Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘#31DC2016’

Celestial Spheres

Looking back over nail artists who inspire me, I’ve realized that a number of the women who’s nail art I loved years ago and who eventually persuaded me to try my own hand at nail art have faded out of existence. The two biggest names that make me very sad are WorkPlayPolish and KaylaShevonne, both of whom were extraordinary. Even the ones who are still around post infrequently, like ChalkboardNails. One of the only ladies who predates me and has stuck around posting amazing nail art day after day is Cathy at More Nail Polish. So this mani is inspired by and in homage to her!


I actually went through the past 3 or so years worth of her nail art….at least what is on instagram. I personally hate instagram, I like being able to say things about my nail art and post more than one photo…and IG takes all of that away. However, it is good for quick scrolling!


While looking, I found a number of things I liked…one of which reminded me that I hadn’t worked with blue recently AND that I had this really cool stamp that I had never actually used! So here we are, with some art inspired by MoreNailPolish.


~ Darkest blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim
~ Dark blue: Zoya – Sia
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Glitter: ORLY – Sparkling Garbage
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: BM – 610


Anyway, this concludes the 31 Day Challenge of 2016. I almost made it! *sigh* who knows what I’ll be up to next year, but hopefully I’ll still be posting! It makes me sad that so many women give up on their blogs, and that they do so without warning. I want to know where all the people I used to follow have gone off to! If I ever do have to stop posting (which I’m sure will happen during intern year of residency), I will at least give warning, I promise!

Sharpie Art!

For MONTHS now I have been wanting to try and make nail art using sharpies. I tried once years ago using a silver sharpie and it smudged all over the place. Now, I have new top coat and about a billion tutorials to show me what to do!


Most of the tutorials wanted me to mix my sharpie ink with some type of rubbing alcohol. Unfortunately, I do not own anything that volatile so I had to just wing it! I more or less just colored in my nails and tried to blend the colors in the middle. I also had a teal and a blue…but they were somehow dried up and didn’t work! Even my pink was getting dry but at least it was bright.


Once they were painted on, I cleaned my cuticles…luckily it turns out sharpie removes with acetone. Otherwise I would have been in quite a bit of trouble! I added a stamp in black from BM plate 203, top-coated, and voila!


I do wish I had taken at least a few photos before top coat…it was less glossy but you could see the orange better. It somehow faded a bit when I added top coat! Still looks awesome I think.


The base I used was Stockpile by Emily de Molly…I wanted to see if either the holo or the larger silver shards would show through. Although the end result isn’t holo, it is definitely glittery! Hope you enjoyed!


I’ve been wanting to do lightning nails for years, and kept thinking I had done it before…but I haven’t! So, have some lightning :-D. It might not be supernatural but it looks darn magical so I’m just going to go with it.


I will actually sit in the window during a lightning or thunder storm, just to watch the jagged flashes of light. Lightning is awesome. Scary, but awesome. On my nails it is distinctly less scary, but really still awesome!


These particular ones were inspired by Celinas_Ryden, although I added more teal and more purple than she did! These also took longer than I expected, but realistically less time than they could have!


~ Dark blue metallic: Zoya – Ibiza
~ Dark blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
~ Medium blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Medium light blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Light blue: Zoya – Rocky
~ Lightest blue: Zoya – Blu
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Purple: Sinful Colors – Dream On
~ Teal: Salon Perfect – Escape to Neverland


Hope you have a dazzling day! Or something equally pun-y :-p. With this, we have almost reached the end of the 31 Day Challenge. Woah. Also, it is apparently my 4th anniversary of blogging! Which actually kinda insane if I stop to think about it! Happy blogaversary to me I suppose!


This is the white flag of surrender. It is the last mani I managed to paint before I had to go back to boring work-appropriate nails for my return to the hospital. I almost made it…but not quite 😦 What that means is that the few manis I didn’t get to will show REALLY short nails (technically, yesterday’s and the 30th). I paint out of order :-p


I also am disappointed because I stamped with grey…but it is apparently a yellow-toned grey so the stamp looks like a dirty tan. I should have used my other grey! I don’t really pay attention to the components of a polish pigment-wise. Whoops.


Overall, this is sad mani which is fitting since I was surrendering to my utter lack of control over my life! Timing failures. :-(. So yes, this mani is unfortunate but that was moderately intentional.


