There’s lots to look back on fondly with this manicure I recently did that not only uses a glitter polish that predates my interest in nail art, Nails Inc.’s Special Effects Sprinkles in Topping Lane, but also features a chevron pattern in the exact design and colours as this blog’s first background wallpaper. It is a look that did not last for long. Although I love the crisp tidiness of a chevron pattern, especially in a pink, navy and white colour combination, it strobed harder than one of those anime seizure movies, and I thought it prudent to maybe not induce vomiting in my readers every time they attempted to scroll down the page! Small blogging tip for you there – don’t make your readers hurl.
I’ll note for the squeamish and/or gore-curious that at the end of this post – spoiler! – there will be blood. Because it is simply one of those truisms of the nail art world that the second you get cocky about something – your abilities with a detail brush, the health of your nails, the unblemished skin of your hands – is the precise moment everything will fall spectacularly to pieces. This actually holds true for most things in life, but especially the world of nail art, where one day you think to yourself, “Wow, it has been a REALLY long time since I broke a nail” and the next you’re contending with two broken nails, a clipper-inflicted nick and an inch-long gouge on the index finger of your swatching hand where you scraped it across a deeply embedded, tetanus-producing carpet staple you were attempting to yank out of the underside of your stairs. True story (see below)!
But until everything went pie shaped, things were going pretty well with these festive, glittery gradient nails I cobbled together for St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. Here I used two of my stainiest polishes, Essie’s dark green Pretty Edgy and Pure Ice’s grass green Wild Thing, in a simple gradient, topping the whole thing off with one coat of Cinapro’s Nail Sugar in Hyperactive, a goldy-green holographic glitter in a sheer lime base. Then I added a tiny clover accent nail, but who’s going to notice that when there’s all this yeeeeeeeeee-OUCH going on?
And now for something a little different from my usual. Regular readers or repeat stopper by-ers know my taste in nail art veers towards a lot of pop culture-inspired designs and more glitter and rainbows than a Pride parade. But when week two’s theme in March’s N.A.I.L. Challenge called for gold, I decided to go with the traditional pairing of simple black and gilded gold in an array of stripes, dots, gradients and swirls. There’s a little something for everyone here, whether you like the every-nail-for-itself approach or decide to keep it simple by choosing one as an accent nail. It’s the little black dress of nail art!
A pumpkin carriage fit for a princess, for those moments when public transportation just won’t do (please; those mice were miracle workers, but even they couldn’t make a smelly old bus anything other than a smelly old bus.)
These nails are for week one’s theme of Cinderella in March’s Nail Art Ideas Linkup Challenge. I had initially planned on redoing a Cinderella gown design I attempted very early on in my nail art and blogging career, but defaulted to Cindy’s pimped-out pumpkin when I realized I really had nothing more to contribute to my first design, save slightly longer, tidier nails and a steadier hand with a detail brush. Okay, so this carriage looks a bit like a gilded Fabergé egg on wheels, but then again, so does the one in the movie. There are worse modes of transportation for a young lady on her way to the big ball (again, see above re: smelly old bus!)
That title is actually something of a misnomer. So far as I know, there is no tiered nail polish cage match throwdown that happens each March, with one bottle or mani emerging triumphant in varnished victory. If there were, though, I have no doubt it would be insanely popular, and indeed quite insane – do we really need another venue (other than Instagram) in which to be crazily competitive with one another?
So it’s extra nice then that the monthly Nail Art Ideas Linkup (N.A.I.L.) Challenge is such a friendly, casual, free-wheeling affair – stop by any time you’d like throughout the month, participate in as many weeks’ worth of themes as you’d like (or not, lurker 😉 ) and draw inspiration from fun challenge themes that are sure to get any stalled-out creative engines revving again. March’s themes offer a little something for everyone; I’m particularly looking forward to taking a second pass during week one at a Cinderella design I attempted very early on in my nail art career. I’ve been meaning to update it for some time now – and it looks like now is that perfect some time.
I wonder, if April showers bring May flowers, what’s going to happen when this snow continues on into July? You know, aside from my complete and total mental breakdown? Actually, given the circumstances of this past winter (as in its non-endingness), I think I’ve held myself together really quite well. In past years I’ve gotten a bit complainey about the inevitability of prolonged Canadian winters, but this one has just gone on so abysmally long, there really isn’t any point in griping; shit’ll end when it ends.
But there’s no harm in wishful thinking, which is where these pretty springtime nails come in. Representing my entry in the fourth and final week of the March N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of spring flowers, I have no idea if these polished petals are daisies or…another type of daisy, or…okay, so flowers aren’t really my thing, but they’re a cute and refreshing change all the same.
Wishing all you lacquered leprechauns much health and wellness this St. Patrick’s Day (easier said than done when you insist on buying all that toxic, green-tinted food and beer!)
As for me, well, despite being at least one-third Irish (as well as having the temperament, the blue eyes, the drinking tolerance, the freckles and the curly brown hair to go along with it) I never really do anything on St. Paddy’s Day. As my mother often grumbles (she being the Irish part of my lineage), why on earth would I binge drink and brawl today when it comes so naturally to me the rest of the year? 😉
These nails represent my entry in the second week of the March N.A.I.L. Challenge. Aaaannnnnddddd they suck. They look like some sort of horrible hybrid of Finland’s flag and this polka dotted clutch I saw at Target the other day. You’d think, eight or so months into this nail art hobby-no-longer, I’d know how to use a dotting tool, but apparently I do not. Eh, crappy nail art sometimes happens (and seeing as these nails are actually my second and a half aggravating attempt at this design, they stay.) But hey, at least I got to use a favourite polish of mine, Nails Inc.’s perfect robin’s egg blue, Royal Botanical Gardens, which was of course the whole point of the exercise.
We may be mid-way through the month and partway through the prompts, but, dragging my heels notwithstanding, there’s still plenty of time left to get in on March’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. Less of a competition and more of a gentle creative nudging, N.A.I.L. (or the Nail Art Ideas Linkup) seeks to inspire by suggesting a month’s worth of themes (typically something appropriate for the season, but not always) and then stepping back to see what participants bring to the table. Better yet, there are no real rules or parameters beyond submitting your design at some point within the month (handy when, like yours truly back in January, you get sick and effectively step out of life for three solid weeks.)
I quite deftly sidestepped the first week’s theme of stamping, as I possess neither the technical ability required to become a stamping maven, nor the actual materials (I bought a tiny little test kit at one point, sort of an all-in-one “Nail Stamping for Dummies” setup, and indeed I proved to be quite the nail stamping dummy. I love to see other people’s amazing efforts, but it’s really not for me.) But looking forward to the other three prompts – aqua, St. Patrick’s Day and springtime flowers – it’s full steam ahead, so please do stop on by, take a gander at some of the inspired designs and maybe submit an entry of your own. The more the merrier and all that jazz. 🙂