Mortal Instruments

Today I have another post in my book-inspired series for you!  I’m a little late to the party here, but I just started reading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  I’m just starting book 2, but I am totally hooked!  I was a little skeptical at first – I’m not a huge fanfic reader, regardless of how Harry Potter obsessed I am – but these books are really good.  They’re pretty much an amalgamation of some of my all-time favorite series: Harry Potter, the Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty), and Star Wars (I don’t want to spoil it, but there is totally a Luke/Leia/Vader thing going on).

mortal instruments

I decided to go for the obvious – if not slightly overdone – runes for my nail art.  Runes are sort of like tattoos with special powers.  I don’t have The Shadowhunter Codex (yet), which lists all of them, so I just chose from the ones I could find online.  From my thumb to pinky, they are agility, angelic power, deflect/block, strength, and precision.

I used Essie Yogaga and Essie Licorice.

mortal instruments

They’re pretty simple, but definitely interesting.  Have you read any of the Mortal Instruments series?  Let me know what you think in the comments below!  No spoilers please :)

If you like to read, add me as a friend on goodreads.com!  And if, like me, you have a long commute (or just like to do things like painting your nails while reading), I would definitely recommend joining audible.com – I listened to the first book in the series over the course of two days while cleaning, painting my nails, and driving to and from work.

The Golem and The Jinni

Time for another book inspired post!  I may have perviously mentioned that I’m a huge fan of audible.com – I spend at least two hours a day in the car driving to and from work, so being able to “read” in the car makes me feel more productive.  Right now, I am listening to an amazing book called The Golem and The Jinni.  It’s kind of a historical fantasy novel, and I am really loving it. I’ll admit, it’s a little long and it took me a while to get into/get invested in the secondary characters, but it was totally worth it.  I’m about two thirds of the way through, and I actually just purchased the physical book so I can read it when I’m not in the car.

the golem & the jinni

My ring finger is OPI Taupe-less Beach topped with Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat.  My middle finger is a water marble using Essie Fear or Desire, Sinful Colors Chick Chick, and Essie Snap Happy.  The rest of my fingers are OPI Ski Teal We Drop sponged with OPI Unfor-Greta-bly Blue and OPI Frog in My Throat.  I tried to represent the beautiful book cover, the Golem, who is made of clay, and the Jinni, who is made of fire.  I didn’t realize until I was writing this post that the watercolor fire looks kind of like a face, which is just so perfect!  I couldn’t do it again if I tried.

the golem & the jinni

I would 100% recommend this book.  It is a very interesting story and extremely well written.  If you’ve read it, let me know what you think in the comments below – no spoilers please!  If you’re on Goodreads, add me as a friend here!  And please feel free to share your book recommendations below.

Initially

I have a thing with typography, so I wanted to experiment with it a bit on my nails.  Leave it to me to attempt the hardest version first.  I can barely paint normal writing, so naturally I decided on some old English initials.  Still, I think they turned out pretty well.

initials

I used Nails Inc. Porchester Square on my index and middle nails, and then OPI Vant to Bite My Neck? on the other three fingers and to paint on the letters.  And in case you haven’t guessed, those are my initials.

initials

Hope you like them!  I will definitely be doing some more typography nails, just maybe ones a little less complicated.  I have some chalkboard writing nails in mind….

This is the End

…Ok, not really.  I just really love Adele and thought I’d get fancy with post names today.  As I think I already mentioned, I love James Bond, so when I saw this stamping plate from Vivid Lacquer, I had to get it.  And it is amazing!

this is the end

I used OPI Skyfall on four of my nails (because I couldn’t not use a polish from the Bond Collection), and Nails Inc. Porchester Square on my index finger.  I used Vivid Lacquer plate 007 (fitting, no?) and Sinful Colors Black on Black to stamp the iconic James Bond image.

this is the end

I would highly recommend Vivid Lacquer plates.  I only have three, and I use them more than any of my other 100+ plates.  They’re really high quality, especially for an indie brand, and stamp better than most of my Bundle Monster plates.  You can find them in the Vivid Lacquer Etsy shop.

Blue and Green Flowers

These “bottle-brush” flowers by Mr. Candiipants have become my default nail art for spring and summer.  They’re ridiculously easy (though it took me a bit of practice to get them right), and you don’t need any special tools.  Here, I combined them with my other favorite nail art element (also borrowed from Mr. Candiipants): a sheer nude base.

flowers

I believe the base is OPI Care to Danse? (it could also be OPI Don’t Burst My Bubble, I’m not entirely sure, sorry!).  And for the flowers, I used China Glaze Sunday Funday, China Glaze Electric Pineapple, and OPI Can’t Find My Czechbook, with OPI I Saw… You Saw… We Saw… Warsaw for the centers.  I love that the colors are bright and fun, but toned down a bit with the nearly naked base.

flowers

I really love bright greens and blues for spring this year.  I think they’re really fun, and there are plenty options from all of the new polish collections.  Essie’s In the Cab-ana and OPI’s Can’t Find My Czechbook are recent favorites of mine.  What’s your favorite spring polish this year?

