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!

6.11.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

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.

6.11.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagaonal1

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

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Blue & Purple Skittles, and a Colourpop Review

(Ahhhhh sorry y’all, I had this post ready over a week ago but I realized just now that I never actually put it up!)

Hi everyone! Today I have a quick blue and purple mani because I’ve really been digging those colors lately.

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Shower Together is so great – it’s basically a one-coater and isn’t too dark or bright, it’s just the perfect almost-teal (it’s not quite green enough to be called teal, but it definitely leans green). Are You Jelly? is the complete opposite of Shower Together – I think this is four thin coats, and it still look streaky. The color is fab – a bright orchid purple – but ughhhhh the streakiness is so obnoxious. It’s from China Glaze’s 2013 Sunsational collection, which was populated with likewise beautiful but difficult hues, and I’m never quite sure if the brilliant colors are worth the struggle to get the polish on nicely.

The striped nail got a little smeared when I put top coat on, but you can barely see it in person.

The striped nail got a little smeared when I put top coat on, but you can barely see it in person.

I do like this combo, though, and I was actually inspired to go blue/purple by the glitter, Wet n Wild’s Believe Me, They’re Real. BMTR was part of a holiday collection back in…2012, I want to say? I grabbed a few because they were dupes for the much-pricier Nails Inc. glitter polishes. BMTR is a pretty opaque glitter comprised mostly of glitter that’s a lovely blue almost the same color as Shower Together, peppered with royal purple glitter pieces.

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I accidentally smudged AYJ? on my ring finger so I cut a few random pieces out of washi tape and haphazardly applied them to my top-coated nail, painted on one easy coat of Shower Together, then immediately pulled the tape off. I’m actually really please with how it looks – it sort of reminds me of the design on Fruit Stripes gum – and I love how the richness of Shower Together makes the colors together look bright but not too 80s. I topped everything off with the Julie G fast-dry top coat I got at the Rite-Aid event a few weeks ago, and it was dry in a snap. I love that stuff.

3.15 around bottle

In other news, today I got my first order from Colourpop Cosmetics, the indie makeup brand that’s taken Instagram by storm with its wide range of colors are super-low prices. I ordered some neutral-colored matte eye shadows (Bill, To-A-T), a lippie stick and its matching lip liner (Dalia), and Colourpop’s lip primer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too thrilled with the eye shadows – To-A-T pulled very terra cotta on my skin when it looked like a med-tone brown online, and while I’d been super excited for Bill after seeing swatches online with it being a lovely mid-tone taupe or a lavender gray, either one I would’ve been happy with, it was basically invisible on my lids. I think part of the problem is that there’s barely any swatches on the site – there’s a few, and I appreciate that those do have show the colors on both a lighter and darker skin, even some of those aren’t color accurate according to bloggers’ swatches I’ve seen. As for the lip products, Dahlia is a great burgundy hue, but the lipstick went on patchy in one coat even over the liner. I’m pretty disappointed since I’ve only read gushing reviews, and maybe I built it up too much. I think if I order in the future I’ll stick to brighter colors, which are easier to be opaque (lippies) and to see exactly what hue they are (shadows).

Dalia lip pie stick, Dalia lip liner, Bill  eyeshaow, To-A-T eyeshadow, all without primer

Dalia lip pie stick, Dalia lip liner, Bill eyeshaow, To-A-T eyeshadow, all without primer

Did anyone else have a not-so-great experience with Colourpop or have any recs for products they love? Let me know in the comments! I really do want to give them another shot, but ehhh…. Anyway, thank you for reading! 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.

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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.
via


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

Dark Glamour

Hi everyone! How’s your October going? it’s a super busy month for me and I’ve been planning nonstop – I’ve got my apartment fully decorated for Halloween, a trip to a pumpkin patch scheduled for next weekend, and I’m starting to put together my costume, yay! Today I’ve got a manicure using one of my favorite spooky color combos, black and green.

Orly's Here Comes Trouble and Sunglasses At Night

Orly’s Here Comes Trouble and Sunglasses At Night

I originally want to do something with green and purple glitter, but then I couldn’t find the purple glitter I wanted so I ended up with this look and I love it! I used one coat of Wet ‘N Wild’s Black Creme, my go-to black, and added a layer of top coat to my middle two nails. After an hour or so, I applied hole reinforcement stickers at the cuticle then painted two thin coats of Here Comes Trouble, and removed the stickers. I love Here Comes Trouble – it’s a perfect grass green, has a subtle depth from the combo of fine glitter and small hexes, and even has a pretty smooth texture that only needs one layer of top coat.

10-06014 curled

I was less impressed with Sunglasses At Night. I’ve been picking up and putting back down this polish every time I go to my fav polish supply store, and a few weeks ago I finally bought it because I thought it would be perfect for Halloween. Sunglasses At Night is composed of black holographic bar glitter in a sheer tinted base, and while I’m not normally a fan of bar glitter, something about it really caught my eye. Unfortunately, the formula is really shitty – it’s super watery and difficult to grab a good amount of glitter. I do love the actual glitter itself, though – it’s definitely holographic but when it’s on the base color looks blue instead of black, which is pretty unique and looks really cool.

10-06-14 up

Today’s movie post is a total guilty pleasure – Practical Magic. This movie is not great, and at times is quite painfully ’90s (that soundtrack!) but for some reason, every time this movie is on ABC Family, I have to watch it. I’m totally a sucker for the “small-town New England in October” setting, so that’s definitely a part of this movie’s allure for me. Anyway, if you’ve never seen the movie, it has three generations of Owens witches – Aunts Jet and Frances, main characters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman), and Sally’s daughters Kylie and Antonia – living in a small town where Sally is trying to deal with her husband’s death and raising her kids in a place where people gossip about the Owens being witches.

