Saturday, 31 May 2014

Mani swap: Abstract artwork inspired

When the lovely Isabella of Vaniliamamor asked me to do a mani swap, I saw a couple of her artwork-inspired nail designs and I knew I just had to recreate one of those. Isabella (who goes by 'Bella') is from Romania, so you can imagine my confusion when I visited her blog and didn't understand one word of anything. Luckily images don't need language to communicate beauty and inspiration. Bella chose to create an old colour-block mani of mine:

Here's a solo shot of my re-creation of Bella's mani:

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Bestie twin nails: Inspired by a BCBG dress

Hi everyone! I am super excited to share with you my first "bestie twin nails" mani. Not to worry if you have no idea what I'm talking about; when I heard that term my face was like uhmm... what. It basically means two nail artists (hence the 'twin') get together and decide on a mani design to do together, sometimes inspired by an object or pattern of choice.

In this case the super friendly Jamie from Tinseltown Nails asked me to do a "#bestietwinnails" as it's called on Instagram and I was like hell yeah! She sought out this sassy BCBG 'Reese' strapless colour-blocked dress and we both went to town.

Picture credit for two BCBG dress shots

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Stepping up my game, ladies

I am interrupting your daily dose of nail art for an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

I have a new camera and it's awesome!

My new baby.
That's right folks, I'm trying to be awesome like those other nail bloggers who have awesome photography skills. I'm still missing the skills part, but I'm hoping the DSL-R camera will suffice for now. If you're curious, I was previously shooting with a Canon PowerShot S110 point and shoot camera, usually on macro mode.

This shiny new Nikon D5300 with a 40mm macro lens was a present from my family for finishing my Master's degree! Woop woop I am officially the coolest Master in Sociology/Criminology ever, clearly, 'cause I now spend all my free time doing something nail related. Putting that academic education to work!

I know what you're thinking... you want to see more of my nail polish stash, don't you. I'm just teasing you. I must tell you that what looks like a row of polish on each shelf is actually mostly doubled-up rows of polish. Yes, that means about half my polish is sitting behind another polish. Le sad. One day I shall build another polish rack to showcase all of them... er, I mean, ask my boyfriend to build me another polish rack.

Proper pics of my polish rack and colourful babies coming soon to a computer screen near you.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Random black swirls over rose-toned gradient

Further to yesterday's simple work appropriate rose-toned gradient post, I've added some random swirly details over top, because who on earth leaves a gradient ALONE?!

This was done freehand with a makeshift detail brush that I wish I could have trimmed down smaller without ruining it (twice now) and black acrylic paint. Some of the craft store brushes I picked up turned out to be garbage and fray really easily, which translates to wider and uneven strokes of paint. Wahh. Seche vite topcoat over errrthing.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Rose-toned subtle holo gradient

Back to the standard nail gradient today, with a three-polish simple and work appropriate gradient featuring all A England polishes which I personally LOVE. The subtle holo in the formula is just perfection, and they blend together so beautifully.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Alligator green chevron scaled gradient

Gradients on a whole other level! I was playing around with my fav Formula X by Sephora polish, 'over the top', a subtly saturated neon lemon-lime creme, and this is what happened. I'll call this a 'scaled gradient' because it involves distinct and adjacent gradients that when right beside each other look like the scales of a fish or other reptilian. This colour scheme in particular kind of reminds me of an alligator. And the dots almost look like creepy alligator eyes. Oh snap!


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Chevron and dotted camo

Here's a random nothing special somewhat-skittlette that I created to try out some earth-toned polishes, two of which I recently acquired during a polish haul at Winners of all places. Great discounts = more polish to buy!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Broken glass flakies

Last month I posted an 'emerald green runway' mani that consisted of mattified green polish, negative space and green flakies galore. There's been so many flakies-over-dark-colour manis floating around mani-land lately, and I just love it. Notably, this includes Kristin from Lacquerstyle's flakies over a deep burgundy,  @chorubim's flakies over a royal blue, and Amy from McPolish's flakies over an emerald green (which coincidentally I had also unknowingly conjured up in my nail art lair). I decided that they should all have a baby and this is what was born:
That's a fine looking baby. 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pixie dust to the max

So I got a little carried away and tried to see how much pixie dust I could fit on one nail... turns out, you can paint your ENTIRE NAIL in pixie dust. Obviously. But still.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Random pixie dust... I have no idea what I was trying to achieve.

