Something Different, Something Novel

A Little Something Different Inspired ManicureI first heard about A Little Something Different from one of my FAVORITE book bloggers, Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner. It sounded like a cute, unique contemporary novel that I might like to pick up sometime down the road. Fast forward to one of my many shopping sprees at Target, and I somehow found mulitple books in my shopping cart, including this beauty.

While trudging my way through The Goldfinch (not because it’s bad, just LONG), I needed a happiness break. 36 hours later, I finished this guy, and I loved it!

One thing that both worked and didn’t to a certain extent was the use of 14 narrators. I LOVED seeing the romance unfold in front of everyone, and it made me so happy to see a unique, contemporary book. But it’s also something I notice writers struggle with and tend to use as a crutch. It’s hard to write a story from the perspective of 14 different people and make them actually sound like 14 different humans with individual voices and vocabularies. Listing the character’s name becomes a way out of fully developing each facet of their personality, and I understand why! It takes a ton of time and effort, but I felt that was the one major thing this novel lacked. Aside from the squirrel, most of the storytellers sounded the same, and their distinguishing factor was purely their name at the start of the chapter.

Aside from the lack of distinction between the characters, I found myself completely immersed in their lives! While the book didn’t change my life, I didn’t need it to. I loved it for the light, fun piece of writing it is!

Now to the feminine and fun mani that goes with it!

Tools I Used // Essie Bump Up The Pump + Julep Ava + Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen
Tools I Used // Essie Bump Up The Pump + Julep Ava + Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

The colors of A Little Something Different are on the simpler, more classic side of the spectrum, but there is a lot going on in terms of the design. It took some trial and error to decide what and how much to actually try to accomplish on the small surface area of my nails. Obvious details that stood out were the swirls and hearts, which ended up being the main design elements I drew from.

A Little Something Different Inspired Manicure

The cover is the palest pink, which creates a beautiful canvas for the design. Julep’s Ava is the perfect opalescent, barely-there pink to bring the cover to life.

This was the first time I’ve ever used a nail art pen, and at first, it wasn’t smooth sailing AT ALL. I actually did this manicure twice. The first featured swirls on all four nails, with the two hearts on the ring finger, but it ended up feeling much too busy. The second time around, I played with the love and hearts a bit more and scaled the swirls back.

A Little Something Different Inspired Manicure

My favorite aspect of the whole manicure is the heart detail on my pinky finger. It was a fun, fresh take on a french tip, and almost feels like a hidden detail that you don’t notice until looking a bit closer.

A Little Something Different Inspired Manicure

Do you enjoy books with multiple narrators? What are you favorites? Happy Reading!

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Book Beauty: Not That Kind Of Girl

Something magical happens when a beautiful book and highly anticipated story come together in one novel. That’s exactly the case when it comes to Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. I’ve never seen an episode of Girls, but there is a TON of hype surrounding the book, and frankly, I don’t want to be left out!

Every once in a while, I like to stop and acknowledge books that are just plain beautiful. And that’s what this post is. A little lovin on this pretty pink and black book!

Not That Kind Of Girl

The cover of Dunham’s book is reminiscent of the self-help books from the 1960’s and 70’s, and I love it! Hot pink, black and white is such a classic color combo, and as I’m very sure you’ve realized by visiting Novels and Nail Polish even once, I’m a totally girly girl. Seeing the cover made think pink… And lip stick! True happiness!

Not That Kind Of Girl

And just like the best things in life, the book itself isn’t everything it seems. Strip away the retro dust jacket and you have a classy, powder blue and gold cover that fills my soul with so much joy! In the corner, Lena’s initials and a pair of shoes create and adorable graphic. Simplicity makes my heart sing!

Don’t even get me started on the lining! From afar, it almost looks like a colorful Rorschach test, but closer examination shows you they’re a bunch of quirky items, like banana splits, pizza and houses with legs! I would say that I have a pretty good feel of the book’s personality after just looking at the adorable details.

Not That Kind Of Girl

Are you planning on reading Not That Kind Of Girl? I’d love to hear what you think! Happy Reading!

Liar, Liar, Polish On Fire

We Were Liars Inspired Manicure Picture this: A rich family. Private East Coast island. Secrets & lies upon lies. If you haven’t read We Were Liars, don’t ask how it ends. You don’t want to know, and I won’t tell you the truth!

