Friday, June 15, 2012


Holy hell, this new "streamlined" look Blogger has going on is freaking me out. O_o

Uhh, anyway. I'm not dead. I've just been having a pretty crazy couple of months. I had to put my poor kitty, Jericho, down. That sucked. A lot. But I also got to take care of a baby raccoon for a couple of days, and that was FRIGGIN' AWESOME.

We named him Thirty One, after Rt. 31, where my friend found him.
The color I'm wearing is Kleancolor Coffee Addict.

Is he not THE cutest thing you've ever seen? If anyone wants to see more adorable pictures, just let me know. I have a zillion of them!

DISCLAIMER: It's totally illegal to take in wild animals. This was only a temporary measure until we could find a wildlife rehab center that would take him. My family has been amateurly rehabbing animals since I was a kid, though, so I had a pretty decent idea of what I was doing. Thirty One has been lovingly handed over to a licensed raccoon rehabber. If you find a sick, injured, or orphaned animal, always be sure to contact your local animal control (ehhh...) or wildlife rehab facilities (yay!) for advice!!

Anyway, I don't really have any new nail pictures. I've been pretty busy, and haven't had time to snap any good ones, even though I've added so many new polishes to my collection, it's borderline disgusting. I'll have to pull out all my untrieds some time and snap a picture. There's tons of them.

I did just buy my fortieth purple yesterday, which to some of you old pros, seems like nothing, I'm sure. But there's always something so satisfying about filling up a nail wheel, you know?

So yeah. I haven't forgotten about you, lovely followers. And, although I'm not making any promises, I'll try to post back soon with a pretty manicure. (I'm totally digging the one I have on right now, but it's been on for a few days, so it's looking pretty beat up.)

Alright, I know this post was pretty lame, but... baby steps, right?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why So Difficult!?

***Note From The Author: I wrote this post up a few days ago, and intended to post it that night, but blogger was taking a zillion years to upload the pictures, so I ended up having to put it on the back burner for a bit. Sorry it's taken so long to post...***

So. It's not that I don't care. It's just that I've been busy. I even managed to find the time to paint my nails--and take pictures--twice ***make that thrice, now*** since my last post. But all of the pictures ended up sucking really bad, and I like both polishes sooo much that I feel it would be a discredit to them to post the horribly unflattering pictures that I have.

Plus I don't mind having an excuse to wear both colors again.

So, instead, here's a little peek into my life since the big move (or, what I'm tentatively starting to refer to as "The Adventures Of Aren Alone"):

Prince Monomoonkini and Princess Blossom. Gifts from my uncle.

The best cat in the universe. (That's me and my brother in that photo in the back.)

More gifts from my uncle. He seriously finds the best stuff.

My uncle found me a cute quilt to protect my loveseat, and my mom found me a GREEN STEP LADDER!!!

My old green vacuum died, so I had to get a new one. Sexxay.

My daddy-o, painting my bedroom for me.

This is the first time in my life I've ever been allowed to pick a paint color.

We love our green bedroom. <3

The first thing I ate off real dishes (courtesy of my dear friend, Deena) in my new house. Mmmmm. Mini peach pieeeeee. OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!

And that's all you get for now. I'll try to do a legit nail post soon. But you may also be getting more life updates. You never know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Believe The Medical Term Is 'Burnout'.

Okay. So. Things are still pretty crazy around here. I really thought I'd be able to settle in faster, but this is taking forever. I feel like I can't even catch my breath, I'm just so busy with work and taking care of Jericho (he had to stay at the animal ER for 36 hours this week, poor guy) and trying to get this house clean little by little and people are coming and going and I'm just like O_O.


I did finally get a chance to paint my nails, though. It's already been several days, so they're all chipped and haggard looking at the time of posting. And I haven't found the time to paint my toenails in, like, a week and a half.


I don't know how regular people function. How the hell to people get up, get ready, work for eight (or more!) hours a day, then come home, take care of their house/family/errands, and still find time to, like, shower or put on pants or feed themselves? Because I'm trying so hard and I am SUCKING at it. : (

One good thing did happen recently, though. I got my very first raise ever yesterday. So that's pretty rad. I can definitely use the extra money.

Anyway, the color I'm wearing right now is Wet n' Wild Fast Dry Greys Anatomy; a lilac to pale mossy green duochrome. My eight (nine?) year old brother, Efin, picked it out for me on his own for Christmas. He did an awesome job. (Thanks, Ef!)

