Monday, December 7, 2015

NOTD: Hanukkah nails! (2/?)

Hello again and happy ongoing holiday! Today I made dreidel inspired nails, I painted each of the letters of the dreidel in acrylic paint over a brown/beige watermarble that is meant to evoke the look of a wood grain.

For reference, here is a dreidel:

The letters on the dreidel are as follows:

  • נ (nun)- this stands for the word נס (nes), which means "miracle"
  • ג (gimmel)- this stands for the word גדול (gadol), which means "great" or "big"
  • ה (heh/hey)- this stands for the word היה (hayah), which means "occured" or "happened"
  • ש\פ (shin or pey) which either stand for שם (sham), which means "there" or פה (po), which means "here". The usage of ש vs פ depends on whether you are celebrating inside or outside Israel,

Together, they stand for the prase "A great miracle occured here/there"

Sunday, December 6, 2015

NOTD: Hanukkah nails! (1/?)

Happy Hanukkah everyone! I don't have anything super profound to say about this nail art, but it was surprisingly fun to do, and very easy! I was thinking about starting with only one lit candle and then adding a new one every day, but that would mean leaving this on for eight days, and if you know me at all, making me wear the same nail polish for even three days is cruel and unusual. Even if somehow a Hanukkah miracle occurred and it didn't have any chips or tip wear in that spam of time. I suppose it would be a seasonally appropriate miracle, but I'm not patient enough to test it out :D I have a few Hanukkah nail designs planned out, but I'm not committing to a full eight days of new nail art, so let's see how many I can manage!

Friday, December 4, 2015

NOTD: Coooooookkkkkkiiiiieeeeeee!!!

I think this might be the fastest turnaround I've ever done on a post, and that includes 31DC (I usually try to run a day or three early so that I have time to prepare posts). I painted my nails, photographed, and edited everything within a span of three hours for this post! I had originally done this design yesterday, but the photos were pretty terrible because of the overcast weather, and this morning I redid them because I had pretty bad tip wear.

I did these nails as part of a challenge posted in a Facebook nail art group I'm in, where the theme was "Matte + Glossy". I dunno what brought cookies to mind, but I decided to run with it! I made the base of the cookie matte, and then I added drops of glossy top coat over the chocolate chips, which also made them a little bit bumpy, adding even more realism! And then of course, I had to make a simple Cookie Monster accent :D

Polishes used:
Bourjois- In The Navy (blue base)
perfect Chic- Frost (cookie base)
Careline- Hot Chocolate (brown outline)
Superficially Colorful- Mud Slide (chocolate chips)
Ga-de- Whitest White
LeChat- Black Magic
Golden Rose matte top coat

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NOTD: Flannel

I'm finally jumping on the flannel bandwagon! Since autumn rolled around we've been seeing lots of flannel and plaid inspired nails, so I thought I'd give them a try! I stamped over these with the musical plate from Vivid Lacquer, and then I added a little more detail with acrylic paint and a striping brush. To give it an extra soft look I topped it off with a matte top coat.

Polishes used:
Loka- unnamed green
Perfect Chic- Must Have (red)
Borjois- In The Navy (blue)
Golden Rose matte top coat

Saturday, November 21, 2015

NOTD: Abstract Kitties + Pink

There's never a bad time to have cat themed nails. Never. Wedding? Kitties. Funeral? Kitties. Presidential inauguration? KITTIES. I don't have a whole lot to say about these nails besides KITTIES. I did them over a distressed pink brushstroke manicure, and I drew them with acrylic paint.

This was also my first time trying out the Poshe fast dry top coat. It came highly recommended, and I felt like trying something new, so I picked it up along with a bottle of Duri Rejuvacote. I've always defaulted to Seche Vite and OPI Nail Envy, so I'll see how these work out for me! For the time being I don't see a huge difference between dry time/durability/application, but I'm happy with them, b/c I was happy with what I was using before. If I begin to notice a difference I'll post about it!

