Friday, January 29, 2016

Fishbowl Friday 062 // Duochrome

Have I ever mentioned my love of duochrome polishes? Because after this prompt, I'm feeling a renewal of that love. And surprise, surprise! Would it really be me if that love wasn't coupled with a desire to DUOCHROME all the things... glitter included?!? (No. No it would not!) 

Hard Candy Beetle

Duochrome Layering Nails

Hard Candy Beetle

Duochrome Nails

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
3 Coats Hard Candy Beetle
2 Coats KBShimmer Look On The Night Side
1 Coat Pahlish Autumn People
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

I'm having a major DUOCHROME moment here, guys. When I see how fun a layering like this can be, and just how much the whole look shifts depending on the angle of my hands, I want to buy more. All the duochrome polishes, and let's throw in some multichromes for good measure, too!

And just in case you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about when I say duochrome and multichrome, let me clear things up for you! Duochrome and multichrome polishes are color-shifting polishes. Duochrome polishes shift between two colors, while multichrome polishes shift between three or more shades!

If I had to guess, I'd say that I have 20-30 duo or multichrome polishes in the sparklestash. I'm always eager to add new color combinations, but there's a lot of repetition out there. The ones that I do have, I love, and Hard Candy Beetle is no exception. When the line debuted at Walmart a few years back, (complete with rings!) I couldn't wait to get my hands on a bottle. Hard Candy polish was both not available and not in the budget during my teenage years. Definitely a little bit of sentimentality there.

Beetle is a teeeeechnically a multichrome polish, because it flashes from maroon to orange to gold to green. BUT... the strongest part of that flash is from maroon to gold. Sooooo... DUOCHROME. Straight on, you get a red leaning coppery color, but at an angle you can really see the flash to gold!

Look On The Night Side is a duochrome flaky glitter topper that flashes turquoise green to purple. When you look at it straight on, you get a bright flash of the turquoise green, then you get the purple as you tilt your nails down. Also, depending on the light, that turquoise green does sometimes translate as a vivid kelly green. 

Now, we all know that I could've stopped there, but what would the fun be in that? So, I added a coat of Autumn People by Pahlish. That added a few little multi-colored specks of resistance to Look On The Night Side. I mostly see the red ultrachrome flakes, a few of the chameleon flakes and definitely the neon purple shimmer.

Another Friday is here, and I'm so excited that there isn't a single flake of snow in the forecast! We really got hammered last weekend with a ton of snow. Slowly, we've been digging our way out and getting back to normal. It is supposed to warm up to mid 40's by Monday, though, and I am not going to complain one bit! Since we were so cooped up last weekend, I just want to get out and about this weekend. Also, a certain curly headed little someone keeps reminding me that I have run out of potty treat surprises. So, I'll be searching for those while meandering my local haunts, just enjoying being out of the house!

Fishbowl Friday Duochrome Nails


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PLL: "Of Late I Think of Rosewood" (6x11)

The Liars are back and five years have passed between the events of "Game Over Charles." This episode kicked off a new mystery arc, and it just wouldn't be Pretty Little Liars without a murder, now would it? And what better way to get the girls to stay in Rosewood than pushing someone out of the bell tower a la Ian Thomas in For Whom the Bell Tolls. (1x22)

Before I get into a little bit more about the episode, let me just say this. Initially,  I had my doubts about the time jump. And I know I'm not the only one! As of typing this, I've watched the first three episodes, and each week, I'm coming around to the idea a little bit more. 

When the producers teased that 6B would be a reboot and PLL would feel like a completely different show, I laughed it off a little bit. As I'm watching, I'm realizing that's kind of true. We're being introduced to these girls all over again, and just like the first time around, it's going to take a little time to establish each Liar's personality, their new secrets, and of course, what the new mystery is all about. 

Spoilers ahead, for those who haven't watched yet... 

PLL Of Late I Think of Rosewood (6x11) Episode Recap
Another Funeral in Rosewood c/o PLL Wiki

What better way to kick off a new mystery arc than by killing off Charlotte DiLaurentis, the character formerly known as A? 

Of course, in order to kill Charlotte, she's got to be released from the mental health facility she's been staying in. And that's a great reason to call the Liars back to Rosewood. Alison wants to bring her sister home, so she writes each of her friends a letter, asking them to speak on behalf of Charlotte in front of a judge. 

At the hearing, Aria is the only Liar who tells the truth, stating that she does not want Charlotte to be released. When Charlotte is freed that night, the girls hold a "coven of secret cocktails," where in addition to Spencer telling her friends that she loves them all, she also states, "Wouldn't it just be the biggest cosmic joke ever if Charlotte gets to live happily ever after." 

All cosmic jokes aside, it's pretty ironic when Charlotte is found dead hours later. Freed solely on the basis that the girls lied. Again, because PrettyLittleLiars. At first, it looks like suicide. After the funeral, Lorenzo lets the Liars know that it was murder, and could they please stay in town while he investigates? 

Duh. Duh. Duh... 