The duochrome action with this polish is pretty subtle in real life, and my camera had a bit of trouble picking it up. Also: Can you tell I've been doing a lot of scrubbing lately? My hands have been screaming for lotion lately.
This polish does go on pretty sheer, and I needed four coats to get to pretty opaque. It probably could've used another coat, but it was taking a while to dry, despite being a quick-dry formula, and I had other things to do.

I can't remember what day I put this on--the past two weeks are pretty much a blur in my head--but I know i got pretty good wear out of this because, as I mentioned, I've had it on for several days now, and it only just chipped last night.

Then, because I can't resist accent nails, I added two coats of  Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Ice Queen, a clear base with holo glitter and pale pink and cyan large hex glitters, that my sister's boyfriend, the amazing Phil (the guy's a goddamn puppeteer and writes poems about my sister--how awesome is that!?) bought me for my birthday.

When you look at this from the purple angle, the pink hex glitters look kind of blah, but from the green angle, they really pop.
I feel like I haven't rocked a duochrome in ages, so this was fun.

And, just because I only have one picture of this manicure, here's my shot of Sally Hansen Insta Dri Snappy Sorbet, a fuity, peachy-orange that shows shimmer in the bottle that's almost invisble on the nails (which I don't necessarily mind).

This makes me want dreamcicles soooooo bad.
I'm usually not a huge fan of oranges. I own a few, 'cause I feel like I have to, to round out my collection a bit, but I'd contemplated buying this polish for weeks before I actually did it, 'cause I was pretty sure that, unlike some oranges, this one would flatter my skin tone. And I'm glad I bought it, because it did flatter my skin tone. And it makes me happy to know that I have an orange that I like to wear.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention that I used Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and Quick Dry Top Coat for both of these manis.

So yeah. That's it. Sorry I've been so slow lately. I don't know when work's going to slow down, and it really does feel like it's taking forever to get this house to where I want it. But I do think about you guys and miss reading your posts--I haven't even had time to sit down and catch up on all the blogs I follow. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I BEEN MISSING!?

Plus the very sweet Stacy of Wickless & Polished helped me add the new, fancy buttons to my sidebar, and was so friendly and patient with my slow replies (I think I never even responded to her last email--Eek! Sorry, Stacy!). I really appreciate it!

But, uh, yeah. It's getting close to midnight, so I should go eat something and get ready for bed. I'm trying to get myself on a better sleep schedule, and it hasn't been easy. Ah well, if at first you don't succeed, bitch about it on your blog, then eat something weird while standing at your kitchen counter in your pajamas. That's what I always say.

Night, kiddos.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Been A Long Two Weeks.

Hey all. I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that I'm not dead and I haven't forgotten about you; I've just been insanely busy with work, moving, and a sick cat for the past two weeks, so I haven't had time to do my nails or post any blogs.

I'm trying to get settled into my new house, but I recently found out that my bestest buddy has chronic kidney disease, so there's been lots of ferrying him to and from the vet and learning all about CKD and the treatment options he has. He needs subcutaneous fluids to help keep him hydrated now, and it breaks my heart to have to stick him with a giant needle every day, but we're getting through it. I think he knows that I'm doing it to help him, so he's been very brave and doesn't put up too much of a fuss at sub-Q time (I think the fact that he gets a bowl of his new prescription renal-health formula cat food during his sub-Q is a pretty delicious distraction for him).

So anyway, I just wanted to post real quick to let you all know what's going on and where I've been and that my nails are looking AWFUL right now--too much scrubbing with hot, soapy water in an effort to get the new place sparkling--but I'll try to get myself all cleaned and polished one of these days so that I can make a proper post.

Hey guyz. Is me, Jericho. I's not feeling so good lately. Plees send me happy, healing energyz. And maybe some fud and treets.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Guess "WTF Is A Pinkie Pie!?" Was The Wrong Answer.

The other day, I posted on my Facebook that I didn't know what color to paint my nails next. And within seconds, my friend, Vince, posted, "PINKIE PIE NAILS!".
I'm not really up on trends, so I had no idea what he was talking about. But I rocked my Google-fu, and figured out that Pinkie Pie is apparently one of the characters on the My Little Pony TV show.

