August 27, 2015

What did I do on vacation?

I spent the last two weeks of July in Michigan with my family and friends.  It was an amazingly fun time!  But, of course, I can't go two weeks without redoing my nails.  And, since my loved ones universally recognize me as The Nail Girl of the Family, I got several requests to do peoples' nails.  Let's have a look at what I spent my vacation downtime doing!

My first few days in Michigan were spent at my oldest sister's house.  Unfortunately, she couldn't take much time off of work.  But it was kind of okay, because I got to spend one entire day with my two year old nephew, and I had another whole day to myself - in which I spent most of the day painting my nails.  I wanted to match my new bathing suit and my new dress, a feat that would admittedly have been easier in high school when 80% of my wardrobe was the same shade of blue.  But I accepted the challenge with my intermediate nail art skills!

the clothes in question.

I used Jamberry Arcade on my thumb and pinky - a wrap that I bought specifically to match my dress.  Zoya Ryan was another easy choice for my middle and ring fingers to match both the dress and my bathing suit.  And to help match my bathing suit, I threw in one nail of CDB Lacquer Passionate.   

(side note: I used a blow dryer to heat up my Jamberry wraps this time, and 
they went on SO smoothly!  never using my space heater for wraps again!!!)

I painted my toes to match my bathing suit a bit more exclusively, but I was silly and didn't take a picture of it!  I used the dry brush technique and ORLY Saturated, Zoya Oceane, Sephora Papaya Daiquiri, and Passionate and Ryan again.  I'm so bummed that I didn't take a good picture of it!  Maybe I'll just have to recreate the pedi soon.  I am, after all, going on an end of summer vacation to Ocean City, Maryland this weekend, where I will be wearing my bathing suit a lot!

The same night that I did my nails, I painted my sister's nails.  Purple is her favorite color, so I definitely wanted to use Saturated on her.  Still on a dry brush kick, I did two accent nails using Zoya Tallulah and Sinful Colors Bikini.  The white background is Salon Perfect Sugar Cube.  

She loved her nails so much!  Steph has never much bothered with makeup or nail polish, and now that she's a mom she bothers even less.  I painted her nails in her basement hunched over an end table, but we might as well have been at a high-class spa for how excited she was about her manicure!  Then, when she woke up her son in the morning and was trying to put his clothes on, he grabbed at her nails and said, "what's that?!"  <3

At a girls' night with my best friends from high school, my friend Melanie wanted a simple grey manicure.  I used China Glaze Intelligence, Integrity, and Courage on most of her nails with an accent of CDB Lacquer He Sees All.

I painted a few other peoples' nails, but I was having too much fun with them to really think about taking pictures for the blog.  All of the other manis that I did were simple colors with an accent color, though, so you're not missing out on any super-special nail art!

What's your favorite look from this post?  Have you ever painted your nails to match a vacation or trip?  Let me know in the comments!

August 19, 2015

Neon Dotticure Nails!

I have a super fun manicure to share with you today!  As you all know, I love neon polish and I love abstract nail art.  So I decided to check off a manicure that I've been meaning to do for a while by combining both of those things into a neon dotticure!

This look was semi-inspired by an Instagram photo by Emily of lacquerologist, quite almost an entire age ago.

I absolutely love this look, so I decided to do my own adaptation of it.

My favorite part about the dotticure is that it takes so little planning and thought.  Sure, I chose which size dotting tool to use for each color, and I tried to keep an even-but-random distribution of the colors, but overall this design just flowed out of my brain and onto my nails very smoothly.  There was no second-guessing myself, no slip of the hand causing outrage or frustration.  Just lots of dots and fun!

