Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween gravestone nail art!

Hello, my spooooky loves, and happy Halloween! Today I'm SUPER excited to show you my second set of Halloween nails. Gravestones with ACTUAL FLOWERS on them!

Gravestone Halloween nail art

I was having a lot of trouble last night deciding on the nails I wanted to wear for Halloween. I had been thinking all month of doing full-nail gravestones but I really wanted to somehow jazz them up and make them look cooler or more realistic or something. Then all of a sudden while I was in the shower I remembered that I had these dried flowers that Born Pretty Store sent me for review a while back. I hadn't used them yet because even though I was pumped about them, I wanted to think of some way to use them other than just sticking them on my nails... and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Gravestone Halloween nail art

To do these nails I started with a base of two coats of Zoya Carey, a gorgeous, slightly blue-toned light gray creme with perfect coverage and application. Then I took a small, short brush and sort of dabbed on Essence Movie Star, a medium true gray, all over each nail. I went back over the nails with more dabs of Carey to even everything out. I freehanded the crosses and lettering in black with a mid-length striper and then outlined them with Carey to make them pop a bit more and look more 3-d.

Gravestone Halloween nail art

Then came the part I was nervous about... the actual sticking on of the flowers. It was a lot easier than I thought it might be. The flowers I got come in a circular case with a rotating lid that has only one hole in it, so when you want to get only one color flower out you don't have to dump out the entire thing or worry about spilling. There were a bunch of larger flowers and then groupings of tiny little flowers, and I used the tiny ones. I cut the groups apart carefully with cuticle nippers and used tweezers to pick them up. I experimented with a couple different ways of sticking them to my nails... at first I put a little bit of Gelous top coat on a piece of paper and dipped the flowers in and then stuck them to my nails, but I found that it was a lot easier to put a dab of Gelous on my nail and then stick the flowers to that. Despite being tiny and delicate they weren't too hard to work with... it was a little time-consuming to get them all placed properly but I think the effect was worth it!

Gravestone Halloween nail art

After I had all the flowers placed where I wanted them, I used my mid-length striper to make dark grass at the bottom using OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know and Zoya Shawn. I slathered a thick coat of Gelous over the whole deal and then finished off with a coat of Seche Vite. The flowers do still have texture to them even after all of that topcoat but I think that's part of the reason they look really cool.

Gravestone Halloween nail art

On my right hand I wanted to do some blood drips because I've seen them eeeeverywhere and I like the way they look. The nude is Zoya Avery and the red is China Glaze Adventure Red-y. All I did for these was place dots in Adventure Red-y where I wanted the drips to end and then connect them all with my striper. Easy peasy!

Dripping blood Halloween nail art

What do you guys think of these? I think the dried flowers came out so cool on the gravestones and I'm so happy about that because I was REALLY nervous that it would look stupid. I almost didn't try them for that reason haha! I'm glad I did, though. Do y'all have any fun plans for Halloween? I'm going to a party tonight and I can't wait to be like, LOOK AT MY NAILS THEY GOT REAL FLOWERS ON EM LOL!

Oh, and by the way, Born Pretty Store has lots of other really cool nail art stuff and it's all inexpensive and ships free! I have my eye on a nail piercing kit for when my nails get longer :) If y'all wanna order stuff from them I'd definitely recommend them, they're super nice and helpful. You can use my code, CLJ61, for 10% off your order, too! AW YEAH.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Derpy spider Halloween nail art!

Hey lovelies! I've had a few ideas for Halloween nails but I was too slow on the actual execution so I'll probably only get to do a couple before Halloween passes us by. Here's the first set that I did last night... some goofy, derpy spiders!

Derpy spider Halloween nail art - China Glaze Pelican Gray

The little faces of these guys crack me up. I like their googly eyes and the funny expressions they're making. Originally I wanted to do a full-nail spider print, but it was too hard to cram enough on there to look like an actual print since I had to leave room for their leggies. I tried on my thumb and immediately didn't like it, so I started over and decided to just put a couple on each nail dangling from their leetle webs.

Derpy spider Halloween nail art - China Glaze Pelican Gray

It's hard to tell in some of the pics, but the base color, the web lines and the spiders themselves are shimmery/glittery. I wanted to add a lil' something EXTRA SPECIAL and of course that little something was glitter. Or shimmer, whatever. As long as it sparkles, I love it.