Disclaimer: I basically drew these kitties from my brain, however my brain is very easily influenced by outside sources. So if you see a resemblance to something you've seen online before, odds are I subconsciously copied it from there, and I'll be happy to credit them if you let me know! Unfortunately off the top of my head I have no idea where I got any of these ideas.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

NOTD: Marbly accents

This notd was unabashedly inspired by this mani from @lovelylittlelacquers on Instagram. It's not quite a 1:1 copy, but it's close enough that I should credit her for the inspo. I just fell in love with the color combo and marble pattern and had to try it out for myself!

This almost ended really sadly, because the first day I wore this it was terribly dusty outside, to the point where the lighting was too orange to get good photos. There's only so much you can salvage with color correction! (see my floral mani from 31DC2015 for another tragic example). The second day was still dusty, but it cleared up a bit in the afternoon, which is good because by day 3 I usually have enough tipwear that I don't feel comfortable blogging about it. I'd have made an exception for this mani but I'm glad I didn't have to!

Polishes used:
Perfect Chic Sinful Tops collection: Dark Purple (glitter accents)
Ga-de- Whitest White
Ga-de- Sicilian Orange
Ga-de- Endless Plum

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Swatched: OPI Pretty Penne + Red Fingers & Mistletoes

Hi everyone, it's been a while!

I accidentally got overzealous on nail trimming recently and I now have pretty short nails, but I swatched a couple of new OPI polishes while my nails were still at post-31DC length, so here they are!

Pretty Penne



I saw this swatched by Swatch And Learn a while ago, and ironically, even though she wasn't all that impressed by it, I was so taken with her swatches that I picked it up the next chance I got. And I absolutely stand by that impulse buy :D I love it! It's a little sheer, needing 2-3 coats for opacity, but it's very easy to control and I really love the color. I can't quite quantify it- the first word that comes to mind is 'copper', but it's also kinda gold and kinda silver.

Red Fingers and Mistletoes



What is it with polishes called Mistletoe? I love Orly's Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and I absolutely adore this one, too- I picked it up in a destash sale and I had no idea what I was getting, but I am glad I did. This is a jelly, so it also takes 2-3 coats to opacity. Even then, there's a liiiiiitle bit of VNL in direct sunlight, but it's not a big deal. I love how rich and jewel like this is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NOTD: Gradient and squiggles

Well, I guess I'm not finishing 31DC this year. The timing was pretty terrible for me this time around, the end fell right smack on the build up to Icon this year, so it was amazing that I even got as far as I did!

Well, now it's time to go back to a semi-regular posting schedule. Here are some random squiggles on nails, inspired by this manicure from Heynicenails on tumblr! (and instagram, but I follow them on tumblr). I decided to do the doodly white shapes over a gradient instead of colorful skittles, but it's still similar enough to credit back to them.

Polishes used:
Ga-de Blue Angel (blue)
Ga-de Pool Party (mint green)
Ga-de Kiwi Delight (green)
White acrylic paint

Monday, September 28, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 28- Inspired by a Flag

I honestly wasn't feeling this challenge so much. I haven't in previous years, either, so I guess this category just doesn't do it for me. On the other hand, this did give me the opportunity finally to sneak in some Steven Universe! The flag I chose for this challenge is Rose Quartz's battle flag. I also tried a drag marble on my pinky that's vaguely inspired by Rose's shield, but... it's kinda meh

Polishes used:
WOW cosmetics- 436 (darker pink)
Sacara- 032 (lighter pink)
Acrylic paint

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 27- Inspired by Artwork

Late post late post late post whooops!

The artwork I chose for today's challenge is that of adult coloring books, which have been all the rage lately. And having finally purchased one for myself, I definitely see why! They're gorgeous to look at when they're not filled in, and they're so gratifying to look at when you finish a piece, because you feel like you contributed to the beauty of the artwork.

