Plaid Cats

So, I’ve decided that it’s fall already. Despite the fact that if I put on a sweater right now I’d probably get heat stroke. But it hits ninety degrees here in January, so whatever. I just cannot stop using fall colors on my nails. This is another look I put together with some of the polishes from the new OPI, Essie, & China Glaze fall collections. I’m not sure how I feel about the metallic polishes together. They actually look really similar in indirect lighting because the pink one is actually a pink/bronze duochrome. So I feel like I liked these better in real life. But the cat nail is amazeballs, right? It was inspired by (who else?) Mr. Candiipantsplaid cat

I started with a base of China Glaze Change Your Altitude. The cats were painted with China Glaze Cabin Fever and Essie In the Lobby, which were also used in the plaid. I also used Essie Leggy Legend and China Glaze Free Bear Hugs to add a bit more dimension to the plaid nails. plaid cat

This isn’t my favorite plaid, but I love the cat polka dots. I also can’t get enough of this color palette. Can you tell?

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Fall Gingham

Did I mention I love fall? I am so ready for colder weather, especially after the hundred degree weekend we just had. I know it’s still technically summer, but I think I’m done with summer nails already. I’ve been craving dark, edgy colors and graphic patterns. These nails were the result of me trying to do a summery pattern – gingham – but gravitating towards darker colors. I am obsessed with this!

fall gingham

I actually used one polish from each of the Essie, OPI, and China Glaze Fall collections. I honestly can’t get enough of them right now! I used OPI Be There in a Prosecco as a base. Then I painted on the pattern with Essie In the Lobby and darkened the line intersections with China Glaze Free Bear Hugs. I topped it with OPI Matte Topcoat just for fun. I haven’t done matte nails in a while.

fall gingham

I’ve been practicing doing nail art with my non-dominant hand (I still suck at it), but these are making me want to get good so I can do this nail art on both hands and wear it forever. I love these nails so much!

fall ginghamI hope you like these as much as I do. Because chances are, you’re going to see them again. I’m already thinking of ways to combine these with other nail art. Maybe a subtle floral pattern on a few accent nails?

My Fall 2015 Collection Picks: Essie, China Glaze, & OPI

Fall is my favorite season for nail polish. I usually end up buying most, if not all, of the OPI, Essie, and China Glaze collections every year. It doesn’t matter how many oxblood nail polishes I own, I always need more. This year, I ended up really loving almost all of the polishes from the fall collections, so I thought I’d share my must-haves from each one. Just look how pretty!fall picks

OPI Venice Collection

I’ll be honest, the majority of this collection doesn’t scream fall to me (about half of it is pastel), but I still really like them! But there are some amazing fall colors and I absolutely love that they threw in what I consider “staple” colors.

First off is my absolute favorite – It’s a Piazza Cake. This pumpkin orange is classic OPI; it reminds me a lot of polishes like OPI Ginger Bells. I am a sucker for shades like this!

There are two reds in this collection, one is a classic red creme and the other, Gimme a Lido Kiss is a gorgeous sparkly metallic red. This one is more holiday to me, but it’s still gorgeous. I feel like I have a lot of polishes similar to Gimme a Lido Kiss, but it still feels a bit unique.

I believe twelve of the fifteen shades in this collection will become core polishes, but the other three are limited edition colors. Of those three, I love St. Mark’s the Spot, which is an amazing metallic blue. I can’t get enough of colors like this!

Then we have the three “staple” colors. These are the kind of colors I use all the time in my nail art and often get backups of. I Cannoli Wear OPI is a very pale gray. I thought it might be a dupe for My Boyfriend Scales Walls, but it’s a teensy bit more yellow-toned. Be There in a Prosecco is almost a dupe for another favorite of mine, My Vampire is Buff – it’s a teeny tiny bit pinker. Finally, Tiramisu for Two is a muted pinky nude, very similar to My First Knockwurst. I think these types of colors are great in anyone’s collection! They make brilliant bases for almost any nail art, and they all have great formulas.

fall picks

China Glaze The Great Outdoors Collection

I think this collection is overall, really pretty! There is definitely something for everyone, including a really awesome chartreuse color, which I used as the background for this nail art.

My hands-down favorite of this collection is Take a Hike. It’s a dusty green one-coater that reminds me of past favorites like Essie School of Hard Rocks and Vested Interest but a bit darker. Love, love, love this color!

There are three duochromes in this collection, and while I like them all, I think Cabin Fever is the most unique. It’s a warm bronze with a very strong pink flash. (P.S. If you’re considering Gone Glamping, it’s similar to but not another Chanel Peridot dupe – it’s actually more of a champagne gold, which I prefer. Just FYI.)

And last but not least is Sleeping Under the Stars. This one immediately reminded me of a fall version of Fancy Pants from the China Glaze Avant Garden Collection (spring 2013). It’s a dark purple-toned navy with a warm pink shimmer. I think it’s a really unique take on dark fall nails and I will probably be wearing this a lot.

Essie Leggy Legend Collection

This collection is a collaboration with Rebecca Minkoff and was inspired by rock royalty. I definitely get that vibe from these colors. They’re classy and a little bit edgy. Most of them are not terribly unique, but I think they’re all really pretty.

My first favorite is Leggy Legend itself. It’s a warm metallic bronze color that just screams fall. I don’t normally wear metallic colors, but I am obsessed with bronze nails for fall. And this might be my new favorite bronze. It’s edgy without being dark.

