Monday, February 25, 2013

Geometric challenge day 9: mix and match - pastel studded chevron nail art

Hey lovahs! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Mine was not NEARLY long enough or filled with enough "doing nothing" but it was great nonetheless. And today is day 9 of the geometric challenge - mix and match!


I decided to combine triangle and 3D to make these studded chevron nails!

Dressed Up Nails - pastel studded chevron nail art

Funny story: the design I originally had in mind for this day was the same as this, but my original idea was to make the chevrons extend to the cuticle. Then right before I got started on my nails, my sister Summer sent me a picture of her nails she had just done and it was the same chevron pattern I was thinking of, but the chevron points were at mid-nail instead of at the cuticle. I liked hers better so I decided to copy her!

Dressed Up Nails - pastel studded chevron nail art

The only difference between mine and hers was that hers were all the same colors and I decided I needed to use ALL THE PASTELS for mine. Because I don't at all know how to keep it simple. Y'all that follow me on Instagram saw my Sinful Colors haul during the Walgreens sale a few days ago, which included the whole spring collection plus a couple others. These were done using all Sinful Colors polishes:  Orange Cream, Easy Going, Candy Coated, Sweet Tooth, Sugar Rush, Unicorn, Mint Apple, Sweet Nothing, and Cotton Candy.

Dressed Up Nails - pastel studded chevron nail art

I seriously adore all of these colors! I have SUCH a soft spot for pastels, and I really can't control myself when it comes to spring collections. The best thing is that several of these colors have a gorgeous little hidden shimmer in them - you can't really see it in the bottle but once it's on the nail it comes out and is sooo pretty.

Dressed Up Nails - pastel studded chevron nail art

To make this design I just painted on my base colors and then used my mid-length striper brush to freehand and fill in the chevrons. Then while the chevron polish was still wet I placed 2mm gold studs from Born Pretty Store at the base of each one. I think the studs are what really make these interesting for me - they looked a little boring without them, but the studs really tied them together.

Look, I'm learning how to take pictures of both hands at once! I loved the color combos of all my nails because they were all different, so I thought they deserved a picture all together.

Dressed Up Nails - pastel studded chevron nail art

That's all I have for y'all today! What do you think of these? Do you like studs and pastels as much as I do? I CAN'T GET ENOUGH.

Don't forget to stop by and see what my challenge buddies have for today!

Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Geometric Challenge day 8 - 3D nail art with ALL THE STUDS

Hey everyone, happy Friday! I have had a tiring week so I'm super glad it's almost the weekend. YAY. Today is day 8 of the geometric challenge and the theme is 3D.


I've had an idea of what I wanted to do for this theme for a while, but when I was driving home from work and thinking about it I remembered that I had some studs on the way from Born Pretty Store and I  was like, MAN, I wish those had already arrived at my house so I could use those for today's challenge instead. And lo and behold... my studs came when I got home!

Dressed Up Nails - geometric square stud nail art

I loved the idea of using square studs for this challenge theme because they are literally 3D and they are easy to make geometric patterns with!

The studs I got were the 2mm gold studs, and they came in a little resealable bag. There are a LOT of them! I was happy about that because I'm really starting to like having things on my nails other than just polish.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric square stud nail art

I started with a base of two coats of Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam (ugh, the name, but the color is GORGEOUS). I haven't used this polish in a long time and I almost forgot how amazing it was!

After my base color was down I went one nail at a time and added a coat of Gelous top coat, which is fairly thick and slow-drying. I used this rhinestone picker upper that I got at Sally last week to pick up the studs and place them on my nails in the pattern I wanted, and it worked really well! Definitely better than licking an orange stick and using that, haha.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric square stud nail art

I actually ended up doing my left hand twice because the first time, after I finished placing the studs, I decided to put a coat of Gelous AND a coat of Seche Vite on top to make sure they stayed in place for a while. Well, that looked terrible - it was all thick and the texture of the studs was ruined - so I took off all the studs and polish and started over. UGH. I ended up putting just one thin coat of Seche Vite over the studs and that worked well. I wish I could have left them topcoat-free, but I knew I'd mess them up immediately without my fast-drying topcoat.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric square stud nail art

Despite having to do my left hand over, these were actually really easy to do. Once I had the patterns figured out on my left hand, even my right hand only took me about 15 minutes. The studs are slightly rounded so they sit really nicely on my nails and were easy to place. I also liked the size a lot - they were small enough that they were easy to make patterns with, but not so small that they were difficult to place. They're also so shiny! I love shiny.