Now, I definitely haven't have the time or patience to do anything requiring much skill this week--work's been absolutely ridonkulous--so I knew this manicure needed to be pretty simple. But I didn't even have the right colors to do a Pinkie Pie manicure, so I had to specifically go out to find a suitable pink. And I don't even like pinks that much. But now I own two more (one of which I didn't even need for this manicure), because I have zero will power.

Anyway, Vince, if you're reading this, I'm sorry if this isn't Pinkie Pie-ish enough for you, but it's all you're getting...

For this mani, I used OPI Ate Berries In The Canaries, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Bubblegum Pink, OPI Just Groovy, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow. Plus the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and Top Coat, which I'm hating more and more, but I'm not even going to get into that right now.

Ate Berries In The Canaries is pretty much my favorite pink polish. Like I've already mentioned, I'm not terribly into pinks, but ABITC isn't a pinky-pink. It's a juicy, magenta creme. Except... more berry-y. Yeah. I don't know. But it flatters my skin, and it's not too girly, and I can't help but love it. So that's the main color I used for this manicure.

On my accent nail ('cause I loves me a good accent nail), I used the Bubblegum Pink, which is a light pink with shimmer that's more subtle on the nail than in the bottle, and then I added Pinkie Pie's yellow and blue balloons with the Mellow Yellow and Just Groovy:

I don't know if you guys can see it, but my fingers look so grubby to me in these pics, 'cause it was right after I had a miserable time removing brown nail polish.
Artificial light, no flash.

Lol, my balloons are blobby, but I don't mind.
Artificial light, flash.

 I don't know why my polishes refuse to dry properly lately. It's gotta be the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. These nails had hours and hours to dry before I went to bed. There's no reason they should've gotten all sheet-marked like this.
Direct natural light.

True My Little Pony-related story: When I was little, I used to have Hoppy the kangaroo, and I loved her. And then, one day, my step-cousin told me that if I didn't give her my Hoppy to keep, she was going to tell her mom that I wasn't sharing. And I was terrified of her mom. So I gave her my Hoppy. And I never saw Hoppy again... *sniffle*

Anyway, I don't know. I really just wanted to get this post up and be done with it, so I'd have one less thing to stress about (like I said, work's been insane--I was actually in tears today). And I feel bad, because my posts are more and more rambly and less and less about the nail polish. But I guess that's kind of how I am, so...

Ummmm. Yeah. Pinkie Pie nails. Kind of.

Also: Feel free to check out my brand spankin' new Real Cute Nails Facebook page.

Annnd I'm done.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Post Has Nothing To Do With Nails.

Good gravy, this week at work has been hell. One product goes out of stock, and I end up having to personally reply to/send out hundreds and hundreds of emails, on top of my usual work load.


*crumbles into little pile of dust*

*is blown away by sudden gust of wind*

I've been so busy and stressed that I've been slacking on my nails and this blog. But I finally got around to taking off my Fingers-inspired mani tonight--after almost a week--and it was goddamn awful.

I don't know if it was the Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat or the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, or the Kleancolors, or my nail polish remover, or the barometric pressure, or what, but as the polish dissolved, it turned into this sticky, smeary, almost greasy-seeming mess that got all over my cuticles and skin and wouldn't come off. And it looked like skidmarks. It was disgusting.

It took some doing, but I finally got my fingers cleaned up, and slapped down a new manicure, which I'll try to post tomorrow or Tuesday.

Also: I guess the title of this post is a lie. Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, for today, because I don't want you to think I've forgotten about you, you kooky buncha kids, here are some non-nail-related pictures from The Not So Secret Computer Files Of Aren L. that I hope you find amusing or interesting or informational. Better post soon...

My soulmate.

This potato chip is smiling. IT'S SMILING.
This is what I look like when I'm working.

Try some of this delicious pineapple-shaped cheese dip. Note the real pineapple top for authenticity. Did somebody say cocktail time? ; )

Speaks for itself.

That face I'm making in my bio pic? I've been making it since the beginning.


I love nature babies. <3

Looking at this picture is making me sad that I don't have cupcakes RIGHT. NOW. : (

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Still Blame Blogger. (Also Known As: I Love Italics.)

You guys have no idea how stoked I am whenever you comment. I get ridiculously excited and feel like I'm the champion of the internet, because there are people out there that like my posts enough to take the time to drop me a line.

So, when I somehow accidentally deleted a comment from one of my favorite nail bloggers, Fingers from Fingers Polish Mania, on my last post, I legit felt super awful.

