Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Minty Stripes and Dots

Sorry it's been a while! I've been so busy with school and the holidays I forgot to post. I can't believe it's December already -- where does the time go?

Anyway, today I have some cute nail art for you. I don't really know what to call it though. Stripes and dots?

I started with a base of China Glaze Highlight of My Summer, a bright mint green. I used a striper brush and OPI Alpine Snow to freehand the crisscrossing stripes. Then I used a dotting tool to add pink dots with Essie The Girls Are Out. Pretty simple!

I think it's really cute! I like the color contrast.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lime Crime Pastel Dot Gradient

I finally got around to purchasing the Lime Crime Les Desserts d'Antoinette collection, and I couldn't be happier with it. These bright pastels just beg to be used together in nail art, and they're really opaque! Even usually tricky shades like yellow are pretty good.

I decided a dot gradient manicure would be an easy way to include a bunch of colors, so that's what I did! For this manicure, I used the whole collection: The base is Milky Ways (nude), and the dots are Peaches <3 Cream (orange), Crema de Limon (yellow), Pastelchio (green), Once in a Blue Mousse (blue), Lavendairy (purple), and Parfait Day (pink).

I started with a base of Milky Ways, then I used a dotting tool to add dots in all of the other colors that climb about halfway up the nail. It's really easy; you just have to be patient and not smear the colors.

I am literally in love with these polishes. They're so pretty, and the formula is great.

I'll definitely be working with these colors again soon!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Matte/Glossy Skittles

I've been wanting to try a matte/glossy look for a while, but I never seem to have the patience. Since I usually use a fast-drying top coat, waiting for my polish to dry on its own just seems so long! But I finally decided to give it a go.

I started with a base of Essie Stylenomics, which is a dark, almost black green. It looks especially black when mattified, but I swear it's green! It's a great polish and covered in one coat.

I then mattified all of my nails using Essie's Matte About You. I used a nail art brush and Seche Vite to add the glossy details.

Matte/glossy nail art is super easy and looks super cool! I'll definitely by trying this again.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013: Starfire Nail Art

Happy Halloween! I was going to post a Halloween-themed manicure today, but my Macbook's SD card drive has decided not to work and thus the pictures are now trapped in a weird limbo. I'll show that to you as soon as I solve that problem, but in the meantime, I have the nail art I'm wearing to go with my costume for this year! So it's still Halloween themed. Sorta.

Anyway, this year, I'm being Starfire! She's an alien princess superhero from the DC universe. She appears in the comics, but my costume is based on the popular cartoon, Teen Titans (not her comic book counterparts - those costumes show WAY too much skin for me!). I was/am obsessed with that show, and this year, my friend and I decided to dress up as characters from the cartoon. She's being Raven. We made our costumes by hand, which in retrospect was an insane idea. I can hardly sew, but I managed to create Starfire's entire outfit by hand! I haven't had a chance to take a lot of pictures yet (which is why I wanted to post this manicure later), but you can get the gist of the costume from the picture I've included at the end of the post.

Okay, so after that long introduction, here's the nail art! Starfire's powers include shooting bright green starbolts from her hands, so I did a manicure that was mostly a bright green. I also wanted to give a nod to her alien heritage by adding some futuristic detailing.

I started with a base of China Glaze in White on White so the neon would really pop. I layered China Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard over that, which is a great, shimmery neon green. Then I added a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust for some tiny holographic sparkles. I let all of that dry, and then used a striper brush and Sephora by OPI Queen of Everything to freehand the striped pattern. I added purple rhinestones for a pop of contrast (and to match the purple of her outfit).

I'm pretty pleased with how these came out. They're super bright, and my freehanding skills are definitely improving. Even my right hand doesn't look bad!

Here's my costume! Starfire has really bright green eyes, so I used makeup to show that. I really wanted to use colored contacts, but sadly, my eyesight is absolutely awful so buying a pair of green contacts in my prescription would have been too expensive to justify. But I'm really proud of myself! I think the costume came out really well (especially since this is the first time I've attempted to make any sort of clothing). I also have really long boot covers on my legs, but you can't see those here. But trust me, the whole effect is really great.

I hope you all have a really awesome Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black and Yellow Skittles

As you may or may not know, I go to college in the great steel town of Pittsburgh, PA. It's definitely an interesting place to live, and I have to say, I did miss it while I was abroad. And today's nails are unintentionally Pittsburgh colored skittles!

I started by painting all of my nails (except my ring fingers) with a base of Sun Kissed by China Glaze, a neon yellow. I used Liquid Leather by China Glaze for my ring fingers, then topped that with two coats of Humblebee by Ninja Polish. 

I used a makeup sponge for the gradient, a dotting tool on my pinky, and freehanded the stripes and flower.

Pittsburgh's sports culture is borderline obsessive - everyone here really loves their Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates (I personally am not a fan of their teams, but I digress). All of the teams share the same color scheme of black and yellow. Although I originally based my color scheme on the colors in Humblebee, my friends all commented about the Pittsburgh colors!

