going for, but I still think this looks really cute!

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

Only one challenge left this month – I can’t believe May has gone so quickly! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Cobalt & Peach

Hi everyone, how’s your week been going? I’ve been doing a week of catch-up posts when I realized I was two weeks (!) behind, but today I’ve reached the last prompt for the WNAC August nail art challenge and I am posting on time, huzzah! I’ve really liked how easy and open it was – only once a week and with unrestrictive prompts that leave you free to do a wide scope of designs. A lot of the nail art challenges I’​ve seen require something new every day of the month (!!!), which is something lazy ol’ me would never have attempted, and I liked how the prompt gave me a color palette but left me free to do whatever I felt like. I will def be revisiting this challenge in the future when I’m lacking inspiration! So here we go, the last prompt of the WNAC nail art challenge:

Nails Inc Baker Street, China Glaze Son Of A Peach

Nails Inc Baker Street, China Glaze Son Of A Peach

I really love this color combo, but of course, being me, I had to make it a bit punchier. Enter China Glaze’s Son Of A Peach – the obnoxiously formulated, gorgeously pastel neon-ed peach of my dreams. It never shows up the correct colors in photos (although I did try my hardest!), so I apologize for saying “you need to see this in person to appreciate it,” but…you really do. Anyway, I think I used four coats to get this color perfectly opaque? Like most pastels and/or neons, SOAP is plagued with a patchy formula that makes it difficult to achieve a nice, level, opaque coat. I’ve discussed this many times before because as much as I hate the formula of SOAP, the color is so to die for that I’ve used it a bunch of times on this blog in the past, so I’m gonna stop bitching about it and get to the rest of the mani!

8.28. around bottle

I added a layer of top coat to my middle two fingers and gave it about 30 minutes to completely dry, then I carefully laid striping tape in a criss-cross pattern and quickly painted on a coat of Nails Inc’s Baker Street. Baker Street is another polish I’ve used a bunch of times on this blog – it’s a fabulous cobalt that’s a one-coater if you’re careful, although it does chip very quickly on me, unfortunately. After I applied my coat of Baker Street, I gently pulled up the striping tape, except I forgot which pieces went down first on my ring finger so they all kinda tugged up at once, which is why it doesn’t look as crisp as my middle. In person you can’t really tell that much, though.

8.28. diagonal

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty pleased at how good I’ve become at striping tape (my forgetting which order as noted above notwithstanding). I usually don’t have the patience to try something like this, but once I realized how amazing pointed tweezers were at helping ease of application, I kind of became a pro. Since I’m only ever 50/50 good with stamping and 0% skilled with water marbling {which I think everyone agrees with the MOST difficult nail art), tape designs are my favorite way to create nail art. As long as you know to make sure the bottom color’s top coat is completely dry and to pull up the tape immediately after painting, it’s really easy to make cool designs even for a nail art novice.

8.28.pose

I can’t believe August is over already. 2015 has gone by incredibly fast, right? It really freaks me out, but also…August being over means HALLOWEEN TIME is officially at hand! I bust out my autumnal-scented candles right around now and start decorating my apartment in the middle of September because I just can’t wait for fall, and the best part – this year in Southern California it’s supposed to actually be chilly and cool! I will get a real fall season, huzzah! Last year it was in the high 90s all through October and I thought I was going to die – also, it’s hard to plan cute outfits for the pumpkin patch when you have to dress like it’s high summer, bleh. Anyway, I’m already planning Halloween manis, obvs, but I’m not quite sure what to fill September with. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see, leave me a comment below! Thank you so much for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x

ILNP Swatch: Kaleidoscope

Hellooooo everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was really lovely – very relaxing while also getting some errands done, plus there was a huge thunderstorm and golden retriever snuggles! Basically the definition of a perfect chill weekend. To ward off the “bleh”s from the start of a boring workweek, I’m going to show my latest polish acquisition today, ILNP’s gorgeous flakie Kaleidoscope.

7.19.15 bottles

Kaleidoscope is a mix of all the flakie polishes ILNP offers, so obviously it was the one I was most excited about from ILNP’s summer 2015 collection. I love, love, love rainbow toppers, so a rainbow-y, color-shifting flakie topper? I can’t even, because I’m dead.

7.19.15 pose

I mean, gahhhhhh. This is gorgeous! Just like my last INP flakie, Kaleidoscope went on easily and had great coverage so I didn’t even have to dab and swirl like I sometimes have to with heavy glitter toppers. There actually isn’t much texture to these flakes even before you put on top coat, which is nice because I haaaate bumpy, lumpy nails (which is why I don’t wear glitter that often). As for the flakes themselves – again, just like my last review, I love that these are opaque, metallic flakes that can be layered over anything, not just a dark color. To prove it, I did one thick layer over Color Club’s East Austin, a neon peach (a notoriously troublesome color, so this was three obnoxious, streaky coats. Sigh).

There really isn’t that much more to say – this is fabulous, go get it right now. I’m a pretty frugal lacquerhead – I don’t actually own that many indies because I’m just not a person to shell out $10-$15 for one polish all that often – but Kaleidoscope is totally worth the $$$. It’s gorgeous and extremely versatile because it can go over just about any base color. You definitely won’t regret this! (Although it does pay to sign up for ILNP’s newsletter – it lets you know when pre-orders are happening, which is how I got this polish for $1 off, as well as the 30% off sales they sometimes have, which takes the sting out of the price a bit. Especially if you want to order more than one bottle at a time because hello, of course you’ll want to, their polishes are gorgeous and have great formulas!)

7.19.15 fingers

Oh man, I could stare at this combo all day. I love how summery it is with the peach base color! Did anyone else pick up any ILNPs in the pre-order or anything from the summer collection at all? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

Neon 90s Vibes

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well! I’ve been on a bright polish kick lately, and I’m pretty obsessed with this combo:

3.25.bottles

Neon Barbie pink + neon turquoise = yassssssssss! I’ve written before about the China Glaze Sunsational polishes – gorgeous neon pastel hues, terrible formulas – but even though I needed 3 coats to get rid of streakiness with these, it surprisingly wore really well! Usually when I do more than two coats my polish chip pretty quickly, but I wore just pink and blue skittles for a few days and they held up beautifully! Hm…

Taken in my car at 5pm on the way home (at a red light, obvs).

This is like, day four. Whaaaaaat?

I loved these two colors just by themselves (reminds me of cotton candy or these taffy candies), but decided to spice it up a little and added some decal art. I looooove tape manis. They’re really easy – which is great because I’m super lazy – but look like you’ve put time into your design. I did some cleaning last weekend and found an envelope of decals I thought I’d lost, including these awesome zig zag/lightning bolt(?) ones! Unfortunately, because I had to put on two coats of Bottoms Up to get it non-streaky, when I pulled the decal up on those fingers, it got a little messed up. Definitely try to use polishes that only need one not-so-thick coat when using decals/tape, because I’ve had this issue before.

3.25 curled

With the lightning bolt-esque shape and the neon pink and aqua, these nails look kinda 90s (and remind me of Clarissa Explains It All‘s credits), and that just makes me love them more! I wore this manicure for almost a full week, which should tell you just how much I loved it, because I usually get bored after about two days. That’s also why the polish is so far from my cuticles in these pics – I kept forgetting to take photos until the day I took them off and my nails grow hella quickly, oops. I know they look kinda gross, sorry about that!

3.26 curled under

I’m really feeling these neon pastels lately, so I’ll be back soon with another bright look. Thanks for reading, everyone! See you 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.

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