If you got a feeling of deja vu while watching, you weren't alone! There were so many homages to the Pilot in this episode. Who killed Charlotte DiLaurentis? The Liars were wasted so they don't remember. Sara Harvey showed up at the funeral a la Jenna, complete with a guide by her side. The church bell tower being the site of another murder. Charlotte's picture at the funeral was reminiscent of Alison's memorial photo from the Pilot. Each Liar came back to Rosewood with new secrets, too. At the end of the episode, Lorenzo told them all to stick around for questioning, a lot like Darren Wilden claiming that he would get to the bottom of what happened "that night." 

Emily dropped out of Pepperdine after her father died. She's been bartending, and she's got a whole lot of pills and needles in her purse.  

Hanna is working for a big fashion designer, traveling around the world with "the new line." She and Caleb split up, and now she's engaged to someone else. 

Aria works for a book publishing company, the same company that published Ezra's book. 

Spencer is a lobbyist in D.C. Her mother is running for Senate, and she looks to be campaigning for her while she's in town. 

Toby is building a house for someone. 

Ezra is a mess. During his trip to South Africa with Nicole, she and a few other volunteers were kidnapped. 

Alison is devastated by Charlotte's death. 

Sara Harvey is apparently unable to use her hands. 

Thoughts:

Did the same person who murdered Charlotte DiLaurentis also kill her mother? 

We all know that a new "big bad" or "A" is coming, but is A going to be the same person as the murderer? 

What in the world happened to Sara Harvey? 

I love that they turned Radley Sanitarium into a resort hotel. Now, I don't think you'll ever see Eastern State Penitentiary doing that, but it is a little bit of a thing here in PA. We've got a lot of old industry buildings, especially steel industry buildings and warehouses that people are re-purposing, rather than starting from scratch. It's a way of preserving history, albeit a strange one in the case of Radley! 

Theories: 

Who killed Charlotte DiLaurentis? Is it possible that this is an even bigger whodunit than Alison's case? I mean, who in Rosewood wouldn't want her dead? The Liars are obviously the biggest suspects here, along with any of their past or present significant others. Then there's Sara Harvey, Mona Vanderwaal, Jenna Marshall, (please bring her back!) Alison herself, Doctor Rollins, Bethany Young, (I'm still not convinced she's dead) Someone's Twin, (I'm going there!) Kenneth DiLaurentis, Jason DiLaurentis, Melissa Hastings, Andrew Campbell, Lesli Stone... the list just goes on and on. 

-S

China Glaze Moonlight the Night vs. Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden

For a nail blogger and polish collector, there's nothing worse than getting home with a polish and discovering *GASP* that you already own a polish in that exact same color and finish, just produced by a different brand. That is what we call a dupe. (Dupe = Duplicate) Not to be confused with backups, which are additional (intentional or not) bottles of the exact same nail polish.

When I ordered my bottle of Essie Starry, Starry Night, I was trying to add more to my order and China Glaze Moonlight the Night was the only other thing that ended up in my cart. It's part of the Spring 2016 House of Colour Collection from China Glaze. It looked glittery and interesting, and it just had to have a place in the sparklestash.

Between the time of ordering and receiving, I noticed that Moonlight the Night looked suspiciously familiar. As in... Daubigney's Garden from Fingerpaints familiar. It came out last year as a new addition to Fingerpaint's core line. When I used Moonlight the Night in my SPARKLES manicure last week, I mentioned that I would try to compare the two side by side.

Moonlight the Night vs. Daubigney's Garden
Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden vs. China Glaze Moonlight the Night

China Glaze Moonlight the Night vs. Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden
Daubigney's Garden vs. Moonlight the Night

I was ready to board the dupe train on this one, until I got the bottles outside. Immediately, I noticed that Moonlight the Night from China Glaze had much more of the coral/pink translucent glitter pieces. Curious as to how that would translate outside of the bottle, I got out a swatch wheel.

China Glaze Moonlight the Night vs. Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden
Comparing China Glaze Moonlight the Night to Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden

What you see in both bottles, you also see on the nail wheel. I built up to four coats of each polish, with China Glaze Moonlight the Night on the left, and Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden on the right. Both polishes feature translucent and opalescent glitter. There's a good deal of translucent pink and purple and opalescent teal in each one.

Moonlight the Night definitely has more of the coral/pink color of glitter, and it's more noticeable as you build up coats. The glitter in Daubigney's Garden has more of a green-yellow flash to it, keeping it mainly in the cool spectrum. The base colors are different, too. Daubigney's Garden base has a bluish-teal lean to it, while Moonlight the Night is more of a bluish-purple.

Moonlight the Night vs. Daubigney's Garden
l. Moonlight the Night r. Daubigney's Garden

I can't really rule that these two are dupes, but they are similar. Do you need both polishes in your stash? Well, it depends on what kind of nail art you're into, and what color pairings you like. If you're more of a cool-minded blue/teal kind of person, Daubigney's Garden is probably what you want. But if you want that little flash of unexpected coral and pink for a mermaid manicure, I'd definitely go with Moonlight the Night from China Glaze.

