Saved by the '80s

After falling in love with one polish from the Deborah Lippmann '80s line, I just had to go back and pick up a couple more of the colors from it. And since these polishes really put me in an '80s state of mind, it only made sense to reach for my MoYou London Back to the '80s stamping plate when the time came to try them out.





I started with a base of Deborah Lippmann Maniac and then layered two images from the stamping plate on each nail using Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish Covent Garden Place and Deborah Lippmann Video Killed The Radio Star. All three polishes applied/stamped beautifully and I'd happily recommend them.


From far away, this manicure just looked like a mottled purple-ish color, which was fine with me, but I really love the detail of the stamps close up. My husband and I decided that they reminded us of the Saved by the Bell opening credits background graphics, and a bunch of other friends agreed, so I think this will forever be the Saved by the Bell manicure in my head.


As a side note, I also have to mention that with my base/top coats (Duri Rejuvacote & CND Stickey are the bases and HK Girl Top Coat is on top), this manicure lasted for a full week with no chipping whatsoever—and I even did three solid days of spring cleaning while wearing it! Rejuvacote, Stickey, and HK Girl always serve me well, but I definitely think the Deborah Lippmann polish deserves some credit here, too. Super impressive!



Thanks for looking, everyone!

A Galaxy Far, Far Away (From What I Intended)...

Yes, I went there with the Star Wars pun. Sorry, not sorry. :)

My galaxy nails never turn out how I expect them to. I don't know if it's something about my technique, or just a weird short circuit in my head somewhere between idea and execution, but I always start with a very specific vision for my galaxy manicures and then... end up with something completely different when I'm all finished. Today's look is no exception!




When I started this manicure, I was looking at lots of gorgeous pictures of bright orange and yellow galaxies. I'm still so in love with my favorite new orange polish that I wanted to do something more with it! Needless to say, I didn't quite achieve the vibrant, stunning beauty of these galaxies, but I think the overall look is still very galaxy-like and I ended up enjoying it anyway.


The base color here is Julep Nic. The full list of the polishes I used for the galaxy details, in roughly the order I used them, is as follows:

  • Julep Anisa
  • Deborah Lippmann Don't Stop Believin'
  • SinfulShine Bananappeal
  • China Glaze Snow
  • Super BLACK Lacquers Pocket Change
  • China Glaze Fairy Dust


I sponged on all the galaxy bits with tiny pieces of makeup sponge, and then added the white dots and sparkly star design with a dotting tool and small detail brush, respectively. If I could do this over again I would be more thoughtful about the size and placement of my white dots—I feel like most of them are a bit too big and their arrangement isn't ideal. I might also use a less stark white so that they don't stand out quite so much? But this is just me being super picky, I'm sure!


Thanks for looking!

Journeying Into Orange

I'll admit it: I always thought I hated orange. I know yellow doesn't suit my skin tone at all, and since orange is right there next to yellow on the color spectrum, my assumption has always been that orange is a bad color for me, too. I have no orange clothing or accessories, and only about four bottles of orange (or at least, orange-ish) nail polish that hardly see any use. So needless to say, when I was browsing through Sephora recently and found myself inexplicably drawn to the bright orange shade in Deborah Lippmann's 80's Rewind* collection, I was a teensy bit shocked. "Why am I even buying this polish?!" I asked my husband. "I hate orange!"

*Someone at Deborah Lippmann really needed to consult an editor when creating this collection, because the name should be written as '80s Rewind, not 80's Rewind. Call me, DL!



Well, as it turns out—and as you've no doubt guessed by now—I actually don't hate orange! I just hadn't found the right shade for me.

As soon as I started brushing on Deborah Lippmann Don't Stop Believin' (all the 80's Rewind shades are named after songs from the 1980s, which is terribly charming, in my opinion), I was in love! The polish itself went on absolutely flawlessly, and the strong red tones make it a really flattering orange, even for someone like me with lots of yellow tones in her skin.


I loved the polish color so much that I almost didn't want to do any nail art over it, but in the end I decided to roll with the '80s vibe and add some brightly colored accents. I did the braided/fishtail stripes (inspired by Work / Play / Polish) with a small liner brush and two butter LONDON polishes: HRH and Slapper. I really love how the braid turned out and I'd like to do a whole manicure of braided nails someday, but as I've mentioned before, I'm a very s-l-o-w nail artist and this took me way longer than I expected. So I either need to work on my speed or save a lot more time for doing braids in the future!


The braid is pretty striking, even on just one nail, so I kept things simple and added one little dot of HRH and Slapper at the cuticle of my other nails.



I'd love to hear what you think of this one—are you a fan of orange polish? What's your all-time favorite orange?

Thanks for looking!

PS - If you're one of the '80s nerds who caught the connection between this post's title and the content... you're the best! Also, I'm terrible, I know.

Dotted Birthday Daisies

I went out of town recently for a little birthday getaway, and before I left, I decided to try my hand at some quick floral nail art. I should probably know better than to try a new technique when I'm already in a rush, but... what can I say. I'm just stubborn like that! (Fitting for a Taurus, huh?)





