Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired By My Country

Today's post is a little lackluster. I'm just at the beginning of the dreaded week of massive overtime at work. I just couldn't muster the energy to become inspired enough to think of and then actually paint a manicure inspired by my country. Today we have a fairly embarrassing manicure from the archives done last 4th of July. Well, ok, it's kind of cute in the same way that really ugly dogs and babies are cute. In a way I actually like that it looks like a 5 year old drew it. Most importantly- lessons learned: an actual striping brush and/or striping tape + practice does wonders for those lines and this tutorial from Chalkboard Nails (it's amazing).

I used:
Finger Paints, Paper Mache
Spoiled, Hit the Brakes
China Glaze, Shower Together
small nail art brush

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired By My Childhood

Hello everyone. For some reason it feels like forever this time since my last post even though it's the same as usual. I've actually been doing a lot of nails in the last week, but not a lot of posting. Hopefully I'll be able to fix that soon and show you what I've been working on. Today I have nails inspired by my childhood. It took me a while to think of something besides cotton and dirt (the joys of growing up on a farm). Since I did pond scum last week I thought I'd spare you all the dirt manicure and went with this instead.

When I was somewhere around 2nd grade I had the most awesome sweatshirt-  pink with bright blue roses. Only in the 80's did people think these color should actually be worn together on purpose. I was in love with this sweatshirt and was convinced that I would someday paint my house these colors. Thank goodness my mom was right. I did, in fact, change my mind. Just because I wouldn't paint my house this color doesn't mean I wouldn't put it on my nails. I've got 2 coats of Wet n Wild, Tickled Pink. The roses were made using a dotting tool swirled in China Glaze, Shower Together and Wet n Wild, I Need a Refresh-Mint. The technique was based on this tutorial I found on YouTube.
And then because I can never leave well enough alone I added leaves on the right hand to see if I like it better. Meh. It's ok, but I like it without too.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired by a Game Skyrim Edition

For today's challenge I pulled a manicure from the archives. Apologies in advance: I painted this before I started my blog (last October) and I've come a long way since then. Look at those little nubbins and the horrifically dry cuticles. It's amazing what I've learned in just a few months. 
This manicure was inspired by the greatest game ever: Skyrim. I never got to play video games as a kid so as soon as I went to college I became pretty much full time addicted. My favorite series is Elder Scrolls and I played Oblivion three times all the way through so I was really excited for Skyrim to come out.

I painted the word wall for Fus Ro Dah (Unrelenting Force) using a base of China Glaze, Recycle. I used an eyeliner brush to dab on Spoiled, Pumping Gas for a textured rock look. Next I added a coat of Sally Girl glow in the dark polish and then added the symbols on top with a nail art brush. In the dark you could see the symbols standing out on top of the glowing base. Super cool, but unfortunately my photography skills were not up to the task of capturing it. I also painted the dragon logo on my thumb (fairly badly in retrospect).

Thanks Google
Despite all the flaws I kind of enjoy looking back at my old manicures. I took pictures for months before I actually started my blog with the intention of using them all over time, but they're definitely not up to current standards. I'm sure I'll look back at what I'm posting now and think it's awful compared to where I get to be in a few more months. What do you think? Should I make old manicures a regular feature? Maybe a learn from my mistakes kind of thing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired by Nature

Today's challenge was to be inspired by nature. Thinking about nature, the vastness, the beauty and wonder, there are a million things to take inspiration from. Of course I chose pond scum- or algae.. that definitely sounds cuter. I went with a swirling algae french tip look.
Picture found here thanks to Google.

I started with a base color of Wet N Wild, 2% Milk to help hide the staining on my nails (it kind of worked). After that dried I used painters tape to tape off the top part of each nail. I did a water marble on the tips using a pale, shimmery unnamed green from LA Colors and China Glaze, Holly-Day. I added green glequins from Born Pretty on one finger for an accent.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired by Fabric

I've been looking forward to this challenge for a while. I love when my nails match my clothes and do it intentionally as much as I can. Today's manicure took it beyond matching the colors and actually matches the fabric itself. I copied the pattern from one of my favorite skirts and I really like how it turned out.