~ White: Wet n’ Wild – French White Tip
~ Grey: Wet n’ Wild – Sidewalkers
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: BM – 205, 210


That being said, tomorrow’s post is one of my favorites in a long time…and it was painted a LONG time ago! Ergo I had time and my nails were suitably long. Sorry!


See, for the theme of Day 27, artwork, I decided to go with things that work to make art…in this case paintbrushes. I have no idea if anyone other than me would ever be able to identify what they are without me telling them! Oops.


To create the bristles I painted my nails a medium brown, and added a bristle-like stamp with a nude tone. I then dry-brushed on a bit of each of my intended colors to create an effect as though the paintbrushes had been previously used for the specific color.


Then I added the blobs of color and a little white crescent to indicate that they were shiny. I decided to matte the ‘brush’ part and make the paint part ‘glossy’ just for fun!


~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Nude: Zoya – Chantal
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Orange: ULTA – Sun of a Gun
~ Yellow: WOW – #301
~ Green: Salon Perfect – Escape to Neverland
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Stamp: BM – 314


So, do they look like paintbrushes? Did I succeed? 🙂

Zig Up Zag Down

I realized that I had three different zig-zag patterns, of all of which were slightly different. I wanted to use them all in one mani! Ergo, pattern mani 🙂


Long ago, I decided that grey pairs well with pink, and I have stuck with that decision. This mani looks a bit odd as a result (a slightly darker grey…aka black…would probably have looked better) but so be it! Also, I don’t actually own a true black holo.


Regardless, zig zags! So many of them. I think I like the fine ones better than the thick ones, but they all look cool.


~ Grey holo: Darling Diva – Black Diamond
~ Light pink: ULTA – Baby Doll
~ Pink: Sinful Colors – Pink Forever
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Ciara
~ Stamps: BM – 201, BP – X06


Simple, but I hope you enjoyed!

Laced In

A corset is totally fashion! So this counts as the “fashion” day in the 31 Day Challenge. I am so glad we are almost done, painting this much has been difficult!


These nails went great…until I put down the striping tape. Which left a reside which would not come off. So when I top-coated, the whole thing got super bubbly! 😦 Hopefully you can’t really see it (I tried to pick pictures that didn’t focus on the bubbles!).


~ Red: Zoya – Isla
~ Black matte: Mentality – Rascal
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur


I have missed using shiny + matte in one mani, so you will be seeing it again soon :-p


Hope you enjoyed!

War of the Worlds

I wanted to ask you guys to guess what book this was from, but I put it in the title instead. In the past I have done any number of nerdy books (Dune and Enders Game come to mind first) and last year I did a children’s book (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). This year I wanted something nerdy but different…and I realized that one of the only books I had as a .pdf on my computer was War of the Worlds.


To be fair, this was first a radio broadcast (which, awesome), but I was introduced to it as a book. I also wanted something that no one had done before (that is very very rare…I think I was the first to do BB-8 nail art on one nail, and maybe C3P0 as a full mani or something…but usually someone else already had an idea for me to modify when I google anything). No one, as far as I can tell, has done this type of world-destructing giant robots before!


In terms of nail polish, the base color here (the orange) is new. When I was at ULTA picking up new makeup sponges for gradients (I finally ran out) I saw this orange on the clearance wrack and decided to try it! I’ll need to do a full comparison with my other medium orange (Thandie by Zoya…which is technically a shimmer but not really) at some point. Regardless, this is two easy coats of Sun of a Gun by ULTA, and it is quite pretty! A nice medium-dark orange creme.


~ Orange: ULTA – Sun of a Gun
~ Purple: Sinful Colors – Muse
~ Black: Wet n’ Wild – Black Creme
~ Gold: Petites Color Fever – 24kt Gold


The actual inspiration for the design came from art that I found elsewhere on wordpress. I can’t imagine painting a whole canvas with something that intricate!


This only took 30 minutes once the orange base was dry, which is really really fast! It wasn’t difficult, but it was fun, and its satisfying to know that I am the first to try this particular bit of weirdness! Also, sorry for posting this late…my week has been a mess and I just finished editing it! So, technically it is a day late. But that just means I’m posting twice in one day I suppose!


Have some animated-film nail art! I don’t actually know why I thought I’d be able to do Stitch’s face well…I am really really bad at drawing faces even on PAPER much less on NAILS. Oh well! Even if he looks like a little monster, it is still cute.


