December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Hey y'all! I've been absent because I went on vacation for the holidays, and not just metaphorically; I'm in a different state than normal! I finally trimmed down my nails, too. I'll be back with fun content in the new year - promise. I need to do a post on all the wonderful things I recieved from my birthday club, as well as all the nail mail I'll be getting when I return home (oh more than one Zoya flash promo that I didn't get before leaving? Don't mind if I do!)

Hope you've had a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or non-denominational-family-time-with-gifting; I'll see you shortly in the New Year!

xx Emma

December 13, 2011

31 Days of Christmas - Garland and Wreath!

I have been really busy lately and I haven't been able to paint my nails OR post as much. I did this manicure the weekend before the 5th of December, but honestly, everything has been a speeding blur since then. This week I have finals and this weekend I GRADUATE from college! All of this has not been made easier with an ear infection that has made it difficult for me to hear. Blah blah, excuses over - look at this fab manicure I did!

without flash

This one was fun to do and I really loved it, so I kept it on all week, but I had some major staining from the two green polishes I used when I removed it the other day - bummer for sure. To be really nitpicky, I think this would be even MORE awesome if the white lines were smaller because they mess up the scale of the design; this is supposed to look like a garland draped across a brick wall with a wreath on my accent finger.

small, slightly blurry shot of my thumb :)

For this I used:
  • ManGlaze Fatty's Got More Blood as my base (from the Black Friday sale)
  • white striper 
  • Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
  • Picture Polish Jealousy (from the Llarowe Black Friday sale)
  • another layer of Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe 
  • China Glaze Poinsettia for the berry and bow accent
I didn't use any top coat on this because I liked the contrast of finishes, and the way it got really 3D where I built up layers.

with flash

Hope your December is going well, lovely readers!

December 4, 2011

31 Days of Christmas - Day 4

I did my first water marble today! It went really well for it being my very first time, and I look forward to doing more in the future (when I have wayyy more time and some better water on hand)!! I used China Glaze Poinsettia as my base and marbled L'Oreal Amazon's Flash (the gold polish from the Project Runway collection) and Sally Hansen XtremeWear Celeb City (my fave silver).

There's lots of polish residue left on my fingers, especially my ring and pinkie fingers, which is crazy obvious in this picture. I smeared Vaseline all over my fingers to make clean-up easier instead of taping my cuticle area, but I might experiment and try that method next time.

My favorite fingers are my middle and pinkie; my ring finger isn't very distinct and my pointer finger was sort of an accident/experiment to see what would happen with some leftovers remaining in the cup. I am so proud of myself for finally water marbling! It was super fun, even though it was messy. I look forward to trying more marbles in the future, and specifically, doing an actual water marble design and getting it to transfer (like flowers or poinsettias)


Have you water marbled before? Any tips or tricks you want to share? Let me know!

31 Days of Christmas - Day 3

Day 3's theme is snow globe! Another one that I choose to do easier nail 'art' via layering than to design anything. I've been enjoying using a lot of recent purchases and untried polish during this challenge, though.

This isn't a jelly sammich, but it is still a layered mani. I used 3 polishes in this order:
  • 1 coat ManGlaze 'Royal Matterimoaning' 
  • 1 coat Confetti's 'Party Palace Blue' (dupeish to OPI Last Friday Night, btw)
  • 1 coat SH Diamond Strength 'Glass Slipper' 
  • 1 more coat of the Confetti PPB to tone down Glass Slipper
Simple, sparkly, and pretty! I picked up way too many ManGlaze polishes during their Black Friday sale, but they are amazing and I love them. I wish I had stopped with this combo after my first two polishes; I haven't found the right thing for Glass Slipper yet. Somehow the white flakes seem to look like holes or reflect way too much light (especially in pictures), making things look less than stellar.

macro-ish view of shimmers

I did this manicure on the 3rd like I was supposed to, but haven't been quick enough in getting pictures from my camera to the internets. Today I took some sunlight pictures and added a coat of ManGlaze 'Hot Mess' on my ring finger - it's a matte top coat with silver glitter. Yum. Can't wait to use it some more!

ManGlaze Hot Mess accent on ring finger

Do you have any ManGlaze polishes? Will some epic swatches help convince you in the future?