I painted two coats of Sally Hansen, White Tip and then used the round tip of the brush from the bottle of Wet n Wild, Black Creme to make rough circle shapes. I filled in the spaces between the dots with a small nail art brush and more Black Creme.

Keep reading after the jump for a fabric inspired pedi from the archives.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Merge or Melt

Today's theme is a little vague, but that's ok. I had the idea for this manicure already in my head and just needed to figure out how to fit it in with the theme. It worked out pretty well in my opinion. In honor of my cousin's wedding this weekend I went with merge (get it?) and took my inspiration from their beautiful invitation.

I painted my thumb, index and pinkie finger with Orly, Androgynie. The greenish gold micro shimmer and jewel toned hexes were very reminiscent of the colors in the peacock feather so it seemed like a good choice. I was also convinced that it was a dark brown jelly, but the internets assure me it's actually black. On the middle and ring finger I started with two coats of Sally Hansen, White Tip, then to tone down the brightness I added a coat of Wet n Wild, 2% Milk which is a pinkish nude. I painted the feather with a small nail art brush and these colors:
Nina Ultra Pro, Big Spender
Nina Ultra Pro, Mossy Britches
LA Colors, unnamed green
China Glaze, Shower Together
Zoya, Julieanne

I love how the closeups show the depth of Androgynie. The formula was a little runny and I had to shake it like crazy to get the hexes unstuck from the bottom of the bottle, but overall it wasn't bad to work with. I was also really surprised at how easily it removed even with the glitter.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Texture (Steampunk Style)

Today's challenge is texture. I don't have any of the new texture polishes. What I do have are tons of things for gluing onto nails and I just got this beautiful rose gold polish which instantly make me think of steampunk. Who am I to argue with the polish? I had to go for it.

More pictures after the jump.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: My Favorite Polish

Today's challenge was to create a manicure using my favorite polish. The hardest part was deciding which one that was. In the end I picked this purple polish. It's been with me a really long time and it's the first polish I had to really search for. I had to have this exact shade and looked so many places before I found the "right" one.

Years ago I saw a girl with this purple french tip manicure and loved it so much. I wanted to recreate the mani that prompted my massive search for the perfect purple.
Perfect purple: Savvy, Deep Amethyst
Silver stripes done with a striping brush: Spoiled, Daddy's Credit Card
Awesomely stained naked nails: years worth of polishing with no break


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: My Oldest Untried

This one was a difficult challenge for me. I have the tendency to come directly home from the store and put on whatever polish I just bought so I rarely have any polishes that sit around for more than a week or two. I saw Whirled Away by China Glaze at my local Sally's way back in December. In fact, it was the one and only bottle they had left from the Circque du Soleil collection (if you'd like to see more of the collection Vampy Varnish did a lovely review of the entire thing here). I couldn't resist. Even though I was supposed to be finishing up some Christmas shopping instead of buying polish for myself, into the bag it went. And then it sat... for these sad three months.

It turns out that I liked the idea of it way more than I like the actual polish itself. It reminded me of some of the cool indies I see swatched everywhere, but in the meantime I saw so many better, more unique swatches and this one sort of lost its luster. Flash forward to yesterday night and it really lost its appeal. This polish is a pain to apply. The bar glitter and hexes are floating around in this clear base. Hardly any of the glitter sticks to the brush and even less stuck to my nail. This coverage is the result of some major fishing around, dabbing and forcefully shoving into place with the tip of an orange stick. This is such a strange feeling for me. Usually I'm happy to overlook issues with formula because I love each and every one of my polish babies, but this one may just have to go back into the Helmer never to be seen for many more long months.

Whirled away is shown here over two coats of Spoiled, Fuzzy Dice (pink) and Sally Hansen, Ion (grey). Also 3 coats of top coat. The glitters stick up like crazy and I hated the way it felt rubbing against my fingers. Annnd now I feel bad being so mean to this poor polish. I do like how it looks, but it sure was a lot of trouble.