Friday, August 31, 2012

Dotty hearts!

Happy Friday, fancy ladies (and gentlemen)! My allergies are getting the best of me again and they make me feel so tired and worn out that I don't have the energy to do anything when I get home at night except sit on the couch and watch tv or read, so my nail art has suffered this week :( But I did do some cutesy dotty heart nails last night!


I had the idea for these nails and had all the colors picked out earlier this week but then I got too tired to actually execute them haha. I just left all the colors out on my desk and gazed at them once in a while until last night when I was like, okay Whitney, IT'S TIME.


These were easy and fun to do - I just used one size of dotting tool (two on my thumb where I wanted extra big dots) and varied the size of the dots by varying the pressure I used in applying them. I did the outline of the hearts first, then filled in with different size dots, then filled in around them with dots of a different color. I love all these colors together too, they're so fun and cheerful to look at.


The base color is Revlon - Cloud, which is part of an accidental Big Lots haul I made earlier this week when I went to get paper towels and TP for the house. Big Lots usually has Revlon polishes in packs of 2 for $2 and I've never seen any that really piqued my interest, but when I picked up the package with Cloud in it I think I actually gasped out loud at how pretty it was. It's like this perfect dreamy grayed-out light purple that depending on the light can look light dusty purple, light dusty blue or beautiful gray. It had a beautiful formula too - I had to add a little polish thinner but given that I got it at Big Lots I figured it'd probably been sitting around for a while so that didn't surprise me. (PS, on that BL trip I ended up getting 8 Revlon polishes for $8!!! EVERYONE GO TO BIG LOTS RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN.)


In hindsight I think I would have liked these better if I had picked a lighter green - especially on my ring finger I wish the heart stood out a little more, but I also kind of like the hidden picture sort of quality of it.


On my right hand I went with some trusty glitter gradients! I love glitter (as I'm sure you all know) and I couldn't bear to cover up this color on both hands. I honestly don't know which hand I like better!


The other colors I used are...

China Glaze - Rich & Famous (pink), Flyin' High (blue), Blonde Bombshell (gold glitter)
Revlon - Emerald (green - this is a dupe for OPI Jade is the New Black and another polish I got in my Big Lots haul!)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Sun Kissed (orange - this is a dupe for Zoya Arizona)
Sephora by OPI - Domestic Goddess (purple), Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild (purple glitter)

In conclusion, everyone go to Big Lots right now and also buy a bottle of Cloud at once. Posthaste. You won't regret it. Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Abstract Aztec-y looking thing?

Hey everybunny! Happy Monday? I'm actually enjoying this Monday, I woke up starting to feel a cold coming on and even though I still feel that pesky I'm-about-to-get-sick feeling, I've been super productive and busy the last few days so my mood is pretty super duper! This weekend we went to visit my boyfriend's family which was really fun. I also cleaned out my car and took that poor baby to the carwash for the first time in probably over a year, it was so dirty I was seriously embarrassed at all times.

I also did some nails over the weekend and here they are!


These nails are based on the design on the middle finger of my right hand from the last mani I posted. I ended up liking that design a whole lot and put it on the mental list for later. I wasn't planning to use it so soon but once I decided to paint my nails I couldn't shake the idea so I just went with it.

I actually had a really easy time picking my color combo for these nails, which as you guys know is usually not the case with me. I started with the base color I was dying to use, Sephora by OPI - Ocean Love Potion, which my sister Summer let me borrow a few weeks ago after I went to Sephora to buy it and they were SOLD OUT. And you guys, all of you need this color. It is so unbelievably pretty and perfect and the formula is awesome and I just love it so much.


I freehanded the half-moons for the first time and I'm actually really happy with how they came out, I feel like they're almost neater than when I use paper hole reinforcements. The half-moon color is Essie - A Crewed Interest, and while the color is really lovely I ended up wishing I had chosen something else for the moons while I was painting because it's a very thin color and took 2 thick, careful coats to get it opaque. And as you can see, it was thick enough that when I topcoated it shrunk away from my base color, which was a bummer. Still pretty, though.


