Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘contrast’

Roses and Dots

I was torn between using these for black/white day (today) or dots day. I settled, clearly, on today! Because mostly these nails are black and white if you ignore the red. And gold. 😀


They are inspired by Nails by Cassis. That said, she had smaller roses and her nails were much longer, but mine aren’t half bad! I need more rose stamps, clearly.


This mani, despite how much I like the end result, was a pain in the butt because the rose stamps wouldn’t pick up! They are from that same darn plate I used for the Day 2 flowers (which I have a replacement of, but which did not arrive soon enough for me to make these). Also the rose I chose did not have leaves…so the leaves and buds are from a totally different plate. It works, but it was painful! I want to try this again (maybe with different colors?) with a plate that STAMPS. Since I have that now. Omg. Also smaller leaves, oops!


~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Stamps: BP – L067, L018


What do you think? Are the roses (or leaves) too big?


Another mani with Clearwater. I *swoon*. Being able to marble over gradients is awesome! Although this is a bit of a franken-mani. It reminds me of the ridges and scales on a dragon, hence the title of the mani.


I started with a diagonally stripped base of each metallic polish, and then marbled over top. I initially started with ILNP Birefringence (which you couldn’t really see over the colors…it is there on one finger, I didn’t bother removing it). I then tried white AND black. Ta-da! I


The white creme I used to start with was taking over too much of the water. So I tried two other whites…and they did the same thing. Anyone have a good marbling white? I ended up just going with it anyway, but I wanted thinner lines! To even the white vs. colors out a bit, I went ahead and added dots over the white.


~ Green: Zoya – Holly
~ Blue: Zoya – Estelle
~ Purple: Zoya – Giada
~ Dark purple: OPI – Ink
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Clear marble: Pipe Dream Polish – Clearwater


Even little nails can look awesome! Hope you enjoyed.

Soul on Fire

I kept thinking of the song “Red and Black” from Les Miserables, so I picked a random verse and made it the title! The song is incredible (ok, the whole musical is incredible) but I didn’t think a title of “red the color of desire, black the color of despair” was really what I was going for!


This negative space mani was inspired by Sassy Shelly. I spent a lot of time deliberating over my accent color choice, and I can’t help but think that maybe I should have gone for a neon (rather than a more elegant red). Still looks good, but doesn’t pop as much as Shelly’s!


The only difficult part of this mani was the nude base…it is a very sheer color that I wanted to use to whiten my nail a bit, but it took 4 coats! I think it came out looking rather awesome (and might see some use in more negative space manis in the future) but still, rather a pain.


~ Nude: Revlon – Calla Lilly
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~ Stamp: Bundle Monster – XL205


Hope you enjoyed! And happy Star Wars release day 🙂 (yes of course I have a star wars mani on right now, it just isn’t ready to show yet!)

Midnight Mystery

So, it helps that I did these nails at midnight (and finished them at 1am) but I still think they look cool! I ordered some matte studs of amazon (I was $2 under for free shipping, and 12 colors of these were $2 so I did it). They ended up being a bit bigger than I would have liked, but still cool! I wanted to start of using the rose gold ones, so I actually had something to match my essie gold polish…which is not quite a gold.


After perusing pinterest, I figured the right thing to do was a mix of matte and glossy black polish. Unfortunately, my stamp picked up the matte better! Oops. But anyway, the same stamp across three fingers, and the sister stamp on my thumb, plus gold. I rather like how it looks, although it is subtle.


…or as subtle as you can be with giant gold studs. Instead of using glossy and matte top coat for the stamps, I just used my glossy and black matte polishes. I think it works better that way!

~ Black glossy: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Black matte: Mentality – Rascal
~ Gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Stamps: Bundle Monster – 208 and 209


Hope you enjoyed! More colorful manis coming up next week :-p


So this was a FUN manicure! I knew what I wanted to do when I started, but my initial idea was more along the lines of making it look like a brocade dress. The end result (gold swirls on black, beautiful deep green matte) really reminded me of the outfit Loki wore in The Avengers, so here we go!


As a side note, I am a bit of an Avengers fan-girl. I love what is being done with the Marvel universe and so now I feel a need to create a mani for each of the Avengers. Eventually. We’ll see how this goes.


In the meantime, check out the wonder that is Reclaim, a blackened green matte by Mentality! I seriously love this color (which is why I saved it for last. I am actually posting this out of order because I need you all to coo over this mani sooner rather than later :-D). It covered nicely in one medium-thick coat over black, and two thin coats on its own (ring finger and thumb). I absolutely ADORE the color! Its a deep emerald green that looks shimmery despite the matte finish. I might need to try top coating this just to see what happens!

