Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest post at XOXO Alexis Leigh - turquoise & white heart nails!

Hey friends, happy New Year's Eve! I may be back later today with my NYE nails to show you guys but it's more likely that I'll show you tomorrow on New Year's Day, when they will still be relevant because I said so. Today I'm excited to share a guest post I did for Alexis over at XOXO Alexis Leigh for her 1-year blogiversary!

Turquoise heart nail art with Color Club Blue-ming and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

I did these based on her blog theme and even though they took me forever and I had to redo my pointer finger three times because every pattern I originally planned for it sucked, I ended up really liking them.  Check out the full post on Alexis Leigh's blog for more pictures and words about how I did these!

Hope you all have a fun and safe NYE!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas glitter gradient nails with Pure Ice Sleigh Ride, my last Christmas nails of 2012!

Ohmygosh HI GUYS! Merry day-after-Christmas! I'm showing y'all my last Christmas nails a day late because I sort of did them a day late. I decided to make all of my Christmas presents this year but being the procrastinator I am, I waited until the week before Christmas to start... so I was still finishing up my last gift on Christmas morning, haha. I didn't paint my nails at all for like a week and I broke a nail because crafting is hard so now I have nubbins again, and I did these last night instead of the night before like I wanted to but hey... better late than nevah, AMIRITE!

Christmas glitter gradient nails with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Wet n' Wild 2% Milk, Pure Ice Sleigh Ride

I thought of this combo the day before I actually got to do it and I don't know why but I was so stoked on it. I couldn't let Christmas pass me by without doing it. I brought all the polishes I needed to my mom's house on Christmas Eve when I went to spend the night and my little sister ended up doing her nails exactly like this before I could even get a chance to. Which of course made me EXTRA WANT TO DO THEM.

Christmas glitter gradient nails with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Wet n' Wild 2% Milk, Pure Ice Sleigh Ride

Sooo, what you're seeing here is three coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, which I hadn't used before this and am now kind of smitten with. Then I added a coat of Wet n' Wild 2% Milk for some sparkly, snowy shimmer. Finally I did a tinsel-y gradient using Pure Ice Sleigh Ride, and voila! It looks like Christmas threw up on my nails and I LOVE IT.

Christmas glitter gradient nails with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Wet n' Wild 2% Milk, Pure Ice Sleigh Ride

I found Sleigh Ride at Walmart a long time ago, way before I had even heard of the Pure Ice holiday polishes, and I had to get it because it looked like Christmas in a bottle. It's got lots of red microglitter, red and green bar glitter, and silver hexes. It's so perfect! I'm impressed with you, Pure Ice. Keep doin' what you're doin'.

Anyway, I was worried I wouldn't get a chance to use this before I put it away until next year but I DID get to use it so YAY.

Christmas glitter gradient nails with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Wet n' Wild 2% Milk, Pure Ice Sleigh Ride

I'm glad to be back, y'all! I had sooo much fun doing other crafts for my Christmas presents (I crocheted, sewed, made paintings, drawings, painted mugs, and MORE) but I really missed painting my nails. I missed you guys, too! Did Santa bring y'all anything awesome? I got a new coffee table and a rug for our  bedroom, a sweet task lamp for NAIL PAINTING, a GPS watch and sport headphones and an iPod Shuffle for running so I don't have to carry my iPhone with me anymore, a knife set, a food processor and lots of other cool stuff! I hope everyone's having an awesome holiday season and I'll see you guys again REAL SOON.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Diamonds and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

What's up, ladies and gentledudes! A couple weeks ago I received my package of Floss Gloss polishes that I had ordered as a birthday present to myself and last night I finally used them. All of them. At once.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

As I'm sure y'all know, these aren't really colors I'd usually use all together, but I've seen the FG girls post so many pictures of their nails using all of the colors in their collection that I usually wouldn't put together on my own nails that I thought I might as well just jump in and use all seven colors I got at once. Even though (or maybe because) it's not a typical color combo for me I super love these. They're graphic and eye-catching and weird/fun to look at!

