Monday, 30 June 2014

On holiday with evil purple clouds and lightning

A couple weeks ago I went to town with an awkward looking "sea foam" sponge and it actually turned out alright, first with the crazy pink sunset clouds and then layered with a silhouette of a forest treeline. Many asked for a tutorial and I was all lame and hadn't made one cause I had no idea what I doing or how I did it, honest.

Then the Lacquer Legion announced the mani theme for the end of June, and it was "on holiday". Another sunset, maybe a beach or an ocean, you ask? NOPE. Cause on my holidays to a tropical place there's always thunderstorms and shitty weather.


Matte flakie skittle over black for McPolish

So Amy of McPolish aka Polish Etc. recently reached 10k followers on Instagram. As someone who I followed since I started my own nail art/Instagram journey about five months ago, I wanted to congratulate her not just through reposting her giveaway photo, but by re-creating one of my fav manis of hers. Mattifying flakies is also one of her favourite things to do in her spare time, actually I'm pretty sure she mattifies almost every mani with flakies. All hail to McPolish, queen of #matteall alltheflakies.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The glitteriest holo nail art in all the land

Recently I posted four delicious swatches of Painted Polish by Lexi's holo glitter intoxicator line. The crowd went wild, kittens started meowing at record high pitches, and people died. Well, maybe only if a car came in 'drunk on holo' paint, then someone might die because of the reflective and sparkly properties which would in turn blind drivers in oncoming traffic causing a crash. That's why mirror chrome cars were banned from the roads, but whatever. Driving while drunk on holo? Amazing.

The Painted Polish shop is now open for pre-orders on all these holo glitter polishes and some new ones too as I post this. Shop now or you might miss out and you will basically regret it for the rest of your boring dull life.

Here's some nail art I made with these four babies. Now THIS is a real glitter gradient.

Tri-colour curved scaled gradient

Guest posting today over at Frankie Hunters Nails. Frankie lives in Austria and yes, some of her blog is written in Austrian... or is it German... what the hell do I know?! Luckily I did not have to learn a new language, and you'll find my guest post in English here.

Frankie asked me a few weeks ago to share a scaled gradient design with her readers and I happily agreed! The inspiration behind this mani was summery colours (all Essie), but not neon in the in-your-face-sense, as I wanted to go with a bit more of a relaxed summer colour scheme.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Green creme and duochrome quatrefoil: Third attempt

About a month ago I posted my second quatrefoil nail art attempt, and back in May I posted my first. The way I see it, the first attempt was a fail as I wasn't paying attention to where I was placing those goddamn first dots, as Margaret of @m_a_tom on Instagram so kindly pointed out to me (for her helpful hints, see here). The second was better, but I realized later that I'd placed the little ticks that extend from the dots at the wrong intersection... woops.

The 'quatrefoil' technique initially came out of the genius mind of Christabell Nails earlier this year, and many have gathered the courage to try. After this, my third attempt, I think I can go without the quatrefoil mani haunting my dreams for a while.

Pictured: Swarovski bella chrysolite earrings (I believe they're discontinued now)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Cat love for Cassie nail art collab

Two weeks ago Cassie of @cassgooner on Instagram lost her dear kitty, Milly. Nine of us cat-loving nail artists decided to get together in attempt to put a smile back on Cassie's face in light of the news. As a mother of two furry children, I can imagine (though I don't want to) how heartwrenching it will be when my babies move on. To me it's the same thing as losing a family member, since after all, kitties are children to some of us. In the spirit of remembering Cassie's beloved Milly and in recognizing the space our cats hold in our hearts, eight talented nail artists on Instagram and myself collaborated on a 'cat love for Cassie' nail art collab.

You can see the original IG collab post and response here
The ladies who participated alongside me include: @magnifiquenails @nailsbyjema @rillwatermist @narmai @nailsbyrizz @adifferentshadeofpolish @lilyandjinks @nailsandtowel

 Here's my solo shot:

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Saving Pacific Blue by the chevron

Some of you nail polishaholics may have heard that Sally Hansen has changed the formula (and thus the colour) of 'Pacific Blue', a polish in the Extreme Wear line. See here are here for examples of this controversial and blasphemous corporate operations change.

Capital Polish and Reinovate initiated a movement to push back again the SH corporation by organizing a nail art/polish swatch collaboration of the original Pacific Blue in which we nail freaks stand in solidarity and demonstrate (non-violently, of course) the amazingness that is the true Pacific Blue.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chocolate rosettes

Further to yesterday's boring ass striped nails post, I have something more appealing for you that is actually not really my thing: Florals. I don't know why, but I've never been into the stereotypical feminine nail designs (funny, cause nails art alone is gendered feminine), and by that I mean things like flowers, leopard print, paisley, hearts, butterflies..... ugh. *shudder*. Honestly, I can't stand that shit. But that doesn't mean I don't love it on other talented nail artists!

