June 29, 2016


I've recently discovered that gradient nail art is one of my favorite things to do.  But so far, I've always done the same gradient on all 10 nails, using a maximum of four colors.  This time, I decided not only to do each nail in a different color, but also to switch up the direction of my gradient!

This vertical rainbow holographic gradient turned out pretty darn awesome, although it looked a little bit neater in my head.  And I couldn't stomach the idea of leaving out an entire nail, or of photographing my right hand, so once again you get to see my stubby little broken pinky nail!

I used Gothic Gala Lacquers Make It So, My Partner In Crime, It's Green Sir, The Dancing Doctor (all from the Star Trek collection), Sinfully Stephanie, and All Mixed Up Lacquers Look At My Holo from the Nail Chicks Be Like... collection.  Each nail got two colors, starting with red and ending with pink as the rainbow goes.  Then I topped it all off with China Glaze Fairy Dust because why not make it sparkle even more?

As you can see, I had a bit of a hard time sponging the colors all the way down to my cuticles.  Even though I used a latex mani barrier and sponged all over it, I just couldn't fill in that little line of black base around my cuticles.  A problem I find unique to vertical gradients.

This was all done on top of a black base, Salon Perfect Oil Slick.  I decided to use black as a base instead of white to help make the holos pop, and to make the mani look a bit darker overall.  I'm pretty sure that a white base would have made the colors look a lot more pastel, which would be nice but that wasn't the look I wanted today.

SHAZAM!  Look at that holo polish + Fairy Dust in action!

I had intended to make a video tutorial for this look, but as I was setting up my tabletop tripod, one of the legs snapped right off!  I do still have my full-size tripod but it was way too awkward to work around.  Maybe when I get a replacement tripod, I'll just have to do another gradient and make a tutorial!

Side note: my right pointer finger has had a nerve twitching in it on and off for a few weeks now.  It's not painful and it stops for a day here and there, so I haven't bothered to get it checked out.  Anyway, when that nerve twitches, it causes my pointer finger to twitch really quickly.  It's been annoying to have to deal with that while painting my nails - this was going on the whole time I swatched the Nail Chicks Be Like collection - but, clearly, I managed to work through it!  I'm impressed that I was able to do a full nail art mani with my twitchy finger.

What do you think of this design?  Let me know in the comments!

June 22, 2016

All Mixed Up Lacuqers: Nail Chicks Be Like... Collection

Okay.  I'm supposed to be on a no-buy.  For everything.  Until I find a job with reliable income.  But, obviously, that's not really happening because the indie nail polish world is so amazing and tempting!

This is my first time using All Mixed Up Lacquers.  I saw a collage of this collection pop up in my Instagram feed, and I went to the profile to investigate (I guess I need to stop doing that if I want to follow my no-buy) and found that this is a 10-piece collection made as a collaboration with bloggers Bethany of Hosuewifenails and Mercedes of Manicutie, inspired by things that nail polish fanatics say.  And you guys know how much I love buying nail polish because it has a cool name, so yeah, I had to have the whole collection.

To my surprise, my order was delivered while the collection was still in pre-order mode!  I kicked myself into gear so that you could feast your eyes on these 10 gorgeous babies as quickly as possible.

Warning: TONS of pictures ahead.  But that's the best part of a nail polish review, right?  And my pinky nail is still short and awkward so it's not going to be in the photos.

What No Buy?

Ha, yeah, of course this one would exist!  I see other ladies talking about breaking their no-buys alllll the time.

What No Buy? is a holographic glitterbomb.  The base is clear but quite dense with holo dust, and there are lots of small-to-medium shiny glitters in pink, orange, green, and blue.  I have two coats over white, one coat over black, and two coats over my naked nail.  You can see that the base is dense enough for semi-opacity in just two coats over naked nail!


Just look at all that holographic glitter!!!

This Looked Better in My Head

I've definitely said this, either to myself or in a post, about a lot of the nail art designs I've done!  Nail polish can be finnicky and it's hard to get the image in your mind to turn out exactly on your nails.