The rest of the design was freehanded with my trusty mid-length striping brush and a small dotting tool. These nails took a lot longer than I initially thought they would but they were cool to look at and I loved the colors so it was worth it. My friend Erin and I thought they looked like some sort of ancient Aztec design.


And, in what I believe is a first for me, all ten of my fingernails were painted with the same design!


I usually like to switch it up with accent nails and different designs and such but I was surprised how much I liked having the same design on all of my nails. It was cool to look at, it made it look like I was wearing nail wraps or something.


The other colors I used for these nails are...

China Glaze - Light as Air (light purple)
Sephora by OPI - Unnamed purple in a mini bottle that my sister gave me (dark purple)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Mint Sorbet (light green)
Zoya - Kristen (light blue)

Alright, hope you guys enjoyed these nails and have a cool week! See you soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I WANT TO USE ALL THE COLORS.

Hey friends! Last night I knew I wanted to paint my nails but I didn't know what colors I wanted to use or what design I wanted to do. I was also grouchy so the more time I spent looking around and thinking about what to do the grumpier I got and the less I even wanted to paint my nails! BOO how stupid is that. So finally I stomped into my office and just started pulling polishes off my racks and slamming them onto my desk. I mean, not literally slamming, but you get the idea. The whole "irritable small child who has too many toys and becomes overwhelmed with them and thus a little angry at them" bit.


Anyway, I ended up with probably 25 polishes on my desk. The only thing I knew was that for the base I wanted to use Essie - Sand Tropez. I almost shelved it in favor of OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh? because I figured the OPI would have a better formula (since I feel like most of my light-colored Essies are notoriously streaky and thin) and by that time my mental state was such that if I had to do more than 2 coats of my base color I probably would have lost my shit.



But! It was my lucky day. The first coat of Sand Tropez was a little streaky and patchy and I almost began to cry, but the second coat evened everything out like a dream and made it perfect and beautiful. I think I actually sighed out loud in relief. Also, the color is so, so pretty. I can't get enough neutrals in my life. I just can't.


The only thing I had a picture of in my mind was the design on my thumb nail, so I picked up my favorite polish of the bunch (Orly - Beach Cruiser, the hot pink) and started there. Then I just started randomly picking polishes from the collection in front of me and went to town. After the thumb nail I had no real plans, so I just started painting whatever patterns popped into my mind until I was happy with the way each nail looked. I think this "unplanned nail art" game is a lot more fun and turns out a lot nicer when you use a shit ton of different colors. In my humble opinion.


To be totally honest with you guys I could probably list each polish I used just by looking at these pictures even though I don't have them in front of me right now. And by probably I mean definitely. I could definitely do that because I am a really big weirdo. But since I ended up using 15 (I counted) I am not going to do that. HOWEVER, to make up for it, if anyone wants to know any specific color I used just ask and I will be happy to tell you.


And here is my right hand! I made a valiant effort at carrying the patterns over, but since I spent so long on my left hand and also since I love glitter I decided that three nails on my right hand was enough, and that she deserved some sparkliness to make up for that.


Okay, so there you have it! Also, in case anyone was concerned, by the end of this manicure I was in a significantly better mood. My boyfriend Nathan asked me if I felt better and I was all, "Yeah, how'd you know? How're you so smart? How you know me so well?" and he was all, "It's something you love doing, I figured it'd make you feel better." Smart boyfriend.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Framed feathers

Hey everyone! It's Monday, cool! (not). I hope everyone had a super cool weekend. We had that bonfire on Friday night and I stayed up late painting nails and talking with my friend Sara, then spent the next day at this really cool swimming hole. And I got to see my family on Sunday, so all in all I'd say it was a successful weekend.

I've been wanting to do a turquoise/brown/gold feather pattern for a while now, and last night I decided that it was time. The feather pattern bell was tolling.


I actually had no trouble deciding on these colors FOR ONCE. I did pull out a few extras that I thought I might use but ended up just using the colors I originally planned on.

