Name: Briana

Age: 27

Hometown: Greater Seattle Area

Oh dear...I should keep this short... I love photography, nail polish (who would have guessed?), cooking and baking (hides bundt and cakelet pan collection), video games (PC & console), reading (insomnia pairs well with eBooks), MOVIES (yes, I insist on enthusiasm), organizing (I do this enough to consider it a hobby), and tormenting friends with said nail polish.

What do you when you're not doing hobbies?
Currently I'm a full-time university student pursuing dual bachelor of arts degrees and a minor, so that takes up most of my time. Periodically I do volunteer work in conjunction with my education. But I will admit to savoring time past the alarm with my face firmly planted against my pillow while snuggling my adorable pooch. Seriously, I get to look at this face everyday!

Why is your blog named Maniacal Manicures?
I've always loved whimsical names for nail polish blogs and liked the sound of repetition in the words. I associate maniacal laughter with an eccentric burst of laughter and excitement. Yes, traditionally it is associated with evil...but I prefer "mad with joy." In case anyone is interested, according to Merriam-Webster, "maniacal" is defined as:
1:  affected with or suggestive of madness <maniacal laughter>
2:  characterized by ungovernable excitement or frenzy :  frantic <a maniacal mob>
When did you become a nail polish addict?
There were two main phases:
  1. I finally was able to grow "long" nails in middle school and had an inappropriate love of neon and colors that weren't pink, red, or traditional "acceptable" colors. But by high school I seemed to stop for no reason in particular.
  2. Full submission to addiction began when I was looking online for tips on cuticle care and painting tips at about age twenty-two. Videos kept showing indie and boutique brand polishes that made my mouth drop. "I didn't know glitter even came in those colors. Nail stamping? What? Where has this been all of my life?!" So now we find ourselves here...in the land of every time I receive a package, housemates give me the "nine times out of ten it will be nail polish" look. Yet I am decidedly shameless! (Puts on multichrome-holo-flakie cape).
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I decided to start a blog because I wanted to participate in swatching and providing reviews, as well as speak to larger narratives that involve the nail polish community. I love reading other blogs and I find that few of the people in my immediate acquaintance are even passively interested in nail polish. So for me it is not only a way to contribute to something I love, but also an opportunity to connect with like-minded enthusiasts.

How many polishes do you own now?
Uh...that's a good question, one that I ask myself on a regular basis. My current inventory can be found here.

How often do you paint your nails?
On average 1-2 times per week depending on my workload, minus any swatching.

Are your nails real?
Yup! I've never had fake nails because I didn't want to be concerned about the maintenance/cost (irony, I know) and because I'm fortunate to have strong healthy nails regularly. I've had consistent gel manicures before from salons, but I no longer do so now for reasons I will post about later.

How do you maintain your cuticles?
When my cuticles start to grow in I use a cuticle remover gel once a week that breaks down the dead cuticle to be gently scraped away. I will provide a post with more detail in future.

Why does your skin tone look strange sometimes in swatches?
There a number of reasons this can happen;
  • If a polish color is neon, camera sensors have a hard time capturing it and it can cause a variation in color balance.
  • If a polish color has an undertone that doesn't compliment one's skin tone, it may affect the overall appearance of the image (See a casual reference here). I'll create a post with more in-depth and relevant information later. If you're interested in a read, check out color theory.
  • Lighting/Color balance/Viewing Monitor: I always attempt to take photos with the greatest accuracy of color, but this can vary by the lighting available (Sunlight is warmer than cool overcast, etc.); it can vary by the color- and white-balancing of the photo; and the monitor you're viewing may not be true-color, giving the appearance of tinting.
    • For example, my laptop has a blue-tinted screen (this horrified me when I discovered it while working on a Photoshop project). My phone's screen on the other hand is true colored. So for me, I have to work on Photoshop projects on a specialty screen to ensure color accuracy, but I work online on my laptop, yet have to view any photos on my phone. (When I buy a new desktop machine I swear to resolve this dichotomy...)

What are your favorite manicure and hand care products?
I'm always open to trying suggestions. At the moment I use Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover and have used it for about two years consistently. I cannot live without Vapid Nail Sauce (it is worth every penny, seriously...). Currently I have been using Vapid cuticle oil. I love Vapid Body Cream and it is a lifesaver without being greasy.

What is your favorite brand?
That's a virtually impossible question. (Peeks in Helmers.) Yes, that is a virtually impossible question.

What are your favorite topcoats and basecoats?
I'm always willing to try something new, but my current favorite topcoats are SuperChic Lacquer's Marvel Liquid Macro Top Coat, Vapid Lacquer's Get Your Shine On! quick dry topcoat and their Onward Through the Fog matte topcoat, and KBShimmer's Clearly On Top. My favorite basecoats are Zoya's Naked Manicure Naked Base, and Nailtiques Formula 2.

What do you use to rejuvenate thickening nail polish?
My favorite rejuvenator for polish that has thickened (or polish that is thicker than one's preference) is Zoya's Renew Nail Polish Rejuvenator. This works best for 5-free polishes. For polishes with Toluene (for example, topcoats that contain it) I recommend Seche Vite's Restore (which contains Toluene). Polish thickens because of evaporation of some ingredients and restorative products replace these missing ingredients.

Will you ever make your own nail polish?
While I'm happy to collaborate with creators, I am not interested in creating my own product line. I love to swatch and wear polish, but that is as far as I go. I love to cook too, but I will never be interested in becoming a chef by profession.

Can I buy polishes from you?
I periodically sell polishes I have purchased in Facebook destash groups such as NNR (Nearly No Rules Nail Polish Destash), but I do not have a designated or consistent place. I am considering starting a Facebook destash page, but I don't have enough inventory coming in or going to justify it at this time. I will update if this changes in future.

Can you review my polish line?
I love opportunities to work with makers! If you are interested in my work and would like to extend an opportunity to see if I am a potential fit for your brand, please contact me via email at maniacalmanicures@gmail.com. I reply within 48 hours or less.

Can I contact you privately?
Certainly! Send me an email at maniacalmanicures@gmail.com.

Didn't see your question answered here? Send me a message!