Nail Art – Dark Gradient with Metallic Greek Key Pattern

Hi everyone! Sorry about my absence in the past two weeks; I’ve been feeling some “burnout” and felt too exhausted to do nail art/write posts. Anyhow, I’m back with some nail art that I was originally going to post after the second part of my blogiversary thing, but  I’ve been procrastinating on getting that post done so I figured I might as well put this up first.  I’ve been in a rather glum mood recently and the weather’s been nasty, so I’ve been drawn to a lot of dark, moody colors (Julep Elise is my <3) and ultimately decided to try one of the dark-colored nail art ideas that I hadn’t gotten around to. I was inspired by Julep’s metamorphic topcoats to create this (undesirably) subtle dark blue-to-green gradient that I accented with a bit of shiny gold polish in a Greek key pattern. While it didn’t turn out like how I originally intended, I’m still drawn to its dark glamor.

Dark Gradient Greek Key Julep Metamorphic 6 Continue reading


St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art – Green Gradient with Gold Shamrocks

St. Patrick's Day Green Gradient Gold Shamrocks

Hi everyone! Although it’s several days after the fact, I have my mani for St. Patrick’s Day on the blog! While I am in no way Irish, it’s always a good chance to wear green (my favorite color!) and put on some green nail polish. Plus, I had such a good idea for St. Patrick’s Day nail art that I really wanted to do it. My idea didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, but it was still pretty great. Since I did this manicure with the #fourleafjulep Instagram contest in mind (so many Julep contests!), I used all Julep colors for this manicure. Read on! Continue reading

Swatch – Julep Kathy

Hi everyone! This is going to be my last vacation post! I’m excited to get some new content going, once I am reunited with my stash, and to move forward with my New Year’s Resolutions! But before I move on to new stuff, I have a swatch of the first polish I wore during my vacation: Julep Kathy. This is the only polish I have to show you from my vacation, since I had the opportunity to take photos of it before my vacation started. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get good photos of the other stuff I had on due to bad lighting and general holiday busyness.

Julep Kathy Swatch
Anyways, Julep Kathy is a lovely polish consisting of this magical iridescent golden fleck glitter that really “glows”. I’m glad I picked it to kick off my vacation, since its golden tone and luminescent quality do remind me of winter and holiday festivities. All the same, I think this polish would be fantastic year-round, and I’m glad I have it in my collection.
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Julep December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have my picks from the Julep December 2014 collection (Countdown) to share with you! As I wrote in a previous post, I got to see what all these polishes looked like first-hand at the San Francisco Maven Meetup in November, so I was absolutely sure what I wanted to get. This time around, I chose the Bombshell box with no add-ons, since I was only really interested in the two Bombshell polishes out of the selection. Fun fact: for the entire time I’ve been a Maven, the Bombshell box is the one I have most frequently picked out of the four main profiles…in spite of the fact that my default profile is Classic with a Twist. Discounting the month of June (I went with Polish Lover’s), I’ve picked the Bombshell box 50% of the time. Funny how that turned out!

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel

Anyways, the two Bombshell polishes were absolutely gorgeous and I am quite glad that I picked those two. I thought about doing a two-color nail art design with just those polishes, but I had no good ideas. So I decided to add a few more colors and do something more awesome: Hanukkah nails! In the spirit of the season, I wanted to do a fabulous manicure that celebrates my favorite winter holiday (Chanukah/Hannukah/Hanukkah/whatever spelling variant), and I opted for a dreidel nail art design. For those of you who don’t know what the game of dreidel is, I’ll write down the game instructions at the end, if you’re curious. Read on!

Julep December 2014 Maven Paula Soleil Continue reading

SquareHue December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have the SquareHue December 2014 collection to show off on the blog! This collection was inspired Rovaniemi – a town in Finland that is supposedly the home of Santa Claus. As someone who does not celebrate Christmas or care much for the holiday, this aspect of the collection was not a big selling point for me. All the same, I wanted to try SquareHue polishes again and so I ordered the box, partly to see just how Xmas-y things could get.

SquareHue December 2014 Nail Art Present

As it turns out, this collection is indeed very Xmas-y (surprise surprise), with the requisite red and green shades accompanied by a gold polish. Things get interesting, though, when you check out the finishes: out of the three polishes, two of them have unusual finishes (one textured, one matte). Not so conventional after all, I suppose! Like I usually do, I swatched all the polishes, did some comparisons, and then combined them all into nail art. Since the colors were so Xmas-inspired, I got seasonal with my nail art and made my nails look like presents. On with the swatches!

SquareHue December 2014 Swatches Continue reading

OPI Nordic Collection Nail Art – Fall Foliage

Hi everyone! It’s autumn! Yay! I think this is the first time I’ve ever been excited about summer transitioning into fall; I have always associated autumn with the start of school, making me dislike the season as a consequence, but I think I’ve finally gotten rid of that feeling since I no longer have a summer break that I have to drag my feet from. Fall actually seems appealing now: brightly colored leaves, the upcoming gingerbread lattes, Halloween, Thanksgiving, apple season…fun stuff! Summer was pretty saturated with things to do, and, even though I had a blast, I think I’m ready to move on. Even though autumn is shaping up to be a pretty busy time of year for me work-wise, I think I’ll have enough delicious gingerbread lattes to savor while powering through (and enjoying myself along the way)!

