Friday 28 February 2014

Sugared blue reciprocal gradient/ombre

A blue version of my first adventure with reciprocal gradients (the first one was magenta/purple!), but I couldn't keep myself from topping it with one of three Ozotic polishes that I bought on a whim when I heard that they were going to be discontinued. Obviously I had to buy whatever I could find left online.... must. buy. all. the. Ozotics.

This design is certainly not my creation. Some origins of the legendary reciprocal gradient are noted in my previous post on the same design, but using blues specifically, a combination of a few talented ladies come to mind: an ode to All Nails Everything and Nail Art by Chels (the most perfect blue gradients you've ever seen!), the Nail Polish Challenge's brilliant blue laser gradient nails, and m_a_tom and the Globe & Nail for true blue linear reciprocal designs!

Thursday 27 February 2014

Unfortunately it's still winter

...and here's some snowy nails since this morning I walked outside and EW - that shit was white and fluffy.

These were originally done in November of 2013 hence the snow mood because, yes, here in Canada snow comes for almost nearly half a year. Why do I live here eh?

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Nails inc. leather effect polish

Let's pretend this post went up exactly a year ago. In late 2012 Nails inc. released a line of 'leather effect' polishes - and although I'm late to the party - better late than never.

Nails inc. leather polishes are suprisingly available at Shoppers Drug Mart (if you're a Canadian, eh) of all places! Well, not all the colours, I believe there is also a baby blue leather colour that I have yet to see at a Shoppers.

Anyway here's the red leather effect polish from Nails inc.! Photos were taken in September of 2013.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Purple holo with simple green stripes

I am so sick of winter that I need holos to bring some sunlight into this life. Holos basically make any day A GREAT ONE because they're OH SO SPARKLY. It's like you're having a serious conversation about how much you hate your cable company for double charging you last month while you're sipping coffee in a Starbucks by a window and then you see a holo on a passerbys nails flickering in the sun... so... that conversation is over because OH HEY THERE HOLO. Now. must. figure. out. what. brand. and. colour. that beautiful. holo is. And then go buy it.

This mani was originally done in June of 2013 (hence there being sunlight), but I recently saw La NPA Mouton's blog post in December of the same design but with A England polishes and it is beauuutiful! A shout out to her more generally for her awesome photos and flawless designs!

No top coat applied on either polish here.

Monday 24 February 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Neutral ombre with a sprinkle of pixie dust

Last Monday I promised I'd make a weekly thing out of work appropriate manis. Here is me following through on that promise (so far, don't get too excited)!

This mani is a bit of a cheat, as it's the same mani as last week but a little more interesting. Let's call it appropriate for your SECOND week on a new office job, where people have gotten to at least witness the crazy in you if only a little bit.

Layering on top of last week's neutral taupe-hued ombre, here's that same mani with sand-coloured pixie dust (by none other than Zoya) overlayed by sponging over some interlocked striping tape. Finally, all was topped with a mattifying top coat.

The polish colouring in the images does look a bit different than last weeks' because the photos below were taken outdoors (no direct sunlight) as opposed to under my bathroom lighting.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Cats, not nails, but I can't help it?!

Generally this blog is 100% nails/nail art but today while I was trying to take pics of polish line-ups for future posts, obviously my cats want to know what's up.

Introducing my curious kitties who obviously love nail polish like their owner, Zyler (orange) and Menchie (grey and white):

 Can't promise you won't be seeing these fancy felines more often on the blog ;)

Essie simple quad design - blues & tart deco

This simple quad design was originally done in April of 2013 before jetsetting off to NYC for a spring vacation. At the time Club Monaco had just released a new line of awesome trench coats lined with a punch of complimentary colour... so I gave in and bought one for spring, woops. Here's to wishing it was that kind of weather right now.

Paired with the infamous Essie 'tart deco' soft coral polish, this trench served as the inspiration for my mani:

Simple matte black tri-fold

Here's a simple mani that was done in November of 2013. Matte black has been a trend over the last year for all sorts of things, including sunglasses, car wraps, and - you guessed it - nails!

