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?)

6.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

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.

6.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

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.

6.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

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).

6.14.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled

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

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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!

6.11.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

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

May Nail Art Challenge #7: Pastel

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. It’s absolutely gorgeous here today, the pool at my apartment complex was crazy busy ha. I originally wasn’t excited about this prompt – usually the only pastels I like are neon – but I actually love the way it came out, which is really nice after a few “meh” manis.

From left: China Glaze Pelican Gray, CG Sweet Hook, CG Diva Bride, OPI Gelato On My Mind, CG Re-fresh Mint

From left: China Glaze Pelican Gray, CG Sweet Hook, CG Diva Bride, OPI Gelato On My Mind, CG Re-fresh Mint

I was already wearing China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, so I decided to top that with some pastel colors and thought pastel mermaid scales might be pretty. I think the decals I used were from What’s Up Nails – they were pretty good! I still had to manually pop out some of the inside of the scales, but they stayed on the vinyl for the most part, and they gave me really nice, crisp lines except for one or two places where I didn’t press down hard enough.

My cuticles look fine in person, but they look really bad here, stupid camera magnification!

My cuticles look fine in person, but they look really bad here, stupid camera magnification!

Once my decals were in place, I wet a makeup sponge, wrung it out so it was only a little damp, then placed random dots of my four pastel colors and sponged it on. The pink and mint are some of the colors I won from China Glaze – I only kept them because I didn’t have a pale pink or mint and thought I should probably have them for nail art purposes, which is a good thing because I already used it for this mani! Despite being pastels, the colors only took two or three light sponging passes to be nice and opaque.

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I love how this turned out! The only thing I wish I could’ve changed it noticing the decal on my pinkie wasn’t down all the way – you can see the middle scale is kind of messed up – but I think this is a really pretty, springy mani! I kind of want to do everything mermaid scales now that I know how good the decals are.

5.22.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

Thanks for reading! See you soon with the second-to-last nail art challenge for May – A x

Tropical Aqua and Lime

I used to love wearing two different nail colors on each hand – one color on my left, one color on my right. I realized the other day that I haven’t done that in forever, so I pulled out some of my brightest and happiest colors to do just that!

(Sorry my lighting is a little weird in these pics - I still don't have my lightbox yet (nowhere to put it right now) and I was rushing to take these pics before the sun totally went away, hence the blue tint.)

(Sorry my lighting is a little weird in these pics – I still don’t have my lightbox yet (nowhere to put it right now) and I was rushing to take these pics before the sun totally went away, hence the blue tint.)

Blue-Ming is the prettiest aqua blue, but the formula sucks (like most pastel neon colors). It also chips really quickly on me, but the color is to die. I used two of my dotting tools to make the curved line of dots – first I added a few bigger dots, then I filled in the rest of the space with smaller dots. I ended up wanting to add some gold, too, so I just put it over a few existing green dots.

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The green polish featured here is from Lime Crime. I know it’s a terrible company, but I bought this polish, Pastelchio, and the purple, Lavendairy, years ago, before I really knew much about the company. Last year (or was it 2014?) was that awful incident where lots of people got their credit cards ripped off because Lime Crime didn’t want to put better security measures in effect (i.e. they were being cheap), and that’s when I found out about the whole host of other shitty practices Lime Crime had engaged in the past. I do have a few more products from them – a few eyeliners and a liquid lipstick – but again, I got them a few years ago before I knew of any issues, and I’m going to keep using them because I really like the formula and the colors, but I won’t be repurchasing (I believe China Glaze has colors that dupe both the green and purple that I own, anyway). Okay, rant over!

4.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns right

I really love the color combo of aqua, lime, and gold, and Honey Ryder is the perfect gold – not too yellow, not to champagne-y, and with just the right metallic sheen. It’s no secret that I love OPI’s texture polishes, and this is one of my favorites. I’m weird about golds, so the fact that this is my preferred hue AND it’s a texture? Yas, yas, yas!

4.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns both

I hope you liked this look! It was a lot of fun, and it got me some compliments, which is always nice. I haven’t been feeling very nail art-y lately, so I’m going to participate in a nail art challenge I found on Instagram in May to try to get me back into it, which means lots of posts this month! Thanks for reading, see you guys soon with my first challenge – A x

In Which My Obsession with Blue Continues…

Hello, everyone! How’s your week starting off? It’s actually a gorgeous day here – sunny and breezy, and not humid yet! This won’t be a super exciting post but I still haven’t unpacked my polishes (whoops) so I have limited options, plus I’m still head over heels with OPI’s Gelato On my Mind, so there wasn’t really a question of what to put on my nails next.

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I just used Gelato On My Mind in the previous post, but suffice to say, if you love these kind of blues, you NEED this polish. It’s just such a refreshing pale aqua shade – not powdery baby blue, which I’m not a huge fan of, but slightly more green-toned – and is a two-coater if you’re careful, which is amazing for a pastel polish.

4.4.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I did want to add a little something extra, so I put a coat of Sally Hansen’s Open Mica Night (OMN) on top. OMN has a slightly thick base, so you do have to put a little work in to make sure you get enough glitter on each nail/that it gets placed evenly enough, but I’m a sucker for square glitter, so I love it. It wasn’t totally smooth after one layer of top coat because my finagling to get glitter distributed evenly made the thick base have weird little bumps and lumps, but it wasn’t too bad. And it was VERY sparkly and fun in the sun!

You can see little bubbles in the top coat (or maybe OMN's base?) here that aren't visible to the naked eye, so weird!

You can see little bubbles in the top coat (or maybe OMN’s base?) here that aren’t visible to the naked eye, so weird!

Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x