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

The very very light green color is Floss Gloss Glowstar. It's unlike anything I have in my collection. It literally glows. The warm aqua color is Wavepool, which was one of the first colors I lusted after from Floss Gloss and is just as amazing as I hoped it'd be. The gold glitter is Stun and the silver glitter is Dimepiece. They are both insanely sparkly and holographic and amazing.

The neon red is Fastlane, which is an ACTUAL NEON RED. You guys... I can't even tell you how long I've been looking/how many bright red polishes I've bought or lusted after in my quest for an actual neon red. It's incredible. The neon yellow/orange is Neon Nacho, and I'm serious when I tell you that it really does look like neon nacho cheese when you're putting it on your nails. The deep bluish-brown is Partybruise, which is gorgeous in person and perfectly named.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

To do these nails I started by painting on my base color (from thumb to pinky my base colors are Wavepool, Fastlane, Glowstar, Stun, and Neon Nacho). After that was dry I put a dot in the center of each side of my nail and the center of the top and bottom. Then I connected the dots to form a diamond using my mid-length striper brush. I filled in the outside angles of the diamond and then added the dots in the center. Presto! Crazy diamond dot nails.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

All of the colors were opaque in 2 coats except for Neon Nacho, which required 3. I still had a little bit of VNL with it which is par for the course with light neons, so next time I wear it alone I'll probably put it over white. Wavepool was almost a one-coater but I did two to even everything out.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

I also took a photo in the sun this morning to capture the true sparkliness and BRIGHTNESS of these nails. My pinky nail is even brighter than this in person. It almost blinded me.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand diamond and dots geometric nail art with Floss Gloss polishes

What do y'all think of these nails? The color combo is so different for me but for some reason I really think it works! And of course I don't think you can ever go wrong with nails that involve neon AND glitter. I encourage all of you guys to try out Floss Gloss polishes... the bottles are THE BEST and the colors are seriously amazing.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Digit-al Dozen Does Festiveness day 5 - festive Christmas-y damask pattern nails!

Hey everyone! We have reached the end of the Digit-al Dozen's festiveness week and I'm SO excited to show y'all my last set of nails for this series... Christmas-y damask print nails!

Dressed Up Nails - festive Christmas damask pattern nail art

I got home pretty late last night and by the time I had finished making, eating, and cleaning up after dinner it was past 10:30. Then I had to take off my old polish and file my stupid nails because they're getting long again, so by the time I actually started the fun part (painting) it was after 11. I was going to do something simple for the last day since I got started so late but I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to do damask print nails in holiday colors and then I got super excited about that so I was finally just like, well, okay. I guess I don't need sleep as much as I need to get these out of my brain and onto my fingertips.

Dressed Up Nails - festive Christmas damask pattern nail art

These were partially inspired by this damask print image I found, but I basically only used it as a reference point to get started. The only nail I really used the image for was the pointer finger, which was the first one I painted.

I started out with three coats of American Apparel Cotton, which is the prettiest, most clean-looking off-white. I've been searching for so long for a color like this and this one is perfection! It's a bit streaky and required some care in application but that's par for the course with light colors so I'm not mad at it.

Dressed Up Nails - festive Christmas damask pattern nail art

After my base color was dry I used my teeny detailing brush to freehand the pattern in China Glaze Merry Berry and American Apparel Hunter (another color I'm super happy to have added to my stash recently!). I pulled a few elements from my inspiration image and made up the rest as I went along. The main thing about damask print is its symmetry, which is part of the reason I love it, so my only real guideline with these was to make sure the pattern was symmetrical on each side of each nail.

Dressed Up Nails - festive Christmas damask pattern nail art

This is hands-down the most level of detail I've ever been able to get on my nails and I rarely say this but I am so proud of them! Part of the reason I wanted to do them was to prove to myself I could and I'm really happy that I didn't totally mess them up, haha.

Dressed Up Nails - festive Christmas damask pattern nail art

I stayed up way too late for these but they were all I could think about doing and I love the result so I think it was worth it. Plus, coffee exists! So that's awesome. What do you guys think of these?

