Creative musings in bright colors

Archive for the ‘Nail Art’ Category

Subtle Swirls and Purple Roses

My sister is getting married in a few months, and asked me (months ago) to start coming up with ideas for how to paint her nails. This happened a year in advance. I love my sister but she’s a bit of a control freak :-p. These were my first (and my personal favorite) attempt at “nude and white but elegant and a bit of purple”. Of course, she also wanted me to demo all my nude bases, so my pinky and ring finger are one color, and my middle and pointer finger are another. They are so close you can hardly tell, but I KNOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT (yes, obviously, everyone needs 5 almost identical slightly shimmery nude polishes).

~ Nude holo: Picture Polish – Cherish
~ Nude flakie: Sayuri – Anthos
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Light purple: L’oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ Pastel purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Light green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Stamp: BM – 314

So, what are your guys thoughts on these nails? The other ones that I have tried for her so far were the Pale Purple Lace nails. Which to you guys prefer? Any suggestions for how to due something purple/nude/lace/floral that I should try? 

Purple Bursting

I am less happy with this one, although it is my own fault. I didn’t like how my nails were shaped, so I didn’t spend much time decorating them. It works, I suppose, but it won’t be winning any awards.

~ Purple holo: LA Girl – Purple Effect
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: BM – S108

Not really much more to say about this really. I should get around to posting some slightly more exciting manicures next week, none of this single-color-with-stamp thing that I had this week. Hope you enjoyed despite its simplicity! 

Blocking Pink Blooms

You guys I have no idea where I was going with this. I wanted to make a green gradient, so I did. Then I wanted to add some geometric black lines, so I did. I decided that wasn’t good enough, so I decided to add some complicated flowers, so I did. This is the end result. The black lines did not come out as dark as I wanted so I went over quite a few of them myself (which is why they are a bit irregular) but it also allowed me to make some go on top of and others underneath the flowers! The end result is very strange, but for some reason my husband loved it?

The base beneath all this nonsense is a new-to-me neon green polish called Race Against Slime by KBShimmer. It is a very nice very bright green! This is two coats. It was slightly thick (as one expects from a neon) and dried down semi-matte, so it will need a shiny top coat. Overall though, decent application and excellent saturation!

~ Neon green: KBShimmer – Race Against Slime
~ Pastel green: Maybelline – Green with Envy
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Dark green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Light pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – L21

All the flowers are from a stamping plate that I THINK I have shown before, but on the off chance that I have not, here is the link. Lots of leaves and flowers and it picks up quite nicely! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this neon pink/green confusion of a manicure! And happy inauguration day 😀 😀

Blue Stained Glass

This is not the first time I have used this stamp, and it will not be the last. Some day I will have enough time to color in each individual tile, but not today! This time I (again) reached for a flakie-filled polish and just stamped over it 😀

~ Blue flakie: KBShimmer – Gaia
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: EdM – 01 

Very easy but also very pretty! I occasionally feel bad about just stamping over a color with my years of nail art-ing…but with stamps like this I just sit back and enjoy the design 😀 Hope you enjoyed too!

Children’s Arches

The scrubs at the Children’s Hospital where my husband works (and where I briefly worked on my pediatric neurology block) are a beautiful shade of darkish teal. So, I decided to paint my nails to match! Of course, I could have gone with a creme color, but thats boring. So I went with a metallic! And then I decided that since the “n” in Children’s was shaped like the St Louis arch, that I would grab my most arch-like stamp and play with it. This was the (rather abstract) result!

~ Teal metallic: P2 – Lost in Paradise
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ Stamps: BP – L050

I had planned to get rid of Lost in Paradise because I never ever wear it. I am glad I still had it on my give-to-a-new-home shelf, its pretty! Although being honest this is the first time I have worn it in at least 3 years, and I have a very similar but more opaque polish that I am keeping. Hopefully it finds a new home soon! All of that being said, I found this manicure a little boring and I am too lazy right now to edit two photos of a boring manicure so you only get one :-p

Elaborate Purple Curls

These nails took FOREVER and if I am honest I don’t love them. I wish I had picked a lighter range of colors rather than the full span of purples. Oops! As it stands about half of them look too much like each other, and the whole design is much darker than I intended it to be. Next time (if there is a next time) I will use a lighter color palette!