At the time I was using a mattifier that wasn't really all that good (seems to be an obscure brand called Fing'rs paints), so the black could have been even matter (did I just make up a word?).

A simple tri-fold was painted over the mattified black using metallic gold and red as contrast. No top coat was applied after this step. As you can tell no tape was used; the tips were freehanded using the original brushes that come with each polish.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Looping effect burgundy and gold

Another one from my stash pile - December of 2012 to be exact. This looping effect mani demonstrates the technique in its simplest form, with only single loops are opposed to loops-within-loops or 'shadow loops' where a second colour is used to accent the inner/outer edges of the loops.

My apologies, though, for I only have TWO PHOTOS that are decent enough to share. I know, I know, how on earth are 2 photos enough to display the amazingness of the loops and the magnificient sparklies used on the tips?!?!? The photography here also sucks as it does not demonstrate the true magic of two polishes that I just love for their sparkliness. I will be using them in future work now that I actually seem to magically have nails that extend past my finger tips.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Blue colour-blocking

This mani was originally done in December of 2013, but there have been many other ladies who've mastered the art of the colour-blocking on teeny tiny canvases, including the Nailasaurus, Silver Box of Polish, and more recently (and notably), Nailuminium.

This wasn't an attempt at anything overly intricate, I was more looking for a way to incorporate the texture of one of Essie's new encrusted treasures collection (see the Polish Aholic or Ommorphia Beauty Bar for excellent swatch reviews of the whole collection). However, the textured tips of Essie's new 'Peak so chic' didn't really translate into what I was going for, as it required multiple coats and dabbing of the formula to get a somewhat opaque layer of the rectangular glitters. In fact I couldn't achieve full coverage at all with this polish at least in a restricted small area, and it ended up being really thick in relation to the other single-coat polish colour blocks, resulting in a rather uneven nail surface. Oh well LIVE AND LEARN, right ladies!?

Monday 17 February 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Neutral ombre

Have you ever done a mani that was SO obnoxious it was drop dead gorgeous? Yeah me too, except others at the office are all like errr... NOT SO MUCH. It's a sad sad time in our careers when we have to tone down the crazy on our nails so as to not offend co-workers/superiors, or at least in effort to maintain some illusion of sanity. Deep down you're all obsessed with colour, contrast and SPARKLIES, but that is precisely what nail art blogs are for - so we can get it all out on the internets and not embarass ourselves at the office (woops).

For this reason I'll start a weekly tradition (*cough* let's see how long this lasts) of posting a work appropriate mani every Monday. This idea isn't new - after a quick search I found that SpecialGirl Nails and A Little Polish have posting some neutral, simple and beautiful manis meant for the office (sometimes on Mondays, go figure).

This week we have a simple taupe neutral mani...

...until I made it not so simple - stay tuned for what I ended up overlaying it with next week MU HA HA (this is the part where the sanity drops off because we can never leave our simple base coats alone, can we?)

What do you ladies think, would you wear this to a semi-sophisticated-business-casual-dress office?

Sunday 16 February 2014

Pastel ombre dotticure

Here's a quick and simple mani I did last month. The base is an ombre/gradient from white to mint green or from white to pastel orange on the accent nail. Over the base is a simple dark tip (all dark green with the exception of dark blue on the accent nail), followed by white dots and then the same dark colour as the tip using a small/medium sized dotting tool I bought from

Finally, the whole mani was mattified to best compliment the soft gradients.

Blue, yellow & silver gradient

This simple striping tape mani was done in May of 2013. I am not sure what influenced the design as it was my first experiment with striping tape (specifically the kind made for nails) ever. I was skeptical about using it at all, as any past adventures in scotch tape or those horrible 'french manicure strips' ended up in nail art disaster like when the thick sticky residue on the backs of the french strips stick to your nails and then your base coat is RUINED. That's basically the worst thing ever.

It is fitting, then, that actual striping tape meant for nails has saved the day because it ACTUALLY WOKS, and that this design reminds me of the Avengers logo, except replace the red with neon yellow and BAM it's like superhero nails.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Earthy feminine quad

The 'quad' is a simple design that essentially divides the nail into four equal parts. Here's a pink, brown and gold theme that was designed around one of Sephora X's new polishes, 'Love chemistry', which is an opaque gold glitter with light rose hexagon glitters.

