Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Nails

Here are my Halloween manis for this year! My skills have improved considerably since last year, and I'm actually quite happy with these! 

Classic Halloween Mani:

I loved these! 

The colors I used were:
American Apparel "Hassid" (black)
OPI "Tangerine Scene"
Nina "French White"

For my index and pinky I used the water spotting technique, that's similar to water marbling. I'm not experienced with this so I don't know how to explain it further. 
The bats were more difficult than I was expecting and they didn't turn out quite right, but at least you can kind of tell they're bats. ;) 
Also, I mattefied these using Essie "Matte About You!" My favorite matte topcoat. :) 

Dripping Blood Mani:

Always gory and fun. ;)

The colors I used were:
OPI "Don't Pretzel My Buttons" (nude)
OPI "Lost On Lonbard" (red) 

This is a pretty simple technique using a dotting tool and a nail art brush. It's one of my favorites since it often comes out looking realistic. Bleeding cuticles! :D hahah

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Nail and Cuticle Care

Here's a short (maybe not so short..) post on how I take care of my nails and cuticles for you guys! :)

First, here's my naked nails! ;) (with a coat of Essie Grow Stronger)

Next, here are the products I use every day to moisturize my cuticles and hands. 

I also use Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil and Lush Lemony Flutter, but I'm currently out of my Essie Cuticle Oil, and my dog got a hold of my Lemony Flutter so it's not in photo-worthy condition. :/ ;) I absolutely love all of these products, and use them religiously. If you haven't tried any of Julep's hand/cuticle products you definitely should. Although they come in rather small quantities I'd say the quality makes it worth it. 

Next up is my cuticle remover and my absolute FAVORITE file. 

This is the only brand of cuticle remover/softener I've ever tried, although I've heard good things about the Blue Cross brand. I've only recently started using it, but so far I love the results! 
To get my cuticles in good shape, about once a week I soak my hands in warm soapy water (I love using the moisturizing hand soap from Bath & Body Works) then apply a small amount of the cuticle remover to each finger. Then I just use my thumbnail on my other hand to gently push back my cuticles. I don't cut them, ever. I also push them back occasionally throughout the day when I use cuticle oil or butter. 
Now for the file. This Cult Nails glass file is seriously AMAZING. Since I bought it 6 months ago, it's the only one I've used. I file my nails about twice a week just to maintain the shape and length, as each nail grows unevenly and at a different pace (so annoying..) I've heard that if you file your nails after applying base coat, it reduces the risks of splitting and peeling, so I usually try to do that, although glass files tend to work much better on a naked nail. 

Next, Biotin!
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Different Dimension: Fall & Halloween 2013

I had the privilege of swatching some amazing new Different Dimension polishes this past week! There will be two collections released this Saturday (Sept. 21) Silenced the Lambs for Halloween, and the new Fall 2013 polishes. These will all be available for purchase from starting Sept. 21. :)

First up are the "Silenced the Lambs" Halloween polishes!

Good Evening Clarice...

"Good Evening Clarice..." is a gorgeous pale lime green linear holographic polish that glows in the dark! Here I used two coats over white. The holo is subtle, so it was difficult to capture on camera. It's much more obvious in real life.

Below is the glow shot of "Good Evening Clarice..." This was taken with my iPhone in almost-darkness. :)

And a macro shot that shows a better view of the holo. :) 

It Rubs The Lotion On Its Skin

This polish is a blackened texture polish with bursts of orange peeking out. Its the perfect Fall/Halloween polish! Here I used two coats, without topcoat.
Below is a photo of the same polish with topcoat. It's truly beautiful either way!

I Ate His Liver With Some Fava Beans And A Nice Chianti

I really love this one! This is a great glitter topper featuring different shades of green, purple, and black with some holo dust, in a clear base. I have two thin coats over Essie "Play Date."

Have The Lambs Stopped Screaming?

This is the perfect classic Halloween polish! A glitter topper consisting of different shapes, sizes, and shades of the traditional Halloween colors (orange, black, white) in a clear base, with holo dust. I used two coats over white. I love all the variety in this! It makes you want to just stare at your nails and find all the fun shapes! :)

And here's a macro shot so you can get a closer look!

And now for the Fall 2013 polishes.. Holos, and glitter, and jelly!!

First up is Dueling Unicorns!

