Sally Hansen 3D Design

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When it comes to nail decals – or anything that is supposed to stick to the nail, like nail wraps or even nail stamping – I am deeply skeptical. In trained hands, sure…but most are hard to get the hang of using. I was pleasantly surprised by Sally Hansen 3D Design Appliques. I picked the Floral design, but they also come in Geometric and Knit Sweater patterns. They were an absolute snap to use.

I started with Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat and then a single coat of Sally Hansen “Hot Magenta”. (This bottle of “Hot Magenta” is one of my older polishes – the date on the bottle is 2008.) I then carefully peeled off the decals and placed them on my nails. I went in with another coat of “Hot Magenta”, topping with Glisten & Glow Top Coat. The results were amazing – the clear decals took the polish like a champ. They are mostly idiot proof, although I did manage to tear one of the decals. I was able to place the two pieces back together on my nail, so it wasn’t noticeable at all.

Each package comes with 16 decals for $7.99. (Why not 20, so I can get two full sets?) $7.99 is a bit pricey for one and a half manicures worth of decals, but it’s about the same as Jamberry wraps, which go for $15 each and provide 2-3 applications. I might get more of these if I can find them on sale somewhere…

They’re After Me Lucky Charms!

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I couldn’t let St. Paddy’s Day pass without a pretty green mani…

I pulled out an oldie, but goody – Julep “Tatum”, neon chartreuse chrome. This is two coats over Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat.

I had intended to use the gold clover decals in this month’s Julep box, but I couldn’t figure out how that was supposed to work. The label said ‘nail decals’, but they were on a white card like skin decals…and the instructions said to apply to clean, dry skin. Go home, Julep – you’re drunk!

Instead of the gold clovers, I decided to try out Julep “Desiree”, a high-gloss holographic top coat. I only used it on my ring finger, but you can’t even tell – the chrome effect is too reflective. I need to try it again on a creme polish. I topped with Glisten & Glow Top Coat, but the bottle is getting too old – it is getting to thick to cover smoothly and I got SO many weird bubbles. Good thing I have a fresh bottles stashed…


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I am absolutely shocked at how Funky Fingers “Supernova” turned out.

“Supernova” has tiny gold glitter, with larger baby pink glitter, in a clear base. I was expecting sheer coverage, but it provides nearly full coverage in just two coats! You cannot see any green staining on my nails AT ALL.

This is two coats of “Supernova” over Glisten & Glow Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

I wanna listen to Liz Phair now…that used to be my jam…


Rise & Shine

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I couldn’t stand it any more! Last Thursday, I spent nearly an hour and a half (or about three episodes of Drunk History) cutting my toenails and fingernails. The multivitamins my surgeon prescribed (Multigen) are fucking amazing – I’ve never gotten nails this long without breaking – and I’ve been taking biotin for YEARS. I’d continue to take them if they weren’t over $30/month. I decided to ensure that they continued to grow strong by trimming them all to match. And even though I had gone for a pedicure on my birthday last month, they guy didn’t cut my toenails at all – I hate it when they just leave them long! But I’ve healed well and can finally bend to reach my feet. Hallelujah!

I wanted more color in my life, so I decided to try Sinful Colors “Rise & Shine” on my fingers and toes. This is two coats over Sinful Colors Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. I had a heckuva time trying to photograph this polish. All winter, I’d been taking nail pics in my kitchen, under neutral LED lighting. I’ve been getting realistic color…until “Rise & Shine”. I feel like it’s got more green in it that pictures were showing, like a true teal. I waited a day and went outside and took pictures all over my back porch. I got the truest color against the bricks, but it still looks too blue. Pretty, but too blue.

WARNING! Like all dark green and blue polishes, this one STAINS, so get ready for green cuticles after using this polish.

So Fancy

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I’m so fancy…but you already know.

I don’t know that my nails have ever grown this long and strong. Prescription vitamins is a helluva drug. (I was prescribed Multigen before my surgery.) I’m starting to get paranoid about how long they are – am I gonna end up in the hospital after wiping my ass?

These golden rose decals did not work out like the other Julep decals I’ve received. Sure, they look amazing from afar, but They decided not to stay flat – they lifted up, even after a thick layer of Glisten & Glow Top Coat. The decal edges became sharp discs of death. One of them flaked off while I was transplanting an Oregano plant, leaving an impression not unlike a wax seal.

Let’s talk about the color though – I used Julep “Norah”, a rusty red shimmer. I am loving this color. This is two coats over Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat, then decals and then the top coat.

I’m willing to try the decals again though – maybe over a bright red…for Chinese New Year?

Coolest Polish of 2018

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Is it too early to declare Essence Cosmetics “outta space is the place” as the coolest polish of 2018?

This polish popped up randomly in an Ulta Facebook ad – and I knew it had to be mine. I hadn’t even seen it in person, but I knew we were meant to be together. “Outta space is the place” ($2.99) is part of the new “Outer Space Stories” Collection by Essence. I don’t have a lot of experience with Essence – it’s a budget brand, like wet n wild.

