Nail Polish Favorites // Summer 2015

Summer – Now is the time to paint your nails the color you want and spend your days outside in the sunshine! This season, I’m all about textures and colors that stand out past the normal cream red that is classic during June, July and August.

Summer 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

Sun-bleached pastels, jellies and berry brights are living on my nails these days! I was really interested in the unique textures and finishes that the fashion shows and magazines were highlighting for summer 2015, so collecting these polishes was a lot of fun. Let me show you what I’ve found!

Summer 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail PolishPowder Blue – Bleached, pastel polishes like Essie’s Find Me An Oasis are just so perfect for summer. They have a little more personality than stark white, but are still clean and classic for those summer nights! Plus, they really make your tan look fab!

Glitter – No longer are glitter polishes only for the holidays! Chunky glitter is fun, AND a layer of it on top of your mani can extend the life of your polish for another couple of days. Play around with cream polishes and coordinating glitters for a punchy manicure!

Summer 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

Lavender – As the days get longer, summer sunsets are so gorgeous and I adore the blues and purples of twilight! Lavender always reminds me of that time of day when you’re sitting outside and watching the sun go down, cold drink in hand.  Julep London is full coverage and creamy, and a great pastel to bring into summer months.

Neutrals – I’m a huge advocate for big, bright colors during the summer months (you’ll see below!), but sometimes you want a nice, nude nail to polish off your crisp white summer sundress! I might be biased, but that’s where Zoya’s Taylor makes her debut!

Summer 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail PolishFuchsia – Flirty. Feminine. Fun! All my favorite adjectives to describe the berry bright fuchsia, especially OPI’s Pink Flamenco. Take inspiration from the blooming bougainvillea all around!

Tangerine Red – Jellies are all the rage this year, so why not combine the summery tangerine with a fun sheer look. One coat gives you a sexy, peek-a-boo mani, or pair with a chunky glitter for a whole new effect!

What are you wearing on your nails this summer? Happy Reading!

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Happy Birthday America {4th of July}

Damn America, you’re lookin’ good for 239!

Happy Birthday America // Novels and Nail Polish4th of July is always the perfect holiday for nail art. Red, white and blue just seem to go together so naturally, which makes coming up with new designs that much more fun!

This year {with the help of Essie, Christian Louboutin, Julep and Nails Inc} I went for a more geometric, color-blocked design with a little bit of sparkle. My besties, striping tape and dotting tool, helped me get the crisp lines and polka dots!

Happy Birthday America // Novels and Nail PolishWishing everyone a safe and fun 4th! Happy Reading!

All The Bright Polishes

All The Bright Places Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishIf you are a YA fan and haven’t heard of All the Bright Places yet, I would bet my entire library of young adult fiction (probably valued at some absurdly high amount) that you’re living under a rock! As one of the most highly anticipated books of 2015, it definitely didn’t disappoint. This gem of a novel follows the story of a boy named Finch and a girl named Violet. It’s an incredible journey of self discovery, love and loss, and it’s hard to accurately express the beauty Jennifer Niven was able to craft through written word.

Jennifer tackles some really heavy topics in this novel, but does very well not to romanticize or make light of them. I think this comes from her ability to (unfortunately) relate well to the subject matter and speak very honestly about the topic of suicide and survivors of suicide. On the real, I spent the last 50 pages bawling like a baby with my winged liquid eyeliner running down my splochy face. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! All I can say is thank you Jennifer for creating a book that will stay with me long after I put it down.

Now let’s talk mani!

Tools I Used // Julep Plie Want +
Tools I Used // Julep Plie Wand + Martha + Essie Mojito Madness + Find Me An Oasis + Mint Fancy + OPI Pamplona Purple + Ciate Big Yellow Taxi

I am stoked on life to share this manicure with all of you! It is absolutely one of my favorites (and one of my best, if I do say so myself), and I had the pleasure to show it to Jennifer herself at the Pasadena Loves YA festival last week! I’m inspired by a lot of covers, but there was something so pretty about this one. I didn’t want to paint it, I NEEDED to paint it.

All The Bright Places Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishI started off with two coats of my fav light blue polish, Essie’s Find Me An Oasis, except on my ring finger, which I used Mint’s grey Fancy. My intention with that (because the colors are so similar) was so that I could use the blue as one of the Post-its on my ring finger. Throw on a quick coat of Seche Vite, and we’re good to start with the details!

All The Bright Places Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishI think we should start with the squares, or Post-its, from the cover. I took a bit of artistic liberty and cut the 8 squares down to 6, because in reality my nails aren’t THAT long! I grabbed some thin nail tape and worked out the grid. To get the colors just right, I had to add a bit of white to the Ciate polish to tone it down. From there, I used the Julep Plie Wand to fill in each space, and voila! You’ve got yourself some Post-it notes.