~ Green matte: Mentality – Reclaim
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Gold glitter: Mentality – Rapture


The stamp was also provided for review, although you can’t see much of it I promise it’s pretty and transferred really well. It is plate 17 from the Born Pretty Store, and I love it! I was almost tempted not to cover it with a design, but I had to follow my plans (and I am glad I did!).


You can pick up the lovely Reclaim for $6.75 (and I strongly recommend you do!), or the Born Pretty Store stamping plate for $2.99 (my design is the upper corner of the top left design, and the whole design on my accent nails). Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!!

Jade Jewel

Wedding season has started again! You guys might not remember, but last summer I kept making teal/orange manicures to match this one dress that I ADORE wearing to weddings. Well, I wore it a week ago so here is my matching mani!


The design is based off a pinterest pin, with the colors altered to match my outfit! I am quite happy with the result.


The base was actually gold, and I added striping tape to keep my lines linear. I think it might have been better to free-hand the lines (they would have been thinner), but this result isn’t bad. I then added the orange and blues.




  • Gold: Essie – Penny Talk
  • Orange: Cult Nails – Ay, Poppy!
  • Blue: Maybelline – Green With Envy
  • Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical


Hope you enjoyed!

Subtly Puzzled

I wanted to try stamping with Harp On It from the Halo Hues collection by Color Club. I had seen so many awesome examples of stamps with those polishes, and i just needed to know if it would work! Verdict: it does.


This is a simple mani. Black base (Black on Black by Sinful Colors) with a puzzle stamp (BM 319) using Harp On It. Before I added top coat, you could clearly see the silver of Harp On it…


After top coat, the silver faded a bit to just glitter. However, it was still beautiful! (If a bit more subtle).



The whole thing lit up in the sun. My camera wouldn’t even focus for all the glittery goodness! I call that a win.


Short post today. Hope you enjoyed!


Today’s GOT challenge theme was “ruffle mani.” I actually had to google that to figure out what it was, only to determine that I was (oddly) not in the mood to use more than 4 different polish colors! So, I went looking for a “ruffle” that was unique, and I found a wonderful stamping mani by Wacky Laki!


I should have learned by now that stamps are hard to replicate by hand! My ruffles are not nearly so even as Laki’s, but I’m alright with that. I decided to pair a grey/silver glitter mix with a green/blue silver mix, and just go with it. I almost did every nail a different color…but I was tired of colors. I know, what has happened?! Really, it just needs to STOP BEING COLD. No, I don’t know why those thoughts are related either.


On the plus side, I got to use a whole bunch of polish that I seldom touch! I love my glitters, but I’ve been on a bit of a creme-and-shimmer thing recently. Glad I got to remedy that briefly!


  • Grey: Maybelline – Bare Escape
  • Grey glitter: OPI – Number One Nemesis
  • Green: Essie – The More The Merrier
  • Green glitter: butterLONDON – Jack the Lad


Hope you enjoyed!


Many months ago, I found (on pinterest) some rather mesmerizing nail art, that I entitled seaweed. I quickly realized that it was a stamp, and that I did not own said stamp. I once tried to re-create this mani, and failed miserably. However, as of today, I have succeeded.


Since I don’t have the stamp that goes with my design, I decided to free-hand it! It took (a lot) longer than stamping, but it led to more variation, and let me hide a heart on my ring finger! ❤


The base for this is a polish I recently won from Tattooed Nail Girl, Lost in Paradise by P2. It is my first P2 polish, and a teal/blue duochrome! This polish took two coats to be opaque and was slightly streaky on application, but dried without streaks. It’s just stunning! Although the brush for this polish was unfortunately wide, the control was perfect and I had almost no clean up.



I free-handed the design using my dotting tool (…unbent hair pin) and my nail art brush. It looks like the dots are waving at me! (No? Maybe I need more sleep? Oops…)




  • Teal: P2 – Lost in Paradise
  • Black: Sinful Colors – Black Sheep


Hope you enjoyed!

Peeping Rainbows

One of my favorite manis from early on was ruined by two things: 1) the lack of a black matte polish, and 2) my inability to clean my cuticles. This mani officially solves both of those problems.


The main solution came in the form of a recent impulse-buy, Rascal by Mentality. I had been craving a black matte, and I wanted to try Mentality polish! Luckily, some of the polishes (including Rascal) went on sale, so I grabbed it! It only took one coat to cover all my rainbow colors, dried nicely (as mattes tend to do) and lasted a whopping two days without cracking (which is impressive for a matte polish).