I used a whole slew of colors for this manicure.  I actually had to force myself to not use any Zoya polish, because I feel like I've been neglecting my other brands for the past few months.  And aside from one indie polish that I just got a few months ago, I ended up using all polishes that I bought last summer: Essie Strut Your Stuff, Sally Girl Peace (I love Sally's eensie weensie little minis!), ORLY Saturated, ORLY Ablaze, and Sephora Brazilian Sun.  The one indie that I used is CDB Lacquer Passionate.  Such a fun cluster of neons!  And the white background is Julep Bunny, which I adore for its super-subtle gold shimmer.  I can barely see the shimmer on my nails in person, and it definitely doesn't get picked up by the camera.  But a macro photo actually picks it up in the bottle pretty well:


As you can see, the shimmer is made up of gorgeous gold flecks.  While the macro (and even the bottle in person) makes the shimmer look pretty intense, it's much more subtle on the nail.

The shimmer doesn't show up as much in this photo, but if you know it's there than you can kind of see it!  I'd be more disappointed in how invisible the shimmer becomes if I wasn't so in to magic and secrets. ;)  But the shimmer of Passionate, the pink dots, really stands out in this macro shot!  I love how well you can see each and every color overlapping.

What do you think of this type of blog post?  Do you really wish I'd made a tutorial of this look?  Let me know in the comments!

August 13, 2015

Nifty Color Blocking Nail Art

I had a lot of fun with this nail art design!  I guess I'm just best at abstract nail art.  That way my brain doesn't decide that the design has to look perfectly just so only to be disappointed in the wibbly turnout.

This look was inspired by Fierce Makeup and Nails, painting for The Beauty Buffs.  I took a screenshot of this design way back in November, but never got around to actually trying it out until a few weeks ago!

The original design by Fierce Makeup&Nails.

Naturally, I decided to go with blues rather than purples; but then I thought, why not throw some greens in there as well?  And then, when I got to my ring finger on my right hand, I decided that instead of doing a blue accent, I'd use pink - mainly because I really wanted to try out a newish pink polish, I Brake For Colour by China Glaze.  If I had a third hand, I'd probably have done pink with a blue accent on that hand! :)

The background for the blues is Chick Pick Polish Neon Blue, while the lighter blue is Zoya Ling.  (The moment I painted on Ling, I sort of wished I'd gone with Robyn instead - Robyn would have stood out from Neon Blue much better.  Oh well!)

 Don't want to leave my thumbs out! :)

The green background is Salon Perfect Escape to Neverland, and the lighter green is Zoya Tilda.  As I said before, the pink background is China Glaze I Brake For Colour; and the lighter pink is Zoya (sensing a pattern here?) Wendy.  I got Ling and Tilda fairly recently, so I was super excited to pair them up in a mani with my other creme from Zoya's Tickled collection!  The white polish on all nails is Salon Perfect Sugar Cube.  I want to point out that Escape to Neverland is a One-Coat Wonder!  The coat does have to be a tad on the thick side, though, so be careful not to flood your cuticles with too much polish.

I really, really like this design.  It's so very 70s groovy to me!  I actually kind of love how the green showed through the white polish.  Some people might think "that needs another coat of white," but I think that makes it all the more groovy!

What is your favorite style of nail art - abstract or traditional?  Let me know in the comments!

Want to see more nail art posts, or perhaps something different?  Let me know by giving your feedback here!


P.S. Don't forget - my blogiversary giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 pm!  There are lots of ways to enter, and lots of ways to find the giveaway too.  Head to the giveaway tab on my Facebook page, follow this link to the original blog post, click on the giveaway post in my Pages, or follow this mobile-friendly link!

August 9, 2015

Do I Need Them All?: Zoya Demetria vs China Glaze I Brake For Colour

Welcome to this month's edition of Do I Need Them All!  Today, we're going to look at two fairly new polishes: Zoya Demetria and China Glaze I Brake For Colour.  Demetria is from Zoya's Paradise Sun collection, while I Brake For Colour is from China Glaze's Road Trip collection.

I have Demetria on my pointer and ring fingers, and I Brake For Colour on my middle and pinkie fingers.
This image is slightly Photoshopped; please see the bottom section for an explanation!

They're pretty close in color, but definitely different!  (Unless you're part of the population who can't see as many shades of red, perhaps?)  Demetria is a bright, summery red that borders on neon, while I Brake For Colour is more of a bright pinkish coral.  In the bottle they look very close, but on the nail, they definitely belong to two different color families!

