Sunday, September 29, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired by the Supernatural

I wasn't really looking forward to today's challenge, but figured that an alien from another planet that has a bunch of crazy powers probably qualifies as supernatural.

Superman is all about primary colors, and I threw in some kryptonite green as an accent nail. Definitely not my best work. Oh well. 

Happy Painting!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired by a Flag

So originally I thought this challenge might be kind of boring. That is, until I remembered that football teams have flags! As a true Wisconsinite, I of course had to honor my beloved Green Bay Packers.

You can see the flag these nails were based off of here.

I know we've had a bit of a rocky start this season, but Packer fans never lose hope. We own our team, we love our team. I mean, how can you not love Aaron Rodgers, or Jordy Nelson, or Clay Matthews?

We don't play this week, but I think I'll have to do these nails again next week for the game. Gotta support my team any way I can! Green and Gold forever! Now, where's my cheesehead...

Happy Painting!

Friday, September 27, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired By Art

I LOVED this challenge! It was so fun to paint paint again, and I found beautiful inspiration in this painting by Pol Ledent:

About 2 hours and a ton of polishes later, here was the result of my inspiration:

I used some sponging and a paint brush technique to replicate the style, and tried to break up different parts of the painting onto each nail.

I'm quite happy with the result. I think it was a pretty great interpretation, but I'm a bit biased. I did a lot of mixing of my polishes in order to get the right smoky colors, which is part of the reason this took so long. Also, I just really had fun painting like this, so I took my time to try to get everything as close to the original as I could. I really wish you could see these in person, as they look so awesome!

Thankfully I already did tomorrow's challenge earlier today, so I can keep these guys on over the weekend.

Alright, ready to see the ridiculous amount of polishes I used for this one?

Polishes used:
NYC In a Minute Sidewalkers
Essie Blue Rhapsody
China Glaze Bahemian Escape
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away
China Glaze First Mate
NYC French White Tip
China Glaze Kalahari Kiss
China Glaze Lemon Fizz
China Glaze Sun Worshipper
NYC Times Square Tangerine
China Glaze Peachy Keen
Sinful Colors Easy Going
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Cherry Red
China Glaze Street Chic
Bon Bons Black
My Golden Yellow Nail Art Pen
Seche Vite (top coat)

Happy Painting!

30 Day Challenge: Inspired by a Pattern

I've always enjoyed brick walls. I'm often doodling them or have them as the background on my laptop, so I figured this would be a great day to paint my nails like bricks.

It's a little hard to see, but I went in and sponged over the red with a deep reddish brown color to give it some more texture, which looks really cool in person.

Wobbly lines aside, I think this is a pretty fun design. I would definitely do more with the sponging next time.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired By Fashion

You guys, I was really looking forward to this challenge and feel like I bombed. I tried using sharpies over a base coat of polish because I thought I could get straighter lines and more details and it kind of backfired. On the plus side, that means that I'm getting better at painting straight lines. Silver linings, people, silver linings.

I dig the graphics and colors in this dress, and thought it could translate well as a nail design.

Yeah, not the greatest. Project Runway is on tonight, and all I'll be thinking is how disappointed Tim Gunn would be in these nails. It's okay though, he'd be disappointed in a very supportive way, because he's awesome like that.

...they look better from a distance, I guess.

Happy Painting!

31 Day Challenge: Inspired By a Book

Okay, so I'm catching up again. I had a rough day, so the two designs I did today (especially the fashion one) are not up to par. Oh well. This one is pretty cute.
I'm more of an article girl than a book girl, and I wanted to do something fun, so I went with Dr. Seuss.