This is just.. oh my gosh.. I don't even know where to start.. SO AMAZING. For starters, it's one of my very favorite colors. And as far as holos go, this is one of the most bright and vibrant ones I've seen! Along with the others in this collection. I was so sad taking it off to swatch the others. But I will definitely be wearing it every chance I get this Fall. Here I used two coats, with topcoat. :)

Nessie's Revenge

Another great holo! This one is a darkened grass green holo that was named for the Lochness Monster. Gorgeoussss color, amazing formula and coverage! I used two coats with topcoat. :)


This is a lovely chocolate brown linear holo. I'm not usually a fan of browns but I'll definitely be wearing this again. I used two coats with topcoat, and took my photo in direct sunlight (as with all of the other holos. Forgot to mention that.) 


This is my favorite out of this collection, for sure. I love it even more than Dueling Unicorns! It's the most vibrant and amazing color. I really can't get enough of it. "Lucky" is a darkened berry linear holographic polish. Here I used two coats with topcoat. It is sooo beautiful in real life! Even more so than the photo. 

I also have a macro shot, that shows a closeup of all the colors in the holo! 


Look at all that gorgeous squishyness!! I love this one just as much as the others. It's impossible to choose a favorite. This is a raspberry pink jelly with hot pink, burgundy, and fuchsia glitter. I used three coats with topcoat. As jelly polishes go, this one dried quickly and applied evenly! I love how dimensional it is and how well it covers. After all, one of my biggest pet peeves is visible nail line. All in all, it's a perfect jelly! :)


Mystified is a glitter topper consisting of caramel, brown, and lavender glitters in a clear base. I used two thin coats over Orly Decades Of Dysfunction. I also used a matte topcoat to define the glitter better and attempt to cut the glare from my camera. 

Lucid Dreams

Lucid Dreams is a nude polish with different sizes and shades of gold holographic glitters. I used two coats, with topcoat. I tried so hard to capture the true holo sparkliness (is that a word? Probably not. Oh well) of this but I only captured the idea of it. In real life, the gold holo is just dazzling! In fact, my mom made me leave the bottle out so she can see it whenever she walks by haha. It's truly amazing. 

Scarlet & Grey Remix

This is a remake of last years Scarlet & Grey. Its a mixture of white, scarlet, and grey glitter in a clear base. I used two coats over CG Recycle. :) This polish was created for the Buckeyes, since the creator, Missi, is from Ohio, but I think it's also perfect for a local high school as their colors are crimson and grey also! If anyone from W.F. West is reading this, go buy this polish. ;) 

These cam all be purchased from Missi's shop starting Sept. 21! Here's a link:
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Monday, September 9, 2013

31DC2013 Day 7: Black & White

It took me FOREVER to decide what to do for this prompt! I spent a few hours just doodling on nail wheels trying to work something out. Eventually, I resorted to scrolling through my friend Jessie's feed on Instagram looking for inspiration (@nailsofjessiek) and I found these lovely chevron nails that she had done a few months back! Of course she was technical and precise about it, and used striping tape, and I'm way too lazy and impatient for that, so I decided to wing it. ;) She has a tutorial for this particular design on her Instagram, as well as a few others. :)

Here's my black and white nails, featuring a freehand accent nail inspired by Jessie, as well as black studs from the Born Pretty Store. :)
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31DC2013 Day 6: Violet

For violet day, I decided to just do a simple swatch of Zoya "Aurora," a lovely purple scattered holo. This had been in my untrieds forever, and I figured it was time to use it. :) I considered doing some sort of nail art on top of it, but once I had it on I couldn't bear to cover up even a little bit of the gorgeous holo. :) 

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

31DC2013 Day 5: Blue

I'm so sorry for the post spam tonight. I'm just determined to catch my blog up with this challenge! This is the last one for the day, I promise. :)
But anyways! The prompt for this week was blue! Since blue is one of my very favorite colors, and I own more blue polish than any other color, there are a lot of places I could have gone with this. I was so overwhelmed at first, until I looked at my hand and realized I was already wearing beautiful blue polish! I had been swatching a few Laquerlicious polishes, and it happened that the last one I had swatched was "Admire-A-Bull" from Michelle's Polish For Pitbulls collection. Michelle (@creativenailchick on Instagram) donates $10 from every pitbull polish sold to the Fresno Bully Rescue, a non-profit organization that rescues and cares for abandoned dogs. You can read more about their work at Michelle's polishes can be purchased here.