Earlier this month I surprised Margaret of @m_a_tom on Instagram with a mani swap and I chose her floral, stripes, and dotted nail design in part to challenge myself and step outself of my comfort zone in modern/abstract nail art design. Nearly immediately after, in early June, I decided I wanted to tackle the rosette mani again, and used her striped background as my base, just changing the colour scheme to brown.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Tan & white stripes

So you may be thinking to yourself that this is the most basic mani EVER... and that's cause it is. Like many of my other posts, this mani is the prelude to a more interesting mani that will be posted tomorrow. But, because this stage looks rather work appropriate, it suits the bill for today's post.

But it's still boring!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Forest silhouette over pink and purple cloudy sunset

Further to yesterday's post of an ad hoc pink and purple cloudy sunset thing, here's the actual finished mani. I was inspired by a photograph taken by my friend. She used real film photography (ancient, I know) to process the film. I just loved the rich pinks and purples in the cloudy sky above the forest treeline.

10k Giveaway!

I'm hosting my first giveaway on Instagram (IG) to celebrate reaching 10,000 followers - who paid all you guys to follow my nail art, my kitties, and other random shenanigans?!

Anyway, to give back to the good people of IG there's a ton of cool nail polish items you can win! You must have a user profile on IG to participate, as an 'entry' is counted if you repost the giveaway photo and use the appropriate hashtag. Note that your IG account must be public on the last day of the giveaway to enter. Read all about the rules, prizes and deadlines below!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Pink and purple clouds

I feel like it's been forever since I did an actual nail art post... a whole three days ago! Anyway, I did this mani last month. I was inspired by a photograph taken by a friend that has been hanging in my bedroom for some time. I really loved the colours in the photograph, but since this is a two-part post, you'll see my inspiration for this mani in tomorrow's post so I don't spoil what came next over top of this pink cloudy-esque gradient.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Burger shop themed nails

So there's this cool new(ish) burger place in Ottawa (Canada) that has some pretty awesome decor. Strange, I know. About a month ago I painted these nails after I was inspired by the colour scheme and the wood detail present inside of Burgers n' Fries Forever ("BFF"). Here's my nailspiration - a couple pics off their website so you get a feel for their style:

Images credit: BFF
And here's my mani:

Monday, 16 June 2014

Neon chevron scaled gradient skittle

A couple of weeks ago the super sweet Narmai of Piggie Luv pulled together a few nail artists for a collab in support of Hanne from It's So Damn Original who is having an eye surgery procedure done. Since Hanne is hot for neons, the theme of this suprise collab was 'Neon nails for Hanne'. I couldn't decide which neon shades to use so I tried to use them ALL with this neon chevron scaled gradient skittle look. I hope this look and the collab as a whole puts a smile on her face and into good spirits for, during and after surgery!

And yes... I'm skipping work appropriate mani monday for this :)


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Get your party hat on: Serious holo intoxicators

A couple weeks ago I received my first polishes by Painted Polish by Lexi. I was drawn to the line because, well, sparkly. I decided to pick up all four of the new holo glitter line to see how they all compared. I've compiled a couple collages for you today and can I just say that I'm STILL DRUNK on all that holo. All pics below were taken in direct sunlight with my new macro lens. Note that these aren't straight-up swatches per se, I've taken steps to amplify the glitter that involves using a complimentary polish as a base coat. Read on below.

BONUS: Video tutorial on how to maximize glitter payoff at the end of the post.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Mani swap with Ana of Magnifique Nails!

Hi friends! Today I am super estatic to present to you a mani swap with Ana of Magnifique Nails! I first annoyed Ana with the idea of this a month or two ago and quickly realized I needed to learn some nail blogger etiquette: Don't randomly ask people to do a mani swap if you have never talked to them in your life and you are potentially a crazy stalker. I had been following Ana's blog for a while but what struck me enough to reach out to her was not just her creative nail designs, but also the way she wrote on her blog. I really appreciate it when the individual behind the blog has a way of writing that clearly says I AM MORE THAN JUST A NAIL ART BABY MAKING MACHINE. It was clear to me that Ana wrote in a sophisticated sense and this had me wondering what she's all about!

Ana and I laughed over my noobness and got to know each other better over the last month, chatting about our fav designs, techniques, and some good 'ol nail blogger gossip. I was thrilled when she mentioned she was itching to re-create my Paris sunset nails. That meant I had to pick one of the million and a half designs of hers to re-create - this proved difficult. I settled on a unique patterened mani that Ana's genius came up with because a) it looked like it should be a pattern walking down the runway, and b) it is a design of hers that to my knowledge hasn't already been replicated as a part another mani swap with various talented nail artists. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Father's Day finish line

Nailpolis is hosting a nail art contest with a Father's Day theme and obviously I had to participate. I quickly browsed through some of the submitted designs and saw a lot of ties, mustaches, button-up dress shirts, and I thought to myself: yes, that would have been my first thought too, but... I just had to go with something different.