As far as availability, both are relatively easy to find at the moment. Daubigney's Garden is part of Fingerpaint's core line of polish, and can be purchased through Sally Beauty Supply. Moonlight the Night is part of the newest China Glaze LE collection, so you should be able to find it at most Sally Beauty Supply stores or other online retailers. This time around, I purchased from Ulta, but I typically buy China Glaze polishes from HB Beauty Bar. They do a great job of stocking current and past collections in case you missed out on any recent LE shades.

Hopefully this will help you make a decision between the two of these shades! Do you have either of these in your collection? Both? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!!!

-S

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fishbowl Friday 061 // Sparkles

When I was creating the prompts for Fishbowl Friday... I might have gone a little bit overboard with the possibilities for glitter manicures. I snorted when I opened up this prompt, because I didn't even remember creating it.

My second thought? 

Challenge accepted! 

So here they are, nails that aren't really all that different than any other day of the week here at Chez Sparkle. A slightly mermaid-esque layering mani that SPARKLES...

Zoya Muse Layering

Sparkle Nails

Zoya Muse Mermaid Manicure

China Glaze Moonlight the Night, Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop

Zoya Muse Sparkle Nails

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Out Ridge Filler 
2 Coats KBShimmer Up & Cunning
1 Coat Zoya Muse
1 Coat Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop
1 Coat China Glaze Moonlight the Night
1 Coat Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop
1 Coat Zoya Muse
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Part of me wishes that I had a mermaid stamping plate so I could properly give this sparkly ocean on my nails the send-up it deserves. Aaaand the other part of me likes it just the way it is. Then there's that tiny little part of me that just wants to add even more glittery goodness to the fray.

There's a lot of sparkle going on here. I started out with the holographic deep teal that is Up & Cunning by KBShimmer. It was opaque in two coats and went on like butter. I'm really falling for the formula and the brush on KBShimmer polishes.

From there, I added a coat of Zoya Muse, a recent acquisition during the Free4You promotion. Muse is described as a "blue raspberry holographic fizz with a subtle vein of gold." I love the gold shimmer in this shade. Mixing with the blue, it really lends itself to the whole oceanic vibe. I actually chose this polish after seeing it in a few gorgeous mermaid manicures! 

Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop added a nice mix of flakies and iridescent glitter. The flash from gold to orange to red to fuchsia adds a nice variation to the cooler, opalescent glitters in Muse and Moonlight the Night. 

China Glaze Moonlight the Night features larger opalescent glitter in orange, mint green, bluish-purple, and turquoise. I feel like it's similar to Fingerpaints Daubigney's Garden, but I haven't swatched them side by side. Let me know in the comments if you'd be interested in seeing them. I think Moonlight the Night is in a more translucent base, but I can't say for sure. The shade was a great middle for my glitter layering, and I love the darker bluish-purple the most. 

After Moonlight the Night, I added another coat of Gumdrop Rooftop, followed by a coat of Zoya Muse to bring everything back to a nice bluish-teal tinge. Muse is an amazing polish, definitely the blue sister of Zoya Binx. I really wish Zoya would make these kinds of glitter polishes in all of the colors, maybe with a few contrasting shimmers! 

Thankfully, nothing about this layering was particularly bumpy or gritty. So, I finished it off like I usually do, one coat of SinfulColors clear coat followed by Seche Vite. And good to go! 

I'm always thankful when Friday comes around, and today isn't any different. It's been a busy week with a lot going on, and then on top of that, we'll be getting a bunch of snow tonight! That pretty much guarantees some snowman building and sledding action tomorrow. And probably a whoooooole lot of "Do you wanna build a snowmaaaaan?" Let it snow, let it snow! 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Fishbowl Friday 060 // Newest Untried

Happy Friday to you! There's always a big sigh of relief when the end of the week rolls around and it's time for the weekend. When I pulled this prompt last night, I actually forgot that I had even created it. So, it was a nice surprise, considering my January Mystery Bag from Rainbow Honey just arrived! So here it is... my NEWEST UNTRIED polish... (well, one of them, anyway!) 

Rainbow Honey January Mystery Bag Planet M

Rainbow Honey Planet M

Rainbow Honey January Mystery Bag Planet M

Rainbow Honey Planet M

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
3 Coats Rainbow Honey Planet M
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Planet M is one of two polishes in my Mystery Bag this month. It's a blue-toned raspberry pink shade that I just love! And yes, while I do have a lot of this shade in my stash, the finish is what makes Planet M unique. Tons of tiny little glass flecks, mainly in pink, but I caught some violet and gold flashes in there too. It's a little more amped up than your average shimmer polish.

The formula on Planet M was really good. Just a smidge thicker than the creme polish formula, but that's because of the glass flecks and doesn't affect application at all! I did find that I had slight patchiness at two coats, so I added a third just to make sure everything was covered.

In addition to Planet M, my Mystery Bag also came with Caramel Forest, a really unique glitter topper. It doesn't really go with Planet M all that well, so I'm still trying to figure out what I could layer it wish and how to do it!

