Pastel Floral

I’ve been pretty busy lately painting false nails for my new Etsy shop, but I finally sat down and did some nail art on my own fingers.  Despite the fact that the weather has finally cooled down in Southern California (it’s been like 90 degrees for the last two months), I wanted to do some spring flowers.

pastel floral

I started off with a base of OPI You’re So Vain-illa.  The leaves are done with OPI Life Gave Me Lemons (I’m obsessed with this color right now).  And the flowers were painted with a mixture of Color Club Holy Chic, Color Club Macaroon Swoon, China Glaze Sweet Hook, China Glaze Life Preserved (mixed with white), Essie Fiji, and Butter London Kip, with OPI How Great is Your Dane? for the centers.

pastel floral

These didn’t turn out exactly as I’d envisioned, but I really like the colors together!  I need to do some more nail art with Life Gave Me Lemons – I don’t have anything else like it, and I’m completely in love.  I might need a backup bottle.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have a slightly ridiculous collection of green nail polishes, so it was a bit difficult to decide which ones to wear today.  Ultimately, I decided on one of my new favorites and added a simple design and some glitter.  Honestly, I’m not entirely happy with it, but I was too tired for anything else.


The base is Color Club Wild Cactus, which is a bit darker and brighter in person.  I don’t have anything even close in my stash, so it’s definitely worth a look if you like greens.  The glitter is China Glaze Pine-ing for Glitter, and I painted the word “luck” with Essie Blossom Dandy from Essie’s new spring collection.


Hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

P.S. I have a cool announcement coming soon, so keep an eye out for that!  If you follow me on Instagram (@thepolishsquirrel), you might know what it is already.

Windowpanes & Flowers

Lately I’ve been seeing windowpane plaid everywhere, and I really love it.  I think it’s vintage-y and fresh at the same time.  I wanted to do a nail art version, and decided to combine it with this vintage floral design that I’ve been obsessed with lately.  Honestly, I’m not loving this manicure for some reason, but I do kinda like the 60s vibe.

windowpane floral

The base of the window check and the flowers is Essie Suite Retreat from this year’s resort collection.  The leaves are China Glaze Trip of a Lime Time.  I used my new favorite white polish for the windowpane and the base for the flowers: Cult Cosmetics El Porto.  I’ve been obsessed with their polishes lately – especially their basic black and white.  This is the most opaque white polish I own, and it has a great formula.

windowpane floral

I considered not posting these, because I’m just not really feeling them, but I still think they’re kind of interesting. And I think the windowpane came out really well.  What do you think?

Essie Red Comparison

This post was requested by a reader, and I owe her an apology because I completely forgot to do it until just now.  Sorry Charlotte!  Anyway, I think this is a pretty valuable comparison, because most of these colors are pretty damn close.  I rarely wear reds (mostly because I really hate taking them off), but I own a ridiculous number of them.  These are just a few of the Essie reds I own, but they are really similar.  I’d say you really only need one or two of these.essie red comparison

Thumb: Jump in my Jumpsuit.  This was by far the most opaque and I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.  It’s pretty blue-toned and slightly deeper than a true red.  This one is almost a one-coater, but it takes two coats to be completely opaque.

Index Finger: Head Mistress.  To my eye, this is the closest to true red.  It has both blue and brown undertones, and is a bit deeper than your standard tomato red.  This is two coats, and I still have a bit of a visible nail line in direct light.

Middle Finger: Twin Sweater Set.  This one might be my least favorite, mostly because of the formula.  Color-wise, this is a bit more orange than Head Mistress, but they are almost dupes.  The texture is much more jelly-like than the others.  This is three coats, and I still have visible nail line.

Ring Finger: Dressed to Kilt.  A bit more brown-toned than the others.  I wouldn’t call it a brick red, but it’s definitely more of a fall red for me.  This is the second most opaque – definitely a two-coater, but coverage is pretty good.

Pinky: She’s Pampered.  This one’s a light brighter and more orange than the others.  This is the closest to a true red in this bunch.  Two coats gives good coverage, but cleanup sucks (as you can see).


Thanks to Charlotte for requesting these!  If you have any requests for color comparisons, I’d be happy to put something together for you!  Just shoot me an email at or comment on this post.  Check out my previous red comparison here.

Fall Leopard

I really cannot get enough of how amazing these polishes from the Essie Fall Collection look together!  Once I saw them, I knew I had to use them together.  I don’t do leopard print that often, but I thought it would look really great with these colors.

fall leopard

All of the colors I used are from Essie’s Fall 2014 collection: The Perfect Cover-UP (dark teal), Fall in Line (green), and Take it Outside (gray).  The stud is from Born Pretty Store.

fall leopard

Animal print is not really my thing, but I think these turned out really good!  I actually enjoyed wearing them a lot.  What’s your favorite fall print?

Essie Fall 2014

Fall is my favorite time of year for nail polish collections.  I adore the deep blues, greens, and teals, vampy purples and reds, delicate grays, and interesting nudes.  I ended up buying both the Essie and OPI fall collections in their entirety this year (oops!) and I’m still deciding which of the China Glaze’s I want (they all look so pretty!).  If I’m being completely honest, there isn’t much in here we haven’t seen before.  But I couldn’t resist, and I’m actually glad I caved.

essie fall 2014

Essie’s Fall 2014 Collection, called Dressed to Kilt is pretty much a mixture of almost all the colors I think of when I think “fall nails”.  On my thumb is The Perfect Cover Up, which is a gorgeous dusty teal.  Great formula on this one, it goes on really smoothly and is easily a one-coater (!).  On my index finger is Take it Outside, which is pretty much the perfect pale gray.  I’ve seen a lot of polishes like this that are too warm, and they end up looking dirty on me.  This one is really lovely.  My favorite of the collection – Style Cartel – is the navy on my index finger.  This one has a bit of a jelly-like texture, but is still perfect in two coats.  It’s a little deeper and more vibrant than your standard navy blue.  I love it!  The green is Fall In Line.  This one looks pretty close to A Vested Interest from last years’ fall collection or School of Hard Rocks from the Winter 2011 collection.  I can never get enough of these kinds of colors, and Essie does them well.  The last one is Partner in Crime, and it is a deep chocolate brown.  Brown’s not really my thing, but this one is nice and vampy.

essie fall 2014

The only polish not shown is Dress to Kilt, which is a really pretty red that looks like a dupe for about five other polishes I already own (including Twin Sweater Set from last year’s fall collection).  It’s nice, but nothing all that special.

Overall, I think this is a really good collection!  Essie has been kind of hit or miss for me formula-wise lately, but all of these are very nice and easy to apply.

Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below!


Finally another book-inspired post!  I just finished reading my first Neil Gaiman book, Neverwhere, and it was incredible!  Definitely a unique book.  Kind of like a modern Alice in Wonderland.  So, naturally, I had to do some Neverwhere nail art.


I used Essie Going Incognito as the base for all the nails, and Sinful Colors Chick Chick to paint the designs.  It’s slight sheerness really worked for this design.


The designs I chose are (from thumb to pinky): the title of the book, a door, Islington (the name of one of the characters), Mind the Gap (which was my favorite scene in the book), and a key.


I really enjoyed reading Nevermore, and I’m moving on to The Graveyard Book next.  I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately, so any and all book recommendations are welcome!  And as always, you can add me as a friend on Goodreads (it’s like Facebook for books).  Happy reading!