CYNA Halloween challenge, Day 1 – Black

I am so excited!  The Challenge Your Nail Art Facebook group is up and running again, and is kicking things off with a fall/Halloween challenge.  And it’s even a month long challenge, which usually only happens with the Christmas challenge!  So ideally I’ll be posting every other day this month (although realistically this probably won’t happen since I’m travelling quite a bit this month).

The prompt for Day 1 is ‘black’ and I’m starting off this challenge with a simple ‘slime’ design using Love, Angeline Bourbon, Sally Hansen Black Out, and some nail vinyls.

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(And matte)

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I really am excited to be doing a nail art challenge again after so long, and I hope that I’m able to do at least a few more of the challenges this month.

a-england Whispering Waves and Spirit of the Moors + nail art

I’m moving ever so slowly through a chunk of my untrieds, and today’s post features two of my growing collection of a-england polishes.  This time around, I chose Whispering Waves and Spirit of the Moors.

First up is Whispering Waves, a dark turquoise holo with a lavender shimmer.  This one was good in 2 coats, but it unfortunately stained my nails.  That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very pretty polish.

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The second one I tried is Spirit of the Moors, and is definitely my favorite of the two.  This one is a royal blue holo, also good in 2 coats, which was far brighter than I expected.  That’s a good thing, by the way.  It is honestly a gorgeous polish.  And after my experience with Whispering Waves, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one actually did not stain my nails.

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And since I loved Spirit of the Moors so much, I decided to use the two for nail art, with added help from Sinful Colors Green Ocean.  I ended up doing the design on both my hands and actually wore it for like four days.

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Seriously, Green Ocean was much shinier than I thought it would be, and I loved it with these two a-england polishes.

Mashup post – Some old, some new, some holo, some blue

Yes, I’m well aware this is the second time I’ve made a play on the ‘something old, something new’ rhyme.  This time isn’t for Doctor Who wedding nail art, sadly.  This is just a post trying to throw together some photos that have been building up on my computer.

First up, the mani I wore to my college’s Burns Night formal back in January.  This one stars Celestial Cosmetics Never Miss a Shot, a navy blue with a very strong linear holo effect, and also features KBShimmer In Bare Form, a nude holo.  Never Miss a Shot is absolutely gorgeous, and In Bare Form goes really well with it (as expected of a nude).  Plus they both went great with my dress!

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Next is another mani from last winter.  I remember this one just because I chose to use the red specifically to match a new sweater I had bought. 😛  Anyway, this is Love, Angeline Red Wine, a (surprise surprise) wine red polish which dries matte.  The accent nail is Gothic Gala Lacquers Sand, a deep gold glitter with iridescent flakes.  It dries sort of textured.  I honestly don’t remember buying Sand, but I like it.  The iridescent flakes are more noticeable than I expected them to be from looking at the bottle, and they’re really interesting with the gold glitter.  I put a matte coat on it so that it would match Red Wine, by the way.  Red Wine is the winner in this mani though.  It is such a stunning color and the coverage was amazing.

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The next two polishes swatched are much more recent, and are part of my continued attempt to get through some of my untrieds.  First up is Above the Curve TARDIS.  At least I think it’s called TARDIS. It doesn’t actually have a name on the label, just a picture of the TARDIS. 😛  It’s a pretty holo blue that’s good in 2 coats.  It’s more of a cyan/dark aqua than a TARDIS blue though.

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Next is Pretend It’s a Plan, a grapey purple holo that’s opaque in 2 coats (though I used 3 here).

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I also did a skittlette mani using these polishes and a third Doctor Who polish from Above the Curve, called Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey.  This one is an eye-catching multichrome glitter topper that shifts from orange-blue-purple, and I layered it over TARDIS.  I unfortunately didn’t manage to catch the shift very well though.

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And that’s my massive mashup post!  Next up on my alphabetical list is a-england.  And since I’ve recently bought quite a few, I’m going to have a pretty hard time choosing which ones to try!

Random swatches – 365 Days of Color, Parrot Polish, and Pahlish

**Beware, this is a long one!**

Well, my plans to get back on the nail art train came crashing down around me a few weeks ago, courtesy of a potato peeler.  Yes, I lost a nail to a potato peeler.  I’m really sad about it, because any pictures I took while it was growing back would be tainted by a single nub.  I’m not against nubs at all, but I can never bring myself to completely chop off all my other nails, so it was only one nub and that just looks weird.  So instead of detailed nail art, I just decided to move forward with my plans to shorten my untried list.  Since the list is so extensive, I decided to go in alphabetical order for the most part, trying out 1-3 bottles per brand before moving on to the next.