I can't say that I have too much in the way of plans for this weekend. Maybe a little shopping. Definitely a lot of playing and snuggling with Peanut. Whatever your weekend plans look like... I hope you and your family have a great one!!!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Zoya Free4You Promotion

It's Zoya promotion time again! This is one sale that I just have to jump on every year. Usually, it's because I try to do a no-buy around the Holidays and I'm just itching to buy all of the polish. I didn't really set out specifically to do that in 2015, but that's how it ended up. So I was pretty excited to get the email about Zoya's one week only Free4You sale!

Free4You Promotion from Zoya

The premise of the sale is simple, choose 4 Zoya shades, (excluding pre-packaged sets, Naked Manicure, Zoya Treatments, and the Spring 2016 Whispers Collection) enter 4YOU at checkout, and pay just $15 promotional shipping. That's the equivalent of $3.75/bottle with free shipping. Zoya polishes normally retail for $9-$10/bottle, so this is a pretty sweet promotion!

Now I know you're wondering... what shades did I pick out? I thought you'd never ask! I swear, I didn't set out to only order purple and blue polishes. And I know that exactly none of these were on my Lemmings list! That seems to be a growing trend... O.o

Zoya Muse - Bubbly Summer 2014 Collection
Zoya Muse

Zoya Muse: described by PR as a "blue raspberry holographic fizz with a subtle vein of gold." I'm thinking it's the ocean blue mermaidish sister to Binx. Hoping. I've seen it featured in a lot of mermaid/undersea manicures. Definite seriotype material.

Zoya Carey - Feel Winter 2011 Collection
Zoya Carey

Zoya Carey: they call it "periwinkle grey." I was in a gray sort of mood, and my stash already has Tove and a Dove dupe. So I'm trying this shade of grey.

Zoya Nori - Wishes Holiday 2014 Collection
Zoya Nori


Zoya Nori: I must not have been in a dark polish kind of place when I ordered last year. Which just goes to show the difference in taste from year to year. I ordered Tomoko last year, and ended up using it waaaaay more than I ever thought I would! I needed more Pixie Dust in my life, and "Sapphire blue Magical Pixie Dust with holographic hex glitter" seemed like a good way accomplish that.

Zoya Thea - Wishes Holiday 2014 Collection
Zoya Thea


Zoya Thea: Described as a "deep amethyst Magical Pixie Dust with an orchid flash, packed full of party-ready holographic hex glitter." I've seen swatched of this and they are gorgeous. Must. Have. All. The. Sparkles! (Don't mind me...) 

Over the years, Zoya has started doing more of these awesome promotions, so it's not always just this one. But this one is a really good one! And if you're planning on ordering but haven't yet... the sale ends January 13th 11:59 EST so don't wait!!!

Did you order any polishes during the Free4You promotion? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you've got any of the shades I ordered, I'd love to hear how you like them!

-S

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fishbowl Friday 059 // 5 Colors

It feels so good to be doing one of these posts after two weeks off! I had such a great Holiday with my family, I hope you did too! I don't know about you, but I miss the coziness of the season. There's just something magical about it! But alas, January came just the same and brought a cold front with it.

While I was off, Peanut also had some time away from daycare, and that meant a whoooooole lot of watching My Little Pony. While playing My Little Pony. So, when I drew the 5 COLORS prompt... is it any wonder that Princess Celestia and her rainbow-colored mane popped in to my brain?

MLP Princess Celestia Nails

My Little Pony Nails

Fishbowl Friday 5 Color Manicure

My Little Pony Princess Celestia Nails

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
SinfulColors Lavender
SinfulColors Mint Apple
SinfulColors Tempest
Zoya Rocky
Zoya Tomoko
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Peanut's big gift for Christmas this year was Canterlot Castle, home of Princess Celestia. I had been looking for a themed playset for Sparklegirl for a while, and when I saw this one, I knew it was the one! The Princess Celestia pony came with the set, along with Spike. If I'm not mistaken, I think this is the only way to get her royal highness, and she was the pony little Peanut couldn't stop talking about. Seemed like a win-win at the time, which has turned into a win-win-win because she looooooves playing ponies! Kids can be so fickle with toys, so I'm stoked that she likes it so much!

When I drew the 5 COLORS prompt this week, I was definitely missing those days at home with Sparklegirl, playing ponies. Originally, I was thinking seriotype, but that all changed after an extra-long bedtime last night. I was a little overtired by the time I sat down to paint, so instead of a seriotype, I chose simple skittles in the Princess Celestia color theme.

This weekend, I'm sure we'll be playing a lot more ponies at Chez Sparkle, and hosting some tea parties on the MLP app. All while watching My Little Pony. I think we're a few episodes in to Season 4? Is it wrong to admit that I'm loving watching it with her? I'm amazed at how much kids shows have changed from when I was little. And maybe a little jealous. But it is fun sharing something with her that I loved playing with when I was a kid. What are your plans? Is your kiddo into MLP? Let me know in the comments!