I painted these about four months ago in November of 2013. It was a strange time for my nail length, my pinky was so long it was as if it was ASKING for me to sniff some coke out of it.

... obviously I didn't - that would interfere with my ability to be a reliable blog poster.

Friday 14 February 2014

A dark Valentine's day

Further to my simple Valentine's day themed simple gradient post, here's the real wrath of the V-day: a dark one! Inspired by many of the mani ladies doing 'anti-valentine's day' themed nail art (see a few roll-ups done here and here), I decided to take the previously plain jane gradient into the darkness by overlaying some black with intricate striping tape patterns. This mani is a skittle mani (i.e., each nail is different).

If V-day is good for anything, it's the CANDY. Excuse me while I go eat some chocolate now.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Holla at ma pink holo guuurl

Here's a simple holo + striping tape design I did back in the summer. It's so cold here in Canada I WISH THERE WAS STILL SUN LIKE THIS. Unfourtunately the climate here basically means all holo polish will look subpar and not show its true beautiful multi-coloured particles until the sun decides to show its face.... which basically means May. If we're lucky.

In the spirit of the evil winter paired with v-day tomorrow, here's a colourful sunny pink holo!

Looping effect has gone pink - from the archives

Here's a second look at what I've termed the looping effect mani. So far this blog hasn't seen recent looping effect nail art, rather, I've been posting looping manis from the archives, and the same is the case for this post. BUT it's pink, and tomorrow is valentine's day sooooo... deal with it.

The looping effect is quite simple to do especially if you're using an opaque polish that comes with a skinny brush so you don't actually need to source a skinny paint brush and dip it into endless polishes trying to figure out which ones will swipe on opaque in one coat. Brands like Kiss nail art, Quo by Orly, Art Deco, Jordana, and many others have caught on to this trend and have begun selling skinny nail polish bottles that are essentially a sign that there is a skinny brush inside intended for detailing/striping.

I apologize though, for the terrible photo quality (hence only two photos of the nails). I promise at some point in the future I will give you all a more recent reincarnation of the looping effect!

Now, on to being nostalgic....

Wednesday 12 February 2014

The first reciprocal gradient/ombre

This was my first reciprocal gradient (a.k.a. reverse gradient, ombre, whatever the kids are calling it these days) done and photographed in January of 2014. I'd seen the design so many places, notably the globe & nail, wacky laky, and my simple little pleasures youtube tutorials, and it was time to divide with tiny tape and conquer!

A simple parallel linear reciprocal gradient this time. Best to not get too ahead of myself, right?

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Bright ombre - mattified!

Here's an ombre mani I originally did and photographed in July of 2013. Let's take a moment and relive this summer look in the midst of a horrid Canadian winter, eh.

A simple tri-colour ombre/gradient with some glitters affixed to the side (I got bored with the ombre - what else is new?)

Monday 10 February 2014

The 'looping effect' mani

Here is one look at a mani design I've found myself frequently doing over the years in part for its easily accomplishable look and in part for its effortless yet visually interesting end result. In some ways its execution and lasting impression reminds me of the nailasaurus' waterfall mani, but the design is distinctly different. The base design is the same as the lotus flower, but the latter has an extra few loop swipes here and there. Essentially either look is founded with three 'loops' on each finger (or four on the thumb).

This marks the inaugural post of the 'looping effect' mani! This particular one was originally done and photographed in October of 2012. 

Sunday 9 February 2014

Red plaid from the archives

These were done on April 5, 2010. At this point it's pretty clear that my nails used to be nubbins, but luckily I've been drinking my milk so you'll notice that difference between ancient works and more recent ones. Actually it's not the milk, I have no idea why my nails have found enough strength to withstand growing past the length of my fingertips, but hey, I'm not complaining.

Years ago I was really into plaid designs. I did this one mostly using a collection of MAC cosmetics polish called a tartan tale, and obviously the design itself was inspired by MAC's theme.