I kept running my fingers over the textured goodness! I had covered the rainbow base layer with top coat, to increase the shiny factor. The black was wonderful and velvety.


I was hoping for nails with blue/green/purple as the central colors, but sadly, my yellow and orange seem to dominate. Darn bright colors! As you might have guessed, this is what my Rainbow Stripes mani that I posted a few days ago ultimately became. If you would like a list of colors, check out that post!


Ok. At this point it is just photo spam because I love rainbows, and I think the texture contrast looks awesome.


Last one I promise. Hope you enjoyed!!


Warp Zone

~~Today is the LAST day to vote for the Rite Aid Nail Art contest! Please go vote for my nails! Thanks!~~~


This mani was accidentally inspired by a dress. I had an urge to use a neon coral and deep blue, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I did laundry and found a dress I had worn earlier in the week. Go figure.


I wanted to do something centered around a triangle, but I couldn’t just stripe a triangle on my nails (striping tape needs to reach the end of the nail). So I settled for this!


The plan was to only have one gradient nail, but my 4th finger got ruined doing laundry…as did two others. So they all got the triangles, and my two preserved nails got gradients. I love the color combo, but I think the triangles look much better than the gradients! Although, this saved me from cutting a god-awful amount of striping tape.


The base color is one of my new Juleps, Natasha. She is a bright coral/orange, and is opaque in two coats. I don’t like the color alone on short nails, but she looks really pretty with blue!



  • Coral: Julep – Natasha
  • Blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
  • Orange: Nail Art – Orange


I don’t know why I added orange dots on my thumb. It was a good idea in theory, but looks odd in practice. Oh well. Enjoy!

With the Grain

…Which was not how my life was going when I did these! My prelims were in one week!! But I saw a wood grain design on the internets, and thought “I could do that”, so I did!


My base is two smooth coats of Zoya Dea, a beautiful even medium brown. I have been in the market for a brown creme, and this one is really quite pretty. It also dried surprisingly fast!


Despite being a rather odd look for nails, I think this might be one of my favorite designs.


I also like the length of my nails….somewhat short, but almost flat across the top. I can’t stop staring at the pattern!



  • Brown: Zoya – Dea
  • Tan: Wet n’ Wild – Private Viewing
  • Oxblood: Julep – Lucy






Please go vote for my blue stripy nails from yesterday over at the Rite Aid Nail Art Contest! One vote per day! (Sorry for being so annoying)

Eva’s First Water Marble…and Rainbows. Pre-spring Challenge Day 14

Rainbows are one of my favorite things, and I love painting my nails with every color I own (or trying to). I was really disappointed in my entry for the “rainbow” day, since I was pressed for time.

I hope this makes up for it.


I am recreating (with artistic liberties) blackbird nails’ rainbow nail art. Warning: this post is photo-heavy.

This was my first time watermarbling (successfully) and I managed to make my water work by leaving it out in a cup in the morning, and not using it till the evening (I don’t have bottled water, but this lets the chlorine evaporate and the temperature equilibrate to room air).

Step 1: Base coat. Then paint fingers with white polish
Step 2: sponge or paint on rainbows (I didn’t bother cleaning…I was going to be dipping into polish anyway!)
Step 3: Add fast-drying top coat (to smoothen out bumps…and speed things up)


I have a question for you…which looks nicer at the end? I used two types of rainbows: (1) solid darker colors (left hand except pointer) and (2) lighter neon sparkly colors (right hand except pointer). If any of you have a preference let me know! I like both end products

Step 4: Create water marble using black (or sparkly black in my case) and mostly-clear (clear pink duochrome). Hint: TAPE OFF YOUR NAILS. I didn’t tape my right pinky. I then spent a full 10 minutes trying to remove polish from the whole pinky!


Step 5: Clean. Clean LOTS.


Step 6: Add dots! I added black dots and rainbow dots to whichever fingers I felt received too much color or too much black. Basically at random.

Unfortunately, the middle finger on my left hand ended up getting double-dipped (this was my first time! And that was my second finger set…I dipped two fingers per try to waste less polish), which is why its so darn dark.


Step 7: Top coat!
Step 8: Examine your beauties

So, which is better? the darker solid colors, or the brighter neon sparkle polishes?

