Monday, 30 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 15: Delicate Print

"Delicate" seems to me like the perfect opportunity for some Konad-ing - don't know about you, but the tiny and precise sorts of lines that delicate implies aren't really something my freehand brushwork can measure up to. And for a ladylike base colour for my sister's nails, I chose China Glaze For Audrey, which despite being so bright is classy by Tiffany's-association, and stamped with Konad Special White.

Aren't her little nails cute? This was really eye-catching but sweet on her. I've done this exact combo on myself before, but the pictures turned out poorly, so this was a nice opportunity to re-do.

31 Day Challenge Day 14: Flowers and More!

My mother requested her other love (next to shiny things) for this one - hummingbirds! Set in a floral scene, I used this Robin Moses tutorial to make tiny bird accent nails.

On a base of Julep Penelope, this also incorporated a bunch of greens and blues, along with Orly Lucky Duck, and Julep Niecy as the main flower petal colour. This is not really the type of thing I would normally wear, but it is so pretty! And very much to her taste.

Sorry for the sketchy pictures - we are currently traveling.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 13: Animal Print

Cheetah/leopard print: a classic. And apparently the preferred print of my cousin, C.
 On a base of CND Gold Chrome, and stamped with Konad Special Black, this came out classy and badass.

Friday, 27 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 12: Nautical Stripes

For stripes, I have a special treat: my grandmother! She said that this was only the second time she'd gotten a manicure, and refused at first - insisting that her nails were too ugly and I couldn't make them pretty. I took this as a challenge! She changed her tune when I was finished with these - she loves stripes and apparently has a pair of shoes that will match these nails perfectly!

I used a base of CND Brilliant White, then taped off the stripes with striping tape and painted Essie No More Film on top - which came out a lot more navy than the dark "blurple" it looks in the bottle!It was great for this, though, since Nanny hates purple! And flowers. Dooon't even suggest flowers! haha.

Welcome to internet fame, Nanny! You're a hand model, now.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 11: Polka Dots

Polka dots went through a few incarnations. I first had a rainbow set, inspired by rainbow day, here: 

But a lot of the rainbow day nails done by others ended up looking a lot like these, so I went back to the drawing board and did something slightly more sedate, with my first two Illamasqua polishes!

Of course, I couldn't decide exactly what I preferred, so my two hands are somewhat different.

 This manicure was surprisingly difficult to photograph. The one above turned out quite a lot more red than it looks in real life.
 On my other hand I just had an accent nail of Illamasqua Jo'mina with polka dots in Illamasqua Lament.
 It was still more pink than this.

And the left hand, most with Jo'mina polka dots on Lament, and the accent nail the other way around.

The formula on Jo'mina in particular was fantastic! Lament, a lovely pink-coral, was a bit thick, but it worked out fine. Jo'mina's formula was incredible - if every Illamasqua polish is like this, I want more of them.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 10: Glittery Gradient

Gradient time! For my mother, again we have shiny, again.

With Essie She's Picture Perfect as the base, sponged with CND Gold Chrome and then China Glaze Blonde Bombshell just at the tips.
 Essie She's Picture Perfect is a pretty purple, that has a slight pink shimmer in the bottle that doesn't so much show up on the nail. Dries darker than it looks like it should, but it comes out even prettier in my opinion.
 And I just remembered today about the notecards when using nails not our own, so I have a few days that don't have them. But I hope it will be alright... This is 3/10 allowed guest-nail appearances!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 9: Rainbows!

Who wants just one rainbow pattern? Given this opportunity to use ALL the colours, some variation was in order.

See: All the nail polishes.
Joe Fresh Apple, Sally Girl 262, American Apparel Sunshine State, Orly Lucky Duck, OPI Fly, and China Glaze Spontaneous.
And ALL the rainbows.

SO MANY rainbows. On a base of OPI Alpine Snow, freehanded with a nail art brush.

Monday, 23 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 8: The Only Metal That Matters Is Gold

The clear advantage of "metallic" is bling - and as I am now visiting my parents, and my mother is the most attracted to shiny things of anyone I have ever met, I decided she needed an expensive-looking manicure.

I did a "fish egg" accent nail (check out The PolishAholic for more info on the concept and controversy) with gold microbeads and CND Gold Chrome to give my mother a mani that could live up to her jewelry.

I also just got my lightbox! But I'm away from home, so still using my iPhone and trying to figure out exactly what to do with the thing. It's a learning process.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 7: Black & White Shirts For My Fingers

Black or white tie is the perfect chance to get ridiculously dressed up. Tuxedo nails are A Thing, and one I haven't done, but I recently discovered an even cuter alternative, featuring the currently- and recurringly-popular Peter Pan collar. As this style looks really silly on me in clothing, my nails offered a good opportunity to rock it.

I roughly followed this tutorial and was pretty happy with the results! Trying it again would pay off, but it took some time and it will be awhile before I am motivated enough to do that, I think.

And my right hand:

They look best from not-too-close-up, I think.

The black is Revlon Colorstay Stiletto, which went on really easily and well. The collars I painted on with Konad Special White, and used silver microbeads for the buttons.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 6: Purple for the Ruling Class

Purple... the colour of royalty. And a manicure fit for a king and/or queen? As inspiration:

The classic robe-style of the majestic.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Plum Luck was my royal purple, with white fur trim with OPI Alpine Snow and Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme. On the middle finger, a crown of rhinestones and gold microbeads.