Not too bad, I suppose. I used glue as my base today so pretty much five minutes after I took these pictures I peeled these guys off and went on to the next challenge. I already put away my polishes and don't really feel like getting them out again so no polish list tonight.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired By a Song

Well, we're going back to the 90's for this challenge. Remember that catchy song "Blue" from Eiffel 65? Well, let me remind you of some of the lyrics:

Yo listen up here's a story
About a little guy that lives in a blue world
And all day and all night and everything he sees
Is just blue like him inside and outside

Blue is his house with a blue little window
And a blue corvette
And everything is blue for him and himself
And everybody around
'cause he ain't got nobody to listen
I have a blue house with a blue window.
Blue is the colour of all that I wear.
Blue are the streets and all the trees are too.
I have a girlfriend and she is so blue.

Have fun trying to get that song out of your head!

Happy Painting!

30 Day Challenge: Inspired By a (wibbly wobbly) Color

Okay, I'm backtracking to catch up from the weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to post two of these challenges today.

When I saw the prompt for a color, of course my first thought was Tardis Blue. Doctor Who nails have been done before, but I thought I'd take my own little stab at them.

I could only fit "Police" and not "Box" but you get the idea. Aww, a cute little Tardis. Not too shabby for my first try. It doesn't look amazing when you see it this far up close, but trust me, from far away it looks pretty cool. But I'm really proud of how the rest of my DW inspired nails turned out:

Starting from left to right we have the BBC Doctor Who logo, the Silence, a Dalek, and a Bowtie, because bowties are cool.

Isn't the Dalek super cute?? And I think the blue I used for these nails is actually pretty close to the Tardis Blue, but maybe a smidge darker.

Polishes Used:

Pure Ice French Kiss
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Blue Me Away
Wet n Wild Metallica
China Glaze Concrete Catwalk
NYC Sidewalkers
Wet n Wild Red Red
Black and White Stripers

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 23, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Inspired By a Movie

I'm back! I know I missed two days, but I was so excited about today's prompt that I decided I'll go back and do color and song later this week. Although this design is inspired by my favorite song in my favorite feel good movie, Mary Poppins.

Sometimes when I'm feeling blue I'll watch this clip. It always makes me so very happy! Mary Poppins actually had a pretty profound impact on my life. It was the movie that inspired me to strive to be a filmmaker as an adult. It's a movie I only let myself watch once a year so that it never loses its magic and charm.

"What did I tell ya? There's the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it but the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps."

I must confess, to this day I have a bit of a crush on Bert. And chimney sweeps. And this still shot in general: 

So I tried to recreate this shot, but it was SUPER hard. I mean, for my first attempt to do something with this much tiny detail, I really can't complain. I don't know how some of you can get tiny details so perfect. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

The pictures today aren't really showing the colors well. There's actually a very nice purple/blue gradient for the background. So yeah, not my best work, but I had a really good time painting these.

Ever since I was a kid I would get really sad when the song Step In Time ends, and I think I'll feel similarly sad when I have to take this manicure off. 

Oh, and in fun news: I got a pedicure with my sister this weekend, and my pedicurist asked where I got my manicure done, so that was a really fun compliment to get :)

Polished used:
NYC Cashmere Creme
China Glaze First Mate
NYC In a Minute Battery Park Purple
Bon Bons Purple
Kiss Nail Art Striper Black

Happy Painting!

Friday, September 20, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Water Marbling

Ah, the dreaded water marble challenge. I've tried twice to do a water marble and both times failed epicly and gave up after one finger, so today was a huge success in comparison.

I'm calling this a half win half fail, since 5 turned out pretty well and 5 look pretty sad. But really, for my first real try where I didn't quit after 5 minutes, I'm pretty happy with how these look. Also, I'm really short on time today so I didn't fix my cuticles in post like I would have normally, so bear with me.

I like my middle finger and my pinky is pretty cool.

My thumb is definitely my favorite.

Close up of the three (oh, I guess 6 are good on second thought) that turned out well on this hand.

So there you go. I'm moderately happy with the end result. 

I'm about to leave in like 2 minutes to go visit my sister, so no list of polishes today, but I can put them up later if anyone wants to know what I used. I also probably won't be posting over the weekend, but hope to catch up quickly when I get back on Sunday.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Galaxy Nails

This was my first time ever doing galaxy nails, so I went with the traditional sponged look. It was really fun! As you'll see at the bottom of this post, I ended up using a TON of polishes. I'm pretty sure I didn't need that many, as it ended being about a fourth of what I own, but I pretty much went crazy with every shimmer polish I have.

Not bad for my first attempt. I really like how the orange/yellow one turned out. I certainly didn't need to use as many polishes as I did, but now I have a better idea of what looks best for whenever I try these again. I'll also be able to get through them a bit faster.

The glue protector took off the edges of my index and middle fingers, but otherwise I'm finally starting to get better at painting inside the lines. If anyone has tips for not flooding your cuticles other than, well, be careful, please let me know. I always appreciate advice.

Tomorrow is water marbling, which might be awful. The two times I've tried it have not been successful in the slightest. This could be interesting. But I do think I'm improving by doing these challenges, so perhaps it won't be as bad as I'm expecting. We shall see!

Polishes used:

NYC In a Minute Quick Dry (base)
Bon Bons Black
China Glaze First Mate
Petites French White
Bon Bons Yellow Shimmer
Bon Bons Pink Shimmer
Bon Bons Purple Shimmer
NYC Broadway Burgundy Frost
Essie Nothing Else Metals
OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI
Pure Ice Hot Tamale
Pure Ice Magic
CQ Rustic
NYC Cashmere Creme
Essie Blue Rhapsody
Pure Ice Calypso
China Glaze Shower Together
NYC Big Money Frost
Kiss Nail Art Striper Silver Glitter
Seche Vite (top coat)

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Half Moons

Okay, so a small disclaimer: I cheated for today's challenge. I only have two technical half moons as accent nails and I suppose they're a bit too large to actually be considered half moons, but awww look at the pumpkins!

As I mentioned previously, I told my roommate Ashley that I would give her a pumpkin manicure sometime this week. It was my first time ever painting pumpkins, but thankfully Ashley has such large, lovely nails that I had plenty of space to work with and was able to put in some nice detail.

Just to give you an idea of what great nails she has, the pumpkins are about the same size as one of my full fingernails. Crazy!

Fun fact: I won first place at the regional elementary school art contest in 3rd grade for a chalk pumpkin drawing I made. When I was younger I was an avid drawer and my grandfather, who is an incredible artist, was teaching me how to paint. I was actually quite good at both but for some reason stopped practicing freehand arts in high school, so I've lost a lot of my technique. I think that's why I enjoy nail art so much-it's helping me recover my natural love of paint.

Pictured: my incredibly oversized half moon pumpkin

I actually come from a long line of artists. As I mentioned, my grandfather is a painter, as well as two of my great uncles on both sides of my family, and my dad makes and paints model airplanes and he's amazing at it. The amount of detail and precision he has makes my nail art look like a toddler's drawing.

Still, I'm very happy with how these turned out. I had to mix two of my polishes to get the right orange, which actually gives it some natural shading which I really like.

So yes, I kind of cheated for today, but it was worth it. I love these nails, even though it took almost 3 hours to do prep, paint, and clean up (the glue as a cuticle protector did not work so well on Ashley's skin. It was a pain to try to get it off). Now that I've done them, I think I'll be able to cut the time in half whenever I do these next (and I will, because you cannot deny that these are cute and worth repeating).

Polishes used:
Sally Hansen Double Duty (base)
Sinful Colors Snow Me White
China Glaze Lemon Fizz
China Glaze Sun Worshiper
NYC Times Square Tangerine Cream
Double Art yellow striping/dotting pen
Sinful Colors Exotic Green
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lickety-Split Lime
China Glaze Street Chic
Seche Vite (top coat)

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Glitter

Okay, so you guys know I wasn't looking forward to today's challenge. I don't think I've worn glitter polish since I was in Junior High. I'm just not a glitter girl. And I decided to only paint one hand because of that. However, I was really pleasantly surprised with how much I liked today's design.

I also tried using glue today to prep my cuticles since I'm so sloppy and pretty much always flood my cuticles. It worked like a charm! My cuticles are in really bad shape, though, so they still don't look great, but once they're healthy again and I figure out a quicker way to apply the glue, I think I'm really going to cut down my clean up time. 

It's kind of hard to tell from the photo due to the mixed source lighting, but I used a very nice soft pink as the base. I've had this polish for a while but haven't actually used it until now. It looks kind of preppy with the other colors and the design, which I'm actually totally digging. It helps that the glitter polish I used is really dense and a single color. I may even use it again. Okay glitter fans, you've won me over this time.

Polishes used:
Sinful Colors Easy Going
Kiss Nail Art Paint Silver Glitter
Kiss Nail Art Paint Black
Finger Paints White

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 16, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Tribal

My roommate Ashley has been wanting me to paint her nails for a while, so last night I asked her if she wanted a tribal print. She said she though that would look cool on her feet, so I let her pick out the colors she liked, and this is what I came up with:

This was my second time ever trying out the tribal print. It's a lot harder than you'd think to try to get so many details on little toes. Actually, Ashley has really nice toes to work with.

I'll have to practice the tribal print more when the challenge is finished since I really like the designs I've seen for them so far. 

I'm starting to run out of both my regular polish remover and my pure acetone, so I'm trying to use as little of it as possible since I really can't afford more at the moment, which means I may fall behind a bit on the rest of the challenge. But, I did promise Ashley I'd give her a pumpkin manicure sometime soon, so I'm thinking that may end up being what I do for the half moons challenge.

Tomorrow is supposed to be glitter, and that makes me very sad. I don't want to waste a pedicure on glitter. Can someone please convince me that glitter designs can be something other than gaudy and girly?

Polishes used:
NYC Quick Dry Sidewalkers
Finger Paints White Striper
China Glaze Holly-Day

Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Delicate (Fall Dots)

I found my camera! So hopefully the pictures will be better from now on (I can see a small difference, at least). I originally had a different idea for today's challenge, but then I saw a cute little dot graphic and thought it would be fun to try to recreate with fall colors.

I was definitely a bit sloppy around my cuticles, but to be fair, I was really into the Packers game while trying to do this. Sometimes the commercial breaks aren't long enough.

I actually have smaller nails considering the length of my fingers, so it's difficult to appreciate just how tiny (or delicate) these dots are in these pictures. Trust me, this was some of my steadiest work.

See, aren't these pictures better? Ah, the wonders of macro. And I finally  remembered to add a watermark to my pictures. Now I feel like a legit blogger. Another friend told me after seeing these that I should start doing nail art as a side business, so I'm really starting to consider that option. We shall see!

Both of my roommates want me to paint their nails, so hopefully I can convince them to try the challenges coming up. Especially glitter, because I can't stand glitter.

Polishes used:

Sinful Colors Snow Me White
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Cherry Red
Pure Ice Magic
Pure Ice Hot Tamale
China Glaze Street Chic
Seche Vite Top Coat

Happy Painting!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Flowers

My good friend and recent roommate Kelly is visiting for the weekend. I noticed that she has lovely large nail beds and she was happy to let me paint her nails.

I had been browsing google for pictures of flowers to use as inspiration, I showed Kelly a few options and we both really liked this colorful dot design. It literally looks just like this. I think it turned out quite well!

I have to say, I think this might be my favorite or second favorite design of the challenge so far. It was pretty easy, since all I needed was a dotter, but it was time consuming. I think it took around an hour since there were a lot of colors and a lot of waiting around for colors to dry. 

Kelly seems to really like the end result as well. I like this so much that I think I may have to use it for myself after the challenge is over. Or maybe for the recreate a design day- that's the last day I think, right? I think the only thing I'd need to change is to apply a second coat of the base brown. 

Kelly is also trying to convince me to start a little business painting nails and doing makeup and other beauty related things. I'm pretty sure I can't do any of those things fast enough to be really successful, and I'm a bit sloppy yet, but it's something to consider. Getting paid to do something you love is the best, right?

Colors used:
China Glaze Street Chic
Sinful Colors Snow Me White
China Glaze Bahamain Escape
China Glaze Lemon Fizz
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Lickety-Split Lime
OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips
Seche Vite Top Coat

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this manicure. 

Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Animal Print - What Does the Fox Say?

I'm back to painting my nails after hearing back about my back. I have a few bulging discs, so that's a bummer, but right now I don't need surgery. I still shouldn't be doing a lot of bending so I think I'll have to put detailed pedicures on the back burner for a while longer. But, I am finally starting to feel better, so what better way to celebrate than doing a fun manicure?

I wasn't originally very excited for this challenge, since I'm not really into animal prints. I've seen a few non-traditional animal manis on pinterest like owls and pigs and cows, but I wanted to do something original for this one. And then it hit me: Foxes!

I've always liked foxes, and they've become more popular recently due in part to hipsters and the music video "The Fox." If you haven't already seen it, this song is all the rage right now, and was the inspiration for this manicure since it was stuck in my head:

It's a fantastically strange song! It makes me laugh so hard when they first start making noises. Now whenever I look at my nails all I think is "Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!"

They're certainly not perfect, but I think they're pretty cute! They look really great from a distance; you can hardly see any imperfections. I left off the whiskers on my other hand (I wasn't even going to attempt that with my non-dominant hand) and it still looks adorable. The design was relatively easy to paint as well. The pictures don't really do them justice. I need to start taking pictures with my actual camera instead of my phone, but I can never remember where my camera is. I'll get on that soon.

Polishes I used:

Pure Ice: Magic
NYC: Sidewalkers
Sinful Colors: Snow Me White
Bonnebell: Black
Topcoat- Seche Vite

So, what do you think? I'd love some feedback on these little guys.

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Noteworthy Nails 09.09.13

Hey there, internet. Well, today I was planning on doing the animal print design for the 30 day challenge, but as I mentioned in my last post, I'm suffering from a pretty bad back injury. I only got as far as filing my fingers and toes and then realized that even that was probably overdoing it. So, while I'm on a paint delay, I thought I'd try something new.

I'm a big fan of lists, discovering new blogs/designs, and giving people the props they deserve. So, every week (or so is the plan) I'll make a list of my favorite nail related posts from around the blogosphere. Let's get started!

Funniest Polish Pin:

The Little Mermaid and Polish

It's just oh so very true!

Favorite Pop Culture Design:

The Nailasaurus's "Paint All the Nails"

I love memes just as much as I love nail art, so this homage to Hyperbole and a Half wins me over.

Favorite Red Design:

Fashion Passion's cherry nails. You know I can't resist a good cherry print!

Favorite Orange Design:

I adore this Fall Pumpkin mani! I am certain I will try to recreate this soon.

Most Delicious Looking Design:

I wish I knew who to give credit for this pin, because this Granny Smith Apple manicure is totally adorable.

Best Tutorial:

This Lace Like design from has been a popular pin on my pinterest board lately. This is one of those designs that actually does look pretty easy to recreate, even for someone with unsteady hands like myself.

New Blogger to Follow:

Considering she was my first follower (thanks!) and is just starting her journey into nail art blogging, I must give a shout out to Bnasty Nails. It's great to find someone else that is also just getting started (or in my case, re-started) with this type of blog.

Favorite Florals/Stripes:

This is a two in one! I love this awesome design by Jax Nails. The colors are great and the stripes and flowers go surprisingly well together.

Favorite Pedicure:

I'm loving the colors in this Beautiful Floral design by...ameblo? I found this on pinterest and the site is in Japanese, so I apologize if that's the wrong name of the site.

Most Popular Post (of mine) on Pinterest:

Pinterest Inspired Flowers which currently has over 100 repins!

Favorite Non-Nail Art Pin of the Week:

Adam Scott breaks down the lyrics of Ice Ice Baby.

Well, that's it for this week. Let me know if you'd like me to continue with these types of posts and/or leave a comment with some of your favorite designs as of late.

Happy Painting!