E. Lockhart’s Contemporary YA novel is a complete masterpiece in my opinion. I haven’t been this engrossed and then completely shocked by a novel in a very long time.

The book’s first success? The incredible dust jacket blurb. It immediately caught my attention, which the book didn’t relinquish until it was over! I hadn’t realized how impactful a good summary can be, but this book raised the bar.

Second success? Unique layout. If there is a way to master reader confusion and use it for good, We Were Liars did just that. The book lets you live in a mild state of disorientation, really making you question the reliability of the narrator, which is so important for the success of the story.

Now that I’ve hopefully sung my praises of this wonderful book enough, let’s jump into the cover-inspired mani!

Tools I Used // Essie Blanc + Fashion Playground + Bikini So Teeny
Tools I Used // Essie Blanc + Fashion Playground + Bikini So Teeny

Happiness is realizing you own the PERFECT colors that match the cover beautifully! This was the exact feeling I had when I fell in love with this book, this cover and now this manicure. I grabbed Essie‘s Fashion Playground (pretty minty green), Bikini So Teeny (perfect pale blue) and Blanc (whitest white) to create this ombre watercolor masterpiece!

We Were Liars Cover Inspired Manicure

The minty green of the water, blue of the sky and white clouds were the inspiration for my design choices. I grabbed a makeup sponge to create the gradient from green to blue. In my Shatter Me Cover-Inspired Manicure, I used the sponging technique as well, but I learned a lot more about what works and what doesn’t this time around.

I started off with a naked nail, as opposed to painting the base color like I’ve seen in other ombre tutorials. Next time I use this technique, I will for sure try it with the first color painted on the nail to start, because it took forever to get an opaque color!

We Were Liars Cover Inspired Manicure

I really wanted to emulate both the cover and the overarching feeling of the novel with this manicure. The cover depicts a hazy day, just as the story is told from a potentially unreliable narrator, making the truth seem clouded and confused. There is so much beauty, but it and the truth are just out of reach beyond the clouds.

We Were Liars Cover Inspired Manicure

I had a lot of fun creating the white splatter design to mirror the cover’s hazy clouds. Of course, I grabbed the technique straight from the source of all things nails and beauty, The Beauty Department. They have an awesome tutorial on how to make your nails look like turquoise stones, which I adjusted to work for this manicure.

I grabbed a plastic ziplock sandwich bag and ripped it down the seam, which created the perfect cloudy texture. From there, I painted the white polish on the bag and blotted the excess on a plate before dabbing on my nails. Before it completely dried, I brushed a top coat over the nails to soften the edges of the white design.

We Were Liars Cover Inspired Manicure

Have you read We Were Liars? Did it completely shock and surprise you like it did me? Happy Reading!

To All The Nail Polish I’ve Loved Before

TATBILB Cover Inspired ManicureThere is something so sweet about young love. It brings you back to a simpler time, when you thought you were in love with every single boy you had a crush on. There is also something so annoying about it. And To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before captured all of these facets. Half the time, I found myself back in high school, without a care in the world, aside from the next time I was going to see my crush. But the other half? I was frustrated out of my mind by the naivety of Lara Jean and the other characters that sounded much younger than their assigned ages.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed this fun, quick read! It was everything I wanted it to be! I just happened to find myself a tad bothered every once in a while.

One thing that never, ever bothered me was the gorgeous cover! I love feminine and floral and soft and everything in between. And well, I LOVE PINK. This made creating a cover-inspired manicure easy and hard. Easy because I had so many ideas running through my head, and hard because… I had so many ideas running through my head!

TATBILB Tools I Used
Tools I Used // Essie Blanc + Julep Avery + Washi Tape

Someday, I will not be able to go into my Julep Nail Polish collection and find the exact color I’m looking for to match my book. Today is not that day.

After a quick look through my polish stash, I grabbed Julep Avery, a bright, vibrant pink that matches the exact shade of the book. Paired with Essie’s Blanc, you have a winning combo!

TATBILB Inspired Manicure

I’m going to level with you guys. Washi Tape is definitely one of my best friends! So of course I broke it out for this mani. To create the color block design, I began with my white base coat. After letting it dry, I taped out my diagonal designs. One of the best tips I’ve learned about using washi tape when painting your nails is to get rid of some of the adhesive before putting it on. I press the sticky side to my palm a couple time, and that does the trick. That way, there is less risk of it ruining the base coat.