What is special about your dad that separates him from the traditional understandings of Father's Day symbolism? For me, it's racing and Formula 1. Growing up my dad was always watching the F1 or Indy 500 races, he'd save them on VHS back in the day (now you know I'm old) and then watch them all weekend long. I also somewhat grew up in the car industry myself, having helped out at his auto body shop when I was younger and later working in a specialty Porsche tuning/mechanic shop. From acting as a child to working in car shops to reporting on criminal statistics.... Yes, I have quite the interesting career path. Back to the reason behind this design, a racing-themed mani came pretty naturally for this Father's Day themed mani.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Art deco inspired teal and gold arches

Nail It! magazine was looking for submissions inspired by the art deco movement for their upcoming fall edition. This mani is the second of two designs I submitted, the other one was a more linear interpretation of art deco, but I was meh about how the colouring translated on my camera (still on a learning curve with the new DSL-R). This mani, however, I like a lot more because of how the photos turned out, but also because it's not the typical interpretation of art deco. I went with a free-hand design in attempt to illustrate the iconic arches of the period rather than bold straight lines which is more often seen.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Work appropropriate mani Monday: Neutral-hued chevron scaled gradient

I'm on a scaled gradient kick right now (see this post for my first real dive into the concept and for 8 helpful tips to achieve the effect). Today's mani is a work appropriate version by using neutral-hued polishes, but with a little bit of holo action. If you've been following my blog then you already know that my definition of a 'work appropriate mani' is likely more adventurous or colourful than most others definitions. I don't know about you, but scaling my usual colourful and contrasted designs way down to blah just to suit the office hurts my soul. Instead I look for a compromise. Something that isn't crazy and in-your-face, but still has enough nail art and splash of colour (or holo or glitter!) in it to satisfy me and my nail art addiction.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

Hawaiian-themed nails over scaled gradient

Further to my last post about a neon chevron scaled gradient, this was what my mani turned into.

Loaded Lacquer has a contest going on on Instagram (but pretty sure it ends tomorrow) for the launch of their new line, inspired by hula girls and everything else Hawaiian-esque. I decided I would lay on some white silhouette hibiscus style flowers, add a tiny bit of glitter, and bam, Hawaiian-themed nail art!

Neon pink and blue triple chevron scaled gradient

A couple of weeks ago I introduced a new take on the gradient with my alligator green single chevron scaled gradient post. Today I have the same 'scaled gradient' technique but with different nail vinyls and a different colour scheme. What else? A tutorial! Yay! My first ever video tutorial is below. Warning: Pic heavy post cause this mani is awesome.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Floral vignette for a surprise mani swap

Last month ago the lovely Margaret of @m_a_tom on Instagram recreated my lacy work (in)appropriate mani and I was floored that she was so inspired to do so! The feedback on her version was amazing, and it is currently one of her top liked mani's on Instagram at 717 likes! A couple mani's later she created a sexy date night version with red and black polishes and my jaw dropped to the ground. Drooling. Not only did Margaret being so inspired by my early creation mean so much to me, but as I shared with you in my last post, she has truly been a dear by doing thinks like giving me personalized tips when I was feeling a bit frustrated tackling a quatrefoil mani.

To show my appreciation for her kind heart and her talent (the latter is a given), I decided I wanted to do a "surprise" mani swap for her. I know this isn't a 'thing' in the nail blogging world, but since she's already done a replica of my mani I wanted to choose one of my favourites of hers and return the love!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Magenta and gold quatrefoil: Second attempt

A couple of weeks ago I attempted my first 'quatrefoil' patterened nails. Originally conceptualized in video tutorial form by Christabell Nails, I was shaking my head at my stubborn little quatrefoils which looked more like blobfoils to me.

I expressed some of my disappointment in my execution and the lovely Margaret of @m_a_tom on Instagram direct messaged me with a personalized tip! I mean, how sweet is that?! I got what she meant right away and 'quatrefoil nails attempt #2' went straight on my mani's-to-do whiteboard.

Here's the outcome, keeping her tip to focus on the spaces between the dots in mind!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Work appropriate mani Monday: Buttercream looping effect

For this week's work appropriate mani Monday, I went with a straight-forward looping effect design over a warm and cozy buttery colour. I am of the strong opinion that nail art can be very much appropriate for the office, and in my case, in a professional government office where casual business dress is expected. I don't think I could ever show my face with one single colour of polish, so if you're like me, and you need to so SOMETHING interesting on your nails, then this look could satisfy your addiction to nail art but still be office friendly.

I chose a pale yellow buttercream colour by Deborah Lippmann to use as the base - and oh, does it ever go on like butter! This was barely a two-coater pastel wonder. Flakies on top, of course (I... can't... help it).

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Art Deco burgundy and gold stripes

Today's post I feel pretty meh about, mainly because of the way the photos turned out. Experimenting with new DSL-R settings... and clearly not winning.

The design is pretty simple and straightforward, executed with three different polishes and striping tape. I was following Nail It Magazine's themed call-out for 'Art Deco' inspired mani submissions - I submitted this design along with another that will be posted in due time. Nail It is inviting submissions up until June 6th. Those chosen will appear in the September/October edition. I don't think this one is a winner mainly because of the photo quality, but I need to keep f**king up to learn which settings are just NO.