Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘essie’

Nearly Rainbow Splotches

I wore a rainbow splotch dress to a wedding. It is a very pretty dress, but instead of trying to match one or two (or even three) colors on the dress, I decided to match ALL OF THEM. That made for a very strange design, but honestly these nails kinda looked like the dress. I just picked out my polishes, and went to work dabbing color on my nails. At the end I also added a stamp in blue to try and tie the whole thing together, I don’t think I succeeded. Knowing the dress I wore I would call these a success…however as stand-alone nail art they are frankly awful to look at. Sorry!

~ Pink: Essie – The Girls are Out
~ Red: KBShimmer – Chai-huahua
~ Orange: ULTA – Sun of a Gun
~ Yellow: KBShimmer – Orange You Glad I didn’t Say Banana?
~ Green shimmer: Zoya – Ivanka
~ Light blue: Makeup Selective – 105
~ Dark blue: Zoya – Sia
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: Lina – Make Your Mark 02

Sometimes less is more, and although I tend to go for more color and more details in one nail art design, I think this is a case of where I absolutely went overboard! When I try to match this dress again I will pick one or two colors in addition to blue. Yikes!

Spring Easter Gradient

I had very high hopes for this manicure, and honestly they fell a bit short. The colors did not quite come together how I intended (in particular the yellow got swallowed up) and it looks a bit more heavy-handed than pastel! Oh well, still pretty. And definitely still Easter themed.

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Yellow: KBShimmer – Orange you Glad I didn’t say Banana?
~ Blue: Essie – Rock the Boat
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Stamp: Whats up Nails – B017

I suppose I did no green/spring things for Easter posts this year. I will have to rectify that for next year. Anyway, since it is also Passover and Ramadan, regardless of what you are celebrating I hope you get some special food and have a great weekend! Enjoy.

Elaborate Exchange

This manicure was FUN. Fun to design, fun to paint, and fun to wear. I really like adding 3D gems to my nails just because it gives me something to run my fingers over, even though they fall off all the time! Regardless, I think I have the right pink and blue for this design, and the overall look was excellent. I was inspired by @na_ko91 although her pattern was far more geometric. I decided to go vaguely south-east asian with my pattern, and I am happy!

~ Hot pink: Zoya – Morgan
~ Blue: Zoya – Sia
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Hit the Bottle – Material World 01

I feel the need to do a neon rainbow manicure gradient, or something else equally vivid, after the BRIGHTNESS of this manicure. So much fun! Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did.

ShamRock Around

A second St. Patrick’s day manicure? This is unheard of! I think I have bought more green polishes in the past 12 months than any other color, and it shows. Half these polishes are new. I think I can consider my green polish collection complete now. Hopefully.

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Light green: Formula X – Quantum
~ Green holo: A England – Dragon
~ Dark green: Zoya – Hunter
~ Stamps: BP – L049, MoYou Pro – 02

My only real complaint about this manicure is that I messed up my ring finger accent nail. I was trying to double stamp green-over-gold but I didn’t line the stamps up the way I wanted, so I went back and colored in the lines. The end looked cool but messy, since I applied the colors after the stamp and the line work isn’t perfect. Hope you enjoyed anyway!

Heart Array

I never had any idea what to do with this stamp. It looks cool but the size is weird? Why is there a heart? Voila! Lets just use the heart part and of course add some random dots. The background ended up a little busy (and holographic) so the design is a tad harder to see than I wanted. This is the problem with having so many absolutely stunning nail polishes, when I use them with nail art (which is always) the designs tend to disappear!

~ Red/gold holo multichrome: Enchanted – I am the Walrus
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: BP – L084

On the plus side, all the colors went well today, even with the shifty goodness of I am the Walrus. Friday’s post is a bit more….bright. And matches itself less well. Hope you enjoyed!

Gilded Triangles

Olive green and gold ALWAYS go well together. I felt like wearing olive polish and had no specific plans, so this is where I ended up! I didn’t want to use just one triangle stamp, so I found the two that seemed to match (they are from two completely different brands, I am impressed). With just the stamps it still seemed a bit flat, so I grabbed a gold glitter polish and added some glittery overlay to bits of the design. I’m not convinced that overall helped, but I also don’t think it hurt. Honestly I am mostly impressed with the shape and length of my nails in this manicure, go me!

