Friday, September 30, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 30: Inspired by a tutorial

(Sorry for the crappy picture) This mani is inspired by this tutorial by Lacquertude. I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it, so I hope I did it justice! I did alter the process a bit to fit my material and polishes, but I am quite happy with the finished product.

Colors used:
- white
- Maybelline - Lavender Lies (lilac/lavender)
- OPI - Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm? (dark purple)
- wibo - Nr. 2 (muted pink) [destashed]

Thursday, September 29, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 29: Inspired by the supernatural

 Another glow in the dark mani, yay! I knew that nothing was gonna beat my nails for this prompt last year, so I chose to go for something a bit simpler and more fun this year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 28: Inspired by a flag

Played it safe today. I'm not the biggest fan of this prompt and since I didn't do a 4th of July mani this year, I'm using that as an excuse for this.

I really wanna call this a deconstructed USA flag, I like the effect of the white bar glitter as the scattered stripes. For the stars, I went for a mixture of stars and dots - randomly assembled on my nails. I think this is an okay mani, I could've done better but I think I hit my yearly breaking point. Luckily, there's only 3 prompts left!

Colors used:
- essie - forever yummy (red)
- Manhattan - 10B (blue) [destashed]
- white

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 27: Inspired by artwork

(Sorry for the crummy picture quality today, I need to stop taking pics in low lighting)

So, today's prompt was 'inspired by artwork' and I decided to do something based on an art movement rather than a specific piece. I chose grafitti.

These are super murky and kinda gross, which is actually what I was going for! I wanted to depict a piece of canvas that had been painted over many times, maybe in a rural setting. I am really pleased with how they turned out and it definitely soothes my sudden need for Halloween stuff (I know, I'm a bit early).

Colors used:
- China Glaze - Budding Romance (murky green)
- China Glaze - Trendsetter (beige-y murky green/brown)
- essence - miss captain (muted blue)
- essie - playing koi (sienna)
- KleanColor - Fashionista (murky green to brown)
- KleanColor - Military Green (military green - who would've guessed)
- Maybelline - Faux Green (dusty light green)
- wibo - Nr. 2 (dusty pink) [destashed]

Monday, September 26, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 26: Inspired by a pattern

Not necessarily inspired by a well-known pattern or anything, but based on a picture I found through a quick google search. I wanted something 80s-esque and this is what I picked.

To be quite honest, I'm not sure if I like these or not - they look a bit like a children's birthday party kind of nail art. Maybe that's just me though.

I started off with a white base, then freehanded the zig zag curves with primary colors. I didn't go over them as many times as I probably should have, which probably contributes to me finding these quite childish. Oh well.

In other news: Only 5 designs left! Wow, it seems like yesterday that I did my gradient nails for this challenge. I am really excited for the end though. I think this run of the challenge was quite exhausting for me, balancing freelance work (and a super messed up sleeping pattern) with nail art is quite the task!

Colors used:
- white
- China Glaze - Kiwi Cool-Ada (green)
- essie - forever yummy (red)
- Formula X - Dynamite (yellow)
- Manhattan - It's Complicated (blue)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 25: Inspired by fashion

Okay, so here's the thing. I don't have a big interest in fashion at all. I don't follow things like NYFW or wear designer clothing or anything like that. Therefore, it was quite difficult for me to find something to get inspired by. I tried googling "NYFW 2016" and similar things, but it was way too overwhelming. I ended up getting inspired by an outfit worn by one of my favorite singers of all time - Kirstin Maldonado. In case you don't know her, she's the alto in the two-time Grammy winning acapella group Pentatonix (who I'm absolutely and utterly in love with).

She wore this particular outfit at the AMAs back in 2014. I just love the combination of the midi skirt with the leather top and edgy accessories.

I did some very subtle shading on my index and pinky fingers (and thumb, but you can't see that in the picure), topped off with a semi-matte top coat. I wanted it to simulate leather and I think it looks quite good!

On the other two nails, I chose to somewhat replicate the pattern on her skirt. I simplified it a bit, then sealed it in with matte topcoat. Overall, I'm really pleased with the outcome!