December 3, 2011

Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge - Jelly Sammich

I got to choose the theme for this week - a jelly sammich - and I was so excited I did it a week early and took 119042 pictures, none of which are accurate! Hooray! Just imagine the pictures below taken with flash are a smidgen less light and the ones without flash are less dark. A jelly sandwich is when you layer a sheer polish with something else (glitter, flakie, what-have-you) and it ends up looking really awesome and 3D.
reasonably color accurate

For my sammich I layered in this order:
  • 1 coat Thank Blue! by Lynnderella (the first one I've used so far!)
  • 2-3 coats Revlon Just Tinted Mystical (my jelly)
  • blurple Pumpkin flakie from Bee 

pumpkin flakie

After these pictures I added a layer of Gelous to smooth out the flakies and add a smidgen more depth. I liked this mani a lot, but Thank Blue! has a slightly tinted blue base, and it made my whole sandwich a lot darker in color. It also looks a little like the person wearing it has hypothermia, but it is very beautiful and made for layering over similarly-colored polish.

smidgen dark

I guess this one is a mehni - I'm not in love with it, but it's still pretty. I think it does work better to have the jelly first, then layer back and forth with glitter to give it a more interesting floating effect.

Have you made a layered sammich before? Did you know you can easily franken a jelly just by adding a few drops of any color to a bottle of clear polish?

PS. The first two pictures are taken under a bright sunlight lamp, and the last one was taken in a more diffuse lightbox with sunlight light bulbs


Hey, just wanted to let everyone know that I went ahead and joined Bloglovin', so if you use it feel free to follow my blog with Bloglovin :)

PURPLE CRUMPET FAIRY CHALLENGE – The 31 Days of Christmas - Day 2

The theme for Day 2 is 'writing your Christmas cards'. I don't write my own Christmas cards; but we send out cards from the whole family. Turns out that a lot of ladies in the group had similar ideas (adorable envelopes), so I went with something quick and different (and maybe silly?) - some different patterns and handwriting with a thin green Sharpie!

The base color is two coats of Orly Au Champagne, which is absolutely beautiful! It dries to a suede finish, which I love. I plan on posting better swatches of Orly Au Champagne later. Happy 2nd day of December, readers!

December 2, 2011

Happy December! Day 1 of 31 Days of Christmas

Day 1 of The Purple Crumpet Fairy 31 Days of Christmas Challenge isssss 'what you love most about Christmas' - so this is my manicure inspired by a shimmering, glittery white, snowy Christmas! White Christmases are the very best kind, because if it's going to be so cold that it could snow, it might as well snow and be magical and pretty.

This is two coats of the "limited edition" Diamond Sally Hansen Nail Prism (scattered and also sort of linear, but my pics won't probably show it), white 'snowy' tips and a little smidgen of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Glass Slipper (a white flakie - super pretty!). Some people describe Diamond as a light lavender or grey, mine looks sort of light taupe on me.

I got my SH Nail Prism and Glass Slipper in a swap with the lovely Amber! Thanks again! Below is the list of prompts for each day of the month of December; tons of interesting ideas in there, mostly thanks to Debbie.

Feel free to join in and keep up with us on Facebook! Really excited to see how my day 2 idea turns out, so check back in tomorrow and every day this month. Happy December!

Edit: Here's a sunshiney cell phone picture from the next day, had a little bit of wrinkling on my middle finger I didn't even realize happened

November 30, 2011

I think it's almost time to host a giveaway + general update

I have over 25 Blogger followers (woo hoo!) and I'm getting close to 1000 views (that seems like so many to me, a baby blogger); I'm also near to 50 followers on the short-form tumblr that complements this blog ( - if those aren't first milestones to celebrate by sharing nail polish goodies, then I don't know what are!

However, I've never hosted a giveaway before. I was lucky enough to win one from Adina at Krasey Beauty once in August, though! Please let me know about your experience and tips with hosting a giveaway, as well as your general opinion. Do you think giveaways are awesome, or silly? Have you ever won one? Do you scale the giveaway prize based on the milestone? Let me know! I was looking for some possible gifts and saw two awesome Color Club box sets, but I feel like that was so last month and need some direction.

Tomorrow is the start of The Purple Crumpet Fairy 31 Days of Christmas challenge! I love Christmas and am excited to be doing my first month-long challenge. I'm going to be traveling off and on during the holidays, so I get the added challenge of completing everything with a significantly limited stash. DOUBLE CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! And don't forget I'll have an additional Friday Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge this week, and another double post Monday.

This will be fun; don't forget to tune in tomorrow and the rest of December for some festive nail art 

November 28, 2011


I feel like I cheated on this weeks PAA Monday challenge - 'fierce accent nail' because I used such an AMAZING holo! It can't NOT be fierce!!

