Mani Monday (Tuesday? Whoops): Christmas Edition

Christmas Mani

I’m a day late for Mani Monday because I was hanging out at my parents’ place with Hilde and the Plooper (and my parents too!), but I do want to share my Christmas manicure with you guys before the year ends (like, holy crap, where did the rest of December go exactly?).

Like last christmas, I went rather simple this year – mainly due to time constraints. Christmas Eve is always a hectic day for me, because in addition to prepping all my presents for others and packing a bag for my parent’s house for the next few days, I also have to prep myself for work (I sing at a church for the midnight service). That of course means dressing up, and doing my hair, and putting on makeup, and just generally all those girly things that I am horribly bad and slow at. My nails always end up taking a backseat in the rush. This year I went with just a bright red, with glitter gradients on ring finger and thumb as accents. Specifically I used Deborah Lippmann It’s Raining Men as the base, and Funky Fingers Fra-Gee-Lay for the accents.

Christmas mani polishes

It’s Raining Men is a SUPER pigmented cherry apple red which applies like a dream. Smooth, full coverage in one coat (although I used two just because) and dries fairly quickly. I just seriously love Deborah Lippmann polishes – they’re just so on point in terms of formula.

Funky Fingers Fra-Gee-Lay is a Christmas themed glitter from the Christmas Story collection they put out last year, filled with red, white, and green glitters of all sizes. It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be for a hex glitter – decent coverage, but not the best choice for a glitter gradient because of the larger size of the glitter. So application for this mani was a little bit finicky, but I really like the result, soooooo… worth it.

A+ for both polishes.

And just because, I’ll leave you with what I woke up to sharing the twin bed with me at my parents’ house Christmas morning*. A little more crowded than I’m used to, for sure – but I’m sure not complaining!

Dogs on bed

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday (or regular day, or whatever)!

*(Pardon the weird edges – I tried to blur the background in photoshop so as not to reveal the mess my dresser became over the holiday, and, well, I’m not skilled at photoshop.)

Star Wars Mani Monday

Star Wars Mani full

So, we went to see Star Wars Saturday.

I won’t be posting a review or anything here, because a) I can’t really talk specifically because of possible spoilers, and b) I’m not really cut out for the movie critic thing – I either like movies and want to watch them again and again and again, or I don’t. I don’t really have much more complicated thoughts than that. But if you’re interested in that kind of review/recap (and have either seen the flick already or don’t mind spoilers), Reenie over at The Fangirl’s Dilemma did a great one here.

What I will say is that I was so happy about so much that I legitimately cried. Like big, sniffley fangirl tears. Starting as soon as the Star Wars logo appeared. Jim will probably not let me live it down basically for the rest of our lives, but screw it – IT FELT LIKE STAR WARS AGAIN. And that’s SO SO SO IMPORTANT. Particularly after the disasters that were the prequels.

But anyway, instead of talking about the movie today, I’m going to restart the Mani Monday feature with the manicure I did for the occasion. For this mani I used Orly – Frenemy as the base color and Revlon – Holographic Pearls for the accent nails (ring finger and thumb). I wanted something “spacey,” but didn’t have the time, energy, or materials to try my hand at galaxy nails, and frankly this combo ended up doing the trick nicely.

Orly Frenemy is a light black jelly base with all sorts of glittery goodness in it. The pictures of it on the nail do not do it justice. Because of the jelly base, the first coat is pretty see-through, but it builds quickly. Pictured here is three coats – but honestly I would have been fine with two, I just needed the third because I dented up the second coat chasing Olive the Cat out from under my bed. It does dry a little matte – you def need some top-coat to smooth things out and help the dimensional glitter pop in dim light (I used my go-to, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Clearly Quick). Overall A-.

Star Wars Mani

Revlon Holographic Pearls ended up being a little more opaque than I expected, particularly since it was marketed as a transforming top coat. I had originally meant to use it as a topcoat on all my nails but when it almost completely covered up the base color in one coat, I decided to just use it as accents. Pictured here (purposefully slightly blurry to show off the holo) are two coats of Holographic Pearls over Orly Frenemy. The holo on this is intense and the formula is great, and so even though it’s not quite what I expected, it still gets an A+ from me.

Did you see Star Wars yet? If so, what’d you think? (NO SPOILERS PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS)

Mani Monday: Butter London Aston

Butter-London-Aston

Just a super quick Mani Monday here today with Butter London’s Aston. This polish is one of my tried and true favorites, and one of my favorite “professional but still fun” colors ever. I’m lucky that in teaching college I don’t really have to conform to any office standards regarding wild nail color, but occasionally I’ll have a meeting or a gig where, well, blue with multicolored glitter just isn’t appropriate. And when that’s the case (and I actually have my nails done instead of bare), Butter London Aston is usually what I grab first. I will admit the color works a little better on me when it’s not the dead of winter and my skin isn’t so pale it borders on translucent, but it’s not so bad that I have to confine it to summer use.