This was inspired by tinas_polish, and her Stitch is ADORABLE. Unlike my demon-spawn (which is technically l accurate, but I was trying to go for cute).


I think I have 1-2 more animated film manis ready to post after this Challenge is over! Soooo cloooose…lets see if I can make it through!


~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Pink: Love & Beauty – Pink
~ Dark blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
~ Light blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White


Hope you enjoyed! O’hana 😀

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

So, I know this is more of a movie than a song, but it was actually the song I had playing when trying to decide what to do for the “song” prompt for the 31 day challenge!


I went ahead any grabbed the closest thing I have to “For Audrey” from China Glaze, which happens to be I Need A Refresh-Mint by Wet n’ Wild. Every time I use this teal, I am reminded why I never use this teal. The brush is too fat, mine has messed up bristles, and the polish NEVER DRIES. Like, NEVER. I need to get For Audrey.


Regardless of my polish woes, this didn’t come out too badly! The color combo is pretty, and it is certainly song-inspired.


~ Teal: Wet n’ Wild – I Need A Refresh-Mint
~ White: Wet n’ Wild – French White Creme
~ Silver: Sally Hansen – Sterling Silver
~ Silver glitter: Revlon – Metallic
~ Stamps: JQ – L020, MoYou Back to the Future


Hope you enjoyed! My surgical shelf exam is tomorrow and I am freaking out, so this post (and tomorrow’s) are very short!

Teal Pinwheels

I have a lot of nail art in my backlog that is purple…mostly due to attempts to find wedding nail art! I didn’t want to use purple. However, I also found this…which was something I did while I was on my surgical rotation in July. Ergo, my nails were tiny and short but on the weekends I was able to rebel and wear something colorful and shiny and awesome (just for two days). This is inspired by teal.


It was a bit hard to figure out how to do a gradient on little tiny nails! I wanted to have even more colors (usually I can do 4-5) but I settled on 3 in the blue-teal range. Then I added a stamp with the always wonderful A England holos (they stamp like a dream), and put on a 3D rhinestone for extra “I’m not at work I can wear fun things” effect 😀


So here we are, with blue and teal for the inspired by a color day of the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge!


~ Light blue: Zoya – Blue
~ Blue: Zoya – Rocky
~ Teal: Zoya – Cecilia
~ Dark teal: A England – Saint George
~ Stamp: BC – 04


I almost want to repeat this on my nails when they are longer again! Right now they are back to being short (I am on my anesthesia block) but still. Long nails + color = awesome. Sorry these are so short!

Water Wood Grain

For water marble day, I decided to do something a bit different! I wanted to see if I could water marble wood grain. It somewhat worked?


I started with a new polish that I picked up earlier this month from the clearance rack at ULTA. I’ve been on the hunt for a slightly nude off-white. This is more nude/peachy than I wanted it, but is not quite a light pink! I also think it is indeed a bit lighter than my lightest nude (Chantal by Zoya) but I’ll need to do a direct comparison since I am currently out of swatching sticks!


This polish is called I Nude It by Essense. It is my second essence polish and I had forgotten how much I love them. I used three thin coats but I could have gotten away with two. The polish self-leveled nicely, and the color is a beautiful pale peachy-nude with barely-there golden shimmer (you can see it in the bottle but not really on the nail). I like it!


I then went and marbled with three other shades of brown/nude and my clear water marbling polish…which totally overwhelmed the browns. Whoops! So I added a little bit of free-hand brown at the end. I don’t know that I would have said these looked like wood without knowing what I was aiming for, but the definitely count as water marble so it works for the Day 20 of the 31 Day Challenge prompt!


~ Nude: Essence – I Nude It
~ Dark nude: Wet n’ Wild – Private Viewing
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Clear marbling: Pipe Dream Polish – Clearwater


Hope you enjoyed! We are finally just about 2/3 of the way done with this challenge. Lets see if I can make it to the end!

Purple Galaxies

Another attempt at wedding nail art! Since the colors are purple and cream and the ceremony is in a planetarium, I figured a galaxy mani would be a good idea! Actually, a friend suggested it when I mentioned that I was having trouble thinking of good wedding nail art…I just don’t remember which friend! Whoops.


When I was putting these together I was underwhelmed. The colors didn’t seem to go well, they were too close together, there wasn’t enough glitter (I usually use at least 50% holos for galaxy manis, but I only really have 3 purple holos and two of them are very scattered!). However, once I finally cleaned all the spare polish off from my cuticles and added my holo glitter top coat (while forgetting that I have one with holo AND white glitter that I should have used instead of hand-dabbing on stars) I actually rather like it!


So, this would be a super non-conventional thing to wear to a wedding. Is it nice enough? Fancy enough? This is my ‘cinderella’ hand (that you guys see 50% of the time anyway) so I could definitely make it match on both hands and not have to worry about free-hand issues.


Also I used at least 8 purple polishes. I am not going to list them, so lets hope if I do decide to recreate this that I can find them all! Or just empty the purple shelf in my nail art room and go to town.


…In retrospect, I have actually found the nail art I want to wear and it is way cooler than this :-p. That being said, these certainly count as galaxies so I am posting them with galaxy day! I will do a comparison week or something with all the other wedding-attempts I have done (there are 10. The 10th was my favorite by a long shot…I am just sad it took me 10!!!) so you can see them all!

Wine and Silver Dangles

This begins my quest for the nail art to wear to my wedding! I figured I do in fact want to wear a burgundy (to match the bridesmaids dresses and the calla lilies), but I don’t know what to DO about this purple! My first attempt was a chandelier-type nail art, the likes of which I have done many times in the past.


Honestly, I don’t like how these colors go together. When I tested them on my mat they looked good, but the purple-nude is just not right with the reddish purple! If I had a very soft off-white nude (aka the color of my dress) I think that would make a much better base. But, alas! This is all I have.


I still LOVE this pattern. But I don’t really think I want to wear this to my own wedding! It is also the only pattern I currently have with any type of a half moon design, so I am posting it for “half moon” day.


What’s more, in direct light the colors pop and the purple is vibrant…and in the shade (aka indoors) the purple looks a little like mud brown! Sad.


~ Nude: Zoya – Rue
~ Silver holo: Color Club – Harp On It
~ Purple: Zoya – Valerie


The other thing this means is that you guys get to see a LOT of purple-based manis coming up. I am also open to suggestions…it is going to be a super weird wedding with Star Wars and Disney music, being held in a science museum! The ceremony is in a planetarium 😀 If you guys can think of something fun and quirky that I should try, let me know!

Taking Aim

This started out as a great idea, and sort of fell apart as I went! Oh well. It certainly is glittery, so I’m using it for “glitter” day in the 31 day challenge.


The base here is by far the best part of this mani. It is one of the newer releases from ILNP in the ultra-metallic line (or something like that). Basically, it is a mix of rose-gold metallic glitter flakies and holo flecks and it is awesome! This is two coats of  Juliette, and I am very happy with it! SO MUCH SHINY.


The problem is that the stamp I picked covered a whole bunch of the glitter! I thought it would cover less. And then I added a red rhinestone (why red? I don’t know. I should have done blue or something) so you can barely see the rose gold glitter! Oops.



~ Rose gold: ILNP – Juliette
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: EdM – 21


Anyway, yes glitter, yes awesome polish, no not cool design. Live and learn!

Opening Flourish

I don’t really know what design I was going for here, but I do love the end result! I tried to do a metallic purple and blue stamp, but they blended in too well with the base polish (I left the stamp on my pinky and you really can’t even see it). I then did a light blue + light purple feathery stamp, and that was also subtle. So, being me, I added a slightly curved geometric stamp with the lightest blue I own, and voila! It looks awesome. It also works for “geometric day”.


I started with a base of another of my new Emily de Molly polishes, a really complicated color called Open Season. Open Season took three coats, but it was alright at two, I just wanted more glitter! From what I can tell, this polish has a dark redish-purple jelly base, is packed with small pink glitters, blue micro-shimmer, medium teal glitters, and largish bright blue metallic hexes. Its like a magic potion in a polish! I LOVE it. I want to try it over black and just pick out the shimmer and glitter next time!


Seriously. I had been trying to figure out which blue glitter EdM polish I wanted most, and then Haley came out with this one…and I just DIED. When it went on sale at color4nails I went straight for it! Given how much glitter is in this, I am glad I used a peel-off base, but I in no way regret my purchase 😀


That being said, Open Season is definitively a purple polish, it just has so much blue glitter in it that it can be hard to tell. Unfortunately, purples are impossible to photograph so yes, it looks blue. But it is a berry purple in real life, I promise!


