The 31 Day Challenge –Day 12: Stripes.

I have to say I’m actually pretty impressed with myself, and the fact I’ve been able to keep this challenge going without giving up. It’s actually been so easy for nail art because I know what I have to do, it just means figuring out the details of how.

For Day 12, my prompt was stripes. I was inspired by this manicure I found on pinterest, a combination of stripes and flowers. Mine are a little different, obviously–and I’m still working on perfecting my roses. I can’t wait until the new nail art brushes arrive so I can do much smaller details. These are a little messy, but I still think they’re very pretty. And perfect for spring weather. The days are finally getting warmer, and so I will be wearing my darker manicure less often, and concentrating on spring colors.

stripes

As you can see, I went with purple stripes instead of the black ones in the picture, and only concentrated on the flowers on a few accent nails (my thumb, middle, and ring finger). My flowers are definitely not perfect, but I think I just didn’t choose the right combination of colors–I started these pretty late the night previous, when I was already tired.

nailpolish

The polishes I used for this manicure were (from left to right):

  • ACO by Ardene in Sour Apple — light green polish in the middle of the leaves.
  • OPI’s Pinking of You — the light pink base of the roses (although they kind of got hidden by my other polishes).
  • Essie Watermelon — Accent dots of pink on the roses.
  • ACO by Ardene in Bridezilla — light ivory base of my nails.
  • Color Club Art Club striping polish in Paisley Paradise — stripes on my nails.
  • Garage Nail polish (No Name) — pink outline of my roses.
  • ACO by Ardene in Techno Green — darker green of my leaves.

All topped off with my favorite Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat (which you can see peeking out from the back row, behind my the Art Club striper.)

These are not my most impressive roses, but I think my stripes turned out awesome. I’m not very good at tape manicures, even with a lot of practice, so I rely on striping polishes to get them done! I’ve been working pretty hard on practicing my line work, and trying to get a steadier hand, and I really think it’s paying off. A year ago I would not have been able to draw such even lines on my nails!

Also I have to say how much I LOVE Bridezilla by ACO. I’ve been looking for a new off-white polish for wearing as a base, as I’m scared if I use my beloved My Boyfriend Scales Walls too much, it’s going to run out way quicker than I want. Bridezilla is somewhere between an off-white or cream, and a very very light nude, and I just adore it. The application was awesome (2 coats on most nails for opacity, with only one or two nails needing another coat thin coat for hiding some bald spots.) And it was the perfect base color for my stripes.

Also my best friend is getting married in August, and I’m not sure what nail art I’m going to be able to do, but Bridezilla could be a lovely color to wear just as is. (Our brides maid dresses are blue and cream stripes, and I’m pretty sure that is almost exactly the same color as the stripes on our dresses.)

 

So what do you think of this stripe and rose combination?

 

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 11: Polka Dots!

I love polka dots.

Maybe it’s the girlie girl in me, but I’m all about the polka dots.

I actually ended up doing two polka dot manicures. I started one the day before, and my manicure idea ended up being cut short. Because I didn’t really feel like I gave Day 11 a fair shot, so I decided to the prompt over again. I figured I would feature both manicures, just because I do love the colors I used for attempt #1 (purple, yey!), and it wasn’t a BAD manicure, just a little simple.

allpolkadots

Dot nail art is a really easy way to spice up an otherwise bland manicure. I got my first dotting tool almost a year ago, and it was one of the best $3 purchases I ever made. Over the years, I’d tried doing polka dot manis with tooth picks, and bobby pins, but never found they would turn out how I wanted. However, buying a dotting tool changed all of that–I could finally attempt the manicures I never could before! Flowers! Roses! Leopard Print! And Polka dots.

purplepolkadots

The polishes I used for polka dot manicure #1 were:

  • Essie’s We’re in this Together — the pink base on my accent nails.
  • China Glaze Flying Dragon — dark purple thumb and pinky finger, and some polka dots.
  • China Glaze What a Pansy — lighter purple on index finger, and some polka dots.
  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls — white dots.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat.

I did like this manicure, even if it wasn’t what I had intended to do when I started. However, even though it was fairly simple, I can’t help but love purple nails. Flying Dragon has to be one of my all time favorite polishes–I just wish it wouldn’t chip so bad at work (even with base coat, and regardless how many coats of top coat I apply.)

 

polkadots

The polishes I used for polka dot manicure #2 were:

  • Mariposa nail polish mini — the teal (my base color), dark pink, and light pink polish (dots on accent finger.)
  • Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Audacious Asphalt — base color of my accent finger.
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue — polka dots on accent finger.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat.

I tried to go somewhere different with this second manicure. I grabbed the most spring-like colors I could find and just started dotting. I also put some dots on the base of each of my non-accent fingers. I’ve been seeing that look around a bit from different nail bloggers, so I wanted to give it a try. I’m not sure if I like the color combinations I chose, but besides that I like the look of the single dot. It’s almost like a jewel resting on your nail.

Also how gorgeous is that teal color!? It’s from one of the mini sets my roommate gave me for Christmas. None of the polishes have names, but it has a really awesome formula that makes painting your nails so easy.

So which manicure do you like better–the more simple purple dotticure, or the bright and colorful and crazy dotticure?