I also did a glitter gradient on my thumbs using Floss Gloss Stun and then added a heart stud. Probably gonna do this to all my nails eventually.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric square stud nail art

That's all I have for you guys today! What do you all think of these nails? Do you like 3D nail art? It's really growing on me a lot... the texture of a mani like this is really fun too.

Don't forget to check out my other challenge ladies and have an AWESOME weekend!

Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish 

Studs from Born Pretty Store were provided for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Geometric Challenge day 7 - polygon

Hi friendses! Today is day 7 of the geometric challenge and the theme is POLYGON. I'm writing this on Monday night and I'm soooo sleeeeeepy so please forgive me if this post isn't as wordy as usual!


My nails for today started with a base of Shimmer Polish Gerry, which I had been thinking about for days and finally got a chance to use on Sunday night.

Dressed Up Nails - Shimmer Polish Gerry

Gerry is a BEAUTIFUL mix of purple glitter and some pink glitter and gold and blue glitter and black circle glitter. It works wonderfully for layering but I (as usual) wore it on its own because I'm a sucker for nails that look like jewels.

Dressed Up Nails - Shimmer Polish Gerry

The formula of this polish was the same as all the other Shimmers I've used... perfect. For being so glitter-packed it wasn't too thick and it was opaque easily in 3 coats. It does eat topcoat, so I used two coats of Seche Vite for DAT SHINE.

Dressed Up Nails - Shimmer Polish Gerry

I wore Gerry on her own for a day and then decided to use her as my base for my polygon nails. I had a design in mind and I tried a few different variations of it on my thumb nail but didn't like any of them. Then I had an idea... I would do a glitter gradient on top of glitter and then do the pattern in reverse colors. And these nails were born!

Dressed Up Nails - geometric pattern over a glitter-on-glitter gradient

The polish I used for the gradient is Shimmer Polish Brooklyn, a mix of mostly teal and gold glitters. It's just as pretty and perfect as Gerry! To do the gradient, I just used the brush from the polish bottle.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric pattern over a glitter-on-glitter gradient

After the gradient was done I used my cut-down mid-length striper to paint the polygon pattern in China Glaze For Audrey and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacy Lilac.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric pattern over a glitter-on-glitter gradient

I left my ring finger pattern-less because I seriously could not bear to cover this gradient up on all of my fingers. I'm so in love with this combination I kind of can't stand it. It's even prettier in real life.

Dressed Up Nails - geometric pattern over a glitter-on-glitter gradient

My right hand got a double-glitter gradient on top of Lacey Lilac because I already had it on. It was super pretty but I forgot to take pictures... oops. Maybe if I can get some pictures of it before I ruin it I'll make another quick post about it!

What do you guys think of these? Too much? Too little? Just enough?

The other lovely ladies in the challenge...
Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish 

Shimmer Polishes were provided for an honest review.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Geometric challenge day 6 - 80s party nails

Hey everyone, happy Saturday! Another uncharacteristic weekend post coming to you courtesy of the Geometric Challenge. Today's theme is bent!


I had a couple ideas for this but I didn't really like them and then yesterday night when I was about to start on my nails I had the idea to do several bent lines on top of each other in pArtY cOLoRs!

Dressed Up Nails - 80s party nail art

I didn't know if they would turn out the way I wanted them to, so I started to test the design on my thumbnail, but after I painted the first line I was just like well okay let's do this. Let's just go for it. LET'S GET CRAZY!

Dressed Up Nails - 80s party nail art

I started with a base of two coats of OPI Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine!, which is a really pretty dark gray with just the slightest tinge of green that sets it apart from other dark grays. Then, using my mid-length striper brush, I painted the bent lines in OPI Fly, OPI Did It On 'Em, and China Glaze Sugar High. I just need to tell you guys that I LOVE this color combo omg.

Dressed Up Nails - 80s party nail art

These were pretty easy to do but I think they still look cool, which is... cooool. I think they ended up looking like an 80s party on my nails. The first thing my boyfriend said when I showed him was "ooh, 80s!" which makes the second set of nails I've done in like two weeks that have turned out unintentionally 80s-looking. I think that says a lot about my style sensibility (namely that I am probably a time traveler from 1988).

Dressed Up Nails - 80s party nail art

I was a little nervous about these at first but luckily they turned out the way I wanted and I think they're fun to look at! What do y'all think? I'm also pretty glad that this INTENSE WEEK OF BLOGGING is over and that I can blogchill for a couple days. Although I have to say, even though doing challenges can be sort of stressful sometimes, I'm always really proud of the things I end up doing that I'd probably never think to do otherwise. Sometimes you just need that lil extra push to be creative (especially when you're a lazy procrastinator like I am).