Don't forget to check out the other ladies' final festive manicures of the week!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Digit-al Dozen Does Festiveness day 4 - wrapping paper nails!

Hey friends! Welcome to day 4 of festive nails week, aka glitter nails week for me I guess haha. Let's just get right to the nails!

Dressed Up Nails - Christmas wrapping paper striping tape nail art

I'm not really sure what to call these nails so after thinking about it for a bit and waffling back and forth between ornament-inspired nails and wrapping paper-inspired nails, I decided to go with wrapping paper since that's what they look the most like to me!

Dressed Up Nails - Christmas wrapping paper striping tape nail art

These started with two coats of Pure Ice Femme Fatale, one of the velour polishes from the new line that they released recently. I wore that on its own for a day (I'll be posting swatches soon but you can get a sneak peek of it on my Instagram - @dressedupnails) and then while I was watching a movie last week I took out my striping tape and just started playing around with it.

Dressed Up Nails - Christmas wrapping paper striping tape nail art

Making this pattern was pretty time-consuming since there are so many specific angles involved and the tiny shapes were very hard to get clean lines on. I ended up having to fix some of my angles and lines with my small detailing brush - mostly on my thumb (since it was the first finger I did) and my pinkie (since it's the smallest).

Dressed Up Nails - Christmas wrapping paper striping tape nail art

So, if you also want to spend way too long on your nails while you're watching a movie, here's how I did these! I placed a piece of striping tape vertically along the each side of my nail. Then I placed a piece horizontally across the top and bottom of my nail to form a square (that's 4 pieces so far). Then I placed 4 pieces of tape over the square so that they formed the diamond in the middle. I had to make sure that each piece of tape intersected each square side at the exact middle to make everything look even. After I had all my tape laid (one finger at a time) I painted a thick coat of China Glaze Champagne Kisses and then quickly removed the tape while it was still wet.

Dressed Up Nails - Christmas wrapping paper striping tape nail art

So there you go! These were very fiddly and kind of frustrating and painstaking to accomplish but the pattern ended up being exactly what I wanted and they just look so festive to me. I think they were worth the time it took... what do y'all think?

Don't forget to check out the other ladies' lovely manicures for today!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Digit-al Dozen Does Festiveness day 3 - holiday swirl nail art!

Hey guys! Today I'm gonna show you my nails for day 3 of the Digit-al Dozen's festiveness week - sparkly holiday swirly nails!

Dressed Up Nails - holiday swirl nail art using China Glaze Merry Berry and Champagne Kisses

Last week or the week before, maybe, I was getting in the mood for festive nails, so I was hanging out with Google Images and looking at Christmas and holiday patterns. These were sort of inspired by the fact that I kept seeing swirly-ish patterns popping up on the results page, but I didn't actually use any of the images to do these nails... just kinda thought, hey! Swirls. With red and gold. OKAY LET'S GO.

Dressed Up Nails - holiday swirl nail art using China Glaze Merry Berry and Champagne Kisses

The two colors I used for these are both from the China Glaze Holiday Joy collection. The gold glitter is China Glaze Champagne Kisses and the deep red is China Glaze Merry Berry. The red is darker and richer in person - I had such a hard time photographing this true to color for some reason. I finally gave up and used the flash, which helped a little, but the color still isn't coming across quite as rich and beautiful as it is in real life. I'm wearing it on my toes right now, too... it's seriously so pretty.

Dressed Up Nails - holiday swirl nail art using China Glaze Merry Berry and Champagne Kisses

To do these nails, I just freehanded on the swirls with my new favorite teeny detailing brush that I cut down to make even teenier. I love that brush so much - this was the first time I used it and I was astonished at the level of control and the tiny lines I could get with it.

Dressed Up Nails - holiday swirl nail art using China Glaze Merry Berry and Champagne Kisses

I ended up liking the red-on-gold more than I liked the gold-on-red - I kinda wish I had done the red nails as accents instead, but oh well! I liked them anyway. Also, you guys know how I always tell you that painting patterns on glitter is very forgiving because it doesn't really show mistakes? Well, painting patterns WITH glitter is the opposite. It was tricky, but I think I managed it okay!