This Looked Better In My Head is a bright fuchsia jelly with matte purple flakies and some very fine holo microglitters, although I'm not sure those ones picked up on my camera.  From pointer to ring finger, I have two, three, and four coats on my nails.

My camera really flattened out the color, so I did my best to edit it on the computer.  The brightness of the fuchsia is most accurate in the macro shot above.

One Coat Wonder

Every nail polish lover covets a one coat wonder!  They save a ton of time end effort.

One Coat Wonder is supposed to be an actual OCW itself, but that wasn't really the case for me.  Partly because of the tiny brush in the mini bottle, and partly because of how long my nails are - they require a lot more polish than your average shorter nail!

I did use only one coat on my ring finger, and I thought I did it nice and thick, but while editing the photos I realized that no, it was a little streaky.  I decided to show my bum pinky nail because, again, I thought that with its shortness I'd be able to get away with one coat, but again, nope.

But don't get down on One Coat Wonder!  Even if it always needs two coats, it's still such a gorgeous mint-teal-turquoise color with more superfine holo dust.  I highly recommend buying this one in a full-size bottle if you want it to live up to its name!

Look at My Holo

Holo sparkles are the best sparkles.  If you're friends with a nail polish fanatic, she's eventually going to shove her holographic nails in your face and say "LOOK AT THEM SPARKLE!"

Look at My Holo is a neon pink crelly with TONS of holo dust.  I have two coats on my pointer finger, three on my middle, and four on my ring finger.

Once again, my camera really muted the neonness of this one so I did my best to edit the colors on my computer.  The color accuracy is best in the sunlight and macro photos!


Getting nail mail is one of the most exciting things in my life, and it has been since the time I discovered the indie polish scene!  And using the hashtag on Instagram is a must so that I can share my happiness with everyone.

#nailmail is a white crelly base packed full of holographic glitters of many colors - soft and hot pink, teal, lime green, navy...  It's like the explosion of color and happiness that you get whenever you open up your nail mail!

I have three coats on each finger in the photos.

The glitter density here is great - it's quite easy to get the same amount of glitter on your nails as you see in the bottle.  I had to do a bit of dabbing to get glitters to apply evenly, which is normal for glitters of this size; still, it might have been easier if I had a full-sized bottle with a bigger brush.


Here's another popular hashtag for polish lovers!  I usually see this when people have exciting drinks like Starbucks or artisan beer/pop or even just a really cute thermos.  I myself usually use this hashtag when showing off my fancy artisan pops that I like to try out every now and then.

#mynailsandmydrink is a beautiful pink-toned beige crelly with holo dust in the base, and beige small-to-medium chunky glitters.  The base color is one of my favorite browns that I've worn - it's a lovely cream-in-my-coffee brown.  I don't think my camera really captured the pinkish undertones, though, so once again I did my best to edit the photos and that's why my skin looks extra pink!

I have two coats on my pointer and ring fingers, and three coats on my middle finger.

Just like #nailmail, the glitter density is really good and I had to dab it around a little bit, but not infuriatingly.

I was drinking boring water in a boring glass when I swatched this, so here's a more exciting picture of my nails and my drink!  The totally awesome cup actually came with my order of this collection (I have no idea if it was a pre-order special or if it will come with all orders).  My totally awesome drink is a ginger ale float spiked with my apple pie moonshine that I got when I was in Tennessee, and my totally awesome mani will be featured on the blog next week so stick around for more details on that!

Matte All The Flakies

If you've been following me long enough, you'll know that this isn't actually something that I'm prone to saying.  Matte is a great effect and all but I usually prefer my nails to stay glossy!  But using a matte topcoat over a flakie polish can look really, really cool.

Matte all the Flakies is a clear base with white holographic flakies and, of course, superfine holo dust in the base.  I was all prepared to take glossy photos and then use my matte top coat for some matte pictures, but THIS ONE DRIES MATTE!

I have three coats over naked nail and two coats each over black and white.  The holo-ness definitely didn't show up as well over naked or white, but it looked AMAZING over black!  I suggest always using this over a darker color so that the holo can really pop.

