September 30, 2016

Reverie Nail Lacuqer Hot Chocolate + nail art

This polish has been sitting around in my stash for far too long without being shown off!  I won it in an Instagram giveaway from Reverie Nail Lacquer quite some time ago.  I think it's from the winter/holiday 2014 collection.  I actually did swatch it back then, but I never wrote up a blog post about it and forgot how many coats I used and everything, so it never got published.

Anyway, I decided to don this beauty again this week because it's the first week of autumn!  Huzzah!

Hot Chocolate is a truly gorgeous chocolate brown holo.  It's a bit sheer, so I have one coat of Hot Chocolate over one coat of Zoya Nyssa (which is a beautiful chocolate-milk brown creme).  Talk about chocolatey goodness!

This polish definitely makes me crave a steaming mug of hot cocoa.  You haven't lived until you've tried my Mom's instant hot cocoa mix!  Although hers is a lighter shade of brown than this polish. ;)

This first week of autumn has been infuriatingly cloudy and rainy, so I didn't get any sunlight pictures; but here's a direct light shot for you!  I absolutely adore the holo flashes in this.

I won this set of vinyls from mrspoole1128 on Instagram - aren't they great?  The red polish is Zoya India.  She's not holographic, but she's absolutely stunning!

This is the first of many autumn manicures that will be headed your way this year - but I do still have a couple of leftover neon manis to show you as well!  Since it's September 30, though, I'm thinking that the next month's worth of posts will be all Halloween-themed.  So stay tuned, because I have some great ones planned!

September 21, 2016

Distressed blue nail art

A few days before I started my new internship with The Advocacy Project, I thought about what my nails should look like.  Should I maybe do some muted nail art using nude tones for the first day in an office?  And then I was like, wait, my hair is electric blue right now, I'm already not what you'd call "office standard."  So I decided to just do whatever nail art I felt like doing.

As it turned out, I felt like doing a good old fashioned dry brush mani, with a vinyl design on top of it for good measure.  I was tempted to do another neon rainbow because I've really been on a neon rainbow kick this summer, but decided to tone it down just a little bit for the first day in the office.  After all, if my hair is blue, why not paint my nails in the same color scheme?

I started out with a white base, and then I dry-brushed on four different shades of blue: Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie Strut Your Stuff, Nails Inc London Baker Street, and Zoya Ryan.  By the time I got to my third blue I was wishing I'd started off with a base of Bikini So Teeny (the lightest blue), but oh well.  (Also when I was halfway through the dry brushing, I kicked myself for not setting up my camera in order to do a video tutorial! d'oh!  I guess I'll just have to do some more dry brushing soon.)

After all of that dry brushing was dry (which predictably didn't take very long), I slapped on some nail stencils and painted Zoya Remy on top of all of that.  I kiiiiind of wish I'd used a contrasting color instead of more blue, or at perhaps left Ryan out of the dry brushing, but oh well!  It still looks pretty awesome.  At least Remy sparkles while the rest of the polish doesn't!

As it turned out, my office is incredibly laid back and doesn't really care about the whole "office standard boring colors that don't make you stand out as an individual" thing, which is wonderful!  At this point I still haven't met our director - it's just been me, another intern, and my supervisor in the office so far.  Nobody said anything about my blue hair, but my supervisor did complement this nail art!  She'd seen my blog, because my job is running the social media pages for The Advocacy Project and my blog was a large part of my resume, and she said that she likes what I do with my nails. 

I also got the world's best nail polish compliment while I was on the subway on my way to work one morning - the woman behind me asked me where I got my nails done!  She was very surprised when I told her that I did them myself.  I gave her the name of my blog, so subway lady, if you're reading this, I hope you know how much you made my day! 

What do you think of this look?  I promise I'll make a video tutorial for dry brushing soon - when I do, what color scheme would you like to see?  Let me know in the comments!

September 15, 2016

Neon vertical gradient holo nail art happyfuntimes!

As much as I'm excited for autumn and cool weather and pumpkin spice and Halloween nail art, it is still summer.  Technically autumn doesn't begin until September 22; it doesn't feel like autumn begins until at least October here in Maryland.  So, behold, I have more in-your-face neon nail art for you!

This is pretty similar to the last vertical gradient that I did, except this time I used a white base and focused on neon polish rather than holographic polish.  (But don't worry, I still added a holo top coat because YASS.)  Also, this time I didn't go in the order of the rainbow, but in the order of however I felt like it.


My nails almost-flawlessly transition from Essie Strut Your Stuff to Salon Perfect Loopy Lime to Sephora Brazilian Sun to ORLY Ablaze to OPI No Doubt About It to ORLY Hot Tropics.  Admittedly, the OPI to ORLY nail could be a bit brighter, but I got impatient after 3 sponged-on coats and didn't feel like doing 4 or more.

dat holo <3

Half of these polishes dried matte, because they're neon and apparently that's a thing with neon polishes.  I don't really know why.  Is it because science?  Do super-neon colors work better as chemicals if they have a matte finish?  Someone who knows things about making polish please tell me.  As fun as a half-matte, half-glossy nail would be, I chose to go all glossy because China Glaze Fairy Dust has a glossy finish.  And this manicure NEEDED to be holo because ALL manicures should be holo.  (I think my new-found obsession with Simply Nailogical's YouTube videos just may be turning me into a holosexual.  Cristine, be proud, you've converted another one!)