Anyways, back the the nails. :) To add to the gorgeous duochrome without doing anything too intricate, I decided to do some simple chevron and dots with China Glaze "I'm Not Lion." 

Here is a photo of Laquerlicious "Admire-A-Bull" on it's own:

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31DC2013 Day 4: Green

For this day, I was a bit uninspired. I even had my mom helping out with brainstorming but all we could come up with was "grass" or "trees" and I wasn't sure I wanted to go there this time of year. So when in doubt, gradient! I went with a simple look using Maybelline Color Show "Green With Envy" and Julep "Payton" topped with the always gorgeous China Glaze "Fairy Dust." 

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31DC2013 Day 3: Yellow

Okay, to be honest, I'm really not a huge fan of yellow. But, for the sake of the challenge I decided to be a good sport. :) I had been seeing adorable lemon manis all over Instagram all summer and I'd been dying to try one! 
The pinkish base for this mani is Zoya "Micky" and the darker yellow in the lemons and on the accent nail is Zoya "Darcy." Of course my namesake polish is yellow. My luck haha. The lighter yellow is a cute little Hello Kitty polish I got from Sephora! I'm not sure of the name though. Overall, I love how these turned out! 

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

31DC2013 Day 2: Orange

The theme for the second day of the challenge was orange! And the first thing I thought of for orange was orange creamsicles. :) I thought the best way to go about creating an orange cream look without actually painting Popsicles on my nails was to do a simple drip mani with light orange and white! The colors I used for this were Lime Crime "Peaches And Cream" and Nina "French White." I loved these so much!

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31dc2013 Day 1: Red

Wow I'm so behind. I had every intention of keeping up with this on my blog as well as my Instagram! But I just got busy I guess. Anyways, better late than never! I'll try to catch up over the next couple days. :)

For the first day of the challenge, I decided to do a simple design using P2 "Open Your Heart!" and silver studs from the Born Pretty Store. :) 

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Helmer/Stash Tour!

I've had a few people on Instagram asking about my polish stash and how I organize everything, so I thought I'd do a post about it since I organized everything today! :D (By the way, I usually write my posts on my computer, but it's acting up so I'm doing this on my phone. Sorry for any weird formatting!)

Okay, first I thought I'd show you my "polish station" :) 

I have a helmer on each side of my desk, my desk lamp with a daylight bulb, (which also holds all my favorite brushes and dotting tools etc.) my spinning polish stand that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas that holds my indies, and random things in the compartment under the desk. (Bubble wrap, spare boxes etc.) :)

Now, for the first side of my spinner! 
Side #1
From top to bottom, left to right: 
My Sindie Pop! Lacquers, Lacquer Lusts, Cult Nails, Lime Crimes, Tillie Polish, Femme Fatale Lacquers, and Frankenstinepolish Polishes!

Side #2
Next is Polished by KPT, The Hungry Asian, KB Shimmer, Lac Attack, Spectraflair topcoat from a friend, XOXO Nail Candy, Love Angeline Polish, and Bean Juice. :) 
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Triangle Gradient Nails

Hi guys! I'm back, I think. I know it's been forever and a day since I've posted, but I'm going to try my best to get back into it. :) I'm just going to take it a little at a time. :)
For now, here's my current mani, inspired by a mani that I've been seeing around instagram. I've already recreated it once, using different colors. 

The colors I used for this are:
CG "That's Shore Bright" (purple)
CG "Surreal Appeal" (coral)
Essie "In The Cab-Ana" (blue)
Cult Nails "Tempest" (white)

I'm hoping to start posting more, especially swatches and such, but you can always find me on instagram! (@sparrownails) or you can email me at 

-Darcy x

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bean Juice: Time Collection

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting as much lately, I always forget:) 
Today I swatched a few polishes from Bean Juice! It's a rather new indie brand, that hasn't been entirely discovered yet. These can all be purchased at

First, we have "5 O'Clock Somewhere," an absolutely beautiful shimmery white base with tiny blue, pink, orange, and yellow glitters that aren't really obvious until it's on your nails. It's the perfect polish for spring! This swatch is one very thin coat over white. Amazing formula and application, and the glitter spreads perfectly. 