As with most Butter London polishes the formula is great, dry time is relatively quick, and the finish is beautiful. In general I’ve really found that you get what you pay for with these polishes – I don’t think I’ve had a disappointing Butter London yet, and Aston is no different. Just enough shimmer to keep it exciting without crossing the line into problematic in a professional setting. My bottle is getting juuusssttt slightly thick, but I’ve had it for a year or two now, and it’s seen a decent amount of use (read: time with the bottle open exposed to air), so that’s to be expected.

Overall rating: A.

Are you a Butter London fan?

Mani Monday: Color Club You’re So Vain

Color-Club-purple-with-top-coat

Today I have for you a Color Club polish I picked up out of a bin at The Christmas Shoppes called You’re So Vain. I was initially suuuuppppeeerrrr disappointed in this polish, mainly because I did not know at the time I used it that it was part of the Seven Deadly Sins collection, which is all textured polishes. So I judged it all assuming that it was a normal, smooth finish polish.

I bought it because I was super excited about the lovely holo sparkle it had in the bottle – I’ve heard very good things about Color Club’s holo polishes, but have never actually seen one in real life. Putting it on the nail left me wanting, however – the formula is very thick and goopy, which makes it difficult to work with. It didn’t spread easily, dried almost TOO fast, and left a very gritty finish, as you can see in the next picture which was taken before I applied the topcoat.

Color-Club-Youre-so-vain-no-topcoat

Now that I know that it’s supposed to be a textured polish, however, all these things make sense, because in general that’s how textured polishes tend to be in my experience. And that’s why I generally don’t like them. Knowing that it’s SUPPOSED to be a textured polish (a very mild texture, to be sure though) makes all the difference in the review though, because the end result is indeed pretty – with or without topcoat. I just personally don’t think textured polishes are worth the extra fuss they require.

Overall rating: C, but a very biased C. If I liked textured polishes, this would probably get an A-.

Color-Club-Youre-So-Vain-Closeup

Mani Monday: Funky Fingers Elsa

Funky-Fingers-Elsa

This Mani Monday we have Funky Fingers Elsa. I picked this up in 5 Below on a whim, mainly because (as Jim and the apartmentmate will tell you) I have a little bit of a Frozen obsession, and any age appropriate way to display that, I’m all over it.

Elsa is a white and powder blue muti-size glitter that includes both little circles, hexagons, and snowflake shapes. Here, I used it over Sinful Colors Cinderella*, and I ended up LOVING the effect. The powder blue glitter matched my base color almost perfectly, giving it a cool dimensional effect. My only complaints are that the snowflake glitter had to be fished out and placed – but even without the snowflake glitter on the nail, the result is a super cute winter mani.

funky-fingers-else-closeup

Overall rating: A+

*Cinderella is a GREAT color, but has some serious formula issues – namely it takes like, 4 coats to get decently opaque and takes FOREVER to dry. But I haven’t been able to find another powder blue that the end result compares to yet… they’re either too matte or too sparkly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Mani Monday: Butter London Bluecoat and Leccy

Butter London Bluecoat and Leccy

Today we have two polishes that I got for Christmas, which I abolutely fell in love with, but which were downright IMPOSSIBLE to photograph: Butter London Bluecoat and Leccy.

Bluecoat is a deep, rich blue with a great sheen to it, while Leccy is an opalescent shard topcoat. The combination of the two polishes is just gorgeous (even if my photos don’t show it).

As with all Butter London polishes (at least in my experience anyway), the dry time on both these is rather quick, and the formulas are good.

Buttler London Bluecoat and Leccy super closeup

The formula on Bluecoat is just beautiful – opaque in two coats without being thick. The finish has almost a little bit of a teal sheen to it, and in certain lights it borders on metallic. Seriously one of the nicest dark blues I own now.

Leccy on the other hand was a bit goopy – it was difficult to get an even spread of the shard glitter, and occasionally you’d get a shard that was a bit curly, but in general that’s been my experience with pretty much every shard glitter like this. In the end, the overall effect and finish is totally worth the extra effort it takes. It looks stunning even in dim lighting. But again, my photos of it are super crappy and don’t even begin to do it justice.

Butter London Bluecoat and Leccy closeup

New Year’s Mani Monday

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Just a quickie for our first Mani Monday of 2015. Apologies for the slightly blurry photo – I had to use my phone for this one since I forgot my big camera over the holidays (although it shows off the sparkle quite nicely!). My manicure for the Christmas holidays was a simple one, with polishes that have been on my favorites list for years, so no untried review today. The main manicure is two coats of China Glaze Ruby Slippers (one of my absolutely favorite sparkly reds) and the accent nails are Funky Fingers Star Studded, which is a great gold glitter because it’s really dense and builds to opacity in just two or three coats.

It’s simple, but effective.

What did you wear on your nails this holiday season?