Colors used:
- black
- China Glaze - Concrete Catwalk (charcoal grey)
- LOOK - street (medium grey) [destashed]
- essence - grey zone (light grey)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 24: Inspired by a book

Today's prompt was 'inspired by a book' and even though I had to think about what I was going to do for quite some time, I'm glad I chose to do a mani inspired by Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Little fun fact: I actually own two copies of this book! One - the one in the picture - was given to me by my late grandmother, after she found out I was really into English books (English isn't my native language). The other one - a German translation - we read in middle school, about a year after I read the original.

I chose to keep this mani fairly simple. I painted Matilda herself on my middle finger and recreated some flying books from the cover on my pointer finger.

I used essence's lean on me as the base for this mani, instead of a classic white. I started with the black outlines, then continued to fill everything in with a subtle watercolor technique. I topped it off with some matte topcoat for a change.

Colors used:
- essence - lean on me (pastel yellow/cream)
- black
- Catrice - Miss Piggy's BF (green) [destashed]
- Manhattan - It's Complicated (medium blue)
- essence - miss captain (muted, greyed out blue)
- OPI - Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm? (purple)
- Misslyn - double chocolate (slightly muted chocolate brown) [destashed]

Friday, September 23, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 23: Inspired by a movie

Boy, this was a fun one! It took ages to finish, but it was so worth it!

For today's prompt 'inspired by a movie', I chose to do a mani based on Wall-E. Truthfully, I didn't see this movie until long after it came out. But I loved it so much!

For the main design, I picked the scene where Wall-E and Eve reunite in space. It's that scene where he discovers propulsion using a fire extinguisher. So adorable! But then, on my thumb I chose to paint him entirely. I'm not sure why, but this year's run of 31DC seems to be dedicated to me painting the tiniest things ever. It was a lot of fun to do, and I am really pleased with the finished product!

I used quite a big amount of polishes for this mani, so I'm going to leave out the part where I list all of them.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 22: Inspired by a song

 Happy first day of fall everybody!

In celebration of the change of seasons, I was inspired by Ed Sheeran's Autumn Leaves for today's prompt. The song itself is quite sad, but I like it a lot. If you don't already know, I'm a huge fan of Ed's music and can't wait for his new album to be released.

I started off this mani with two cats of essence's sweet caramel sweets. I had originally planned to use butter LONDON - Tea with the Queen, but I realized I have been using that polish a lot in this challenge. That and the fact that my bottle is almost gone.

I continued by doing a very simple glitter gradient with China Glaze - Golden Enchantment. I love this polish. It's basically the golden version of Fairy Dust. Lastly, I painted on the leaves in various shapes and sizes. I'm pretty sure I ended up inventing shapes by the end of it. Of course, I topped it off with some glossy top coat.

I'm really pleased with how these turned out.

Colors used:
- essence - sweet caramel sweets (tan)
- China Glaze - Golden Enchantment (gold microglitter topper)
- essie - playing koi (sienna)
- essence - do you speak love? (red)
- Formula X - Dynamite (yellow)
- OPI - A-Piers To Be Tan (chocolate milk color)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 21: Inspired by a color

We've reached the first challenge fail! Haha.

Seriously though, I kinda like these but I also kinda hate them. I knew from the beginning I would never ever be able to top last year's nails for this prompt. I chose to be inspired by essence - bubble bath [destashed].

I like the 3D effect on the bubbles, I just wish it had worked on all nails. I'm not even sure why it didn't.

Anyway, on to tomorrow's prompt!

Colors used:
- essence - bubble bath (pearly pastel blue) [destashed]
- black, white
- China Glaze - Happy Go Lucky (sunshine yellow)
- China Glaze - Japanese Koi (orange)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 20: Watermarble

We're two thirds of the way! Time flies.

Today's prompt was "watermarble". I actually like watermarbling, it just takes me forever to find polishes that marble well. I went with a grayscale marble today. I had some bubbling on my ring finger, please forgive that. I didn't really do anthing differently on that nail, so I'm not sure why that happened anyway.

I did this over black, but the polishes I used were opaque enough to still stand out.

Colors used:
- black
- Zoya - Kelly (dark grey)
- Zoya - Caitlin (medium grey)
- essence - serendipity (greyed out lilac)

Monday, September 19, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 19: Galaxies

I don't do galaxy nails nearly enough. It's been a whole year since my last one (also for this challenge)!

I loosely based this mani on this picture.

I started off with a layer of dark blue, then started sponging on all kinds of colors. As soon as that was done, I added all the tiny white stars. I added some glitter in random places, sealed everything in with top coat and it was done!

Galaxy nail art is so simple, I love it.

Colors used:
- MaXFactor - royal blue (navy)
- China Glaze - I Sea The Point (royal/bright blue)
- China Glaze - Bahamian Escape (light blue)
- essie - lapis of luxury (pastel blurple/cornflower blue/etc)
- essie - lilacism (lilac)
- essence - amazed by you (red-toned purple) [destashed]
- wibo - Nr. 4 (duo, here I used the creme side; magenta) [destashed]
- Manhattan - Meow-tyful (bright magenta)
- China Glaze - Fairy Dust (silver microglitter topper)
- white

Sunday, September 18, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 18: Half Moons

Ugh. That about describes my opinion on half moon manis. I can't do them and I'm not sure I even like the look. Regardless, it was today's prompt, so I just buckled up and did my best to produce something remotely good. Did I succeed? Kind of.

I went for something very simple. In fact, I might have made it too easy for myself. I started out with one coat of essie's frock n roll. That's right, ONE coat. Amazing. I then created some guidelines with a matte topcoat, just so I had some sort of idea where to put my dots.

I then followed the guidelines and put down dots with Orly's Shine, a gorgeous sparkly silver foil. I topped it off with some glossy topcoat and the guidelines became invisible.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 17: Glitter

Yay, glitter! I'm a sucker for some good holo glitter, so I decided to incorporate that into today's design.

This design is fairly straightforward, so I won't bother writing how I did it.

Colors used:
- black
- claire's - Magic Show (silver holo microglitter)

Friday, September 16, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 16: Geometric

(NEW on this blog: I implemented an Instagram widget! You can now see my most recent Instagram posts in the sidebar! For those of you that don't know, Instagram is where I post all my swatches.)

Wow, I really like how these turned out! They were absolutely impossible to photograph, I swear. I took about 10 pics of these and this is the only one that was acceptable. I promise, these look really rad irl!

I started out with 3 coats of OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys. This picture makes it look waaaay more green though, it's actually a chocolate brown. I then added these maze-like patterns with ILNP's Abundance. This is a gorgeous pinkish bronze to antiqued gold multichrome polish.

I initially wanted to topcoat these after I was done with the freehanding, but it actually created a really interesting 3D effect (which obviously didn't translate to the picture).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 15: Delicate

The two times I've completed this challenge before, I've always done some sort of lace for the delicate prompt. This year, I decided to change it up a bit!

And wow. I don't think it gets more delicate than this.

I started out with three thin coats of China Glaze - Frostbite. This is such a stunning blue. Can you believe I got this polish last Christmas and haven't worn it until now!?

I started freehanding the dandelion ... petals? ... fluff things? Yeah, those. I freehanded them with slightly thinned out white polish. I think they turned out great! Unfortunately, my index finger was smeared a bit. I decided to go with two simple dots on my ring and pinky finger.

Hope you like these!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 14: Flowers

Okay, so I might have gone overboard a bit.

Following last year's manicure for this prompt, I decided to do another 'extended' mani. I'm not sure I'm convinced of the day version, but when the lights are off? I can't take my eyes off of these!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 13: Animal Print

It's day 13 of the 31 Day Challenge and today's prompt is animal print! I decided to be boring and do a standard leopard print mani. I had something else in mind, but I think I'll save that for future runs of this challenge.

I started out with two coats of essence's what a grey-t night!, which is stunning! It was part of their advent calendar, so you can't get it in stores. I then painted on splotches of OPI's A-Piers To Be Tan, which is a caramel/butterscotch color. The last step was to paint on the darker spots with OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys, which is a perfect chocolate color. I topped it off with a high-gloss top coat and voilá!