Soooo, to make it up to her, I decided to do a Fingers-inspired mani for today. No glitter, with stamping, and, because I know it's her favorite: BROWN.

For today's manicure, I used Kleancolor Dark Brown--a, well, dark brown--and Kleancolor Cappuccino--a medium brown. I also picked up a new bottle of topcoat, but Jewel was all out of my usual Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat, so I grabbed a bottle of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, to go with the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat I've had to use as of late.

I don't usually wear brown polish. I've owned a few over the years, but much like my dislike of yellow polish because it reminds me of nail fungus and pee (real mature, I know), brown polishes have always kinda reminded me of, well, poop.

And Kleancolor Dark Brown and Kleancolor Cappuccino are both cremes, so I was sitting there, contemplating this manicure, thinking, "Great. There's not even any shimmer or anything to make it look like PRETTY poop.", but the idea for the manicure was already stuck in my brain, so I went for it.

The first coat of Dark Brown went on looking like a thin coat of chocolate syrup. Cappuccino went on looking like... Frappuccino (I don't drink cappuccino, so I don't know what it looks like, but I have been known to splurge on a Frappuccino every once in a great while, so...).

"Okay," I thought, "Chocolate and Frappuccino. I can work with chocolate and Frappuccino", and that made me feel a little less poo-y.

The second coat of Dark Brown darkened the color quite a bit, much closer to how it looks in the bottle. I still had a few thinnish spots, but I snapped a few pictures anyway.

Mmm, brown-y!
Artificial light, no flash.

With the flash on, the Dark Brown looks much closer to the color it looked at one coat. Just FYI.
Artificial light, flash.

I know how long Kleancolors take to dry, so I stopped at two coats at 10pm, because I knew I'd have to stay up for a few more hours just to let my nails dry enough that they wouldn't be destroyed when I went to bed. I ended up staying up until five o'clock in the morning, and they were still dentable, so I kind of dozed while trying to lay very still for two hours until I had to get up for work at seven.

Luckily (?), I was able to keep myself from falling into a deep enough sleep that I might accidentally move and ruin everything, so my nails were still in good shape when I got up. I was pretty tired after my morning emails, though, so I laid back down around ten. When I got back up at two, there were sheet marks mashed into my right pinky nail.

Twelve full hours after I'd applied just two coats (well, plus a layer of quick-dry base coat), and my nails had STILL dented. WTF, Kleancolor? I love your colors and glitters, but damn. Do something about your drying time. And your smell. Thanks.

I'd been planning on adding a third coat to cover those thin spots I mentioned earlier anyway, though, so I wasn't too concerned about the sheet marks.

After a third coat on each nail, I stamped my accent nail using Dark Brown and Bundle Monster plate BM21.

The stamp is a wee bit crooked, which tells me I'm out of practice and need to do more stamping! ; )
Natural light.

Artificial light, flash.
Artificial light, no flash.
Even though I'd never used this stamp before, I cleaned it with nail polish remover before stamping. I guess I must've still missed some silver polish that had gotten smeared on it from when I used one of the other stamps on the plate, though, so I ended up with a bit of silver in the circles near the tip of my nail. : P
Initially, I was super frustrated with my crooked stamping and the bit of silver that my stamper picked up. I wanted this manicure to be perfect, and it's just not. But the longer I wear it, the more I don't care. Because it turns out, I like brown polish. And it's not poopy at all. It actually looks really nice!

So, Fingers, I hope you like this manicure, imperfect as it is. Alllll part of my charm. ; )

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sometimes I'm Willing To Settle.

Oh, weekends, why do you go by so fast? Oh, yeah, because I have to work seven days a week to keep up with all the customer support emails that have been coming in lately. Greaaat. (Sigh.)

Anywho, back when I first started getting more serious about nail polish, I came across a bunch of reviews and posts about Essie Starry Starry Night, and instantly fell in love.

This was also right around the time I learned about matte polishes and matte topcoats, and I desperately wanted to do a mattified manicure with Starry Starry Night, so I scampered off to buy Essie Matte About You (plus a backup bottle), since I figured it was way more cost effective to buy a topcoat that I could use to mattify all my polishes, instead of investing in just a few matte polishes.

Sadly, I was not able to procure a bottle of Starry Starry Night, since it costs about a zillion dollars on Ebay, and I draw the line at right around $60 (hellooooo, Clarins 230).

So, when China Glaze came out with its Metro collection, I spotted Skyscraper, and immediately thought, "Close enough!".

Now, I know there are some people out there who are kind of sticklers about dupes, and I'm definitely not claiming that Essie Starry Starry Night and China Glaze Skyscraper are dupes by any means. But they do both have silver glitter in a darkish blue jelly base, and are similar enough that Skyscraper has sated my lemming for Starry Starry Night.

I mean, if I can ever get my greedy little mits on a bottle of SSN for a reasonable price, I'd for sure snatch it up, but as long as I've got Skyscraper, I won't be totally heartbroken if that never happens.

China Glaze Skyscraper is chockablock full of tiny silver glitters in a dark blue jelly base. I'd almost call the color a dark denim blue. Application wasn't great. The first coat went on streaky as all get-out, and even the second coat didn't go on as smoothly or easily as I'd hoped, but three coats was enough to even it out and build it up to opaque.*

You can just barely make out my nail lines in this picture, so I guess three coats wasn't 100% opaque in extremely bright light, but for all intents and purposes, three coats works.
Artificial light, flash.

To my eyes, this is the most color-accurate picture. This polish seems to photograph slighter lighter than it is in brighter lights.
Artificial light, no flash.

Kinda blurry, sorry.
Indirect natural light.

I had the same ol' problem with this polish shrinking after I applied my topcoat. I'm thinking it might be time to just bite the bullet and buy myself a new bottle. I don't think I've ever actually finished a bottle of topcoat. They always get too stringy and globby about 2/3 of the way through. What's up with that, topcoat!??

Anyway, about twenty four hours after I did this mani, I decided to slap on my Essie Matte About You, and finally rock that matte "starry" manicure I've been craving for ages.

That's some serious shrinkage, right there.
Artificial light, flash.

Artificial light, no flash.

Indirect natural light.

I can never really decide if I like matte manicures. When I'm planning them, I always think, "This is going to look so awesome and tuff!", and then, when I actually have it on my hands, I'm like, "This is falling way flat.". Of all the polishes I've mattified, though (all, like, three of them), this is my favorite so far.

Now that I've got these pictures up, and I'm looking at them in all their gigantic macro-shot glory, I'm kind of grossed out by how much of my tips are showing, so I think I'm going to go take this polish of right now.

What are your thoughts on matte polishes and matte topcoats? What's your favorite matte polish, or your favorite mattified manicure?

*I'm still using Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat for now.  Still gotta order a new NailTek II.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Is A Test. I Repeat: This Is Only A Test.

No pictures in this post, sorry. I'm working on setting up a feed to my Twitter, so this post is just to test whether my posts are being pushed the way I want.

If any of you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @cest_la_vigne. I don't tweet very often, but I'm still pretty awesome, so...

ETA: Alright, sweet. Looks like my Twitter feed's up and running! I AM TAKING THE INTARWEBS BY STORM!!!! BWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

ETA some more: New design is GOOOOOOOOOO!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Worry About It, That'll Buff Right Out.

I'm sick today. I had plans to go visit my sister, but woke up feeling like a bag of smashed ass, so I had to cancel. I'm freezing cold, but sweating; my joints hurt; I'm sniffly; and I just generally feel like crap.

Plus my doctor's office called me today with the results of the CT scan I had last week. They confirmed that I had a big, ol' stone in my bladder (when I told the doctor I had passed it on my own on Monday, he actually said, "Dang!"), and that I have another stone--much smaller at about 1mm--still chillin' out in my right kidney.

Plus I got a bonus health update: Apparently, I have multiple cysts on both of my ovaries. Multiple cysts. On both ovaries. Because when I do something, I fucking go all out. S'how I roll.

So, in an effort to take my mind off of my health issues--which obviously isn't working, since I'm sitting here posting about them--I decided to do another blog update.

So, in a way, my shitty health is actually benefiting you guys. Way to take advantage of my pain. I thought we were friends... *glares*



... *still glaring*



After this post, I'll be all caught up with the pictures I've taken, so unless I start slacking off and give myself time to build up another store of pics, you'll be getting posts as I update my manicures from now on. In fact, I'm actually still wearing the mani in the pics I'm posting today. It's been about four days, though, so I think I'm going to take it off tonight.