TATBILB Inspired Manicure

Hand lettered book titles and covers make my heart smile. Calligraphy is one of my more recent passions, and while I’m just starting out, I love to find inspiration in other hand lettered beauties. The black cursive on the spine of the book was the inspiration behind the black stripe between the pink and white color blocks. I wasn’t sure if I trusted myself to paint a perfectly straight line, so I grabbed my Washi Tape, painted it black and voila! Perfectly straight lines chalked up to another win for Washi Tape.

TATBILB Inspired Manicure

TATBILB Inspired Manicure

Have you read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? What did you think? Happy Reading!

5(0) Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey ManicureLet me start off with a disclaimer: I’m NOT a huge fan of the 50 Shades series. I’ve read book 1 and part of book 2, and while they are definitely steamy, I have a very hard time getting past the writing style/lack of plot. Words can only be so sexy when they’re being used over and over… and over again! Because of my feelings for the actual books, I decided to make this post more of a tutorial, as opposed to a review.

Since the humble birth of my blog, I’ve had the concept for a 50 Shades manicure in my head. I’m pretty much obsessed with everything ombre, so a gradient grey mani was a no brainer. With summer trickling into fall, I thought this would be the perfect time to break out one of my favorite autumn shades and do this!

Let’s start with the tools I used for this manicure:

Tools I used // Plie Wand & brush + L'Oreal I Will + Sally Hansen Black Out + toothpick + foil
Tools I used // Plie Wand & brush + L’Oreal I Will + Sally Hansen Black Out + toothpick + foil

I went back and forth between using different shades of grey verses lightening black 5 separate times. After a bit of experimentation (and some failure!), I came to the conclusion that lightening the black would keep all five shades of grey in the same family. Black nail polish tends to have blue undertones, and I didn’t want to run into the possibility of ending up with three blue-black nails and two warm grey! NOT about that life!

50 Shades of GreyI wasn’t too scientific with the ratio of white to black. If I was to do this mani over, I would try to vary the second and third nail a bit more. They’re twinning a bit TOO much. Even with all of that, I am still very pleased! With the first three nails, I began with two large drops of Sally Hanson black nail polish and added white to the mix. The last two, I reversed the formula and started with a white base. When it comes to mixing nail polish, it’s very much about experimenting and adding little by little to achieve the desired color.

50 Shades of Grey Manicure

Be wary of the nail polish’s consistency after it has been out of the bottle and gone through the mixing process. It thickens rather quickly, which leads to strings of nail polish that strangely resemble melty cheese! I don’t have enough experience with mixing yet, so that’s definitely something I’m going to keep experimenting with in the future. I will report back on any interesting findings!

50 Shades of Grey Manicure

As I mentioned earlier, black lacquer contains strong blue undertones, so you might notice the lighter greys have more of a blue-black-grey quality to them. Pictured next to the book cover, I decided this was a happy accident, because it ended up being complimentary to the cover’s color palette.

50 Shades of Grey Manicure

Fall and winter are perfect for subtle patterns and designs, so now is the time to play with manicures like this one! Have you read the 50 Shades trilogy? What did you think? Happy Reading!

Wanted: A Stolen Manicure

Stolen Inspired Nail ArtWhen I saw Stolen by Lucy Christopher on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, the first thing that caught my eye was the rose gold butterfly. Second, I was very intrigued by the description on the back. It felt very Lovely Bones inspired, and since that is one of my all time favorite books, I decided to give it a chance.

I want to say I loved Stolen. I want to say it caught my attention and held me captivated the entire time. Unfortunately, I can’t say those things completely. The premise of the story was really interesting, and I loved where the story was set. But what killed it for me were the characters. They weren’t strong or bold enough for me. And because of that, the story moved really slowly.

Also, don’t even get me started on the ending. I understand that Stockholm Syndrome is a legit thing, but I was genuinely angry with the last fifth of the book. I felt as though Christopher was writing Gemma to be a character who she thought would come across as “very real,” as opposed to just writing a real person. It felt forced and a bit predictable, but with an outcome that I didn’t like!