Derpy spider Halloween nail art - China Glaze Pelican Gray

The base color is China Glaze Pelican Gray, a gorgeous shimmery gray that pulls blue on me for some reason. These pics are color accurate to how it looks on me but in the bottle it looks like a true gray. I'm realizing more and more that my skin does weird stuff to polish colors and I have no idea why. I have a lot of colors that look totally different on my nails than they do in the bottle. Maybe I'm MAGIC.

Derpy spider Halloween nail art - China Glaze Pelican Gray

To make the spiders I took my biggest dotting tool and did dots for their bodies in China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, which is black with blue and green microglitter. Then I took my mid-length striper and painted on the legs with the same color. I painted on the web lines with white and then put gold over them (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I) to make them look fancier. The eyes were made using dotting tools and the mouths were done with a striper.

Derpy spider Halloween nail art - China Glaze Pelican Gray

What do y'all think of these little guys? I think their faces are funny and they make me smile when I look at them, haha. I like doing goofy Halloween stuff instead of creepy Halloween stuff so these are pretty much right up my alley!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ornate wallpaper nail art with hearts and GLITTER!

Happy Friday, fancy ladies (and gentlemen!) Last night I wanted to do some nail artin' but was NOT ready to take off the color I was wearing yesterday, so I decided to bust out the striping tape again!

Striping tape and hearts nail art with glitter

You guys should be really proud of me because I only used ONE color from the On Safari collection for these nails! The base color is Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack, the glitter is China Glaze Fireside Glow from the LE Ulta-exclusive holiday collection last year, and the hearts were done in China Glaze Call of the Wild.

Striping tape and hearts nail art with glitter

This manicure was originally going to look a lot different from the way it ended up turning out. My plan was to use striping tape to block off the diamonds and then paint over them with Fireside Glow (I achieved this part, oh yeah!). Then after the glitter dried I was going to re-tape the same parts and then ALSO tape off SMALLER diamonds inside the larger ones, and then paint over those with Call of the Wild. When I started off on that part of the journey, though, the tape did not want to stick to Fireside Glow and I immediately got frustrated and started thinking of other ideas.

Striping tape and hearts nail art with glitter

My first idea was dots but dots seemed boring. Then I thought, HEARTS! Hearts and glitter make EVERYTHING better! So I painted a little practice heart on a piece of paper and then went to work painting about a hundred more of them. They actually weren't very hard at all - I used a very tiny dotting too and painted two dots for the top of the heart and then sorta just dragged them down to a connecting point.

Striping tape and hearts nail art with glitter

I think all these colors compliment each other so well it's kind of ridiculous. Fireside Glow is the same color as the glitter in Cougar Attack, and Call of the Wild is the same color as the jelly base. I love how moody and rich and pretty these look. I think they look like some sort of super-ornate wallpaper for rich people who really like hearts.

Striping tape and hearts nail art with glitter

What do y'all think of these? Do they look like wallpaper to you too? I kinda wanna do a variation on these now in pastels with flowers instead of hearts so they'd really look like wallpaper... you know the kind I'm talking about? That pretty, delicate old school stuff. Okay, that's all I have for y'all today! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

SWATCH! Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack

Hey friends! I had a late-ish night at work last night and after taking my lady dog for a walk, figuring out dinner, and showering, I was too sleepy for nail art. As I was perusing my polish racks trying to figure out what color to paint my nails, this pretty lil thang caught my eye. This is Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack.

Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack

Cougar Attack is a gorgeous dark brown jelly filled with coppery microglitter. I did three coats to get that deep, buried glitter effect, but it was opaque in 2 coats, which really surprised me. The application was easy too, the Spoiled brushes are so ugly and ratty-looking but they actually work really nicely with my nail shape. I barely had to do any cleanup!

Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack

I bought this polish forever ago but never used it because I suck. I literally cannot believe I've never put this gorgeous thing on my nails. It looks like fall in a bottle... maybe that's why, actually. I probably bought it in spring when I was like ALL PASTELS AND NEONS ALL THE TIME.

Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack

I have so many new polishes to wear that I almost decided against wearing this one today but I just felt so DRAWN to it. I'm blaming Jacqui from The Scholarly Nail because she has been posting so many gorgeous swatches of Halloween microglitters in dark jelly bases. I think my lust for all of the polishes she owns was at the back of my mind when I picked this guy out last night.

Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Cougar Attack

What do you guys think of this polish? I love it so much more than I expected to and at $1.99 it's a STEAL. Everyone should go and get themselves a bottle! Really get into that fall spirit! Aw yeah!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Southwestern-ish chevrons (China Glaze On Safari nail art... PART 7!)