~ Purple blue glitter: Emily de Molly – Open Season
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Light blue: Zoya – Blu
~ Stamps: EdM – 03, BC – 10


I know the color is a bit wonky with this post…the truth is the only way to get the polish to show up as purple and not blue was to permit my poor fingers to go ally strange and red! And I preferred (this time) for the polish to be true-to-color in most of the photos. Hence, red fingers. Sorry!

Rue-ful Lace

The title is a pun! Because the base color is named Rue. I might be tired.


Anyway, today is “delicate print” day. I have a LOT of lace manis to pick from in my to-be-posted folder, mostly because I painted a lot of subtle lace (ok, I stamped a lot of subtle lace) while I was in the hospital. This might be the least-subtle of the ones I have, so here we go!


Despite the colors being actually quite different here, no one noticed my nails in the hospital! It helps that my entire team was male (I mean, it is surgery), so maybe they didn’t even think to look! I also didn’t cut the nails on my left hand down quite as much my last week (although I did on my right, which you don’t get to see since they are the same pattern. I can be professional!).


~ Nude: Zoya – Rue
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: BC -10


So, subtle (ish) nail art for the hospital, but still delicate! Tomorrow’s nail art is NOT in the delicate spectrum 😀

Dots and Flowered Vines

Flower day in the 31 Day Challenge was easy for me to pick…this has a whole bunch of flowers! It’s also quite old (I painted this back in spring and its almost the end of summer…whoops!). I also think its cute, if a little grandmother-y.


The design was inspired by this bit of nail art which is not watermarked so I have no idea who it belongs to! Nor where it came from at all. But it is pretty so I went with it!


I don’t know that I would have decided to mix flowers + color change + dots if left to my own devices…this mani is really busy! It works because so many of the colors are in the pale-neutral shades I think.


~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Blue: Essie – Rock the Boat
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Green: Sinful Colors – Exotic Green
~ Light purple: Sally Hansen – Lacey Lilac
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia


That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed!

Dragon Scales

The weekend I painted these some friends from lab met at my place to paint dragon eggs! This seems like the best use of the pretty but terrible Mentality polish stash that I never knew what to do with. In honor of this event, I painted my nails to look like dragon scales! Which totally works for Day 13 – animal print. No leopard spots here!


Hilariously (and intentionally) the base for this nail art is Dragon by A England. Dragon is a beautiful grey-green holo with a pink shine. It covers almost perfectly in one coat, I used two because it feels strange not to!


I then dabbed on (with saran wrap) Tristam and Saint George also by A England, and added one coat of flakies (Festival by piCture pOlish).


When all that was dry, I added a scale stamp using Essie Good as Gold. Clear stampers still amaze me with how easy it is to line things up!


I love the way the flakies peek through the scales! I don’t know that you can see much of the teal and blue colors on top of Dragon, but it made me feel happy to add them anyway.


Hope you enjoyed! Have some dragon eggs 🙂


Purple Diamondante

The design can be summarized as “Eva has fun with purples and striping tape”. It also totally works for the Day 12 – Stripes prompt! Win-win.


This mani cane about because I found a purple L’oreal polish on sale at Rite Aid, and I spent fully 5 minutes trying to figure out from memory if it would be perfectly between the two purple I currently own. I ended up buying it, and I am really glad I did! That also meant that I needed to use it with a bunch of other purple polishes I own, just to make sure the color fits.


This is Paparazzi Pleaser by L’oreal. The polish is much more jelly-like than creme-like. It took three thin coats, which was fine, but was incredibly sheer on the first coat. I am actually quite happy with that, as I’ve been looking for some jelly polishes to use for lead lighting and I think this one might work! Interestingly, this purple (its a blue-toned purple rather than a pink-toned one) dries a full shade darker than it looks in the bottle. Go figure!


~ Silver: A England – Excalibur
~ Lightest purple: L’oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ Light purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Purple: L’oreal – Paparazzi Pleaser
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Monica
~ Purple metallic: Zoya – Giada



Hope you enjoyed! Tomorrow is animal print day…for which I (of course) went mythological 😀

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