So today I have some seasonal nail art to show my excitement for the beginning of fall! In my last post, I mentioned having a “Star Trek Manicure Party” with my sister, where I brought the entire OPI Nordic Fall/Winter 2014 collection along so that we could both paint our nails. My manicure used a whopping seven colors – mostly browns and pinks – to create a design of a tree with golden leaves and clusters of pink berries (like the tree in my family’s front yard). Check it out:

OPI Nordic Fall Foliage Nail Art
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Julep September 2014 Maven Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Julep September 2014 Gilded Leaves Nail Art

Julep September 2014 Gilded Leaves Nail Art

Hi everyone! I’ve got a big post today featuring polishes from the September 2014 Julep Maven collection (Art Walk). I swatched all the colors I picked and then combined them into nail art. That’s kind of becoming a “thing” on my blog with the Julep Maven colors I’ve been picking…you know, nail art with all the colors. This month, I picked the It Girl box because it was the only one with colors I liked and didn’t have dupes for. It was kind of astonishing that I was so decisive about picking; usually, I pick a box quickly but I have a hard time choosing polishes to add on. For this month, I was FOR SURE picking It Girl only. It helped that the beauty product in all the other boxes was a lip crayon, which I couldn’t see myself using at all.

The colors Julep had for this month were mostly cremes, which was a bit underwhelming to me. Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the shimmers, metallic foils, and glitters from Julep that I’ve tried in the past (here’s looking at you, Phoebe), I keep hoping for more of those finishes instead of cremes. I feel like there’s a lot more room for innovation and outside-of-the-box colors with non-creme finishes, since there’s only so much you can do with solid colors. At least the It Girl colors from this month filled some gaps in my collection, and I was pretty excited about the gold (Mahima). Plus, there was one satin finish polish in the box (Ryan) that I was curious to try. Anyways, on with the swatches!

Julep September Maven It Girl Swatches Composite Continue reading

Julep August 2014 Maven Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Julep August 2014 Maven Sari Nail Art 3

Hi everyone! I’ve got some polishes from Julep’s August 2014 collection today (Wanderlust) that I swatched individually, and then combined into a sari-themed nail art design (with a tutorial!). Most of the polishes from this month were very vivid shimmers and microglitters, plus one glitter bomb. It’s a very rich and opulent bunch of colors – I love how it all together looks like jewelry! This month I picked the Bombshell box (again) with Neha and Tazeen, and added on Avni (Classic with a Twist) and Waleska (Boho Glam).

The whole collection seems to have been inspired by India, specifically sari colors. I can definitely see how the colors fit the theme, with the vibrant, saturated jewel tones. So I used all of the colors to create sari-inspired nail art! It’s easier than it looks, and I made a tutorial for it if anyone is interested. You can see everything below, starting with swatches:

Julep August 2014 Maven Composite Swatches Continue reading

Disney Series – Prince John’s Crown Inspired Tips + Disneyland! (Long Post)

Hi everyone! Once again, I would like to introduce you to my brand-new Instagram account (@emismanis) that shows my manicures going out and about in the world. I hope you readers appreciate it as a supplement to my blog 🙂

So I didn’t end up posting last week like I said I would because the planning for my Disneyland trip got a bit too hectic, but I am back this week with some more Disney-inspired designs! In my blog post for the first design in this Disney manicure series (this chic Minnie Mouse design), I wrote that my friends and I had been planning a trip to Disneyland for ages that FINALLY happened last week. The lead-up to this trip included me painting my friends’ nails with Disney related designs of their choosing, which was super fun. I only ended up painting two of my friends’ nails plus my own for a total of three designs, but I will feature the other two designs on myself sometime later. The trip was amazing!!! At the end of the post, I’ll post a few vacation photos for you all to look at.

The idea for my Disneyland nails comes from Disney’s 1973 film Robin Hood (yes, the one where the characters are anthropomorphic animals), which my friend Kimi and I were watching when we first hatched the Disney manicure idea. Kimi can correct me on this, but I think I said something like, “So…what Disney character should I paint on my nails?” and Kimi pointed at the screen and said something like, “Dude, Prince John.” Once we bounced around ideas for how a Prince John manicure would look, I really loved the design and went with it. We came up with a manicure based on the Disney villain’s bejeweled crown, into which I incorporated real rhinestones for extra bling and regality. Take a look:

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Framed Manicure – Julep Zora and JulieG Golden Sunset

Hi everyone! I decided to do some subtle nail art in some subtle colors this week. The suggestion for this look came from my mom, who saw a couple colors I swatched and thought it would be nice if I painted my nails with the light pink (Julep Zora) and bordered it with gold (JulieG Golden Sunset). She meant French tips, but I took the idea of “bordered” to the next level and did fully framed nails instead. I’d never done this style before, so it was good to try. They came out really well, and the result looks very sophisticated to me. Besides, it is nice to have less wild nail art for a change sometimes.

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