The first brand in alphabetical order is 365 Days of Color.  This brand no longer makes polish and hasn’t for a while, but she does make body products—oils, lotions, etc.—under the name Sunny’s Body Products.  I got my very first cuticle oils years ago, and the scents I got were amazing.  The range of available scents is really great, so if you want to try out something unique I would encourage you to check out her store.

I’ve tried most of the polishes I got from 365DoC and all that were left on my list were The Diary, The Snake, and The Ring, from a Horcrux collection obviously inspired by Harry Potter.

First up is The Diary.  It’s a sheer grey base with a mix of silver holo and black glitters.  It was apparent after one coat that I would never be able to build it up on its own, so I layered it over Sally Hansen White On.  This is three coats.

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Next is The Snake, a bright green jelly with a gold shimmer.  I think this was probably one of the most annoying out of the entire collection because it actually is really pretty, but not as much as it is in the bottle.  The shimmer looked much stronger in the bottle than on the nail.  Also, you can sort of see some spots of darker green in the photos, where there were like clumps of pigment or something.  It was kind of weird, but mostly went away (or was smeared out) with multiple coats.

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The last 365DoC polish I had to try was The Ring, which I surprisingly really liked.  It was a gold shimmer topper, and I layered two coats over The Snake.

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Then to fulfill my own curiosity I also used one coat over Sally Hansen Black Out.  As much as I liked it over The Snake, I think I liked it better over black.

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And bonus polishes!  While I had the nub I went out of alphabetical order for my untried just because I really wanted to finally try one of my many thermals.  So here’s the absolutely gorgeous Parrot Polish Atlantic, which changes from a holo dark green (almost teal) to a limey green.  It was a one coat wonder for me!

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(And flash!)

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The color isn’t completely accurate in these photos, but it’s pretty close.  The colors weren’t quite what I expected from swatches on the store’s site, but I don’t even care because I like what they looked like in real life so much!  Definitely recommend this one, and I can’t wait to try some of my others.

The second polish I went out of order for was Pahlish Quite Ribbiting, which I got in a blog sale last year.  It’s a dark teal holo, and I fell in love with it long before I put it on my nails.  It even caught my mom’s eye, which is quite a feat because she tends to look at most of my polish with something akin to disdain. 😛

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As expected, it was stunning!  But when have I ever said that I didn’t like a teal holo?

And that’s five polishes down, hundreds to go!

Emily de Molly Ariel’s Realm, Indigo Bananas Watercolor Memories, and ellagee Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

So what do these three polishes have in common (besides being pretty and shiny)?  They are all outside of my typical preferred style of polish.  Two with flakies and one with big circle glitter…I really wavered over each of them when I bought them, but they all turned out to be completely worth it!

Emily de Molly Ariel’s Realm is a teal jelly polish with blue/green/gold color shifting flakes and coppery holo microglitter.  I used 3 coats here.  This polish is so gorgeous!

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Indigo Bananas Watercolor Memories is the one I wavered over most.  While flakes are growing on me, I still typically avoid polishes that have them.  But Watercolor Memories is a clear base with densely packed chrome flakies that shift in almost pastel colors (pink-purple/yellow-gold/green), and it was unique enough for me to take a chance.  Again, worth it!  It’s meant to be a one coat topper, but I layered 3 coats over black to try for full coverage.

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I also added a matte top coat to this one, just to see what it looked like.

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And finally, ellagee Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!  This was the first of the three to be bought, and at the time was a major divergence from my normal purchase patterns.  I didn’t like glitter much, and I hated circle glitter.  Now, I love glitter but am still iffy on circle glitter.  It definitely works in this polish though and fits in perfectly with the Mardi Gras theme!  Anyway, it’s a deep purple jelly with metallic and holo gold, purple, and green glitters and microglitters and gold circle glitters.  I’m wearing 3 coats here.

I had real issues finding the circle glitters (possibly because it’s been sitting on a shelf for so long and I didn’t exactly shake it well), and my photos unfortunately don’t show off the other glitters particularly well.  Just trust me though, it is a pretty one!