~ Pastel purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Light purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Purple: OPI – I Manicure for Beads
~ Bright purple: Zoya – Margo
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Darkest purple: Zoya – Lael
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Whats up Nails – A010

Moral of the story: if you are going to spend >1.5 hours coloring in tiny lines, make sure your colors work well together! Hope you enjoyed despite that. 

Golden Veined

Oh god this was SUCH a disaster. I spent almost 2 hours making a super complicated manicure just to cover it up because it looked SO BAD. I started with a pretty purple-with-blue-glitters over a purple creme base, all is well. I then, for some ill-defined reason, decided to make gradient purple scales? Starting with the same shade of dark purple so it blended all the way into the polish? Gradiented to pink? When that looked awful I made an inner lining of the lighter color below for each of the scales and that looked WORSE. It looked like some pink-purple spreading tumor from my nail beds. I decided the problem was the darkest purple blending into the glitter purple base, so I outlined it in chunky gold glitter and somehow that just made everything worse. It was a failure. So I gave up and asked my husband what he would do to salvage it, and his answer was “make up something teal” to pick up the teal glitters in the polish. 

~ Purple cream: L’oreal – Paparazzi Pleaser
~ Purple with blue glitter: Emily de Molly – Open Season
~ Gold glitter: OPI – All Sparkly and Gold
~ Teal: Color Fever – Fiji
~ Gold: Salon Perfect – Gold Leaf

I will never say this on my nail blog again but…my husband was right. I covered the purple-pink monstrosity that I spent hours creating with a super opaque teal metallic, leaving a thin golden rim, and it already looked better. I then added gold veins to the teal and it almost looked like an intentional passable manicure. Only I knew what horrors lay beneath. 

Pale Purple Lace Mix

My sister wants pastel purple nails “with a hint of pink and white and nude but also with lace and flowers” for her wedding? Well, let me try! If I am being honest I don’t love the white over the super pale purple background, but my sister went somewhat gaga for this manicure (she liked the flowers on my ring finger) so there is that! My mother (who hates most nail art and prefers old-fashioned nude manicures) actually liked this one a surprisingly large amount. 

~ Pale purple shimmer: Ethereal Lacquer – Little Oysters
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Light purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Purple: L’oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ Stamps: BP – L084, MoYou – Frenchy 14, Nicole Diary – L21

Please let me know what you guys think about this manicure, and if I should try and encourage my sister to let me to do something like this for her wedding or something more nude, more lace, or more floral! Hope you enjoyed 🙂

Favorite Nail Art of 2020

I usually do a top 10 of each year, but I figured that since IG requires a top 9 to make a pretty box, that I would only pick 9 this year. There were quite a few designs of my own that I liked, but a lot of them were just clever stamping and that kinda feels like cheating. Below are my favorite 9 posts of my own, let me know if there were any this year that you guys think should have been on this list and weren’t! I am always curious 😀

Bright Rainbow Arabesques: this is somewhat self-explanatory. I love rainbows and this design took FOREVER despite being colored-in stamps.

Glacier Cove: This was another nail art that took hours and ended up stunning. This one was a complete freehand, using nothing but polish, and I am quite proud of it!

Six Shades of Grey: The first of a few different striping tape manis from this year that I adored, this one just focused on shades of grey/black and was still stunning. Pain in the butt to remove all that glitter though!

Vivid Gradient Divided: More striping tape and neons! This year was to depressing to NOT have neon nails :-p

Neon Bonds: Speaking of neon nails…the inspiration for these nails had been sitting in my untried for months before I worked up the courage to make them. And I love them. I almost never do matte nails (they typically break too easily in the stress of the hospital) but it was worth it!

Ursula: Disney (and pixar) are some of my favorite things, so it only made sense that I wanted to make some disney nails! These are actually quite old (I believe I painted them in 2017 but never posted them, waiting until I had enough completed to make a full set of posts), and this particular nail design was the one that inspired me to make the others (I think I did 6 in the span of 6 or so months by the time I was done).

Haunted Sunset: I think this is the first time Halloween nails have made it into my favorites list. Typically they are somewhat creepy and somewhat rushed, but these ones were honestly amazing. Spooky houses for the win!

American Pennant: These are absolutely the only time that 4th of July nails are going to be in my top 10 (or top 9 as the case maybe). That said, the lines here came out so perfectly straight and it just pops so well that I think it deserved to be recognized!

