December 31, 2013

Six More Favorite Posts from Manicurity in 2013

You might have seen my first 'top six favorite posts' yesterday. Well, today I'm going to take you ~back in time~ to my top six favorite posts from the year and this time I'm doing one favey post from every month from July to December of 2013. I am a nostalgic person, and I absolutely love the variety of 'best of' and 'recap' and 'omg things for next year' lists that come out at the end of every year!! It's also fun for me to look back in time to see how much I've improved!

7. July saw a lot of creative tape manicures because of the Digit-al Dozen, and while a lot of those were cool and fun my favorite thing from the month was definitely my Patriotic Brushtroke nail art for the 4th of July!

8. August was a month in which I got a little more experimental with my nail length and shape - behold the really long, oval-esque nail time of my life! While I think this shape is fun for a change, and looks GREAT on other people, I've noticed that I really do have a preferred shape and length and plan on trying to stay consistent with it for 2014. Anyhoo, these nails inspired by fashion for August's Digit-al Dozen was my favorite post for that month!


9. September was a WHOLE lotta fun because we did two FULL weeks of Digit-al Dozen designs to celebrate our one-year anniversary! My very favorite nails from that month // all of time are these crazy holographic rainbow hand-placed glitter nails!


10. October is always full of fun Halloween nail arts, and my favorite this year was this spider-inspired busy pattern with Ruffian outline. Loved it. 


11. November started off with a bang - I LOVED doing rocks/minerals week and all 5 of the manicures from that week were super fun to do and seemed to be crowd-pleasers to boot! Probably my very favorite is the amber resin inspired nails because they turned out really well.

12. December is a month when everyone goes ga-ga for holiday nail art (as they should!) but I am never really quite into it. Most likely because my birthday is December 20th and so for the majority of the month I'm really just waiting for my birthday to finally be here >.< ANYHOO my favorite manicure was one from the beginning of December - the sumi-e ink wash inspired nails because I enjoyed painting them so much; a very calm and relaxing technique.


Don't forget to see my other top six posts from 2013 - the ones from January to June!
Did you like these posts?! Or do you have a different favorite? Do you have beauty resolutions for the next year? See mine tomorrow!

December 30, 2013

See my Falling Snow French Gradient Nail Art + Pictoral for Polished Girlz on Work / Play / Polish!



Did you catch my guest post on Work / Play / Polish?! I am so so excited to be one of many incredibly talented ladies blogging for a cause to raise awareness and funds for the organization Polished Girlz. Please head over to >this post< to read the details about my falling snow French gradient nails and see the step-by-step photos of how I achieved this easy layered nail art look (bigger photos than this one, too)! Of course I also highly encourage you to check out the other posts in the series because ermagerd, the bloggers involved are (at least to me) the best of the best on all of the interwebz and people that I totally fangirl about. And duh - if you're not following Leslie (i.e. Work / Play / Polish) yet then I don't know what's wrong with you :p

My Top Six Favorite Manicurity Posts from 2013!

I am a nostalgic person, and I absolutely love the variety of 'best of' and 'recap' and 'omg things for next year' lists that come out at the end of every year!! Today I'm going to take you ~back in time~ to my top six favorite posts from the year - one favey post from every month from January to June of 2013.

1. January - the 'Acidic Swamp Marble' nails were probably my first like really actually cool watermarble nails that I didn't mess up in some way. I loved these colors together, too!


Runner up: these Blue Starry Night Over the Rhone nails - i.e. fine art made into nail art! One of my favorite paintings!!



2. February was when I hosted a 500 follower post, and I have come SO FAR since then both in my photos and creativity and in the amount of cool internet friends I have acquired. Y'all are so cool!
Hands down (ha ha) my favorite February post was my super, duper dot-tacular Argus Panoptes nail art post!


3. March - I really liked these galaxy nails with my favorite stamping plate image over it! There were SO many fun new ways that people did spacey nail art this year, especially on tumblr. Galaxy nails was one of the first things that inspired me to get into nail art, along with watermarbling after seeing them allll over Pinterest!


4. April - not trying to toot my own horn toooo much, but I did a TON of things I really liked back in April!!! I feel like April specifically was sort of a turning point for me with my nail art; I started putting more complicated things together in the same manicure and it really amped everything up. One of my favorites, and your's too, was this gold glitter background with freehand neon floral print!


5. May - at the end of May something really important happened for me: I finally started using a specific photography set-up that was reliable (and good looking!) for swatches. Not that my swatches were bad or unreliable before, just not as specifically consistent. Anyhoo, one of the posts I am most proud of maybe from the entire year is my massive Trelly's M.I.S.C. Polish Summer Swatch-a-thon. Gorgeous polishes!