Hey lovers! I'm back with a real post and the seventh installment of my seemingly never-ending China Glaze On Safari nail art series. This was going to be the last one, I SWEAR, but then today I decided that I liked the color combo on my pointer finger enough that I might want to use those colors in just one more mani, which I'll probably do later this week.

On to the nails!

China Glaze On Safari chevron nail art

These nails were inspired by this Southwestern pattern I found on Shutterstock. I really liked the pattern but I didn't like the color scheme that much and when I was looking at it yesterday I decided that it was definitely something I could adapt to fit with my beloved fall colors. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to fit the pattern on to my nails, so I sketched out a couple different options before I decided on this one.

China Glaze On Safari chevron nail art

I picked out the color combos for each finger pretty quickly, but at first I thought I'd use a creme for the base color since I used glitter on my last mani. But then I was like, wait a second. What am I thinking. GLITTER IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER.

China Glaze On Safari chevron nail art

I briefly considered using striping tape for these and even went so far as to begin trying to stick the first piece down, but about five seconds in I got irritated and abandoned the tape in favor of the ol' standby, my striping brush. I'm actually really proud of how cleanly the lines turned out, I've never been able to get my lines this thin and clean and consistent with a striper before! I did mess up in a couple of places but it was nothing I couldn't fix by going over the mistakes with a little bit more glitter.

China Glaze On Safari chevron nail art

Like the fall mosaic nails, I used eleven of the twelve colors in the On Safari collection for these, but this time the glitter base I used was China Glaze I Herd That instead of I'm Not Lion. I thought the warmer color of that glitter might compliment the design better and I ended up liking it a lot! I wish I could figure out a way to use ALL TWELVE COLORS in one design, I sort of feel like my life might be incomplete if I can't.

Thumb is Man Hunt and Elephant Walk, pointer is Desert Sun and Prey Tell, middle is Purr-fect Plum and Jungle Queen, ring is Exotic Encounters and Call of the Wild, and pinky is Adventure Red-y and Kalahari Kiss.

China Glaze On Safari chevron nail art

What do y'all think of these? What's your favorite color combo? I think mine is either my pointer or ring finger, although I really like all the combos haha. Are you exhausted of this obsession of mine yet? I promise it has almost run its course. It's just, like, you guys know how hard a time I have picking colors sometimes and it's been so fun to work with this one set of colors that all look so nice together and just build designs around them! It really helps out the lazy side of me when it comes to doing my nails. Sometimes it's just SO HARD.

I'll see you guys again soon! I also just realized it's about time for me to do a couple Halloween designs so STAY TUNED for those! Woo!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest post for Carrie at Sassy Lacquer!

Hey y'all! I'm sorry for the radio silence for the last few days. I painted my nails on Thursday but they were for a guest post for Carrie over at Reflections, Sassy Nails, and Silly Diversions! so I couldn't show you guys until today haha. Then I got busy over the weekend by accident so I didn't have any time for nail painting. Anywayyyyy... here are the nails I did for Carrie!


I wasn't super pumped about these at first because as you guys know I'm soo into fall colors lately but I ended up really liking them. I especially love that ring fingah, I want to do a whole mani like that but my god it was time-consuming! Y'all should head on over to Carrie's blog to read more about these and the colors I used and stuff!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall mosaic nails! (China Glaze On Safari nail art PART SIX)

Hi everybunny! Today I'm VERY EXCITED to show you part 6 of my China Glaze On Safari nail art series/obsession.

Fall mosaic nails!

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

I can't even lie to you guys right now, I really love these nails. I had this idea a week or so ago and knew I wanted to make them part of my On Safari nailz series. I kept tweaking the idea a little in my head and ended up with this design as the final iteration.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

These were a little bit time-consuming to do but not as bad as I thought they might be. The awesome thing about glitter is that it's really forgiving when it comes to nail art, so smaller mistakes don't really show up and I was able to move a little more quickly than I might have been able to if I was doing this on a creme base.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

I used eleven out of the twelve On Safari colors for these nails, and maybe for all of you guys who have never seen all of the colors together this will kind of make me seem less crazy for wanting to use them all together ALL THE TIME. I mean, like, look how perfect they all look together. I just can't stop. The only color I didn't use was I Herd That, the darker/warmer glitter, because I thought that glitter on glitter might look kind of weird. I don't know.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

To do these nails I painted on my base color (China Glaze I'm Not Lion) with the polish brush, leaving a little bit of space above my cuticle. Then I came back with my mid-length striper brush and added the angles at the bottom, and then one color at a time started adding shapes in the other colors on top of the glittah. I tried to sort of vary the color positions and combinations on each nail so they wouldn't all look the same.