Friday, 20 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 5: Blue Like The Sea

Okay, obviously the sky is blue. But I've recently done sky/cloud nails! So the next most obvious thing is the one the sky makes blue (except it turns out that might not be true... second grade science class was so misleading...). Ocean tiiime.

I wanted to try needle marbling, because I thought it might enable me to do some abstract swirly thing. But that didn't really work the way I'd envisioned it, so it became an abstract splattery thing! I actually like the results. They have kind of a Rainbow Fish vibe.

So using a good quarter of my blue collection and a needle:

I came up with this:

 I used Kleancolor Neon Aqua as a base, doing the second (thick) coat one nail at a time so it would drag into the dotted colours with the needle more easily.

The dark blue shade is by Essie, but she has lost her nametag! I don't think it is Mesmerize, as it looks more dusty than the photos I've found online, but I can't figure out the name. Can anyone help identify this one?

The light blue was H&M Deep Sea, and the shiny one is Sinful Colors Aqua. The nail polishes knew I was going for an ocean vibe!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 4: Green = Guest Nails!

Today I have some guest-nails for you! To give mine a break (and so I could wear my Warhol manicure out today), J.'s hands have stepped in for green.

Having already done golf nails recently, that obvious choice was out... but other sports happen on the grass! Or on green surfaces... sports like tennis. The traditional hardcourt is green, and there are always grass courts like Wimbledon.


And so...
Featuring Orly Lucky Duck as the court surface, stamped with the net in Konad Special White with Konad plate m57. The tennis ball accent nail is a result of layering Kleancolor Melon Green with Kleancolor Neon Yellow, with more Melon Green on top and a touch of Konad White.
Aren't his fingers pretty? 1/10 hand substitutes allowed in the challenge!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 3: Yellow = Warhol

Oh hi there. A slightly intoxicated post for you this evening - though I did my nails before I got drunk.

For yellow, I thought of sunshine, but that seemed too easy. Sunflowers, but Van Gogh did them best. But bananas? I like those! Mostly when they're still kind of green, but that isn't how Warhol envisioned them.

The Andy Warhol banana! And nail-sized? Check it out:
My left hand.
My first try! Using American Apparel Sunshine State, with OPI Alpine Snow as a base; I used the white on all nails, and the yellow still took 3+ coats to be opaque. Now I know why I never use this colour! But I ended up very happy with how it looks; worth it? In this case. I used black acrylic paint for the detail.

And then my right hand! Same approach, but practice made the banana better:

However, the sun had gone down by the time I managed to photograph it, so the colours are not as true. But I really like it!

For comparison:

And that is yellow, complete.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 2: Orange = Visibility

What are some things that are orange? The obvious? Oranges. More subtle? Ginger cats. More AWESOME and relevant to my family's business? High-visibility safety gear!

That's right: all the best things on a construction site are either yellow - and move big things - or orange - and make you safer and shinier! So for "orange nails" day, I chose that route (get it?).

My inspiration included:
Safety vests and traffic cones. As usual when I'm trying something new, I chose to vary each hand slightly to see what worked best.

Visibility is what is most important here, so on the non-art fingers, three coats of the shimmery and eye-catching China Glaze Riveting (from the Hunger Games Capitol Colors collection) was in order. The traffic cone/pylon and safety vest featured a base of OPI Alpine Snow, with Sinful Colors Big Daddy for the orange. Black acrylic paint was used for some detail work, and if you're interested in the other detail colours let me know!
For my left hand, I decided to try the safety vest without the armholes, and went with a different style of pylon. Which one of each do you prefer? I have picked my favourites, I think, but I'd love to know what other people think!

Monday, 16 April 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 1: Red Nails (& Joe Fresh Apple Swatch & Review)

The challenge begins! Today's nail art theme is "red," so I both tried out a new red polish and did some fruity nail art on top.

Joe Fresh, for the non-Canadians, is a clothing/retail brand owned by a grocery store. Which sounds lame, but they usually have cute things at low prices - our own Target of sorts. The other day I wandered into the Joe Fresh store on Queen West for the first time, and saw that they also have nail polish! And they were in these cute, squat little round bottles - and were 3 for $10! ALL over it.

In typical conversations-collectors-have-with-themselves fashion, I'd been thinking I didn't have enough red nail polishes, and the ones that I do have are quite vampy, so when I saw Apple, the choice was obvious. But I didn't realize how delightful this little thing was going to be.

Joe Fresh Apple
It turned out to be a gorgeous red jelly - with a nice, fat brush that is easy to manoeuvre. The cap is a little bit on the short side, but it is still quite easy to control. And the polish was so much nicer to apply, and in its texture, than I was expecting!

Joe Fresh Apple, three coats & no topcoat.
Here's a photo of it at three coats without topcoat - pretty much opaque, and so cheerful and squishy. It's a red that doesn't seem to be trying for sexy, which is rare - it is just pretty.

Then for the art! I immediately thought of Julep's NOTD strawberry nail art tutorial, and I gave that a shot for the first time. As this whole thing is a learning process, I definitely learned things along the way!

I did the left hand first, and you can tell:
The "leaves" are pretty big, and so are the seeds. And a bit too varied. I kept trying to use my black (Wet n' Wild Black Creme) after the dot I'd made on my palette was too dry. And I was pressing too hard with the dotter.

For my right hand, I used a smaller nail art brush to apply the leaves, which were made with Julep Leah, and I concentrated more when it came to the dots! See:
I'm very pleased overall, though. It wouldn't be worth it if everything came out perfect on the first try, right? And there we have my first effort for the Nail Art Challenge: Red Nails!