Dressed Up Nails - holiday swirl nail art using China Glaze Merry Berry and Champagne Kisses

That's all I have for y'all today! What do you think of these nails? I kind of want to re-do them closer to Christmas but I think if I do I'll do the pattern maybe in red and green all on the gold glitter base... I'll probably never re-do them, though. Who am I kidding.

Don't forget to check out the other lovely ladies participating in the festivities of festiveness!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Digit-al Dozen Does Festiveness day 2 - funky Christmas trees featuring China Glaze Running in Circles!

Hey friends! Welcome to day 2 of festive nails... funky Christmas trees!

Dressed Up Nails - Funky Christmas tree nail art on China Glaze Running in Circles

I got the inspiration for these nails sometime last week I think when I Googled "Christmas pattern." I saved the image in my brain but unfortunately not on my computer and when I tried to find it again it had sadly gone missing from the image results of that particular Google search. Can we all take a moment to mourn my lost inspiration image?

Dressed Up Nails - Funky Christmas tree nail art on China Glaze Running in Circles

Okay, good. I feel better now. Even though I couldn't find the original image, I had the gist of it in my brain, so I gleefully undertook this funky little Christmas tree design last night while I was watching... something... on TV with my boyfriend. I can't remember. Oh well.

I was already wearing the base color, China Glaze Running in Circles, and had been wearing it for a day but just wasn't ready to take it off because you guys, seriously, it's one of the prettiest polishes I own. No exaggeration. Pictures don't do it justice - it GLOWS in real life. It is gorgeous. Anyway, usually I'm down to repaint my nails every day, but once in a while I put on a polish I really love and I decide to just add some nail art on top of it. So that's what I did with this!

Dressed Up Nails - Funky Christmas tree nail art on China Glaze Running in Circles

I freehanded the irregular little Christmas tree layers using American Apparel Cotton with a tiny detailing brush that I cut down to about 1/3 its original size to make it even tinier. Y'all, I didn't think my love for my medium-length striper brush would ever be surpassed, but the level of detail I can get with this tiny brush I've just started using is ABSURD. I think it might be my new favorite brush... I feel badly even saying that. Like I'm cheating on my old standby brush. I STILL LOVE YOU, MID-LENGTH STRIPER. DON'T LEAVE ME.

Dressed Up Nails - Funky Christmas tree nail art on China Glaze Running in Circles

Anyway, so yeah, I painted the shapes to make it look like they were toppling/teetering on each other and then filled them in. I had to do this twice, which I hate, but Cotton is such a gorgeous ivory color that I suppose it was worth it. After the tree shapes were dry, I took a bunch of colors and did random designs with a tiny dotting tool and my tiny new favorite detailing brush. I used a bunch of different colors and I'm feeling too impatient to list them out so if you're curious about a color name, just ask! They are all American Apparel colors (except the base color, of course).

Dressed Up Nails - Funky Christmas tree nail art on China Glaze Running in Circles

I really love the way these nails turned out. They took for-ev-er but I think they were worth it... they're definitely a different/funky take on typical Christmas tree nails, and I love how the tree pieces look like they're sort of all about to topple over at any moment. What do y'all think?

Here's a couple bonus swatch pics of Running in Circles... you guys better get your bibs ready to mop up the drool that your mouth is about to make because of how stupid pretty this polish is.

China Glaze Running in Circles

I mean, I'm literally wearing this polish and I still kind of can't stop staring at these pictures.

China Glaze Running in Circles

UNH. Yeah, China Glaze. Keep doin' what you're doin', namsayin? If y'all like green polish or sparkly polish or... if you like polish... at all... do yourself a favor and pick this bad boy up. DOOO IT!

Alrighty, that's all I have for you guys for today! Don't forget to check out the other lovely ladies sporting some bangin' festive manis today!


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Digit-al Dozen Does Festiveness day 1 - glittery poinsettia nail art!