The formula on both polishes is very similar: both apply very smoothly and are highly pigmented, and both require two coats.  I Brake For Colour leans a tad to the thin side, so be careful of flooding your cuticles with too much polish.

So, do I need them all?  Sure!  It's always fun to have bright reds and pinks in one's nail polish collection.  These are definitely not dupes.

*    *    *

Okay, these polishes photographed kind of horribly.  My camera has a tendency to highly over-saturate very bright colors and reds.  So ask it to photograph a bright red polish, and it looks horrid.  I couldn't even hold either of the bottles in the photos because of how badly it flattened the reds and whitened my skin (as if my skin isn't already white enough)!  No amount of adjusting the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, or aperture seemed to help (for the non-photography savvy: I tried changing how much light the camera let in).  Here's how grossly over-saturated the polishes actually showed up on my camera:

As you can see, both polishes look much more orange than they truly are, and they don't really look all that different.  So I cooled down the color on the computer by adding a LOT of blue to the photo.  This photo more accurately shows the colors of the polishes:

My skin is so blue here that it's pretty jarring.  So for the first image that you saw, I crudely Photoshopped my nails in the blue photo onto my hands in the non-blue photo.  I know it's not the best job, but I wanted to show you what the polishes actually look like on my skin, rather than make you try to picture the blue-d nails on my non-blue skin.

What do you think of this new series?  Want to see more posts like it, or other types of posts that I haven't done many of?  Let me know in the comments or by giving your feedback here!

August 5, 2015

Spring-y Nail Art inspired by...

**I wrote this post way back in the spring, thus the spring-y colors and title!**

Today's post probably has the least interesting object to take inspiration from: a box of Kleenex!  I don't mean to say that the pattern isn't interesting; it's a very pretty box of tissues, and I'm quite happy with the way my design turned out, but... it's a box of tissues.  Not exactly something that usually springs to mind when I think of "artistic inspiration," y'know?

For some silly reason, I didn't take any pictures of this manicure in my standard poses, so this is the only one I have of all of my nails.  Oops!

The colors that I used for this design are: 6 Harts Polish "Blue Eyed Bunny" (pinkie), Above the Curve Nail Lacquer "Rockin' Robin" (middle finger), Zoya "Prim" (pointer finger), and Zoya "Zuza" (on my thumb, which I didn't even get a shot of!).  The white background on my ring finger is Salon Perfect "Sugar Cube."  (I don't have links for either of the first two polishes, because they were designed for a limited-edition indie polish collaboration box and those two colors aren't available individually.)


I really wanted to do another video tutorial for this design, seeing as it's been a long time since the last video I did, but I simply couldn't find an angle that I was happy with, so I settled for a photo tutorial!

1. I started with a white background, then waited an absurdly long time for the white to dry.  When using striping tape, you always want to make sure that the background color is completely dry, or else the tape will peel off your nail polish!  (Placing the tape was kind of a pain - I'm really regretting not having any nail vinyls!)

2-4. Once I got the tape lined up, I took a small nail art brush and gently dabbed on each color.  The lightest blue, the one right at the cuticle, is very sheer so I had to use two coats.

5. After painting on each color, I took the tape off, starting with the last piece of tape that I'd placed.  Unfortunately the tape pulled up a tiiiiny bit of the white, and at the base of my nail the tape actually broke, leaving some behind on the nail!  So I did my best to paint over the wibbly lines with my smallest nail art brush.

6. Add a coat of top coat after it's all dried thoroughly (to avoid streaks), and ta-da!  Always snap a close-up photo of your nail next to the inspiration. :)

What do you think of this design?  What's the weirdest thing you've ever taken inspiration from for nail art?  Want to see more photo tutorials, or want me to try harder to find a good angle for a video tutorial?  Let me know in the comments!  And if you're really aching for some different types of posts, be sure to give me your feedback here.

Finally, don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway, which you can find here!