#ff2016



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

PLL: "Game Over ChArles" (6x10)

I know, I know... How dare I take so long to delve into the episode of Pretty Little Liars when A 2.0 was fiiiiiiinally revealed.

But if you follow along with the show, I'm sure you can understand why. And if you follow along with me, you know that Finale Fever really burns me out, and I sometimes need to take a break from all things PLL. The premiere of 6B is coming soon, though. And along with it, Pretty Little Liars is skipping right over college, picking things back up in Rosewood five whole years after the events of this episode.

So.

In typical Finale fashion, we started off with the Liars chasing a black hoodie, begging him/her not to jump.

And then we travel back in time to the exact moment we left the Liars in Last Dance. The girls were at prom, trying to find Alison. When Toby and the others left the girls to their own devices, they spotted a girl in a red hood and decided to follow her.

Turned out, it was Mona.

She totally knew that Clark was an undercover cop. Mona was also tracking texts between Alison and Charles, and they seemed to be coming from Carissimi Group HQ. So Mona, Emily, Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Sara left to investigate.

In a hideout not too far across town, we saw who we can assume to be Charles dragging Jason's limp body.

Cut to a small room where Alison woke up. She noticed the bars caging her in, and then the bodies of her father and brother on the floor.

The Liars at Carissimi HQ (c/o PLL Wiki)

Over at Carissimi headquarters, the girls were trying to enter a room with a security keypad. Mona suggested trying Mrs. DiLaurentis' birthday, but that didn't work. Sara piped up, telling the Liars about how her captor would bring her a red, white, and blue cupcake once a year. Only, it was never on the 4th of July, it was on September 7th. Spencer tried the code and the door opened. All the girls entered except Sara. When Emily questioned her, she claimed she was going to wait outside and the door quickly shut.

Inside the room, Mona powered up the machine in the middle of the room and a hologram appeared before the girls. It was a live feed, playing back exactly what Ali was experiencing at that very moment.

A very familiar voice told Alison, "Don't be so dramatic, Ali."

CeCe Drake reveAls herself as A (c/o PLL Wiki)
And then CeCe Drake turned around.

Ali wondered how CeCe could betray her after all she had done for her, but CeCe told Alison that she gave her a passport and a plane ticket, and that was pretty much it.

From there, we watched along with the Liars as CeCe Drake explained how she came to be A.

We flashbacked to a young Charles DiLaurentis. Alison was sad and crying, so Charles ran her a bath, because a bath always made him feel better. Then the story played out much as Kenneth DiLaurentis explained. Only, it didn't seem as sinister coming from CeCe. The whole thing seemed like a big misunderstanding.

But that didn't stop Jessica and Kenneth from dropping Charles DiLaurentis off at Radley, in a heartbreaking scene. I mean, the teddy bear? So sad.

Alison was confused, but CeCe went on to explain. Charles liked to wear dresses, and asked his mother for them often. He would model things from Jessica's closet. Jessica didn't mind, but when Kenneth found out? He was furious.

Charles DiLaurentis at Radley (c/o PLL Wiki)

So, Charles DiLaurentis went to Radley. Jessica and Aunt Carol visited, but Kenneth never did. Seven years went by. When Alison turned 12, Jessica bought her a yellow dress and bought an identical one for Charles. While playing dress up on the roof at Radley with Bethany Young, Marion Cavanaugh came up to the roof as well. Charles hid, afraid of what Marion would say if she caught him. Bethany claimed she would handle it, and proceeded to push Marion to her death. In an instant, Bethany turned on Charles, blaming him for the incident and calling him a freak.

Jessica paid off Wilden to make sure Marion's death was ruled a suicide. Charles was diagnosed with intermittant explosive disorder, which according to CeCe was a correct diagnosis for Bethany. She was put on all sorts of tranquilizers as a result. Eventually, the doctors realized their mistake, and Charles was let out for a funeral. Charles "died," and Charlotte was born in his place. Charlotte was excited that Jessica had accepted her as her daughter, but she still insisted she go back to Radley.

Just then, an alarm sounded, pulling the Liars back from CeCe's story to their present location. They watched a red coat walking, which confused the girls since they figured that Alison and CeCe were the only two red coats.

CeCe continued to explain more to Alison. Back at Radley, Charlotte poured herself into books as a way to escape. She was given permission to attend college classes. One day, she called in a bomb threat and went to Rosewood High. They were taking yearbook pictures, so Charlotte sat for one too. She met Jason, but didn't dare tell him that she was his sister. So, she made up the name CeCe Drake on the spot, and introduced herself.

CeCe Drake is born (c/o PLL Wiki)

Alison must have given her a weird look with that information, because CeCe quickly claimed that they never did anything at all. But it was the only way that she could be close to them. Before the trip to Cape May, her secret was found out by Jessica. CeCe hoped that Kenneth would accept her, but Jessica admitted that she told him Charles had died. CeCe was about to decline the invitation to vacation when Kenneth DiLaurentis introduced himself, completely unaware that CeCe was any relation to his family.