First up, a nudie pic:

Artificial light, no flash

Normally, I wouldn't post a picture of my bare nails, but they've been in really good shape lately, so I'm feeling proud. Plus I needed a new nail buffer the other day, so my boyfriend went to the store and picked me up a Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer, which boasts that it will make your nails 400% shinier.

At first, I was like, "Pffff, yeah, right. A two sided buffer is totally gonna work that well. *rolls eyes*".

Then I tried it. And holy friggin' shiny, Batman! A couple of swipes with the rough side and a few back and forths with the smooth side, and I'll be gosh darned if my nails weren't exactly 400% shiner.

Okay, so I have no idea how they actually measure just how much shinier nails get after buffing, so I can't say for sure that my nails were 400% shinier. But they were CRAZY shiny, as you can see. Like, shiner than any nail buffer has gotten them before. And it was super easy and fast. Plus I'd buffed away all the staining (even with base coat, my nails still end up all yellow and funky looking), so my nails looked all clean and nice. So clean and nice, in fact, that I was compelled to take--and share--a nakey nail picture!

So yeah, if you're in the market for a good nail buffer, I'd totally recommend giving the Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer a shot.

Once my nails were buffed smooth, I threw on a coat of my new base--Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat (my NailTek II has gotten all gooey and chunky and weird, and I haven't had a chance to order a new bottle yet, so I'm currently working with what was available at my local drug store)--and then slapped on two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Night Flight.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is my favorite black polish EVER. Love that it's teal-based.
Artificial light, flash.
Then, because I can't seem to stop layering with glitters lately, I added a coat of Kleancolor Shooting Star, which is silver glitter with larger orangy-red, warm yellow, and aqua blue hex glitters in an orange-tinted clear base, on nine nails.

Over black, you can't see the orange tint of the base, but you can see it in the bottle.
Artificial light, flash.

The colors in Shooting Star make me think of circus clowns. Except that clowns scare me, and this polish does not.
Natural light, full sun.
On my accent nail, I did a coat of Kleancolor City Never Sleeps, which is the same makeup as Shooting Star, except in different colors--aqua blue glitter with larger pale orange, pale lime green, and magenta hex glitters in a very pale purple-tinted clear base.

For some reason, the base of this polish looks and photographs as a weird, mucky brown in the bottle. I promise you it's, like, a lilac-tinted clear base, though.
Artificial light, flash.

It was so cold outside when I snapped these pictures. I literally just stuck both arms out the front door and took pictures blindly, since I didn't want to stick my head out to see what I was actually shooting. Luckily, I'm pretty good at aiming!
Natural light, full sun.

Natural light, combo full sun/shade.
My boyfriend said that he likes the Shooting Star better than the City Never Sleeps. I'd have to disagree with him. While the colors in Shooting Star are pretty fun, I think the colors in City Never Sleeps are even funner. And funner is always better.

While fun, this isn't my favorite combination. I mean, it's cute, and if I ever go to the circus, I'd totally wear this mani again, but I crave manicures that leave me gazing at my fingers in awe and wonderment, and unfortunately, this mani fell just a wee bit short of that.

I've also noticed that some of my polishes tend to shrink after I apply my topcoat, which sucks. I currently use Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat, which I've thinned it with a bit of Seche Restore because it got kind of thick and gloopy. It doesn't shrink all of my polishes, but it does shrink most of them, at least a little. For some reason, it seems to shrink my Sally Hansen Instra-Dris worse than any of my other polishes, which means this mani ended up looking like it had a week's worth of tip wear after less than twenty four hours, and it's been bugging the crap out of me.

Does anyone else have this problem? I'm thinking it might be the combination of fast dry top coat + Seche Restore. Maybe if I get a regular top coat, shrinking won't be as much of an issue. But (siiiigh) that means waiting for what seems like forever for my nails to dry, and I'm sooooo impatient.

Grrrrrr. My life is so hard. *fails and flops*

Anyway, I should wrap this up. My poor betta, Aldo, is staring at me right now, like, "Pleeeeaaaaase clean my tank, woman!", and I have to do that before I can take off my nail polish. I don't wanna get polish remover residue in my little buddy's tank!

So I'm off for now. I wonder what color my next post will be about. : )

1/20/2012 ETA: I was just uploading some new pictures (!!!), and I found a couple of pictures I'd taken a day or two after the pictures I posted here. You can see the shrinky tip wear, but it's such a good, clear shot of the glitters that I just had to tack it onto this post:

Indoors, natural light.
Okay, that's all.