I don't have too much to say about this manicure; I didn't do any nail art because these two polishes are too amazing on their own. Surprisingly they were both in my large pile of untried polish! I feel a little bad that Greta out-shined All Hail the Queen so very much, though. I picked up AHtQ when butter London was BOGOF at Ulta in September (I think it was September?) and I got Greta from Kimberly at To Polish or Not?

butter London - All Hail the Queen
Make Up Store - Greta

This was my first time using a linear holographic polish, and I'm so in love! They dry so quickly and look so so amazing. I plan on finding as many more amazing linear holos as I can. Yum yum yum. Luckily I just got BFF (the brown version) also from Kim, some Nic Stick's I need to decant into bottles, Nubar Reclaim from Bee in my birthday package, and some Brazilian Hits on the way!

So, fierce accent nail? Or too jarring against the calm beauty of AHtQ?

November 25, 2011

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge: LEAST Favorite Polish

Or, in my case, my 'I can't believe this was such a huge lemming of mine, I am so glad I didn't pay $8 + shipping on this and I hope my bottle of thinner is large enough to save this mess (hahahah yeah right)" polish. All of the pictures in this post were taken in my light box using some 'sunlight' bulbs.

Barielle 'Falling Star' is a blue jelly-ish polish with round copper glitter in it (I say jelly-ish because I had to just slap it on Jackson Pollock style and there are places where it seems more layered and seems sort of jelly). This particular bottle was super super gloopy and thick and came out in strings when I tried to paint with it (hence, Jackson Pollock style). I know that with thinner it will be much more fun to use, but I was disappointed with it after wanting it for so long. I think that if I can get the blue base to be more jelly-equse and they layers of copper glitter seem more 3D, I'll be happier with it. It also seems to have eaten through the Seche Vite I put on yesterday; you can feel all the little copper bits today. I'll have to try this with Gelous in the future. This is a pretty polish in the bottle, but doesn't do a lot for me on the nail - yet.
see how magical the bottle seems?

Perhaps this will be making a return to my nails after I thin the crap out of it. I might use half to franken with, because while I love the idea of this polish, it still seems like there is something missing (me thinks it is another size of glitter bits)!

Don't forget to check out the other ladies in the Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge! I've listed them all under the logo on the right sidebar ----->

November 23, 2011

Inspired: Ovals

bunny nails by Glitter Smack
I saw this picture on my nail blog's tumblr dashboard, and not only is the paint adorable, but ZOMG THOSE PERFECT OVAL-Y NAILS! In my last post, I said I really liked how the oval nails look, but I can't maintain long ovals like that with my part-time job right now. This, however, I could do! I've never done ovals before, though, just gone back and forth between square and sqoval. A new nail adventure is on the horizon!

What's inspiring your nails lately? Any new nail adventures for you?

**bunny nails by Glitter Smack; not my own design or nails!

PS. Do you like tumblr better? I'm here and there! I post lots of details and extra pictures here, and use tumblr as a short-form version with one picture and a one sentence blurb. You can always check me out at

November 21, 2011

My DIY: the Joy Cioci “Lucite Lace” Manicure

natural light

Another Monday, another Monday manicure challenge from Polish-aholics Anonymous. This week's challenge, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, is lace! I instantly knew what I wanted to do - the "Lucite Lace" manicure that Michelle from got to help CND create backstage during NYFW at the Joy Cioci show (for all of the details, look at this post).

original 'Lucite Lace' from

This was insanely easy for me to do, and I love love love the way it looks. My nails are all dressed up, and it took me only minutes to do! First I put down a basecoat, then smeared Vaseline all over my cuticle area, then I used the snakeskin pattern on Bundle Monster plate M215 and Konad special polish in white. I chose the snakeskin pattern because it matched the pattern in the backstage photos best, and I like that it's on the edge between creepy reptile and feminine lace (or maybe only I think that because I know it's supposed to be snakeskin?!)

with flash

Not too many pictures in this post because it's fairly simple. The oval-shaped nails look a lot prettier than mine, but square is a lot more practical for me to keep my nails strong at work.
Anyway, let me know if you like this look in the comments below and thanks for reading :)

November 20, 2011

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge: Birthstone Mani

with flash
with flash

I am late in posting this, so my apologies. I'm really busy during the week and come home well after the sun is down, so it takes a lot of the fun out of taking nail photos. However, this post is finally here and I'm excited to share it with you! My birthday is in December, so my birthstone is turquoise. I wasn't a fan of it when I was younger; I liked the color, but it didn't seem nearly as pretty as the shiny gems. These pictures of veined bisbee turquoise served as my inspiration:

My first thought was to try doing a splatter mani (using this tutorial), but it didn't really work for me the way I had planned. I would dip, blow, and then nothing...OR just globs would come out. The end result is reasonably realistic, though, and I'm loving it because those giant globs look just right! I used Color Club Snakeskin as my silvery-gold base color (which I forgot to take a picture of because I was so excited to splatter), then Color Club New Bohemian for my turquoise. On my ring finger, I tried using China Glaze Crushed Candy (crackle) to see which method looks better. 