Sally, of course, is the “super talented witch who just wants to be normal and doesn’t use her powers” cliche, trying to raise her kids to be “normal,” which is difficult as they live with the super witchy aunts. Sally is the wild child who left home as a teen, and the main story is kicked off when Gilly calls Sally for help escaping abusive Jimmy. The women end up accidentally killing Jimmy as they try to escape, and when they bury him in the aunts’ backyard they think they’re safe, until weird things start happening and a cop comes calling to find him.

There are a few jump-y moments when Jimmy comes back, and I think the movie does a nice job at creating tension for the scenes with Jimmy and later with the hot cop who’s investigating. The end exorcism (I guess?) scene is also pretty cool. Mostly, I just really love the sisters’ relationship – Gillian is flighty and immature, Sally is stubborn and jaded, but they appreciate each other despite their flaws and will do anything for each other. Also, Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest really make the most out of their short screen time as the aunts. When you’re not in the mood for something scary but still want that October/Halloween feel, Practical Magic is a good movie to pop in.

Thoughts on this mani? Anyone else feel oddly compelled to always watch Practical Magic? Has anyone read the book (which I also like a lot)? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time – A x

Favorites Month: Neutrals

This isn’t the most thrilling category, I know, but I do like seeing what people’s favorite neutrals are. I found my favorite (and now discontinued, SOB) white from just such a favorites list! So here are my top ten picks for neutrals:

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FYI: One of only two OMG polishes I own, the formula on this guy is a bit weird – it’s SUPER runny in the bottle, but the holo looks normal on the nail so I’m not sure what happened (I did get it off eBay, though, so…). I do love me a neutral with a twist, though, which is why I love FYI – a nice, soft nude that nonetheless has a KAPOW holo flare in the sun. As much as I love more scattered holos, this kind of super smooth linear holo is so cool and futuristic-looking and I wish more polishes had it.

Sand Tropez: A pretty neutral tan, Sand Tropez is a nice neutral that I usually just use under glitters but it’s such a classic mani shade – my friends always flock to it when they raid my collection.

My Vampire Is Buff: (I can’t find my bottle, so Samoan Sand is standing in!) This collection came out right around the time that I was starting to accept neutrals/traditional colors into my polish collection and I’m so glad I scooped this baby up! It’s a favorite of lacquerheads everywhere with its easy formula and pretty French vanilla hue that’s a perfect base for nail art or a lovely, clean look on its own.

Frosty: So prettyyyyyyy. China Glaze has some fan-freaking-tastic holiday colors, and I have five or so from this collection (2010). Frosty is a sheer, jelly-ish white with tiny white, pink, and green sparkles. It screams “winter!” and ugh I just love its icy splendor so much!

White On The Spot: Another favorite that is now gone! This guy was amazing – usually whites are super streaky and take at least three coats to even out, but with WOTS I could sometimes get away with one coat. ONE COAT. Siiiigh. Milani has apparently done away with this line and has a new polish line out, and I’m just praying that they didn’t change the formula too much because my bottle now is chunky and old :/

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Skull & Glossbones: This came from that weird OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection that was all subdued pastels – not really what comes to mind when one thinks “pirates” – and I didn’t give any of the polishes much thought until I kept seeing S&G pop up on blog after blog. I finally got my own bottle and I’m so glad I did – it’s a light gray with a pinch of green, an odd, ghostly color that I nonetheless love.

Pelican Gray: I was torn between this one and OG China Glaze gray Recycle, but I do prefer the lighter, more dove gray of PG (the horrible formula of my bottle of Zoya Dove, similar to this color, immediately put it out of the running). I wore this once by itself, mattified, and it was a really cool, weirdly chic look. Hmm. Now I want to try that again…

Dahlia: I love the Zoya PixieDusts and Dahlia is no exception! It was a little disappointing when I first put it on – since it looks black in the bottle but once it’s on your nails it’s actually a dark gray – but I do love the deep yet warm gray, and it’s sparkly as all get-out. It looks like crushed graphite on your nails!

Storm: I’ve only worn this guy once, very briefly, but it was enough to get on my list! I hope Zoya keeps making more and more colors in this awesome irregularly shaped, holo-flecked formula; I already own almost all of them! I’m not a huge fan of black on my nails (a bunch of friends wore plain black constantly on their nails in college when I was in college and somehow I kinda OD’d on it) but this little beauty almost makes me want to wear it every day!

Black Crème: (I also can’t find this polish, so another black WnW is standing in!) I’m sad to report that W’n’W has changed the formula of this perfect gem. The bottle I have (on its last legs, oh nooooo) has a perfect, buttery one-coat formula that made it a cinch to create nail art. I got a newer bottle not too long ago and while it’s not the worst, it doesn’t come close to this original formula.

For my neutral mani, I wanted to wear Dahlia on its own because I only wore this once, ages ago, and I wanted to get it on my paws again! I mentioned that I don’t like plain black on my nails, but I do love gray – it feels more chic to me than black, even though I know that’s the go-to for lots of people (including my #1 polish buddy, my sister).

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Dahlia also has the added bonus of being a sparkle explosion, which is always welcome since I’m not usually one to wear a crème neutral by itself. I did add these little silver studs for extra interest, though, and I love them with Dahlia!

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See any of your favorites up here? Do you have any suggestions for a great white since my fav is discontinued? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you back next time with my favorite metallics! – A x