6. June, oh JUNE! June was a really good month for me! Dexter themed nail art week was SO FUN and I really enjoyed it. And then I was sort of a jerk and did what I wanted with the Digit-al Dozen theme of 'books' and pulled out some fun stuff like 'coloring book' and 'pop up book' nail arts (see all of the 'book week' manis here).


See my favorite posts from July to December here!
Did you like these posts?! Or do you have a different favorite?

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!


Hey all! Just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays! I will not be blogging tomorrow (Christmas Day) as I have a lot of baking, feasting, and general merriment to attend to. I will be back on the 26th (Boxing Day!) with some new reviews and post-Christmas gift guides because that's when I do most of my shopping (I tend to get a lot of money/giftcards for Christmas and then meticulously plan out the best deals on the 26th, plus Sephora does that MASSIVE post-Christmas sale on sale items *rubs hands together*) :D

PS. Don't forget to enter my Pantene Want That Hair GIVEAWAY if you haven't yet! Pretty awesome prize package of hair products :) >ENTER HERE<

December 23, 2013

Pantene: Want That Hair - Holiday Hair Tutorial + The Big Reveal!


Manicurity | Pantene: Want That Hair - Holiday Hair + The Big Reveal! (and tutorial)


Today's The Big Holiday Hair Reveal! If you read my brainstorming post (read it here!) I was torn between doing loose, retro waves OR a fancy bun. What style did I pick?! I went with an up-do because I liked that I could wear big, fluffy curls all day and then put my hair into a fancy bun before my holiday party.

Click through to see my holiday hair tutorial!!


December 17, 2013

Pantene: Want That Hair - Holiday Hair Ideas


Manicurity | Pantene: Want That Hair - Holiday Hair Ideas

One of my favorite things about the holidays (besides family and cookies, of course) is all of the fun festive parties + the excuse to dress up! Being a natural curly girl with slightly damaged color treated ends (yes, I'm still on the ombre train) I try to keep my hair as healthy and moisturized as possible - BUT the holidays are one of those times when I just have to break out some super special hairstyles.

See how I've been using a variety of Pantene Pro-V products to plan my holiday hairstyle ideas, A CHANCE FOR ONE LUCKY WINNER TO WIN the same products I've been using, and let me know which style you think I should pick!


December 16, 2013

My Ten Friends Holiday 2013 Collections: Joy to the Worlds and Happy Frakkin New Year - Swatches & Review

If you've browsed the My Ten Friends webstore lately (which you most definitely should do because glitter!) you might have seen some swatches there from Manicurity...but no blog post? Welp, here it is! This is part one of my swatches for the two holdiay collections from My Ten Friends - the holiday Joy to the Worlds trio and the Star Date 2014: Happy Frakkin New Year trio. I say "part one" because I didn't want to overload your eyeballs in one post, so I'm planning to do a "part two" with photos of these polishes layered over different base colors. Anyhoo, let's look at these babies built up to opacity - these are soooo glittery and amazing, y'all!

Manicurity | My Ten Friends Holiday 2013 Collections: Joy to the Worlds and Happy Frakkin New Year - Swatches & Review

I swatched everything with butterLodon's Nail Foundation as my base coat and Zoya Armor topcoat if you're curious! They're arranged in alphabetical order within each trio for easy sorting, too. The formula on all of the polishes was EXCELLENT and I had no problems building them to opacity despite the fact that these are gosh-darn-dang packed with glittery goodness. These were photographed in the indirect bask of an Ott "natural sunlight" bulb. Grab a drink or a snack before diving in because I've got LOTS of photos! 

December 14, 2013

Studio Gear Cosmetics Holiday Smokey Eye Palette

What are you wearing to your holiday parties this year? And by 'what are you wearing', of course I mean makeup! For me holiday makeup is all about the glitter, shimmer, and bolder choices (actually, that's how I like my makeup all the time, but I feel like it's especially appropriate for the holidays). The Studio Gear Holiday Smokey Eye Palette combines my favorite shade of blush with 4 eyeshadows to make a shimmery, wearable smokey eye with hints of gold - perfect for a holiday party or whenever you want a little shimmer-shimmer!

Manicurity | Studio Gear Cosmetics Holiday Smokey Eye Palette - Swatches, Review, and Discount Code!


December 13, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen: Abstracted Christmas Tree with China Glaze Cling On + TONS of Glittahhhh!