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the pretty stuff!

Sneak Peek Stolen
Tools I Used // Julep “Black Latex” Cleopatra & Natalia + Plie Wand & Striping Tool

My inspiration for Stolen was pretty easy and straight forward. I love the color combo of the cover, and I happened to have the perfect metallic bronze/rose gold for the butterfly. I didn’t want to just have a little design on my ring finger and plain black nails on the rest of my fingers. To dress up my mani, I decided to add simple horizontal lines, and I love the way it turned out!

Stolen Inspired Nail Art

Julep’s “Black Latex” is a bit hard to work with, and dries with, well… a matte, latex finish. The first coat is often streaky and not fully opaque, but a second coat smooths it right out. I really wanted it to match the shimmer of the rose gold polish, so I chose not to leave it matte, and instead, painted a high-shine top coat over the black.

Stolen Inspired Nail Art

Since the black nail polish has a different finish, I was worried about using tape to create the stripes. I used my Julep Plie Striping Tool to freehand them, and I have to say, I like the way they turned out! I really need to invest in a couple of different sized brushes as I continue to up my nail art game! For the little butterfly, I put two dots of nail polish, rounded them out and pulled the tail down to make the two bottom wings.

Stolen Inspired Nail Art

Until I did this manicure, I didn’t realize how many butterfly things I had! My jewelry tray and gold midi ring were perfect details to supplement this cover-inspired manicure.

Stolen Inspired Nail Art

Have you read Stolen? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy Reading!

Landline Lovin’

Who loves Rainbow Rowell?? I DO!! What isn’t there to love about her adorable love stories and cute book covers! Her brand new book, Landline, is no exception. Sometimes she writes about teens and sometimes she writes about adults, but no matter the age, her stories have touched me and made me think.

One reason Rainbow Rowell continues to produce work that is so special comes from her ability to capture the different facets of love and relationships. Their ups and downs, laughs and tears, struggles and triumphs.

Landline follows Georgie McCool as she makes the difficult decision to spend Christmas working instead of with her husband and two daughters in Omaha. Through a series of flashbacks that get us caught up on Georgie’s relationship with long-time best friend Seth and husband Neil. Things really get interesting, though, when Georgie realizes that the Neil she thought she was talking to is actually 23-year-old boyfriend Neil! Is this the chance she’s been waiting for to fix their marriage or is she supposed to stop things before they ever happen?

I haven’t read Attatchments, Rowell’s other Contemporary Adult Fiction novel, so I was interested to see how much would differ in the story and style in comparison with her YA novels, Fangirl and Eleanor & Park. I was pleasently surprised to find that really the only thing that changed was the fact she was writing about an adult couple. I was worried her voice and style would lose its captivating fun and engaging details, but it didn’t! I devoured the story in just over 24 hours!

Now that I’ve told you how much I adore Landline, let’s do this mani!

Tools I used // Julep Polishes + Banana Republic Polish + OPI Polish + Plie Want & Dotting/Striping Tool
Tools I used // Julep Polishes + Banana Republic Polish + OPI Polish + Plie Want & Dotting/Striping Tool

When I saw the cover of this book, I was SO EXCITED to paint my nails! Perfect color palette plus cute images had me inspired right away. Grey and pink are two of my favorite colors together, so I wanted the striped spine incorporated into  my overall design. I took the rest of the cover pretty literal, choosing to paint an old-fashioned telephone on my ring finger and continue the cord across my other two nails.

Landline Inspired ManicureTo create the yellow telephone, I grabbed my Julep Plie Wand and dotting tool. I made two yellow dots and with the extra paint, connected them with a line. I tried a striping brush first to connect the dots, but the line wouldn’t get to the correct width. The cord was a little bit trickier! The long striping brush was harder to control and keep thin, but I made it work.

Landline Inspired Manicure

I’m very proud of how this manicure turned out! This design was the most challenging I’ve attempted so far, but with great risk comes great reward! Normally, I don’t consider myself the artistic type when it comes to painting, so I go a more abstract “inspired” route in my manicures. I’m really excited, though, to continue to learn and try new things when it comes to nail art.

Landline Inspired Manicure

Landline Inspired Manicure

Have you read Landline yet, and do you have a favorite Rainbow Rowell novel? I’d love to hear! Happy Reading!