Neon Watermelon: These nails stand, at this time, and possibly the only half-moon manicure that I have ever liked on myself. Don’t get me wrong, they really are halfway between a funky french and a half-moon, and mostly they are just watermelons, but they were intended to be a half-moon that I could wear and so I am giving them credit for that. They were also just FUN to make and so bright! I miss summer.

That’s it for this year! I will work on getting these added to my “favorites” tab at the top. Stay tuned for the weird mix that is my favorite polishes this Wednesday! Regular posts resume Friday.

Darkly Golden Gone

I have achieved the pinnacle of nail art…which is to say that a design I found in 2016 and was never able to paint (missing the correct color and could not do the striping tape needed due to time constraints and a desire to keep my sanity) has finally been completed! I have this file with all of my dream manicures (at least those that I might some day do…there are many freehand artists out there that I simply cannot hope to compete with) and this was one of the older ones in that file. Victory is so pretty!

So, this design came from @natalia_engineer, only her version was much much simpler: she used a magnetic polish to create her gradient, and her black pattern was made from water decals. I ended up using 5 polishes to create a similar gradient, and a stamping plate for the chevrons! I still count it as a win. Also now I want that magnetic polish.

~ Dark gold holo: ILNP – Sparks May Fly
~ Gold glitter: Zoya – Ziv
~ Dark brown with glitter: Spa Ritual – Starry Night
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: MoYou – Pro 02 

I started with my darkest gold glitter, Sparks May Fly by ILNP. Its a nice honey-gold that actually looks terrible on me by itself. I then tried to do a gold-to-brown gradient using glittery polishes (Zoya Ziv, ILNP Sparks May Fly, Spa Ritual Starry Night) but all I got was glitter, and the brown from Starry Night didn’t transfer at all. So I decided to do a creme gradient with Zoya Dea and Louise to get the brown tones, and then just dry marble over them with a bit more of Sparks May Fly and Starry Night. Success! Although Ziv left a MESS at my cuticles (pretty polish, pain in the butt to clean up). When all of that was done I got to the stamping part, and voila! Awesome manicure :-D, and HAPPY NEW YEAR. We have a vaccine and a new president, so 2021 will absolutely be better than 2020.

Teal Gradient Chevrons

Straight forward, easy, and pretty colored! All you can ask for in a nail design :-D. These were painted in the spring, but the color just lend themselves so well to frost and winter, so I figured I would post them here! 

~ Light teal: Wet n’ Wild – I Need A Refresh-Mint
~ Teal: Zoya – Cecilia
~ Dark teal: OPI – Stay Off the Lawn!!
~ Light purple: Zoya – Malia 
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael

Hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for the New Years nails on Friday; the top 10 posts will come next week! 

Wintry Mix

I love this! How cute is that snowman? And the reindeer might be *ahem* oversized but its still adorable. Its a reindeer-with-its-face-in-the-camera. Lets go with that. This is probably overall my favorite winter manicure from last year (yes, I post around a full year delayed. I do not have my life enough together to post just after I paint).

~ Blue metallic: Zoya – Tart
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Light brown: Zoya – Chantal
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Red glitter: KBShimmer – Ruby
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Orange: Essie – Playing Koi
~ Green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Red: OPI – All I Want For Christmas (is OPI)
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 120 

Lots of colors and designs and I still cannot get over that snowman! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! I am going to finish up with some winter/New Years manicures this week, and spend the early part of next week on my top 10 posts for both polishes and nail art. Hope you enjoyed! 

Cute Santa

Merry Christmas! My husband just finished making me watch Elf (which is a horrible awkward movie, by the way) so this post is going up late. I figured it was only fair to humor him since his Christmas was so thoroughly downsized (to…just me) for COVID. 

~ Red glitter: Emily de Molly – LE28
~ Nude: Zoya – Chantal
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: OPI – All Sparkly And Gold
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Zoya – Jordan

Anyway, I painted these cute minimalist santas last year, and I am quite happy with how they turned out! As far as impressive manis go, these are not that, but they get the point across. I am particularly proud of the weird stylized santa hat on my thumb. Hope you all had a great holiday season, whatever you celebrated, and stayed safe!

Red/Green Mix

So, this was a bit of a disaster but I do like the fluid nail art! I basically just grabbed a few colors and made things up as I went along. I think it shows, but honestly I don’t care :-p

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Red: OPI – All I Want For Christmas (is OPI)
~ Red fluid: Dance Legend – Spot It Red
~ Red glitter: China Glaze – Ruby Red Pumps
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Stamps: Born Pretty – Halloween L004, Valentines L002, hehe – 028 

Today it went from 65 and sunny with lots of wind to 28 and pouring out. I don’t even know what winter thinks its doing at this point? Oh well. One more Christmas-appropriate manicure after this one. Hope you enjoyed!