For this nail art I stamped with plain black over white with BP-L002 from the Born Pretty Store, a suitably "doodle-y" looking plate, and then I filled in random bits with acrylic paint. I based it on a specific drawing from the coloring book I'm currently working on, which is sadly not Secret Garden (maybe once I fill this one I'll buy Secret Garden?). But I'm actually really happy with the art in this book, so I'm good :D

Saturday, September 26, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 26- Inspired by a Pattern

Alternate post title: Leah discovers that it is Very Difficult to do hand poses with a mug

So I've actually kind of known what I wanted to do for this day since last year. About a day after the Pattern challenge last year, I walked into my work kitchen and facepalmed because we have these adorable mugs with hearts on them that would be PERFECT for this kind of thing.

I actually sent pictures of this mani sans mug to the R&D group chat at my work, challenging them to try and figure out where they recognize the pattern from. I don't think any of these guys had ever gotten excited over nail art before, but they have now! (followed by a lot of ppl casually commenting "why don't you do this for a living???")

And in case you're wondering, yes, I did have to steal this mug and bring it home with me in order to make sure I matched the colors well. No one noticed. I did bring it back I promise!

Here is the mug by itself (sitting, rather incriminatingly, in front of one of my nail polish shelves)

And here are the three least awkward attempts at me posting with said mug:

Polishes used:
Color club- French tip (white base)
Golden Rose Color Expert- 43 (light blue)
Ga-de- Blue Blood (navy blue)
Ga-de Candy Apple (red)
Laka- 85 (grey)
Chic- Crazy in Love (green)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 25- Inspired by Fashion

You know, I think this is the third time in this challenge where I freehanded something that I really should have used a stamping plate for. 2015, the year I was a complete masochist and picked out really difficult (for me) ideas for every. single. nail art challenge.

Side note: I was surprised that I didn't see a single nail art for Inside Out on day 23!! To be honest, the only reason why I didn't do Inside Out was because I thought it would be the obvious choice! Well... I'll do it next year. And with my luck, next year like half of the entries will be Inside Out :3

The fashion I was inspired by was Steampunk. You can't really tell so well under the gears, but I did a saran wrap mani of two different browns as a base, to give it a more antique and worn look. The gears were done with acrylic paint and a paintbrush, except for the clock face, which was nail polish. I tried it glossy first, but I ended up liking it WAY better matte. I'm pretty happy with this mani, but I'm SUPER pleased with how my middle finger came out!

Polishes used:
Orly- Golden Maharaja (darker brown shimmer)
L'oreal Paris- Mysterious Icon (lighter brown shimmer)
il makiage- Pearl Jam (clock face)

#31DC2015 Day 24- Inspired by a Book

Comic books count, right? Comic books totally count. Anyway, I've wanted to do Kamala Khan themed nails since basically always. So here she is! (have you noticed that my descriptions have been getting shorter? Is this what burn out feels like?)

Polishes used:
Chic- Sweetheart (well... close enough) (beige)
Chic- Must Have (red)
Color Club- French tip (white)
Ga-de- Mellow Yellow (yellow)
Borjois- In the Navy (blue)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 23- Inspired by a Movie

This is a bit of a cheat, since I did these nails based off the TV show, not the horrible abomination they call a movie. I'm still in denial about that thing existing (THERE IS NO WAR IN BA SING SE)

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The cartoon, not the in-name-only """""""adaptation"""""""!

This post is going up suuuuper late, it was Yom Kippur today and I didn't feel comfortable posting even via a queue

Polishes used:
Pupa 745 (pinky)
Golden Rose Matte 16 (ring finger)
Lechat Majestic Green (middle finger)
Il Makiage Skinny Dipping (index finger)
Details are acrylic paint

Monday, September 21, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 22- Inspired by a song

Is it weird that I sincerely, without a trace of irony, love the song Manah Manah? Yeah? Well I don't care. Here, have Manamana nails.

Polishes used: Color Club French Tip (everything else is acrylic paint)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 21- Inspired by a Color

My name is Leah, and I have a confession to make...

...I really like the color pink. Like, a lot. When I started out blogging, I objected to it. I felt like it had been force-fed to me too much as a kid and even as an adult, and I had a knee-jerk reaction to pink as a "stereotypically girly" thing. I felt like, well, if I'm going to indulge in this girly hobby, at least I won't fall into excessively girly color habits, right?