Don't forget to stop by and see what the other ladies did for today!

Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen's Love & Heartbreak week day 5 - bleeding hearts

Happy Friday everyone! Today is the last day of Love & Heartbreak week and I finally have a set of nails to show y'all that fit the "heartbreak" part of the theme. I had like a bazillion ides for love nails and maybe 2 ideas for heartbreak nails, but I figured I needed to include at least one heartbreak-type design to celebrate how dumb love is.

Dressed Up Nails - bleeding heart anti-Valentine's Day nail art

I was originally going to do this design on a base of black polish, but I had put on China Glaze Cast a Spell the day before and it's so pretty but also kind of creepy-looking that I thought it'd be a nice base for these nails. This is ONE coat of this awesome polish and it seriously glows in real life!

Dressed Up Nails - bleeding heart anti-Valentine's Day nail art

The design itself was actually really easy to do. I used my striping brush to freehand the hearts and blood drips using China Glaze Adventure Red-y. Then I went over the hearts with Shimmer Polish Marilyn, a gorgeous deep red glitter that would definitely be opaque on its own in 2-3 coats.

Dressed Up Nails - bleeding heart anti-Valentine's Day nail art

After I finished the hearts I used my tiny detailing brush to paint "H8 U" on my pinkie in Zoya Ziv. I went over the lettering with Shimmer Polish Irene, a superfine gold glitter with tiny blue flecks in it, to give it a little extra sparkle.

Dressed Up Nails - bleeding heart anti-Valentine's Day nail art

I kinda wish I had done these on a lighter base so that the hearts had shown up better, but I also kinda like how dark and glittery and dramatic they are. I really wanted them to be heartbreak-themed, but also sort of flashy and sparkly... something about the act of delighting in the hatred of love for a while after you've had your heart broken is really appealing to me and I feel like making these glittery kind of conveys that. Maybe it's just me, though... haha. What do you guys think of these?

Check out what the other ladies have in store for the final day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen's Love & Heartbreak Week day 4 - rhinestone heart gradient nails

Hey friends! Today is day 4 of Love & Heartbreak week and I have some nails to show y'all that aren't even remotely what I originally intended to do but I love them anyway. Heartsy rhinestone gradients!

Dressed Up Nails - heart rhinestone gradient nail art

I had another design in mind for today but it didn't happen for two reasons... the first being that I didn't save the image when I originally found it and then when I went looking for it again the website was shut down, haha. And the second reason is that today I got an awesome package in the mail from MASH Nails, which was full of super fun nail arty things for me to try. The package had two rhinestone wheels in it and as soon as I saw them I got too excited about how sparkly and pretty they were and I couldn't resist using them.

Dressed Up Nails - heart rhinestone gradient nail art


The wheels I got are the heart rhinestone wheel and the round rhinestone wheel. They both came in the standard wheels for tiny nail decorations. The heart wheel comes with 1200 rhinestones and the round wheel comes with 2400. I REALLY like the color selection. Teal rhinestones omg!

I mean, just look at how pretty these are. How could I not use them immediately?

MASH nail art rhinestones heart & round

I started with two coats of OPI Steady as She Rose, a beautiful light dusty pink color that I've been wanting to use for weeks, but I could never think of anything I wanted to do with it (this manicure was clearly fate, right?). Then, one nail at a time, I painted on a third coat of SaSR and then placed the rhinestones by licking the end of an orange stick and using that to pick them up. It sounds irritating and time-consuming but it's actually not at all!

Dressed Up Nails - heart rhinestone gradient nail art

I was starting to run low on clear heart rhinestones after finishing my left hand, so on my right hand I did a glitter gradient using Floss Gloss Dimepiece and then placed a few hearts on top of it. I didn't think I'd like this as much as mu left hand but it's so sparkly I can't help but stare at it!

Dressed Up Nails - heart rhinestone glitter gradient nail art

This ended up being way more girly and delicate than what I usually put on my nails but there are still SO MANY SPARKLES! I've been wanting to do a more neutral-ish mani for a while and this fits the bill for me (sort of a blinded-out palate cleanser?). I also love these rhinestones - the color selection is great and I really like the small size and how sparkly they are. What do you guys think of these?

Don't forget to stop by and see the other ladies' day 4 nails!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Love & Heartbreak Week day 3 PLUS Geometric Challenge day 5!

Happy Wednesday, everybunny! We're on day 3 of the Digit-al Dozen's Love & Heartbreak week AND day 5 of the Geometric Challenge. I briefly (for 0.005 seconds) considered double-posting but then decided that since I was already posting 7 days in a row, which is the most I've ever done, I would combine the two challenges. The theme for this day of the Geometric Challenge is "straight", and I found a way to combine that with the theme of love in one design! YAY.

Dressed Up Nails - striped hearts on stripes Valentine nail art

I had the idea for this design last week sometime and since I knew it would be one of the most time-consuming ones I posted this week I did it pretty much immediately so I wouldn't feel rushed. If you follow me on Instagram you saw the picture of the stripes on their own before I added the hearts... I liked them so much I almost couldn't cover them up, but I sallied forth!

Dressed Up Nails - striped hearts on stripes Valentine nail art

These started with one coat of white polish on top of which I used a long striper brush to freehand the stripes. I love doing stripes with a long striper because it makes it so easy - you basically just lay the brush on the nail and drag it a little and VOILA, stripes! I mean it still took me some practice but you get what I'm saying. The colors I used for the stripes were American Apparel Peacock, OPI Pink Friday, OPI Mermaid's Tears, OPI Funky Dunkey, and Zoya Pippa.

Dressed Up Nails - striped hearts on stripes Valentine nail art

After the stripes were done it was time for HEARTS! I used my mid-length striper (I think... it may have been my detailing brush but who really cares) to draw the outline of the hearts using China Glaze White on White. Then I filled them in with horizontal stripes using the same colors as the vertical ones. Finally, I painted over the heart outlines again to make them nice and clean.

Dressed Up Nails - striped hearts on stripes Valentine nail art

I liked the stripes so much that I left them on their own on my right hand :)

Dressed Up Nails - multicolor stripes nail art

This was one of those manicures that I was nervous about having turn out the way I envisioned it in my head because I felt like it had the potential to go horribly wrong. Luckily it turned out pretty much exactly the way I pictured it and I'm so happy with it! I LOVE this color combo too, I had sort of an idea of what I wanted the colors to "feel" like together but no idea what colors I actually wanted to use, and this combo came together really quickly (especially for me) and felt just like I wanted it to. 

What do you guys think of these? Do you think they fit both themes appropriately?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the ladies in both challenges today - it's a double day for some of them, too! :)

Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish 



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Digital-Dozen Love & Heartbreak Week day 2 - hearts on stems nail art

Hey everyone! I'm back with another installment of the Digit-al Dozen's Love & Heartbreak week. Cute little hearts on stems!

Dressed Up Nails - hearts on stems Valentine nail art

If you've been following me for a while you'll probably recognize this design because it's based on this design I did last fall. I was thinking about things I could do this week and I thought about that mani and was like, hey! I bet that would look cute with HEARTS instead of DOTS!

Dressed Up Nails - hearts on stems Valentine nail art

I laid out a selection of colors but after looking at them for a minute I decided that I wanted to use the same colors I used originally. The base is ONE lovely coat of Essie Bobbing for Baubles, a perfect shiny dusty navy blue polish. I used my striper brush to freehand the stems in China Glaze White on White.

Dressed Up Nails - hearts on stems Valentine nail art

On top of the stems I used the same striper brush to paint the little hearts in China Glaze Happy Go Lucky (yellow), China Glaze For Audrey (turquoise), China Glaze High Hopes (red), China Glaze Something Sweet (pink), and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed (orange). Painting little hearts like this is easier than it looks - I just paint on little V shapes and then sort of round them out here and there.

Dressed Up Nails - hearts on stems Valentine nail art

This design is super easy and I think it's really cute for Valentine's Day, especially if you don't like traditional red and pink designs! What do you guys think of this?

Check out what the other ladies did for day 2!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Love & Heartbreak Week day 1 - stained glass hearts

Hey loves! It's that time of the month again... Digit-al Dozen theme week! This week's theme is (of course) Love & Heartbreak. I like painting hearts on my nails almost as much as geometric patterns so expect mostly "love" and not so much "heartbreak" this week haha.

The nails I did for today are an idea that I had a while ago and filed away for later and now I'm glad I saved it: stained glass hearts!

Dressed Up Nails - stained glass heart nail art

When I originally had the idea for these I pictured the hearts being all one color with a stained glass background of a different color, but when I was thinking about them today I decided that I wanted to leave the background plain to make the hearts stand out more. I thought it would look a little boring to leave the hearts all one color with a plain background so I did four colors!

Dressed Up Nails - stained glass heart nail art

I started with a base of Revlon Bare Bones, and I have to tell you guys... I went through a big nude polish phase so I own a lot of nudes but something about this one makes me reach for it all the time! I love it so much.

After my base color was down I used a small detailing brush to quickly freehand the outline of the hearts and the shapes inside with American Apparel Hassid, which is definitely my new favorite black polish. The hearts and lines at this point were messy because I knew I'd be going over them again.

Dressed Up Nails - stained glass heart nail art

Then, one by one, I filled in the colors inside each heart. I put down a drop of the color and filled in a few shapes, then added some white and filled in a few more, then some more white and some more filling, then a little more white and a little more filling (this was way less time-consuming and annoying than it sounds haha). The colors I used were Sephora by OPI Domestic Goddess (purple), China Glaze Four Leaf Clover (bright blue-green but it's showing up more aqua in these pictures for some reason), Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Fuchsia Power, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue. This step was really messy too, I just sort of blobbed the colors in the general area and then moved on.

After all the colors were filled in, I went back in with my little detailing brush and painted the black outlines again so they would be all neat and clean. This part was the reason I was able to be so messy on the first two parts haha.

Dressed Up Nails - stained glass heart nail art

I thought that these would take a pretty long time but then when I sat down to do them I decided that I would try to work faster than usual - I'm such a perfectionist that doing my nails usually takes FOREVER and I want to get better at doing them faster! I timed myself and both hands, including basecoat/base color/topcoat/cleanup, only took 1.5 hours. Not bad!

I am sooooo happy with the way these turned out and I'm glad I already have a few manicures ready to go for this week because I want to wear these for more than a day. I love them! They're definitely very "me" haha. What do you guys think? Do you like them as much as I do?

Don't forget to stop by and see what the other ladies have for the first day of Love & Heartbreak week!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 4 - curved

Happy Sunday, lovers! I NEVER post on weekends because I'm a lazy blogger, so you can thank Stephanie and her scheduling of the Geometric Challenge for this post today! I was going to schedule it last night so it would be up early like they've all been lately but I went to a birthday hangout for my BFF and when I got home I was too tired to stay awake long enough to make a post. I've had a long week haha.

Today's challenge theme is curved!


I had some ideas for this challenge and found some other good ones when I was Googling around but then I saw this image and I knew right away it was what I wanted to do.


Curved lines are still harder for me than straight and though I considered doing some intricate curved patterns, I really liked the idea of this curvy abstract thing. I also LOVED the color combo, so I knew this was the pattern for me.

I started with a base of one coat of American Apparel Hassid (one-coat black WHAT WHAT) and then went to work on my thumb nail figuring out what would be the best way to replicate the design. I broke the living daylights out of my thumbnail a few days ago so you guys won't be seeing pictures of it for a while haha. The corner broke off so far down I can't even file the rest of the nail to match. *cries* But at least it means I have a good place to test designs haha. 

Dressed Up Nails - turquoise and black brush marble easy nail art


I started by trying a sort of needle-marbling technique but with a brush. I put down a drop of Color Club Blue-ming (the turquoise) on my nail and swirled it around with a brush but it wasn't the look I wanted. I swirled some black on top but it still wasn't right. Finally I figured out how to make it look the way I wanted and it was like that A-HA!! moment that makes you feel like you've accomplished something AWESOME.


Dressed Up Nails - turquoise and black brush marble easy nail art


The way I ended up doing these was SO easy but it gave me exactly the results I wanted. I don't know if it's an actual technique (I guess now it is haha) so I'm just calling it brush marbling. I put on a second coat of black and while that was still wet I dipped my mid-length striper brush in turquoise polish and started painting the swirls. Because the black polish was still wet it was easy to kind of swirl them together and make them look the way I wanted to. It's sort of the same effect as dry marbling or needle-dragging or saran wrap but it's a little different from all of them because you have more control over your design, I think!


Dressed Up Nails - turquoise and black brush marble easy nail art

After the turquoise bits were finished I went back and added little purple shapes in China Glaze Flying Dragon. I did that to mimic the inspiration image but if I were to do these again (which I can guarantee I will be) I think I would either try to marble those spots a little more or leave them off entirely. I still like them in this mani, though.

Dressed Up Nails - turquoise and black brush marble easy nail art

What do you guys think of these? They were so easy and I think the design is pretty out of the norm for me but for some reason I couldn't stop staring at them. They look sort of spooky and ethereal or something. Brush marbling is definitely a technique I'm going to try again! Would you guys try it? Would this be something you'd like to see a tutorial on? LET ME KNOW!

Hope everyone has a great rest of your weekend and don't forget to check out what the other lovely ladies have for today!

Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie
Victoria of Manicurator
Lindsey of Neverland Nail Blog
Alexis of XOXO Alexis Leigh
Brittney of Precious Polish