Black Lace

Lately, I haven’t been doing much with my nails. Last week, I only painted my nails once – gasp! But I’ve been really wanting to get back into nail art, and since I used this blog as an excuse to buy a lot of polishes from all the new fall collections, I kind of had to use them in a post.IMG_8919

For these nails, I started with a base of OPI Amore at the Grand Canal from the new Venice collection. I have probably somewhere around a hundred red nail polishes, and I always love new ones. This one is fantastic! I wore it for almost a week after doing this manicure.

The black lace is actually not stamping or water decals – they’re stickers! I got these really cool 3D lace stickers from Born Pretty Store (click here to check them out). I almost put them on a nude background, which would have been really pretty – but what’s cooler than glossy red and black lace? They have a ton of different designs, and I found them really easy to use – just trim and stick. The directions recommend using topcoat, but my Seche Vite made them curl up just a teensy bit on the edges and did cause a few bubbles. Really minor issues – any normal person probably wouldn’t notice – but I thought I’d give you a heads-up. I’d suggest trying a regular (not quick drying) topcoat if you decide to use these.

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Hope you enjoyed these nails! I have a bunch of other Born Pretty Store products to review for you, so keep an eye out for more posts soon!

Don’t forget to use code PSQW10 to get 10% off your order at Born Pretty Store!

Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

Turquoise Cabochons

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately when it comes to nail art, so I decided to branch out a bit and ended up getting these turquoise cabochon studs. I think they are gorgeous, and I love how these nails turned out!

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I used OPI Black Onyx as a base for these nails. The turquoise studs and round silver studs are actually both from Born Pretty Store. I just attached them with using a coat of topcoat. I used a wax pencil (also from Born Pretty Store) to pick up and place the stones. I’ve been using it for a while in my nail art, and I have to say: it is sooo much better than tweezers or a dotting tool! If you use any kind of nail embellishments, I’d highly recommend getting one because it makes placing stones or studs a breeze!

turquoise studs

If you’re interested in the turquoise studs, you can purchase them here (they come in a wheel with three different shapes and four different colors). The round silver studs (which also come with gold ones) can be found here. And you can get the wax pencil here (I’ve tried both kinds on the Born Pretty Store Website, and while they’re both good, I prefer this one, which has a softer, clear wax).

And don’t forget to use code PSQW10 for 10% of your Born Pretty Store order! Let me know what you get in the comments!

Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion.

Fiesta

I was in the mood for something super colorful, and ended up with this design inspired by fiesta party decorations (at least in my head). They’re kind of tribal, kind of cutesy, but definitely colorful. They didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned them, but I still really like them.

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I started all the nails with a base of Cult Cosmetics Redondo Beach, which is a gorgeous nearly neon red. Then I painted on the stripes with Cult Cosmetics Newport Beach, Cult Cosmetics Playa del Rey, Cult Cosmetics Point Dune, OPI Good Grief!, and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

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These looked awesome from a normal distance (read: not HD close-up photos). I kept staring at my nails all day! Usually I prefer horizontal stripes, but I love how the vertical works here.

P.S. In case you missed the announcement in my last post: I officially have a Born Pretty Store discount code exclusively for my readers! Use code PSQW10 to get 10% off of anything at bornprettystore.com! They have tons of great stuff – from stamping plates and polish to studs and rhinestones of all shapes and colors. I’ve been buying nail art supplies from them since I started this blog over three years ago.

When Life Gives You Lemons

These were another attempt at using acrylic paint for my nail art.  Honestly, I just wanted to see if the yellow acrylic paint was more opaque than yellow nail polish.  It was a bit easier to use, but I’m not quite sold yet.

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I used OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini as the base, and used acrylic paint for the lemons.  I’ve been wanted to do some more fruit nail art for a while and finally got around to it.  I did initially try to do actual lemons (rather than lemon slices), but I couldn’t get them to look right.  Oh well.

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We had a pretty serious heat wave in southern California a week or so ago (when I painted these), and, while I hate the heat, it had me craving some summery nails.  I like how these turned out – they definitely put me in the mood for some more fruity nail art.