CeCe went on to explain what happened the night that Alison went missing. Jessica had a habit of buying Alison and CeCe matching clothes, so on the night Ali disappeared, she bought a matching yellow top for CeCe, who still lived at Radley. That night, Bethany stole CeCe's clothes and snuck out. CeCe was afraid Bethany was going after Jessica, so she snuck out in an attempt to help.

CeCe Drake/Charlotte DiLaurentis realizes her mistake (c/o PLL Wiki)

Thinking that she was hitting Bethany, CeCe accidentally hit Alison. That's why Jessica DiLaurentis looked so shocked. The Liars wonder who killed Bethany, when Mona admitted that she had been the one who hit her. Blinded by her rage against Alison, Mona hit Bethany with the shovel, then took off when she heard someone coming.

Mona admits her secret (c/o PLL Wiki)

Jessica buried Alison's body with CeCe just out of view. She called on Wilden to take CeCe back to Radley, and paid him with a huge envelope of cash. CeCe lost her privileges to leave Radley, but claimed that it was okay when the craziest girl showed up who told the best stories.

Mona.

While taking her meds at Radley, Mona thought CeCe was Alison, something she admitted to the girls after she got out. The red coat Mona thought she saw on Alison was actually CeCe in a red bath robe.

CeCe Drake as "Red Coat" in Radley (c/o PLL Wiki)

Through all the stories Mona told her, CeCe got to know the Liars. But she didn't like that they seemed happy that Alison was gone. CeCe could tell that Mona wasn't ready for the game to be over, so she propositioned that they play it together.

Then CeCe told Alison about seeing a blonde girl in a red coat watching the girls.

Alison.

CeCe told Ali that she had watched her mother bury her, but she still got the feeling that it was Alison. So, she put the Liars in danger in an attempt to draw Alison out of hiding. She used Sara Harvey as a decoy red coat the night of the Lodge Fire. Sara was supposed to keep Mona busy while CeCe trapped the girls. But Shana showed up and everything went wrong.

But the plan still worked.

CeCe knew that Alison was alive, so it was time to cool it with A and let Alison come home to her family. When the Liars killed Shana in New York, CeCe stopped acting as A. But the game had become so addicting, CeCe had to keep playing.

Alison called CeCe out for trying to strangle her in her home, but CeCe claimed that she only did that because she was afraid to lose Alison. She also claimed that she never really hurt anyone. But she did admit to killing Wilden. He had found out that Alison was alive and was going to expose everything.

CeCe then revealed to Alison and the Liars that she had to be sure that Wilden wouldn't hurt their family. So she had Sara Harvey dress up in the Black Widow outfit to make sure that he was really dead. CeCe looked up to the camera and apologized to Emily, just as the Liars realized what Sara's betrayal meant. Sara had never called Tanner, and it was likely she was the red coat they had seen on the camera.

Spencer quickly figured out that Sara was trying to do something to hurt the rest of them, and they needed to get out of the room. While Mona and Spencer got them out, CeCe continued talking to Alison.

Before leaving for New York, CeCe claimed that she went to visit Jessica, but found her dead. She hadn't been the one to kill her, but she did her best to bury her.

Emily, Hanna, Spencer, and Aria were just leaving the room when Hanna urged Mona to come with them. She told them that she had to hear how the story ended, but she'd catch up with the others. The girls hurried to Radley, searching for Sara.

Back in the room, CeCe went to press the button on her manual remote, but nothing happened.

Spencer had diffused the bomb, and Alison ran past them, informing them that CeCe was headed to the roof and she needed their help. Sara tried to make a break for it, but Hanna didn't let her. She told Emily that she had just been trying to keep her safe, but Emily knocked her out and the girls ran after Alison.

On the roof, the scene from the beginning of the episode played again. CeCe didn't jump, and claimed that it was Game Over.

In the next scene, the girls had met at Alison's house just as they were about to leave for college. They all shared a sentimental goodbye with Spencer quoting Winnie the Pooh, "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

After that, we flash forward five years to Alison, who is now a teacher. She's writing "Mrs. Rollins" on the board, just as Aria rushes in and says, "He's coming for you." Emily and Hanna rush in to say the same, followed by Spencer who says, "It's too late. He's already here."

Thoughts, Theories, and Random Facts

Since it's been so long since the episode aired, I went back to my Tumblr and found some of my initial thoughts on the episode. 

After it’s all over… Spoilers!

  • Sara Harvey certainly went from 0-60 and then on the floor really fast! Go Emily!!!
  • I like the fact that we finally got all the answers that we wanted, but I think that the last part where CeCe said Game Over could’ve been done a little bit differently. 
  • Definitely sad to see the Liars all go their separate ways, but glad it was all about the girls. No boys in sight! 
  • At the end, the girls rush to Alison who is now teaching, I’m guessing at Rosewood? She’s Mrs. Roll… something now, and they all come to warn her that he’s coming for her…  
  • He Who?
  • The girls see a flash of Sara Harvey at a grave… makes me wonder who? I know they’ve said that they all come back to Rosewood for a funeral. Could it be CeCe’s funeral? One of the parents?!?

And then... 

  • So… CeCe Drake is really Charles DiLaurentis and Sara Harvey is the other Red Coat. CeCe hit Alison. Mona hit Bethany. Melissa buried Bethany. 
  • Coming down to it, CeCe seems to be a little soft while Sara seems to be more of the crazy one. 
  • I like the feeling of closure that we’ve gotten from this, but what is Sara’s real deal? She seems like she’s a little bit crAzy. I feel like Claire was really telling the truth about her. She would take two things away for every one thing that she gave you. 
  • Aaaand Bethany Young… That was anti-climactic. 
  • If they wanted to, they could still pull a switch between CeCe and Bethany for the time jump. Like Bethany killed CeCe that night and took over for her. It would really be similar to the books though, it would be nice to see them do something new. 
  • Who is the “He” that is coming for Alison? 
  • Why do the girls come back to Rosewood?
When it comes down to it, CeCe Drake was always at the top of my suspect list. I know there was a huge backlash over the initial reveal and I kind of understand why. I mean, the main thing about following the show and coming up with theories is the idea that we can correctly guess A and his/her accomplices from the evidence we've been presented. I feel like there wasn't much suggesting that CeCe used to be a guy. I don't really think anyone had an issue with the transgender part of the storyline, it was the way it was executed at the last minute, with all the clues coming in 5B and 6A. That was a little disappointing.

After the Finale aired, Marlene went on to answer a few of the less obviously answered questions, and I thought it was pretty cool that she did that. I mean, she didn't really have to. But whoa, did she catch so much backlash for this reveal.

I can't really say that I hated the episode, because I did feel a good bit of closure from it, and excitement to see that little flash forward at the end. I am, however, curious to see where the story goes from here.

We know there's an Uber A, but we have no idea if they only start up in 6B, or if they were in charge the entire time and CeCe was working for him/her. There were a certain number of mysteries left hanging, which leaves me wondering if we can really believe everything CeCe said. Maybe she just took the fall for someone else? I'm sure that Jessica's death and a few other little tidbits will carry over, but I wonder if any clues exist from Seasons 1-6A about Uber A. Will we be starting from scratch in 6B?

It's kind of funny how we still have so many questions, even after the reveal of CeCe Drake/Charlotte DiLaurentis/Charles DiLaurentis as A. But I guess that's what makes PLL so much fun to watch. There's little end to all the theorizing!

I plan on tuning in for the premiere of 6B next week. Do you? I can't say that I have any hopes or expectations at this point. I've tried to steer clear of spoilers, photos, really any talk about the flash forward at all. Well, other than the special that aired in November. I can't say for sure at this point whether I'll be doing in-depth recaps or just posting my thoughts on the episodes from here on out. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I might get really into the mystery again and surprise myself. Who knows! I'd love to hear what you thought about this episode, or what you're thinking about 6B and the time jump in the comments!

-S

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Layering: Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop over KBShimmer Fleece Navidad

Something very magical happens when you layer a sparkly multichrome flaky glitter topper over a holographic polish with hidden shimmer...

KBShimmer Fleece Navidad & Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop

Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop over KBShimmer Fleece Navidad

Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop over KBShimmer Fleece Navidad

KBShimmer Fleece Navidad & Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
4 Coats KBShimmer Fleece Navidad
2 Coats Pahlish Gumdrop Rooftop
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

See what I mean? I want to apologize for my lack of a creative name here... Flaky Fleece? Gumdrop Navidad? Fleece Rooftop? Yeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh, no.

When I first put Fleece Navidad by KBShimmer onto my Christmas wishlist, I knew it was a gorgeous soft silver gray holo polish. But I had no idea that it also has a subtle shimmer that flashes blue to purple. I'm so glad that this bottle was included with my Secret Santa goodies!

Holographic glitter, subtle flashing shimmer... some people might stop there, but not me! No, I needed to add a little more shifting glittery fun to the mix. That's where Gumdrop Rooftop comes in. Square iridescent glitter, small iridescent flakes, and a flash that goes from gold to orange to red to fuchsia. So much shifting and sparkling going on!

-S

Monday, January 4, 2016

Top 15 Manicures of 2015

Where did 2015 go? It's so hard to believe that we're already saying bonjour to 2016! I don't know about you, but my feeds have been littered with all sorts of "top... favorite... and best of..." posts. Can I just confess for a minute that I can. not. get. enough!

I already posted about the Best Polishes of 2015. If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see my #bestnine. That one is actually cool because it consists of the nine photos you guys liked the best! I'm not sure if comments are counted in there or not? Either way, as soon as that collage was compiled, the wheels in my head started to turn. 

And it has been a little while since I did a f a v o r i t e s post... 

Favorite Manicures of 2015

You know, looking at this collage gives me a real sense of accomplishment! My techniques have definitely improved over the past year. And I think I'm slowly becoming more adventurous with my nails. I mean, I probably would've laughed at water spotting a year ago, but I tried it for one of my Manicures of Christmas and loved the way it turned out! 

In the past year, quite a few things have grown on me, like gradients, stamping, and accent manis to name a few. The saran wrap technique and Seriotypes were probably my two favorite discoveries of 2015. When it comes to my absolute favorites... layering manicures of any kind will always win. They're the jam to my jelly glitter sandwich. Another technique that will always hold a place in my heart. 

So, here they are, in order of their appearance on the collage, with links so you can get all the details! 

Water Spotting Glitter Gradient Skittle Mani

1. 12 Manicures of Christmas 012 // Sparkly Gumdrop Skittles
A little bit of layering, a little gradient, and my first time water spotting! I'm honestly in love with the finished effect of water spotting. It's only a little bit less messy than water marbling, though, so I've lost that as an excuse when it comes time for the annual water marble. O.o

Distressed Glitter Gradient Manicure

2. Fishbowl Friday 040 // Punk
This was a fun gradient that I really enjoyed wearing. I love the distressed look where the black and silver polishes meet. 

Seriotype Manicure

3. Fishbowl Friday 017 // Sponging
My first ever Seriotype manicure. I think my favorite thing about Seriotypes are the fact that each nail looks a little bit different. I'm still not crazy about that pinky, though! 

Pahlish Autumn People over SinfulShine Prosecco

4. Layering: Prosecco People
Between Autumn People and Gumdrop Rooftop, I've fallen hard for multichrome and ultrachrome flaky glitter toppers. Depending on your base color, the look of these gorgeous little flakes can change completely!

Flowery Pond Manicure

5. #31DC2015 014 // Flowers
My first pond manicure. Definitely not my last, but whoa! This technique takes a while!!! But the end result is gorgeous, so it's worth all those layers!

Watermelon Tourmaline Manicure

6. Fishbowl Friday 042 // Tourmaline
This is one of those manicures that was incredible to wear, but almost impossible to photograph! Which was such a shame, because it was gorgeous in person.

PLL Welcome to the Dollhouse Nails

7. Stamping: Pretty Little Liars Season 5
This was the manicure on my nails when Welcome to the Dollhouse aired. It was a great episode, but it definitely didn't answer too many questions. By the time the Season 6A Finale came around during the Summer, my brain was a little too exhausted for a PLL mani!

3 Color Gradient Manicure

8. Fishbowl Friday 028 // 3 Colors
This is another one of those distressed/bleeding gradients. Fantasy Fire really added a fun touch of shimmer to the tips, turning this seemingly 2 color gradient into a sneaky 3 color gradient.

Animal Print Tortoise Shell Nails

9. #31DC2015 013 // Animal Print
Tortoise shell nails in tortoise shell colors? Check! This was a really fun manicure from #31DC2015 that I was really sad to remove after wearing for only one day. But, that's the way of the challenge!

Seize the Sparkle's Signature Style Nails

10. Fishbowl Friday 030 // Signature Style
This was a fun mani that combined a whole lot of glitter and shimmer! Not a Seriotype, but a layering manicure that changed and transformed with each new coat of glitter.

Duochrome Layering Manicure

11. #31DC2015 006 // Violet
I ordered these two polishes just before #31DC2015 kicked off. As soon as they arrived, I knew I needed to wear them together and see how everything shifted. I couldn't stop moving my nails around and checking out all the flashes from different angles. Ah-mazing!

Galaxy Sponging Seriotype Manicure

12. Gilded Galaxies Seriotype
I've been itching to redo this manicure lately. There's definitely a galaxy vibe, but it also reminds me of the colors on an old desktop globe. And maybe a bowling ball. But mostly the globe! I think the contrast between all the different colors is my favorite thing about this Seriotype.

Nails Inspired by a Pinterest Pin

13. Fishbowl Friday 023 // Pinterest
This was a look I recreated from a manicure I pinned on Pinterest. There's something so clean and simple about accent manis that gets me every time. And you really can't go wrong with purple and gold nails!

Distressed Glitter Grunge Gradient Nails

14. Fishbowl Friday 014 // Rain
Yeah, it's not you. There's nothing particularly "rainy" about this manicure. It was more of a loose translation kind of Fishbowl Friday. We have those every now and then!

Rainbow Glitter Seriotype Nails

15. #31DC2015 009 // Rainbow Nails
If I had to pick a favorite collection of the year, I'd probably have to pick the OPI Colorpaints. So many awesome manicures were possible because of these polishes. This was a no-brainer for my favorites! Jelly polishes will always have a really big place in my polish loving heart!

It's been a lot of fun looking back through 2015 and picking out my favorites! And of course, while I've been doing that, I've also been thinking a lot about my goals for 2016! So, be on the lookout for a post featuring my 2016 resolutions coming soon!

Oh, and I apologize for being so radio silent here on the blog since Christmas. Peanut and I both had a lot of time off, so we really had a lot of time to play and got to enjoy the Holidays with family! I was totally planning on posting a Fishbowl Friday last week, and the time just got away from me. But fear not... Fishbowl Friday 059 is definitely happening this Friday!

Happy New Year!!!

-S
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