Buy All The Polish

Now THIS is definitely something I say all the time!  Screw everything, buy ALL the nail polish!


Buy all the Polish is a super festive glitterbomb.  Purple, teal, soft pink, and hot pink glitters all float around in a clear base.

The glitters applied pretty nicely, but I definitely needed to dab them around.  I'd say that the dabbing was a little more intense than with the two crellies above, but still not infuriating.  And I didn't have to fish around for the glitters, which seems to happen more often in a clear base for some reason!

I have three coats over naked nail, two coats over black, and two coats over Sally Hansen Blue My Mind.  I honestly can't decide which look I like best!  They all look like a party on my nails.  I think I'm gonna need to incorporate this into my next birthday mani.

Look at this bottle shot macroooooo you can see so many layers of glitter floating around in there <3 <3 <3

It's So Squishy

I think this about every jelly-based glitter that I've used.  I don't know what it is about jelly polish that looks so squishy even when it's days dry, but it definitely does!

It's So Squishy is yet another glitterbomb with tons of different colors, sizes, and shapes of glitter.  The base is somewhere in the realm of sky-aqua-teal-blue, which makes it look even more squishy.

I have two, three, and four coats from my pointer to my ring finger.  Once again, the glitters applied nicely with a bit of dabbing and no fishing.


This is another phrase that I haven't really said before, but I've seen it used before on Instagram and I would definitely say that this post constitutes as nail porn.

#nailporn is a neon-lime green crelly packed with holo dust.  It's barely less holographic that Look At My Holo, and just as neon.

This one was opaque in two coats and I didn't see a need to build up to three.  It applies super smoothly and evenly, even on a mini brush!

As you can see, my camera had a hard time with this one yet again.  The color is most accurate in the sunlight photo!

So, that's the end of this incredibly gorgeous collection.  I hope you enjoyed it, I hope that you're as tickled by the polish names as I am, and I hope this post doesn't cause a problem for you if you're on a no-buy!

Which polish is your favorite?  Do you find yourself saying any of these phrases all the time?  Let me know in the comments!

June 15, 2016

China Glaze Let The Beat Drop

As I browsed the clearance polishes on a recent visit to ULTA, I debated buying up every Zoya shade (they were $4.95!), but decided against it since all they had was a few shades from the Matte Velvet collection, which I was never even really tempted by.  Then, I noticed this glitter from China Glaze's summer 2015 collection on clearance for only 97 cents!  I would practically have been cheating myself if I didn't buy that one.  So I got it!

The base of Let The Beat Drop used to be clear.  Many swatchers painted this over white last summer, and their white polish is still white.  But the base in my bottle has drastically changed to not just a tint but a straight up pink jelly base.  That's probably why this was on clearance for less than a dollar.  I have no idea if this is a fluke in my bottle, or if the color bleed happened to every bottle after a year.  I'd be really interested to know if this polish has a shelf life, so to speak.  If anyone reading this has had this polish since it came out, please let me know if your base has changed color!

Even with the base color change, I still enjoy the neon glitter.  It does make some of the glitters harder to see, but that just makes the dark magenta glitters stand out that much more!

I couldn't decide on one color to show under the glitter, so I went with a bunch.  My pointer finger has two coats over naked nail; middle has two coats over white; ring has two coats over black; pinky has one coat over China Glaze I Brake For Colour.  The pink base doesn't really show up over black in the photos, but in direct sunlight in person it looks pretty weird - slightly-pink-tinted-black just isn't my cup of tea, I guess.  But in dimmer and artificial light, it looks great over black!

I really like the glitter density of this one!  Application was nice - the base wasn't goopy or runny, and the glitters didn't cling to the brush or stay globbed together on my nail.  I wasn't left with any bare spots at one or two coats, either.  Because my pinky nail is so skinny, I got more density over the nail on one coat than I got on any of my other nails, which is why I didn't bother adding a second coat on that nail.