Apologies in advance for the crappy photo quality (blame 4-year old technology and a lack of coherency in taking/staging the shots).

Saturday 8 February 2014

Valentine's gradient and unexpected present

Phase one of another valentine's-day-themed mani. I was going to save posting this until the look was complete with the second phase overlay (stay tuned) but then my boyfriend gives me this fabulous Coach rose gold ring..... and well basically that means my mani+ring duo is going to turn into a photo-op. So much for not getting each other valentine's day presents!! %&#$!!

A simple white to red (with light holo) ombre/gradient using a make-up sponge. A top coat of any clear (but not too thick) polish helps to create a more seamless blend.

Gradient Lotus Flower (archives again)

Because I've been hoarding my collection of nail art in the form of poor quality photos dated from the last 4-5 years, you're going to get some sub-par photographs of past nail art escapades. Here is another one, which for whatever reason I put in a folder called 'lotus flower', so let's pretend that name makes sense.

p.s. You'll see a lot of archived nail art from potentially years ago for a while in between more recent nail art posts in effort to put it all out there. I'm working on another valentine's-day-themed mani at the moment and it is a two phased (two day) approach! You'll see it up on the blog soon time.


Friday 7 February 2014

Valentine's waterfall mani

Inspired by none other than the nailasaurus' waterfall design. This one is valentine's day themed by being bright and cheery pink with a sugar-like glistening top coat in case it wasn't girly enough with all the pink variations.

Lighting was indoors under both cold and warm bathroom lighting, but I played with the settings a bit to try and bring out the shine of the sugar coating. It's far more reflective in person. BRING ON THE SHINY.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Exactly 4 years ago swirls

On February 6, 2010, I painted this design on my nails below and I swear at the time NAIL ART WAS NOT REALLY A THING. The proof is in the tan, the youthful looking fingers, and the flashy new macbook which we know is so 2010.

People used to think I was crazy (perhaps irrespective of nail eccentricities) but I thought I was onto something. Too bad for me I did not materialize my madness into something that could be forever preserved on the internets, otherwise I could possibly be one of the most famous nail artists by now. I'd probably be rich too. Let's call this swirls of sadness and regret instead...!

Textured triangles

Today I've got some nails from some of my first adventures with nail striping tape (about $3.00 on amazon/ebay). For about 3 years I had not yet discovered this magic tape and I used to paint 'straight' lines by hand. After realizing there was an entire online world of nail art freaks like myself I realized there was so much more knowledge I had to absorb.

This mani was probably inspired by a myriad of nail blogging artists, but the first one that popped into my mind as inspiration was a few of the manicurator's designs using striping tape, triangle designs, and textured polishes.

The backdrop polish comes matte, no mattifier was applied, and a clear top coat was applied only to the textured triangles.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Scorching like the sun...

... is what I wish the weather was like in Canada right now as opposed to the horrid winter chill.

Instead, here's some nails that might warm you up. A basic ombre/gradient technique was used with a makeup sponge to apply the cascade of warm colours, followed by a holographic top coat just for kicks.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Coffee in New York... minus the 87263057512837 people

This design was originally done around three or four years ago when I went through a phase of what I called 'tri-folds'. Now having not been acclimated to the nail blogging community until the last year or so, it's entirely possible that someone other than myself had already invented this three-layer design and called it (GASP) something more intelligent than tri-fold.

This one is reminiscent of coffee in New York because of its simple design and edgy but neutral
(and some might argue office-friendly) colour scheme.

Monday 3 February 2014

Racing to the finish line.... wait, this blog just started!

This marks the first post of simply nailogical's blog!

On this blog I plan to post mostly nail art. I continuously try new techniques in attempt to gain half as much the skill as some of the awesome nail art ladies out there!

I have been collecting nail art photos for a couple years now. Needless to say I have somewhat of a reserve fund of nail art photos. The time has come to materialize these images in blog format! I will swap back and forth between posting reserve nail art and new nail art done more recently.


A simple checkered design using a small paint brush (no stencils here) to detail the tips: