16 5 / 2012

My god is St. George ever a wonderful stamping polish! Base is 3 coats of Essie Turquoise and Caicos (grumble grumble), stamped with A-England St. George and Bundle Monster plate 210, then topped with a little free-handed silver striping brush action.

11 5 / 2012

The sun is out so I tried to capture how bright and shiny these glass fleck polishes are :) From Pinkie to Thumb: WetnWild, China Glaze Riveting, OPI Animal-istic, China Glaze 108 Degrees, OPI Congeniality Is My Middle Name. Stamped with Konad Special Polish in Black Pearl with BM plate 223.

07 5 / 2012

So this in my new fantastically weird manicure. It’s not actually random: you see, I love when people make crazy nail art based on unexpected inspirations. My inspiration is my favourite Kawaii teacup!

I recently discovered the blog Nail Nerd, and really loved not only her stunning hand painted nail art, but also her insistence that we try to push ourselves with our art in order to improve our skills over time. So I am going to try to do some crazy hand painted manicures every once in a while. Maybe one day they will be a little more complicated than just flying cupcakes.

For the base I used two coats of Sally Hansen Loyal Lavender. I used BM plate 213 and Konad special polish in white to make the starburst shapes. The rest of the design was done in acrylic paint. I used a regular artists liner brush, which I clipped to only a few long hairs in order to outline the cupcakes in black. Then I went back with a teensy detail brush and gently dabbed colour to fill the outlines. I used my dotting tool for the cherries and the blue, yellow and white flowers.

Using an object (or a print, fabric etc…) as inspiration is actually very freeing, you don’t have to spend time fussing over the colours you will use, and instead you can just focus on the design, and how you can achieve it.

03 5 / 2012

This is the first water marble manicure that I really like. Probably because I am a such a glitter-obsessed woman, and glitter polish doesn’t really work with the water marble technique, they have always fallen a bit flat to me. But this is fantastic! Instead of alternating different colours, I used black and a regular (slow dry) clear coat over 3 coats of China Glaze Liquid Crystal, from the prismatic collection.

Here is another angle to show the duochrome purple flash:

Those opens up a whole new world of glittery water marbles people! Think about the untried water marble glitter jelly sandwiches! Mmmm tasty :)

21 4 / 2012

My fingers are so girly and pretty today! I watched a whole bunch of one-stroke nail art tutorials on you-tube and just decided to go for it. It isn’t that hard, but it does take some practice, which is perfect for the plastic-bag nail decals, because you get the whole surface of the baggie to make as many flowers as you want till you get it right. I used dark violet and white acrylic paint for mine, with accents of Quo by Orly’s Celestial Star. I would suggest using a thick freezer bag if you try this, as I used the thin kind and they were a little tricky to peel off.

For this manicure I started with a base colour of SpaRitual’s Lucid, which is a slightly blue-tinged pale lilac creme. Then I added a coat of Icing’s Call Me Glitzy, a clear iridescent glitter top coat similar to China Glaze’s Snow Globe.

To apply the violet decals, gently pry them off the baggie with a pair of tweezers, some will rip, which is ok, because on some nails you will want only half a flower anyways. Smooth them over slightly tacky nails with a soft brush, and clean the excess off with acetone. I used little ripped petals to add the illusion of more flowers, by tucking them into the corners of the design.

I finished off the design by dabbing over the violet decals with some CND Sapphire Sparkle, painting tiny green leaves with various green polishes and purple dots with Essie’s No More Film. The violet centers are dotted with Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed. If you want, you could add a little crystal to the center of one flower on each hand for a sparkly accent nail. It is pretty amazing how well the clear coat edges of the decals blend into the background; once everything was covered with a coat of Seche, it was smooth and invisible.

You should try this! Having such complicated looking flowers, even on your dominant hand, is pretty exciting. It does take a little planning, but I just tested my leftover decals, and a few days later they are still pliable, so you can prep you decals in advance and pop one on your finger when the mood strikes.

19 4 / 2012

A sneak peak at my next nail art project. I made my own one-stroke nail art decals! Nail art to follow when my black and white mani start to chip (I can’t bear to take the acetone to them yet).

A sneak peak at my next nail art project. I made my own one-stroke nail art decals! Nail art to follow when my black and white mani start to chip (I can’t bear to take the acetone to them yet).

17 4 / 2012

OMG I love this manicure so much, please don’t ever ever chip!

If this looks familiar, it’s because I totally and completely copied this lovely tutorial over at Quite Polished. The only thing I changed was to add some blingy accent nails. I (sort of) followed a tutorial for individually placed hex glitter that Polish All The Nails is famous for… except I realized I was not going to have time to line them all up perfectly, so I relied on a silver base coat to hide my sloppiness. It really is very shiny anyways, and probably took half the time.