I tried Let the Beat Drop out on top of a neon green and a neon yellow on my right hand, and blech.  The pinkness of the base did not blend well with those colors, so much so that I didn't even want to show it on the blog.  I bet it would have looked great over those colors when the base was clear, though!

What do you think of this glitter?  Do you have it? if you do, has your base color changed from clear to pink over time?  Please let me know in the comments!

(This swatch is a few weeks old, from before my pinky nail broke off.  It hasn't sprung back to life in the last week, which would be awesome!)

June 10, 2016

The Sad Tale of the Broken Nail

Three weeks ago, I got some clothes in the mail.  It was a big surprise because the tracking info had only been updated as far as "shipped," with my expected delivery date about a week later than when it actually came!  And these clothes were a warm welcome after a long week of cleaning in preparation for company.

I tried on my new top with one of my older skirts to see how they'd look together.  While attempting to tuck the shirt in, I jammed my left pinky against the shirt and my nail bent backwards so badly that the nail cracked halfway across, a few millimeters below the hyponychium.  Yowch!

Luckily, I'd been wearing a peel-off base coat so I didn't have to put acetone on the fresh wound.  Also luckily, I was done with my chores for the day and had planned on redoing my nails after trying on my clothes, so I had plenty of time to patch up the break!  I used a small piece of tea bag and a few layers of nail glue to hold the two pieces of nail together...

... then I painted my nails as I usually would.  Two layers of base coat, a layer of white, two layers of sponged-on polish for the gradient, and two layers of top coat.  (for better photos of this manicure, see yesterday's post!)

I figured that the tea bag, combined with the many layers of glue and polish, would be enough to last at least until the break grew above the hyponichium.  Nope.  The layers of stuff holding my nail together split while I was digging my clothes out of the dryer the very next night.  I shouldn't have used my left hand for that :(  It was too late at night for me to want to deal with new wet layers, so I put a Band-Aid over my finger to hold everything together while I slept.

By the next afternoon, the polish on the top half of my nail had chipped off, revealing the break in the nail.  The once-neat white line of my hyponichium was now jagged and awkward.

I removed the polish - which luckily didn't hurt, because the wound of my torn skin had healed by then - and decided to use a Jamberry nail wrap to hold it together.  A nail wrap can't split the way polish can, after all, so it should be a good hold!  And Tropical Mirage matched my neon gradient pretty well.

Well, that would have worked, except that I made the mistake of putting some nail glue on my nail before applying the wrap.  Apparently, that prevented my wrap from being able to form a perfect seal on my nail, and after a few days, it started peeling up around the edges.

By the next weekend, which was Memorial Day weekend, the wrap was almost completely lifted off of my nail - except, to its credit, for the part that was directly over the original break in my nail.

I was on vacation with my family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, that weekend, and I didn't have a bunch of tools with me.  I'd had the foresight to at least pack my nail clippers, file, an orangewood stick, and my base and top coat just in case.  Luckily, I had enough time after breakfast on Saturday to tend to my nail while everyone fought for shower time.  (One of my favorite parts of being a night showerer!)  I pried the wrap off to discover my nail had broken on the other corner, too.  It was hanging on by a thread of skin in the middle, not unlike a loose tooth hanging on by one little root that lets you spin it around in your mouth.

The one bright side was that the newer break had the courtesy to be above my hyponichium, so at least that wasn't a fresh wound or a break that would further ruin the shape of my white line!

So, without the tools or time to try to save the nail again, I chopped it off.

The weirdness on the surface of my nail is just the nail glue that got partially torn up by the Jamberry wrap.  And the small amount of free edge was pretty rough, so I filed it down nice and flat.

And that, my friends, is the end of this sad story.  Every time I looked at my finger for a few days, I felt like someone had chopped it off at the tip!  I don't even know how long it's been since I had absolutely no free edge on my nails.

Until the nail grows out long enough for me to shape it to match the rest of my nails, I'm going to keep it out of photos.  I think it looks really silly in my usual pose, all short and stubby!  Although it's been three weeks since the initial break, I still don't have enough growth to get my pointed round shape.  And I absolutely refuse to cut down the rest of my nails to even closely match this one!