Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coral Stripes

Hey friends! As usual, I started off really excited about this manicure, then as I was doing it I just knew it would look awesome, but then I got to a point where I felt like the final product wasn't going to live up to my expectations , but then once I was actually finally done I was really pleased! Ah, the emotional roller coaster that is nail art :P

In direct sunlight.
As I so often do, I have to credit someone for this look. Unfortunately I don't know who exactly that someone is, but I pinned this image a long time ago and finally decided to go for it today. It was definitely one of the more time consuming manis I've done in a while, but some of that time was just waiting for polish to dry before I could lay down my striping tape. And applying striping tape - once to paint the lines and then again for the final look - is just going to be time consuming, no way around it. One thing I "learned" with this mani though is that the conventional wisdom (at least according to most things I've read) is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!! I've seen so many blogs that say when using tape for nail art you need to peel the tape off asap after you've applied the paint. Recently however, I was looking at someone's blog and they had AMAZING straight, sharp lines and on their faq page they said they actually waited for the paint to dry before peeling off the tape. I wish I could remember whose blog it was so I could give them credit; I even tried to find it today but I just don't remember who it was! In any case, I tried this technique and will definitely be using it from now on :)

In indirect sunlight 1.

The polishes I used for this are Orly White Tips, OPI DS Radiance, and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Coral Reef. I also used some square rhinestones - four on my left hand and just one on my right hand.

Thanks to my hubs for taking this pic with his phone so I could showcase the total look :)

I really like how each hand is different, and even each finger with stripes is different, but the whole thing goes together so well!

In indirect sunlight 2.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


For the season opener of the 2014-15 football season, I decided I wanted to do some tiger nails to support my Clemson tigers! Major thanks to Hanna from newlypolished for the great inspiration!

For this, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed. This polish was kind of goopy and hard to work with. Because it wasn't going on smooth, I made a spur of the moment decision to put one coat of Spoiled by Wet n Wild Vitamin C on top and I'm glad it did. I love how the gold glitter sparkles against the orange. Plus it really smoothed things out, making it easier to paint the design.

To paint the tiger, first I sponged on a bit of white on my middle and ring finger, then painted some yellow in a marquise shape for the eye, and finally finished it all of with the black stripes. Surprisingly, I would actually consider this one of the "easier" freehand designs I've done. It did take some time, but other than the eyes it was kind of easy because precision didn't matter. The black stripes are supposed to be wavy!

Unfortunately, Clemson lost pretty badly to the Georgia Bulldogs, but we had fun watching the game and hanging out. And there's always next week :) 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Queen Elsa Syrup(?) Nails

No, I do not want to build a snowman... in fact, I wish it would stay summer forever!!! Don't get me wrong, I love Elsa and Anna and Olaf and the whole Frozen posse as much as the next gal, but I love me some beach time waaaay more :P

Anyway, all I'm really tryin' to say is that this did not start out as an intentional ode to Queen Elsa. But when I was done that's the only thing it made me think of! My original intention was actually to do a syrup mani, which I first saw over at Chalkboard Nails. Though relatively new to me (which is of course not surprising since I am a newb to the nail art world!) this technique seems to have been around a while. Both Rebecca Likes Nails and Polish Insomniac have nice tutorials and explanations of the syrup mani. For my mani, since I wasn't working with a true jelly it didn't quite go to plan, and I think it's a bit of a stretch to call it a syrup mani.

I started with a brand new polish that I just got at Target the other day - Sinful Colors Love Nails. At $1.99 a bottle and with some beautiful colors SC is quickly becoming my favorite brand! Because this particular polish is pretty sheer I thought it might work like a jelly for a syrup mani, and I did four layers of blue, covering less and less of the nail each time. (Except on the ring finger; there I just painted it normally.) If you have no idea what I'm talking about check out the tutorials mentioned above! On top of Love Nails I covered the whole nail with Sinful Colors Hottie to help blend the gradient so it wouldn't just look like blocks/stripes of color. In the end though, you can kind of see along the cuticle that the color is lighter, but other than that I think it looks pretty consistent in color, and there's not much of a gradient happening. Oh well, I still think Queen Elsa would like it :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shiny Sparkly Stamping Goodness!

Do you ever have a plan in mind for a mani, and then by the time you're done things have gone in a very different direction?? That was totally what happened to me today! I initially was going to do a quasi-Skittle mani with a minty/teal base, a pink & purple stamp on my pointer and middle finger, some rhinestones on my ring finger, and some glitter on my pinky. For some reason though, before I even started painting I decided to use a sparkly white liquid sand polish for the base. On top of this I was going to do a three-color/gradient stamp (kind of like AmyGrace from The Polished Perfectionist did here) with pink, purple, and that minty/teal color. Pretty, right? Well, the pink and the minty/teal didn't show up very well on top of the white so I ended up doing "just" a plain old purple stamp. As my husband said though, I think this ended up looking very classy :)

For this look I used OPI Solitaire which is one of the liquid sand polishes. Honestly, I probably never would have thought to stamp on top of a textured polish but I recently saw Sarah from Chalkboard Nails do this lovely stamping and thought it looked great, so it must have been in the back of my mind! The stamp is from MoYou's Sailor Collection - plate #03 - and I used Sinful Colors Tempest.

Of course, after I did the stamping I decided to gloss it up, but mostly just because I was hoping to extend the life of this mani. (It definitely looked cool and unique without any topcoat at all!) I ended up putting on two coats of Gelous because, just like a glitter polish, Solitaire was very thirsty and soaked the first coat right up! I topped it all off with Seche Vite and now it is shiny sparkly stamping goodness :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Caribbean Dreams

Clearly I am missing Aruba big time... the warm, gentle, turquoise water and the sugary white sand... it was just so beautiful. Today I was inspired by the pretty palm trees of the Caribbean and decided to do a sunset background. 

Like many other folks have done, I chose a yellow to pink gradient for the sunset, and I have to admit I was heavily inspired by Pauline over at Blog en Beaute. Her sunset nails are super pretty and they were created with Ruby Wing's super cool color changing nail polish - god, I have to get me some of that! My nail polish doesn't change color but it gets the job done :) 

I used Sally Hansen Triple Shine Lemon Shark, Orly Va Va Voom, and a makeup sponge to do the gradient on top of a white base color. The gradient turned out pretty good on my left hand but it looks a little wonky on my right hand. Oh well, that's why Cindy doesn't get much screen time! ;) This is actually only the second gradient I've done so I don't feel too bad. (See my first here.) After a coat of American Classics Gelous to smooth out the gradient, I painted the palm tree and bird silhouettes with OPI Black Onyx. Then another coat of Gelous, topped off with some Seche Vite and I was ready to call it a day!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this post! These are actually my first pics with my new camera. I've had it for a few weeks now but was having trouble figuring out how to properly focus when in macro mode. I think I figured it out now, so what do you think of these pics compared to my previous ones? Also, I decided to "embed" the pics in the post instead of just listing them all at the end. Do you like this better??