And look, I'm still as much of a grumpy feminist as I ever was. I still oppose the whole idea of branding everything and anything for little girls in eye searing pink, with no other color options available. I'm miffed when "his" and "hers" items are allllways pink and blue. It just annoys me, because there are other beautiful colors out there, and all genders should be allowed to partake of all colors with no shame or pressure. It's just that me, as a nail artist, I've grown to appreciate it personally. And so, as my own kind of apology to the color pink, today's post is dedicated to all of it.

I've kind of had similar epiphanies about orange and yellow, although my objection to those had always been aesthetic rather than oversaturation related. I have learned to give my love to all the different colors of the rainbow

I can't believe I just went on a feminist rant about pink nail art. My apologies. Here, have my nails:

Polishes used:
Perfect Chic- Mist (gold base)
Perfect Chic- Hot Fuchsia (fuchsia shimmer)
Perfect Chic- Lovey Dovey (baby pink [dries matte w/o topcoat])
ILNP- Champagne Blush (pink holo [!!!!!!!!!! i need to swatch this on its own at some point it's amazing])

#31DC2015 Day 20- Water Marble

Ok, so after all that talk yesterday about being original and trying to stand out, for today's post I actually went with something that's super popular, the neon watermarble. Since I didn't have any neon polishes, I actually made my own, although I don't plan to sell them. I love neons, but so many indies have done them lately that I don't feel as though I have anything original to contribute to the market. Still, I couldn't resist picking up a pigment sampler pack, and I used them to make some polishes specifically meant for marbling. And boy, do they marble well! The polish is actually not fantastic in quality- I should have mixed them for longer. But despite that, I love how this watermarble came out. I'm definitely going to do it again soon.

I'm not going to bother listing the colors, since these are all polishes I made myself, and I didn't name them. The white base is Color Club French Tip.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 19- Galaxies

Galaxy nails are a pretty essential staple in any nail artist's lexicon. They're relatively easy, and the result is really impressive and pretty hard to mess up. I'm really happy about this, because I love that it's a style that's accessible and fun to do. But the downside is, how do you do a fresh take? There are unlimited ways you can mash together different colors and nebula patterns, but after a while they all start to look the same. I thought of maybe doing a pastel galaxy, which I thiiiiiink was fist thought up by The Nailsaurus, but even that's gotten pretty popular. I'll still probably do it at some point (nothing wrong with doing a well loved style), but here I wanted to stand out. I decided to go with red galaxies, since I don't recall seeing any like that around. Of course, the nail art world is HUGE, so someone has probably done this before somewhere, but at least it's fairly unusual!

I took a ridiculous number of photos of this mani, but I also started preparing this post late at night, and I so don't have the energy to crop and watermark and edit a bajillion photos, so I'm just posting the ones I did before I burnt out. I did try a matte topcoat, and I edited one of those photos too, but in the end I think I like it better in the original glossy finish.

I ended up using entirely Ga-de polishes for this manicure, not sure how that happened!

Polishes Used:
Ga-de- Black Ruby (base color)
Ga-de- Whitest White (nebula base)
Ga-de- Shanghai Chic (red accents)
Ga-de- Orange Poppy (lighter orange accents)
Ga-de- Sweet Candy (darker orange accents)
Ga-de- Black Cherry (burgundy accents)
Ga-de- Azure Blue (blue accents)

White acrylic paint (stars)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 18- Half Moons

I always forget that this day exists for some reason. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan, I'd much rather do a french tip than a half moon. But alas! I'm also not that great at them, weirdly enough. I don't have vinyls, so I'm stuck with freehand for these fellers. I'm okay with how they came out, mostly because the gluequins I stuck on the border between the two colors hides how sloppy the half moons actually are :D :D :D

Also! This is the first mani I have ever done using Zoya!!!!!! I picked up a few Zoyas in a destash recently, my first ever. They're virtually impossible to get here, so I'd been lemming that brand for years, and now I have some!

Polishes used:
Zoya- Dream (blue)
Impala- 099 (gold)


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