I have no idea what I was going for here, but one thing I did know when I set out to do this mani was that I wanted to use a sheer black jelly I made at home in my nail polish lair/cat den/taking-over-the-world laboratory. Everything else that came after that jelly base was pure luck/chaos/consequence. It kind of looks like Lady Gaga threw up on my nails, which in her eyes would mean sickkkkk.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Textured chevrons

I wanted to showcase the perfect clean lines that using chevron nail vinyls yield with this simple mani (you can find out more info and examples from @teismom, nail vinyl's Instagram account). Trust me, it was difficult to keep gradients out of the picture (I am a gradient fiend) or avoid switching the colours on different nails, opposite colours, dots, glitters... how can I possibly resist?! But I did. Just because these nail vinyls are so special and I really wanted to let the simple chevron design speak for itself.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Neutral glitter gradient

I'm sensing a theme... Last month I posted a rose-gold glitter gradient for work appropriate mani Monday and today I've got... basically the same thing.

It's pretty straight forward: A cool-toned beige to greyish-purple creme gradient layered with a champagne gold and lilac micro glitter polish at the tips. I think what's key to note about this glitter gradient is that the polish base is also a gradient, which isn't typically the norm in glitter gradient mani's (see, for example, Nemo's nails or Lucy's stash).

Earrings: Swarovski Lunar earrings in Rose Blush
Many nail art/nail polish bloggers use rings as props. I don't own many rings but I do have an obsession with sparkly earrings. An earRING hanging on my fingers makes so much sense, right?

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Neon triangles with a touch of tribal

I did this bright neon mani last month (April) when it was basically still winter in Canada and thought I'd save it for a post when there was actually sun outside. That day was today! Just some random triangles painted on with striping tape used as a guide, then outlined with black polish freehand style. My ring finger is accented with tribal just to throw you off a little. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Climbing the rainbow staircase

Mel from Nailrotica sent out a call-out for nail artists to participate in a mani collab for International Day Against Homophobia, which is today, May 17th! I did this mani a couple weeks ago and submitted a pic of it to her, and I'm so glad to see the turnout. So many participants and so many rainbows!

Here's the end result collab:

Credit: @lissamel9
 And here's my contributing mani:

Friday, 16 May 2014

Random brown triangles over sheer black

Further to the sheer black polish trend that has taken the nail art community by storm a couple months ago (see an old post about my knowledge of its roots), I decided to see what else I could use it for, if not just for emulating the look of black lace. So I went with what I named on my computer as 'Brown amazon triangles' and what I think after mattifying ressembles brown amazonian clay. Like something my grandmother would have made potterty with. But for the sake of this post and making sense to other people, I think 'Random brown triangles' is probably the better name to go with.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Lady Speed Stick Nutra-Skin and nails to match

Hi everyone! I am super excited to share with you today a review of a product that is actually NOT NAIL POLISH. Gah?! I know. Obviously included in the post are nails to match, so don't worry; your nail polish/art addiction will be satisfied by the end of this post.

The wonderful ladies at the Republic sent me a basket of goodies including the main attraction: Lady Speed Stick Nutra-skin deodorant. Taking care of our winter-parched parts including hands, feet and armpits makes up what has been termed the 'thirsty three'.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Holo quatrefoil - the first attempt

A couple of months ago the talented Christabell Nails invented a crazy-awesome nail art pattern using a dotting technique which she dubbed 'quatrefoil nails'. Based on what appears to be a vintage-looking wallpaper 'quatrefoil' design, this nail art is created using only two polish colours, a dotting tool, and a tiny paintbrush (or toothpick). Easy, right?