These seemingly simple little dotted flowers were inspired by Alice over at One Nail To Rule Them All. I say "seemingly" because I don't know that mine really live up to how cute and effortless hers always look (actually, I do know: they don't!), but I feel like I at least managed a few nice flowers in the bunch? Dotting tools are among the simplest nail art tools out there, but for some reason I always struggle with them. I think maybe it's the fact that I just don't have very steady hands and it's hard to make clean, even dots when you can't keep your dotting hand still. Go figure!


The base color is OPI Can't Find My Czechbook and the dots are Glitter Gal White Pointer and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Trouble Maker.


Even though I wish most of my flowers had turned out better, I do feel like this was good dotting practice for me and I enjoyed wearing this manicure.


Thanks for looking!

Purple Turquoise Stone Nails

I've always been really intimidated by water marbling. I tried it once—sort of—several months ago, but it didn't go well at all and I've generally tried to avoid thinking too much about the technique since then. Because, honestly: a big mess AND nails that look crappy at the end? No thanks!

However, when I saw (and absolutely fell in love with) these turquoise stone nails by Lacquerstyle recently and discovered they were done with a simpler version of water marbling, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and brave using water in a manicure once again.





I'm still leery of turquoise polish because of a recent nail-staining incident, and i wanted to put my own spin on the look anyway, so I decided to go with a purple turquoise stone look (yes, purple turquoise is actually a thing!) instead. And since I've already talked about the fact that purple & black is one of my favorite color combinations, I hope it doesn't sound too terrible to say that I'm just absolutely giddy about how this manicure turned out!


I followed the tutorial linked above almost exactly, with the exception of one step: instead of using one solid color for my base, I started with SUPER BLACK Lacquers Majestic and then dabbed on SpaRitual Illume with a crumpled ball of saran wrap. You can see in the two pictures that follow (one with each of those two polishes) that the final base color I ended up with doesn't quite look like either of them, but has a stone-like depth that I really like a lot.



Once the purples were dry, I dabbed on a little of my gold (Sephora + Pantone Universe Latte) and sealed everything with topcoat. Then I tackled the black as the tutorial describes: one drop of a england Camelot onto the surface of some water and spritzed with hairspray to create the crackled, veiny look. My sister was visiting while I was working on this manicure and we were leaning eagerly over the water cup when I hit that first drop of polish with the hairspray, so we both gasped in amazement/delight when it worked exactly as advertised. It was such a great moment!


I learned a few things while doing this that the tutorial doesn't fully mention:
  • Spraying the hairspray with just the right amount of force is actually surprisingly tricky, and will probably take a few attempts to get right.
  • Taping off your fingers well is very important. You wouldn't think one drop of black polish could make too terrible a mess on your finger, but it definitely can! Especially when combined with sticky hairspray.
  • Working in a well ventilated area is also very important! Fumes from nail polish, acetone, and hairspray all combined together can be strong and seriously unpleasant, and are probably not great for your health, either.
  • Having some extra water on standby will make your life a lot easier, especially if you have a few attempts that don't turn out as well as you'd like and you need to redo them. Too much hairspray in the water eventually affects how well the marbling works and it's not easy to clean out like the polish, so all you can really do is swap the water out for fresh.

All that said, however, the whole process really was a lot easier than I was expecting. As someone with zero successful water marbling experience under her belt, I was worried that I'd have at least a few nail fails along the way, but that just wasn't the case. I definitely recommend this technique if you've been wary of water marbling like me and want to start off with something easier.


I freely admit that I'm kind of obsessed with this look—expect to see different versions of it from me in the future. There are just so many possibilities!

Thanks for looking!

Cyberpunky Holo Stamping

I have a confession to make: I think I'm addicted to holo gradients. I don't know what it is... I've been kind of unenthused about holo polishes in general lately—they're pretty, yes, but they're everywhere, so they just don't excite me too much anymore. But take two or more and sponge them together into a gradient? Oh man, I am so on board for that every single time!





I was recently the lucky recipient of a bottle of Colors by Llarowe Courage, Brains, Heart and it's a lovely polish that I genuinely enjoyed wearing solo for a day, as I mentioned on my Instagram. When I had more time to add a little something to the manicure, I really did try to think of something other than a gradient, and I sort of succeeded here with the stamping, but, alas. I just couldn't help myself (not that I tried very hard, mind you).


On top of the Courage, Brains, Heart (CBH) base, I used a makeup sponge to apply the CBH and I Love Nail Polish Cosmic Barney gradient. I also stamped my thumb and ring finger using Cosmic Barney and MoYou London Sci Fi plate 05. (And by the way, I love that plate SO MUCH—it's probably my favorite out of my whole stamping plate collection right now.)


The crazy sparkliness of these polishes combined the theme of the stamping is what made me start to think of this manicure as kind of cyberpunky. The colors probably aren't ideal for a true cyberpunk look, which... gives me ideas for the future, actually! So, stay tuned for those down the road.


As a bonus, I noticed when I got dressed the morning after doing this look that my awesome nerd socks from Sock Dreams were a perfect match for my nails! Geeky AND color-coordinated—who could ask for more?



I'd love to hear from you guys on this one: what are your feelings about holo polishes? Are you still digging them, or are you like me & starting to get holo fatigue?

Thanks for looking!
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