What’s so impressive about this polish, you may ask – it just looks like a plain white polish? It’s not a plain white polish. It’s an iridescent unicorn polish that shifts pink, blue and purple in the light. Judging by all the big brands falling all over themselves to release shiny, pastel unicorn collections (I.E. wet n wild’s Goth-O-Graphic Collection and Too Faced’s Festival Collection) – 2018 will be the year of the unicorn.

This is two coats of “outta space is the place” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. The edges of my nails are rather crispy – that’s totally my bad, as I did a shit ass job painting my nails this go-round. The lighter the polish, the lighter hand you need…or you get these crispy edges.

A Martini Built for Two

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Julep “Emmy” is an odd polish. Julep describes it as an olive ghost shimmer. (I think ghost shimmer means that you can see it in the bottle, but it disappears on the nails.) This color seems very limiting, but I had some many ideas about the personality it portrays:

  1. A ‘country girl’, a lady that wants her nails to look their best as she fixes a fence or rounds up the chickens.
  2. A 90s grunge girl, the olive tone perfectly complementing her flannel shirt.
  3. A girl who appreciates Military chic.
  4. One of those girls that gets married in a camouflage wedding dress.
  5. A city sophisticate that likes her polish like she likes her Martini – smooth and dry.

I am not sure I fall into any of those categories…OK, long ago, maybe the second one. My point is that this polish has multiple personalities and while I thought it annoyed me, it grew on me the longer I wore it – nearly a week. Next time, I’ll add glitter.

This is two coats of “Emmy” over Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

Sucker Punch

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Sucker punch, bitch.

Sinful Colors “Sucker Punch” is one of the new polishes I picked up after VD. It’s not what I thought I was going to do – I thought I was going to use “You Just Wait” – until I realized that I already have that shade it and it is green/pink, not white/pink. I want white/pink, dammit!

I noticed that it was almost an exact match for the red/pink shimmer shade I had picked for my toes. (I don’t even know what colors is on my toes – I didn’t even think to ask the name of the shade.) Shari had come to visit me and we went for a pedicure, which was an amazing idea, since I can’t easily bend to reach my feet yet. I just picked a random China Glaze polish from the swatch sticks. Whatever polish it is, it’s an exact dupe for Sinful Colors “Sucker Punch”.

This is two coats of “Sucker Punch” over Sinful Colors Base Coat and topped with Glisten & Glow Base Coat. I think this polish would also look amazing with a matte top coat.

To VD or Not VD…

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Who am I kidding? We ALWAYS VD.

I had planned on using my fancy gold rose nail decals for a VD mani, but Lily really wanted to design matching nails for us, so I decided to have some fun with her. I did decline to let her paint my nails – sorry, hun.

I was shocked that she started with Sinful Colors Base Coat. I think I am finally rubbing off on her! She selected Sinful Colors “Sugar Sugar” and “Surreally Sweet” as alternating base colors. She assured me that I had to go with one coat of “Sugar Sugar” and two coats of “Surreally Sweet”. (I knew she was wrong about “Sugar Sugar”, but I let it go. As soon as I started with the top coats, I got bald spots – easy to fix though.) She showed me how to do an ombre of the two colors on my middle nail – it worked fantastically!

She picked Sinful Colors “I’m All In”, “Kissful Thinking” and Funky Fingers “Queen of Hearts” as toppers. “Kissful Thinking” is on our middle fingers, with “I’m All In” on our thumbs and ring fingers and “Queen of Hearts” on our index fingers and pinkies.

The finishing touch was Glisten & Glow Top Coat. Oh, did I mention that we were watching The Monkees the whole time we painted? I got her hooked!

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Nails aside, the REAL holiday at our house is February 15th. You know why.

We didn’t buy our kids a goddamn thing for VD. But immediately after school on the 15th, we loaded them into the truck and hit Walgreen’s. $10 each goes a long way when all the candy is 50% off!

I ended up spending more like $20 on myself, but I got the best stuff – Lindt Truffles, Russell Stover (the Elegant Collection, not the regular ones) and Godiva. This is just spoiling myself really, since my husband already brought me Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream and a bunch of European Chocolate from work. (Unfortunately, the special Loot Crate I ordered him in November hasn’t made it yet….boo.)

I was also treated to 3/$5 Sinful Colors! This store had a pitiful selection, but I did find 3 new colors – “Rorange” (red + orange?), “You Just Wait”, and “Sucker Punch”. I looked for a Sinful Colors Base Coat, but they didn’t have any…so weird.

I had amassed a $5 credit, too. I don’t even know how I did that. Who knows, but I LOVE Walgreen’s!

BBQ Sauce

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Maybe because I’ve lived in Texas so long, but when I look at my nails – all I see is BBQ sauce. Spicy, sparkly, BBQ sauce.

Or maybe I’m just hungry for ribs. Right now, my favorite is the Whataburger Honey BBQ, but my husband just picked up The Jank and it’s a contender.

This is Julep “Pia”, from this month’s Maven box. Julep says it’s a spiced burgundy iridescent shimmer, but I see more of a mahogany.

I started with Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat and then two coats of “Pia”. I admit, it was late when I painted them and my coats were heavy around the edges of my nails. Unfortunately, this led to even heavier edges with Glisten & Glow Top Coat. It was difficult to get clean edges and my nails resemble well-done ribs, with those crispy delicious edges…