Today I finally tried my own version of a Miss Debbie Crumpet manicure that made a huge impression on me a long while ago, pretty much literally when I first started getting really into nail art during a Purple Crumpet Fairy (now Crumpet's Nail Tarts) Christmas Challenge. I thought Debbie's Christmas Tree mani using magnetic polish was just the absolute most brilliant and creative thing I had seen someone do! Check out my version using China Glaze Cling On and two super shiny indie glitters.

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen: Abstracted Christmas Tree with China Glaze Cling On + TONS of Glittahhhh!

December 11, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen: Wacky Wrapping Paper Nail Art

I've been struggling a wee bit with inspiration for this month's Digit-al Dozen theme of red, gold, and green - but thankfully all of the wackadoo photos of wrapping paper have been helping me combine lots of random patterns! Hence I present these weird*, wacky wrapping paper nails to you!!

*Don't worry - not nearly as weird as my unpolished malachite nails that went awkward viral on German and Russian beauty forums (thanks I guess?)

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen: Wacky Wrapping Paper Nail Art

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen: Wacky Wrapping Paper Nail Art

December 10, 2013

Lynx Cosmetics Mystery Island Mix: Miss Perfect - Swatches & Review

Have you heard of the Mystery Island Mix polishes from indie brand Lynx Cosmetics yet?! It's such a cool idea! You order a bottle with just a glimmer of an idea of what it is, then shake the bottle upon its arrival to reveal the full shade. I received the color Miss Perfect to test and share with y'all, so if you don't want me to spoil the mixed color you'll probably want to stop after the first few photos of the unmixed bottle :p

Manicurity | Lynx Cosmetics Mystery Island Mix: Miss Perfect - Swatches & Review

Manicurity | Lynx Cosmetics Mystery Island Mix: Miss Perfect - Swatches & Review

Manicurity | Lynx Cosmetics Mystery Island Mix: Miss Perfect - Swatches & Review

The Digit-al Dozen: Candy Cane Ruffian

I can't stop raving about how Pahlish's Fleur de Sel (press sample) looks like a bottle of crushed candy canes (seriously, it does, check out the swatches in this post)!! So to add some festive nail art I did some candy cane inspired stamping and some Ruffian details using red, gold, and green as per the theme for this month's Digit-al Dozen. Check 'em out!

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen: Candy Cane Ruffian

December 9, 2013

piCture pOlish #ManiMonday x The Digit-al Dozen: O'Hara - Swatches, Review, and Punky Holiday Nail Art


Sadly, today is my last piCture pOlish #ManiMonday! AND because it's the second week of December it's also The Digit-al Dozen time again so today features a mash-up of red, gold green nail art for DD + piCture pOlish #maniMonday. I saved a really beautiful 'classic' color for last - the majestic O'Hara. O'Hara is a red jelly base with holographic and pink shard pieces in the mix. I only needed two coats for it to be opaque, which I think it pretty freaking awesome. Then I did some punky holiday nail art. Check 'em out!

Manicurity | piCture pOlish #ManiMonday x The Digit-al Dozen: O'Hara - Swatches, Review, and Punky Holiday Nail Art

Manicurity | piCture pOlish #ManiMonday x The Digit-al Dozen: O'Hara - Swatches, Review, and Punky Holiday Nail Art

December 7, 2013

Pahlish - Black Lace Elderberry, Blood of the Mountain, Fleur de Sel, and Lonesome Ocean - Swatch Spam & Mini Reviews

I have some major, major eye candy for y'all today! I've got four amazing Pahlish polishes to shower you with swatch spam. Be prepared because Black Lace Elderberry, Blood of the Mountain, Fleur de Sel, and Lonesome Ocean are four diverse polishes that will probably run right to the top of your "omg, gimme dat!" wish list. Not trying to be ridiculous, but with this swatch 'sesh Pahlish has risen to my inner mental circle of "personal favorite indie brands I will convince everyone they need to try". I am so in love with the variety of finishes that Shannon creates! Check 'em out!
Pahlish - Black Lace Elderberry, Blood of the Mountain, Fleur de Sel, and Lonesome Ocean - Swatch Spam & Mini Reviews

BTW: I swatched everything with butterLodon's Nail Foundation as my base coat and Zoya Armor top coat if you're curious! They're arranged in alphabetical order for easy sorting, too. Overall I found these Pahlish polishes incredibly easy to work with (as usual), but make sure and check out the little review snippet with each polish for specific details. With my handy new apartment patio, I took photos in a variety of lighting situations (Ott lamp, direct and indirect natural sunlight) - they'll be labeled in the captions below the photos. Grab a drink or a snack before diving in because I've got LOTS of photos! 

December 4, 2013

Victoria Jackson "No Make Up Make Up" Foundation Duo in Light - Swatches & Review (and coupon code!)