The turquoise is China Glaze - For Audrey, one of the first CG polishes that I (and many others) ever bought. For good reason too, it's beautiful and has a nice, smooth 2-coat formula. The brown is OPI - Wooden Shoe Like to Know? and it's such a pretty brown. It has a subtle bronzey shimmer in it that unfortunately doesn't translate into these photos at all, but it's really nice in real life. The gold is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Golden-I, which is a really nice, sparkly, opaque gold foil.


These nails were so fun to paint! I know I say this all the time, but usually the designs I pick are so precise that it's fun to venture out of that area and into something that's not supposed to be totally perfect. All I did to make the feathers was draw a line down the middle of my nail for the feather spine (is that a thing? is that what it's called?), then did the little feathery parts in brown or blue, then added the gold accent feathery parts. After that I went back over the middle line to make sure that it stood out nicely. Easy peasy!


This mani didn't take me very long to do at all (I did both hands and it only took like 20-30 minutes, which is an insanely short time for me to spend painting my nails) so after I was done with the feathers I was like, shouldn't I add something else? And in the words of Sammy from The Nailasaurus, I realized... if you like it you should probably put a frame on it. So I did. It took a lot more time than the feathers but I think it really made the design look a lot more finished/polished (HAHA GET IT) so I'm happy I took the extra time on it.


I like the way my thumb turned out the best, so here's a special thumb shot!


So what do you guys think? I like the way these turned out and the feather pattern was so quick and easy, it might be my new go-to when I'm feeling too lazy to do complicated nail art! I want to try it in different colors (LIKE NEONS) and try multiple feathers on each finger, etc.

Alrighty, see you guys next time!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Red Lights Ahead, Where?

Hay y'all! Happy Friday, WOO! Who has awesome plans for the weekend? I hope EVERYONE DOES. We are having a bonfire at my house tonight and other fun stuff planned for the rest of the weekend so I'm super looking forward to it!

I've been dying to use OPI - Red Lights Ahead, Where? for the last week or so, but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I couldn't get the color combination of this red with a nude/neutral out of my head so last night I just plucked them off the shelves and decided to just doodle some random patterns on my nails with them.


The nude is OPI - Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh? and it's not only a gorgeous color but also great for nail art, nice and opaque and smooth. I love when I don't have to go back over my lines more than once and I was afraid that a light color like this would be see-through but I was pleasantly surprised.


The blue is China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le and it was the only color of this combo that I had to do a little deliberation about. Granted, not as much as those other nails I posted a few days ago, but I definitely stared at several colors in combo with the first two before I decided on this one. A close runner-up was CG's For Audrey, but I liked the dustiness of Secret Peri-wink-le combined with the intense brightness of the red.


These are the first nails I've done in a minute that weren't inspired by something or sketched out beforehand. I just gathered all my supplies, turned on an episode of Breaking Bad and started going to town with my lil' striper brush. Sometimes when I do that I don't like how my nails turn out but I'm really happy with these - I love this red and I love this color combo a lot, which probably has a lot to do with my mani satisfaction.


Here is a SUPER BONUS sunshine shot to show off the brightness of RLAW. So pretty, gah. I think this will be the color I use on my toes next time I paint them for sure.


Alright, I think that's about all for today! I hope you guys enjoy these nails as much as I do! The color combo is pretty different for me, I think, which is cool. And um... okay, I guess that's all for today. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Colorful little abstract flowery type things!

Hi friends! So on Monday night I was getting all ready to paint my nails and I got on my computer to look through the inspiration patterns/pictures/links I had saved to decide what I wanted to do. Then my computer decided that there was no wifi hardware installed! Oh, cool, I said to myself. This is just what I've always wanted. NO WIFI. I looked up the fix on my phone and it involved taking my computer apart and I was frustrated and I just wanted to paint my nails so I had to wait until boyfriend was done using the wifi for a moment so I could plug straight into the modem.

By that time it had gotten late and I was exhausted from the frustration of it all so I decided on something simpler than I had originally planned.


These nails are based on the print of this pillow, which I found on this website (the same one that inspired my last nails! Shoutout to that badass lady with the blog archive full of patterns!)


They were super quick, super easy and super fun to do, all of which was exactly what I needed after the frustration of finding out that I'd have to spend several hours and probably too much money figuring out what is wrong with my dumb computer and its dumb wifi hardware.