After a few days, I decided to add to the magic that is this mani.  How else to add to this besides a trippy vinyl design? :D

I didn't really feel like getting out my macro lens, but I took a sort-of macro with my regular camera.

My edges got a teeny bit sloppy, because I laid the black polish on thick and it smeared a little when I lifted off the vinyls.  A bit disappointing, but still an incredible mani, don't you think?

I still have a couple of bright summer-y manicures to show you over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!  Are you getting sick of the brightness and looking forward to deeper autumn manis?  Personally, I'm SUPER stoked for autumn, but neon polish is my favorite so I'm going to stick with it as long as I feel like it.  And by that, I mean until I start thinking of great Halloween manis!

September 7, 2016

Blingy mermaid scale nail art

I can't even with these nails!

Almost literally!

This is the first time I decided to use a makeup sponge to apply a glitter polish.  Using a sponge gives you craaaaazy glitter coverage as the sponge absorbs the jelly base, so you end up dabbing on tons of glitter at a time!  It's awesome and probably how I'm always going to apply glitter from now on.

The glitter that I used is Zoya Vega - from the Ulta Pixie Dust line.  Which means it's suuuuuper sparkly with bunches of different sized holo glitters.  Because of how textured Ultra Pixie Dust is, and how densely the sponge allowed me to apply the glitter, I had to use about four coats of top coat.  As much as I love the look of Pixie Dust, I kind of hate the feeling of sandpaper-glitter nails so I prefer to smooth it out!

You've seen my background color, Nicole by OPI Candid Cameron, a zillion years ago in my Fifty Shades of Blue post.  It's one of my favorite pre-polish obsession polishes!

What do you think of this look?  Are you secretly a mermaid?  Let me know in the comments!

September 5, 2016

Update/Announcement post!

Hey gang!  Ugh, I need to come up with a good name for my followers. 

Anyway, I have a super exciting announcement to make!  I got an internship!!!!!  I will be interning for The Advocacy Project as a Social Media Assistant.  It's a really exciting position as I'll get to combine my social media skills that I've developed as a blogger with my film editing skills, all to help out an amazing human rights advocate!

Since this is my first job in two and a half years, it's definitely going to be a big change for me.  I'll be working 3 days a week, so I'll still have 4 days per week to myself, but for so long that number has been 7 days a week.  Time management is definitely going to be more important on my days off!  Since I'll be working only 3 days a week, I'm sure I'll still have plenty of time for my nail art and the blog.  I love this blog and my readers too much to give up on it/you guys just because I have slightly less time!

However, one really important factor in still enjoying the blog is fast approaching.  For the past two years, I've participated in a Halloween nail art challenge.  (2014: LPLGlamchouls | 2015: nailartoct)  Both years, keeping up with the amount of nail art and photo editing involved in the challenges has almost completely burned me out, to the point that I didn't really feel like doing so much as one post per week until after the New Year.  So, especially without constant free time, I don't think I'll be doing any organized Halloween challenges this year.  I will definitely still be doing Halloween nail art, don't get me wrong!  But I'm only planning on doing one design each week during the month of October.  Maybe I'll want/have time to do more, but we'll just have to see how things pan out.

Okay, well, that's all that I wanted to announce!  I will have a regular nail art post for you guys on Wednesday (or maybe later in the week. but I'm trying really hard to stick to a Wednesday posting schedule), so stay tuned!  In the meantime, don't forget to check out my nail polish destash sale.  There's still plenty of it available!

October nail art challenge Day 22: Critters

This design ended up being quite hodge-podge, but those are sometimes the best kind, right?

The most Halloween-y critters I could think of are bats and spiders, so they're all over my nails today!  I even have cobwebs on some of my nails!  Ahh!

My darker bat nails that you can barely see in these pictures have a fun surprise - they're glow in the dark!  I found Sinful Colors' glow in the dark top coat from their Halloween collection at Target the other day and I'm super excited about it!  Some of the bats are shadows in a glowing sky, others glow in a dark sky - because there's nothing creepier than glowing animals.

The glowing photos didn't turn out super great, and I couldn't even have the bottle in the shot
 because it glowed so bright that it outshone my glowing nails!!

This was a fun design in which I used mostly indie polish.  The black glitter is Heather's Hues Witches & Werewolves & Ghosts, Oh My!, the purple is another Heather's Hues from the Monster Mash Mani of the Month box that I got last month, called Vampirette.  It's soooo pretty!  I kind of wish I hadn't covered it up with so many bats.  The green on my thumbs is Creative Cuticles Nail Polish Ooze on the Rocks, and the neon orange that I used is a commercial brand - ORLY Ablaze.

The bats also come from the Monster Mash box - they're vinyls by Nails Redesigned.  And once again, the decals I used are by Naildrobe.

Here's the challenge image for you once again!  The clock is ticking on this one, with only three designs left!

October nail art challenge Day 4: Candy Corn!

Oh boy!  I love candy corn!  And I have the absolute perfect colors for it.

Sally Hansen Orange Zest, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, and Salon Perfect Sugar Cube paired up for a great candy corn gradient.  My nails look good enough to eat!  In fact, they smell good enough to eat, too.  The Mani of the Month box that I got for September is Monster themed, and Dream Polish put in a scented base and top coat.  The scent is called Zombie Food, and I can't quite place it, but it smells delicious!  Scented polish technology has certainly come a long way from the nasty grape stuff I had when I was a kid.

Here's the challenge for you!  It's not too late to start playing along, so start thinking about what pattern you'll do for the 7th if you'd like!