And finally, I’ve been really loving Bell-Bottom Blues. It is a dark teal with a strong bright teal shimmer. It kind of reminds me of Essie Dive Bar (which I’ve loved for years), but the shimmer is a bit coarser and more blue. I love this kind of color for fall because it looks dark and vampy (but still interesting) and then the light hits it and you get all sorts of shimmer.


And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this post – it was a bit different from what I usually do. Let me know if you like this kind of post, and maybe I will do more favorites or general collection reviews. I tend not to do swatches anymore, just because you can find tons of them on the internet – but if you want to see comparisons or a certain color, please let me know! I am planning on using most of these polishes in nail art over the next few months, so keep an eye out for that.

What are your fall favorites this year?

Station Eleven

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book-inspired post. I’ve actually been reading a lot lately, and fell in love with Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. It’s a beautifully written story about the aftermath of a flu virus that wipes out 99% of the world’s population. It’s one of those books that has something in it for everyone – a little bit sci-fi, a little bit family drama, and even a bit Shakespearean. If you haven’t read it yet, I would highly recommend it!

station eleven

These nails were inspired by Station Eleven‘s gorgeous cover. They’re kind of a take on galaxy nails with less sponging and more stars. They didn’t quite turn out how I’d imagined, but I still really like them!

station eleven

I started with a base of OPI Road House Blues and then sponged on a little bit of Essie Suite Retreat. The stars and letters were done with an ivory acrylic paint. I’ve been really liking acrylic paint for detail work – especially lettering – because it’s a bit smoother to work with.

station eleven

Have you read Station Eleven? Let me know what you think in the comments!

And don’t forget to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what books I’m reading (I’d love to hear/see your recommendations, too!). And if you’re interested in books, check out my other blog: Adventures of a Bibliophile.

Folksy Flowers

I really wanted to use this beautiful blue polish from the China Glaze spring collection, but I had absolutely no idea what to do on it.  I briefly considered some Cinderella nail art, but I was feeling kind of lazy, so I ended up with this.  I was inspired by some folk art floral prints.  Not my favorite, but I don’t hate it.  I do love the colors together, though!

folksy flowers

The base is China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer, which is a gorgeous pale blue with peachy pink shimmer.  You can just barely see the shimmer, and I love the slight glow it gives with the matte topcoat.  The flowers were painted with Essie A-List and OPI Aloha from OPI.  I’m trying to use my untried polishes for nail art because I feel like I’ve been using the same bunch of colors a lot.  This was my first time wearing both Dashboard Dreamer and Aloha from OPI.  Dashboard Dreamer is a favorite for me (despite the fact it needs three coats), but Aloha from OPI is a bit unoriginal.  In fact, China Glaze came out with an almost-dupe in the same collection as Dashboard Dreamer – I Brake for Color.

folksy flowers

This is for sure a color combo I’ll be keeping in mind from now on!  I really love how they look together.  The nail art is definitely not my best work (can you tell it was one in the morning?), but it didn’t turn out all that bad.  Let me know what you think!

Jurassic Park

I’ve finally got another book-inspired post!  I’ve actually been reading a lot lately (outside of my medieval literature class), and recently read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.  I’ve loved the movies since I was a kid, so I thought I’d finally read the book.  I actually really enjoyed it!  I’ve also been experimenting with acrylic paints in my nail art, and I find they really allow me to paint more detail, which is perfect for this design.  And, bonus: I used two untried polishes in this design.

jurassic park

The black base is OPI Who are You Calling Bossy?, which is an awesome glossy black creme.  The red on the sign and as the background for the t-rex is Essie A-list, which I surprisingly hadn’t tried yet.  The plants were painted with Color Club Wild Cactus and Color Club Twiggie (another untried).  I used white acrylic paint for the Jurassic Park sign and black acrylic paint for all the dinosaurs (I hope you can tell there are dino silhouettes in front of the ferns).

jurassic park

They’re not perfect, but I am kind of in love with these.  Definitely got a lot of practice with details in this design.  I am especially happy with how the t-rex skeleton (from the cover of the book – and the Jurassic Park sign in the movie) turned out.

jurassic park

Anyone else super excited for the Jurassic World movie coming out this summer?  I can’t wait!  I might have to do some more dino nail art for the occasion.

Game of Thrones

I am a huge fan of Game of Thones (both the books and the movies) and I am crazy excited for the start of season five today!  I usually end up missing the opportunity to do nail art for the premiere, but not this time!  (I did use a GoT-themed polish two years ago.)  I put together some nail art based off of this season five poster, and added in a nod to my favorite house (partially because the season slogan – Vengeance is Coming – wouldn’t fit on my nails).

got season 5

I used OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy? as the base for all the black nails, and Cult Cosmetics El Matador as the base on the red accent nail.  The Game of Thrones logo was painted with OPI Haven’t the Foggiest – I love that it’s a darker silver, but still sparkly.  For the rose, I used white acrylic paint (and a bit of black mixed in for shading) and Essie Head Mistress for the Blood.  The Targaryen house motto – Fire and Blood – was painted with black acrylic paint.  And the silver triangle studs are from Bundle Monster.  I topped it all off with OPI Matte Topcoat.

got season 5

I am completely obsessed with how these turned out!  Acrylic paint is definitely upping my nail art game.  I’ve been practicing with painting words on my nails, but this is the first time I’ve attempted a script, and I’m honestly really surprised it doesn’t look like a huge blob.  If only I was ambidextrous…

got season 5

I haven’t made it all the way through the books yet, so I’m not sure what to expect this season, but I can’t wait!  Let me know what you’re most excited about for this season in the comments below!  I’m definitely ready for some more Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.