This manicure was made even quicker by the awesome base color I used, which ended up being a ONE COATER (be still my heart!) - Essie Bobbing for Baubles. I think I've only ever used this for nail art before, never as a full nail color, and I almost cried when I realized I would only have to do one coat of it. China Glaze's First Mate may have been replaced in my heart by this polish. It's such a wonderful dusty navy blue and the amazing formula is definitely not hurting my opinion of it. I only have a mini bottle and I'm thinking I'll probably need to get a full-size bottle soon.


I painted the white stems of these little abstract flowery type things with a long skinny striper brush, then did all the dots with a dotting tool. So easy but I think they turned out pretty cute!


In hindsight I think I wish that I had made all the stems or whatever facing the same direction instead of  reversing my accent nails, but I also think I kinda like the reversal. I dunno. What do you guys think?


The colors I used for the dots are:
China Glaze - For Audrey (blue), High Hopes (red), Happy Go Lucky (yellow), Something Sweet (pink)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Sun Kissed (orange)

Okay, that's all for today! Hopefully I'll see you guys at least once more this week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I really like Essie's Tart Deco.

Hey everybunny! Man, where have I been, amirite? I painted my nails a few times last week but was to busy to do any ~*nail art*~ but hopefully this week I should have more time to do more fun things on the ends of my fingers. Here's what I did last night! Kickin off the week real nice!

I worked on cleaning, organizing, and decorating my house literally all weekend long so by the time I got into nail-painting mode last night I wanted to do something that would look cool but not be too complicated. I have a bunch of nail ideas saved up but all of them seemed too time-consuming so I did a Google image search for "pattern" (TRY THAT SOMETIME, you get so many awesome random results!) and found this bad boy that I based these nails off of.


I knew I didn't want to do them in black and white like the original pattern but it took me a looong time to pick the colors I wanted to use. My boyfrand was trying to hurry me along so we could start the show we were going to watch and I was just standing in the office in front of my polish racks, my hands full of polish bottles, crippled by my own indecision.


I finally decided on OPI - Skull and Glossbones for the base, a beautiful neutral gray-khaki color which I'm pretty sure eventually I'll be taking to a paint store to color match for wall paint for a room in a future house because I just love it SO HARD. The formula is strange, it's very thin and streaky on the first coat but it evens out almost perfectly on the second. I have to be a little more careful with it than I usually like but the color is so nice it's worth it.

I knew I wanted to use China Glaze - Shower Together (the blue) because I had been staring at it earlier yesterday and thinking what a nice color it was and how I hadn't used it in a long time. And how sad it must feel at being neglected. The second color is what I had a huge problem with. Should it be in the pink family? Maybe green? Blue? Purple? Oh god TOO MANY OPTIONS.


In the end I snatched Essie - Tart Deco off the shelf, held it side-by-side with Shower Together, and knew it was a match made in heaven. I could immediately see the love between them and it was clear that I had to forsake all other color options in favor of this perfect match.

Just kidding, it still took me like 10 more minutes after that to finally decide on this combo. I had to bring my polishes into the living room to finish picking so we could start our show and my boyfriend wouldn't kill me.


Then of course when it came to painting my right hand it took me like ten minutes to decide whether to reverse the accent nails or do them the same. I was having a really hard problem with decisions yesterday. I don't know why. In the end I decided on the reversal. I was getting tired by this point so righty isn't quite up to par with her left-hand friend but from far away you can't really tell the difference which is all I ever really ask of my painting skills.


Alright! So there you guys have it. Pictures of my nails, and a glimpse into the chaos that is my indecisive brain sometimes. This is another reason I like basing my nails off patterns I find, because usually (other than this time, I guess), the colors are already picked for me and I can avoid the mental Olympics that is color matching sometimes. Maybe I just need fewer polishes.

Until next time!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jewel-toned quilt blocks

Hey y'all! Today I have some nails that I did with some of my favorite colors/polishes (at the moment). I love jewel tones in general and polish colors are no exception. I had a hard time choosing colors for this design and had a bunch of pastels and darker colors laid out but in the end I went with these pretty jewely saturated colors. Not too light and not too dark. The Goldilocks of my nail polish options!


