The Snowzilla Polarpocalypse Mani

Baby, it's cold outside! Since I live in Los Angeles, I'm blissfully unaffected by the POLAR VORTEX that's been pillaging the U.S. I do, however, have lots of friends and family who are dealing with The Polarpocalypse, and all the pictures of snow floating around the The Gram and FB have put me in the mood for a white mani.

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This was a very easy manicure to do. I began with two coats of OPI Alpine Snow (so aptly named) and let it dry. Once the polish was mostly set, I applied the Swarovski crystal stickers I'd been hoarding.

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What's cool about this product is that the sticker itself is completely clear, and it holds the crystals in place so you don't need to spend time painstakingly placing the gems on your nails. The other nice thing is that there's a little chart included to recommend which sticker goes with which nail. You could go rogue and pavé your own way (ha), but I stuck with their suggestion (hahaha).

Next, I put on a nice thick layer of Seche Vite, being sure to coat the edges on the stickers to make them better seal to my nails. Anything to avoid the dreaded "hair-catching" syndrome.

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This is a great manicure for a special event or party-filled weekend, but be warned: it's not very long-lasting. Despite my best efforts to seal the deal with Seche Vite, the stickers did begin to come off by Day 4 and by the end of Day 5, the polish was not looking so pretty. But it was fun while it lasted!

Even sad fluorescent lighting couldn't dull down this mani. Unfortunately, the jewels did begin to fall off. Note that I'm missing one on my ring finger.

snowin'ballistic, Francesca

P.S. Want MOAR white mani ideas? Check out these posts:

Funfetti Glitter Mani

Sparkling Snow Globe Manicure

The Trés Chic Upside-Down French Mani

Must Stash!

It starts off small. You have six or so treasured polishes that fit neatly in your medicine cabinet, or underneath your sink.

Slowly, your Stash begins to grow. You turn to a shoebox for help, but that only works for a few weeks. You need something bigger. Something better. Something that's not lowly cardboard. You need a vessel worthy of your Stash.

Gals, I feel your pain — because I've been there. I searched high and low at brick-and-mortar stores like Target and IKEA. I scoured Amazon and Google images for ideas. I read other nail polish blogs to see what fellow polishaholics were doing.

In the end, I found the perfect storage solution! I'll show you guys pictures tomorrow, but first I want you to tell me — how do you store your Stash? I'd love to hear about your tried-and-true method in the comments. (If you have pics, even better!) And if you're still on a quest for a great method, then come back tomorrow for my purrsonal recommendation! >^..^<

xx, Francesca

Giveaway! Your Favorite Top Coat

Hey pals! So who's TOP of the Top Coats? The poll doesn't lie. The winner is...

Thanks for voting! It was fun to see which brands you all like best. And with that, it is my pleasure to announce that I will be giving away a bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat to one of you!

All you need to do is post a comment below! The cutoff for entries is 11:59pmPT this Monday, 7/2. At the clock strikes Tuesday, the chance to win shall end. I apologize for adding a restriction — but U.S. residents only, please.

I'll announce the winner on Tuesday afternoon. Good luck!

xxo, Francesca

Green Bling — Happy St. Patty's Day!

Tomorrow is St. Patty's Day!

Honestly, I am not quite sure why we celebrate this holiday or why we celebrate it on its designated day.  St. Patty's Day just appears to be a good day to socialize, wear green, and drink least that's what I've heard (can't remember the last time I celebrated St. Patty's Day).

So, I am joining in the festivities this year with some fabulous green, blinged out nails!

This is my first 3D nail, and let me tell you, I have some serious reservations about 3D nails.  Mostly, they are just WAY too much for me, gaudy, and sometimes incredibly unsophisticated.  Not to harp on 3D nails too much, but I don't really think they are meant for working professionals in their late 20's, ya know?!

So, I am attempting a serious compromise here with a 3D ringer (if you don't remember what a "ringer" is, please read here).

These nails are still loud and gaudy, but much more toned down than most 3D nails I have seen.  Compromise.

Also, I would like to note that I will not be wearing these to work....they are only for the St. Patty's Day weekend.

First, I started with a base coat.  Then I painted one thick coat of Wet n' Wild Spoiled's I Only Eat Salad, which is surprisingly opaque and quite nice after just one coat.

Then I covered my nails in one coat of Milani Neon's Totally 80's, just for a brighter pop of green.

I have to say I am rather sad out Milani Neon's Totally 80's, which is not neon at all.  It's just a bright green, and I was really hoping for a neon green :(  Oh well.

Now for the 3D effect, you will need rhinestones, a toothpick, water, and your top coat.

Once your nails are completely dry, paint a top coat on one ring finger.  Then, while still wet, use a wet toothpick to carefully place the rhinestones on your ring finger.  Once all your rhinestones are in place, then coat the entire nail in another layer of top coat.  Make sure to let dry completely.

Super fun and perfect for a St. Patty's celebration!

Have fun with your green nails and beer and remember to be safe!

 -kissmeimirish, Varnish

Essie — A Crewed Interest & Luxeffects

Essie's spring collection is now available! Honestly, they can do no wrong.  Without a doubt, Essie is my favorite line of nail polish.  Their colors are gorgeous and unique; in the color department, Essie takes the cake.  Their application is flawless.  Their knack for fashion is on point.

Needless to say their spring collection is gorgeous....just as I suspected!

I haven't purchased the whole collection yet, but a couple colors have graced my stashed, including Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest.

Thus far, I am in love with A Crewed Interest!

I am always hunting for the perfect pale pink; one that is not too sheer or streaky; one that has me gawking at it and commenting aloud to myself, "damn, I love this color."

True story.  Ask any of my friends.

Well, A Crewed Interest is it!  A gorgeous pale pink, with a slight touch of peach in it....

Then I gave this pink a beautiful shimmer with Essie's Luxeffects in Shine Of The Times....a polish I had been hemming and hawing over for weeks until I commited to its purchase.

And boy and I glad I did!

The Luxeffects gives a very sbutle sparkle that changes color in the light, from an orangey pink to gold and to green, sure to make you stare at your nails in the sunlight all day!  Interested to see how luxeffects looks over other nail polish colors....

XOXO, Varnish