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 9: Rainbow nails.

I’ll start by saying this nail art was inspired by my three year old nephew.

I was babysitting the other night, trying to decide what I was going to do for my rainbow nail art challenge. I thought about doing just rainbows, but as you might have noticed, I don’t always going typical with my challenge prompts. My little nephew was looking at my stash the other night–he is adorable when it comes to my nails. He always asks to look at my nails, and is very vocal when he doesn’t like them haha–and asked him what colors I should do on my nails. And he listed them off–blue, yellow, pink, red, green. He might have just been listing off the colors he knew, but never the less I did what he told me!

rainbow nails

The polishes used were:

  • OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls — the white base.
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow— the yellow.
  • ACO by Ardene in Techno Green — the green
  • ACO by Ardene in Lagoon –the blue
  • ACO by Ardene in Sunkissed –the orange.
  • ACO by Ardene in Strawberry Blush — the red
  • ACO by Ardene in Ardene’s Secret — the pink.
  • Stripe Rite striping brush in Black — the black outline.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

I love these nails because it looks like a coloring book to me.

This manicure was not as difficult as you’d think. After applying my base coat, I started with a blank canvas of My Boyfriend Scales Walls, then added top coat. After that had dried, I started with my black striping polish, creating a different pattern on each nail (you could also do the same pattern on each nail, but I like to shake things up a bit.

mosaic

After my outline was created, I then went with a small nail art brush (from Icing), and colored in some of the shapes with my variety of chosen colors. I did have to go back with my black, and touch up some of the lines were the colors had bled a little bit. When that was all finished, I topped with my trusty top coat and tada! Rainbow coloring book nails!

I think my nephew would be proud.

 

 

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 7: Black and White.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the black and white day of this challenge.

I started trying to figure out what I was going to do a couple days in advance. I wanted to try something different. Tuxedo nails? Nail stamping? What the heck was I going to do! Thank god for pinterest, huh? I could get lost on there for hours looking at nail art ideas (and quite frequently do). Once again, my inspiration came from a  pin on there: these geometric square nails.

blackandwhite

The polishes I used were:

  • OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls — White Base.
  • ACO by Ardene’s Tuxedo — Black base.
  • Stripe Rite Striping Brush in black.
  • Stripe Rite Striping Brush in White.
  • Sally Hansen diamond Flash top coat.

Obviously you can see, mine turned out a little different from my inspiration. I didn’t really figure out I shouldn’t cram as many squares until I got to my black nails (I did the white base first). Even though they’re not perfect, they look different and made me not dread the black and white prompt quite so much. Even though I used to wear black nail polish frequently, I don’t as much any more. With the exception of Halloween, I can’t actually remember the last time I wore it as a full mani.

What do you think about these geometric nails? Which look do you prefer–lots of squares, or only a few?

 

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 6: Violet Nails

I love purple.

You have no idea how much I was looking forward to the violet prompt for the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. Purple has always been my favorite color–I even had purple hair years ago! So I was super excited when Day 6 rolled around. The only hard part was trying to decide which polishes to use, and what design I wanted to try. After obsessively browsing my favorite nail art blogs for a couple of hours, I finally decided to go with Chalkboard Nails Distressed nails. It’s been on my to-try list for a while, but I’d never given it a go. I’m glad I did though! These turned out better than I imagined, and I had so many random compliments on them!

Violetnails

The polishes I used for this manicure were:

  • China Glaze’s What a Pansy — Purple Base & some strokes.
  • OPI’s  My Boyfriend Scales Walls — White base & some strokes.
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon manicure in I love you — light purple strokes.
  • ACO by Ardene Forever Young — medium purple strokes.
  • Essence “Beauty Beats” collection in Baby, Baby, Ooooh — Darkest purple strokes.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

It’s hard to distinguish between the different shades of purple with just a picture, but on the nail in person it was striking. I feel like the darker purple base turned out better than the white base. I will definitely have to try this look again, with different colors. I also feel, it’s a nice (less messy) alternative to the paint splatter manicure–which I also want to try, but will definitely need more than a couple extra hours just for clean up.

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 2: Orange nails.

Orange nail polish has to be one of my favorite colors. It’s kind of crazy, but I have to own at least fifty–actually probably more–different orange shades in my stash. So I knew finding a color for this prompt would be easy, I just wasn’t sure what design I wanted to do! After browsing pinterest for hours, I settled on a vintage inspire rose manicure. I didn’t copy it exactly, but I have to say I absolutely love how they turned out. They were the perfect spring nails (even if it doesn’t quite feel like spring right now.)

orangenails

The polishes I used were:

  • China Glaze’s Metro Pollen-tin — the light orange base, and the base of my roses.
  • China Glaze’s Thataway –the darker orange of the roses.
  • OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls –the white base on my accent nails, and the polka dots.
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear (which I don’t know the name of, but it’s one of my favorite green’s I own)– the darker green of the leaves.
  • ACO by Ardene brand in Techno Green — the lighter inner part of the leaves.

All topped with my trusty Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

All complimented with my favorite latte — I have a serious addition to the cinnamon swirl latte’s at Second Cup, which doesn’t help my healthy eating! (But a girl needs to treat herself once in a while. 😉