Colors used:

  • Bright Rainbow: “Nail Art” brush/pen combo, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue
  • Dark Purple: Sinful Colors – Fig
  • Neon Sparkle Rainbow: Sephora by OPI – Rainbow Scented mini collection (except the blue, its too dark)
  • Pale Blue: Milani (3D) – Cyberspace
  • Pale Purple: Milane (3D) – Hi Res
  • White Base: Sinful Colors – Snow Me White
  • Black: Sinful Colors – Secret Admirer
  • Clear Duochrome: Sally Hansen – Platinum

Here you can see the holographic quality of both Milani 3D polishes (they were the only pale/neon blue and purple I had! Also I just love holo polishes)

Final photo, left hand in the sun. Right in the sun is the first photo in this post…oddly, I think I liked my right hand better, for the first time ever!

So, have I vindicated myself when it comes to rainbows?

The topper to my rainbow and sparkly cake: During a writing class to prepare for my prelims this spring, the 50-ish year old male lecturer interrupted himself to comment “those are amazing nails, woah!” I feel good.

Crossing Rays: Zoya Valerie and Revlon Poppy

I was super excited to use the second color I got from zoya: Valerie. I kept trying to find something to match (I’ve been missing serious tape manis since seeing a lot of them) and landed on another new polish, revlon poppy. The colors do go well…only the revlon is “top speed”! Turns out trying to do striping tape with a fast dry polish is  BAD IDEA. So my right hand looks um…special.

Valerie is a beautiful deep purple with bright pink microglitter and a hint of bronze glitter in certain lights. We finally got some sun, so I can show you this!



  • Pink: Revlon (top speed) – Poppy
  • Purple: Zoya – Valerie

Both could have been one-coaters as a base, but I used two just to be sure. Poppy dried REALLY fast, and when I used it as a top coat it pulled when I removed the tape even though I was only taping one finger at a time.

Other notes: trying to do a single finger with 10 pieces of tape MIGHT be a bit too ambitious! But i think my 4th finger turned out ok anyway.

Which is your favorite?



Indoor lighting, you can see more of the purple glitter all over the nail and a bit of the copper tone!



Thumbs! The pink really did not work well as a top color.


Everything looks better in the sunshine!

Green Dazzle: Zoya Maisie!

I ordered my first ever 3 zoya polishes during their new years promo, and they came! This mani was designed around showing off maisie, a green/blue fleck top coat. And it’s beautiful.

I started with a black base. I taped off most of the nail, and put a strip of striping tape down near the tip as well, giving me an exposed double line. The tip-most part went green, while the smaller line went blue. When those were dry, I polished on 2-ish coats of maisie, either using tape to tape off the green and blue part, or just eye-balling it (much faster!).


I wanted a green stripe, a black stripe, and a blue stripe leading in to the flecks because I thought it would highlight the colors better. It kinda worked. My thumbs just got black, green and blue swirled on top, and then stripped with striping tape. I painted black over them and then used maisie over the whole nail.


Of course, I matted everything because the internet has shown me that matte top coats are awesome over flakies!

Colors used (other than my clear base coat):

  • Black: Sinful Colors – Black on black
  • Green: Wet n’ Wild – SaGreena the Teenage Witch
  • Blue: NYC – Empire State Blue
  • Flecks: Zoya – Maisie
  • Top Coat: Hard Candy – Matte-ly in love



This highlights the color shifts in Maisie…it goes from a  bright green to blue, to deep blue (I swear its almost indigo in certain lights). It’s stunning.




Unfortunately it hasn’t been sunny once in the last 4 days (yes, this is what is on my nails right now) so I can’t take a photo in sunlight! But I bet it’s beautiful 🙂


Blue Blush

This is not a Christmas post. The next post will round out Christmas-y things. Moreover, my own nails are currently sad and bedraggled because there is no polish remover in my home! This will be remedied tomorrow.

Two nights ago, my baby sister’s friend came over to visit my sister. She brought with her a few essie polishes…which I have never tried because $8 always seemed like too much to spend on polish. Little did I know they are ONE COATERS and dry fast. Wow. Even the palest color went on in one smooth easy coat. I am impressed!

I had her pick 3 random colors from her collection, and just did random nail art for her! Overall, I like the result (as usual, my pinky design just wasn’t that great).

Hope you enjoy! And if you have a favorite, let me know. 🙂


Personally, I think the middle finger blossom nails were my favorite



Thumbs! Fun and free-handed. My baby sister helped design these.


Deep blue – mauve – hot pink. I think it works!

