Tag Archives: julep

Splattered Wallpaper: January NCC #4

Hello sweeties! I’ve definitely acquired the winter viral crud that’s going around, so my creativity for this last NCC look is a bit lacking. I saw Love Varnish’s recent post in which she did a beautiful splatter manicure, and I wanted to try her technique out. I’ve always had difficulty doing splatter manis, so I was eager to try out some of Deborah’s suggestions.

My splatter manicure

My splatter manicure

Deborah recommended using a shorter straw, so I cut down a straw until it was about 2-3 inches long. And it made such a huge difference! It used to take me multiple attempts to even get the polish to leave the straw, but this was quick and easy.

My favorite result:

Closeup of my favorite nail!

Closeup of my favorite nail!

I think of this as either splatter wallpaper OR a wall that someone has thrown paint over to cover ugly  red wallpaper.

Polishes used:

  • Index, Middle, and Ring Finger base color: Julep Maryam… this polish looked so much nicer in the bottle. It’s a deep burgundy red with golden shimmer throughout, but when it’s on the nail the golden shimmer falls flat and it ends up looking like a muddy brick red. Shame – it could have been so pretty!
  • Splatter colors:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… this is a gorgeous bright blue that leans slightly turquoise. It stains like crazy, but it’s so pretty.
    • Essie Good as Gold… a perfect metallic gold.
  • Pinky & Thumb: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Bound to the City Life… this is from the new Spark in the Dark collection, and I am so happy I picked this one up! It’s a beautiful dark teal jelly that has multicolored microglitters throughout, giving it depth. I only had to use two coats for opacity. It does photograph a bit more royal blue, but in real life it’s a mix of royal blue and dark teal. I love it! It’s another winner from BEGL!

What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions to make splatter manis easier?

Check out the other NCC wallpaper manis:

Purple flakie gradient manicure with stamped accent

Hi sweeties! Happy Friday! It’s colder than a witches teat here in PA, and I’m just counting down the days until it warms up again. I hope y’all are keeping warm! For today’s manicure, I really wanted something vivid. I didn’t like the base color I chose but didn’t want to start from the beginning, so I ended up layering and dabbing and stamping until I liked it!

Purple flakie graient + stamping

Purple flakie gradient + stamping

So that Julep bottle I’m holding is the polish I used as my base color, Ariana. I originally was going to just wear that alone, but I didn’t like it so much. It’s a berry-leaning eggplant purple with a lot of silvery shimmer, and the formula was pretty crappy – gloopy but weirdly thin, and it took forever to dry. Anyways, I decided that instead of starting over with another mani altogether, I’d just throw a bunch of other stuff on it until I liked the result! 🙂

A better picture of this manicure

A better picture of this manicure

So I layered Orly’s Purple Poodle over that Julep, and I just love the result! Purple Poodle is this raspberry jelly polish with some purple and blue microglitter, and it really warmed up the Julep polish but still let a bit of shimmer shine through. I know I slapped some other stuff on top of that combo, but you can see it at the base of my nails and behind the stamp.

And can we just talk about those flakies?! I am officially deeply in love with multichrome flakies! I Love Nail Polish did such a great job with this line – I was lucky enough to win 6 in a giveaway, and I bought a few extra as well since I love them so! I chose one that leaned strongly purple/blue (Luna), and it matched perfectly to the base color!

Just look at those flakies!!

Just look at those flakies!!

As you can see in that closeup, Luna leans mostly raspberry purple, but shifts to teal, blue, pink, gold, and a smidge of green! In certain lighting, the flakies blend into the rest of the polish but will come alive if you move your hands. I love it!

An odd angle to show off more flakie goodness

An odd angle to show off more flakie goodness!

I love this above picture just for the bottle shot! I wanted to show you different angles so you could see more of the flakie shift.

Products used:

  • Base color: Julep Ariana… as described above – a yucky no-good polish, but a surprisingly good base for this!
  • Jelly topper: Orly Purple Poodle… warm raspberry jelly with purple and blue microglitters.
  • Stamping plate: MoYou London Suki 04
  • Stamping polish: Essie Nothing Else Metals… a light silvery lavender chrome that is perfect for stamping!
  • Flakie: ILNP Luna… described and shown in detail above. I just dabbed this over the top half of my nail a few times. It’s amazingly opaque in 2-3 coats on its own, so you see it real well in this mani.

