It is what it is

“I’m going to start updating consistently!” she said, before promptly disappearing for months. Oops.

I’ve actually been updating my Instagram this whole time because it’s easier for me. Writing posts for each manicure I was doing was just so exhausting because I was hit with The Depression fairly badly a few months back. But I’m doing okay now! You know, relatively.

I’m just going to put all of my manicures from the last few months together into maybe three or four posts over the next few days, and keep the descriptions basic and not ramble as I’m known to do.

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Two coats of Native War Paints Classic Essentials Alison, a periwinkle grey with silver shimmer.  The formula and brush on this were fantastic, it basically painted itself on.

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Essie Virgin Snow, a periwinkle bordering on lavender, opaque in 2-3 coats depending on your application. This is probably one of my top ten favorite shades in my collection, and you guys seem to agree with me because this was my most popular post on Instagram ever!

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Two coats of Colors by Llarowe Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. This is a navy jelly with tiny silver microglitter. This is just about an exact dupe for the original Essie Starry Starry Night! Formula was easy to apply, although I did get those little tacky, stringy things on the tips of my nails that you sometimes get with jelly polishes.

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Two coats of Zoya Merida, a forest green packed with silver holographic flakies. Formula on this was excellent, as is typical of Zoya.

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My pointer, middle, and pinky fingers have two coats of Zoya Yara, while my ring finger has two coats Zoya Ziv. I thought Ziv would complement the gold shimmer in Yara, and I was right! I felt very chic in this mani.

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I wore this manicure close to Valentine’s Day. This is Rainbow Honey Be Mine, topped with Rainbow Honey XOXO.

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And this is what I actually wore on Valentine’s Day! I put down three thin coats of OPI Mimosas For Mr. And Mrs., and topped it with a glitter gradient of Sally Hansen Strobe Light, which I used on its own for an accent nail.

Good to be back. Stay tuned. ❤

-Aley

Mimosas and Cannolis with Royalty

I hope you guys like OPI cremes, because I’ve got a slew of ‘em for you today. But honestly, who doesn’t like OPI cremes? 😉

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First is OPI Dating A Royal, a slightly dusty royal blue. I love the slight mutedness of this color, it makes it more wearable than my other royal blues. This is two coats with topcoat.

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Next I have OPI Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs.. This is a slightly sheer nude-pink jelly. This was opaque in three coats on my shorties, but this could easily need more on longer nails or if you’re a stickler for very thin coats. This felt like a very nineties shade to me once I was wearing it, I’m not sure why.

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Finally, I have a swatch that got lost in the mix some time ago—but I’m posting OPI, so now’s as good a time as any to share it! This is OPI I Cannoli Wear OPI, one of my most frequently worn colors. My lighting and editing is a lot more color-accurate than the last time I wore this, so I went ahead and took photos again. This polish is opaque in two to three coats; I’m wearing two here if I remember correctly.

Thanks for stopping by. ❤

-Aley

Zoya Dream

I’ve had no time to paint my nails recently… I’m still wearing this mani! This happens so rarely. :O

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I finally got around to trying on Zoya Dream, a blue jelly base with scattered holographic flakies, and I’m so pleased with it. The holo is a little shy both in person and on camera, but it’s still a pretty color even without the holo effect. I’m wearing two coats here, but there were a couple of slightly lighter patches still visible—two thick coats or three thin coats should do you good with this one.

That’s all I’ve got today. Check back soon, though!

-Aley

Festive Mess ’16

I hope you all had a great Christmas and Yule, and are having a great Hannukah and Kwanzaa! ❤

I celebrated Christmas with my family, and over the last month or so, I wore a few holiday-themed manis that I simply didn’t have time to edit, write a post for, and upload, so I’m dumping them all into one post for your enjoyment. You’re welcome. 😛

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I was so excited to break out Nine Zero Lacquer Twinkle Lights this year. It’s a silver linear holo with translucent rainbow glitters, and it actually does look like twinkling Christmas lights against snow! Nine Zero’s creator, Jess, came out with a new version of this for this year called Golden Lights; it’s identical to Twinkle Lights, except the base is a gold holo instead of a silver holo. I prefer this version, though. Twinkle Lights is opaque on its own in three coats, but shown is two coats over a silver foil.

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After that I wanted to keep wearing holo, so I threw on three coats of Zoya Alicia. This was released in this year’s fall collection, but it screams “holiday” to me! It’s a clear base that’s densely packed with the same holographic silver shards that are in Dream, Aurora, Storm, Merida, etc., and it has a strong gold flash. This is opaque in three coats.

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I wanted to do something a little more complicated, though I wouldn’t quite call this “nail art.” I started with a base of Charming Charlie You Blue Me Away, on my thumb, index and pinky fingers, and dELiAs Silver on my middle and ring fingers. I topped everything with Salon Perfect Cosmic Dust for a bit of holo sparkle. Then I brushed Charming Charlie Seeing Stars onto the same nails that were painted blue. Seeing Stars is a mix of small blue metallic hexes, silver metallic microglitter, and holographic silver star glitters. This looked super wintry and pretty, I liked this mani a lot.

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I wanted something a bit warmer, but still wintry, so I came up with this manicure. I put down four thin coats of Nina Ultra Pro Gold Flake Topcoat on my middle and ring fingers—this polish dries down thin, so it felt fine on the nail. It’s a dupe for OPI Goldeneye, and you might be able to still snag this in the sale section at Sally’s Beauty Supply.

On my index finger, pinky, and thumb, I put down a base of Sally Hansen White On, then topped it with OPI Ski Slope Sweetie, a frosty white with gold shimmer. Then I dabbed Ninja Polish Midas Touch, a 24k gold flake topper, onto the cuticle areas of my white nails. This was probably my favorite of the manicures I did.

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Unfortunately, I suffered the worst break I’ve had in years and had to trim my nails down to little shorties! But this look was still cute, I think. I skittled China Glaze Ruby Pumps (two coats) and China Glaze Emerald Sparkle (three coats, due to some streaking) onto every other nail. Then I added a coat of Color Club Art of Seduction to my middle finger, and a sparse coat Essie Set In Stones on top of that (with a denser coat going onto my ring finger).

Then I had an even WORSE break, could not bear to see how short my one nail was, and tried to put on acrylics with mixed results.

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Thankfully my acrylics look fairly well done in photographs. Less-so in person, though, haha. I decided to try out Zoya Honor, from last year’s Matte Velvet collection. I was surprised at how much I liked this matte—I’ll have to try this again with a glossy topcoat sometime. Two coats made this opaque.

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Finally, we have this mess that is still currently on my nails! I have one coat of b.s.n. Nail Lacquer Midnight Marsh on my index finger, pinky, and thumb, and two coats of OPI Cinnamon Sweet on my middle and ring fingers. I topped Midnight Marsh with Nine Zero Lacquer Stocking Stuffer, a holiday glitter mix, and I topped Cinnamon Sweet with Sally Hansen Eyelet, a mixture of matte white hex glitters in different sizes.

Good on you if you read to this point. Thanks for stopping by!

-Aley

Zoya and so on and so on and so on…

I hope you guys really like Zoya. This is the result of my trying out all of my unused fall colors.

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First is Zoya Teigen,a pinky berry color with metallic copper shimmer. This was two coats, though it could possibly need three if you use very thin coats. The formula was really nice, and it was pretty but my lighting washed out the shimmer and made it look silvery-white.

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Next I have Zoya India, Teigen’s darker cousin. It’s a rich red, jelly-like base with tons and tons of gold glass fleck shimmer. This looks like melted rubies on my nails, it’s gorgeous. This was also opaque in two coats.

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Zoya Anastasia is a dusty, purple-toned brown with the same gold glass-fleck shimmer, and is equally stunning. I really do love this. This was also opaque in two coats.

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Zoya Shivon has the finest shimmer out of the bunch, I think. It’s an “apple” red with an incredibly strong, ultra-fine gold shimmer that borders on a metallic. The brush strokes on this isn’t terrible, but you’ll want to keep your strokes straight—you can see that I didn’t do that on my pinky, haha. This one needs three coats.

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Oh, Pru, you vex me. Zoya Pru is hard to describe—it’s like… a dusty warm-toned purple foil, with scattered bronze shimmer and the slightest hint of a bronze shift? Zoya no longer sells this polish, so I couldn’t check the website for their description of it. This gal needs a whopping four coats to reach opacity, but the formula is nice and thin once it dries down; it’ll only feel like two coats of a regular polish and not like a goopy mess, so I don’t mind the four coats.

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Last one is the odd one out, Zoya Wyatt from the Fall 2016 Urban Grunge collection, which I ended up wearing as a full mani. This is a perfect racing green creme. It’s advertised as a one-coater, and it is! If you’re a stickler for really, really thin coats, you might have to go back and do some “spot-treatment” on an odd streak or two, but this is so highly pigmented that you won’t need two coats.

If you read down to this point, give yourself a pat on the back. I’ll see ya next time. 😉

-Aley

I’m on Sapphire

Guys guys guys, look at this.

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This is Nine Zero Lacquer Sapphire, from the Accent Glitters collection. It’s a stunning blue holographic full-coverage glitter. This is intensely sparkly and beautiful in-person. Sadly, the Accent Glitters collection was limited edition, but a dupe of this exists in Painted Polish By Lexi’s Stoned on Sapphire.

But for the love of everything, use a peel-off basecoat with this. 😉

I have a huge page of swatches coming up, so stay tuned.

-Aley

Holo and velvet and gold!

This is another instance in which I try a bunch of polishes I’ve had on my shelf for ages but never got to. Let’s get right into it.

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This is Nine Zero Lacquer January 2016, a berry-purple linear holo with added holographic microglitters. I really love this finish, the glitter makes the whole thing more visually interesting. I think I tried this on and then immediately went to go get some other polishes from the 2016: A Year In Review line that Nine Zero offers, since they’re all this finish. (They’re only available until the end of December, and then they’re gone!) This was two coats for opacity, and it dries slightly gritty so you’ll want to be generous with your topcoat.

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I’ve had Marc Jacobs Blue Velvet for over two years and just never wore it… probably because I felt bad about how much I spent on it. :X

This is a highly pigmented dark blue base with a strong light blue flash, and was opaque in one coat, though I did go back to “touch up” a few spots that had some slight streaking. It applied nicely enough, but the super skinny brush made it hard to get my cuticle line—look at that mess, haha.

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I’ve learned to love how strong shimmers look when matte, and this was no exception! This mani floored me.

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Essie Sole Mate was one of the first polishes I bought when I first started collecting. It’s an oxblood jelly that’s opaque in two coats, and it dries super shiny.

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I topped this off with OPI Pure, a white gold and white silver flake topcoat. It was a nice combo, I think!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

-Aley

Pretty things and sweetness.