Ciaté Mini Mani #1 — Cupcake Queen

ciate_cupcake queen_pose Now I know that when I posted about my gorgeous Ciaté Mini Mani Month box, I claimed I'd do a manicure a day... Welp. That obviously hasn't happened — but wait, there's a reason, I swear!

It's because the colors have been on the demure side. Don't get me wrong, I love a good pink or bordeaux, but I've been in the mood for some unusual nail colors and none of the mini bottles have been getting my wheels a-turning, aside from Numero Uno.

The first bottle to be revealed was Cupcake Queen, a bright magenta with (gasp) a violet sheen. It was totally late 80s. I think Barbie may have had a Corvette or two like this. It didn't scream sophistication, to be sure. Cupcake Queen? Maybe. But think Hostess, not Sprinkles.

Just look at how cute these little bottles are.

See that shimmer? When I see colors like this, I just... Phew. Flashbacks. I didn't know colors like this still existed.

And yet the pink looked bright enough for a look I'd been meaning to try — freehand leopard spots! I was inspired by this page in a Sephora catalog that I've been hoarding for a year and a half. /wink

My inspiration. My tools.

Here's my left paw in the shade.

And some early morning California sunshine.

These spots were incredibly easy to do! All you need is a dotting tool (or even a bobby pin) and a good black striping polish.

I used a black striping polish from The New Black. What a great buy; the polish is pigment-rich, super smooth and even dries pretty fast. The brush itself is perfect, too. Using the brush, I drew little half moons and circles, being sure to make the edges of the moons and circles a bit wobbly and uneven looking so that they'd look like stylized leopard spots instead of straight-up polka dots. The organic look we're going for really comes in handy when it's time to paint your non-dominant paw. ;)

Then I used my dotting tool and my Konad white stamping polish to add small white dots in varying sizes on most (but not all) of my black half moons and circles. I nearly reached for my trusty OPI Alpine Snow, but I was worried about transparency issues — and nothing's more opaque than Konad.

I enjoyed this look so much that I couldn't bear to remove it the next night! Or the night after that. So now you've discovered the second reason why my manicure-a-day plan didn't make the cut.

quitethecupcakequeen, Francesca