The design is just something I doodled up when I was watching TV last week. Sometimes I'll get a pattern in my brain so I'll grab some paper and start doodling it and then other patterns will pop into my head while I'm doing that, so I'll sketch those out real quick and then eventually end up with a coherent set of nails haha. Or just a bunch of patterns that don't go together.


I don't really know what to call these but they remind me of quilt blocks so that's what I decided on.


I used not one, but TWO nice thick coats of Seche Vite over this pattern because filling in the squares so that they were opaque left them pretty bumpy. Usually one coat of SV smoothes everything out to my liking but this time after one coat I was looking at them and cringing over the little ridges and bumps I could still see under the topcoat. I'm kind of a perfectionist? I guess maybe you guys have noticed that though.


The base color is Sally Hansen - Pacific Blue, which is one of the prettiest shades of blue I own and has a great formula and awesome color saturation to boot. I LOVE this color. The purple is Essie - Play Date and is one of my favorite purple polishes (and I have a lot), and the green is Essie - Mojito Madness, which is easily one of my favorite green polishes I own. Are you seeing a trend here? LET'S USE ALL THE BEST POLISHES ALL IN ONE MANICURE! said my brain as I was picking colors.

These took a while to do, in large part due to my aforementioned perfectionism which forced me to make the squares as perfect and even and straight and uniform as possible so I had to go pretty slowly and carefully through the whole manicure. I'm really happy with how they came out though. Plus, I did them while watching the Olympics, so it was totally painless.

SIDENOTE: how awesome is doing your nails while watching the Olympics? Have you guys been doing that too? I can think of almost nothing I'd rather do than those 2 things together! I wish the Olympics was every day forever, except I'm kind of glad they're only once every four years because if they were on all the time I probably wouldn't have any friends and would just stay home and paint my nails and watch gymnastics and swimming every night.

Okay, until next time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Princess nails!

Hey guys! Today I have another pretty glittery indie polish to show you! I got home late last night after running and dinner with my friend Erin and I wanted to paint my nails but knew I was too tired to do any complicated nail art. As I was trying to find a polish that I'd be happy wearing for a day or two by itself my eyes landed on Frantic Romantic from All That Glitters. I was sold.


Frantic Romantic is an absolute glitter bomb packed into a blue-leaning pink jelly base. There is pink micro glitter, small pink hex glitter, medium holographic hex glitter, and HOLOGRAPHIC HEART GLITTER. 


You can see a good holo shot of one of those hearts on my pinkie in the next picture. It was cloudy when I took these pictures but the holo pieces still gave me some rainbows which was awesome.


I layered 2 coats of Frantic Romantic over 3 coats China Glaze - Something Sweet, another polish I'd never used before. Once I had it on all of my nails I was surprised by how much I liked it. I'm so into neons and bright colors that I almost never paint my nails with sweet little pastels like this, but I ended up really loving the way it made my hands look. I almost just left all my nails painted pastel pink but I had already gotten too excited about using this glitter, so I compromised with a sort of reverse accent nail thing.


Frantic Romantic was a pretty easy polish to work with considering how much glitter was in it. I did have to do a little placement of the bigger pieces but not much, and I didn't have to do any fishing for the big hex glitters or the hearts. When I use it again I will probably find a base color that is closer to the jelly base of this polish - it takes a little work to make sure it's even/not streaky over a base color that doesn't match. 3 coats of this polish would probably make the color even with no effort or touchups/patching, but I liked the glitter coverage at 2 coats.

Also, as an aside, Something Sweet is a really pretty pastel pink but the formula is a bummer. It's streaky and runny and although most of my nails looked fine with 3 very careful coats, the nails I was less careful with required 4 coats. I do tend to do thin coats, though, so this may not be the case for everyone. It's such a nice color that it's worth it, in my opinion.

All That Glitters polishes can be purchased through her Etsy store. The shop is closed right now because Kirsten is in the process of moving but it looks like she'll be opening back up soon!

K, that's all for today! See you guys next time!