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And there you have three very pretty polishes from three fantastic makers!  Ariel’s Realm and Watercolor Memories were my first experiences with Emily de Molly and Indigo Bananas, and I have to say that I am definitely not disappointed.  Luckily, I have tons more from each brand to try out!

Speaking of polishes to try…I have a lot of them.  A ridiculous amount, actually.  So I think I’m actually going to try to keep doing posts like this, just throwing together random swatches.  Maybe that will get me through my untrieds more quickly!  Plus I’ll still do nail art posts!  This was originally a purely nail art blog, after all. 😛

Dragon Ball Z nails!

I don’t know how time keeps slipping by so fast, but it’s already been about a month since my last post!  So much for keeping up with my posts, huh?  But I am yet again trying to get back into the swing of things by going back to my nerdy nail art roots.  This time, I’ve got Dragon Ball Z nails!

Yes, I watched anime as a kid/teen.  And yes, I still do fairly often.  Dragon Ball Z was my introduction into anime, and I fell in love with it the moment I first stumbled upon the Namek saga on Toonami as a kid.  And even now as an adult, Gohan holds the position of my favorite character (followed by Piccolo in a VERY close second).

So when my sleep-deprived mind decided to do DBZ nails at 3am, Gohan was my first thought.  Only…I was sleep deprived.  So I didn’t put as much effort into things as I probably should have.

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I honestly don’t know what I was thinking trying this.  I’ve never been able to draw anime characters, so I don’t know why I thought painting a tiny Gohan on my fingernail was a good idea.  Although I do have to say, he might have actually looked like Super Saiyan 2 Gohan if I had given him a bigger forehead.  I also sort of lost patience painting the stars on the dragon balls too, but you get the picture. 😛

For all my complaints though, I do like how this turned out.  It’s been a while since I freehanded something detailed, and I hope I do it again soon.  Maybe I need a good challenge to motivate me…

Saturday Swatchfest – Shleee Polish

Hello all!  Over the past few months I have gotten an excessive amount of nail mail (on which I have spent an outrageous amount of money), with an impressive number of new-to-me brands.  One of the brands I happened to buy after my enormous ‘Christmas’ haul was Shleee Polish.  I managed to snag five gorgeous polishes that I thought I would share here today.  And the best thing about every single one of them?  You could probably get away with one coat for each!  Although I did two for all of them to make sure I didn’t have any visible nail line.   And just a note…I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the varying skin tones.  I had to do some correcting to get better color accuracy for the polishes (as I often do), and this means I had to sacrifice the actual color of my skin in some photos 😛

Anyway, first up is Starkiller, a deep orange with gold shimmer.  And I’m not sure if it was the lighting or my imagination but I kept seeing tiny flashes of purple too.  Starkiller is supposedly a thermal and is supposed to shift from orange to a darker red-orange, but I didn’t notice any change after using hot and cold water.  So unfortunately you don’t get any photos of the color differences.

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Next is what I thought would hands-down be my favorite of the bunch: Fangorn Forest.  It is a stunning emerald green holo with holo microglitter.  It doesn’t sound terribly unique, but I personally don’t own anything else like it and so I fell in love.

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Siding Spring was probably the most ‘problematic’ of the five, but that isn’t really saying anything because it was still opaque in two thick coats.  It’s another stunner too.  A shimmery pink-lavender base packed with light blue microglitters makes the overall effect a very sparkly cross between periwinkle and lavender.

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Life on Mars is a rusty red microglitter polish with an added bit of shimmer and holo microglitter.  The overall effect is extremely eye-catching and moved this one into my top three of the group, even though I thought it would be one of my least favorites.

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Last is the one that surprised me the most.  Jakku is a polish densely packed with gold and coppery flakies with some additional microglitter thrown in.  While flakies are growing on me, I still in general don’t like them.  But I bought this one because the swatches looked pretty and it was inspired by The Force Awakens (so was Starkiller, by the way).  I was more than pleasantly surprised when I saw it in person though.  It’s so shiny!  And it got even better when I put it on my nails.  It went from expected bottom of the bunch to my absolute favorite of the five.  My housemate agrees, and put it on her nails the day after I got it.

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And that’s all of them!  I can’t believe how different everything was to my expectations.  Knowing my own polish tastes, Fangorn Forest should have easily claimed the number one spot and Jakku should undoubtedly have been at the bottom.  But Jakku did manage to push Fangorn Forest to the number two slot, with Life on Mars taking number three.  Definitely not what I expected at all!