So what do you think? Do you ever do this type of thing for a mani – just layer/ dabble/ stamp and add things until you love it or just have to start over? Are you staying warm this frigid part of winter? Have a great weekend!!

Textured Bling Spirals: December’s NCC #4

Hello there sweeties! I hope the post-Christmas blues have avoided everyone. I’m on vacation until after New Years, and I’m about to take a trip to see some friends and family so I’m just plain excited! I’m trying to think of possible manis for New Years, and the main thing that comes to mind was BLING. Bling always is appropriate for a New Years mani! So this is my dotted version of a blingy New Years mani!

My textured blingy dotticure

My textured blingy dotticure

So I intended to have dotted spirals on my index & middle fingers, but it doesn’t quite look that way at first glance. I think it’s because the dots are too far apart – maybe they’d actually look like spirals if the dots of one color were closer to each other. But I think it still came out alright!

Another pic of my blinged out mani!

Another pic of my blinged out mani!

I knew I wanted to use more of my new PixieDusts for this mani because they’re so pretty and blingy too! And I like how it gives the dots a bit more dimension on top of the gold.

Polishes used:

  • Index and middle fingers:
    • Base color – Orly Luxe… this is a super sparkly gold that is so perfect for a NYE mani! On its own, it’s a bit brush stroke-y… but I love it as a base for other things or for nail art.
    • Dots: Zoya Liberty (gorgeous cobalt blue PixieDust) and Julep Cleopatra (matte/ satin finish black)
  • Ring finger: Zoya Liberty… LOVE this PixieDust! The color is amazing, the texture is perfect, and the formula is perfect! I could see this being perfect for an ocean mani.
  • Pinky: Zoya Dahlia… this is the black PixieDust. So gorgeous! It comes out looking a little more charcoal grey because of the silver sparkle, but I still love this 🙂

What’s going to be on your nails for New Years? Are you going to go bling-tastic like me? What are your plans for NYE?

Check out more dotticures by my NCC ladies:

Scattered Dot Mani: December’s NCC#1

December’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme is Dots! I love a good dotticure, so I was definitely excited about this month’s theme. Then I realized I haven’t done many unique dotted manis in the past, so I really needed to brainstorm to up my game and make this month less boring for y’all!

So for my first dotticure of the month, I knew I wanted a dark base. My nails are shorter than they have been, and if you’ve been following me for a bit you know I love dark polish on nubs! Once I picked out my base color, I basically grabbed a bunch of random colors to work with. I was so glad they ended up working well!



Not quite a typical color combo, but I like how they look all together!  I was kind of going for a gradient look with the dots all scattered towards the base and creeping up the nail in random colors and sizes. Lol, really I was just randomly blobbing on random polishes! Let’s not pretend I had rhyme or reason here!

Another pic!

Another pic!

Polishes used:

  • Base color: Zoya Ryan… a beaaautiful deep navy with hints of teal. This is my absolute favorite dark blue polish!
  • Dotted colors:
    • Julep Eliana… a dark grey-toned navy creme
    • OPI Cajun Shrimp… a gorgeous bright coral-toned red with some hints of pink
    • Julep Saaya… a bright peach with golden shimmer – this looks awful on its own on my skin tone, but it’s nice for nail art!
    • Essie Play Date… a perfect bright purple

So what do you think? Do you like this color combo? What’s an unexpected color combo that you like?

Check out the other dotticures from my NCC ladies:

Gone Girl Manicure: November’s NCC #4

Gone Girl: one of the most f***ed up books I’ve read in a loooong time. And it was recently made into a movie that I (finally!) saw yesterday, so of course my last NCC book-themed manicure had to be inspired by it.

Have you read Gone Girl yet? It’s this crazy story of two screwed up people who are married to one another and spend a lot of time screwing one another over. It’s reaaaalllly good! And I was pretty impressed with how the movie turned out too. I definitely recommend it!

Book Cover

Book Cover

And here’s my mani:

Gone Girl Manicure

Gone Girl Manicure

My index and middle finger were supposed to be the wisps of blonde hair that are on the book cover. They ended up looking more like light tree branches. I think I probably should have used a much thinner nail art brush, but hindsight is 20/20 right? My ring finger and pinky are much more successfully obvious – they are blood splatter! This is inspired by, well, blood. In the beginning of the book, Amy (the wife) is missing and there is blood splatter in their kitchen.

