December 23, 2014

ALL the Christmas Nail Arts!!!

I spent a lot of time this month NOT painting my nails.  But there were TONS of Christmas-themed nail art designs that I wanted to try out, so I decided to do ALL of them on my nails at once! :D

I used ALL the colors for this, and rather than describe them in order of appearance, I'll just list them all at the bottom of this post (which is going to be pretty photo-heavy).

Here's my left hand:

And my left thumb, because I was too proud of it to only show it at the horrible angle above:


I took inspiration from a few different sources for this nail art.  The Christmas tree and Santa coat are from this awesome nail art compliation off of  The Santa corset was inspired by Instagram user arita888.

On my right hand:

Okay, this did not go as I had planned.  The Santa hat (also inspired by the FabArtDIY list) turned out awesome, but my cable knit sweaters... Not so much.  I got the idea from this image, and found this YouTube tutorial on how to do it with gel polish.  What I actually used was 3D fabric paint on top of one coat of normal polish, then one coat of polish on top of that.  I think the technique was good, but the execution was ah... less than good.  It ended up looking far less delicate and much more messy than I'd been hoping.

And then, since I used my glue basecoat, my pointer finger design ended up falling off very quickly.  So I redid it with a different pattern:

This one turned out messy too, because I'm not so great at stamping.  It was perfect in my head: red, green, and silver snowflakes stamped over white and then matte-d for wrapping paper, and then a very sparkly purple ribbon.  The overall design was inspired by Instagram user anas_manis.

By the way - do you recognize the pattern on my left ring finger?  Like, REALLY recognize it?  I did that same design on my nails last Christmas!  Here's the original, complete with my super-short, pre-Biotin nails:

I loved this design so much that I decided to redo it this year.  It's a simple enough design that there isn't too much obvious skill improvement between the years, but it's always nice to have a visual reminder of how much nicer my nails are now. :)

Aaaand I absolutely adore my tiny little Christmas tree, so I decided to show off my nails in front of it. :D


This nail art took me a whomping three and a half hours and 18 nail polishes.  WOW.  But it was tons of fun, and I watched such Christmas classics as The Muppets Christmas Carol and American Horror Story while doing this! ;) 

Sigh.  My right thumb, middle, AND ring finger nail designs all fell off too, so I had to redo them!  I liked the Santa hat so much that I kept that design, but I decided against redoing the sweater designs and instead chose two more Christmasy patterns: a Santa face and a penguin!


 The Santa face turned out pretty nicely, though his eyes smeared a little when I put on my top coat.  And sorry about my messy cuticles - I was too excited to take these last two pictures to bother waiting until my cuticles were clean!

This penguin...  Poor little guy.  His right eye was a little bit lopsided, so I tried to even it out by making it a little bigger.  But instead, my hand slipped and now he's a mutant penguin with two and a half eyes.  I can't stop laughing every time I look at him. :) :(

Which design is your favorite?  Is there another Christmas/winter design that you love doing?  Let me know in the comments!  And Merry Christmas Eve :D 

As promised, here's a list of everything that I used for this:
Zoya Trixie
China Glaze Innocence
China Glaze White on White
Sally Hansen CSM Red My Lips
Sally Hansen White striper
Twisted Colors All Spruced Up
Zoya Nyssa
Zoya Ziv
OPI How Great Is Your Dane
OPI An Affair In Red Square
Essie Bikini So Teeny
Nicole by OPI Heavenly Angel
Heather's Hues Santa Baby
Finger Paints Ch-Art-Coal Black
China Glaze Fairy Dust
Spoiled by Wet n Wild Green to be Heard
Julep Bunny
Zoya Haven
Zoya Posh
Nina Ultra Pro Black
Finger Paints Master Muse
Cheeky Beauty Jumbo Plate 10
Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint in White
ULTA Sweet&Shimmer studs

Tossback Tuesday Nail Art

I'm making Tossback Tuesday a thing because I didn't want to wait for Throwback Thursday for this post!

If you've read my bio, you'll know that I got in to nail art in December of 2013.  It actually all started with a snowman.

As I was browsing reddit one day last December, I stumbled upon the nail polish community, which is called Reddit Laqueristas ("the C was sold to pay for polish").  There, I saw all sorts of adorable winter and Christmas themed manicures: penguins, presents, Santas, Christmas trees... and snowmen.  Lots of snowmen.  I decided to try my hand at one little snowman, though I didn't have any orange nail polish for the carrot nose.  And I was so not going to buy an orange polish just for one tiny detail in one manicure!

I also didn't have any nail art tools, except for some trusty orangewood sticks.  So that's what I used for the snowman's smaller features!  The body itself I painted on by wiping off most of the polish from the brush.

He's wibbly, but I was (and still am) very proud of him!  At this point in time, my nails were breaking like crazy from simple tasks like zipping my pants and carrying groceries inside.  So I had to keep them short.  (Though this was still fairly long for my nails, because I played the viola for 11 years and had to keep my nails SUPER short for that.)

Now, one year later, I decided to recreate the snowman in order to show off my progession!

The polishes that I used are all the same - Essie Bikini So Teeny with a coat of Maybelline Blue Marks The Spot on top - but the differences in white balance make them look very different.  And okay, my snowman is still a little bit wibbly, but I don't care!  Last year's snowmani (:D) took me close to two hours, and this year it was only about 45 minutes from basecoat to topcoat.  Now THAT'S an improvement!  

This year, I had an orange polish - ORLY Ablaze - for a carrot nose (and in the past few months, I have bought plenty of polishes with only one design in mind).  I also nixed one polish - Nicole by OPI Heavenly Angel - because I thought that looked a little bit too busy.  (But don't worry, you'll see those flakes used in a winter mani very soon!)

A little bit closer up on the snowman.

I'm very proud of my improvement - in nail art, in the length of my nails, in shaping my nails, and in the size of my nail polish collection.  In one year, I've jumped from owning 15 to 137 bottles of nail polish.  WOW.

Have you ever recreated your own nail art to see how your skills had increased?  How did it go?  Let me know in the comments!

December 22, 2014

Heather's Hues: Santa Baby

Indie polish maker Heather's Hues ran a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway from December 1-12.  Each day had a bunch of different prizes from a few different sponsors.  And I won the first day!  Yay!!!

I got 4 full-sized polishes and 1 mini polish from a few different indies, as well as some gift card codes.  I'll swatch the rest of the polishes that I got sometime soon, but I really wanted to show you the one from Heather's Hues herself now because it's Christmas themed!

Heather's Hues: Santa Baby

Santa Baby is a super fun red jelly loaded with glitters.  The glitters spread on really smoothly, which is awesome.  There are several different sizes of glitter, and they're the perfect size for my taste!  Glitters bigger than this don't really spread very well, which makes the polish harder to work with.  This one is quite smooth and I really like the distribution of glitter.

(For whatever reason, my camera SUPER oversaturates red polishes.  I actually had to desaturate this one a little to prevent it from looking like my nails were bleeding!)

Two coats yielded full coverage, but I used three for more layers of glitter.  (As always!)

This is a really great polish to add to your Christmas collection, though it could easily be used in any red-themed mani.  (I can see myself using this for a Valentine's Day mani!)

dat macro tho.

Santa Baby is so far my only Heather's Hues polish, but I'm definitely adding this brand to my list of indies to try more from!  Do you have any Heather's Hues?  What are your other favorite indie polishes?  Let me know in the comments!

December 21, 2014

Twisted Colors: Christmas polishes!

When I really like something, I have a hard time talking about it without sounding like a) I've been paid to advertise for it or b) I don't care about anything else.  So before I start this post, I wanted to say that I have not been paid to write this and that I do, in fact, really like other indie brands.

Twisted Colors is the very first indie brand that I tried.  I was immediately in love.  (See my first review of TC polishes here - one of my first posts!)  My first purchase was the Houses and Horcruxes collection, and then I waited (im)patiently for the We'll Take the Lot collection.  And, most recently, I purchased two of TC's Christmas polishes: All Spruced Up and Star of Wonder.

I was originally planning on buying Elf Vomit, as Denise had posted several pictures of it on her Facebook page and I was really digging it.  But I also really liked All Spruced up and Star of Wonder when I went to her shop, so I decided to go with those two instead.  Naturally I'd have loved to buy all three of them, especially with the Black Friday sale, but I'd just gotten some birthday money and wanted to spread it out.  After all, there were bunches of other Black Friday sales that I wanted to check out!

Then, to my surprise, Elf Vomit was in my package when it arrived!  Denise noticed how much I liked it on Facebook and was generous enough to throw it in when she saw that I didn't buy it.  It seriously brought a tear to my eye, I was so surprised and happy!

So without further ado, here are swatches of three of Twisted Colors' Christmas-themed polishes.

Star of Wonder

I was super surprised by Star of Wonder!  The photos on the website really don't to the holographic glitters justice.  This is much, much more reflective than it looks online - which is awesome!

Out of focus to show its true holographic beauty.

As usual with Twisted Colors, this is a glitter bomb.  Matte navy blue glitters, holographic navy blue glitters, and tiny holographic silver glitters all complement each other very nicely in a clear base.  It applies quite smoothly for a glitter bomb.  I had to do a little bit of dabbing, but for the most part this one spread nicely on the nail.

I have three coats over my bare nail, and two coats each on top of silver, navy blue, and white (Sally Hansen CSM Hi Ho Silver, Zoya Ryan, and China Glaze White on White).

All Spruced Up 

Holy crap, my nails are Christmas trees!!

All Spruced Up is super fun.  It's a little bit hard to work with, especially if you want a lot of the red circles and gold stars.  What I ended up doing was placing the bottle upside down for about 10 minutes before using it, then fishing the brush around for the larger glitters.  It was especially helpful to wipe most of the polish off of the brush, then catch a big red circle from inside the bottle neck.


I have three coats on my bare nail, then two coats each over green, silver, and white (Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Green to Be Heard, Hi Ho Silver, White on White).

Just... I just... wow!  Look at how packed with glitter that is, after only two coats!!  Super, super, super fun.

Elf Vomit 

Oh man.

I am just ridiculously happy that Denise threw this in for me.  It's so, so, so festive!  Like Alas, Earwax from We'll Take The Lot, the glitters have a tendency to spread across the nail with the brush - so I had to do a bit of dabbing to get even glitter coverage.

I have three coats over my bare nail, then two coats each over red, silver, and green (Sally Hansen CSM Red My Lips, Hi Ho Silver, Green To Be Heard).  It's worth noting that it looks much better over red in person.  For whatever reason, my camera over-saturates red REALLY badly, which is really frustrating. 

Awesome, isn't it?  The perfect polish to add to your Christmas manicure for some fun, easy, festive bling!

What are your favorite Christmas-themed polishes?  Do you think I should be Twisted Colors' Official Spokesperson? ;) Let me know in the comments!

December 20, 2014

Some Zoya Christmas Art

Zoya Ziv may be from a two year old Christmas collection, but I got it this October because she's such a gorgeous, stunning gold that I don't think she could ever go out of style.  Even if she did, you should know by now that I wouldn't give a darn - I like colors when I like them and I don't care who tells me whether it's In or not!

When Zoya put four collections on sale back in mid-November - Naturel, Naturel 2, Ignite, and Entice were BOGO - my mom picked out three shades and was kind enough to let me pick out a fourth!  I picked Chantal, because all of my nude colors have a rose-y base, and I wanted a more neutral, cream-y nude.

Zoya Ornate: Ziv

Ziv is a beautiful warm, yellow-toned metallic polish.  She's packed full of reflective microglitters, but the glitters are so small that it doesn't feel like a glitter polish.  Yet the microglitter is substantial enough to really stand out from other metallic polishes that I've worn.  It's just... wow.


One of the best parts about Ziv?  She's a mythical One-Coat Wonder!  I used two coats, but it was really only out of habit.  After painting the second coat on two or three nails, I looked at the nails with only one coat on them and realized that there wasn't a difference!  How magical.

Sometimes when I swatch polishes, I take tons of photos because I can't seem to get the focus or the lighting or the alignment of my fingers right.  This time, I took tons of extra pictures because Ziv is just SO stunning.  So feast your eyes on four out of, like, 25 pictures that I took.

I also decided to matte-ify Ziv.  It still looked nice, but I am definitely way happier with keeping her glossy. 

Zoya Naturel: Chantal

Chantal is a very lovely nude creme.  She's actually quite close to my perfect nude!

It photographed a bit... I'm not sure... more peach-y than it is in person?  It just looks oversaturated on the screen.  I couldn't quite figure out how to show it more accurately, but this is quite close.

Chantal has a good formula, but it's not as smooth as is typical of Zoya.  It's a bit streaky, and thinner than usual as well.  The streaks evened out pretty nicely on the second coat, and a topcoat evened them out even more.  Definitely a solid addition to your collection if you're in to nudes!

Let's Make Some Art!

Ziv just happens to match a tank top of mine perfectly - one of those amazing wardrobe-to-nail coordinations that I didn't even plan.  Naturally, upon realizing how perfect the match was, I decided that I just had to do my nails to match the outfit.  That's another reason I picked Chantal - it's not a perfect match for the sweater that I like to wear with the gold tank top, but it's very close.

And, since Ziv is from a Christmas (well, Holiday) collection and since I really only wear the gold tank top during Christmas, I decided to make this a delicate Christmasish manicure by throwing in Prim from this year's holiday collection!

The inspiration for this design comes from this post on Hey Nice Nails.  My uncle shared a picture of it with me on Facebook and I just had to recreate it!

Silly old me forgot about taking a picture of my nails with the sweater/tank top combo that matches.  You'll just have to trust me when I say that it was a great match. ;)

What are your favorite polish/clothes pairings?  Let me know in the comments!