While I definitely take cues from fashion rules, this one is a little bit harder to follow. Especially living in Southern California, where the weather is as hot as your Venti PSL through the end of November. With Labor Day coming up tomorrow, I decided to shine a spotlight on white polishes – my favorite brands and a fun negative space mani!
White Nail Polish Showdown – Top White Nail Polish Picks
I tested out four white polishes: Essie, OPI, Ulta and Sally Hansen. I’ve been a religious Blanc user for years, but it was never the perfect white. It turns out that it’s actually not even in my top two from this test!
First thing I learned from trying out the polishes is that it’s really hard to photograph white nail polish and make it look true to life. Above are the four bottles and their corresponding swatches. You probably can’t tell, but the winner is…
OPI’s Alpine Snow (shown on pointer finger). A close second was Ulta’s Snow White (ring finger). Sally Hansen came in dead last. It was streaky and not opaque at all in two coats. Sadly, Essie Blanc wasn’t much better – still streaky and not very user friendly compared to the wide OPI brush or creamy consistency of Ulta’s Snow White.
Now that we’ve figured out which white does the job best, let’s chat about negative space manicures. First, make sure you have a good base coat that won’t peel off with striping tape, which can leave the unpolished area uneven. Next, tape off your negative space design and paint finger by finger, peeling off the tape before the polish dries. It’s the perfect subtle mani for Labor Day… and every day after that!
Some gifts are not meant to be stuffed into a stocking in any way, shape or form (for example, Gone with the Wind). But there is a golden handful of items that exist to be the quintessential stuffers. One of my favorites happens to be half of my blog’s namesake: nail polish!
I spent most of my holiday gift guide finding unique and cute gifts book worms will love, so now I’ll take a moment to put the other half of my blog in the spotlight! Nail polish is wonderful for procrastinators (you know who you are!!) because you can find it almost anywhere, at any price point! Grab a fab bottle of Sinful Colors glitter at Target for under 2 bucks, or lust over a bottle of Chanel at a department store. There are colors and brands for everyone, and that’s what makes nail polish such a versatile gift.
Budget-friendly – Any drug store or Target has a wide variety of brands and colors to choose from. Whether you go with a classic like Essie, or fan fav like Sally Hansen, you will find what you’re looking for!
Tried & true – Julep is an oldie but goodie for me. I’ve been a Maven for almost two years, and have amassed a huge collection. Their bottles have a sleek design, and the formula of their polish has improved greatly over the years. You can even gift your monthly box to someone (which also makes it perfect for birthdays, just sayin’).
Splurge-worthy – If you’re looking to spoil that special someone, go with Butter LONDON. Since the start of my nail polish obsession, I’ve gazed longingly at their gorgeous bottles and silky smooth finish each time I’m in Nordstrom or Ulta. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I can say I’m a proud owner. And the brand really does live up to the price and hype! It applies perfectly, and the colors are so rich! Another splurge-worth gift I adore is anything Cath Kidston. They make my go-to travel nail kit, and everything comes in perfect, feminine patterns!
What are your favorite brands to gift? Happy Reading!
I 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!
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.
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.
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.
Do you enjoy books with multiple narrators? What are you favorites? Happy Reading!
Let 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:
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!
I 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.
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!
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.
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!