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!


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!

Happy Read Across America Day

My beautiful friends, some dreams do come true. In honor of Read Across America Day, I partnered with one of my FAV nail polish brands, Julep, to create a Dr. Seuss inspired mani. I am so excited to share this fun & colorful manicure with you guys, and I’d love for you to check out my full post over on Julep’s Blog!

Read Across America Day // Novels and Nail Polish

How are you celebrating Read Across America Day? Feel free to come celebrate with me and Julep over on their blog! Happy Reading!

{Saturday Spotlight} Bundle Monster Downtown Collection

February is almost gone, and spring will be here in no time. When I received the Downtown Nail Polish Collection from Bundle Monster, I knew I wanted to do one last dark winter mani before pastels and peonies take over! The collection features 6 cream polishes that are spot on for all of your fall/winter polish needs.

Bundle Monster Review // Novels and Nail Polish

From left you right you have Harlow (smokey navy), Eaton (dark teal), Oxford (neutral taupe), Bristol (maroon), Redhill (deep shimmering burgundy) and Crowley (deep purple). All of the polishes applied really well, and most are good to go in just one coat. My favorite color is definitely Redhill. I love the shimmer, and it looks so gorgeous on!

I knew right away I wanted to create a day-to-night multi-mani with these guys.

Bundle Monster Review // Novels and Nail Polish

For day, you can rock these five colors together no problem. Their rich pigmentation allows them to effortlessly transition from each color without looking harsh or out of place.

And while I love simple daytime looks, my favorite is definitely night.

Bundle Monster Review // Novels and Nail Polish

Bundle Monster Review // Novels and Nail Polish

A night on the town deserves a fun, sexy manicure to go along with it. I used striping tape to create a diagonal French tip with a bit of sparkle underneath. I wish the colors had a bit more contrast between the different shades, but other than that, I love the final result!

Bundle Monster Review // Novels and Nail Polish

Overall, I would say that if you don’t already own these colors, grab them! They’re easy to work with and not too expensive. Happy Reading!

 Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // shop the collection

**These polishes were provided to me in exchange for my honest review

Vintage Vibes

Sometimes a color palette just appears in you head and you have to run with it. Case and point, this retro-chic pastel color combo I’m currently in love with. The colors are all soft and feminine, and together, they feel like they’re from another place.

Vintage Vibes Inspiration Board // Novels and Nail Polish

Inspiration collages like the one above have always been one of my favorite types of images on the internet. It’s definitely a goal of mine to put these together for more of my manicures!

Vintage Vibes Manicure // Novels and Nail Polish To achieve this fun, retro look, I combined some of my favorite pastel polishes from Julep, Mint and Essie. With the help of a little striping tape and matte top coat, the finished product came to life, and it was exactly what I hoped for!

Do you love pastels as much as I apparently do? Happy Reading!

hairpin image via brit & co.