Bunting

My computer is finally back up and running, so I can finally post again! It may take me a while to get everything organized again, since I had to get a new hard drive and lost all my blog files and pictures (and fonts, hence the new watermark).  So I’m starting from scratch.  Good news is, while my computer was being fixed, the only thing I had to combat boredom was doing my nails, so I have quite a few posts that will be going up soon.  I thought I’d start with my favorite, because I couldn’t wait to show you guys!

I’ve seen bunting nails in quite a few places already, so these are by no means original, but I still love them.

bunting

I used some new (to me) polishes to create this mani.  The base is butter LONDON Tea with the Queen, which is now one of my favorite nude polishes.  Love it!  For the bunting, I used, China Glaze Surreal Appeal, China Glaze Def Defying, OPI Can’t Find my Czechbook, and Nails Inc. Baker Street.

I think these turned out really cute!  Definitely a fun way to subtly do colorful nails.  I think this might become a staple “I don’t know what to do, but I want to do something” mani for me.

bunting

I will actually be posting another version of these soon; I loved them so much I had to do them in different colors.  I’m also considering these for a tutorial if anyone is interested.  They’re actually really easy, so you could probably figure it out yourselves, but I thought it’d be nice to start off tutorials with something simple (my video skills need practice).  Let me know what you guys think!  And thanks again for putting up with the technical difficulties this past week!

 

Neon Dots

I’ve gotten in the habit of practicing nail art on the polish I’m about to remove.  It’s a great way to try new techniques or designs – if it looks terrible, you were going to remove it anyway, and if it looks great, you can keep it for another day or two.  I don’t have a lot of neon nail polishes, but I really wanted to try a new one I bought the other day, and I think it turned out pretty well.

neon dots

I’ve always loved the idea of toning down a neon with a nude.  I don’t know that I would wear full-on neon nails, but it does make a great accent.  For this mani, I started with the base of Zoya Jacqueline that I was already wearing and just used a dotting tool and China Glaze Japanese Koi for the dots.  Orange is easily my favorite shade of neon, and I really love the tone of Japanese Koi (you have to see it in person, it’s nearly impossible to capture neons on camera).  I got mine in the normal display at Sally’s so you should be able to find it.

neon dots

 

I’m not sure I like the dots all that much, but I do really like the colors.  I think I will be using Japanese Koi a lot come summer.

Do you like neon polishes?  What’s your favorite one?

Jacqueline

I wasn’t really drawn to the shimmers in the new Zoya Lovely collection, but I did get all the cremes, and I absolutely love them!  I used Blu and Neely in this manicure a few days ago, and today I’m wearing Jacqueline.  I can’t decide which of them is my favorite.

jacqueline

Zoya Jacqueline is a creamy, yellow, nude polish.  It’s rare that a creme polish is this unique.  In most lights, Jacqueline pulls nude on me, like a creamier, whiter version of my skintone.  But it’s almost a yellow.  I really love it, and I got a lot of compliments on it already.

Formula was a little bit finicky – this was one thin coat and one thick coat with Seche Vite.  I did have to pay special attention to a few patchy spots, but it levels out pretty well.

jacqueline

What do you think of Jacqueline?  Are you already craving pastels like I am?

Subtle Polka Dots

I wanted something a little simple and clean today, but still felt like doing some sort of (easy) nail art, so I came up with these.  They’re really nice and subtle, but still something a little bit special.  I think they turned out really well, and they’re a great alternative to full-on sparkle.

subtle polka dots

For the base, I used an e.l.f. polish that has no name (I got it at Target and it has a snakeskin-printed cap).  For the dots, I used a small dotting tool and my new favorite glitter, China Glaze Champagne Kisses.  So pretty!

subtle polka dots

 

I think next time, I’m going to try this with just single pieces of glitter for the dots.  I think that would look really pretty!

New Windestine Collection

I’m not usually one to do full-collection posts.  I like giving a lot of attention to polishes I love, one at a time.  But Freda was nice enough to send me her new collection for review, and I wanted to show these before they were released, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I’m still going to give each polish the attention it deserves, so get ready for the longest post in Polish Squirrel history :)

If you’ve been reading this blog for any significant period of time, you know that I love the indie brand Windestine.  I could list the reasons, but that might get a little long, so I will just show you her six amazing new polishes.

