Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! - simple New Year's Eve manicure!


Happy New Year everyone!

For this year's New Year's (Eve) manicure, I decided to keep it a lot more simple than the previous year, where I spent about 5 hours on my design. It barely took me 30 minutes for this one, so that's definitely a plus, considering I've been pretty busy lately.

I decided to use my all-time favorite polish for this design. I got this polish at Christmas, but it's way prettier than anything else I own. I paired it with black, to keep it simple and elegant.

I won't keep you any longer, go on and celebrate!
(Excuse my red fingers, I dyed my hair the day before!)

Colors used:
black
Milani - HD (silver holo)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas! - Red Santa manicure


Merry Christmas everyone! I know, it's only Christmas Eve Eve, but I won't be home until present time and I figured I'd rather put it up too early than too late.

I didn't get to do a lot of festive manis this year, mostly because uni is super duper stressful at the moment. Now that I'm on winter break, I'll hopefully get to invest more time in this blog.

If you couldn't tell, Santa is winking, he's not missing an eye or anything. It looks weird if you don't know, so I wanted to point that out.
The red polish did end up bleeding through the white, but that is my top coat's fault, since I used a different one for this mani.

Colors used:
essie - forever yummy (red)
essie - spin the bottle (nude)
OPI - Jade Is The New Black (green)
essence - winter wonderland (pastel blue)
white

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

24 days of swatches & reviews -- essence advent calendar :: FINISHED


The essie advent calendar consists of 24 nail products - mostly nail polish or nail art/manicure supplies.

All polishes are minis and have 5ml/0.16 fl.oz. of product in the bottle.















Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gilded Holly - Holiday nail art

Hey guys!
I know, I know; I haven't posted in ages. I've been super busy with uni, but I managed to squeeze in a little nail art time last night (at like 3am)!

Is it too early for Christmas nails? I don't know. I just thought that today would be a good day to start, because there's only a month until Christmas!
If I celebrated Thanksgiving, you probably would have seen at least one design for that, but since I don't... straight from Halloween to Christmas nails for me!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Finished Halloween Nail Wheel


Scroll on through to find out what polishes I used for each individual design!
Also, make sure to click the halloween tag to see all of this year's halloween manis!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Splatter


I know what you're thinking; ANOTHER splatter mani!?
Yeah. I originally just wanted to test how opaque Lady And The Vamp was in a splatter mani, then I realized that this was a very halloween-ish color combination, so I decided to put it up.


Colors used:
China Glaze - Budding Romance (murky olive green)
China Glaze - Lady And The Vamp (neon orange)
essie - all access pass (blue-based purple)

Make sure to click the halloween tag to check out all of this year's spooky manis!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Radioactive Goo

Eek! I had a lot of fun with these, and let me just tell you, the orange is BRIGHT! It's Lady And The Vamp by China Glaze. I layered it over white on my ring and pinky finger and wore it on its own on the other two and they are almost equally as bright. I thought I'd have another go at a splatter mani, especially since the last one wasn't my favorite. This one looks amazing though!

Make sure to follow the halloween tag to see all of this year's Halloween themed manis!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Grungy Spiderwebs

The sun paid me a little visit when I was taking my pictures! :)

Wee! My first Halloween manicure of the year! I've done a similar manicure to this last year and ended up really loving the look of it, so I decided to re-create it this year!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 31: Honor Nails You Love

IT'S OVER!!!!

Guys, words can't express how happy I am that this challenge is over now. I liked being challenged, but my nails started taking the toll.
But hey, I did it! 31 consecutive days of nail art.

Anyway, the design I chose to re-create is this design by seizethenail on Instagram. I created mine differently than she did which is why it looks quite a bit different to hers. Either way, I'm very happy with these!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 30: Inspired by a tutorial


Truth be told, I absolutely did not want to take off yesterday's nails. Especially because I knew I was exchanging them for something I definitely wasn't gonna like.
Here's the deal: I don't watch/read nail art tutorials. Simply because I don't need instructions to achieve a specific look. I can tell just by looking at a design how it's done and what I need to pay attention to. So this prompt SUCKED for me. I chose to go with a splatter design, simply because I've never done splatters and actually posted them anywhere. It's not a new technique for me at all.