All The Bright Places Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishWhen it came to the violet, I just crossed my fingers and hoped it would come out. And what do you know, it actually looks like the violet on the book! I took the Julep Plie Wand and sketched out the general shape and then filled it in with the purple, black and yellow details. I had fun challenging myself to paint something freehand, a lot like the desk chair from my Attachments mani. It’s with these types of manicures that I find my passion most rewarding!

All The Bright Places Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishHave you read All the Bright Places? Tell me what you thought! Happy Reading!

I’ll Give You The Mani

I'll Give You The Sun Cover Inspired ManicureOne of the most anticipated YA reads of 2014 became one of my absolute favorite books of 2015, and maybe even ever! I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is a contemporary to rule all YA contemporaries, and I am so glad it came into my life. I have a feeling my overzealous review/opinion of this book might get a bit rambly, so bear with me!

Told from alternating perspectives of a set of twins, this book is liquid poetry and art. If I’m being objective, it could be a bit much for some people who don’t have the patience for flowery language, but it was just enough for me. Love and loss are the main themes, and it ultimately left me breathless.

I have a hard time forming sentences that correctly express my love for this story, so I’ll just throw out some adjectives instead: heartbreakingly beautiful, moving, inspiring and literally a million more. If you want to be moved to laughter and tears, I beg you, PICK UP THIS BOOK.

**I’m not sure if you can tell, but I feel rather strongly about how how incredible this novel is!

Now, let’s give you the mani!

Tools I Used // Essie Mojito Madness + Blanc + Julep London + Jeanne + Bailey + Nadia + Karen + Myrtle + Cover Girl Flamed Out
Tools I Used // Essie Mojito Madness + Blanc + Julep London + Jeanne + Bailey + Nadia + Karen + Myrtle + Cover Girl Flamed Out

This was another design that used ALL the polishes. Clearly I’m on some sort of rainbow kick, and I ain’t even mad! I went pretty literal with the design of this manicure, sticking mainly with the gorgeous rainbow sunburst on the white background. You’ll need as many polishes as you can carry, plus some, and for me that included my trusty stash of Julep and Essie colors.

I'll Give You The Sun Cover Inspired ManicureI’ll talk rainbow stripes first. I went with a random order of colors to mimic the lack of pattern on the cover. Grab your striping brush, or skinny paint brush in my case, and go to town! While I would have liked my colored stripes to be a bit thinner, I think I made it work. This design is great for ya’ll who are worried about painting intricate images because it doesn’t have to be exact!

I'll Give You The Sun Cover Inspired ManicureI stripped the dust jacket off for a bit of accent nail inspo. To play with the orange and white, I used striping tape (my fav technique) and a vibrant orange. Voila, you’ve got yourself a contrasting, geometric accent nail!

I'll Give You The Sun Cover Inspired ManicureDid you love I’ll Give You The Sun as much as I did? Let me know what you thought! Happy Reading!

Nail Polish Favorites // Spring 2015

SPRING! My favorite season is finally upon us, and I am overly excited for the gorgeous nail polish trends this year.

Spring 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

I am so inspired by the Pantone collection, En Plein Air, for Spring 2015. It’s a gorgeous blend of soft pastels and understated bright shades that you’d find in florals & nature, and ultimately will stand out beautifully on your nails. We seriously can’t do wrong with any of their choices. You know who else has channeled this trend TO PERFECTION? Essie’s collab Spring 2015 Collection, Flowerista, with Rebecca Minkoff.

I could continue to rave about how passionate I am when it comes to the absolutely gorgeous colors gracing nails this season, but how about I just show you?

Spring 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

Marsala – As Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala is rich and robust, which lends itself to great manicures. I love Mint’s Moonlit Stroll as the perfect, wearable version of this trend. It has so many dimensions, and when I have it on, I can’t keep my eyes off it!

Spring 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

Nude – If you ask me, a good nude is always on trend no matter the season. When you’re looking during spring, you need a nude that brings new life and depth into your wardrobe in the same way the earth begins to find life again after winter. If you’ll bear with me, I’m about to start my lovefest over Essie’s spring collection! Picked Perfect is one of two nudes in their new collection, and this guy specifially is a warm almond shade I’ve fallen in love with.

Teal – I’ve already mentioned how much I love Essie’s Spring Collection this year, so obviously my teal of choice this season is Garden Variety! There is no lack of pigment here, and if you want a punchy, funky teal, you’ve come to the right place.

Grey – I always crave a nice grey with blueish undertones for spring. It really is the ultimate color that allows brighter, more showstopping shades to take center stage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Essie’s Petal Pushers is perfection! Another home run for their spring collection.

Spring 2015 Nail Polish Trends // Novels and Nail Polish

Dusty Pastels – Whether it’s blue, pink, purple or green, pastels shine brightest during the spring. This year, I’m extra loving the dusty versions of these soft shades. Julep’s Shelly, a dusty mint, has been the apple of my eye for the last couple months, and I can’t wait to continue to wear it through the spring months!

What are your picks for Spring 2015 nail polish trends? Happy Reading!

Some Other Manicure, Maybe!

In Some Other World Maybe Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishI was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press reached out to me with their new YA/Adult contemporary novel, In Some Other World, Maybe. It’s possible that I was more excited about the cover than the actual story right off the bat. I mean, look at that beautiful rainbow watercolor-looking gorgeousness! I was ready to paint away before even opening it.

Thankfully, the book lived up to its beautiful cover, and I ended up loving them equally! In Some Other World, Maybe follows three separate story lines with characters that intertwine and intersect as everyone grows up in modern America. The characters learn about love and loss, life in Hollywood and how to make it in this messed up world. It was a fun and unique story that I really didn’t want to put down until it was finished!

A word to the wise, pay attention to people’s names at the beginning of the book. I ended up going through a couple chapters before realizing that the characters (major and minor) we are first introduced to show up in all three of the story lines. Once I realized that, I actually went back and reread some of the book to clear up the confusion!

Now, let’s paint a watercolor masterpiece!

Tools I Used // Essie Bikini So Teeny + Blanc + Mojito Madness + Julep London + Zoya Odette + OPI Guy Meets Gal-Veston
Tools I Used // Essie Bikini So Teeny + Blanc + Mojito Madness + Julep London + Zoya Odette + OPI Guy Meets Gal-Veston

This mani used A LOT of polishes. This might be a record for the most polishes I’ve used in a cover-inspired manicure thus far! I really wanted to capture the watercolor rainbow vibe of the cover, and so I pulled out all of the polish stops.

In Some Other World Maybe Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishTo start, I painted two coats of Essie Blanc and sealed with a quick dry top coat. If I may go off on a quick tangent, I finally jumped on the Seche Vite bandwagon, and it feels like home. I will probably never use another top coat, it’s that fantastic!

In Some Other World Maybe Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishNow down to the nitty gritty: the how-to of the watercolor look. I adapted the main technique from a tutorial by The Beauty Department, one of my daily reads for all things beauty! Grab your acetone/nail polish remover and a small container to hold it. I personally use the bottle cap because it’s super convenient! You’ll also need a brush to paint on the design.

On a small square of foil, place a drop of your first color. I went with a watercolor base of Bikini So Teeny on all five nails. Dip your brush in the acetone, then into the color. I did this one or two times to get it diluted a decent amount. Dab the polish on your nail, and don’t be afraid to further dilute the color by dipping the brush back into the acetone without adding more color. The top coat you applied to the first coat will keep the nail polish remover from stripping the base color!

In Some Other World Maybe Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishContinue the dilution technique for all colors desired. I decided to do a different color combination on all five fingers because I wanted to capture the beauty of the rainbow! Make sure all of the nail polish remover is dry on the nails before painting a top coat, otherwise you’ll have holes in the final polish layer.

In Some Other World Maybe Cover Inspired Manicure // Novels and Nail PolishHave you tried a watercolor manicure before? What techniques did you use? Happy Reading!

Lucky Look {St. Paddy’s Day}

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those fun holidays that inspires great nail art. Who doesn’t love a good green, gold and/or rainbow manicure every once in a while? So this year, I wanted something office appropriate, yet still festive to celebrate the one day a year it’s acceptable to drink green beer!

St. Patrick's Day Nail Art // Novels and Nail PolishI love a simple ruffian manicure. There’s something so unique, yet elegant about the design that I can’t get over. And on top of its inherently classic look, it’s so simple to execute! I went with the two most perfect St. Pat’s Day lacquers I own: Roc Solid {Julep} and OY-Another Polish Joke {OPI}.

St. Patrick's Day Nail Art // Novels and Nail Polish

Let’s just discuss this gold for a moment. It is LITERALLY perfection. It sparkles, it shines, it does everything. But to make it even better, it’s not a rough, chunky glitter. It is basically liquid gold, and I’m in love! Look at it in the sun, I mean LOOK AT IT!

St. Patrick's Day Nail Art // Novels and Nail Polish

Ok, now that I’ve gushed about my love for that gold polish, let’s get down to the design. I always freehand my ruffian manicures, but a French Manicure decal can do the trick if you’re afraid to go without a guide. The trick to free-handing a ruffian mani is to make as few polish strokes as you can. Get a good amount of polish on the brush, set it down in the center of the nail where you want to start the second color, and fan out the brush as you move toward the tip. That way it naturally creates the gradual spread of polish.

St. Patrick's Day Nail Art // Novels and Nail Polish

I chose to switch up the colors on two accent nails, but you could do any combination.

What are you wearing on your nails for St. Patrick’s Day? Happy Reading!