First up, Home Sweet Home.

tba

Home Sweet Home is a gorgeous chocolate brown polish with holographic shimmer and some really pretty dark pink shimmer.  It’s really the pink shimmer that makes this one extra special.  As soon as I saw this in the bottle, I knew it would be a favorite!  And I’m not big on brown polish, so you know it’s good.  I want this in every color.  Really.

Formula was pretty good.  It was a bit thick, but unmanageably so, and a little sheerer than I expected.  Here, I used three coats with no topcoat.

tba

Next is what Freda described as the “glitter bomb” of the collection.  It’s called Pond Patrol.

pond patrol

Pond Patrol is a medium green jelly packed with different glitters.  There are some medium-ish sheer white and pale pink glitters along with some smaller sheer white glitter (I really love sheer white glitter) and tiny sheer pink glitter.  But what makes this really unique is the addition of the tiny red glitters.  Love this one!

Formula was thick and a little difficult due to the amount of glitter in the bottle, but that’s to be expected.  I used two coats with topcoat to smooth it out a bit.

As soon as I saw this one, I was reminded of another Windestine polish: Spring Into Fall, so I did a comparison in case anyone wanted to see.  SIF is more of an olive green, and while it has similar pink and white glitter in it, it lacks the red glitter and instead has a golden shimmer.  I can’t decide which I like better, but I’m glad I have both!

pond patrol vs spring into fall

Next up is a polish called Inner Glow.

inner glow

Inner Glow is a yellow-toned nude with a lot of holographic shimmer.  I knew this was going to be a favorite, but I was a little worried about how it would look on my skin tone, since I am very pale and very pink (especially on my fingers).  But, even though it doesn’t match my skin (which is totally a good thing), this polish actually looks pretty good on me!

This swatch was two coats with no topcoat.  The formula was a teeny bit thick, but overall, really great!

inner glow

This one is called Twirling Upwards and it is gorgeous.

twirling upwards

Twirling Upwards is a pumpkin orange color with two different sizes of tiny gold glitter.  I didn’t notice until it was on my nails, but if you look closely, you can also see that it has some pretty pink shimmer to it.  I really love this combination!  It somehow manages to be a polish that definitely looks like fall in a bottle, but is appropriate year-round.  I think the addition of the pink shimmer makes this really unique and special.  This is one of those polishes that is just stupid pretty.  I want to stare at it all day.

Again, this was a bit thick, but, that means the glitter goes on evenly and you don’t have to shake it.  This was two coats with topcoat.  It was still a teeny bit sheer at this point, so you may need to add a third coat depending on how long your nails are.  This dried a little bit matte on parts of my nails (not the whole thing), which was kind of weird, but not really a big deal.

twirling upwards

Next, I have Jacquimo, which totally reminds me of this:

jacquimo

If you don’t know what that is, go watch Thumbelina (the 1994 one).  Right now.  Jacquimo was always my favorite character, so I really love the name of this polish!

Ok, on to the actual polish:

jacquimo

Jacquimo is a coral/pink with silver holographic microglitter.  You might already know that I’m not a pink person, so I wasn’t expecting to love this one, but I really, really like it.  It’s so pretty and flattering, and I really like how the glitter isn’t overpowering.  It’s just right.  

This was two coats with no topcoat.  The glitter in this one does tend to sink to the bottom of the bottle, but it’s easily mixed with a good shake.

I tried to get a picture of the holo, but it just wasn’t working for me, so you’ll have to imagine all the tiny silver specks sparkling like twenty times more.

jacquimo

And, last but not least, is Crushed Rose.

crushed rose

Crushed Rose is a glitter topcoat.  It’s has different sizes of both pink and yellow glitter along with some white shards.  Ok, again, because this was pink, I totally underestimated it’s awesomeness.  I honestly thought this was going to be my least favorite of the bunch.  But how freaking gorgeous is this?  Seriously?  It’s so pretty and delicate.  The glitters in this are a bit sheer, so I feel like it will kind of blend with whatever you put under it.

I used one coat over Zoya Malia, because I thought the purple would compliment the yellow and pink glitter.  The combo reminds me of spring.  The formula was surprisingly excellent for a glitter.

And here’s a bottle shot so you can see all the glitters:

crushed rose

And…. we’re done!

I just want to say that even though I raved about each of these polishes, these opinions are 100% my own, and not influenced in any way.  I will honestly say that if I didn’t like any of these, for whatever reason, I would have said so.

That said, I really did love them all.  I will definitely be purchasing full sized bottles of all of these!  I can seem myself wearing them a lot, especially as we get into spring.  They’re so pretty, and I really think there is something for everyone in this collection!  I was going to do a “my picks” thing, but I don’t think I can since they’re all so different.

UPDATE: This collection will be available on Etsy starting tomorrow!