When I first started working on these nails they looked like crap and I was dismayed at the prospect of them not turning out like I wanted. Something about the jaggedy edge of the glitter just looked super gross by itself and when there were only a few random colored shapes on top I could barely bring myself to finish them because they looked so lame. I sallied forth anyway and thankfully they ended up looking like I imagined, haha.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

My right hand got the same pattern but a simpler variation. I just made all the shapes bigger so that they'd be faster and easier to paint! I spent probably just under an hour on my left hand and about 30 minutes on my right.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

Here is a SUPER BONUS SUNSHINE SHOT so you can see the extra-sparkliness of I'm Not Lion and the richness of all the colorz in the sunshine. You can also kinda tell how the glitter ate my colors like it eats topcoat in this pic! See how you can see the glitter through some of the shapes? I'd paint them on and then they'd kind of get absorbed into the glitter, it was very strange to watch. This is definitely a super hungry glitter but 2 coats of Seche Vite smooooothed everything out real nice. I just said glitter a lot of times, but oh well.

China Glaze On Safari fall mosaic nail art

That's all I have for you guys today! What do y'all think of these? If you've never seen all the On Safari colors together before, does my obsession make a little more sense now that you can see how PERFECT they all are together? I hope so. I'll see you guys again soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

China Glaze On Safari nail art part 5 - geometric print nails!

Hey lovers! It's Monday again, which is lame, but I'm back from my weekend blogging hiatus, which isn't lame! At least I think it isn't lame. It's okay if you guys don't agree. Really... I'll be fine. I'm not crying. Don't look at me.

Okay! Today I have part 5 in my CG On Safari nail arts series for y'all.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

BAM! A sort of abstract geometric tribal vibes print, yeah? The inspiration for this print is this image from Shutterstock:


I've had it saved in my "nail inspo" lightbox for a while and after I bought the OS collection I was super glad I hadn't used it yet because suddenly I had TWO PERFECT COLORS FOR IT.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

That lovely khaki base color is China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, two coats of buttery neutral perfection. This pulls much more neutral on me than a lot of other swatches I've seen... on other people it looks more yellow but I think I have some pretty serious yellow/olive undertones in my skin, which makes colors do weird things on me sometimes. I like it though.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

The red is China Glaze Adventure Red-y, a rich, blue-based red that I reeeeally love. When I first saw swatches of it I was like, meh, it's red. I have one of those already, so no thank you. But there's something about the tone of this red that I just love on my skin tone.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

I bet you guys can guess how I did this pattern. Can you? Do you give up? Okay fine, I'll tell you. I freehanded all of it with my little mid-length striper. R U SURPRISED?!

This is yet another of those patterns that I thought would be a super quick and easy Sunday night nail art adventure but ended up being a little more time-consuming than I initially imagined. They were still really fun to paint, though.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

I was actually really surprised at how much I ended up liking these nails. I wanted to do them mainly to use these two colors together and because the pattern seemed pretty easy to replicate but I didn't expect to really love them... this color combo is definitely not on my usual roster, which is probably why I was skeptical of it. But I ended up liking the combo a lot and I love the way the pattern looks translated across all my nails.

Look ma, both hands!

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, China Glaze Adventure Red-y

Here's a SUPER BONUS SWATCH of Adventure Red-y, which I wore all weekend by itself. There's something about red nails that just feels so classic and lady-like.

Look at that SHINE! That RICHNESS! Sigh.

China Glaze Adventure Red-y

So what do you guys think of these? Do you like them as much as I surprisingly ended up liking them?

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun? I went to the cabin with my boy and we played beer pong (PRO TIP: if you never drink beer, don't play beer pong with your boyfriend who's really good at beer pong or you will not feel so great the next day), went on walks, shot guns and watched movies all weekend. Totally awesome. Then yesterday I bought a TENT!!! It's my first tent and I'm super pumped about it and I can't wait to go camping now. Okay, tell me about your weekends! Tell me about your nails! GO!

Friday, October 12, 2012

My nails are wearing jewelry! (China Glaze On Safari nail art part 4)

Hey guys! Happy FRIDAY! Do you guys have fun plans this weekend? I'm especially excited for the weekend because my boyfrand and I are going to his mom's cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fall just really started here in Georgia so it's going to be soo pretty in the mountains. I can't wait!