Colors used:

  • Index and Middle Finger
    • Base color: Julep Cleopatra… a satin-finish black that does show a little streakiness but is otherwise a nice polish
    • Hair/ tree branches: Julep Alexandra… an ugly eggshell cream neutral polish that looks awful with my skintone, but is great for nail art
  • Ring Finger and Pinky
    • Base color: Polish My Life Stripped… as I’ve mentioned before, a great 2 coat white
    • Blood: Sephora Formula X Pyrotechnic… an amazing red creme

So yeah, I’m not thrilled with this mani but it’s alright. The book and movie are much better than  my nails show! What do you think? Would you like tree branches for hair? Do you desire those *extremely* thick tresses? And have you seen/ read Gone Girl? Did you like the story as much as I did?

Check out more book-themed manicures from the NCC ladies:

Cat’s Cradle Manicure: November’s NCC #1

Happy November! It feels like it was just summer, and now it’s dangerously close to Christmas – craziness! This month, the Nail Challenge Collaborative theme is “Manicures Inspired by Books.” For my first look, I’ve chosen as inspiration one of my all-time favorite books by my favorite author, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

If you aren’t familiar with the book or Vonnegut in general, he writes satirical science fiction as a vessel for social and political criticism of the late 1900s. I adore all his books, and Cat’s Cradle is easily in my top three. It’s loosely about a mad scientist’s creation, “ice-nine,” which is capable of freezing the world and ending it all. But it really is so much more than that, so I highly recommend reading it!

But anyways you’re here to see manicures not hear me geek out over my favorite author, so here it is:

My Cat's Cradle-inspired manicure

My Cat’s Cradle-inspired manicure

My ring finger was inspired by the book cover, and the other nails are modeled after the frozen look of ice-nine.

Here’s what the book cover looks like:

Book cover

Book cover

How I did this manicure:

  • Ring finger:
    • Base color: Polish My Life Pink Sandals… a perfect pastel baby pink creme
    • Taped off the V and used A England Saint George… an amazing almost forest green holo
    • Freehanded the horizontal stripes with Julep Cleopatra… a matte/satin black (PS – it’s difficult using matte polishes in nail art. If it’s not perfect on the first swipe, going over it looks messy!)
  • Other nails:
    • Base color: Sephora Formula X White Matter… a decent white polish but far from my favorite. I feel like I need to keep all my white polishes in rotation though, so I used it 🙂
    • Used saran wrap to dab on:
      • Barry M Damson… a goooorgeous cornflower blue creme
      • Barry M Blueberry… a pretty pastel blue creme that’s very similar in color to Essie Bikini So Teeny without the shimmer but with a formula that’s a million times better!
    • A light layer of China Glaze Fairy Dust

So what do you think of this mani? I actually really like the geometric look of my ring finger. Maybe I’ll do that using different colors sometime! Have you read Cat’s Cradle or other Vonnegut books?

Check out more manis inspired by books by the NCC ladies:

Blue & Orange Dotticure

I was super indecisive about this next mani. I had about 20 different ideas, and in the end after hemming and hawing for a few hours I went with this simple dotticure. I used 2 colors that I really like but haven’t used yet.

blue orange dotticure essie julep bikini so teeny kirti


I have to say, that persimmon orange polish is crazy beautiful. Out of all the Juleps I’ve received in the past few months, I was most excited about that one. Unfortunately, my box arrived much later than usual and my bottle wasn’t filled to the top. Julep did issue an apology recently about their recent shipping/ order issues and sent out some free points toward polishes/ subscription boxes, so that’s good. But I really haven’t been excited about Julep recently. So I am probably going to cancel it soon (I do have 2 free boxes coming to me, so after that!). I’m thinking about getting a new polish subscription box and haven’t decided between Square Hue, Luxe Lacquer, Rainbow Honey, and Pretty & Polished.

Anyways, enough of that! Back to my mani:

blue orange dotticure essie julep bikini so teeny kirti

And a close-up of my dotted nail:

blue orange dotticure essie julep bikini so teeny kirti

Colors used:

  • Base color/ Index finger: Essie Bikini So Teeny
  • Dots/ Pinky: Julep Kirti

I really think my dotting abilities have improved a ton!