~ Olive metallic: Cult Nails – In A Trance
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Gold glitter – OPI – All Sparkly and Gold
~ Stamps: Whats Up Nails – B015, BM – XL205

On the plus side, it is going to be a few days of normal nail art, since I think I have run out of snowflakes and snow-themed manicures for the time being. And then, hearts galore! Oy. Hope you enjoyed!

Gold Snowflakes on Brown

Basically what the title says. I wanted something fast but dramatic. Voila! I may have gotten carried away adding tiny snowflakes around the bigger ones, but even if it is a bit busy its still cute.

~ Brown: Spa Ritual – Starry Night
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 120

I use this brown polish only once or twice a year (it dries matte), but each time I am reminded of how shimmery it is. I should probably stop buying so much polish and focus on using what I have, which is a lot! Hope you enjoyed.

Ornaments in Branches

This came out looking pretty cool! I wanted to use my new glitter polish, and I thought it looked like lights nestled in christmas tree branches, so here we are! I hand-painted the tree branches and then stamped the ornaments in gold, and covered them with little hand-done designs. I should have probably used creme polishes for the ornaments (in retrospect) but oh well. Glitter!

The base here is three thin coats of Green Light by Emily de Molly. There were SO MANY white glitters in this one omg. It was a bit of a pain in the butt to remove as a result, but the polish is so pretty it is hard to argue with wearing it!

~ Green with white glitter: Emily de Molly – Green Light
~ Light green: KBShimmer – Lime All Right
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Pink: Essie – Sunday Funday
~ Red: A England – Rosebower
~ Purple: A England – Crown of Thistles
~ Blue: KBShimmer – Now & Zen
~ Stamp: EdM – 03

It has been a while since I have posted a nail design that I liked as much as this. Somehow, mixing stamping and freehand on the same nail has been working for me. Yay! Hope you enjoyed, happy almost-Christmas, and happy end-of-Hanukkah (well, on Monday).

Dotted Presents

I don’t think I have ever (successfully) made gift nails, and I wanted to! Of course the end result was a bit boring, so being my usual self I went and added dots to everything, so now we have a collection of holiday-appropriate dotted metallic/shimmer gift wrapped nails :-p I am still very proud of myself for those freehand bows.

~ Purple glitter: Zoya – Valerie
~ Purple: Formula X – Ignition
~ Green glitter: Zoya – Ivanaka
~ Green: Zoya – Josie
~ Red glitter: Zoya – India
~ Red: Zoya – Sooki
~ Grey glitter: Zoya – Yuna
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Teal glitter: Julie G – Mermaid’s Tale
~ Teal: Zoya – Cecilia
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold

Maybe next time I should try stamping some wrapping paper-eque designs and just using that (plus a bow, of course). We shall see! It is a little ironic since I don’t even know that I currently own any bows. No one uses them anymore!

Pumpkins Galore

Pumpkins! Pumpkins for all of my nails! Two of my nails broke around the corners, so I decided to shape my nails into ovals instead of my usual square/squoval shape. I don’t like it nearly as much, but I have to admit it makes for a few cool manicures!

~ Light orange shimmer: BKL – Not Such a Fungi
~ Orange: Ulta – Sun of a Gun
~ Dark orange: Essie – Playing Koi
~ Pastel orange: Wet n’ Wild – Sunny Side Up
~ Brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Green: Zoya – Hunter

Unfortunately, my light orange creme that I used to highlight the “tops” of the pumpkins is so jelly at this point that you can hardly see it over the darker orange. I promise it is there, and it added a hint of texture! I should have used a more pigmented polish. Live and learn! Hope you enjoyed 🙂 And sorry for not posting last week, I get all my nail art posts sorted out on the weekend, and I spent last weekend at a wedding in New Orleans! It turns out that if you don’t drink (like me) the New Orleans does not have quite as much to do as I had been led to believe :-p

Tarnished Crown

This is an example of going nuts with dots that WORKED. To start, this base polish remains one of my favorites. The stamp is stunning, as always. And the dots contrast so nicely! I didn’t know where I was going with this, but the end result almost looks like black gems on tarnished gold, and I am intrigued. I do think I could have made some of the dots a bit smaller, but since I was making it up as I went, I didn’t realize that until the end.

~ Olive glitter: Butter London – Wallis
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: MoYou – Porcelain 01

I think I want to repeat this manicure with a different set of colors and do something more intentionally crown-looking. Who knows if I will ever remember saying that though. Hope you enjoyed!

Leaf Peeping

I had been saving this polish to use in a fall manicure. Unfortunately, it is very sheer and I ended up placing it over too dark a brown! It is very squishy in the bottle and on my swatch stick; I will have to use a lighter base next time around.

This is three thin coats of the flakie-filled carmel brown jelly called Leaf Peeping with Sasquatch (which might be one of the best names for a polish I have ever seen) by Knight Owl. Although the polish would be near impossible to build to opacity on its own, it looks beautiful over a brown base (even if this one is too dark) and with the jelly base the flakies really pop!

~ Brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Brown flakies: Knight Owl – Leaf Peeping with Sasquatch
~ Rose gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Stamp: BP – 19

I imagine this would also be lovely with a matte top coat. The density of the flakies is really impressive! I count this as a win. Hope you enjoyed!

Dramatic Orange and Purple Leaves

I am going to be honest: this manicure does NOT work. The oranges are too bright and the purple is too dark. I made it anyway. It was fun. I probably put more effort into the design (especially coloring every part of every leaf on the stamp, and free-handing the geometric nails) than it was worth, but it was fun to do and fun to wear.

~ Purple flakie: Polished for Days – Siren
~ Dusty red: KBShimmer – Chai-huahua
~ Dark orange: Essie – Playing Koi
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Margo
~ Purple holo: A England – Crown of Thistles
~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Dusty orange: OPI – Freedom of Peach
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: UC – Lovely Leaves 2

Clearly I have a ways to go with color theory for opposing colors. I did another purple and orange leaf manicure that came out MUCH better (that I posted last Friday). Hope you enjoyed this slightly failed one anyway!

Inky Flourishes

This may be my favorite alcohol ink nail art that I have ever done. Usually I find that alcohol inks are stinky and flood everywhere, but this set did not smell too badly and actually behaved on the nail! It helps that they were also fairly easy to clean with 100% acetone (although I worked very hard to keep the blue from flooding my cuticles as a precaution).

I started with a white base, which I top coated and then matted. I next dabbed on the blue ink in a random pattern around the middle of each nail, followed by the pink/red ink around the blue. I then went back in with the pink and the blue to deepen some sections. Overall they behaved nicely, and the end result was stunning! I thought it was a little dull, but when I added top coat the whole thing really popped (which is what happens with a matte finish, go figure!). I decided that wasn’t quite interesting enough, so I went and added a white stamp and some gold dots to finish the design. The end result is very pretty and deceptively simple!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink alcohol ink: Born Pretty Watercolor – 005
~ Blue alcohol ink: Born Pretty Watercolor – 008
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Born Pretty – Decoration L005

Almost everything in this manicure is from the Born Pretty Store: both the ink polishes (which as I said, were actually excellent) and the stamp (which is very pretty!). The ink polishes are selling for $5.29 while the stamp is $4.99. Hope you enjoyed!

Purple Elegance

For my sister’s re-wedding (a full wedding instead of a COVID-sized wedding, but to the same groom) I had to create a tone-on-tone elegant purple design that matched my bridesmaid dress. This is what I came up with, and I have to say I am pleased! This stamp remains one of my favorite to put together elegant yet impressive manicures, and the colors matched perfectly. I only kept the purple metallic polish (which I honestly hate the look of on its own) to do stamping designs like this.

~ Purple: Essie – Full Steam Ahead
~ Purple metallic: Zoya – Rea
~ Grey: Zoya – Dove
~ Stamp: BP – L049

I think this is the first day of the 31 day challenge this month that I have just ignored the prompt. I don’t like finding interesting flag nails, and I don’t love painting them. So today we just get something elegant and purple, likely it is better than any flag approximation I would have come up with anyway!

Brocade Clasps

Season 2 of Bridgerton (which, to be fair, came out months ago) was inspiring. All the fantastic gowns, crazy hair, and of course mooning actors and actresses with posh accents. I loved it. And I adored all the purple. I kinda just went nuts and created a series of nails with gold-on-purple brocade patterns with gold lines and copper buckles that reminded me of the outfits the characters would wear. I am very happy with how this came out, and it certainly fits “pattern” day in the 31 day challenge!