Green/Red Mix

So, it turns out I must have at some point deleted the entry I wrote where I stated which polishes I used for this design an why. I can take a very educated guess, but I am winging it! Regardless, we have entered formally into christmas nail art week, so all this week will be reds, greens, golds, and a santa to cap it off :-p

Colors (my best guess):
~ Red glitter: China Glaze – Ruby Red Pumps
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 120

And thats it for today! I hope you guys have all come up with some fun (socially distanced) way to celebrate the holidays. Enjoy!

Holiday Vines

How about some festive vine designs? Really I just wanted to use this base polish because it is almost perfectly holiday, green with lots of red and gold shimmers and flakes! Of course I just went and covered up 90% of it, but its the though that counts :-p 

~ Green glitter: Rogue Lacquer – Princess of the Underworld
~ Red: Covergirl – Forever Festive
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold 

Hope you enjoyed! Happy end of Hanukkah (even if I didn’t post any super hanukkah nails this year) and start of the ONE WEEK that is christmas (as opposed to my husband who believes that christmas starts the moment thanksgiving ends). Harumph! 

Snow Pond Mani

The name says it all! This was 4 layers of snowflakes (three that got covered with a jelly polish and one left white) it honestly ended up too busy and I wish I had done one less layer! And of course, a cute snowman. I did him off to the side because I had seen something similar on IG, but it looks a bit strange honestly! 

~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Blue jelly: Zoya – Frida
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Silver shimmer: KBShimmer – I Only Have Ice For You
~ Pink: Essie – The Girls are Out
~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 120

I think I am going to have to try another snowflake pond-style manicure this year, with slightly fewer layers. Maybe fewer flakes per nail, keep it a bit simpler. We shall see! Hope you enjoyed 🙂 

Powdery Gold Snowflakes

This combines a whole bunch of my favorite things: Zoya polish, snowflake stamps, glitter powder with stamping…and the end result was pretty freaking awesome 😀 I even added some textured polish dots to have something to play with! 

~ Purple: Zoya – Valerie
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black (with gold powder)
~ Gold textured: Zoya – Solange
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 120

The plate I used, Nicole Diary 120, was awesome. I love the huge variety and sizes of snowflakes! You guys saw some of this plate last week (during my first installment of purple-with-gold for winter) and I have only kept using it. I love not having to freehand the flakes, and they are so pretty and complicated! Happy purple snow-time, hope you enjoyed! 

Frozen Forest

This ended up being a surprisingly stunning manicure! I was so excited to use the layers on this scenery plate, and then ended up a bit disappointed when they were not very well etched. I think next time I will have to try darker shades rather than trying to stamp with light shades over a dark background. That said, it came out pretty! Although, to be fair, everything over ILNP Downpour ends up pretty :-p

~ Blue holo: ILNP – Downpour
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Light blue: Zoya – Blu
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 122

The stamping plate, Nicole Diary 122, as stated has some stunning designs, but the one I got was just not etched well enough to use with most of my polishes on their own. Yes, I do not use stamping polish. That said, you guys can tell I stamp a LOT and this plate it just too shallow! I almost want to buy another copy from the Born Pretty Store and hope that it is better etched. The designs are lovely. Anyway, hope you enjoyed! 


Unfortunately neither this design nor my photos came out exactly how I wanted. I was aiming to make poinsettia leaves/flowers and I think I achieved my goal, but you can hardly tell! Also all my non-sunlight photos you cannot see the design at all due to how closely it matches the red of the background. So you only get one photo today (it wasn’t worth the effort for me to edit any others if they just looked red). Anyway, I started with a red base and dry-sponged on splotches of other red shades including a glitter. Then I stamped with a darker red. So for very little result this actually took a bit of time.

~ Bright red: Zoya – Sooki
~ Brick red: KBShimmer – Chai-huahua
~ Red glitter: Zoya – Aphrodite
~ Red: Revlon – Valentine
~ Dark red: OPI – Visions of Love
~ Stamp: Born Pretty – Texture L002

That’s all I have for today. Fridays post will be better and much more visible, I promise! Maybe I will retry poinsettia flowers this yea brut actually make them visible. We shall see! 

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