What do you think? Are you pro- or anti-Julep? Do you have another polish subscription box of similar pricing to recommend to me? Sound off below!

Lilly Pulitzer-inspired Mani for August’s NCC

It’s August already! It seems like July went by so quickly. August ushers in another theme from the Nail Challenge Collaborative – Tea Party! I can’t wait to see what everyone does for this challenge.

One of the first things that came to mind when thinking about tea parties was a fancy lady in pearls and a bright, colorful Lilly Pulitzer dress. Why? I think my time as a sorority girl in Virginia influenced that – every spring/summer meant that all the Lilly dresses came out to play.

So here’s my first manicure for the Tea Party theme inspired by a print by Lilly Pulitzer:

lilly pulitzer monogram nail art freehand manicure teal pink reef madness


Lilly, to me, is always bright and colorful. My manicure was inspired by the pattern, Reef Madness. Here’s a pic of it I found on a tumblr account, Pulitzer Prints:

lilly pulitzer reef madness


And since I equate Lilly with monograms, I added one of those on my ring finger as an accent. Here’s a pic where you can see the monogram a little better:

lilly pulitzer monogram nail art freehand manicure teal pink reef madness

My freehand is still just ok, but I really like my middle finger (hehe naturally). I think it’s the only one that even slightly resembles a coral reef pattern. And my monogram definitely could use some work!

lilly pulitzer monogram nail art freehand manicure teal pink reef madness


Colors used:

  • Base color: Julep Lani, a beautiful bright teal.
  • Coral pattern: China Glaze Purple Panic, a great purple-pink shimmery polish.
  • Monogram: Sephora by OPI A Ha! Moment

What do you guys think? Do you have any tips for doing freehand? Check out the other NCC ladies’ manis here:


Recreating Manicures: July’s NCC

Happy July! And happy July 4th to my American friends! This month is also exciting for me because it heralds in my last year of my neonatology fellowship. I am one short year away from being a real grownup Neonatologist… so exciting! I am going to be working pretty hard in the hospital for the next few weeks, so I will try to schedule my posts in advance so y’all have something to read from me.

July also brings the next theme from the Nail Challenge Collaborative: recreating your first 4 nail art manicures. Such a fun way to take a look back and reflect on improvements in technique, photos, etc. My first manicure on this blog was a simple red and white tape mani – fits so well since today’s July 4th!

Here’s my recreation:


I used my new favorite white creme polish, Rica’s Whiteout. Ashley from Plump and Polished suggested this when I asked about the best white polishes – thank you Ashley! For me (since I use pretty thin coats), it was a 2 coater – but so close to being opaque in 1 coat! I’m in love 🙂 I haven’t tried it yet, but apparently it’s a great stamping polish as well.

Then using striping tape I polished the base of my nails with Julep Cara, which is a beautiful cranberry red-pink shimmery polish.

Here’s another pic:


And now a look back. My very first nail art post on this blog – picture is obviously on the left and my recreation on the right.

1-White & Red tape mani

I mean, everything from the cleanup to hand pose to photoediting – so much better!

Happy July 4th and check out the other ladies’ recreations:

Neon Gradient Skittlette: May NCC #2

Told you I’d be posting more! And this one is much prettier than the last. So feast your eyes on one of my other favorite color combos – neon red-pink and purple:


Much better right? I just love this manicure! It surprised me, too – I always thought I disliked textured polishes. I don’t like how it catches on clothes, picks up dog hair, etc. So I’ve always been hesitant about textureds. But this subtle Julep is divine! Not too gritty, very small glitter, and a very easy application.

Index & Middle: Gradient with Essie Play Date & China Glaze Pool Party… I just looove CG Pool Party – in certain lights, it’s a neon coral pink and in others, it’s a neon red. SO pretty!

Ring (and thumb, not pictured): Julep Cameron, a beautiful lavender textured glitter with both micro and slightly larger glitter (2 coats, no top coat)

Pinky: China Glaze Pool Party

I’m actually reconsidering my anti-textured polish stance. Maybe I’ll choose another “Stardust Finish” for my next Julep box…

Enjoy some other skittle/skittlettes from the talented NCC: