Monday, March 31, 2014

- - Monthly Manicures | March 2014 - -

Hey everyone!

I've been keeping a low profile in the past couple of days, but I'm slowly coming out of hiding. I've got quite a few reviews in the works right now, so definitely keep your eyes out for those in the coming days. 

ALSO! I've recently went through all of my posts and I've placed various box reviews (The Box Archives), Monthly Manicures and Monthly Empties, in their own separate pages. You can find the links to those pages right below the blog name.

For now, I wanted to share with you the manicures that I got to try out in March. Compared to February, I didn't get to try too many designs/polishes - although I have branched out from strictly Julep manicures. I've actually been in the process of rehabilitating my nails lately because they seem to suffer from peeling. Any suggestions on how I can stop my nails from peeling?

Read more about each mani after the jump...

*  All of the photos in this post were taken indoors with either flash/no flash. *

Mani #1
  Vanilla Bean (Forever 21)

Let me just start off by saying that I was recently browsing the online store of Forever 21 and I came across their revamped nail polishes. It looks like they changed their bottle designs and came out with a whole bunch of new colours. I think this is a welcome change because the new bottles look a lot better. Although I haven't tried it myself, I have heard that the caps pop off the bottles (think Julep!).

After going back and forth between a few colours I liked, I finally settled on Vanilla Bean because it reminded me a lot of the vanilla bean frappuccinos from Starbucks that I will hopefully be drinking once the warmer weather rolls around.

Unfortunately, although the nail polish is lovely, Vanilla Bean is not a white polish with black glitter. It's actually a baby blue polish with black glitter. I can't remember if the polish description alluded to the actual shade, but I was really thrown off by the misleading pictures online and the name of this nail polish.

Luckily, I've come to love Vanilla Bean even though I would've preferred for it to have a white base.

In terms of the formula, it was a bit difficult to work with because of its gloopy-ness. However, it dried super quickly despite there being a lot of polish layered on.

To add something fun to the manicure, I added a kitty sticker from the Born Pretty Store. I actually didn't mean to put such a big one on, but I think it worked out well.

What I hated about this polish - and what I think I may hate about every other speckled polish out there - is that it was a colossal nightmare to remove it! I can't stress that enough. The glitter was incredibly stubborn and didn't want to come off. After that experience, I'm not really sure that I would want to commit to a full manicure of speckled nail polish. For those of you who are familiar with Julep, this is the reason why I opted out of getting Felicia, the add-on polish for April. 
Mani #2
  Black on Black (Sinful Colors) & Scandal (Vapour)

The design for this manicure came from a ModCloth dress that I wore to a birthday party earlier in the month. The dress has a black & red colour scheme, which, in addition to the faux epaulets and gold buttons, gives off a militaristic feel.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the design turned out. I made a few mistakes here and there, but I think I achieved what I had set out to do. I used Scandal from Vapour that I received in my December Inner Circle package as a base. Here's what it looks like:

Although it's a bit awkward to take pictures with it, I love the bottle shape. Vapour actually recently revamped their polish bottles to increase the volume and to make them 5-FREE. In addition to that, this nail polish is non-toxic and safe for children & moms-to-be!

One nail at a time I would make an "X" with nail striping tape and then paint over it with Black on Black by Sinful Colors. It's a lot more time-consuming, but going one nail at a time allows you to remember which tape is on top and which one is on the bottom....most times, haha. :)

I finished off the look by adding circular gold buttons that were in a nail-design set I had purchased from Chapters a while back.
Mani #3
Soraphine & Tania (Julep)

Soraphine and Tania were two of the polishes I chose for my March Julep box. They were actually shown together in the promo photos, so I decided to try to see if I can recreate the design.

Soraphine is a mix between watery and gloopy. This doesn't make it the easiest formula to work with. Moreover, it's really easy to get a lot of polish on your nail and when you do, the polish moves to the edges of your nail (you can see this best on the index finger and the pinky). I think I used about 3 coats and it remained kind of sheer. Regardless, I think that Soraphine is quite beautiful and is a perfect base for various designs. Here's a close-up of Soraphine and Tania together:

 FUN FACT: although it's a "mermaid teal," Tania becomes blue in certain kinds of lighting!
Mani #4
Shannon & Beatrix (Julep)

Shannon is a nail polish that I received in one of my Julep Lucky Mystery Boxes (those reviews are coming soon!). This is the first polish that I own that has a silk finish. I quite like it! It looks great and feels really smooth. 

Since this was a really simple manicure, I added my favourite glitter top coat, Beatrix, to spice things up a little.

That brings me to the end of this month's manicures! If you'd like to see the manicures from January and February, you can check them out here.
Have you tried any of the nail polishes above?
Thanks for reading! -A.~

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