Not so easy. I didn't really pay attention to the technique or the execution, and I only watched maybe 20 seconds of Christabell Nails' original quatrefoil tutorial. Shame on me! That's why I failed, 'cause I didn't listen. Moral of the story: Listen to your parents, stay in school. Or just pay attention to the whole mani tutorial.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Nude & blue chevrons

Here's a simple but striking look that I'm going to argue is work appropriate no matter where you work. Bland beige nails is so 2002. Today you can pull off nude nails with a twist at the office and still be taken seriously (I would say this about any nail polish though... so maybe don't listen to me).

I used four Essie polishes (including 2 specialty ones from the Encrusted Treasures collection - see swatches and a review of this collection by Polish Aholic) to create this look. Nail vinyls in the shape of single chevrons were used to guide the application of the three mid-nail arrow-looking shapes.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Fun with acrylics: Inspired by chandelier art

A while ago I bought a print/canvas with chandelier art that complimented a chandelier-style floor lamp I picked up from Urban Barn. I traced the chandelier art piece back to Working Girls Design Inc., who designed it, but you can buy it or other ones like it almost anywhere, such as on

A couple weeks ago I picked up some acrylic paint to try out (for nail art, of course) and I found myself wanting to re-create the chandelier art piece and its 'teardrop' effect. In other words, where the words of what seems like a corny love letter were cried on causing some of the ink to blur (wah wah, someone call a wambulance).

It's not a perfect replica, and I'm still not happy with my paint brush size (I had trimmed one down but it was still frayed, arg).

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Heavy metal belt

Good morning! Well, for me anyway, it's nearing 10am and I can actually see sun out my window. Today I have for you a heavy metal look, inspired by a belt and testing out more uses for OPI's new chrome polish from the Gwen Stefani collection.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Inspired by Hudson's Bay navy blue socks

Back in March I posted Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) nail art stripes with the traditional white/ivory background and primary coloured (+ green) stripes. This time around, I've got the reverse HBC nails, or the signature stripes over a navy blue background, which generally looks something like this area rug. My direct inspiration featured in the pics is this pair of women's HBC socks.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Sometimes you should just leave things alone

Two days ago I posted a 'returning' white to grey gradient mani which I turned into a chevron returning reciprocal gradient the day after. If that wasn't confusing enough, I decided to add some dots. What happened though, really, was that I thought the chevron mani looked like my kitty Menchie because of the grey and white zig zags, like her fur. But it wouldn't be like Menchie without some pink (the colour of her collar).

So, I confused an already confusing mani and ruined it. I blame the kitty.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Greyscale chevron returning reciprocal gradient

You're probably seeing the title of this post and thinking um what are you trying to say, girl? You have inhaled too much nail polish. So yesterday I posted a grey to white twist on the traditional gradient mani. My (rather convoluted) explanation included how a 5-point gradient whose colour point on one end of the nail returns by the other end (this is different than a traditional gradient, where the mani has a different colour at each end of the gradient).  I explain how I did this to the best of my ability below!

UPDATE (June 12, 2014): Video tutorial below!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Grey and white gradient

Here's a simple twist on the traditional polarized gradient. Usually gradients begin with one colour on one end of the nail and transition to another by the other end. Here I've created a five point gradient using three colours (white, light grey, medium grey), but had one end of the colour scheme (white) hit the nail at both ends, leaving the darkest grey in the middle only. Let's call this a returning gradient since the white seen on one end of the nail returns by the other end.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Coucher de soleil - une soirée à Paris

Savais-tu que je connais le français ainsi que l'anglais? Okay let me just stop there before I thoroughly embarrass myself.

This nail art, based over the summery neon gradient I posted yesterday, is a silhouette depiction of some well known Paris landscapes. Have I ever been to Paris? No. Have I ever been to anywhere in Europe? No. In fact I've never been out of North America. So very lame.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Let's be NE-honest...

...if neons symbolized the beginning of summer, then I should still be wearing dark polish. In retaliation of the tretcherous weather (rain, clouds, rain, wind, rain) we've been having in Canada as of late, I've painted my nails the brightest neon possible.