Also, I didn't love this mani. I actually hated it. I don't like the way it looks in person. In the pictures I took however, they weren't quite that bad. My camera picked up the colors more saturated than they actually are and apparently, that made me approve of them.

Colors used:
black
essence - born to be wild (dark shimmery green/teal)
essie - aruba blue (royal blue)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 29: Inspired by the Supernatural

Boy. This was such a fun one to paint! Sure, it took me forever and a day, but I absolutely love the final result! So, if you couldn't guess just by looking at it, this mani was inspired by a phoenix. I picked this picture as inspiration and tried to re-create it as accurately as possible. I chose to go with a simple black base, because the phoenix itself already took me way too long anyway.

This might be one of the most intricate manis I've ever done! Check below for some bonus work-in-progress shots!

Colors used:
black, white
China Glaze - Happy Go Lucky (yellow)
flormar - 421 (orange) [destashed]
ArtDeco - 80 (darker orange) [destashed]
essie - forever yummy (light red)

Make sure to click on the pictures to magnify them! 



Monday, September 28, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 28: Inspired by a flag

I'll admit I took the easy way out with this one. This was based off the flag of Wales. The original flag has a red dragon-like creature on it too, but after all, the prompt was 'inspired by a flag', not 'recreate a flag'... So yeah. We're in the last couple days of the challenge and it's starting to wear me out a little. I still enjoy doing it, but everyday has taken a toll on my creativity and the health of my nails.

Colors used:
white
Catrice - Miss Piggy's BF (green) [destashed]
matte topcoat

Sunday, September 27, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 27: Inspired by artwork


I had a lot of fun with today's mani! The piece of art that inspired me was Claude Monet's Twilight, Venice which is also called San Giorgio Maggiore At Dusk.
I was originally going to do the Mona Lisa, but let's be honest, that's impossible.

Here are the colors I used:
Bonus picture - part of the mess I left
behind after I finished this mani
white
Sally Hansen - Lemon Heaven (pastel yellow/cream) [destashed]
essie - forever yummy (medium red)
Artdeco - 80 (dark-medium orange) [destashed]
essie - vibrant vibes (light green, pastel)
OPI - Bastille My Heart (darker red)
China Glaze - Happy Go Lucky (yellow)
Formula X - Dynamite (darker yellow)
essie - make some noise (medium electric blue)
China Glaze - Bahamian Escape (light blue)
black


Saturday, September 26, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 26: Inspired by a pattern


So, I'm pretty sure I've officially lost my motivation for this challenge. Luckily, there's only 5 days left. I don't hate this design, but I've been feeling very uninspired for the last couple days.

Anyway, this mani is inspired by the herringbone pattern, just in case you couldn't tell. As always, I don't do well with freehanding lines, but I like to challenge myself so I've been doing it quite a lot nonetheless. There's actually a small black fiber stuck to my pinky, which you might see if you magnify the picture.

Colors used:
essie - spin the bottle (nude)
essence - wonderfuel (purple with light blue/cyan shimmer)

Friday, September 25, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 25: Inspired by fashion


I am officially calling these 'snowed in rainbow pinwheels'. I swear, the gradient/faded edges look just like a dusting of snow (or powdered sugar) to me. It wasn't intentional though.
The lines on these aren't the cleanest, but considering the short time I actually spent on them, they're not too bad.

Here's the t-shirt I based this mani on:
http://www.mwmgraphics.com/TEES_515/hand_painted/mwm_hand_painted_tees_3.jpg 

Colors used:
black, white
OPI - Bastille My Heart (dark red)
Formula X - Dynamite (dark yellow)
wibo - Nr. 2 (rosé) [destashed]
Maybelline - Lavender Lies (muted light purple)
Manhattan - 10B (dark blue) [destashed]
flormar - 421 (orange) [destashed]
OPI - Jade Is The New Black (medium green)
butter LONDON - Slapper (teal)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 24: Inspired by a book


So today, I have my first fail of the challenge. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the design. It's wearable and I didn't have to deal with any major crises. However, this wasn't my most inspired mani. It feels like I kind of rushed through it and kept it very very simple.

Anyway, today's design was inspired by The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss. To be fair, I haven't read this book at all, so I based this design off the book cover. My index and middle finger represent the pattern on the cat's hat and my ring finger and pinky loosely represent the color scheme - red, blue and white.

Colors used:
black, white
essie - forever yummy (red)
b pretty - sky (blue/teal) [destashed]

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 23: Inspired by a movie


Today's manicure is inspired by the movie Finding Nemo. This was the first movie I ever saw in the cinema, back when I was 7. I will try to take you through every nail, explaining what I wanted to depict and which colors I used. Make sure to click on the pictures to magify them!



Let's start with the pinky! This is a purple to yellow gradient with yellow polka dots on the bottom three fourths of my nail. This was inspired by the character Gurgle, who is a purple royal gamma fish. I didn't really have a blue-based purple in my stash that was bright enough to resemble his actual colors, so I used essence's amazed by you [destashed] instead. It's more pink/red-based, but it worked well. The yellow I used is Formula X - Dynamite.






The design on my ring finger was inspired by the character Gill. He is a white moorish idol and I tried representing his appearance by starting with a sideway gradient from yellow to white. The yellow is the same as above, the white is essie - blanc.
I then painted on some dark purple on either side of the gradient. The purple I used is OPI's Russian Navy. The last step was to paint on his scars with the white polish.




The middle finger represents Dory. I started with two coats of Manhattan's 10B [destashed]. I then painted on the black markings with essie - licorice and finished the design by adding her back fin with China Glaze's Happy Go Lucky. This is a lighter and cooler yellow than Dynamite.
I ended up shading/highlighting the lines where the blue and the black meet with essence's blurry up!, which is a white jelly polish.


The index finger was obviously inspired by the title character. I started off with two coats of Artdeco's 80 [destashed] then added the detail with black and white polish. Unfortunately, my bottle of essie's blanc has gotten a bit goopy, so this finger and my thumb ended up a little thick in places.



The design on my thumb was inspired by the character Deb. Deb is a blue and white striped damselfish. I started this just like my middle finger, then added in the white "stripes" and lined them with essie's shelter island. This finger also had the issue of being a little thick in places.



This isn't really something I would actually wear outside the challenge, but it was a lot of fun to create for sure!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 22: Inspired by a song


Today's prompt is 'Inspired by a song' and the song I chose is Anthem by Leonard Cohen. Actually, this mani is inspired by a line in the song, not the whole piece.
The line that inspired this mani goes as follows:
There is a crack, a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in.
And so obviously, I had to turn this into a glow-in-the-dark mani. I managed to get a much stronger glow this time, mostly because I used a different polish.

The white base might've contributed too. I 'charged' the polish with flash before taking this picture.


Colors used:
China Glaze - Concrete Catwalk (dark charcoal)
white
glow in the dark top coat

Monday, September 21, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 21: Inspired by a color


We've reached the 'inspired by...' prompts, which means we're two thirds through with the challenge! These last couple prompts tend to be the ones I dread, because I don't watch enough movies or read enough books to actually do manicures based on one of them. Nevertheless, it needs to be done, so I will try and find a way to make it work.

Today's prompt is 'Inspired by a color' and I chose London Town by Sundown by Catrice.
It's a beautiful shimmery dark red and I used it as part of the gradient. It ended up showing through on my index finger only though.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 20: Water Marble


Yay, watermarbling! Yes, I had a really hard time with watermarbling this time. Mostly because I hadn't done it in about a year, so I initially felt a little lost, but eventually I got there!

My first idea with these was nude-gold-black. It didn't work out because the one black polish I have right now dries super quickly, so the drop I put in after it didn't spread out at all. Then, I decided to just do nude and gold. I also had some spreading and drying issues with that, so this was my final attempt. Thankfully, it worked out well. Unfortunately, I got a few white spots on my final manicure, because I had tiny bubbles that popped when I applied my top coat, but they're not too disastrous.

All in all, I'm super happy with these. I love the effect they create and it's fairly easy to do (as soon as you know which polishes work well).

Colors used:
China Glaze - Rose Among Thorns (fuchsia/hot pink)
China Glaze - Concrete Catwalk (dark grey)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 19: Galaxy Nails

WARNING: Picture-heavy post!


I have done countless galaxy manicures in the past, so I decided to switch it up with these. First of all, I let my mom pick out the colors I was gonna use. She picked out a lot of seemingly random colors, but to my surprise, they all worked perfectly together. I ended up adding one color to make it a little more 'complete'. All in all, these were a lot of fun to make and to look at. And the best part? They glow in the dark!

I am also officially calling these rainbow galaxies, because that's how they ended up looking to me. I really truly love these and just a single picture does not do them justice. They're really sparkly!

Here, have some pictures.

Make sure to click through these pictures to magnify them!
The glow wasn't the strongest unfortunately, even after charging the polish with flash. It would have possibly worked better if I put the polish over an actual white base.

Colors used (in no particular order):
black, white
Manhattan - 10B (dark blue) [destashed]
flormar - U09 (sparkly medium purple)
essence - i don't need money, honey! (teal foil-effect polish) [destashed]
butter LONDON - Shag (shimmery medium brown)
MaXFactor - Deep Coral (dark orange/red)
flormar - S02 (shimmery green jelly)
OPI - Bling Dynasty (yellow gold)
OPI - Ski Slope Sweetie (white glass fleck polish with cream shimmer) [destashed]
essence - let stars rain down on me! (small holo glitter) [destashed]
claire's - White Out (white jelly, glows green in the dark) [destashed]

Friday, September 18, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 18: Half Moons

Boy, I do NOT like half moons. I don't even know what it is about them, they just tend to look really weird on me. Also, I've had 4 other ideas that absolutely did not want to work out. I do like the contrast between the metal polish and the muted blue.

I don't know if my half moons are the right size or shape, but at least I found a way to make it work out somehow.

Colors used:
essence - miss captain (muted blue-grey)
essence - city girls rule! (silver) [destashed]

Here are my failed attempts - enlarge at own risk.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 17: Glitter

Alright. First things first. I love glitter. A lot. What I don't like is removing it. That's why I chose to go with these two polishes for today's mani. They both have glitter in them, but they're not too gritty and are fairly easy to remove.

Another thing I would like to say is that this mani absolutely doesn't fit well for September/fall. This feels like a very cute Valentine's Day manicure. I guess I'm just 7 months behind.

With that being said, I do really like this manicure. Both these polishes are lovely and apply really well.

Colors used:
OPI - DS Reserve (burnt rosé)
OPI - DS Mystery (very dark purple)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 16: Geometric

I loved today's prompt of the challenge! I also love how the finished mani looks! There's something about the way creme polishes and liquid metal polishes complement each other that really amazes me.

I didn't have any specific inspiration for this, but I have a feeling this will be one of my favorite manis of the challenge.

Colors used:
don't sweater it - essie (taupe)
Liquid Metal Gold - claire's [destashed]

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 15: Delicate Print

Alright. Delicate print. I was a little lost trying to figure out what to do here. I ended up doing lace, because I'm boring. Sorry.

Last time I did the challenge I meant to do a lace design, but it looked TERRIBLE. I'm not exaggerating, I promise. This one is so much better. It actually looks like lace. The one I did back in 2012 looked more like a mesh type pattern. And a very hideous one too.

In this mani, I combined a lace pattern with small polka dots on the rest of my nails. I really like this combo!

Colors used:
Catrice - Auber-Genious (muted dark purple)
claire's - Liquid Metal Silver (silver) [destashed]

Monday, September 14, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 14: Floral

Okay, so I might've pushed the boundaries a bit today. Floral usually means a pattern containing flowers, but I did something a little different today! I extended the nail art onto my fingers. I ended up leaving the stems and leaves a little less detailed as planned.

Colors used:
essie - spin the bottle (nude base)
essie - forever yummy (light red)
OPI - Bastille My Heart (darker red)
OPI - Every Month Is Oktoberfest (dark red/grape)
Misslyn - double chocolate (dark brown) [destashed]
essie - vibrant vibes (light/lime green)
Catrice - Miss Piggy's BF (medium green) [destashed]
OPI - Jade Is The New Black (darker green)
format - 455 (blackened dark green)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 13: Animal Print

Alright. I know that leopard print is overused in nail art. That's why I tried different animals and patterns, yet none of them worked out the way I wanted them to. So I ended up really frustrated and decided to just go with the leopard print. It's not intricate and it isn't challenging, but it worked.

I took this as an opportunity to use polishes I've never used before. Coincidentally, both of them are by essence. Also, I used up my black nail polish in this mani.

Colors used:
essence - miss captain (dusty grey-blue)
essence - amazed by you (violet) [destashed]
black

Saturday, September 12, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 12: Stripes

 I love stripes. Unfortunately, I suck at freehanding them. Regardless of that, I tried my best with today's mani.

I started off with a medium gray base, then sponged on black white and dark gray. I love the way the base turned out. It looks a little like spray paint. (Bonus picture at the bottom)

Then I started painting on the lines. I'm actually quite surprised how well I did with these. They're not perfect and they're also a little uneven, but I still really love the look of this mani.


Colors used:
street - LOOK (medium gray base)
Concrete Catwalk - China Glaze (dark gray)
black, white

Friday, September 11, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 11: Polka Dots

Wee! Color prompts are officially completed and that means we are now tackling style-related manicures. In celebration of that, I filed down my nails a bit (they've been getting on my nerves).

I've been doing polka dots a lot lately, so I wanted to change it up a little bit on today's mani. I ended up using three different colors for the polka dots and it ended up looking very suitable for fall (which I love by the way).

Also, some of the dots are a little uneven and I apologize for that. I recently misplaced my dotting tools so I had to improvise a bit. I did end up buying new ones today, but the mani was already done at that point.

Colors used:
spin the bottle - essie (nude base)
Sunbaker - Butter London (orange) [destashed]
Bastille My Heart - OPI (red)
British Racing Green - Butter London (green)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 10: Gradient

Glitter gradients!

I've done gradients in the past. Some of them turned out great, some of them didn't. I don't know why, but gradients are still something I respect very much.

This one was a lot of fun to do! It isn't the cleanest, but probably the best I can do. I decided to add some gltter on top as well, simply because it looked a bit boring without it.

Colors used:
essie - vibrant vibes (lime green)
Catrice - (S)wimbledon (turquoise)
essie - all access pass (purple)
s-he - 107/001 (fine silver glitter)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 9: Rainbow

Ah yes, the rainbow prompt. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was gonna do for today. This is what I ended up with.

I'm not really sure what to call these or how to even describe them. Messy rainbow nails? Fake splatter rainbow? Something along those lines.

All I did to achieve this look was dab on nail polish with the original brushes and then add some smaller blotches with a dotting tool. Easy, right?

Colors used:
essie - forever yummy (red)
format - 421 (orange) [destashed]
China Glaze - Happy Go Lucky (yellow)
China Glaze - Entourage (green) [destashed]
essie - make some noise (blue)
essie - all access pass (purple)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

31 Day Nail Art Challenge - Day 8: Metallic

These nails though. I really loved making these!
I used two polishes from claire's Liquid Metal range that I bought earlier this year.

Don't get me wrong, I love liquid metal polishes. I love their look. But can we just agree they are really weird? Now, I don't know if this is the case with all liquid metal type polishes, but the way these apply seems a little odd to me. It's almost like it's a silver polish with pigment that sits on top and doesn't mix.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. I just find the way these apply and dry rather interesting.

Colors used:
claire's - Liquid Metal Teal (green) [destashed]
claire's - Liquid Metal Purple (purple) [destashed]