Hey lovers, happy Monday! Recently Victoria from Manicurator invited me to be part of a small group called The Digit-al Dozen that posts nails relating to a specific theme for a week each month. I of course immediately said yes because I have a giant nail crush on Victoria and the group sounded really fun. The theme for my first week participating is festiveness, so I hope y'all are ready for five sets of GLITTERY holiday nails this week!

I'm super excited today to show you guys my first holiday mani!

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

I've had a lot of ideas for holiday nails but most of them are inside the same vein as lots of other holiday nails I've seen. I was trying to think of something I hadn't seen yet and all of a sudden I had an idea... poinsettias! And not just any pointsettias, of course. GLITTERY poinsettias with RHINESTONES!

Poinsettias are such a quintessential holiday thing to me and they remind me of my mom because she always had a poinsettia around when I was little. I got excited as soon as I thought of the idea and I got EXTRA excited when I decided to execute it in glitter (of course).

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

I started by painting my nails with China Glaze Glistening Snow, a gorgeous fine silver holographic glitter polish that is part of the Holiday Joy collection for this year. Pictures don't do this polish justice - its sparkliness is unreal. It's pretty much exactly like what you'd get if you could get China Glaze Fairy Dust opaque. I love it a whole lot.

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

When my glitter base was dry, I began the flowers by freehanding the dark red petals with my mid-length striper brush using China Glaze Merry Berry, which is also from the Holiday Joy collection. This color is a gorrrgeous deep berry red that I fell in love with as soon as I saw swatches. I'm not really a red kinda girl but this one was just calling my name for some reason. I'm wearing it on my toes right now, too!

After I had the deep red petals painted, I went over the deep red petals with a deep red glitter - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Carpet. AW YEAH GLITTER!

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

The next step was to paint lighter red petals on top of the deep red ones to add some depth and contrast. I started out with a true red, but it wasn't light enough to contrast with the darker red, so I ended up painting the light red petals using OPI Red Lights Ahead, Where? Then I went over those petals with an unnamed red Color Club glitter I picked up as part of an awesome glitter set at Ross recently. While that layer was still wet, I licked the flat end of an orange stick and used it to pick up a Swarovski crystal and press it gently into the wet polish. Ughhh soooo sparklyyyy.

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

The final step was to paint the green petals, which I did with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Emerald City (I believe that's the name haha... I'm not at home so I can't check). I went over the petals with China Glaze Winter Holly, the awesome green glitter from the Holiday Joy collection. I did a couple coats of topcoat to seal in the rhinestones and make the glitter extra-shiny and I was done!

Dressed Up Nails - glittery poinsettia nail art with China Glaze Glistening Snow

These ended up being pretty time-consuming only because I had to be careful when forming all my petal shapes and because I painted everything twice (once with a color and then once with glitter). I really love the way they turned out, though... the sparkle in person was pretty amazing. What do you guys think?

Also, don't forget to check out the rest of the ladies in the Digit-al Dozen doing festive manicures this week!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wet n' Wild On a Trip with a snowy glitter gradient!

Hey everyone! I have a sparkly, snowy glitter gradient to show y'all today!

Wet n' Wild On a Trip + glitter gradient with China Glaze Glistening Snow and Finger Paints Santa's Magic

Last night I had dinner with a friend and didn't get home until late-ish, so I wasn't planning to do my nails... but then I got the urge, and y'all know you can't just IGNORE the urge. So I gave in, took my polish off and started thinking.

At first I thought I wanted to do a yellow base with a simple, brightly-colored design, but it felt like too much work for 11 PM. Then I was like, OH GLITTER. WHAT ABOUT GLITTER. I started out on a simple glittery design but immediately didn't like the way it was turning out so it came off. I sat at my desk gazing at all of my polishes for a while, unable to choose a color, when all of a sudden my eyes landed on Wet n' Wild On a Trip.