I'm still undecided, which method is your favorite - the globs, or the crackle on my ring finger? I think they're both beautiful in their own way! Thanks so much for reading

November 14, 2011


The Monday challenge this week for Polish-aholics Anonymous was PLAID!  

Plaid Zoya

I was really inspired by a screengrab I had taken of my Zoya order a month ago, and decided they would be fun fall plaid colors. I wanted to Fauxnaud because I hadn't stamped in a while, so I used Mash plate M60 (dupe for Konad m60, too) and special white Konad polish on top of some painted stripes of Zoya Shawn, Caitlin, and Cola. I wish that the stripes of color I had done showed through the stamping better; I think this would have been more successful with either freehand stripes OR stamping, but not both. I messed up on my middle and ring fingers, but because I did a layer of clear in between, it was really easy to remove the stamped pattern, re-apply some clear, and re-do the stamp. I wish I had aligned the stripes of color with the stripes in the stamp pattern but oh well! Some extra practice and I'll be even better.

natural light

Here are some pretty bottle shots of the Zoyas. I really like Zoya because it works well for me; it wears well on me and they have a great selection of colors. If you like Zoya, but it doesn't work for you or you don't want to spend $8 a bottle - Color Club Shabby Drab (Back to Boho A) is dupeish for Caitlin and China Glaze Brownstone (Metro Fall collection) is dupeish for Cola!

Shawn, Caitlin, Cola
natural light

Don't forget you can click through for more detail on any of these pictures.
Have you done plaid nails before? I bet they're better than mine!

November 12, 2011

Gems in a Bottle Giveaway!

Gems in a Bottle is having her first giveaway! Holiday China Glaze is clearly involved; click here for more details. If you don't enter her giveaway, at least check out her swatches - she does great pictures! I'm glad I found her blog through PAA :D

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge + My Oldest Polish

I was graciously extended an invitation to join in on the weekly Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenges. This week's challenge was to do a manicure with your oldest polish, which is just a fantastic idea! Older polishes need love, too. My very oldest polish (that didn't get tossed or left at my parent's house) is a pineapple scented Bonne Bell Smackers Cosmic Nails gold glitter called Pineapple Blaze from JUNIOR HIGH. I have a teenage nail polish; she's 14 years old and very sparkly! I didn't want to do a manicure with just gold sparkles (especially because I love this polish so much), so I used another one of my older polishes, L'oreal Shock Proof Plum Mystique, from my Mom something like 9 years ago.

natural light: Pineapple Blaze and Plum Mystique

with flash
I went with a classic glitter accent and glitter tips! Easy and fun. I really disliked the plumy-mauve color until I put on the gold glitter tips. Maroon and gold were my junior high school colors, so maybe that's why I have a love hate relationship with them?

natural light

Do you have a hard time getting rid of your older nail polish? I have a hard time getting rid of things in general; I feel like everything can have a use at some point, and I don't want to miss it later! Unfortunately, I'm not really in love with this color. It looks nice, but I'm not super wowed by it. The gold glitter, however, is low and I'm a little sad about it because it's my favorite glitter top coat! I've been on the look out for a similar gold glitter for a little while now, and haven't found a great replacement. The particles are incredibly small and add an awesome sparkle.

see how glowy?

So, what's the oldest polish in YOUR stash? I showed you mine now show me yours!

November 7, 2011

Birthday Club!

You may or may not have noticed this picture at the footer of my blog:

I'm the lucky duck that gets to be the first recipient in an international birthday club! The original Birthday Club idea was created by Julia at Lacquered Me (her original post here). Essentially, there are 12 girls in the club and each one has a different birthday month. During one girl's birthday month, the other 11 girls send her packages with nail polish and goodies! I'm so pleased to be in an international group; it's a great opportunity to network with other ladies interested in nail stuff from around the globe. We have several ladies from the US, some from the UK and one from Australia. We will all be blogging about our packages when we receive them. We've also made an Facebook group and already seem like an adorable little nail polish family :)

Here's a list of the girls involved:
  1. Debbie at
  2. Claire at
  3. Stephanie at
  4. Bee at
  5. Stella at
  6. Elizabeth at
  7. Kerrie at
  8. Sam at
  9. Me!
  10. Lyncia
  11. Sheena
  12. Tara
If you're interested in joining a birthday club or making your own, you can contact Julia at and check her out at her blog Lacquered Me, and Facebook fan page