It's been a while since I've done a clean leopard print mani but it's so simple I immediately knew what do to.

Monday, September 12, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 12: Stripes

*sigh* ... Not sure how I feel about these. Yes, they fit the prompt and everything, but I feel like I'm just not cut out for freehanding stripes/lines of any kind.

I originally planned something different but I quickly realized it was too similar to what I did last year, so I scrapped that idea. I couldn't really think of anything else, so I just used the polish sitting out on my desk, which was essence's have a very pink x-mas! [destashed]. I like the color (although I don't think it's a Christmas-y color at all) so I paired it up with black for this look.

I absolutely suck at freehanding lines, so I only did two nails and left the other ones "blank".

Sunday, September 11, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 11: Polka Dots

Did some teeny tiny dots for today. I really like how these turned out. Simple but effective.

And isn't the base just stunning? This is two coats of essie - leggy legend. I was all over this when it came out last year and I really wanted to use it again. I still love this!

31DC2016 - Day 10: Gradient

Today's nails for the gradient prompt are very autumnal and I am obsessed. I love the color scheme, it just screams fall and y'all might know that is my favorite season. This also marks the first milestone; we have now completed the first third. Can you believe it? We're going to be moving into pattern-themed prompts and I'm very excited!

Back to these nails though. I started out with two coats of Artdeco's 80, which is that vibrant dark orange. I sponged on the gradient and it was done. This was so easy to do, yet the effect seems to be great. I was at a birthday party today and every single person commented on these nails. Even men. So, they seem to be quite eye-catching.

Personally, I was a bit sceptical in the beginning. I love the way dark to light gradients look, but this one just seemed a bit off to me. Maybe it was the fact that the lightest color is very close to my skintone and that kind of threw me off a bit. I'm not sure. However, I grew to love them.

Colors used:
- OPI - Boris & Natasha (purple-y grape)
- Artdeco - 80 (vibrant dark orange) [destashed]
- China Glaze - Peachy Keen (pastel orange/peach/nude)

Friday, September 9, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 9: Rainbow

Ever felt the urge to wear something really bright to cheer up a gloomy rainy day? That was my inspiration for today's nails! I really love the combination of the charcoal grey with the neon drips.

With these, I actually started with the grey base. I was originally going to do it with a lighter grey, but that just didn't work with some colors. I then freehanded the drips with white polish. Lastly, I did the rainbow gradient by hand and topped it all off with some topcoat!

I do love these, but I kind of wish I had made the drips larger.

Colors used:
- white base
- China Glaze - Concrete Catwalk (charcoal grey)
- essence - have a very pink x-mas! (red/pink hybrid) [destashed]
- China Glaze - Lady And The Vamp (orange)
- China Glaze - Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (yellow)
- China Glaze - Drink Up Witches (green)
- China Glaze - Sunday Funday (blue)
- essie - all access pass (purple)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 8: Metallic

Today's nails are quite dainty and delicate, not necessarily something I'm going for a lot.
These might look like they are quite easy to do, but they were not! Getting that curve and thickness of the gold/copper to be the same on all nails was really difficult!

Colors used:
- essie - spin the bottle (nude)
- essence - do you hear the jingle bells? (gold-copper)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 7: Black and White

Today's nails are also quite simple - just like yesterday's design. I do love the outcome though. I think splatter manis are best done with contrasting colors, and what's more contrasting than black and white?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 6: Violet

Kept it simple for today's prompt. It's my mom's birthday and my grandma came over, so I didn't want to spend hours doing some intricate design when I could be spending time with the family instead.

Colors used:
- OPI - Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm? (purple)
- claire's - Magic Show (opaque silver holo)
- claire's - Holo Top Coat

Monday, September 5, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 5: Blue

I love these so much.

Today's prompt was blue and since I've secretly been planning to do all of this year's design in fall colors, I knew I had to reach for some navy polish.

This design was loosely inpired by this design by Hajin Bae. I took that artwork and altered it and wow. I really am obsessed with these. The stars are unnaturally tiny and were really difficult to paint, but I think I did a decent job.