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Glow In The Dark Nails

I'm so excited about these! It was almost painful taking my rose mani off, but I'm so glad I did!
Today I received two glow in the dark polishes from Polish Me To Go! A neon pink called "Pretty Girls" and a blue one called "I'm So Blue." 

I couldn't decide which I wanted to swatch first, so I just went for it and did a mani with both! I knew the blue one would glow a little brighter, so I used that as the base. The design was just aimless doodling. :) I did my best to show the true colors, but unfortunately the pink looks rather orange in the photos. It's very pink in real life though!

These glow both under black light and when charged by any other sort of like and viewed in darkness. Since I didn't happen to have a black light on hand, I opted for the other method. Here's the result of charging the polish under an incandescent bulb for a few seconds, then taking a photo in pitch black. I apologize for the low photo quality, I had to use my phone since my camera couldn't handle it with a higher shutter speed and I couldn't stop shaking. haha <3 span="">

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Rose Nails

Hi everyone!

I love my nails today, even though it was sad taking off my last mani:(

For this, I started with Essie "Guchi Muchi Puchi," then used OPI "Pirouette My Whistle" and Essie "Sugar Daddy" to make a jelly sandwich. The main part of the rose is Julep "Joan," and the accents are Orly "Decades Of Dysfunction" and a Chifure polish that I don't know the name of haha. And the leaves are China Glaze "Running In Circles."

Hope you like! :)

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bestie Twin Nails!

Hey everyone! 
My current mani is a collaboration between one of my good friends Jessie over at Nails Of Jessie K and I based on a theme that's going around Instagram! It was started by the lovely Vanessa (aka @mrslochness) and her best friend Vee (@veebutterfly). There isn't really a specific way to do this, you can make them as similar or original as you like, but Jessie and I decided to go for a general theme of chevron, dots, glitter, and gradient (of course) and the colors teal and deep purple, then surprise each other with the final result!

Here's what we came up with:)

Mine: I did a glitter gradient on my index finger using Julep "Marion" and OPI "Pirouette My Whistle," a vertical gradient on my middle finger using Julep "Marion" and "Morgan," freehand chevron on my ring finger with "Morgan" and Essie "No Place Like Chrome," and some simple dots on my pinky.

Jessie's: I'm not sure of all the details for this one, but I know the pretty teal glitter is Happy Hands Nail Polish "For British Eyes Only" and the purple is also Julep "Morgan." And she's the queen of chevron with her fancy scissors and tape;) 

And here's a "collage" of our nails together! :)

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Random Nail Art

Here's just a bunch of random nail art that I have done over the past month (5 to be exact), there's not really much to say about these, but I'll write a short description before each photo:)

1. Here's my most popular mani ever, so far! These were inspired the the absolutely amazing Selena over at, or @selenadee_nails on Instagram. I used the entire China Glaze Summer Neons Collection for this, plus Fairy Dust on top:)

2. These are pretty recent, for this simple gradient I used Julep "Joan" and OPI "I Don't Give A Rotterdam." I chose these together just because they both have an underlying gold shimmer. :)

3. This is some sort of "half-swatch" of Wicked Polish Hematoma, I was so lucky to catch this one at the last restock! I also picked up "Pox" but that one gets its own post. ;) For the gradient I used China Glaze "Creative Fantasy" and "Hanging In The Balance" 
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Happy Hands Nail Polish - "For British Eyes Only"

Next is "For British Eyes Only" also by Happy Hands Nail Polish. :)
This is the PERFECT teal. It's a sheer teal jelly packed with holo (and some regular) teal glitter. It would probably be opaque in three coats simply because of all the glitter in it, but I put two over OPI "Fly." It's much more beautiful in real life of course, I couldn't stop staring at my nails when I had this on. Such an amazing color.

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Happy Hands Nail Polish - "I Am Jack's Broken Heart"

I'm trying to catch up on posts, I've been forgetting that I even have a blog! haha But these are some of my favorite polishes ever, I can't believe I didn't get them sooner.

First, "I Am Jack's Broken Heart" by Happy Hands Nail Polish.
This is a purplish red jelly base, completely loaded with purple and teal square glitter, and some smaller squares and hexes. And if the light hits it at the right angle, it has a beautiful purple shimmer.  Application was easy, and it would be completely opaque in two coats, but I decided to put a coat of OPI "Casino Royale" underneath so I didn't have to use as much polish. :)

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