Bow-verkill (31DC2016)

bow-verkill-fingers

A baby pink base, tons of super vibrant glitter (Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts) and two hot pink, rhinestone-studded, hard plastic bows combine to create a whole lot of look for day 17’s theme of glitter in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  Nail art embellishments are never anything but a pain in the arse to maintain over the long term, but oh my, are these sorts of manicures ever a delight in the short term (so long as the short term doesn’t involve anything strenuous or water-based or – lord help your hands – strenuous AND water-based.  So no crazy bow manicures for Michael Phelps.  But you know Ryan Lochte would be down.) 😉

Blue Belle

Holo Blues Collage

Hey, I made this polish!  Okay, obviously not Mega, the silver ILNP holo. That lacquer is a thing of beauty, and worth every cent of its rather elevated price tag.  But the blue glitter polish?  That’s mine!

One of only a small handful of personal use polishes I made nearly three years ago now, its name is I Blue It, and I was super pleased to see that even after all this time, and despite its DIY DNA, it’s still a pretty awesome lacquer.  A chunky glitter, yes, so a pain in the butt to remove, just like all glitter polishes.  Ain’t nuffin to be done about that.  But I Blue It has maintained its not-too-thick, not-too-thin consistency, and continues to apply smoothly and evenly.  I Blue It’s colour has also remained consistent over the years, the slightly dusky blue jelly base untouched by colour bleed from its white and black glitters. All the props to solvent resistant glitter for that – you can’t make a homemade polish without it.

Holo Blues Bottle Again

And all the props to me for this cute manicure that’s all tied up with a couple of turquoise bows.  I hadn’t planned on doing a second manicure yesterday, but with the sun out in its full, holo-blazing glory and these two polishes next up on deck, how could I not? 🙂

Holo Blues Fingers 1

Rainbow Knits

Rainbow Knit Fingers Front

It’s frosty cold and snowy today, and I thought my nails – in addition to the rest of me – could use some bundling up in something bright and cheerful.  This little chicken scratch-type knit pattern is a favourite of mine.  It’s easily adaptable to any sort of colour combination, particularly variegated rainbows, and a dead easy technique, to boot – nothing more difficult here than some very basic brushwork.

I did get a little overzealous with the clean-up, though, and my middle finger paid the price. That’s why it’s adorned with a pretty little bow; all the better to hide the quarter inch of blank space between my cuticles and the rest of my manicure!

Rainbow Knit Fingers Angle

Chanel-lo!

Chanel Hand

I think I’m about to commit an act of high fashion blasphemy here, but Chanel really isn’t my (quilted) bag.  I love all the black leather and pearls and that iconic quilting, of course, but if a giant pile of couture was to suddenly find its well-appointed way to my doorstep, I’d prefer if it was Elie Saab or Naeem Khan or Roland Mouret.  Because in this scenario I have my choice of all four!

But I do love the stark black-and-whiteness of Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld is a stuffy, curmudgeonly delight, so when the opportunity presented itself for some Chanel-inspired nail art, I jumped all over it.  Pearls and black velvet ribbons and those little interlocking Cs factor in heavily here, as does my second attempt at that iconic Chanel quilting.  I initially tried to achieve the quilted effect by laying down striping tape in a diamond-type design over a matte base.  I was going to paint over the tape with a high gloss top coat, and when I removed the tape, the little diamonds were going to look puffy and plush and gorgeous.

That of course DID NOT HAPPEN!  I just wound up ripping every bit of the polish off my nails when I removed the tape, albeit in a somewhat attractive waffle pattern.  So lessons learned – striping tape and matte topcoat do not make for compatible bedfellows.  So in lieu of my original plan, I took a second run at the quilted look, this time simply painting the matte topcoat over top of a glossy black creme in a not-too-shaky diamond pattern.  Not perfect and not what I had intended, but it’ll do!

Chanel Fingers

Leadlighting Hello Kitty

014

Or at least Kitty’s iconic bow and glasses. Wait, does Kitty even wear glasses? No, I’ve seen her wear glasses. So does her boyfriend, Daniel. And I *may* have just spent a bit too long contemplating the eye wear choices of two cartoon cats!

Leadlighting is the new-to-me nail art technique I tried with these nails. Leadlighting, a relative of stamping, is meant to look like stained glass windows – vibrant, slightly diffuse colours trapped within a decorative “lead” frame. Sheer jelly polishes really prove their worth in leadlighting, too, enhancing and brightening up an overall design without obscuring the stamping work. For these nails, I stamped a bows-and-glasses design from my Hello Kitty image plate (Fab Ur Nails FUN number 9) over top of a basic white creme. After giving that plenty of time to dry (I’ve found that unless you give your stamped design ample dry time, it will smudge and smear, destroying the effect AND your mani) I then filled in the bows with a detail brush dipped in an assortment of rainbow-hued jellies. If you’re at all familiar with cookie flooding or, more simply, colouring in a colouring book, leadlighting works exactly the same way – you create a border of sorts out of the stamped design and then fill it in with your coloured polishes. Really super easy, and very cool.

BS

Silk Maiden: A Then and Now Post

Silk Maiden HandJust in case you’re wondering exactly how random (and multi-sided) my thought processes can be, here’s how these nails, a “reboot” of the first manicure I ever shared on this blog, came into existence:

1. Week four’s theme in April’s N.A.I.L. Challenge is Spring flowers. I like roses; I should do roses.

2. Ooh, remember those roses you did waaaaaaaaayyyyy back when in that mess of Alice: Madness Returns manis you were doing?

3. That game was awesome. I wish Crazy Horse would come out with another one.

4. Anyhow, you could try those roses again. That Silk Maiden dress Alice wears in the Mysterious East level is such a beautiful design, and I’m sure you’ve improved enough to do the things you were scared to even attempt last time.

5. Ooh, Snickers!

6. Try to concentrate. Anyways, why stop at the print on Alice’s silk dress? We could also add the design on her apron, and the bow at the back of her obi with the odd little shrunken head at its centre!

7. Oh, it’s “we” now, is it? Except that’s veering a tad astray from the Spring flowers prompt, is it not?

8. Sure, but three fingers’ worth of Alice’s navy blue Chinoiserie-inspired gown is better than none. Plus look at that adorable little green shrunken head!

9. You had me at “shrunken head.”

And scene!

This really was the first manicure I posted to this blog, at the beginning of August 2013. I had taken up nail art as a rather intensive hobby some months prior, but had no outlet for it other than pestering my friends on Facebook with an endless series of photos of my ultra wonky first efforts. So instead of driving them (further) insane, I started this blog, and these were the first nails I felt comfortable enough to share with the greater world. Encouragingly, it would appear as though lots of little things about my technique have improved (to say nothing of my iPhotography and layout skills.)

Preppymint

PreppymintI can’t help it; anything striped and in a pink, green and white colour combination automatically gets sorted into the “Preppy” folder in my brain. I think it’s because every grosgrain ribbon belt or perfectly knotted hair bow I’ve ever seen has been in some variation of these pepperminty-type colours, to say nothing of Lacoste’s pop-collared tees (do they come in any shades other than pink and alligator green?) or Ralph Lauren’s iconic horsey button-downs (my childhood best friend had striped ones in both pink and white AND green and white!) or those super cute and hopelessly unflattering cotton capri pants festooned with tiny embroidered strawberries. Actually, I don’t know what I’m complaining about here, if I’m actually complaining at all – I like Lacoste tees (although one at a time and sans popped collar, frat boys) and I wore the elbows out of my Ralph Lauren button-down and if I lived on Nantucket and had a slightly smaller butt, I’d be all over those berry capris. But until then (yes, I’d like my Nantucket beach house now, thankyouverymuch), I’m satisfied with this cute, free-handed holiday mani inspired by some of my favourite minty munchies.

Disneybound (31DC2014)

032A couple of busy days has led to this Disney-fried blogger neglecting her 31 Day Nail Art Challenge duties (and also doing creepy things like speaking about herself in the third person.) Going into this challenge and my why-exactly-did-I-do-this Disney sub-challenge, I thought there was no way I’d ever run out of ideas inspired by the House of Mouse. And I haven’t, although I’m starting to feel ever so slightly burnt out on Disney-centric manicures. I want to be where the people are! There must be more than this provincial life! Oh, crap…

But then, seeking help with the 31 Day Challenge’s theme of inspired-by-fashion, I popped over to Tumblr blog Disneybound and saw that there’s still so much inspirational Disney out there, from theme park rides to animated characters to iconic food items, that I could keep doing this until Clarabelle the Cow and all of her friends come home. And best of all, I found the subject of my fashionable manicure in Disneybound itself.

Have you heard of Disneybound? If not, get prepared to lose the next two hours of your life. Disneybound is a blog that focuses on DIY, everyday Disney fashion for the lady or gentleman who likes a dash of faith, trust and pixie dust in their theme park wear. With the exception of a few days around Halloween when the parks roll out their pumpkin-coloured carpets, Disney has a strict policy forbidding costumes in the parks (little kids are exempt, if all of the wee Elsas and Annas running around are any indication.) So Disneybound provides a nice little workaround for the fashionista who would like to spend her day at the Magic Kingdom garbed like The Little Mermaid, but doesn’t necessarily want to do it in a floor length fishtail gown or run afoul of Disney’s no-costumes policy. So maybe our Little Mermaid wears a pair of mint green skinny jeans and a purple tank top, a crab-shaped purse slung across her body and a fish-shaped pendant hanging from her neck. THAT’S Disneybounding – easily achievable, everyday-and-more outfits touched with Disney whimsy.

So for the theme of fashion in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, I drew inspiration from Disneybound, both its logo AND its fashion philosophy, creating a Snow White-inspired look out of a number of disparate elements. I don’t own a red, white and blue glitter topper, so I widgeted one together out of a couple of different polishes I already own, layering that over a sunny yellow befitting Snow’s gorgeous dress (girlfriend really gets the best colour palette – but that’s what happens when you’re the first princess.) Then I added a small acrylic bow to my ring finger, which started out life neon orange until, in the very best Disneybound tradition, I painted over it to look like Snow’s iconic red bow. Et voila, Disney-tinged, not-too-obvious nails for the fashion-forward Disneyphile who wants to keep it Disneybound fashionable and fun.

Disney Girl Challenge: Gisele (31DC2014)

Disney Girl Challenge: Gisele 2I’ve had the idea for these nails, inspired by the second dress Gisele widgets out of linens in the movie Enchanted, on the back burner for quite some time, so when today’s prompt in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge called for flowers, I knew its time had come! I’m not sure how successful I really was in recreating that dress’s ultra tiny and incredibly detailed pattern, although it’s a close enough match that I won’t quibble too much. I love how soft the pastel flowers and swirls look against the slightly off-white background, and you know Gisele would approve of the last minute addition of that acrylic bow.

And just so I stayed on the right side of my self-imposed Disney sub-challenge, I added one not-so-hidden Mickey (hint: it’s on my thumb!) 😉