Colors used:
- MaxFactor - royal blue (navy blue)
- China Glaze - I Sea The Point (bright blue)
- essie - lapis of luxury (blue-purple)
- essence - lean on me (cream - used for the stars)
- MaxFactor - burgundy crush (burgundy)
- essence - blurry up! (white jelly - used for the "orbs")

Sunday, September 4, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 4: Green

 Hey guys! Welcome back to the challenge! Today I have some very nerdy "bit" nails to show you!

I was originally planning something very different, but it ended up not working at all. So, here's plan B!

I started out with a black base. I wanted to do some dark green but I don't have one that would be dark enough for this. So, black it is. I did a fair amount of "lettering" to make up for the non-appropriate base though.

The zeros and ones were painted on with Serum No.5 Krypton-Brite. This is a great almost neon green glow in the dark polish. The only problem I had with it was that I had to go over the numbers multiple times, as the green didn't cover the black base all too well.

Colors used:
 - black
 - Serum No. 5 - Krypton-Brite (green)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 3: Yellow

Alright, I have a bit of a confession to make with these. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I dislike (read: HATE) the color yellow. BUT. I really really do like the base of this mani. The polish is Formula X - Dynamite and I picked it up when I went to Warsaw almost a year ago.

It's not your classic sunshine yellow, it looks a bit like Kraft Mac & Cheese. It's a bit mustard-y in some lighting. I think it looks quite nice on my skintone and I never say that with yellows!

On to the design itself; I was unsure of what to put on top of this color. I ended up going for these tribal-styled triangles and I actually really like the look! All of this is freehanded, I didn't even use tape for the shape of the triangles!

Colors used:
- Formula X - Dynamite (dark yellow)
- OPI - A-Piers To Be Tan (medium brown)

Friday, September 2, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 2: Orange

Welcome to day two of the 31 day nail art challenge! My design for today is a bit of a stretch, but it's really growing on me the more I look at it.

Sticking with yesterday's vibe, I opted for what feels like a very bohemian combo to me. I covered it all, flowers, feathers and some smeared paint. Even though I wouldn't exactly describe smeared paint as 'boho', but I do like how it looks paired with the flowers.

I started off with 2 coats of butter LONDON's Tea With The Queen, a tan crelly. Then, I continued freehanding the flowers on my index and middle fingers. I started with the darker area toards my cuticles and then worked outwards.

While that was drying, I started the feather on my thumb. I decided to go with a smaller one and move it to a corner, to create a nice accent nail. I have never attempted feathers with nail polish before, but I think I did just fine!

Lastly, I quickly did the other two nails. I'm sure you have all heard of the dry brush technique by now, so I will spare you the details.

Colors used:
- butter LONDON - Tea With The Queen (tan crelly)
- China Glaze - Japanese Koi (neon orange)
- ArtDeco - 80 (darker orange) [destashed]
- Manhattan - Your Favorite (dark red/oxblood)
- Zoya - Kym (shimmery red-toned bronze) [destashed]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

31DC2016 - Day 1: Red Nails

Hey there! Long time no post, I know. I've been working on going through all my polishes and actually trying to wear all of them one after another. BUT! I decided to do the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge again this year! In case you don't know, the point of this challenge is to do 31 consecutive days of nail art, with each day having its own prompt.

Today's prompt is red nails!

The gradient, without glitter
I know my picture doesn't look like a lot of art, but the intentions were there, I promise!
I started out with a horizontal gradient, from a light red to an oxblood color, creating a shaded effect. The original gradient looked really nice, but I guess it lost its effect under the glitter topper I added.

Speaking of which, the topper actually has some multichrome magic happening in different angles. It's a bit like Clarins 230, just chunkier and less overpriced.

This mani actually ended up looking pretty cool with a matte topcoat over it and that's how I'm wearing it now!

Here are the colors I used:
- Catrice - It's All About That Red (light red)
- Manhattan - Your Favorite (oxblood/dark red)
- KleanColor - Chunky Holo Bluebell (glitter topper)