Wet n' Wild On a Trip + glitter gradient with China Glaze Glistening Snow and Finger Paints Santa's Magic

I picked up On a Trip along with seven other WNW polishes a month or two ago when CVS had a BOGO sale on them. I hadn't used it yet but all of a sudden I had the irresistible urge to. Does that ever happen to y'all? I hadn't even THOUGHT about using this polish last night when I just happened to glance at it and immediately couldn't think of using anything else. Maybe I'm the only crazy one like that. I HOPE NOT.

Wet n' Wild On a Trip + glitter gradient with China Glaze Glistening Snow and Finger Paints Santa's Magic

On a Trip goes on in two easy coats and the color is seriously gorgeous. The brush is flat and paddle-like and doesn't look like it would be easy to use, but like the Spoiled brushes, is perfect for my nails. I had to do almost no clean-up on these, even at the bottom line.

Wet n' Wild On a Trip + glitter gradient with China Glaze Glistening Snow and Finger Paints Santa's Magic

I was going to leave my nails plain because the color was so pretty, but after staring at it for a few minutes I decided to (of course) add glitter. I wanted it to look kind of wintery and snow-like, so I did a layered glitter gradient for maximum snowiness and sparkliness. I first did a gradient using China Glaze Glistening Snow, and then I did a gradient over that using Finger Paints Santa's Magic. Both of these polishes are so gorgeous and sparkly and holographic in real life, I was basically drooling by the time I finished. I mean, just look at all that holo sparkle!

Wet n' Wild On a Trip + glitter gradient with China Glaze Glistening Snow and Finger Paints Santa's Magic

These nails were simple and quick to do but I love the way they turned out. I think having a gradient of fine glitter under a gradient of chunky glitter looks really cool and I'm glad I tried it because I never have before! What do y'all think?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Colorful offset chevron nail art on a nude base, YEAH!

Hi everybunny! How are y'all? I'm sorry I've been posting so sporadically lately... I've felt kind of uninspired for nail art because all I really want to do right now is Christmas and wintery nails but it's been 65-75 degrees here for like the last week so it's really hard to get in that Christmas spirit haha. Last night I decided just to wait on the Christmas nails (I've done two sets that y'all will see soon though!) and do one of my favorite things... multicolor geometric patterns on a nude base.

Colorful offset chevron nail art on Revlon - Bare Bones

Usually when I do nail art I'll try to use some new polish colors, but since I've been feeling in a slump I decided to forget about that and just pulled out my favorite polish colors. I doodled some geometric designs and ended up with this one, which I really like!

Colorful offset chevron nail art on Revlon - Bare Bones

The base color actually is a polish I've never used before - Revlon Bare Bones, which I picked up during the awesome Revlon sale a month or so ago at CVS. I compared it in the store to the nudes I already owned and it didn't look the same so it came home with me since I am a sucker for nudes. It's not a dupe for any of the others I have, which is awesome! The formula was fine, especially for a light color... it was a bit thin and streaky but evened out and self-leveled nicely at 3 coats.

Colorful offset chevron nail art on Revlon - Bare Bones

I used my mid-length striper brush to freehand the chevrons, beginning with the ones centered at the tops or bases of my nails as a reference point and then offsetting the angle of each new chevron set as I painted. I originally had some of the sets painted in alternating colors, but I decided I liked the same-color chevron groupings better so I painted over the offending sets and it made me much happier!

Colorful offset chevron nail art on Revlon - Bare Bones

The colors I used in this manicure should be familiar to anyone who's been following me for a while because they're my FAVES. The pink is China Glaze Rich & Famous, the green is Essie Mojito Madness, the purple is Essie Play Date, and the blue is Zoya Robyn.

Colorful offset chevron nail art on Revlon - Bare Bones

I even went all the way and did both hands identically for this manicure but I didn't get a picture because I've been taking my photos standing on a chair right underneath the ceiling fan light bulb in my office and my tripod doesn't get that tall, haha! Oh well.

I'm happy with the way these turned out, they're very "me" and they were definitely a really good way to pull myself out of the slump. Hopefully soon it will actually get cold here in Georgia so I can start doing pretty, sparkly, wintery nails!