Manicurity | Victoria Jackson "No Make Up Make Up" Foundation Duo in Light - Swatches & Review

Hello beauties! Today I'm sharing my thoughts on the Victoria Jackson Cosmetics "No Make Up Make Up" Foundation Duo in 'Light', which is ideal for "fair and ivory skin tones". I really love the idea behind the brand and agree with their motto of "When you look better, you feel better. And when you feel better, you can change your life." The best part about this oil-free cream foundation is that it's quick and easy to apply, so you can look great in a snap!

December 3, 2013

Ryūjin (Dragon God of the Sea) Nail Art

I must admit, I don't know a ton about Japan or the culture so I've been learning a lot while trying to get these nail art posts together! For today's look I've got some nail art inspired by Ryūjin, the dragon god that serves as a guardian deity of the sea. There are many names for this same dragon god deity, including Watatsumi and Ryōjin. Check out mah nail artz!

Manicurity | Ryūjin (Dragon God of the Sea) embellished Nail Art

Manicurity | Ryūjin (Dragon God of the Sea) embellished Nail Art

Manicurity | Ryūjin (Dragon God of the Sea) embellished Nail Art

Manicurity | Ryūjin (Dragon God of the Sea) embellished Nail Art

Ryūjin symbolizes the power of the ocean and lives in a coral palace under the sea. He controls the tides with magical tide jewels, which I've symbolized on my ring and pinkie nails. The base of my manicure is Pahlish Toxic and Timeless version II (press sample*) (see swatches of this beautiful polish here). On my first two fingers I did some mix-metal stamping of an oversized scale-type pattern. I dabbed some different Essie Chromes onto the plate before scraping. It wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped, but still fun to mix it up!

Stamping over something cool is probably my favorite way to stamp. I remember the first time I saw someone stamp OVER glitter and my mind was blown because I had never even realized that that was like an 'option', you know?! Anyhoo, these nails make me feel like a mermaid princess, so that seems pretty spot-on for channeling a dragon sea god that can take a human form when he pleases :p

Don't forget to check out the other Japanese themed nail arts below!


*A polish used in this post was received as a press sample for my consideration. If you'd like to know more about my policies, please read  my disclosure page

December 2, 2013

piCture pOlish #ManiMonday: Mallard - Swatches, Review, and Tape Nail Art

This week's piCture pOlish #ManiMonday features another blogger collaboration shade, Mallard created by Jen of The PolishAholic (read her blog post reveal about this shade here!). Mallard is a deep teal with golden shimmer and some orange-yellow flakies in the mix, too. Check out my swatches and the fancy tape nail art I did inspired by this polish!

Manicurity | piCture pOlish #ManiMonday: Mallard - Swatches, Review, and Tape Nail Art

Mallard is a really fun polish because it's darker, but looks really great in low lighting as well as bright, direct light too. I love how the flakies look in low indoor, artificial lighting!! Usually you have to layer flakies over a darker color to show them off, but this polish works so brilliantly because it's dark and flakie-filled at the same time (also how many times can I say "dark" and "flakie", eh?!). I used 2 coats for these photos; formula was great to work with and very opaque.

Manicurity | piCture pOlish #ManiMonday: Mallard - Swatches, Review, and Tape Nail Art

Manicurity | piCture pOlish #ManiMonday: Mallard - Swatches, Review, and Tape Nail Art

Freehand Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting) Nail Art

Today is the first day in a week of Japanese-inspired nail art! For my first design I've done some nature-inspired freehand sumi-e nail art. What is sumi-e? It's the really beautiful art technique of using black ink and a round brush to do ink wash paintings. A single stroke can produce crazy variations in tonality - from super black to a light wash of grey at the end of the stroke. Apparently ink wash painting was started in China, but is practiced in many East Asian countries including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

Manicurity | Freehand Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting) Nail Art

Manicurity | Freehand Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting) Nail Art

Manicurity | Freehand Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting) Nail Art

Manicurity | Freehand Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting) Nail Art

For my teeny tiny ink paintings, I used some new, fine 'liner' paint brushes and thinned black acrylic paint. I had fun doing some long-stroke, sketchy style designs!! My base color is Polish Alcoholic's Skiing Snowman (press sample) (see the full swatch/review post for it here). I actually found these fairly easy to do, because it's all about the suggestion of a thing instead of it being like a perfect image of a snail on my nail, ya know? For inspiration I used ye olde helpful Google Image Search and looked at some cool examples from people that actually know how to do ink paintings. In the end, I looooved these :D

Now check out the other Japan-inspired designs for today below!

*A polish used in this post was received as a press sample for my consideration. If you'd like to know more about my policies, please read  my disclosure page