Today I'm gonna show you guys part 4 in my China Glaze On Safari nail art series/obsession.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

I'm so happy with the way these nails turned out! I've had the pattern in my brain for a few days and it was fun to finally get it on my nails. The pattern reminds me of something but I can't really think what it is... to me it looks like my nails are wearing jewelry!

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

This is the second time I've done solid-color dots with glitter dots on top (the first being those necklace nails from earlier this week) and I think it might be my new favorite thing to do. It's so easy and I think it looks so cool. When I originally thought of this design I knew for sure what base color I wanted to use - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, a beautiful jewel-like teal that looks darker and more green indoors and lighter and bluer outdoors (at least on me). I used 2 easy coats for perfection... this is definitely one of my new favorite colors. I kinda wish I'd gotten a backup bottle. 

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

It took me a little while longer to decide which colors I wanted to do the design in. I pulled out several colors I was thinking about and lined them up on my coffee table and stared at them thoughtfully for a while. Then I rearranged them and stared some more. Then I went over to my friend's house and thought on it for a while. Then I came home and stared a little bit more. Eventually I settled on China Glaze Call of the Wild, a vampy dark brown that looks gorgeous with Exotic Encounters, and China Glaze I Herd That, the same awesome tiny coppery holographic-y glitter that I used in my striping tape nails.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

The execution was easy but time-consuming - I just did the pattern in Call of the Wild using different sized dotting tools, then placed dots using I Herd That over the CotW dots. It definitely took me longer than I thought it would but that's pretty much par for the course for me, haha. I always sit down with a design in mind and I'm like THIS IS SO GREAT IT WILL ONLY TAKE ME 30 MINUTES FOR BOTH HANDS and then literally every time I am shocked when an hour and a half or two hours passes before I finish.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

Here's a bonus sunshine photo so you can see the sparkly-ness of I Herd That a little better - and I also love how rich all of the colors look in the sun! Sigh.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

I even did the design on all 10 of my fingers! I've always loved accent nails and doing both hands differently and switching out colors and patterns and all that fun stuff but lately I'm really starting to like having all 10 fingers with the same pattern on them. It pleases my OCD.

China Glaze On Safari nail art - China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Call of the Wild, I Herd That

I have one or two more designs planned using the On Safari colors, but we won't have wifi at the cabin this weekend for me to post pics so my "On Safari Week" is probably going to turn into more of a "series" that sort of spans a week and a half or so. Oh well! I'm totally cool with using these colors FOREVER if I have to.

What do you guys think of these nails? Do you want to swim in Exotic Encounters like I do?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes + Finger Paints Flecked

Hay y'all! Today I have a break in our regularly scheduled programming this week of all On Safari all the time to show you a swatch of a combo I wore this weekend that I LOVED. Don't worry, I'll be back to nail arting tomorrow - I got home late from work last night with a terrible headache and didn't really feel up to nail painting :( It also didn't help that I really liked the design I did yesterday and was sad to take it off already haha.

Anyway, on to today's nails!

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, Finger Paints Flecked

The base color for this is China Glaze Smoke and Ashes from the Hunger Games collection. It's a black polish filled with tiny glitter, mostly in the cool color family from what I can tell. I used 2 coats for perfect opacity, I almost could've gotten away with one but had some patchy spots. The formula is pretty good, a little thick but nothing unmanageable.

I actually had some trouble applying/cleaning up this polish but I don't think it was entirely the fault of the polish... it was thick, but I had also just chopped all my nails down and for some reason when my nails are newly shortened it's like I've never painted nails before. I got polish allll over the sides and tops of my fingers, especially on my right hand, and because of the tiny glitter and the fact that the polish is BLACK I had to spend a lot of time cleaning up. It was super cool.

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, Finger Paints Flecked

On top I layered one coat of Finger Paints Flecked, a green flakie that shifts to blue and a hint of purple. I love it SO MUCH. Application was the same as all the FP flakies... easy peasy. I really love the depth that the tiny glitters in Smoke and Ashes add to this combo. It almost looks the same as it would layered over a black creme but when the tiny glitter catches the light it just looks so much more intricate.

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, Finger Paints Flecked

I also managed to get a good picture of the color shift!

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, Finger Paints Flecked

Okay, that's all for today! I have a few more ideas for things I want to do with my beloved On Safari colors so I will be back tomorrow to hang out with you guys!