The base is three thin coats of one of my new-ish Greek polishes, #68 by Alpha Beauty. All of the rest of the writing on the bottle is in Greek, so that’s all I’ve got, but I cannot find the brand online! In the bottle it is a STUNNING deep neon purple; on the nail it is a bit more of a subdued dark purple. Still very pretty, but without the same punch. I want to try it over white (as befits a neon polish) next time, and see what that gets me. It did go on very smooth!

~ Purple: Alpha Beauty – #68
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: BM – XL158, JQ – L20

For something with so short a color list, I have to say this manicure makes me smile. Even if the neon aspect does not come out as well in the photos (as always happens with purples). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

Combo Circuits

It has been 3 years since I last used this stamp and almost 6 years since my last circuit manicure which is a pity because it picks up well and is beautiful! But I recalled my For the Love of Science plate had a bit of a different circuit design (it looks like a fingerprint) as well as better binary (the one on the plate with the circuit stamp does not work well) so I combined all the elements on my PERFECT circuit board polish, and voila! My ring and middle fingers are almost exact copies of the design I did 6 years ago (link above) because why mess with something perfect?

~ Green matte: Zoya – Veruschka
~ Pastel green: Zoya – Tiana
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: Hit the Bottle – For the Love of Science, BM – 415

For this manicure I used a matte polish, but after stamping I had to re-top coat. It seems so silly to use a matte finish top coat over an already matte polish, but there is no other way to keep the design sealed in! I should mattify my nails more often, it is a really interesting looking finish (even if it does not last as long on the nails as a shiny top coat). Enjoy!

Bright Rainbow Cells

May I now reveal my first ever successful RAINBOW DRAG MARBLE. I liked using my cell-making polish and just moving it around on the mat or stamper head, but once I found the key with making a drag marble, the game changed. Look at this rainbow. And these cells. In order to figure out which of my three cell-making polishes (nude, blue, or red) to use in the design, I made a bunch of decals using different combinations! The one that worked best was red, but blue looked really good as well. The nude looked a little muddy through the otherwise bright polishes, and was only used on my thumb in the end. Overall, I absolutely ADORE how this came out, and I imagine I will be coming up with ways to make more drag marbles with cells in the future!

~ Light pink (base): Zoya – Jordan
~ Red cells: Dance Legend – Spot It Red
~ Blue cells: Baroness X – Atlantis
~ Nude cells: Baroness X – Sand Ahoy!
~ Pink: Essie – Sunday Funday
~ Yellow: Emily de Molly – LE 196
~ Green: Zoya – Josie
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur
~ Stamp: Floral BP – X43

This ends my rainbow, sometimes glittery, frequently neon, birthday week nail extravaganza. I have mostly exhausted the rainbow nail backlog in my unposted folder (other than the one I am holding out posting until the 31 Day Challenge in September, if anyone is even doing that anymore), so I will need to make more before next year! Of course, I am wearing some NOW since I just turned 34 (yikes) but that will not be enough. More rainbows!

Vaguely Floral Swirls

I am the proud owner of yet ANOTHER blue jelly with pink-to-gold-to-green color shifting shimmer (this time with tiny red flakies)! I need to stop buying polishes like this, but I just can’t help myself! They are so darn pretty! On the nail this one shifts REALLY well, dark pink with red flecks in the middle, through orange and into an emerald green, with dark blue around the edges.

As you may have guessed, the base here is a new glitter polish. Oops. This is Everybody Knows Sh*t’s F*cked by Femme Fatale, which marks the first time I have every purchased a full sized Femme Fatale polish (they are always too expensive to ship) and has an excellent (and unfortunately accurate) name. I am wearing two thin coats of this beauty. It went on easy and cleaned up surprisingly quickly for such a dense micro glitter!

I stamped over it with Good as Gold by Essie using Floral BP – X43 on my ring finger and thumb, and Moyra 50 – Ornaments 3 on my other fingers. I was in a swirly and flowery mood I suppose!

Easy to do, easy to wear, and overall quite pretty. I hope you enjoyed!

Cardinal Flowers

I don’t think I have ever used this stamp pattern before, which is a shame because it is quite pretty! I decided this base polish was just too pretty to cover completely, so I used a stamp with a lot of see-through space. Once I was done, I (of course) added a few gold dots. Voila! Sparkles.

~ Purple shimmer flakie: Polished for Days – Fireflies
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Rose gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Stamp: BP – L003

Simple yet effective. I am so glad I have gathered up a cohort of stamps that work well on their own over a particularly pretty base color! Makes picking what to wear much easier. Hope you enjoyed!

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