I have to say, I'm gonna miss this city when I graduate. And I do love the contrast of black and yellow.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blue Gold Gradient

Gradients are my go-to nail art when I feel like I'm in a rut. This time, I went for the classic color combo of blue and gold.

I started with a base of Bluey by Butter London, a shimmering deep blue. I let that dry, then used a makeup sponge and Goldeneye by OPI to create the gold gradient.

I can't say enough good things about Goldeneye - it's definitely becoming one of my favorite polishes!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy Hands: Reptar's Revenge

I've gotta say, we had some really awesome cartoons in the '90s. I'm especially partial to Rugrats, so I was pretty excited when I saw this limited edition polish by Happy Hands. It's called Reptar's Revenge, named for the green dinosaur that the babies in Rugrats were so fond of.

I like my polishes to be opaque, so I layered this glitter jelly over Mojito Madness by Essie.

Reptar's Revenge is a murky green jelly base filled with purple, yellow, and turquoise glitter in circles and hexes. I used two coats and had no problems getting the larger glitters to come out.

I love this polish on its own, but the name really makes it for me! You can purchase Happy Hands nail polish from their store, where they currently have some other collections inspired by great stuff, like Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Purple Waterfall Stripes

The Nailasaurus has been doing some super cool things with what she calls waterfall stripes - and I decided to imitate her fabulous idea! Surprisingly, this mani is super easy to do.

I started by painting my nails with a base of Essie Bond With Whomever, a lavender creme. The formula was actually a bit runny for my taste.

After that, I took a striper brush and painted on some random, messy stripes of Essie Sexy Divide, a deep purple shimmer. I let that dry, then I added some stripes of Sephora by OPI in Queen of Everything.

Speaking of Sephora by OPI, I got really sad when I found out that Sephora was discontinuing that whole line in favor of something new, so I bought two back ups of Queen of Everything! It's literally the perfect silver; I am totally not being crazy. It's one of the first polishes I bought, actually - I got it to go with my junior prom dress, haha! Seems like so long ago.

But anyway, that's all it takes to make this gorgeous mani! Just some freehanded, messy stripes :) I'll definitely be doing this design again.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Glitter Daze: Rainbow Bridge

Sometimes, you see a swatch of a polish and you just have to have it. That's how I felt when I saw a swatch of Rainbow Bridge by Glitter Daze.

Rainbow Bridge is a gorgeous, dense multi colored glitter in a clear base. There are all kinds of shapes - hexes, circles, even stars. But not only is this polish fabulous, it's for a very good cause. This polish (and another called Browny Bear) were made in memory of the creator's dog, Browny, who passed away unexpectedly from cancer. All proceeds from those two polishes go to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. As a staunch animal lover (and a dog owner myself), I can definitely get behind that cause.

I layered just one gloriously dense coat over China Glaze Midtown Magic, a shimmering deep brown.

I am literally in love with this polish. Funny story actually - I really wanted to buy both this and Browny Bear, but I was pretty broke so I just bought one. When my polish came in the mail, there were two polishes - Rainbow Bridge and Browny Bear! There was a mix up with the packaging, and when I emailed the owner about it, she was kind enough to let me keep the second polish free of charge :) So gorgeous polishes and great customer service!

You can purchase Glitter Daze polishes from their website.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Purple Layers

I recently picked up a few new Essie colors, and I wanted to try them out. So I combined some colors into this!

I started with a base of Essie Mochacino, a shimmery taupe. I freehanded some purple ovally shapes with Sexy Divide, a deep purple. I let that dry, than added another ovally shape in that one using Bond With Whomever, a lavender creme.

It was easy enough to do. I'm not sure if I'm sold on the color combo, but oh well. I think if I do this again, I'd use four colors instead of three.

Oh well, not every nail art design is a hit! Sometimes, they're just okay.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hare Polish: Own Your Opulence

My undying love for HARE Polish continues: Today I have a polish from The Last Queen of France Collection. It's called Own Your Opulence.

Own Your Opulence is a gorgeous glitter topper. It's a combination of black, gold, gray, and nude glitters with golden shimmer.

I layered just one coat over Sephora by OPI Happy Earth Day to Me, a deep olive green shimmer. As usual, the HARE Polish was loaded with glitter.

HARE Polish is definitely my favorite indie polish brand. I just love everything Nikole creates!

You can purchase HARE from their Etsy shop.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elevation Polish: Haba Xueshan

I've seen so many cool Elevation Polishes around on different blogs, but I never had the chance to get any myself. They only restock on certain days, and I just kept forgetting! But finally, I forced myself to remember when their restock was, and I snagged a few of these beauties. Today, I have my favorite of the bunch - Haba Xueshan.

Haba Xueshan is a mix of all kind of black and white glitter, accented by the addition of mint green circle glitter. The combination is just stunning.

I decided to layer it over something that would be a good contrast to the mint, so I went with China Glaze Son of a Peach.

Haba Xueshan is extremely dense - this is just one coat!

I'm pretty much in love with this polish, and I can't wait to get my hands on more Elevation Polishes.

Elevation Polish can be purchased here, and they restock on the 7th and 22nd of every month.