Red and Green

Inspired by this mani by Dressed Up Nails, I had to try something similar with my new striping tape. I figured it was close enough to the holidays to go with red and my new green…since I don’t own any rally stunning glitter polish 😦

Anyway, given that this was my first attempt ever using striping tape, I’m going to call it a success, and say that next time I’ll pay a littttle more attention to making my lines parallel!

Left hand was green on bottom red on top (except my pointer finger) while right hand was red on bottom green on top (again except my pointer). Honestly, the red runs less so the nails with red on top came out looking much nicer than the ones with green on top. Notes for next time!

Enjoy 🙂





I went back a few days later and spruced up the criss-cross pattern on my pointer finger…but honestly, it didn’t look much better with the dots I added. Oh well!


Mirror hands!


The Camera Lies

After seeing some swatches of sinful colors “Let’s Talk” I decided I had to go buy it. I didn’t own a dark purple, and it looked so pretty and colorful! Well, it turns out that this nailpolish had too much color for my poor camera! The images (granted I’m using my iphone because I’m too lazy to get out my real camera every time I paint my nails…maybe when I have more people reading or figure out how to properly clean up my nailbeds I’ll get better about it!) are not colored properly! My camera decided that this vibrant purple was actually blue!

Even when taking the photo over a white background, the camera would not color adjust properly…although this is closer

I decided to try a nail art design I saw on pinterest…only it turns out the person who did the original design was using a stamping plate. So their dots and lines were far far neater than mine! I finally ordered real nail art brushes a week ago, but they are not here yet. So This was my attempt with my crappy brush, and using colors that don’t show up as well. Basically, this was a beautiful base color and if anything my art detracted from it.

I tried a bunch of different colors (gold, grey/silver, and pale blue) while leaving my middle finger just the base color

My apartment doesn’t get much sun, but you can see the shimmer in the base color with the bit of sun I found!

By far the best part of this mani ended up being my thumbs. I found out (with a comparison between my third finger which did NOT receive any topcoat) and my other fingers that the polish actually turns a much darker purple when covered with topcoat! So I experimented…

One thumb got dots of matte coat with squiggles of shiny topcoat

And the other got squiggles of matte with dots of shiny. You can really see the purple base, darker purple dots, and what matte looks like! I think this was awesome and plan on experiment with this color and top coats again. You can also see the flecks of blue and pink/red shimmer on these close-ups.

Hope you enjoyed!

Demoralizing Dots

I saw a beautiful dotted mani the other day in shades of pink, and decided to copy it using blue! Unfortunately my dotting tool is a bent-out-of-shape hair pin that i don’t have much experience with, and i only really have two shades of blue, and one blueish-silver. Needless to say, my size variation ended up being…sub par…and the lightest blue was almost white except when there was no light at all. I think I need to re-do this at some point in the future when I actually have more colors!

Without further ado, photos of my dotted miss.

I also made a leap today and finally bought REAL nail art brushes and some multicolored stripping (striping? I can’t spell!) off amazon. Be prepared for more crazy shiny awesomeness!

Smell the Rainbows

For my birthday, I asked my baby sister to get me a set of rainbow nail polish. I even sent her a link to a set I liked on amazon! However, she decided she knew better than me (and “didn’t trust amazon to not break them”) and so promptly went to Sephora and bought the only set of rainbow polish they had: a set of small fruit-scented polishes.

I was hesitant about trying the polish, since I wasn’t sure I would keep them. I’m not the biggest fan of glitter polish (polish with a bit of glitter is beautiful, just glitter is strange and doesn’t work well for nail art!) but I tried them anyway. They took between 2 (the dark blue) and 5 (yellow and orange) coats of polish to evenly cover my nail, and even then were a bit sheer. I didn’t really like the effect.

A day later outside though, I noticed the sun really gave them some color!

I decided that since they were glitter polishes, there was a good chance they would look better over black, so I gave that a try. And they looked fairly awesome. (Please pardon my fingers, I hadn’t cleaned them up yet and forgot to take pictures after!)

In the sunlight over black they REALLY glowed.

I had to put a thick coat of top coat over them though, because they smelled very very strongly like fruit salad.
I thought I would hate the scent…but as it turned out I had a new intern/coworker for the next two weeks (he was awful, we got rid of him) but he also smelled REALLY bad. So I ended up using one or more of these glitter polishes with every manicure I did in the next two weeks! It was great. I could sit in the same room as him and just leave my hands in front of my face and smell delicious and overly fruity, rather than deal with his smell. I felt like a secret winner.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed! Every color but yellow (I really hate yellow) will be making a re-appearance in the next few posts.

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