I used one coat (!!) of Essie Licorice for my black nails, and also the black dots. I hate the look of chalky nails, so I used 3 coats of Essie Marshmallow for the white, it is softer somehow. Marshmallow is too sheer for dotting, so I used my cheapo Claire’s white for that. The grey was 2 coats of Orly Color Blast Reflection.

13 4 / 2012

This manicure is based on the unique colour palette Solarized, which was developed to be a low contrast, easy on they eyes, 16 colour set for coders. Mr. Test Tube Nails was trying it out the other day and it struck me as really modern and cool. It is hard to tell, but the base colour is actually a very dark teal, which is actually the darkest of the 8 greyscale type shades in Solarized.

To make the crisp lines, I followed the latest tutorial from the Beauty Department for DIY Nail stickers. Basically, you just paint some scotch tape with your polish, and when it is very dry, carefully cut thin strips and stick them on your nails. Easy, and super fun! I just kept adding strips of colour till I felt done, and then plastered everything over with a coat of Seche Vite. This mani is also a nerdy visual pun, as the colours were designed for lines of code, and I have made them into lines on my nails.

Colours used (and their HTML tags):

Yellow(#b58900): NYX Banana

Orange(#cb4b16): Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed

Red(#dc322f): NYX Strawberry Red

Magenta(#d33682): Essence Ultimate Pink

Violet(#6c71c4): ACO (Ardene’s) Violet

Blue(#268bd2): Essence Let’s Get Lost

Cyan(#2aa198): Quo Green Meadow

Green(#859900): Essence Lime Up!

Light Grey(#586e75): Orly Color Blast Reflection

Dark Teal (#073642): Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam (worst named polish in the history of universe, which I am ashamed of owning, except for the fact that it’s a super gorgeous one coater)

PS: I never ever never do nail art on my toe nails as they are too hard to reach… because of my long model like legs, yeah that’s why I can’t reach them…. but anyhoo, I think these homemade nail stickers would be great for quick cute pedicure art, without all the bending over and swearing at your midsection or whatever. I must try this with all my leftover cuttings!

12 4 / 2012

My nails today, inspired by the most awesome rose nail art ever over at Emerald Sparkled, and the flakie sponging technique I first saw on Pshiiit. Also maybe the Snow White themed everything soaked into my subconscious.

For my sponged nails, I used Essie Wicked as a base coat, and then sponged from the tips upwards with a teensy bit of Nfu Oh 51 and China Glaze Ruby Pumps. It is super fiery and vampy and sparkly in person.

Under the roses, I started with a base of OPI’s Designer De Better, which is a silvery foil with subtle rosy undertones that go very well with the other colours in this mani. I just blobbed on some rose shapes with a basic red, then used my dotting tools and a black striper brush to make the black outlines and add some different red polish highlights.

05 4 / 2012

I live in Victoria BC, which has pretty much the mildest, most pleasant weather in all of Canada. We can get pretty obnoxious about it. Our city has many many streets lined with pink blossoming cherry trees, and its common to hear people bragging that we are shoveling petals while other poor schmucks are still shoveling snow. I know… bastards. But they are very pretty, and one of the things I love most about spring here. And petals really do swirl like drifts down the streets in April. They inspired this frankenpolish. I wanted something cherry petal pink, sparkly with little flakies to mimic the fallen petals, in a sheer jelly base.

I didn’t do a proper swatch, but I did use it to make a very pretty cherry blossom inspired manicure (please ignore the tip wear, this mani is 2 days in the lab old):

I used 3 coats of Petal Drift on my pointer and middle fingers, and there was still a hint of visible nail line. It was hard to capture the flakies on the nail. They are there, and they give a little extra flash of pink shine. My thumb is a different polish, a bright fuchsia from Essence, with China Glaze Fairy Dust on top.

Here are the ingredients for Petal Drift:

I filled an empty bottle with: 1/4 bottle of WetnWild Wild Shine “Sparked”, a pink glitter, 1/4 bottle Sally Hansen X-treme wear “Disco Ball”, an iridescent clear glitter, 1 tsp of Red Flakies from TKB trading, about 15 drops of WetnWild megalast “Tropicalia” pink. Just for glitter variety, I added about 20 drops of OPI Excuse Moi, but I could have left that out and it would still be pretty similar. I topped it up to the top of the bottle with Luster Base from TKB trading. There seems to be enough of the two glitter polish bases that everything stays suspended.

I had originally planned to use some large raspberry hex glitter from the same manufacturer as the emerald glitter I used in my last franken. Let this be a lesson that you should never trust an untested glitter, even if another one from the same company worked last time (test is at 24 hours):

The colour started bleeding off these, and leaving trails of pigment, as soon as I dropped them into the test container. I briefly shook up the container, and you can see there is enough pigment now in the test base to coat the glass with pink. Recollections brand Raspberry hex glitter is NOT colour fast in nail polish! Its cousin, the Emerald glitter, is still green after 5 days in its test pot.