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)


    An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 17- Glitter

Glitter is such a deceptively simple theme, isn't it? Since it's pretty broad, I decided to challenge myself to try something out of my comfort zone. In this case, that's bar glitter.

There's a story behind this polish: A while ago, my best went to America, land of the nail polish brands they don't have around here. Since she's also pretty into nail polish (although nowhere near obsessed like I am), I handed her $20 and said "surprise me". She came back with two really gorgeous glitter toppers, and this. I genuinely didn't know what to do with it, so it's been sitting on my shelf pretty much untried for over a year.

I have to say, having now tried it, I like this polish a lot more than I was expecting to! The color scheme is surprisingly flattering for my skin tone, and the bars don't bother me nearly as much as I was expecting. It's fairly opaque in three coats, but I sponged it on to save on "bulk", and then topped it with a couple of peacock feather decals from the Born Pretty Store. It's a little textured after one topcoat, but two layers of topcoat makes it almost completely smooth.

Now I'm thinking I might revisit some other short-matte-bar glitter polishes that I'd put on my destash shelf. I wonder if I'd like those too?

Polishes used:
Ga-de- Beige Caress (beige base)
Sally Hansen- All Yarned Up (glitter topper)

#31DC2015 Day 16- Geometric

I made it past the halfway mark, yay! And I'm not tired of nail art or burnt out yet. Hopefully this is a good sign. Since the last two days I did something fairly time consuming, I went with a comparitively simple nail art today, just a stamp. But I didn't want it to be THAT simple, so I stamped over multichrome flakies :D

As an aside, round nails are really growing on me. I had square nails as my default for a long time, but I had to file them down out of practicality. I kept losing tips, and my nail integrity was crap. For a while I kept them sort of semi-squoval-ish, just as close to a "natural" shape as possible, but during this challange I narrowed them down a little bit more, and I'm liking how it gives an illusion of lengh while still being very manageable. I think I'll keep these for a while (they also don't get in the way of harp playing as much- bonus!)

Polishes used:
Color Club- Total Mystery (dark blue base)
Indigo Bananas- Violet Stars (multichrome flakie)
Color Club- French Tip (white stamping)

Stamping Plate: MoYou Holy Shapes #01

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 15- Delicate Print

For this topic I decided to recreate the nails I did for my brother's wedding about a month and a half ago. I was a little busy at the time, so I only snapped one or two photos of it, and nothing really good enough to put on my blog. So here it is again, properly photographed!

Polishes Used:
Color Club- French Tip

The rest is magic marker! I can't imagine that I'm the first person to figure this out, but I didn't follow any kind of tutorial or inspo to come up with this, I did think of it on my own. Here's how to do what I did:

  1. Paint your nail with a light colored base (I used white)
  2. Add a matte topcoat (the marker needs something to grip)
  3. Scribble all over your nails with magic marker- try to cover as much of the surface as possible
  4. Dip a q-tip in alcohol and gently dab it onto the nail. The marker will immediately begin to dissolve and marbelize. Be careful not to use too much alcohol, because then the marker will just come off completely
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as necessary to achieve the desired effect
  6. Once the marker is dry, add a glossy top coat
I used a range of teal to purple magic markers (the ones pictured plus one dark indigo and one dark green) to achieve this exact look. The gold squares are from the DecoPopShop on Etsy

Sunday, September 13, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 14- Floral Print

Aaaahhhh I am so proud of this one. I haven't worked with acrylic paints in a while (all my old ones dried up) so I was expecting my first attempt at art in such a long time to be a hot mess. But it actually came out pretty nice! I also got a kit that didn't have purple, so I had to mix the purple to match the gradient base myself, and I think I matched them pretty well.

Polishes Used:
Chic- Show biz (off white in gradient)
Golden Rose Color Expert- 66 (lavender in gradient)

#31DC2015 Day 13- Animal Print

Animal print has been and always will be a challenge for me, because I hate everything associated with leopard print or zebra/tiger stripes. So I can't go with anything related to that. Still, I think in the last two years I came up with pretty creative ways to get around that, and I'm pretty satisfied with how I did it this time too- fish! This is a jelly sandwich stamping mani, so I started with a shimmery green base, stamped over it with an ocean-y sort of print, then went over it with a dark blue jelly and put fish on top. I topped the whole thing off with some more jelly and then some iridescent flakies.

Polishes used:
Orly- Meet Me Under The Mistletoe (green shimmer base)
Color Club- French tip (white stamping)
Glitter Bunny- Jelliefish (blue jelly sandwich)
Indigo Bananas- Bonanza! (flakie topper)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 12- Stripes (+ swatch!)

So yeah... this is definitely a holo streak. We're on day five straight where holo is a main component in my manis. What can I say, I have a type! I regret nothing. I also have a particular attachment to this color combo- I love the teal/fuchsia/orange look, or variations on it.

The base for this polish was ILNP Mega, and this is my first time wearing it, so I decided to snap a few photos of it by itself before I put the stripes on top. I'm going to say something blasphemous, and I'm terribly, terribly sorry! But I'm not that impressed by this polish! It took four coats to reach opacity, and while the holo does look really lovely, it wasn't as strong as I expected. I've always thought of ILNP as the benchmark brand for indies, but Mega was kind of a disappointment for me. It was fine, but it didn't wow me like I was hoping for it to.

That said, the formula is fine, if thin, it dried reasonably quickly and to a completely smooth finish with no patches or streaks. Even though I used four coats, I was able to put the striping tape over it after about fifteen minutes (with the help of some fast dry topcoat but still) and it didn't dent.

Polishes used:
ILNP- Mega (holo base)
Color Club- Mrs. Robinson (fuchsia stripes)
Ga-De- Orange Poppy (orange stripes)
China Glaze- Custom Kicks (teal stripes)
LeChat- Black Magic (black stripes)

Friday, September 11, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 11- Polka Dots

This is the fourth day in a row that features holo prominently in my nail art, I think I'm falling into a pattern here. Ah well, can't go wrong with a good holo design, and teeny tiny dots that took way too long to make! Right?

The middle two fingers and the outer two fingers have slightly different base shades, but I realized after I finished the mani that you can barely tell the difference. Whoops!

Polishes used:
Essence- You Belong to Me (middle and ring finger base)
Golden Rose Color Expert- 43 (index and pinky fingers)
ILNP- Summer Stargazing (blue holo dots)
ILNP- Fall Semester (teal holo dots)
ILNP- A Fresh Evergreen (green holo dots)
ILNP- My Private Rainbow (holo topcoat)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#31DC2015 Day 10- Gradient

The nail polish gods have smiled down upon me today. I wanted to see if I could still get a linear holo effect if I did a sponge gradient with holo polishes, and it worked!! In fact, it kind of looks even more holo than it did pre-gradient. I wonder why that is?

Polishes used:
Color Club- Cosmic Fate (orange holo)
Color Club- Miss Bliss (pink holo)
Color Club- Eternal Beauty (violet holo)
Essence- Glorious Aquarius (old formula) (glitter accent)

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